Long Way Home by Eva Dolan Book Review

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A man is burnt alive in a shed. 

No witnesses, no fingerprints – only a positive ID of the victim as an immigrant with a long list of enemies.

Detectives Zigic and Ferreira are called in from the Hate Crimes Unit to track the killer, and are met with silence in a Fenland community ruled by slum racketeers, people-trafficking gangs and fear.

Tensions rise.
The clock is ticking.
But nobody wants to talk.

MY THOUGHTS

After reading the first book in the DI Zigic and DS Ferreira series, the first thing I have to say is, why has it taken me this long to discover Eva Dolan? The one good thing is that I have a few books in this series to catch up on so I’m sure that will keep me busy. I’m sure it won’t be long before I start reading the second book which I have already ordered on the back of finishing the first.

Eva Dolan’s first novel, Long Way Home delves into the criminal underworld that centres on the world of human trafficking, slave labour and the far right. At the beginning of the novel, the remains of a migrant worker are discovered in the shed of a back garden in Peterborough. Suspicion quickly falls upon the Barlows who own the property. But they are both adamant that they didn’t do anything wrong. But how could they not have realised that their shed was on fire? As Zigic and Ferreira’s (who are part of the Hate Crime Unit) investigation deepens, they uncover a web of dark secrets which have rendered those involved too frightened to speak about them.

Eva Dolan pulls no punches in her debut novel. She takes us into an abhorrent world which in the real world, vulnerable lives are sucked into every day. The detectives in this book are really engaging characters and I’m looking forward to finding out more about them when I catch up on the rest of the series. It was interesting to see how Zigic’s family life blended in with his police work and you could see the strains that it was putting on his relationship. Eva has created some really dislikeable characters in her book who will really get under your skin. There is one scene in particular which I found really horrific and I was astounded that only one person spoke up about it. It really does make you think of what must be going on right under our noses and it is horrifying that this is going on in the real world.

I always enjoy reading police procedural novels and Eva Dolan’s first novel is up there with the best, a really promising start. This is a series which I can’t wait to read more from. Eva Dolan is a really talented writer you grabs you from the first page. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Vintage

Publication date: 14th June 2014

Print length: 400 pages

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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Book Review

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SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Brand new literary thriller from bestselling author of MISSING, PRESUMED Susie Steiner.

Manon Bradshaw is back.

As dusk falls a young man staggers through a park, far from home, bleeding from a stab wound. He dies where he falls; cradled by a stranger, a woman’s name on his lips in his last seconds of life.

DI Manon Bradshaw can’t help taking an interest – these days she only handles cold cases, but the man died just yards from the police station where she works.

She’s horrified to discover that both victim and prime suspect are more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. And as the Cambridgeshire police force closes ranks against her, she is forced to contemplate the unthinkable.

How well does she know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder?

MY THOUGHTS

When I read Missing, Presumed last year I became hooked on Manon Bradshaw. She is such a great character, and Susie Steiner’s writing is outstanding, she reels you into the story straight away. In Persons Unknown, she really pulls Manon through the ranks, Manon soon finds herself in a difficult situation where she must prove her loyalty to her colleagues or to her family.

Manon has recently returned to Cambridgeshire after a short time in London, where she was hoping for a fresh start with her adopted son, Fly. She believes that life for Fly will be better in Cambridge than it currently is in the city, and she moves in temporarily, with her sister, Ellie. Five months pregnant, Manon soon faces one of the most challenging cases in her career, proving her son’s innocence. A successful businessman has been found murdered in a park, only yards from her home and Fly becomes the chief suspect. Manon is determined to prove her son’s innocence, but she faces obstacles at all angles. But as she fights to free her son, she discovers that there is something much darker behind this man’s death and proving Fly’s innocence might be harder than she originally thought, especially when their own relationship is put to the test.

Since I read the first Manon Bradshaw thriller, I have been itching to get my hands on the second book. Persons Unknown takes place a year later, and we see Manon perhaps in her happiest state as she is preparing for the birth of her child and looking after Fly. There are issues in this book which are quite topical in the news at the moment, particularly the issue of stop and searches in London, based on the colour of a person’s skin. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have this repeatedly happen to you when you have done nothing wrong. Manon believes that by moving back to Cambridgeshire that this will take Fly away from that. But perhaps, the move back could have been her biggest mistake.

In this book, we see Manon’s emotions really play out as she fights hard to get her son released. One of Susie Steiner’s strengths is creating utterly engaging and believable characters; it makes me wonder if Manon is based on anyone that she knows as she really comes alive on the page. The characters are what really drive this story, which is what makes Susie Steiner’s books stand out in the crime fiction genre. There are also good doses of humour in the book which really lights it up, and this also gives the characters flavour.

Another excellent novel from Susie Steiner, she has become one of my ‘must read’ authors, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where she will take Manon and the rest of the team next.

Publisher: The Borough Press

Publication date: 29th June 2017

Print length: 368 pages

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All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker book review @1stMondayCrime @WhittyAuthor

With First Monday Crime only a week away, I thought I would share my review of All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker who will be appearing at next month’s panel. And if you’re interested in coming along, I will include all the information below about how you can book your FREE space. I hope to see you there.

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For fans of Lisa Jewell, Holly Seddon and Local Girl Missing, All the Wicked Girls is a gripping thriller with a huge heart from an exceptional talent.

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine. Then Summer vanishes.

Raine throws herself into the investigation, aided by a most unlikely ally, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her search becomes.

And perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved Chris Whitaker’s debut novel Tall Oaks so I couldn’t wait to see what he had install for us next and All the Wicked Girls didn’t disappoint. It is even better and much darker than Tall Oaks; I think it has to be one of my favourite reads of this year.

All the Wicked Girls is set in the fictional small town of Grace, Alabama. A giant storm cloud hangs above the town which panics the residents who are convinced that something evil is afoot. And then Summer Ryan goes missing, a model student with a talent for music. Summer’s sister, Raine is distraught and puts every effort in to finding her sister.

Chris Whitaker is seriously one of the best writers in the business at the moment; it’s hard to believe that this is only his second book. His characterisation skills are excellent; when you turn the final page, you have that feeling that you have got to know every character really well and for me, good characterisation is one of the most important aspects that make up a good story. We need a character who we can get behind and Chris has definitely got that here with Raine. I could feel her agony as she searched to find the truth as to what happened to her sister and I was rooting for her to find her, it was clear that Raine would use any means possible to make sure that her sister was safe. Chris is an expert in giving the reader the sense that every character in his book has a secret, this gives his novels an element of a Broadchurch style mystery, it makes for a gripping read, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The setting of the fictional town of Grace was really well done, I felt as though I was in America’s Deep South, although the town was fictional I had no trouble at all imagining it as a town in this area. Chris captured the mood and the atmosphere of the town really well, particularly when the people who live there are dealing with a crisis, you can begin to see cracks in relationships forming and a society beginning to fall apart as they fight to find answers and keep the town safe.

Another brilliant book by Chris, All the Wicked Girls is a book I predict will be huge. It’s definitely one of those books that you don’t want to end. The only problem is now that I’ve finished is that I have to wait for Chris’s next book; I can’t wait to see what he does next. Thank you to Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre Books for sending me a copy to review.

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

Publication date: 24th August 2017

Print length: 448 pages

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FIRST MONDAY CRIME

Now for the all important details about where you can reserve your space for First Monday Crime. Alongside Chris, on the panel we have: Louise Jensen, bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate; Susi Holliday, author of the Banktoun trilogy and The Deaths of December; MJ McGrath, her latest book is Give Me The Child. And finally we have Claire McGowan who will be chairing the panel, Claire is the author of the Paula Maguire series which are brilliant crime novels set in Ireland.

We also have wine sponsored by No Exit Press, Secret Santa Book Exchange, where you can bring along one of your favourite crime novels and you’ll receive a book in return. And then we have Pitch An Audience where crime writers will pitch their cherished ideas to the audience and you decide the winner.

The date for First Monday Crime is: Monday, 4th December 2017 and the doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Location: City University, London

If I have tempted you with all what’s going on. Then follow the link below to reserve your space. I hope to see you there.

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

 

#KnowMeNow by C J Carver Blog Tour

I’m thrilled to be able to share my review today of Know Me Now by C J Carver as part of the blog tour. Thank you to Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to take part.

Know Me Now

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A SUICIDE. A MURDER. A CONSPIRACY. 
DIGGING UP THE PAST CAN BE DEADLY . . .

A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 officer, is connected to them both.

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

But as the pair investigate, they unravel a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past and uncover a terrible secret.

A secret someone will do anything to keep buried . . . 

MY THOUGHTS

Know Me Now is the third book in the Dan Forrester series by C J Carver and it is a real corker of a read.

The novel opens with the death of a young boy who the police believe has committed suicide. The young boy is Dan Forrester’s godson, but he is unconvinced that he killed himself. Dan enlists the help of his friend, DC Lucy Davies to help him investigate the case. But Dan is also mourning the loss of his sixty five year old father, who has died of a heart attack, whilst he was in Germany. But as Lucy and Dan begin to investigate it becomes clear that there is something evil at work going on and soon, terrible secrets about the past are uncovered.

C J Carver’s writing is utterly engaging. This is the first book of hers which I have read, but I didn’t find any trouble at all in getting into the story, it can be read as a standalone but I’m now keen to read the previous books in the series. I was intrigued by both of the cases in this book, the death of Dan’s godson and his father. As Lucy’s investigation into his godson’s suicide goes ahead Dan travels to Germany to seek answers about his father’s death. The tension was there on every page of the book and I wanted Dan to get the answers that he was after. There is also a historical element to this book as well which was also fascinating, even though at times it was horrific to read about.

I really liked Lucy’s character; it was interesting to see her relationship with her boss evolve in this book. I’m looking forward to finding out more about her when I read the first two books in the series but I’m also intrigued as to see how her character will progress from here. In this series, C J Carver has created really engaging characters who you’ll want to root for.

This was an excellent, roller-coaster of a read which I enjoyed from page one, it didn’t take me long to finish, I read it in just a couple of sittings. I’m going to be catching up on the previous books very soon. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book to read and to Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 11th January 2018 (paperback) 14th December 2017 (kindle)

Print length: 448 pages

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The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst Book Review

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The brilliant new novel from Jenny Blackhurst, the #1 eBook bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU, which Clare Mackintosh called ‘utterly gripping’ and BEFORE I LET YOU INIf you love Louise Jensen’s THE GIFT or SK Tremayne’s THE ICE TWINS you will love this.

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…

MY THOUGHTS

In Jenny Blackhurst’s latest book The Foster Child, we are introduced to eleven-year-old Ellie Atkinson who has already faced horrific times in her short life. Her family have been killed in a house fire; Ellie was the only one who survived.

Now Ellie has been placed with a foster family, but on top of losing her parents and her home, Ellie is faced with a torrent of abuse from her fellow pupils and even, shockingly, from some of her teachers. But what is it about Ellie that makes people, including adults, fear her? And why do strange things appear to happen whenever she is around?

I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the short chapters, which kept me turning the pages; I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Ellie and to those around her. I found myself asking a lot of questions about Ellie which I wanted to get to the bottom of. There were times, as I was reading this book, when I couldn’t quite make up my mind about her. There were some scenes in the novel when I felt that what she really needed was a hug and I really wanted things to get better for her, but there were other times when I could almost see why people treated her this way. This was what made this book a really fascinating read, I could see why people were thinking the way they were and it made it all the more interesting to find out the truth. Jenny really did pull some startling revelations out of the bag with this one and I was totally surprised by the ending.

Jenny also introduces us to child psychologist Imogen Reid. Imogen has just returned to the town of Gaunt – the town where she grew up – and it is here that she meets Ellie for the first time. When she is assigned to Ellie’s case she is horrified by the level of hate which is directed towards this young girl. But as she grows attached to her, Imogen begins to wonder if there is some truth in the rumours. In both Ellie and Imogen we have two, utterly engaging characters. What I really found interesting was how my opinion of each character changed as the book progressed. I imagine that this book will prompt plenty of discussions in book groups.

The Foster Child is a seriously creepy read. Jenny does an excellent job at building up the tension which kept me glued to the pages. Highly recommended, I’m looking forward to seeing what Jenny does next. Thank you to Millie Seaward at Headline for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 21st September 2017 (kindle) 16th November 2017 (paperback)

Print length: 400 pages

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The First One To Die by Victoria Jenkins blog tour @vicwritescrime @bookouture

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Four friends. A house full of secrets. And a killer picking them off one by one…
She tried to break her fall, twisting desperately, but there was nothing to catch hold of, nothing with which she could stop herself. Her single scream cut through the night air.

Keira North falls to her death at a party. It initially seems like an accident, but Detectives Alex King and Chloe Lane suspect foul play: they are convinced they are dealing with a murder.

When the detectives start to investigate, they soon find that all of Keira’s closest friends have secrets that someone might kill to keep.

And as Alex and Chloe are fighting their own demons and struggling to stay on top of the case, Keira’s killer is circling the group of friends, who one by one find that their lives are in danger…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Jenkins Author Photo

Victoria Jenkins lives with her husband in South Wales, where she writes crime fiction and teaches English. The Girls in the Water is her debut novel, the first featuring Detective Inspector Alex King and Detective Constable Chloe Lane. The second book in the series will be published in late 2017.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m delighted to be taking part in The First One To Die blog tour today, the second book in Victoria Jenkins Detectives King and Lane series.

Victoria Jenkins, Detectives King and Lane series is fast becoming one of my favourites. I loved the first book The Girls in the Water and The First One To Die is even better.

At the beginning of the book, Keira North falls to her death at a house party. DI Alex King is convinced that someone pushed her intentionally. However, she is put under pressure to find evidence that Kiera’s death wasn’t an accident; her boss is keen to put the limited resources they have, to better use, so Alex has to work quickly. Soon the body count begins to rise and DI King realises that Kiera’s housemates haven’t been entirely truthful with her. What has been going on in that house? What secrets have they been hiding?

Victoria Jenkins writing is hugely addictive. The characters and the plot kept me glued to the page as I attempted to work out who was responsible for Kiera’s death. There are plenty of different layers in this book for Alex and Chloe to get to the bottom of. As Alex tries to find the evidence to support her theory that Kiera was murdered, Chloe is investigating another case where a girl has ended up in a coma, after taking drugs at a separate party. And the cases soon collide. There were plenty of twists and turns and the final chapters of the book had me racing towards the end.

We also learn a lot more about Alex’s personal life in this book; the first novel focuses on Chloe and her back story, so it was fascinating to get to know Alex a little better. Although this book can be read as a standalone I would recommend starting with The Girls in the Water to fully appreciate the character development.

This is another brilliant book by Victoria Jenkins and I’m already excited to read her next one, I’m hoping that there are more books featuring Alex and Chloe to come. Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book to read and to Noelle Holton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 15th November 2017

Print length: 328 pages

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The First One to Die - Blog Tour

 

Killing State by Judith O’Reilly Blog Tour @judithoreilly

KIlling State Cover Image

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“…more twists than a pretzel. …a gritty, action-packed, page-turner.” ANDY MCNAB The bullet in his brain isn’t the problem. She is. Michael North is a hero, with a bullet in the brain to prove it. A bullet which has rewired his neural pathways and heightened his sense of intuition. A bullet which is driving him mad. Working for an extra-governmental agency called The Board, North knows one thing for sure. He is very good at killing very bad guys. But what happens when a hero is ordered to kill a good woman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Judith Author Pic

Judith O’Reilly’s claim to fame is that one of her books was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. As far as she’s concerned that’s as good as it gets.

Judith has written three books. Her latest book is called Killing State. It’s a commercial political thriller and her first novel – at least the first one she’s allowed to leave the house without her. She likes to describe it as a Lee Child meets Robert Harris, with a young and very British action hero and compelling and dynamic female characters. She may be the only person who ever thinks that. We’ll have to see.

Judith’s a former political producer with BBC 2’s Newsnight and ITN’s Channel 4 News, and a former education correspondent with The Sunday Times where she also covered politics, undercover reporting and general news. She still writes for The Sunday Times.

Her two non-fiction books were called Wife in the North and A Year of Doing Good (both published by Viking Penguin, in 2008 and 2013 respectively). Wife in the North reached number three in the UK bestsellers’ chart and was in the top ten for five weeks. It was also a top ten bestseller in Germany. It sold into ten countries, was serialised by The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week (has she mentioned that already?), and was based on Judith’s eponymous blog which was named as one of the top 100 blogs in the world by The Sunday Times. Judith’s blog is credited with kicking off the popularity of domestic blogging in the UK. For A Year of Doing Good, she did a good deed a day for a year. It did not make her a better person. She has taught memoir and blogging at Newcastle University, and occasionally advises on strategic communications. Most of all though, she writes and drinks a lot of tea. Occasionally, she shakes things up and drinks covfefe.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Killing State blog tour today, a Michael North thriller by Judith O’Reilly. I was utterly gripped by this brilliant book, if you’re after a thriller which is brimming with action, I would highly recommend this one.

In Killing State, Judith introduces us to trained killer Michael North. Michael has been hired to assassinate MP Honor Jones, the Tory MP for Mile End, who has become too much of a liability for those who want her killed. But Michael’s conscience gets the better of him and he realises that he can’t kill Honor. But the people who have hired him aren’t individuals who you can turn your back on easily and hope to get away with it. Now fearing for both their lives, Honor and North go on the run and attempt to track down Honor’s friend, Peggy who has dropped all contact with anyone who knew her well. What has Peggy done to make a gang of merciless killers interested in her and why is anyone who knows her and anyone who is trying to find her, killed before they can get to the truth?

I really enjoyed reading this book. Killing State is fast paced and an action packed story. Judith pulled me into the novel with her intriguing prologue in which we see North approaching MP Honor Jones, the woman who he has been sent to kill. But the novel takes an unexpected turn when he ‘befriends’ Honor and attempts to help her escape when he tries to persuade her to flee to America. I really liked the relationship between Honor and Michael once they strike up a friendship. I was intrigued to see how this would play out for the rest of the novel and if Michael would continue to help Honor or if he would be persuaded to go against his conscience and kill her, to make life easier for him.

I was fascinated by the mystery of the disappearance of Honor’s friend, Peggy. As the story progresses we see glimpses of the past they shared together and I wanted to get to the bottom of what Peggy had caught herself up in. Michael North’s story was also captivating and I wanted to find out more about him. We learn that he suffered a gunshot wound whilst serving in the army and that the bullet is still lodged in his brain. Michael knows that one day the bullet will kill him. During the action scenes it is clear that he knows that one wrong move could dislodge the bullet and he is desperate to stay alive so that he can protect Honor. The action scenes really were captivating and there are plenty of them throughout the book.

A brilliant read for thriller seekers, this book will keep you reading well into the night. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read. I’m looking forward to seeing what Judith does next with the series.

Publisher: Loughman Press

Publication date: 15th March 2018 (paperback) 6th November 2017 (Kindle)

Print length: 394 pages

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My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland Book Review

My Little Eye (Starke & Bell) by [Marland, Stephanie, Broadribb, Stephanie]

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Can a group of true crime addicts take on the police to catch a serial killer?

 

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE…

A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals – the latest victim of ‘The Lover’. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.

As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in their own hands – to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.

As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.

MY THOUGHTS

I was blown away by My Little Eye; I’ve been looking forward to reading it since I first heard that it was being published and I wasn’t disappointed. Stephanie Marland, who also writes the fantastic Lori Anderson series as Steph Broadribb, has created a brilliant cast of characters in her new series, I can’t wait to find out more about them.

In My Little Eye we are introduced to Clementine Starke and murder squad detective DI Dominic Bell. The police are investigating a series of murders which have taken place, DI Dominic Bell fears that a serial killer may be at large, the killer is known to the police and the press as ‘The Lover.’ Fed up with the lack of progress the police are making, an online crime group become determined to solve the murders, their main objective: to beat the police. Clementine joins and soon finds herself embroiled in the mystery. But soon her world and Dominic’s collide and Clementine soon realises that she has put herself very close to danger. Can they catch the killer before they kill again?

What I really liked about this book is the unique premise. In police procedural novels we are used to the police investigating and solving the crime; what I found interesting in My Little Eye was Stephanie’s use of true crime addicts who are desperate to beat them. It was intriguing to see how a group of amateurs could solve a crime without the resources the police have and without the means to go and interrogate witnesses and potential suspects. Could they really do a better job? We all like to play armchair detectives and try to work out ‘who did it’ ourselves so it was fascinating to see this group in action. This really did well in adding to the pace of the novel as both sides raced to stop the killer from striking again.

The characters, who were part of the online crime group, alongside Clementine were intriguing, although most of their interaction takes place online, you can begin to see connections forming and you can definitely see where the group is splitting apart. I was curious to see if they would all maintain their commitment.

Both Clementine and Dominic held my attention from the start. They both have interesting back stories which will make you want to find out more about them. I really liked the chemistry between them in this book, this is something that I am hoping will be explored further, and there is another book on the way.

My Little Eye is a great start to a thrilling new series; I can’t wait to read the next book.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 2nd November 2017 (Kindle) 5th April 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

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The Other Woman by Laura Wilson Book Review

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Shortly after Christmas, a message arrives at Sophie’s house, scrawled across her own round robin newsletter: HE’S GOING TO LEAVE YOU. LET’S SEE HOW SMUG YOU ARE THEN, YOU STUPID BITCH. Perhaps she should ignore it, but she ignored the last one. And the one before that. Now it’s time to take action.

But when a simple plan to identify and confront the other woman goes drastically and violently wrong, Sophie must go to extreme lengths to keep her life and her family together – while never letting on her devastating secret.

MY THOUGHTS

The Other Woman is the first book by Laura Wilson which I have read and I can certainly say that I’ll be looking out for more from Laura. The Other Woman makes for a compulsive read and it will keep you reading well into the night. It is taut and full of suspense. I highly recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Sophie lives a comfortable, middle class lifestyle. Her husband, Leo has a successful career in the city; they have three children and a beautiful house in an idyllic setting: rural Norfolk. Life couldn’t be better. But shortly after Christmas, Sophie receives an astonishing letter from an anonymous individual, claiming that her husband is having an affair and that he is going to leave her. Sophie is distraught, as she tries to make sense of what is happening she begins to make rash decisions. And when she starts making rash decisions, disaster strikes and Sophie has to learn how to deal with the consequences. But this is beyond her worst nightmares and as she tries to take control of the situation, shocking truths about her family begin to emerge. Can she ever go back to being the woman she was before?

What I really enjoyed about The Other Woman was Laura’s taut writing and brilliant dialogue. She is a master at creating suspense and I was hooked from the first page. From the start, I didn’t particularly like her main character, Sophie; I struggled to find any sympathy for her, throughout the book, even as she was trying to get to the bottom of her husband’s affair. But when she was faced with a horrific situation I often asked myself how I would deal with her problems if I was in her shoes.

The pace in the novel is brilliant. As the novel progresses, Laura delves into Sophie’s mind as she tries to come to terms with what is happening to her world. It makes for an engrossing read. The final scenes of the book were some of the tensest scenes I have read in a long while. I couldn’t put the book down until I had finished.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of domestic noir thrillers, a genre which I am keen to explore further. I’m looking forward to reading more from Laura in the future. Thank you to Quercus and Bookbridgr for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 5th October 2017

Print length: 384 pages

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Broken Bones by Angela Marsons Book Review @WriteAngie @bookouture

Broken Bones: A gripping serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 7) by [Marsons, Angela]

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They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

A gripping new crime thriller from the Number One bestseller – you will be hooked until the final jaw-dropping twist.

MY THOUGHTS

It’s hard to believe that we are on book number seven in the Kim Stone series, where has the time gone? It certainly doesn’t feel that long ago when I first read Silent Scream and was introduced to the brilliant Kim Stone. Angela Marsons once again continues to prove that she is one of the best crime writers in the business, at the end of each instalment I’m always left hungry for more.

In the run-up to Christmas, Kim and her team are left bewildered when a baby is left on the doorstep of the police station. An investigation begins to track down the baby’s mother, but this quickly becomes complicated. Meanwhile, Kim and Bryant are called away from the investigation when the body of a young prostitute is discovered. But as their investigation progresses, more dead bodies begin to turn up and Kim and her team realise that this is the work of a twisted individual.

Angela Marsons grabbed me from the start with Broken Bones, and this has been the same with all of her books. She opens the novel with a tense, startling prologue which sets the tone for the rest of the book. In the latest instalment, Angela explores the dark side of humanity as she takes the reader into the terrifying world of prostitution and human trafficking. What I really like about Angela’s writing is her ability to make each theme feel fresh, some of the themes have been explored before in crime fiction, but Angela has always had the skill to write about them in a new way and make it feel fresh. As the reader, she really made me care for the victims in the book, and that’s what I’m always looking for when I read a book; I want to be able to discuss it with a friend and persuade them to read it as well. This is where Angela always succeeds.

So if you haven’t discovered the Kim Stone series yet, firstly, where have you been? But secondly, I implore you to read them all, in each book Angela gives us something new, and she will always leave you wanting more. I for one can’t wait to read her next book.

I received an advance readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 374 pages

Print length: 374 pages

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