Guilty Innocence by Maggie James #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

Today I’m happy to be the last stop on the BlogTour for Guilty Innocence by Maggie James.

About this book…

When Natalie snoops through her boyfriend Mark’s possessions she finds more than she bargained for. Mark was once convicted of a brutal killing. Heartbroken by what she has discovered, Natalie’s dreams of a future with him collapse.

However, Mark was not the only person sentenced for the murder of two-year-old Abby Morgan. His former friend, the violent and twisted Adam Campbell, was also convicted and Adam knows more about the murder than he will admit.

When circumstances thrust Mark back in contact with Adam, the past comes back to haunt him. Can Mark ever break free from Adam? Will the truth ever come out?

My review…

I actually first read this book back in 2014 and found it quite a harrowing read. So how would I feel reading it again knowing what was going to happen? And the answer is that it was STILL a very difficult book to read due to the subject matter that the plot revolves around. Time hasn’t softened the direct and hard hitting narrative and I certainly haven’t become desensitised to the issues raised here even though I have read many books of a similar nature since.

When Natalie finds the letter in her boyfriend’s belongings it doesn’t take long for her to put two and two together and definitely get four! And as before half of me wondered whether or not he was hoping for her to discover the truth before they got too serious and he invested in a relationship that could come crashing down at any time. Unfortunately, Natalie is also about to have her own nightmares brought to the surface when she confronts Mark about his past.

But for me, I was on edge right from the start knowing that the murder of a small child was coming up. And although not graphically described, it is a violent and sustained attack on an innocent 2 year old girl. Of course people will raise comparisons with a very high profile murder case back in the Nineties and there is definitely a familiar feel to the circumstances. But Maggie James has given her crime a familiar starting point from which she has then layered her own story and possibilities surrounding such an abhorrent murder by two 11 year old boys.

The plot here is hard hitting with a few twists you won’t see coming. I did get frustrated with some of the characters especially Mark and Natalie as they could have made things so much easier for themselves but that’s life I suppose, hindsight is a wonderful thing! And I found myself questioning again what makes people evil enough to act in such a way? Are psychopaths born or does the way we are raised in our formative years mould our future behaviours and relationships? And can it ever be reversed and a murderer ever feel true remorse for what they have done? All this was going through my head as I watch the early relationship between Mark and Adam and compared it to the grown men they had become.

I read a similar book recently and have to say that I much preferred this book mainly due to the authors approach to the horrendous things that happen here. She doesn’t shy away from using terrifyingly realistic situations but in such a way for us to work through our own fears. Her use of other issues such as rape, self harm and body shaming could cause triggers in some readers but are once again used as an integral part of the plot. Although this book had a very dark and disturbing premise and I did find it very upsetting at times, it was never gratuitous in its exploration of human nature at its worst. A tough read but worth it.

Many thanks to the publisher Bloodhound Books for my advanced review copy of Guilty Innocence: a chilling psychological thriller which is available to purchase now.

Meet the author…

Maggie James

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

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

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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

Keep You Near Robin Roughley #BlogTour #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook


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

About this book…

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

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

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

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

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

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

My review…

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the author…

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

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.

An Impossible Dilemma by Netta Newbound #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

I am absolutely delighted to be on the blog tour for An Impossible Dilemma by Netta Newbound who has recently signed to the fabulous Bloodhound Books.

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About this book…

Would you choose to save your child if it meant someone else had to die?

Victoria and Jonathan Lyons seem to have everything—a perfect marriage, a
beautiful daughter, Emily, and a successful business. Until they discover
Emily, aged five, has a rare and fatal illness.

Medical trials show that a temporary fix would be to transplant a hormone
from a living donor. However in the trials the donors die within twenty
four hours. Victoria and Jonathan are forced to accept that their daughter
is going to die.

In an unfortunate twist of fate Jonathan is suddenly killed in a farming
accident and Victoria turns to her sick father-in-law, Frank, for help.
Then a series of events present Victoria and Frank with a situation that,
although illegal, could save Emily.

Will they take their one chance and should they?

A Sinister and Darkly Compelling Psychological Thriller Novel, this book
is intended for mature audiences and contains graphic and disturbing
imagery.

