The Dare by Carol Wyer | @carolewyer @bookouture

Author : Carol Wyer
Title : The Dare
Series : DI Natalie Ward #3
Pages : 348
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : April 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school, as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm. 

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward whose daughter Leigh is the same age as Savannah. Soon Natalie’s worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland. 

Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as the net is closing around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

I can’t believe we’re already at the third instalment in the DI Natalie Ward series. That Carol Wyer is an insane writing machine!

When thirteen year old Savannah doesn’t return home from school, her mother immediately raises the alarm. A search for the young girl bears no results. Then her body is found near rubbish close to where she lived. As it is obvious this is not where Savannah was killed and there are no DNA clues at all, the investigations into her murder quickly turns into a frustrating one. And then another young teenager goes missing.

Do you know what your kids are up to? The mothers in this story most certainly do not, no matter how close they think they are to their daughters. These days, with all their online presence, things are even more frightening than they used to be. Carol Wyer introduces the topic of online dares in this story, which I’m sure you’ve seen mentioned in newspapers quite often as most don’t end all that well for the participants.

I shared the team’s frustration in this investigation. While there are a few suspects in their sights, there are also quite a lot of dead-ends. I couldn’t figure it out at all and was way off in a completely different direction than the one Carol Wyer herself went. Even the brilliantly written flashback chapters, courtesy of the killer, didn’t give me the tiniest clue as to who I should be focusing on. It is always such a bonus when you’re left guessing until the end.

Of course, we are also offered more glimpses into Natalie’s private life. Her husband David remains a total douchebag and I for one would quite like to see Natalie give him the boot. As it is, their arguments are having an effect on their children. But could one of them end up in danger? And let’s not forget Lucy, who is slowly but surely beginning to steal away the limelight from Natalie in this series. Lucy is incredibly focused, determined and like a dog with a bone. I just really like her and I hope her character continues to grow.

As always, Carol Wyer has delivered another gripping and compelling story. I raced through these pages as if my life depended on it, desperately trying to pick up clues and failing miserably at every turn. The Dare had me absolutely hooked and engrossed and I can’t wait for more!

The Dare is out tomorrow!

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Perfect Crime by Helen Fields | @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K | #blogtour #bookreview #PerfectCrime

Delighted to join the blog tour for Perfect Crime by Helen Fields today! My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the opportunity to join and for the review copy!

Author : Helen Fields
Title : Perfect Crime
Series : DI Luc Callanach #5
Pages : 400
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : April 18, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Let me just start my review by saying that if you’re not reading this series, I am judging you like a big, bad judging thing! This is one of the best crime fiction series out there and you are sorely missing out!

Perfect Crime is the fifth instalment in the DI Luc Callanach series and by now, these characters feel like family and I am always excited about spending more time with them. Before you ask, no, you really shouldn’t treat these as stand-alones. Start from the beginning. I promise you won’t regret it!

Things kick off when Stephen Berry is getting ready to jump off a bridge. Luckily, a suicide prevention counsellor manages to talk him down but a week later, Stephen is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are called in to investigate whether Stephen killed himself or was murdered. But the deaths do not stop there …

Meanwhile, Callanach is finding himself in hot water when he visits someone in a care home who is later found dead. I won’t say anything else about that so I don’t spoil things for those who haven’t read the previous books (shame on you! 😂) but I will say I really enjoyed this second thread of the story. Switching back and forth between the two investigations really held my attention.

I mentioned these characters feel like family by now so when they hurt, I hurt. And there is a lot of “hurt” going on in this one. Relationships shift, some characters managed to surprise me, others infuriated me and through it all are original, frightening and gruesome deaths as I’ve come to expect from this series.

I very early on figured out what was going on but that didn’t ruin things for me at all. I became so absorbed in the investigation that I almost forgot about my suspect. Helen Fields always delivers gripping, compelling, thrilling and tense stories full of intriguing (and sometimes totally crazy) characters. This is one of those series that just keeps getting better and better and I can’t wait to see what Helen Fields comes up with next but I know it will be awesome once again. Highly recommended!

Perfect Crime is available to buy!

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

While you’re there, why not grab yourself copies of the previous books in the series 😉

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

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

Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company, acting as script writer and producer. Helen and her husband now live in Los Angeles with their three children and two dogs.

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Hodge | @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 | #blogtour #SheLiesInWait

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for She Lies in Wait by Gytha Hodge! My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the review copy!

