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!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
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.

The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox | @josephknox_ @TransworldBooks @alisonbarrow | #TheSleepwalker #RandomThingsTours #recommended

Absolutely thrilled to bits to be kicking off the blog tour for The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox today! Huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

Author : Joseph Knox
Title : The Sleepwalker
Series : Aidan Waits #3
Pages : 390
Publisher : Transworld
Publication date : July 11, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of TheSleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice?

Or will his name be next on the hit list?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Goodness gracious me! Please tell me you’re reading this series. If you are, let me tell you, The Sleepwalker is the best one yet! If you’re not, go forth and correct the error of your ways immediately because you are seriously missing out!

Martin Wick has spent the past twelve years in prison, convicted of the murders of Margaret Moore and her three children. Martin is now dying and has been moved to hospital, where DI Suthcliffe and newly promoted DS Aidan Waits take turns in sitting by his bedside, in the hope that Martin will reveal where the body of Lizzie Moore might be found. But things do not go exactly as planned. A brutal premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead, one fighting for his life and Martin Wick’s last words will send Aidan Waits on a path he really doesn’t want to be traveling.

If you’ve met Aidan Waits, then you know he’s flawed, extremely damaged, has some serious issues and is most definitely not detective hero material. By now, he’s just utterly broken. Having been moved from the nightshift to the dayshift for a change, he’s forced to work with DS Naomi Black but he isn’t sure if he can trust her and having her constantly nearby, watching him, is messing up some of his plans. There is a lot more to this story than meets the eye but I won’t get into that as I feel you need to discover that for yourself but let’s just say, Aidan might need an escape plan.

Despite all of Aidan Wait’s issues, there is something rather likeable about him, something that makes you root for him, something that makes you want to reach out and help him somehow. He is by far one of the most complicated and multi-layered characters I’ve ever encountered. Yet, he also manages to make me chuckle from time to time because his sense of sarcasm knows no other. And let’s not forget to mention the setting, with the city of Manchester almost acting as a character all on its own, oozing atmosphere and providing the most delightful noir vibe throughout.

This series is one I’ve been with from the beginning. In fact, Sirens was the book that first made me start thinking about blogging because I needed a place to shout about its awesomeness. Since then, Joseph Knox has been raising the bar, with each book being even stronger than the previous one. Like its predecessors, The Sleepwalker is masterfully plotted, immensely dark, extremely gritty and completely engrossing from start to finish. It has desperately left me wanting more!

I’ve said it before and I’ll gladly say it again, Joseph Knox is an incredible talent and the Aidan Waits series is absolutely outstanding. Every single one of these books has caused a massive book hangover and The Sleepwalker is no different. I can’t recommend these books enough! They NEED to be on any crime fiction fan’s bookshelf. I promise you, you will not regret it for one second!

The Sleepwalker will be published on July 11th.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London.There he worked at head office Waterstones selecting the crimethrillers and classics for focus attention across the company.

Now writing full time, he runs, writes and reads compulsively.
His debut novel Sirens was a bestseller. The Sleepwalker is the third book in the DC Aidan Waits series.

The Island by Ragnar Jónasson | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Ragnar Jónasson
Title : The Island
Series : Hidden Iceland #2
Pages : 342
Publisher : Michael Joseph / Penguin UK
Publication date : April 4, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords. 

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts? 

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her. 

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?

| MY THOUGHTS |

After having really enjoyed The Darkness a while back, I couldn’t wait to see what Ragnar Jónasson had in store with The Island.

Four friends come together to spend a weekend on an isolated island for a reunion, marking the tenth anniversary of the death of one of their other friends. It soon becomes apparent their friendship isn’t as solid as it used to be. There’s a lot of tension, awkward silences, the conversation doesn’t flow like it did all those years ago and dark secrets are struggling to stay hidden. Then, one of the remaining four friends is found dead. DI Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the island to investigate this death. Could there possibly be a connection to what happened all those years ago?

