Death In The Lakes by Graham Smith #bookreview @GrahamSmith1972 @bookouture

death in the lakes

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Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.

The entire police force is on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, Beth knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

MY THOUGHTS

Death In The Lakes is the first book in a new series by Graham Smith and the first to feature DC Beth Young. I haven’t read any previous work by Graham before, and I was very impressed with his latest. This is a great introduction to Beth, she is a detective who still has a lot of room to grow, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about her as the series progresses. If you enjoy a good serial killer thriller, then you should definitely pick it up.

Imagine on your wedding day, you discover a body in the grounds of a hotel where you are hosting your big day. This is what happens to Emily Welton when she discovers the body of Angus Keane in the opening chapters, and DC Beth Young is one of the first police officers on the scene after the gruesome discovery. But what sets this murder apart, and really worries the police, is the lengths the killer has gone to make their victim suffer a torturous death, and it soon becomes clear, that Angus isn’t the first victim of this deranged killer and he won’t be the last to die.

Beth is a character who I got on with straight away. You can see she is ambitious; however she does struggle to get on with some of her colleagues at the start of the book. Her boss, DI O’Dowd is a character who I did take time to warm to, but by the second half, I thought that she and Beth were working really well together and O’Dowd became a much more likeable character.

There are some really gruesome details in this book, where we learn about how the killer chooses to murder their victims and these were quite inventive and made this book stand out amongst recent police procedural books I have read. They made me want to find out more about the killer and why they were choosing this particular method to dispose of their victims.

I certainly have no hesitation in recommending this book as a gripping read to crime fiction fans, and I will definitely be buying the next book in the series. Death In The Lakes is a top police procedural novel, and I can’t wait to find out more about the characters.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 30th November 2018

Print length: 346 pages

If you would like to purchase Death in the Lakes, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below

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The Birthday by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

The Birthday: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 1) by [Wyer, Carol]

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One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

MY THOUGHTS

The Birthday is the start to a gripping new police procedural series from Carol Wyer introducing DI Natalie Ward, and it is such a chilling read. I think every parent is plunged into fear whenever their child runs off, either in a strop, or just simply being mischievous. I did it to my own parents a couple of times when I was small, in a huge shopping centre, and I can still remember, twenty odd years later, the fear I felt when I realised my mum was no longer nearby. And Carol captures this same fear so well in this book.

The book opens in 2015 when we are thrown into a child’s birthday party at a petting zoo, attached to a crafts centre. Ava Sawyer is at the centre here as she simply vanishes after the people responsible for the children take their eyes off her for just a few seconds. Now two years later her remains have been discovered a short distance away, and DI Natalie Ward leads a new team in the hunt for her killer, but as the investigation progresses more children are kidnapped, children who had some connection to Ava. Will Natalie be able to find the killer in time before they strike again?

Carol Wyer has created an absolutely gripping plot in The Birthday. I really felt as though the police were racing against the clock to find the killer in time to stop them from taking another child. This is what made this book such an intense read heightened by the killer’s thoughts which we hear from throughout the book, and we get to see just what a disturbed individual this person is. I really wanted Natalie and her team to catch them in time before they made their next move, and there was always that impending sense of doom that they were one step ahead of the police.

Natalie is a detective who is haunted by her past failures, and you can see that she is determined to find the girls in time and to bring the perpetrator to justice. She is a character who I really cared about, and I wanted her to stop blaming herself as I could see how this was affecting her. But it is what has made her the detective she is today, and she is another fine addition to the crime fiction world. I got the sense that her team all worked really well together and I particularly liked Natalie and Lucy Carmichael’s working relationship; I can’t wait to see how they will both progress in future books.

For me, the pace did drop a little bit in the middle, but it really picked up again in the end as everything started to come together for the detectives. I was rooting for them to get to the answers all the way through.

I will certainly be reading the next book in the series very soon, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for Natalie and her team next. With brilliant, engaging writing and memorable characters, I think this is another series that will become a firm favourite of mine.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length: 304 pages

If you would like to purchase The Birthday you can do so by clicking on the following link below.

Amazon UK

Keep Her Close by Erik Therme blog tour #bookreview @bookouture @ErikTherme

Keep-Her-Close-Kindle

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Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?

Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family.
But her real father has sent her a letter.
And now Ally is missing. 

MY THOUGHTS

This was a rollercoaster of a book. I was pulled into the story straight away when in the opening pages, couple Dan and Holly find a young child abandoned in a car park and the body of a young woman a short distance away lying in a pool of blood. Who was the child? Why had she been left there and who was the woman who had been found dead? Finding out the answers to these questions is what compelled me to read on, and I had so many more questions about the plot and the characters along the way.

Fifteen years later and the young girl, now named Ally, is Dan and Holly’s daughter having been adopted by them in 2000, a short while after she was found. Ally is desperate to know the truth about her past, and she wants to find out who her biological parents were; although, Dan isn’t quite so keen on her searching for this information. As Ally sets out to find out the truth about her former life, she disappears.

As the plot of this book progressed, I did get a real sense that things were only going to get worse for Dan, Holly and Ally and there was an impending sense of danger circling around them. Like Ally, I was interested to find out where she had come from and why she had been left in that car park all those years ago. I kept thinking of the possible reasons why someone may have chosen to do this.

Keep Her Close moves along at a very quick pace, and it heats up as Dan and Holly try and track their daughter down. Erik Therme did a great job of keeping up the tension, and his writing style made it a very easy book to get into, you know when you just think, I’ll just read on for one more chapter, then another, and then another; this is that type of book. And I think here this is all down to the characters and the events they become mixed up in. I think what also made this a gripping read is that I could never be sure what the outcome was going to be for the characters, and I could never really be sure what had happened to Ally, and if whether or not she had chosen to disappear of her own accord. That was one idea that was going around inside my head.

There is a very devious character in this book who kept me on the edge of my seat as I wondered what card they were going to play next. But I’m not going to say much more about that here, but once you read the book, you will know exactly who I mean.

If you’re looking for a quick, suspense filled read, then you should definitely read Keep Her Close. I think it’s also the perfect book to read just when you want to have a break from the mad Christmas festivities, and have a few quiet hours to yourself, with a glass of wine perhaps. Thank you to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read via Netgalley.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 5th December 2018

Print length: 247 pages

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Cover Reveal Dead Memories by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture #KimStone #DeadMemories

Do I have an exciting cover reveal for you this afternoon. This is a series I have long been a fan of and for me the Kim Stone books just keep getting better and better. If you haven’t discovered Angela Marsons Detective Kim Stone series, which began with Silent Scream, then you really don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Today it is my absolute pleasure to be able to share with you the cover for the latest book in the series Dead Memories, but before I reveal the cover let’s take a look at what the book is about.

 

She ruined their lives.  Now they’re going to destroy hers.  

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life.  They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death.  Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator.  The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the death of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known. 

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible.  Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent.  But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?

 

Doesn’t that sound exciting? So of course, you now want to see the cover. Can I have a drum roll please . . .

 

 

 

Dead-Memories-Kindle

So here we are. DI Kim Stone Book Ten!

Wow. I really can’t wait to read this one. Let me know in the comments what you think of the cover.

 

Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons Book Review @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the ninth book in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Fatal Promise, which is released today. Happy publication day, Angela. After the ending of the previous book I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, so I bumped this book right to the top of my reading pile, and it didn’t disappoint.

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Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. 

MY THOUGHTS

After finishing the last book in the Kim Stone series, Dying Truth, many readers, myself included, were really concerned for Kim and the rest of her team, after the devastating events in the finale of the last book. If you are new to the Kim Stone series, I think it will really help to read the previous book before you pick up Fatal Promise. Please be aware that this review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read the last book. Although the mystery at the core of the latest book is separate to events that have preceded, I think you will get a better understanding of the characters and the predicament they are now in if you read Dying Truth first.

This is a novel with a strong emotional core. Angela Marsons really delves into the psychology of her characters in her books. Kim is a character we have grown to understand across the series, but Angela is now starting to explore other characters who she is now bringing to the front. Stacey is one character in particular who we have seen develop more recently. But also we are still finding out more about Kim which is what makes her such a fascinating character. Understanding the minds of her characters is something Angela really succeeds at. Every time I finish her latest book, even months later, I am always wondering what they are doing now and how they are getting on in their lives. I think this is what has made this series really successful.

In Fatal Promise, Kim and her team are investigating the horrendous death of Dr Cordell, a slippery character from the last book who really got under Kim’s skin. It appears to Kim that events which took place previously might be about to escalate again and this puts the team on edge. The opening chapter of this book really sparks the intrigue, and it got me thinking. With each twist and turn this book delivered I kept thinking back to the opening and wondering what it all meant. Angela always does a great job at keeping up the suspense. And those final chapters had my heart racing.

I think what came as most surprising in this book was the slight change in Kim’s personality. She is showing a different side to the person who we have got to know over the series, and for me, it did give this book a darker tone. She has become a lot spikier. Usually, I can rely on Kim and her colleague Bryant to add some light hearted moments, but this wasn’t there very often this time. But I can see why perhaps this is the case in this book, and I am hoping that the team will soon reach a new element of normality.

I always say that this is a series that keeps going from strength to strength and for me it is still going strong. I think we still have a lot to learn about Kim and the rest of the team and I can’t wait to see where Angela will take them from here. Fatal Promise like the rest of the books in the series is a stonking good read. Five stars from me.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 19th October 2018

Print length: 409 pages

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Death on the River by Clare Chase blog tour @ClareChase_ @bookouture

Death-on-the-River-Kindle

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Meet Tara Thorpe – she’s Cambridge Police’s newest recruit… but her dark past is never far behind her. Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross and Joy Ellis.

When a body is pulled from the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s secret past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…

When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?

An unputdownable page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page!

MY THOUGHTS

We first met Tara Thorpe when she was working as a journalist for Not Now magazine in Cambridge, which she left to pursue a career in the police force, after she decided a change of career was probably for the best. Now, four years later, she is back as a police constable in the second book in this series by Clare Chase, Death on the River. Tara brings something fresh to the police investigation team, as a former journalist, she looks at a case with different eyes, and when she sees a human interest story, she will follow it until she has worked out the truth.

Tara is door stopped one morning by a woman who believes Tara may be able to help her solve the mystery of her brother’s death. The woman’s brother was killed when his car veered off the road and into water and he subsequently drowned. The man who has died, writer Ralph Cairncross, was known to regularly drink and drive, so it does seem far-fetched that there is a more sinister reason behind his death. Tara agrees to help the woman, and as she begins to investigate, she uncovers some disturbing details that may have been overlooked in the original investigation, and Tara comes up with a new theory. And soon more bodies, young people who were connected to this man, turn up, blowing the case wide open.

Death on the River is told primarily from Tara’s point of view. Tara is a character who is really starting to intrigue me; I found her voice really engaging when I was reading and I can’t wait to see how her career in the police force will grow. It was interesting to see her transition from an investigative journalist to a police officer.  Combining the murky, atmospheric settings of the marshland near Tara’s home in Cambridge, and Clare’s intriguing characters is what makes this book a winner for me. One series both books has put me in mind of, is the Dr Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths, if you enjoy the Ruth Galloway books, then you should definitely give these books a go. Clare Chase’s writing quickly drew me into the story, in both of her books; she has managed to write a really chilling prologue which made me want to read on straight away. Her books are very hard to put down.

DI Blake also returns and I was interested to see how his friendship with Tara would develop now that they are working together. There is definitely a sense that he still has feelings for her so I will be intrigued to see if Clare chooses to develop this in future books and what this will mean for their working relationship. There are some surprising twists and turns for some of the characters, and I finished this book keen to learn more about them, and what Clare has in store for them next.

If you are looking for a crime series with an enticing atmosphere, and a story that will keep you intrigued, I would definitely recommend these books. Thank you to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read via Netgalley.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 17th October 2018

Print length: 367 pages

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Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney blog tour @trisha460 @bookouture

Tell-Nobody-Kindle

Source: Netgalley

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The boy’s body was so white it was almost transparent. But that’s not what caused the nausea to rise up her throat. He was so young. His body was unmarked, surrounded by a halo of plucked wildflowers.

One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way home from playing with friends. Two days later, his body is discovered on a bed of wildflowers by some local teenagers.

The case is assigned to Detective Lottie Parker and this time it’s personal. The victim was a close friend of her son, Sean, from the run-down Munbally estate on the other side of town. Sean tells his mother Mikey was behaving normally before he died, but Lottie can’t help but feel that her son is keeping something from her…

Then days later, another boy is found dead, surrounded by wild flowers next to beautiful Ladystown Lake.

On the hunt for a twisted individual with a terrifying calling card, Lottie must uncover the web of secrets within Mikey’s circle of friends. Someone is hiding something but who are they protecting and can Lottie find out before it’s too late? Lottie is desperate to catch the killer before he strikes again because this time her own child could be in terrible danger…

MY THOUGHTS

Patricia Gibney’s Detective Lottie Parker series is one of my favourites, so I was so excited to read the latest book in this series which is going from strength to strength. This book is also perhaps the most gripping, and perhaps the darkest, of all her novels.

In Tell Nobody the town of Ragmullin is gripped by fear once again, as a killer is loose on the streets, leaving very few clues for the police to follow, and the police know that they are running out of time before the killer will strike again. The cases are very harrowing in this book. And once more the case that Lottie is investigating drifts a little too close to home for her liking, as her son Sean is involved and becomes a key witness to the crimes that have taken place.

There are several intriguing strands to this novel. At the start, a young woman presents herself at the police station and makes a startling declaration that she killed someone, before collapsing. But who did she kill? A short while later a baby’s body, the baby just a few hours old, is discovered in a pond a short distance away.

The opening chapter immediately got me thinking as I wanted to know who it was the young woman had killed and if her statement has anything to do with the discovery that is later made. But events soon take an even more disturbing turn when the body of a young boy, left in plain sight for someone to easily discover, is found, and Lottie and her team soon fear that they are looking at the work of a potential serial killer. Lottie is under a lot of pressure from her boss in this book to get answers quickly.

There is certainly an edgier feel to the plot of this book, and there is a more ominous tone. Even Lottie and her team don’t appear to be getting on as well as they have in previous books. Boyd is very sharp and to the point, and Lynch begins to accuse Lottie of having an affair with her husband. This creates a very frosty atmosphere at the station, it did leave me wondering if they were going to solve the murders as they weren’t working as well as they previously have together.

Even though this is the fifth book in this series, Lottie is still a fascinating character who continues to intrigue me. We’re always learning more about her troubled past which we have only recently begun to see the full picture of.  Patricia is always throwing obstacles in her path which threaten to unbalance her life even further. She is still under a lot of stress in her home life as well as at work; Patricia really doesn’t make things easy for her.

Tell Nobody is another fantastic addition to this series. It is in my opinion, Patricia Gibney’s best book to date. The final chapters of this book really do ratchet up the tension making for a brilliant and captivating finale. You will not be able to put this book down! If you’re not yet following this series, you really need to be.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 3rd October 2018

Print length: 458 pages

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The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney Book Review @trisha460 @bookouture

The Lost Child: A gripping detective thriller with a heart-stopping twist (Detective Lottie Parker Book 3) by [Gibney, Patricia]

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‘Let me out! Please…’ My tiny fists pound the door, but my voice reverberates off the stone walls and hangs in the air as if suspended by spider’s webs. No one comes…

Years later, a woman is found face-down in a pool of blood. Detective Lottie Parker is called to the remote farmhouse in the bleak Irish countryside. Inside, she finds a scene that speaks of uncontrollable rage: glasses smashed, chairs ripped apart, the woman’s body broken.

A black rain jacket makes Lottie think she knows the killer’s identity, but then she finds a disturbing clue: is the murder linked to an old case at St Declan’s asylum? A case investigated by her own father, just before he took his life.

When another victim is left without her tongue on the hospital steps, and a young girl goes missing, Lottie knows she has to act fast. Can she face her own demons and uncover the truth before another life is taken?

MY THOUGHTS

Wow, that bombshell that Patricia Gibney dropped at the end of this book. I just thought I would put that at the start of my review as I am still trying to come to terms with what I have just read. It has made me download the next book in the series straight away.

I really am kicking myself that I have fallen behind on this rather excellent crime series by Patricia Gibney. With the fifth book being published next month I thought it was high time that I caught up. It’s been great catching up with Detective Lottie Parker and her work partner Detective Mark Boyd again and seeing where they all are with their lives. Lottie is a character who has steadily grown on me; she is a character who has faced terrible times recently; still struggling to get over the death of her husband who died several years earlier, Lottie is turning once again to alcohol to solve her problems. You can see the tremendous effect that her misfortunes have had on her, and in this book, you can see that she is not quite on the other side. But she has also got her hands full at home with her new grandson taking up most of her time.

In The Lost Child, the discovery of the body of an elderly woman in her daughter’s home marks the start of a twisty investigation that opens up many different avenues for Lottie and her team to get to grips with. What at first appears to be a domestic incident to the police quickly escalates into a series of events, which includes the burning of a cottage; the disappearance of a young girl, and a possible connection to a drugs ring. I was hooked on this story. I wanted to see just how the different strands were going to come together and it was done in a very clever way.

We also have the narrative of a child from the 70s and 80s running through the story, which is how the novel opens. This was what initially gripped me as I wanted to know who this child was and who the person was who was keeping them captive, how would this feed into the events that were taking place in the present day? You immediately get that claustrophobic feeling as you are reading Patricia’s words which sets the tone of the story. The way how this part of the story unfolds at the end of the book is shocking.

What Patricia Gibney does so well in the book is that she weaves a well thought out backstory linking the crimes that are taking place which Lottie is investigating. There is a historical element to her latest book as well; this is another point that makes this book really intriguing; there is always more for Lottie to uncover. The story is very well plotted, and I really liked how everything came together as Lottie and her team finally got to the truth as to why these crimes were happening to the family involved.

What I also liked about this book was Lottie’s relationship with Detective Boyd. There has always been a spark between them and in this book you can see it beginning to grow. Patricia has left me wondering if anything more will come of it. They work really well together; I’m hoping that there could be a future for them.

There are some very harrowing scenes in this book and some gruesome moments which will make your skin crawl, but The Lost Child is an absolutely riveting read that will keep you intrigued. If you’re looking for a crime thriller that is steeped in family secrets and that has an impressive twist, I think you will really enjoy this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th October 2017

Print length: 448 pages

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Murder on the Marshes by Clare Chase Book Review @ClareChase_ @bookouture

Murder on the Marshes: An absolutely gripping English murder mystery (A Tara Thorpe Mystery Book 1) by [Chase, Clare]

Source: Netgalley

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As the sun rises, a wealthy young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat.

It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving death threats… rather like the one that landed on Tara’s doorstep the night the woman died.

Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara tracks the killer to the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past – and it could make all the difference to whether they live… or die.

An absolutely gripping page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page. Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross and Joy Ellis. The first in a series of unputdownable Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake.

MY THOUGHTS

Murder on the Marshes is an exciting introduction to a new crime series by Clare Chase, set in historic Cambridge. The marshland setting adds a perfectly eerie atmosphere to this book, especially when our lead character, Tara Thorpe, who lives there (in a rather isolated house), is targeted by a killer. I think this is definitely a new series which I will be following. If you enjoy crime novels with a cosy edge, then I would definitely recommend this one.

What I found worked well with this book was that Clare used Tara’s skills as a journalist to help the police in their investigations. Tara has a unique position over the police; the public may feel more comfortable telling Tara information than if they were approached by DI Blake and his team and Blake uses this to the investigations advantage.

The body of Samantha Seabrook is found in the opening pages of this book, Samantha is a wealthy young woman who leaves an impression on everyone she meets, but not everyone may have been overly enamoured with her. But she also appears to be a very caring person as she is particularly interested in helping those who are less fortunate than her. Tara has been receiving threatening messages which the police believe may have been sent by the person who killed Samantha.

Clare kept me asking questions about Samantha and about what might’ve happened in her history that could be the reason as to why she was killed. Her work colleagues at the university are interesting individuals and I did feel that I couldn’t trust any of them as the investigation moved forward. None of them are particularly likeable but this for me is what made them really interesting.

Clare managed to keep me in the dark as to who the murderer was. I thought the prologue was absolutely brilliant and it ticked all the boxes in what I want from a good opening. It had me questioning what was happening and wondering how the story was going to come back to this scene in the end. The pace does drop a little in the middle, but Clare still kept up the intrigue, and I was especially interested in Tara and Samantha’s earlier life which could be the key to the case.

This is the first piece of work that I have read by Clare, and I am looking forward to seeing where she takes the series next. I think there is definitely room for some exciting character development between Tara and DI Blake. Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 31st July 2018

Print length: 346 pages

Murder on the Marshes is available to buy by clicking the link below. Happy Reading!

AMAZON UK 

The Secret by K.L. Slater blog tour @KimLSlater @bookouture

The-Secret-Kindle

Source: Netgalley

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You think you can trust the ones you love most. 

But what if one secret could make you question everything?

Every day, a woman like Louise passes you in the street: elegant, confident, determined. But underneath, she’s struggling.

She doesn’t know her sister, Alice, has been scared of leaving the house since their mother died.
She doesn’t know when Alice babysits her little boy, Archie, he sometimes sees things he shouldn’t.
She doesn’t know Archie has a secret.

A secret that could send cracks through the heart of Louise’s carefully constructed life…

The most gripping psychological thriller you’ll read this year from the Kindle top five bestselling author K.L. Slater. If you love The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl, you’ll be absolutely hooked.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

K. L. Slater FullSizeRender

Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers ‘Safe With Me,’ ‘Blink,’ ‘Liar,’ ‘The Mistake’ and ‘The Visitor.’ Her latest thriller, ‘The Secret’ will be published by Bookouture on 27th July 2018 and is now available for pre-order.

Kim’s titles are soon to be published in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer, has one grown-up daughter, Francesca, and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

MY THOUGHTS

The Secret is an absolutely gripping psychological thriller from K.L. Slater. I haven’t read a K.L. Slater novel since I read Blink early last year and now I’m thumping myself on the head with regret that I haven’t caught up on her work since. She is a writer who knows how to hook her readers really early on and you won’t stop turning the pages until the end.

Louise and Alice were two captivating characters. Louise is a businesswoman; she has a young son, a husband and a high flying career. Her sister, Alice however lives on her own; it has been a long time since she has had a relationship and she doesn’t have any friends, she spends a lot of her time staying on her own in her flat. They are both very different to each other but it is clear from the beginning that there is something in their past that is haunting them and tensions between the two soon begin to spill over. We also know that Louise’s son, Archie is harbouring a big secret and this fuels the suspense as the plot develops.

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as I was reading this book. I was very interested in the lives of both of the characters and what it was in their past that had gone wrong. One of the most enjoyable parts of the novel I found was seeing the relationship grow between Archie and Alice. Louise begins to leave him with her sister in the mornings and in the evenings due to her work commitments. Instantly I was struck by her attitude towards her son and placing her job above her family. I immediately disliked her and this for me didn’t change. The more Archie is left with Alice, the more you begin to see the effects their relationship has had on them as they have grown up. It is in these moments, between Archie and Alice, that really gets Alice thinking about her sister and what is going on in her life.

The story also flicks back to when the two girls were growing up. K.L. Slater gradually unpicks their relationship as the story moves forward and I did find that I began to see a different picture than the one which I thought was the case. The revelations that come towards the end are surprising, especially when we finally learn the truth from Archie about what he has been hiding since the beginning.

There is some strong character development in this book, especially in Alice and Louise, I thought the way in which K.L. Slater explored their relationship was done really well and it kept me intrigued. If you enjoy twisty, character-driven psychological thrillers, then I highly recommend The Secret, you won’t be able to put it down until you have finished. Thank you to Kim Nash at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th July 2018

Print length: 331 pages

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The Secret - Blog Tour