Knock Knock by Anders Roslund #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on Knock Knock, the gripping new crime novel by Anders Roslund.

Knock Knock by [Anders Roslund]

BLURB

Set over three explosive days, this is compulsive, heart-pounding storytelling that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

He thought she was safe. Then the past came knocking.

Seventeen years ago, Inspector Ewert Grens was called to the scene of a brutal crime. A family had been murdered, with only their five-year-old daughter left behind. The girl was moved out and placed under witness protection, but while the case went cold, Grens is still haunted by the memory. When he learns that the apartment where the crime took place is now the scene of a mysterious break-in, Grens fears that someone is intent on silencing the only witness. He must race to find her…before they do.

MY THOUGHTS

Knock Knock is a tense, high octane thriller by Anders Roslund. Although this is the ninth book in the series, I thought it did work well as a standalone, as it’s the first book I’ve read by the author. I thought the lead character, Ewert Grens was fascinating. I think I have missed out on some character development, having not read the earlier books in the series, but I still managed to enjoy the story. It has made me want to go back and read the earlier books as I’m now keen to find out more about Ewert and his past. I can definitely see this book translating well to the big screen.  

This is an action packed book, and Anders Roslund gets the tension going right from the opening pages. Ewert is shocked and dismayed when he discovers important documents have disappeared from police headquarters relating to a devastating case. A family were murdered seventeen years earlier, and a five-year-old girl was the only survivor. Now with documents relating to her case missing, Ewert fears that someone is after her, and he is determined to protect her. But whoever took the documents, are they linked to the same people who murdered her family nearly twenty years ago?

There are some chilling scenes in this book; particularly the chapters told from the child’s point of view as she comes to terms with what has happened to her family. You can see how concerned Ewert is for her, and this heightens the tension as he races to find her first before the wrong people do. It is very clear what their intentions are, and this is what makes the book so gripping. I had no idea what was going to happen and if Ewert would succeed in tracking her down. I wanted to find out more about what had happened to the young girl since that fateful day seventeen years earlier. Anders Roslund wraps everything up in a very tense finale, and it is a real race against time for Ewert.  

I thought the writing was very addictive, and I flew through this book. If you enjoy crime novels with lots of action and intense scenes, then you need to add this book to your list. It’s a great novel which you can lose an afternoon to. I’m looking forward now to catching up on the books in the series I’ve missed.

Publisher: Harvill Seeker

Publication date: 10th June 2021

Print length: 448 pages

Knock Knock is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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.

BLURB

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:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Girls Who Lie BT Poster

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]

BLURB

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:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Smoke Screen BT Poster

The Last Snow by Stina Jackson #bookreview #blogtour @RandomTTours @CorvusBooks

On my blog today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Last Snow by Stina Jackson. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB

What secrets are hidden within the walls of a desolate farmhouse in a forgotten corner of Lapland?

Early spring has its icy grip on Ödesmark, a small village in northernmost Sweden, abandoned by many of its inhabitants. But Liv Björnlund never left. She lives in a derelict house together with her teenage son, Simon, and her ageing father, Vidar. They make for a peculiar family, and Liv knows that they are cause for gossip among their few remaining neighbours.

Just why has Liv stayed by her domineering father’s side all these years? And is it true that Vidar is sitting on a small fortune? His questionable business decisions have made him many enemies over the years, and in Ödesmark everyone knows everyone, and no one ever forgets.

Now someone wants back what is rightfully theirs. And they will stop at nothing to get it, no matter who stands in their way…

MY THOUGHTS

The Last Snow by Stina Jackson is a haunting, and a very written crime novel. It is about family, and what we are prepared to do to protect those who we love. It is also set in a very remote part of the world, a desolate, forgotten corner of Lapland, which provides a stunning landscape. The setting also makes this a very atmospheric read.

I would describe this book as more of a slow-burner, although the writing is very immersive. The characters kept me engaged as the book progressed, and they have a lot of depth. I found the flashback scenes, which go back to 1998 and the early 200s very chilling. I wanted to know what connection they had to the main events which were taking place in the present.

Two brothers, Liam and Gabriel, are asked to break into a house and rob another character called Vidar. Vidar and his family have been the subject of a lot of gossip among the locals. This has been going on for years. There’s talk about how rich Vidar is, and how he is extremely tight. There is one person who is keen to get his hands on something Vidar owes him. I wanted to know why this person wanted to target Vidar. Why couldn’t they go and speak to him themselves? Why did they have to employ two young men, to do their dirty work?

The characters on the page come to life, especially Liv and the two brothers Liam and Gabriel. Their ambitions and their hopes for the future come through very well in the writing. The character who I really cared about was Liv. You get the feeling that she is trapped in the house where she lives with her father. She wants to escape and make a better life for herself elsewhere, but something is holding her back. I wanted to know what possible reason she could have for wanting to stay with her father when he makes her feel miserable.

The story did take me some time to get into it, but I found the writing utterly addictive once I did. I would say that The Last Snow is definitely a character driven novel. Stina Jackson delves into their thoughts and feelings, making them feel very real.

This is the first novel I have read by Stina Jackson, and I am keen to read more of her work. If you’re a fan of the Nordic Noir genre, you definitely should check this book out.

Publisher: Corvus

Publication date: 4th February 2021

Print length: 384 pages

The Last Snow is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

The Last Snow BT Poster

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard #bookreview #blogtour @RBouchard72 @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Coral Bride (Detective Moralès) by [Roxanne Bouchard, David Warriner]

BLURB

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.

Exquisitely written, with Bouchard’s trademark lyrical prose, The Coral Bride evokes the power of the sea on the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of Roxanne Bouchard’s We Were the Salt of the Sea, which I read a couple of years ago now, and I couldn’t wait to see what she would come up with next. Her latest novel, The Coral Bride, is once again exquisitely written and the writing brings to life the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. This is a writer with such a huge talent.

The Coral Bride is a book which focuses a lot on character. Detective Joaquin Morales is investigating the disappearance of a young woman, Angel Roberts. Her boat has been found adrift, but there is no sign of Angel. Angel Roberts is a fisherwoman. It is a job that has always typically been seen as being only suitable for men. It is clear that some of the local fishermen don’t take too kindly to Angel working alongside them. When Angel’s body is recovered, the gear in the investigation is taken up a notch. Detective Morales is convinced that there are people who Angel knows who are keeping secrets, and he is determined to get to the truth.

I briefly touched on the setting in the opening paragraph of this review, and after reading this book and Roxanne Bouchard’s last book; her writing has made me want to visit this area. Although there are those in the community keeping secrets about Angel’s death, you get the sense that, on the whole, this is a community that looks after their own.

I also really like DS Morales whose own past is an intriguing one. He immigrated to Canada from Mexico several years earlier, and in this book, we are introduced to his son, Sebastian. Sebastian has come to his father seeking his help after losing his way in his own life. You can see in these extracts, how much of a family man Morales is. Morales wants to take time to spend it with his son and help him get back on his feet, but he also can’t abandon the investigation into Angel’s death. It did make me feel sorry for him that his relationship with his wife didn’t work out and that he hasn’t yet found someone else to share his life with.

I found the writing to be utterly addictive as I was reading, although it is quite a long book compared to We Were the Salt of the Sea, I read it really quickly. It has been expertly translated again by David Warriner. The writing itself is lyrical, poetic, and it draws you into the world of DS Morales and the setting around him.

Roxanne Bouchard wraps everything up in a tense finale as DS Morales begins to work out what happened to Angel Roberts. It thought the ending was very satisfactory.

If you’re looking for a series of books that you can become lost in, then I would highly recommend both books in this series. It’s the type of book which you start to read, and you don’t realise how much time has gone by as you are transported into the world of DS Morales. I’m really hoping that there is going to more to come from this writer and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 12th August 2020 (kindle) 12th November 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

The Coral Bride is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Coral Bride BT Poster JPEG

Book Blogger Hop – Do you read books from outside your country?

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

The question this week is:
Do you read books by authors from outside your country?Any book recommendations? Also, if you’re not from the US/UK, could you name one author/book from your country? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

I often read authors who are from different parts of the world. Nordic Noir is one of my favourite crime genres. Last year I read my first book by a South Korean author, The Plotters. I think it has only been more recently, in the last five years when I have read more translated fiction though.

How often do you read books outside of your country?