Sunday, 1 May 2016
Lights Burning Blue
It relates the story of a somewhat unlikely friendship set against the backdrop of a savage murder.
Brooke McCarthy has graduated from her drama school and she has landed her dream job. Well, it's not exactly her dream job. But it is a job in a theatre company, so there's that much to it, hopefully?
But it's not, actually, a proper acting job. She has had to take up a job in stage management. Which was not what she wanted at all. She wants to be on the stage, acting, not stage managing!
And the director of the play is Jimmy Knowles, notorious in the world of British theatre as being very difficult to please and not very nice to work with or for.
The play is in the rehearsal phase and it's not actually in the theatre, yet. The rehearsals are being undertaken in a village hall in a village that is probably as out of the way as you could possibly get, near to nothing but a woodland nature reserve.
But this whole thing beats Brooke's previous job, working as a temp in an office, so she grits her teeth and is determined to make as good a job of things as she can.
On her first day at work she meets up with an elderly gentleman who she finds endearing and who lives in a cottage which is just over the path from the village hall where the rehearsals are taking place.
This elderly gentleman seems to have had something of an interesting past and a deep love of all things theatrical.
But is everything quite what it appears to be?
For just one week prior to her taking up her new job, a young girl was found murdered in the woods that make up the nature reserve.
And is it just a coincidence that the murder victim looks like Brooke?
What, exactly, is going on? Who, if anyone, can Brooke trust?
This is Andrew Cullum's début novel. And all I can say is that I hope it is not be his only novel!
We mystery lovers have found, in Andrew Cullum, a great new writing talent and, in Brooke McCarthy, a wonderful new character. Who I want to be able to learn more about in forthcoming novels.
Could she develop into a female version of a younger and perhaps more theatrically successful Charles Paris? Oh, I do hope so!
The book is published by Matador at a remarkably reasonable £9.99 in paperback and if you buy only one book during 2016, please do make it Lights Burning Blue. You'll find it for sale at the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, just a little to the right of this review.