Having loved The Girl on the Bus, I was excited to be offered the opportunity to review the pre-sequel Carpenter Road, set ten years before. It is I am glad to say, as great a read and I welcomed the chance to spend time once again with Leighton Jones, who is a generous and caring lead character. He makes this series of books a delight to read.
Carpenter Road is not just a great thriller, it has a heart to it based around one man’s intrinsic need to help others, even those society has rejected. He cares and believes in justice and any book containing Leighton Jones, would be for me a must read. I adore him and wish sometimes I could walk into the pages of the book and give him a big Welsh cwtch. It is for a thriller, a surprisingly emotional read and made me tear up in places. Few thrillers I can think of have ever done this to me, so it makes Carpenter Road that bit more special.
Don’t panic if you thinking it doesn’t have the traditional elements of a thriller, because oh boy does it. There are plenty of twists and turns and I was well and truly led down the wrong garden path and had to take a step backwards on a number of occasions. I don’t hold with the theory that a modern thriller must be all wham, bam, wallop, but it does traditionally need twists and turns, preferably ones that you don’t see coming and this novel had that. Just imagine me sat in front of my kindle with a look of shock on my face and that sums up Carpenter Road.
I do hope there are more outings featuring Leighton, because I miss him already.
Norman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always believed a combination of decent fiction and good coffee provides the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.
Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.
More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel – The Girl on the Bus -around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jonesy at least two more outings. Carpenter Road is the second novel to feature this protagonist.
Aside from his family, and travelling, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why many culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his fiction.