Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson (trs by @givemeawave | @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks

Delighted to welcome you all to the final day of the blog tour for Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson. Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for the fab review copy and to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the tour.

Author : Johana Gustawsson (trs by David Warriner)
Title : Blood Song
Series : Roy &. Castells #3
Pages : 272
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 19, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Spain, 1938

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Teresa witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Teresa gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016

A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells, and they soon find themselves on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer, in an investigation that takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule…

| MY THOUGHTS |

I am broken. Good grief.

I apologise upfront for this review but words completely fail me and I can only hope that what little I say next will convince you that this book, and the rest of the series, is an absolute must-read for any crime fiction fan who also doesn’t mind being educated somewhat.

Few crime fiction series leave me feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut numerous times, wanting to curl up into a tiny ball under my duvet, but Johana Gustawsson manages it every single time. You’d think I would have learned my lesson from her previous books but apparently I hadn’t because I wasn’t all prepared for the emotional impact Blood Song would have on me.

Blood Song is the third instalment in the Roy and Castells series and it is even stronger than its predecessors, proving this series only goes from strength to strength. In Falkenberg, Sweden, a wealthy family is found murdered in their home. The hunt for the killer leads Roy and Castells right back to the terror of Franco’s regime in Spain.

Cue some of the most harrowing chapters I’ve ever read in my life! I wasn’t at all familiar with this devastating period in Spanish history and it made me feel remarkably uncomfortable to realise that it actually wasn’t all that long ago. I don’t want to give anything away, obviously, but I will say that some events are extremely brutal, disturbing and dark and I have no doubt whatsoever that these chapters will haunt me forever.

As if that wasn’t enough, Johana Gustawsson also tackles the topic of inferitily and the measures some people will go to to obtain what Mother Nature is denying them, while also laying bare the unscrupulous side of infertility clinics.

Basically, Blood Song left me utterly reeling and feeling completely heartbroken. I don’t have the words to do this story justice at all. It is devastating and yet, there is also a tiny glimmer of hope and a sense of empowerment of women who have dealt with the worst of the worst.

Johana Gustawsson is a remarkable talent and I continue to be absolutely impressed by the way she manages to combine modern crime fiction with some of history’s most shocking eras and the atrocious things humans are capable of. I can’t recommend this powerful read and this entire series enough and I absolutely can’t wait for more! And as always, shout-out to David Warriner for the seamless translation!

Blood Song is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production.

Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons. She drew on her own experience of fertility clinics and IVF to write Blood Song and is happy to speak and write pieces about this.

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard | @cathryanhoward @AtlanticBooks @theotherkirsty | #20BooksOfSummer #recommended

Author : Catherine Ryan Howard
Title : Rewind
Pages : 327
Publisher : Atlantic Books / Corvus
Publication date : August 22, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Say “hello” to Catherine Ryan Howard’s best book yet! Yes, I said it!

Instagram influencer Natalie seems to have it all. Fab house, handsome husband, easy and cushy “job”. But behind the pretty filtered pictures, things are not what they seem. Natalie is on a mission, which leads her to the tiny isolated village of Shanamore. Will she find what she is looking for?

A creepy manager with Norman Bates vibes watches a murder caught on camera. Who is the victim? Who is the killer? Why is there a camera in the room to begin with and how did the killer know it was there? Creepy to the nth degree!

The way the plot is set out in this book is just sheer genius. Even though the rewind/foreward/play/pause chapters tied my brain into knots at the beginning, I can honestly say I’ve never been this ecstatic about being confused before and I loved every minute of trying to figure out how the whole thing fit together. It is just such an original take on a past and present storyline and what is basically a whodunnit murder mystery.

Despite the fact I had quite a few things figured out early on, that didn’t matter at all because Rewind remains compelling and totally creepy throughout. I am never staying at a hotel, B&B, whatever again! Brilliantly paced with intriguing characters and a mystery to solve, this is one of those books I found impossible to put down.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Catherine Ryan Howard’s previous books but with this one, she knocked it right out of the park. Gripping and tense, I absolutely devoured Rewind and if you’re a crime fiction fan who’s looking for that little something different, ta-da! Here it is! I so can’t wait to see what’s next from Catherine Ryan Howard.

My thanks to Kirsty Doole at Atlantic for my review copy!

Rewind is available to buy!

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Book 19 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten | @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @KillerReads

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invitation to join and to Killer Reads for the review copy!

Author : Noelle Holten
Title : Dead Inside
Series : DC Maggie Jamieson #1
Pages : 300
Publisher : Killer Reads
Publication date : August 22, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Behold Dead Inside, the debut crime novel from fellow blogger Noelle Holten, who as a former probation officer has put her years of experience to incredible use to come up with a dark and disturbing story of domestic abuse.

Dead Inside is the first instalment in the DC Maggie Jamieson series. She has temporarily been transferred to another unit and is forced to hit the ground running when an unsuspecting member of the public finds a dead body in the park. The victim was a convicted domestic abuser and he won’t be the last.

But this story is less about Maggie and more about Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who deals with, well quite frankly, some serious scum of the earth. This is where Noelle Holten’s experience really shines through and all the things Lucy has to deal with on a daily basis come across as extremely realistic and believable. Outside of work, Lucy has a secret and it may just land her in deep trouble.

I must admit it took me a while to get to grips with a rather big cast of characters but once that happened, it was plain sailing all the way and this turned into quite the quickie read for me, helped along immensely by some short and snappy chapters. As you may have guessed from what I’ve said already, this isn’t always a comfortable story to read. Noelle Holten doesn’t hold back on the abuse some of these characters suffer and some of the events really chilled me to the bone.

As for the murder investigation, there was one part I figured out, although that may have just been a lucky guess. Nevertheless I felt immensely smug. However, there was something else that I didn’t quite see coming, prompting me to utter the words “nice one!” while at the same time feeling incredibly sad.

Dead Inside is a powerful debut. Extremely dark and gritty, with characters that will get under your skin, it tackles an immensely difficult topic but I dare say Noelle Holten did it sensitively and the inevitable violence required to make the story work is never gratuitous.

The ending perfectly sets the scene for the follow-up in this series and I have no doubt many a reader will be back for more from DC Maggie Jamieson. Well played, Noelle, well played!

Dead Inside is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast.

Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 

Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Chris McGeorge
Title : Now You See Me
Pages : 302
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : June 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Six people went in. Only one came out…

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?

And how will he solve the insolvable case? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Raise your hand if you love a good mystery! Me! I do! And this one is mind-boggling for sure.

Six friends and a dog travel through a canal tunnel on a boat. But when the boat reaches the other end, only one friend (who’s unconscious) and the dog (who’s absolutely fine) remain. The other five, now known as the Standedge Five, have disappeared. The community is able to keep this mysterious disappearance out of the national media and quickly moves to arrest the remaining friend, Matthew, for murder. Police is convinced he killed his friends and moved their bodies to an undisclosed location.

While awaiting trial in prison, Matthew contacts author Robin Ferringham. Robin’s wife went missing three years ago and Matthew claims to have information about her disappearance but he won’t divulge any of it unless Robin helps him prove his innocence. Can Matthew be trusted? Is he truly innocent? And how will Robin solve a case that looks utterly unsolvable?

Now You See Me isn’t just a whodunnit, it’s also a “how-dunnit” and it genuinely made my head hurt trying to figure it out. I have the frown lines to prove it. How do five people vanish from a canal tunnel?! Were they thrown overboard? Did they pull a Houdini? Did Scotty beam them up? What the hell happened?! I thought I had it all worked out but I was only half right and it was such a thrilling journey to go on.

Chris McGeorge has come up with an extremely clever plot here. Full of untrustworthy and not always likeable characters, the mystery surrounding the Standedge Five had me hooked from start to finish. This is such an addictive page-turner and there was no way I was going to put this book down until I knew what had actually happened. There were a few surprises I didn’t quite see coming, some of them quite shocking and devastating, and it all added up to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and a truly compelling read.

Now You See Me is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Book 13 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Conviction by Denise Mina | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Denise Mina
Title : Conviction
Pages : 372
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Denise Mina is a name I’ve seen mentioned quite a lot but I had never read any of her books before. Her latest release, Conviction, seemed like a good place to start.

When Anna’s husband leaves her for her best friend and takes the kids with him, the only thing that’s able to distract Anna from the shambles of her life is a true crime podcast. This podcast tries to find the answers to the mysterious sinking of a yacht that left three people dead. When Anna realises she actually knew one of the victims, she is convinced she knows what happened and sets out to investigate.

I’ve never listened to a podcast in my life. But I sure do love reading about them. They’re a really interesting way of getting a story across, giving you the facts and the questions that need answering. The podcast chapters in this book were my favourites to read. But I struggled with the rest of the story. I didn’t particularly like Anna, which felt immensely wrong considering her past and the secrets she’s hiding.

Some of the events that happened seemed somewhat over the top to me, yet the search for the truth kept me hooked and I couldn’t at all figure out what or who had caused these deaths. But for some reason, I wasn’t entirely convinced. Sure, there’s a well-crafted plot and Denise Mina is obviously a very skilled author but something was lacking for me and I can’t quite put my finger on what that was.

Furthermore, this finished hardback was riddled with mistakes. Now quite clearly that is not the author’s fault but it did have a huge impact on my reading experience. I often found myself utterly annoyed by the errors which took away my focus of the story. All in all, my first introduction to Denise Mina didn’t go down so well but I do still plan to read another one of her books in future.

Conviction is available to buy!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

Book 11 from my 20 Books of Summer

The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Andrew Taylor
Title : The Ashes of London
Series : James Marwood #1
Pages : 482
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : April 7, 2016

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer.

In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.

Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Recently, I’ve been on the look-out for more historical crime fiction as it’s a genre I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately. The Ashes Of London caught my eye as it’s an era I’m not especially familiar with. I had heard of The Great Fire though, so that’s something as that is where this story starts.

The Great Fire of London in 1666 caused quite a few deaths. But St. Paul’s holds another body that didn’t perish in the fire. This victim was murdered before the fire got to them. As James Marwood watches the devastating fire roar, he helps a boy to safety. A boy who later turns out to be a young girl. This girl, Catherine, is trying to find her father. Could he be the murder victim?

For some reason, I couldn’t quite get to grips with this one. While I found it interesting to see the devastation the fire caused across the city, how it affected some but not others and the way it seemed to rain ashes for days on end, I mostly picked this book because I’m a crime fan. And the crime fan in me will always be way more intrigued by the murder investigation. This seemed to often take a bit of a backseat though in this story. There is a lot of walking through the streets, soaking up the atmosphere, a rather big cast of characters which sometimes confused me, conversations of which I felt they didn’t really bring much to the table and a rather slow pace where I was expecting more tension and “oomph”.

The story switches between James and Catherine. Unfortunately for me, neither of these two characters particularly held my interest and I often found my attention wandering. This story of conspiracies and revenge didn’t quite do it for me. I actually have the other books on my shelves and I will be giving them a go at some point. But for now, when I need a historical crime fiction fix, I will return to the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom which, in my most humble opinion, is far more superior.

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Book 10 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Invisible Blood : 17 stories of murder and mystery edited by Maxim Jakubowski | @TitanBooks @Sarah_Mather_15

Author : Various, edited by Maxim Jakubowski
Title : Invisible Blood
Pages : 400
Publisher : Titan Books
Publication date : July 23, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Open the files on seventeen new crime stories to probe the brutal and complex hearts of criminals. Watch as a secretive group of intelligence community officers traces Jack Reacher’s steps through Heathrow airport in Lee Child’s “Smile”. In Mary Hoffman’s “Fallen Woman”, a journalist on the trail of a secretive drug lord gets caught up in the violent suicide of a young woman in Siena. And in Jeffrey Deaver’s “Connecting the Dots”, detectives follow the trail of clues in the brutal killing of a homeless man, wherever it may lead… Invisible Blood is a gripping collection of the compulsions of the criminal mind. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

I must admit that I’m not normally a fan of short stories because well, they’re short, and just when I feel I’m about to really sink my teeth into the story, they’re over and done with and we move on to the next one. But when Titan offered me Invisible Blood for review, I gladly accepted. I’m always looking for new crime authors and a short story collection like this one is the perfect way to discover some I’m not familiar with, or whose work I’ve never read.

So, 17 short crime stories in one go. I never know how to tackle these. Do I pick and choose? Do I start with an author I know? Or one who’s not known to me at all? Do I read from beginning to end? Never knew I could be this indecisive. As it is, I decided to just start from the beginning and a good choice that was too.

The first story is by Denise Mina, an author I’ve seen mentioned numerous times but I’ve never read any of her books. Lo and behold, her short story was one of my favourites and I’ll definitely be reading more by her in future. Lee Child pops up with a new Jack Reacher story and we also get one by one my favourite Orenda Books authors, Johana Gustawsson, that chilled me to the bone.

Short these stories may be. Some are a mere 20 pages long. But boy, do they pack a punch. My favourites were by Denise Mina, Lee Child, Johana Gustawsson and Jeffrey Deaver. The reader travels to Spain, where washing lines play an important part; to Italy on the trail of a drugs dealer; to America where a homeless man is found murdered and to the UK, where airport security is apparently flawed.

Murder, mystery and blood from seventeen fantastic crime writers all combined into one book makes Invisible Blood the perfect collection for any crime fiction fan. Or for someone like me, who’s on the look-out for new authors.

My thanks to Titan for the review copy!

Invisible Blood is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Contributing authors : Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Stella Duffy, Lavie Tidhar, R. J. Ellory, Christopher Fowler, Lauren Henderson, Jason Starr, Stella Duffy, James Grady, Johana Gustawsson, Denise Mina, Bill Beverly, Ken Bruen, Cathi Unsworth, John Harvey, and A. K. Benedict.

Edited by Maxim Jakubowski

The Scribe by A.A. Chaudhuri | @Endeavour_Media

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Scribe by A.A. Chaudhuri! My thanks to Hannah at Endeavour for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : A.A. Chaudhuri
Title : The Scribe
Series : Kramer & Carver #1
Pages : 311
Publisher : Endeavour Media
Publication date : July 1, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Making it as a lawyer has always been a cutthroat business.

But now that a sadistic serial killer is on the loose the consequences could prove deadly… A killer is targeting former students of The Bloomsbury Academy of Law. The victims – all female – are gruesomely butchered according to a pattern corresponding with the legal syllabus. Even more disconcerting are riddles sent by the killer to investigating officer, Chief Inspector Jake Carver, offering clues as to who is next and where they will die. 

Up-and-coming lawyer Madeline Kramer, a former classmate of a number of the slain, soon finds her life turned upside down by the savagery. And when she decides to help Carver track down the killer, she places herself in mortal danger. Can Maddy unscramble the complex riddles, and save her own life and those of others destined to die? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

A serial killer is roaming the streets and they’re on a mission. The victims this person is targeting are all female and former students of the Bloomsbury Academy of Law. Madeline Kramer finds herself smack-bang in the thick of things and decides to help detectives crack this case before more women die.

The Scribe is the first instalment in the Kramer & Carver series and does exactly what it needs to do to lay a good foundation for future books. It introduces us to the early beginnings of the working relationship between these two characters while on the hunt for quite the brutal killer.

That investigation is pretty enthralling. There’s something else that links these victims but is that why they’re being killed or is there something more sinister going on? I was completely unable to figure it out. Any ideas I came up with were more of the “that’s not going to be it” variety but the actual answer never quite came to me. Not helped by the red herrings that kept throwing me off the scent.

As far as characters go, there are quite a few fascinating and intriguing ones in this story. Chaudhuri also takes the time to introduce us to the victims before they meet their untimely deaths, which I quite liked. Some you’ll like, some you won’t but does that mean they deserve what’s coming to them? I mentioned “brutal killer”, right? Some of the murder scenes are quite graphic but somehow never gruesome.

My only little niggle was that Kramer seemed to do all the work. Sure, she’s smart and determined but she’s not a detective. It didn’t bother me that she was working with Carver, despite being a lawyer and seemingly forgetting all about her job, but sometimes I found that the solutions she came up with were things he should have figured out for himself, long before she did. Copper’s nose and all that.

All in all, The Scribe is a well-paced and well plotted serial killer thriller. Not one to overanalyse but one to be enjoyed by the pool. It’ll be interesting to see how things evolve in the next book.

The Scribe is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer.

Once a highly ranked British junior tennis player, she went on to gain a degree in History at University College London, then trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing.

In addition to books featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, she has written four stand-alone novels, including racy thriller, Illicit Retainers, and political thriller, The Darker Side of White, yet to be published.

She lives in Surrey with her family.

Found by Erin Kinsley | @KinsleyErin @headlinepg @JenRHarlow | #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Found by Erin Kinsley! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Erin Kinsley
Title : Found
Pages : 368
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : July 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When 11 year old Evan vanishes without trace, his parents are plunged into their worst nightmare. 
Especially as the police, under massive pressure, have no answers.

But months later Evan is unexpectedly found, frightened and refusing to speak. His loving family realise life will never be the same again.

DI Naylor knows that unless those who took Evan are caught, other children are in danger. And with Evan silent, she must race against time to find those responsible…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Claire and Matt are faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when their son, Evan, fails to return from school. Evan was taken from a bus stop in broad daylight. With no witnesses, zero leads and a reconstruction that doesn’t provide any answers, detectives fail to move forward in their investigation.

Months go by, until Evan is unexpectedly found and returned home to his parents. But the damage has been done. Evan won’t talk, will not venture outside and hides himself away in his bedroom. Detectives are desperate to hunt down Evan’s kidnappers for fear they might strike again and kidnap another child but without Evan’s help, they don’t even know where to start.

I must say, this didn’t at all turn out the way I expected it to. This is one of those books that doesn’t quite fit into just any category. There’s the police procedural angle as the reader follows detectives on their frustrating journey to answers. But there is also more of a family drama side to this story as Evan’s family first go through the horrible period of his disappearance and then later need to deal with his return and the changes he’s undergone.

These were the chapters that are still very much at the forefront of my mind. The relationship between Evan and his granddad, especially, really got to me. It was just so warm and genuine, full of love and patience and I adored every minute they spent together. I never really considered that Found would move me as much as it did.

As harrowing as Found’s topic may be, I feel the author really managed to get events across without bombarding the reader with disturbing scene upon disturbing scene. A lot is left up to the reader’s imagination, be that a good or a bad thing. The story is chilling enough on its own, it didn’t need any added shock value and I appreciate that Erin Kinsley shied away from that and dealt with things in an incredibly sensitive way.

Found is a compelling and often devastating read, beautifully written and extremely sympathetically done. A truly impressive debut by Erin Kinsley.

Found is published in paperback format tomorrow!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Erin Kinsley is a full-time writer. She grew up in Yorkshire and currently lives in East Anglia. Now writing under a pseudonym, her previous books were published by Bloomsbury. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliot prize amongst other awards, her writing has received glowing reviews across the national press.

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons | @WriteAngie @bookouture

Delighted to join the blog tour for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons today! Huge thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy!

Author : Angela Marsons
Title : Child’s Play
Series : DI Kim Stone #11
Pages : 359
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 11, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. 

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica. 

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killer’s they’ve ever encountered.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

And Angela Marsons strikes again! What a belter of a book!

Somewhere near the top of the “some things Eva gets really excited about” list, you’ll find this series. Whenever a new Kim Stone book arrives, I get immensely giddy because I know I’m in for a treat and I know that Angela Marsons will just knock it out of the park once again. Isn’t it a wondrous feeling to know you’re safe in an author’s hands?

Kim and Bryant are called out to a murder scene in one of the most innocent places you can think of : a children’s playground in a park. The identity of the victim is quickly discovered but that’s also where things become immensely intriguing. The victim’s appearance seems at odds with her lifestyle and the team struggle to find the truth amidst all this mystery. The victim’s sister is of little help, cold and distant, and refusing to talk.

Meanwhile Penn is forced to spend time with his former West Mercia colleagues when a case he worked on gets its day in court. But things do not exactly go to plan. Did Penn make a mistake? The only way to find out is to go through the entire investigation again with a fine tooth comb.

It’s absolutely remarkable when you realise this is the eleventh book in a series. But what is even more remarkable is how Angela Marsons is able to keep this eleventh book seem as fresh as the very first one. This plot is as compelling as ever but there are also other things that keep me, as a reader, utterly hooked. One of those things is splitting up the team. Having Kim, Bryant and Stacey work on one investigation and Penn on something else feels realistic and when both of those investigations grab your attention, well, you just can’t flip the pages fast enough. There’s also the introduction of new characters, for instance. Now I won’t say anything about the character the team is forced to work with but their arrival and the reaction of the team genuinely made me laugh.

Above all else though, are the topics Angela Marsons tackle. In Child’s Play, we find ourselves in the world of child prodigies. This quickly turned into quite the thought-provoking issue for me as Angela Marsons somehow made it easy to see the points of view from various sides. The parents, often ruthless and competitive, do they have their child’s best interests at heart or not? The child prodigy, often isolated, forced to study for hours on end, what sort of impact does this have on them? And what about siblings who aren’t as smart? And all the while, you’re left to wonder how the utterly brutal prologue fits into it all. I had no idea. Both investigations left me guessing until the very end.

This is what Angela Marsons does best. She always manages to come up with a hard-hitting topic that makes me think, that makes me feel rather emotional sometimes, that isn’t always easy to read. And throughout, there is Kim and her team, guiding the reader safely through an intense and intriguing investigation. Of course, there are light-hearted moments too. Thank goodness! The relationship between Kim and Bryant is one of my favourite things ever and there’s a lot of muttering going on that made me chuckle. And let’s not forget the absolutely delightfully snarky Keats!

Child’s Play is another utterly brilliant addition to this series. It’s gripping, compelling, super tense and extremely addictive. The kind of book you pick up and don’t put down again until you’ve finished it, no matter what time of night it is. I so can’t wait for the next one!

Child’s Play is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.