Salt Lane by William Shaw blog tour @william1shaw @riverrunbooks

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Salt Lane by William Shaw, which is the start of a brand new series featuring DS Alexander Cupidi. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Salt Lane: DS Alexandra Cupidi: Book 1 by [Shaw, William]

Source: Review Copy

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No-one knew their names, the bodies found in the water. There are people here, in plain sight, that no-one ever notices at all.

DS Alexandra Cupidi has done it again. She should have learnt to keep her big mouth shut, after the scandal that sent her packing – resentful teenager in tow – from the London Met to the lonely Kent coastline. Even murder looks different in this landscape of fens, ditches and stark beaches, shadowed by the towers of Dungeness power station. Murder looks a lot less pretty.

The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask – but these people are suspicious of questions.

It will take an understanding of this strange place – its old ways and new crimes – to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Cupidi is not afraid to travel that road. But she should be. She should, by now, have learnt.

Salt Lane is the first in the new DS Alexandra Cupidi series. With his trademark characterisation and flair for social commentary, William Shaw has crafted a crime novel for our time that grips you, mind and heart.

MY THOUGHTS

When I read The Birdwatcher by William Shaw last year I really liked DS Alexander Cupidi, so I was excited to find out that she was getting her own series. Although she did feature in The Birdwatcher, you do not need to read it to enjoy Salt Lane, as The Birdwatcher is a stand-alone. I would recommend reading though, it if you would like to find out more about her. The evocative setting in both books alone, which William Shaw skillfully manages to capture in his writing, is enough to compel you to want to read them both.

Alexander Cupidi is thrown into her first major case since relocating from the metropolitan police to the Kent coastline. The body of a North African immigrant is discovered on a farm. He has been killed in horrific circumstances and Cupidi is determined to find out who killed him and why he had to die.  But there is little means of identifying the victim and there aren’t many who are willing to talk. And Cupidi is already investigating the death of a young woman who was found shortly before her most recent victim. Is it possible that the two cases could be linked?

Salt Lane is an atmospheric, really well written piece of crime fiction. I loved the setting, which I have already briefly spoken about. William Shaw captures the gloominess of the surrounding area at times and the beauty of the area well. There are some dark, on-the-edge-of-your-seat moments in the book, and the setting of the Kent coastline, worked really well for these scenes, the marshes particularly. William Shaw has a strong sense of place in his writing.

The mysteries in this book held my attention and the plot kept me wondering how and if they were going to come together. There are some great characters to get to know. Alex Cupidi is a single mum and she has to juggle looking after her daughter, Zoe, while investigating the murder case. Zoe has held on to the hobby that she shared with a character in The Birdwatcher, and this is what makes her character unique and interesting to explore, she certainly isn’t your average teenager. Another character who I also loved was Ferriter who works with Alex. I thought they had a great working relationship and I can’t wait to catch up with them again.

Salt Lane is the start of what I hope will be a long, exciting series featuring Cupidi and Ferriter. It gets a solid five stars from me.

Publisher: riverun

Publication date: 3rd May 2018

Print length: 464 pages

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The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper blog tour @nijay @annecater

Today I’m joining the blog tour for The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper, and I have a Q&A with the author to share with you.

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After witnessing a fatal car accident, a homeless man wanders the streets of Brighton, trying to ignore the new, incessant voice inside his head. But he cant forget the crash, can’t get the face of the woman cradling her dying husband out of his mind. She stared into his eyes, his soul. He has to find her. Is Dan mentally ill or has he really been possessed by the spirit of Natalie’s dead husband, Joe? If he hasn’t, why does she let him into her home so easily? Does she have secrets of her own? The Pursuit of Ordinary is a twisting tale of modern life and mental health where nothing is what it seems… Following the success of debut novel Beat the Rain, Roundfire introduces the second book from bestselling author Nigel Jay Cooper.

Q&A WITH NIGEL JAY COOPER

  1. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. To kick things off, can you tell us a little bit about what your novel is about?

After witnessing a fatal car accident, a homeless man wanders the streets, trying to ignore the new, incessant voice inside his head. But he can’t forget the crash, can’t get the face of the woman cradling her dying husband out of his mind. She stared into his eyes, his soul. He has to find her.

Is Dan ill or has he really been possessed by the spirit of Natalie’s dead husband, Joe? If he hasn’t, why does she let him into her home so easily? Does she have secrets of her own?

