Flowers for the Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite

About this book…

ADAM WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. EVEN IF IT KILLS YOU.
Adam Bourne is a serial killer who thinks he is a saviour. When he murders young women and cuts off their lips, he believes he has done it to make them happy.
How did he become warped from the sensitive four-year-old who adored his gran and the fairy tales she read to him? What turned him into a monster who stalks his victims? And what is he trying to say with the bouquets he sends?
When he meets Laura Weir, Adam weaves a fairy tale romance around them. A tale she has no idea she is part of. As he hatches his twisted plan for their fairy tale ending, can anyone stop him before he creates the ultimate sacrifice to love?

My review…

Once in a while a book comes along that is so different to anything else that I’ve read it kind of takes my breath away! It has taken me a long time to read this book (kindle problem mainly!) but it’s one of those that you need to savour and slowly digest to get every last drop of brilliance from it. It’s like a fairy tale of old, when they were gruesome and scary, something not allowed in our politically correct world today! And this adult fairy tale certainly didn’t have a happy ending!

Adam Bourne is a serial killer. We know that from the start, this is no “whodunit”. But Adam is unlike any serial killer you have ever met before. I don’t think I have ever developed such an emotional attachment to a fictional baddie before. I just wanted to reverse the clock for him and change his history as Adam was a classic example of “nurture versus nature” which is a huge interest of mine. Without his upbringing would Adam have killed? Was he born with psychopathic tendencies? Barbara Copperthwaite has written a character that you feel tremendous sympathy for, more so than his victims and that takes a very clever author!

I loved the way that the chapters were named after flowers and their meanings, although it took me a while to notice that, so caught up was I in Adams story. It was details like that that made this book such a pleasure for me to read, I also noticed the flower theme continued subtly with Mike’s daughter name! Mike, Laura and Adams grandmother were also very interesting characters especially Mike who’s emotions and actions of being a widow and single father were perfectly handled throughout.

I had this book on my kindle for a while before reading it waiting for the right time to read as I had heard it was a bit gory in places but after reading it I can say that although gruesome it is absolutely integral to the plot so please don’t be put off by anything you have heard before. I had that feeling of loss once I had finished it and even now just have an incredible sympathy for its main character-it’s a weird feeling!

Highly recommended by me!

About this author…

Barbara Copperthwaite is a national journalist in the UK, with over twenty years’ experience, including as an editor of several UK publications. Her debut novel, Invisible, was an Amazon best seller. She was raised in the seaside town of Skegness, Lincolnshire, which is where she became a bookworm and lover of the written word. Her fascination with crime began when she briefly worked in a men’s maximum security prison, before a brief stint as cabin crew… It was a circuitous route to journalism and novelist, but she got there eventually.

Available to buy now at Amazon

Play Dead by Angela Marsons

About this book…

The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

My review…

Well, she has only gone and done it again! Angela Marsons 4th book in her series featuring DI Kim Stone is absolutely brilliant and possibly my favourite so far! She is just going from strength to strength and I can’t believe that this is another 5* review but it is so well deserved. If you haven’t read any of this series yet then you need to start with Silent Scream right now! And I can guarantee that you will be blown away.

The setting of a “body farm” provides a suitably creepy, skin crawling, location for the discovery of a body that shouldn’t be there!  A dead woman is found with her mouth stuffed full of earth and the first chapter  describing the build up to the murder is truly horrifying, the way the author describes the feelings of a victim who knows she is about to die gave me goosebumps. The team are back chasing a serial killer and the plot twists and turns with revelation after revelation towards the end so your pulse rate will be sky high! Angela Marsons is one of the few authors who can always surprise me, I never work out 100% of the plot twists and that was the case here. When I got to the last few chapters, I physically couldn’t put it down as the pace picked up!

The main thing I loved about this book was that it took the relationship between Kim and Tracy Frost to a different level! Those who have read the previous books will know that Kim and Tracy have a turbulent history but here we get to find out much more about why Tracy is the way she is. Her backstory had me quite emotional in some parts and I saw a different side to the journalist, a more sympathetic side and I never thought I would EVER say that! I also found Kim’s relationships with her team to be on point again, Bryant is a perfect partner for Kim as they play to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Dawson is also back, same as ever (we found out more about him in Book 3) and Stacey, supporting the team but maybe taken for granted a little bit.

I can’t praise this series highly enough! I love Kim Stone, she is a complex, flawed and lonely character who has such hidden depths that we are still peeling away layers of her personality. I am loving her journey and I await (rather impatiently!!) the next instalment.

Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy via netgalley and this is my unbiased review in return.

Publication date 20th May 2016

Available to buy at Amazon

About the author…

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 8 books. The second and third books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES and LOST GIRLS are also now available.

Death Do Us Part by Steven Dunne

About this book…

Even death cannot part these couples . . .

DI Damen Brook is on a rare period of leave and determined to make the most of it by re-connecting with his daughter Terri. But with her heavy drinking proving a challenge, Brook takes the opportunity to visit a local murder scene when his help is requested.

An elderly couple have each been executed with a single shot to the heart and the method echoes that of a middle-aged gay couple killed the previous month.

With the same killer suspected and the officer currently in charge nearing retirement, Brook knows that he has little choice but to cut short his leave when forced by his superiors to take the lead on the case.
Brook believes that he can catch this ruthless killer, but already distracted by Terri’s problems, is he about to make a fatal mistake and lead the killer right to his own door?

My review…

Well this book was LITERALLY too hot to handle for me! As I was sitting reading it in the garden, I got to 94% and my kindle switched itself off as it was overheating! Thankfully a nice cool down indoors did the trick and an hour later I was able to finish, what is in my opinion, the best in the DI Damon Brook series so far!

Well, as if Brook doesn’t have enough to worry about trying to establish a reconnection with his daughter Terri, he is called upon to solve the murder of an elderly couple in their own home. They have been shot, each with a single shot and they had been drinking champagne shortly before their deaths. Brook sees a possible connection with the murder of a gay couple recently and so sets about in his usual methodical way to investigate further. But is the truth a little closer to home than he is expecting?

I definitely think this is my favourite so far, I do love Brook! I think what makes me connect to him is that he just seems so…..normal!! I like his down to earth approach to his job and the way he admits that he can’t delegate, it just makes him seem more realistic. And I like the way the plot follows the conversations he has with his colleagues so you can actually see his thought process throughout the case. I like dialogue! As usual we get to follow Brooks personal life as well and I found the relationship he had with Terri to be rather touching, the text messages that he sends her are just so typical of a father trying to do his best with his adult daughter, a relationship that can be a difficult at times. There are a few other usual players here as well and it felt like I had never been away from Brook and his colleagues-it was like settling back in with friends that you hadn’t seen for a long time but as soon as you’re together again, it’s like nothing has changed!

The plot here is a cracker and I thought I had it all figured out but no. It’s a really twisty tale that makes you think “oh I get it” then realise that you actually don’t! Incredibly well thought out and brilliantly brought together. And that ending!!!!! I don’t think I dared breathe for that last 6%!! This is easily one of my favourite detective series so now I feel quite low that it’s all over for another book and I have to wait for the next. Patience really isn’t my strong point!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Publication date 5th May 2016

Available to buy at Amazon

Die of Shame by Mark Billingham

About this book…

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about addiction. There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and above all, shame.

Then one of them is killed – and it’s clear one of the circle was responsible.

Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together. So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?

And how do you find the truth when denial and deception are second nature to all of your suspects?

My review…

“Its never nice watching people tear each other to pieces” writes the therapist Tony De Silva at one point after his Monday night group have left their session but I have to disagree when it comes to this group of misfits! This standalone book by the Tom Thorne creator brings together a cast of incredibly unlikable but fascinating characters and puts them in a claustrophobic and highly combustible setting then stands back to watch them all explode!

The main thread running through this book is the weekly Monday meetings of a support group for those with addictions. The group is overseen by therapist Tony De Silva in his home and comprises of three women and two men. We realise at the start that one of the group has been murdered but we don’t find out until a quarter of the way through which one. The group have been telling their “stories of shame”, taking it in turns every Monday, and it looks like the latest tale may have got its storyteller killed. It’s up to DI Nicola Tanner and her sidekick DC Dipak Chall to investigate the murder and the Monday group is going to be their first port of call.

I really enjoyed this book! In fact I’m hoping that instead of a standalone, Mark Billingham will make this the start of a series-maybe just an occasional one though as we do still need Tom Thorne in our lives (we actually meet a few familiar faces here as well!). When I got this book I hadn’t even realised it was a standalone so was rather worried it wouldn’t live up to expectations but it did and even surpassed them. I didn’t even work out the “who”or “why” in this one and I was really convinced I had! I liked the way the story was told in the Then and Now headings once I had got used to them but most of all I just loved the simplicity of taking a group of people, all of whom had secrets and giving them all a motive for murder! This was a fabulous character driven murder mystery that would look brilliant played out in a television drama, an old-fashioned whodunit brought up to date with stories of addiction, sex, obsession and revenge. And that ending….loved it! I certainly feel Nicola Tanner has more to give so hopefully we will meet her again soon.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Publication date 5th May 2016

Available to buy at Amazon

Last light by C J Lyons

About this book…

1987: Lily Martin is horrifically murdered along with her young child in Texas.

Today: Life should be easy after leaving the FBI –  but not if you’re detective Lucy Guardino. Lucy has always seen herself as a normal mum who happened to have a job chasing the worst of the worst. But after a violent predator targets her family and she’s injured, Lucy sacrifices her career at the Bureau.

She joins the Beacon Group, a firm that specializes in cold cases. Lucy fears she’s traded the elite for shepherding a team of amateurs.

She is sent to rural Texas to investigate a case that’s already been closed with the killers behind bars for twenty-nine years.

But who really killed Lily Martin and her infant daughter? Why was an entire family targeted for annihilation? What price will Lucy pay when she fights to expose a truth people will kill to keep buried?

My review…

I must admit that not only is this the first book I have read by C.J Lyons but I hadn’t actually heard of her books before either! I find it hard to believe that I haven’t as I have been missing out! She weaves a great thrilling tale with a colourful cast of characters.

Lucy Guardino has now retired from the FBI on medical grounds but has taken a consultancy position at the Beacon Group based in Beacon Falls. The group has recently been set up to privately investigate cold cases. Their first case involves the twenty nine year old murder of a married couple and their baby. Their six year old son was left at deaths door but survived and has never spoken a word since that day. Lucy and TK O’Connor head off to investigate a miscarriage of justice working alongside the convicted murders son. But could digging into the past bring back painful memories and put lives in danger once again?

This book was actually a pleasant surprise for me! I do love watching real life crime programmes especially those set in the USA and although this was a fictional account it felt very authentic. Lucy was a great character, strong minded and determined and so was her her sidekick TK. I loved that they were out in the field getting stuck in to the action and facing danger head on while the men on the team were back at headquarters! I also loved the cold case investigation and got thoroughly engrossed in the story which although quite disturbing at times, due to the murder of a small baby, wasn’t done in a graphic or gratuitous way. I couldn’t put the book down towards the end as it became an action packed drama to bring down a murderer.

I loved the way these characters came together and really look forward to reading more about them in future books in the series. TK stood out for me but also looking forward to discovering a bit more about the backstory of Wash and Tommy as well.

Thanks to Haley and to Canelo for my advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.

Publication date 3rd May 2016

About the author…

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. CJ has been called a master within the genre (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as breathtakingly fast-paced and riveting (Publishers Weekly) with characters with beating hearts and three dimensions (Newsday). Her novels have won the International Thriller Writers prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers Choice Award, the Readers Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. Learn more about CJ s Thrillers with Heart at http://www.CJLyons.net

Available from Amazon

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

About this book..

You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime.

Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.

That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.

It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.

And that could destroy as much as it heals.

My review..

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of a “mystery thriller” from Cara at Mira UK a few months ago which turned out to be All is not Forgotten. I read it as soon as I received it but I couldn’t wait until nearer the publication date to write my review and get it out there. It made such an impression on me that I wanted to write it down while those feelings were still fresh in my mind.

This book deals with the traumatic aftermath of a vicious rape of a teenage girl. Be warned that the author doesn’t shy away from descriptions of the act so if you are easily offended by this subject matter then just be aware. It is handled perfectly though in my opinion. It brings all the horror and cruelty of this act of violence alive and it is very hard to read but what happens in the aftermath is fascinating and will provoke discussions and differing opinions on its release.

Jenny Kramer is raped at a party and once taken to hospital is given a mixture of drugs to incur a memory loss of the events that took place. I found the science behind the story fascinating and wondered how on earth it would work?? Jenny has a scar that occurred during the attack and she softens stokes it. So what is the point of loss of memory if you have a permanent reminder of…well, something!! That’s where we meet Doctor Alan Forrester, a psychiatrist who doesn’t introduce himself until chapter seven when we are really starting to wonder who is telling us Jenny’s story and why.

I absolutely loved this book and devoured it in a couple of sittings. I love a good old unreliable narrator and a book that twists and turns until you have no idea where it is going. My jaw hit the floor on at least two occasions and that floored me as I usually have some inkling of where the plot is taking us. This book reminded me of Gone Girl but it was in a different league, classy, beautifully written and pretty much unlike any writing style I have seen for a while. The characters were brought to life straight off the pages into my head, I especially loved Charlotte and her relationships which were never quite what I had thought them to be originally.

This is going to make an amazing film and be a much talked about summer bestseller-just watch out for everyone reading it in your holiday resort this year! And then you can ask “what would you have done?”

Thanks again to Cara at Mira UK and this is my unbiased review from the ARC that I was sent.

Publication date 12th July 2016

All Is Not Forgotten: The gripping thriller you’ll never forget is available now at Amazon UK

The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh

About this book..

A woman disappears

One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.

A woman returns

Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.

What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?

‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’

My review..

As a huge fan of Emma Kavanaghs first book Falling, it is always a big deal for me when she has a new novel out! Could I also point out that, although it isn’t totally necessary, it may be a good idea to read the short story that the author released earlier in the year called Case 48 The Kidnapping of Isaiah Rae. By reading this first, it gives the reader a perfect insight into the work of Ed and Selena Cole before The Missing Hours takes place a few years later.

Serena Cole is in a children’s playground with her daughters. Seven year old Heather wanders off whilst Selena is pushing three year old Tara on a swing. When Heather looks back though…her mum has gone. What has happened to Selena and why, when she returns the next day, does she not remember a single thing that happened to her?

This book surprised me in that it took me in a totally unexpected direction and I like to be misdirected sometimes! To begin with in the opening chapters, I struggled to make sense of what was happening. I just found it rather confusing until I settled into the writing style of the different characters who were telling their stories. An unusual stand out for me was that the police officers in charge of the case were actually brother and sister. Leah was a deeper, more understandable character and we were given an insight into her marriage and how her journey to motherhood affected her reactions to the disappearance of Selena. Her brother Finn, on the other hand, had recently been promoted to DS and was struggling with reactions from colleagues (and from the rather large chip on his shoulder!) to his new role but we didn’t seem to get as much from his personality as I would have liked. I didn’t get as emotionally attached to these characters (or to the ice cool Selena) as I have in this authors previous books but that is just a personal thing, sometimes it happens for me and sometimes it doesn’t-no rhyme or reason why!

One of the main things I really enjoyed about The Missing Hours was the way it was told, with case studies used throughout. The Coles had a company that dealt in helping to rescue kidnap victims and their past cases are detailed throughout the book to great effect. I found these cases fascinating to read through as they had such an air of realism surrounding them. It lead us to see a totally different side to Selena, where her control and bravery in very difficult situations was in great contrast to the Selena we meet after her disappearance.

At the heart of this book though is a good old whodunit, the murder of much loved and respected solicitor Dominic, who also seemed to be hiding his personal life from those who thought they knew him best. We are twisted around a cast of characters, most of whom are also involved in Selenas life curiously enough, trying to find connections in what is a slow burning, atmospheric build up to resolving the secrets that everyone appears to be keeping.

This was an enjoyable read for me and, although Falling is still my favourite book by this author, I found the plot to be of such a great interest me that I read it pretty much in a day. I would have liked more of an epilogue though if I’m going to be picky but that’s a small niggle and more of a sign really that I didn’t want the book to end!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Publication date 21st April 2016

🌳🌳🌳🌳

Available to pre order here

In the Shadows by Tara Lyons

About this book..

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is tasked with apprehending a brutal murderer stalking the streets of London – and leaving not a shred of DNA evidence. As the suspect list mounts, his frustration and pressure from his superiors intensify. 
Grace Murphy, who is dealing with the recent loss of her beloved grandfather, falls deeper into despair when her friends’ bodies are discovered. Fearing she may be the killer’s next target, she begins to question if her horrifying nightmares are the key to unravelling the murderer’s identity.

How far would you go to uncover the truth? Would you venture into the shadows to unmask a killer?

My review..

I saw this book talked about in quite a few different places recently but I wasn’t really sure if it would be my cup of tea. Although I had read the authors collaboration with Mel Comley and enjoyed it, I did feel slightly anxious about reading her own debut novel. However, it started to garner plenty of 5* reviews from trusted reviewers and bloggers and following a chance discussion in a Facebook group the author kindly offered me a copy to review. So, of course, I accepted just to see if it would it live up to all the hype…..and I’m very excited to say that it did!!

There is a serial killer on the loose and its down to DI Denis Hamilton to investigate who is murdering women in a very specific way, they are knifed straight through the heart and there is no DNA evidence to be found. Grace Murphy, still grieving from the loss of her beloved grandfather, realises that the victims all seem to have a connection to her in some way. She decides to take time off work to see if she can work out what the connection is and why she feels that someone in the shadows is watching her and waiting….

Let me start by mentioning that cover!! When this book unexpectedly showed up on my Kindle late at night (I was in bed reading at the time) it scared the sh*t out of me!! It’s brilliantly chilling and certainly sets the mood every time you select it to start reading. The opening chapter is also an eye opener, a ruthless killer getting rid of a body that will never be discovered and it sets the scene perfectly. One of the things I look for in a crime thriller such as this, is its ability to make me feel emotions and this book did in an unexpected way-characters really annoyed me!! Grace was such a cow to her mother and her boss that I struggled to sympathise her even though I could see she was grieving badly and drinking heavily. On top of that her best friend never seems to be available for her-seemingly putting her social life before Grace. And don’t even get me started on poor Valerie, having her adult daughter, who has a responsible job, speak to her like a stopping teenager! I think if I have one tiny niggle about In The Shadows, it is that we don’t seem to get too much insight into the one character that I really loved, DI Hamilton. I wanted more of a feel to his home life and personality-basically what makes him tick! So I am hoping with my fingers crossed that this is just an appetizer for Denis Hamilton and we will get to meet him again in the near future.

I love this book, I love being surprised by the outcome, I love how it exceeded my expectations….I DON’T love the cover! Seriously, I am now looking forward to reading more from Tara Lyons especially if she keeps writing to this standard.

🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳

Available to buy on Amazon here

 

Gone Astray by Michelle Davies

About this book..

When a Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket on a whim, it changes her life more than she could have imagined . . .

Lesley and her husband Mack are the sudden winners of a £15 million EuroMillions jackpot. They move with their 15-year-old daughter Rosie to an exclusive gated estate in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their ordinary lives – and friends – as they are catapulted into wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

But it soon turns into their darkest nightmare when, one beautiful spring afternoon, Lesley returns to their house to find it empty: their daughter Rosie is gone.

DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack, supporting them while quietly trying to investigate the family. And she has a crisis threatening her own life – a secret from the past that could shatter everything she’s worked so hard to build.

As Lesley and Maggie desperately try to find Rosie, their fates hurtle together on a collision course that threatens to end in tragedy . . .

Money can’t buy you happiness.
The truth could hurt more than a lie.
One moment really can change your life forever.

My review..

This is a debut novel with a feeling very much of its time. This year is awash with psychological suspense thrillers involving missing children, families hiding multiple secrets and police officers with their own dramas to contend with alongside crimes to solve. This book gives us something a little different as it’s the first I’ve read when the main character is a FLO-a family liaison officer-Maggie who is drafted in when a young girl goes missing.

Mack and Lesley have hit the jackpot….literally! After a win on the Euromillions to the tune of £15 million, they are living the life in a beautiful mansion in a gated community with their only child,15 year old Rosie. On returning from a shopping trip one day, Lesley finds the house alarm turned off and Rosie missing. Has she been abducted and if so is the Euromillions win the reason? Maggie Neville is a FLO who is brought in to support the Kinnock family as soon as the disappearance has been reported. She also has more than a few secrets of her own in her personal life including an outstanding complaint against her from a previous case. The race is on to find Rosie….

I was drawn to this book from the synopsis as I liked the fact that it was told from the point of view of Maggie, a police officer called in about 3 times a year as a FLO. I’ve seen on the news that families have been assigned a FLO after a crime has taken place and often wondered how far their duties extended. It’s not all making tea and fending off the press apparently!! Maggie didn’t seem to have the personal connection with the family that I would have expected but I imagine it may be difficult to maintain a level of professionalism whilst living as an outsider within a house full of grieving or desperate people. I did struggle to feel an attachment to her at times, her relationship with the parents also lacked the empathy I expected but whether this was deliberate or based on research I don’t know. I just felt rather detached at times. Saying that, this is a really enjoyable read plotwise that steams ahead even though it did leave a few questions unanswered. It twists around so that although we are aware of the person who has a grievance against the family, we don’t know w/o not is or how it relates to Rosie until near the end. This is another novel where the use of social media is used to great effect mirroring the real life of today’s teenager.

I assume this will be the first in a series based on Maggie and I would certainly be interested in seeing where she goes from here. Her family life and her relationship with her DCI definitely have more to give and I’m hoping that the author has now settled into her writing style and can relax into her characters a bit more. This is an interesting concept and certainly needs to be explored further.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Available to buy now

A Tapping at My Door by David Jackson

About this book..

A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She’s disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven, and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes.
DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird – and the victim’s missing eyes.

As flashbacks from his past begin to intrude, Cody realises he is battling not just a murderer, but his own inner demons too.

And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realises the threat isn’t to the people of Liverpool after all – it’s to the police.

My review..

It takes quite a lot to render me speechless (unfortunately says my family!) but this book did just that. There was a moment near the end that I switched off to everything around me as I wanted to give everything I had as a reader to the final few pages of the book that is definitely going to be in my Top 10 of 2016. There was a highly emotional ending to this crime thriller that I truly did not see coming and my heart literally missed a beat when I saw exactly where this plot had been heading.

This book starts off like one of those creepy horror films that I pretend I don’t mind watching but end up seeing more of the back of a cushion than my tv screen! Terri Latham is at home when she hears a tapping at her door. She dismisses it as a plant blowing in the wind but it keeps going and starts tapping at a different location. Scared, she opens the door to find a large raven and then things get seriously creepy as she realises the raven is not alone….

This book is the first in a new series for author David Jackson. After the success of his Callum Doyle series (which is amazing if you haven’t read it- especially Cry Baby!) he has moved closer to home with DS Nathan Cody, who lives and works in Liverpool. I love the fact that Liverpool has its own detective series now-its a fascinating city that I love visiting-full of character, with many cultural references used by the author here to great effect. Nathan is a fantastically complex character who has a past that is hinted at but doesn’t become clear until later in the book. I have no doubt his relationship with his dysfunctional family will provide us with plenty of drama in future books! As, I’m sure, will his partnership with DC Megan Webley, a former girlfriend now working alongside Nathan as they try to solve the mystery of who is murdering fellow police officers.

This book has been plotted to perfection! The level of tension created by that first chapter was sky high! It introduces us to a main character who is flawed but incredibly likeable. And that is one of the main reasons that this series will work well-we are made to really care about this fictional policeman! I felt very protective of him right from the start, rather like DCI Stella Blunt, and wanted to shout “NOOOOO!” whenever he seemed set on another path of self destruction! I was so totally engrossed in the plot from page one that I didn’t even see where it was going until it slapped me in the face! I found it difficult reading the last few pages, for reasons I won’t go into, and I know that many people will feel the same but it was handled perfectly.

A Tapping at my Door is a fantastic start to this new series and I hope we don’t have too long to wait before the next instalment (I am so impatient-every authors nightmare!) I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to see what scrapes Nathan Cody gets himself into next.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Out on April 7th 2016

Available to pre-order here