In Harms Way by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @Bloodhoundbook

About this book…

What if someone you loved was in harm’s way?

What if you were being stalked and no one believed you?

What if you were abducted in broad daylight?

What if you were held captive in a cellar?

What would you do?

Mackenzie Crawford screamed.

What if your wife admitted she had a lover?

What if she went out without saying where she was going?

What if you discovered she’d left?

What would you do?

Derek Crawford fell apart.

What if a troubled woman disappeared?

What if her brother begged you to help?

What if there was no evidence of a crime?

What would you do?

In Glasgow, DI Andrew Geddes puts the case to the top of his list.

What if this was only the beginning?

My review…

This was one of the creepiest crime novels that I’ve read recently! Owen Mullen can always be trusted to bring some “noir” to his Scottish crime thrillers but this one seemed rather darker than normal and the opening pages especially had the hairs on the arms prickling with apprehension as a criminal stakes out a scene for his impending crime.

Derek and Mackenzie Crawford are a rather mismatched couple. He is several years older than her and she obviously has a problem with drink. But when Mackenzie feels a strangers eyes on her one day, she understands straightaway that this isn’t your usual kind of stalker! The man follows her everywhere until one day he seizes his opportunity to grab the object of his desire and Mackenzie disappears. The scenes of captivity for Mackenzie are incredibly harrowing and some readers may find parts of her imprisonment difficult to read. The raw emotion created by her fear is hard to face at times but I felt I owed it to Mackenzie to stay with her and watch over her even though I hadn’t found her a particularly likeable character at the beginning of the book.

Although eventually the case is investigated by DI Andrew Geddes, In Harms Way doesn’t read like your typical police procedural novel. It’s more character based with family and friends playing a larger role in bringing the story to life and creating the tension as they search for Mackenzie. There were secrets to be revealed and some shocking twists along the way that the DI helped to bring all together but to be honest he played a minor part in my eyes!

This is probably Owen Mullen’s most commercially viable crime thriller so far and I also think it’s my favourite so far! It’s an immensely enjoyable read even though it can be rather dark and disturbing at times. A sinister slice of Scottish noir.

Meet the author…

Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.

And So It Began earned a coveted Sunday Times Crime Club ⭐Star Pick.

Owen Mullen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; Owen still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home away from home in the Greek Islands where the Charlie Cameron and Delaney series’, and soon to be released psychological thriller were created.

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Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary #BlogTour #ComeAndFindMe #RandomThingsTours

To celebrate the paperback publication of Come And Find Me by Sarah Hilary, I’m thrilled to be sharing my review with you all today. A huge thank you goes to Anne Cater for organising the tour and my invite.

About this book…

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price…

My Review…

I’ve been a huge fan of this series right from the start but I have to say that this book is definitely my favourite now and in my opinion it’s Sarah Hilary’s best book so far! It’s absolutely bloody brilliant and shows that this is the series that just keeps on giving!

I love how Marnie Rome has become so recognisable to the readers of this series that we feel we know her inside out. But Marnie’s personal life once again becomes entwined with her professional career when she investigates the disappearance of a prisoner after a riot at the same prison that houses her foster brother Stephan. I love how this thread is such an important part of who Marnie is and how she reacts throughout this series. We have now come to know the main protagonists so well that we don’t need to be spoon fed their feelings and reactions…although there are plenty here!!! There are dramas in their personal lives that run alongside the main plot and I have to say that some of them were rather shocking and emotional to say the least! The ending especially threw me totally and left me desperately wanting more!

Sarah Hilary writes so beautifully with an intelligence that keeps her plots interesting and utterly compelling throughout. Come and Find Me was compulsive reading from the very first page with an astute storyline where it became impossible to predict its outcome.

This is a must read series that every crime fan needs to read so if you haven’t discovered Sarah Hilary yet…WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING?! Come and Find Me can be read as a standalone novel but I guarantee you’ll be reading the previous books, if you haven’t already, after this one. This is a pretty perfect police procedural from start to finish.

Highly recommended by me!

Meet the Author…

Sarah Hilary’s debut, Someone Else’s Skin, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and was a World Book Night selection for 2016. The Observer’s Book of the Month (‘superbly disturbing’) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. No Other Darkness, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continued with Tastes Like Fear, and Quieter Than Killing. Follow her on twitter @sarah_hilary.

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Jo @ My Chestnut Reading Tree

I love visiting Deborahs blog and one of my favourite series is where she looks into the lives of other bloggers. So I was absolutely thrilled to be able to take part myself. You can check out the questions she asked me (and my answers!!) here via Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Jo @ My Chestnut Reading Tree

And make sure you comment on her post if you’d like to take part yourself! It’s totally painless I promise!

In Her Bones by Kate Moretti #BlogTour #InHerBones @TitanBooks @KateMoretti1

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for In Her Bones by best selling author Kate Moretti today.

About this book…

New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti ‘ s (The Vanishing Year) latest novel follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation.

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction and media frenzy, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie is a recovering alcoholic with a deadend city job, just trying to survive out of the spotlight.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to discover how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on, and whether they’ve fared better than her. She’s been careful to keep her distance, until the day one of them is found murdered and she quickly becomes the prime suspect. Edie remembers nothing of the night of the death, and must get to the truth before the police—or the real killer—find her.

My review…

I’m a big fan of Kate Moretti and have really enjoyed her other books. So I was looking forward to In Her Bones, especially as the blurb really grabbed me as soon as I saw it! I’ve always been fascinated by how the families of serial killers cope when their family members crimes eventually come to light. How do they reconcile their feelings of love for their relative with their disgust for the heinous acts they have committed? Using the clever technique of interspersing a true crime novel “The Serrated Edge” as a storytelling tool, meant that In Her Bones often felt like a real life criminal case so my interest was piqued straight away.

Edie is the daughter of Lilith Wade, a notorious serial killer. The publication of a best selling book about the murders Lilith committed means that Edie needs to keep a low public profile and therefore she doesn’t visit her mother in prison at all and has no social life to speak of. A relationship with the arresting police officer means she has a guardian angel looking out for her but her obsession with the relatives of her mother’s victims is about to make her the prime suspect when one of them is found murdered. After all the apple never falls far from the tree…or does it?

This is a clever and intriguing storyline that grabbed my attention the minute I started to read it. The narrative is broken up with extracts from the book about Lilith Wade which formed a fascinating background to the day by day account of Edie’s struggle to find out what happened the night of the murder. There were lots of characters brought in through this technique of pulling the story together so there were plenty of suspects to throw the reader off the scent! And I liked the way the extracts examined other people’s opinions about Lilith without trying to prove her innocence.

Kate Moretti always writes strong, memorable female characters and Edie is one of her most fascinating yet. She was intriguing and multifaceted but it did take me a while to work out whether I actually liked her or not! Not that my opinion makes any difference to my enjoyment of the storyline, in fact I usually prefer books that keep me guessing about a characters true intentions, but it was driving me mad that I couldn’t pull back the layers of Edies personality immediately. I actually loved how Edie acted differently depending on who she was interacting with but gradually the real Edie became exposed and I felt I understood her motives more.

I can thoroughly recommend In Her Bones to fans of Kate Moretti who have read her previous books or as a great starting point if you’ve never read her before. If you’re a fan of true life crime stories then I also think that you’ll enjoy the comparisons here as the addition of The Serrated Edge chapters felt realistic and almost voyeuristic in nature.

A darkly compelling crime thriller that will leave you breathless. Highly recommended by me!

Meet the author…

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of Thought I Knew You, Binds That Tie, and While You Were Gone. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids. Find out more at KateMoretti.com or follow her on Twitter: @KateMoretti1 or Facebook: /KateMorettiWriter.

The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham #BlogTour #TheTattooThief @AlisonBelsham

I have been wanting to share my review of this book for months now and that time is finally here!! Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for my invite onto the tour.

About this book…

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 review…

This book was on my radar for quite some time before I read it and once I did get my hands on a copy I just had to start it straight away. And I read it in one sitting as well as it is so completely and utterly gripping that I couldn’t bare to put it down! If, like me, you’re finding it hard to distinguish between police procedurals at the moment or want something a little bit different that really stands out from the crowd, then The Tattoo Thief is the book for you! It’s a fresh and exciting debut novel with interesting and intriguing characters whom I absolutely loved!

Marnie Mullins is a tattoo artist in Brighton with a rather complicated private life and a secret past. When she discovers a body whilst outside on a coffee break, she comes into contact with DI Francis (not Frank!!) Sullivan a newly promoted detective who needs to prove his worth. And when these two came together then sparks really did fly! Marnie has reasons to be wary of the police but when she spots a link between the body she discovered and other murders then she needs to work with Francis to bring a very disturbed serial killer to justice.

Pretty much everything about this book worked for me!! I loved Marnie Mullins, I found her to be a very strong minded individual but with a soft edge that made me want to protect her, especially as her tattoos also made her a target for this deranged murderer! I loved the idea that someone was killing people for their tattoos even though it was one of sickest collections I’d ever read about! And Alison Belsham did an AMAZING job of bringing the dark side of the tattoo scene in Brighton to life with her quirky characters and grisly murder scenes. I was completely gripped by the creepy antagonist and their point of view throughout the narrative and the twists and turns meant that I didn’t work out who was responsible until the big reveal.

I can’t wait to read more by Alison Belsham. This was an outstanding debut that took over my life whilst I was reading it. I was so utterly engrossed that I became part of its shadowy setting immediately and that feeling didn’t let up until the very end. Marnie and Francis were both characters who will stick in my mind and I would love to meet them again in the future.

Highly recommended by me!

Meet the author…

Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter-and in 2000 was commended for her visual storytelling in the Orange Prize for Screenwriting. In 2001 she was shortlisted in a BBC Drama Writer competition. Life and children intervened but, switching to fiction, in 2009 her novel Domino was selected for the prestigious Adventures in Fiction mentoring scheme. In 2016 she pitched her first crime novel, The Tattoo Thief, at the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and was judged the winner.

The Dream Wife by Louisa De Lange #BlogTour #TheDreamWife @paperclipgirl

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for the debut novel by Louisa De Lange, The Dream Wife. Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invite and Alainna at Orion for my review copy of the book.

About this book…

Annie is the dream wife.

Mother to two-year-old Johnny and wife to David, she is everything her husband expects her to be – supportive, respectful and mild – but what he expects isn’t who she truly is.

Annie is a prisoner in her home.

Her finances, her routine, her social life are all controlled by him. It’s the love for her boy that she lives for, and at night she dreams of a world where she is free.

But Annie is going to fight back.

And you won’t believe how she is going to do it . . .

My review…

Wow! Well where do I start? This is probably going to be the most difficult book for me to review this year. I want to scream from the rooftops BUY THIS BOOK but I am going to struggle to tell you why! I could say, if you read and loved a certain book then you will love this…BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU WHICH BOOK as that would maybe be a spoiler. I want people to go into this book with an open mind, just as I did, as this book will shock the hell out of you just as it did me! Yes, I am one of those annoying people who nearly always gets the twists in books but I had no idea where The Dream Wife was going until it got there and slapped me in the face with the sort of twist most authors would kill for (and most readers for that matter!) And I bloody loved it for that!

Beautifully written from a mother’s point of view, this book is shocking, involving and so completely gripping that I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. A contender for my top 10 books of 2018 list and I know that I will now purchase Louisa De Lange’s next book without even reading the blurb.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY ME!

Meet the author…

Louisa is a freelance copywriter, mum of a little boy and a keen runner, blogger and photographer. Turns out the combination of psychology and motherhood is a potent one. You can find her on Twitter: @paperclipgirl.

A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes by Lucy Nichol #bookreview #mentalhealth @Lucy_Nichol78

About this book…

From a young age, Lucy Nichol has always been on edge. Whether it’s because of her fear of beards, a general sense that she can catch a disease from anything, or the belief that she’s going to throw up at any given moment, she’s never really felt safe.

In A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes, Lucy explores the different lenses through which she – and other people – have viewed her mental health problems. She tackles a number of different stereotypes placed on people living with mental illness, including the idea that they are narcissists, hypochondriacs, and psychos.

After writing a blog post about her journey, Lucy realised that she wasn’t alone in feeling this way. And so she began to talk more about her experience, eventually becoming a columnist in Sarah Millican’s magazine Standard Issue. In writing about her life in such an open way, Lucy has been able to claw herself back from the grips of her anxiety.

A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes is one of the most fortunate things you could read!

Trigger are proud to announce Theinspirationalseries partner to their innovative Pullingthetrigger range.Theinspirationalseries promotes the idea that mental illness should be talked about freely and without fear. Find out more at www.triggerpublishing.com

My review…

I don’t want to go too deeply into why but I do have a fascination for books covering mental health issues. And so that was why I was really pleased to be able to read and review this very personal and honest account of Lucy Nichol’s own journey through the different stages of her own mental health adventure. I say adventure because this book reads like an autobiography but with the focus mainly on the stereotypes that Lucy Nichol has herself has worked through. She uses her own experiences to examine particular stigma’s and the disappointing reality of how people are labelled by their issues.

I have a rare blood group that only 4% of the population have but mental health issues affect 25% of our population and that puts it into some perspective for me. These issues are not rare!! But just like blood groups, you can not tell just by looking at someone whether or not they have been affected by panic attacks, anxiety or depression etc. And that’s why I found this book so interesting and utterly fascinating as Lucy Nichol laid bare her life for us to examine, admire and understand. And yes, to judge as I think we are all guilty of stereotyping people and sometimes those of us who have the most personal experience are the quickest to package up people in a particular box.

I felt like I was sitting down in a cosy chair with a coffee (decaf for me though!) and chatting about life with a good friend as I read through this book. It’s a thought provoking read that’s written with an open and wickedly funny sense of humour whilst still hitting the nail exactly on the head with her inspirational quotes and observations.

A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes really did make me reconsider my own ideas about mental health issues and I’ve already recommended it to friends as an insightful guide with an easy to identify with author. It doesn’t give you all the answers but it makes you reconsider any questions that you may have.

Highly recommended by me!

Meet the author…

Lucy Nichol is a writer and mental health campaigner and former columnist with Sarah Millican’s Standard Issue magazine. Her work has also appeared in The Independent, The I Paper, Metro, Huffington Post, The Mighty and All Mad Here. She is passionate about challenging mental health stigma and, as such, is a Time to Change volunteer who has appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire Show, Woman’s Hour and many regional programmes. Lucy has worked with the media in PR and marketing for over 15 years and has experienced anxiety for even longer, meaning she is well-placed to comment on the issue of mental health stigma. Lucy currently manages media activity for national charity and housing provider, Home Group.