Cold Heart by Stephen Edger blog tour @StephenEdger @Bookouture

I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for Cold Heart today, which is the third novel in Stephen Edger’s Detective Kate Matthews series.

Cold Heart: A gripping serial killer thriller (Detective Kate Matthews Book 3) by [Edger, Stephen]

Source: Netgalley

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It has been a week since anyone last saw fifteen-year-old Daisy, after she left her best friend’s house and started her short walk home. Detective Kate Matthews and her team have been looking for her ever since.

When a tip-off leads Kate to a disused gymnasium at Daisy’s school, she is shocked to find evidence linking to the murder of a different girl.

Working the two cases side by side, Kate’s blood runs cold when a gift-wrapped box containing a human heart is delivered to her at the station. The heart belongs to yet another unknown victim, but the message is clear: there will be more, and Daisy could be one of them.

When activity on Daisy’s Facebook account indicates she is still alive, the race is on for Kate and her team. Will Daisy be the killer’s next victim? Is Kate prepared to risk everything to stop another innocent life from being taken?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephen Edger Profile photo (b&w)

Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

https://www.stephenedger.com

MY THOUGHTS

If you’ve read my recent reviews, you’ll know that I’ve become quite a fan of Stephen Edger’s Detective Kate Matthews series. And I really enjoyed his latest offering. Cold Heart is dark, gritty and full of suspense. In my opinion, I think it is the best Kate Matthews book yet.

Daisy Emerson is already missing when the book begins. Kate and her team are halfway through the investigation. The police suspect that Daisy may have run away, but Kate isn’t willing to give up on Daisy just yet. When Kate returns to Daisy’s school to follow up on enquiries, a gruesome discovery is found in a building marked for demolition, which shines a new light on the case. But as the investigation deepens, disturbing new information is uncovered which may finally answer what happened to Daisy, and if she is alive or dead. Could Daisy have uncovered a dark secret?

From the start of this book, I wanted to know what had happened to Daisy. I thought it was an interesting idea for Stephen to start the novel several days into the investigation, as already you can see lines wearing thin among certain people in Kate’s team. As the reader, you really want Kate to fight for Daisy’s corner and get to the truth. Stephen does take a surprising turn in this book, and this turn, is what makes this novel even darker. But I’m not going to say too much here as I don’t want to spoil the story for readers.

As well as being under pressure to crack this case, Kate is also having to deal with a colleague’s personal problem and this is another source of tension in the novel. We aren’t quite sure what is going on in his life, until Stephen reveals the twist, and it was one that I didn’t see coming. In these moments in the book, it really brings out the best in Kate’s character, not only is she a great detective, but she would also be a great friend to have around, especially in a sticky spot.

This is another excellent addition to this series and I’m really excited to read the next book. Thank you to Noelle Holten for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 12th March 2018

Print length: 364 pages

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Cold Heart - Blog Tour

Hold My Hand by M.J. Ford blog tour @MJFordBooks @AvonBooksUK

I’m thrilled to be joining the Hold My Hand blog tour today, which is a fantastic debut crime novel by M.J. Ford and as part of the blog tour I have an extract of the book to share with you.

Source: Review Copy

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How long do you hunt for the missing?

A horrible vanishing act…

When a young Josie Masters sees a boy wearing a red football shirt, Dylan Jones, being taken by a clown at a carnival, she tries to alert the crowds. But it’s too late. Dylan has disappeared…

Thirty years later, Josie is working as a police officer in Bath. The remains of the body of a child have been found – complete with tatters of a torn red football shirt. Is it the boy she saw vanish in the clutches of the clown? Or is it someone else altogether?

And then another child disappears…

EXTRACT

The paperwork didn’t take long, but the questions got more personal as they went along.

First, the basics. Name (Josephine Masters); address (she gave the rented place in the south of the city; didn’t need Ben somehow getting mail about this); DOB (as if she needed reminding); occupation (copper). Then medical history. Clean bill of health, apart from the scare last year; alcohol unit intake (everyone lied, right?); do you smoke (no, but gagging for one right now); last period (the 18th); last instance of sexual intercourse (regrettable); last pregnancy (she paused a moment, wondering whether it was the conception date they wanted, or the date of the miscarriage, then opted for the latter).

The secretary tapped deftly at the keyboard with manicured fingers. She was perhaps early twenties, a pretty, natural blonde, combining elegance and amiability in a way Jo could never have managed at that age.

Jo wondered what the young woman thought of her. Did she judge? What did she think of the going-on-forty-year-old sitting opposite, her hair needing a colour, her crow’s feet obvious, her sensible shoes and middle-of-the-range navy suit? Did she wonder why Jo was here, why she didn’t have a partner, if . . .

You’re getting bitter, Josephine. Stop it.

MY THOUGHTS

Josie Masters will never forget the last day that she saw Dylan Jones alive. Thirty years later, and she is working as a police officer, and when she is called to a disturbing scene, where a child’s skeleton has been unearthed, it reopens old questions about the case she has never forgotten. Has Dylan finally been found? But as the investigation steps up a pace, another child disappears in eerily similar circumstances. Now the race is on to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Hold My Hand is a fantastic crime debut by M.J. Ford. We follow Josie Masters as she tries to piece together what happened to a young boy thirty years ago, when he disappeared from a fair. In the opening chapter, M.J. Ford captured the ensuing panic that rises, when the boy’s mother realises that he is missing and it compelled me to continue reading. The fairground provided the perfect creepy atmosphere, for such a horrible crime to take place. Clowns have always terrified me, so when I read that scene, in which the little boy is being taken away by a clown, it really gave me chills. I just hope I’m not going to have nightmares. We then fast forward thirty years when Josie is now working as a police officer in Bath. She is a character who is haunted by this event that she has witnessed in her past. The fact that she had a personal connection to the case made her a really fascinating character to explore. We can see that she still carries the guilt all these years later, about the fact that she didn’t do anything that day to prevent Dylan from being kidnapped. Now, she hopes that she can finally bring some closure for his family.

The tension in this novel really picks up as the investigation into the two cases steps up and there are several surprising twists and red herrings. The ending of this book really came as a shock and I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. But I’m not going to say anything more about that here; you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out what happens.

This is a cracking novel from M.J. Ford. I’m always excited to read a book by a new crime author, and I’m sure I’ll be keeping an eye out for what he’ll come up with next. This book kept me reading well into the small hours, I was desperate to find out what happens. Hold My Hand is a gripping story that will keep you engaged from start to finish. Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 8th March 2018

Print length: 336 pages

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White Midnight by Daniel Culver blog tour @DanielCulver11 @BooksManatee

White Midnight by [Culver, Daniel]

Source: Review Copy

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Elizabeth Nowicki, a British woman and self-confessed stoic, settles down in the seemingly idyllic American town of Midnight, with her new husband and his two children. Six months on, life as a step mom is harder than she thought, and the shine of the American Dream has already worn off.

Bored and lonely, Elizabeth is drawn into a nightmare when someone in a duck mask murders two local cops…and the investigation reaches her new neighbourhood. When this is followed by strange happenings across the street, leading to another death, Elizabeth starts to conduct her own investigation….but can she find the killer before the killer finds her?

‘Daniel Culver is a bold and original new voice in crime fiction.’ – Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle 
‘Fresh, stylish and utterly enthralling, White Midnight is an outstanding debut and Daniel Culver is a writer to watch.’ – Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks

MY THOUGHTS

I was pulled into Daniel Culver’s White Midnight straight away. I really think that it has one of the most original openings that I’ve read in a long while. He immediately sets the scene and the tone of the book as four police officers end up dead in a tavern in a town called Midnight.

Elizabeth Nowicki, has recently moved to the US from the UK. She has married Luca who lives in Midnight and Elizabeth makes the small American town her home, even though it wasn’t quite where she ever expected to be living in America. As she beings to adapt to her new life, she is drawn to the recent shootings in Midnight which have left her stunned.  Coming from the UK where gun crime is a rarity she is left bereft that something as dangerous as this could happen so close to home. And when her only friend in the town is found dead, Elizabeth begins to take matters into her own hands and investigates the strange events that have been happening in her new home. But she isn’t the only person who is interested. As Elizabeth looks into the history of Midnight, she uncovers a series of old crimes that have never been solved and the perpetrator has never been identified.

Daniel Culver’s debut was an intriguing read from start to finish. He opens the novel with a startling opening chapter. It really makes you step back and think about the the characters in this book as the plot unravels and as he introduces us to the townsfolk. As he introduced his protagonist, Elizabeth, I had questions about her, what drew her to marry this man from a small town in America? What prompted her to want to leave the UK? She was an interesting character to explore and I was keen to find out more about her. I thought it was a good idea to introduce a character who is new to the area as we are discovering the town at the same time that she is. This prompts her to be a lot more nosy than perhaps one of the resident’s would be which is really fascinating for the reader. I thought that Daniel really captured the atmosphere of the town well.

