The Botanist by M.W. Craven #crime, #thriller #psychological #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Botanist by M.W. Craven. This is the 5th book in the Washington Poe series and as with all the other books, I adored this one.

Any regulars to my Blog may be aware that I am prone to read books in a series out of order. It is sometimes because it’s a book that I have seen on NetGalley and requested or it has caught my eye as part of a Blog Tour.

The Washington Poe series I have followed from the start and each book has been read in order. Yep, I am very proud of myself 🙂

‘I swear I’m one bad mood away from calling it black magic and going home . . .’

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he’d still have his thumb left. There’s the insanely brilliant, guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. He’s known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.

And then there’s Estelle Doyle. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street but this time has she gone too far? Shot twice in the head, her father’s murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints going in. Since her arrest, she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’

Meanwhile, a poisoner the press has dubbed the Botanist is sending high-profile celebrities poems and pressed flowers. The killer seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice he gives his victims, and regardless of the security measures the police take, he seems to be able to kill with impunity.

For a man who hates locked room mysteries, this is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe’s life . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is yet another fantastic book in the Washington Poe series, to be honest though, I wouldn’t expect anything less. These books can be read as standalones, but to get a real sense of the working relationship between Poe, Tilly, Doyle and Flynn you really need to have started this from the beginning. And, also because they are great books.

This starts from an odd place and is very far from Cumbria. The author gives a quick prologue before returning back to what is the start of the case. In fact, there are not one but two cases in this story. One involves the arrest of Estelle Doyle, the teams go to a pathologist as she has just been arrested for murdering her father. Then there is the case, well it is more than one case, of people being poisoned.

With Poe trying to be in two places at one time, something is going to have to give. Wanting to be there for his friend and colleague Doyle is great but also too personal and it doesn’t look good when he is seen visiting Doyle in prison when someone who he is supposed to be protecting dies. Realising he has to prioritise his focus he again looks at the poisoning cases.

The dynamics between Poe and Tilly have become legendary in this series, if you have read them from the beginning then you will know what I mean. But there are also the dynamics of Flynn and Doyle that are also part of this great crime-busting outfit. Flynn is responsible for keeping things within the law and getting requests signed off, Tilly is the tech genius, Doyle is the Pathologist and Poe is usually the one they are all keeping an eye on to make sure he does wander too far off course. Together they all bring something special. Over the course of the books, this team have become a family and they will fight for each other.

Having two cases, one looking like a locked-room mystery and the other one that is leaving them playing catch up with the killer always ahead of them. Even with their combined expertise, this would be tough, but without having input from Doyle, things are even tougher.

The poisoner is clever, plans well, thinks out the scenarios and is not compulsive. It seems he has thought of everything. He is being talked about and tweeted about and people are noticing him.

The author really has done an amazing job with this story. Again it is complex and compulsive reading. There are mentions of tech, biology and other specialist stuff but it isn’t too over the top. Thank goodness things have to be basic for Poe to understand or else there would be a few confused readers as well!

With time being a crucial part of this story, the pacing is fast and the author conveys this through his characters so well. He shows their frustrations and occasionally odd outburst. Even in the midst of this tense and highly charged investigation, there are some amazing one-liners, these are perfect for defusing stress and tension, and are usually courtesy of Tilly.

If you have not read any of the books in this series then you really are missing out on some wonderful top-rate crime thrillers. The series just gets better and better with so many twists and unexpected events. I never read the synopsis for a Washington Poe book I just buy it.

Ideal for those who love twisted, complex and totally addictive thrillers and one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

You can find out more on his Goodreads Author Page.

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

Alex Cohen Boxset by Leopold Borstinski – Cuban Heel #book4 #AlexCohen @borstinski @ZooloosBT #histfic #crime #bookreview

Today I am delighted to be re-sharing my reviews for three books in the Alex Cohen series.

Alex Cohen Boxset – Books 4 -6 by Leopold Borstinski. Today is the review for Cuban Heel.

I have read every one of these books and adored each one. Over the next week, I will share my reviews from each of the books in this set. My thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spots on the tour and for giving me the chance to re-share the love I have for this series.

This digital box set contains the second set of three books in the saga of Alex Cohen’s life:


Casino Chiseler: Alex Cohen leaves jail to find salvation from the 1940s mob in the hotels of Las Vegas. When Bugsy Siegel invites him to take over sports betting in Nevada, Alex must figure out how to get back to the top table in New York without attracting the Feds’ attention. If he succeeds then he will regain his self-respect, but if he fails then the last members of the national crime syndicate will cut him dead and he will be left a nobody or wind up a corpse.


Cuban Heel: Alex joins long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky to recreate Las Vegas in 1950s Havana. Dictator President Batista gives them the opportunity to build their dream casino complexes, but Alex must choose between dancing with this devil or being in debt to the Italian mob.


Hollywood Bilker: Alex returns to America and settles in 1960s California to build a drug and prostitution empire in LA. When he gets a call from the mob to help the CIA invade Cuba, Alex must decide between his family and his business associates. If he helps Uncle Sam and the Mafia then he puts his life on the line fighting for freedom and the chance to rebuild his Havana casinos. If he refuses the favour then death will call on him, his ex-wife and their sons. Once he agrees to one accommodation then others are sure to follow, in a decade where even presidents, assassins and presidential candidates were whacked at a terrifying rate.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK or US

MY REVIEW

The setting is the 1950s, the place in Cuba and this is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series. The author has created a series that follows the life, relationship, work and family of Jew, Alex Cohen. A man who had nothing and who has turned a profit from his various wheelings and dealings, oh and the occasional murder!

Cuba is the new Vegas for Alex’s business colleague Lansky Meyer. A country that will see the gambling empire that Meyer to possibly come to fruition. A place that he can call his own and is free from the mobs and bosses, as well as Hoover and the FBI.

Alex is a hustler, he has worked with and alongside the big bosses and now that he is back with his wife Sarah he wants a more settled life. While he is still in the thick of things, he is thinking more about the impact things could have on his family. In the past, he has been very much an act now think later guy. As he has aged and gained experience he is looking at a different lifestyle and that Cuba may provide that.

As this series does contain references to historical events, I was aware of the troubles that await Alex as Cuba, or Castro makes himself known. Being “in bed” with a president doesn’t make it a safe place when Castro makes his move.

Once again, the author has completely had me hooked on what happens next with Alex. Even though he is a rogue, I do have a soft spot for him as I have followed him from his beginnings and arrival in the US. Each decade the author takes his characters into have historical references and these are worked well in the stories.

Again Alex is at the forefront and he has certain roles, not just as a father and husband but also as a businessman. Wanting to leave certain parts of his past in the past is not easier. He is a man with a reputation and this means he is the man to go to. I do like how the author keeps him in the thick of things and never makes things plain sailing. The action and drama of Alex’s life never stop and this makes this such an exciting series.

A series that I adore and if you like historical fiction, gangsters, action, mobs and dubious dealings then this is one for you. I would definitely recommend this series and also this latest book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Follow him at – Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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

Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey #BeforeIDie #JackieMorrissey #InkubatorBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Before I Die by Jackle Morrissey. THis was such a compelling read and I would like to thatnk Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about..

She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.

Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.

But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.

Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.

Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores…  But no one will listen.

Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.

Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.

The stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll, and Andrew Hart.

Buy your copy from – Amazon UKUS

The synopsis does a fabulous job of setting the scene for this book and it indicates that not all is as it should be. Maureen is a character I immediately liked, the is all there with no loose marbles. She is independent but does seem to be avoiding Delores who seems bossy, a bit of a bully and, according to most people, never stops talking.

Now I found that the main premise for the story was one that intrigued me, it has a relevance to events in the news as elderly and vulnerable people are taken advantage of. I found the way the author tackled the subject of getting older and therefore becoming forgetful to be very relevant and it played to the stereotype of the older members of society no coping and in need of more support.

Delores was a well drawn out character, she is sneaky and devious and knows how to push the right buttons. Unfortunately she doesn’t take into account Maureen’s tenacity, and that is fortunate for Maureen. WHile Maureen knows what is going on, her daughter doesn’t and she believes what the wonderful carer Delores tells her. Setting seeds of doubt and then following them up as they develop.

The story takes some surprising turns, and I soon discovered how well the author had this story plotted out. Events from earlier in the book suddenly become obvious later on as things start to draw to their conclusion. There are sneaky and deceitful characters, as well as those that mean well. But when certain things connect then watch out!

I really enjoyed this story, the characters were well developed and they played their parts wonderfully. The sad thing about this book is that even though it is fiction, this manipulation and praying on the vulnerable does happen in real life. I think this is why this book worked so well for me. Before I Die was a slower thriller, but full of suspense and I would definitely recommend it.

Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time.  The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

BEFORE I DIE is Jackie’s debut novel and her first published with Inkubator Books.

Jackie has no Social Media Links to follow.

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

Special Author Feature – #AuthorTakeOver Noelle Holten @nholten40 with @zooloo2008 #MeAndMyBooks

I am delighted to once again join Zoe at Zooloos Book Diary and to take part in her Author Take Over. This is Zoe’s fabulous idea and this week she is talking, grilling and discussing the book by Book Blogger and Author Noelle Holten.

Noelle has two books published and I know there is also a third due soon and I am sure there is a 4th in progress. Having read and loved the first two books I am going to share snippets of my reviews.

Dead Inside is the first time I got to meet DC Maggie Jamieson and is a brilliant start to the series.

“The thing I liked about this book, well actually there was lots of things I loved, not just liked. Hang on! Scrap that!!! I loved everything about this book! The story is set out in very quick chapters that flitted back and forth between the main characters. It meant that the pace was good and had me eager to read what would happen to each character, I wanted to know” about everyone all at the same time!

 If you want a hard-hitting crime thriller then you seriously need to get this book. A fabulous story that is the beginning of what I feel will be an amazing writing career.

I think you can tell from these snippets that I really liked the book. You can read my full review HERE


Dead Wrong is the second book in the series, and here are a few of my thoughts…

The author has created such a good baddie with Bill Raven, he loves to play mind games and Maggie is in the firing line for him as he gets under her skin and taunts her at every turn. Maggie and the team have to go back over notes, files and every bit of information they have to try and discover what was missed and also to see if they have got the wrong man.

This is a fabulous 2nd book in the series and if you are a fan of crime thriller reads then this is going to be a book that is right up your street. It is fast-paced, gritty, at times creepy and cleverly written. I would definitely recommend it and I would also advise putting the 3rd book on your wish list. 

You can read my full review HERE

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with One More Chapter / Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Purchase links – Head over to Noelle’s Amazon Page and you can see her books – CLICK HERE

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

The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @BOTBSPublicity @BloodhoundBoook #BOTBSPublicity #PsychologicalThriller #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book on The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Jake and Kate live in London but after an altercation with a stranger who threatens Jake with a knife, they take their son and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think until people in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Their neighbours are strange and when Kate sees a face at the window, the family realise they might be in danger.
When they find a tape hidden in the loft of the house, a video recording of the previous family who once lived there, it chills them to the bone.
They soon realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and they too could now be next.

What is the mystery surrounding the house on Rectory Lane? 

Jake and Kate are about to find out…

Well this book is definitely high on the creepy factor as it oozes drama and tension. Fed up with the smog, noise, traffic and smell of London the Morley family are looking for a new home. Their dreams come true when they find a stunning house in a nice village and in their budget.

Moving into a village is daunting and there are some odd comments from the locals. Their neighbours however seem nice, friendly and welcoming. Not used to living in an old house, they initially dismiss the sounds, but then Jake decides notices something rather odd while he is out on his morning run.

The tension and drama are great throughout this story, it is an edge of the seat read and one that I read in one sitting as I was not able to put it down. As I mentioned the creepy feeling was a constant and it is not until a lot later in the story that things start to connect.

Now when I started this book I hadn’t read the synopsis, I rarely do, so I was completely oblivious as to what it was about. This for me was great as it meant I went into the story completely blind. The author did a great job of drawing me in, adding intrigue and mystery along the way.

Now the ending, well I didn’t see that one coming and it was a cracking one and then there were the final concluding lines… well hell! Blindsided yet again!

If you like a psychological thriller that is full of mystery, suspense, intrigue and tension and you like a book that hit a quite a reasonable punch on the creepy-o-metre, then you should definitely pick this one up. A fabulous read that had me hooked and one I would definitely recommend.

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.
My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.
I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.
To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.
That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.
I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year. 

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.
I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true. 

Follow Stuart on Twitter Website Facebook

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Betrayal by Adam Croft and Steven Moore @adamcroft #politicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Betrayal by Adam Croft with Steven Moore. This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and as is my usual, I have not yet read the first so I can say it works well as a stand-alone.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.

After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.

As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.

But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.

This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and yes as is the norm for me I have not read the first. The advantage is that I can say that Betrayal works well as a stand alone, in fact when I started the book I had managed to convince myself this was the first book!!!!

Sam Barker works for The Firm, he has been tasked with looking into the main supporter of Ecohope, and umbrella for several countries to unite and help with the climate change problem. From the outset the course is set as it emerges that there are some that will benefit from this union and there will be those that sadly loose.

Sam, it seems is ideally placed as his son Benji is a student of the man he is supposed to be looking into. As Sam delves further the waters muddy and not everything is as it seems. Power, corruption and political gain are the front runners in this not so eco friendly venture.

I liked the style of this story and its quick pace. The first chapter is fast and to the point before handing over to the second chapter and the story that follows. Yes this is about climate change but there is not too much. The main focus is on Sam and his search for the people at the controlling end.

This is the first time I have met Sam and I do like him, there are other characters that I don’t trust. My mind always mistrusts people that are a little slim with the facts, especially when it against a character I like, I will let yo find who that is!

AS I said this is the second book and it worked very well, I didn’t feel I was missing any vital details. It is a crime thriller with a political and environmental slant that was very enjoyable reading. It is one I would recommend.

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 outlet.

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

Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 #BookReview

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…

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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

#MeAndMyBooks – My Top Ten Absolute Favourite Books of 2019 #MustRead #TopReadsOf2019

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

Part 1 – Crime, Thriller, Mystery and also Fiction

Part 2 – Romance, Rom-Com and also Historical Fiction

Part 3 – Fantasy, Dystopian, also YA & Children, and also Non-Fiction.

From all of the books listed I have chosen My Top 10 Absolute Favourite Books of 2019.

So without further ado, here we go…

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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. 

You can read my review of Wanderers HERE


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.

Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan @gerhogan @Bookouture #Bookreview

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!

You can find out more about Geraldine on – FacebookTwitterInstagram

Buy Links: Amazon– KoboGoogle PlayApple Books

See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stops on the Tour…

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

Hudson’s Kill by Paddy Hirsch #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hudson’s Kill by paddy Hirsch. I recieved a hardback copy of this book via Readers First. This is a historical fiction set in New York in 1803, so let me show you what it is all about…

‘A wild horse-and-carriage ride through early 19th century New York… Meticulously researched, the novel brings the city to life in lurid sensory detail.’ Noel O’Reilly, author of Wrecker

New York, 1803. The expanding city is rife with tension, and violence simmers on every street as black and Irish gangs fight for control. When a young girl is found brutally murdered, Marshal Justy Flanagan must find the killer before a mob takes the law into their own hands.

Kerry O’Toole, Justy’s friend and ally, decides to pursue her own inquiries into the girl’s murder. When they each find their way into a shadowy community on the fringes of the city, Justy and Kerry encounter a treacherous web of political conspiracy and criminal enterprise. As events dangerously escalate, they must fight to save not only the city, but also themselves…

This is a murder mystery read that also has a lot of conspiracy and tension mixed in as well. It is New York in 1803 and Kerry O’Toole finds the body of a young girl a back alley. Justy Flanagan is called in to investigate the identity of the girl and also the killer. Together Justy and Kerry kind of work together, I say kind of because they both want to find the same answers!

This is a book that has a lot going on in it. What I thought was going to be a murder mystery read, which it was by the way, also had gangs, conspiracy, rivalry and, tension. All these components added to the mixing pot that made up New York at the time. People from different, countries with various backgrounds, religious beliefs and traditions all arrived in the area. They all bring their own language and ways of speaking, and this is where I began to notice the research aspect of the book. The speech was very evident from the off as I cam across words that I recognised as being Welsh, Scottish and Irish.

The speech adds to the diversity of the setting and the people who inhabit it. The descriptions of bars, brothels, alleyways and the like bring home the fact that this is not an affluent area. The author has used the tensions to their advantage and played on it, escalating feelings between rivals. In someways this overwhelmed the investigation, but it was also part of the investigation, if you know what I mean. I just felt that the murder had been sidelined a little bit, but, at the same time I know that

This is a good read and even though there were a couple of things I struggled with, I did enjoy it. I thought it was quite a complex story and maybe this is what caught me out as I wasn’t expecting that when I started.

Earlier I mentioned about speech and I was incredibly glad to see a glossary at the end of the book, while there are some terms that I could work out, there were some that had me scratching my head. I love the inclusion of the old languages and phrases.

This is the 2nd book in the series, and as is my usual form I have not read the first one yet! So, I can say that this owrks well as a stand alone but, I would suggest reading in order as there are things mentioned that I assume are from the first book. There is also a dynamic between Just and Kerry that I am curious to know more about. So I will be reading the first book at some point to squash my curiosity.

Hudson’s Kill is an addictive if complex read and I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.

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