No Going Back by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for one of my favourite authors. No Going Back by Robert Crouch is the latest in the Kent Fisher Mystery Series.

I would like to thank the author for my e-copy of his book and for a spot on his blog Tour.

No Going Back (Kent Fisher Mysteries #7)

When journalist Harry Lawson is pulled from a private swimming pool, his drowning looks like a tragic accident, but for one small detail – he knew someone was going to kill him.

The three text messages he fired off to an old flame the night before confirm he’s a troubled man. But former friend and sleuth, Kent Fisher, believes the messages hint at something deeper and more sinister – an investigation that cost Harry his life.

When a second reporter dies, it’s clear there’s a killer with unfinished business. As Kent inches towards a breakthrough he clashes with close friend Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman. She instructs him to stop investigating, knowing full well he won’t.

For Kent there’s no going back. He has to finish what he started, even though he risks losing a friend, and maybe his own life.

In the seventh murder mystery of the series, Kent Fisher digs deep to complete an investigation that’s far removed from the one he started. 

My Review…

Oh my goodness, this series is just getting better and better and I think this is my favourite one to date. Things in this series have happened and it does help to have read the previous books. I think this is more important for this particular one as there are various things that occur that have ties to previous stories. There is of course a new case for Kent to work on. Has he bitten off more than he or Columbo can chew though!

Kent is questioning his actions after events in his last book, leaving his team, losing people close to him and yet he still seems to walk into impossible situations. The restructuring of the agency means that Kent has a little more time to spend at his animal sanctuary, which he does plan on doing. Well, until the death of an old acquaintance gets his sleuthing senses tingling. Mysterious texts, limited truths, curious coincidences and a whole load of questions that Kent is struggling to find all the answers to.

This has to be one of Kent’s toughest cases as far as how deep and involved it is. Even though he plays his feelings close to his chest, there is a gap between Niamh and also from the loss of Mike. He is not the only one who is missing them! Once again Kent and his love life have made an appearance, he is a man who doesn’t know what he wants. I’m not sure he ever has. He definitely cannot see what is in front of his eyes!

As I said, this is a deeply problematic case for Kent, it involves several people but even he isn’t aware of all the players. This very much kept me on my toes and I loved the intriguing and mysterious nature of this story. It is a story of many parts, many clues, some misdirection and things that I didn’t see coming. I did think I had got it sussed, well I did guess a very small part but nowhere near close to the major parts.

In the previous books, Kent has worked his sleuthing side-line around his day job as an Environmental Health Officer. As the role has been scaled back then so has that part of life. It is a natural progression that still sees some mentions and so keeps the uniqueness of the series. It will be interesting what Kent, or should I say, the author has in mind for the next step in the series.

The ending is also quite different to what I am used to, a cliffhanger and something that is may get very personal for Kent. I am so curious to see what comes next for Kent. There are a few options that I can see and I imagine the author will once again surprise with his vision for the future of Kent. Another wonderful instalment and one that had me hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed this more in-depth sleuthing mystery and I would definitely recommend it to those who like their mysteries less gruesome and enjoy a whodunnit style murder mystery.

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Where Crows Land by Paul McCracken @PaulMcCracken_ @TheConradPress @RandomTTours #crime #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Where Crows Land by Paul McCracken. This is a a gritty urban crime thriller read that I really enjoyed.

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

This gripping thriller is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and chronicles the dramatic events when a former detective, Joseph Carter, sets out to gain redemption from the consequences of an old case that cost him everything.

Carter is still haunted by the murders of his niece and brother-in-law at the hands of a serial killer he was trying to track down. One year on, the killer has returned and Carter, now a disgraced detective gone private, launches a personal vendetta to catch him this time around.

My Review…

Life isn’t easy for Carter. A former detective who is now a Private Investigator after going rogue. Not without just cause though. Deciding not to call in back up a year ago leads to the death of his brother in law and niece.

Being a PI sort of keeps him in the loop, keeping his finger on the pulse of the streets of Belfast. It seems the past is coming at him once again, he is being targeted. A recent case may give him a way back into investigating the murder of his family. A case that haunts him still.

This is a tough and gritty crime thriller and I really like the way the author has twisted this storyline every day possible. Creating a novel that is a mix of various plots and characters to provide a roller coaster ride through the streets of Belfast. The characters are a mix of family, friends and colleagues.

The story is one that has a good deal of intrigue and I found myself second-guessing so many times and was nowhere near to being right. As I said it is full of twists and they definitely caught me out many times.

The characters are such a mix, I did like the main character of Carter. He does seem to have loyalties and integrity, a loner to a point but more that he still hangs on to the hope that he will find those responsible for the deaths of his family. I didn’t particularly like all the characters, there is a certain amount of mistrust that the author has given them. As I read I found my doubts, in some cases were justified, but not in all cases.

This is a gritty and intriguing urban crime thriller that has a good mystery and suspense to it. One for those who like a deep plot with red herrings and one I would recommend reading.

About the Author…

Northern Irish novelist, Paul McCracken was born 16th January 1991 in the Ulster hospital, Dundonald, just outside of Belfast. He grew up in the Castlereagh area of east Belfast where he also went to school. Ever since he could hold a pencil, he wanted to be an artist and no-one, not even the school career advisor could tell him otherwise. He left education with only three GCSE’s and an Art diploma. He tried to make it as a fine artist whilst also trying to find any work to support himself financially. However, the more he learned about the commercial art world, the more he wanted no part in it. In spring 2011, he enrolled in a five day film making course through the Prince’s Trust charity. He always had a passion for storytelling. During the course, he impressed the owner of the studio at which the course was being held, through the raw creativity he displayed. The studio owner was the first to encourage Paul to write his own material, that material being screenplays. After leaving the course with new found confidence and ambition, Paul started to learn the craft of screenwriting and got to work writing his very first feature film. After securing full time work later that year, he found a renewed inspiration to write again and wrote a full length film script in the space of a week. Paul kept on writing other projects as well as continually editing the first script, but he kept the fact he was writing close to himself as he didn’t want to face any negativity if he were to tell anyone. The script would go on to score highly in an international screenplay competition, based out of Los Angeles. It would then place in the quarter-finals of the same competition for the next two years in a row, accompanied by another screenplay that Paul wrote next. Years later, after entering competitions, pitching, submitting and doing some occasional freelance scriptwriting, Paul wanted to find a way to get his work into the public eye. Writing a novel was a challenge that seemed daunting but also exciting. Having first thought of converting his best script into a novel, he decided to come up with a completely original story. In 2018, he self published his debut novel, Layla’s Song. In 2020 he secured two book deals with two different English publishers. The Conrad Press and PM Books (Imprint of Holland House Books). The first of these books was Where Crows Land, a detective thriller set in Belfast and published by The Conrad Press. His other novel, The Last Rains Of Winter is due out early 2021 with PM Books.

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The Crazy Season by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress

I am delighted to share my review today for The Crazy Season by Jim Ody. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and after reading his latest book, it will not be the last time! It was a brilliant read.

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I loved the tense and suspense ridden atmosphere he has created in this first book in the Joel Baxter series. I do own several of this author’s books and it is only now that I have got around to reading one. Yes, I am kicking myself for this lapse!

A journalist, Joel is used to strange and unusual events, it’s what he is known for. So the email he receives really catches his attention. With the help of his best friends sister Melody, they go off in search of the truth behind the curse of The Crazy Season not realising what exactly they are walking into.

Right from the start, this author caught my attention and what a start it was. It sort of sets the feel of the story that follows. It is one with more to it than first meets the eye. As the chapters progressed I discovered more not only about Joel and his wife Cherry but also got more of a glimpse into what exactly Joel does. He is a journalist as such but not the manic story hungry one looking for the latest headlines. He is more about trying to help find the truth and in turn, it helps others. This also helps him. Melody, well Melody is Melody, she is blunt and outrageous in what she says, but underneath her bluster, there is a caring and thoughtful women. I liked her a lot and she made me laugh several times!

The story of the curse is one that was intriguing and the author really knows how to spin a tale. More questions than answers and false leads with the feeling of Joel and Melody going around in circles, hearing similar stories but not quite getting anywhere as far as the truth goes. It’s a mysterious story with plenty of intrigues, to say the least.

The answers, or really that should be the breadcrumbs are not revealed until a lot further into the story. Up until this point, the author gives plenty for the reader to discover and think about. Introducing new characters and adding subtle hints along the way. Once things start to connect you begin to realise how well this story has been thought about. Not only that but there is something else lurking in the background.

This was such a wonderful story to read, mysterious, full of suspense and quite atmospheric. At times it had a noirish tinge to it and I really enjoyed the slower pace of the journey. It is one I would definitely recommend and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one in the series.

About the Author…

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Amazon

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Don’t Ask by Paul Carroll @paulcarrollink @RandomTTours #RandomTTours @matadorbooks #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Don’t Ask by Paul Carroll. This was a fabulous read and one that really caught my attention.

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

A DNA ancestry test opens up a Pandora’s Box of secrets.

When Elsa Watson takes a DNA ancestry test out of idle curiosity she little imagines the devastating consequences she is about to unleash.
Two families become reluctantly entwined as inconvenient truths and long suppressed memories resurface.

A #whodunnit with a difference, Don’t Ask visits the glam rock Seventies, Britpop, Operation Yewtree and #metoo within its alternating past and present chapter structure.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

This really was a fabulous book to sit and read over a couple of days. The synopsis does mention some things that may be a trigger for some readers with the #metoo and Operation Yewtree, a police investigation into child abuse by TV personalities.

Given that this story does contain some hard to read themes, the author has approached it with care. For me, the story is about family and finding out the truth. A simple DNA test that you buy off the shelf to discover your ancestry is the catalyst for the story. A simple test to discover your heritage and where your roots hark back to. Sounds great until you discover that you have a close relationship with someone else.

Using this as the basis the author has woven a story that I found to be compelling reading. Family secrets are at the heart of the story and also embarrassment, shame and guilt. The author has taken the story to include many twists and turns that kept me guessing even when I knew some of the answers. Having the answers is not enough and the author has given an intriguing route for the reasons why. This does involve some unpleasantness, but it is kept in context and not embellished or over dramatised in my opinion.

The story involves different generations of two families, their backgrounds are told across a timeslip style. They flit back and forth between time and character. There is no warning or indication about these switches, but to be perfectly honest, once I got to know the characters I soon found it very easy to follow.

Discovering that you don’t know all about your family must be very hard. The author gives a feel of loss as the characters involved are discovering their truths. The story was a slow-paced one and this helped with getting to know the characters and how they have changed over the years, the memories that have been suropressed and their relationships with each other.

This is a novel that I really got on with and I do think the author has hit the balance well with the themes he has included. A mix of contemporary fiction and a mystery as the truth is finally revealed. The story of two families and their everyday lives is rocked by a simple and innocent DNA test. A sad story but one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Paul Carroll has been drawn to ink and the written word since launching a rock fanzine in his late teens.

Born and bred in Leeds, Paul crossed the Pennines in the mid-70s to study English Language and English Literature at the University of Manchester. 

Chasing a job in journalism he stumbled into the world of PR and ten years after starting his career set up his own PR consultancy, Communique PR, in Manchester.

There he worked on many well-known brands including Boddingtons, Heineken, Thorntons Chocolate, Chicago Town Pizza, Big D peanuts, Co-op Funerals and Manchester Airport.

These days, Paul concentrates on his writing.

Paul’s books are full of dark humour and satirical takes.  His writing has been compared to that of Ben Elton, Nick Hornby and Jonathan Coe in tackling serious contemporary issues in a highly engaging and entertaining way.

Don’t Ask (Matador 2021) is Paul Carroll’s fourth novel, following A Matter of Life and Death (Matador, 2012), Written Off (Matador, 2016), and Trouble Brewing (Matador, 2017).

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I Am Here To Kill You by Chris Westlake #IAmHereToKillYouNovel @ChrisWestlake2 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

I am delighted to join the Blog Tour and share my review today for I am Here To Kill You by Chris Westlake.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebblesblogtours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this twisted psychological crime thriller novel.

Charming. Charismatic. Beautiful.
And deadly?

The members of a local support group in a sleepy welsh town are captivated by the new arrival, Sheena Strachan. Each member of the group has a reason for attending. Some hide dark, sinister secrets, and for others it is the highlight of their week.

But what are Sheena’s motives for attending?

The group’s leader, Rose, unexpectedly stops attending meetings. She goes into hiding, and quickly becomes an outcast. And then she is arrested for her estranged husband’s murder.

Did Sheena really have no involvement in his killing?

With Sheena at the helm, the group goes from strength to strength, both in numbers and commitment. But their behaviour is changing. No story is to leave the room. They trust nobody. Men are the enemy. The residents of the previously peaceful town start turning against each other.

Was this Sheena’s plan all along?

One mystery, however, stands out more than all the others.

Who is here to kill who…?

I AM HERE TO KILL YOU is a compelling psychological thriller that explores the potential power and devastation of manipulation.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say, that I thoroughly enjoyed the twisted psychological journey he took me on.

The story is of a group of women who come together to support each other, they have been doing so for several years. Members come and go and it is a laid back meeting where the women, if they want to, can share their feelings, experiences or troubles. Things are good until a newcomer enters the village.

I am going to be quite vague with this review as I don’t want to spoil the reading for others. This newcomer is a pleasant enough person, to begin with, but not everyone takes to her. Along with some key characters, the author weaves a story that definitely leans towards the darker side of human nature. It’s a manipulative and twisted story if ever there was one. I did think I had a handle on who was doing what, but no, more was to come.

The author writes his female characters so well, there were times when I thought this was a female author writing. There are not the usual stereotypes so this makes it such a refreshing read. He explores the more risque nature of the characters in a series of challenges and pushes them to the limits with great success.

I really liked the twisted route the author took, it has several things going on as there are a good amount of characters. They are easy to get to grips with as they are introduced in a good way so that you are not inundated with a rush of names. The more you get to know the characters, the more you understand the reasons for what they do, well to a point as I mentioned earlier there are still surprises to come. I did like how the conclusion came around and it seemed like a very fitting way to finish the book. It answered the questions and mysteries that gradually built up and gave a satisfying ending.

I really enjoyed this and it was great to read a psychological thriller that felt different to what I would normally read. I read this over a couple of sittings but could have easily read it in one. This is one for those who like a psychological mystery style thriller and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

After completing a Creative Writing course in 2010, Chris Westlake’s short story, Welsh Lessons, was awarded 1st place in the Global Short Story Award (not bad for the first writing competition he had entered). He followed this up with 1st place in the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award and 2nd place in the HASSRA Literary Award.

Chris has written three novels. 30 DAYS IN JUNE is his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second thriller, on schedule to be completed in 2020. He is determined to write many, many more – his main regret is that he didn’t start writing earlier.

Chris considers himself to be a developing author. He is always looking to improve, to make his next novel even better than the last. He is continuously experimenting with different styles, different genres.

You can contact Chris at chriswestlakeauthor@hotmail.co.uk . He would love to hear from you.

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Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks @arrowpublishing @rachel90kennedy #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and my huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy at Arrow Publishing for advanced copy of this brilliant book.

Let me show you more…

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a propulsive thriller featuring an ordinary woman who will stop at nothing to find the missing people that the rest of the world has forgotten

Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

My Review…

The synopsis gives a great intro as to who Frankie Elkin is, and I have to say she is a character who I really like. She has her vulnerabilities and it is through the course of the story that you gradually learn more about her.

Frankie is someone who doesn’t really fit in, she is not able to stay in one place for long. A drifter who is seeking the truth behind people who have gone missing. She has swapped the addiction of alcohol for finding people. For someone that doesn’t quite fit, she does seem to be able to make unlikely acquaintances and has discovered that not being a figure in authority makes her more trustworthy as such. Maybe trustworthy isn’t the right word, but people open up to her more. I think her character is one that uses truth and honesty about her alcoholism and uses it in everyday situations.

Her latest case choice is that of a missing schoolgirl, a bright girl who didn’t get into trouble and always attends class and has a good future ahead of her. Why then would she disappear. The case has gone cold and Frankie decides that she want s to help.

I hadn’t realised that there were people who actually do this in real life. Not for monetary gain or fame but just to help families find closure or to reunite them.

The story of Frankie and her involvement is one that takes time, it is a good paced story and one that I found myself eagerly turning pages for. The characters cover a mixed bunch, some have more involvement than others, but there aren’t any hangers-on so it makes the flow so good. The main premise is finding a missing girl, but the story is a lot more than that as Frankie soon discovers. It is a story that gradually unearths more than she originally bargained for.

I do like how the author has woven Frankie’s story around that of the missing girl’s case and this is where some of the other characters come in and are worked well. Being a recovering alcoholic gives her an in if you like, AA is a support group so it does stand to reason that there will be a character that will go the extra step.

This is a cracking story and one that I found really addictive. It is a crime mystery but not of the blood and guts kind. There is a mix of gangs, police, friendly faces as well as discovering Frankies mysterious past. It is a book that I would definitely recommend and I am looking forward to reading more of this author’s previous books.

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The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse @SarahVPearse @RandomTTours #TheSanatorium #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse. I had been looking forward to reading this one for ages and it didn’t disappoint.

My huge thanks to Anne for my spot on the Blog Tour. Here is more about this excellent book…

You won’t want to leave…until you can’t.

An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.

And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

But no-one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they’re all in…

Pre-order Link – Amazon UK Publication Date 4th February

My Review…

This is such a good book. It has the isolation of the mountains and that danger of an avalanche to add to the atmospherics. There is a nervous tension and eeriness to what is inside as well. Elin and her other half Will are at the Swiss sanatorium that has been remodelled into a luxury hotel.

Elin is a character who is struggling with life at the moment. She is a Detective from the UK who has been on leave due to a bad case and bad decisions. This has dragged up, memories from the past that she is struggling to get past and hopes that seeing her brother at the hotel will help. As she is trying her best to remain calm and to control her feelings there is something about the sanatorium that is unsettling. It is confirmed when a body is found, and then another person goes missing.

This really does have all the chilling, sinister vibes and I do think the author does a cracking job of bringing the sinister and intriguing history of the sanatorium into the story. It ups the tension and the isolation gives the feeling of a locked-in story.

As I was reading this I did give the odd feeling of The Shining coming through, a story I do love by the way. Sanatorium had that similar feeling of isolation, the feeling of something more going on than meets the eye, that there is a hidden agenda and something really bad has happened.

Without giving anything away there is definitely more to this than meets the eye. While it is a crime thriller it is also a mystery thriller, Elin’s character as the detective in this story is an interesting angle. She has no jurisdiction as such as she is a detective on leave in a foreign country.

Overall this is a fabulous read and one that definitely captured my attention. I did like the locked-in eeriness and the intriguing storyline. One for readers who like a suspense-filled, intriguing mystery, thriller read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains and still has a home in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes. You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor

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The Stranger Times by C.K McDonnell @TransworldBooks #fantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell. This is a brilliantly mad and quirky book and was ideal for a bit of pure escapism. My huge thanks to Bantam Press for accepting my request to read via NetGalley.

Here is more about the book…

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There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that’s their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door – and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.

The Stranger Times is the first novel from C.K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction.

My Review…

This is one of those weirdly, quirky, slightly eccentric, mad-cap books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It one that was highly entertaining.

Hannah has left her husband, she is has gone from being a socialite as such married to a man with plenty of money but who doesn’t know how to keep it on his pants. She now searches the bargains in the food aisles and hoping she will soon find a job.

One interview is at The Stranger Times newspaper, a paper that reports weird and wonderful stories. Alien abductions, Elvis being alive, you know the sort! More esoteric rather than mainstream to say the least. But, it is a job. If the paper wasn’t weird enough then the other employees are definitely filling the void that is left, in a rather fun way.

The story itself is of two deaths. The first is that of a homeless man, the second is a suicide. Both are quickly dealt with by the police. One officer, however, is not convinced and neither are the staff at the paper. What follows is a mix of chases, strange occurrences, weird events and even weirder circumstances as the hunt for the truth pans out.

This is such a fun read and it was one that caught me by surprise as I didn’t read the synopsis before picking it up. I mean I did read it when I first looked at the book, that was several weeks before I started reading it though. The surprise was one that had me wondering what on earth was happening and wondering where the story was going, but through this, I still found myself eagerly turning the pages of this quirky and bizarre story that is a mix of urban fantasy and mystery.

I completely enjoyable read that had me sniggering to myself on several occasions. It has characters that I adored and I am really looking forward to seeing what this series hold in the future. A fun read and one that I would defiantly recommend.

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The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton @GHam001 @BOTBSPublicity @HeraBooks #BOTBSPublicity #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to day to share my review for The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I would like to say a huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of the book.

Here is more about the book…

You can run… but death will always find you

A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible.

Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.

A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.

Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.

But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?

The latest in the gripping London crime series featuring DI Matthew Denning and DS Molly Fisher, The Darkness Within is a must-read if you like Angela Marsons, L.J. Ross or Joy Ellis.

My Review…


This the first time I have read a book by this author, starting part way through a series is never the best idea but I do have to say that this book well as a stand-alone. The obvious benefit of reading in order means that you get to know the characters traits and how they interact, I soon found myself getting to grip with these as I read.

This story starts with the discovery of a body, that of an ex DCI. The crime is murder, the reasons for it are not easy to come by for DI Denning and his team. This case will test them all and when results are slow to come the hierarchy do what they do best and add unnecessary pressure. Another similar murder and some accusations and rumours start to emerge of historic crimes that may have been covered-up start to emerge.

I really enjoyed this book, it is not a fast-paced story and this was good for me as I got to know more about the characters as while they were dealing with the cases before them. Sometimes it is nice to get into a more detailed book as far as the investigation, the characters and the storyline goes. As the characters are new to me I did occasionally forget who was who, but this didn’t stop any enjoyment. The investigation is a slower more dogged one, knowing that something isn’t right and proving it are two very different things and this kind of sums up the story in a way. Finding the evidence, connecting the dots and proving that your gut instinct is correct provides a very gripping read.

I really liked this and yes I do wish I had read the previous books, this is a series I will keep going with. I really enjoyed the mix or current crimes with links to historical ones, the power struggles and how the case was worked through and sorted. A crime, with a strong police procedural and more of mystery aspect rather than a full-on crime thriller and one I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Graeme Hampton was born in Paisley, and grew up in Stirling. After leaving school,
he trained as a stage manager and worked in London for a number of years. He
returned to Scotland in his late twenties to study for a BA in English Literature at
Stirling University. His first novel, Know No Evil – featuring Met detectives DI Matt
Denning and DS Molly Fisher – was published in 2019 by Hera Books. This was
followed by Blood Family in January 2020. The Darkness Within is the third novel in
the series.
Graeme lives in Hastings, East Sussex.

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Snakes and Ladders(Knight & Culverhouse 10) by Adam Croft @adamcroft #crimefiction #bookreview #PublicationDay

I am delighted to share my review today for Adam Croft, an author who features quite regularly on my Blog, I have read several of his books and today sees another review. Snakes and Ladders is the 10th book in the Knight and Culverhouse series and it also commemorates 10 years since the first book was released in the series.

Happy Publication Day Adam.

Here’s what you need to know…

A body lies amongst the undergrowth in Mildenheath Woods. His hands are bound behind his back, and he’s been killed execution-style.

But the victim isn’t a gangland kingpin: he’s a well-liked young man, never in any trouble, who had his whole life ahead of him.

But as Jack Culverhouse and Wendy Knight begin to dig deeper into what happened, a shocking new truth comes to light. Was the victim quite as innocent as he seemed?

Purchase – Amazon UK

My Review…

Jack Culverhouse is definitely feeling battle worn as he looks into this latest case. A young man found tied up and killed. This man is a not one who gets into trouble, so why the execution style to his murder?

Once again the author has put Jack Culverhouse right in the thick of things. Not only does he have a lot to deal with at home, he now also is a case that doesn’t quite add up. I do like how the author has developed this story, the elements are conveniently there, but it’s the things that are unsaid that sound out louder.

I really enjoy the way we see the main character not only in a professional, but also a personal capacity. This gives the author the ideal opportunity to play mind games with his character and throw in a curve ball or two.

This, as I mentioned, is book 10. I came to this series part way through and so I can say that the books can be approached as stand alone. I am really enjoy img this series, it is a punchy, fast paced crime, police procedural series. Snakes and Ladders follows on and leaves the reader with a tantalising ending. I would definitely recommend this latest book.

About the Author…

Adam Croft

With more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

Social Media – Amazon Author PageTwitter Website

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