Dead Inside by Noelle Holten | @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @KillerReads

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invitation to join and to Killer Reads for the review copy!

Author : Noelle Holten
Title : Dead Inside
Series : DC Maggie Jamieson #1
Pages : 300
Publisher : Killer Reads
Publication date : August 22, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Behold Dead Inside, the debut crime novel from fellow blogger Noelle Holten, who as a former probation officer has put her years of experience to incredible use to come up with a dark and disturbing story of domestic abuse.

Dead Inside is the first instalment in the DC Maggie Jamieson series. She has temporarily been transferred to another unit and is forced to hit the ground running when an unsuspecting member of the public finds a dead body in the park. The victim was a convicted domestic abuser and he won’t be the last.

But this story is less about Maggie and more about Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who deals with, well quite frankly, some serious scum of the earth. This is where Noelle Holten’s experience really shines through and all the things Lucy has to deal with on a daily basis come across as extremely realistic and believable. Outside of work, Lucy has a secret and it may just land her in deep trouble.

I must admit it took me a while to get to grips with a rather big cast of characters but once that happened, it was plain sailing all the way and this turned into quite the quickie read for me, helped along immensely by some short and snappy chapters. As you may have guessed from what I’ve said already, this isn’t always a comfortable story to read. Noelle Holten doesn’t hold back on the abuse some of these characters suffer and some of the events really chilled me to the bone.

As for the murder investigation, there was one part I figured out, although that may have just been a lucky guess. Nevertheless I felt immensely smug. However, there was something else that I didn’t quite see coming, prompting me to utter the words “nice one!” while at the same time feeling incredibly sad.

Dead Inside is a powerful debut. Extremely dark and gritty, with characters that will get under your skin, it tackles an immensely difficult topic but I dare say Noelle Holten did it sensitively and the inevitable violence required to make the story work is never gratuitous.

The ending perfectly sets the scene for the follow-up in this series and I have no doubt many a reader will be back for more from DC Maggie Jamieson. Well played, Noelle, well played!

Dead Inside is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast.

Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 

Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Weekly Wrap-Up (August 18)

Summer has gone and done a runner. It’s been a miserable, windy and wet week and I do not approve in the slightest. I’ve been torturing myself by constantly checking the weather in Italy, where it’s lovely and warm, and keeping my fingers crossed that will still be the case when I arrive there in a few weeks.

Since I ran out of Hawaii Five-O episodes to watch [note to self : binge-watch slower next time], there seemed little else to do but read. And by read, I mean stare at hundreds of books on my bookshelves and declare I had nothing to read. 🤣

Meanwhile, the pile of books I will be taking with me on holiday has grown to … one. Yes, you read that right. One. Considering my hormonal reading mojo this year, you never know. It could be enough. Still, it’s good to be prepared for every eventuality, right? So I’m thinking I need a few more. I might be forced to do a panicky “grab-whatever-is-closest” on the day we leave. 😂

Anyway! No tv shows to watch and miserable weather. What’s a girl to do? Read, I guess. So here’s what I read this week.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

That’s not too bad again. I’m about 100 pages away from finishing another one but I got distracted.

For those who’d like to guess this week : one of those shot right up my list of “books of the year”. No, Kelly, you’re not allowed to play along 😜

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Well. I don’t know what happened here but apparently I bought none. What’s up with that?! Feel free to stage an intervention if this continues! 😂

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nothing

Tuesday : Shared my review for Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Reviewed Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks

Friday : Again with the nothing

Saturday : Took this day off as well

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

You know something? I could totally get used to this!

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Extract | Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Tuesday : Review | Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins-Reid

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Most likely nothing

Friday : Review | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Slightly busier because I need to squeeze in the 20 Books of Summer challenge reviews before the end of the month. 😂

Speaking of that challenge, I’m currently reading my 18th book. I may yet nail this after all! I also reached the 150 mark of books read this year, which considering the up-and-down reading mojo makes me feel quite accomplished. And the year isn’t over yet!

