Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten #bookreview #blogtour @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @0neMoreChapter_

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the third book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten, Dead Perfect. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Dead Perfect: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with dark and jaw-dropping twists (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 3) by [Noelle Holten]

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A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

MY THOUGHTS

The moment I started reading Noelle Holten’s new novel, Dead Perfect, my heart was in my mouth. What a way to open a book! After the cliff hanger, Noelle left her last book on, I was desperate to get round to reading the next book as soon as possible, and I think it’s her best book yet in this series.

This time around DC Maggie Jamieson is left fearing for the life of her close friend, Dr Kate Moloney, after the body of a woman is discovered. The woman who has been found bears a strong resemblance to Kate, which immediately sparks thoughts that it is her. But Maggie doesn’t quite feel the sense of relief she should feel when the body is identified as someone else. What becomes clear is that someone is targeting Kate, and they are killing women who look very similar to her. Is this to send Kate a message? It isn’t clear. But Maggie now knows her friend’s life is under imminent threat and she is determined to protect her.

My heart rate kept increasing as I raced through this book. You can see how desperate the killer is to get to Kate, but you are never quite sure what their motive is here. Kate herself has been stalked recently, which gives Maggie cause for concern, and she wants Kate to step up her security. However, Kate doesn’t seem to be particularly keen, especially as she doesn’t want to be attached to her phone all the time.

You can see Maggie’s feelings for Kate growing in this book, and her feelings for Kate is what makes Maggie even more concerned for her welfare and keen to protect her. I really liked this side of Maggie, and it makes her character feel much more real and human. After finishing the latest book, I’m wondering just how things for Maggie are going to develop next.

As Noelle has done in the first two books in the series, she uses her knowledge of the probation system, adding a ring of authenticity to her writing.

If you’re not yet reading this series, you’re missing out on some excellent books. Noelle Holten keeps the tension rising, and then she always ends with another cliff hanger that makes you desperate to read her next book. Brilliant stuff!

Publisher: One Chapter

Publication date: 16th October 2020 (kindle) 24th December 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 328 pages

Dead Perfect is available to buy:

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The Girls in the Snow by Stacy Green #bookreview #booksontour @stacygreen26 @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Girls in the Snow by Stacy Green as part of the blog tour today on my blog.

The Girls in the Snow: A completely unputdownable crime thriller (Nikki Hunt Book 1) by [Stacy Green]

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Madison walked through the fallen snow, looking left and right. It had been Kaylee’s idea to use the trail through the forest; she said no one would follow them. But Madison lost sight of Kaylee for a moment and when she found her again she wasn’t alone…

In the remote forests of Stillwater, Minnesota, you can scream for days and no one will hear you. So when the bodies of two fifteen-year-old girls are discovered frozen in the snow, Special Agent Nikki Hunt is sure the killer is local: someone knew where to hide the girls and thought they would never be found.

Though Nikki hasn’t been home in twenty years, she knows she must take over the case. The Sheriff’s department in Stillwater has already made a mistake by connecting the girls’ murders to those of a famous serial killer, refusing to consider the idea that the killer could be someone from town.

Then another girl’s body is found, a red silk ribbon tied in her hair, and Nikki realizes that the killer has a connection to her own dark past, and the reason she left Stillwater.

Nikki is not the only person in town who wants those secrets to stay hidden. Will she be able to face her demons before another child is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

The Girls in the Snow is the first book by Stacy Green which I’ve read, and you can label me a big fan. I hope this is the first book in a long-running series featuring FBI Agent Nikki Hunt; I can’t wait to read more.

The police are already looking for a sadistic serial killer, and when the bodies of two young girls are discovered, the police instantly draw a connection. But Detective Nikki Hunt isn’t sure that the perpetrator is the same. She believes that the killer is local and that it isn’t in the same style as the killer they have been previously hunting for. And this new case they are investigation is about to blow haunting memories of her past wide open.

I thought Nikki was a really intriguing character. The book opens with a chilling flashback scene from her past when her parents were murdered. For years her parent’s murders have been an open and shut case after the killer was identified and sentenced. But new evidence comes to light shining doubt on the prosecution. Is it possible that the wrong man was convicted? Who is the real killer who has let an innocent man go to prison in his stead?

You can see just how much the reopening of old wounds haunts Nikki. She can’t bear the thought of the wrong man being convicted. In a bid to push these thoughts to one side, she throws herself into the current investigation. But as they ramp up efforts to track down the killer, who has so far evaded them, she can’t help but be drawn back to her parent’s murders all the time.

The Girls in the Snow made for an absolutely gripping read. I flew through it, and Stacy Green kept the tension turning up a notch. It was the investigation and Nikki’s personal story that kept me hooked. I really felt for Nikki as she grappled with coming to terms with the fact that the wrong man may have been put in prison for her parent’s murder. You can see that she doesn’t want to believe it, and she is keen to put off looking again at her parent’s case. She doesn’t want to be drawn back into it, but she also knows that it will be inevitable.

I’ll certainly be downloading the next book in this series when it is released. This is definitely recommended for fans of crime and psychological thrillers. This is another crime series which I’m sure will become a favourite of mine.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 19th October 2020

Print length: 347 pages

The Girls in the Snow is available to buy:

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A Prayer for the Broken by Mark Tilbury #bookreview #bogtour @MTilburyAuthor

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for A Prayer for the Broken by Mark Tilbury on my blog today.

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They promised the boy he’d be safe – they lied! When eleven-year-old John McCormack’s mother is murdered, he is placed in the care of Pastor Ian Stone and his family. Clearwater House is a far cry from the squalid flats he’s been used to, but John soon learns that Pastor Stone’s perverted form of religion is anything but compassionate. As Stone attempts to purify John’s soul of “dangerous levels of toxicity”, it becomes increasingly clear he’s at the mercy of a madman. Who can John talk to when no one wants to listen? Who can he trust when all he knows is betrayal? A Prayer for the Broken is the story of one child’s desperate fight to escape a sadistic killer who has complete control over him.

MY THOUGHTS

A Prayer for the Broken is a dark, dark read by Mark Tilbury. We follow eleven-year-old John McCormack, who has already suffered in his young life, following the murder of his mother. After being in temporary foster care, he is adopted by a priest, Pastor Stone and his family. But Pastor Stone has a very specific reason for adopting John. Pastor Stone believes it is his mission to rid the world of evil, and he sees John as one of his biggest challenges. But as things begin to get tough for John, what can he do to stop this from happening? Who would believe an eleven-year-old over the word of a respected priest?

I really felt for John. He is still struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother. Now he is being subjected to an unimaginable level of torture. This is not an easy book to read, and it does get quite heavy at times. There were often times when I wondered how things could ever get better for John, and I couldn’t see this ending well for him.

While he is in Pastor Stone care, John makes friends with another boy, Brendan, who is another boy who Pastor Stone has adopted. The pair strike up a strong friendship bound by their united hatred for Pastor Stone and everything he has subjected them to. It the scenes in which they were together that provided some light in the darkness. It’s hard to imagine what would have become of John if he didn’t have Brendan to talk to.

I took an intense disliking towards Pastor Stone very early on. He takes seriously the mission he believes God has given him, and this is what makes him so dangerous. If he believes God is telling him to do something, he won’t fail to act on it. It did make me think that similar cases to John and Brendan’s, have more than likely happened in the world. Perhaps they are still happening in the world. This is what makes it very scary to think about. On the one side, Pastor Stone is a respected pillar of the community. It shows that you can never really know what is going on behind closed doors and how blinded we can become.

I was rooting for John and Brendan to get their revenge on Stone. I could see just how much his actions had had an effect on them. They are afraid even to tell the police what is going on. This is when you can see just how vulnerable the boys are and how much of a control Stone has over them.

