I am delighted to share my thoughts on Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen. My huge thanks to Owen for sending me a copy of this book for me to read.
Let e show you what it is all about…
It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.
She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.
When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.
The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.
Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.
Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?
As I sit and think about writing my thoughts up about this book there are a few words that spring to mind, hard-hitting, intriguing, brutal, gritty and violent. The synopsis skims and suggests what the story contains, a story that is not simply one but a series of interconnected stories and of events that are brought together.
Meeting Mackenzie is something that has saved many women in the refuge that she runs. She herself is the survivor of a brutal crime and one that still haunts her. The refuge takes in people from different walks of life and backgrounds, domestic abuse isn’t isolated to one type of person or a certain class of person, it is something that can affect anyone.
The author has created a story that shows how relationships can go so wrong for some people. Whether it is stress from work or having no job, having plenty of money or having none. The author has given perspectives from the victims and also the abusers. Getting into the mind of a man who is hell-bent on finding out why his girlfriend didn’t meet him, or why a neighbour called the police is quite unsettling reading. But the author tackles it in a compelling way.
As I read the story I got what I felt was an insight into various perspectives from different people. Overworked police, victims of abuse, abusers, criminals, and a reporter. All these people and the role they play in this story have been so well worked to create a book that is very difficult to put down. Loyalties have a lot of meaning in the story and some are very easy to appreciate and then there are those that are based on fear.
Now, this is a crime, thriller mystery read that has various angles. The first is right at the beginning of the story and the twists and turns just don’t stop. They get deeper and more entwined as you read. Often you find yourself drawn further and further into a story, Deady Harm had me hooked from the very beginning and left me stunned by the end.
If you want a hard-hitting crime thriller read that is gritty and very well written then I suggest you grab a copy of this book. It is a cracking read and I Highly Recommend it.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
So for the past 3 days I have listed the books from various different genres that I have loved this year.
It has been such an amazing literary year and it has made it very, very difficult to keep my list short… hell, let’s be honest it is far from short, hence the past 3 daily posts… and I could still have added more. So many books that really did deserve a mention.
I have finally added all the books I have read this year to my Goodreads tally, well apart from two manuscripts that I beta read. I am just starting 232nd book of the year. (The Book of Dust Vol 2 The Secret of the Commonwealth by Phillip Pullman, in case you are wondering)
If you want to check out my previous posts then follow the links below
From all of the books listed I have chosen My Top 10 Absolute Favourite Books of 2019.
So without further ado, here we go…
My Absolute Favourite Books of the Year from those listed in my previous 3 posts are listed below, in no particular order 🙂
Out of the Silence by Owen Mullen. This was the first book that I added to my rough draft list when I read it in January, and it has stayed with me right the way through the year. It is such a stunningly beautiful and also heartbreaking book that is a murder, mystery and then some. This book will stay with me for a long time!
Dear Rosie Hughes by Melanie Hudson. I didn’t think I was going to get on with this one when I first started it. I was planning on only reading the first chapter before going to bed… yeah I read the whole book! It is told in a series of messages, emails and letters about friends Aggie and Rosie, this book was so addictive and so emotional.
Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. Oh my goodness, this book was an absolute pleasure to read. Yet another one sitting read that had me laughing one moment and sobbing the next. This is a stunning read with some amazing characters and a brilliant story line and those sections in italics… Wow!. I also loved her next book Escape to Giddywell Grange.
The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. I am a big fan of Tony’s books and I am always so impatient for the next one. The Death of Justice is Book 5 in the DI Bliss series and it is by far my favourite book to date. I felt the author took a real step up with this book. It felt more emotional and there was something extra special about this latest instalment, so special that he reduced me to tears. Fabulous series and a fabulous book.
Dark Deception by Amanda James. This is another author I will automatically read and a favourite of mine. This is another author who I thought also stepped things up this year with this book. The title is so perfect for the devious and deceptive nature of the story within. She completely reeled me in, building more and more intrigue with each chapter. An absolute belter of a read.
