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The Honest Assassin

The assassination was quick, slick and totally professional.

Ex-soldier Sol Neill has been brutally slain by a lithe blonde woman, and Jay McCaulay is the only witness.

Sol was a friend of Max Blake’s, and when Blake is arrested for his murder, Jay knows she can’t sit back and watch him be convicted. Determined to prove his innocence, she launches an investigation that soon turns ugly. Her old boss is assassinated and her family threatened, but Jay is gutsy and stubborn. She isn’t going to give up without a fight.

But as she begins to uncover a sinister secret that goes right into the heart of the British establishment, Jay is unaware that something worse lies ahead – the assassin has been set on to her trail . . .

The Honest Assassin was Mystery Women’s Book of the Month, May 2010

Jay McCaulay, CJ’s ’tough, tender ex-army officer’ was voted by The Times into the top 5 best female detectives

‘I devoured this book . . . deprived me of sleep, as I sat up into the early hours to finish it . . . a not to be missed read. Highly recommended. Loved the last line. Do men like Max exist, and if so can I have one?’

Lizzie Hayes, Mystery Women

‘Jay McCaulay is back in another nail-biting suspense thriller. Plenty of unsettling twists and turns, a high-octane plot, and a flashy but appealing heroine make this an excellent choice for fans of high-concept action thrillers’


‘A page-turning must-read’

Crime Time

Just after dawn one Tuesday morning, CJ became a crime victim when two male burglars climbed through a window into her flat, and started stripping the place. Her phone was in another room so she couldn’t call for help. She tiptoed back to her bedroom and pretended to be asleep until they left which, the police said later, was the best thing she could have done.

This terrifying experience made CJ explore the nature of fear and her response to it, and became the basis for The Honest Assassin, where Jay McCaulay is terrified for her life when she is hunted by a professional assassin.

Having arranged to drive to Putney to lunch with her brother and sister-in-law and their children, Jay grabbed a bottle of wine and her handbag, wrapped herself in a long coat, and stepped out of the house, automatically glancing up and down the street.  She spotted the woman walking her little white dog, both looking bedraggled, and an elderly woman shuffling nearby with a walking stick in one hand and a Sainsbury’s carrier bag in the other.

Jay was digging  in her handbag, searching for her car keys, and, without looking up, sidestepped the old woman so they could both pass on the pavement.  Jay was level with the old woman when, suddenly, the old woman tripped, and before Jay could move aside, toppled towards her.  Instinctively, Jay put out her arms to try and break the woman’s fall, and at the same time she took in the gold chain around the woman’s neck.  The tiny mole at the corner of her mouth.  Her man’s watch.  Its sturdy brown leather strap.

Sol’s assassin.


Jay reared back before the woman could touch her, but Nahid came after her.  Her eyes were bright and alive behind her wrinkled rubber mask, her lips drawn back over twin rows of strong white teeth.  She was hissing as she lunged for Jay, a hypodermic needle in her hand.

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Published by: Severn House (UK and USA)
Publication date: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0727869098