Publication: 20th August 2020 – Hodder & Stoughton
The third beautifully written and brilliant thriller in the Di Birch series by one of the most highly acclaimed and award winning new voices in crime fiction- Claire Askew.
‘What if I told you,’ he said, ‘that I believe my mother’s life to be in danger?’
Robertson Bennet returns to Edinburgh after a 25-year absence in search of his parents and his inheritance. But both have disappeared. A quick, routine police check should be enough – and Detective Inspector Helen Birch has enough on her plate trying to help her brother, Charlie, after an assault in prison. But all her instincts tell her not to let this case go. And so she digs.
George and Phamie Bennet were together for a long time. No one can ever really know the
secrets kept between husband and wife. But as Birch slowly begins to unravel the truth, terrible crimes start to rise to the surface.
Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Cover Your Tracks, the new novel by Claire Askew.
I have been reading a lot of police procedural this summer and Cover Your Tracks is definitely at the top of my list of favourite. This is the third novel in this series that features DI Helen Birch of Police Scotland. I really like the character of Helen. She is smart, funny, stubborn and really good at her job. She always follows her gut, even though it often clashes with the police politics and it goes against her boss’ orders, but it usually right. In Cover Your Tracks, we also see her dealing with a lot of personal family drama with the return of someone she hasn’t seen since she was young and her brother’s troubles in prison.
Helen’s narrative alternates with the point of view of DC Amy Kato who I find very likable, loyal, authentic, and clever. I really like this investigative duo and I enjoy their close relationship that it’s not simply the relationship of a boss and her subordinate, but of friends and confidants.
In Cover Your Tracks, the two women investigate the case of an elderly couple presumed missing by their estranged son. At the beginning, it looks like a complicated family matter, but, as they keep investigating, it turns into something darker and more sinister than they could have ever expected.
Set in Edinburgh, Cover Your Tracks is very well-written, gripping, claustrophobic and disturbing. I found myself turning page after page eager to see what the next shocking revelation would be. This is an addictive police procedural and I am already looking forward to read the next one in the series.
A huge thank you to Jenny and Hodder & Stoughton for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.
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Claire Askew is a poet, novelist and the Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Her debut novel in progress was the winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award. Claire holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and has won a variety of accolades for her work, including the Jessie Kesson Fellowship and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. All The Hidden Truths was longlisted for two CWA Daggers: Gold (best novel) and John Creasey (best debut).
Her debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016 and shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and a Saltire First Book Award. In 2016 Claire was selected as a Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion, and she works as the Scotland tutor for women’s writing initiativesWrite Like A Grrrl! and #GrrrlCon. Cover Your Tracks is her third novel.