The Good Teacher by Rachel Sargeant blog tour #extract @RachelSargeant3 @KillerReads

I’m delighted to be sharing an extract with you today from The Good Teacher by Rachel Sargeant as part of the blog tour. But before I share the extract with you, let’s have a look at what the book is about.

The Good Teacher: A gripping thriller from the Kindle top ten bestselling author of ‘The Perfect Neighbours’ by [Sargeant, Rachel]

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Some people deserve to be taught a lesson…

A gripping thriller with a shocking twist, from the Top Ten Kindle bestselling author of The Perfect Neighbours. This riveting story about a murdered teacher is perfect for fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR.

Even the good have to die.
A beloved teacher is murdered and left in a ditch beside a country lane. His wife is found beaten and gagged in their suburban home.

Even the best schools have secrets.
New detective Pippa Adams learns that the teacher ran a homework club for vulnerable pupils. But what did he really teach them?

Even the perfect family has something to hide.
When Pippa scratches the surface of the school community, she meets families who’ve learned a shattering lesson. And finally uncovers the good teacher’s darkest secrets…

EXTRACT

Hello, everyone. Thank you, Jacob, for inviting me on your blog. I’d like to share the opening pages of chapter two of my new book The Good Teacher where I introduce my lead detective, DC Pippa Adams.

I scramble up the metal staircase inside the south entrance to Penbury Police HQ. Late. Should have taken the car instead of waiting for the bus, but I was flustered enough without getting behind a hot, sticky steering wheel. I try taking the steps two at a time, but the thick woollen tights drag on my knees. Unseasonal legs, and slow, but ladder-free at least. I tried my best with my mother’s honey blush tights, but the minute I tore open the packet and the two bits of beige nylon flopped down, I knew they were designed for an underfed ten‑year‑old. And that was before their accident.

I up my pace and clamp my shoulder bag to my side – my one act of rebellion against Mum’s restyling efforts.

“Now all you need is a briefcase,” she trilled at the end of our shopping session.

“But I have to be approachable, Mum – a friendly face serving the whole community.”

“Really, Pippa, darling, you sound like that rather grand lady officer they keep interviewing on the local news.”

I swelled with pride when Mum made that comparison. I haven’t met Superintendent Chattan yet, but I’ll settle for having half the poise the woman exudes in her television appearances.

At the top of the stairs I slow down, trying to get my breathing under control. My bag’s heavy, too much fodder inside. Pink lipstick from Mum, change for the bus home, tissues, sweets, apples, the Penbury CID Induction Pack and a small handmade card in joined-up writing: Good Luck, Sis. Love Jamie.

Rushing along the narrow corridor past the glass-panelled general office, I tell myself I’m not all that late, but I catch sight of four heads already barricaded behind high in-trays and jumbles of phone consoles and computer screens. I break into a trot and wonder which workstation mine will be. What if my new colleagues don’t rate me? Being late on day one isn’t the best way to win them over. They might not speak to me – I hate silences. Hopefully I’ll be out on the road most of the time.

I touch the buttons on my jacket. Too formal? Another idea of my mother’s. Now you don’t have to wear that ghastly uniform anymore. After trouble with toothpaste spatters, I had to change out of her pink lace blouse selection into a royal blue T-shirt, an old favourite. It looks good with the jacket – so long as I don’t undo the buttons to reveal its full glory. If the weather forecast is anything to go by, I’ll have to boil.

Through the chipped double doors, across the stairwell and into the corridor beyond, I reach a line of varnished wooden doors, each bearing a nameplate. I stop before the first one: Detective Inspector Liz Bagley. I re-check my jacket buttons.

I’m about to knock when the door flies open and two unsmiling figures appear. One I recognize as Mike Matthews, the sergeant from my interview panel. But it’s the woman with him who seems more familiar. A mass of dark hair, toned face and full red lips. DI Bagley or Cher?

“You’re late, DC Adams,” she says. A small woman, she has to tilt her head to meet my eye. Her black curls quiver. The fierce northern accent is pure Rottweiler.

“I’m sorry, I …” I wrack my brain for a plausible explanation that doesn’t involve Colgate or laddered tights. “I, ma’am, well, I …”

Bagley steps through the door and forces me aside, barking her orders at high speed. “There’s been a murder and an assault. Almost certainly connected. You go with DS Matthews. He’s your supervising officer. He’s meeting Forensics at the assault scene.”

