Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham #bookreview @AlisonBelsham

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the second book in one of my favourite new crime series by Alison Belsham, Her Last Breath.

Her Last Breath: The new crime thriller from the international bestseller by [Belsham, Alison]

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The body count is rising…and the clock is ticking.

When a young woman is attacked and left fighting to survive in hospital, the police are pulled into a race against time to save her life. But just 24 hours later, she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body.

And when another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton.

His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of Francis’s lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?

MY THOUGHTS

I really like the characters in this series. When I read Alison Belsham’s debut novel, The Tattoo Thief, I thought it was one of the most original crime novels I’d read in a long time. When I read her last book, it made me think that I would definitely never get a tattoo. It was such a chilling read, and she has done it again with her second book, Her Last Breath. I did wonder how Alison was going to carry this series on, and she has created an absolute belter.

There are some particularly gruesome scenes in this book, and once again Alison has created a terrifying serial killer who is terrorising the streets of Brighton. Tattoo artist Marni Mullins is once again at the centre of this new investigation. When her son’s girlfriend is attacked, he is put firmly in the spotlight of the police probe leaving Marni exasperated. She desperately seeks her friend’s help, Detective Francis Sullivan, who is in charge of the case. But suspicions raise when more people who Alex is acquainted with are attacked and especially when the attacks turn to murder.

This is a really tense read. I really felt Marni’s exasperation as she tried to clear her son’s name of any involvement in the attacks. It did make me feel angry as well when some of the detectives on the case seemed utterly convinced right from the start that he was responsible, even though there was little evidence to support their claims. It did make me wonder how Marni was going to get her son out of it.

You really do get the sense of a race against time as the police try to find the person responsible for the crimes before they strike again. Alison Belsham kept me turning the pages as the book reached its conclusion. I literally could not put it down.

Her Last Breath is a really gripping and an intense read. I can’t wait to read the next book.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 19th September 2019 (kindle) 6th February 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 416 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Dark Sky Island by Lara Dearman #bookreview @laradearman @TrapezeBooks

Happy Publication day to Lara Dearman, who’s latest novel, Dark Sky Island is released today.

Dark Sky Island: A chilling mystery set on the Channel Islands (Jennifer Dorey) by [Dearman, Lara]

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DCI Michael Gilbert is called out to Sark – the world’s first dark sky island – after bones are found on Derrible Bay. He is followed by journalist Jennifer Dorey, driven by a secret in her own past. The remains are decades old, but after a body is discovered Jennifer and Michael fear there may be a killer on the island. Together they follow a dark trail of bad blood and a conspiracy of silence.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. No one is what they seem. And the murderer could strike again at any time… 

MY THOUGHTS

It’s been brilliant to catch up with journalist Jennifer Dorey and DCI Michael Gilbert again in the latest book from Lara Dearman, Dark Sky Island. I’ve enjoyed both books in this series, and I’m really hoping that Lara is going to write more novels featuring the characters, it will be interesting to see where she takes them next after the events which took place in the finale.

There is a real emotional core to the plot which touches Jenny and really sparks her intrigue. Two years ago her father disappeared on the Island of Sark, which is located a short distance away from Guernsey and has a handful of residents. With the discovery of human remains on the Island, Jenny heads there in the hope of finding out what has happened to her father. But while the police investigate how these remains came to be there, which could potentially have been lying undiscovered for decades, another man is murdered and dark secrets about what has been happening on the island come to light.

I really like the chemistry that there is between Jennifer and Michael, although you think it’s a relationship that couldn’t work there is definitely a spark between them and this comes across well in Lara’s writing. There’s an exciting mystery to follow here with the discovery of the bones in the cave on the island and the murder of a man. At the heart of all of this, there is a group of people on the island who appear to be harbouring many secrets, including a mystery figure, a multi-millionaire who bought a smaller island and built a colossal mansion which includes its own pub and needless to say there are many rumours flying around about him.

There is a strong sense of place in Lara’s writing, particularly as she describes the island which gives the place a chilling and mysterious feeling. There is a real sense here that they are cut off from the mainland and that anything could happen. I felt I could never make my mind up about any of the residents, and I was kept gripped as I tried to work out which of them had been involved in the crimes which had been uncovered. Lara certainly doesn’t make it easy for the reader to work out what it is that has gone on, and I was fascinated by how everything was unravelled towards the end which was done in a really clever way.

Again Lara touches on the myth and legends that many people talk about in Guernsey and Sark, which I remember being absolutely fascinated by in her last book and they really help in bringing the location and the people to life.

This is another exciting read from Lara Dearman. If you love atmospheric crime fiction, then you should definitely pick this book up and the first book as well which is just as brilliant.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 336 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton blog tour @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks #HeWillComeForYou

On my blog today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Sharon Bolton’s latest thriller The Craftsman.

The Craftsman: The most chilling book you'll read this year by [Bolton, Sharon]

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Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

MY THOUGHTS

Sharon Bolton has created a belter of a thriller with her latest novel, The Craftsman. With a mixture of mystery and gothic elements, I feel that this should be real winner amongst crime lovers! I seized every opportunity I could to dive into this book! Creepy and full of suspense! I have to admit that I haven’t read any of Sharon’s previous books, but she has definitely won me over with this read, I’m sure it will win her lots of new fans!

The Craftsman opens with the funeral of convicted murderer, Larry Glassbrook, thirty years after he was brought to justice after confessing to the kidnappings of three children. Florence Lovelady has been riding on a high ever since she solved the complex case and she returns to her former home town to see his coffin being lowered into the ground. His funeral stirs old memories and we revisit the time when her home town faced a very dark time in its history. The story is set in the late 1960s and in 1999, when Florence returns to the town for Larry’s funeral, but as we return to the present, old questions about the case begin to resurface. Larry Glassbrook confessed to the crimes, it was an open and shut case, wasn’t it? It appears that The Craftsman isn’t quite ready to be laid to rest…

As we re-visit the time frame when the children disappeared, we can see the trials that Florence faces in the police force as she fights for her voice to be heard in the male dominated world. Although Sharon Bolton doesn’t play too heavily on this theme it is subtly there in the background and it was interesting to compare her situation as it was back then to how it is now when she returns to the town. The treatment she received from some of her colleagues really did make me feel quite angry and I really wanted her to get results. For a lot of the time she can only depend on her colleague Tom to help argue her case.

Another theme which fascinated me was the subject of witchcraft. As the novel opens, Sharon gives us a little background information on the Pendle Witch trials which took place in the sixteenth century. I found this really helpful in getting to know more about the backdrop of the book and already she had me wanting to find out more about how this particular theme was going to shape the rest of the story. I had to google images of Pendle Hill which is the perfect setting for this type of book.

I really enjoyed this one. Sharon Bolton has crafted a clever and fascinating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 3rd May 2018 (kindle & hardcover) 18th October 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 432 pages

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