The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare #HistoricalMystery #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for the first book in A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery Series, this first book is The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I was delighted to see that there is a whole host of books by Alys for me to buy and read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Introducing private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham in the first of the brand-new World’s End Bureau Victorian mystery series.

London, 1880. “I’m dreadfully afraid someone is threatening to kill my wife …” When accounts clerk Ernest Stibbins approaches the World’s End investigation bureau with wild claims that his wife Albertina has been warned by her spirit guides that someone is out to harm her, the bureau’s owner Lily Raynor and her new employee Felix Wilbraham are initially sceptical. How are the two private enquiry agents supposed to investigate threats from beyond the grave?

But after she attends a séance at the Stibbins family home, Lily comes to realize that Albertina is in terrible danger. And very soon so too is Lily herself …

This is the first book in A World’s End Bureau – Victorian Mystery series. The World’s End Bureau is owned and run by Lily Raynor in London in the 1880s. She has had some success with her business and is now finding it difficult to keep up with the admin side. She employs Felix Wilbraham to help on the clerical aspects, but soon he proves his worth and helps Lily in a series of investigations.

One such investigation comes by way of Ernest Stibbins who is concerned as to his wife’s safety. She is a medium and it soon becomes apparent to Lily that Albertina is indeed in danger. Along with this investigation, there is another that concerns a young man and an actress. While the cases are very different they both lead Lily and Felix on a route that takes them and the reader into various areas of Victorian London.

Being as this is the first in the series, it was good to get to know the two main characters as they got to know each other. I liked how there is mutual respect between them, especially as Felix is working for a female and this is an unusual thing at this time and for this profession.

The author has done a good job of creating an atmospheric read and delves into some unsavoury sides of the era. The murkiness and the ominous feelings at times provide an eeriness to the story. this is particularly good for the investigation into the Stibbins’s.

I did find the pacing of the story fluctuated, at the time it felt a little slow, but on the whole, it worked well. There was a good deal of intrigue and I was so very curious as to how the author would conclude the mysteries.

This was an enjoyable read and one that kept me intrigued throughout. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series to see how the author proceeds with not only Lily and Felix but also to see if she incorporates a couple of other characters that I think would make good additions to future investigations.

A good start to a series for mystery readers and a good atmospheric read and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz @ohneklippo @annecater #RandomThingsTours @OrendaBooks #Crime #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series
of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a
startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs
and a very illicit love story…


Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city
of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no
suspect.


Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in
the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty.
The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan –
is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.


Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation,
which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes
beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s
background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious
Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random
attacks, and there are more on the cards…

I have read the first book in the Chas Riley series and they do work well as standalone, but obviously better if read in order to get a proper understanding of Chas.

In Mexico Street the synopsis does a great job of setting the reader up for what is to come. The author has quite a unique style and so does her main protagonist Chas Riley.

Chas is a no holds barred type of character, she is a tough cookie who tends to say what she wants, do what she wants and is in some respects a bit of a closed book when it comes to revealing things about herself.

The case of a body found in a burned out car takes Chas and her team into an area where there is a community that is country-less, refugees who cannot remain in their own country and are not allowed to settle. They are not trusting of the law, of outsiders and of strangers. They have there own ways of doing things and this makes it very difficult to gain the answers Chas needs.

The author weaves a tale that flits back and forth in time giving a backstory to the characters. These are gradually brought up to date and gives the reader the chance to get to know not only the character but also the what matters to them. She also changes perspectives as the story progresses, you get a view from Chas, the investigation as well as from a character. These are well worked to give a good depth to the story.

The story is a mix of the investigation and also from the the dead characters life to the point of death and because of this there are certain things that are not completely finalised. It is that the investigation has been solved but not all the questions are answered, but they are alluded to. Leaves the reader with something to think about.

This is an investigative story that has a different style to it giving it a unique feel. It is detailed and has more than one story-line that are gradually drawn together until they reach a point where they meet. Mexico Street is a crime and investigation read that I would recommend.

I would also like to add that the translation is brilliant.

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied
Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and
trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in
Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award
as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night,
which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She
lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

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Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @OneMoreChapter_ #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

It is my absolute pleasure to once again be part of the Blog Tour for Noelle Holten for her latest book Dead Wrong. This is the second book in the series and it does read well as a stand-alone. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Tour and for arranging an e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…
 
They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…
 
But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.
 
Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

DC Maggie Jamieson is back in the 2nd book by this author and it was great to be able to catch up again. The synopsis gives such an intriguing premise for the story.

