The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor #bookreview #blogtour @cjtudor @GabyYoung

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor on my blog today. With thanks to Gaby Young from Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part.

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500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of C.J. Tudor’s writing and her latest novel, The Burning Girls, is another deliciously dark and creepy read. I really enjoyed C.J. Tudor’s last book, The Other People, so I jumped to at the chance to read her next book. It did not disappoint; I read it in just a couple of sittings. C.J. Tudor writes horror really well, and the dark tales she weaves into The Burning Girls are really chilling. If you’re a fan of C.J. Tudor, then you are in for a treat. C.J. Tudor has fast become an auto-buy author for me. I don’t even have to look at the blurb before I buy it.

I loved Jack, the main character in this book. Jack is a vicar, and she leaves her old Parish under something of a cloud, which instantly made me interested in her. When she arrives at the new village, Chapel Close, with her teenage daughter, Flo, right away the creepy vibes set in. There are stories of the burning girls, Protestant martyrs who were burned outside the church during the reign of Mary I of England. Decades earlier, two young girls also disappeared. The girls were never found, and their fates remain a mystery. But that isn’t all. The priest who preceded Jack died. It was concluded that he committed suicide, but the circumstances surrounding his death are very suspicious.

One of the things I really liked about this book was the relationship between Jack and Flo. They are very close to each other. After they first arrive, Flo makes friends with a young boy, Wriggly, who has been targeted by bullies for years. It isn’t long before Flo too finds herself at the mercy of the teenagers who have bullied Wriggly. They are some nasty individuals who will make your skin crawl.

As Jack and Flo become acquainted with their new home, they make some disturbing discoveries revealing long buried secrets. We also begin to understand just what went on in Jack’s last Parish, and we find out why she had to leave.

The Burning Girls is a really addictive read. The writing is taut, and it is chilling from the start right the way through to the end. There are some jaw-dropping twists in this book which I didn’t see coming. You need to add this book to your to be read pile. I have no doubt that this will be an instant bestseller. I can’t wait to read what C.J. Tudor writes next.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 21st January 2021

Print length: 400 pages

The Burning Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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Dark Angel by Russell Panter #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Russell Panter, Dark Angel.

**In my review I have mentioned there were issues with proofreading. Russell has since confirmed with me that a version I read, which I bought from Amazon, was an early one and the wrong edition had been sold by Amazon. A more up to date version of the book has since been uploaded with the errors corrected.**

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Tom has the perfect life. Great marriage, successful job and a beautiful home. That is until things start happening that he can’t explain. Strange coincidences that start to make him question his sanity. Suddenly plunged into a situation out of his control and realising he is in danger, he spirals into a dark, brutal world of life and death. He finds he can trust no one and nowhere is safe. Alone, confused and desperately searching for answers; all whilst trying to escape unknown assailants.When suddenly contacted out of the blue by someone claiming he can help, Tom learns that his life has not been all that it seems, and a secret organisation is now hunting him. And with the help of his new ally and using his instinct and tenacity, he fights for his life and ultimately comes to terms with who, and what, he really is. Dark Angel is a dark, gritty, suspense story of loss, redemption and survival, set across some of America’s most iconic cities.

MY THOUGHTS

Dark Angel by Russell Panter is the first self-published novel I’ve read in a while. It was a good start to what I think could potentially be a new series, which I am definitely keen to follow. I thought the plot and the characters were engaging, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen to the lead character, Tom. Some things did, however, hold the book back, but I’m glad that I continued reading as I did enjoy the story.  

Tom has a successful career, and he is the company’s star employee. He also has a happy marriage. Things have been on the up for Tom for a while. But the good times are about to come to an abrupt end. What happens next will make Tom question everything about his life. When strange things start happening around him, the sudden deaths of people he knows, as well as the sudden breakdown of his marriage, he has no idea just how much things are about to change.

I was intrigued by the set-up. In a maternity ward, back in 1983, a father is anxiously awaiting the birth of his son, but a stranger is lurking in the background. But what is his purpose? Why is this man interested? As we fast forward to the present day, I wanted to know how this scene was going to be connected to Tom.

After the prologue, the story is a little slow to get going, but once the main action starts to take place, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Things begin to get really crazy for Tom, which leaves him utterly bewildered and unsure of what to believe or who he can trust anymore. I thought the ideas Russell Panter had were very original and it made the book a very entertaining read.

What did, unfortunately, let the book down was the proofreading, as I did spot a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes. If you can see past this, then it does make for an enjoyable read. Russell Panter is a talented writer, and I am certainly interested in seeing what he comes up with next. After finishing this book, I do believe there is the potential for a sequel. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the characters next.

Publisher: Independently Published

Publication date: 21st May 2020

Print length: 398 pages

Dark Angel is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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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