Cut The Threads by Robin Roughley @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #CutTheThreads

Happy Saturday and welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Cut The Threads by Robin Roughley! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books!

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Author : Robin Roughley
Title : Cut The Threads
Series : DS Marnie Hammond #2
Pages : 431
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication day : February 22, 2018

aboutthebook

When the mutilated remains of local hard man, Tam Whitlow, are found tied to a chair, in a dilapidated building, Marnie Hammond and the team believe the murder could be gang-related. Whitlow worked for Jimmy Rae, a man who hides behind the facade of local businessman but whose empire has been built on fear and extortion. However, it appears that someone is trying to take over from Rae, someone who is willing to  commit horrific killings to achieve their goal.

Meanwhile, Tom Conway is looking for his oldest friend, John Hall, who is missing along with his young daughter, Rowan.  As Conway starts to ask questions he finds himself in grave danger. Is there a link between the missing man and the spate of murders? Will Tom or Marnie discover the truth before it is too late?

As the body count rises, Marnie realises that there is someone in the shadows, someone who will never rest until they have had their revenge.

mythoughts

Cut The Threads is the second book in the DS Marnie Hammond series. Events in this book directly relate to the first one in the series so I do feel you should read “Keep You Near” first as there’s quite a bit of background you’d be missing out on otherwise.

In this one though, there’s a whole cast of rather despicable characters who seem to be vying for the “worst bad guy award”. With some gruesome murders (think machete), fights, grooming and prostitution, it’s easy to find yourself completely engrossed in the world of gangs and criminal kingpin Jimmy Rae. But Jimmy’s empire is falling apart at the seams as it seems someone else has rolled into town who’s pulling the strings but who and why?

Meanwhile Tom Conway is looking for his oldest friend John, who’s gone missing with his young daughter. Being ex-army, Tom is most definitely on a mission and he’s utterly ruthless in his quest to find the truth. Despite maybe not going about things the right way, I couldn’t help but sympathise with him.

DS Marnie Hammond remains as fierce and determined as ever. She’s not afraid to break the rules from to time if she thinks this may lead to a breakthrough but more than anything, she wants to know what happened to her sister. It’s why she joined the force in the first place after all. But is teaming up with a killer taking things a step too far?

There are various threads running through this story, which may or may not be connected in some way. I enjoyed the variety in characters. Some you root for, some you’d quite happily take a machete to yourself. Cut The Threads is tense and suspenseful and a thrilling addition to the series. It kept me guessing until the end and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for Marnie next.

Cut The Threads was published on February 22nd.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Robin Roughley hails from the town of Wigan in the North-West of England and is the author of the hugely popular DS Lasser crime series.

On March 9th 2017, Rob released the first book in the  DS Marnie Hammond series, Keep You Near, published by Bloodhound.  DS Marnie Hammond hails from Lancashire, in the fictional town of Kirkhead.  Like all good detectives, Marnie comes with her own unique set of crime-solving skills.

When not writing, which amounts to roughly two days a year, he can be found walking the canal towpaths of Wigan, sorting out plot lines and looking for ideas, with an assortment of dogs in tow.

So, next time you see a shaven-headed, middle-aged man wandering about, scratching his head, looking bewildered and taking random pictures it is Rob hoping for divine inspiration.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton @stu_turton @BloomsburyRaven

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Author : Stuart Turton
Title : The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Pages : 512
Publisher :  Raven Books
Publication date : February 8, 2018

aboutthebook

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

mythoughts

Bloody hell. I have no idea how I’m supposed to review this!

At its base, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a murder mystery set in a mansion. However, Evelyn Hardcastle will die again and again, until her murder is solved. Her final day keeps repeating itself and it’s up to Aiden Bishop to find the clues that will save her. However, Aiden starts each day in someone else’s body! I mean, what now?!

While I was reading this, I dubbed it “Agatha Christie on crack” and I’m totally sticking with that. It left me confused, intrigued, made my head hurt in the best way possible and I loved every minute of it! There are twists and turns, reveals that just blew me away and a whole lot of weird stuff. I had an incredibly hard time putting this book down.

At more than 500 pages, this isn’t exactly a quickie so you may need to carve out some serious reading time if you want to truly get stuck into it. There’s very little I can say without giving anything away but suffice to say this story is utterly engrossing and addictive, making your head spin faster than the tallest rollercoaster ride. I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about it, trying to figure things out and failing miserably.

Fabulously original, brilliantly written and utterly genius, this wicked and deliciously weird tale has shot its way straight onto my top list of books of the year. Yes, I’m aware it’s only February but it’s going to take something insanely special to top this one for me. Highly, highly recommended!

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

The Scent of Guilt by Tony J. Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #TheScentofGuilt

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for The Scent of Guilt by Tony J. Forder. My thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for the opportunity and my review copy.

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Author : Tony J. Forder
Title : The Scent of Guilt
Series : DI Bliss #2
Pages : 379
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : February 17, 2018

aboutthebook

Twelve years after he left Peterborough under a cloud, DI Bliss returns to the city and the major crimes team. Having spent years policing organised crime, Bliss is plunged straight into the heart of a serial murder investigation.

Meanwhile, Penny Chandler has been promoted to DS and has been working in London on the Met’s sexual crimes team. But when two rapes are reported on her old patch in Peterborough, Chandler volunteers to interview the victims.

Chandler joins the hunt for the attacker and soon notices a possible link between the rapes and Bliss’s murder investigation. Could the same man be responsible?

Just as both cases seem to stall, a call comes in from an ex-policeman who knows of unsolved cases in the USA with a similar MO. Bliss finds himself travelling to California to hunt for a killer whose reach may have stretched further than anyone could possibly imagine.

But in order to catch the murderer, Bliss must discover the killer’s motive. A motive which should have remained buried in the past.

mythoughts

Twelve years after leaving Peterborough and the Major Crimes Team, DI Bliss is back in familiar surroundings. On his first day, he’s thrown head first into what looks to be a serial killer investigation when the body of an elderly woman is found. Meanwhile, DI Bliss’s former colleague DS Chandler has been working on rape investigations. When her most recent case leads her back to Peterborough, she thinks there may be a connection between the rapes and the murders. Their search for the killer will lead them to America and back again.

As far as this murder investigation goes, The Scent of Guilt reads perfectly well as a stand-alone but I do feel you’d miss out on quite a bit of background regarding, for instance, DI Bliss’s health, which is explained in the first book in this series Bad To The Bone. I’m glad I managed to squeeze that one in before I read this one, even though I must admit the twelve year gap threw me off a little bit in the beginning and I thought I’d missed a book somewhere. Things have obviously changed in the last twelve years and some of the people DI Bliss used to work with have been replaced. Not all of them are happy to see him return and it’s not all plain sailing.

The chase for the serial killer is incredibly thrilling. The detectives quite quickly zero in on a potential suspect but are they right in doing so? Is there a rapist and a killer? Or is there only one person responsible for both vile acts? What is the motivation behind these attacks and why now? All these questions must be answered, preferably before there’s another victim. But when DI Bliss jets off to America, is he putting his own investigation into jeopardy? I didn’t have a clue but I really enjoyed trying to figure it out.

I love that part of this book is set in America. Cold cases are always fascinating to me and having the chance to work on this puzzle alongside Bliss, trying to find some kind of connection to what’s happening back in the UK, really held my attention throughout. The Scent of Guilt is a well plotted and suspenseful crime thriller. The pace starts off a little slow but ramps up as you go along and ultimately ends with a most satisfying conclusion.  Another great addition to this series and I hope Bliss and Chandler will return soon!

The Scent of Guilt is available for purchase.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The sequel, The Scent of Guilt, is available from 17 February 2018. A third book in the series is currently in progress.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.

Some years ago, Tony won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books. The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale. It was the start of Tony’s publishing journey.

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Make sure you visit these other awesome bloggers on the blitz.

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The Meal of Fortune by Philip Brady @philbradyUK @annecater #blogtour #extract #MealofFortune

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Meal of Fortune by Philip Brady. I have an extract to share with you today but first, here’s what the book is all about.

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Author : Philip Brady
Title : The Meal of Fortune
Pages : 384
Publisher : Unbound
Publication date : November 14, 2017

aboutthebook

The worlds of arms dealing, espionage and TV cookery collide in this fast moving comedy caper.

Failing celebrity agent Dermot Jack thinks his luck might have turned when a mysterious Russian oligarch hires him to represent his pop star daughter.

Disaffected MI5 officer Anna Preston is just as happy to be handed the chance to resurrect her own career. Little do they know that their paths are about to cross again after seventeen years as they’re thrown together in a desperate attempt to lure a notorious arms dealer into a highly unusual trap.

Hard enough without having to deal with the lecherous celebrity chef trying to save his daytime TV career or the diminutive mafia enforcer who definitely has his own agenda. Then there’s the very impatient loan shark who ‘just wants his money back’.

And Anna’s bosses are hardly playing it straight either. But one thing’s for sure. There’ll be winners and losers when the Meal of Fortune finally stops spinning. Oh, and another thing, Anna and Dermot are absolutely not about to fall in love again. That’s never going to happen, OK?

extract

Chapter 1

Every Thursday the music would start in Dermot’s head the moment the bell sounded. And even before he got to the front door he’d be dancing inside. The little girl would already be out of the car, running up the path, one hand tucking a lock of long dark hair behind her ear, the other clutching the bag filled with a whole week’s worth of things she’d bought to show him. She’d always be laughing.

The music inside could be anything: that year’s big feel-good summer hit or some long-forgotten guilty pleasure with a heavy synth bass and cheesy samples. It didn’t matter; it always got him dancing inside.

And every Thursday the little girl would sit up at the kitchen counter to do the homework her mother had so thoughtfully saved up for her one night with Daddy. Still, a little help here and there and they soon had it out of the way. Then it would be time for the bag to reveal its contents. Sometimes one by one, more often all at the same time. Pictures she’d drawn as well as other random (and often unidentifiable) works of art. Stickers (what was it with kids and stickers?) and various little bits and bobs she’d collected along the way. Dermot would laugh and smile while he made her beans on toast. It wasn’t that he couldn’t cook (OK!). But Thursday was Molly’s night and it was her favourite. At bedtime ‘Just one more story’ ended up being three or four as they eked out every last minute of their time together. Their current record stood at eight.

And all the time the dance went on inside his head as the music carried on playing. Shaking, twisting and jiving. Sometimes a little breakdance or maybe even the disco strut.

As a younger man he’d got away with real dancing; at home, in the street, in the lobby of many an overpriced hotel. Just about anywhere. A few steps here, a spin or two there, maybe the odd little whoop. Amazing the allowances people made when you were young and all they wanted was their little own piece of you. But Dermot had learned long ago to keep it inside. The music, the dancing and a few other things besides.

‘The train will soon be arriving in London King’s Cross…’

He slipped out of his daydream to find the green of the countryside had given way to the dirty greys and dull browns of the city he’d always called home. So why did it feel like home was 400-odd miles behind him with an eight-year-old girl who still called him Daddy? Just. Little wonder the music inside didn’t play anymore.

Dermot stayed seated as the train slid to a halt, letting all the other passengers jostle their way off first. Only when the carriage was empty did he reach up and grab his small case from the overhead rail and head for the door.

Scotland, for God’s sake. Actually no: he was going to get it right. Scotland, for fuck’s sake.Not that he had any particular beef with the country. He’d just rather his ex-wife hadn’t taken his daughter to live there. With a man called Wayne. Wanker.

Come on… A Silicon Glen entrepreneur who’d made his first million at about the age of 12, then cashed it all in before the crash to become an organic cheese-maker.

Dermot gave the train a last look of lingering resentment as he stepped down to the platform and headed for the ticket barrier. He shouldn’t even have been on the sodding thing in the first place. Sarah’s phone call the previous Tuesday had changed that. ‘Erm, you see, the thing is…

That was the thing about his ex-wife. There was always some sort of ‘thing’. This time it was the work deadline that would make it ‘just impossible’ for her to bring Molly down to London for half term. As bloody discussed, agreed and promised. Sarah was happy enough for him to come up to Scotland to see Molly. Not to stay with them but there was no reason why he couldn’t take his daughter to Edinburgh for a couple of days. It was a safe enough offer for Sarah to make, knowing he wouldn’t be able to drop everything at work or afford the hotel. Well this time she’d be wrong. On both counts.

‘Great, I’ll book the train tomorrow.’

‘I mean… If you’re sure.’ A delicious note of doubt had crept into her voice.

‘It’s fine.’

After weeks of delays Marcus Diesel’s new contract was finally edging its way past the collection of pedants and timewasters that the TV-production company insisted on referring to as its legal department. But any further questions the lawyers concocted could be answered easily enough by phone or email.

With no way to un-invite him, Sarah had dialled the breeziness back up. ‘In that case, Molly’s got a surprise. You’ll never guess…’

‘Daddy, Daddy!’ Molly had come charging through the door of the mock Scottish castle she now called home and down the path towards him. Sarah had stayed in the doorway, the scowl she saved exclusively for Dermot doing little to hide how good she looked. Her blonde hair had been expensively cut into a shiny new bob and she’d lost weight too – something she’d never bothered with when she was with Dermot. But then he could hardly…

Maybe best not to go over all that again.

Wayne at least had shown enough tact to stay well out of sight, no doubt lurking in one of the large feasting halls of what, on closer inspection, appeared to be a genuine Scottish castle. Not such a wanker after all then? Although Dermot didn’t plan to let that count in the man’s favour. Molly had wrapped her arms around him in one of those special eight-year-old-hugs that promised to go on forever. Then she let go and looked up at him with her best smile.

‘Wayne bought me a pony.’

Of course he had. That would be the surprise Sarah had mentioned. And yes, she’d been right: he’d never have guessed. Not long ago Dermot had bought his daughter ice creams when there’d been something to celebrate. Now another man was buying her horses. Wayne’s ‘tact’ in making himself scarce was nothing more than good old-fashioned fear of a punch in the head. Dermot knew he’d been right to avoid a hasty reappraisal of the man’s wanker status.

‘He’s called Nugget. I get to ride him every day.’ The words tumbled out as if they were never going to stop. ‘And he’s got his own special bit of the stable too. It’s bigger than your whole flat, Daddy.’

Yeah cheers for that, Mol. Was it so wrong to wish the beast a nasty hoof infection or a fatal cheese-churning accident on Wayne?

Two days in Edinburgh had done much to close up the gap driven between Dermot and his daughter by the three months’ long separation and the arrival of the bloody horse. Molly had chatted away about old times as they’d done the zoo, the castle, the shops, plenty of cafés and then the zoo again (zoos were a big thing for her). It was all his Thursday nights rolled into one. The horse barely got a look in after first day. But all too soon he’d found himself back at Chateau Fromage.

‘Bye, darling. I’ll see you soon.’

‘Bye-bye, Daddy.’ She’d said it with a sad little smile. But it had only been little and not really that sad. Then she’d turned away, asking Sarah whether it was too late to have a ride on Nugget.

Dermot had been left to head back to the waiting taxi, wondering if the driver might know where to buy voodoo horse dolls in Edinburgh. And extra-long pins. But then he’d had a far better idea.

The station concourse was busy and Dermot dodged through the crowds, weighing up the choice of taxi or underground for the trip across London and home to Chiswick. The station clock read 4.29pm. So, with an hour of the working day left, he plumped for a taxi. Plenty of time to get on the phone to the production-company lawyers and ask why the bloody hell they were still stalling on Marcus Diesel’s contract.

The taxi queue moved with a swiftness that was as unexpected as it was welcome and five minutes later he was in a cab heading along Euston Road, his sleek black phone nestling snugly in his hand. The little device was no ordinary phone though. It was the lightsabre to his Luke Skywalker. In his hands it could be a weapon of almost unimaginable might. All his power (well, all his contacts) dwelled inside the neat glass-and-metal shell. With it he could unleash the force and battle the evil legion of Sith (talentless, wannabe celebs and over-paid fuckwit lawyers). He was looking at the home screen when the Jedi weapon sprang to life, the name of the dark lord of TV cookery himself written large across the screen. The thought of speaking to Marcus made Dermot’s whole face hurt on the best of days. It wasn’t for nothing that the man had been voted TV’s most annoying man three years on the spin. And that was by a viewing public who only had to watch his show rather than speak to him at least six times a day.

‘Marcus, hi.’ He took the call reluctantly, trying his hardest to keep the sigh from his voice.

‘Dermot what the—’

The rest of what Marcus had to say was drowned out by the siren of a passing fire engine. Not that it mattered; most of it would have been one or other derivative of the word ‘fuck’.

‘Come again?’

But all Dermot caught were a couple more ‘fuck’s and maybe a ‘bastard’ before another fire engine roared by.

‘Marcus, I can’t hear—’

But the chef had already hung up, presumably happy he’d got his message across. A combination of poor mobile reception, more emergency vehicles and an overly stubborn receptionist at the production company meant he was well past Shepherd’s Bush before he finally got through to the lawyer he needed to speak to. Then the signal went and he lost the call. Dermot looked at the lightsabre lying useless in his hand and decided to give it up for the day.

Fifteen minutes later he was closing the front door of his flat behind him and dumping his case in the narrow hallway as he headed for the sitting room. For five long years the flat had been his sanctuary, coming alive with the sound of Molly’s laughter every Thursday night and second weekend. Now it just felt cold and desolate; the scratched dining table and scruffy green sofas with their mismatched cushions were too big for the undersized sitting room. He tried not to think about that bastard horse lounging about in the comfort of its vast executive stable.

Without Molly’s regular visits to the flat he’d decided to forgo the cost of a cleaner and it was starting to show. Then there was the smell drifting from the kitchen, carrying more than a suggestion that he’d forgotten to put the dishwasher on before heading to Scotland. Dermot took in the mess of papers and used coffee cups on his desk as he thought about fighting his way through the stale stench to tackle the dishwasher. But the prospect of a pint and a pie in his local was always going to win that debate. His stomach was already grumbling as he headed back down the hall and pulled the front door open, only to find someone standing in his way.

‘Ah, Mr Jack, hello. My name is Yegor Koslov.’

The man wore an expensive suit and a cheap haircut. The hair was thinning and blond (possibly dyed) and quite a bit too long on top; what the uncharitable might have described as a comb-over. At six foot four he could have pulled it off but at five foot five and a bit he didn’t stand a chance.

‘You are a very hard man to track down.’

Jesus, that accent; like the first baddie to die in a low-rent spy movie. But when he looked down into the little man’s eyes he saw something hard and cold there, something that suggested it would be foolish to underestimate him. Dermot took a step backwards, ready to close the door. Because, well… It wasn’t every day a real-life Russian gangster came calling. The Russian bit he wasn’t quite so sure of, although the name and the accent were pretty big clues.

But gangster?

When you’d spend half your life scratching the fleshy underbelly of the entertainment business you knew a crook when you saw one.

‘I have a message for you from my employer.’ The man smiled, the chill never quite leaving his eyes.

Shit… Mulrooney.

‘Look, I can…’ Repaying the money he owed the big loan shark wasn’t going to be a problem. It just wouldn’t be happening today. Or that week even. The ‘better idea’ that had trumped the voodoo horse doll had also proved a lot more costly. The deposit and three months’ rent he’d forked out for a flat in Edinburgh meant he’d be able to go to Scotland and see Molly whenever he liked. But it also meant that he was skint again.

‘Tell him—’ Dermot took another step backwards. It didn’t look like he’d be getting that pie and pint after all. But the little fella wouldn’t look quite so tough with a face full of front door. He shoved as hard as he could with his shoulder.

‘That’s not very friendly, Mr Jack.’ Somehow Yegor Koslov had stepped backward and still managed to force his foot between the closing door and frame, moving surprisingly quickly for such a little man. ‘Not very friendly at all.’

Then the Russian started to push the door back open. Turned out that he was surprisingly strong for a little man as well.

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If you enjoyed that and would like to read more, you can buy your copy now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

I was first inspired to write when I read Lord of The Rings as a child. Back then the ambition was to create a whole fantasy world with dragons and sword fights. Sadly George RR Martin seems to have cornered that market, so I now try to comedy thrillers set in the (almost) real world instead. These feature spies, gangsters, vicious (if feckless) criminals, washed-up private detectives and daytime TV presenters. The Meal of Fortune is my first published novel. It is the first in a planned trilogy of comedy thrillers parodying society’s obsession with celebrity.

The follow-up, Tinker Tailor Solider Chef, sees the characters reunited in an attempt to foil a plot by the world’s most secretive intelligence agency (The Belgians) to bring the UK economy to its knees. The final book, centres on a referendum in Wales to decide whether the country should sell itself to an international technology giant for use as a conveniently located tax haven. It will be loosely based on the hilarious 80s film Local Hero.

My main rule in life is to never let tomato ketchup touch any food that is green. I am yet to work out any deep meaning behind this and suspect it is not the soundest of principles by which to live your life. But it’s better than quite a few I’ve come across down the years. Best not to get started on that one though.

I live in London with my fantastic wife and two remarkable children and didn’t vote for BREXIT.

Twitter @philbradyuk

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Killed by Thomas Enger @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #Killed #HenningJuul

I’m absolutely thrilled to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Killed by Thomas Eager. My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join and my review copy.

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Author : Thomas Enger
Title : Killed
Series : Henning Juul #5
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : December 24, 2017

aboutthebook

Henning Juul sits in a boat on a dark lake. A man with a gun sits opposite him. At the man’s feet is a body that will be soon be dumped into the water. Henning knows that the same fate awaits him. And he knows that it’s his own fault.

Who started the fire that killed Henning’s young son? How is his sister, Trine, involved? Most importantly, who can be trusted?

mythoughts

Such conflicting times these are. On the one hand, being delighted to see the return of Henning Juul and on the other hand, knowing this is the end of the line. It’s sad to see this series come to an end but what a thrilling ride it’s been and I’m delighted to have been a part of this journey.

I accidentally jumped into this series with Cursed, which was book four. When the opportunity to join this blog tour came my way, I was determined to read the other three books first and I’m so glad I managed to do that. There is some amazingly intricate plotting throughout this entire series, which you can only appreciate when you’ve read all the books in order, and to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together was just incredibly exciting. So do yourself a favour and start at the beginning so you too can enjoy the full experience and see the various threads unravel. It’s so worth it!

Killed is an intense and thrilling adventure as Henning Juul continues his search for the truth about the fire at his flat. Will he finally find out who’s been calling the shots? I don’t want to say too much as I’ll be giving away information from the previous books but suffice to say there are a lot questions that still need to be answered. The prologue kicks things off in nail-biting fashion and immediately grabs your attention. Those few pages alone already had me on the edge of my seat and I had to fight the urge to skip to the last page to see what the outcome would be. This fifth and final instalment is a fantastic addition to an utterly brilliant and gripping series. With a strong pace and multiple characters in the mix, I was glued to the pages and couldn’t put the book down.

Watching Henning Juul’s character develop and mature has been an absolute privilege. While it’s of course a shame to see any series come to an end, I will always prefer it being done in this way with a most satisfying conclusion, instead of having it dragged out and end up going nowhere. The ending is fitting, just perfect, and I’m glad the author chose to wrap things up the way he did.

Thomas Enger is responsible for my introduction to the Scandi-Noir genre and for that reason alone, the Henning Juul series will always have a special place in my heart. So all that’s left for me to say is farvel ogg takk. (If I did that correctly, it should say “goodbye and thank you”.)

