The Shot by Sarah Sultoon #bookreview #blogtour @SultoonSarah @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new thriller by Sarah Sultoon, The Shot as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Samira is an up-and-coming TV journalist, working the nightshift at a major news channel and yearning for greater things. So when she’s offered a trip to the Middle East, with Kris, the station’s brilliant but impetuous star photographer, she leaps at the chance

In the field together, Sami and Kris feel invincible, shining a light into the darkest of corners … except the newsroom, and the rest of the world, doesn’t seem to care as much as they do. Until Kris takes the photograph.

With a single image of young Sudanese mother, injured in a raid on her camp, Sami and the genocide in Darfur are catapulted into the limelight. But everything is not as it seems, and the shots taken by Kris reveal something deeper and much darker … something that puts not only their careers but their lives in mortal danger.

Sarah Sultoon brings all her experience as a CNN news executive to bear on this shocking, searingly authentic thriller, which asks immense questions about the world we live in. You’ll never look at a news report in the same way again…  


I really enjoyed Sarah Sultoon’s debut novel, The Source, so I was excited to read her next book The Shot. This time Sarah focuses on journalists covering a devastating war in the Middle East. It is a very powerful read and the action gets going from the first page and it never lets up.

I loved the sense of place that Sarah Sultoon created in this novel. She manages to re-create the horror of war in her writing, especially for the innocent, who are caught up in a crisis that is not of their making. It made me feel as though I was there in the moment, and I could see the scenery so clearly around me as I was reading. It makes for heart breaking reading in places, especially with what is going on in the world today, with the war happening in Ukraine. Her novel also highlights the dangers that journalists put themselves in to bring the truth to millions around the world, and we can see this clearly in news reports today.  

I really grew to like our main protagonist, Sami, who is just starting out in her career in journalism. You can see that she is determined to make her mark, and I could really see her empathy for the people who were caught up in the conflict she was reporting on. This isn’t just a job to her. She can see what people are going through every day of their life and the emotion comes through strongly on the page. She is also desperate to bring stories to the world, which has been given little air time, and she wants to make individual stories of people affected by these atrocities heard. But there is one story in particular that she wants to tell to the world, but it will end up having devastating consequences in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

We also meet Kris, who Sami has travelled to the Middle East with to report on the war. Kris has a lot more experience than Sami in the field of journalism, but I found him more difficult to like and a more perplexing character. I had more questions about him as I was reading the book. I thought he was a really interesting character to see develop. It does feel that he is running from something, and I felt sorry for his family who he is always leaving behind in the UK, in pursuit of following what he wants to do with his life. I wanted to find out more about him and what was making him make this decision. It did make me wonder why he wanted to keep returning war torn countries when he could be out of the danger zone with his family back home.

The Shot is an engaging, powerful and a very relevant thriller that I was utterly gripped by. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 2nd April 2022

Print length: 290 pages

The Shot is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


Little Sister by Gytha Lodge #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DCI Jonah Sheens series by Gytha Lodge, Little Sister.


A teenage girl wanders out of the woods.

She’s striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She’s also covered in blood.

Detective Jonah Sheens quickly discovers that Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children’s home a week ago. Now, Keely is here – but Nina’s still missing.

Keely knows where her sister is – but before she tells, she wants Jonah’s full attention . . .

Is she killer, witness, or victim?

And will Jonah find out what Keely’s hiding, in time to save Nina?


I’m a huge fan of Gytha Lodge’s Jonah Sheen series, and I think Little Sister is the best book in the series to date. If you love crime novels where you are heavily invested in the characters, then you need to pick up this book. The characters which Gytha Lodge focuses her new novel on are very complex, and you’ll have different opinions on them as the book progress, and this is what made it so intriguing. I wanted to follow their journey and I wanted to see how they’d become the people they are in the present.

Although Gytha’s novels are police procedurals, what I like about her books, is that she really delves deep into the characters that are at the centre of the crime being investigated. You can see just how much Gytha knows her characters and this comes through in her writing. Keely is such a fascinating person and a real puzzle to work out, and this is what made Little Sister all the more gripping. You get a sense that something dark has happened in her past, that has led up to this moment, when her sister Nina goes missing. But why isn’t Keely telling Jonah everything that happened? It is here that you get a real sense of what’s happened, and a real sense of darkness creeps through into the story.

I really liked the way how Gytha Lodge slowly revealed the truth behind what was happening in the present. It’s so difficult to discuss in any more detail without giving the plot away and I think it’s best to go into this book with as little information as possible.

Gytha Lodge also develops DCI Jonah Sheens’ character further in this book and we see a more emotional side to him, especially as he is dealing with issues in his personal life. You can see just how frustrated he is by Keely when he is interviewing her. Keely wants to make sure that he hears everything she has to say, but she appears to be talking in riddles, and does not give a straight answer to his questions. This is what really drives the tension in the book, as I never felt that I could entirely trust Keely, and you can see just how much she infuriates people.

I felt a real sense of justice as we got to the end of this book, and Gytha Lodge delivered it so, so well. There is a tough journey for Gytha’s characters to get to this point and I was desperate to know how things were going to pan out for them. It was so satisfactory and I thought Gytha Lodge wrapped everything up really well. If you haven’t yet started this series then you’re really missing out on some of the best crime fiction novels out there.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 28th April 2022

Print length: 406 pages

Little Sister is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Hidden Depths by Araminta Hall #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the stunning new novel by Araminta Hall, Hidden Depths.


Lily is pregnant, travelling onboard the Titanic to her beloved family in the United States, hoping she can get there before her mind and body give up.

For a long time now she’s known her husband is not the man he’s pretending to be and she’s not safe.

So, when she meets widower Lawrence she knows he’s her last chance for help.

Or Prisoner…
But Lawrence knows he hasn’t got time to save Lily.

Lawrence is the only person on board the unsinkable ship who knows he will not disembark in New York.

And the danger is much worse than either of them could imagine.

Can Lily and Lawrence help each other to safety before it’s too late?


The moment I heard that Araminta Hall was releasing a novel set on the Titanic, I knew I had to buy it, having been fascinated by the tragedy for years. Hidden Depths is an absorbing read, and Araminta Hall pulls you into the lives of her characters, Lawrence and Lily. I felt a lot of emotion in this book as I was reading, and the characters were utterly compelling, I had to know what was going to happen to them.

Lawrence and Lilly are two very different characters, both travelling on the Titanic for very different reasons. I felt desperately sad for Lawrence; you can feel the turmoil he is going through, following the loss of his beloved wife, Cissy. You can see that he is at the end of a tether. He has one purpose for this voyage and he is determined to see it through. Both Lily and Lawrence are travelling in Second Class, but Lily can’t quite work out why her husband has paid for a Second Class ticket, when they can easily afford First Class. You may think this might make her sound arrogant, but soon little things like this that Lily questions about her husband, build up a dark picture and Lily realises that she is in desperate danger.

Although the novel is set on the Titanic, the novel is more about the characters. Araminta Hall does capture the sense of grandeur of the ship, especially as the characters are boarding, and you can picture the Atlantic Ocean as the Titanic embarks on its maiden voyage to New York. We know what is going to happen to the Titanic, but I was desperate to know what was going to happen to Lawrence and Lily. How would what happens to the Titanic, change them, affect their lives, and if they would survive the tragedy at all?

One character who I particularly hated was Lily’s husband, Henry. As Lily began to suspect what he was up to, I wanted to know what his motives were, and I was rooting for Lily to get to the bottom of things. Araminta Hall paints a vivid picture of what life for women in this time in history was like.

I really enjoyed Hidden Depths and I finished it in just a couple of sittings. It is a stunning novel and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 31st March 2022

Print length: 354 pages

Hidden Depths is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer #bookreview #blogtour @MeyerDeon @HodderBooks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Deon Meyer, The Dark Flood.


One last chance. Almost fired for insubordination, detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido find themselves demoted, exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.

One last chance. Stellenbosch is beautiful, but its economy has been ruined by one man. Jasper Boonstra and his gigantic corporate fraud have crashed the local property market, just when estate agent Sandra Steenberg desperately needs a big sale. Bringing up twins and supporting her academic husband, she is facing disaster. Then she gets a call. From Jasper Boonstra, fraudster, sexual predator and owner of a superb property worth millions, even now.

For Sandra, the stakes are high and about to get way higher.

For Benny Griessel, clinging to sobriety and the relationship that saved his life, the truth about Callie can only lead to more trouble.


The Dark Flood is the first novel I’ve read by Deon Meyer and I think I’ve definitely been missing out. Set in South Africa, it felt very different and fresh to the thrillers I usually read, and the setting really drew me into Detective Benny Griessel’s world. Deon Meyer is a master at capturing a real sense of place and this is what made this book all the more enjoyable for me.

Although this is book number eight in this series, I felt I could follow the story easy, without having read the previous books. Although it can be read as a standalone, I do think I would have benefited from reading the previous books in the series to understand some sections of the story, but mostly I could enjoy it without the previous background information. Deon Meyer is a writer who knows how to raise the stakes and the tension. The action gets going right on the first page and my attention was immediately captured. It felt as though I was watching an action film as I read the opening scenes.

Deon Meyer has weaved together a very complex plot and I thought it was brilliantly executed. There are a couple of different strands to this story. Benny and his work partner, Capt. Vaughan Cupido are tasked with investigating the disappearance of a university student, after almost facing the sack. We also meet Sandra Steenberg, a real estate agent, who is in dire need of a commission. It appears that she is willing to do anything to get what she needs for her failing company. The tension for both sets of characters is on the rise.

Deon Meyer is a writer who knows how to raise the stakes for his characters. You can see how Benny and his partner seem to be at the end of the line with their careers, particularly with what they have recently become caught up in. We also have the stakes rising for Sandra and you can see just how much pressure she is under and how it is affecting her personally.

It did make me wonder if there would be any connection at all between Sandra’s story and Benny and Vaughan’s, but you can see just how skilled Deon Meyer is at plotting, and how he pulls the different strands together. I thought it was very well done.

The characters are all very well developed and I could follow each of their stories easily as I was reading this book. I liked how Deon Meyer delved into their individual stories, which fleshed their characters out, and made them come to life on the page. I also loved how he brought the landscape to life as well, which was part of what made this book feel very fresh to me as well. I thought, especially the use of the Afrikaans words really made it feel authentic.

The Dark Flood is a very engaging read and I am keen to try out more of Deon Meyer’s work in the future.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 416 pages

The Dark Flood is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


First Born by Will Dean #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new psychological thriller by Will Dean, First Born.



 lives a quiet, contained life in London. Naturally risk averse, she gains comfort from security and structure. Every day the same.

Her identical twin Katie is her exact opposite: gregarious and spontaneous. They used to be inseparable, until Katie moved to New York a year ago. Molly still speaks to her daily without fail.

But when Molly learns that Katie has died suddenly in New York, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. Katie is part of her DNA. As terrifying as it is, she must go there and find out what happened. As she tracks her twin’s last movements, cracks begin to emerge. Nothing is what it seems. And a web of deceit is closing around her.


I love Will Dean’s books, and I couldn’t wait to get started on First Born, and it is another utterly gripping read. There is a devastating opening when Molly learns of the death of her twin sister, Katie, who has been living in America for the past few months and studying over there. Molly gets the very next flight to New York to join her parents. But things take a dark turn for Molly and her family when the police reveal they believe Katie has been murdered.

Molly was a very perplexing character. Although she and Katie are identical twins their personalities are very different. Katie seemed to be someone who was very outgoing and who loved taking a risk, Molly on the other hand is much more reserved. She didn’t strike me as a particularly warm character as well as I was reading.

I thought Will Dean captured the American setting really well. I’ve only been to New York once but I could visualise the streets as I was reading it. Katie’s friends are also really interesting characters. I got the sense that I couldn’t quite trust them as I was reading this book and I felt that they might be hiding something, especially her friend, Violet. I wanted to find out more about them, and what their friendship with Katie was really like, and what sort of a person Katie was.

There’s a twist which comes around halfway through in this book that I thought was done really well, and it propelled the action forward. I raced through to get to the ending to see just how things would pan out, and it’s really hard not to talk anymore about what happens at this point, without giving parts of the plot away.

Will Dean creates a very dark atmosphere throughout this novel and it deepens and darkens with every page. There is a real sense of danger which he writes very well, I felt that the person, whoever had killed Katie was close by and that Molly was in danger.

First Born is a very twisty read and I really liked how Will Dean revealed the truth. There were definitely some mind blowing moments. You do not want to miss this book. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 306 pages

First Born is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Life Sentence by A.K. Turner #bookreview #blogtour @AnyaLipska @ZaffreBooks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by A.K. Turner, Life Sentence. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers, for inviting me to take part.

Life Sentence: An intriguing new case for Camden forensic sleuth Cassie Raven by [A. K. Turner]


Mortuary technician Cassie Raven believes the last thoughts of the dead linger like static in the air…

Cassie has always had a strange affinity with death, ever since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was four. At least that’s what she grew up believing…

But that was a lie. Cassie’s father is alive. He was convicted of murdering her mother and spent years behind bars. Now he’s out – and he’s looking for her.

He swears he didn’t do it. And Cassie wants to believe him.

To find the truth, she must turn detective. As she seeks answers, help is to be found in inexplicable places – for the dead are ready to talk.


I loved the first book in A K Turner’s Cassie Raven series and I immediately liked Cassie when I read it. She is quite a different protagonist to what I have seen before in crime fiction. I like her quirkiness and how she attends to the dead in the mortuary she works in, believing that she can communicate with the dead. In the latest book in the series, Life Sentence, this time Cassie is very much in the spotlight as she tries to piece together what happened to her mother, who was killed by her father more than two decades earlier.

Life Sentence is very much Cassie’s story. A K Turner delves even more into her background in this book, and into the tragic event that happened in her past. You can see clearly how determined Cassie is to get answers, even though the police believe that her father was the man responsible for what happened to her mother. He has recently been released from prison and is determined to strike up a relationship with his daughter again after so long, and he continues to protest that he had nothing to do with her mother’s murder.

You get a real sense that there are secrets to be uncovered here, especially, I thought, with Cassie’s grandmother, who she is currently living with. I felt that her grandmother wasn’t telling her everything she ought to know about her parents, and I wondered what this would do to their relationship, if her grandmother was harbouring a big secret. I loved Cassie’s relationship with her grandmother in the first book and the same in this one, so I was worried about what Cassie’s pursuit for the truth, would mean for their relationship.

I liked how A K Turner weaved the plot together and there were definitely a few elements to the mystery, surrounding what happened to Cassie’s parents that surprised me. A K Turner continues to turn the tension up a notch as Cassie gets closer and closer to the real truth. I was flying through the pages as she begins to realise what actually happened. There are some very hard hitting truths that come to light, and I’m interested to see where A K Turner will take this series next from here.

Cassie Raven is a character who I will definitely keep coming back to. She is so fascinating, and A K Turner always writes gripping prose that pulls you into the story. I really enjoyed Life Sentence. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, you’re missing out!

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 337 pages

Life Sentence is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


AK Turner Life Sentence Orange

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping debut novel by Laure Van Rensburg, Nobody But Us.


Steven Harding is a handsome, well-respected professor.
Ellie Masterson is a wide-eyed young college student.

Together, they are driving south from New York, for their first holiday: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city.

Ahead of them, the promise of long, dark nights – and the chance to explore one another’s bodies, away from disapproving eyes.

It should be a perfect, romantic trip for two.




Nobody But Us is a tense, utterly compelling debut by Laure Van Rensburg. I really enjoyed this book. Right from the get go she creates an ominous tone and you know things aren’t going to go down well for the two lead characters. Laure Van Rensburg expertly keeps the tension turning up a notch and I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

We meet Ellie and Steven who are heading to a cabin deep within a forest for a romantic trip away. It should be a special weekend for them both. But instead it turns into something far darker. This really is a story where you don’t want to give too much of the plot away. From the outset I had the feeling that something terrible was going to happen to this couple. It starts off quite slow as we first get to know Ellie and Steven and then bang; Laure drops a massive bombshell which flips the novel on its head.

It becomes clear that something serious has gone on between Ellie and Steven. I had to get to the bottom of what that was and what had led to this weekend. The majority of the book takes place primarily in the house, where Ellie and Steven have gone to stay, and the house becomes a character in its own right. It gives the book a very claustrophobic feeling, almost as though the walls of the house are pressing in, crushing Ellie and Steven.