Bill Raven is behind bars for murder, the bodies were never found but he had confessed to their murders. Then the bodies turn up, only problem is the fact they have been murdered while he is locked up!!! The ball starts rolling for his release and time is not the side of the police.

The author has created such a good baddie with Bill Raven, he loves to play mind games and Maggie is in the firing line for him as he gets under her skin and taunts her at every turn. Maggie and the team have to go back over notes, files and every bit of information they have to try and discover what was missed and also to see if they have got the wrong man.

Maggie is tenacious and will not let go of her belief that Bill is indeed guilty, especially when people around her are doubting. The time essence for the story adds to the tension of the team as they try to explore every possibility.

The story is gritty and fast-paced, there are seeds of doubt and the tension is high. Assisting the police are various other agencies, this is an aspect that the author does so well and incorporates it into the story adding a bit of “something different” to this police procedural style crime story.

The story is well laid out and even though I did have the odd idea there were some good twists that caught me unawares. There is also a very creepy thread that runs alongside the main focus and this has been left so tantalising and I am looking to see where this one will go.

This is a fabulous 2nd book in the series and if you are a fan of crime thriller reads then this is going to be a book that is right up your street. It is fast paced, gritty, at times creepy and cleverly written. I would definitely recommend it and I would also advise putting the 3rd book on your wish list.

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at Crime BookJunkie She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 

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Endless Silent Scream by Tony Forder @TonyJForder #BOTBSPublicity #Crime #Bookreview

I am a big fan of Tony Forder and his Bliss books and I always get such a buzz when I read them as Forder uses Peterborough and the surrounding area as a backdrop for his stories. I lived in Peterborough about 25 ish years ago and so I recognise place names. I often find myself saying “Oh I know that place” or “Oh I had forgotten about that place”, I wonder how many other readers have little memory trips like this when they are reading a book!

I wish to say a huge Thank You to Sarah for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Anyway, enough of my babbling! Let me show you what Endless Silent Scream is all about…

From the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime series comes another gripping police procedural thriller that will have readers hooked from the stunning first page to the very last.

He saved her once. Can he do it again?

When DI Bliss prevents fifteen-year-old Molly from jumping from a hotel roof, he has no idea their paths will cross again. A county lines mule, Molly is questioned by the drugs squad, but Bliss becomes convinced she is in danger and attempts to have her relocated. A local drug dealer and a London-based enforcer have other ideas.

Meanwhile, the remains of a freelance journalist are discovered alongside an archaeological find, which brings an old flame back into Bliss’s life. It’s only a matter of time before reports emerge linking the murdered journalist with the police, putting pressure on the Major Crimes team to find the killer.

Bliss is torn between the two investigations. Desperate to move Molly to safety before she can be reached by those who want her silenced, he is blinded to other dangers.

The stunning DI Bliss series of fast-paced police thrillers will appeal to fans of authors like Michael ConnellyJoy EllisPeter JamesRobert Bryndza and Angela Marsons. Tony J Forder is also the bestselling author of Degrees of DarknessScream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

What a wonderful tangled net Forder has woven for Bliss to wade through. A story that brings back past cases and dumps them well and truly in the present adding to ever-increasing dilemmas and problems.

Bliss takes a call about a call about an incident, he finds Molly, a young girl on the roof contemplating jumping. Now if you are like me and have read all of the Bliss books to date then you know that there is more to Bliss than meets the eye. His way of approaching Molly is way off the page when it comes to doing things by the book, in fact, his approach isn’t on the same shelf as said book, or even in the same library come to that matter! But his approach is just what is needed.

While Molly’s case is being dealt with there is another case that is unearthed when a body is discovered. This body leads Bliss and his team down a route that has roots in the past. A time Bliss would rather forget about, but it appears that 2005 has other ideas.

For me, this book is another brilliant read in a series that I adore. Bliss is a fabulous character who seems to thrive on stress, heavy workloads, problematic cases and conundrums. The cases of Molly and also the newly discovered body provide more than just a headache, one of them provides new ways of dealing with procedures and protocols.

After being left reeling from the events in the last book, I felt that this also had a more sensitive side towards Bliss as well as his team. The events are briefly mentioned as are relevant other details from past books so if you have missed anything you will be brought up to date. I for one am glad that the particular was mentioned as it proves what a close team Bliss is part of and how far they have come over the series so far.

I do like how the author manages to inject little mischievous snippets of humour into this story, they are tough stories but the humour is appropriate and it’s nice to see the banter between various characters. It adds to their personalities. Another thing that I found was how attached I became to one of the characters and I was delighted to see a mention at the end of the book about her making an appearance in the future.

This is a police procedural that is the 6th book in the series, there are ongoing story-lines and mentions of things from the past so it is always better to read in order, but I suppose you could read each one as a stand-alone, although why would you!!!!!

If you are a fan of police procedural then you really should read Forder’s DI Bliss series, they are brilliant books that have a lot of depth to them., The cases are intense and well thought through. They are the sort of stories that if I was to try and explain the events I would make them sound confusing, but they are actually very easy to keep up to speed with and this is down t0 the writing style of the author. Endless Silent Scream is yet another book by this author that I would definitely recommend.

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of GuiltIf Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, were joined by The Death of Justice, on 9 September 2019. Book number six, Endless Silent Scream, will be published on 9 March 2020.


Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone serial-killer novel. Scream Blue Murder, an action-adventure thrillerwas published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. The sequel, Cold Winter Sun, was published in November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently editing a new novel, and has also started on Bliss #7, Slow Slicing.

LinksWebsiteFacebookTwitterAmazon Author PageGoodreads PageFantastic Fiction

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Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #YAfiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin, this is the second book in The Adventures of Letty Parker series and I have to say I adored it.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Letty Parker and Associates Detective Agency is finally in business. Before they can take on their first case, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous suspension bridge is blown up. Letty decides to investigate but getting hired is not as easy as she thought, especially when the Dark Ones have their own plans for her.


Then there is Ma Pountney and her witches, plus The Bear and his gang of villains each determined to stand in Letty’s way. Nothing goes right and one by one Letty’s friends desert her. Even in a city, crowded with folk arriving for the Balloon Festival, Letty finds herself alone.

This is the second book in this series, 12 year old Letty Parker has recently started her own business of finding missing persons and lost things. Letty Parker & Associates has its first job and it comes in by way of one of the associates Mango, the other are Hepzibah, Jeb and Gabriel although he seems to be absent at the moment.

The setting for this story is Bristol and is just as Brunel is building a bridge. Having a historic fact like this is great for helping to set the scene and also keeps the reader well and truly in the time. It is also a great time to use for other things in the story such as Ma Poutney and her witches as there would have still been a lot of superstition and belief in old magical rites and rituals.

As I mentioned, Letty and her team have a new case but this soon gets overtaken buy other events as once again Letty is right in the thick of things. Friendships are put to the test in this story as loyalties are strained.

I really enjoyed this book and it has such a great feel to it while I was reading. The setting and time are great and there is also the inclusion of a fantasy thread with witches, bears, magic, nephilim, gargoyles and other dark creatures. I also found that one character in particular brings a steam punk style with some of his advanced technologies and adds a great additional element.

This is aimed at younger readers at around 8-12 years but I can say I adored it and it didn’t take long before I was engrossed. If you are a fan of YA books that have mystery, magic and mayhem then you really should look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

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Stalins Final Sting by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin #Historical #Thriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Stalin’s Final Sting by Andrew Turpin. I am a fan of this authors Joe Johnson series, a series that is action packed and is very addictive reading.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The darkest secrets of a Russian oligarch—a legacy from Stalin. A hidden batch of the CIA’s Stinger missiles. And the insatiable Afghan thirst for revenge.
Ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson is sucked into an inquiry which delves into the deadly world of Soviet and US undercover operations in Afghanistan during the 1980s—and mysterious connections to current US and Russian politics.
Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves pursuing a Russian oligarch with strong links to Putin and a past he would rather keep hidden—and also an Afghan mujahideen bent on the most bloodthirsty revenge.
The investigation is thrown awry by Johnson’s crooked former CIA boss, now on the run, and by a miscalculation of the dangers lurking in the Hindu Kush mountains, ridden with heavily armed Taliban insurgents.
The story reaches a raw climax in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Moscow, and Kabul, as Johnson battles to overcome the powerful forces lined up against him, including former KGB agents.

**This thriller comes with a link inside the book allowing readers a COMPLIMENTARY download of a prequel novel in the Joe Johnson series — The Afghan**

This is the fourth book in the Joe Johnson Thriller series, and I have read and loved each one. There is also a mini novel that I would recommend reading before you read this book though, its called The Afghan.

Stalin’s Final Sting sees the main protagonist ex-CIA Joe Johnson take a step back into his past. His current job is investigating war crimes as well as undertaking other investigative work with long time friend and ex-MI6 Jayne Robinson. Together these two have a great network of resources and they are going to need them.

The setting is in Afghanistan, this is where Joe has a history from the late 1980’s during the Russian-Afghan Conflict. His current brief is to do background checks on some of the major players for bids on an extremely lucrative deal. Not a war crimes job, but one that sparks an interest that has links to his past.

There is one thing I recognise with this author and it is the detail and research that goes on behind the book. It is very evident as you read and then at the end of his books you get an amazing few pages of research notes that make ideal pointers for further reading.

The next thing that I find about the books is the fast pacing and it is pure action right from the outset. The author is very good at keeping everything clear and on point.

Now as for the story, for me it felt stronger and more in depth as it addresses some story lines that have been present from a previous book. If you are not up to date with the series then there is enough info to get you up to speed but in all seriousness… just read the series. The story delves into the Russian-Afghan conflict of the 1980’s. It was a brutal period where many innocents were caught up in the conflict. Many were tortured and killed. While the author does go into some details he keeps things to more of a minimum which as a reader I sometimes prefer.

I really enjoy the thrill of this series, it is fast, action packed and things get deeper and deeper as the intrigue and the mystery builds. It is one I sit and read and don’t try to work things out. I never know how the author is going to use his characters and what twists there are up his sleeves.

If you are a fan of historical, thrillers, mysteries and action reads then you really do need to check this series out. It is a brilliantly fast-paced and intensive ride. I would definitely recommend the series as well as this book.

Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.

His first book, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, followed in February 2018. In January 2019 the fourth, Stalin’s Final Sting, was published along with a prequel to the series, entitled The Afghan.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

All of Andrew’s books draw strongly on these themes. They feature Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.

Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph @VincentRalph1 @PenguinUkBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #AreYouWatchingMagpieMan #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

A page-turning new YA thriller for the social media age, perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and One Of Us Is Lying.

Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.
She was the first of his victims but not the last.


Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the
killer once and for all.
The whole world is watching her every move.


And so is the Magpie Man.

This is a very topical read as people spend more and more time on social media. Sharing various aspects of their lives is the norm. But can you use it for your own benefit?

Jess has a chance to use a reality internet show to get more exposure as she tries to gain interest in the death of her mother. The killer was never caught and is known as The Magpie Man. She uses this show as a platform to garner interest in the hope that the killer can finally be caught.

When I first started this book I was a little shocked at the amount of chapters, over a hundred of them. When I started reading I found the chapters to be quick to the point and they flowed into each other really well. They also suited the story, for me it reminded me how quickly social media feeds are quickly updated.

The story starts well and then as viewers on social media start to gain interest there are different sides to the responses. Not all the responses are gone into, instead just key moments are picked out. It would have been very easy to be bogged down and waylaid but instead the flow is kept as the story pans out.

We all know that social media has its good as well as bad sides. But then the threat is elevated as things start to get close, and with this the tension of the story starts to increase.

The story was well laid out and had me gripped as I followed Jess on the hunt for the killer of her mother. This is a story that is aimed at YA readers and it also works very well for adult readers as well.

I enjoyed the tension as I got further and further in the story. Discovering the impact on not only Jess but also her Dad. There are some really poignant moments in the story and it had me eagerly turning the pages.

While this book has a YA target audience, specifically 12-17 years old, I also thoroughly enjoyed it. A mix of thriller, mystery and crime it had me hooked and I would definitely recommend it.

Vincent Ralph has been writing in one form or another since his teens and
always dreamed of being a novelist. He owes his love of books to his mother, who encouraged his imagination from an early age and made sure there were new stories to read.


Vincent has lived in London, Cornwall and Chester but he now lives in his home county of Kent with his wife, son and two cats.

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A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for my spot on the Blog Tour and my e-copy of this terrrific book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series


The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

The really like the simplicity of this cover and as I again look at it after reading the book it is also so appropriate. The synopsis does a great job of setting the basics up for this story. This is the first in a new series by Doug Johnstone and I have to say I cannot wait to see what these feisty Sklef women get up to in further books.

This is a story that is about coming to terms with the death of a loved one who left one or two skeletons lurking behind him. Jim’s death leaves not only a big hole in the lives of his family, it also leaves a hole in the two businesses. One is a funeral directors the other is a private Investigation business.

Taking over two businesses throws up a few surprises, in fact surprise is something that each of the three Skelf women, in this story, have got to deal with. Some hit closer to home than others. In some respects this book is like reading interconnected stories, that have an individual feel at times but also are linked.

The individual stories gradually make themselves known and after a slower start I suddenly found myself finding my feet. There were a few characters to get my head around, but gradually I did and I was able to see the story rather than trying to remember who was who.

Dealing with grief at the same time as discovering secrets and trying to keep business running is a tall order. This is something the Skelf ‘s seem to take in their stride. These are strong women, who do have moments of doubt but continue on.

This is a really good read that has more than a few surprises tucked in the pages, very cleverly worked and quite a lot of facts scattered throughout that added some wonderful reading extras.

If you are a reader who likes crime and mystery reads then this will be right up your street, I am really looking forward to what happens next and what the author can weave into his next book. A Dark Matter gets a definitely recommended from me.

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also playermanager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

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No Mercy by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #BookReview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Robert Crouch’s latest book No Mercy. I am a big fan of Robert’s Kent Fisher series and he is an author who is on my “will automatically read” list. So when I saw an email asking me if I wanted to read book #5 in the series it was an automatic “Yes please” without reading any of the blurb.

So without further ado, let me show you what No Mercy is all about…

COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU?

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him? 

I am a big fan of this series and I adore the character of Kent Fisher an Environmental Health Officer who runs and animal sanctuary and solves the odd murder.

This is the latest in the Kent Fisher series and while you can read it as a stand-alone, why would you even want to, just read the series from the beginning.

So this book sees Kent right in the thick of things as usual, he is quite used to being in this position as he does seem to attack trouble. This time however he has things coming at him from all sides. It starts with his ex-girlfriend rocking up on his doorstep, then an alleged suicide starts the ball rolling. As the story pans out things gather momentum and a bigger picture is gradually seen.

This book could just as easily be called the Trials of Kent Fisher, except it wouldn’t fit with the “No” titles of the previous books. There are problems at work and on the home front and I felt really sorry for Kent having to deal with so much. But as one lead leads to another things gradually start coming to light until quite a dramatic final few pages when things are pieced together fully.

The author has once again done a cracking job with Kent Fisher, there are many different things going on in the story and not once did I feel confused. The pacing is spot on for me and suited the story so well. I do admit to being invested in this character and I am chuckling as I write this, because there were times when my blood boiled as I read parts of the story where Kent was being given a rough time by some of the powers that be! This is credit to the author for making this reader care about what happens to this fictional character.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Kent and the other characters, there are some old favourites as well as a few new ones that are pertinent to this story. The whole book was a pleasure to read and I sat and read it over one lazy evening.

If you like a good mystery series that has a wonderful classic ‘whodunit’ style as leads are followed and deductions are made, and if you haven’t yet come across Robert Crouch’s Kent Fisher series then do go and look it up, it is a fabulous series that I have loved from the very start. No Mercy is a cracking read and I would Definitely Recommend it.

Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often find walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, taking photographs and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.

Follow Robert on – Website Twitter Facebook

Check out the series on Amazon UK

Black Summer (Washington Poe Series #2) by M.W. Craven#Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Black Summer by M.W. Craven. This is #2 in the Washington Poe series. I adored the first book The Puppet Show, and had the second on pre-order for so long, so it will come as no surprise that I also have the 3rd book The Curator on pre-order and it is going to be an agonising wait until it is released on June 4th!

So with out further ado, let me show you what Black Summer is all about…

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

When I started to read the first few sentences of Black Summer I thought to myself how nice they were… a few sentences later I thought Wow, that was a brutal intro! Within the matter of one page the author took me from sweet and charming to brutal yes in one single page. This is an author who knows exactly how to capture this reader from the very first page, and he held me in his literary grip right to the very last page. This was a one-sitting read!

I adored the characters of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw when I was introduced to them in The Puppet Show and picking up Black Summer was like meeting up with friends. As much as I like Poe and his tenacity, I have to say that the social awkward Tilly is a readers dream. The author uses this character to inject perfect little comments that are occasionally not mentioned at the best moments, they inject a quick sense of humour.

The case that Poe finds himself in is one of an old crime. It calls into question the investigation and also Poe’s professionalism. Poe is a character who is hard-headed, uses his gut instincts and is confident. The possibility that he has messed up does cause a brief wobble in his armour and it is good to see him reach out and ask for help. Enter Tilly, the techno-genius, maths genius and profiler. What she lacks in people skills she more than makes up for in knowledge.

The case of a murdered girl turning up alive is a great basis for a story. But what comes after is where this author really does work some very devious and complex literary magic. He has created a story that is mesmerising and completely addictive. All the way through the story I discovered random facts that are connected with the investigation. These are woven into the story in such a way that they are part of the story.

The author uses the scenery of Cumbria to wonderful effect, his descriptions of the area are vivid and show an obvious knowledge, once again little facts are included adding another dimension to the story. For me, the characters of Poe & Tilly show a dynamic that has been developed since the last book, it feels like a natural progression. The story-line though is just Wow!

If you like crime thrillers, then if you have not already got this book on your shelf, then you really should. It is a fabulous 2nd in the series read that is just brilliant and I Absolutely Recommend it.

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