Killed is available in ebook format and UK paperback.

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

abouttheauthor

Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date.

In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult).

Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

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Blue Night by Simone Buchholz @ohneKlippo @FwdTranslations @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #BlueNight

It’s such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Blue Night by Simone Buchholz. My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity and my review copy.

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Author : Simone Buchholz
Title : Blue Night
Series : Chastity Riley #1
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : December 24, 2017

aboutthebook

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in.

Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived.

mythoughts

Chastity Riley’s career as a state prosecutor has taken a bit of a tumble and she now finds herself working in the less glamorous department of witness protection. But when she’s assigned the case of an anonymous man who’s landed himself in hospital beaten half to death, things are starting to look up. Who is this man? Where did he come from? Soon, Chastity will find herself on the trail of a whole lot of drugs.

Blue Night is mostly set in the German city of Hamburg. With its massive port, it’s the perfect place to smuggle drugs into the country. The criminal side of the city is run by a person who’s seemingly untouchable but Chastity is determined to cause his downfall and right from the get-go you have faith in her ability to do just that as she’s one fierce woman and an absolutely fantastic character, who wormed her way into my heart from the minute I met her.

Having had a German grandmother, it’s probably no surprise that I grew up on the incredibly gritty, dark and serious Krimi shows and so obviously that’s what I was expecting from Blue Night. Colour me pleasantly surprised to find something entirely different. Yes, it’s gritty and yes, it’s dark but it’s also an incredibly refreshing take on the crime fiction genre with a fabulous cast of characters and a delicious sense of humour that won me over within the first few pages.

This is a relatively short book and the first part is a bit of a slow burner but it oozes atmosphere throughout. We’re also introduced to quite a few characters and this required a bit more concentration on my part to keep them all straight but once I got the hang of them, I had a hard time putting this book down. It’s easy to see why this book did so well in Simone Buchholz’s native Germany and I have no doubt that this seamless translation will make it a hit in English speaking territories as well. A brilliant start to a new series and I very much look forward to more!

Blue Night is available now in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published on February 28th.

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

abouttheauthor

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up for the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

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Weekly Wrap-Up (February 18)

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Thank you so much for all the well-wishes last week! They were very much appreciated and did the job as well. By Tuesday, I finally felt like I turned the corner and was on my way to beating this nasty virus. It’s been a much better week.

Books I’ve read this week

My reading took a bit of a knock though. I did read a book with 500 pages, so there’s that. But it’s actually the Winter Olympics that’s wreaking havoc on my reading time. I can’t tear myself away from the tv. 😄


Books I’ve bought this week

A bargain, one I’ve already read and one I’ve been wanting to read for ages.


ARC’s received via Netgalley

Yes, for blog tours. 😄


Bookpost that landed on my doorstep this past week

 

On the blog this past week

Monday : No posts. Oops.

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for The Lying Kind by Alison James

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Shared my publication day review for Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott

Friday : Posted an extract from Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft for the blog tour.

Saturday : Joined the blog blitz for Next To Die by T.J. Brearton

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up


Next week on Novel Deelights

One of these weeks, I’ll be able to say I won’t be on any blog tours. (I will! Stop laughing!) This week is not that week. I’ll be hosting stops on two Orenda tours, Blue Night and Killed. And then it’s on to two Bloodhound Books tours, Scent of Guilt and Cut The Threads.

Right, back to the Olympics. I mean, writing reviews. 😳

Have a great week and happy reading! xx

 

Next To Die by T.J. Brearton @BreartonTJ @bookouture #blogblitz #NextToDie

Delighted to host a stop on the blog blitz for Next To Die by T.J. Brearton today! Many thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the opportunity and my review copy.

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Author : T.J. Brearton
Title : Next To Die
Pages : 364
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : February 16, 2018

aboutthebook

When a social worker is brutally murdered, Detectives Mike Nelson and Lena Overton are straight on the scene. But with a long list of potential suspects, can they work out who’s next before the killer strikes again?

It’s Lake Haven’s first murder in eighteen years, and the community is terrified – especially Bobbi, who was not only supposed to be on duty that night, but also has the same long dark hair as Harriet and drives the same blue car. Now Bobbi lives in constant fear that the murderer will be back for her.

When Mike and Lena make a link to a missing-persons case and uncover a wide-spread grudge against social services, they know they’re close to uncovering the killer – but can they connect the last few dots and stop him before he takes another victim?

mythoughts

When a social worker is found brutally murdered in her car, investigators have a long list of suspects and questions. Why would anyone want Harriet dead? Does it have to do with her job? Is there another reason someone wanted her out of the way? Or was it a case of mistaken identity and did the wrong person die? The murder has left the small town of Lake Haven reeling as nothing like this has happened in almost two decades.

Well now, if you’re looking for something that will have you guessing until the end, then this is it. I had no idea where this tale was going at all. Dead ends, twists, red herrings … I mean, never mind investigators having a long list of suspects. I had NO suspects whatsoever! Not even the tiniest clue! If I’d been a detective, they would have asked for my badge and probably wondered how I made it through the detective exams in the first place. Luckily Detectives Nelson and Overton are on the case, on the hunt for a killer before get a chance to strike again.

I can’t say I warmed all too much to the various characters but the plot was so utterly gripping that I didn’t care. Not having a particular character to root for didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this thrilling story at all. Just goes to show that your dislike of characters isn’t always the be all and end all of a book. When a plot is as compelling as this one, you’ll keep reading regardless. Lesson learned.

Not only is this a murder investigation but Next To Die also highlights a topic I never really gave much thought. How much danger do social workers put themselves in on a daily basis to keep children safe? Thought-provoking for sure and I always love it when a story makes me learn something new or makes me think.

This is another fantastic, thrilling and suspenseful book by T.J. Brearton. Personally, I feel it’s his best one yet and I look forward to whatever is next.

Next To Die is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

T.J. Brearton is the author of thirteen published novels of crime fiction, including detective thrillers, police procedurals, psychological suspense, and one paranormal crime story. His eBooks have been best-sellers on the Amazon kindle fiction Top 100 list. He lives in the Adirondacks with his wife and three children where he writes full time.

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Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft @mikebearcroft1 @rararesources #blogtour #extract #giveaway #win

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft. Today, I have an extract and a giveaway for you but first, here’s what the book is all about.

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Author : Michael Bearcroft
Title : Dangerous Score
Pages : 303
Publisher : New Generation Publishing
Publication date : January 17, 2017

aboutthebook

Football hero Jason Clooney is riding high….until a date with a beautiful woman lands him in trouble with the media, and into battle with the criminal underworld.

Now against a backdrop of an uncertain professional future, Jason has to confront disturbing revelations surrounding his new girlfriend’s family. From football action on the pitch to behind the scenes plotting. To battles with a criminal gang and constant media attention, all adding to the toughest challenges he has ever faced in life, love, as a player and as a man.

extract

For the big day at work he packed an extra shirt and toiletries. ‘Got to look the part, for the punters,’ he told himself. His dad phoned to check he was alright. Jason was able to tell him that his visit to the police station had gone quite well, though it had puzzled him why the detective had seemed more interested in Martin Thresham the father, rather than Jess the missing daughter. His dad said he would see if he could find out more about the Thresham family. He had friends who would be able to help. Jason felt reassured that he would come up with something. He always seemed to be able to dig up information, on anyone or anything.

Motor Giant was covered in bunting. The new commercial vehicles were positioned on ramps around the building. Andy summoned Jason to his office. He wanted to know how things stood. Clooney brought him up to speed and was excused without comment. Andy seemed to accept that Jason had done all he could to settle the dust.

It was late morning when Jason met up with James Boardman, the television presenter, and host of this evening’s presentation. Clooney took an instant dislike to him, fake tan, built-up shoes and a wig. There seemed nothing real about him.

Most of those invited turned up at the event and everything seemed to be going well, until Jason was accosted by a hefty, florid brute of a man, who looked and smelt like he’d been for a swim in a beer barrel. Here was trouble. He jabbed Jason in the chest as he staggered up to him.

‘I’m Martin Thresham. What the hell have y’ done with my little girl you bastard? Or was it all a lie because y’ can’t get a woman?’

Everything about him made it plain that he didn’t like Jason. The insults continued, but he stood his ground, partly because of his surprise at the venom, and partly out of respect for the man’s concerns about Jess. But when Thresham threw a left-handed punch which brushed Clooney’s face, that was it. All the anger, embarrassment and frustration Jason had been feeling since Saturday night’s fiasco surfaced. He had no intentions of being a punch bag for anyone.

He hit Thresham with a straight right to the nose, which broke on contact, while with his left he delivered a welldelivered blow to the solar plexus. Thresham went down. Jason might have gone on to kill him, if Andy and two other onlookers had not dragged him off. Andy struggled to control his anger. He screamed at Jason, ‘Go home now. You’re suspended until further notice.’

With the eyes of dozens of startled onlookers on Jason straightened himself, walked over to his desk, picked up his keys and turned to leave. Detective Sergeant Burns was blocking his way. He gave Jason a hard stare.

‘Get across the road to the Holiday Inn. Go now and wait for me in the bar, if you know what’s good for you.’

Clooney duly obliged, leaving Burns accompanying Thresham, Andy and members of staff to a private room where the injured man could receive treatment.

Yet again Jason took off at speed in the Saab he had been driving all weekend. The hotel was literally across the road and having parked the car he walked for a while to think things through and compose himself. The sports bar of the hotel was showing a football match on the television. He took no notice, ordered a lager, and sat in a corner to wait for Burns. He realised he had really done it this time and couldn’t help but wonder what would happen next.

Half an hour later Burns arrived, bought himself a drink and sat next to the troubled man. After taking a swift slurp of his beer he turned to Jason.

‘You really are a prat you know. Thresham is serious bad news and you have just made him your enemy.’ Burns shook his head, and took a second mouthful of his beer.

‘Fortunately for you, Thresham saw sense when I reminded him that he threw the first punch. His pride is hurt as much as his nose, so he would rather forget about it than read about it in the papers. If he pressed charges there would be court appearances and that’s something he would certainly want to avoid. He must have sleepless nights wondering when, not if, he will be hauled in front of a judge again.’

Clooney was sharp enough to realise he owed the man a favour and he tried to thank him, but Burns was having none of it.

‘You’re lucky it was me there rather than anyone else, or you would be under arrest for GBH.’ He shook his head again and downed his beer in one go.

‘We’ve re-opened up the case on Miss Thresham. We don’t yet have any more information other than your apparent meeting with her. We’ve checked with our contacts in Australia who confirmed you were over there when she was reported missing, so you are in the clear there. But tonight, you stupid sod, you have made life even more difficult for yourself, so watch your back and be very careful. Thresham won’t forgive you and he will want revenge. Anyway enough of this. Now tell me how you felt scoring that goal.’

It turned out that Burns was a keen football fan and had been to the game, so it was the usual football talk until he stood up to leave.

‘Blister’s as fond of you as I am of him and I know it would upset him if anything happened to you. So for his sake, if not your own, keep your eyes open and your head down and maybe, just maybe, this might blow over.’

With that he strode purposefully out of the building.

Jason slumped back on the bar stool. He felt ravenous so ordered burger and chips, but sensibly had black coffee rather than another lager. He thought Burns seemed a reasonable kind of bloke. He would speak to Blister and try and find out a bit more about him.

***

Dangerous Score is available for purchase.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Ex Sheffield United Junior, former Chairman Corby Town FC  Actor and stage director, former British Red Cross Regional Director

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Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dangerous Score by Michael Bearcroft!

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Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott @RachelAbbott @MauraRedPR #ComeALittleCloser

It’s a happy publication day to Rachel Abbott and the seventh book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, Come A Little Closer. My thanks to Maura for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : Come A Little Closer
Series : DCI Tom Douglas #7
Pages : 285
Publisher : Black Dot Publishing Ltd
Publication date : February 15, 2018

aboutthebook

Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.

Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said.

Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.

These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family…

When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there?

How many more must die? Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?

mythoughts

When the body of a young woman is found in the forest, DCI Tom Douglas is called to the scene. Heavy snowfall means there are few clues left to be found. How did this woman end up in the middle of nowhere? Where did she come from? And most importantly, who is she? Because as long as that remains unknown, the investigation goes pretty much nowhere. On the other side of the world, another woman goes on the holiday of a lifetime, in an attempt to escape an abusive relationship. Meanwhile, Tom’s past catches up with him but will this cause problems between him and Louisa?

The DCI Tom Douglas series is one of my favourites and if you’re not reading these, you’re missing out on some seriously good books. I’ve come to rely on Rachel Abbott to deliver highly original premises and Come A Little Closer is no different. The description promises something intriguing and I wasn’t at all disappointed.. This is one well-thought out plot and it’s also intensely creepy.

Although the who seemed fairly obvious to me, I had a hard time figuring out the why. This story tackles a topic which is sadly highly realistic and believable. Those moments where the vulnerable suddenly turn into preys, find themselves cut off from the world with their thoughts so incredibly manipulated that they feel there is no escape. It’s very reminiscent of grooming and trafficking.

I couldn’t predict the outcome at all and the parts of the story completely threw me, which I love. This is one dark, disturbing and harrowing tale. Full of tension and suspense, it had me hooked from start to finish and seeing all the threads come together was a true delight. Come A Little Closer is another brilliant addition to this series, which keeps going from strength to strength.

Tom and Becky make such a fabulous team. It seems it has been ages since we last hung out with them and it’s such a thrill to see them return. I’ve missed them fiercely and I can’t wait to spend more time with them in future. I have no doubt it’ll be worth the wait.

Come A Little Closer is published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

I was born and brought up in the north of England, and worked for many years as the managing director of an interactive media company. I wrote every day – everything from creative proposals to user manuals – but most exciting of all was writing interactive dramas – including for the Cluedo (Clue in the US) interactive games. I was fortunate enough to sell my company in 2000 and we moved to Italy where we bought and restored an old country house.

I have published six full length novels and one novella, and my seventh Come a Little Closer is due for release in 2018. I now live on the beautiful island of Alderney in the Channel Islands, where I write full time.

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