Paid in Blood by Susan Handley – Blog Tour

On behalf of Zoe at and Susan Handley, I am excited and honoured today to be reviewing Paid in Blood. Thank you to Susan Handley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.


A dead celebrity loved by the nation.
A blind detective with something to prove.

When a well-loved celebrity is found murdered at a glitzy art event, DI Matt Fisher is faced with his first big case since being blinded in an acid-attack. Despite most people thinking his return to his old job is an impossible task, Fisher is determined to prove them wrong.

With his guide dog Luna at his side and the assistance of eager yet inexperienced DC Beth Nightingale, Fisher must find a way to see through the lies and expose a ruthless killer.

He’s had his fair share of bad luck in the past but has always managed to bounce back. Can he do it again, or are his days as a detective numbered?

My Thoughts

DI Matt fisher and DC Beth Nightingale are called in to investigate the murder of a famous athlete and philanthropist, Lucy Stirling, that took place during a fundraising evening.  With no obvious motivation for the murder and a handful of the elite as suspects, the officers have very little to go on.  Fisher is also being closely watched by his superior who seems doubtful over whether he can do his job properly with his disability.  Can they solve the murder and give Lucy the justice she deserves?

In all honesty the first chapter confused me a little as there are lots of characters, including Lucy, introduced and I became worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up.  Looking back I’d say it represented the whirlwind party atmosphere well and was a way of showing how many possible suspects there were there and a little how the evening must have felt for Lucy.  Soon the characters are introduced in a more detailed way though so don’t panic.   

I really liked the character of Matt Fisher and enjoyed learning about the ways in which he needed/didn’t want help.  I found it fascinating how he worked crime scenes and suspects etc. with Beth and without his sight.  Matt is generally a prickly character and juggling a lot so took a little while to warm to but he is amazing at his job and has a very sharp mind.  As the narrative revealed more about him I became really fond of him and his straightforward talking and I’m really hoping they will be further novels and this will become a series.

There are plenty of clues/false trails to follow through the book and it does keep you on your toes a little when guessing who the murdered was.  Sometimes I was confident in my guess but then something would come along and make me question myself.  I love it when books do that.

A great introduction hopefully to a new series and its key characters.  A really enjoyable crime / detective novel.

Author Bio – Susan Handley

Susan Handley grew up in the Midlands and now lives in a small village in rural Kent with her husband and two rescue cats, Charlie and Porridge (aka Podge).

As a child, Susan devoured anything crime related: books, films, TV shows and even games (anyone remember electronic detective? – a game Susan professes to have been a whizz at). Although she had dreamt of becoming a pathologist like Quincy (one of her favourite shows growing up), Susan went on to study chemistry and went as far as getting her doctorate in it. Soon, however, she came to the conclusion that lab work wasn’t for her and went on to have a successful career in finance.

It was during her time at university, on learning that her mother had finally read the complete collection of Agatha Christie’s classic crime novels, Susan bought a second-hand Olivetti and attempted to write one of her own, intent on giving it to her mother as a Christmas present. Susan readily confesses the end result left a lot to be desired but says it did whet her appetite for crime writing. Over the years that followed, she never stopped dreaming of becoming an author and after many years of writing at night she finally published her debut novel: A Confusion of Crows, the first of her books to feature one-time marine biologist now turned detective Cat McKenzie. She has written a further two novels in the DC Cat McKenzie mystery series. The second, Feather and Claw, sees Cat holidaying with a friend in sunny Cyprus, though things take a sinister turn after a fellow guest is found dead. In the third book of the series, The Body Politic, Cat investigates the murder of a local councillor but it’s the links to a member of her own family that leaves her wondering whether you ever really know anyone at all.

Susan’s most recent novel is Paid in Blood, the first in a new series to feature DI Matt Fisher. DI Fisher was en route to being one of the country’s top scorers in football’s premier league until injury forced him from the pitch and into the police force. And it was working out well, until he put himself between a young woman and a terrorist brandishing a bottle of acid. Now blind, Fisher finds himself fighting to keep his job, so when a beautiful celebrity is found dead at a glitzy art event, he’s determined to figure out who did it and prove he can still hack it as a detective.

In addition to the DC Cat McKenzie series, Susan has published two crime fiction anthologies: Crime Bites (volumes 1 and 2). She has also published a novella set at the height of the Californian gold, The Secret of Snake Pass, which is published under the name S.J. Handley.

When Susan’s not indulging in her love of writing crime fiction she loves walking (the hillier the better), bike riding (the flatter the better) and tending her garden, especially her veggie patch.

Follow her at:

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