Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture #bookreview #mustread #recommended #FatalPromise #publicationday #NetGalley

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Author : Angela Marsons
Title : Fatal Promise
Series : DI Kim Stone #9
Pages : 385
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 19, 2018

aboutthebook

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, DetectiveKim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

mythoughts

If you’ve been following my reviews, then it should no longer be a secret that I am a massive fan of Angela Marson’s DI Kim Stone series and as soon as the opportunity comes my way to read a new instalment, I immediately drop whatever it is I’m doing and start reading.

But when it comes to writing these reviews, I always find myself at a loss for words because it seems I’ve used them all before. Corker, belter, humdinger, wow, whoa, you have to read this, buy it now! Quite frankly, I’m not sure what more I can add.

In Fatal Promisethe team is dealing with the aftermath of events from the previous book that I won’t mention in case you haven’t read it yet (therapy still available for those who are struggling 😉). The team dynamics are shifting and the arrival of a new colleague, whom despite totally feeling like an intruder I couldn’t help sympathising with, doesn’t exactly go smoothly. But there is work to be done and Kim and her team are going to have to find a way to work together.

There are two cases to solve, which I absolutely love. It feels more realistic somehow. The main case is an exciting race against time. There’s a killer on a mission and once again Angela Marsons somehow manages to put me in the slightly uncomfortable position of almost sympathising with them. Their pain is almost palpable and it made me feel like giving them a big hug. Which is just utterly wrong! Meanwhile, Stacy is devoting every moment of her spare time on investigating a case of a missing girl, which is also completely heartbreaking. This is what I love so much about this series. The opportunity to explore the psychology behind certain characters’ actions is incredibly fascinating and compelling. Apart from loving this team to bits, it’s the complex characters that keep me coming back for more.

I say it with every Kim Stone book and I’m going to say it again this time around. Here comes. Best … one … yet! These characters are like family. They hurt, I hurt. They smile, I smile. They get on my nerves, I want to slap them. But more than anything, I feel Angela Marsons’ writing keeps improving as well. This is the ninth book in a series and it is still as engrossing as the very first one. There are no signs of slacking off or of sticking to some proven formula. Angela Marsons has no qualms whatsoever about taking her team right to the edge. Or over it.

Fatal Promise is a tense, addictive and incredibly compelling serial killer thriller and another absolutely fabulous addition to this series. Like I said at the start : corker, belter, humdinger! In case you wondered, I loved it and you have to read this series now! Bring on book 10!

Bonus points for using the word “discombobulating”. One of my favourite words and a feeling I often end up with when reading a DI Kim Stone book.

My thanks to Bookouture for the review copy!

Fatal Promise is published TODAY! Happy publication day, Angela! xx

Amazon US  | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Bring Them Home by D.S. Butler

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Author : D.S. Butler
Title : Bring Them Home
Series : Detective Karen Hart #1
Pages : 304
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer / Amazon Publishing
Publication date : October 11, 2018

aboutthebook

When two young girls disappear from their primary school, the village of Heighington is put on high alert—and not for the first time. Called in to investigate, Detective Karen Hart is sure that parallels with a previous disappearance are anything but coincidental.

DS Hart is still reeling from a case she tried and failed to solve eighteen months ago, when a young woman vanished without a trace. She’s no nearer to the truth of what happened to Amy Fisher, but with two children missing now too, the stakes have never been higher. As she looks to the past for clues, she must confront her own haunting loss, a nightmare she is determined to spare other families.

Hart soon realises that nothing in this close-knit Lincolnshire community is what it seems. Pursuing the investigation with personal vengeance, she finds herself in conflict with her scrupulous new boss, but playing by the rules will have to wait. Because while there’s no shortage of suspects, the missing girls are running out of time…

mythoughts

I do so love storylines involving kidnappings. There’s always this delightful race against the clock to find the victims alive. Tick, tock.

The story starts out exciting enough. Two ten year old girls go missing from school. From the beginning, it’s clear this will be one frustrating investigation. There are no witnesses, no clues and detectives don’t know where to start looking for Emily and her friend Sian. But DS Hart has a suspect in sight early on. Is she distracted by a previously unsolved case though?

