The Chain by Adrian McKinty #blogtour #thechain @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m so excited today as it’s the opening day of The Chain blog tour. As well as my review, make sure you check out that of my tour buddy today Drew on his blog (click on his name to find him!) Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for my invite onto the tour.

About this book…

YOUR PHONE RINGS.

A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.

TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.

YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.

IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.

YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN

My review…

This must be one of the most anticipated books of 2019 and I have to say that it’s very deserving of that title! Once my copy of The Chain arrived I became part of its phenomenal journey and that involved me reading it the minute I had it in my grubby little hands! I read it fast and I read it hard….and then regretted it the minute that final page finished! Honestly, you will want to savour The Chain but it’s fast paced, adrenaline rush of a plot runs a turbocharged course and you just have to keep up the momentum at all costs!

The opening chapters start The Chain of events for the reader when a young girl is kidnapped at the bus stop whilst waiting for her bus to school. The kidnappers don’t seem your “hard as nails” organised types especially as they seem very over emotional-a trait that proves difficult when they are stopped by the police. When the young girls mother Rachel answers a call on her phone, little does she know that her actions have now made her part of “The Chain”! To get Kylie released, Rachel has to pay a ransom (so far so typically kidnapping!) but the next part of her forfeit is to kidnap another child and only then will Kylie be released unharmed.

Now the Chain has many links, some stronger than others, but it looks like adding Rachel throws a bit of a spanner in the works! They say that women are like teabags-you never know how strong they are until they get into hot water but Rachel has been thrown into the deep end without a life jacket on!! However, I absolutely loved Rachel! A strong and determined woman who probably felt she wanted to look around for someone else to help her out of this shocking situation but who stood up to the challenge ahead. Without the help of her ex husband, Rachel turns to her brother in law Pete for advice and help but Pete is fighting his own demons…

The Chain has a brilliant premise that is perfectly executed by the author with some cracking plot developments and plenty of compelling characters. A brutal crime thriller full of OMFG moments, it is definitely one that will grab you immediately and refuse to let go so make sure you have plenty of time to devote to it! As a parent it scared the **** out of me and left me wondering just how far the ordinary, law abiding man/woman on the street would go to save their loved one because somewhere out there, someone is waiting to push them to the most extreme and terrifying lengths that they can imagine.

Highly recommended by me!

Meet the author…

Adrian McKinty is a crime novelist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

His books have won the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the Barry Award. Adrian is also a two time Dagger nominee and shortlistee for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year. 

He studied law at Warwick University and philosophy at Oxford University before emigrating to New York City in the mid 90s.

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards #amreading #TuesdayBookBlog

About this book…

It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.

When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.

A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.

But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.

Happiness…and death.

My review..

It’s the highlight of my year when a new Mark Edwards book is published! His books have just been getting better and better so I’m always dying to see where his warped imagination is set to take me next. He is one of the few authors I can trust to shock the hell out of me and I am consistently scared witless by the little nods to the horror genre that he slips into his plots with ease. Saying that, this is probably not one of his most visually scary storylines for me as it veered more towards crime thriller/police procedural than usual but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of it one little bit!

What sucked me in most this time were the wonderfully observed characterisations. I just loved the awkward but loving relationship between Ben and his son Ollie. Ben was struggling with becoming a single parent after the breakdown of his marriage to Megan and a new start had to involve a move back to his childhood home of Shropshire to be close to his dying mother. After the first grimly described murder, it becomes obvious from the killers POV that Ben and Ollie are going to be on this serial killers hitlist. How many times have you thought “If that happened to me at least I’d die happy”? Well, that is literally what this murderer wants to do for you!!! On his trail is the gorgeous but self contained Imogen. Can she figure out who he is before it’s too late for Ben and Ollie?

It always fascinates me how Mark takes little vignettes from real life and weaves a whole fictional story around that chance meeting or overheard conversation. His mind really does work in a mysterious way! Once my head is stuck in a Mark Edwards book, it isn’t coming out until I’ve sucked it dry. There were the usual twists and turns here, some expected others coming as quite a shock, and a whole cast of suspects who gathered together in quite the shoal of red herrings! I really enjoyed it from start to (very creepy) finish and I still shudder even now when I think about those murder victims laid out for discovery with those smiles on their faces.

Mark Edwards does exactly what he sets out to do with his books. He entices, he shocks and he entertains. Whilst this book hasn’t overtaken The Magpies for me it is still an engrossing and chilling crime thriller with characters that I would love to meet again (well, most of them anyway and not in real life….or the dark!!!)

The Lucky Ones is published by Thomas and Mercer on 15th June 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people, and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.

He is the author of four #1 bestsellers: Follow You Home (a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015), The Magpies, Because She Loves Me, and The Devil’s Work, along with What You Wish For and six novels co-written with Louise Voss. All of his books are inspired by real-life experiences.

Originally from the south coast of England, Mark now lives in the West Midlands with his wife, their three children, a ginger cat, and a golden retriever.

Mark loves hearing from readers and can be contacted via his website, http://www.markedwardsauthor.com.

Undercurrent by J A Baker #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook

About this book…

Phoebe and her disabled husband, Martyn, move into a new house in a village on the edge of County Durham. They plan to lead a quiet existence, a set up that suits them both.

Then Anna, who lives over the road and is bored of spending her days alone, seeks friendship with Phoebe and events take a dark turn.

Phoebe has secrets and is haunted by her past and Anna’s arrival in her life may prove to be the catalyst for her undoing.

What is Phoebe hiding and why are she and her husband so reclusive?

When Anna gets caught in a storm and is rescued by Phoebe the truth becomes apparent and Anna is thrown into danger.

Is there a difference between madness and evil?

Some friendships can be murder.

My review…

I had heard an awful lot about this book from the blog tour that has taken place recently so that tagline is true, this IS the thriller everyone is talking about! Although saying that, this isn’t a “thriller” as such, but more of a slow burning , character driven suspense that keeps you on your toes with a select cast of interesting personalities-none of whom were particularly likeable!

I just loved the setting here and the use of the river that flowed through the narrative as pretty much the star of the show! It played its part well involving itself in the lives of all the characters past and present. And I actually found it comforting as I could practically hear it bubbling away as the book progressed, especially when Anna goes walking alongside it and ends up in trouble.

From the start I didn’t trust Phoebe or her husband and as their story opened up, I also started to get quite strong negative feelings about their son Tom. How could he just up and leave to get on with his life when it’s blatantly obvious that his parents aren’t coping? I really felt for Anna though as her life revolved around the family who were taking her for granted and she was living a life that wasn’t fulfilling her at all. The excitement of a new neighbour must have been difficult for her to resist without realising the dangers she is about to unleash. It’s certainly put me off taking a freshly baked cake around to anyone new to my neighbourhood (now that would lead to acts of violence as my baking is terrible!)

This is an enjoyable debut with a fabulous prologue that really creates a desire to invest yourself fully in the plot as it unfolds. I think many people will be shocked by the dark and rather disturbing undercurrent running throughout and, whilst it didn’t shock me quite as much as it has done others, I still found myself totally gripped enough to read it in one session.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for my review copy of  Undercurrent which is available to purchase from the 28th March 2017 as an ebook from Amazon UK

Meet the author…

J.A. Baker
J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in the north east of England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.
After gaining an MA in Education & Applied Linguistics with the Open University, she found herself with spare time and embarked on doing something she always wanted to do – write a novel.
She has a love of local history and genealogy and enjoys reading many genres of books but is an addict of psychological thrillers.
In December 2016 she was signed by Bloodhound Books who published Undercurrent. J.A. Baker is currently working on her second novel.
She has four adult children and a grandchild, and lives in a village near Darlington with her husband and dog.
You find out more about J.A.Baker by visiting her website at jabakerauthor.com

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski #BlogTour @OrendaBooks

Today I am pretty darn excited about being on the blog tour for Six Stories today, an unbelievably stunning debut crime novel by Matt Wesolowski.

