I have another review from the end of last year to share with you. Today it is for The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney. I received my e-copy from Harper Collins via NetGalley and I have had it sitting on my TBR for long enough. This book was released in June 2018.
Let’s see what the book is about…
The Quaker is watching you…
In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Liam McIlvanney, a serial killer stalks the streets of Glasgow and DI McCormack follows a trail of secrets to uncover the truth…
Winner of the 2018 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year
A city torn apart. It is 1969 and Glasgow has been brought to its knees by a serial killer spreading fear throughout the city. The Quaker has taken three women from the same nightclub and brutally murdered them in the backstreets.
A detective with everything to prove. Now, six months later, the police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. They call in DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair.
A killer who hunts in the shadows. Soon another woman is found murdered in a run-down tenement flat. And McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…
Set in 1969 Glasgow with a serial killer on the loose. DI Duncan McCormack is drafted in to basically pull the plug on the investigation that has gone on for far too long with no sight of solving the case.
From the outset I found myself very quickly caught up in this story. It is grim, gritty and dark. I didn’t think it was overly fast in its pacing and this played very well into the slower paced and painstaking investigation of the time. Instead, it steadily built up a tense air around itself. McCormack definitely feel the tension from the rest of the squad, they had built up so many hours desperately trying to resolve it. I got a real sense of their feelings as this “boy wonder” was brought in. I felt sorry for both sides as I felt McCormacks unease as he knew what his remit was, but also for the tireless work that the squad had put in. It left me with a bit of a conundrum as to who I was going to root for. But as the story unfolded and other things started to come to light, my self imposed conundrum worked itself out.
There were several things I liked about this book. The gritty descriptive view of Glasgow at the time with its condemned blocks and tenements really showed a city struggling. There are a few 1960’s references that had also been included and scattered through the story, this added an extra dimension that worked very well for me.
As I said earlier, the pacing is slower and it really did suit the time of the plot. It is a police procedural that would have had a lot of footwork as well as paperwork, house calls and then the inevitable trawling through all the notes, reports and case files to find the leads. Very different to a modern day fast data and collation system. This slower pace really worked well for me on another level, it meant I was able to get a chance to know the characters and place names easier.
This is a really interesting read with various different elements being included. It has a bleak grittiness to it that really added to the atmospherics and helped it work for the era it was set. It is one I would definitely recommend.
Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and to Bob for my e-copy of his book.
1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….
Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.
I think the cover for this book is quite grim and sinister looking. The story inside is as equally as grim and definitely more sinister than I was expecting and also very intense. It did require a lot of concentration on my part for the beginning 25%. Characters were quickly introduced in rapidly alternating chapters. At times it was a struggle to keep up with who was who and what role they were going to play. Then suddenly I started to get a feel for them, starting to recognise them easier and started to be able to pay more attention to the story instead and then I really was able to enjoy it at a whole other level.
The story is one of a dark and drug-fuelled nature with corruption and the search for power and dominance. There was a heavy feel of Japanese culture and society throughout and the expectations of the different generations. Expectations of themselves as well as others. I found the concept of anyone not being 100% Japanese and therefore seen to be an outcast, a hard one to read about, though I do understand it as part of the culture of the time.
Society clashes between the older generation and their demand of respect and obedience against the new younger culture seeking their own lives and enjoyments to be very interesting. It was a good blend and balance of the old and the new. There is some hard reading when dealing with the camps and research centres during WWII. Some horrific experiments and treatments tried and given to prisoners was appalling, but I understood its place in the story. This period in history, that includes the Atomic Bomb, is a hard part of human history.
This is definitely a book that you can say has a plot that is definitely multi-l;ayered. As I have mentioned the prison camps and atomic bomb have a part in this story, as well as the 1995 Sarin gas attack in Tokyo. Te author has mixed and intertwined fact with dark and disturbing fiction to create a intricate, mysterious and intense reading journey.
The characters are as intense as the plot itself. A Yakuza boss who believes he is a Japanese demon, a Police Officer who is of mixed race, A German Photographer, a Belgian diplomats son are just the tip of the iceberg. It seemed that each character had a secret or something to hide and I wondered who I could trust and if any of them were actually telling the truth. Even now I am not completely sure who was truthful or in fact were they believing their own idea of their own version of the truth.
There is no mistake this is a dark noir read, the descriptions and vivid imagery are amazing and do at times make for uncomfortable reading. This is not a book I would recommend to readers who are after a quick read. If however you are after a book that requires patience and concentration, especially at the beginning, then this is the one for you. I found myself taking regular breaks as I read to be able to absorb the details.
This is a book I would recommend to readers who like crime, thriller, and mystery that is dark and definitely on the noirish side. I did check to see if “noirish” was actually a word and checked out the Collins Dictionary and this is what they had as the definition for
Noirish “2…a genre of crime literature in which the characters are tough or cynical and the settings are bleak…” and that definitely applies to this book.
About the Author:
A fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven published more than 35
books in Holland and Belgium. Some of his literary work is published in French,
English, German, Slovenian, Italian, Polish, and Russian. Three time finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best
Mystery Novel of the Year with the novels “Djinn”, “The Finger of God,” and
“Return to Hiroshima”; Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for “Baudelaire’s
Revenge,” which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category
His collection of short stories “Dangerous Obsessions,” first published
by The Anaphora Literary Press in the USA in 2015, was hailed as “best
short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review. The
collection is translated in Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese,
Spanish, and Swedish. “Retour à Hiroshima”, the French translation of
“Return to Hiroshima,” is recently finished. In 2018, The Anaphora Literary
Press published “Heart Fever”, a second collection of short stories. Heart
Fever, written in English by the author, is a finalist in the Silver Falchion
2018 Award in the category “short stories collections”. Laerhoven is the only
non-American finalist of the Awards.
Russian website for Месть Бодлера, the Russian edition of Baudelaire’s Revenge
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Today I have my review for Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol. I received this book from Bonnier Zaffre via Netgalley. It was released on 31st May 2018 and has been sitting on my TBR for far too long but I did manage to finally read it.
Lets see what the book is about…
FOR FANS OF THE MARRIAGE PACT AND CLARE MACKINTOSH COMES A TWISTING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT WILL MAKE YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW.
‘Will hook you from the very first page. It’s a dark, twisty tale that will keep you guessing. You will think you know where it’s going – but you’ll be wrong’ RACHEL ABBOTT
‘Truly sinister domestic noir’ LEE CHILD
‘Dark, uncomfortable, head-spinny and I loved it’ CAZ FREAR, author of Sweet Little Lies
When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive. It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid. And there’s no way out.
Or is there?
Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again. But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.
This is the story of Zoe, a normal Uni student working as a waitress. She meets rich, good looking Daniel when he walks into the place she works and sweeps her off her feet. She seems to have landed herself the perfect life but she did not expect it to turn into a dangerous, controlled, manipulated and heartbreaking one.
This author does a fantastic job of showing the way Daniel manages to completely controls Zoe’s life. It starts off subtly and gradually as he starts to achieve what he wants really does turn on the pressure. Zoe initially falls for his charms and is excited to be in a relationship with such a catch. He is a master manipulator and of that, there is no doubt. When she finally starts to see him for what he is, it is too late to get help. He has absolute control over her movements, eating, social life and finances.
There is such a good sense of suspense that comes from reading this book. I was suspicious of Daniel from the outset due the what the synopsis gives away, but the story shows the suspense from the angle of Zoe. It is easy to see how she was gradually cut off from her friends and her life. The treatment of her, by Daniel, was very easy to believe and was also shocking.
As the synopsis implies, she has escaped from Daniel’s clutches before and this is discussed withing the back story of the characters. The suspense of how she tries and if she succeeds this next time is one that had me rooting for Zoe.
This is a story that really did work well for me, it had the right amount of suspense and drama that had a real sense of controlling power to it. I found myself quickly siding with and willing Zoe on in her life. The manipulation was done in such a way that it blindsided Zoe and it shows how she was oblivious to the signs.
The story took some unexpected twists and turns and definitely kept me hooked. If you like crime, thriller, and suspense reads that focus on spousal manipulation then this is one you should read.
About the Author:
James Carol is the bestselling author of BROKEN DOLLS, the first in a series featuring former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter. The novel was released in the UK in January 2014 to rave reviews and reached number 1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. PRESUMED GUILTY is the first of these. Under the pseudonym J.S. Carol, he has also written a number of standalones. KISS ME KILL ME is the latest.
I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd as part of the Blog Tour with Emma at #damppebblestours My thanks to Emma for the invite and also to Bill for my e-copy of his book.
Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded. Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth. An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man. If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be.
This is set around Brighton and provides a dramatic backdrop to an action-packed read. A book with a fair sized cast of characters with individual roles that you will soon come to recognise as the story unfurls and the how’s and why’s of each character becomes more obvious.
A good amount of concentration was required by me and my so very tired brain when I started this book. The author really does lay down the groundwork for this book well, it involves the characters and describes various aspects of who they are, what they do. Any connections to each other are tenuous at best and it is not until the second half of the book that the author gradually starts pulling these connections together. This builds up a real sense of intrigue and initially caught me unawares until I realised the style of the writing.
The chapters are quick and flit between the characters, this was actually really good for me as it meant I was able to remember them, rather than focusing on one then moving on. I did find the first half slower paced, but as I had mentioned being tired, but then suddenly the author seemed to kick up a gear, or my brain felt slightly better and awake. The vagaries and groundwork of the first half started to come together and things started to add up and it really did turn into a fast action riddled read. It is at this point I realised how important the groundwork was in the first half.
I am not going into the plot as the synopsis does a great job in a very small space of a few lines. These few lines do give a sense of what to expect, drugs, evil man, missing person, search for the truth with a threat of death. The plot involves all of the above and then some. It had me hooked and turned an already interesting and intriguing good read into a great action read.
This is a book that I think readers of crime, thriller and mystery books would really enjoy. Even though it is part of a series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone, although I am intrigued by Danny Lancaster and I am looking to get the earlier books to discover more about him and what makes him tick. It is one I would happily recommend.
About the Author:
I’m a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. Love a good wilderness. I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007. I’ve written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. I’ve also written three short factual military histories. I live to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.
I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Murder In The Dark by Betsy Reavley as part of the Blog Tour with Emma at Bloodhound Books. Huge thanks to Emma for the invite and for organising my e-copy of this book 🙂
Without a motive, how do you identify the killer?
Imagine a quaint little bookshop. Outside the snow is falling. Inside the shelves are stacked with books by authors waiting to be discovered. What could be better?
When Tilly Edgely lands a position working at Ashton’s bookshop in Cambridge she thinks she’s found her perfect job. But one winter’s morning, when she arrives to open up, she discovers the body of her boss suspended from the ceiling, hanging by a rope around his neck.
DCI Barrett and DI Palmer are called to the scene and quickly find themselves searching for a twisted killer whose identity and motive are nearly impossible to trace.
But just when they think they have the murderer in their sights, another body shows up throwing the case wide open…
Who is behind the killings and why?
The police have their work cut out and key to unlocking the gruesome mystery might be found right under their nose.
But one thing is for certain, this killer will leave you hanging…
Tilly didn’t expect to find her boss hanging when she arrived to work. The police detectives soon realise that the position of the body meant this wasn’t a suicide. The murderer taunts the police with another body and a mysterious trail begins as they piece information together.
This is my first time reading a book by this author and I spent a cold wintery afternoon reading this one, and it was in one sitting, so that kind of gives you an idea of how much I liked it. I really enjoyed this style of murder/mystery, yes it has police procedural aspects, but also a lot more other things. I think what I am trying to say is that it was more a sense of seeing the bigger picture from various perspectives. Yes, there is a body, but also the person the found it, the police investigating, the family connected to the body and also any other people who might be directly involved with all the previously mentioned people. Each person was introduced at the right time and in the right order for me to be able to remember them. No needless bystanders, each person there for a reason.
The plot itself I thoroughly enjoyed as it took me on a murder/mystery tour and I enjoyed getting to know more about the characters. I will say that there was no way of me guessing the killers’ identity until the author started to give me the pieces and put them together. This was something that Agatha Christie used to do with her books and is something that I personally like. The other great thing was that the author didn’t just stop the story at the arrest stage, instead adding a further step that for me left the story with a definite feeling of being finished in a very satisfactory way.
This is a story of murder, mystery and suspense that I really did enjoy. This is one that I think would appeal to many readers and is one I would recommend.
A great introduction for me to this author and an added bonus is that there are a few books already published for me to buy and read.
About The Author
Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Frailty, Carrion, Beneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.
As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire, and Cambridgeshire.
She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.
In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.
Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”
Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.
I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for Presumed Guilty by Jane Isaac. Hugh thanks to Emma at damppebles blog tours for the invite and to Jane for my e-copy of her book.
Last year I was able to read After He’s Gone, this is the first in the DC Beth Chambers series and it is a great read, you can read my review HERE
Accident or murder?
The first victim – a prominent local councillor, killed in a hit and run ‒could be either, but the next bodies leave no doubt. A twisted killer is at large. And he’s not finished yet.
DC Beth Chamberlain, Family Liaison Officer, has to support the victims’families, but before she can solve the crimes in the present, Beth needs to uncover the secrets of the past.
Meanwhile, the killer has her in his sights…
The latest electrifying whodunnit from the bestselling author of After He’sGone. If you’re a fan of Angela Marsons, Nicci French and Rachel Abbott, you won’t want to miss Presumed Guilty.
This is the second book in the DC Beth Chamberlain series, I have read these books in order, but they also work as standalone… having said that any book in a series read in order give a much better read…the decision is yours.
Beth is plunged right back into the thick of things as this book kicks off at a good pace. Beth is a FLO (Family Liaison Officer) as well as being an investigating officer on the case. There are moments that reference back to the previous book, but don’t worry if you haven’t read it, things are explained, though you really should.
The characters have such a big range of backgrounds for this story. Some you will like and some you definitely will not. This is a story where as the body count begins to grow so do the questions. I joined the investigators in scratching of head as progress on the first case does not seem to be gaining any speed when the next case arrives. The modus operandi is different and there is no link…Is there? With the new case comes a new set of circumstances and questions, and also a little glimmer or spark of something that seems to get things moving.
The plot is a well-woven one and is a type of police procedural that kept me guessing. The author plays her cards very close to her chest as she develops the story and engaged my interest. I had no idea and no way of working out things out, instead, she gave me little breadcrumbs as I followed the trail she laid out before me. Only when the author decided to bring all the elements together did I start to discover the truth. I did like the way things did not go according to plan, it kept a good sense of suspense. It left me eagerly looking forward to seeing what the author and Beth get up to next time.
Ideal for readers who like a police procedural with a female lead. A good solid murder, crime, and thriller. One I would definitely recommend.
About the Author:
JaneIsaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, the UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the efestival of Words Best of the IndependenteBook awards 2013.’ The follow-up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-Thriller.com.
Presumed Guilty is Jane’s seventh novel and the second in her DC Beth Chamberlain(Family Liaison Officer) series. The third DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released early 2019.
I am delighted to be sharing my review for Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon as part of the Blog Tour with Sarah Book On The Brightside Publicity. My huge thanks to Sarah for the invite and to Keith for my e-copy of his book. This is the first in a new series and is one I am looking forward to reading more of.
Was it suicide … or murder? Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray is driven to discover the truth. Whatever the personal cost.
When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son was, the son Gray has not seen since he went missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?
Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’sold church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective SergeantSolomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons and his son’s abduction.
Crippled by loss Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption. But is the killer closer to home than he realised?
Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark police suspense thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and PeterJames.
Dig Two Graves is the first in the Solomon Gray series. Pick it up now to discover whether Gray finds his son in this thrilling new crime series.
D.S Solomon Gray (Sol) is a copper with a hauntingly dark past. After the disappearance of his son, who has never been found, his wifes’ death and his daughter who he no longer has no contact with, he is a man with many demons. A new case involving a young boy brings his past back to the forefront of his thoughts once again, especially as the boy would be a similar age to his own son.
This is one of those gritty police procedural reads, it is set in Margate and as the case developed I gradually got to discover Sol’s past. He really is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and this new case really adds to the weight that is bearing down him. Sol has never given up his search for his son, he his own search is his own private mission that he is traveling.
The chapters for this book are quick and this means that the pacing of the story is quite a good one to keep me turning the pages. It also means that Sol’s past and present cases are given in quick succession and details are intersected with each other.
The plot itself caught me unawares as I am not a reader who pays attention to the synopsis before I start the book. When I started I thought it would be a more straightforward police procedural, instead what I actually got was a deeper and more intense read the further I got into the story. This revelation really kept me hooked and took me on routes I didn’t expect and I basically read this in one sitting.
This is a book for lovers of dark, gritty, crime thriller readers and is the first in a new series. A book I would definitely recommend and look I forward to following the series.
Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally, he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.
Readers can connect with Keith on various social media platforms:
Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Uninvited by J.A. Baker as part of the Blog Blitz with Bloodhound Books. My huge thanks to Emma for the invite and also the author for my copy of this book.
A fragile woman. An unwelcome intruder. A house full of secrets.
Faye and her husband Hugh have had a traumatic year. Wanting to start again, the couple decides to buy a large rundown property, Cross House in a village in NorthYorkshire, hoping to leave the past behind them.
However, the tranquillity is soon ruined when Faye begins to awake, every night, to the sound of somebody creeping around the bedroom. She tries to explain it to Hugh, frightened for the safety of their children Aiden and Poppy, but Hugh dismisses her claims, thinking she is heading for another breakdown.
But when Faye discovers some diaries that contain secrets about the family that lived in the house before them, she starts to wonder if the intruder might be closer to home than she first thought.
Obsessed with finding answers, Faye is determined to learn about the Wentworth family, a fractured family with a tragic past.
And when she discovers that Hilary Wentworth fell to her death down the stairs in CrossHouse, Faye realises she is in mortal danger…
Faye and Mark, with their children Aiden and Poppy, move into an old, rundown house called Cross House. They have moved here because of past troubles, with a hope that a new house will give them the much needed new start they need. Faye is looking for a place to heal herself emotionally and mentally after being stalked and harassed and wishes to live a normal happy life with the past well and truly behind her.
With a setting of an old and unloved house that has been abandoned and neglected, this story had all the right vibes, and then there is the name of the property… Cross House… It is not long before a nervous Faye starts to hear and feel things, something she is reluctant to share with her husband given her past track record. It is understandable that she would be wary of broaching him given her previous experiences. She herself wonders if she is paranoid and second guesses herself at times, but there are things that cannot be overlooked. When things come to a head it is her husband that that tells her she needs to talk to someone about it, yep… the good old supportive husband and his delusional wife routine… Oh, but how the tables are turned and it was a real pleasure to see him experience things as well. Yes, I admit to taking great delight in this role reversal, maybe it is a bit of a mean streak in me, but I liked the way the author gave a balance and also a sort of support to Faye with this turn of events as things get a little spookier.
There are quite a few snippets and bits of information about other characters and their stories and this is one of those books that I felt that the house itself was a key character. Various revelations come to light that are woven together to provide a story that gave me a sense of chills and suspense in an atmospheric and slightly sinister spooky way.
I really enjoyed the descriptions of the property and its gardens and the author made it very easy to visualise aspects from the descriptions given. I do have to admit that as much as I would love to get my hands on the house and bring it back to its full potential, I would be too much of a scaredy-cat to even step foot in it.
Gradually things are teased out and the links and connections are made, it tells a tale of its past inhabitants. A really good hauntingly atmospheric story with a lot of suspense and mystery, One I would recommend.
About The Author:
J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.
She has a love of local history and genealogy and enjoys reading many genres of books but is an addict of psychological thrillers.
In December 2016 she was signed by BloodhoundBooks who published Undercurrent. Her second novel, Her Dark Retreat was published in October 2017 and The Other Mother was published in December 2017. Her fourth novel, Finding Eva was published in August 2018
J.A. Baker has four grown up children and one grandchild. She lives in a village near the river with her husband and madcap dog and when not working part time in a primary school, she spends her days trying to think up new and inventive ways of murdering people.
She can be reached on any of the links below and loves hearing from readers.
Today I am delighted to be taking part in a makeover cover reveal for the Hellbound Trilogy by David McCaffrey as part of the Blog Tour with Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity. I must get around to reading my copies of these books, I have bought them all and now need to find the time to read…
Let’s see what the books are all about first…
Between Heaven and Hell lies the soul of a killer.
Award-winning author, David McCaffrey, brings you a serial killer like no other.
Obadiah Stark aka The Tally Man, is executed at ADX Absolom, his death sentence watched by the world’s media, victim relatives and one investigative reporter, Joe O Connell.
Penning an account of Stark’s personal history and subsequent crimes in the hope of determining what makes the sociopathic mind tick, Joe discovers inconsistencies which cause him to investigate Stark’s execution.
While this is happening in the real world, Stark awakens to an afterlife where he has a wife and daughter bound to his childhood hometown. Following his natural predatory instinct, Obadiah proceeds to torment the town, committing multiple murders before being gunned down by the police. He awakens to find that everything has reset, with no one recalling his murderous spree.
A reality where he is forced to submit to emotions he has never experienced before… and with them, a poisonous dose of morality.
Whitechapel. Think you know the story? You don’t know Jack…
James Maybrick had secured his legacy as the most infamous serial killer of all time…his diary would one day shock the world.
Thomas Quinn wants revenge…his actions will give birth to an organisation of unspeakable power.
Together, they unwittingly set in motion a plan that will one day lead to the serial killer, Obadiah Stark.
Stark became The Tally Man.
They were The Brethren.
Maybrick is known to history by another name…
‘There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men
long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.’
One serial killer terrified the world. Imagine what an army of them could do…
A cult member is arrested at the scene of a brutal murder. She will only speak to former crime reporter, Joe O’Connell.
Joe’s obsession with Obadiah Stark a.k.a The Tally Man cost him everything.
He is about to learn that Stark’s message did not end with his death.
They believe in what The Tally Man stood for.
They believe in what The Tally Man did.
But he was one, and they are many.
Once they have you, they will never let you go…
About the Author:
David McCaffrey was born in Middlesbrough, raised in West Sussex and now lives in Redcar. He worked in the NHS for many years, his last position being Lead Nurse in Infection
Prevention and Control at James Cook University Hospital.
He started writing following the birth of his first son and in 2010 was accepted onto the writing coach programme run by Steve Alten, international bestselling author of Meg and The Mayan Prophecy. Hellbound was the result and the rest, as they say, is history (cliche, cliche).
Though psychological thrillers are his raison d’etre, David is also an activist for bullying and harassment in the NHS. His book, ‘Do No Harm: Bullying and Harassment in the NHS’
went to Number One in the Nursing and White Collar Crime categories of Amazon Kindle charts in November 2018 and was the Number One bestselling book in the U.S Amazon
Kindle charts for more than three weeks in the Issues, Trends and Roles category. David is a proud supporter and donator to the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation which tackles
bullying across the board, from schools to the workplace. He had the honour of being invited to speak at the Standup Foundation’s Inaugural Conference in November 2018.
Half of all profits from ‘Do No Harm’ go to the Ben Cohen Foundation.
David lives with his wife Kelly, has a Jakey, a Liam (a.k.a Gruffy) and a Cole (a.k.a Baby Moo Man) They also have an Obi… who’s the dog.
He decided to go back and revisit his first three titles in the Hellbound Anthology for many reasons; the main ones being to correct mistakes in there from the first time around, to expand upon the storylines where original ideas were edited out (nothing major, but small sections that he always loved) and to completely redesign the covers to make them look more like the series they were always intended to be.
Whether he has accomplished any of the above, he shall willingly leave up to you, dear readers.
I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Lingering by SJI Holliday as part of the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours and also Orenda Books. A huge thank you to Anne for the invite and to Orenda for my copy.
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.
Ali and Jack arrive at Rosalind House, a former psychiatric facility and now a commune for those wanting a fresh, slower paced, quiet and calmer lifestyle. Things at Rosalind is idyllic sounding until the arrival of the newcomers. In an atmospheric setting with an unsettling past history, this is a story with a good deal of psychological suspense.
I have seen some wonderful reviews for this book and, as you can imagine, I was eager to read this book. Things seem okay as I joined Ali and Jack, there is a sense of their apprehension at leaving their old lives behind. I felt that their hope for their new fresh start was tinged with scepticism as they meet the other residents. I did wonder why two professionals would choose such an isolated and complete change to their lifestyle. By the end of the book, I could completely understand why and my wonderings were definitely laid to rest.
From the start, this book developed into a story with a mystery. This mystery gradually grew and evolved as the suspense and that gnawing, haunting feeling grew. What I didn’t expect was the many “bloody ‘ell” and ” Oh! That’s good” that left my mouth along the way. This is a story that turned my initial perceptions of some of the characters on its head, I love this when an author keeps me on my toes like this.
The story is told from the perspective of mainly Ali and Angela. Angela is a fellow resident along with another chapter contributor Smeaton. Scattered through the book are diary entries, these I absolutely loved as they gave an insight into the House when it was still in use as a psychiatric facility. It gave a chilling glimpse into the treatments and problems from days gone past.
These quick chapters gave me a chance to really get to know the characters, their motives… yes there are motives, there are also disasters and chilling turns of event that made for wonderful and addictive reading.
A story that had such an idyllic and simplistic sounding lifestyle change that turns into something very sinister. A disturbing, haunting, psychological, suspense-filled mystery,
A brilliant read and one I would highly recommend.
About the Author:
S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December. Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.