Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons #bookreview #booksontour @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the latest book in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons on my blog today, Deadly Cry. With thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Deadly Cry: An absolutely gripping crime thriller packed with suspense (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 13) by [Angela  Marsons]

BLURB

You have to stop me from hurting anyone else. I don’t want to do these horrible things. Help me before I’m forced to do it again. And I will do it again because I have no choice. I’ve never had a choice.

In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional kill. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?

Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.

With her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.

With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.

Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.

But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?

And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.

MY THOUGHTS

There’s something about reading a Kim Stone book that’s like meeting up with old friends. Deadly Cry is the latest addition in this series, and it is another winner. If you’re a fan of this series, then you are in for a treat.

Kim Stone is once again thrust back into a new case, and it really does become a race against time. Never once did the pace slow down as I was reading. You can sense time ticking away, and Kim knows that any wrong move could have disastrous consequences. Kim and her team are investigating the murder of a woman and also the abduction of her son. Stacey, meanwhile, is revisiting an old case, even though a man was convicted for the crimes years earlier. But there is something about what happened that prompts Stacey to think that the man might be innocent.

I thought the two different storylines in this book gelled together really well. Stacey’s determination comes through once again as she fights to get to the real truth. As Kim’s investigation gets going, the killer starts sending her letters. In the letters, they are begging her to catch them, so they don’t kill again. I was never sure as I was reading this part if the killer was just simply playing games. But as investigations deepen and as it becomes a race against time to find the missing boy, they notice certain parallels with other crimes that have taken place over the years. But what is even more perplexing is if the killer wants to be found why don’t they stop what they are doing themselves? What is prompting them to carry out these attacks?

I really liked how the team got into the mind of the killer in this book. Angela Marsons peers into the psychology behind the killings, and it is here where Kim and her team have to tread carefully. They know if they make a mistake in their next approach, it could mean that the killer may escalate their plans. I thought some of the ideas which Angela Marsons explored in this section were really chilling. It may make you look at relationships in your own family a little more closely. It’s here I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give anything away.

Kim and her team certainly aren’t given an easy ride in this book. There is a lot of frustration amongst her team as they try to think of the best way to approach this. Kim again isn’t one to back down and will fight her corner with her superiors. This is a trait that Kim has carried throughout the course of the series, and it is what makes her a brilliant police officer.

Angela Marsons has written another winner here. Stacey is a character who has really become one of my favourites in this series, and she particularly shines in Deadly Cry. As always, I am now waiting with bated breath to see what Angela Marsons comes up with for Kim and her team next. This is top crime fiction!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th November 2020

Print length: 415 pages

Deadly Cry is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Deadly Cry - Blog Tour

The Push by Claire McGowan #bookreview

Happy publication day to Claire McGowan. Her latest novel The Push is out today. With thanks to Sophie Goodfellow for sending me a copy to review.

BLURB

From the bestselling author of What You Did comes a stunning psychological thriller. One party. Thirteen people. By 3.02 p.m., one of them will be dead.

The party should have been perfect: six couples from the same baby group, six newborns, a luxurious house. But not everything has gone to plan, and while some are here to celebrate, others have sorrows to drown. When someone falls from the balcony of the house, the secrets and conflicts within the group begin to spill out …

DS Alison Hegarty, herself struggling with infertility, is called in to investigate. She’s convinced the fall was not an accident, and finds the new parents have a lot to hide. Wealthy Ed and Monica show off their newborn while their teenage daughter is kept under virtual house arrest. Hazel and Cathy conceived their longed-for baby via an anonymous sperm donor—or so Hazel thinks. Anita and Jeremy planned to adopt from America, but there’s no sign of the child. Kelly, whose violent boyfriend disrupted previous group sessions, came to the party even though she lost her baby. And then there’s Jax, who’s been experiencing strange incidents for months—almost like someone’s out to get her. Is it just a difficult pregnancy? Or could it be payback for something she did in the past?

