The Mayfly
It's happening again.A mutilated body discovered in the woods.A murderous plan conceived in the past.A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment. With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

The Mayfly Details

TitleThe Mayfly
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 15th, 2017
PublisherBonnier Zaffre
Number of pages432 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Thriller

The Mayfly Review

  • Miriam Smith
    June 11, 2017
    I'm stunned at the professionalism and high quality writing of this brilliant book considering James Hazel is a new author and voice in the world of chilling and high octane thrillers!I was well and truly hooked from the very first grizzly page, where the author holds nothing back in the horrendous discovery of a mutilated body in a log cabin. We then switch to 1945 and the brutality and atrocities of Buchenwald concentration camp - with a mysterious order from a Military Intelligence Colonel. F I'm stunned at the professionalism and high quality writing of this brilliant book considering James Hazel is a new author and voice in the world of chilling and high octane thrillers!I was well and truly hooked from the very first grizzly page, where the author holds nothing back in the horrendous discovery of a mutilated body in a log cabin. We then switch to 1945 and the brutality and atrocities of Buchenwald concentration camp - with a mysterious order from a Military Intelligence Colonel. From then on it is non stop tension, intrigue, gruesome murders and blood pulsing moments incorporated in a well thought out and intelligent plot- this book pulls you in from the start and doesn't let you go until the nail biting finish.There's some great engaging characters in this book and I really liked ex D.I turned London lawyer Charlie Priest who suffers from dissociative disorder- he's a terrific main character and someone I look forward to reading about in the author's future books in this series.I can't recommend "The Mayfly" enough, and if you have the time, I seriously suggest you read this in a few a sittings as possible , it's so compelling - before you know it, the pages are turning quicker than you can keep up!This is one of those books for me, where I wish I could give it more than 5 stars, it's exactly what I like in a book of this genre and without a doubt I expect it to do exceedingly well this year. Watch out for the name James Hazel, we will be seeing a lot more from him in the future!!An amazing 5 stars!
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  • Maureen
    June 26, 2017
    “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” ― Primo LeviThe Mayfly begins with the discovery of a badly mutilated body in a cabin, deep in the woods. This very much sets the scene for the horrifying events that follow. Our protagonist Charlie Priest is a an ex Detective Inspector turned successful lawyer, who we meet in the aftermath of a break-in at his home. Ch “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” ― Primo LeviThe Mayfly begins with the discovery of a badly mutilated body in a cabin, deep in the woods. This very much sets the scene for the horrifying events that follow. Our protagonist Charlie Priest is a an ex Detective Inspector turned successful lawyer, who we meet in the aftermath of a break-in at his home. Charlie is viciously attacked by someone who clearly believes that Charlie has something belonging to him. When Charlie's attacker is found dead the next day, he finds himself entangled in a web that's so intricate that there's a danger that he may never get out of this alive.The story shifts between the early days of post war Britain and the present, and involves the interrogation of a former Nazi concentration camp doctor. It's intriguing to see how the author pulls these dual timelines together to create a cracking read. I'm not always a fan of dual timelines but this one worked perfectly. There are some great characters, not least Charlie - although he has dissociation disorder, he's extremely smart, astute, and has a great sense of humour that I loved. The fact that he also has a serial killer brother ( now residing in a high security mental health unit ) puts an unusual spin on the storyline.What a fantastic start to what is to become ( I understand ) a long running series. James Hazel has announced his arrival on the literary scene with balloons, whistles and bells! It was utterly compelling with intelligent narrative and a unique and a gripping plot. Watch out for James Hazel, I think we're going to hear lots of good things about him in the future.*Thank you to Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for my ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Liz Barnsley
    April 21, 2017
    Wow I loved The Mayfly. More than I expected to (always a good thing) and that is probably down to the completely compelling characters (Charlie Priest my newest book crush) and the rest (Georgie my newest girl crush) plus the brilliantly horrific plot which does get right under your skin. **slight shudder**I won’t give anything away but the story fairly rocks along, whilst at the same time fleshing out (so to speak) the characters, digging them into your consciousness so when bad things happen Wow I loved The Mayfly. More than I expected to (always a good thing) and that is probably down to the completely compelling characters (Charlie Priest my newest book crush) and the rest (Georgie my newest girl crush) plus the brilliantly horrific plot which does get right under your skin. **slight shudder**I won’t give anything away but the story fairly rocks along, whilst at the same time fleshing out (so to speak) the characters, digging them into your consciousness so when bad things happen to them you are all discombobulated – and bad things do happen. Boy do they.I like to find new crime fiction that has a different spin to put on things – what James Hazel does here is give you all the elements of a decent crime thriller with added oomph. Charlie Priest really is no ordinary lawyer – I’ll let you find out why for yourselves – but it adds a brilliantly intriguing twist on things that allows for some really meaningful moments in a plot full of layered depth. Also, his family is kind of weird – in the best reading way, I loved them. Even the one that I should probably be wary of.I loved the past/present elements that all fused together ultimately, I really had no idea where this was going to end up, another reason for enjoying it thoroughly – I like the unpredictable not a lot get me that way these days. Even if I’d worked out every nuance though I would still have loved it – the characters are so fascinating, their relationships in our infancy of knowing them here are cleverly addictive – can’t wait for more now. Really. If the next book in the series is as good then its heading straight onto the must buy list.Occasionally horrifically shiver inducing, never less than irresistible, The Mayfly is really top notch. Intelligently constructed, characters to die for and a truly sterling opening to what I hope will be a long running series. Charlie Priest. Remember the name.I love this part.Highly Recommended.