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About this book…

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame … As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

My review…

So I was off on my travels to the Orenda Road show at Waterstones in Liverpool and thought what a brilliant idea it would be to read a book by one of the authors who were going to be attending. So whilst on my train journey to Liverpool Lime Street, I got stuck into Six Stories. After a slowish start, where I got used to the whole unique style of the narrative, after about  30 pages I was hooked! Then I stupidly made a comment on the photo of me reading Six Stories that I had posted on Facebook saying “This book is so captivating that I wish I could I could just stay on the train reading it” Cue train in front bringing down a walk and power cables and leaving me stuck on that train and then on a freezing station platform in the middle of nowhere for 2 hours-honestly you couldn’t make it up could you!? And so I spent my evening reading pretty much all of this book but that was no hardship at all to me because it was absolutely AMAZING!

I wasn’t aware of “Serial”, the podcast that had a two series run and topped the iTunes podcast chart but I have since investigated further so I could get a better grasp of where the idea came from. Like “Serial”, Six Stories is a series of podcasts. It is broadcast by Scott King who takes a crime he wants to be reinvestigated by talking to the individuals involved at the time, and then each of those accounts form one of the six podcasts.

I don’t think I have read such an innovative and creative plot in a very long time. This really has such a current feel to it totally unlike anything I’ve read-it does actually come across like a real podcast and so I was totally engrossed in the characters that were being gradually developed as the plot opened up. I wasn’t even interested in trying to work out who or what was responsible for the death of Tom Jeffries, I was just very happy to let Scott King lead me there…..one story at a time. And the last few pages had my jaw firmly dropping on the floor. What a powerful and thought provoking denouement! I just wanted to go back and read the whole book again!

This is a dark, creepily atmospheric and horrifically intense scrutiny of a crime told in an unapologetically contemporary style. It reminded me of the first time I read Into The Woods by Tana French. I got the same goosebumps that told me this was the start of something very special indeed and I can’t wait to read whatever Matt Wesolowski writes next. But can I also just say that NEVER before has a book been so ripe for an audio book adaptation! Bring it on!

Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan for my copy of Six Stories.

Six Stories is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 15th March 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney #BlogTour @Bookouture

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for a stunning debut crime thriller by Patricia Gibney introducing Detective Lottie Parker.

The Missing Ones - Blog Tour

About this book…

The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

My review…

I do love a good police procedural so thankfully this is a VERY good police procedural! And that is quite some achievement for Patricia Gibney and her debut novel The Missing Ones.

Lottie Parker is my kind of police officer and I have taken her to my heart already. She is my own personal favourite – a strong female lead, good at her job but struggling with her own personal demons which make her realistically normal! I loved her relationship with her kids and I thought their family dramas and conflicts were detailed with just the right amount of realism making them like every other family with teenagers, the only difference being that this family is now a single parent one after the death of Lotties husband. Which leads us to Lotties relationship with her colleague Boyd which was one of the most tender and poignant I have come across in a while. This is a partnership I will follow with interest as this series continues.

Plotwise this grabbed me by the hair and dragged me kicking and screaming through all the suspects but I didn’t guess who or the reason behind the seemingly connected murders. The first victims death I took particularly badly as it was a character I would have loved to have seen develop and have their own personal happy ever after but it wasn’t to be.

There was a real underlying feeling of loss and a terrible burden of sadness throughout this book. Not that it made me feel depressed or anything but it just made me hug my family just a little bit tighter after I finished it. Patricia Gibney writes beautifully with well crafted descriptive prose that flows perfectly so that before you know it minutes have passed while you have been utterly entranced by  Lottie and her surroundings. I’m ecstatic to have discovered a new detective series to follow especially one created to such a high standard with believable characters and plotting.

If you love Angie Marsons Kim Stone series then you will love one too. Highly recommended by me.

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy of The Missing Ones which I have chosen to read and review.

The Missing Ones is published by Bookouture on 16th March 2017 and you can click  The Missing Ones: An absolutely gripping thriller with a jaw-dropping twist (Detective Lottie Parker Book 1) to purchase the ebook from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

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Only the Truth by Adam Croft #BookReview

About this book…

He’s not the perfect husband. But he is the perfect suspect.

Dan Cooper has never been the perfect husband to Lisa. He travels for work and plays the carefree bachelor when he can. But now, on a solo business trip, in a remote coastal hotel, he’s surprised to find Lisa in his bathroom. She’s dead.

He has no idea how she got there but one chilling fact is clear: everything points to Dan having murdered her. Someone is trying to frame him. Someone who might still be watching. In a panic, he goes on the run. But even as he flees across Europe, his unknown enemy stacks up the evidence against him.

Dan is determined to clear his name and take revenge on Lisa’s killer, but the culprit is closing in. And then there’s the agony of his own guilty conscience. No, he didn’t kill her—but is it all his fault?

My review…

I read Her Last Tomorrow by Adam Croft at the end of 2016, mainly due to the huge amount of rave reviews I saw, especially all over Facebook. It got a solid 3* from me as, although I really enjoyed the book and I found the author to be a great storyteller, I also thought it had an “unbelievable in places” plotline as well as a few other, rather unrealistic elements that let it down. But I said then that I would be keen to read more by this author and so when Only The Truth came out I downloaded it to see how it compared.

Only The Truth is told in the first person narrative by Dan who is not a particularly nice man. He cheats on his wife whilst travelling round the country working as lighting crew for a tv company and his latest conquest is Jess, the receptionist at the hotel he is staying in. But coming up to his room one night he is shocked to discover his wife Lisa dead in his bathtub and a message on her mobile from HIS phone asking her to come to his room. So does he call the police trusting that CCTV and an alibi will keep him safe? Eh….no! He raids his bank account and runs off to an old holiday cottage in France with Jess! What an idiot! He says he didn’t kill Lisa but thinks someone may be trying to set him up. Maybe the clues are in the flashbacks to a young boy living in an orphanage run by nuns but with a very nasty benefactor? The thing is things seem to get a lot worse once Dan flees abroad and it’s a case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire”.

Weirdly enough I did enjoy this one but not as much as Her Last Tomorrow which I’m now tempted to bump up a star on Amazon! The things I loved About Only The Truth were very similar to those I loved in Her Last Tomorrow. It’s a fast paced, thoroughly enjoyable plot which is both intriguing and highly engrossing. I read it in one afternoon and I loved the “easy to get into” writing style which flowed effortlessly from one drama to another. I thought the flashbacks were great but wish they had maintained a little more mystery and not shown their hands too quickly either. I had two trains of thought as to what was panning out, one I thought quite obvious and one slightly more oblique, with an angle I thought was coming but didn’t. I think I just read too many of this genre so it’s quite difficult to pull the wool over my eyes! There were red herrings galore but unfortunately they swam off too soon leaving me slightly frustrated.

Overall I do enjoy Adam’s books! I find them gripping and unputdownable, a quick and easy read that’s not too complicated. And I find Adam really does have the magic touch with getting his readers on board and then driving them at full speed towards the finish line. I did have to read the end of this one twice though as I thought I must have missed something, one of the threads didn’t seem quite finished to me. But that could just be my OCD of liking all the ends tied up neatly in a very pretty bow at the end!!

And as I said last time, I am still happy to read whatever Adam Croft writes next as I definitely have a soft spot for his books.

Only The Truth was published on 1st February as a Kindle First and then available on Amazon from 1st March. You can click  Only the Truth to purchase your copy from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Adam Croft

Adam Croft is a British author, principally of crime fiction, best known for the Kempston Hardwick mysteries and Knight & Culverhouse thrillers as well as his 2015 worldwide bestselling psychological thriller HER LAST TOMORROW, which became one of the biggest selling books of the year with over 150,000 copies sold in the first five months.

