Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullins #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

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Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen

About this book…

The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for. But it wasn’t a stranger. Ian Selkirk must have crossed some dangerous people. Because now he was dead. Stabbed through the heart and dumped in the loch. Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival as Charlie goes up against notorious gangster, Jimmy Rafferty, who has ruled the east end of the city with fear for over thirty years. Rafferty is ruthless. Even his own family are terrified of him. But Jimmy’s best days are behind him and in the Rafferty clan a power struggle is taking place between the sons. Finding what the thief stole is the old man’s last chance to protect what he has built and hold on to power just a little longer. He wants to use Charlie to get it for him. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants. The trail runs from the cold dark water of Loch Lomond to the golden beaches of southern Spain, from the terraces of Celtic Park to a thrilling climax on the battlements of Edinburgh Castle. Charlie must give Rafferty what he needs or die. Only one problem. Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

My review…

Having read and enjoyed Games People Play by Owen Mullen, I was keen to read Book two in the series. It can be read as a standalone though.There seems to have been a few books recently that have featured a PI as the central character, there to solve a mystery as an aside to a police investigation, but the charismatic Charlie Cameron is one of the better ones that I’ve come across.

I wasn’t as emotionally involved in the plot of this second book as I was the first but it was an interesting twist to have Charlie searching for a missing husband and viewing a body that was possibly his at the morgue but instead the deceased turns out to be an old friend! Surely just a coincidence but Owen is then drawn into an underground world of gangsters who believe that Charlie is the key to finding a very large amount of cash. I loved the softer side of Charlie that came out once his old friend Fiona appeared on the scene. He doesn’t give much away usually but I felt Fiona brought him out of himself a little more and that emotion fed through to his investigations. The usual sidekicks were back, Jackie at NYB and Pat which let us explore their back stories a little more. Although my favourite has to be the Big Issue seller who I hope has chance of a bigger role in future books.

Having lived in and around Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dunbartonshire for many years, I think a lot of my enjoyment came from recognising the local landmarks and I loved the authenticity of Charlie’s surroundings. The start and the ending really held my attention but there was a time in the middle that I kind of lost my way a bit. Thankfully, once back on track the finale raced along to the end with an unexpectedly chilling last few pages. Although set in recent years, many times I felt as if I were reading a vintage PI story set in the 1940s especially in the way it was told in those short sharp sentences and dialogue. But this just added to this rather atmospheric and dark thriller.

Thank you to the Bloodhound books for providing me with a review copy of Old Friends and New Enemies which was published on 21st February.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens #BookReview

About this book…

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed.

Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

My review…

I have read and enjoyed all of Chevy Stevens previous books so was really looking forward to this new one. To begin with I wasn’t sure about Never Let You Go, it seemed to have a very different feel to it and a plotline that felt a bit stale and overused. But the more I read, the more I realised what a very clever writer Chevy Stevens is indeed, as I had been lulled into a false sense of security that I was about to be dragged from kicking and screaming! This book gradually develops into the highly gripping thriller that I have come to expect from this author and I felt as though I had climbed a mountain once I had got to that end. Oxygen masks at the ready!

There is a fair amount of domestic abuse at the start that may make some feel uncomfortable and I certainly felt like I was walking on that knife edge alongside Lindsey when she started to realise the control her husband Andrew was exerting over her. But this is unlike other domestic noir books around at the moment in that I felt the relationship that took centre stage was between  Lindsey and her daughter Sophie and not Lindsey and Andrew. Their bond was very thoughtfully written and developed and although they took turns relating their perspectives on what was occurring,  what both accounts had in common was that deep  bond of trust that had formed between mother and daughter. Once Andrew is back on the scene it was interesting to watch and take note of the changes in the family dynamics, if they were altered and if outside influences that had been thrown into the mix were being ignored? As the action heats up and loyalties become divided, will they have the strength to fight to maintain their little family unit?

I found myself holding my breath as this progressed through to the finale, one that was shockingly unexpected and terrifying. Once on this heart stopping rollercoaster of emotions, it’s impossible to get off and what had been a slow and steady read at the start became an unputdownable adrenaline fuelled race to the finish. So I was very pleased that I had pushed through my tolerance barrier and kept on reading as I would have missed out on this intensely gratifying book otherwise. Whilst it hasn’t overtaken Still Missing as my favourite Chevy Stevens novel this is still a great read which kept me up until the early hours desperate to uncover the truth.

Never Let You Go is published on 14th March 2017 and is available to purchase at Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still lives on the island with her husband and daughter. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her family in the local mountains. Her debut novel, Still Missing, won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel.

The Promise by Casey Kelleher #BlogTour @bookouture

Today I am happy to be a stop on The Promise blog tour so many thanks to Casey Kelleher and Noelle at Bookouture.

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About this book…

Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life.

When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.

Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money.

Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.

My review…

I didn’t discover Casey Kelleher until her last book The Taken  and then I got hold of all her other books to play catch up! I found her writing to be fresh and exciting and reminiscent of the early Martina Cole books and I couldn’t get enough of them even recommending them to my daughter’s who are now also big fans. I have loved them all but The Promise is now my new favourite! Hours passed but I had no concept of time as I was fully engrossed as this utterly unputdownable drama unfolded.

Josie Parker is never going to win Mother of The Year but she does the best she knows how. Sometimes there’s no electricity, she turns tricks in the bedroom next to where her two daughters are sleeping and they survive on weetabix and chocolate spread sandwiches. Marnie and Georgie actually seen very well adjusted considering the state of neglect they live in but Marnie wets the bed showing that maybe something is worrying her more than her mum and sister realise. I really wanted to despise Josie but there was really no point- her lifestyle was what it was and when you have sunk that low, climbing back up out of that gutter is nigh on impossible and although Josie tries she does it in the only way she know how. As in many families where there are addictions, Georgie has taken over that maternal role with her younger sister and they are doing okay until that one night….

The plot here is very dark and disturbing, especially as it involved children, and the emotions really thump you in the chest at times as it graphically depicts the life of a family on the edge. The will to survive and crawl out of their dismal surroundings is always present in the women here but boy, do they have to fight for it. Casey Kellehers strength is in involving the reader deep into her characters lives, provoking extreme emotions in the reader -both good and bad! I detested Delray and everything he stood for. And I just wanted to scream at Javine but she was, like Josie, a victim of past circumstances, frantically swimming against the tide in the interest of self preservation.

The last few chapters were brilliant with a few surprises thrown in. I actually think there was one character that I would love to meet again in future books as I’m sure there would be plenty more to discover about the life they go on to lead. If you like your crime thrillers realistically grim and gritty but with characters who feel like family you will absolutely love The Promise. It will make you angry, it will make you sad but it also leaves you feeling uplifted and hopeful! More please and lots of it!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley and have chosen to read and review it.

The Promise: A gripping thriller you won’t be able to put down is published on 17th February 2017 by Bookouture and is available to purchase on Amazon UK

Meet the author…

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Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole.

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time.

She has since published Rise and Fall, Heartless, Bad Blood, The Taken and her latest release, The Promise.

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole #BlogTour #RagdollBook @Daniel_P_Cole

Today I’m on the blog tour for a book that EVERYBODY is talking about! It’s nearly publication day for Ragdoll by Daniel Cole so the countdown is on! 3 days, 40 victims and I’m a day 1 victim with my review ( previously published in 2016)

About this book…

The nation is gripped by the infamous ‘Ragdoll Killer’
Your friends, your family and your neighbours are all talking about it.

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

My review…

Now my journey to read this book has been a difficult one, fraught with obstacles that were determined to stop me getting my hands on a review copy. When the publisher was giving them out at Harrogate last year, I was off having my afternoon tea with fellow blogger Sarah Hardy and the brilliant author Linwood Barclay so I missed out (probably not quite the hardship I am making out here!) So I was emailed a copy by the lovely Sam Eades but that one seemed to disappear into the ether somewhere. It was only when I had to do a huge reboot on my Kindle (long story but never EVER trust a 5 year old with your kindle password-it will end in tears…..YOURS!!) that a copy popped up on my carousel which lead to much dancing around and hugging of  treasured kindle. So the only problem I have now is this…..IS THIS MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2016 or 2017!?!?! I read it in 2016 but it’s not out in e-book till February 2017? Oh what the hell, let’s just make it my book of  the decade and have done with it!

Before you read this book, make sure you read the authors bio that I’ve included below! And I’m sure you will be struck by two things. Firstly how does a lovely young man (I know as I’ve met him!) with a string of jobs helping people and animals in distress write such a gruesome, repulsive crime shocker with a hideously gory and blood curdling plot?! But the second thing you’ll notice is that there will be a book two!! And thank goodness for that as William Fawkes (Wolf) and Emily Baxter are both brilliant character creations and their relationship one of the most intense and intriguing I have come across for quite some time!

And if I think I had a stressful journey to read this book, it’s nothing compared to the search for the Ragdoll Killer, so named by the press. One of those journalists looking for the scoop of the century is Andrea, Wolfs wife (sorry, ex wife!). A killer who has stitched together pieces of his 6 victims to form a grotesque “ragdoll” has sent Andrea a list of the next victims plus the dates they will die but this list is looking a little too close to home for our police team. And at this point I have to say that one of the things l loved about this book was the team and how their characters and relationships were unravelled to us slowly, full of twisty surprises along the way. Towards the end I found the tension nearly unbearable and had to stop reading every few pages, although this could also have been procrastinating as I also didn’t want this amazing book to end. The last few pages felt physically painful, as though I was sharing the agonising and distressingly traumatic finale with Wolf-and then he pipes up with a little quip that relieves all the tension and makes me laugh out loud! I just loved everything about this book from start to finish so I am so happy that there will be a William Fawkes #2! Let’s hope Daniel Cole can get his warped imagination flowing again for more harrowing cases for Wolf and Emily!

I think this will be the Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train for 2017, you know, THAT book that everyone wants to emulate and aspire to. It’s a brilliant book and its a debut to boot! Amazing! And I half want a Hollywood producer to snap this up for a blockbuster movie but the other half of me knows that no one will be able to match the brilliance of this book on film! There seriously aren’t enough stars in the sky for me to rate this book! At the risk of repeating myself, I just loved it!

Many thanks to Trapeze for my review copy of Ragdoll.

Ragdoll will be published by Trapeze on 23rd February 2017 and can be preordered here at Amazon UK

About the author…

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.

A Room Full of Killers by Michael Wood #BookReview

About this book…

Eight killers. One house. And the almost perfect murder…

Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison. Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood.

When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted.

There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…

My review…

I just LOVE this series so I was really excited to start to read DCI Matilda Darke book 3 especially as I hadn’t had long to wait since reading the short prequel novella The Fallen just before Christmas. I love strong female protagonists in crime thrillers and Matilda is such an incredibly complex character with hidden and unexpected depths that I don’t think I will ever tire of her! If you have enjoyed the previous books as well then you are in a treat as I think this is the best book so far! I was awake till half two this morning finishing it (with a little break for some hot tea and a Tunnocks Teacake at midnight-reading about Sian’s snack drawer always makes me hungry!) as I physically couldn’t put it down until the case was solved.

I think one of the reasons I loved this so much was that it had an unexpected “Agatha Christie feel” to it. After the murder has occurred, all the suspects are gathered together by the detectives in one room which reminded me of the way Hercule Poirot would gather the cast of misfits together, pulling all the alibies apart individually before revealing the murderer. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for Matilda as her investigation is also side tracked by a possible case of a miscarriage of justice. Interspersed throughout the teams investigation into the murder we hear the backstories of the eight killer’s who have come together at Sterling House and those chapters are truly chilling. These are teenage boys who have committed the most heinous of crimes and one of the team, Rory, really struggles to understand why? What has happened to these boys to turn them into killers? We are back to the nature versus nurture argument, could some people just be born evil?

Kate Maloney, the prison manager, was possibly one of the most frustrating characters I have read about recently (as well as appearing rather familiar for some reason!) so I felt absolutely no sympathy for her predicament whatsoever. And you can’t help but compare her to the fiercely loyal and single minded Matilda, who’s stubborn persistence is unfailing in her attempt to do the right thing and see justice done.

Honestly I am overwhelmed by how much Michael Wood has upped his game here and I’m already chomping at the bit for more DCI Matilda Darke. This is highly recommended by me and if you haven’t read any of this series yet I suggest you start with For Reasons Unknown, the first book and I guarantee you will be as addicted as I am!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley and have chosen to read and review it.

A Room Full of Killers (DCI Matilda Darke, Book 3) was published on 17th February 2017 by Killer Reads and is available to purchase from Amazon UK

Meet the author…

Michael Wood
Michael Wood is a proofreader and former journalist in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He is the author of the DCI Matilda Darke series set in Sheffield. The third, A ROOM FULL OF KILLERS, will be released in February 2017. A short story prequel, THE FALLEN, is published as an ebook in December 2016 by Killer Reads at HarperCollins.

Cursed-A Henning Juul novel by Thomas Enger #BlogTour @OrendaBooks

I am delighted to be on the blog tour today for Cursed by Thomas Enger, translated by Kari Dickson.

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About this book…

What secret would you kill to protect? When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.

My review…

Although this is the fourth book in the Henning Juul series, this is the first I have read and it didn’t feel like I had missed anything (apart from some very gritty and suspenseful writing of course!) as the author makes sure we are aware of plot details that have occurred previously.

The opening sequence in Cursed was a breathtakingly dark and disturbing murder which has a dramatic effect on the reader throwing up many questions. Who was this man, shot in cold blood while out with his dog in a Swedish forest?  What possible reason could have lead to his murder? And it does take a while before we realise the connection with the main storyline but what a wonderfully twisted and complex path we are lead down before it’s revealed.

I loved Nora and Henning, their relationship is over by the time me we meet them here, torn apart by events in the past and the tragic loss of their son. Nora becomes involved in the case of missing Hedda due to their past friendship at university. Henning is chasing down possible leads in the threats against his life but it seems the two cases may be entwined as Nora peels away the dirty secrets of a well regarded wealthy family.

This is fantastic series to grab hold of if you are a fan of Nordic Noir. I got the same goosebumps that I experienced the first time I read The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and if you’re a fan of his then you will absolutely adore this series too. It’s gripping from the first page, pulling you in and slowly building the tension whilst unravelling the secrets and lies of a family who seem to be hiding past indiscretions which could have far reaching consequences. The last few chapters were brilliant as it becomes a fast paced race to the final denouement with an unexpected development at the end.

I have only recently become a fan of translated crime novels but the standard now is incredibly high. I am adding Thomas Enger to my list of favourite authors in this genre and can’t wait to read the next instalment now. A tightly controlled plot, which is deeply moving at times, this is highly recommended by me.

Cursed (Henning Juul) is published by Orenda Books on January 21st and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

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Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndod) in 2009, which became aninternational sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

Eyes Like Mine by Sheena Kamal #BookReview

About this book…

It begins with a phone call. Fifteen years ago Nora Watts gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. Now Bonnie has vanished and when the police don’t seem to care, her desperate parents turn to Nora as a last resort.

Nora knows only too well what happens to missing girls, especially when they aren’t blonde or white enough. Despite herself, she sets out to find the daughter she’s never known protected only by her instincts and a freakish ability to detect truth from lies.

As she plunges into her own dark past, Nora uncovers a violent conspiracy on a grand scale that will take her from the rain-soaked streets of Vancouver, to the icy mountains of the Canadian wilderness, and ultimately to a remote island where she will face her most terrifying demon. All to save a girl she wishes had never been born.

My review…

Now this is an interesting one. I don’t think comparisons to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo do this book many favours and may put a few readers off trying it. I thought Nora, a feisty but ultimately damaged protagonist, was far more intriguing than I was expecting from the comparison and quite unlike any heroine I have come across in a while. It actually took me a while to “get” her but once I did I also found her to be much more likeable than I had anticipated.

It was the blurb on the cover that attracted me to Eyes Like Mine. I thought it was a fresh and intriguing idea for a plot which was well conceived and followed through with the storyline opening up to the reader at the same time as Nora. Coming face to face with her daughter’s adoptive parents would have been difficult enough for Nora but having them approach her in her capacity as a private investigator gave a interesting twist to what could have been a straight forward “missing girl” plot. Indeed when Nora does investigate further it looks like what happened to her in the past may be hindering her search more than she realises. Can the past ever stay hidden when there are secrets to be laid bare?

I loved Nora and how, even though she thinks she’s not good enough and her strength of personality may be hidden from most, the little things in her life were obviously really the big things. And although she prefers not to have attachments, shutting out the world never quite works when you let a dog into your life, especially one with a better “social life” than you.

This has a claustrophobic, dark and gloomy feel right from the start, there isn’t much joy to spread around as the finale looms with it’s twists and turns but it doesn’t feel disheartening and actually left me feeling rather uplifted and full of hope for the future. In fact the ending was handled far better than expected. As in real life, sometimes not all ends can be tied. A stunning debut!

Many thanks to Zaffre for my review copy of Eyes Like Mine.

Eyes Like Mine: As dark and gripping as THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is out on February 9th and available to purchase from Amazon UK

About the author…

Sheena Kamal was born in the Caribbean and immigrated to Canada as a child. She holds an HBA in political science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness. Kamal has also worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry— academic knowledge and experience that inspired this debut novel. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Prime Justice (Justice series 14) by M.A. Comley #BookReview

About this book…

A killer, an abductor, and a villain intent on revenge – just a normal week in the life of DI Lorne Warner.

When a wealthy woman is found murdered in a country lane, close to her home, it’s up to Lorne to find the evidence to track down the rural killer.

When another resident in the same vicinity is abducted, the evidence points Lorne to believe both cases are connected.

However, Lorne’s focus on the puzzling case is in jeopardy, when a criminal awaiting trial threatens her career in the force.

Can Lorne restore the tranquility in the once sleepy community? And will she still be a serving police officer in the Met by the end of the investigation?

My review…

I really don’t know how Mel Comley does it! She consistently comes up with new and gripping storylines and I feel like Lorne Warner is now a dear friend that I am following through the ups and downs of her life, instead of a fictional character.

There is a pretty shocking crime at the beginning of this book which becomes more horrific when we realise that Nadine Walker-Scott knows her attacker. But when another local resident is also abducted, Lorne comes to realise there is a seriel offender on the loose. Can she solve the crime before the body count increases?

There is also a nod to previous books with the brief appearance of Sally Parker as there’s some bad news for Lorne regarding a previous case. Yes, that lovely lady Claire Knight won’t go down without a fight and is back to cause some trouble, even from behind bars. I do love a good baddie but have to admit that after reading Prime Justice, Lorne and Claire probably have a lot more in common than Lorne would like to admit. A case involving Charlie and her boyfriend makes Lorne VERY protective so heaven help anyone who messes with her family! Remind you of anyone?

Once I sat down to read this there was no way I was moving till it was finished. It held my attention 100% from start to finish with plenty of shocking twists along the way. A great addition to this popular series.

I received my review copy of Prime Justice from the author.

Prime Justice (Justice series Book 14) is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meeting the author…

I was lucky enough to meet Mel for the first time last weekend and she was exactly what I was expecting, a lovely, generous and funny lady and I was probably a little bit overwhelmed to be honest so went very quiet and shy! I have looked for a photo of us together but the only one I could find looked like we were having an angry argument over a book! I was able to tell her about the Amazon review that started me on my Justice journey (the same review also started my own reviewing journey as I wanted to inspire the same enthusiasm in people for books I loved.)

**Catching up on the TBR pile** Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott

This year I’m making sure I catch up on all those books sitting on my TBR pile both on my kindle and my bookshelf. Today’s book was purchased on 1st June 2016.

About this book…

When your life is a lie, who can you trust?

When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.

But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.

When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?

She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.

My review…

With a new Rachel Abbott out this month, I realised that I hadn’t read her LAST one which has been languishing on my Kindle since 1st June last year. Honestly, what sort of superfan am I?! My granddaughter still asks, even now, if I’m going to read Stranger Child again which I read in the summer of 2015 ( she loved the cover and I was obviously making OMG sounds throughout!) so I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get round to Kill Me Again!

Kill Me Again is the fourth novel to feature DCI Tom Douglas and if you’ve never had a case of “fictional character crush” before, then you certainly will once you meet Tom Douglas! And be still my beating heart….. Tom is possibly back on the market! If you haven’t read any of Rachel’s books before I would always recommend starting with Only The Innocent where we are first introduced to Tom. But saying that, all of Rachel’s books work really well as standalone books.

The storyline here is wonderfully clever and complex with twists and turns galore, some I guessed and others came as a rather big shock! Rachel Abbott has an intense and hypnotic writing style that grabs you from the start. Her characters are always ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances that test their moral compass. Maggie, the defence solicitor, ends up questioning everything she knows about her husband when he acts very out of character. Following his disappearance it becomes obvious that the dead women being discovered in unusual locations in Manchester are connected to Maggie in more than just looks.

I love books set in and around Manchester and the unique and hidden settings described here were used to compliment the plot to great effect throughout. And although I loved the recurring characters of Tom and Becky, I have to say that I didn’t take to the character of Maggie as much as I thought I would! Sometimes I just wanted to shake some sense into her due to her incredible naivety and the risks she took with her children’s safety! I found her so frustrating but then I thought, who knows how they will react when faced with the prospect of having to protect their family? 

I really enjoyed this latest case for Tom Douglas and still think he should be transferred to the small screen as these books would make brilliant tv viewing. And now that I’m all up to date I can finally start to get excited about The Sixth Window out later this month! Bring it on!

Kill Me Again is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Rachel Abbott

Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight and Stranger Child. Nowhere Child – a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child – was Rachel’s fifth book. In February 2016 she released her sixth novel, Kill Me Again.

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed fourteenth in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel now lives in Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France, and is now able to devote time to her other love – writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter.

Rachel’s website can be found at

Website : http://www.rachel-abbott.com
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No Safe Home by Tara Lyons #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

Today its my turn on the blog tour for No Safe Home the new crime thriller from Tara Lyons. DI Denis Hamilton is back!

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About this book…

The gripping new crime thriller everybody is talking about

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.

In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.

A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it?

But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…

London’s murder investigations team returns in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows.

My review…

I really enjoyed Tara’s debut novel In The Shadows (apart from the cover!! I am such a wimp!) so I was very excited when I found out that she had another book being published after she signed a two book deal with Bloodhound Books.  One of the only niggles I had about her debut was that I would have liked more of an insight into DI Denis Hamilton as I felt he was a charismatic central character who had a little bit more to give. I found him rather intriguing and so I was pleased to see his character getting much more exposure here as past memories are awakened by a disturbing crime scene.

At the heart of this book is a series of crimes that will have you holding your breath and praying for a different outcome as each new crime is discovered. As a parent, your child is the most important part of your life and that means you will do literally anything to protect them. Whilst not graphically described, there are some very distressing crime scenes for the team to process here. And that team appeared to be jinxed as it decreased by the day! This was more of a police procedural than In The Shadows and I thought it worked all the better for that. I love DI Hamilton and the team, especially Rocky, and feel that the balance has been perfectly achieved between personal and professional developments throughout the plot.

Tara is a natural storyteller, able to weave her words in such a way as to make her readers gasp out loud at the twists and turns as they rush up to meet them. I didn’t work out who was responsible for the murders until quite near the big reveal and I wasn’t disappointed by the outcome but I would  have liked a little more “closure” when it came to motive and MO but that possibly says more about me than Tara’s plotting! This reminded me of a “real life” crime story that I found rather upsetting at the time and I did feel very helpless watching and waiting for another crime to be reported. And those first few pages are still giving me nightmares now!

I’m so glad that this has become part of a series now, although both books can easily be read as standalones. Denis Hamilton is an engaging character, enigmatic with an air of sadness that is channelled into his passion for the job, a hardworking detective with a heart and I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.

Many thanks to Helen Claire at Bloodhound books for my review copy of No Safe Home.

No Safe Home: the gripping new crime thriller everybody is talking about is published by Bloodhound Books on 31st January 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK now.

Meet the author…

Tara Lyons

Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. In the Shadows is Tara’s debut solo novel published in March 2016. She co-wrote The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella with New York Times bestselling author, M.A Comley.

In August 2016 Tara signed a two-book contract with Bloodhound Books. The second book in the DI Hamilton series, No Safe Home, was published in January 2017.

When she’s not writing, Tara can be found at a local Wacky Warehouse stuck in the ball-pit with her young, energetic son.

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