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An ex-publisher, past Chair of the Crime Writers' Association, journalist, broadcaster and lifelong Londoner, Natasha Cooper is the author of, among many others, KEEP ME ALIVE, PREY TO ALL and OUT OF THE DARK. In 2002 she was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library.
Maxim Jakubowski's view on KAREN TAYLOR...
British author Natasha Cooper introduces this new character, a forensic psychologist, in NO ESCAPE. Dark psychological tones and tortured relationships define the feisty character who proves a worthy addition to the ranks of complex heroines with a dark past, as she comes to probe the mind of a psychopath in an Isle of Wight prison. Cooper previously wrote the Trish Maguire series, with a female lawyer at the helm, also worth looking out for.
KAREN TAYLOR - British author Natasha Cooper introduces this new character, a forensic psychologist, in NO ESCAPE. Dark psychological tones and tortured relationships define the feisty character who proves a worthy addition to the ranks of complex heroines with a dark past, as she comes to probe the mind of a psychopath in an Isle of Wight prison. Cooper previously wrote the Trish Maguire series, with a female lawyer at the helm, also worth looking out for.
This lady writes excellent crime novels and if you haven’t tried her before you should. Her novels, set in London, are complex and rewarding reads with well developed characters and absorbing plots. In A Greater Evil a successful Loss Adjuster, trapped and haunted by coincidence is brutally murdered. The only real suspect is her talented but unstable artistic husband – but is there something more sinister at work? If you enjoyed this do try Gagged and Bound. Trish Maguire series:1. Creeping Ivy2. Fault Lines3. Prey To All4. Out of the Dark5. A Place of Safety6. Keep Me Alive7. Gagged and Bound8. A Greater Evil 9. A Poisoned Mind
Interplay between two cases makes for an exciting read and the continuing personal storyline of the characters adds depth to this gripping and fascinating whodunit and why. Itâ€™s London based, swinging from gangland grit to the high echelons of the House of Lords, wonderful contrast in a very fine novel. Itâ€™s actually the seventh story to feature barrister Trish Maguire and carries a strong message about corruption in the authorities. Natasha gets better with each book, she is well worth investigation. Do try her.Similar this month: Minette Walters.Comparison: Peter Robinson, Morag Joss, Laura Wilson.
Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me . . . In the seventh Trish Maguire novel London is awash with secret information and vicious rumour. A politician fights for his reputation. Gangs of organized criminals poison the streets with their lesson that greed and violence always pay. Some of those who hunt them bend the rules; others take their money. A whistleblower goes in fear of her life. Trish and her close friend, DI Caro Lyalt of the Met, will have to disentangle fact from fiction if they are to protect the innocent and pin down the guilty. But their actions bring danger horrifyingly close to home . . .
Death . . . and taxes Willow King, civil servant, and Cressida Woodruffe, author of sweeping romances, are one and the same. But it is the former who's called into play when she is asked to probe the case of Fiona Fydgett, a famous art historian whose tax affairs are under investigation by Inland Revenue. By all accounts, Fiona killed herself-and whispers of harassment by the tax office needs to be explored. But when Willow's police officer husband is mysteriously shot, and a fire in the tax office kills the investigator on the Fydgett case and nearly kills Willow, a simple case turns both urgent and very personal . . . 'A strong heroine, an inventive plot with an unexpected climax . . .' Booklist '. . . clever, unpredictable and thoroughly absorbing.' Publishers Weekly 'An elegant sleuth.' Cosmopolitan
Now a full-time mother and bestselling writer, Willow King is content to leave crime-solving to her police chief husband. Yet she can't resist a case involving Andrew Lutterworth, accused of a fatal hit-and-run that landed him in prison for manslaughter. His wife suspects he was forced to confess and was incarcerated on purely circumstantial evidence. But what could motivate a man to admit to a crime he did not commit a willingly go to jail because of it? The truth behind the puzzle is as dark and perplexing as the human psyche-and as tragic as the half-truths of self-deception that lead to murder. `Elegant . . .deeply satisfying.' Library Journal `With her deft characterizations and intriguing puzzle, Cooper provides a . . . fine British cozy.' Publishers Weekly
The Department of Old Age Pensions is not noted for drama. Nor for scandal, corruption or even the odd leak to the tabloids. Not until Algernon Endlesham, its high-flying Minister, is brutally bludgeoned to death. Willow King, Assistant Secretary (Finance), is noted for her formidably enquiring mind. Though an enquiry is the last thing she could wish for. Especially if daunting ex-SAS Inspector Worth uncovers her figment of an alibi and well-kept secret. Disconcertingly for Willow, however, someone has a very violent means of silencing the curious . . . `A smart plot with some clever twists' Oxford Times `Festering Lilies is witty and elegant. It is a pleasure to light on a new talent' The Bookseller `Instead of the physical violence in which heroes of thrillers usually engage, Willow proves her superiority by verbal decimation . . . as she effortlessly trumps male condescension' Observer
The brilliant and idealistic Trish Maguire returns in a devastating case of corruption and conspiracy. In a particularly difficult case of alleged child abuse, Trish knows that the jury's decision hinges on the persuasive testimony of her friend and star witness, Kara Huggate. When Kara doesn't appear at the trial, she realizes that something must have gone terribly wrong. She returns to her chambers after court to find the police waiting for her with some horrifying news: Kara has been brutally raped and murdered. At first it seems as though her attacker was the Kinsford Rapist - a serial rapist and killer who has managed to elude the police. Then several inexplicable clues indicate that the murderer may have been a copycat. Trish receives a letter from Kara, posted the night of her death, asking her to help a suspicious man named Blair Collons. Although Trish decides to help him out of loyalty and affection for her friend, she cannot understand why Kara cared so much for the paranoid and strangely obsessive Blair. Soon Trish finds herself mired in his unhappy story, with potentially devastating consequences. Fault Lines is a tense and disturbing examination of the power of corruption and the lengths to which people will go to protect themselves.
Three people die, in agony, each the victim of a different person. The police are convinced that there is no connection. Inspector Tom Worth disagrees. So does Willow King. Risking not only the secrets of her double identity, but also her own life, Willow races to unmask the serial killer before anyone else is murdered. From the dreariness of her part-time job in Clapham to the luxury and extravagance of her life in Belgravia, this most unusual female sleuth takes up the challenge and becomes involved in an exciting but near-fatal adventure. `Willy and elegant . . . an excellent read' Publishing News `A well written, consistently enjoyable English antidote to the sometimes over-muscular American fashion' Marcel Berlins, The Times (Bitter Herbs) `Willow is a beguiling heroine' Francis Fyfield, Evening Standard (Bloody Roses)
Fruiting Bodies is a compelling novel featuring female sleuth, Willow King, set within the fraught corridors of an NHS hospital. Just as Willow is giving birth to her first child, her obstetrician is found dead, face-down in his own birthing pool. To her he has always been charming, supportive and reassuring, but someone hated him enough to hold his head under water until he drowned. She has to find out why. Her husband, Superintendent Tom Worth, warns her that it is neither easy nor safe to pre-empt a police murder investigation, but Willow cannot stop. Interviewing a hospital administrator at one moment and a leading member of WOMB (Women Overtake Male Birthing) the next, Willow starts to find out what lay behind the obstetrician's facade of charm and professional competence. When she and her baby are released form hospital, the scope of her enquiry widens. But she soon discovers that Tom was right and, in a violent confrontation, she pays a high price for her curiosity. In Fruiting Bodies Natasha Cooper once more mixes an entertaining, light-hearted mystery with a sidelong glance at some of the more intractable antagonisms of contemporary life and a shrewd psychological insight into the minds of those who love, those who hate, and those who cannot believe that they have to abide by the same rules as the rest of us.
Willow is sure Richard Crescent couldn't commit murder. The police, finding him drenched in his colleague's blood in the locked Corporate Finance department, are sure he did. Rushing back from a Tuscan idyll with Chief Inspector Tom Worth to help her friend, Willow uses all her romantic novelist's imagination, her own experience as a high-powered woman in a man's world, and her understanding of an uneasy double life, to put herself in the other woman's shoes and learn why Sarah Allfarthing had to die. And as well as the high-tension world of merchant banking, conflict with Tom, and personal danger, Willow has to face the terrible possibility that the police could be right . . . `This sparkling whodunnit effectively blends mystery, sophistication and a dash of romantic melodrama' Publishers Weekly `Well plotted - and immense fun to read' The Times (Poison Flowers)
Passions run high in the world of publishing, but they rarely lead to murder - or do they? Gloria Grainger, wealthy bestselling novelist, is found dead in her room one morning. Everyone assumes she died of natural causes - except for Willow King. Despite Chief Inspector Tom Worth's mockery of her suspicions Willow is determined to uncover the sinister truth. She finds herself investigating a particularly nasty murder case, in which there seems no limit to the amount of emotional damage people can inflict upon each other. Then Willow herself becomes a target for the same murderous hatred that surrounded Gloria . . . `This sparkling whodunnit effectively blends mystery, sophistication, and a dash of romantic melodrama' Publishers Weekly (Bloody Roses) `Well plotted - and immense fun to read' The Times (Poison Flowers)
When Candy hears of the murder of her son's classmate on the estate she is horrified. Then the police arrive. Is her son not telling her something? Gripping crime story.Barrington Stoke specialise in books for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic
"e;I don't know how you've survived at the Bar this long,"e; Anthony said to Trish. "e;Caring for your clients to the point of derangement is bad enough; but to start fretting over the opposition. . . . "e;In spite of the barristers' rule that any suitably quali?ed member of the Bar who is free to take an offered case must do so, QC Trish Maguire can't quite understand how her head of chambers, Anthony Shelley, can accept a case defending the corrupt Clean World Waste Management company. So when the brilliant and cynical Anthony is nearly killed in an accident, Trish is faced with a painful dilemma: Does she take over the company's defense, or threaten her hard-won career by refusing to appear in court against Angie Fortwell, the impoverished widow of a hard-working farmer? As Trish delves deeper into the case, she grows more and more troubled by a nagging thought: Was the explosion that killed Angie's husband really an accident, or the result of sabotage? With all this going on at work, the last thing Trish needs is the possibility of explosions at home. Yet she can't simply walk away from Jay, the clever but damaged fourteen-year-old boy who has attached himself to her family---especially when his mother is found beaten and close to death. A brilliant novel of crime and its consequences, A Poisoned Mind demonstrates the full range of Natasha Cooper's emotional intelligence and storytelling powers.
Barrister Trish Maguire tackles a thirty-year-old terrorism case when distinguished biographer, Beatrice Bowman, hires her to fight a libel claim by a new ennobled member of the House of Lords who says she misidentified him as one of the terrorists who killed a busload of young children. Meanwhile, Trish's old friend, Inspector Caro Lyalt, faces an impossible decision---blow the whistle that could end a colleague's career (and jeopardize her own), or do nothing and never forgive herself. In the running for a fantastic new job within the police force, she learns that a South London crime family is paying off her biggest rival. The villains gag and suffocate anyone who tries to expose their secrets. If the allegations are false, she loses all hope of this job or any other, but if they are true and she does nothing, she'll live with the guilt forever. Trish is caught in the middle. As she and Caro help each other find the information they need, Caro's top informant is shot. Then the body of a young woman turns up in a park, bound, gagged, and suffocated with all the trademarks of a mob killing. And someone is trying to use Trish's twelve-year-old brother to force her to drop her inquiry. Picking her way through the maze of lies and threats, she brings danger terrifyingly close to herself and the people she loves.In her seventh thrilling Trish Maguire mystery, Natasha Cooper explores the full destructive power of the wrong words spoken at the wrong time.