She breezes past, short strides, high boots, dancing gingham skirt, and stops at the far end of the corridor to lob Matthews an afterthought. “I’ll be on Martle Top, but try and manage without me.”

 

Thank you Rachel for inviting me to join the tour and for providing the extract of the book to share.

Publisher: Killer Reads

Publication date: 14th December 2018

Print length: 221 pages

If you would like to purchase The Good Teacher you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo

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She Lies In Wait by Gytha Lodge #bookreview

She Lies in Wait by [Lodge, Gytha]

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On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.

Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.

But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.

It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…

MY THOUGHTS

She Lies In Wait is a good introduction to a new police procedural series featuring DCI Jonah Sheens. Thirty years after the disappearance of Aurora Jackson, her body is discovered close to where she went missing three decades earlier. Her discovery is about to bring back together the people she was with, at the time she disappeared, in a big way. One of them could be responsible for her murder. Are they, at last, going to find out who killed her?

Just picture it, you’re out walking in the woods, and you kneel down to pull what you think is a root from the undergrowth, and you grasp what is actually a human finger. This is the opening scene that we are faced with when the body of a young girl missing for thirty years is found.

I love reading a crime novel where we are faced with a small group of suspects who all know each other. You’re never sure who you can trust in the group, and you can’t tell who is lying or telling the truth. What will happen to them all when it finally comes out? This was what I was also thinking about as I was reading this book.

I think if you enjoy crime novels with a literary edge, then this is definitely the book for you. Gytha Lodge’s writing is very immersive and is very easy to get into, I wouldn’t call it a quick read, but there is a cast of intriguing characters who will keep you turning the pages, you will want to find out what happens to them and who committed the crime. I found the lead detective DCI Jonah Sheens, particularly interesting. He is already connected to this case as he knew Aurora and the group of friends who she hung out with from school.  I think some readers may find it easy to point to the person responsible for the crime, but for me, it was the reasons why they did it that had me gripped, and it was what I wanted to find out.

The story here takes time to build as the police re-open the investigation into Aurora Jackson’s disappearance. There is a painstaking task ahead of them as they have to go over old ground, but all these years’ later new pieces of information begin to come to light which could finally shed light on what happened to Aurora in 1983.

I think the flashback scenes were the parts of this novel that I was most intrigued by. Gytha Lodge gradually begins to reveal to us the build-up to Aurora’s disappearance, and we start to see a picture develop of the type of people who her friends actually were and what they are capable of.

I thought the ending of this book was very satisfying, and I think it is an ending that will haunt the reader for a while, I keep thinking back to those final lines. Overall I found this an enjoyable read; it is an immersive page-turner that I’m sure will have fans looking out for more from this author, I’ll certainly be looking out for Gytha’s next book.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 10th January 2019 (Kindle) 21st March 2019 (hardcover)

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase She Lies In Wait, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Red Snow by Will Dean blog tour #bookreview @willrdean @PtBlankBks

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TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

MY THOUGHTS

Will Dean is a seriously talented writer, especially when it comes to atmosphere and description. Once I started reading Red Snow, I became completely wrapped up in the story and in the setting that is so brilliantly described. If you enjoyed Dark Pines, you are going to love this.

I only read the first book in this series towards the end of last year, and I was so excited that I could dive into the next one straight away.

After the events in the first book in the series, Tuva is facing strong animosity from the locals of Gavrik; some haven’t forgiven her for writing on the Medusa murders and putting Gavrik in the spotlight, and they are quite happy to see that she is leaving to go south. But with two weeks before her departure, she asks to help ghost writer, David Holmqvist research his next book on the liquorice factory, one of the town’s main sources of income. But trouble seems to have a habit of finding Tuva in this book, and she finds herself investigating a families murky past, with danger always just around the corner.

Will Dean is quite inventive when it comes to the nature of some of the deaths in both of these books, particularly the way in which the bodies are found. I think the next time we have snow, I’m going to be picturing snow skulls inside my head, they were so, so creepy. We also see the return of the wood carving sisters, who I am getting more and more curious about and I would really like to learn more about their history.

The family at the centre of this book, who Tuva is researching, are very mysterious and fascinating, and again there is a level of creepiness about them when Will Dean takes us into their home and explores their hobbies and especially some of the things that they collect. I wanted to know more about them and why strange things were suddenly starting to happen in their factory, especially since Tuva has arrived on the scene.

There is a dark undertone that runs right the way through this story which always keeps you thinking, about the places that Tuva visits and the people she encounters. Once again Will Dean has created an absolutely chilling read took me right into the depth of a Swedish winter as I was reading. During the time I was reading this, I sometimes expected to look up and see snow lying on the ground outside. I’m certainly interested to see how Will Dean will develop this series further.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher for sending me an advance review copy.

Publisher: Point Blank

Publication date: 10th January 2019

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase Red Snow you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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FINAL Red Snow Blog Tour Poster

The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge blog tour #bookreview @sibelhodge @Bloodhoundbook @damppebbles

Sibel Hodge - The Disappeared_cover

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The Widow. The Secret. The Liar. 

The Disappeared… 

On a routine flight from Africa to England, Dr Mason Palmer is tragically killed when the light aircraft he’s travelling on crashes and disappears in dense bushland.

The Widow…

Ten months later, Nicole Palmer is still trying to block out the grief of her husband’s sudden death. Until one morning she receives a photo of Mason through the post, along with a cryptic message. A message only he could’ve written.

The Secret…

But when Nicole tries to find out if Mason is really alive and what actually happened to him in Africa, everyone she turns to for answers ends up dead.

Determined to find the truth, Nicole uncovers a conspiracy that spans the globe, and discovers there are powerful people who are prepared to kill to keep her silent.

MY THOUGHTS

The Disappeared is a tense roller-coaster of a read from Sibel Hodge. Right from its intriguing opening, I was captivated by Nicole and Mason’s story which is quite a powerful one, and it can also be quite eye-opening. This is a novel that will make you think about what is going on in the world at the moment, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if events in this book were actually happening right now; it does make my blood boil to think that such crimes are being hushed up by corrupt governments across the globe.

In the opening pages, we meet Nicole who is grieving for her late husband Mason ten months after his plane went down, there were no recorded survivors. Nicole has never had closure, as the area in Africa where the plane crashed is in rebel territory making it too dangerous for government officials to go in and investigate and recover the bodies and the wreckage. Nicole fears that she will never be able to bury her husband and that his bones will remain lost in the African wilderness. But she is about to receive startling information that will change everything she thought she knew in a big way.

This is a story with plenty of intrigue and with some callous characters who you will be very happy to see taken down and destroyed. From the start, I had a lot of questions surrounding the mystery that Nicole has now found herself plunged into, what had really happened to her husband and what was he involved in? Like the police officers, I had more than one scenario playing around inside my mind. Nicole is a character who I became invested in, and I really wanted her to succeed in what she is trying to accomplish in this book.

This is quite an emotionally charged read, especially when you begin to learn the truth about what has been going on Mason’s world, prior to the events which are happening now. This plot is very hard to talk about without giving any of it away, so I’m not going to go into any further detail, but be prepared to be shocked and appalled by events which quickly unfold. I flew through The Disappeared as I wanted to see just how everything was going to come together in the end.

The Disappeared is a story about greed, corruption and lies which culminate in a painful truth. Sibel Hodge is a new author to me, and after reading this book, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more novels by her. If you’re looking for a quick, action-packed read, with heroes who you can root for, then I would definitely recommend this book. Thank you to Emma Welton at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Publication date: 10th January 2019

Print length: 365 pages

If you would like to purchase The Disappeared you can do so by clicking on the following link below. 

Amazon UK

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the disappeared blog blitz

The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage #bookreview @VvSavage @TheCrimeVault

The Woman in the Dark: The must-read addictive thriller of 2019 by [Savage, Vanessa]

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For Sarah and Patrick, family life has always been easy. But when Sarah’s mother dies, it sends Sarah into a downwards spiral. Knowing they need a fresh start, Patrick moves the family to the beachside house he grew up in.

But there is a catch: while their new home carries only happy memories for Patrick, to everyone else it’s known as the Murder House – named for the family that was killed there.

Patrick is adamant they can make it perfect again, though with their children plagued by nightmares and a constant sense they’re being watched, Sarah’s not so sure.

Because the longer they live in their ‘dream home’, the more different her loving husband becomes . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Woman in the Dark is such a tense, claustrophobic read with a very disturbing premise. A family looking for a fresh start are pushed to the brink as lies and deceit threaten to tear them apart, and there is more than enough tension to give you shivers.

It was the premise of this book which first drew my attention as well as the clever opening paragraph which straight away made me think that I was in for an exciting read. Sarah, Patrick and the rest of their family decide to start anew with a house move, the same house that Patrick lived in when he was a child, and it holds perfect memories for him which he is keen to recreate. But since Patrick was there the property has become known as ‘The Murder House,’ following the brutal murder of a family which took place there several years earlier, and their arrival at the house prompts several of the locals to turn their heads. But Patrick is adamant he can make it the way how it was when he knew it, but can things ever be how they were?

I really liked the creepy vibe of the house, and I thought that Vanessa Savage played this very well, especially as we started to get to learn more about the family. It continued to make me think that there were dark secrets still to be uncovered, and there is plenty of deceit and unnerving truths to discover, as Vanessa gradually begins to unravel the dark truths that haunt both Sarah and Patrick.

I, and I’m sure many people will be when others come to read this, was totally on Sarah’s side when Patrick announced that he wanted to move into the house. Why on earth would anyone want to move somewhere where a family had been killed, no matter what the family connection was? And then I wanted to know why Patrick was so drawn to his former home especially after what had happened. And this is one of the points which make it such a fascinating read. What Vanessa also kept me thinking was, was there something more at work here that I just wasn’t quite seeing.

This is a book that will really make you care and think about the characters, and there are some who will get under your skin. Vanessa Savage keeps the tension turning up a notch and delivers a shocking ending. This is definitely recommended by me for lovers of psychological thrillers. Excellent stuff.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 10th January 2019

Print length: 384 pages

If you would like to purchase The Woman in the Dark you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Waterstones

Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter blog tour #bookreview @LibbyCPT @orionbooks

Only a Mother by [Carpenter, Libby]

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ONLY A MOTHER . . .
Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.
COULD BELIEVE HIM
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.
COULD LIE FOR HIM
So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?
COULD BURY THE TRUTH

MY THOUGHTS

Having read Elisabeth Carpenter’s first two novels, I have to say that I think her latest Only A Mother is her best yet. In all three of her books, she has managed to create well rounded and intriguing characters that pull you in from the first page. They all feel like very real people, and I have always become invested in their lives.

We meet Erica who is preparing for her son’s release from prison, seventeen years after he was convicted for killing a young girl. He was also linked to the murder of another young woman, but not enough evidence could be found to charge him. Journalist Luke is desperate to find that evidence linking him to the second girl’s death, but what if all is not as it seems? Just how far will Erica go to protect her son?

Erica was a character who I really felt sorry for as I was reading this book. I could definitely understand her need to want to protect son, even though he committed such a heinous act and her love for him came across very strongly in her character, although it did seem a lot of the time as though she still thought of him as the young, gentle boy she once knew him as. She is also very much a victim herself as the people of the town she lives in swiftly turned against her after her son’s arrest.

Elisabeth constantly surprised me with her plot which was unpredictable and very twisty. I still haven’t forgotten the twist in her first novel 99 Red Balloons, and the twist in her latest blew me away again. It is devastating, and it only made me care for her characters even more. But as to what exactly happens I shall remain tight-lipped on that subject.

Only A Mother is a novel which was done in a very clever way. It is absolutely addictive, and it will make you re-examine everything that you thought you already knew about the story and the characters. At its core it makes you think about a powerful question that will haunt any reader who is a parent themselves.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 27th December 2018

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Only A Mother, you can do so by clicking on the following links below.

Amazon UK  Waterstones WH Smith

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Only a Mother Blog Tour

Dark Pines by Will Dean #bookreview @willrdean @PtBlankBks

Dark Pines: 'Stylish, compelling and as chilling as a Swedish winter.’ - Fiona Cummins by [Dean, Will]

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SEE NO EVIL

Eyes missing, two bodies lie deep in the forest near a remote Swedish town.

HEAR NO EVIL

Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter on a small-time local paper, is looking for the story that could make her career.

SPEAK NO EVIL

A web of secrets. And an unsolved murder from twenty years ago.

Can Tuva outwit the killer before she becomes the final victim? She’d like to think so. But first she must face her demons and venture far into the deep, dark woods if she wants to stand any chance of getting the hell out of small-time Gavrik.

MY THOUGHTS

Deep within a Swedish forest, the body of a huntsman is discovered with his eyes gouged out, and deaf reporter Tuva Moodyson sets out to track down a killer. But is the death linked to a very disturbing series of murders that took place in the 1990s and how can Tuva uncover the truth when the people of the town don’t want her to report it?

Tuva is such an excellent character. After the discovery of the body in the woods, she sets out to investigate the locals, and she speaks to some unsettling people who are very different, but who all live near to each other. Tuva is hoping to get her big break in her career as she is desperate to join one of the nationals in London and she thinks that this case may just be her lucky break.

I loved the sense of menace which gets darker and darker as the novel progresses, making you think that Tuva is getting closer and closer to danger as she starts to unravel the truth. I became quickly immersed in Will’s brilliant writing which is so atmospheric and brilliantly written. I really liked the way he describes the forest and the weather. This is the perfect book to read on a cold winter’s evening, while wrapped up warm of course.

The characters who Tuva speaks to are so intriguing, and they all made me feel just that little bit uncomfortable; particularly the wood carving sisters, who make their living by carving creepy trolls, and the ghostwriter. I was thinking this especially when he was trying to interview Tuva. My own thoughts as to who the killer was were thwarted in the final chapters.

The forest does create an impending sense of doom, very much so when we think about the murders that are taking place there and the ones that took place decades earlier. Every time that Tuva was alone in these woods I was fearful for her, thinking that something was going to happen, or that someone was going to leap out of the trees brandishing a rifle. The forest is a character in its own right, and Will Dean draws on the gloominess and darkness so, so well.

Dark Pines is a chilling first novel from Will Dean. I’m very excited to see where he will take Tuva next. You really don’t want to miss this book.

Publisher: One World Publications

Publication date: 7th December 2017

Print length: 336 pages

If you would like to purchase Dark Pines, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK Waterstones Kobo

Death In The Lakes by Graham Smith #bookreview @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture

death in the lakes

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Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.

The entire police force is on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, Beth knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

MY THOUGHTS

Death In The Lakes is the first book in a new series by Graham Smith and the first to feature DC Beth Young. I haven’t read any previous work by Graham before, and I was very impressed with his latest. This is a great introduction to Beth, she is a detective who still has a lot of room to grow, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about her as the series progresses. If you enjoy a good serial killer thriller, then you should definitely pick it up.

Imagine on your wedding day, you discover a body in the grounds of a hotel where you are hosting your big day. This is what happens to Emily Welton when she discovers the body of Angus Keane in the opening chapters, and DC Beth Young is one of the first police officers on the scene after the gruesome discovery. But what sets this murder apart, and really worries the police, is the lengths the killer has gone to make their victim suffer a torturous death, and it soon becomes clear, that Angus isn’t the first victim of this deranged killer and he won’t be the last to die.

Beth is a character who I got on with straight away. You can see she is ambitious; however she does struggle to get on with some of her colleagues at the start of the book. Her boss, DI O’Dowd is a character who I did take time to warm to, but by the second half, I thought that she and Beth were working really well together and O’Dowd became a much more likeable character.

There are some really gruesome details in this book, where we learn about how the killer chooses to murder their victims and these were quite inventive and made this book stand out amongst recent police procedural books I have read. They made me want to find out more about the killer and why they were choosing this particular method to dispose of their victims.

I certainly have no hesitation in recommending this book as a gripping read to crime fiction fans, and I will definitely be buying the next book in the series. Death In The Lakes is a top police procedural novel, and I can’t wait to find out more about the characters.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 30th November 2018

Print length: 346 pages

If you would like to purchase Death in the Lakes, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below

Amazon UK Amazon US Kobo

The Birthday by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

The Birthday: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 1) by [Wyer, Carol]

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One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

MY THOUGHTS

The Birthday is the start to a gripping new police procedural series from Carol Wyer introducing DI Natalie Ward, and it is such a chilling read. I think every parent is plunged into fear whenever their child runs off, either in a strop, or just simply being mischievous. I did it to my own parents a couple of times when I was small, in a huge shopping centre, and I can still remember, twenty odd years later, the fear I felt when I realised my mum was no longer nearby. And Carol captures this same fear so well in this book.

The book opens in 2015 when we are thrown into a child’s birthday party at a petting zoo, attached to a crafts centre. Ava Sawyer is at the centre here as she simply vanishes after the people responsible for the children take their eyes off her for just a few seconds. Now two years later her remains have been discovered a short distance away, and DI Natalie Ward leads a new team in the hunt for her killer, but as the investigation progresses more children are kidnapped, children who had some connection to Ava. Will Natalie be able to find the killer in time before they strike again?

Carol Wyer has created an absolutely gripping plot in The Birthday. I really felt as though the police were racing against the clock to find the killer in time to stop them from taking another child. This is what made this book such an intense read heightened by the killer’s thoughts which we hear from throughout the book, and we get to see just what a disturbed individual this person is. I really wanted Natalie and her team to catch them in time before they made their next move, and there was always that impending sense of doom that they were one step ahead of the police.

Natalie is a detective who is haunted by her past failures, and you can see that she is determined to find the girls in time and to bring the perpetrator to justice. She is a character who I really cared about, and I wanted her to stop blaming herself as I could see how this was affecting her. But it is what has made her the detective she is today, and she is another fine addition to the crime fiction world. I got the sense that her team all worked really well together and I particularly liked Natalie and Lucy Carmichael’s working relationship; I can’t wait to see how they will both progress in future books.

For me, the pace did drop a little bit in the middle, but it really picked up again in the end as everything started to come together for the detectives. I was rooting for them to get to the answers all the way through.

I will certainly be reading the next book in the series very soon, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for Natalie and her team next. With brilliant, engaging writing and memorable characters, I think this is another series that will become a firm favourite of mine.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length: 304 pages

If you would like to purchase The Birthday you can do so by clicking on the following link below.

Amazon UK

Some Of My Most Anticipated Reads of 2019

A very Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a fantastic break over the Christmas period and that you’re looking forward to a new year filled with exciting books. And there are lots of books to look forward to which are being released this year.

I decided to take a short break from blogging over Christmas and over the last couple of weeks, I’ve managed to catch up on a few reads that have been waiting patiently, on my TBR pile, for far too long. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on these books very soon.

But to kick the New Year off, I thought I would share with you some of my most anticipated reads that I am looking forward to this year. I’ve also included the purchase links beneath the blurbs.

Red Snow (A Tuva Moodyson Mystery Book 2) by [Dean, Will] 10th January 2019

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Amazon UK  Waterstones

16th May 2019 Never Be Broken (D.I. Marnie Rome 6) by [Hilary, Sarah]

Children are dying on London’s streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London’s lost.
Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She’s thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she’s white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice.
DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela’s case and Frankie’s too. But he’s facing his own turmoil, and it’s becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it’s too late.

NEVER BE BROKEN is a stunning, intelligent and gripping novel which explores how the act of witness alters us, and reveals what lies beneath the veneer of a glittering city.

Amazon UK  Waterstones

The Whisper Man by [North, Alex] 13th June 2019

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window…

Amazon UK  Waterstones

2nd May 2019 Deadland (DS Alexandra Cupidi Book 2) by [Shaw, William]

YOU CAN RUN

The two boys never fitted in. Seventeen, the worst age, nothing to do but smoke weed; at least they have each other. The day they speed off on a moped with a stolen mobile, they’re ready to celebrate their luck at last. Until their victim comes looking for what’s his – and ready to kill for it.

YOU CAN HIDE

On the other side of Kent’s wealth divide, DS Alexandra Cupidi faces the strangest murder investigation of her career. A severed limb, hidden inside a modern sculpture in Margate’s Turner Contemporary. No one takes it seriously – not even the artwork’s owners, celebrity dealers who act like they’re above the law.

YOU CAN DIE

But as Cupidi’s case becomes ever more sinister, as she wrangles with police politics and personal dilemmas, she can’t help worrying about those runaway boys. Seventeen, the same age as her own headstrong daughter. Alone, on the marshes, they’re pawns in someone else’s game. Two worlds are about to collide.

Kent and its social divisions are brilliantly captured in Deadland, a crime thriller that’s as ingeniously unguessable as it is moving and powerful.

Amazon UK  Waterstones

 

You Die Next (Starke & Bell) by [Marland, Stephanie, Broadribb, Stephanie] 4th April 2019

A group of urban explorers stumble into a murderer’s kill room in a derelict film studio. Terrified, they run, thinking they are safe. Then a message appears on their video channel: Who dies next?

As DI Dominic Bell and his team investigate the series of murders in hidden locations across London, they fail to find the connection between the victims. The only person who can help is Clementine Starke, an academic researching adult thrillseekers. However, Clementine is haunted by dark and violent obsessions, including her former relationship with DI Dominic Bell.

As the body count rises, Clementine Starke and DI Dominic Bell form an uneasy alliance to hunt the killer. But as they close in on their prey, and things turn personal, Clementine has to decide which side of the law she’s really on.

A cat-and-mouse thriller for fans of Mark Billingham, Sarah Hilary and Rachel Abbott that unfolds in a number of terrifying hidden locations across London. Readers who enjoyed Thomas Harris’s Hannibal series will be thrilled by the deadly relationship between DI Dominic Bell and Clementine Starke.

Amazon UK  Waterstones

4th April 2019 Dead Man’s Daughter (A DI Meg Dalton thriller, Book 2) by [Watkins, Roz]

DI Meg Dalton isn’t prepared for her latest case. A ten year old girl is found running through the woods, barefoot and wearing only a blood-soaked nightdress. She has no memory of what happened to her, but her father is found stabbed to death in their nearby house.

At first, Meg blames an intruder – but why had the girl’s murdered father been so obsessed with the creepy statues in the woods, and with the girl’s recent heart transplant?

Meg’s investigation leads her down a chilling path. The girl has been having nightmares, and seems to remember things that happened to her heart donor. Who was the donor and what happened to them? Could this have anything to do with the murder of the girl’s father?

Meg is forced to question her deepest beliefs to discover the shocking truth before the killer strikes again…

Amazon UK  Waterstones

On My Life: an unputdownable, moving, twisty thriller by [Clarke, Angela] 7th March 2019

Framed. Imprisoned. Pregnant. 

Jenna thought she had the perfect life: a loving fiancé, a great job, a beautiful home. Then she finds her stepdaughter murdered; her partner missing.

And the police think she did it…

Locked up to await trial, surrounded by prisoners who’d hurt her if they knew what she’s accused of, certain someone close to her has framed her, Jenna knows what she needs to do:

Clear her name
Save her baby
Find the killer

Amazon UK  Waterstones

5th March 2019 

Two solar eclipses. Two missing girls.

Sixteen years ago a little girl was abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse while her older sister Cassie was supposed to be watching her. She was never seen again. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie – who has returned to her home town to care for her ailing grandmother – suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister: that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out.

Amazon UK  Waterstones

Dead Inside: A totally gripping and terrifying serial killer thriller (Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller, Book 1) by [Holten, Noelle] 31st May 2019

When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

Amazon UK  Waterstones

2nd May 2019 Little Darlings by [Golding, Melanie]

THE TWINS ARE CRYING.
THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY.

LAUREN IS CRYING.
LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED.

Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . .

After a traumatic birth, Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her newborn twins. Her husband has gone home. The nurses are doing their rounds. She can’t stop thinking about every danger her babies now face. But all new mothers think like that. Don’t they?

A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone or something is trying to steal her children. But with every step she takes to keep her babies safe, Lauren sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia and fear. From the stark loneliness of returning home after birth, to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren’s desperation increases as no one will listen to her. But here’s the question: is she mad, or does she know something we don’t?

Loosely inspired by the ghostly folktale The Brewery of Eggshells, where a mother becomes convinced her twins are in danger, Little Darlings offers a fresh perspective on modern motherhood, postnatal psychosis and the roles women play. It has always been thus: folk tales do not spring from whimsy; they warn us and teach us, and speak to the fear in us all.

Amazon UK  Waterstones

Cruel Acts by [Casey, Jane]  4th April 2019

How can you spot a murderer?

Leo Stone is a ruthless killer – or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he’s innocent.

DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt.

Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start?

Amazon UK  Waterstones

These are just some of the books I’m excited about this year. If you think I’ve missed anything out please do let me know in the comments. Let me know as well if you’re looking forward to reading any of these.