Bring Me Home is the first instalment in a brand-new series, featuring Detective Karen Hart. I liked the fact that she isn’t a DI but a DS because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of those around. While a DI might sometimes get away with breaking the rules, DS Hart doesn’t get that opportunity very often, although she gives it a good go, as her boss is always nearby and he’s a stickler for the rules.

Now, as you know, I read a lot of crime fiction and I’m fully aware of the fact that it’s becoming increasingly harder for an author to come up with something new that will either shock or surprise me. So although I thought Bring Them Home wasn’t badly written, it felt a little too much like things that have been done before.

Throughout the story, these characters never really convinced me. On top of that, I found the author tried too hard to dazzle the reader with red herrings and dead ends but deep down, I always felt there was only ever going to be one way the story would end and thus, the conclusion wasn’t unexpected at all.

All in all, a straightforward mystery but to be honest, there are far more better ones out there to sink your teeth into. For me, this ended up being a quick but, sadly, forgettable read.

Bring Me Home will be published tomorrow!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Palm Beach Finland by Antii Tuomainen (trs David Hackston) @antti_tuomainen @countertenorist @OrendaBooks #blogtour #PalmBeachFinland #bookreview

It’s a real pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Palm Beach Finland by Antii Tuomainen today! My thanks to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the invitation to join and the review copy! Make sure you also check out my tour buddy Mairead’s post over on Swirl and Thread.

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Author : Antii Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston)
Title : Palm Beach Finland
Pages : 304
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : October 18, 2018 (UK paperback)

aboutthebook

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village—the “hottest beach in Finland.”

The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown.

The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.

With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams, and people struggling at turning points in their lives—chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.

mythoughts

Sunshine, sandy beaches, palm trees. What more could you want?

Welcome to Palm Beach … Finland!

Wait, what? *screeches to a halt*

Yes, Palm Beach Finland. The hottest beach in Finland. Where everything is bright neon lights, it’s cold, the beaches are mostly empty and the palm trees are made of plastic. Not exactly the paradise you find offered in the glossy brochures.

But something is afoot in this not-quite paradise. There has been a mysterious death and Jan Nyman is sent undercover to find out what happened. And thus begins one of the oddest books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. With references to tv shows like Baywatch and Miami Vice and a nod to Fargo, Palm Beach Finland is full of quirky and eccentric characters that will either have you laughing or rolling your eyes.

Because some of it is a tad over the top, a bit outlandish, almost bordering towards the slapstick genre but there is also dash of subtly dark and black humour throughout that you just don’t find anywhere else but will have you chuckling throughout. Palm Beach Finland is original, unique and highly unusual. This is crime fiction with a difference and I dare say nobody does it better than Antii Tuomainen does.

So a mystery to solve, although not quite for the reader since we know pretty much what happened from the start. But the characters in this story are all so incredibly unpredictable, there is no way of knowing what they’ll get up to next or even if their actions will be successful. That’s half the fun right there. Yet, there is also a more serious undertone to the story. That of residents in this sleepy community with ambitions and dreams of a better life, desperately grabbing at opportunities to make a change.

Once again, David Hackston’s translation is faultless, enabling an English speaking audience to enjoy Antii Tuomainen’s unique way with words and his delightful sense of humour. Wonderfully weird, fabulously funny and extremely entertaining.

Palm Beach Finland is available in ebook format now! The UK paperback will be published on October 18th and can be pre-ordered.

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

abouttheauthor

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later.

In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published.

With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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First Palm Beach BT Poster

Trap by Lilja Sigurðardóttir (trs Quentin Bates) @lilja1972 @graskeggur @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #Trap #extract #excerpt

It’s a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Trap by Lilja Sigurðardóttir today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join. I’ll be sharing an extract with you today but first, here is what Trap is all about.

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Author : Lilja Sigurðardóttir (translated by Quentin Bates)
Title : Trap
Pages : 250
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : October 18, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.

With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…

extract

April 2011

1

Sonja was wrenched, shivering, from a deep sleep. She sat up in bed and looked at the thermometer on the air-conditioning unit; it was thirty degrees in the trailer. She had closed her eyes for an afternoon nap and fallen fast asleep while Tómas had gone to play with Duncan – a boy of a similar age who was staying in the next trailer. While she’d been snoozing, the sun had raised the temperature in their little space to thirty degrees, at which point the air-con had rumbled into action, blasting out ice-cold air.

