No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister Book Review @GillianMAuthor

No Further Questions: You'd trust your sister with your life. But should you? The compulsive thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author by [McAllister, Gillian]

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The police say she’s guilty.

She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.

You love her.

You trust her.

But they say she killed the person you care about most.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a big fan of Gillian McAllister’s first two novels, Everything but the Truth and Anything You Do Say so I was looking forward to starting her third. No Further Questions is an intense courtroom drama that peels back the layers of a shocking, tragic event, and it has a devastating twist. I was utterly gripped from the first page. Gillian’s books keep getting better and better.

We are introduced to Becky and Martha who are sisters. Martha is a compassionate individual and has recently set up her own charity, based in Kos, Greece to help refugees. After having her daughter, Layla, Martha asks Becky to look after her so she can carry on her important work, and after leaving the country, things soon begin to take its toll on Becky. And it isn’t long before Martha has to rush back to the UK after her daughter is found dead; Becky is on trial for her murder. Martha can’t bring herself to think of the possibility that Martha killed Layla. But as the evidence is stripped away, she realises that she may soon have to accept this as reality.

Gillian McAllister writes her characters so well. Although I could see why Martha wanted to go to Kos and help the refuges, I was shocked that she chose to leave her newly born daughter behind in the UK, and I felt for Becky who already has a young son, Xander to look after. There are lots of emotions that run through this book, and this comes across so well in Gillian’s writing. We are taken into the heart of the action. The case of Layla’s death has already been brought to trial, and we see all the intensity of preceding events unfold, as it is re-lived through the minds of people directly involved in the crime and the witnesses. I could never quite be sure how everything was going to come together at the end. Would Becky be found guilty? This was the question that kept me turning the pages.

The drama in the courtroom comes across very well on the page. I loved that we got to see past events through the minds of different witnesses, who all add something new to the case, and they did get me thinking as I tried to examine the evidence that Gillian put forward as well. This is what made this book so absorbing. What I thought was also interesting, was that parts of the book are told from the viewpoint of the judge. Often, when a trial is taking place, I don’t think of the judge who has to pass sentence, I only really think about the people involved in the case, the police and witnesses, and the jury who have to come to a decision. So it was fascinating to see the case from his perspective as well.

If you enjoy reading novels that will make you think, then I definitely recommend this book. It is a powerful and emotive read that I think will stay with me and in the minds of many readers for a while.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 2nd July 2018

Print length: 421 pages

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No Time To Cry by James Oswald blog tour @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks

No Time To Cry Cover (1)

Source: Review Copy

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Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.

Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.

In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.

There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.

MY THOUGHTS

James Oswald hits the ground running in his latest novel No Time To Cry the first book in his new series set in London and the pace never lets up. I couldn’t put this book down. Constance Fairchild is a young Detective Constable, just starting out in her career in the metropolitan police. She comes from a privileged background, but she is determined to earn her right to be a detective through hard work. She has very few friends in the police force, say for one, Detective Inspector Pete Copperthwaite. But on the first page of the book, Constance finds her boss and friend, dead, and she quickly becomes a person of interest in the minds of her superiors. With her main supporter no longer around, Constance is on her own. The rest of her career in the police force hangs in the balance, and she knows she may soon be framed for Pete’s murder as her colleagues rush to find a scapegoat.

James Oswald’s Detective Inspector Tony McLean series is one of my favourites, so I was more than intrigued to learn that he was publishing a new crime series, this time, however, set in London. James does, however, visit Scotland again in this book with his new protagonist, Connie. And a familiar face from the McLean series turns up as well which was a nice surprise.

Isolating Connie from the rest of her team was a really interesting way to start this series. Right from the start, I was backing her, you really do get the sense that she is fighting on her own and this sets in a feeling of trepidation right from the beginning. No Time To Cry has a complex plot, and it was interesting to see how James weaved it together. Shortly after Connie’s suspension, she is asked to track down missing student, Isobel, the sister of her old friend. This takes Connie back to her own past, as Isobel studies at her old school, and as her investigation into Isobel’s disappearance continues she is warned off by some dangerous individuals. But this only makes Connie more determined to find out what’s happened to her. What Connie eventually finds out is very disturbing, and it blows everything wide open and puts her own life in danger.

James Oswald is a fantastic writer. He puts Connie in a dangerous situation, and it is really interesting how everything all unfolds. And the way in which the plot is pulled together is done very well. It will be interesting to see how this series will progress further, especially after the ending of this book. I think this new series will be just as successful as the Tony McLean books. Connie is a fantastic character, and I’m sure she will intrigue plenty of new readers.

If you’re a long time fan of James Oswald, then you are in for a treat with this book, but if you haven’t come across James’ work before, then this is the perfect time to discover a new writer who writes excellent police procedurals and creates fascinating characters. No Time to Cry is a brilliant piece of crime fiction that will keep you gripped. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to the publishers for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 26th July 2018 (kindle) 1st November 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 336 pages

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The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths Book Review @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2 by [Griffiths, Elly]

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Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.

When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been catching up on my TBR pile recently, and one crime series I’ve been looking forward to returning to is the Dr Ruth Galloway books by Elly Griffiths. In the second book The Janus Stone Ruth finds herself in an unexpected position, but not an unwanted one. Once again she becomes involved in a disturbing investigation.

Ruth’s specialty lies in bones, she is soon called upon when builders make an unsettling discovery. The remains of a child have been found during the demolition of an old house in Norwich. It prompts Ruth and the police to think that a ritualistic killing may have taken place. The police now have a decades old case on their hands and as they get closer to finding out the truth of what happened to the child, it puts Ruth and Harry’s lives in danger, someone is desperate to stop the truth from getting out.

Ruth is a character who I am really beginning to like. She isn’t someone who will go out of her way to impress people, and this is something I really like about her personality. Her relationship with her parents in this book is rocky. They are born again Christians, but they follow the religion as though they are living in the Dark Ages. Ruth lives alone on the Norfolk marshes with her cat, Flint, and has very few neighbours; it may seem isolated, but this is what Ruth likes and the view she gets more than makes up for the isolation. One character who she regularly sees is Cathbad, who is a quirky and fascinating person; he is very attached to myths and ancient rituals. I love this location and I could easily picture it in my mind as I was reading. It is very atmospheric.

The mystery that the police are investigating is an intriguing one. As it is a historical crime, it doesn’t make things easier for them, and they have to rely solely on witness statements, from people who were are around at the time, and there aren’t many who are still alive.

There are quite a few twists in this book, which surprised me. There were also some very tense scenes and I’m sure if I was watching this on the screen, I would have been covering my eyes, as I feared what was going to happen to the characters.  I love the way how Elly Griffiths writes, her writing is very readable and it pulled me into the story and into her characters’ lives very quickly.

Ruth is a character who I can’t wait to find out more about. I already have the next book lined up and waiting on my shelf. I was kept hooked until the very last page.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 29th July 2010

Print length: 337 pages

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Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt blog tour @writermels @AvonBooksUK

Hush Hush: 'An absolute masterpiece’ Angela Marsons (the most gripping crime thriller of 2018) by [Sherratt, Mel]

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A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

MY THOUGHTS

Hush Hush was insanely gripping. I gulped down the first hundred pages of this book in one sitting. This is the first book by Mel Sherratt which I have read, although I still have her previous novels sitting on my kindle which I will be reading very soon after finishing this. I love the way how Mel Sherratt writes; I can see now what I have been missing out on. If you enjoy dark and gritty crime fiction, then this is definitely the book for you. It’s the start of what promises to be an addictive and an exciting new series.

Grace Allendale is a welcome addition to the crime world. She’s a tenacious detective but hides a harrowing past which she would rather keep from her fellow police officers. Grace is connected to a family who are well known to the police and to the criminal underworld. When a current spate of murders pulls her back to her roots, she knows that this particular case is going to be tricky and she fights to stay on it, despite facing opposition from her superiors. Can she really investigate her own family? And soon it appears that Grace herself may be a target.

This was a brilliant introduction to Grace’s character. Throughout the book, Mel gives us a glimpse into Grace’s former life in some uncomfortable and disturbing scenes. You get the sense of just how difficult the cases that Grace is investigating in the future may be for her as she is swept back into her family’s fold. Although I could feel that there was an eagerness on both sides to get to know each other more, I kept wondering how Grace was going to respond to this, especially, if this meant putting her career in the police force at risk.

There is some excellent dialogue, keeping the pace going; I just wanted to keep reading and I didn’t want to put it down. It is a very easy book to get into and it will sweep you into its murky depths. Grace is a character who you can easily root for and the end will certainly leave you wanting more from this author.

Hush Hush is an absolutely gripping read and it marks the start of a series that I will be following with a keen eye. I’m sure this book will win Mel lots and lots of new fans, it has certainly won me over. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Excellent stuff.  Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to take part in the tour and for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 18th October 2018

Print length: 400 pages

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And No Birds Shall Sing by E.A. Clark blog tour @EAClarkAuthor @rararesources

And No Birds Shall Sing by [Clark, E.A.]

Source: Review Copy

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Not all spirits rest in peace… 

Following a personal tragedy, a recovering Grace Clements relocates with her husband and daughter to an old cottage in idyllic rural Oxfordshire. As the family integrate into the seemingly benign local community, they learn unsettling facts about the cottage’s dark past. Grace quickly becomes uncomfortably aware of a menacing presence within their new home.
Stumbling upon a neglected cemetery, Grace and her daughter discover the graves of the house’s previous inhabitants, including those of nine babies. Dismayed to find herself pregnant, Grace suspects she has awoken something truly evil in her new residence. She develops a creeping sense of unease as she unravels the disturbing truth about the history of the cottage and the fate of its occupants.

Who is the sinister boy watching Grace and her family? Are there malevolent forces at work? Or is the mentally fragile Grace heading for another breakdown?

A spellbinding paranormal thriller from the best-selling author of Lay Me To Rest. You may want to keep the lights on…

MY THOUGHTS

I do love a good ghost story and this was a rather good one. The moment I saw the cover of this book I knew I wanted to read it. If you’re looking for a quick, chilling read with a spooky atmosphere, then I think And No Birds Shall Sing by E.A. Clark, is the book for you. Last year I saw rave reviews for her first book so I was excited to see what she had to offer in her second. It’s the perfect book to settle into as the long winter nights draw in, and if you’re looking for a book to read on Halloween. There is plenty of intrigue and mystery in this book that kept me invested in the lives of the characters.

Sam and Grace are hoping to make a fresh start after going through a tough period in their lives. They have moved to a sleepy, country village, into an old house that has spooked the locals for the past few hundred years. Are the stories based on myth? Grace and her daughter, Cassie set about researching their new home and they uncover unsettling details about its former occupants and the troubles that befell them. As their knowledge about the history of their new home grows, strange happenings begin to occur which puts their lives in danger.

This was a very easy book to get into and the writing just flowed. From the opening pages, there is a very sinister sense of foreboding that something bad is going to happen to Grace and her family, as they begin to adapt to their new life. And as I got to learn more about the characters, I began to really hope that the family were going to take heed of the advice that some of the locals were giving them, and move out of the area before something terrible happened. At the start, E.A. Clark does take us back through time as we get to learn a little bit about the people who lived there hundreds of years earlier, and this sets a dark tone which the rest of the story follows.

There are several characters who add plenty of mystery to the book. Grace and her daughter, Cassie, are convinced that the locals aren’t telling them everything they ought to about their new property; however Sam is much more on the sceptical side. Although there is already a sense of mystery about the house they have moved into, there seems to be even more mystery about the town and its residents. I warmed to Grace and Cassie straight away, and especially, Cassie’s guide dog, Jet. The loss that Grace has suffered has made her hugely protective of her daughter, and I could see that Cassie is her pride and joy.

And No Birds Shall Sing was a thoroughly enjoyable read full of sinister revelations, and a real sense of unease. The writing quickly drew me in and I was captivated by the story and the lives of the characters. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Publication date: 24th October 2018

Print length: 140 pages

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The Lonely Witness by William Boyle blog tour @wmboyle4 @noexitpress #LonelyWitness

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lonely Witness by William Boyle, which is published in the UK today by No Exit Press.

The Lonely Witness Cover THIS ONE

Source: Review Copy

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Amy was once a party girl, but now she lives a lonely life. Helping the house-bound to receive communion on Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, she knows the community well.

When a local woman goes missing, Amy senses something isn’t right. Tailing the woman’s suspicious son, she winds her way through Brooklyn’s streets. But before she can act, he is dead.

Captivated by the crime she’s witnessed and the murderer himself, Amy doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she collects the weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.

MY THOUGHTS

The Lonely Witness by William Boyle quickly turns into an immersive page-turner. It is quite different to many crime novels I have read this year, and I think this will make it memorable in the minds of many readers. This was a novel which did take me by surprise. I loved William’s writing which has a strong sense of place, and I could visualise the city of Brooklyn, where the novel is set, really well, it did make me feel as though I was there, in the bars, and in the rougher areas of the city . The atmosphere in William’s writing grows more sinister as the plot moves forward. This, for me, shows all the hallmarks of a very gifted storyteller. William Boyle’s protagonist, Amy, is a complex character, and she is a brilliant lead to follow. I could never be sure of her true personality and this was what made her fascinating and perplexing.

Amy is a model citizen, she is a member of her local Church, and helps the community by taking communion to people who are less able to get to Church on a Sunday. One lady who she frequently visits is Mrs Epifanio, who has recently been receiving visits from the son of a woman who often comes round to sit with her. However the woman is not keen on the woman’s son and Amy sets about trying to find out what his game is. But Amy soon witnesses a terrifying crime and she becomes involved in a dangerous sequence of events that she will find very difficult to get out of. What is even more shocking is that she takes away evidence from the crime scene which could help the police to put the killer behind bars, and in doing so, she is unwittingly implicating herself.

It was really interesting to see how Amy’s character changes as the plot moves forward, particularly when people from her past start to come back into her life, after she has spent a long time away from them. As she becomes more involved in the dark happenings of her neighbourhood, we see snippets of the person she once was, before she became a Eucharistic Minister. We learn she was once a party girl, and spent most of her time hanging out in bars, drinking heavily. So what drove her to religion? We also meet her former partner, Alessandra, who is working as an actress, very different from the world that Amy now inhibits.

If you enjoy novels with a strong sense of place, which have utterly engaging characters with complex lives, and who will pull you in from the first page, then I highly recommend it. I’ll certainly be looking out to see what William Boyle writes next. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to No Exit Press for the advance review copy.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 25th October 2018

Print length: 256 pages

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The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate blog tour @MerleNygate @Verve_Books

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate, the first book to be published by Verve Books, a new digital imprint, it is also Merle’s debut novel.

The Righteous Spy final cover (1)

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INNOCENT LIVES ARE AT RISK… BUT WHO IS THE REAL ENEMY?

Eli Amiram is Mossad’s star spy runner and the man responsible for bringing unparalleled intelligence to the Israeli agency. Now, he’s leading an audacious operation in the UK that feeds his ambition but threatens his conscience.

The British and the Americans have intel Mossad desperately need. To force MI6 and the CIA into sharing their priceless information, Eli and his maverick colleague Rafi undertake a risky mission to trick their allies: faking a terrorist plot on British soil.

But in the world of espionage, the game is treacherous, opaque and deadly…

 

Doesn’t that sound good? If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the book the link is at the bottom of this post. Now, if you’d like to brush up on your spy knowledge, why not have a go at answering the questions below.

 

COMPETITION: KNOW YOUR TRADECRAFT

6           What is a shoe?

A           Russian intelligence jargon for passport

B           British intelligence jargon for a DNA test

C           Israeli intelligence jargon for super-secret

D           American intelligence jargon for easy access to a source

 

7           What is Tombstoning?

A           Visiting cemeteries to find child deaths to assist with faking new identities

B           Taking part in a tourist trip to get close enough for a targeted assassination

C           A hobby that’s similar to brass rubbing.

 

8           What is Treff?

A           Hungarian goulash immortalised in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale

B           The international intelligence term for a rendezvous with an agent

C           Intelligence from an asset that is so low grade that it’s completely worthless

 

9           What is meant by cultivation?

A           Secret drug farms used to fund spy activity

B           Development of a potential asset

C           Training courses that take place at The Farm, the CIA training facility in Virginia

 

10         What’s a walk in?

A           A volunteer spy who approaches an intelligence agency asking to work for them

B           A method of checking that you’re not being followed by walking into shops or buildings.

C           An intelligence boss recruited from outside of a department

 

If you think you’ve answered all the questions above correctly, don’t forget to check out on Twitter tomorrow to see if you were right. The answers will be published on Verve Book’s official Twitter account @Verve_Books

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers taking part in the tour, for reviews and lots more interesting content. Thank you to Katherine Sunderland at Verve Books for inviting me to take part. If you would like to purchase a copy of The Righteous Spy you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Verve Books

Publication date: 18th October 2018

Print length: 277 pages

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Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons Book Review @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the ninth book in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Fatal Promise, which is released today. Happy publication day, Angela. After the ending of the previous book I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, so I bumped this book right to the top of my reading pile, and it didn’t disappoint.

fatal promise

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Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. 

MY THOUGHTS

After finishing the last book in the Kim Stone series, Dying Truth, many readers, myself included, were really concerned for Kim and the rest of her team, after the devastating events in the finale of the last book. If you are new to the Kim Stone series, I think it will really help to read the previous book before you pick up Fatal Promise. Please be aware that this review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read the last book. Although the mystery at the core of the latest book is separate to events that have proceeded, I think you will get a better understanding of the characters and the predicament that they are now in if you read Dying Truth first.

This is a novel with a strong emotional core. Angela Marsons really delves into the psychology of her characters in her books. Kim is a character we have grown to understand across the series, but Angela is now starting to explore other characters she is now bringing to the front. Stacey is one character in particular who we have seen develop more recently. But also we are still finding out more about Kim which is what makes her a fascinating character. Understanding the minds of her characters is something that Angela really succeeds at. Every time I finish her latest book, even months later, I am always wondering what they are doing now and how they are getting on in their lives. I think this is what has made this series really successful.

In Fatal Promise, Kim and her team are investigating the horrendous death of Dr Cordell, a slippery character from the last book who really got under Kim’s skin. It appears to Kim that events that took place previously might be about to escalate again and this puts the team on edge. The opening chapter of this book really sparks the intrigue, and it got me thinking. With each twist and turn that this book delivered I kept thinking back to that opening and wondering what it meant. Angela always does a great job at keeping up the suspense. And those final chapters had my heart racing.

I think what came as most surprising in this book was the slight change in Kim’s personality. She is showing a different side to the person who we have got to know over the series, and for me, it did give this book a darker tone. She has become a lot spikier. Usually, I can rely on Kim and her colleague Bryant to add some light hearted moments, but this wasn’t there very often this time. But I can see why perhaps this is the case in this book, and I am hoping that the team will soon reach a new element of normality.

I always say that this is a series that keeps going from strength to strength and for me it is still going strong. I think we still have a lot to learn about Kim and the rest of the team and I can’t wait to see where Angela will take them from here. Fatal Promise like the rest of the books in the series is a stonking good read. Five stars from me.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 19th October 2018

Print length: 409 pages

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Death on the River by Clare Chase blog tour @ClareChase_ @bookouture

Death-on-the-River-Kindle

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Meet Tara Thorpe – she’s Cambridge Police’s newest recruit… but her dark past is never far behind her. Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross and Joy Ellis.

When a body is pulled from the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s secret past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…

When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?

An unputdownable page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page!

MY THOUGHTS

We first met Tara Thorpe when she was working as a journalist for Not Now magazine in Cambridge, which she left to pursue a career in the police force, after she decided a change of career was probably for the best. Now, four years later, she is back as a police constable in the second book in this series by Clare Chase, Death on the River. Tara brings something fresh to the police investigation team, as a former journalist, she looks at a case with different eyes, and when she sees a human interest story, she will follow it until she has worked out the truth.

Tara is door stopped one morning by a woman who believes Tara may be able to help her solve the mystery of her brother’s death. The woman’s brother was killed when his car veered off the road and into water and he subsequently drowned. The man who has died, writer Ralph Cairncross, was known to regularly drink and drive, so it does seem far-fetched that there is a more sinister reason behind his death. Tara agrees to help the woman, and as she begins to investigate, she uncovers some disturbing details that may have been overlooked in the original investigation, and Tara comes up with a new theory. And soon more bodies, young people who were connected to this man, turn up, blowing the case wide open.

Death on the River is told primarily from Tara’s point of view. Tara is a character who is really starting to intrigue me; I found her voice really engaging when I was reading and I can’t wait to see how her career in the police force will grow. It was interesting to see her transition from an investigative journalist to a police officer.  Combining the murky, atmospheric settings of the marshland near Tara’s home in Cambridge, and Clare’s intriguing characters is what makes this book a winner for me. One series both books has put me in mind of, is the Dr Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths, if you enjoy the Ruth Galloway books, then you should definitely give these books a go. Clare Chase’s writing quickly drew me into the story, in both of her books; she has managed to write a really chilling prologue which made me want to read on straight away. Her books are very hard to put down.

DI Blake also returns and I was interested to see how his friendship with Tara would develop now that they are working together. There is definitely a sense that he still has feelings for her so I will be intrigued to see if Clare chooses to develop this in future books and what this will mean for their working relationship. There are some surprising twists and turns for some of the characters, and I finished this book keen to learn more about them, and what Clare has in store for them next.

If you are looking for a crime series with an enticing atmosphere, and a story that will keep you intrigued, I would definitely recommend these books. Thank you to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read via Netgalley.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 17th October 2018

Print length: 367 pages

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Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid blog tour @RebeccaCNReid @TransworldBooks

Today I’m joining the blog tour for Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid and I have a Q&A with the author to share with you. But first here’s what the book is about.

Perfect Liars PB 1

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For fans of The Girlfriend and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies as well as TV hits Doctor Foster and The Replacement.

Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.

Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.

One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.

But the evening does not go as planned.

Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.

Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…

Gripping and unputdownable, Perfect Liars tells the story of a group of friends bound by their dark pasts and their desperate need to keep their secrets hidden from the world around them. How far would you go to protect the life you’ve built?

Q&A WITH REBECCA REID 

To kick things off can you tell us a little bit about your novel Perfect Liars.

Perfect Liars is a domestic thriller about a group of women who’ve been friends for years, but who are only really held together by a shared secret. I’ve taken to explaining it as being a bit like a dark, British Mean Girls, but with murder.

Was the idea for Perfect Liars brewing inside your head for some time or did you write your novel quite quickly?

I wrote the first draft of Perfect Liars in about ten days, so it was definitely a fast process. That said, I’d always had an idea at the back of my mind about a female take on Lord of the Flies, which became the spark which started the book off. I had a very strong vision on my honeymoon of a dinner party between a group of women who, at least ostensibly, didn’t like each other, and came home desperate to start writing.

I’ve heard many writers say that they are either a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing their novels. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your writing process?

I’ve heard this too and I don’t know which one I am! I know the beginning, middle and end of a story when I start, and I do a decent synopsis when I start writing. But once I get going things tend to twist and turn in their own way. I find that when I’m writing dialogue I become a bit of a channel for a conversation between the characters and I don’t have much say in what they end up talking about.

I tend to write very fast (6-8 thousand words a day) which is all totally unplanned, and then have to chop it back. I also write in a pretty linear way, starting at the beginning and working through to the end. Though if there’s an especially juicy scene I’m desperate to write I’ll let myself do that first.

Is there anything in particular that inspired your novel?

So much! When I was writing it the media was dominated by conversations about privilege – especially white male privilege. I couldn’t help thinking that the discussion was ignoring the women who stood behind this privilege. I wanted to know who they were, where they came from and what their role was in keeping the status quo.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, though originally I wanted to write plays (I really like writing dialogue). I’m a journalist for my main job, so I’ve been writing for a living since I was 22. That said, I was always doubtful about it happening, given that I’m dyslexic and can’t spell to save my life. My editor told me not to worry too much about typos because that’s what proof reading is for and honestly I almost cried.

Was there a particular part of writing Perfect Liars that you found the hardest?

I have a war with myself every morning about getting started with writing. I procrastinate more than anyone I know. As soon as I start, everything just flows, but I have to bully myself into sitting down in front of the computer. Journalism has trained me to be able to turn around writing – even if it’s not my best – under any circumstance.

Before writing Perfect Liars I’d never read a thriller, and I was half way through it before I realised that was what it was, so there was a sudden need to immerse myself in the masters of the art. I spent three days reading Liane Moriarty to try and create a sort of middle ground between them.

Did you celebrate when you finished writing your novel, and if so how?

I didn’t – if I’m totally honest I felt really numb and then quite sad. I had loved spending all those hours with my characters, and then suddenly they were gone. It was a bit of a bump back down to earth. Luckily I had a two book deal with Transworld so I could get going on the next project.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?

Write. You can’t edit a blank page, so get something – anything – down and then go from there. Writing is a craft like anything else and you get better the more that you do it. I look back at things I wrote a year ago and wince, and probably always will.

Joining groups or going on a residential course can be a brilliant way to carve out some space to write, which is most people’s biggest struggle.

Are there any writers who you particularly admire?

So many! Liane Moriaty, Sarra Manning, Eva Rice, Dodie Smith, Charlotte Bronte, Vladamir Nabokov and Daphen Du Maurier most of all.

And finally is there anything that you can tell us about what you are writing next?

Truth Hurts is my second novel, out in August 2019. It’s about a couple who have a whirlwind romance and agree never to talk about anything that happened to them before they met. It asks the question of what’s more dangerous, a secret or a lie.

I’ve just started work on my third book, which is going to be a little bit different from the first two.

 

Thank you to Rebecca Reid for taking the time to answer my questions and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour. If you would like to find out more about Perfect Liars and if you would like to buy a copy, you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Transworld Digital

Publication date: 1st September 2018

Print length: 368 pages

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

 

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