Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir #bookreview blog tour @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue in Iceland rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy…

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

MY THOUGHTS

Cage is the third and final book in the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy by Lilja Sigurdardottir and another superb translation by Quentin Bates. It is a satisfying end to a series of books which I have really grown to enjoy. It’s been fascinating getting to know Agla throughout the three books, and I feel sad that this will be the last book to feature her. I do think though that it is a good place to end the series.

This time around the tables have turned for Agla. Currently Agla is in prison. She has also lost touch with her lover, Sonja who appears to have abandoned her.

While Agla is in prison, she is approached by investigative journalist, Marie, who is from a local paper called, The Squirrel. Marie was once Agla’s nemesis, but she is now seeking her help to investigate a company called, Meteorite, who are exporting aluminium out of Iceland. Marie is convinced something dodgy is going on here. As she gets closer to what is going on behind the scenes, Marie closes in on some very dangerous people. These people would wish to see her harmed if she ever got to the truth, but she is determined to expose them.

What this series highlights so well, is what can go on inside powerful groups, people who are involved in business deals and exporting vast sums of money out of the country. This is something which isn’t outside the realms of possibility. There is a terrifying world out there which ordinary people can become so easily swept up in, and this is what initially happened to Agla. This is why she is in this position today.

Agla seems to be a lot more detached in this book than she was in the previous books in the series. You can feel that the doors have closed on her and that she is now firmly trapped. She seems to have accepted her fate and is keen to do her time and then try to build a new life.

I think one of the things I missed in this book was her relationship with her son, Tomas, which Lilja previously built on so well. I did also miss her relationship with Sonja, and I felt sorry for Agla that she no longer could share her company. We do still see Sonja in Cage, but it isn’t quite in the same way.

The novel races towards a heart-pounding climax as everything comes to a head for Lilja’s characters. Lilja’s writing will have you furiously turning those pages.

This has been a brilliant series to follow, and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what Lilja Sigurdardottir writes next. Chilling and totally gripping right the way through, this is a series of books you need to read if you haven’t done so already.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 17th October 2019

Print length: 276 pages

If you would like to purchase Cage, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan blog tour #bookreview @WilliamRyan_ @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read this winter.

MY THOUGHTS

A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan is the perfect read for this time of year. If you enjoy reading in the winter nights and as the weather begins to turn, then this book is for you.

W.C.  Ryan takes us to a remote island where one of our lead characters, Kate, is travelling home to after the death of her brother during the First World War. The war has ravaged the county, and everyone has a connection to someone who is affected by the war.

Now there is a supernatural element to W.C. Ryan’s work which gives it a really spooky atmosphere. Kate’s parents, Lord and Lady Highmount, are planning a séance for their guests at their home, Blackwater Abbey, and they have gathered together people who have some ability to connect with the spirit world. They are great believers in mediums and fortune-tellers. Lady Highmount is desperate to hear from her departed son, but as the séance takes place and when a storm renders them trapped, dark secrets about the guests begin to emerge, and this soon leads to violence.

Kate is the character who I engaged with most throughout this book. Kate is a natural but unwilling medium and uses a mirror to see spirits. She senses the presence of many ghosts throughout the house. This is what gave the book a very creepy atmosphere. But unlike many who would be absolutely terrified at the prospect of seeing a ghost, Kate takes it all in her stride, and it certainly doesn’t seem to bother her.

There’s a very Agatha Christie feel to this book. It did put me in mind of And Then There Were None which is also set on a remote island, but I thought this was a good thing. There is a real sense of isolation which always adds to the tension as well. As does the fact that all the characters are suspecting each other. This is what W.C. Ryan achieves very well.

Donovan is another character who we hear from. Although I didn’t find him as engaging as I did with Kate, I did, however, find him to be a very mysterious character. I wanted to find out more about him and who he was. I also liked how he teamed up with Kate, and I liked the relationship that developed between them.

If you enjoy a good ghost story steeped in mystery, then this is the novel for you. And how can you not be drawn to it by the brilliant cover? A House of Ghosts is a chilling read that will pull you in from the very first page. Hugely enjoyable.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 4th October 2018

Print length: 432 pages

If you would like to purchase A House of Ghosts, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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William Ryan Blogtour

The Family by Louise Jensen #bookreview @Fab_fiction @HQstories

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Family by Louise Jensen on my blog today.

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ONCE YOU’RE IN, THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

MY THOUGHTS

The Family is a very tense thriller from Louise Jensen. Louise’s writing made this book so utterly gripping. I was intrigued by the residents of Oak Leaf Farm, especially the dark and mysterious Alex, who is their leader and holds everything together.

The darkness creeps into the pages of Louise’s book. It kept me turning the pages as I wondered what was going to happen next.

Laura and her daughter, Tilly, have already suffered unimaginable trauma. Laura’s husband and Tilly’s father, Gavan, has fallen to his death after a visit to one of his construction sites. But in the wake of Gavan’s passing, disturbing details about his business come to light, and people begin to turn on Laura and Tilly, including their own family. Desperate for help, Laura seeks refuge at Oak Leaf Farm and very soon Tilly is pulled into Alex’s orbit. Infatuated by Alex, Tilly is desperate to stay, but Laura is starting to see what is going on here and wants to get out. But someone is very keen to make sure that they never leave.

I found Louise Jensen’s latest thriller to be completely unpredictable. As Laura and Tilly became a part of the community at Oak Leaf, I initially thought this would be a good thing for them. It soon starts to become clear, however, that Alex was keen for them to stay for an altogether different reason. I never felt though that the community was completely shut off from the wider world. Although they use all their own home grown produce and don’t use technology, I didn’t get the sense they were prisoners there. It felt like a very welcoming community, and this is what made the characters who were a part of it all the more fascinating. I wanted to know just why they wanted to be a part of it and what made them stay.

The tension soon begins to build as the story progresses, and I started to fear for both Laura and Tilly. I couldn’t work out what was going on behind the scenes. Tilly, I felt especially sorry for, particularly for what she was going through at school, reminding us that school can be an incredibly tough time for teenagers. I could see why she was desperate to feel accepted at Oak Leaf and why she wanted to form new friendships there. I could also see why she was so drawn to Alex.

I’ve read Louise Jensen’s previous work, and I have to say that I think The Family is my favourite. I thought that the darkness was done really well, and it kept me thinking about the characters and what was going to happen to them.

There is a very creepy vibe to the story as it develops. I’m sure that many readers will be pulled into Louise and Tilly’s new home. Dark, very addictive and with some very sinister revelations, I’m sure this book will be a big hit among readers.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 25th September 2019 (kindle) 3rd October 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 384 pages

If you would like to purchase The Family, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen #bookreview blog tour @tessgerritsen @annecater

Happy Publication day to Tess Gerritsen, her latest novel, The Shape of Night is released today. I’m sharing my thoughts as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of . . .

When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget.

But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind.

The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely?

MY THOUGHTS

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen is one of the most unusual ghost stories I’ve read. Tess Gerritsen’s story is very gripping, but it did turn into something I totally wasn’t expecting. This actually makes the book quite difficult to talk about without giving away any spoilers. If you do pick this book up and if you are a fan of Tess Gerritsen’s work, be prepared for some quite unusual and shocking scenes.

Tess Gerritsen takes us to an old house on the edge of a cliff with fantastic views of the sea, known as Brodie’s Watch, where her lead character, Ava is staying as she researches for a book she is writing. The book she is working on is based on cookery in New England. But the house has a reputation among the local villagers for being haunted. There have been a few mysterious deaths which have taken place there over the years. All the victims have been young women. And soon Ava realises that there is a creeping sense of danger and her own existence might be threatened.

There is something very mysterious about Ava, and I felt drawn in by her character as she settles into her new life at Brodie’s Watch. From the blurb, we know that she is hiding something about her past. Tess Gerritsen doesn’t let on to what this is until a lot further into the book. The mystery of Ava’s history is what creates tension as the story progresses.

As I mentioned earlier on in my review, be prepared for some shocking scenes in this book which I think will definitely surprise you. Some of them are quite disturbing, and I think they may put some readers off. There were certain times when I had to put the book down. If you have read previous reviews of this book, you may understand where I’m coming from. They are what make this book very unusual, and I think they will definitely be a talking point among readers. But I’m not going to reveal anything about what happens here.

Although I was slightly put off by some of the scenes in this book, I did enjoy the story. Tess Gerritsen creates mystery, and there is a lot of tension. I raced through it because I was fascinated by Ava’s character and because I was utterly perplexed at the same time.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a very spooky read for this time of year, particularly with Halloween just around the corner.

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 288 pages

If you would like to purchase The Shape of Night, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Shape of Night BT Poster

First Monday Crime Book Review – The Lying Room by @FrenchNicci @1stMondayCrime @simonschusterUK

After a summer break, First Monday Crime is back at City University, London on Monday, 7th October 2019 at 18.30 p.m.

We have another brilliant panel for you. Claire McGowan will be moderating and she will be interviewing, crime writing husband and wife duo, Nicci French, (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French), Peter Robinson and Marnie Riches. I’ve just finished reading The Lying Room by Nicci French and I will be sharing my review below. And if you’re interested in coming to next month’s First Monday Crime, I’ll be telling you how and where you can reserve your FREE space at the end of the blog post.

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Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.
She doesn’t call the police. 

‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’
A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.
She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all.
But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger.
She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared  to go to protect those she loves?
And who does she really know? And who can she trust?
A liar. A cheat. A threat. Neve Connolly is all these things.
Could she be a murderer?

MY THOUGHTS

I became completely caught up in Neve’s world after she discovers the body of her lover, Saul in his apartment in Nicci French’s new standalone novel, The Lying Room. There are long chapters in this book. This did put me off initially when I picked it up, but the writing is just so addictive, and it flowed very well, making it a very easy read to get into. In the end, I didn’t notice that the chapters were long at all.

Even more shocking, is Neve’s actions following the discovery. She thoroughly cleans the apartment, removing any visible trace of her presence. She is determined to make sure that her family don’t find out about her affair. But as she gets caught up in trying to remove the evidence, she puts herself in very grave danger and soon falls under the suspicion of the police. Why would she want to do this? Why doesn’t she call the police straight away?

Neve was a character who both intrigued and frustrated me. When we first meet her, I couldn’t understand what she was doing. I could have shouted at her for her actions. I could see that this was going to make her a suspect in the eyes of the police if they ever discovered what she did in the wake of Saul’s death.

There is a lot of family drama going on here as well. Neve’s daughter, Mabel, is supposed to be going off to university but she is having reservations about going, and Mabel is very grumpy with her mother. There is definitely friction between them, and this was another intriguing part of the plot which I wanted to know more about.

There are some really tense moments when Neve is interviewed by the police. I could see that the detective, Inspector Hitching strongly disliked her. It must be so frustrating for the police when they can see that someone is guilty, but they can’t find the evidence that clinches their suspicion. Neve is very clever, and this created high moments of tension when she is trying to cover up her actions. This certainly frustrates Hitching and other police officers who are working on the case when they are trying to make sense of Neve’s story. I kept thinking as I was reading that surely Neve was going to get found out.

But ultimately what drives the plot is who really killed Saul, and why did he have to die? Neve makes it her determination to find out who the person behind his death is if only to avoid the finger of suspicion being pointed her way. And I wanted to know what had really happened as well and this is what kept me turning the pages.

The Lying Room is fuelled with tension and drama.  This is a highly engrossing read from Nicci French, which I would definitely recommend adding to your reading list. If you’re new to Nicci French as I was, this is the perfect place to start.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 432 pages

If you would like to purchase The Lying Room, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

If you would like to come to First Monday Crime at 18.30 p.m. on Monday, 7th October 2019, you can do so by clicking on the following link below. The nearest tube stations to City University are Farringdon and Angel. After the event we’ll be heading the Sekforde Arms for a drink.

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The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A. Denzil #bookreview books on tour @sarahdenzil @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A. Denzil on my blog today. With thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

The Liar's Sister: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist by [Denzil, Sarah A.]

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A SHOCKING DISAPPEARANCE. A VILLAGE FULL OF SECRETS.

Ten years ago, a family lost their son in the quiet village of Buckthorpe and he was never found.

Rosie Sharpe cried over her missing friend for weeks after.
But her little sister Heather knows that Rosie’s tears hide the truth.
Because the night Samuel was last seen, Heather watched her older sister climbing back through the window of their childhood bedroom. Her jacket torn, her eyes wild and her body trembling with fear.

Heather never told anyone what she saw, but secrets can’t stay buried forever…

A decade later, Rosie and Heather return to the home they grew up in when their mother falls ill. But when their house is ransacked and they receive a threatening note, it becomes clear that someone in the close-knit village doesn’t want them there.

When Heather finally confronts her sister about what really happened on the dark, rainy night Samuel vanished, Rosie’s version of the truth is more shocking than she could ever have imagined. But can she trust her sister? And who broke into their house that night? As the lies of the past begin to unravel, they have the power to put the lives of both women in terrible danger…

MY THOUGHTS

The Liar’s Sister is an intensely gripping novel about two sisters who are both connected to the disappearance of a teenage boy, Samuel, who went missing from their village many years earlier. Heather thinks her older sister, Rosie, is keeping something from her, and she believes that Rosie may know more than she’s letting on about what happened to Samuel.

There was such an intense atmosphere to this book. Heather and Rosie have returned to their home village, Buckthorpe because their mother is dying but what they don’t realise is just how unwelcome they’ll be made to feel. But they are determined not to be scared away from their home. Samuel’s disappearance has haunted the village, not least because of the rumours that were spread around about him by Rosie and her friends. But it has also haunted the memories of Heather. She has never forgotten the boy who she fell in love with those many summers ago.

There were some nasty people in this village. It seems that Heather and Rosie don’t know who they can trust. I wanted to know why people wanted them to move and why everyone seemed to have turned against them in the wake of their mother’s death. The characters in Buckthorpe didn’t paint the village as a very nice place to live, and it seemed to be a place that closed its ranks on outsiders.

Heather and Rosie don’t have a very close relationship with each other. I could feel Heather’s frustration at Rosie and her fear of her when she believes Rosie may be working against her. I could sense that Rosie wasn’t an easy person to confront, and this makes things even more difficult between them as Heather tries to find out once and for all what happened to Samuel.

The finale was so tense as the plot raced towards its conclusion. Everything becomes so much darker, and the final revelations are shocking. I thought at one stage I could see where the plot was going to go, but Sarah A. Denzil threw in a final brilliant twist which blew my mind. It was something I wasn’t expecting at all. The final twists are intricately woven into the plot in a very clever way.

The Liar’s Sister is the second book by Sarah A. Denzil, which I have read, and it earns a solid five stars from me. Sarah’s writing pulled me easily into the story, and I couldn’t wait to find out how it was going to end. The characters especially made this book gripping, although I think it was Heather who I connected with the most out of the two sister’s.

Dark and compulsive and with some very unsettling truths, The Liar’s Sister is a totally engrossing read.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 25th September 2019

Print length: 290 pages

If you would like to purchase The Liar’s Sister, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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The Liar's Secret - Blog Tour

I Dare You by Sam Carrington cover reveal @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK

I have a very exciting cover reveal for you today on my blog. I was thrilled to be invited to share the cover of Sam Carrington’s new novel, I Dare You, which is out in December. But before I reveal the cover, let’s have a look at what the novel is about.

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AN INNOCENT GAME. A SHOCKING CRIME. A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS.

Mapledon, 1989
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.

Now…
Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?

 

Now I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Can I have a drum roll please …

 

 

 

 

 

I DARE YOU PB

I Dare You, is being published on the 12th December 2019. But you can pre-order the book by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer cover reveal @carolewyer @bookouture

I’m delighted to be able to share with you the cover of Carol Wyer’s new novel, The Blossom Twins. But before I get on with the reveal, let’s take a look at what her new book is about.

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Their parents thought they were hiding…

One beautiful summer’s evening, thirteen-year-old twins Ivy and Erin Westmore snuggle down in a tent in their back garden, giggling and sharing secrets.

When their mother goes to wake the girls the next morning, their tent is empty.

The alarm is raised and Detective Natalie Ward is put onto the case. When the twins’ bodies are discovered on nearby marshland, covered with deep pink petals, an icy shiver travels down Natalie’s spine. Everything about the girls’ deaths reminds her of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career, which saw a killer of the worst kind placed behind bars.

The next day, that feeling is heightened when she receives a chilling note saying ‘I’m back’. Is this killer a copycat or did Natalie put the wrong person in prison all those years ago? In a small town, where no stranger goes unnoticed, what is Natalie missing?

Consumed by the case, determined to prevent more deaths, Natalie misses the fact that it is her attention the killer wants. And to get it, he has his sights set firmly on her precious daughter Leigh…

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night.

 

If you’re a fan of Carol’s books, as I am, it sounds like we’re in for a real treat. Now I’m sure you want to see the cover. Can I have a drum roll please …

 

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….

 

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The-Blossom-Twins-Kindle

The Blossom Twins is published on the 12th December 2019 but you can pre-order it by clicking on the link below.

Amazon UK

Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown @IsabelAshdown @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

MY THOUGHTS

Lake Child is the second book by Isabel Ashdown, which I have read, and it’s a cracker. Dark, full of mystery and devastating secrets this is a book that will both thrill and chill you.

There was a very mysterious and sinister feeling to the opening pages. Teenager, Eva, is being held by her parents in a locked attic. Convinced her parents are hiding something from her, Eva is determined to find out what they are keeping secret. We also know that Eva was involved in a horrific accident. The police haven’t been able to find the person responsible for what happened. The local community are gripped by what has happened to Eva as it isn’t very often that such a harrowing, but exciting event happens in their local area.

I loved the setting of Isabel’s latest book, Norway, and I loved the image of the isolated house on the lakeside with the forests surrounding it. The time of year which Isabel chose to set her book, which is winter, for me, was perfect. It creates a very sinister atmosphere. During winter, Norway receives very little sunlight, and this creates a more impending sense of danger as Eva’s parents believe that someone is watching them from within the forest.

In England, far away from Norway, distraught grandmother, Maxine is writing a book about the disappearance of her granddaughter, Lorna. She is doing this with the help of a ghost writer who is interviewing her for the book. Lorna’s disappearance became a media sensation, and still, people are trying to work out what happened to her. But Maxine is a mysterious character, and it certainly seems that she is trying desperately hard to keep some facts about her past a secret.

I was very interested to see how the two storylines were going to come together. They are pulled together in a very captivating way. Although I did work out some parts, there were also some shocking and chilling reveals that I hadn’t predicted and they took me by surprise.  There was one reveal where I did actually gasp as it dawned on me what had happened. It’s not very often that a twist has that effect on me.

Throughout the novel, I didn’t warm to Maxine very much. I couldn’t quite work it if she was taking advantage of her family’s tragic situation by speaking to the press. I couldn’t work out if she was distraught by what had happened and if she just was willing to do absolutely anything to find her granddaughter.

Although the opening was gripping, and I wanted to know what was going on in Eva’s world, I did find it to be a bit of a slow start. The suspense soon begins to build however. You may feel the same, so I would definitely stick with it as the plot becomes darker and much more gripping. I felt exasperated for Eva. I wanted her to get to the bottom of what was really going on. I wanted to shake her parents for not being truthful with her.

Lake Child is a thoroughly enjoyable read which will grip and shock you. I couldn’t stop reading as I reached the final chapters; I was desperate to know what was going to happen. Atmospheric, chilling and very satisfying.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 19th September 2019

Print length: 336 pages

If you would like to purchase Lake Child, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Lake Child Blog Tour Part 1

Lake Child Blog Tour Part 2

 

Morecambe & Vice 2019 blog tour @MorecambeVice @william1shaw @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour celebrating the return of the Morecambe & Vice Crime Writing Festival which is taking place between the 28th and 29th September.

As part of the blog tour I’m delighted to be interviewing William Shaw about his new book, Deadland, the second novel in the DS Alexander Cupidi series.

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YOU CAN RUN

The two boys never fitted in. Seventeen, the worst age, nothing to do but smoke weed; at least they have each other. The day they speed off on a moped with a stolen mobile, they’re ready to celebrate their luck at last. Until their victim comes looking for what’s his – and ready to kill for it.

YOU CAN HIDE

On the other side of Kent’s wealth divide, DS Alexandra Cupidi faces the strangest murder investigation of her career. A severed limb, hidden inside a modern sculpture in Margate’s Turner Contemporary. No one takes it seriously – not even the artwork’s owners, celebrity dealers who act like they’re above the law.

YOU CAN DIE

But as Cupidi’s case becomes ever more sinister, as she wrangles with police politics and personal dilemmas, she can’t help worrying about those runaway boys. Seventeen, the same age as her own headstrong daughter. Alone, on the marshes, they’re pawns in someone else’s game. Two worlds are about to collide.

Kent and its social divisions are brilliantly captured in Deadland, a crime thriller that’s as ingeniously unguessable as it is moving and powerful.

Deadland is available to purchase by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo Waterstones

Interview with William Shaw

William Shaw

Hi William, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Firstly can you tell us a little bit about what your latest book is about?

Deadland is about two poor teenage boys in Dartford who nick a phone, little realising that it’s the worst thing they could have possibly have stolen in their life. It’s also about how the rich expect to get what they want, all wrapped up in a deadly chase across Kent.

Your lead character, DS Alexandra Cupidi appeared in your standalone novel, The Birdwatcher. Why did you decide to write a series about her?

By the time I started Salt Lane I had written four books with male leads; what interested me is that of the women in those books who were my secondary characters were a bit tricky. It’s relatively easy to write male characters in detective fiction. They can get away with being drunken, promiscuous and impulsive in a way that women characters can’t. For better or worse, readers judge women characters more harshly. Having written Cupidi as this rather driven, impulsive person, someone who always feels they’re failing as a parent, I thought, what would happen if I made her a lead? Writing her keeps me on my toes. Readers have to like her, but I still want them to be tutting a bit about how she choses to live.

Do you think that Sergeant William South, your lead character in The Birdwatcher, will make any future appearances?

Oh yes. He’s back in Deadland. Changed by what happened to him at the end of The Birdwatcher (no spoilers), but back for good. Zoë still worships the ground he walks on.

You’ve set your latest books in Kent along the coastline. I found the setting very atmospheric when I was reading Salt Lane and The Birdwatcher. Is Kent an area you know particularly well?

I live in Brighton – so that bit of Kent is relatively close (though a pig to drive to). Everybody outside of the South East thinks the whole of the area is built up and wealthy. The idea that there is this socking great windswept bit of marshland, next to a this wild bit of shingle, comes as a shock to some people. It’s a great, beautiful landscape to set stories in. Writers tend to use Google Maps a lot; the great thing about the headland of Dungeness is that the foreshore is all private. No Google Maps cars are allowed there. The only way to get to know the place is to visit it. I’m off there on Thursday as it happens!

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?

I started as a total pantser, but writing at least one book a year, that becomes a bit dangerous. The cover of my next book, Grave’s End, was designed long before I had finished it. So I’ve found it wise to know a bit about where I’m heading. But I still like those strange moments where the plot refuses to go where you intended it to.

How much research do you undertake before you begin writing?

Some. I love research. It’s one of my real pleasures. But I try and avoid doing too much at the start because otherwise the research is in charge of your story and ideally you want that the other way round. I then research as I go to see if what I’ve written is plausible. In Grave’s End I’m writing about badgers. At one point a badger brings up some bones from the ground. After I’d written it I invited a Professor who has studied badgers for years out for lunch and asked him if this could happen. ‘Oh yes. Happens all the time in graveyards,’ he said.

Is there anything you have particularly enjoyed reading recently which has stuck in your mind?

I really liked Mark Hill’s The Bad Place that reminds me that a little touch of humour amongst the grimness is always good; Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs has a real quirkiness to it that I enjoyed a lot. On non-fiction I really loved The Edge of the World; How The North Sea Made Us by Michael Pye which makes any European nationalism sound ridiculous because it shows how much we’ve been sharing, trading and intermingling for millennia.

How excited are you about appearing at Morecambe & Vice?

I can’t believe that this is my third Morecambe & Vice. I genuinely love it there.

And finally is there anything you can tell us at all about what you’re working on next?

I have just finished a book called Grave’s End which involves several badgers. See above. It was a book that slotted together so nicely I’m really proud of it. I’m just embarking on another one that is about trawler men and a supposed drowning. Any title suggestions gratefully received.

 

Thank you William for taking the time to answer my questions and thank you to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

 

ABOUT MORECAMBE & VICE 

In September 2017, Morecambe & Vice made its sparkling debut at the glorious Morecambe Winter Gardens. Described as a weekend ‘full of warmth, wit and wisdom’, authors, speakers and guests from across the globe flocked to the sunny seaside for a weekend filled with criminal shenanigans.

Now, in 2019 we are back for our third year running! This year the North West’s quirkiest crime-writing festival will be bigger and better than ever before! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and Twitter stream, as we start to announce authors and panels.

https://www.morecambecrimefest.co.uk/

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