A Taste for Blood
David Stuart Davies
Two plots running parallel... you won't see what's coming
The sixth novel in the Detective Johnny (One Eye) Hawke series.
Two laser-sharp detectives, two thought-provoking cases and two skilful plots.
Featuring private investigator Johnny (One Eye) Hawke, and his one-time colleague in the police force Detective David Llewellyn. Llewellyn is investigating the chilling crimes of a top psychiatrist and his scheming patient who the doctor believes has knuckled under his authority. In the meantime, Hawke is on the case of a mysterious suicide in Edgware Road... soon discovered as not your average suicide.
The guts and insight of the two investigators bring both cases to a head - though you won't even begin to see how until you have turned the last pages.
Praise for A Taste for Blood
“Johnny Hawke breathes new life into the traditional British mystery. He’s a hero with a heart.” ‒ Val McDermid
“A well-crafted thriller that had me gripped from the first chapter. A Taste for Blood far exceeded expectations with its carefully crafted plotting and characterization. So good were these that it encouraged me to read the novel a second time.” ‒ Amazon review
“I wholeheartedly recommend David Stuart Davies to those who enjoy a good read.” ‒ Amazon review
“This book by Davies is a good read for mystery followers. The characters are well sketched out and the plot will twist and turn and leave you wonderful how it will all turn out ‒ that’s what you want isn’t it? This is a delightful read because you are not quite sure what will happen and you are hooked enough to keep on reading. Enjoyable.” ‒ J Robert Ewbank, author
“A well crafted thriller that had me gripped from the first chapter. I tend to be a fussy reader who is easily bored with so called thrillers that fail to live up to their billing. A taste for blood far exceeded expectations with its carefully crafted plotting and characterization. So good were these that it encouraged me to read the novel a second time
“I had not read any of David Stuart Davies but now am eagerly waiting his next titles. Comparisons my be made with other novels in this genre such as Silence of the Lambs but Davies has produced a work that whilst being less extreme becomes more fearful through its naturalness.
“I wholeheartedly recommend David Stuart Davies to those who enjoy a good read.” ‒ Alan Semmens, Educator, UK
“Even though this was the sixth novel in the series it can be read as a stand-alone, forming an intriguing double set of mysteries. I enjoyed the hunt for the serial killer more than that of Hawke’s suicide case, so I think it might have been better if the book focused on one case rather than two. Nevertheless, both mysteries are wrapped up with a nerve-wracking conclusion that will have you on edge until it’s resolved. The murderer is truly chilling, definitely not for the faint-hearted.” ‒ Rebecca Chandler, Reviewer, UK
“Interesting mystery that takes place in the 1930’s in England. Private Investigator Johnny Hawke is investigating a suicide that seems off and his police buddy, Detective David Llewellyn is investigating a bloody crime involving an escaped convict and a psychiatrist. The two stories merge for a twisted ending. The details are grisly and the main villain enjoys his victims just a bit too much. But other than that , it was a good story with an unpredictable ending – just how I like my mysteries.
“Although this is the sixth Johnny Hawke novel, you can read it and understand it without reading the previous books. Enough background is given so that you know who Johnny is.” ‒ Donna Miller, Librarian, USA
“‘A Taste For Blood’ is set in 1940s, London, during World War Two, and features two characters that fans of the author will have met before - Detective Inspector David Llewellyn of the Metropolitan Police and Private Detective, Johnny Hawke. As this is the first time I had encountered any novels by David Stuart Davies, I had no knowledge of these two characters. However, this did not affect my enjoyment of this crime novel.
“There are two storylines to the book, one in which we meet a particularly horrible villain who had previously been caught by D. I. Llewllyn and incarcerated for eight years before his escape. He is a ghoulish character, who is determined to imprint himself on the world in a very unpleasant manner. The other storyline concerns Johnny Hawke’s investigation of a suspicious suicide. Both cases touch each other at intervals throughout the book, as David Llewellyn and Johnny Hawke are friends - this friendship plays an important part in the last part of book.
“I enjoyed ‘A Taste for Blood’. It was rather gruesome in parts, but the violence was not gratuitous. I particularly liked the way in which the author used words and phrases which resonated with me. They reminded me of films and novels written in the 40s and 50s, giving the novel an authentic period feel. I had no idea how these intertwined plots would resolve themselves and was kept guessing until the end.
“I shall certainly search out some more of David Stuart Davies’ work, starting, I think, with the first book featuring Johnny Hawke.” ‒ Angela Thomas, Reviewer, UK
“I didn’t really want this story to end. I didn’t know how it was going to end, and I just loved that feeling. Too often can you predict what’s going to happen in a book, but A Taste For Blood? Nope. You can’t. It keeps you in the dark until the very end.
“First take a look at the cover. It's dark and twisted and broody and makes me think of Jack the Ripper, a world awash with blood.
“I love crime books, I probably read one each week, but I didn’t think this would be my cup of tea. How wrong I was.
“The narrative switches between a few different characters in this book, but that didn’t bother me at all. All of the characters had their own strong voice, their own mannerisms with language which made them stand apart from each other.
“The characters are really very British, so there’s an abundance of tea - and we all know how I love my tea.
“I grinned. ‘I'm anybody’s for a cuppa and a biscuit.’
“I could relate to the characters. Well, most of them. Not really Sexton or Northcote. Although I did understand Northcote’s motives towards the end. My favourite character to read was probably David Llewellyn.
“This book twists and turns so unexpectedly that I re-read more than a few sections, just to make sure I'd taken it all in properly. It’s gruesome and violent and more than once my toes curled. It’s horrific in the way that all good crime should be, with blood and gore everywhere and enough mystery to keep you, as a reader, on your toes...” ‒ Cora Linn Ballantine, Reviewer, UK
ISBN: 9781907230462 (e-book 9781907230486)
Preview: click the cover to read an extract now
A Taste for Blood is included in our omnibus gift edition Three British Mystery Novels
In North America, buy direct from our USA distributor
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Australia: Angus & Robertson
Switzerland: Orell Fuessli
Turkey: Dogan (D&R)
David Stuart Davies
David Stuart Davies is the author of five novels featuring private detective hero, Johnny Hawke, and seven novels featuring Sherlock Holmes as well as several non-fiction books about the Baker Street detective including the movie volume Starring Sherlock Holmes. He is also an author of Sherlock Holmes short stories.
As well as being a committee member of the Crime Writers’ Association, and editing their monthly magazine, Red Herrings, David is the general contributing editor for Wordsworth Editions Mystery & Supernatural series and a major contributor of introductions to the Collectors’ Library classic editions.
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