Her dreams had been of pack ice drifting up to the shore alongside the trailer park, and however ridiculous the idea of sea ice off the coast of Florida might be, the dream had been so vivid that it took Sonja a few moments to shake off the image of grinding icebergs approaching the beach. While she knew the dream had been a fantasy and that the chill of the ice had in fact been the air-conditioning, it still left her uneasy. A dream of sea ice wasn’t something that could bode well.

Sonja got off the bed, and as soon as she stepped on the floor, she stubbed a big toe on the loose board. This trailer was really starting to get on her nerves. But it didn’t matter, because it was really time to move on. They had been here for three weeks, and that was already a dangerously long time. Tomorrow she would discreetly pack everything up and in the evening, without saying goodbye to any of the neighbours, and under cover of darkness, they would drive away in the old rattletrap she had paid for in cash. She had coughed up a month’s rent in advance, so the trailer’s owner wouldn’t lose out.

This time, she and Tómas would travel northwards to Georgia and find a place there to rent for a week or two; and then they’d move on again – to some other location, where they would stay, but then depart before they’d put down any roots. They would leave before they could be noticed, before Adam could track them down. Adam who was Tómas’s father; Adam who was her former husband; Adam the drug dealer. Adam the slave driver.

One day, once they had travelled far enough and hidden their tracks well enough for Sonja finally to feel secure, they would settle down. It would be in a quiet spot, maybe in the US, or maybe somewhere else. In fact, it didn’t particularly matter where the place was, as long as it was somewhere they could disappear into the crowd, where she wouldn’t constantly have to glance over her shoulder.

Sonja peered into the microwave – something that had become a habit. Inside, giving her a sense of security by being where it should be, was the sandwich box full of cash. It was a white box with a blue lid, and was stuffed with the dollars and euros she had scraped together during the year that she had been caught in Adam’s trap. This bundle of cash was her lifeline, in this new existence where she dared trust nobody. She had got herself a prepaid Walmart MoneyCard and had loaded it with enough to keep them afloat for a few months, but she had not dared apply for a normal credit card; she didn’t want to risk Agla, with her access to the banking system, using it to track her movements.

Her heart lurched at the thought of Agla. The memory of the scent of her hair and the warmth of her skin under the bedclothes brought a lump to Sonja’s throat that refused to be swallowed. The more time that passed since their parting, the harder she had to work to stop herself from calling her. Iceland was behind her, and that was the way it was. This was her and Tómas’s new life, and she was fully aware that to begin with it would be a lonely one. But loneliness wasn’t her biggest problem; a much weightier concern was their safety –Tómas’s in particular. If she allowed herself the luxury of contacting Agla, there was every chance that Adam would sniff out their communication and use it to track her down.

Sonja opened the trailer door and sat down on the step. The air outside was hotter than inside the trailer and the afternoon sun cast long shadows from the trees across the bare earth at the centre of the cluster of trailers. Sonja took a deep breath of the outdoor air and tried to throw off the discomfort the dream had left her with.The old, toothless guy opposite stood over his barbecue, which sent up plumes of smoke as the fire took; Duncan’s mother sat in a camp chair outside the trailer next door, listening to the radio. There was a peace to the place, but it would soon come to an end, broken by the noise of traffic and horns on the freeway as people began the commute home from work.

Duncan came out of his trailer at a run, along with the basketball that he dribbled everywhere. He half crouched over the ball, and Sonja smiled to herself. She and Tómas had seen that his weird dribbling technique didn’t affect his accuracy when he shot for the basket. His skill at basketball was unbelievable, and after a few days playing together, his interest had infected Tómas as well.

Tómas…

‘Duncan! Where’s Tómas?’ she called, and the boy twisted in the air, dropped the ball through the basket fixed to the trunk of a palm tree and, when his feet were back on the ground, shrugged.

‘Where is Tómas?’ she repeated.

‘I don’t know,’ Duncan said, still dribbling the ball. ‘He went down to the beach just now, but then some guys came looking for him.’ ‘Guys? What guys?’ In one bound Sonja was at Duncan’s side.

He finally let the ball drop from his hands. ‘Just guys,’ Duncan said. ‘Just some guys.’

‘Tell me, Duncan. Where did they go?’

Duncan pointed towards the woods that lay between the trailer park and the beach.

‘What’s up?’ Duncan’s mother called from her camp chair, but Sonja didn’t give herself time to reply.

She sprinted towards the beach, her mind racing. The vision of ice on the shore, the groaning of the floes as the waves grounded them on the beach and the chill that the white layer brought with it clouded her thoughts as if the dream were becoming a reality. She cursed herself for not having bought the gun she had seen in the flea market at the weekend.

It’s never good for an Icelander to dream of sea ice, she thought. That means a hard spring to come, and ice brings bears.

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Eek! If this little teaser has left you wanting more, then Trap is available to buy in ebook format! The UK paperback will be published on October 18th!

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

abouttheauthor

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Author links : Twitter

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Trap First BT Poster

The Secrets You Hide by Kate Helm @KateWritesBooks @BonnierZaffre @Francesca_PR #blogtour #bookreview #guestpost #TheSecretsYouHide #NetGalley

Thrilled to host a stop on the blog tour for The Secrets You Hide by Kate Helm today! My thanks to Francesca at Bonnier Zaffre for the invitation to join and my review copy. The lovely Kate Helm visits my blog today to talk about Brighton as a location for her novel and I’ll also be sharing my thoughts on this fabulous thriller. But first, here is what The Secrets You Hide is all about.

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Author : Kate Helm
Title : The Secrets You Hide
Pages : 330
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : October 4, 2018 (ebook) | February 7, 2019 (paperback)

aboutthebook

Georgia Sage has a gift: she can see evil in people. As a courtroom artist she uses her skills to help condemn those who commit terrible crimes. After all, her own brutal past means she knows innocence is even rarer than justice.

But when she is drawn back into the trial that defined her career, a case of twisted family betrayal, she realises her own reckless pursuit of justice may have helped the guilty go free.

As Georgia gets closer to the truth behind the Slater family, something happens that threatens not only her career – but even her own sanity. At first, she fears her guilt around the events of her terrible childhood is finally coming back to haunt her.

The truth turns out to be even more terrifying . . .

mythoughts

How often do we look at someone and immediately decide whether we like them or not? How often are we wrong and does our initial idea of someone change? What if you’re a court artist, like Georgia Sage? She thinks she has a firm grasp on people’s faces and can spot evil in a flash. After all, she’s been drawing them for years and she knows what to look out for. With a few simple brush strokes, she can get her opinion of a suspect at a trial across to a tv audience as well. But what if she’s wrong?

Drawn back to one of the first court cases Georgia attended, she may need to face up to the fact she possibly helped the guilty party go free. While searching for the truth and hopefully seeing justice served, Georgia finds herself confronted with her own dark past. A chilling event from her childhood has haunted her ever since but the truth is even more devastating. As Georgia will soon discover for herself.

This compelling story has a lot to offer. Not only is there the wonderful setting in Brighton but there’s a murder to solve and for once, there’s not a detective in sight. There’s just Georgia, a normal young woman, albeit it a tad damaged. While the pace was maybe somewhat on the slow side at the beginning, I found myself utterly engrossed, wondering what was going on. But then!

I’m not a fan of this whole “twist you won’t see coming” thing but guess what?! There was a twist I didn’t see coming! It changed the entire storyline, tilting it right onto its head, making me sit up just that little bit straighter. All of a sudden, an “average” crime thriller turned into something highly original and unusual and I absolutely loved it!

With a unique premise and an exciting first chapter, this had me utterly gripped. A slow burner, yes, but packed full of emotion and intriguing characters. The Secrets You Hide is well-plotted, brilliantly written, addictive and hugely satisfying. If you enjoy your crime thrillers and you’re looking for something that’s a little bit different, look no more! I’m incredibly excited to find out what Kate Helm comes up with next.

The Secrets You Hide is available in e-book format now. The UK paperback will be published on February 7 and can be pre-ordered.

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

guestpost

Brighton by the book: thriller author Kate Helm examines why sunny Brighton is the perfect setting for murder

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… especially when I am writing about murder.

Because there’s something about coastal towns that makes them brilliant places to live – but also the ideal setting for truly terrifying events.

Brighton has been my home town for the last seven years and I love the city. So when I decided to write my first thriller, I wanted to pay my own tribute to its beauty – and its seediness. I’m not the first. Graham Greene portrayed its underworld in Brighton Rock – and Peter James’ bestsellers feature the challenges and mysteries of policing the place.

