Fool’s Gold by Gillian Godden @GGodden #FoolsGold @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Fool’s Gold by Gillian Godden. I read the first book in this series a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it so I was delighted to join the Blog Tour for this second book.

You can read my full review of the first book HERE

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

A new life…

With their wretched life in Liverpool behind them, Julie and Ralph Gold head to London for their next big break. Julie’s had enough of slumming it, she’s ready to quit their life of crime and go legit.


The same old game…
But it seems their reputation had beat them to it, and the underworld is already bubbling with news of the their arrival. And as much as Julie tries to go straight, the more people underestimate them and treat them like fools. And there is only so much Julie can take…


One last trick.
So when they are offered one final big job, Julie knows they should say no. It’s risky and could cost them everything they have. But it could also be their last chance to make it big.
And when fools rush in, the Golds take the spoils.


Read what happens next for Julie and Ralph Gold in another gripping story by Gillian Godden.


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

I read the first book in this series, Gold Digger, earlier this year and I loved it. While it did take me a few pages to get back up to speed with the main characters, I soon found myself immersed in the shady world of Ralph Gold and Julie.

Ralph has made the commitment and asked Julie to marry him. If you have read the first book you will know the background to these two characters, neither has had the best of life but they are gradually getting there. Let us say they are not exactly legit and in some ways, it adds to the appeal of the characters given their backgrounds. The author has taken two characters, thrown enough bad stuff at them, and yet they have found each other and are planning for the future.

Ther plans involve Julie organising a wedding, setting up legit business premises and also working with Ralph and also taking part in a heist that is due to happen just before they get married. Yes, just a normal day for this couple!

This was such a welcome return to two fabulous characters and I adored getting back up to speed with them. Ralph has a more influential role with his Italian crime boss. There is a lot of respect between them, but there is something that is being held back. While Ralph trusts Don Carlos completely, Julie is still in the getting to know his stage, and like most people, she doesn’t completely trust him. Especially when he holds the reins for this latest huge job that could set the Golds up for life.

I do like the contrast between Ralph and Julie, she is bold, brassy, opinionated and I think she is brilliant. Ralph is more dark and brooding, but together they make a glamourous couple. Weaving the elements of their past stories in with their current and future lives makes for a very addictive read.

This is one that like a gangland thriller story, there is some humour between the characters and also some dodgy characters. It is not an overly dark story, but there are obvious dark moments. It is twisted and just a great read. With a bit of a teaser for the next book. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.


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The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @emblabooks #TheMidnightMan #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a book I read at the end of August. The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell is a brilliantly woven crime thriller and I was delighted to get the opportunity to read it via NetGalley from the digital publisher Embla Books.

From number one bestselling author Caroline Mitchell, comes the first chilling Slayton thriller for fans of C. J. Tudor and Stephen King.

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

PURCHASE HERE – (Publication Day tomorrow 13th Oct 2021)

MY REVIEW

I own several books by this author, and this is the first time I have read one! I know, I know…

Her latest book The Midnight Man is a fabulously addictive crime, thriller and series suspense novel that has its roots based in the past. After a family is murdered an urban legend gradually starts to permeate from the abandoned and creepy Blackhall Manor. Fast forward 25 years and a group of teens decide to follow the rules to summon the Midnight Man. A game, nothing will really happen, but five girls arrive and only four return home again!

Well, this had a very series feeling to it pretty much all the way through. The opening for the story sets the tale that is to follow. I do like the way an old mystery or crime can give credence to a rumour. This sets the atmosphere for the story and with the inclusion of someone who has knowledge of the old manor it also adds secrets.

When the teen goes missing it starts to bring the past to the forefront of peoples minds. This gives the police investigation a nice twist. There is more to Det. Sarah Noble than first meets the eye. She has recently returned to the force and she herself bears an air of mystery.

This is a story that has mystery upon mystery. The author has started with one theme that centres around the Manor, it has then been morphed, twisted and tweaked. This gives the reader a chance to encounter several characters, a few other theories and this leads the reader to start drawing conclusions. I found myself convinced I had this one sussed out, and then I changed my mind, and yep changed it again! I love it when this happens.

As this is the first time I have read anything by this author I found a deeply twisted story that was creepy yes, but not too frightening. It is a mix of crime, thriller, mystery and suspense, it does have an element of police procedural. There is far more to this story than I have hinted at here, and I did find it hard to put down. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Mitchell

USA Today and Global #1 Bestselling Thriller Author.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Sign up HERE to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. 

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The Huntsmen by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder #TheHuntsmen #DSChase #crime #thriller #newseries #bookreview

Any regular visitors to my blog will probably be aware that Tony Forder is one of my favourite authors. I am always eager to read any of his new books, but more so when it is the start of a new series. So I am delighted to join with other Book Bloggers to open the Blog tour and to share my review.

The Huntsmen is the first book in the DS Royston Chase series and what a start to a series this one is!!!

ABOUT THE BOOK…

The Huntsmen, by Tony J Forder, is the first book in a new UK crime series, based in Wiltshire.

The opener introduces the reader to DS Royston Chase and his new partner, DC Claire Laney. Chase is a family man and good at his job, but his lack of filter when speaking (caused by a brain injury sustained on the job) can cause problems. Laney is winding down towards her retirement, is bitter about having risen to the rank of DI only to see herself demoted back down again. She presents as a copper who no longer cares, but we find out otherwise. The two are supported by PCSO Alison May, who is ambitious and keen to join the force as a PC or preferably a DC.

Multiple deaths following a road collision are hard enough to deal with. That the man responsible was the ex-Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police and a Knight of the Realm is worse still for those tasked to investigate the incident. But the real question they have to answer is: who was the now deceased naked female minor alongside him at the time?

DS Royston Chase is living life as an outcast in a small Wiltshire village, and is called to the scene. Paired with the bold and strident DC Claire Laney, Chase is given the task of closing the case quickly and quietly.

But when the minor’s DNA provides a familial link to a girl who vanished from her home twenty years earlier at the age of eight, Chase and Laney refuse to accept the coincidence. The pair start looking harder at the ex-cop’s life, at which point they encounter serious opposition. Perhaps deadly serious.

Because the establishment looks after its own, and soon it’s not only their bosses getting in the way of a thorough investigation. Chase and Laney find themselves seemingly at odds with everyone, fighting to save their own reputations as well as the case. But neither will rest until they identify their young victim, no matter what the cost…

MY REVIEW…

So when one of my favourite authors decides to write a new police procedural series, I automatically want to read it. I was nervous because I wondered if I would like DS Royston Chase as much as I do the character of DI Jimmy Bliss. I have to say right from the off that I do like this character and he is very different.

When DS Chase is called to attend a road accident, it is unusual. This is not the usual and the accident is not one anyone would want to attend. As the synopsis suggests the accident is just the start of a complex case. A case that reaches far, further than Chase would ever have believed.

Chase is a DS, he has been pushed sideways, into a rural station, he runs the show with help from PCSO May. As he is first on the scene as far as detectives go, and that he has already started the ball rolling by starting interviewing, his superiors decide that he will lead. This is not something they are too happy about, as a compromise they give him a partner.

Oh my days, DC Claire Laney has Chase wondering what planet she has just arrived from. Talk about opposites, bolshy, loud, blunt, borderline obnoxious or what! This first meeting of two people who are supposed to work together is not, well, is not how first meetings should go. This is a fabulous meeting that had me absolutely stunned and highly amused. Making an entrance or an impact is definitely what happened here. It is actually also quite clever because even though it should be a bit of a volatile combination, it really becomes an ice-breaker.

As for the case they are about to start out on, well they and I for that matter never imagined for one moment what the author had in store for us. This story is brutal, it is dark and it shows human depravity and how people think they have a right to do what they want. It was like going down a rabbit hole, the further I went the darker it got, and believe me there is no wonderland at the bottom of this rabbit hole.

I know the author can go into dark places with his writing, but this one takes it to a whole other level. The story introduces various characters, on the whole, they are not the nicest bunch, some are rich, powerful or successful and therefore believe they are above the likes of Chase and Laney and their investigation. Calling in expensive solicitors, trying to dodge questions or name dropping. This does not stop the investigation, it may hinder them, but Chase and Laney are too involved to let this get away from them. It seems they have more obstacles and doors closing in from of them, but tenacity and sheer bloody-mindedness from both of them keep it going forward.

Given that the case is one that is very hard reading at times, and also one that is heartbreaking and emotional, the author has managed to find a balance with some well-timed humour. It doesn’t detract from the case but does give the reader a chance for a pause, before getting right back into it.

This is a hard story, it is brutal and it is also very well written. Addictive and well-paced. If you are looking for a new crime series to start that is definitely on the darker side then this is one you really need to consider. A brilliant start to a new police procedural series and one that I am very excited about. It is definitely recommended. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Tony J. Forder

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered. The series continued with The Autumn Tree in May 2021.

Tony’s other early series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun. These books were republished in April 2021, and will be joined in 2022 by The Dark Division.

In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins.

The Huntsmen, released on 4 October 2022, is the first book in a new crime series, set in Wiltshire. It features DS Royston Chase, DC Claire Laney, and PCSO Alison May.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on the first book of an intended new crime series, whose working title is The Huntsmen.

Links
All of Tony’s links can be found on Linktree

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The Lion and The Unicorn by Tom Ward @TomWardWrites @unbounders @RandomTTours #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lion and The Unicorn by Tom Ward. This is a dystopian speculative fiction story that was very atmospheric.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book from Unbound.

A literary dystopia – speculative fiction rooted in the tradition of P. D.
James’s Children of Men, Orwell’s 1984, Blade Runner and The Plague Dogs, for
fans of Rachel Heng’s Suicide Club, Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and
John Lanchester’s The Wal
l

London, 2054. After a devastating global pandemic and a bloody revolution,
Britain’s new government imposes peace by stringently dictating the nation’s
cultural intake. In the quest to create better citizens, everything from the
television we watch to the clothes we wear is strictly policed. As part of the unit
tasked with upholding these so-called ‘Bad Taste Laws’, H. and his partner,
Bagby, have their work cut out.


When former reality TV star Caleb Jennings is found murdered, some suspect it
could be a simple vigilante slaying. But, as H. digs deeper into the killing,
Bagby’s association with old revolutionary figureheads is called into question.
With the help of Caleb’s estranged sister, the museum curator Kate Faron, H.
must navigate a Britain in which paranoia and suspicion of the unknown are
rife, all the while dealing with the mysterious tech behemoth Vangelis, new
revolutionary murmurings, and the legacy of Kate’s biologist parents.
Compelled by what he uncovers, H. begins to question his loyalty to the state at
a time when national stability couldn’t be more precarious.

MY REVIEW…

This is a story that is set in 2054, so not really that far in the future. A pandemic has struck and there has been a revolution. The author has built up a dystopian England where things are banned that are considered to be bad taste. A political thriller where citizens are dictated to, where certain clothes, music, film and alcohol are illegal.

This was a story I took my time over, there were various aspects of this story that did sort of remind of other novels or films. I think because of this the story came across being set in a darker, gloomy era. This does have quite a strong political aspect to it in regards to what is seen as being politically correct.

There are elements of Big Brother, global catastrophe, potential genocide, loss of habitat and wildlife. So not the most cheery of stories but my goodness it was very addictive. The story is set in this grim future with the main character of H. He and his partner work for the department that upholds the law regarding bad taste. As the synopsis mentions, Bagby does have connections to those involved in the past revolution, therefore eyes and fingers point his way when a body is discovered.

The story is one that reminded me of the old style PI stories of the 1930’s, for me H became someone in the style of Phillip Marlow or Sam Spade, it is just the atmospheric and style of the character that made me think this. It may seem quite odd that for me I got the dystopian vibe through some of the gadgets, but I still found myself thinking of the older style.

This is a mix of mystery, politics, thriller, dystopian and police procedural. Not too heavy on the future as such but enough to remind that it is indeed set in the near future. This is quite an accessible novel and one that may well dip into the sci-fi genre but please don’t be put off by it. I really enjoyed this, the pacing was great and it had quite an suspicious nature to it as I wasn’t sure who I could entirely trust. I liked H as a character and I really felt for him as he tried to put many different pieces of this everchanging puzzle together. As he found one piece the puzzle changed and he found himself on the back foot once again.

A riveting and very captivating story that I got on with so well. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Tom Ward is an author and features writer, writing for publications including
Wired, Esquire and National Geographic.


He has won the GQ Norman Mailer Award, the PPA New Consumer Magazine
Journalist of the Year Award, and has been shortlisted for The People’s Book
Prize. He is also a graduate of the Faber Academy.

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Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian @NetGalley @vintagebooks #PublicationDay #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Never Saw Me coming by Vera Kurian. I received an invite to read this book and the synopsis definitely intrigued me. My review is my own and unbiased.

Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a leggings-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.

Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.

When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.

Never Saw Me Coming is a compulsive, voice-driven thriller by an exciting new voice in fiction, that will keep you pinned to the page and rooting for a would-be killer.

Publication Day is today so you can order HERE

MY REVIEW…

I really liked the premise for Never Saw Me Coming. Set in an American University, there is a small group f students who have been hand-picked to take part in a clinical study. They are supposed to be unknown to each other. What makes these students different to the others is that they are psychopaths.

The author builds up a good background for each of the main characters, they are introduced one by one and as such this makes it easy to remember them. Chloe is the main focus, as the synopsis tells you, there was a murder, she wants answers and she also wants to carry out her own personal plan.

I like how the author delved into the various different aspects that make up the mind of a psychopath. As someone who enjoys crime reads this was one that definitely caught my eye. The story does feel that it has some research and this does come across in the story as character traits are explored and as their stories emerge.

The author has blended crime and mystery as well as a psychological thriller style. It is not heavy reading and there are some good twists. I like how the synopsis suggests that the hunter becomes the prey and this added an extra edge. As Chloe has her own agenda she not only has to be careful of her own actions, but she’s also balancing study, and trying to keep ahead of her own stalker/ hunter.

This story has a nice edge to it. Part of me wants to say this is a YA thriller due to the college-age students but is also a good one for adults as well. There are times when I felt like this was more mystery than thriller, but there is definitely a darkness to it.

I did enjoy this and I actually enjoyed the student life aspect of the story as well as the obvious mystery side. It is one that would suit readers of various genres, but maybe not so much the hardcore psychological thriller ones. I would happily recommend this one.

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Watch For Me by Lartin Bodenham @martinbodenham @RandomthingsTours #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a wonderfully twisted psychological thriller. Watch For Me by Martin Bodenham is the first book I have read by this author.

My huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for my copy of the book and for a spot on the Blog Tour.

Tom Harper, a Vancouver Island realtor, has the client from hell, Ali Page, a beautiful and intelligent young lawyer returning from the mainland to take up a job with an island law firm. Trouble is there’s always something wrong with the properties Tom shows her, always a reason not to commit. Finally, after they find a condo she likes, he receives a text thanking him for his help. Ali signs off: I’m sad we won’t get to spend more time together. Often cold and withdrawn throughout their weeks of searching, Ali’s words seem strangely out of character.

The texts keep coming, increasingly incoherent and disturbing. What does Ali mean by: we have a special connection, and why on earth would she say: I’ll be here for you when you leave your wife? Happily married, Tom cannot understand why a woman not much older than his teenage daughter is suddenly obsessed with him. When he rejects Ali’s unsolicited advances, Tom soon discovers the sinister depths to which a delusional mind will sink to obtain what it wants. Isolated and seemingly abandoned by the police and legal system, this is the story of one man’s struggle to rescue his marriage, his family, and his sanity in the face of overwhelming psychological and physical torment.

My Review…

Wow-what a journey this book was. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and what an introduction it was. this is such a dark and twisted psychological thriller that it had me spitting feathers at times!

I do tend to get emotionally invested in books and I have been known to cry, but my goodness this one had me so angry. Oh! I should clarify these emotions are not for the story but for one of the characters. I’m still not explaining this well, am I? The author has created a character that is so evilly twisted and vindictive it makes one’s blood boil, well it did mine at any rate.

I understand that I am waffling at this point, it is because I am still trying to get my head around how I can write a review for this book that does it justice, but without giving too much away. The synopsis does a great job of introducing the reader to the main plot of this story. How the author deals with this plot and then twists it, and twists it some more and then twists it again makes for fabulously addictive reading.

I suppose some part of this story is a twist in itself, often stalkers are male, female stalkers tend to be those who have been “scorned”. This is partly down to how society perceives stalkers and the victims. It is where the author lays down such a good base for the story that follows. It also highlights the injustice for male victims and how they’re often not believed. the author has created such a believable plot and added so much to it, I found it hard to put down. If I didn’t have to go to work I would have easily read this in one sitting.

This is a very tense read and I do admit, that even though I had no reason to doubt Tom, there was a flicker. After all, even those closest to him had doubts! This is why I think this story worked so well. It was easy to follow and the pacing was just right.

This is a brilliantly woven story, it is strong on the psychological thriller side and also has a good crime and mystery edge to it. I adored this book right the way from start to finish, and that finish!!! It is a book I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers: Crime And Justice, The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer and Shakedown. Watch For Me is his latest novel, published 16 August 2021 by Down & Out Books, a US-based publisher of crime fiction, founded in 2011.


After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.

Visit Martin at his – Website Twitter LinkedInPublisher Page

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The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone #TheSkelfs @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone. This is the 3rd book in the series and features the Skelf Family.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher Orenda Books.

The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet…

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelf’s teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

My Review…

From reading the two previous books in this series I knew I was going to be in for a roller coaster ride. I did not, however, expect it to be such an amazing ride!

This is the third book in The Sklef’s series, set in Edinburgh. The Skelf’s are a family of different generations of women and boys are an amazing group. Headed by Dorothy, the family-run not only funeral directors but also have a Private Investigation business.

Dorothy is an amazing matriarch and her daughter, Jenny and granddaughter Hannah are doing a great job. With the family dog finding a foot, an abusive ex on the run and a very strange message the women have their work cut out. As if having all these dynamic women under one roof is not enough, Dorothy also takes in waifs, those who have troubles that just need a safe place and a roof over their heads. Oh, did I mention the big cat that is on the loose around the city?

This is a breakneck speed of a read, one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. I do like the way the author alternates his chapters between the three Sklef women, it kept this reader up to speed with all that was going on, and boy was there a lot. Credit to the author for keeping all these sub-plots in check and not allowing me to get confused. As the women are very unique it is very easy to keep up with who is who and their individual roles don’t their own cases as well as when they all come together.

This story does have a tense atmosphere to it, there is the threat of the big cat lurking, the abusive ex who is making life more than hell for some and then of course there is the body part. The author has so skillfully woven all the dramatic and dynamic plots together brilliantly and it makes for a very intense and thrilling read.

This is a fabulous series and I do think it is just getting better and better. There is more tension and it does have a gloriously dark edge to it. This is a series that I would say you do need to read from the beginning as there are mentions of previous storylines.

This is definitely a tense, fast-paced, dark and gritty glimpse into the world of the Sklef women, they are a fabulous family and this latest book is an amazing read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre. Doug is currently writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde. He’s had short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children. He loves drinking malt whisky and playing football, not necessarily at the same time.

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Gold Digger by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers @bookandtonic @BoldwoodBooks #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Gold Digger by Gillian Godden. This was a brilliant read that I absolutely adored. This was originally published as GOLD.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Money talks…

And blonde bombshell Julie isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. With her mother locked up for murder, all Julie cares about is protecting her younger sister, Frankie. But penniless and alone on the streets of Liverpool, Julie realises that there’s only one sure fire way to make cash fast – the oldest trade.

The men mean nothing to Julie, until she meets Ralph Goldstein, an ex-con who’ll do whatever it takes to make his way to top. And the only man Julie can trust.

Separately, Ralph and Julie’s lives are filled with risk and danger. But when they meet, their blend of personality and ambition could be the best thing that ever happened … or the worst.

Will their pasts be their downfall, or will they make it big…together?

A brilliantly dark and gritty story about one woman’s fight for survival. Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Caz Finlay and Heather Atkinson.

This book has previously published as GOLD

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

this is the first time I have read a book by this author and I am looking forward to reading more by this author. This book was p[previously published as Gold.

The synopsis gives a good idea about who Julie is, and how she is very protective of her sister. The run-up to why Julie takes to the trade she does is told early on in the book. In fact, that opening was an indication as to how gritty this author writes.

Ralph, now he was a bit of a dark horse. With a criminal record, I soon realised that he is not squeaky clean, he and his friend Paddy have ambitions. What I did see was several sides to Ralph, hardworking, loyal and with an edge to him.

The book alternates between Julie and Ralph. They are completely unknown to each other, For a good part of the book, I got to know each of the characters. An important journey as it gave a good idea of their backgrounds and why they have chosen the routes in life they have. It is past the halfway point when things start to slide.

As the synopsis indicates, the two do meet. The combination of the two makes for a great team. They do have a ruthlessness to them it is a story of two people who have both suffered.

This is one for those who like a grittier, urban setting story. One that involves criminals and various criminal acts, it is after all a gangland crime thriller. It is also one I read in one day, once I started I found it really difficult to put down. Thoroughly enjoyed this, the two main characters are excellent and the story totally addictive. I would definitely recommend this one.

About the Author…

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories. She has signed a six-book contract with Boldwood for a new series – the first title of which Gold Digger will be published in July 2021. In addition Boldwood will be reissuing her five backlist titles over the next few months.

Social Media Links

Twitter @GGodden

Instagram @goddengillian

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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The Pact by Sharon Bolton #NetGalley @TrapezeBooks #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Pact by Sharon Bolton. This is the 5th book that I have chosen for my list in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

I requested this via NetGalley from Trapeze Books. My review is my own. I read The Craftsman by Sharon 3 years ago and it became my Top Read of 2018. You can read my full review of that book HERE

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

Richard & Judy bestseller Sharon Bolton is back, with her twistiest thriller yet. 

My Review…


What an addictive and darkly twisted book this is. When the synopsis mentions Megan being released from prison and the line “Let the games begin” follows, well that is intriguing enough. After reading the book I now appreciate how important that line is!

Megan is part of a group of students that are top of their class. They are a small but compact group and they spend a lot of time in each others company. After a game of dare goes wrong it is Megan that takes the blame. The full reasons as to why are told later in the story. But as the synopsis says, the rest of the group now owe her a favour.

This was a brilliant story and one that I found myself getting hooked on pretty quickly. Starting the story when the friends were younger. At uni, they excel in their classes and do the usual evening partying.

When Megan is released after serving her sentence the author began to expand on her story. She manages to portray anxiety from the rest of the group as they are left to wonder what Megan will ask of each of them. On the whole, they are successful, they work, have nice houses and they all have a lot to lose.

I adored the way the author very subtle builds up tension, it starts early on and then as the stake get higher she then builds it up more openly. Wondering what will happen and if the group will agree to terms or demands is great. But, there is something else going on, it is dark and it caught me out.

I loved the tense psychological aspect of this story, it kept me on my toes and the story is so addictive. If you have read any of this author’s books before then you know you get amazing reads from her. This one is no exception it is a mix of crime, mystery and thriller with a brilliant psychological edge to it. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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