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher. This is the story of Griz, never played a game of football, because, well… there just aren’t enough people, and he has never known that many people. This is an emotional, atmospheric and fantastic book that just felt so right when I read it. A book that I savoured and adored, an absolutely cracking read.
Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb. I just fell in love with this story from the first pages and it kept me hooked right through until the very end. It is set in the height of Hollywood Film Royalty and Grace Kelly steps into Sophie’s perfumer shop, following Grace is a reporter and the story that follows is stunning. The story had the style, luxury and class of the time as the story follows not only Sophie but also Grace. I loved the feel and style of this book, a stunning read.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. Audible version. I loved having Michelle sat with me in the car as I drove 7 hours up to visit my parents and then back again! Well that is what it felt like, it felt as if she was actually talking to me. She spoke of her life growing up, meeting Barack, working, elections, being the First Lady as well as a wife and a mother. She has such a wonderful voice to listen to and an amazing story to tell. I loved listening to this a huge amount.
Black Summer by M.W Craven. Up until last week The Puppet Show, the first book in the series was on my Top 10 list, then I read this 2nd book in the Washington Poe series! I had been told by other Book Bloggers I would love it, and they were so right. I love the characters of Poe and Tilly, they are two opposites in personality and character and they are a readers dream, I love the dynamics between them both. And then there it the story line , dark, deep, twisted and so addictive. Awesome read and a single sitting book as well.
Right if I can count I think that makes 9 out of 10 books to make my Absolute Favourite Books of 2019. I was going to do a drum roll thing but then I thought just get on with it…
So my #1 Book of the year absolutely blew me away. It was a book that sounded so intriguing from the synopsis and then took me on one hell of a journey. It had so many things that made it compelling reading…
Here is what it is all about…
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope.
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
I would just like to thank all of you amazing folk out there who have commented, liked, shared my posts throughout the year. You are all absolutely amazing. To Book Bloggers, Authors, Publishers and Blog Tour Organisers thank you for a fantastic literary year and for making sure I never run out of books to read.
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I will see you all in the New Year.
I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan. My huge thanks to Sarah for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
‘Rachel. They must have made a mistake. A mother would know?’ She let her words pour into the emptiness of the kitchen. She began to shiver. ‘I can’t feel anything,’ she said softly and rocked back and forth, as if she was a huge child, seeking solace in the simple gesture.
When young, pretty nurse Rachel McDermott is found murdered in the harsh lights of the hospital kitchen where she works, her mother can’t accept the news, and the small Irish town of Corbally reels in disbelief. Rushing to the scene, Detective Iris Locke vows to find the sick killer, whatever it takes.
The last person to see Rachel alive was her close friend, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Marshall, a troubled teenager, estranged from her family. Eleanor was spotted fleeing the kitchen where Rachel’s body was found and becomes the main suspect. Iris has a search party combing the endless woods near the Comeragh mountains where they believe she is hiding. But Iris is consumed with worry for the vulnerable girl and can’t shake a prickly disquiet that Eleanor shouldn’t be a suspect.
Eleanor’s sister agrees but a day later, when she is found dead in the area Eleanor is hiding, things don’t look good for the runaway teen. Iris can’t see Eleanor, who still sleeps with her childhood teddy bear, as someone who would kill her little sister and her best friend, but all the evidence seems to point that way.
Sleep-deprived and desperate to find the truth, Iris takes a closer look into Rachel’s background and discovers that she was keeping strange, shadowy company the night before she died. Convinced that Eleanor is in terrible danger, Iris sets out to find her, in the icy-cold woods, alone. But what if somebody else makes their way through the darkness and reaches Iris and Eleanor first?
This gripping mystery thriller is perfect for fans of Carol Wyer, Robert Dugoni and LJ Ross.
The title of “Why She Ran” is so intriguing, the “She” is a young girl from influential and moneyed parents. Why she ran is gradually unveiled as the story unfolds.
She, is Eleanor who is currently staying in a treatment facility and is estranged from her parents. She has escaped and Detective Iris Locke is desperate to find her her, and for more than the reason of being a suspect in the murder of Rachel McDermott, one of the nurses at the treatment centre.
This is the second book in the Detective Iris Locke series, and even though it can be read as a stand-alone, as I did, I would advise reading the first book. I say this because there is a story from the first that carries into this second book. The author does a cracking job of filling in the basics of what you need to know, but I felt that I would have a better understanding of Locke’s character if I had read in order.
Locke has gone through a hell of a time and is still coming to terms with changes in her personal life. She is thrown in at the deep-end to a certain extent as she is asked to lead this investigation into Rachel’s death and also Eleanor’s disappearance. There is some in-house rivalry that simmers through the story and it adds a good snarky moments for Locke to deal with. It is something she doesn’t really need a the moment as she has enough on her plate because Eleanor’s father has a lot of influence and she has to tread carefully.
This is a good story that moves a long at a slightly slower pace, but this sort of mirrors the pace the investigation flows at. It is quite a complex case as there are so many unknowns, but it is at the same time easy to follow. As well as the main focus of the case, Locke’s background, as I have mentioned, is touched upon. Also her second in command has a few of his own problems. I like this inclusion of personal details into a story like this, it humanises the characters and also grounds them.
The story took some surprising routes and concludes in a quicker paced finale. The quick step-up in pace gives a sense of urgency and comes at just the right point of the investigation and adds another level of tension.
I really enjoyed this crime thriller and I will try my very best to read the first one as I really want to know more about Locke, she intrigues me as the author hints at a how Locke was in the previous book compared to how she is now, almost like a before and after comparison.
This is a really intriguing read that threw some surprising twists that I didn’t see coming. A police procedural that has a different feel as it it not just a murder investigation, but also the search for a girl who has disappeared. Why She Ran is a book I would definitively recommend.
Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan. HER SISTER’S BONES is her first crime novel, her second WHY SHE RAN is due out in December 2019. She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!
I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll. My thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books for arranging my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book. My apologies for being late with this review, I hadn’t realised the Tour dates had changed, but better late than never as they say 🙂
This is the second book in the Hemlock Jones series and I loved it as much as I did the first one. Before I get carried away singing the praises for this author’s Hemlock series, let me show you what it is all about…
When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!
This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…
Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.
Oh it is so good to be travelling around Victorian London with Hemlock and Eddie, oops sorry Edward! Hemlock and Edward are a fabulous combination. Hemlock is a demystifier, she takes the mystery out of criminal cases that she decides to investigate and Edward is her Associate.
Her latest case is one that involves the disappearance of orphans. She is approached as she had helped on a previous case, though her and Edward did not get the credit they deserved, instead it went to that other famous consultant from Baker Street! Though she did not get the credit, she is recognised as being a help, so she agrees to give her expert help in the search for the missing children.
Now, you know I mentioned how I enjoyed wandering around Victorian London with the duo? Well, this time I was glad that as a reader I can experience things from the pages of a book! I bet Edward would wish to be in my position instead of traipsing and crawling through the rat infested sewers!
This book is fabulous and has mystery, intrigue and uses powers of observation and deduction or should I say demystification! I should mention that it is aimed at a younger audience, but this grown up (depending who you ask!) reader loves it!
It is a story that is accessible and is at a pace that holds the attention, there are quieter moments in it but these are moments are essential to the case or are about the lives of the characters themselves. I think this story is ideal for giving a younger audience a mystery novel that has a feel of the classic Sherlock Holmes but in a more upbeat way, it has action and adventure as well as mishaps and danger. I remember trying to read a Sherlock story when I was younger and I was not old enough to understand it, but if I had access to Hemlock Jones I would have been so happy. I will add that as an adult reader I love the Sherlock Holmes books!
The story itself is good and holds the attention, there are mentions of the yuckier side of London and it also has reference to a poem / folk tale that I think would make for good further reading for the target audience. I love that the main heroes of the story are children and their escapades are in an adult world. They are given a chance to deal with an investigation that is adult sized, but its their belief in their own instincts and observations that lead to solving the case.
This is a fabulous read and I think that the younger audience would absolutely enjoy it. It is the 2nd book in the Hemlock Jones series and I would definitely recommend it.
Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.
Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.
Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.
December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.
His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.
I am delighted ot be sharing my review for Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry. My thanks to the publisher Avon Books UK for accepting my request to read this book via NetGalley.
I have had this title on my shelf for a while and I have decided to include it in my #20booksofsummer Readin Challenge. This is number 3/20.
Let’s see what it is all about…
You can trust your family, can’t you…?
Tess Piper was fourteen when her adored twin sister Edie disappeared.
She has spent the last twenty years building a life away from her fractured family, desperate to escape the shadow of the past.
Only now she needs to confront the huge hole her sister’s disappearance left in her life, because a body has been found. The police are shining a spotlight on the Piper family. And secrets are about to surface.
After all, it’s common knowledge that more often than not, these crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Someone they trust. Someone they know…
What really happened to Edie Piper?
For 20 years Tess has not known what had happened to her sister Edie when they were both 14 years old. When Edie’s body is finally discovered it brings with it a lot of uncertainty and loads of unanswered questions. Throughout the story, new questions are asked and most of them are answered.
This story is a back and forth one, alternating between present day and 20 years ago where it builds up a picture of the girls growing up and also of Tess as she is today. Tess and Edie had been close but, as they grew older they started to drift apart as their interests and like started to change. Edie was more outgoing of the two, but Tess found herself more isolated, the odd one out if you like and wanting to hang onto her sisters coat-tails. Tess was more old-fashioned, preferring things to stay as they were, while Edie wanted to discover new things and people.
All families have things that are not shared with their children. Parents don’t discuss their doubts and fears with them, wanting to keep their children’s childhood as happy and carefree as possible. The full details of their childhood only start to emerge as Tess starts to dig into the past and finally starts to discover hidden truths.
This story has a good pace to it and follows the lives of the girls and the key figures in their lives. It is a story that felt more like a murder mystery rather than a crime thriller for me. It is one I enjoyed and I had a character in my head for the culprit and, while I was right in my assumption I did have the odd wobble of doubt and thought I may have misjudged it. For me, this didn’t take away any enjoyment of the story, it is about the journey and the reason behind the truth rather than who was responsible.
It is one I would recommend!
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx
I have my thoughts on The Red Hand of Fury by R.N.Morris to share with you today as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. You can purchase a copy of the book from AMAZON UK or AMAZON US.
London, June 1914. A young man is mauled to death at London Zoo after deliberately climbing into the bear pit. Shortly afterwards, another young man leaps to his death from the notorious Suicide Bridge. Two seemingly unconnected deaths – and yet there are similarities.
Following a third attempted suicide, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn knows he must uncover the link between the three men if he is to discover what caused them to take their own lives. The one tangible piece of evidence is a card found in each of the victims’ possession, depicting a crudely-drawn red hand. What does it signify? To find the answers, Quinn must revisit his own dark past. But can he keep his sanity in the process …?
Inspector Silas Quinn of the Special Crime Department believes there is a connection when he comes across 2 suicides and 1 attempted suicide. There is not much that links these events together, but Quinn thinks differently and along with his sergeants; Macadam and Inchball they try to discover the truth.
This is set in 1914 London and begins in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum as the newest patient is brought in. The author describes the brutal and harsh treatment of patients before taking a step back by a few weeks, and then I got to learn the story of the events as they happened bringing me back up to date.
This is a really gritty and grimy read as I got taken round some not particularly nice areas of London. There are historical references that help set the picture and add to the scenes and have very nicely woven into the story.
The plot is very clever and I had no idea as to who was responsible or why. It contained teasing and cryptic little details as I followed Quinn and his team on their investigation. The characters themselves are quite likeable, but I am not sure about Quinn he is an oddball in some ways.
This is the fourth in the series and it worked very well as a stand alone. True to my usual form I haven’t read the previous books, but didn’t feel that I was missing out too much on any previous stories. It has left me very intrigued and wanting to read the previous books in the series.
If you like early 1900’s detective, murder mystery then this is a really must read one . It is well paced and kept me guessing all the way through, it does have some good historical references. This is one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author:
R. N. Morris is the author of eight historical crime novels. His first, A Gentle Axe, was published by Faber and Faber in 2007. Set in St Petersburg in the nineteenth century, it features Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s great novel, Crime and Punishment. The book was published in many countries, including Russia. He followed that up with A Vengeful Longing, which was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. A Razor Wrapped in Silk came next, followed by The Cleansing Flames, which was nominated for the Ellis Peters Historical Novel Dagger. The Silas Quinn series of novels, set in London in 1914, began with Summon Up The Blood, followed by The Mannequin House, The Dark Palace and now The Red Hand of Fury, published on 31 March, 2018.
Giveaway – Win a hardback copy of The Red Hand of Fury (Open Internationally)
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I am delighted to be sharing “A Dead American In Paris” by Seth Lynch as part of the blog tour by Emma and Fahrenheit Press. My thanks to Emma for my spot on the tour and also Fahrenheit and the author for my e-copy of the book.
Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter.
He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.
As Salazar gets to grips with the case he’s dragged reluctantly into an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder.
Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.
The synopsis does a wonderful job of letting the reader know what they are letting themselves in for as regarding the content of the story. I do read this prior to accepting a book, but then as I read several books between accepting and actually reading I am not usually aware of what the book is about until I start to actually read it. I only read the synopsis after I have finished reading, it is at this point I can make my own decision as to whether it works or not. This is just the way I do things.
So going into this story “blind” so to speak, I was immediately drawn into the dark and atmospheric descriptions the author gives as I was plunged into 1930’s Paris with Salazar, or “Sal” as he is referred to. I was taken into the labyrinths that make up the back alleys, side streets and seedier cafe’s and living conditions. It is a dark and dangerous world as I followed Sal on his case. It looked at the political view of women and their rights, or I should say lack of rights regarding the choice of abortion at the time. I couldn’t help but think of the recent Ireland Referendum regarding this very subject and this made the timely read of this book very relevant to todays society. (Please not that I am not making a statement here only stating a relevant aspect.)
The plot itself took me a little while to get into as I was not able to just sit and read several chapters at once. For me, reading several chapters of a new book helps to cement the basics of the story. Work and other distractions kept me from reading more than a few chapters at a time initially. When I was able to sit and read a bigger chunk of the story I was then able to get a real feel for the characters, their personalities and the story itself really then opened itself up for me.
The settings and descriptions were brilliantly vivid and so atmospheric it gave me a very real sense of time and place. Sal the main character came across as a borderline alcoholic and insomniac who really does manage to put himself in the thick of it on more than one occasion as he follows slim leads and to find witnesses and clues.
This is a story that has a mean and moody backstreet feel, taking you into a world were people are only out for themselves and the money they can obtain from those less fortunate. A book that I did enjoy once I had the chance to really settle down with and immerse myself into. The author has a wonderful writing style and it appealed to me as a reader and allowed me to become lost in his literary world for a few hours.
This is a book I would recommend to readers who like a darker historical murder, crime and mystery read.
About the Author:
Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.
With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.
I am sharing my thoughts on “Stench” by AB Morgan as part of the Blog Blitz by Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books. Many thanks for my copy that I received via NetGalley. Stench can be purchased from Amazon UK in paperback and eBook format.
Rory Norton didn’t always make his living as a motorbike instructor and he went to great lengths to leave his past life behind, to start again.
He thought he had succeeded, until the body of a missing woman is discovered under the floor of his cottage. Only then do the guilt and shame of his wife’s mysterious, untimely death and the accusations about his connection to the missing woman combine to break him.
The question is not how the missing woman died but why, and who is responsible?
Sometimes the truth stinks.
Ali Morgan is an author I am becoming quite familiar with as I have taken part in a few of the Blog Tours for her books. She is becoming an author that I agree to reading without paying too much attention to the book, now I know that sounds bad but it isn’t really, what I mean is she is an author I will read as I know I will get a story that I will enjoy. Stench is no exception.
I thought the title was a bazaar choice as I started this story, but by the end I realised actually it is a really good choice of title, there are various meanings behind the title and it makes perfect sense. The author has used the various different threads for this story and from the smell of the noxious fumes from the neighbour and the fishy smell of something not being right as the plot unfolds you start to see a link, this does continue with a character as well, but I’m leaving it there for now.
The characters did take a little while to get used to but as you start to get familiar with their roles you soon recognise them. The timeline for this is not a standard one, it does flicker and change but as you realise how this style works it makes for a really enjoyable read. I think this also adds to the story as you get to witness different perspectives and this adds to the story. You begin to realise there is a lot more going on than you first think. Anna has her own story to tell and she decides she wants to learn how to ride a motorbike, walk in Rory an instructor who gets to know Anna. Through the story you get to learn about these two characters and what makes them tick. It is not straight forward and they both have things in their pasts that still haunt them.
Ali has a background in that she really does bring into play with this story. There are Mental Health aspects within this story and the author has used her experiences of the system to show how quickly things can spiral out of control when someone does not get the treatment they need. It is a side to the Mental Health Service that we are aware, the under-funding, the out of hours service and general inadequacies, now I do mention this as it plays a part in the story but the author has got the balance spot on for me, incorporating a problem into a story without going over the top and coming across as preaching.
I thought this story was an addictive, absorbing and an insightful read. It has elements that I found fascinating and I liked the pacing of it, not all action and rush, but slower and deliberate that fitted in with the mystery element of the story. Another great read and a book I would definitely recommend as one for those who like a psychological mystery, crime and suspense read.
About the Author:
Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.
Alison worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line. She eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes and her career juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.
Her first two novels, A Justifiable Madness and Divine Poison, were inspired by her career as a psychiatric nurse and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Then she stepped sideways and wrote a gritty psychological thriller, The Camera Lies. All published by Bloodhound Books, Alison’s novels have received excellent reviews and inspired many an interesting debate. Above all, they are entertaining reads and, despite dark subjects, will raise a smile.
Today I have my thoughts on “Headland” by Ged Gilmore. This came to me via Oliver at deGrevilo Publishing a small Indie Publisher in Sydney Australia. My thanks to Oliver for my eBook and also for introducing me to another author. My thoughts are my own and unbiased. You can get a copy either in paperback or eBook format at Amazon UK or Amazon Au.
Murdoch’s doing just ﬁne, thanks for not asking. He’s dealing drugs for a professional crime syndicate in Sydney and saving for a house by the sea. But what does he think life is, a fairy tale?
As the syndicate puts pressure on him to fill the shoes of his murdered boss, Murdoch is cornered by an equally formidable foe: the Australian Tax Ofﬁce demanding an explanation for his sizeable cash income.
Murdoch spins a beautiful lie, telling tax inspector, Hannah Simms, he’s a private detective. When Simms asks him to investigate the mystery of her niece’s disappearance, Murdoch grabs what he thinks is a golden opportunity to outrun the syndicate. But his arrival in the missing girl’s small coastal home town causes an unexpected stir and the reluctant PI soon realises his troubles are only just beginning.
HEADLAND is noir crime at its best, a thriller to keep you guessing until the very end.
** THIS IS NOT THE AUSTRALIA YOU’VE SEEN ADVERTISED **
HEADLAND is the first book in the Bill Murdoch Mystery series. It is perfect for fans of Peter Temple, Jane Harper, Garry Disher, and Alan Furst.
Bad-boy-turned-local-hero, Bill Murdoch, returns for more noir mysteries in the sequels CLASS ACT, and BASE NATURE. (Both coming early 2018)
Bill Murdoch is a drug dealer who is trying to evade his boss as well as the Australian Tax Office. All he wants to do is live a quiet life with his own house and car by the sea. After a lie to the tax office he finds himself looking into a cold case of a missing girl in a small coastal town.
This is a definite off the beaten track of the stereotypical that I have of the Australian lifestyle. The reader is taken into the other side of life, into the more off the beaten track and into a community setting. The first section of the book deals with Bill in Sydney and is good but then the author takes us to a wonderfully descriptive setting with the next section as he Bill deals with the missing person. This I really loved, a definite feeling of noir as the atmospheric and descriptive passages give some really good and vivid imagery.
This is a slow burner and as the story unfolds it slowly took a grip on me, intriguing to start and then curiosity taking over to see where it was going and then to be totally addicted to discover the outcome. The characters didn’t take long to get used to and soon became familiar. I really liked the dynamics between Bill and his “sidekick” as their relationship changed over the course of the book, or actually as Bill’s attitude changed. He is not your usual lead in a story, he is a rude, wiry, closed off and almost cocky character who I didn’t immediately take a liking to, but found myself warming to as the story went on.
I found myself quite surprised by the different routes that the author took, in a good way I might add, and how the author drew me into the story. A story that deals with a community and the way it works, there are no secrets and everybody knows your business.
This is a book that would appeal to readers who like a slower paced crime, mystery and thriller style read. An Australian Noir that I would definitely recommend and a series that I will be reading more of.
About the Author:
Ged Gillmore completed degrees in languages and literature at the University of London, but fancying a change to sunnier climes, made the leap to Sydney in early 2004. When he’s not falling off his surfboard at Bondi or dabbling with a day job which pays the bills he sits at his laptop and bashes out fiction. Headland, Class Act, and Base Nature are the first three books in Ged’s ‘Bill Murdoch Mystery’ series, set in Sydney and the Central Coast of New South Wales.
I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for “The Ice Swimmer” by Kjell Ola Dahl. This book is available in various formats and published by Orenda Books. My thanks to Orenda, Kjell and also Anne Cater for my copy of the book and also my spot on the tour.
The Oslo Detectives are back in another slice of gripping, dark Nordic Noir… Introducing Detective Lena Stigersand Award-winning, critically acclaimed and international bestselling author
When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.
Dark, complex and nail-bitingly tense, The Ice Swimmer is the latest and most unforgettable instalment in the critically acclaimed Oslo Detective series, by the godfather of Nordic Noir.
Lena Stigersand is called to attend the scene of a drowned man in the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour. Her colleague Gunnerstranda is working on another case of suicide. Amongst these cases a letter threatening a Member of Parliament arrives.
This book is broken down into chapters that then have several sub chapters, I found this really helpful as it meant I could get used to the names of the various characters and familiarise myself with their names. As the investigations proceed the presence of the other characters make themselves known and not always in the best of ways. I soon found myself getting used to their names, and some I am sure I have not pronounced correctly.
There are several plots that run together and the author has done a wonderful job of not blurring or mixing them up, this is where I think the sub-chapters really help. I found myself taken around the streets of Oslo as well as the back alleys and also underground into tunnels. As well as this I discovered a variety of food that certainly whet my appetite and also a few Christmas traditions. By adding these little steps away from the hustle and bustle of the investigations it gave me a chance to almost catch my breath for a moment before being taken off again into the story.
Obviously murder and crime feature in this book, but the author focuses also on finding the who’s and the why’s of the case. But also there is a good amount about Lena, the main protagonist in her personal life and newly diagnosis condition. She comes across as a mix of a logical thinking but also one that rushes headlong into trouble sort of person as well as being a guarded character regarding her personal life.
So this is a book I would highly recommend to readers of Nordic Noir, Crime, Mystery and Thriller genres. It is a brilliantly twisted in a complex and well laid out story, with various investigations unfolding and all being brought to a satisfying conclusion. My first time reading a book by this author and it will not be my last.
About the Author:
One of the godfathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries and sold over two million copies. He lives in Oslo.
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