First Monday Crime November @1stMondayCrime

Although, sadly, we can’t meet up as per usual at City University for First Monday Crime, it doesn’t mean that its not going ahead. As many things have been this year, First Monday Crime is moving online. For November we have S W Kane, author of The Bone Jar, Vicki Bradley author of Before I Say I Do, David Young author of The Stasi Game and Chris McGeorge author of Inside Out. I’ve already read and reviewed two of these books and I’ll include the links to my reviews here, but let’s take a look at what the books are about. I’ll also include links which will take you directly to the event on Monday, 2nd November 2020.

The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby Book 1) by [S W Kane]

Two murders. An abandoned asylum. Will a mysterious former patient help untangle the dark truth?

The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected?

Before long, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. There are rumours about underground bunkers and secret rooms, unspeakable psychological experimentation, and a dark force that haunts the ruins, trying to pull back in all those who attempt to escape. Urban explorer Connie Darke, whose sister died in a freak accident at the asylum, is determined to help Lew expose its grisly past. Meanwhile Lew discovers a devastating family secret that threatens to turn his life upside down.

As his world crumbles around him, Lew must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the killer from striking again. Only an eccentric former patient really knows the truth—but will he reveal it to Lew before it’s too late?

You can read my review of The Bone Jar by clicking HERE

HER DREAM WEDDING
IS ABOUT TO BECOME A NIGHTMARE

It’s Julia’s wedding day. Her nerves are to be expected – every bride feels the same – but there’s another layer to her fear, one that she cannot explain to her soon-to-be husband, Mark. She’s never told him the details – and she is determined he never finds out.

As she begins down the aisle, spotting Mark in his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness – her past is behind her, it can’t catch her now. Mark turns to face her . . .

But it isn’t Mark in the beautiful suit – it’s his best man.

Because Mark is missing.  

And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks . . .

You can read my review by clicking HERE

The Stasi Game by [David Young]

A man’s body is found buried in concrete at a building site in the new town district. When People’s Police homicide captain Karin Müller arrives at the scene, she discovers that all of the body’s identi?able features have been removed – including its ?ngertips.

The deeper Müller digs, the more the Stasi begin to hamper her investigations. She soon realises that this crime is just one part of a clandestine battle between two secret services – the Stasi of East Germany and Britain’s MI6 – to control the truth behind one of the deadliest events of World War II.

SHE WAS SENT DOWN…
Cara Lockhart has just commenced a life sentence in HMP North Fern – the newest maximum security women’s prison in the country. She was convicted of a crime she is adamant she didn’t commit.

SHE WAS SET UP…
One morning she wakes up to find her cellmate murdered – shot in the head with a gun that is missing. The door was locked all night, which makes Cara the only suspect.

BUT THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Cara needs to clear her name, unravelling an impossible case, with an investigation governed by a prison timetable.
But as Cara starts to learn more about North Fern and the predicament she is in, she finds connections between the past and present that she never could have imagined.

Indeed it seems that her conviction and her current situation might be linked in very strange ways…

If you’d like to tune into the event, First Monday will be streaming live on Facebook on Monday, 2nd November from 19:30 p.m. UK time. You can access the live stream from their Facebook page by clicking here.

Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley #bookreview blog tour @vbradleywriter @annecater

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley today on my blog. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Before I Say I Do: A twisty psychological thriller that will grip you from start to finish by [Vicki Bradley]

BLURB

HER DREAM WEDDING
IS ABOUT TO BECOME A NIGHTMARE

It’s Julia’s wedding day. Her nerves are to be expected – every bride feels the same – but there’s another layer to her fear, one that she cannot explain to her soon-to-be husband, Mark. She’s never told him the details – and she is determined he never finds out.

As she begins down the aisle, spotting Mark in his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness – her past is behind her, it can’t catch her now. Mark turns to face her . . .

But it isn’t Mark in the beautiful suit – it’s his best man.

Because Mark is missing.

And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Before I Say I Do is a tense debut thriller by Vicki Bradley. Imagine turning up to the day you’ve been looking forward to for months, the day that marks the rest of your life together with your partner, your wedding day. Then imagine walking down the aisle, only to be greeted by shock and confusion instead of smiles and admiring glances. Your fiancé is missing and the last person to see him alive is standing a few paces in front of you.

From the first few pages I wanted to know what had happened to Julie’s fiancé, Mark. I wondered what was really going on among her close circle of friends and I wanted to know why she wasn’t told before walking down the aisle. I felt that I couldn’t trust anyone that was close to her and I felt sure that someone was keeping secrets from her. But there is something as well that even Julie isn’t being truthful about, something which happened in her past which she is trying desperately to keep buried.

Alana Loxton and Kowalski are the two detectives who are investigating the case. This part of the novel felt really authentic, Vicki Bradley is a former met detective, and I could see that she was writing from experience. I really liked both police officers who were working on the case and I hope that they will return in a future book as I thought that they gelled together well. Alana Loxton has her own personal issues she is struggling with, when it comes to a former boyfriend of hers. As she tries to find answers to this case a lot of barriers come up in her way, which prevents her from achieving her goal. I wanted to know how determined she was going to be to try and overcome this.

Vicki Bradley also takes us back to the time when we see a teenage girl; with her young sister and a teenage boy enter a forest together. Vicki creates a really creepy atmosphere as this part of the plot unfolds and as we begin to understand how this part of the story feeds into the present.

This is a really tense read which delivers on suspense. Before I Say I Do is a strong debut thriller and I’ll definitely be looking out for more from Vicki Bradley in the future.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 28th May 2020

Print length: 384 pages

Before I Say I Do is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Before I Say I Do BT Poster