Child Taken by Darren Young @darrenyoungbook @RedDoorBooks

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Author : Darren Young
Pages : 368
Publisher : RedDoor Publishing
Publication date : May 18, 2017

aboutthebook

How could such a thing happen? But it did happen. I wasn’t one of the others, observing. It happened to me.

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive. How can she?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

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One summer’s day, two year old Jessica Preston disappears from a beach. She’s believed to have drowned but her mother, Sandra, is convinced her daughter was taken.

Twenty years later, another child goes missing and Laura, a journalist, stumbles upon the case of Jessica Preston, who was never found. Laura soon finds herself in way over her head but she’s determined to see things through, no matter the danger she’s putting herself and her family in.

When I realised Child Taken was Darren Young’s debut novel, you could have knocked me over with a feather. This psychological thriller does what so little of them in this genre have done lately. It’s different and like other reviewers have said before me, it stands out from the crowd.

From the very beginning of the book, you know Jessica was taken. That in itself is a novel way of telling a story. Each part of the story kicks off with the point of view of the man who’s raising Jessica and the mother who lost her. I could have read an entire book with just those chapters as they are incredibly thought-provoking. This is one of those books that will keep you up at night as you keep going over things in your head, asking yourself what you would have done.

What we have here, is an incredibly well constructed plot that has you flipping the pages in a desperate attempt to find out the truth. It’s a harrowing story of how the kidnapping of a child affects everyone. And even if, like me, you figure out where it’s going, it in no way detracts from the tense ride this story takes you on.

Darren Young is a brilliant new voice in the genre of psychological thrillers and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Child Taken was published in May.

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Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook

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Author : Graham Smith
Pages : 322
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : April 25, 2017

aboutthebook

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive. But who will it be?

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Watching the Bodies has been sitting on my Kindle collecting dust since publication day and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally get around to reading it! This is the first book I’ve read by Graham Smith and I can already tell you that it won’t be my last.

Let’s start with our protagonist. Jake Boulder isn’t a police officer or detective. He’s just a guy who works in a bar called The Joshua Tree. He has commitment issues, a narcissistic mother and a temper that boils right underneath the surface, ready to ignite before you get the chance to say “Oh, Jake, take me away!”. He’s intelligent, perceptive and determined but not exactly the man you take home to meet your parents. Still, that whole dark and brooding thing he has going on totally got my pulse racing and he makes an excellent narrator.

His best friend Alphonse is a private detective and a whizz at all things IT. When he’s hired to investigate the murder of Kira Niemeyer, he quickly enlists the help of Jake. I really enjoyed the banter between these two. Their longtime friendship is a thing of beauty.

Now, this killer, The Watcher, is something else. Not only does he have the most unusual way of choosing his next victim, he also has a novel approach to deciding how they die. Genius! The Watcher is on a mission. He wants to go down in history and he will stop at nothing to achieve that.

Watching the Bodies is one of the best crime fiction thrillers I’ve ever read and a brilliant start to a new series. I could point out that maybe the ending wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting but then I’d just be nitpicking. However, if the author’s aim was to leave the reader wanting more, then he totally succeeded in that and I absolutely can’t wait for the next instalment!

This fabulous Jake Boulder thriller was published on April 25th.

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Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

I was nominated by Nicola and Tina. Many thanks to you both, lovelies!  If you don’t know who they are, you should totally go over and follow their blogs!

I don’t even want to stop and think about the fact that the end of June is near already. And I have a sneaky suspicion that these questions will leave me with a massive headache as I’ve been very lucky so far this year and have read some incredible books!

Anyway, here we go.

1. The best book you’ve read so far this year :

Oh sure, let’s start with an easy one, why don’t you? Gah! I have way too many 5 star books to choose from. I’d list them all if I could but I’ll settle for two very different ones. And an honorary mention for The Dry. Man, I can already tell compiling my Top 10 books of the year is going to be a complete nightmare!


2. Best sequel of the year so far :

Aw, come on! Seriously?! Two again. I’m not sorry!


3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to :

Hahahaha! ALL OF THEM! Fine, two it is, again.


4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017 :

Sorry, two again. Actually even 3 (new Stuart MacBride) but I’ll stick to two.


5. Biggest disappointment of the year so far :

Hm, as I said, I’ve been very lucky but the one that stands out to me as it didn’t live up to my expectations is :

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6. Biggest surprise :

I didn’t think I’d enjoy this one because of the supernatural vibe but boy, was I wrong!

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7. Favourite new author (debut or new to you) :

New to me : Neil White

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8. Newest fictional crush :

I don’t tend to have crushes on fictional characters but in the spirit of the game, I’ll go for Jake Boulder.

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9. Newest favourite character :

Lottie Parker, I think. Balancing a career as a detective with being a single mother and making quite a mess of it. It’s just so realistic.

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10. Book that made you cry :

Well, would you look at that! An easy question! I didn’t have to think about this answer.

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11. Book that made you happy :

This is so not what I usually read but it made me laugh at a time when I really needed it.

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12. Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen so far this year :

I’ve not watched a single movie this year.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year :

Apart from the one for Neil White’s From The Shadows that I mentioned previously, it’s probably Shadows by Conrad Jones. I couldn’t quite contain my excitement.

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14. Most beautiful book you bought or received this year so far :

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15. Books you need to read by the end of this year :

Again I say : ALL OF THEM! Are you really asking me to narrow it down? I think I’m having a panic attack.

There’s also the new Stuart MacBride and the second book in the Jake Boulder series and the new Michael J. Malone and ….. you get the picture, I’m sure.

That was hard but a lot of fun! Thanks again to Nicola and Tina for tagging me!

I would like to see the following people do this but please don’t feel like you have to if you don’t want to or if you’ve done it before, obviously.

Janel @ Keeper of Pages
Jen @ Jen Med’s Book Reviews
Ana @ The Misstery
Renee @ It’s Book Talk
Lorraine @ The Book Review Cafe

 

Guilty by Laura Elliot @Elliot_Laura @bookouture #blogtour

I’m delighted to be hosting a stop today on the blog tour for “Guilty” by Laura Elliot. You can read what I thought about this book right below that beautiful cover and the blurb.

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Author : Laura Elliot
Pages : 348
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 22, 2017

aboutthebook

It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.

On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing. A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect.

Six years later …

Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.

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Goodness gracious me, this is one dark read!

I requested this book on Netgalley because of the cover. It was the pretty pink balloon that did it. Never mind reading the description so I didn’t actually know what this book was about. Except someone made a terrible mistake that could ruin their family. Thank you tagline. And so I was pleasantly surprised.

When thirteen year old Constance goes missing, reporter Amanda Bowe zeroes in on Constance’s uncle Karl and absolutely vilifies him in her articles. Six years later, Karl’s life is in ruins. He’s lost his job, his house, his wife and child. As the saying goes, mud sticks. Meanwhile Amanda is thriving. She has a successful career, a husband and a son.

This is a story about revenge but also about how powerless you are when nobody believes you, even when you know it’s the truth. In this day and age of “fake news”, this story is incredibly apt. “Guilty” highlights the power of the media and how quickly and easily they can distort facts and turn them into something they’re not. Yes, they do good but they’re also capable of utter destruction.

You can’t help but feel for Karl. Watching him go from being a valued member in a close-knit family to being completely alone, was heartbreaking to read. Despite his actions, I sympathised with him all the way. A sentiment I couldn’t quite extend to Amanda. I kind of wanted to hurt her. Badly.

“Guilty” is one gripping psychological thriller with a well constructed plot and realistic and believable characters. I felt it was quite slow but I was still mesmerised. The addition of newspaper articles was genius as it truly showed the difference between what actually happened and what the reporter wrote. It really added an extra layer and proves you shouldn’t always believe what you read.

Incredibly thought-provoking, it’ll make you question everything.

Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced copy and for having me on the tour!

Guilty was published on June 22nd.

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abouttheauthor

Laura Elliot is an Irish novelist and lives in the coastal town of Malahide, Co. Dublin. She loves travelling. The beautiful South Island of New Zealand was the inspiration for her setting in The Prodigal Sister. The Burren in County Clare became the mysterious setting for Stolen Child and the Broadmeadow Estuary behind her home provides the background for The Betrayal. She has worked as a journalist and magazine editor

For more details check out these links :

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The Stateroom Tryst by P. Wesley Lundburg #guestreview

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Author : P. Wesley Lundburg
Pages : 236
Publisher :
Publication date : May 6, 2017

aboutthebook

In The Stateroom Tryst, the first book in the Clayton Chronicles, Clay is hired by an attractive, affluent woman who wants to learn the truth behind her husband’s overnight “business” trips and spending binges. She suspects a gambling addiction, and Clay sets out to solve the mystery. When her husband is murdered among an entourage of people tailing him, Clay realizes this is no ordinary marital investigation. His tenacity leads him to uncover a dangerous alliance that takes even his hardened experience by surprise.

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What a breath of fresh air this one is! First of all, check out that cover. And how about that cool title? My attention was grabbed immediately. P. Wesley Lundburg is one of those very talented indie authors out there who needs more attention. Well, here’s my attempt to get some of that for him.

Now I have never read any of those old time detective books featuring Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, but one reviewer likens PI Rick “call me Clay” Clayton to those investigators, except that Clay’s work is set in the present day.  All I know is that it was a pleasure to attach myself to Clay and experience the ride totally first hand. This was made possible by first person (Clay’s) narration and the inclusion of Clay in virtually every scene. Thus the reader has a very clear view of how this PI goes about his business.

In a nutshell, Clay is hired by a wealthy woman to find out if her husband is dallying about with other women. Well, things end up being way more interesting than that. Clay finds himself dealing with plenty of deception and corruption and people trying to “dissuade him” from digging into things. Oh, and murders. Several of them.

The book stays on plot and moves quickly. You fast readers out there could get through this one in a long afternoon. The narrative is punctuated with a series of nifty twists and revelations. There are also some fun action scenes. What I liked best was watching Clay break down the case using old-fashioned hard work, keen thinking, and expert help from his core of friends and associates.

I really liked Clay. Basically, Clay is a loner, but he has a small core of people around him through whom we learn more about him. There’s his computer hacker friend Clifford and Clifford’s mother, Tia Louise, both of whom Clay has known since boyhood. Clay has no family of his own, and goes out of his way to visit these two every week. Clifford has some sort of affliction (my guess would be something along the Asperger’s spectrum) that makes him different; Tia Louise appreciates the PI for maintaining a long term friendship with her son. Clay also seemingly eats most of his meals at the Harborview Diner, and he is very tight with the owner/cook, Lionel. They do lots of favors for each other. Then there’s his sage elderly boss who owns the agency and the boss’s sons, aka the Tweedles. Clay’s kind side glows when he is dealing with these people.  I loved this supporting cast.

I understand this the first book of a planned series. I was definitely entertained by The Stateroom Tryst and will most certainly pick up book 2 when it becomes available. I highly recommend this novel for a fast and different sort of PI story. I have also downloaded the author’s other two novels (from the Frank Mattituck series) and look forward to digging into those soon.

Great job, and thanks for being different, Mr. Lundburg!

The Stateroom Tryst was published on May 6th.

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Safe With Me by Grace Lowrie @AccentPress #blogtour

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Author : Grace Lowrie
Pages : 356
Publisher : Accent Press
Publication date : June 22, 2017

aboutthebook

Abandoned as children, Kat and Jamie were inseparable growing up in foster care. But their bond couldn’t protect them forever.

From a troubled upbringing to working in a London greasy spoon, Kat’s life has never been easy. On the surface Jamie’s living the high-life, but appearances can be deceiving.

When they unexpectedly reunite, their feelings become too intense to ignore. But as secrets come back to haunt them, are they destined to be separated once more?

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Kat and Jamie grew up together in foster care until Jamie was adopted and they were separated. Decades later, their lives couldn’t be more different. Kat went from foster care, to living on the streets, to being caught up in an abusive marriage. Jamie works in insurance and has a gorgeous actress girlfriend but cracks are starting to show in the relationship. Then Kat and Jamie meet again unexpectedly.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, where I think its strength lies. Kat’s life especially had me engrossed. I really felt for her as it becomes increasingly clear she’s a prisoner in her marriage, working her fingers to the bone and never knowing what mood her husband will be in.

Chapters alternate between Kat and Jamie. I liked the concept where the reader knows what’s going on but the characters don’t. That being said though, I think the big plot reveal happened a bit too early in the book, even though it was really well done. But it did make me wonder how the rest of the story would unfold.

The second half of the book didn’t hold my attention as much but I’m admittedly not much of a romance reader. There is conflict and tension as the focus of the story shifts to the relationship between Kat and Jamie but the pace slowed down a bit too much for me.  I also felt a little disappointed in how quickly the husband situation was resolved.

That said Safe With Me is well written, very atmospheric and realistic. This isn’t a fast paced read with buckets of drama but it is full of emotion and romance so if that’s your thing, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

Many thanks to Karen at Accent Press for the advanced copy and for inviting me on the tour!

Safe With Me is published today! Happy publication day, Grace Lowrie!

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abouttheauthor

Having worked as a collage artist, sculptor, prop maker and garden designer, Grace has always been creative, but she is a romantic introvert at heart and writing was, and is, her first love.

Safe With Me, the first women’s fiction novel in The Wildham Series, is published by Accent Press, who also released her debut contemporary romance novel, Kindred Hearts, in 2015.

A lover of rock music, art nouveau design, blue cheese and grumpy ginger tomcats, Grace is also an avid reader of fiction – preferring coffee and a sinister undercurrent, over tea and chick lit. When not making prop costumes or hanging out with her favourite nephews, she continues to write stories from her Hertfordshire home.

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This Week in Books (June 21)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading :

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What happens when the trust has gone?

Cat Kinsella was always a daddy’s girl. Until the summer of 1998 when she sees her father flirting with seventeen-year-old Maryanne Doyle.

When Maryanne later disappears and Cat’s father denies ever knowing her, Cat’s relationship with him is changed forever.

Eighteen years later, Cat is now a Detective Constable with the Met. Called to the scene of a murder in Islington, she discovers a woman’s body: Alice Lapaine has been found strangled, not far from the pub that Cat’s father runs.

When evidence links Alice to the still missing Maryanne, all Cat’s fears about her father resurface. Could he really be a killer? Determined to confront the past and find out what really happened to Maryanne all those years ago, Cat begins to dig into the case. But the problem with looking into the past is that sometimes you might not like what you find.

The book I’m currently reading :

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When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her?

What I’m reading next :

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DCI Bennett faces the most harrowing case of his career. A psychopath, who escaped capture, is hell bent on revenge and executes a series of events that will not only impact on Bennett physically, but will have emotional and professional consequences.

A body is found with its fingers amputated, then an investigative journalist, embroiled in the pornography and drugs scene, is murdered.

Bennett’s team is faced with some baffling evidence. Hatpins and bicycle spokes become pivotal to the inquiry but the police struggle to connect the evidence.It is only when a Detective Sergeant from the team is kidnapped that Bennett realises that he is the true target.

Can Bennett solve the case before it’s too late? How many people will he lose in the process?

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What are you reading this week? Recommend me something you think I should read right now!

Have a great week and happy reading! xx

Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour

Excited to be hosting a stop today on the blog tour for Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen. I’ll be sharing my review right after the all-important information about this book in the long running Varg Veum series.

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Author : Gunnar Staalesen
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : June 1, 2017

aboutthebook

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.

When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a pedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest-and most personal-case yet.

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Varg Veum has a rude awakening when police show up on his doorstep and bring him in for possession of child pornography. Veum claims he’s innocent but everything points to the contrary. Soon he finds himself in prison where he tries to piece together the last few cases he’s worked on. Not an easy task since most of those years are a blurry mist due to excessive drinking after losing the love of his life. When an opportunity to escape arises, he quickly takes it and sets out to investigate in order to clear his name.

Now, if you have been following my blog, you are by now aware of my need to start a series from the beginning. Yet here I am, reviewing Wolves in the Dark, which is book 21 in the Varg Veum series which has been going strong for decades. There are even movies! Who knew? (I obviously didn’t!)

The main character, Varg Veum, is a private detective who hasn’t always had the easiest of times. He is a well established, complex character with lots of baggage. And this is where I wish I’d read the older stuff first so I’d have a better idea of how he became the person he is today. Obviously I’ve missed out on a lot of background information. While there is some reference to past events, it didn’t quite satisfy my curiosity. I know, killed the cat and all that. And obviously I don’t expect the author to shove twenty years of history into a book just so new readers can know all the ins and outs of this, quite clearly,  beloved character.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy this foray into Scandi-Noir and it’s obvious the author has many years of experience in writing crime fiction under his belt. The plot is truly intricate, keeping you hooked as various threads seem to shoot off in different directions as you try to work out the clues. There are more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end and Veum makes for one excellent narrator.

I think it’s safe to say, with apologies to the author, that I’ll probably not be reading any of the other 20 books in this series in my lifetime. Also because not all of them have been translated to English so there’s that. However, I will most definitely keep an eye out for the next one!

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my advanced copy of this book and for the opportunity to join the blog tour.

Wolves in the Dark is available now!

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abouttheauthor

Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers.

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A Deadly Game by Joanne Griffiths @Tazer129 @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour #bloghounds

Welcome to my stop on the A Deadly Game blog tour! Many thanks, as always, to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for inviting me on the tour! My review is coming up right after the cover and a description of the book.

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Author : Joanne Griffiths
Pages : 322
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : June 20, 2017

aboutthebook

Kate Palmer, an undergraduate student, discovers that she is pregnant and makes the decision to drop out of university. However, on the evening before she returns home, her body is discovered in Aston park. She is the first victim of several murders that will rock the city of Birmingham. Detective Sergeant James “Jim” Wardell, who has his own issues to contend with, is given the case.

When Eddie Carter, a popular talk show host on Birmingham’s Radio Station, is contacted by someone claiming to be the killer, it is the start of a cat and mouse game between a deranged killer and the police.

After a second body is discovered the pressure mounts on the police to capture the man responsible. Who is killing these women and why? Can Jim capture the twisted killer before more innocent women are murdered?

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Kate Palmer’s life isn’t exactly going the way she meant it to. She decides to drop out of university and head back home to her parents with her tail between her legs. But then she’s murdered. And she won’t be the last victim as the killer hasn’t only found something that gives him great pleasure but he’s also quite enjoying taunting the police and playing a game with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time the author took to create background stories for each of the victims. It just makes you care that little bit more when they’re murdered. Harsh but you know it’s true! Devoting chapters about the effects on the families of the victims added another extra layer.

The killer is one sick and twisted individual. Actually, he’s a whole bunch of horrible words I can’t print for fear of setting off some kind of censor alarm. You’ll have to find out for yourself but Joanne Griffiths does a great job getting into his mind and letting the reader know how cruel he can be.

This is a well paced crime fiction novel with a twist I didn’t see coming and since then, I’ve been wondering if I missed a clue somewhere. There may be one or two things I have a few misgivings about and could have done without (which I can’t tell you about because it would give away too much about the plot) but all in all, this was an enjoyable read.

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for my advanced copy and for having me on the blog tour!

A Deadly Game is available now!

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abouttheauthor

I was hooked on crime fiction after reading an Agatha Christie novel when I was a teenager. I loved the way the story unfolded, trying to work out the plot before the reveal.

Since reading that first book, my dream of becoming a writer would often take centre stage over the years and I would spend some time working on my manuscript before the idea was shelved again. 

Time was often a factor. As a single parent with two young children, I returned to studying, completing a BSc (Hons) with the Open University. After graduating, I worked with SEN children who were at risk of exclusion from main stream school due to behavioural problems. I then spent several years with children outside of the school system, which kept me busy. 

Following a serious health issue in 2014 though, I began to focus on what I still wanted to achieve and the desire to become a writer featured highly again. Dusting off my manuscript, I finally finished A Deadly Game and I am currently working on my second novel.

If I’m not writing, I enjoy reading and always have a book on the go. I also enjoy watching many of the police / detective / thriller series on television, still trying to work out the plot before the story’s conclusion. 

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One Wrong Turn by Deanna Lynn Sletten @DeannaLSletten #lakeunionpublishing

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Author : Deanna Lynn Sletten
Pages : 204
Publisher : Lake Union Publishing
Publication date : June 20, 2017

aboutthebook

The words “I’m her husband” roll off Clay Connors’s tongue, but with his estranged wife lying in a coma—and no assurance that she’ll awaken—he knows he’s perilously close to losing everything. A singular, terrifying accident has left Jess Connors suspended between life and death. Now Clay is reunited with the family he hasn’t seen for two years, including the daughters he left behind.

Clay should have been there for his family. He never should have stayed away so long. The alcohol that took over his life destroyed everything but a shred of his self-preservation. Sober and haunted, Clay revisits the memory of love, marriage, and how his life unraveled. He hopes that by trying to reconnect with the daughter who blames him and the daughter who barely knew him, he can find a light of hope in this darkest hour. As his family faces its most grueling, emotional test yet, Clay must summon the courage to make right what was wrong—and find forgiveness from his harshest judge: himself.

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When Clay gets a phone call to tell him his wife has been in a car accident and is now in a coma, he rushes home to be with his children. There’s just one problem. He hasn’t seen his family in two years and not everyone is ready to welcome him back with open arms.

Clay is an alcoholic and while he’s been sober for a few years now, he’s never felt strong enough to go back home, fearing he would let his family down again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Will he be strong enough to resist the beer? Will he have what it takes to take care of his children? Will his wife ever wake up from her coma?

The story is mostly set in the present with some flashbacks to explain the life of Clay and his wife, Jess, and his downfall into alcoholism. I found all the characters to be highly believable and realistic, especially the children. Eldest daughter Maddie is angry at her father for leaving and doesn’t hesitate in letting him know she doesn’t trust he will stick around this time. The youngest daughter Jilly doesn’t really remember much and is far more willing to accept her father back into her life.

At 206 pages, it’s a very quick read and if I want to be picky, I might say it could have been a little longer and maybe have some more depth to it. However, I found this to be a truly beautifully written story about the effects of alcoholism. It’s a story about forgiveness, love, loss, finding your inner strength and second chances and I really enjoyed it.

My thanks to author Deanna Lynn Sletten for my advanced copy of this book, which I chose to review honestly.

One Wrong Turn will be published on June 20th.

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