Blog Book Tour: A shadow on the lens

[Ad – review. I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes and all thoughts are my own]

It's no secret that I love a good crime/thriller novel and that it's my favourite genre to read. There are so many great crime writers out there and I do love it when a debut novel comes out.

Today I am involved in the book tour of a wonderful debut A Shadow On The Lens by Sam Hurcom.Sam Hurcom was born in Dinas Powys, South Wales in 1991. He studied Philosophy at Cardiff University, attaining both an undergraduate and master's degree. He has since had several short stories published and has written and illustrated a number of children's books. Sam currently lives in the village he was raised in, close to the woodlands that have always inspired his writing.


The Postmaster looked over my shoulder. As I turned to look I saw a flicker of movement from across the street. I felt unseen eyes peer at me.

He walked away without another word. I watched as he climbed onto his bicycle and sped away down the street. I turned back and looked over my shoulder.
Someone had been watching us.

1904. Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, is called to the sleepy and remote Welsh village of Dinas Powys, several miles down the coast from the thriving port of Cardiff. A young girl by the name of Betsan Tilny has been found murdered in the woodland - her body bound and horribly burnt. But the crime scene appears to have been staged, and worse still: the locals are reluctant to help.

As the strange case unfolds, Thomas senses a growing presence watching him, and try as he may, the villagers seem intent on keeping their secret. Then one night, in the grip of a fever, he develops the photographic plates from the crime scene in a makeshift darkroom in the cellar of his lodgings. There, he finds a face dimly visible in the photographs; a face hovering around the body of the dead girl - the face of Betsan Tilny.

I really enjoyed the build up and the mystery around who killed Betsan and was totally not expecting who it turned out to be. There are definitely some red herrings throughout and when you thought you knew who the murderer is Hurcom surprises you with a twist. I liked the character Thomas Bexley as he was determined to find out what happened despite the frustrations and problems that come to light. The whole story was well written and was both chilling and creepy.  If you are expecting a regular murderer mystery then you are wrong. Sam Hurcom is definitely a writer to watch and I'm excited to see what else he has up his sleeve.

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