Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary @sarah_hilary @headlinepg

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Author : Sarah Hilary
Title : Come and Find Me
Series : DI Marnie Rome #5
Pages : 352
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : March 22, 2018

aboutthebook

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

mythoughts

Deep breath. It has taken me weeks to write this review. What a struggle it’s been and I’m pretty sure I haven’t managed to do this book or the author any justice whatsoever.

During a riot at the prison, dangerous convict Michael Vokey escapes. It quickly transpires Michael has been in regular contact with two women, Lara and Ruth, who are completely infatuated with him. Did they somehow help him escape? Is he hiding out in their homes? Someone is surely in danger but who?

Sarah Hilary has been one of my go-to authors since the start of this series and with every book, I’ll say “this is her best one yet”. Well, guess what? Come and Find Me is her best one yet! I don’t know how she manages to raise the bar time and time again but she does. It’s in the writing, which just keeps getting stronger, and it’s in the fantastic character development. Not only where the main characters are concerned but each and every side character gets the same treatment and it brings this series to a whole other level.

There is some incredibly fascinating psychology behind the acts and motivations of these characters. It’s intensely gripping all on its own without even getting started on the investigation into the prison riot and Michael Vokey’s escape. What makes a woman get in touch with a convict? Why would any woman choose to share her secrets with someone so dangerous or even send him pictures? And then, there are the prisoners. No stereotypes here and nothing or nobody is what it seems. I must also mention that while Marnie has always been of one my favourite characters, Noah Jake’s voice seems to be getting stronger with each book, his presence keeps growing and I feel like he is beginning to steal the spotlight from Marnie. I can’t wait to see how he develops in the future.

Come and Find Me is intensely gripping, full of suspense and has an incredibly intelligent and well-crafted plot. It had me glued to the pages and I couldn’t read fast enough to see how it would end, completely unable to guess where things were going. Utterly absorbing, addictive and a fantastic page-turner and as always, it leaves me wanting more so very  desperately.

If you are not reading this series, then really, I’m incredibly sorry but I just don’t think we can be friends anymore. 😄. The Marnie Rome series is one of the best ones out there so do yourself a humongous favour and pick these up right now. I can’t recommend these books highly enough and can’t even begin to say how much I’m looking forward to the next one.

My thanks to Hannah at Headline for my copy!

Come and Find Me is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #blogblitz

I’m thrilled to join the blog blitz for The Child Next Door by Shalini Boland today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the opportunity and for my review copy.

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Author : Shalini Boland
Title : The Child Next Door
Pages : 279
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication day : March 29, 2018

aboutthebook

Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing upstairs to check on her new-born, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare. She hears an unknown voice in the baby monitor, saying: ‘Let’s take the child – and go.’

Is someone trying to steal her little girl?

In the bedroom, her daughter is safe asleep in her cot. Is the voice coming from a nearby house? But there aren’t any other babies living on her quiet country road…

The police don’t believe her. And neither does her husband.

Kirstie knows something isn’t right. She thought she could trust her neighbours, now she isn’t sure. As she unravels the secrets of the people living on her street, Kirstie’s perfect life begins to fall apart.

Because someone is hiding a terrible lie. And they will do anything to stop Kirstie uncovering the truth. But is the danger closer to home than she thinks?

mythoughts

Holy guacamole! What a rollercoaster of a story this is! It left me reeling and in desperate need of a stiff drink.

Kirstie is a new mom to a baby girl called Daisy. One night, she’s awoken by voices coming from the baby monitor. Convinced someone is trying to harm her baby, Kirstie races upstairs but there’s nobody there and her baby is sound asleep. This event really rattles her though and soon her entire life starts to fall apart as she becomes increasingly afraid for her baby’s safety.

As someone who frequently suffers from periods of insomnia, I have no problems whatsoever imagining how sheer exhaustion can play tricks on you and make you feel like you’re losing your mind. Kirstie is losing a lot of sleep as well, staying awake all hours because she doesn’t feel safe in her own home. But is her fatigue to blame or is something else going on? It’s incredibly easy to sympathise with her, to relate to her distress. Even though she sometimes makes some dubious decisions, I could understand her quest in keeping her daughter safe from harm.

This psychological thriller kept me guessing until the end and as the tension built up, I found myself inching closer and closer to the edge of my sofa. Just like Kirstie herself, I started suspecting everyone, wondering about their intentions, trying to figure out if they were hiding something and if so, what secrets were lurking behind the closed doors of this seemingly quiet and peaceful cul-de-sac. But I never would have guessed the outcome, even if it had come up to me and hit me in the face. What a shocker!

This is another brilliantly gripping, totally addictive and engrossing page-turner by Shalini Boland. It grabbed me by the throat from the very first page and wouldn’t let go. I’d go as far as to say I think this is the author’s best one yet and I absolutely can’t wait for her next offering!

The Child Next Door is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Shalini Boland is the bestselling author of psychological thrillers ‘THE GIRL FROM THE SEA’ (reached No 1 in the US Audible charts), ‘THE BEST FRIEND’ (No 2 in the US Audible charts), ‘THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE’, ‘THE SECRET MOTHER’ (No 4 in the US Kindle charts).

Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

She is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Dead North by Joel Hames @joel_hames @MainsailBooks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #DeadNorth

I’m absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Dead North by Joel Hames today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the opportunity and to the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : Joel Hames
Title : Dead North
Series : Sam Williams #1
Pages : 280
Publisher : Mainsail Books
Publication date : March 22, 2018

aboutthebook

Once the brightest star in the legal firmament, Sam Williams has hit rock bottom, with barely a client to his name and a short-term cash problem that’s looking longer by the minute. So when he’s summoned to Manchester to help a friend crack a case involving the murder of two unarmed police officers and a suspect who won’t say a word, he jumps at the chance to resurrect his career.

In Manchester he’ll struggle against resentful locals, an enigmatic defence lawyer who thinks he’s stepping on her toes, beatings, corrupt cops and people who’ll do anything to protect their secrets. On its streets, he’ll see people die. But it’s in the hills and valleys further north that Sam will face the biggest challenge of all: learning who he really is and facing down the ghosts of his past.

mythoughts

Books like this one are exactly why I enjoy doing blog tours so much. This may otherwise never have come across my radar and I would have missed out on something fabulous. From the very first pages, I already knew I was going to be pleasantly surprised and in for a thrilling and entertaining ride.

Two unarmed police officers are shot. A suspect is arrested but he won’t talk. Enter Sam Williams, a down-on-his luck lawyer from London. He’s called up to help crack this case way up in Manchester and somehow convince the suspect to talk. Sam doesn’t really have anything much to do so he accepts, thinking maybe this will jumpstart his career once again, but Manchester isn’t exactly welcoming him with open arms. Why is the suspect not talking? Why are the other police officers so hostile and will Sam make it out of the north alive?

He’s working someone else’s case and he’s in way over his head. But sometimes you need the wrong man in the right place.

Let me start by saying that the character of Sam Williams is absolutely fantastic and I warmed to him from the get-go. I often found myself chuckling at his dry sense of humour but also rolling my eyes at him, especially where his relationship skills regarding his girlfriend are concerned. He’s a tad quirky, not quite what you’d expect him to be somehow. But Sam also has great instincts, that gut feeling that spurs him on to find the truth no matter what. He shows incredible determination, even when people are trying their hardest to stop him.

Dead North has a brilliant and truly clever plot. Full of red herrings and dead ends, this fast-paced and tense story had me hooked from start to finish. There are some truly fabulous reveals I didn’t see coming at all. I had no idea who to trust. Quite frankly, I couldn’t figure out any of the connections, didn’t have a clue what was going and so I was kept guessing until the end. I also have to mention the grey, wet and miserable setting of Manchester, which works like a charm. It adds an extra layer of grittiness to the story.

