The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer on my blog today. This is book number five in the DI Natalie Ward series.

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer]

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Their parents thought they were hiding…

One beautiful summer’s evening, thirteen-year-old twins Ivy and Erin Westmore snuggle down in a tent in their back garden, giggling and sharing secrets.

When their mother goes to wake the girls the next morning, their tent is empty.

The alarm is raised and Detective Natalie Ward is put onto the case. When the twins’ bodies are discovered on nearby marshland, covered with deep pink petals, an icy shiver travels down Natalie’s spine. Everything about the girls’ deaths reminds her of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career, which saw a killer of the worst kind placed behind bars.

The next day, that feeling is heightened when she receives a chilling note saying ‘I’m back’. Is this killer a copycat or did Natalie put the wrong person in prison all those years ago? In a small town, where no stranger goes unnoticed, what is Natalie missing?

Consumed by the case, determined to prevent more deaths, Natalie misses the fact that it is her attention the killer wants. And to get it, he has his sights set firmly on her precious daughter Leigh…

MY THOUGHTS

Honestly, as I am writing this, I am still in shock after reading that ending.

The Blossom Twins is book five in the DI Natalie Ward series. This time around a previous case which Natalie once worked on is about to come back and haunt her. In 2014, Natalie was involved in an investigation into the murder of two young girls. They were twins, who became known to the press as The Blossom Twins. They had a suspect, and he committed suicide. But now two more girls have gone missing. They are soon found dead in very similar circumstances to what happened in the past. And whoever has killed them isn’t done yet. Are the police dealing with a copycat killer? Or is it possible that they got the wrong man?

DI Natalie Ward is going through a lot in this book. As well as having the pressure of work, she is also having to deal with issues within her family. She has fallen out with her husband, David, after he has failed to control his gambling addiction which nearly destroyed their marriage. But you can see that David doesn’t want to let Natalie go. I did feel sorry for him, particularly as it seemed that Natalie had made her mind up and that there was no turning back.

Natalie also has a new boss in this book, John Briggs, who she isn’t on the best of terms with right from the start. I was completely on Natalie’s side here, and I could see why he was making her feel so frustrated. In my mind, I was asking the very same questions about him that Natalie was.

The investigation moves at a fast pace. Natalie is utterly determined to bring the killer to justice. She can’t get the faces of the first two victims out of her mind, and this becomes a driving force for her. The case is a twisty one, and as Carol began to reveal what was really going on, it felt as though I was watching everything unfold on the big screen. And again, that ending. Reading those last few chapters has left me wondering just how things are going to fare for Natalie in the next two books in the series.

Throughout the book, Carol has included scenes which are told from the killer’s perspective. These are dark, foreboding scenes, and we can see into the killer’s mind. Through these scenes, we begin to understand their motives, and as the novel races towards its conclusion, they become really chilling.

With an ending that will leave you reeling, The Blossom Twins is a book that you won’t be forgetting about in a hurry. I downloaded book six straight after turning the final page, and I’ll be jumping to it as soon as I can. A terrific read!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 12th December 2019

Print length: 386 pages

The Blossom Twins is available to buy:

Amazon UK

 

The Silence by Susan Allott #bookreview #blogtour @SusanAllott @BoroughPress @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the stunning debut novel by Susan Allott, The Silence as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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It is 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father, Joe, phoning from Sydney.

30 years ago, in the suffocating heat of summer 1967, the Greens’ next-door neighbour Mandy disappeared. Joe claims he thought she had gone to start a new life; but now Mandy’s family is trying to reconnect, and there is no trace of her. Isla’s father was allegedly the last person to see her alive, and he’s under suspicion of murder.

Back home in Sydney, Isla’s search for the truth takes her back to 1967, when two couples lived side by side on a quiet street by the sea. Could her father be capable of doing something terrible? How much does her mother know? And is there another secret in this community, one which goes deeper into Australia’s colonial past, which has held them in a conspiracy of silence?

MY THOUGHTS

The Silence by Susan Allott is a heart-breaking and an enlightening read. Susan Allott explores a part of Australian history in her debut novel, which I’m ashamed to say, I never even knew about. It made me wonder why this part of history isn’t taught in schools or more widely known. What Susan Allott describes in her book is truly horrific, and it compelled me to find out more about what happened. This is what made reading the author notes at the end of the book, all the more interesting.

The novel is set in 1997. We meet Isla, who is at home in London when she receives a call from her dad early in the morning. The call is an alarming one. The police are investigating her dad on being involved in the disappearance of one of their neighbours thirty years earlier. The woman, Mandy, used to look after Isla when she was a child growing up in Australia in the late sixties. But her dad was the last person to see Mandy alive. Isla must return home to Australia and confront the awful truth that her father may not be the man who she thought she knew.

Susan’s writing really drew me into this tale. There’s a dark sense of foreboding right from the beginning, and I felt that nothing was as it seems. After Isla travels back to Australia to be with her family, Susan then takes us back to 1967. The events that take place in these chapters lead up to Mandy’s disappearance and the uncomfortable truth. It is in this part of the novel that Susan explores what happened to children of Aboriginal families during this period. This took place between 1910 and 1970. One of the characters, Steve, is a police officer, and he is charged with removing children from Aboriginal families. One young boy Steve takes a particular shine to, and he promises the boy’s mother that he will look after him and give him a good life.

Susan Allott weaves a cleverly constructed tale around these events. I could feel Steve’s longing to have a child of his own, particularly when Mandy, his wife, doesn’t appear keen to have children. I could understand why he wanted to raise the child he took as his own, but his decision that day was certainly not fraught with risk.

Isla puts herself close to danger as she fights to find the real truth behind Mandy’s disappearance and my eyes were kept glued to the pages as the Susan revealed what really happened.

The Silence is a compelling and powerful read. Susan Allott is a writer to watch.

Publisher: The Borough Press

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 368 pages

The Silence is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Written in Blood by Chris Carter #blogtour #bookreview @RandomTTours @simonschusterUK

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Written in Blood by Chris Carter on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

I was late to the party with Chris Carter’s books, but after reading several in his Robert Hunter series now, I can see what I was missing out on!

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A serial killer will stop at nothing…

The Killer
His most valuable possession has been stolen.
Now he must retrieve it, at any cost.

The Girl
Angela Wood wanted to teach the man a lesson. It was a bag, just like all the others.
But when she opens it, the worst nightmare of her life begins.

The Detective
A journal ends up at Robert Hunter’s desk. It soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose. And if he can’t stop him in time, more people will die.

If you have read it
You must die

MY THOUGHTS

Chris Carter has fast become one of my favourite crime fiction writers. With each book he always delivers a pacy, absolutely gripping plot and leaves me desperate for more.

What Chris Carter always achieves is that he hooks you in very early on in the story.  In Written in Blood by accident, a young woman, who makes her living by pick pocketing, steals a bag from a stranger in a restaurant. But what she doesn’t realise is how dangerous the person is she has stolen from and what the contents of the bag mean to him. When she discovers what she has taken, she is sickened and immediately hands it over to the police. This is where Detective Robert Hunter comes in. In the bag the young girl stole, a diary is found, which the police fear belongs to a depraved serial killer. The entrants detail in graphic detail the crimes they have committed over the years. It is disturbing beyond measure and Robert and his team soon realise they are up against an intelligent killer, who will stop at nothing to get the diary back. There is no telling the amount of bloodshed he is willing to cause to achieve this.

What you are always guaranteed with, with a Chris Carter book is that Robert Hunter will be after a sadistic serial killer. Chris Carter certainly isn’t short of original ideas, and he certainly isn’t afraid to shy away from graphic details. But this is what makes these books utterly gripping. The level of detail makes you root for Robert, and you want him to catch the killer, but you also know that there is going to be bloodshed and tears along the way.

Each book by Chris Carter is intense, and there is always a race against time to catch the killer. Chris Carter likes to push Robert a bit harder with every book. You know that he is a detective who will do anything to save anyone from potentially becoming another victim. Chris Carter keeps the pace turning up a notch with each chapter, and my eyes were kept glued to the page as the book raced closer and closer to the denouement.

I’ve not read all the books in this series, so each book can definitely be read and enjoyed as a standalone. But once you do read one of Chris’s books that’s it, you’ll be addicted, and he’ll keep you coming back for more.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 23rd July 2020

Print length: 496 pages

Written in Blood is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Lock Me In by Kate Simants #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Kate Simants, Lock Me In.

Lock Me In: An absolutely gripping new psychological crime thriller with an ending you won’t see coming! by [Kate Simants]

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Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks Ellie in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…

MY THOUGHTS

Lock Me In is a tense and chilling debut by Kate Simants. I’ve had this on my shelf since last year, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get round to reading it sooner. This book has one of the most intense openings I’ve read in a long while, and it drew me into our lead character, Ellie’s, world and what she was going through. I immediately wanted to find out more about Ellie. Ellie suffers from violent fugues, and it appears that she takes on an alternate personality. Often, for her own safety, her mother has to keep her locked up in her room so that she can’t harm anyone. When Ellie’s boyfriend, Matt disappears, Ellie can’t remember anything about the night of his disappearance. What is even more disturbing is that Ellie is covered in bruises. What has happened to her boyfriend? Is there any chance that she could be involved in his disappearance?

Ellie was the most intriguing character in this book. I found the idea of your personality changing really scary, and it made me wonder if such occurrences actually happen. I wanted to know what had happened in Ellie’s past; surely, something must have happened to make her like this. It made me start to question what really happened on the night her boyfriend disappeared. It made me wonder just how dangerous she was and if she was a threat to anyone else.

The other character who’s viewpoint the novel is told from is Detective Ben Mae. As the investigation into Matt’s disappearance got going, I was rooting for him. Ben is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, but Kate Simants also displays a soft, caring side to him. You can see how much he loves his daughter, and this comes through very strongly in Kate’s writing.

The plot is cleverly put together; it does get quite complex as the police begin to follow the trail Matt has left behind. It took a direction which I wasn’t expecting it to, and there were several moments when I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The ending of this book left me reeling. Kate Simants delivers a tense and shocking conclusion, and I’m sure it will be sticking with me for a while to come. Kate Simants is a huge new talent, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 387 pages

Lock Me In is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

 

WWW Wednesday – 22/07/2020

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

 

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

 

What am I currently reading?

The Lies You Told: From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Blood Orange by [Harriet Tyce]

 

 

What have I finished reading?

Lock Me In: An absolutely gripping new psychological crime thriller with an ending you won’t see coming! by [Kate Simants]

 

 

What will I read next? 

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer]

The first mystery she must solve is herself … Buried Deep by Susan Wilkins #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the first book in the Detective Megan Thomas series by Susan Wilkins, Buried Deep.

Buried Deep: A completely gripping crime thriller with heart-stopping suspense (Detective Megan Thomas) by [Susan Wilkins]

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On the first day in her new job, Detective Megan Thomas is called to a murder. The body lies deep in an underground bunker, in the middle of beautiful countryside. The two women in the nearest house claim to have no idea who it could be or who could have put it there. So why are they so nervous? And why does Noah, the young child living there, talk about a visitor he’s meant to keep secret?

Megan is determined to prove she can handle the case. She’s moved to Devon for a fresh start, after years spent undercover. But when she looks at the victim, it triggers a panic attack. As her heart races and her breathing stalls, she’s forced to ask whether she can return to life in a regular crime unit. Her memories are too powerful to be buried, maybe too powerful to let her do her job.

As the mysteries surrounding the murder grow, and another body is found on the stretch of beach where she swims every day, Megan fights to remembers why she joined the police. Then Noah goes missing, and Megan finds herself in a race against time against a truly vicious killer. She won’t rest until she finds answers – no matter what it might cost her.

MY THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed meeting Detective Megan Thomas in Susan Wilkin’s new novel, Buried Deep. Megan has recently transferred from the Metropolitan police to Devon. But this seems to be under a dark cloud, and her new boss doesn’t seem to quite take to her when she joins her new team. But he is willing to give her a chance. Megan is thrown straight into the deep end. The body of a man is discovered in a septic tank at the home of a well-known celebrity. But as the investigation gets underway, Megan is asked to look into the horrific rape of a young girl. Megan has everything to prove as she gets to grips with both cases, and they come very close to pushing her over the edge.

Megan intrigued me right from the start, and I’m hoping to find out more about her past as the series progresses. She is currently seeing a therapist, but Susan Wilkins doesn’t reveal a lot about her backstory, we gradually begin to learn more about Megan as the plot unfolds. This is what I think makes her a fascinating character. Megan gets on well with her team, especially Vish and Brittany. They are both very different people, but I really liked the vibe that was there between them.

The cases which Megan is involved with in this book are complex. There’s the discovery of the body of a man in a septic tank. Then there’s the rape of a young girl. There are lots of conflicting stories about both cases, and Megan must work hard to unpeel the layers and get to the truth. She realises that this isn’t going to be easy.

What I thought was interesting was that Susan Wilkins explored what people, particularly young people, will do to gain a following and attention on social media. It was horrific to hear the lengths some people will go to gain followers. I have no doubt that this is what has happened in real life, and that makes the ideas that Susan explores in her book even scarier.

Susan Wilkins explained things really well as both cases drew towards a conclusion. I could see that this was cleverly constructed and at no point at all did I feel lost or confused, and this can sometimes happen to me when I read police procedurals, and I have to go back, and only then do things become clear.

I’ve definitely found a new favourite crime author, and this is a series I’m sure I’ll be sticking with. Susan Wilkins has written a book with plenty of atmosphere and likeable characters who you’ll root for all the way through. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 6th April 2020

Print length: 360 pages

Buried Deep is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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 Shadow Friend by Alex North #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Shadow Friend by Alex North which is published today.

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The victim was his friend. So was the murderer.

Twenty-five years ago, troubled teenager Charlie Crabtree committed a shocking and unprovoked murder.

For Paul Adams, it’s a day he’ll never forget. He’s never forgiven himself for his part in what happened to his friend and classmate. He’s never gone back home.

But when his elderly mother has a fall, it’s finally time to stop running.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. A copycat killer has struck, bringing back painful memories. Paul’s mother insists there’s something in the house.

And someone is following him.

Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterwards, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Shadow Friend is another creepy, atmospheric thriller by Alex North. Again Alex North draws on the supernatural. This time the focus is on a disturbing game a group of boys played twenty-five years ago, a game which turned deadly and resulted in the disappearance of one member of the group. The boy who disappeared was never found, and the police have never discovered what happened to him. But is the truth finally about to be unravelled?

Alex North introduces us to Paul Adams who has returned to his hometown as his mother is in a care home and is approaching the end of her life, but he finds himself drawn back to events which took place in his teenage years many years earlier which have haunted him ever since. The centre of the mystery in this novel is the disappearance of a boy twenty-five years ago, Charlie Crabtree, who Paul was once friends with. Since his former friend went missing, a series of killings have taken place which seemed to be inspired by the events surrounding Charlie’s disappearance. And red hands seem to follow Paul everywhere.

Once again, Alex North creates a spooky atmosphere which drew me into the plot and the setting. He paints a very gloomy picture of the town where Paul was brought up, almost as if the town itself isn’t willing to forget what happened there. There are some chilling scenes when Alex North describes the appearance of red hands. This seemed to be the key to solving the mystery behind Charlie’s disappearance, and I wanted to find out what they meant. I enjoyed the scenes when Alex takes us back to Paul’s childhood, and some of the scenes he writes are very disturbing. It made me think even more about what the true picture was and how this was connected to what happened to Charlie.

Although I enjoyed reading this book, and it kept me entertained, I did find that the pace was a lot slower than it was in Alex North’s first book, The Whisper Man. I was interested to find out what was going to happen next and what the truth was, and this is what kept me reading, but I did find this book to be a much more leisurely read.

The Shadow Friend will keep you invested in the plot and the characters, and overall I thought it was a really good read. I’m certain I’ll be reading what Alex North writes next.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 9th July 2020

Print length: 368 pages

The Shadow Friend is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

You have one hour to live … All Fall Down by M.J. Arlidge #bookreview blog tour @mjarlidge @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of All Fall Down by M.J. Arlidge, the latest book in the DI Helen Grace series. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

BLURB

“You have one hour to live.”

Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.

But why?

The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is A case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.

With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…

MY THOUGHTS

You’re just leaving work. You step into the lift, and you receive a phone call. On the other end of a line, a voice tells you, “You have one hour to live.” Then the call goes dead. This is what happens to Justin in the opening chapter of the new Helen Grace thriller by M.J. Arlidge, All Fall Down. He isn’t sure if the phone call was a callous prank, but he is nervous. And within the next hour, he is dead. But Justin isn’t the only intended victim of his killer.

M.J. Arlidge’s latest book in the Helen Grace series is tightly plotted, and I think it’s one of the best books in this series. When Helen is informed of Justin’s murder, it isn’t quite certain what they are facing, until a second murder takes place and a link is discovered. The victims were among a group of five teenagers who, several years ago, were kidnapped by a madman and barely escaped with their lives. Not all of them made it; one girl was tragically killed by their attacker. But now someone is coming after them. It was never clear if the man who did this to them survived that night after a fire ravaged his home. So why are they being targeted now all these years later?

All Fall Down hooks you in right from the first chapter. We hear from the first victim’s point of view, and M.J. Arlidge paints a vivid portrayal of just how scared they are. What I thought was the most interesting part of this novel was how M.J. Arlidge gradually revealed the backstory of the victim’s. We get to understand what they went through all those years ago, but as I was reading, I had that niggling sense of doubt that there was something they weren’t being entirely truthful about.

M.J. Arlidge kept me guessing as to what the real truth was as another victim turned up. One of the victims, Maxine, is releasing a book about their ordeal. As the book progresses M.J. Arlidge we get to read snippets from Maxine’s book. This did make me wonder why Maxine was choosing to publish their story when it seemed as though she hadn’t got permission from the rest of the group to tell their tale.

M.J. Arlidge delivers a dramatic finale as Helen Grace and her team finally work out who is behind the killings, and it turns into a race against time to track the killer down before they kill again. This is a series which continues to keep me entertained; I can’t believe that we’re on book nine. It doesn’t all that long ago when I first read Eeny Meeny. All Fall Down can be read as a stand-alone, but you’ll definitely want to read the rest of the books as well once you’ve read it.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 11th June 2020

Print length: 496 pages

All Fall Down is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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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