The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite #BlogTour @bookouture

I’m absolutely delighted to be on the Blog Tour today for The Darkest Lies which is the Barbara Copperthwaites first book for her new publisher Bookouture. And today I’m sharing my stop with the lovely Sarah Hardy at By The Letter Book Reviews and you can check her review out HERE

The Darkest lies - Blog Tour

About this book…

A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

My review…

I’m a huge fan of Barbara Copperthwaites previous books, especially Flowers For The Dead, so I was delighted when she signed with the publisher Bookouture and I have been waiting patiently for her first book with them. Thankfully, I have been rewarded for my patience with The Darkest Lies- a darkly addictive and creepy page turner that had me on the edge of my seat. And it came with one of the most perfect covers I have seen this year so far!

I have always loved thrillers that centre around family dilemmas but The Darkest Lies took my emotions and wrung them dry very quickly indeed! I connected straight away with the character of Melanie when her daughter Beth goes missing. So from the very start I became immersed in her search for first her daughter and then her daughter’s attacker. I think it was the way that she spoke to Beth as if she was right there beside her, trying to keep their relationship and memories alive whilst realising that the daughter she though she knew had been keeping secrets from her. By using that style of narrative, Barbara absolutely nailed it with her portrayal of a grief stricken mother trying to reconcile the daughter she knew with the teenage girl who has started to lead her own life away from her family’s influences. It can be a difficult time for parents when their little girls are so desperate to grow up that the acceptance of their peers becomes more important to them than their parents. But they need to test their wings before they fly and sometimes this involves secrets, lies and putting themselves into situations without thinking about the dangers they could face. Whilst reading this, the fears I went through as a parent to 3 teenage girls all came flooding back, remembering the nights lying awake and unable to sleep until they were all safely tucked up in my nest once more.

This was so beautifully written, realistically full of emotion but with an unexpected darkness and a fascinating twist to the tale! The last few chapters were breathtakingly shocking with developments I hadn’t been expecting and the final pages were absolutely brilliant, leaving me with goosebumps!

I can highly recommend The Darkest Lies for an engrossing, tension filled thriller that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you emotionally drained. I loved every minute of it.

Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for my advanced review copy of The Darkest Lies: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist which is available to purchase now from Amazon UK

Meet the author…

The people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.

She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.

www.barbaracopperthwaite.com

 
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Obsession by Amanda Robson #BlogTour #GuestPost @LadySion @HelenaSheffield

I am delighted to be on the blog tour today for the debut novel by Amanda Robson with a review of Obsession and a guest post from Amanda with 5 facts you didn’t know about Carly!

About this book…

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.

Guest post…

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Carly

 

 

1. When she was a teenager she developed a crush on Robbie Williams, her favourite member of Take That. She was devastated when he left the band. She managed to get tickets to see one of their reunion performances at Wembley in July 2011. Carly made Rob come home early from their summer holiday that year to attend the concert. Rob didn’t enjoy it. Boy bands are not his thing. He prefers classical music. Or heavy rock. There isn’t very much that Carly doesn’t know about Robbie Williams. She has doted on him since she was twelve years old. High on her evening alcohol buzz she frequently dances around the kitchen to his latest album – ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show.’’ “Motherfucker,” is her favourite track.

2. Carly never leaves the house without wearing makeup. She never even leaves her bedroom without slapping some on. Her motto is – always make an effort to look good. A lipstick, blusher and green eye-shadow sort of girl, the makeup she wears is long lasting and expensive: Christian Dior, Shiseido, Yves Saint Laurent. She has lipsticks scattered around the house for instant access. When the electricity failed one evening, she even put her make-up on in the dark.

3. Carly has had over a hundred boyfriends. She started dating when she was thirteen, but she already looked about sixteen by then. Her first date was with a young man named Edwin Prosser who was several years older than her. ‘Date,’ was a bit of an exaggeration. They went for an evening walk in the park. When they kissed he put his tongue in her mouth. Their relationship didn’t progress. When she was young, if somebody asked Carly out, more often than not, her sense of adventure enticed her to say yes.  

