Hold Your Tongue by Deborah Masson #bookreview @deborah_masson

Hold Your Tongue is a debut I was really looking forward to reading and I was glad I managed to find the time to do so over Christmas.

Hold Your Tongue: This addictive crime novel will be your new obsession (DI Eve Hunter Book 1) by [Masson, Deborah]

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In the run up to Christmas, a serial killer stalks the streets of Aberdeen . . .

On Detective Eve Hunter’s first Monday back at work following enforced leave, she is called to the scene of a gruesome crime. A young woman’s body has been discovered in a hotel room, her face mutilated and her tongue cut out. A newspaper headline about the victim’s burgeoning modeling career is pinned to the body.

Hunter and her team spend the week chasing leads, until the following Tuesday, another body is discovered in similar circumstances. Again, a newspaper headline about the victim is found on the scene.

When a breakthrough with the newspaper clippings leads them to a clue about the killer’s pattern, they realize the countdown is on until the next victim is found. Battling against a team who has lost respect for her and her own personal demons, Hunter must put herself inside the mind of a depraved killer if she is to prevent another terrible death . . .

Introducing DI Eve Hunter, HOLD YOUR TONGUE is your new obsession.

MY THOUGHTS

When I first read the blurb for Hold Your Tongue, I knew this was going to be a book for me. For me, it was the premise of this novel that drew me to it, and I found the idea really chilling.  It also introduces us to a new police team in Aberdeen, Scotland, and a lead detective who has an intriguing backstory that will hook you in from the first few pages.

Serial killers have been known to take items from their victims, a sort of trophy to remind themselves of the crime they have committed, their victims, and as well, perhaps, to taunt the police. Deborah Masson’s killer takes this up an even more disturbing notch. The killer in her book chooses to remove the tongues from their victims. Detective Inspector Eve Hunter has recently returned to work and is faced with the horrific case; she isn’t in the best stable mind herself. A few months ago she was considered by many on her team to be responsible for a serious attack on one of her colleagues which left her paralysed. Eve has never been able to forgive herself for her part in what happened.

It did feel as though Eve was very much on her own in this book. Many of her colleagues seemed to be against her return to the force. Eve feels incredible guilty herself about what happened. The investigation which Eve and the team are faced with is complex. Along the way, there are some hard-hitting truths which make it very disturbing for the team to investigate. I really connected with Eve, and I wanted things to get better for her, especially in her team. I wanted someone to tell her that what had happened wasn’t her fault.

For me, I felt that the pace did slow down quite a bit after the discovery of the first body, but it does pick up again. Deborah Masson maintains the tension well as the investigation picks up new leads. All the time though I kept wondering, who was carrying out these crimes? Who would be so sick to remove their victim’s tongues? What purpose did this serve to the killer? If this is the idea that Deborah Masson has brought us in her first book, it does make me wonder what she has in store for us next.

Hold Your Tongue is a very gritty debut by Deborah Masson which will chill you to the bone. Deborah Masson is a strong new talent who I will be keeping an eye out for. I’ll definitely be looking out for more from this series, and I’m intrigued to know where Deborah will take Eve and the rest of her team next.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 20th November 2019 (kindle) 26th December 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 414 pages

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

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Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham #bookreview @AlisonBelsham

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the second book in one of my favourite new crime series by Alison Belsham, Her Last Breath.

Her Last Breath: The new crime thriller from the international bestseller by [Belsham, Alison]

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The body count is rising…and the clock is ticking.

When a young woman is attacked and left fighting to survive in hospital, the police are pulled into a race against time to save her life. But just 24 hours later, she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body.

And when another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton.

His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of Francis’s lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?

MY THOUGHTS

I really like the characters in this series. When I read Alison Belsham’s debut novel, The Tattoo Thief, I thought it was one of the most original crime novels I’d read in a long time. When I read her last book, it made me think that I would definitely never get a tattoo. It was such a chilling read, and she has done it again with her second book, Her Last Breath. I did wonder how Alison was going to carry this series on, and she has created an absolute belter.

There are some particularly gruesome scenes in this book, and once again Alison has created a terrifying serial killer who is terrorising the streets of Brighton. Tattoo artist Marni Mullins is once again at the centre of this new investigation. When her son’s girlfriend is attacked, he is put firmly in the spotlight of the police probe leaving Marni exasperated. She desperately seeks her friend’s help, Detective Francis Sullivan, who is in charge of the case. But suspicions raise when more people who Alex is acquainted with are attacked and especially when the attacks turn to murder.

This is a really tense read. I really felt Marni’s exasperation as she tried to clear her son’s name of any involvement in the attacks. It did make me feel angry as well when some of the detectives on the case seemed utterly convinced right from the start that he was responsible, even though there was little evidence to support their claims. It did make me wonder how Marni was going to get her son out of it.

You really do get the sense of a race against time as the police try to find the person responsible for the crimes before they strike again. Alison Belsham kept me turning the pages as the book reached its conclusion. I literally could not put it down.

Her Last Breath is a really gripping and an intense read. I can’t wait to read the next book.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 19th September 2019 (kindle) 6th February 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 416 pages

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

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Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry #bookreview

Someone You Know is another book I read over Christmas and it’s one I’ve been meaning to get to now for a while.

Someone You Know: An absolutely gripping thriller of hidden secrets and missing family by [Isaac-Henry, Olivia]

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You can trust your family, can’t you…?

Tess Piper was fourteen when her adored twin sister Edie disappeared.

She has spent the last twenty years building a life away from her fractured family, desperate to escape the shadow of the past.

Only now she needs to confront the huge hole her sister’s disappearance left in her life, because a body has been found. The police are shining a spotlight on the Piper family. And secrets are about to surface.

After all, it’s common knowledge that more often than not, these crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Someone they trust. Someone they know…

What really happened to Edie Piper?

MY THOUGHTS

Tess’s twin sister, Edie disappeared twenty years ago without a trace. Tess and her family have searched for answers ever since. As time has moved on, though, the public and the media have forgotten about them. This is until a body is discovered weighted down at the bottom of a reservoir, not far from where Edie was last seen. Tess and her dad have to once again go through the painful process of going with the police to identify the body, hoping that it is someone else and that Edie could still be out there somewhere. But the police are confident that this time it is Edie who they have found and the discovery will change Tess and her family’s lives forever.

Olivia Isaac-Henry’s debut novel, Someone You Know is very twisty. Tess is a character who I really connected with. She is someone who has suffered a lot in her past. This is including the struggle to move on after the disappearance of her twin. Tess always felt as though she was in Edie’s shadow. Her sister was always more popular than her at school, whereas Tess struggled to fit in. Tess stuck close to her twin, but even Edie seemed to resent her as she found Tess an embarrassment in front of her friends. Olivia Isaac-Henry brings Tess’s frustrations to life really well, particularly in the flashback scenes when we revisit her childhood.

There are a lot of characters who come under suspicion in this book, members of Edie’s family and her friends. Olivia Isaac-Henry kept the suspense turning up a notch, and as new people fell under the spotlight, I could never be sure which direction the plot was going to go. Towards the end, I thought I could see where it was going, but Olivia managed to thwart my suspicions in the final chapters.

There is a lot of emotional depth to this book. Tess has to come to terms with a lot of secrets that have been kept buried. You can really sense what Tess is going through as the search for Edie’s killer progresses and she is keen to make sure that her sister isn’t forgotten this time.

I really liked this book. Olivia’s writing kept the pace flowing forward, and I was intrigued to find out what the final outcome was going to be. Someone You Know is a strong debut, and I’m looking forward to reading Olivia’s next book.

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 4th February 2019

Print length: 336 pages

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

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The Mothers by Sarah J Naughton #bookreview blog tour @SarahJNaughton @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for The Mothers by Sarah J Naughton. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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Five Women.

They meet at their NCT Group. The only thing they have in common is they’re all pregnant.

Five Secrets.

Three years later, they are all good friends. Aren’t they?

One Missing Husband.

Now the police have come knocking. Someone knows something.

