The Toll House by Carly Reagon #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Carly Reagon, The Toll House.


The past isn’t always dead and buried.

A house with history. That’s how the estate agent described the old toll house on the edge of the town. For Kelda it’s the perfect rural home for her young son Dylan after a difficult few years.

But when Kelda finds a death mask concealed behind one of the walls, everything changes. Inexplicable things happen in the house, Kelda cannot shake the feeling of being watched and Dylan is plagued by nightmares, convinced he can see figures in his room. As Dylan’s behaviour becomes increasingly challenging, Kelda seeks answers in the house’s mysterious past. But she’s running out of time.

Because something has awoken.

And now it won’t rest . . .


I love a ghost story at this time of year, which meant that The Toll House by Carly Reagon, went straight to the top of my TBR pile. It has such a spooky cover, and, I must admit, the cover alone drew me right to it when I saw it. I loved the creeping sense of danger that Carly Reagon builds on as the novel develops.

Carly Reagon flicks backwards and forwards between the years 1863 and the present day building on the tension in each time period, and creating a dark atmosphere. The central focus of this book is a house, where in the present day, Kelda and her son Dylan, have just moved into. The property is known as The Toll House and Carly Reagon describes this setting so well, bringing the house to life in her writing. From the moment when Kelda arrives, she senses that something isn’t quite right about the place, and soon strange things start to happen, especially when she uncovers a death mask, belonging to a former occupant of the house.

The history surrounding the property was fascinating, and I thought it was really well done, how Carly Reagon built on this, especially when Kelda begins to think about the traumatic events that once happened there, and wonders if she made a mistake in buying it. You can clearly see her reservations about staying there, from the moment she first steps into the house after buying it. This is what adds a chilling note to the atmosphere. It’s hard to see, at this point, just what kind of danger Kelda and her son are in, and what evil may lurk in the house, and this creates more tension.

There are some intriguing backstories that Carly Reagon builds on as we get to know Kelda further. As Carly delves into her history, it made me connect even more to Kelda’s character. There are some emotional scenes as Carly reveals what has happened in Kelda’s past, and I liked how the relationship with her son, Dylan, was explored.

The mystery surrounding the house is really intriguing. I wanted to find out more about what happened to the people who lived there in the past, and what impact this would have on Kelda and her son. The Toll House is a brilliant debut; I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 6th October 2022

Print length: 328 pages

The Toll House is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

Force of Nature by Jane Harper #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the second novel in the Aaron Falk series by Jane Harper, Force of Nature.


Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice’s welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.


I loved Jane Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, when I read it a few years ago, so I’m really pleased that I’ve caught up on the second book in the series, Force of Nature. Aaron Falk is back, and this time, he is investigating the disappearance of a woman, Alice Russell, who has vanished while on a back packing trip with friends in the Australian outback. Aaron Falk has previously worked with Alice, who has worked with him on an investigation, so this adds a chilling note to Alice’s disappearance, particularly as the investigation was to do with the company she works for. This is especially the case when we learn that one of Alice’s last messages before she went missing was to Falk.

I loved the tension Jane Harper creates surrounding Alice’s disappearance. There is an immediate threat of danger, and you know from the outset, that the chances of the police finding Alice alive are very slim, especially given the terrain she has vanished in. But what happened to Alice? I really wanted to know, and I liked how Jane Harper went back in time, showing us what happened in the days preceding Alice’s disappearance as the group of friends set off together.

Jane Harper is a master at crafting landscapes in her novels, and she really captures the danger as the women set off. The way in which Jane describes the landscapes, making them feel so real in her writing, is what makes both of these two books unique. I’m kicking myself that it’s taken me this long to get round to reading Force of Nature. You get the sense that things can quickly change, away from the main towns and cities, and Jane Harper shows how experienced you need to be in exploring these routes. Falk and the police know how difficult their task is.

Falk is a brilliant character, and his voice draws you into the story, keeping you captivated. He isn’t a police detective; he is part of the financial investigation unit. From the moment when he is contacted by Alice Russell, when she leaves him a mysterious voice message, in the beginning of the book, you can sense the dread he is feeling. You can see that he is determined to find out what has happened to her.

I thoroughly enjoyed Force of Nature. It is another gripping read from Jane Harper and I will make sure that I catch up on her other books as soon as possible.

Publisher: Little Brown

Publication date: 26th September 2017

Print length: 334 pages

Force of Nature is available to buy:

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Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new thriller by Alice Feeney, Daisy Darker.


Daisy Darker’s family were as dark as dark can be, when one of them died all of them lied and pretended not to see . . .

As the leaves of Autumn are falling Daisy Darker is arriving at her grandmother’s house, for eightieth birthday celebrations. Seaglass, the Darker’s ancestral home, is a crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island and is at one with the granite rocks it sits on.

The Darker family haven’t all been in the same place for over a decade, and when the tide comes in they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again, because one of them is a killer . . .


It’s been a while since I read a book by Alice Feeney, but I knew I had to read Daisy Darker. Now, if you were a fan of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, this will be right up your street, but it is much darker. It is a brilliant, original take on the locked room mystery, and it is the perfect read for this time of year, especially if you are looking for something spooky.

Alice Feeney creates an intriguing set-up to her book. She introduces us to Daisy Darker, the main character whose point of view the novel is told from and Alice Feeney begins to reveal her tragic backstory.

It is approaching Halloween and the Darker family are making their way to a remote island where the head of the family, Daisy’s grandmother, a famous writer, lives, and is about to mark her eightieth birthday. But a long time ago Daisy’s grandmother was told by a psychic that she wouldn’t live beyond eighty, so this feels almost as if they are going to say goodbye, rather than to celebrate. Things soon begin to turn very dark for the family when Daisy’s grandmother reads out her last will and testament.

Alice Feeney creates such a menacing atmosphere in this book, with the help of the storm raging in the background, trapping the family on the island, and especially as the true colours of Daisy’s family begin to come to light. It was fascinating to see what their reactions were, when Daisy’s grandmothers will was read out, and it shows just how greedy and unpleasant some families can be, when it comes to money. Soon, the family members are being murdered one by one, and Alice Feeney builds so well on the tension as the numbers of remaining family members left alive, begins to dwindle. I really had no idea who was murdering Daisy’s family; it felt as though anyone could be responsible.

I really enjoyed Daisy Darker. There is such a surprising twist that comes at the end of this book that adds another menacing layer to the writing. Alice Feeney reveals this twist so well and I did not see it coming. If you’re looking for a dark, chilling thriller, particularly for a long winter evening, I highly recommend this book. It won’t take you long to finish it.

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication date: 18th August 2022

Print length: 338 pages

Daisy Darker is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Sleep When You’re Dead by Jude O’Reilly #bookreivew #blogtour @judithoreilly @HoZ_Books @soph_ransompr

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Jude O’Reilly, Sleep When You’re Dead. With thanks to Sophie Ransom for inviting me to take part.


In thirty-six hours, thousands of innocent people will die. There’s not a second to waste. And no time for sleep…

Michael North has a bullet lodged in his brain which could kill him any second. That makes him the perfect MI5 asset: he’s ruthless, loyal, brave. And, best of all, disposable.

Teenage computer expert Fangfang Yu does not feel the same way. She’s determined to keep her friend out of danger – however many cyber laws she has to break to keep him alive.

Now North has been sent undercover into a doomsday cult on a remote Scottish island. He has thirty-six hours to stop their charismatic leader from inciting the murder of thousands. He can only do it with Fangfang’s help – but when they uncover a shocking link between the cult and the dark heart of the US defence establishment, it doesn’t just put North’s life at risk… it threatens Fangfang too.


I’ve followed Jude O’Reilly’s Michael North series since the beginning and I am a huge fan of these books. Sleep When You’re Dead is the third book in the series, and as with Jude’s previous novels, it opens with a bang and the pace does not drop at all throughout the novel. You do not, however, need to have read the previous books to enjoy this one, but I highly recommend that you do, particularly if you enjoy high octane thrillers.

Michael North is such an interesting character. He is a man who can die at any moment, with the bullet that is lodged in his brain. If it moves at all, it’ll kill him. Perhaps this is the reason why he is willing to take risks, knowing that just a slight nudge of the bullet will leave him dead, what else has he got to lose? In this book, Michael North is being sent to investigate a cult on a Scottish Island, the leader of which is preparing something big. Jude O’Reilly opens the novel in a big way, that really sets the scene for the focus of the rest of the novel, and the story kept me utterly hooked. I wanted to know what was going on, on this island. Jude O’Reilly creates a mysterious atmosphere surrounding the island so well, and I felt as though I was part of the action that was taking place there.

What I really like about these books is Michael’s relationship with Fang, like Michael, she is another fascinating character in this series and Jude O’Reilly brings them to life so well on the page. You can feel how much Fang doesn’t want North to come to harm, and I think she would much rather it be the case that he was out of the way of danger.

There is real tension as Michael North delves further into what is going on the island. You can feel that he is racing against time to stop what is about to happen, and I had no idea how things were going to pan out, but I was rooting for him to succeed in his mission.

Sleep When You’re Dead is an action packed thriller and it is really entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve definitely said this before, but I would love to see these books adapted into a film. I can’t wait to see where Jude O’Reilly takes her characters next.

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publication date: 13th October 2022

Print length: 403 pages

Sleep When You’re Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


Wolf Pack by Will Dean #bookeview #blogtour @willrdean @PointBlankCrime @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Will Dean, Wolf Pack, on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


When there’s a pack on the hunt, nobody’s safe

A closed community

Rose Farm is home to a group of survivalists, completely cut off from the outside world. Until now.

A missing person

A young woman goes missing within the perimeter of the farm compound. Can Tuva talk her way inside the tight-knit group to find her story?

A frantic search

As Tuva attempts to unmask the culprit, she gains unique access to the residents. But soon she finds herself in danger of the pack turning against her – will she make her way back to safety so she can expose the truth?

Will Dean’s most heart-pounding Tuva Moodyson thriller yet takes Tuva to her absolute limits in exposing a heinous crime, and in her own personal life. Can she, and will she, do the right thing?


It’s always a treat to read a Tuva Moodyson thriller at this time of year as the shorter nights roll in. These books are the perfect novels for the autumn months. Will Dean is a writer who is an expert at creating an atmospheric landscape. Wolf Pack is the latest book in this series, and it follows reporter, Tuva, who is still reeling from events that happened in the last book, Bad Apples. Tuva feels as though she is lost, especially with what has happened to her girlfriend, Noora, and she feels as though she has nothing to focus on. But when a young woman, Elsa, disappears from a mysterious farm, Tuva becomes in embroiled in the mystery, and trying to work out what happened gives her a sense of purpose again.

This is a thriller with real emotional depth, and you can feel the trauma Tuva has been through and is still going through. I was glad, in this book, that she did have something to focus on, with the disappearance of the young woman, Elsa. As Tuva begins to further investigate what happened to Elsa, I wanted to find out what was going on at Rose farm, that Elsa was connected to. Was the mystery behind Elsa’s disappearance connected to the farm?

Will Dean knows how to hit the ground running in his books. The opening pulls you into the story and once again Will Dean pulls you into the darkness of the Swedish forest that has become a main character, in his Tuva thrillers. For those of you who are familiar with Will’s work, you may know that he lives in the centre of a Swedish Moose Forest, so this gives him a real advantage of creating this setting. I always definitely feel as though I am there, in amongst the trees, listening out for the baying sound of a moose or the howl of a wolf. It creates such a distinct and chilling atmosphere which is what I love about the Tuva Moodyson series.

As Tuva began to try and find out more about Rose farm, in the wake of Elsa’s disappearance, I wondered how much danger she would be putting herself in and the tension builds as Tuva investigates further. It felt as though there was a lot more going on here than first meets the eye, and again Will Dean has created a cast of characters that Tuva investigates, who appear to be hiding secrets and this creates a sinister tone to the novel. I felt that the farm could be a cult, and this is what really adds to the tension in this book. Tuva really throws everything into this investigation and is determined to make sure that Elsa isn’t forgotten about, and that the person responsible for the crime is caught. This becomes very personal to her.

If you love a crime novel with a dark and foreboding atmosphere you need to be reading this series if you haven’t read it already. Wolf Pack is another brilliant addition and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Publisher: Point Blank

Publication date: 8th September 2022

Print length: 323 pages

Wolf Pack is available to buy:

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The Call of Cassandra Rose by Sophia Spiers #bookreview #blogtour @sophia_spiers @lume_books @instabooktours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the debut novel by Sophia Spiers, The Call of Cassandra Rose.


Annabelle seems to have it all. The perfect house, a successful husband, a darling son. But Annabelle is troubled. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, failing at motherhood, and at odds with her new privileged lifestyle, Annabelle begins to self-harm, a habit resurrected from her traumatic past. When she meets the alluring and charismatic hypnotherapist Cassandra Rose, she is offered a way out. Through hypnosis, Annabelle is encouraged to unearth her painful repressed memories and face her childhood demons. But as the boundaries between her hypnotic trance and reality begin to dissolve, Annabelle becomes increasingly vulnerable to much darker forces. Filled with twists and suspense, The Call of Cassandra Rose is a chilling thriller that examines how trauma shapes our lives and asks whether we can ever really escape our pasts.


Wow, this was a tense read. I’ve been excited to read The Call of Cassandra Rose, Sophia Spiers’ debut, for a while now, and I was not disappointed. I felt as though my heart was in my throat the entire time while I was reading this book. 

We meet Annabelle, who, since she has got married, and since she has become a mother, has been struggling with her mental health, and the tension is only growing between her and husband. Sophia Spiers delves into the emotional trauma Annabelle is experiencing and she is a character who I really felt for as I was reading this book. So, when she first meets therapist, Cassandra Rose, Cassandra seems to her to be like a lifeline. I really did not like Annabelle’s husband, Matt, and I was rooting for Annabelle to get out of the marriage which felt incredibly toxic. But as she started to take the next steps to take more control of her life, I feared how her husband was going to react.

Cassandra is a very intriguing character. Throughout the novel, I wasn’t sure if I could entirely trust Cassandra, and it made me fear for Annabelle as Annabelle gets closer to her. I really wasn’t sure how things between them were going to pan out. I could feel the same pull Annabelle was feeling, and I wanted to find out more about Cassandra. As she and Annabelle get to know each other, you can see just how Annabelle begins to rely on her, almost to the point of obsession, and this is what kept me gripped as I was reading. It’s as if Annabelle can’t live without Cassandra, and Sophia Spiers uses this to create tension in her novel very well. I really felt for Annabelle as she tried to reach out, and this really heightens the conflict and tension in the book. There are some themes Sophia Spiers explores which may be distressing to some readers, especially self-harm, but Sophia does this sensitively, and it made me feel for Annabelle even more.

The tension is there on every page of this book. There is such a tense finale that I refused to put the book down until I had turned the final page. The Call of Cassandra Rose is an excellent psychological thriller and I’m really looking forward to seeing what Sophia Spiers writes next. She is an exciting new writer to watch.

Publisher: Lume Books

Publication date: 13th October 2022

Print length: 384 pages

The Call of Cassandra Rose is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


Red as Blood by Lilja Sigurdardóttir #bookreview #blogtour @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lilja Sigurdardóttir Red as Blood. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


When entrepreneur Flosi arrives home for dinner one night, he discovers that his house has been ransacked, and his wife Gudrun missing. A letter on the kitchen table confirms that she has been kidnapped. If Flosi doesn’t agree to pay an enormous ransom, Gudrun will be killed. 

Forbidden from contacting the police, he gets in touch with Áróra, who specialises in finding hidden assets, and she, alongside her detective friend Daniel, try to get to the bottom of the case without anyone catching on.

Meanwhile, Áróra and Daniel continue the puzzling, devastating search for Áróra’s sister Ísafold, who disappeared without trace. As fog descends, in a cold and rainy Icelandic autumn, the investigation becomes increasingly dangerous, and confusing. 

Chilling, twisty and unbearably tense, Red as Blood is the second instalment in the riveting, addictive An Áróra Investigation series, and everything is at stake…


I’ve been really looking forward to reading Red as Blood by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, who is such an exciting writer, and it did not disappoint. Lilja’s writing is so fast paced, and I always fly through her books, often in the matter of a few hours. She opens Red as Blood with a tense opening, getting the action going right away, when Flosi, a multi-millionaire, returns home to discover his wife, Gudrun, has disappeared. A ransom note has been left behind, demanding a vast sum of money in exchange for his wife’s safe return, leaving him in turmoil.

Lilja’s detective, Áróra, is back in this book, and she has been through a very recent trauma with the disappearance of her sister, Ísafold, which remains unsolved, and she is still trying to work out what happened. I wondered how she would be able to cope taking on a missing person’s case, when her sister still hadn’t been found, and this adds a layer of tension to the plot as Áróra tries to work out what is going on. Although Lilja does revisit this part of Áróra’s past, you do not need to have read the first book in this series to read Red as Blood, as it can easily be read as a standalone. But I highly recommend that you do read the first book, Cold as Hell.

With any missing person’s case, when a ransom is demanded, it’s always risky for the victim’s family to contact the police for help, and the police know this as well, meaning they must work carefully, and not make any mistakes that would let the kidnappers know they are involved. This continues to add to the tension in the novel. But even though a ransom demand has been made, Áróra looks deeper into the case, and attempts to work out what happened in the lead up to Gudrun’s disappearance, and it seems as though there are definitely more questions here.

The further Áróra delves deeper, the more complex this case becomes, and the investigation takes a darker and surprising turn as she begins to work out what happened. I could feel her determination to get to the bottom of this case. I was kept invested as she tried to get to the bottom of things.

Lilja Sigurðardóttir kept me turning the pages and the pace really kept me gripped. Once again you get a brilliant, vivid portrayal of the Icelandic landscape, as well as the weather as they head towards winter, making this book even more immersive.

Red as Blood is a brilliant addition to this series, and I can’t wait to see where Lilja Sigurðardóttir takes her characters next, especially after the final chapter. If you haven’t read any of Lilja’s books yet, you really need to.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 13th October 2022

Print length: 276 pages

Red as Blood is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DI Angelica Henry series by Nadine Matheson, The Binding Room.


In this room, no one can hear you scream…

The Serial Crimes Unit are called in to investigate when a local pastor is found stabbed to death. As DI Henley assesses the crime scene, she discovers a hidden door that conceals a room set up for torture – and bound to the bed in the middle of the room is the body of a man.

When another body is found, also tied down, Henley realises there’s someone out there torturing innocent people and leaving them for dead. But why?

There’s nothing that connects the victims. They didn’t know each other. Their paths never crossed. But someone has targeted them, and it’s up to Henley and the SCU to stop them before they find another binding room…


If you’re after a gripping police procedural novel, then look no further than Nadine Matheson’s brilliant DI Angelica Henley series. I loved the first book in the series when I read it last year, and I’ve been meaning to get round to reading The Binding Room for ages, and I’m so pleased I finally have.

Nadine Matheson knows how to write dark crime fiction and things get really dark for her characters in the latest book in the series. DI Angelica Henley was on the hunt for a sadistic killer in the first book, and now, she is hunting a perpetrator with links to a mysterious Church, that believe in horrifying rituals. It appears as though they are brainwashing vulnerable people, which makes this group of people involved in the church seem even more dangerous.

What I love about Nadine’s writing is her use of dialogue. The dialogue in this book really drives the story forward, and it’s what makes her writing so pacy and addictive as well. I was fascinated by the links to this Church, and I wanted to find out more about what was going on, especially when a pastor is found dead at the beginning of the novel. It really is a race against time for Henley to catch the killer, especially as it seems as though they are intent on killing again, and the darkness deepens as the plot develops. Nadine adds to the tension all the time and isn’t afraid of writing gruesome details, especially when it comes to the crime scenes in her books.

I really like DI Angelica Henley; she comes across as a really likeable character, and I especially like her relationship with her dad, which adds real warmth to her character. As a police officer, you can see she isn’t afraid to stand her ground and fight for what she believes is the best course of action. I really wanted her to succeed, and I wanted her to bring the killer to justice. She definitely seems like a good person who you would want to have on your side.

I really enjoyed The Binding Room, I’m excited to see where Nadine Matheson takes this series next, and I’m sure this is a series I’ll keep coming back to as I can’t wait to catch up with her character’s again. I highly recommend it; you will be utterly hooked by her writing.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 7th July 2022

Print length: 512 pages

The Binding Room is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

A weekend at Capital Crime @CapitalCrime1

It was brilliant to see Capital Crime return to London this past weekend, this time at a new location in Battersea Park. I traveled on the Thursday and was lucky enough to spend the whole weekend there, listening to a variety of panels and very interesting speakers. If you haven’t been to this event before, you need to check it out next year. It’ll be returning on the same dates, 28th to the 30th September at the same location. Going to festivals and other book events, always inspires me further when it comes to my own writing, and it always makes me more determined to achieve my goal of hopefully one day getting published. All the photos published below are my own and I own the copyright to them.

The event officially began at 1pm on Thursday, 29th October. Battersea Park is a short walk from the nearest tube station, Battersea Park Station and I found the venue very easy to find. I attended the first afternoon takeover panel, You’re Killing Me: Ask the Industry Expert with David Headley (literary agent) Camilla Bolton (literary agent) Victoria Haslem (publisher) and Emad Akhtar (publisher) the event was moderated by Craig Sisterson. It was a fascinating insight into the publishing industry and what goes on behind the scenes after you submit a manuscript, gain representation and a publishing deal. What I found particularly interesting from this conversation, was what you have to do to make your work stand out in the submissions pile.

The next panel I went to was From London with Love with Anthony Horowitz, Kim Sherwood and Charlie Higson. I didn’t manage to take any photographs of this event but it was really engaging listening to the authors talk about their connections to Ian Fleming and James Bond, especially as I loved Anthony Horowitz’s and Charlie Higson’s books growing up. Kim Sherwood has also taken up the mantel of writing a new James Bond novel, Double or Nothing, which I am definitely interested in reading.

Afterwards it was good to catch up with friends at the bar for a few drinks.

On the Friday, I headed back to Battersea for the first panel of the day which, for me, was Hubble, Bubble Ghosts and Trouble featuring, Johana Gustawsson, Zoe Sommerville & W C Ryan, with the event being moderated by Anita Frank. The panel talked about the influence of the supernatural in their writing and the supernatural which, even though I’m more of a skeptic, if whether or not ghosts exist, I find really fascinating.

Next up was the Brits in the USA panel with authors, Will Dean, Mark Edwards, Erin Young and Chris Whitaker, who have all set their books in North America. I thought this panel was really engaging as well as being hilarious with Chris Whitaker and Mark Edwards telling some rib aching stories and Erin Young telling us about her time in America, when she went to research her book. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Mark Edwards’ tale about a squirrel.

Next up was the Brighton Rocks Panel featuring authors, Elly Griffiths, Araminta Hall, Jack Jordan & Kate Helm with the panel being moderated by William Shaw. The authors talked about their hometown of Brighton and about how it seems to be full of crime writers and especially what draws so many writers to the area.

The final panel of the day, for me, was Drama, Tension & Murder Throughout History featuring Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Abir Mukherjee, Anna Mazzola & Jessica Fellowes, the panel was moderated by Suzie Edge. The panel had a historical theme to it and there were some brilliant and hilarious stories told.

For the final day (the train strikes weren’t going to stop me from attending) I started first with Harriet Tyce interviewing Baroness Lady Hale, former President of the UK supreme court. This was a fascinating insight into the criminal justice system in the UK and the role of women in the judicial system.

Next up was the Contemporary Crime Fiction panel with authors, T.M. Logan, Heidi Perks & Claire Douglas, the panel was moderated by Ayo Onatade. I’m a huge fan of their novels, so it was fascinating to hear about their writing process.

After a quick break to get something to eat, I attended the Titans of the Terrifying Panel where authors David Fennell, Lars Kepler & Nadine Matheson were interviewed by Rod Reynolds about the killers in their novels. Particularly interesting to learn from this panel, was how Lars Kepler (a husband and wife writing team) write their books, particularly when they said that they act out the fight scenes in their books before they write them.

I next went to The Bestseller List panel where Barry Forshaw was interviewing international bestsellers, Clare Mackintosh, Lucy Foley and Jeffrey Archer about their rise to the top. Jeffrey Archer shocked the audience, as well as the other guests on the panel, when he told us he was paid $3.2 million for his first novel, Kane & Abel when he sold the rights to America.

The final event I went to of the day was to hear Ragnar Jonasson and the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir being interviewed by Joe Haddow. They both talked about their friendship and love of crime fiction, and especially, that they have a book being published in the UK next year which they have written together.

After spending some time at the bar with friends, for a couple of drinks, it was then time to, sadly, head home. I will definitely be returning next year.