Author : Gytha Hodge
Title : She Lies in Wait
Series : DCI Jonah Sheens #1
Pages : 384
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : March 21, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.

Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.

But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.

It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Thirty years ago, fourteen year old Aurora went missing from a camp site in the forest. She was never found. Now a dog walker (it’s always the poor dog walkers, isn’t it?) stumbles across a body. DCI Sheens is called to the scene but he already knows what will be waiting there for him. Aurora has been found at last but the place where she was found, raises a multitude of other questions. Her body is found in a hideaway only her six friends could have known about. Is one of them the killer?

There is something I find extremely fascinating about cold case investigations. I’m one of those people who can barely remember what she did last week, never mind thirty years ago. Although I suppose a night where someone goes missing would be memorable enough not to forget. But the details however are another thing. Especially when alcohol has been consumed. Are the memories you have really that reliable? Surely things have become somewhat muddled? Maybe misremembered or misinterpreted?

These six friends have gone on to be hugely successful and they have a lot to lose. While they have maintained their innocence all these years, DCI Sheens is convinced one of them knows a lot more than they’re saying. Now you’d think that with only six suspects, you’d be able to figure things out easily, don’t you? That was not the case for me. I didn’t have a clue and kept wondering if I’d missed something obvious along the way. As it happens, I was completely on the wrong track and I do so enjoy it when an author can take me by surprise like that.

This isn’t an action-packed story and its pace is rather slow but it is full of intriguing characters and quite gripping. There’s a lot of interviewing and re-interviewing suspects, trying to uncover the lies and deceit these six friends have been hiding behind for so long and I found that rather refreshing for a change. It also gives the reader the opportunity to somehow join in in this investigation as opposed to detectives miraculously finding all the answers in a computer database, for instance. Added to that are the four members that make up DCI Sheen’s team. They’re all remarkably different, each with their own set of skills and one or two may just have an interesting background story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this first instalment in the DCI Sheens series and I look forward to seeing where Gytha Lodge takes him and his team next.

She Lies in Wait is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Gytha Lodge is a multi-award-winning playwright, novelist and writer for video games and screen. She is also a single parent who blogs about the ridiculousness of bringing up a mega-nerd small boy. 

She has a profound addiction to tea, crosswords and awful puns. When not writing, she heads up a copywriting team at a global translation firm, where she generally tries to keep all the video-game writing to herself. 

She studied English at Cambridge, where she became known quite quickly for her brand of twisty, dark yet entertaining drama. She later took the Creative Writing MA at UEA. 

She has signed with Penguin Random House worldwide for the first three books in her crime series featuring DCI Jonah Sheens.

A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith | @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith! My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for the review copy!

Author : Graham Smith
Title : A Body in the Lakes
Series : Detective Beth Young #2
Pages : 372
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : March 15, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When a walker finds the body of a woman by the shores of Ullswater Lake, the police are put on high alert. Felicia Evans was known to be a tough character, but who would have strangled her? 

Detective Beth Young quickly spots the links to three cold cases. Three women strangled and discarded in the stunning, wild hills of the Lake District. 

As Beth begins tracking down witnesses, the team receives an anonymous letter claiming the charming mayor of Carlisle is behind the murders. There’s pressure from the top to clear his name. But Beth is determined to find the truth no matter whose feathers she ruffles in the process. 

Beth knows the clock is ticking. The killer is hunting again. And it’s down toher to find who’s responsible before another woman becomes his prey…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Goodness gracious me, this was quite the unsettling read. Particularly if you’re a woman. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I spent half the time with my legs firmly crossed, considering never leaving the safety of my house again!

When the naked body of a woman is found, it looks like detectives might just solve this case in a nanosecond. After all, everything points to the mayor. Pressure from the top demands the mayor’s name be cleared as soon as possible but Beth is determined to find out the truth. She quickly finds a connection to three old cases, where women were found raped, strangled and dumped.

The second instalment in the Beth Young series might not quite be for the faint-hearted. There are some grim and graphic descriptions but they really drive home what a monster this particular killer is. The search to find him is an intense race against the clock because it doesn’t take a detective to know they won’t stop until they are caught. Throughout the storyline, Graham Smith really brings to the fore how hard it is for victims of rape to bring their attackers to justice, how damaging any form of assault can be.

As for Beth, she remains one of those characters I can’t quite put my finger on. She’s determined, hugely passionate and not afraid to speak her mind even when told not to. While these are all qualities to admire, I just can’t seem to warm to her but I can’t for the life of me figure out why that is.

A Body in the Lakes is a gripping and compelling crime thriller. I couldn’t at all figure out who the culprit was and just when I thought it was all over, there’s a rather delicious and somewhat sad sting in the tail. True to form, Graham Smith manages to throw in an action sequence or two and allows the reader to get to know Beth just that little bit better. While this is the second in a series, I think you could possibly get away with treating it as a stand-alone but why not get caught up and then sit back and wait for book three!

A Body in the Lakes is available to buy! 

Amazon US | Amazon UK

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel with Bookouture is set in Cumbria and the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland. 

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell | @Caroline_writes @midaspr @AmazonPub| #TheSecretChild #ThomasAndMercer

I’m kicking off the week with a stop on the blog tour for The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell. My thanks to Agnes at Midas PR for the invitation to join and to Caroline Mitchell for the review copy!

Author : Caroline Mitchell
Title : The Secret Child
Series : DI Amy Winter #2
Pages : 336
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : March 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years…

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget…?

| MY THOUGHTS |

When four year old Ellen is kidnapped from her bedroom, it becomes clear quite early on her parents aren’t telling the police everything. This kidnapper is on a mission and Ellen was targeted for a reason. But what dark secrets are hiding in the past? Amy and her team find themselves in a race against time to find Ellen before it’s too late.

The Secret Child is the second instalment in the DI Amy Winter series and I felt it was even stronger than its predecessor. The storyline is pretty intense, helped by the fact I could never quite figure out what the kidnapper’s endgame was going to be. There are quite a few parallels throughout, between the kidnapper’s past and Amy’s. Hoping to find some common ground with the kidnapper, can Amy keep her past a secret though?

I must admit that Amy got on my nerves quite a bit this time around. It’s not surprising she has issues, obviously, and she’ll do whatever it takes to protect herself from getting hurt but some of the moments where she was lashing out angered me. I felt like grabbing her and shaking her and telling her to get a grip, focus on what’s what or who’s who. I quite enjoy it when a character can get to me like that though.

Speaking of characters that do that, the character calling himself Luka is one of those as well. Obviously I can’t give anything away but his background is so incredibly devastating, it’s hard not to feel for him. Even if the things he’s doing now are wrong, you understand why he’s doing them. It all begins in the eighties but those events have a lifelong impact on all those who were involved.

With a topic like childhood trauma and its effects, The Secret Child quickly becomes a tense, fascinating and gripping read. This isn’t just your average awesome crime thriller as there’s a remarkable depth and psychology to it that adds that little bit extra. It had me hooked from start to finish and I can’t wait to see where Caroline Mitchell takes this series next.

The Secret Child is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.

She now writes full time.

The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott | @RachelAbbott @MauraWilding | #TheShapeofLies #NetGalley

Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : The Shape of Lies
Series : DI Tom Douglas #8
Pages : 384
Publisher : Black Dot Publishing
Publication date : February 19, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Fourteen years ago Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free.

But today Scott is on the radio, talking about her. Threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a very good liar. She has been lying about herself for so long, she doesn’t really know who she is any more.

Anna used to think she was a good person. She made one stupid mistake, and now she is having to pay for it – over and over again.

Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past. But how can Scott be alive?

Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she used to love; the man she watched die all those years ago; the man who has come back to life.

She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.

| MY THOUGHTS |

It’s always such a joy to be able to read a new book in the DCI Tom Douglas series. I can’t believe we’re already at book eight and I must say, this is another crime series that keeps going from strength to strength.

In case the title of the book didn’t give you a clue, there are a lot of lies in this story and lies comes in all shapes and sizes. Little white lies, flagrant lies and the lies we have to keep telling in order to protect one lie from the past that could cause a whole lot of you-know-what to hit the fan. This is what happened to Anna. But she feels quite safe in the knowledge that the only person who knows about her past is dead. Or is he? Someone is ready to share Anna’s secrets and lies with the world. She has one week to find them and to stop them before her life falls apart.

Anna is a wife, a mother, a headteacher and an insanely good liar. The way the lies roll off her tongue so easily is actually quite impressive. Slowly but surely, the truth about her is revealed, going all the way back to when she was a rather naive nineteen year old girl. At university, she makes one mistake but it’s one that has a massive impact.

I found Anna quite a tough character to relate to. In fact, I didn’t really like her very much. There was no hardship at all in sympathising with her during her university days but the adult Anna, with the lies and the deceit, left me rather cold. That said, you don’t always have to be able to sympathise with, trust or even like a character to be absolutely engrossed in a story and luckily Rachel Abbott knows exactly how to come up with a storyline that will keep you hooked, no matter what.

Did I think I had things figured out? Of course, I did. Was I right? Well, yes and also no. Because that’s another thing this author does so extremely well. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end and if you do happen to have a theory, make you doubt yourself.

The Shape of Lies is another fantastic addition to the DCI Tom Douglas series. Full of suspense and intrigue, it makes for one gripping and tense read. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Tom and Becky again and I hope to see them back again soon. In the meantime, you have time to get caught up if you haven’t done so already because this truly is a fantastic crime series that should be on everyone’s radar and Rachel Abbott is an author who should most definitely be on your bookshelf.

Huge thanks to Maura Wilding for my review copy!

The Shape of Lies is available to buy!

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

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons | @WriteAngie @bookouture | #DeadMemories #NetGalley #recommended

Author : Angela Marsons
Title : Dead Memories
Series : DI Kim Stone #10
Pages : 400
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : February 22, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago. 

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the deaths of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known. 

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour. 

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Bloody hell, Angela! Seriously?!

I’ve said it before and it looks like I’ll be saying it until this series ceases to exist (which quite frankly I hope is absolutely never!) : this series just keeps going from strength to strength! Now, that is obviously fantastic if you’re Angela, her publisher or a reader. Not so good for me when I put on my reviewer cap because …. words, you guys! I ran out of ways to say how awesome the Kim Stone series is at least five or so books ago! How many times can I say “brilliant, fantastic, READ THIS NOW!” without boring you all to tears?!

If you’ve been following this series (and if you haven’t, you can’t possibly imagine how hard I am judging you right now!), you’ll know that Kim Stone has pissed off quite a lot of people along the way. Some we don’t even know about. She’s just that kind of person and we love her for it. At some point, someone was bound to be out for revenge and that time has come. Eek!

You’ll also know that Kim hasn’t had an easy childhood and what do you know? Someone has decided to use all that heartache against her by recreating some of the most devastating events Kim has had to deal with in her life. It all starts with the death of two young addicts. They are found chained to a radiator in the building Kim grew up in. The boy is dead, the girl is barely alive and that is how this scene is horribly reminiscent of Kim’s own experience alongside her brother, Mickey. But whomever is behind this horrendous reenactment isn’t finished yet. There’s more to come. My lips are sealed, however. Prepare yourself though, as old and new wounds will be poked at and it will hurt. *blows nose*

From the very beginning, I found myself with that sickening feeling in my stomach that things were only going to get worse. Kim holds a very special place in my heart after all this time, so to see her having to go through this was quite painful. Her pain was my pain. How do you keep the lid on, keep your emotions in check, when the worst of the worst that has happened to you is being rubbed in your face? I can’t even begin to describe the range of emotions I went through myself. I felt angry and sad, I gasped, I felt like punching someone, I even had a wee sob. I am SO not the sobbing kind of person! I even felt sympathy for characters who may or may not deserve it. But more than anything, this dreadful trip down Memory Lane has only made me love Kim Stone even more.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there is another thread in this storyline when consultant Angela returns. She is supposed to keep an eye on Kim, make sure she’s dealing with things and needs to report back to Kim’s boss. But Angela also has other things on her mind when she isn’t convinced that a case she consulted on previously reached the right conclusion. Angela is one of those characters I wasn’t quite sure about but she really grew on me and her sheer determination was definitely something to be admired.

And then there’s Kim’s team. Stacey, Penn and Bryant … so much love. Each one gets their own moment to shine and they do it so fabulously. Yes, things have changed and yes, there is one desk that still doesn’t feel quite right but Penn, the one I almost wanted to dislike out of sheer principle, is such a delight and I’m really enjoying getting to know him better. While at first, it was easy to consider him the outsider, the one who shouldn’t be there because things were just fine as they were, thankyouverymuch, now I find it’s as if he’s been there all along. Stacey continues to kick butt in her own fierce way and Bryant is a rock, pure and simple.

Once again, Angela Marsons has left me feeling utterly discombobulated. My mind has been blown into so many pieces, I fear it may never be whole again. I love this series with a fiery passion. This is top-notch crime fiction, as it has been from the very beginning. Always utterly gripping and compelling, always immensely absorbing and addictive, always an absolute treat and I’m dying for more! As long as Angela Marsons keeps writing these, I’ll be at the front of the line and I WILL be using my elbows, people!

In case you think “sheesh, that’s way too much text, I’m so not reading that”, here’s a recap. BUY IT NOW!!!! You can thank me later. You’re welcome.

Huge thanks to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley!

Dead Memories is available to buy!

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

The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott | @RachelAbbott @MauraWilding | #blogtour

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott! My thanks to Maura Wilding for the invitation to join! Do please also make sure you visit Jo at My Chestnut Reading Tree who shall be reviewing the book today. Because over here on my blog, we’re doing something else altogether! It’s time for some fun and games but first, let’s see what The Shape of Lies is all about!

Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : The Shape of Lies
Series : DCI Tom Douglas #8
Pages : 314
Publisher : Black Dot Publishing
Publication date : February 12, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Yesterday, Scott was dead.
Today, he’s back.
And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Fourteen years ago Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free.

But today Scott is on the radio, talking about her. Threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a very good liar. She has been lying about herself for so long, she doesn’t really know who she is any more.

Anna used to think she was a good person. She made one stupid mistake, and now she is having to pay for it – over and over again.

Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past. But how can Scott be alive?

Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she used to love; the man she watched die all those years ago; the man who has come back to life.

She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.

I don’t know about you but I’m ridiculously excited! This is one of my favourite series and I can’t wait to read this!

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

| THE SHAPE OF TRUTH AND LIES GAME |

To celebrate the publication of The Shape of Lies we are playing a game of truth and lies. Play along, follow the blog tour to collect all the truths and you could be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The Shape of Lies.

How to play: Rachel Abbott has come up with two big lies and one absolute truth about her life. Can you channel her beloved detective, Tom Douglas, and detect the one truth? Pick carefully, then follow the blog tour to collect all the truths and enter the prize draw. Once you have all seven truths email your answers to rachelabbottcomps@gmail.com

Full T&Cs can be found here. The next round of The Shape of Truth or Lies continues over on Off The Shelf Books tomorrow.

Play the game and be in with a chance of winning your very own signed copy.

Sounds easy enough, right? Are you ready? Let’s play!

Sport

  1. I have done the London Marathon twice, once dressed as a ballerina.
  2. When I was at school I had a trial for the Lancashire netball team. I used to practice taking 100 shots at goal per day (I was Goal Attack). 
  3. Having learned ballroom dancing at Turner’s Dancing School, I was chosen to represent the North West in an under 18s Ballroom Dancing contest in Blackpool. I was runner up, scoring top marks for my cha-cha. I do love a triple shuffle.

Which one is truth? A, B or C? Keep your answer safe, collect the next six truths and send all seven to: rachelabbottcomps@gmail.com

Hm. Not so easy after all. 🤔

Remember to head to Off The Shelf Books tomorrow for the next stop of The Shape of Lies blog tour and the next game of The Shape of Truth or Lies.

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Rachel Abbott, born and raised in Manchester, founded her own interactive media company in the 1980s, before selling it and retiring in 2005. She then moved to Italy where she worked on the renovation of a 15th century Italian monastery, and it was here that, one day, she found herself snowed in and decided to begin writing for pleasure. This became her debut novel, Only The Innocent, which she went on to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, topping their chart for 4 weeks.

A true self-publishing pioneer, The Shape of Lies is Abbott’s ninth novel.

She splits her time between Alderney in the Channel Islands and Italy

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti | @orionbooks @wnbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti today. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Ilaria Tuti
Title : Flowers over the Inferno
Series : Teresa Battaglia #1
Pages : 360
Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date : February 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders.

Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate.

As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Well, this is a novel experience. After all the Scandi-Noir that’s flooding onto the crime fiction market, Flowers Over The Inferno leaves Scandinavia far behind and takes us south. To Italy, as a matter of fact. Although, the setting is in the Alps so you know, it’s still cold and there’s still snow. But still.

There we meet Detective Teresa Battaligia. If you’re a wee tired of the stereotypical detective in your crime fiction, you’ll absolutely love Teresa. She’s not your average spring chicken being as she’s in her sixties, slightly overweight, definitely a diabetic and also struggling with some other health issues she’s not yet quite ready to face when we first meet her. But Teresa has decades of experience, knows a thing or two about profiling, and is an indomitable force to be reckoned with.