That’s it for this week. I’m spending the afternoon with the mother-in-law. Again. She seems to be here a lot lately. I hope she’s not planning on moving in 🤔

Wishing you all a fantastic week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

Weekly Wrap-Up (June 16)

Halfway through June and still no sign of Summer. This past week, we had so many thunderstorms I lost count. I have no idea what’s going on but I do not approve.

What’s a girl to do when the weather is crap? Well, in hindsight, I suppose I could have done some ironing. Oops. Instead, I read. There was a bit of a wobble mid-week, when two books made their way onto the DNF pile. One I gave a go twice in the last few months. Seems safe to say it’s not for me. It was one of my 20 Books of Summer too, which means it’ll need replacing.

Anywho! What did I read this week? And did I manage to read more than 3 books this time around? Let’s find out!

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Well, would you look at that!!!! I’m too impressed with myself to say any more than that 😉. Probably all downhill from here again though. 🤣

Spoiler : one of those is currently my book of the year. It’ll take something special to knock if off that number one spot. Yes, you’re allowed to guess. No, there won’t be a reward. 😜

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Karin Slaughter!!!!!!! I couldn’t possibly be more excited! It arrived early too (yesterday instead of Monday/Tuesday) so obviously I’m already reading it. It’s SO GOOD! I’m incredibly annoyed that I have to go and be social today or I would have stayed up all night reading it, instead of going to bed and get some sleep in order to look halfway decent today. (Didn’t work, should have just kept reading 😂)

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Titan Books be spoiling me. A Shroud of Leaves is the second book in a series, which I wasn’t aware of. So naturally, I’m going to have to get the first one first because I just can’t help myself. 🙄

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review of All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride

Tuesday : Posted an extract for my stop on the blog tour for What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for A Modern Family by Helga Flatland and shared my Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Friday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Busy, busy. Good thing that reading slump is a tad less hormonal than a few weeks ago 😂

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor

Tuesday : Blog tour | Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry

Thursday : Review | The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor

Friday : Blog tour | Review | The Whisper Man by Alex North

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Want to know something? I have read all of those! I know, right? Go me! I do still have two reviews to write but hey, can’t have everything. Besides, that’s not my fault but Karin Slaughter’s 😉

Personally, I think this entire wrap-up is most impressive. If you’d like to shower me with prizes, I won’t say no. 😂

That’s it for this week. I am now going to spend an insane amount of time staring at my wardrobe, trying to figure out what to wear for this lunch I am forced to attend. There will be wine! I’ll be raising a glass to my granddad, who would have turned 100 years old today, if he had still been with us.

Enough babbling. Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch | @carissaannlynch @KillerReads | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for the review copy!

Author : Carissa Ann Lynch
Title : Without A Trace
Pages : 230
Publisher : Killer Reads
Publication date : June 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

A little girl has gone missing.

Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.

Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?

At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…

Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Nova Nesbitt and her four year old daughter, Lily, arrive in a small town in the middle of nowhere, desperate to escape Nora’s abusive husband. But when Nora checks on her daughter the next morning, the little girl has gone missing. Convinced her husband has already found her and has taken her daughter, Nora calls the police. Officer Ellie James attends the scene. She assumes this is a clear custody battle but after searching the log cabin and interviewing Nora, Ellie starts to wonder if Lily even exists.

This story is told through three women : Nora, the mother; Ellie, the rookie cop; and Clara, the neighbour and owner of the log cabin. Ellie seems pretty straight-forward, but both Nora and Clara come across as rather unreliable, though both for very different reasons. Clara quite obviously has something to hide, a secret she’s desperate to protect. Nora is a nervous wreck, which is understandable considering her daughter has gone missing. Yet, just like Ellie, I couldn’t help but feel there was something a tad off about her.

This well-paced and quickie read has some surprises in store. If at any point I thought this would turn out into something a bit predictable, I was quickly proven wrong. I couldn’t at all figure out if Lily was real or not. If she was, what had happened to her? If she wasn’t, what on earth was going on?

Apart from maybe one or two characters, the men in this story don’t exactly make a good impression. Ellie faces a daily struggle with her colleagues, especially after an incident involving a senior male officer. But more than that, this story deals with domestic abuse in all its ugly forms and the resilience, strength and determination of the women trying to make a change in their lives.

Without A Trace took me by surprise. It is a tense and gripping story, with quite the chilling undertone to it. It’s a story that will have you rooting for the women, while flipping the pages faster and faster to reach the conclusion. I had no idea where things would end up and the author kept me guessing until the end. Without A Trace is a twisty and suspenseful book that will keep you on your toes.

Without A Trace is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Carissa Ann Lynch resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with her husband, three children, and a massive collection of books. She has a degree in psychology and worked as a counsellor. 

All The Little Lies by Chris Curran | @Christi_Curran @KillerReads | #blogtour

Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for All The Little Lies by Chris Curran! My thanks to the author for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

Author : Chris Curran
Title : All The Little Lies
Pages : n/a
Publisher : Killer Reads / Harper Collins
Publication date : February 15, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

One email is all it takes to turn Eve’s world upside down. It contains a picture of her true birth mother, Stella, and proves that Eve’s entire life with her adoptive parents has been a lie.
 
Now she must unravel the mystery of Stella’s dark past. But what Eve finds will force her to take enormous risks, which put her – and her new-born baby – in immediate danger…

| MY THOUGHTS |

After having really enjoyed Chris Currant’s previous novel, Her Deadly Secret, I was delighted to be asked to read her next offering and discover what devilish plot she came up with this time.

Eve has always known she was adopted. But when she receives an email from a friend about her birth mother, Eve’s world is completely turned upside down. Her adoptive parents have been lying to her for years and now Eve is determined to find out the truth.

And off we go on a thrilling ride with so many twists and turns, it almost left me with whiplash. There are so many questions that need answers, so many lies that need to be discovered and just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any left, up pop a few more. Nobody in this story can be trusted to tell the truth about anything.

The chapters alternate between Eve in the present day and her birth mother, Stella, in the past. Slowly but surely a picture starts to form of what happened back then and why Eve may now find herself in danger. Because some people will stop at nothing to stop the truth from coming out. Now, I must admit that the chapters filling us in on Stella’s life were the ones that really gripped me. I truly felt for her and all the things she went through and as I am an incredibly impatient person, I just wanted to get to those reveals. That’s not to say Eve’s chapters don’t make for compelling reading either. It’s just the way my brain is programmed.

There was one event I figured out but there was a heck of a lot more that I didn’t see coming at all. All The Little Lies is a well-paced and gripping read full of untrustworthy characters. Maybe not quite for those with trust issues but for those who enjoy a twisty psychological thriller, I have no doubt you’ll enjoy this one.

All The Little Lies is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

All the Little Lies is Chris Curran’s fourth psychological thriller for Harper Collins Killer Reads. She lives in East Sussex and writes, standing up, in a room with no view. When inspiration falters she finds tea (Earl Grey, hot) and a bout of ironing are very therapeutic. In breaks between books she dusts, cooks, walks by the sea and reads – but mostly reads. 

Author links : Instagram | Twitter | Website

This Week in Books (February 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 |

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them. 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

When a mysterious note arrives for six months pregnant Dr Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

One email is all it takes to turn Eve’s world upside down. It contains a picture of her true birth mother, Stella, and proves that Eve’s entire life with her adoptive parents has been a lie.

Now she must unravel the mystery of Stella’s dark past. But what Eve finds will force her to take enormous risks, which put her – and her new-born baby – in immediate danger…

To give you a clue as to how my reading week is going, I finished The Stranger late on Saturday night and started Apple Of My Eye on Monday. Looks like it’s another slow one for me. Oops.

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

Keep Your Friends Close by June Taylor @joonLT @damppebbles #blogtour #extract #excerpt #damppebblesblogtours

Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Keep Your Friends Close by June Taylor! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join! I have an extract to share with you all today but first, here is what this book is all about.

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Author : June Taylor
Title : Keep Your Friends Close
Pages :
Publisher : Killer Reads
Publication date : October 26, 2018

aboutthebook

A friend who won’t let you escape.
When Karin is taken on a romantic break by her loving partner Aaron, she can’t wait for him to propose. But her surprise weekend quickly becomes a nightmare from which she may never escape.

Who wants everything you have.
They are staying by the beach at the Midland – a grand hotel where Karin used to work. And where Karin’s dangerous and obsessive ex, whom she has been trying to leave behind for years, is waiting patiently for her to return.

Who won’t stop until your life is in ruins.
Now all of Karin’s darkest secrets are being dragged into the light and her friends are turning against her. When one of them is murdered, Karin begins to realise just how treacherous relationships can be…

extract

‘You sure you’re okay?’

The sound of Aaron’s voice snapped her back into the moment, and Karin realized she had become unbearably hot. Her dress was clinging to her and her scalp felt prickly. ‘Yeah, sorry,’ she said. She lowered the window and stuck her head out, not bothering about what it might do to her hair at this speed. ‘I was just thinking about where we might be going.’

‘You’ll soon see,’ said Aaron, holding her hair down until she came back in again and put the window up. ‘You look amazing tonight, by the way.’

‘Thanks. You don’t look too bad yourself.’

The sharp blast of air seemed to work, and Karin visualized them making plans for the future, getting their first place together. A house with a garden where children could play. A log cabin, and plenty of long grass to run around in and be wild. She would be a good mother. Stay home and spend time with her kids. There would be more than one; an only child was a miserable child. She would wrap them in love and laughter, never abandon or ignore them and definitely never send them away.

And Aaron would make a great father.

But what if he ever did find out? What then? Aaron didn’t deserve to be hurt, not again. His marriage had ended badly. Infidelity, not on his part, followed by a messy divorce.

Karin closed her eyes. When she opened them again she registered they were heading north up the M6, the sign for Morecambe having fleetingly caught her eye. ‘Erm. Are we going to the coast?’ she asked, turning quickly to look at the sign even though she knew it would have disappeared by now.

Aaron didn’t pick up on the panic in her voice. ‘We might be,’ he said, a boyish grin spreading across his face.

But the signs repeatedly said Morecambe. And after a while there it was. Marine Road West. She could see it up ahead, a building of elegant white curves. Of all the places to bring her. Why here? It was her birthday, a simple meal in Leeds would have been perfect. Couldn’t they just go back to Leeds? Couldn’t she suggest that? Was it too late to turn round?

They swung into the car park of The Midland hotel, gleaming white in all its restored Art Deco glory, and Karin felt herself shaking. As beautiful and magnificent as it was, she never intended coming back here.

Not ever.

It stood before her now like a defiant ghost, keeper of memories she didn’t want to revive. She thought she had left all this behind.

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What did Karin think she’d left behind forever? What is lurking in her past and will Aaron ever find out? If you want to find out, you can purchase your digital copy of Keep Your Friends Close now! The paperback will be published in January.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | WaterstonesGoodreads

abouttheauthor

June Taylor writes mainly psychological thrillers and YA fiction, as well as plays. In 2011 she almost won the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. The only proof of this is a back-pocket cutting from the Times that she showed to her mum!

She studied French, followed by an MA in Scriptwriting. She has done many jobs from TV promos producer to EFL and French club teacher, as well as volunteer work with Childline and the Refugee Council.

June is on the Board of Script Yorkshire and a big supporter of Leeds Big Bookend. She lives in Leeds and loves to travel to new places.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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