Cllr Bob Ball’s references to the Russian side of his family were always taken with a large pinch of salt. Until his Russian wife turned up at his funeral. Then strange things began to happen in Rutherford. The County Archivist is found murdered in the second basement and the Finance Director of the Redbourne Brewery falls victim to a hit and run. Detective Inspector Steve Winwood comes up against a wall of silence from the community as he begins to suspect that the application for a new supermarket on the outskirts of town is at the center of the motive for two murders. Even his new found friend, the Reverend Janice Paige seems to be holding back on important information. Then a third body appears and with Winwood’s mind distracted his new Detective Constable Emma Porter gets involved in an affair that could bring her new found promotion to a quick end. As more secrets are revealed Winwood likens his investigation to lifting up one half of a Russian doll and finding a deeper secret within. Winwood can trust no one as everyone seems to have a reason to stay quiet about what they might know. Then Emma finds an important link and the fourth body gives up the answer contained within the Russian doll
About the Author
John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. The Education Act of 1944 saw great changes in the way the nation was taught; the main one being that all children stayed at school until the age of 15 (later increased to 16). For the first time working class children were able to reach higher levels of academic study and the opportunity to gain further educational qualifications at University. This explosion in education brought forth a new aspirational middle class; others remained true to their working class roots. The author belongs somewhere between the two. Many of the author’s main characters have their genesis in this educational revolution. Their dialogue though idiosyncratic can normally be understood but like all working class speech it is liberally sprinkled with strange boyhood phrases and a passing nod to cockney rhyming slang. John Barber’s novels are set in fictional English towns where sexual intrigue and political in-fighting is rife beneath a pleasant, small town veneer of respectability. They fall within the cozy, traditional British detective sections of mystery fiction. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder which investigated a famous murder mystery of 1907 and names the killer. This is still available in softback and as an ebook, although not available from Smashwords John Barber had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He is now retired and lives with his wife and two cats on an island in the middle of Hertford and spends his time between local community projects and writing further novels.