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  • Zuky the BookBum
    June 4, 2017
    There was something about The Mayfly that attracted me, even though it doesn’t really fit in with my tastes. I don’t like books where the main character is “ex-police turned lawyer/journalist/PI” etc, but the fact that this was to do with a secret society and it drew in links back from history made me too intrigued to not request it.Charlie Priest is our main character, he’s a successful lawyer, after being a successful Detective Inspector and he’s troubled (like they always are). Priest’s broth There was something about The Mayfly that attracted me, even though it doesn’t really fit in with my tastes. I don’t like books where the main character is “ex-police turned lawyer/journalist/PI” etc, but the fact that this was to do with a secret society and it drew in links back from history made me too intrigued to not request it.Charlie Priest is our main character, he’s a successful lawyer, after being a successful Detective Inspector and he’s troubled (like they always are). Priest’s brother is a serial killer and he has dissociative disorder, but despite this, he’s stellar at his job and he’s a bit of a laugh. Priest certainly is an interesting and likable character, so no doubt I will check out the next in this series, just to revisit his character.In terms of the plot, you can tell this was really well researched. The plot, as a whole, is pretty unique, and the ties to WWII and the Nazis was definitely the reason I picked this one up, so I felt a little let down that there weren’t that many flashbacks to that era and there wasn’t an awful lot of explanation as to how and why the secret society was born. Don’t me wrong, it doesn’t just leave you up in the air, it does explain, but it could have been developed and done better.There is no doubt that this book is fast paced and keeps you on your toes. The first half of the novel, I flew through. The second half of the book then pulls in some romance and things begin to get a little cheesy. From the feelings felt by the characters, to conversations, there were a couple of eye-roll moments, but it wasn’t all that bad.While I thought the plot, the crimes, the victims and all the rest, was good, it did get a little confusing at times. There were so many paths being drawn into this one investigation that I got a little lost at some points, and for this reason, guessing the “bad guy” can be tricky… but really, it’s very easy.Overall, this was an enjoyable book. If the romance parts were removed, this could have been a 5 star read for me, because that would have taken away all the cheese. This is a good 4 star read for me, and like I said, I will definitely look into the next book in this series.Thanks to Reader’s First & Bonnier Zaffre for sending me an ARC copy of this book. And also to Netgalley for my eARC copy.
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  • Laura
    June 10, 2017
    Fast paced, gritty, and full of intrigue, The Mayfly lived up to my high expectations and left me wanting more. It had my attention from page one and kept me devouring it until the very end.The characters are well crafted - Charlie Priest is a great new protagonist, not your typical Detective. In fact, he's not a Detective at all anymore - he used to be, but is now a lawyer. He's brilliant, bold, and a bit of a maverick, making him a great character to read about. His assistant, Georgie, is a bi Fast paced, gritty, and full of intrigue, The Mayfly lived up to my high expectations and left me wanting more. It had my attention from page one and kept me devouring it until the very end.The characters are well crafted - Charlie Priest is a great new protagonist, not your typical Detective. In fact, he's not a Detective at all anymore - he used to be, but is now a lawyer. He's brilliant, bold, and a bit of a maverick, making him a great character to read about. His assistant, Georgie, is a bit annoying at times but overall she's rather likeable; she's sweet and fairly naive but has the same brilliant knack for picking up on things that others (apart from Priest, of course) wouldn't think to notice, and they work well together. Then there's Priest's family - a story in itself really!I love the WW2 element in this. Well, I shouldn't say 'love' as such, because it's rather horrible and disturbing, but I found it very interesting nevertheless. I love reading and watching anything to do with World War 2, so this element definitely interested me. Kurt Schneider ( I couldn't resists looking him up) seems to have been based on a real person, and the story seems - to me, anyway - really well researched.The story moves along at a good pace without being too fast. The switching between different narratives, and indeed different time frames, can take a second to readjust to - who's speaking, which country are we in, which year? - as is always the case with those kinds of narratives, but it's easy enough to work out what's happening despite lots of names and people cropping up!I felt towards the end of the novel there was a little big more cheesiness included, particularly with some of the romantic relationships, which I didn't like as much. However despite this I felt that James Hazel's writing was really great. He uses just the right level of description, and I feel that The Mayfly is really well written - so I'd highly recommend this novel, and am eager to read future books in the series!Many thanks to Readers First and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Bibliophile Book Club
    May 8, 2017
    The Mayfly opens with a pretty grizzly murder and this sets the tone for the rest of the book. It then follows Charlie Priest in the aftermath of an attack in his home, an attack that comes completely out of the blue. When his attacker is found dead the next day, Priest becomes entangled in a web with so many threads that it is hard to see where they begin and end.I really liked Charlie Priest as a character. As with many main characters, Priest has his own demons and they follow him throughout The Mayfly opens with a pretty grizzly murder and this sets the tone for the rest of the book. It then follows Charlie Priest in the aftermath of an attack in his home, an attack that comes completely out of the blue. When his attacker is found dead the next day, Priest becomes entangled in a web with so many threads that it is hard to see where they begin and end.I really liked Charlie Priest as a character. As with many main characters, Priest has his own demons and they follow him throughout The Mayfly. I really liked how he was developed during the course of the book and I would be interested to read more about him.I enjoyed The Mayfly! It was a compulsive and engaging read. I liked the characters, and the plot was interesting. This is the second book I’ve read recently to feature Buchenwald which is an odd coincidence. The dual timeline works well, but I found the jumping between characters to be a bit confusing at times. However, it’s a good read. A little gory, and with plenty to keep the reader guessing!Recommended!
