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Notebook and Pen

Robert Craven - Author

Behind the Author

Robert Craven has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is an independent author. He's self-motivated and driven to produce quality fiction. His personal blog and stories can be found on ABCTales.com. An active member of the writing community, he writes regular features for Writing.ie.

https://courses.edx.org/certificates/8b90323b8c424702813a7f4ac1eec0c1

Novels: The Eva series:

(Amazon.com / Smashwords / Kobo.com)

·(2020) Eagles Hunt Wolves - Winner of the Firebird 2021 book award

https://www.speakuptalkradio.com/author-robert-craven/

·(2016) Hollow Point

·(2014) A Finger of Night

·(2012) Zinnman

·(2011) Get Lenin

Other novels:

(2018) The Road of a Thousand Tigers  – best seller on Kobo.

(2017) The Mandarin Cipher

(2021) A Kind of Drowning

(2024) Malign Intent 

The Voice of Get Lenin

https://www.mandy.com/actor/profile/madeleine-brolly

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Madeleine+Brolly&i=audible&ref=dp_byline_sr_audible_2

MALIGN INTENT

01/24

"Crowe's natural habitat seems to be hot water"

Crowe slewed his car down the estuary road. The recent downpour had turned it into an unforgiving quagmire. Each tap of the brake might tip him into the sea. He kept the driver's side window down keeping one eye on the uneven edge of the bank. It was high tide and the waves lapped the verge. The estuary looked deep and dangerous with an undercurrent thrumming below the surface.

The response to Crowe’s Data Subject Request had been in his work inbox for weeks. A sedentary couple of days at the kitchen table trawling the footage of Enda Cleary’s route, viewing, reviewing and stopping frame-by-frame had yielded a result. There was no sound and the image quality was grainy, but the jacket was recognisable. It was Hanafin. He had alighted at the stop near the mobile home. The one that had exploded. Crowe had sent his screengrab of Hanafin on to Nesbitt. He had sent a reminder email request to Busàras’ Lost and Found Department. It was a long shot.

Hope springs eternal, he thought. 

There was no sign of Hanafin’s demise apart from a fragment of fluttering Garda tape. Crowe unravelled it from the gorse it was caught on and pocketed it. Looking out to sea, a dark smear of cloud hung around Inishcarrig like a harbinger. The air smelled of rain and sea spray, magnifying the distant lighthouse several miles out. A shore breeze tugged at his clothes. 

It was cold. Crowe pulled on a thick woollen hat, work gloves and his wellingtons. He unpacked the heavy torch he had purchased at the local hardware store. Switching it on, the torch pierced the low afternoon light with an incisive burst of pure white. His phone was still in HQ, and he found it slightly liberating. 

Gabriel was right, no-one should be that contactable.

Crowe shrugged on his thick reflective Garda coat and trudged to the yew tree where Hanafin had been found. A naked raw oval stood out on the trunk where forensics had cut the branch off with its grisly load. He pushed past it into the dense copse of hazel trees, panning the torch across the patina of knotted roots and wild flowers.

A verdant wave of rotting leaves caused him to gag. It smelled like centuries of detritus and bark had lain undiscovered, carpeting the earth below it in tightly-packed strata. It also created a jarring flashback to the greenhouse, causing him to fight the rising bile it induced. Waiting for the wave to pass, he took a short breath in through his teeth and focussed. 

He didn’t believe for one minute the media-savvy Hanafin hadn’t had his phone with him. Or some other device. But then Crowe also believed Hanafin must have had a walking stick. This hadn’t shown up and without the rope, Crowe had absolutely nothing to build his suspicions on. The stick would be bigger than a phone and possibly harder to dispose of by Hanafin’s assailant or assailants. Dodging prickling branches that whipped into his face, Crowe stepped gingerly avoiding potential trips. He was grateful for the boot's protection, though his knees and thighs were jabbed and snagged without mercy. He was making slow headway. If anything, the closely knit hazel trees seemed to get thicker, and less forgiving. They made a roof of blackness that even the torches' powerful beam struggled to illuminate. 

Then Crowe paused. He opened his mouth slightly to improve his hearing that had returned to some level of normal. A crack of wood. A snap. Something heavy, and definitely not four-legged. Crowe held his breath for a beat longer. He panned the beam around, bringing the gnarled bark of the trees into sharp focus. For a split second the light found an outline, the shape of a person. A shape now rushing away in the opposite direction to the beam.  

But it was so brief, he couldn’t rule out just seeing things. He exhaled. 

Leaning forward he swept the torchlight left to right, starting at the toe of his boots and panning out with every sweep. After three or so minutes of this he was about to call it quits when the beam reflected off something shiny. 

Something metallic.

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Sometimes, what I end up writing about is just the way the light is. And there seems to be some kind of contract that’s already in place between me and the light to say—in this notebook, which no one will ever read—what the light is like today, to get exactly the right words.

Anne Carson

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Living Room Library

The Real Story

January 20, 2019

The great Jazz bass player, Steve Swallow once observed his career was 50% listening, 50% playing, like this discipline, writers too should immerse themselves; inhabit the world of reading and writing. Steven Spielberg always watches John Ford’s seminal work, ‘The Searchers’ before loading a strip of film, every writer too should have a ‘go-to piece’ for preparation; as in the words of the great American poet Kenneth Koch,  “You can’t lose anything of yourself by being influenced by a poet, no matter how strong. All you can do is learn from him [or her] how to do it. Just like by imitating the hand movements of great pianists.” Like Mr. Swallow, I listen and write and listen and write and listen and write, only after careful preparation. Like all good bakers, we work to avoid flat cakes…

My best seller,  THE ROAD OF A THOUSAND TIGERS was a no 1 download on Kobo.

You can find this and my KOBO books here @KOBO

http://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-road-of-a-thousand-tigers


His latest novel EAGLES HUNT WOLVES is OUT NOW!

photo - courtesy of Ger Holland http://www.gerhollandphotography.com/ 

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