The Closer I Get by Paul Burston #bookreview blog tour @PaulBurston @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Closer I Get by Paul Burston today on my blog. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Closer I Get by [Burston, Paul]

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Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.

Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.

When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.

A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk just one ‘like’ away…

MY THOUGHTS

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston is a powerful and chilling look at the dark side of social media. Trolling and stalking seems to be an ever real threat in today’s world. The explosion of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites, over the last decade or so has benefited us hugely, by bringing the world closer together. But it can also come at a cost. Anyone can now find out information about you. Where you visit for a cup of coffee each day, what your favourite meal is and where you work. All from the click of a button. It’s quite scary to think about. This is what happens to Paul’s main character, Tom.

Tom, who is a writer, wrote a bestseller which was released a few years ago and became a major Hollywood film. Although he hasn’t hit the bestseller charts in recent years, he still has a good relationship with his agent. She seems to be a source of encouragement and comfort to Tom. She is always egging him on to finish his latest book. But Tom’s own world starts to crumble when he becomes the victim of a stalker. Tom then has to resort to drastic measures to get the person to stop.

Paul Burston’s writing is very readable, and I quickly became drawn into the story. What I thought made this book really work and what made it so fascinating, was telling the story both from Tom and Evie’s point of view. Evie is the woman who he accuses of stalking him. Tom is eventually forced to take her to court in the hope that a restraining order will solve his problems and that after that point, she will finally leave him alone. From what I could begin to see as the story unfolded, was that here were two very conflicting accounts. I could never be sure who was telling the truth about what was really going on. It was probably the characters in this book that made it so gripping for me as I tried to work out which version was the correct one.

I really liked how Paul brought everything together at the conclusion, which gave the ending a very satisfactory feel. It was a very surprising finale that really chilled me.

This is an incredibly tense piece of fiction which races towards an uncertain denouement as the two lead characters collide. It will also, perhaps, make you think again about the people who you follow on social media and who follows you back.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 11th May 2019

Print length: 276 pages

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

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Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald blog tour #bookreview @FitzHelen @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Helen Fitzgerald’s latest crime novel, Worst Case Scenario.

Worst Case Scenario by [FitzGerald, Helen]

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Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line. Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.

Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.

A heart-pounding, relentless and chilling psychological thriller, rich with deliciously dark and unapologetic humour, Worst Case Scenario is also a perceptive, tragic and hugely relevant book by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS

Helen Fitzgerald opens Worst Case Scenario with such a startling line that it threw me, for just a second. I remember a couple of years ago when everyone was talking about her opening line in Viral, which I still haven’t forgotten, after hearing several people mention it. I think this book is going to get the same type of reaction from readers. I must admit that I haven’t read one of Helen’s books before, and I have to say that I found her writing so fresh and entertaining. This is definitely one of the most original novels I’ve read this year.

There is a lot of dark humour in her latest book, which may not appeal to some readers; there are some moments which did leave me cringing a little. Helen tackles some dark subject matters, but this is also such an entertaining story, and her lead protagonist, Mary Shields really stood out.

As a probation officer its Mary Shields job to imagine the worst case scenario when the parole board are considering releasing a convict back into the outside world. She has to think of all the possibilities that could happen upon their release and if they are still a danger to society. You can see how this is a job that can bring many people down, and it must be quite tough, having to be the person who makes that decision. Mary deals with people who have committed horrific acts, many, who some people would argue, don’t deserve a second chance. Mary struck me as a damaged individual, you can see just how her job has had an effect on her, and she is just about ready to pack it all in. I could certainly see why she wanted to.

The pace never drops, and I found myself flying through the pages, never once was there a dull or a particularly slow moment. Some readers may struggle to like Mary as she can come across as quite sharp and grumpy, but I really engaged with her, and her character made this book so unique and original. Mary herself is struggling with the menopause, which adds another unique subject matter to this book as it’s a topic that I haven’t come across in crime fiction before.

With some laugh out loud funny moments and a thoroughly entertaining plot which held my attention all the way through, I would, of course, recommend this book, especially if you’re looking for something that is a little different. Helen Fitzgerald is a real talent, I can’t wait to read more from her.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 16th March 2019

Print length: 276 pages

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

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Breakers by Doug Johnstone #bookreview blog tour @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for Doug Johnstone’s brilliant new novel, Breakers. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Breakers by [Johnstone, Doug]

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A toxic family … a fight for survival…

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.

MY THOUGHTS

Oh. My. God. This book. Breakers was nothing like I expected it to be, I’ve read Doug Johnstone’s previous novel Faultlines, but I think this book takes his writing up to another level. There’s no mistake that this is a dark, dark book but it also pulls at the heartstrings. It has characters that will get under your skin and a tension fuelled plot that will keep you turning those pages.

This is a book about family. It asks the question, just how far are we prepared to go to protect the ones we love. Tyler Wallace hasn’t had the best start in life. He has never known who his father is, and his mother, Angela is a drug addict. The main person who Tyler cares about in his life is his younger sister, Bethany or Bean, as he calls her. He has two half siblings, Barry and Kelly and the three of them make their money by burgling posh houses in Edinburgh. But when one of their jobs goes badly wrong, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.

There are so many things I want to talk about this book. One of the parts which I really liked was Tyler’s relationship with his sister. I could clearly see that he is desperate to give them a better chance in life and for Bean to have a better start than he did, and this shines through in his character, making him stand out next to Barry and Kelly. His brother, Barry, is a very different person. It seems that not even the threat from a very dangerous family will stop him in getting what he wants; I absolutely hated him, he is such a scary and unpredictable character. He made me even keener to see Tyler and Bean get out and make a fresh start.

Tyler’s friendship with Flick was another aspect of the novel I really liked. I couldn’t be sure where Doug Johnstone was heading with this after they first met. She is a girl from a different, more affluent part of the town and you would think that a relationship between them wouldn’t work, but here it really does.

I think the characters within the pages of this book will all stay with me long after finishing. Some parts of this book I did find hard to read, but this isn’t a criticism, far from it, it was because I connected so much with Tyler and Bean that I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them.

One of the points which Doug had me thinking about as I was reading, was what drives people to a life of crime? Their background, where they’re from or how they are brought up? If Tyler and his family had been brought up in a different area would things have worked out as badly for them as they have?

Breakers is a very good book, one that will draw you into the dark side of Edinburgh which Doug Johnstone describes so, so well making his writing very immersive. If you enjoy books that keep you on edge and transfixed to what is happening on the page, then I highly recommend that you give this book a go.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 16th March 2019

Print length: 300 pages

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

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The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon #bookreview blog tour @vandasymon @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the second novel in the Sam Shepherd series by Vanda Symon, The Ringmaster.

The Ringmaster (Sam Shephard Book 2) by [Symon, Vanda]

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Death is stalking the South Island of New Zealand

Marginalised by previous antics, Sam Shephard, is on the bottom rung of detective training in Dunedin, and her boss makes sure she knows it. She gets involved in her first homicide investigation, when a university student is murdered in the Botanic Gardens, and Sam soon discovers this is not an isolated incident. There is a chilling prospect of a predator loose in Dunedin, and a very strong possibility that the deaths are linked to a visiting circus…

Determined to find out who’s running the show, and to prove herself, Sam throws herself into an investigation that can have only one ending…

Rich with atmosphere, humour and a dark, shocking plot, The Ringmaster marks the return of passionate, headstrong police officer, Sam Shephard, in the next instalment of Vanda Symon’s bestselling series.

MY THOUGHTS

DC Sam Shepherd is back in the second book in Vanda Symon’s riveting crime series set in New Zealand, The Ringmaster. I remember when I read the last book I was totally gripped by the opening prologue which was so chilling, and Vanda Symon has created another brilliant opening here.

After the devastating events which took place in Overkill, Sam has relocated to Dunedin and has joined the local police force as a detective constable. Sam is desperate to have the chance to move further up the chain and is always willing to prove herself to her superiors. One of the drawbacks to her new job though is her detective inspector who I really took a dislike to from the moment he was first introduced. I honestly couldn’t believe the way in which he treated Sam, which made me root even more for her to succeed. There was one scene in particular that just had me holding my breath after a particular devastating sequence of events; this shows just how well Vanda had pulled me into her story.

If you’re looking for a quick read that will hook you in right away, then this book is the book for you. You don’t have to have read the first book in the series to read this one, but once you have, you’ll want to catch up. There are short chapters which keep the pace flowing right throughout, and there is an engaging mystery to follow.

What I really like about Sam is how human she feels and how personally connected she becomes to the victims and to what has happened to them. Although she desperately wants to work in the police, she also wonders why she is drawn to this profession as she is often deeply moved and upset by crimes which have taken place; but this makes her all the more motivated and determined to solve them. It gives you a sense that she will do everything humanly possible to make that happen.

I loved the growing sense of unease that just made this book so gripping as I could never be sure who to point the finger at. Vanda Symon keeps you thinking about what is going to happen next, and there is a surprising turn of events at the conclusion. There was so much tension as Sam realised just what was going on and who was behind the killings and I was just utterly gripped as I waited to find out how it would all be resolved. But I’m not going to reveal any more about that here.

This is another top read by Vanda Symon that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. With taut writing and brilliantly developed characters, this is turning into a must-read crime series. I, for one, can’t wait to read more. Roll on book three.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 18th February 2019

Print length: 320 pages

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

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Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #bookreview blog tour @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the blog tour for Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech.

Call Me Star Girl by [Beech, Louise]

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Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

MY THOUGHTS

If you’re looking for a writer who will draw you into their story and into the lives of their characters in the most fascinating and intriguing way, then look no further than Louise Beech. Call Me Star Girl is a masterpiece in literary fiction with a dark edge that kept me utterly hooked all the way through. I’ve read many rave reviews for Louise’s previous work, so I was so excited to hear that she was moving into the crime genre, and I’m sure it’ll win her many new fans, which definitely includes me.

Stella McKeever is preparing for her last ever radio show, so deciding to take a different path for her final one, she is asking her listeners to phone in and tell their secrets, but she will also tell some of hers in exchange. But what Stella is really hoping for is that someone will get in touch with information about a young girl, who was found murdered not far from the radio station where she works, and perhaps even the killer might feel compelled to call in.

You get a real sense of Stella as a character in this book, and she is very well developed. She is a person who has suffered trauma in her past, after her mother, Elizabeth, abandoned her at a very young age, and she has never known her father. As Louise gradually revealed information about this, I couldn’t believe the reasons why this happened, and it really made me feel so sorry for Stella as I was reading. But I won’t be divulging any details on that here. The one person in her life who she can seem to totally rely on is her boyfriend, Tom, but there is even something a little odd in their relationship, which is what I personally thought.

What I thought was particularly excellent in Louise’s writing was how well the characters evolved. You will become invested in them as she reveals more details about her lives and they are what make this story so, so good.

The clever way in which Louise thought out her plot kept me thinking about the characters and how everything was going to unfold for them at the end, and be prepared; it’s a shocker of an ending. Nothing prepared me for how emotionally invested I would become in Louise Beech’s writing, I think the ending of this book will leave many people shedding a few tears.

Louise Beech is an absolutely brilliant writer, who drew me into her writing without any effort at all. Call Me Star Girl was one of those books that I just did not want to end. An utterly captivating story that will keep you gripped all the way through. It’s seriously good.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 18th February 2019

Print length: 272 pages

If you would like to purchase Call Me Star Girl, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb blog tour #bookreview @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks #DeepDirtyTruth #TeamLori

Deep Dirty Truth (Lori Anderson Book 3) by [Broadribb, Steph]

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A price on her head. A secret worth dying for. Just 48 hours to expose the truth…

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.
With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…
Brimming with tension, high-stakes jeopardy and high-voltage action, and a deep, emotional core, Deep Dirty Truth is an unmissable thriller by one of the freshest and most exciting voices in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS

If you thought things were going to start getting easier for Lori, JT and Dakota, after the events in the last book, then think again. In Deep Dirty Truth Lori’s past is about to come back and haunt her in a big way. Steph Broadribb turns the tension up a notch once again, with action right from opening pages which carries through to the nail-biting ending. This is my favourite Lori Anderson novel yet.

I love, love, love these books. Lori and JT are well rounded characters who you can’t help but root for all the way through. In the latest book, Lori is on her own again as JT is still recovering from the events which concluded the last book in the series. But this situation is certainly one that Lori wouldn’t choose to be in. But she knows she can’t refuse the orders she is being given as it will put her own family’s life at risk and you do get the sense that things could go either way for them this time, nothing is certain.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot as this is such a tension filled read that I want you to enjoy it for yourself. There are some vicious crooks in book three that will make you fearful for Lori and her family, and the wide expanse of the American landscapes make the perfect scene for the car chases that take place and the violence that ensues from the opening pages. It creates a huge sense of unpredictability, as out in the wilderness, far away from civilisation, and where phone signal can be patchy as well, crimes can easily be covered up.

If you do like action filled reads right from the get go then you really need to be reading the Lori Anderson series. The chapters are short and snappy, and they will make you want to turn those pages. I actually started reading this book on New Year’s Eve, and I would have been quite happy to stay in and read for the rest of the evening, rather than go out and see in the New Year, and that to me shows just how captivating this story is.

The cinematic edge to these books and the tension charged plot is what makes the Lori Anderson series a real winner for me, it’s a series that just keeps getting better and better. This is another fantastic book from Steph Broadribb; I can’t wait to catch up with Lori and JT again.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan for sending me an advance review copy.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 24th January 2019

Print length: 304 pages

If you would like to purchase Deep Dirty Truth you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Changeling by Matt Wesolowski blog tour #bookreview @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

Changeling (Six Stories Book 3) by [Wesolowski, Matt]

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On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…
Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

MY THOUGHTS

Matt Wesolowski has written another cracking story with Changeling. Literally, once I started reading this, I couldn’t stop. This version of Six Stories sees our presenter, Scott King investigating a thirty-year-old cold case. Seven-year-old Alfie Marsden disappeared near a forest in Wiltshire in 1988 on Christmas Eve, and the mystery surrounding his disappearance has haunted many people for three decades as it has never been solved. It seems that no one is ever going to understand the truth as to what happened to Alfie that night, but Scott King is determined to try and find the answers.

I absolutely love the style of Matt’s books. Telling the story through a series of podcasts is a very original idea, and with each book I’ve read by him, I’ve felt as though I was learning about a true crime that has taken place, rather than a fictional one. There is always a very creepy element to these books which is another thing I really like about them. In the last book Hydra, I remember feeling compelled to research the black-eyed children, which Matt was referring to, but I was too frightened to do so after reading the book.

Changeling has the essence of a Brother’s grim fairy-tale. As Scott King looks into Alfie’s disappearance, he examines numerous reports of strange, “paranormal” activities which were taking place in and around the forest area at the time Alfie went missing. There are also mentions of “changeling children”, children who are swapped by fairies; the human child was taken to live in their realm only to be replaced in our world by a beastly child. I have to admit here that reading about the changeling children, did creep me out quite a bit. There is a lot of talk about folklore in this book, and this is what made this story so fascinating to me, as I wondered if these stories had any bearing on what had happened to Alfie.

Once again we hear from the viewpoints of six people who were somehow connected to the case, Alfie’s family, witnesses to the strange events that took place and his teachers. As I got to read their thoughts and opinions, the case became even more interesting, and I was so keen to get to the bottom of it all. As the story is told in the form of an interview, through a podcast, I think it would make an excellent audiobook, so if you are an audio listener, I would definitely recommend giving this one a go as well as the other books in the series.

I really did not expect the direction this book took as the final revelations about the case came to light. Matt Wesolowski took me totally by surprise by the twist, and I’ve spent days thinking about it, especially as I’ve tried a few times to sit down and write this review. I am wondering now how he is going to take the series from here, and I hope there is going to be another book.

Changeling is another outstanding addition to this series. The writing will pull you in from the first page, and you won’t be able to stop reading until you find out the truth about what has happened to Alfie.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 15th November 2018 (kindle) 24th January 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 271 pages

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

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Attend by West Camel blog tour #bookreview @west_camel @OrendaBooks

Attend front new

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When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

MY THOUGHTS

Attend by West Camel, is unlike anything else I have read this year. I don’t usually read contemporary fiction, but I am so glad I read this book. It is a very hard book to define, as it can easily fit into many genres: crime, magic realism and even romance. Deborah is the lead character in this book who holds everything together and she does become the centre of our focus. Then there are the characters, Anne and Sam, both who are very different to each other, but who ultimately are pulled together in this wonderful, mesmerising and addictive plot. It is a very strong debut that I suspect I’ll be talking about and recommending for a while.

Anne is the first character we are introduced to, a recovering heroin addict, who has just moved into her new home in Deptford. She meets Deborah who comes across as a vulnerable, lonely old woman, but she has a fascinating past which she begins to divulge to Anne. In the end, for me, Deborah came across as one of the strongest characters in this book, which I was surprised by. We are then introduced to Sam who has only recently begun to accept his sexuality, and he forms a relationship with a local thug, Derek, who is well known in the area, which means he has a reputation to uphold. Their newfound relationship is a move that surprises both of them. Sam is also drawn in by Deborah and her compelling stories. These three threads are stitched together in a very clever, and a very well plotted way.

It was the characters in this book which made this book such a compelling read, and West Camel’s writing swept me into his story from the first page and into the murky areas of Deptford. One theme that does come across strongly in this book is the theme of loneliness, and this is what I did think of whenever I thought about Deborah and her stories. There are some flashback scenes in this book when she is revisiting her past, as she is re-telling it to Anne and Sam, and these scenes really did make me want to concentrate as I tried to understand her character more.

West Camel’s writing is what made this book feel so very fresh and unique; there are some wonderful descriptive phrases throughout Attend that added so much depth and colour to his characters and the settings. He is such an exciting new writer and I cannot wait to see what he writes next.

If you’re looking for a book that is dark, has very good writing, but very different to what is currently out there in the market at the moment, then I would highly, highly recommend Attend. It is a stunning piece of fiction. I loved it. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 15th November 2018 (kindle) 13th December 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 287 pages

If you would like to purchase Attend, you can do so by clicking on the links below:

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#GoodSamaritans by Will Carver blog tour #bookreview @will_carver @OrendaBooks #SixBottlesOfBleach

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One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

MY THOUGHTS

Why have I not come across Will Carver’s name before??? Good Samaritans is one of the most original, and captivating crime novels I’ve read this year, I did not expect to fly through it as quickly as I did. I think perhaps, that this, for me, is my top read of the year. It is an absolutely cracking thriller that had me hooked! It is smart, edgy and full of surprises and very, very dark.

When we think of The Samaritans, we think of kind hearted, helpful people, who go out of their way to make a difference in someone’s life. This is the idea that Will Carver explores in this book, when a young, distressed woman, Hadley Serf, calls The Samaritans, and a crossed line means she ends up talking to someone else, Seth, who is unhappy in his marriage to his wife, Maeve. When Hadley enters his radar, his world begins to change. What follows on from here is an intense, mind-blowing read that will have you turning those pages in record time.

If you are looking for a fast paced novel, you need look no further than this book. There are short, snappy chapters, and we are introduced to five different characters that are all linked in some way. One character who I was rooting for throughout the book, was Detective Sergeant Pace, we don’t learn quite as much about him as we do the other characters, but I really wanted him to get to the bottom of what was going on, and as the plot began to unfold, I wanted him to get to the right answers in time, especially when the shocking truth emerged.

This book also showcases a unique style of writing which really sets Will Carver apart. There was always something interesting happening on each page, giving us new insights into each of the characters, and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to them and who the culprit behind the disturbing murders was. There are some explicit and quite graphic scenes, so I would say that this book may not be for everyone, but it is for you if you like your crime fiction dark and gritty.

I will be recommending this book to everyone I know who loves crime fiction. I think all I can say now is buy it, you won’t be disappointed. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length; 320 pages

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#TheLingering by S.J.I. Holliday blog tour #giveaway @OrendaBooks @SJIHolliday

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lingering today, a very creepy ghost story by SJI Holliday, perfect to read at this time of year when the nights are drawing in. I feel I should warn you though, it may put you off having baths in the future. As part of the blog tour, I have one paperback copy of the book to giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is share this post on Facebook and Twitter, and let me know how much you want to read this book by commenting below, before midnight on Thursday, 15th November 2018. One winner will be drawn at random. If you’re interested in taking a look at what the novel is about, you can read the blurb and my review below. Good luck!

The Lingering by [Holliday, SJI]

BLURB

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

MY THOUGHTS

Recently I’ve read a couple of really good ghost stories and The Lingering by SJI Holliday I think has to be the best. I was so excited to pick up a proof at the Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate, and I wasted no time in starting it. Dark, unsettling and so, so creepy; this book and the characters within the pages will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

What I love about SJI Holliday’s writing is how she cleverly manages to weave a tale and take it in a completely unexpected direction and especially her character development is brilliant. She is a writer who is very good at her twists, and her plotting is superb.

I’ve previously read and enjoyed her Banktoun trilogy so I had high hopes for her latest book and I was captivated from the first page. We meet married couple Jack and Ali who are starting a new chapter in their lives together when they decide to sell up their home and take up residence at a self-sufficient commune. I wanted to know what had drawn them to this particular place and why they would make such a huge decision and leave the comfort of home for something that is totally different to what they’re used to. The prologue in this book teases you as you immediately get a feeling that something dark and mysterious is brooding and it sets up the journey that Ali and Jack are about to embark on. You know you are in for a spine-chilling read.

SJI Holliday weaves a crime element into her plot, and this was done to great effect. But I’m not going to talk any more about this here, you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what happens. The atmosphere in the book is excellent, and it brings the commune and the surrounding countryside to life. If I ever see a building remotely similar to the commune whenever I’m driving around country lanes, I think I’ll be speeding up and keeping very clear.

The Lingering is dark and atmospheric; it will linger in your mind and beware, it may give you nightmares. It is psychological suspense at its very best. You really don’t want to miss it. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length: 320 pages

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

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Lingering blog poster 2018 (1) (1)