Fiction Book Reviews

Crime | A Shadow on the Lens | Sam Hurcom

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We’re delighted to be on tour sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts on publication day for debut novel, A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom.

Book cover for A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom

The Postmaster looked over my shoulder. As I turned to look I saw a flicker of movement from across the street. I felt unseen eyes peer at me. 
He walked away without another word. I watched as he climbed onto his bicycle and sped away down the street. I turned back and looked over my shoulder. 
Someone had been watching us.

1904. Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, is called to the sleepy and remote Welsh village of Dinas Powys, several miles down the coast from the thriving port of Cardiff. A young girl by the name of Betsan Tilny has been found murdered in the woodland – her body bound and horribly burnt. But the crime scene appears to have been staged, and worse still: the locals are reluctant to help.

As the strange case unfolds, Thomas senses a growing presence watching him, and try as he may, the villagers seem intent on keeping their secret. Then one night, in the grip of a fever, he develops the photographic plates from the crime scene in a makeshift darkroom in the cellar of his lodgings. There, he finds a face dimly visible in the photographs; a face hovering around the body of the dead girl – the face of Betsan Tilny.

A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom is published by Orion (5th September 2019) in digital, hardcover and audiobook formats and NOW available in paperback format.


A Shadow on the Lens is a thoroughly intriguing murder mystery with rather spine tingling outcome!

For Thomas Bexley being sent to a quiet rural village in Wales is yet another opportunity for his skills as a crime scene photographer to shine, yet as Bexley finds, the reluctance of the villagers makes his investigation increasingly difficult.

The supernatural superstitions of the locals is initially scorned by the inspector, but as Sam Hurcom writes with such a compelling style the reader becomes engrossed with the possibility of another presence lurking behind the shadows.

A tantalising read!

Alice-Jane guest reviewer on Jera's Jamboree

Author photo Sam Hurcom

Sam Hurcom was born in Dinas Powys, South Wales in 1991. He studied Philosophy at Cardiff University, attaining both an undergraduate and master’s degree. He has since had several short stories published, and has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. Sam currently lives in the village he was raised in, close to the woodlands that have always inspired his writing. A SHADOW ON THE LENS is Sam’s debut novel. Twitter @SamHurcom

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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