Book reviews, Science fiction, Thriller

Highest Lives by Gordon Brown – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In cities across North America people are dying in seemingly impossible ways. Is history’s most outrageous serial killer on the loose? 

When LAPD Detective Sarah Tracy is secretly instructed to recruit Craig McIntyre to help her investigate the deaths, she is unaware that his mere presence can transform people’s darkest thoughts into action. As Sarah and Craig hunt the murky underbelly of LA for the malevolent figure responsible for the bizarre deaths, they stumble upon the most expensive narcotic ever to hit the streets – a substance that promises something so unbelievable that users are willing to risk death to experience it. With government black ops agency head Senator Tampoline always lurking in the shadows, Craig is used to being hunted. Now he is the hunter. And thousands could die if he fails to track down the killer.

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MY REVIEW 

Craig McIntyre is a private investigator, he also has a strange power that affects anyone around him when violence is about to erupt. They tend to turn on each other and not him…..when the Blue World hits watch out.

Senator Tampoline knows all about this and uses Craig for his own purposes, he doesn’t get a choice.

There have been some very odd deaths, a man’s bones disappeared, a woman cut in half without any blood being spilled and a man impaled on a tree. Is this a bizarre serial killer or something else?

A new drug has hit the streets, Paradise, but at $10k a hit it’s only for the wealthy…..but what does it do?

All the while The Man With The Dead Eyes is involved somehow…..

This is an odd one to categorise, as it’s a thriller but with a little sci-fi and black ops thrown in. Craig is an interesting character, troubled obviously but loyal to his friends and relies on Charlie a lot. Is there a romance brewing with the Detective Sarah? 

Brutal, exciting and action packed with a clever, unique plot that will keep you guessing. A real page turner and I can thoroughly recommend it.

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

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Gordon has been writing since his teens and has six crime thrillers published – his latest, Deepest Wounds, being the third in the Craig McIntyre series, is out now.

Gordon helped found Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival and lives in Scotland. He’s married with two children. Gordon once quit his job in London to fly across the Atlantic to be with his future wife. He has also delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business called Brain Juice and floated a high tech company on the London Stock Exchange.

He almost had a toy launched by a major toy company, has an MBA, loves music, is a DJ on local radio, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.

 

Want to know more – go to http://www.gordonjbrown.com/

Follow him on Twitter @GoJaBrown

 

Paperback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: Strident Publishing; 1st edition (8 Oct. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910829382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910829387

 Purchase Link

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highest-Lives-McIntyre-Gordon-Brown/dp/1910829382

 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Family drama, Thriller

Bad Seed by Jessica Eames – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A tragic death. A dark family secret. A past you can’t escape. How well do you really know those closest to you? 

Sarah’s world has descended into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to find out the truth of what happened, and make sure the guilty are brought to justice. She is haunted by her dad’s death, consumed by her grief and the memories of a cruel day that changed her life forever… she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. But the future holds some hope for Sarah, as she tries to move forward.

Nicola’s future is not looking so hopeful. Since her husband died, the secret she’s been keeping from her family – especially her daughter, Sarah – is eating away at her. The past is catching up with her, and the consequences will be devastating. 

Inspired by the news that more people are having DNA tests to discover their heritage, BAD SEED subverts the tropes of the domestic thriller by exploring the closest relationship of all: that between parent and child. Clare Mackintosh’s I LET YOU GO meets FRIEND REQUEST, this is a story about family, and of obsession, revenge and identity.

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MY REVIEW 

Nicola, a widow, has a secret….but someone else knows.

Her husband Charlie died and left her with money issues, so she moves into brother-in-law, Ben’s annex. 

Feeling unwell, her boyfriend insists she visit a GP, but due to her being a woman in her 50’s, she is told it’s probably the menopause…..but is it?

She’s convinced something else is happening as she receives a menacing note and her possessions are being moved. Is it all in her mind?

I can’t say too much for fear of spoiling the story, but this is one of the twistiest domestic noir thrillers I’ve read in a long time.

Told from the perspectives of Nicola,  her daughter Sarah and Fion her sister-in-law, this brooding thriller tells of family secrets, lies and ultimately revenge. Brilliant.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Pursuit Of William Abbey by Claire North – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the award-winning and bestselling author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and 84K comes a powerful new novel that examines how the choices we make can haunt us forever . . .

South Africa, 1884. A young and naive English doctor by the name of William Abbey witnesses the lynching of a local boy by white colonists. He’s guilt-struck, but too cowardly to stand up against this horrific act. And as the child dies, his mother curses William.

William begins to understand when what the curse means when the shadow of the dead boy starts following him across the world. It never stops, never rests. It can cross oceans and mountains. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die . . .

Moving, thought-provoking and utterly gripping, Claire North’s extraordinary new novel proves again that she is one of the most original and innovative voices in modern fiction.

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MY REVIEW 

William Abbey witness the killing of a young child by a mob of white men in South Africa, he did nothing to help.

The child’s mother, after seeing her sons last breath curses William, the child’s shadow will follow him for the rest of his life…..if it catches up to him, someone he loves will die.

William starts travelling to keep ahead of the shadow, he can also hear people’s inner truthful thoughts and has no choice but to then speak them out loud. He’s now a truth-teller and as a result various governments really want to use his talent for their own ends at whatever cost. All the while William is being followed by the shadow.

This is a unique read, with brutal descriptions of the effects of war, the supernatural, fear, excitement and loss all in one harrowing and thought provoking tale. It will stay with me for a long time. 

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose debut novel was written when she was just fourteen years old. Her first book published under the Claire North pen name was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The follow-up Touch received widespread critical acclaim and was described by the Independent as ‘little short of a masterpiece’. Her next novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope won the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and her recent book The End of the Day has been shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. She lives in London

 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction, Comedy, YA fiction

The Purple-Bellied Parrot by William Fagus – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Discover … The power of the ‘HhhuuuUUTTT!

’Ever feel you are living the wrong life? Ever feel another life, your should-be life, is out there waiting for you, if only you had the courage to …Do you like tinned pineapple chunks? Have you answered yes to any of those questions? Then follow the Purple-Bellied Parrot on a rip-roaring, globe-spanning adventure packed with unforgettable characters. His quest to live his should-be life.

It Begins: In the sterile apartment of a city executive with unruly nasal hair where the Purple-Bellied Parrot cannot even do the very thing he was born to do. It Ends: On the shores of a distant land after an epic journey which tests his courage, his ingenuity and the bonds of friendship — to the limit.The Purple-Bellied Parrot is a spell-binding, life-affirming tale, with the power to evoke laughter and tears from readers 11-100 years old. (Parental Note: contains occasional mild imprecations.)

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MY REVIEW

Oh my, this broke my heart a little.

It’s the story of the Purple Bellied Parrot. His sad life life in cages where he can only just spread his wings, let alone fly.

Even the Spuggies (house sparrows) laugh at him, but he wants more, he wants his best life and so the adventure begins.

I love the humour in this, it will make you laugh out loud at times, but then there is sadness too, that will cause tears…..his poor little foot for a start!

Will the little parrot reach Brazeel? Will he have friends to talk to? Will he learn how to sing?

Beautifully written and full of emotion too. It really will appeal to all ages young and old…..plenty of poopy moments too. The handy notes at the back of the book explain the birds, language and slang.

Brilliant, funny, moving and thought provoking, one to rival Johnathan Livingstone Seagull. I loved it.

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

You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2NABN3n

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The publicity-shy William Fagus lives in a remote location in an upturned fishing smack with a parrot and sundry antique musical instruments and carpentry tools.

The redoubtable Mrs Lush, his cleaning lady and confidant, is his most frequent visitor.

William Fagus’s biography, of uncertain origin and dubious veracity, is available here: http://www.williamfagus.com/fagus_biog.html

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Book reviews, Crime thriller

Betrayed by Jake Cross – Book Review

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to Jake Cross for BETRAYED

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When Nate wakes up in the woods, he has no idea how he got there. The last thing he remembers is being at home.

And when he spots two people digging a grave his problems multiply.

After escaping from the woods, he goes home to find his house burning and his brother, Peter, dead inside. Now the police are after him for the murder.

Determined to find out who set him up and why, Nate goes on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth. But can he find those responsible and prove his innocence before it’s too late?
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MY REVIEW 

Nathan wakes in the back of a van, naked and hand tied….he hears muffled voices and sees someone digging…..is it a grave?

After a tension packed scramble, he manages to escape and rushes home only to find his house ablaze…..where is his brother Pete….?

Nearly recaptured, his nerves are shot but he manages to get away only to find he has been accused of the murder of his brother and arson.

I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the plot….but I will say this is a fast paced, nail biter of a thriller. Full of twists and surprises to keep you on edge and turning those pages. Utterly gripping.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jake Cross was a seventies child who started writing at a young age. He started with fantasy because there was no research needed for an invented world. 

Early short stories covered probably every genre except dieselpunk-romcom. Although he now writes thrillers, Jake’s reading love is true crime. Other interests are MMA, snooker and driving.  

There are no dieselpunk-romcom novels planned. 

 

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Retriever Of Souls by Lorraine Mace – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.

Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.
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MY REVIEW 

This is the first in The DI Sterling series from Lorraine Mace.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is a committed police officer to the point where his marriage is over and family life is a mess….

Bodies of prostitutes are being found, mutilated and dumped and he is determined to catch the killer before further women are murdered….

With chapters from the murderers perspective this gives an insight into his religious mania, his state of mind and gruesome details of his kills…

Full of interesting and believable characters with its clever background stories giving them a feeling of reality.

Paolo’s is quite a complex character and his team are great and work well together….will they manage to catch their prey?

I really enjoyed this compelling thriller and will be looking out for the next in the series…and I can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a crime thriller.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for  the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

 

When not working on the D.I. Sterling series of crime novels, Lorraine is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

 

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.mace.52

Website: http://www.lorrainemace.com

Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mace_lorraine/

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK: 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Retriever-Souls-Sterling-Lorraine-Mace/dp/1786156792/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1571907947&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Retriever-Souls-Sterling-Lorraine-Mace/dp/1786156792/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1571908281&sr=8-1

 

Blackwells: 

 

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Retriever-of-Souls-by-Lorraine-Mace-author/9781786156792

 

Google Books: 

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=qIxxDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-qIxxDwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_atb&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_atb

 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction, YA fiction

The Three Hares, The Jade Dragonball by Scott Lauder & David Ross – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sara Livingstone’s school trip to the Beijing Palace Museum takes a terrifying turn when an encounter with the ancient Qingming Scroll thrusts her a thousand years into China’s past. With secrets in the shadows and danger around every corner, Sara must take her place in a cosmic battle and find the courage to face an unworldly ancient magic.

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MY REVIEW 

Sara is 14 years old, living in Beijing and attends the International School. Her Granny Tang lives in an apartment nearby, so she visits regularly but as a 14 year old, she’s a little bored of her stories……but will the knowledge in these tales be useful ?

Sara starts to see things, are they daydreams? Or can she see a world beyond? 

This is a marvellous adventure tale, yes it’s young adult fiction, but it’s so well written and will appeal to any age. There’s Chinese history, art, culture and even a mention of Harry Potter. A little reminder too, that our elders have a lot to offer and deserve our respect. I love the two timelines and how they link……will the first hare get her answers? Charming, twisty and very engaging…..

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

Scott Lauder was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Having taught in Greece, Japan, and England, he now lives with his wife and four cats in the UAE where he teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and drinking good coffee. His other books include The Right Thing, A Single Shot, and The Boy-King Tutankhamun.

David Scott Ross has traveled and taught throughout Asia since he first moved there in 1987. He currently teaches in upstate NY, where he lives with his wife and two sons. When David is not writing or teaching, he dreams about becoming a chef, a rock star, maybe an actor, but probably not all at once. At present, he is wrapping up two projects: Pastimes, encounters with a Stone Age people, and Dim, a detective novel.

 

Book reviews, Horror

Slash by Hunter Shea – Book Review @huntershea1 @FlameTreePress @annecater

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Five years after final girl Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. 

With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims.

