I am delighted to share my review today for Camp Death by Jim Ody. This is the first book in a new series from Question Mark Horror.
The place had a gruesome past that nobody wanted to talk about…
Camp Deathe is now a great place to spend the summer. Ritchie soon finds a group of outsiders like himself. Teenagers who ignore the organised activities, and bunk off in the old abandoned cabins deep in the woods. The cabins that have a history.
The campfire monster stories were meant to just scare them. Nobody expected them to come true. Then one of the teenagers disappears in the middle of the night.
Something is watching them. It hides in the woods and hunts at night.
Ritchie will have to uncover the secrets of the camp, and understand his own problems in order to survive.
Camp Death is Book 1 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.
It has been many years since I last read any horror books, in fact thinking about it it was when I was a teen and was fascinated by James Herbert, Stephen King and Dean Koontz!
As I have recently read a couple of this authors books I decided to give this new series a go. It is mentioned that this series is similar to the Point Horror books. I have seen these but have not read them, so I don’t know how they do compare.
The story itself definitely had that teen vibe to it, as I followed the story of Ritchie as he discovers that his family is going on a retreat. This is a camp that is called Camp Deathe, and as you can see from the cover the final “e” has been scrubbed out! So even before I got into the story there is a sinister look to the book.
The story was one that I really enjoyed, it does have a horror feel to it as I gradually got to hear the rumours of events from the past. The author has created a nicely paced story that is really intriguing and one that definitely kept me reading. This is definitely aimed at the teen market rather than the hardcore horror readers, but if like me, you haven’t picked up a horror book in a while it does make a great genre switch option.
This does have that sinister, series atmospheric feel to it, movements and shapes blurred and fleeting. It all adds to a great read. It is one I really enjoyed and has left me already looking forward to the next book in the series, which also happens to be my next read.
This is a book that was a quick read, and one I would happily recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
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…
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 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
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
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This is a fabulous introduction to Hudson Bell in this new series. Hudson is an ex-Detective, he was a well respected and esteemed man. However and the incident has left him traumatised, he now works as a consultant. This suits him better and he can still help those in need.
Hudson is one of those characters that is trying to overcome events from the past. Often this is one of the things with a police-style story, but I have to say that the background the author has woven for Hudson is definitely traumatic. Even though he is not directly involved with the day to day police work he does get cases handed over. They are cold cases and they involve missing children.
This is a story that flits across timelines and between characters, I did find this kept throwing me as I don’t always read the chapter headings. My fault entirely, it did make me have to backtrack a couple of times, so be warned – read the headings!
This isn’t a simple or straightforward case, this case, in particular, has been nagging at Hudson. It is one that is not straightforward and it definitely has twists. This becomes even more twisted as the other characters bring their sections into the story.
I did like the character of Hudson, he definitely grew on me as discovered more about him. There is another character, Jez, he is brilliant, has no filter, says what he thinks and is at times hilarious. Jez adds a sounding board element, as well as being a quick release from the tension of the story. I did like the interaction between these two, Hudson definitely needs Jez in his life.
This is quite a fast-paced story that will keep you reading, when you think you have things sussed, well you won’t have! Twist upon twist, they just kept coming. Nothing is quite as it seems and this makes it a very intriguing read. I did think it wrapped up a little too quick.
This is one for those that like crime thrillers that have a police element to them, it does have a bit of a Private Detective feel and I liked this. Looking forward to seeing where this series goes, It is one I would happily recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres. Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.
I am delighted to share my review today for Starlight Cottage by K.T. Dady. This was a wonderful story and I adored my first trip to Pepper Bay in thsi new series.
My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arrangign my e-copy.
Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, drama, friendship, and love.
Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Phillipa Ashley, and Holly Martin.
The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories that intertwine with recurring characters.
Starlight Cottage – Anna Cooper and Jake Reynolds both live at the luxury London building, River Heights. The only difference is that Jake lives in the penthouse, and Anna lives in a tent on the roof. When Jake finds out, he offers Anna a chance of a new life in his grandmother’s childhood home in Pepper Bay, and she decides to take the opportunity to see if she really can make a fresh start somewhere else. The beauty of Pepper Bay, with its quaint shops, chocolate box cottages, and all of Jake’s closest friends, immediately fills Anna’s heart with nothing but love, and it isn’t just Starlight Cottage that she finds herself falling in love with.
This is the first book in the Pepper Bay series and it is an absolutely gorgeous book to read. I was only planning on reading a couple of chapters before going to sleep and found myself reading until just before 1 am!
This is the story of two people who, when they first meet don’t really make the best impression. Anna Cooper first meets Jake Reynolds in a lift. He is immaculately dressed, while she is stood dripping wet next to her rather smelly and equally as wet dog, Max.
Fast forward a little and the two gradually spark a friendship, both have got issues that stem from the past. Now, this I really liked as the author has brought into this story mental health issues. Both of the characters have different problems and the author have worked them really well into the story. I do think the way she has dealt with them gives a very good understanding of the reactions of both the characters.
This story is a gorgeous read I was taken to the most idyllic sounding Pepper Bay. A wonderful community where the locals know everyone and are pretty much up to speed as things happen. This makes for a close-knit and wonderfully caring vibe as I was reading.
Things are not straightforward in this story, and nothing is to be taken for granted. What initially started as a story that I might say could be a too coincidental it was also one just held me captivated and didn’t let me go. A chance for second chances, for fresh starts and to learn to be with others and part of something.
This is a stunning read and one that I absolutely adored. Ideal for fans of romance and contemporary fiction. It’s one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
Author, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.
I am delighted to share my review today for Crossfire by R.D. Nixon. This is a wonderful crime thriller read that kept me entertained for a couple of days. This is the first book in The Clifford-Mackenzie series.
My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my paperback of this fab book from the publisher, Hobeck Books.
To what depths would you sink to protect your own?
A prank robbery has fatal consequences.
Five Years Later
Highlands town Abergarry is shaken by the seemingly gratuitous murder of a local man. The case is unsolved.
Ten-year-old Jamie, while on holiday in Abergarry with his mum Charis, overhears a conversation. To him, it is all part of a game. But this is no game and the consequences are far more serious than Jamie ever imagined.
Old wounds are about to be reopened
Struggling PI team Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie find themselves involved by a chance meeting. How deep into those wounds will they have to delve to unravel the mystery?
This was such an interesting book full of much intrigue. Charis and her son Jamie are on holiday in Scotland, Jamie overhears a conversation and his curiosity gets the better of him. An old robbery, followed years later by a murder, now this random conversation overheard by a young boy! What is the connection and why are the Private Investigators Clifford and Mackenzie interested?
I will say that this story took me a while to get going with. There are a few characters to get to know and then there are the differing timelines. It was several chapters before I felt I got to grips with it. By then I was already more than intrigued and I wanted to know more, what the links were, what was hidden, why the crimes were committed and also what all the players were doing.
The author weaves quite a complex story, but as I mentioned, once I started to get an idea who was who then I was able to settle into the story much more and found a gripping mystery, crime and thriller. I found the pace picked up and so did the feeling of suspense.
The characters are a really interesting bunch, some you get a good feeling about, others definitely give off bad vibes and then there are those that you are not so sure about. This range of characters have their roles, there is a surprise or two in store and there is a feeling of something much bigger afoot as the story progresses.
Because the story flits across the timelines it adds a real air of mystery and towards the later stage of the book, there is a really tense atmosphere that you have been gradually been drawn towards. Part of the synopsis mentions what a person would do to protect their family, this is something that is really put to the test for a couple of the characters.
This is a story for those who like a more grittier mystery, it is a procedural in some respects but not police based as such. The Investigating team of Clifford and Mackenzie I really liked, and I am glad to see there is going to be more from them in future books.
A complex story to start with but then it soon became addictive and I needed to know how things would resolve. It is a crime, thriller, mystery and it is one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
Writing as R. D. Nixon. Terri Nixon was born in Plymouth, Devon, but during her childhood her family moved to the moorland village of North Hill in Cornwall. There, at the age of nine, Terri discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those. Terri’s first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, in 2013, and since then she has published a further ten novels, with a twelfth due out December 2020. Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She has returned to Plymouth, and works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Business at Plymouth University… where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.
I am delighted to share my review today for The Promise of Summer by Bella Osborne. This is the first book in a planned four part series and after reading this first book I am looking forward to reading the rest.
My thanks to Avon books who granted my request to review this book via NetGalley.
This is the first part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.
Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…
After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?
When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?
I have read a few books by this author and I have always enjoyed them, her latest book is another fabulous addition. It is the first book in a four-book series.
Ruby hasn’t had much luck as far as relationships go, she is a believer in romance, finding the one and wants to be whisked off her feet, get married, have children and live happily as they do in romance novels.
A train journey makes Ruby felt that romance is truly alive and real, for some people that is. When a fellow passenger tells of his proposal to his girlfriend and then loses the ring she tries her best to think of ways to reunite the ring with its owner. Another passenger also has the same idea.
Curtis is the other helper. He is so different to Ruby and the contrasts between the characters are great. Ruby is impulsive, gets swept up in the moment while Curtis is staid, organised and plans, literally, he will plan everything.
This is such a wonderful story that doe shave quite a few different threads going on in it. Ruby and Curtis are the main characters and they are joined with a wonderful supporting cast of friends. The story starts as trying to return a ring but then gradually deepens. Friendships grow and it is the friendship that is the key for me to this story. Yes, there is a bit of a romantic thread, but friendship rules here.
This is a story that has coincidences, and through these connections are made. And I have to say there are a couple of heartbreaking moments that did cause me to well up a little. I read this book in one sitting so I was well and truly invested in the characters and what happened to them.
I did feel that this story stood out more and this is down to the differences between the characters. I thought the author really drew Curtis out and made him so interesting and the friendship that grows was important to the development.
I adored this one and enjoyed the feel-good vibes it left me with. A contemporary fiction that is heart-warming and it is one I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Threadneedle by Cari Thomas. I adored this book so much and I would like to thank Anne at Random Things Tours and Harper Voyager UK for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this gorgeous book.
Anna’s aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences. Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.
Until she meets Effie and Attis.
They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.
But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along. Is her magic a gift…or a curse?
Told through spells created with knots and threads, this is a story that is both innovative and based in traditional witchcraft.
Wow-what an amazing book this was. I had such high hopes for this book as I was really in the mood for a witchy fantasy type story and this is what I got and so much more.
Anna has been warned about the dangers of magic and its use. Rather than risking the danger, it would be better if Anna had her magic bound, in other words, has it blocked so she cannot use it. Anna sort of goes along with this until she discovers that she is not alone in this magical world. That others have powers and that they do use them. They are not all of the same opinions as Anna’s guardian and Aunt. I have to say, thank goodness they don’t share her opinion.
Mysterious deaths are reported in the paper, with a range of far-fetched sounding rumours. I mean there are no switches, it is a myth, right? Well, as far as the author, Anna and her friends are concerned there are witches, they are not myths, they are just good at hiding themselves.
I adored everything about this book apart from one thing… it ended and I have to wait for more! This was such an easy book to get caught up in, the story of Anna and her Aunt is at times brutal. The author really does have a great way of expressing the term “tough love”, there is more to this than first meets the eye though. Safety, fear and danger have a large part to play.
I do like how the author brings a group of misfits together and how she uses them to good effect to deal with being a teen and the problems that come with it. In some respect, this is a story about a group of teens who are dealing with life, school and the whole rebel thing but this group has a little more up their sleeves than your average teen.
I also like how the way the author gave various traits and characteristics to the group but then challenges their characters. I am not revealing how this occurs, while it isn’t exactly a major part of the story it does show the progress that the group makes as a whole.
This is a coming of age story, it is about learning lessons in life and that actions have consequences. Yes, it is a young adult read that I do think that age group of readers would love, but also the older readers. I did at times feel a hint of A Discovery of Witches, as Anna learns more about the magic and (I love that series of books btw).
This is a wonderful fantasy book that mixes magic with a world of today. It is simply a brilliant book and as I read it over a couple of days I was hooked, addicted and didn’t want it to end. It really didn’t feel like a book over 500 pages long. It is one I would definitely recommend and I am eager to see more in this exciting new series.
About the Author…
Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales’ Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine where she ran the book club and quickly realized she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books. She wrote her debut novel Threadneedle while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.
A Note from the Author…
I remember the old family stories about my Great Aunt Mary. A fiercely independent, enigmatic woman who was said to be a witch. Perhaps it was these early stories seeping into my subconscious, perhaps it was devouring The Worst Witch, or growing up in rural Wales surrounded by myth and fairy tales, or maybe it was just me, but from a young age I developed a fascination for all things witches and magic. But let’s not forget that the witch’s hut always sits outside of the village for a reason. In my research, I became just as obsessed with magic’s opposite forces – repression, fear, suspicion and prejudice. After all, if my Great Aunt Mary had been alive a few centuries earlier she may well have been burnt at the stake. Witch hunts became an area of fascination for me and the more I read the more outraged I became – how powerful, outspoken women and men, or people of the pagan faith, or simply outsiders, have time and time again been suppressed, silenced and extinguished from society. How the power structure of the day meant that it was near impossible for them to have a voice and to defend themselves. Why was it such people terrified those in power? Why were we not taught more about this dark period of history? Why did the themes feel like they still resonated so strongly today? I explore these tensions in Threadneedle- the freedoms of magic set against a fear of witches and feminine power; schoolgirls forced to take on the injustices of the world one spell at a time. The sheer joy of writing the book came in bringing these tensions into the modern world and particularly into the London setting we think we know. Ultimately, this is where the heart of the story lies: in feminine power and sisterhood, bringing together an unlikely set of outsiders, who together must navigate their way through the light and dark of being a young woman in today’s world. A world that is more complex than ever and yet still plagued by many of the same issues that my Great Aunt Mary would have faced, and all the witches who came before her.
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I am delighted to share my review today for Last Seen by Joy Kluver. I read this one at the end of March this year and it is a debut and so start the Detective Bernadette Noel series.
My thanks to Bookouture for my e-copy that I read via NetGalley.
I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…
When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.
Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.
But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?
And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.
Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.
Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?
A completely addictive crime thriller with mind-blowing twists that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.
I have to say that I am delighted to see that this is the first book in a planned series because I thought this book was brilliant.
The author has woven a story that had me hooked from the first few pages, if I hadn’t had to go to work it would have easily been a one-sitting read. When a child goes missing from a park you would expect locals to go out of their way to help. Why then does it take longer for them to gradually rouse themselves?
This along with some other clues is the start of a mystery thriller that introduces Detective Bernadette (Bernie) Noel and her team racing to make the links to find the girl. Time is of the essence in a missing person case and trying to drag information and help is a real waste of time but is also an integral part of this storyline.
I do like a story that has a sense of distrust and that hints at past events. This story has those and not just for the local community. The author weaves various threads of her tale and I really enjoyed it as they were gradually drawn together.
This debut, this is a fabulous read and one that had me eagerly turning the pages as I not only wanted to know more about the crime but also about the investigating team. They are a definite mix of characters and each has specialities. Although as I have alluded to, there is something about some of them that hints at things being amiss.
I adored this story and it is a series I am looking forward to and discovering more about some key characters. A story that takes a dark turn, has several surprises and kept me on my toes. One for crime, thriller and mystery readers and one I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to share my review today for The Crazy Season by Jim Ody. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and after reading his latest book, it will not be the last time! It was a brilliant read.
Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.
“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.
With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.
The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.
This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I loved the tense and suspense ridden atmosphere he has created in this first book in the Joel Baxter series. I do own several of this author’s books and it is only now that I have got around to reading one. Yes, I am kicking myself for this lapse!
A journalist, Joel is used to strange and unusual events, it’s what he is known for. So the email he receives really catches his attention. With the help of his best friends sister Melody, they go off in search of the truth behind the curse of The Crazy Season not realising what exactly they are walking into.
Right from the start, this author caught my attention and what a start it was. It sort of sets the feel of the story that follows. It is one with more to it than first meets the eye. As the chapters progressed I discovered more not only about Joel and his wife Cherry but also got more of a glimpse into what exactly Joel does. He is a journalist as such but not the manic story hungry one looking for the latest headlines. He is more about trying to help find the truth and in turn, it helps others. This also helps him. Melody, well Melody is Melody, she is blunt and outrageous in what she says, but underneath her bluster, there is a caring and thoughtful women. I liked her a lot and she made me laugh several times!
The story of the curse is one that was intriguing and the author really knows how to spin a tale. More questions than answers and false leads with the feeling of Joel and Melody going around in circles, hearing similar stories but not quite getting anywhere as far as the truth goes. It’s a mysterious story with plenty of intrigues, to say the least.
The answers, or really that should be the breadcrumbs are not revealed until a lot further into the story. Up until this point, the author gives plenty for the reader to discover and think about. Introducing new characters and adding subtle hints along the way. Once things start to connect you begin to realise how well this story has been thought about. Not only that but there is something else lurking in the background.
This was such a wonderful story to read, mysterious, full of suspense and quite atmospheric. At times it had a noirish tinge to it and I really enjoyed the slower pace of the journey. It is one I would definitely recommend and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one in the series.
About the Author…
Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.
Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.
I am delighted to share my review today for Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall. This is a fabulous crime thriller book and I was delighted to get a spot on the blog tour. My thanks to Emma at #damppebblesblogtours for my e-copy of this book.
FACT: In 1942, in growing desperation at the progress of the war and fearing invasion by the Nazis, the UK government approved biological weapons tests on British soil. Their aim: to perfect an anthrax weapon destined for Germany. They succeeded.
FACT: Though the attack was never launched, the testing ground, Gruinard Island, was left lethally contaminated. It became known as Anthrax Island.
Now government scientists have returned to the island. They become stranded by an equipment failure and so John Tyler is flown in to fix the problem. He quickly discovers there’s more than research going on. When one of the scientists is found impossibly murdered inside a sealed room, Tyler realises he’s trapped with a killer…
A gripping thriller that will leave you guessing until the final page. Perfect for fans of Terry Hayes, James Swallow and Alistair MacLean.
This was a tense crime thriller read that also had a spy thriller feel to it. The author used the Scottish island of Gruinard as the basis for his story and then expanded on it. The island was used for the testing of Anthrax in 1942 and using this fact the author then weaved a suspense ridden tale about what happened if the island still had active spores.
John Tyler, well what to say about him. Well, a man with a troubled past, a mercenary who takes on various “off the book jobs” and he has just been sent to Anthrax Island to look at the death of a technician on the base.
Given the location of the island and also that it is a no go area, this gives the story that brilliant locked in thriller feel. The isolation and also the barren and windswept island really does come through well in the writing. There is a limited number of characters and some have more of a presence than others.
The characters are used to great effect as the author gradually ramps up the mystery and intrigue of what begins a single death but then escalates to more bodies. As the story progresses then so does the suspense as I was left wondering two things, who was going to be next and could the killer be caught in time.
This, as I mentioned, is the first book in the series and the author has already got a poor battered John Tyler ready for his next mission. The main character has his flaws, and the author has left little snippets about him in the story. He is a character I will enjoy getting to know a little more as the series progresses and I am looking forward to the next book.
I really liked how the author wove fact with fiction. Using Anthrax and the testing of it on the island was such a great starting point to a story that had a reasonably fast pace to it, the intrigue, suspense and tension married sin well with the traits of the main character. The isolation and limited characters kept the main focus of the story very much in the reader’s mind.
I really enjoyed this book, it had a spy thriller feel as well as being a crime thriller. One I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
D. L. Marshall was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Influenced by the dark industrial architecture, steep wooded valleys, and bleak Pennine moors, he writes thrillers tinged with horror, exploring the impact of geography and isolation. In 2016 he pitched at Bloody Scotland. In 2018 he won a Northern Writers’ Award for his thriller novel Anthrax Island.