blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Painted Fire – Mark L. Fowler

Actress Kate Tolle falls victim to an illness that baffles the medical world.

In desperation her husband Ben appeals to the public, and an anonymous benefactor comes forward. Soon the couple find themselves on a flight bound for San Francisco.

Where the enigmatic Merle is waiting.

Kate’s health appears to improve as people around her die horrifically. Merle tells Ben that healing comes at a price and questions what he’s willing to pay.

But what does Merle want?

And what is the chilling truth waiting out in the desert … in Las Vegas and beyond?Buy Links

Mark writes detective crime fiction, and psychological and supernatural thrillers. He is the author of the popular Tyler & Mills detective crime series set in Staffordshire. RED IS THE COLOUR was shortlisted for the 2018 Arnold Bennett Prize and begins with the grim discovery of a schoolboy who disappeared thirty years earlier. BLUE MURDER involves a missing singer and a murdered guitarist, elevating an obscure band to sudden fame and fortune. THE DEVIL WORE BLACK unveils the mystery of a crucified priest. The latest book in the series, THE SMELL OF COPPER, finds Tyler out on a limb as the detectives uncover high level police corruption. All the books can be read as standalone crime novels.

Other detective mysteries include THE BATHROOM MURDERS. A series of women are found hacked to death while taking a shower. This is the first in a new series set in Manchester, featuring female detective Charlie Reed. TWIST has the eponymous private investigator returning, against his better judgement, to the city of nightmares to look into the strange case of a dead philosophy student. THE MAN UPSTAIRS introduces hard boiled Frank Miller, discovering he’s a fictional detective and that his author is plotting to kill him.

Mark also writes psychological and supernatural thrillers. SILVER finds journalist and crime writer Nick Slater obsessed with an unpublished manuscript that a best-selling author was working on when she was murdered, and which her family refuse to publish. SEXTET explores the twisted rivalry between twin sisters, the weird games they played as children, and the rising murder rate in a small English town. COFFIN MAKER is a gothic tale. Death is sent two apprentices amid warnings from an out-of-favour priest that the devil has arrived on Earth. Mark’s latest book PAINTED FIRE finds a writer travelling to America’s West Coast in a desperate bid to find a cure for a baffling illness afflicting his wife. An anonymous benefactor has offered to help, but at what price?

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My thoughts: this was a very strange book, it started out very realistically, Kate has a strange unknown medical condition that baffles every doctor who meets her. Offered the chance to see a unique specialist in the States, paid for by public donations and that of an anonymous benefactor, her husband Ben agrees and the two head out.

Of course this doctor is a complete charlatan and they’re devastated. Then it gets very, very weird. A strange man called Merle approaches Ben in the hotel bar, revealing himself to be a healer and their benefactor. He insists he can cure Kate.

But first he needs them to come to Vegas. For reasons he never seems too keen to explain. But Kate does seem to get better. And if it wasn’t for the dead bodies, murder victims or accidents all, that keep cropping up and the increasingly strange things Merle says, then maybe Kate and Ben would have been OK. But it does get even more peculiar.

I did enjoy it, but it’s definitely not a straightforward read, bit of a brain twizzler really, the ending is certainly very perplexing. I think this might be one of those books you need a very specific mind to understand, and I don’t think I have that kind of brain. Certainly a read it and make up your own mind one.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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