Hunting Evil by Chris Carter blog tour #bookreview @simonschusteruk @annecater

I’m really excited to be joining the blog tour today for Hunting Evil by Chris Carter, the tenth book in the Robert Hunter series. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


‘Every story one day comes to an end.’
As roommates, they met for the first time in college. Two of the brightest minds ever to graduate from Stamford Psychology University.
As adversaries, they met again in Quantico, Virginia. Robert Hunter had become the head of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. Lucien Folter had become the most prolific and dangerous serial killer the FBI had ever encountered.

Now, after spending three and a half years locked in solitary confinement, Lucien has finally managed to break free. And he’s angry.

For the past three and a half years, Lucien has thought of nothing else but vengeance.
The person responsible for locking him away has to pay, he has to suffer.
That person … is Robert Hunter.
And now it is finally time to execute the plan.


Lucien Folter is back in Hunting Evil, and this time he is after revenge.

For those of you who read Chris Carter’s An Evil Mind, the last book to feature Lucien, you will know just what a cruel and callous individual he is.

I first came across Chris Carter’s Robert Hunter series a year ago, and after learning that his latest was to follow on from the sixth book in the series, I knew I had to read it before I began Hunting Evil. And Lucien is perhaps the most twisted of psychopaths I have come across in crime fiction. He is a character who cares for no one. His whole purpose in life is fuelled by his desire to cause pain and suffering, all in the name of research. And this is what makes him so dangerous.

I mentioned in my last review of Chris Carter’s previous book that these novels are not for the faint hearted and I would definitely say that again here. But Chris Carter’s writing makes these books so addictive; there were times when I felt I couldn’t bear to read on because I didn’t want something terrible to happen to the characters, but I also knew I had to. Once Lucien has his eyes set upon someone, you just know that they are doomed.

Although there are gruesome aspects to these books, they are also hugely entertaining; I think they would work so well on the big screen. Chris Carter captures the speed of the chase, and it really is a race against time for the detectives when it comes down to hunting Lucien, who has everything he is working towards planned right down to the tiniest detail.

I would say that you don’t have to read An Evil Mind to enjoy Hunting Evil, but I found it definitely helped to form a better picture of his relationship with Robert and to understand just how evil he is. I think if I hadn’t had read An Evil Mind, I wouldn’t have felt the sheer horror to learn that he was coming back and I knew it would be in a big way. I think I would have felt similar to how Detective Garcia did when he was trying to work out just why his colleagues were frightened so much.

Chris Carter continues to prove that he is a top writer when it comes to action and suspense. This is a dark and thrilling crime novel that I would definitely recommend.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 2nd May 2019

Print length: 496 pages

If you would like to purchase Hunting Evil you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


FINAL Hunting Evil Blog Tour Poster

The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon #bookreview blog tour @vandasymon @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the second novel in the Sam Shepherd series by Vanda Symon, The Ringmaster.

The Ringmaster (Sam Shephard Book 2) by [Symon, Vanda]


Death is stalking the South Island of New Zealand

Marginalised by previous antics, Sam Shephard, is on the bottom rung of detective training in Dunedin, and her boss makes sure she knows it. She gets involved in her first homicide investigation, when a university student is murdered in the Botanic Gardens, and Sam soon discovers this is not an isolated incident. There is a chilling prospect of a predator loose in Dunedin, and a very strong possibility that the deaths are linked to a visiting circus…

Determined to find out who’s running the show, and to prove herself, Sam throws herself into an investigation that can have only one ending…

Rich with atmosphere, humour and a dark, shocking plot, The Ringmaster marks the return of passionate, headstrong police officer, Sam Shephard, in the next instalment of Vanda Symon’s bestselling series.


DC Sam Shepherd is back in the second book in Vanda Symon’s riveting crime series set in New Zealand, The Ringmaster. I remember when I read the last book I was totally gripped by the opening prologue which was so chilling, and Vanda Symon has created another brilliant opening here.

After the devastating events which took place in Overkill, Sam has relocated to Dunedin and has joined the local police force as a detective constable. Sam is desperate to have the chance to move further up the chain and is always willing to prove herself to her superiors. One of the drawbacks to her new job though is her detective inspector who I really took a dislike to from the moment he was first introduced. I honestly couldn’t believe the way in which he treated Sam, which made me root even more for her to succeed. There was one scene in particular that just had me holding my breath after a particular devastating sequence of events; this shows just how well Vanda had pulled me into her story.

If you’re looking for a quick read that will hook you in right away, then this book is the book for you. You don’t have to have read the first book in the series to read this one, but once you have, you’ll want to catch up. There are short chapters which keep the pace flowing right throughout, and there is an engaging mystery to follow.

What I really like about Sam is how human she feels and how personally connected she becomes to the victims and to what has happened to them. Although she desperately wants to work in the police, she also wonders why she is drawn to this profession as she is often deeply moved and upset by crimes which have taken place; but this makes her all the more motivated and determined to solve them. It gives you a sense that she will do everything humanly possible to make that happen.

I loved the growing sense of unease that just made this book so gripping as I could never be sure who to point the finger at. Vanda Symon keeps you thinking about what is going to happen next, and there is a surprising turn of events at the conclusion. There was so much tension as Sam realised just what was going on and who was behind the killings and I was just utterly gripped as I waited to find out how it would all be resolved. But I’m not going to reveal any more about that here.

This is another top read by Vanda Symon that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. With taut writing and brilliantly developed characters, this is turning into a must-read crime series. I, for one, can’t wait to read more. Roll on book three.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 18th February 2019

Print length: 320 pages

If you would like to purchase The Ringmaster, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


The Ringmaster blog poster 2019 (1)

The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister #bookreview blog tour @GillianMAuthor @Livvii

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister. I’ve been a huge fan of Gillian’s work since I read her debut and her books just keep getting better and better.


It’s the day Izzy’s father will be released from jail.

She has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories.

But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial.

But should she give him the benefit of the doubt?

Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?


Gillian McAllister knows how to write a gripping novel. Whenever she has a new book out it always go straight to the top of my reading pile, she is one of the best writers of psychological thrillers out there at the moment. Her latest The Evidence Against You is another absolutely compelling read that will keep you turning the pages.

Twenty years ago, Izzy’s mother was murdered and her body left in the woods. Izzy’s father was later found guilty of killing her. Now he has finally been released from prison and is keen to make amends with Izzy, but she soon realises that he means to try and convince her of his innocence. Izzy carefully begins to unpick the evidence that lead to her father’s trial and conviction and startling revelations begin to come to light. Could her father be telling the truth? Was someone else responsible for her mother’s murder?

One thing that Gillian McAllister really writes well in her novels is the relationships that her characters have, and in this book, this was especially the case with Izzy and her husband, Nick. I loved the way how Gillian fleshed out their marriage, and they really become real people, who you could just imagine being a couple that you know.

Izzy was a character who I could root for all the way through. She is someone who has gone through unimaginable turmoil, losing one parent to a heinous act and then to find out that it was her other parent who committed it. It must be very hard even to begin to imagine what that does to a person. Gillian kept me asking questions about Izzy’s dad, was he innocent or was he guilty? I was never sure if he was simply toying with her and I couldn’t help but feel for her as she attempted to try and make sense out of everything that was happening, especially when she was being told repeatedly that there was no mistake in the original conviction. It seemed impossible at times to think that she would ever get to the real truth, as so much time had passed since her mother’s death.

This is another brilliant book from Gillian McAllister that I was very excited to read and it did not disappoint. She is proving to be a psychological thriller writer who is at the top of her game. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 448 pages

If you would like to purchase The Evidence Against You, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones



The Dare by Carol Wyer #bookreview blog tour @carolewyer @bookouture

A very happy publication day to Carol Wyer, who’s brilliant new thriller in the DI Natalie Ward series is released today. I’m delighted to be sharing my review as part of the blog tour.

The Dare: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 3) by [Wyer, Carol]


Jane’s daughter is a good girl. What is she hiding?

When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school, as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm.

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward whose daughter Leigh is the same age as Savannah. Soon Natalie’s worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.

Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as the net is closing around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing.

As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours.

But Natalie isn’t quick enough for this killer, and she is devastated to find Harriet’s body on a fly tip a day later.

Caught up in the case, she takes her eye off her own daughter and when Leigh goes missing after school she knows she must be in terrible danger. The clock is ticking for Natalie. Can she catch this killer before her little girl becomes the next victim?


I get very excited now when I get the chance to read a new novel by Carol Wyer as I always enjoy her police procedurals.

I think The Dare is Carol Wyer’s most chilling crime novel to date and I was kept gripped right from the start. In her latest Natalie Ward thriller, she delves into the dark side of the Internet and explores a terrifying scenario. It does open your eyes even more to what is potentially out there online. Following on from the craze of the ice bucket challenge a few years earlier which took the online world by storm – which I have to say I never took part in, but I know people who did – Carol explores a much more chilling challenge that is encapsulating young people.  But as this new craze takes hold, something goes disastrously wrong leaving Natalie and her team desperately hunting a terrifying serial killer who is exploiting young people.

There’s a real sense of urgency right throughout this book which Carol keeps turning up a notch as the case takes each new turn and as people continued to keep disappearing. This is proving a difficult case for Natalie and her team to crack, especially as she has her own problems going on in her home life as well, particularly with her husband. You know that the killer is going to keep killing until they are brought to justice. Carol cleverly keeps their identity under wraps until the final reveals, there are plenty of characters who will keep you thinking and wondering if it could possibly be them.

The plot is well thought out, and it kept me guessing as I tried to work out who could potentially be responsible for the crimes that were happening and this kept the pace flying forward.  There were moments when the tension was so high that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Natalie is a character who is fast becoming one of my favourite detectives. She is a brilliant protagonist who has kept me intrigued over the past three books in this series, and after the final chapters, it’ll be interesting to see how her character develops further from here. And I don’t think she’s going to be given an easy ride any time soon.

This is another excellent addition to this series that just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to read the next instalment. If you’re looking for a crime series that will keep you guessing and keep you on the edge of the seat, then look no further than these books.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 25th April 2019

Print length: 378 pages

If you would like to purchase The Dare, you can do so by clicking on the following links below.

Amazon UK


The Dare - Blog Tour

Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse #bookreivew @LWhitehouse5 @4thEstateBooks


Detective Inspector Robin Lyons is going home.

Dismissed for misconduct from the Met’s Homicide Command after refusing to follow orders, unable to pay her bills (or hold down a relationship), she has no choice but to take her teenage daughter Lennie and move back in with her parents in the city she thought she’d escaped forever at 18.

In Birmingham, sharing a bunkbed with Lennie and navigating the stormy relationship with her mother, Robin works as a benefit-fraud investigator – to the delight of those wanting to see her cut down to size.

Only Corinna, her best friend of 20 years seems happy to have Robin back. But when Corinna’s family is engulfed by violence and her missing husband becomes a murder suspect, Robin can’t bear to stand idly by as the police investigate. Can she trust them to find the truth of what happened? And why does it bother her so much that the officer in charge is her ex-boyfriend – the love of her teenage life?

As Robin launches her own unofficial investigation and realises there may be a link to the disappearance of a young woman, she starts to wonder how well we can really know the people we love – and how far any of us will go to protect our own.


Critical Incidents is a strong start to a new crime series by Lucie Whitehouse featuring former detective inspector Robin Lyons, whose backstory really pulled me into this story. I absolutely loved Lucie’s writing which was very immersive, if you enjoy crime fiction with a literary edge, then this is a book for you.

As I mentioned at the start, I was really intrigued by Robin’s backstory. She has recently been dismissed from the Metropolitan police in for misconduct and is back in her hometown and living with her parents, along with her teenage daughter. Robin has taken on a job at a private detective agency, a business owned by a family friend. And things aren’t set to get any better for Robin when one of her closest friends is killed in a house fire which the police believe was an act of foul play. Desperate for answers Robin tries to get to the bottom of what happened and in doing so uncovers some uncomfortable truths about the family who she thought she knew inside and out. It appears that everyone has secrets.

Lucie’s writing really makes this book a page-turner. Although I wouldn’t describe the book as fast paced, I became engaged very quickly. I wanted to find out who was responsible for the house fire and what the reasons behind starting the blaze were and the reasons behind this were shocking. Lucie creates a very complex investigation that also draws close to Robin’s own case she is working on, that of a young woman who has gone missing in the local area. What makes this novel so interesting is that because Robin is no longer working in the police, she can sometimes draw more information out of suspects and witnesses than perhaps the police can as they may feel more comfortable talking to her.

Robin’s emotions come through very strongly as she tries to understand what has happened to her friend and things certainly don’t get any easier for her as the story progresses. There was one point where I was thinking, just how on earth was she going to get out of this okay.

This is the first book I have read by Lucie Whitehouse, and it definitely won’t be my last. Critical Incidents is an engaging and a totally immersive read. It comes highly recommended from me.

Publisher: Fourth Estate

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase Critical Incidents, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK   Waterstones

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #bookreview blog tour @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the blog tour for Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech.

Call Me Star Girl by [Beech, Louise]


Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…


If you’re looking for a writer who will draw you into their story and into the lives of their characters in the most fascinating and intriguing way, then look no further than Louise Beech. Call Me Star Girl is a masterpiece in literary fiction with a dark edge that kept me utterly hooked all the way through. I’ve read many rave reviews for Louise’s previous work, so I was so excited to hear that she was moving into the crime genre, and I’m sure it’ll win her many new fans, which definitely includes me.

Stella McKeever is preparing for her last ever radio show, so deciding to take a different path for her final one, she is asking her listeners to phone in and tell their secrets, but she will also tell some of hers in exchange. But what Stella is really hoping for is that someone will get in touch with information about a young girl, who was found murdered not far from the radio station where she works, and perhaps even the killer might feel compelled to call in.

You get a real sense of Stella as a character in this book, and she is very well developed. She is a person who has suffered trauma in her past, after her mother, Elizabeth, abandoned her at a very young age, and she has never known her father. As Louise gradually revealed information about this, I couldn’t believe the reasons why this happened, and it really made me feel so sorry for Stella as I was reading. But I won’t be divulging any details on that here. The one person in her life who she can seem to totally rely on is her boyfriend, Tom, but there is even something a little odd in their relationship, which is what I personally thought.

What I thought was particularly excellent in Louise’s writing was how well the characters evolved. You will become invested in them as she reveals more details about her lives and they are what make this story so, so good.

The clever way in which Louise thought out her plot kept me thinking about the characters and how everything was going to unfold for them at the end, and be prepared; it’s a shocker of an ending. Nothing prepared me for how emotionally invested I would become in Louise Beech’s writing, I think the ending of this book will leave many people shedding a few tears.

Louise Beech is an absolutely brilliant writer, who drew me into her writing without any effort at all. Call Me Star Girl was one of those books that I just did not want to end. An utterly captivating story that will keep you gripped all the way through. It’s seriously good.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 18th February 2019

Print length: 272 pages

If you would like to purchase Call Me Star Girl, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


Twisted by Steve Cavanagh blog tour #bookreview @SSCav @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Twisted by Steve Cavanagh as part of the bog tour today, with thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part.

Twisted: From the bestselling author of THIRTEEN by [Cavanagh, Steve]



1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…


Wow, what a book. Twisted is a thrill a minute and the pace never lets up. I’ve read and enjoyed Steve Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series, but this is his first stand alone, so I was slightly worried that I may not enjoy it as much, but I couldn’t have been proven more wrong. And Eddie Flynn does get a mention in Twisted as well. The twists are plentiful here, once you start reading, this roller coaster of a ride won’t let you stop.

What I absolutely loved about this book was that I could never be sure of the direction in which it was heading. Steve Cavanagh has created an absolutely brilliant hook about a bestselling author, J.T. LeBeau who no one, not even his publishers, knows the true identity of. You’re probably thinking that would be mad, why, if you’re selling millions of copies of your books worldwide would you not want to own up to that success? But that is what makes the brand so successful, that no one knows. And that is what creates the danger. And it really is better if I don’t tell you any more about the plot as it’s best for you to find out more on your own, it’s such a hard book to talk about without giving anything away.

Twisted just pulls you into its pages. There is a lot that goes on in this book, and I think this may not appeal to some readers, but I allowed the plot just to pull me in and I absolutely loved the ride. The character of J.T. LeBeau created a fantastic mystery element, and it just kept me thinking about the characters as I was reading, especially as Steve Cavanagh threw in twist after twist.

If you’re a person who likes a twist in a book and if you like plenty of action, then you definitely need to read this. I can’t wait to read more from Steve Cavanagh.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 24th January 2019

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Twisted you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


Dark Sky Island by Lara Dearman #bookreview @laradearman @TrapezeBooks

Happy Publication day to Lara Dearman, who’s latest novel, Dark Sky Island is released today.

Dark Sky Island: A chilling mystery set on the Channel Islands (Jennifer Dorey) by [Dearman, Lara]


DCI Michael Gilbert is called out to Sark – the world’s first dark sky island – after bones are found on Derrible Bay. He is followed by journalist Jennifer Dorey, driven by a secret in her own past. The remains are decades old, but after a body is discovered Jennifer and Michael fear there may be a killer on the island. Together they follow a dark trail of bad blood and a conspiracy of silence.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. No one is what they seem. And the murderer could strike again at any time… 


It’s been brilliant to catch up with journalist Jennifer Dorey and DCI Michael Gilbert again in the latest book from Lara Dearman, Dark Sky Island. I’ve enjoyed both books in this series, and I’m really hoping that Lara is going to write more novels featuring the characters, it will be interesting to see where she takes them next after the events which took place in the finale.

There is a real emotional core to the plot which touches Jenny and really sparks her intrigue. Two years ago her father disappeared on the Island of Sark, which is located a short distance away from Guernsey and has a handful of residents. With the discovery of human remains on the Island, Jenny heads there in the hope of finding out what has happened to her father. But while the police investigate how these remains came to be there, which could potentially have been lying undiscovered for decades, another man is murdered and dark secrets about what has been happening on the island come to light.

I really like the chemistry that there is between Jennifer and Michael, although you think it’s a relationship that couldn’t work there is definitely a spark between them and this comes across well in Lara’s writing. There’s an exciting mystery to follow here with the discovery of the bones in the cave on the island and the murder of a man. At the heart of all of this, there is a group of people on the island who appear to be harbouring many secrets, including a mystery figure, a multi-millionaire who bought a smaller island and built a colossal mansion which includes its own pub and needless to say there are many rumours flying around about him.

There is a strong sense of place in Lara’s writing, particularly as she describes the island which gives the place a chilling and mysterious feeling. There is a real sense here that they are cut off from the mainland and that anything could happen. I felt I could never make my mind up about any of the residents, and I was kept gripped as I tried to work out which of them had been involved in the crimes which had been uncovered. Lara certainly doesn’t make it easy for the reader to work out what it is that has gone on, and I was fascinated by how everything was unravelled towards the end which was done in a really clever way.

Again Lara touches on the myth and legends that many people talk about in Guernsey and Sark, which I remember being absolutely fascinated by in her last book and they really help in bringing the location and the people to life.

This is another exciting read from Lara Dearman. If you love atmospheric crime fiction, then you should definitely pick this book up and the first book as well which is just as brilliant.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 336 pages

If you would like to purchase Dark Sky Island, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Scrublands by Chris Hammer #bookreview

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Scrublands by Chris Hammer, with thanks to Caitlin Raynor at Headline who sent me a copy to review.


In an isolated country town ravaged by drought, a charismatic young priest opens fire on his congregation, killing five men before being shot dead himself.

A year later, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals don’t fit with the accepted version of events.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking discovery rocks the town. The bodies of two backpackers – missing since the time of the massacre – are found in the scrublands. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is the one in the spotlight.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to uncover a truth that becomes more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.


Scrublands is a really immersive read; set a year after a horrific crime took place in Riversend, Australia, when a young priest shot and killed five individuals. For the first anniversary, journalist Martin Scarsden heads there to report on how the locals are coping one year on from the tragedy. But he has no idea how big of an impact this job will have on the rest of his career and how close to danger he’ll come.

I really enjoyed this one. Chris Hammer captures the dusty terrain of the Australian outback and just how isolated the town of Riversend is, compared to the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne which attract most tourists. This is a community which very much looks after its own, and they don’t take too kindly to outsiders which Martin is quick to become aware of, although he is quick to form a relationship with the owner of the local bookshop, Mandalay.

The story is hugely entertaining. As Martin attempts to get the bottom of just why the police decided to kill so many people, the bodies of two German backpackers are found nearby; these two tourists went missing at around the same time the incident he is reporting on took place. Now the police are desperate to find out what happened to them and who was responsible for their murders.

I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on in this town. The novel itself is quite long, but Chris’s writing made the book feel like a very quick read. I was quickly pulled into the story and Chris’s description of the town really made me feel as though I was there.

Martin was a really engaging character, and I kept thinking about the danger that seemed to be around him all the time while he was in Riversend researching the crime that took place. There were so many unanswered questions about the priest and conflicting reports about him from the locals. This made this book so interesting; it seemed that right from the start there was something much bigger to this case than what first meets the eye.

Scrublands has put Chris Hammer’s name firmly on my radar, and I’ll definitely be looking out for more books by him in the future. This is a crime novel with real depth which races along at a quick pace and plants you firmly within the setting. Overall, a terrific read.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 8th January 2019

Print length: 496 pages

If you would like to purchase Scrublands you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Waterstones

The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds #bookreview @amandareynoldsj @Wildfirebks



She was young and beautiful, married to a famous author. They were celebrating their anniversary at their stunning country estate. So why did Julia Blake walk out of her perfect life, apparently leaving no trace?

Seren, a junior reporter for the local paper, can’t believe her luck when she lands an exclusive with Julia’s husband, Max. But as Seren spends more time at the couple’s remote mansion, probing ever deeper into the case, dark questions await.

What was Julia really like, behind closed doors? Was her marriage to this brooding, secretive man as perfect as it seemed? And did she really mean to disappear that night – or was she murdered?


The Hidden Wife is another twisty and a cleverly crafted psychological thriller from Amanda Reynolds, who is going from strength to strength. I really enjoyed her latest book which delves into the disappearance of the wife of a celebrity author, Max Blake, who still falls under the suspicion of the press and the police, even though no hard evidence has been found against him. Seren, a journalist with the local Herald, has the opportunity to interview him, and this is a big deal for the local paper which Seren starts to feel the pressure of. Can she get to the bottom of what happened to his wife, Julia?

All the time while I was reading this, I had this uncomfortable feeling that something was going to happen to Seren as she got closer and closer to Max as she peered into his life. Max was a character who I could never quite make my mind up about, and I thought that Amanda played this quite well. I could never be quite sure what had happened to his wife Julia and if he was involved in the disappearance or not. I did try and work it out along the way, but I didn’t have much success until quite close to the end when the events surrounding Julia’s disappearance started to become clearer.

This was cleverly plotted, and I liked how all the strands pulled together as the novel drew towards its conclusion. There was a bombshell moment towards the end which just left me desperate to find out what was really going on; I just had to ignore everything else and read to the last page right away, and it made for a very exciting finale as the final secrets were revealed. It did make me realise where Amanda was heading with this all along, and it was done very well.

As well as wanting to get to the bottom of what had happened to Julia and her relationship with Max, I thought that Seren also had a very interesting backstory as well. I’m still thinking about what is happening in her life after finishing the book as there is part of her story which I’m sure will leave readers with questions. It’s not directly linked to the main plot, but there is definitely enough intrigue here for me to want to find out more about her. I’m wondering if Amanda has any plans to return to Seren at some point in the future.

This is another excellent read from Amanda that I definitely recommend. It will keep you guessing right the way through. Hugely enjoyable.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 31st March 2019

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase The Hidden Wife, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo