The Killing Crew by Murray Bailey

Blog tour: 15 to 28 February 2022


Ash Carter and Bill Wolfe are in Israel hunting a group of British Army deserters known as the Killing Crew. Some people think they were a myth, others believe they were the most hated of British soldiers.

In the newly formed state that’s at war with the Arab nations, hated by Jews and despised by Arabs, the two SIB officers think they face an uncomfortable task.

But when they become targets they realise this is more than just a job. It’s life or death.

My review

Set in the new state of Israel in the late 1940s, The Killing Crew is the second book in the Ash Carter Near East crime thriller series. The series is a prequel to the brilliant Ash Carter mystery thrillers, which are set in 1950s Singapore.

It’s June 1948 and Captain Ash Carter, who is in the British Army’s Royal Military Police (in the Special Investigations Branch), has been tasked with locating and arresting the group of pro-Arab British deserters known as the Killing Crew.

Ash Carter and Major Bill Wolfe are on official business and have authority from the Israeli government to search for the Killing Crew but they still need to be careful as the new state of Israel is at war and it’s a very dangerous place to be, especially as the British are now ‘despised and unwelcome’ and ‘seen by many as the enemy’.

After an encounter with a Hungarian refugee and Slovakian debt collectors, Carter finds himself in trouble straightaway and is lucky to escape with his life! It’s a thrilling and terrifying start and the pace of the book doesn’t let up from then on!

With the help of Bert Finney, an inexperienced but enthusiastic 20-year-old recruit, and a 19-year-old Jewish secretary called Sylvia Rom, Carter and Wolfe make some progress and investigate various leads and work their way through paperwork to try and pinpoint exactly who the deserters are. They are able to strike some people off the list, for various reasons, but aren’t really getting anywhere until a local informant helps them out. They then get a spot of good luck when Carter makes a connection after showing a photo to someone. It’s a difficult mission and there are lots of dead ends and twists and the team often find themselves in danger. Time is running out and they need to solve the case.

Carter has an interesting relationship with his German Jewish landlady, Erika Arnold. She’s not keen on the English after her husband was killed by a British bullet shortly after the war ended, but she has a begrudging friendship with Ash and they enjoy playing cards together in the evenings, and there seems to be a bit of a spark between them.

Overall, The Killing Crew is a well-researched, action-packed and gripping read! It’s well plotted and fast paced with lots of action, lots of tension and some terrifying twists and turns. There are startling revelations and some shocking and violent scenes, but all in keeping with the story. The characters are well drawn and the main protagonist is intelligent but also rather reckless at times, which adds to the excitement as you never know what he’s going to do next!

There are lots of military and political tensions in the period and area in which the book is set and it’s all very tense and volatile. I could really picture the location and found it well described. There’s such a sense of menace and danger and no one can be trusted, even those close to Carter. While reading, I was on edge the whole time, waiting for someone to be threatened or attacked!

I really enjoyed the original Ash Carter thrillers and this prequel series is intense and absorbing and an excellent addition to the author’s list.

Buy the book

The Killing Crew by Murray Bailey is released on 1 March and can be preordered from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback and hardback.

About the author

Murray Bailey got his first taste of success when he was published in The Times at 18 and in his local newspaper. Although he went on to pursue a different career, he continued to write and edit and became the editor of an international magazine and editor of four technical books.

I Dare You was the first of his books to be published in 2016. It was followed by Map of the Dead, the first of the series based on his interest in Egyptology. His main series, however, is the Ash Carter thrillers, inspired by his father’s experience in the Royal Military Police in Singapore in the early 1950s.

Murray was born in Greater Manchester, England and has being moving south ever since. He now lives on the beautiful Dorset coast with his wife and family.

Twitter: @MurrayBaileybks
Facebook: @MurrayBaileyAuthor
Instagram: @murraybaileyauthor

Blog tour

Thanks to Murray Bailey for my digital copy of The Killing Crew and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.


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