Book Reviews

Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates @Anne_Coates1 @urbanebooks #LoveBooksTours #GuestPost

It’s the weekend! Those two days are precious, and the best time to discover new titles to add to your reading list!

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Title: Dancers in the Wind
Author: Anne Coates
Publisher: Urbane Books
Format: eARC


Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognisable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence.

Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realise that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah realises she must do everything in her power to expose the truth …. and stay alive.

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Minor characters – major roles

When I first wrote Dancers in the Wind I hadn’t envisaged it as the beginning of a series. Then Urbane offered to publish it, and Matthew Smith saw it as the first of a trilogy (but has happily agreed to book number four!). For this reason I am truly grateful that I took time to ensure that my “minor” characters were more than two-dimensional and had back-stories and lives of their own.

Received wisdom is that any “chain” is only as strong as its weakest link. This applies to characters in film, TV programmes, theatrical performances – and books. One bad actor can ruin a whole production. When writers introduce a character they don’t have to give all the details of their lives but they weave information into the narrative and their reactions gradually reveal their personalities. Although a character may have minor role, the impact they have on the plot may be of major importance.

The parents of my protagonist, Hannah Weybridge, have cameo parts as they have moved, much to their only daughter’s chagrin, to France. Hannah feels deserted on more than one level. Her baby’s father, Paul, is not on the scene and her best friend Liz Rayman has gone off to work for a charity in Somalia. Both of them are “off stage” so to speak but hopefully the reader will want to know more about them and follow their fortunes in later books.

In writing Dancers I created a world set in 1990s London for Hannah and her friends. Linda, Dave, James and Joe are involved in the story and fortunately for them they survive and move with Hannah into Death’s Silent Judgement. But there are other characters who have grown with the series. In Dancers, Sam who works at the Lost Property Office at Kings Cross and is DI Tom Jordan’s informant, wormed his way into this author’s heart. All the groundwork was there for him to have a bigger role in the sequel. However there are characters I have taken great delight in killing off – sooner or later they get their comeuppance – and others whose deaths I have mourned.

© Anne Coates, 2019

Grab your copy now! Amazon

Thank you to Kelly @LoveBooksTours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour!

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For most of her working life in publishing, Anne has had a foot in both camps as a writer and an editor, moving from book publishing to magazines and then freelancing in both. Having edited both fiction and narrative non-fiction, she has also had short stories published in a variety of magazines including Bella and Candis and is the author of seven non-fiction books. Telling stories is Anne’s first love and nearly all her short fiction as well as Dancers in The Wind and Death’s Silent Judgement began with a real event followed by a ‘what if …’. That is also the case with the two prize-winning stories: Codewords and Eternal Love.

4 thoughts on “Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates @Anne_Coates1 @urbanebooks #LoveBooksTours #GuestPost”

  1. This does look like a promising read. And I agree about the role that all characters play in bringing a story alive. I love it when even the support characters including the pets are more than just props in a story. Thanks for sharing, Meggy.


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