When Love Lies Bleeding by Candy Denman (a novella inspired by the film The Third Man (Novella Nostalgia Book 10)) | Blog Tour Review | @CrimeCandy @CityFictionLtd @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #WhenLoveLiesBleeding

Publisher: City Fiction
Available in ebook and paperback (23 February 2020)
73 pages
Source: Ecopy received for review


A killer flu pandemic exacerbated by a shortage of the only effective treatment has the West Coast of America in a panic.

Journalist Joe Hames, flying in to save his job and cover the story has an ulterior motive: to make contact with his long-lost former girlfriend and love of his life, Cassie.

Joe tries to find Cassie, whilst also trying to get hold of information on why the death toll is higher in California than anywhere else before any of the other journalists that have descended on the city. At the pharmaceutical company where she worked, Joe finds out that Cassie is dead: she was run down by a cable car two weeks earlier.  When he goes to her funeral, he is surprised to find that he has become a person of interest to the police.

Or did she die? Joe begins to suspect that all is not what it seems, and in the fog-drenched streets of San Francisco, Joe unravels the real story resulting in a finale played out at Fisherman’s Wharf. Someone was really going to die this time, and not of the flu.


I’m not sure if I’ve seen the film The Third Man – if I have it was a long time ago and I can’t remember it so I’m only going to comment on the content of this novella and not how it compares to the film.

This is certainly a very topical story – almost too close to home right now! Science journalist Joe Hames is sent to San Francisco, a heavily infected area, to discover why an antiviral treatment for a world wide killer flu pandemic is in such short supply  – it really is like gold dust. It just so happens that his ex-girlfriend Cassie works for the pharmaceutical company making ‘Zeroflu’ so he hopes to have an in before any other journalists descend and also catch up for old times sake. He hasn’t seen Cassie for a long time and to be honest his motives for contacting her were a bit flaky. When she doesn’t call him back, he decides to hunt her down. however he is in for a shock.

This is an atmospheric and fast paced novella, which feels so realistic right now. Masks have to be worn, no shaking of hands or physical contact – how familiar does this sound! Something doesn’t ring right with Joe about the story with Cassie and he decides to dig further, however by doing by so he puts himself and others in danger.

Joe has to think on his feet and at times his temper gets him into trouble, however he was determined to get to the truth, whatever that was. 

This is a quick, action packed read with a main character that you can get behind and root for.  Good guys, bad guys – they all are here and there are a few surprises along the way. 

My thanks to Emma of Damppebbles Tours for the invitation and for supplying the ecopy for review.


Candy Denman spent most of her life as an NHS nurse but now concentrates on writing full time. She has written extensively for television programmes such as The Bill, Doctors and Heartbeat but now writes novels. She lives in Hertfordshire with her large extended family and a football crazy Cockapoo called Dennis.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Book Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US


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