Book reviews, Thriller

Freefall by Jessica Barry – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Surviving the plane crash is only the beginning for Allison.

The life that she’s built for herself – her perfect fiancé, their world of luxury – has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now she must run, not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.

On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing, presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth.

Mother and daughter must fight – for survival and to find their way through a dark web of lies and back to one another, before it’s too late…

Heart-stopping and addictive, FREEFALL is a stunning thriller that explores the deep and complex bond between mothers and daughters.

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MY REVIEW

Freefall begins with Allison surviving a plane crash, battered and bruised but alive. The only other passenger on the small plane, her fiancé did not survive….. she is in the mountains with few supplies, a little water and not much else…..only a sense that someone is going to try and find her….but she doesn’t want to be found!

Maggie, Allison’s mother, has been told by the local police that her daughter likely died in the crash…but she will not give up hope, she knows her daughter is strong and so sets out on a search for her Allison. At the time of Allison’s fathers death, they became estranged and have had no contact since.

The tale is told from the two perspectives of Allison and Maggie, giving background to both their stories……bleak at times but utterly compelling. It shows the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child and the lengths she will go to for them no matter what.

This is a slow burn, with the tension gradually building and building right to the truly heart thumping end…

An exceptional debut novel from Jessica Barry and I will be waiting impatiently for her next endeavour…..

I would like to thank The Pigeonhole, Jessica Barry and The Publishers for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here

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Book reviews

Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

FROM THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE CONFESSION AND CO-WRITER OF RTE ONE’S TAKEN DOWN

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

The new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Confession, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty.

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MY REVIEW 

This is a psychological thriller by Jo Spain and is set in a privileged and wealthy gated community close to a village in Wicklow,  Ireland. 

The body of Olive Collins, a retired woman, is found in a nasty, decomposing  state after lying undiscovered in her home for three months. DI Frank Brazil is jaded from all then atrocities he has seen and is close to retirement a and is upset when the evidence shows this may be a suspicious death and will need an full, in depth investigation….just what he needs!

However, his partner, Emma Child, young and ambitious is delighted with the challenge that lies ahead.

At first sight the small community appears totally respectable and quite normal, but why did no-one check on their neighbour Olive? Surely it would be neighbourly to wonder why she hasn’t been seen and to check on her…. 

The story is told from the perspectives of the inhabitants of the community and the police officers and in this way we find out, you just never know what goes on behind those closed doors !!!!

There are so many secrets, porn addiction, affairs, rivalries and so much more. Olive herself was a lonely woman who had made efforts to get to know her neighbours, but was constantly shunned and she was upset by this somewhat and used her knowledge to manipulate and upset those around her.

The police begin to uncover a whole range of emotions aimed at the dead Olive, rage, hate and more leading to many suspects…..just who hated her enough to kill….?

I enjoyed the great cast of characters and felt they well written and the story is gripping and utterly compelling right to the marvellous twisted ending….thoroughly entertaining.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

you can buy a copy here

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About the Author

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 Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession her first standalone thriller, was a number one bestseller and translated all over the world. 

Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former vice-chair of InterTrade Ireland business body. 

She now writes novels and screenplays full-time. Her first co-written TV show TAKEN DOWN was broadcast in Ireland in 2018 and bought by international distributors Fremantle. 

Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Louise Penny. She also watches TV detective series and was slightly obsessed with The Bridge, Trapped and The Missing. 

Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open and all her friends have looked at her strangely since she won her publishing deal. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews

The Pumilio Child by Judy McInerney – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Ya Ling’s cultured life of privilege in Beijing is cruelly cut short when she is abducted and shipped to the slave market in Venice. When Mantegna sees her chained to a post, his initial intention is to paint her exotic beauty, but he soon he desires her company for pleasures of a more private nature.

Ya Ling has two ambitions, to ruin Mantegna, then to escape back to her family in China. However, Mantegna’s latest commission, two huge frescos for the ruling Gonzaga family, make him invincible.

Will Ya Ling survive? And can she succeed?

 

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MY REVIEW 

The Pumilio Child by Judy McInerey is historical fiction at its best and is a gripping tale about kidnap, slavery, cultural differences, superstition and cruelty in the 1400’s China and Italy. 

If you love a historical novel that just pulls you along and that touches your heart a little….this is for you…its both sad and yet beautiful. 

An emotional read that’s for sure….the whole gamut, fear, horror, disgust and anger and hope, it will put you through the wringer…..

Ya Ling is such a deep character, clever, kind and so brave, while initially spoilt and privileged her common sense and determination makes you care deeply for her…..all credit to Judy McInerney’s poetic, beautiful and creative writing ….a masterpiece.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Judy McInerney has lived and worked in London for most of her professional life. Living in the Middle East, she managed to get lost in the desert, and to live through a military coup. After teaching in Abu Dhabi and starting her own business in Turkey, she returned to London and completed a creative writing course at Goldsmiths. Writing for food and travel guides has enabled her to justify travelling and eating out far too often

As a frequent traveller to China over the last thirty years she has seen the country undergo massive seismic changes, – from the times of Mao jackets and vast shoals of bicycles meandering along every hutong, to the present day, where Beijing is bigger than Belgium and has six million cars. She still travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north. Mantua is an undiscovered gem, both magical and macabre.

 

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Unbound Digital (20 Sept. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1911586033
ISBN-13: 978-1911586036

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pumilio-Child-Judy-McInerney/

 

Book reviews

The Housewife by Valerie Keogh -Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

“There’s no place like home” – that’s what I tell myself as I pull another flawless meal from the oven. This perfect house on a quiet street was supposed to be my sanctuary, a place to recover. But everything changed the moment I saw that woman in the charity shop. She triggered something dark, buried deep within my memory…

Now I’ve started forgetting small things, like locking the front door.

And bigger things, like remembering to pick my little girl up from nursery.

I feel terrified every time I pass through a particular spot in our living room.

And sometimes, when I’m alone, I’m sure I can hear a baby crying…

I think the woman in the shop knows what happened to me. But if I can’t trust myself to believe she’s real, who will?

One of the most gripping and heart-pounding psychological thrillers you’ll ever read! If you were totally hooked by, The Wife Between Us, The Girl on the Train or The Woman in the Window you won’t be able to put this jaw-dropping thriller down until it’s finished. 

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MY REVIEW 

Diane had a ‘ bit of a breakdown ‘ and had been admitted to a clinic for a few weeks until she felt better. But, she has lost months of memories and no one will tell her what happened leading up to her breakdown.

Her husband Paul, barely speaks to her and spends most evening in his office working, he keeps the door locked when he’s not in there. How much does his behaviour affect Emma’s state of mind?

Daughter, Emma, is a beautiful, happy child and is their world with both parents absolutely doting on her.

Paul persuades Diane that Emma is ready for nursery, to socialise with other children and while Emma agrees, she has doubts and her anxiety builds. To pass the time, Emma volunteers at a local charity shop and makes a friend in Anne, but her time there is short after a women approached her and then just ran away causing Emma to panic and get herself in a fluster.

As a result she doesn’t go back, but the same women keeps popping up everywhere but no one else seems to see her. She finally confides in Anne about her fears and even mentions the babies cries she hears during the nights. Poor Emma is drinking more and more to try to calm herself but she has now developed an irrational fear of her lounge…..is she heading for another breakdown?

I can’t and won’t say anymore because I would hate to spoil this marvellously tense tale. Valerie Keogh’s creative writing builds the tension so well, a cliche I know, but I really couldn’t put this down, great characters that I had real sympathy for and I could feel the panic building in this brilliant, believable psychological thriller.

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review. 

You can buy a copy for yourself here – Click the image (Amazon link)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemed natural to write crime novels. She writes two different series, one based in Ireland featuring Garda Sergeant Mike West and a grittier one based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer.

The Garda West series: THAT ONE MAY SMILE, CLOSE RANKS, MURDER ON CLARE ISLAND and DEATH IN FOXROCK.

The Hudson and Connolly series: DEADLY SLEEP, TWISTED POWER, BITTER BUSINESS, and WICKED SECRET.

Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two-book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, is out now. The Housewife is published Feb 27th 2019.

 

Author Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/valeriekeoghnovels/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ValerieKeogh1

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07N8G4RZQSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2DvLtG9

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2WVmKnr

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/wgCW30nFNeR

Book reviews

Bad Seed by Heleyne Hammersley – Book Review. #bookreview #blogtour

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When the body of a woman is discovered near Doncaster’s red light district, DI Kate Fletcher is called to the scene.

The victim has an abdominal wound that looks like a Caesarean incision, leading the police to believe she may have been pregnant.

Kate’s team establish the woman’s identity but it soon becomes clear that those close to her have something to hide.

The post-mortem reveals the victim wasn’t pregnant and, when a second body is discovered with similar wounds, the police realise they are hunting for a serial killer with a sinister fixation.

Can Kate solve the case before another woman dies?

And can a ruthless, methodical killer be brought to justice?

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MY REVIEW

A body of a woman is found, strangled, mutilated and left where it was meant to be found.

DI Kate Fletcher is sent to investigate with her usual dogged determination. Then a second body is found, again with the same injuries…..is the killer leaving a message? Is there a link between these poor women, and why the mutilation ? 

What follows is a totally gripping tale of a police investigation with the personal lives of each of them and how sometimes it adds to the stresses of their work. DC Hollis’ story is just so emotional, I was just willing him to talk to someone…….

I felt these personal stories and problems added such a feeling of realism, I was so immersed in the story, a credit to the very clever and creative writing by Heleyne Hammersley. The story races along with so much going on right up to the last page….a brilliant read and I can wholeheartedly recommend it….

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Buy a copy here ….you know you want to ….(Amazon affiliate link)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.

Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool. 

When she’s not writing, Heleyne can often be found wandering on the fells or in the local park with her dog.

Links: Website: www.heleynehammersley.com

Facebook: Heleyne Hammersley author

Twitter: @hhammersley66

Book reviews

Winterman by Alex Walters – Book Review.

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

DI Ivan Winterman is a man with a troubled past. The Blitz has left his young son dead and his wife seriously injured. He has made enemies in high places and, with his career going nowhere, he returns to his home town in East Anglia, seeking to rebuild his life in a country gripped by post-war austerity and the coldest winter on record.

As the first snow begins to fall, a drunken ex-clergyman stumbles on the semi-mummified body of a small child concealed in a ruined cottage. Days later, a second similar child’s body is found in a Fenland dyke. Both bodies have been dead for several years, preserved in the Fens, the cause of death unknown.

Winterman, supported by a small team of assorted misfits, finds himself leading the investigation, uncovering a web of connections and secrets in the small rural community. When a further murder victim is discovered, Winterman discovers that the secrets are darker and the threat far more immediate than he’d ever envisaged.

And, as the snow finally begins to thaw over the Fens, Winterman realises that his worst nightmares are about to come true…

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MY REVIEW 

The story is set in 1940’s Britain, after the war had ended but food, fuel shortages and rationing are still part of everyday life.

The small village of Framley is covered by snow, when a drunken ex-clergyman comes across the body of a child…left for someone to find…

DI Waterman is posted to the small local Police Station and along with his colleagues, Hoxton, Marsh and the ever eager PC Brain they begin the investigation, only for more bodies to be found and even murder.

The deep snow hampers them considerably but they carry on in this twisty thriller, with murder, blackmail and secrets. Alex Walter’s wonderfully descriptive and moody writing brings chills that having nothing to do with the weather…..written in the vein of classic Josephine Tey, there are marvellous characters and I have to say the indomitable Mrs Sherringham is a favourite…

I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and the ingenious reveal….I never saw it coming. I hope to read more of DI Winterman and Mary.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

you can buy a copy here (Amazon affiliate link)

AUTHOR BIO

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Winterman is Alex Walters’s first historical crime novel. He is the author of Candles and Roses, Death Parts Us and Their Final Act, all featuring DI Alec McKay and set in and around the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands. He has also written five books set in and around ManchesterTrust No-One and Nowhere to Hide featuring the undercover officer, Marie Donovan, and Late Checkout, Dark Corners and Snow Fallen, featuring DCI Kenny Murrain – and three crime novels set in modern-day Mongolia, The Shadow WalkerThe Adversary and The Outcast.  Alex has previously worked in the oil industry, broadcasting and banking and as a consultant working mainly in the criminal justice sector. He now runs the Solus Or Writing Retreat in the Black Isle with his wife, occasional sons and some cats.

Website – www.alexwaltersauthor.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/alexwaltersauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MikeWalters60@mikewalters60

Book reviews

A Testament to Murder by Vivian Conroy – Book Review. #bookreview #blogtour

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Suspenseful from the first page to the last, A Testament to Murder is perfect for fans of And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Crooked House.

A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize…

At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new heir to his vast fortune. If he dies within 24 hours, that person takes it all. If not, their chance is gone forever.

Yet these are no ordinary beneficiaries, these men who crossed him, women who deceived him, and distant relations intent on reclaiming the family fortune. All are determined to lend death a hand and outwit their rivals in pursuit of the prize.

As tensions mount with every passing second, retired Scotland Yard investigator Jasper must stay two steps ahead of every player if he hopes to prevent the billionaire’s devious game from becoming a testament to murder…

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MY REVIEW 

Uncle Malcolm is dying, he calls his family and various acquaintances to his side at his Villa on the Riviera. There he tells them of his plan……he’s going to change the beneficiary of his will at midnight every day……no-one will know whose name is on the document…..if he dies during that 24 hours, then the person named will inherit everything…….a spiteful, devious plan.

Malcolm’s neighbour, Jasper, is a retired Scotland Yard detective and the French police allow him to investigate the crimes. He interviews each of the potential heirs and gradually pieces together the jigsaw of clues.

What follows is an ingenious tale in the vein of Agatha Christie or Josephine Tey, a classic whodunnit that will genuinely keep you guessing right to the end. Vivian Conroy’s sublime writing brings to life the glamour of the 1920’s and the ‘monied’ class. I didn’t find any of the characters likeable but I was engrossed and needed to find out just who was the murderer is…..a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Canelo for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

 

Buy a copy here (at Amazon)

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Armed with cheese and chocolate, Vivian Conroy sits down to create the aspirational settings, characters with secrets up their sleeves, and clever plots which took several of her mysteries to #1 bestseller in multiple categories on Amazon US and Canada. Away from the keyboard, Vivian likes to hike (especially in the Swiss mountains), hunt for the perfect cheesecake and experience the joy in every-day life, be it a fiery sunset, a gorgeous full moon or that errant butterfly descending on the windowsill.

Twitter: @VivWrites

Book reviews

5* #Review – If Only I Could Tell You – Hannah Beckerman @orionbooks @hannahbeckerman

Love this review …added to my TBR

Jane Hunt Writer

A twist that will break your heart . . . An ending that will put it back together

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orion Publishing Group via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Audrey’s family appears irrevocably broken, and she doesn’t know why. Her greatest wish is to see her daughters talking again, but is…

View original post 151 more words

Book reviews

The Day Of The Accident

Nice review…I really enjoyed this book too

Chrissi Reads

Day of the AccidentHow did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:
My Sister’s Bones

Synopsis:

They say you killed…But What If They’re Wrong?

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter’s funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie’s husband?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed My Sister’s Bones from Nuala Ellwood, so when I found out that she was bringing out another book, I got on and requested it. I’m…

View original post 221 more words

Book reviews

Bitter Edge by Rachel Lynch – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

DI Kelly Porter is back, but so is an old foe and this time he won’t back down… When a teenage girl flings herself off a cliff in pursuit of a gruesome death, DI Kelly Porter is left asking why. Ruled a suicide, there’s no official reason for Kelly to chase answers, but as several of her team’s cases converge on the girl’s school, a new, darker story emerges. 

One which will bring Kelly face-to-face with an old foe determined to take back what is rightfully his – no matter the cost.

Mired in her pursuit of justice for the growing list of victims, Kelly finds security in Johnny, her family and the father she has only just discovered. But just as she draws close to unearthing the dark truth at the heart of her investigation, a single moment on a cold winter’s night shatters the notion that anything in Kelly’s world can ever truly be safe.

Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring a phenomenal detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

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MY REVIEW

Set in the beautiful Lake District, DI Kelly Porter is decorating her home for Christmas, supported as always by her partner Johnny. They are both planning a nice family Christmas in a few days, as they off duty, albeit on-call.

However, a 16 year old girls body is found after a fall……was she pushed or did she jump? After examination it is deemed a suicide and that young Jenna was a drug user.

There are then links to another missing girl….Faith….last seen at the local fairground…..

Kelly visits the young girls school, The Derwent Academy and meets Faith’s, so called friends and her teachers, where she feels there is more to their stories than meets the eye….and so the investigation begins in earnest..

There is so much going on in this tale, but it flows so well, due to Rachel Lynch’s clever writing, that it’s easy to follow right to shocking end….

There’s kidnap, bullying, drugs, sexual assault, murder and suicide and can be a bleak read at times but it’s a gripping, heart rending and twisted book with a satisfying end. I love the characterisation and I really like Kelly, who is such a dedicated and determined police officer, totally relentless in her search for the truth and justice for all affected. A brilliant read and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Buy a copy here (click on image – Amazon link)

Thank you to Canelo for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Lynch ​grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

Bitter Edge By Rachel Lynch

Release Date: 25th February 2018 Launch price of £1.99 ISBN: 9781788632676 Territories: World

Title: Bitter Edge

Author Name: Rachel Lynch

Previous Books (if applicable): Dark Game, Deep Fear and Dead End

Genre: Crime Fiction

Release Date: 25th February 2019

Book reviews

Perfect Crime by Helen Fields – Book Review

.PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Highly recommended’ JAMES OSWALD

‘Deliciously dark and gritty’ CAROLINE MITCHELL

Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

An unstoppable crime thriller from the #1 bestseller. The perfect read for fans of Karin Slaughter and M. J. Arlidge.

 

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MY REVIEW 

This is Book 5 in the Callanach and Turner series by Helen Fields and is set in Edinburgh .

This is delves deeper into the lives of the two main characters and their team, from the senior officer who is a real character…

The story is fast paced, with plenty of twists in this well written, gripping novel. It’s about a series of murders that have been stage to appear to be suicides. Ava sees past this and it really becomes a race against time to stop the murderer from finding more victims. While it’s quite easy to guess who the killer is, this in no way spoils the tale at all, if anything I felt it added to the tension.

The likeable frisson between Ava and Luc is a nice aside and there’s the will they won’t they element…(a bit like Castle and Beckett)..

The second story in amongst the murders in is about  Luc’s pursuit of his mother’s attackers and this causes them both problems as they go against protocol and put themselves and others in danger.

An overall gripping and dark police procedural…..will be looking out for more in the series.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

due for publication April 2019

 

 

Book reviews

The Dollmaker by Nina Allen – Book Review

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fuses the fantastic and the mundane to great effect’ The Guardian

‘A fantastic book, revealing a zone of wonder and a world of truth’ Andrew O’Hagan, author of The Illuminations.

INFORMATION WANTED ON THE LIFE AND WORK OF DOLLMAKER EWA CHAPLIN AND/OR FRIENDSHIP, CORRESPONDENCE. PLEASE REPLY TO: BRAMBER WINTERS.

Stitch by perfect stitch, Andrew Garvie makes exquisite dolls in the finest antique style. Like him, they are diminutive, but graceful, unique and with surprising depths. Perhaps that’s why he answers the enigmatic personal ad in his collector’s magazine.

Letter by letter, Bramber Winters reveals more of her strange, sheltered life in an institution on Bodmin Moor, and the terrible events that put her there as a child. Andrew knows what it is to be trapped; and as they knit closer together, he weaves a curious plan to rescue her.

On his journey through the old towns of England he reads the fairytales of Ewa Chaplin – potent, eldritch stories which, like her lifelike dolls, pluck at the edges of reality and thread their way into his mind. When Andrew and Bramber meet at last, they will have a choice – to remain alone with their painful pasts or break free and, unlike their dolls, come to life.

A love story of two very real, unusual people, The Dollmaker is also a novel rich with wonders: Andrew’s quest and Bramber’s letters unspool around the dark fables that give our familiar world an uncanny edge. It is this touch of magic that, like the blink of a doll’s eyes, tricks our own . . .

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MY REVIEW 

The Dollmaker is a love story.

It is it the story of Andrew and Bramber, told gradually through Bramber’s letters to Andrew. They build a slow, strange and dreadful picture of her life in the institution and the two of them become closer.

Meanwhile, on his travels, Andrew is reading the short stories of Ewa Chaplin, another doll maker and writer, he finds her stories as bewitching as her dolls.

The story does jump at times between the two tales, but this really adds to the atmosphere and the odd flow to the story.

I felt while this is a love story, it’s all about our differences and how we should embrace this and just be ourselves and try not to pass judgement on others. There is a little sci-fi /fantasy feel here too, which adds to the marvellous atmosphere.

This is a wonderful, original and unique tale and I can thoroughly recommend it…..book clubs will love it too.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review

 

due for publication on 4 April 2019

Book reviews

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons #BlogTour @bookouture @WriteAngie

A great review here by Shell Baker

Baker's Not So Secret Blog

She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. ForDetective Kim Stoneevery detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the death of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone…

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Book reviews

The Scent of Death by Simon Beckett @BeckettSimon #BlogTour @HJ_Barnes #TheScentofDeath #Review

Great review…added to my TBR list


Thank you for stopping by as I take part in the blog tour for The Scent of Death by Simon Beckett and share my review today. With thanks to Hayley at Transworld for the invite to join the tour and for my copy of the book.


First of all though let’s take a look at the description for the book…



It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good.


Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.


The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been…

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Book reviews

Her Pretty Bones by Carla Kovach – Book Review

A bit of a Netgalley catch up………

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE UNPUTDOWNABLE NEW THRILLER FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE NEXT GIRL

She’s just the girl he’s looking for…

A young woman falls from a vehicle speeding down a quiet road. Battered and bruised, she turns her head to the person who comes to her aid. ‘Help her’, she whispers before her eyes close.

Days later, the body of another young girl is found in a shallow grave just a few miles away. The similarities between the two girls are startling – same age, same frail body, same shocking red hair.

As the town fears there’s a serial killer living amongst them, Detective Gina Harte must put aside her own struggles at home, and catch the killer before he finds another perfect girl.

AN ABSOLUTELY HEART-STOPPING CRIME THRILLER FROM CARLA KOVACH – if you like Lisa Gardner, Robert Bryndza or Clare Mackintosh, Her Pretty Bones will have you hooked.

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MY REVIEW

This is the third in the DI Gina Harte series of books but can easily be read as a stand-alone (I know as I haven’t yet read the previous two….yet!)

It starts when a young girl’s body falls from the back of a van, she is rushed to the hospital and her last words are help her.  

A few days later a young girl’s body is found in a shallow grave… the two girls are of a similar age and both had red hair……as ever Gina is determined to find out what happened to these girls..

I enjoyed the way the book was told from various points of view and it really helped ramp up the tension…..it’s full of twists and turns and will have your heart racing….a real thriller of a police procedural…dark and menacing.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review

You can buy a copy here (click on image – Amazon)

Book reviews

One Minute Later by Susan Lewis – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You think your life is perfect.

You think your secrets are safe.

You think it’ll always be this way.

But your life can change in a heartbeat.

Brilliantly emotional, suspenseful and page-turning, One Minute Later is the stunning new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author, Susan Lewis.

Susan Lewis – behind every secret lies a story.

The new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author, Susan Lewis.

With a high-flying job, a beautiful apartment and friends whose lives are as happy as her own, Vivienne Shager is living the dream. Then, on the afternoon of Vivi’s twenty-seventh birthday, one catastrophic minute changes everything.

Forced to move back to the small seaside town where she grew up, Vivi remembers the reasons she left. The secrets, lies and questions that now must be answered before it’s too late. But the answers lie in thirty years in the past…

Shelley Raynor’s family home, Deerwood Farm, has always been a special place until darkness strikes at its heart. When Vivi’s and Shelley’s worlds begin to entwine, it only takes a moment for the truth to unravel all of their lives. (Taken from Goodreads)

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MY REVIEW

This is the story of Vivi Shager, she’s young, beautiful, a lawyer and living life to the full.

But, on her twenty-seventh birthday, she collapses, her heart is failing and life just changes…..no more living alone, no more parties, and constant fear that her heart may just stop….

The totally despondent and weakened Vivi is forced to accept life has to adapt and she is moved back home to her mothers house and tries to continue to come to terms with this new life….such as it is….

Along with Vivi’s tale is the story of Shelley Raynor and her family who live in nearby Deerwood farm. This is not just an aside, it’s integral to the overall story and gradually entwines into one, beautifully written, soul touching and emotional read….

The medical information lends a reality to the events and really brings home the need for a more robust organ donation system. This is not just a rollercoaster of suspense and emotions but a whole theme park, including a Waltzer…..

I don’t think I have ever been so emotionally invested in characters of a novel but these touched my heart and will stay with me for a long time….an absolute masterpiece by Susan Lewis…..a must read but be prepared for tears….over and over…..happy and sad.

Thank you to The Pigeonhole and the author, Susan Lewis for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest review and all opinions my own.

Buy a copy here (Amazon)

Book reviews

Wish by Chris Saunders – Children’s Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB

Rabbit has never had a wish before; but one day he gets not just one, but three! Wish is a touching story about the power of kindness and the magic of friendship, with beautiful and emotive illustrations from Chris Saunders.

Once every year wishes take flight,
filled with hope and twinkling light.
They dance in the air, with a swirl and a swish,
you have to be lucky to be chosen by a wish.

Rabbit cannot decide what to wish for, so he asks his friends Mouse, Fox, and Bear what they would do if they had a wish. Being selfless and kind, Rabbit grants all three wishes to his friends. They are so grateful for his kindness and generosity, they share their wishes with him.

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MY REVIEW

Rabbit is chose by 3 wishes and he asks his friends, Mouse, Fox and Bear, what would they wish for?

Rabbit asks, Is this wish for me?

This is a beautifully illustrated book that conveys such emotion and is delightful and whimsical. It’s about friendship, generosity and kindness…. and would make a lovely snuggly read.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review

you can buy a copy here (Amazon)

Book reviews

The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One little lie just became deadly…

Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet village of Ashdon. So when sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards is found murdered in Sorrow’s Meadow, Jane knows she must first protect her family.

Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…

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MY REVIEW 

Jane has a perfect life, perfect husband, Jack and perfect children….however she has a secret…..

Her neighbours, Rachel, Ian and young Clare are devastated when Clare is found dead in the local Sorrows Meadow.

What follows is one of the most riveting novels I’ve read…..so many questions, doubts and suspicions…..just who did kill Clare?…I had such sympathy for all the characters, with the anger and domestic violence issues being at the fore and due to Phoebe Morgan’s marvellous writing I was on tenterhooks right to the very end…..a definite must read for all fans of a domestic thriller.

I would like to thank the Pigeonhole,  Phoebe Morgan and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this ebook for free. This is my fair and honest review. 

You can buy a copy here (Amazon)

Book reviews

Ada Lovelace by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Zafouko Yamamoto – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

This board book version of Ada Lovelace—an international bestseller from the beloved Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the world’s first computer programmer.

As a child, Ada had a big imagination and a talent for mathematics. She grew up in a noble household in England, where she dedicated herself to studying. Her work with the famous inventor, Charles Babbage, on a very early kind of computer made her the world’s first computer programmer. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating mathematician, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

MY REVIEW

What an absolutely charming book.  The illustrations are beautiful and will definitely appeal to babies,  young children, early readers and the adult reader alike. Just enough information given in the simple text to be interesting and informative for everyone. An absolute delight……”When you use your imagination, your dreams can take flight”

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Buy a copy here

Book reviews

ARC Review: The Stone’s Heart by Jessica Thorne

A great review…added to my TBR list

YA on my Mind

The Stone's Heart (The Queen's Wing #2)The Stone’s Heart by Jessica Thorne
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Something evil is gathering power in the kingdom. It knows the secrets in your heart, and nobody is safe…

Petra Kel – young and headstrong – has been named General of the Queen’s Guard. But while Petra’s head may be in rebuilding the war-torn kingdom alongside her childhood friend Queen Belengaria, she left her heart miles away in their homeland, the day she turned her back on the only man she ever loved and fled.

But then Petra’s past – in the form of Bel’s roguish brother Zander – comes crashing in, just as rumours of dark magic begin to swirl at court. Petra can’t afford to be distracted… but the unfinished business between herself and Zander is like a vice upon her heart.

When evil takes hold of the kingdom and threatens Bel, Petra is forced…

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