Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone #bookreview #blogtour @C_L_Johnstone @BoroughPress @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the debut thriller by Carole Johnstone on my blog today, Mirrorland. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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No. 36 Westeryk Road: an imposing flat-stone house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. A place of curving shadows and crumbling grandeur. But it’s what lies under the house that is extraordinary – Mirrorland. A vivid make-believe world that twin sisters Cat and El created as children. A place of escape, but from what?

Now in her thirties, Cat has turned her back on her past. But when she receives news that one sunny morning, El left harbour in her sailboat and never came back, she is forced to return to Westeryk Road; to re-enter a forgotten world of lies, betrayal and danger.
 
Because El had a plan. She’s left behind a treasure hunt that will unearth long-buried secrets. And to discover the truth, Cat must first confront the reality of her childhood – a childhood that wasn’t nearly as idyllic as she remembers…

MY THOUGHTS

When I read the blurb for Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone, I knew straight away that I had to read it. It sounded so intriguing and different from what I had read before in crime fiction. But I was slightly worried, would the book itself live up to the exciting premise? I needn’t have worried. Carole Johnstone has written a brilliant debut novel, and I really enjoyed reading it.

Cat hasn’t returned to her home in Edinburgh since she moved to America. The reason she has returned is because her twin sister, El, has disappeared. El’s husband is distraught and desperate for news, but Cat appears cold. She believes El is seeking attention and faking her disappearance. But things soon take a shocking turn for the worse. Is there a link between El’s disappearance and the game they used to play as children to help cover up a dark secret?

I was intrigued by the idea of Mirrorland,and I thought it was very creative. I wanted to learn more about the world El and Cat had created for themselves and what it really meant. What were they trying to cover up? When we are first introduced to Cat, I struggled to like her, initially. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t taking her sister’s disappearance more seriously. It made me wonder what she knew about El that El’s husband and the police didn’t.

The mystery in this book becomes quite a complex one as Carole Johnstone unravels the secrets behind the game El and Cat used to play when they were children. There are some dark secrets which come to light as the novel reaches its climax. This is what makes this book such a sinister and twisted read. Carole also explores what families will do to protect one another and what they are willing to do to make sure their loved ones survive. It makes for some very intense reading as more more information about El and Cat is revealed.

Mirrorland is an intriguing, original thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. If you’re looking for something that is a bit different in the crime fiction genre, definitely give this book a go! 

Publisher: The Borough Press

Publication date: 15th April 2021

Print length: 416 pages

Mirrorland is available to buy:

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Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith #bookreview #blogtour @Mrssmithmunday @orionbooks

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Nikki Smith on my blog today, Look What You Made Me Do. With thanks to Alex Layt from Orion Books for inviting me to take part.

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Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it?

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Nikki Smith’s debut novel, All In Her Head, and I couldn’t wait to see what she came up with next. Look What You Made Me Do is a gripping, character-driven psychological thriller. Nikki Smith explores the simmering tensions within a family through the eyes of sisters Jo and Caroline. This is as they come to terms with the loss of their dad. Tensions especially heighten when it is revealed that their dad has left his business entirely to Jo.

Nikki Smith expertly peeled back the layers of each family member, and I thought they were all very well developed. I thought both Jo and Caroline were really intriguing characters. I liked how Nikki explored the dynamics of their relationship, especially the sibling rivalry. It made me wonder just how far they were prepared to go to achieve what they wanted. I really didn’t like their mother, who seemed to prefer one of her daughters over the other. I really couldn’t understand how she could openly show this in front of them.

Nikki Smith builds on the tension as the story progresses, and I was surprised with the direction in which she took the story, especially with the more domestic issues she explored. I wanted to know just how things were going to pan out for the family as they begin to understand what has happened and what this will mean for them when it is revealed that Jo and Caroline’s dad has left everything to Jo. There is a growing sense of dislike and mistrust building between them, and there are some shocking revelations as they come head to head with each other.

There were plenty of characters who I really didn’t like in this book. I really didn’t like Caroline’s husband, Rob. There were some scenes at the beginning in which he and Caroline were together, which made me feel very uncomfortable. He came across as very controlling, and it made me fear for Caroline as I was reading these early scenes. He was a really nasty character.

I thought Nikki Smith’s writing was very immersive, and I was pulled into the story. I did not want to put this book down. Nikki Smith delivers a very powerful twist that I did not see coming. Look What You Made Me Do felt like a very fresh psychological thriller, and I really enjoyed it. If you haven’t yet discovered Nikki Smith’s books, then you really need to read them.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 1st April 2021

Print length: 336 pages

Look What You Made Me Do is available to buy:

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Trust Me by T.M. Logan #bookreview #blogtour @TMLoganAuthor @bonnierbooks_uk @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Trust Me the new novel by T.M. Logan on my blog today. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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TWO STRANGERS, A CHILD, AND A SPLIT SECOND CHOICE THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.
Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of T.M. Logan’s thrillers, so I jumped at the chance to read his latest, and I moved it right to the top of my TBR pile. Trust Me is filled with suspense, and the tension is there on every single page. Right from the very start, I had to know what was going on here and I raced through it to find the answers. It is very addictive!

At the beginning of the novel, we meet Ellen, who is just boarding a train. She has no idea how what should have been a simple journey will impact the rest of her life. When the woman she is sitting next to asks if she wouldn’t mind looking after her baby, Mia, while she makes a phone call, Ellen expects her to be back any moment. But she doesn’t return. All Ellen finds is a note warning her not to trust the police.

Ellen is a great lead character. Straight away, she feels a bond between her and Mia, and she is willing to do anything to protect her. But Ellen doesn’t know who it is she needs to protect Mia from. Why did her mother abandon her? Why can’t she trust the police? I wanted to know what was really going on here as the situation Ellen finds herself in, begins to unfold. Who would want to target an innocent young girl? This is what Ellen can’t quite bring herself to believe. Mia has done nothing wrong; why is she in danger? What can Ellen do to protect her when the police can’t be trusted?

Ellen is a character who I connected with very early on. I felt sorry for her as I began to learn more about her life. She has just recently split up with her husband, and she is devastated that she hasn’t been able to have children. She knows now that it is very unlikely to happen to her. Her husband then announces to her that he and his new partner are expecting a baby, which comes as a real blow. When Ellen first comes into contact with Mia, there was a part of me hoping that perhaps, Ellen might be able to adopt her.

I was on the edge of my seat right the way through this book. T.M. Logan is an author who knows how to keep his readers turning the page, and I was utterly gripped. There were tense scenes which were packed with action. It made me feel as though I was there, watching everything unfold around me.

If you’re a fan of high octane novels, and if you haven’t read anything by T.M. Logan before, then you’re definitely missing out. I’m always really impressed with what he has managed to come up with, and I know I’ll be adding whatever he writes next to my TBR pile right away. Trust Me is a thriller not to be missed.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 432 pages

Trust Me is available to buy:

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Last Seen by Joy Kluver #blogtour #bookreview @JoyKluver @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the debut novel by Joy Kluver on my blog today, Last Seen. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Last Seen: An absolutely gripping missing child crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 1) by [Joy Kluver]

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‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’

Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’

A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.

Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.

As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.

MY THOUGHTS

Last Seen is the debut novel by Joy Kluver, and it’s a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while now. It is the start of what I hope will be a long-running series featuring Detective Bernadette Noel.

Detective Bernadette Noel has recently been appointed to a town in Wiltshire under something of a cloud. She was previously working with the Metropolitan Police, so what was the reason behind her move to Wiltshire? Not long after she is reassigned, she is thrown into a high profile investigation when five-year-old Molly disappears. But why do none of the locals want to help in the search?

Joy Kluver has created such an intriguing premise in her debut novel. Usually, and especially in the case of a missing child, the public wants to help. There are searches organised, and people are ringing the police hotline constantly with sightings to report. But in this case, the police aren’t getting anything. When they carry out house to house enquiries, they are met with hostility, with the door practically being slammed in their faces. People are also very reluctant to put up missing posters. What is going on here? It made me really dislike the residents of their town. Couldn’t they see that this was about bringing Molly, an innocent girl home?

The investigation is a complex one, and Joy Kluver cleverly weaves everything together. The investigation does start off quite slow, particularly when people are unwilling to help, but it gradually gathers pace. There are some shocking reveals as the police look into the past of the victim’s family. It’s then that they begin to understand why the locals don’t want to know. I really wanted to find out the reason behind this.

I liked the friendships between Bernie and her team, and I think Joy Kluver builds on this really well as the novel progresses. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops as the series moves on from here.

This is a fantastic start to a new series, which I’m sure will keep readers coming back for more.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 26th March 2021

Print length: 358 pages

Last Seen is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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Nighthawking by Russ Thomas #bookreview #blogtour @thevoiceofruss @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Nighthawking by Russ Thomas on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens – an oasis of peace in a world filled with sorrow, confusion and pain. And then, one morning, a body is found in the Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body’s been there for months. It would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone just sneaked into the Gardens and dug it up.
 
Who is the victim? Who killed her and hid her body? Who dug her up? And who left a macabre marker on the body?
 
In his quest to find her murderer, DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable… and willing to kill to keep what they find.
 
That which was lost… will always be found again

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Russ Thomas’s debut, Firewatching, which made my top ten books of 2020, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series. Nighthawking is a brilliant follow up, and Russ Thomas has created a complex mystery which kept me hooked, and it had a really intriguing premise.

I really liked DS Adam Tyler when Russ Thomas first introduced him in the first book. This time around, he is slipping away from the police investigation that is taking place. Tyler is also struggling with his relationship with Paul, as well. His actions did make me feel sorry for his colleague, DC Amina Rabbini. She is constantly trying to locate him and is always having to cover up for him as well. They both work for the cold case unit, which is under threat as it is, of being disbanded, due to budget cuts.

DS Tyler and DC Rabbini soon find themselves thrown into an investigation when a young woman’s body is found in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. It appears that the body has been there for months. The case is soon matched up with the disappearance of a Chinese woman eight months earlier. But it appears that not much was done to trace her, and the case was quickly wrapped up.  

In this book, Russ Thomas delves into the world of nighthawkers, which gives the book a very sinister feeling. Nighthawkers are treasure hunters, and it’s the nickname given to people who don’t have a licence to hunt for treasure, particularly at sites with a historical value. This part of the plot gave the book a very sinister feeling. It made me wonder if it had a wider connection to the discovery of the young girl’s body.

The plot was cleverly constructed, and I liked the different elements that Russ Thomas brought to it. I thought this, particularly when we begin to learn more about what was going on in the life of the murdered girl.  

The tension gathers pace as the truth begins to unfold, and it was a jaw dropping moment when Russ Thomas revealed his secrets. And then Russ Thomas leaves us with a cliff hanger. The ending has left me wanting to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible. I know this is a series that I’ll be sticking with.

Nighthawking is another excellent book by Russ Thomas, and I can’t wait to see how things progress from here.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication date: 29th April 2021

Print length: 445 pages

Nighthawking is available to buy:

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The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana #bookreview #blogtour @jennyquintana95 @MantleBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Some houses have their secrets. But so do some people . . .

From the bestselling author of The Missing Girl and Our Dark Secret, comes The Hiding Place: a story about identity, love, long-buried secrets and lies.

Abandoned as a baby in the hallway of a shared house in London, Marina has never known her parents, and the circumstances of her birth still remain a mystery.

Now an adult, Marina has returned to the house where it all started, determined to find out who she really is. But the walls of this house hold more than memories, and Marina’s reappearance hasn’t gone unnoticed by the other tenants.
Someone is watching Marina. Someone who knows the truth . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Hiding Place is the first book by Jenny Quintana, which I have read, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read one of her books. I still have her first two novels on my TBR pile, and I’ll be reading them ASAP. Her latest book is a heart-breaking and a totally absorbing psychological thriller. I flew through it in just a couple of days.

We meet Marina, who, now an adult, returns to the home where she was abandoned as a baby to find out more about her heritage and who her parents were. But things are a lot more complicated here than Marina first realised. But she doesn’t want to give the details that she once was that baby away to the inhabitants of the house. Some of the people living there now remember that time and were there when it happened.

I really felt for Marina as she tried to understand more about her family. You can see just how desperate she is to find closure. She wants to know why her mother abandoned her all those years ago. It’s hard to imagine what that knowledge could do to a person over the years once they realise the truth about what happened. It must be heart-breaking for them to think that their birth family didn’t want them

Right from the first few chapters, I felt that there wasn’t something quite right about what happened when Marina was born. I felt that there were people in the house who wanted to make sure that what happened stays a secret. I wanted to know who this person was and what connection they had to Marina’s story.

Jenny Quintana creates an air of mystery and a sense of creepiness about the house as Marina settles in and tries to get to know the residents there. You can see that already some of them are uncomfortable about her presence. But she is determined to see this through.

We also go back in time to 1964 when we meet a woman called Connie, and we start to see the bigger picture of what happened at the time of Marina’s birth begin to unfold. I became totally wrapped up in the story. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t want it to end. Jenny Quintana’s brilliant writing kept me gripped all the way through, especially at the end as Marina uncovers the truth.

The Hiding Place is so well written, and I can’t wait to catch up on Jenny Quintana’s previous books. I loved it!

Publisher: Mantle

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 320 pages

The Hiding Place is available to buy:

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The Night Gate by Peter May #bookreview #blogtour @authorpetermay @SophMidas @riverrunbooks

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Night Gate by Peter May on my blog today. With thanks to Sophie Ransom from Midas PR for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

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In a sleepy French village, the body of a man shot through the head is disinterred by the roots of a fallen tree. A week later a famous art critic is viciously murdered in a nearby house. The deaths occurred more than seventy years apart.
Asked by a colleague to inspect the site of the former, forensics expert Enzo Macleod quickly finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the latter. Two extraordinary narratives are set in train – one historical, unfolding in the treacherous wartime years of Occupied France; the other contemporary, set in the autumn of 2020 as France re-enters Covid lockdown.

And Enzo’s investigations reveal an unexpected link between the murders – the Mona Lisa.

Tasked by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle to keep the world’s most famous painting out of Nazi hands after the fall of France in 1940, 28-year-old Georgette Pignal finds herself swept along by the tide of history. Following in the wake of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as it is moved from château to château by the Louvre, she finds herself just one step ahead of two German art experts sent to steal it for rival patrons – Hitler and Göring.

What none of them know is that the Louvre itself has taken exceptional measures to keep the painting safe, unwittingly setting in train a fatal sequence of events extending over seven decades.

Events that have led to both killings.

MY THOUGHTS

The Night Gate by Peter May, the seventh book in his Enzo case files series, is such a fascinating read. It’s also really engaging. In 2020, decades after the end of World War Two, a man’s body, from the time of the Second World War, is discovered. And not long after the grim discovery, a famous art critic is killed. While the world is coping with a pandemic, Enzo is asked to help investigate the death of the man found decades after his death. But what connection does this have to the recent murder? And what connection do the murders have to the Mona Lisa?

I have to admit that this is the first book by Peter May which I have read and I am kicking myself now that I haven’t got round to reading his books sooner. I definitely will be going back and reading the earlier books in this series.

As the investigations in the present day develop, Peter May takes us back to when the Germans occupied France. There is increasing pressure to protect the country’s most treasured possessions from falling into the hands of the Nazis. One of these prizes, which Hitler is keen to procure, is the Mona Lisa. France goes to extraordinary lengths to protect it.

I found it really fascinating when Peter May goes back to the time. The story has such an interesting hook with the Mona Lisa. There were so many people involved in making sure that the world’s most famous painting stays safe; people are willing to put their lives on the line to protect it. Even the Nazis don’t want to just barge in and taking, fearing the international scandal it would cause. Peter May captures the tension that existed at this time so well.

The novel is also set in 2020 at the time of the pandemic. I was put off slightly by this when I first started reading it. I know that many readers may not want to read a novel set during this time, but it didn’t become an issue as the story progressed. I actually thought it was good for the character development as we see how Enzo’s family has been affected over the course of the last year. It makes the story feel very real, as well.

I loved how both of the story lines were weaved together. I wanted to find out how what happened in the past was connected to the events in the present. It’s what makes the novel so gripping, and I flew through it. The pace never drops. The dual timeline is what makes this book particularly gripping, and Peter May weaves them together with incredible skill.

The Night Gate is very cleverly and plotted, and I loved how Peter May brought everything together as the truth behind both murders is revealed. A highly engrossing read.

Publisher: riverrun

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 496 pages

The Night Gate is available to buy:

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Future Perfect by Felicia Yap #bookreview #blogtour @rararesources @FeliciaMYap @Wildfirebks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Felicia Yap, Future Perfect. With thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.

Future Perfect: The Most Exciting High-Concept Novel of the Year by [Felicia Yap]

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What if today was your last day…

A bomb has exploded during a fashion show, killing a beautiful model on the catwalk. The murderer is still at large… and he may strike again. Yet this is the least of Police Commissioner Christian Verger’s worries. His fiancée Viola has left him. He has to keep his tumultuous past a secret. To make things worse, his voice assistant Alexa is 99.74% sure he will die tomorrow.

Moving from snowy 1980s Montana to chic 1990s Manhattan to a drone-filled 2030s Britain, FUTURE PERFECT is an electrifying race to solve a murder before it’s too late. Yet it is also a love story, a riveting portrait of a couple torn apart by secrets, grief and guilt. A twisted tale of how the past can haunt a person’s future and be used to predict if he will die… or kill.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Felicia Yap’s debut novel, Yesterday when I read it a few years ago now, and I couldn’t wait to see what she would come up with next. Her second novel, Future Perfect, is an imaginative, immersive and a very fresh psychological thriller.

What would you do if you were told that today was going to be your last day? Future Perfect is set in the year 2030 in Britain. It’s quite scary to think that 2030 is less than a decade from now. In Felicia Yap’s future version of reality, our lives are controlled by apps more than ever. There is even an app called I-Predict, which accurately predicts how your day will pan out. It drives people to the point of obsession as well. They have to make sure they follow everything down to a T, the app says is going to happen, they go out of their way to make its predictions come true. But what happens when you wake up one morning, and it says “chances of dying 99.74%?” How would you react?

This is what happens to Christian, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. It is also the same day, renowned fashion designer, Alexander King, plans to host a fashion show in London. The fashion show follows a catastrophic event when one of his models was killed on stage at an event in New York just the day before. There are concerns that another attack might take place in London. What is even more concerning is that there are several high profile models taking part, including the Prime Ministers daughter.

I loved the concept in Future Perfect. From the moment when Christian sees his prediction on the app, I wanted to know how things were going to plan out for him. What was going to happen at the fashion show? Who had been responsible for the attack in New York? Christian knows that the app’s predictions are highly likely to come true, and so he is on edge from that moment onwards. I could feel this tension growing as the book raced towards its conclusion.

I loved how Felicia Yap went back to two different timelines throughout the book. There are some very disturbing scenes which take place in America in the 1970s and Manhattan in the 1990s. I wanted to know how the events taking place in the past were connected to the events taking place in the future.

Future Perfect is very cleverly plotted. I loved how Felicia Yap weaved everything together. It makes for a very entertaining read. This is a high-concept read which I would highly recommend if you’re looking for something a bit different in the psychological thriller genre. It is also scary to think how some of the futuristic ideas Felicia Yap explores are very close to becoming a real possibility. I really enjoyed it!

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 18th March 2021

Print length: 343 pages

Future Perfect is available to buy:

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Bound by Vanda Symon #bookreview #blogtour @vandasymon @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the latest novel in the Sam Shephard series by Vanda Symon, Bound. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Bound (Sam Shephard Book 4) by [Vanda Symon]

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The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.

The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect… 

MY THOUGHTS

Bound is the fourth book in the Sam Shephard series by Vanda Symon, and I think it’s the best book in the series yet. Vanda Symon knows how to create a really chilling opening, and she has created another gripping first few pages here. I wanted to know what had happened from the first page, and Vanda Symon kept me turning the pages. I raced through this book in just a couple of days.

A teenage boy returns home to a shocking scene that will be forever imprinted on his memory. His father, a local businessman, is dead, and his mother is seriously injured. What happened here, and who attacked his parents? What have they got themselves involved in?

This is such a gripping crime novel. The chapters are short and pacy, and they always left me thinking, I’ll just read one more. It’s what makes Vanda Symon’s books so addictive, and I love her writing. I had to know what was going on here and who was responsible for the crime. But this isn’t the only thing Sam is having to deal with. Her father is dying. Sam is struggling to come to terms with what is inevitably going to happen. She tries to distract herself by throwing herself into her work.

There are some shocking reveals as Sam Shephard comes closer to unravelling the truth, and there is a jaw-dropping twist that I did not see coming. Sam knows that there is more here to what meets the eye, but she seems to be the only person who can see this. It seems that the rest of the team are keen to brush the case under the carpet. I really liked how Sam fought for the victims.

Sam Shephard is such a great character, and she is one of my favourite detectives in crime fiction. She is a character you can root for right the way through, and I hope there will be many more books featuring her to come. I thought the scenes in which she was dealing with her father’s illness were really emotional, and you can see how she is struggling to accept it.

Bound is so cleverly well plotted. I loved how Vanda Symon kept the tension turning up a notch and how she kept me asking questions. Vanda’s writing is taut and so pacy. It made for such a compelling read, and I loved it.

If you’re not yet reading this series, then you really need to be. It’s a fast paced, highly engaging police procedural. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 4th January 2021 (kindle) 18th March 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pages

Bound is available to buy:

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Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst #bookreview #blogtour @EngerThomas @LierHorst @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Smoke Screen (Blix & Ramm) by [Thomas Enger, Jørn Lier Horst, Megan Turney]

BLURB

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert.

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Smeplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of the first book in Thomas Enger’s and Jorn Lier Horst’s new series; Death Deserved when I read it last year. I was eager to read what they would come up with next and I wasn’t disappointed. Smoke Screen is a brilliant addition to this series. Enger and Horst hit the ground running with an intense opening chapter, and the pace doesn’t drop throughout the rest of the book.

The plot is cleverly constructed and is weaved together really well. In the opening chapter, on New Year’s Eve, a bomb is detonated in Oslo, prompting the police and emergency services to suspect a terror attack. One of the victims of the bombing, who is seriously injured, is the mother of a missing girl who vanished a decade earlier. The case was never solved, and two-year-old Patricia was never found. With the current events unfolded, interest in the case is sparked again, and Detective Alexander Blix hopes to solve the case once and for all.

If you love action-packed books, then this is a series you really need to be reading. What I really like about these books is the relationship between Alexander Blix and journalist Emma Ramn. In an unofficial capacity, they make a good team, and they both have mutual respect for each other. There is a lot of mystery in this book. I wanted to find out what had happened to Patricia ten years earlier, and the police are also kept on their toes as the terror threat level is raised. Who was responsible for the attack on New Year’s Eve?

As Detective Blix does, Emma throws herself into the investigation of Patricia’s disappearance. There is a twisty web of deceit the investigation team needs to unpick, and Emma gets too close to the truth, which puts her in danger. This is what keeps the tension in the book going as the investigation to uncover the truth proceeds. I got the sense that the police were so close to discovering what had happened, but I thought it could also be snatched away from them. The last chapters are so tense as the police and Emma get closer to understanding the truth about what had happened. I couldn’t stop reading until I had turned the final page.

I’m always fascinated when authors collaborate on one project. The writing here was seamless, and it felt as though it had just been written by one author. I’d love to know more about how they go about the writing process.

This is another thrilling read in this series which I couldn’t put down. I know I’ll be reading the next book as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. If you’re not yet reading this series, you’re really missing out. This is a top crime series which I can’t wait to read more from. I think it would also translate really well to screen and it is crying out to be made into a TV series. Smoke Screen gets an easy five stars from me.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 18th December 2020 (kindle) 18th February 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

Smoke Screen is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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