Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek #bookreview blog tour @PaulGlaznost @0neMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek, the second book in the PC Gareth Bell series. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Closer Than Blood: An addictive and gripping crime thriller (Gareth Bell Thriller, Book 2) by [Grzegorzek, Paul]

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The real nightmare begins when the missing person returns…

PC Gareth Bell is about to arrest a cocaine dealer on Brighton Marina, when he makes a shocking discovery that turns his world upside down: the dealer is his long-lost brother, Jake, someone he thought had died years ago.

But their reunion is short lived. For Jake is on the run from a cold-blooded killer, whose network reaches all the way into the police force itself. Now that his brother’s life is on the line, Bell has only two choices. Family, or duty?

MY THOUGHTS

Paul Grzegorzek is a writer who writes with real authenticity. Having spent several years in the police force himself, you know that you are safely in the hands of a writer who knows his stuff.

Closer Than Blood is a real page-turner and a thrill a minute. In the second book in his PC Gareth Bell series, Paul takes us deep into Brighton’s murky underworld and the latest case that Gareth finds himself wrapped up in may pose a critical threat to national security. He knows that this particular case certainly isn’t going to be an easy ride, and there is a real sense of imminent danger.

I recently read the first book in this series, The Follow and there was something about PC Gareth Bell that made both of these books feel so fresh. He is a police officer who doesn’t always abide by the law, sometimes he will disobey orders from his superiors, but he will only do this with good reason to and with getting justice as the ultimate aim. And this is something that I really liked about him. He is never predictable.

The case Gareth is investigating hits far too close to home for his liking. For many years his family suspected that his brother, Jake was dead, but to Gareth’s utter bewilderment he discovers he is alive and in a hell of a lot of trouble. And his brother’s problems are about to land on his doorstep when some seriously nasty people start threatening Gareth and the people he loves. What exactly has his brother got himself involved in? How are any of them going to make it out of this alive?

After reading the opening chapters, I was desperate to know who it was that Gareth’s brother had upset so badly and what he had done to deserve this. I was hooked straight away. When it is revealed that Jake had stolen something from the people who are trying to kill him, I flew through the book to find out what it was.

If you are looking for a crime novel that is pacy and filled with thrills from the get-go, then I would definitely recommend Closer Than Blood. The storyline is gritty and will have you totally invested in the plot and the characters. I can’t recommend this book and this series highly enough.

I can’t wait to read more from Paul Grzegorzek!

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 16th August 2019 (kindle) 31st October 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Closer than Blood, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox #bookreview blog tour @CharlylynnCox @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity

Happy publication day to Charly Cox. Her debut novel, All His Pretty Girls is released today and it’s my pleasure to be sharing my review as part of the blog tour.

All His Pretty Girls: An absolutely gripping detective novel with a jaw-dropping killer twist by [Cox, Charly]

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Detective Alyssa Wyatt is hunting a serial killer.

She doesn’t know that he’s hunting her.

A woman is found naked, badly beaten and barely alive in the New Mexico mountains. The shocking discovery plunges Albuquerque Detective Alyssa Wyatt into a case that will test her to the limit.

It appears that Callie McCormick is the latest plaything of a shadowy psychopath that leaves a long shadow on the streets of New Mexico – an individual linked to a string of deaths but leaving no evidence.

But when Alyssa makes a breakthrough that just might reveal the killer, she unknowingly puts herself in the crosshairs of a brutal maniac – one with an old score to settle.

Because the killer knows Alyssa very well, even if she doesn’t know him. And he’s determined that she’ll know his name – even if he has to extract his deadly revenge on her and everything she loves.

MY THOUGHTS

All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox is such an intense read. A terrifying serial killer is stalking a community. For Detective Alyssa Wyatt the case hits far too close to home. When a kidnapped woman turns up dead, it becomes personal. She feels she has failed this woman and her failure to find her alive eats away at her. It makes her more determined to catch whoever is responsible for the murders that have taken place and make sure they never kill again. But this case will have devastating consequences for Alyssa and her family.

Charly Cox really did make me fear for her characters as I was reading this book. She managed to create such an intense atmosphere in her writing. I was desperately hoping that the victims of the criminal in her novel would find a means of escape. Charly Cox did make these scenes feel very claustrophobic, and I almost couldn’t bear to read on, but I knew I had to.

I really liked Alyssa. I think it did take me some time to warm to her, when I first started reading but she gradually grew on me. She is a character who has suffered in the past as well. Her brother, Timmy, disappeared when they were only children, and she has continuously blamed herself for her brother’s disappearance. He was found dead, but his kidnapper was never identified. I suspect that this part of the plot may feed into later books in the series and I’m hoping that there is going to be another book.

The plot moves along at an extremely fast pace. As the reader, you can sense the clock ticking down as the police work hard to apprehend the killer, and in the final chapters, Charly Cox really does turn the tension up a notch.

The twists that come in this book are hard-hitting, and one blew my mind. You won’t believe what is happening when it finally dawns on you. I thought it was so clever how Charly managed to weave this into her plot, but as I looked back, I could see that there were hints and signs there. It was very cleverly done, and I am still reeling from it as I am writing this review.

If I could sum of All His Pretty Girls in just a few words they would be; intense, dark, haunting and terrifying. If you enjoy crime fiction with a darker edge, then this is a book for you. I can’t wait to see where Charly takes us next.

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication date: 23rd October 2019

If you would like to purchase All His Pretty Girls, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo

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Morecambe & Vice 2019 blog tour @MorecambeVice @william1shaw @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour celebrating the return of the Morecambe & Vice Crime Writing Festival which is taking place between the 28th and 29th September.

As part of the blog tour I’m delighted to be interviewing William Shaw about his new book, Deadland, the second novel in the DS Alexander Cupidi series.

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YOU CAN RUN

The two boys never fitted in. Seventeen, the worst age, nothing to do but smoke weed; at least they have each other. The day they speed off on a moped with a stolen mobile, they’re ready to celebrate their luck at last. Until their victim comes looking for what’s his – and ready to kill for it.

YOU CAN HIDE

On the other side of Kent’s wealth divide, DS Alexandra Cupidi faces the strangest murder investigation of her career. A severed limb, hidden inside a modern sculpture in Margate’s Turner Contemporary. No one takes it seriously – not even the artwork’s owners, celebrity dealers who act like they’re above the law.

YOU CAN DIE

But as Cupidi’s case becomes ever more sinister, as she wrangles with police politics and personal dilemmas, she can’t help worrying about those runaway boys. Seventeen, the same age as her own headstrong daughter. Alone, on the marshes, they’re pawns in someone else’s game. Two worlds are about to collide.

Kent and its social divisions are brilliantly captured in Deadland, a crime thriller that’s as ingeniously unguessable as it is moving and powerful.

Deadland is available to purchase by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo Waterstones

Interview with William Shaw

William Shaw

Hi William, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Firstly can you tell us a little bit about what your latest book is about?

Deadland is about two poor teenage boys in Dartford who nick a phone, little realising that it’s the worst thing they could have possibly have stolen in their life. It’s also about how the rich expect to get what they want, all wrapped up in a deadly chase across Kent.

Your lead character, DS Alexandra Cupidi appeared in your standalone novel, The Birdwatcher. Why did you decide to write a series about her?

By the time I started Salt Lane I had written four books with male leads; what interested me is that of the women in those books who were my secondary characters were a bit tricky. It’s relatively easy to write male characters in detective fiction. They can get away with being drunken, promiscuous and impulsive in a way that women characters can’t. For better or worse, readers judge women characters more harshly. Having written Cupidi as this rather driven, impulsive person, someone who always feels they’re failing as a parent, I thought, what would happen if I made her a lead? Writing her keeps me on my toes. Readers have to like her, but I still want them to be tutting a bit about how she choses to live.

Do you think that Sergeant William South, your lead character in The Birdwatcher, will make any future appearances?

Oh yes. He’s back in Deadland. Changed by what happened to him at the end of The Birdwatcher (no spoilers), but back for good. Zoë still worships the ground he walks on.

You’ve set your latest books in Kent along the coastline. I found the setting very atmospheric when I was reading Salt Lane and The Birdwatcher. Is Kent an area you know particularly well?

I live in Brighton – so that bit of Kent is relatively close (though a pig to drive to). Everybody outside of the South East thinks the whole of the area is built up and wealthy. The idea that there is this socking great windswept bit of marshland, next to a this wild bit of shingle, comes as a shock to some people. It’s a great, beautiful landscape to set stories in. Writers tend to use Google Maps a lot; the great thing about the headland of Dungeness is that the foreshore is all private. No Google Maps cars are allowed there. The only way to get to know the place is to visit it. I’m off there on Thursday as it happens!

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?

I started as a total pantser, but writing at least one book a year, that becomes a bit dangerous. The cover of my next book, Grave’s End, was designed long before I had finished it. So I’ve found it wise to know a bit about where I’m heading. But I still like those strange moments where the plot refuses to go where you intended it to.

How much research do you undertake before you begin writing?

Some. I love research. It’s one of my real pleasures. But I try and avoid doing too much at the start because otherwise the research is in charge of your story and ideally you want that the other way round. I then research as I go to see if what I’ve written is plausible. In Grave’s End I’m writing about badgers. At one point a badger brings up some bones from the ground. After I’d written it I invited a Professor who has studied badgers for years out for lunch and asked him if this could happen. ‘Oh yes. Happens all the time in graveyards,’ he said.

Is there anything you have particularly enjoyed reading recently which has stuck in your mind?

I really liked Mark Hill’s The Bad Place that reminds me that a little touch of humour amongst the grimness is always good; Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs has a real quirkiness to it that I enjoyed a lot. On non-fiction I really loved The Edge of the World; How The North Sea Made Us by Michael Pye which makes any European nationalism sound ridiculous because it shows how much we’ve been sharing, trading and intermingling for millennia.

How excited are you about appearing at Morecambe & Vice?

I can’t believe that this is my third Morecambe & Vice. I genuinely love it there.

And finally is there anything you can tell us at all about what you’re working on next?

I have just finished a book called Grave’s End which involves several badgers. See above. It was a book that slotted together so nicely I’m really proud of it. I’m just embarking on another one that is about trawler men and a supposed drowning. Any title suggestions gratefully received.

 

Thank you William for taking the time to answer my questions and thank you to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

 

ABOUT MORECAMBE & VICE 

In September 2017, Morecambe & Vice made its sparkling debut at the glorious Morecambe Winter Gardens. Described as a weekend ‘full of warmth, wit and wisdom’, authors, speakers and guests from across the globe flocked to the sunny seaside for a weekend filled with criminal shenanigans.

Now, in 2019 we are back for our third year running! This year the North West’s quirkiest crime-writing festival will be bigger and better than ever before! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and Twitter stream, as we start to announce authors and panels.

https://www.morecambecrimefest.co.uk/

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Dead Inside by Noelle Holten #bookreview blog tour @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @0neMoreChapter_

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Noelle Holten’s superb debut crime thriller, Dead Inside. With thanks to Sarah Hardy at Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Dead Inside: A totally gripping and terrifying serial killer thriller (Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller, Book 1) by [Holten, Noelle]

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A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

MY THOUGHTS

When I first heard that Noelle Holten was bringing out her debut crime novel, I was very excited, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Needless to say, it went straight to the top of my TBR pile, and after the chilling and powerful opening, I was hooked. Being an avid crime fiction reader and reviewer herself, I was very interested to see what Noelle would come up with.

Dead Inside is a well-crafted debut; I just know that I’m going to be reading every book that follows on in this series. Noelle draws on her own experience of working as a probation officer, and this adds a ring of authenticity to her book. The fact that one of her main characters is a probation officer really interested me, and it caught my attention. It’s not often that stories are told from their point of view, so it was exciting to read a crime novel from a different viewpoint and to learn about another side of the world of law and order.

This is Lucy Sherwood’s story, a probation officer who is currently handling cases of domestic abuse. Lucy speaks to men daily who abuse their partners, and for her, this begins to hit far too close to home.

Then we have DC Maggie Jamieson who has just been handed the toughest case of her career when the body of a man connected to a case of domestic abuse is discovered. As the book progresses, two more bodies are found. And soon everything draws back to Lucy. But what is really going on?

Dead Inside can be quite a tough read at times; you can see where Noelle’s own personal experience from her line of work has fed into her novel, and the emotion in her writing comes through so strongly, particularly in the first chapter. The emotions of the team working on the cases of the murdered victims come through very well, particularly as none of the victims are likeable, and many of the police officers feel they have got their just deserves. It must be so hard to try and not let your mind be clouded by judgement. When you look at similar cases that have happened in the news, such as when vigilantes take action into their own hands, you hear many people talk about how these people are doing the public a favour.

The pace in this novel never drops, and Noelle kept me on my toes as I tried to work out what was going on and who was behind the murders that were taking place. When everything started to come together towards the end, I thought I could see everything clearly, but Noelle still had one clever twist up her sleeve which threw me, and it was one I didn’t expect.

Noelle sets the scene perfectly for book two in the series, and I for one can’t wait to find out what happens next, and it looks as though there is going to be a tough case to come. If you’re a crime fiction lover, you have to give this a try. Dead Inside wins a very easy five stars from me. Excellent from start to finish.

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 31st May 2019 (kindle) 22nd August 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Dead Inside, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Familiar Strangers by Jackie Walsh #bookreview blog tour @JackieWalsh_ie @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Familiar Strangers by Jackie Walsh. With thanks to Sarah Hardy at Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Familiar Strangers: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist by [Walsh, Jackie]

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‘I took you, Becca. You’re not my daughter.’

Since Becca Wall’s mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, every day Becca loses a little more of the loving, caring mother who would do anything for her only daughter. But when one day Nancy Wall confesses that Becca is not her child, Becca’s world falls apart.

Becca tells herself that the words are just a cruel symptom of Nancy’s illness; after all, she has her birth certificate, and pictures of herself as a newborn along with her Mom, Dad and older brother, Danny. Becca tries to forget, to get on with her life – until the day the police question her about the whereabouts of a missing woman, Katie Collins.

Katie has disappeared without a trace, telling her husband that she is leaving to find Rebecca Wall. But Becca doesn’t know Katie, so it’s a case of mistaken identity – isn’t it? But as Becca discovers why Katie was desperate to find her, the lies that Becca has always believed come crashing down. Soon, it’s clear that someone knows the truth – and that they’ll stop at nothing to keep their secrets…

MY THOUGHTS

As Becca’s mother’s health rapidly declines after suffering from Alzheimer’s, she lets out an extraordinary secret that turns Becca’s world upside down.  She stole Becca from her real family when she was a baby. But is what her mother saying the truth? How can Becca be sure without proof? And when she finds out that a young woman has been trying to make contact with her, does this mean that she has been lied to for her whole life? And when she finds out that this woman has been killed as she has been trying to get in contact with her, she becomes even more determined to find out the truth. Just what have her family been keeping from her, and would they really go as far to murder someone to keep it covered up?

Familiar Strangers is a thriller that will keep you invested in Becca’s story as she tries to find out the truth about her past. There’s a very chilling opening paragraph in which we see a person digging furtively in the dirt until they come across a sinister discovery. But what have they exactly found? I thought the opening was done very well. Jackie Walsh writes really well and I sped through this as I raced to find out just what had happened in Becca’s past and if her mother was telling the truth. It is a very quick read, and there are lots of high moments of tension as Becca herself investigates what has happened and as she becomes a person of interest in an investigation.

Becca’s pain really came through, I could feel how distraught she was as she got closer and closer to the truth. And as she did begin to finally understand what had happened to her as an infant, her own relationship with her mother, the woman who raised her, crumbles and this comes at a pivotal moment for their family. I think this is what made this book so gripping, is that I wanted to follow Becca’s story and learn the truth about what had happened to her. I could totally understand why Becca was feeling the way she did, you can’t imagine what this would do to you if you were put in her situation. This book did have me thinking if I was in Becca’s shoes, would I want to know the whole truth about what had happened to me? Or would I prefer just to continue living my life as though I hadn’t heard anything? And there are some dark secrets which are later revealed. Some parts of this book were heartbreaking to read.

Familiar Strangers has an utterly captivating plot, and I was drawn further and further into the story as it progressed, I was kept guessing all the way through. It’s really well written; Jackie Walsh is a new writer to me who will certainly be on my radar. This book definitely comes recommended from me.

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2019

Print length: 365 pages

If you would like to purchase Familiar Strangers, you can do so by clicking on the following link below. 

Amazon UK

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Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon blog tour #bookreview @knntom @BOTBSPublicity

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Was it suicide … or murder? Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray is driven to discover the truth. Whatever the personal cost.

When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son was, the son Gray has not seen since he went missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’s old church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons and his son’s abduction.

Crippled by loss Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption. But is the killer closer to home than he realised?

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark police suspense thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

Dig Two Graves is the first in the Solomon Gray series. Pick it up now to discover whether Gray finds his son in this thrilling new crime series.

MY THOUGHTS

Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon is an intriguing start to a new crime series featuring Detective Solomon Grey. I found this novel very difficult to put down. I wanted to find out what had happened to Solomon’s son, Tom, ten years on from his disappearance after reading those haunting chapters when we see him disappearing into a haunted house at a fun fair, the last time he is ever seen. There are some quite raw and emotional scenes in this book that Keith Nixon explores well, and you can quite clearly see the loss that Solomon has suffered which comes across very strongly in his character.

The disappearance of Solomon’s son is the main pull in this story, Keith Nixon soon throws in another twist, however, when the body of a sixteen-year-old boy is discovered, the boy is of the age Solomon’s son would be now if still alive. But what is all the more perplexing of this case is when a number in the boy’s mobile matches Solomon’s. Very soon after the discovery of the boy, who may have committed suicide, more deaths begin to occur. Just what exactly is happening? Do the murders that are taking place in the present have anything to do with Solomon’s son’s disappearance? And why do all the people who are dying now have some sort of connection to Solomon?

Solomon Grey is a very well rounded character, and I found him instantly likeable. You can see the grief he has suffered through the loss of his family which is also revealed in flashback scenes when we re-visit his past. He is absolutely determined to find out what happened to his son, even though it appears that everyone else has forgotten about Tom. I was rooting for him to find answers and I really wanted to know myself what had happened.

There is some excellent dialogue in this book which kept the pace of the novel flowing and for me, it was what made this book an addictive read. Keith Nixon keeps up the suspense throughout the novel with surprising new directions. The plot was unpredictable, and its ending has left me desperate to read the next book in the series as soon as I can.

Dig Two Graves is a chilling and at times an emotional read that will keep you turning those pages to find out the answers. An excellent start to a new crime series. Thank you to Sarah Hardy at Books on the Bright Side for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Gladius Press

Publication date: 8th October 2018

Print length: 211 pages

If you would like to purchase Dig Two Graves, you can do so by clicking on the following links below.

Amazon UK Kobo

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