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.

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza #BlogTour @bookouture

I am delighted and extremely excited to be kicking off the blog tour today for Last Breath as it’s publication day!! And I’m sharing my review of this fantastic book alongside my lovely blogger friend Sarah Hardy who is probably Robert’s biggest fan so make sure you check out her review as well by clicking on her name above.

The-Last-Breath---Blog-Tour

About this book…

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

My review…

Every book in this series just seems to get better with every one that is released and Last Breath is no exception. In fact I think I found this one the most chilling of the Erika Foster books so far due to the online dating plot that provides a serial killer with his victims. It is just felt so relevant to today’s generation who still seem to take everyone they meet online at face value without thinking of the consequences. This made the book feel very realistic to me.

Erika Foster herself always makes these books for me, she is a brilliant character creation who is developing more with each case. Her relationships with Peterson and Moss are always fun to watch as they have now settled into comfortable friendships (and maybe more but I’m not saying anymore about that!). The whole feel of the team works well but Erika, being Erika, is still making her mark but making up her own rules as she goes along. As Isaac says to her at one point “You’re not a bitch, but you have to act like one sometimes. It helps you get the job done” and that sums up Erika perfectly! The job is her life but slowly she is letting others become part of it and I’m loving watching her emotional journey as much as her professional one.

The serial killers identity is known quite early on but this actually makes the book even creepier as we watch the way he plans and stalks his next victim. Honestly, every young woman needs to read this book!! It’s no good just telling your mate you will text her when you’ve met your “mystery man” because by then it could be too late! And Mr Bryndza, while we are on that subject, I got so involved and invested in these victims that you really shocked me with one of them!! How could you!?!? Needless to say I was on my guard for the rest of the narrative, trusting nothing and no-one, especially not the author!

This is another triumph for Robert Bryndza who has truly found his niche within the current crime market and I loved every single page. And I can’t wait to see what my favourite “girl crush” gets up to next.

Many thanks to Bookouture and netgalley for my review copy of  Last Breath: A gripping serial killer thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Erika Foster Book 4) which is published today 12th April 2017 by Bookouture.

Meet the author…

Rob 2

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now pre-order the fourth, Last Breath which will be published on April 12th 2017.

Robert’s books have sold over 1.7 million copies, and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at http://www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney #BlogTour @Bookouture

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

The Missing Ones - Blog Tour

About this book…

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

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

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

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

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

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

My review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the author…

1M4A4833

Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey #BookReview

About this book…

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

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

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

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

My review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the author…

Jane Casey

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

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

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

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

Keep You Near Robin Roughley #BlogTour #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook


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

About this book…

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

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

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

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

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

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

My review…

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the author…

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

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary #BookReview

About this book…

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

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

My review…

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

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

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

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

I received a copy of this book via netgalley.

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

About the author…

Sarah Hilary

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

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @Sarah_Hilary

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

fb_img_1487528899588

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.

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.

img_6859

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…

DSC_0013

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.