Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview blog tour @Caroline_writes @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell on my blog today. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

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A victim on display. A detective on the rails.

Shopping with her sister, DI Amy Winter is admiring a Valentine’s Day window display of a perfect bride encrusted in diamonds and resplendent in lace—until she notices blood oozing from the mannequin’s mouth.

This is no stunt. A post-mortem reveals the victim was left to die on her macabre throne for all to see. When a second victim is found, it emerges that both women were ‘Sugar Babes’ arranging dates with older men online—and Amy finds herself hunting an accomplished psychopath.

As she tracks down the killer, Amy’s instincts go into overdrive when the charismatic head of the agency behind the display makes no attempt to hide his fascination with her serial-killer parents. What exactly does he want from Amy? With her own world in freefall as her biological mother, Lillian Grimes, appeals her conviction, Amy pushes the boundaries of police procedure when a third ‘Sugar Babe’ disappears…Is she as much at risk as the killer’s victims?

MY THOUGHTS

Left For Dead is another tense thriller in Caroline Mitchell’s DI Amy Winter series. In the opening chapters, by accident, Amy Winter comes across the body of a young woman in a shop’s display window. The macabre discovery sparks an intense police investigation. But what strikes Amy is a significant link between this killing and the killing of a teacher decades earlier. The culprit behind the murder has remained at large ever since. It seems that this is the start of a new killing spree, and the killer is willing to do anything to make sure they goes undetected.

What made this book really intriguing is that we know who the killer is very early on in the novel and if anything, I found this made the story even more tense. We can see how keen they are to make sure that they aren’t discovered as the culprit behind the crimes. What is even more disturbing is the lengths they are willing to go to make this certain. Amy Winter has a hunch who they are, but with a suspect already in custody, she knows it is going to be very difficult to convince her colleagues that they’ve got the wrong person. This means that Amy will have to do a lot of work on her own, and it’ll mean going against the orders and advice of her superiors.

What I liked about this book was Amy’s growing relationship with her boss, although I do wonder as they work closely together whether this will have an impact on their relationship. But I am interested to see where Caroline Mitchell will take this. Another part of the story which feeds into this book is Amy’s relationship with her birth mother, serial killer Lillian Grimes. This is a really tense part of the narrative as you are never sure what hand Lillian is going to play next. Her retrial is fast approaching and Amy is willing to do anything that she possibly can to stop her mother from being released. It appears that Lillian is playing games with her family and all of a sudden it seems possible that she’ll soon be walking free.

As Amy gets closer to catching the killer, Caroline Mitchell continues to raise the tension. You know that Amy is risking her career by doing this, but all that matters to Amy is getting justice for the victims, and making sure that this despicable killer is locked up behind bars.

After reading the final chapters in this book, it’s going to be really interesting to see where Caroline Mitchell takes things next and what this will mean for Amy. I’ve raced through all of the books in this series, and I can’t wait to see what Caroline Mitchell has in store for us next.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 8th July 2020

Print length: 335 pages

Left For Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the second book in the DI Amy Winter series by Caroline Mitchell, The Secret Child today on my blog.

The Secret Child (A DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 2) by [Caroline Mitchell]

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DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years . . .

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?

MY THOUGHTS

Caroline Mitchell’s latest book in the DI Amy Winter series, The Secret Child is an exhilarating read right from the get-go. Caroline Mitchell opens the book with a chilling scene when a man gains access to the room of a young girl. He gains her trust, and she follows him outside. But what are the man’s intentions? It becomes clear that he is a man intent on revenge, but what is it that her family has done? Why has he taken an innocent young girl?

Caroline Mitchell keeps you thinking and guessing right throughout this book. As the investigation into the young girl’s disappearance begins, the suspect is identified, but there’s a problem. The man who claims to be behind the girl’s disappearance is dead, so who is the person who is claiming to be him? Are they really who they say they are?

The writing keeps you utterly gripped to the page. For Amy and her team, the investigation soon turns into a game of cat and mouse when they receive contact from the kidnapper. He is willing to reveal the location of the girl, but he has a string of demands, and he wants a secret that has been kept buried for decades to finally be revealed. This is what made the book really tense. Amy knows that she has to play her cards right; otherwise, it could mean devastation for the young girl and her family.

What follows on from the previous book is Amy’s horrific new reality, after she received contact from her birth mother, who is in prison for a string of murders. Amy’s parents were known as ‘the beasts of Brentwood,’ and it is a scar she has had to carry. She desperately hopes that the secret won’t get out amongst her team; she fears this as she wonders if it will make them view her differently. This is a really fascinating part of Amy’s life, and it is going to be interesting to see how this develops from here.

The secrets that have been kept for decades are horrific. I could see why the suspect wanted to carry out what he was doing. There are some devastating reveals as the book reached its conclusion. After reading the first two books in this series back-to-back, I can’t wait to see what Caroline Mitchell has install for us next. If you’re a crime fiction lover, you need to read these books.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 7th March 2019

Print length: 330 pages

The Secret Child is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only read one book by Caroline Mitchell. I’ve been meaning to get round to her DI Amy Winter series for some time now, and I’m glad that I’ve finally had the time to do so.

Truth and Lies (A DI Amy Winter Thriller Book 1) by [Caroline Mitchell]

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Meet Amy Winter: Detective Inspector, daughter of a serial killer.

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?

MY THOUGHTS

In Truth and Lies, Caroline Mitchell introduces us to DI Amy Winter of Essex Police. Amy is an intriguing character. What went on in her childhood is horrific, and even though she has been given a new identity and a new family, she still struggles to move on. And everything about her past is about to come back and haunt her when her birth mother, serial killer, Lilian Grimes contacts her from prison. Lilian has never revealed the locations of some of the bodies she and Amy’s father buried. Lilian is now willing to divulge that information, but she will only deal with Amy and Lilian will only reveal the location of the bodies on strict terms.

This book did put me in mind of the Moors murders which took place in the 1960s. Caroline Mitchell has created a chilling and an unnerving character in Lillian Grimes. She is a person who doesn’t seem to have any remorse for what she and her husband did all those years ago, in fact, Lilian seems to relish in causing more heartache and suffering for the families left behind. What Lilian appears to want to do now, is cause more torment for Amy. Amy knows that she can’t refuse her mother’s offer as this may be the last chance they get to bring closure for the families. But what is Lilian’s real motive here? Why is it only now that she has decided to reveal the locations of the bodies?

Truth and Lies was a really good introduction to this series. Amy is already going through a difficult time when she receives contact from her mother. She has just recently buried her father, who adopted her. But from the moment Amy receives letters from Lillian, she is desperate for her colleagues not to know who her real family is. You can feel the tension as she goes to meet Lillian, and I wondered how long Amy was going to be able to keep this a secret before someone found out.

The plot is tense and chilling. While Amy and the police seek to bring closure to the families of the victims of Amy’s parents, another young girl goes missing. And there was a brilliant twist following the young girl’s disappearance that I did not see coming.

This is an excellent start to a crime series, and I’m kicking myself that I haven’t got round to reading it sooner. I already have the next book lined up and waiting on my kindle. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Amy’s story.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 30th August 2018

Print length: 344 pages

Truth and Lies is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview @Caroline_writes

I finally got round to reading Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell a few weeks ago, which is also the first book I have read by her. Now I can see what I have been missing out on. Caroline is an excellent writer and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Silent Victim by [Mitchell, Caroline]

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Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.

It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve always had Caroline Mitchell’s books on my radar, but it’s only now that I’ve finally got round to reading one. Silent Victim is a stand-alone psychological thriller, so if you’re new to Caroline’s books as well, this is probably a good place to start. This is a dark, dark, twisty book that held me captivated right from the first page.

Caroline’s opening prologue raises lots of questions about our main character, Emma who makes a startling confession right on page one. The set-up here is absolutely brilliant, and I immediately wanted to get to the bottom of what it was that she had done and it compelled me to read on to find out more. It made for such a gripping opening and from here on in it gets twisty and so much darker. We then learn that Emma and her husband Alex are leaving their country home in Essex for Leeds. Emma can’t wait to see the back of the place, but why? What is it about her home that haunts her so much? What secrets is she keeping?

Caroline weaves a very clever tale here that delivers so many surprising twists, it is definitely just-a-one-more-chapter kind of read, when you are so desperate to find out the answers. It’s so hard to talk about the plot of this book without giving any details away. I think what captivated me the most was finding out more about Emma’s earlier life which Caroline takes us back to as we begin to learn what took place, which then subsequently leads to the events which are happening in the present. There are some bombshell moments throughout the book which kept me thinking about the direction the story was going to take next. Caroline is very good at her twists.

The tension throughout the book is spot on. All the way through, I felt concerned for Emma as she battled with the demons from her past. But I could also never quite make up my mind about her, could I trust her? I was thinking about this more and more when further details about her life were revealed.

I’m now definitely going to be catching up on Caroline’s previous books, and I have a few of them on my kindle library already. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Caroline Mitchell book, and I can’t wait to read more from her.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 1st March 2018

Print length: 325 pages

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

Amazon UK