#PerfectDeath by Helen Fields blog tour @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK

I’m really excited to be sharing my review today for Perfect Death by Helen Fields which is out now in paperback and eBook. The DI Luc Callanch series is one of my favourite crime fiction series out at the moment and Helen’s books keep getting better and better.

Source: Review Copy

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‘Relentless pace, devilish cleverness and a laser-sharp focus on plot.’ Chris Brookmyre

‘Without doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read.’ Woman’s Way Magazine

Your new addiction starts here: get hooked on the #1 bestselling series. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge.

There’s no easy way to die…

Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely love this series. When the invitation went out to join the blog tour, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. Helen Fields knows how to weave a clever, intricate story. Whenever I pick up one of Helen’s books, I know that I am going to lose a few hours to reading. Fast paced, gruesome murders, captivating characters, this series has it all! Crime fans, if you haven’t yet discovered this series, you don’t know what you’re missing out on!

When a young girl’s body is found in the hills at Arthur’s Seat, DI Callanch and his team suspect that she may have perished at the result of taking an overdose. The case should be fairly simple to wrap up but there is something niggling away at Callanch to suggest there may be more to the young girl’s death than meets the eye. Meanwhile, newly promoted, DCI Ava Tuner is called to a scene, where the body of her former boss, DCI Begbie has been found in his car, where it appears that he has taken his own life. But Ava is far from convinced that this is the case. As Ava struggles to prove that there may be a sinister motive behind her former chief inspector’s death, Callanch’s investigation steps up. He believes that a serial killer maybe operating on the streets of Edinburgh, a killer who is cold, calculating and intelligent. With few leads to follow and a killer keeping well in the shadows, can Callanch stop them from killing again? And can Ava get to the bottom of her former boss’s suicide?

I love the relationship between DI Luc Callanch and his colleague DCI Ava Turner in these books. I really enjoy reading the scenes when it is just the two of them together as there is often a good dose of humour in their conversations. Their relationship is put a little under strain in this book and for me; this is one aspect which made the book really exciting as I was keen to see how their personal and working relationship was going to develop. We also learn a lot more about Callanch’s past in this book, particularly more about his relationship with his mother; I’m intrigued to see how Helen will explore this in future books as this is a part of Callanch’s life which we have heard little about previously.

As with the previous books in the series, Helen Fields has created an utterly terrifying serial killer. She always manages to produce such original ideas; this is another reason why these books have become a favourite of mine. She is one of the most exciting crime writers in the business at the moment and I really can’t wait to see where she’ll take Luc, Ava and the rest of them next.

This series just keeps getting better and better. Whenever Helen Fields has a new book out it always goes straight to the top of my reading pile and I am never disappointed. Helen is a really talented writer and I can’t recommend her books highly enough. Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 25th January 2018

Print length: 448 pages

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The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd blog tour @AmyLloydWrites @PenguinUKBooks

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HOW DO YOU CONFRONT YOUR HUSBAND WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH?

Gripping psychological suspense from a brilliant new voice in crime fiction 

‘You can hear the ominous music from the first line onward – this is a fantastic thriller.’ Lee Child

An original, assured and compelling tale of obsession. Amy Lloyd is a startling new talent, destined to become a big name.’ Peter James

Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a true-crime documentary that’s whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free a man who has been wrongly convicted.

A thousand miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis’s case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her. Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.

But when the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all …

MY THOUGHTS

Amy Lloyd’s debut novel, The Innocent Wife, was the winner of the Daily Mail bestseller competition. I can remember reading about the competition when it was announced a couple of years ago, and when I saw that Amy’s book had been announced as the winner, I could see why. It had an intriguing premise and a strong opening that hooked me into the story. I couldn’t wait to find out more about it. The Innocent Wife pulls you into a murky world, as the reader, we are never sure who we can trust in her novel, and it is the anticipation of unravelling the truth that will keep you turning the pages. This is a belter of a read.

Dennis Danson has been on Death Row for the last twenty years, convicted of murdering a young girl in his home county of Red River, Florida. He now has a team of true-crime experts working on a new documentary which has the ultimate aim of convincing the justice system to set him free. Across the pond in England, Samantha learns about the case and begins writing to Dennis, confident that she is right about his innocence. But she isn’t the only one who is writing to him; Samantha soon finds an online social network where people openly chat with each other about their feelings towards Dennis. But Sam specifically interests Dennis, and soon she finds herself flying out to America to meet him. There is an immediate connection and whilst he is still in prison, they marry, much to the dismay of her family. It is Samantha’s dream come true when Dennis’ conviction is overturned, and he is released from prison. But as he begins his new life as a free man, Samantha can’t help but think that he isn’t quite the man she thought she knew. Has she made a mistake in thinking that he was ever innocent?

This was a fascinating, yet disturbing novel to read. I have heard of many cases where women have written to convicts who have committed heinous crimes, I can never quite get my head around why they would want to write to these people. This has also been the subject of books and TV dramas; one that springs to mind is the latest series of Happy Valley. Amy’s novel gives us an insight into this world, through the eyes of her main character Samantha. As we got to understand more about her character, I could perhaps see why she was drawn to writing to Dennis, and it was intriguing to learn about her history.

What Amy does so cleverly in this novel is that she plays around with our thoughts as we try to separate truth from fact. I could never quite be sure which direction this novel was going to go, but there was tension on every page which kept me turning the pages.

I’m really excited to see what Amy Lloyd comes up with next; she is an author who I will be keeping an eye on. The Innocent Wife is compelling and a dark, intriguing story that will keep you thinking. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Publisher: Century

Publication date: 28th December 2017

Print length: 384 pages

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit Book Review #GrippedByFear @orionbooks

Source: Netgalley

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You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

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Family is everything.

So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

MY THOUGHTS 

I found Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit to be a captivating read. The writing is hugely addictive and I found the lead character, Randolph, engaging. I don’t think I would quite call it a fast paced thriller, although the writing definitely did draw me into the story. Nevertheless, I did find the book a really enjoyable read and I’m sure I’ll be looking out for more from this author in the future.

Randolph and Rebecca live a comfortable lifestyle. They have two children, Paul and Fay, who they adore. Life couldn’t be better for them. But when they move into a new apartment, their neighbour, Dieter Tiberius begins to accuse them of heinous crimes against their children. Randolph and Rebecca are pushed to the brink when lawyers and the police become involved and it is clear to them that Dieter Tiberius isn’t going to go away easily. And this is where Dirk Kurbjuweit asks the reader an important question: you’d die for your family, but would you kill for them?

What I thought this novel did really well at was highlighting how unfair the law can be. I shared Randolph’s exasperation at the lack of effort from the authorities as he tried to expel this threat to his family, it was excruciating to see them battling this nightmare on their own. It was intriguing to find out that this book is based on true life events that the author himself went through. I can only imagine what this must have felt like at the time.

I’ll certainly be pushing this book into the hands of fellow crime readers so that I can discuss it with them. I love a book which has that effect on you, when after you’ve read it; you can’t wait to talk to someone about it. This would be a perfect book club read. A really enjoyable novel. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance review copy. And if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Fear, it is out now, click on the link below if you would like to find out more about the book.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 25th January 2018

Print length: 304 pages

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Need To Know by Karen Cleveland blog tour @karecleve @TransworldBooks #NeedToKnowBook

Source: Review copy

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Vivian Miller is a CIA analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the USA. After accessing the computer of a potential Russian spy, she stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents living in her own country. Five seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

A few clicks later, everything that matters to Vivian is threatened – her job, her husband, even her four children . . .

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

Will her next move be the right one?

MY THOUGHTS

Need To Know was one of those books that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I remember last year seeing a few proofs going around on social media after the Theakston’s Crime Festival and I was intrigued to learn more, so I didn’t hesitate to say yes when an invitation to join the blog tour went out. Karen Cleveland has introduced an exciting protagonist in Vivian Miller, who works as a CIA analyst. I’m hoping that this isn’t the last that we’ll hear from Vivian, especially after that twist at the end, my jaw dropped as I read the final page.

Vivian Miller is working on Russia as part of her job for the CIA. She is an analyst at the top of her game and she is hoping to crack down on a Russian sleeper cell in the US, she has never failed before. But as she hacks into a computer, she is confronted by photographs of the men who form part of the cell. And as she realises who one of the men in the photographs is, her life changes dramatically. Things will never be quite the same again for Vivian.

Karen Cleveland has created a dramatic story line in her debut. Although it is a spy novel, there is also a psychological element to it as well as she explores her characters lives and the dangerous situation that is evolving around them. This is what made this book particularly enjoyable for me. As the plot began to unfold, I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next, especially as Vivian has some important decisions to make about her future.

Need To Know is a fast paced read that will keep you turning the pages. Once you start reading you will feel compelled to find out what is going on and how the events the characters are facing will unfold. Hugely gripping and exceptionally well written. I can’t wait to see what Karen Cleveland writes next. Thank you to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the blog tour and to Becky Short at Transworld for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 25th January 2018

Print length: 304 pages

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Need To Know Blog Tour

Interview with C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @1stMondayCrime

Today, I am delighted to welcome C.J. Tudor to my blog to answer some questions. Her debut novel The Chalk Man, is set to be one of the biggest releases of the year and you can purchase your copy now, you can also read my review of the book by clicking HERE. And C.J. Tudor will be appearing at next month’s First Monday Crime at City University, all the details about where you can reserve your space can be found at the end of the interview.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, waitress, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and now author. The Chalk Man is her first novel.

 

INTERVIEW WITH C.J. TUDOR

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Firstly, could you tell us a little bit about what your debut novel, The Chalk Man is about?

The Chalk Man is a creepy, coming-of-age murder mystery set in 2016 and 1986 – that’s when we meet twelve-year-old Eddie and his friends. They invent a game: drawing chalk figures on the ground to pass secret messages. But the game turns sinister when the figures start to appear on their own and lead them to the body of a girl. Thirty years later, Ed thinks the past is behind him Then he receives a letter containing just two things – a drawing of a stick figure and a piece of chalk . . .

I first heard about The Chalk Man a little over a year ago and there has been a huge level of excitement surrounding the book, I was wondering how you feel about the level of attention that your book has received?

It’s bonkers! I was working as a dog-walker when I wrote the book, plotting while I picked up poo! I had no expectations at all when I submitted it apart from more rejection – I’d had over ten years of that. For it to go to auction and sell in so many countries . . . it’s all been surreal but in the most wonderful way!

I thought that the use of the chalk figures in the book was an ingenious idea; could you tell us if there was anything in particular which inspired this idea?

A friend gave my little girl a tub of coloured chalks for her second birthday. We spent the afternoon drawing stick figures all over the driveway. Then we went inside and forgot about them.

Later that night, I opened the back door and was confronted by these weird chalk drawings everywhere. In the darkness, they looked incredibly sinister. I called out to my partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark. . .’

That was the beginning of it all!

The characters in your novel are all very vivid, I particularly liked the main character, Ed. Did you draw inspiration for any of the individuals from people who you knew?

The gang of kids is loosely based upon me and my friends when we were pre-teens in the mid-eighties. Not in terms of individual characters but what we’d do – riding our bikes around town, hanging out in the playground, building dens in the woods. I’m very fond of Eddie too – I think there’s a lot of me in Eddie, which is perhaps a tad worrying!

How long did you spend working on The Chalk Man before you started to look for an agent?

Around 6 months – and, in all honesty, I probably submitted too soon. Fortunately, my wonderful agent, Madeleine Milburn, saw the potential, offered some suggestions and, after another two months working on a second draft, she took me on!

Did you have the story planned out before you put pen to paper or did the plot evolve during the writing process?

It definitely evolved! I’m not someone who sits and plans out the whole story beforehand. I’d be bored before I started. Plus, I like the adventure of seeing where the story and characters take me. It keeps it interesting.

The novel opens with a striking prologue which immediately sets the scene and the tone of the book. In your head, was this always the opening that you had planned or did this change over time?

No! Originally, in the first draft, there wasn’t a prologue! I know some people hate prologues but I realised, when I was writing Draft 2, that it was really necessary. And I’m very glad I added it!

If there was one piece of advice which you could pass on to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Keep at it. Don’t get disillusioned by rejections. We all have them. Failure means you don’t get complacent. You get better. Always remember why you started – because you love writing. Do not try to write what you think people want – write what you love, even if it seems like no one wants it, because trends change. You do not need contacts or expensive courses. The slush pile works. Also, it is never too late. I’m a debut author at 46. It took me over ten years. You’ve got time!

How did you celebrate publication day for The Chalk Man?

I spent most of the day replying to notifications on social media! Then, in the evening I had the book launch at Waterstones in Nottingham with all my friends and family. To see my book in the shop was amazing – they had a wonderful window display. I took my little girl along so it was a fantastic moment. Oh, and afterwards (once Grandma and Grandpa had taken our little one home) a few of us stayed out pretty late drinking!!

And finally, is there anything that you can tell us about what you’re working on next?

Yes. It’s another, dark, creepy mystery set in a former mining village in Nottinghamshire:

When Joe Thorne was fifteen, his little sister, Annie, disappeared. And then she came back.

Twenty-five years later, an eleven-year-old boy is bludgeoned to death by his own mother in the same village. Joe returns, to work as a teacher at the failing school, but also to find answers. However, coming back to the place where he grew up means facing the people he grew up with, the things they did . . . and what they found!

 

Thank you to C.J. Tudor for answering my questions and to First Monday Crime for arranging the interview. And if you would like come along to First Monday Crime, you can find all the details below.

 

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

First Monday Crime is back at City University on Monday, 5th February at 6.30 p.m. To reserve your FREE space click on the link below. On the night there will be a brilliant panel of crime writers, featuring: Tammy Cohen, author of They All Fall Down, C.J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man, Chris Carter, author of The Gallery of the Dead and Craig Robertson author of The Photographer. The panel will be moderated by Joe Haddow. I hope to see you there.

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE

THE CHALK MAN

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We all have fears we hide from. But in the end they will find us . . .

———————

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?

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The Feed by Nick Clark Windo Book Review

The Feed by [Windo, Nick Clark]

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THE FEED by Nick Clark Windo is a startling and timely debut which presents a world as unique and vividly imagined as STATION ELEVEN and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.

Tom and Kate’s daughter turns six tomorrow, and they have to tell her about sleep.
If you sleep unwatched, you could be Taken. If you are Taken, then watching won’t save you.
Nothing saves you.

Your knowledge. Your memories. Your dreams.
If all you are is on the Feed, what will you become when the Feed goes down?

For Tom and Kate, in the six years since the world collapsed, every day has been a fight for survival. And when their daughter, Bea, goes missing, they will question whether they can even trust each other anymore.

The threat is closer than they realise…

MY THOUGHTS

The Feed is a scarily realistic, post-apocalyptic debut novel. We live in a world dominated by social media, the Internet and instant twenty-four hour news. It seems that we don’t think for ourselves for a lot of the time, the answers are there at the click of a finger, whenever I ask a question, the response that usually comes is “Google it.” Which can be a shame as in some cases it cancels out the need to engage in conversation.

The first thing I always do every morning is check my phone, Facebook, Twitter and the news, eager to catch up on what I have missed in the last six or eight hours that I have been asleep, and I am sure that I am not alone in doing so. Once we become addicted to social media it becomes very hard to break, for me, horror strikes when the WiFi goes down. This is the same with The Feed in Nick Clark Windo’s debut. People are wholly dependent on it and without it society would collapse. The basic skills that we take for granted in our lives today, are not easily accessible in this world, even skills such as reading and writing are no longer required. So what happens to society, when The Feed goes down?

Tom and Kate are Feed sceptics. Unlike the majority of their fellow human beings, they prefer to switch off their Feed and live in the real world, but even they begin to find this difficult. During the opening pages, catastrophe strikes when President Taylor is assassinated and the Feed itself goes down. The Feed provided everything for everyone, even the ability to communicate with each other without having to speak and now, in order to survive, people must learn to cope without it.

The Feed isn’t the type of book I would usually read, but I had seen a lot of people talking about it on social media and I was intrigued, I was thrilled when my wish was granted by Netgalley. The author has created a world where trust plays a huge role in people’s lives. In this new world our characters find themselves in, people can be taken, where an outsider invades their mind. Trust is a strong theme that plays throughout the book.

Tom and Kate kept me engaged throughout the book. When their six year old daughter, Bea goes missing, they leave their camp and take a dangerous road to try and find her. The pace rockets as they race against the clock to track her down. Tom and Kate’s grief at losing their daughter was totally believable and I was desperate for them to be reunited. This is a great source of tension in the book, although this is a post-apocalyptic novel, it does have elements of a thriller. I believe that this book will appeal to fans of both psychological thrillers and post-apocalyptic novels.

Nick’s writing is highly addictive and will keep you turning the pages. The Feed is an outstanding debut which I highly recommend; I predict that it will be huge in 2018. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy to read.

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 25th January 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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#HellBay by Kate Rhodes Book Review

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DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.

Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time. 

MY THOUGHTS

This book was an immensely enjoyable and satisfying read. Kate Rhodes has created a strong new lead in DI Ben Kitto and I’m excited to see that this is going to be the start of a new series.

I very rarely talk about the cover in my reviews but I have to say that the publishers have done a fantastic job with the design of this book. It immediately had me intrigued and I loved the title which already gave the book a very atmospheric edge and this was reflected in Kate’s writing.

Set on the Scilly island of Bryher, off the Cornish coast, the novel opens with the discovery of sixteen-year-old Laura Trescothick’s body on the beach at Hell Bay. The police suspect that this is a tragic case of Laura committing suicide, but there is enough evidence to prompt Ben Kitto to believe that someone may have committed foul play. There are only a small number of residents on the island and they all fall under suspicion. Laura’s murder has shocked the seemingly, crime-free community and soon people begin to play the blame game.

I really liked Ben as a main character, although he was born on the island and lived there throughout his childhood it did feel as though he was an outsider looking in on his own community and possibly the DCI wasn’t over keen on the idea of an inspector from London taking charge of the case, in a sense, showing them what to do. Ben left the island to join the metropolitan police and is taking a few weeks leave, something he isn’t easily drawn upon when questioned about his reasons for taking a break and this creates an element of mystery about him before his secrets begin to unravel.

I really enjoy crime novels when every character falls under suspicion giving the reader, a really hard job of working out who the perpetrator is. There were occasions when I thought I had figured the identity of the killer out but Kate managed to pull the rug out from under my feet.

This is an excellent start to a new crime series; I can’t wait to read the next book. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 25th January 2018

Print length: 432 pages

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The Confession by Jo Spain blog tour

Source: Review Copy

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Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

THE MOST GRIPPING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER OF 2018: PERFECT FOR FANS OF HE SAID, SHE SAID AND THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR.

MY THOUGHTS

Wow, The Confession by Jo Spain is a top-notch psychological thriller; I was lost for words after I finished this book. If you’re looking for a hard-hitting, nail-biting thriller, The Confession is the book for you.

On the front cover of the book, the publishers tell you: you find out who did it on the very first page, on the last page you’ll find out why. Jo Spain opens the novel with a startling prologue, Harry McNamara, wealthy banker and celebrity businessman is at home with his wife Julie watching a crime drama on television. Their evening soon turns into a blood bath when a stranger stumbles into their home and stabs Harry in a full-blown attack. But what is all the more bemusing is when the attacker hands himself into the police only hours after the attack and makes a full confession, he is devastated by what he has done. But was the attack as random as he claims it was or is there a reason behind why he decided to attack Harry McNamara? It is this that Detective Alice Moody tries to uncover as she looks into Harry’s murky past. But the truth is far more shocking than you would think.

From the very first page of this book, I was gripped. The novel is told from three viewpoints: Harry’s wife, Julie, Detective Alice Moody and a man called JP. When we hear from Julie and JP, the novel flicks back from the past to the present. Jo takes us through Julie’s marriage to Harry, from the very first day that the couple met right up until the day when the intruder breaks into their home and stabs her husband. Their stories were utterly gripping, and I stayed up reading, well into the early hours to find out if there was somehow a connection and what, if anything, possessed this man to attack Harry.

Harry and Julie are spoiled by Harry’s unlimited wealth. Harry is one of the top bankers in the country, responsible for the wealth flowing in and out of Ireland. When we are first introduced to them, you may feel very little sympathy for them, due to the amount of money that they have, but for me, I found that my opinions changed as the novel progressed, particularly towards Julie. I think this is a subject that will prompt a lot of discussion in book groups and it’ll be fascinating to see how different people feel about the characters.

You will be utterly gripped when you start reading The Confession, it is pure psychological drama that will keep you on your toes as you try to figure out what is going on. With perfectly drawn characters and a compelling plot, this is a must read for thriller fans. Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Quercus Books for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 25th January 2018

Print length: 400 pages

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Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary Book Review

Source: Netgalley

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On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

MY THOUGHTS

So, DI Marnie Rome book five, it still doesn’t feel very long ago when I read Sarah Hilary’s debut Someone Else’s Skin which for me really began my passion for crime fiction. Sarah’s writing is utterly absorbing, her characters are authentic, and I have been hooked on Marnie and her backstory since I read her debut. I was left reeling at the end of this book which was a powerful and a very emotional piece of writing in many ways. All I can say is, the moment you get your hands on Come and Find Me, put everything else aside and read it! And if you haven’t yet read the previous books in the series, I implore you to read them all.

Sarah opens book five with a prison riot in HMP Cloverton, where Marnie’s foster brother, Stephen Keele is currently serving his time for murdering her parents six years ago. Stephen has been rushed to hospital after sustaining injuries during the violence, but the main focus is on prisoner, Michael Vokey, who has managed to escape during the rioting. Marnie and her team launch a manhunt to apprehend him and send him back to prison as soon as possible. How could a man, as dangerous as Michael Vokey, been allowed to slip out, unseen and unheard? As the investigation to track him down progresses, we hear that several women, outside of the prison have been writing to him, sharing with him intimate details about themselves, including their addresses. Marnie beings to realise they may be in danger from Vokey or an even more disturbing realisation is that one of them may be hiding him. And what about Michael Vokey’s victim who put him in prison?

Sarah Hilary’s novels are always smart and impeccably researched, and there is always a strong sense of realism in her plots. Whenever I read one of her Marnie Rome novels, I can never quite pin down who the culprit is, and this is one of the aspects about her books that I find really enjoyable, that she always manages to surprise me, and that she always keeps me guessing. The subject of the prison riot in her latest novel is a very topical issue at the moment. I’ve seen a couple of cases in the news recently where prisons in this country have been subjected to such riots so I could easily picture the scenes in my mind.

Now that I’ve finished reading Come and Find Me, I really can’t wait to find out how the series will progress from here. This comes highly recommended from me. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 22nd March 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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Dead To Me by Stephen Edger book review @StephenEdger @bookouture

Dead to Me: A serial killer thriller (Detective Kate Matthews Book 1) by [Edger, Stephen]

Source: Purchased copy

BLURB

How do you catch a killer who knows your every move?

The woman lay flat on the table, her face to one side, her wrists bound with thick tape. Deep scratches marked the wood beneath her fingers, now resting cold and still…

When a woman’s body is found in an abandoned bar near the Southampton docks, Detective Kate Matthews is called in to lead the investigation. She must solve this case to prove she is coping with the death of a close colleague.

Kate knows a pile of ripped up newspaper cuttings discovered at the victim’s house must be a piece of the puzzle, but her team keep hitting dead-ends… Until she finds a disturbing clue that convinces her of three things: The murder is linked to the body of a man found hanging in a warehouse, she is on the hunt for a calculated serial killer, and the killer is watching her every move.

Kate realises there will be another victim soon, and that her own life is in grave danger, but no one else believes her theory. Can she find and stop the most twisted killer of her career, before another life is lost?

An absolutely NAIL-BITING thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, James Patterson and MJ Arlidge.

MY THOUGHTS 

Wow, this was such a good read. I always look forward to a new crime series published by Bookouture as I have never been disappointed by their books, and the first book in the Detective Kate Matthews series is no exception. I’m a little bit late to the party with reading this one, I’ve had it sitting on my Kindle for a while now, but I know I’ll be reading the second book in the series, which is also out now, very soon.

Stephen Edger introduces us to DI Kate Matthews in this new series. Kate is an officer with everything to prove, and we realise from the opening chapters that she has to earn her boss’s trust and respect. Kate has recently transferred to Southampton from the metropolitan police under a cloud of suspicion. At the beginning of the book, she attends the scene of a horrific murder on the docks of Southampton. But she is soon called away from the investigation when the body of a barrister turns up, a barrister who is well known to the police, particularly for letting many suspects in cases walk free. As the race to find the killer heats up, tensions within the team begin to crack; can Kate catch a killer when her own team starts to fall apart? Who can she trust? And when her own family is threatened can she bring the culprit who she wants to catch to justice?

This book is a real page turner. When Stephen first introduces us to Kate, I knew that she was a character who I could root for. There is a mysterious element about her in the opening pages, which kept me hooked and kept me wanting to find out more about her and her previous experience as a police officer. I’m hoping that we’ll get to learn more about her past in future books. I was also intrigued to find out more about her family life. As the investigation heats up, Kate finds herself being charged with having to look after her six-year-old daughter, Chloe, who lives with her Dad and his new wife. Kate isn’t filled with confidence at the prospect of looking after her, even for just a few days. It was interesting to see how they would bond during the time they spent together. It was here that I found myself shaking my head at some of the decisions that Kate made.

Stephen does a great job of planting lots of red herrings. I was amazed at how he managed to pull the rug out from under my feet when he finally revealed the truth. But if you’re intrigued to find out who the real killer is, well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

This is a fine start to a new police procedural series. I’ll be reading the second book, Dying Day, very soon.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 17th August 2017

Print length: 334 pages

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