When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Fiona Cummins, When I Was Ten on my blog today.

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Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were killed in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Their ten year-old daughter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened that night – with devastating consequences for them all.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of Fiona Cummins’s writing, and I couldn’t wait to read her new novel When I Was Ten. This is a highly engaging read, and once I started it, I was hooked. This is a novel with a really intriguing premise. A family have been slaughtered; their children have been separated. But the horrifying part is that Dr Carter and his wife were murdered by one of their children. It’s why it has become one of the most talked about crimes of the modern age. But what really happened that night? What is the untold story?

In When I Was Ten, Fiona Cummins delves into the psychology of the characters at the centre of the crime. Now everything is about to change for them. An explosive new documentary is about to air, and new revelations are about to come to light when one of the Carter sisters speaks to the press. Fiona Cummins introduces us to two characters, Catherine and Brinley. Brinley works at a local newspaper, and as interest in the Carter case heightens again, her boss is after an exclusive interview with one of the Carter sisters. But what he doesn’t know is that Brinley once lived next door to the Carter family. She chooses to keep this to herself. Catherine is also a really intriguing character. You can see she is keeping secrets, and she is determined to make sure that her past stays buried.

As the novel progresses, Fiona Cummins takes us back in time. We see the events leading up to the murders of the Carter family, and she begins to build a picture of what really took place. As Fiona Cummins did reveal more about what happened at that time, I could see why the events escalated in the way they did. But I don’t want to go into any further detail here. The book darkens as we begin to understand the truth, and the darkness becomes palpable as we reach the horrifying conclusion. It asks a terrifying question, what can prompt a child to murder their parents?

The writing is taut right the way through, and I could not put this book down. The chapters are short and snappy, and I wanted to find out more about the characters. Fiona Cummins writes some horrific scenes when we go back to the time of the murders. This is when the bigger picture here begins to unravel.

Fiona Cummins is one of the best crime writers out there. If you haven’t yet discovered her books, then you really need to. I highly, highly recommend When I Was Ten! I’m sure this is going to be one of the most talked about thrillers of the year, and it deserves to be.

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication date: 15th April 2021

Print length: 384 pages

When I was Ten is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Deity by Matt Wesolowski #bookreview April First Monday Crime @ConcreteKraken @1stMondayCrime @OrendaBooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my review for Deity by Matt Wesolowski which I originally posted as part of the blog tour in February. Matt is appearing at First Monday Crime on Monday, 12th April 2021 alongside three more brilliant writers. So if you haven’t got any plans for tomorrow night at 19.30 p.m. be sure to check it out the First Monday Crime Facebook Page. I’ll have all the details about how you can access the event at the end of this post. But first let’s take a look about what Deity is about.

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A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rake over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge: Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Are reports of a haunting really true? Why was he never officially charged?

MY THOUGHTS

Matt Wesolowski is back with the latest episode in his Six Stories series featuring Scott King. The latest book in the series is Deity which is another utterly compelling read. I always look forward to reading Matt’s book, and this one didn’t disappoint. Once I had started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down, and the unique way Matt tells his stories, kept me turning the pages. I was eager to see what each new episode would reveal and what secrets were waiting to be uncovered.

There isn’t another writer out there who writes quite like Matt Wesolowski. If you are new to this series, the novels are told in the form of a podcast. The presenter is Scott King, who has recently made a name for himself after cracking several infamous cases. Over six weeks, Scott King examines a new case and presents new details and interviews with new witnesses in each episode.

This time around, Scott is examining pop star Zach Crystal’s case whose charred remains were discovered at his burnt-out mansion in Scotland. Zach was adored by millions around the world, but particularly by younger people. So what happened the night Zach Crystal was killed? Was it a tragic accident, or was someone else to blame? Scott King intends to find out.

Zach Crystal was such an intriguing character. Throughout the book, we read extracts from his last exclusive interview, which he did as he was relaunching his career. By that time Zach was in his mid-forties, but Zach was still an idol to many young people growing up now. On the outside, he seems like a very humble and caring person. But there is a darker side to this that Scott King explores over his podcast series.

There is a very dark, foreboding feeling to this book. I wanted to get to the bottom of who Zach Crystal really was. He seemed to have an element of control over his fans, which is what I thought as I was reading the book, which gives it a very chilling atmosphere. Everyone who comes into contact with him is in awe, and Zach knows how to use this to his advantage. He displays a very confident image, but, I also felt that there was a sense of vulnerability about him as well. This made me even more interested in him.

With recent stories that have made headlines over the past few years, you can see where Matt Wesolowski drew his inspiration from this novel. It does get very dark in places and unnerving as well as Scott King gets closer to the truth. The tension really ramps up in the final pages as we begin to understand just what was going on in Zach Crystal’s life.

Matt Wesolowski has produced another absolutely gripping book in this series. It’s dark, chilling and so absorbing. I can’t wait to see what case Scott King investigates next. Long may this series continue!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 18th December 2020 (kindle) 18th February 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 253 pages

Deity is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

If you would like to join us for First Monday Crime on Monday, 12th April 2021, it’s being streamed live on their Facebook page from 19:30 p.m. The other authors who are appearing are, David Baldacci author of A Gambling Man, Sarah Pearse author of The Sanatorium and David Fennell author of The Art of Death. The panel is being moderated by Jacky Collins. To access the event you can click on the link below which will take you through to the First Monday Crime Facebook page.

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DCI Jonah Sheen series by Gytha Lodge, Lie Beside Me.

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

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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?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve become a huge fan of Gytha Lodge’s writing after reading her first two books, so I bumped Lie Beside Me right to the top of my TBR pile when I received my copy. Gytha Lodge has come up with a really intriguing premise, and I think it’s the best book yet in this series.

A young woman, Louise, wakes up in bed next to a stranger. She has no recollection of why he is there or what happened the night before. The real problem is that he’s not breathing, and she could have killed him. Once I read the opening, I had to find out what had happened here, and I flew through the pages to find out.

I really wanted to see how Gytha Lodge was going to unravel the mystery of who the man was and why he was there. As we began to learn more details about who he is and his life, it becomes even more intriguing. I wanted to know how he had ended up in Louise’s bed and what exactly happened to him. Louise is immediately seen as a suspect in the minds of the police. Her memory of the night before is sketchy, and she must try and piece together what happened. But Louise has suffered from memory loss in the past, and trying to find out what really happened the previous night will be extremely difficult.

I think many readers will have mixed feelings about Louise. She’s very intriguing, but her excessive drinking does not make her a particularly likeable character. I did find that I warmed slightly more to her as the novel progressed. But I was also wary of her. I felt that there was more to her character than what first meets the eye, particularly as we get to know her. It’s what kept me turning the pages. I was never sure if she was entirely innocent in the young man’s death.

I thought the way in which Gytha Lodge pulled her plot together was very clever, and I couldn’t see how it was going to unfold as I was reading it. This is a book that really gets you thinking, and the mystery kept my eyes glued to the pages as I waited to see how it would pan out.

DCI Jonah Sheens is a great lead detective, and I’m sure he is a character who will keep readers coming back for more. I also really like the other police detectives working on the case with him. Gytha Lodge explores some of their backstories in this novel as well, and DC Juliette Hansen’s story adds to the chilling atmosphere of the book.  

Lie Beside Me is another brilliant addition to this series. Roll on book four; I can’t wait to read it.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 18th February 2021

Print length: 376 pages

Lie Beside Me is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Killing Choice by Will Shindler #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest book in the DI Alex Finn series by Will Shindler, The Killing Choice.

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

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‘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.

MY THOUGHTS

The Killing Choice is the second book in Will Shindler’s DI Alex Finn series, and I think I’ve definitely found a new favourite crime series. Alex and his team are investigating a complex case and a very horrifying and disturbing one. A man and his daughter are targeted in a park during an evening walk. The perpetrator makes one command that the dad leaves his daughter behind. The victims are both horrified and completely terrified. If they don’t do as he says, the perpetrator will kill them both. His daughter pleads with her dad to leave her to save them both, he reluctantly does. But before he can get help, he hears a scream. His daughter is dead.

I was really intrigued by the premise of this book. I wanted to know what the killer’s motive here was. From the outset, it appears that there isn’t a motive. The victims and the killer don’t know each other at all. There’s no connection which the police can quickly look at, which might explain what is happening. What makes the scenario here all the more terrifying to them is that this killer could target anyone.

As the press begin to report on the case, they pick up very quickly on the fact that the man left behind at the scene left his daughter to die. The press vilifies him, and his own family can’t quite comprehend his actions that night. I was torn between feeling sorry for him and partially agreeing with what members of the press and his family were saying. It’s a question that will definitely make the reader think, what would you do if you were in the same situation? How would you react?

DI Alex Finn is a character who I think many readers will warm to. A year ago, his wife passed away, and he is still struggling to come to terms with the loss. As Will Shindler explores his reaction to the grief, it does make him feel very human, and his emotions come through really well. He throws himself into his work to try and combat the grief, which is what many of us would do in his situation.

Will Shindler pulls the plot of this story together in a very clever way. You can’t quite see how things will come together, but then it does so, and I thought the way he did it was very original.

This is fast becoming one of my favourite new crime series. DI Alex Finn is a fascinating character, and I can’t wait to see how he develops over future books. Police procedural fans, this is a series not to be missed.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 11th February 2021

Print length: 405 pages

The Killing Choice is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 07/04/2021

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?

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 . . .

The Best of Friends: The gripping new 2021 domestic psychological thriller by [Alex Day]

Susannah is rebuilding her life…
Susannah has had a tough year. After a knotty divorce, moving to a small town in the south of England with her two sons is exactly the fresh start she needs.
 
Charlotte seems to have it all…
Charlotte is delighted when Susannah arrives in town. Charlotte may appear to have the perfect husband, the perfect family, the perfect house, but she needs someone to confide in.
 
But one of them is not who they pretend to be…
The two women instantly become best friends. But underneath the surface, secrets, lies and betrayals are all hiding. And when the truth comes out, not everyone will live to tell the tale…

What have I finished reading?

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. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved.

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, it’s clear to Detective Jonah Sheens and his team that she is their prime suspect – though they soon find 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?

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?

What will I read next?

The crazy girls, they called them – or at least, Elizabeth liked to think they did. As a teenager in the late 1970s, she was clever, overweight and a perfect victim for the bullies. Then Rachel and her family arrived in town and, for Elizabeth, it was as if a light had been switched on. She was drawn to the bright and beautiful Rachel like a moth to a flame.

Rachel had her own reasons for wanting Elizabeth as a friend, and although their relationship was far from equal, Elizabeth would do anything for Rachel.

Then the first body was discovered.

Twenty years on, Elizabeth wants nothing more than to keep the secrets of her teenage years where they belong: in the past. But another body has been found, and she can’t keep running from what happened.

The Rapunzel Act: A Burton & Lamb Case (Burton and Lamb Thrillers Book 4) by [Abi Silver]

CAN YOU FIND JUSTICE… WHEN THE WORLD IS WATCHING?

When breakfast TV host and nation’s darling, Rosie Harper, is found brutally murdered at home, suspicion falls on her spouse, formerly international football star, Danny ‘walks on water’ Mallard, now living out of the public eye as trans woman, Debbie.

Not only must Debbie challenge the hard evidence against her, including her blood-drenched glove at the scene of the crime, she must also contend with the nation’s prejudices, as the trial is broadcast live, turning it into a public spectacle. For someone trying to live their life without judgment, it might just be too much to bear.

Legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb are subjected to unyielding scrutiny as they strive to defend their most famous client yet.

Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith #bookreview #blogtour @Mrssmithmunday @orionbooks

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Nikki Smith on my blog today, Look What You Made Me Do. With thanks to Alex Layt from Orion Books for inviting me to take part.

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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?

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Nikki Smith’s debut novel, All In Her Head, and I couldn’t wait to see what she came up with next. Look What You Made Me Do is a gripping, character-driven psychological thriller. Nikki Smith explores the simmering tensions within a family through the eyes of sisters Jo and Caroline. This is as they come to terms with the loss of their dad. Tensions especially heighten when it is revealed that their dad has left his business entirely to Jo.

Nikki Smith expertly peeled back the layers of each family member, and I thought they were all very well developed. I thought both Jo and Caroline were really intriguing characters. I liked how Nikki explored the dynamics of their relationship, especially the sibling rivalry. It made me wonder just how far they were prepared to go to achieve what they wanted. I really didn’t like their mother, who seemed to prefer one of her daughters over the other. I really couldn’t understand how she could openly show this in front of them.

Nikki Smith builds on the tension as the story progresses, and I was surprised with the direction in which she took the story, especially with the more domestic issues she explored. I wanted to know just how things were going to pan out for the family as they begin to understand what has happened and what this will mean for them when it is revealed that Jo and Caroline’s dad has left everything to Jo. There is a growing sense of dislike and mistrust building between them, and there are some shocking revelations as they come head to head with each other.

There were plenty of characters who I really didn’t like in this book. I really didn’t like Caroline’s husband, Rob. There were some scenes at the beginning in which he and Caroline were together, which made me feel very uncomfortable. He came across as very controlling, and it made me fear for Caroline as I was reading these early scenes. He was a really nasty character.

I thought Nikki Smith’s writing was very immersive, and I was pulled into the story. I did not want to put this book down. Nikki Smith delivers a very powerful twist that I did not see coming. Look What You Made Me Do felt like a very fresh psychological thriller, and I really enjoyed it. If you haven’t yet discovered Nikki Smith’s books, then you really need to read them.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 1st April 2021

Print length: 336 pages

Look What You Made Me Do is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

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Trust Me by T.M. Logan #bookreview #blogtour @TMLoganAuthor @bonnierbooks_uk @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Trust Me the new novel by T.M. Logan on my blog today. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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TWO STRANGERS, A CHILD, AND A SPLIT SECOND CHOICE THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.
Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of T.M. Logan’s thrillers, so I jumped at the chance to read his latest, and I moved it right to the top of my TBR pile. Trust Me is filled with suspense, and the tension is there on every single page. Right from the very start, I had to know what was going on here and I raced through it to find the answers. It is very addictive!

At the beginning of the novel, we meet Ellen, who is just boarding a train. She has no idea how what should have been a simple journey will impact the rest of her life. When the woman she is sitting next to asks if she wouldn’t mind looking after her baby, Mia, while she makes a phone call, Ellen expects her to be back any moment. But she doesn’t return. All Ellen finds is a note warning her not to trust the police.

Ellen is a great lead character. Straight away, she feels a bond between her and Mia, and she is willing to do anything to protect her. But Ellen doesn’t know who it is she needs to protect Mia from. Why did her mother abandon her? Why can’t she trust the police? I wanted to know what was really going on here as the situation Ellen finds herself in, begins to unfold. Who would want to target an innocent young girl? This is what Ellen can’t quite bring herself to believe. Mia has done nothing wrong; why is she in danger? What can Ellen do to protect her when the police can’t be trusted?

Ellen is a character who I connected with very early on. I felt sorry for her as I began to learn more about her life. She has just recently split up with her husband, and she is devastated that she hasn’t been able to have children. She knows now that it is very unlikely to happen to her. Her husband then announces to her that he and his new partner are expecting a baby, which comes as a real blow. When Ellen first comes into contact with Mia, there was a part of me hoping that perhaps, Ellen might be able to adopt her.

I was on the edge of my seat right the way through this book. T.M. Logan is an author who knows how to keep his readers turning the page, and I was utterly gripped. There were tense scenes which were packed with action. It made me feel as though I was there, watching everything unfold around me.

If you’re a fan of high octane novels, and if you haven’t read anything by T.M. Logan before, then you’re definitely missing out. I’m always really impressed with what he has managed to come up with, and I know I’ll be adding whatever he writes next to my TBR pile right away. Trust Me is a thriller not to be missed.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 432 pages

Trust Me is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

March 2021 Wrap-Up

Well, that’s another month done and dusted. Here in the UK we’re finally beginning to emerge out of lockdown and I’m starting to feel a lot more positive about the weeks ahead. I’m looking forward to meeting up with people again in the coming months when we’re finally allowed to do so.

I’m really excited about the current book I’m writing and I have currently written 45,006 words of the first draft. It’s a standalone psychological thriller which is separate to the series I’m also currently writing.

I have now read 49 books so far this year towards my reading goal of 100 books by the end of 2021. In March I managed to read sixteen novels.

I took part in six blog tours this month and I’ve listed the links below in case you missed any.

Bound by Vanda Symon

Future Perfect by Felicia Yap

The Night Gate by Peter May

The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas

Last Seen by Joy Kluver

This month I have four blog tours coming up, Turst Me by T.M. Logan on the 5th April Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith on the 6th, Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone on the 15th and The House of Hidden Secrets by C E Rose on the 22nd.

I received some exciting bookpost this month. I received copies of Lightseekers by Femi Kayode and Post Mortem by Gary Bell, This is How We are Human by Louise Beech, The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone, One Last Time by Helga Flatland, Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge, Truth or Dare by M.J. Arlidge and The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill.

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What are you currently reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments. I’m currently reading The Killing Choice by Will Shindler and Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge.

Invisible Victim by Mel Sherratt #coverreveal @writermels @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for the new psychological thriller by Mel Sherratt, Invisible Victim which is being published by Bookouture on the 28th June 2021. This sounds really intriguing and I can’t wait to read it. But before I reveal the cover, let’s take a look at the blurb.

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‘Let me out! Please!’ I shouted, banging on the door. How had I got here? What day was it? I couldn’t remember anything. But I knew I had become the fifth woman to be abducted.

As my eyes adjust to the darkness, I’m filled with dread. Everything looks just like the others described: a small hole in the door, a mattress and a narrow window allowing only a small chink of light. The jewellery given to me by my loving husband has gone and I’m in someone else’s clothes.

Just days before, I had interviewed the third victim for the local paper. She couldn’t stop shaking. Her story was the same as those before her: an ordinary woman, locked away for ten days then released with no explanation, and nothing – nothing she could think of – to link her to the others. Throughout the ordeal, her abductor stayed eerily silent.

I tell myself I’ll be safe in ten days. But I can’t help thinking of the fourth victim who is still missing. And then I hear the voice coming through the door. “You said everything would be fine. But it wasn’t was it?” It is then that I realise. If I am to make it out alive, I need to revisit a dark secret of my own that I have spent a lifetime trying to forget.

Now for the all important cover:

Invisible-Victim-Kindle

If you would like to pre-order the book, you can do so by clicking on the link below

Amazon UK

The Art of Death #bookreview April, 1st Monday Crime @DavyFennell @1stMondayCrime

First Monday Crime is back on Monday, 12th April 2021 at 19:30 p.m. UK time (it’s a week later due to the Bank Holiday) and we have another brilliant panel for you. I’m re-sharing my review of David Fennell’s fantastic, The Art of Death which I originally shared as part of the blog tour in February. David is one of the authors who will be appearing on the panel. I will have all the details at the end of this post.

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Death is an art, and he is the master . . .

Three glass cabinets appear in London’s Trafalgar Square containing a gruesome art installation: the floating corpses of three homeless men. Shock turns to horror when it becomes clear that the bodies are real.

The cabinets are traced to @nonymous – an underground artist shrouded in mystery who makes a chilling promise: MORE WILL FOLLOW.

Eighteen years ago, Detective Inspector Grace Archer escaped a notorious serial killer. Now, she and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must hunt down another.

As more bodies appear at London landmarks and murders are livestreamed on social media, their search for @nonymous becomes a desperate race against time. But what Archer doesn’t know is that the killer is watching their every move – and he has his sights firmly set on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

MY THOUGHTS

The Art of Death is a fantastic start to a new crime series, and David Fennell is a new crime writer to watch out for. This book utterly gripped me, and I read it really quickly. If you’re a fan of serial killer thrillers, then you need to read this book.

Grace Archer is a fascinating new detective on the crime fiction scene. In David Fennell’s first book, she faces a sadistic serial killer, and it becomes a race against time to catch him. He is a deranged individual who creates art out of his victims. He puts Grace’s entire team on edge when they discover his first victims, and they know he isn’t finished. He has already gained a following on social media, and he is keen to show more of his work. He also has a star victim in sight. I wanted to know if he would succeed in carrying out his plans, and I was rooting for the police to catch him.

The tension in this book never lets up. The chapters are short and snappy, and the dialogue keeps the pace flowing forward. There is tension on every page as Grace and her team race to find the killer and there are also chapters told from his point of view. We get to see how he chooses his victims, and it makes for terrifying, but utterly gripping reading as he carries out his plans. I found myself wanting to scream at the characters he was targeting. I wanted them to see him for who he really was.

I liked the team Grace worked with as well. There is a lot of wit in their conversation. You can see that they all get on with each other and I’m looking forward to seeing how their friendships develop in future books. We are aware that Grace has gone through something terrible in her past, but David Fennell doesn’t go into a lot of details regarding this. One part I really liked was Grace’s relationship with her grandfather, which makes her a really likeable character.

David Fennell certainly doesn’t shy away from gruesome details, and there are some quite graphic scenes. You get a real sense of how insane the killer is and how keen he is to carry out his crimes. The only way he is going to be stopped is if the police catch him first. As the novel drew closer to its conclusion, I was able to guess who the killer was, but I wanted to see how things were going to pan out.

The Art of Death is an exciting, gripping start to a new series, introducing a fresh new voice in the crime fiction market. I loved it, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 4th February 2021

Print length: 432 pages

The Art of Death is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

First Monday Crime is live on Facebook at 19.30 p.m. on Monday, 12th April 2021. We have David Fennell author of, The Art of Death, Sarah Pearse author of The Sanatorium, Matt Wesolowski author of Deity and David Baldacci author of A Gambling Man. You can access the event by clicking on the following link below. The panel is being moderated by Jacky Collins.

First Monday Crime