The Pursuit of Ordinary is a twisting tale of modern life and mental health where nothing is what it seems

  1. Was there anything in particular that inspired the book?

When I finished by first novel, Beat The Rain, I decided I wanted to write something completely different and less emotionally challenging. I wrote about 30,000 words of a fantasy novel about body snatchers – people who could migrate their consciousness to other people’s bodies. This got me thinking: what would that feel like? For both the possessed and the possessor? How would other people react, assuming you genuinely believed you were possessed (and the voice in your head genuinely believed they’d possessed you).

I ended up dumping the entire fantasy novel and began exploring this idea in a real-world context – a man believing himself to be possessed by another man (and vice versa). The Pursuit of Ordinary came out of that exploration – their relationship, how they reconciled themselves to the situation with each other and the people who loved them.

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

For as long as I can remember, yes. When I was about 11 I badgered my parents into buying me an electric typewriter and began writing my first novel on it. Thankfully, no copy of this manuscript survives as I’m sure it’s appalling 😀

  1. Did your characters ever surprise you at all when you were writing your novel?

Yes, all the time. Often, I’ll get to a planned plot point and a character just won’t do what they’re supposed to and I have to redraft the book around them – which is a weird feeling when you’ve created them. I develop characters quite organically, so I often have no idea how they will react to a situation until I put them in it.

Some characters can be quite murky for me when I start to write but small details give them away. For example, in The Pursuit of Ordinary, Natalie has a coffee with her mother-in-law who says ‘I never liked him much’ – and she’s talking about Joe, her dead son. I hadn’t planned on writing that line but once I had, it was quite powerful and told me everything I needed to know about her character.

  1. Did you already know what was going to happen before you put pen to paper, or did the plot evolve during the writing process.

Unlike my first novel, where I wrote the ending first, I had no idea how this novel was going to end – I only knew the start premise. I knew I wanted to explore the emerging relationship between Dan and Natalie – and how Joe fitted in to that – but the plot was organic.

  1. How much research did you have to undertake, before you started writing?

A lot. As I was dealing with a homelessness and mental health I wanted to make sure I did these themes justice – both in terms of accuracy and sensitivity.

  1. If you had one piece of advice that you could pass on to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write. I honestly believe that’s the only piece of advice of value to writers…  everything else is personal preference. Writing is a very personal thing and we all have our own habits, needs and wants. What works for me might not work for you. But all writers actually need to write regularly.

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

I can’t tell you much about it (spoilers) but I can give you a short, excerpt (although I can’t promise this will end up in the final novel – I might edit it out before then):

I wish I wasn’t called Gavin. It doesn’t suit me, doesn’t sum up who I am. It’s a thoughtless name, one chosen before anyone knew who I was or what I might become. I suppose that’s the way with all names. They’re an aspiration, an arrow pointing towards something your parents want you to be, independent of you entirely. Either that or they’re a lazy choice. I imagine my parents chose Gavin because nothing better presented itself and it seemed mildly inoffensive.

Gavin: mildly inoffensive. The breadwinner. Dependable. Not memorable, certainly. Just a name attached to a face you bumped into once. A guy, non-descript. The boy next door, except not the one you wanted to shag, the one you didn’t notice because he was beige. Camouflaged, wearing his name like suburban wallpaper.

 

Thank you to Nigel Jay Cooper for answering my questions and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. If you would like to purchase a copy of The Pursuit of Ordinary you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher Roundfire

Publication date: 27th April 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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A Breath After Drowning blog tour @AliceBooks333 @TitanBooks

Source: Review Copy

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The stunning new psychological thriller from the award-winning author of Darkness Peering and The Breathtaker.
Child psychiatrist Kate Wolfe’s world comes crashing down when one of her young patients commits suicide, so when a troubled girl is left at the hospital ward, she doubts her ability to help. But the girl knows things about Kate’s past, things she shouldn’t know, forcing Kate to face the murky evidence surrounding her own sister s murder sixteen years before. A murder for which a man is about to be executed. Unearthing secrets about her own family, and forced to face both her difficult relationship with her distant father and the possibility that her mother might also have met a violent end, the shocking final twist brings Kate face to face with her deepest fear.

MY THOUGHTS

A Breath After Drowning is a well-researched and a well-plotted psychological thriller. The subject line is often dark, emotive and intense but the plot is compelling and I really enjoyed getting to know Kate. There are some great characters in this book.

