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Chris Simms Books In Order

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Publication Order of DI Jon Spicer Books

Publication Order of DC Iona Khan Books

Scratch Deeper (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Price to Pay (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of DC Sean Blake Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Outside the White Lines (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pecking Order (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sing Me to Sleep (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rats' Nest (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Starlings & Other Stories(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Many Deadly Returns(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Chris Simms was born and raised in rural Sussex, three miles away from the closest store. For holidays when he was younger, which lasted for weeks because his dad worked as a teacher, they would go to a secluded spot in the middle of Exmoor. Him and his dad would be gathered around the campfire and he would read ghost stories written by MR James.

He loved mystery novels: like “Alfred Hitchock” and “The Three Investigators” series. He liked “Tales of the Unexpected” by Roald Dahl and many Pan Horror Stories. Later on, he started liking novels that let him see into unusual minds.

He worked some jobs, after college, that were pretty abysmal; they were often times punctuated by his traveling around. He began writing novels in the year 1994, after moving to Manchester. After he turned thirty, he had an idea for a novel. It all started when he was stuck on the side of the road, early in the morning, waiting for someone to help him, and thought about a driver in a van that roamed the streets. This driver would be looking for stranded motorists to murder.

This was not the only idea that has come to him in an odd moment, but the good news, for him and his readers, anyway, is that they keep on coming to him.

“Pecking Order” was called one of the Best British Crime Novels by Deadly Pleasures magazine. Shots magazine called “Killing the Beasts” Best Crime Book in 2005. Chris was one of Waterstone’s Author for the Future, in the year 2007.

Simms writes the “DI Spicer” series (which are psychological thrillers) and the “DC Iona Khan” series. Besides writing novels, he also works as a freelance copywriter.

“Killing the Beasts” is the first novel in the “DI Spicer” series and was released in the year 2005. The year is 2002 and the city is Manchester. The city is brimming with possibilities due to the Commonwealth Games coming to town. Tom Benwell (account manager at advertising firm) gets caught up in the commercial feeding frenzy that is going on. Pressure is getting to him, too many lies he has to tell and too many deals for him to make; not to mention, that his passion for his job is dwindling down to nothing. At the same time, a friend of his (Detective Inspector Jon Spicer) is headed down the fast track and showing a commitment to his job that is close to obsession. That is what his girlfriend Alice says to him anyway.

The new found spirit the town has gotten is destroyed when a series of killings takes place after the Games are finished. The case is given to Jon. Each of the victims is killed in the same grotesque and odd way. The only problem is that the police are baffled due to the lack of a motive.

The race is on to find the killer and bring them to justice. Both of the men find themselves caught in a nightmare. It is one where even the most innocent of action can be costly.

Fans of the novel liked reading this and enjoyed the main characters in it, and the way that Manchester, the city, was almost a character too. There is a lot of depth in the story. The tale works well as a whodunit with an intricate plot, but also as a psychological mystery. Some like the way that there are actually two plot threads at work here, the novel even changes toward the end into something a little different than before.

“Shifting Skin” is the second novel in the “DI Spicer” series and was released in the year 2006. The Butcher of Belle Vue has killed again. This victim, like the others, has been partially skinned, left on waste ground. The muscles, ligaments, and tendons are exposed for people to see. What is different, is that this time, the face was removed, too. This killer seems to have good knowledge of surgery.

Jon Spicer and Rick Saville (Jon’s new partner) are working on the investigative team. They have yet to get their first breakthrough. It may have come when Jon finds a latex glove with blood spattered on it near victim number three. They find out that the sales rep for the glove manufacturer was reported missing that morning. This may mean they are close to cracking this case.

A woman comes to Jon saying that she could hear The Butcher killing his third victim in a seedy motel in Belle Vue. All she has to back this story up, is a business card that she picked up in the room, the next morning. Alexia is scrawled on the back, and the card turns out to be from an escort agency that is located in town.

His investigation drags him into the escort agencies in Manchester and the cosmetic surgery industry too. He has to face the violence that everyone is capable of. Even himself.

Some readers like the way that you do not have to read each of the books in order to understand what is going on, they each stand alone. Fans of the novel like the amount of depth to this murder mystery. There is a fast paced mystery. It should also get readers thinking about how society views people in this day and age. The main characters are both believable and well written.

“Savage Moon” is the third novel in the “DI Spicer” series and was released in the year 2007. A woman’s body, with the throat ripped out, is found on Saddleworth Moor (which is near Manchester). She is found near a place where many sightings of a big black cat have been made.

Analysis shows that the hairs under her nails, are those of a panther; everyone figures that this cat has just killed its first human. Spicer is investigating a man (from a completely separate case) who later dies in the same way. The body was found in a popular gay car park rendezvous, that is located much closer to the city centre.

Pretty soon, Spicer is hunting for a killer that is called The Monster of the Moor. This is someone whose savagery and stealth make everyone in the town afraid. Not to mention those from other places too.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Chris Simms

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