The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer on my blog today. This is book number five in the DI Natalie Ward series.

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer]

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Their parents thought they were hiding…

One beautiful summer’s evening, thirteen-year-old twins Ivy and Erin Westmore snuggle down in a tent in their back garden, giggling and sharing secrets.

When their mother goes to wake the girls the next morning, their tent is empty.

The alarm is raised and Detective Natalie Ward is put onto the case. When the twins’ bodies are discovered on nearby marshland, covered with deep pink petals, an icy shiver travels down Natalie’s spine. Everything about the girls’ deaths reminds her of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career, which saw a killer of the worst kind placed behind bars.

The next day, that feeling is heightened when she receives a chilling note saying ‘I’m back’. Is this killer a copycat or did Natalie put the wrong person in prison all those years ago? In a small town, where no stranger goes unnoticed, what is Natalie missing?

Consumed by the case, determined to prevent more deaths, Natalie misses the fact that it is her attention the killer wants. And to get it, he has his sights set firmly on her precious daughter Leigh…

MY THOUGHTS

Honestly, as I am writing this, I am still in shock after reading that ending.

The Blossom Twins is book five in the DI Natalie Ward series. This time around a previous case which Natalie once worked on is about to come back and haunt her. In 2014, Natalie was involved in an investigation into the murder of two young girls. They were twins, who became known to the press as The Blossom Twins. They had a suspect, and he committed suicide. But now two more girls have gone missing. They are soon found dead in very similar circumstances to what happened in the past. And whoever has killed them isn’t done yet. Are the police dealing with a copycat killer? Or is it possible that they got the wrong man?

DI Natalie Ward is going through a lot in this book. As well as having the pressure of work, she is also having to deal with issues within her family. She has fallen out with her husband, David, after he has failed to control his gambling addiction which nearly destroyed their marriage. But you can see that David doesn’t want to let Natalie go. I did feel sorry for him, particularly as it seemed that Natalie had made her mind up and that there was no turning back.

Natalie also has a new boss in this book, John Briggs, who she isn’t on the best of terms with right from the start. I was completely on Natalie’s side here, and I could see why he was making her feel so frustrated. In my mind, I was asking the very same questions about him that Natalie was.

The investigation moves at a fast pace. Natalie is utterly determined to bring the killer to justice. She can’t get the faces of the first two victims out of her mind, and this becomes a driving force for her. The case is a twisty one, and as Carol began to reveal what was really going on, it felt as though I was watching everything unfold on the big screen. And again, that ending. Reading those last few chapters has left me wondering just how things are going to fare for Natalie in the next two books in the series.

Throughout the book, Carol has included scenes which are told from the killer’s perspective. These are dark, foreboding scenes, and we can see into the killer’s mind. Through these scenes, we begin to understand their motives, and as the novel races towards its conclusion, they become really chilling.

With an ending that will leave you reeling, The Blossom Twins is a book that you won’t be forgetting about in a hurry. I downloaded book six straight after turning the final page, and I’ll be jumping to it as soon as I can. A terrific read!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 12th December 2019

Print length: 386 pages

The Blossom Twins is available to buy:

Amazon UK

 

The Next Widow by C J Lyons #bookreview blog tour #booksontour @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Next Widow by C J Lyons on my blog today which is the start of a brand new crime series.

The Next Widow: A gripping crime thriller with unputdownable suspense (Jericho and Wright Thrillers Book 1) by [CJ Lyons]

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In the distance Leah heard sirens. She ignored them. Right now, her daughter needed her and Emily was just out of reach, curled up under the bed, her eyes closed, desperately shaking. Leah did the only thing any mother would do. She crawled through the blood to get to her daughter.

Dr Leah Wright returned to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania with her husband to find peace and quiet, start afresh and raise her six-year-old daughter Emily. But when she gets home one dark winter night, clutching roses in her hand, she finds her daughter huddled under her bed and her husband’s blood all over the floor…

When Detective Luka Jericho is called to investigate, he’s shocked to learn that the killer left a witness behind – the victim’s young daughter. The scene is a painful reminder of his fiancé’s unsolved death, and he is desperate to find out what Emily saw that night. He knows that the killer could still be out there, waiting to strike again.

But growing up, Leah learned the hard way that the only person she could rely on was herself. And it’s not until she and Emily are attacked again that she realizes just how close the killer is. Can she trust Luka to keep her daughter safe?