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  • Yvonne (It's All About Books)
    June 3, 2017
    Finished reading: June 3rd 2017 "I don't know what history will remember me as. A murderer? A scientist? A revolutionalist? I suppose it depends who writes the textbook you're reading. But history will remember me." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[The cover is what first caught my attention, but it was the blurb that sealed the deal. I mean, a psychological thriller AND a connecti Finished reading: June 3rd 2017 "I don't know what history will remember me as. A murderer? A scientist? A revolutionalist? I suppose it depends who writes the textbook you're reading. But history will remember me." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[The cover is what first caught my attention, but it was the blurb that sealed the deal. I mean, a psychological thriller AND a connection to WWII? That's basically combining two of my favorite genres and simply irresistible. This story mosty definitely didn't disappoint. I actually didn't know that The Mayfly is the first book of a new series, but now now I've finished this story I will be looking forward to see more of Charlie Priest in the future. The Mayfly reads almost like a private detective story, but Charlie Priest is actually a lawyer instead (and ex-cop). Charlie has a lot of flaws and a messed up personal life, but his character didn't feel like a cliche at all. In fact, with a serial killer for a brother and his dissociative disorder Priest scores top marks for being an intriguing character. The plot itself is fascinating and I loved the chapters that went back to events set just after WWII. The references to the Holocaust add a whole different level to this story and really made The Mayfly stand out for me. There were quite a lot of twists and while I expected some things to happen, I didn't guess the full truth until the very end. I could have done without the love triangle and romance scenes in general though, although it's just the love triangle itself that didn't add anything substantial to the plot. Also, some of the things that happen can make you doubt the credibility of it all... For example: how did they manage to go on for years without being catched? But those are only minor complaints about what is still essentially a highly entertaining rollercoaster ride.Charlie Priest used to be a DI, but is now a successful lawyer despite his flaws and has quite a few important clients. One day he is hired by the influential entrepeneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. Priest doesn't want to take the case at first, but circumstances leave him no other option than to find out what is happening. People seem determined to keep Priest from discovering the truth though, and he might be in more danger than he thinks he is... And more importantly, he isn't sure who he can trust in the first place.There is no doubt that The Mayfly is a fascinating story that will definitely appeal to psychological thriller fans. The flashbacks and connections to the Second World War added a whole different level to what was already an intriguing plot and definitely made me appreciate this story even more. I had a few minor doubts, but those are just that: minor. The writing style and pace turned The Mayfly into a superfast read and I will be looking forward to see more of Charlie Priest in the future! (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
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  • Ashley Gillan
    June 1, 2017
    First things first: This book was FANTASTIC. If you're a mystery/thriller fan, you need to check this book out. OK, now on to the details.I don't want to give too much away because the reveals are great, and you're going to want to stay up late reading.The book follows Charlie Priest, a former cop turned lawyer with his own issues. But despite his flaws, he's a fantastic investigator, who is attacked by a strange man one night in his home. The next day, the man is dead - killed brutally - and th First things first: This book was FANTASTIC. If you're a mystery/thriller fan, you need to check this book out. OK, now on to the details.I don't want to give too much away because the reveals are great, and you're going to want to stay up late reading.The book follows Charlie Priest, a former cop turned lawyer with his own issues. But despite his flaws, he's a fantastic investigator, who is attacked by a strange man one night in his home. The next day, the man is dead - killed brutally - and the victim's family wants to hire Priest to figure out what happened. The answers lie deep in history, from the horrors of Buchenwald in 1945 and a remote farm post-war, all leading to to the present day. Priest must fight to figure out what is going on as the body count rises.The elements of the book are blended really well, creating an atmosphere that just screams "thriller." This book combines dark history, creepy families and just enough gore to make you want to sleep with one eye open. Figuring out how all the pieces fit together is a great challenge and I did not figure it out before the ending. The scenario presented in the book is just real enough to really scare you, which also adds to the fun. The characters are fantastic; well written and flawed, but with enough character to like them. I think this is the start of a new series, and I'm ecstatic to see them again.Overall, I throughly enjoyed this book. It is one of my top reads so far this year. Highly recommended.
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  • ireadnovels.wordpress.com
    May 29, 2017
    James Hazel has an excellent way of keeping the action tight and gripping all the way through. The police find a grisly scene in a log cabin. With the smell stale and heavy and the police taking in the atmosphere of flesh eating flies swarming around a dead naked body of a man with his flesh hanging off him. It looked like he had been poisoned. Charlie Priest an ex-detective inspector is now working as lawyer in London has a visit from a fake policeman to Charlie Priest at his home. The fake pol James Hazel has an excellent way of keeping the action tight and gripping all the way through. The police find a grisly scene in a log cabin. With the smell stale and heavy and the police taking in the atmosphere of flesh eating flies swarming around a dead naked body of a man with his flesh hanging off him. It looked like he had been poisoned. Charlie Priest an ex-detective inspector is now working as lawyer in London has a visit from a fake policeman to Charlie Priest at his home. The fake policeman is a hard ruthless man he wants to know where a flash drive is, but Charlie Priest doesn't help him. Priests was strapped to his own chair and suffered blows to his head by a T-baton. It appears that Charlie had never seen this man before. Consequently Charlie Priest will have to be careful as he may be approached by this fake policeman again. With a mutilated body discovered in the woods. A murder plan conceived in the past a reckoning seventy years in the making, James Hazel is a name to keep an eye out for.
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  • Clair
    June 4, 2017
    I’ll admit I had high expectations for The Mayfly as I’d seen nothing but good things about this book from my fellow book bloggers. However, even then, this surpassed my expectations….this is an excellent, well-researched, complex plot that hooks the reader from the very first page.The Mayfly opens with the discovery of a particularly gruesome murder scene which sets the tone for the rest of the book! We are then taken back to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945 – interestingly this is the sec I’ll admit I had high expectations for The Mayfly as I’d seen nothing but good things about this book from my fellow book bloggers. However, even then, this surpassed my expectations….this is an excellent, well-researched, complex plot that hooks the reader from the very first page.The Mayfly opens with the discovery of a particularly gruesome murder scene which sets the tone for the rest of the book! We are then taken back to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945 – interestingly this is the second book I have read recently that touches upon the torture within this concentration camp. I don’t actively seek out books with the Holocaust as a subject but it’s fascinating how different authors use this, in very different ways, as a backdrop to their present day plots.The Mayfly is an interesting take on a criminal investigation as Charlie Priest is no longer in the police force, he has turned his back on his dectective inspector days and is now a lawyer specialising in commercial law. However, Charlie becomes involved within the investigation when an entrepreneur hires him to investigate his son’s murder as he does not trust the policeman who is in charge.This book is frankly stunning, I cannot believe that this is a debut as it is a chunky book with a complex plot that is based, in part, on fact therefore needed substantial research to ensure its credibility. The author’s background in corporate and criminal litigation shines through in Priest’s character.This is one of those books whereby I slowed my reading down towards the end as I really did not want it to end, Hazel’s writing style is fantastic, keeping the reader engaged throughout with his fast-paced and gritty narrative. I enjoyed the time shift between the late 1940’s and the present day, this added an extra dimension to the investigation.I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from James Hazel.
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  • Kate
    May 15, 2017
    Excellent. Love Charlie Priest (and Georgie!)A review: https://forwinternights.wordpress.com...
  • Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
    June 17, 2017
    'A mutilated body discovered in the woods.A murderous plan conceived in the past.A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .’ The Mayfly is the debut novel from James Hazel and is the first in a new series featuring ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest.Just published by Bonnier Zaffre, The Mayfly is a crime novel with a very intriguing historical twist. With the next novel, The Ash Doll, due out in Summer 2018, James Hazel is an exciting new writer to watch out for.‘A sanctuary built out of l 'A mutilated body discovered in the woods.A murderous plan conceived in the past.A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .’ The Mayfly is the debut novel from James Hazel and is the first in a new series featuring ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest.Just published by Bonnier Zaffre, The Mayfly is a crime novel with a very intriguing historical twist. With the next novel, The Ash Doll, due out in Summer 2018, James Hazel is an exciting new writer to watch out for.‘A sanctuary built out of love and innocence, defiled in the most grotesque manner’The Mayfly opens up with a stomach-churning scene of horror that immediately pulls the reader into the story. A body is discovered in an abandoned summer house in South Wales with injuries inflicted that are beyond the worst nightmares of most.The scene is quickly cordoned off and Sir Philip Wren, the Attorney General, gets summoned to this site of horrors.‘It’s happening again.’A chilling statement that has lots to reveal.Meanwhile, London lawyer Charlie Priest is at home when an unexpected guest comes knocking.Charlie Priest is the main protagonist of The Mayfly. An ex-cop turned highly successful London lawyer, Charlie works closely with a select team of employees at his practice, Priest & Co.‘Priest had spent eight years of his life excelling as a policeman before he committed what his former colleagues judged to be the ultimate betrayal by becoming a lawyer. As if the natural mistrust that existed between law enforcers and law manipulators wasn’t enough, Priest had rubbed salt in the wound by making an awful lot of money in the process’Charlie has always been very selective of his clients, dealing with cases where he can only guarantee success. He is a high-achiever with an excellent record but Charlie has his faults. A condition known as ‘Dissociative Disorder’ has plagued Charlie all his life. Over the years he has grown used to it’s warning signs and has the coping mechanisms now in place to deal with it.One rather persuasive new client is pharmaceutical giant Kenneth Ellinder. The Ellinder’s are an extremely wealthy family and money is no object as they seek to uncover the reasons as to why their son was murdered. Initially, Charles is slow to take on the case, after already being the victim of a very recent assault, but circumstances soon change as Charlie finds himself fighting for his survival against an evil that has it’s roots in our history.Buchenwald Concentration camp. Germany 1945, the American troops witness the horrors of the Nazi regime following the emancipation of the camp.‘Thousands of them crammed into spaces designed for a few hundred at most. Stripped naked except for loin cloths. Freezing. Dying. Their bodies had shrivelled through malnourishment to such an extent that they barely resembled human beings anymore. The walking dead…'With the onset of the Nuremberg Trials, Nazis are gathered up and interrogated to reveal the barbarity of the atrocities inflicted on the victims of the camp. These were heinous acts of inhumanity that still impact many in today’s society.The depiction of the camps is excellently portrayed by James Hazel but The Mayfly is not a book that remains in the annals of history. As a reader, you are taken through the decades as the ripple effect continues it’s way through generations.The Mayfly is not a book for the faint of heart. There are very gruesome scenes throughout that will make you question humanity and the levels of violence that can be inflicted on one by another. The book does have a romantic element in it though so this does water down the intensity of the horror to some degree.Charlie Priest is a great new hero in crime fiction. James Hazel has created a flawed individual who has his own personal demons to carry which makes for a very intriguing character.The Mayfly is a very talented and unbelievable debut. With book 2 in the series, The Ash Doll, coming out next summer, I expect James Hazel will be a name recognised by many in the future. One-to-watch…..
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    June 21, 2017
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for a review copy of The Mayfly, an exciting adventure set in and around London.Charlie Priest used to be a policeman and now he is a successful fraud lawyer. He lives a quiet life so is surprised to be attacked in his flat and told to hand over a flash drive he doesn't have. He could live with that if the man who attacked him wasn't found dead the next day in a particularly nasty way with Charlie's business card in his pocket. The Mayfly is a c I would like to thank Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for a review copy of The Mayfly, an exciting adventure set in and around London.Charlie Priest used to be a policeman and now he is a successful fraud lawyer. He lives a quiet life so is surprised to be attacked in his flat and told to hand over a flash drive he doesn't have. He could live with that if the man who attacked him wasn't found dead the next day in a particularly nasty way with Charlie's business card in his pocket. The Mayfly is a compulsive read. It has enough pace and tension to keep you turning the pages to find out what is coming next. The information release is also judicious, just enough at a time to make you want more but not enough to guess so you have to keep reading. The plot is pure hokum but addictive hokum so again you keep reading to find out where Mr Hazel is taking you. Needless to say I read it one sitting, giving up some sleep time to do so.I'm not normally a fan of split narratives but the occasional chapters about the interrogation of a former Nazi doctor in 1946 give the reader much needed information and food for thought as to how they fit in. It works well and I commend the author on his inventive and unusual plot - it's hard to believe this is a first novel as it seems so assured.Charlie and his team are a very likeable bunch of misfits, Charlie with his dissociative disorder and serial killer brother, Solly the accountant with his OCD and possible autism, Vincent the barrister with his flamboyant outfits and Georgie the associate with no social life but they work well together and are very loyal. It makes for great reading and I'd love to meet them again.The Mayfly is a hugely entertains read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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  • Gram
    June 28, 2017
    A slick, twisted thriller from 1st time author James Hazel, that's not for the nervous! The story - set in modern day Britain - centres on certain horrific experiments carried out by a doctor in one of Germany's World War II death camps. Our hero is ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest who is attacked in his home by a man demanding he turns over a mysterious flash drive. What follows is the search for that flash drive and revelations about the Allies' interrogation of Nazi scientists immediately A slick, twisted thriller from 1st time author James Hazel, that's not for the nervous! The story - set in modern day Britain - centres on certain horrific experiments carried out by a doctor in one of Germany's World War II death camps. Our hero is ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest who is attacked in his home by a man demanding he turns over a mysterious flash drive. What follows is the search for that flash drive and revelations about the Allies' interrogation of Nazi scientists immediately after the end of the Second World War. To add to this heady mixture (the 1st in a series) Charlie, a sufferer of a dissociative disorder, has a serial killer brother who is currently locked up in a secure psychiatric unit. There are several very horrible murders throughout the story, which also features the heroic Georgie - a young, female lawyer employed by Charlie's firm - who ends up being kidnapped by the current devotees of a death cult based on a poison developed by a Nazi doctor whose story is told in flashback as he's interrogated at a farm "somewhere in England" in 1946. The action rattles along nicely and Charlie has a neat line in dry humour.
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  • Dawn Higgins
    June 5, 2017
    A thrilling ride and Captivating.I was given this book for a honest review.This is the first book i have read from this Author, i was not dissappoint at all,it had me gripped from the begining to the very end and i found it hard to put this book down.I must admit I havent felt this way about a book in awhile,so when i do and it keeps my attention all the way through which *The Mayfly* did,i know i will definity be reading more from this Author.Charlie Priest explodes onto the pages right from th A thrilling ride and Captivating.I was given this book for a honest review.This is the first book i have read from this Author, i was not dissappoint at all,it had me gripped from the begining to the very end and i found it hard to put this book down.I must admit I havent felt this way about a book in awhile,so when i do and it keeps my attention all the way through which *The Mayfly* did,i know i will definity be reading more from this Author.Charlie Priest explodes onto the pages right from the off as a Policeman turned Lawyer, a strong,flawed,intriguing and funny guy that had me gripped with the plot that was unfolding, which keep me guessing right up to the end,with bumpy rides,lots of twist and turn's around every corner that kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know who was *The Mayfly*.Wow i did not see this ending coming it was exhilarating and very hard to put down,i stayed up till 2am so i could finished this book.I loved Charlie Priest's character and i hope that there is more to come from this policeman turned Lawyer who suffers from Dissociation Disorder.I have given this book a very very deserved 5 stars as it was a gripping thriller that from the off kept me reading until i had to know how this plot ended,as it stretched over decades and decades with a plot that started from the second world war.GRIPPING.
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  • Diane Hogg
    May 31, 2017
    Book DescriptionIt's happening again.A mutilated body discovered in the woods.A murderous plan conceived in the past.A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Book DescriptionIt's happening again.A mutilated body discovered in the woods.A murderous plan conceived in the past.A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment. With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself? My ReviewThe Mayfly is a powerful, grizzly mind-bending thriller, inducing a highly addictive page-turning tendency. James Hazel opens The Mayfly with a gruesome scene, a horrifically mutilated body discovered in a cabin in the woods. The descriptive prowess James Hazel accomplishes in writing the first incident felt tangible, real. I now know longer felt like a reading by-stander, I was there. The interchanges between past and present build the plot. He goes on to talk about Buchenwald a Nazi Death Camp from 1945 at the end of the WWII where evil resides, utilising his research perfectly to bring the historical significance of the atrocities from the past to the present, building the links to a very disturbing crime.Charlie Priest is an unorthodox but bold and forthright lead character suffering from Dissociative Disorder he is an Ex-Detective who has retrained as a high-ranking lawyer in London. Priest is an intelligent and humorous character, who is easy to warm to and became a firm favourite of mine. Another character who I found easy to get along with was Georgie, Priests personal assistant, I would describe her as somewhat shy retiring with an amazing perceptive ability. In fact, most of the characters surrounding Priest are likeable, with the exception of the odd few. The Mayfly is a deeply compelling and dark thriller, very well written and without a doubt James Hazel is one to watch. The Mayfly I believe will be a Marmite book, your either going to love it or hate it. "I loved it".
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  • Breakaway Reviewers
    June 2, 2017
    A disturbing book of torture to find God. A mutilated body found in the woods. A murderous plan conceived in the past. A reckoning seventy years in the making. Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by an influential entrepreneur to investigate the death of his son, but Charlie is led into a far darker and complex case than just a wrongful death. Wow! What a book, I was hooked from page one and didn’t put it down until I had finished it. Dark, gory and compelling, A disturbing book of torture to find God. A mutilated body found in the woods. A murderous plan conceived in the past. A reckoning seventy years in the making. Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by an influential entrepreneur to investigate the death of his son, but Charlie is led into a far darker and complex case than just a wrongful death. Wow! What a book, I was hooked from page one and didn’t put it down until I had finished it. Dark, gory and compelling, the book switches from the past to modern day but is easy to follow. Charlie suffers from a debilitating problem which can manifest at any time which adds to the edge-of-your-seat drama. The characters are all good but Charlie and Georgie are two excellent and likeable people which makes you want to help them and keep them out of danger. I cannot wait until the next book. I will be reading it! Helen Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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  • Melisa Broadbent
    June 1, 2017
    I did quite enjoy this book and found that it was well researched (in an area I didn’t really know much about if I’m being honest). Although grim in places I think it added to the storyline!I liked Charlie Priest, what a character! Ex policeman turned lawyer, with a serial killer for a brother – what could go wrong here!? Lovely shy and geeky Georgie….The story moved at a fantastic pace and switched from the present day to the 1940’s and the aftermath of the capture of a particular scary Nazi Do I did quite enjoy this book and found that it was well researched (in an area I didn’t really know much about if I’m being honest). Although grim in places I think it added to the storyline!I liked Charlie Priest, what a character! Ex policeman turned lawyer, with a serial killer for a brother – what could go wrong here!? Lovely shy and geeky Georgie….The story moved at a fantastic pace and switched from the present day to the 1940’s and the aftermath of the capture of a particular scary Nazi Doctor, I won’t say anymore! Brilliant ending with a couple of red herrings thrown in to make your head spin.Great debut, and I’m hoping this will be part of a series. So many characters to explore – particularly William Priest, the incarcerated serial killer brother. …Now that is a book I would love to read!Thank you Readers First for my review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Kat
    June 5, 2017
    Vicious, nasty murders, with their origins steeped in evil history.What's the link between the current deaths, & events from 70 years ago? Can they possibly be perpetrated by the same sadistic killer?I also love a good anti-hero & Charlie Priest is a great character, looking forward to more in the series, perhaps learning more about his unusual family members & history.
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  • Jamie Cayley
    May 3, 2017
    I received a copy of the book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author, James Hazel, and the publisher, Bonnier Zaffre, for the opportunity. Ever since I finished reading The Mayfly I've been trying to come up with something to say about the book, to form an opinion about it and to figure out how to express my feelings about it but I can't. Yes, it does include controversial/dark topics, yes I do wish I hadn't read it before going to bed because of how I received a copy of the book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author, James Hazel, and the publisher, Bonnier Zaffre, for the opportunity. Ever since I finished reading The Mayfly I've been trying to come up with something to say about the book, to form an opinion about it and to figure out how to express my feelings about it but I can't. Yes, it does include controversial/dark topics, yes I do wish I hadn't read it before going to bed because of how immersive the reading experience was. Will I read the following books or anything else the author writes? Most definitely. I can't stop thinking about this book since I finished, I have told every single one of my friends about it, I have a lot of different and conflicting feelings about this book. I think all that just goes to show how memorable and well written the book was and is probably a better way to talk about this book than anything else I have to say on the specifics of the plot. Additionally, throughout the book I could tell there was a lot of work and research that was put into writing the book and that the author really seemed to know what he was writing about, the characters were smart (but not unbelievably so) and had a lot of layers and depth to them, and even when I thought I had put all the pieces together I found there were still things that I didn't quite catch on my own.