Why did investigative journalist Jamie Maxden die? The coroner says it was suicide. The case is closed. Only one man fights to reopen it. Will Applewood is sure Jamie was about to expose a scandal that would shame the British food industry. But Will is notorious for his conspiracy theories. No one listens to him. In despair he turns to his barrister, Trish Maguire.Felled by food poisoning in the middle of Will's case against a huge supermarket chain, Trish is ready to believe any story about dangers lurking inside the pretty packaging of the food we eat. Even though she has more than enough to do already with the trial, an attempt to save a child at terrible risk, and plenty of emotional complications of her own, she agrees to help.Will's campaign takes her deep into the countryside, revealing a world that seems quite different from the metropolitan life she knows. But human nature doesn't change---whatever the environment.Moving between the ravishing landscape and the grim depths of the inner city, trying to save lives and sanity, inexhaustible Trish is driven into a crusade---both personal and professional---that combines excitement, drama, and agonizing human tragedy.
Barrister Trish Maguire needs all the time she can find to help her young half-brother adjust to life after the violent death of his mother. Sir Henry Buxford, an influential acquaintance, has other ideas. He asks Trish to investigate one of his private charities, a magnificent art collection built up before 1914 and lost for most of the twentieth century.Taking a crash course in the murkier aspects of the art world, Trish is determined to unlock the secrets she is sure are hidden somewhere in the collection. Her research takes her not only into the heart of an engrossing love story, but also into the agonizing reality of the trenches of the First World War. She soon discovers a web of deceit that has spanned the decades since, catching all kinds of people in its filaments. Now, the innocent, the violent, and the victims all have to free themselves. And someone dies. With her trademark dexterity and hard-hitting suspense, Natasha Cooper brings us the unstoppable Trish Maguire in her most challenging and enthralling case to date.
An eight-year-old boy comes running out of the dark to find barrister Trish Maguire one wet Sunday night. Just before he can reach her, he's knocked over by a skidding car. Fighting to save his life, the rescue team finds Trish's name and address sewn into the boy's clothes. The police are convinced that he must be her son-but Trish knows he can't be. Is he connected with one of her clients? Could he be a blood relation? And who has sent him to Trish? Recovering from a miscarriage, about to go to court with a career-changing commercial case, and missing her partner, George, who is 5,000 miles away, the last thing Trish wants is responsibility for a lost boy. But there is no one else. Her search for the boy's identity takes her to a brutal inner-city housing project, where she has to confront not only the reality of life for the poor and destitute, but also many of her own fears. News of a particularly brutal murder reaches her, and within hours she learns that her erratic father is the chief suspect. It will take all her resolution and integrity to pick her way through this maze. The gulfs between rich and poor-and between the heroically honest and those for whom life and the law are always negotiable-rip off the last of Trish's self-protective blinders. There are choices to be made and lives to be saved. Out of the Dark is a touching and gripping novel that looks unflinchingly at crime's most devastating consequences.
Barrister Trish Maguire has too much on her plate: not only is she swamped with work, but her father has just suffered a heart attack and he's not likely to pull through. The last thing Trish needs now is a seemingly unsolvable case, one closer to her heart than she ever would have thought possible. But inconvenience has never stopped this tenacious, young lawyer from taking on a case. The woman Trish chooses to defend, Deb Gibbert, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her father. With almost no one on her side, not even her public defender, Deb cannot hope to see the light of day ever again. That is, unless she can convince someone like Trish of her innocence. But Trish needs no convincing-upon hearing Deb recount the details of the night her father died, Trish comes to believe that circumstantial evidence convicted this innocent daughter and mother of four. Staying up nights in the intensive care unit to watch over her unconscious father gives Trish time to reflect upon the case against her client. As Trish delves deeper into the case, doubts begin to cloud her judgment: perhaps Deb is a ruthless killer who deserves her sentence. But Trish's nerves are stretched to breaking point when one of Deb's only supporters is shot dead at his own front door. With an unflagging faith in equal justice, Trish finds herself face to face with several truths, each tantalizing her further into a giant hall of mirrors. Prey to All is as rich in compassion as it is in anger, and the interwoven subplots turn what seems a simple case into a test of faith.
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