Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll @WriterJustinC @CazVinBooks #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll. My thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books for arranging my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book. My apologies for being late with this review, I hadn’t realised the Tour dates had changed, but better late than never as they say 🙂

This is the second book in the Hemlock Jones series and I loved it as much as I did the first one. Before I get carried away singing the praises for this author’s Hemlock series, let me show you what it is all about…

When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!


This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.

Oh it is so good to be travelling around Victorian London with Hemlock and Eddie, oops sorry Edward! Hemlock and Edward are a fabulous combination. Hemlock is a demystifier, she takes the mystery out of criminal cases that she decides to investigate and Edward is her Associate.

Her latest case is one that involves the disappearance of orphans. She is approached as she had helped on a previous case, though her and Edward did not get the credit they deserved, instead it went to that other famous consultant from Baker Street! Though she did not get the credit, she is recognised as being a help, so she agrees to give her expert help in the search for the missing children.

Now, you know I mentioned how I enjoyed wandering around Victorian London with the duo? Well, this time I was glad that as a reader I can experience things from the pages of a book! I bet Edward would wish to be in my position instead of traipsing and crawling through the rat infested sewers!

This book is fabulous and has mystery, intrigue and uses powers of observation and deduction or should I say demystification! I should mention that it is aimed at a younger audience, but this grown up (depending who you ask!) reader loves it!

It is a story that is accessible and is at a pace that holds the attention, there are quieter moments in it but these are moments are essential to the case or are about the lives of the characters themselves. I think this story is ideal for giving a younger audience a mystery novel that has a feel of the classic Sherlock Holmes but in a more upbeat way, it has action and adventure as well as mishaps and danger. I remember trying to read a Sherlock story when I was younger and I was not old enough to understand it, but if I had access to Hemlock Jones I would have been so happy. I will add that as an adult reader I love the Sherlock Holmes books!

The story itself is good and holds the attention, there are mentions of the yuckier side of London and it also has reference to a poem / folk tale that I think would make for good further reading for the target audience. I love that the main heroes of the story are children and their escapades are in an adult world. They are given a chance to deal with an investigation that is adult sized, but its their belief in their own instincts and observations that lead to solving the case.

This is a fabulous read and I think that the younger audience would absolutely enjoy it. It is the 2nd book in the Hemlock Jones series and I would definitely recommend it.

Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Now, Justin has published the second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles: Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans, perfect for all fans of 10 years and above of adventurous detective mysteries!

Follow Justin on – Author websiteTwitterFacebookAmazonGoodReads

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be wonderful 🙂 xx

A Grave for Two by Anne Holt #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on A Grave for Two by Anne Holt. I received this book as part of a giveaway by Readers First. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I Admit that I will be reading more!

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Anne Holt is the godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction.’ Jo Nesbø

Selma Falck has hit rock bottom. Having lost everything – her husband, her children and her high-flying job as a lawyer – in quick succession, she is holed up alone in a dingy apartment. That is until Jan Morell – the man who is to blame for her downfall – rings her doorbell, desperate to overturn a doping accusation against his daughter, Hege – Norway’s best female skier. He’ll drop his investigation into Selma, but only if she’ll help… With just weeks until the Olympic qualifying rounds, clearing Hege’s name, and getting Selma’s own life back on track, seems impossible.

But when an elite male skier is found dead in suspicious circumstances, the post-mortem showing a link to Hege’s case, it becomes clear to Selma that there is a sinister web of lies, corruption and scandals lurking in this highly competitive sport. As time starts to runs out, another person is found dead, and Selma realizes that her own life is at risk…

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and she has left me with a curiosity to read more. The main protagonist of this story is Selma Falck, a woman with a past history and intriguing life. I met her as she was in a dingy flat as she has no job prospects and things look grim and uncertain. She is given a second chance when the father of the number one women’s Norwegian skier comes to ask for her help. The skier is Hege Chin Morell, she has been accused of taking an illegal drug and it threatens her Olympic dreams.

Along with Hege, another athlete is also brought into the story. Though its his death that is in question. There are several threads of other story lines that the author has woven into A Grave For Two and she deals with corruption, cronyism, drug and doping accusations as well as a more personal look into Selma’s life.

This is a wonderful read and a slow burner that is intriguing and has well woven story-lines. The investigation that Selma embarks on takes her down some dubious and shady paths. I liked how the author flitted between all the different threads and gradually built up the story towards its climax. For the most of the story I was addicted and found it very interesting reading, but then as the end approached I found myself loosing that addiction. I felt that things were dragged out a little too much. At this point for me a lot of the questions had been answered and there was still the odd revelation to be revealed but it just felt like it slowed in pace a little. It may that my tiredness didn’t help as I was trying to finish the book before going to bed.

Even though I felt a little disappointed by the ending, I still enjoyed the vast majority of the story and it has left me wanting to know more about Selma and what has happened in her life up to this point. This is an author who I will be revisiting in the future.

This is a story that I would recommend to readers who like a slow burn to their mysteries, with suspicion and corruption and a personal side stories.

Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

The Secret Santa by Trish Harteniaux @TrishHarnetiaux @rachel90kennedy #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts today on The Secret Santa by Trish Harteniaux. My thanks to Rachel at Penguin Random House for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

THIS YEAR YOU’LL GET WHAT YOU DESERVE…

When an international pop starlet rolls into town looking to buy the most expensive house on the market, struggling real estate agents and husband and wife duo Claudine and Henry think their terrible luck has finally turned.

The mysterious mansion has hidden secrets, and Claudine and Henry’s survival depends on no one finding out the truth about what really happened there. In a desperate move to secure the sale, Claudine decides to bury the house’s dark past and show it at its best – by inviting the singer to a lavish holiday party hosted inside the majestic mountainside mansion.

But when a murder weapon turns up as part of the party’s game of Secret Santa, Claudine’s carefully curated lie and the lives of all the party goers is threatened as they race to find the killer before they can strike again.

How far will Claudine go to protect her secrets? Is she prepared to kill to make a killing, or will she fall prey herself?

The synopsis does a good job of letting you know a little bit about this murder mystery story. A of seeing a stunning property means a change of location for Henry and Claudine’s staff Christmas do. The party will be moved to the remote property so that it can be shown off at its best for a potential buyer. Part of the party is the Secret Santa, a game of exchanging presents has been something that has increased over the years and everyone tries to out-do each other, however this year one of the gifts has a catch!

This is a murder mystery read that is about revenge for something that was done in the past. The truth is not revealed until far later in the story and it is where all the answers are suddenly revealed.

The story is told in quick chapters from the perspective of different characters, Claudine, Henry and Zara as well as a mystery italicised chapters! I like this style as it gave me a chance to get inside the heads of various people, see their thoughts and some of what they really think.

The story is well paced and definitely kept me guessing, gradually introducing me to everyone involved and also drawing me further into the story. The setting is good though not overwhelming, there are several good mentions about it and it does sound idyllic, isolated, remote and scenic. The focus is more on the people.

This is a murder mystery that has drama and suspense rather than blood and guts. Its not a thriller or police procedural and would suit cosy mystery readers. It is one I would recommend.

The Secret Santa is Trish Harnetiaux’s debut novel. She is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose published works includeTin Cat Shoes, How To Get Into Buildings, and If You Can Get To Buffalo
Follow her on Twitter @TrishHarnetiaux #TheSecretSanta

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Stealing the Scream by Theodore Carter @RunAmok_books @theodorecarter2 #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Stealing the Scream by Theodore Carter. I would like to thank the lovely people at Run Amok Books for my review copy and apologise for not getting this post wrote up sooner!

Let me tell you what it’s about…

In 2004, masked thieves stole Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from an Oslo museum. Norwegian police recovered the painting two years later but never explained how or where they had found it. Stealing The Scream examines/re-imagines the event, offering a tantalising account of what happened through fictional characters, Percival Davenport, an artist whose obsession with Munch leads him to steal “The Scream” and Leonard, a museum security guard and amateur sleuth, whose interest in Davenport’s art leads him and the police to the artist’s door, setting up a tense climax and a satisfying if unexpected ending to the story.

The author has used the theft of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting as the basis for his story. He has then created and wrapped a fictionalised story around it, and what a great story it is too!

Starting with the theft of the painting in 2004, the author then goes back in time 2001. From then he gradually introduces the reader to Percival Deavenport, a soon to retire CEO who, with plenty of tie and money on his hands decides to return to his love of painting. This provides a link to the art world and also starts an intriguing storyline that then brings the reader up to events of theft and after.

I really liked the writing style and he has a very easy to follow flow that I found quite addictive. I liked his approach to the theft and it felt very coy. By this I mean that he has taken several steps to distance his characters from the theft, it is not until later in the story he gradually tip-toes them closer. By this point a lot has already happened to Percival in his personal life and his changes are rather strange and it makes for an almost unsettling glimpse into his character.

Percival has a right-hand woman in the form of Lucinda and she is responsible for keeping an eye on him, this is far easier said than done. Also joining them are Will, Leonard and Red. These additional characters have very different roles and their role size varies. For me they were good stable characters who are able to keep Percival grounded, well they do until later in the book.

This story had quite a few surprises tucked within its pages. It is one of those stories that is almost quiet, it sits simmering gently and then it gradually starts brewing with intrigue and suspicion and the tempo and pacing is upped until the arrival at the surprising end section of the book.

This is a book that sounded intriguing and was one that I thought “Yeah! I might like this!”and I’m so glad I picked it because it very quickly became hard to put down and was such an unexpected and wonderful read.

Its a story that has crime and mystery and also leans towards the contemporary fiction style because of the dynamic that is involved with Percival. This gets a Definitely Recommended from me, thoroughly enjoyable and addictive reading.

Theodore Carter is the author of The Life Story of a Chilean Sea Blob and Other Matters of Importance (Queens Ferry Press, 2012), Frida Kahlo Sex Dreams and Other Unnerving Disruptions, and Stealing ‘The Scream’ (Run Amok Books, 2019).

His fiction runs the gamut from humor, to literary fiction, to horror. He’s appeared in several magazines and anthologies including The North American Review, Pank, Necessary Fiction, A capella Zoo, The Potomac Review, and Gargoyle.

His street art projects, which began as book promotion stunts, have garnered attention from several local news outlets including NBC4 Washington, Fox5 DC, and the Washington City Paper.

Carter lives just outside Washington, DC in Takoma Park, MD. 

Many thanks for reading my post:) xx

Sleep by C.L Taylor #Bookreview

I am so delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Sleep by C.L Taylor. This is a fabulous read and so addictive let me show you what it is all about…

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up… 

WOW! I loved this book so much. C.L Taylor does such a fabulous job of adding suspense, mystery and intrigue into her stories that leave a chilling feel to them Sleep is no exception.

The story is based around Anna. I first meet her as she is driving back from a team building holiday. A slip of concentration leads to a horrific accident. The guilt that Anna feels is leading to her not being able to sleep. Along with the guilt there is also someone watching her, things get so bad that she relocates to the remote Scottish Isle of Rum and works in a hotel.

You would think that removing herself from the London area that the threat would stop, but she still senses that feeling of dread and of being watched. Things continue to get worse and leads to Anna suspecting the guests.

This is such an atmospherically chilling read. The author does a fabulous job of creating a story that explores the depths of Anna’s feeling of guilt. She weaves so much mistrust and suspicion into Anna’s story that it was hardly surprising that Anna cannot sleep. The other characters/ guests at the hotel also have things to hide and it is really brought out into the open when a bad storm leaves everyone isolated. A perfect setting for a murder and mystery story.

Along with the island characters there are also others, they have a part to play in the grand scheme of the story and I gradually got to know them.

The story moves at a really good pace and this is helped by the quick chapters. They are told from different perspectives and are easy to follow as each chapter is given the title of the name of the person whose perspective it is. Well apart from one character, their chapters are set out in italics!

This is such a wonderful read that had me addicted within the first few chapters and kept my attention until the very end. It has a wonderful psychological thriller suspense feel as I read and I felt that the author really got inside the heads of her characters.

If you like a good murder mystery, psychological thriller read that has bags of suspense then you really should pick up a copy of Sleep. I think this may be my favourite Cally Taylor book so far. I would Absolutely Recommend this book.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks @annecater #Bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Blog Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Orenda Books for my e-copy of this book

Cage is the third and final book in this trilogy, and you know what is coming… yes you really should read these books in order.

A masterful conclusion to the award-winning, critically
acclaimed Reykjavík Noir trilogy, as drug-smuggling,
financial crime, political intrigue, love, murder and
betrayal come together.


The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence
for financial misconduct ends, but her lover Sonja is not
there to meet her.


As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into
an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the
world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes
being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless entrepreneur
Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he
has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own
home. And at the same time, a deadly threat to Sonja and
her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where
she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if
she wants to stay alive…


The lives of these characters are about to collide in a
shocking crescendo, until the winner takes it all…

Things have finally come to an end in Cage. This book brings everything from Snare and Trap together.

Once again Agla is in the midst of drug smuggling, corruption and is against those who thirst for even more power. This story focuses more on Agla and her decision to look into a different tale of corruption. She is delving into the truth behind the mixed metal and aluminium business.

If you have not read Snare or Trap then you really should. Many of the characters have been previously introduced in those books. Reading the previous books gives a better understanding to their individual characters and what makes them tick, and I think more importantly it gives you an idea of their own inner strengths and weaknesses.

Agla teams up with a journalist, Maria, it is a tentative working relationship as they both discover just how far the corruption in the metal trade actually goes. Along with this story there is also another, that is the new friendship that Agla has and also the story of a young man who thinks he is doing the right thing.

While I admit this is not my favourite of the three books, it is still a cracking read. The author brings together the previous books to quite a shocking finale. She took me down a route I didn’t expect. This story moves away from Sonja but she still has a role to play in this book and I think this is what threw me when I read this book. But it was good to see more of Agla.

The story is told from different perspectives and this helps to weave a sense of mistrust and intrigue throughout the story. It did take me a while to get myself up to speed with the various characters as it had been a while since I had read the previous book. But gradually the characters and their own stories started to come back to me.

This is a reasonably fast paced read as the author yet again weaves a complex and intense story. She pulls the threads together to create a wonderful finale. The author has a wonderful atmosphere as she creates yet another Icelandic read. Agla is in prison and the author shares how the financiers and bankers who were part of Icelands financial crash were treated.

The titles for each of the books are snappy and each are relevant to the story within, Cage is no different and it was as I read the book the significance of it makes itself known.

Once again a fabulous job was done of the translation, without translators I would not have access to read this fabulous trilogy.

This is a book, in fact a trilogy that delves into the world of drugs, control, corruption, power and manipulation. Ideal for readers who love a good crime thriller read.

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes
in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare and Trap, the first two books in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

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Many thanks for reading my post, I am still on holiday so any shares or likes would be absolutely amazing and would be greatly appreciated 🙂 xx

The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart @wdejackson @damppebbles #Bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart today. My huge thanks to Emma at dampebbles Blog Tours for the invite and for organising my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what its about…

The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart

A detective new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.

What do you get when a horror writer decides to mix it up and write a crime thriller? Answer = You get The Demons Beneath! And what a cracking read it was as well!

Inspector Daniel Graves (love the surname – very horror-esque sounding!) is still getting used to his new life in London. He is recently transferred from Derbyshire and is not only trying to find his feet in the city but, also with the level and type of crimes. He has two cases land on his desk, one is for a body that has just been discovered. The other is for an exorcism that has gone wrong and the demon being exorcised is supposedly the killer!

With two very different cases, Daniel and his team are stumped. they are constantly looking for a lead or lucky break. there is little evidence to go on and the leads are thin. The team are a great mix and they each bring their own style and personality to the investigation. Pressure from their superiors doesn’t make tasks any easier and this creates a sense of “time is of the essence” to the book and cases.

The author does a cracking job with the storyline and the characters. the mix of the two cases are contrasting even though both are being dealt as murder. The demonology aspect that has been woven into the second of the two cases adds a suspense and chilling eeriness to the story and adds a great twist. The first case balances out the creepiness of the second, as it appears to be a more straightforward.

This is my first time reading anything by this author, and my first impressions are very good. being as this the first book in a series I am looking forward to reading more. My only niggle for the book is Daniel Graves repetitiveness when it comes to women that have caught his eye, yes I understand they have but I didn’t need reminding of it to the extent I did. as I said it is only a little niggle and it didn’t put me off reading the book.

The author has successfully created a wonderful twist on a genre I read quite a lot. I really like the infusion of horror and suspense into the crime thriller style of the investigation. It has a real spooky eerie feeling to the read. I thought it was quite well paced and quite happily read this in a couple of days. I am looking forward to getting to know Graves and his team in future book.

A wonderful crime thriller/ police procedural read that has a good twist and is a little bit different and one I would recommend.

WD Jackson-Smart is a crime and horror/thriller writer from the UK obsessed with all things thrilling.

He has written the bestselling supernatural thriller Red Light, the Hollywood-based horror/thriller Slasher, as well as horror short What’s Yours Is Mine.

His new release Demons, the first in a new London-based crime series featuring Detective Inspector Graves, is out now. Search WD Jackson.

Follow him on Twitter or his Website

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KULT by Stefan Malmstrom @kpstefan @silvertailbooks #BOTBSPublicity #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Kult by Stefan Malmstrom. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for the invite and for arranging a copy of this fantastic book.

Let me show you what the book is all about…

THE PAST WILL NEVER LET YOU GO…


When a four-year-old girl and her father are found dead in the Swedish city of Karlskrona, the police quickly conclude it was a murder-suicide, a tragedy requiring no further investigation.


But Luke Bergmann, a reformed criminal still haunted by his violent past, believes they are wrong. The dead man, Viktor, was his best friend, and Luke knows he would never commit such a horrific crime.


When more bodies turn up, Luke is certain the same killer has struck again. Alone, he embarks on an investigation which reaches back through decades to his friend’s involvement with a sinister cult and dark secrets are exposed as Luke struggles to keep his own long-buried demons hidden away.


And when Luke finds himself in a killer’s sights, his search for the truth becomes the fight of his life.


Can Luke get justice for Viktor and his daughter and prove his best friend was not a murderer, or will the shadows of the past overwhelm him?


Fans of The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jo Nesbø and Will Dean will love this dark and gripping début thriller.


There is an Authors Note that I am also going to share with you…

KULT is a crime thriller but it’s based on a true story. The author, Stefan Malmstrom, was in the Church of Scientology in Sweden for a few years in his early twenties (about thirty years ago now), a relatively short time but which had a profound and damaging effect on his life. Part of the story of KULT is told in flashbacks which are accurate representations of both Stefan’s experiences in Scientology in Sweden (including digging for a spaceship – no joke) and the death of Lisa McPherson in the US in 1995. The present-day plot – the hunt for a serial killer – is entirely fictitious. The book is aimed at a general crime readership (Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo fans among others) as well as the many people who read books about Scientology, such as Going Clear by Lawrence Wright and Troublemaker by Leah Remini. You may not know but Silvertail is the only publisher in the UK willing to put out books critical of Scientology – over the years we’ve had serious legal threats, all of which have been seen off with no problems.” KULT is the first time we’ve done a Scientology novel, and hopefully this aspect makes it a little more interesting than if it were pure fiction.

The synopsis and the authors note were the things that really made me stop and take a serious look at this book. It’s not often I read the synopsis immediately prior to reading for a book, I usually wait until I have finished it. but this item, something caught my eye and I read it and the authors note prior to reading the book and I think it gave such an extra element to the reading experience.

So, what to say about the book… WOW! springs to mind. This is such a strong and dark story and knowing that some of it is based on actual events makes it for seriously tense read.

The story is actually 3 strands that the author flits back and forth between, they are seemingly unconnected until the tweaking and pulling together begins. Then suddenly things link and then I started to get an idea of where this was heading, call it the start of seeing the bigger picture if you like. Because of this seemingly randomness to the threads I was unable to really work things out until the author was ready for me to.

The title of the book, KULT, is an indicator as to the content, it is one of the threads and is set in the past and adds insight as the other stories start to merge. The main focus is the death of Viktor and his daughter Agnes, Luke a close friend does not believe it was suicide and begins to dig around for the answers himself. Then the third thread, wow this is evil and dark, it will not appeal to some readers as it deals with a hard to read subject, the author however does not go into details. I am now reading back through this paragraph and I have realised how obscure and random it is. I did think of changing it but, I am not one to let spoilers out so I have decided to leave it obscure!

This is such a fabulous read, it is dark and deals with tough subjects. The author has used his own experiences to create a story that is a mix of actual facts as well as a fictionalised story. I cannot imagine living within a cult, but I could see how manipulative cult members could be as I read this book. Knowing that the author personally knew what the cult was all about and then using that information adds a believably creepy and horrifying element to the story.

This story did take me a few chapters to get into and took me a while to understand and get to grips with the flow. Once I found my feet with the characters and the time changes I found it extremely addictive.

If you like dark, disturbing, chilling, manipulative, creepy and controlling crime thriller reads then this is one that may well appeal. KULT is a book I would definitely recommend and I look forward with interest to see what this author comes up with next.

I also have to mention the absolutely seamless translation from Swedish into English by Suzanne Martin Cheadle, without her work I would have unable to read such a fascinating book.

Stefan Malmström is a former news journalist who has worked for Sveriges Radio and Swedish TV4. Today he works as a consultant, lecturer and author. At a young age, Stefan was manipulated into the Church of Scientology in Hässleholm, a small town in southern Sweden. KULT, his first book, is based on his experiences in the cult. Stefan lives in Karlskrona in Sweden with his family.  

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Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I own several books by this author and this is the first I have read. This is book #1 in the Grant County series and it was a cracking read. It is #17 in my reading challenge for #20 Books Of Summer.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The first book in Karin Slaughter’s #1 bestselling GRANT COUNTY series.

She was found in the local diner. Brutally murdered. Ritually mutilated.
And she won’t be the last.
___________________

The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it’s only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer’s brutality becomes clear.

Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver – Sara’s ex-husband – is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that Sibyl’s murder wasn’t a one-off attack. What they’re dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer…

I have to say right from the off that I really, really enjoyed this book and what a fabulous introduction to a “new to me” author!

The synopsis is one that gives a great idea as to what the story is about, not that I read the synopsis until I have finished reading the book! It does give an indication that this story is going to be a bit on the brutal side, and yes it and in such a brilliant way.

Dr. Sara Linton is the medical examiner/ coroner whose main job is a paediatrician. She works for her ex-husband while doing her role as coroner, not ideal but they do still talk to each other. Oh I should mention that her ex is Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver.

Sara stumbles on the victim in a toilet booth. Sybil has been brutally murdered, and I must add it is quite a bloody affair and as wrong as this sounds… it was so good. It meant that straight away I wanted to know more, the how’s, the why’s and the who’s, it made me impatient and I was addicted straight away.

So with a beginning like that, I knew this was going to be a good book. A great opening with blood, guts, murder and a character I was going to get on with and like. Over the course of the story I got to know Sara a little better, her family, her past and also her relationship with her ex.

The author builds up the story and gradually adds more intrigue and never was I close to working out who was responsible, though I did have the odd idea floating around. The characters fall into various categories, those you will like, those you won’t and those that don’t quite sit right but you don’t know why! I like the way the author littered this story with seeds of doubt, it kept me on my toes and my fingers turning the pages.

Having a main character as a coroner meant I was able to see inside the examination room so to speak, and it was not pleasant but at the same time it was again very good. The descriptions of the bodies and what had happened to them made me shudder and curl my toes up. The investigation was brilliantly paced and move along nicely.

This book could just as easily been called Blindsided rather than Blindsighted and I was the former for most of the story. This author got the balance right with regards to the case, the drama of the personal lives and also the tension and stress in trying to track down the killer.

So as I mentioned, this is the first time of reading anything by this author and what a brilliant book I chose to read. I can definitely see why she is so popular. I am looking forward to reading more in the series as well as the others that she has written. It’s great to find a new author who has lots of already published books out there.

And, as if you really needed me to mention this…. I would Absolutely Recommend Blindsighted!


Book #17 of 20


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The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts on The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. This is #5 in the DI Bliss series and I want to say a huge thank you to Heather at Bloodhound Books for arranging for an e-copy of Tony’s latest book.

I am a huge fan of this series and the author, and this latest book is bloody brilliant!

