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.

BLURB

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?

MY THOUGHTS

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

Left for Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview #blogtour @JoyKluver @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver, Left for Dead.

Left for Dead: Absolutely gripping crime fiction packed with suspense (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 3) by [Joy Kluver]

BLURB

The sun is rising over the deserted park. Spring shoots have burst through the frozen ground, framing the woman’s broken body in green and gold. Their surge of relief at finding her alive quickly dissolves into fear: the man who did this is still out there. His next victim might not be so lucky…

The first time Detective Bernadette Noel sees Keira Howard, she is lying in a hospital bed fighting for her life. The police assume that she has become the latest victim in a series of brutal attacks, and after weeks of fruitless searching, they think the evidence found in Keira’s case will finally lead them to their man.

When a suspect is caught the case looks closed, but Bernie isn’t convinced. Keira may have the same markings as the other women, but she doesn’t meet the profile – the random attacker let his victims go. Keira’s attacker had intended to kill. The witnesses – Keira’s closest friends – are all telling different stories, and the discovery that Keira was hiding a secret pregnancy suddenly makes everything a lot more complicated.

When a crucial witness goes missing, Bernie’s gut instinct is proven right – so why won’t her superiors let her investigate? They may have caught a guilty man, but a potential murderer still walks free. Then when their prime suspect is suddenly killed on police watch, Bernie’s situation becomes much more dangerous.

The closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her life at risk. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust.

MY THOUGHTS

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 are 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

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Left For Dead - BT Poster

Murder at the Castle by Lisa Cutts #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the second book in the Belinda Penshurst series by Lisa Cutts, Murder at the Castle.

Murder at the Castle: An absolutely addictive English cozy mystery (A Belinda Penshurst Mystery Book 2) by [Lisa Cutts]

BLURB

When the star guest collapses at a wine tasting, it seems someone has a taste for murder. Fortunately, amateur sleuth Belinda Penshurst was at the event – and now she’s on the case!

Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, and its charming, peaceful ways. So when wine critic Sadie Oppenshaw dies at a tasting Belinda organised, she immediately turns detective to uncover the poisoner…

Accompanied by retired detective Harry Powell and her boisterous Labrador Horatio, Belinda sets out to investigate the world of wine. There are scandals brewing everywhere… but do the local DIY enthusiasts have a deadly vendetta, or did Sadie’s reviews cause a resentful restaurant owner to kill?

When another of the guests at the wine tasting is found poisoned, it becomes clear the killer is only just getting started. Can Belinda crack the case and open the champagne, before the murderer catches up with her?

MY THOUGHTS

I’m really enjoying this series by Lisa Cutts. Belinda Penshurst and former cop Harry Powell are back with another intriguing mystery to solve. At a wine tasting event at Belinda’s home, famous wine critic, Sadie Oppenshaw, ends up dead, speculating concerns that she has been murdered. Belinda wastes no time in dragging Harry into the case with her again. Once again she is determined to solve the mystery and catch the killer.

I really grew to like Belinda and Harry in the first book in this series, and I really enjoyed catching up with them again in Murder at the Castle. The castle provides a splendid location for a murder scene, and it adds to the sense of mystery. This is Belinda’s home, and I wanted to find out who had managed to gain access and murder Sadie. Was it someone who had been invited to the wine tasting? Someone who Belinda knows? It becomes clear, that through Sadie’s profession, she has garnered a few enemies, and I was wondering if any of them would go out of their way to murder her. Belinda and Harry certainly aren’t short of a list of suspects to investigate. Lisa Cutts certainly doesn’t make it easy for the reader to work out who was behind the murder.

Lisa Cutts also explores Belinda and Harry’s relationship further in this book. Belinda has a lot of self-confidence and isn’t afraid to go after potential suspects, and investigate leads on her own. I also really like the humour that there is between them, and especially Harry’s dry wit, which had me laughing out loud in some places as I was reading. In some places his humour does begin to get on Belinda’s nerves, and this does create a little bit of tension between them.

I’m still not quite sure where Belinda and Harry’s relationship will go next. There is definitely an attraction there between them, so I’m interested to see where Lisa Cutts takes this further.

This is a series I’m sure I will keep coming back to. I love Belinda and Harry, and I can’t wait to see what Lisa Cutts has in store for them next. If you’re a fan of cosy crime, then you really must give these books a go.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 8th December 2021

Print length: 274 pages

Murder at the Castle is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The Girl in the Ground by Stacy Green #bookreview #blogtour @stacygreen26 @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Stacy Green, The Girl in the Ground.

The Girl in the Ground: A completely gripping mystery and suspense thriller (Nikki Hunt Book 4) by [Stacy Green]

BLURB

She was beautiful: shiny blond hair, crystal blue eyes and the widest smile Nikki had ever seen. She thought back to what she had seen in the ground, the dirt that caked the white bones. All that remained of her now was the silver locket that was still around her neck…

When construction workers unearth a girl’s skeleton in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt is called to the scene by her boyfriend Rory. Nikki knows instantly that the girl was murdered, but she is shocked when Rory immediately recognizes her. The victim was his childhood sweetheart, Becky, and he was the last person to see her before she went missing twenty-four years ago.

With the love of her life now a potential suspect, Nikki is forced to take a step back from the case. But then her colleague Liam finds lies in Rory’s statement – it appears that Becky may have been carrying Rory’s child when she was killed. Despite this, Nikki still thinks he could be innocent, and knows she must find the real killer herself if Rory stands any chance of walking free.

When Nikki finds a potential link to two pregnant girls who were found murdered years before it’s clear that this is the most twisted killer that she has ever faced. And then another girl goes missing from Stillwater. Can Nikki unearth the truth and protect the man she loves? And will she find the missing girl in time to save her life?

MY THOUGHTS

Stacy Green has become one of my favourite authors in the crime fiction genre. I love her Agent Nikki Hunt books. They are always really addictive and I really like Nikki. The latest case she is investigating in The Girl in the Ground, hits far too close to home when it’s her boyfriend, Rory who discovers the remains of a young woman at a building site. It might even be the case that Rory knew the victim.

I was really intrigued by the mystery in this book. It starts off with a chilling opening where we see two girls collecting river stones. And this scene ends on a very chilling note which made me want to read the rest of the book right away.

I’ve really liked seeing Nikki and Rory’s relationship develop over the course of the last few books and I was worried where this latest development would take them. You can see clearly how distressed Rory is at the finding the remains, but that doesn’t stop him from becoming a potential suspect in the eyes of Nikki’s colleagues. Rory’s emotion does come through very strongly in Stacy Green’s writing.

There is tension on every page as Nikki and her team race to find a killer. I wanted to know what the killer’s motive was and how this young woman had gone undiscovered in the ground for so long. I also wanted to know more about Rory’s connection to the victim. As in the previous books in the series, Stacy Green keeps the suspense and intrigue ticking up a notch with each new chapter. This is what I really love about her writing.

Things take an even more surprising turn when a pregnant woman, who is a surrogate, disappears. There are some very dark themes which Stacy Green explores in this book, including sex trafficking. It does make for tense reading when Stacy Green delves into the stories of the victims in her book. But she does this sensitively.

I really enjoyed The Girl in the Ground. I am a big fan of this series and this book is one of my favourites in the series. If you enjoy gripping detective novels, you won’t be disappointed.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 1st December 2021

Print length: 266 pages

The Girl in the Ground is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

The Girl in the Ground - Blog Tour Poster

Stolen Ones by Angela Marsons #bookreview #blogtour @WriteAngie @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on Stolen Ones, the latest novel in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons as part of the blog tour.

Stolen Ones: A totally jaw-dropping and addictive crime thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 15) by [Angela  Marsons]

BLURB

25 years ago he took a girl. Today he takes another.One August afternoon, eight-year-old Grace Lennard skips into the garden of the childcare centre she attends and vanishes into thin air.

Hours before, Steven Harte walks into Halesowen police station and confesses to having information that will lead Detective Kim Stone to Melody Jones – the little girl who was taken from a playground exactly twenty-five years ago. But something about his confession is off and Kim dismisses his claims.

Arriving at the scene of Grace’s disappearance, Kim finds a chilling piece of evidence: the heart bracelet belonging to Melody. Now Kim must play Steven’s twisted game if she is to find Grace alive. But they’re going to play by Kim’s rules.

With only twenty-four hours to make every second of Steven’s interrogation count, and scan his behaviour for hidden clues, Kim and her team soon link Steven to the abduction of several vulnerable girls – two were kept for a year and then released, unharmed – but where are Melody and the others?

Then small bones are discovered in the grounds of a local park, and Kim fears the worst.

Kim may be close to convicting a killer, but there’s another who wants revenge against her – Dr Alex Thorne – the evil woman Kim did her best to keep behind bars. Alex is about to reveal a shocking secret to Kim that will hit her where it hurts the most. And if Kim lets Alex mess with her head, she might not be able to save Grace and find the other missing girls in time.

MY THOUGHTS

When I finished the last book in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, I knew what was coming for Kim next. I practically dropped my Kindle in excitement when I read those last few lines. Hence to say I was very excited to read this book, and when Stolen Ones landed on my Kindle, I wasted no time in picking it up. It’s always great to catch up with Kim Stone and the team, and Angela Marsons always leaves me hungry for more with each book.

This time, Kim Stone’s arch nemesis, Dr Alexandra Thorne is back. I was so pleased to see that she would be making an appearance again after finishing the last book. I have never been able to forget her, and she is always on my mind whenever I read a book from this series.

Kim faces another complex investigation in this book. What makes it even more intriguing, is that the man who might be responsible for the crime that has taken place, Stephen Harte, hands himself into the police very early on. He claims to have information on a missing child case which is decades old. A young girl, Melody Jones, disappeared twenty five years ago without trace. Kim has no idea how to approach this. Is this man the person who they’re looking for, or is he simply a time waster? What is really going on here? What heightens the tension even more is that another child, Grace Lennard, has gone missing. Kim knows they have a very limited time frame to find her alive.

Once again Angela Marsons delivers on tension in this book. I wanted to know why Stephen had handed himself into the police. It appears quite early on that he is playing a very twisted game, and I wanted to find out more about who he was.

And of course, Dr Alexander Thorne is once again a thorn in Kim Stone’s side. I wanted to know what was going on here with Alex, as she is desperately trying to get hold of Kim. Although this isn’t easy for Alex as she is still in prison. It appears that she is willing to do anything to achieve that, but what was her real goal here? I was so desperate to find out what it was, that Alex was so keen to talk to Kim about; it makes this book really tense. You can see clearly the affect this has on Kim. She is already working hard to find Grace and she doesn’t want anything else to distract her from that.

Stolen Ones is a real treat for long-time fans of this series. Angela Marsons does a fantastic job of keeping the suspense ticking up a notch. I always love the race against time element in her books, which is what makes them so entertaining. Another brilliant book in this series. I can’t wait to see where Angela Marsons takes her characters next.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 11th November 2021

Print length: 426 pages

Stolen Ones is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Stolen Ones - Blog Tour

Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Lisa Cutts, Murder in the Village.

Murder in the Village: A completely unputdownable English cozy mystery (A Belinda Penshurst Mystery Book 1) by [Lisa Cutts]

BLURB

Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?

Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market. She’s lived there all her life, knows everybody, and feels proud of its charming, friendly nature. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s shocked… and also perfectly placed to investigate.

Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But Belinda is a very persuasive woman, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…

Is there a dognapper at work in Little Challham? Is Belinda right to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry interrogate the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, and the mysterious man in the black car. But are they on the right track… or is the killer already on their trail?

MY THOUGHTS

Cosy crime isn’t usually my go to genre. I do like the crime fiction I read to be a touch darker. But I’ve read Lisa Cutts work before and I really enjoyed it so I thought I would give her latest novel, Murder in the Village a go. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I loved Belinda and Harry, although I think Belinda is definitely my favourite character of the two. I really hope this is going to be the start of a long running series featuring them.

There is a lot that is going on in the charming village of Little Challham. Dog owners are on edge because dogs are mysteriously vanishing and when the local pub landlord is found dead, tensions really begin to heat up.

Belinda is a character who I think many readers will warm to right away. Belinda’s family are quite well known in the town and Belinda certainly knows how to make her voice heard. I loved the way how she threw herself into finding out what was going on in the village and I loved how she managed to get Harry working with her as well. They make for a fascinating and a really entertaining duo. Belinda seems to take everything that is happening in the village in her stride. She is definitely in her element when she is trying to solve the mystery.

Harry is also an intriguing character. He was once a police officer but now sells dog treats, like Belinda, he is intrigued by what is happening in the village, particularly with the missing dogs, but he doesn’t want to get involved in an investigation. I think, personally he only agrees to help Belinda out because he doesn’t want to see her get into trouble.

Lisa Cutts manages to create the country life living seen very well. I could picture Little Challam really well and I loved the detail that Lisa Cutts added, particularly the pubs. I’ve lived in a village for twelve years now and the pubs here certainly seem to be the central focal point of everything.

Everything came together very well and I liked how Lisa Cutts wrapped everything up. I can’t wait to see what Belinda and Harry get up to again and I’m looking forward to seeing what mystery comes their way next.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 25th August 2021

Print length: 252 pages

Murder in the Village is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Lost Angels by Stacy Green #blogtour #bookreview @stacygreen26 @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel in the Nikki Hunt series by Stacy Green, Lost Angels.

Lost Angels: A nail-biting crime thriller packed with suspense (Nikki Hunt Book 3) by [Stacy Green]

BLURB

On her hands and knees, Nikki moved to the other side of the body. She couldn’t stop her fingers from trembling as she brushed the dark hair off the victim’s face. She couldn’t look away. “I know her…”

When Special Agent Nikki Hunt is called to the Boundary Waters near Stillwater, Minnesota, it’s not just the cold that shocks her to her core: the body of a young woman has been found frozen beside a remote lake. Nikki is devastated to see the victim is her childhood friend Annmarie, and she recognizes the velvet ribbon tied in her hair as the hallmark of a serial killer who she has been hunting for years.

Desperate for justice, Nikki throws herself into the case. But she is shaken by what she finds at Annmarie’s home: a dead-bolt on her front door and a map in the spare room, with the locations of murdered women circled in thick, red marker. Did Annmarie know she was next? Then Nikki finds out that the killer has left a clue in Annmarie’s bedroom: a photo of Nikki’s mother that no one has ever seen. Has the murderer at large been in Nikki’s life since she was a child?

Nikki soon realizes that the key to unlocking this case is in her own family, but digging up the past could put her own daughter in danger. She has spent her whole life protecting the ones she loves, but to find this killer Nikki might have to risk everything…

MY THOUGHTS

Lost Angels is another gripping read in the Nikki Hunt series by Stacy Green. I am loving these books; Nikki Hunt is such a fascinating and a brilliant character. This time around she is on the hunt again for a serial killer who has haunted her career, following the discovery of the body of her childhood friend. Nikki’s desperation to get justice for her friend and find the killer comes through very clearly on the page. It’s a fast-paced, unputdownable read. I think this is definitely my favourite book in this series to date.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster for Nikki. Her character comes through so strongly in Stacy’s writing. It is clear she will do anything to bring the killer, known to the police as Frost to justice. You can see clearly how Frost makes Nikki and her team nervous. They have no idea when he will strike again, and they are determined to stop him in his tracks before he has the chance to kill again. The stakes in this book really couldn’t be higher for Nikki. It’s what makes this book such an entertaining read.

Like Nikki, I wanted to find out who Frost was and what his motive was here. It’s what was making me turn the pages faster and faster. It becomes clear as Nikki is investigating the case that her friend may have been onto Frost. I wanted to know what her friend knew about him and if she had been close to discovering who he was. Was that what prompted Frost to kill her, to keep her quiet? Or was there another reason? Why was Nikki’s friend investigating him on her own in the first place?

Stacy Green keeps the tension turning up a notch as Nikki and her team close in on the killer. As they begin to understand who he is it makes the book even more chilling. It makes me wonder how things will progress from here for Nikki, especially after everything that has happened to her in this book. The final scenes were so tense, and I had no idea how things were going to pan out.

Stacy Green is a writer who knows how to keep her readers captivated. If you love fast paced crime novels and if you are a fan of serial killer thrillers, then this series is a must read. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I can’t wait to catch up with Nikki Hunt again, hopefully very soon.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th August 2021

Print length: 236 pages

Lost Angels is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Lost Angels - Blog Tour Poster

Broken Girls by Joy Kluver #booksontour @JoyKluver @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Broken Girls by Joy Kluver. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Broken Girls: A totally addictive and unputdownable crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 2) by [Joy Kluver]

BLURB

Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs, pierce her feet. To escape, she’d had no option but to go barefoot. They’d been laughing together a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye…

The woman is dark-haired and young, judging by the short red dress. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she was strangled: this was a passionate and personal murder.

D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if she is to catch this killer, but she has no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions Rosa, her missing nanny.

Just when Bernie and her team think they’re getting somewhere, a shocking discovery about Rosa – and the news that another young girl has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.

Laura is only twelve, and her parents are beside themselves with worry – but Bernie has an additional fear. Laura’s home is right next to the woods where their murder victim was found: are the cases connected?

When Bernie notices similarities between descriptions of the man last seen with Rosa and someone Laura was messaging online, these fears grow stronger. But they still have no clear leads as to the identity of the culprit.

With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan to trap the predator. But any mistakes will mean another innocent life lost…

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Joy Kluver’s debut novel, Last Seen when I read it earlier in the year, but I think Broken Girls, the second book in the series, is even better. This is a solid police procedural, and I read it in a few greedy gulps, desperate to know what was going on and who the killer was. It gets a very easy five stars from me.

Detective Bernadette Noel is back, and this time she is investigating a horrific murder. A young woman’s body has been found, but it is impossible to identify her. Bernie and her team have very few things to go on, and as the investigation progresses, they come up with a possible identity. But this case is far more complex than they first thought.

Joy Kluver has brilliantly weaved together a very twisty case for Bernie to get to grips with. You can see how desperate she is to get to the bottom of what has happened and to make sure that this young woman gets justice. She is very moved by what has happened to the young woman and she is absolutely determined to get to the bottom of it. Although I think it always helps to read earlier books in a series, it’s possible to read this book as a standalone. I think Bernie is definitely growing as a character. She is very likeable, and I was rooting for her to get to the bottom of things.

The case is very complex, and I had no idea who the culprit was and what had happened to the young woman who was found. I thought that Joy Kluver built on the setting really well, and I loved the detail she put into her book. She brings it to life really well, and I loved the extra detail that was added, particularly the ghost story, which gave me goosebumps as I was reading it.

Broken Girls is an excellent addition to this series, and I’m really looking forward to the third book. Joy Kluver is fast becoming a favourite new author of mine. If you haven’t yet started this series, then you really need to. Top stuff!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th July 2021

Print length: 350 pages

Broken Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Broken Girls - BT Poster

Her Sister’s Secret by S.E. Lynes #bookreview #booksontour @SELynesAuthor @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by S.E. Lynes, Her Sister’s Secret.

Her Sister’s Secret: A completely gripping psychological thriller full of suspense by [S.E. Lynes]

BLURB

Why would you pretend your life is a dream when you’re living a nightmare?

Annie and Dom lead perfect lives in a lovely cottage in a quiet village by the sea, with flowers at the front gate and an apple tree in the garden. Everyone knows them: generous, loving Dom, creative, joyful Annie.

But their neighbours don’t see Annie as she sits waiting for Dom well into the night. They don’t see her smiling through her tears. They don’t know what the perfect couple are hiding.

They just hear the sirens that break the silence of the night and see the flames that rise against the dark sky.

And the morning after, what everyone wants to know is – which one was to blame?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve only recently discovered S.E. Lyne’s books, and I loved her latest, Her Sister’s Secret. This is an intense psychological thriller, and the plot and the characters kept me utterly gripped. This book is a rollercoaster of a read.

S.E. Lynes begins her book with a shocking opening when Isla receives devastating news from her nephew, Callum. Her sister Annie and her husband Dominic have been killed in a house fire. But she knows she has to be strong for her nephew. He’s lost his mother. She has to be there for him.

There are some shocking twists and turns in this book. It is more of a slow burner, but the tension gradually gathers pace and S.E. Lyne’s writing pulls you into the story. I had to know what really happened on the night of the fire. The person who I felt for the most as I was reading was Isla. She has no idea how to cope with what has happened. Her whole world has just come apart, and she doesn’t know who she can trust. It made for really tense reading as she tried to come to terms with what was happening, particularly as the police investigation uncovers who might have started the fire.

It’s really hard to talk more about the plot without giving it away. I had no idea what had happened the night of the fire, and I didn’t know whose testimony to believe. I became more intrigued as S.E. Lynes began to peel back Annie’s relationship with her husband in the flashback scenes. I wanted to know more about her marriage, and I wanted to understand if this had anything to do with the fire.  

But as I thought everything had come together, S.E. Lynes begins to ratchet up the tension again. My perceptions of the characters kept changing as I was reading this novel; like Isla, I didn’t know who I could trust. And especially in those final scenes, I became really worried that something terrible was going to happen. It makes for a nail biting finale.

Her Sister’s Secret is the second book by S.E. Lynes, which I’ve read, and I think I’ve definitely found a new favourite author. Another excellent book by S.E. Lynes.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th July 2021

Print length: 299 pages

Her Sister’s Secret is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Her Sister's Secret - BT Poster (2)

Ten Days by Mel Sherratt #bookreview #booksontour @writermels @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Mel Sherratt, Ten Days

Ten Days: A completely gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist by [Mel Sherratt]

BLURB

‘Let me out! Please!’ I shouted, banging on the door. How had I got here? What day was it? I couldn’t remember anything. But I knew I had become the fifth woman to be abducted.

As my eyes adjust to the darkness, I’m filled with dread. Everything looks just like the others described: a small hole in the door, a mattress and a narrow window allowing only a small chink of light. The jewellery given to me by my loving husband has gone and I’m in someone else’s clothes.

Just days before, I had interviewed the third victim for the local paper. She couldn’t stop shaking. Her story was the same as those before her: an ordinary woman, locked away for ten days then released with no explanation, and nothing – nothing she could think of – to link her to the others. Throughout the ordeal, her abductor stayed eerily silent.

I tell myself I’ll be safe in ten days. But I can’t help thinking of the fourth victim who is still missing. And then I hear the voice coming through the door. ‘You said everything would be fine. But it wasn’t was it?’ It is then that I realise. If I am to make it out alive, I need to revisit a dark secret of my own that I have spent a lifetime trying to forget.

MY THOUGHTS

What a book! I’ve become a huge fan of Mel Sherratt’s work recently, so I couldn’t wait to read her latest, Ten Days, and it’s such an incredible read. If you’re looking for a thriller that is chilling and will keep you utterly gripped right the way through, then I highly recommend it.

In Stoke on Trent, women have been disappearing off the streets and have been found ten days after they first went missing. The police can’t work out who is doing this and why. Are more women going to be taken?

Mel Sherratt delves into the psychology of her characters in her latest book. This is the part of the plot which I really loved. She explores just what made them into the person they are today. This is what I found really fascinating. It also made me think more about the person and their motives. This is especially the case when it comes down to the person who is responsible for the crimes. This is where it becomes so had to talk about the plot without giving any of it away.

The woman at the centre of the story is Eva, a journalist who has become the latest victim of the perpetrator whose crimes she has been reporting on. I felt her fear as she was being held captive and as she wondered who it was who was keeping her prisoner. Although Eva believes that she will be released after ten days like the other women and clings to this, this is not guaranteed. When we are first introduced to the person behind the kidnappings, you can see that their next moves are totally unpredictable. Eva, herself, begins to realise this as well, which heightens the tension all the more. I was desperate to know what was going to happen.

Ten Days is such a good read and a top notch psychological thriller. This is one of Mel Sherratt’s best books to date!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 28th June 2021

Print length: 296 pages

Ten Days is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Ten Days - Blog Tour