blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Incredible conspiracy. Intricate espionage. Spy story.

Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.

Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.

Run for your life…

MY REVIEW 

THE BLACK FOX is #3 in the Lambeth Group series by Gordon Bickerstaff and it is a belter.

Here, Zoe (Black Fox) has been tasked with taking Dr Gavin Shawlens into hiding to keep him safe from the CIA. What does Dr Shawlens know that is worth causing an international incident over?

What can I say? This is an action packed, tense thriller that has you utterly gripped from start to suspense filled end. Full of sharp twists and complex characters that makes this a true page turner. (It would make a perfect movie). A truly memorable thriller. I love this series and it’s perfect for anyone who loves a clever thriller.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Black Fox.

About Gordon Bickerstaff:

I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.

I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.

The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GFBickerstaff

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012357701552

Website: http://bit.ly/1g4gEoa

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gordon-bickerstaff

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5776209.Gordon_Bickerstaff

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Facets Of Death by Michael Stanley – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana, introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu.

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.

Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?

MY REVIEW 

This is a prequel to the series featuring Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu , it is an introduction to his beginnings in the police force Criminal Investigation Department in Botswana.

Assistant Superintendent Makabu assigns Kubu to a complex case on his first day. A plane disaster which is at first believed to be an accident….but there’s more to it than that…diamonds are at the heart of it. When the diamond deliveries are moved to armoured trucks there’s a robbery.

But the robbers start turning up dead and some believe a witchdoctor has cursed them.

Kubu really is thrown in at the deep end with his first big case and it highlights what a patient and thorough detective he is.

This is a crime thriller at its very best, so well written with beautiful descriptions of Botswana and the surrounding area, a fascinating and immensely likeable main character and a dark, dark and twisty plot. Incredible writing that has me totally engrossed from start to finish. Simply brilliant .

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Facets of Death.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3sc9fOR

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and

learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand.

On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger. 

The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. 

They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Missing Pieces by Tim Weaver – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Rebekah Murphy knows too much. . .

She knows she’s alone on an abandoned island with a killer on her trail. 

She knows that to get home to her children, she must survive long enough to understand why this is happening. 

She knows someone tried to kill her for a secret.

What she doesn’t know is what that secret is . . .

Detective Frank Travis doesn’t know enough . . .

He doesn’t know where to find Louise Mason. He doesn’t know how and why she vanished into thin air three months ago. He doesn’t know the identity of the man last seen talking to her. Not yet.

But what he does know it that he’s a week away from retirement — and if he doesn’t find out where Louise went, no one will. 

What neither Rebekah nor Detective Travis realise is that each holds a missing piece from the same puzzle — and it will cost them everything they love to finally solve it . . .

MY REVIEW 

Rebekah Murphy is stranded on Crow Island, she’s in a n area ravaged by a hurricane with few facilities left.

Why is she stranded? Who is it that wants her dead?

All will become clear……eventually

The story is told from various perspectives and timelines, from Rebekah past and present which gradually reveals how she has ended up on Crow Island, and from Detective Travis and his search for a missing artist. 

Are these cases linked?

This is a thriller, absolutely packed with tension and the descriptions of the island and its weather feels almost claustrophobic adding a nail biting edge to the story. With lots of twists, a feeling of impending danger throughout this is gripping from start to finish. I need a lay down now.! Brilliant storytelling from Mr Weaver.

Thank you to Chrissie at Michal Joseph for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of Missing Pieces.

blog tour, Book reviews, Domestic noir

Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it?

MY REVIEW 

Look What You Made Me Do is the tale of two sisters , Jo and Caroline. They weren’t particularly close and when their father dies the secrets they have long kept hidden start to be revealed.

Beautifully written this family drama has a simmering tension as every member of this fractured family tries to keep their secrets. A tale of keeping up appearances in a toxic environment with a dark mystery just waiting to be revealed. A compelling read from start to finish. Brilliant.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of Look What You Made Me Do.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2R7iDGB 

Currently only .99p for Kindle.

blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

The Source by Sarah Sultoon – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier.

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth… and justice.

A tense, startling and unforgettable thriller, The Source is a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience.

MY REVIEW 

The Source is told from two distinct perspectives, one from Carly who lives on an army base, she has an alcoholic mother and cares for her baby sister. She gets excited when invited to a ‘special’ party, but her excitement is short-lived.

