Bury Them Deep by James Oswald #bookreview blog tour @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks @annecater

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Bury Them Deep by James Oswald on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Bury Them Deep: Inspector McLean 10 (The Inspector McLean Series) by [Oswald, James]


When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.

Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is Anya Renfrew’s disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?

McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling that there is a far greater evil at work here…


James Oswald’s Inspector McLean novels are a top crime series which you need to be following. Over the last month, I was determined to catch up on the previous five books which I hadn’t yet got round to reading. I would say that they can all be read as standalones but to get the most out of the character development, I would highly recommend reading the series from the beginning. Although each plot is different, there are key character plot points which are looked at throughout the series. But if you do read this book on its own, I’m sure you will want to go back and discover where the series all began. Before you know it you will have devoured them all; it certainly didn’t take me very long.

In the tenth book in the series, Bury Them Deep, concerns are raised when a police officer fails to turn up for work. Anya Renfrew has never taken a day off sick, so this is marked as highly unusual by her colleagues, particularly when she doesn’t return their phone calls. But her disappearance also prompts interventions from top government officials including the First Minister. Before her disappearance, Anya was working on a highly sensitive case which could risk the countries reputation if anything gets out. The police step up their efforts to find her, and it isn’t long before McLean discovers a link to a disturbing local legend that has been spoken about for centuries.

The case which McLean is following in this book is the most disturbing one in the series, in my opinion. You will soon see why when you read it. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and folklore, and James Oswald explores a really chilling one here which has captured the local’s imagination for years. I was immediately drawn into this story, and James Oswald kept me hooked as Inspector McLean delved further into Anya Renfrew’s private life. They discover that she isn’t quite the person they thought of her to be. This does create a lot of red herrings as the police try to work out Anya’s last known movements, and these investigations take the police places where they certainly didn’t expect to go.

As well as investigating Anya’s disappearance, this novel also sees the return of a previous antagonist from the series, who McLean would rather never hear from again. This is where I think it will be helpful to have read the previous books in the series, but there is still enough information here to read this as a standalone. This was another really intriguing point, like McLean I wanted to know what this person knew about the current case he was working on, and what their true motivations were. I couldn’t really see it being the case that they just wanted to help him.

There were times when the tension was raised so high, particularly when I thought that McLean wasn’t going to be able to solve this case in time. There were scenes when I almost had to look away, but I was so keen to find out what was going to happen. I had to see how McLean was going to get himself out of this one.  You won’t want to tear your eyes away from the page.

I think I have summed up how much I like this series in my previous reviews of these books, so all that’s left for me to say is you’ll absolutely love this book if you’re a fan. And again if you haven’t yet started these books, why haven’t you? You’re missing out on a real treat if you haven’t.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 20th February 2020

Print length: 464 page

Bury Them Deep is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Previous Reviews

Cold as the Grave

The Gathering Dark

Written in Bones

The Damage Done


Bury Them Deep BT Poster

Blood Will Be Born by Gary Donnelly #bookreview blog tour @DonnellyWriter @AllisonandBusby

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Blood Will Be Born by Gary Donnelly as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Lesley Crooks for inviting me to take part.


DI Owen Sheen vowed never to return to Ireland, but he needs answers to the questions he has surrounding his brother’s death. On loan from the Met to the PSNI, he is meant to be setting up a new Historical Offences Team, but instead he finds himself partnered with DC Aoife McCusker to work on her first murder investigation. As the investigation begins to unravel into chaos, its roots deep in the dark past of the Troubles, will Sheen be able to put his personal agenda aside? And will McCusker keep her career long enough to crack the case and prove herself as a detective?


There is quite a lot of gore and violence in Gary Donnelly’s, Blood Will Be Born. Set in Northern Ireland, the book deals with the aftermath of the troubles. There are many characters who aren’t able to forgive and forget what happened in the past. Not least DI Owen Sheen who has returned to Belfast from London for the first time after many years. He hasn’t been able to move on from his brother’s death during a bomb explosion. He has questions that need answering, and he won’t stop until he gets them.

Gary Donnelly opens the readers’ eyes to what happened during the troubles in Northern Ireland, particularly in my case, as this took place before I was born. I have heard about it occasionally on the news, especially more recently, but it wasn’t something I was aware of when I was growing up. Opening with a horrific scene in which we see a young boy being led away by two men, almost certainly to his death, we know that things are only going to go from bad to worse.

I found Gary’s writing to be really engrossing, and I liked this introduction to DI Owen Sheen. He has no idea what he is going to be faced with when he arrives in Belfast, and his first crime scene is sickening. And with those involved willing to kill any potential witnesses to their crimes, you know that this is going to be a particularly tough case for the police to solve. And to top things off, DI Own Sheen is tasked with looking after DC Aoife McCusker, a detective with everything to prove, on her first major case. I did wonder how they were going to get on after their first meeting. Owen has a lot of his own troubles which are troubling him, and I wondered if he was going to drift away from the investigation in search of the answers that he needs.

You really do get the sense that the city is a ticking time bomb. Although it seems as though there is peace on the surface, beneath that, tensions simmer and bubble away creating an air of uncertainty. The police realise this, and they are acting fast to try and track down a callous killer. The tension continues to mount as Gary Donnelly pulls everything together into an action-packed finale.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’m pretty sure it’s a series that I will be sticking with.

Publisher: Allison & Busby

Publication date: 20th February 2020 (kindle) 17th September 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 448 pages

Blood Will Be Born is available to buy: 

Amazon UK


BWBB TOUR twitter

Cold as the Grave by James Oswald #bookreview

I’ve at last caught up on the books I’ve missed out on in James Oswald’s Inspector McLean series and I don’t think I’ve ever read a series of books this fast. After finishing book nine, Cold as the Grave a few days ago, I’ve nearly finished the tenth book in the series in time for my stop on the blog tour at the end of this week. If you’re not yet reading these books then you really need to be!


Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place.

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…


Cold as the Grave sees Tony McLean investigating the dark and horrific industry of human trafficking, and the horrors refugees face as they flee war-torn countries, in the hope of a better future.  It is a topic which has been widely covered in the news very recently. I think this is perhaps one of the most complex cases Tony has had to investigate. Once again, James Oswald draws nicely on the supernatural elements, which gives this book a slight edginess to it. As Tony McLean becomes more and more wrapped up in the ideas that many wouldn’t give the time a day, it made me wonder just what was going on here. As I have come to expect from these books, nothing is ever as it seems.

During a protest in Edinburgh, Tony accidentally stumbles across the mummified remains of a young girl. The unsettling discovery prompts a series of questions, how long has she been there? Is this a case of foul play or did the young girl become the victim of a tragic accident after somehow becoming trapped? After the discovery of the girl, I began to get a sense of just how harrowing the plot was going to be.

Recently Tony has reluctantly been promoted to Detective Chief Inspector. Now many may welcome promotion, but Tony much prefers to be out in the field, speaking to witnesses and chasing down leads. You can really see just how much he hates the idea of being stuck in an office all day and going over mounds of paperwork. This causes a lot of distress for his immediate superiors, who have to try and locate him every time they need to talk to him, and his boss frequently tells him this. This doesn’t do much to change Tony’s character; he is very much set in his ways.

There is a much more sombre feeling in this novel. A harrowing end to the previous book in the series has left Tony and his girlfriend Emma distraught. You can see just how far they have drifted apart from each other. It has made me wonder if things are ever going to be the same for them again, and I really do hope that they do try and work things out.

The case that Tony is investigating is particularly dark. Out of all the Tony McLean novels that I’ve read, and I’ve read them all, I think Cold as the Grave does have the darkest tone. I did feel as well that it was slower paced in the middle section of the book, but James Oswald always manages to keep the tension turning up a notch. What makes the supernatural elements in these books work so well is that there always seems to be logic to them. It always provides a really creepy and chilling atmosphere that makes for intense reading.

This is another excellent addition to one of my favourite crime series. If you’re a fan of crime novels, particularly with a supernatural touch, then you really are missing out if you haven’t started these books yet.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 7th February 2019

Print length: 432 pages

Cold as the Grave is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Holdout by Graham Moore #bookreview blog tour

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Holdout by Graham Moore as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Holdout: One jury member changed the verdict. What if she was wrong? by [Moore, Graham]


One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong?

‘Ten years ago we made a decision together…’

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It’s an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.

Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.

Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.

The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?


The Holdout is a very immersive novel by Graham Moore. It follows the members of a jury in the wake of a decision they made nine years ago which many, nationwide in America, deem scandalous. One member of the jury, Rick, is racked with guilt. He believes that he was hoodwinked and went against his conscience in deciding to find a man suspected of murder, not guilty. He is determined to bring the jury members back together and reveal new evidence about the case which he has uncovered. But someone is keen to make sure that whatever it is Rick finds, that it remains buried.

I really enjoyed this. From the beginning, I could never be sure if Bobby Nock, the man who was found not guilty of the murder of his student in 2009, was guilty or innocent. Graham Moore kept me guessing, and I wanted to know what evidence, if any, Rick, had supposedly uncovered. Would it be enough to convince the rest of the group of his belief that Bobby was indeed guilty?

I have to say that when I got to the end of this book, one revelation completely floored me, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about it for a while. I was expecting it to go one way and Graham Moore pulled the rug out from under my feet. It was very well done, and it didn’t make me feel that that wouldn’t be believable.

Maya was a character who I got on with from the start. Like Rick is with his belief, Maya is steadfast in hers that Bobby is innocent. But her own thoughts on the case throw a spanner in the works when the plot takes an unexpected direction, leaving Maya in a perilous situation that will have a huge impact on the rest of her life. I was rooting for Maya all the way through. I wanted her to succeed in what she was doing, and I had a lot of suspicions about the other members of the jury.

This novel is very well done, and I found the ending very satisfactory. A top read for me!

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 18th February 2020

Print length: 336 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


The Holdout Part One (1)

The Holdout Part Two


The Gathering Dark by James Oswald #bookreview

I’ve been sailing through the last four books in the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald over the last couple of weeks. I’ve even started book nine straight after finishing book 8. I think The Gathering Dark is the darkest novel in the series yet. I’m sharing my thoughts on my blog today.


A truck driver loses control in central Edinburgh, ploughing into a crowded bus stop and spilling his vehicle’s toxic load. The consequences are devastating.

DI Tony McLean witnesses the carnage. Taking control of the investigation, he soon realises there is much that is deeply amiss – and everyone involved seems to have something to hide.

But as McLean struggles to uncover who caused the tragedy, a greater crisis develops: the new Chief Superintendent’s son is missing, last seen in the area of the crash…


The Gathering Dark sees James Oswald return to the more supernatural elements that he started the series off with and I think it’s probably the most harrowing book in the series. I think the title is really apt for this book, as I was reading I really did get the sense that there was a storm gathering and that this didn’t bode well for the characters.

The novel opens with one of the worst accidents ever to happen on Scottish soil when a driver of a vehicle carrying toxic waste loses control and ploughs into pedestrians killing and severely injuring people. It is really made difficult for the police and the pathologist even to identify some of the victims. At first, there is speculation among the police force that it is a terrorist attack and politicians are soon breathing down the necks of the police, demanding answers. But as the investigation deepens, Tony McLean uncovers a sinister cover-up and what makes matters worse is that the chief inspector’s son may be one of the casualties leading to even more mounting pressure.

Although at first it may seem that what happened is just a tragic accident, and this is what you may at first believe, but then you would be thinking wrong. As I have come to expect from James Oswald’s books, there is always more to a crime or an event taking place than first meets the eye and Tony McLean is the best man to delve into the heart of the mystery. He is always determined to see a case through to the very end, regardless of the consequences to himself.

I was pleased to see the return of Madame Rose, who has been absent from the last two books in the series, although it did feel as though Tony was a little bit more prickly with her than usual. Tony hasn’t seen her since the last time she descended on him when her home appeared to be targeted by arsonists. She is one of my favourite characters from this series and part of what makes these books unique. Perhaps Tony is beginning to feel the stress of his home life a little more, and I think Madame Rose can sense this. He has always seemed to be very mellow in the past, but there just seemed to be a slight change in his character in this book in the series. Perhaps it’s because he can also sense the oncoming storm as well. I’m not sure now how things are going to pan out for him in future books.

There is a real underlying sense of menace that runs throughout this book. We also hear from a mystery voice. They appear to be the key to unlocking the secrets of what happened the day the vehicle crashed into pedestrians. But we don’t find out more about this individual until much later, and some harrowing truths are unearthed. I wanted to know how this person was going to be linked to the incident which had taken place, and the truth is far more unnerving than you might think. It’s clear that they have suffered in the past, and they are intent on exacting their revenge. I kept thinking that this was going to be someone who wasn’t going to go away quietly.

Aside from the first two books in this series, I think this has to be James Oswald’s darkest book in the series to date. The supernatural elements are really chilling, and I kept turning the pages as the novel reached its climax. The Gathering Dark is harrowing, extremely well written and absolutely addictive. You really don’t want to miss out on this series!

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 28th June 2018

Print length: 464 pages

The Gathering Dark is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Written in Bones by James Oswald #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thought on the seventh book in the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald, Written in Bones.

Written in Bones: Inspector McLean 7 by [Oswald, James]


When a body is found in a tree in The Meadows, Edinburgh’s scenic parkland, the forensics suggest the corpse has fallen from a great height.

Detective Inspector Tony McLean wonders whether it was an accident, or a murder designed to send a chilling message?

The dead man had led quite a life: a disgraced ex-cop turned criminal kingpin who reinvented himself as a celebrated philanthropist.

As McLean traces the victim’s journey, it takes him back to Edinburgh’s past, and through its underworld – crossing paths with some of its most dangerous and most vulnerable people.

And waiting at the end of it all, is the truth behind a crime that cuts to the very heart of the city…


After I finished reading the previous book in the series, I was eager to pick up the seventh book as soon as possible due to the uncertain predicament Tony McLean had suddenly found himself in. I pretty much started reading this one straight away. The last three books in this series I’ve devoured within three days. James Oswald writes really addictive books; once you start reading one, you need to make sure that you don’t have any plans for the rest of the day.

After a period of extended leave, and with the cold case unit he was assigned to in tatters, Tony is back on the force. And the first case he is assigned to after a few weeks absence is a perplexing one when the body of a man is discovered impaled at the top of a tree. And to top things off the witness who found the body, a young boy, claims it resembled a dragon when it fell out of the sky. Now even though Tony’s belief system in the supernatural has been shaken over the course of this series, he is fairly certain that Police Scotland are not going to be tracking down mythical beasts any time soon. Once the victim is identified, it raises certain questions and puts Tony in an uncomfortable situation as suspicions of corruption begin to appear.

I think it’s fair to say that Tony hasn’t been the favourite of certain individuals within the police force and in this book, he does rock that boat a little bit more. I knew that Tony wasn’t going to let these claims be forgotten about, but I wondered what this would do for his career. Tony is financially well off, and some do seem to think that it wouldn’t bother him if he lost his job. But McLean isn’t someone who would prefer to sit at home with nothing to do. He enjoys the job he does, and he doesn’t want to give it up.

James Oswald gets the story going right from the moment when the body is found. What I really like about his books, is that nothing is ever quite as it seems, and there is always something strange attached to the cases that Tony McLean is investigating. I think this something he has grown to expect since the first book in the series. There are always many different strands to the investigations that keep up the suspense and the intrigue. James Oswald always manages to weave the plot together in a satisfactory way. I wanted to find out who the man they found in the tree was and how he had got there in the first place.

I thought that the ending of the last book was a bit of a bombshell moment for McLean, but it was nothing compared to the predicament he finds himself in now. Times for Tony McLean are certainly changing. I’m looking forward to catching up with him in the next book, and I’m really enjoying getting back into this series. Written in Bones is really enjoyable.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 23rd February 2017

Print length: 410 pages

Written in Bones is available to buy: 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Liar Liar by Mel Sherratt #bookreview blog tour @writermels

I’ve become a huge fan of Mel Sherratt’s DS Grace Allendale series and I’m delighted to be sharing my review of her latest book, Liar Liar as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Sanjana Cunniah at Avon Books for inviting me to take part.

Liar Liar: The unmissable new crime thriller from the million copy bestseller (DS Grace Allendale, Book 3) by [Sherratt, Mel]


The truth can be a dangerous thing…

When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.

Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…


Liar Liar is such an intense read by Mel Sherratt. Opening with the horrific scene of a small boy falling from a five-meter high railing, DS Grace Allendale is thrown into a difficult and frustrating investigation. It is clear that there is more to what happened than what first meets the eye, but there are very few people who are willing to come forward to tell the police what they know. Grace even suspects that the boy’s parents are keeping secrets from her. But who has such a tight hold on this community? Why are the boy’s parents, Luke and Ruby so afraid?

What makes Mel Sherratt’s lead detective so fascinating is that she has links to a local criminal gang who are at the top of the pecking order. Some of the ruthless criminals Grace has come across in her career are scared of them. Grace has only recently become reacquainted with her family, and you can see that it is tough for her. This is what makes Grace so intriguing to me, and I’m really keen to see this part of her life develop further. How long will they be able to keep acting harmoniously towards each other? We don’t hear much from them in the latest book in the series, but there are references to them, you quickly get the sense that they are a family not to be crossed with.

Liar Liar is very tightly plotted. There are a lot of lies that run very deep in some of the characters in this book. It’s no easy task for Grace, who has to try and wring them out of the witnesses to piece together what happened to the young boy. I could see just how frightened his parents were, and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was keeping them from telling the police everything. When the reveals did come, I thought they were very convincing. You can tell that Mel Sherratt has put a lot of thought into this and into sketching out the lives of her characters.

A part of the novel I also liked, were the flashback scenes, where we visit Ruby ten years earlier. Mel Sherratt built this part of the plot really well. As I started reading these scenes, my mind kept jumping ahead to what was happening in the present as I tried to work out how the two timelines were going to marry up.

The majority of the novel is set in a block of flats called Harrison House. Throughout the entirety of the book, it felt as though a dark cloud was hanging over it. There seemed to be danger at every corner here. Mel Sherratt painted a really gloomy atmosphere, but there is also some lightness and a sense of community, particularly, I thought with Luke and Ruby’s neighbour.

Liar Liar is another absolutely gripping read by Mel Sherratt with great characters who you will be rooting for. Very, very good!

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 10th February 2020

Print length: 400 pages

Liar Liar is available to buy from the following retailers:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones




Small Mercies by Alex Walters cover reveal @canelo_co @MikeWalters60

I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Small Mercies by Alex Walters on my blog today. With thanks to Sophie Eminson for inviting me to take part. But before I reveal the cover, let’s take a look at what the book is about.


A killer is sending a message – but for who?

DI Annie Delamere and her colleague DS Zoe Everett are off duty and enjoying a walk on the Peak District’s vast moorlands when they stumble across a mutilated corpse. The victim is unclothed and his tattoos indicate an affinity with the occult.

While Annie is put in charge of the case her long-term partner, MP Sheena Easton, is confronted by a group of far right extremists. Rather than back down Sheena chooses to stand her ground – and almost pays for it with her life.

As more bodies are found, Annie is under pressure to prove her worth. But with one eye on her personal affairs can she catch a murderer and still keep her loved ones safe? And are the killings the work of a deranged mind – or a cover for something even more chilling?

So without any further ado, let’s take a look at the cover.






Small Mercies is released on the 11th May 2020. You can pre-order your copy by clicking on the following link below:

Amazon UK

The Damage Done by James Oswald #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the 6th book in the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald, The Damage Done.


No good deed goes unpunished…

When a police raid in Edinburgh goes horribly wrong, the only silver lining for Inspector Tony McLean is a discovery that could lead to a long-lost girl from his early days on the beat.

Haunted by the mystery of what happened to her, McLean begins to dig into a case he thought long buried.

But the shadows of the past are soon eclipsed by crimes in the present as a series of strange and gruesome deaths shock the city.

As McLean’s investigation draws him ever deeper into the upper echelons of Edinburgh society, it will not only be his career on the line – but his life as well…


I have shamefully fallen behind on this series, so with the tenth book coming out this month, I thought it was high time I caught up. When I picked up the previous book, Prayer for the Dead, it felt as though I had hardly been away at all from these characters. Inspector McLean is one of my favourite detectives in crime fiction. There’s something about his calm demeanour when dealing with a crisis, or even with a particularly difficult person at work which makes him really likeable. This is why many other people in these books seem to go to him with their problems. He is a person who will not easily say no to you and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

I did feel that The Damage Done was slightly slower-paced than previous books in this series, but it is still very immersive, and it took me only a couple of days to finish it. McLean has now been transferred to the sexual crimes unit. At the beginning of the book, a task force is sent to a house in Edinburgh suspected of being used as a brothel. McLean is at the centre of the investigation, and when they discover a man there, who is on the sexual register, but who hasn’t reported himself to the local police that he has moved to the area, more questions are raised. Tony McLean always seems to be a magnet for strange cases, usually with a supernatural element, and this one is no different. But the enquiry soon comes crashing down when it appears that the police may have been misled about the brothel in the first place.

Although McLean is under pressure to wrap the case up and find out what went so horribly wrong, he is immediately drawn into other elements which crop up in the investigation. He is also reminded of an old case he was involved in years ago, when he was still only a junior and haunting memories come back to him, reminding him of a face he shouldn’t have forgotten. It seems that whatever McLean does he can’t help but get on the wrong side of his colleagues, Brookes and Duguid who see him as a menace, always keen to poke his nose in somewhere it isn’t necessary. And this is why I really dislike them. But McLean isn’t doing this just to ruffle a few feathers, he genuinely cares about the people at the heart of an investigation, and he wants to see results.

There are lots of elements to this book, cold cases, McLean’s involvement in the sexual crime unit and another investigation is thrown into the mix, but James Oswald doesn’t over complicate the plot. The story moves along at a steady pace, but all the time, I was kept intrigued.

I was drawn into this book right from the first page. What makes this series so enjoyable is James Oswald’s writing which makes these books so easy to read. And for followers of this series, there is a bombshell moment at the end of this book which made me download and pick up the next book in the series straight away. A really good read.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 14th July 2016

Print length: 464 pages

The Damage Done is available to buy: 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones 


Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge #bookreview blog tour

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Ella Watkins from Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part.


Aidan Poole logs onto his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. But to his horror, he realizes she is not alone.

Completely helpless, all he can do is listen to the sounds of a violent struggle. And then a chilling silence.

He’s desperate to find out if she is OK. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?

When his messages finally reach them, DCI Jonah Sheens and his team take the case – and discover the body. . .

Watching from the Dark is a spellbinding thriller that you won’t want to miss.


Watching from the Dark is a brilliant addition to the DCI Jonah Sheens series by Gytha Lodge. I really liked the sense of atmosphere in her last book, and I thought it was a really good introduction to a new crime series. The mystery here in her latest kept my eyes glued to the page. This is a really fast and an addictive read. I barely lifted my eyes as I was reading.

When 39-year-old Aiden Poole witnesses the suspected murder of his 26-year-old girlfriend through a video link, he is suddenly put in an uncertain and terrifying situation. He desperately wants to know if Zoe is okay, but he doesn’t want to speak to the police. He doesn’t want to be dragged into an investigation which will put his relationship with his wife and his reputation at risk.

Gytha Lodge really hits the ground running with the opening of this book. It felt as though I was sitting there watching everything unfold from Aiden’s point of view. I could feel his frustration that he couldn’t see the full picture of what was going on in Zoe’s flat. All he knows is that she is in potential danger and that someone else, uninvited, entered her home. From this point on, I wanted to know what his next steps were going to be. Was he going to inform the police? How could he not? At this point, I really didn’t know how things were going to pan out for him, and this is what gets the tension going.

Gytha Lodge also takes us back in time in the months leading up to Zoe’s murder. We see the beginnings of her relationship with Aiden and what direction it was going in. I really like a dual timeline in a novel, and Gytha Lodge has done a really good job with creating one here.

I think I had suspicions about just about every character in this book, particularly those who were close to Zoe. I kept changing my opinions as Gytha Lodge unpicked the layers of Zoe’s relationship with Aiden and her close friends. Gytha Lodge kept me thinking about every potential suspect, but I was never able to totally nail down, who it was, who was responsible for Zoe’s murder. I think this is what Gytha Lodge does really well at in this book and makes this book the perfect ‘whodunnit’. I had quite a few theories going around inside my head, so it was really intriguing to see if I was right.

This is a clever novel, and Gytha Lodge keeps the suspense running right the way through. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what she writes next.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 6th February 2020

Print length: 384 pages

Watching from the Dark is available from: 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones