Book reviews, Murder mystery, Thriller

A Conspiracy Of Bones by Kathy Reichs – Book Review

1FBF00E5-22CB-49BE-BABA-DCE889D43D1A
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 …

F69EB057-F123-4CC9-A90B-634122D738AE

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 

24D54DE9-BF01-43DB-860B-65EC4CF4CD10

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, Family drama, Thriller

Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei – Book Review

509DEDD1-7FF8-4419-BE68-2F93BA20748E
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Upon discovering her fifteen-year-old sister’s body sprawled in a pool of blood at the bottom of their apartment block, Nga-Yee vows to serve justice to the internet troll she blames for her sister’s suicide.

Hiring an anti-establishment, maverick tech-savvy detective, Nga-Yee discovers the dark side of social media, the smokescreen of online privacy and the inner workings of the hacker’s mind.

Determined to find out the truth about why her sister Siu-Man killed herself, Nga-Yee cannot rest until she finds out whose inflammatory social media post went viral and pushed her sister to her death. Along the way, Nga-Yee makes unsavoury discoveries about her sister’s life and the dark underbelly of the digital world.

Perfect for fans of hacker thrillers such as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, Second Sister is part detective novel, part revenge thriller. It explores timely themes of sexual harassment, online trolling, victim blaming, fake news and data privacy scandals, vividly capturing the zeitgeist of Hong Kong and the world today.

0A49B18F-CA4D-43FE-ADCC-A625F8894A0B

 

MY REVIEW 

Nga-Yee’s younger sister, Siu-Man jumped from an apartment window, she could no longer cope with life after attack by internet trolls.

She had been assaulted on a train and the accused man was caught, convicted and imprisoned. Then his nephew posts online that it was all a lie, Siu-Man had made false allegations after a row with him earlier that day.

She was constantly bullied online.

Nga-Yee wants revenge, she wants someone to suffer like her sister. So she makes contact with N, a hacker and a plan is formed. But how far do you go before you become the person you despised ?

“This was merely fighting evil with evil, turning them all into feral animals”

This is a stunning tale of sexual harassment and exploitation, of heartbreak and revenge.  It’s timely and very apt in these days of social media and how some people feel the need to constantly belittle and bully others in anonymity. But at what cost to those affected?..Tragedy is never far away.

Beautifully written with a clever plot, insights into the world of technology and hacking, but also a tale of loss and grief and how it affects us all. A fantastic and compelling read. 

Thank you to Bei Guo at Midas Public Relations for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for a free copy of Second Sister. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

 

 

About the Author

 

Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong. He has worked as a software engineer, game designer, manga editor, and lecturer. Chan wrote made his debut as a writer in 2008 at the age of thirty-three, with the short story The Case of Jack and the Beanstalk which was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award. Chan re-entered the following year and won the award for his short story The Locked Room of Bluebeard.

Chan reached the first milestone of his writing career in 2011 with his novel, The Man who Sold the World which won the biggest mystery award in the Chinese speaking world, the Soji Shimada Award. The book has been published in Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Thailand and Korea.

In 2014, Chan’s crime thriller The Borrowed was published in Taiwan. It has sold rights in thirteen countries, and the book will be adapted into a film by acclaimed Chinese art film director Wong Kar-Wai.

Second Sister has acquired a six-figure film deal with Linmon Pictures in China. The book will be published in the US in 2020 and rights have been sold to China, Korea and Japan.

 

About the Translator

 

Jeremy Tiang’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, Esquire and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He has written four plays and translated more than ten books from the Chinese. Tiang lives in New York. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural, Thriller

Containment by Vanda Symon – Book Review

E57177B2-73C6-44DB-B69B-E343D1967E8B
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Chaos reigns in the sleepy village of Aramoana on the New Zealand coast, when a series of shipping containers wash up on the beach and looting begins.

Detective Constable Sam Shephard experiences the desperation of the scavengers first-hand, and ends up in an ambulance, nursing her wounds and puzzling over an assault that left her assailant for dead.

What appears to be a clear-cut case of a cargo ship running aground soon takes a more sinister turn when a skull is found in the sand, and the body of a diver is pulled from the sea … a diver who didn’t die of drowning…

As first officer at the scene, Sam is handed the case, much to the displeasure of her superiors, and she must put together an increasingly confusing series of clues to get to the bottom of a mystery that may still have more victims…

D3F7F0E4-C96C-4FFA-B5A1-6DD37ED57C67

MY REVIEW 

#3 in the Sam Shephard series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in the Small town of Dunedin, New Zealand, (which the author describes so well I feel I know it)…A cargo ship has run aground and shipping containers are strewn across the beach, so obviously people see this as an opportunity to loot. The police arrive amid the mayhem and DC Sam Shephard arrives only to be assaulted by one of the looters. 

A skull is found on the beach and an investigation begins, for there only then to be found a divers body in a nasty state. Sam is heavily concussed, but with just a few days rest she’s back and searching for the truth….

I loved Sam, with her messy personal life, her family and her dogged determination at work. She’s strong, feisty, full of a dark humour and stubborn to say the least.

