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.

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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.

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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

Darker Days to Come by Tony Forder @TonyJForder @lilmissmorfett #crime #thriller #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Darker Days to Come by Tony Forder. Tony is one of the authors who I will automatically read without reading a synopsis. His writing is fabulous and his Bliss series is superb.

My huge thanks to Tony and also Donna Morfett of Donna’s Interviews, Reviews and Giveaways for getting in touch for me to read and review his latest book and to join the Blog Tour. To be honest it was a no brainer to say that I would be on the tour. It is always going to be a “Yes”.

Darker Days to Come, by Tony J Forder, is the ninth full-length novel in his widely acclaimed UK crime series, based in Peterborough and featuring DI Jimmy Bliss. It will be published on 14 March 2022.

In this book, Tony veers back towards the more procedural elements of crime investigation, with the team working under enormous pressure – which only increases with every new piece of information they unearth.

DI Bliss and his team absorb two new cases which don’t initially present as major crimes.

But who is the man who stepped in front of an express train? Did he willingly commit suicide or was he coerced? And what, if any, connection is there to an abandoned vehicle whose owner cannot be traced?

As Bliss and his team dig deeper they soon realise there are three people now missing – a journalist, a mother, and her young daughter. But as the investigations continue, the team struggle with too many unanswered questions. What they do know is that lives are at risk, and the chances of finding all three still alive decrease with each passing hour… 

MY REVIEW

Having read and loved each book in this series, this one is dark. It delves into the most horrid of acts. This is the 9th book in the DI Bliss series and I would recommend reading these in order as the characters have changed so much since the first book. Also, they are each excellent books in their own right.

Let’s start with the basics of this latest book. There are two crimes, one an abandoned vehicle, the other a suicide. Neither warrant having Peterbortough’s Major Crime Unit investigating them, but both have thrown up extenuating circumstances that make the Detectives think otherwise. They have a limited time to make a case about the cases becoming part of their remit rather than being passed on to CID.

The team of Bliss, Chandler and the rest of the detectives are about to start two very complex cases. Neither one seems connected. Neither one is straightforward. Neither one is going to be an easy one to solve. And, no one on the team actually realises how the days ahead are going to become darker for them as they struggle and to discover the details of the cases.

This is such an aptly named title, in fact, all the books have very suitable titles and this one does hint at being a lot more serious than some. If you have been reading this series then you may have noticed that the crimes have been getting more severe, and to put it bluntly, more evil in nature. Credit to the author for continuing down this darker route and giving the details in an evidence-based way. By this I mean the basic facts and nothing more, and to be honest nothing more was needed.

This is also one of the more complex cases, and the author does complex in such a great way. The intriguing plots are teased and batted around and it gives a real sense of the investigators going through a more realistic procedural route. This is not a mystery, this is a thriller. The team do have a hierarchy and chain of command, but the main guys are the ones that don’t stand on ceremony, throw suggestions, discuss the merits for ideas and dismiss others. All work as a team as well as individually. This creates a great dynamic and gives a real sense of the team being close.

The answers are still piling up at the halfway point of the story, it isn’t until a little after that things start to slot into place. Now, this doesn’t mean that this is a slow start, in fact even though there doesn’t seem to be much progress there is a great pace to it. This obviously does speed up as more and more things finally start coming together. At no time did it feel rushed or that certain outcomes were expected.

I have, as I may have mentioned, really enjoyed this series. I thought the previous book was amazing, this one is just WOW!!! Hard-hitting, dangerous, time-sensitive, definitely dark and a superb read from start to finish. It is one I would absolutely recommend.

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, Fifteen Coffins.

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

Tony is in the process of moving to Sussex with his wife and is a full-time author. He is currently working on DI Bliss #10 and the second DS Chase novel.

Links
All of Tony’s links can be found on Linktree
Darker Days to Come: getbook

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The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris #NetGalley @HarvillSecker #victorianmystery #truecrime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris. This is a very interesting Victorian mystery that is based on a real case.

I requested this book via NetGalley and I was approved to read this from the publisher, Harvill Secker.

An astonishing real-life locked-room murder mystery set in Victorian Dublin, packed with gripping, perplexing twists. This meticulously researched true-crime tale reads like a quintessential Victorian thriller and is perfect for fans of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

One morning in November 1856 George Little, the chief cashier of the Broadstone railway terminus in Dublin, was found dead, lying in a pool of blood beneath his desk. His head had been almost severed; a knife lay nearby, but strangely the office door was locked, apparently from the inside. This was a deed of almost unheard-of brutality for the peaceful Irish capital: while violent crime was commonplace in Victorian London, the courts of Dublin had not convicted a single murderer in more than thirty years.

From the first day of the police investigation it was apparent that this was no ordinary case. Detectives struggled to understand how the killer could have entered and then escaped from a locked room, and why thousands of pounds in gold and silver had been left untouched at the scene of the crime. Three of Scotland Yard’s most celebrated sleuths were summoned to assist the enquiry, but all returned to London baffled. It was left to Superintendent Augustus Guy, the head of Ireland’s first detective force, to unravel the mystery.

Five suspects were arrested and released, with every step of the salacious case followed by the press, clamouring for answers. Under intense public scrutiny, Superintendent Guy found himself blocked at almost every turn. But then a local woman came forward, claiming to know the murderer….

MY REVIEW

This is a well-researched account of the death of George Little. He worked as a cashier for the Broadstone Railway in Dublin and his death occurred in 1856. This was a case that confounded detectives as the room was locked from the inside and initial observations were confusing.

This is quite a good read and one that I did find very interesting as it took me back to a very different way of investigating crime. The laws were very different from today and the way things were undertaken to solve showed how things have changed over the years.

This was interesting for a number of reasons as it showed various aspects of society at the time, living conditions and also how the proceedings could be hampered by newspaper reports. I really enjoyed the way the author laid this book out, it made for following what could have been a very confusing account, much easier to follow. Questions led to more questions, sometimes leading to dead ends. There were various suspects and yet it took many months for things to finally come to a conclusion, even then it was not altogether clear cut.

The research is meticulous and there are some great footnotes to show how things have changed over the years. The facts have been used well and incorporated into a narrative of events. This makes for a practical and analytical read, showing the stories of those involved but without emotion. At times it felt like reading a newspaper article. I think this style is good for a true crime read, not that I have read that many, but it was a style I enjoyed.

This is a slower book and there is some overlapping, but this I think is expected given the era of the crime. We are lucky to have computers to cross-reference, double-check and back-up as well as have a much more advanced technology to assist with identification. There are mentions of major changes to the law to show a comparison between then and now.

This is a good read and one for those who enjoy true crime and especially historical crime. Well laid out, a good pace and some very interesting facts. I do think it could have been a little shorter in length but that is just my opinion. I would happily recommend this one.

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This Charming Man by C. K. McDonnell @Caimh @Thomassshill @TransworldBooks #crime #mystery #magic #fantasy #bookreview

Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester . . .

I am delighted to share my review today for This Charming Man by Caimh McDonnell. This is the second book in The Stranger Times series, I adored the first book and this one is just as good. Great for fans of crime/mystery and Magic/fantasy novels.

My huge thanks to Thomas Hill at Transworld Books for sending me a copy of this book and also the first one.

Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester . . .

Nobody is pleased about it. Not the Founders, the secret organisation for whom vampires were invented as an allegory, nor the Folk, the magical people hidden in plain sight who only want a quiet life. And definitely not the people of Manchester, because there is nothing more irksome than being murdered by an allegory run amok. Somebody needs to sort this out fast before all Hell really breaks loose – step forward the staff of The Stranger Times.

It’s not like they don’t have enough to be dealing with. Assistant Editor Hannah has come back from getting messily divorced to discover that someone is trying to kidnap a member of their staff and while editor Vincent Banecroft would be delighted to see the back of any of his team, he doesn’t like people touching his stuff – it’s the principle of the thing.

Throw in a precarious plumbing situation, gambling debts, an entirely new way of swearing, and a certain detective inspector with what could be kindly referred to as ‘a lot of baggage’ and it all adds up to another hectic week in the life of the newspaper committed to reporting the truth that nobody else will touch.

This Charming Man is the second book in the critically acclaimed The Stranger Times series.

MY REVIEW

The Stranger Times is the first book in this series that I read and thoroughly enjoyed last year. It is also the name of the newspaper that caters for those with a slightly obscure/different/unique view of the world. This is the sort of paper that will report on alien sightings, mysterious noises in the basement and weird and wonderful goings-on that regularly appear.

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise when a Vampire suddenly turns up, but then everyone knows such things don’t exist! I love how the author uses this vampiric occurrence and it is almost tongue in cheek that his reporters don’t quite know what to call a pale, pointy-toothed anomaly. It struck me as funny that the reporters are fine with demons, aliens etc, but not calling a vampire a vampire. Anyhow, I do digress.

The main characters are the same that appeared in the first book, so we have Banecroft the editor, along with Grace, Stella, Ox, Stanley, DI Sturgess, Hannah who gallantly report the news while Banecroft is breathing down their necks, wanting answers and a story to print in his paper.

The bodies are a unique find and they are shrugged off as such, some things are not that easy to hide and it doesn’t take long for things to start to heat up. Tensions are brittle as lack of sleep and deadlines are approaching as well as some interest from someone higher up!

This is a humorous and quirky read that I really adored, it is a great mystery novel and the one-liners, little snide comments and the unrelenting thick-skinned Banecroft just add to the humour. Magic and special powers work alongside many other phenomena in this story and as I immersed myself in this story I found bizarre things as quite normal.

This is one that those of lighter fantasy and humorous fantasy readers will enjoy. It is witty and fun to read. There is mystery and magic, the odd body because even though Vampires do not exist, you need a corpse, don’t you? I would suggest reading the first book as it does bring you in and introduce you to the characters that you will also find in this second book, and it is also a really good read. This Charming Man is a fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Shadow of the Empire by Qiu Xiaolong #historicalfiction #mystery #NetGalley @severnhouse #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Shadow of the Empire by Qiu Xiaolong. Years ago I enjoyed reading the Judge Dee series by Robert Van Gulik, so when I saw this title from Severn House on NetGalley I was curious.

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The legendary Judge Dee Renjie investigates a high-profile murder case in this intriguing companion novel to Inspector Chen and the Private Kitchen Murder set in seventh-century China.

Judge Dee Renjie, Empress Wu’s newly appointed Imperial Circuit Supervisor for the Tang Empire, is visiting provinces surrounding the grand capital of Chang’an. One night a knife is thrown through his window with a cryptic note attached: ‘A high-flying dragon will have something to regret!’

Minutes after the ominous warning appears Judge Dee is approached by an emissary of Internal Minister Wu, Empress Wu’s nephew. Minister Wu wants Judge Dee to investigate a high-profile murder supposedly committed by the well-known poetess and courtesan, Xuanji, who locals believe is possessed by the spirit of a black fox.

Why is Minister Wu interested in Xuanji? Despite Xuanji confessing to the murder, is there more to the case than first appears? With the mysterious warning and a fierce power struggle playing out at the imperial court, Judge Dee knows he must tread carefully . . . 

MY REVIEW

It was quite a few years ago when I came across Robert Van Gulik’s Judge Dee mystery books featuring Judge Dee. So when I saw that Judge Dee had made another appearance I was definitely eager to read it.

This is set in 7th Century China, and Judge Dee is about to set off for a new post when he receives a file that concerns the murder of a handmaid. A renowned poetess is charged with her murder but things don’t quite add up as she has given two different accounts. Dee’s interest is piqued and so he starts to look into this case during a stopover in the area before continuing his journey.

The author has done a great job with this story, it is a slower-paced one which is fitting for the era it is set. What I really liked was how the author had mixed in tradition, custom, religion and beliefs as well as the way of life at the time.

Xuanji, the accused poetess is a courtesan and has written several poems that Dee has read. Using her poetry as a ruse to get to know more about Xuanji and hopefully gain more knowledge to find the truth. This story does mention some treatments of prisoners, court beatings and conditions. It is an insight into China in the 7th Century which works as part of the story as well as gives the reader more information about the case.

While this is a slower-paced story, it is still very engaging. The mystery of the case deepens as the story develops and becomes more intriguing as you realise that there higher powers at play in the background. I really enjoyed the style and the historical aspects of this story.

This is one for those who like historical fiction and mystery novels. I do like the more sedentary pace as it does fit so well with the setting. It is one I would happily recommend. 

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

Whitesands by Johann Thorsson @johannthors @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Whitesands by Johann Thorsson. This is a wonderfully atmospheric and chilling thriller that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on this Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

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THE BREAKOUT SUPERNATURAL THRILLER FROM ICELANDIC WRITER JOHANN THORSSON

Detective John Dark’s daughter has been missing for two years. In his frantic and unfruitful search for her two years ago, John Dark overreached and was reprimanded and demoted.

Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case – a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossibly similar case crops up connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty-year-old missing persons’ case.

Just as he is getting back into his old groove, a new lead in his daughter’s disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.

Time is running out and John Dark needs to solve the case before more people are killed, and while there is still hope to find his daughter.

In the style of True Detective and Silence of the Lambs, WHITESANDS is a thrilling supernatural crime novel.

MY REVIEW

What a cracking read this book was. This is a book that threw me initially as I was kind of expecting this to be set in Iceland. Once I got my head around that and moved continents I found myself gradually getting to know the characters and started to see a larger more complex case than is originally set up.

This is the first book in the John Dark series and it is one that I am very excited about. It is a crime, thriller mystery and it has a fabulous supernatural twist incorporated into it. I am kind of partial to a crime or thriller story that has something a little different and this one certainly does.

There is a back story for Dark, and I am thinking that this is developed more as the series progresses, it definitely has the potential for it. By the time I had finished this book, I found myself with a few unanswered questions, nothing that felt like a huge cliffhanger but there is a final twist!

I do like this authors style of writing. There are some wonderful chilling and eerie atmospherics going on in this book and it makes for a gripping read. It has a good pace to it and even though there are quite a few threads, I did find it relatively easy to keep up with the story and the plots.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I cant wait to see where the author goes with this series next. Ideal for those who like a grittier, atmospheric crime thriller with some great twists and eerie vibes. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Johann Thorsson is a writer of fiction with a supernatural slant, mainly short stories, mainly in English.

He was born in 1978 in a small town in Iceland (dark and cold, close to the sea). When he was nine he moved to Israel, and later to Croatia. He now resides in the Reykjavik area with his beautiful wife and two little kids.

His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Every Day Fiction, eFiction Magazine, eFiction Horror and Fireside Fiction.

Most recently, a story of his was selected for in the forthcoming anthology Apex Book of World SF 4 and Garden of Fiends

His favourite books are 1984, Flowers for Algernon, I am LegendThe Things They Carried and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Oh, and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. Romeo and Juliet. (This could go on for a while).

Visit Johann’s Website HERE

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The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed several of this author’s books and I always look forward to catching up with Crampton and Shirley in this mystery series.

My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of his latest book and to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour.

A KILLING BEFORE KICK-OFF…

It’s July 1966 – and England is football crazy as fans cheer their team on to win the World Cup.


There are millions who’d kill for a ticket to the final in London’s Wembley Stadium. Then café owner Sergio Parisi is found murdered in his own kitchen – and his World Cup Final ticket missing.


As Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton chases down the story, he discovers the ticket theft could be part of an even deadlier crime.


There are laughs alongside the thrills as England closes in on victory – and Colin, with his feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith, close in on the killer.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW

Trouble follows Colin Crampton of the Chronicle newspaper no matter where he goes. Even when he and his girlfriend Shirley are on holiday trouble finds him. This leads to a shortened holiday and a rush back home to the UK.

Colin is an investigative journalist for a Brighton newspaper, Shirley is a model and together they are a great pair of characters. As much as I adore Colin, Shirleys ability to keep, well almost keep Colin in check, makes her another brilliant character.

This is a cosy mystery series and this story is set in 1966, the year of the World Cup. The author really does make it obvious of the football-mad time. As we have recently had a world cup, you are always aware of it in the news, in conversations and so it makes sense to have a good amount of references to it in the story, I will add that it is not overly done.

The story is a mix of murder, theft, cons and a certain rather famous Sicilian family. How the author has twisted all these threads together is great. Mentions of the theft of the World Cup trophy, the discovery of it have all been brilliantly woven together with the fictional to create an addictive murder mystery.

How Colin has not got into more scrapes than he has is beyond me, he definitely lives life by the edge of his pants, sometimes a little too close for comfort. Again Shirley has a part to play, after all, she is a model, and Australian so the author has given her the gift of the gab and she isn’t afraid to use her feminine wiles.

While this is firmly a murder mystery, it is also historical fiction but one that is almost light-hearted. Several times I find myself chuckling and this makes for such an enjoyable read. There are several twists, various threads and a nice array of characters that are not necessarily what they appear.

These books can be read as stand-alone books, but as with all series, they are better if read in order as you do get to build a relationship with the main or recurring characters. I do always enjoy catching up with Colin and Shirl, and this latest mystery is a fabulous one. It mixes fact and fiction giving an exciting and manic read, it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from http://www.colincrampton.com.

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Follow Peter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/peterbartramauthor.

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In Cold Blood by Adam Croft @adamcroft #crime #mystery #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the 3rd book in the Rutland Crime series. In Cold Blood by Adam Croft was published yesterday. I have read and reviewed several books by this author and I have always thoroughly enjoyed them.

Many thanks to Joanne Croft for sending me an advanced copy of this latest book in the series. My thoughts are my own.

Book three in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.

As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.

Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?

My Review…

This is the third book in the Rutland Crime series, Rutland is a small county bordering Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. The author uses this small county to great effect in this series.

A body is found frozen under a viaduct, Di Caroline Hills and her team are now trying to work out why he was murdered, Given the small size of the county, I do like how the author keeps his cast small. A handful of police and also potential witnesses or suspects keeps this 236-page police procedural crime story compact and to the point.

The murder of a local businessman is one hat doe shave the team working hard trying to make links. While there is a gut instinct about the people they question they find it difficult to get to the truth. Misleading information and false leads seem to be the order of play. Things are not straight forward and there are a couple of red herrings to catch the reader and of course some twists.

I do like how the author has given more into the personal life of Caroline, she has health issues that she is overcoming and this does make things tense at home. Even though she s dealing with her own problems she still manages to keep an eye out for her team. Long hours and hard work are a given in the job and the author does manage to get a lot into this story.

It is crime read that does have a good amount of mystery to it as well as a personal side to the team. It is another wonderful read in the series and one for those who like a quicker paced and snappy police procedural read. It is one I would recommend.

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