Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @midaspr @AmazonPub #blogtour #TruthandLies

Delighted to join the blog tour for Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell today! My thanks to Eleanor at Midas PR for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

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Author : Caroline Mitchell
Title : Truth and Lies
Series : DI Amy Winter #1
Pages : 348
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : August 30, 2018

aboutthebook

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?

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If you’re looking for a new crime series to sink your teeth into, then look no further because here it is!

You may be familiar with Caroline Mitchell from her much acclaimed Ruby Preston series but now she’s back with a brand-new series. Featuring DI Amy Winter, let me tell you this first instalment packs one heck of a punch!

Because Amy Miller isn’t your average detective. Oh no! She is in fact the daughter of one of the most notorious serial killer couples in history. How’s that for a resume? With such a refreshing take on the crime fiction genre, Truth and Lies had me hooked from the outset.

A young girl goes missing from her home. DI Amy Winter and her team quickly find themselves in a race against time to find her before it’s too late. But Amy has a lot more on her plate when her biological mother Lilian, who is currently in prison, reaches out to her. Not in the loving, motherly sort of way, mind. Think more taunting and playing games that made my skin crawl. Amy is forced to face her past, whether she wants to or not, and it’s not pretty. Fabulous childhood straight from the fairytales, this is not.

Amy has no choice but to play along with Lilian if she wants to discover the location of three more missing young women. But as with all psychopaths, Lilian doesn’t exactly play fair. She is so insanely unpredictable, you just never know what’s going to come out of her mouth next.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there is one absolutely massive cliffhanger! Good grief! That’ll make you want to have book two in your grabby little hands immediately!

Truth and Lies is refreshing and original. With plenty of twists to keep you glued to the pages, this one is utterly tense and compelling and I just couldn’t put it down. It has one of those despicable characters that make you feel rather dirty and in need of a nice, hot shower and yet, I was fascinated and intrigued. In a perverse sort of way, I’m actually quite looking forward to more of their evil games.

This is the perfect start to a new series. Caroline Mitchell knows how to draw a reader in and keep them coming back for more. I thoroughly enjoyed this serial killer crime thriller and I can’t bloody wait for the next book!

Truth and Lies is available to buy!

Amazon US  | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

USA Today and Global #1 Bestselling Thriller Author.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’.

Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Third Breath by Malcolm Hollingdrake @MHollingdrake @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz

Such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog blitz for The Third Breath by Malcolm Hollingdrake today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join and for the review copy!

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Author : Malcolm Hollingdrake
Title : The Third Breath
Series : DCI Bennett #7
Pages : 275
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : August 28, 2018

aboutthebook

DCI Bennett is away on compassionate leave. After much soul-searching, he has decided to attend his father’s funeral.

DS Owen is left at the helm when the discovery of a body in a car in the multi-storey car park is reported. Initially, the Coroner rules out suspicious circumstances but when a second body is found with similar symptoms, Bennett is back in the fold. He suspects that the coincidences must be of some significance.

Soon Bennett’s team are hunting for a callous and devious killer who has covered his tracks effectively.

Will Bennett’s perseverance and attention to detail eventually crack this perplexing case?

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It’s quite hard to believe that The Third Breath is already the seventh instalment in the DCI Bennett series but author Malcolm Hollingdrake shows no signs of slowing down and has come up with yet another belter.

I’ve come to expect some rather brilliant and original ways for the killers in this series to murder their victims but this one has to be right up there with the most ingenious and chilling ones I’ve ever read. A dead body is discovered in a car in a multi-storey car park. Bennett and his team are left scratching their heads as there is no evidence whatsoever to find at the crime scene. At first, it looks like the victim may have died from natural causes. But then a second body is discovered and Cyril Bennett does not believe in coincidences.

This killer is playing quite the twisted game, seemingly without a specific motive, which makes them incredibly hard to track down. And what on earth is up with the potatoes? Yeah, that will make no sense to you whatsoever until you read this book. Suffice to say, the killer’s brain isn’t one you’d want to spend too much time with. And all the twists and turns combine into the most wonderfully complex investigation.

Meanwhile Cyril is also dealing with the aftermath of his father’s death and his feelings towards his stepmother, Wendy. Comic relief, as always, is provided by the inimitable Owen. Here’s a character I didn’t think I could possibly adore more than I did already but whenever his name pops up on the page, I just know he’s going to steal the show and make me chuckle.

This isn’t a particularly gruesome read so if you lean a bit more towards to the cosy mystery genre, I have no doubt you will enjoy this one. Just like its predecessors, The Third Breath is well plotted, brilliantly executed and another solid addition to an already extremely solid series. Bring on book eight, I say!

The Third Breath is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

You could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for anyone born in a library, that they might aspire to be an author but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

Malcolm has written a number of successful short stories and has ten books now available. Completing ‘The Third Breath’ fulfils the seven book publishing contract with Bloodhound Books but there are exciting plans for the future, not only with DCI Bennett and his team but also with another series. More information will follow soon.

Born in Bradford and spending three years in Ripon, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all his novels.

This year, Malcolm self-published a beautiful and poignant short story titled ‘The Penultimate Man’ to commemorate the centenary of the conclusion of WW1. It has also been released as an audiobook.
Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It’s a hobby he has bestowed on DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his latest novel, ‘The Third Breath’.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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This Week in Books (August 29)

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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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On her own wedding night, beautiful and complicated Evie White leaps off a cliff to her death.

What drove her to commit this terrible act? It’s left to her best friend and her husband to unravel the sinister mystery.

Following a twisted trail of clues leading to Evie’s darkest secrets, they begin to realize they never knew the real Evie at all…


The book I’m currently reading

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LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.

When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.

Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…


What I’m (most definitely
) reading next

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There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton @SarahJNaughton @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : Sarah J. Naughton
Title : The Other Couple
Pages : 304
Publisher : Trapeze
Publication date : March 22, 2018 (ebook)

aboutthebook

It was meant to be the perfect honeymoon.

A five-star resort in paradise.

White sands, a private villa and world-class cuisine.

A chance for newlyweds Asha and Ollie Graveney to recover from a recent tragedy, and enjoy the holiday of their dreams.

Except someone has other plans…

And paradise has turned into a nightmare.

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Asha wakes up in a hospital in Vietnam with no recollection of how she got there or what happened. Something is obviously very wrong. Where’s her husband?  What happened that caused their honeymoon to derail so dramatically?

To find out, the author takes us on a trip from London to Vietnam, from Asha’s wedding day to her honeymoon and to having to deal with the aftermath. Asha needs to dig deep to find out the truth in a world she’s never quite belonged. A world of the rich and privileged, a world where money talks and people seem to be able to get away with anything. Asha comes from a far different background and also has the “wrong” skin colour. She’s not exactly welcomed with open arms.

From the first day of the honeymoon, the cracks begin to show as Asha’s new husband Oliver acts rather strangely. Is he merely tired? Is he already tired of her? Or is there something else going on? Asha and Oliver spend a lot of time with other tourists, none of them particularly likeable in my opinion. In fact, it made me feel like the best holidays are those in the middle of nowhere with not another person in sight. 😄

Sarah J. Naughton kept me guessing from the chilling prologue right until the end, when I had all but exhausted my list of potential suspects, ruling them out one by one. Even on the glorious beaches of Vietnam, there is a constant threatening vibe and at times, I was almost holding my breath expecting something to happen. Paradise suddenly felt incredibly claustrophobic, creating a fantastic contrast between something pretty and something ugly.

The Other Couple is a deliciously twisty tale of grief and revenge. A story that had me trying really hard to figure out the pieces of the puzzle but ultimately left me baffled. This is a psychological thriller that oozes atmosphere and will leave you suspicious of everyone.

The Other Couple is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Sarah J Naughton grew up in Dorset, on a diet of tales of imperiled heroines and wolves in disguise. As an adult her reading matter changed but those dark fairytales had deep roots. Her debut children’s thriller, THE HANGED MAN RISES, featured a fiend from beyond the grave menacing the streets of Victorian London, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa award. TATTLETALE was her first psychological thriller for adults. Sarah lives in Central London with her husband and two sons.

Author links : Twitter

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The Darkness Around Her by Neil White @neilwhite1965 @BonnierZaffre #TheDarknessAroundHer #NetGalley

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Author : Neil White
Title : The Darkness Around Her
Series : Dan Grant #2
Pages : 448
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : August 9, 2018 (ebook) | August 23, 2018 (paperback)

aboutthebook

See no evil . . .

When Lizzie Barnsley is murdered along a canal after escaping the clutches of her abusive boyfriend, Dan Grant is called in to represent her alleged killer. Peter Box has confessed to Lizzie’s murder, but did he actually do it, or is there some other, darker, force at play?

Hear no evil . . .

When Dan and his investigator, Jayne Brett, begin to look into the case, they discover a number of canalside murders and disappearances, including the brutal killing of fourteen-year-old Rosie Smith ten years earlier. Rosie’s stepfather Sean had been accused, but they discover that somebody else tried to confess – Peter Box.

Speak no evil . . .

With a client who has a habit of confessing to murder, Dan and Jayne have their work cut out for them, but when it becomes clear that Peter Box can’t have been involved with every murder and disappearance along the canal, the two realise that they may have stumbled on to something far more sinister.

But the clock is ticking and time is running out for the next victim . . .

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Move over, John Grisham! I’ve found myself a new favourite legal crime thriller author and his name is Neil White. After thoroughly enjoying the first book in the Dan Grant series, From the Shadows, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into its follow-up.

In The Darkness Around Her, Dan Grant is facing the difficult task of defending an alleged killer, Peter Box, in a murder trial. Peter has been accused of the murder of Lizzie Barnsley, who was found along a canal path. But Peter is making things increasingly tough by refusing to talk to the police and to his lawyer. Did he really kill Lizzie or is someone else responsible? After all, Lizzie wasn’t the first victim along this stretch of the canal.

Jayne and Dan have to dig deep to get to the truth, uncovering a whole trail of missing and murdered women along the way. Is Peter Box responsible for all of them? Meanwhile, Dan is also forced to face a future without his boss, Pat, who is considering retirement. As if being solely in charge of a murder defence wasn’t enough to deal with.

One of the things I really enjoy about this series is that it combines the best of two worlds for me. I love legal thrillers and the drama that is played out in a court setting, which is obviously where Dan comes in. But I also get the investigation into a crime with Detective Murdoch but even more so, with private investigator Jayne. I really enjoy the dynamics between Dan and Jayne, even though that will-they/won’t-they thing continues. But just like the characters, I’m struggling to decide if it would be a good thing or not for them to become involved.

The Darkness Around Her is intensely gripping, with intriguing and complex characters. The pace and the action builds up to almost unbearable levels. Neil White kept me guessing for ages as to what was really going on and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough to see what the outcome would be. This is a cleverly plotted, brilliantly executed, enthralling and insanely addictive thriller. An incredibly tense ride with a few surprises along the way that I found hard to put down and absolutely fantastic addition to the series! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | Goodreads

Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan @JackJordanBooks @CorvusBooks @theotherkirsty #blogtour #BeforeHerEyes

Delighted to join the blog tour for Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan today! My thanks to Kirsty Doole at Corvus for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Jack Jordan
Title : Before Her Eyes
Pages : 352
Publisher : Corvus / Atlantic
Publication date : August 16, 2018

aboutthebook

She can’t see the killer
But the killer can see her…

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in the small, claustrophobic town of Balkerne Heights, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But before she can, Naomi stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.
For Naomi, this frightening truth changes everything: she realises that she wants to live, at the very point at which her life is in greatest peril.

As the police begin hunting the person responsible and the bodies pile up, Naomi must lie in wait and answer the question that hangs her fate in the balance: why did the killer let her live?

In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…

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Well hello, Jack Jordan! So, we finally meet. So to speak. I’ve heard a lot about you (all good, I promise) and I figured it was about time I introduced myself to your books. But I had no idea that that cutsie smile you so often display hides such an incredibly devilish brain!

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. One day, while walking down a dark and icky alley, she stumbles upon the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. Naomi can sense she’s not alone and while she may not be able to see the killer, she could very well be the only person able to identify them. But why did the killer let her live? And is there a connection to the disappearance of another young woman years ago?

The prologue alone already sent shivers up and down my spine. There’s a delightful creepy sort of vibe throughout the story, helped enormously by the fantastic writing as Jack Jordan really brings home what it’s like to be blind. It felt almost claustrophobic. It definitely felt incredibly scary and that’s without thinking there’s a psychopath after you.

Now, I must admit that Naomi often made me feel like I was watching one of those old slasher type movies. You know, the ones where you find yourself yelling “don’t open the bloody door!!!!!”. Some of the decisions she made seemed a bit dubious to me but hey, I’m not blind (thank goodness) so what do I know.

I couldn’t at all guess at the outcome. Although I had a wee nugget of an idea in my head and I felt rather smug when it looked like I might be right. But then …. those final pages turned the whole thing onto its head and I actually gasped out loud. Talk about being blindsided and sucker punched. Fabulous!

Before Her Eyes is chilling, disturbing, dark and brilliantly addictive. A delicious page-turner that will have you flipping/swiping the pages faster as you go, biting your nails before ending up utterly floored and exhausted.

I suppose you could say my first outing with Jack Jordan went rather well and I quite look forward to hanging out with him again. And by hanging out, I obviously mean read his other books as I’m not entirely sure I’d want to get too close to that devious mind. 😉

Before Her Eyes is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Jack Jordan is the global number one bestselling author of Anything for Her (2015), My Girl (2016), A Woman Scorned (2018), and Before Her Eyes (2018).

To find out more about Jack, enter numerous annual giveaways to win signed copies of his books, and be one of the first to hear of new book releases and news, follow him here:

Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

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Weekly Wrap-Up (August 26)

 

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Cold! It’s cold! So cold! Looks like summer is officially over. I’m frantically keeping an eye on the weather forecast for glorious Tuscany now and hoping for some lovely 30+ degrees when I get there. Two weeks to go! Squee!

Books I’ve read this week

Another 7 under my belt and also, not listed, a DNF at 50%. Totally counts.


Books I’ve bought this week

The Corset is a pre-order so that technically doesn’t count 😉


ARC’s received via Netgalley

Just happened to be on Twitter for a change when Orion started handing these out so obviously I jumped at the chance.

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Bookpost that landed on my doorstep this week

May have been somewhat excited.

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On the blog this past week

Monday : Joined the blog blitz for The Edge of Sanity by Chris Thomas and posted my review for VOX by Christina Dalcher.

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Deceive and Defend by Marilyn Cohen de Villiers

Wednesday : Shared my Week in Books and shared my thoughts on Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Thursday : Reviewed Him by Clare Empson

Friday : Shared my review for Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Saturday : Joined the blog tour for The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher and shared my review for The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up


Next week on Novel Deelights

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan

Tuesday : Review | The Darkness Around Her by Neil White

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | The Third Breath by Malcolm Hollingdrake

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell

Saturday : Blog tour | Guest post | Daisy Belle by Caitlin Davies

Sunday : Weekly Wrap Up

Ah, well, at least I’m slowing down with the tours, eh? 🤣

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In other news : In case you missed it, I totally nailed the 20 Books of Summer Challenge. With time to spare, even! I’ve added a link to the menu at the top of the page if you want to take a look at what I read, with links to Goodreads and my reviews. I do admit to changing the list a tad as I went on. Some of the books initially listed were taken out as I was invited to join the blog tours for them and as I said from the start, those didn’t count for me. I feel quite accomplished and will definitely join in again next year. How’s your challenge going?

Question of the week : Signed, numbered, limited editions. To read or not to read? Do you put the pretty on a bookshelf and buy a digital version to read instead? Or do you you read the special version?

That’s it! Wishing you all a fab end of August and lots of happy reading! xx

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood @MichaelHWood @KillerReads @HarperCollins

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Author : Michael Wood
Title : The Hangman’s Hold
Series : DCI Matilda Darke #4
Pages : 416
Publisher : Killer Reads / Harper Collins
Publication date : August 24, 2018 (ebook)

aboutthebook

Your life is in his hands.

The gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, in which Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness of your living room. As soon as you get home, he will kill you – hang you by the neck – and make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

He knows your darkest secrets.
The police are running out of time. DCI Matilda Darke is facing her worst nightmare: a serial killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice, whose campaign of violence is spreading fear throughout the city.

And he is closer than you think.
As the body count rises, Matilda is personally targeted and even her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

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You’re all reading this series, right? If not, you should be! It’s one of the best ones out there and it deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting!

The Hangman’s Hold is the fourth instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke series, a series which is going from strength to strength and I have no qualms whatsoever in saying this is the best one yet. Quite frankly, I didn’t expect that because the previous book, Room Full of Killers was so utterly mind-blowing that I didn’t think Michael Wood could top that. I apologise for underestimating you, sir.

So, we meet the Hangman. He’s a vigilante serial killer with an ax to grind and the race is on to catch him from selecting another victim. The victims have been chosen for a reason and are hanged by the neck to pay for crimes they’ve committed in the past. This is where I found myself in the very strange position of almost sympathising with the killer’s reasoning. Because really, does the punishment always fit the crime? I think not.

Busy as the killer may be, they do also find the time to taunt Matilda along the way. This causes Matilda to think they’re quite close and just like her, I couldn’t at all figure out who to trust anymore on this team I’ve grown so fond of. A team that’s struggling to sink their teeth into the investigation due to a fierce case of victim apathy and yet, again, I could sympathise with that as well as it’s all too easy to imagine. I also thoroughly enjoyed how the focus shifted away from the case and delved into the impact the crimes have on family members who are left to deal with the aftermath.

It took me a while to figure out who the hangman was as Michael Wood deftly led me in the wrong direction. This is one gripping and tense story and I was hooked from the first page to the last. On top of that, this fantastic addition to the series ends on a massive cliffhanger that is sure to have readers coming back for more! I know I am!

The Hangman’s Hold is available in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published in September.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | WorderyGoodreads

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Book 20 from my 20 Books of Summer list. Nailed it! And with time to spare too. *smug*

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The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher @srwilsher @rararesources #blogtour #guestpost

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to join! Author S.R. Wilsher joins me on the blog today to talk about his writing process but first, here is what The Glass Diplomat is all about.

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Author : S.R. Wilsher
Title : The Glass Diplomat
Pages : 421
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : August 20, 2018

aboutthebook

In 1973 Chile, thirteen-year-old English schoolboy Charlie Norton watches his father walk into the night and never return. Taken in by diplomat Tomas Abrego, his life becomes intricately linked to the family.

Eleven years later, Abrego is the Chilean Ambassador to London and Charlie is reunited with the Abrego sisters. Despite his love for them, he’s unable to prevent Maria falling under the spell of a left-wing revolutionary, or Sophia from being used as a political pawn by her father.

His connection to the family is complicated by the growing evidence that Tomas Abrego was somehow involved in his father’s disappearance.

As the conflict of a family divided by love and politics comes to a head on the night of the 1989 student riots in Santiago, Charlie has to act to save the sisters from an enemy they cannot see.

Amazon US | Amazon UKGoodreads

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Writing process

My approach to writing has changed over the years, generally dictated by the job I’m doing. When I first started I was working as an installation rep and used to speed through my work to park up out of the way and write. Later, when I had my own office, I was quite productive. I’ve never been the prefect employee. But my productivity really increased in 2009 after I had a renal transplant and no longer wanted to work 50 plus hours a week. That’s when I developed the process I keep to now.

I always have more than one project on the go. One I’m writing and one I’m rewriting. 

When I have an idea, I tend to let it roll around in my head for a while to see if it takes root. Once it does, I’ll start making notes and see if the idea is big enough and interesting enough to live with for a year or more. I always want an idea of how it will end at this point as well. I think the ending is the most important part. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a happy, sad, or ambiguous ending, as long it suits the story that’s been told. 

Once I start writing, I try to work through from beginning to end but, if I get stuck, then I’ll skip ahead and write other parts, returning to fill in. When the first draft is finished, I put it away for a few months and work on something else. I like to put some time and distance between the first draft and the second as I’m better able to see what doesn’t work. 

An idea can come from anywhere; the news, a conversation, a song lyric, or a picture. The Good Father came from the image of a man behind the barbed wire of a refugee camp holding a child up for the press to photograph. The Collection of Heng Souk was based on a story about my father’s time in the Korean War. 

I write every day. But I don’t insist on writing 3000 words before anything else can happen. I don’t find daily word counts helpful. My aim is simply to make progress every day. That way it’s never a chore. It’s hard enough for my family living with someone preoccupied with unreal people and situations living in their head without subjecting them completely to the solitary lifestyle of writing. 

On a writing day, I will write early in the morning before breaking to carry on with life, returning to write at night when the TV is off and I’m up alone. This is when I achieve the most. On a non-writing day, I still think about the story, and I take a notebook everywhere to jot down ideas, or puzzle through conundrums the story has thrown up. I like to stay close to a story and not spend too long away from it.

On a longer term basis, it generally takes more than a year to write something. When it’s finished, I then rest it. In the old days, the resting period would be forced on me as I waited for the rejection letters. Now that I rarely submit anything for consideration, it just sits and waits for me to get back to it. 

When I’ve rested and returned and rewritten, then I rest it again. These days the final edit involves highlighting all the words I have a tendency to overuse, and working through the list (58 at the last count) to remove as many as possible.

I’ve learnt several things the hard way. Don’t rush to publish is the main one, because there’s nothing that can’t be improved. Although there clearly comes a point when you have to let it go. Getting that right is the hard part. My biggest mistake was with The Collection of Heng Souk. I wrote the main body of the story in UK English, but used US English for the journal part written by an American. That didn’t go down too well in the US and I received a lot of flak for spelling and grammar. In the end, I rewrote it all in US English because it was predominantly an American story. 

I’m still living with that mistake, and so I’m more careful these days.

abouttheauthor

It didn’t occur to me to write until I was twenty-two, prompted by reading a disappointing book by an author I’d previously liked. I wrote thirty pages of a story I abandoned because it didn’t work on any level. I moved on to a thriller about lost treasure in Central America; which I finished, but never showed to anyone. Two more went the way of the first, and I forgave the author.

After that I became more interested in people-centric stories. I also decided I needed to get some help with my writing, and studied for a degree with the OU. I chose Psychology partly because it was an easier sell to my family than Creative Writing. But mainly because it suited the changing tastes of my writing. When I look back, so many of my choices have been about my writing. 

I’ve been writing all my adult life, but nine years ago I had a kidney transplant which interrupted my career, to everyone’s relief. It did mean my output increased, and I developed a work plan that sees me with two projects on the go at any one time. Although that has taken a hit in recent months as I’m currently renovating a house and getting to know my very new granddaughter.

I write for no other reason than I enjoy it deeply. I like the challenge of making a story work. I get a thrill from tinkering with the structure, of creating characters that I care about, and of manipulating a plot that unravels unpredictably, yet logically. I like to write myself into a corner and then see how I can escape. To me, writing is a puzzle I like to spend my time trying to solve. 

Author links :  Twitter | Website

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Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter @SlaughterKarin @HarperCollinsUK #20BooksofSummer #mustread

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Author : Karin Slaughter
Title : Pieces of Her
Pages : 470
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : August 9, 2018

aboutthebook

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . .

mythoughts

I don’t think it’s a secret anymore that I am a massive fan of Karin Slaughter’s work so when Pieces of Her arrived, I had no qualms whatsoever in turning my reading schedule entirely upside down so I could squeeze this one in.

Pieces of Her marks quite a departure from Karin Slaughter’s previous work. If you’re expecting something like her amazing Will Trent series, this is not it. All I can tell you is to please keep an open mind when you pick this one up as there is none of that particular gruesomeness throughout that you may be expecting but it is nonetheless an intensely gripping story and I absolutely loved it!

Andy and her mother, Laura, are enjoying a nice lunch when a young man enters the diner and starts shooting at people. To Andy’s surprise, Laura executes some majorly impressive ninja skills and takes the shooter down but where the heck did she learn how to do that? She’s a normal mother, isn’t she? A speech therapist, for crying out loud. Suddenly Andy is left feeling like she doesn’t know her mother at all.

Laura has been in hiding for years. She has a new identity and lives a quiet life but the events in the diner have now left her exposed and in danger. Laura’s story will be revealed through quite explosive chapters set in the 80’s, bringing to the fore a number of injustices and thus turning this into more than “just” a psychological thriller.

The premise of this story intrigued me from the start. It made me think about how well I knew my own mother, for instance. I’m sure like many of you, I got the little glimpses into what her life was like before I was born but mostly they centred around how she met my father, the jobs she had, what school was like in those days. Does that really tell you what a person is truly like though? Do we ever really know someone through and through? Do we even really need to know all there is to know about our parents?

As with every Karin Slaughter book, Pieces of Her starts with a horrible event. There are more to follow but this book isn’t about that really. This is very much a character-driven and tense thriller that explores relationships between mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters and siblings. And along the way, Andy will not only try to fit the pieces of her mother together, but also find out more about the kind of person she is herself. Because like so many of her generation, Andy is lost and needs to figure out what to do with her life.

Karin Slaughter has written some brilliant stand-alones already and this one is no different. It had me utterly gripped with its fantastic plot and interesting and incredibly multi-layered characters. Pieces of Her is clever and complex and for me it once again proves that Karin Slaughter is one of the best writers and storytellers out there. I love that she doesn’t choose the safe option and stick to what she knows, so to speak, and that she isn’t afraid to try her hand at something completely different, surprising me at every turn. Whatever she decides to do next, wherever she goes, I will follow. I’ll be right there, ready to devour the pages, safe in the knowledge that she will blow me away.

Pieces of Her is available to buy!

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

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Book 19 from my 20 Books of Summer list

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