The Night Man by Jørn Lier Horst @MichaelJBooks #thriller #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Night Man by Jørn Lier Horst. I was fortunate to win a hardback copy of this book over on Twitter from the publisher Penguin Michael Joseph just before Christmas.

It is only as I write up this post that I have noticed that it is also a TV series on BBC4 so I will be having a look at that at some point.

WILLIAM WISTING IS IN A RACE AGAINST TIME

When a severed head is found on a stake in the quiet town of Larvik, Police Inspector William Wisting is called in to investigate. The only clue? The killer is trying to send a message.

ALL ROADS LEAD BACK TO THE NIGHT MAN

As the media closes in on the biggest story of the year, Wisting’s journalist daughter Line receives a tip. Soon, it becomes clear that there is more to this case than anyone thought. A criminal network has lodged itself deep into the roots of the city, and it’s up to Wisting to take down the elusive and dangerous Night Man.

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING

But hunting down The Night Man will take everything Wisting has, and it’s all too easy for the hunter to become the prey . . .

MY REVIEW

This was a brilliantly atmospheric and tense crime thriller and the first book I have read in this series. The main character is Larvik Wisting, who is tested to his limits in his latest case. He also gets to work alongside his daughter who has returned home to delve into the subject for her newspaper.

It is only now as I write this review that I had a glance at the author’s bio, after reading the book I am not surprised that he has a police background. He is a Senior Investigating officer in the Norweigian Police Force, I do think his experience shows in his writing.

The story was gripping from the outset and I did find it easy to get to grips with the characters given that this is not the first in the series. There are some mentions of backstories that I assume have been dealt with in previous books, and while it is always great to read in order this one works well as a standalone.

As the synopsis suggests this is a case that has a brutal start, a head placed on a spike is discovered. Wisting’s daughter also has leads but neither one realises how far this case will go and what it will eventually involve. There is far more to this story than the synopsis lets on so I have to be super careful not to let anything slip. The cases are linked but how and for what ends is something that becomes a brilliant journey for the reader.

I did like the character of Wisting, he is a detective that is willing to ask for help and listens to others. This is something that needs to happen given the route this author takes with this story. While this is based mainly in Norway, there are clues that lead further afield. As for who the Night Man is, well, I am keeping quiet about that one but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

I really enjoyed this book and it was great to discover a new series I look forward to reading more from this author. This is a book that fans of crime thrillers and police procedurals will adore, a twisted and unexpected storyline and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jorn Lier Horst (born in Bamble, Telemark 1970) is a former Senior Investigating Officer at the Norwegian police force. He made his literary debut as a crime writer in 2004 and is considered one of the foremost Nordic crime writers.

His series of mystery novels starring chief inspector William Wisting provides a detailed and authentic insight into how criminal cases are investigated and how it affects those involved, whether private or professional. The books represent a simple and accurate picture of the modern Nordic societies and is characterized by political and social commentary subtext.

MANY THANKS FOR READING MY POST, A LIKE OR SHARE WOULD BE AMAZING 🙂 XX

Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry #crime #thriller #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am still playing catch-up with books I read before Christmas, today’s review is for Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry. This is the first book in the D.I. Gus McGuire series and I am definitely looking forward to reading more.

MY REVIEW

I have several books by this author, have seen loads of reviews and have yet to pick one up. Well, that changed when I decided to read Unquiet Souls. Oh my goodness, why have I not gotten to this series sooner or this author!!! Talk about a hard-hitting, brutal, crime thriller and police procedural or what! This was such an amazing book to read and one of those that I literally ‘did not want to put down’.

D.I Gus McGuire, I like him a lot btw, my first meeting with him is while he is still getting his head around a previous case and coming to terms with the loss of his best friend.

The main theme of the story centres around child abuse and trafficking, not a subject that makes for enjoyable reading as such, but if done well makes for an addictive fictional story that opens your eyes. The author does deal with the abuse carefully and doesn’t go into details, which I am really glad about. Instead, she carefully uses the reactions of others to impart the horrific and awful brutality.

Gus is back to work and is dealing with a murder that, as the synopsis tells, is when the abused children are discovered. This is the start of an investigation that has roots in the past and is obviously a continuing case for some other officers. Gus and his team are tasked with finding all they can and discovering the truth.

The author definitely knows how to twist a tale and had me so intrigued I didn’t really attempt to try to work things out. I was happy following the team and discovering things along with them. There were a couple of points where I thought, “I wonder,” but to be honest it was only because the author had gently nudged me in the right direction.

This is a hard-boiled crime thriller, it is great to start a series at the beginning and this is something that doesn’t happen very often with me. I do like how the team have been set up within this book and they look like they are going to be a trusted group.

I do like how the author switches between Gus and his personal life and problems as well as the investigation. There are twists and turns in both.

A fabulous start to a series I am definitely going to read more of and it is a book I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.
Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too.

Social Media – Twitter Website

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The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith @OrendaBooks #dystopian #thriller #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith. I think it was around this time last year that I read this author’s next book, Off Target (Full review HERE). It made such an impression that I immediately bought a copy of The Waiting Rooms, unfortunately, it took me nearly a year to read it. But it was excellent and has left me looking forward to more from this author.

The Waiting Rooms

Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable, and a scratch from a pet can kill. A sacrifice is required to keep the majority safe: no one over seventy is allowed new antibiotics. The elderly are sent to hospitals nicknamed ‘The Waiting Rooms’ … hospitals where no one ever gets well.

Twenty years after the crisis takes hold, Kate begins a search for her birth mother, armed only with her name and her age. As Kate unearths disturbing facts about her mother’s past, she puts her family in danger and risks losing everything. Because Kate is not the only secret that her mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too.

Sweeping from an all-too-real modern Britain to a pre-crisis South Africa, The Waiting Rooms is epic in scope, richly populated with unforgettable characters, and a tense, haunting vision of a future that is only a few mutations away.

MY REVIEW

With Covid, Avian Flu and also the threat of resistance to antibiotics fresh in my mind I decided to read The Waiting Rooms. I have read the 2nd book Off Target by this author and it made a huge impression. The Waiting Rooms is an amazing book to read and at times one that can be quite uncomfortable.

This book is set up as having two timelines. One is pre-crisis and the other is a near-future setting. The pre-crisis draws the reader into a world where antibiotics are not working, and infections, diseases and illnesses are deadly for those who contract them. Wave after wave of resistant diseases is killing millions of people worldwide. The race to find alternative medicines and cures is on.

The near-future setting is one that we are sort of familiar with, face masks, no contact and being super careful about being in groups. However, the author has made it a much more dangerous scenario with riots, risks of attack and the dilemma of what to do with people who are too ill to continue with their lives.

While the story in the near future does have medical implications there is another underlying story. How this is connected to the pre-crisis setting is one that is intriguing and shows how things change over the decades. How dealing with one problem can set off a series of events that causes a larger problem in the future. I think this is something we can relate to easily when we look at fossil fuels and other industrial advances against the global climate we live in today. The author has taken a similar route and it is one that is all too easy to be able to realise.

This is a brilliant read. The terminology is basic to understand and the importance of decisions made and that has to be made is one that keeps the story moving. Events and characters have been woven and twisted so that I always wanted to what was going to happen next.

I adored the suspense and thrill of this story, but it also exudes an element of reality. An eye-opener of a thriller and one I would definitely recommend.

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Our Man in Kuwait by Louise Burfitt-Dons @LouiseBurfDons @RandomTTours #suspense #historicalfiction #spythriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Our Man in Kuwait by Louise Burfitt-Dons. This is a historical fiction story set in the 1960s and is one I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for arranging my copy of the book for the Blog Tour.

A colonial-era thriller set against the background of big power conflict. The ultimate timepiece tinderbox of sun, sex and spies.

Kuwait 1960. With Soviet backing Iraq plans to invade.

Gordon Carlisle lives in the expat community of Ahmadi with little to worry about other than when to next don his dinner jacket.

Following contact by an MI6 agent everything changes.

Even marriage to his beautiful new wife Anita breaks down as he becomes a suspect in a chain of deaths in the Protectorate.

Ian Fleming’s time in Kuwait is recorded at first hand as Britain prepares to meet the Iraqi forces head on with Operation Vantage.

MY REVIEW

This is a book that is a little bit of a slow burner but one that slowly crept up on me. I did struggle a little in the beginning but once I got to know the characters I began to feel more effortless with the book. While it started as a slow burner it definitely picked up pace as the story unfolded, and, what an intriguing story it was!

This is set in 1960 in Kuwait, I am mostly aware of the recent history of this area, but I didn’t know much about it from the 60s, just a little before my time. The author has woven an interesting mix of fact with fiction to give a convincing and extremely twisted account of the roles of spies, governments, double agents and foreign powers in the region. It is focused on Gordon Carlisle.

Gordon is a bit of a non-descript man as such, goes to work, has friends, is married to Anita and carries on with his life in the Ahmadi ex-pat community. Talk between friends about potential problems in Kuwait, if the British government will send in troops and if those living there will have to flee.

With rumour running rife it doesn’t take much for suspicions to escalate. This means that one act can be seen as something more sinister. When the finger points in the direction of Gordon, he above all is surprised. In a world of espionage nothing and no one is completely innocent… are they?

I really enjoyed the weaving and intrigue the author built up around her characters. I did kind of like Gordon and I did feel for him as he did seem to be the innocent party. It is however that old saying of “there’s no smoke without fire” or that he surely must have known something. This constant state of suspicion makes everyone look guilty.

While the author told of Gordon, his friends, work and the politics of the area there is something else working in the background. This makes the story addictive and it did keep my interest. With mentions of anthrax, bombs, kidnapping and questioning by the police, there is enough of a tense atmosphere to create a dangerous scenario.

I liked this one and I did like the slower pace in the beginning as there are quite a few characters to get to know and also some history of the region and its main players. An enjoyable story and one that I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This book is a work of fiction but inspired by real events. Louise Burfitt-Dons was born and brought up in Kuwait during the threat of invasion by Iraq in 1960 and 1961. Her father Ian Byres was the Preventative Health Officer for the Kuwait Oil Company based in Ahmadi. At the end of 1960 Ian Fleming visited Kuwait to write a book. Louise is the author of the bestselling Karen Andersen Thriller series. Our Man in Kuwait is a stand alone novel.

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So Pretty by Ronnie Turner @Ronnie_Turner #SoPretty @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks #thriller #psychological #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for So Pretty by Ronnie Turner. I read this book before Christmas and adored its eerie atmosphere. This book also became one of my Top Reads of 2022! Also, I really have to mention the cover of this book 😱 it is insanely appropriate!

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

The arrival of a young man in a small town sparks, hoping to leave his past behind him, but everything changes when he takes a job in a peculiar old shop, and meets a lonely single mother… A hypnotic gothic thriller and a mesmerising study of identity and obsession.

When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.

Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.

Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.

As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.

Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.

MY REVIEW

Oh My Goodness!!! What an amazing book this was. The author started with one thing then it gradually morphed into something so much darker than I ever expected, all in a very, very good way I must add.

This story is about two people and the chapters alternate between the two of them. Ada is a single mother and lives in Rye, never quite fitting into this small and clique-ridden village. She is always polite but always on the edge of things.

Teddy arrives and gets a job in an old curiosity/ knick-knack/ random things and objects shop. The owner is a bizarre man, to say the least, he doesn’t speak, he hasn’t interviewed Teddy and seems to lurk in the shadows.

It is natural that these two lonely people should meet and become friends. But there are warnings for Teddy about the shop and of things that may have happened in the past. Ada is aware that something has happened, she doesn’t know the full story though.

This is a remarkable book to read, it is a story that feels frantic at times with the emotions of the characters tumbling across the pages. Then there are quieter, more considered and slower breathing spaces where the author describes this sinister shop and the curios within its doors and behind the windows.

The shop is one of those weird and wonderful places full of things you would expect to see in one of those old museums that is hidden on a back street somewhere. In fact, this place sort of reminded me of a curious and wonderfully bizarre museum I visited on holiday in Ilfracombe in Devon. A place where there are drawers of insects, jars of animal parts and yes even shrunken heads! For me, this book brought memories of some of the objects I had seen, but then the author so brilliantly added a dark and atmospheric air to her story. This at times felt incredibly creepy, sinister and macabre.

The way emotions of the characters and also the way she has made the shop a character in its own right are fabulous. There is a wonderful, almost lyrical way to her writing at times and this almost lulls the reader into a false sense of security.

The storyline itself,m well that is something that I didn’t expect, well I say that, but I did have a feeling where things may go but definitely not to the extent they did.

This is a brilliant book and it is one that I adored from the first pages to the very last. A tense, mysterious thriller that had me hooked. An amazing book and one that I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age,
she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author.
Ronnie now lives in the South West with her family and three dogs. In her spare
time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. Ronnie is
a Waterstones Senior Bookseller and a barista, and her youth belies her
exceptional, highly unusual talent.

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The Family Tree Mystery by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #mystery #historicalfiction #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Family Tree Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have been a fan of his Colin Crampton series for quite a while now and it is always a delight to be able to catch up with Colin and his girlfriend Shirley.

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My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and to Peter for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my copy of this brilliant mystery book.

A FAMILY TREE… SKELETONS FROM THE PAST

Brighton crime reporter Colin Crampton gets on the trail of a big story when Hobart Birtwhistle, a distant relative of feisty model Shirley Goldsmith, is mysteriously murdered.

Colin and Shirley team up to investigate the case. Spiky history don, Victoria Nettlebed, suggests the mystery may lie a century earlier in the life of an Australian gold prospector… and the death of his partner.

But does Nettlebed know more than she’s telling? And why did cockney metals trader Lionel Bruce meet Birtwhistle days before his death?

Shirley wants Colin to track down her long-lost relatives. But more murders bring the threat closer to home. The pair tangle with London East End gangsters, an eccentric Scottish lord, and a team of women cricketers in their hunt for the truth.

There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and Shirley uncover the shocking secrets of the family tree. And Shirley has one last surprise for Colin.

Purchase Link HERE

MY REVIEW

It is always a pleasure to pick up the latest Crampton of The Chronicle book. Colin Crampton is a journalist for the Brighton newspaper The Chronicle. This series is set in the 60s and this particular one is in July 1967. Colin’s girlfriend Shirley has been contacted by a distant relative that wants to meet her, while Shirley is excited Colin is suspicious. I should mention that Shirley is a model and Australian.

For two people who seem so different I adore the combination of Colin and Shirley, they just rub along together so well and the author obviously has great fun writing some of their scenes. Not wanting Shirley to go alone, Colin accompanies her to what he thinks will be a suspicious relative, well suspicious is right as the relative is dead. Murdered!

This starts Colin on a search for how the dead man and Shirley could possibly be related. How this story gets to the end and a conclusion is a series of clues, red herrings, more bodies and a road trip or two.

I adore this series and the author has once again given some fabulous lines to his characters to make me snigger, there are bodies and danger but the author keeps the humour to make this a wonderful cosy mystery story. The story is one that will lead Colin up and down the country and while the newspaper budget doesn’t stretch to a trip to Oz, phone calls are made. I like the era of this book as there are no mobiles or internet, clues are sought the old fashioned way and with the odd back-hander. As Colin works on the paper he has quite a few people that he can call on for help, but some are seriously dangerous.

The story follows the search for the truth about Shirley’s family, she doesn’t know much and it is a chance for her to discover her roots. I can guarantee she never expected to discover what she did and it makes for fabulous reading. And, there is a wonderful ending for this book, it is one I have been waiting for!

Mixing in a women’s cricket team, some dodgy east-end characters, gold miners and the odd Lord makes this an entertaining read and one that throws up many surprises. It is one for those who love a detective-style story with all the jargon, the slang and the slightly off-the-books mystery. Not your usual characters but my goodness it makes for such an entertaining and surprising read. I adored this latest book and it soon became a book that I couldn’t put down. Another on-sitting read and 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 befit 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 HERE.

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 FacebookTwitter

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Queen of Diamonds by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources @Boldwoodbooks #crime #thriller #gangland #bookreview

I am, delighted to share my review today for Queen of Diamonds by Gillian Godden. I have read the previous books in the series and I am thoroughly enjoying them.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and arranging my e-copy from the publisher Boldwood Books.

Is the Diamond reign over?


Head of the Diamond family, Patsy is determined to make a success of husband Nick’s gangland empire – whatever the cost. Nick was ruthless and cold-blooded, but he built a legacy that Patsy wants to protect.


So when a mysterious woman from Nick’s past turns up claiming to be Patsy’s new business partner, she senses trouble. Karen Duret demands Patsy’s help, but it comes with a catch. If Patsy refuses, Karen threatens to expose the Diamond family’s darkest secrets…


Patsy needs the help of her trusted allies more than ever, but when a rival gang start a turf war, the stakes suddenly become deadly.
Torn between loyalties, Patsy knows that blood will be spilled. And as battle commences, the question on everyone’s lips is – who will be crowned the queen of diamonds?


Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd book in the Diamonds series; they are all fabulous reads. This latest one see’s Patsy Diamond take a step further into her role as the head of the Diamond family and taking on the role of her late husband, Nick. He was ruthless and his work ethic was based on fear. Patsy, however, believes there is a better way of gaining trust and respect. Has she got what it takes though?

This is a brilliant book and sometimes quite hardcore as Patsy makes her mark in the gangland area of Glasgow. In previous books, she has had a lot to deal with, but now she wants to make changes and this means making deals with some of the worst of the worst. As Patsy comes across as quite aloof, the rich bitch, the well-dressed and manicured lady. It gives her a cold and uncaring persona, but she has a few surprises for people and I think she surprises herself with how much she now enjoys this challenge. She has to prove herself.

This one is a gritty and complex story and I adored it. There have always been things that have sprung up out of the woodwork in this series, and before you think there are no more surprises to come, you would be way off the mark. Yet again there are more surprises for the Diamonds and it could jeopardise the family business.

In a world of secrets, death, drugs, prostitution, money laundering and murder you need to be sure of those who are closest to you, a right-hand man is essential to help keep the day-to-day running of the business. There is an awful lot for Patsy to organise and with new deals and alliances to be forged, she really does have her work but out for her. If this isn’t enough there is also something far closer to home that requires her attention, if she gets this wrong it will destroy her.

The author has once again written an amazing book that I devoured in one sitting. It shows the strong woman that Patsy needs to be and it was a side that I didn’t expect to see. While she is strong she is also vulnerable and this brings out a nice balance to her character. Yes, she is naive, but she is also analytical in how she thinks things through and she will not be duped or made a fool of. I have really enjoyed seeing how the author has brought Pasty, the wife of Nick Diamond into the forefront and she is now beginning to stand on her own feet. She is not someone’s wife, she is Patsy or Mrs Diamond and she doesn’t take fools lightly.

Yet again the author has created a fabulous and dangerous story for her characters. This one speeds along at a great pace and there is a real sense of things potentially going very wrong. This is a book for those who love their gangland crime and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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The Lightning Rod by Tony Forder @TonyJForder @lilmissmorfett #crime #mystery# thriller #policeprocedrual #bliss10 #bookreview

It is a pleasure to share my review today for The Lightning Rod by Tony Forder. I have been a fan of this author’s books since reading y first Jimmy Bliss book a few years ago. Now we are onto book 10 and it is just getting better and better.

My huge thanks to Tony and also Donna at DLM Book Tours for arranging my e-copy of the book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.

The Lightning Rod (DI Bliss #10)

When he strikes, nothing can protect you.

DI Bliss attends the aftermath of an apparent murder-suicide – but the scene tells him and his colleagues something very different occurred. Now the Peterborough Major Crimes Unit face an adversary like no other.

They have no idea why his victims had to die. They have no idea who he is. They have no idea where he might strike next – only that he will.

But while the killer is cunning, leaving no evidence for them to find, his biggest mistake might be in underestimating the team now hunting him. Because when Jimmy Bliss is on the case, all bets are off.

MY REVIEW

When you have been involved in a series from the beginning you become aware of the changes, for Jimmy Bliss, it is his age. He is coming to retirement and there are tentative conversations about what he wants to do next. He has been a copper for years, it’s what keeps him going, that and the team he works with. With all his years on the job, it is inevitable that there will be a blast from the past at some point. Then there is the current case, it is one that could have repercussions for some of the other officers in his team. It appears an old case is not what they initially thought it was.

Once again the author has put DI Jimmy Bliss right in the thick of things, he does have a habit of this, but then this is exactly what Bliss would do himself. Letting the main character of Bliss at the lead of an investigation and getting his hands dirty is what Bliss is all about. While he may lead, he also listens, well maybe not all the time, but when it is an idea from his team he does. He will need his team and other officers from around the country to help work this case out.

There is no indication that an old case may have been wrong until a similarity is spotted. This then goes through the chain of command and there are procedures in place that must be followed. Where there is one similarity there must be another somewhere surely! Where has this person been, how has he honed his skills and more importantly where is he going to strike next?

This is such an intriguing story as there is not much in the way of clues, there are very few red herrings either. This makes this story a huge mystery, but one that is still evolving as more is learnt. This will have a huge impact on several areas and when I mention The Met and Firearms Officers being involved then you know this one is serious.

While the author has kept on track with the investigation, he has allowed for some personal time for Bliss. It is something that the author knows his character needs as it is at this time his brain cells start to work a little better. But thinking a crime through does not mean it is right.

This is a tough one for the Peterborough team. Is it a suicide murder, murder or something else? It is an intense story and in the first few chapters, I was a bit worried as it wasn’t as easy to get the flow of the story as I normally would. This one took a few chapters to grow on me but when it did it was a belter. It does have a different feel to it, while there is violence, the odd beating up and chase, it also has something else lurking. What is Bliss going to do next, he can get an extension for another couple of years, and he could walk away and retire or is there something else?

A fabulous 10th book in the series and one that is addictive as the first one. This is a series that I am obviously going to recommend that you read in order, but I do think this one would work well as a standalone.

An intense, dangerous and life-threatening time is on the cards for Bliss. If you are a fan of police procedural and crime thrillers then this is definitely one for you. It is one I would also definitely recommend.

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The Imposter by Leona Deakin @LeonaDeakin1 @RandomTTours #crime #mystery #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Imposter by Leona Deakin. This is the 4th book in the series and if you are a fan of riveting psychological thrillers then this should be on your TBR list.

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.

Dr Bloom is faced with her most challenging case yet as she races to catch a highly unpredictable
murderer in London. He doesn’t just want your identity. He wants your life…


No one sees him coming.


A stock-market trader is pushed from a high-rise balcony and falls to his death on the street below. The only clue the police can find is a box of matches.

No one survives for long.


The decomposing body of a member of the Saudi Royal Family is discovered in a car. Evidence suggests the killer took the man’s life, then stole his identity, wore his clothes and lived in his hotel room – before vanishing into thin air like smoke.

Nothing but matchsticks are left behind.


Dr Bloom realizes the only thing linking these murders is a trail of burnt matches and broken lives. Time is running out – and if she isn’t careful, she might be the next to burn …

MY REVIEW

This is a series that I do think you need to have at least read the first book, as I have, to understand the relationship between three of the characters. The three are Dr Augusta Bloom, Marcus Jamieson and Seraphine. These three have a special link, it is one that I really enjoyed reading in the first book, and I can see the author has developed this even more. There are mentions of previous cases that I assume are part of the two books I have not read. I do think this book works without reading the previous ones.

A murder has occurred, and Bloom is called in for her expertise in psychology and profiling. Bloom looks at scenes in a slightly different way and she is able to spot some similarities between this and another murder. Once she finds a link in one, she looks for further clues, unfortunately, it is not as easy as that and there is something that doesn’t quite match up. This throws the case into confusion, and some think that Bloom has alternative reasons for being on the case. She works with Marcus and together they try and get their heads around what is going on. Then we have Seraphine, nothing is straightforward if she is involved, but what role she actually plays and how she schemes are something that she specialises in.

This is a brilliant book for lovers of psychological thrillers and crime stories. Having the viewpoint of a psychologist trying to help connect the clues is great. It gives one side to any analysis the other side is that of the psychopath. You just have to know who the psychopath is, or in this case, which of the psychopaths are involved in what crime?

This is a riveting cat-and-mouse story with many different twists and also more than one storyline. This could make it confusing to follow, but the author has kept control and leads the reader through the clues, the links and to the conclusion.

I really enjoy the tense and suspense-fuelled feel of this book. Even though I missed a couple of the books I immediately remembered the main three characters and how much I enjoyed the first story.
The author delves into some really interesting psychological conditions, and what an interesting this concept made to the story.

This is a well-paced book, it does feel fast-paced but not massively so. There are times when the author stops to give her cast a chance to stop and think. It is during these moments that I discovered more about the case and also where the leads were potentially taking the team.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I am annoyed with myself for missing books 2 and 3, but I am glad I have read the 4th. This is a tense and chilling story, it is one that had me hooked from the first few pages. Ideal for those who adore thrillers, crimes, procedural style and psychological stories. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leona Deakin draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels.
Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written four novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost, Hunt and The Imposter.

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The Flock by J. Todd Scott #mystery #thriller #crime #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Flock by J. Todd Scott, this was a book I chose from the Prime Reading selection that you get with your Amazon Prime Membership at the beginning of each month. As I had recently watched the Amazon Prime program WACO, I decided it would be good to then read this book as it is based on a cult.

From J. Todd Scott comes a chillingly engrossing thriller about a cult survivor who must confront the horrors of her past to ensure the safety of the future.

Ten years after a fiery raid kills her family, former cult member Sybilla “Billie” Laure has a completely new identity. She’s settled in rural Colorado with her daughter, hoping for a quieter life. But the world has other plans.

With wildfires raging and birds dropping from the sky, Billie wonders if her cult leader father’s apocalyptic predictions are finally coming true. When an intruder murders her husband and kidnaps her daughter, Billie has no choice but to confront the secrets of her past. But Billie’s journey has other perils, too—namely, a police chief hot on her trail, determined to expose the dangers of the defunct doomsday cult.

To save her daughter, Billie will have to go back to where it all began—to the ruined compound in New Mexico where the real threat is the truth.

MY REVIEW

This is a book that I really enjoyed once I got into it, initially a little slow but this was due to me not really connecting with the characters. There are a few characters and it took a while for me to get my head around who they were and what they did or are doing. There are some who have different names in this book as well.

The story is one that has its origins in a cult. Sybilla and her daughter have escaped from the cult that they have known all their lives. Sybilla is seen as a chosen one and her standing within the group increases with the birth of her daughter. When she realises that the cult is not the place to raise a child she looks to leave. She eventually makes this departure and becomes a face known by many as she is photographed walking away from the burning compound with her daughter in her arms.

The story of what happened is gradually realised in small amounts throughout the book, this doe makes for an intriguing read as details are given. It has been a decade since that night and Sybilla has made a new life, she is married but not one for mixing. Then she comes home to find her husband has been murdered and her daughter has been taken. She knows that there is a new branch of the cult and that they will be responsible. Now she needs to find them and her daughter.

This is an intriguing book as the cult deals with end-of-the-world scenarios, and one of the signs is wildfires. As we have been witnessing wildfires around the world it is plausible that people will see this as the end of days especially given the pandemic, floods, climate change and other global events.

While Sybilla is looking for her daughter, there is also the matter of the murder. The local police chief, Elise, is trying to keep on the case, well I should say cases as this isn’t the only death. There is the danger that the FBI or CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigations) could take over.

This is one that was a slow-burner to start, not so much in the action side of it, just in the way it took me quite a while to get into it. Once I got the basics then I seemed to fare a lot better and this then meant the pacing got quicker. I could then focus more on the story from the emotional side of a mother trying to find her daughter and how time is of the essence. There was a reason for the kidnapping and this is based on the date of Ascension according to the cult followers.

The author has done a really good job of showing how a cult can pray on the vulnerable, those who have gone through divorce or bereavement and are alone, those who feel displaced and misunderstood and then manipulate and basically brainwash.

This is a story that I enjoyed because I am aware of what happened in the Waco Siege of 1993, it is easy to imagine some of the scenes that are discussed. There is a lot of information about Waco and it does make for grim reading at times, as does this book. I think it is the sense that vulnerable people are being exploited, manipulated, used and brainwashed by controlling leaders that really angers me. But, I can see how easy it could be achieved.

The story does make you stop and think especially with the things that we are all witnessing on a global scale. This is a mix of a police procedural, crime thriller and psychological thriller that I would happily recommend to readers who prefer a grittier and hard-hitting subject in their reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J. Todd Scott was born in rural Kentucky and attended college and law school in Virginia, where he set aside an early ambition to write to pursue a career as a federal agent. His assignments have taken him all over the U.S and the world, but a gun and badge never replaced his passion for stories and writing.

When he’s not hunting down very bad men, he’s hard at work on his next book.

His debut novel, THE FAR EMPTY, was published 2016 by Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons. The sequel, HIGH WHITE SUN came out in 2018. And THIS SIDE OF NIGHT, the third book in the Chris Cherry / Big Bend Series, was released in 2019.

His stand-alone Appalachian crime novel, LOST RIVER, came out in 2020.

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