Let me show you what it is all about…

To keep a secret hidden you must bury the truth

One night. Two shootings. Two victims.

When DI Bliss arrives at the scene of the second murder, he recognises the same three-shot pattern as the first. But there is one major difference: the second victim has been decapitated, the head nowhere to be found. When a second headless corpse is discovered the following day, Bliss and his team realise the killer is on a spree – and he’s not done yet.

After Bliss links the killings and forms a task force with officers from Lincolnshire, they uncover further disturbing news: the murders are not the first in the series – there are four more headless victims, and the Lincolnshire team believe they know why. Not only that, they are also convinced that more potential victims are on the killer’s list.

In a race against time to save further loss of life, Bliss constantly finds himself one step behind and chasing shadows. In order to flush out the hired assassin, he and his team have no choice but to put their own lives at risk. But will everyone survive? 

This is the latest in the DI Bliss series, and you know I am going to say that Yes you should read this series in order. There are smaller personal stories that are running through the series, and they are mentioned in the books but obviously are much better when read in order.

Oh Wow, what a book! This for me see’s a real step up for this author, I have always been a fan of his books, but this one just knocks the socks off what I have read by him… so far! This author always provides a good solid read and I have enjoyed reading the developments with the characters and the addictive story lines. For me, The Death of Justice sees this author step things up big time.

The case begins with a shooting, it is then followed by a decapitation. This is only the beginning! Bliss and his team realise that this could be the start of something much bigger and things could spectacularly spiral out of control. There is a sense of not having much time as Bliss and his department have to cross into another county and co-operation is required across the county borders. Bliss has never really been one for tact and diplomacy and is often found stamping on toes within the hierarchy, but this time he is going to have to hold back, well to a certain extent!

The author has definitely ramped up the complexity in the case as Bliss finds himself in an investigation that has him pulled from pillar to post and is struggling to be everywhere he wants to be. Yet while the case is complex for Bliss, it is not for the reader. I found it easy to follow and I like the logical progress the author uses for Bliss.

Bliss is old school and knows about grey areas and experienced in reading people. He is one of those characters that does interact well with his team, they are valued and respected by Bliss and they have a bond that has been built up over time. This is where I back up my statement about reading in order.

As well as the complex case , the author has injected a great pace to this story. There is definitely a “race against time” aspect to the investigation. It adds to the dramatic and tense that is present throughout. The unusual nature of the case means Bliss is given a little more leeway than usual, he has this with the blessing of his superiors. This is the grey area that Bliss seems to thrive in, and he is definitely well placed to think outside the box as far as protocol and procedure is concerned.

This story starts dramatically and ends spectacularly dramatically. I was able to get up to date with the smaller personal stories in the lives of the regular characters, while they are not major storylines and they do fade during the investigation, they make an appearance again at the end. They are poignant and I like them a lot.

In between the main story there is also some chapters from the perspective of another character. Oh my goodness are they chilling and creepy or what! This adds a great psychological suspense to the story and definitely gets the spine tingling as I read these particular chapters.

Emotions… well… Yes Mr Forder you broke me! That means you got it absolutely right! The author mentions in a note at the end of the story about the balance of this story, my floods of tears meant that for me it was right. Yes it was balanced, the investigation is obviously the main focus, but in with that there was drama, suspicion, tension, emotion and complexity and they all have an important part to play.

This is without doubt THE best book I have read by this author. So many things I loved about it and even though there is a sadness it also made sense because not everything is finite and there are things that happen in daily life that is life itself. I also feel that this is a huge step forward in a series I already love and has left me with such a feeling of “WOW that was bloody good!”

I would have happily read this book in one sitting, instead I had to read it over a couple of days, it’s so annoying when you have to work a night shift ad you would rather be sat at home with your head in a book!

This is a book that , as if you need telling at this point, that I would absolutely would Highly Recommend!

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and international bestselling crime thriller series featuring Peterborough based detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, will be joined on 9 September by The Death of Justice.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books.

Scream Blue Murder was written as a standalone, but even before it was published back in November 2017, he had decided to write the sequel, Cold Winter Sun, which was released on 1 November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is busy working on book six in the DI Bliss series, as well as another novel, Fifteen Coffins. 

Follow tony on his – Website Twitter

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