In For The Kill by Ed James @EdJamesAuthor @EmmaFinnigan @AmazonPub @annecater #blogtour #ThomasandMercer #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for In For The Kill by Ed James, the fourth book in the DI Fenchurch series. Ed James visits the blog today to talk about how he came up with his main character but first, here is what the book is all about.

My thanks to Ed James and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours!

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Author : Ed James
Title : In For The Kill
Series : DI Fenchurch #4
Pages : 329
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer / Amazon Publishing
Publication date : April 19, 2018

aboutthebook

A university student is found strangled to death in her bedroom, but when the embattled DI Simon Fenchurch is called in to investigate, the case strikes dangerously close to home.

On the surface, the victim was a popular, high-performing student. But as secret grudges against her emerge, so too does evidence that she was living a double life, working on explicit webcam sites for a seedy London ganglord. Everyone Fenchurch talks to knows a lot more than they’re willing to tell, and before long he’s making new enemies of his own—threatening to push him and his family past breaking point.

With too many suspects and not enough facts, Fenchurch knows his new superiors are just waiting for him to fail—they want him off the case, and off the force for good. His family is in more danger than ever before. So how deep is he willing to dig in order to unearth the truth?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryGoodreads

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How I came up with DI Simon Fenchurch

A few years ago, I wrote a book set in the Scottish Highlands about vampires escaping the Highland Clearances. Something like that. For some reason, it didn’t do very well. I had an idea for a sequel set in London and Kent, where a group of vampires breed people for their blood. The first thing I did as a full-time writer was an outline for that book, which went in a very odd direction.

I had a lead detective, Simon Fenchurch, a broken Met DI, who I’d become quite attached to. The name came from Simon Fench, a vampire in China Mieville’s THE SCAR, but coupled with Fenchurch Street in the City, somewhere I walked past every so often when I worked there, which rooted him to the location he investigates crimes in. When it became clear how badly the first vampire book did, I gave up on it.

But I just couldn’t get him out of my head. So I cut the supernatural nonsense from the book, and the central crime became more evil — people breeding humans for use in the sex trade.

And I needed to know who Fenchurch was. What makes him tick. What broke him?

My first police procedural series, featuring Scott Cullen, deliberately avoided the usual detective tropes, with Cullen the opposite of everything you usually read or saw. He’s a Detective Constable, not a DI or, even more egregiously, a DCI investigating low-level crimes instead of managing people and stats. He’s young and single, not divorced with kids that don’t speak to him, and he lives in a shared flat instead of a former marital home. And he drives a crap car, not a classic.

With Fenchurch, I decided to tackle the clichés head on. He’s a DI, so he delegates rather than doing all the tedious stuff. Made it much easier to write, I can assure you. I’d been reading a lot of film theory, which meant giving him a back story that gave a personal involvement in the case. It’s hard to do for a series police procedural, as it’s someone doing a job. So I made him separated from his wife after the tragedy of their daughter being kidnapped. Fenchurch became obsessed with it, causing their emotional distance and break up.

And Fenchurch spends his nights hunting for his daughter, but he doesn’t know what he’ll do if he finds her. In the first novel, THE HOPE THAT KILLS, the victim could easily be his daughter. Even though she isn’t, he can empathise with her family, which drives him on to make a horrific discovery. It doesn’t close any doors for him — that would happen later — but it let me and my readers get to know him and what makes him tick.

And it didn’t have any vampires.

[Thank you for stopping by the blog, Ed! And I must say that I for one am thrilled about the lack of vampires!]

abouttheauthor

Ed James writes crime fiction novels, predominantly the SCOTT CULLEN series of police procedurals set in Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians – the first four are available now, starting with GHOST IN THE MACHINE which has been downloaded over 280,000 times and is currently free. BOTTLENECK (Cullen 5) is out on 17-Mar-14. He is currently developing two new series – DI SIMON FENCHURCH and DS VICKY DODDS, set in London and Dundee respectively. He also writes the SUPERNATURE series, featuring vampires and other folkloric creatures, of which the first book SHOT THROUGH THE HEART is out now and free.

Ed lives in the East Lothian countryside, 25 miles east of Edinburgh, with his girlfriend, six rescue moggies, two retired greyhounds, a flock of ex-battery chickens and rescue ducks across two breeds and two genders (though the boys don’t lay eggs). While working in IT for a living, Ed wrote mainly on public transport but now writes full time.

