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A Shadow On The Lens

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  88 reviews
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 phot
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 5th 2019 by Orion Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  282 ratings  ·  88 reviews


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Sue
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Isn’t this a lovely cover.

That’s all..........
Joseph
In 1904 forensic photography is in its infancy, but Thomas Bexley is already recognised as one of its foremost exponents. His experience in scene-of-crime examination has also honed his investigative skills such that, despite not being formally an “inspector” (as he will be the first to admit), he has been retained by Scotland Yard as a specialist investigator.

And so it is that on a bright summer’s day in June, he sets off to Dinas Powys, a rural village in South Wales, where he has been asked
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Catherine
"So strange was all that happened, many cannot even begin to comprehend it. Yet still I write this. Believe me or do not - most think me as madman. On cold nights such as this, I often wish I were."

A Shadow On The Lens appealed to me with its promise of a historical gothic fiction with mystery and, cherry on the top, the character is a forensic photographer. The fact the cover looked amazing didn't hurt either, to be honest. For a debut novel, I was impressed. While this book doesn't bring anyth
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Kirsty ❤️
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this folk horror gothic thriller. It starts off with Bexley arriving in a small Welsh town to look into a murder of a teenage girl and them he seems to descend into a fever induced madness, seeing ghosts and envisioning a whole host of horrors. Nothing is what it seems and secrets are unearthed the more he digs. You can really sense the creepiness of the village and I wasn't expecting how it all eventually comes together. Bexley takes a bit of warming to and I wonder if some of ...more
Shalini
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a book!! Chilling and creepy. A crime occurred in 1904 and a young girl Betsan Tilny was found murdered in the woods. Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer, who consulted with the police was called to take photographs. While developing them he found a shadow hovering over the girl. Was that the shadow on the Lens or the beginning of something creepy and evil entering this village?

My first book by Sam Hurcom, I expected a murder mystery, but what I got was a story which caused a shiver to s
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St Jerome
A stifling, atmospheric gothic crime novel with a unique protagonist and killer twist - if you enjoyed reading The Woman in Black, The Silent Companions and Little Strangers, this book is for you.

The Shadow on the Lens is an historical crime thriller, with a dark gothic feel and a touch of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. This book is full of memorable characters and suspects, a creepy and atmospheric setting and a tense and thrilling plot; a spine tingling read.

3.5 Stars....
John
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many decades before satellite notebooks and fiber-optic cable made even the remotest location accessible, forces of nature worked to isolate communities. Here, a monsoon-like storm has knocked out the finicky telegraph line, and halted train service to the town. Meanwhile, our hero realizes more and more that he needs to summon reenforcements as the plot grows thicker.

Not quite five stars as I found myself wanting to wrap things up a few chapters before the author does so. However, the writing i
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Juliet Bookliterati
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Shadow on the Lens is an atmospheric, gothic, historical crime novel set in Wales. Narrated by the main character Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer sent to the remote village Dinas Powys to investigate the death of a young woman, Betsan Tilny, who appears to have been brutally murdered. A soon as he arrives he realises that all is not as it first seems, there are secrets kept within the village and old susperstitions hinder his investigation. This is a wonderfully dark tale, with memora ...more
Lel Budge
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsan Tilney has been murdered and her body burnt. Due to the local villagers superstitions, her body is being kept in an abandoned church. They feel the Death is the result of the demon, Calon Fawr.

Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer is sent to document the evidence, but he is unwell with a fever and starts to see things …including a shape over the body in one of his photographs …or is it just a flaw?

He visits Bethan’s mother and while unwell he is certain she told him, “Do not look for her
...more
Jo
Thomas Bexley is a forensic photographer for the Met who is sent to a small village in Wales to investigate the killing of a teenage girl. The locals are closed mouthed and can't imagine it would be anyone from the village. Meanwhile, Bexley is fighting off a particularly vicious virus that is impacting on his judgement. This was a decent debut novel, I loved the front cover, but there were one or two minor issues I had. The novel is set in 1904 and the hero addressed an unmarried woman as Ms wh ...more
Janet
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
A chilling story. This appears to start out as a straightforward murder mystery set in 1904, but soon becomes a supernatural thriller. It is very atmospheric and the crypt scene is pure gothic horror. The story starts off slowly but picks up pace in the second half. Once the momentum has built up, there are lots of plot twists.
Unfortunately I couldn't take to the main character. He was arrogant and rude. In addition, the minor characters were one dimensional.
Overall though it was a quick and in
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Vicky
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The sense of menace that you get from this book leaps out from the very first page. It’s gothic, it’s creepy, it’s set in the Victorian era… what more do you need? It’s basically the next Woman in Black.

In this case, we’re following Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers, as he’s called to the village of Dinas Powys to investigate the murder of a local girl, Betsan Tilny. But something’s amiss. The locals are shifty, and somebody is watching him. Even worse, the murder appears to
...more
Vanessa Wild
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gothic style thriller set in 1904. Forensic photographer Thomas Bexley is called to the small village of Dinas Powys in Wales to investigate the horrific murder of a young girl. There he comes across suspicious minds and silent villagers who are not anything away, plus there appears to be some sort of presence. 👻

This story did take me quite a while to get into the swing of things, but I enjoyed it once I did. It’s a slow burner and the style of writing is very pertinent to the era it’s set in.
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G
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh.
As a photography nut, I was hoping to get some kind of inside look into the technicalities and methods of early 20th century photography, but no. The main character is supposed to be a professional photographer, but it's all tell, don't show (literally. The author, who probably is just as clueless about vintage photography as me, simply takes the "But I won't bore you with the details" route, which I find tremendously lazy and borderline insulting)... which incidentally applies to the rest o
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Annette
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and as it was a debut novel I was very impressed.

It is a gothic novel about a police officer, Thomas Bexley, who everyone thinks is an inspector, who visits the small welsh town of Dinas Powys, to investigate the recent murder of a young girl, Betsan Tilney. It is 1904 and forensic photography is very much in its infancy so imagine his surprise when on developing the negatives he sees the dead girl's image on the lens looking back at him.

The village is suspicious and wo
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Emma
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed how immersed I got with the era, I thought this was handled very well. The writing style and use of language had me right there, and I could picture the village clearly from the atmospheric descriptions. It took a little while for me to get into the story and the characters but the story did then build well for me. I don’t want to say anymore so I don’t give anything away!
Jen
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5🌟
Enjoyable enough opener.
Lynn Williams
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 of 5 stars
https://lynns-books.com/2019/09/12/a-...
Shadow on the Lens is a period murder mystery set in the Edwardian Era. The turn of the 19th century saw many changes and swept in a new age of discovery. Forensic photography was a very new area of police work and one that was proving invaluable in the solving of crimes. This is still an age of superstition though and science and the supernatural are battling for supremacy – surely though the camera doesn’t lie?

As the story begins we meet Th
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Alan Taylor
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Metropolitan Police Special Investigator Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer whose self proclaimed ‘keen eye for detail when examining crime scenes, and a surprising talent for piecing together evidence, brought many a guilty man and woman before judge and jury’, travels to a small village in south Wales to assist with a murder enquiry. Bexley, fresh off a successful case in Oxford, is rather arrogant and seems to expect this to be a simple case. He is fairly dismissive of the village, ‘quite ...more
Nicole Sweeney
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

This is the dark and creepy tale of Thomas Bexley, one of the first forensic photographers who is sent to Dinas Powys in Wales after the body of a young woman is discovered in the woods. Her body is found bound, mutilated and burnt, so the police turn to Bexley to solve the case. As Thomas begins to uncover the case, he finds the locals reluctant to help and a growing sense of unease in the village – could there be more to this brutal murder
...more
Kat
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a terrific debut novel set in the small and insular village of Dinas Powys, South Wales and it’s full of gothic superstition and atmosphere. Thomas Bexley a forensic photographer is sent to investigate the murder of a young girl Betsan Tilny and he meets with much resistance from the villagers who treat him with suspicion and are unwilling to discuss the gruesome murder.
As Thomas becomes more and more frustrated with the lack of support and the hints that something unworldly is possibly
...more
Munch
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
This was so creepy, don't read it in the dark! I instantly connected with the main character, I think the first person narrative helped with that. You could cut the tension between him and the villagers with a knife. I had no idea who did it until the end, there were a few red herrings to put you off the scent. The writing is very true to the time period but without it becoming too overly formal. So much through the book
...more
Lel Budge
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Betsan Tilney has been murdered and her body burnt. Due to the local villagers superstitions, her body is being kept in an abandoned church. They feel the Death is the result of the demon, Calon Fawr.

Thomas Bexley, a forensic photographer is sent to document the evidence, but he is unwell with a fever and starts to see things …including a shape over the body in one of his photographs …or is it just a flaw?

He visits Bethan’s mother and while unwell he is certain she told him, “Do not look for her
...more
Maggie
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1904 & forensic photography is in its infancy. Thomas Bexley has made something of a name for himself by helping Scotland Yard with their inquiries & so is sent to Wales to investigate the gory death of Betsan Tilsley. From the moment he arrives in the village he is struck by how much the inhabitants seem to mistrust him. The Councillor is unhelpful & the village constable incompetent. Struck down with a fever soon after his arrival it seems everything is conspiring against Bexley.

This sou
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Andy Weston
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, crime
This debut historical crime novel from Hurcom is nothing remarkable but quite readable, with its smattering of the supernatural making it a timely read for October. My criticism that there is nothing new here, is quite a personal one, many who enjoy this genre don’t want anything new.
A Metropolitan police officer, renowned for his success, arrives in a small South Wales village in 1904 to investigate the murder of a young girl.
The writing is good, and the characters believable overall, but the
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Ali-pie
I quite enjoyed reading this but it would have been a lot better with less supernatural stuff and I almost took a star off just for the final twist at the very end which was so cringe
4cats
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
It's 1904 and Thomas Bexley is a forensic photographer, he is sent to a small Welsh village to photograph the crime scene of a recent murder of a young girl. He suspects the scene has been staged and as he investigates further he becomes ill and feverish causing hallucinations ..... he suspects
Sue Wallace
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The shadow in the lens by Sam Hurcom.
A very good read. I'm not a fan of historical books but I did like this one. My favourite part was the cellar. Creepy. Thomas was my favourite character. Eerie and spooky too. I had tingles all up my arms reading this. And the ending creepy. 5*.
Lainy
The narrator of the audio version ruined this a little for me, I didn't like his accents.
The mystery of this book was good, but I was expecting more supernatural and less normal killer.
Linda Kelly
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rounded it up to 4 stars but would have given it 3.5
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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.
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