29 Seconds by T.M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor @BonnierZaffre

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Author : T.M. Logan
Title : 29 Seconds
Pages : 432
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : January 25, 2018

aboutthebook

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

mythoughts

What a way to turn a simple premise about an intolerable boss completely on its head.

Sarah works at the local university but things aren’t going well for her. She’s consistently being passed over for promotion and her creepy boss has made it quite clear that her circumstances will only change if she sleeps with him. Her boss’ reputation is a well known secret all around campus but he brings in lots of money and the dean refuses to rock that particular boat. Sadly, Sarah’s situation is highly realistic and believable. It’s also incredibly frustrating and makes you angry at the injustice of it all.

So, what if you were given the opportunity to get rid of someone who’s making your life utterly miserable in every way? When Sarah rescues the daughter of a dangerous criminal, he offers to repay the debt the only way he knows how to. And all it takes is a simple 29 seconds long phone call.

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.

Oooh, moral dilemma. Now, okay, maybe this is a tad far-fetched and it requires suspending belief for a bit but it’s also incredibly thrilling and it makes you think. That old adage of “what would you do?”. Because as it says in the book description, we all have a name to give, don’t we? Will she? Or won’t she? You’ll have find out for yourself.

This is one rollercoaster ride of suspense that had me guessing until the end. I was rooting for Sarah all the way, wondering what she would do, thinking things through with her. 29 Seconds is one of those books where you find yourself swiping the pages faster and faster, desperately needing to know the outcome. T.M. Logan has delivered another hugely entertaining, tense and gripping psychological thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed his previous offering Lies, but in my opinion, this one is even better and I very much look forward to more from this author!

29 Seconds will be published on January 25th.

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

 

The Silent Girls by Dylan Young @dyoungwrites @bookouture #blogblast

Happy publication day to Dylan Young and welcome to the blog blast for The Silent Girls! Many thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the opportunity to join and the review copy, received via Netgalley. Here’s what this corker of a book is all about.

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Author : Dylan Young
Title : The Silent Girls
Series : Detective Anna Gwynne #1
Pages : 309
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : January 19, 2018

aboutthebook

When a young girl disappears from the edge of the local forest, the Gloucestershire police are convinced she’s been taken by the same killer who stabbed to death beautiful, young Emily Risman eighteen years ago. They’re desperate to finally have the evidence to put him away. To save another girl before it’s too late.

Only Detective Anna Gwynne thinks he isn’t the real killer.

Anna can’t find proof and as time is running out, she realises she needs to get inside the killer’s twisted mind. And she knows just who to ask. Hector Shaw, in prison for killing the six men who caused his own daughter’s death.

Can Anna get what she needs from Hector before another life is lost, or could he lead her down a path that puts her own life in grave danger?

mythoughts

Eighteen years ago, a young girl was found murdered on the edge of the Forest of Dean. Neville Cooper was arrested and has spent all this time in prison. But now he’s been released, pending a retrial. Detective Anna Gwynne and her team are tasked to investigate this cold case but then another murder happens. Coincidence or not? The local police force is convinced Cooper is the killer and determined to prove they’re right but Anna thinks they’re looking at the wrong person.

The Silent Girls pulled me in from the start and just wouldn’t let go. This is an incredibly gripping page-turner with a cast of truly fabulous characters. Especially Hector Shaw, who’s in prison for killing the men who caused his own daughter’s death. Like a true psychopath, he plays games with Anna and he’s one of those characters that just gets right under your skin, making it crawl, maybe even make you feel a little dirty and in need of a long shower. And yet, utterly fascinating and I do so hope there’s more from Hector in the next instalments.

I must say I love the whole concept of cold cases. Investigating a cold case is so different from a current one. Laboratories used back in the day may not be around anymore and who even knows where all the paperwork is. Original detectives may have retired or passed away as is the same for any witnesses. What possible clues could there be at a crime scene that has changed so much over the years? And who even remembers where they were or what they were doing some twenty odd years ago? But science has made progress in leaps and bounds with DNA testing, for example, being much more accurate and reliable.

The investigation itself is a thrill a minute and I found the book really hard to put down. Incredibly compelling, it had me hooked and the ultimate conclusion left me reeling. I didn’t see that coming at all! This is a fantastic start to a new series and I can’t wait for the next book!

The Silent Girls is published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | KoboGoodreads

abouttheauthor

Dylan Young was born in a mining village in the Swansea valley in Wales where he attended primary and secondary schools. In 1974, he was offered a place at Medical school in London and qualified in 1979. Medicine and a family followed, but writing as Dylan Jones, he published 4 novels in the nineties, two of which were filmed by the BBC. In 2011, Random House re-released two of the books in the Natalie Vine series as ebooks.

