Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Splinter In The Blood by Ashley Dyer – Book Review

As part of the blog tour linked to the Morecambe and Vice Festival….here is my review of Splinter in the blood by Ashley dyer.

https://www.morecambecrimefest.co.uk/

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A propulsive debut suspense novel, filled with secrets, nerve-jangling tension, perplexing mystery, and cold-blooded murder, in which a police officer on the hunt for a macabre serial killer is brutally attacked, and only his partner knows the truth about what happened—and who did it.

After months of hunting a cold-blooded murderer that the press has dubbed the Thorn Killer, Detective Greg Carver is shot in his own home. His trusted partner, Ruth Lake, is alone with him. Yet instead of calling for help, she’s rearranged the crime scene and wiped the room clean of prints.

But Carver isn’t dead.

Awakening in the hospital, Carver has no memory of being shot, but is certain that his assailant is the Thorn Killer. Though there’s no evidence to support his claim, Carver insists the attack is retaliation, an attempt to scare the detective off the psychopath’s scent, because he’s getting too close. Trapped in a hospital bed and still very weak, Carver’s obsession grows. He’s desperate to get back to work and finally nail the bastard, before more innocent blood is spilled.

One person knows the truth and she’s not telling. She’s also now leading the Thorn Killer investigation while Carver recuperates. It doesn’t matter that Carver and the rest of the force are counting on her, and that more victims’ lives at stake. Ruth is keeping a deadly secret, and she’ll cross every line—sacrificing her colleagues, her career, and maybe even her own life—to keep it from surfacing.

Utterly engrossing and filled with masterfully crafted surprises, Splinter in the Blood is a propulsive roller-coaster ride, filled with deception, nerve-jangling tension, perplexing mystery, and cold-blooded murder.
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MY REVIEW 

This is #1 in the Carter and Lake series by Ashley Dyer.

A clever mix of psychological thriller and police procedural and set in Liverpool. 

There is a serial killer, known as the Thorn Killer, lots of secrets, lies and betrayals and a ‘slightly’ tense relationship between DCI Greg Carver and DS Ruth Lake.

The killer has tortured and murdered 5 women and uses a thorn to tattoo them…

Carver is in charge of the investigation, but gets a shock when one of the victims looks just like his estranged wife…..

Carver is a mess, drinking heavily and keeping secret case notes as he carries out his own investigations separate to his work one….DS Ruth Lake is covering for him at times and even saves his life at one point…..but how long can this carry on?

A dark, disturbing and gripping read with deeply flawed protagonists and a truly menacing killer….

Thank you to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Ashley Dyer is the pen name of novelist, Margaret Murphy, working in consultation with forensics expert and Vera and Shetland adviser, Helen Pepper. Splinter in the Blood is their debut novel as a writing duo. The sequel, The Cutting Room, is out in the USA in June.

After a career as a biology teacher and dyslexia specialist, Margaret wrote twelve novels, both under her own name and as A.D. Garrett, before morphing into Ashley Dyer. The founder of Murder Squad, she is a past Chair of the Crime Writers Association, a First Blood critics award and CWA Dagger in the Library nominee, and CWA Short Story Dagger winner.

 

Website: http://www.ashley-dyer.com

Twitter: @ashleydyer2017

Facebook: @AshleyDyerNovels

Bookblog: Shelf Indulgence

 

Book reviews, Domestic noir

In The Absence Of Miracles by Michael J Malone – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue. Chilling, perceptive and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.

In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash.

And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence…
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MY REVIEW 

John is visiting his mum in a care home, she’s had a major stroke and is no longer independent. I felt sorry for her at this point………!

Due to costs, he is going to sell her home to pay for her continuing care, so visits his old home to start clearing it ready for sale….while in the loft he finds a picture of himself with a younger child….but has no memory of it…..

When his younger brother, Chris arrives he shows him the picture and they realise, John is the younger child, so who is the older boy? And so the mystery begins….

But, John is a mess, he’s drinking too much, missing work days and his long suffering girlfriend, Angela, has had enough. He becomes a little obsessed with finding out more about the unknown boy, but what he finds out changes his life forever….

I have been lucky to read some stunning books this year, but this has to be the most heartbreaking. It tells of the horrors of child abuse, the damage this causes physically and mentally to these young victims…..it’s a tough read at times but so utterly compelling with every page so full of emotion….it left me speechless. Magnificently immersive writing that grabs your attention from start to finish. In this darkest domestic noir thriller.. A definite must read….

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 book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2OjH7ZT

 

AUTHOR BIO

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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

 ‘Vivid, visceral and compulsive’ Ian Rankin ‘Michael J Malone is a massive talent’ Luca Veste