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regional crime fiction author Jack Cartwright


When DI Freya Bloom relocates to Lincolnshire following a devastating investigation in London, the body of a teenage girl is found on a remote beach. Freya and her team must investigate the girl’s family and friends to unpick the truth from the lies.

The problem is, everyone has something to hide.

British Regional Crime Fiction from Jack Cartwright

Whenever I set out to write the next book, I like to visit the locations to get a sense of place that, hopefully, comes across in my writing. 

Photographs are a great way for me to visualise the locations, and if I can make it a family affair, then that's even better.

These are the images I took of a family walk along one of our nearest beaches one wintery morning a visit which came to inspire Secrets in Blood.


The sandbank was her favourite place. A single man-made dune that stretched the length of Moggs Eye Beach on the hardy yet beautiful Lincolnshire coast. Protecting the fertile land from crashing waves and the harsh North Sea winds, it was a landmark and a shield to most. But in one particular spot, hidden from view, Jessica Hudson felt safe.

The hollow in the sand was her favourite place to sit. Wild, tall grass provided shelter from the wind making the spot feel a few degrees warmer than its surroundings. 

As a child, she had hidden there spying on her parents, her aunt, and her uncle through the thick and thorny fauna. As an immature teenager, Jessica and her cousin had stolen a bottle of wine from her parents, and had chosen that place for their first foray into that world where nothing is as it seems. 

Now, as a young adult, it was only right that she should select that sacred spot to experience love for the very first time, though not without trepidation. 

Her body shook with the extreme cold at first, even in the hollow. But warmed by love and body heat, she found a new cause for her trembling. Soft fingers grazed her skin and her own dug deep into foreign flesh. Pleading for the sensation never to end, she rode that wave of ecstasy to new heights, screaming out, savouring the sweet release with all the careless freedom their solitude afforded. 

She had been told it would be over too soon. That the first time rarely met expectations, and that it wasn’t like the movies. But for Jessica, it had been sweet, and as her adrenaline waned post-climax, a chill fell across her body. They dressed while lying down, giggling at the awkwardness, then held one another tightly using her favourite sweater as a blanket. 

“Do you think it’ll always be like that?” she asked. “Every time?”

“I hope so.”

Few things induce such a satisfied sleep as contentment, hope, and mutual love. And though deep down she knew they would never understand, and that they could never be together, she slept in her lover’s spoon and dreamed of another life where they could walk an unfamiliar path and answer to nobody. 

But the hope that had fuelled those lustful dreams faded to black, as if a shadow passed over her. Faceless against the dark sky, only the glint of moist eyes shone. Was it the devil, come to escort her from mortality for her sins, for their love?

But the devil wouldn’t pin her shoulders to the freezing sand. The devil wouldn’t shed tears as his hands gripped her throat. And the devil wouldn’t whisper into her ear, as Jessica breathed her last mortal breath, “I’m so sorry.”




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Where the stories take place...

The Wild Fens Murder Mysteries are set in Lincolnshire, UK. If you want to take a closer look at the locations in which Freya, Ben and the team go head to head with their suspects, use the map below.

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