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  • Michelle Ryles
    June 29, 2017
    Like a pesky bluebottle, the buzz about The Mayfly on Twitter was hard to ignore - not that I could ever ignore such excitement surrounding a new book! So like a moth to the flame I was powerless to resist The Mayfly and picked it up almost as soon as it dropped on my mat. What an intriguing book this is, I am certain that we have not heard the last of Charlie Priest and I, for one, can't wait to read about what he gets up to next.I could probably write a whole review about Charlie Priest, yet I Like a pesky bluebottle, the buzz about The Mayfly on Twitter was hard to ignore - not that I could ever ignore such excitement surrounding a new book! So like a moth to the flame I was powerless to resist The Mayfly and picked it up almost as soon as it dropped on my mat. What an intriguing book this is, I am certain that we have not heard the last of Charlie Priest and I, for one, can't wait to read about what he gets up to next.I could probably write a whole review about Charlie Priest, yet I get the feeling that we have only just scratched the surface of his fascinating life. Charlie is an ex-policeman who retrained as a lawyer, he suffers from dissociative disorder and has a brother who is a serial killer. See - intriguing or what? Add to this a dual timeline with a post-war experimentation slant and I was lucky to finish the book without getting papercuts from turning the pages so fast.Charlie aside, I absolutely loved his associate, Simon 'Solly' Solomon. Solly is an accountant - he likes numbers not people, which is pretty much how I describe myself - but oh my word, he is such an amusing character. He's completely OCD and I almost choked with laughter as he revealed his inner Sheldon Cooper (of Big Bang Theory fame). Like a typical accountant, he's forgotten about as you never see him arrive or leave and he's left to beaver away in a dark and dusty room, but he's always there to be relied upon. I think it's always a worry with dual timelines that the reader sometimes feels as if they are reading two separate books. I felt a bit like that when I started The Mayfly as I couldn't see how these two stories were related or how they would ever come together at the end, which is why The Mayfly is so brilliant as it all slots together perfectly. James Hazel is a refreshing and exciting new voice in crime fiction and I'm already looking forward to more Charlie Priest adventures. Believe the buzz on this one, and make sure you catch a copy of The Mayfly.I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • Joanne
    May 6, 2017
    Brilliant!
  • Gemma
    June 12, 2017
    The striking cover for The Mayfly was what initially attracted me to the book - but I'm very happy to say that what's inside is equally as good! The story starts with a pretty grim murder which instantly drew me in - we then switch to 1945 and Buchenwald - I will admit that I'm not big on history and wasn't sure if these parts would make me struggle with the story, but I actually surprised myself and found them really interesting, they seemed to be well researched and I even learnt a little. Thi The striking cover for The Mayfly was what initially attracted me to the book - but I'm very happy to say that what's inside is equally as good! The story starts with a pretty grim murder which instantly drew me in - we then switch to 1945 and Buchenwald - I will admit that I'm not big on history and wasn't sure if these parts would make me struggle with the story, but I actually surprised myself and found them really interesting, they seemed to be well researched and I even learnt a little. This is a fast paced thriller, with quite a lot of characters popping up here and there, but I never found it difficult remembering them - I also had no idea how this book was going to end - couldn't guess the outcome at all. The highlight for me though, was Charlie Priest - the author has written such a great character, he just becomes more and more likeable as time goes on and he adds some humour to the story with his fantastic one liners! I hear this is the start of a series with Priest and I really can't wait for more. I'm also hoping the author will let us explore William Priest (Charlie's serial killer brother) some more in future books - he's a character who I found really quite compelling, and was most interested in his and Charlie's relationship whilst in prison. This s a great debut, which I highly recommend. 
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  • Jo Barton
    June 13, 2017
    Oh, what a tangled web we weave springs to mind during this novel, which introduces us to the enigmatic, Charlie Priest an ex-detective inspector now turned London lawyer. When Priest finds himself embroiled in an mysterious investigation which stretches back to the despicable days of the Second World War, and to the ghastly business taking place at the Buchenwald concentration camp, he realises that in searching for modern day clues he is set to reveal macabre secrets from the past.The story st Oh, what a tangled web we weave springs to mind during this novel, which introduces us to the enigmatic, Charlie Priest an ex-detective inspector now turned London lawyer. When Priest finds himself embroiled in an mysterious investigation which stretches back to the despicable days of the Second World War, and to the ghastly business taking place at the Buchenwald concentration camp, he realises that in searching for modern day clues he is set to reveal macabre secrets from the past.The story starts off with real impact which thus sets the scene for the rest of the novel which is fast paced and furious. There is much to take in, not just in terms of plot and menace, but also in character analysis as we try to understand more about Charlie Priest and about what makes him act in the way he does. That Priest is supremely flawed comes as no surprise, all great investigators usually are, but what makes him all the more fascinating is in trying to piece together the way he operates in the midst of all the hidden shades of his dissociative personality.The mystery at the heart of the novel is well thought out and appears to have been meticulously researched so that everything that happened in the novel felt authentic. However, as with any new series and particularly when there are interlapping time frames, it can take a while for the story to sit comfortably, and I had to do a little bit of flipping back and forth until I had all the different characters firmly in my head.The author writes well and with conviction, and for a debut novel, The Mayfly is decidedly polished. There are more than enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing right until the end when all the pieces of this complex puzzle finally slot into place. I am sure that this new series featuring Charlie Priest will continue to go from strength to strength, as, undoubtedly in The Mayfly, it has got off to a rollicking good start.
