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A.R. Ashworth Books In Order

Publication Order of Elaine Hope Mystery Books

Souls of Men (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Two Faced (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author A. R. Ashworth is from Texas Hill Country with his wife, a tabby cat (who is huge), and a Chihuahua (who seeks out cheese). He writes about a DCI from London Metro Police. After his time in high tech, he fell in love with London and Paris, which inspired this work.

When he was growing up, not only did he read the books assigned to him, but he also enjoyed such authors as: Patrick O’Brien, C. S. Forester, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Isaac Asimov. Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness opened his eyes about gender roles. Some of his favorite thriller and mystery writers include: Louise Penny, Peter Robinson, and Val McDermid. Many of the Scandivian Noir writers write good books, he finds; these include the likes of Helene Tursten, Henning Mankell, and Araldur Indridason.

During his twenties, he discovered an author named Dorothy Sayers. “Gaudy Night” by Dorothy Sayers, in Ashworth’s opinion, is the best mystery novel ever written and is one that all aspiring mystery writers have to read. The romantic and academic plots are just as engaging and full of tension as the plot of detection. That and the central crime is not murder at all. She taught him that if you are able to write to the heart and the human condition that your story is able to transcend the genre. “Gaudy Night” does a great job of succeeding at this on all levels.

During interminable flights and homogenized hotel rooms, he would get bored witless and decided to make his laptop to work and began writing his first fiction. This was during his time in high tech, a career he had for twenty years. The stories written during this time did not live to see the light of day, something Ashworth feels is for the best.

Ashworth writes thriller, crime, and suspense. His first novel was published in the year 2017 and was called “Souls of Men”.

While writing “Souls of Men”, he found that Elaine had to be the protagonist of the story. Even though at first, both Elaine and Peter are scarred, yet the more he wrote, the more he found that the story needed and was demanding a strong woman as the lead that was able to stand up to all that the world had to throw at her.

“Souls of Men” is the first novel in the “Elaine Hope Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2017. Elaine Hope (who is a Detective Inspector) was supposed to be a detective. Recently, she has taken over a messy case and let the only suspect go. Hope’s male superiors at the London Metro Police doubt her moves and London’s tabloids are looking for someone to be the scapegoat.

Finding the truth is what really matters here. To hell with everyone. She forges on ahead, standing up to bad cops, her superiors, and murderous criminals. Everyone has some reason to fear her.

Elaine’s life gets even more complex when an old suspect shows romantic interest in her. He is not going to reveal any of the trauma he has seen to anybody but Elaine, and she is not without her own secrets.

While Elaine and Liz Barker (Elaine’s protege) try finding the killer through the wintery boroughs of London, there are some darker hunters that join in on the chase. When she meets up with her quarry head on, she finds out how desires mold a man’s soul, and just how short the road to hell is at times.

Fans of the novel found this to be a crisp suspense read that debuts a character in Elaine Hope that is vulnerable yet gritty. The fact that she is a woman in a predominantly male job was a pleasant bonus and a nice change of pace. The writing is superb, and the story takes the reader into organized crime’s underbelly in Europe. The book is enhanced by some good characterization, breakneck action, and some strong plotting.

“Two Faced” is the second novel in the “Elaine Hope Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2018. DI Elaine Hope was barely able to survive through her last case. Someone is still looking to finish her off. Is it possible the culprit is a member of the London Metro Police?

Elaine still has the scars, both emotional and physical, of the awful beating that she almost died from nine months back. She would like two things: payback, and to recover what is left of her law enforcement career. Who is the ultimate culprit, though? Could it be the capo of the brutal gangsters that beat her up? Or was it whoever did not send backup at London Metro when she most needed the help?

She is put on desk duty until she is able to recover, and continues investigating in secret. There is a growing crime chart on the wall in her bedroom, the suspects she has to track, not to mention the mounting sense of paranoia. Is she starting to be a danger to others as well as herself?

Detectives Simon Costello and Phillip Bull (who were part of Elaine’s team) are assigned to what looks like a brutal gangland execution in a pristine apartment in Kensington. The tattoo the victim has links him to Sreckos, and a blonde woman was seen without shoes, fleeing the scene. The new DI appears to be silencing their investigation. Elaine gets called to appear in front of a tribunal made up of the Met’s senior officers, and they give her a final chance to save her job at the police. She is going to have to give up her off the books investigation. Will she be able to, though?

Fans of the novel found that Ashworth is able to take things deeper, exploring human nature’s underside which makes the story come to life. The woman is strong, and she always evolve in ways that is going to test her real self. A great suspense read that is finely tuned and full of rich with credible characters.

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