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!

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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!

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| 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

This Week in Books (May 29)

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 |

‘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…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son. 

What if they could have both?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

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.

Anything catching your eye? What are you reading this week? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

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.

Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary | @sarah_hilary @headlinepg @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #recommended #mustread #DIMarnieRome #RandomThingsTours

Beyond thrilled to kick off the blog tour for Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary alongside Anne Cater today! Huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

Author : Sarah Hilary
Title : Never Be Broken
Series : DI Marnie Rome #6
Pages : 368
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Children are dying on London’s streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London’s lost. 

Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She’s thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she’s white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice.

DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela’s case and Frankie’s too. But he’s facing his own turmoil, and it’s becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it’s too late.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Blessed are the hearts that bend; they shall never be broken.

I am broken though. Just … WOW!

Never Be Broken is sadly extremely realistic, believable and apt in this day and age. Children are dying on London’s streets and the whiteboard at DI Marnie Rome’s precinct is covered in photographs of young victims. Then, another teenager finds herself on the wrong side of a knife. Raphaela comes from a rich background and is white, and suddenly everyone sits up and takes notice. DS Noah Jake is determined to solve every single case on the whiteboard but he is struggling.

Never Be Broken shows the raw and harsh reality of living on the streets of London. Beyond the bright lights and the beautiful tourist spots, this is a city full of drugs, racism and violence. Police seem to be unable to make much of a difference, no matter how hard they want to. Yet throughout it all, the author’s love for the city manages to shine through.

This is at times quite a painful read. There’s no way the fate of the victims and the suffering of those they leave behind can leave you cold. But there’s also Noah, who’s having a hard time coming to terms with the death of his brother Sol. My heart was absolutely breaking for him. I just wanted to wrap him up in a tight hug. Despite his grief being hard to see, I thought Sarah Hilary handled that whole topic quite brilliantly.

There are some super tense chapters that almost brought tears to my eyes, that made my heart pound and my hands all clammy. This is a dark story, immensely gritty, compelling, captivating and gripping but also one of hope for better days and one of the toughest things to achieve : forgiveness. For those who’ve done you wrong but also for yourself.

Please tell me you are reading this series. It’s been absolutely outstanding from the very beginning and I don’t know how she does it, but Sarah Hilary manages to outdo herself time and time again, bringing each book in this series to whole other level. At the risk of repeating myself, because I’m pretty sure I say this every time, this is the best one in the series yet and Sarah Hilary is an author who deserves all the praise. She continues to impress me with her remarkable storylines, utterly brilliant character development and fantastic writing. There are so many lines I could quote but I won’t because I’d be here all day and obviously you just need to read this book (and the rest of the series) for yourself.

I’ve had a ridiculously hard time getting my thoughts in order. This is one of those books that managed to get completely under my skin, making me go through a whole range of emotions and writing this review seemed like an impossible task when all I really wanted to say was “WOW! Read this now!” and leave it at that. Do yourself a massive favour and pick this up, along with the rest of the series if you haven’t done so already. I promise you from the bottom of my heart, you will not regret it!

Never Be Broken will be published on Thursday, May 16th but you can, and should, preorder it now!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Sarah Hilary’s debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and was a World Book Night selection. The Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continues with TASTES LIKE FEAR (2016) QUIETER THAN KILLING (2017) COME AND FIND ME (2018) and NEVER BE BROKEN (2019).

Follow Sarah on Twitter

In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins | @Alis_Hawkins @DomePress @emily_glenister | #blogtour #bookreview #giveaway

It’s such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins today! My thanks to Emily at Dome Press for the opportunity to join and for the wonderful review copy! Read on for the bookish information, my review and a fab giveaway.

Author : Alis Hawkins
Title : In Two Minds
Series : Teifi Valley Coroner #2
Pages : 455
Publisher : Dome Press
Publication date : May 2, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has begun work as the acting coroner of Teifi Valley with solicitor’s clerk John Davies as his assistant.

When a faceless body is found on an isolated beach, Harry must lead the inquest. But his dogged pursuit of the truth begins to ruffle feathers. Especially when he decides to work alongside a local doctor with a dubious reputation and experimental theories considered radical and dangerous. Refusing to accept easy answers might not only jeopardise Harry’s chance to be elected coroner permanently but could, it seems, implicate his own family in a crime.

| MY THOUGHTS |

In Two Minds is the second instalment in the Teify Valley Coroner series featuring Harry Probert-Lloyd and John Davies. After his success in solving a murder in the previous book, Harry is now the acting coroner and John continues to work as his assistant.

