Book reviews, Murder mystery, Thriller

A Conspiracy Of Bones by Kathy Reichs – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the dead man had her phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.

But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes …

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MY REVIEW 

This is #19 in the Temperance Brennan series, it can be read as a stand-alone but I would say you should also read more in this excellent series.

Tempe is recovering from surgery for an aneurysm, she has headaches, nightmares and hallucinations. 

When she is sent anonymous pictures, to her phone, of a maimed corpse, predated by feral pigs (I’ll just leave that image with you for a minute), Tempe needs to know who the victim is, who sent the pictures and why.

As Temperance is persona non grata with her new ‘boss’, she decides to do her own investigation, taking samples and detail as of the body without the relevant authority. With the help of the brusque Slidell they begin the investigation. What they find is horrific, but I won’t say much more of the plot for fear of spoiling it.

I am a fan of Kathy Reichs’ books and this is a favourite. Tempe is a bit vulnerable, doubting herself and struggling to know what is real at times. But her determination and incredible knowledge it put to work to find the truth. She will not give in.

A masterpiece of plotting, the twists and revelations make this a must read thriller. I loved every dark minute.

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/2QHiaYv

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. A Conspiracy of Bones is Kathy’s nineteenth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. 

Book reviews, Historical fiction, Murder mystery

A Prison In The Sun by Isobel Blackthorn – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A Prison in the Sun

After millennial ghostwriter Trevor Moore rents an old farmhouse in Fuerteventura, he moves in to find his muse.

Instead, he discovers a rucksack filled with cash. Who does it belong to – and should he hand it in… or keep it?

Struggling to make up his mind, Trevor unravels the harrowing true story of a little-known concentration camp that incarcerated gay men in the 1950s and 60s.
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MY REVIEW 

 

#3 in the Canary Islands mysteries series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

This is a slow paced, beautifully written mystery, one to take your time over. It tells of historic and modern day events all cleverly woven together to give a real sense of time and place.

The mystery aspects are well plotted with plenty of twists to keep you guessing.

A tale of a man coming to terms with his sexuality, to find his place in the world while dealing with the horrors of a ‘concentration’ camp for gay men in the past, solving the mystery of a dead body on the beach and a rucksack packed with cash. Storytelling at its best.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/prisonsun

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Isobel Blackthorn is an award-winning author of unique and engaging fiction. She writes dark psychological thrillers, mysteries, and contemporary and literary fiction. Isobel was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019 for her biographical short story, ‘Nothing to Declare’. The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is the winner of the Raven Awards 2019. Isobel holds a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on the works of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey, the ‘Mother of the New Age.’ She is the author of The Unlikely Occultist: a biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey.

 

Social Media Links – 

https://isobelblackthorn.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn

https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn

https://www.instagram.com/isobelblackthorn/

 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Historical fiction, Murder mystery

This Lovely City by Louise Hare – Audiobook Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.

London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
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MY REVIEW

This is historical fiction set in London soon after WW2 and is so redolent with atmosphere you can almost smell it.

Lawrie had arrived in London on the ship, Empire Windrush, he’s now a postman by day and an aspiring musician at night. He’s also in love with Evie, but they face many difficult challenges to say the least. They just want a quiet life together.

One day, Lawrie hears a woman shouting and a baby is found in a pond, regrettably they baby doesn’t survive. The police immediately suspect the Jamaican community just because the baby had dark skin…….but can the truth be found?

While this is a murder mystery, I felt it so much more as it deals with the reality of the horrific discrimination and abuse the ‘Windrush’ generation deal with on a daily basis, truly shameful.

This is beautifully, movingly narrated by Theo Solomon and Karise Yansen,  and with the Jazz music at the beginning of chapters, they really brought this wonderful tale to life. One that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Joe at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this Audio Blog Tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Available from Audiobooks.co.uk

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common. 

Book reviews, Classic style whodunnit, Murder mystery

The Guest List by Lucy Foley – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Another murder. Another mystery.

Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together.

It should be the perfect day.

Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder.

A groom with a secret.

A bridesmaid with a grudge. A plus one with motive.

A best man with a past.

