The Harlech Beach Killings (A DI Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller) by Simon McCleave. #TheHarlechBeachKillings #DIRuthHunter @author_simon @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

A Snowdonia Murder Mystery Book 2

Book blurb

A murdered millionaire. A brutal drug operation. Can a detective with a haunted past stop the next assassination?

Detective Inspector Ruth Hunter is still struggling to deal with her stress. So when the body of a businessman washes up on a secluded North Wales shore, the former London cop is anxious to prove she can lead the local investigative team and nail the killer. But as she digs into the dead millionaire’s business affairs, DI Hunter discovers a disturbing link to an infamous Merseyside drug lord…


Tracking down clues alongside a hot-headed partner, she worries his private vendetta could seriously jeopardize bringing the gangster to justice. And between botched raids, tight-lipped suspects, and a slew of cold case murders, she’s sure the criminal mastermind must have corrupt police officers in his pocket…


Can Hunter take down the mobster before he orders a highly personal hit?

The Harlech Beach Killings is the second book in the gripping Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller series. If you like chilling police procedurals, true-to-life characters, and psychological twists, then you’ll love Simon McCleave’s page-turning thrill ride.


My thoughts


I’ve recently read a couple of books set in Wales and here we have another. This time we are in North Wales. This is the North Wales Police area*. It covers an area that will take you from the Welsh/English border skirting the west of Chester taking in Garden City then crossing over along the coast overlooking the River Dee and The Wirral to include the Isle of Angelsey and then down the coast until it reaches the southern part of the Snowdonia National Park where it cuts back across, wrapping around Wrexham, once again to the border with England. This book would be a pretty good guide if ever you fancied a road/train trip around the area. It’s quite a mixed landscape that contains some beautiful scenery – coastal, mountains and lakes – along with industrial estates and more built up areas.


Immerse yourself in a story which will take you by the hand and lead you through a number of police procedures/policies which crop up through the book. Excellent for those new to crime fiction particularly UK/Welsh crime fiction.


The characters in this book are well imagined and have many a burden weighing them down most especially alcoholism and grief. On top of which, yes we have crimes to solve. There is a dead body initially thought of as an accidental death but it’s a murder. There is also a joint operation with other Forces regarding drugs. There is a mole in the operation whose causing a number of problems to the drugs op. The new DCI has come from Manchester and is settling into the area and the job. DI Ruth Hunter came to North Wales from London not too long ago. She has recently returned to duty. She’s been on a staged return and is champing at the bit to return to CID. So, when the body on the beach is confirmed as a murder it’s her chance. Nick, the DS, is a good copper but he has a problem.


The end itself is a cliffhanger worthy of many a TV serial. It does mean that from this book, No.2 in the Harlech Series, you will need to read book three to find out – assuming the resolution to the cliffhanger is going to be in it – what happens in one of the themes of this book. Not wishing to give anything away I can say no more! This is not the only thread that is not totally resolved in the book but it is the one that ends the book quite abruptly.

This may be a bit of a slow burner to begin with but once in it’s stride is not only a fascinating police procedural but gathers pace and has quite a chilling twist towards the end. This book is well worth a read.



My thanks to Emma at DamppebblesTours for the invite to the BlogTour and to Stamford Publishing for an eCopy of The Harlech Beach Killings.

Blog Tour

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Published in digital format by Stamford Publishing on 10th February 2020




Simon McCleave was born in South London.


When leaving University, Simon worked in television and film development. He was a Script Editor at the BBC, a producer at Channel 4 before working as a Story Analyst in Los Angeles. He worked on films such as ‘The Full Monty’ and television series such as ‘Our Friends In The North’.


Simon then became a script writer for television and film. He wrote on series such as Silent Witness, Murder In Suburbia, Teachers, Attachments, The Bill, Eastenders and many more. His film, ‘Out of the Game’ for Channel 4 was critically acclaimed – ‘An unflinching portrayal of male friendship.’ (Time Out)


‘The Harlech Beach Killings’ is his second novel. Simon lives in North Wales with his wife and two children.

Check out Simon’s website and follow him on Social Media

Twitter: @author_simon

Facebook: simonmccleaveauthor/


Instagram: simonmccleaveauthor/

*North Wales Police Force

North Wales Police covers the whole of North Wales, including the counties of Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. The area is mostly rural and includes the Snowdonia National Park. It also has a vast coastal area, around Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula and the north coast of Wales. Serving a population of 687,800 people, it has around 1,450 police officers and 250 police community support officers along with 800 staff.

The headquarters are in Colwyn Bay, with divisional headquarters in St Asaph, Caernarfon and Wrexham.

The eastern part of north Wales contains the most populous areas, such as Wrexham and Deeside, while popular coastal resort towns include Rhyl, Llandudno and Pwllheli. North Wales has two cities, Bangor and St Asaph, Bangor is an University City which homes approximately 16,605 students. The major A55 road links the area to cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham and the port of Holyhead on Anglesey for ferries to Ireland.

Previous book: Snowdonia Killings



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