And the trouble with secrets is that someone always tells.

MY THOUGHTS

The Mothers by Sarah Naughton is a really compelling read, and I raced through it in just a couple of sittings.

The story primarily focuses on Bella and her husband, Ewan. In the opening chapters, Bella reports Ewan missing to the police. At first, the police aren’t very interested in taking the case further, in fact the lead detective on the case is asked to push the case aside, but she stands her ground. She believes that something isn’t quite right about Ewan’s disappearance. When they discover that Ewan and Bella’s son’s nanny, Jen has also disappeared and it looks as though there is sign of foul play, then things start to heat up.

I don’t think I found any of the women the story focuses on particularly likeable, although there were times when I did feel sorry for Bella. The way some people treated Bella made me feel very angry. Initially I struggled to connect to Bella, but as her story was gradually revealed I felt I connected to her more.

I loved the dual timeline in this book, and I really liked how Sarah Naughton unpicked the layers as we got closer and closer to the truth. It is very well-plotted, and each character came through very strongly. I also really liked the pacing. It isn’t fast-paced, but I think it was the way I connected to the characters and their personal stories that made me turn those pages. I felt I really got to know them as though they were real people. Sarah Naughton’s writing is very immersive, and it pulls you into the story without any effort at all. In fact, I was actually quite sad to finish it as I was enjoying it so much.

I thought the revelations towards the end were very nicely done, and it fitted the story perfectly. It gave the ending a very satisfactory feeling, and it felt very believable. It does turn into a very dramatic conclusion. There were definitely parts of the story which I didn’t expect but the way it ended did make me feel very pleased.

Having read all three of Sarah Naughton’s books, I think this is her best novel to date. Her characters felt very real, and I found the plot highly intriguing. I wanted to know what had happened to Bella’s missing husband and I enjoyed trying to work out how everything was going to unfold.

Sarah Naughton is a writer who is going from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to reading what she writes next.

Publisher: Trapeze

Print length: 288 pages

Publication date: 9th January 2020

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

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Deadland by William Shaw #bookreview

Over the Christmas break I finally found the time to catch up with one of my favourite police procedural series.

Deadland is the second book in William Shaw’s Alexander Cupidi series and it is really good.

Deadland: the second ingeniously unguessable thriller in the D S Cupidi series (DS Alexandra Cupidi Book 2) by [Shaw, William]

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YOU CAN RUN

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

YOU CAN HIDE

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

YOU CAN DIE

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

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

MY THOUGHTS

DS Alexander Cupidi is back in William Shaw’s latest novel, Deadland. This is a series which keeps going from strength to strength, and I have been captivated since Alexander Cupidi made her first appearance in The Birdwatcher.

What I really liked about the latest book in this series is that we see the return of former police officer, William South. When we last saw him, Alexander Cupidi had handed him in to the police after discovering the truth about his dark past. When I read The Birdwatcher I thought he was one of the best characters in crime fiction which I’ve come across, so I was really pleased to see him return in this book, but he is slightly different in his latest appearance. He seems to be struggling to re-adapt to life outside of prison. He’s never going to be viewed in quite the same way, particularly by his old friends. Alexander is keen to keep an eye on him. This is not least because she thinks that by having William around it might stop her daughter, Zoe, from going down a slippery path.

While keeping an eye on William and her daughter, Alex is up to her eyeballs in a new investigation. A severed arm has been discovered at an art gallery, and it proves very difficult for Alexander and her team to get identified. But that’s not all that she is faced with. There is also the disappearance of two teenagers who Alex believes could be in grave danger. It soon becomes clear to Alex and her team that the cases could be connected.

What I think is really good about William Shaw’s writing is how he makes us care for the characters. In the opening chapters, he introduces us to two teenagers who are targeting people so that they can steal their phones and sell them on. This is something which is quite frequently spoken about on the news as well. It is quite frightening to think about how easy this can be done and how easily people can get away with this crime. It does make you think about how careful you have to be when you’re out in public. I think this was why I didn’t think much of them towards the beginning of the book, but as the novel progressed, I felt quite sorry for them. William Shaw makes you realise that there are deeper root causes which have lead them to do this. It’s only when they pick on the wrong person do the tables finally turn for them, and their luck runs out.