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  • Natasha
    June 24, 2017
    Its hard to believe that this is a debut novel... brilliant!Priest is an ex police offer turned lawyer - plagued by a serial killer brother and suffering from a disociative disorder Priest is an interesting, well developed character who is also extremly likeable. Alongside his 'sidekick' Georgia, Hazel has created a great hero in what I hope will be the first in a long series. A man is found brutally murdered just a day after he tried to kill Priest - Priest the faces a difficult decision when j Its hard to believe that this is a debut novel... brilliant!Priest is an ex police offer turned lawyer - plagued by a serial killer brother and suffering from a disociative disorder Priest is an interesting, well developed character who is also extremly likeable. Alongside his 'sidekick' Georgia, Hazel has created a great hero in what I hope will be the first in a long series. A man is found brutally murdered just a day after he tried to kill Priest - Priest the faces a difficult decision when just days later the mans family asks for Priests help in finding out who killed him. The reader is then taken on a rollercoaster ride which flips from the modern day and Priest investigating a shadowy group of people and then back into WWII, the nazis and their experiments on their prisoners.There are lots of twists and turns along the way as well as some truly breath-holding suspense! Its an easy read which is hard to put down!Cant wait for the next Priest book!Thanks to NetGalleys for the ARC in return for an honest review :-)
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  • Ankur
    June 23, 2017
    Well I am finally done with book and I can say my opinion hasn't changed much since.The premise was great and perhaps it could have been explored and developed into something much better but sadly you get usual " people with dark desires and stuff "Also the assortment of characters were nothing special either. I found Charlie Priest a complete misfit and had no inkling of why he is a hero for starters.Anyhow, lets see how this series progresses...------------------------------------------------- Well I am finally done with book and I can say my opinion hasn't changed much since.The premise was great and perhaps it could have been explored and developed into something much better but sadly you get usual " people with dark desires and stuff "Also the assortment of characters were nothing special either. I found Charlie Priest a complete misfit and had no inkling of why he is a hero for starters.Anyhow, lets see how this series progresses...-----------------------------------------------------Well, sadly I will have to skip this book for forseeable future at least.Although the premise is good, if not a tad overused, about ritualistic killings having links to WWII and the nazis The problem is that , even at 47% completion, this book hasn't moved on from the dull and miserable existence of the lead character (who is yet to tell me why ) called Charlie Priest and the plot seems to have barely been spread out...Bye 👋
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  • Steve Drew
    June 23, 2017
    This is one of the best debut novels that I have read. I won this book in a prize draw and it grabbed me by the throat right from the start. The main protagonist, Charlie Priest, is brilliant, as is his assistant, Georgie. Well done James Hazel - this is fine writing and a pace with just the right suspense!! Read it in one sitting - IF YOU DARE!!
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  • Sally Mcdonagh
    June 12, 2017
    Loved this book. Kept on edge of my seat trying to figure out what was happening. Really enjoyed that it flipped from present day to mid 1940s, it was like reading two different stories but they came together in a credible way in the end. I liked the main character Charlie, I even liked his brother who is a serial murderer. They both have dissociative disorder and leaves Charlie worried that he'll be the same. Will definitely be on the look out for future books in the series.
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  • Amber Love
    June 4, 2017
    I loved this book. I couldn't put it down, I actually read it within a day. Swapping between now and the end of world war 2 this novel is filled with twists and turns which really makes this a fantastic mystery thriller. It has just enough thriller mixed with romance mixed with crime that it completely works. An easy to read and easy to follow even though it swaps between many characters. Each one plays a purpose into understanding the mayfly. Some parts are quite nsfw so I wouldn't recommend to I loved this book. I couldn't put it down, I actually read it within a day. Swapping between now and the end of world war 2 this novel is filled with twists and turns which really makes this a fantastic mystery thriller. It has just enough thriller mixed with romance mixed with crime that it completely works. An easy to read and easy to follow even though it swaps between many characters. Each one plays a purpose into understanding the mayfly. Some parts are quite nsfw so I wouldn't recommend to someone squeamish but to anyone else its an intense plot twister that you won't forget. The main narrative Priest is battling many other things beside finding out why he's being targeted and maybe even framed, but with the help of a few friends he'll discover what's really going on. Truly looking forward to a sequel, James Hazel is a great author
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  • CrinklyGnome007
    June 29, 2017
    For a first time writer James Hazel does an excellent job.This is the kind of book I call compact yet at the same doesn't feel incomplete.The action keeps you from putting the book down.
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