First Blood by Angela Marsons #bookreview @WriteAngie @bookouture

Today is publication day for a very exciting book which I have wanted to shout about ever since I read it a few weeks ago. I’m absolutely delighted and beyond excited to be able to share my review of First Blood by Angela Marsons, a prequel to the Kim Stone series with you today.

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In the darkness of a cold December morning, Detective Kim Stone steps through the doors of Halesowen Police Station.  She’s about to meet her team for the first time.  The victim of her next case is about to meet his killer…

When the body of a young man is found beheaded and staked to the ground in a secluded area of the Clent Hills, Kim and her new squad rush to the crime scene.

Searching the victim’s home, Kim discovers a little girl’s bedroom and a hidden laptop.  Why is his sister relieved to hear he’s dead – and where is the rest of his family?

As Kim begins to unearth the dark secrets at the heart of the case, D.C. Stacey Wood finds a disturbing resemblance to the recent murder of Lester Jackson.  But that’s not all Stacey finds …

She’s convinced there is a link between the victims and a women’s shelter run by Marianne Forbes, Lester’s niece. A child of the care system herself, Kim knows all too well what it means to be vulnerable. Could Marianne be the key to cracking this case?

With the killer about to strike again, Kim is in deep water with a rookie squad.  Inexperienced Stacey is showing signs of brilliance but struggling to hold her nerve and, while D.S. Bryant is reliable and calm, D.S. Dawson is a liability. With his home life in pieces, his volatile behaviour is already fracturing her fragile new team.

Can Kim bring Dawson in line and pull her crew together in time to catch the killer before another life is taken? This time, one of her own could be in terrible danger…

Discover where it all began for Kim and her team. An absolutely heart-stopping mystery thriller that will keep you glued to the pages, reading late into the night.  Perfect for Kim Stone fans and new readers to the million-copy bestselling series.

A detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.

MY THOUGHTS

Kim Stone fans, you are in for a treat. Angela Marsons has taken Kim back, right to the beginning, before Silent Scream and before the friendships she has with her colleagues has had a chance to develop fully. Here, in First Blood, everything is new and fresh. We get to see everything we know well and love about this series in a new light.

When I first heard that Angela Marsons had written a prequel to her first novel in the Kim Stone series, I was really excited. I pretty much dropped everything I was doing and picked up this book. I wanted to know more about Kim’s relationship with her colleagues and how this developed. I must admit, it did feel quite strange not to have the usual quirky exchanges between Bryant and Kim. Right at the beginning, however, Kim doesn’t know how long she will be working with him or anyone else on the team. She doesn’t know if she can trust anyone yet. We can see that she has not managed to fit in with any other teams within the police force, and this seems to be the last throw of the dice for her.

As well as getting to know a younger version of Kim Stone, it’s been fascinating peering into the lives of her colleagues. You can see the beginnings of her friendship forming with Bryant. You can also see the determination in the members of her team, notably in Stacey and Dawson, to solve the case they are working on.

The case is a chilling one, with links to a women’s refuge centre nearby, Kim and her team are trying to track down an individual who is killing abusers. To the killer, what they are doing is just, and this is probably how a lot of readers will feel about this as well. The killer is playing on the minds of the police. It becomes a race against time for the police to work out what the killer is planning to do next before they kill again.

If you haven’t yet read the Kim Stone series, then this is a good place to start. It can be quite daunting to start a series several books in, so this is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know Kim and her team.

This book shapes the pathway for the rest of the books to follow. Angela Marsons has done a brilliant job in putting a fresh spin on this series. It’s been fascinating going back in time and seeing where it all began for the characters, which fans of the Kim Stone series have grown to know so well. Once again, Angela Marsons has come up with a brilliant plot for her characters to sink their teeth into.

For fans of Kim Stone and newcomers to the series as well, I highly recommend First Blood. And if you are new to the series, you will want to read the rest of the books straight away. Absolutely brilliant stuff!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 14th November 2019

Print length: 407 pages

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

Amazon UK

Dancers in the Wind by Anne Coates #bookreview blog tour @Anne_Coates1 @urbanebooks @LoveBooksGroup

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of the first book in the Hannah Weybridge series by Anne Coates, Dancers in the Wind. With thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Dancers in the Wind: A gripping thriller that will leave you breathless (Hannah Weybridge Book 1) by [Coates, Anne]

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SHE IS HUNTING FOR THE TRUTH, BUT WHO IS HUNTING HER?

Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognisable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence.

Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realise that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah realises she must do everything in her power to expose the truth …. and stay alive.

MY THOUGHTS

I came to the Hannah Weybridge series a little late when I read the third novel in the series, Songs of Innocence last year. I really wish I’d started from the beginning, so I’m glad that I’ve now had the chance to go back to the start with Dancers in the Wind.

Set in the early 1990s, in Anne Coates’ first novel, the police are trying to track down a brutal killer who has so far murdered three prostitutes in the Kings Cross area. At the same time, freelance journalist, Hannah Weybridge is asked to write an article on prostitution in the area, and she partially becomes involved in the investigation. As part of her research, Hannah speaks to a young woman who goes by the name of Princess. But as Hannah continues to pursue her research, she becomes unwittingly pulled into a dark and dangerous world. Soon she can’t predict if she’ll survive.

There is an edgy feeling to the plot, and Anne Coates has created a sinister atmosphere as Hannah is pulled further and further into this dangerous world. When Hannah first meets Detective Inspector Tom Jordan, who is leading the investigation into the killings, I wasn’t sure if I should trust him. I did feel scared for Hannah as she appeared to grow closer to him, and I began to wonder just how this was going to end for them both.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the plot was Hannah’s relationship with Princess in the wake of their interview. A short while after they first speak to each other, Princess turns up on Hannah’s doorstep after being severely beaten and pleads with Hannah for help. Of course, Hannah is completely unsure of what to do, and at first, she is reluctant to help Princess, fearing for her and her daughter’s safety. At this moment, I wanted to know what it was that Princess had got herself mixed up in and who she was so scared of. Would this have any implications for Hannah and her daughter?

We don’t hear a lot about the police investigation, only when Hannah is in the company of Tom Jordan, but I liked the feel this gave the book. Hannah is in the realms of the unknown here. This is a far more terrifying prospect for her as she doesn’t fully understand what she is dealing with. If she had been working for the police, she would know what leads they were following and if they would have anyone in the frame for the murders.

Dancers in the Wind is a strong debut by Anne Coates. The short chapters made it a pacey read, and there was always that hook that kept me reading on. The storyline is engaging, and it leads to a satisfactory ending with perhaps room for further exploration in the future. I will be making sure I read the second book in the series soon.

Publisher: Urbane Publications Limited

Publication date: 13th October 2016

Print length: 304 pages

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

Amazon UK   Waterstones

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Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza Blog Blitz @RobertBryndza @bookouture

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To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover.
On an icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask.

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman.

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger…

From the global million-copy bestselling author comes a totally heart-racing, hold-your-breath read that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

MY THOUGHTS

Whenever there is a new DCI Erika Foster novel out, it always shoots straight to the top of my reading pile. If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll know I am a huge, huge fan of this series. Erika is a fantastic protagonist, and I hope that Robert still has plenty of ideas for her up his sleeve.

A young woman, who has been brutally murdered, is discovered on her front doorstep by her mother on Christmas Day. DCI Erika Foster attends the scene, and a sordid picture of the young woman’s life begins to emerge as she investigates. But what is disturbing to Erika and her team is the eerily similar circumstances to recent attacks on men and women in London. These attacks have been carried out by a suspect wearing a military gas mask who is a terrifying individual. The suspect has never been apprehended by the police. And it is soon clear that he isn’t finished.

Deadly Secrets makes for another one-sitting read in the Erika Foster series. As Erika begins to untangle the life of the victim, unsavoury details about the victim’s character are uncovered, and there are a pool of suspects to investigate.

There are plenty of intriguing aspects to this investigation, I wanted to find out if the suspect in the previous attacks was responsible and why they were committing these acts. How could someone commit such heinous crimes? Robert also brings several of his background characters to the front, and there is some great character development, particularly in Moss who takes charge of the case when Erika is called away after her father-in-law is injured at his home in Manchester. It always makes me smile whenever a joke is made about her name. She has a very different personality to Erika, and I really like her humour. We also explore Erika’s character further, and we begin to learn a lot more about her past before she transferred to London. Although we know what happened to her husband Mark, it is only in this book that we are starting to find out more about their relationship.

This is another excellent addition to the Erika Foster series, if you haven’t yet read any of these novels, I highly recommend that you read them all.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th April 2018

Print length: 328 pages

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