Book reviews, Court room drama, Thriller

The Curious Case Of Faith & Grace by David B. Lyons – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Pretty… or pretty twisted?

ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO FAITH AND GRACE TIDDLE ARRIVED HOME FROM THEIR USUAL SATURDAY MORNING DANCE CLASS TO FIND BOTH OF THEIR PARENTS FACE DOWN IN POOLS OF BLOOD.

Five days later, the twins — only nine years old at the time — were arrested for the double homicide.

And now, twenty months on, the entire country awaits with bated breath as the jury are dismissed to deliberate their verdict on a case that has become a national phenomenon.

But if Lead Detective Denis Quayle — the man who knows the case better than anybody else — isn’t fully convinced of the twins’ guilt…

Can a twelve-person jury be?

GET READY TO EXPLORE…

 


THE CURIOUS CASE OF FAITH & GRACE

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MY REVIEW 

The Curious Case Of Faith & Grace is the trial of twins Faith and Grace Tiddle. The girls look the picture of innocence……but are they?

The twins have been accused of the murder of their parents….

It tells of the twins early life, a quite strict life with a lot of religion and prayer…..and poor Grebit the frog gives a little idea of something dark…..

It also tells of the murder trial and the jury……one of whom is being blackmailed, all adding to the gloriously creepy tale. Guilty? Or Not Guilty?……….

Thank you to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

About David B. Lyons:

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David B. Lyons is an international bestselling author — a writer of psychological thrillers.

He has reached No.1 in charts in Ireland, the UK, Canada and Australia.

David grew up in Dublin – the city his novels are set – but currently spends his time between Birmingham in the UK and the Irish capital. David is married to a Brummie, Kerry, and they have one daughter, Lola.

He has lectured in Creative Writing in colleges and universities in both Ireland and in the UK and coaches people how to write with free tutorials at TheOpenAuthor.com.

 

You can connect with David here:

 

Website: TheOpenAuthor.com

Twitter: @TheOpenAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorDavidBLyons

 

Social Media:

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOpenAuthor

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDavidBLyons 

 

Website: http://theopenauthor.com/

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK:   https://amzn.to/30ZMCDh 

Amazon US:   https://amzn.to/2YRbhHj

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A witness with no victim. A crime with no crime scene…

When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts – until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime.

Michael Stringer deals in information – and doesn’t care which side of the law he finds himself on. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows.

When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect … and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet.

A nerve-shattering and brutally realistic thriller, Blood Red City bursts with energy and grit from the opening page, twisting and feinting to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in London, Lydia is a journalist, bored with the showbiz gossip she’s currently working on, when a friend sends her a video clip showing a man being attacked and possibly murdered on a tube train…..she needs to know more.

As a result she meets Michael Springer, a ‘fixer’ with dubious methods of getting what is needed for his clients. Together they uncover far reaching financial wrongdoings involving some very nasty people. (I really can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the marvellously complex plot)……violent, tense and twisty.

Blood Red City is a fast paced gritty thriller with some great characters and a plot that really keeps you gripped from start to finish…..and that end…Brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase links : http://orendabooks.co.uk/ebookstore/?/Blood+Red+City/&bid=9781913193256

 

https://amzn.to/38oTdsz 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Rod Reynolds was born in London and, after a successful career in advertising, working as a media buyer, he decided to get serious about writing. He recently completed City University’s two-year Crime Writing Masters course and THE DARK INSIDE is his first novel. He lives in London with his wife and daughter. 

Book reviews

HARROGATE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS REVEALS FIRST TASTE OF WORLD-CLASS LINE-UP FOR VIRTUAL ARTS WEEKENDER CELEBRATING THE BEST IN BOOKS, MUSIC, SCIENCE & MORE – ‘HIF WEEKENDER’: 23 – 26 JULY 2020

 

Wow…just look at this line-up…….

 

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HARROGATE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS REVEALS FIRST TASTE OF WORLD-CLASS LINE-UP FOR VIRTUAL ARTS WEEKENDER CELEBRATING THE BEST IN BOOKS, MUSIC, SCIENCE & MORE – ‘HIF WEEKENDER’: 23 – 26 JULY 2020

 

harrogateinternationalfestivals.com | #HIF2020 | #HIFAtHome

 

 

PREMIERE OF NEW BRASS COMMISSION ECLIPSE by DAVID LANCASTER featuring soloist MIKE LOVATT

INTERVIEWS with JOHN SUCHET | STELLA DUFFY | ANTHONY HOROWITZ | BEN PALMER

ADAM RUTHERFORD | LEWIS DARTNELL | CLAUDIA HAMMOND

PERFORMANCES from STEVEN ISSERLIS | TASMIN LITTLE | MAHAN ESFAHANI

NAVARRA STRING QUARTET | MISHA MULLOV-ABBADO GROUP

GEORGE HARLIONO | SILAS BASSA | ABIGAIL HAMMETT & IWAN OWEN | RACHAEL GREEN

SEAN PAYNE | NOAH STONEMAN | GRANNY’S ATTIC

GRAEME PARK DJ SET

 

THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER VIRTUAL CRIME WRITING FESTIVAL

LEE CHILD | JOSEPH FINDER | MARK BILLINGHAM | VAL MCDERMID interviewed by MARK LAWSON

VAL MCDERMID’S NEW BLOOD ft DEEPA ANAPPARA | JESSICA MOOR | TREVOR WOOD | ELIZABETH KAY

IAN RANKIN | N.J. COOPER | STEVE MOSBY | AA DHAND | EMMA KAVANAGH | AMANDA JENNINGS

STEVE CAVANAGH & LUCA VESTE present TWO CRIME WRITERS & A MICROPHONE

THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR: WINNER CEREMONY

 

Harrogate, Thursday 2 July 2020: Harrogate International Festivals is thrilled to announce first names for its new, free virtual festival bringing world-class culture to everyone at home, the HIF Weekender.

 

From 23 to 26 July, the HIF Weekender will present a celebration of the arts, featuring performances and interviews with internationally acclaimed musicians, best-selling authors and innovative thinkers to coincide with what would have been the legendary long weekend of Harrogate’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

 

The HIF Weekender begins with a bang, crowning the winner of the UK’s most prestigious crime fiction prize – Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Yearin a virtual ceremony recognising the best of the best. The celebrations continue with crime writing royalty Ian Rankin, who was set to be the 2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Chair, interviewed by N. J. Cooper about Rebus, writing and Rankin’s ‘lost’ festival year. Lee Child will reflect on his extraordinary career with fellow author Joseph Finder, and Mark Billingham on the 20th anniversary of his iconic detective Tom Thorne and debut novel Sleepy Head. Steve Mosby will be joined by AA Dhand, Emma Kavanagh andAmanda Jennings to explore what it means to be a crime writer in the age of pandemic and why the genre has dominated reading lockdown reading habits, and Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste are set to present a virtual version of their popular podcast Two Crime Writers & A Microphone for the weekend.

 

Queen of crime Val McDermid will be joined by journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson to unpack the heritage and impact of her infamous New Blood panel, discussing the vital role this showcase has played in shaping bookshelves and literary careers, how trends have changed over the past 17 years, as well as giving a peek behind the scenes into has she selects her chosen four… all before welcoming this year’s formidable debut talent to share the virtual stage: Deepa Anappara, Elizabeth Kay, Jessica Moor and Trevor Wood.

 

For centuries music has provided refuge in times of crisis and Harrogate International Festivals has taken the bold step of commissioning a new work to premiere during the HIF Weekender, in a statement demonstrating the Festival’s commitment to supporting the arts scene and the artistic community at this precarious time.

 

Highly respected, Yorkshire based composer David Lancaster was commissioned by the Festival following the cancellation of the Summer Season. Inspired by the pandemic, Lancaster’s piece for brass band Eclipse was scored in just five days and represents the darkness and danger facing the arts at this time, with an invitation to remain hopeful until the light returns. The Festival has brought together musicians from around the world – from young players starting out on their journey to professionals at very top of their careers – to come together digitally as a community on the hallowed Harrogate stage for a collaborative world premiere led by acclaimed virtuoso trumpeter Mike Lovatt.

 

Jazz maestro Mischa Mullov-Abbado – who has also been commissioned by the Festival for new work premiering this autumn – is welcomed as a Guest Curator for the festival weekend, as well as performing with the Mischa Mullov-Abbado Group. Reflecting the Festival’s dedication to championing new talent, Mullov-Abbado has handpicked some of the most exciting contemporary young musicians to join the line-up: rising stars and former finalists from the BBC Young Jazz Musician of The Year, Sean Payne and Noah Stoneman.

 

There will be a host of further classical performances from world renowned musicians including distinguished British cellist Steven Isserlis, the Navarra String Quartet, multi-award-winning concerto violinist Tasmin Little, Tehran born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani – a three time nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year – as well as a raft of emerging artists: pianist George Harliono, who was recently shortlisted for Classical BRIT Award, Argentinian composer and pianist Silas Bassa, violin and piano duo Abigail Hammett and Iwan Owen, and tenor saxophonist Rachael Green.

 

For folk fans BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees Granny’s Attic are on hand to entertain, or if rave and house music is more your scene, Graeme Park – the DJ responsible legendary Hacienda in Manchester and at the heart of the cultural boom of Cool Britannia – will be joining the line up with a live DJ set and interview, so be sure to have your disco ball ready at home.

 

Alongside mesmerising music and first-class fiction, the HIF Weekender presents a series of cultural conversations with the best in the business including celebrated conductor Ben Palmer, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck in Darmstadt, and Founder and Artistic Director of Covent Garden Sinfonia; theatre maker and co-director of the Fun Palaces campaign, Stella Duffy, will be discussing the state of the arts in lockdown; newsreader and presenter John Suchet will reveal the man behind the music with his compelling biography of Beethoven; and one of the UKs most prolific and successful writers – Anthony Horowitz – will be sharing  anecdotes from his career, celebrating 10 years of Alex Rider and giving an early glimpse at his new novel Moonflower Murders.

 

As part of the Festival’s Berwins Salon North strand of TED-style talks designed to change your life for the better, the weekender welcomes geneticist, author, and broadcaster Adam Rutherford to advise on How to Argue with a Racist, BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind Claudia Hammond will explain why we should be talking rest seriously, and astrobiology research scientist Lewis Dartnell will tell the virtual audience the ultimate origin story.

 

And not forgetting little ones, in addition to the host of activities and resources on the Festival’s HIF Player, the HIF Weekender will be introducing children to brass music with Back Chat Kids, sharing singalongs with Family Singing Sessions and History’s Maid Kate Vigurs will be revealing the horribly entertaining parts of history that children love!

 

Since 1966, Harrogate International Festivals has proved an artistic force to be reckoned with, presenting inspiring and ambitious cultural experiences in the most interesting spaces across Harrogate and the region, dedicated to its charitable purpose of ensuring as many people as possible have access to the arts. This commitment now takes the Festival to our digital doorstep, but for those unable to connect HIF has created a CD version of the weekender available to the public. The festival is also hosting a colourful window campaign to spread joy on the streets of Harrogate and brighten up the #ViewFromMyWindow, as well as live performances from the Band on a Bus helping residents stay upbeat and merry, and etchings of 10 Word Crime Stories as a nod to Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime  Writing Festival.

 

Sharon Canavar, CE of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “Out of crisis comes creativity, and Harrogate International Festivals is delighted to present a world-class line-up for our first virtual HIF Weekender. Bucking the trend, we have opened our digital doors and wallets to fund artists and commission new work, knowing the transformative value that the arts bring in supporting communities – both locally and for our international audience. Whilst there is no denying that this is a hugely challenging time for the arts and for artists, festivals play a vital part in the creative industries ecology and defining our cultural landscape, and so we are extremely proud to be presenting this rich selection to our audiences world-wide for free, ensuring the arts remain accessible to all at a time when we need it the most.”

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Book reviews, Extract

Warbringer by Aaron Hodges – *EXTRACT*

 

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Welcome to the Bookwormery and I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog blitz for Warbringer by Aaron Hodges…  and to bring you an extract……

 

Here’s a little about Warbringer and the extract will follow …

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

Warbringer

 

Centuries ago, the world fell.

From the ashes rose a terrible new species—the Tangata.

Now they wage war against the kingdoms of man.

And humanity is losing.

Recruited straight from his academy, twenty-year-old Lukys hopes the frontier will make a soldier out of him. But Tangata are massing in the south, and the allied armies are desperate. They will do anything to halt the enemy advance—including sending untrained men and women into battle. 

Determined to survive, Lukys seeks aid from the only man who seems to care: Romaine, the last warrior of an extinct kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Queen’s Archivist leads an expedition deep beneath the earth. She seeks to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Their magic has been lost to the ages, yet artifacts remain, objects of power that could turn the tide of the war. But salvation is not all that waits beneath the surface. Something else slumbers in the darkness. Something old. Something evil.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and the extract to share.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08653PM1L/

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08653PM1L/

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and explore the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School (titled The Sword of Light) and began to rewrite the story. Six months later he published his first novel, Stormwielder, and hasn’t looked back since.

http://www.aaronhodges.co.nz/

https://www.facebook.com/Aaron-Hodges-669480156486208/

 

EXTRACT

 

Lukys sat back on his haunches. Around him, the world was on fire. Winds blew from across the river, catching in the hay below the walls and sending flaming strands swirling through the air. Acrid smoke stung his nostrils as he inhaled, and his throat burned. Terror robbed him of strength.

 

He drew on what final dredges of courage remained to him. Clasping at his fallen spear, he forced himself up—and found himself staring into the stony eyes of the beast.

 

It stood just a yard away, close enough that it could have reached out and snapped his neck at any moment. It didn’t. Wrinkles creased its forehead as it watched him. The spear shook in Lukys’s hand as he realised this was his chance.

 

But even as he tightened his grip on the weapon, the Tangata tensed, its features closing over. A smile twisted its lips, revealing yellowed teeth.

 

Death, death, death.

 

Laughter sounded in Lukys’s ears and the beast raised a hand, gesturing him forward.

 

Screaming, Lukys leapt, spear held at the ready. He knew he could not win, that this was the end, but in that moment he didn’t care. All that mattered was the spear in his hands and the beast.

 

The tip of his spear flashed out, aimed clumsily for the creature’s stomach. The Tangata was quicker, its hand swiping down, catching his weapon by the haft and snapping it in two with a quick wrench.

 

Lukys staggered back, half of his now useless weapon still clutched to his chest. The tip of Lukys’s spear clasped in one hand, the Tangata advanced.

 

A cry escaped Lukys as his boots failed to find purchase in the mud. He crashed to the ground, broken spear tumbling from his fingers. Mouth wide in terror, he looked up, expecting to see death descending upon him.

 

A warrior stood between Lukys and the Tangata, twin-bladed axe extended towards the beast. The weapon rippled in the firelight as it swept out. The Tangata leapt away, twisting from the path of the blade, but even with its superhuman speed, it could not avoid the blow completely.

A shriek rent the air as the axe sliced the creature’s thigh. Blood pulsed from the wound as it staggered. Lukys was surprised to see it bled red. Despite their distinctly human appearance, surely the monsters could not be the same within?

 

Pain contorted the Tangata’s face as it faced the axeman. Then a change seemed to come over the creature, a wave of pure rage sweeping away its agony. Its eyes flashed and it rushed forward—now in total silence.

 

The axeman did not retreat from its fury. He charged with a shout, words lost in the chaos, massive shoulders sending the axe flashing for the Tangata. Somehow, the creature seemed sluggish by comparison. Perhaps the wound had slowed it. Regardless, it realised its mistake too late, and with a sickening thud, the axe slammed into its shoulder, slicing through bone and sinew to bury itself in the beast’s chest.

 

An awful gurgling came from the Tangata as it struggled to step forward, to reach the enemy that had slain it. But not even these creatures could survive such a blow, and with a sharp whistle of departing air, it slumped to its knees and fell alongside Lukys.

 

The warrior towered over the beast. His shoulders heaved as blue eyes scanned the ramparts, seeking out signs of fresh danger. Another Tangata lay nearby, its body peppered with arrows and impaled by several spears. In the distance, the sounds of battle were fading, an eerie stillness coming over the night.

 

The battle was won.

 

Looking up at the massive axeman, Lukys could hardly believe he was alive. If not for the ferocious warrior, he wouldn’t be. Only now did he notice the man did not wear the familiar red of Flumeer, nor the blue of Perfugia. Instead, his chainmail had been woven through with the deepest green, remnant of the forest.

 

Calafe.

 

He hadn’t realised there were any Calafe warriors left. They had passed the refugee camps outside Mildeth, but it was said that the last of their soldiers had refused to leave their land, and had died on the shores of the Illmoor. What did this man fight for now, with his kingdom overcome?

 

“Need some help?”

 

Lukys started as the man spoke, dragging him from his thoughts. Seeing the hand the warrior was extending, he took it. His slender fingers were ingulfed by the warrior’s giant mitts and he was yanked to his feet. Lukys stumbled before righting himself, his gaze catching on the body of the Tangata once more. The blood had stopped flowing from the awful wound the man’s axe had left.

 

It almost killed me.

Before he could stop himself, Lukys was bent in two and retching in the mud.

Gentle laughter came from beside him. “First battle?”

 

Gasping, Lukys managed a nod.

 

“You’ll get used to it,” the warrior grunted.

 

With that, he took a hold of his axe. Placing a boot on the Tangata’s chest, he yanked the weapon free with a sickening squelch, then turned and walked away along the ramparts.

Lukys watched him go, a reply on his lips, though he couldn’t bring himself to say it. The warrior was wrong. He would never get used to this. He would never get the chance.

 

He’d be dead long before then. 

Cosy mystery

Murder On The Downs by Julie Wassmer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A controversial new property development is planned in Whitstable which will encroach upon the green open space of the downs, to the dismay of Whitstable residents who view this as the thin end of the wedge with regard to local wildlife conservation.

A campaign springs into life, spearheaded by a friend of Pearl’s family, Martha Laker. A committed environmentalist, Martha is no stranger to controversy herself. She has also managed to divide opinion across town, with the locals viewing her as their fearless champion while establishment figures seeing only an interfering agitator.

Tensions escalate between the developers and Whitstable residents, straining Pearl’s close relationship with London-born police officer, DCI Mike McGuire, who harbours concerns that the local campaign will spiral out of control. Pearl’s loyalties are torn, but the protest duly goes ahead – and newspaper headlines claim a moral victory for the residents in this David and Goliath battle.

But the victory is short lived when Pearl discovers a dead body on the downs…

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MY REVIEW 

#7 in The Whitstable Pearl Mystery series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Pearl Nolan owns a successful restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl and the Nolan’s Detective Agency.

Pearl takes part in a local protest against a property developer’s plans to build new housing on green land. While new housing is desperately needed the locals feel there are better options available.

But when Pearl finds a body on the downs, she begins her own investigation, all the while she is defending her home town of Whitstable. Her family and her relationship with DCI Mike McGuire.

Murder On The Downs is the perfect summer read, a cosy murder mystery with a clever plot and hunger inducing descriptions of delicious sounding foods. A thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3iokkbF 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Julie Wassmer was born in the East End of London, studied at Kingston University and had a variety of different jobs before she finally settled down to become a professional television drama writer.

She worked on several TV series, including ITV’s London’s Burning, C5’s Family Affairs and the popular BBC soap, EastEnders, which she wrote for almost 20 years.

In 2010, her autobiography More Than Just Coincidence was published by Harper Collins/True. The book entered the Sunday Times Best Selling Non Fiction Top Twenty and went on to become Mumsnet Book of the Year.

In 2015, Julie’s debut crime novel, The Whitstable Pearl Mystery, was published by award-winning publisher, Little, Brown Book Group. Six other books have since followed in the series with more on the way, and the television rights to the series have been optioned by the TV production company, Buccaneer, the makers of Marcella, starring Anna Friel.

Julie moved to Whitstable twenty years ago where she shares a home with her husband, Kas, and three cats, Charlie, Lily and Maisie. She also spends a great deal of time campaigning on environmental issues.

 

Murder on the Downs is the seventh book in the Whitstable Pearl Mystery series.

 

Book reviews, Spy thriller

Awakening Of Spies by Brian Landers – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

Thomas Dylan is an unlikely spy.

Rejected by MI6 he joins the Ministry of Defence where his first mission is a total failure. Unexpectedly he is then sent to Rio de Janeiro to recover a submarine interrogator stolen from the US Navy.

 

In Brazil he discovers that those supposedly on his side, MI6 and the CIA, have their own priorities and his life is not one of them.

 

A murderous game which began with the death of a British spy in Argentina is being played out in a city of sun, sea and secret police. When he comes face-to-face with the brutal realities of Brazil’s military dictatorship Dylan has to trust somebody. But who?

 

He knows for sure that the woman he wants to trust has been lying to him from the very beginning. But why?

 

This is a fast-paced thriller in the vein of John le Carré and Eric Ambler.
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MY REVIEW 

 

Awakening Of Spies is the tale of Thomas Dylan, an unassuming man who had believed he was bound for a job behind a desk, but instead ends up as a spy.

There is a marvellously complex plot, lots of action around the world, London, Holland, Brazil…. and plenty of tricks and twists to keep you hooked. There’s also a little romance too. A thoroughly gripping and engrossing spy thriller. I’ll be looking out for the next book in the series.

Thank you to Literally PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of Awakening Of Spies. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

The Bone Jar by S W Kane – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Two murders. 

An abandoned asylum. Will a mysterious former patient help untangle the dark truth?

The body of an elderly woman is found in the grounds of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames.As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. Gradually, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves; there are rumours of secret rooms, unspeakable psychological experimentation and a dark force that haunts the ruins. Urban explorer Connie Darke has her own interest in the asylum; it’s where her sister died in a freak accident and she’s determined to help Kirby expose its grisly past. 

Meanwhile Kirby discovers a devastating family secret that threatens to turn his life upside down. As his world crumbles around him, Kirby must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the killer from striking again. Only an eccentric former patient knows the truth—but will he reveal it to Kirby or Connie before it’s too late?
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MY REVIEW 

The Bone Jar begins with the discovery of the body of an elderly woman in the derelict Blackwater Asylum….she had been murdered. 

DI Lew Kirby begins the investigation. He speaks to an urban explorer, Connie Darke who has reported her friend, Ed, missing. Her sister, Sarah had died in an accident some time before…..at the asylum. 

Are these events linked? Does Raymond and his creepy bone jar know more than anyone realises?

I really enjoyed this creepy thriller. It has great characters in Kirby and Connie (and a 3 legged stuffed fox). I really felt for poor Raymond too, such a troubled soul. With its clever plot, this dark and twisted tale keeps you guessing. Gripping from start to finish.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/31zisa6

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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SW Kane studied History of Design and worked at the RIBA before taking on a series of totally unrelated jobs in radio and the music industry, where she still works as a freelance music PR. She has an MA in Creative (Crime) Writing from City University. She began reading crime fiction from an early age and developed an obsession with crime set in cold places. A chance encounter with a derelict fort in rural Pembrokeshire led to a fascination with urban exploration, which in turn became the inspiration for her crime novels. She lives London.

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Finnish Noir

Deep As Death by Katja Ivar – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The second in a three-book series featuring Hella Mauzer, to follow on the success of Evil Things.

 

  • A Nordic Noir of the first-order set in Helsinki in 1953. A dark psychological thriller about ruthless ambition, unrequited love and the lies we tell others and ourselves to avoid facing what has become of our lives.

 

  • A woman author and a female heroine. A misunderstood, flawed, whip-smart detective, now a P.I, fighting against both prejudice and crime. Hella finds herself at the centre of an investigation of multiple murders that threaten to destroy the reputations of the rich and powerful. Ivar has again succeeded in telling an incredibly gripping story with some of the cast of characters that we fell in love with in Evil Things.

 

Hella Mauzer has just been fired by the police and is now a reluctant private investigator. Escaping the mind-numbing routine of shadowing unfaithful spouses, Hella finds herself at the centre of an investigation of multiple murders.

It all begins when a prostitute is found floating upside down in Helsinki Harbour. Not exactly a high priority case for the Helsinki police, so homicide chief Jokela passes the job to his former colleague Hella. It’s beginning to look like a serial killer is at work when another lady of the night narrowly escapes being driven into the harbour, handcuffed to the car by her client. What begins like a taut whodunit turns into something more tantalizing as Hella turns her attention to different suspects, often to the consternation of the fascinating Inspector Mustonen, charismatic, ambitious and trying desperately to live up to the standards of his high-maintenance wife.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in Helsinki in 1953. Hella is a private investigator after being dismissed from the police force.

When a woman’s body is found in the harbour, Hella begins an investigation. The police aren’t interest as the woman was a sex worker. 

When more women either disappear or their bodies are found Hella believes a serial killer is responsible. Hella is also dealing with her messy personal life as she’s having an affair with a married man, who has promised to leave his wife for her, but she’s still waiting and now has other suspicions about him. 

Deep As Death has great characters and a clever, twisty plot. It’s a dark and chilling murder mystery with a real sense of atmosphere, you can almost feel the chill of a cold winter coming off the page. I’ll certainly be looking for more by Katja Ivar.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2Zm4yoZ 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Katja Ivar grew up in Russia and the U.S. She travelled the world extensively, from Almaty to Ushuaia, from Karelia to Kyushu, before finally settling in Paris where she lives with her husband and three children. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and a master’s degree in Contemporary History from Sorbonne University. Evil Things was her debut novel. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery, Police procedural

The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof.

 

The killer is still out there.

 

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.

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MY REVIEW 

#10 in the Will Trent Series, it can be read as a stand-alone (but you’ll be missing out on a fantastic series).

Will is called to investigate the murder of a prison inmate after a prison riot….Sara is there to examine the body. Daryl Nesbit, convicted of owning child pornography (and attacking a custody officer) says he has information to trade, he says he was framed by corrupt cops, one of whom was Sara’s murdered husband, Jeffrey.

He also claims he wasn’t responsible for the rape, mutilation and murder of women…..as there have been new murders since his incarceration it couldn’t be him…..is it a copycat?

Told in two timelines, it tells Jeffrey’s story up to Daryl’s arrest, how Lena may not have been the most honest of cops and Jeffrey’s investigation and relationship with Sara. It also tells of Will’s investigation into the new murders and the old case. It is an in depth investigation with so much happening, there’s Will and Sara’s, now troubled, relationship, Faith and her family, and the details of the brutal rapes, mutilations and murder of the women.

I loved The Silent Wife, with its mix of police procedural and the hunt for a serial killer, it tells of violence towards women in many forms, but it’s also a love story. I loved every gripping, chilling minute and it’s my favourite of the series so far….

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2NBorDh

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight- part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non- profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Karin Slaughter

THE SILENT WIFE

 ‘One of the boldest thriller writers working today’ TESS GERRITSEN 

Book reviews, Thriller

The Last Sword Maker by Brian Nelson – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the high mountains of Tibet, rumors are spreading. People whisper of an outbreak, of thousands of dead, of bodies pushed into mass graves. It is some strange new disease … a disease, they say, that can kill in minutes. The Chinese government says the rumors aren’t true, but no one is allowed in or out of Tibet.

At the Pentagon, Admiral James Curtiss is called to an emergency meeting. Satellite images prove that a massive genocide is underway, and an American spy has made a startling discovery. This is no disease. It’s a weapons test. Chinese scientists have developed a way to kill based on a person’s genetic traits. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The success of their new weapon proves that the Chinese are nearing “Replication”—a revolutionary breakthrough that will tip the global balance of power and change the way wars are waged.

Now the US must scramble to catch up before it is too late. Admiral Curtiss gathers the nation’s top scientists, including a promising young graduate student named Eric Hill who just might hold the missing piece to the replication puzzle. Soon Hill and his colleague Jane Hunter are caught up in a deadly game of sabotage as the two nations strive to be the first to reach the coveted goal. But in their headlong race, they create something unexpected … something the world has never seen and something more powerful than they had ever imagined.

With eerie similarities to today’s coronavirus pandemic, The Last Sword Maker is an exciting globe-trotting thriller with unforgettable characters that depicts a haunting vision of the future of warfare.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 in The Course Of The Empire series.

A terrible virus is killing people in Tibet…sounds familiar….except this virus is a weapon. A mix of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and genetics.

The developer has used Tibet as a testing ground.

The Last Sword Maker is a science based thriller, as the US race to find the secret of this new tech from China before the nano-virus teaches itself to replicate and spread as a natural virus does.

There is lots of science throughout, but the author’s writing explains it so well and has made it understandable to the layman without being patronising.

A very clever thriller that’s full of action. A real page turner that’s terrifying as it feels so, so possible.

Thank you to Michelle at FSB Associates for the eARC of The Last Sword Maker. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Brian Nelson is a former Fulbright Scholar who holds degrees in international relations, economics, and creative writing (fiction). His first book, The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup against Chávez and the Making of Modern Venezuela, was named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Economist. His work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Christian Science Monitor, and the Southern Humanities Review, among others. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two children.

 

Praise for The Last Sword Maker:

“A gripping, frighteningly plausible techno-thriller…Nelson’s intriguing scientific predictions and distinctive near-future setting make this sure to please speculative fiction readers as well as thriller fans.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“A terrifying vision of future warfare in the vein of Tom Clancy’s and Michael Crichton’s novels…A powerhouse near-future thriller with explosive action and exciting science.”—Foreword Reviews

 

“An all-too-plausible examination of how emerging technologies could be weaponized to horrible ends. I don’t recommend reading this one right before bedtime—unless you are prepared to stay up very, very late to finish it.”—Lisa Brackmann, New York Times bestselling author

 

“A head-spinning sci-fi-infused military thriller, with China and the United States putting everything they have into developing the perfect weapon, no matter the cost. ”—Francisco Toro, columnist, Washington Post

 

“The danger is unique, and the treachery vast, in this rapid-paced adventure that delivers in equal doses of amazing, yet possible. An intriguing tale that will leave you thinking. ”—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

 

“A compelling thriller…Nelson’s riveting narrative captures the drama of great power competition…This is a terrific debut.”—Patrick Duddy, Duke University, former US Ambassador to Venezuela

 

“An amazing read. The Last Sword Maker has everything”—Moisés Naím, New York Times bestselling author

 

Book reviews, Cover reveal

*COVER REVEAL* for Not The Deaths Imagined by Anne Pettigrew

Welcome to The Bookwormery….I’m pleased to be taking part in this COVER REVEAL for Anne Pettigrew’s novel…….Not The Deaths Imagined….but here’s a little about the book first……

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB  

In a leafy Glasgow suburb, Dr Beth Semple is busy juggling motherhood and full-time GP work in the 90s NHS. But her life becomes even more problematic when she notices some odd deaths in her neighbourhood. Though Beth believes the stories don’t add up, the authorities remain stubbornly unconvinced.

Soon, Beth’s professional reputation is challenged. There follows a chilling campaign of harassment and she finds her professional reputation – and family – are put at risk. 

Is a charming local GP actually a serial killer? Can Beth piece together the jigsaw of perplexing fatalities and perhaps save lives? And as events accelerate towards a dramatic conclusion, will the police intervene in time?

From the author of Not the Life Imagined, this slow-burning tartan noir novel from a Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight author follows Beth on another quest for justice. Reflecting Pettigrew’s own medical expertise, Not The Deaths Imagined re-affirms the benefits of growing up in a loving family and the need for friends in hard times, while offering insight into the twisted development of a psychopathic mind.

 

Nearly there, but first a little about the author…..

 

 

About Anne Pettigrew

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Glasgow-born, 31 years a Greenock GP, graduate of University of Glasgow (Medicine 1974) and Oxford (MSc Medical Anthropology 2004). Worked also in psychiatry, women’s health, and  journalism (Herald, Pulse, Doctor, Channel 4). In retirement took Creative Writing tuition at Glasgow University aiming to pen novels about women doctors (rare in literature except as pathologists or in Mills & Boon). Runner-up in SAW Constable Award 2018, chosen as a 2019 Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight Author – ‘one to watch.’ Member of several writers’ groups and a short story competition winner, she lives in Ayrshire and enjoys good books, good wine, and good company.

 

And here it is, in all its glory………..the cover for Not The Deaths Imagined by Anne Pettigrew

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Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pettigrew_anne @pettigrew_anne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annepettigrewauthor/

Website: http://www.annepettigrew.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anne.pettigrew.author/

 

Not The Deaths Imagined

Paperback ISBN:                               978-1-901514-77-3

e-book:                                                978-1-901514-78-0

Ringwood Publishing                    

362pp                                                                   

Publication date Aug 1st 2020

 

Pre-order Links

Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2B0I0C2

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/31eOqIC

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2B4gMuk

 

Book reviews, Promo

First Lie by A.J. Park – *PROMO* Happy Publication Day

 

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Firstly…..

 

Happy Publication Day 

 
“A. J. Park is a master of suspense who knows how to keep readers hovering tensely over the edges of their seats.”
Sophie Hannah
THE FIRST LIE BY A.J. PARK
“This is a real page-turner. I finished it in one go!”
Martina Cole
A husband and wife cover up a murder. But the lie eats away at the fabric of their relationship and things unravel till they can’t trust anyone – even each other.
“A great thriller that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.” Luca Veste
A freak accident. An impossible choice. But what was the first lie?
When Paul Reeve comes home to find his wife in the bathroom, bloodied and shaking, his survival instinct kicks in.
Alice never meant to kill the intruder. She was at home, alone, and terrified. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for it. Covering up the murder is their only option.
But the crime eats away at the couple and soon they can’t trust anyone – even one another…
But there is much more at stake than anyone realises – and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade…

 
“Fast-moving, gripping, the ground shifting perpetually beneath your feet as you read… I read it in one sitting.”

Alex Marwood

 
Available as a paperback, ebook and audio book.

Links:
Waterstones Paperback:  http://tidd.ly/553cdf07

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KNl4rt

 

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Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Coming For You by Deborah Rogers – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A brutal crime. A traumatised mind. A victim no one believes…

Amelia Kellaway is hiding a secret. Still deeply traumatized by a kidnapping incident she suffered three years ago, Amelia is struggling to cope with a crippling anxiety disorder where she compulsively checks her locks and doors. She’s also experiencing frightening blackouts that strike at random. The root cause of her anxiety is her unshakable belief that her previous attacker, Rex Hawkins, is stalking her. She’s been to the authorities but they’ve dismissed her concerns as the paranoid delusions of a traumatized mind.

But are Amelia’s fears really unfounded? Could Rex Hawkins still be out there, waiting for her to drop her guard and make a mistake? Or is Amelia slipping deeper into neurosis and at risk of losing her mind?

Another gripping tale of psychological suspense from Deborah Rogers, Coming for You is a terrifying portrayal of a young woman on the brink, with shades of Hitchcock and Gillian Flynn.

If you like tense, gritty psychological suspense thrillers, you’ll love book 2 in the Amelia Kellaway series from exciting new crime writer Deborah Rogers.

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MY REVIEW 

Amelia is a lawyer by day, she’s good at her job, but inside she’s falling apart. She’s recovered from her physical injuries after being kidnapped, raped and her eventual escape that has left her with half a foot, but psychologically she’s desperate. She’s obsessive about security, taking a different journey home every day and compulsively checking her apartment is locked over and over……

She is convinced her attacker, Rex Hawkins,  is still looking for her.

Ethan, a Detective, tries to convince Amelia she is safe, that Hawkins can’t hurt her anymore…as they grow close she starts to believe him……

Oh my nerves…..this is an incredibly tense tale, as you see Amelia struggle with her day to day life, her slipping deeper into fear and the effect this has on her….

Was she right to be so scared, or is she really losing her mind?

Coming For You has a quite slow pace as you get to know Amelia, but the tension builds as you turn the pages and it made me check the windows were closed that night for sure. I loved every fear filled minute and I can recommend this to anyone who loves a psychological thriller.

Thank you to Deborah for an eARC of Coming For You. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2YYRAxo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Deborah Rogers is a psychological thriller and suspense author. Her gripping debut psychological suspense novel, The Devil’s Wire, received rave reviews as a ‘dark and twisted page turner’. Since then, Deborah has been developing the new Amelia Kellaway series. Book one in the series, Left for Dead, is a tightly woven tale about a young woman who is kidnapped and taken deep into the wilderness. 

In 2020, Deborah’s all-new publications will include Coming for You (#2 Amelia Kellaway series) and Speak for Me (#3 Amelia Kellaway series). She’s also publishing a new standalone novel, Into Thin Air, a mystery about a woman who goes missing on vacation in Istanbul. 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Contemporary fiction

Bad Love by Maame Blue – Audiobook Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Bad Love tells the story of Ekuah Danquah, a London-born Ghanaian who is 18 years old when she falls in love for the first time. As both narrator and protagonist now in her 30s, she delves into her memories of angst and confusion that dismantled her experience of that first, impactful romantic relationship. It meets none of her rigid expectations and instead shines a light on other significant relationships in her life, especially the marriage of her parents, something she had long considered an unhappy pairing.

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MY REVIEW 

The story is told by Ekuah, she’s now 30 and recalling her past when her boyfriend, Dee just dropped out of her life, leaving her heartbroken. She wonders if Dee ever cared for her, he never even referred to himself as her boyfriend over the 18 months they were together, passionate yes, but always distant. Can she move on and find love ?

This is a well paced tale about relationships good and bad,  the beauty of the spoken word,  about finding yourself and the perceptions of what love really is. I loved the details of Ekuah’s experiences of her travels overseas too.

Beautifully narrated by Vivienne Acheampong, she really brings Ekuah and the other characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed Bad Love from start to finish.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audible.co.uk and is 8hrs 16mins long.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Maame Blue is a Ghanaian Londoner, writer. As well as co-hosting Headscarves and Carry-ons-a podcast about black girls living abroad-she regularly runs social media campaigns for http://www.bmeprpros.co.uk and blogs at http://www.maamebluewrites.com. In 2018 she won the Africa Writes x AFREADA flash fiction competition for her story Black Sky. She has since been published in AFREADA, Afribuku, and Memoir Magazine; with stories forthcoming in Storm Cellar Quarterly and Litro Magazine.

 

About Vivienne Acheampong

Vivienne Acheampong is an actress and comedian, best known for featuring in Death in Paradise (2011), The Trap (2015) and Turn Up Charlie (2019).

 

About Audible

Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Jesse Eisenberg. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialised the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. On Average, Audible members listen to Audible content for 2 hours a day. In 2018, Audible customers downloaded nearly 3 billion hours of content.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Final Verdict by Sally Rigby – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The judge has spoken……everyone must die.

When a killer starts murdering lawyers in a prestigious law firm, and every lead takes them to a dead end, Detective Chief Inspector Whitney Walker finds herself grappling for a motive.

What links these deaths, and why use a lethal injection?

Alongside forensic psychologist, Dr Georgina Cavendish, they close in on the killer, while all the time trying to not let their personal lives get in the way of the investigation.

For fans of Rachel Abbott, Mark Dawson and M A Comley, Final Verdict is the sixth in the Cavendish & Walker series. A fast paced murder mystery which will keep you guessing.

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MY REVIEW 

#6 in the Cavendish and Walker series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

A member of a law firm has died of a suspected heart attack, but this was found to have been caused by an injection of potassium chloride, so the investigation begins.

DCI Whitney Walker and her team search for suspects and helped as always by George Cavendish, a forensic psychologist.

Both women are also dealing with difficult circumstances in their personal lives too. Whitney’s mum has dementia and is now being tested for possible breast cancer, while George’s boyfriend has just proposed and she’s in a dilemma and her ex is now her boss.

When another member of the law firm is murdered in the same way, it becomes a race to find the killer before anyone else dies.

Final Verdict is a well paced, gripping thriller with great, well developed characters who are likeable and some not likeable. A clever plot too that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

Thank you to Emma of damppebbles blog tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Final Verdict. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/2NeEHKh

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Sally Rigby was born in Northampton, in the UK. She has always had the travel bug, and after living in both Manchester and London, eventually moved overseas. From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world. After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and very different, women – DCI Whitney Walker, and forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish. Sally has a background in education, and has always loved crime fiction books, films and TV programmes. She has a particular fascination with the psychology of serial killers.

 

Check out her website for a FREE prequel story….. http://www.sallyrigby.com

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SallyRigby4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Sally-Rigby- 131414630527848/posts/?ref=page_internal

 

Website: https://sallyrigby.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sally.rigby.author/ 

Book reviews, Thriller

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…

 

 

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MY REVIEW 

On Addie’s 10th Birthday, her sister Jessie is supposed to take her for pizza, but she’s late…..so not sleeping, Addie here’s her dad come home, he smells meaty! He has blood on his clothes too….

She later finds out there has been a terrorist attack on the tube…..is this where the blood came from….?

Each year on 7 July a woman goes missing, the police finally link these disappearances, but they have no leads…..yet!

Jessie and Addie find a missing woman’s purse in their father’s room …scared what will happen to them if he leaves, they decide to keep it a secret….so many secrets!

The tale is told from Addie’s perspective, with a few small asides by the Magpie and snippets of real events over the years, the various terror attacks in London which build the atmosphere. 

As the story continues, we see Addie grow from a 10 year old to a young adult, with the Magpie in the background all the time….there is an ever present feeling of menace, like something seen in the corner of your eye, building until the marvellously twisty and surprising ending. Original and compelling, definitely one of my favourites this year.

Thank you to Antonia at Headline for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour. This is my honest, unbiased review.

The paperback is published on 25 June…  https://amzn.to/2V269z6

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Family drama

The Man Behind Closed Doors by Maria Frankland – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

What could be so bad that a six-year-old stops talking?

Domestic violence isn’t only perpetrated by men. Ask Paul Jackson who is on remand, accused of stabbing his wife, Michelle. As he reveals his reality behind their troubled marriage, it seems that only his six-year-old knows what really happened. 

But she’s trapped in her own world of silence.

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MY REVIEW 

The Man Behind Closed Doors starts with Paul calling the emergency services as his wife, Michelle has been stabbed…..

 

He is arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

 

While in jail, he thinks about his life and marriage to Michelle and the story is told through flashbacks to the past. We hear of her jealousy and paranoia, her mood swings and violence when she’s been drinking, which is often. Michelle has her own issues she is dealing with but takes it out on Paul……all the while their young daughter Emily is in the middle.

This is a tale of domestic abuse, of controlling behaviour and it’s original as here the woman is the perpetrator of the abuse. You really never know what goes on behind closed doors! It deals with violence, guilt, love and self harm and all the emotional baggage in between. It’s also about the stabbing, the investigation and the courtroom drama. I found this to be a very emotional read, at times I was not sure who deserved my sympathy…..a thoughtful and engrossing read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/310256n

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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Maria Frankland’s life began at 40 when she escaped an unhappy marriage and began making a living from her own writing and becoming a teacher of creative writing.

The rich tapestry of life with all its turbulent times has enabled her to pour experience, angst and lessons learned into the writing of her novels and poetry.

She recognises that the darkest places can exist within family relationships and this is reflected in the domestic thrillers she writes.

She is a ‘born ‘n’ bred’ Yorkshirewoman, a mother of two and has recently found her own ‘happy ever after’ after marrying again.

Still in her forties, she is now going to dedicate the rest of her working life to writing books and inspiring other writers to also achieve their dreams too!

 

Twitter @writermaria_f http://www.mariastephenson.com/ 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural, post-apocalyptic

All Fall Down by M.J. Arlidge – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

“You have one hour to live.”

 

Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.

 

But why?

 

The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is A case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.

With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…

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MY REVIEW 

All Fall Down starts with a phone call….

Justin takes the call, but the caller says “You Have One Hour To Live”….he’s rattled but heads home in a chauffeur driven car. As he starts to relax he notices his driver has missed the turn.

Justin’s body is later found….he’d been strangled.

When another call is received things begin to get dark.

Helen Grace and her team begin the investigation, there are links to a group of friends captured and tortured years before. They had managed to escape, but one of them had died at the hands of the man who held them captive. 

It becomes a race against time to find why these people are being targeted and to stop a killer before anyone else dies.

All the while, Helen is dealing with a messy personal life with a reckless colleague, and heavily pregnant Charlie is adamant she will stay and help with the investigation.

I love the relationships between the characters, good and bad, and the marvellously twisty plot keeps you guessing. Another brilliant, dark thriller from M.J. Arlidge and I’m already waiting for book 10…

Thank you to Tracy of Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of All Fall Down. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase linkhttps://amzn.to/37Jiltz 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Monstrous Souls by Rebecca Kelly – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

What if you knew the truth but couldn’t remember?

Over a decade ago, Heidi was the victim of a brutal attack that left her hospitalised, her younger sister missing, and her best friend dead. But Heidi doesn’t remember any of that. She’s lived her life since then with little memory of her friends and family and no recollection of the crime.

Now, it’s all starting to come back.

As Heidi begins retracing the events that lead to the assault, she is forced to confront the pain and guilt she’s long kept buried. But Heidi isn’t the only one digging up the past, and the closer she gets to remembering the truth, the more danger she’s in.

When the truth is worse than fiction, is the past worth reliving?

An addictive thriller about a case gone cold and the dangers lurking on our doorsteps, Monstrous Souls will have you gripped to the very end.

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MY REVIEW 

In 2001 Heidi and her friend Nina had been attacked, only Heidi survived and her younger sister, Anna went missing.

Heidi’s injuries were severe but she recovered except she had lost all memories of that time.

Detective Denise Gilzeen had kept in contact with Heidi and now 15 years later her memory is starting to return. As a result of information she had given to Denise, the case is reopened.

Will they find who killed Nina? And what happened to Anna and other missing girls?

Monstrous Souls is an utterly gripping read, it’s dark, gritty and full of emotion. There are great characters, some likeable and some truly reprehensible and evil. The subject matter is horrific but Rebecca Kelly tells you all you need to know without being graphic or gratuitous. It’s full of an incredible tension and is a tale of horrific events, tragedy, guilt and is anger inducing at times too. A dark thriller that you really cannot put down. 

Thank you to Peyton at Agora Books for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Monstrous Souls. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Preorder link : https://amzn.to/2N9JhZY

Ebook from 25 June and paperback 23 July 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rebecca Kelly was brought up with books but denied the pleasure of a television. Although she hated this at the time, she now considers it to have contributed to a life-long passion for reading and writing.

After a misspent education, Rebecca had a variety of jobs. She’s spent the last years raising her children but has lately returned to her first love – writing.

Rebecca lives in the UK with her husband and youngest son and an over-enthusiastic black Labrador, who gives her writing tips. 

Book reviews

Val McDermid’s highly anticipated 2020 ‘New Blood’ showcase is announced today

 
I’m delighted to share Val McDermid’s highly anticipated 2020 ‘New Blood’ showcase, which is announced today:

Jessica Moor (Keeper)

Deepa Anappara (Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line)

Elizabeth Kay (Seven Lies)

Trevor Wood (The Man on the Street).

T his year, Deepa Anappara has been selected for her part coming-of-age, part detective mystery Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, a heart-breaking and thought-provoking social commentary of modern India’s slums that has been recognised for the Women’s Prize. Elizabeth Kay is on the list for her explosive Seven Lies, taking domestic noir to a whole new level in a deliciously dark blurring of truth and lies, and Jessica Moore is recognised for her brutal and beautiful Keeper, the addictive literary thriller that has had everyone talking. Concluding this year’s New Blood contingent is Trevor Wood and his debut The Man on the Street, a gritty thriller set on the streets of Newcastle.

This annual curation from the ‘queen of crime’ of the hottest debut voices taking the crime and thriller by storm helps readers find new favourites, and gives a platform to new writers, with alumni including Clare Mackintosh, SJ Watson and Stuart MacBride. 

Val McDermid said: “I know exactly what I’m looking for on my quest: fresh and distinctive voices, a well-told, convincing story and the almost indefinable sense that these authors all have much more to say. Deepa, Elizabeth, Jessica and Trevor tick all of these boxes and more, and if this year’s debuts share a theme, it is the irresistible and devastating way in which crime fiction shines a light on our times: homelessness, domestic violence, child trafficking and mental health are all dissected with an unflinching gaze.”

 

Val’s event with these rising stars is traditionally the highlight of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, part of Harrogate International Festivals’ year round programme of events, and as this year’s festival was cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the showcase will be streamed on the festival’s HIF Player on what would have been the legendary weekender, Saturday 25 July 2020.

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