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James Raven Author

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James Raven Author
ROLLOVER - Hampshire View Magazine

Cracking Crime
Rollover is a cracking crime novel. The plot is pacy and compelling – the essence of the polished, ‘unputdownable’ novel.


Two of Britain’s best known broadcasters posted the following short reviews of Rollover

TV presenter Nick Knowles – one of the country’s favourite celebrities


James Raven brings all his insights from years of newsrooms, journalists and police methods to bear in this tense thriller. If you fancy yourself as a sleuth who knows whodunit in stories early on then you’re in for a tough time as the author tempts and teases you with snippets of information and red herrings aplenty. Try making your mind up early on about the killer and you might end up feeling foolish. If this were set in California it would be a movie within a year, but it loses nothing for being set in the heartland of Hampshire. My hope is that some young British film maker picks this up and turns it into a gripping movie. My advice is to find a quiet corner and enjoy that rare thing – a tale that makes you hold your breath.

Broadcaster Fred Dinenage, who regularly appears on the Crime and Investigation Network.

“An excellent book – and a bit scary! Extremely well crafted and readable. It has a real sting in the tail. They should make a film of it – and probably will if someone’s got any sense,” Fred Dinenage, one of Britain’s best loved TV presenters and the face of the Crime and Investigation Network.

Written by James Raven
Review written by Gwen Moffat

Shots Crime and Thriller Review

Gwen Moffat’s day job was rock climbing and she broke moulds. As the first woman guide she carved a niche in the macho world of professional mountaineering; as a crime writer she specialises in wild country. Her main protagonist, Melinda Pink, follows her creator’s interests: surpassing her in some, falling short in others.

In today's crazy financial climate the crime buff has little interest in murder involving a sum less than the value of his own assets. Theft of the winning ticket for the Lottery's eighteen million pound rollover is something else but for the small matter of claiming the money. When journalist, Danny Cain, gets a call from his friend and partner, Vince Mayo, summoning him to drop everything and come over to celebrate his fantastic win, Cain is incredulous but compliant, and walks into catastrophe.

He arrives to find his friend battered to death and the lottery ticket missing. Simple enough: who wouldn't murder for eighteen million? Except that Cain hasn't time to consider the question before a call from the self-confessed killer instructs him to go home, which he does to find his wife and small daughter missing. Another call, and the demand that if his family is to be spared Cain must stay schtum about both the murder and the lottery ticket. He goes on the run, searching for his loved ones, hunted by the killer - who needs to eliminate the whole family - and by the police for whom he's the prime suspect.

More than one crime goes wrong here and the story is further complicated by switches from the first person narrative of the desperate Cain to the third person for his wife, the police team, even the killer. The novel reads like reportage, appropriate where investigative journalism is involved. It will transfer easily to television and if the concept of murder for a lottery ticket is accepted the denouement and unmasking of the killer is in context: unexpected and shocking but plausible.

James Raven: Rollover
Robert Hale HB

Booksmonthly Review

It's a rollover week on the National Lottery and the jackpot is a whopping GBP18 million. Journalist Vince Mayo has picked all six numbers, but before he can celebrate his spectacular win he's battered to death at his home deep in Hampshire's New Forest. In a hellish chain of events, Mayo's friend and fellow journalist, Danny Cain, is forced to go on the run when the police suspect him of the murder. With Danny Cain still alive, and knowing the truth, the ticket can't be cashed and the killers want their money, no matter what it takes. For Danny and his terrified family the odds of survival are stacked against them.

We all dream of winning the lottery, and most of the multi-millionaires seem to fade into the background after a while. The complications that arise following Mayo's win are anything but predictable, and Raven's novel, though not cautionary, is a reminder of the power of big money. Extremely satisfying thriller that takes the edge off a flaky day and puts a smile on your face. Great entertainment.



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