By R. S. Sutton

Format: Paperback

(14 customer reviews)

Publication Date: 28 Jul 2021


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Categories: Crime and Thrillers

ISBN: 9781913913137


Valerie Stone has two possessions, a vintage Jag and an old watch. She smokes too many French cigarettes, rents a houseboat on the Thames and keeps male admirers at arm’s length. Investigating the lucrative and mostly legal, she’s been a private detective for the last four years. And before that? Well, that’s her business. 

Money has been tight of late, but a sizable pay-out from an insurance investigation could level things up, at least for a while. When a body is washed up on the south coast, it seems a straightforward case of death by misadventure. That is until she finds herself blackmailed by a covert organisation looking into the same incident.

Silence mixed with misinformation leads Valerie, and those around her, into a very dirty storm.

R. S. Sutton is now retired from running his own business. He has worked around the UK, North and Southern Ireland, South Africa and Mozambique and lives in Devon.



Tania Murrell (Guest Review) - 16 Aug, 2021

A fast paced adventure, which would be an ideal choice for a book group discussion, the intriguing characters give plenty of scope for analysis and lively debate.

Jeni Sampson (Guest Review) - 29 Jul, 2021

Excellent read from the start, kept me engrossed, couldn’t put the book down.
Good story line hope the author writes more intriguing stories, look forward to reading another book by R S Sutton

Dave Dolton (Guest Review) - 04 Apr, 2022

Very enjoyable read. Couldn't put book down once I started reading. Looking forward to more books from this author.

Harry Palmer (Guest Review) - 05 Aug, 2021

Brilliant novel! From start to finish Valerie keeps you deep within the pages as she navigates this 'Dirty Storm'. Well paced and well written, fingers crossed for a Valerie sequel!

Shazz Stubbings (Guest Review) - 08 Sep, 2021

WOW!! For a first book, I was very impressed. I have to be honest and admit it took me until the seventh page to really get into the story, but boy was I then gripped!
It was so nice to read about a bad-ass female for a change, and I can't wait for more adventures from Valerie Stone.

F Carter (Guest Review) - 30 Sep, 2021

Was in my local bookshop when the cover caught my eye. Other reviews have talked about a slow start, I'm not so sure, it gives an introduction to the main character without giving anything away. Also others have said that it is a first book, they must know more than me, although it gives that feeling. A good story nicely paced with some nice little asides, like letting the handbrake off on one of the bad guys new BMW when it's on a cliff top. I would have given four and a half stars if it was possible. Loved the girlie talk in one of the chapters. Look forward to more.

Tina Saxton (Guest Review) - 08 Sep, 2021

Fabulous book, great for a 1st book by the author. Valerie had me hooked. The other characters too. A great story, and a character that I would like to see more of definitely. I look forward to the next book

Anne walker (Guest Review) - 07 Aug, 2021

Thrilling read. Cannot wait for the next adventure!

Sue Crowther (Guest Review) - 15 Aug, 2021

Superb book, hard to put down! Very well written and the author has you warming to Valerie from the outset. I truly hope that this is the first book of many featuring Valerie, as I really want to know what happens next - the ending left me wanting more! I will be recommending this to all my fellow reading friends.

M Malc (Guest Review) - 26 Sep, 2021

I found this a book of a first half followed by two quarters….where the style changes as the pace quickens, which I found rather disconcerting. The first half sets the scene and introduces the players. The 3rd and 4th quarters provide the meat of the story, and the book ends with the promise of a sequel and yes, I would pick up a sequel and give it a read.

NetGalley review (Guest Review) - 23 Sep, 2021

It was the description of this book that enticed me in. Valerie, a female private detective who drives a vintage Jag and smokes French cigarettes. It reminded me a bit of the old classic detectives.

Valerie starts off being offered a simple job from an insurance company who have asked her to look into the death of a man that was found washed up on a beach. It was reported as a straight forward boating accident but they need to be sure due to the high insurance payout. And as any crime novel reader knows, anything stated as straight forward very rarely is which is exactly the case here. With the help of her assistant Jane, Valerie seems to go from one twist and turn to another meeting lots of characters on the way. There is a possible love interest with the deceased’s brother and also a possible clandestine government department wanting to help, that may or not be the good guys. Nothing is what it seems here and it certainly keeps you guessing right up until the end. The only downside for me was the number of characters, I did find I was getting a little lost as to who was who later on in the book.

Even though I struggled with the start of this book for some reason, it took me some time to get interested, I am glad I stuck it out because it was certainly worth the read. Would definitely recommend.

NetGalley review (Guest Review) - 02 Nov, 2021

Valerie Stone - private detective. Valerie is her own woman, she rents a houseboat on the Thames, smokes French cigarettes and has two possessions to her name - a vintage Jag and an old watch. She’s good at her job and it’s nobody’s business what came before. When investigations are started following the discovery of a body things begin to get messy. A fast moving tale of detection and very much character led, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Enjoyable and entertaining.

Original review:

Kevin Wilson (Guest Review) - 09 Feb, 2022

An interesting storyline of national security meets private detective, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There's depth to the story, with personal heartache and love alongside some pretty graphic 'bad guys' (actually the worst of them is a female). The first chapter and a half eases you into the story and after that I found the pace picked up nicely. The author develops his characters and the scenes well, never letting it slow the pace down too much. There are several points where the story builds to a crescendo, with plenty of twists and turns and few if any that you guess in advance. Well crafted and, for a first book according to the press blurb I've since read, very impressive.

Net Galley (Guest Review) - 05 May, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Stormfront is dark, brutal and thrilling but it is also written with a sense of nostalgia. A reminder of writers like Hammond Innes and Desmond Bagley.
I loved the characterization and the dialogue is witty and compelling, even twisted at times. Valerie Stone is a remarkable creation and is surely worthy of a whole series of novels. The plot is clever and inventive and shocked me with its touches of crime noir.
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