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Tana Collins Books In Order

Publication Order of Inspector Jim Carruthers Books

Robbing the Dead (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Care to Die (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mark Of The Devil (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dark is the Day (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In Deep Water (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Tana Collins is a crime fiction and mystery author from Yorkshire that grew up in rural East Sussex. As a teen, she went to the Polytechnic of North London during the 1980s and graduated with a degree in Social Science. Her dissertation was on the right to free speech and following in the same vein, she went on to pursue a similar course in her master and doctorate studies. She got her MPhil from St Andrews and went to the University of Ontario for her Philosophy MA. Collins first got interested in crime fiction when she read the “DCI Banks” series by Peter Robinson, which is what got her obsessed with crime fiction. During this time, she also went to see a presentation on the life of Ian Fleming and it was after this exhibition that she got the motivation to become a crime author. However, it was not until a decade later that the novel would be published. For the past two decades, she had been working as a stress management consultant and massage therapist in Scotland. When she is not working or writing she can be found having afternoon naps, or out with binoculars watching and observing butterflies.

One event in Tana Collin’s childhood stands out and explains her interest in crime outside reading. She had managed to intercept a police radio and listened to police chatter for several weeks until she got caught. She was fascinated by what she heard and imagined herself catching the perpetrators of crime and solving mysteries. With her background in philosophy, a vivid imagination, and a love for writing, the shift to writing crime fiction was so easy. During the 70s and 80s, she read a lot of Enid Blyton who was her favorite author, particularly her “Secret Seven” series of novels. However, her favorite author has always been Peter Robinson that she believes writes the best settings and characters. When she discovered Robinson, she flew to Estonia, to Tallinn University, where he was teaching a writing course during the summer. “Mark of the Devil” her third novel in the “Inspector Jim Carruthers” would be set in Tallinn. She is also inspired by the historical elements and the complexity in the novels of Robert Goddard. She loves the social commentary and characterization of Henning Mankell and is a fan of Ann Cleeves, and Peter May.

Tana Collins’ journey to authorship started when she found the novel “In a Dry Season” by Peter Robinson in an Edinburgh charity shop. She loved it so much that she read every novel ever written in the “DCI Banks” series of novels. She loved the wonderful sense of place and characterization and even better the novels were set in her hometown of Yorkshire. Since Collins had always been a scribbler, she started wondering if she could become a crime fiction novelist. Collins would wake up one night with the dramatic opening scene, the lead character, and title of her debut novel “Robbing the Dead.” While she initially had the steam to write, she lost motivation at 43,000 words and it was not until she attended Karen Campbell and Peter Robinson’s course that she got back on track. Unlike other novelists, she wrote three manuscripts in her Inspector Jim Carruthers before she started querying. The novels were set in East Neuk, for its interesting history and wee coastal towns and St Andrews, which is where she went to college. In 2016, she got a three-book publishing deal and “Robbing the Dead” that was published in 2017 went on to become a bestselling Scottish crime fiction novel on Amazon.

“Robbing the Dead” by Tana Collins starts with a bang as a youth is brutally killed by a murderer he may have known. The people on the case are Detective Crime Inspector Jim Carruthers and his crack team of detectives that include Detective Sergeant Andie Fletcher. For a crime mystery novel, it starts with two major positives and promises subversive and explosions which it delivers. The novel is set in a small university town in Scotland, where the police are trying to determine if there is a link between a lecturer’s disappearance, a targeted bomb explosion, and a series of grisly murders. Could a terror group have been involved and could it be linked to an event that happened more than four decades past. Jim had just recently come back into Castletown and was hoping to win back his estranged wife when he gets caught up in an investigation. Dealing with personal problems is hard enough, but he also had to help hunt down the perpetrators of the murders. With a ton of questions a long list of suspects and several theories, unraveling the mystery is never going to be easy.

In “Care to Die” by Tana Collins, Jim Carruthers is still dealing with his demotion to detective inspector and struggling to help Andrea Fletcher that is grieving the loss of a loved one. But then an old man is found killed by a stab wound and his body dumped in a nature reserve. The victim had a dirty rag rammed into his mouth possibly to prevent him from calling out for help. The only suspect is a teenage boy known for anti-social behavior, even though he has an alibi and is only fifteen. Things get interesting when a second man of a similar age to the first is found killed in the same modus operandi and within the locale. Carruthers starts to suspects that there is a serial killer on the loose. He flies out to Iceland to interview the first victim’s son as he believes his past may have something to do with his death. But what do the senseless killing of a journalist, the disappearance of a preteen child, and a local dispute about a reserve have to do with current events? Can Fletcher and Carruthers get to the bottom of the mystery while dealing with the events in their pasts?

Tana Collins’ “Mark of the Devil” is an intriguing mystery full of stunning turns and twists. While Carruthers and his team are investigating a spate of art thefts, they are tipped off about the body of a young woman dumped on the beach. The clues to her identity and what had happened to lead to her death are bizarre, to say the least. There is a slab of meat on the cliffs above, a set of binoculars, and a strange tattoo on her skin. Their investigations lead them to Barry Cuthbert, a wealthy owner of a local shooting estate. Carruthers thinks Cuthbert is hiding something and he starts to wonder if the estate, the dead woman, and the stolen art could be connected. When they find the corpse of a young gamekeeper in the sea, tensions rise even higher. The clues they find lead to the sinister world of police corruption, international crime, and an unlikely location in town. Carruthers needs to look further than Fife to find his answers. But the closer he comes to the truth, the more his life is in danger as everyone that threatens the killer somehow ends up dead.

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