If you’re looking for a crime fiction thriller that’s that little bit different from all the other crime stories out there, then this is most definitely for you. Nothing is what it seems. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and while this is my first time reading a book by Joel Hames, I’m sure it won’t be my last and I can’t wait to catch up with Sam Williams again!

Dead North was published on March 22nd and is available for purchase.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist.
After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out “Belgian chocolates going cheap over ‘ere” in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him).
Joel’s first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK’s Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Joel’s website can be found at http://www.joelhamesauthor.com/, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthor or Twitter at @joel_hames. Joel has never seen the word “Joel” appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.

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This Week in Books (March 28)

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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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Kirstie Rawlings is jolted awake by a child crying. Racing upstairs to check on her new-born, she is plunged into every parents’ worst nightmare. She hears an unknown voice in the baby monitor, saying: ‘Let’s take the child – and go.’

Is someone trying to steal her little girl?

In the bedroom, her daughter is safe asleep in her cot. Is the voice coming from a nearby house? But there aren’t any other babies living on her quiet country road…

The police don’t believe her. And neither does her husband.

Kirstie knows something isn’t right. She thought she could trust her neighbours, now she isn’t sure. As she unravels the secrets of the people living on her street, Kirstie’s perfect life begins to fall apart.

Because someone is hiding a terrible lie. And they will do anything to stop Kirstie uncovering the truth. But is the danger closer to home than she thinks?

The book I’m currently reading

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Elizabeth Nowicki, a British woman and self-confessed stoic, settles down in the seemingly idyllic American town of Midnight, with her new husband and his two children. Six months on, life as a step mom is harder than she thought, and the shine of the American Dream has already worn off.

Bored and lonely, Elizabeth is drawn into a nightmare when someone in a duck mask murders two local cops…and the investigation reaches her new neighbourhood. When this is followed by strange happenings across the street, leading to another death, Elizabeth starts to conduct her own investigation….but can she find the killer before the killer finds her?

What I’m (probably) reading next

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In a quiet Dublin suburb, within her pristine home, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months ago, Frankie’s pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn’t keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor’s husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple’s home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie’s phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can’t help but feel that something doesn’t fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor’s life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

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What do you think? Anything here taking your fancy? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson @kerrywk @bookouture #blogblitz #LastNight

It is such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for Last Night and wish Kerry Wilkinson a happy publication day! My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture!

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Author : Kerry Wilkinson
Title : Last Night
Pages : 340
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : March 28, 2018

aboutthebook

It’s the early hours of the morning and Rose Denton wakes up behind the steering wheel of her car. She’s off the road, through a hedge and in a field.

There’s blood on the windscreen and bonnet – but it’s not hers and there’s no sign of anything or anyone she might have hit. The last thing she remembers is being in a hotel on a business trip but now she’s miles away.

Back home and her daughter’s boyfriend is missing. The last thing he did was argue with Rose over money. He left no note, no text, no clue as to his whereabouts.

The police have questions – and so does Rose’s family. But those are little compared to the ones she has for herself.

What happened last night? And, perhaps more importantly, does she really want to know the answer?

mythoughts

Kerry Wilkinson is one of those authors where you just know that as soon as you pick up one of his books, you’re in for a bumpy ride and a thrilling afternoon. Last Night is no different and it makes for one entertaining reading session.

Rose Denton wakes up behind the wheel of her car in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely no idea how she got there. She was in a hotel, wasn’t she? Why is she in her car? What’s all that blood on the bonnet and the windscreen? It’s not hers, thankfully, but it has to belong to something. Or someone. On her return home, Rose discovers her daughter’s boyfriend has gone missing. Surely Rose isn’t responsible?