There is a very important storyline to this book which Laure delves into and I don’t want to go into too much detail about it here. I thought the flashback scenes were written very well and I could feel the emotion and the anger in Laure’s writing. There is a deep sense to get justice in this book which comes through very strongly and in a very powerful way. There are some devastating reveals and I had no idea how things were going to pan out for Ellie and Steven. As we get to learn more about them and their pasts, my opinions of them both shifted.

I’m sure that many people will be thinking about this couple long after turning the final page. This is a dramatic, tension driven book that will keep you engaged right the way through. I flew through this book. Psychological thriller lovers, this is definitely one to add to your TBR pile.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 345 pages

Nobody But Us is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

April @1stMondayCrime Bad For Good by Graham Bartlett #bookreview @gbpoliceadvisor @AllisonandBusby

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping crime debut by Graham Bartlett, Bad For Good. Graham will be appearing on this month’s First Monday Crime Panel and I’ll have all the details about how you can access the event at the end of this post.


How far would you go?

The murder of a promising footballer and, crucially, the son of the Brighton’s Chief Superintendent, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.

Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.


Bad for Good is an intriguing start to a new crime series by Graham Bartlett. I’ve come across Graham’s name before, especially as he is the advisor to crime writer Peter James, so I was very eager to read Graham’s debut. Graham is a former police officer; I wanted to see how he would draw on his own experiences in this book, and it does feel really authentic.

Graham Bartlett has created a cast of fascinating characters. I really liked Detective Superintendent Jo Howe. She is faced with a complex and high profile case, following the murder of a rising football star, who is the son of the Chief Superintendent, Phil Cooke, which means there is intense media coverage and a lot of pressure. But as Jo tackles with the investigation, corruption is brewing behind the scenes.

Graham Bartlett did a great job of fleshing out his characters. Jo comes across as a person who has worked hard to get to where she is today. I thought Graham did a great job of building her character and I enjoyed finding out more about her. I really felt for Phil. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but even though he is already going through the worst time of his life, following the murder of his son, it is about to become even harder for him. This is where Graham really ups the tension, and I had no idea just what Phil was going to do to try and get out of the problems he was in. It makes for really tense reading and you can see just how much stress this puts him under.

I really wanted to know the reason behind the murder of Phil’s son. I was rooting for Jo to get the truth, especially when Graham raises the stakes for Phil. I felt as though Phil had been pushed into a corner which he couldn’t escape from. Graham delves into some very dark themes and there were some shocking and surprising reveals as the truth behind the murder was revealed. I was utterly gripped as I raced through the final chapters.

The character’s Graham Bartlett has created are ones I am keen to return to and I’m looking forward to seeing where he progresses next with this series. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book.

Publisher: Allison and Busby

Publication date: 23rd June 2022

Print length: 320 pages

Bad for Good is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

First Monday Crime is back live on their Facebook page on Monday, 4th April 2022 at 19.30 p.m. Alongside Graham we have four more brilliant authors appearing. We have, Tony Kent author of No Way To Die, Imran Mahmood author of I Know What I Saw, Neil Lancaster author of The Blood Tide and Joy Kluver author of Left for Dead.

If you would like to access the event, you can do so by clicking the link below which will take you to the First Monday Crime Facebook Page.

First Monday Crime

April @1stMondayCrime Left For Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview @JoyKluver

On my blog today, I’m sharing the details for next month’s First Monday Crime which is taking place live on their Facebook Page at 19:30 p.m. on Monday, 4th April. Today I’m re sharing my review of the latest novel by Joy Kluver, Left for Dead. Joy is one of the authors who’ll be appearing on the panel, and I’ll have another review to share with you tomorrow for a book by another author who’ll be on the panel as well.


The detective stared at the young woman lying on the bed. She almost looked peaceful, her face like porcelain. Despite everything she had been through, she was still beautiful.

When DI Bernie Noel hurries to Keira Howard’s hospital bedside, she knows that Keira has been lucky. Barely conscious and badly injured, at least she is alive. Convinced that Keira’s attack is the latest in a string of increasingly violent assaults on young women in the area, the next victim might not be so fortunate. So she vows to find the man who did this, and to stop him before anyone else gets hurt.

Spurring her team into action, she quickly hones in on a prime suspect. But then he suddenly dies while on police watch, and Bernie’s investigation goes into freefall. When Bernie’s superiors won’t let her take the case any further, her gut instinct tells her there’s much more to his death than meets the eye. If it was murder, who would want him dead, and why? So she determines to set out on her own to find out what happened.

But the closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her own life in danger. And with Keira finally strong enough to talk her about her attack, Bernie worries she may be at risk yet again. There’s someone out there who has killed to stay safe in the shadows; can Bernie stop another senseless death, and save Keira, before it’s too late?


I am really enjoying this series. Left for Dead is the latest book in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver and I really enjoyed getting back together with Bernie and her team. This time around, as well as having a complex case to investigate, Bernie is also pregnant. This has left her with a lot of complex issues in her relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. Left for Dead makes for a really intriguing addition to the series.

Bernie and her team face another complex investigation when a young woman has been found after being brutally attacked. It sparks fear that there is a serial predator at work here following a spate of similar attacks on women. It becomes a race against time to track down the woman’s attacker.

What I really liked about this book was how Joy Kluver explored Bernie’s relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. I thought this development in her character was done really well and I was wondering throughout the book how things were going to pan out for them. This made for an intriguing sub plot and now that I’ve read it’s left me wondering what’s to come in the future.

Another character who Joy Kluver introduces us to is Leigh, who is a new member of the team. Leigh has autism and I thought that Joy Kluver explored this well and sensitively in her writing. I think Leigh makes an excellent addition to the books and I’m looking forward to seeing how her character develops further.

I didn’t expect the twist which came at the end and it really drove the tension up a notch as Bernie and her team raced to bring the case to a conclusion. I thought Joy Kluver wrapped the plot up very well.

I’m really hoping that there are more books to come in this series. It really is becoming one of my favourites.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 10th January 2022

Print length: 395 pages

Left for Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Appearing alongside Joy at First Monday Crime, we have Graham Bartlett, author of Bad for Good, (I’ll be sharing a review of his book tomorrow), Tony Kent author of No Way To Die, Imran Mahmood author of I Know What I Saw and Neil Lancaster author of The Blood Tide. If you would like to watch the panel which will be lived streamed on Facebook at 19:30 p.m. on Monday, 4th April, you can do so by clicking the link below which will take you through to the First Monday Crime Facebook page.

First Monday Crime

Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping crime novel by Robert Gold, Twelve Secrets.



Ben Harper’s life changed for ever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s family and their idyllic hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.

Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.

Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will do anything to keep the truth buried . . .


Twelve Secrets is definitely the type of book I like to read. It’s dark, pacy and so absorbing. Robert Gold has weaved together a complex mystery that he expertly unravels as the book progresses. There is an intriguing hook to this story. We meet investigative journalist, Ben Harper, whose family has a very dark past, and it is one he’d rather keep buried. But following the death of a woman previously known to Ben and his family, he is drawn back to that dark time in his life.

It is revealed that Ben’s brother, and his brother’s friend, were murdered by two of their school friends. This really hooked me into the story; I had to know what really went on in that time, especially for two children to want to commit murder. It really made me want to find out more about them, and Robert Gold kept me invested in the story, as he gradually begins to reveal more about the crime and the people involved. There is a real sense of menace which deepened and darkened with each new chapter.

I thought this was an utterly compelling read. I could really see the pain Ben was still going through, even though it had been years since the tragic event took place. I could also clearly see his reluctance to revisit that time, and I could really understand this. If felt that if I was in his position, I would want to forget about the past as well, and do my best to move forward with my life. But as Ben begins to look back at what happened all those years ago, he finds new motivation to answer the questions he’s always had. And there are new questions for him too.

Robert Gold also tells the story from another set of characters who I thought he also developed really well. It’s hard to see at first how their stories and Ben’s are connected, but Robert Gold does pull everything together in a brilliant and surprising way. There were some genuinely shocking twists as Ben finally begins to unravel the truth behind what happened to his family. I was rooting for him to get to the answers he needed.  

I’m really pleased to see that this if the first book in a new series featuring Ben, and I hope there are many more books to come. I loved it, and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 3rd March 2022

Print length: 374 pages

Twelve Secrets is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones