Dead Inside by Noelle Holten #bookreview @nholten40 @KillerReads

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Noelle Holten’s Dead Inside which is published this week. This is a book I was hugely excited about reading and it didn’t disappoint.

Dead Inside: A totally gripping and terrifying serial killer thriller (Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller, Book 1) by [Holten, Noelle]

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The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

MY THOUGHTS

When I first heard that Noelle Holten was bringing out her debut crime novel, I was very excited, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Needless to say, it went straight to the top of my TBR pile, and after the chilling and powerful opening, I was hooked. Being an avid crime fiction reader and reviewer herself, I was very interested to see what Noelle would come up with.

Dead Inside is a well-crafted debut; I just know that I’m going to be reading every book that follows on in this series. Noelle draws on her own experience of working as a probation officer, and this adds a ring of authenticity to her book. The fact that one of her main characters is a probation officer really interested me, and it caught my attention. It’s not often that stories are told from their point of view, so it was exciting to read a crime novel from a different viewpoint and to learn about another side of the world of law and order.

This is Lucy Sherwood’s story, a probation officer who is currently handling cases of domestic abuse. Lucy speaks to men daily who abuse their partners, and for her, this begins to hit far too close to home.

Then we have DC Maggie Jamieson who has just been handed the toughest case of her career when the body of a man connected to a case of domestic abuse is discovered. As the book progresses, two more bodies are found. And soon everything draws back to Lucy. But what is really going on?

Dead Inside can be quite a tough read at times; you can see where Noelle’s own personal experience from her line of work has fed into her novel, and the emotion in her writing comes through so strongly, particularly in the first chapter. The emotions of the team working on the cases of the murdered victims come through very well, particularly as none of the victims are likeable, and many of the police officers feel they have got their just deserves. It must be so hard to try and not let your mind be clouded by judgement. When you look at similar cases that have happened in the news, such as when vigilantes take action into their own hands, you hear many people talk about how these people are doing the public a favour.

The pace in this novel never drops, and Noelle kept me on my toes as I tried to work out what was going on and who was behind the murders that were taking place. When everything started to come together towards the end, I thought I could see everything clearly, but Noelle still had one clever twist up her sleeve which threw me, and it was one I didn’t expect.

Noelle sets the scene perfectly for book two in the series, and I for one can’t wait to find out what happens next, and it looks as though there is going to be a tough case to come. If you’re a crime fiction lover, you have to give this a try. Dead Inside wins a very easy five stars from me. Excellent from start to finish.

Publisher: Killer Reads

Publication date: 31st May 2019 (kindle) 22nd August 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 293 pages

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

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Familiar Strangers by Jackie Walsh #bookreview blog tour @JackieWalsh_ie @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Familiar Strangers by Jackie Walsh. With thanks to Sarah Hardy at Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Familiar Strangers: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist by [Walsh, Jackie]

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‘I took you, Becca. You’re not my daughter.’

Since Becca Wall’s mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, every day Becca loses a little more of the loving, caring mother who would do anything for her only daughter. But when one day Nancy Wall confesses that Becca is not her child, Becca’s world falls apart.

Becca tells herself that the words are just a cruel symptom of Nancy’s illness; after all, she has her birth certificate, and pictures of herself as a newborn along with her Mom, Dad and older brother, Danny. Becca tries to forget, to get on with her life – until the day the police question her about the whereabouts of a missing woman, Katie Collins.

Katie has disappeared without a trace, telling her husband that she is leaving to find Rebecca Wall. But Becca doesn’t know Katie, so it’s a case of mistaken identity – isn’t it? But as Becca discovers why Katie was desperate to find her, the lies that Becca has always believed come crashing down. Soon, it’s clear that someone knows the truth – and that they’ll stop at nothing to keep their secrets…

MY THOUGHTS

As Becca’s mother’s health rapidly declines after suffering from Alzheimer’s, she lets out an extraordinary secret that turns Becca’s world upside down.  She stole Becca from her real family when she was a baby. But is what her mother saying the truth? How can Becca be sure without proof? And when she finds out that a young woman has been trying to make contact with her, does this mean that she has been lied to for her whole life? And when she finds out that this woman has been killed as she has been trying to get in contact with her, she becomes even more determined to find out the truth. Just what have her family been keeping from her, and would they really go as far to murder someone to keep it covered up?

Familiar Strangers is a thriller that will keep you invested in Becca’s story as she tries to find out the truth about her past. There’s a very chilling opening paragraph in which we see a person digging furtively in the dirt until they come across a sinister discovery. But what have they exactly found? I thought the opening was done very well. Jackie Walsh writes really well and I sped through this as I raced to find out just what had happened in Becca’s past and if her mother was telling the truth. It is a very quick read, and there are lots of high moments of tension as Becca herself investigates what has happened and as she becomes a person of interest in an investigation.

Becca’s pain really came through, I could feel how distraught she was as she got closer and closer to the truth. And as she did begin to finally understand what had happened to her as an infant, her own relationship with her mother, the woman who raised her, crumbles and this comes at a pivotal moment for their family. I think this is what made this book so gripping, is that I wanted to follow Becca’s story and learn the truth about what had happened to her. I could totally understand why Becca was feeling the way she did, you can’t imagine what this would do to you if you were put in her situation. This book did have me thinking if I was in Becca’s shoes, would I want to know the whole truth about what had happened to me? Or would I prefer just to continue living my life as though I hadn’t heard anything? And there are some dark secrets which are later revealed. Some parts of this book were heartbreaking to read.

Familiar Strangers has an utterly captivating plot, and I was drawn further and further into the story as it progressed, I was kept guessing all the way through. It’s really well written; Jackie Walsh is a new writer to me who will certainly be on my radar. This book definitely comes recommended from me.

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2019

Print length: 365 pages

If you would like to purchase Familiar Strangers, you can do so by clicking on the following link below. 

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The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor blog tour #bookreview @deboc77 @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #1in100People

Today I’m sharing my review of The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor which is a highly intriguing psychological thriller. At First Monday Crime earlier this month, Deborah talked about how the police actually have a list of potentially dangerous people, people who they believe may kill someone one day and this is what inspired her novel.

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One in 100 of us is a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family.

MY THOUGHTS

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor is such an intriguing novel that examines something that will stay in your mind for a long while after you read it. Perhaps you’ll never stop thinking about it and it may make you look at people in a very different light.

I can remember being in a room full of people, and this novel and the topic came up, and we all just looked at each other warily, and perhaps, took one step further away. One in one hundred people, according to research, are considered to be psychopaths. And there were probably over a hundred of us in that room at the time. I mean, if that isn’t enough to give you shivers, I don’t know what will. I think every one of us has had at some point in our lives, a dreadfully shocking thought that we would never dream of carrying out; perhaps when someone we don’t like is giving us an extra hard time, but what if we were given that extra push?

Jessamine is a podcast producer who works for the BBC specialising in true crime stories and often members of the public phone into the show to talk to her about particular cases, which then leads to debates with others. Jessamine is approached by a young woman whose friend, Cassie has disappeared and hasn’t been heard from for days. Jessamine agrees to look into the case. Meanwhile, her own relationship with her daughter, Sarah, is on the rocks. As Jessamine looks into Cassie’s disappearance, she has no idea just how much of an impact it will have on her own life, and there are some dark truths which she later discovers.

The book is told through different perspectives, and we also go back in time to 1992. I really wanted to see how everything was going to pull together in the end and Deborah O’Connor touches on some really relevant themes that have been spoken a lot about in the media very recently. The structure of the story was very well thought out, and there were some tense final scenes as the novel raced towards its conclusion.

Jessamine was a character who I really engaged with, and I wanted her to find a way around the problems she was having with her daughter, and I wanted her to get to the bottom of what had happened to Cassie.

The Dangerous Kind is very readable, tense and exciting and it will make the reader feel very eager to find out how everything comes together. It’s one of those books that you can just sink so quickly into. I loved it.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 16th May 2019

Print length: 448 pages

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

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#TheNeverGame by Jeffery Deaver #bookreview blog tour @JefferyDeaver @fictionpubteam

I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver on my blog today.

The Never Game: The gripping new thriller from the No.1 bestselling author by [Deaver, Jeffery]

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A student kidnapped from the park.
Nineteen-year-old Sophie disappears one summer afternoon. She wakes up to find herself locked inside a derelict warehouse, surrounded by five objects. If she uses them wisely, she will escape her prison. Otherwise she will die.

An investigator running out of time.
Sophie’s distraught father calls in the one man who can help find his daughter: unique investigator Colter Shaw. Raised in the wilderness by survivalist parents, he is an expert tracker with a forensic mind trained to solve the most challenging cases. But this will be a test even for him.

A killer playing a dangerous game.
Soon a blogger called Henry is abducted – left to die in the dark heart of a remote forest – and the whole case gets turned on its head. Because this killer isn’t following the rules; he’s changing them. One murder at a time…

MY THOUGHTS

Before I start this review, I have a confession to make. This is the first book by Jeffrey Deaver I have read. Although it is a name I am familiar with, I have never got round to reading one of his books before and I’m pleased I finally have.

The Never Game is an intriguing start to a new series featuring Colter Shaw, an investigator with a bit of a difference. I’ve read a few novels featuring private investigators, but this is one which felt really fresh to me. There is an element of mystery about Colter, and I’m very interested to find out more about him in future books.

Colter is hired by the father of a missing woman who is desperate for news of her; Colter takes on the case with the promise of a reward as payment. But as his own investigation into the woman’s disappearance deepens, he realises that there is something much darker going on behind the scenes. And then an online blogger and a pregnant woman go missing. Is there something that connects these three cases?

In his latest book, Jeffery Deaver taps into the online gaming world, which has become hugely popular in recent years, earning companies billions of dollars in revenue each year. It’s a staggering amount of money. One game that particularly interests Colter during his investigations is an immersive game, and it plants a terrifying thought into his head as he tries to work out why people have been going missing and find who is targeting them. I’ve often thought about how certain games can have a psychological effect on people, particularly with games such as Call of Duty, and this is what Jeffery Deaver also explores here. It is a very scary thought to think about.

I turned the pages of this book really fast. I was immediately gripped by the opening; I could sense the danger and the urgency in this scene right away.  Jeffrey Deaver’s writing pulls you into the story without any effort, and you can easily see that this is a writer who is very experienced at his craft. I really liked Colter, he comes from an interesting background, and I particularly found his family story intriguing which is what I think this series will run with as there are lots of interesting aspects to this part of the plot. Colter uses different methods to most investigators when he is searching for the missing girl. He has his own set of unique tracking methods which have been unique to him since he was very young.

This is a series that I am definitely interested in following. If you are new to Jeffrey Deaver as well, then this is the perfect time to start reading his books. It’s such a pacy read and with totally immersive writing; it’s exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 16th May 2019

Print length: 418 pages

If you would like to purchase The Never Game, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald blog tour #bookreview @FitzHelen @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Helen Fitzgerald’s latest crime novel, Worst Case Scenario.

Worst Case Scenario by [FitzGerald, Helen]

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Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line. Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.

Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.

A heart-pounding, relentless and chilling psychological thriller, rich with deliciously dark and unapologetic humour, Worst Case Scenario is also a perceptive, tragic and hugely relevant book by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS

Helen Fitzgerald opens Worst Case Scenario with such a startling line that it threw me, for just a second. I remember a couple of years ago when everyone was talking about her opening line in Viral, which I still haven’t forgotten, after hearing several people mention it. I think this book is going to get the same type of reaction from readers. I must admit that I haven’t read one of Helen’s books before, and I have to say that I found her writing so fresh and entertaining. This is definitely one of the most original novels I’ve read this year.

There is a lot of dark humour in her latest book, which may not appeal to some readers; there are some moments which did leave me cringing a little. Helen tackles some dark subject matters, but this is also such an entertaining story, and her lead protagonist, Mary Shields really stood out.

As a probation officer its Mary Shields job to imagine the worst case scenario when the parole board are considering releasing a convict back into the outside world. She has to think of all the possibilities that could happen upon their release and if they are still a danger to society. You can see how this is a job that can bring many people down, and it must be quite tough, having to be the person who makes that decision. Mary deals with people who have committed horrific acts, many, who some people would argue, don’t deserve a second chance. Mary struck me as a damaged individual, you can see just how her job has had an effect on her, and she is just about ready to pack it all in. I could certainly see why she wanted to.

The pace never drops, and I found myself flying through the pages, never once was there a dull or a particularly slow moment. Some readers may struggle to like Mary as she can come across as quite sharp and grumpy, but I really engaged with her, and her character made this book so unique and original. Mary herself is struggling with the menopause, which adds another unique subject matter to this book as it’s a topic that I haven’t come across in crime fiction before.

With some laugh out loud funny moments and a thoroughly entertaining plot which held my attention all the way through, I would, of course, recommend this book, especially if you’re looking for something that is a little different. Helen Fitzgerald is a real talent, I can’t wait to read more from her.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 16th March 2019

Print length: 276 pages

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

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I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney #bookreview blog tour @alicewriterland @HQStories

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Alice Feeney’s second novel, I Know Who You Are.

I Know Who You Are: A dark, chilling and clever psychological thriller with a killer twist by [Feeney, Alice]

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The highly anticipated new novel from the international bestselling author of Sometimes I Lie, Alice Feeney’s new novel is her most twisted and nerve-wracking thriller yet.

Aimee Sinclair: the actress everyone thinks they know but can’t remember where from. But I know exactly who you are. I know what you’ve done. And I am watching you.

When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn’t seem to know what to do or how to act. The police think she’s hiding something and they’re right, she is – but perhaps not what they thought. Aimee has a secret she’s never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. As she struggles to keep her career and sanity intact, her past comes back to haunt her in ways more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

I Know Who You Are will leave your heart pounding and your pulse racing. This is the most twisted thriller you’ll read all year.

MY THOUGHTS

I Know Who You Are is another twisty, cleverly constructed story by Alice Feeney and it was so gripping. Sometimes a book just comes along and once you start reading, you can’t stop; it pulls you in so effortlessly and keeps you gripped. This, for me, is that book. I was a fan of her previous book Sometimes I Lie, so I knew what to expect from Alice, this time around I kept a very close eye on all of the characters and tried to see if I could work out what was going to happen, but I still couldn’t.

Right throughout this read, there was a building sense of suspense. We follow two timelines, in the present day, 2017, when Amy Sinclair is working as an actress, whose career is just beginning to take off and back to 1988 when a young girl, Ciara goes missing. Both storylines had me gripped, particularly in the present when Amy’s husband disappears, and she soon finds herself falling under the suspicion of the police. Amy is an unreliable narrator, she can’t be sure if she was involved in her husband’s disappearance or not. Someone appears to be targeting her, but who? And what connection does this have to her past?

Alice Feeney did keep me thinking about how two timelines were going to come together. This book is plotted so, so well, and the twists that came towards the end left me feeling shell shocked. I really couldn’t believe what I was reading on the page when one particular revelation was dropped, and I was staring at the page open-mouthed.

There are some parts of the back story, which I think some readers will find distressing, particularly when Alice takes us back to 1988, but they are essential to the book. I had so many questions running through my mind as I was reading. In the present, I wasn’t sure who I could trust. When Amy’s husband disappears, her world begins to fall apart, and I wanted to know who was doing this to her and for what reasons, also if she had any role to play. I could never be sure if she was innocent or not.

This is a brilliantly written book that kept me engaged and asking questions about the characters. Well written and with high levels of tension right throughout; I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more from Alice Feeney.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 16th May 2019

Print length: 302 pages

If you would like to purchase I Know Who You Are, you can do so by clicking on on of the following links below. 

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Breakers by Doug Johnstone #bookreview blog tour @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for Doug Johnstone’s brilliant new novel, Breakers. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Breakers by [Johnstone, Doug]

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A toxic family … a fight for survival…

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.

MY THOUGHTS

Oh. My. God. This book. Breakers was nothing like I expected it to be, I’ve read Doug Johnstone’s previous novel Faultlines, but I think this book takes his writing up to another level. There’s no mistake that this is a dark, dark book but it also pulls at the heartstrings. It has characters that will get under your skin and a tension fuelled plot that will keep you turning those pages.

This is a book about family. It asks the question, just how far are we prepared to go to protect the ones we love. Tyler Wallace hasn’t had the best start in life. He has never known who his father is, and his mother, Angela is a drug addict. The main person who Tyler cares about in his life is his younger sister, Bethany or Bean, as he calls her. He has two half siblings, Barry and Kelly and the three of them make their money by burgling posh houses in Edinburgh. But when one of their jobs goes badly wrong, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.

There are so many things I want to talk about this book. One of the parts which I really liked was Tyler’s relationship with his sister. I could clearly see that he is desperate to give them a better chance in life and for Bean to have a better start than he did, and this shines through in his character, making him stand out next to Barry and Kelly. His brother, Barry, is a very different person. It seems that not even the threat from a very dangerous family will stop him in getting what he wants; I absolutely hated him, he is such a scary and unpredictable character. He made me even keener to see Tyler and Bean get out and make a fresh start.

Tyler’s friendship with Flick was another aspect of the novel I really liked. I couldn’t be sure where Doug Johnstone was heading with this after they first met. She is a girl from a different, more affluent part of the town and you would think that a relationship between them wouldn’t work, but here it really does.

I think the characters within the pages of this book will all stay with me long after finishing. Some parts of this book I did find hard to read, but this isn’t a criticism, far from it, it was because I connected so much with Tyler and Bean that I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them.

One of the points which Doug had me thinking about as I was reading, was what drives people to a life of crime? Their background, where they’re from or how they are brought up? If Tyler and his family had been brought up in a different area would things have worked out as badly for them as they have?

Breakers is a very good book, one that will draw you into the dark side of Edinburgh which Doug Johnstone describes so, so well making his writing very immersive. If you enjoy books that keep you on edge and transfixed to what is happening on the page, then I highly recommend that you give this book a go.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 16th March 2019

Print length: 300 pages

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

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Stolen by Paul Finch #bookreview blog tour @paulfinchauthor @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K

I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for Stolen by Paul Finch today on my blog, which is the third book in the DC Lucy Clayburn series.

Stolen by [Finch, Paul]

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How do you find the missing when there’s no trail to follow?

DC Lucy Clayburn is having a tough time of it. Not only is her estranged father one of the North West’s toughest gangsters, but she is in the midst of one of the biggest police operations of her life.

Members of the public have started to disappear, taken from the streets as they’re going about their every day lives. But no bodies are appearing – it’s almost as if the victims never existed.

Lucy must chase a trail of dead ends and false starts as the disappearances mount up. But when her father gets caught in the crossfire, the investigation suddenly becomes a whole lot more bloody…

MY THOUGHTS

In Manchester people are disappearing off the streets, people who many wouldn’t even worry about; people who are sleeping rough and drug addicts, until a young woman vanishes while out running, which prompts a response from the police. One thing that links the disappearances is a dark coloured van seen in the area that has aroused the suspicions of several witnesses.

DC Lucy Clayburn becomes aware of the missing people and starts an investigation. But as she gets to grip with what could prove to be a very sinister case, her own position in the police begins to come under threat. Two years ago, Lucy discovered that she was Frank McCracken’s daughter; Frank is a dangerous criminal, well known to the police and is one of the top bosses of a criminal organisation. So far she’s managed to keep this a secret from her colleagues back at the station, but now it seems that she may have to come forward and tell the truth. Will her career survive? Will her father’s reputation survive? Lucy’s relationship with her father is what gives this series a really edgy feel.

Paul Finch’s Lucy Clayburn series is one of my favourites. There is always a strong element of mystery when it comes to Paul’s openings for his books, and this is what makes them so gripping, right from the get-go. There were a lot of things I liked about this novel; there’s a strong plot which pulled me into the story as well as Lucy’s own personal dilemma. She is perhaps faced with one of the toughest choices of her career here, and this was one of the most gripping parts of the story, would she or would she not come clean to her boss, but I won’t be revealing any details on that here.

There are quite a few on the edge of your seat moments throughout this book, and I just had to keep turning the pages to find out what was going to happen. Lucy is a police officer who is unafraid of sailing close to danger. I think what I really like about her, is that she is in this job simply because she cares about making a difference in her community. At the moment she doesn’t think about promotion, as she tells her father, she will quite happily stay as a detective constable if it means coming clean about their relationship.

One character who I thought was written really well was Sister Cassie, a former nun who still likes to stick to her old ways. I really liked the friendship that she had with Lucy, and I think she was one of my favourite characters from this book. I’d definitely like to see her return.

I think Stolen is the best book yet in this series. Gritty, full of suspense and with a nail-biting ending, this makes for a really enjoyable read. Another top read from Paul Finch, which I highly recommend.

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication date: 16th May 2019

Print length: 480 pages

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

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Wilderness by B.E. Jones #bookreview blog tour @bevjoneswriting @TheCrimeVault @damppebbles

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Wilderness by B.E. Jones on my blog today, with thanks to Emma Welton at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to take part.

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Two weeks, 1,500 miles, three opportunities for her husband to save his own life.

It isn’t about his survival – it’s about hers.

Shattered by the discovery of her husband’s affair, Liv knows they need to leave the chaos of New York to try to save their marriage. Maybe the roadtrip that they’d always planned, exploring America’s national parks, just the two of them, would help heal the wounds.

But what Liv hasn’t told her husband is that she has set him three challenges. Three opportunities to prove he’s really sorry and worthy of her forgiveness.

If he fails? Well, it’s dangerous out there. There are so many ways to die in the wilderness. And if it’s easy to die, then it’s easy to kill too.

If their marriage can’t survive, he can’t either.

MY THOUGHTS

Wilderness is a terrific page-turner by B.E. Jones. In the vast expanse of the American wilderness, a terrifying thought slips into Olivia’s mind. It would be very easy to kill her husband out here. It could be passed so easily off as an accident. Would she get away with it?

Olivia and her husband Will, head to the States for a break, for a chance to heal their marriage after Will’s affair. But Olivia can’t stop wondering if she can ever trust him again and she can’t forgive him for what he has done. As dark thoughts crowd in, a plan starts to hatch inside her head, but she doesn’t realise the disastrous consequences it’ll have for them both.

There is plenty of drama that plays out in this book right from the opening page. I was immediately gripped from the first line, which had me thinking, how on earth was Olivia going to carry this out? The setting was absolutely perfect for this scenario, and I could see just why Olivia would think this. They are with a small group of people, but they are very isolated, and throw into the mix the woman that Will had an affair with, and there is heightened tension right from the get-go.

I really enjoyed this one, the first book I have read by this author, so I will definitely be catching up on her previous novels. This is an excellent psychological thriller that will have you watching the characters with every move they make. I loved it.

Publisher: Constable

Publication date: 4th April 2019

Print length: 320 pages

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

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Perfect Crime by Helen Fields #bookreview blog tour @Helen_Fields @AvonBooks @Sabah_K #PerfectCrime

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Helen Fields fifth book in the DI Luc Callanch and DCI Ava Turner series, Perfect Crime. Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to take part.

BLURB

Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

MY THOUGHTS

Helen Field’s DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner series is one I have followed since the beginning, and this is a series that keeps on delivering the goods. It’s been fascinating to see Luc’s relationship with Ava grow over the course of the last five books, is there something more in store for them in the future? We shall have to see.

The cases that Ava and Luc are investigating in Perfect Crime are perplexing. The book opens with a rather dramatic scene, as Stephen Berry is attempting to commit suicide and disturbingly, a stranger in the crowd is egging him on and laughing at his attempt. So it is a huge relief to the majority of the crowd when a Good Samaritan persuades Stephen to halt his actions. So when Stephen ends up dead after falling from a wall at Tantallon Castle only a few days later, it is devastating. But soon more bodies begin to turn up, it appears to Ava and Luc that someone is targeting vulnerable people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and the one thing that links the cases is the strange man witnessed laughing in the crowd. Can they identify and stop this individual before they kill again?

This is a really pacy read. From very early on though I did have an idea who the killer was, but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story. Helen focuses here not only on the murders of suicidal victims but on a few different cases, one that does throw Luc in the eye of the police as a potential suspect. Helen follows on from earlier revelations about Luc’s own family and his past in this book, and you can see just how angry he is and how it has affected him. You don’t have to read the previous books to understand what’s happened as it is explained here, but it does help to get a better understanding of the characters if you have. And really, why wouldn’t you want to read the rest? They’re really excellent books.

I loved the moments that Luc spent with Ava, and I could see their feelings for each other growing. It was one of those parts of the story which I didn’t really expect to come at all, after reading the first few books in the series and again Helen has me wondering what is install for them next.

Perfect Crime is another terrific addition to this series. I can’t wait to see what Helen has install for her characters next. Top stuff!

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 400 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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