It’s a nightmare of a case, and as events get even darker it begins to look impossible. Only one thing is clear: they all have something to hide. And for one of them, it’s murder.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a big fan of Claire McGowan’s writing, so I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel, The Push. I found the writing highly addictive. I was drawn into the world, Claire’s new set of characters inhabit and I was engrossed in their lives. What I thought was interesting about this book, is that we know someone has died, but we don’t know who it is straight away. That is gradually revealed over the course of the book, and it’s what I found all the more intriguing. I thought it was an ingenious idea and I thought it was done very well.

The novel focuses on a group of new mums. Six of them are having a party to celebrate the arrival of their new babies. They have steadily grown closer over the last few months as their pregnancies have progressed. The party, however, ends in catastrophe when one member of the group ends up dead. It is up to DS Alison Hegarty to work out if there was foul play here or if the death was a tragic accident. She is determined to find out the truth.

The characters are all very different. It was interesting seeing them all interact with each other, and it kept me thinking about which ones really got on with one another.  It is clear that they all have their own opinions of each member of the group, and this is what drives tension between them. This is even though some of them seem to be quite close friends.  

Alison has a complex case on her hands to deal with. There are conflicting accounts about what happened the night of the party. Which one of them is telling the truth? Who can Alison trust? The book is primarily told from the viewpoint of Jax and Allison. Jax is an interesting character having recently got together with a twenty-four-year-old man; Jax is in her late thirties. Prior to her getting together with her most recent boyfriend, Jax broke off her relationship with her previous partner just before they were about to get married. I did wonder about her decision to date someone quite a few years younger than she was.

Alison is also a character who I liked and found interesting. Although she wants to see the investigation through, it’s clear that she finds being surrounded by this group of new mum’s difficult. Allison would like to be a mum herself but has found getting pregnant difficult. This did make me wonder if this would have any effect on her investigation.

I loved the final denouement as the story raced towards its conclusion. It was clear that the book could still go either way and Claire McGowan kept me utterly gripped until I reached the final page.

The Push was highly engrossing. For me, this was more of a character driven story, and I really liked that. Claire McGowan breathes life into them, keeping you completely invested in the novel. An excellent read, I really enjoyed it.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 12th November 2020

Print length: 367 pages

The Push is available to buy:

Amazon UK

WWW Wednesday 11/11/20

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

The Silent Friend: One of the most gripping psychological thriller books of 2020 from the author of bestsellers including The Guilty Mother by [Diane Jeffrey]

One night changed everything.

For Laura and Sandy, one tragic event changed the course of their lives forever.

Now they are the only ones who understand each another, drawn together by the night that changed everything.

But one of them is keeping a secret that could destroy their fragile friendship. Only she knows just how closely their lives are linked.

When the secret is revealed, will their friendship survive? Or will the truth tear them apart?

An impossible murder
A remarkable detective duo
A demon who may or may not exist

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trial and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the governor general of Batavia.

But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. Third: an impossible murder. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

What have I finished reading?

From the bestselling author of What You Did comes a stunning psychological thriller. One party. Thirteen people. By 3.02 p.m., one of them will be dead.

The party should have been perfect: six couples from the same baby group, six newborns, a luxurious house. But not everything has gone to plan, and while some are here to celebrate, others have sorrows to drown. When someone falls from the balcony of the house, the secrets and conflicts within the group begin to spill out …

DS Alison Hegarty, herself struggling with infertility, is called in to investigate. She’s convinced the fall was not an accident, and finds the new parents have a lot to hide. Wealthy Ed and Monica show off their newborn while their teenage daughter is kept under virtual house arrest. Hazel and Cathy conceived their longed-for baby via an anonymous sperm donor—or so Hazel thinks. Anita and Jeremy planned to adopt from America, but there’s no sign of the child. Kelly, whose violent boyfriend disrupted previous group sessions, came to the party even though she lost her baby. And then there’s Jax, who’s been experiencing strange incidents for months—almost like someone’s out to get her. Is it just a difficult pregnancy? Or could it be payback for something she did in the past?