As you can see, there are a lot of questions and very little answers. What Kerry Wilkinson does so well is create utter confusion and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s like this dense fog you can’t see through. Just when you think you know what’s going on, there’s a dead end and you’re steered into a completely different direction. I had theories left, right and centre. None of which came even remotely close to the ultimate conclusion!

This is a well-paced, gripping and twisty story. Full of red herrings, it left me feeling suspicious of just about everyone. I started to doubt everyone’s intentions and motivations, just like Rose does and she has the added bonus of even doubting herself. Because there are other things going on in her life that aren’t mentioned in the book description so I won’t either but it all adds up to a compelling read that had me guessing until the end.

If you haven’t yet read anything by Kerry Wilkinson, you really should. He always delivers the goods, always keeps you guessing and always comes up with the most satisfying conclusions and he should most definitely be on your radar! I thoroughly enjoyed his last offering and very much look forward to more.

Last Night is out now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Kerry Wilkinson has had No.1 bestsellers in the UK, Canada, South Africa and Singapore, as well as top-five books in Australia. He has also written two top-20 thrillers in the United States.

As well as his million-selling Jessica Daniel series, Kerry has written the Silver Blackthorn trilogy – a fantasy-adventure serial for young adults – a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter, plus numerous standalone novels. He has been published around the world in more than a dozen languages.

Originally from the county of Somerset, Kerry has spent far too long living in the north of England, picking up words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’.

When he’s short of ideas, he rides his bike or bakes cakes. When he’s not, he writes it all down.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Dark Lies by Nick Hollin @vonmaraus @bookouture #blogblitz #DarkLies

Thrilled to join the blog blitz for Dark Lies (previous In The Blood) by Nick Hollin today! My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the opportunity and the review copy.

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Author : Nick Hollin
Title : Dark Lies
Series : Detectives Rhodes and Radley #1
Pages : 275
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : March 26, 2018

aboutthebook

The people of London fear for their lives when a twisted serial killer called The Cartoonist starts targeting young mothers, leaving their bodies on display in their homes with speech bubbles drawn from their lips. He has a terrifying story to tell, but first, the right people need to be listening.

Nathan Radley has a brilliant and dangerous talent. Formerly one of the best criminal psychologists on the police force he’s renowned for getting deep into the minds of the murderers he hunts. But for the past year he has lived in isolation, haunted by this gift and his own dark desires.

DI Katie Rhodes’ career is spinning out of control. She’d sworn never to knock on her old partner Nathan’s door again, but when she sees his distinctive birthmark drawn in chocolate on one of the victims, she knows she doesn’t have a choice.
As the body count rises and the clues become more and more personal, Katie and Nathan join forces for one final case together.

Why is The Cartoonist using Katie and Nathan’s own dark secrets as calling cards on his victims? What does he want, and how many more innocent lives will be taken before they can crack his disturbing riddle?

To find a murderer, first you need to think like a murderer. The Cartoonist doesn’t just know this, he’s counting on it.

mythoughts

Bloody hell, Mr. Nick Hollin, sir! Where have you been hiding?!

A serial killer is targeting young mothers and leaving messages. But for whom and why? DI Katie Rhodes is on the case but she’s been struggling for a while now due to another investigation she hasn’t been able to solve. Katie calls in the help of her former colleague, Nathan Radley. Nathan used to be a criminal psychologist but has apparently gone right over the edge and has been living in isolation for almost a year. I don’t know about you but they don’t exactly sound like the people you put your faith in, do they? Will they be able to catch The Cartoonist?

Now, I must admit I found myself just a little bit lost in the beginning. There were a lot of references to events that happened in the past, which made me feel like I’d missed a book somewhere. However, the titbits that were slowly being revealed had me so intrigued that I couldn’t stop reading. And I’m so glad I did because this one is an absolute corker!

I suppose you’d call this a more character driven crime thriller. Personally, I almost forgot about the hunt for the serial killer sometimes as we dig into the lives of Katie and Nathan and why they are the way they are. While this is a two person team, Nathan completely stole the show for me. He’s an absolutely fascinating character, damaged beyond belief and his story had me totally engrossed. You just never know which way he’s going to swing which adds a whole new level of intensity.

The pace at the start might be a bit on the slow side for some but it picks up as the plot unfolds and I found myself so immersed that the outside world almost ceased to exist. This is one brilliantly written, cleverly plotted and totally addictive book. I found it gripping, compelling, utterly absorbing and quite frankly, it blew my mind. Highly recommend you give this one a go and I’ll be sitting right here, waiting for book two in the series.

Dark Lies is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

From bookbinder to gardener to forensic analyst, Nick has enjoyed an extremely varied working life. At home his interests are equally diverse, but nothing beats books. Collecting, reading, writing, they have always been a passion in one form or another. A graduate of Royal Holloway’s Creative Writing Masters, he’s fulfilling a long-held dream of being published and hopes to be at this for a good while yet. He lives in Cambridgeshire with his partner, young son and cat.

Twitter

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The Sandman by Lars Kepler

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Author : Lars Keppler
Title : The Sandman
Series : Joona Linna
Pages : 464
Publisher : Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date : March 6, 2018

aboutthebook

Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier, he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman.

Years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek’s capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael’s sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a twenty-seven-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it’s too late–and before he gets inside her head.

mythoughts

This is my first introduction to Lars Kepler, the husband and wife team from Sweden, and their bestselling series featuring Joona Linna. While as far as the investigation goes this can easily be read as a stand-alone, I do think I may have missed out on something vital that stopped me from getting hooked and getting a feel for the character of Joona.

A young man, Mikael, is found wandering late one night. He and his sister went missing thirteen years ago and were thought to have been the victims of a serial killer. Now though, it looks like Michael has managed to escape and he tells the police that his sister is still alive. With the serial killer serving a life sentence in a psychiatric hospital, there seems to be only one way the detectives can solve this case. Someone needs to get close to this notorious man and get him to talk.

I found this to be quite a slow burner and I had a hard time keeping track of the various characters and their titles and jobs, which may be something that might have come more easily to me if I had read the previous three books in the series. There was also a lot of background explaining how we got to a certain point in the story that didn’t quite grab me as I thought it would.

The killer, though. Now that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Jurek Walter, or The Sandman, is an absolutely fascinating and intriguing character. A master manipulator, capable of getting inside your head without you even realising it. I most certainly do not envy anyone who’s forced to spend time with him. It was definitely because of him that I kept reading, wanting to know how things would play out.

From what I can tell, this series is immensely popular, selling millions of copies around the world. Yet, somehow it didn’t quite work for me. Creepy, yes. There is also a brilliant background story to explain Jurek’s motivations and while things did pick up near the end of the book, for me it needed that bit more oomph and a faster pace to it and it sadly just wasn’t for me. Don’t let that put you off though as I’m quite obviously in the minority!

My thanks to the publisher for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

The Sandman is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

Weekly Wrap-Up (March 25)

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I have no idea where this week went. I could have sworn it was Sunday yesterday and now here it is again! How did that happen? At least, there are now finally some signs of Spring being around the corner. I’ve so had it with Winter.

Productive reading week it’s been again though, even if my list includes one DNF. It happens. Nothing to do but to move on to the next book.

Books I’ve read this week

 

Books I’ve bought this week

Only three. That’s not too bad. Depending on who you ask.

 

ARC’s received via Netgalley

I did mention last week that this would be quite the list due to blog tours. And then two other requests came through as well. So let’s just say my rule of having only five books on the shelf and reviewing one before requesting another one has kind of gone out the window.

Oops. 😳

Bookpost that landed on my doorstep this past week

Juliet and Romeo from Dome Press for a blog tour in May and an order I placed myself because I really wanted these pretties on my bookshelves.

 

On the blog this past week

Monday : Shared my review for The Friend by Teresa Driscoll

Tuesday : Reviewed the fantastic A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Double Bookouture whammy day. I joined the blog blitzes for The Undercover Mother by Emma Robinson and No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney

Friday : Shared an extract for my stop on the blog blitz for The Choice by Jake Cross

Saturday : Joined the blog blitz for Midday by David B. Lyons

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up


Next week on Novel Deelights

Erm, well. Four more blog tours. Yes, yes, I know. Shut up. 😄. I’m also hoping to finally share my review for Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary if I can ever get it written. That book blew me away so hard that I can’t find the words to explain its awesomeness.

Question of the week : Prompted by my paperback haul, how often do you buy a print copy of a book you’ve either already read as a proof or even already own in ebook format? According to the OH, the latter is a waste of money. Good thing he doesn’t have a clue what’s on my Kindle. 😉

And that’s it! Another week bites the dust. I’m sure the next one will be gone again in the blink of an eye. I’m off to catch up on reviews and to spend the afternoon with the in-laws. Seems to me I’m being punished for something 😂.

Have a great week and lots of happy reading! xx

Midday by David B. Lyons @MrDBLyons @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #Midday

Such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for Midday by David B. Lyons today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity and my review copy.

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Author : David B. Lyons
Title : Midday
Pages : 291
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : March 22, 2018

aboutthebook

When his alarm goes off at 7 am, bank manager Vincent assumes he is waking up to a regular working day. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Minutes later, one of the most ambitious heists in Dublin’s history is underway — and Vincent finds himself at the centre of it.

While his boyfriend Ryan is held at gunpoint by two aspiring gangsters, Vincent is tasked with entering the vaults of the four branches he manages to steal two million euros from each one. If he doesn’t return by midday with all of the money, Ryan will receive a bullet to the head.

As each minute ticks by, it becomes clear all is not as it seems. But just who is calling the shots? And can Vincent make it back in time to save his boyfriend’s life?

The clock is ticking.

mythoughts

Well, now. What a fabulous and unexpected surprise this was!

Vincent wakes up every morning, knowing fully well what his day is going to look like. But on this particular morning, things take a nasty turn when he and his boyfriend are the victims of a tiger kidnapping. Vincent works as a bank manager and has until midday to collect 8 million euros from four different branches around Dublin, while his boyfriend is being held at gun point.

The clock is ticking. Tick-tock.

It becomes apparent quite early on that things aren’t all what they seem. But apart from one part of the storyline I thought I had figured out reasonably quickly, the rest of the story had me guessing until the end and holy cow, I so did not see that one coming at all! Well played, sir!

This gritty and gripping tale is told through the eyes of four different people : Vincent, his boyfriend Ryan and each of the two gangsters. Little by little, things are revealed that pulled this story into a completely different direction than I was expecting and I loved every minute of it. Midday has a fantastically crafted plot and a great pace, helped enormously by the characters often checking the time which ultimately had me on the edge of my seat as well. I could almost hear the clocks ticking away the precious minutes.

Did I mention nothing is what it seems? You think you know where your loyalties lie but I promise you, they will shift and switch. What an utterly clever book this is. There are some uncomfortable topics in this one, as well as a few instances that almost made me gag and made me want to wash my eyes out with bleach. But above all, this is an intelligent and original crime thriller with a difference and I found it immensely compelling, engrossing and entertaining!

Midday is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Dublin-born author David B. Lyons has a new twist on the psychological thriller. His debut, Midday, will be released on March 22nd and promises readers a thrilling ride. It’s the story of the same extraordinary morning, told from the perspective of four different characters.

David comes from a journalistic background. He worked, mainly, in the areas of football and music reporting for over 12-years, notching a few awards along the way. He tried to write creatively in his spare time, but found the formulaic writing nature of his day job a hindrance. He met with producers about both a play and a TV pilot he had written, but both fell short of being green lit, much to his disappointed. However, it gave him the opportunity to fulfil a life-log dream of finally penning a novel. He completed a BA Hons Degree in Creative Writing and soon after, completed Midday. Three months later, that debut was picked up by Bloodhound Books and early buzz suggests a promising writing career lies ahead for the thirty-nine-year-old.

He now lives in Birmingham, UK with his wife Kerry and daughter Lola. He has read fiction all of his life and notes Dean Koontz as a real inspiration. He is also a big fan of Gillian Flynn as well as rising star Liz Nugent.

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The Choice by Jake Cross @bookouture #blogblitz #extract #TheChoice

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Choice by Jake Cross. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the opportunity! Today, I have a thrilling extract to share with you but first, here’s what The Choice is all about.

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Author : Jake Cross
Title : The Choice
Pages : 341
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : March 23, 2018

aboutthebook

On a wet road in the black of night, Karl Seabury is driving home to his pregnant wife. Suddenly, caught in his headlights in the middle of the road is a woman shaking with fright.

The woman says her name is Liz Smith, that her home was attacked, and that she was the only one to escape.

In a split-second decision, Karl decides to help her to safety. But Liz is hiding a dark secret and now his good deed has put his family in terrible danger…

extract

Chapter one

KARL

Nobody wants to run someone down in the road, but for a long time afterwards Karl Seabury wondered if things might have worked out better if his van had slammed the woman into bloody oblivion.

He was piloting 3,500 lbs of Ford engineering along a road as wet as a solid river when something came at him. He didn’t even see a shape, let alone a woman, just a hint of colour that extracted itself from the black wall of trees on his right. Instinct pistonedhis foot hard onto the brake. There was a screech of rubber that sent birds panicking from the treetops like gravity-defying leaves. His seatbelt cut hard across his chest as he was thrown forward.

Before he had time to wonder what the hell had happened, it was all over. The van sat stalled and silent, headlights illuminating the curving road ahead and a woman in a sodden summer dress. He reached for the handle to open his door, missed it, cast his eyes away from the road to locate it, found it, started to open the door, ready to unload foul language, and let out a yelp as the door was wrenched from his grasp as if by a fierce gale.

She was right there in the doorway, a face that had been gaunt and terrified in the headlights now gaunt and terrified in the van’s interior light.

‘What the Jesus are—’ Karl began, but froze when she grabbed his shirt in two tight fists.

 ‘You gotta help me!’ she moaned.

Autopilot kicked in. On a bright summer’s day, he might have told her to calm down, might have stepped out of the van and led her to the side of the road to seek an explanation. But it was dark and eerie out there and that fired an alarm in his mind. He grabbed the woman under the arms, yanked her up and literally threw her across him into the passenger seat. Her head smacked the window but she didn’t seem to care, and neither did he. He just needed to get out of there.

He twisted the ignition key and stamped and pulled at all the appropriate pedals and levers until the road started to vanish beneath the vehicle. By the time he hit second gear, the woman had already slipped out of the seat and crammed herself into the footwell. She clearly didn’t want to be seen in the van by whoever she was running from.

And then it happened again.

This time the shape was black, just like the night, and he didn’t see a thing until it stepped into the funnels of his headlights. He recognised a human form, but the mental alarm was in full flow and this time his foot stayed away from the brake. He did not want to stop out here again, ever.

Instead, he tugged hard on the steering wheel, and the silhouette in his headlights vanished off to the side. It flashed by his door window then was gone. Only once he had passed did he realise it was a man in dark clothing and wearing a balaclava. A shiver ran down his spine at the image.

He looked in the driver’s wing mirror at the shape in the road, saw twin dots of white high up in the blackness that must have been eyes, staring after him. Then the masked face turned to look the other way along the road, as if searching for something. Karl gripped the steering wheel hard and faced forward again. Nothing ahead but the road and the trees and the headlights. He glanced at the woman.

‘What the fuck’s going on?’

 ‘Is he gone?’ she croaked.

The road grew bright ahead. Another vehicle. Karl hit his door lock, then cursed his paranoia – what did he expect, this new vehicle to screech to a halt and block his path? It would just be some car, just some guy heading some place. The headlights grew brighter, and then the car emerged from around the curve. The van’s interior was lit up like a surgery.

In that moment he noted that her dress was patterned red and yellow, the material thin. She had manicured nails, smooth skin, and a bob haircut that was an ash blonde you couldn’t get from a chemist. An indoor look, or a summer-lunch-on-the-patio look. Certainly not a cold-March-walk-in-the-woods look. Then the car flashed by and all was dark again.

‘He bloody who? Was he chasing you?’ Karl realised his error even as he asked the question. Of course the guy was chasing her – he all in black, and her face coated in fear. ‘What did he want? You know him? Where did you come from? What are you doing out here?’ He took a breath, aware that his rapid speaking broadcast his own panicking heart. The man in black was gone, and the woman was safe, but not yet calm, and he felt some kind of male pride telling himself he needed to appear strong, as a knight in shining armour would. ‘You want to tell me what’s going on? The guy’s gone, so you can sit up.’

She didn’t sit up. She lay her head on the seat as if it were a pillow and closed her eyes.

‘Do you live nearby? Did you get chased out of your house? You weren’t out geocaching dressed like that, that’s for sure.’

No answer. He touched her shoulder, using a fist because that felt less intrusive. She jerked but her eyes stayed closed.

‘They came for us,’ she said, voice low, as if talking in her sleep.

They? More than one? ‘What did they want?’

‘We have a house on land beyond the woods,’ she murmured, a delayed answer to his previous question. ‘We were going to have dinner. Our friends. I hope they’re okay.’

 ‘And what, these men came? And everyone ran away? Why are you on your own?’

‘They wanted to hurt us, I think. And rob us. My husband… he…’

This was making his head spin.

‘Where are you taking me?’ she blurted, eyes open, a new fear imprinted on her face as if she suspected the nightmare might yet have another chapter.

‘I’m sure all the others are okay,’ he told her. He tried to picture a party on a rain-drenched patio. Men in tuxedos and women in flowery dresses. Expensive wines and political chat. And masked men in black rushing at them out of the trees, making them scatter. Might there be other drivers out here with scared people in their passenger seats, listening to such a tale?

‘You’re not going to throw me out, are you?’ Her eyes were pleading.

‘I’m not taking you anywhere,’ he said. ‘I mean, I’ll take you to a police station. I’m not going to throw you out.’

She didn’t speak again for a minute, and he was grateful for the silence. It gave him time to let this whole palaver sink in. He held his breath until he caught sight of the mist of orange lights oozing from around the next bend. A few seconds after streetlights appeared.

Ahead were terraced houses in two neat lines. Karl felt himself relax. The proximity of the human world woke some confidence in the woman, too, because she struggled up out of the footwell and sat in the seat like someone… normal. She gazed out of the window as if enjoying the view, but then he realised his error: she was concentrating on the wing mirror. Checking behind them for pursuers.

‘Burglars don’t come chasing people who got away,’ he said, unable to think of anything else. ‘I’m sure they got spooked by everyone seeing them and just ran off.’

She looked at him. Hard. As if he had said something naive. Or just plain wrong.

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If you’d like to read more and find out what on earth Karl has gotten himself in to, then you’re in luck as The Choice is now available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Jake has been making stuff up from a real early age. His parents never believed his silly lies when he was young, so he still has no idea why he thought he could invent a decent story as an adult. But he kept trying, and here we are. THE CHOICE is his first novel, the first of three thrillers to be published by Bookouture, and he hopes you like it. If you don’t, he at least hopes you don’t ask for a refund.

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