My Brighton is very different – well, it’d be madness to take on Peter James on his home turf – as it’s seen from the point of view of an ‘ordinary’ person. Though my heroine, courtroom sketch artist Georgia, is not everyone’s idea of normal.

She fled to the city to escape terrible memories and a broken relationship. As an artist, the light was one attraction for her. It’s one of my biggest pleasures too. Living on the coast means you really can experience four seasons in one day. And the fact that I can walk for less than sixty seconds and see the sea and the horizon, means it’s easy to regain your sense of perspective.

Brighton sunset 2

Georgia lives in a flat in Brunswick Square – if you’ve ever seen a photograph of the city’s buttermilk-coloured terraced crescents, chances are it’s Brunswick. I describe them as ‘wedding cake houses’ – I’ve been inside a couple of these flats, with their huge bay windows and heart-stopping sea views. Georgia’s difficult past means she can afford to buy a flat and live there alone – though the price of her ’wealth’ is one most of us would never want to pay.

Brunswick Brighton

As she tries to solve the central mystery in the book – whether a person she helped convict really did murder his stepmother in a devastating fire on Christmas Eve – she walks by the seafront to clear her head. The pebble beach here is well-known, but what I didn’t know till I moved here is how at very low tide, another beach is revealed, a wet sandy shoreline that I can never resist paddling in.

Brighton low tide

The irritations of living in a tourist hot spot are part of Georgia’s life – the bottlenecks caused by delightful but chattering foreign language students, the noise of the stag and hen parties, the damp buildings caused by year-round salty breezes.

As Georgia’s job is sketching people involved in criminal trials, she spends a lot of time in court. And that’s where I’ve taken the biggest liberty – by inventing a new crown court for Brighton. The real crown court here is in Hove – the posher end of the city – and it’s an ugly box of a building with very little charm. So I let my imagination summon up a Victorian court house in the same place as the current Brighton Magistrates’.  It has turrets and wood panelling and giant institutional radiators that make it baking hot all year round. It’s based on courts I’ve visited, but if you look for it on Eastern Road, all you’ll find is the police station and the American Express building.

Georgia loves the city as much as I do, and she hangs out in the same shabby pubs I visit when the seafront haunts are packed with tourists. She came here – as many people do – looking for answers, but also finds acceptance, because the city really is one of the most tolerant places in the world.

And my final connection to this place? My pseudonym. Because my past books have been very different, we decided to create a new identity for me. I keep my first name but needed a second one to replace Harrison. Brighthelmstone is the name for the original settlement here – so Kate Helm it is. My new name is my own tribute to the city I love.

[Photography by Kate Helm]

abouttheauthor

Kate Helm was born in Lancashire, and worked as a journalist covering courts and crime, before becoming a BBC reporter and producer in news and current affairs. She also wrote documentary and drama scripts, including the BBC1 programme: Angel of Death: The Story of Beverly Allitt.

Kate Helm is a pseudonym for author Kate Harrison whose non-fiction and novels have been sold in 20 territories and sold over 800,000 copies. Kate lives in Brighton, this is her first book under the name Kate Helm and her debut adult crime novel.

Beach hut wide

Join Kate’s free book club for exclusive previews and competitions to win signed books by your favourite thriller authors, via Kate’s website www.kate-harrison.com or follow her on Twitter@katewritesbooks

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Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney @trisha460 @bookouture #NetGalley #TellNobody #blogblitz #LottieParker

It’s a real pleasure to join the blog blitz for Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney today! My thanks to Kim Nash for the invitation to join and my review copy!

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Author : Patricia Gibney
Title : Tell Nobody
Series : DI Lottie Parker #5
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 3, 2018

aboutthebook

One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way home from playing with friends. Two days later, his broken body is discovered on a bed of wild flowers by some local teenagers.

The case is assigned to Detective Lottie Parker and this time it’s personal. A close friend of her son Sean, Mikey was from the run-down Munbally estate on the other side of town. Sean tells his mother that Mikey was behaving normally before he died but Lottie can’t help but feel that her son is keeping something from her …

Then days later, another boy is found dead, surrounded by wild flowers next to a beautiful lake.

