Weekly Wrap-Up (December 23)

Hear ye, hear ye! (I don’t know, just go with it)

This will be my final wrap-up of the year. That’s right, I’m taking a wee break. Considering the past few weeks, I doubt many will notice a difference but I figured a fair warning was the least I could do. I am determined to get a head start on my January reading schedule. Which would quite frankly be going a heck of a lot better if I didn’t accidentally read from my February schedule instead 🙄

I won’t be disappearing completely. I’ll still be around sharing your posts, popping up on social media from time to time. But most of all, I shall be reading and spreading the Christmas germs. Cheer! I meant cheer! 🤧

Yes, yes, blah blah, Eva, have you been reading lately though? The answer to that burning question is yes. But not that much. As you will see below, bearing in mind my last wrap-up was on December 2nd. Oops.

| BOOKS I READ THE PAST FEW WEEKS |

Bit sad, isn’t it? One of those took me almost two weeks to read and it wasn’t even a bad one.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THESE PAST FEW WEEKS |

Looks like someone is collecting some classics.

| ARC’s RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY |

And only one of those is for a blog tour! Go me!

I’m not doing a round-up of my posts from these past few weeks and since I’m taking a blogging break, there’s nothing to look forward to either 😄

Normal service will resume on January 2nd, when I will be sharing some of my most anticipated books of 2019.

In the meantime, all that’s left for me to do is to say thank you! Bookish and blogging wise, it’s been an absolutely fantastic year and a lot of that is down to you, dear readers and fellow bloggers. You’re a brilliant lot! I have made some new friends and I’ve grown closer to some older (not a reference to age) friends. I’ve been interviewed, was nominated for a blogger award and (in case you missed it) got my 200 reviews badge from Netgalley. I completed the 20 Books of Summer Challenge, desperately battled my blog tour addiction (and failed miserably) while dealing with a reading mojo that was up and down like a yo-yo. But through it all, there was you. And you. And even you! With support, with reading recommendations, with tips and more importantly, with laughter. So, THANK YOU! ❤️

I wish you all the most wonderful Christmas, a fabulous 2019 and as always, lots of happy reading! xx

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Eva @NovelDeelights

Today, I visit The Reading Chick for a nice chat with the lovely Deb!

The Reading Chick

When you read Eva’s bio you can tell that she’s a lover of books, mostly crime novels and mystery’s. What I like the best is that her voice is really clear and she’s full of sass! I like a woman who has a sense of humor, especially when it’s directed at herself. Eva’s posts are fun to read, so if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, please click the link below!

Eva @ Novel Deelights

Let’s see how Eva answered my 10 questions!

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I live in the north of Belgium, quite close to the border with the Netherlands.

What is the view outside your front door?

I’m already cheating here but I have a good reason for it. There’s a building site across the…

View original post 828 more words

The Taken Girls by G.D. Sanders | @AvonBooksUK | #blogtour #extract #TheTakenGirls

Happy Friday and welcome to my final blog tour of the year! My thanks to Sabah at Avon UK for the invitation to join. Today, I’m sharing with you all an extract from The Taken Girls by G.D. Sanders. First, let’s see what this book is all about!

Author : G.D. Sanders
Title : The Taken Girls
Pages : 335
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : December 13, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?

| EXTRACT |

A short woman of about the same age appeared at the man’s shoulder. Her clothes were crumpled and there were streaks of mascara beneath tired eyes, which looked questioningly at the two policewomen.

‘Mrs Naylor, Mr Naylor, I’m Detective Constable Eastham. You may remember I was here last night. This is Detective Sergeant Ogborne. Perhaps we could go somewhere to talk?’

Mr Naylor turned to his wife. ‘I’ll take the officers into the front. Perhaps you could bring the tea through.’

They had barely sat down before Mrs Naylor reappeared with a tray. The detectives both declined the proffered tea and biscuits. Lucy’s parents looked expectantly at Jenny. Ed coughed and spoke.

‘As Jenny said, I’m Detective Sergeant Ed Ogborne. I wasn’t here last night. Let me begin by offering our sympathy for what you must be feeling at this time. There’s nothing we can say to take away the pain and anxiety but we’ll be doing everything we can to find your daughter as quickly as possible and to bring her safely home.’

Mrs Naylor, who had been sitting rigidly in the corner of the sofa with her hands clenched in her lap, could contain herself no longer. Her shoulders sagged. ‘There’s no news then? You haven’t found her? You’ve no clues as to where she is? You don’t know who’s taken our Lucy?’