If you were a fan of Chris Whitaker’s All the Wicked Girls then I would highly recommend this novel. Daniel Culver is a fresh new talent in the crime fiction world; I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next . Thank you to Liz Barnsley at Manatee Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: Manatee Books

Publication date: 15th March 2018

Print length: 263 pages

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Daniel and James

#BringMeBack by B A Paris Book Review @BAParisAuthor @HQstories

Source: Review Copy

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The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

MY THOUGHTS

When I read Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris last year, I read it in just a few hours. My friend and I raved about how it was the best thriller we had both read in a long while. There is something about the authors writing that is so gripping, that it doesn’t let you go until you turn the final page, almost as though it has put a spell on you, urging you to keep reading. As I found with Behind Closed Doors, I found her third novel to be immensely enjoyable. You do not want to miss it. I would suggest having plenty of coffee on the go when you begin, you will want to keep sleep at bay, which is why this book comes with the #forgetsleep.

Twelve years ago, Finn’s girlfriend, Layla, disappeared without trace, whilst they were on holiday in France. Layla has never been found, despite a massive police search. Now, Finn is engaged to her sister, Ellen, but as they begin to make plans for their wedding, people close to Finn, begin to report sightings of his missing former partner. Finn doesn’t want to believe that Layla has returned after all these years and he battles with his conscious over his decision to marry Ellen. Is he making the right one? What would Layla think of him when she realises that he has chosen to marry her sister? Has Layla really returned twelve years after she was reported missing, and if she has, where has she been during that time?

Bring Me Back is unbelievably tense, you know when the author has great writing skills when you’re shouting at the characters on the page at the decisions they’re making, and when you can’t bear to read on, for fear of what is going to happen to them next. I won’t say too much about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it, but we hear from the perspectives of two characters in this book, Finn and his fiance, Ellen. B A Paris kept me asking questions about them as I turned the final page of each chapter, which made me desperate to read the next. For me, I think this book really is about the characters, although the plot is good, it is really Finn’s tangled relationship between these two sisters that drives the story.

I’m sure, as with her previous book, I will be raving about this for a long while; I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Bring Me Back is another belter of a read. Thank you to Sophie Calder at HQ for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 8th March 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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Dying Day by Stephen Edger Book Review @StephenEdger @Bookouture

Dying Day: Absolutely gripping serial killer fiction (Detective Kate Matthews Book 2) by [Edger, Stephen]

Source: Purchased Copy

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Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge.

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken…

Mysterious sympathy cards left with the families of the victims finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?

MY THOUGHTS

Dying Day is the second book in the Kate Matthews series by Stephen Edger. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but this book takes it up another level. After I finished the first book, I really wanted to find out more about Kate’s past, and Stephen has certainly satisfied my curiosity in his latest novel. Kate really is pulled through the emotional ranks in this book and we can see again her determination to see a case through, even if it means risking her own life and career. She is a fantastic character and an exciting new addition to the crime fiction world.

At the beginning of Dying Day, Kate is ordered to stay away from a murder investigation that is being conducted by Southampton Police force, after the body of a young woman is found. But Kate can’t help herself, and as she looks into the case she notices similarities to the murder of her colleague, Amy Spencer who was killed the previous year. Amy was working undercover in an attempt to lure a killer who was murdering young girl’s. Kate has never forgiven herself for putting Amy at risk and the fact that she never caught Amy’s killer has haunted her ever since. She has made it her mission to find them and bring them to justice. But as she tries again to hunt for her colleague’s killer, she may be putting her own life at risk.

It was fascinating to learn more about Kate’s recent history in Dying Day. We learn a lot more about her than we did in the previous book in the series. Although the book is told from her point of view, it is also told from Amy Spencer’s, her colleague who was murdered the previous year. The tension in the novel builds up, as you know, as the reader, that you are waiting for the moment when she comes across her killer. It makes for a really gripping read.

This was another exciting read from Stephen Edger, if you are looking for a new crime series, then the Kate Matthews books certainly come recommended from me. I can’t wait to see what Stephen will come up with next.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 17th November 2017

Print length: 316 pages

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