The Chain by Adrian McKinty #blogtour #thechain @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m so excited today as it’s the opening day of The Chain blog tour. As well as my review, make sure you check out that of my tour buddy today Drew on his blog (click on his name to find him!) Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for my invite onto the tour.

About this book…

YOUR PHONE RINGS.

A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.

TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.

YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.

IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.

YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN

My review…

This must be one of the most anticipated books of 2019 and I have to say that it’s very deserving of that title! Once my copy of The Chain arrived I became part of its phenomenal journey and that involved me reading it the minute I had it in my grubby little hands! I read it fast and I read it hard….and then regretted it the minute that final page finished! Honestly, you will want to savour The Chain but it’s fast paced, adrenaline rush of a plot runs a turbocharged course and you just have to keep up the momentum at all costs!

The opening chapters start The Chain of events for the reader when a young girl is kidnapped at the bus stop whilst waiting for her bus to school. The kidnappers don’t seem your “hard as nails” organised types especially as they seem very over emotional-a trait that proves difficult when they are stopped by the police. When the young girls mother Rachel answers a call on her phone, little does she know that her actions have now made her part of “The Chain”! To get Kylie released, Rachel has to pay a ransom (so far so typically kidnapping!) but the next part of her forfeit is to kidnap another child and only then will Kylie be released unharmed.

Now the Chain has many links, some stronger than others, but it looks like adding Rachel throws a bit of a spanner in the works! They say that women are like teabags-you never know how strong they are until they get into hot water but Rachel has been thrown into the deep end without a life jacket on!! However, I absolutely loved Rachel! A strong and determined woman who probably felt she wanted to look around for someone else to help her out of this shocking situation but who stood up to the challenge ahead. Without the help of her ex husband, Rachel turns to her brother in law Pete for advice and help but Pete is fighting his own demons…

The Chain has a brilliant premise that is perfectly executed by the author with some cracking plot developments and plenty of compelling characters. A brutal crime thriller full of OMFG moments, it is definitely one that will grab you immediately and refuse to let go so make sure you have plenty of time to devote to it! As a parent it scared the **** out of me and left me wondering just how far the ordinary, law abiding man/woman on the street would go to save their loved one because somewhere out there, someone is waiting to push them to the most extreme and terrifying lengths that they can imagine.

Highly recommended by me!

Meet the author…

Adrian McKinty is a crime novelist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

His books have won the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the Barry Award. Adrian is also a two time Dagger nominee and shortlistee for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year. 

He studied law at Warwick University and philosophy at Oxford University before emigrating to New York City in the mid 90s.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski #BlogTour @OrendaBooks

Today I am pretty darn excited about being on the blog tour for Six Stories today, an unbelievably stunning debut crime novel by Matt Wesolowski.

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About this book…

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame … As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

My review…

So I was off on my travels to the Orenda Road show at Waterstones in Liverpool and thought what a brilliant idea it would be to read a book by one of the authors who were going to be attending. So whilst on my train journey to Liverpool Lime Street, I got stuck into Six Stories. After a slowish start, where I got used to the whole unique style of the narrative, after about  30 pages I was hooked! Then I stupidly made a comment on the photo of me reading Six Stories that I had posted on Facebook saying “This book is so captivating that I wish I could I could just stay on the train reading it” Cue train in front bringing down a walk and power cables and leaving me stuck on that train and then on a freezing station platform in the middle of nowhere for 2 hours-honestly you couldn’t make it up could you!? And so I spent my evening reading pretty much all of this book but that was no hardship at all to me because it was absolutely AMAZING!

I wasn’t aware of “Serial”, the podcast that had a two series run and topped the iTunes podcast chart but I have since investigated further so I could get a better grasp of where the idea came from. Like “Serial”, Six Stories is a series of podcasts. It is broadcast by Scott King who takes a crime he wants to be reinvestigated by talking to the individuals involved at the time, and then each of those accounts form one of the six podcasts.

I don’t think I have read such an innovative and creative plot in a very long time. This really has such a current feel to it totally unlike anything I’ve read-it does actually come across like a real podcast and so I was totally engrossed in the characters that were being gradually developed as the plot opened up. I wasn’t even interested in trying to work out who or what was responsible for the death of Tom Jeffries, I was just very happy to let Scott King lead me there…..one story at a time. And the last few pages had my jaw firmly dropping on the floor. What a powerful and thought provoking denouement! I just wanted to go back and read the whole book again!

This is a dark, creepily atmospheric and horrifically intense scrutiny of a crime told in an unapologetically contemporary style. It reminded me of the first time I read Into The Woods by Tana French. I got the same goosebumps that told me this was the start of something very special indeed and I can’t wait to read whatever Matt Wesolowski writes next. But can I also just say that NEVER before has a book been so ripe for an audio book adaptation! Bring it on!

Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan for my copy of Six Stories.

Six Stories is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 15th March 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.

The Promise by Casey Kelleher #BlogTour @bookouture

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

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About this book…

Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

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

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

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

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

My review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the author…

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

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

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

Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt #BlogTour #TheReturnofEden @bookouture

Happy publication day to Mel Sherratt! And I am absolutely thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Don’t Look Behind You on this very special day for a fabulous local author.

About this book…

She got into bed but sleep didn’t come easily. Every creak in the house made her alert. She was waiting for him to come and get her.

The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet.

The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.

As Eden starts to close in on the attacker, she also puts herself in grave danger. Can she stop him before he strikes again? And can Carla, terrified for her life, save herself – before the past wreaks a terrible revenge?

My review…

I have been a fan of Mel Sherratt for a few years now but I have to admit that this new series is becoming my firm favourite so far! As soon as I met DS Eden Berrisford, I knew that Mel was onto a winner. Eden was first introduced to us in The Girls Next Door, a twisty and terrifyingly realistic crime thriller set in the city of Stockleigh. In this sequel, we get to see a more personal side to Eden as she’s determined to find out why her husband Danny left her and daughter Casey and hasn’t been in touch since. But she somehow manages to put everything aside to throw herself into the search for a serial sex offender.

I don’t half love Eden! She’s a strong minded and determined kick-ass single parent who manages to juggle her home and family life with running the Community Investigation Team where she also maintains strong relationships with the other team members. She lives and works in an area she loves and knows like the back of her hand. So she is trusted by the locals to do the right thing. And she takes it very personally when her community is threatened! She’s definitely the type you need to keep onside! Having met the whole of Eden’s family last time, we are now settled into their lives and the secrets within but there was still a bit of a shock instore for me with some disclosures about Eden I HADN’T been expecting!

Twisting throughout the storyline are a number of flashbacks which some readers may find disturbing due to scenes of domestic violence. It’s pretty terrifying and had me on the edge of my seat, mainly trying to work out how it was connected to the stalker watching one of the female characters. I just knew that it was building up for a major violent confrontation and felt sick at the thought of justice not being served.

This series has really upped it’s game with this hard hitting storyline and we’ve really got a sense of who Eden is now. But where does she go from here? There is so much more to discover and I can’t wait to find out. If you haven’t read this author or series before you are really missing out! Don’t Look Behind You is a lot darker than it’s predecessor and creepy as hell! Do NOT read this when you’re alone in the house- every little noise will have your imagination working overtime so make sure you keep those lights on! A gripping must read crime drama with a high voltage finale to knock your socks off!

Don’t Look Behind You: A dark, twisting crime thriller that will grip you to the last page (Detective Eden Berrisford crime thriller series Book 2) is published by Bookouture and available to purchase now.

Meet the author…

Mel Sherratt writes gritty crime dramas, psychological suspense and fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as she calls it. Shortlisted for the CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in the Library Award 2014, she finds inspiration from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante and Elizabeth Haynes. Since 2012, all nine of her crime novels have been bestsellers. Four of her books are published by Amazon Publishing’s crime and thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer and she has a new series out with Bookouture.

Mel lives in Stoke-on-Trent, with her husband and terrier, Dexter, named after the TV serial killer, and makes liberal use of her hometown as a backdrop for some of her books.

 You can find out more at her website http://www.melsherratt.co.uk or on Twitter at @writermels

Watch Me by @TheAngelaClarke @AvonBooksUK #BlogTour #Giveaway

Todays blog post is a little bit special as I have an AMAZING giveaway to celebrate being on the blog tour for Watch Me by Angela Clarke! But first let me tell you a little bit about this fabulous book…..

About this book…

YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

My review…

I love this series by Angela Clarke, its probably one of the most relevant to today’s world of technology where people live out their lives online, often without a thought that once it’s out there that’s it, forever sitting in a dark corner of if the internet! There have been many cases of “revenge porn” reported in the media recently, a crime that most people had never even heard of until a few years ago, but is now scarily very commonplace.