A Prayer for the Broken is an intense, fast-paced read. If you enjoy dark psychological thrillers, then this is the book for you.

Publisher: Independently Published

Publication date: 25th September 2020 (paperback) 5th October 2020 (kindle)

Print length: 432 pages

A Prayer for the Broken is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The Choice by Alex Lake #bookreview #blogtour @Alexlakeauthor @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam

I’n delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Choice by Alex Lake on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Choice: The unputdownable new 2020 psychological crime thriller from the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of Seven Days by [Alex Lake]

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A kidnap…
Matt Westbrook only turned his back for a moment. But when he looks around, his car – with his three young children inside – has vanished.

A ransom…
Panicked, Matt assumes a car thief has got more than he bargained for, but then he starts to receive text messages: This is a kidnap. If you want to see your children again, you will exchange them for your wife.

A choice…
Matt and his wife Annabelle are horrified. They can’t involve the police, or their children will be killed. Which means they have to choose: Annabelle, or their children. Either option is unthinkable. But one is inevitable. And they have only hours to make their decision…

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve actually still got Alex Lake’s previous novels on my TBR pile, but now that I’ve read his latest, The Choice, I’m definitely going to be reading them soon. This is such an engrossing read about a family in a desperate situation. It’ll make you think about how you would act if you were to find yourself in a similar scenario. Would you make the same decisions? How would you react?

Matt Westbrook turns his eyes away from his children for a few moments, when he goes into a shop, only to come out minutes later to find his car gone, along with his children. As the horrifying discovery sinks in, he’s soon contacted by the kidnapper who makes a ransom demand. The police aren’t to be involved. Matt is keen to adhere to the kidnapper’s demands, fearing for the lives of his children. But he soon finds himself in an impossible situation when the kidnapper names their price, it isn’t money they’re after; it’s his wife, Annabelle.

You can’t help but feel for Matt throughout this book as he is put in this impossible dilemma. Of course, he desperately wants his children back and for them not to be harmed, but he can’t bear the thought of losing his wife. What I loved about this book is that I had a few different suspects in my mind as I was reading. Alex Lake takes us back to Matt’s university days when he first meets Annabelle. It was in these chapters that kept me thinking about the kidnapper’s possible motives.

Alex Lake also tells part of the novel from the point of view of the perpetrator. The kidnapper’s thoughts are cold and chilling. You can see that they are willing to do anything to achieve their goals, it’s clear to see, as well, that they don’t care at all about the children. It wouldn’t bother them in the slightest if they had to kill them.

Alex Lake keeps the tension turning up a notch. You can really sense that if Matt and Annabelle make one wrong move here, that it will have disastrous consequences. I wanted them to speak to the police, but at the same time, I could also understand why they were wary of doing so. Alex Lake makes their fear feel very real, especially when the kidnapper’s request comes through.

The Choice is a really engrossing read, and I flew through the final chapters, Alex Lake really knows how to heighten the tension. An excellent read!

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 20th August 2020 (kindle) 1st October 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 476 pages

The Choice is available to buy:

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A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone #bookreview #blogtour @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the stunning new novel by Micahel J Malone, A Song of Isolation on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

A Song of Isolation by [Michael J. Malone]

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Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?

Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press witch hunt quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.

While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world.

Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives … in an instant.

MY THOUGHTS

Michael J. Malone explores some dark themes in his latest novel, A Song of Isolation. Hollywood film start, Amelie Hart is left feeling devastated when her partner, Dave is accused of child abuse by their neighbours. Because of her connection to Dave, the case is catapulted into the spotlight. They soon find themselves under intense scrutiny from the public and the media. Amelie is certain of Dave’s innocence, as is his family, but now that the wheels have been set in motion; it seems that there is little that can be done to stop the changing tide of events.

I wanted to shout at the injustice being done to Dave and Amelia while I was reading this book. I felt sure that he was being stitched up the family of the victim; I couldn’t believe they were being allowed to get away with it. Sadly, I couldn’t help but think of how very likely it is that this could happen in the real world. I’ve always believed that the names of suspects should never be released until it is proven without a doubt that they are the person responsible for the crime.

Dave’s trial garners more publicity from the media as he is currently dating a Hollywood film star. You can see the level of scrutiny that is opposed upon them, especially upon Amelia as well just for supporting her partner. Michael J. Malone also explores the effect that this has on Dave’s parents. They run a successful business, and you can see the fears that the publicity will have on his work. I kept thinking that at any moment, even Dave’s family; especially Amelia, would abandon him to save their careers. I was desperate for this not to happen. This again made me feel angry as Amelia was being pressured to drop all contact with him to save her career.

What this novel explores well, is that we are all too quick to judge people, especially celebrities, when a lot of articles printed about them can be misleading. You can see this in the way that people speak of Dave when the media essentially portray him as guilty before the case has even been brought to trial. The public soon starts talking about him, people who know him as well and say, “I always thought he looked a bit shifty.” This happens in real life, as well. All of a sudden people’s perception of a person seems to change. They convince themselves that he is guilty without looking into the facts. Is this a way, perhaps, to convince themselves that the police have convicted the right person? Does this make them feel somehow comfortable that a dangerous person, local to them, has been rightly put behind bars, removing that threat?

Throughout the book, I was rooting for Dave and Amelie to get the justice that they deserved. I felt for the alleged victim as well, Damaris, as you can see that she is being manipulated. This kept me, even more, gripped to the book as I wasn’t sure how things were going to pan out for Dave. I could see that things could go either way for him, and this made me root for him even more.

Michael J. Malone has created another stunning, powerful piece of writing that will stay with you. A Song of Isolation is a powerful, heart-wrenching read. It’s a book that challenges your thought process, and it should be on everyone’s reading pile. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 17th July 2020 (kindle) 17th September 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

A Song of Isolation is available to buy:

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The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn #bookreview #blogtour @rosie_hedger @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #NordicNoir

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her difficult daughter are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
 
When her daughter decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman living there disappears, leaving her son behind, the day after Nina and her daughter pay her a visit.
 
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.
 
Exquisitely dark and immensely powerful, The Seven Doors is a sophisticated and deeply disturbing psychological thriller from one of Norway’s most distinguished voices.

MY THOUGHTS

I can’t believe I still haven’t read the first novel by Agnes Ravatn, The Bird Tribunal, but after reading The Seven Doors, I will definitely be rectifying that soon.

Nina and her husband Mads are moving out of Nina’s childhood home, which is due to be demolished, much to Nina’s dismay. They are being forced into a compulsory purchase scheme, and if that isn’t upsetting enough for them, their daughter is pushing for an advance on her inheritance. But she ends up moving in with Nina and her husband again after a bad case of silverfish at her home. But things don’t go quite as smoothly as they would have liked when they arrive at their new residence. The current tenant, Mari, is unsettled by their sudden appearance and she soon disappears. As the police become involved in the search for Mari, Nina is desperate to solve the mystery of her disappearance.

An unusual aspect I found about this story was that the author doesn’t use speech marks when her characters are talking. At first, I did find this slightly off-putting, but I eventually got used to it. It’s a style of writing that I haven’t come across before. It did mean, though, that I did have to pay a lot more attention to the writing, but I found that it actually drew me into the story more and I became more immersed.

I became more intrigued by Mari’s disappearance as Nina tried her best to investigate. She begins to speak to people who were close to her. This made me think that Nina was putting herself closer to danger. I could never be sure if there was a sinister reason behind Mari’s disappearance. I wanted to find out more about her, like Nina. I also wondered if there was a more innocent explanation. Agnes Ravatn creates an air of mystery about Mari’s character, and it kept me invested in the book.

I love reading novels set in the part of the world that The Seven Doors is set in, making Nordic Noir one of my favourite genres. I think the Norwegian landscape creates a very atmospheric setting that draws you in and Agnes Ravatn definitely succeeds with that here.

I was completely shocked by the ending of this book, and you can see just how devastating the ending is for the characters. I won’t say any more here than that. It does make you wonder how they are all going to move on from this after the final pages.

The Seven Doors is a novel that really makes you think about the characters as you are reading, and it will keep you thinking about what happened to Mari and what Nina will discover. It is an utterly immersive read. The book has also been very well translated by the translator, Rosie Hedger. If you’re looking for a beautifully written thriller that will draw you in, then look no further.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 17th September 2020

Print length: 276 pages

The Seven Doors is available to buy:

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The Watcher by Kate Medina #bookreview #blogtour @KateTMedina @RandomTTours @FictionPubTeam

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Watcher by Kate Medina. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Watcher by [Kate Medina]

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Some secrets can’t be hidden.

The Fullers are the picture-perfect family, a wealthy couple with a grand home in the middle of remote woodland. But even they have something to hide – and it will prove fatal.

Some crimes can’t be forgotten.

Psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn and DI Marilyn Simmons arrive at the Fuller’s home to find a suburban nightmare. A crime scene more disturbing than anything they have ever encountered.

Some killers can’t be stopped.

Jessie knows that this is no random act of violence. And if she can’t unlock the motivation behind the crime and shine a light into this killer’s mind, the Fullers won’t be the only family to die…

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve enjoyed catching up on the last two books in this series over the last couple of weeks, and I like the direction in which Kate Medina has taken the series.

The Watcher is book number four in the Dr Jessie Flynn series. The case in this book is one of the most complex Jessie has taken part in, alongside the investigative team. A couple is found murdered at their home, but what is even more disturbing is that it is believed that the husband was forced to watch his wife being murdered. The strange thing about it though was that the perpetrator seemed to take great care of the couple’s dog. Is this just a one-off killing? The police don’t want to cause panic by releasing details about the killer too soon. But when another murder takes place in very similar circumstances, they know that the killer is on a mission and that they won’t stop.

Jessie realises very early on that these killings are personal. It is the chilling way in which the killer forces his victims to watch or listen to their loved one being tortured that prompts this idea. But what grudge could the killer have against their victim that is so powerful that means they are willing to resort to murder?

I found this book really chilling as I was reading it. It was the killer’s motive that I kept questioning. Along the way, I was able to guess who the killer was going to be, but I was wrapped up in the mystery. I wanted to understand the reasons why they were doing this, which Kate Medina doesn’t make clear until the final pages. When she does, she wraps the book up in a devastating finale.

I really liked the addition of Lupo, a white husky, in this book. When the first murder takes place, the couple’s dog is taken to an animal shelter. After Jessie visits it, she decides to adopt Lupo, although her partner Callan isn’t particularly keen on taking a dog in. But Callan is quickly won over by Lupo. Kate Medina continues to explore their relationship, which was on a rocky path in the last book, and I’m glad that they seem as solid as ever here.

The Watcher is a pacy, tense and chilling read. If you’re yet to read this series and if you enjoy thrillers with a psychological aspect, then I would highly recommend it.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 3rd September 2020

Print length: 400 pages

The Watcher is available to buy:

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The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks #bookreview #blogtour @ManxWriter @izzieghaffari @DoubledayUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks on my blog today.

The Whispering House by [Elizabeth Brooks]

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Freya Lyell is struggling to move on from her sister Stella’s suicide five years ago. Visiting the bewitching Byrne Hall, only a few miles from the scene of the tragedy, she discovers a portrait of Stella – a portrait she had no idea existed, in a house Stella never set foot in. Or so she thought.

Driven to find out more about her sister’s secrets, Freya is drawn into the world of Byrne Hall and its owners: charismatic artist Cory and his sinister, watchful mother. But as Freya’s relationship with Cory crosses the line into obsession, the darkness behind the locked doors of Byrne Hall threatens to spill out.

MY THOUGHTS

The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks was such a haunting and atmospheric read. It felt very different from what I’ve read before, and I was pulled very easily into the story.

In the opening chapter, the lead character, Freya, and her father, are at a wedding being held at Byrne Hall. It’s close to the location where Stella, Freya’s sister, committed suicide a few years earlier. Craving answers, Freya soon returns to Byrne Hall. But she is soon pulled in the same way her sister was years ago, and now her world is about to be turned upside down.

When Freya first arrived at Byrne Hall, I thought that this would be a good thing for her, although I felt I didn’t trust the people who lived there, Cory and his mother. Cory is a very mysterious character who Freya falls head over heels in love for. Soon she packs up everything she knows and decides to live at the house with him. As things started to move forward so quickly, I got the sense that something wasn’t quite right here. It felt as though Freya was being trapped, although she isn’t aware of this. I didn’t like the way how Cory kept things from Freya even though she was very open with him about her life.

I could picture the setting of Byrne Hall very clearly. I learned from the book that it is based on Agatha Christie’s house, which I then researched after reading it. The landscape surrounding the hall creates a very eerie atmosphere. As I was reading, to me, it seemed that the hall was cut off from everything else, especially as Freya seemed to become less reluctant to leave.

I also found Cory’s mother, Diana, to be very mysterious as well. You can see that there is something there between them which they are afraid to talk about. As Freya grew more attached to Cory, I kept thinking that she was putting herself in danger. Again, I felt that I didn’t trust Cory, and you can begin to see his controlling nature emerge as his relationship with Freya develops.

Elizabeth Brooks also shares details from the time when Freya’s sister, Stella, was living at the hall. As I was reading these passages, I couldn’t help but think that history was beginning to repeat itself. This is what drove the plot of the novel forward as details about Stella’s past and time at Byrne Hall begin to become clearer.

The Whispering House is a beautifully written gothic tale that draws you into the story from the first page. I wouldn’t describe it as fast-paced, but I loved how the writing drew me in and captured my attention. I’d definitely recommend it.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 352 pages

The Whispering House is available to buy:

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Scared to Death by Kate Medina #bookreview

I’m finally catching up on Kate Medina’s Dr Jessie Flynn series and a few days ago I finished the second book, Scared to Death which I am sharing my thoughts on today.

Scared to Death: A gripping crime thriller you won’t be able to put down (A Jessie Flynn Crime Thriller, Book 2) by [Kate Medina]

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Everyone is afraid. But some fears can kill you.

A gripping new thriller featuring a brilliantly complex psychologist, Dr Jessie Flynn, who struggles with a dark past.

Sometimes you should be frightened of the dark…

A baby is abandoned in the middle of the night. DI Bobby ‘Marilyn’ Simmons suspects the father is planning to take his own life following the violent suicide of his eldest son Danny a year earlier.

Meanwhile an investigation begins into the murder of trainee soldier Stephen Foster. Just sixteen years old, he has been stabbed in the neck and left to die in the woods.

When psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn sees connections between the deaths of Stephen and Danny, she fears a third traumatized young man faces the same fate…

MY THOUGHTS

Dr Jessie Flynn is back in the second book in Kate Medina’s new series, Scared to Death. The discovery of a baby left abandoned in a pram at a hospital prompts the investigating team to get in touch with Jessie. It is believed that the baby has links to a military family. It would have to been someone in a desperate situation to leave the baby behind and with no contact details. Who could do such a thing? But as an investigation begins into the suspicious circumstances, Jessie is called away again when the body of sixteen-year-old boy has been found. But the strange events don’t end here and soon Jessie finds herself pulled into a deeper mystery which has devastating consequences for those involved.

I was a huge fan of Kate Medina’s first book in this series, Fire Damage, which I read a few years ago now, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to catch up. Jessie is such an intriguing character who is really likeable. Her past is a chilling one and in this novel, we begin to learn more details about Jessie. Kate Medina also explores Jessie’s relationship with her father who she is estranged from. He has been trying to get back in contact with her, but Jessie is less than keen to grant him his wish. You can also see that her father isn’t willing to give up easily.

Jessie is a psychologist for the military and she is currently having sessions with one young man who they believe to be at risk of committing suicide. Jessie is determined to get to the root cause of the man’s problems, but she has no idea how they are connected to the other investigations she is involved in.

I really like Jessie’s friendship with her neighbour, Ahmose, who is one of the most likeable characters out of the series. Although he is only a minor character, he always manages to make me smile and I think he would be a great friend and neighbour for anyone to have.

The parts I find really interesting about this series is Jessie’s work. Kate Medina is a psychologist and you can see from her writing that this is an area that she knows a lot about. But the added depth to Jessie’s character is what makes this part of the novel far more intriguing. Jessie was once in a psychiatric hospital and you can see that she has deeper understanding of what her patients are going through.

Short and pacy chapters keep the pace flying forward. Scared to Death is an excellent addition to this series and I can’t wait to catch up on book three.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 4th May 2017

Print length: 417 pages

Scared to Death is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

In this small town, nobody is innocent … Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver #bookreview #blogtour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

MY THOUGHTS

A couple of years ago now, I read Good Samaritans by Will Carver and it was my top read of 2018. Now, I have just finished reading his latest book, Hinton Hollow Death Trip. I have to say that he has continued to up the ante with every book and this is going to be a strong contender for my 2020 book of the year. If you haven’t yet read a book by Will Carver and if you enjoy dark crime fiction, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Will Carver reels us into his new book from the opening line. His narrator implores us to stop reading, but the only thing that first paragraph achieved was that it made me hungry for more. The unique nature of this book is that this novel is narrated by evil, yes that is correct. When I first heard about this it did make me wonder how this was going to work, but Will Carver has nailed it. I was drawn in by the narrative and Will Carver gives evil an almost God-like quality as the narrator talks about choosing who lives and who dies. But they also stress that at the end of the day it is down to us and our actions which defines what happens next.

The story does also feature Detective Sergeant Pace who featured in Will’s last two books. Detective Sergeant Pace is heading back to his hometown of Hinton Hollow. He is still plagued by the horrific events which took place in the last book. As Pace arrives, a dark cloud hangs over the town. The residents are about to go through five days of unimaginable trauma when a number of murders take place and a person goes missing. This all culminates in a shocking finale.

Although this book can be read as a standalone, I think it will help to at least read Will Carver’s previous book, Nothing Important Happened Today. There are some events which took place in his last book which feed into this story. I think it may not have quite the same impact on you if you don’t read Will’s previous novel. It’s what made the ending for me even more shocking.

I wouldn’t describe this book as a fast paced read. There are short and snappy chapters but it is a book which took me some time to read. I did feel as I was reading it that it was a book to be savoured, so I decided to take my time.

Will Carver paints a very bleak picture of the town, Hinton Hollow. As the events of the horrific week unfold, the residents are on tenterhooks. No one can believe what has happened. It begins with the shooting of a young boy and the events that take place soon spiral out of control. And Will Carver delivers an explosive ending that completely knocked me for six.

If you’re looking for something that is different and completely original compared to what is out there in the mainstream market at the moment, you need to read Will Carver’s books. But I have to warn you, they’re certainly not for the faint of heart. Will Carver continues to blow me away with each book and I can’t wait to read what he writes next. Whatever it is, it’ll be bumped straight to the top of my TBR pile. Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an intelligent, well crafted, thought-provoking tale. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 12th June 2020 (kindle) 13th August 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pages

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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