4. Carly hates opera music. She finds its melody too complex. To her it sounds clunky, contorted, and strangulated. And she doesn’t like the fact that she can’t understand the words. She has visited Glynbourne, Garcington, and the Grange, to please Rob, but apart from enjoying dressing up and drinking champagne, the rest of the occasion washes over her. Carly thinks “The Cunning Little Vixen” is the worst opera ever written. So kooky and ridiculous. Janacek must have been on high on something when he wrote it.

5. Even though Carly doesn’t like to admit it, her favourite radio station is Radio 2. (If you ask her she’ll say its Radio 1.) The Jeremy Vine show is her favourite. She listens to it at lunchtime in the café across the road from the surgery, earphones plugged into her iPhone. She is never very pleased when Jenni follows her across the road into the café, shares a table with her and interrupts her. Jenni can be such an insensitive bitch.

 

My review…

Oh my days! This book! I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t this dark, tormenting domestic drama. Little did I realise what treats lay in store for me when I started this beauty because once I went in, that was me for the rest of the evening! I was hooked!

There are four narrators here, two married couples who offer us different viewpoints of the relationships between them all. Be warned though that none of them are particularly likeable characters and they may have you growling at your book in frustration at times! And also make sure you’re not easily offended as the sexual element is quite detailed, though surprisingly unerotic. But the twists and turns of the plot here mean you are never entirely sure where your sympathies lie and my opinions chopped and changed throughout depending on who was talking. The first few chapters were a bit of an eye opener for me especially when it came to Carly, a wife and mother who seemed to have it all but who remained strangely detached from her own life. One drunken night whilst on holiday she seems to take great pleasure in stirring things up with her husband and asking him who else would he go for it if he could? And the answer to that question sends them spiralling onto a morally self indulgent collision course. And to be honest I was just sitting back watching them all, trying to work out who had their finger closest to the self destruct button and who they were going to take down with them when they pushed it! I mean, these people were parents!! Whatever happened to family first? And as I got to the final few chapters my reading speed slowed right down as I didn’t want to read the ending even though I still had no idea what that ending was going to be! How can an author make me care so much about what happens to people I don’t even like?!

I found this to be a skin crawling, tense and disturbingly voyeuristic look at the shockwaves emanating from these toxic relationships.  It became MY obsession whilst reading it and I have come away feeling decidedly grubby but knowing that this is one book that I will remember for quite some time.
Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced review copy of Obsession: A shocking psychological thriller where love affairs turn deadly is available to purchase at Amazon UK from 4th May 2017.

Watch You Burn by K A Richardson #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

I’m delighted to be sharing my review today of Watch You Burn, the newest edition to the North East police series by K A Richardson. Many thanks to Sarah Hardy of Bloodhound Books for inviting me onto the tour. I’m sharing my stop with the lovely Alexina at Bookstormer so check out her blog HERE

BLOG TOUR (1)

About this book…

Someone is breaking into Fire Investigator, Edina Blaze’s, home and leaving deadly messages. When Glen Peacock is burned alive, she has to put her own problems aside and attend the location with Crime Scene Manager, Kevin Lang.

As the body count rises, Edina’s sister Heather becomes involved. Is it her setting these gruesome fires? Or is she a target too?

Kevin has seen it all in his years on the force, but when a young girl is found burnt to death, even he is shocked.

Who is taking pleasure in watching people burn? Why are they doing it? And will they be caught?

DI Alistair McKay and the team from North East Police have to work quickly to stop the killer, before they all end up in flames.

My review…

I’ve been a fan of K A Richardson since her short story Escape, a 5* read that packed such an emotional punch in just a few short pages that I knew she was going to be an author destined for the bestseller list. Her North East Police Series has  been a big hit for me, all of the books can be read as standalone novels but they all have a connection. They remind me of the Karen Rose books where a character in a previous book crops up in other books in the linked series. Think thriller with a side order of romantic suspense.

I have to start by saying what a brilliant name for a Fire Investigator – Edina Blaze! And she has her work cut out here when an arsonist starts targeting students at the local university. She teams up with crime scene manager Kevin Lang to find the culprit which may be explosive considering the sparks flying between the two of them! Edina also has problems of her own with a seemingly unstoppable stalker but will a relationship with Kevin frighten him off or be the catalyst for an escalation in his campaign of terror. Plus her sister Heather seems to be connected to the fires, could the family interest in fire have had a more negative impact on the younger Blaze sibling?

I was constantly on the edge of my seat throughout this terrific thriller! I became so involved in the plot that I was unable to put my kindle down until I discovered who was setting these fires and why. The prologue chilled me to the bone as I watched a young child became obsessed with fire and then using it to escape a life that no child should be faced with. But what I really love about this series is that Kerry Richardson creates likeable, strong and independent female characters in positions of authority that everyone can relate to. And it was great to catch up with other characters from previous books as I’ve been dying to know what happened to them since their own storylines came to an end.

There was obviously a huge amount of research done for Watch You Burn and it has paid off for the author with this realistically intense drama full of intricate detail and with a fascinating insight into the work of a Fire investigation team. Kerry is such a talented writer, able to spin an all consuming tale that grabs your attention from the very first page and refuses to let you go until the action packed finale. I love this series so hope there are many more books to come in the future.

Many thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy of Watch You Burn which was published on 2nd May 2017 and is available to purchase by clicking on the book title above.

Meet the author…

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My name is Kerry-Ann Richardson (generally known as Kerry) and I write as KA Richardson. I started writing the North East Police series in 2010 when I was working towards my MA Creative Writing – I used the first 15000 words of With Deadly Intent as my dissertation. I passed my MA in 2011 and kept on writing. This all came about from working as a Crime Scene Investigator – I’d always written but when I was a CSI I went to see a psychic, Anthony, and he wanted to know why I wasn’t writing. He reminded me that it was my passion and said he could see me signing in Waterstones in 5 years. That was 5.5 years before my first ever signing in Waterstones so he wasn’t far wrong!

I did the normal things writers do when their book is ready to go out into the world – submitted to agents etc. I got a few nice personal responses back – still saying no but being constructive and polite about it. I approached Darren Laws from Caffeine Nights whilst at a crime festival and he asked to see my work. He agreed to publish With Deadly Intent from there, and once that was out I approached Bloodhound Books as wanted to know if there was any other interest in my novels. Bloodhound came back within 24 hours and offered me a 3 book deal!  And I’ve since signed an additional 3 book deal with them which covers the series up to and including book 7!

Website: www.kerryannrichardson.com

Twitter: @kerryann77 or @karichardson77

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ka.richardsonwriter

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/K.A.-Richardson/e/B01D58WOV6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1491858252&sr=8-2-ent

Watching You by J. A. Schneider #BlogTour @JoyceSchneider1

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for the third Kerri Blasco book Watching You and huge thanks to author Joyce Schneider for inviting me to take part. And make sure you check out the other two stops today from the lovely Susan at Books from Dusk till Dawn and my #blogbestie Emma at damppebbles 

WatchingYou-Update1-BlogTour-Medium

About this book…

A serial killer texts his victims first. A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.

In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Detective Kerri isn’t convinced.

Until another random young woman is killed in exactly the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them. But how does he get their phone numbers?

Kerri soon finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman – even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life.

My review…

Having read the first two Kerri Blasco books I was really looking forward to book 3 and I wasn’t disappointed! I have a real affection for Kerri and am enjoying following her personal story as this series progresses.

The case that Kerri is initially called to investigate is a rather chilling one. Why would anyone want to murder Leda? She’s loved by everyone and volunteers at a homeless shelter. But if the motive is a mystery then the way in which the murderer stalked her before hand is far more sinister. How was he able to text his victim beforehand? And when other victims follow, Kerri realises that not only is there a serial killer at large, he is watching Kerri herself and she needs to be on her guard against a very clever criminal.

This is an engrossing and intriguing addition to this series that managed to make my head spin with all the ins and outs of the twisty plot. Kerri is my kind of detective, a strong minded and intelligent female lead but with a vulnerability to soften her which especially comes out in her scenes with Alex. Sometimes I just wanted to shout at her for taking too many stupid risks but ultimately I knew I had to trust her! Joyce Schneider has created a personable detective here that the reader really cares about. Her likeability adds another level of tension especially when she finds herself taking unnecessary risks, endangering her own life to solve this crime.

I have a real soft spot for New York based crime thrillers and this series is one I’m enjoying following thanks to the authors easy flowing narrative and natural storytelling ability. If you love a fast paced thriller then this is one for you and don’t worry as it can easily be read as a standalone if you’ve not read others in the series.

Many thanks to the author for my advanced review copy of Watching You: A terrifying thriller with a mind-bending twist (Detective Kerri Blasco Book 3) which is available to purchase on Amazon

Meet the author…

J.A. Schneider

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine. She is the author of the Embryo medical thriller series, and of the Detective Kerri Blasco Police/Psychological Thrillers Fear Dreams, Her Last Breath, and Watching You.

She loves to hear from her readers. Her email address is joyce (at) jaschneiderauthor.net, her website is http://jaschneiderauthor.net, and come say hi on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/7fm44mk. Also join her website’s Newsletter to hear about sales and new books about to release! She lives with her family in Connecticut, loves gardening, and is working on her next Detective Kerri Blasco thriller.

Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell #BlogTour @bookouture

I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour today for Sleep Tight the new book in the Ruby Preston series by Caroline Mitchell. I read this book a few weeks ago now and am so excited to finally share my review.

About this book…

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into disturbing recreations of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down the murderer who is using the women to realise his dark fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.
Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

As Ruby starts to close in on the twisted individual, can she stop him before he strikes again? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

My review…

I’m such a fan of this new series by Caroline Mitchell and highly recommend you read the first one before you start Sleep Tight but don’t worry if can be read as a standalone novel as well! If you’ve read Carolines books before you will know that they have evolved to such a high standard now and she has certainly made her mark in the crime thriller genre recently. I loved the first Ruby Preston, Love you to Death, so couldn’t wait to catch up with her!

One of the main things that draws me to this series is that it is as much about Rubys personal life as the crime she is trying to solve and here things get very entwined indeed! Ruby is hot on the heels of a serial killer with the most sickening way of displaying his victims but when a nasty surprise is found under Nathan’s bed, the trail leads a little closer to home than she’d like! And when Nathan’s creepy brother Lenny comes worming his way in and Rubys superiors start to delve deeper into her connections with the Crosby family we know that there is going to be an explosive finale!

I love Ruby and, as I have always had a thing for bad boys, I still go weak at the knees for Nathan! And this was balanced nicely by the feelings of terror and disgust I had whilst reading about these gruesomer than gruesome murders. My emotions were definitely on a bit of a rollercoaster ride here and I HATE rollercoasters!! Weirdly enough this is the second book I’m reviewing this week set in Shoreditch -seems like a few nasties have followed the hipsters out there but the setting was certainly part of my enjoyment of the whole Ruby Preston experience.

If you love dark and disturbing, twisty turny plots and a policewoman who only just lives on the right side of the law then be prepared to meet your new girl crush right here! A fabulous series that promises to get even better. More please!

Many thanks to Bookouture for my review copy of Sleep Tight: A dark, gripping serial killer thriller with a shocking twist (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series) which is available to purchase now.

Meet the author…

Caroline Mitchell

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Lie to Me by Jess Ryder #BlogTour @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part today in the blog tour for Lie to Me by Jess Ryder.

Lie to Me - Blog Tour

About this book…

Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.

Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera?

The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?

To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…

My review…

I do love a book where there is a mystery to solve in the present that has its roots in the past and when Meredith finds an old video tape in the loft she is drawn into an unsolved murder case that she has never heard of before. But as she watches her four year old self on the old VCR, she is shocked by the story her mother has coerced her into telling on camera and becomes determined to uncover the truth.

I loved the way I became very quickly wrapped up in this book. Jess Ryder has a wonderfully warm and engrossing writing style that just grabs you from the start. Just as you are fully invested in Merediths story thougb, the plot flips back in time where we meet Cara. We are aware that Cara is eventually murdered so it was very creepy watching the events that would gradually lead to her death. But who is telling the truth and why can’t Meredith remember more about her childhood with her mother?

I have to admit I much preferred the “Me” chapters where Meredith became obsessed with investigating Cara’s murder and how her relationships with her father and her ex Eliot were explored. I found those to be just as intriguing as the relationship she doesn’t have – the one with her mother who is no longer part of her life. I didn’t particularly like any of the cast of characters from the “Cara” chapters though. They all seemed to exist in a bubble, detached from real life and rather self obsessed so it was difficult to maintain much sympathy for them when things started to fall apart.

There were plenty of plot twists here to keep my interest and I stayed up late into the night desperate to find out what secrets were about to be uncovered. Some I guessed and others came as more of a surprise but I enjoyed discovering every one of them. And I would definitely read more by Jess Ryder based my reaction to Lie to Me.

Many thanks to Kim Nash and Bookouture for my review copy of Lie to Me: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist which was published on 19th April 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK by clicking the title above.

Meet the author…

Jess Ryder Author Photo

Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer.  After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime.  Writing, that is.   So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me.  Her other big love is making pots.

Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen #BlogTour #BookReview @millieseward

Today I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Gone Without A Trace blog tour with a review of this fabulous book!

About this book…

No one ever disappears completely…

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.

But that’s not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

My review…

Oh my goodness! I feel like an emotional wreck, wrung out like a dishcloth and in need of a calming cuppa! What an intense and unputdownable book this is. To be honest when I bought it, I didnt actually expect it to be as big a real pager turner as it was- I just liked the sound of the blurb and fancied a nice easy read! But what I got instead was a complex and compelling story with a neurotic central character that I alternated between feeling sorry for and wanting to shake some sense into! There are so many books around at the moment with similar storylines, or so I thought originally, but this one has taken that “mystery disappearance” and combined it with your “unreliable narrator” and given us something much deeper, with an intriguing and addictive plot.

There’s an underlying dark humour here, alongside a whole host of red herrings and questionable characters -all of whom I suspected of a level of wrongdoing at some point. The atmosphere created is dark and chilling throughout which raised the tension rapidly towards that shocking denouement. Most of the time when I read this genre I do at least have a slight inkling of where its going but here I really struggled to get a hold of possible threads that could lead me to ANY possible explanation for Matt’s disappearance. So the last few chapters were hurriedly read with my mouth open, shocked, until I got to that absolutely perfectly pitched epilogue. Mary Torjussen is such a natural storyteller that she spins her perfect little plot web to trap you so that you don’t have any inclination to escape it.

This was such an enjoyable rollercoaster of a book for me. I will be absolutely be reading more from this author as this stood head and shoulders above other books I’ve read within this genre recently. In fact, it wasnt until I came to put this review on that I realised I had actually read another book by Mary Torjussen “My Time Your Time” back in 2014 which I also gave 5* to! So maybe I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was that I totally loved Gone Without a Trace.

Gone Without A Trace: Her boyfriend has vanished. Now someone is watching her. was published by Headline on 3rd November 2016 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK here.

Meet the author…


Mary Torjussen grew up in Stoke-on-Trent. There was no television in her family home so books have always been her escape – she spent hours reading and writing stories as a child. Mary has an MA in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University, and worked as a teacher in Liverpool before becoming a full-time writer. She has two adult children and lives on the Wirral, where her debut novel, GONE WITHOUT A TRACE, is set.