Inborn by Thomas Enger | @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #Inborn #recommended

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Inborn by Thomas Enger. My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Thomas Enger [trs Kari Dickson]
Title : Inborn
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : February 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock… for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously… and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.

As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect? It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Some of you may remember that I was a huge fan of Thomas Enger’s Henning Juul series, which sadly came to an end a while back. Sniff. I’m okay. Whew. Deep breath. Anyway, since then I’ve been rather impatiently awaiting what he would come up with next and the wait is finally over. Could Thomas Enger meet my slightly high expectations?

Now, admittedly I was a bit worried about Inborn because I kept seeing mention of YA (Young Adult for the uninitiated amongst us) everywhere and I’m a lot closer to SA (Senior Adult). So close in fact I barely remember my young adult days. But of course I shouldn’t have been worried at all! While Inborn is based on a YA novel Thomas Enger wrote a few years ago, it has been completely rewritten to appeal to a wider audience.

The small Norwegian village of Fredheim is shocked to the core when two of its teenagers are found dead in the high school. Soon fingers everywhere are pointing at seventeen year old Even. As Even tries to unravel the truth himself, he realises quite a lot of the residents in Fredheim have secrets they are desperate to hide. Does what happened at the school have its roots in the past? Who can Even trust? And can the reader trust him?

Small town murder mysteries will always be one of my most favourite things and when you throw in some courtroom drama, let’s just say : good luck trying to prise this book out of my hands! Switching seamlessly between the past and the present, I was utterly hooked from beginning to end. The plot is set up in such a remarkable way, which each chapter almost ending on a cliffhanger, that I couldn’t stop reading even if I wanted to.

When we meet Even, he is in the docks during a trial. He’s being questioned, forced to think back to the previous months and the night of the murders, until layer after layer we get to the truth. Being fed little pieces of information like this is such a joy. The detective in me (the really bad one because she often gets it wrong) couldn’t help but try and figure things out, pick up little clues along the way but Thomas Enger kept me guessing until the end. Along the way, we meet a cast of extremely fascinating characters : from Even’s struggling mother, to his uncle Imo, to the detective heading the murder investigation whom I just wanted to wrap up in a big hug.

Thomas Enger is one of those authors who just gets me excited but I can never quite pin down why. There’s something about his style of writing (captivating), something about the way he creates multi-layered and believable characters , and the compelling atmosphere he comes up with time and time again that has me utterly absorbed and desperately wanting more. I knew from the minute I read the first page that I was in for another treat. So yes, this is without a doubt another brilliantly written, suspenseful and hugely addictive page-turner! Slightly high expectations effortlessly met and even exceeded and I do really, really want more!

Inborn is available to buy!

Affiliate linkBookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date.

In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has co- written a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. 

Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

This Week in Books (February 20)

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 |

TWO GIRLS GO TO A PARTY, ONLY ONE RETURNS ALIVE

Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .

Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.

And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.
Each one of them is someone’s daughter and the police must give their familiar justice and closure.

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.

[Technically, I listened to this one but that still counts, right? 😂]

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Someone is trying to destroy the evidence of history’s greatest crimes.

Academics and Holocaust survivors dead in mysterious circumstances. Museums and libraries burning. Digital records and irreplaceable proofs, lost for ever.

Former White House operative Maggie Costello has sworn off politics. But when the Governor of Virginia seeks her help to stop the lethal spiral of killings, she knows that this is bigger than any political game.

As Black Lives Matter protestors clash with slavery deniers, America is on a knife-edge and time is running out. This deadly conspiracy could ignite a new Civil War – but who stands to gain most from the chaos? 

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock… for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously… and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.

As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect? It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him?

What are you reading this week? Let me know! I can always use recommendations! Happy reading! xx

Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz | @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join! Today, I have an extract to share with you from this next instalment in the Chastity Riley series, but first, here is what the book is all about.

Author : Simone Buchholz (trs Rachel Ward)
Title : Beton Rouge
Series : Chastity Riley
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : February 21, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of the biggest German newspapers. Closer inspection shows he is a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in similar circumstances.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the elite world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

| EXTRACT |

DOG EAT DOG WORLD

The rain creates walls in the night. Falling from the sky, they are like mirrors, reflecting and warping the blue light from the police car. Everything spins.

The street emerges from the darkness and loses itself between the harbour lights, and there – right in the middle, just where it suddenly drops downhill – is where it happened: a cyclist.

She’s lying, twisted, on the asphalt, her strawberry-blonde hair forming a delicate pool around her head. Her pale dress is awash with blood; the blood seems to be flowing from her side, staining the concrete red. There’s a black shoe – some kind of ballet flat – on her right foot and no skin at all on her left. The bike’s lying a few feet away on a grass verge, as if it’s been ditched.

The woman isn’t moving; only her ribcage twitches desperately, as if to rise and fall, but then it doesn’t move at all. Her body is trying to take in air from somewhere.

Two paramedics are leaning over and talking to her, but it doesn’t look as though they’re getting through. It doesn’t look as though anything’s getting through any more. Death is about to give her a ride.

Two police officers are cordoning off the accident site, shadows dancing on their faces. Now and then, a car comes past and drives slowly around her. The people in the cars don’t want to look too closely.

The paramedics do things to their paramedic cases; then they close them, stand up. That must be it, then.
So, thinks God, looking industrious, that’s that. He picks up his well-chewed pencil, crosses the cyclist off , and wonders whose life he could play football with next.

I think: I’m not on duty. I’m just on my way to the nearest pub.
But as I’m here.
‘Hello,’ I say.
What else was I supposed to say?

‘Move along, please,’ says the more solid of the two policemen. He’s pulled his cap right down over his face; raindrops are glittering on his black moustache. The other has his back to me and is on his phone.

‘I certainly can,’ I say, ‘or I can stay and take care of a few things.’ I hold out my hand. ‘Chastity Riley, public prosecutor.’

‘Ah, OK.’

He takes my hand but doesn’t shake it. I feel as though he’s holding it. Because that’s what you do at times like this, when someone’s just died – because a tiny bit of all of us dies along with them and so everything’s a bit shaky. The big policeman and I seem suddenly involved in a relationship of mutual uncertainty.

‘Dirk Kammann,’ he says. ‘Davidwache Station. My colleague’s on the phone to our CID.’

‘OK,’ I say.
‘OK,’ he says, letting go of my hand.
‘Hit-and-run?’ I ask.
‘Looks like it. She hardly drove over her own belly.’
I nod, he nods; we stop talking but stand side by side a while longer.

When the dark-blue saloon draws up with the CID guys from the Davidwache, I say goodbye and go, but I look back round before turning the corner. There’s a grey veil over the brightly lit scene, and it’s not the rain; for once it’s not even the persistent rain that falls in my head. This isn’t my personal charcoal grey; it’s a universal one.

I call Klatsche and tell him that there’s nothing doing tonight. That I don’t feel like the pub.
Then I go home, sit by the window and stare into the night.
The moon looks like it feels sick.

If this extract has left you wanting more, you can grab yourself a copy of the ebook right now. The UK paperback is set to be published on February 21st.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award, and second place in the German Crime Fiction Prize, for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months.

She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb | @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #DeepDirtyTruth #TeamLori

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for my review copy and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join the tour!

Author : Steph Broadribb
Title : Deep Dirty Truth
Series : Lori Anderson #3
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 24, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

A price on her head. A secret worth dying for. Just 48 hours to expose the truth…

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them.

If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Clammy hands, pulse racing, energy tank empty. Am I ill? No! These are the symptoms of the aftermath of reading Deep Dirty Truth because Lori Anderson is back with a BANG!

In this third instalment, Lori is forced to make a deal with the devil. I mean, the mob. This would be the Old Man, who’s been after Lori since her husband Tommy died. If it wasn’t clear from this little tidbit, you should really read the previous books if you haven’t done so already. Anyway, the FBI have the mob’s “numbers man”, Carlton North, in custody. If Lori can find him and bring him back to the mob’s compound, the price on her head and the heads of JT and Dakota will be removed.

Cue a bunch of backstabbing, lies and deceit. I mean, if you can’t trust the mob, who can you trust? Oh … wait. Never mind. From quite early on, you’re left with this sinking feeling of “this is not going to go well”. And guess what? It doesn’t! But what a bloody awesome and thrilling ride it is! The mob, gators, high-speed boat chases, kayaks, shoot-outs … what more could you possibly want?!

Deep Dirty Truth is action-packed from the word go! There were times I felt like asking for a time-out so I could have a moment to catch my breath. Yet, with a heartbeat going faster and faster and hands gripping the book ever tighter, I couldn’t stop reading. It left me utterly exhausted but oh so incredibly satisfied.

Lori remains one of the most awesome female main characters in the book world right now. She’s fierce, determined, resourceful and quick to think on her feet. She is always able to pull herself back up after being knocked down, ready to kick some serious ass and always ready to do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Speaking of her family, I love how the relationship between JT and Dakota is developing. Such a pleasure to behold and it often put a huge smile on my face.

This series has been a total blast from the very first book and Deep Dirty Truth is without a doubt THE BEST ONE YET! Oh yes! I said it! Fast-paced, with characters to get invested in and root for and edge-of-your-seat action galore, this is sheer entertainment of the highest level! Stock up on snacks and maybe an oxygen tank and enjoy the rollercoaster ride! Your legs may feel like jelly at the end of it, but it’ll be worth it!

Deep Dirty Truth is available to buy in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published on January 24th!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA.

As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls.

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrillers. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.

Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good
Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

This Week in Books (January 16)

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 |

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs.

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing.

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Emily Jacobs, a nurse, is in hospital for a minor operation. When she wakes in the night, woozy with anaesthetic, she sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her. In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. The bed has been empty all along . . .

When Emily returns to work she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. Soon, she becomes convinced that her colleagues at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret. 

What if she’s wrong? What if her own troubled past has affected her more than she knows?

But what if she’s right? 

What else could they be capable of?

Looks like I’m in for some great treats again this week! What about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski | @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #Changeling #RandomThingsTours #recommended

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the review copy and to Anne Cater for the invitation to join the tour!

Author : Matt Wesolowski
Title : Changeling
Series : Six Stories #3
Pages : 194
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 15, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.

Elusive online journalist Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…

| MY THOUGHTS |

If you go out in the woods today …

Bloody hell! Like, seriously! WHAT?! I said it last time and I’ll say it again, Matt Wesolowski’s books are just impossible to review! My vocabulary doesn’t stretch far enough to find the words to describe the sheer level of awesomeness this author comes up with time and time again.

If you’re not familiar with the Six Stories series (OMG WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!), it’s centred around a true crime podcast in which Scott King investigates cold cases. This time around, the focus is on seven year old Alfie Marsden who disappeared thirty years ago and was never found. Alfie was officially declared dead in 1995 but questions remain. Now, via six stories from six different sources, will the answers surrounding Alfie’s disappearance finally be found and will we learn what happened to this little boy all those years ago?

This is one of those stories that worms its way under your skin, one that will just not let you go. Dark, disturbing and chilling, Changeling had my heartbeat racing throughout and I was gripping the pages so tightly that my knuckles turned white! This tremendously addictive page-turner is insanely thought-provoking and also absolutely terrifying, though possibly not in the way you might expect. Monsters are real. Also, I’m never stepping foot into a forest ever again!

With a fantastic plot that kept me on tenterhooks and even managed to leave me with a lump in my throat, Changeling is without a doubt fiction from the top shelf and worthy of all the stars and praise I can possibly shower it with. Matt Wesolowski deftly guides the reader through a realistic and, sadly, believable scenario and if that wasn’t marvellous enough, ends up sucker punching you in the final pages, leaving your head utterly spinning. You, sir, are a genius!

Changeling was one of my most anticipated releases this year. Thank goodness it was published this month or I may have just spontaneously combusted. Matt Wesolowski has most definitely done it again and Changeling is the best one in the series yet. Considering the brilliance of its two predecessors, that’s really saying something. I would undoubtedly like some more, please! In the meantime, you can be sure you’ll be seeing this book again when I compile my list of top books of the year in December.

Changeling is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. 

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015. His subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2016 with follow-up ‘Hydra’ published in the winter of 2017.

‘Six Stories’ has been optioned by a major Hollywood studio.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

Some of my most anticipated books of 2019

At the end of last year, I mentioned doing a post focusing on some of my most anticipated releases for the new year. Since then, it seems everyone and their dog has done a post like that so obviously my idea wasn’t as original as I thought it was. Anyway, I decided to share this list regardless and hopefully you’ll find something that will pique your interest.

Listed by publication date for digital and hardcover copies.

| JANUARY |

Steve Cavanagh – Twisted
Matt Wesolowski – Changeling
Will Dean – Red Snow
Steph Broadribb – Deep Dirty Truth
Diane Setterfield – Once Upon A River

| FEBRUARY |

Angela Marsons – Dead Memories
Jo Spain – Dirty Little Secrets
Stacey Halls – The Familiars
Louise Beech – Call Me Star Girl
C.J. Tudor – The Taking of Annie Thorne
Alex Michaelides – The Silent Patient

| APRIL |

Gillian McAllister – The Evidence Against You

| MAY |

Stuart MacBride – All That’s Dead
Alison Weir – Anna of Kleve : Queen of Secrets
Sarah Hilary – Never Be Broken
Melanie Golding – Little Darlings

| JUNE |

Karin Slaughter – The Last Widow
Alex North – The Whisper Man

| JULY |

Riley Sager – Lock Every Door

| UNKNOWN |

Sharon Bolton – The Poisoner

This is a weird one but I’ve included it anyway. I could have sworn the original publication date was May but Amazon now lists it as December 2020, which quite frankly I refuse to believe because I WANT IT NOW!

Honourable mention to Johana Gustawsson and the third book in the Roy & Castells series.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a great bookish year once again! Which book(s) are you looking forward to the most? Do let me know and I hope you’ve found something in this list that caught your eye. Happy reading! xx

My Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2018

What an absolutely amazing year for books it has been! 

Just like last year, I thought splitting things up between series and stand-alones would help narrow down the list but nope. A Top 10 was never going to happen here. Despite the fact that my reading mojo was up and down like a bloody yo-yo all year, I still managed to read 250 books. Sure, that’s 50 less than last year but do I care? Clue : no, I don’t 😉

Anyway, I present to you My Top 20 Favourite (stand-alone) Reads of 2018. With apologies to the authors/books I had to drop from the list.

In no particular order, except for the Top 5, here we go!

Phoebe Locke – The Tall Man [my review]
Louise Voss – The Old You [my review]
Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs [my review]
Mark Edwards – The Retreat [my review]

Ane Riel – Resin [no review]
Joanna Cannon – Three Things About Elsie [no review]
Gillian McAllister – No Further Questions [my review]
Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest [my review]

Lesley Kara – The Rumour [review to follow]
Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her [my review]
SJI Holliday – The Lingering [my review]
Elly Griffiths – The Stranger Diaries [review to follow]

Gill Paul – The Lost Daughter [my review]
Louise Beech – The Lion Tamer Who Lost [my review]
Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance [my review]

Top 5

5. C.J. Tudor – The Chalk Man [my review]
4. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway [my review]
3. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep [my review]
2. Elizabeth Haynes – The Murder of Harriet Monckton [my review]

My favourite book of the year is …

I don’t think this comes as a huge surprise. When I read this back in February, I said it would take something insanely special to knock this off the top spot. Skin Deep and Harriet Monckton came awfully close but in the end, “Agatha Christie on crack” won out. [my review]

A massive thank you to all the authors, publishers and Netgalley for making 2018 so spectacular! And to you, my fellow bloggers and readers, huge thanks for the support, for visiting and for commenting! ❤️

Good Samaritans by Will Carver | @will_carver @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #GoodSamaritans #SixBottlesofBleach #bookreview #RandomThingsTours

Delighted to join the blog tour for Good Samaritans by Will Carver today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for my fab review copy!

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Author : Will Carver
Title : Good Samaritans
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 27, 2018 (ebook) | November 15, 2018 (paperback)

aboutthebook

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs.

A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.

But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups.

And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…

And someone is watching…

mythoughts

Have you ever finished the last page of a book and thought to yourself “what the heck did I just read?”.

Meet the weirdly wonderful brain of author Will Carver and his book Good Samaritans. Boy, oh boy, this one will mess with your head like no other.

It’s also quite a hard one to review without giving anything away. The story is mainly told via four different characters. All flawed, all carrying tons of baggage, all lonely in their own little ways and all trying to find ways to cope.

Ant works for the Samaritans hotline. Maeve drinks. (I approve 😂) Seth struggles with insomnia and has the oddest hobby ever as every night, he picks up the phone and randomly calls a stranger asking them if they’d like to talk. Most don’t. Some do. Note to self : never answer the phone again. But Hadley does. Uh oh.

The short chapters urge you to keep on reading, making Good Samaritans incredibly hard to put down. There’s a tense vibe throughout, a threat of something dark and disturbing that oozes from the pages. It’s edgy, original, bit dirty (think the kind of thing that would have made you blush fiercely if your parents had walked in on you reading this) and brings the word “dysfunctional” to a whole other level.

Good Samaritans is a belter of a crime thriller / serial killer / domestic noir kind of combination and the characterisation is immensely engrossing. It’s one of those stories I can’t stop thinking about, going over things in my head, wondering what I missed and I’m obviously struggling to put it into words as well. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read and you just really need to experience this one for yourselves.

This is my first time reading a book by Will Carver, whose brain must quite frankly be the most scary place ever, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last time.

Good Samaritans is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

Author links :  Twitter

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The Lingering by S.J.I. Holliday | @SJIHolliday @orendabooks @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #TheLingering #RandomThingsTours #recommended

I’m absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for The Lingering by SJI Holliday today! Huge thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the fabulous review copy!

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Author : SJI Holliday
Title : The Lingering
Pages : 300
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 15, 2018 (ebook) | November 15, 2018 (paperback)

aboutthebook

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient spiritual commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

mythoughts

I don’t normally read scary stories because I’m a big fat wuss and I was slightly worried, that just like with scary movies, I’d be hiding behind my sofa or have my face buried in a pillow which would make reading rather difficult. Luckily though, I wouldn’t quite label this one as a scary read. Creepy? Absolutely! Chilling? Right to the bone!

The Lingering oozes atmosphere from the very first page, almost like a movie scene. Driving a car down a driveway, seeing a house loom up in front of you for the first time. Not just any house though for this place used to be a mental asylum and if there’s any setting more exciting than that one, I haven’t discovered it yet. Who knows what secrets are hidden in the walls and the shadows?

Married couple Jack and Ali leave behind everything they’ve ever known to move into Rosalind House and be part of a commune. It’s relatively obvious from the start that all is not well with these two. Their arrival at Rosalind House sets in motion a series of unexplained events. But who or what is responsible? Obviously I can’t tell you that but I will say this is one tense, suspenseful and thrilling ride. I wasn’t at all sure of the outcome, couldn’t see how things would end up but found the conclusion absolutely satisfying.

Part domestic thriller, past ghost story The Lingering had me absolutely hooked. Talk about a gripping read, hoo boy! I couldn’t get a feel for any of the characters at all which just added to this sense of unease that I found quite hard to let go of, even hours after finishing the book. On top of that, we are treated to diary chapters written by a doctor who used to work at the psychiatric institution and in an odd sort of way, those frightened me more than anything because they felt incredibly realistic and believable in showing what human beings are capable of.

The Lingering is one dark and disturbing read. With a brilliantly executed plot and complex characters, this haunting tale will linger (see what I did there?) in your mind for days. I have no doubt you’ll see this one pop up near the end of the year on my list of books of 2018.

PS : Do not read in the bathtub. You’ll thank me later.

The Lingering is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk andThe Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December.

Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls and has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’

She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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