It could be any, it could be all . . . But one guest won’t make it out alive.
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MY REVIEW 

Julia is a magazine publisher, she is marrying Will, A TV celebrity, on a small island off the Irish coast. They have a wedding planner, Aoife, a caterer, Freddie and several ushers. Some guests are also staying on the island too.

During the evening reception there is a storm that’s causing power cuts and blackouts……..then a body is found!

Told from the perspectives of several of the characters, it builds a picture of each of them, their pasts, secrets and lies. It also gives differing pints of view to the story which really adds to the sense of unease.

An immensely skillfully written murder mystery with great, sometimes truly detestable characters and a twisty plot positively simmering with tension. I really enjoyed Lucy Foley’s previous book, The Hunting Part and in my opinion this is even better. Absolutely 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/2HSBnlf 

 

Thank you also to The Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read this in daily staves with the online Pigeons.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more. 

Book reviews, Murder mystery, Police procedural

M For Murder by Keri Beevis – Book Review

Welcome to the Publication Day Party for M For Murder by Keri Beevis.


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Twenty-Six Letters. But only one Killer? 

In 1989 the Alphabet Killer, Professor Rodney Boone, murdered eight students. The victims, ‘A’ to ‘H’, were each found with their surname initial carved into their neck. Victim nine narrowly escaped and the murderer was left to burn to death.

Eight years later and rookie police officer, Rebecca Angell, is thrown headlong into assisting a murder investigation. A body is found floating in the sewer, bearing the initial ‘J’. The investigators are convinced they are dealing with a copycat killer, but Boone’s body was never recovered…

As Angell scrambles to uncover the truth, the body count continues to rise, and it soon becomes apparent that the killer is intent on completing the alphabet…

 

*** This book was previously published as Dead Letter Day ***

What everyone is saying about M for Murder:

“kept me gripped until the end”

“recommend to any fan of detective or crime fiction”

“Excellent storytelling, turns and twists and good mystery”

“Brilliant edge if your seat crime novel couldn’t put it down”

Keri Beevis is also the author of the bestselling psychological thrillers Dying to Tell and Deep Dark Secrets. M for Murder is a gripping crime thriller which will keep you guessing until the very end. It will appeal to fans of authors like Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza and Patricia Gibney

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MY REVIEW 

Rodney Boone was a serial killer, known as the Alphabet Killer due to his habit of carving a letter into his victims skin. When one of his victims escaped he had been stabbed and the house set alight. He died in the fire and the killings stopped.

But now 8 years later, rookie cop, Rebecca Angell and her partner Vic, have found a body in the sewer with the letter J carved into his skin. Is this a copycat?

The FBI turn up to take over the investigation, and Rebecca and Vic are to help. She’s feisty and determined and takes no nonsense from anyone, but will this put her in danger? Can they catch the killer before anyone else dies?

With great characters, some likeable and some just downright creepy, this is a fast paced, twisty whodunnit and is completely unputdownable. 

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to take part in the publication day party,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Keri Beevis wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published after winning a contract in the Rethink Press New Novels Competition 2012.

Born in the village of Old Catton, less than a mile from where Anna Sewell was living when she wrote Black Beauty, Keri had a passion for reading and writing from a young age, though her tastes veered more to the macabre.

Today she still lives in Norwich, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel), where she writes a comedic lifestyle column for a local magazine. She loves Hitchcock movies, exploring creepy places, and gets extremely competitive in local pub quizzes. She is also a self-confessed klutz.

Keri joined the Bloodhound team in 2019 and her first release with them, the psychological thriller, Dying To Tell, which is set in her beautiful home county of Norfolk, has been her biggest success to date, with over 1200 four and five star ratings on Goodreads.
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Her new novel, Deep Dark Secrets (which was previously published as The Darkness Beneath) was released in January 2020.

Find out more about Keri and her books at www.keribeevis.com or you can follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/allaboutbeev or Twitter at www.twitter.com/keribeevis

Book reviews, Murder mystery

Revelation by Jo Fenton – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Revelation (A Becky White Thriller)

Manchester, 1989

A student, Rick, is found dead in halls of residence.

His friends get caught up in the aftermath: Dan, who was in love with Rick; and Becky, who is in love with Dan.

Their fraught emotions lead them into dark places – particularly a connection to a mysterious Kabbalistic sect.

Will Becky discover who killed Rick in time to save her best friend?
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MY REVIEW 

A student is found dead on a university campus. His friends Dan and Becky are shocked and grief stricken. Dan had loved Rick and Becky loves Dan so she plans on finding out who killed their friend to help ease the grief.

But Dan gets caught in a dangerous situation, so can Becky solve the murder and save her friend?

I’ve read a few of Jo Fenton’s books and they are always so well plotted and this is no exception. It deals with grief and how different people deal with it, it has a creepy sect and murder. All set in 1980’s Manchester, with young, bright and brave characters and a murder mystery to solve, all of which make this a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Links: 

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Revelation-Jo-Fenton-ebook/dp/B082KS9Y89/

 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-Jo-Fenton-ebook/dp/B082KS9Y89/

 

Author Bio

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Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. 

At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

 

Social Media Links – 

 

Website http://www.jofenton137.com 

 

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

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jl_fenton

 

Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Japanese fiction, Murder mystery

The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Takes the classic elements of the crime genre with a twist, providing a multi-voiced insight into the psychology of contemporary Japan, with its rituals, pervasive envy and ever so polite hypocrisy. But it’s also about the nature of evil and the resonance and unreliability of memory.

On a stormy summer day in the 1970s the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party in their villa on the Sea of Japan. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only family member spared death. 

The youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. Inspector Teru is convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident. 

The truth is revealed through a skillful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbors, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself.

“This spine-chilling masterpiece will make you aware of the dark places in your own heart.” Hokkaido Shimbun

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MY REVIEW 

Set in Japan in the ‘70s, members of the respected Aosawa family celebrate three people of three generations birthday on the same day. They have a large party and when drinks arrive from a friend of Dr Aosawa they drink happily. But, 17 people then die, including children as the drink had been poisoned. Only one member of the family survived, a young blind girl, Hisako.

As the only survivor she is a suspect, but a young man then commits suicide claiming he was reaponsible for the deaths, he was doing as he had been asked. Why? And asked by who?

This is a unique tale with a style of writing that feels as though you are being spoken to, being asked questions. It makes you think and wonder. I mean, who wouldn’t want peace and quiet to sit and listen to the world around you?

Beautifully written and so descriptive of mood, inner thoughts and especially the weather. You can feel the humidity of summer and the rain. It’s an intense, intriguing ramble to solve a dark puzzle. Brilliantly different and 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/3c6ezMS

 

ABOUT The Author and the Translator

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Riku Onda, born in 1964, is the professional name of Nanae Kumagai. She has been writing fiction since 1991 and has won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers, the Japan Booksellers’ Award, the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Best Novel for The Aosawa Murders, the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize, and the Naoki Prize. Her work has been adapted for film and television. This is her first crime novel and the first time she is translated into English.

Alison Watts is an Australian-born Japanese to English translator and long time resident of Japan. She has translated Aya Goda’s TAO: On the Road and On the Run in Outlaw China (Portobello, 2007) and Durian Sukegawa’s Sweet Bean Paste (Oneworld Publications, 2017), and her translations of The Aosawa Murders and Spark (Pushkin Press, 2020) by Naoki Matayaoshi are forthcoming.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery

No Mercy by Robert Crouch – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU? 

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he? 

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover? 

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin? 

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy. 

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him?

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MY REVIEW 

#5 in the Kent Fisher mystery series and yes it can be read as a stand-alone but you are missing a great series….

Kent is an animal sanctuary owner, an Environmental Health Officer and a private detective, an eclectic mix to say the least. His personal life is a mess, an ex turns up in a wedding dress, wanting him back and  Freya his new partner wants him to decide just want he wants.

But, when a client of Freya’s is found dead, an apparent suicide, she asks Kent to look into it for her. He speaks to the police too and agrees something is not as it seems. So the mystery begins….

When a disgruntled restaurateur, who has made a complaint about Kent and the council, is found dead the mystery deepens. Is Kent himself in danger?

This is an intriguing murder mystery with a great character in Kent, his gentle humour brings a lightness to the tale. Great fun, an intriguing mystery and thoroughly entertaining.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often find walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, taking photographs and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.

 

You can contact him via his website – https://robertcrouch.co.uk

Twitter – @robertcrouchuk

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robertcrouchauthor