Image shows Blood Ribbons book cover and photo of Lin Le Versha

Front Page Fridays

Front Page Fridays

Welcome to Front Page Fridays, my new blog feature. Every week I will highlight a freshly published book by showcasing the first page.

I invited Lin Le Versha to be my first guest on Front Page Fridays after reading her new book, Blood Ribbons. Here is that all important first page that had me hooked.


Blood Ribbons   Prologue

The Rhine glimmered in the morning light as Pieter cast his line with a wide smile, expecting a catch. Pike had been plentiful over the summer, especially in the polders. Although pike still lurked among the reeds in late October, waiting to snatch their prey, he suspected today he’d have a better chance of landing some perch.

Actually, it didn’t matter what he caught – even if he caught nothing. He drew a deep breath down to the bottom of his lungs and slowly exhaled, content with his world, which shimmered as the day developed. One of those glowing autumn days, which felt full of promise, as if anything was possible.

Pieter adjusted his feet on the narrow promontory – a grassy finger poking into the river – ensuring he wouldn’t slip on the mud. Standing on the very edge, he felt privileged to be sharing this perfect moment with the motionless heron on the far bank, fishing with deadly accuracy. At least one of them was having some success!

An impatient car hooter intruded on his peace as the frantic rush to work started behind him. It was a relief not to have to join them – he grinned, celebrating his newfound freedom. The novelty of his retirement from the surgery a month ago was still shiny and new. Although he’d loved working with his patients, the world had turned, and he found it frustrating to spend so much time on the mass of paperwork now required of him. And anyway, he’d lost his appetite to keep on top of the latest research.

A few white clouds interrupted the solid blue, and the slight breeze he’d felt at dawn, which rustled the crispy leaves on the trees, had disappeared. It must be time for the breakfast he’d packed in the well-worn knapsack, stowed on a hump of grass behind him. His stomach rumbled on cue, so he wound in his line, unfolded the low canvas stool and unzipped his bag.

Relishing his ham sandwich, which always tasted delicious out here, he delved into his bag for the ask of strong black coffee, when a slight movement to his right made him jump. Not a rat?

Horrified, he leaped up, slipped, lost his balance and toppled over. He was annoyed that his new jacket would be swathed in a layer of sludge. Wiping the gunk out of his eyes, he rolled onto his right side and levered himself up with his elbow. Panic swept through him, and he gasped out loud.

In front of his face was a grey-white hand, tangled in the weeds at the edge of the bank. As Pieter slithered to his feet, the back of a head bobbed up, and further down, caught in the tidal flow, the legs appeared to be kicking – treading water. It was a man, face down in the water. Could he still be alive? No. Pieter knew a dead body when he saw one.

Blood Ribbons by Lin Le Versha. Published 6 February 2024 by Hobeck Books.

Purchase link: Blood Ribbons: 4 (A Steph Grant Murder Mystery): Le Versha, Lin: 9781915817327: Books


About the Book

Arnhem 1944 
British paratroopers launch one of the most audacious plans of the Second World War – Operation Market Garden. Private Duncan Shaw records his experiences as his unit fights desperately to capture a vital bridge from the Germans.

Arnhem, Present Day
Duncan’s great granddaughter Zoe retraces his steps as part of a college project to accompany veterans of the battle and record their experiences. What Zoe doesn’t anticipate is uncovering a series of disturbing family secrets, some with deadly consequences.

Another dangerous case for Steph and Hale
A body is found tangled in the rushes on the banks of the Rhine, close to the river boat where former police officer, Steph Grant, and her partner, Chief Inspector Philip Hale, are chaperoning students from the college where she now works. Working with Dutch police, the pair investigate further, and quickly discover that no one is safe – be they pupils, veterans or staff.


About the Author

Lin Le Versha has drawn on her experience in London and Surrey schools and colleges as the inspiration for the Steph Grant crime series which now includes four books and a novella.

Lin has written over twenty plays exploring issues faced by secondary school and sixth form students. Commissioned to work with Anne Fine on The Granny Project, she created English and drama lesson activities for students aged 11 to 14.

While at a sixth form college, she became the major author for Teaching at Post 16, a handbook for trainee and newly qualified teachers. In her role as a Local Authority Consultant, she became a School Improvement Partner, working alongside secondary headteachers, work she continued after moving to the Suffolk coast. She is the Director of the Southwold Arts Festival – an eight-day celebra‐ tion of the Arts.

Creative writing courses at the Arvon Foundation and Ways with Words in Italy, encouraged her to enrol at the UEA MA in Creative Writing and her debut novel was submitted as the final assessment for this excellent course. The first book in this series, Blood Notes, was based on her final assessment piece.

Lin is now working on the fifth title in the Steph Grant series.

Social Media

Facebook –

X – @linleversha

Instagram – linleversha


To find out how Lin became a published author, read her story at this link: Lin Le Versha’s Publication Journey – Rachel Sargeant


I hope you enjoyed today’s Front Page Fridays post. Come along next Friday for another.

By Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant is a British author. She writes the Gloucestershire Crime Series, published by Hobeck Books. The first title is Her Deadly Friend, and the second is Her Charming Man. Her titles with HarperCollins are: The Roommates, a psychological thriller set in a university during freshers' week; The Good Teacher, a detective mystery, featuring DC Pippa “Agatha” Adams, and The Perfect Neighbours, a psychological thriller set in Germany. Rachel studied at Aberystwyth University, spent several years living in Germany and now lives in Gloucestershire with her family. She holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham.

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