Published by The Conrad Press Genres: Mystery, Thriller
The Beast of Bodmin Published by The Conrad Press on September 1st, 2018
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Man or beast? Jo Green is a heroine of the Devon and Cornwall Police. Thanks to Jo, OCD-plagued chess-player Vladek Boniek is serving thirty years for murdering four women close to Bodmin Moor. Jo, a police constable at the time, caught him. She's now a detective. Her new career is accompanied by painful realisations about her personal life, which lead to the most serious emotional conflicts she's ever had to face. Meanwhile, on Bodmin Moor, six months after Boniek's conviction, new killings take place. Suspicions point to a phantom wild cat. But is a big cat really the culprit, or is a new Beast of Bodmin on the loose?
Lisa’s Review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This book was AWESOME.
The first chapter captured my attention immediately and kept it throughout the book through many different twists and turns. It definitely keeps you on you guessing.
Jo Green is a wonderful character and is likable. I enjoyed getting to know some of her past and the difficult relationship decisions she has made.
Jo was able to capture the serial killer who was convicted of murdering several women. It was this that helped her to gain a promotion to detective in Bodmin Moor. Shortly after she arrived in Bodmin Moor a couple of hikers were murdered. Jo follows every lead possible which includes the fabled beast of Bodmin Moor. More murders occur and Jo pushes through her grief to continue her investigation. What Jo finds in the end is not at all what I was expecting.
Overall, this is a remarkable book and kept my attention throughout. It was well paced and the little pieces of the mystery were well placed. I highly recommend you read this.
Below at the end of the author interview with Mark there is a giveaway to win an autographed copy of The Beast of Bodmin.
Author Interview with Mark Edmondson
What book are you reading now?
I’ve just started reading Linwood Barclay’s No Safe House. I’ve read his previous eight books and I’m working my way through them in between reading other authors. Linwood Barclay and Stephen King are my favourites, but I try to read new authors as well as the occasional classic.
What books have most influenced your life?
I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, but the first adult fiction book I read was Jaws. After reading that I was hooked. I started reading authors like Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. Desperation was my first Stephen King novel. After reading that book I wanted to become a writer and started to write my own stories.
What inspired you to write The Beast of Bodmin?
I wrote the first couple of chapters of The Beast of Bodmin after returning from a holiday to Cornwall. There is something very creepy and sinister about Bodmin Moor that’s hard to put into words. It’s a beautiful place during the day, but once it goes dark the moors take on a very different atmosphere. I discovered this by walking on the moors one night after dark; I don’t think I’ll do that again.
After returning from my holiday, I wanted to read a book based on the Beast of Bodmin. This was before the internet was as easily accessible as it is now and I spent several hours wandering from book shop to book shop looking for a book about this mythical legend. After discovering that no such book existed, I bought a lined A4 note pad and went home and started to write. Other than the improvement in the way it’s written, the first chapter is still the same as it was then.
What’s your writing process like? Do you make an outline or just start writing?
I write the first draft with no plan and no restrictions. I let the story go where it goes, making notes as I go along. By the end of the first draft I get a better feel for the characters and change their behaviour accordingly in the first edit. Then I list the scenes on my computer before writing them onto pieces of paper and spreading them across my dining room table so I can see the plot clearly. I then make changes to the story and continuity before starting my second draft. I’m guessing that writing the story is probably ten percent of the work; the other ninety percent is editing and re-writing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The obvious advice is to read and write as much as you can. A good tip is to read novels by first time authors because they tend to stick to the rules more than established writers. Also, there are many self-help books on writing fiction on the market with many helpful hints on everything from technique to writing letters to agents. I have twelve such books and I’ve read them all at least once.
The best advice I was given by my agent was to change the sex of my protagonist. It’s very easy to make your main character behave as you would do if you were in their situation. Once I’d made my main character female I had to really think about all her actions before writing each scene. So, my advice is to make your protagonist as different from yourself as possible.
Did you do any research for The Beast of Bodmin?
I’d visited Cornwall many times throughout my life, but I went to stay for a couple of weeks in St Breward – where Jo Green lives – before the final draft of the story. It’s one thing to look at a map but another to actually be there. I got a much better feel for the place after spending more time there. Apart from the fictional businesses in the story, most of the geography of the area is correct. I also found this visit useful for when the characters were moving from place to place. I was able to plan the continuity of the story much better after travelling around these places myself.
I also read a lot about police procedure and consulted a friend of mine who’s a police officer. I messaged him many times while writing the book, to the point where I thought he was going to change his number.
Researching big cats didn’t take too much time because I’ve had an interest in them for many years and have already read many books about them. Without giving away any spoilers, I didn’t want anybody to dislike big cats after reading this story so it was important to me to make sure that any animals within my book are only doing what is natural to them in order to survive.
What are your current projects? Will we see Jo again?
I am working on another Jo Green novel, but I’m also writing a completely different story that I’m two hundred pages into. So hopefully Jo Green will make another appearance, but I’d like to write other stories also. It is hard to let go of a character when you’ve been working with them for so long, so I’m pretty sure we’ll see her again.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Firstly, when I read a book I hope for three things. One, to be taken on a journey. Two, to be surprised by the ending; although it can be satisfying to guess the ending of a book, I much prefer it when the author has come up with a better ending than I have. And three, I want to be a little sad when the book is over. These three things were in my mind when working on The Beast of Bodmin and I hope I’ve managed to achieve them for the people that have taken the time to read the book.
And of course, I am very grateful to anyone who reads The Beast of Bodmin and would like to thank them for doing so. There are a lot of great books out there by many great authors, so I find it remarkable that people are prepared to read mine and I will be forever grateful.