Once again William Shaw also brings the setting of the Kent coastline to life, creating an atmospheric landscape. If you haven’t yet read this series and if you’re a fan of police procedurals then you really need to move William Shaw’s books to the top of your list. Deadland is cleverly constructed, and it grips you from the first page. Excellent from start to finish.

Publisher: riverrun

Publication date: 2nd May 2019

Print length: 480 pages

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

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Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly #bookreview

Stone Mothers has been on my reading list for a while now and I was so pleased to get the chance to finally read it last week as I am a huge Erin Kelly fan.

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‘The Victorians used to call their mental hospitals stone mothers,’ I say. ‘They thought the design of the building could literally nurse the sick back to health.’

Marianne grew up in the shadow of the old asylum, a place that still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…

But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

Moving back through time to reveal twists you’ll never see coming, STONE MOTHERS is the gripping new suspense novel from the bestselling author of HE SAID/SHE SAID.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve read a couple of books by Erin Kelly now, but I think Stone Mothers has to be her best yet. If you haven’t yet read any of her books, then you really need to.

There’s a very dark atmosphere to this book. Imagine finding out that your partner has gone behind your back and bought a property, thinking that it is your dream home. But actually, it isn’t your dream home. This is what happens to Marianne in the opening chapters. There are dark secrets attached to the apartment her husband has bought. Dark secrets from Marianne’s past which threaten to derail her future.

The location which Erin Kelly has chosen to set her latest novel is a gothic, Victorian building which used to be an asylum known as the ‘Nazareth’. The asylum was closed down, and eventually, it was turned into luxury flats. In the local village, there is a deep sense of betrayal. The asylum used to be the lifeblood of the local town, providing work for generations. There are a lot of people who still believe it was a crime to close it down.

Although we first come to the asylum in the present, Erin Kelly does take us back to the time when it was a hospital. Some of these scenes were quite horrific, and it makes you realise just how utterly helpless the patients were. I was really intrigued by this part of the story; I wanted to see how it fed into the present day.

There are three central characters to Stone Mothers, Marianne, her ex-boyfriend Jesse and an MP, Helen Greenlaw. The plot which pulls them all together is really well thought out, and everything has been thought out in great detail. We know in the early beginning that dark secrets connecting the three of them and I was so keen to find out what this was. Erin Kelly kept me utterly gripped as she continued to peel away the layers.

Stone Mothers is a very dark novel that pulls you in from its opening pages. This is another brilliant book by Erin Kelly, and as I said earlier, I think it’s her best yet. Haunting and filled with suspense, highly recommended!

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 4th April 2019

Print length: 352 pages

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

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I Dare You by Sam Carrington #bookreview blog tour @sam_carrington1 @Sabah_K @AvonBooksUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Sam Carrington’s latest thriller, I Dare You on my blog today. With thanks to Sabah Khan from Avon Books for inviting me to take part.

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

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

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

MY THOUGHTS

There’s a sinister atmosphere to Sam Carrington’s latest novel, I Dare You.

Set in the rural village of Mapledon across two timelines, 1989 and 2019, we follow events as they unfolded thirty years ago when a ten-year-old girl disappeared. In 2019, her kidnapper, Bill Crawley has just been released from prison which creates an uproar among the locals. They are determined to make sure he doesn’t step foot back in Mapledon, but it appears that there may be a more disturbing reason why they don’t want him back.

Sam Carrington first introduces us to Anna, who is visiting her mother. Anna hasn’t stepped foot in the village of Mapledon for years and is still haunted by the disappearance of her friend, Joni. But things appear to have taken a more sinister turn. Someone has been tearing off doll pieces and attaching them to her mother’s front door. It causes Anna to consider if Bill Crawley is targeting her family, particularly as she was the one who identified him as Joni’s kidnapper thirty years earlier. Although her mother is quick to dismiss these claims, blaming local kids instead. But Anna is unconvinced.

