Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

24 hours after he walked away from court a free man, cop killer and gang leader Simon Talbot is found murdered. In his possession; the name of a protected witness from his trial.

For DI Hannah Robbins, it’s a race against time to find Talbot’s killer, and locate the bystander before it’s too late.

But as Hannah delves deeper into the past, she begins to question the integrity of the whole operation.

Where do you turn when you can’t trust the police?

My Review

I was looking forward to reading the latest Hannah Robbins book, it’s always nice to return to a favourite character. Most of the team have returned, and there are a few additions. Like Hannah, I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about Sally’s replacement but I think she will grow on me. She is gutsy, and determined to put her past behind her and be an important member of the team.

I think there is a lot of the author in these books. The grieving process that a team of officers goes through feels real and is not something I have read in other crime books and have it mean as much. The determination that they solve it on their own without the help or otherwise from professional standards. And there is the attention to detail, she shows that even the most mundane of jobs is important to an investigation.

There was a few times that I had a lump in my throat, none of which I can say much about because of spoilers but one of them shows that there will definitely be another book to look forward to in the future.

Three Weeks Dead by Rebecca Bradley.


About the Book

How far would you go if someone took your wife?

Especially, if you buried her a week ago.

When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences.

Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget?

A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.

My Review

Having read and enjoyed the first two books in the Hannah Robbins series I was pleased that Rebecca Bradley had published a novella that was also a prequel to the other books. I have read prequels to an established series before but from memory this is the first that focuses on a different character. In this case it was Sally a junior member of the team.
The case that they ae investigating is kidnap, not unusual in itself but the victim is recently deceased and her bereaved husband will do anything to get her back. Sally connects to him and becomes his ally, the one person he will open up to. She is determined that this will be the case where she could prove herself as a valuable member of the team.
Rebecca does a great job of demonstrating how nervous and eager Sally felt about wanting to get her first result and show the established team that she was good enough to be part of them. Most were helpful to her although there was one obnoxious character. It made good reading how she handled him.
I imagine most who read this will have read at least one of the other books in the series so will approach this with similar emotions to myself. For those who haven’t it is a good introduction to a great little series. I have enjoyed getting to know Hannah, Sally and the rest of the close knit team.
With thanks to Rebecca for the copy received for review.

You can buy the book here

To see a guest post from Rebecca earlier this year about her transition from detective to crime writer see Rebecca Bradley Guest Post- Made to Be Broken.

Rebecca Bradley Guest Post- Made to Be Broken.

Today I am delighted to welcome to my blog Rebecca Bradley to talk about her transition from fighting crime to writing crime.

From Fighting Crime to Writing Crime

First of all, before I start waffling, can I thank Steph for allowing me to come to her blog to ramble on about my life. I really appreciate your support Steph. Thank you. I owe you cake!

Some of you may know that I used to be a police detective in a previous life. It feels like a lifetime ago, but actually, I only retired a little over a year ago. Though before that, I was off sick as the medical retirement process was going through. You see, I have a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which I didn’t know about until later in life and long after I joined the police. And EDS didn’t start to really affect me until I started to age.

But, my failing body isn’t what I’m here to talk about. Changing from detecting crime to writing about crime is why I’m here.

It’s funny, there’s something about crime that has always drawn me towards it. I suppose I’m lucky that it was the right side of the criminal line that I was attracted to, otherwise it could have been a whole different story.

When I first thought about applying for the police there were height restrictions in place so it was out of reach. (So to speak.) I’m only 5ft tall. It wasn’t until I was older and had already started my family that I was made aware that the restriction was no longer there. It had been classed as discriminatory and had been dropped. How was lack of height going to make anyone a lesser officer?

I joined up and I thrived. I adored being a uniformed officer. The camaraderie is brilliant. You’re at the sharp end of policing. Whatever is happening, if someone dials 999, uniform are the people who are sent. CID, or any other department that is needed, don’t come out until after uniform have first responded. So, being sent into unknown situations means you rely on each other and solid relationships are built.