Dylan Jones now writes children’s fiction as Rhys A Jones and contemporary urban fantasy as DC farmer. But crime never went away. The first in his new series featuring Detective Inspector Anna Gwynne, is due for release in January 2018. Two more books will follow.

Dylan Lives with his wife in West Wales where the landscape (and the weather!) provide ample inspiration for his books.

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The Silent Girls - Blog Tour

The Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan @Lisalregan @bookouture #blogtour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan! Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the opportunity and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. Here’s what the book is all about.

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Author : Lisa Regan
Title : Vanishing Girls
Series : Detective Josie Quinn #1
Pages : 334
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : January 17, 2018

aboutthebook

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

mythoughts

Vanishing Girls is the first instalment in a new detective series by Lisa Regan and as far as firsts go, you can’t ask for much more than this!

Josie Quinn has been suspended from her job as a detective in Denton, PA. But that won’t stop her sticking her nose into the search for seventeen year old Isabelle Coleman, who disappeared from her home. The investigation is slow-going and unearths another girl nobody even knew was missing in the first place. Josie is determined to find Isabelle but there are dark forces at play and she may be getting a lot more than she bargained for.

As far as main characters go, Josie is a strong and kick-ass lady. She’s flawed, damaged and there’s an intriguing background story that I hope will be explored further in future but she’s also stubborn, fierce, not afraid to pull any punches and has the uncanny ability to often find herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. There’s also the perfect balance between her professional and personal life as she deals with the break-up of her marriage and tries to move on with her new partner.

Denton has this fantastic small town vibe, which I enjoy immensely. Everybody seems to know everybody and their business, or do they? Josie quickly finds herself questioning everyone and everything as her search for Isabelle reveals a disturbing and harrowing town secret. Some events may make for some uncomfortable reading although it’s not too gruesomely detailed.

I’m not at all familiar with Lisa Regan’s work but with Vanishing Girls, she delivers a gripping and compelling story that had me hooked from start to finish, putting my faith into the wrong people, not trusting the ones I maybe should have and always second-guessing everything. This is a fantastic start to a new series and I very much look forward to reading more about Josie.

The Vanishing Girls is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

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Author : Teresa Driscoll
Title : I Am Watching You
Pages : 302
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : October 1, 2017

aboutthebook

What would it take to make you intervene?

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

mythoughts

This is one of those stories that will hook you right from the beginning.

Ella is traveling on a train when two young girls are approached by two men. There’s some banter and flirting and Ella doesn’t really make anything of it until she realises the two men have just been released from prison. As a mother, she feels she should notify someone but this doesn’t happen. And when Ella wakes up the next morning, it transpires that one of the young girls, Anna, has gone missing.

The story then picks up again a year later. Anna is still missing but with an anniversary appeal around the corner, will the truth about what happened to her finally come to light? It seems quite a few people are hiding something and even Anna’s friend, Sarah, never quite told the full story. Some characters I could sympathise with, some maybe a little less so. The premise is highly realistic, believable and thought-provoking. What would you have done if you’d been Ella?

I really enjoyed the way this plot was constructed, with chapters switching back and forth between friend, father, witness and private investigator. All of these characters are affected by Anna’s disappearance and in the case of witness Ella especially, that was something I’d never really considered. In an odd sort of way, life goes on and yet it also remains in limbo for her as she’s constantly questioning her actions. Would things have turned out differently if she had spoken up sooner?

Someone out there knows the truth and is threatening Ella but with secrets and lies galore, I couldn’t figure it out at all. Throw in some twists and turns, a red herring or two and you have one outstanding and gripping psychological thriller.

This is my first introduction to author Teresa Driscoll, who has made quite a name for herself in women’s fiction. But this is her first step towards a more darker side and it promises quite a lot for the future. I look forward to what’s next!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads

Assassins Vengeance by Rachel Amplett @RachelAmphlett

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Author : Rachel Amphlett
Title : Assassins Vengeance
Series : The English Spy Mysteries #2
Pages : 186a
Publisher : Saxon Publishing
Publication date : January 14, 2018

aboutthebook

Eva and her fractured team are on the run, desperate to find answers and uncover who has betrayed them from within the shadowy government organisation known only as the Section.

Evading assassination in Berlin and Prague, Eva has had time to regroup and try to solve the mystery behind the attempts on her life.

But her enemies are one step ahead of her, eliminating anything and anyone who stands in their way.

Hell hath no fury like a woman who’s been shot at and survived … twice.

mythoughts

Cor, this story is not letting up or giving you a chance to breathe!

