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.

This Week in Books (July 10)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does. 

But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

Lydia is something more than just a woman whose marriage is in trouble. She seems frightened for her safety. 

Josh is angry, grief-stricken and seems to be hiding a dark secret. 

And soon Karen herself is afraid – there is something about the behaviour of this couple that recalls traumatic incidents from her own past. There is something there that may be the key to saving them, if Karen can only unlock it in time…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anything else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.

Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And for just a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. The accident that happens will change her life forever.

Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.

And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…

[I’ve been reading this one since Saturday. Socialising (subsequent hangover 😳) and Wimbledon are throwing a massive spanner in the works. It’s actually really good too!]

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

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

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

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

[This will be my first ever Denise Mina book and I’m really looking forward to it!]

What does you reading week look like? Do let me know in the comments! Have a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins | @vicwritescrime @bookouture

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

Author : Victoria Jenkins
Title : The Divorce
Pages : 212
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 4, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does. 

But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

Lydia is something more than just a woman whose marriage is in trouble. She seems frightened for her safety. 

Josh is angry, grief-stricken and seems to be hiding a dark secret. 

And soon Karen herself is afraid – there is something about the behaviour of this couple that recalls traumatic incidents from her own past. There is something there that may be the key to saving them, if Karen can only unlock it in time…

| MY THOUGHTS |

You may know Victoria Jenkins from her brilliant crime fiction series featuring detectives King and Lane, but now she has crossed genres and The Divorce is her first psychological thriller.

In The Divorce, we are first introduced to Karen. She is a marriage counsellor and through her we get a glimpse into the marriage of Lydia and Josh. It soon becomes apparent though that this isn’t your average marriage. Both Josh and Lydia seem to be hiding something and don’t come across as particularly trustworthy. But is Karen’s own traumatic past blinding her from seeing the truth?

There are only three characters in this story, which allows the author to really dig deep into the psychology and give tremendous insight into what makes these characters tick. At times it even felt somewhat voyeuristic, seeing things play out through Karen’s eyes. A bit like being a fly on the wall, getting a glimpse into what goes on behind closed doors. There’s always something fascinating about that, isn’t there?

It’s not easy to keep the reader’s attention when there are so few characters to rely on but I feel Victoria Jenkins did a great job in fleshing them out, keeping me intrigued and guessing throughout. Despite the fact that I found it hard to get to grips with these characters, I did rather quickly pick a side but I couldn’t at all see what the purpose of it all was or where the story would end up.

The Divorce deals with some uncomfortable topics like domestic abuse and ends up being quite thought-provoking, wondering whose responsibility it is when something goes wrong but also the impact domestic abuse has. I could have done with just that bit more tension but overall, this is a really well written psychological thriller full of suspense and I very much look forward to whatever Victoria Jenkins decides to tackle next.

The Divorce is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Victoria Jenkins is a Welsh author who has made a name for herself writing the highly popular Detective King and Lane series of novels. The first novel in the series was “The Girls In The Water” that Jenkins first published in 2017, to much critical acclaim and popularity among crime fiction fans. 
The series of novels features Detective Constable Chloe Lane and Detective Inspector Alex King, who are the lead investigative characters that solve some mysterious murders in their hometown.

Jenkins lives with her husband and daughter in South Wales, where her series of crime novels featuring Detectives King and Lane is based.

Weekly Wrap-Up (July 6)

This wrap-up might be somewhat on the short side because I have friends coming over this afternoon and a bajillion things to do.

While I’ve been putting this post together, the other half started vacuuming so now I’m wondering if I just sit here and look busy, if he’ll tackle some other chores from my list. 🤔

This week has consisted mostly of books and Wimbledon tennis. Probably more tennis than books, actually. I have a liiiiitle bit of leeway in my schedule so hopefully I won’t get into too much trouble.

So, what have I read this week?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I’m okay with that. That could have been a lot worse! One from my 20 Books of Summer list and the others are all for blog tours. Good thing I’m slowing down, eh?

Today’s guessing game : there are two 5 stars reads. Go! 😂

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oops 😳. I am so running out of room to put all of these. Especially paperbacks. So I often tell myself “self, we should read more paperbacks” and thus we choose another hardback because that’s just how self and I roll. 🤣

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review for Black Summer by M.W. Craven

Tuesday : Reviewed The Friend Who Lied by Rachel Amphlett

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Closer I Get by Paul Burston and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Reviewed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Reunion by Guillaume Musso

Saturday : Shared my review of The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Get me posting every day of the week!

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | A Fatal Game by Nicholas Searle

Friday : Blog tour | Review | I Looked Away by Jane Corry

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Yep, slowing down is working like a charm. 😂

Right, that’s it. Hope everyone has a brilliant week! See you next time. Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (July 3)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

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

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

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

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

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?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does. 

But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

Lydia is something more than just a woman whose marriage is in trouble. She seems frightened for her safety. 

Josh is angry, grief-stricken and seems to be hiding a dark secret. 

And soon Karen herself is afraid – there is something about the behaviour of this couple that recalls traumatic incidents from her own past. There is something there that may be the key to saving them, if Karen can only unlock it in time… 

Wimbledon is seriously messing up my reading plans. I can already tell I won’t be reading 7 books this week. 😂

What are you reading? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson | @bookouture

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson. My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy.

Author : Lucy Dawson
Title : Don’t Ever Tell
Pages : 284
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

This is a story about Charlotte – a mother and a wife with the perfect job, the perfect life… at least, that’s how it looks from the outside.

But behind closed doors, the marriage is breaking, and Charlotte’s husband Tris doesn’t even know how much. He has no idea what Charlotte has planned for him, who she has found, why she has hired someone to pretend to be her. But he doesn’t have long to wait to find out… 

| MY THOUGHTS |

When author Charlotte Tristan contacts actress Mia Justice to work on a project, little do both these women know their lives will change dramatically.

Mia is a struggling actress. Jobs are few and far between. So when she is approached by Charlotte, it looks like things might finally be looking up. Charlotte wants Mia to pretend to be her, effectively offering her the part of “author” and sell a book.

That’s all I’m saying as I’m way too worried I’ll give something important away. Suffice to say, the intrigue drips from the pages. You know, from the prologue, that something quite bad has happened. But the what, who, why is a mystery. I couldn’t at all figure out how the pieces of this story fit together and felt compelled to keep reading until the answers were revealed to me.

The chapters alternate between Charlotte and Mia. I found Charlotte quite hard to connect to, or even like, most of the time. Although once I got to know her character’s circumstances better, it was easier to understand where she was coming from. Mia, on the other hand, immediately came across as someone to root for. She hasn’t had the easiest of times and I just desperately wanted something good to happen for her.

Lucy Dawson always manages to come up with an original plot that keeps you guessing until the very end, and Don’t Ever Tell is no different. You never know who to trust and I will give you cookies if you can at all predict where this story is going to end up. It is utterly unpredictable and another enjoyable read from Lucy Dawson.

Don’t Ever Tell is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Lucy studied Psychology at Warwick University before becoming a children’s magazine editor.

Her first bestselling book – His Other Lover – was published in 2008. Since then she has published four other novels and her work has been translated into numerous other languages.

She lives in Exeter with her husband and children. Lucy finds writing in the third person uncomfortable.

Weekly Wrap-Up (June 23)

Boy, am I glad to see the back of this week. So much stress and anxiety, tis not good for the soul.

On Tuesday, the ball-and-chain and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Condolences welcome 😉. Now, you’d think that after 20 years, he would know that a) I don’t like surprises and b) I don’t like being the centre of attention. So naturally, he organised something behind my back that “involved other people”. I didn’t know where we were going, what I was supposed to wear, when I was supposed to be ready, nothing. And I hated every single minute of that day. Turns out we just went to a fancy restaurant with his stepbrother and stepbrother’s wife. And it was fantastic, had a really good time, sat outside until midnight, ate great food, drank fabulous wine and a cheeky limoncello or two.

But I could have done without the added stress as doggie wasn’t well again and I hated having to leave her behind with my mother-in-law, the babysitter. Yoshi was incredibly unsteady on her paws, almost toppled over a few times. She wouldn’t eat, she slept a lot. All in all, just not the kind of behaviour I’m used to from her. She’s also started walking into furniture as her sight is going. Anyway, stressful! For those wondering, she seems to be a bit better now but I’m obviously watching her like a hawk.

Obviously, all of this took a massive toll on my reading. I knew those 7 books last week would be a fluke but I wasn’t prepared for this week’s downward spiral. 😂

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Yep. Three. That’s it. Apart from a book where I got to 200 pages and then abandoned it. Two absolute corkers up there though! I’m sure you’ll be able to guess which ones 😉

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Of course I was going to get a hardback of The Whisper Man for my shelves! While browsing, I stumbled upon Allen Eskens and I really need to get caught up on his books so there is one. Charlie Donlea is someone I keep hearing lots about. I’ve only read two of his books so far, although I do have the others.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Black Summer was a book I chose in a giveaway I won. The other two are for blog tours, kindly forwarded on by Zoé 😘

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry

Thursday : Reviewed Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Whisper Man by Alex North

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I’m impressed with myself for getting this all out there on the right days and on time, considering the week I’ve had.

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Review | The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Tuesday : Review | After the End by Claire Mackintosh

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson

Friday : Review | The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Look at that! Just the one blog tour! Do you need a minute? Feel a tad faint? 😂

My next blog tour isn’t until July 3rd. But I’ve only read 5 books from my 20 Books of Summer list so far, so I really need to get a move on. This upcoming week promises to be HOT AS HELL with temperatures of 38°C coming our way. The perfect excuse for doing absolutely nothing but read. Hopefully by the weekend, I’ll have another 7 books under my belt because this silly 3 just will not do!

Right, I have one review to write. I know, you’re jealous. Then I might browse around, possibly buy some more books as I still have a tiny bit of room left on my shelves and it looks stupid 😉.

Hope everyone has a fabulous week! If you’re caught up in a heatwave as I am, stay cool and drink lots of water. If not, erm, sorry 😂. Until next time! Happy reading! xx

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

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

This Week in Books (March 13)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

Kat experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her only child’s body is found lifeless in an overgrown, abandoned quarry. 

Desperate to find out what happened, Kat questions those closest to her as she tries to piece together the last days of Grace’s life. But as a darker side to her little girl begins to unravel, Kat wonders if she ever really knew Grace. 

As Kat is drawn into a twisted game of lies, is she also in terrible danger? And will she be able to unlock her daughter’s final shocking secret? 

Even if the truth is unthinkable… 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

‘You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late… 

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever

I have no idea what this post is going to look like because WordPress is incredibly uncooperative lately and the preview doesn’t work. 🙄

Anyway! What are you reading this week? Anything I should keep my eye on? Let me know! Happy reading! xx