On the hunt for a twisted individual with a terrifying calling card, Lottie must uncover the web of secrets within Mikey’s circle of friends. Someone is keeping secrets but who are they protecting and can Lottie find out before it’s too late? Lottie is desperate to catch the killer before he strikes again because this time her own child could be in terrible danger…

mythoughts

Ragmullin once again faces the threat of a serial killer when a young boy is found murdered. Since the victim was a friend of Lottie’s son, Sean, this case is hitting a little close to home. Things take a turn for the worse when another young boy is found dead a few days later. It’s obvious this killer isn’t finished yet but could Sean be in danger as well?

Meanwhile, a young girl enters the police station covered in blood, uttering the chilling words “I think I killed him”. But before Lottie has a chance to talk to her, the girl mysteriously disappears. Did she really kill someone? If so, who? And why did she run?

There’s always something especially harrowing about a crime story involving children and this one is no different. It makes for some uncomfortable reading at times and the disturbing events nearly broke my heart into tiny pieces. I couldn’t at all figure out who the killer was or what their motivation was all about. The ultimate reveal left me reeling and quite sad.

Of course there are a few twists and turns, a few dead ends and characters acting so suspiciously you can’t do anything else but eye them warily. We’re also faced with the hardships of living on an estate and the desperate attempts someone will make to get away and find a better life.

It’s really hard to believe that Tell Nobody is already the fifth instalment in the DI Lottie Parker series. By now, Lottie and her team feel like family and just like some family members do, these characters also often get on my nerves. Not just Lottie, but Boyd and Lynch as well this time around. I was all set to offer them all chill pills. Well, maybe not Lottie though 😉.

She is still a bit of a mess, still failing at the patience skill (I can totally relate!), still doesn’t quite have motherhood down to a fine art. But she’s also still fiercely determined and even though I sometimes feel like grabbing her by the collar and shaking her about a bit, I can’t stop but liking her immensely.

As its predecessors, Tell Nobody makes for one gripping and disturbing read. Always compelling, always engrossing and always addictive, this is a series you should definitely keep an eye on. I can’t wait for more from Lottie and her team!

Tell Nobody is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Patricia lives in the midlands of Ireland. She is an avid crime reader so naturally she found herself writing in the crime genre. To date, (July 2018) Patricia has sold over ONE MILLION COPIES in the LOTTIE PARKER series.

A life changing experience in 2009, with the death of her 49 year old husband, meant she had to give up her career, and over the following few years, she rekindled her love of art and writing.

Initially Patricia wrote and illustrated a children’s book, but her real ambition was to write a novel. And she did!

In January 2016, she joined with Ger Nichol of The Book Bureau Literary Agency. In July 2016, Patricia signed with Bookouture for four DI Lottie Parker crime novels.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Birthday by Carol Wyer @carolewyer @bookouture #blogblitz #bookreview #TheBirthday

Ridiculously excited to finally be able to share my review for The Birthday by Carol Wyer on the blog blitz today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Carol Wyer
Title : The Birthday
Series : DI Natalie Ward #1
Pages : 316
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : September 27, 2018

aboutthebook

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward . A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

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Having been a massive fan of Carol Wyer’s other series centred around Robin Carter, I was slightly wary about her tackling a new crime fiction police procedural. Not because of her writing, which I knew would be brilliant, but because of meeting new characters and wondering if I’d even like them after becoming so invested in Robin and her team.

Silly me.

Five year old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a garden centre. Despite an intensive investigation, Ava is not found. Two years later, builders find her body. DI Natalie Ward and her team are given the case but just when they think they are dealing with a cold case, another girl who attended that same birthday party goes missing. Coincidence? If so, why now? Is the same person responsible? Are these two events connected in any way or not?

Natalie Ward is a wife, a mother and a detective inspector. With so many balls to juggle, it’s easy to see why not everything is all sunshine and flowers in her life. Leading an investigation into missing children is always hard but for Natalie even more so, as she’s still suffering effects from a previous investigation that ended badly. Determined not to make the same mistakes again, she’s incredibly meticulous and working long hours to stop another child from being taken. But the culprit is on a mission and the clock is ticking.

A new team of detectives to get acquainted with then and I must say, this one works really well again. There’s enough diversity, determination and banter to give you a good feel of the team dynamics. These characters completely won me over and I really look forward to getting to know them all better.

