Needle Song by Russell Day @rfdaze @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #blogtour #extract #damppebblesblogtours

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Needle Song by Russell Day today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join. I have an extract to share with you all but first, here is what the book is all about.

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Author : Russell Day
Title : Needle Song
Pages : 380
Publisher : Fahrenheit Press
Publication date : April 28, 2018

aboutthebook

Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.

No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

extract

Mornington Crescent

I took a long route home, telling myself it was a nice evening for a ride and that the tension across my shoulders was stiffness from work. Funny the lies we tell only ourselves. I lived about three miles from the shop but managed to put fifteen on the clock before arriving.

The house, my father’s, was in the middle of an old terrace. Not classic, just old, one of a row, each one as bland as the next. High-density living, neighbours sleeping a brick’s width apart and not knowing each other’s names. North London in a nutshell.

Dad was sat on the stairs about a third of the way up. He didn’t claim to be stuck but his laboured breathing implied a story to be told.

“Hello,” I said. Dad took a couple of heroic gasps but decided the effort of speech was too great and weakly raised a hand, his opening move. “You alright?” I asked it as a greeting rather than an enquiry, subtle difference.

Dad decided his next move quickly and chose badly. He could have gone for the sympathy or pity play. Instead he went for martyrdom, suffering in silence. He held a hand up again and added a brave nod. A man in distress but too proud to let on. I took it at face value and walked straight past him to the kitchen, which was a minor victory to me, at least I think it was. The rules for the game dad played were as clear as those of Mornington Crescent.

The kitchen smelt stale, dad didn’t believe in opening windows and a good number of food-smeared plates and a pair of pans waited for attention. I let them wait a bit longer. I went to the front room and sat facing the over-size television, the blaring screen was the only thing the room hadn’t sucked the colour from. Dad came in and made his way to his armchair, sat in it with has much effort as he could. He’d given up on the heavy breathing, conceding a point to me. I had no doubt there’d be a counter play at some stage but I told myself I wasn’t worried. Funny the lies we tell only ourselves.

“You had any dinner?” I asked, bellowed, over the TV.

Dad walked right into it.

“Not really.” Voice just the right side of accusatory.

I nodded and, without looking away from the screen said, “Load of washing up in the sink.”

Bang, I got another point, won a few blessed minutes of peace. Dad broke the silence with a master stroke.

“Your girlfriend rang. I told her you were out.”

I nodded, left the room, went upstairs to the bathroom and stood clutching the side of the bath until my knuckles hurt. When I trusted myself to sit with dad again, I asked what she’d wanted. Without looking away from the screen, he shrugged.

“Asked for you. I told her you were out.”

I unclenched my fists with an effort and left the room again. Game, set and match to dad.

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If this teaser has left you wanting more, you’re in luck as Needle Song is available to buy from the following links!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Fahrenheit Press Shop | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.

Author links : Twitter

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The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker @jdbarker @HMHbooks #mustread #TheFifthToDie #NetGalley #20BooksOfSummer

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Author : J.D. Barker
Title : The Fifth To Die
Series : 4MK Thriller #2
Pages : 416
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date : July 10, 2018

aboutthebook

Detective Porter and the team have been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath the frozen waters of Jackson Park Lagoon, she is quickly identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days.

While the detectives of Chicago Metro try to make sense of the quickly developing case, Porter secretly continues his pursuit of 4MK, knowing the best way to find Bishop is to track down his mother. When the captain finds out about Porter’s activities, he’s suspended, leaving his partners Clair and Nash to continue the search for the new killer alone.

Obsessed with catching Bishop, Porter follows a single grainy photograph from Chicago to the streets of New Orleans and stumbles into a world darker than he could have possibly imagined, where he quickly realizes that the only place more frightening than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

mythoughts

Bloody hell, what a ride! I don’t even know what to say. This series is CRAZY!

The Fifth To Die is the second book in the 4MK Thriller series and no, I’ll tell you right now, you absolutely cannot read this as a stand-alone. Do yourself a favour and read The Fourth Monkey first, not only for the necessary background information but so you can read this second one and fully appreciate the incredibly masterful way J.D. Barker has crafted this series.

There is so much going on in this second instalment. The FBI has taken over the 4MK investigation but Sam Porter is in too deep to let things go and sets out on his own search for Bishop. Meanwhile his colleagues, Nash, Clair and Kloz are investigating the murder of Ella Reynolds, who after having been missing for three weeks, is found under the ice in a lagoon. However, she’s wearing someone else’s clothes, those of a young girl who recently went missing.

I’m not saying any more than that because I’m seriously in danger of giving away something vital. As far as serial killer series go, this is by far one of the best ones out there right now. With chapters switching between the various threads, you’re often struck with the most fabulous cliffhangers that just make you want to flip the pages faster. The tension hit me from the very first page and built up to almost unbearable levels. If this was a movie (which it bloody well should be, to be honest), my non-reader of an other half would be on the edge of his seat. As was I, until the last word.

I absolutely devoured this book. The Fifth To Die is an incredibly addictive page-turner that had me utterly engrossed from start to finish. Brilliantly plotted, expertly crafted, with intriguing and fabulous characters, deliciously disturbing murders and a chilling but genius killer, it firmly stands out in the serial killer genre. I’m not sure how I’ll survive the long wait for the next one but I have no doubt it will be worth it. I can’t recommend this series enough so add it to your TBR right now! I promise you won’t regret it! Be prepared for a deliciously thrilling ride! J.D. Barker is quite frankly one of the best crime thriller writers out there who should be on everyone’s radar!

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

The Fifth To Die is available to buy!

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

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Book 5 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

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Gone To Ground by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett @damppebbles #blogtour #damppebblesblogtours #KayHunter6

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for the next instalment in the fantastic Kay Hunter series, Gone To Ground by Rachel Amphlett! My thanks to Emma Welton for the opportunity to join and to Rachel Amphlett for my review copy.

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Author : Rachel Amphlett
Title : Gone To Ground
Series : Kay Hunter #6
Pages : 376
Publisher : Saxon Publishing
Publication date : July 8, 2018

aboutthebook

While attending a crime scene on the outskirts of Maidstone, DI Kay Hunter makes a shocking discovery.

The victim has been brutally cut to pieces, his identity unknown.
When more body parts start turning up in the Kentish countryside, Kay realises the disturbing truth – a serial killer is at large and must be stopped at all costs.

With no motive for the murders and a killer who has gone undetected until now, Kay and her team of detectives must work fast to calm a terrified local population and a scornful media.

When a third victim is found, her investigation grows even more complicated.

As she begins to expose a dark underbelly to the county town, Kay and her team are pulled into a web of jealousy and intrigue that, if left unchecked, will soon claim another life.

mythoughts

Kay Hunter is back! Yes, she is! And I couldn’t be more excited if I tried!

Gone To Ground is the sixth (6th!! How did that happen?) instalment in the Kay Hunter series and it still feels as fresh as the first one. I rather think you can get away with reading this one as a stand-alone since it sort of marks new beginnings, but why would you want to? Start with the first book if you haven’t done so already! I promise you won’t regret it!

The scene is set from the very first page, when a Sunday morning bike ride ends in a bit of a nightmare as one of the cyclists discovers a severed foot. Bye bye, breakfast. Kay Hunter and her team are called out to the crime scene but other than the foot, there are no clues left to find and identification is impossible. But then more body parts start to show up and it looks like Kay may be facing a serial killer. It seems the killer may have gone to ground (see what I did there?) for now but Kay is convinced they will kill again. Can she stop the killer from striking again?

Kay Hunter and her team feel like a family. Not just to each other but to me, as a reader, as well. Even though Kay has been promoted to DI, it was wonderful to see nothing much has changed. Apart from having way more administrative tasks to do, obviously. On top of that, there’s another position that needs to be filled and just like the team, I too felt wary of the possibility of needing to be introduced to a new member, an outsider. This just goes to show how invested I’ve become in the lives of these characters. Obviously I’m not telling you what happens but Rachel Amphlett handled it brilliantly.

Much needed comic relief is once again provided by Kay’s partner, Adam. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll know that Adam is a vet and he regularly brings his work home with him. I will always love this perfect balance Rachel Amphlett creates between Kay’s professional and private life and allowing the reader to have a bit of a breather from the disturbing crimes.

The Kay Hunter series are all addictive page-turners and Gone To Ground is no different. With a gripping and frustrating investigation full of dead-ends and surprises, team banter and some chuckles there is a lot here to hold your attention throughout. I thought I had a bit of an inkling as to what was going on but the pieces of the puzzle didn’t fall into place until the end.

I’ve adored this series from the start. It’s one of those that just seems to get better and better with each book and as long as Rachel Amphlett keeps writing them, I’ll be reading them and recommending you do the same! Bring on book 7, Rachel! I’m ready!

Gone To Ground will be published on July 8th. That’s tomorrow! Not long to wait! In the meantime, you can of course pre-order.

Rachel Amphlett Store [affiliate link] | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

I write crime fiction and spy novels, including the Kay Hunter British detective series, the Dan Taylor espionage novels, the English Spy Mysteries featuring Eva Delacourt, and a number of standalone crime thrillers.

I’m a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for my debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.

My books are available through retailers worldwide and direct via my online bookstore at: https://payhip.com/RachelAmphlett

Automatically go into a prize draw to win one of three signed paperback copies of each new release and receive exclusive discounts in my eBook store: join my Readers Group at http://www.rachelamphlett.com.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Throwback Thursday : The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme originally created by Renee at It’s Book Talk. It’s designed as an opportunity to share old favourites as well as books that we’ve finally got around to reading that were published over a year ago.

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Author : J.D. Barker
Title : The Fourth Monkey
Pages : 416
Publisher : Mariner Books
Publication date : June 27, 2017

aboutthebook

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

mythoughts

I actually read The Fourth Monkey back in January after succumbing to some blogger peer pressure but never got around to reviewing it. I was soon kicking myself for not picking this one up sooner because it’s a serial killer story at its best.

The Fourth Monkey is utterly gripping from the very beginning. With a tense game of cat and mouse and a fast-paced race to catch the killer and attempt to save his latest target, I dare you not go get completely hooked. There were incredibly harrowing chapters taken from a diary and curveballs that left me spinning

This first instalment in the 4MK Thriller series is intense, suspenseful and immensely exciting! I’ve been rather impatiently awaiting the second book but it’s almost here. So if you haven’t yet read this one, now is your chance to do so before The Fifth To Die is published in July.

The Fourth Monkey is available to buy!

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

Nobody’s Child by Victoria Jenkins @vicwritescrime @bookouture #blogblitz

Thrilled to kick off a the blog blitz for Nobody’s Child by Victoria Jenkins today, alongside the fabulous Sweet Little Book! My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Victoria Jenkins
Title : Nobody’s Child
Series : Detectives King & Lane #3
Pages : 297
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 19, 2018

aboutthebook

On a damp October day, a body is found in an abandoned hospital, too burnt to be identified, but Detective Alex King knows that every victim is someone’s daughter or son.

Pushing aside her own troubles, Alex puts everything into finding the killer, but when someone else is found dead, she begins to suspect that the body in the hospital was just the first of many.

Just as Alex uncovers a heart-breaking link between the victims, she finds her own safety under threat. Is this a figure from her past hell-bent on revenge, or could the murderer be even nearer than she thinks?

Alex is running out of time. Can she catch the killer before they take another life, or will they get to her first?

mythoughts

Cor! Talk about a gripping crime story! WOO! What a corker!

If there’s a class somewhere that teaches an author how to write a prologue that will hook a reader from the get-go and leave them wanting more, I’m pretty sure Victoria Jenkins graduated with the highest honours. Those first few pages already had me on the edge of my seat and I knew I should strap myself in for yet another thrilling ride with Detectives King and Lane.

What to say about the case the detectives are working on. Good grief! Any attack is of course incomprehensible but these are even more vile and reprehensible because while they seem random, the victims are all vulnerable in one way or another. A body is found badly burned after a fire in an abandoned hospital. Identification is impossible. Who was this person and why were they targeted? Meanwhile someone also seems to have their sights set on Alex King. Plenty going on then in this story!

This third instalment in the series also sees tensions rise between Alex and Chloe, putting their friendship to the test. I must admit that this time around, both these fierce ladies managed to get on my nerves somewhat. Alex with her need to try and hide things, knowing fully well she’s not very good at it and Chloe with her incessant questions that made me want to slap her and tell her to let it go already.

I quite quickly had a potential suspect in mind but the ultimate reveals, yes plural, left me utterly reeling! And also quite sad because a lot of lives are affected and it takes a cold person not to become invested in them. That ending nearly broke me and left me with a huge lump in my throat.

Once again, Victoria Jenkins manages to come up with an insanely compelling and addictive page-turner. I remember telling myself when I picked up the first book that I needed to get hooked on another series like a hole in the tooth but within those first pages, I knew I was on to a good thing and now, three books in, I know I made the right decision. This series keeps getting better and better and the author yet again delivers an amazingly well crafted plot with interesting and fabulous characters and a multi-layered, suspenseful investigation. Bring on book four! I can’t wait!

Nobody’s Child is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Victoria Jenkins lives with her husband and daughter in South Wales, where her series of crime novels featuring Detectives King and Lane is based. Her debut novel The Girls in the Water is an Amazon UK top 30 bestseller, and top 5 bestseller in the Amazon US chart.

The third book in the King and Lane series, Nobody’s Child, is out now!

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride @StuartMacBride @HarperFiction #mustread

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Author : Stuart MacBride
Title : The Blood Road
Series : Logan McRae #11
Pages : 496
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : June 14, 2018

aboutthebook

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards it’s his job to police his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers—and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

mythoughts

Stuart MacBride has been on my list of go-to authors for as long as I can remember. Every time there’s a new book of his on the horizon, my anticipations and expectations are sky high but I also always have faith that he’ll deliver. So of course I dropped whatever it was I was doing when I got the opportunity to read this one early and I didn’t regret it for a second.

The Blood Road is the eleventh instalment in the Logan McRae series and it’s every bit as brilliant and fresh as its predecessors. Logan McRae now works for Professional Standards but that doesn’t mean he’s not able to stick his nose into a good crime now and again. The Blood Road starts with a road accident and Logan McRae is rather confused at first as to why he’s called to the scene. Until he realises the dead body is DI Bell and that’s a huge shock because DI Bell died two years ago. They had a funeral and everything.

Lots of questions that need answering then. Why did DI Bell run and hide? Where has he been these last two years? Why did he come back? And who the heck did they bury in his place? Logan McRae sets out to investigate but danger lurks as there are people out there who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

What follows is an incredibly dark, disturbing and harrowing case that will chill you to the bones. My lips are sealed as you really need to get the full effect of this one but it’s one case I won’t forget in a hurry. It’s a truly frightening and, sadly, believable scenario. Yet, true to form, Stuart MacBride manages to lighten the mood with a healthy dose of humour. I found myself chuckling at the most inappropriate moments. It shouldn’t work but it actually does and really well too. Nobody does this as brilliantly as Stuart MacBride does and this is what makes him stand out from the crowd.

