The Bad Place by M.K. Hill #bookreview @markhillwriter @HoZ_Books

Happy publication day to Mark Hill. His latest book The Bad Place is the start of a brand new crime series featuring DI Sasha Dawson and it is published today.

The Bad Place (A Sasha Dawson Thriller Book 1) by [Hill, M.K.]

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The newspapers called it The Bad Place. A remote farm out on the Thames estuary, where six children were held captive for two weeks. Five of them got out alive.

That was twenty years ago. Now adults, they meet up annually to hold a candlelit vigil for their friend who died. The only rule is that no-one can talk about what happened the night they escaped. But at this year’s event, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. A young girl, Sammi, is bundled into a van in front of their eyes.

Is history repeating itself? Is one of them responsible? Or is someone sending them a twisted message?

DI Sasha Dawson, of Essex Police, is certain that the key to finding Sammi lies in finding out the truth about The Bad Place. But she also knows that with every second she spends trying to unlock the past, the clock ticks down for the missing girl…

MY THOUGHTS

The Bad Place is an excellent start to a new crime series by M.K. Hill, which I enjoyed reading very much indeed. We witness the kidnapping of six children when their kidnapper hijacks the minibus they are travelling in. He takes them to a remote location which becomes infamously known as The Bad Place to the press. But just what happened there has remained shrouded in mystery, with many people believing that the people directly involved in the kidnapping have not told the full truth. And why did only five of the children escape?

The Bad Place is a thriller where nothing is at it seems. Many years after the terrifying kidnapping took place, the children who were involved, now adults, still meet up and raise a toast to the friend they lost that night. It’s their own way of remembering her, even though some of them no longer see eye to eye. During one evening, when they are hosting a planned get-together, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. It terrifies her into thinking that their kidnapper has returned, but how could it be him when he was killed on the night they were rescued? We are then introduced to DI Sasha Dawson, who was a constable in the police force when the five children were found.

I really liked Sasha. She is determined to put the victims of the crimes first at the forefront of her mind. But her dedication to her work does garner some criticism from her mother. Sasha’s mother fears Sasha is letting her family slip by the wayside and this begins to cause a lot of frictions. Sasha’s mother is quick to let her feelings be known, which does cause some tension between them. Sasha’s home and work life are weaved together very well, and there was a very good balance between the two.

As I was reading this book, I kept thinking that there must be some truth in the speculation that something very dark had yet to be uncovered. After the young girl is kidnapped in the present day I had suspicions about a few people who I thought could be involved. There were quite a few red herrings planted which were skilfully weaved into the story and I didn’t predict the final outcome.

The book had such a chilling opening, and I was hooked right away. I flicked through the pages as fast as I could to find out how everything was going to come together at the end. When the final revelations were revealed, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The Bad Place is a brilliant introduction to DI Sasha Dawson, and I am definitely keen to read more books featuring her. You’ll be racking your brains right the way through trying to work out just what is going on here and when the final truth hits, it will be shocking.  Very, very good.

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length: 368 pages

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

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Dead Memories by Angela Marsons #bookreview @WriteAngie @bookouture

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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?

MY THOUGHTS

I can’t believe I’ve fallen behind on one of my favourite crime series. I finally got round to reading the tenth novel in the Kim Stone series, Dead Memories a short while ago and I have to say, I think this is one of Angela Marsons best books in this series to date. It is also, perhaps, her darkest book and once again, Kim certainly isn’t given an easy ride. This case will definitely be one of the most chilling investigations of her career.

Opening the novel with the discovery of two bodies, chained to a radiator in the very same apartment block Kim grew up in, this case is eerily similar to a traumatic event in her childhood. Kim is sure it is coincidence only and is determined to see the case through without having to revisit her past. But as more information is revealed and more crimes take place, it appears that someone is desperate to make Kim pay. But who could hate her so much to want to go to such extreme lengths to punish her? And it’s fair to say that Kim has ruffled a few feathers in recent years, so she certainly isn’t short of enemies.

After the last few books in this series, Kim and her team have certainly experienced a lot of pain and change. Angela Marsons takes the emotional level up another notch in this book. I could see why Kim wanted to keep her past a secret from the rest of her team, and I could understand why she didn’t want to draw on the similarities early on in the book. The tension is there right from the start. I wanted to know who was so desperate to recreate these events from Kim’s childhood and why they were so keen to do this. As the investigation continues, it becomes clear to the team that only Kim knows where the killer may strike next. It did make me wonder how Kim was going to cope with this as these past experiences in her life were extremely traumatic and still have an effect on her.

The people Kim speaks to concerning the crimes that are taking place, really made my skin crawl. You can see the level of hatred they have for Kim, and it is quite scary. With Kim visiting these people, in an attempt to get to the bottom of the crimes that were taking place, it did make me connect with Kim even more, and her plight to see justice prevail.

As it becomes clearer to Kim and the team who is behind the killings, Angela Marsons turns the level of tension up a further notch. I couldn’t stop turning the pages as I couldn’t wait to see how everything would come together. There were even some points where I couldn’t bear to read on, as I could understand what the consequences for Kim and her team were going to be if they didn’t catch the individual responsible in time. The ending of the book did make for a nail-biting finale.

If you are new to this series, I think it would be better for you to go back and start from the beginning with Silent Scream. Especially as this book looks back at the previous cases, Kim and her team have worked on. There is certainly a lot that happens in the last three books, which has had a great effect on Kim and her team, which you will be missing out on.

I think I say that this is the best book, every time I read a new novel in this series. But it is true that Angela Marsons certainly remains on top form with her plots and especially her characters. Her books are always totally gripping. I already have the next book ready and waiting on my kindle, and I can’t wait to get to it.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 22nd February 2019

Print length: 400 pages

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

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The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid #bookreview

Val McDermid has been on my must-read author list for a while and I was excited to finally start the first book in her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, The Mermaids Singing. With the latest book in this series being released soon, I thought it was high time I caught up.

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You always remember the first time. Isn’t that what they say about sex? How much more true it is of murder…

Up till now, the only serial killers Tony Hill had encountered were safely behind bars. This one’s different – this one’s on the loose.

Four men have been found mutilated and tortured. As fear grips the city, the police turn to clinical psychologist Tony Hill for a profile of the killer. But soon Tony becomes the unsuspecting target in a battle of wits and wills where he has to use every ounce of his professional nerve to survive.

A tense, beautifully written psychological thriller, The Mermaids Singing explores the tormented mind of a serial killer unlike any the world of fiction has ever seen.

MY THOUGHTS

Val McDermid is an author I’ve long wanted to try, and I finally got round to reading the first book in her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series a couple of weeks ago, well I listened to the audiobook. The Mermaids Singing is a gritty police procedural with some very graphic scenes, so perhaps this isn’t for you if you’re a little squeamish. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first book in this series. Although I found it predictable and I guessed who the killer was very early on I found Val’s writing very gripping.

The killer in this book is absolutely terrifying. You do get the sense that they will go to any means possible to achieve their satisfaction. They’re determined to be recognised for their crimes. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan recognise this, which makes them even more determined to catch them before the killer kills again. As I mentioned, I did have my suspicions early on as to who the killer was, which proved to be correct, but I was excited to see if I was right and what the final outcome was going to be.

I really liked the developing relationship between Tony and Carol, and I am interested to see how Val will continue this when I get round to reading the rest of the books in this series. Tony is a fascinating character. I struggled to understand him at first but by the end of the book I really connected with his character and I was rooting for him, especially in the final scenes as the book drew towards its conclusion.

The first book in this series is set in the 90s in Bradfield and what is highlighted is how old fashioned some police officers thinking methods were. This was where I wanted Tony Hill to succeed as I felt that they really needed to be shaken up. There was one police officer who I particularly detested as he seemed to want to brush the crimes that were taking place under the carpet. I really hated his way of thinking. You will know who I mean if you have, or when you read the book.

This is the first book I have read by Val, and it certainly will not be my last. If you like your crime fiction dark and with plenty of suspense, then I would definitely recommend it.  I’m looking forward to reading more from this series.

Publisher: Harper

Publication date: 5th November 2015

Print length: 464 pages

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

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Dead Inside by Noelle Holten #bookreview @nholten40 @KillerReads

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Noelle Holten’s Dead Inside which is published this week. This is a book I was hugely excited about reading and it didn’t disappoint.

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

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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: Killer Reads

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

Print length: 293 pages

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

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The Whisper Man by Alex North #bookreview

The Whisper Man was one of my top anticipated reads of 2019 and it certainly lived up to my expectations. For crime fiction loves this is one not to be missed.

The Whisper Man by [North, Alex]

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If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window…

MY THOUGHTS

I remember first hearing about The Whisper Man a little over a year ago, and I was desperate to get my hands on a copy. Although I was slightly worried as it had received a lot of early praise if it would live up to my expectation, and I’m relieved to tell you that it certainly did. This is one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year. Alex North’s writing is totally immersive and the line “if you leave the door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken,” chilled me. This is a very well thought out book with a chilling and creepy atmosphere, and it was done really well.

Tom and his son Jake move to the quiet town of Featherbank following the death of Tom’s wife. They’re hoping for a fresh start, but soon strange things start to happen, especially with Jake who begins talking to imaginary friends which Tom, as you can imagine, has a lot of concerns about. A couple of decades ago a serial killer abducted and killed several children, one remains missing. In the present day, another child has disappeared, and soon the killer has their eyes set on Jake. But there are some scary similarities to the crimes that took place several decades before. But the man responsible for those crimes is in prison. Who is carrying out these crimes now?

This is a novel with a huge amount of heart. Tom confesses in the opening lines how he has struggled to bond with his son, but you can really see their relationship develop throughout the course of this book and this makes the final scenes so tense and gripping. I couldn’t be sure where we were going to end up at the end, and there were some times when I almost couldn’t bear to find out as I didn’t want anything bad to happen to the characters. A book is only gripping, I find if you care a lot about the characters and this is what Alex North has achieved with this book.

There is real depth to Alex North’s writing, I really engaged with Tom and his son as they tried to make a new start. You can see just how difficult this is for them and there are some scenes that I’m sure will pull at the heartstrings of many readers. Right from the start of the novel I just got the feeling that something terrible was going to happen and this darkness ran right from the beginning to the heart pounding conclusion.

The Whisper Man is a top crime novel, one I’m certain will hit the bestseller lists. Alex North is a writer who I’m sure will jump straight to the top of my TBR pile whenever he has a new book out. Brilliant and captivating. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 13th June 2019

Print length: 386 pages

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

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Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse #bookreivew @LWhitehouse5 @4thEstateBooks

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Detective Inspector Robin Lyons is going home.

Dismissed for misconduct from the Met’s Homicide Command after refusing to follow orders, unable to pay her bills (or hold down a relationship), she has no choice but to take her teenage daughter Lennie and move back in with her parents in the city she thought she’d escaped forever at 18.

In Birmingham, sharing a bunkbed with Lennie and navigating the stormy relationship with her mother, Robin works as a benefit-fraud investigator – to the delight of those wanting to see her cut down to size.

Only Corinna, her best friend of 20 years seems happy to have Robin back. But when Corinna’s family is engulfed by violence and her missing husband becomes a murder suspect, Robin can’t bear to stand idly by as the police investigate. Can she trust them to find the truth of what happened? And why does it bother her so much that the officer in charge is her ex-boyfriend – the love of her teenage life?

As Robin launches her own unofficial investigation and realises there may be a link to the disappearance of a young woman, she starts to wonder how well we can really know the people we love – and how far any of us will go to protect our own.

MY THOUGHTS

Critical Incidents is a strong start to a new crime series by Lucie Whitehouse featuring former detective inspector Robin Lyons, whose backstory really pulled me into this story. I absolutely loved Lucie’s writing which was very immersive, if you enjoy crime fiction with a literary edge, then this is a book for you.

As I mentioned at the start, I was really intrigued by Robin’s backstory. She has recently been dismissed from the Metropolitan police in for misconduct and is back in her hometown and living with her parents, along with her teenage daughter. Robin has taken on a job at a private detective agency, a business owned by a family friend. And things aren’t set to get any better for Robin when one of her closest friends is killed in a house fire which the police believe was an act of foul play. Desperate for answers Robin tries to get to the bottom of what happened and in doing so uncovers some uncomfortable truths about the family who she thought she knew inside and out. It appears that everyone has secrets.

Lucie’s writing really makes this book a page-turner. Although I wouldn’t describe the book as fast paced, I became engaged very quickly. I wanted to find out who was responsible for the house fire and what the reasons behind starting the blaze were and the reasons behind this were shocking. Lucie creates a very complex investigation that also draws close to Robin’s own case she is working on, that of a young woman who has gone missing in the local area. What makes this novel so interesting is that because Robin is no longer working in the police, she can sometimes draw more information out of suspects and witnesses than perhaps the police can as they may feel more comfortable talking to her.

Robin’s emotions come through very strongly as she tries to understand what has happened to her friend and things certainly don’t get any easier for her as the story progresses. There was one point where I was thinking, just how on earth was she going to get out of this okay.

This is the first book I have read by Lucie Whitehouse, and it definitely won’t be my last. Critical Incidents is an engaging and a totally immersive read. It comes highly recommended from me.

Publisher: Fourth Estate

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 400 pages

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

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Dark Sky Island by Lara Dearman #bookreview @laradearman @TrapezeBooks

Happy Publication day to Lara Dearman, who’s latest novel, Dark Sky Island is released today.

Dark Sky Island: A chilling mystery set on the Channel Islands (Jennifer Dorey) by [Dearman, Lara]

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DCI Michael Gilbert is called out to Sark – the world’s first dark sky island – after bones are found on Derrible Bay. He is followed by journalist Jennifer Dorey, driven by a secret in her own past. The remains are decades old, but after a body is discovered Jennifer and Michael fear there may be a killer on the island. Together they follow a dark trail of bad blood and a conspiracy of silence.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. No one is what they seem. And the murderer could strike again at any time… 

MY THOUGHTS

It’s been brilliant to catch up with journalist Jennifer Dorey and DCI Michael Gilbert again in the latest book from Lara Dearman, Dark Sky Island. I’ve enjoyed both books in this series, and I’m really hoping that Lara is going to write more novels featuring the characters, it will be interesting to see where she takes them next after the events which took place in the finale.

There is a real emotional core to the plot which touches Jenny and really sparks her intrigue. Two years ago her father disappeared on the Island of Sark, which is located a short distance away from Guernsey and has a handful of residents. With the discovery of human remains on the Island, Jenny heads there in the hope of finding out what has happened to her father. But while the police investigate how these remains came to be there, which could potentially have been lying undiscovered for decades, another man is murdered and dark secrets about what has been happening on the island come to light.

I really like the chemistry that there is between Jennifer and Michael, although you think it’s a relationship that couldn’t work there is definitely a spark between them and this comes across well in Lara’s writing. There’s an exciting mystery to follow here with the discovery of the bones in the cave on the island and the murder of a man. At the heart of all of this, there is a group of people on the island who appear to be harbouring many secrets, including a mystery figure, a multi-millionaire who bought a smaller island and built a colossal mansion which includes its own pub and needless to say there are many rumours flying around about him.

There is a strong sense of place in Lara’s writing, particularly as she describes the island which gives the place a chilling and mysterious feeling. There is a real sense here that they are cut off from the mainland and that anything could happen. I felt I could never make my mind up about any of the residents, and I was kept gripped as I tried to work out which of them had been involved in the crimes which had been uncovered. Lara certainly doesn’t make it easy for the reader to work out what it is that has gone on, and I was fascinated by how everything was unravelled towards the end which was done in a really clever way.

Again Lara touches on the myth and legends that many people talk about in Guernsey and Sark, which I remember being absolutely fascinated by in her last book and they really help in bringing the location and the people to life.

This is another exciting read from Lara Dearman. If you love atmospheric crime fiction, then you should definitely pick this book up and the first book as well which is just as brilliant.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 336 pages

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

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The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins #bookreview @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan

I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Fiona Cummins brilliant new crime novel The Neighbour on my blog today.

The Neighbour by [Cummins, Fiona]

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FOR SALEA lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . .

And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune.

The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this one. Having been a fan of Fiona Cummins’ first two novels, I was more than intrigued to see what she would write next, and the answer is The Neighbour which is a crime novel of pure brilliance. Fiona’s writing makes her books exactly the type of read you could race through in one sitting. Genuinely chilling and with short, snappy chapters that will have you itching to read the next, this is top-rate crime fiction.

Fiona develops her characters so, so well. We have the Lockwood’s who have just moved into The Avenue and the creepy neighbours who will have you examining and thinking about each and every one of them. I had so many suspicions about all of them, and I loved how Fiona led me down several different paths and how she then thwarted my thoughts at the end as the final truths were revealed, and this was done so very brilliantly.

There is such a creepy premise to this book that will have you looking at your own neighbours with suspicion, perhaps, depending on how well you get on with them I suppose and how well you know them. We hear from the killer’s thoughts throughout the book, and there were some lines in these scenes that did give me chills. The characters will also have you thinking just what lengths will you go to protect your loved ones, especially from the secrets you hide. You will see what I mean when I say that this is a genuinely chilling read.

The Neighbour is a novel I did not want to put down. The only problem I have now is that I have to wait a while for Fiona’s next book. This is very much a character-driven crime novel, and they will all stay in your mind for a while after you read it. This definitely comes highly recommended from me.

Publisher: Pan

Publication date: 4th April 2019

Print length: 416 pages

If you would like to purchase The Neighbour you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

 

 

The Lost by Mari Hannah #bookreview

The Lost (Stone and Oliver Book 1) by [Hannah, Mari]

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‘He was her child. The only one she’d ever have. It would kill her to learn that he was missing.’

Alex arrives home from holiday to find that her ten-year-old son Daniel has disappeared.

It’s the first case together for Northumbria CID officers David Stone and Frankie Oliver.

Stone has returned to his roots with fifteen years’ experience in the Met, whereas Oliver is local, a third generation copper with a lot to prove, and a secret that’s holding her back.

But as the investigation unfolds, they realise the family’s betrayal goes deeper than anyone suspected. This isn’t just a missing persons case. Stone and Oliver are hunting a killer.

MY THOUGHTS 

The Lost is a very twisty crime novel from Mari Hannah which delves into a family’s secrets when a ten-year-old child disappears.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s the first one by Mari Hannah which I have read and I was really impressed by how Mari drew everything together, especially as this was a very complex investigation that her police team were investigating. I thought it was brilliant how Mari completely threw me with the twist towards the end which was so chilling.

I think what made this novel so intriguing from the beginning was the family who were involved and at the centre of the case the police team are investigating. For me there was something that just didn’t sit right about them. I really wanted to get to the bottom of who these people were and there were so many different aspects about their personalities which kept me intrigued and searching for answers.

This book did take a very different direction to the one which I was expecting it to. We are first introduced to one of our main characters, Alex, when she is on holiday in Majorca with her sister, only to come back to the UK to discover that her son is missing. But as Mari’s two new lead detectives, David Stone and Frankie Oliver investigate; they discover that there is more to this family than meets the eye and they have to unpick the layers to get to the heart of what is really going on in the lives of the people involved.

Detectives Stone and Oliver are a welcome addition to the crime fiction world. There is a strong working and friendly relationship between them and it’ll be interesting to see how they progress from here. I suspect that there is more about Frankie to be discovered as there is a hint about something in her past which I am definitely interested to find out more about.

With a brilliant, cleverly thought out plot and addictive writing, I can’t recommend this book highly enough for crime fiction lovers. It’s a book that I found very difficult to put down. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 22nd March 2018

Print length: 416 pages

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

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A Gift for Dying by M.J. Arlidge #bookreview blog tour @mjarlidge @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for M.J. Arlidge’s first stand-alone novel A Gift for Dying. I’m a big, big fan of his Helen Grace books so I was really intrigued to see what he had come up with.

A Gift for Dying by [Arlidge, M. J.]

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With just one look, she knows how and when you will die . . . 

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he’s seen and heard everything.

That is, until he meets Kassie.

Because she claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Adam doesn’t believe her, obviously.

But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her.

He just doesn’t realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Being a big fan of the Helen Grace books, I was so excited to find out that M.J. Arlidge had a new stand-alone coming out and he explores a very interesting and scary premise. Kassie is a teenager who you wouldn’t want to come across. Kassie believes she has an incredible but terrifying gift, she can see exactly when and how you’re going to die, and there is very little she can do to prevent it. Her psychiatrist, Adam tries to understand what is going on inside her head, but as he gets to know the young girl better, he begins to wonder if there is perhaps any truth in her claims, and the closer he gets to her, the more danger he is putting himself in.

What I absolutely love about M.J. Arlidge’s writing, is that he never fails to grip me straight away. Following on in the same style as the Helen Grace series, A Gift for Dying is told in short, punchy chapters. The storyline is very different compared to his previous books; although it does partly follow a police procedural element, it is also set across the Pond in the United States, Chicago.

Kassie was a character who I wanted to get to the bottom of. Like Adam was to begin with, I too was sceptical of her claims, so it was fascinating to see their relationship develop. As Kassie herself became more deeply connected to the murders that were taking place in her home town, I did begin to wonder myself if she was more involved than she was letting on and I was thinking about several reasons why this could be the case.

I became utterly gripped by the storyline in this book, and I deeply cared for Kassie, and I wanted to find out more about her. As I raced through the final chapters to get to the end, I didn’t once look up from the writing on the page, I just had to know what was going to happen and what Kassie and Adam were going to do next, any jobs that needed doing just had to be put aside until I was finished.

A Gift for Dying is a terrific stand-alone thriller. This is one of those books which will just keep you engrossed in the storyline and the characters; M.J. Arlidge is a writer who knows how to write gripping prose. Addictive and brilliantly written, I have no doubt at all that this will be a bestseller.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, and to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 7th March 2019

Print length: 468 pages

If you would like to purchase A Gift for Dying, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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