His books have sold more than a million copies around the world, and in 2016 he was featured by The Guardian as one of the biggest selling authors of the year, and regularly takes part in discussions and panels on publishing and the future of books.

In February 2017, ONLY THE TRUTH became a worldwide bestseller, reaching storewide number 1 at both Amazon US and Amazon UK, making it the bestselling book in the world at that moment in time. The same day, Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the mostly widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

Adam has been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey #BookReview

About this book…

In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Jane Casey, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth…

A murder without a body
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.

A girl too scared to talk
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from?

A detective with everything to prove
As the team dig deeper into the residents of Valerian Road, no one is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share…

My review…

I feel like I have been waiting forever for the new Maeve Kerrigan book by Jane Casey but this series is one I will happily wait for if the plots are as good as this one! Seven books into this series and it’s just getting better and better! In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the best so far.

The plot here is a well thought out and meticulously planned police procedural that will work for you even if you have never read any of the previous books in the series. The personal threads are kept to a minimum this time but I always recommend going back to the start of a series as you will get so much more out of the characters when you understand their backstories and have watched how their relationships develop.

Whilst the investigation here is carried out by the newly promoted DS Maeve Kerrigan alongside DI Josh Derwent, I liked the addition of some new blood to their team with the latest recruit DC Georgia Shaw. This girl has a lot to learn, however I was quite proud of Maeve and how she interacted with her and enjoyed watching their scenes together. Josh was his usual politically incorrect self but there was a new depth to him as we discover that a new relationship with his girlfriends son has had an unexpected effect on him. But don’t worry, his charisma and bad boy persona aren’t far away! And I just love him exactly the way he is!

But the main focus here was on the case of a missing mother, presumed murdered due to the slaughterhouse scene found at her home by her teenage daughter, Chloe. The daughter, a beautiful 18 year old, discovers the crime scene but she has some learning difficulties so Maeve struggles to get information from her about her mother’s habits or any enemies she may have. In fact the whole neighbourhood seemed to have something to hide-it was like trying to get blood from a stone for Maeve and the poor investigation team.

Once you pick up one of Jane Casey’s books you will find it difficult to put down, she has an enviable way of grabbing your attention right from the off. This enthralling crime drama will keep you in suspense with some twisty plot details and creepy suspects right up until the satisfying finale. I always recommend this series whenever I can and I can’t believe some people still haven’t had the pleasure of discovering it. I’m rather envious that they are able to start at book one and have the whole Maeve Kerrigan experience ahead of them. Highly recommended by me!

I received a copy of Let the Dead Speak from the publisher via netgalley.

Let the Dead Speak is published by Harper Collins on 9th March 2017 and you can Click Let the Dead Speak: A Maeve Kerrigan crime thriller (Maeve Kerrigan, Book 7) to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Jane Casey

“All my criminal elements have some basis in reality, no matter how awful they may be. Nothing is completely farfetched.” Jane Casey

Crime is a family affair for Jane Casey. Married to a criminal barrister, she has a unique insight into the brutal underbelly of urban life, from the smell of a police cell to the darkest motives of a serial killer.

This gritty realism has made her books international bestsellers and critical successes; while Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan has quickly become one of the most popular characters in crime fiction.

Winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know, Jane has been shortlisted four times for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award and longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.

Keep You Near Robin Roughley #BlogTour #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook


I am delighted to a a stop on the blog tour today for the first in a new series by Robin Roughley, author of the popular Lasser series.

About this book…

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

A normal day in the park turns into a nerve shredding nightmare for eleven-year-old Marnie Hammond when she find herself in a desperate chase to stop the ‘bad man,’ from abducting Abby.

Fifteen years later, Marnie is a Detective Sergeant but the memory of her missing sister still haunts her dreams.

When it becomes clear that someone is stalking the streets of Kirkhead DS Hammond has her hands full, and after remains are discovered buried in dense woodland, Marnie fears the worst. But this is only the start of a nightmare that will unearth more bones, more victims and the terror that Abby might be among the dead.

To stop the monster Marnie knows she must break the rules, but when the twisted killer turns his attention on her it becomes a fight not only for the truth but for her sanity and her survival.

Can Marnie catch the murderer and solve her sister’s disappearance?

My review…

Having read and enjoyed most of the Lasser series by Robin Roughley, I was incredibly excited to find out he was bringing us a new series after signing with the fabulous Bloodhound Books who seem to have The Midas touch these days. This new series features DS Marnie Hammond and I have to say that she has proved to be an absolute winner of a character creation for me!

I always enjoy a crime series more where there is a backstory to the lead character that actually rivals my interest in the crime plot itself. Marnie was cool as a cucumber on the surface, and very professional in her investigation into the disappearance of a young girl but under these most difficult circumstances, she can’t help but be affected due to her traumatised past. As an 11 year old girl, she failed to stop the abduction of her own young sister. Now, fifteen years later, the abductions have started again but could it possibly be related? Marnie is determined to solve this latest case as it may lead to discovering what happened to her sister all those years ago but how do you deal with a killer determined to continue his vile quest no matter what the cost.

I loved Marnie and the character of Luke almost as much as I hated the vile and disturbed antagonist here. And he had one bad habit that really, REALLY wound me up, to the point where I was tempted to throw my kindle against wall if he did it one more time!!! There were plot twists galore here and Robin kept his readers in a high state of anxiety throughout as to what would happen to the victims of this highly deranged individual. Be warned that this is VERY dark and violently gory at times so be aware that this may disturb you more than previous books by this author.

The last 30% of this book really grabbed me and by the end I was desperate to discover more about this intriguing new police officer who’s personal and professional development has become a new obsession and one I look forward to following again in the very near future.

Keep You Near is published by Bloodhound Books on 9th March and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Robin Roughley lives in Wigan in the the North West of England (God’s coal bunker) though he hopes to one day be released for good behaviour.
He is the author of eleven crime/thriller novels featuring DS Lasser. The novels are set between the run down streets of a northern town and the beautiful yet desolate west Pennine moors.
If you love your crime fiction crammed with square jawed heroes driving flash cars and glorious women who shimmer with inner light, then the DS Lasser novels are probably not for you.
However, if you prefer your characters to be flawed, with a sprinkling of dandruff and old acne scars,the plots to be laced with dark humour, then give them a try.
1 The Needle House
2 The Way that it Falls
3 Tethered to the Dead.
4 Twisted
5 More Equal than Others
6 Vanished Beneath
7 Riven
8 Bad Self
9 Crave
10 Moment BackPlease feel free to contact me at rob-roughley@live.co.uk you can also keep in touch via facebook Robin Roughley author, or twitter @robroughley or at http://www.robinroughley.com
Many thanks for taking the time to read the books and I look forward to hearing from you.

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary #BookReview

About this book…

It’s winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it’s personal.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.

My review…

Having followed this series from the start, I was incredibly impatient to get cracking on Marnie Rome #4 as there is so much I still want to explore with Marnies character. Each book brings a different case for Marnie and DS Noah Jake but the backstories for these two characters are just as compelling as the crimes they are faced with and it’s been fabulous to find myself back in their world. 

This time it looks that a series of unconnected crimes may not be as unrelated as first thought. They also seem to be developing into a case much closer to Marnie than she would like. Her foster brother is still locked up safely but that doesn’t seem to stop him being able to reach out with his poisonous tentacles of hatred and infect others with his evil intentions. Honestly, he made my skin crawl! The personal threads woven throughout made for difficult reading at times but Sarah Hilary writes a balanced viewpoint at all times. The narrative is hard hitting and intelligent at all times and the investigation procedure is well crafted from the groundwork upwards. It sometimes felt like one of those documentary series about real life police procedures due to the gritty real life problems that affected all the characters throughout. This book touches on gangland violence, the involvement of social services but most of all the theme of parenting in the most difficult of these circumstances. The layers of Marnies story have been peeled back slowly since the first book she appeared in and her personality has developed, alongside that of Noah, to help further their efforts in solving the crimes that occur here. And there is plenty more mileage left in them both! So I’m now on countdown for Marnie Rome #5!

