A House Divided by Rachel McLean blog tour @rachelmcwrites @rararesources

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Source: Review Copy

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Jennifer Sinclair is many things: loyal government minister, loving wife and devoted mother.

But when a terror attack threatens her family, her world is turned upside down. When the government she has served targets her Muslim husband and sons, her loyalties are tested. And when her family is about to be torn apart, she must take drastic action to protect them.

A House Divided is a tense and timely thriller about political extremism and divided loyalties, and their impact on one woman.

MY THOUGHTS

In Rachel McLean’s novel A House Divided we meet Minister Jennifer Sinclair, a Labour party politician. The book is set in late 2019 in 2020 and in 2021. Labour is in power and Jennifer is at the top of her career. But the party and the country are soon rocked by a series of devastating terrorist attacks that take place, and the country’s mood, including the mood of politicians, darkens. A bill is put forward to take a tougher stance on immigrants from certain countries entering the UK, to help prevent another terrorist attack from taking place. This puts Jennifer in a very uncomfortable position; she has to make up her mind on some tough decisions, including, potentially, the rest of her career in politics.

Although the novel is set just a few years into our future, the issues being discussed feel very close to what is happening in today’s world. You only have to look at Trump’s travel ban in the US to realise that the ideas that Rachel McLean explores aren’t very far-fetched at all, which is what makes the ideas in her book scarily plausible.

Rachel’s writing is very readable, and it does move along at a fast pace, particularly in the first half of the novel which explores the effects that the attacks have had on the public and on politicians in Westminster. Jennifer is a British woman, but she is married to a Muslim, Yusuf, and they have two children, so her own family is affected by the troubles. This is what makes the current situation within her party deeply personal to her, and her views against it come across very strongly in Rachel’s writing, particularly in a speech she delivers when the vote on the proposed bill is just about to be held. I think it’s Jennifer’s passion, for trying to defeat what the government is proposing, which pushes the novel forward. I could never be sure what was going on behind the scenes, in both her own party and the opposition. It did make me think of the current state in British politics at the moment, where it seems that there is always someone ready to stab a colleague in the back in their push for promotion.

The end of this book left me gasping. A House Divided is part of a trilogy, and it has made me very keen to pick up the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it. If you are fascinated by politics, and if you’re looking for a book that is character driven with an ending that will get your heart pumping, then I highly recommend giving this book a go. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Catawampus Press

Publication day: 24th September 2018

Print length: 327 pages

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The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham blog tour @AlisonBelsham @Trapeze Books

Source: Own copy

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A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

MY THOUGHTS

Alison Belsham has created a belter of a crime thriller in her debut novel The Tattoo Thief. I can see why her pitch was the winner of the Bloody Scotland pitch perfect event a couple of years ago. Personally, I have never been interested in getting a tattoo, and after reading Alison’s novel, I think I definitely won’t be getting one. This is a chilling, serial killer thriller!

The Tattoo Thief is very dark. The novel is set in Brighton, and it delves into the heart of the tattooing industry which for me gave the book a very unique feel. I don’t know anything at all about tattooing, but Alison had me captivated, and I could see the fascination that she has for this subject which was very well researched. It’ll be interesting to see how she will take this series further and how she will further explore this subject.

Alison’s protagonist, Marni Mullins was a brilliant lead to follow. From the moment she discovers the mutilated corpse of a man, not far from the tattooing convention she is attending, I wanted to follow her journey and see just how involved she was going to get in this case. I wanted to know who was behind the brutal and horrifying attacks that were taking place and what reasons they had for doing this. Alison keeps us in the dark about Marni’s past but reveals more as the novel progresses. We know that she doesn’t like dealing with the police, but we don’t know why, and there was a strong sense of foreboding that Marni was going to become more involved in this mystery than she would like to.

The detective working on the case is Detective Inspector Frank Sullivan. Frank has recently been promoted, so he is faced with the added pressure of having to get results as quickly as possible. His boss makes it very plain that he has to solve this case quickly or risk throwing the rest of his career away, his boss isn’t the most pleasant of characters, and I really didn’t like his handling of the case. I really liked Frank, he is a character that I very easily warmed to; I think this was probably due to the fact that he goes through quite a rough time with this case. The team he works with doesn’t appear to be strong and supportive. But he is determined to see the case through, even if it means risking his career.

The killer in this book is terrifying. Some of the scenes are told from the killer’s perspective, and I found it genuinely scary as Alison gets inside their head. You strongly get the sense that this is a messed up individual who will fight to the end to get what they want. There was a twist towards the end that took me by surprise, and it was a jaw-dropping moment of realisation. There was so much tension in those final scenes; I couldn’t see how it was going to play out.

I think all I can say now – if you love your crime fiction – is that you definitely need to go and grab yourself a copy, especially if you like your fiction dark and gory. The Tattoo Thief is clever and very well written, and it has a very strong hook that will keep you intrigued. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 20th September 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney Book Review @trisha460 @bookouture

The Lost Child: A gripping detective thriller with a heart-stopping twist (Detective Lottie Parker Book 3) by [Gibney, Patricia]

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‘Let me out! Please…’ My tiny fists pound the door, but my voice reverberates off the stone walls and hangs in the air as if suspended by spider’s webs. No one comes…

Years later, a woman is found face-down in a pool of blood. Detective Lottie Parker is called to the remote farmhouse in the bleak Irish countryside. Inside, she finds a scene that speaks of uncontrollable rage: glasses smashed, chairs ripped apart, the woman’s body broken.

A black rain jacket makes Lottie think she knows the killer’s identity, but then she finds a disturbing clue: is the murder linked to an old case at St Declan’s asylum? A case investigated by her own father, just before he took his life.

When another victim is left without her tongue on the hospital steps, and a young girl goes missing, Lottie knows she has to act fast. Can she face her own demons and uncover the truth before another life is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

Wow, that bombshell that Patricia Gibney dropped at the end of this book. I just thought I would put that at the start of my review as I am still trying to come to terms with what I have just read. It has made me download the next book in the series straight away.

I really am kicking myself that I have fallen behind on this rather excellent crime series by Patricia Gibney. With the fifth book being published next month I thought it was high time that I caught up. It’s been great catching up with Detective Lottie Parker and her work partner Detective Mark Boyd again and seeing where they all are with their lives. Lottie is a character who has steadily grown on me; she is a character who has faced terrible times recently; still struggling to get over the death of her husband who died several years earlier, Lottie is turning once again to alcohol to solve her problems. You can see the tremendous effect that her misfortunes have had on her, and in this book, you can see that she is not quite on the other side. But she has also got her hands full at home with her new grandson taking up most of her time.

In The Lost Child, the discovery of the body of an elderly woman in her daughter’s home marks the start of a twisty investigation that opens up many different avenues for Lottie and her team to get to grips with. What at first appears to be a domestic incident to the police quickly escalates into a series of events, which includes the burning of a cottage; the disappearance of a young girl, and a possible connection to a drugs ring. I was hooked on this story. I wanted to see just how the different strands were going to come together and it was done in a very clever way.

We also have the narrative of a child from the 70s and 80s running through the story, which is how the novel opens. This was what initially gripped me as I wanted to know who this child was and who the person was who was keeping them captive, how would this feed into the events that were taking place in the present day? You immediately get that claustrophobic feeling as you are reading Patricia’s words which sets the tone of the story. The way how this part of the story unfolds at the end of the book is shocking.

What Patricia Gibney does so well in the book is that she weaves a well thought out backstory linking the crimes that are taking place which Lottie is investigating. There is a historical element to her latest book as well; this is another point that makes this book really intriguing; there is always more for Lottie to uncover. The story is very well plotted, and I really liked how everything came together as Lottie and her team finally got to the truth as to why these crimes were happening to the family involved.

What I also liked about this book was Lottie’s relationship with Detective Boyd. There has always been a spark between them and in this book you can see it beginning to grow. Patricia has left me wondering if anything more will come of it. They work really well together; I’m hoping that there could be a future for them.

There are some very harrowing scenes in this book and some gruesome moments which will make your skin crawl, but The Lost Child is an absolutely riveting read that will keep you intrigued. If you’re looking for a crime thriller that is steeped in family secrets and that has an impressive twist, I think you will really enjoy this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th October 2017

Print length: 448 pages

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False Witness by Michelle Davies blog tour @M_Davieswrites @panmacmillan

False Witness Cover

Source: Review Copy

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7.15am: Two children are seen on top of a wall in a school. 
Shortly later one of them lies fatally injured at the bottom. 
Did the boy fall or was he pushed?

As a family liaison offer, DC Maggie Neville has seen parents crumble under the weight of their child’s death. Imogen Tyler is no different. Her son’s fall was witnessed by the school caretaker, a pupil is under suspicion, and Imogen is paralysed by grief and questions.

For Maggie, finding the truth is paramount if she is to help the mother. But as she investigates, further doubts emerge and the truth suddenly seems far from certain. Could the witness be mistaken about what happened, and if he is, then who is responsible? And how far will they go to cover up the boy’s death?

False Witness by Michelle Davies is the gripping third novel in the critically acclaimed Maggie Neville series, following Gone Astray and Wrong Place.

MY THOUGHTS

The DC Maggie Neville series is one that I have followed since I read the first novel Gone Astray. After I read the last book in the series Wrong Place, I was left gobsmacked by the ending and I wanted to know how Maggie was going to fare in the next book. You can see just how much she is reeling after that ending. Once again Michelle Davies has written an intricately plotted novel that is very cleverly crafted. If you haven’t read her books before, I would highly recommend that you check them out.

The third book in the series False Witness opens with a school caretaker witnessing two children climb the scaffolding on a building site at their school, and an eleven-year-old boy subsequently plummeting to his death. But what he saw chills him to the bone. Maggie is assigned as the family liaison officer to the boy’s mother, Imogen. And as she and the police investigate what happened, they discover that there is history between the mothers of the children, and that something sinister has been going on at the school which some people are desperately trying to hush up.

This is a novel that you can easily lose an afternoon to. Michelle Davies’ writing is so engaging and I think that this is because she includes a lot of dialogue which keeps the pace up. It kept me engaged in the characters and in the plot as the story unfolded. The opening chapter does make you sit up straight. I could sense that something terrible was about to happen. As in both of her books, Michelle leaves plenty of room for thought, and I was thinking as I was reading, is there something that I’m not quite seeing here.

The story switches from Maggie’s viewpoint to the parents of Benji and Poppy and Alan who is the caretaker who witnesses the shocking events that happen in the first chapter. I thought that there was some strong characterization when Maggie told the story from Benji and Poppy’s parent’s point of view. Benji is the boy who is killed in the opening chapter. As we get to know more about the history between the two mother’s, the tension turns up a notch, I wondered what would happen if they were to come across each other, how would they react.

There is a real addictive quality to Michelle Davie’s books that makes you think, I’ll just read one more chapter, and then another, before you realise that you’ve gulped down more than half the book in one sitting. Her books can be read as standalones, but I would definitely recommend reading the rest of the series. I found False Witness to be an unpredictable, shocking and totally gripping read that delves into the lives of troubled families hiding secrets. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication date: 12th July 2018 (kindle) 20th September 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 432 pages

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What Falls Between the Cracks by Robert Scragg blog tour @robert_scragg @AllisonandBusby

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for What Falls Between the Cracks by Robert Scragg. And as part of the blog tour I have a Q&A with Robert about his Road to Publication to share with you. But first here’s what the book is about.

What Falls Between the Cracks (Porter and Styles) by [Scragg, Robert]

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Did she slip through the cracks, or was she pushed?

When a severed hand is found in an abandoned flat, Detective Jake Porter and his partner Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades. But why has no one been looking for her? It seems that Natasha’s family are the people who can least be trusted.

Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist. Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?

 

ROBERT’S ROAD TO PUBLICATION 

Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places, or do ideas come to you everywhere?

I wish it was as straightforward as heading for a specific place, but they just pop up at random. There’s a whole host of things that have made me think “what if…” It can be anything from watching/reading a news article, to overhearing a conversation in a coffee shop (in a non-stalker kind of way – I don’t go out of my way to eavesdrop!). It’s the “what if” type of scenario that inspired me to try and write a book in the first place. There were times I’d read a book, and get to the end thinking about what I’d have done differently. That’s not saying my ideas were any better, just an alternative, and it happened often enough that I thought I might as well put my money where my mouth is and give it a go.

What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?

I’m definitely more of a planner. I usually start with a few pages worth of an outline, capturing the general flow of the story, and characters. After that, I work on a very brief bio for each character that I can refer back to/add to as I go. Once that’s done I like to have a first crack at a list of scenes to write – usually capturing who’s POV it’s from, where and when it takes place, and one or two lines about what happens. All of that will take me a few days, and then I’m good to go.

How long does your first draft usually take to write?

It’s getting quicker with each one so far. The very first book I wrote (one that didn’t get picked up at the time) took a couple of years, writing in fits & starts. What Falls Between the Cracks took around six months, but I was a lot more disciplined about it! The sequel, Nothing Else Remains was around four months, but don’t think I could write much faster that that while I’m still holding down a day job as well! Ideally I’d love to be able to do two a year, which is definitely manageable alongside a day job.

Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?

Definitely! Even though I know there’ll still be a lot of work to do around editing, I still feel a sense of relief when I type the last line. Each book I’ve finished so far has been toasted with a whiskey or two.

Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript for a while before you pick up the red pen?

I thought I’d lean towards leaving it in a drawer for a while, but each one so far I’ve not been able to ignore it for more than a few days before I make a start.

How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?

I’m still relatively new to this part, having only worked through a full round of edits for my debut. From memory though, I think What Falls Between the Cracks went through six separate edits. That includes three before I signed with my agent, another before I signed with Allison & Busby, and then two more alongside them before it went to print. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many hours that works out at. The latter part of that (i.e. after I’d accepted the offer from A&B) took roughly seven months.

At what point, prior to publication do the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?

As a rule I don’t generally do nerves with most things, but there were definitely a few in the run up to publication. I’d say they probably kicked in from about six weeks out.

How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?

This accounted for a big element of the nerves for me. It’s one thing to let your friends and family read your work, but when you start to get complete strangers opinions, you know they have absolutely no vested interest in saying nice things for the sake of it, so I was on the fence between dreading them and getting impatient to see the first few. The vast majority so far have been really positive so looks like the nerves were all for nothing (for now anyway – I’m sure they’ll be back for book two)

How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?

I tend to always have something on the go, so tend to start planning out the next one the day after I finish a draft. As well as the two Porter & Styles books, I’ve plotted out the next two in the series, and also finished first drafts of two standalones that I’m busy editing with the help of my agent. I keep a list of all ideas I have, and it’s somewhere in the sixties at the moment so I shouldn’t run out of projects to work on for a while yet. Whether people want to keep reading them is another matter entirely!

And finally how do you celebrate publication day?

I only have the one as a frame of reference so far, but it felt pretty much perfect. I took the day off work, and had a walk on the beach with my wife, our son and our dog. That was followed up by a bacon sandwich at the Surf Café near Tynemouth, then lunch with my family. To top it off, there was a local crime writing event on in the evening, so I was asked to go along and do a reading, and again had my wife and parents in the audience. I have a feeling the beach and bacon part might become a publication day tradition!

Thank you to Robert for taking the time to answer my question and to Ailsa Floyd at Allison and Busby for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. If you would like to purchase a copy of What Falls Between the Cracks, you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Allison and Busby

Publication date: 19th April 2018 (kindle/hardcover) 20th September 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pagess

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The Goodnight Song by Nick Hollin blog tour @vonmaraus @bookouture

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Source: Netgalley

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Gifted criminal profiler Nathan Radley has a unique way of thinking that allows him to empathize with the twisted killers he helps capture.

But Nathan a dark secret. He has more in common with the criminals he hunts than anyone could dare to imagine. He lives in constant fear of losing control of his own dark desires…

When the headless body of a policeman is dragged from the Thames – an exact enactment of one of his oldest and darkest fantasies, only ever confessed in the pages of his teenage diary – Nathan finds himself the main suspect in the most twisted case of his career.

Someone has his diary and is leaking pages to frame him for the disturbing murders he has spent his whole career trying not to commit. 

As more bodies surface and more extracts are released, Nathan has no choice but to go in search of the killer to clear his name. He knows it’s someone dangerous, he knows it’s someone he trusted, but how many precious lives will be lost before he can work out who?

MY THOUGHTS

Detectives Katie Rhodes and Nathan Radley are back in the second book in Nick Hollin’s crime series The Goodnight Song. If you are drawn to this book, I would recommend reading the first book in the series as the second follows on from the events in Dark Lies. I did have to remind myself of what had happened when I started reading this book, so I think you will get much more enjoyment out of the plot and the characters if you start the series at the beginning.

In the second book in the series we get to understand the workings of Nathan’s mind a lot more and what he has been through. He is an intriguing, but troubled character and we can see in this book the effects that his unusual mind has had on him and his family.

When I read the first book, I did struggle to like Nathan and Katie at first, but I really connected with them in this book. Nathan seems to go through a really tough time, and as I was reading, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. He and Katie are two well drawn characters, and they make Nick’s writing really addictive as I just wanted things to start going right for them and for them to have a proper chance at having a relationship. I would say his books are definitely more character driven.

This time around, pages of Nathan’s journal, written when he was a teenager, are being published by an anonymous blogger across the internet. The blogger is fascinated by Nathan and how his mind works. The journals reveal disturbing images from inside Nathan’s head, and this doesn’t help when he quickly becomes a suspect in the murder of a police officer, and he is painted in a bad light by the media who are convinced that he is the person who the police are after. Finding out the identity of the blogger was a really gripping part of the mystery as I wanted to know if they had any connection at all to the crimes that were taking place and why they were so interested in Nathan.

Both The Goodnight Song and Dark Lies make for two gripping reads, and the characters are really fascinating. I loved finding out more about Nathan and Katie. I became totally absorbed by the plot and the characters, and I couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold. Thank you to Noelle Holton at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to review via Netgalley.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 17th September 2018

Print length: 283 pages

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Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan Book Review @JackJordanBooks @CorvusBooks

Before Her Eyes: The irresistible new psychological crime thriller by [Jordan, Jack]

Source: Review Copy

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She can’t see the killer
But the killer can see her…

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in a small, claustrophobic town, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But then she stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.

As the police begin hunting the person responsible and more victims are discovered, Naomi is forced to answer the question on which her fate hangs: why did the killer let her live?

In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…

MY THOUGHTS

Last year I read Anything For Her by Jack Jordan which blew away all my expectations, so I was intrigued to see what he would come up with for his next psychological thriller.

His latest novel Before Her Eyes had me hooked from the opening pages. There’s quite a strong and intriguing opening to this book in which we see the lead character, Naomi in a vulnerable state as she teeters towards the edge, Naomi is considering ending her life. Her reasons for doing this drew me into the story as I wanted to find out why she thought that this was the only option left for her. I had a lot of sympathy for her, and this grew as I learnt more about her character and the troubles she has faced in the past.

I thought an interesting aspect which Jack explored in his writing was the subject of blindness. Naomi has been blind since birth. I thought the way how Jack wrote her character was done really well, especially as he had to rely on what she felt and thought when telling the book from her perspective. Naomi’s fears came across very strongly, particularly in some scenes.

Things soon begin to take a far more terrifying turn for Naomi when she is caught up in a dangerous sequence of events. As the events in the present unfold, Naomi is dragged back into a mystery from her past, that has remained unsolved for years. I wanted to know what had happened and what the resolution was going to be.

The story is told from Naomi’s perspective and from the viewpoint of one of the detectives working on the case, Marcus. They were both two engaging and likeable characters, I thought Marcus was a brilliant character, his determination to see the case through and to protect Naomi came through very strongly. Although I really liked Marcus, I really hated his boss for many reasons. I think his boss is a character who many readers will take a dislike to.

Before Her Eyes will pull you into the story from the opening pages and you will become wrapped up in the mystery which is very cleverly pulled together at the end. I was impressed by the twist in Jack’s last book, so I’ll be interested to see how he’ll pull it off again in what he writes next. There is plenty of intrigue and interesting characters to keep you gripped and the fear felt by the characters creates a menacing atmosphere. Highly recommended for fans of psychological thrillers.

Publisher: Corvus

Publication date: 16th August 2018

Print length: 448 pages

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The Night She Died by Jenny Blackhurst blog tour #competition #giveaway @JennyBlackhurst @headlinepg

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Night She Died by Jenny Blackhurst, with thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part, and as part of the blog tour I have one paperback copy of the book to giveaway. To be in with the chance of winning, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me why you want to read this book. If you would like to find out a little more about it, I’ve included the blurb below. The competition closes at midnight on Friday, 14th September 2018 and one winner will be drawn at random. Good luck!

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The addictive new psychological thriller from Jenny Blackhurst, the #1 eBook-bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU. Full of dark drama and unexpected twists, this will suit fans of FRIEND REQUEST, CLOSE TO HOME, and THE GUILTY WIFE.

On her own wedding night, beautiful and complicated Evie White leaps off a cliff to her death.

What drove her to commit this terrible act? It’s left to her best friend and her husband to unravel the sinister mystery.

Following a twisted trail of clues leading to Evie’s darkest secrets, they begin to realize they never knew the real Evie at all…

 

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In the Silence by M.R. Mackenzie blog tour @landofwhimsy @Bloodhoundbook

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Source: Netgalley

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Anna hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years. And for very good reasons…

Anna, a criminology lecturer, returns to Glasgow from Rome during the coldest winter in memory. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew. Tragedy strikes later that night when Anna discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow.

Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble.

When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.

As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in.

But can she solve the gruesome mystery before the killer strikes again?

MY THOUGHTS

A killer is stalking the streets of Glasgow in the depths of winter, in the run up to the festive season, and they are ticking off their victims, one by one; is there a connection between them or are they striking people at random? In the Silence is M.R. Mackenzie’s debut novel, and I was really impressed. It is a gritty and dark debut thriller, and the time of year that the author chose to set the book was perfect for creating that menacing and eerie atmosphere which he certainly did.

Anna has recently returned to her home city after spending ten years in Rome. It has been a while since she has seen her old friend Zoe, and on her first night back they hit the clubs to celebrate Zoe’s birthday. But things soon take a disturbing turn when the body of a man who Anna knows, who she saw at the club the night before he died, is found. Anna soon becomes a suspect in the eye of the police who are working on the case and to help prove her innocence, Anna decides to investigate what has happened herself.

What I loved most about the book was its setting. Although I have never been to Glasgow, I thought that M.R. Mackenzie captured a strong sense of what some parts of the city must be like, especially the clubs and the people who go there. I got the sense that the killer could be lurking in every corner, waiting for their turn to strike again. As Anna became further involved in the case, I feared what was going to happen to her, particularly as the police seemed to take a dislike towards her and appeared intent on making her life difficult. I was appalled at the treatment Anna was receiving, but this made me keen to read on as I wanted to find out what was going to happen to her and if the killer was going to get away with their crimes. She is a captivating character, and I felt that I could root for her from the beginning.

M.R. Mackenzie slowly reveals details about Anna’s past, and there were some revelations which were shocking. She is a character who you will become invested in as the plot develops. One of my favourite aspects of the novel was her friendship with Zoe, she is the more domineering of the two, but I really liked her sense of humour, and she did add some lightness to the book.

This was a debut that I thought was really engaging. There was a part of the novel at the end which took me completely by surprise, I could see where the plot was going but I was shocked at how everything unfolded, it does make for a powerful ending. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on what M.R. Mackenzie writes next. Thank you to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Bloodhound Books for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Publication date: 10th September 2018

Print length: 306 pages

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Perfect Ten by Jacqueline Ward blog tour @JacquiAnnC @CorvusBooks

Perfect Ten Cover

Source: Review Copy

BLURB

Caroline Atkinson is powerless and angry. She has lost more than most – her marriage, her reputation, even her children. Then one day, she receives an unusual delivery: lost luggage belonging to the very man who is responsible, her estranged husband Jack.

In a leather holdall, Caroline unearths a dark secret, one that finally confirms her worst suspicions. Jack has kept a detailed diary of all his affairs; every name, every meeting, every lie is recorded. He even marks the women out of ten.

Caroline decides it’s time to even the score. She will make this man pay, even if it means risking everything…

MY THOUGHTS

Wow, I was so engrossed in this book. As I was reading Perfect Ten I kept thinking that Caroline Atkinson really wasn’t a person who you would want to get on the wrong side of. She is a character intent on getting revenge on her husband who has destroyed her life and taken her children from her. And Caroline is absolutely determined to get what she wants, whatever the cost. As the plot developed, I really couldn’t blame her for wanting to go down this path. This is a top notch psychological thriller. I’m going to be first in the queue for Jacqueline Ward’s next novel.

Jacqueline has created a really dislikeable character in Caroline’s ex-husband, Jack, I couldn’t believe some of the things I was reading about the things he did to Caroline while they were together and what he has subsequently put her through. He is a character who I think will anger many readers I wanted to see what means Caroline was going to use to bring him down and how she was going to succeed in getting her children back, or indeed if she ever would. This was part of the thrill in uncovering what was going to happen next to Jacqueline’s characters.

There isn’t a lot of dialogue in this book but that really didn’t bother me as I was reading as I found the main character’s voice to be so strong and I loved the style in which it was written. The writing pulls you into the story from the first page. The writing is intense, and it made me really focus on what was happening in each scene. Once I started reading, I found that I just wanted to forget about everything else and read as much as I could.

Perfect Ten is an utterly addictive psychological thriller. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. If you’re looking for a new writer with a really strong voice, then I highly recommend it. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Corvus

Publication date: 5th July 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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