Twitter | Website

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The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan @Lisalregan @bookouture #blogblitz

Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan! My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture!

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Author : Lisa Regan
Title : The Girl With No Name
Series : Detective Josie Quinn #2
Pages : 337
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : April 19, 2018

aboutthebook

Detective Josie Quinn is horrified when she’s called to the house of a mother who had her newborn baby snatched from her arms.

A woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she is so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

mythoughts

The Girl With No Name is the second instalment in the Detective Josie Quinn series and what a follow-up it is! If you’ve read the first one, then I’m sure you’ll remember Misty. She’s found brutally attacked in her own home and her newborn baby has gone missing. Josie needs to put aside any and all personal differences to focus on the task at hand. However, things will take a far more sinister turn and with the mayor breathing down her neck, Josie may need to ask for help from some unexpected sources.

Denton may be a small town but when things happen, they sure happen in style. From a woman broken and battered in hospital, to a girl who apparently can’t remember who she is, to a missing baby and business men wanting to build a casino … all these various threads kept me entertained from beginning to end. Meanwhile, we also get glimpses into the trial of the Interstate Killer and some newspaper articles that seem so incredibly random, you can’t but feel they play a part somehow. Not that I could figure it out and the author kept me guessing until the answer was almost spoon-fed to me.

This plot is insanely action-packed. Forget about a slow build-up as it’s all systems go from the first page. As Josie and her team chase down leads from one location to the next and the body pile starts mounting up, I felt there was barely any time to take a breather. Never mind the characters being tired, I was exhausted myself!

Josie is as fierce as ever and despite things getting her down, she’s determined not to give up. She may have accidentally gotten the role of Chief but she convinced me that it was right for her. For now, anyway. But for me, Lieutenant Noah Fraley completely steals the show. Sympathetic, level-headed and always there by Josie’s side, he’s most definitely someone you can count on. And even though I tend to have this thing against reporters, I even warmed to Trinity this time around.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Girls, the first book in this series, but I feel this one is even better. I do so love it when a series goes from strength to strength. The Girl With No Name is utterly gripping, a true page-turner that had me completely absorbed. I can’t wait to see where Lisa Regan takes the team next.

The Girl With No Name is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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The Body in the Boat by A.J. MacKenzie @AJMacKnovels @BonnierZaffre #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Body in the Boat by A.J. MacKenzie! I was unfortunately unable to read this one (I need more hours in the day! Someone make that happen!) but I do have a great extract to share with you all today.

My thanks to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for the invitation!

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Author : A.J. Mackenzie
Title : The Body in the Boat
Series : Hardcastle & Chaytor Mysteries #3
Pages : 400
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : April 5, 2018

aboutthebook

Across the still, dark English Channel come the smugglers. But tonight they carry an unusual cargo: a coffin. Several miles inland, a respected banker holds a birthday party for his wife. Within days, one of the guests is found shot dead.

What links this apparently senseless killing to the smugglers lurking in the mists? Why has the local bank been buying and hoarding gold? And who was in the mysterious coffin?

Reverend Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor find themselves drawn into the worlds of high finance and organised crime in this dramatic and dark Georgian mystery.

extract

Dawn broke, glowing red and pink and gold over the heaving sea, the wind still hard from the west. She was so exhausted she could hardly think. The world around her seemed to stutter. The relentless crash of the waves, the creaking of the hull, the moaning of the rigging tore at her nerves.

‘A mile and a half’, said Captain Haddock. ‘Sloterdyke is no lubber. He must know we’re overhauling him.’

‘Think he might turn and fight, sir?’

‘Wouldn’t you? Pipe the hands to breakfast.’

Breakfast was a form of porridge. She forced a few spoonsful down, shuddering with a nausea that had nothing to do with seasickness. Another cup of coffee laced with rum calmed her stomach.

Blue sky overhead, enormous columns of white cloud marching over the sea round them, trailing grey sheets of rain. The wind was down a little, but still the waves rolled on, streaked with white foam. The deck of the ship heaved and swayed beneath her feet.

‘Sail ho!’

‘Where away?’

‘Port bow, captain. It’s another lugger.’

White sails, rising and falling on the horizon. The sea, rolling and rolling, without end.

‘She’s one of ours, captain! I think it’s Black Joke!’

‘Make the recognition signal.’

Silence, waiting.

‘Weather’s coming up, captain.’ One of the great storm clouds was rolling towards them from the west.

Black Joke’s answering, captain. She’s spotted the Dutchman.’

The squall was drawing nearer. A few raindrops pattered on the already wet deck.

Black Joke is turning, sir! She’s running to cut the Dutchman off.’

‘Watch the Dutchman, lads, watch her’, said Haddock. ‘She’ll wait until the squall hits and then try to run back past us. Watch her sails; sing out the moment you see her turn.’

Rain was falling heavily now. Her cloak was saturated, she realised, and she was wet through to her small clothes. Her body shivered from head to foot, but she could not turn away.

‘Ma’am’, said Captain Haddock, ‘I am about to send the crew to quarters. You should go below.’

She did not know what that meant. She shook her head.

A whistle blew. A drum beat. Men ran across the rolling deck. The ropes securing the black guns were removed. Charges of powder were rammed down the muzzles, roundshot forced home after them.

The rain hit them in earnest, pouring out of the sky, streaming across the deck. The men around her were soaked through in an instant. The horizon vanished behind the curtain of rain.

‘She’s turning!’ Several voices shouting at once. They had seen the Dutch lugger’s sails turn just before the heavy rain blotted her from sight.

‘Hard a-starboard. Now, midships. Meet her.’

‘Steady as she goes, captain.’

‘Gun’s crews closed up and ready for action, sir.’

The rain hammered at them. A powerful gust of wind followed, kicking up the waves so that Stag corkscrewed across them, diving into the troughs. Mrs Chaytor grabbed for a rope and clung on as a big wave broke across the deck, green water up to her waist for a moment, then pouring away over the side.

Waiting, watching the rain for any sign of movement.

There she is!

Great red sails stretched taut, black hull shiny with wet driving over the heaving grey seas, white foam at her bow, perhaps three hundred yards away.

Hard a-starboard!

Flashes of flame, puffs of white smoke from the Dutch lugger’s deck; thuds of shot against the wooden hull, something tearing a hole in the sail overhead. Hardcastle was there beside her, white faced. ‘Amelia, what are you doing? Go below!’

She could not move; she could only shake her head.

‘It’s that God-damned Puckle gun! Look out, they’re firing again!’ Flash. Flash. Flash from the enemy deck, more thumps against the hull. Another puff of smoke and a cannonball tore a white leaping fountain from the face of an incoming wave.

‘Midships. Meet her.’

The Dutch ship was turning too, away to port. She could see the long barrel of the Puckle gun now, and the men around the other guns, reloading. At this distance their faces were white featureless blobs. Another cannon fired from the Dutchman’s deck, gushing smoke; this time, she heard the sharp crack of the explosion over the roar of wind and water.

Rain drumming on the deck, running down her face and into her eyes. The crash of waves under the bow, spray flying up in hissing sheets. Flash. Flash. Flash; the Puckle gun, firing again. Shouts from the men around her as the ship was hit.

‘Stand by the guns. Fire.’

White billowing smoke, a hammering in her ears that made her want to scream, the smoke twisting away quickly on the wind. ‘Did we hit her?’

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😲. Well, I don’t know! Did they? Or not? If you want to find out, The Body in the Boat is available for purchase!

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

abouttheauthor

A J MacKenzie is the pseudonym of Marilyn Livingstone and Morgen Witzel, an Anglo-Canadian husband-and-wife team of writers and historians.

They write non-fiction history and management books under their own names, but ‘become’ A J MacKenzie when writing fiction.

Twitter | Website

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Code Runner & Binary Witness by Rosie Claverton @rosieclaverton @CrimeSceneBooks @annecater #blogtour #AmyLaneMysteries #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Code Runner and Binary Witness. These are the first two books in the Amy Lane Mysteries and author Rosie Claverton visits the blog to talk about how to make an old book new again. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity.

Author : Rosie Claverton
Title : Code Runner & Binary Witness
Series : The Amy Lane Mysteries 1 & 2
Pages : 100 pages
Publisher : Crime Scene Books
Publication date : April 19, 2018

aboutthebook

Binary Witness : A young woman trapped by her fear, a young man pursued by his past, a murderer hunting the Cardiff streets by night. Agoraphobic hacker Amy Lane employs ex-con Jason Carr as a cleaner. When the police `borrow’ Amy’s skills to help track down the killer, Amy and Jason become a crime-fighting team, Amy on her computer, Jason on the streets.

Code Runner : Agoraphobic grey-hat hacker Amy Lane and her sidekick ex-con Jason Carr make a formidable crime-fighting team, but when Jason investigates a body washed up on a beach, the duo find themselves in over their heads in a world of drug-smuggling, conspiracy and cyber crime. Can Amy rescue Jason? At what cost?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

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An old book made new again by Rosie Claverton

I’m in an unusual position with my crime series The Amy Lane Mysteries – I have the pleasure of launching the first two books twice!

I wrote Binary Witness during the National Novel Writing Month of 2011. After several rounds of revisions, I submitted to an ebook-only publisher and landed a two-book deal! Binary Witness set sail in May 2014, with Code Runner following in the September.

And I never read those books again.

Unfortunately, my publisher wasn’t interested in a third Amy Lane mystery, but Crime Scene Books were excited about continuing the series. I wrote the third novel Captcha Thief, which was published in 2016, and the fourth novel Terror 404 came out in 2017.

I worked on other projects. I grew and learned as a writer. I now know that I always struggle with the first third of the book, gather momentum around the midpoint, and then draw everything together for a heart-stopping finale. I am a much better novelist than I was in 2011.

That’s when my editor at Crime Scene Books told me that they had acquired the rights to Binary Witness and Code Runner. The two books would be relaunched as new editions in paperback, with a Binary Witness audiobook and a short story extra in Code Runner.

Which meant I was going back to revise my first published novels.

I was filled with dread at what I might find. I hadn’t picked either of them up for three years! What if they weren’t actually any good? What if I discovered the characters were completely different people? What if the material there couldn’t be salvaged? Would I need to hide away in shame at what I had first drafted before I was a wife, mother and psychiatrist, six long years in the past?

The first thing I did was correct the glaring error in the first chapter that I had inadvertently introduced during copy edits and which had haunted me since publication. That felt good. Then, I read on. It wasn’t bad! It was good, even. I fell in love with my characters again and I remembered how they were at the beginning of their stories, how they’ve changed and grown into how I’m writing them in the fifth novel of the series.

Would I write the same books now? Probably not. Yet the later books flow from the first ones, a river whose source must retain the same purity of water. I can respect the work of my past and, apart from shifting around a chapter or two and trimming a lot of adverbs, I didn’t radically change the books before sending them out into the world again.

Amy and Jason begin their story in largely the same way they did in 2014, and I hope to continue telling their stories for many years to come.

[Thanks so much for stopping by, Rosie! Wishing you the best of luck with the Amy Lane Mysteries!)

abouttheauthor

Rosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home.

Her Cardiff-based crime series The Amy Lane Mysteries debuted in 2014, with the latest novel Terror 404 released in June 2017.

Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating for accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction.

Rosie lives with her journalist husband and her brand new daughter.

Twitter | Website

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The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl @ko_dahl @orendabooks @annecater #blogtour #TheIceSwimmer

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl! Make sure you also check out my tour buddy Rachel’s post today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity and my review copy!

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Author : Kjell Ola Dahl [translator : Don Bartlett]
Title : The Ice Swimmer
Series : Oslo Detectives #8
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : February 1, 2018 (ebook) | April 30, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.

mythoughts

Despite the fact Kjell Ola Dahl is known as one of the godfathers of Nordic Noir and that I’ve had Faithless on my bookshelf for aeons, this is the first book I’ve read by him. While it says The Ice Swimmer is the eighth book in the Oslo Detectives series, don’t let that put you off as this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone and I never really felt I was missing out on anything.

It’s a busy day in the city of Oslo. The body of a man is lifted from the freezing waters of the harbour and a young woman has apparently taken her own life by jumping in front of a train. Things aren’t quite what they seem though. Detective Lena Stigersand is in charge of the first investigation, while her colleague Gunnarstranda looks into the second one. But Lena has a whole lot of other issues to deal with.

The Ice Swimmer is a truly cleverly plotted police procedural. What looks like a simple drowning quickly turns into a murky tale full of lies, deceit and corruption. Not only does it involve a high ranking politician, it even looks like someone close to Lena may somehow be involved. And why does it seem like someone is following her?

I must say this thrilling investigation kept me guessing throughout and it was a true delight seeing various threads come together at one point. But I also really enjoyed the glimpses into the team’s personal lives and the realistic touches, like spending long hours of boring stake-outs in the freezing cold Oslo winter.

It’s easy to see why Kjell Ola Dahl is so highly regarded in this genre. Yes, I may have stumbled over the Norwegian names a few times or gotten some characters confused with others but that’s hardly the author’s fault and it didn’t ruin my enjoyment at all. If anything, it required me to focus that little bit harder. Which you’d think would have helped me solve the case, but no. The reveals left me completely blindsided.

The Ice Swimmer is a twisty and incredibly well written story, full of suspense and intrigue and it had me glued to the pages. Of course, I must also mention the seamless translation by Don Bartlett. If you’re a fan of the Nordic Noir genre, you will undoubtedly enjoy this latest addition to the Oslo Detectives series!

The Ice Swimmer is available in ebook now!

Amazon US  | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

One of the godfathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik.

He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich.

In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries and sold over two million copies.

He lives in Oslo.

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Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza @bookouture

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Author : Robert Bryndza
Title : Deadly Secrets
Series : Detective Erika Foster #6
Pages : 270
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : April 13, 2018

aboutthebook

On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask.

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman.

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger.

mythoughts

Having really enjoyed the previous book in the series, which still remains a firm favourite, I was eager to see where Robert Bryndza would take us next. With this new offering, the author returns to the formula that has made Erika Foster so popular and this series such a huge success.

A young girl is viciously murdered right on her doorstep. Marissa Lewis had her finger in lots of different pies and was hiding a ton of secrets. But who would want her dead? As Erika Foster and her team investigate the case, they quickly find out more women have been assaulted in the area and they all have one frightening detail in common : the attacker wore a gas mask.

The investigation is, as always, gripping and compelling. Robert Bryndza knows how to build up the tension and keep the reader guessing. Deadly Secrets also delves a bit deeper into the team’s personal lives. Erika has to face the past, there are some great domestic scenes involving Moss, and Peterson has a secret of his own. This allows some team members to step a bit more into the spotlight which is never a bad thing.

I absolutely flew through this book, utterly surprised when I reached the end and realised my afternoon was behind me. Deadly Secrets is another great addition to what has been a hugely solid series from the beginning. You might expect a long-running series to lose its lustre after a while, but this one shows no signs up letting up any time soon. If you’re a fan of this series, you will not be disappointed!

Deadly Secrets is published on April 13th and is available for pre-order!

Amazon US  | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @TransworldBooks

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Author : Joseph Knox
Title : The Smiling Man
Series : DC Aidan Waits #2
Pages : 416
Publisher : Transworld Digital
Publication date : March 8, 2018

aboutthebook

Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city.

There they find the body of a man. He is dead. And he is smiling. The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life…

But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own. When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move.  And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.

mythoughts

Sometimes I wish I could get away with a one sentence review. This one would say : Drop whatever it is you’re doing and grab yourself a copy of this right now!

When I read Sirens last year, I wanted to shout about its awesomeness from the rooftops.  I didn’t have a blog yet at the time, but that book was one of the reasons I started considering one. From the setting to the fabulous cast of characters, from the writing to the plot, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that Sirens was a debut. But I did know that Joseph Knox was an author to watch and with The Smiling Man, he firmly cements his spot amongst the best crime thriller writers because this one is even better than the first one!

If you’ve read Sirens (and if not, you really should), then you know Aidan Waits has some serious issues. He’s flawed, damaged and most definitely not your typical detective hero material. Aidan is currently working the nightshift, sinking his teeth into incredibly fascinating investigations like … dustbin fires. Until there’s a call from The Palace, a former hotel, currently empty awaiting new owners.

A body has been found. A body that yields no clues whatsoever. No identification, tags removed from clothing, teeth filed down and replaced and even the fingerprints have been removed. Who is this man and how did he end up at the disused hotel? As Aidan and his partner Sutty try to figure things out, Aidan’s past comes a-knocking as well and he is forced to face his demons. This gives the reader the chance to get to know Aidan better, know where he’s coming from and why he turned out the way he did. It’s not pretty.

I found myself gripped from the first page, so utterly immersed that the outside world ceased to exist. Yet again, Joseph Knox delivers a gritty, compelling and dark story that has left me begging for more. And somehow, between all the disturbing things people do, I found myself chuckling at the humour and sarcasm. While the various threads may seem disconnected at first, they come together perfectly and the varied cast of characters is so life-like, you almost expect them to jump out of the pages. The Smiling Man has a taut and complicated plot with the setting again almost being a character all on its own. I could hear the sounds, smell the scent of summer and feel the heat.

Joseph Knox is an incredible talent and if you are not reading the Aidan Waits series, you are missing out immensely! This is a deeply engrossing page-turner, one I knew would cause a massive book hangover. I felt sad when I got to the last page and realised I had a long wait for the next book in this series. I can’t bloody wait!

Like I said at the start : Drop whatever it is you’re doing and grab yourself a copy of this right now!

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

 

 

The Next Girl by Carla Kovach @CKovachAuthor @bookouture #blogblitz #TheNextGirl

It’s my pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for The Next Girl by Carla Kovach. My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the opportunity!

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Author : Carla Kovach
Title : The Next Girl
Series : Detective Gina Harte #1
Pages : 312
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : April 2, 2018

aboutthebook

Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …

Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.

The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.

mythoughts

A newborn baby is found abandoned on the steps of the local library. An anonymous tip leads investigators to run a DNA test on the baby but the results are shocking. The baby’s mother is Deborah Jenkins, who disappeared on her way home from work four years ago. She’s still alive but where is she? Is she in danger? And who made that anonymous phone call? Time is running out!

The Next Girl is the first instalment in a new series featuring Detective Gina Harte. Gina’s had a troublesome but intriguing past and I do so hope that background story will be explored further. Gina has picked herself up, changed her life and is now trying to find a balance between a demanding job and spending enough time with her daughter and granddaughter. But the relationship between Gina and her daughter isn’t an easy one.

This well-paced thriller held my attention from start to finish. Not only do we follow Gina and her team as they investigate Deborah’s disappearance and try to find out where she is. But we also get the point of view from Deborah’s husband Luke. Four years after his wife’s disappearance, he’s met someone he feels a connection to and is raising his children with the help from his mother-in-law. Just when he thinks he can finally take that step into moving on, he gets the news that his wife may still be alive after all this time and that she’s given birth. It’s quite easy to imagine the emotional turmoil that affects him.

I admit I had a few issues with Deborah’s kidnapper. Other than the fact he’s obviously crazy (duh), I couldn’t quite figure out the motivations behind his actions. On top of that, I didn’t feel like he came across as the brightest crayon in the box and I couldn’t help but wonder how he managed to get away with things for as long as he did. I didn’t have a clue as to his identity though so I was left guessing until the reveal, which is always a bonus.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one. Gina is a shining new star in the detective genre and I loved the interactions between her and the rest of the team. As the first book in a new series, this suspenseful read sets the tone for things to come and I look forward to getting to know Gina a lot better in future.

The Next Girl is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Carla Kovach was born in Birmingham, UK and now resides in Redditch, Worcestershire. Author of supernatural drama ‘Flame,’ psychological thriller ‘To Let,’ crime thriller ‘Whispers Beneath the Pines,’ and holiday comedy, ‘Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.’

Carla also writes stage and screenplays, some of which have been produced in the Worcestershire area. Her feature film ‘Penny for the Guy’ is being made and is set for release in 2019.

Her latest book, The Next Girl, has been published by Bookouture. It is the first in the DI Gina Harte crime series.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan @LivKiernan @riverrunbooks @annecater #blogtour

Such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Too Close to Breathe, the debut novel by Olivia Kiernan. My thanks to Anne Cater for the opportunity and to the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : Olivia Kiernan
Title : Too Close to Breathe
Series : Frankie Sheehan #1
Pages : 304
Pubclisher : Riverrun
Publication date : April 5, 2018

aboutthebook

In a quiet Dublin suburb, within her pristine home, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months ago, Frankie’s pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn’t keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor’s husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple’s home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie’s phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can’t help but feel that something doesn’t fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor’s life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

mythoughts

A woman is found hanging from a beam in her bedroom. Police quickly rule out suicide and although there are very little clues, Detective Frankie Sheehan and her team zero in on one suspect. Unfortunately, the person seems to have disappeared and they have a hard time tracking him down. When a second woman is found murdered, the pressure is on. Meanwhile, Frankie is dealing with her own issues. She’s still carrying the scars from an attack that left another young woman dead. The trial for the killer is inching closer but was the right man arrested?

Set in Dublin, this debut novel by Olivia Kiernan made me feel like I just jumped off a merry-go-round. That feeling you have when your head is spinning, you’re a bit dizzy, being pulled in various directions and not knowing where to point a finger or your feet. At times, I felt like the answers should have been blatantly obvious and yet I couldn’t figure them out at all. There are plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention and best of all, they fit the story and didn’t feel contrived at all just to dazzle you.

I’m a little unsure as to how I feel about Frankie Sheehan. Yes, she’s struggling even though she won’t always admit it. She’s determined and shows incredibly strength, but she also has this tendency of getting on my nerves for some reason. She doesn’t quite strike me as someone I’d get along with. Her partner Baz, on the other hand, created the perfect balance. He’s level-headed, seeing the grey where Frankie often only sees black and white. They make quite the team, in that respect.

This cleverly plotted, tense and suspenseful story shows you just never know what goes on behind closed doors and first impressions can often be highly misleading. Never judge a book by its cover and all that. Some dark subjects come to the fore in this investigation including some of the things you find on the Dark Web. Too Close to Breathe is a well-paced first instalment in a brand-new series that kept me guessing until the end and despite my initial misgivings about Frankie, I look forward to seeing where she goes next.

Too Close to Breathe will be published on April 5th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | WorderyGoodreads

abouttheauthor

Olivia Kiernan grew up in the Irish countryside, a background which left her with a great appreciation of storytelling. Being almost sensible she shelved aspirations of becoming a writer and embarked on a career in science, spending six years in university studying anatomy and physiology before receiving a BSc in Chiropractic in 2003. She worked in this vein for over a decade, always writing in the evenings after work and completing an MA in Creative Writing through part-time study in 2012.

In 2015, she began writing TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE as part of National Novel Writing Month, polishing off half the first draft by the end of the month-long writing marathon. After hiding the manuscript on her hard drive for close to a year, revisiting it from time to time to add a scene or remove one, she sent it out to agents. Within a month she had signed with a literary agent and in 2017 a dream was realised when TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE sold.

Follow Olivia Kiernan on Twitter

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Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary @sarah_hilary @headlinepg

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Author : Sarah Hilary
Title : Come and Find Me
Series : DI Marnie Rome #5
Pages : 352
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : March 22, 2018

aboutthebook

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

mythoughts

Deep breath. It has taken me weeks to write this review. What a struggle it’s been and I’m pretty sure I haven’t managed to do this book or the author any justice whatsoever.

During a riot at the prison, dangerous convict Michael Vokey escapes. It quickly transpires Michael has been in regular contact with two women, Lara and Ruth, who are completely infatuated with him. Did they somehow help him escape? Is he hiding out in their homes? Someone is surely in danger but who?

Sarah Hilary has been one of my go-to authors since the start of this series and with every book, I’ll say “this is her best one yet”. Well, guess what? Come and Find Me is her best one yet! I don’t know how she manages to raise the bar time and time again but she does. It’s in the writing, which just keeps getting stronger, and it’s in the fantastic character development. Not only where the main characters are concerned but each and every side character gets the same treatment and it brings this series to a whole other level.

There is some incredibly fascinating psychology behind the acts and motivations of these characters. It’s intensely gripping all on its own without even getting started on the investigation into the prison riot and Michael Vokey’s escape. What makes a woman get in touch with a convict? Why would any woman choose to share her secrets with someone so dangerous or even send him pictures? And then, there are the prisoners. No stereotypes here and nothing or nobody is what it seems. I must also mention that while Marnie has always been of one my favourite characters, Noah Jake’s voice seems to be getting stronger with each book, his presence keeps growing and I feel like he is beginning to steal the spotlight from Marnie. I can’t wait to see how he develops in the future.

Come and Find Me is intensely gripping, full of suspense and has an incredibly intelligent and well-crafted plot. It had me glued to the pages and I couldn’t read fast enough to see how it would end, completely unable to guess where things were going. Utterly absorbing, addictive and a fantastic page-turner and as always, it leaves me wanting more so very  desperately.

If you are not reading this series, then really, I’m incredibly sorry but I just don’t think we can be friends anymore. 😄. The Marnie Rome series is one of the best ones out there so do yourself a humongous favour and pick these up right now. I can’t recommend these books highly enough and can’t even begin to say how much I’m looking forward to the next one.

My thanks to Hannah at Headline for my copy!

Come and Find Me is available now!

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