Just Like the Other Girls by Claire Douglas #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest psychological thriller by Claire Douglas, Just Like the Other Girls.

Just Like the Other Girls by [Claire Douglas]

BLURB

After the death of her mother, Una Richardson hopes for a fresh start when she takes on a job as a carer for the rich and elderly Mrs Elspeth McKenzie.

But Elspeth’s home is not as safe as it seems.

Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is the evidence suggesting two girls lived here before.

What happened to the girls?

Why will the McKenzies not talk about them?

As the walls close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls . . .

MY THOUGHTS

It feels like it’s been a long time since I read a book by Claire Douglas. I finally got round to reading Just Like the Other Girls a few days ago, and I can see what I’ve been missing out on. This is a really creepy read, and it is so addictive.

We first meet Una who has just undertaken a position at a stately home as a companion to its elderly occupant, Elspeth. The job may seem old fashioned, but Una has recently lost her mother and has just separated from her boyfriend. There are certainly perks to the job. The pay is very generous, and Una has plans to travel the world. She hopes that with the money she earns, that in a year or so, she’ll be able to fulfil her dream. But as she becomes accustomed to living under Elspeth’s roof, Una hears stories about the previous girls who filled her position. They all look remarkably like her, but they all left in very suspicious circumstances. Is she safe in Elspeth’s employment? What happened to the previous girls? Una is determined to find out.

The role of companion seemed to me like a role someone would apply for several decades earlier. I could see the attraction though that Una did. But I also felt that if I were in Una’s position, I would feel guilty about quitting the role after a few months. You can see that Elspeth is desperate to have someone by her side, who won’t let her down. I did feel sorry for Elspeth, but I also wanted to know why she didn’t want to see more of her own daughter and her daughter’s family. Why did she want to employ someone to be her companion, when her daughter was willing to spend time with her for free?

A sinister atmosphere creeps into the plot as Una begins to understand what has previously happened at the house. I was screaming at her to leave as she begins to investigate further. I felt that she was drawing closer and closer to danger. Claire Douglas also tells parts of the story thought the voice of an unknown character, and we can see just how much they resent what is happening at Elspeth’s home.

I thought I had everything all worked out as I was reading, but Claire managed to throw in a few, well thought out twists that made me think out everything again. There is a devastating twist which made my jaw drop open as I was reading it.

This is definitely a book you can lose a few hours to. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Just Like the Other Girls is an excellent psychological thriller. Now I just need to catch up on Claire’s previous books which I’ve missed.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 388 pages

Just Like the Other Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Open House by Sam Carrington #bookreview @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK @1stMondayCrime

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the latest thriller by Sam Carrington, The Open House on my blog today. Next month on, Monday, 7th December 2020, Sam will also be appearing on the First Monday Crime Panel. I’ll have more details at the end of this post. First, let’s take a look at what the book is about.

The Open House: One of the most perfect, gripping reads of 2020 from the USA Today bestseller by [Sam Carrington]

BLURB

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.
 
When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.
 
But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.
 
Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

MY THOUGHTS

Many will know how stressful moving house can be. But in The Open House by Sam Carrington, the stress levels are taken up a notch for Amber. She is currently going through a divorce which is the reason why she is selling the house they were gifted by her mother-in-law when she and her husband, Nick, got married. But Nick’s mother certainly isn’t supportive of the idea of Amber selling the home and moving elsewhere with her grandchildren. But is there a darker reason why Nick’s mother doesn’t want the house to be sold? What secrets is she hiding?

I think this is Sam’s most chilling book to date. In an effort to track more potential buyers, Amber decides to take the advice of the estate agent when he suggests an open house event. Amber can see the visitors enter her home. Fourteen enter the property, but only thirteen emerge. Had Amber simply miscounted? But what is even more concerning is when her son is too frightened to sleep in his own bed and complains of the man upstairs in the house.

I loved the mystery element behind this book. As well as what is happening in the present; we also have the mystery of what happened to Nick’s brother, Tim. Tim disappeared when they were teenagers, and it is part of the reason why Nick later joined the police force. He does so in the hope of finding evidence of what happened to his brother. This is also one reason why his mother doesn’t want Amber to sell the house and move. She feels as though her family is breaking apart and after the disappearance of her son, she says it’s all she has left.

I wanted to know what Amber’s former mother-in-law’s motives were and the real reasons behind her not wanting the house to be sold. For me, I didn’t quite believe that this could simply be the case that she didn’t want her family to move away. Amber is determined to find out the reasons why. I also wanted to know what had happened to Nick’s brother all those years ago.

I really enjoy Sam Carrington’s books, and if you haven’t discovered her writing yet, then you really need to. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 10th December 2020

Print length: 376 pages

The Open House is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

First Monday Crime is back for December at 19.30 p.m. on Monday, 7th and as it was last month, it’ll be streaming live from the First Monday Crime Facebook page. The authors taking part in the December panel are, Susi Holliday, author of The Last Resort, AK Turner, author of Body Language, Sam Carrington, author of The Open House and Deborah Masson, author of Out for Blood.

To access the event simply click on the following link: First Monday Crime

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper #bookreview #blogtour @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Chalet by Catherine Cooper on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Chalet: the most exciting new thriller of 2020 - with a twist you won’t see coming by [Catherine Cooper]

BLURB

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

MY THOUGHTS

The Chalet is a riveting read by Catherine Cooper, and I raced through it really quickly.

We’re transported to a picturesque ski resort in France. In the late nineties, a horrifying accident takes place there when two young brothers with little experience skied off-piste. But the accident is more fatal for one of the brothers who doesn’t return from the holiday. His body is never found but he is presumed dead. Now twenty years later secrets from that time period are about to come to out in a devastating way for those involved.

I thought the ski resort setting gave this book a chilling atmosphere. The guests who are staying at the resort are put up in luxurious accommodation. Also among the group are two people who were there at the time of the accident twenty years earlier. You get the sense that they were walking on eggshells at different point throughout the book. They haven’t been entirely truthful about what happened all those years ago, and they are fearful of someone finding out what they’ve kept back.

As I was reading, I really wanted to see how things were going to come together. We do jump back in time back to when the young men disappear. Catherine Cooper builds on the tension in these scenes, particularly as the ski instructors grapple with what has happened. I couldn’t believe some of the decisions they made when they were trying to work out what to do next. It seemed that they were more concerned about themselves than they were about trying to find the men.

As the novel progresses, another strand comes into the story, and it is here that I don’t want to give too much away. I became even more intrigued. I wondered how this part was connected to the events in the past, and that was happening in the present. As everything comes together, it makes for a gripping finale. You can see how much one particular character has planned and thought out everything. Also, you can see just how they have every intention of carrying their plan out, with a clear fixation on revenge. I also liked the last note on the very final page, which will send a shiver down your spine as you read it.

The Chalet is a very easy read to get into, and I found it very difficult to put down. It’s dark and very addictive. Highly recommended for lovers of psychological thrillers!

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 31st October 2020

Print length: 400 pages

The Chalet is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

The Chalet BT Poster

33 Women by Isabel Ashdown #bookreview #blogtour @IsabelAshdown @TrapezeBooks

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Isabel Ashdown, 33 Women as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Nicole Thomas from Orion Books for inviting me to take part.

33 Women: A gripping new thriller about the power of women, and the lengths they will go to when pushed... by [Isabel Ashdown]

BLURB

When sisters Celine and Pip get a call telling them their reclusive mother has died, the women are reunited at her riverside home in Arundel to pick up the pieces. But someone is missing – their middle sister, Vanessa, brutally murdered years ago and the victim of an unsolved case. As the sisters confront ghosts from the past, the discovery of another body in similar circumstances throws new light on Vanessa’s death. Could there be more to her case than the police first thought? And what do the mysterious residents of Two Cross Farm, the neighbouring women’s commune, have to do with it? What secrets are lurking behind their locked gates? And what is the significance of the number 33?

MY THOUGHTS

33 Women is an intense read by Isabel Ashdown, and I think it’s my favourite of her books to date. Isabel creates a mysterious atmosphere in her latest novel, with the story focusing on the murder of a woman, Vanessa, in 2005, whose body was left abandoned near Brighton Pier. Now, years later, the woman’s sisters, Celine and Pip are pushing for a reinvestigation, especially for the police to investigate the women’s shelter Vanessa lived in before she was murdered. And when the police begin to look into the refuge, they soon link other crimes that have taken place, which may also have a connection to the shelter.

I raced through this book. I had to know what was really going on at the women’s refuge, known as Two Cross Farm. I was intrigued by the residents, especially their leader, Seed and what they had to hide. In the wake of the renewed media and police interest in the case of the murdered woman, the residents put on a united front. To me, it all seemed very controlled and that they had a lot of things to hide. Were the women frightened of putting a toe out of line? I also felt that the retired police officer, who goes into the refuge, was putting herself close to danger, but I could see that she too was keen to get to the truth about what was going on here.

Isabel Ashdown also takes us back to when the refuge was first formed. She creates an intense and creepy atmosphere as the women and their leader at the time, set out their rules for the future. It did have the feeling of more of a cult than of a women’s refuge. That’s what the press and the police speculate as well. It is unclear throughout the book just what really has been going on here. You can see just how concerned the women are at the intense media coverage.

The characters were really engaging. I could see just how desperate Pip and Celine are to get to the truth and to get justice for their sister. I also liked the retired detective who is sent to Two Cross Farm. I wanted her to get to the bottom of what was going on. The results of the investigation bring some shocking moment, including one revelation which made my mouth fall open.

33 Women is dark and foreboding. It is a hugely enjoyable read which I managed to finish in just a couple of sittings. You’ll be gripped from start to finish!

Publisher: Trazpeze

Publication date: 26th November 2020

Print length: 352 pages

33 Women is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

33 Women Blog Tour UPDATE (1)

WWW Wednesday – 25/11/2020

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan does not wish to linger on the grisly scene before her eyes. Two mutilated corpses. In a church. In Clontarf. Her profiling background screams one fact: this is just the beginning of a sickening message.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old case is playing out on a TV documentary, the convicted professing his innocence and historical police errors being exposed daily in the media. Frankie’s superior, commissioner Donna Hegarty, makes no bones about who she expects to clean things up – both in terms of past mishandlings and the present murders.

But not everyone working the cases wants the truth to come out. And the corridors of power have their own vested interest. Soon Frankie pinpoints just what is making her so nervous: the fact that anyone could be the next victim when justice is the killer.

The Killer In Me is a fast-paced thriller in which lies are safer than the truth, the past is never far from the present, and the ability to kill could well, it seems, live in everyone.

Black Summer (Washington Poe) by [M. W. Craven]

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

What have I finished reading?

The Jigsaw Man: the most addictive and chilling debut crime thriller of 2021 that you won’t be able to put down by [Nadine Matheson]

There’s a serial killer on the loose.

When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.

The race is on before more bodies are found.

She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind . . .

Will it take a killer to catch the killer?

Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer?

Just Like the Other Girls by [Claire Douglas]

After the death of her mother, Una Richardson hopes for a fresh start when she takes on a job as a carer for the rich and elderly Mrs Elspeth McKenzie.

But Elspeth’s home is not as safe as it seems.

Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is the evidence suggesting two girls lived here before.

What happened to the girls?

Why will the McKenzies not talk about them?

As the walls close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls . . .

What will I read next?

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

Little White Lies: the most unputdownable and thrilling debut of 2020! by [Philippa East]

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

Out for Blood by Deborah Masson #bookreview #blogtour @deborah_masson @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Out for Blood by Deborah Masson. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Out For Blood: The tense and addictive detective thriller set in Aberdeen (DI Eve Hunter) by [Deborah Masson]

BLURB

DI Eve Hunter is back in the edge-of-your-seat new detective thriller from Deborah Masson, winning author of the Bloody Scotland Crime Debut of the Year 2020.

A young man, the son of an influential businessman, is discovered dead in his central Aberdeen apartment.

Hours later, a teenaged girl with no identification is found hanged in a suspected suicide.

As DI Eve Hunter and her team investigate the two cases, they find themselves in a tug-of-war between privilege and poverty; between the elite and those on the fringes of society.

Then an unexpected breakthrough leads them to the shocking conclusion: that those in power have been at the top for too long – and now, someone is going to desperate lengths to bring them down…

Can they stop someone who is dead set on revenge, no matter the cost?

MY THOUGHTS

I read Out for Blood really fast, and I finished it in just a couple of days. I enjoyed Deborah Masson’s debut novel, Hold Your Tongue, so I jumped at the chance to read her second. If you’re looking for an addictive new crime series, then I highly recommend her DI Eve Hunter novels.

In her second book, Deborah Masson explores the horrific world of human trafficking. In the opening chapters, the body of a young woman is discovered hanging from a tree at a golf course. It is clear to Eve, from very early on, that this has been made to look like a suicide. And what’s even more disturbing is the mark that has been branded onto the young woman’s skin. But this isn’t the only case that Eve Hunter has to deal with. The son of a multi-millionaire businessman has been found dead at his home, in what looks like suspicious circumstances. As Eve gets to grips with the two cases, she begins to believe that there is a link between the two.

The scenes, in which Deborah Masson describes the conditions the girls (who are victims of human trafficking) are living in, are very harrowing. Although there has been a lot said about this heinous crime, it is still shocking to read about, even if it is in fiction. It makes you think of the people who really are living their lives like this. You really get the sense that they have no power or freedom in their lives at all. They are wholly dependent on the people who have forced them into this position.

The two investigations gelled together really well, and at no point throughout the book did I feel confused. Once it starts to become clear to Eve that the two cases might be connected, the pace really picks up. I didn’t feel sorry at all for the young man who had been killed. This was especially when Deborah Masson begins to reveal who he really was, and what he was involved in. I wanted Eve to get justice for the girl who had been found at the golf course more than I did for the young man.

Eve Hunter is a really intriguing detective as well. She has had issues with her anger in the past. Her involvement in a previous case, as well, has meant that she hasn’t been on the best of terms with some of her colleagues. I think it would be best to read the first book in the series to get to know her character and her past a bit better, but it isn’t necessary.

I’ve really enjoyed both the books in this series and I’m looking to forward to reading more from Deborah Masson. Out for Blood is fast-paced and a cleverly thought out crime novel.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 19th November 2020 (kindle) 10th December 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 365 pages

Out for Blood is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Out For Blood BT Poster

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard #bookreview #blogtour @RBouchard72 @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Coral Bride (Detective Moralès) by [Roxanne Bouchard, David Warriner]

BLURB

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.

Exquisitely written, with Bouchard’s trademark lyrical prose, The Coral Bride evokes the power of the sea on the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Roxanne Bouchard’s We Were the Salt of the Sea, which I read a couple of years ago now, and I couldn’t wait to see what she would come up with next. Her latest novel, The Coral Bride, is once again exquisitely written and the writing brings to life the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. This is a writer with such a huge talent.

The Coral Bride is a book which focuses a lot on character. Detective Joaquin Morales is investigating the disappearance of a young woman, Angel Roberts. Her boat has been found adrift, but there is no sign of Angel. Angel Roberts is a fisherwoman. It is a job that has always typically been seen as being only suitable for men. It is clear that some of the local fishermen don’t take too kindly to Angel working alongside them. When Angel’s body is recovered, the gear in the investigation is taken up a notch. Detective Morales is convinced that there are people who Angel knows who are keeping secrets, and he is determined to get to the truth.

I briefly touched on the setting in the opening paragraph of this review, and after reading this book and Roxanne Bouchard’s last book; her writing has made me want to visit this area. Although there are those in the community keeping secrets about Angel’s death, you get the sense that, on the whole, this is a community that looks after their own.

I also really like DS Morales whose own past is an intriguing one. He immigrated to Canada from Mexico several years earlier, and in this book, we are introduced to his son, Sebastian. Sebastian has come to his father seeking his help after losing his way in his own life. You can see in these extracts, how much of a family man Morales is. Morales wants to take time to spend it with his son and help him get back on his feet, but he also can’t abandon the investigation into Angel’s death. It did make me feel sorry for him that his relationship with his wife didn’t work out and that he hasn’t yet found someone else to share his life with.

I found the writing to be utterly addictive as I was reading, although it is quite a long book compared to We Were the Salt of the Sea, I read it really quickly. It has been expertly translated again by David Warriner. The writing itself is lyrical, poetic, and it draws you into the world of DS Morales and the setting around him.

Roxanne Bouchard wraps everything up in a tense finale as DS Morales begins to work out what happened to Angel Roberts. It thought the ending was very satisfactory.

If you’re looking for a series of books that you can become lost in, then I would highly recommend both books in this series. It’s the type of book which you start to read, and you don’t realise how much time has gone by as you are transported into the world of DS Morales. I’m really hoping that there is going to more to come from this writer and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 12th August 2020 (kindle) 12th November 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

The Coral Bride is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Coral Bride BT Poster JPEG

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the stunning new novel by Stuart Turton, The Devil and the Dark Water.

BLURB

An impossible murder
A remarkable detective duo
A demon who may or may not exist

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trial and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the governor general of Batavia.

But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. Third: an impossible murder. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Stuart Turton’s debut novel, The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so I couldn’t wait to see what he would come up with next. As I was reading his latest book, The Devil and the Dark Water, it put me in my mind of both, Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles and Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s quite a long book, but don’t let that put you off, I thought the writing was highly addictive, and I flew through it. I finished it much quicker than I thought I would.

A ship named the Saardam is about to set sail on an arduous seven-month voyage for Amsterdam from Batavia. For some of the passengers, they are put up in luxury cabins, but the majority are staying in cramped and horrific conditions. But even before the voyage begins, there are rumours of a demon, known as ‘Old Tom.’ It is believed that this demon is already on board the ship. There are some who are desperate to make sure that this ship doesn’t sail. Right from the beginning, Stuart Turton creates a real sense of mystery and atmosphere. Is there really such a thing as ‘Old Tom?’ Or is this just the minds of some of the passengers going into overdrive? But it is clear to some that this ship will never reach its destination and danger awaits everyone on board. Soon mysterious things begin to happen, strange symbols start to appear, animals are slaughtered, and then a body is found. That makes everyone on this ship a suspect, and it also means that everyone else is in danger until they are caught.

Throughout the book, the pace never lets up. Stuart Turton has created a cast of characters who pull you into the story. They are all very different, and you get a real sense of palpable fear among them on board the ship. This is particularly when rumours about ‘Old Tom’ begin to swirl. It makes for some gripping reading. I began to wonder just how the passengers were going to react as the tension between them begins to grow. This is especially when they all begin to suspect each other of harbouring ‘Old Tom,’ and there are calls for executions. It appears to be the only way of making sure that ‘Old Tom,’ is vanquished once and for all.

Also onboard the ship is the world’s most famous detective, Samuel Pipps. However, he is incarcerated in chains when he first boards the ship. So when the strange happenings begin to occur on the Saardam, it is his assistant, Arent Hayes who has to do the investigating. This is what reminded me of the friendship between Watson and Sherlock Holmes as I was reading.

This book will definitely take you on a wild ride. I really enjoyed it. If you are looking for something original and totally unique, then this is the book for you. It is a read that you can purely escape in to. Stuart Turton is a master storyteller and plotter, and I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication date: 1st October 2020

Print length: 576 pages

The Devil and the Dark Water is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Shed No Tears by Caz Frear #bookreview

I’m a huge fan of Caz Frear’s DC Cat Kinsella series. I’m sharing my thoughts on her latest book, Shed No Tears on my blog today.

Shed No Tears: The stunning new thriller from the author of Richard and Judy pick 'Sweet Little Lies' (DC Cat Kinsella) by [Caz Frear]

BLURB

Four victims.
Killer caught.
Case closed . . . Or is it?

Christopher Masters, known as ‘The Roommate Killer’, strangled three women over a two-week period in a London house in November 2012. Holly Kemp, his fourth victim, was never found.

Until now.

Her remains have been unearthed in a field in Cambridgeshire and DC Cat Kinsella and the Major Investigation Team are called in. But immediately there are questions surrounding the manner of her death. And with Masters now dead, no one to answer them.

Did someone get it wrong all those years ago? And if so, who killed Holly Kemp?

MY THOUGHTS

DC Cat Kinsella is back in Caz Frear’s latest novel, Shed No Tears. I’m a huge fan of this series, and I love Caz Frear’s writing, but after finishing this book, I’m wondering what will happen next for Cat.

In 2012, a serial killer, known as ‘The Roommate Killer’ murdered three young women. The body of his fourth victim was never found. Now, years later, his final victim, Holly Kemp, is discovered in a field in Cambridgeshire, miles from where she went missing. But Cat isn’t convinced that ‘The Roommate Killer,’ is responsible for Holly’s death and that the real killer is still out there.

This case is about to hit far too close to home for Cat. As they begin to look into Holly’s past, they realise that she is not the type of girl who everyone once thought she was. It soon becomes clear that Holly could have made several enemies, and this instantly broadens the search field.

DC Cat Kinsella is one of my favourite detectives in crime fiction. What I have really liked about her since the first book is her sense of humour. This is what keeps me engaged, and I like how she interacts with her colleagues. Cat isn’t without her own troubles herself. Her father is a criminal gangster. She has tried to distance herself from this side of her family as much as possible. But it looks as though she may have to put her family first after her father has an accident. This may not bode well for her relationship with her boyfriend, Aiden. He is also connected to her family’s past. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, this book does contain some spoilers about a previous case, but the storyline itself can be read as a standalone.

The plot in Shed No Tears is really engaging. Caz Frear keeps the pace flying forward with realistic dialogue which is often witty as well. I thought Caz Frear wrapped everything up really well. Cat learns some hard-hitting and shocking truths as they begin to understand just what happened to Holly the night she died. It did make me wonder what I would do if I was in a similar position as I was reading the final chapters.

This is one of my favourite series of books in the crime fiction market, and I am a huge fan Caz Frear’s writing. I can’t wait to see what Caz Frear writes next.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 24th July 2020

Print length: 321 pages

Shed No Tears is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 18/11/20

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

The Coral Bride (Detective Moralès) by [Roxanne Bouchard, David Warriner]

It’s not just the sea that holds secrets…

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.

Exquisitely written, with Bouchard’s trademark lyrical prose, The Coral Bride evokes the power of the sea on the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.

When body parts start washing up along the banks of the river Thames, the Serial Crimes Unit is called to investigate, and it quickly becomes apparent to DI Henley that there isn’t just one victim. There are two.

The murders are hauntingly familiar to Henley. The modus operandi matches that of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.

Olivier is the last person Henley wants to see but she needs his help. He might be their best chance to stop the copycat before more body parts start turning up. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping out Henley and the SCU is the last thing on his mind.

All bets are off and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley or the Jigsaw Killer?

What have I finished reading?

An impossible murder
A remarkable detective duo
A demon who may or may not exist

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trial and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the governor general of Batavia.

But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. Third: an impossible murder. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

Shed No Tears: The stunning new thriller from the author of Richard and Judy pick 'Sweet Little Lies' (DC Cat Kinsella) by [Caz Frear]

Four victims.
Killer caught.
Case closed . . . Or is it?

Christopher Masters, known as ‘The Roommate Killer’, strangled three women over a two-week period in a London house in November 2012. Holly Kemp, his fourth victim, was never found.

Until now.

Her remains have been unearthed in a field in Cambridgeshire and DC Cat Kinsella and the Major Investigation Team are called in. But immediately there are questions surrounding the manner of her death. And with Masters now dead, no one to answer them.

Did someone get it wrong all those years ago? And if so, who killed Holly Kemp?

What will I read next?

Out For Blood: The tense and addictive detective thriller set in Aberdeen (DI Eve Hunter) by [Deborah Masson]

DI Eve Hunter is back in the edge-of-your-seat new detective thriller from Deborah Masson, winning author of the Bloody Scotland Crime Debut of the Year 2020.

A young man, the son of an influential businessman, is discovered dead in his central Aberdeen apartment.

Hours later, a teenaged girl with no identification is found hanged in a suspected suicide.

As DI Eve Hunter and her team investigate the two cases, they find themselves in a tug-of-war between privilege and poverty; between the elite and those on the fringes of society.

Then an unexpected breakthrough leads them to the shocking conclusion: that those in power have been at the top for too long – and now, someone is going to desperate lengths to bring them down…

Can they stop someone who is dead set on revenge, no matter the cost?

Just Like the Other Girls by [Claire Douglas]

After the death of her mother, Una Richardson hopes for a fresh start when she takes on a job as a carer for the rich and elderly Mrs Elspeth McKenzie.

But Elspeth’s home is not as safe as it seems.

Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is the evidence suggesting two girls lived here before.

What happened to the girls?

Why will the McKenzies not talk about them?

As the walls close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls . . .