Invisible Victim by Mel Sherratt #coverreveal @writermels @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for the new psychological thriller by Mel Sherratt, Invisible Victim which is being published by Bookouture on the 28th June 2021. This sounds really intriguing and I can’t wait to read it. But before I reveal the cover, let’s take a look at the blurb.

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‘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.

Now for the all important cover:

Invisible-Victim-Kindle

If you would like to pre-order the book, you can do so by clicking on the link below

Amazon UK

The Girl in the Missing Poster by Barbara Copperthwaite #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on The Girl in the Missing Poster by Barbara Copperthwaite.

The Girl in the Missing Poster: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist by [Barbara Copperthwaite]

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24 June, 1994 – Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins runs from her father’s birthday party into the stormy night wearing her sister Stella’s long red coat. Some say she was crying, others swear they saw her get into a passing car. Nobody ever saw her again.

Present – This time every year, on the anniversary of that fateful night, Stella decorates the small seaside town she grew up in with pictures of her beautiful missing sister. But after twenty-five years, is it even worth hoping someone will come forward? Perhaps the upcoming documentary will spark people’s memories by reuniting all the guests who were there the night Leila went missing.

As old friends gather and long-buried secrets begin to surface, the last thing Stella ever expects is a direct response from someone claiming they took Leila. They want private details of Stella’s life in return for answers. But as the true events of the night of the party play out once again, who is lying? And who is next?

MY THOUGHTS

The Girl in the Missing Poster is the first book by Barbara Copperthwaite, which I have read, and I’m definitely going to be catching up on her previous novels. This is a twisty, intriguing psychological thriller that follows Leila’s search as she desperately tries to uncover what happened to her twin sister, Stella, who vanished twenty-five years ago. She fears that this time it’s the last chance she’ll have of finding out what happened, and she is willing to do anything to get to the truth.

This book is more of a slow burner, but the tension certainly gathers pace as we reach the conclusion. Barbara tells parts of the story through transcripts from a Netflix documentary, and I thought this was really clever. By chance, Leila gets talking to Euan, a documentary producer for Netflix. He speaks to her about producing a documentary to try and generate new leads in her sister’s case. Stella agrees, but what she isn’t prepared for is the number of nasty comments it creates on social media, something she hasn’t had much experience with before. But then someone gets in contact with Leila, and they may know what happened to her sister.

Barbara definitely held my interest as she reveals more background information into the investigation of Leila’s disappearance. Through the transcripts, we read interviews from police officers involved in the case as they explain why they did what they did. It made for really interesting reading. I often watch true-crime documentaries on Netflix, so it did feel as though I was reading about a real life case. I did like how Barbara built on Leila’s relationship with Euan; although I did think as I was reading it, I couldn’t trust any of the characters who were close to her.

I really wanted to know what had happened to Stella, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as Barbara takes us closer to the truth. I really liked how she pulled everything together. There are some jaw dropping revelations as the person responsible for Stella’s disappearance is revealed.

The Girl in the Missing Poster is a really well written psychological thriller. It’s a complex mystery, and Barbara Copperthwaite cleverly pulls everything together. Now I can’t wait to catch up on Barbara’s previous books.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 23rd February 2021

Print length: 346 pages

The Girl in the Missing Poster is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Last Seen by Joy Kluver #blogtour #bookreview @JoyKluver @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the debut novel by Joy Kluver on my blog today, Last Seen. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Last Seen: An absolutely gripping missing child crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 1) by [Joy Kluver]

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‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’

Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’

A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.

Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.

As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.

MY THOUGHTS

Last Seen is the debut novel by Joy Kluver, and it’s a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while now. It is the start of what I hope will be a long-running series featuring Detective Bernadette Noel.

Detective Bernadette Noel has recently been appointed to a town in Wiltshire under something of a cloud. She was previously working with the Metropolitan Police, so what was the reason behind her move to Wiltshire? Not long after she is reassigned, she is thrown into a high profile investigation when five-year-old Molly disappears. But why do none of the locals want to help in the search?

Joy Kluver has created such an intriguing premise in her debut novel. Usually, and especially in the case of a missing child, the public wants to help. There are searches organised, and people are ringing the police hotline constantly with sightings to report. But in this case, the police aren’t getting anything. When they carry out house to house enquiries, they are met with hostility, with the door practically being slammed in their faces. People are also very reluctant to put up missing posters. What is going on here? It made me really dislike the residents of their town. Couldn’t they see that this was about bringing Molly, an innocent girl home?

The investigation is a complex one, and Joy Kluver cleverly weaves everything together. The investigation does start off quite slow, particularly when people are unwilling to help, but it gradually gathers pace. There are some shocking reveals as the police look into the past of the victim’s family. It’s then that they begin to understand why the locals don’t want to know. I really wanted to find out the reason behind this.

I liked the friendships between Bernie and her team, and I think Joy Kluver builds on this really well as the novel progresses. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops as the series moves on from here.

This is a fantastic start to a new series, which I’m sure will keep readers coming back for more.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 26th March 2021

Print length: 358 pages

Last Seen is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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Cry For Mercy by Karen Long #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the first book in the DI Eleanor Raven series by Karen Long, Cry For Mercy.

Cry for Mercy: An utterly addictive crime thriller with gripping mystery and suspense (Detective Eleanor Raven Book 1) by [Karen Long]

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It should have been the best day of her life. It became the last.

Lydia’s mouth curls into a delighted smile as she spots the man in front of her on the quiet, suburban street. She has been expecting him, and she feels like the luckiest girl alive as she steps into the waiting car.

But Lydia isn’t as lucky as she thought—not when her parents frantically report that she never came home last night.
Not when her body is found, carefully displayed in an abandoned warehouse, miles from home.
And then another woman goes missing. How many more will disappear before her twisted killer is uncovered?

MY THOUGHTS

Cry For Mercy is a really fast-paced thriller. It’s the first book in Karen Long’s Detective Eleanor Raven series, and I loved it. It’s dark, gruesome, and the writing kept me turning the pages. I’ve already bought the second book in the series, and I can’t wait to read it.

Karen Long opens her novel with a really gruesome opening chapter. She sets the tone for what is to come. Straight away, we know that we are dealing with a terrifying killer here. This is a killer who enjoys torturing their victims. But when the body of the woman is located and identified, the police investigation becomes really complicated and Karen Long explores some very dark themes.

If you love a good serial killer thriller, then you really need to add this book to your TBR pile. I liked Eleanor Raven right from the start, she’s a really intriguing police detective. I thought the rest of her team were really likeable characters as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop from here. I loved the fact that a dog was part of the team as well. Eleanor did remind me of the character DI Helen Grace in M.J. Arlidge’s crime series as I was reading. So if you’re a fan of his books, I think you’ll enjoy this one. I also really liked that this book was set in Toronto, Canada, which made it feel very fresh to me as I was reading it.

The tension never drops as the police race to find the killer, and it soon becomes clear that they have DI Eleanor Raven in their sight as well. It’s what keeps the tension turning up a notch as the police race to catch them as the killer sets their plan in motion. You know that they are determined to see their plan through, regardless of what this may mean for them if anything goes wrong, particularly as they are targeting a police officer. I raced through the final chapters; I was desperate to know what was going to happen.

Cry For Mercy is a really exciting start to a new series, and I’m sure that it’s one I’m going to be sticking with. I highly recommend it!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 16th November 2020

Print length: 304 pages

Cry For Mercy is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons #bookreview #booksontour @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the latest book in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons on my blog today, Deadly Cry. With thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Deadly Cry: An absolutely gripping crime thriller packed with suspense (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 13) by [Angela  Marsons]

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You have to stop me from hurting anyone else. I don’t want to do these horrible things. Help me before I’m forced to do it again. And I will do it again because I have no choice. I’ve never had a choice.

In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional kill. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?

Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.

With her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.

With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.

Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.

But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?

And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.

MY THOUGHTS

There’s something about reading a Kim Stone book that’s like meeting up with old friends. Deadly Cry is the latest addition in this series, and it is another winner. If you’re a fan of this series, then you are in for a treat.

Kim Stone is once again thrust back into a new case, and it really does become a race against time. Never once did the pace slow down as I was reading. You can sense time ticking away, and Kim knows that any wrong move could have disastrous consequences. Kim and her team are investigating the murder of a woman and also the abduction of her son. Stacey, meanwhile, is revisiting an old case, even though a man was convicted for the crimes years earlier. But there is something about what happened that prompts Stacey to think that the man might be innocent.

I thought the two different storylines in this book gelled together really well. Stacey’s determination comes through once again as she fights to get to the real truth. As Kim’s investigation gets going, the killer starts sending her letters. In the letters, they are begging her to catch them, so they don’t kill again. I was never sure as I was reading this part if the killer was just simply playing games. But as investigations deepen and as it becomes a race against time to find the missing boy, they notice certain parallels with other crimes that have taken place over the years. But what is even more perplexing is if the killer wants to be found why don’t they stop what they are doing themselves? What is prompting them to carry out these attacks?

I really liked how the team got into the mind of the killer in this book. Angela Marsons peers into the psychology behind the killings, and it is here where Kim and her team have to tread carefully. They know if they make a mistake in their next approach, it could mean that the killer may escalate their plans. I thought some of the ideas which Angela Marsons explored in this section were really chilling. It may make you look at relationships in your own family a little more closely. It’s here I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give anything away.

Kim and her team certainly aren’t given an easy ride in this book. There is a lot of frustration amongst her team as they try to think of the best way to approach this. Kim again isn’t one to back down and will fight her corner with her superiors. This is a trait that Kim has carried throughout the course of the series, and it is what makes her a brilliant police officer.

Angela Marsons has written another winner here. Stacey is a character who has really become one of my favourites in this series, and she particularly shines in Deadly Cry. As always, I am now waiting with bated breath to see what Angela Marsons comes up with for Kim and her team next. This is top crime fiction!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th November 2020

Print length: 415 pages

Deadly Cry is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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The Girls in the Snow by Stacy Green #bookreview #booksontour @stacygreen26 @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Girls in the Snow by Stacy Green as part of the blog tour today on my blog.

The Girls in the Snow: A completely unputdownable crime thriller (Nikki Hunt Book 1) by [Stacy Green]

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Madison walked through the fallen snow, looking left and right. It had been Kaylee’s idea to use the trail through the forest; she said no one would follow them. But Madison lost sight of Kaylee for a moment and when she found her again she wasn’t alone…

In the remote forests of Stillwater, Minnesota, you can scream for days and no one will hear you. So when the bodies of two fifteen-year-old girls are discovered frozen in the snow, Special Agent Nikki Hunt is sure the killer is local: someone knew where to hide the girls and thought they would never be found.

Though Nikki hasn’t been home in twenty years, she knows she must take over the case. The Sheriff’s department in Stillwater has already made a mistake by connecting the girls’ murders to those of a famous serial killer, refusing to consider the idea that the killer could be someone from town.

Then another girl’s body is found, a red silk ribbon tied in her hair, and Nikki realizes that the killer has a connection to her own dark past, and the reason she left Stillwater.

Nikki is not the only person in town who wants those secrets to stay hidden. Will she be able to face her demons before another child is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

The Girls in the Snow is the first book by Stacy Green which I’ve read, and you can label me a big fan. I hope this is the first book in a long-running series featuring FBI Agent Nikki Hunt; I can’t wait to read more.

The police are already looking for a sadistic serial killer, and when the bodies of two young girls are discovered, the police instantly draw a connection. But Detective Nikki Hunt isn’t sure that the perpetrator is the same. She believes that the killer is local and that it isn’t in the same style as the killer they have been previously hunting for. And this new case they are investigation is about to blow haunting memories of her past wide open.

I thought Nikki was a really intriguing character. The book opens with a chilling flashback scene from her past when her parents were murdered. For years her parent’s murders have been an open and shut case after the killer was identified and sentenced. But new evidence comes to light shining doubt on the prosecution. Is it possible that the wrong man was convicted? Who is the real killer who has let an innocent man go to prison in his stead?

You can see just how much the reopening of old wounds haunts Nikki. She can’t bear the thought of the wrong man being convicted. In a bid to push these thoughts to one side, she throws herself into the current investigation. But as they ramp up efforts to track down the killer, who has so far evaded them, she can’t help but be drawn back to her parent’s murders all the time.

The Girls in the Snow made for an absolutely gripping read. I flew through it, and Stacy Green kept the tension turning up a notch. It was the investigation and Nikki’s personal story that kept me hooked. I really felt for Nikki as she grappled with coming to terms with the fact that the wrong man may have been put in prison for her parent’s murder. You can see that she doesn’t want to believe it, and she is keen to put off looking again at her parent’s case. She doesn’t want to be drawn back into it, but she also knows that it will be inevitable.

I’ll certainly be downloading the next book in this series when it is released. This is definitely recommended for fans of crime and psychological thrillers. This is another crime series which I’m sure will become a favourite of mine.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 19th October 2020

Print length: 347 pages

The Girls in the Snow is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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The Secret Admirer by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on book number six in the DI Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer, The Secret Admirer.

The Secret Admirer: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 6) by [Carol Wyer]

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‘I tried to talk to you today but you snubbed me and walked away. It wasn’t wise to give me the brush-off, Gemma. I can be a truly good friend but I also make the perfect enemy.’

Sasha’s eighteen-year-old daughter Gemma was all she had in the world. Sasha fell pregnant with Gemma when she was still at school, and the two are as close as sisters. So when Gemma’s burned and broken body is found, Sasha’s world ends. What kind of person would want her beautiful daughter dead?

Leading the case is Detective Natalie Ward, scarred by her own recent tragedy. When she finds a note in Gemma’s diary from ‘a secret admirer’, she moves quickly, determined to un-mask them. But interviews with Gemma’s devastated ex-boyfriend, and her charismatic teacher, who has been seen embracing his student far away from the classroom, don’t give Natalie the answers she’d hoped for…

And then the case takes a devastating, personal twist. CCTV footage reveals Natalie’s estranged husband David followed Gemma home every evening the week before she died.

Natalie is forced to put personal feelings aside and follow procedure, even though she can’t believe David could be guilty. But when Gemma’s housemate is found murdered, Natalie thinks the killer could still be at large. Is she right to trust her instincts about David and can she discover the truth before another precious life is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

After reading the last book in Carol Wyer’s DI Natalie Ward series, The Blossom Twins, I had to take a bit of a break before diving into book six. The last book in the series left me reeling, and I didn’t know how things were going to pan out for the characters in the next book, The Secret Admirer. If you haven’t read book five, then book six does contain some major spoilers. This is why I would suggest at least reading book five first if you haven’t read the other books in this series. You can find my review of The Blossom Twins by clicking here.

DI Natalie Ward has a new, complex case to get stuck into. A young girl, Gemma, has died following a horrific attack after acid was thrown in her face. Was this a random attack? Or was she specifically targeted? Over the last few years, I have seen quite a few reports on acid attacks in the news. Some of them, scarily, seem to have just been random attacks. This is what makes it so scary. Natalie and her team aren’t short of a list of suspects to investigate which is what makes this case particularly difficult. Things get even tougher for Natalie, though, when her own husband comes into the frame. The case takes a darker turn when Gemma’s housemates are soon targeted as well.

I really felt for Natalie and her family in this book, but particularly for her ex-husband, Dave. The recent events which have taken place in the series have really taken their toll on him. Natalie throws herself in her work to try and move forward with her life. As the investigation into the young girl’s attack and murder moves forward, Natalie is concerned that all they have is only circumstantial evidence. They don’t have the silver bullet that will help them to nail one of the persons of interest in the frame. This is when things particularly start to heat up, especially when Gemma’s friends soon turn up dead as well.

I raced through this book to get the truth. I was desperate to know who was behind the attacks and why. I had some inclination along the way as to who the culprit was, and my guesses were proven correct, but I still found the ending very dramatic. The confessions that come are devastating, and they really put you in the mind-set of the person behind the killings.

This book will take you on a whirlwind of emotions. Carol certainly knows how to reel her readers in. I’m really trying not to give anything away here, but now I’m even more concerned for Natalie and her family, and how things are going to pan out for them in the next book in the series.

The Secret Admirer is another top read in this series, and I’m really excited to find out what happens next.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 2nd April 2020

Print length: 370 pages

The Secret Admirer is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

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]

BLURB

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