We are back in the company of Freddie and Nasreen, last seen hunting the hashtag killer back in Follow Me. Don’t worry if you havent read that book though as Watch Me works perfectly well as a standalone. This time Snapchat plays a huge role in bringing the crimes to the attention of the police. Nasreen is fighting a few personal battles but these need to be put on the back burner when a countdown timer begins-and its counting down the hours and minutes left to save the life of a young girl. And that certainly wracked up the tension as we watch Nas and Freddie dig deep to solve all the clues before its too late. All I can say is don’t start this book if you want a decent nights sleep! You will either be up most of the night just reading “one more chapter” or even if you do put it down, this plot will be swirling around your head making it impossible to relax. I think its the realism that makes it so scary, that crimes can become so accessible though social media. And Angela Clarke knows her stuff here, keeping her storyline fresh and current with her intense writing style and chapter cliffhangers. I had no idea where the plot was heading so just sat back and let it build up to that brilliantly gripping conclusion.

I really enjoyed this and can’t wait for another foray into the darkside of internet technology. These books are very of their time and I think readers of all ages will find them absolutely fascinating, I know I did! Definitely recommended by me!

Watch Me was published on 12th January by Avon Books and is available to purchase from Amazon UK here.

About the author and exclusive video…

Angela Clarke is an author, columnist and playwright. Her debut crime novel Follow Me (Avon) is out now. Watch Me is the second in the Social Media Murders Series.

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Is Technology the Creepiest Thing in the World is an exclusive video from Angela Clarke over on YouTube so just click on the link and it will take you straight there.

Giveaway…

Today’s giveaway is a signed copy of Julia Crouch’s Her Husband’s Lover – out in Trade Paperback, 26 Jan 2017.

She stole her husband – now she wants to steal her life. Can Louisa stop Sophie from ruining her life?

‘Psychological thrillers don’t come much better than this’
Clare Mackintosh

You can check out my review of Her Husband’s Lover by Julia Crouch  here.

So to win a signed copy of Her Husband’s Lover PLUS a copy of Watch Me by Angela Clarke this is all you need to do!

Enter by retweeting my pinned tweet about this giveaway over on Twitter. If you don’t follow me already on Twitter I am @jocatrobertson.

I will pick a winner at random and will pass the winners name and address to Avon Books who will send the prize books out directly to the winner.

Please note that this giveaway is UK ONLY sorry.

Ends Sunday 29th January at midnight

Good luck everyone and if you’re not lucky this time make sure you follow the tour for a different book giveaway every day!

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Sirens by Joseph Knox #BookReview @TransworldBooks 

About this book…

It starts with the girl. How it ends is up to DC Aidan Waits.

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again.

When Aidan Waits, a troubled junior detective, is summoned to her father’s penthouse home – he finds a manipulative man, with powerful friends.

But retracing Isabelle’s steps through a dark, nocturnal world, Waits finds something else. An intelligent seventeen-year-old girl who’s scared to death of something. As he investigates her story, and the unsolved disappearance of a young woman just like her, he realizes Isabelle was right to run away.

Soon Waits is cut loose by his superiors, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman. He’s out of his depth and out of time.

How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?

My review…

As soon as I saw the cover of Sirens I knew it was one I had to read, the iconic Manchester skyline dominated by the Beetham Tower which brings back some very happy personal memories for me. Living near Manchester, I’m very familiar with the city but after reading Sirens I think that I may be looking over my shoulder a lot more when I’m up town from now on!

As a huge fan of gritty crime dramas I have felt recently that poor Manchester has lost out to its more popular crime fiction cousins, London, Glasgow and even Liverpool. But Manchester brings it’s dark side to this brilliantly gripping debut novel, laying down a carpet of bleakness on that gloomy urban landscape to give us a cracking crime thriller. Right from the first few foreboding pages I was hooked. Aiden Waits is my kind of antihero-a bad boy detective who doesn’t follow the law himself, he drinks, takes drugs and as for the women…..he certainly isn’t someone I would engage to find my teenage daughter! He definitely has issues that affect his judgement but his sullen, brooding personality masks his intensity to succeed no matter what the cost. I just loved him! I need more Waits in my life!

At the centre of a lot of the action was the Beetham Tower which I felt practically stood out as a character in its own right as it involved itself in the various plot threads. A stark and lonely figure, the skyscraper cuts an unexpected and curious prominence watching over the busy and noisy city like a silent judge (the local folklores surrounding the tower are fascinating reading for anyone interested by the way!)

Joseph Knox has written a wonderfully realistic crime thriller here, gutsy, dark and atmospheric. The short chapters pack a punch, keeping your adrenaline pumping and your emotions high so that you keep telling yourself “just one more chapter” until there are no more left! And that ending-it was just so intensely perfect and shocking that I cried! “Northern noir” has a new star in Joseph Knox (actually, crime fiction in general has a new superstar!) and I will be singing his praises all the way to the top of that tower! Please tell me there will be more of the same coming soon!

Sirens is the best book I have read so far in 2017 so highly recommended by me.

Sirens is published by Transworld Books on 12th January 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK here.

Meet the author…

Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively. Sirens is his first novel.

Personal note…

The reason I love the Hilton Tower is that back in 2015 I was told to get myself dressed up as my girls were taking me somewhere special for my 50th birthday treat. I had no idea where we were heading until we drove into Manchester and that iconic building got closer and closer. We went up to Cloud 23 on the 23rd floor where we had cocktails and the most amazing afternoon tea. The views are fantastic, you can see for miles! I can highly recommend it for that special occasion or just to treat yourself. It’s a truly unique experience!

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Here I am enjoying my “prohibition-era priced” cocktail at Cloud 23.


My granddaughter admiring the view below us

Dead Man’s Prayer by Jackie Baldwin #BookReview @JackieMBaldwin1

About this book…

A dark and gripping crime debut, the first in an exciting new series. Eighteen years ago, DI Frank Farrell turned his back on the church. But when an ex-priest is murdered in his hometown, he has no choice but to delve into his past. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

My review…

This book had been on my radar for a while before I picked up a copy to read. A few reviewers had said they thought it would be a book I would enjoy and they were absolutely right! It had all my favourite elements for a police procedural and I devoured it within a matter of hours.

The Scottish crime thriller scene is huge at the moment but Jackie Baldwin has written a self assured debut that has slotted into the current market as if she had been around for years. Her fictional detective DI Frank Farrell is a great character creation and I was cheering him on from the off! I liked the fact that he had a very different backstory having previously been a priest. The layers that his former vocation gave to his personality meant that, although I took to him, I never quite fully anticipated what actions he would take next. Especially once he comes into contact with former friends and family.

I love the way Jackie Baldwin writes. There was just the right mix of police investigation and personal problems with a host of supporting characters that I’d love to meet again and find out more about. The use of the twin boys in the plot was a particular favourite theme for me (everyone knows I’m a huge fan of twin psychology!) and the twists and turns here meant we were never quite sure where the motives overlapped and why.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where the author takes DI Farrell next. His individuality stands out for me making him an intriguing personality that I’m keen to delve into further. The characterisation, plus the fact that this is a well researched crime thriller, means I am more than happy to recommend it to other fans of this genre. 

Many thanks to the author for my copy of Dead Man’s Prayer which I have chosen to read and review.

Dead Man’s Prayer: A gripping detective thriller with a killer twist (DI Frank Farrell, Book 1) is out now and available to purchase at Amazon UK

Meet the author…

Jackie Baldwin
Jackie Baldwin was born in Dumfries. She studied law at Edinburgh University then practised as a solicitor in a rural town for twenty years specialising in family and criminal law. She then trained as a hypnotherapist and now works from home. She is married with two (almost) grown up children and loves to walk with her two dogs in local forests. She is an active member of her local crime writing group.

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.

The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer #BookReview #WeekendBlogShare

About this book…

There’s no safety in numbers . . .

Eve Singer needs death. With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, she’ll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience.

The killer needs death too. He even advertises his macabre public performances, where he hopes to show the whole world the beauty of dying.

When he contacts Eve, she welcomes the chance to be first with the news from every gory scene. Until she realizes that the killer has two obsessions.

One is public murder.

And the other one is her . . .

My review…

I have been a HUGE fan of Belinda Bauer for years so there’s always a frisson of excitement when she has a new book out and upon seeing the amazing cover I was keen to get reading what lay within!

Eve Singer lives her life in front of the camera covering crimes for iWitness news with her cameraman Joe. But covering the gory and graphic death of a young office worker is about to bring her into the life of one of the most remarkably creepy and freakishly scary serial killers I’ve come across in a long time! In fact he is pretty much the star of this book with his chapters delving deeper into his warped mind and plans for his “exhibitions”. Eve was his sidekick in a way as she becomes deeper and more personally involved in his crimes.

The first few pages of this book are absolutely terrifying! Belinda Bauer has a way of getting the crimes in her books under your skin very early on. I quite liked Eve! And her relationship with her dad who suffers from Alzheimer’s was a joy to watch and provided some very funny but rather poignant moments along the way.