We also meet Lizzie who lived in the village a very long time ago. Lizzie is now a journalist and is probing the story of Bill Crawley’s release. But what is her connection to the events that took place? What is she hoping to uncover?

You really do get the sense that there is certainly some unfinished business when it comes to Joni’s disappearance. I thought the flashback scenes to 1989 were really creepy, particularly when we meet Bill Crawley for the first time, otherwise known as ‘Creepy Crawley’ to the local kids, and that name seems to have stuck. I could never be sure about him. As rumour after rumour and different accusations flew around the village about him, I was never able to separate fact from fiction. It did feel as though he had become the victim of a witch hunt.

As with all of Sam’s novels, I found her latest intensely gripping and I wanted to find out what the real truth was and what had really happened to Joni on the night she disappeared. I couldn’t stop turning the pages as I got to the end and when Sam’s final revelations came to light.  I Dare You is really good.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 12th December 2019

Print length: 416 pages

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

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What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross blog tour #bookreview @MasonCrossBooks @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

What She Saw Last Night by [Cross, Mason]

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A secret that could kill her.

A truth no one believes…

Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin … but there’s no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don’t believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn’t the truth.

MY THOUGHTS

What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross is a rollercoaster of a read. When you start reading this book, you better make sure that you don’t have any immediate plans as you won’t want to put it down.

We meet our protagonist Jenny in the opening chapters of the book. She is travelling on the sleeper train from London to Scotland. But what she doesn’t realise is how much of an impact this journey will have on her life. During the journey, Jenny discovers the body of a woman she met while boarding, a woman with a little girl who Jenny presumes is her daughter. The police suspect it was suicide, but Jenny suspects otherwise. But what is even more perplexing is what happened to the girl who Jenny saw the woman with? The girl seems to have vanished into thin air, and no one will believe Jenny, including the police, that she even saw her. There is no evidence to suggest the girl was even there. Could Jenny have imagined seeing her? As things start to get more complex, Jenny is determined to find out who the girl is and what happened to her. And by doing so, she puts herself in very grave danger.

This book had me hooked right from the very first pages, and I finished in just a couple of days. I really wanted to find out what had happened to the girl on the train. I was thinking right from the beginning that there must be a cover-up going on behind the scenes. The story behind the girl’s strange disappearance became far more mysterious than I thought it would.

There is tension right from the get-go in this book. I thought this particularly as I began to sense that there were people out there who were determined to silence Jenny and I wondered if possibly any members of the police force could possibly be involved. This is what I loved about this read. I was kept guessing right the way through, and MJ Cross kept on tightening up the tension and throwing more obstacles in Jenny’s way as she fought to find answers. You can feel just how strong Jemmy’s determination is. It made me think how I would react if I was in Jenny’s situation, would I let the situation just be forgotten about or would I be brave enough to speak up?

This is a really suspenseful read right the way through that kept me turning the pages. And then MJ Cross hits you with twist after twist, one scene, in particular, left me reeling. What She Saw Last Night is compulsive and hugely engaging. Top stuff!

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 320 pages

If you would like to purchase What She Saw Last Night, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham #bookreview

On the blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the first novel in Harry Bingham’s first book in his DC Fiona Griffiths series, Talking to the Dead.

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A young girl is found dead. A prostitute is murdered. And the strangest, youngest detective in the South Wales Major Crimes Unit is about to face the fiercest test of her short career.

A woman and her six-year-old daughter are killed with chilling brutality in a dingy flat. The only clue: the platinum bank card of a long-dead tycoon, found amidst the squalor.

DC Griffiths has already proved herself dedicated to the job, but there’s another side to her she is less keen to reveal. Something to do with a mysterious two-year gap in her CV, her strange inability to cry – and a disconcerting familiarity with corpses.

Fiona is desperate to put the past behind her but as more gruesome killings follow, the case leads her inexorably back into those dark places in her own mind where another dead girl is waiting to be found . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Harry Bingham is a writer who has been on my must-read list for a while. Recently I decided to give the first book in his Fiona Griffiths series a go, Talking to the Dead.

We are faced with a horrific scene in the opening chapters. The body of a young woman, known to have been working as a prostitute, has been discovered. A young girl is also dead. The discovery of the young girl really cements this case in the mind of Fiona Griffiths, who is the Detective Constable working on the investigation.

Now, some readers may struggle to like Fiona. She comes across as hard and unfeeling. There is a reason for this, though, which is later explained in the book. I must admit it did take me some time to warm to her, but by the end of the book I was intrigued to learn more about her background, which I’m sure, will be revealed in later books. She is already very well developed, and you can tell that Harry Bingham has put a lot of thought and planning into this. There is definitely a lot more to learn about her. I also really liked her developing relationship with another police officer from her team, although how far this is going to develop I’m not really sure.

Although Fiona struggles to get on with living people, she is absolutely determined to solve the mystery behind the young girl and the young woman’s death. She really feels a connection to them both and is also keen to make sure they are both given the send-off that they deserve, especially as they weren’t very highly thought of in life. This is what I really admired about Fiona.

The case is quite a complex one which puts Fiona herself in a very dangerous situation as she is targeted by the people who are behind the crime. She is the only police officer on the team who is taking a serious interest in the murders, whereas her superiors are quite keen to brush the case under the carpet. I wanted to know just how Fiona was going to get herself out of this and how much closer to danger she was willing to put herself in to get justice.

Harry’s writing makes you turn the pages so easily. I became utterly immersed in the plot, and I devoured huge chunks of the book in just a couple of sittings. Highly recommended for fans of police procedurals.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 28th March 2013

Print length: 384 pages

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

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The Pact by Amy Heydenrych #bookreview blog tour @AmyHeydenrych @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour today for The Pact by Amy Heydenrych. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Pact: Can you guess what happened the night Nicole died? by [Heydenrych, Amy]

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What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay.

However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery. After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank.

The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?

MY THOUGHTS

The Pact is a highly engaging novel by Amy Heydenrych, and I was quickly pulled into the lives of her characters. It did make me think about how I would have reacted if I was in their shoes when the plot started to unfold. What Amy Heydenrych also, so cleverly does, is she makes you re-examine everything you thought you knew about her characters. Nothing is as it seems in this book.

This was a really intense read. I felt this right from the beginning when the body of a young woman, Nicole is discovered at her flat, and when Amy Heydenrych takes us back in time to reveal the person who she was. As Amy started to reveal more about her, I started to evaluate every other character in the book as I tried to work out who killed Nicole. From very early on, she doesn’t come across as the most likeable of characters, so it seems that there are plenty of people out there who may have a motive to kill her. As Amy begins to reveal more details, you really do get the sense that something sinister is going on behind the scenes.

Every single character in this book kept me engaged. The story is told primarily through the viewpoints of Freya, a woman who briefly worked with Nicole and Isla, a journalist reporting on the case. What I thought I was down really well here were the two timelines. Amy switches between several weeks prior to Nicole’s death and the present, but this didn’t in any way feel confusing to me, and I was able to keep up with everything that was going on.

There were characters who I didn’t trust right from the start, but I don’t want to reveal too much about this as I don’t want to spoil the story. When you start to read this book, you will soon know who I mean. Amy Heydenrych does take us on a twisty ride, and there were a couple of big reveals that completely surprised me. I became so invested in the characters that I thought I had the plot worked out until Amy threw a spanner into the works. This made the ending so exciting as everything that had been held from us, the reader, began to unravel.

This novel also deals with many moral issues, such as the ‘me too’ movement. There is also an intense storyline that ensues when Freya starts receiving disturbing messages, and she begins to think this may have a possible link to Nicole’s death. Is the same person who killed Nicole also targeting her?

Although I found parts of the novel a little slow, I was kept fully engaged. It was maybe a little longer than I felt it needed to be, but I thought everything was wrapped up well, and it made for a very satisfactory ending. Overall, an excellent read!

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 28th November 2019

Print length: 480 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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