With The Birthday, Carol Wyer once again delivers all the goodness I’ve come to expect from her. There are a few chapters delving into the background of the culprit that lead you to that point of almost, but not quite, sympathising with them. Chapters that will have you looking for clues, trying to figure things out before the big reveal. The investigation is incredibly gripping, albeit frustrating for the detectives, and I was left guessing until the end as to the identity of Ava’s killer. Not that I didn’t have a list of suspects as long as my arm but I was hit with dead end after dead end and true to form, got it utterly wrong. On top of that, the heartbreaking moments when families need to be informed. The devastation, the various ways people deal with the grief … it almost made me quite emotional.

It seems everything Carol Wyer touches turns to gold. She most definitely knows how to write an addictive and tense page-turner and this one is no different. Compelling from the first page, this will have you hooked in a heartbeat. The DI Natalie Ward is a fantastic start to what I’m sure will be an exciting new series. Will Natalie ever find the perfect balance between her job and her private life? And what other crimes will be coming her way? I can’t wait to find out!

The Birthday is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UKGoodreads

abouttheauthor

Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.

The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Perfect Silence by Helen Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #blogtour #PerfectSilence

Good morning from a still glorious but slightly cloudy Tuscany! I’m thrilled to join the blog tour for Perfect Silence by Helen Fields today! My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the invitation to join and for the review copy.

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Author : Helen Fields
Title : Perfect Silence
Series : DI Luc Callanach #4
Pages : 432
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : August 23, 2018

aboutthebook

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

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Three words : read this NOW! You can thank me later.

If you’re a crime fiction fan, then the DI Luc Callanach series is undoubtedly one you should be reading. I’ve loved and enjoyed this series from the start and anxiously await a new addition every time because I just know I’ll be in for a treat.

That said though, if you’re of the faint-hearted variety, this may not quite be for you as you’ll need a bit of a strong stomach for this one. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve read any of the previous books.

The body of a young woman is found. Her death seems to have been a particularly gruesome one and the silhouette of a doll is carved into her skin. Detectives are having a hard time finding any clues or leads and then the doll made of skin is found near to where another young woman has gone missing. There’s no doubt there’s a serial killer roaming the streets. They’re playing a horrific game and are obviously on a mission. Can DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach find the culprit before another young woman goes missing?

Perfect Silence is dark, chilling and disturbing, as I’ve come to expect from this series. Some chapters are written from the victims’ point of view, which were heartbreaking to read and made me choke up. It felt all too easy to imagine what it would be like to find yourself stuck in such a horrendous situation.

As for the serial killer, Helen Fields kept me guessing until the end. I couldn’t at all figure out their identity, their motivations or how they were selecting their victims in the first place. The race to find this murderer is incredibly tense and the ultimate reveal and somehow rather fascinating reasoning behind it all, left me a little open-mouthed.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning that I’ve been Team Luc from the start but I must say, in this instalment it was Ava who stole the show for me. She’s always been a bit of a character I couldn’t quite put my finger on but this time around she completely won me over. I loved seeing a different side to her, sympathised with her, rooted for her and often got the wrong end of the stick, just like she did. But there is so much to admire about her.

This series has been blowing my mind since the very beginning and I feel it’s only been getting better with each book. Intensely gripping and massively engrossing, this is another belter from Helen Fields and I absolutely can’t wait for book five and more from Luc and Ava. You should all add this series to your TBR’s or shopping baskets right now, as it is indeed quite “perfect”.

Perfect Silence is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Helen Fields studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London. After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar.

Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company, acting as script writer and producer. Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

Author links : Twitter

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Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia @MejiaWrites @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #blogtour #LeaveNoTrace

Good morning from glorious and scorching hot Tuscany! Today, I’m delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia! My thanks to Ella Patel at Quercus for the invitation to join and for the wonderful review copy!

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Author : Mindy Mejia
Title : Leave No Trace
Pages : 336
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : September 4, 2018

aboutthebook

Ten years ago Josiah Blackthorn and his son trekked into the wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and vanished. Now one of them has returned.

Lucas Blackthorn, the boy who came back from the dead, is nineteen, semi-feral and violent. He is now incarcerated in Congdon Psychiatric Institute and the police are desperate to hear his story. All Lucas wants is to return to his home and his father.

Therapist Maya Stark has her own unfinished business with the Boundary Waters, and as she and Lucas grow closer she sees a chance for them to help each other.

She is prepared to risk everything to get answers to the questions that have haunted her for all her adult life. But sometimes finding out the truth is the worst thing you can do …

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I absolutely loved Mindy Mejia’s previous novel, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, so I was incredibly excited at being given the opportunity to join the blog tour for her latest release, Leave No Trace. I’ll tell you right now though, this is nothing like her previous novel! I love it when an author takes me by surprise.

Ten years ago, Josiah Blackthorn and his son trekked into the wilderness, only to vanish. But now, Josiah’s son Lucas has returned.  Lucas is now nineteen years old and finds himself incarcerated in a psychiatric institute. He doesn’t talk and all he really wants is to return to his father.

Maya Stark is a speech therapist at the psychiatric institute and it’s her job to get Lucas to talk. Is he keeping quiet because he doesn’t know how to talk?  Or is he just being stubborn? Maya is haunted by past events herself. Will meeting Lucas bring her the answers she has so desperately been searching for?

Leave No Trace is very different from Mindy Mejia’s previous novel but as ever, it’s immensely beautifully written. The vivid descriptions of the Boundary Waters in Minnesota really bring the place to life and almost made me want to go out on a hike or grab a canoe. I say almost, because you know, water and creepy-crawlies. But there’s also the peace and tranquility, not another person in sight, just gorgeous Mother Nature all around you. Bliss. Living off the grid obviously isn’t for everyone but Mindy Mejia took inspiration from people who’ve actually done so, for various reasons, and I do so enjoy it when an author makes me want to google things.

Despite it’s relatively slow pace, I was captivated by the exquisite storytelling. There is some fascinating character development to sink your teeth into and even a few twists and surprises. Some I may have figured out but that did nothing to ruin my reading experience, nor did the fact that maybe a few things might have required me to suspend belief just a tad.  Leave No Trace is a compelling mystery and I was swept away by this tale of love, family and loss from start to finish.

I must say, I’m fast becoming a fan of Mindy Mejia’s work and remain impressed with her excellent storytelling skills. I’m incredibly curious to see what she comes up with next.

Leave No Trace is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss.)

Author links : Twitter

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The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry @swperry_history @CorvusBooks @annecater @RandomThingsTours #blogtour #TheAngelsMark

It’s a real pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : S.W. Perry
Title : The Angel’s Mark
Pages : 414
Publisher : Corvus
Publication date : September 6, 2018

aboutthebook

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…

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The Angel’s Mark takes us from the dirty and grimy streets of London in the late 1500’s to the opulence of Nonsuch Palace, on a quest to find a serial killer.

A young boy’s body is pulled from the river Thames. With deformed lower limbs, it looks as if he was merely discarded. Nobody seems to know who he is, nor care about what happened to him. Except for physician Nicholas Shelby, an expectant father, who notices a mark on the young boy’s leg during an anatomy lecture. Nicholas is determined to investigate. Until a bereavement casts doubt on everything he thought he knew and he falls into a deep pit of despair.

Then he meets Bianca, a tavern keeper, although she is far more than that. And when more bodies with the same mark on their leg start to show up, Nicholas and Bianca find themselves in the middle of a dark and sinister plot. Can they find the killer before they claim another victim? And will they escape with their lives?

I do love me some historical fiction and this is done particularly well. Set during a rather tumultuous time in the Elizabethan era, The Angel’s Mark oozes atmosphere. S.W. Perry has very clearly done his research and with vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells of the streets of London, I quickly felt myself completely transported.

For us modern readers, it’s not always easy to understand what life was like in those days. Not only is there the relentless hunt for catholic heretics and people hiding their true religion, but there are also a lot of misconceptions. Physicians draw up astrological charts, for instance, to help with a diagnosis. What we know now about the human body, was awfully incomplete at the time, including how blood travels around the body. Despite the fact a woman held an incredibly prestigious position at the university of Padua years earlier, women were not allowed in the field of medicine and any use of even herbal concoctions would quickly earn them the label of witch.

Despite finding the beginning of the novel a bit on the slow side, I found myself utterly captivated. Full of deceit and conspiracies and with no idea who to trust, the author kept me guessing until the end as I couldn’t at all figure out the who or the why. The Angel’s Mark is brilliantly written, cleverly plotted and an absolutely wonderful historical fiction serial killer mystery. This is S.W. Perry’s debut novel and it promises a whole lot of good things in the future.

The Angel’s Mark is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife and two spaniels. 

Author links : Twitter

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