In case you were wondering, no, you can’t read this as a stand-alone and it’s obviously quite hard to review this since it’s basically the middle section of a book and pretty much anything I can tell you will be spoilers for the previous episode.

Eva is on the run, trying to keep herself and Alex safe, while also attempting to figure out who’s after them. But traveling around Europe, it seems someone is a step ahead of her and there are few people left to trust. Meanwhile, Miles is questioning the loyalty of those around and above him and sets out on his own investigation which also has a few surprises in store.

In this episode, we get some information about how Eva ended up with the Section and the assignment that forced her to go into hiding. There are some fabulous reveals in this episode that I didn’t see coming at all. I felt the pace was a little slower in this one but there was still enough action to keep me hooked. And once again, the story cuts off at the perfect moment, leaving you wanting more which is exactly what a great cliffhanger should do.

I said it in my review for Assassins Hunted last week and I’ll say it again now : I absolutely love this concept that Rachel Amphlett is exploring. These episodes are relatively quickly to read and yet so much happens that you feel like you’ve read an entire book. All in all, a brilliant spy story by a fantastic thriller author. I can’t wait to read the final instalment next week!

My thanks to Rachel Amphlett for the review copy!

Assassins Vengeance is published today! Episode 3 will be available next Sunday!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Goodreads

 

Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks @annecater #DeepBlueTrouble #blogtour

I’m delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb today! Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join and my review copy!

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Author : Steph Broadribb
Title : Deep Blue Trouble
Series : Lori Anderson #2
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 5, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT—Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything—alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson “The Fish” Fletcher, and JT walks free.

Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything.

mythoughts

Around this time last year, I read Deep Down Dead, the first Lori Anderson book. I remember it left me absolutely exhausted from the relentless action but also thrilled to know there would be more from Lori and that time has finally come. So, yes, once again I had insanely high expectations and I was not disappointed because this one is even better!

Deep Blue Trouble picks up one week after events from the previous book. With JT in jail, Lori cuts a deal with Special Agent Alex Monroe. He needs her to bring back an escaped convict, Gibson Fletcher. If Lori is successful, JT will be set free. But things are a lot murkier than they seem.

Lori has little choice though. JT is hardly safe in jail, especially with The Old Man still intent on revenge for the murder of Lori’s husband, Tommy. Lori needs to deal with the distraction and the worry while doing her job. Things don’t go so well for her when she’s forced to work with a team. As JT always tells her, don’t trust anyone. But when things get dangerous, will anyone have Lori’s back?

It’s so refreshing to have such an amazing protagonist as Lori. Mom and bounty hunter, kicking ass and taking numbers and fiercely standing her ground in a predominantly male environment, never giving up even when the odds aren’t in her favour. And all the while making sure her daughter is safe. She’s the kind of woman every little girl should look up to, a far better role model than some I won’t name. Sure, she makes mistakes but that just makes her more realistic and very little warms my heart as much as her relationship with Dakota.

Steph Broadribb has delivered another cracking story. Deep Blue Trouble is an incredibly hard-hitting and action-packed adventure that had me on the edge of my seat. The suspenseful plot had me hooked from start to finish, trying to unravel the threads and fearing for the lives of those involved. These books would make such great movies! They’re exciting, an adrenaline rush and yes, totally exhausting but in the most satisfying way. The ending is set up perfectly for a follow-up and I for one can’t wait!

Deep Blue Trouble is out now in ebook format and UK paperback.

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

abouttheauthor

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 http://www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases.

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. 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.

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Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker @Bookwalter @bookouture #blogblitz

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the opportunity to join!

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Author : Richard Parker
Title : Keep Her Safe
Pages : 329
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : January 11, 2018

aboutthebook

How far would you go to protect your child?

Maggie’s daughter Penny is her whole world… and she’d do anything to protect her. So when Maggie wakes one night to find a strange woman in her home, she runs to lock herself in her bedroom with her child. But Maggie knows why she’s come…

Someone has been targeting mothers and offering them a choice: do as he says or their child disappears. This stranger in her home has until dawn to follow his orders… but Maggie too has the ‘choice’ to make. Can she put the pieces together to stop the cycle before her time is up?

mythoughts

When Maggie wakes up in the middle of the night to find an intruder in her home, she knows exactly why they’re there. The stranger in her house has until dawn to carry out orders from an unknown person to keep her child safe. But Maggie isn’t just going to roll over and let them get away with it.

There is no slow build-up here. From the first page, you’re thrown right into the action. Like Maggie and Holly, you barely get a minute to wrap your head around what’s happening. The pace of this cat and mouse game is absolutely relentless as Maggie races against the clock to break an absolutely horrible cycle of events.

Richard Parker has this uncanny ability and insanely evil brain that manages to take something rather simple and turn it completely onto its head. The whole concept is quite thought-provoking. How far would you go to keep your child safe? You can’t help but feel for these two women and the emotional rollercoaster ride they’re on. But what stood out for me the most, is how a story that basically only involves two characters could be so intensely gripping.

Keep Her Safe has a complicated plot that doesn’t reveal all its secrets until the end. Who is this wicked person who’s putting these mothers in these heartbreaking situations? And why? I had no idea how this was all going to turn out. Now I must admit, that the first half of the book had me utterly hooked as the stand-off between the characters was incredibly compelling. But I found the latter part a bit less thrilling. There’s a fair bit of running around and I couldn’t quite see where things were heading or why. Admittedly, I was one of those annoying kids who was always asking “Why? But why?” and I don’t particularly feel like I got all the answers I was looking for.

Still, this is quite the page-turner and a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read with a satisfying conclusion and I look forward to more from Richard Parker.

Keep Her Safe is available for purchase now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | KoboGoodreads

abouttheauthor

A professional TV writer for twenty-two years he started by submitting material to the BBC. After contributing to a wide variety of TV shows he became a head writer, script editor and producer before turning his hand to penning twisted standalone thrillers.

Hollywood movie rights have been acquired by major US studio, Relativity Media, for his second psychological thriller Scare Me.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

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Keep Her Safe - Blog Tour

Assassins Hunted by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett

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Author : Rachel Amphlett
Title : Assassins Hunted
Series : The English Spy Mysteries #1
Pages : 186
Publisher : Saxon Publishing
Publication date : January 7, 2018

aboutthebook

Mother. Widow. Spy.

Eva Delacourt has been in hiding for three years after her fiancée was assassinated in cold blood outside the British embassy in Prague.

She thought she was safe.

But someone in the mysterious Section has betrayed her, and now she’s on the run for her life, sworn to protect the six-year-old boy she adores.

Her enemies are closing in, and the odds are not in Eva’s favour. For Eva, the nightmare is just beginning…

mythoughts

If, like me, you are a huge fan of Rachel Amphlett’s Kay Hunter series, then you are probably eagerly awaiting book five. Not to worry, it’s coming but for now Rachel Amphlett is exploring an entirely new concept with The English Spy Mysteries and I must say, I quite like the way she’s decided to tackle this. It’s a bit like a tv show, where you get a new episode every week with a massive cliffhanger that will make sure you keep coming back for more.

In this first novella, Assassins Hunted, we meet Eva Delacourt. She’s a widow, a mother and a spy who, due to events in the past, has been laying low with her son. But her whereabouts have been compromised and she’s forced to go on the run as it seems someone in the Section has betrayed her. Who is after her and why? My lips are sealed. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. 😉

I can tell you that this has everything you’d expect from a gripping spy thriller and once again proves the author is a fantastic thriller writer! (If you haven’t yet done so, you should check out her Dan Taylor espionage series.) It’s action-packed from the very first page and with nail-biting tension and a relentless pace, it had me hooked from start to finish. Like Eva herself, it’s hard to know who can be trusted as she navigates a world full of lies, deceit and secrets. Some of which are her own. And just like her, you barely get a minute to catch your breath.

Now, of course it’s up to you to figure out how you want to set about reading these novellas. You can choose to read them as the author intended or all in one go, as if you’re having a binge-watching session on Netflix. I decided on the first option because apparently I quite enjoy torturing myself but this exciting and fresh approach really lends itself to it. And at a 186 pages, you can absolutely read this in one sitting, which is a good thing because you won’t want to put it down!

Episode 1: Assassins Hunted was published on January 7th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Goodreads

The two other episodes, Assassins Vengeance and Assassins Retribution will be available on Sunday January 14th and 21st. I can’t wait!

My thanks to Rachel Amphlett for the advanced ebook copy!

 

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKracken @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour

I am thrilled to bits to be able to share my thoughts with you on Hydra by Matt Wesolowski on my stop for the blog tour. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the tour and my review copy!

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Author : Matt Wesolowski
Title : Hydra
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 15, 2018

aboutthebook

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the “Macleod Massacre.” Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden “games,” online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.

mythoughts

Oh … my … word! My brain can’t compute this level of awesomeness! How do you even review something like this?!

When I started reading Six Stories last year, it only took a few pages to make me realise I had something rather extraordinary in my hands and I had no doubt the book would end up in my Top 5 list of the year. So Hydra was one of my most anticipated books of this year and, rather unfairly perhaps to the author, my expectations were somewhere near the end of our solar system. However, I’m guessing you can already tell I absolutely loved it and I am utterly convinced this book too will be in my list of books of the year by December.

When I read Six Stories, I was completely unfamiliar with the concept of podcasts and I thought it would throw me off. It didn’t but upon reading this one, I felt even more comfortable with the concept and the way the story is presented. You may think, but well, it was original and unique at first but it’s been done now. Believe me, it’s every bit as refreshing and fantastic. Dare I say, it’s even better! This story will hook you from the first page and not let go. By the end, I felt utterly wiped out and unable to string sentences together.

In Hydra, Scott King sets out to investigate the “Macleod Massacre”. Back in 2004, Arla Macleod murdered her stepfather, mother and younger sister. There was never any doubt Arla was the killer but as the murders were completely unprovoked, what lead her to do these atrocious acts? Was her responsibility as diminished as her legal team made it out to be? Should she be held in a mental institution, a place many feel is not the right punishment for her, or should she have been in prison? Scott King is determined to find out the truth behind these acts but when he is targeted by a relentless online troll, will he admit defeat and let the story go?

What I love about these stories, is that I know it’s fiction and yet it feels so incredibly real that I’m left reeling as much as I would be if I’d been watching a true crime documentary. There’s no end to the level of suspense and creepiness. At times I took a little break after a podcast, desperately in need of a little breather while also checking to see my doors and windows were locked. Arla’s story is utterly disturbing and harrowing. Between her interview with Scott and the tapes she records for her psychiatrist, my heart just broke for her.  Throw in the presence of the Black-Eyed Children and I didn’t sleep for days.

I’m still lost for words, to be honest. I could mention things like compelling, addictive, engrossing, gripping and they’re all true but none really accurately convey the sheer brilliance and genius that is Matt Wesolowski and his latest offering. It’s just impeccable, an incredibly crafted masterpiece, a true gem which stands out effortlessly. I feel incredibly proud and honoured to have Hydra sitting comfortably on my bookshelf. While I’m not entirely sure my review does it any justice, I do hope it will convince you to pick up a copy. All that’s left for me to say is, please can I have some more, sir.

Hydra is available in ebook format. The UK paperback release is set for January 15th.

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

abouttheauthor

Matt Wesolowski is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie

Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio.

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Shadow Man by Alan Drew @CorvusBooks

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Author : Alan Drew
Title : Shadow Man
Pages : 340
Publisher : Corvus
Publication date : January 4, 2018

aboutthebook

Detective Ben Wade has returned to his California hometown of Rancho Santa Elena for a quieter life. Suddenly the town, with its peaceful streets and excellent public schools, finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors, shattering illusions of safety.

As Ben and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer, Ben’s own world is rocked again by a teen’s suicide. Ben must decide how far he is willing to go, and how much he will risk, to rescue the town from a long-buried secret, as well as from a psychotic murderer.

mythoughts

I’d never heard of Alan Drew before but when I read the description of the book and saw mention of a serial killer slipping through windows and screen doors, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review Shadow Man. Imagine my surprise and absolute delight when I discovered that this book is about so much more than just a creepy psychopath. In fact, that bit could very much be considered almost irrelevant.

Set in the 80’s, Ben Wade moved his family back to his hometown in an attempt to save his marriage. It’s obvious quite early on that this didn’t quite work out as Ben is now divorced. Life seems rather dull after a career in Los Angeles as nothing really ever happens in Rancho Santa Elena. Until there’s a murder and it seems a serial killer has descended upon the town.

This is a very different police procedural to the ones I normally read. It’s incredibly character driven and beautifully written. The small town setting in Southern California works like a charm and oozes atmosphere and while the investigation into the serial killer is interesting, it’s not the be all and end all of this story. Because Detective Ben Wade has other things to deal with when a teenaged boy is thought to have committed suicide and he will be forced to face his own past and reveal a deep rooted secret.

If you’re going into this story expecting a fast-paced read and an action-packed chase for a serial killer, you will most likely end up extremely disappointed. It doesn’t provide the high level of suspense you’d expect from the description. I’m not even sure I’d call it a thriller, even though it seems to be marketed as one. And while I did find it chilling at times, those moments had nothing to do with the killer but more with Ben’s past and the seemingly blind town residents.

Like I said at the start though, even though Shadow Man wasn’t exactly what I expected, I did thoroughly enjoy it. Alan Drew has a wonderful writing style and has created well-developed, complicated and realistic characters that drew me in and held my attention until the end. I would definitely recommend this one if you like character-driven novels.

My thanks to the publisher for the review copy!

Shadow Man is available for purchase!

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