The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham blog tour @AlisonBelsham @Trapeze Books

Source: Own copy

BLURB

A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

MY THOUGHTS

Alison Belsham has created a belter of a crime thriller in her debut novel The Tattoo Thief. I can see why her pitch was the winner of the Bloody Scotland pitch perfect event a couple of years ago. Personally, I have never been interested in getting a tattoo, and after reading Alison’s novel, I think I definitely won’t be getting one. This is a chilling, serial killer thriller!

The Tattoo Thief is very dark. The novel is set in Brighton, and it delves into the heart of the tattooing industry which for me gave the book a very unique feel. I don’t know anything at all about tattooing, but Alison had me captivated, and I could see the fascination that she has for this subject which was very well researched. It’ll be interesting to see how she will take this series further.

Alison’s protagonist, Marni Mullins was a brilliant lead to follow. From the moment she discovers the mutilated corpse of a man, not far from the tattooing convention she is attending, I wanted to follow her journey and see just how involved she was going to get in this case. I wanted to know who was behind the brutal and horrifying attacks that were taking place and what reasons they had for doing this. Alison keeps us in the dark about Marni’s past but reveals more as the novel progresses. We know that she doesn’t like dealing with the police, but we don’t know why, and there was a strong sense of foreboding that Marni was going to become much more involved in this mystery than she would like to.

The detective working on the case is Detective Inspector Frank Sullivan. Frank has recently been promoted, so he is faced with the added pressure of having to get results as quickly as possible. His boss makes it very plain that Frank has to solve this case soon or risk throwing the rest of his career away, his boss isn’t the most pleasant of characters, and I didn’t like his handling of the case. I really liked Frank, he is a character that I very easily warmed to; I think this was probably due to the fact that he goes through quite a rough time with this investigation. The team he works with doesn’t appear to be strong and supportive. But he is determined to see the case through, even if it means risking his career.

The killer in this book is terrifying. Some of the scenes are told from the killer’s perspective, and I found it genuinely scary as Alison gets inside their head. You strongly get the sense that this is a messed up individual who will fight to the end to get what they want. There was a twist towards the end that took me by surprise, and it was a jaw-dropping moment of realisation. There was so much tension in those final scenes; I couldn’t see how it was going to play out.

I think all I can say now – if you love your crime fiction – is that you definitely need to go and grab yourself a copy, especially if you like your fiction dark and gory. The Tattoo Thief is clever and very well written, and it has a very strong hook that will keep you intrigued.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 20th September 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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The Other Couple by Sarah J Naughton blog tour @SarahJNaughton @TrapezeBooks

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Source: Netgalley

It was meant to be the perfect honeymoon.

A five-star resort in paradise.

White sands, a private villa and world-class cuisine.

A chance for newlyweds Asha and Ollie Graveney to recover from a recent tragedy, and enjoy the holiday of their dreams.

Except someone has other plans…

And paradise has turned into a nightmare.

MY THOUGHTS

This is a fantastic psychological thriller that is highly engaging. I enjoyed Sarah Naughton’s previous novel, Tattletale, but in my opinion, I think her second is even better. It is easily a one-sitting read, and the characters and the plot will keep you gripped right the way through. I loved it.

When we first meet Sarah’s main character, Asha, she is waking up in hospital in Vietnam, unaware of what has happened to her or how she ended up there. I love a novel told across dual time lines, and this was what made this book really gripping as Sarah continued to slowly reveal the truth about what has happened to Asha and her new husband. And as she does this, we begin to see a dark story unfold. It was very well plotted, and I liked how Sarah delved into Asha’s and Ollie’s characters as she unpicked their lives. It definitely kept me turning the pages.

What I thought was done really well was how Sarah managed to capture the honeymoon setting. I could easily picture the tropical scenery and the luxury of the resort. Asha was a character who I connected with straight away, and I think this was because she is very different to the other guests at the hotel and that this world is completely new to her. You understand this when she is referring to previous holidays that she has been on with former boyfriends, but she talks about how they formed some really good memories. Her new husband, Ollie was mysterious, and straight away I was wondering what was going on in his world, what was causing him to be so distant to his new wife? There were a number of different scenarios playing around inside my head, but Sarah took the novel in a completely different direction to what I thought was going to happen. The other guests who are sharing the resort with them were all intriguing, and I don’t think that there will be many readers who will find them likeable at all. It does feel as though they are part of an elite club which Asha will have to work very hard to be a part of. Sarah kept me intrigued as I continued to ask questions about what was happening in their lives.

What I thought was poignant about Sarah’s writing was how she reminded us that just around the corner from the luxury Ollie and Asha are enjoying, was a poverty-stricken country and she also highlights the corruption in the police force which was disturbing to read about.

The Other Couple was an addictive, twisty read with a really satisfying ending. If you’re looking for a thriller that you can quickly sink into, then I highly recommend it. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 22nd March 2018 (Kindle) 9th August 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 304 pages

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