Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch #fantasy #crime #murder #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. This is the first book in the Rivers of London series and I am so glad there are lots more to read since this one was first published in 2011.

9317452

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

MY REVIEW

I have had this book on my kindle for far too long. (3rd August 2012 to be exact!) When I first saw this book I knew it was one I wanted to read but over time it has slipped down the list and now I have discovered it!

This is a police procedural of sorts, it does have police officers, and detectives and there is a chain of command and all that gumpf. But in with this, there are also ghosts, ghouls, auras, vampires and other things that lurk in the shadows.

Peter Grant is a probationary police officer, he has been given his first assignment. It isn’t to the detective department as his fellow officer is going to go, but to work alongside DCI Thomas Nightingale. He is a one-man department within the MET and he has decided to take on an apprentice. Yes, an apprentice!

Nightingale is the officer that is called when bizarre and other world events happen. River of London is a wonderful introduction to the Gods Goddesses and other creatures of the Thames and tributaries. Peter will have to tiptoe the shores and the politics of the river rulers as well as keep on the right side of other detectives who are reluctant to accept that Nightingale does in fact have his uses.

This was a brilliant story to sit down with and it soon became one that I knew I would not put down until I had finished it. A one-sitting read that has many twists, and unexpected occur5ance, with danger lurking around and within the walls.

At times this is quite funny and I love the writing style of the author. A mix of fantasy and mystery that have been warped or wrapped around a crime and police procedural genre. I can see now how this book has garnered so many great reviews and why it has become a popular series. I will definitely be reading the next book very soon and I would definitely recommend this to readers who like crime with a fantasy twist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Aaronovitch’s career started with a bang writing for Doctor Who, subsided in the middle and then, as is traditional, a third act resurgence with the bestselling Rivers of London series.

Born and raised in London he says that he’ll leave his home when they prise his city out of his cold dead fingers.

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

The Carnelian Tree by Anne Pettigrew @pettigrew_anne @RandomTTours @ringwoodpublishing #murder #cosycrime #mystery #whodunnit #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Carnelian Tree by Anne Pettigrew. This 2was a wonderful murder mystery story that had a great whodunnit vibe to it.

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 Ringwood Publishing.

A dead body, a disappearance, and an epic lost in time. Unrelated incidents on the surface. Judith Fraser’s Oxford sabbatical quickly takes a sharp turn when she gets tangled in the mysterious murder of a colleague. With threads leading nowhere, conflicting impressions about people around her, and concern for increasing risk to her loved ones, whom can she trust? Her eccentric housemates? The CIA? Or, herself? Too many questions and insufficient answers.

A uniquely amusing and page-turning mystery novel set in 2003 on the eve of the Iraqi War, The Carnelian Tree follows the journey of Judith Fraser as she unravels mysteries of locked doors, missing computers, cat’s collars, and Reuter’s reports, with the help of DCI Keith Steadman, her potential love interest. Judith probes into people, power, politics, and sex, only to discover that some things remain unchanged. With a shady glimpse of the Oxford underbelly, this cross-genre novel will appeal to the full range of crime and mystery readers including Cosy Crime fans.

MY REVIEW

This is a murder mystery that is one that would have a certain Belgian Detective scratching his head I am sure. The story starts off as a professor is murdered, then a computer goes missing, along with a diary and the whereabouts of a manuscript and ancient relics are brought into the mix.

The main protagonist is Judith, she is already a teacher but is returning to Oxford to continue her studies. Judith lodges in one of the houses that is shared by various other people, one of which is the murdered professor. It is she who discovered his body and then finds that she is more interested in discovering what happened as there are a series of suspicious happenings, nothing she can particularly discover definitely evidence for but enough for her to voice her concerns to the Detective in charge, Keith Steadman.

In between drinks, studies, coursework, chats and getting together Judith along with some of the other house members and her friends, they start to piece together events themselves. This is a wonderful who-dun-it mystery and one that kept me on my toes as the author led me from one piece of information to another but kept the finishing line beyond my reach until she was ready.

At times this story felt almost like a comedy as some of the things did make me chuckle, it is a wonderful cosy crime and there is a good amount of tension but in a more friendly way. As I mostly read crime thrillers with more of a bloody or brutal aspect to them, it was really great to get rid of the macabre for something a bit lighter but still with a wonderful amount of suspense and tension.

I really enjoyed this one and if you like a more mysterious rather than bloody murder then this is definitely one for you. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Anne Pettigrew was a family doctor for 31 years and also has a degree in Medical Anthropology from Oxford. She wrote extensively in the national medical and lay press until retirement when she turned to penning novels about women doctors, discrimination, and crime. She was a Bloody Scotland Crime Fiction Festival 2019 Spotlight Author – ‘one to watch.’ Member of several writers’ groups and multiple short story competition winner, she lives in Ayrshire and enjoys good books, good wine, and good company.

Past novels: Apart from containing crime, Not The Life Imagined and Not The Deaths Imagined follow Dr Beth Slater’s career and challenges from the 1960s to the ‘80s. This latest stand-alone novel, The Carnelian Tree, charts the tribulations of Scots teacher Judith Fraser on sabbatical in Oxford at the time of the Iraq War.

Social Media – Twitter WebsiteAmazon UK

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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

The App by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @ZooloosBT#psychologicalthriller #crime #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The App by Stuart James. This is a brilliant psychological thriller and one that really made me think about the internet and the way we use apps on our phones.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo Books Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

The App…

Once you’re in, they’ll never let you leave.

Whatever happens, don’t download The App.

* It will come in the form of a link. Maybe in your DM’s on a social media account, the junk folder of your emails or a WhatsApp message from a friend.

  • You’ll be enticed by the chance of winning one hundred thousand pounds on offer every Friday, wired straight into the winner’s bank account.
  • It’s not a joke.
  • This part is genuine.
  • Someone can and will win the money.
  • But at what cost?

Marty Benson gets the link sent to him by a friend. So what is the harm in looking?
He clicks it, downloads the app and enters a few basic details.
A message prompts him to wait while he’s loaded onto the system.
An hour later, another message.

• Do not delete the app.
• Do not tell anyone outside of your family about the app.
• Send the link to one person who is close to you.

  • Do not throw your phone away.
  • Always narrate while streaming.
    • If you break any of the rules, we’ll kill a member of your family. Then we’ll kill you.

Marty is sent a picture of his wife, who is shopping with her mother in Oxford Street.
As Marty struggles to breathe, he clicks the links and watches the most recent streams, realising what happens within the
app.

Every Friday morning, a person is randomly picked from social media.

They now have a bounty on their head—a death warrant. But they don’t know it.

Their profile appears on the app’s main page; all their details are displayed.

Every app member must play the game at least once a month or face the consequences.

Kill the person randomly selected from social media.

Win one hundred thousand pounds.

As Marty watches the terror unfold and everyone streaming the hunt within the app, he realises he has to do something.

But how do you stop a murder, when everyone could be the killer?

MY REVIEW

So most of us own a mobile, and most of us download apps. So what if you were sent a download to an app from a trusted friend that could potentially bag you a nice sum of money? Sounds good, and yes we all know that you “don’t get ‘owt for nowt” but all that is required is your name. Great, simple, but then after that, you get a message to say you are not allowed to delete the app, talk about the app or go to the police about the app otherwise a family member will be killed. As proof that they are not joking a photo of one of your family members is sent to you, it is recent, and when you look through the links you realise that this is not a joke. You will be expected to kill someone chosen randomly once a month or a member of your family dies.

I love the psychological taunt of this, the synopsis is brilliant at setting the sense of suspense, tension and dread as the realisation sets in for what is going to happen in this book. A simple app that will make you turn to murder. It sounds unbelievable but when the owner of the app seems to know everything about you and your family then things become serious. We are all aware of people being coaxed into doing things via social media, from the harmless little challenges to the awful and heartbreaking suicides. So, when a story like this comes up I always think to myself, this would never happen in real life. But would it? This is where a story like this works so well and the author has done an amazing job of creating an addictive and dangerous story that is much more than a simple game of cat and mouse.

This is a fabulous story and one that got under my skin, it does have a weird effect as you read it, it makes you think about what you use your phone for, how intrusive social media can be and how easy it is for hackers to get into accounts and manipulate data for their own ends.

A tense and action-filled thriller that starts off at a nice pace but then suddenly screams into a super fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat race against time to save the people that the main characters of the story care about the most. This really had me hooked to the point where I jumped feet and scared the poor dogs to bits when my own phone rang!!!

If you like a story with thrills, action, suspense, mystery and a few bodies, then this is going to be one for you. I adored it and would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns. My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.
I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
I’m 49, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

Follow him on –Twitter Website Instagram Facebook TikTok

Buy Links – HERE

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Everybody Pays by H. Max Hiller @HMaxHiller1 #crime #policeprocedural #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Everybody Pays by H. Max Hiller. I adore this author’s Cadillac Holland series and this latest one is the 6th and is my latest favourite. This is a series that I do think is better to read in order as you do get the background on the various regular characters.

Detective Cadillac Holland finds himself performing a dangerous dance, staying a step behind a mobster’s missing diaries and a step ahead of the criminal factions who want them.

Marion ‘Sunset’ Puglisi’s diaries go missing on the eve of the mobster’s release from prison and place Detective Holland in the middle of a brewing gang war between the remnants of New Orleans’ Italian mobsters and outside criminal factions, which includes the nearby Dixie Mafia and an ambitious Russian gangster.
Everyone is prepared to pay whatever it costs to possess the diaries, and even Detective Holland finds the price higher than he expects.

MY REVIEW

This is the 6th book in the Detective Cadillac Holland series and I have read and loved each one. This series just goes from strength to strength and this time around the author has really upped the stakes for Cadillac, Tulip, Katie and Tony.

This is a series that I would definitely recommend reading in order as it sets out the relationships between the four I have mentioned above.

When Sunset is released on parole there is something fishy about it. The rumour is that Sunset has diaries that go back several decades. These diaries could end the careers of politicians, police, and lawyers and also end their lives as well as the lives of some local mob guys as well. This book is set deeply in the world of mobsters, gangsters, criminals and pretty much the worst of the worst. Not happy just having one mobster, the author brings in several along with their lawyers and various agencies such as local police, and the FBI. Now with this mix you know there is going to be at least one or two that are going to let the chance of gaining more power, respect and money got to their heads. It seems to me that pretty much everyone has something that they need to keep secret and so the race is on to find the diaries and discover how they can be used.

Oh my goodness the author really has upped the stakes on this story. There are so many different threads with this book, I did lose myself a couple of times, but found myself back on track as I kept reading. The twists in the story just keep coming and I think the author has done an amazing job of keeping them separate until they are needed to join up[, and when they do… well it comes with a Wow!

Having Cadillac and Tony with their pasts, and then bringing them back into play again was a good move. It adds a little more detail and jogs the memory as to who Tony was and what he is capable of. Luckily having two supportive women with Tulip and Katie, the men do have the expert advice to work their way through any legal problems, they also try to keep the men on the right track. Not always successfully.

This is such a tense story and one that really kept me hooked. It does go into the pasts of some characters and others are brought to the front. As I read this I knew I was never going to see how it was going to end. As there are a few players in this book, they need their own endings. Once again the author brought them successfully and convincingly to where they needed to be.

I do think this series gets better. I do love the inclusion of food, this is one of the author’s passions and it is great to see one of his interests getting a mention.

This is a complex story and case for Cadillac, and it really stretches him on a professional and personal level. It also involves his family as well as his friends and for some, it may actually be a step too far for them. The title is very apt for this book as Everybody does pay in one form or another.

Cracking story and if you like crime thrillers then this is a series you really do need on your radar. Set in New Orleans and full of references to food, districts and streets that tantalise the tastebuds as well as building a vivid image of the area. The author’s knowledge of the area really does shine through, he has his characters running back alleys and shortcuts in their quest for the truth. This is a brilliant series and this latest book is amazing. It is one I would absolutely recommend. Expect to see this on my Top Reads of the Year list!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image and info are taken from Authors Amazon Page.

H. Max Hiller’s restaurant hospitality career began with a cooking job on Bourbon Street at the age of seventeen. His resume now includes many of New Orleans’ iconic dining and music destinations. Max uses a lifetime of characters and anecdotes to add depth to his Detective Cooter Holland series. He now divides his time writing between his home overlooking the Mississippi River and working as a chef aboard a boat travelling America’s inland waterways.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Amazon Author Page

Indies United Publishing House Author Page

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

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @RandomTTours @OneMoreChapter_ #crime #thriller #mystery #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten. This is her first stand-alone book and I adored it. I have read all of the books in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and they are all excellent reads.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Thing Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour. For arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, One More Chapter via NetGalley.

ONE HOUSE
EIGHT KILLERS
NO WITNESSES

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high-risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

MY REVIEW

As the short but snappy synopsis tells, Jeanette is the manager of a Probation Hostel when one of their residents is murdered. Given the reason for the residents being in the hostel, it becomes a mystery as to who could have murdered Danny Wells. Some would say he deserved what was coming, others that he deserved a second chance.

I really enjoyed the way this story was laid out. Done in quick chapters alternating between Jeanette, the killer and also a reporter called Sloane. The chopping and changing worked really well and the author, in my opinion, moves effortlessly between the characters and the pacing of the story is maintained.

There are a few characters in this story, not too many as to get confusing and they soon become memorable. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the characters and this is down to the way the author has portrayed them. Not fully knowing their backgrounds until later in the story meant I was wrong-footed a few times as my opinion of them changed. It also meant I never really had a clue as to who the culprit was and why he committed the murder.

This is a procedural story in some ways as the police are obviously involved, but for me, it was also a fabulous mystery as I was taken into the different aspects of the hostel, the staff, the residents and also the views of a neighbour. The hostel had been received by the local community with anger. It had appeared in the news and this is why Sloane is taking such an interest in it.

Sloane does her own digging and makes her own inquiries. This doesn’t sit altogether well with the Detective in charge of the case, it also means she isn’t entirely welcome at the hostel. But, having a reporter as one of the investigators of the story means you get a different side to the case.

This is a fabulous story and one that had me hooked within the first couple of chapters. As there are different agencies involved there are various anacronyms, they are something that at times annoy me as I have to try and remember what the initials refer to. The author does explain the meanings and where necessary she mentions refers to basic procedures.

I have to admit something here, I really, really adored this one and I preferred it more than the DC Jamieson series. I do think this change of direction to a standalone was a great move, and while I do still look forward to reading more about Maggie, I do hope the author continues to go off track and mix things up. A cracking read and one that I would definitely recommend, ideal for fans of crime, mystery and thriller readers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi-agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here – Twitter – Facebook

CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR…

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

The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop @davidbishop #20booksofsummer #historicalfiction #crime #murder #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop. This is the second book in the Cesare Aldo series and it is absolutely brilliant. My huge thanks must go to the wonderful Eva aka @noveldeelights who first introduced me to this series 🙂

This is book 19/20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge, and yes the final book has also been read!

The Darkest Sin is an atmospheric historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence and is the sequel to City of Vengeance.

Florence. Spring, 1537.

When Cesare Aldo investigates a report of intruders at a convent in the Renaissance city’s northern quarter, he enters a community divided by bitter rivalries and harbouring dark secrets.

His case becomes far more complicated when a naked man’s body is found deep inside the convent, stabbed more than two dozen times. Unthinkable as it seems, all the evidence suggests one of the nuns must be the killer.

Meanwhile, Constable Carlo Strocchi finds human remains pulled from the Arno that belong to an officer of the law missing since winter. The dead man had many enemies, but who would dare kill an official of the city’s most feared criminal court?

As Aldo and Strocchi close in on the truth, identifying the killers will prove more treacherous than either of them could ever have imagined . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Cesare Aldo series and you really should read the first book City of Vengeance as part of this story has links to the previous. Also, the first book gives a brilliant introduction to Aldo as a person, as an investigator and also the people in the city of Florence in this time period.

Set in Florence in 1537, Aldo is asked to see about the reports of intruders but finds the body of a man in the convent of Mary Magdalen. It is inconceivable that a nun would be responsible, but how and why this has happened is something that Aldo may not even be asked to investigate in. Aldo works for the Otto, the administration of the criminal court at the time. The murder is on Church grounds and therefore not under the same jurisdiction.

Another Otto constable is looking into a missing man when he discovers a body. Constable Strocchi is a new recruit who was introduced in the first book, while he is still wet behind the ears, he does pick things up and is learning the art of dealing with the criminal and underworld elements. He is very principled, newly married and under pressure to get results.

This second book is fantastic, and while I loved the first one, this one is even better. I think this is due to the fact that I am already aware of the main characters, their roles, their personalities and traits. The does mention the cases and details of Strocchi and Aldo, but it is so much better to already know them before starting this one.

The two investigations are run separately, so the author does flit back and forth between the two. I love this as it means I am eager to return to each of the cases to see what has progressed. The cases are different in the way they are investigated, but the basics are the same. Trying to discover the leads, getting to the truth, recognise the lies and taking the time to think things over.

It was great to see Aldo and Strocchi working sep[erately as it meant I got more insight into each of the characters and also what they are thinking about. They obviously have different priorities in their lives and this is a great way of really getting under the skin of each character.

The cases are brilliantly worked out, morals and dilemmas I do love them. Putting a character in the firing line, yes I adore that as well. The author chose some interesting routes for his characters and this meant the story had a great pace, constantly evolving and throwing up different challenges.

This is a fabulous book and it definitely cements this series as one that I will definitely be keeping up with. This is one for those who like historical murder mysteries with a complex storyline that is also easy to follow when you are in the zone. I really didn’t want to put this one down and read it in two sittings.

Excellent storyline, and interesting characters, can’t wait for the next book and it is one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. V. Bishop writes the Cesare Aldo mysteries set in Renaissance Florence. The first in the series, CITY OF VENGEANCE, won the New Zealand Booklovers Award for best novel and was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. Long listings include the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award, the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel, and the CWA’s Historical Dagger Award. The second Cesare Aldo mystery, THE DARKEST SIN, was published in March 2022.

Bishop was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship while writing CITY OF VENGEANCE. The novel won the Pitch Perfect competition at the 2018 Bloody Scotland international crime fiction festival and was a Sunday Times Crime Club Pick of the Week. Global bestselling author David Baldacci called the novel ‘a first-class historical thriller … a tour-de-force.’

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

No Escape by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #crime #mystery #murder #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for No Escape by Robert Crouch. This is the 8th book in the Kent Fisher Mysteries series and I have loved each one. The series is brilliant as it follows Kent during his time as an Environmental Health Officer who also owns an animal sanctuary and is also a sleuth in his “spare time”. The series is best read in order as you do get a full image of Kent’s character and his life.

One reckless moment, so many lives

Gemma Dean goes missing one chilly October morning, leaving behind her phone. Texts hint at secrets far darker than Kent Fisher could ever imagine.

When a body is found in his burned-out car over a hundred miles away, murder brings the past crashing into the present with the first in a chain of painful discoveries.

Struggling to make sense of a past that threatens to devastate his future, Kent faces his most personal and challenging investigation so far.

But how will he deal with the fallout from one reckless moment that cost so many lives?

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – HERE

MY REVIEW

Over the course of this series, Kent Fisher has dealt with murder and the mysteries that surround them. This latest book however brings murder and mystery to his doorstep. It leaves him questioning the past and the future especially when it is Gemma Dean that is missing.

Gemma is a character that has popped up before, Kent is smitten with her but not everyone is a fan of Gemma. Kent’s nearest and dearest offer their sympathies and are obviously worried about how Kent is dealing with the disappearance, others are not surprised. But when a body is found in his car there is obviously something more to this than a woman who has disappeared.

Turning to a personal side of this latest book, the author shares more of Kent’s past and also the enigma that is Gemma. Snippets and only a very small amount of information is known about Gemma. This leaves Kent stumbling around trying to discover more about her to see if he can find leads and also trying not to get in the way of the Investigating officers.

Having read every book in this series I liked how the author brings this more personal touch. Kent’s former job as an Environmental Health Officer gave him opportunities and access to databases. Now, he has nothing to go on as he no longer works for the EHO. Instead, he has to use his wits and a few trusted contacts to try to find any tiny details.

Seeing Kent in new circumstances was really interesting. He has become more vulnerable as he is more reliant on the information of others rather than discovering it himself. Frustration and the occasional outburst of anger are seen and again this is something that was interesting to read. I have the image of Kent as being more detached from his investigations, determined and focused, whereas now he is a little obsessive, abrupt and is taking far too many risks. This makes sense given the close nature of this mystery.

This story had a different vibe from the others, the characters are still around but the focus is well and truly on finding Gemma. The animal sanctuary is mentioned, but this does take a more understandable back seat, thank goodness he has a great group around him to keep him propped up and supported.

This was a very tense murder mystery for me, after all, it does involve one of my favourite fictional characters. The author has taken Kent on a dangerous road and there are repercussions for him and those around him. Things feel fragile as secrets and confessions are told and I am eager to see how the author deals with these as well as Kent’s next move into Private Investigator. A cracking read, one for crime, murder, and mystery readers and one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Do you love complex murder mysteries?

Do you enjoy a backstory and characters that develop as a series progresses?

Do you like a contemporary setting and humour?

Robert Crouch incorporates all three in his novels, drawing on his own experience in environmental health to create a sleuth for today’s world. Being neither a police officer nor a private investigator, he brings an original twist to the murder mystery genre.

To find out more please take a look at Robert’s website HERE

Or sign up for his newsletter HERE and receive a free copy of Fisher’s Fables.

Also on Twitter

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

May God Forgive by Alan Parks @AlanJParks #HarryMcCoy @RandomTTours @canongatebooks #crime #histfic #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for May God Forgive by Alan Parks. This is a brilliant book and series, although I do still have the first two to read!!! I do have them and I really must get to them.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book via the Publisher –

Detective Harry McCoy returns in the suspenseful, atmospheric fifth instalment in Alan Park’s internationally bestselling thriller series.

Glasgow is a city in mourning. An arson attack on a hairdresser’s has left five dead. Tempers are frayed and sentiments running high.

When three youths are charged the city goes wild. A crowd gathers outside the courthouse but as the police drive the young men to prison, the van is rammed by a truck, and the men are grabbed and bundled into a car. The next day, the body of one of them is dumped in the city centre. A note has been sent to the newspaper: one down, two to go.

Detective Harry McCoy has twenty-four hours to find the kidnapped boys before they all turn up dead, and it is going to mean taking down some of Glasgow’s most powerful people to do it.

MY REVIEW

Wow! Wow! And Wow! This is a brilliant read and if you like your crime to be dark, murky and set in the 70s then you really need to pick up this book. In fact, pick up the series so far!

Harry McCoy, well what a brilliant character he is. He is the epitome of the 70s style copper. He drinks too much and smokes too much and he is suffering because of it. When he is given a case there are those who don’t think he is up to it due to his health. If you have read the previous books you will understand more of McCoy as a character, this latest book however does delve a little further into his past. Does it have connections with his present case? Well, you know what? Read the book and you’ll find out!

This is set in Glasgow in 1974. Three young men, as the synopsis states, have just been taken from a prison van. They had been charged with arson and the death of five people. Tempers are high within the community and the city. When one of their bodies is found there isn’t much sympathy for them. Just what they deserve, is the overall opinion.

Whatever the opinion is though, McCoy has a job to do, discover where the remaining men are, discover the motives and also deal with an apparent suicide. Not bad considering McCoy has just come out of the hospital!

I really enjoy this author’s writing, he does slip in some dialect, but nothing that is not understandable btw. He also does such a brilliant job of showing the reader the darker, murkier side of Glasgow. The tenements, the alley and back streets are not the places anyone would want to be, especially a copper. But McCoy is different, he knows these streets and while he isn’t afraid to walk them he is very wary.

Using his knowledge of the area and the locals he gradually pieces things together, well he thinks he does! This is the part of the book I adored, as the author teases the reader just as much as he does McCoy. It feels like things are just in grasp, but the answers are just out of reach, tantalisingly close but slippery and elusive. As I was r4eading this book I kept thinking, “I wonder if it’s…” and ” Oh what if…”. It definitely kept me turning the pages.

The way the author moves in between procedural and, well let’s say, slightly off the book, is great. It introduces the criminal and gangs to the reader. Some very nasty characters to say the least. It is a credit to the writing skill of the author who managed to give a sense of unease, danger and doubt as McCoy carefully walked the grey line between legal and illegal activities on the streets.

This book, in case you haven’t realised by now, is brilliant. I didn’t want it to end. The story is so addictive and draws in some worthy moral dilemmas. McCoy isn’t alone in his search for the truth, he has Wattie, at times a bit of a hapless character, but one who does have McCoys back. He also keeps an eye on McCoy, and yes, he does need a bit of looking out from time to time.

If you are looking for a series or a book that allows you to wander vicariously, yet safely through the underworld of Glasgow during the 70s then you need to have a look at these books. I started this series with the March one (Bobby March Will live Forever) but I did buy the previous two… I still have them to read! So, yes you can read it as a stand-alone but I for one, wish I had started this series at the very beginning.

Gritty, with some not altogether likeable characters, dark, murky, full of tensions, public opinion and an all-in-all amazing book to read. I would highly recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALAN PARKS captures the dark beating heart of 70s Glasgow in his highly acclaimed Harry McCoy series.
Parks has spent most of his working life dealing with the production of images for Musical Artists, as
Creative Director at London Records in the mid-1990’s then at Warner Music. From cover artwork to
videos to photo sessions, he created ground-breaking, impactful campaigns for a wide range of artists
including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barclay and Cee Lo Green. He was also Managing
Director of 679 Recordings, a joint venture with Warner Music. For the past few years, he has worked as
an independent visual and marketing consultant.
Alan was born in Scotland and attended The University of Glasgow where he was awarded an M.A. in
Moral Philosophy. He still lives and works in the city as well as spending time in London.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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

City of Vengeance by D.V Bishop @davidbishop #CesareAldo #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

am delighted to share my review today for City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop. I have to give a massive shout out to the wonderful Eva @noveldeelights and David for my copy of this book. This is ideal for those who adore mystery novels set in the past, I adored this book and cannot wait to read the next one – The Darkest Sin.

“A first-class historical thriller . . . Bishop’s spirited and richly detailed story is a tour-de-force” —DAVID BALDACCI

City of Vengeance is an explosive debut historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.

Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most-feared criminal court is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany—or suffer the consequences.

During his investigations, Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first? 

MY REVIEW


This is the first book in the Cesare Aldo series. Set in Florence in 1536 there are several names I am aware of from history. Such as the Medici family, I do think many of us historical fiction readers or those with an interest in European history are quite aware of this name.

Cesare Aldo is essentially a policeman, he works for the Otton who are responsible for gathering the information together before it goes forward for charges and sentences to be sorted.

Florence, and to be fair the rest of Europe is not the safest place to be. An age of power struggles, murders, spying and conspiracy. The time is one where those who are in power have to watch their backs and also where the wranglings and politics of those lower down the scale come into play. Very much a chess game, yet a brutal, bloody and dangerous one.

Cesare Aldo finds himself in the midst of an investigation, and while he makes slow progress he is aware of other things going on that could make life very difficult for him. A murder has ramifications for many and this is great for a reader as it is a way of immersing them further into the story and also the atmosphere of the story.

When I started reading this book I did have a bit of a struggle with remembering who was who. This is something I found got easier the more I read, I think it was more me coming across names I didn’t recognise. I did think there were some similarities at the beginning but I soon got to grips with the names within a few chapters.

The story is one that isn’t just about a murder, it is much more mysterious than that and the author does a fabulous job of twisting various subplots. It is also a great way of bringing in things that are not acceptable at the time and also social etiquette. Religion and politics seem to work hand in hand but neither want to tread on toes. Aldo walks a fine line and at times this line becomes very indistinct!

This is a very addictive murder mystery, it is a slower-paced story but one that suits the era it is set in. It has been well researched and there is an author’s note at the end as regards the facts that were used. I really enjoyed meeting Aldo and look forward to reading more of him. He isn’t a character who is particularly likeable, but he is very thorough, has loyalties and does tend to keep himself to himself. But there is a sort of aura of wisdom and respectability about him that I really liked. As I said I am looking forward to getting to know more about him.

This is one for those who like historical crime, murder, and mystery novels. This one is fabulously atmospheric, twisted, devious and there are several surprising turns. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson #crime #mystery @FaberBooks #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Nine Lives by Peter Swanson. This is a really enjoyable crime mystery book that I had requested from NetGalley. My thanks to Faber & Faber for granting my request to read this title.

If you’re on the list you’re marked for death.

The envelope is unremarkable. There is no return address. It contains a single, folded, sheet of white paper.

The envelope drops through the mail slot like any other piece of post. But for the nine complete strangers who receive it – each of them recognising just one name, their own, on the enclosed list – it will be the most life-altering letter they ever receive. It could also be the last, as one by one, they start to meet their end.

But why?

MY REVIEW

When a letter arrives with nine different names on it and one of them is your own. What would you do? Well for the nine recipients of the letters, seeing their names on a random list doesn’t necessarily alarm them or bother them. Just a prank maybe or something that has been mistakenly mailed. One of the recipients works for the FBI, she is intrigued by this list and seems to think one of the names sounds familiar.

This is a slower-paced story and one where the author introduces the nine letter recipients and gives the basics about them. Nothing seems to link them and they all seem like random strangers. The author gradually ups the suspense throughout this story and it isn’t until the final 20% of the book that things suddenly become clear.

Given that the characters are unknown to each other, there is something that obviously links them. This is the letter with their names on it. One death doesn’t really mean anything, but when a second and then a third person on the list turns up dead, well there is something obviously more going on.

I did like this slower pace, it is one of those stories that feels like nothing is really linking or moving but in subtle ways, things are developing. The author lays down the foundation and then builds them, adding more details to the remaining characters until the end of the book.

This is a crime based story but it felt more like a crime mystery than a crime thriller. Discovering the reasons, the motives and the underlying cause of the list made this a quite addictive read. It is one I would be happy to recommend.

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