I have to say that this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting after the wonderful The Shut Eye which is my favourite book by this author. There was a different feel to the writing, a darkness with genius touches of black humour that reminded me more of her earlier books. I found I needed to concentrate more so I didn’t miss a word and therefore it took me a few days to read which isn’t like me. It wasn’t as unputdownable as I had expected but it still gripped me and the ending was just perfect-an explosive and heart racing finale. And I have to say I adored Mr Elias-what a wonderful character creation he was and some of his comments made me laugh out loud but then in the next instant feel a wave of sympathy for him.

This is a great “countdown to Christmas” book for those who fancy something a little different to the saccharine sweet Christmas books around and are feeling a bit “bah humbug” about the whole festive season!

The Beautiful Dead was published by Transworld on 17th November 2016 and is available to buy here at Amazon UK

Meet the author…

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Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter and her script The Locker Room earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters.

With her first novel, Blacklands, Belinda won the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year. Her second and third novels, Darkside and Finders Keepers, were highly acclaimed, and she was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award 2012 for her entire body of work. Rubbernecker is Belinda’s latest novel.

Belinda is a repeat guest on Front Row and regularly appears at Harrogate Crime Festival. She lives in Wales.

Dark Fragments by Rob Sinclair #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

I am thrilled today to be part of the blog tour for Rob Sinclair’s first book for Bloodhound Books called Dark Fragments. I have a review of the book today but don’t forget to check out the other blogs on the tour this week.

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About this book…

Murder. Money. Revenge.

Outwardly, Ben Stephens appears to be a normal, hard-working family man. In reality, his life has been in turmoil since the murder of his wife, Alice, seven years ago. The killer was never caught.

Now re-married – to the woman he was having an affair with while still married to Alice – Ben’s life is once again spiralling out of control, and he’s become heavily indebted to an unscrupulous criminal who is baying for Ben’s blood.

When Ben’s estranged twin sister, a police detective, unexpectedly returns to his life, asking too many questions for comfort, it becomes clear that without action, Ben’s life will soon reach a crisis point from which there will be no return.

In order to avoid falling further into the mire, Ben must examine the past if he is to survive the present – but just how much pressure can one man take before he breaks?

My review…

This is the first Rob Sinclair book I have read but my husband has read and enjoyed the Enemy series so that’s a good enough recommendation for me! Although this is promoted as a stand alone psychological thriller, it would be great if this was the start of a new series as there were certain characters here that I’d like to see again in the future especially if they were fleshed out a little bit next time.

Ben Stephens isn’t an ideal husband but he has had a pretty tough time of things recently. Following the unsolved murder of his wife Alice who was the love of his life, Ben married Gemma and they now live with their daughter Chloe and Ben and Alice’s son, Harry. But Ben has got in over his head with some dodgy criminal types and its affecting his family life. His twin sister turns up with some devastating news that leads Ben into making decisions he may live to regret. And he does make some really REALLY stupid decisions here! Which is why I have to say that I thought Ben a rather self obsessed character who seemed to have problems thinking before acting! And his attitude to women really didn’t do him any favours either as we come to find out!

This is a fast paced thriller that will appeal to crime fans and thriller fans alike. Not as fast paced as a Simon Kernick novel perhaps but it will certainly be of interest if you’re a fan of that author. The police action takes second place to Ben and his path of self destruction but his twin sister Dani shines in every scene she’s in and not used enough in my opinion. Most of their exchanges are not police related but show an insight into their estranged twin relationship. I can’t say I liked Ben very much but then again I don’t think I was supposed to! So I was glad that I did find myself slowly becoming involved in his dodgy dealings and managed to read this in one sleepless night! An enjoyable and well executed thriller.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for my review copy of Dark Fragments.
Dark Fragments: a fast paced psychological thriller is published by Bloodhound books on 8th November 2016 and available here at Amazon UK

Meet the author…

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Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller.

Rob’s first novel, Dance with the Enemy, was published in June 2014 and is the first in the Enemy Series following embattled intelligence agent Carl Logan. Rise of the Enemy, the second book in the series, was released in April 2015, with the third book, Hunt for the Enemy, being released in February 2016. The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob’s latest novel, the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments, released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016, has been described as ‘clever’ and ‘chilling’ and an ‘expertly crafted’ story.

Rob worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. He now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Rob’s website is http://www.robsinclairauthor.com and he can be followed on twitter at @rsinclairauthor