My Review of Basic Element by Wendy Cartmell for #BrookCottageBookTours

                         BASIC ELEMENT

Basic Element: A dark gipping detective thriller (Crane and Anderson Book 2) by [Cartmell, Wendy]


Genre: Crime thriller

Series: Crane and Anderson Book 2 (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: December 2016

Publisher: Costa Press

He’s not a killer. He’s ordinary. It’s just that he has an addiction.

The papers call him The Choker. Crane and Anderson call him a sadomasochist. But whatever his name is, the Major Crimes team have to find him. And fast. Because time is running out. It won’t be long before he kills again.

My Review:

Basic Element has a complex plot, although it’s an enjoyable and easy read because   Wendy Cartmell  has a clear writing style. I haven’t read the first detective thriller by  this author in the Crane and Anderson series but this didn’t detract from any understanding of the story; it’s a good stand alone book.

 Retired from the army after being injured Crane works alongside his friend DCI Anderson (really nicely written details of their friendship is threaded throughout the story), IT whizz, Holly, and DC Ciaran Douglas (there’s  growing love interest with him and another character which I liked and which ultimately hurtled the plot forward towards the ending)

The characters are well drawn and rounded. I especially liked Holly and Crane; there is a lot of good backstory with this last character that helps to give more layers to him.

I loved the separate chapters written from each character’s point of view The chapters from the point of view of Boy read as reflective monologues and add to the evil of this character. And both the internal and spoken dialogue is believable and distinguishes  all the characters.

The description of the settings are evocative and  well thought out, though, sometimes, there is an formalisation overload in the tell in, especially in that of the Reading University.

Sometimes the sexual element of the plot is disturbing but this adds to the tension.

 If I had any problem with Basic Element it would be with the occasionally editing errors but, more importantlyn nding of the case which I found to be too sudden. But there is also an additional ending which leaves an opening for there to be another novel in this series… intriguing.

A good read for those who enjoy crime/ psychological thrillers.


ONLY 99P!!!





You’d be surprised how still I can sit. I’m doing it now. My bottom is on the floor, my knees are pulled up and my arms wrapped around them. I’m watching a spider. A big, black, fat one. He’s just behind that rock. He came out once, but I frightened him by moving, so he ran away and I had to start all over again. I won’t make that mistake again. I can wait for ages and ages.

Here he comes. I can see one black leg poking out. Here comes another, and another. A spider has eight legs. I learned that at school. I like school, it’s interesting. I’m not like some of the other children. They mess about, don’t concentrate, don’t try their hardest. I always try my hardest. Daddy makes sure of that. Daddy helped me to learn to sit still. He said I was a terrible wriggler, so he tied me to a chair until I stopped. He doesn’t have to tie me down anymore. I can sit still for ages, until he tells me I can get down. It makes me feel funny inside. I quite like that feeling. So I do as I’m told.

I can see the spider’s body now. He’s inching his way out from his hiding place, his legs reaching out ahead of him, making sure there’s nothing in his way. And there isn’t. Not really. Only my little hand and if I keep it still enough he’ll crawl right onto it.

The spider is climbing onto my hand now. One leg, two. He’s an old slow coach but I can wait. Nearly there…

My fingers curl over his body, trapping him inside my hand. Got him!

I hold the spider’s body between my finger and thumb, leaving his legs dangling in the air. Now I can count them. The first leg comes off easily, making him wriggle even more. He isn’t as good as being still as I am. As I pull off each leg I sing quietly to myself…

Incy wincy spider…





Wendy Cartmell is the author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller STEPS TO HEAVEN. She lives on the Costa del Sol with three mad dogs and her even madder husband. She inherited her love of reading from her parents and discovered her ability to weave a good story at Reading University, which she attended at the tender age of 40.
After several failed attempts at writing in various genres, Sgt Major Crane, a military policeman, knocked on her proverbial door and the rest, as they say, is history. All 8 Crane crime thrillers are published by Endeavour Press, as well as the Emma Harrison mystery trilogy, set in Reading Young Offenders Institution.


Twitter: @wendycartmell

Goodreads Author Page:







20 thoughts on “My Review of Basic Element by Wendy Cartmell for #BrookCottageBookTours

  1. Great review, Judith. The excerpt of Boy made my hair stand on end. It reminded me a little of the Boston Strangler ~ his insect of choice was the the fly. I have a feeling I’ll have to read these books with all the lights on! 🙂


  2. Thanks so much for the review, Judith! I really appreciate you joining in my book blog tour! The editing problems you mention were sorted for the published copy, as you had an ARC which hadn’t had the final proof read.


    • Hi Wendy, I need to say sorry, though, for the broken link in the morning; I didn’t realise until I returned home from a bonk fair. I did enjoy your story and intent to go back and read the first one. Good luck with what will be a great follow up, I’m sure. Editing/proofreading is such a pain. I always see things I should have altered in my books.Jx


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