Monday, August 14, 2006

Orion New Blood - Victoria Blake

Victoria Blake was one of the original 9 authors promoted by Orion's New Blood Campaign at the end of 2003/early 2004. I'll be having a quick look at how each author has fared since.

Victoria Blake's third book from Orion will be out in November 2006. She writes a series featuring PI Sam Falconer and all have an Oxford connection.

#3 (November 2006). When a student is found dead in his rooms at St Barnabas College, Oxford, it looks nothing more than an unfortunate suicide. A week later, when Sam Falconer's brother disappears, Sam begins to see a disturbing connection between the events. Then her mother receives a Catholic mass card, announcing that a funeral mass is to be said for their son. Sam begins desperately trying to trace her brother's last movements, attempting to locate the mysterious man he'd spent time with in the days before his disappearance. Behind it all is the nagging fear it could be connected to her father and the murders he committed in Northern Ireland in the seventies. As the trail leads from Oxford to Iraq and back to the troubles in Ireland, Sam learns just how strong blood ties can be ...

#2 (March 2005). The year hasn't got off to the best of starts for PI Sam Falconer. London is frozen in a January blizzard, and everywhere she goes, Sam has the creeping feeling of being watched. When she's asked to investigate the disappearance of a talented young rower from Oxford University, she hopes it will take her mind off her increasing paranoia. Harry was a stunning athlete, one of the most naturally gifted rowers the Oxford coach had ever seen. Then, just as the trials for the Boat Race were beginning, Harry literally vanished into the snow. Following the treacherous, icy waters of the Thames from Putney to Oxford, Sam uncovers the reality of competitive rowing, a world simmering with jealousy and resentment. Then a body surfaces in the water - and it's not Harry's. In discovering the truth about his disappearance, Sam must open a Pandora's Box of secrets, with deadly consequences...

#1 (December 2003). Sam Falconer is pretty good at taking care of herself. Four times world judo champion, she now runs the Gentle Way investigation agency in London. But when her brother Mark asks her to return to Oxford to investigate the disappearance of a young woman, Sam finds herself confronting a past she hoped she'd left behind. Oxford is full of ghosts and Sam has never quite recovered from finding the body of a murdered 4-year-old girl there. To this day, she has no idea what led her to the scene and she dreads being back in the city. As Sam begins to investigate the woman's disappearance, she finds the trail leads back to the university. But the closed academic world is unwilling to share its secrets with a stranger. Soon it becomes clear that someone is determined to frighten her off the case, and then, out of the blue, Sam receives a letter from a man who's been dead for twenty-eight years - her father...Intricately woven and ingeniously plotted, Victoria Blake's debut novel marks her as an exciting new voice in British crime-writing.

(Synopses from

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