The amazing plot will keep you guessing, with plenty of twists and red herrings that all come together in a perfect and satisfying end. A marvel of creative writing by Vanda Symon and I was hooked from start to finish in this refreshingly original and totally compelling crime thriller. 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/39ZQfe1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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 also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

 

Praise for Vanda Symon

Vanda Symon’s fast-paced crime novels are as good as anything the US has to offer – a sassy heroine, fabulous sense of place, and rip- roaring stories with a twist. Perfect curl-up-on-the-sofa reading’

 

 Kate Mosse 

 

‘Symon’s talent for creating well-rounded characters permeates throughout’ Crimewatch • ‘A plot that grabs the reader’s attention with a heart-stopping opening and doesn’t let go’ 

 

Sunday Times Crime Club 

 

‘Powerful, cooly assured, and an absolute belter of a read’ 

 

Liz Robinson, LoveReading 

 

‘It is Symon’s copper Sam, self- deprecating and very human, who represents the writer’s real achievement’ 

 

Barry Forshaw, The Guardian • 

 

‘This one’s a cracker’

 

 Liam McIlvanney 

 

‘Reads like the polished effort of a genre veteran. More, please’ 

 

David Pitt, Booklist

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany’s hottest new talents

A windowless shack in the woods. Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.

FEEF630B-3CC5-4F7A-B034-8EAD6AA06BA6

MY REVIEW

14 years ago Lena Beck went missing, her father, Matthias has never given up hope.

When a young woman is taken to hospital after a hit and run accident, Matthias is told this may be his daughter, as the little girl with her, Hannah, says the woman’s name is Lena.

It’s not Lena and he is bitterly disappointed, only to find out Hannah is his granddaughter…..so what has happened to Lena?

Oh my, this is a disturbing tale, Hannah is decidedly odd, but then if you’d been living in a windowless cabin all your life then it’s understandable. Her brother, Jonathan is traumatised by events that lead to their escape too and Jasmine is terrified….and this is just the beginning.

I found this to be an incredible, completely engrossing read. It’s so well written, with a plot that keeps you on tenterhooks throughout. It grabs you from the very start and doesn’t let go. Dealing with the trauma of abduction, violence and fear it’s not an easy read at times but so compelling.

A fantastically chilling and original thriller….this is a must read. 

Thank you to Quercus Books for the opportunity to read Dear Child for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Thriller

The Second Wife – Rebecca Fleet – Book Review

77478517-6ED9-4BCF-8BDF-FEBF47D85916
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In this dark, menacing thriller, Rebecca Fleet shows us a suspenseful, twisty yet emotionally devastating portrait of a family in turmoil.

Everyone brings baggage to a new relationship.

When Alex met Natalie she changed his life. After the tragic death of his first wife, which left him a single parent to teenage daughter Jade, he’s determined to build a happy family.

But his new-found happiness is shattered when the family home is gutted by fire and his loyalties are unexpectedly tested. Jade insists she saw a man in the house on the night of the fire; Natalie denies any knowledge of such an intruder.

Alex is faced with an impossible choice: to believe his wife or his daughter? And as Natalie’s story unravels, Alex realises that his wife has a past he had no idea about, a past that might yet catch up with her.

But this time, the past could be deadly . . .

E5463DDD-A6C0-4FB1-8DE3-612902A620A6

MY REVIEW 

Alex, Matalie and their daughter, Jade’s lives are thrown into turmoil after a fire at their home.

Jade was the only one who needed hospital treatment and her claims of a seeing man in the house before the fire are dismissed as a possible hallucination.

But Alex begins to wonder and so starts to search for the truth.

Told in two timelines, the past and present, this is a tale of secrets and obsession. It has a marvellously twisty and twisted plot that’s so well written, shocking, surprising and totally unputdownable.

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:

FB97C5B3-8075-494C-BB8B-52C784C85B5E

Rebecca Fleet lives and works in London. The House Swap was her debut thriller and her second, The Second Wife, will follow in 2020.

Rebecca’s second thriller examines love, loyalty and trust in a family torn apart by tragedy. It marries all of the suspense, tension and compulsion of the best psychological thrillers with a powerful, emotional portrait of our closest relationships.

Book reviews, scandi noir, Thriller

Black River by Will Dean – Book Review

0AB49113-0E76-4FC8-AAFE-D4EE9D4E0037
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

FEAR

Tuva has been living clean in southern Sweden for four months when she receives horrifying news. Her best friend Tammy has gone missing.

SECRETS

Racing back to Gavrik at the height of Midsommar, Tuva fears for Tammy’s life. Who has taken her, and why? And who is sabotaging the small-town search efforts?

LIES

Surrounded by dark pine forest, the sinister residents of Snake River are suspicious of outsiders. Unfortunately, they also hold all the answers. On the shortest night of the year, Tuva must fight to save her friend. But who will be there to save Tuva?

It may be Midsommar in Gavrik, but this is the most chilling episode yet in the acclaimed Scandi thriller series from British writer Will Dean.

1381A6DA-DB71-4CCD-9A64-6CDBDA63E45B

MY REVIEW 

This is #4 in the series featuring journalist Tuva Moodyson. It can be read as a stand-alone but you are missing out on a great series.

Tuva has moved away from Garrick, stopped drinking, has a new job and a fresh start. But when she hears her friend, Tammy, has gone missing she races back.

It’s the height of Midsommar and in the middle of a heatwave too….

Exhausted, Tuva starts her investigation with the help of Lena and Thord, but then another woman, Lisa, goes missing. Can Tuva find her friend?

Oh my nerves!!! Will Dean’s incredible writing literally had my skin itching and crawling…I could feel those bugs. Oh dear lord, the bugs…..moths, wolf spiders, midges and the nightmare that is flying ticks!  Oh and there’s snakes…..a lot of snakes.

The brilliantly odd characters, the breeder and the ‘cousins’ are so scary, it reminded me of the movie Deliverance, without the banjos…..

So well plotted, perfectly paced, with the creepy oddness and almost stifling tension make this a read in one sitting thriller. Fantastic and a must 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://amzn.to/33ci3sQ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

288ED6AC-25E0-4578-87A4-F4A8BADFAE92

WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands and had lived in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden, where he built a house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest. His debut novel, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s Book Club, shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize and named a Telegraph book of the year. 

The second book in the series, Red Snow, is now out in paperback.

 

   @willrdean @PtBlankBks Will Dean –Forest Author

Book reviews, Political thriller, Thriller

The Treadstone Resurrection by Joshua Hood – Book Review

3BD15D42-221F-4C11-BD56-9619029450E9
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Working as a cabinet-maker in rural Oregon, Adam thinks he has left Treadstone – the CIA Black Ops programme – in the past, until he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site.

Operation Treadstone has nearly ruined Adam Hayes. The top-secret CIA Black Ops programme trained him to be a nearly invincible assassin, but it also cost him his family and any chance at a normal life, which is why he was determined to get out. Everything changes when he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site rural Oregon.

Adam must regain the skills that Treadstone taught him – lightning reflexes and a cold conscience – in order to discover who the would-be killers are, and why they have come after him now. Are his pursuers enemies from a long-ago mission? Rival intelligence agents? Or, perhaps, someone inside Treadstone? His search will unearth secrets in the highest levels of government and pull him back into the shadowy world he worked so hard to forget.

Coinciding with the much-anticipated return of the Treadstone series – released by Amazon in January 2020 in the UK – and with the 40th anniversary of the first Bourne book, The Treadstone Resurrection is the latest instalment of the franchise. Picking up the baton from Robert Ludlum, Joshua Hood is an author and former Airborne Division fighter, whose real-world experience and combat training makes him the perfect writer for The Treadstone Resurrection.

8CB464DC-835A-4102-A96E-CFF470B02957

MY REVIEW 

This is a novel set in the Jason Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum. As a fan of these books I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy The Treadstone Resurrection, but I needn’t have worried in the slightest.

This is an all out, action packed thriller. 

CIA operative, Adam Hayes receives an email from an old friend with a warning. Then with events at his workplace, it soon becomes clear someone is out to kill him. 

This obviously puts paid to his ‘quiet’ life as he searches to find out who wants him dead and why.

It results in a fast paced, tense military thriller that will have your heart pounding. An exciting, fun and thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Anna at Midas PR 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: https://amzn.to/2TuEaGw

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

847B30AD-AFDB-4CA1-BC6A-DF0FBF521C32

Robert Ludlum (1927 – 2001) was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into 32 languages in 50 countries. Among his best-sellers were The Scarlatti Inheritance (1971), The Osterman Weekend (1972), The Matarese Circle (1979). He is most famous for the Jason Bourne series – The Bourne Identity (1980), The Bourne Supremacy (1986) and The Bourne Ultimatum (1990). The series was adapted for TV in 1988, for a film featuring Matt Damon in the lead role in 2002, and for a brand-new TV production from the writer behind Heroes and Chicago Hope in January 2020. 

 

Joshua Hood is the author of Warning Order and Clear by Fire. He graduated from the University of Memphis before joining the military and spending five years in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was a team leader in the 3-504 Parachute Infantry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006, conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2007 to 2008, Hood served as a squad leader with the 1-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Afghanistan for which he was decorated for valour in Operation Furious Pursuit. On his return to civilian life he became a sniper team leader on a full time SWAT team in Memphis, where he was awarded the lifesaving medal. Currently he works as the Director of Veteran Outreach for the American Warrior Initiative.

Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Domestic noir, Thriller

The Last Cuckoo by Maria Frankland – Book Review

40397FE8-7518-49BF-98E2-FB506509D5F8
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Do you listen to your mother? Even after she’s dead?

Anna Hardaker is following you …

This seemingly innocent Tweet fills Jamie Hardaker with confusion and fear. After all, his mother Anna has been dead for nearly three weeks.

What follows is an orchestrated Twitter campaign to lead those Anna loved, and didn’t love so much, to the truth behind her “accidental” death.