The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.
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MY REVIEW 

Ashley was the final girl, a survivor of the resort massacre, but she struggles to sleep and fears the Wraith may come back and get her. When tragedy strikes her fiancé, Todd wants revenge….

He follows the breadcrumbs left by Ash, but can he and his four friends find the clues and stop a killer? Just what is roaming the resort ?

This is a creepy, gruesome, fear-fest…..well written with a clever plot and a grown up ‘Blair Witch’ feel to it….great characters and some emotional moments too. Immensely entertaining…

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

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Slash-ISBN-9781787581791.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. 

He’s the author of over 25 books, including The Jersey Devil (Pinnacle) and We Are Always Watching (Sinister Grin). Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum.

The Montauk Monster was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. He was selected to be part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line in 2011 alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. He’s an avid podcaster and can be heard and seen on Monster Men and Final Guys every week. Living with his crazy and supportive family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to see the skyline without having to pay New York rent. You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Mental Health

The Existence Of Amy by Lana Grace Riva – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

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MY REVIEW 

Amy has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression, she is fully aware of her condition and really just wants a ‘normal’ life.

She has a job and friends, but her life is ruled by the OCD and it’s accompanying anxiety, all of which she tries to hide. Her close friends are aware and they are kind and so supportive. 

I found this to be a compelling read, it’s a contemporary, compassionate story with an insight into mental illness and the importance of friendship. It’s realistic with great, likeable and believable characters. I can thoroughly recommend it. 

Thank you to the author. Lana Grace Riva for a free copy of her rather special book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Noir

Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. 

Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….


Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.
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MY REVIEW

Set in Japan, many years after the horrific bombing of Hiroshima. This is historical fiction with a difference.

There are several plot lines running together, which at first may seem a little disjointed, but it all comes together in this incredibly dark tale.

Not only does it tell of the life and culture of Japan, it tells of a darker side. The side effects of the bombing are described in gruesome detail. There’s also murder, mystery, brutality, rape, torture and a lot of violence but also about family and relationships.

It’s so hard to put this into any specific genre as it really has a bit of everything. Beautifully written and almost poetic at times but it’s dark, very dark too.

Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours for the opportunity to take part in this review tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

available on Amazon at a discounted price at the moment too

 

 
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Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

From Inside The House by W.D. Jackson-Smart – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Two victims. Brutally murdered in their own home. Body parts taken.

D.I. Graves is back on the case to face his toughest challenge yet. A case with no motive and no suspect, nothing at all that could explain why someone would kill innocent people in such a way.

Then the next victims are discovered. Another pair of bodies. New body parts taken. Again in their own home.

Someone is breaking into houses across the city at night, leaving horror in their wake. It seems to Graves that this could be two serial killers, working together. But how are they choosing their victims? Is any house in London a target? Is anyone safe

To make matters worse, a journalist is threatening to cause more harm than good with her obsessive push in covering the story to further her career, and someone is targeting Graves personally, seeking revenge against him in relation to an old case.

Can Graves keep himself safe long enough to stop the serial killers before they strike again?

 

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the DI Daniel Graves series, it can be read as a stand-alone, but if you haven’t read #1 you are missing out on the start of a great series…

DI Graves and his partner, DI Charlie Palmer are called to a murder scene….nothing like they have seen before in its brutality.

But then, a second couple are murdered and the similarities suggest the same killer or killers….they have taken body parts too.

Daniel is still trying to come to terms with the death of Jenny and her killer is still taunting him….(from book #1).

With a high profile case, the press are everywhere and one journalist, Kelly, will do anything to get an exclusive, even putting herself in extreme danger. 

This is a dark and twisted tale, what the killers do with the body parts is particularly horrific. I can’t say much more about the plot for fear of spoiling it, but it has a bit of everything, even touching on mental health issues, with Daniel’s panic attacks…..there’s murder, fear, family and someone is still out there! Compelling and utterly brilliant. I’m looking forward to the next in the series already….

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release. 

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wdejackson

Website: https://www.wdjacksonauthor.co.uk/

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK: 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inside-House-Thriller-British-Hardboiled-ebook/dp/B07QFBGJ9R/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1571859152&refinements=p_27%3AWD+Jackson-Smart&s=digital-text&sr=1-2&text=WD+Jackson-Smart

 

Amazon US: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Inside-House-Thriller-British-Hardboiled-ebook/dp/B07QFBGJ9R/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=from+inside+the+house+wd+jackson-smart&qid=1571859372&sr=8-1

 

Waterstones: 

 

https://www.waterstones.com/book/from-inside-the-house/w-d-jackson-smart/9781527243378

 

Foyles: 

 

https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/from-inside-the-house-a-di-graves-har,wd-jacksonsmart-9781527243378

 

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Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Photographer Of The Lost by Caroline Scott – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…

An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I1921. 

Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Every photograph has a story, every story needs an ending

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MY REVIEW 

Set in 1921, the Great War is over, but with so many men missing their families are in a kind of limbo, not knowing if they’re, sons, brothers or husbands are alive or dead.

Edie’s husband, Francis is reported missing …could he still be alive somewhere?

Francis’ brother, Harry is a photographer, himself suffering PTSD after his own experiences during the war. He takes photos of soldiers graves, to send back to families to give them a form of closure.

When Edie searches for Francis, she meets Harry and together they try to find answers.

This is a beautifully written, incredibly moving tale of love, loss and hope. How the effects of war don’t end just because the fighting has stopped.

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

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/36Fh1Y3

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Violet by SJI Holliday – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

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MY REVIEW 

Violet has split up from boyfriend Sam in Thailand, so decides to continue her backpacking trip alone. She’s planning on visiting Russia via the trans-Siberian railway but is too late to get a ticket…so getting a drink to wonder what to do next, she meets Carrie, also travelling alone….she has a spare ticket too.

So, they decide to travel together…..

They visit Mongolia, take part in a weird ritual and they get closer……but is this a bit one sided?

Violet is smitten, but events in Russia lead to violence…..someone is not who they say they are…..!

I won’t say anymore about the actual plot as I would hate to spoil it for anyone.

However, I will say this is an incredibly tense tale, there is a simmering sense of foreboding, almost smothering, dark and claustrophobic…….you know something is wrong, but you can’t really put your finger on it until events bring the secrets to light. It just makes you feel on edge,  waiting for everything to fall apart…..all due to the marvellously intense writing by SJI Holliday…..utterly brilliant.

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

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/33iU2Qi

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize.

Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

Book reviews, Historical fiction

The Lady Of The Ravens by Joanna Hickson – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Praise for Joanna Hickson: ‘Bewitching . . . alive with historical detail’ Good Housekeeping ‘Intriguing . . . told with confidence’ The Times Two women, two very different destinies, drawn together in the shadow of the Tower of London:

Elizabeth of York, her life already tainted by dishonour and tragedy, now queen to the first Tudor king, Henry the VII.

Joan Vaux, servant of the court, straining against marriage and motherhood and privy to the deepest and darkest secrets of her queen. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, as conspiracy whispers through the dark corridors of the Tower.

Through Joan’s eyes, The Lady of the Ravens inhabits the squalid streets of Tudor London, the whispering walls of its most fearsome fortress and the glamorous court of a kingdom in crisis.

A11E23D9-EBB5-40D9-BB3A-A76419DCCA44

MY REVIEW 

Lady Of The Ravens is historical fiction set during the Tudor age.

Joan is part of the Royal household of York, she is the Lady Of The Ravens. She cares for and protects the famous ravens.

This is a tale of royal politics, life at court, intrigue and the way of life at the time. Historical fiction at its best.

Thank you to the publishers, the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Joanna Hickson became fascinated with history when she studied Shakespeare’s history plays at school. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she took up a career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on both television and radio. 

Now she writes full time and has a contract with Harper Collins for three historical novels. The Agincourt Bride is the first. She lives in Scotland in a 200 year old farmhouse and is married with a large extended family and a wayward Irish terrier.

Joanna likes people to join her on Twitter (@joannahickson) or Facebook (Joanna Hickson)and says if you can’t find her she’ll be in the fifteenth century! (Courtesy of Goodreads). 

Book reviews, post-apocalyptic, Thriller

Blue Gold by David Barker – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The near future. 

Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat – a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow. 

When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission.

Freda’s misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster – a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires’ tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust? As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon – and protect the future of ‘blue gold’. 

David Barker’s gripping debut will thrill fans of Richard North Patterson, Scott Mariani and Steve Berry.  
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MY REVIEW 

Blue Gold is set in a future not to far ahead.

It tells of a world shortage of water, the most precious commodity, and how the world powers fight for control of it.

Two agents, Sim and Freda, travel the world fighting to prevent terrorists and unscrupulous governments from taking control of the water supply.

It deals with the consequences of global warming and feels all too possible, when you think of the current climate,

An action packed, fast paced, thriller that gives you pause for thought. Very clever.

My thanks to Kelly At Love Books Group for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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David lives in Berkshire and is married to an author of children’s picture books, with a daughter who loves stories. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time. David’s writing ambitions received a major boost after he attended the Faber Academy six-month course in 2014 and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students. He loves reading, especially adventure stories, sci-fi and military history. Outside of family life, his other interests include tennis, golf and surfing.

 

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/2IbAGUT

 

Twitter Handles 

@BlueGold201 

@UrbaneBooks 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!

This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.
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MY REVIEW 

What a fun read….

Hemlock Jones and her friend, Edward live at 211b Baker Street, she is a demystifier. Due to her exceptional observational skills, she has helped the police on a difficult case before…..but her neighbour Sherlock got most of the credit!

She is a young girl, but certainly knows her own mind.

When 11 orphans disappear from an orphanage she offers her skills to the police….can she find out where these poor boys have gone? Is there a link to the digging of the new London Underground tunnels?

With sewers, rats and the odd pirate, this is an entertaining adventure with a strong female character and a great story that’s ideal for young readers. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://amzn.to/2WK2R3e

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

32BA53CD-B664-4843-A37C-C9578FEEDFDF

Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Now, Justin has published the second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles: Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans, perfect for all fans of 10 years and above of adventurous detective mysteries!

 

Justin Carroll on Social Media:

 

Author website: ​www.justin-carroll.com/

Twitter: ​​https://twitter.com/WriterJustinC

Facebook: ​​https://www.facebook.com/JustinCarrollAuthor/ 

Amazon: ​​https://author.to/JustinCarroll

GoodReads:​​https://www.goodreads.com/JustinCarroll

Book reviews, Horror

Those Who Came Before by J.H. Moncrieff – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An idyllic weekend camping trip is cut short when Reese Wallace’s friends are brutally murdered. As the group’s only survivor, Reese is the prime suspect, and his story doesn’t make much sense. A disembodied voice warning him to leave the campground the night before? A strange, blackened tree that gave him an electric shock when he cut it down for firewood?

Detective Greyeyes isn’t having any of it—until she hears the voice herself and finds an arrowhead at the crime scene—an arrowhead she can’t get rid of. Troubling visions of a doomed Native American tribe who once called the campground home, and rumors of cursed land and a mythical beast plague the strangest murder case she’s ever been a part of.

People are dying at Strong Lake, and the worst is yet to come.

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MY REVIEW 

Reese, his girlfriend Jessica and her friends Dan and Kira are off for a weekend camping trip. After a row, they all head off to sleep, but when Reese wakes he finds his friends all dead, literally ripped apart….he hadn’t heard a thing….

This all happened on land, part of a nearby American Indian reservation, so the local Detective Maria Greyeyes asks for help from the local Chief. Together they identify something else may be stalking the woods…a Wendigo

This is a camping trip horror story with some really gruesome and creepy moments to keep your heart pounding. (It reminded me of one of the Supernatural TV show’s episodes too). Great characters, atmospheric writing and a gripping, creepy plot make this 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 a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Those-Who-Came-Before-ISBN-9781787582989.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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J.H. Moncrieff’s City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense. Reviewers have described her work as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure. She won Harlequin’s search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016.

Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year.

When not writing, she loves exploring the world’s most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class.

To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, go to http://bit.ly/MoncrieffLibrary.

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Police procedural

See Them Run by Marion Todd – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In a famous Scottish town, someone is bent on murder – but why?

On the night of a wedding celebration, one guest meets a grisly end when he’s killed in a hit-and-run. A card bearing the number ‘5’ has been placed on the victim’s chest. DI Clare Mackay, who recently moved from Glasgow to join the St Andrews force, leads the investigation. If Clare wants to solve the case she must face her own past and discover the deepest secrets of the victims – and the killer.

See Them Run is a brilliant crime novel with Scotland at its heart. Todd has conceived an intriguing Scottish police force, including the fierce DI Clare Mackay and her right-hand man, Chris. The two of them are a force to be reckoned with in this gripping police procedural, which has so far received excellent response from advance readers.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 in a new series featuring DI Clare Mackay.

DI Clare Mackay has moved to St Andrews, for a fresh start away from Glasgow. 

Clare has the investigation, a pending private prosecution relating to events in Glasgow and a messy personal life too.

She is investigating a hit and run accident, but the body has a card pinned to them with the number 5…..so was this really an accident? What is the link to the Thursday Club?

When another hit and run is found, and the body has the number 4, she realises there must be something to link these incidents…..can she find the person responsible before any more killings?

Marion Todd has written a really in depth police procedural which is non stop, with great characters and a clever plot, this really is a tense and gripping thriller. 

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2qbor4v

163D28E6-6732-45F9-AC9C-B1A3437C522C

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Marion Todd is a debut author who has worked as a college lecturer, plantswoman and candle-maker. Early success saw her winning first prize in the Family Circle Magazine short story for children national competition and she followed this up by writing short stories and articles for her local newspaper. As a keen reader of crime fiction, the lure of the genre was strong, and she began writing her debut crime novel. Now a full-time writer, Marion lives in North-east Fife, overlooking the River Tay.

Don’t miss the page-turning first novel in a gripping series featuring DI Clare Mackay, perfect for fans of Alex Gray, D. S. Butler and Rachel Amphlett.

 

 

Book reviews, Womens fiction

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

This delightful collection of short stories offers insight into the lives of Syrian women, both the married and the brides-to-be. It reveals the warmth and humor as well as the oppression in the Syrian society. The stories make the reader laugh while addressing serious issues such as domestic violence.

Um Hussam can’t find a suitable bride for her son, testing each candidate’s sight, hearing and reading skills, occasionally cobbing a feel. Jamila’s husband Hassan can’t forget his deceased wife, until she makes sure he never mentions her again. 

Rami can’t help but wonder whether his new bride is a natural beauty or a talented surgeon’s masterpiece. Khadija’s maid stabs her in the back while Rana’s husband Muafak can’t find the right excuse to avoid a fight.

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MY REVIEW 

Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi is a collection of short stories of women living in Syria.

It tells of love, marriage, life and sometimes domestic violence and controlling behaviour. These behaviours are not specific to Syria, but unfortunately the world over.

But, this also has wonderful insights into the life and culture and food of the country, with beautifully descriptive writing that really brings it to life.

Tales of strong women that’s original, touching and humorous too. I loved it.

Thank you to the author, Anna Halabi for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Safe House by Jo Jakeman – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF STICKS AND STONES A REFRESHING THRILLER WITH A FEMINIST TWIST.

PERFECT FOR FANS OF CLARE MACKINTOSH, FIONA BARTON, LISA JEWELL,

EVA DOLAN & LAURA MARSHALL.

 

Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for afew days. 

She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.

And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really paid the price for what she did.

978B3780-955C-4267-AFF7-D11E2499E84E

MY REVIEW

Steffi Finn is in prison, serving 10 months for giving a false alibi for her boyfriend, Lee. The relationship had been one sided and very coercive, but she loved Lee….but he had then killed another woman…

On her release, she moves to Cornwall, takes a new identity, Charlie Miller, and settles into life in a small community.

However, she starts to feel she is being watched, is this paranoia? Or is someone really watching, someone who knows her real identity?

This is quite a gentle psychological thriller, but it has a sense of foreboding, a darkness to it that really makes this so gripping. The clever plot, the twists and surprises make this a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Mia at Harvill Secker for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (only 99p through November)

https://amzn.to/337B1jN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition

at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years

in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.