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Sheila Quigley Books In Order

Publication Order of Seahills Books

Run for Home (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bad Moon Rising (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Living on a Prayer (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Every Breath You Take (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Road to Hell (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lady in Red (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sound of Silence (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Holy Island Trilogy Books

Thorn in My Side (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nowhere Man (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Final Countdown (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Sheila Quigley is a British author, known best for her thriller novel series “Seahills” and “Holy Island Trinity.” Quigley was born on July 28, 1947 in Sunderland, England, and throughout her life has lived in the same North East area of the country. Many of the fictional accounts and places she describes in her novels are based on her experiences living in various places near Sunderland. She got her first job, as a presser, at the age of 15. Over the years, she held many jobs including hawking frozen food and picking potatoes. She got married at the age of eighteen, bearing three daughters and a son in that relationship before getting divorced. Her family has expanded to include nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Although she had a lifelong passion for writing, her mainstream break came rather belatedly when in 2003, at the age of 55, publishing company Random House signed her up to release her first novel “Run for Home.” Despite her relative success, she describes herself as a simple woman whose main hobby is to watch her grandsons play soccer at the Darlington Academy and Northern League. Much of her time is spent signing books and writing on her blog, as well as her other hobbies like travelling and reading. Each October during the Houghton Feast, Quigley leads a group of her fans in a mock investigation at various fictional murder scenes from her books. The tours begin and end at the Houghton Library, ending with a sneak preview of her upcoming works.

“Run for Home,” Quigley’s debut novel describes the intrigues of a murder investigation that begins when a body is discovered 16 years after it had been killed. The body belonged to a man who had been killed by a ruthless female assassin who called herself the “Head Hunter.” The investigation is handed to Detective Lorraine Hunt who is then disrupted by another crime spree involving the kidnapping of young girls. A case involving one of the victims Claire Lumsdon sees her cross paths with Kerry Lumsdon, the victim’s sister, with whom they form an unlikely but formidable alliance. Kerry is on a frantic mission to find her sister before it is too late. Her quest leads her into a dangerous journey through a violent underworld, and a path of self-discovery she had never anticipated. She discovers hidden snippets about her past and comes face to face with the facts of the violent murder from sixteen years earlier. All this while, her sister is running out of time and Kerry has to find a way to rescue her. “Run for Home” is an entertaining account of life in a small town and the dynamics of police investigations. The description of the characters, setting and events of the novel creates a level of realism that is hard to rival.

“Bad Moon Rising,” published in 2005, is the second book in the series. It is another murder thriller, in which Detective Hunt investigates the murders of three women, all linked to one notorious serial killer. As the town celebrates Feast Week, a time of chaotic fun of all kinds, Hunt knows that the chaos provides the perfect cover for the serial killer to strike again. This book picked off where “Run for Home” had left off in terms of intrigue and suspense. Quigley has been praised widely for her ability to narrate with vivid imagery and the construction of characters. This installment of the revered series is another exemplification of Quigley’s writing abilities. Bad Moon Rising brings together a long list of characters, each with their own unique adventures that complement detective Hunt’s storyline. Some of the Lumsdons from the first novel make peripheral appearances, and it is a happy reunion for the readers. While Quigley, as is her norm in this series is not very intent on hiding the identity of the villain, she maintains a surreal level of suspense that keeps the reader hooked. This is complemented by numerous twists in the storyline, an area where the novel excels over other installments in the series.

In 2006 Quigley released “Living on a Prayer,” the third book in her blockbuster series, also set in Houghton-le-Spring. Detective Hunt is on another murder trail, this time investigating the apparent murder of a teenage boy named Richard. The boy’s body is found hanging on a tree and everyone but his mother is convinced that it is a suicide. Soon, Detective Hunt discovers that it is no ordinary suicide, with many of the dead boy’s friends starting to disappear. It is clear to her that someone in the town does not want the truth about the case to come out. The trail sends her into a dangerous collision with a deadly cult-like organization that has been sucking in boys from the town. This novel takes the same sinister leaning of the previous two, with fast-paced action and gripping suspense. A cliché love angle is added to the story as Detective Hunt continues to struggle with her own romantic failings where her detective prowess seems to count for little. However, the romantic complications, while being a drawback to male readers, fit in perfectly with the rest of subplots to deliver a nicely seamed ending.

While Quigley does not seem very set on a feminist agenda, her pick of protagonist in the series, the female detective Lorraine Hunt’s heroics seem to be another stab at the glass ceiling for career achievement. Quigley’s books feature everyday down to earth characters who stumble into extraordinary adventures, yet remain relatable to the average reader thanks to her use of believable dialogue and setting. In each installment, Quigley further develops the Houghton setting of the novels as well as the residents, down to minute details such as their various accents. This yields a level of immersion into the events of the narrative that many seasoned writers struggle to achieve. Quigley’s write-ups also feature a sprinkling of humor, lightening the otherwise serious tone of the novel. The author maintains a level of consistency across the series that enables readers to relate more closely to Detective Hunt’s adventures. While many find this monotony to be a limitation and ultimately a reason to drop the series midway, the familiarity for those dedicated to the series is a welcome plus.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sheila Quigley