My review…

Wow! I have just finished this this fantastic book which was not at all what I was expecting, thankfully in a VERY good way! It was a totally unexpected shocking thriller that was right up my street! I am so glad that I took a chance on this as I had been worried about the storyline involving a child with a terminal illness due to being quite an emotional reader when it comes to children. Jonathan and Victoria have given up their vets practice in Manchester and moved to Cumbria to help Jonathan’s dad Frank on his pig farm. Their 5 year old daughter Emily starts showing signs of tiredness and slurring her words so they take her to the doctors where a diagnosis reveals devastating news. How far will her family go to help her? How far is too far for a parent to save their child?

This was a very dark thriller that was full of twists and turns. One minute you thought you knew where it was going then it would turn around and go in a totally different direction! It was really shocking and a bit gory at times but I could not read my eyes away from it! I will certainly going to be looking out for other books by this author as I enjoyed her style of writing. She sure does write an unputdownable book that will leave you thinking about it for days afterwards. I LOVED IT!

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

About the author…

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Netta Newbound, originally from Manchester, England, now lives in New
Zealand with her husband Paul and their boxer dog Alfie. She has three
grown-up children and three delicious grandchildren.

As a child, Netta was plagued by a wild imagination, often getting in
trouble for making up weird and wonderful stories. Yet she didn’t turn her
attention to writing until after her children had grown and left home.

Although she mostly writes psychological thriller novels, all of which
consistently rank highly in the best seller categories, she has also
written several non-fiction books with a close friend and fellow author
under the names of Sandra Rose & Jeanette Simone.

Winterscroft by Anita Waller #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Winterscroft by Anita Waller.

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About this book…

When the beautiful Lavender is killed in a tragic car accident her family and fiancé Matt are left devastated.

As the year’s pass and wounds begin to heal, Matt, who has remained close to Lavender’s family, meets Beth and falls in love again.

When the happy couple announce their engagement, it sparks a series of bizarre and disturbing events.

Then when Matt and Beth make plans to wed at Lavender’s family home, Winterscroft, the frightening truth becomes apparent.

Lavender is back. And she is not happy.

From the bestselling author of 34 Days, Beautiful and Angel comes a tale of love, death and revenge.

My review…

I loved Anita’s last book 34 Days so I was looking forward to her new book. I went into it rather blind so was a little bit apprehensive when I realised that it was more of a supernatural suspense than a psychological suspense. I’m not a huge fan of that genre so it was a pleasant surprise to actually get into Winterscroft very quickly and become involved in the death and subsequent “reappearance” of the beautiful 18 year old Lavender.

The start of this spooky tale actually read like one of those wonderful folk tales where the parents unexpectedly give birth to a third daughter who grows up to become a beautiful person both inside and out, full of kindness to her family and others. But at the age of 18 that daughter, Lavender, is killed in a car accident with her grandparents and the family are left devastated. Six years later when Lavender’s fiance announces his engagement to the lovely Beth, Lavender’s family are overjoyed for Matt and are helping the happy couple arrange their wedding. But then things take a rather unexpected turn.

This has such a dark and spooky feel to it that the feelings of apprehension starts as soon as you realise that the kind and thoughtful Lavender hasn’t taken that generosity of spirit to the grave with her! I kept looking at that stunning cover, wondering why such a lovely young girl couldn’t move on and want her loved ones to be happy after she left them. Now I love the smell of Lavender (I’m a Norfolk girl originally and spent many summers gazing out over those beautiful purple fields ) as for me it’s a relaxing and de-stressing aroma that helps me to sleep at night. After reading this though that gorgeous smell has been rather tainted and it looks like the insomnia is coming back! And whenever this family smell lavender, something very nasty is about to occur!

Anita Waller has woven a genuinely scary ghost story that creeps up on you slowly and builds up to an spectacular and jaw dropping crescendo. It’s a spine tingling nightmare of a plot that I devoured in one session.

I received a copy of Winterscroft from the publisher and I have chosen to read and review it.

Meet the author…

Winterscroft is published by Bloodhound Books on 21st February 2017 and is available to purchase at Amazon UK.

Anita Waller
Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children, Matthew, Siân and Kirsty along with seven grandchildren ranging in age from Brad at 22 down to baby Isaac, just 2 years old. And now, to bring further joy, their first great-grandchild, a little girl, is due on 7 January 2017, their golden wedding anniversary!
She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters. She wrote several novels in the romance genre and then realised she wanted to add murders to the romances, so she morphed into a psychological thriller author. Beautiful was her first completed novel in this genre.
In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. It was all to do with Eric Cantona and leaping over the barrier – don’t ask!
As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.
Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 1 September 2015 it was released as an ebook, to be followed a couple of days later by the paperback version.
Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.
Her third novel, 34 Days, followed Angel and was launched on 3 October 2016 to outstanding success; at its highest level, it was #26 in Amazon charts. It is selling equally as well in the US and Australia and has sold over 15,000 copies in the first eight weeks following publication.
Anita has been desperately trying to find another Amstrad marvel written many years ago called Essence of Lavender. This, again, is in hard copy and she has put it carefully away in a safe place. Unfortunately. the safe place is safer than she realised, and she can’t find it! This manuscript has now been re-worked and is with her publishers, Bloodhound Books, with the new title of Winterscroft. Publication date is set for 24 February 2017. She is confident the old draft will surface when the new version is launched!
In addition to writing, she also teaches patchwork and quilting – a little reference to this is likely to surface in every book!
She is a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! More than a little reference to this is likely to surface – see 34 Days!Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Beautiful Liar by Louise Mullins #BlogTour @BloodhoundBook @MullinsAuthor

I’m delighted to be a stop on the blog tour today for Beautiful Liar by Louise Mullins, her second novel for Bloodhound Books.

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About this book…

When Erica’s husband Joel dies in a tragic accident nobody suspects she had anything to do with it. But appearances can be deceptive.

Erica describes her successful, lawyer husband as handsome and charismatic when she recounts their whirlwind marriage. But nothing is what it seems.

What is Erica hiding?

Was Joel’s death really an accident?

Sometimes the truth can be ugly.

My review…

Having read only one of Louise Mullins books before, I was interested when I saw the blurb on this one come up as I do love a “behind closed doors” domestic suspense. But what makes this one a little different though is that right from the start you know that Joel has a rather nasty accident whilst doing a bit of work on his car. And at this point can I just say that the cover works perfectly here and was another factor in drawing me to Beautiful Liar.

This is a very dark and compelling story of a marriage that descends into the terror of domestic violence. Joel is a charismatic charmer with a good job in a trustworthy profession and when Erica meets him she is swept off her feet. The signs are there very early on that something is not quite right but, as is typical of this type of abuser, everything seems to be easily explained away making Erica doubt herself and not Joel. As he gradually separates her from her friends and family, the darker side of her husbands personality becomes difficult to ignore but she still struggles to reconcile her feelings for him with the man she fell in love with. But we, as the reader, are also manipulated by Joel as although we can see what he is doing, we also have doubts about Erica’s mental state and what she may possibly be hiding from us.

I think this book actually got better the further into it I got and the last few chapters (the very last one especially) left me with an emotional lump in my throat. There is no doubt that this author knows what she was writing about here and has seen the damage caused to families by domestic violence. Be warned though that if you are sensitive to both domestic abuse and sexual violence, there are some very disturbing, graphically intense scenes here. It’s a difficult topic to write about without showing these terrible crimes so it was certainly relevant to the growing horror of the plot. And this author definitely brought that horror to life here in this gripping and compelling thriller.

Beautiful Liar: a gripping suspense thriller is published on 3rd January by Bloodhound Books and is available to purchase from Amazon UK here.

Meet the author…

Louise Mullins

Louise Mullins is the Amazon best-selling author of ‘Scream Quietly’ her debut psychological crime thriller which has now been optioned for film rights. The film adaptation is due for release in 2017.

Louise has also authored ‘Damaged’, ‘Why She Left’, ‘The Perfect Wife’, ‘One Night Only’, and ‘The Woman in the Woods.’

Her latest title ‘What I Never Told You’ is available to pre-order now!

‘Beautiful Liar’, her second title published by Bloodhound Books is due for release in January 2017.

Louise Mullins writes part-time alongside a career in Psychological Therapy whilst training as a Clinical Forensic Psychologist, working with serious crimes.

Louise admits to a serious book addiction and spends a lot of her spare time reading (all for research purposes of course). She enjoys psychological thrillers, historical fiction, and autobiographies.

She lives in Bristol with her husband and three children.

Louise is currently working on her ninth thriller ‘Lucky’.

Death and the Good Son by B.A. Steadman #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

Today I am delighted to be part of the blog tour celebrations for Death and the Good Son by B.A. Steadman by bringing you an extract from the book.

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About this book…

Life is good for DI Dan Hellier. He has made several successful drugs’ busts and even the Assistant Chief Constable is smiling. But the discovery of two headless, handless corpses buried in the bog on Dartmoor will test his team to their limits. How are they expected to identify the bodies when nobody has reported them missing?

The pressure mounts when the death of a teenager from an overdose of Mephedrone plunges Dan into the murky world of the Garrett family. Could the peaceful, family-run Animal Rescue Centre really be a cover for murder and drug-dealing?

Just how far will people go to get what they want?

And what links death to the good son?

This investigation will challenge Dan’s decisions and beliefs as he races to catch a criminal before another child dies.

Extract…

Chapter One

Crouched behind a hawthorn hedge in full bloom, in the early June
moonlight, all Detective Inspector Dan Hellier could hear was the rapid
breathing and fidgeting of trainee Detective Constable Adam Foster. Dan
held his hand in front of Foster’s face. ‘Wait. Be still.’ He glanced at DC
Sam Knowles, calm and unruffled, and wished Foster was somewhere else.

In his ear, Detective Sergeant Duncan Lake gave instructions to his armed
response unit. They had the battering ram and the bolt cutters ready to go.

Out on the River Exe, DS Sally Ellis and DC Lizzie Singh waited with the
coastguard inshore lifeboat, in case the gang had a boat stashed away.

Dan scanned the lane leading down to the abandoned waterside warehouse. All
was quiet. Three vans were parked outside tall doors, which were locked,
chained and bolted. Shafts of yellow light escaped through cracks and
fissures in the old wood, and the unmistakeable smell of thousands of
marijuana plants made the air heavy. He blinked and shook his head. The
combination of grass and hawthorn flower was sending him to sleep.

Using heat-sensitive cameras, the force helicopter had made several passes
earlier in the day. The crop had glowed orange under huge heat lamps. Four
life-signs had been busy in different parts of the building, no obvious
booby-traps had been spotted. Above Dan’s head, a makeshift set of wires
stole electricity from the grid. This was his second drugs raid in as many
nights. The chief constable was on a mission.

DS Lake gave the ‘go’ signal. Six officers moved silently to the doors.
Bolt cutters made swift work of the chains. The first crash from the
battering ram echoed around the river basin, disturbing a flock of
seabirds. The second crash started the men inside running. Lake shouted
from the doorway, ‘Armed police! Stand still. Do not move.’ He nodded at
his team and they entered the warehouse at a run.

Outside, in the still air, Dan could hear his heart beating an irregular
rhythm as he waited for the all clear. As the thought formed, he heard the
rattle of gunfire from an automatic weapon inside the warehouse. Beside
him, Foster drew in a sharp breath. Intel had warned them to be armed; the
gang was down from London and the news from the Met had all been bad. Lake
sent the ‘man down’ message. Dan winced. Bad news.

A return pair of shots echoed round the river basin. A lone scream and then
only the peculiar silence that follows a shooting. Suspect dead, then.
Idiot. Dan made himself breathe again and rolled his shoulders. The wait
for Lake to tell him about the downed officer was hard. He wondered who it
was, whether he was dead, and thought of the paperwork, and the
investigation that would land on Lake’s desk.

A telltale squeal of un-oiled hinges announced the departure of some of the
gang from the warehouse heading towards the water. There should have been a
man on that door. Dan watched two men running low and fast towards the
water. The need to be up and doing something was making him jittery. He
shuffled and flexed his knees, bringing back the pain in his healing left
foot. ‘Two suspects making off towards the river,’ he said into his radio,
and trusted Sally was ready with her coastguards. Three down…

A side door flew open and a fourth man ran straight towards the trees where
Dan and his team waited. Where was the man on that door? He spotted an
armed officer from Lake’s team in fast pursuit, blood dripping from a hand
injury. The gang member carried a long sword, of all things.

Dan had to make a fast decision. There was no point hiding now. Any second
the dealer would stumble into them and he could do serious damage with that
sword. Dan leapt up, waving his arms and yelled, ‘Stop! Put down your
weapon and stand still.’ He directed his flashlight straight into the man’s
face, blinding him for a second.

The armed officer ran up behind and slapped both hands around the man’s
head, hard against his ears. In shock he dropped the sword and screamed.
The officer took him to the floor and cuffed him, nodding his thanks to Dan.

Lake radioed to his team, and gave the all clear a few minutes later. Dan,
heart still pumping, led his team out to the front of the building.
Effective technique, bursting someone’s eardrums. He must remember that.

They couldn’t go much further than the front door until forensics had
cleared it, so he set his team to guarding the extremities. The dead dealer
lay in the middle of a corridor of cannabis plants that must have been two
meters high. There were at least another dozen rows of plants in there. The
heat, intensified by silver foil reflecting it back from the walls, made it
unbearable. Dan moved back to a safer distance. They’d have to wait until
the coroner and crime scene lab had finished before they could catalogue
the contents of the warehouse. He sighed. Another long night. The phone
call took seconds, but how long they would have to wait for someone to come
out was anyone’s guess.

Even from the door, the smell threatened to overwhelm him. He could feel
his reactions slowing. He hated cannabis, hated it. Had done ever since his
eighteenth birthday when some kind person had spiked his birthday cake with
skunk. The hallucinations and paranoia that followed made it a very long,
unpleasant night, and he could no longer even smell the drug without
feeling sick. Aversion therapy had worked on him.

Sally Ellis radioed in a few minutes later; ‘Got them, boss,’ she said, ‘not
much fight in ’em.’

Duncan Lake strode out of the warehouse and stood next to Dan, thumbs in
his belt. ‘Look at the size of this operation.’ He held his arms wide and
took in a deep breath.

Dan worried for a moment that he was going to launch into a song. Or an
aria.

‘I reckon this lot would be worth millions on the street.’ He grinned.
‘That’ll look good on your nick’s statistics, Dan.’

Dan grinned back. ‘Too right. A good night apart from the casualties.’

‘Our man will be fine; his vest took the brunt of the shots, and I’m not
going to lose any sleep over one dead drug dealer.’ He gave a high whistle,
which brought his team running to stand next to him. ‘Right, building is
secure. Over to you. At least we don’t have to clear this lot out.’

‘Yeah, yeah, back to saving the world for you; clearing up other people’s
crap for us.’

‘At least you haven’t got Police Complaints to worry about. More paperwork
for a low-life drug dealer.’ He turned on his heel and departed.

‘Thanks, Duncan,’ Dan called after Lake’s retreating team. A long night
indeed, but a bloody good one. He rang the specialist removal team, on
standby at Exeter Road station, and told them to have another coffee.

Left alone he wandered out into the clear night and took several deep
breaths. The operation had gone well, but he was tired. Two night shifts in
one week wasn’t nice. He smiled. Listen to yourself, Hellier. Not that long
ago, night shift was what you did, over and over, week in, week out.
Getting soft.

He listened to Foster’s voice coming loud from the river, commenting on the
heat, and the smell roiling out of the warehouse. Foster was a bit too
impulsive for a DC: it was like holding back a spaniel on the scent of a
cat. He had to be aware of Foster all the time. Pain in the arse. Maybe a
couple of weeks at another station would sort him out and calm him down.
He’d get Sally onto it tomorrow.

Dan called in the result to HQ as the ambulance and crime scene van
arrived. There was little need to rush. It was close to midnight and they
had a crime scene to investigate, and a warehouse full of marijuana to
dispose of before they could go to bed.

Death And The Good Son: an edge of your seat detective thriller is published on December 9th by Bloodhound Books

Dark Minds #BlogTour A collection of short stories for charity @Bloodhoundbook

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About this book…

The team at Bloodhound Books have put together a book crammed full of short stories by a whole host of brilliant authors including some of my favourites like Lisa Hall, Tara Lyons, S.E. Lynes, Betsy Reavley and Louise Jensen to name just a few! Dark Minds will have all of its proceeds donated to Sophie Appeal and Hospice UK

My review of Sticky Fingers by J.T. Lawrence…

I was lucky enough to be able to read and review one of the short stories in this charity anthology and I loved the fact that I could have picked any one of the collection and it would have been written by a favourite author! J.T. Lawrence wrote The Memory of Water that I read earlier this year and so I was happy to see what she would do with a shorter tale to tell!

Sticky Fingers tells the story of Nicolette, a kleptomaniac, who starts stealing at a young age. It’s a dark humoured, bite sized shocker which wouldn’t have been out of place in Roald Dahls Tales of the Unexpected. It packs a punch right from the first page and I lapped it up in double quick time-a perfect social snapshot with a twist.

I loved Sticky Fingers and I now can’t wait to get my copy of the whole book so I can dip into it further. This book will have something for everyone so dig deep and buy your copy today by clicking the link below. All proceeds will be going to two very worthy charities.

Dark Minds: a collection of compelling short stories for charity is available to download now from Amazon UK or it would make the perfect Christmas present in paperback so order now!

Bloodhound Books has all the information you’ll need including a fabulous book trailer so check out their page.

The Hidden Island by Angela Corner #BlogTour #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook

Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for a new book and author for Bloodhound Book and that is The Hidden Island by Angela Corner.

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About this book…

Sex. Drugs. Murder.

Hidden behind the crystal seas and beautiful beaches of a Greek Island dark and dangerous secrets lurk. Beckett has had his fill of adrenaline fuelled criminal investigation and with a broken body and damaged career goes to the Greek Island of Farou to head up the Criminal Investigation Bureau. Serious crime is rare, the weather is great and the beer is cold but his ‘retirement’ is cut short when a pagan cult resurrects and bodies start showing up.

With doubts about his mental and physical ability to do the job, a British police detective is sent to help with the investigation. DI Lee Harper is everything Beckett is not – young, ambitious and by the book.

As well as tackling the new case Beckett must overcome the demons from his past.

Family loyalty, power and money are at the source of the investigation where appearance is everything and nothing is what is seems.

Can Beckett and Harper work together to find justice for the victims?

Will the idyllic island ever be the same again?

Sometimes paradise can be hell.

My review…

I actually received a review copy of this book without having any idea about its setting or plot so it was a fantastic surprise to find that the hidden island of the title was actually in Greece my most favourite place in the world. This is a Greek set crime thriller with two of the most interesting and intriguing police characters I’ve come across for a while! They have to investigate the death of a young woman but does it have any connection to a past crime that shocked the island community?

When we first meet Greek based Beckett though it did take me a while to get into his character-he seemed very closed off and I would have liked more in the way of depth to him much earlier on. Harper, the UK based detective I actually took to straight away. I found the way he interacted with his father, while they are watching the proceedings outside court on tv after he has helped put away a serial killer, very interesting and wanted to find out more of his backstory.   And once Harper is in Greece and there are further revelations that makes that scene becomes much more understandable. His character came as a surprise to me as I had expected Beckett to be on his own solving the murder of a girl on his home island of Farou. But once these two came together I really felt the chemistry of their work relationship coming together and from there on I actually enjoyed the storyline much more as well.

The setting in Greece was also rather cleverly done as it felt much darker than the usual sunny and warm environment that I was expecting! It was obviously a tourist destination for those gangs of girls/boys holiday (I imagined it in my head to be similar to Laganas in Zante!) but the author seemed to make it feel so much more mysterious with an brooding, evil undercurrent.

The second half of the book really upped the pace and I found myself enjoying it more the further I got into it. It’s definitely got a different vibe to the other crime thrillers around at the moment so it was a refreshing change to not know what direction the author was planning to take us. I did find the ending a little abrupt though which surprised me but on the whole I found it a satisfactory conclusion to The Hidden Island.

The Hidden Island: an edge of your seat crime thriller was published by Bloodhound Books on 26th November. Thank you to Bloodhound for my review copy of The Hidden Island.

Meet the author…

Angela Corner was born and bred in Lancashire but has moved ever further south in search of better weather. She currently lives in cider and strawberry country in the Wye Valley in South Herefordshire with her dogs, horses and a very understanding partner.

Angela’s writing life began after being made redundant from a career pretending to know about tax law. She did a Master’s Degree in Radio & TV Scriptwriting at Salford University and then spent eight years writing scripts for Channel 4’s Hollyoaks followed by a stint on Eastenders. But Angela’s writing ambition was always to become a novelist so the lives of beautiful teenagers and angry cockneys were swapped for the murder and skulduggery of crime fiction.

Angela is a serial reader of crime fiction and historical novels and is an avid watcher of TV crime drama, particularly anything Scandinavian and everything dark.

When she is not writing or doing internet research on how best to dispose of dead bodies she can be found riding her horses, walking her dogs or attempting to cook something edible for the understanding partner.