WWW Wednesday – 31/03/2021

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?

Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it?

The Killing Choice: Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month ‘Riveting’ (DI Alex Finn 2) by [Will Shindler]

‘Leave your daughter with me, or I will kill you both’

It felt like a normal Friday evening before Karl and his daughter Leah were ambushed by a figure in a blank mask. At knife point, Karl is forced to make an impossible choice. Stay and die, or walk away from Leah and take this thug’s word that they both will live.

Should Karl trust a villain and leave his daughter with a knife at her throat? Could he ever live with himself if he did?

It’s not long before more seemingly unconnected and innocent people across London are offered a deal in exchange for their life. More blood is spilled, more families shattered, and more people are left to suffer with the consequences of their decisions.

DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen must hunt for a killer that appears to have no face, no motive and no conscience before more victims are forced to make their choice.

What have I finished reading?

A young man stands accused of murder. The evidence is overwhelming.

But at his trial, this man tells an extraordinary story.

It is about the woman he loves, who got into terrible trouble. It’s about how he risked everything to save her.

He swears he’s innocent. But in the end, all that matters is this: do you believe him?

This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. But you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it’s not what you think…

What will I read next?

Nothing ever happened here . . . Until the first girl died.

Ten years ago, Mo arrived at the white cliffs of Dover, befriended by teenagers Cali and Jude.

They thought they’d save each other, yet within months their friendship would see two of them dead and the third scarred for life.

Now documentary maker Tarek and his film crew are in town, asking difficult questions about what happened that summer.

Because in the shadow of the white cliffs it’s easy for people and their stories to get lost . . .

And as Tarek will discover, the truth is something that must be unburied carefully.

Or it might just it bury you . . .

Lie Beside Me: From the bestselling author of Richard and Judy bestseller She Lies in Wait (Jonah Sheens 3) by [Gytha Lodge]

Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over towards her husband, Niall.

But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s dead . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, Detective Jonah Sheens and his team mark her as their prime suspect.

But she’s not the only one with something to hide . . .

Did she do it?

And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the brilliant thriller by Catriona Ward, The Last House on Needless Street.


This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. But you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it’s not what you think…


There was a lot of buzz surrounding The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward, so I knew I had to bump it to the top of my TBR pile, and I’m so glad I did. I was immediately hooked from the very first page, and I did not want to put it down. It is utterly compelling, and it deserves all the praise that it has been getting.

The novel is told from the point of view of three characters, Ted, Olivia (his cat) and Dee. Ted is a very unnerving individual who I did find myself feeling sorry for as Catriona Ward revealed more of his backstory. He makes for a fascinating character. Then we also hear from Olivia, his cat and I thought that she had a really unique voice as we get to see her perspective of the world. Then, finally, Dee is a character who has just moved next door to Ted. For eleven years, she has been searching for her sister. Her sister went missing at the age of six, and a tip-off has led her to Ted. But what is Ted’s connection to her sister’s case?

I loved, loved the atmosphere in this book, and Catriona Ward creates a very haunting and creepy one. I felt this, particularly in the flashback scenes as we see what happened in Ted’s childhood. You can see how what happened to him made him into the person he is today. You can see this, especially through the relationship he had with his mother.

The book is so well written and Catriona Ward brought the setting to life with beautiful descriptions. I found that as I was reading, I did not want it to end. There’s only a small handful of books I’ve read which have made me feel like that, and I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it for a long time to come. Catriona Ward builds on a dark, foreboding atmosphere as the plot unfolds.

The Last House on Needless Street is exceptional. You need to read it as soon as you can, and if you haven’t got a copy yet, then you really need to. I think every reader will have a different experience with it, and that’s what makes it so original and exceptionally well written. It’s definitely going to be in my top ten books of the year! I can’t wait to see what Catriona Ward writes next. I highly, highly recommend this book!

Publisher: Viper

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 352 pages

The Last House on Needless Street is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Girl in the Missing Poster by Barbara Copperthwaite #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on The Girl in the Missing Poster by Barbara Copperthwaite.

The Girl in the Missing Poster: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist by [Barbara Copperthwaite]


24 June, 1994 – Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins runs from her father’s birthday party into the stormy night wearing her sister Stella’s long red coat. Some say she was crying, others swear they saw her get into a passing car. Nobody ever saw her again.

Present – This time every year, on the anniversary of that fateful night, Stella decorates the small seaside town she grew up in with pictures of her beautiful missing sister. But after twenty-five years, is it even worth hoping someone will come forward? Perhaps the upcoming documentary will spark people’s memories by reuniting all the guests who were there the night Leila went missing.

As old friends gather and long-buried secrets begin to surface, the last thing Stella ever expects is a direct response from someone claiming they took Leila. They want private details of Stella’s life in return for answers. But as the true events of the night of the party play out once again, who is lying? And who is next?


The Girl in the Missing Poster is the first book by Barbara Copperthwaite, which I have read, and I’m definitely going to be catching up on her previous novels. This is a twisty, intriguing psychological thriller that follows Leila’s search as she desperately tries to uncover what happened to her twin sister, Stella, who vanished twenty-five years ago. She fears that this time it’s the last chance she’ll have of finding out what happened, and she is willing to do anything to get to the truth.

This book is more of a slow burner, but the tension certainly gathers pace as we reach the conclusion. Barbara tells parts of the story through transcripts from a Netflix documentary, and I thought this was really clever. By chance, Leila gets talking to Euan, a documentary producer for Netflix. He speaks to her about producing a documentary to try and generate new leads in her sister’s case. Stella agrees, but what she isn’t prepared for is the number of nasty comments it creates on social media, something she hasn’t had much experience with before. But then someone gets in contact with Leila, and they may know what happened to her sister.

Barbara definitely held my interest as she reveals more background information into the investigation of Leila’s disappearance. Through the transcripts, we read interviews from police officers involved in the case as they explain why they did what they did. It made for really interesting reading. I often watch true-crime documentaries on Netflix, so it did feel as though I was reading about a real life case. I did like how Barbara built on Leila’s relationship with Euan; although I did think as I was reading it, I couldn’t trust any of the characters who were close to her.

I really wanted to know what had happened to Stella, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as Barbara takes us closer to the truth. I really liked how she pulled everything together. There are some jaw dropping revelations as the person responsible for Stella’s disappearance is revealed.

The Girl in the Missing Poster is a really well written psychological thriller. It’s a complex mystery, and Barbara Copperthwaite cleverly pulls everything together. Now I can’t wait to catch up on Barbara’s previous books.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 23rd February 2021

Print length: 346 pages

The Girl in the Missing Poster is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Last Seen by Joy Kluver #blogtour #bookreview @JoyKluver @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the debut novel by Joy Kluver on my blog today, Last Seen. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Last Seen: An absolutely gripping missing child crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 1) by [Joy Kluver]


‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’

Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’

A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.

Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.

As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.


Last Seen is the debut novel by Joy Kluver, and it’s a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while now. It is the start of what I hope will be a long-running series featuring Detective Bernadette Noel.

Detective Bernadette Noel has recently been appointed to a town in Wiltshire under something of a cloud. She was previously working with the Metropolitan Police, so what was the reason behind her move to Wiltshire? Not long after she is reassigned, she is thrown into a high profile investigation when five-year-old Molly disappears. But why do none of the locals want to help in the search?

Joy Kluver has created such an intriguing premise in her debut novel. Usually, and especially in the case of a missing child, the public wants to help. There are searches organised, and people are ringing the police hotline constantly with sightings to report. But in this case, the police aren’t getting anything. When they carry out house to house enquiries, they are met with hostility, with the door practically being slammed in their faces. People are also very reluctant to put up missing posters. What is going on here? It made me really dislike the residents of their town. Couldn’t they see that this was about bringing Molly, an innocent girl home?

The investigation is a complex one, and Joy Kluver cleverly weaves everything together. The investigation does start off quite slow, particularly when people are unwilling to help, but it gradually gathers pace. There are some shocking reveals as the police look into the past of the victim’s family. It’s then that they begin to understand why the locals don’t want to know. I really wanted to find out the reason behind this.

I liked the friendships between Bernie and her team, and I think Joy Kluver builds on this really well as the novel progresses. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops as the series moves on from here.

This is a fantastic start to a new series, which I’m sure will keep readers coming back for more.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 26th March 2021

Print length: 358 pages

Last Seen is available to buy:

Amazon UK


Last Seen - BT Poster

Why I Write Noir by Stephen J. Golds #guestpost @SteveGone58

I’m delighted to be sharing a guest post by Stephen J. Golds on my blog today. He is the author of Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, Always the Dead and Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once. He has a new book coming out, Love Like Bleeding Out With An Empty Gun In Your Hand which is published the 29th April 2021.

Why I Write Noir – Guest Post

Noir found me on a Spring, Saturday morning at around 8:35. 

I was twelve years old. 

A friend of mine had a Saturday job helping out at the greasy-spoon cafe up the main street from my home. I’d wake up early, walk up there and he would give me a bacon sandwich and a coffee on the house. 

This particular Saturday morning Noir came and looked me in the eye was a beautiful one. The sun was a golden yellow that glimmered from the morning dew and condensation on the pavements and parked cars. Walking up from the bottom of the council estate and the council houses the street gradually transformed classes. The houses got larger and prettier. As did the cars parked outside. Opposite the greasy-spoon cafe was a house that always caught my eye. It was a pure white and always had a maroon Jaguar parked outside. I had never seen who lived there but I imagined it was someone very rich. As I walked wondering how many pieces of bacon my friend would give me in my sandwich that day, three people came out of the house. Two large men and a woman. I can‘t remember the men too well. One was fat and bald and the other was skinny with a big nose and a pony-tail. The woman caught my eye. She was beautiful. Not classy beautiful but that hard kind of beautiful. Jet black hair pulled tight into a ball on the top of her head. The darkest eyes. She was wearing adidas jogging bottoms and a tight t-shirt. As they walked past me to get into their car, another Jaguar, the woman glanced at me and made a disappointed face. I don’t know why. We held eye contact for what felt like an hour but was probably closer to a couple of seconds. 

They got into their Jag and drove away. 

I was still looking over my shoulder at the shrinking car when I passed the white house and heard someone crying and moaning. It was an old guy. He was splayed half in his front door and half out in the pavement. There was a lot of blood. More than I’d ever seen. It was a deep red and it caught the sun. It was beautiful too in a jarring way. 

I thought he had fallen over and hurt himself. The stonewash blue jeans he was wearing were soaked through. He kept saying “they shot me. They shot me.” I kept asking him if he was okay. I didn’t know what to say or do. I put my hand on his back. Snot and tears were slick and glistening on his agonized face. 

I went across the street and told my friend’s boss that an old man had fallen over and was bleeding everywhere. Then I sat in the window eating my bacon sandwich watching the ambulance and police arrive. The woman’s face in my mind then and in my mind now.

I currently have two noir novels available: 

Say Goodbye When I’m Gone – released by Red Dog Press

Always the Dead – released by Close to the Bone Press 

A book of noir poetry – Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once 

And in April a collection of short prose and poetry titled Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand

Stephen’s novels are available to buy:


1949: Rudy, A Jewish New Yorker snatches a briefcase of cash from a dead man in Los Angeles and runs away from his old life, into the arms of the Boston mob.1966: Hinako, a young Japanese girl runs away from what she thought was the suffocating conformity of a life in Japan. Aiming to make a fresh start in America, she falls into the grip of a Hawaiian gang dubbed ‘The Company’.1967: Rudy and Hinako’s lives collide in the city of Honolulu, where there is nowhere left for either of them to run, and only blood to redeem them.

Amazon UK

Always the Dead by [Stephen J. Golds, Craig Douglas]


Los Angeles, California. 1949.
Scott Kelly is a World War Two Marine veteran and mob hitman confined to a Tuberculosis sanatorium suffering from consumption, flashbacks and nightmares from his experiences of The Battle of Okinawa and a botched hit for Bugsy Siegel.
When his movie actress girlfriend disappears, he bribes his way out of the sanatorium to search for her.
What follows is a frantic search, a manic murder spree, stolen contraband, and a briefcase full of cash.
A story that stretches from the war torn beaches of Okinawa, all the way to the playground of the rich and famous, Palm Springs, California.
An exploration into the depths of L.A crime, PTSD and twisted love.
A semi-fictional novel based around the disappearance of Jean Spangler.

Amazon UK

Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once (First Cut) by [Stephen J. Golds, Craig Douglas]


Poems for empty corridors,

subway stations after the last train

and bars after the call for last orders.

Amazon UK

The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste.


What if the figure that haunted your nightmares as child, the myth of the man in the woods, was real?
He’ll slice your flesh. 
Your bones he’ll keep.
Twenty years ago, four teenagers went exploring in the local woods, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned. 
Now, a woman is found wandering the streets of Liverpool, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper.  Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince sceptical colleagues that this urban myth might be flesh and blood.  But when a body is unearthed in the woodland the woman has fled from, the case takes on a much darker tone. 
The disappeared have been found. And their killer is watching every move the police make.


The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste is one of the creepiest crime thrillers I’ve ever read. The story of the bone keeper is like a dark fairy tale, and the rhyme that people know, which is associated with him, will send shivers down your spine.

When police officers pick up a distressed young woman after being attacked, she insists that her attacker was ‘the bone keeper.’ This is a legendary figure which haunts the dreams of the locals who know the story very well. The police who are investigating the case take her claims, however, with a pinch of salt. How can it possibly be that a local legend is real? It must surely be someone taking advantage of the tale, mustn’t it?

Luca Veste is a writer who knows how to create atmosphere, and he knows how to pull the reader into the story. He creates a palpable sense of tension as we begin to learn more about what is going on here. I wanted to know what the real deal was here and who was behind the crimes taking place. I also wanted to find out more about the legend as well and what its origins were. I love a good crime thriller based around legend and folklore, and this book certainly fits that bill.

I really liked the detective investigating the crime, DC Louise Henderson, who certainly takes an interest in the tales of the legend. However, her colleagues are more sceptical, and they pretty much refuse to give it the time of day. But Louise knows that there is something more here than what first meets the eye. I would actually really like to see Louise return in a future book. She makes for such a fascinating character, and I would like to see what she does next.

This is a book that will keep you utterly gripped. Some of Luca Veste’s scenes were so, so chilling. It makes for a terrifying reading experience, so perhaps, I wouldn’t suggest reading this book before you’re about to go sleep. You’ll be jumping at every sound. But, I guarantee you will be hooked from the very first page. I didn’t want to put it down.

I’ve only read one other book by Luca Veste, but I’ll definitely be catching up on his previous books as soon as I can. I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. It would definitely be the perfect read for Halloween.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication date: 8th March 2018

Print length: 432 pages

The Bone Keeper is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas #bookreview #blogtour @thevoiceofruss @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Nighthawking by Russ Thomas on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens – an oasis of peace in a world filled with sorrow, confusion and pain. And then, one morning, a body is found in the Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body’s been there for months. It would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone just sneaked into the Gardens and dug it up.
Who is the victim? Who killed her and hid her body? Who dug her up? And who left a macabre marker on the body?
In his quest to find her murderer, DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable… and willing to kill to keep what they find.
That which was lost… will always be found again


I was a huge fan of Russ Thomas’s debut, Firewatching, which made my top ten books of 2020, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series. Nighthawking is a brilliant follow up, and Russ Thomas has created a complex mystery which kept me hooked, and it had a really intriguing premise.

I really liked DS Adam Tyler when Russ Thomas first introduced him in the first book. This time around, he is slipping away from the police investigation that is taking place. Tyler is also struggling with his relationship with Paul, as well. His actions did make me feel sorry for his colleague, DC Amina Rabbini. She is constantly trying to locate him and is always having to cover up for him as well. They both work for the cold case unit, which is under threat as it is, of being disbanded, due to budget cuts.

DS Tyler and DC Rabbini soon find themselves thrown into an investigation when a young woman’s body is found in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. It appears that the body has been there for months. The case is soon matched up with the disappearance of a Chinese woman eight months earlier. But it appears that not much was done to trace her, and the case was quickly wrapped up.  

In this book, Russ Thomas delves into the world of nighthawkers, which gives the book a very sinister feeling. Nighthawkers are treasure hunters, and it’s the nickname given to people who don’t have a licence to hunt for treasure, particularly at sites with a historical value. This part of the plot gave the book a very sinister feeling. It made me wonder if it had a wider connection to the discovery of the young girl’s body.

The plot was cleverly constructed, and I liked the different elements that Russ Thomas brought to it. I thought this, particularly when we begin to learn more about what was going on in the life of the murdered girl.  

The tension gathers pace as the truth begins to unfold, and it was a jaw dropping moment when Russ Thomas revealed his secrets. And then Russ Thomas leaves us with a cliff hanger. The ending has left me wanting to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible. I know this is a series that I’ll be sticking with.

Nighthawking is another excellent book by Russ Thomas, and I can’t wait to see how things progress from here.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication date: 29th April 2021

Print length: 445 pages

Nighthawking is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


Nighthawking BT Poster

The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana #bookreview #blogtour @jennyquintana95 @MantleBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Some houses have their secrets. But so do some people . . .

From the bestselling author of The Missing Girl and Our Dark Secret, comes The Hiding Place: a story about identity, love, long-buried secrets and lies.

Abandoned as a baby in the hallway of a shared house in London, Marina has never known her parents, and the circumstances of her birth still remain a mystery.

Now an adult, Marina has returned to the house where it all started, determined to find out who she really is. But the walls of this house hold more than memories, and Marina’s reappearance hasn’t gone unnoticed by the other tenants.
Someone is watching Marina. Someone who knows the truth . . .


The Hiding Place is the first book by Jenny Quintana, which I have read, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read one of her books. I still have her first two novels on my TBR pile, and I’ll be reading them ASAP. Her latest book is a heart-breaking and a totally absorbing psychological thriller. I flew through it in just a couple of days.

We meet Marina, who, now an adult, returns to the home where she was abandoned as a baby to find out more about her heritage and who her parents were. But things are a lot more complicated here than Marina first realised. But she doesn’t want to give the details that she once was that baby away to the inhabitants of the house. Some of the people living there now remember that time and were there when it happened.

I really felt for Marina as she tried to understand more about her family. You can see just how desperate she is to find closure. She wants to know why her mother abandoned her all those years ago. It’s hard to imagine what that knowledge could do to a person over the years once they realise the truth about what happened. It must be heart-breaking for them to think that their birth family didn’t want them

Right from the first few chapters, I felt that there wasn’t something quite right about what happened when Marina was born. I felt that there were people in the house who wanted to make sure that what happened stays a secret. I wanted to know who this person was and what connection they had to Marina’s story.

Jenny Quintana creates an air of mystery and a sense of creepiness about the house as Marina settles in and tries to get to know the residents there. You can see that already some of them are uncomfortable about her presence. But she is determined to see this through.

We also go back in time to 1964 when we meet a woman called Connie, and we start to see the bigger picture of what happened at the time of Marina’s birth begin to unfold. I became totally wrapped up in the story. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t want it to end. Jenny Quintana’s brilliant writing kept me gripped all the way through, especially at the end as Marina uncovers the truth.

The Hiding Place is so well written, and I can’t wait to catch up on Jenny Quintana’s previous books. I loved it!

Publisher: Mantle

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 320 pages

The Hiding Place is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Hiding Place BT Poster

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys #bookreview

I’ve finally got round to reading Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys which has been on my TBR pile for a while now. I’m sharing my thoughts on my blog today.

Dangerous Crossing: The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club page-turner by [Rachel Rhys]


England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, long-hidden secrets begin to surface. Her heart beats faster for the attention of handsome Edward, but is his heart already taken?

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and Lily’s desire for Edward is untameable. But something else is awry on this ship and Lily is determined to find out ….


I loved Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. It’s been sitting on my TBR pile for quite some time now, and I’m so pleased that I’ve finally got round to reading it. The world is on the brink of war; tensions in Europe are rising high. It’s 1939, and Lily Shepherd has boarded a cruise liner and plans to begin a new life in Australia. She quickly becomes friends with a group of other travellers, but tensions simmer and a shadow seems to be following them in the background.

I loved the opening of this book which immediately drew me into the story. On page one, we are actually there at the point of arrival in Australia, but a woman is being led off the gangplank in handcuffs. Who is this woman? What has she done?

Then we are taken back to the starting point, and we see events in the lead up to this moment begin to unfold. I was constantly looking at the characters wondering who it was who could be this mysterious person being led off the ship by police officers. I loved Rachel Rhys’ attention to detail. I felt as though I was there on the ship and with the group in the places they visited. Rachel Rhys really brings her characters to life.

This is, of course, a historical fiction novel, but there are elements of a thriller to it as well. I wanted to know what was going on, especially when strange things start to happen in Lily’s new friendship circle on board. But an investigation conducted by the steward’s uncovers little evidence as to who could be the culprit and if the reported incidents actually took place.

Towards the end of the voyage, and as we get to understand who the woman was at the beginning of the novel and what she has done, it does feel very claustrophobic on board the ship. There is a brilliant twist that turns the novel on its head. I thought the way how Rachel weaved it into her plot was really clever.

I was utterly gripped by Dangerous Crossing. If you haven’t yet got round to reading it yet, then I highly recommend that you do so.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 23rd March 2017

Print length: 364 pages

Dangerous Crossing is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Night Gate by Peter May #bookreview #blogtour @authorpetermay @SophMidas @riverrunbooks

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Night Gate by Peter May on my blog today. With thanks to Sophie Ransom from Midas PR for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.


In a sleepy French village, the body of a man shot through the head is disinterred by the roots of a fallen tree. A week later a famous art critic is viciously murdered in a nearby house. The deaths occurred more than seventy years apart.
Asked by a colleague to inspect the site of the former, forensics expert Enzo Macleod quickly finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the latter. Two extraordinary narratives are set in train – one historical, unfolding in the treacherous wartime years of Occupied France; the other contemporary, set in the autumn of 2020 as France re-enters Covid lockdown.

And Enzo’s investigations reveal an unexpected link between the murders – the Mona Lisa.

Tasked by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle to keep the world’s most famous painting out of Nazi hands after the fall of France in 1940, 28-year-old Georgette Pignal finds herself swept along by the tide of history. Following in the wake of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as it is moved from château to château by the Louvre, she finds herself just one step ahead of two German art experts sent to steal it for rival patrons – Hitler and Göring.

What none of them know is that the Louvre itself has taken exceptional measures to keep the painting safe, unwittingly setting in train a fatal sequence of events extending over seven decades.

Events that have led to both killings.


The Night Gate by Peter May, the seventh book in his Enzo case files series, is such a fascinating read. It’s also really engaging. In 2020, decades after the end of World War Two, a man’s body, from the time of the Second World War, is discovered. And not long after the grim discovery, a famous art critic is killed. While the world is coping with a pandemic, Enzo is asked to help investigate the death of the man found decades after his death. But what connection does this have to the recent murder? And what connection do the murders have to the Mona Lisa?

I have to admit that this is the first book by Peter May which I have read and I am kicking myself now that I haven’t got round to reading his books sooner. I definitely will be going back and reading the earlier books in this series.

As the investigations in the present day develop, Peter May takes us back to when the Germans occupied France. There is increasing pressure to protect the country’s most treasured possessions from falling into the hands of the Nazis. One of these prizes, which Hitler is keen to procure, is the Mona Lisa. France goes to extraordinary lengths to protect it.

I found it really fascinating when Peter May goes back to the time. The story has such an interesting hook with the Mona Lisa. There were so many people involved in making sure that the world’s most famous painting stays safe; people are willing to put their lives on the line to protect it. Even the Nazis don’t want to just barge in and taking, fearing the international scandal it would cause. Peter May captures the tension that existed at this time so well.

The novel is also set in 2020 at the time of the pandemic. I was put off slightly by this when I first started reading it. I know that many readers may not want to read a novel set during this time, but it didn’t become an issue as the story progressed. I actually thought it was good for the character development as we see how Enzo’s family has been affected over the course of the last year. It makes the story feel very real, as well.

I loved how both of the story lines were weaved together. I wanted to find out how what happened in the past was connected to the events in the present. It’s what makes the novel so gripping, and I flew through it. The pace never drops. The dual timeline is what makes this book particularly gripping, and Peter May weaves them together with incredible skill.

The Night Gate is very cleverly and plotted, and I loved how Peter May brought everything together as the truth behind both murders is revealed. A highly engrossing read.

Publisher: riverrun

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 496 pages

The Night Gate is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


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