A naked man is found dead in the forest with his eyes gouged out. Teresa’s instincts immediately tell her this is no ordinary case but can she catch the killer before they strike again? A young city inspector, Marini, is assigned to her team to help out but Teresa isn’t sure about him. Despite Marini’s various attempts to win over his new boss, she seems to think he’s the most incompetent person ever.

Most of the action plays itself out in the present day but we also get glimpses into events from the past that are rather harrowing from the get-go. I don’t want to say anything else about that but suffice to say someone’s dark and tragic past will heavily influence the present. These bits of information are fed to the reader throughout the story, always immensely enticing but not giving away too much information so I was trying insanely hard to pick up clues somewhere along the way and true to form, failing miserably. It’s not the easiest of topics and in a somewhat odd way, I was left to sympathise with the wrong characters.

Flowers over the Inferno is intense, gripping and incredibly addictive. It’s easy to see why this introduction to Teresa Battaglia was the biggest debut of last year in Italy. It’s not only the investigation into the murder that keeps the reader’s attention, it’s also the fabulous character that is Teresa herself. While her health may make her vulnerable, she refuses to give in, which makes her someone to be admired and someone you root for.

This is the first instalment in a trilogy and I absolutely can’t wait for the next book and an opportunity to catch up with Teresa again.

Flowers over the Inferno is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

ILARIA TUTI lives in Friuli, in the far north-eastern part of Italy. FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO, her debut novel and the first book in the Teresa Battaglia trilogy, was a top 10 bestseller on publication and the biggest debut of 2018 in Italy.

Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon | @bookouture

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon. My thanks to Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for the review copy!

Author : Michael Scanlon
Title : Where She Lies
Series : Detective Finnegan Beck #1
Pages : 327
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : February 8, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

In a town full of liars, who can you trust?

When Detective Finnegan Beck is demoted from his high-powered job in Dublin and relocated in disgrace to the small Irish town of Cross Beg, he predicts boredom will be his biggest threat.

But then a beautiful, local teenage girl is found strangled in the cold, dark woods a mile from town. The prime suspect is the seemingly-gentle drifter who found Tanya’s body.

Beck seems to be the only person who can’t escape the feeling that Tanya wasn’t killed at random. As he digs deeper into the shadows of Cross Beg, he begins to realise it isn’t the sleepy backwater he’d first believed. Everyone here has something to hide. Tanya had a boyfriend, whose name no one knew. A best friend with a loose relationship with the truth. And a habit she thought she’d kept hidden from everyone.

But, just as Beck believes he is making progress, the body of one of the suspects is found drowned in the river. Is the killer just getting started?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Where She Lies is the first instalment in a brand-new Irish crime series featuring Detective Finnegan Beck. A former inspector, Beck finds himself demoted to Sergeant in the small Irish town of Cross Beg. His main objective is to return to Dublin and not get too involved in whatever goes on in Cross Beg. But when a young girl is found murdered in the woods, Beck can’t help digging deeper.

Cross Beg isn’t exactly what Beck imagined it to be. For a town so small, where everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, there are a lot of secrets and skeletons in the closets and everyone seems to have something to hide. The murdered girl too was up to all sorts. She may have had a boyfriend but nobody knows who it is. Is he responsible for her murder? Police zero in on a suspect but when this person is found dead as well, does this mean the case is closed or is it merely the start of something far more sinister?

The investigation is a frustrating one. There are no clues to speak of so where does one even begin to look for a killer? With a lot of the town residents acting shifty and suspiciously, I had no idea whatsoever as to who was responsible or why. I must admit that I didn’t particularly connect to any of these characters. Yet Michael Scanlon managed to hold my attention because he gives very little away and I felt compelled to keep reading until the truth was revealed.

Finnegan Beck stands out from the crowd with an intriguing backstory as to why he ended up in this town in the first place. Beck is damaged, flawed and has a drinking problem. But he also has that fascinating copper’s nose and is immensely perceptive. I think he might be one of those characters that will get increasingly more interesting when the reader gets to know him better.

All in all a solid start to a new series and it’ll be interesting to see where Michael Scanlon takes Beck next.

Where She Lies is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | GooglePlay | iTunes | Kobo

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave. He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.

You can on connect with Michael via Twitter