Reading The Darkness had me immensely intrigued as to where Ragnar Jónasson would take this series. After all, book one was the end and we’re going back in time. From the start, I thought that was a really interesting premise. However, now that I’ve read the second book, I’m not sure I quite understand the point of going in reverse. I found it quite hard to care about Hulda because I already know what happens to her. It’s a bit like watching a film when the biggest spoiler or twist has already been revealed to you and you’re left to wonder why you’re wasting your time on something you already know the conclusion of. I can’t help but feel I’m missing something that would enlighten me about this premise and make me appreciate it more.

Saving grace in this instance, though, is Ragnar Jónasson’s writing. Always absorbing and beautifully descriptive, it paints the most magical picture of Iceland. The Island is dark, sometimes somewhat chilling, with a sense of foreboding and the investigation kept me guessing until the end. I couldn’t at all figure out whodunnit or why and needing to know the answers to those questions is what kept me reading.

Overall though, I am mostly left with sense of disappointment. I expected more, I suppose, and in that respect The Island didn’t really deliver. It’s a good book on its own but as the middle book in a trilogy, I feel it needed something more to really keep me gripped. That said, I will be reading the final instalment when it’s published as I am still intrigued enough to see what Ragnar Jónasson’s end game is.

The Island is available to buy!

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

Book 8 from my 20 Books of Summer list

Black Summer by M.W. Craven | @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK | #bookreview #recommended #20BooksofSummer

Author : M.W. Craven
Title : Black Summer
Series : Washington Poe #2
Pages : 388
Publisher : Constable / Little Brown UK
Publication date : June 20, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Black Summer is the second book in the Washington Poe series and I’ll say right now that it’s even better than its predecessor. I never reviewed The Puppet Show on my blog because the sheer awesomeness blew me away and I couldn’t find the words to describe all the feels, as the youngsters would say. Ever since I finished reading that one, I’ve been impatiently awaiting its follow-up and here it is. This time, I’m determined to get some half-decent sentences on paper and try to convince you that, yes, you DO absolutely need a new series in your life.

Celebrated chef Jared Keaton is serving a life sentence for the murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. But Elizabeth’s body was never found. So when a young woman walks into a remote police station declaring she is Elizabeth, it looks like Jared will be released. Washington Poe suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the investigation. Determined to find out the truth, he enlists the help of the only person he trusts, the absolutely fabulous Tilly Bradshaw. The question they need to answer is a real conundrum. How can someone be both alive and dead at the same time?

Fair warning. Black Summer kicks off with a rather gruesome event at a restaurant. It’s not a brutal murder scene, in case you wondered. It’s a dish that is served, which made me gag. I also made the horrible mistake of googling to see if it was a real thing. Stupid me. It’s things like that, that give me nightmares, people! Shudder.

Anywho! From that opening scene, we go back in time, when two weeks prior Elizabeth reappears. And just like that, we’re off on a ridiculously tense and gripping journey with a manipulative psychopath at the helm. I couldn’t at all figure out what was going on. While I had some theories, I just couldn’t make them stick, which was rather apt because that was also Poe’s problem. He’s quite convinced he knows the score, he just can’t seem to find the proof he so desperately needs.

A fascinating investigation to keep you hooked from start to finish but what really make this series stand out is the truly delightful relationship between Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. Tilly herself is a joy but it’s her interactions with Poe and others that really make her shine and allow for some comic relief in between all the gore, murder and mayhem.

I don’t know about being Team Poe or Team Tilly, the decision is too hard, but I am most definitely Team Craven! Black Summer is immensely compelling, a delicious page-turner and it’s undoubtedly left me wanting more. Make some room on your shelves for this one! You won’t regret it!

Black Summer is available to buy!

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

Book 5 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Beneath The Surface by Jo Spain | @JoSpain @QuercusBooks | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Jo Spain
Title : Beneath The Surface
Series : DI Tom Reynolds #2
Pages : 389
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : September 8, 2016

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of. Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.

At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal. . . but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Beneath The Surface is the second instalment in the DI Tom Reynolds series and if I wasn’t a fan of Jo Spain before this one, I sure would be now.

Ryan Finnegan, a high-ranking government official, is found shot to death in Ireland’s most secure building – the seat of Parliament, Leinster House. DI Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to solve Finnegan’s murder but that won’t be easy. With a charity ball across the road and lots of people milling around, the list of potential suspects could quite quickly run into the hundreds. Most of those are involved in politics, obviously, and we all know few of them can be trusted to speak the truth.