A faceless body is found on a beach and Harry is called up to lead the inquest. Everyone would like a quick resolution. After all, inquests cost money. But Harry doesn’t work like that and is determined to find out exactly what happened and who is responsible. Will his dogged determination ruin his chance at being elected coroner permanently?

As with the previous book, Alis Hawkins manages to combine an interesting historical fact with the fictitious investigation run by Harry and John. This time, the topic is emigration and we find a multitude of characters who have been saving up money for years to try and get onto a boat that will take them to a, hopefully, better life in America.

This is one of those times where I feel the title is incredibly apt and well chosen. Lots of characters are in two minds throughout the story, as they try to figure out what the future holds in store for them. Those who must decide between carrying on with their lives in Wales or taking a gamble on a new life in America, for instance. But also, Harry and John themselves. If you’ve read the previous book, then you know Harry’s life seems to be all planned out. Even more so when his father falls ill. Harry constantly finds himself torn between his duty and what he actually really wants to do. And John is determined to improve his situation, not content with being a solicitor’s clerk forever. I really liked that he was given the opportunity to prove himself in this story, showing his intelligence and diligence, making decisions on his own without being prompted by Harry.

I can’t wrap up this review without mentioning doctor Rickett. Harry’s decision to involve him ruffles quite a lot of feathers. Rickett’s thoughts on medicine must have sounded somewhat like voodoo in those days but to us, many of them come across as perfectly reasonable. In order to make advancements in medicine, Rickett is a big fan of autopsies. He doesn’t just want to help sick people, he wants to learn how they got sick in the first place and possibly find out how to prevent the same thing happening to someone else. I found his character truly fascinating and I do so hope he appears in future instalments.

Set in Wales, In Two Minds oozes atmosphere and combines two of my favourite things : historical fiction and crime. Who is this faceless body? Were they murdered and if so, by whom and why? I couldn’t find an answer to these questions at all and Alis Hawkins kept me guessing right up until the quite devastating conclusion. With lots of well-crafted and intriguing characters, twists and turns and an interesting investigation, In Two Minds is a gripping, compelling read and a brilliant addition to this series. I shall impatiently await the next book and very much look forward to seeing what happens to Harry and John next.

In Two Minds is available to buy!

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| GIVEAWAY |

ONE lucky winner will receive ONE paperback copy of In Two Minds!

Enter the giveaway by clicking this Rafflecopter link

This giveaway is UK ONLY!

You must of course be willing to give me your details to be passed on to the publisher. Good luck!

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. Her inner introvert thought it would be a good idea to become a shepherd and, frankly, if she had, she might have been published sooner. As it was, three years reading English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford revealed an extrovert streak and a social conscience which saw her train as a Speech and Language Therapist.

She has spent the subsequent three decades variously bringing up two sons, working with children and young people on the autism spectrum and writing fiction, non-fiction and plays.

She writes the kind of books she likes to read: character-driven historical crime and mystery fiction with what might be called literary production values. 

With Our Blessing by Jo Spain | @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks | #bookreview #recommended

Author : Jo Spain
Title : With Our Blessing
Series : DI Tom Reynolds #1
Pages : 531
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : July 27, 2015

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

1975. A baby, minutes old, is forcibly taken from its devastated mother.

2010. The body of an elderly woman is found in a Dublin public park in the depths of winter.

Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds is working the case. He’s convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the notorious Magdalene Laundries.

Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent in the Irish countryside. But once inside, it becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them . . . and is determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

You’re probably familiar with Jo Spain’s psychological thrillers but did you know she also writes a crime fiction series, set in Ireland? The DI Tom Reynolds series has been on my shelf for ages and since I heard there is a new book on the horizon, I decided to try and squeeze this series into my reading schedule in an attempt to catch up.

Best decision ever!

With Our Blessing is the first book and hoo boy, what a first instalment it is! Despite its 531 pages, I absolutely flew through this one because once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. The body of an elderly woman is found in a park in Dublin. It’s quite a gruesome scene and the investigation leads DI Tom Reynolds and his team to a convent in the Irish countryside and a part of history Ireland would probably quite happily forget all about.

The notorious Magdalane Laundries have been in the news often these last few years. The events that happened there remain horrible and With Our Blessing starts with one such horrific scene when in 1975, a newborn baby is forcibly taken from its mother. If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will.

But how does that prologue connect to the murder of the elderly woman? That’s for DI Tom Reynolds to figure out and it’s a race against the clock because this killer is quite obviously on a mission to get revenge and if they aren’t stopped, more people will die. I quickly ruled out a number of potential suspects which left me with a tiny problem, in that I had nobody left. I was convinced I knew who wasn’t the killer but couldn’t at all figure out who was!

As brilliantly gripping as the murder investigation was, I also really enjoyed the perfect balance Jo Spain achieved by including information about the various team members’ private lives. I got a really good feel for them and loved getting to know them along the way.

With Our Blessing is a fantastic start to this series. With intriguing characters, a compelling investigation, a beautiful setting and even some humour, this had me hooked from start to finish. I’m kicking myself for not reading this series sooner and I can’t wait to read the other books. If Jo Spain wasn’t already on my go-to list, she would most definitely be now! And if you are looking for another crime series to sink your teeth into, you should definitely check this one out!

With Our Blessing is available to buy!

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No Way Out by Cara Hunter | @CaraHunterBooks @EllieeHud @PenguinUKBooks | #blogtour #bookreview #NoWayOut #recommended #must-read

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for No Way Out by Cara Hunter today! My thanks to Ellie at Viking for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : Cara Hunter
Title : No Way Out
Series : DI Adam Fawley #3
Pages : 360
Publisher : Viking / Penguin
Publication date : April 18, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

The Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his brother is soon fighting for his life.

Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?

Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true.

Because this fire wasn’t an accident.

It was murder.

| MY THOUGHTS |

If you’re sitting there wondering if you need another crime fiction series in your life, the answer is “yes” and this right here is that series.

Set in Oxford, No Way Out is the third instalment in the DI Adam Fawley series and it is utterly chilling from the get-go as we follow a firefighter via the camera on his helmet during a fire at the home of the Esmond family. Two young children are pulled from the wreckage. Matty Esmond is fighting for his life but his toddler brother is found dead. There is no sign of their parents. Were the children left in the house alone? Their father was supposed to be attending a conference but why isn’t he answering his phone? When new evidence is discovered, DI Adam Fawley soon realises this fire was not an accident.

Some of the chapters are set before the fire that wrecked the Esmond family home and if those were supposed to have any clues, I completely missed them. Cara Hunter incorporates newspaper articles, emails and fire investigation reports throughout the story, giving the whole thing a truly realistic touch. Things are not as straight forward as you might first expect and there are plenty of twists, turns and dead ends leading DI Adam Fawley and his team to frustration.

Speaking of the team, due to events in the previous book one of the team members finds himself demoted to DC, while another is promoted to acting DS. Could there be trouble? Meanwhile Adam himself is struggling with personal issues that may or may not interfere with his ability to do his job. I thoroughly enjoy the balance Cara Hunter achieves between Adam’s job and his personal life. Especially during this investigation because, if you’ve read the previous books, then you know anything involving children is particularly hard for him.

Stories involving children are always so heartbreaking and I may have uttered an “oh my god” here and there, and even let out something resembling a sob, especially near the end. Talk about a punch to the gut. I never really expect to need a tissue while reading crime fiction but I did here. Heartbreaking for sure.

No Way Out is hugely gripping, immensely compelling and extremely addictive. I dare say this is the best one in the series yet and that’s saying something because the previous two books are insanely outstanding as well. Yet Cara Hunter managed to raise the bar another notch and I stayed up way past my bedtime, desperate to reach the conclusion only to find myself faced with a cliffhanger that has me itching to get to the next book. Luckily we don’t have to wait too long as All The Rage is published in December and you can already preorder it here.

I highly recommend you add this series to your shelves. It is one of the best crime fiction series out there and a definite must-read!

No Way Out is available to buy!

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

Make sure you also check out the previous two books in the series!

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

I’m lucky enough to live in the city I write about. Oxford will be familiar to crime fans across the whole world because of the fabulous Morse novels and TV, but my version of the town is a long way from the beautiful ivy-clad colleges. A much edgier place where the crimes are darker and closer to home.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and viewer of crime – I’ve learned so much from the outstanding writing that we now see on crime TV like Line of Duty or Broadchurch, and I’ve tried to recreate the experience of watching series like that for my readers. I love true crime TV as well – my husband used to tease me about it but now just nods sagely and says ‘research’ !

What else about me? I have pet cats who do their best to distract me whenever I get close to a keyboard (if you have cats, you’ll know), I love travelling, spending time with friends, and I have never knowingly turned down a glass of champagne….

The Innocent Ones by Neil White | @neilwhite1965 @HeraBooks @Lizzy11268 | #blogtour #bookreview

It’s such a pleasure to host the penultimate stop on the blog tour for The Innocent Ones by Neil White today! My thanks to Liz for the invitation to join and to the publisher for the review copy!

Author : Neil White
Title : The Innocent Ones
Series : Dan Grant #3
Pages : 383
Publisher : Hera Books
Publication date : April 24, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When London journalist, Mark Roberts, is found battered to death, the police quickly arrest petty thief, Nick Connor. Criminal defence lawyer, Dan Grant, along with investigator Jayne Brett, are called to represent him – but with bloody footprints and a stolen wallet linking him to the scene, this is one case they’re unlikely to win. 

Until help comes from an unlikely source…when the murder victim’s mother says that Connor is innocent, begging Dan and Jayne to find the real perpetrator. 

Unravelling the complex case means finding the connection between Mark’s death and a series of child murders in Yorkshire over twenty years ago. Father of two, Rodney Walker, has spent years in prison after being convicted of killing of 6-year-old William and 7-year-old Ruby back in 1997.

| MY THOUGHTS |

A legal thriller combined with some courtroom action and an investigation into an old case? Holy cow, where do I sign up? Right here, that’s where! The Dan Grant trilogy has all that awesomeness and then some. This is one of those series that got me incredibly excited right from the start. (See how excited by catching up on my reviews from the previous two books here and here)

I think you could probably get away with treating The Innocent Ones as a stand-alone but quite frankly, I don’t know why you’d want to. Dan and Jayne are such brilliant characters and I really enjoyed going on this journey with them, watching their characters and relationship develop along the way.

In The Innocent Ones, Dan finds himself defending a client of the murder of journalist/writer Nick Roberts. But when Nick’s mother shows up and claims Dan’s client is innocent, the whole case is thrown into turmoil. Dan calls in the help of his former investigator, Jayne, and they soon discover a trail leading to the murders of two young children way back in 1997. But what is the connection? And why is someone trying to stop them from finding out the truth?

Once again, Neil White comes up with the most intricate and intense plot. Danger lurks around every corner and while every step Dan and Jayne take brings them closer to the truth, someone is trying to stop them at every turn. With quite a few twists and turns, I found it impossible to figure out what was what and Neil White kept me guessing until the end. If for one second I thought I would be able to pick up on clues in the chapters set in 1997, I was quickly proven wrong. But they do turn into quite the dark and disturbing storyline.

There’s so much to love about The Innocent Ones and this series in general : the brilliant pace, the fantastic writing, the intriguing characters, the wonderful setting and the delightful combination between lawyer and detective work, which quite frankly is just the best of two worlds for me.

This third and final instalment in the Dan Grant series is as tense, compelling and gripping as its predecessors. Of course I am sad to see this series come to an end, yet the ending also feels extremely fitting. This entire trilogy has been the most fantastic and thrilling ride and I very much look forward to what’s in store next from Neil White.

The Innocent Ones is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Neil White (b. 1965) is a British freelance criminal lawyer and a full-time crime writer.

This Week in Books (April 24)

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 |

Children are dying on London’s streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London’s lost. 

Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She’s thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she’s white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice.

DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela’s case and Frankie’s too. But he’s facing his own turmoil, and it’s becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it’s too late.

[My review won’t be posted until May 13th on the blog tour but here’s a clue : WOW!!!!]

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Rejected by her family and plagued by insomnia, Rose Shaw is on the brink. But one dark evening she collides with a man running through the streets, who quickly vanishes. The only sign he ever existed – a journal dropped at Rose’s feet.

She begins to obsessively dedicate her sleepless nights to discovering what happened to Finn Matthews, the mysterious author of the journal. Why was he convinced someone wanted to kill him? And why, in the midst of a string of murders, won’t the police investigate his disappearance?

Rose is determined to uncover the truth. But she has no idea what the truth will cost her…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has begun work as the acting coroner of Teifi Valley with solicitor’s clerk John Davies as his assistant.

When a faceless body is found on an isolated beach, Harry must lead the inquest. But his dogged pursuit of the truth begins to ruffle feathers. Especially when he decides to work alongside a local doctor with a dubious reputation and experimental theories considered radical and dangerous.

Refusing to accept easy answers might not only jeopardise Harry’s chance to be elected coroner permanently but could, it seems, implicate his own family in a crime.

I’ve actually not read anything since Saturday. Silly Easter weekend and all that overrated socialising. But I’m very excited to get stuck in to Jack Jordan’s latest book this afternoon.

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx