The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks #mustread #recommended #TheStrangerDiaries

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Author : Elly Griffiths
Title : The Stranger Diaries
Pages : 384
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : November 1, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

| MY THOUGHTS |

It’s official! Elly Griffiths can do no wrong in my eyes and has found herself a spot on my list of go-to authors. You may be familiar with Elly Griffith’s fantastic Ruth Galloway series (which I really need to get caught up on) or her equally brilliant Stephen & Mephisto series (which I also really need to get caught up on) but The Stranger Diaries is a stand-alone gothic mystery thriller type of thing and it’s bloody awesome!

I was in one of the worst reading slumps I can remember ever being in when I picked up The Stranger Diaries. However, from the minute I started reading, I didn’t look back. There is just something about Elly Griffith’s writing that completely draws me in and I was hooked from the first page, as if a spell had been cast upon me.

It all begins when Clare Cassidy’s colleague and friend, Ellie, is found murdered. Clare is a literary teacher who specialises in the works of gothic writer R.M. Holland. His story The Stranger features heavily throughout the book and often made my spine tingle. And because a line from that story is found on a note near Ellie’s body, Clare swiftly finds herself on the list of suspects.

The story is alternately told through Clare, her daughter Georgia and a detective by the name of Harbinder Kaur. Elly Griffiths manages to give all these characters incredibly distinctive voices, which I felt was particularly evident when switching from the slightly creepy The Stranger narrator to Georgia, the teenager. Harbinder is one of those characters I didn’t particularly like for the longest time. But somehow she grew on me along the way and I always love how an author manages to do that.

This gothic mystery is intensely gripping. I wouldn’t necessarily call it creepy in the OMG-I’m-so-freaked-out-I-may-wet-myself kind of way but it is rather chilling and there is a sort of threatening vibe throughout, where you feel in your bones something is coming but you’re not sure what that will be.

Obviously I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice to say The Stranger Diaries is brilliantly written and oozes atmosphere throughout. This story is utterly engrossing and absorbing and I devoured it in one glorious sitting. I absolutely loved this one and whatever is next from Elly Griffiths, myself and my grabby hands will be right there at the head of the queue.

The Stranger Diaries is available to buy in ebook and hardcover format!

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The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea | @CarolineleaLea @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 | #TheGlassWoman

Absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea today! My thanks to Jenny Platt for the invitation to join and the stunning review copy!

Author : Caroline Lea
Title : The Glass Woman
Pages : 384
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : February 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

1686, Iceland.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.

But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.

The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?

Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Oh, be still my beating historical-fiction-loving heart. This novel right here is exactly why I enjoy this genre so much! It reminded me a bit of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which you should also most definitely read if you haven’t done so already.

The Glass Woman tells the story of Rósa in 1686 Iceland. Struggling with poverty and a poorly mother, Rósa finds herself rather unexpectedly betrothed to Jón. He is the wealthy chief of another settlement and marrying him will make sure Rósa’s mother and the other villagers will be taken care of. But when Rósa joins her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur, there is no sign of a fairytale romance. Jón isn’t exactly the most loving husband and Rósa starts to wonder about his first wife. What happened to her anyway? There is a darkness hanging over this settlement and Rósa’s new home. Is she in danger?

With its short days and long nights, darkness is all around in this novel. When the snow begins to fall and you’re acutely aware of how remote this settlement actually is, you are left with an immensely chilling sense of isolation. The Glass Woman oozes atmosphere from start to finish. This story about forbidden love, fear and pretending to be someone you’re not is utterly immersive and brilliantly written. Full of superstition and suspicion, it’s perfectly paced and extremely compelling.

While there is the mystery of what happened to Jón’s first wife to solve, it was the characters who drew me in. Few of them came across as particularly likeable but this only added to the feeling of discomfort and general creepiness that runs through this novel. Just like Rósa, I wondered why the villagers were so wary of her and it was a struggle for me to figure out who to trust, if anyone. The fate of these characters was impossible to predict and while I felt the conclusion was satisfying, it almost left me a little saddened.

Haunting, beautifully atmospheric and full of complex characters, Caroline Lea’s novel captured my heart. If you enjoy historical fiction, I’m convinced it will do the same to you. I will without a doubt be keeping a firm eye on her in future.

The Glass Woman is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Caroline Lea was born and raised in Jersey. She gained a First in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University and has had poetry published in The Phoenix Anthology and An Aston Anthology, which she also co-edited. 

Author link : Twitter

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup | @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 | #blogtour #TheChestnutMan #recommended

Absolutely thrilled to bits to host a stop on the blog tour for The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup today! My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : Søren Sveistrup
Title : The Chestnut Man
Pages : 514
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Rosa Hartung is returning to her job as Minister for Social Affairs, a year since the disappearance of her twelve year-old daughter. Linus Berger, a mentally ill young man, confessed to her killing, but can’t remember where he buried her dismembered corpse.

That day a young single mother is found murdered at her home in the suburbs of Copenhagen – she’s been tortured, and one hand has been cut off. Thulin and Hess, sent to investigate the crime, arrive to find a chestnut figure hanging from a playhouse nearby.

When yet another woman is murdered, and another chestnut figure is found, Thulin and Hess begin to suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women.

Thulin and Hess are drawn into a race against time, as the murderer is on a mission that is far from over

| MY THOUGHTS |

One year after the disappearance of her daughter, Rosa Hartung returns to work as Minister for Social Affairs. Linus Berger confessed to the daughter’s killing but can apparently not remember what he did with her body, which was never found. On that same day, a young mother is found murdered at her home. The only clue is a chestnut man figure hanging nearby. It becomes clear quite early on that the killer is on a mission but is there a connection to Rosa Hartung and if so, what is it?

Enter Thulin and Hess. Thulin, a single mum, would quite like to leave the murder division behind to focus on cyber crimes. Meanwhile Hess would just rather be somewhere else entirely. He used to work at Europol in The Hague but has been forced to return to Copenhagen under a cloud. What he wants more than anything is to return to his old job, which doesn’t exactly make this investigation a priority on his list.

If you’re one of those readers who is slightly put off by high page counts, try and put that aside. Yes, this novel is more than 500 pages long but it never felt that way to me. Apart from the cramps in my hands from holding it so tightly. This is one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read. The prologue alone sent chills down my spine and had me sitting upright and paying attention from the word “go”. 

Incredibly dark and disturbing, extremely chilling, it’s one of those stories where you’re annoyed when you have to put the book down because your eyes stop cooperating. I couldn’t at all figure out who the killer was and the ultimate reveal left me spinning. But that was nothing compared to the emotions I went through when I discovered why the killer is such a damaged individual. The Chestnut Man has everything. From a fantastic setting, to intriguing characters; from gruesome murders to a rather heartbreaking backstory, it is just intensely engrossing and compelling.

Soren Sveistrup is an acclaimed scriptwriter and I felt that really showed in The Chestnut Man. There’s something about the way he sets a scene that makes it incredibly easy to see it play out right in front of your eyes, as if you were watching a film. The Chestnut Man is his debut novel and, goodness gracious me, what an absolute belter it is. If you like your crime thrillers, this needs to go onto your list right now! I have no doubt you’ll be seeing it again in my “best of” at the end of the year and I’ll be recommending it until I’m blue in the face!

The Chestnut Man is available to buy!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UKKobo | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Søren Sveistrup is an internationally acclaimed scriptwriter of the Danish television phenomenon The Killing which won various international awards and sold in more than a hundred countries. More recently, Sveistrup wrote the screenplay for Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman.

Sveistrup obtained a Master in Literature and in History from the University of Copenhagen and studied at the Danish Film School. He has won countless prizes, including an Emmy for Nikolaj and Julie and a BAFTA for The Killing.

A Promise To The Dead by Victoria Jenkins | @vivwritescrime @bookouture

Absolutely thrilled to join the blog tour A Promise To The Dead by Victoria Jenkins today! My thanks to Team Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

Author : Victoria Jenkins
Title : A Promise To The Dead
Series : Detectives King & Lane #4
Pages : n/a
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : January 21, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On a dark night, on a mountain road, a young couple, Matthew and Stacey, are on their way home from a night out. Their car breaks down and Matthew leaves to look for help. By the next morning, Stacey is found murdered in the car and Matthew is missing, presumed guilty of her murder.

Called to the scene, Detective Alex King and her team soon see some terrifying links – to another local young man who is missing, and to the discovery of a body from 30 years ago. 

Alex knows that the missing and the dead have a story to tell her. But will she hear it in time to uncover the killer before they strike again? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Matthew and his girlfriend Stacey are driving along a dark and quiet mountain road when their car breaks down. Matthew goes to find help, leaving Stacey alone in the car. But by the next morning, Stacey is dead and Matthew is nowhere to be found.

But that is not all and the team is overwhelmed with various cases landing on their desks all at once. Because on top of Stacey’s murder and Matthew’s disappearance, there is another missing person and the discovery of a body under a patio. There are few clues, a bit of frustration and lots of dead-ends. I too couldn’t see the forest for the trees and Victoria Jenkins managed to keep me guessing until the end, as always. As I’ve come to expect, there is some seriously heartbreaking stuff in this storyline, which left me with a massive lump in my throat. True to form, Victoria Jenkins manages to to make the reader sympathise with just about every character you meet, and that includes the ones who are committing a crime.

A Promise to the Dead had me hooked from the first page. It had me flipping the pages faster and faster, sitting on the edge of my seat with my heartbeat racing from the nail-biting tension. This is yet another insanely addictive page-turner with various layers and threads that have no problem whatsoever holding your attention throughout.

Back when I picked up the first book in the Detectives King & Lane series, The Girls in the Water, I just knew I was in for something special. There was something about Victoria Jenkins’ writing, the incredible plotting and the absolutely fantastic main female characters that got my pulse racing. Every book since then just got better and better and now here we are, at what looks like it might be the last one. For now, at least.

If this is to be the end, what a way to go. I’ll miss Alex and Chloë but this entire series has been the most incredible ride and I’m thrilled to have been a part of it from the very beginning. I absolutely love this series and no matter what Victoria Jenkins tackles next, I’ll be first in line!

A Promise to the Dead is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

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

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

Author links : Twitter

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

Red Snow by Will Dean | @willrdean @PtBlankBks @OneworldNews @annecater | #blogtour #RedSnow #TeamTuva #Tuva2

Thrilled to join the blog tour for Red Snow by Will Dean today! My thanks to the publisher for my fabulous review copy and to Anne Cater for the invitation to join the tour!

Author : Will Dean
Title : Red Snow
Series : Tuva Moodyson #2
Pages : 400
Publisher : Point Blank / OneWorld Publications
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

TWO BODIES
One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS
Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS
Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Ever since I finished Dark Pines last year, I’ve impatiently been awaiting this follow-up and another opportunity to hang out with the absolutely fabulous Tuva Moodyson. Let me tell you, it was most definitely worth the wait!

Nothing much seems to have happened in Gavrik since we visited it last time but that’s all about to change when Tuva Moodyson witnesses a suicide. The head of the Grimberg family jumps off the roof of their factory to his death. The Grimberg family has had its fair share of hardship throughout the years. But what would prompt a seemingly successful man to take his own life?

Then another man is found murdered. Two liquorice coins cover his eyes. Is this a message? If so, what does it mean and who is it for? With the Grimberg factory providing for most of Gavrik’s residents, could someone possibly have it in for them? And if so, why? With a new job lined up in the south, Tuva has little time to investigate the deaths and dig for some answers. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that the Grimberg family values its privacy dearly, making it look like they all have something to hide.

Nothing is quite what it seems in Red Snow. With intriguing and complex characters and a deliciously intricate plot, this novel had me staying up way too late in a desperate attempt to finish it. But I just had to know what was going on. I didn’t count on Will Dean’s devious mind though, which meant that the final pages came at me like a knockout punch to the gut that left me winded but also caused so much adrenaline to course right through me, I felt like I could have gone out and run a marathon!

Tuva is such a brilliant character. Determined, sassy, bit stubborn maybe but a female protagonist to be fiercely proud of and root for. She even managed to make me a little emotional when trying to deal with the death of her mother. There were moments where I wanted to wrap her up in a big, warm hug and tell her I completely understood and it would all be okay.

Red Snow is tense, full of suspense, gloomy and chilling. The claustrophobic atmosphere of small town living is even more intensified due to the wintery conditions and yet, I may just end up missing this community with its weird and wonderful residents. Still, in Tuva Moodyson Will Dean has created the most delightful character and I will gladly follow her wherever she goes. I can’t wait for more but in the meantime, you can be sure Red Snow will end up on my list of favourite books of the year. Bring on Tuva 3!

Red Snow is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

Author links : Twitter

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

The Rumour by Lesley Kara | @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #TheRumour

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for The Rumour by Lesley Kara today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my brilliant review copy! Make sure to also check out my dear friend Karen’s review over at My Reading Corner!

Author : Lesley Kara
Title : The Rumour
Pages : 320
Publisher : Bantam Press / Transworld Books
Publication date : December 27, 2018 (hardcover)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

| MY THOUGHTS |

A disturbing backstory and the controversial topic of convicted child killers living a normal life set the scene for this chilling psychological thriller. Who are these people, hiding behind new identities? They walk amongst us at the shops, frequent the same restaurants or even babysit our children. Is there any thought more frightening than that?

Rumour has it convicted child killer Sally McGowan has been living in the small town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally was just ten years old when she stabbed a little boy to death. That was almost fifty years ago and there have been no sightings of her. Nobody knows what Sally looks like as an adult. Could she really be living in this quiet area? Just a little gossip at the school gates quickly takes a rather more sinister turn when Joanna passes the rumour on at her book club. 

And just like that, I found myself in the middle of a tangled web that messed with my head like crazy. It felt like getting lost in a maze and needing bread crumbs to find my way back out again. The list of suspects I put together was almost as long as my arm and I couldn’t figure out at all who to trust. If anyone. It seemed like just about everyone had something to hide and poor Joanna soon wishes she had just kept her mouth shut.

The “this kept me guessing until the end” is sometimes rather overused and I’m guilty of that myself but with this novel, it’s incredibly apt. It’s incredibly refreshing not to see things coming a mile away. Lesley Kara managed to outwit me at every turn, making me suspect everyone and The Rumour left me almost breathless as the pace and tension built up.

Full of intriguing and complex characters, brilliantly written and intensely gripping, The Rumour is one of those books that is just perfect for one glorious reading session. A highly addictive page-turner with an impending sense of doom that ultimately leads to an incredibly chilling conclusion.

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that The Rumour managed to sneak in on my list of favourite books of the year as a last minute addition and this remarkably exciting debut by Lesley Kara has me eagerly awaiting what she comes up with next

The Rumour is available in ebook format now! The hardcover will be published on December 27th, with the paperback to follow in July.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She completed an English degree and PGCE at Greenwich University, having previously worked as a nurse and a secretary, and then became a lecturer and manager in Further Education.

Lesley has relocated to a small town on the North Essex coast, where she is currently working on her second novel.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott | @RachelAbbott @Wildfirebks| #blogtour #bookreview #AndSoItBegins

I am absolutely delighted to close down the blog tour for And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : And So It Begins
Pages : 400
Publisher : Wildfire
Publication date : November 15, 2018

So this is how it ends. It is clear to me now: one of us has to die.

Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As Evie stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

I am a huge fan of Rachel Abbott’s brilliant DI Tom Douglas series and always impatiently await a new book by her. And So It Begins marks a departure though. Not only is it a psychological thriller, it is also Rachel Abbott’s first traditionally published novel and I was so excited to read it that I didn’t even bother checking out the description. I went in completely blind with no clue whatsoever as to what the story was actually about. 

Let me tell you right now, this book has more twists than a bowl of pasta! With such a devious plot, it’s no wonder I was glued to the pages, desperately trying to figure out what the outcome would be. Once again, it also becomes increasingly apparent to me that characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable for a storyline to completely hold me in its clutches. 

Full of lies, deceit and secrets, And So It Begins had my head spinning from start to finish. Who is a reliable narrator? Who can be trusted? What really happened and why? So many questions in need of an answer and while I had a tiny inkling about some of it, I couldn’t see the full picture at all. Add some delicious courtroom action and loyalties shifting all over the place and you have one humdinger of a psychological thriller. And that’s all I’m saying as I’m too worried I’ll give something away.

Psychological thrillers are often hit and miss for me but once in a while, I stumble upon a gem that restores my faith in the genre and to me, And So It Begins is definitely that. It’s infinitely clever, brilliantly written and without a doubt one of my top books of the year. If I wasn’t a fan of Rachel Abbott’s writing already, I definitely would be now and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. 

And So It Begins is available to buy!

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

Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks. Since then, she has published five further psychological thrillers, plus a novella, and sold over 2.75 million copies.

She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store (published and self-published), and her novels have been translated into 21 languages.

This is her first traditional publishing deal, though she’s been approached many times.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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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