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Hello and welcome.fatal_reck-front-cover-1

In November 2015, my first crime fiction story ‘Cruel Tide’ appeared, and not long afterwards readers started clamouring for the sequel.

‘Fatal Reckoning’ picks up the story two years on, in 1971, adds another twist and brings back our two young investigators, journalist Judith Pharaoh and DC Sam Tognarelli to try to finish what they started.

Crime fiction was a new venture for me in 2015, and I learned a great deal from writing ‘Cruel Tide’, including the problem of portraying wrong-doing in a recogniseable local setting. That was one of the interesting issues raised in my BBC Radio Cumbria interview with Paul Braithwaite on November 26th 2015. To listen to the interview, click  here.CRUEL_TIDE COVER front

The sequel ‘Fatal Reckoning’ is set in Barrow-in-Furness and Whitehaven in 1971, so the local interest is still strong. You can read it without having read ‘Cruel Tide’, or as the second in a series. If you’ve read my first three books, details below, you’ll recognise some of the characters from those too, but again, each story can be read on its own. 

You can order ‘Fatal Reckoning’ and all the other books through any bookshop, and most bookshops in Cumbria have them on the shelf. Or you can buy through this site using Paypal, – the one-click buttons are below – or from Amazon. The ebook versions are all available through the Kindle Store.

An update about the ebook version of Cruel Tide: as I explain in my latest blog post, the ebook formats of both Cruel Tide and Fatal Reckoning are now being handled by Fahrenheit Press, a specialist crime fiction digital publisher with strong links to North America.

By the end of November 2016 the new version of Cruel Tide – with a different cover – will re-appear on Kindle. It’s exactly the same book, but there might be a gap of a day or two while the changeover takes place. All my books will continue to be available as ebooks: the Jessie Whelan trilogy (A Good Liar, Forgiven and Fallout) will remain with Hoad Press, while the Judith Pharaoh novels (Cruel Tide and Fatal Reckoning) appear as Fahrenheit Press. Sounds complicated, but it shouldn’t make any difference to you as the buyer. Happy ebook reading!

Ruth Sutton’s Cumbria trilogy ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’



1937: Jessie Whelan has always been a good liar, trying to protect her independence and her career as a teacher in West Cumberland. But she risks everything when, after years of discreet loneliness, she embarks on a love affair, while her secret past draws ever closer…

(ISBN 978 0 9523871 76)



1947: Jessie’s lies are beginning to unravel, and the truth could overwhelm her. In the gloom of post-war Cumberland she struggles to maintain her job and the respect of her community. There is one man for whom honesty will matter more than most.

(ISBN 978 0 9523871 83)



1957: Jessie has finally come to terms with her past, but events at Windscale, the nearby nuclear plant, bring a compelling stranger into her world and possible devastation to the entire community.


(ISBN 978 0 9523871 69)


In North America, by the way, the easiest way to purchase is direct from my distributor, Portage and Main Press of Winnipeg. Their website is

I think that covers everything. I hope you find a way to buy that suits you, and that’s it worth it in terms of reading pleasure!

If you’d like to listen to a radio interview I had when A Good Liar was published, click here. And you can read my regular blog by clicking on ‘My Blog’ on the menu, or access it on


Special offer: Between the Mountains and the Sea – £25 including postage and packing

You can buy all these books from this website using Paypal

A Good Liar costs £8.99 including post and packing


Or buy from Amazon or Kindle edition


Forgiven costs £8.99 including post and packing


Or buy from Amazon or Kindle edition


Fallout costs £8.99 including post and packing.


Or buy from Amazon or Kindle edition


Cruel Tide costs £8.99 including post and packing.


Fatal Reckoning costs £8.99 including post and packing