I had great fun and I learnt a lot. I had to learn pretty quickly as well, particularly the art of how to talk to people, because where I was based, we didn’t get back up in a hurry, so instead of getting into a situation that would need us to call for it, we learnt to diffuse the incident by talking. And with my lack of height and muscle mass, I really had to rely on my mouth. It served me well. And, I made some great friends. Don’t get me wrong though, I did hold my own when it was needed, when things got physical. You just don’t choose that option first.

But, I wanted more, I wanted to push my brain more, I wanted to be a detective. Several years later, I did just that and in a specialist unit dealing with sexual exploitation. A tough department indeed. There are things you can never unsee. But, you know you’re looking at some of the worst humanity has to offer and when you get them, that balances out the bad days. And working there is why my first novel, Shallow Waters deals with such a heavy subject straight off. I knew the world.

Like many people, I had an urge to write a novel. A birthday I wasn’t happy about loomed in front of me like a giant tidal wave threatening to wipe me out and I decided that if I didn’t write it then, I was never going to. So, between the day job and family commitments, I started typing, retyping and retyping some more. Shallow Waters was the result.

Lucky for me.

Because when my body forced me to give up the job I loved, I then had another career to move to, that I also loved.


Exploring the world through my characters. I am able to write at a pace I can cope with and though that pace changes on a daily basis I continue onward. Writing is still fairly new to me, but it is something I intend to make a long career out of.

I miss policing. I really do. But, I am so glad I have my writing. It has been, and is, a lifesaver. And with my experience, I can channel it into my writing to give my work a unique authenticity. As I write about the custody block I can smell that closed in, dirty people, mixed with disinfectant, mixed with microwaved meals, smell, it’s all there for me.

Fighting crime and writing crime are two very different jobs, but for me, they are both big loves and I am very lucky to have managed to have done both of them.

A rising death toll. A city in panic.

A young mother is found dead in her home with no obvious cause of death. As DI Hannah Robbins and her team investigate, it soon becomes clear that the woman is the first in a long line of murders by poison.

With the body count climbing, and the city of Nottingham in social meltdown, the team finds themselves in a deadly race against a serial killer determined to prove a point.

And Hannah finds herself targeting an individual with whom she has more in common than she could possibly know.

Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective who lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and her two cockapoo’s, Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.  Sign up to the newsletter on the blog at, to receive the first five chapters of Made to be Broken and for exclusive content and giveaways.

You can see my review here Made to Be Broken by Rebecca Bradley


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To read more about Rebecca

To buy Shallow Waters

To buy Made to Be Broken

Made to Be Broken by Rebecca Bradley



A rising death toll.   A city in panic.

A young mother is found dead in her home with no obvious cause of death. As DI Hannah Robbins and her team investigate, it soon becomes clear that the woman is the first in a long line of murders by poison.

With the body count climbing, and the city of Nottingham in social meltdown, the team finds themselves in a deadly race against a serial killer determined to prove a point.

And Hannah finds herself targeting an individual with whom she has more in common than she could possibly know


My Review:

I was thrilled when Rebecca Bradley sent me a very early copy of Made to Be Broken, her follow up to Shallow Waters. I know that many authors have doubts over their second novel but in my opinion she has nothing to worry about. You could probably read the two books out of sequence but they are closely linked so I would advise reading them in order.

Hannah and her team are struggling to cope after events at the end of the first book and Hannah is still recovering from injuries received. But as well as coping with what happened they are also under pressure to quickly solve a series of sudden deaths that are occurring throughout Nottingham. The reader knows who the murderer is from the beginning but not the reasons.

When I was reading I was wondering how much of Rebecca is present in Hannah, if I hadn’t have known that she used to be in the police I would have suspected it due to the level of behind the scenes knowledge. She doesn’t just tell you what the police do to get a result but also how and why. Media also shows its ugly side, every time I read a novel where they feature I’m reminded of why I never read a newspaper.

With regard to the actual killings I found them very believable and found myself being very cautious carrying out what was a usually an everyday event. The reasons why were slightly different but worked and showed how a life changing event affects people in different ways.

One of the strongest points of the novel was how close the team were. They all were deeply affected by earlier events, some had secrets and issues but they all were very close and refused to give into pressure to give up on a friend who was struggling.

A follow up that doesn’t disappoint.