The other is from a journalist who is investigating allegations of sex abuse at an army base many years ago and the police have reopened their Operation Andromed. As she investigates she has to deal with her own past.

This is not an easy read as it deals with child sexual abuse and trafficking, it’s not done in any sensational way, but shows the horrors of this vile trade in a sympathetic way……while this doesn’t make it any easier to read at times the story has you hooked from the very start.

It has a clever, engrossing plot and well developed character that you can’t help wanting to protect. A heartbreaking, eye opening and utterly compelling read. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour , for the promotional material and an eARC of The Source.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3ws16cq

ABOUT SARAH SULTOON

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters

of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if

blog tour, Book reviews, Scottish Noir

The April Dead by Alan Parks – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

NO ONE WILL FORGET . . .

In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker.

Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.

On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got.

MY REVIEW 

The April Dead is #4 in the Harry McCoy series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in the ‘70s Glasgow, DI Harry McCoy has picked up his old friend Stevie, after his stint in jail. But Stevie has hardened in jail and is searching for a traitor amongst his crew.

All the while Harry is investigating a bombing, the only casualty appears to be the bomb maker. But who would set a bomb in this area of the city?

Then a second bomb explodes in the city’s cathedral.

Harry’s friend, Wattie is investigating a murder, that Stevie may have been involved in and Harry is also helping to try and find an AWOL US naval officer. So much is going on as Harry gets closer to the truth of the April dead.

This is a dark, grim and action packed thriller with a sharp, twisty plot. The characters are so well developed you can picture them easily, and the descriptions of Glasgow in the 70’s are frankly, terrifying. A marvellously gritty tale that’s compelling from start to finish. Scottish Noir at its darkest, Simply brilliant. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The April Dead.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3cqbZTX

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

After the gut-punch ending of Firewatching, DS Adam Tyler returns to another shocking cold case…

A body has been discovered in Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body has been there for months, and would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone has dug it up.

Who is the victim? Who killed her and buried the body, resting two ancient Roman coins over her eyes? And who dug her up?

DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable, and willing to kill to keep what they find…

MY REVIEW 

Nighthawking is the follow up to Firewatching, a Sheffield based crime series featuring the DS Adam Tyler and DC Mina Rabbini working in the Cold Case Review Unit. 

Adam’s dad, Richard, has died and this was put down as suicide, but Adam believes it to be murder. He is investigating this alone and Mina is covering for his absences against her better judgment.

One night, a metal detectorist is ‘nighthawking’ in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens, and makes a find he wasn’t expecting, a buried body.

With murder enquiries and Adam doing his own thing, Mina is swamped and things get complicated.

Slowly, all begins to come together.

This is a dark, twisty thriller full of tension and suspense. It has a mix of the characters personal lives, with Adam making a mess of his relationship with Paul, and Mina who is keeping work under control, she really is a force to be reckoned with, and the police investigations.  With its clever plot, marvellous characters and a truly nail biting end, this is utterly compelling . I’m already looking forward to book 3.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Nighthawking.

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/3s9JCPf

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. After a few ‘proper’ jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist, and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. His highly-acclaimed debut novel, Firewatching, is the first in the DS Adam Tyler series and published in February 2020. Nighthawking, the second book in the series, will publish in February 2021.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Hunt by Leona Deakin – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom.

He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. 

The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis.

But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett?

The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?

MY REVIEW 

Hunt is #3 in the series featuring Dr Augusta Bloom, it can be read as a stand-alone too.

The Foreign Secretary’s niece is missing and the only person he wants to find her is Dr Bloom. Working with her friend and business partner, Marcus, they find a feminist organisation has all the traits of a cult. So, Augusta goes undercover to find out why women are going missing.

Ooh and Seraphine is back!

This is a sharp, fast paced thriller with fantastic characters and a clever plot full of tension that keeps you on tenterhooks. Completely engrossing from start to finish. Unputdownable!

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hunt. 

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/30UPoIO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Leona Deakin draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels.

Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written three novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost and Hunt.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Takers and Keepers by Ivan Pope – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Where do the disappeared go?

The girls and women who vanish, seldom to resurface.

Allen Kimbo, a freelance reporter, believes there is a network of men who guard their “taken” and keep the silence that surrounds such deeds.

An email lures him to Eastern Europe, to a meeting of the Takers and Keepers.

His girlfriend, Emily, pleads with him not to go.

In Belgrade more is revealed than he had thought possible.

Back at home, Emily is missing.

MY REVIEW 

The Takers and the Keepers is about the dark underworld of human trafficking.

Here, journalist Allen Kimbo is investigating in Eastern Europe and what he finds is this horrific trade, which treats desperate people like nothing more than livestock.

This is not an easy read even for those of us who like our crime fiction on the darker side, this is as dark as it comes, all the more terrifying as this is really happening every day.

I found this to be a compelling thriller that is heart rending and thought provoking and it will stay with me for a long time. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Takers and Keepers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ivan Pope is a writer, artist and long-distance cyclist who lives in Brighton.

He graduated from Goldsmiths College Fine Art BA with the YBA generation and was involved with a number of early internet developments in the UK and across the world.

He invented the cybercafe at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and founded the world’s first web magazine, The World Wide Web Newsletter.

He has taught at art colleges in London, Newport and Brighton.

He is now a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction.

He is currently undertaking a PhD in creative non-fiction at Plymouth University.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

bound by Vanda Symon – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The passionate, young police officer Sam Shephard returns in a taut, atmospheric and compelling police procedural, which sees her take matters into her own hands when the official investigation into the murder of a local businessman fails to add up…

The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.

The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect.

MY REVIEW 

Bound is #4 in the Sam Shephard series, it can be read as a stand-alone )but you are missing out on a great series.).

A local businessman is murdered in his home, his wife is left bound to a chair and seriously injured, their young son had returned home to find them like this.

Sam is investigating the case to find out who would kill a supposedly respectable man, all the while she is also dealing with the fact her father has cancer and is dying. Throwing herself into work helps her forget her personal life for a while.

Can she find out the truth?

This is such a tightly plotted tale full of tension, great characters and a gasp inducing twist. So well written you are willing Sam on as she fights to find a killer. Sam is such a great character, strong and determined, yet with a softer side too. A marvellously tense, emotional thriller that’s has you hooked from page one. Just brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Bound.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/38qOBDg

ABOUT VANDA SYMON

Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

blog tour, Book reviews, Police procedural, Supernatural

The Devil’s Mark by WD Jackson-Smart – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Bloody remains. Multiple victims. Ritual sacrifice?

When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?

As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?

Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?

The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.

There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood.

MY REVIEW 

The Devil’s Mark is #3 in the DI Graves series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Here DI Graves and his partner, DI Palmer are investigating a murder after body parts are found in a London park. As they try to identify the victim more body parts are found and it looks like a serial killer is at work.

There seems to be a ritualistic part to the killings and so enlist Professor Gooding to help. What links the victims? What is the meaning of the symbols left at the scenes?

This is fast paced, dark and violent as the crime scenes are horrific and with the occult edge giving some creepy moments. The relationship between Graves and Palmer is clever and they work well together and make a great team as they delve deeper they have each other’s backs…..they’ll need it!

A dark and clever plot, with great characters make this a truly gripping tale that will have you hooked from the very start. 

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Devil’s Mark.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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/

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

blog tour, Book reviews, Murder mystery, Psychlogical thriller

The Favour by Laura Vaughan – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When she was thirteen years old, Ada Howell lost not just her father, but the life she felt she was destined to lead. Now, at eighteen, Ada is given a second chance when her wealthy godmother giftsher with an extravagant art history trip to Italy.

In the palazzos of Venice, the cathedrals of Florence and the villas

of Rome, she finally finds herself among the kind of people she aspires to be: sophisticated, cultured, privileged. Ada does everything in her power to prove she is one of them. And when a member of the group dies in suspicious circumstances, she seizes the opportunity to permanently bind herself to this gilded set.

But everything hidden must eventually surface, and when it does, Ada discovers she’s been keeping a far darker secret than she could ever have imagined…

MY REVIEW 

The Favour is the tale of Ada, she wants to belong in high society with the ‘elite’ and she’ll do anything to be part of it.

This is a slow burn of story full of secrets and lies, oh and a death.

Beautifully written, full of detail and art history with wonderful descriptions of Italy and its architecture. There are some truly reprehensible characters and none of them are particularly likeable but you do feel for Ada as she searches for a place to belong. A captivating story to lose yourself in for a while. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Favour.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Laura Vaughan grew up in rural Wales and studied Art History in Italy and Classics at Bristol and Oxford. She got her first book deal aged twenty-two and went on to write eleven books for children and young adults. The Favour is her first novel for adults. She lives in South London with her husband and two children.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Hotel Cartagena by Simone Bucholz – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.

With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge. Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.

MY REVIEW 

Hotel Cartagena is #4 in the Chas Riley series to be published in the UK. It can also be read as a stand-alone.

Chastity Riley is a public prosecutor, she is at a party to celebrate her friend, Faller’s birthday. Surrounded by friends, lovers and ex-lovers this is going to be interesting, but then armed men arrive at the hotel and it becomes a hostage situation.

Why would they target the hotel?

Told from the present day and with flashbacks to the past, you gradually build a picture of events that have led to this moment from 

During the hours the hostages sit and wait, there’s time for reflection and Chastity has plenty to think about…..as does poor Ivo who is aching events from the outside.

This is a fast paced, stylish thriller that is Noir with a capital N, it has many layers with the crime, the hostages and the thoughts and emotions of those involved. It’s sharp, edgy and utterly gripping from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hotel Cartagena.

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/3dTj9Bi

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguín – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When two European backpackers are found murdered after attending a high society party in northern Argentina, sacrificial offerings left near the bodies point to their involvement in a Macumba rite.

But for their friend Veronica Rosenthal, a courageous investigative journalist with a proclivity for sexual adventure, the story smacks of a cover-up. Sure enough, Veronica’s determination to get justice for the ‘foreign girls’ quickly reveals a political dimension to the murder and leads her into very dangerous territory, bringing her face to face with old enemies, as well as new ones.

MY REVIEW 

Veronica is an investigative journalist, she is travelling through north Argentin. One night in a bar she meets two young women, they get chatting and agree to go to a party together. After a bit of a falling out Veronica leaves.

But, she then finds out the two women were murdered that night, in what looks like a ritual killing.

So, Veronica begins an investigation.

The Foreign Girls is a fast paced and gripping thriller, it really has a sense of time and place and tells of power, corruption and femicide. There is also a feeling of menace round every corner. It has a tight, clever plot and a great character in Veronica. Compelling from the very start.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Foreign Girls.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Author and the Translator

Sergio Olguín was born in Buenos Aires in 1967 and was a journalist before turning to fiction. Olguín has won a number of awards, among others the Premio Tusquets 2009 for his novel Oscura monótona sangre (“Dark Monotonous Blood“) His books have been translated into German, French and Italian.

The translator Miranda France is the author of two acclaimed volumes of travel writing: Don Quixote’s Delusions and Bad Times in Buenos Aires. She has also written the novels Hill Farm and The Day Before the Fire and translated much Latin American fiction, including Claudia Piñeiro’s novels for Bitter Lemon Press.

blog tour, Book reviews, Fantasy

Holes In The Veil by Beth Overmyer – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Having killed his lifelong enemy, Aidan Ingledark finds himself in possession of a map to the Questing Goblet, one of the Goblets Immortal that gives the drinker luck beyond measure. Meraude seeks this Goblet to wipe out magic- kind. Aidan and his traveling companion are determined to find it first but they must battle through illusion and doubt.

Jinn’s a Sightful seeking the Summoner. She wants to kill her mother, but her foresight ends in darkness. Can she enlist Aidan’s help and change her fate?un

The threat of Meraude and her dominion are imminent in this sequel to The Goblets Immortal.

MY REVIEW 

Holes In The Veil is a fantasy tale, set in a new world of magic, friends and enemies.

Here, Aidan has teamed up with Jinn and Quick and they have a map showing where to find the Questing Goblet. But they are not the only ones looking for it as Meraude wants it too.

Something is following Aidan and his friends!

With its well developed characters, a tension packed plot and fantastic world building this is a marvellous adventure of magic and fantasy. I’m already looking forward to book 3.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Holes In The Veil.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Beth Overmyer is the author of several works of genre fiction, the middle grade novella In a Pickle being among them. Fueled by tea, loved by cats everywhere, she balances her home life with writing novels and leading a creative writing group at her local library.

blog tour, Book reviews, scandi noir

The Last Snow by Stina Jackson – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Early spring has its icy grip on Ödesmark, a small village in northernmost Sweden, abandoned by many of its inhabitants. But Liv Björnlund never left. She lives in a derelict house together with her teenage son, Simon, and her ageing father, Vidar. They make for a peculiar family, and Liv knows that they are cause for gossip among their few remaining neighbours.

Just why has Liv stayed by her domineering father’s side all these years? And is it true that Vidar is sitting on a small fortune? His questionable business decisions have made him many enemies over the years, and in Ödesmark everyone knows everyone, and no one ever forgets.

Now someone wants back what is rightfully theirs. And they will stop at nothing to get it, no matter who stands in their way…

MY REVIEW 

The Last Snow is set in a remote part of Sweden, Ödesmark. Here, Liv and her son, Simon live with her father, Vidar. They are a close family, but there is an underlying tension in how they act around each other.

There are some flashbacks to Liv’s younger days as she grew up and this gives a little background into the family and the suspicions the other inhabitants of Ödesmark have of them.

Some in the village believe Vidar has money hidden in the house and so they set out to find it…..then there is a death.

The Last Snow is a beautifully written, slow burn of a thriller wIth a simmering tension that’s palpable at times,  it’s also about dysfunctional families and the claustrophobia of living in a small village. Wonderfully descriptive, chilling and so atmospheric. ScandiNoir at its best.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The Last Snow.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3anhm5i

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Stina Jackson was born in 1983 and raised in Skellefteå, northern Sweden. In 2006 she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and small dog. Her debut novel, The Silver Road, was an international bestseller and won The Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2018. The Last Snow is her second novel.

blog tour, Book reviews, Horror, Noir, Thriller

Deity by Matt Wesolowski – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rakes over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge. Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Why was he never officially charged? Are reports of a haunting really true?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive, spine-chilling thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we are willing to turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…y

MY REVIEW 

Deity is #5 in the fantastic Six Stories series and it can be read as a stand-alone (as can the previous 4)

Scott King is the master of the podcast and here he has a new case to discuss. He interviews six different people to get a picture of events.

Here the tale is about charismatic superstar, Zach Crystal. He had disappeared from his isolated forest property for a year, then he comes back as suddenly as he disappeared….he announces a new album, but then there is devastating fire at Crystal Forest and his remains are found in the ruin.

Then the rumours start, the young girls who were invited to party at the estate, the accidents and deaths, but the fans still worship him. None of these rumours could possibly be true, they know him……don’t they?

Deity is about the shield celebrity gives to those in its limelight and how that light of adulation blinds those who worship it. How fans believe he can’t have done those things he’s famous!. He wouldn’t have don’t that, I know him,  he’s a kind man, look what he does for charity…….sound familiar? 

Matt Wesolowski really is the master of a dark thriller. Deity is so well written with the tension slowly building chapter by chapter, drawing you along by a hand that won’t let go. It’s dark, haunting, thought provoking and utterly brilliant from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Deity. 

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/2LRd9xj

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies, such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Changeling, the third book in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His fourth book, Beast, won the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Book of the Year award in 2020.

blog tour, Book reviews, Horror

The Children God Forgot by Graham Masterton – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Forsake the living. Forget the dead. Fear the children… The brand new chilling page-turner from the master of horror.

A TERRIFYING BIRTH

A young woman is rushed to the hospital with stabbing pains in her stomach. The chief surgeon delivers a living child with the face of an angel and the body of a tentacled monster. The doctors are unanimous that the baby must die.

AN ESCAPE FROM THE DARK

Engineer Gemma is plunged into darkness in a tunnel beneath London. Before she escapes, a strange green light illuminates a cluster of ghostly figures. Gemma is certain they were children.

A SUPERNATURAL THREAT

DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel, of Tooting Police, have investigated the occult before – but nothing as strange and horrible as what they must confront in the city sewers. Down here in the dark, where the dead come back to life, witchcraft is the only force strong enough to save you…

MY REVIEW

The Children God Forgot starts with a woman in pain. It turns out she is pregnant, even though she insists that’s impossible. The doctor decides this baby must be born for the safety of the mother and child due to its deformity.

When the baby is delivered, it is a monster with a cherubic face. It then disappears from the baby unit.

Meanwhile, Gemma is working in the sewers with colleagues, she sees what seems to be a small child in the midst of a fat berg……and things get dark and creepy.

DS Pardoe and DS Patel begin an investigation into recent events and what they find is the thing of nightmares.

This is a true, classic horror story with enough creepy moments to keep even a hardened horror fan happy. Yes, the way women are portrayed is a bit off putting at times, very heavy breasts and pouting lips, the police are homophobic and there is some casual racism too….it feels as if it’s set in the 70’s in that way. But overall this is a classic style horror story with dark sewers and creepy baby things and will certainly rattle your nerves.

Thank you to Vicky at Head of Zeus for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Children God Forgot. This is my honest and unbiased review.

About the author

Graham Masterton was born in Edinburgh in 1946, and at the age of 17 he joined his localnewspaper as a junior reporter. He was appointed deputy editor of Mayfair at the age of 21, and at24 he became executive editor of Penthouse. After leaving Penthouse, he wrote The Manitou, a horror novel that became his first bestseller and was adapted into a film starring Tony Curtis.

Graham spent twenty-five years as one of the world’s bestselling horror authors before he turned his talent to crime writing. Inspired by the five years in which he and his late wife lived in Cork, he created a series of novels featuring Katie Maguire, the first female superintendent in the Irish police force. The first book in the Katie Maguire series, White Bones, was published by Head of Zeus in 2012 and became a top-ten bestseller. Graham continues to write thrillers and horror novels alongside the Katie Maguire crime series, which has now sold over a million copies worldwide.

Follow Graham:

Facebook: @GrahamMasterton

Twitter: @GrahamMasterton

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Nordic noir, Police procedural

Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion and the city is put on terrorist alert.

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Semplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…

The second in the hard-boiled and furiously compelling Blix & Ramm series, created by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst, two of the biggest names in Nordic Noir.

MY REVIEW 

Smoke Screen is #2 in the series featuring Blix and Ramm, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Emma Ramm is a crime reporter, she attends the New Years Eve firework display when there’s a large explosion.

One of the victims was the mother of Patricia, who had gone missing 10 years earlier. This case had been one of Alexander Blix’s…..and one that still bothers him.

Who caused the explosion and why?

As the investigation begins more questions are raised than answers.

This mix of police procedural and fast paced thriller has you hooked from the very start. With great characters and a twisty plot, all set against a beautifully atmospheric Norway, this is Nordic Noir at its very best. Utterly compelling from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Smoke Screen.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2YBZ2ii

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. Death Deserved was Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller. They are currently working on the third book in the Blix & Ramm series.

Audiobook, blog tour, Book reviews, True Crime

No Ceremony For The Dead by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

‘I know I has special needs. So does Stanley and Francis and Billy and Josh. People don’t listen to us, ’cause they thinks we’re thick in our heads.’

Charlie works at St Patrick’s residential home, where the walls are so thick no one can hear you cry. He’s asking child protection expert Shane Dunphy for help, before someone gets murdered. Charlie tells him of mistreatment, brutality and random cruelty, and now Maisie, his girlfriend, a resident at the home, has gone missing. When Shane finds out what has happened to Maisie, he knows he’s uncovered a world of trouble.

Shane works his connections and, together with the ingenuity of the care home residents, attempts to subvert and infiltrate the system and bring the guilty to justice.

MY REVIEW 

No Ceremony For The Dead is #3 in the Stories from the Margins series.

It tells of Shane Dunphy’s real experiences as a child protection expert in Ireland. 

This is the story of St Patrick’s residential home. A home to care and protect vulnerable adults with complex needs. 

When young Charlie tells Shane of abuse at the home, he knows he needs to look into it further.

This is not an easy listen at times due to the subject matter, the systematic abuse of the vulnerable by people in positions of trust, it’s harrowing and anger inducing and is still being kept quiet…..an utterly compelling listen.

Shane narrates his story himself, with occasional looks at historic crimes and even folk tales which give a real sense of place. I have listened to the two previous books in this series and this is a great addition to the series. A heartbreaking look into the dark past of Ireland’s care of the vulnerable. 

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an audio copy of No Ceremony For The Dead.

Available exclusively at Audible.co.uk