 

43447F66-EDEB-4F39-8EA4-E93E74186C63

MY REVIEW 

This is a unique thriller, told by Jamie, whose mother, Anna has died after an accident. It’s told as his innermost thoughts, how he misses his mother, he talks to her all the time.

Her fiancé, Iain tries to help Jamie, but it’s all fraught and not helped by Claudia, his daughter and was soon to be Jamie’s step-sister. These two young people really don’t get on at all. 

Anna had been at the end of her tether with their constant bickering and other family members sticking their oar in really didn’t help matters.

After Anna’s funeral, Jamie receives a twitter notification, from his mother’s account. He initially ignores it, but as more tweets are added, he wonders who could have access to her account…he even wonders if it could be her ghost..but when they start to intimate that Anna’s death may not have been an accident he begins to wonder who would be so heartless.

Was there more to Anna’s death? And who could possibly know?

Not only is this a mystery, it’s also a tale of a modern family…..a step-family and it’s challenges…messy and realistic. It’s so well written, it’s hard to believe it’s the author’s debut thriller novel, with plenty of twists and surprises making this a thriller that makes you think. Very clever and totally gripping throughout. 

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

8DD78574-1F71-4D42-B244-45078721AAD1

Maria Frankland’s life began at 40 when she escaped an unhappy marriage and began making a living from her own writing and becoming a teacher of creative writing.

The rich tapestry of life with all its turbulent times has enabled her to pour experience, angst and lessons learned into the writing of her novels and poetry.

She recognises that the darkest places can exist within family relationships and this is reflected in the domestic thrillers she writes.

She is a ‘born ‘n’ bred’ Yorkshirewoman, a mother of two and has recently found her own ‘happy ever after’ after marrying again.

Still in her forties, she is now going to dedicate the rest of her working life to writing books and inspiring other writers to also achieve their dreams too!

 

Twitter @writermaria2017

http://www.mariastephenson.com/

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Legal drama, Thriller

The Holdout by Graham Moore – Book Review

AECA0A69-EC7F-4BBD-A854-DA301DEAC7A1
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the screenwriter of The Imitation Game comes a knockout thriller that reads as 12 Angry Men meets Serial. 

It was the most sensational case of the decade.

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It’s an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.

 Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.

Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.

The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?

 

E52EC27B-1219-4FCE-BEA1-67B725F25ABF

MY REVIEW 

10 years ago Bobby Nock was on trial for the murder of 15 year old Jessica Silver. The 12 members of the jury deliberated and one of them believed Bobby to be innocent. 

Maya Seale does a ‘12 Angry Men’ and manages to persuade the other 11 and so Bobby goes free. But this was not a popular verdict with the American public and the media frenzy lasted a long time and affected their lives in different ways.

Now, a podcast, Murder Town, which discussed the trial, the verdict and the jurors, is now being made into a docuseries by Netflix. The original jurors, well the majority, are taking part. Maya, now a defence lawyer eventually agrees to take part.

They are all staying at the original hotel they were in during the original trial, then there is a death and Maya is arrested on suspicion of murder. Can she prove her innocence? Is there more to the Bobby Nock case than she first believed?

I really enjoyed this legal thriller, the chapters alternating between the past and present really build the story perfectly.

A fast paced, marvellously twisty thriller that’s totally engrossing from start to finish.  Perfect escapism and thoroughly entertaining.

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: 

Graham Moore is a New York Times bestselling novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay for THE IMITATION GAME won the Academy Award and WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015 and was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, received 8 Academy Award

nominations, including Best Picture.

Audiobook, Book reviews, Thriller, True Crime

Bleak Alley by Shane Dunphy – Audiobook Review

1FACD68A-3C0B-4A22-8BB4-8438F2125786
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

True crime within the dark heart of Irish gangs. Featuring original Irish folksongs written and performed by the author, Shane Dunphy.

He seems like a typical 16-year-old boy except that Mikey is walking the knife edge of crime. He’s tough and good with his fists, but when journalist Shane Dunphy is offered the chance to write his story, he discovers a lost, vulnerable child, in danger and desperate for help.

Shane descends into the perilous underworld of organised crime and discovers that the glamour of gangland life is riven with brutality and murder. Far from providing a means of survival for boys from broken families, the price they pay is often with their life.

With skill and empathy, and no little courage, Shane attempts to rescue Mikey from the clutches of warring gangland leaders and to restore the love and harmony of Mikey’s family which has been shattered by poverty and bad blood.

For fans of Peaky Blinders, Bleak Alley is the first in a series of true crime stories from the heart of Irish gangland life. The author provides extensive historical analysis of the rise of Irish street gangs and their outlaw Celtic culture, as well as original Irish folksongs.

Bleak Alley examines serious issues of social deprivation, state indifference and lawlessness with the pace and intrigue of a high-class thriller.

2CF29738-1A1D-4166-93A9-127F961E79EC

MY REVIEW

This audiobook, Bleak Alley is the true crime story of 16 year old Mikey, a young man from a troubled background. His mum is a schizophrenic and his alcoholic dad beats them both regularly. Mikey becomes caught up in a gang. 