Dr Kate Wolfe works as a child psychologist and she deals with children and families going through extremely traumatic times in their lives. Kate herself has also had a traumatic childhood, her younger sister, Savannah was murdered sixteen years earlier and it is fast approaching her killer’s execution. But as the impending execution date draws closer, Kate is forced to revisit uncomfortable truths about her past and her sister’s murder. Is it possible that the wrong man was convicted?

This is the first book I have read by the author, Alice Blanchard and after finishing A Breath After Drowning I am keen to check out her previous work. The plot takes some time to get going but I really liked getting to know Kate as her character developed, and I really engaged with her. Alice has excellent skill in writing dialouge, her scenes never felt too long and I flew through the pages.

I thought that Kate’s relationship with her boyfriend was really well developed and this part of Kate’s life, for me, was one of the most enjoyable parts of the book. I liked the sense of humour that they both shared which added a lightness to the prose.

In her latest novel, Alice Blanchard showcases really addictive writing. She kept me guessing as the mystery deepened, but I don’t want to say too much more about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it. If you do decide to read this book, and I hope you do, then you are in for a twisty ride. This was an excellent read, really enjoyable. Thank you to Philippa Ward at Titan Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Titan Books

Publication date: 10th April 2018

Print length: 400 pages

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Now You See by Max Manning blog tour @maxmanningcrime @Wildfirebks

9781472251558

Source: Review Copy

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Will you look her in the eyes, just before she dies? A terrifying crime thriller that will set your pulse pounding. 

On the streets of London, a vicious killer is using social media to turn murder into entertainment . . .

I, Killer has posted two photos of his first victim online – Before Death and After Death. They’ve gone viral before DCI Fenton’s team even discovers the body.

Soon, another victim’s photo is similarly posted . . . and so begins the killer’s following.

DCI Fenton is determined to discover the identity of I, Killer before another innocent life is claimed. Then the case takes a dark turn, and Fenton’s search becomes a matter of life or death for him and his young daughter.

But as I, Killer’s body-count rises, his number of online followers is growing – and he loves to give his fans what they want . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Now You See is the debut novel by Max Manning. If you enjoy fast paced, gritty crime thrillers with a modern twist, then I would definitely recommend that you give this book a go. It makes for a gripping and a compelling first novel. Max is a writer who I will be keeping an eye on.

The body of a young woman is found in Victoria Park, London, but what shocks the police and the public is when images of her body, taken before and after her murder, are posted all over social media. It seems that this is a new, sadistic way in which the killer is taunting the family of the victim and the police. It is clear that they are facing a killer with a thirst for attention and an appetite for killing. And it isn’t long before a second body is found. The police know that they are racing against the clock to solve the case before the killer strikes again, but the investigation really heats up when the killer starts to get personal. DCI Dan Fenton soon finds himself working on his own as he desperately tries to hunt down the suspect.

The case is lead by Detective Chief Inspector Dan Fenton. Dan is often torn between doing what is right for his daughter (his only child) and his profession. This aspect is what made Dan’s character feel fresh and it was a side to him that I really liked. He has suffered the pain of losing his wife at such a young age and you can quite clearly see the worry he has for his daughter and for her well-being.

In his debut, Max explores the dark side of social media and how some of us have a touch of darkness inside us. This is reflected in the public’s fascination with the I, Killer’s social media accounts as the killer post photos of their victim’s dead body. There are even some members of the public who beg for more.

One of the main aspects of the plot I found interesting was the motivations behind the killer’s attacks. We hear from the voice of the killer throughout the book, and these short chapters offer us a glimpse into the killer’s deranged mind. Max did manage to throw me off course in the book, I thought I had worked out who the killer was, but he did take me by surprise. Throughout the book he keeps up the thrill of the chase as Fenton and his team try to track the killer down.

This is a gripping first novel from Max Manning, as the plot raced towards the climax I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I am looking forward to seeing what’s in store for DCI Dan Fenton next.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 1st November 2017 (kindle) 19th April 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

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The Fear by C.L. Taylor Blog tour @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK

Source: Review Copy

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Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

MY THOUGHTS

The Fear is perhaps C.L. Taylor’s darkest novel yet. She explores some unsettling themes in her latest book and it has an ending which really gave me chills.

We are introduced to Lou Wandsworth, who, ten years ago, ran away with her teacher, Mike Hughes to France. But her dream of happiness turned into a living nightmare when Mike became a man unlike the one she thought she knew. Ten years later and she discovers that he could be grooming another young girl, a thirteen-year-old girl called Chloe. Lou is desperate to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, but how can she stop it when Chloe doesn’t want to listen to her advice?

The story is told through the narratives of Chloe, Lou and a mystery woman called Wendy. Wendy is one of the main sources of tension throughout the novel and what I found really interesting was how C.L. Taylor played around with her character. My perception of her changed throughout the book, in my opinion, I felt that she was the most engaging character.

Through Lou’s diary entries and Chloe’s narrative we can see how easily Mike grooms and manipulates them; there are some scenes in the book which do make for an uncomfortable read but the plot and C.L. Taylor’s writing compelled me to read on, she is an author who pulls no punches in her writing.

As with her previous books The Fear makes for an engaging read, once you’re hooked by C.L. Taylor’s writing you won’t want to put it down. She is a writer who really makes you have strong feelings about her characters; she will have you shaking your head and shouting at them for the decisions they’re making.

The Fear is a tense, rollercoaster of a read, if you have enjoyed C.L. Taylor’s previous novels then you are in for a treat. Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon 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: 22nd March 2018

Print length: 416 pages

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Guilt by Amanda Robson blog tour @AmandaRauthor @AvonBooksUK

Source: Review Copy

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Your sister. Her secret. The betrayal.

There is no bond greater than blood . . .

When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars?

Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters’ lives apart – but is he really the one to blame? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to?

As the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb’s past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who?

Claustrophobic and compelling, Amanda Robson is back in a knock-out thriller perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Paula Hawkins.

MY THOUGHTS

Guilt is an addictive psychological drama by Amanda Robson. Claustrophobic, tense and told in short, snappy chapters, towards the end I found this novel impossible to put down. This book showcases some really excellent writing and skill in creating tension.

Zara and Miranda are twins. Amanda Robson opens her novel with a shocking opening scene which immediately had me intrigued. One twin has just killed the other, but who is in who’s place? We don’t find out until much later. Amanda then takes us back in time and unravels the twin’s relationship over the past several months. They are clearly two sisters who love each other dearly, but when Sebastian (Zara’s new boyfriend) enters the fold, their situation begins to change and tensions develop between them. It is clear that Sebastian is a dangerous and damaged individual, but what are his plans for Zara and Miranda? And what catastrophe results in one of them killing the other?

We hear from the voices of Zara, Miranda and Sebastian, but predominately from Zara and Miranda. As the reader we know what is coming after reading the opening pages, and this revelation early on, had me searching for clues in the text, as I tried to work out what was going to drive them into this situation. They were both compelling character’s to explore and they had interesting backgrounds.

One theme which Amanda chose to explore through her characters, was that of mental health which runs throughout the book. Although there were some disturbing scenes in which this particular theme was the subject, it was handled delicately and it brought the issue to the forefront of my mind, particularly with how people who suffer from mental health must feel.

Guilt is a tension filled drama that will keep the reader guessing. Amanda Robson is a writer who I am keen to read more from. 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: 19th April 2018

Print length: 416 pages

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#I,witness by Niki Mackay Book Review @NikiMackayBooks @orionbooks

Source: Netgalley

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They say I’m a murderer.

Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was found holding the body of her best friend; covered in blood, and clutching the knife that killed her.

I plead guilty.

Kate has been in prison ever since, but now her sentence is up. She is being released.

But the truth is, I didn’t do it.

There’s only one person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attallee, the first officer on the scene all those years ago.

But uncovering the truth means catching a killer.

MY THOUGHTS

I, Witness is an intriguing start to a new series by Niki Mackay. It introduces former police detective, now turned private investigator, Madison Attallee. Niki’s writing certainly has that addictive quality to it; the plot, the characters and the mysteries in their lives will keep you turning the pages.

Having recently set up her own private detective agency after leaving the metropolitan police, Madison is shocked when, Kate Reynolds, who has recently been released from prison, seeks her help to prove her innocence. Six years earlier, Kate was charged with manslaughter after killing her friend, however she doesn’t believe she was responsible for her friend’s death. Madison is sceptical about taking Kate on and of what she will be able to achieve for her but her interest is certainly piqued. As Madison begins to look again at the investigation, startling revelations begin to emerge which could shine a whole new light on the murder and which could prove Kate’s innocence.

I haven’t read many books which feature private investigators, and for me, this is what made this book feel fresh. As well as hearing from Madison’s voice, we also hear from three other characters: Kate Reynolds, Claudia Reynolds who is Kate’s sister-in-law and Anthea Andrews, the mother of Kate’s friend who was killed. The idea that hooked me in this book was Kate’s insistence that she was innocent and I was interested to see how this would affect the other characters who’s voices we hear from. It was a question which pulled me into the mystery. Why would Kate suddenly think this, when six years ago she pleaded guilty?

An interesting spin which Niki put on Madison’s character was that she had been involved in the original enquiry that lead to Kate’s arrest. Most private investigators don’t have a personal connection to the case and often they are employed to lend fresh eyes. This did make me wonder why Kate had chosen an investigator who she had previously had dealings with and who may not be very sympathetic towards her.

This was an enjoyable read with some exciting twists and turns that take you into slippery and murky depths as family secrets are exposed. I am pleased to see that this is the start of a new series featuring Madison and I’m looking forward to seeing where Niki will take her next. Thank you to Tracy Fenton at The Book Club for inviting me to take part in the tour.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 19th April 2018

Print length: 304 pages

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Dying Truth by Angela Marsons extract @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m really excited to be able to share with you the opening of Angela Marson’s new novel, Dying Truth which is book number eight in the Detective Inspector Kim Stone series. With thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Dying-Truth-Kindle

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How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

The utterly addictive new crime thriller from the Number One bestselling author – you will be gripped until the final shocking twist.

 

EXTRACT

 

Prologue

Saturday 7.52 p.m.

Kim knew that her left leg was broken.

She pulled herself along the path on her hands as the stone bit into her palms, shards of gravel embedding beneath her fingernails.

A cry escaped her lips as her ankle turned and pain shot around her body.

Sweat beads were forming on her forehead as the agony intensified.

Finally, she saw the light from the building as three familiar shapes hurtled out of the doorway.

All three of them headed towards the bell tower.

‘Nooo…’ she cried, as loudly as she could.

No one turned.

Don’t go up there, she willed silently, trying to pull herself towards them.

‘Stop,’ she shouted out as they entered the metal doorway at the base of the tower.

Kim tried to still the panic as they disappeared from view.

‘Damn it,’ she screamed with frustration, unable to reach them in time.

She gathered all her strength and pushed herself up to a standing position, trying to drag her broken leg behind her as though it didn’t exist.

Two steps forward and the pain radiated through her body like a tidal wave and brought her back down to the ground. She gagged as the nausea rose from her stomach and her head began to swim.

She shouted again but the figures had disappeared from view and were now in the belly of the tower, behind solid brick, mounting the stone steps to the top.

‘Please, someone help,’ she screamed, but there was no one to hear. She was a good eighty metres away from the school, and she had never felt so helpless in her life.

She glanced at her wrist and saw that it was three minutes to eight.

The bell was due to be rung bang on the hour.

The fear started in the pit of her stomach and grew like a cloud to fill her entire body.

She struggled forward another agonising step, dragging her useless leg behind her.

Torchlight illuminated the top of the tower.

Damn it, they were already there.

‘Stop,’ she cried again, praying that one of them would hear her even though she knew her voice wouldn’t carry that distance.

The shafts of light moved furtively around the tower balcony ninety feet up in the air.

She saw a fourth figure amongst the three that were familiar to her.

The watch on her wrist vibrated the top of the hour. The bell didn’t ring.

Please God, let them get down.

Her prayer was cut off as she heard a loud scream.

Two people were hanging from the bell rope, swinging back and forth, in and out of the torchlight that darted around the small space.

Kim squinted, trying to identify the two silhouettes, but they were too far away.

She tried to regulate her breathing in order to shout again, even though she knew no kind of warning would help them now.

Her worst fears had been realised.

‘Please, please…’ Kim whispered as she saw the bell rope swing back and forth once more.

One figure was snatched from the bell rope as the second continued to swing.

‘No,’ Kim screamed, trying to carry herself forward towards them.

The fear inside had turned ice cold, freezing her solid.

For a few seconds time stood still. The saliva in her mouth had gone leaving her unable to speak or shout.

Kim felt the ache that started in her heart when the remaining figure and the swinging bell rope disappeared from view.

Her ears suddenly filled with a blood-curdling, tortured scream.

But no one else was around.

The scream came from her.

 

Woah, that has given me chills. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book. And if you’re hungry to read it as well, you can pre-order the book by clicking the link below, it will automatically be delivered to your Kindle on publication day which is the 18th May 2018.