Politics, blackmail, backstabbing, lies and deceit. Sounds like an episode of House of Cards. There are a multitude of questions that need answers before DI Reynolds can even begin to make sense of it all. Why was Finnegan in that part of the building? What is the significance of the picture that was found underneath his body? Does his murder have anything to do with a Bill that Parliament needs to vote on soon?

I love the balance Jo Spain achieves in combining the team’s job with their private lives and even manages to throw in some chuckle-worthy moments, often courtesy of Ray. Tom is adjusting to new circumstances at home and the arrival of his grandchild, which causes quite a few problems between his wife and his daughter. Meanwhile, Ray realises he may just see Laura as more than just a colleague. But she has a boyfriend now. Timing is everything.

These personal events allow you to get the characters so much better, while also sometimes bringing some much needed relief from the murder investigation. I couldn’t at all figure out what had happened to Ryan Finnegan and this incredibly clever plot kept me guessing until the end. I must admit some of the political shenanigans confused me somewhat from time to time but that didn’t ruin my reading experience at all. And let’s face it, who isn’t confused by politics these days. I’m thoroughly enjoying this series! So much so, that I have now picked up book 3. I can’t wait to see what DI Reynolds and his team will be investigating next.

Beneath The Surface is available to buy!

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

Book 2 from my 20 Books of Summer list

All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Stuart MacBride
Title : All That’s Dead
Series : Logan McRae #12
Pages : 437
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : May 30, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Inspector Logan McRae was looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Few things get me as excited as the arrival of a new Logan McRae book so as soon as my pre-order arrived, I dropped everything and settled in for what I was sure would be an entertaining afternoon.

On his first day back at work after a year long absence, Logan McRae is hoping for a nice and easy ride but luck is not on his side. High-profile and anti-independence campaigner Professor Wilson goes missing from his home and that’s just the start of a major shit-storm all over the place. Social media goes mental, there’s a war brewing between between factions for and against Scottish Nationalism and the media is having a field day.

Gee, I wonder where Stuart MacBride got his inspiration from 🤔. All That’s Dead is extremely politically tinted, if you hadn’t guessed that yet, and thus sadly incredibly apt in this day and age. This may not be to everyone’s liking and I dare say the author took quite a risk putting this out there. Personally, it didn’t bother me at all. It makes for a great story and ultimately that’s all I’m ever looking for.

I always worry slightly about how much Logan McRae can actually be involved in an investigation, being that he now works for Professional Standards. I shouldn’t have though, because he’s not on the fringes of this one at all. Logan McRae is tasked with keeping an eye on the investigating Detective King and this puts him smack-bang in the middle of it all. There are some surprises, some twists, many dubious decisions and quite frankly, if I were the big chief who gets a say in these things, I’d fire pretty much the entire force.

The Logan McRae books are always a treat but even though I found this one a fabulous read and it had me hooked as these books always do, I also felt it was missing something. It’s hard to explain but there’s a special kind of Stuart MacBride magic that seemed to be lacking this time around. Many of the characters that normally bring a brilliant kind of dark humour to the table were now just plainly getting on my nerves. I missed that particular way Stuart MacBride has of combining the darkest of crimes with a healthy dose of chuckles, even sometimes at the most inappropriate moments.

Was this the best book in the Logan McRae series? I’m sorry to say that no, it wasn’t. Although I also fully admit that my expectations are always insanely high. But I did still enjoy it immensely and if Stuart MacBride decides to carry on with this series, I’ll still be every bit as excited as I used to be.

Can’t leave without mentioning that for a The Hobbit fan like myself, seeing “Tuftin Oakenbeard” pop up in the middle of a page genuinely made me laugh out loud.

All That’s Dead is available to buy!

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

Book 1 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Wolves At The Door by Gunnar Staalesen | @OrendaBooks | #blogtour #bookreview #RandomThingsTours #VargVeum

It is a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Wolves At The Door by Gunnar Staalesen today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Gunnar Staalesen (trs Don Bartlett)
Title : Wolves At The Door
Series : Varg Veum
Pages : 260
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : June 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

One dark January night a car drives at high speed towards PI Varg Veum, and comes very close to killing him. Veum is certain this is no accident, following so soon after the deaths of two jailed men who were convicted for their participation in a case of child pornography and sexual assault … crimes that Veum himself once stood wrongly accused of committing.

While the guilty men were apparently killed accidentally, Varg suspects that there is something more sinister at play … and that he’s on the death list of someone still at large.

Fearing for his life, Veum begins to investigate the old case, interviewing the victims of abuse and delving deeper into the brutal crimes, with shocking results. The wolves are no longer in the dark … they are at his door. And they want vengeance.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Norway’s favourite private investigator returns but Varg Veum’s day quickly gets off to a bad start when a car drives at him at high speed and comes very close to running him over. Varg Veum is convinced someone meant to kill him. Especially after the deaths of two men who were convicted of crimes Varg Veum himself had stood wrongly accused of once. The police are not treating these deaths as suspicious. As far as they’re concerned, their cases are closed. But Varg Veum is worried he might be next and sets out to investigate on his own, bringing danger right to his door.

Dealing with a topic like child abuse makes Wolves at the Door an extremely uncomfortable read at times. Yet it also oozes atmosphere, which is what a great Scandi-Noir should do and Gunnar Staalesen knows exactly how to achieve that. The exquisite investigative skills Varg Veum has always remind me of the PI’s from the old days with their raincoat and hat, lurking in the shadows, like a black and white movie. No bells or whistles, no spending hours trawling databases, just good old-fashioned pounding the pavement and talking to people. This allows the reader to follow along quite nicely to try and put the pieces of the puzzle together right alongside Varg Veum.

I didn’t fit any pieces together at all, however. Varg Veum meets quite a few characters and they all quite obviously have something to hide, secrets they are desperate to protect. And just like him, I couldn’t at all figure out who was lying or if anyone could be trusted which often made me feel pretty frustrated. But if there is one thing to admire about Varg Veum, it is his sheer determination to get to the truth and somehow I’m always left with the feeling that he will accomplish exactly what he sets out to do.

Wolves at the Door may be slow paced but it’s also incredibly gripping and full of suspense. It’s dark, gritty and sadly also all too realistic and believable. All the while, it shines a spotlight on the failings of the criminal justice system, highlighting modern day issues like sex trafficking and the effects of abuse. Not an easy read, like I said, but with Varg Veum at the helm it is a fascinating investigation. Gunnar Staalesen’s well-developed character undoubtedly has many more investigations ahead of him and will keep fans coming back for more. As always, I mustn’t forget to mention the seamless translation by Don Bartlett, whose hard work allows the masses to enjoy top-of-the-shelf Scandi-Noir too.

Wolves at the Door will be published in paperback format next week and can be pre-ordered. The Kindle version is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947.

He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty-three titles, which have been published in twenty-six countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is currently being filmed.

Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson | @Author_Dave @bonnierbooks_uk @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #bookreview #recommended #YourDeepestFear

Thrilled to host a stop on the blog tour for Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : David Jackson
Title : Your Deepest Fear
Series : DS Nathan Cody #4
Pages : 400
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband. 

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected. 

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable . . .

| MY THOUGHTS |

Your Deepest Fear is the fourth instalment in the DS Nathan Cody series and … bloody hell! I’m in need of a drink. Or an oxygen tank. I feel absolutely drained.

This book is a little different from its predecessors, in that it isn’t all about Cody. Sara Prior’s estranged husband is found brutally murdered at his home, his naked body nailed to the floor. Due to events from the previous books, Cody finds himself somewhat sidelined in this investigation but not to worry, because we have a kick-ass and fierce Sara Prior who will dig deep and try to figure out what happened to her husband.

Meanwhile Cody is being taunted by his biggest nemesis. The clown. This person is by far one of the creepiest and most chilling characters I’ve ever met. Manipulative, pulling Cody’s strings and playing games … there is just no way of knowing what he’ll do next. Only that it won’t be anything good.

I do so love it when an author has no qualms whatsoever in putting their main character through the wringer, and the reader right alongside with him. After three books, I, as the reader, have become incredibly invested in Cody. The reader is aware of his struggles and issues and to see him suffer even more, to be pulled down to the depths of despair, utterly broken … well, it hurts. Now, don’t despair! If you’re new to this series, you can read this as a stand-alone. There is enough background to fill you in on what went on before but not so much that it’ll bore fans of the series to tears. It’s a tough balance to achieve but I feel David Jackson managed it perfectly.

I kept expecting Sara’s and Cody’s investigations to converge at some point but when they did, I was not at all prepared for what happened. Mind blown to smithereens! Just awesome! Part of me was happy in finally getting some answers, the other part has so many questions that I don’t even know where to start.

Your Deepest Fear is dark, disturbing and insanely tense. It’s so fast paced, it almost felt relentless at times and left me in desperate need of a breather. My heart was pounding, my hands were clammy and I was trying extremely hard to figure out how it would all end. Obviously I’m not telling you that but I will say that it has left me wanting more and I have no doubt it will have the same effect on you!

What an incredible addition to an already outstanding series! I dare say this is even the best one yet and I urge you all to read this series, if you’re not doing so already. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to see where David Jackson takes DS Nathan Cody next.

Your Deepest Fear is available in ebook format. Other formats will follow soon, which you can of course pre-order.

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

While you’re there, why not pick up the previous books in the series if these are missing from your bookshelves 😉

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

David Jackson is the bestselling author of Cry Baby. His debut novel, Pariah, was Highly Commended in the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Awards. He lives on the Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly | @orionbooks @orion_crime @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #bookreview #compulsivereaders

Truly delighted to join the blog tour for Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Michael Connelly
Title : Dark Sacred Night
Series : Renée Ballard #2
Pages : 448
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : May 16, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.

Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Gather around, it’s confession time.

Ready? *ahem*

I have never read a Michael Connelly book before this one. I know, you’re wondering where the heck I’ve been and you have every right to judge me. I did watch The Lincoln Lawyer film once upon a long time ago and I had every intention of reading a Harry Bosch book, before I realised how many there are. So, as Dark Sacred Night brings together Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch in one fell swoop, I figured this was a good place to start. And even though this is Renée’s second outing, I found this read perfectly well as a stand-alone.

Renée Ballard is a detective, working out of Hollywood Station. After filing a sexual harassment claim against a colleague, she finds herself cast out and working the graveyard shift. On returning to her office one night, she catches someone rifling through the police station’s filing cabinets. Turns out this person is none other than Harry Bosch himself. He’s looking for information on an old investigation; a cold case involving the murder of a young girl almost a decade ago. Harry is determined to finally find out what happened to her.

That investigation isn’t the entire focus of this book though and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed that. It feels more realistic to see detectives investigate more than one case, even during a dark night. A lot goes on behind the bright lights and the glamour of the Hollywood sign and even though a regular burglary might seem quite boring compared to a thrilling murder investigation, it is still a case that needs to be solved. All this combined made for great diversity and I could easily imagine the frustration of needing to attend these other crime scenes and filling out paperwork when something more interesting is waiting for you to sink your teeth into.

I don’t think Ballard particularly needed Bosch to give this series a push in the right direction because as a character she is more than capable to hold her own, but they worked together perfectly and I loved the different points of view. I enjoyed getting to know both these characters. Both are tenacious and determined, although Bosch might be somewhat tired of it all, and not afraid of bending the rules. I warmed to them in an instant. At no point did I feel I was missing out on not knowing anything at all about their backgrounds. If anything, it’s made me more curious to go back and get caught up on the previous books in both the series. Although when I’m supposed to find the time for that is another matter.

What is clear throughout this story, is Michael Connelly’s background. Well thought-out and cleverly plotted, he shows remarkable attention to detail and an insight that can come only from inside knowledge somehow. This added an extra layer to the realism and believability. Michael Connelly is a fantastic crime writer and it’s easy to see why he’s so popular and still going strong after all these years. I have no doubt fans and new readers like myself will enjoy Dark Sacred Night and it has most definitely left me wanting more!

Dark Sacred Night is available to buy in ebook and hardcover, with the paperback to follow on May 16th.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series, and several other bestsellers including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer. The TV series – Bosch – is one of the most watched original series on Amazon Prime.

He has been President of the Mystery Writers of America, and his books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and have won awards all over the world, including the Edgar and Anthony Awards.

He spends his time in California and Florida.