‘Mrs Naylor, I know it’s difficult but it is early days. We have teams of officers going house to house questioning everybody in the area in case they saw something that might help. We’re here to speak with you and then we’ll talk to the Shaxteds.’

Mr Naylor reached for his wife’s hand and turned towards Ed. ‘What more do you want? We spoke to your colleague last night. We’d rather you were out looking for Lucy.’

Oooh! What happened to Lucy? Will they find her before it’s too late? If you can’t wait to find out, why not grab yourself a copy of The Taken Girls right now!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

On leaving his academic post, Geoff Sanders switched from writing evidence-based research articles to imagination-based contemporary crime fiction. 

He grew up in Kent and studied at three London colleges to complete bachelor degrees in science and a PhD. He would wind down by playing drums in jazz and blues bands. After a few years in Italy, he embarked on a full-time academic career in London. His submission for a popular science book was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Prize. 

Now, writing as G.D. Sanders, he is the author of dark-hearted contemporary crime novels featuring a bright, but impetuous, female detective, DI Ed (Edina) Ogborne and her CID team in Canterbury Kent. His debut, The Taken Girls, is the first in a planned series featuring Ed Ogborne. The Chosen Ones, the second novel in this series, will be published on 27 June 2019. 

Geoff Sanders lives in southwest London. You can follow him on Twitter @GDSandersAuthor.

The Rumour by Lesley Kara | @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #TheRumour

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for The Rumour by Lesley Kara today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my brilliant review copy! Make sure to also check out my dear friend Karen’s review over at My Reading Corner!

Author : Lesley Kara
Title : The Rumour
Pages : 320
Publisher : Bantam Press / Transworld Books
Publication date : December 27, 2018 (hardcover)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

| MY THOUGHTS |

A disturbing backstory and the controversial topic of convicted child killers living a normal life set the scene for this chilling psychological thriller. Who are these people, hiding behind new identities? They walk amongst us at the shops, frequent the same restaurants or even babysit our children. Is there any thought more frightening than that?

Rumour has it convicted child killer Sally McGowan has been living in the small town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally was just ten years old when she stabbed a little boy to death. That was almost fifty years ago and there have been no sightings of her. Nobody knows what Sally looks like as an adult. Could she really be living in this quiet area? Just a little gossip at the school gates quickly takes a rather more sinister turn when Joanna passes the rumour on at her book club. 

And just like that, I found myself in the middle of a tangled web that messed with my head like crazy. It felt like getting lost in a maze and needing bread crumbs to find my way back out again. The list of suspects I put together was almost as long as my arm and I couldn’t figure out at all who to trust. If anyone. It seemed like just about everyone had something to hide and poor Joanna soon wishes she had just kept her mouth shut.

The “this kept me guessing until the end” is sometimes rather overused and I’m guilty of that myself but with this novel, it’s incredibly apt. It’s incredibly refreshing not to see things coming a mile away. Lesley Kara managed to outwit me at every turn, making me suspect everyone and The Rumour left me almost breathless as the pace and tension built up.

Full of intriguing and complex characters, brilliantly written and intensely gripping, The Rumour is one of those books that is just perfect for one glorious reading session. A highly addictive page-turner with an impending sense of doom that ultimately leads to an incredibly chilling conclusion.

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that The Rumour managed to sneak in on my list of favourite books of the year as a last minute addition and this remarkably exciting debut by Lesley Kara has me eagerly awaiting what she comes up with next

The Rumour is available in ebook format now! The hardcover will be published on December 27th, with the paperback to follow in July.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She completed an English degree and PGCE at Greenwich University, having previously worked as a nurse and a secretary, and then became a lecturer and manager in Further Education.

Lesley has relocated to a small town on the North Essex coast, where she is currently working on her second novel.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

My Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2018

What an absolutely amazing year for books it has been! 

Just like last year, I thought splitting things up between series and stand-alones would help narrow down the list but nope. A Top 10 was never going to happen here. Despite the fact that my reading mojo was up and down like a bloody yo-yo all year, I still managed to read 250 books. Sure, that’s 50 less than last year but do I care? Clue : no, I don’t 😉

Anyway, I present to you My Top 20 Favourite (stand-alone) Reads of 2018. With apologies to the authors/books I had to drop from the list.

In no particular order, except for the Top 5, here we go!

Phoebe Locke – The Tall Man [my review]
Louise Voss – The Old You [my review]
Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs [my review]
Mark Edwards – The Retreat [my review]

Ane Riel – Resin [no review]
Joanna Cannon – Three Things About Elsie [no review]
Gillian McAllister – No Further Questions [my review]
Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest [my review]

Lesley Kara – The Rumour [review to follow]
Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her [my review]
SJI Holliday – The Lingering [my review]
Elly Griffiths – The Stranger Diaries [review to follow]

Gill Paul – The Lost Daughter [my review]
Louise Beech – The Lion Tamer Who Lost [my review]
Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance [my review]

Top 5

5. C.J. Tudor – The Chalk Man [my review]
4. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway [my review]
3. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep [my review]
2. Elizabeth Haynes – The Murder of Harriet Monckton [my review]

My favourite book of the year is …

I don’t think this comes as a huge surprise. When I read this back in February, I said it would take something insanely special to knock this off the top spot. Skin Deep and Harriet Monckton came awfully close but in the end, “Agatha Christie on crack” won out. [my review]

A massive thank you to all the authors, publishers and Netgalley for making 2018 so spectacular! And to you, my fellow bloggers and readers, huge thanks for the support, for visiting and for commenting! ❤️

Bloodhound’s Christmas Cracker Blog Tour | @MTilburyAuthor @bloodhoundbook | #BloodhoundsChristmasCrackers

Today, I am joining the Bloodhound Christmas Cracker Blog Tour. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? In the run up to Christmas, Bloodhound Books is offering deals you can’t pass up! Every day, there are bargains to be had so don’t miss out! In case you need help deciding on what to buy, if not everything 😉, this tour helps to refresh your memory on some of the awesome books that are up for grabs. Which is why you now find me re-sharing my review for The Key to Death’s Door by Mark Tilbury.

Author : Mark Tilbury
Title : The Key to Death’s Door
Pages : 361
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : April 16, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Flippin’ heck! What even?! I have no idea how to review this sheer awesomeness at all!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, probably also in a review for the same author, that I don’t normally read paranormal or supernatural stories but for Mark Tilbury, I gladly make an exception and I don’t regret a single second of it. This is the third book in this genre that I’ve read by him and once again, it completely blew me away!

So, see that book description at the top of the page? Yes, that’s all you’re going to get from me where the plot is concerned. Why though, I hear you ask? Because I actually tried to explain it to the OH and the poor man got horribly confused. What you really need to know is that most of the story is set in the present day, while some of it regards events from thirty years earlier. These two periods are linked by one character and what a character it is!

As I’ve come to expect from this author, that particular character is one of the most despicable, vile and evil men ever to roam the planet! Very few people come up with someone so incredibly disturbing but Mark Tilbury manages it in every single book of his I’ve read so far. The only relief from all the heinous acts comes in the form of the friendship between Lee and Charlie in the present, and two other characters in the past. Everyone should have a friend like them and in the midst of the horror, I regularly found myself smiling at their banter.

The Key to Death’s door doesn’t exactly make for comfortable reading. It is an incredibly dark and harrowing tale of abuse, of not always being able to protect your family no matter how hard you try and of seeking justice. It’s a hard-hitting, well-written, compelling, gritty and thought-provoking story that, days later, still has me utterly reeling.

If you’re a fan of Mark Tilbury’s books, I have no doubt you will love this one as much as I did. If you haven’t yet discovered this author, I highly recommend you take the time to get caught up. In the meantime I’m off to firmly add him to my list of go-to authors and (im)patiently await his next offering, which I’m sure will rock my socks off just as much as this one did. No pressure, sir.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryWordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his fifth novel, The Key to Death’s Door published along with The Liar’s Promise, The Abattoir of Dreams, and The Ben Whittle Investigations relaunched, by Bloodhound Books.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 (part two)

Welcome to part two of my favourite series of 2018. If you missed part one yesterday, you can find it here.

Let’s get to it. Once again, these are in random order. Except for the last one which is most definitely my favourite this year. 

| Stuart MacBride – Logan McRae |

No list is complete without the inimitable Stuart MacBride. This one is incredibly dark, disturbing and harrowing. Yet true to form, MacBride manages to infuse a healthy dose of humour that had me chuckling at the most inappropriate moments and that’s exactly what makes him stand out from the crowd. [my review]

| Fredrik Backman – Beartown |

Sheer magic. The Scandal was my favourite book last year and my expectations for this follow-up were insanely high but boy, did Backman deliver. [my review]

| Carol Wyer – DI Robyn Carter |

I’m not sure what I can say about Carol Wyer that I haven’t said before. I’m just such a fan of her writing and her dark side and this series will always remain a firm favourite. [my review]

| Matt Wesolowski – Six Stories |

Without a doubt, one of my most anticipated books of the past year, which was luckily published back in January because the wait would have been excruciating. Fiction with such a creepily delicious true crime feel to it, it left me reeling for days! [my review]

| Joseph Knox –  Aidan Waits |

Joseph Knox’s debut told me he was an author to watch and with this second book, he firmly cemented my belief and put himself out there as one of the best crime writers of today. [my review]

| Steve Cavanagh – Eddie Flynn |

This book probably deserves the award for best tagline of the year. It’s also the reason I grabbed this one as soon as it was available, not realising at the time it was part of a series. Thankfully, it read perfectly well as a stand-alone and I had no doubt it would end up on my list at the end of the year. [my review]

| Rachel Amphlett – Detective Kay Hunter |

No list is complete without the fantastic Rachel Amphlett and her brilliant Kay Hunter series! [my reviews here and here]

| Steph Broadribb – Lori Anderson |

Hard-hitting action from beginning to end with a kick-ass female protagonist! What more could you possibly want? [my review]

| Thomas Enger – Henning Juul |

The final instalment in the fantastic Henning Juul series can’t be missing from this list. Such a bittersweet moment, seeing everything coming together masterfully but also realising I was at the end of the line with this series! Thomas Enger was my first introduction to the Scandi-Noir genre and for that reason alone, the Henning Juul series will always hold a special place in my heart.  [my review]

| Sharon Bolton – The Craftsman |

This one was initially way up on my other list of favourite books until I realised it is the first one in a trilogy so it made its way onto this list instead.  The Craftsman is without a doubt my most favourite book from a series this year and Sharon Bolton firmly holds on to her spot on my list of go-to authors. Needless to say the follow-up, The Poisoner, is one of my most anticipated books of next year. [my review]

And there you have it. My favourite series of the year. 

Now is your chance to kick my bum (virtually, thank you) and tell me which series I’ve left out. Are there some you don’t agree with? Are there any you can’t wait to read? 

Hope you find something you like here and I’ve given you some ideas. Next week, I’ll hopefully be sharing my list of favourite stand-alones of 2018. That one is still a work in progress.

Until next time! Happy reading! xx

My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 (part one)

What an incredible year for books 2018 has been! I remember back in January already thinking compiling these end-of-year lists would be an impossible task. So just like last year, I’ve split things up. My favourite stand-alones will follow at a later date but in this post, I’m focusing on my favourite series. At least it will give me the opportunity to highlight more books.

Some of these may not have been published this year but since I read them this year, I mention them anyway alongside their most recent additions.

Because the list is so long (I had no idea I read so many series!), I’m splitting this post up into two parts.

So, in random order, My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 – Part One!

| Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome |

I said it last year and I’ll say it again : Sarah Hilary’s writing just keeps getting better and better and this series is one of the strongest out there! [my review]

| Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanach |

Again, a corker of a series! I’ve loved this series from the very beginning and any crime fiction fan, of the not faint-hearted variety, should most definitely be reading this! [my reviews here and here]

| David Jackson – DS Nathan Cody |

An absolutely brilliant addition to an already outstanding series that I feel more people should be talking about! [my review]

| Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone |

Was there ever any doubt these would be on the list? Still going utterly strong after nine books and still a series I’ll happily drop everything for when a new book publishes. [my review here and here]

| J.D. Barker – 4MK |

I’ve found that I’m leaning more towards books set in England lately but I gladly make an exception for the 4MK Thriller series because it just blows my mind! I’m incredibly excited to see how J.D. Barker wraps things up in the final instalment. [my review for The Fifth to Die]

| Johanna Gustawsson – Roy and Castells |

Modern crimes combined with historical fiction? Don’t mind if I do! If you’re looking for addictive page-turners, this is it! [my review]

| Cara Hunter – DI Adam Fawley |

One of those series that just hooked me from the first page. I thought Close To Home was amazing but In The Dark was even better! I can’t wait for book three! [my review for Close to Home]

| Sarah Ward – DC Connie Childs |

I’ve been reading this series from the beginning but have never reviewed it. These books tend to be published right before I leave on holiday in September and they are the first book I pick up when I’m settling down by the pool in Tuscany. I can never find the words to them justice and so don’t review them but consider them my very own special treat. So good!

| Alison Weir – The Six Tudor Queens |

Few people do Tudor fiction the way Alison Weir does and The Six Tudor Queens brings that era to life in the most fascinating way. [my review]

| Daniel Cole – Detective William Fawkes |

Slightly misleading to call it the second book in the Detective William Fawkes series since he’s not actually in it. Personally I didn’t really miss him all that much because of another character but I know other people did. Still, another gripping and exciting book that makes you anxiously await the next instalment. [my review]

So there we have it. Part one of my favourite series of the year. Anything here you’ve read as well? Enjoyed? Didn’t like at all? I’d ask you to mention which books you’d add to the list but since there’s more to come, we’ll leave that for now. Be sure to come back tomorrow for part two! 

Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer | @carolewyer @bookouture

Author : Carol Wyer
Title : Last Lullaby
Series : DI Natalie Ward #2
Pages :
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : December 7, 2018
aboutthebook

When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood.

As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.

Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’ scrawled on the wall next to her.

All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.

mythoughts

And Carol Wyer strikes again! I swear this amazing woman is a writing machine. There is just no stopping her! And if you think that means the quality is suffering, you are so wrong! As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, in this book.

Last Lullaby is the second book in the Natalie Ward series and it’s every bit as fabulous as its predecessor. Or dare I say, it’s even better! As I’ve come to expect from this author, it is utterly gripping from the very first page. With a multitude of red herrings, dead ends and lies and deceit to wade through, this is one insanely frustrating and complex investigation and I couldn’t work it out at all. I ended up suspecting pretty much every character I was introduced to.

Once again, I really enjoyed the team dynamics but what really lit a fire in my belly was seeing Lucy taking centre stage, kicking ass and just being generally fierce! Just like in the previous book, Carol Wyer manages to create a perfect balance between the team’s personal lives and their jobs, giving the reader the opportunity to get to know them better. But more than anything, she always makes you almost sympathise with the killer and sometimes that’s even more unnerving than the actual murders they commit.

Dark and disturbing, brilliantly paced and extremely compelling, Last Lullaby will have you flipping or swiping the pages faster as you go, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout. On top of that, we are left with a bit of a cliffhanger that has me rather impatiently awaiting the next instalment.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Carol Wyer can do no wrong in my eyes and I’ll pick up pretty much anything she throws my way. I can’t wait for the next book in the Natalie Ward series. Although I must admit, I do miss Robin. 😉

Last Lullaby is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

Halfway by B.E. Jones | @bevjoneswriting @LittleBrownUK| #blogtour #bookreview #Halfway #damppebblesblogtours

It’s a real pleasure to be one of two bloggers kicking off the blog tour for Halfway by B.E. Jones today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

Author : B.E. Jones
Title : Halfway
Pages :
Publisher : Little Brown UK
Publication date : November 1, 2018

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass, deep in the inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, deep in snow, Lee, a student hitching home for Christmas, and Becca, a local nurse, end up knocking on the door as the blizzard takes hold. 

But are they the first to arrive? Why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father, upstairs in bed immobilised by a stroke, trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the nurse is missing she jumps at the chance to escape the boredom and heads out into the snow.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm but soon realise they might have been safer on the road, especially when Lee finds something interesting in the cellar – which is nowhere near as interesting as what’s under the old man’s bed. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas… and if everyone is lying, then who do you trust? 

Ever feel like a book description gives away way too much information? I’m honestly glad I didn’t read the blurb above before I started reading Halfway. I much prefer discovering things on my own and not quite knowing what the book was about allowed me that.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Wales, in the midst of a blizzard, the reader meets a multitude of characters. It’s rather obvious from the start that their paths will cross at some point but how or why remains a mystery for quite a while. There’s the hitchhiker, whose either running away from or towards something. There’s an old man, who has suffered a stroke, stuck in his bed just wanting to be heard. And there’s a police officer, desperate to make a name for herself. 

Out on an isolated farm, there’s been a vicious murder. The police officer is sidelined, not involved in the investigation at all. How is she supposed to move up the ranks if she can’t even get away from her desk? Who’s responsible for the murder up at the farm and why? What’s going on with the sick man in his room? As you can tell, there are a lot of questions that need answers and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to unravel the various threads.

Halfway is one intricately plotted puzzle. For the longest time, I couldn’t at all get a handle on things and didn’t have a clue what was going on. However, I found the chapters and the characters so immensely intriguing that I couldn’t stop reading. This story is very much on the slow side but does a brilliant job of setting the scene and delving into the minds of the various characters. Even if the pace puts you off at the start, stick with it. It pays off in the end when things come together rather cleverly.

Halfway is available to buy!

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

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today. 

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales. 

Halfway, her fifth crime novelfollows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.

Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books. 

Author links : Facebook | Twitter