No Name Lane by Howard Linskey Book Review @HowardLinskey @PenguinUKBooks

Source: Purchased Copy

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An unstoppable serial killer. A fifth girl missing. A long-buried secret. A gripping crime thriller perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Mel Sherratt and Mark Billingham.

There’s a serial killer on the loose in north-east England. Four bodies have already been discovered. A fifth girl, Michelle Summers, has just disappeared.

When a body is discovered, everyone fears the worst. But this isn’t Michelle – this corpse has been dead for over fifty years.

Out-of-favour DC Ian Bradshaw is pulled off the main case to investigate the skeleton. But it soon becomes clear that dark secrets lay buried along with the body – and now the police have more than one killer to worry about…

The beginning of the highly acclaimed series starring Ian Bradshaw and journalists Helen Norton and Tom Carney, this is a gripping crime thriller you won’t be able to put down.

MY THOUGHTS

Recently I’ve read some raving reviews for Howard Linskey’s latest book The Chosen Ones, so I decided to start the series from the beginning with No Name Lane. Doesn’t it have a brilliant title? After finishing it, it has left me asking the question: why have I waited this long to read a Howard Linskey novel? I’m definitely going to be catching up with the rest of the series and I think you can probably tell that I quite enjoyed this one.

Although it is quite a long book, at nearly five hundred pages, it certainly didn’t feel long and the tension and pace never dropped. In the North East of England a serial killer has been targeting young girls and now they may have struck for the fifth time. A nationwide manhunt is launched to help find the missing girl which DC Ian Bradshaw is investigating, and soon a body is found. However it isn’t the body of the young girl as everyone fears, but a corpse that has been buried there for decades. Is there are link between the two cases or are they entirely separate?

The plot moves along at a swift pace. We meet journalist Tom Carney who has recently been cast out of the tabloid newspaper he works for after almost destroying the career of a politician and damaging the newspapers reputation. With his career potentially in tatters, he links up with Helen Norton who took his position at the previous newspaper he worked for. He isn’t going to let what has recently befallen him bring him down. He is out there chasing down the next story, which he can hopefully bring to his boss, which in turn will reinstate his career.

Tom and Helen were two characters who I really liked. Helen and Tom both work for very different newspapers; Helen is a journalist for her local newspaper and Tom a major newspaper in London. I thought it would be interesting to see if their personalities would click and I thought it was great to see a strong friendship beginning to develop between them. It’ll be interesting to see where Tom is going to choose to take his career next. He is certainly confident and ambitious and this comes across in his dealings with DC Ian Bradshaw and his editor at the tabloid. I was on Tom’s side throughout the book after the treatment he received from his boss.

The two mysteries which are investigated in the book are gripping. We have the young girl who has gone missing in the present day and the discovery of a decades old corpse. Howard kept me wondering if they were going to weave together and if the person responsible for the murder of the young man recently discovered would ever face justice for their crime. Both investigations add intrigue and tension as you begin to ask yourself what is really going on this town. What has gone wrong?

The time period the book is set is in the 1990s. Howard uses the time period to the plots advantage and there are some frightening scenarios played out. Corruption in the police force is one of the themes which Howard studies in this book and this comes across in an authentic way for the time period that it is set in. The setting is also expertly drawn on. Howard’s writing makes the town in which the crimes have taken place, feel as though it is cut off from the rest of the country and it does create a very ominous tone. You can sense that out there, there is a killer waiting to make their next move and that time is quickly running out for their next victim and for the police to finally bring the perpetrator to justice.

I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Tom, Helen and Ian. If you’re after an authentic and gripping police procedural that is gritty and has some fantastic characterization, then I highly recommend this book. A fantastic read.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 12th March 2015

Print length: 496 pages

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I, Witness by Niki Mackay blog tour @NikiMackayBooks @orionbooks #IWitness

I, Witness by [Mackay, Niki]

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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Blood Sisters by Jane Corry Book Review @JaneCorryAuthor @PenguinUKBooks

Source: Purchased Copy

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Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that’s the story she’s sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do…

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and enjoyed Jane Corry’s debut novel last year, I was looking forward to reading her second, Blood Sisters. And on the back of finishing her second book, I have just bought her third. There were so many surprising reveals in this book and Jane Corry has become one of my favourite psychological thriller writers. I can’t wait to read her next novel.

Jane Corry writes dysfunctional families really well. We meet Alison who has just taken a job in a male open prison as an artist in residence. Although Alison has strong objections in applying for the position, there is something which is pushing her to accept it. Something that is buried in her past? I wanted to know the reasons why this decision was so personal to her and what had happened to make her want to take on this role. We then meet Kitty who is currently residing in a care home. Many years earlier Kitty was involved in a horrific accident which left her confined to a wheelchair and severely brain damaged. There is a secret which binds the two women and it will have disastrous consequences for them if it ever comes out.

I read this novel really fast. Although it is quite long it certainly didn’t feel that way as I was reading it. There is some excellent dialogue in this book which kept the pace flowing, the ending of each chapter always left me eager to start the next one. Both Alison and Kitty were two captivating characters. They kept me gripped as I waited to find out what had happened to them and why they were in the positions they were now. As I was reading I could never quite be sure about either of them and this is what made the unraveling of the plot interesting as their personalities unfolded.

The plot is very skillfully drawn together. The scenes in which Alison was working in the prison were very tense. This was particularly so as she was getting to know the prisoners who were there and as she began to learn what crimes they had committed. You can see where Jane has drawn on her own experience as she previously worked as a writer in residence in a male, high security prison.

This is a fast, pacy read which I managed to race through in two days. It is a novel that will keep you asking questions. If you’re looking for a psychological thriller that will continue to surprise you, then I highly recommend this book.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 29th June 2017

Print length: 464 pages

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Between The Lies by Michelle Adams blog tour @MAdamswriter @headlinepg

Between the Lies by [Adams, Michelle]

Source: Review Copy

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The truth is hiding between the lies.

A page-turning psychological thriller with twists that keep the reader guessing until last page, this addictive read will be loved by fans of Shari Lapena’s A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE and Liz Lawler’s DON’T WAKE UP.

What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

MY THOUGHTS

After I read and really enjoyed the first book by Michelle Adams last year, I jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour for her second book. In her second novel Between The Lies, Chloe Daniels wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of who she is or how she ended up in the position she is now. As Chloe begins to understand what has happened to her, it becomes clear that people very close to her have been lying. Whilst the idea of a character waking from a coma with no recollection of their past isn’t new, I was interested to see how Michelle would put her own spin on it. Her new novel certainly has an intriguing cast of characters and a thoroughly engaging plot.

It was Chloe’s family who really pulled me into the story in Between The Lies and Michelle created a claustrophobic sense in her writing. It seemed that Chloe was trapped in her own home and it did feel as though she was a prisoner there. There was an underlying sense of mistrust about her family, and I felt this particularly when it became clear that they were keeping important details about Chloe’s life from her and given a choice they would rather keep her in the dark. I was intrigued by this; I wanted to know what was so dreadful or despairing about the last few weeks before Chloe’s accident that made her family so keen to keep it secret from her. Are they just doing this to protect her? Or is there another reason why they aren’t telling her the truth?

There are some hard-hitting revelations for Chloe as she begins to unpick what had happened to her before the accident and when certain truths come to the surface I began to wonder just what was really going on. Chloe was a character who I immediately connected with. I couldn’t believe the trauma her own family were putting her through, we’re supposed to be able to rely on our family for anything, and I felt that she really wasn’t getting the right support she needed. This added a lot of tension in the book, and I couldn’t believe the information they were keeping for her.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I thought that the plot was very satisfying although at times it was heart-breaking. Between The Lies is a dark, twisty, family-centered psychological drama that will keep you turning the pages. If you enjoy reading books with real psychological depth, then I highly recommend reading Michelle Adams.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 12th July 2018 (kindle) 10th January 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 336 pages

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Brothers In Blood by Amer Anwar Cover Reveal @ameranwar @dialoguebooks

Do I have an exciting cover reveal for you today. I’m delighted to be able to share with you the cover for the debut novel by Amer Anwar Brothers In Blood. I read and reviewed this book last year on my blog when it was previously titled Western Fringes and it was one of my favourite reads of 2017. Now it is being re-published by Dialogue Books, an imprint of Little Brown which I was really excited to hear about. So when I was asked to take part in the cover reveal I knew that ‘yes’ was going to be the obvious answer straight away.  This book is definitely for you if you enjoy action-packed thrillers.

Before I reveal the cover here’s the blurb.

 

A Sikh girl on the run. A Muslim ex-con who has to find her. A whole heap of trouble.

Southall, West London. After being released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put the past behind him.

But when Zaq is forced to search for his boss’s runaway daughter, he quickly finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge.

With time running out and pressure mounting, can he find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?

“An engaging hero, a cunning plot, and a fascinating journey into Southall’s underworld. We’ll be hearing a lot more from Amer Anwar.”
 Mick Herron

“A fine debut novel. With his engaging characters and skilful plotting, Anwar brings a fresh and exciting new voice to the genre.”
 Ann Cleeves

 

And so without any further ado here is the cover for Brothers in Blood. Can I have a drum roll please . . .

 

brothers-in-blood-cover

Brothers in Blood is out on the 6th September 2018. And if you would like to pre-order you can do so by following the link below.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AmerAnwar03

Amer Anwar grew up in West London. After leaving college he had a variety of jobs, including; warehouse assistant, comic book lettering artist, a driver for emergency doctors and chalet rep in the French Alps. He eventually landed a job as a creative artworker/graphic designer and spent the next decade and a half producing artwork, mainly for the home entertainment industry. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London and is a winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. Western Fringes is his first novel. For everything else, he has an alibi. It wasn’t him. He was never there.

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When I Find You by Emma Curtis blog tour @emmacurtisbooks @TransworldBooks #WhenIFindYou

When I Find You Cover

Source: Netgalley

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What do you do when someone takes advantage of your greatest weakness?

When Laura wakes up after her office Christmas party and sees a man’s shirt on the floor, she is horrified. But this is no ordinary one-night-stand regret.

Laura suffers from severe face-blindness, a condition that means she is completely unable to identify and remember faces. So the man she spent all night dancing with and kissing – the man she thought she’d brought home – was ‘Pink Shirt’.

But the shirt on her floor is blue.

And now Laura must go to work every day, and face the man who took advantage of her condition. The man she has no way of recognising.

She doesn’t know who he is . . . but she’ll make him pay.

MY THOUGHTS

Emma Curtis begins her second novel When I Find You with an really intriguing opening. Laura wakes up the morning after her office Christmas party to find a stranger in her bedroom. Laura suffers from a condition called facial-blindness, also known as Prosopagnosia. She thought she knew who the person was who she brought back to her flat the previous night. Her condition means that Laura has to be able to recognise certain distinguishing features about a person: what they’re wearing or the colour and shape of their hair, but this isn’t always easy. Now she realises that someone may have taken advantage of her condition and tricked her into sleeping with them. The thought leaves her feeling angry and upset, and she tries to uncover who it was who did this to her.

I have only recently become aware of the condition which Emma explores in her latest book. It does make you examine what we take for granted every single day, and it did make me think how difficult it must be for people living with the condition. It did make me think about how it was going to be possible for Laura to get to the truth, which is what made this novel very different.

The novel is told through the perspectives of both Laura and Rebecca, her boss. Rebecca is the only person who knows about Laura’s condition at their office. I think a lot of readers won’t like Rebecca, but I didn’t dislike her as much as I thought I would, although she did make some decisions that I didn’t approve of. Both Laura and Rebecca lead very different lives, and they are both dealing with their own separate problems. It was interesting to see how they would both collide with each other, and this was one of the most gripping aspects of the plot.

As I was reading, I kept thinking about how horrible it must be for Laura; she has been taken advantage of, but she doesn’t know who it was. I think I had my suspicions about everyone in the advertisement agency where she worked, and I felt as though I couldn’t trust anyone who worked with her. It does give the novel a unique look at a crime that has taken place, but I could see that Emma had also impeccably researched the condition.

The ending of the book is so chilling. I thought how Emma tied everything up was done well, and it makes for a satisfying conclusion. When I Find You was a really enjoyable second novel from Emma Curtis. I’m looking forward to seeing what she writes next.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Transworld Digital

Publication date: 1st July 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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Strangers On A Bridge by Louise Mangos Book Review @LouiseMangos @HQDigital

This is a book cover for a Harpercollins publication.

Source: Netgalley

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She should never have saved him.

When Alice Reed goes on her regular morning jog in the peaceful Swiss Alps, she doesn’t expect to save a man from suicide. But she does. And it is her first mistake.

Adamant they have an instant connection, Manfred’s charming exterior grows darker and his obsession with Alice grows stronger.

In a country far from home, where the police don’t believe her, the locals don’t trust her and even her husband questions the truth about Manfred, Alice has nowhere to turn.

To what lengths will Alice go to protect herself and her family?

Perfect for fans of I See YouFriend Request and Apple Tree Yard.

MY THOUGHTS

Strangers on a Bridge, the debut novel by Louise Mangos has an intriguing premise which captured my imagination straight away. While Alice Reed is taking her early morning run, she saves a man when she passes him on a bridge after becoming concerned that he might be about to commit suicide. But should she have saved him? After Alice pulls him back from the brink, she soon realises that she may have made a dreadful mistake. From this moment on I couldn’t stop thinking about about what was going to happen to Alice. What was this man capable of?

Louise Mangos’ opening chapters sweep you into the story; we are on that run with Alice, we can feel her concern when she spots the troubled figure leaning over the bridge. It is done really well, and Louise immediately sparked the intrigue. Already I was worried for Alice as she tries her best to help the man and when she takes him to her home, I was beginning to sense the warning vibes that she shouldn’t be doing this. This was what kept me reading on.

The descriptive techniques in Louise’s writing are outstanding. I loved the vivid scenery of the Swiss landscape and Louise’s writing gave it a very atmospheric feel. I have been to Switzerland once, staying in Zurich for a few days five years ago, and I could picture the mountainous terrain and the sprawling green vegetation well. In her writing, I think this is where Louise particularly excels.

The tension in this novel continues to build after the dramatic opening scenes. I could feel Alice’s frustration when very few people showed little interest in her claims when she starts to experience problems with the man she saved. I also thought that Louise explored her struggle at fitting into the local Swiss community well. At times I didn’t find Alice to be a particularly likeable character. Still, she kept me engaged, and I ultimately wanted to find out what was going to happen to her and how she was going to solve the problems she was facing with so many obstacles in her way.

There were times when I felt that the book could perhaps have been a little pacier, but overall I found the book a really enjoyable read. Louise is a talented writer, and I can’t wait to read more from her, she is a writer to watch. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the advance review copy.

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 6th July 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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