Shane, a journalist wants to write about Mikey and wants to try to help him realise that being in a gang, heading for a life of violence and crime isn’t his only option.

This is not a tale for the faint hearted, it’s a gritty look at the reality of gang culture, the violence and exploitation of young vulnerable men in this lawless part of Irish gangland society. Very well read by Shane Dunphy and along with the Irish folk songs make this an unforgettable listen. 

Thank you to Ben at Midas PR for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Only available from Audible 

Audiobook, Book reviews, Thriller

Never Look Back by A.L Gaylin – Audiobook Review

2C31D5F1-535C-4D1D-A40C-399607A6BC71
PUBLISHERS BLURB
 

A new novel from award-winning crime writer, A. L. Gaylin. If you liked Serial and S-Town, you’ll LOVE this.

‘Right now, A L Gaylin is at the very top of her game, crafting exhilarating and audacious crime novels that are both rich in character and rivetingly told. Her books are, quite simply, not to be missed.’ – Megan Abbott

She was the most brutal killer of our time. And she may have been my mother…

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. Robin knows her mother better than anyone. 

But then her parents are brutally attacked, and Robin realises she doesn’t know the truth at all..
FDCD4E78-8693-4344-97DA-CDCA4AC9E341

MY REVIEW 

This tale revolves around an infamous murder case, The Inland Empire Killers, April Cooper and Gabriel Leroy.

They had been on a killing spree in the ‘70s and had died in a fire, bring the horrific crimes to an end.

Quentin Garrison works on a podcast reviewing cold cases and is looking into the Inland Empire Killers case. When he finds a new lead in the case things get dark.

This is so well plotted it really keeps you guessing. As you find how the characters are linked to the original case the tension really builds. 

The excellent narration by James Fouhey and Jorjeana Marie really brings the story to life and I thought their voices perfectly matched the characters and added to the tension.

An edge of your seat thriller and thoroughly entertaining.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed, Heartless, What Remains Of Me and If I Die Tonight; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York. 

Book reviews, Thriller

One by K.J. McGillick – Book Review

BBC2D2E5-2ED7-4F12-B6A5-282662EBF25D
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One: Rage Vengeance Murder

A stolen life. A Faustian bargain. Prey becomes predator.

Azar Abed is out for revenge for the life Dr. Adrian Armond stole from her. No matter what the cost. 

Adrien Armond will stop at nothing to recover the massive fortune Azar Abed embezzled from him. 

Neither will walk away until the other is dead. Someone’s going to die, that is for certain.

Personal revenge gets caught up in a bio-terror plot to crash the world’s economy as darkness spirals into darkness and terror is the order of the day. Azar Abed and Adrien Armond are on a collision course that could have catastrophic consequences on a global scale.

Who will kill who first? Will it be enough? Can anyone stop the bio-terror plot to destroy the world’s economy that is already in motion? Does anyone have enough humanity left even to try?

Set against a backdrop of Washington, DC, ONE is a heart pounding-psychological thriller pitting greed against greed in a cat-and-mouse game where vengeance is the only prize. It can be read as a standalone, or as the conclusion to events begun in its predecessor, TWO. It concludes the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.
62999F84-AC05-41F9-BCC5-89B5957C3634

MY REVIEW 

This is the final book in the series and really ties up all those loose ends.

It brings together elements from the previous two books in a twisty, fast paced plot. The final piece of the puzzle that really brings the series to a rage filled, incredibly tense and ultimately satisfying end.

With great characters and plenty of details to give this a feeling of plausibility. Very cleverly plotted and thoroughly entertaining.

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/gp/product/B07CNZXL1C/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CNZXL1C/

 

Author Bio –

7B4EEA66-B15F-4A03-8557-75EF65E283C7

K.J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing 

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

DCB242A8-AF99-459A-AE65-82C3B71E9C48

Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

The Alibi Girl by C J Skuse – Book Review

998FF059-138C-4196-A9DD-BD5B36D0CE81
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Joanne Haynes has a secret: that is not her real name.

And there’s more. Her flat’s not hers. Her cats aren’t hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.

Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels ever so sorry. They’re all just alibis.

In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.

But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out….

1A3C609A-9C36-4B42-A312-CAB3B63F574E

MY REVIEW 

Joanne Haynes is hiding….but from who?

When a woman’s body is found in the hotel Joanne (Genevieve) works at, she knows it was murder…..she’s seen someone strangled before…..

Have the Three Little Pigs found her?

Poor Ellis, taken away from the only family she had, she now lives alone in a world of lies and make believe….but is someone watching?

A cliché I know, but I really couldn’t put this down….I just had to know, what was real and what wasn’t…. I found it to be so well written and I was drawn into Ellis’ world with its dark humour and troubled characters. I really liked Ellis with all her quirks and felt really sad for her and baby Emily…she’s a bit of a female Walter Mitty..

While not exactly a thriller, it does have violence and murder and a twisty plot. But I felt at its heart it’s a tale of fear, loneliness, love and family and I loved every minute. 

Thank you to Jessica Lee at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour date for a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2S09XzF

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House), MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. C.J. is currently working on adult novel SWEETPEA for HQ/HarperCollins (out April 2017).

C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

(Courtesy of Goodreads) 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

In Plain Sight by Marion Todd – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A child’s life is at stake. Which of the residents of St Andrews is hiding something – and why?

When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition. 

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

The second instalment from an exciting new Scottish detective series. Perfect for fans of Alex Gray, Rachel Amphlett and D. K. Hood.

0FC6D754-FA0E-4711-82FF-5E5BD8A0F371

MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Detective Clare Mackay series, but can also easily be read as a stand-alone.

A very young child has been abducted while her parents were watching a commotion at a charity fun run.

Detective Clare Mackay was about to take part in the run so was on the scene immediately, but no sign of baby Abi.

When they find out Abi has a heart condition and needs regular medication to keep her alive, this becomes a tense race against time.

Can they find Abi before it’s too late?

This is a clever, well plotted police procedural that’s so much more involved. There’s a missing child, a thorough investigation with plenty of possible suspects, office politics, an overly ambitious senior officer and well developed characters. A truly gripping and thoroughly entertaining read. I’m already looking forward to the next in the series….

Thank you to Sophie at Canelo for a free copy of In Plain Sight. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can preorder a copy here( available from 20 February) : 

https://amzn.to/2GPWsMJ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Marion grew up in the City of Dundee, now home to the magnificent V&A Museum. Always a keen writer, she has had point-of-view pieces published in the Dundee Courier and short stories in My Weekly magazine. She won first prize in the Family Circle Magazine Short Story for Children Competition in 1987.

More recently, Marion has turned her hand to crime fiction and was one of only six commercial fiction writers selected to pitch to an industry panel at XPONorth in Inverness in 2017. In 2018 Marion was long-listed for the Sunstory Award and the Scottish Arts Council Short Story Award. This year she was short-listed for Dundee Rep’s Stripped programme. She is represented by Northbank Talent Management and her debut novel, See Them Run, will be published as an eBook by Canelo on 31 October 2019.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marion worked as a lecturer, candle-maker and hotel lounge pianist, a job which provided rich material for her novels. When she isn’t writing, Marion can be found tussling with her jungle-like garden and walking in the beautiful Scotish countryside.

Marion lives in North East Fife overlooking the River Tay and is a sometime babysitter for her daughter’s unruly but lovable dog. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Thriller

Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster – Book Review

68A6801A-CEB0-4508-AE93-B42C82B020CD

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Tom Novak is back.

When a spate of deadly terrorist attacks hit the streets of London, Tom finds himself thrust into the middle of a fight for the survival of all he holds dear.

When the attackers hit closer to home than he could ever imagine, Tom is forced to make a choice between his duty or his conscience. In doing so, he enters a series of increasingly dangerous worlds, in the darkest corners of humanity.

Can Tom and his colleagues get to the bottom of a plot which threatens the very fabric of society?

Will they stop the terrorists before it’s too late?

When faced with the ultimate choice, which way will Tom go?

After all, as Cameron always says: “Always do right, boy…”

Going Rogue is the follow-up to the hugely successful thriller, Going Dark: the book that introduced Tom Novak as the hero who, in the words of best-selling author Tony Parsons, “makes Jason Bourne look like a vegan Pilates teacher”.

Get Going Rogue today, and start a rollercoaster ride of a thriller that you won’t ever want to put down.

1A74DD92-9476-4238-81FD-B3F808F04A61

MY REVIEW 

#2in the Tom Novak series but can also be easily read as a stand-alone.

Tom Novak works in the Covert Policing Advice Team, searching for those responsible for terrorist attacks in London.

They are looking for McEwan…..this takes Novak and his team on a real adventure and a race against time..

This is a real action packed thriller with realistic, likeable and believable characters and with the great, gripping plot this is a fantastically entertaining read. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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 

7ACC0AAE-77E6-4C3F-9C92-4F45DB54D5E5

Neil was born in Liverpool in the 1960s. He recently left the Metropolitan Police where he served for over twenty-five years, predominantly as a detective, leading and conducting investigations into some of the most serious criminals across the UK and beyond.

Neil acted as a surveillance and covert policing specialist, using all types of techniques to arrest and prosecute drug dealers, human traffickers, fraudsters, and murderers. During his career, he successfully prosecuted several wealthy and corrupt members of the legal profession who were involved in organised immigration crime. These prosecutions led to jail sentences, multi-million pound asset confiscations and disbarments.

Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police, Neil has relocated to the Scottish Highlands with his wife and son, where he mixes freelance investigations with writing.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/neillancaster66

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

Website: https://neillancastercrime.co.uk/

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

Publisher’s Website: http://www.burningchairpublishing.com

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Going-Rogue-Tom-Novak-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07YVLMKR2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=going+rogue&qid=1579695400&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Going-Rogue-Tom-Novak-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07YVLMKR2/ref=sr_1_12?crid=2XHV8QVPQAZ6O&keywords=going+rogue&qid=1579695807&sprefix=going+rogue%2Caps%2C216&sr=8-12

 

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/going-rogue/neil-lancaster/9781912946082

 

Foyles:

https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/going-rogue-a-tom-novak-thriller,neil-lancaster-9781912946082 

 

Book reviews, Thriller

The Vault by Mark Dawson – Book Review

1AB78B32-B9F6-47EC-8DC6-D296BF0F9482
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the dying days of the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall still casts a long and deadly shadow.

1989, MI6 agent Harry Mackintosh embarks on an audacious plan to exfiltrate a valuable asset through a tunnel under the Berlin Wall. But things go badly wrong and what could have been a brilliant coup ends in a bloody failure, with Mackintosh only just escaping with his life. Now he wants revenge.

Mackintosh returns to London for help. He asks for seasoned professionals but gets Jimmy Walker, a bank robber blackmailed into working with British intelligence. Walker has been given a stark choice: a long stretch in prison or a trip behind the Iron Curtain. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the resourceful robber – desperate to keep his liberty and lured by tales of Stasi gold – might just be the right man for the job after all.
E55BB9D0-E385-43D8-9C5A-E5AEBA7A3518

MY REVIEW 

The Vault set during the time of the Iron Curtain and Harry Mackintosh is trying to get PICASSO otherwise known as Gunther Schmidt out of East Berlin. 

But, it ends in disaster and now Mackintosh wants revenge,

This is a cold war thriller from a time the Berlin Wall was still standing. It has intelligence agencies plotting against each other, with spies, moles and double crosses aplenty,

Great characters and a clever, twisty plot make this an immensely enjoyable and intrigue packed thriller. If you like a classic Cold War thriller then you’ll love this.

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/36uVIXK

 

THE BERLIN WALL

9 November 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the 20th Century’s most notorious structures. Built in 1961 to divide East and West Germany, by the late 80s it was 156 km long with a 15m ‘death strip’ guarded by 11,500 border guards under shoot-to-kill orders. At least 140 people lost their lives at the Wall. The last in 1989 just months before it fell.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

3F49E234-2059-4F7C-BE5B-BA36AE543426

Mark Dawson is an award-nominated, USA Today bestseller, with more than 20 books published and over 2 million books downloaded in multiple countries and languages. Mark was born in Lowestoft, in the UK. He has worked as a DJ, a door-to-door ice cream seller, factory hand and club promoter. He eventually trained as a lawyer and worked for ten years in the City of London and Soho, firstly pursuing money launderers and then acting for A-list celebrities suing newspapers for libel. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

I Could Be You by Sheila Bugler – Book Review

72F57096-EFF2-4978-A97D-96EFE335C380
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A life has been taken. But whose life is it?

On a stifling hot day, former journalist Dee Doran finds the crumpled body of her friend at the roadside. Katie and her little boy, Jake, have been a light in Dee’s otherwise desolate life – now a woman is dead and a child is missing.

Katie has been keeping secrets for a long time. Years earlier, she fell for the wrong person. But he was in love with someone else; who he couldn’t have but couldn’t keep away from. When jealousy and desire spilled over into murder Katie hid the truth, and has been pretending ever since.

As Dee assists the police with their enquiries she’s compelled to investigate too. She realises Katie wasn’t who she claimed to be. Lies are catching up. Stories are unravelling. Revenge is demanded and someone must pay the price. The question is: who?

Don’t miss this explosive crime thriller perfect for fans for Alex Marwood and Fiona Barton.

52167B1C-56E9-4793-BEF2-BC1EB30D3DDF

MY REVIEW 

Dee Doran finds the body of her neighbour and friend, Katie Hope. A victim of a hit and run…..but where is her 2 year old son, Jake?

Dee, a retired journalist, uses her skills to try and find out what happened and to find little Jake.

What she finds out is that Katie, her friend, had secrets. She was not the person she thought she was.

Told in the present day and flashbacks to the past, this is a gripping, twisty thriller that has you hooked for the very start. 

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 

 

I grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland. After studying Psychology at University College Galway, I left Ireland and worked in Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland, Argentina and London before finally settling in Easbourne, where I now live with my husband, Sean, and our two children.

When not writing fiction, I provide a range of writing services to aspiring authors. I also run free writing workshops on this site. I am a regular contributor to the online writing magazine, Words With Jam.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone – Book Review

B2F72CA1-6095-471C-BA14-C29CD5E6A3A6
PUBLISHERS BLURB 

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series. 

The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

B8C1085E-F8C6-4875-9A0F-F8ED75EA29EA

MY REVIEW 

Set in Edinburgh, this starts with a funeral pyre in the garden, just as Jim wanted it, melting feet aside!

It is the story of three women, Dorothy, Jim’s widow, Jenny, their daughter and Hannah, their granddaughter. All grieving, but carrying on with their family business, the Skelf funeral directors and private investigators.

When Hannah and her girlfriend, Indy’s flatmate goes missing she is determined to find out what has happened. Did she really know her friend? And what she finds will be devastating……

Meanwhile, Dorothy finds out her husband has kept secrets from her, namely a missing employee and regular monthly payments to an unknown account. So she and her friend, a police officer, try to find out more. Oh and an old man who thinks his carer is stealing from him..

And Jenny, is investigating a potential cheating husband for a client. 

Can they find the answers they want and need? 

I love this book, it’s full of secrets and a dark humour that makes you laugh and cringe at the same time…there’s love, family, empathy and a spot of gravedigging too. The Skelf’s are just so well developed characters, strong and very likeable, the 70 year old drummer, Dorothy,  shows age is no barrier and man, can she wield a shovel! 

A tense thriller, but also tells of a family dealing with grief…..heart pounding and heartwarming too. This is a read in one sitting novel and I’m already waiting for the next in this new series. 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 ecopy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/377uWpj

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

8FF17E13-F599-4F8D-B42E-12ADD09A478A

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. 

Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. 

Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player- manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural, Thriller

You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas – Book Review

DF54E5A2-CDD3-428A-9876-6024C5CD77FA

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

LIES. AMBITION. FAMILY.

It’s a dark, smog-choked new Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.

Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.

Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the centre of it all …

In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.

52B124C7-C3E4-44C1-85AB-E22CB5D6E952

MY REVIEW

You Beneath Your Skin is a crime thriller set in New Delhi. Anjali is mum to her autistic so , she’s also having an affair with a police officer who is investigating some really nasty, gruesome and violent crimes. Mainly against women, with rape, murder and disfigurement by acid attacks.

This is a police procedural with a difference, it highlights the brutality woman suffer, the accepted, casual misogyny in their daily lives. The huge gap between the rich and poor and how the wealthy exploit just about everything around us it seems. There is also the corruption, which helps stop these crimes being fully investigated at times.  But, It also tells of love, family, self sacrifice and accepting the differences between us. 

It’s a difficult read at times, due to the subject matter, but it’s written with such grace and hope, which makes it an unforgettable read. This will stay with me for a long time. If you like a thought provoking and heartfelt thriller, then this is a must 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.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

679D4E57-E86B-4E87-B7A5-E0A2F791E920

Damyanti supports Project WHY, a programme that provides quality education to underprivileged children in New Delhi. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the USA, UK and Asia. She also helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. 

Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency.

Damyanti’s reading journey started at the age of 3, and the obsession continues. Her most precious memories of her childhood are of summers spent reading books of all sizes, for all ages. Her favorite authors form a never-ending list that features names like Truman Capote, Kate Atkinson, Lionel Shriver, Margaret Atwood, Anton Chekov, Tana French, Jodi Picoult, Jo Nesbø, Amy Hempel, Toni Morisson, Gustave Flaubert, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Even as a child, she has always been intrigued by the lives behind the faces, the contrasts between appearances and reality. Most of her stories happen at a point of crisis in a character’s life because it is then that the layers peel away and the real person emerges. She’s been a reader of true crime, and books like ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote inspired her to write crime stories — narratives that would document the unravelling of characters, their relationships, and the society they are part of.

Apart from being a novelist, Damyanti is a blogger, animal-lover and a spiritualist. Though she loves dogs, her travel schedule doesn’t permit her one. She contents herself with keeping fish and is able to take care of them enough for them not to die on her watch. Except once, when someone happened to turn off the oxygen pump. There will be a story about it someday.

Damyanti enjoys working out of busy cafes and food courts, as that helps her focus. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book or baking up a storm.

Her ambition has always been to live in a home with more books than anything else, and she continues to work towards that

 

http://www.damyantiwrites.com/

Twitter @damyantig

CE357F62-BA67-4B01-9751-D829D2A80574

Book reviews, Noir, Thriller

Pine by Francine Toon – Book Review

60B2244C-13D4-4832-BD5E-E017FAD915EE


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

They are driving home from the search party when they see her. The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men.

Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she’s gone.

In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren’s mother a decade ago.

Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father’s turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it’s no longer clear who she can trust.

In the shadow of the Highland forest, Francine Toon captures the wildness of rural childhood and the intensity of small-town claustrophobia. In a place that can feel like the edge of the word, she unites the chill of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.

F2A1CA65-23A1-49CD-AE5A-5274AB275569

MY REVIEW 

Lauren and her father, Niall, live in a secluded area of the Scottish highlands. Her mother had disappeared years before when Lauren was a baby. 

One night, after a trip to the village for Halloween they come across a young woman in the road. Naked except for a dressing gown, Niall takes the silent woman back to their home to help, but by morning she has disappeared.

Then young Ann-Marie goes missing…..is there a link between the two women? Is the same person responsible?

What follows is a moody, creepy thriller with a slightly mystical, supernatural edge. With Lauren, nearly 11 years old, who has an interest in tarot and spells, her father’s grief and heavy drinking and the oppressive, almost claustrophobic atmosphere of the woods, this is a tale of loss, grief and a small community. A gripping, goosebumpy 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://amzn.to/2NpewB5
56BDEFB6-1730-419D-85B9-D6A22AE3AE7C