I worried when the magnificent team of Logan McRae and Roberta Steele was broken up but I shouldn’t have. The incomparable Roberta still makes unforgettable appearances but quite frankly, there are two new show-stealers in town by way of Rennie and most importantly, Tufty. These two have me constantly in stitches in their own unique inimitable ways and I dare say they are totally entitled to their own spin-off. I’d pay good money for that.

This has been one of my most favourite crime fiction series for years and it continues to blow my mind with every new addition. If you are not reading these, you are missing out! With a fantastic cast of characters, absolutely brilliant writing and a fabulous dollop of wit, this author should be on everyone’s bookshelves. I for one can’t wait for whatever Stuart MacBride comes up with next!

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

The Blood Road is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | WorderyGoodreads

A Dead American in Paris by Seth Lynch @SethALynch @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Dead American in Paris by Seth Lynch. Today, I have an extract to share with you all from this second instalment in the Salazar Mysteries. My thanks to the publisher and to Emma Walton for the invitation to join and for providing the extract.

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Author : Seth Lynch
Title : A Dead American in Paris
Series : The Salazar Mysteries #2
Pages : 270
Publisher : Fahrenheit Press
Publication date : April 9, 2018

aboutthebook

Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter. He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.

A Dead American in Paris places Salazar in the midst of an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder. It’s enough to make you want to chuck it all in and take a job cleaning out the sewers. But Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.

extract

Although he was no longer there it was easy to picture him, slumped over the table with a knife buried deep in his back. The blood stains on the table, chair and floor remained and I’d seen enough dead men to fill in the gaps. I do try to remember that they’re all different, that each body represents a distinct life ended. A life with its own passions of love and hate. Its own stomach problems, bad breath and aching feet. But no matter their differences before the final heartbeat, all Death’s children are alike.

A musty unpleasantness permeated the atmosphere. This was tempered by the final traces of Chief Inspector Belmont’s cigarette smoke. Ah, if only I could have been outside where the smell of rotting pigswill commingled with the odour of emptied chamber pots and the eye-stinging fumes of the Bordeaux train.

Belmont ground his cigarette into the floorboards. He didn’t look in the least concerned about contaminating the crime scene. If I’d mentioned it to him he would have said, ‘my cigarette is no more contaminating than you are, M. Salazar.’ And I suspect that he wouldn’t have been averse to grinding me into the floorboards either, not because I was annoying him but because, according to him, I was wasting his time. Or he might have pointed out that this was no longer a crime scene but an apartment, with a sordid recent history, to let.

Belmont yawned and scratched his nose. Then he said: ‘he’d been sat there for at least twenty-four hours before we found him. Not all of those stains are blood but they are all bodily. Not squeamish, are you, M. Salazar?’

‘I stopped being squeamish when I found myself in an artillery crater with a sergeant of mine. He’d been hit by shrapnel. I held his guts in for three hours until he died. Then I spent two hours watching them slowly spill back out. By then it was dark and I was able to crawl the four-hundred metres back to our trench.’

‘Ex-soldier, good man.’ Belmont pulled a tobacco pouch from his jacket pocket and rolled himself another cigarette. He fumbled with a silver lighter, which clicked and sparked without producing a flame. I took pity on the poor chap and offered him a light, then I lighted one of my Gitanes. After all, it’s much nicer to smoke in company.

‘I know you’re not in the least enthused by my presence, Chief Inspector.’

‘On the contrary, M. Salazar, I couldn’t be happier. Without your investigation we wouldn’t be running the risk of a murderer going free. It makes a sport of it all, don’t you think?’

He chose that moment to blow a smoke ring at the ceiling and he looked so nonplussed that I couldn’t be sure he wasn’t being serious. However, no investigator, be him private or flic, relishes another’s nose in his case. So I decided our Inspector Belmont must be a born cynic.

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If you enjoyed this extract and you’d like to find out more, then you’re in luck as A Dead American in Paris is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Fahrenheit Press | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.

With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.

Author links : Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh @SSCav @orion_crime @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour #ThatBookThatHook

Thrilled to bits to have the opportunity to repost my review for Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh today on the blog tour to celebrate the paperback launch! Huge thanks to the publisher and Tracy Fention for the invitation to join!

If you missed it, I bought and enjoyed the ebook back in January which is when this review was originally written. I still stand by every word and Thirteen is still waaaay at the top of my list of books of the year!

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Author : Steve Cavanagh
Title : Thirteen
Series : Eddie Flynn #4
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : January 25, 2018 (ebook) | June 14, 2018 (UK paperback)

aboutthebook

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

mythoughts

The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.

Okay, seriously? Best tagline ever!!! Ever since I saw it, I had my eye on this book and just like that it shot up my list of most anticipated books of the year. How could it not? How can anyone resist? It’s safe to say my anticipations were incredibly high.

Now, I didn’t know this is actually the fourth book in a series since I’d never heard of Steve Cavanagh before, so I accidentally broke my own rule of never ever starting a series anywhere else but at the beginning. Luckily for me, this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. There’s enough information to get to grips with the character of Eddie Flynn and where he comes from. Yet it’s also intriguing enough to make you want to pick up the previous books. Which I’ve already bought, in case you wondered.

Actor Robert Solomon is charged with the murder of his wife and his security guard. All the evidence points to Robert being guilty as sin but then things start to happen that don’t seem all too coincidental anymore and Eddie Flynn feels there may be something far more sinister going on.

I am a huge fan of legal thrillers and court drama. For the longest time, I got my fix by way of John Grisham. But well, let’s just say, I’ve felt like he’s been losing his touch for quite a while now. Enter Steve Cavanagh and all is well again in my legal thriller world. Especially as Thirteen combines all the things I love in a story. A great hook, crime fiction, fabulous characters, a serial killer and a bunch of murders, lawyers and their shenanigans, involving the FBI … I could go on.

This original premise makes for one insanely gripping and addictive tale. Not only is the court case fabulously compelling but the serial killer is one of the most fascinating and intriguing characters I’ve ever met. He’s meticulous, organised, adapts easily to various circumstances. Quite frankly, a bit of a genius, but in the psycho kind of way. And as for our main character, Eddie Flynn, I warmed to him from the start.

What more can I say? I absolutely loved this one and I can’t recommend it enough. Another one to add to my list of top books of the year and I can’t wait to get stuck into the other books in this series.

Thirteen is available to buy! Run! Don’t walk!

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

abouttheauthor

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases. Selected for the Amazon Rising Stars programme 2015. ACES award winner 2015 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Defence is his debut novel.

Author link : Twitter

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Body Heat by Candy Denman @CrimeCandy @CrimeSceneBooks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #BodyHeat

Such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Body Heat by Candy Denman today. My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

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Author : Candy Denman
Title : Body Heat
Series : Jocasta Hughes Mysteries #2
Pages : 262
Publisher : Crime Scene Books
Publication date : May 24, 2018

aboutthebook

The second in the Dr Jocasta Hughes sees the Hastings Forensic Medical Practitioner faced with a gruesome series of murders which leave the remains of the victims twisted and charred. The hunt heats up for the arsonist, and so does Jo’s relationship with the exasperating DI Miller. A chilling mystery with lead characters you will want to spend more time with, and a murderer you would definitely want to avoid.

mythoughts

Body Heat is the second book in the Jocasta Hughes series, which I didn’t realise but it doesn’t matter as I had no problem at all getting immersed and following along.

Dr Jocasta Hughes, or Jo, is a part-time GP and part-time Forensic Consultant for the Hastings police department. This includes confirming a person is dead, for instance, or making sure someone held in a police cell is fit to be interviewed. I took to Jo right away. She’s an intelligent and determined woman, who’s always looking out for the people around her.

The action starts pretty much on the first page which is one sure-fire way to hook your readers from the get-go. When the body of a woman is found burned to death in an abandoned car, Dr Hughes is called out to the scene to confirm the woman is indeed dead. Little does she know this victim will not be the last one as the killer is most definitely on a mission.

During the investigation, one suspect is a young man who clearly has a learning disability. It was this part of the story that really grabbed me. The relentlessness of detectives as they go out of their way to get a confession made for quite an emotional read at times. This is also where Jo gets involved, as an appropriate adult and making sure her patient is as well as he can be.

Having the main character be a doctor and not an investigator is both incredibly refreshing and also slightly frustrating as I felt I was increasingly left out of the excitement of a murder case since Jo is rather on the fringes of it all. Sure, she has her sources and people willing to partake in a bit of gossip but it’s a bit different from being right there in the middle of the action of an investigation.

As for the killer, I was convinced I had it all figured out quite early on. I was wrong. Again. I’d make a horrible detective. It wasn’t until the final pages that the pieces of the puzzle came together. This is one seriously chilling killer and his choice of murder is quite horrendous.

Body Heat is a gripping and compelling serial killer mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the balance between a murder investigation, Jo’s work at the GP surgery and her personal life including her parents, her best friend and the “will-they, won’t-they” relationship with Steve Miller. I feel this would make quite a fabulous tv series, as it goes. It was a delight meeting the entire cast of characters, even Jeffries, and I look forward to reading more about them in future. Might be a while until I have me some crispy bacon again, though.

Body Heat is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Candy Denman trained as a nurse, and worked in the NHS almost all her life, until recently managing to disengage herself in order to become a full-time crime writer. She has also written a number of scripts for such highly-acclaimed TV series as The Bill and Heartbeat.

Author links : Twitter

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Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen (trs Don Bartlett) @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #VargVeum

I’m absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen today, alongside my awesome fellow blog tour buddy Jen!

My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my review copy and to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the tour!

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Author : Gunnar Staalesen (translated by Don Bartlett)
Title : Big Sister
Series : Varg Veum
Pages : 259
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : June 20, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her apartment in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.

Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal.

mythoughts

Varg Veum is back and hoo boy, what a return it is!

Varg Veum is surprised when a half-sister he’s never met shows up in his office. She needs his help in finding her goddaughter, Emma, who disappeared without a trace. Since Emma is nineteen and took personal belongings with her, the police don’t take her case seriously and aren’t looking for her. Varg Veum promises to investigate but he has no idea what he’s getting himself in to.

The investigation leads him to uncover a horrific crime, while also making the acquaintance of a gang of bikers. Now, I watched Sons of Anarchy. I know all about these types of bikers, the things they get up to and none of it is good. Soon things get personal and Varg may have just bitten off more than he can chew.

There are various threads to sink your teeth into in Big Sister and Varg Veum is kept incredibly busy. Not only is there his investigation into the missing teenager, but he might find himself inclined to dig a little deeper into his own family.

Once again, Gunnar Staalesen delivers with his crisp writing and a scenario that is current and feels incredibly realistic. There’s a delicious depth to his characters and it feels as if you’re there with them in the moment, as you become invested in them and their emotions. This is only the second book I’ve read by Staalesen but I already expect nothing less than an intricately plotted story. There are a few magnificent twists I didn’t see coming at all and it kept me utterly hooked from start to finish.

When I reviewed Wolves in the Dark last year, I mentioned I felt a little lost as I hadn’t read any of the previous books in this long-running series but I’m happy to say that this time around I had no problems whatsoever getting behind Varg Veum and I feel Big Sister reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. It is intriguing, full of suspense and another fantastic example of Scandi-Noir at its best!

Finally, shout-out to Don Bartlett for another seamless translation!

Big Sister is available to buy in ebook. The UK paperback will be published on June 20th.

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

abouttheauthor

Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is being filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife.

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