Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson #bookreview blog tour @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks @annecater

It’s my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Blood Song (Roy & Castells) by [Gustawsson, Johana]

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The action swings from London to Sweden, and then back into the past, to Franco’s Spain, as Roy & Castells hunt a monstrous killer … in the lastest instalment of Johana Gustawsson’s award-winning series

Spain, 1938: The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

Terrifying, vivid and recounted at breakneck speed, Blood Song is not only a riveting thriller and an examination of corruption in the fertility industry, but a shocking reminder of the atrocities of Spain’s dictatorship, in the latest, stunning installment in the award-winning Roy & Castells series.

MY THOUGHTS

Johana Gustawssson never ceases to amaze me with her plots. Her books are very different to what is out there in the mainstream crime fiction market at the moment, and this is what makes them so appealing and so fresh. So if you are looking for a crime series that is different and will keep you gripped, I would highly recommend that you read these books.

As was the case in her last two books, there is a historical element to her latest novel, Blood Song. And this is what I really like about her books. This time Johana takes us back to 1930s Spain during the reign of the dictator, Francisco Franco and she shines a light on this brutal time period in Spanish history. But how exactly does this part of history have a bearing on what is happening in the present, when a prestigious Swedish family are brutally murdered?

Although I travel to Spain on holiday every year, I have remained completely unaware of what happened during the period when Franco ruled the country. I don’t think I was ever taught about it at school. I often hear references to him, but I have never thought to ask for more details on what happened during this time. Johana paints a vivid portrayal here of what happened, and some parts do make for a tough read, and she doesn’t shy away from the brutality inflicted upon the Spanish people. But it is enlightening and important to the story. The scenes where Johana takes us to Spain are very dark and sinister.

What I’ve really liked about Johana’s books is how she puts her own spin on historical events. Her previous book, Keeper, was based on the Jack the Ripper murders and her debut, Block 46, was partly based in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. The historical accuracy is all there, and it feels very authentic. Johana then uses her imagination to shape how the past has an effect on the future. This is what makes her writing and her plots unique and fascinating.

The plot pulls together in a very clever way. When I start Johana’s books, I always wonder, how she’ll tighten everything up and make the plot feel realistic, but it works very well. When you get to the end of her books, everything does make so much sense, and that’s what makes it feel very satisfactory as well. The structure of the story flows well and never once did I feel lost. I often feel that sometimes, this can be the case when stories jump through multiple time zones.

Blood Song is an intelligent, captivating and an original piece of writing. It’s very well written and expertly translated by David Warriner. This is a series which is very evocative, haunting and skilfully written.

I’m looking forward to reading what Johana writes next.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th July 2019

Print length: 300 pages

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

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The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey #bookreview @dianefjeffrey @HQDigitalUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey, her third psychological thriller. I’ve also reviewed her previous novel, He Will Find You on my blog and you can find my review by clicking here.

The Guilty Mother: A new gripping and emotional psychological thriller for 2019 which asks: who would you believe? by [Jeffrey, Diane]

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She says she’s innocent.
DO YOU BELIEVE HER?

2013

Melissa Slade had it all: beauty, money, a successful husband and beautiful twin babies. But, in the blink of an eye, her perfect life became a nightmare – when she found herself on trial for the murder of her little girls.

PRESENT DAY

Jonathan Hunt covered the original Slade Babies case for the local newspaper. Now that new evidence has come to light, Jon’s boss wants him back on the story to uncover the truth.

With Melissa’s appeal date looming, time is running out. And, as Jon gets drawn deeper into a case he’d wanted to forget, he starts to question Melissa’s guilt.

Is Melissa manipulating Jon or telling him the truth? Is she a murderer, or the victim of a miscarriage of justice?

And if Melissa Slade is innocent, what really happened to Ellie and Amber Slade?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been a fan of Diane Jeffrey’s work since I read her debut and I think The Guilty Mother is her best yet. The plot is intriguing. Former police officer, Melissa Slade is serving a prison sentence for the murder of her baby daughter. This occurred a few years after her youngest died from cot death. But Melissa’s family, particularly her ex-husband, is certain of her innocence and they have been campaigning for her release. Now they may finally have a chance to get her out after new evidence comes to light which may help prove her innocence.

Melissa is a character who I could never be sure about. I think my thoughts were influenced by Jonathan, a journalist for the local paper, who is asked to report on Melissa’s case. From very early on, Jonathan appears to decide that Melissa is guilty and he doesn’t seem to be very willing to report on her case. He fears that he may help a convicted murderer go free. This is what put an interesting spin on the story as I could see just how deeply this decision affected Jonathan.

The story gets going right from the first page when we see Melissa being escorted in a police van to court. There was so much tension in this scene. I felt as though I was there, watching everything unfold before my eyes. I wanted to know who this woman was and what the outcome of her trial was going to be. I wanted to know what she had done.  It makes for a very gripping opening.

Jonathan was a great character. I was interested in his own story as well as he has suffered his own devastating loss. I wondered if this was what influenced his own thoughts about Melissa’s case, and why he suspected she was guilty. I could certainly see why he didn’t want to be drawn into Melissa’s story. I also liked Jonathan’s colleague, Kelly. I’d definitely like to see her story explored further, Diane certainly leaves the ending open to that possibility.

There were many characters here who kept me thinking about what could have happened the night Melissa’s daughter died. I didn’t like her new husband, who gave me an icy feeling right from the moment Diane first introduces him. And I was also interested in who else had been in their home that fateful night. Diane kept me thinking about who was and who wasn’t telling the truth about that night.

The suspense and tension carries right the way through this book. I’m still thinking about those final scenes a few days after I finished reading it. The Guilty Mother is chilling, unpredictable and totally gripping. Diane’s writing will keep your eyes glued to the page. This is a brilliant read!

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 2nd August 2019

Print length: 384 pages

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

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Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan #bookreview blog tour @nicolanovelist @Verve_Books

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Clare at Verve Books for inviting me to take part.

Dead Flowers by [Monaghan, Nicola]

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She doesn’t trust the police. She used to be one of them.

Hardened by ten years on the murder squad, DNA analyst Doctor Sian Love has seen it all. So when she finds human remains in the basement of her new home, she knows the drill.

Except this time it’s different. This time, it’s personal…

MY THOUGHTS

Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan was such an intriguing read. Steeped in family secrets, this is a book that will keep you on your toes.

We are introduced to forensic scientist, Dr Sian Love who has just inherited a property, an old pub from her uncle once known as The Loggerheads in Newark. But within a short time after moving into her new home, Sian makes an unsettling discovery in the basement. Two skeletal remains have been abandoned there many years before. But after Sian and her partner, Kris reports the grisly find to the police, Sian finds that she can’t trust them. She sets out trying to identify the remains herself. This is despite Sian being an ex-police officer herself. Why doesn’t Sian trust her former colleagues? What discovery is she afraid they will make before she has a chance to find out the truth herself.

Finding the remains of two decaying human bodies is certainly not the welcome you would want when you move into your new home. I think if this ever happens to me, I would want to sell the place and move on. I couldn’t bear the thought of something dreadful that may once have occured there. I had a feeling right from the opening pages that Sian was going to uncover something very dark in her family history. But I couldn’t work out why she wanted to go about finding answers herself, rather than leave it to the police to deal with. Why would she want to risk her reputation and potentially do something illegal and especially Kris’s reputation as well, who is still a police officer? This is what gave the book an edgy feel as I wanted to see if there was any chance that Sian would be able to crack the case herself. Was she doing this to try and protect someone?

Both timelines which Nicola explores here are fascinating. Nicola takes us back to 1971 when The Loggerheads was a vibrant, busy pub at the heart of the local community. There were some very edgy characters in these scenes. They kept me on my toes as I waited to see how events between them were going to unfold. I knew something drastic was going to happen, and I wanted to see who was going to cause it and who would end up being the victim. Would any of them turn out to be the remains discovered many years later?

From the opening page, I wanted to see what dark secrets were going to be uncovered and what sort of an impact this would end up having on Sian. The edginess is there right from the start as Sian gets closer and closer to the truth, and ultimately she puts herself in grave danger. I wanted to see just how she was going to get out of this. Dark and suspenseful Dead Flowers is a very gripping read. I would definitely recommend it.

Publisher: Verve Books

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length:

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

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Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates #bookreview blog tour @Anne_Coates1 @urbanebooks @LoveBooksGroup

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of the first book in the Hannah Weybridge series by Anne Coates, Dancers in the Wind. With thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Dancers in the Wind: A gripping thriller that will leave you breathless (Hannah Weybridge Book 1) by [Coates, Anne]

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SHE IS HUNTING FOR THE TRUTH, BUT WHO IS HUNTING HER?

Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognisable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence.

Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realise that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah realises she must do everything in her power to expose the truth …. and stay alive.

MY THOUGHTS

I came to the Hannah Weybridge series a little late when I read the third novel in the series, Songs of Innocence last year. I really wish I’d started from the beginning, so I’m glad that I’ve now had the chance to go back to the start with Dancers in the Wind.

Set in the early 1990s, in Anne Coates’ first novel, the police are trying to track down a brutal killer who has so far murdered three prostitutes in the Kings Cross area. At the same time, freelance journalist, Hannah Weybridge is asked to write an article on prostitution in the area, and she partially becomes involved in the investigation. As part of her research, Hannah speaks to a young woman who goes by the name of Princess. But as Hannah continues to pursue her research, she becomes unwittingly pulled into a dark and dangerous world. Soon she can’t predict if she’ll survive.

There is an edgy feeling to the plot, and Anne Coates has created a sinister atmosphere as Hannah is pulled further and further into this dangerous world. When Hannah first meets Detective Inspector Tom Jordan, who is leading the investigation into the killings, I wasn’t sure if I should trust him. I did feel scared for Hannah as she appeared to grow closer to him, and I began to wonder just how this was going to end for them both.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the plot was Hannah’s relationship with Princess in the wake of their interview. A short while after they first speak to each other, Princess turns up on Hannah’s doorstep after being severely beaten and pleads with Hannah for help. Of course, Hannah is completely unsure of what to do, and at first, she is reluctant to help Princess, fearing for her and her daughter’s safety. At this moment, I wanted to know what it was that Princess had got herself mixed up in and who she was so scared of. Would this have any implications for Hannah and her daughter?

We don’t hear a lot about the police investigation, only when Hannah is in the company of Tom Jordan, but I liked the feel this gave the book. Hannah is in the realms of the unknown here. This is a far more terrifying prospect for her as she doesn’t fully understand what she is dealing with. If she had been working for the police, she would know what leads they were following and if they would have anyone in the frame for the murders.

Dancers in the Wind is a strong debut by Anne Coates. The short chapters made it a pacey read, and there was always that hook that kept me reading on. The storyline is engaging, and it leads to a satisfactory ending with perhaps room for further exploration in the future. I will be making sure I read the second book in the series soon.

Publisher: Urbane Publications Limited

Publication date: 13th October 2016

Print length: 304 pages

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

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No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan blog tour @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress @annecater

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan. As part of the blog tour, I’m re-sharing my review of book two in the series, The Language of Secrets. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

No Place of Refuge by [Khan, Ausma Zehanat]

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Amid a global crisis, one woman searches for justice…

The Syrian refugee crisis just became personal for Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty.

NGO worker Audrey Clare, sister of Khattak’s childhood friend, is missing.

In her wake, a French Interpol Agent and a young Syrian man are found dead at the Greek refugee camp where she worked.

Khattak and Getty travel to Greece to trace Audrey’s last movements in a desperate attempt to find her. In doing so, they learn that her work in Greece had strayed well beyond the remit of her NGO…

Had Audrey been on the edge of exposing a dangerous secret at the heart of the refugee crisis – one that ultimately put a target on her own back?

No Place of Refuge is a highly topical, moving mystery in which Khan sensitively exposes the very worst and best of humanity. Fans of the series will love this latest instalment.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS (BOOK TWO) 

The Language of Secrets Cover

This is a novel I can easily give five stars to. The Language of Secrets is the first novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan, which I have read. Although her second book is part of a series featuring the same characters, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

In The Language of Secrets, Ausma tells a powerful and absorbing tale which is very relevant to what is going on around the world today. The plot centres on the murder of a young Muslim man who has been working for the Canadian police as part of an undercover operation to expose a terrorist cell at a nearby mosque. Inspector Esa Khattak investigates the case. His partner, Rachel Getty goes undercover to try and expose a killer who may be among the congregation who worship at the mosque.

As I was reading, I thought it would be interesting to see how Esa’s relationship with the Muslim community would be affected. Many of them appear abhorred by what has happened, and they can’t speak highly enough of the victim. I imagined that some relationships he has would turn sour because of this.

There are some thought-provoking scenes in this book; I thought this particularly when Rachel was becoming acquainted with the members at the mosque. There is one scene in particular, which struck with me when they are discussing terrorism in all of its different forms. I think it is true that we associate acts of terrorism more with certain groups of people when it has happened throughout history. I thought Rachel’s undercover operation was one of the most gripping aspects of the story. You can see the worry that Khattak has for her as she becomes more absorbed in what has been happening at the mosque. There is tension here as you begin to fear that Rachel’s true identity will be discovered and you are fearful about what will happen to her.

There are some dramatic final scenes in this book which I thought gave the novel a satisfying ending. I was constantly wondering if the police were going to manage to stop the attack the terrorists were planning.

Although it is a heavy read at times, and it does tackle a difficult subject matter, I found The Language of Secrets to be utterly absorbing. It is a dark and engaging story that I’m sure will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 24th January 2019 (No Place of Refuge)

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase No Place of Refuge, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J. Malone #bookreview blog tour @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Michael J Malone’s, In the Absence of Miracles. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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A young man discovers a family secret that turns his world upside down in this dark, emotive, shocking psychological thriller by number-one bestselling author Michael J. Malone

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.

For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.

For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.

Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.

MY THOUGHTS

Dark family secrets and the theme of betrayal, haunt Michael J Malone’s latest thriller, In the Absence of Miracles. This is a heart-wrenching tale, and there is such emotional depth to Michael’s writing. I was pulled in by the characters straight away. I wanted to unravel the secrets that were hiding in their past. I also wanted the answers to many questions I had about the characters themselves.

John Docherty’s elderly mother has recently suffered a massive stroke. He knows that he will need to sell the old family home to pay bills to ensure she has the care she needs. It is an uncomfortable decision he has had to make, but he knows his mother’s health must come first. But as he is clearing out items at his family’s property, he uncovers a photograph which sends his world into a spin. He may have once had a brother, a brother who he never knew about. John sets out to try and find out what happened to him. He tries to find out why his family decided to keep his existence a secret from him and his younger brother Chris. But what John discovers is far more shocking than he ever thought possible and it makes him question his own past. Things between them will never be the same again.

I really connected with John as he tried to uncover the truth. What he uncovers is devastating, and John’s emotions came through so strongly in Michael J Malone’s writing as he attempts to come to terms with what he finds. There are some tough themes which Michael explores in this book, such as sexual abuse and trafficking. I did find some parts of the story uncomfortable to read at times, but I was compelled to read on, and Michael deals with these subjects sensitively, not making them over gratuitous. Michael looks at the psychological aspect more, and this is particularly the case with John and his family. Michael examines how past events have affected them in the future. This is also what makes this book a very powerful read.

One of the things which always stand out for me in Michael’s writing is his sense of place and his description. This is something which I can see he thinks a lot about before putting pen to paper as everything he writes about is very vivid. There is tension as well here, as John and Chris come closer to learning the truth, and this is turned up a further notch in the final chapters leading to a heartbreaking and a satisfactory conclusion.

Michael J Malone has written a superb novel, and as I was reading, I felt as though I was in the hands of a very accomplished writer. I have two novels of Michael’s which I still need to catch up on, and I really need to do that very soon. In the Absence of Miracles is a novel, I feel that is best to be savoured and not one to rush. You’ll still be thinking about the characters after you have turned the final page.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th September 2019

Print length: 300 pages

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

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The Bad Place by M.K. Hill #bookreview @markhillwriter @HoZ_Books

Happy publication day to Mark Hill. His latest book The Bad Place is the start of a brand new crime series featuring DI Sasha Dawson and it is published today.

The Bad Place (A Sasha Dawson Thriller Book 1) by [Hill, M.K.]

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The newspapers called it The Bad Place. A remote farm out on the Thames estuary, where six children were held captive for two weeks. Five of them got out alive.

That was twenty years ago. Now adults, they meet up annually to hold a candlelit vigil for their friend who died. The only rule is that no-one can talk about what happened the night they escaped. But at this year’s event, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. A young girl, Sammi, is bundled into a van in front of their eyes.

Is history repeating itself? Is one of them responsible? Or is someone sending them a twisted message?

DI Sasha Dawson, of Essex Police, is certain that the key to finding Sammi lies in finding out the truth about The Bad Place. But she also knows that with every second she spends trying to unlock the past, the clock ticks down for the missing girl…

MY THOUGHTS

The Bad Place is an excellent start to a new crime series by M.K. Hill, which I enjoyed reading very much indeed. We witness the kidnapping of six children when their kidnapper hijacks the minibus they are travelling in. He takes them to a remote location which becomes infamously known as The Bad Place to the press. But just what happened there has remained shrouded in mystery, with many people believing that the people directly involved in the kidnapping have not told the full truth. And why did only five of the children escape?

The Bad Place is a thriller where nothing is at it seems. Many years after the terrifying kidnapping took place, the children who were involved, now adults, still meet up and raise a toast to the friend they lost that night. It’s their own way of remembering her, even though some of them no longer see eye to eye. During one evening, when they are hosting a planned get-together, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. It terrifies her into thinking that their kidnapper has returned, but how could it be him when he was killed on the night they were rescued? We are then introduced to DI Sasha Dawson, who was a constable in the police force when the five children were found.

I really liked Sasha. She is determined to put the victims of the crimes first at the forefront of her mind. But her dedication to her work does garner some criticism from her mother. Sasha’s mother fears Sasha is letting her family slip by the wayside and this begins to cause a lot of frictions. Sasha’s mother is quick to let her feelings be known, which does cause some tension between them. Sasha’s home and work life are weaved together very well, and there was a very good balance between the two.

As I was reading this book, I kept thinking that there must be some truth in the speculation that something very dark had yet to be uncovered. After the young girl is kidnapped in the present day I had suspicions about a few people who I thought could be involved. There were quite a few red herrings planted which were skilfully weaved into the story and I didn’t predict the final outcome.

The book had such a chilling opening, and I was hooked right away. I flicked through the pages as fast as I could to find out how everything was going to come together at the end. When the final revelations were revealed, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The Bad Place is a brilliant introduction to DI Sasha Dawson, and I am definitely keen to read more books featuring her. You’ll be racking your brains right the way through trying to work out just what is going on here and when the final truth hits, it will be shocking.  Very, very good.

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length: 368 pages

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

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Endgame by Daniel Cole #bookreview blog tour @Daniel_P_Cole @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Endgame by Daniel Cole on my blog today. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

Endgame: The explosive new thriller from the bestselling author of Ragdoll (A Ragdoll Book) by [Cole, Daniel]

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A locked room. A dead body. A secret that went to the grave.

When retired police officer Finlay Shaw is found dead in a locked room, everyone thinks it’s suicide. But disgraced detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes isn’t so sure.

Together with his former partner Detective Emily Baxter and private detective Edmunds, Wolf’s team begin to dig into Shaw’s early days on the beat. Was Shaw as innocent as he seemed? Or is there more to his past than he’d ever let on?

But not everyone wants Wolf back – and as his investigation draws him ever deeper into police corruption, it will not only be his career on the line – but the lives of those he holds closest as well…

MY THOUGHTS

Wolf is back in Daniel Cole’s third crime thriller, Endgame. After events which took place in Ragdoll, the first book in the series, Wolf is in handcuffs after handing himself into the metropolitan police. But before he is handed a sure to be lengthy prison sentence, he has one final request to make. He wants to oversee the investigation into the death of his friend, Finlay Shaw. The police believe Finlay has committed suicide. Wolf can’t believe that Finlay would do this to them and his partner, Maggie. Wolf is determined to solve the matter once and for all, but as their investigations deepen and as Finlay’s murky past is revisited, they uncover far more than they originally bargained for.

Endgame is a swiftly paced novel which moved along at break-neck speed. I’ve followed this series since the beginning. Daniel Cole continues to write very engaging wit, thoroughly entertaining plots and hugely likeable characters who will keep you coming back for more. My favourite character, who has been since I read the first book, is Baxter. She is the character who I think I have engaged with the most over the course of the three books, probably because of her humour. It was really good to see the team back together in this latest book as, although I enjoyed the second book, this is what I think was missing.

I think what sets Daniel Cole’s books out, in my opinion, is their entertainment value. From the first book, this is what has kept me coming back. I remember so clearly the cliff hanger at the end of the last one, Hangman, which made me so desperate to read Endgame as soon as possible. There is also a very strong cinematic edge to all three books, and I can see them lending so well to the big or small screen. I’m sure I’ll be reading whatever Daniel Cole writes next.

Pacy and addictive this is a series of novels which I highly recommend if you’re looking for a read that you can just sink into right from the very first page.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length: 352 pages

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

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Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay #bookreview

Elevator Pitch: The gripping new crime thriller from number one Sunday Times bestseller for fans of David Baldacci’s The Winner by [Barclay, Linwood]

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It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . .

Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

MY THOUGHTS

Elevator Pitch is a slick page-turner by Linwood Barclay, and the tension ratchets up a further notch with every page. I know a couple of people who are terrified of lifts. Even when I step in one, there’s always a niggling, claustrophobic feeling in my mind as the door shuts and I hate the idea of being trapped. This book will make you think twice about using elevators again in the future. Perhaps you may choose to take the stairs, to be on the safe side.

Across the city of New York, high rise buildings are being targeted by a different kind of criminal. Whoever is behind these attacks is highly intelligent, and they are striking unassuming people as they go about their daily routine. But it becomes increasingly hard for the NYPD and the FBI to track this person down. They are using the cities elevators to carry out their crimes. But they can do so far away from the building and can remain undetected. The mayor of New York, Richard Headley, takes a personal interest in the case as does journalist, Barbara Matheson and their paths cross in more ways than one.

The opening chapter sets the bar high for Linwood Barclay, but he absolutely nails it. There was so much tension in those opening pages, and I just knew that something terrifying was going to happen. Although the characters only appeared in this very short scene, I feared for them, and I didn’t want anything terrible to happen.

The writing is so addictive, and I kept flicking those pages forward as I wanted to know who was behind the crimes and what their motive was. Was terrorism the reason behind the attacks, or was this something much more personal? Was there a reason why these people were being targeted?

There’s high tension and suspense right throughout this gripping read, and there is huge entertainment value here. I would love to see it on the big screen. It is a story that isn’t hard to follow at all, and it doesn’t get over complicated. Great stuff.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length: 400 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones