#Overkill by Vanda Symon blog tour @OrendaBooks @vandasymon #NewZealandNoir

Overkill Cover

Source: Review Copy

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Book One in the Sam Shephard Series … a tense and atmospheric thriller by one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.
Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast said her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands. To find the murderer … and clear her name.
A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.

MY THOUGHTS

Sometimes a book comes along which you just want to shout from the rooftops about, and Overkill for me is that book. I’d heard many great things about it so my expectations were high and they were certainly met. I’m going to be pressing this book into the hands of everyone who I know who loves crime fiction. This is one of the best introductions to a new crime series that I have read. As I was reading the prologue, I was just staring wide-eyed at the page, completely engrossed by the character’s dilemma and what she was facing at that moment. And I knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy case for the police to investigate.

What first drew me to Overkill was the book’s setting. The author, Vanda Symon, sets the novel in her home country, New Zealand. I haven’t read any books set in this part of the world before. In her debut novel, Vanda Symon paints a portrait of a friendly, tight knit community and it seems an idyllic place to live, everyone knows each other’s business. The crime rate appears to be low, and nothing untoward seems to happen, which is why the discovery of the body of one of their own, sends the community, and even the police working on the case into shock. I did wonder how the case was going to affect the town in the long run, especially if there wasn’t a quick resolution. I was beginning to imagine that there would be many pointing the finger at each other and playing the blame game.

Detective Constable Sam Shepherd, who is on the team investigating the case, is acquainted with the woman who has been found and with the victim’s husband as well. Her connection to the individuals at the heart of the crime is what makes this case particularly personal and difficult for her, even more so as she still has strong feelings for the victim’s husband. But Sam tries her best to find out what happened, even when there are many obstacles thrown in her way. She certainly isn’t given an easy time with this case, and this is what makes this book tense and exciting, I wanted to see how she was going to get out of the situation she was now in. But to find out what happens to Sam, you’re going to have to pick up the book to find out as I won’t be revealing anything here.

I did have a huge amount of empathy for Sam throughout the book. I think she is a character who fears change, and she is a person who becomes very attached to people who she knows well, particularly her friend Maggie. But when it comes down to the case, she is determined to get to the bottom of what has happened, and she is feisty in her determination to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

I loved Vanda Symon’s writing style. When I started reading the book, I knew that it wouldn’t take me long to finish. I liked that every now and again there was a slice of humour, which really added to Sam’s characterisation and the people around her.

After reading Overkill I’m really excited to read what Vanda writes next. Overkill is an immersive, page-turner that will have you gripped from the chilling opening right through to the heart-pounding conclusion.

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: 30th June 2018 (kindle) 7th September 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pages

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The Lingering by SJI Holliday Book Review @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks

The Lingering by [Holliday, SJI]

Source: Review Copy

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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. The book is available to pre-order by clicking the link below. You really don’t want to miss it.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 15th September 2018 (Ebook) 15th November 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

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#EndGame by Matt Johnson Blog Tour @Matt_Johnson_UK @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for End Game today, the third and sadly, final book in the Robert Finlay series by Matt Johnson.

Source: Review Copy

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Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

MY THOUGHTS

End Game is the third and final book in the brilliant Robert Finlay series by Matt Johnson and it is a series which I highly recommend to any thriller seekers. I’m sad to see this series come to an end as I will definitely miss these characters. Matt also writes really well and so I am sure that I’ll be picking up what he writes next as I really like his style. Before you pick up End Game I would recommend that you read the first two books in the series, which began with Wicked Game, although they can all be read as standalones, I feel you would get more enjoyment out of them if you read all three.

It seems that Robert Finlay will never quite be granted his wish of enjoying a quiet life with his wife and two children. He has put his military days behind him; however he has since joined the Metropolitan police as an Inspector. But when his friend’s girlfriend is murdered he is thrown into a chaotic mess as he tries to prove his friend’s innocence. He can’t believe that his friend had any involvement in this woman’s murder. But his friend only makes matters worse when he escapes from jail. And as Robert struggles to clear his name, he learns that someone is plotting to kill them both. Will they both manage to survive?

What I really like about these books is their authenticity. Matt Johnson is a former soldier and police officer, and his own, personal experiences feeds into the Robert Finlay novels. He offers us a fascinating insight into the worlds of policing and spies at the very highest level of security. Although the Robert Finlay novels are works of fiction, Matt does refer to real, historical events which only occurred in this country a few decades ago and this is another part of the plot which I found really interesting and it compelled me to research them.

One of my favourite characters from this series, I would say, would have to be Toni Fellows. She is a force to be reckoned with and I really liked the working relationship that she has with Finlay. If you are on her side, she is a friend who will do anything for you.

End Game is a fitting end to a fantastic series. If you haven’t yet discovered these books and if you’re a fan of action packed, spy thrillers, then you definitely need to add them to your TBR pile. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 6th February 2018

Print length: 340 pages

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#Killed by Thomas Enger blog tour @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Killed today. The final book in the Henning Juul series by Thomas Enger which is published by Orenda Books and translated by Kari Dickson.

Source: Review Copy

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Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning…

Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life.

Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?

MY THOUGHTS

Killed is the finale in the Henning Juul series by Thomas Enger and what a brilliant end to the series it is. I first discovered this series when I read his previous novel Cursed, and I was hooked on Henning’s story. I still need to read the first three books; they are high up in my TBR pile. Enger’s Henning Jull series is an emotive, twisty and gripping journey. It follows Henning as he attempts to find his son’s killers in his quest for the truth. Cursed ended with a revelation that made me desperate to read the next book, and the moment my copy of Killed arrived, I couldn’t wait to read it. If I were to start this series again, I would go right back to the beginning, and this is what I would suggest if you are interested in reading this series. But what I did find helpful is that there is a cast of characters at the front of the book, so if you are coming to the Henning Juul books for the first time, it is possible to read it as a stand-alone.

Thomas opens his latest novel with a prologue that will really make you step back and think before it urges you to read the rest. Killed can very easily be read in one sitting. As I mentioned earlier, this is an emotional read as Henning tries to uncover who killed his son. It is clear that he will try and attempt this by any means possible, he has little care in the world if anything should happen to him in the process, and this is what makes him a reckless and an exciting character to follow. Someone is desperate to try and silence Henning however, and this is where the tension in the novel rises.

The last two Henning Juul novels which I have read have been translated really well. The descriptions of the Norwegian landscape drew me into the setting. From the start of the book, there is a strong sense of foreboding and it is clear that there are going to be obstacles set in Henning’s way as he attempts to reach the truth, be prepared for shocking and heartbreaking scenes.

Although it is sad to see this series come to an end, Thomas certainly couldn’t have given this series a better one. But I still have the first three books to read, so I’m looking forward to finding more about Henning. I’m sure that Thomas has more exciting books up his sleeve.

Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of this book to review and to Anne Cater for the invitation to join the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 15th February 2018

Print length: 276 pages

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#Hydra by Matt Wesolowski #review #Blog Tour @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken

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In November 2014 Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and sister to death with a hammer. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out.

MY THOUGHTS

It is so hard to put into words how clever and good this book is. I still need to get round to reading Six Stories, I can see it sitting there on my shelf, glaring at me, but now that I’ve read Hydra I’ll be bumping it right up to the top of my reading pile. I loved the idea of presenting a story through a series of podcasts which is what makes this novel, utterly unique. We hear from six different perspectives in this book, and the author has managed to give each character their own unique voice, it certainly didn’t feel like an interview as I was reading. And, oh my gosh, those black-eyed children. I read a few reviews prior to reading this book where it mentions how frightening they are and they genuinely did give me the creeps. I was tempted to research them as I was reading this book, but I have to admit I was too frightened to do so. Even now I can picture them inside my head, and they still make me shiver.

The case which our presenter examines in Hydra is a disturbing one. In 2014, Arla Macleod bludgeoned her family to death. Arla has since been sectioned, and even though there is no doubt that she killed her family, Scott still wants to examine her life and try to answer the question of why she did what she did. Why did she take it upon herself to kill her family? What was at the very root of the bloodshed? Scott speaks to five people who knew Arla from various times in her childhood and in her teenage years. Unsettling details about Arla’s past emerge out of the hat, and perhaps Scott gets closer to understanding what prompted her to commit such a heinous act. But someone is desperate to stop him from uncovering the truth and soon he finds that he is risking everything that he has worked for, to get to the truth.

The presenter, Scott King, delves into the heart of the Arla Macleod mystery as he examines the case in fresh ways, each episode, looking at it with a new perspective each time. What I found really interesting about this book was the paranormal aspect to the story, as I mentioned earlier the book frightened me so much that I couldn’t even bring myself to research what the author was writing about. You know that a book is good when it has this effect on you. I would suggest reading this book in the daytime and not just before you go to sleep. This book will thrill crime and horror fans.

What I was also intrigued by was how my opinion of Arla changed as the book progressed, she was an absolutely fascinating character to learn about as we take a look at her past life (through people who knew her) and how she is in the present. I’m not going to say anything about the plot here as I don’t want to spoil it but I did not see that final reveal coming. Absolutely brilliant!

This is a really exceptional book. I, for one, am excited to see what Matt will come up with next and I’ll be getting round to reading Six Stories very soon. Creepy, and so so good, I think I’ll be thinking and talking about this book for a long time. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 15th January 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

 

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#DeepBlueTrouble #review by Steph Broadribb #blogtour @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks

I’m so excited that I can finally share my review of Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb today, the second book in the Lori Anderson series as part of the blog tour.

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Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free. Teaming up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor threatens to put the whole job in danger. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything…

MY THOUGHTS

Finally, Lori Anderson is back in Steph Broadribb’s highly anticipated second novel Deep Blue Trouble. And what an explosive return to the series it is. If you’re a fan of Lori Anderson and JT, then you are in for a real treat. And if you haven’t read this series yet, you do not want to be missing out. I would recommend starting with the first book in the series before reading Deep Blue Trouble as you will learn a lot about Lori and JT’s relationship; it also follows on from events in the first book.

After the events of the previous novel, Lori’s trainer, and father of her nine-year-old daughter Dakota, JT, is facing a prison sentence and possibly the death penalty. Lori can’t let that happen, she has her daughter’s future to think about and if at any time in her life, her cancer returns, her father will be the best option there is for a successful bone marrow transplant. Lori can’t afford to lose him. She signs a deal with her boss, that if she brings in an escaped fugitive, then the charges that JT is facing will disappear. The man she is sent out to find is Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher. But why is Monroe interested in Gibson, what makes him any different to any other fugitive out there? What dealings has Monroe had with Gibson in the past?

In this book, Lori teams up with Dez McGregor and his team in California. Used to working independently there are undoubtedly tensions between her and Dez who seems to take an immediate dislike to her and Lori, likewise, takes a dislike to him. But Lori has no choice but to work with him if she wants JT released from prison, everything for Lori hangs in the balance, and if she doesn’t succeed, she faces an uncertain future. Lori is also aware that she is being followed and is on edge throughout the book, especially when she begins to receive threatening messages.

The Lori Anderson books are shaping up to be a fine, eagerly anticipated new crime series. Steph Broadribb has a real talent for creating highly engaging and believable characters. I’m excited to see where Steph will take us next with Lori and JT. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 5th January 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen blog tour @OrendaBooks @antti_tuomainen

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A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists. With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Antti Tuomainen

Finnish author Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labelled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable.’ Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula.

MY THOUGHTS

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen begins with a startling revelation for our protagonist, Jaakko. Jaakko has been informed by his doctor that he has just weeks or potentially days to live. Jaakko is convinced that he has been murdered and he sets his eyes upon his wife. Can he find out if his wife is involved in his death before his time is up? How long exactly does he have left?

A topic I always find prompts discussion from a group is what would you do if you found out you had a day to live. The question prompts a round of answers: I would raid my bank account; I would eat fast food all day. But what if you thought that you had been murdered? Would you use your final days trying to prove if this was true and to try and find out who did it? I think personally, if this was the situation I was faced with, I would try and spend my final days having fun or at least spending time with friends and relatives.

Many of you will know that I read a lot of crime fiction and to me this book felt very fresh, it’s hard to stand out in such an overcrowded market but I think the author has done just that. There is also plenty of humour in this book which I really liked. We delve into Jaakko’s mind as he contemplates what he has learnt from the doctor and he paints a very philosophical view about our lifetime on this planet.

This is a brilliant book by a talented writer. If you’re looking for something that is a bit different then I would highly recommend The Man Who Died. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda books for sending me a copy of the book to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 10th October 2017

Print length: 300 pages

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#HouseofSpines by Michael J Malone blog tour #bookreview @OrendaBooks @michaelJmalone1

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for House of Spines, the new novel by Michael J Malone. If you love a mix between a fantastic ghost story and a psychological thriller, this is the book for you!

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A terrifying psychological thriller cum Gothic mystery, as a young man with mental health issues inherits an isolate mansion, where all is not as it seems…

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who it seems has been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror… the reflection of a woman… A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

MY THOUGHTS

Before I get on with writing my review, I have to confess, this is the first book by Michael J Malone which I have read. I’ve seen his first book A Suitable Lie all over Twitter, and now that I have finished House of Spines it has jumped right up my TBR pile. I can see now what I have been missing out on.

House of Spines is an exceptional, Gothic tale with a brilliant, intertwined supernatural element. I can’t wait to read more from Michael Malone.

We are introduced to our protagonist Ranald MaGhie, a writer who hasn’t had an easy time over the last few years. He has lost both of his parents, and he recently split from his partner, Martie. We first meet Ranald when he is meeting his mother’s family lawyer. What he learns in this meeting completely changes his world. Unbeknownst to him, his mother came from aristocracy, and her family lived in a magnificent house just outside of Glasgow. The current owner of the house, his mother’s uncle, has died and Ranald is stunned to learn that he has passed the house onto him. But why hasn’t his estranged cousins raised any objection to the house being transferred to him? To them, he is a stranger, an outsider. Why are they so keen for the house to be passed to him when it could be worth many millions of pounds?

I became completely absorbed in this book from page one. Once I had started, I couldn’t stop reading. Michael Malone’s description of the house is exceptional, I can see from reading the book that he must’ve put a great deal of time and effort into the plot and into the construction of his setting. It made me wonder if the house was based on a particular property that he knew of as it really did come alive on the page.

Ranald was a great character, it was interesting to see how he coped with his new lifestyle after learning about his good fortune which for him was overwhelming at times. We all dream of that moment of winning the lottery and we wonder what we would do if money wasn’t an object and this is what I felt. It felt as though Ranald was in a very similar position to this. The characters in this book all kept me guessing as I wondered what their game really was, and I had a lot of suspicion about his cousins, which made me very keen to find out what was really going on and if Ranald was simply a pawn in one of their games. Surely they couldn’t be acting just out of the goodness of their hearts. Well, I can tell you that Michael Malone had quite a few surprises up his sleeve.

House of Spines is, at times terrifying, and also an absolutely riveting read that will keep you invested in the characters. I’ll certainly be reading Michael Malone’s first book very soon, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. Excellent stuff. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda books for sending me a copy of this book to read and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 15th September 2017

Print length: 276 pages

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Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson Book Review

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Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

MY THOUGHTS

I was blown away by Block 46, I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to get round to it. After reading so many great reviews from fellow bloggers, I knew I was in for a treat, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s another riveting read from Orenda Books, and Johana Gustawsson is another author who I am excited to read more from.

When the body of jewellery designer Linnea Blix is discovered in Sweden, investigators believe that there may be a link between her murder and the murder of a young boy in London who was found with similar injuries. The investigators believe that these recent murders could also be linked to killings which have taken place across decades. In 1944, we meet Erich Hebner who has been imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp. How is Erich connected to the events which are happening in the present, what really happened at the camp all those years ago?

Block 46, is a powerful and emotive story that explores a devastating time period in our history, the Holocaust. I really had no idea of the direction which Johana was going to take us. The subject of the concentration camps is an area which Johana has researched impeccably well; what Johana has also done in this book is make us, the reader, realise how important it is for us to learn about what happened in these times, to ensure that this atrocity never happens again. The scenes in which Johana takes us inside the concentration camp are graphic and sometimes I had to take a break after reading them, but that is the power of her writing and what makes it so good. She’s an author who makes you care for her characters.

Johana has a great cast of characters in her book, I loved Emily Roy, and I’m hoping that she’ll soon appear in another book. Although Block 46 takes you to some very dark and disturbing places, it makes for an absolutely riveting read that I flew through. I could never be sure who the killer was, and I was certainly surprised by the ending. It is a gripping mystery but also a deeply moving story that will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 15th May 2017

Print length: 300 pages

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