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Bestselling author launches suspense series set in Painswick

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Gloucestershire is the backdrop for local author Rachel Sargeant’s latest novel – the first in an exciting new series that will feature well-known landmarks all across the county.

Following on from the success of her three previous novels, Her Deadly Friend is set to publish on 23 August.

Rachel said: “The series will see Steph investigate cases across Gloucestershire, from Stroud to Tewkesbury and many places in-between. I used real landmarks, moved a few around and invented others. Gloucester, with its extraordinary mix of history and culture, provided inspiration for my fictional city of Gleveham – a play on Glevum, the Roman name for Gloucester.

Her Deadly Friend features a battle of wills between Steph, a detective inspector, and Amy, her arch-rival from school days. Murder rocks the city of Gleveham. First one, then another. By the time the body count reaches five, all Steph’s leads point to Amy. But is Steph obsessed with a schoolgirl vendetta or closing in on a killer?”

Rachel added: “The first chapter in Her Deadly Friend takes place in the Georgian Gardens, a fictional but very recognisable location. I wrote the scene during several visits to Painswick Rococo Garden – making best use of my annual Friends of the Garden membership. Readers familiar with the real attraction will pick out some of its wonderful features.

“My publisher, Hobeck Books, and I were thrilled when Rococo’s directors gave us permission to use Painswick Rococo Garden images in our publicity. The bluebell glade there inspired the front cover.

“They’ve really got behind the project and will be selling the novel in their gift shop.”

Rachel is writing the Gleveham Killers Suspense series under the name Rae Sargeant.

“The new series is a slight departure from my previous crime thrillers which were two psychological thrillers and a police procedural published by HarperCollins,” Rachel said.

“Although there’s a serial killer on the loose with police in pursuit, the stories focus on creating a sense of suspense between detective and suspect.

“I’m delighted my new series is joining the Crime, Thriller, Mystery & Suspense list at Hobeck Books.”

A full-time writer for the last three years, Rachel has achieved worldwide sales reaching well over 100,000 copies. She grew up in Lincolnshire and spent many years in Germany, before settling in Gloucester.

Her Deadly Friend can be purchased from bookshops, Painswick Rococo Garden and Amazon.

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