Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse #blogtour #giveaway

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lucie Whitehouse, Risk of Harm. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part. As part of the blog tour I have a copy of the book to giveaway but first let’s take a look at what the novel is about.

Risk of Harm by [Lucie Whitehouse]

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Robin Lyons is back in her hometown of Birmingham and now a DCI with Force Homicide, working directly under Samir, the man who broke her heart almost twenty years ago.

When a woman is found stabbed to death in a derelict factory and no one comes forward to identify the body, Robin and her team must not only hunt for the murderer, but also solve the mystery of who their victim might be.

As Robin and Samir come under pressure from their superiors, from the media and from far-right nationalists with a dangerous agenda, tensions in Robin’s own family threaten to reach breaking point. And when a cold case from decades ago begins to smoulder and another woman is found dead in similar circumstances, rumours of a serial killer begin to spread.

In order to get to the truth Robin will need to discover where loyalty ends and duty begins. But before she can trust, she is going to have to forgive – and that means grappling with some painful home truths.

GIVEAWAY

As part of the blog tour, I have one copy of Risk of Harm to giveaway. To enter, please see my pinned Tweet on Twitter. My account is @collinsjacob115. Giveaway closes midnight BST time, Friday, 16th July 2021. One winner will be chosen at random and the winner will be announced in the comments. Good luck!

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I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood #bookreview #blogtour @imranmahmood777 @BloomsburyRaven @Tr4cyF3nt0n

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Imran Mahmood, I Know What I Saw. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

I Know What I Saw: 'A mesmerising thriller. Don't miss this one' - T. M. Logan by [Imran Mahmood]

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I saw it. He smothered her, pressing his hands on her face. The police don’t believe me, they say it’s impossible – but I know what I saw.
Xander Shute – once a wealthy banker, now living on the streets – shelters for the night in an empty Mayfair flat. When he hears the occupants returning home, he scrambles to hide. Trapped in his hiding place, he hears the couple argue, and he soon finds himself witnessing a vicious murder.

But who was the dead woman, who the police later tell him can’t have been there? And why is the man Xander saw her with evading justice?

As Xander searches for answers, his memory of the crime comes under scrutiny, forcing him to confront his long-buried past and the stories he’s told about himself.

How much he is willing to risk to understand the brutal truth?

MY THOUGHTS

I Know What I Saw is a very different novel to Imran Mahmood’s debut. Imran Mahmood has created another gripping story with a brilliant hook. The shocking opening scenes pulled me right into the book; I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

When we first met Xander, he is homeless. He is an intelligent man; we know this very early on when it’s revealed that he went to Cambridge. This made me wonder what happened to him, which led to him being in the position that he now is. It’s what makes him such a captivating and fascinating character. When Xander witnesses a murder, he can’t get the police to believe him. And soon, his whole world is about to come crashing down.

Like Xander, I had to know what had really happened and why the police weren’t taking him seriously. He, himself, tries to find out what has happened, even though this is a very risky thing for him to do. But he has to know, and he is determined to find answers. But things soon take a very sinister turn ,and Xander’s life starts spiralling out of control.

I had no idea how things were going to pan out for Xander, and this is what drives the tension. I was rooting for him to get to the truth and to prove to the police that he really did see what he saw, but then things began to change. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I felt that I couldn’t entirely trust him. This makes him even more interesting as Imran Mahmood begins to paint a very different picture of the man we thought we knew.

I thought the story was so well told and that Xander’s voice came through very strongly. I had a clear image of him inside my head as I was reading. I wouldn’t describe this book as a fast paced read, it is more of a slow burner, but I really liked it. The tension gradually builds throughout the book as Xander tries to find out what has really happened. There are some very powerful scenes in this book as Xander comes to realise the truth. I thought it was done really well.

I Know What I Saw is a very clever book, and I was utterly gripped right the way through. Imran Mahmood delves into the psyche of his characters, and he brings them to life so, so well. A brilliant read, I highly recommend it!

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication date: 10th June 2021

Print length: 366 pages

I Know What I Saw is available to buy:

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All Her Fault by Andrea Mara #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the brilliant novel by Andrea Mara, All Her Fault.

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ONE MISSING BOY.

Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.

FOUR GUILTY WOMEN.

As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .

IN A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS, WHO IS REALLY AT FAULT?

MY THOUGHTS

All Her Fault by Andrea Mara is such a tense thriller. Andrea Mara explores every parent’s worst nightmare when Marissa’s four-year-old son, Milo, disappears. He was meant to be at a playdate with his friend, but when Marissa goes to pick him up, his friend’s mother has no knowledge of the playdate. And this is when the fear begins to set in for Marissa. Has her son been kidnapped? It makes for a shocking opening that gets the tension rising right away.

As the police investigate Milo’s disappearance, it’s suspected that his friend’s nanny has taken him. Marissa clings to the hope that she is keeping him safe and looking after him, but things soon begin to take a dark turn. It isn’t clear what the kidnapper’s motive is, and they soon find out that she knows dangerous people. This then begins to suggest that there could be a much more sinister motive. Marissa’s fear comes through very strongly, and I thought that Andrea Mara wrote this very well.

The mystery surrounding Milo’s disappearance is very complex, and it is very well thought out.  I felt I couldn’t trust any of the characters, and it seemed as though they were all keeping secrets. I wanted to find out more about them, and it’s what makes this book such a gripping read. I wanted to know more about the nanny who is suspected of kidnapping Milo. I wanted to know more about her background and why she would suddenly do this.

What I thought was intriguing was how Andrea Mara looked at how gossip spreads and the different views people had on what had happened. Whenever there is a crime reported on in the news, people always have opinions on the people involved, openly sharing their thoughts and feelings. It can get very nasty on social media when this happens. Andrea Mara explores this very well in her book, and I liked how it increased the tension.

I was kept invested in the plot as the race to find answers and to find Milo heightened. I couldn’t work out what was going on and if there was more going on here than what first meets the eye. The book is told from different perspectives, and there was one person I really didn’t like. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to go to the police when it was possible that they might hold vital information. I don’t want to give too much away here, so I won’t go into any more detail. The plot gets really twisty, and the reveals which come towards the end are shocking and devastating. I thought it was so clever how Andrea Mara wrapped everything up. It was something I definitely wasn’t expecting.

I loved All Her Fault. The plot is so gripping, and I thought it was very original. Andrea Mara brings her characters to life really well. If you’re a lover of psychological thrillers, then you definitely need to add this book to your TBR pile.

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication date: 8th July 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (hardcover)

Print length: 400 pages

All Her Fault is available to buy:

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Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir #bookreview #blogtour @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new crime novel by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Girls Who Lie. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she’s taken her own life … until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?
 
Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to a shocking tragedy.
 
Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

MY THOUGHTS

Girls Who Lie is an intriguing addition to the Forbidden Iceland series by Eva Björg Ægisdottir, which is turning into a fantastic new crime series. The atmospheric setting draws you in, and the clever, compelling storyline kept me hooked. It makes for a completely gripping, sinister and shocking read.

I thought the first book in the series, The Creak on the Stairs, was very creepy. I thought it set the tone for the series very well, which Eva Björg Ægisdottir carries through perfectly into the second book.

The author really does draw on the setting in this book, especially when the body of a missing woman, Mari´anna, is found on a lava field. This is one of the most original locations for hiding a body I’ve come across in crime fiction. It adds to the layer of intrigue surrounding the woman’s disappearance and who could be behind it. Now, Detective Elma and her team have to find out what happened to Mari´anna seven months earlier. But they have lost valuable time. Will they be able to find out who was behind it?

Some of the most intriguing scenes in this book are when Eva Björg Ægisdottir takes us back in time to fifteen years ago when a young mother gives birth to her daughter. I wanted to understand why she didn’t feel anything for her child, and this made her character all the more fascinating. As Eva continues to visit this time, we begin to see this character grow. I wanted to know how what was happening in the past fed into what had happened in the present. Was the discovery of the missing woman’s body and these scenes somehow connected?

Eva brings Elma’s character to life, and I liked the wit in her conversations with her colleague, Saver. The dialogue between them makes them feel like real people. The relationships that the characters have with each other are also what makes this story really compelling. I’m sure I’ll keep coming back to this series, excited to see what Eva Björg Ægisdottir has in store for us next.

If you love crime novels with a strong, fascinating setting that makes you feel as though you’re there, then I highly recommend Girls Who Lie. This book will reel you in from the very first page and keep you invested in the plot and the characters. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

Girls Who Lie is available to buy:

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Far From the Tree by Rob Parker #bookreview #blogtour @robparkerauthor @RedDogTweets

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Rob Parker, Far From the Tree. With thanks to Meggy Roussel from Red Dog Press for inviting me to take part.

Far From the Tree (Thirty Miles Trilogy Book 1) by [Rob Parker]

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Twenty-seven bodies, vacuum-packed, buried in a woodland trench. Some have been there for years, some for just days.

When DI Brendan Foley recognises one of the Warrington 27, he knows this case is about to shake his world.

Detective Sergeant Iona Madison is a skilled boxer and a vital support for Foley. Theirs is a newly established police force, and loyalties are about to be tested to the extreme.

Pressure mounts as news of the mass grave is plastered over the news. Brendan knows they can’t crack this case alone, but he’s not letting a rival force take over.

Their investigations lead them into the murky underworlds of Manchester and Liverpool, where one more murder means little to drug-dealing gangs, desperate to control their power bases.

But as Madison steps into the ring for the fight of her life, the criminals come to them. It’s no coincidence that the corpses have been buried in Foley’s hometown. The question is, why?

MY THOUGHTS

Far From the Tree is a brilliant start to a new police procedural series. Rob Parker begins this book with a great opening that hooked me into the story right away. The bodies of 27 people are found in a mass grave. But the most horrifying thing is that one of the victims is DI Brendan Foley’s nephew, and he is the one to realise this when he is called to the scene.

This is the first book I have read by Rob Parker, and I have heard very good things about his writing in the past. I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to get round to reading one of his books. I am pleased to see that this book is the first in a trilogy.

Far From the Tree is a very gritty crime thriller that pulls us into the dark criminal underworld. I could feel Foley’s pain after the discovery. But Foley is determined to stay on the investigation and find out what happened to his nephew. The opening scene is one of the most gripping and shocking that I’ve read. I instantly wanted to know what had happened here and what had led to Foley’s nephew being killed. What, if anything, had he been involved in before his death? With the twenty six other deaths the team are investigating, it becomes a very complex investigation.

Because of his connection to one of the victims discovered in the mass grave, Foley knows that he won’t be allowed to be involved in the investigation. His determination to get the truth comes through very strongly, and it is clear to see that he is willing to go to any means to achieve this. It’s what makes this book such an exciting and tense read as Foley is a police officer who doesn’t always follow the rules. It made me wonder if anything was going to him if the rest of his team found out what he was up to.

I liked Foley’s partnership with Madison, and I thought Madison was a really fresh character. I loved that she was a boxer, and I thought that her and Foley’s working relationship was very well done. I could see very clearly that they are two people who will always have each other’s back.

This is a very pacy book, and Rob Parker kept me turning the pages. It is a crime thriller fuelled by action, and Rob Parker keeps the tension turning up a notch. It’s definitely one of those books which you can devour in just a couple of sittings.

I’m really looking forward to reading the next books in the series. I want to find out more about DI Brendan Foley and his family, and I am very excited to see what’s in store for him next. Rob Parker has written a captivating page turner that has left me wanting more. If you’re a fan of high octane crime novels, you definitely need to read this book. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Publication date: 2nd July 2021

Print length: 275 pages

Far From the Tree is available to buy:

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The Lost Girls by Heather Young #bookreview #blogtour @HYoungwriter @Verve_Books @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Lost Girls by Heather Young. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Lost Girls by [Heather Young]

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In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s summer house on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family – her father takes his own life, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child.

Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability – a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he’s telling.

Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her absent mother reappears, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

MY THOUGHTS

The Lost Girls is an atmospheric crime thriller by Heather Young, and the plot and her writing drew me into the story and the setting. This isn’t a fast-paced novel, but it captured my attention, and I wanted to find out what had happened in 1935 when a young girl, Emily, disappeared.

I loved the lake house, which for me became a character itself as we visit it in the present day and decades earlier in the 1930s. There is a very haunting feeling to this book, and it does have an intriguing mystery that kept me turning the pages. The characters were very well drawn, and I thought their voices came through very strongly.

In the present day, Justine has just inherited the lakeside property from her great-aunt, and she decides to move her family there. I did find this a little bit odd when I was reading it, especially as she’d only been to the house once before in her life. The house is very isolated. With the mystery of what happened there in the past still unsolved, it made me wonder why anyone would want to move there. I don’t think I would feel comfortable moving into a home where a crime has taken place or if an unexplained event has happened.

The house felt very mysterious to me, and I wanted to know what had happened there in 1935. As the family get settled into the home, they begin to find newspaper articles dating from around the time of Emily’s disappearance and other personal, family belongings. I was eager to know if there would be some sort of clue among the possessions found that might explain what happened.

I liked the scenes when Heather Young took us back in time. We see the events leading up to Emily’s disappearance. It makes for tense reading as Heather Young explores the girl’s relationships with her parents and siblings. Their father is very controlling and very religious.

The truth about what happened in 1935 is heart-breaking, and I liked how Heather Young gradually revealed this. I could feel what the characters were feeling at the time the events were being described on the page. There is a tense finale as the events in the present day are wrapped up.

The Lost Girls does make for a sinister and gripping read. I thought Heather Young’s writing was really addictive, and I thought it flowed well. If you enjoy a slow-burner with a strong sense of place and an intriguing mystery, I highly recommend it. It is so well written.

Publisher: Verve Books

Publication date: 20th May 2021 (kindle) 25th November 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

The Lost Girls is available to buy:

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