MY THOUGHTS

The Next Widow is a pacy thriller by C J Lyons. It is the first book in her Jericho and Wright series, and I’m keen to read more.

The book opens in a dramatic way when Dr Leah Wright is fighting to save someone’s life on the operating table. But when Leah returns home, she finds a gruesome discovery. Her husband has been brutally attacked and killed, and her daughter has been left cowering upstairs, half-scared to death. What is even more chilling for Leah is that earlier on in the day she was sent a note, which she believed was from her husband. But what if it wasn’t sent by her husband at all? Who would want him dead? Darker questions soon arise when the police ask the question, who really was the target here? Could Leah be the target?

C J Lyons creates an air of mystery right from the beginning. We soon learn that Leah’s husband was involved with something top secret and worked for the government. Could this be the reason why he was targeted? The only lead the detectives have to go on is a drawing by Leah’s daughter of their suspect.

What really interested me most as the investigation started to progress was the fact that Leah’s husband was working on a top-secret project. I wanted to find out what this was. Was this in any way connected to what had happened? The police investigation takes a dark and worrying turn and I wondered what sort of an impact this would have on Leah and her family.

C J Lyons managed to keep the tension, turning up a notch as the police try to piece together the evidence. There are various leads for them to be working on, but what I also found interesting, was Detective Luka Jericho’s backstory. Luka has had difficulties with his sister over the years. This has caused a lot of heartache both for him and his parents. But now after years since he last saw her, she is back. But it isn’t clear what she wants. I’m interested to see how this relationship will develop further in future books in this series.

After reading my first book by C J Lyons, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading more from this series. The Next Widow is an addictive read that will keep you hooked from the first page right up until the last. You’ll be desperate to know the secrets that are hidden within the pages.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 28th July 2020

Print length: 376 pages

The Last Widow is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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The Sleepover by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Sleepover by Carol Wyer on my blog today. This is the fourth book in her Detective Natalie Ward series.

The Sleepover: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 4) by [Carol Wyer]

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She said she’d gone to a sleepover. But she never made it. Someone must know why…

When Detective Natalie Ward is called to the home of fourteen-year-old Roxy Curtis she can’t help but empathise with Roxy’s distraught mother Cathy. Roxy hasn’t come home, last seen heading next door for a sleepover with her best friend Ellie. As the mother of two teenagers herself, Natalie knows that this is every parent’s worst nightmare.

But when Roxy’s body is found in the basement of a beautiful Victorian mansion on the other side of town, Natalie’s darkest fears are confirmed. What was Roxy doing there? The people who knew her best should know – but Cathy seems evasive, and Ellie refuses to talk. Natalie is determined to find out what secrets they are keeping…

Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears.

When her body is found two days later, Natalie is forced to face the fact that Roxy’s loved ones are in real danger. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. Is Ellie hiding something about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve shamefully fallen behind on Carol Wyer’s brilliant Natalie Ward series. I’ve finally caught up on The Sleepover which is book number four in the series, and I already have the next book lined up and waiting on my kindle. I think this is the best book yet in this series. Carol Wyer has created another gripping plot, and her writing kept my eyes glued to the page.

The novel opens with a young girl, Roxy, heading out for a sleepover. A few hours later and Detective Inspector Natalie Ward is called to a scene where a fire has ravaged a house, and a body is found inside. The body is identified as Roxy’s. Her distraught family are at a loss to explain why their daughter was there, and they claim to have no knowledge of the men who own it. Could it have just been a tragic accident and Roxy was in the wrong place at the wrong time? But when Roxy’s mother is found dead, Natalie and her team begin to suspect that the family may not be telling them everything.

I’ve enjoyed seeing how Natalie has progressed over the first few books in the series. Natalie is still struggling with issues within her own family. Her husband is still out of work following a gambling problem, and now it seems her son is distancing himself from her. Carol hasn’t made things easy for Natalie in this book. I did wonder if this was going to have any impact at all on her work. It’ll be interesting to see how things will progress for her from here.

The investigation is a really gripping one. I wanted to know why Roxy was there in the house and what reason she had to be there. I could sense that her family were keeping something back from the police, and I felt as though I couldn’t trust her brother’s.

Natalie delves into the heart of the mystery, and just as she begins to make progress, another devastating event takes place, when Roxy’s mother is found dead. This is where I felt that things began to heat up, and it made Natalie even more determined to find out the truth. It definitely kept me reading on, and I raced through the final chapters to find out who was responsible for the crimes.

The Sleepover is another cracking book in this series. Carol Wyer always delivers on suspense, and she has created another gripping mystery. I can’t wait to catch up on the next books in the series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length: 376 pages

The Sleepover is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Winter Rising by Alex Callister #bookreview #booksontour @CallisterAuthor @bookouture

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Winter Rising by Alex Callister. With thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to take part.

Winter Rising: An absolutely gripping and addictive crime thriller (The Winter Series Book 2) by [Alex Callister]

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Winter returns to face the most feared hitman of all time: the nameless, faceless Guardsman.

Secret Service agent Winter knows global crime boss Alek Konstantin’s days are numbered after she seduced him, then revealed his identity to the world. Now, permanently on the run from the authorities, Alek fights to regain control as the brutal criminal organisation he ruled with an iron fist crashes down around him.

When a young woman called Lucy is viciously stabbed and dumped on a mossy grave, a harrowing message for Winter carved on her forehead. Winter follows the trail to the Guardsman – a pitiless contract killer, and Alek’s top hitman. Has the Guardsman gone rogue or is Alek pulling the strings to taunt Winter once more?

In a desperate bid to lure Lucy’s killer from the shadows and find a path to Alek, Winter books the Guardsman for a hit on herself. If she succeeds, she’ll have the world’s most dangerous killer at her mercy. But if she fails…

MY THOUGHTS

Alex Callister has created an engaging protagonist in her new series who you will be rooting for from the first page. Winter Rising is Alex’s second book and following on from events which took place in the last novel; Agent Winter once again has her mind fixed on the operation Firestorm. It is all she can think about as she imagines new ways to bring it down. In the background, London is gearing up to host the G20 summit, but something is being planned. As Winter begins to infiltrate Firestorm again, she begins to realise that the G20 is being targeted. But someone is after Winter as well. Winter is all too keen to engage them in combat and finish this once and for all.

Alex Callister has created a highly engaging new series. I read the last book really fast, and it was no different with this one. Agent Winter is a character who really stands out. Right from the opening pages, you feel as though you are there with her, as Alex’s writing is sharp and clear, and it draws you into the action on the page. You don’t need to have read the previous book to enjoy this one, but I would highly recommend it if you wanted to get more detail on the operation Winter is up against. It’s something that could scarily be plausible in the real world.

There are some new characters introduced in this book as well, including a woman who begins working with Winter called Xiu. And Winter once again teams up with Leon who featured in book one. I thought they worked together really well, and it’ll be interesting to see how they develop further.

The world-building in Alex’s books is really good and vivid. I like that Alex Callister takes us to a variety of different places across the world, which is what I also enjoyed when I read the first book. Alex Callister keeps the tension rising by counting down to an explosive event. We also hear from The Guardsman, who is keen to track Winter down and this keeps the pace flying forward as we see Winter sailing closer to danger. She doesn’t know who The Guardsman is, she can only speculate, and this is what makes it all the more dangerous. She is drawing closer and closer to an unknown enemy; all Winter knows is that they want to do her harm.

This is a series which I’m sure I’ll keep returning to. It’s different, action-packed and hugely exciting all the way through. Winter Rising is a thrilling and entertaining read!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 18th May 2020

Print length: 402 pages

Winter Rising is available to buy:

Amazon UK 

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Killing Mind by Angela Marsons #bookreview blog tour @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the twelfth book in the DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons today on my blog, Killing Mind. With thanks to Kim Nash for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Killing Mind: An addictive and nail-biting crime thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 12) by [Angela Marsons]

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It had seemed so simple. Get in, get the information, get out. But now they were getting inside her mind and she didn’t know how to stop them…

When Detective Kim Stone is called to the home of Samantha Brown, she finds the young woman lying in bed with her throat cut and a knife in her hand. With no sign of forced entry or struggle, Kim rules her death a tragic suicide.

But a visit to Samantha’s parents rings alarm bells for Kim – there’s something they’re not telling her. And, when she spots a clue in a photograph, Kim realises she’s made a huge mistake. Samantha didn’t take her own life, she was murdered.

Then a young man’s body is found in a local lake with his throat cut and Kim makes a link between the victim and Samantha. They both spent time at Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life.

Beneath the retreat’s cosy façade, Kim and her team uncover a sinister community preying on the emotionally vulnerable.

Sending one of her own undercover into Unity Farm is high risk but it’s Kim’s only hope if she is to catch a killer – someone Kim is convinced the victims knew and trusted.

With Bryant distracted by the emergence of a harrowing case close to his heart, and an undercover officer in way over her head, Kim’s neck is on the line like never before. Can she protect those closest to her before another life is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

Kim Stone is back in the twelfth installment, Killing Mind, in Angela Marsons bestselling crime series. Kim and the team are called to a scene where the body of a young woman has been found. It appears that she has tragically committed suicide, but Kim isn’t so keen to wrap the case up, and she soon discovers something that doesn’t quite match up with the team’s early findings and suspicions. As they investigate the woman’s death further, it draws Kim and the team to investigate a cult known as Unity Farm. And soon the young woman isn’t the only person with a connection to the cult to end up dead. But is the cult responsible for the killings? What had they done that was so wrong to deserve death?

I’ve read a few books recently where cults have featured, and they are scary and fascinating at the same time. It’s terrifying to see how leaders of these cults can easily manipulate vulnerable people and make them wholly dependent on them. Angela Marsons examines just how easy it is for them to get inside a person’s head and change perceptions on their life, and this is the case with the cult’s leader. You can see how other members of the group worship and look up to him, and it becomes clear that they would do anything for him if they were asked to do so.

In the latest book, Angela Marsons introduced us to a new member who joined Kim’s team, Tiffany, who Kim refers to as Tink. Tiffany takes a more prominent role in this book as she is sent to unity farm undercover. Tiff is determined to prove herself to Kim and her team, but we can also see just how vulnerable she is herself, and how she is drawn into the group. It’s been really good to see her character grow, like Kim I think I found her a little irritating in the last book in the series. After this instalment, however, I think she is a welcome addition to the team.

DS Bryant becomes distracted in this book, by a previous case he once worked on before he was part of Kim’s team. A man who helped put behind bars for the murder and rape of a young woman is up for parole, and he lends his support to the victim’s family. He is determined to make sure that the man isn’t released, as he fears that the man will kill again. This was an intriguing sub-plot as we do see a side to Bryant that we haven’t quite seen before. Usually, there is a lot of wit between him and Kim, which I really like, but Killing Mind does seem to take on a darker tone.

Angela Marsons once again captured my interest very early on and held it right the way through. I have reviewed nearly every book in this series now, and it is becoming harder and harder to find new things to say about it. All I can say is that you need to read these books if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th May 2020

Print length: 430 pages

Killing Mind is available to buy:

Amazon UK   Kobo

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Child’s Play by Angela Marsons #bookreview @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on book number 11 in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons on my blog today, Child’s Play. If you’re not yet reading this series you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Child's Play: A totally unputdownable serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 11) by [Angela Marsons]

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Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck.

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event.

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killers they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

MY THOUGHTS

Whenever Angela Marsons has a new book out, I never have to read the blurb before I press the purchase button. In the eleventh book in the Kim Stone series, Child’s Play, the discovery of a body on a park bench begins a complex investigation. Angela Marsons delves into the psychology of her characters in her latest book. What she shines a light on is how crucial events in a person’s past can have a devastating impact on later moments in their lives.

What Angela Marsons does so well at in her books, is that she manages to bring each character to life, even the characters who aren’t regulars in the series. There’s a chilling opening sequence to this book. As the book begins, the story is told from the point of view of the killer, and it makes for a chilling first scene. I got the feeling straight away that this was someone who was after revenge, and I wanted to know what had happened to drive them towards this devastating decision. And this is what makes Angela’s books so gripping; she makes you want to find out more, and she hooks you right from the start.

When Angela introduces us to Victoria, the sister of the woman who has been found murdered, I knew that there were going to be a lot of obstacles placed in Kim’s way. Victoria doesn’t seem to want to help Kim and her team at all to find the person responsible. As Kim delves further into their relationship and their past, it’s clear that there’s something that Victoria does not want to discuss with them, and it’s going to be very hard for Kim to get the answers from her. From the moment Kim first speaks to Victoria, I wanted to know what was going on in Victoria and her sister’s relationship, and why she was acting the way she was.

I was not expecting this book to go down the path that Angela took the story, and this made me even more intrigued. But this part of the story only becomes clearer as Kim finds out more about what happened in Victoria and her sister’s past, so I don’t want to talk too much more about the plot.

Another character who comes to the forefront in Child’s Play is DS Penn, who is a latecomer to the series. Penn is in the middle of another investigation which is threatening to fall apart at the seams. I liked seeing his character grow in this book, and it’ll be interesting to see how his character develops in future books in the series.

Kim’s friendship with her colleague Bryant is really one of the strong points in this series. I think I may have said this in one of my previous reviews, but my favourite scenes are often when it is Kim and Bryant alone together. But also Stacey is a character who has grown stronger over the last several books, and I’ve enjoyed seeing her go from strength to strength as well. This time around a new character joins Kim’s team, and it’s going to be intriguing to see how she fits in, especially as Kim refers to her as Tinkerbell. It made me laugh a few times as Kim seems to find her cheeriness, especially irritating. But I think she’ll be a good addition to the team.

As always, what you can expect from an Angela Marsons book is a gripping story that will keep you turning those pages. The short snappy chapters keep the pace flying forward, and as ever the plot and the personality of the characters draws you in straight away. Another top read from this series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 11th July 2019

Print length: 352 pages

Child’s Play is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Previous Reviews

First Blood

Dead Memories

Fatal Promise

Dying Truth

Broken Bones

Dead Souls

 

 

Winter Dark by Alex Callister #bookreview @CallisterAuthor @bookouture

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut thriller by Alex Callister, Winter Dark.

Winter Dark: A totally gripping crime thriller with heart-pounding suspense (The Winter Series Book 1) by [Alex Callister]

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A desperate girl held captive somewhere in the city, her liquid brown eyes pleading with the camera as the clock tick-tick-ticks down.

An agent with a broken past, who has seen what happens when the counter hits zero. It took the last one three days to die while the world watched. This killer is never late, and he never breaks his promises.

But how do you catch someone who could be anyone – who only speaks through the eyes of his terrified victims and never leaves a trace? To catch a killer with no face, you have to become faceless yourself…

A pulse-racing thriller that will keep you turning the pages late into the night. For fans of Sandra Brown, Willow Rose and Mary Burton.

Please note: this book contains scenes of a sexual nature.

MY THOUGHTS

Winter Dark is an explosive debut by Alex Callister, and it introduces us to a fierce new protagonist who you won’t be forgetting about in a hurry. Set in an alternate world where murders can be bought on the internet through a website called Firestorm. Agent Winter sets out to apprehend the man behind it, and she is determined to make sure that he isn’t given an easy ride.

This debut blew away all my expectations. Spy thrillers aren’t typically my go-to genre, but I found that once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. Winter is a brilliant character; she’s feisty, confident, fiercely independent and is certainly not a person who will give up, even if it means that the outcome may mean death. I found that I could visualise every scene in the book. Alex Callister takes us on a journey across Europe as Winter sets out to destroy the operation Firestorm, and there is never a dull or a slow moment. You can see how determined she is to bring justice. Winter is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

If you think along the same lines of James Bond, then that is similar to what you are going to experience here. There are no quiet moments, and there is no question about it that Winter is the person in charge of this mission, even though she has been hired to track the man responsible for Firestorm down. She knows what her role is, and she will see it through.

Alex Callister keeps the tension turning up a notch as Winter races closer and closer to the person who she is determined to find and bring to justice. I could quite easily picture this translating really well onto the big screen as the description, the fight scenes, and the characters are all so vivid.

If you’re prepared to be taken on a wild ride, then you will absolutely love this book. There’s heart-pounding tension all the way through, and Alex Callister’s writing will keep you turning the pages. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 7th January 2020

Print length: 336 pages

Winter Dark is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo

 

Can You See Her? by S.E. Lynes #bookreview blog tour @SELynesAuthor @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the brilliant new novel by S.E. Lynes on my blog today, Can You See Her? This is the first book by S.E. Lynes which I have read and it won’t be my last.

Can You See Her?: An absolutely compelling psychological thriller by [S.E. Lynes]

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Rachel Ryder doesn’t understand how her life has changed so completely. When she was younger, heads would turn when she walked into a room. Her children needed her; her husband adored her.

But somehow the years wore that all away. She was so busy raising her children, looking after her parents… She can barely remember the woman she used to be, the one whose husband told her she was out of his league. The woman she is now just does the laundry and makes the dinner, and can walk into a room without anyone knowing she’s there.

She knows that she hated feeling invisible. She knows that she thought: what would it take for you to see me again?

And now she’s worried that she did something terrible. Because she’s sitting in a room, being asked whether she killed someone.

When no-one is watching, you can get away with anything…

MY THOUGHTS

Can You See Her? is the first novel by S.E. Lynes that I have read and it is outstanding! It had me hooked from the first page, and by the end, it had left me reeling, it’s not often that books have such a big impact on me. The writing is powerful and totally absorbing. You can definitely label me a big fan, and I’ll be catching up on her previous work!

What I thought was so clever is the how S.E. Lynes took us into the minds of her characters. This is a slow-burner, so if you’re looking for a fast-paced read then you won’t find it here, but what is done so well is the S.E. Lynes takes a close look at the psychological impact of a crime. This is what interests me the most and what I find all the more compelling in crime fiction novels. This book needs to be added to your TBR pile.

We first meet Rachel when she is sitting in a room with her psychologist. Most of the story takes place here as Rachel peers back into her past. Rachel is convinced that she has done something terrible, but we don’t know much more about it. It is only as her psychologist peels away the layers of the last few days do we get to see the big picture. As I delved further into Rachel’s mind, I wanted to understand what had happened, and how she came to be sitting in that room in the predicament that she now finds herself in. As more details were revealed, I could never be sure what the true story was. I had one idea forming in my mind as I got to know Rachel a little better, but I was completely surprised by S.E. Lynes final twist.

This book is also quite topical as S.E. Lynes tackles the topic of knife crime which has been hitting the headlines for the past few years.

What I thought also made this book really intriguing is that some chapters are written in the form of a police transcript, from when they have interviewed a suspect. In these sections, we get to see what people think about Rachel, and I began to form my own opinions of what had happened as I read these scenes. This is also what makes the pace of the book pick up.

I really connected with Rachel. I felt exasperated for her as it seemed that she was totally on her own. Even her own family seemed to be distancing themselves from her. You can see how much of an effect this is having on her, especially on her well-being; it was here that I began to wonder what really was going on in her own private world.

S.E. Lyne’s description is brilliant, as well. She painted the scenes in vivid detail, and I felt as though I was transported to that moment. She is a really talented writer.

I think the only way how I can sum up this review is that you need to read this book! I couldn’t stop turning those final pages as S.E. Lynes kept me glued to her words. Can You See Her? is a heart-breaking and powerful read.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 22nd April 2020

Print length: 357 pages

Can You See Her? is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo

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Knock Knock by Chris Merritt cover reveal @DrCJMerritt @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Chris Merritt’s new crime novel, Knock Knock.

I’ve been a fan of Chris’s previous series, so I’m excited to find out what he’s got in store for us in his next book. But before I reveal the cover, let’s take a look at the blurb.

BLURB

Natasha Mayston wasn’t expecting anyone to knock on her door so late at night and she has no idea that the face staring back at her is the last one she’ll ever see…

As Detective Dan Lockhart is called to a wealthy London street to investigate Natasha’s death, he’s startled by the similarity to another case. Noticing the cable-tie restraints and the tiny scratches on Natasha’s wedding finger, Dan already knows what he will find if he looks in her throat – the small metal ball which choked her to death. He knows for sure that this isn’t the killer’s first victim and that he will strike again.

Months earlier, Kim Hardy was found in the same position in a hotel across the city – the same cable ties around her wrists, lacerations on her left hand and the same silver ball in her throat. But Kim’s murderer was caught and sent to prison – did they arrest the wrong man? Fearing that he’s dealing with a serial killer, Dan calls in psychologist Lexi Green to help with the case.

Then another body is discovered just days later, just as Lexi finds a clue online leading to the killer. Dan and his team aren’t convinced she’s found the right man, but Lexi reaches out to the suspect, putting herself in unthinkable danger. Dan thinks he knows who’s next on the killer’s list. But can he reach her before it’s too late?

 

So without any further ado let’s take a look at the cover!

 

 

 

 

Knock-Knock-Kindle

Knock Knock is publishing on the 17th March 2020 and it is available to pre-order now!

 

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.

First-Blood-Kindle

BLURB

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