March 2021 Wrap-Up

Well, that’s another month done and dusted. Here in the UK we’re finally beginning to emerge out of lockdown and I’m starting to feel a lot more positive about the weeks ahead. I’m looking forward to meeting up with people again in the coming months when we’re finally allowed to do so.

I’m really excited about the current book I’m writing and I have currently written 45,006 words of the first draft. It’s a standalone psychological thriller which is separate to the series I’m also currently writing.

I have now read 49 books so far this year towards my reading goal of 100 books by the end of 2021. In March I managed to read sixteen novels.

I took part in six blog tours this month and I’ve listed the links below in case you missed any.

Bound by Vanda Symon

Future Perfect by Felicia Yap

The Night Gate by Peter May

The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas

Last Seen by Joy Kluver

This month I have four blog tours coming up, Turst Me by T.M. Logan on the 5th April Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith on the 6th, Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone on the 15th and The House of Hidden Secrets by C E Rose on the 22nd.

I received some exciting bookpost this month. I received copies of Lightseekers by Femi Kayode and Post Mortem by Gary Bell, This is How We are Human by Louise Beech, The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone, One Last Time by Helga Flatland, Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge, Truth or Dare by M.J. Arlidge and The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill.

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What are you currently reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments. I’m currently reading The Killing Choice by Will Shindler and Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge.

February 2021 Wrap-Up

For me, January this year seemed to really drag, but February has flown by. I hope you’ve managed to have a good month. It does finally seem that there is some light at the end of the tunnel which is giving me something to look forward to. Hopefully by the summer we’ll have some sense of normality back in our lives.

I managed to read thirteen books in total this month which has taken the number of books I’ve read this year so far to 31. Last month I finished writing my second book and I have started work on something new which I’m very excited about. My current idea I’m working on, was partly inspired by an episode in a true crime documentary I watched on Netflix at the end of last year. I already know where I’m going with it which is very rare when I start writing. I’m not a writer who can sit and plan but this time I did write a full synopsis and it has definitely made things a lot easier.

This month I took part in seven blog tours and I’ve listed the links below, in case you missed any.

An Eye For An Eye by Carol Wyer

The Art of Death by David Fennell

Black Widows by Cate Quinn

Shadow of a Doubt by Michelle Davies

The Last Snow by Stina Jackson

Deity by Matt Wesolowski

Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst

In March, I’m taking part in six blog tours. The blog tours I’m taking part in are, Bound by Vanda Symon on the 1st March, Future Perfect by Felicia Yap on the 13th March, The Night Gate by Peter May on the 20th March, The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana on the 23rd March, Nighthawking by Russ Thomas on the 24th March and Last Seen by Joy Kluver on the 28th March.

I also received some exciting bookpost this month. I received copies of, The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana, Good Girl by Mel Sherratt, Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl and Facets of Death by Michael Stanley Nighthawking by Russ Thomas, Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith, If I Fall by Merilyn Davis and The Night Gate by Peter May

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That’s all from me this month. At the moment I’m currently reading Nighthawking by Russ Thomas and I’m listening to the audiobook of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. The Midnight Library isn’t the type of book I would typically choose, but it is the book which was voted for this month in the book club I am a member of on Facebook, A Novel Book Club. I’m interested to see what I think of it. What are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget that First Monday Crime is back live on Facebook on Monday, 1st March 2021 at 19.30 p.m. You can access the event by clicking on the link below.

First Monday Crime

WWW Wednesday – 10/02/2021

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?

To the outside world Hannah married the perfect man. Behind the closed doors of their imposing home it’s a very different story. Nathan controls everything Hannah does. He chooses her clothes, checks her receipts, and keeps her passport locked away. But why does she let him?

Years before, in the midst of a relentless storm, the tragic events of one night changed everything. And Hannah has been living with the consequences ever since. Keeping Nathan happy. Doing as she’s told.

But the past is about to catch up with them.
 
Set against the unforgiving backdrop of a Cornish fishing port in the ‘90s, this is a devastating exploration of the power of coercive control in a marriage where nothing is quite as it seems…

She’s not who you think she is …

Delia O’Flaherty is as wild, remote and dangerous as her island home off the west coast of Ireland. Her adoring father tells her that one day she will be the Queen of Inishcrann.

However, tragedy leaves Delia alone in the world, to make her way relying on her wits and her rare beauty. But Delia’s beauty is deceptive – as anyone who cares about her eventually finds out.

What is the truth behind Delia’s tragic past? And what happens when a face from that past turns up on her doorstep?

What have I finished reading?

New York, 1945. Lillian Pentecost is the most successful private detective in the city, but her health is failing. She hires an assistant to help with the investigative legwork. Willowjean Parker is a circus runaway. Quick-witted and street-smart, she’s a jack-of-all-trades with a unique skill-set. She can pick locks blindfolded, wrestle men twice her size, and throw knives with deadly precision – all of which come in handy working for Ms P.

When wealthy young widow Abigail Collins is murdered and the police are making no progress, Pentecost and Parker are hired by the family to track down the culprit. On Halloween night, there was a costume party at the Collins’ mansion, where a fortune teller performed a séance which greatly disturbed Abigail. Several hours later her body was discovered bludgeoned to death in her late husband’s office. Problem is, the door to the office was locked from the inside. There was no-one else in the room, and the murder weapon was beside the victim; the fortune teller’s crystal ball.

It looks like an impossible crime, but Pentecost and Parker know there is no such thing…

Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.TRAUMA RUNS DEEPWhen her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity… and her life.TRUTH WILL OUTWith her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.FORGIVE HIS SINSBut someone must pay for the sins of the father…
A chilling page-turner from a sharp new Scottish voice.

What will I read next?

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

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

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… 

WWW Wednesday – 13/01/21

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?

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

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…

Cut to the Bone: A gripping and suspenseful crime thriller full of twists (A DI Meg Dalton thriller, Book 3) by [Roz Watkins]

A beautiful young social-media star goes missing.

But who took her?

When controversial internet celebrity Violet Armstrong vanishes in the middle of a scorching Peak District summer, the case sparks a media frenzy.

The clock is ticking for DI Meg Dalton and her team to find Violet before online threats explode into real-life violence. And then the blood and hair of a young woman are found in an empty pig trough at the local abattoir…

The more Meg finds out about this unnerving case, the more she becomes convinced that something very, very bad has happened to Violet. With temperatures rising and the press demanding answers, the case is about to take a terrifying turn…

What have I finished reading?

He is her husband. She is his captive.

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .

Twenty-five years ago my brother was murdered in my family home.

I was sent to a psychiatric unit for killing him.

The truth is, I didn’t do it.

The whole world believed nine-year-old Cara killed her younger brother on that fateful night. But she blamed it on a paranormal entity she swears was haunting her house.

No one believed her and after two years of treatment in a psychiatric unit for delusional disorder, Cara was shunned by her remaining family and put into foster care.

Now she’s being forced to return to the family home for the first time since her brother’s death, but what if she’s about to re-discover the evil that was lurking inside its walls?

What will I read next?

Deity (Six Stories) by [Matt Wesolowski]

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?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…

Black Widows by [Cate Quinn]

The only thing the three women had in common was their husband.
And, as of this morning, that they’re each accused of his murder.

Blake Nelson moved into a hidden stretch of land – a raw paradise in the wilds of Utah – where he lived with his three wives:

Rachel, the chief wife, obedient and doting to a fault.
Tina, the other wife, who is everything Rachel isn’t.
And Emily, the youngest wife, who knows little else.

When their husband is found dead under the desert sun, the questions pile up.
But none of the widows know who would want to kill a good man like Blake.

Or, at least, that’s what they’ll tell the police…

Top Ten Reads of 2020

Well, here we are, at that time of the year again. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one hell of a mad year. It seems to have flown by and dragged at the same time, but I can’t wait to see the back end of it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book events can start to happen again at some point in the New Year. But the one thing the pandemic hasn’t stopped, is some brilliant books from being published. Once again it’s been really hard to narrow the books I’ve read this year down to a top ten, but these are the books which stood out for me.

I have managed to read 153 books so far this year. I’m still hoping I’ll make my goal of 160 books by the end of the year, just a few more days to go.

So without any further ado, here are my top ten reads for 2020.

10.

Firewatching by Russ Thomas, is one of the most engaging debut crime novels I’ve read. I read this way back in January and I knew then that this would be featuring in my top ten reads of the year, that’s how good I thought it was. You can read my review of Firewatching by clicking here.

9.

Death Deserved is a brilliant start to a new series featuring, Detective Alexandra Blix. I flew through it and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Smoke Screen, which is published early in 2021. If you’d like to read my review of Death Deserved, you can do so by clicking here.

8.

When I read Blood Red City, it put me in mind of the BBC series The Capture, which I watched on BBC One back in 2019. This is a really fast paced, gritty thriller. I couldn’t put it down. If you’d like to read my review of Blood Red City, you can do so by clicking here.

7.

It was a long wait for me to finally read Amer Anwar’s second book in his Zaq and Jags series, Stone Cold Trouble. I raced through this book in just a couple of sittings. It’s very different to what I usually read in the crime fiction market. It’s action packed and highly entertaining. If you’d like to read my review of Stone Cold Trouble, you can do so by clicking here.

6.

Body Language: 'Spellbinding storytelling' Val McDermid by [A. K. Turner]

This was quite a late read in the year for me. Body Language is the first book in a new series by A. K. Turner. It felt very original when I was reading it and her main character, Cassie Raven felt like a breath of fresh air. If you’d like to read my review of Body Language, you can do so by clicking here.

5.

All in Her Head: 'Tense and moving' (Harriet Tyce) - the new must-read thriller of 2020 by [Nikki Smith]

All in her Head by Nikki Smith is a masterclass in plotting and suspense. This is a brilliant debut from a talented new writer and I can’t wait to read what she writes next. If you’d like to read my review of All in her Head, you can do so by clicking here.

4.

Mine is actually the first book by Clare Empson which I’ve read, although I’ve still got her first novel, Him, on my TBR pile to read. Again this is a novel which felt very different to what I usually read, which is why I enjoyed it so much. I actually read this right at the start of the year as well. If you’d like to read my review of Mine you can do so by clicking here.

3.

Curse the Day: The Conspiracy Thriller that Reads Like a Bond Movie (A Michael North Thriller) by [Judith O'Reilly]

Curse the Day is the second book in Judith O’Reilly’s Michael North series. This is a high-octane read and I devoured it in just a couple of sittings. If you’d like to read my review of Curse the Day, you can do so by clicking here.

2.

I Am Dust by [Louise Beech]

I Am Dust, is only the second book by Louise Beech which I’ve read and she has since become one of my favourite writers. If you’d like to read my review of I Am Dust, you can do so by clicking here.

1.

We Begin at the End: 'A beautifully written mystery, packed with unforgettable characters' Jane Harper by [Chris Whitaker]

I knew from the moment I read We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker that it would be my book of the year. This is one of the best crime novels I’ve read and Chris Whitaker is a hugely talented writer. If you’d like to read my review can do so by clicking here.

That’s it for 2020. I have seen some books already being published early in the new year which I am hugely excited about, I’ve already got my pre-orders in.

I hope you have a great year in 2021 and I hope it’s a much better one for all of us.

WWW Wednesday – 09/12/2020

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?

A severed leg and a dead engineer. A tale of love – and murder.

A human leg is discovered in a suburban freezer. The victim is a teenage girl killed some ten years earlier. But then other body parts start appearing. And these ones are male, dark-skinned, and very fresh . . .

Is this a tangled tale of love gone wrong? Or are there sinister lines connecting the dead engineer to a recent suicide in a Cardiff prison, and an engineering company that’s up to a whole lot more than is first apparent?

Fiona Griffiths starts to investigate, in the midst of the coldest winter on record. Up in a remote cottage in the Welsh Black Mountains, she finds the data that contains the clue to the entire mystery . . . but, as the first snow starts to fall, she discovers that she’s not alone.

In a town full of secrets…
Someone was murdered.
Someone went to prison.
And everyone’s a suspect.
Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered.

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?

What have I finished reading?

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

What will I read next?

Call Me Mummy: THE thriller for Mother's Day 2021 by [Tina Baker]

THIS MOTHER’S DAY YOU WILL CALL HER MUMMY

Glamorous, beautiful Mummy has everything a woman could want. Except for a daughter of her very own. So when she sees Kim – heavily pregnant, glued to her phone and ignoring her eldest child in a busy shop – she does what anyone would do. She takes her. But foul-mouthed little Tonya is not the daughter that Mummy was hoping for.

As Tonya fiercely resists Mummy’s attempts to make her into the perfect child, Kim is demonised by the media as a ‘scummy mummy’, who deserves to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media’s rules, Kim begins to spiral, turning on those who love her.

Though they are worlds apart, Mummy and Kim have more in common than they could possibly imagine. But it is five-year-old Tonya who is caught in the middle…

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

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.

WWW Wednesday – 02/12/2020

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

The Last Resort by [Susi Holliday]

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.

When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.

Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.

As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?

What have I finished reading?

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan does not wish to linger on the grisly scene before her eyes. Two mutilated corpses. In a church. In Clontarf. Her profiling background screams one fact: this is just the beginning of a sickening message.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old case is playing out on a TV documentary, the convicted professing his innocence and historical police errors being exposed daily in the media. Frankie’s superior, commissioner Donna Hegarty, makes no bones about who she expects to clean things up – both in terms of past mishandlings and the present murders.

But not everyone working the cases wants the truth to come out. And the corridors of power have their own vested interest. Soon Frankie pinpoints just what is making her so nervous: the fact that anyone could be the next victim when justice is the killer.

The Killer In Me is a fast-paced thriller in which lies are safer than the truth, the past is never far from the present, and the ability to kill could well, it seems, live in everyone.

Black Summer (Washington Poe) by [M. W. Craven]

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

What will I read next?

Sins of the Father: A disturbing and heart-stopping debut by [Sharon Bairden]

Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.
TRAUMA RUNS DEEP
When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity… and her life.
TRUTH WILL OUT
With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.
FORGIVE HIS SINS
But someone must pay for the sins of the father…

A chilling page-turner from a sharp new Scottish voice.

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

Spooky reads for Halloween

With Halloween just a few days away, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite spooky reads. If like me, you’re looking to read something a bit more atmospheric and darker at this time of year, then I have the perfect selection for you. I’ve got ten recommended reads here and I’m sure you’ll find something you like the sound of.

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 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.

Maybe you’ve heard tales about Scarcross Hall, the house on the old coffin path that winds from village to moor top. They say there’s something up here, something evil.

Mercy Booth isn’t afraid. The moors and Scarcross are her home and lifeblood. But, beneath her certainty, small things are beginning to trouble her. Three ancient coins missing from her father’s study, the shadowy figure out by the gatepost, an unshakeable sense that someone is watching.

When a stranger appears seeking work, Mercy reluctantly takes him in. As their stories entwine, this man will change everything. She just can’t see it yet.

Beast (Six Stories Book 4) by [Matt Wesolowski]

A frozen girl
A haunted town
A deadly challenge
Six Stories
Which one is true?

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old Vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’. However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

It was only meant to be a game . . .

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken . . .

Fifteen years ago, a serial killer known only as ‘The Whisper Man’ wreaked havoc on the sleepy village of Featherbank.

But with the killer behind bars, the village is now a safe haven for Tom and his young son Jake to make a fresh start.

Until another boy goes missing. It feels like history is repeating itself.

Could the killer still be out there – and can Tom protect his son from becoming the next victim?

Good Samaritans (Detective Sergeant Pace Series Book 1) by [Will Carver]

Dark, deviant and disturbing domestic noir … one of the most entrancing, sophisticated and page-turning psychological thrillers of the year…

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.

Welcome to HMP Halvergate.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to leave.

Dr Janet Palmer was glad to take a new job as lead psychologist at a remote Norfolk prison. She may live to regret it…

The staff are hostile, violence can break out at any time, no one will tell her what happened to her predecessor, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, driving the prisoners to suicide.

Janet is determined to find answers. But the deeper she digs, the more she realises: something is rotten in Halvergate. And it’s nothing as simple as ghosts…

The Craftsman: It starts with a funeral, ends with a death. '’Bolton at her best’ Guardian by [Sharon Bolton]

OLD ENEMIES… NEW CRIMES

Thirty years ago, WPC Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she arrested coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook for three shocking murders.

Larry confessed; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past are repeating themselves.

The town Florence left behind still has many secrets. Will she finally uncover the truth? Or will time run out for her first?

The Stranger Diaries: a completely addictive murder mystery by [Elly Griffiths]

A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?

This is what the police know:
 English teacher Clare Cassidy’s friend Ella has just been murdered. Clare and Ella had recently fallen out. Found beside the body was a line from The Stranger, a story by the Gothic writer Clare teaches, and the murder scene is identical to one of the deaths in the story.

This is what Clare knows: No one else was aware of her fight with Ella. Few others have even read The Stranger. Someone has wormed their way into her life and her work. They know her darkest secrets. And they don’t mean well.

This is what the killer knows: Who will be next to die

Some doors are locked for a reason…

Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…

July Wrap-Up

I don’t know about you, but I still think things are just as crazy in the world as they were four months ago when we first went into lockdown in the UK. In the last couple of weeks I have started to go out a bit more; I’ve also been up to our local pub twice. It’s felt really good to get out and socialise with people but I’m still missing the regular bookish events I normally attend. Sadly I can’t see any of these events happening again until next year at the earliest.

I’ve been ploughing my way through books this months. I’ve now so far read a total of 88 books towards my Goodreads challenge of 160 by the end of the year.

I took part in four blog tours this month and I have included the links to them below in case you missed any.

All Fall Down by M.J. Arlidge

Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell

Written in Blood by Chris Carter

The Next Widow by C J Lyons

My book buying has been on the up again this month, God knows how I’m ever going to get on top of my TBR pile 😂😂. I turned twenty-five on the 13th July so I did receive a few gift cards to spend on books for my birthday. Of course I’d spent them within a couple of days!

I’ve ordered The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer, Dead To Her by Sarah Pinborough, How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister, The Syndicate by G.J. Minett, Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard, A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone, The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond, The Storm by Amanda Jennings, Senseless by Ed James, Shed No Tears by Caz Frear and The House Party by Mary Grand.

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer] Dead to Her: The most gripping crime thriller book you have to read in 2020 from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author! by [Sarah Pinborough]

Rewind: An explosive and twisted story for fans of The Hunting Party by [Catherine Ryan Howard] A Song of Isolation by [Michael J. Malone]

Senseless: the most chilling crime thriller of the year by [Ed James]

Shed No Tears: The stunning new thriller from the author of Richard and Judy pick 'Sweet Little Lies' (DC Cat Kinsella) by [Caz Frear] The House Party: A gripping heart-stopping new psychological thriller for 2020 by [Mary Grand]

I have six blog tours coming up for August. The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone on the 3rd, Final Cut by S.J. Watson on the 4th, The Silence by Susan Allott on the 6th, Keep Her Quiet by Emma Curtis on the 7th, Hinton Hollow Deathtrip by Will Carver on the 10th and The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks on the 19th August.

At the moment I’m currently reading How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister and The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer.

That’s all from me for this month. Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments. Happy Reading!