Editor’s Pick – Other Countries by Jo Bannister

9780727887023We are thrilled to welcome author Jo Bannister to the list with OTHER COUNTRIES, the fourth suspenseful, character-driven mystery to feature impetuous, misadventure-prone Constable Hazel Best and her unlikely friend, the unworldly but brilliant Gabriel Ash.  From the outset, Bannister sets up an intriguing premise: a young man travels thousands of miles from Istanbul, Turkey, to firebomb an obscure little museum in a quiet English village. Who exactly is he? And why would he do such a thing?

Having saved visiting celebrity Oliver Ford from serious harm during the attack, Hazel Best finds herself gradually falling under the spell of the charismatic TV historian – to Ash’s growing unease. Resenting what she sees as Ash’s unwarranted interference in her new relationship, Hazel allows a rift to develop with her long-time friend. But as her relationship with Ford intensifies, serious alarm bells start to ring – and Hazel will find she needs Gabriel Ash as never before …

Maintaining a finely-honed balance between humour and darkness, the narrative veers in several unexpected directions before leading inexorably to its tense, violent and dramatic conclusion. Truly an author at the top of her game, Bannister plays intricate mind-games with her reader, constantly subverting expectations and overturning her reader’s in-built prejudices.  The result is an unusual, thought-provoking, often amusing and gripping read, which kept me glued to the page throughout.

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