2019 Reads: Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson #bookreview @LauraSRobinson @MantleBooks

Blood & Sugar by [Shepherd-Robinson, Laura]

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Blood & Sugar is the thrilling debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.

Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .

To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.

And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .

MY THOUGHTS

From the moment I saw the cover of Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Blood & Sugar I knew I wanted to read this book and I became even more intrigued when I read the blurb. This is a novel that I really wanted to savour as I was reading, as Laura’s writing was so utterly immersive and it really brought to life the sounds, smells and the people of London in the 1780s. There are so many brilliant descriptive phrases in this book which really added depth and colour to the landscape that Laura was writing about. She is a very talented writer, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

We are taken back to a dark time in British history, at the height of the slave trade which is fuelling Britain’s trading empire, as well as many other countries across Europe. The book opens with the discovery of a body on Deptford’s docks; the man who has been found murdered is Thaddeus Archer, who was firmly against the slave trade. Captain Harry Corsham is determined to find out who killed him, and as his own investigations deepen; he discovers some alarming and uncomfortable truths directly linked to the slave trade.

As Laura stripped back the layers of this brutal time period in our country’s history, I really did get a sense of the horror that the slaves faced, Laura handles this sensitively without, however, shying away from the brutality. I really liked Harry Corsham, who was a protagonist who I rooted for from the beginning. During his investigations, he certainly gets on the wrong side of several powerful people in Deptford, and you get a real sense of him sailing closer and closer to danger and threatening his own security and interests, which is what made this read so riveting.

With untrustworthy and barbarous characters and an utterly compelling plot with wonderful atmospheric writing, Blood & Sugar is a strong debut from Laura Shepherd-Robinson. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for her next book. I highly recommend this read. Thank you to Rosie Wilson at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Mantle

Publication date: 24th January 2019

Print length: 448 pages

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#GoodSamaritans by Will Carver blog tour #bookreview @will_carver @OrendaBooks #SixBottlesOfBleach

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One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

MY THOUGHTS

Why have I not come across Will Carver’s name before??? Good Samaritans is one of the most original, and captivating crime novels I’ve read this year, I did not expect to fly through it as quickly as I did. I think perhaps, that this, for me, is my top read of the year. It is an absolutely cracking thriller that had me hooked! It is smart, edgy and full of surprises and very, very dark.

When we think of The Samaritans, we think of kind hearted, helpful people, who go out of their way to make a difference in someone’s life. This is the idea that Will Carver explores in this book, when a young, distressed woman, Hadley Serf, calls The Samaritans, and a crossed line means she ends up talking to someone else, Seth, who is unhappy in his marriage to his wife, Maeve. When Hadley enters his radar, his world begins to change. What follows on from here is an intense, mind-blowing read that will have you turning those pages in record time.

If you are looking for a fast paced novel, you need look no further than this book. There are short, snappy chapters, and we are introduced to five different characters that are all linked in some way. One character who I was rooting for throughout the book, was Detective Sergeant Pace, we don’t learn quite as much about him as we do the other characters, but I really wanted him to get to the bottom of what was going on, and as the plot began to unfold, I wanted him to get to the right answers in time, especially when the shocking truth emerged.

This book also showcases a unique style of writing which really sets Will Carver apart. There was always something interesting happening on each page, giving us new insights into each of the characters, and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to them and who the culprit behind the disturbing murders was. There are some explicit and quite graphic scenes, so I would say that this book may not be for everyone, but it is for you if you like your crime fiction dark and gritty.

I will be recommending this book to everyone I know who loves crime fiction. I think all I can say now is buy it, you won’t be disappointed. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length; 320 pages

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And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott blog tour #bookreview @RachelAbbott @Wildfirebks

And So It Begins Cover

Source: Review Copy

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Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

MY THOUGHTS

Now, this is a very good psychological thriller and part courtroom drama. I read Rachel Abbott’s And So It Begins in one weekend, but I could have very easily read it in one go. This is my first Rachel Abbott read, and I must say I really don’t know why I haven’t read her work before. I had so many questions about the characters running around inside my head as I was reading, that I really couldn’t possibly say how the book was going to end as I always kept changing my mind. This book is Rachel’s first stand-alone, so if like me, you haven’t read her work before, this is the perfect time to start.

The plot of this book focuses on Mark, Evie and Cleo. Mark and Cleo are brother and sister. Mark is a professional photographer, and his sister takes bookings for him, she has always been very passionate about Mark’s work and is very keen to get him business and recognition. Evie enters the fold when she turns up at his studios and Cleo thinks that she has struck gold and that this could be a break-out moment for Mark when Evie puts forward a commission for him, asking him to take a portrait of her father who has well established connections. But Cleo will soon live to regret her decision for introducing Evie to her brother as the story is gripped by a much darker tone which changes Mark and Cleo’s lives forever.

Rachel grabbed my attention with the opening prologue in this book; two police officers enter a crime scene, but Rachel keeps it under wraps as to what has actually happened and who the people are who are at the centre of it all, and this added a strong sense of mystery which I really liked. We then go back right to the beginning and Rachel begins to unravel the events which lead up to this moment, which really did well in building the tension and helping us to get a better understanding of the characters involved. The pace quickly heats up again when we arrive back at the opening scene, and this leads to a court case which takes apart the lives of Rachel’s protagonists.

As the truths began to rise to the surface, I never could be sure who to believe or trust. Rachel did an excellent job of throwing in pieces of information that just made me think about the characters, and who they really were, a little bit more, and again I still couldn’t make up my mind about them. I was really questioning the main characters motives as the novel progressed. I did think that the ending was very satisfying.

If you enjoy thrillers that really make you think and question the motives of the characters, then I would definitely recommend And So It Begins. Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy of the book to review and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 11th October 2016

Print length: 416 pages

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Book Review @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

the stranger diaries

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A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Susan Hill meets Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

MY THOUGHTS

Elly Griffiths is back with a new stand-alone novel, The Stranger Diaries. I love Elly Griffiths’ writing. I’ve recently read the first two novels in her Dr Ruth Galloway series, and with all three books I have read, I have found them utterly engaging from the start. If you haven’t read any of Elly’s previous work before, this is the perfect time to start.

Her latest book had me hooked from the first page and immediately she sets the tone for what is a dark and an absorbing tale. We meet Clare Cassidy, who is a teacher at a secondary school, and who also teaches creative writing in her spare time. The school that Clare is teaching at is a Victorian mansion, once owned by RM Holland, whom Clare is currently researching and planning to write a book about. But at the beginning of the book, one of her fellow teachers, Ella, is found murdered, and she won’t be the first to die. But what is more disturbing to Clare is the haunting link the current murders have to events that took place in the time of the man she is researching.

Clare was an intriguing character from the start. The woman who has been found dead was a good friend of hers at the school and Clare becomes anxious and is determined to find out who has done this, especially when more deaths begin to occur.

There are lots of reasons which make this book compelling; the strange writing that starts appearing in Clare’s diaries, these added some really chilling moments, her research into the old owner of the house, and the characters around Clare. There were very few people in Clare’s life who I thought I could trust. This is what made this book particularly enjoyable as I tried to work out if any of them were responsible for the murders and why.

I really enjoyed reading Elly’s latest book. I hope that she will feature Detective Harbinder again as she is also a character who I really engaged with and I would really like to see her progress further. The Stranger Diaries is addictive, a thoroughly enjoyable Gothic tale. Definitely recommended.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 1st November 2018

Print length: 416 pages

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The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton blog tour @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks #HeWillComeForYou

On my blog today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Sharon Bolton’s latest thriller The Craftsman.

The Craftsman: The most chilling book you'll read this year by [Bolton, Sharon]

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Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

MY THOUGHTS

Sharon Bolton has created a belter of a thriller with her latest novel, The Craftsman. With a mixture of mystery and gothic elements, I feel that this should be real winner amongst crime lovers! I seized every opportunity I could to dive into this book! Creepy and full of suspense! I have to admit that I haven’t read any of Sharon’s previous books, but she has definitely won me over with this read, I’m sure it will win her lots of new fans!

The Craftsman opens with the funeral of convicted murderer, Larry Glassbrook, thirty years after he was brought to justice after confessing to the kidnappings of three children. Florence Lovelady has been riding on a high ever since she solved the complex case and she returns to her former home town to see his coffin being lowered into the ground. His funeral stirs old memories and we revisit the time when her home town faced a very dark time in its history. The story is set in the late 1960s and in 1999, when Florence returns to the town for Larry’s funeral, but as we return to the present, old questions about the case begin to resurface. Larry Glassbrook confessed to the crimes, it was an open and shut case, wasn’t it? It appears that The Craftsman isn’t quite ready to be laid to rest…

As we re-visit the time frame when the children disappeared, we can see the trials that Florence faces in the police force as she fights for her voice to be heard in the male dominated world. Although Sharon Bolton doesn’t play too heavily on this theme it is subtly there in the background and it was interesting to compare her situation as it was back then to how it is now when she returns to the town. The treatment she received from some of her colleagues really did make me feel quite angry and I really wanted her to get results. For a lot of the time she can only depend on her colleague Tom to help argue her case.

Another theme which fascinated me was the subject of witchcraft. As the novel opens, Sharon gives us a little background information on the Pendle Witch trials which took place in the sixteenth century. I found this really helpful in getting to know more about the backdrop of the book and already she had me wanting to find out more about how this particular theme was going to shape the rest of the story. I had to google images of Pendle Hill which is the perfect setting for this type of book.

I really enjoyed this one. Sharon Bolton has crafted a clever and fascinating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 3rd May 2018 (kindle & hardcover) 18th October 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 432 pages

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#TheLingering by S.J.I. Holliday blog tour #giveaway @OrendaBooks @SJIHolliday

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lingering today, a very creepy ghost story by SJI Holliday, perfect to read at this time of year when the nights are drawing in. I feel I should warn you though, it may put you off having baths in the future. As part of the blog tour, I have one paperback copy of the book to giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is share this post on Facebook and Twitter, and let me know how much you want to read this book by commenting below, before midnight on Thursday, 15th November 2018. One winner will be drawn at random. If you’re interested in taking a look at what the novel is about, you can read the blurb and my review below. Good luck!

The Lingering by [Holliday, SJI]

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Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

MY THOUGHTS

Recently I’ve read a couple of really good ghost stories and The Lingering by SJI Holliday I think has to be the best. I was so excited to pick up a proof at the Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate, and I wasted no time in starting it. Dark, unsettling and so, so creepy; this book and the characters within the pages will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

What I love about SJI Holliday’s writing is how she cleverly manages to weave a tale and take it in a completely unexpected direction and especially her character development is brilliant. She is a writer who is very good at her twists, and her plotting is superb.

I’ve previously read and enjoyed her Banktoun trilogy so I had high hopes for her latest book and I was captivated from the first page. We meet married couple Jack and Ali who are starting a new chapter in their lives together when they decide to sell up their home and take up residence at a self-sufficient commune. I wanted to know what had drawn them to this particular place and why they would make such a huge decision and leave the comfort of home for something that is totally different to what they’re used to. The prologue in this book teases you as you immediately get a feeling that something dark and mysterious is brooding and it sets up the journey that Ali and Jack are about to embark on. You know you are in for a spine-chilling read.

SJI Holliday weaves a crime element into her plot, and this was done to great effect. But I’m not going to talk any more about this here, you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what happens. The atmosphere in the book is excellent, and it brings the commune and the surrounding countryside to life. If I ever see a building remotely similar to the commune whenever I’m driving around country lanes, I think I’ll be speeding up and keeping very clear.

The Lingering is dark and atmospheric; it will linger in your mind and beware, it may give you nightmares. It is psychological suspense at its very best. You really don’t want to miss it. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister Book Review @GillianMAuthor

No Further Questions: You'd trust your sister with your life. But should you? The compulsive thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author by [McAllister, Gillian]

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The police say she’s guilty.

She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.

You love her.

You trust her.

But they say she killed the person you care about most.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a big fan of Gillian McAllister’s first two novels, Everything but the Truth and Anything You Do Say so I was looking forward to starting her third. No Further Questions is an intense courtroom drama that peels back the layers of a shocking, tragic event, and it has a devastating twist. I was utterly gripped from the first page. Gillian’s books keep getting better and better.

We are introduced to Becky and Martha who are sisters. Martha is a compassionate individual and has recently set up her own charity, based in Kos, Greece to help refugees. After having her daughter, Layla, Martha asks Becky to look after her so she can carry on her important work, and after leaving the country, things soon begin to take its toll on Becky. And it isn’t long before Martha has to rush back to the UK after her daughter is found dead; Becky is on trial for her murder. Martha can’t bring herself to think of the possibility that Martha killed Layla. But as the evidence is stripped away, she realises that she may soon have to accept this as reality.

Gillian McAllister writes her characters so well. Although I could see why Martha wanted to go to Kos and help the refuges, I was shocked that she chose to leave her newly born daughter behind in the UK, and I felt for Becky who already has a young son, Xander to look after. There are lots of emotions that run through this book, and this comes across so well in Gillian’s writing. We are taken into the heart of the action. The case of Layla’s death has already been brought to trial, and we see all the intensity of preceding events unfold, as it is re-lived through the minds of people directly involved in the crime and the witnesses. I could never quite be sure how everything was going to come together at the end. Would Becky be found guilty? This was the question that kept me turning the pages.

The drama in the courtroom comes across very well on the page. I loved that we got to see past events through the minds of different witnesses, who all add something new to the case, and they did get me thinking as I tried to examine the evidence that Gillian put forward as well. This is what made this book so absorbing. What I thought was also interesting, was that parts of the book are told from the viewpoint of the judge. Often, when a trial is taking place, I don’t think of the judge who has to pass sentence, I only really think about the people involved in the case, the police and witnesses, and the jury who have to come to a decision. So it was fascinating to see the case from his perspective as well.

If you enjoy reading novels that will make you think, then I definitely recommend this book. It is a powerful and emotive read that I think will stay with me and in the minds of many readers for a while.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 2nd July 2018

Print length: 421 pages

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No Time To Cry by James Oswald blog tour @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks

No Time To Cry Cover (1)

Source: Review Copy

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Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.

Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.

In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.

There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.

MY THOUGHTS

James Oswald hits the ground running in his latest novel No Time To Cry the first book in his new series set in London and the pace never lets up. I couldn’t put this book down. Constance Fairchild is a young Detective Constable, just starting out in her career in the metropolitan police. She comes from a privileged background, but she is determined to earn her right to be a detective through hard work. She has very few friends in the police force, say for one, Detective Inspector Pete Copperthwaite. But on the first page of the book, Constance finds her boss and friend, dead, and she quickly becomes a person of interest in the minds of her superiors. With her main supporter no longer around, Constance is on her own. The rest of her career in the police force hangs in the balance, and she knows she may soon be framed for Pete’s murder as her colleagues rush to find a scapegoat.

James Oswald’s Detective Inspector Tony McLean series is one of my favourites, so I was more than intrigued to learn that he was publishing a new crime series, this time, however, set in London. James does, however, visit Scotland again in this book with his new protagonist, Connie. And a familiar face from the McLean series turns up as well which was a nice surprise.

Isolating Connie from the rest of her team was a really interesting way to start this series. Right from the start, I was backing her, you really do get the sense that she is fighting on her own and this sets in a feeling of trepidation right from the beginning. No Time To Cry has a complex plot, and it was interesting to see how James weaved it together. Shortly after Connie’s suspension, she is asked to track down missing student, Isobel, the sister of her old friend. This takes Connie back to her own past, as Isobel studies at her old school, and as her investigation into Isobel’s disappearance continues she is warned off by some dangerous individuals. But this only makes Connie more determined to find out what’s happened to her. What Connie eventually finds out is very disturbing, and it blows everything wide open and puts her own life in danger.

James Oswald is a fantastic writer. He puts Connie in a dangerous situation, and it is really interesting how everything all unfolds. And the way in which the plot is pulled together is done very well. It will be interesting to see how this series will progress further, especially after the ending of this book. I think this new series will be just as successful as the Tony McLean books. Connie is a fantastic character, and I’m sure she will intrigue plenty of new readers.

If you’re a long time fan of James Oswald, then you are in for a treat with this book, but if you haven’t come across James’ work before, then this is the perfect time to discover a new writer who writes excellent police procedurals and creates fascinating characters. No Time to Cry is a brilliant piece of crime fiction that will keep you gripped. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to the publishers for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 26th July 2018 (kindle) 1st November 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 336 pages

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The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths Book Review @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2 by [Griffiths, Elly]

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Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.

When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been catching up on my TBR pile recently, and one crime series I’ve been looking forward to returning to is the Dr Ruth Galloway books by Elly Griffiths. In the second book The Janus Stone Ruth finds herself in an unexpected position, but not an unwanted one. Once again she becomes involved in a disturbing investigation.

Ruth’s specialty lies in bones, she is soon called upon when builders make an unsettling discovery. The remains of a child have been found during the demolition of an old house in Norwich. It prompts Ruth and the police to think that a ritualistic killing may have taken place. The police now have a decades old case on their hands and as they get closer to finding out the truth of what happened to the child, it puts Ruth and Harry’s lives in danger, someone is desperate to stop the truth from getting out.

Ruth is a character who I am really beginning to like. She isn’t someone who will go out of her way to impress people, and this is something I really like about her personality. Her relationship with her parents in this book is rocky. They are born again Christians, but they follow the religion as though they are living in the Dark Ages. Ruth lives alone on the Norfolk marshes with her cat, Flint, and has very few neighbours; it may seem isolated, but this is what Ruth likes and the view she gets more than makes up for the isolation. One character who she regularly sees is Cathbad, who is a quirky and fascinating person; he is very attached to myths and ancient rituals. I love this location and I could easily picture it in my mind as I was reading. It is very atmospheric.

The mystery that the police are investigating is an intriguing one. As it is a historical crime, it doesn’t make things easier for them, and they have to rely solely on witness statements, from people who were are around at the time, and there aren’t many who are still alive.

There are quite a few twists in this book, which surprised me. There were also some very tense scenes and I’m sure if I was watching this on the screen, I would have been covering my eyes, as I feared what was going to happen to the characters.  I love the way how Elly Griffiths writes, her writing is very readable and it pulled me into the story and into her characters’ lives very quickly.

Ruth is a character who I can’t wait to find out more about. I already have the next book lined up and waiting on my shelf. I was kept hooked until the very last page.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 29th July 2010

Print length: 337 pages

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Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt blog tour @writermels @AvonBooksUK

Hush Hush: 'An absolute masterpiece’ Angela Marsons (the most gripping crime thriller of 2018) by [Sherratt, Mel]

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A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

MY THOUGHTS

Hush Hush was insanely gripping. I gulped down the first hundred pages of this book in one sitting. This is the first book by Mel Sherratt which I have read, although I still have her previous novels sitting on my kindle which I will be reading very soon after finishing this. I love the way how Mel Sherratt writes; I can see now what I have been missing out on. If you enjoy dark and gritty crime fiction, then this is definitely the book for you. It’s the start of what promises to be an addictive and an exciting new series.

Grace Allendale is a welcome addition to the crime world. She’s a tenacious detective but hides a harrowing past which she would rather keep from her fellow police officers. Grace is connected to a family who are well known to the police and to the criminal underworld. When a current spate of murders pulls her back to her roots, she knows that this particular case is going to be tricky and she fights to stay on it, despite facing opposition from her superiors. Can she really investigate her own family? And soon it appears that Grace herself may be a target.

This was a brilliant introduction to Grace’s character. Throughout the book, Mel gives us a glimpse into Grace’s former life in some uncomfortable and disturbing scenes. You get the sense of just how difficult the cases that Grace is investigating in the future may be for her as she is swept back into her family’s fold. Although I could feel that there was an eagerness on both sides to get to know each other more, I kept wondering how Grace was going to respond to this, especially, if this meant putting her career in the police force at risk.

There is some excellent dialogue, keeping the pace going; I just wanted to keep reading and I didn’t want to put it down. It is a very easy book to get into and it will sweep you into its murky depths. Grace is a character who you can easily root for and the end will certainly leave you wanting more from this author.

Hush Hush is an absolutely gripping read and it marks the start of a series that I will be following with a keen eye. I’m sure this book will win Mel lots and lots of new fans, it has certainly won me over. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Excellent stuff.  Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to take part in the tour and for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 18th October 2018

Print length: 400 pages

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