The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone #blogtour #giveaway #win #competition #prize @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone. As part of the blog tour I have one paperback copy of the book to giveaway. If you want to check out my review of The Great Silence you can do so by clicking here. But before I reveal how you can enter the giveaway, let’s take a look at what the book is about.

The Great Silence (The Skelfs Book 3) by [Douglas  Johnstone, Doug Johnstone]

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Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelfs’ teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in the addictive, unforgettable Skelfs series, and the stakes are higher than ever.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th June 2021 (kindle) 19th August 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

The Great Silence is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

I’m delighted to offer one paperback copy of The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone to giveaway. To enter, please visit my Twitter page @collinsjacob115 and please see my pinned Tweet at the top of my profile. To enter the competition all you have to do is follow me, retweet my pinned Tweet and tag friends in the comments. The giveaway will run until midnight, Sunday 22nd August 2021. One winner will be chosen at random and they will be notified by noon Monday, 23rd August 2021. I’m afraid this competition is only open to UK entries only.

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The Beresford by Will Carver #bookreview #blogtour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Beresford by Will Carver on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Beresford by [Will Carver]

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Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. 

In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge, huge Will Carver fan, and I couldn’t wait to start reading The Beresford. I’m certain I’ve found my favourite book of the year. This is such an original, chilling and compelling read. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, no writer writes quite like Will Carver does.

The setting in this book, The Beresford, a block of apartments, becomes a character in its own right. The building is owned by a strange character, Mrs May, and we get to know the other residents who live there. The building comes with its own dark tales, which will chill you to the core. Abe, an artist, is one of the blocks most fascinating tenants. He is a very messed up person, but he is also someone who I did feel sorry for. He is desperate to be loved by someone, and as Abe says, he wants other people to look at his life and want what he’s got. But there is a very dark side to Abe. And this is what makes him such a compelling and terrifying character.

Will Carver’s writing propels you into the story, and his unique writing style kept me turning the pages faster and faster. There are short and snappy chapters and the dark, wildly entertaining plot kept me gripped.

I’ve mentioned Abe’s character in this review, but Mrs May is another person who I really wanted to get to the bottom of. From the beginning, we can see that she is a very religious person. Mrs May is a person who has suffered from trauma in her life. Her husband passed away several years earlier. But she is a much more complicated character, and I thought this was very clever.

The direction this book took completely took me by surprise. At first, I was thinking, what on earth is going on here? But this was in a good way. My eyes were kept glued to the whole book, but the final chapters kept me really gripped. I wanted to understand what was going on and who these people really were. It is so, so well done. I think many people may form different opinions when they get to the end of this book, but I absolutely loved it. 

If you’re a fan of Will Carver’s books, then you will love The Beresford. It is so good. Highly, highly recommended!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

The Beresford is available to buy:

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Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir #bookreview #blogtour @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new crime novel by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Girls Who Lie. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she’s taken her own life … until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?
 
Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to a shocking tragedy.
 
Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

MY THOUGHTS

Girls Who Lie is an intriguing addition to the Forbidden Iceland series by Eva Björg Ægisdottir, which is turning into a fantastic new crime series. The atmospheric setting draws you in, and the clever, compelling storyline kept me hooked. It makes for a completely gripping, sinister and shocking read.

I thought the first book in the series, The Creak on the Stairs, was very creepy. I thought it set the tone for the series very well, which Eva Björg Ægisdottir carries through perfectly into the second book.

The author really does draw on the setting in this book, especially when the body of a missing woman, Mari´anna, is found on a lava field. This is one of the most original locations for hiding a body I’ve come across in crime fiction. It adds to the layer of intrigue surrounding the woman’s disappearance and who could be behind it. Now, Detective Elma and her team have to find out what happened to Mari´anna seven months earlier. But they have lost valuable time. Will they be able to find out who was behind it?

Some of the most intriguing scenes in this book are when Eva Björg Ægisdottir takes us back in time to fifteen years ago when a young mother gives birth to her daughter. I wanted to understand why she didn’t feel anything for her child, and this made her character all the more fascinating. As Eva continues to visit this time, we begin to see this character grow. I wanted to know how what was happening in the past fed into what had happened in the present. Was the discovery of the missing woman’s body and these scenes somehow connected?

Eva brings Elma’s character to life, and I liked the wit in her conversations with her colleague, Saver. The dialogue between them makes them feel like real people. The relationships that the characters have with each other are also what makes this story really compelling. I’m sure I’ll keep coming back to this series, excited to see what Eva Björg Ægisdottir has in store for us next.

If you love crime novels with a strong, fascinating setting that makes you feel as though you’re there, then I highly recommend Girls Who Lie. This book will reel you in from the very first page and keep you invested in the plot and the characters. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

Girls Who Lie is available to buy:

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The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone #bookreview @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest book in the Skelfs series by Doug Johnstone, The Great Silence.

The Great Silence (The Skelfs Book 3) by [Douglas  Johnstone, Doug Johnstone]

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Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelfs’ teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in the addictive, unforgettable Skelfs series, and the stakes are higher than ever.

MY THOUGHTS

The Skelf family are back in Doug Johnstone’s latest book, The Great Silence. This is such an original crime series, and this is one of my favourite books of the year so far. I couldn’t resist starting it as soon as my copy arrived. I have heard that this is the last book in this series, but I am really hoping that the Skelfs will return.

It’s fair to say that the Skelf family have been through a lot over the three books. There is intrigue right from the start in the latest book in this series, and Doug Johnstone certainly knows how to hit the ground running. When Dorothy is out walking her dog, Einstein, he comes across an embalmed human foot in a local Edinburgh Park. Hannah, her granddaughter, is asked to help out a friend of hers, who may or may not be in contact with aliens, as part of his research into possible life elsewhere in the universe. He thinks someone is deliberately targeting him. Things take an even darker turn when the daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-partner goes missing. And big cats are also stalking the city.

The Skelf women are still reeling from the events at the end of the last book. This doesn’t stop them from carrying on investigating the strange events that are taking place. Only the Skelf family could come across an embalmed human foot and not be particularly perturbed. I wanted to know just what was going on in Edinburgh, particularly with the reports of the big cats as well. It makes for a very chilling atmosphere which Doug Johnstone writes so well.

This story really gets dark as the events which are happening in the city are explored further. It is perhaps their most challenging case to date. In the Skelf family, Doug Johnstone has created a unique set of characters. They’re what makes this series so good and so original. I think Dorothy, in particular, is my favourite. You can see how they have developed over the course of the series and I have really grown attached to them.

What I loved particularly about this book and the last book in the series are the discussions Hannah has with her friends about exoplanets, which is a topic I am fascinated by. The nerdy part of my brain was buzzing when they talked about Seti and the exoplanets discovered so far in the universe.

This is a series which you really must read if you haven’t read it already. It’s dark, intriguing, and so, so original. Doug Johnstone is such a brilliant writer and he knows how to create unique and unforgettable characters. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th June 2021 (kindle) 19th August 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

The Great Silence is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds #bookreview @Rod_WR @OrendaBooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by Rod Reynolds, Black Reed Bay.

Black Reed Bay by [Rod Reynolds]

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When a young woman vanishes from an exclusive oceanfront community, Detective Casey Wray’s investigation plunges her into a darkness she could never have imagined … Breathtaking, unnerving contemporary American Noir.

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When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…

And then the first body appears…

MY THOUGHTS

Rod Reynolds has become a recent new favourite author of mine, and I was so excited when his latest book, Black Reed Bay, was posted through my letterbox. I was so excited to start reading it, and I can tell you that it is very clever and an unputdownable read. I’m really hoping that this is going to be the start of a series featuring Detective Casey Wray. I can’t wait to read more books featuring her, if it is.

Rod Reynolds starts this book with a bang when a young woman makes a distressed call to the police. A woman, Tina Grace, is running from a man, and she is in fear for life. But before they can get any more details from Tina, the call is disconnected. The call has come from an exclusive, oceanfront community, home to the very wealthy. And as Detective Casey Wray and her team try to uncover more about the woman and what happened to her, they have no idea what explosive secrets they are about to discover.

I loved Casey Wray. She has a real passion for the job she does, and she is a strong lead character. I liked the banter between her and members of her team, particularly between her and Dave Cullen. She is such a fascinating and really likeable person, so I’m really hoping that this will be part of a series.

There is a sinister web of lies and mystery shrouding the neighbourhood where Tina Grace made the 9-1-1 call from. It made for such gripping reading, and I had no idea how the plot was going to unfold. It’s fast paced, really exciting, and the book also has a very cinematic feel to it. I felt as though I was part of the action taking place and the book is so cleverly put together and so well plotted.

Tina Grace, the woman who disappears, is such a complex and mysterious character. I had to get to the bottom of what had happened to her. I loved the setting, and Rod Reynolds expertly brought it to life. Although his last book was set in London, I do know that his first books were also set in America. I’m still yet to get round to reading them, but after reading his latest, I’m moving them higher up my reading pile, and I am determined to get to them before the end of this year.

Black Reed Bay will pull you in, and I can assure you that you will find this book very difficult to put down. I’m sure I’ve found another one of my top ten reads of the year. Brilliant stuff.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 28th May 2021 (kindle) 2nd September 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 319 pages

Black Reed Bay is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl #bookreview #blogtour @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl on my blog today 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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Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.

When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.

But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.

MY THOUGHTS

In Kjell Ola Dahl’s latest novel, The Assistant, he whisks us to Europe in 1938, when the continent is on the brink of war. There is tension simmering in the air with talks about what Hitler and his regime are doing. We are introduced to former a police detective, turned private investigator, Ludvig Paaske, who is now working with his one time, arch-nemesis, Jack Rivers. But what has drawn them to work together?

I thought the partnership of Jack Rivers and Ludvig Paaske was really intriguing. I wanted to find out more about it and what had prompted them to form this new alliance. Would this have any implications for Ludvig, particularly as he swore to put Jack behind bars during the prohibition era in Norway in the 1920s?

The case which they are investigating is an interesting one, very simple at first, when a woman asks them to spy on her husband, who she suspects is having an affair. But very soon, Ludvig begins to see that there is much more at play here than what first meets the eye.

Jack Rivers comes across as very likeable, even though he is a criminal. You can see that he is a passionate man when it comes to love and women, but you also get the sense that he is in control of the situation, especially when things get tense. I was really interested in the scenes set in the 1920s when Jack played on the wrong side of the law by smuggling alcohol. This was a part of history that, until I read this book, I didn’t know much about, particularly about the prohibition in Norway. It was fascinating to find out more about what was happening in the world at this time. After I finished reading the book, I wanted to find out more about this time period.

Kjell Ola Dahl builds on the atmosphere in this book, and there is a real sense of mystery. This is especially as Jack and Ludvig begin to understand more about the case and people they are investigating. I could feel the tensions simmering as the plot began to build, especially with the threat of war lingering in the background.

Ludvig’s character took longer to grow on me, and I think some readers may struggle to like him at first, but I would definitely like to read another novel where he and Jack feature again.

The Assistant is a compelling mystery novel; the writing pulls you into the story from the very first page. If you’re a fan of wartime thrillers, then you definitely need to give this book a go.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 13th May 2021

Print length: 276 pages

The Assistant is available to buy:

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Bound by Vanda Symon #bookreview #blogtour @vandasymon @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the latest novel in the Sam Shephard series by Vanda Symon, Bound. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Bound (Sam Shephard Book 4) by [Vanda Symon]

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The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.

The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect… 

MY THOUGHTS

Bound is the fourth book in the Sam Shephard series by Vanda Symon, and I think it’s the best book in the series yet. Vanda Symon knows how to create a really chilling opening, and she has created another gripping first few pages here. I wanted to know what had happened from the first page, and Vanda Symon kept me turning the pages. I raced through this book in just a couple of days.

A teenage boy returns home to a shocking scene that will be forever imprinted on his memory. His father, a local businessman, is dead, and his mother is seriously injured. What happened here, and who attacked his parents? What have they got themselves involved in?

This is such a gripping crime novel. The chapters are short and pacy, and they always left me thinking, I’ll just read one more. It’s what makes Vanda Symon’s books so addictive, and I love her writing. I had to know what was going on here and who was responsible for the crime. But this isn’t the only thing Sam is having to deal with. Her father is dying. Sam is struggling to come to terms with what is inevitably going to happen. She tries to distract herself by throwing herself into her work.

There are some shocking reveals as Sam Shephard comes closer to unravelling the truth, and there is a jaw-dropping twist that I did not see coming. Sam knows that there is more here to what meets the eye, but she seems to be the only person who can see this. It seems that the rest of the team are keen to brush the case under the carpet. I really liked how Sam fought for the victims.

Sam Shephard is such a great character, and she is one of my favourite detectives in crime fiction. She is a character you can root for right the way through, and I hope there will be many more books featuring her to come. I thought the scenes in which she was dealing with her father’s illness were really emotional, and you can see how she is struggling to accept it.

Bound is so cleverly well plotted. I loved how Vanda Symon kept the tension turning up a notch and how she kept me asking questions. Vanda’s writing is taut and so pacy. It made for such a compelling read, and I loved it.

If you’re not yet reading this series, then you really need to be. It’s a fast paced, highly engaging police procedural. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 4th January 2021 (kindle) 18th March 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pages

Bound is available to buy:

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Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst #bookreview #blogtour @EngerThomas @LierHorst @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Smoke Screen (Blix & Ramm) by [Thomas Enger, Jørn Lier Horst, Megan Turney]

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Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion, and the city is put on terrorist alert.

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Smeplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of the first book in Thomas Enger’s and Jorn Lier Horst’s new series; Death Deserved when I read it last year. I was eager to read what they would come up with next and I wasn’t disappointed. Smoke Screen is a brilliant addition to this series. Enger and Horst hit the ground running with an intense opening chapter, and the pace doesn’t drop throughout the rest of the book.

The plot is cleverly constructed and is weaved together really well. In the opening chapter, on New Year’s Eve, a bomb is detonated in Oslo, prompting the police and emergency services to suspect a terror attack. One of the victims of the bombing, who is seriously injured, is the mother of a missing girl who vanished a decade earlier. The case was never solved, and two-year-old Patricia was never found. With the current events unfolded, interest in the case is sparked again, and Detective Alexander Blix hopes to solve the case once and for all.

If you love action-packed books, then this is a series you really need to be reading. What I really like about these books is the relationship between Alexander Blix and journalist Emma Ramn. In an unofficial capacity, they make a good team, and they both have mutual respect for each other. There is a lot of mystery in this book. I wanted to find out what had happened to Patricia ten years earlier, and the police are also kept on their toes as the terror threat level is raised. Who was responsible for the attack on New Year’s Eve?

As Detective Blix does, Emma throws herself into the investigation of Patricia’s disappearance. There is a twisty web of deceit the investigation team needs to unpick, and Emma gets too close to the truth, which puts her in danger. This is what keeps the tension in the book going as the investigation to uncover the truth proceeds. I got the sense that the police were so close to discovering what had happened, but I thought it could also be snatched away from them. The last chapters are so tense as the police and Emma get closer to understanding the truth about what had happened. I couldn’t stop reading until I had turned the final page.

I’m always fascinated when authors collaborate on one project. The writing here was seamless, and it felt as though it had just been written by one author. I’d love to know more about how they go about the writing process.

This is another thrilling read in this series which I couldn’t put down. I know I’ll be reading the next book as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. If you’re not yet reading this series, you’re really missing out. This is a top crime series which I can’t wait to read more from. I think it would also translate really well to screen and it is crying out to be made into a TV series. Smoke Screen gets an easy five stars from me.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 18th December 2020 (kindle) 18th February 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

Smoke Screen is available to buy:

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Deity by Matt Wesolowski #bookreview #blogtour @ConcreteKraken @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the latest book in the Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski, Deity, on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rake over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge: Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Are reports of a haunting really true? Why was he never officially charged?

MY THOUGHTS

Matt Wesolowski is back with the latest episode in his Six Stories series featuring Scott King. The latest book in the series is Deity which is another utterly compelling read. I always look forward to reading Matt’s book, and this one didn’t disappoint. Once I had started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down, and the unique way Matt tells his stories, kept me turning the pages. I was eager to see what each new episode would reveal and what secrets were waiting to be uncovered.

There isn’t another writer out there who writes quite like Matt Wesolowski. If you are new to this series, the novels are told in the form of a podcast. The presenter is Scott King, who has recently made a name for himself after cracking several infamous cases. Over six weeks, Scott King examines a new case and presents new details and interviews with new witnesses in each episode.

This time around, Scott is examining pop star Zach Crystal’s case whose charred remains were discovered at his burnt-out mansion in Scotland. Zach was adored by millions around the world, but particularly by younger people. So what happened the night Zach Crystal was killed? Was it a tragic accident, or was someone else to blame? Scott King intends to find out.

Zach Crystal was such an intriguing character. Throughout the book, we read extracts from his last exclusive interview, which he did as he was relaunching his career. By that time Zach was in his mid-forties, but Zach was still an idol to many young people growing up now. On the outside, he seems like a very humble and caring person. But there is a darker side to this that Scott King explores over his podcast series.

There is a very dark, foreboding feeling to this book. I wanted to get to the bottom of who Zach Crystal really was. He seemed to have an element of control over his fans, which is what I thought as I was reading the book, which gives it a very chilling atmosphere. Everyone who comes into contact with him is in awe, and Zach knows how to use this to his advantage. He displays a very confident image, but, I also felt that there was a sense of vulnerability about him as well. This made me even more interested in him.

With recent stories that have made headlines over the past few years, you can see where Matt Wesolowski drew his inspiration from this novel. It does get very dark in places and unnerving as well as Scott King gets closer to the truth. The tension really ramps up in the final pages as we begin to understand just what was going on in Zach Crystal’s life.

Matt Wesolowski has produced another absolutely gripping book in this series. It’s dark, chilling and so absorbing. I can’t wait to see what case Scott King investigates next. Long may this series continue!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 18th December 2020 (kindle) 18th February 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 253 pages

Deity is available to buy:

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Winterkill by Ragnar Jonasson #bookreview #blogtour @ragnarjo @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Winterkill by Ragnar Jonasson today on my blog. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Winterkill (Dark Iceland Book 6) by [Ragnar Jónasson, David Warriner]

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A blizzard is approaching Siglufjörður, and that can only mean one thing…

When the body of a nineteen-year-old girl is found on the main street of Siglufjörður, Police Inspector Ari Thór battles a violent Icelandic storm in an increasingly dangerous hunt for her killer … The chilling, claustrophobic finale to the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.

Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill is a startling addition to the multi-million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting and acclaimed authors in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS

Ragnar Jonasson’s books are always the perfect read for this time of year, and it is something I have come to look forward to as the winter approaches. Atmospheric, addictive, and very easy to sink into. Winterkill is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a book to read over the festive period. I have heard this is the last in this series and I am sad to see it draw to a close. But don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous novels as it can be read as a standalone. You’ll definitely want to read the first five books once you read this one.

Detective Inspector Ari Thór Arason is called to a horrific scene where a teenage girl has plunged to her death from a high-rise building. On the basis, it looks as though the girl has committed suicide, but Ari Thór believes there is something else at play here. What was going on in her life to prompt her to throw herself from the top of a building? Was it really just an accident? As Ari Thór continues to investigate, he begins to sense that something prompted the young girl to take this course of action. But what was so terrible that made her decide that this was her only way out?

The novel is told over the course of the Easter weekend. Siglufjörður is facing a horrific snowstorm, causing blackouts and severe disruption. It isn’t the best weather to be conducting a murder investigation, but Ari Thór pushes on. The threatening blizzard creates a dark and foreboding atmosphere; it gives you the sense that it could cause many things to go wrong with the investigation. But this isn’t something that the residents of Siglufjörður aren’t used to. Apart from those who haven’t spent all their lives there. The weather can catch them off guard. Ari Thór is still fairly new to the area as well, having come from the capital, Reykjavík. The locals have come to slowly accept him after proving that he can stick around after surviving the harsh winters. This is something always seen as a test to newcomers who are not used to the climate.

Ragnar Jonasson builds on the atmosphere as the novel progresses. I love the way how the writing takes us into the Icelandic landscape. Once again it has been expertly translated by David Warriner. The writing flows beautifully, and it hooked me right away from the opening chapters. You get a clear sense of the dominating fjord. It made me want to google images of the town, and the scenery is stunning.

The crime which takes place in this book isn’t an overly complicated one. You get the sense that Ari Thór is on the cusp of discovering something big and even the revelations that come are a shock to him. Ragnar wraps everything up really well and delivers the perfect ending which sent shivers down my spine as I was reading it.

As I have come to expect from Ragnar Jonasson’s books, Winterkill is utterly chilling and unputdownable. It took me no time at all to finish this book. This is a series which I highly recommend. Once you read one book by Ragnar Jonasson, you’ll want to read everything he’s ever written. Top stuff!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 10th December 2020

Print length: 240 pages

Winterkill is available to buy:

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