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#TurnABlindEye by Vicky Newham blog tour @VickyNewham @HQstories

Source: Review Copy

BLURB

A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.

A headmistress is found strangled in an East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:

I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.

At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.

Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.

Turn a Blind Eye is the first book in a brand-new series set in East London and starring DI Maya Rahman.

MY THOUGHTS

Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham is an intelligent and confident debut and DI Maya Rahman is a character who will keep crime fans coming back for more. Vicky has created a complex case for her lead character to get to grips with in her first novel. This book is perfect for fans of Sarah Hilary’s Marnie Rome series.

In her first novel, Vicky Newham introduces us to Bangladeshi-born Maya Rahman who is a detective inspector working in the metropolitan police. Set in East London, Maya and her team are called in when the body of a well-known and beloved headmistress is discovered at Mile End High School which also happens to be Maya’s old school. The school has been praised for opening its doors to the wider community in East London, so what has gone so disastrously wrong? But what is all the more perplexing to Maya is the murder’s links to the Buddhist community and the cryptic clues left by the killer. Is the headmistress’s murder also linked to the suicide of a young girl from the school, which took place months before and are there more murders about to take place? What can Maya do to prevent another one from happening?

After reading Turn A Blind Eye, I know I am going to be putting Vicky Newham’s next novel straight to the top of my reading pile. There is a real sense of authenticity that she gives to her characters and to the setting, an area that she appears to know impeccably well. There were some strong, vivid images in this book, which really gave me the feeling as though I was there; I could see the streets and the characters forming around me so clearly. I’m a huge fan of writing that draws you into the setting and Vicky Newham definitely succeeds at this.

Maya was a fascinating character to get to know. Vicky has given Maya an intriguing backstory which has made me want to find out more about her roots, it’ll be interesting to see how Vicky develops this plot line in future books. Maya’s sidekick, Dan Maguire is also a character who I would like to find out more about. I really liked his personality in the book; there were times when he lightened up the prose and I really liked his humour.

I’m really excited to see what Vicky Newham comes up with next for Maya and her team. This is a really promising debut which will thrill crime lovers. Thank you to Lucy Richardson at HQ for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 5th April 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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KEEPER COVER AW 2.indd

Source: Review Copy

BLURB

Sequel to international bestseller Block 46, and next in the award-winning Roy & Castells series. Murders in London and Sweden lead by to Jack the Ripper s Whitechapel.

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper s reign of terror.

London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose? Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.

MY THOUGHTS

Last year I read Johana Gustawsson’s debut novel Block 46. Johana’s control of her plot and her characters blew me away. And in her second novel, Keeper, she has crafted another intelligent, complex and multi-layered story. Keeper is a triumph! I would warn, however, that this novel is not for the faint-hearted.

In the present day, a young woman’s body is discovered in a forest in Sweden, naked and mutilated. The murder bears haunting similarities to the Tower Hamlets murders which took place in London ten years earlier. But the police caught the person responsible, didn’t they? And when actress Julianne Bell disappears, profiler Emily Roy fears that the killer may have struck again and that the person they have behind bars may not be responsible for some of the crimes he was convicted for. We also travel back to 1888 when Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of Whitechapel. Are the murders committed by Jack the Ripper connected with what is happening today?

I have long been fascinated by the crimes of Jack the Ripper; a couple of years ago I went on the Jack the Ripper tour in London which Johana’s writing took me back to. There have been many speculations as to who he may have been, but what I have always been intrigued by is how his crimes have still been left unsolved more than a century after he committed them. We are never going to know the definite truth. Johana captured the scenery and the smells of Victorian London really well, I felt as though I was actually there; in the grand houses and amongst the working men and women of Whitechapel. In Keeper, Johanna shines a new light on the history of Jack the Ripper, which is done expertly well.

The crimes that take place in Keeper are grisly and stomach-churning; I really liked how Johana used the crimes of Jack the Ripper to form part of the basis of her plot, and it kept me engaged as I tried to work out how everything was going to come together. As I was in Block 46, I was shocked by the final revelations; it did make me marvel at the genius of Johana’s plotting and at the amount of research that she must’ve undertaken to pull her story together in a convincing way which she certainly did.

This is one of the most engaging novels I have read this year; I devoured a huge chunk of it in just one afternoon. I can’t wait to see what Johana writes next. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of Keeper to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 28th April 2018

Print length: 300 pages

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