It’s a nightmare of a case, and as events get even darker it begins to look impossible. Only one thing is clear: they all have something to hide. And for one of them, it’s murder.

The Thursday Murder Club: The Record-Breaking Sunday Times Number One Bestseller by [Richard Osman]

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

What will I read next?

Four victims.
Killer caught.
Case closed . . . Or is it?

Christopher Masters, known as ‘The Roommate Killer’, strangled three women over a two-week period in a London house in November 2012. Holly Kemp, his fourth victim, was never found.

Until now.

Her remains have been unearthed in a field in Cambridgeshire and DC Cat Kinsella and the Major Investigation Team are called in. But immediately there are questions surrounding the manner of her death. And with Masters now dead, no one to answer them.

Did someone get it wrong all those years ago? And if so, who killed Holly Kemp?

The Killer in Me: The gripping new thriller (Frankie Sheehan 2) by [Olivia Kiernan]

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan does not wish to linger on the grisly scene before her eyes. Two mutilated corpses. In a church. In Clontarf. Her profiling background screams one fact: this is just the beginning of a sickening message.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old case is playing out on a TV documentary, the convicted professing his innocence and historical police errors being exposed daily in the media. Frankie’s superior, commissioner Donna Hegarty, makes no bones about who she expects to clean things up – both in terms of past mishandlings and the present murders.

But not everyone working the cases wants the truth to come out. And the corridors of power have their own vested interest. Soon Frankie pinpoints just what is making her so nervous: the fact that anyone could be the next victim when justice is the killer.

The Killer In Me is a fast-paced thriller in which lies are safer than the truth, the past is never far from the present, and the ability to kill could well, it seems, live in everyone.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club on my blog today.

The Thursday Murder Club: The Record-Breaking Sunday Times Number One Bestseller by [Richard Osman]

BLURB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

MY THOUGHTS

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was a joy to read. I was excited to read this book when I first heard about it a couple of years ago. For me, what really made this novel were the characters. It’s what gave it an original spin. I really liked the idea of the residents of the retirement village gathering each Thursday to discuss murder. It’s something I can imagine myself doing when I am at that age, which is many, many years away for me.

The residents of Cooper’s Chase, ‘Britain’s First Luxury Retirement Village,’ as it is described, first get together on a Thursday to discuss old cases. The group is created by Elizabeth and Penny. Penny, however, is no longer part of the group as she is in a nursing home. The group now consists of Elizabeth, Ibrahim Arif and Ron Ritchie. Now Joyce is about to join them. Another character who appears is PC Donna De Freitas, and her idea of working for the police certainly isn’t giving a talk on security at Cooper’s Chase. But she certainly makes an impression on Cooper’s Chases’ finest detectives.

When Richard Osman first introduces to the group, the retirement village does have a similar feeling to when you first start school. Here you are with all these new people, and you have to seek out the ones who you will click with. It is also clear that there will always be those people who you will not get along with.

So, not long after Joyce joins The Thursday Murder Club, they soon find themselves in the midst of their first live case. A local builder, Tony Curran has been murdered. Now it’s time for the group to show off their skills and see if they can outsmart the police. It soon becomes clear that the mystery surrounding Tony’s death is a lot deeper than it first appears.

The characters are really what made this book enjoyable for me. I particularly liked Joyce’s narrative. She keeps a diary, and throughout the book, we get to read extracts and hear her innermost thoughts. You can see that the group take the prospect of solving the recent murder seriously. I also liked PC Donna De Freitas. I could tell that she wanted to make her mark, particularly when early on it is revealed that she ‘would like to have a gun.’ I hope that she does make further appearances in this series and I would like to see where her career progresses.

Richard Osman has created a diverse cast of characters which is what makes this book interesting as well, and I enjoyed seeing them all interact with each other. There are so many ways where I can see Richard Osman taking this series. I’m excited to see what will happen and what cases will come up next for The Thursday Murder Club. I’m certain as well that this isn’t the last the police will be hearing from our dynamic group.

I loved reading this book. I thought it was well plotted and I loved spending time with Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron. It is also very witty as well, and I found myself smiling and laughing in lots of places. I can’t wait to catch up with them again in the next book.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 3rd September 2020

Print length: 382 pages

The Thursday Murder Club is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Spell the Month in Books

I spotted this challenge on Bookworm Blogger’s site on Friday and I thought I’d give it a go. I did share my stack on Instagram and Twitter but I thought I’d share it on my blog as well.

Image

N – Now You See by Max Manning

Now You See: A thriller that's impossible to put down by [Max Manning]

O – Our House by Louise Candlish

V – Vigilante by Kerry Wilkinson

Vigilante (Jessica Daniel Series Book 2) by [Kerry Wilkinson]

E – Exit Wounds

Exit Wounds by [Lee Child, A.K. Benedict, Marie O'Regan, Paul Kane]

M – Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

B – Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes: The Sunday Times #1 best selling psychological thriller by [Sarah Pinborough]

E – Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

R – Red Snow by Will Dean

Red Snow: WINNER OF BEST INDEPENDENT VOICE AT THE AMAZON PUBLISHING READERS' AWARDS, 2019 by [Will Dean]

Out of all the books I have in the house I only found two titles beginning with V but I enjoyed the challenge. Have you read any of the books featured here?

Stone Cold Trouble by Amer Anwar #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Stone Cold Trouble by Amer Anwar on my blog today.

BLURB

Set in the heart of West London’s Asian community, this is the latestinstalment in the unmissable ZAQ & JAGS series . . .

Trying – and failing – to keep his head down and to stay out of trouble, ex-con Zaq Khan agrees to help his best friend, Jags, recover a family heirloom, currently in the possession of a wealthy businessman. But when Zaq’s brother is viciously assaulted, Zaq is left wondering whether someone from his own past is out to get revenge.

Wanting answers and retribution, Zaq and Jags set out to track down those responsible. Meanwhile, their dealings with the businessman take a turn for the worse and Zaq and Jags find themselves suspected of murder.

It’ll take both brains and brawn to get themselves out of trouble and, no matter what happens, the results will likely be deadly. The only question is, whether it will prove deadly for them, or for someone else . . . ?

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Brothers In Blood the first novel by Amer Anwar, but his second book, Stone Cold Trouble, is even better. This is an exhilarating, fast-paced read that will sweep you into the story from page one. You won’t be able to stop reading until you’ve reached the final page.

Zaq and Jags are back. Right away, they are thrown headfirst into a terrifying series of events. In their style, however, Zaq and Jags seem to take it all in their stride. It certainly isn’t something they aren’t used to. Zaq’s brother, Tariq and his friend have been involved in a serious fight and they have both been left fighting for their lives in hospital. Zaq is left puzzled by the events. What would give someone the motive to do this to his brother? What has Tariq done? It’s clear that Zaq isn’t simply going to let this lie low. He wants answers, and he is willing to put himself in danger to get them.

Another storyline which the book focuses on is a necklace which Jag’s Uncle, Lucky, has lost in a gambling debt to a wealthy businessman. The necklace is important to Lucky; it is not only a precious piece of jewellery that belongs to his wife; it is also an important family heirloom. It also has some interesting history. It’s clear that the person who now has it may not be totally aware just how much the necklace is really worth. Lucky asks Zaq and Jags to get it back for him. What they don’t have an idea of is just how difficult this will be.

Stone Cold Trouble is an action-packed book. The chapters are short and snappy as well. I was keen for Zaq to get to the bottom of what was going on with his brother. This is the part where it does get really tense as they both begin to delve deeper. What they soon find out is that the events that ended up putting Tariq in hospital are linked to a wedding. Tariq and his friend had been hired as the DJ’s. But what did they exactly get themselves involved in while they were there?

I think the friendship between Zaq and Jags is what really make these books. The dialogue between them is witty and engaging. You get the sense that they are willing to do anything for each other; even if it means sailing close to danger. They are always up for a fight, and I imagine that this must drive their parents to despair. In this book, you can also see how much family means to Zaq. He is desperate for his brother to pull through and he is also keen to avenge him as well.

Amer Anwar’s latest book is exhilarating and really entertaining. If you haven’t yet discovered his work, then you really need to take a look at his books. Top stuff!

Publisher: Dialogue Books

Publication date: 24th September 2020

Print length: 464 pages

Stone Cold Trouble is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 04/11/2020

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

The Open House: One of the most perfect, gripping reads of 2020 from the USA Today bestseller by [Sam Carrington]

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.
 
When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.
 
But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.
 
Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

What have I finished reading?

Set in the heart of West London’s Asian community, this is the latestinstalment in the unmissable ZAQ & JAGS series . . .

Trying – and failing – to keep his head down and to stay out of trouble, ex-con Zaq Khan agrees to help his best friend, Jags, recover a family heirloom, currently in the possession of a wealthy businessman. But when Zaq’s brother is viciously assaulted, Zaq is left wondering whether someone from his own past is out to get revenge.

Wanting answers and retribution, Zaq and Jags set out to track down those responsible. Meanwhile, their dealings with the businessman take a turn for the worse and Zaq and Jags find themselves suspected of murder.

It’ll take both brains and brawn to get themselves out of trouble and, no matter what happens, the results will likely be deadly. The only question is, whether it will prove deadly for them, or for someone else . . . ?

Body Language: 'Spellbinding storytelling' Val McDermid by [A. K. Turner]

Cassie Raven believes the dead can talk. We just need to listen . . .

People think being a mortuary technician is a seriously weird job. They can’t understand why I choose to cut up dead bodies for a living. But they don’t know what I know:

The dead want to tell us what happened to them.

I’ve eviscerated thousands of bodies, but never someone I know before – someone who meant a lot to me; someone I loved.

The pathologist says that her death was an accident.

Her body is telling me differently.

What will I read next?

One party. Thirteen people. By 3.02 p.m., one of them will be dead.

The party should have been perfect: six couples from the same baby group, six newborns, a luxurious house. But not everything has gone to plan, and while some are here to celebrate, others have sorrows to drown. When someone falls from the balcony of the house, the secrets and conflicts within the group begin to spill out …

DS Alison Hegarty, herself struggling with infertility, is called in to investigate. She’s convinced the fall was not an accident, and finds the new parents have a lot to hide. Wealthy Ed and Monica show off their newborn while their teenage daughter is kept under virtual house arrest. Hazel and Cathy conceived their longed-for baby via an anonymous sperm donor—or so Hazel thinks. Anita and Jeremy planned to adopt from America, but there’s no sign of the child. Kelly, whose violent boyfriend disrupted previous group sessions, came to the party even though she lost her baby. And then there’s Jax, who’s been experiencing strange incidents for months—almost like someone’s out to get her. Is it just a difficult pregnancy? Or could it be payback for something she did in the past?

It’s a nightmare of a case, and as events get even darker it begins to look impossible. Only one thing is clear: they all have something to hide. And for one of them, it’s murder.

An impossible murder
A remarkable detective duo
A demon who may or may not exist

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trial and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the governor general of Batavia.

But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. Third: an impossible murder. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

The Syndicate by G.J. Minett #bookreview

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by G.J. Minett, The Syndicate.

BLURB

YOU THINK YOU’RE FREE, BUT THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE . . .

Twenty years ago, Jon Kavanagh worked for a crime syndicate.
Then one night he made a mistake.
He left a witness at a crime scene. Alive.

Now, he is haunted by the memories of that young girl. Her face a constant reminder of the life he chose to leave behind. Time has passed and now he wants answers: What ever happened to her?

Anna Hill is an aspiring singer, but the bars and clubs she works in are far from exciting. When she is given the opportunity to work in Portugal, she takes it. This is her chance to finally kick-start her career.

But the job offer comes at a price; one that will endanger the lives of those she knows, and those she doesn’t. Becoming involved with the Syndicate is risky, and Anna will need her instincts to work out who to trust – and who not to . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Syndicate is only the second book I’ve read by G.J. Minett, and I couldn’t put it down. If you’re looking for a highly absorbing crime thriller that will grab you from the first page, then look no further.

I really liked G.J. Minett’s new character, army veteran Jon Kavanagh. Although he was in the army, twenty years ago he also belonged to a crime syndicate. During one operation, he left a witness alive, something he was ordered not to do. Now he is faced with the task of tracking her down. This is with very little information on her whereabouts to go on. He’s not even entirely sure what her name is. But Jon is convinced he made the right call in saving her life all those years earlier. But what position does that put him in now? Can he continue to protect her two decades later? What threat does she pose to The Syndicate he is a part of?

I had so many questions as I was reading this book. I wanted to know more about the events from twenty years earlier. Why was it of paramount importance that this girl is tracked down? What secrets against the crime syndicate could she possibly have? Although Jon Kavanagh is a trained killer, and he has killed in the past, I find that I did warm to him. You can see that, although he isn’t exactly a moral citizen, he doesn’t just think about the job he is given. He thinks about the people he is directly affecting, and this is the case with the young baby he didn’t kill. I also liked the idea of Jon being a bookseller all these years later. It made me think that he just wanted to live a quiet life after his years of service. Kavanagh is now in his sixties, and I got the feeling that he didn’t want to go back into this world at this stage in his life. But it is clear that he doesn’t have much of a choice.

We also follow the story of a young woman, Anna, who is chasing her dream of being a singer. When she is offered the opportunity to move to Portugal, she takes it and leaves her life in the UK behind. I really liked how these stories intertwined, and I thought it made the plot even more intriguing.  

G. J. Minett kept the pace turning up a notch, and I devoured a lot of the book in one sitting. It is fast paced and packed with plenty of action. I really enjoyed it.  

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 9th July 2020

Print length: 336 pages

The Syndicate is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

October Wrap-Up

Just two months left of 2020, what? Although I’m sure there are many who will be pleased to see the back of this year, me included. I’ve already seen signs that people are starting to get ready for Christmas, although there are some people I know, who have been getting excited since August. When I was younger I used to get excited about Christmas throughout the year, but now I don’t want to even think about it until late November. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book events will be able to start up again next year.

Here in the UK we are going back into lockdown for a month this week. It was something I’ve been expecting for a while now, particularly with other countries in Europe taking similar action.

I managed to read eighteen books this month. In total, so far this year, I’ve now read 131 books towards my Goodreads challenge of 160.

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Some of the books I read in October

On the blog this month, I’ve taken part in five blog tours. I’ve included the links below in case you missed any.

The Choice by Alex Lake

Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

A Prayer for the Broken by Mark Tilbury

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten

The Girls in the Snow by Stacy Green

One thing that has been unusual for me this month is that I’ve hardly bought any new books. Six new titles is a small number to me. These are the books I have purchased, Somebody’s Daughter by Carol Wyer, Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza, Perfect Kill by Helen Fields, The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells, The Housewarming by S.E. Lynes and Inside Out by Chris McGeorge.

I did also receive some bookpost this month. I received a copy of The Last Resort by Susi Holliday which I’m bumping right up to the top of my TBR pile.

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For November, I have five blog tours coming up, Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons on the 15th, The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard on the 23rd, Out for Blood by Deborah Masson on the 24th, 33 Women by Isabel Ashdown on the 26th and The Chalet by Catherine Cooper on the 29th.

Don’t forget First Monday Crime is taking place live on Facebook this evening from 19.30. The authors who will be speaking are, David Young, Vicki Bradley, S.W. Kane and Chris McGeorge. The panel is being moderated by Claire McGowan and you can access the event by clicking here.

At the moment I’m currently reading Stone Cold Trouble by Amer Anwar and Innocent by Erin Kinsley. Let me know what you’re reading in the comments.