Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall Book Review @laurajm8 @LittleBrownUK

Three Little Lies: From the author of FRIEND REQUEST by [Marshall, Laura]

Source: Netgalley

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Sasha North has gone missing.

Everyone says she’s run away, but I know better. We’ve been best friends since we were teenagers, since Sasha swept into the neighbourhood and brought colour to my life. Until a brutal attack changed both our lives forever.

I know what happened that night. I know who wants revenge.

And if Sasha has been taken, does that mean I’m next?

MY THOUGHTS

Laura Marshall has a talent for coming up with really hooky ideas. They really make you put everything else aside and concentrate on reading her book. In her latest novel, Three Little Lies, she pulled me in with the opening chapter and the final sentence really made me want to read on. Her second novel is an exciting follow up to Friend Request; if you enjoyed her debut you really need to read Three Little Lies.

Laura introduces us to her main protagonist, Ellen. Ten years ago she helped to convict Daniel, the brother of her best friend, Sasha, after he was accused of raping her friend, Karina at a New Year’s Eve party. Both Sasha and Ellen were the main witnesses during the trial and their account helped to put Daniel behind bars. Now, ten years later, Daniel is finally free and when Sasha goes missing, dropping all contact with Ellen, she becomes really concerned that Daniel might be behind her disappearance. Is he seeking revenge on them for their part in putting him behind bars? And if he is, does that put them all in danger?

Three Little Lies is told over different time periods. We flick back to the years of 2006/2007 to when Ellen and Sasha first become friends and when Daniel is on trial for rape. We can see the pull that Daniel and Sasha’s family have on Ellen and especially on her friend Karina who is attracted primarily by their wealth and glamour.

I felt I really connected with Ellen as she searched for her friend. I could clearly see the pain it was causing her and the exasperation that she felt when the police appeared to be doing very little to help her, when it seemed clear that Sasha could be in danger. I really wanted Ellen to get to the bottom of what was going on.

Three Little Lies is a pacy read which keeps you turning the pages. Laura Marshall has written a really intriguing second novel. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 28th June 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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Stalker by Lisa Stone blog tour @LisaStoneBooks @AvonBooksUK

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Source: Review Copy

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Someone is always watching…

Derek Flint is a loner. He lives with his mother and spends his
evenings watching his clients on the CCTV cameras he has installed inside their homes. He likes their companionship – even if it’s through a screen.

When a series of crimes hits Derek’s neighbourhood, DC Beth Mayes begins to suspect he’s involved. How does he know so much about the victims’ lives? Why won’t he let anyone into his office? And what is his mother hiding in that strange, lonely house?

As the crimes become more violent, Beth must race against the clock to find out who is behind the attacks. Will she uncover the truth in time? And is Derek more dangerous than even she has guessed?

A spellbinding crime novel from the worldwide bestseller
Cathy Glass, writing as Lisa Stone.

MY THOUGHTS

Stalker is such a gripping book. The ideas that Lisa Stone writes about in her latest novel is really scary to think about. And if you’re thinking about installing a security system in your home, you may have second thoughts after finishing this book.

There is tension in every chapter in this book and there was never a dull moment in the story. We meet Derek Flint who runs his own security firm and his clients are always impressed when they first meet him to discuss their options, but what is Derek hiding? Behind the professional and impressive façade, Derek is keeping a dark secret and the truth is very disturbing. Horrific crimes soon begin to occur in his local neighbourhood and the police soon begin to believe that he may be connected to them.

Derek was a really unnerving character. At the beginning it is unclear what his motives are and Lisa Stone peels away the layers of his personality in a fascinating and chilling way as she gets to the core of the reasons why he behaves like this. We delve right into Derek’s psychology in this book, and I could see that Lisa had spent a great deal of time fleshing out his character. Although there were times when I found him really disturbing I did also feel sorry for him and I think this is down to Lisa’s skill in her writing. She paints different pictures of him throughout the book and this is an aspect I found interesting as I grew to understand him more. Derek is a brilliant example of excellent characterization.

Another character who I thought was written really well was DC Beth Mayes. Beth is investigating the crimes that I mentioned earlier. She does bring a touch of lightness to the dark storyline and I enjoyed the scenes which featured her and her colleagues. I liked the friendship that she has with her colleague DC Matt Davis who also added some humour. They aren’t central characters to the story but I’m really hoping that they will return in a future book.

This was a book that I engaged with right from the first chapter. I really did not want to put this novel down as I was reading it. I would suggest however reading this one in the daytime. Utterly gripping and very, very chilling. This is psychological suspense at its very best. Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon for inviting me to take part in the tour and for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 14th June 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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First to Die by Alex Caan blog tour @alexcaanwriter @BonnierZaffre

Source: Netgalley

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SOMEWHERE IN THE CROWD IS A KILLER 

Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner’s office are called in.

The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. Why would anyone want him dead?

THEY WILL STRIKE AGAIN 

As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus scramble to discover an antidote, first one, then another pharmacist goes missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behaviour resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT . . .

With thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?

MY THOUGHTS

First To Die is a brilliant follow up to Cut to the Bone which I read and really enjoyed last year, so I was excited to see what Alex Caan would come up with next. It covers very topical issues and if you look back at recent news, you can see that the crimes explored here are certainly within the realms of possibility, which is what makes this idea so scary.

The main characters, Kate Riley and Zain Harris are really starting to grow on me; they are both different to each other and they come from very different backgrounds, but they are also two very flawed characters and this is perhaps what attracts them to each other. They make a great team and it has been really interesting watching their working relationship develop in this book.

There is tension from the offset after Kate discovers a body following a protest that took place in St. James’s Park the night before. But it soon becomes apparent that the body has been contaminated by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus, which means Kate herself may have become infected. And as the investigation deepens it becomes clear that there may be more people at risk.

The mystery in this book is a really chilling one. From the start we can see that we have a killer here who is highly intelligent and may have access to lethal substances. At the beginning of the book I wasn’t sure if the killer was specifically targeting people or whether this would become a national crisis, which is also what the detectives working on the case fear. Alex certainly gets the intrigue going and he kept me turning the pages as we raced towards the conclusion.

The ending of this book has really left me wondering what’s going on in the character’s lives now and how they are all doing. This is a very clever novel and Alex Caan’s writing grips you from the first page. I can’t wait to see where he will take Kate and Zain next.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 14th June 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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#TheManOnTheRoof by Michael Stephenson blog tour @filmbooksbball

I’m delighted to be able to share an extract with you today from The Man On The Roof, a psychological thriller by Michael Stephenson as part of the blog tour.

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Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.

“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When lead detective Cady Lambert divines blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.

Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.

A tension-building psychological mystery-suspense thriller, The Man On The Roof propels the reader through a tangled, volatile and suspenseful thicket of deception, murder and friends, inviting the reader to discover the murderer and who hides which lie.

Chapter Six

ACCUSATION

Monday, Two Nights After Discovery

The doorbell preceded a knock at the Walters’ house. From outside Detective Lambert could hear the ruckus of a gathering. Thinking it the normal sound of family, she stood on the porch none-the-wiser of what lay in wait.

The door opened to Shanna. Shocked, her eyes illuminated as she stepped back and forgot to breathe. “Oh! Cady, I mean, Detective Lambert, what are you doing here?”

“I needed to speak with you and your husband. Mind if I come in?”

“Uh…” Giving no time for answer, Cady stepped across the threshold to a startling sight. Just to the right, in the living room, crowded everyone who witnessed the boy’s body, save for the old man. Gabby, Trevor and Chante sat next to each other on the couch. Yoko sat on a fold-out chair next to Allegra who sat in a recliner. Roscoe and Martin stood off to the side near the TV and Pat leaned against the wall near the archway into the room. Out of view, Jordan sat tucked against the wall on the floor at the very back (his choice).

All eyes went to Cady. Roscoe approached from the other side of the room, passing Pat as he scooted out the way and unfolded his arms to pocket his hands.

“Cady,” Roscoe greeted her as Shanna closed the door.

“Ross,” she responded.

“What’s this visit for?”

“Common courtesy, cop to cop, you know,” she answered.

“Common courtesy…?” he asked as Shanna moved to his side.

“You’re officially part of the Zach Landon investigation,” Cady said.

Roscoe, taken aback, started to smile as he rubbed his wife’s arm. She felt so warm. “Really? Captain’s decided to put me on the case?” It’d be his first since last year’s demotion.

As Detective Lambert started to respond, Lillith descended the stairs looking to slate her thirst.

“No, you misunderstood. You’re a potential suspect,” Detective Lambert said.

“What?”

Her face flush from the accusation, Shanna’s daughter said, “What? Dad, you killed Zach?”

“No, honey, no. Please go back to your room and let us talk about this.”

“But—”

Shanna interjected, “You heard your father. Go, please.”

She sucked her teeth, spun around and marched back upstairs.

Back in the room, Allegra gave her husband a look. A familiar look, she tilted her head to the side, lifted her eyebrows and poked her lips sideways. She needn’t accuse with words for Trevor to get the point. Chante noticed the look and looked down to the couch side where sat Jordan. Trying to get his attention, she matched eyes with him, darting them back to Allegra to guide his vision. In unison, they both rolled their eyes at the judgy bitch. Martin smirked and Pat stayed inert. Gabby’s mouth fell open stunned.

“You’re actually saying I’m a suspect in that boy’s murder?” Roscoe said, his arms unwrapping from his wife.

Detective Lambert nodded, “Yes. In fact, you all are.”

Gasps and the breath of panic moistened the air as all facial expressions changed to one—the look of startled innocence.

“What?” Gabby asked.

“That can’t be. You’re bullshitting!” Martin yelled.

“I most certainly would never do something so heinous to someone I barely knew,” Allegra shouted.

“Calm down, everybody, just calm down. No reason to start getting loud,” Roscoe said. The rabble quieted allowing him to ask, “Why are we suspects? Why am I a suspect?”

“Why not? You have means, you have motive, you’ve taken a life before…”

“In the field, yes. But that’s always been in the pursuit of justice, in the legal pursuit of justice. If I really had anything against the boy, I would have brought a lawsuit.”

“Come on, Ross. You know just as well as I do that you wouldn’t have gotten a conviction. You wouldn’t have done anything but waste time. Two underage kids doing what kids do. You’d have to prove it, and we all know how hard that is,” she informed him. “That puts you and your wife in a bad light.”

“That’s them, what about the rest of us?” Trevor barked.

Cady’s eyes catching his junkyard aggression, she stepped around Roscoe and Shanna and farther into the room, slipping her hands into her pockets as she said, “Due to newly-found evidence, we have reason to believe Zach may have procured secrets through illegal means. We believe he may have been murdered because he was blackmailing one or two or a few of you. Or maybe there’s an even worse reason.”

The first to roll her eyes, Allegra threw her head to the side, and said, “I do not keep secrets, so I should be counted out, thank you.”

“You’ll remain a suspect until we can reasonably cross you off the list, ma’am,” Detective Lambert said.

Don’t call me ma’am, Cady! You know I do not like that. It makes me feel… well, I do not like it,” Allegra responded.

“OK, Mrs. Haggerty,” Cady said.

“So, what, just because everyone has stuff they maybe wanna keep private, that means one of us killed him?” Jordan asked from the corner.

Craning her neck to see him, she responded, “That and the fact that his body was left to hang on the banner just outside your homes. Those who seek meaning in things like this might say there’s a message being sent to someone, or the killer was smart enough to…” she paused to look back at Shanna and Roscoe for a moment before continuing, “… deflect blame onto an easier target.”

“Bullshit! This guy isn’t smart. He’s just an arrogant asshole looking for attention,” Martin said.

“Yeah, he’s trying to be the next Dahmer or Gein,” Chante said.

“This guy may not even be a guy. Whatever the case, they did it for a reason we have yet to glean. Now, the best thing to do would be for you all to cooperate with the investigation. The more you try hiding, the guiltier you’ll look,” she said.

Dense breathing for all as eyes wandered the room. While the neighbors watched each other, studied their so-called friends, Cady spied the surroundings, looking for clues. Nothing sticking out, she cataloged the room in her mind for later access.

Swiveling around, she patted Roscoe on the shoulder in passing.

“Wait, if you think one of us is the killer, does that mean the rest of us are in danger?” Shanna asked, panic settling in her skin.

Avoiding the question, Cady looked back into the filled room and said, “You know, I was set to visit each house, yet I find you all here… partying after a murder.”

“We are not partying, we are planning for Labor Day weekend. It would be foolish for us to all make the same dish,” Allegra said.

“Planning for a party. Even better,” Detective Lambert responded. She exited. Roscoe, Shanna and Pat stood at the door watching as she got in her car and left. Roscoe closed the door and hung his head.

The rest of the group breathed sighs of relief, realizing the situation’s mass. Finally, Martin broke the silence, “Oh no! Allegra, you’re still bringing your potato salad to Labor Day, right?”

“Of course,” Allegra said.

“Thank god. Was worried we might forget why we’re here. So it’s not canceled?”

Back at the door, Roscoe rubbed his wife’s arm.

“Common courtesy?” Shanna asked him. “Why come over here to tell us that? Why tell a potential murderer they’re under investigation?”

Roscoe paused, looked around the room and tried to produce a plausible answer. “We usually don’t.”

“Then why was she really here?” Pat asked.

Even if no one else suspected, Roscoe knew she came for an entirely different reason. Had it not been for the gathering, she would have visited at least five different houses filled with “suspects”… and clues. Not his trick, she must have learned that all on her own. Now, they too were faced with a mystery: Who on their street was becoming a monster? Who already was one?

 

Thank you to Michael Stephenson for inviting me to take part in the tour. And if you would like to purchase a copy of The Man on the Roof, you can do so by clicking the link below.

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Nobody’s Child by Victoria Jenkins blog tour @vicwritescrime @bookouture

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Source: Netgalley

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On a damp October day, a body is found in an abandoned hospital, too burnt to be identified, but Detective Alex King knows that every victim is someone’s daughter or son.

Pushing aside her own troubles, Alex puts everything into finding the killer, but when someone else is found dead, she begins to suspect that the body in the hospital was just the first of many.

Just as Alex uncovers a heartbreaking link between the victims, she finds her own safety under threat. Is this a figure from her past hell-bent on revenge, or could the murderer be even nearer than she thinks?

Alex is running out of time. Can she catch the killer before they take another life, or will they get to her first?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve read and enjoyed both of Victoria Jenkins previous books in this series, but her third novel, Nobody’s Child takes her writing up another level. This is the best book yet in this series and I enjoyed catching up with Alex King and Chloe Lane again. All three books can be read as standalones, but I would highly recommend picking up the first two as well.

Victoria had me gripped from the opening pages of this book. This time Alex and Chloe are investigating a suspicious death after a body has been found in an old hospital after being torched. What isn’t clear at the beginning, is if the victim was deliberately targeted, or if his death was an unfortunate accident. But as the police begin to investigate, more crimes of a similar nature begin to take place. The police soon realise they are facing a callous killer who they are certain will kill again.

There was a lot of suspense in this book. The story is told from different points of view, primarily from the detectives working on the case, but also from the families at the centre of the investigation. One family in particular really had me wondering if they were going to be connected to the crimes and Victoria injected a real sense of danger into her writing, in the scenes they were featured in. There were some clever reveals, which I wasn’t expecting, and Victoria delivered a chilling ending. Towards the end she kept me on tenterhooks as I waited to find out what was going to happen to one of her characters. I’m not going to say any more here as I don’t want to spoil it.

This is shaping up to be an excellent crime series that I am certainly keen to follow. Victoria always delivers a fast paced novel and each one has kept me gripped. If you’re looking for a fast paced crime series, you need look no further. Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance reading copy and to Noelle Holton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 19th June 2018

Print length: 277 pages

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Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen blog tour @OrendaBooks @annecater #VargVeum #BigSister

Big Sister Cover Image

Source: Review Copy

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Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She didn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.

Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…

Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

MY THOUGHTS 

This is one of those series which I think you can easily become addicted to. Although this is the first book in the Varg Veum series that I have read, and I was slightly wary just in case there was anything I had missed in the previous books, I didn’t have any problems in getting into the story and I enjoyed getting to know Varg for the first time. It is a book that can easily be read as a standalone and I raced through it.

In the latest book in this series, Varg is surprised when his half-sister, (who he has never met) Norma turns up at his offices asking for his help. Varg is a private investigator and Norma asks him to investigate the disappearance of her goddaughter, Emma who no one has been able to get hold of and it appears that for the time being the police are willing to do very little. Varg’s investigations uncover some dark truths in Emma’s family and there is more than one unsavoury character linked to them.

That’s all you’re getting about the plot. But needless to say there are some dark and emotional twists and turns. What I found interesting about the book was how strands of Norma and Emma’s past family history weaved together as Varg attempted to find out the truth as to what has happened to her. You get the sense of a dark undertone, and I found myself hoping that Emma’s disappearance wasn’t going to be connected to what Varg was learning the truth about.

With an addictive plot, believable and relatable characters, this is a novel which I highly recommend. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 30th April 2018

Print length: 276 pages

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Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin @JackieMBaldwin1 @KillerReads @LoveBooksGroup

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Source: Review Copy

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Sometimes perfection is worth killing for…

The second gripping crime novel in an exciting new series. Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell finds himself on the trail of a vicious killer in rural Scotland. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

MY THOUGHTS

Perfect Dead is the second book in the DI Frank Farrell series by Jackie Baldwin. Frank isn’t your usual police detective; his past background is very different to his current career in the police force as he used to be a Catholic priest. This was an idea that interested me when I read the blurb for the book as I wondered what drew Frank to the idea of working as a detective. This is the first time that I have come across a police officer who was a former priest in crime fiction.

The police are investigating three different crimes in this book. In 2009 a young Irish woman disappeared and the case has never been solved, but it has continued to haunt DCI Lind who has vowed to find out the truth. In the present day the body of a young artist is discovered and it appears that he may have committed suicide, but Frank isn’t so sure as something about the death doesn’t feel right. But what is it that connects these two cases and fraudulent activity linked to a group known as ‘The Collective’ which the missing girl and the young man were once part of? And as the investigation progresses more people begin to turn up dead.

Jackie Baldwin’s writing is really immersive. The police team that are working on the cases appear to be tightly knitted together and they all support each other. This, I thought, was really refreshing as in some books you do find that there are many police detectives who don’t get on and this does cause frictions when they are trying to solve a case. Jackie uses dialogue in her book really well, and I flew through the pages. I think my favourite characters from the book were Mhairi and Frank, and I did like DCI Lind as well, especially as he seemed to really connect to the victims and he wanted to see justice done.

There are some really strange characters in this book, especially the artists who live up at The Ivy House which becomes the focus point of the investigation. I enjoyed trying to work out what sort of people they really were and what was really going on in their group. When you get to the end of this book you will want to get your hands on the next book as soon as possible, after the final chapters Jackie has left me on tenterhooks.

This is one of those books which you just want to keep reading until you have finished. Jackie Baldwin is a writer who I will definitely be reading more from. Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: Killer Reads

Publication date: 15th June 2018 (kindle) 23rd August 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 400 pages

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The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke Book Review @phoebe_locke @Wildfirebks

The Tall Man: A page-turning thriller for the summer by [Locke, Phoebe]

Source: Review Copy

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The Tall Man is an ADDICTIVE and UNFORGETTABLE blend of psychological suspense and spine-tingling chills with a hint of Stephen King, Ruth Ware, and Sarah Pinborough’s BEHIND HER EYES. If you love STRANGER THINGS, prepare to be haunted by THE TALL MAN.

A SENSELESS MURDER. A TERRIFYING LEGEND. A FAMILY HAUNTED.

1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.

He is the Tall Man. He can make you special…

MY THOUGHTS

The Tall Man is an utterly gripping and a sinister read from Phoebe Locke. The idea of The Tall Man is a really unsettling one, and it does sweep you up as you try to work out if The Tall Man is real, or if there is something else that is going on here. This is a novel that I think will stay with readers long after finishing.

We start the novel in the present day when an American film crew are filming a documentary on a crime which shocked the world. We know that Amber Banner has killed someone, but we don’t know who, but we do know that she has just been acquitted for murder. As the novel progresses we learn more about Amber’s childhood, and of the effect the legend of The Tall Man had on her mother, Sadie, who abandoned Amber when she was only a young baby. It is the legend of The Tall Man which really grips the nation and the rest of the world.

I loved the spooky elements in this book and Phoebe brought the atmospheric settings to life, I think I will always be slightly wary whenever I next see a forest. The different timelines worked really well in this book, and I enjoyed trying to work out how the ending was going to unfold and who the person was who Amber killed. I thought what was really scary was how seriously the school girls took the legend of The Tall Man, which becomes an obsession for them and as well in how easily others could be manipulated.

There were some hard hitting reveals which Phoebe managed to keep under lock and key really well, right up until those tense final moments. If you’re looking for a chilling read this summer then you should definitely pick this book up.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 7th June 2018 (kindle) 14th June 2018 (hardcover)

Print length: 368 pages

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Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh blog tour @Lauren_BooksPR @SSCav @orionbooks #thatbookthathook

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Thank you to Tracey Fenton at The Book Club for inviting me to take part.

Source: Purchased Copy

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THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

MY THOUGHTS

I devoured Thirteen in just two days! I’ve seen this book all over Twitter and it does have that killer hook that I’m always looking for in a crime novel. The serial killer isn’t on trial, he’s on the jury. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest I don’t know what will. Already I was thinking, how would Steve Cavanagh manage to weave such a complex idea? But he does it and he does it tremendously well! Thirteen is such a clever book.

This is the fourth novel to feature defense lawyer, Eddie Flynn, but don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous books in the series as this can be read as a stand-alone. The client who Eddie is representing is a Hollywood star, and he is on trial for the murder of his wife and her lover. It is up to Eddie to prove his innocence and he believes that the man he is representing isn’t the killer. But how can he prove it with the weight of evidence against him?

I absolutely loved this book. It is pacy and hugely addictive, with sharp writing and cracking dialogue. We get to view the court proceedings from the minds of the jury in this book and Steve delves into their thoughts as they examine the evidence against the man on trial. But this is a novel with a twist. Among the members of the jury there is a killer, but what is his agenda and how did he manage to get picked? What makes this serial killer so frightening is how smart he is, I think he will stay in the heads of many readers after finishing this book, he is such a fascinating character. As the novel progresses you really aren’t sure which way the jury are going to vote and this is what makes Steve Cavanagh’s writing so tense and as we reached the final denouement, I was on the edge of my seat.

This is one of those books which really does live up to the hype, it is one of the quickest reads I have read this year. I think all I can say now is, read it, you really won’t be disappointed.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 14th June 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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Pretty Little Things by T.M.E Walsh @tmewalsh @HQDigitalUK

167745-FCX

Source: Netgalley

BLURB

It’s bad when the girls go missing.

It’s worse when the girls are found.

Six months ago, Charlotte almost lost everything. Now, she’s determined to keep her daughter, Elle, safe. So when local girls close to Elle in age and appearance begin to go missing, it’s her worst nightmare.

Charlotte’s fears are confirmed when a frantic search becomes a shocking murder investigation. The girls’ bodies have been found – half-buried, and with traces of mud and wildflowers under their fingernails.

As Charlotte’s obsession with keeping her daughter close pushes her marriage to the brink, local DI Madeleine Wood embarks on a gruelling search for the killer. And, as they dig deeper into the lives of the people they call friends and neighbours, they uncover secrets more terrible than they ever imagined…

Pretty Little Things is the nail-bitingly terrifying new serial killer thriller from TME Walsh – the perfect read for fans of Close to HomeBehind Her Eyes and The Child

MY THOUGHTS

I have been itching to read T.M.E Walsh’s DCI Claire Winters series for a while now and after finishing Pretty Little Things I have bumped them right to the top of my TBR pile. Seriously, why haven’t I got round to reading them sooner? Pretty Little Things is one heck of a psychological thriller, T.ME. Walsh writes so well and she kept me flicking the pages.

At the beginning of the novel, we delve straight into the mind of a serial killer. This was a seriously creepy opening that set the tone of the book straight away; I was utterly gripped from the first sentence. We then move forward to where the police make a shocking discovery. They have finally located the bodies of four young girls who were previously reported missing. Charlotte, who is one of the central characters in this book is distraught as she is friends with the mother of one of the murdered girls. But as Charlotte and the rest of the town come to terms with the discovery, another young girl goes missing, after all this time is the killer back?

T.M.E Walsh certainly delivers on tension. She gets into the heads of her characters really well, especially Charlotte. Undoubtedly she is fearful for her daughter’s safety given what has happened in the town and this is one of the main sources of tension in the book as her daughter rebels against her. I wanted to know what was going to happen to them and there was a strong sense of foreboding which carried through right to the end of the novel, you know that things aren’t going to be plain sailing for Charlotte and her family.

There were times where I thought I had worked out who the killer was. But there was a twist which really took me by surprise, it was one of those flooring moments which really leaves you praising the author. At this point I’m finding this review really difficult to write as I don’t want to give anything away, but let me tell you, it’s one of those twists which will have you looking back. I thought it was weaved really well into the story.

One character who I would have liked to have learnt more about is DI Madeleine Wood, who is the officer in charge of the case. I enjoyed the scenes which featured her, so I’m hoping that she may return in a future book. But primarily this story is Claire’s and it is definitely more of a psychological thriller than a police procedural.

This was an absolutely riveting read from T.M.E Walsh. I’m really looking forward to catching up on her previous books and she is a writer who is now firmly on my radar.

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 6th June 2018

Print length:

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