I am once again in awe of how on point Sarah Hilary is with her social observations.  And let’s not forget her complex plotting, which I always fail to unravel. I can highly recommend this series but would probably advise starting at the very beginning to get the most out of Marnie, Noah and their backstories. I do hope that if this IS made into a tv series the producers get it right-if they do, it will be magnificent! And I look forward to seeing who they would cast as Marnie, as in my head she always looks a lot like Sarah Hilary herself!!

So make sure you have nothing else in your life and settle back to immerse yourself in one of the most realistic and relevant crime thrillers you will ever read.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley.

Quieter Than Killing (D.I. Marnie Rome 4) is available now on Amazon UK

About the author…

Sarah Hilary

Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was the Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”), a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, and has been published worldwide. The Marnie Rome series is being developed for television.

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @Sarah_Hilary

The Method by Shannon Kirk #BlogTour @ClaraHDiaz

Today I’m very happy to be a stop on the blog tour for The Method by Shannon Kirk.

the-method_blog-tour-poster_v1

About the book…

What would you do if you were kidnapped and held captive whilst heavily pregnant? Would you submit, or would you subvert?

Lisbeth Salander meets Pierre Lemaitre’s Alex in this original debut thriller with a heroine like no other.

If you’re anyone else you give in, but if you’re a manipulative prodigy you fight back in the only way you can. You use what you’ve been given against your captors.

You have only one chance to save your life and that of your unborn child. You’re calculating, methodical, and as your kidnappers are about to discover, they made a big mistake in abducting you.

What happens when the victim is just as dangerous as the captors?

My review…

I was rather intrigued when I saw the blurb for this one as I do love a strong, kick-ass heroine but a heavily pregnant 16 year old? This I had to see. But I do warn you that once you start this you will not want to put it down.

When we first meet our captive expectant mother she has already been snatched 4 days previously and we come to realise quite quickly that this is not your average teenage girl! She has already started to accumulate her “assets” mentally, and possibly physically if she is able to as well. Every tiny little experience is examined, picked apart and filed away for future reference. This girl is not going down without a fight and she’s not going to let a little thing like being 7 months pregnant stop her!

The Method has apparently been optioned for a major film and I can see why now that I have read it. The action taking place within the building is claustrophobic and intense with plenty of visual clues. Looking for the girl is Special Agent Roger Lui and his partner “Lola” and this thread makes for a fascinating adrenaline fuelled search that again I could see converting well to a gripping cinematic experience.

I found myself totally engrossed in this pretty much from the first page. Once the escape is planned I presumed that the end was in sight but there were plenty more twists and turns to come and the last chapter was positively chilling but emotionally uplifting at the same time. I loved the explanation of how the “assets” were possibly to be used in the planned escape – it was detailed and inventive and my blood pressure must have been sky high at one point! This storyline had heart racing, “hands over the eyes” suspense that managed to feel fresh and exciting with well researched plotlines.

If you love a strong female protagonist, who may be hiding a few secrets of her own then this book is definitely for you. At times it had the feel of a young adult book but with some quite graphic language and violence in places. Subsequently, my daughter has been chomping at the bit for me to finish it as she’s desperate to read it too. And I have a feeling she’s going to enjoy it as much as I did!

Many thanks to Clara at Little Brown for my copy of The Method.

The Method: A gripping thriller with a heroine like no other is out now published by LittleBrownUK and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

kirkshannon-lara-keefe

Shannon Kirk is a practicing attorney and law professor. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan and St John’s Universities, is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and was a trial lawyer in Chicago prior to moving to Massachusetts. She has been honored three times by the Faulkner Society in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, a physicist, and their son.

The Method received a distinction from the School Library Journal as one of the best adult books for teens and won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for best suspense. It has also been optioned for a major motion film by Next Wednesday Films and will be translated into several languages worldwide.