#Nefertiti (Rai Rahotep #1) AND #Tutankamun (Rai Rahotep #2) by Nick Drake @nickfdrake @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #histfic #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share not just one but two reviews today! Yes, you read that right I have two book reviews. Both books are by Nick Drake and are the first two books in the Rai Rahotep series, Nefertiti and Tutankhamun.

Both books were read as part of the Blog Tour organised by Anne at Random Things Tours, my huge thanks to Anne for my spot and for arranging the copies of both books. I enjoyed these so much I immediately went and bought the 3rd book – Egypt!

These books are being re-published by Transworld and I am so glad of this because I had actually not come across them before.

I am including a link HERE to Nick’s Amazon Page so you can order all three books.

So, let me show you what the books are about…

Synopsis…

A MISSING QUEEN. A DARK GAME OF POWER.

With her husband, AkhenatenNefertiti – the most powerful, charismatic and beautiful Queen of the ancient world – rules over an Empire at the peak of its glory and domination.

Together, they have built a magnificent new city in the desert on the banks of the Nile and are about to host kings, dignitaries and leaders from around the Empire for a vast festival to celebrate their triumph.

But suddenly, Nefertiti vanishes.

Rahotep – the youngest chief detective of the Thebes division- can see patterns where others cannot. His unusual talents earn him a summons to the royal court.

With ten days to find the Queen and return her in time for the festival, Rahotep knows that success will bring glory – but if he fails, he and his young family will die…

Rahotep’s adventure continue in Tutankhamun and Egypt: The Book of Chaos

NEFERTITI – MY REVIEW…

From a slow start this book really picked up its pace and intrigue. When I say a slow start what I mean is that there is quite a bit of description and observation that sets the scene and also introduces the main protagonist Rahotep. He has been summoned by Akhenaten to the palace to look into the disappearance of his wife, Nefertiti. Sounds OK, but this has a time limit of 10 days. 10 days until Nefertiti is supposed to attend a public festival. If Rahotep fails it will cost him his life and also that of his family!

The first few chapters were very good at really giving the reader a chance to get to grips with some of the ways of life for this era in history. I say ways of life because there is so much distrust and a wrong word can have tragic and dire consequences. Rahotep has to work his way through a society that is all about being seen the right way and doing the right thing. People are devious, seem to be after their own gain and at times at any cost.

With the uncertainty of the people and the time limits on solving this mystery Rahotep definitely faces an up hill battle. Trying to work out who is telling the truth as he uses an investigative style of question and observational skills to work out the final truth.

This book was really intriguing and also I found it very addictive. I found myself quickly drawn in and I also found that the descriptions and observations were quite fascinating in giving the reader more insight into life, traditions, new ways, old ways and the current climate and feel of the population. I did feel that even though this slowed the story somewhat it was also a great addition for giving an all round reader experience.

A really intriguing and interesting mystery read that I quite enjoyed and I left me eager to continue with this series. It is one for mystery and also historical fiction readers and one I would recommend.

Synopsis…

A KING IN DANGER. A BATTLE TO STAY ALIVE.

On the shadowy city streets the cryptically mutilated bodies of several young people are discovered. These brutal acts are destabilizing a ruthless regime already unstable thanks to corruption and the appalling divide between rich and poor.

Meanwhile, Tutankhamun, at 18, has inherited an empire that should be at the height of power and glory. But he faces only a Court full of conspiracies and plotting, and a bitter struggle for power.

And when his own security is threatened by an intruder in the palace, he needs an outsider he can trust to track down the traitor. Rahotep receives a mysterious invitation to the labyrinthine halls of the Royal Palace.

But what he discovers at the dark heart of power will put his life, and his family, in grave danger. . .

Rahotep’s adventures continue in Egypt: The Book of Chaos. Have you read Nefertiti, his first adventure?

TUTANKHAMUN – MY REVIEW…

As soon as I had finished the first book, Nefertiti, I went immediately onto this one, the second in the series. As I still had the characters so fresh in my head it was very easy indeed to slip straight back into Ancient Egypt.

The previous book left off with a young Tutankhamun making an appearance. This book jumps forward a few years and I liked how the author made me aware of Rahoteps ageing, not old but slower and a bit achy than he used to be. Something we are all aware of! His mind is still sharp and once again his skills as a detective have been requested once again, and again he doesn’t have a choice int he matter!

This book was similar to the previous in some ways, as Rahotep is called to solve the mystery of objects being left in the palace to upset Tutankhamun. Even though he is the King it is Ay, the regent who runs the show. Ay is a character who is very unlikeable, he is cold, ruthless and conniving in every aspect possible. So, while the story had similarities as far as the mystery-solving went it was also different due to the power wrangling and the politics. It seems that everyone is out for their own benefit and this builds a wonderful feeling of distrust.

Another brilliant story in the series, this felt like a much quicker read compared to the first, but I think this is because I was already aware of the characters and also how the writer includes a good amount of detail about the way of life. Not just the way of life, but also politics, foods, social class and hierarchy.

I have enjoyed the first two books and so I have also bought the next one and I am looking forward to reading that as well. This is a really good series and one that would appeal to readers of historical fiction set in Ancient Egypt, as well as readers of mysteries. Ideal for me as it mixes two of my favourite genres and it is one I am more than happy to recommend.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Guest List by Lucy Foley #20booksofsummer #crimefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share review for another of the books I chose for “20booksofsummer reading challenge. The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a cracking read and head me guessing right the way through.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Synopsis…

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

My Review…

This was a book I really enjoyed. A wedding on a remote island between two very well-known people. The synopsis gives a great glimpse into the theme of this story. Hints at secrets, grudges, pasts and a sense of something lurking.

I liked the layout of this book with quick chapters that flit between characters and also in the days on the run up to the wedding and the day of the wedding itself. This format gives the reader a glimpse into the thoughts of each character and it works well because often things are left unsaid but the thoughts are there for the reader to see.

Having the location of a remote island that is only accessible by boat gives the sense of a closed-door mystery style read. The setting gives a mysterious and eerie quality that adds to the atmospheric feel. I liked the description of the waves crashing against the cliffs, the bogs and the general remoteness.

The characters are definitely a real mixed bunch and there were some I took an immediate dislike to, well more how they saw themselves and wanted others to see them. There are others that try to remain in the shadows and are timider. There is one thing in common with a handful of the characters and that is the secrets they carry and hold.

The story leads its way through the characters and gradually pieces together their stories. These all lead to a sort of grand finale. This was a style I like as it made me mistrust people and I did think I had got this one but as usual I was off the mark. I liked this slow and gradual sense of something bad going to happen, never knowing who or how. The why… well there were various options as to why this would be done and it was a matter of time until it was all revealed.

A very enjoyable read with some nice details about the setting, a sense of suspense that grew and an all-round good crime, fiction read and one that I would recommend reading.

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

Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp #20booksofsummer #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp. I have had this book in my tbr for a year or more, I had seen some reviews and decided rather than buy the latest book (at the time) I would start at the beginning. I decided it had lingered long enough and this is why this book was one of my picks for #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

Purchase links from Amazon (these are affiliate links) KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio CD

My Review…

This is the first book in the Charlies Fox series by Zoe Sharp. This is also the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say Charlie is a fabulous character.

Charlie Fox is a no-nonsense woman who teaches self-defence to women. She is confident and comes across as a very sure person. There is a good amount of mystery behind her and some of it has been included in this, story, but I feel there is more her than I have seen so far.

The plot involves Charlie as another body is discovered at a nightclub that she has just been to with her friend and involves an altercation. This is the start of a very twisted road that the author takes not only her main character but also her reader upon.

The further the story progressed the more I got to see of Charlie, what makes her tick, her friendships and there is also a sense of vulnerability that comes with being let down in the past. It makes her a very interesting character that has a sense of loneliness about her at times.

A fabulous first book and one that is intriguing and with a character that I really like the sound of. The plot is a good fast-paced one with Charlie string to join all the dots to discover who is behind the crimes. She is in some ways a one-woman sleuth, but she is no Miss Marple, she is tough, can be dangerous but has a level head on her shoulders. Yeah, a little on the moody side, but then who doesn’t have a moment like that.

AS I mentioned this is the first book and there are quite a few more in this series that I am definitely looking forward to reading. If you like an excellent good fast-paced crime with a strong female lead that has full-throttle action then you really do need to have a look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from the Authors Amazon Page

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father’s suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.

It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.

“I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn’t find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own.”

She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.

Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website — http://www.ZoeSharp.com — on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp).

Check out all of Zoe’s books on her Amazon Author Page

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

Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor #3 DS Malice series #crime #publicationday #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman. This is the 3rd book in the DS Malice series and it always makes me wonder how this authors mind works, he comes up with wonderfully dark plots and his latest book is no exception!

My huge thanks to Karen Ashman for sending me an e-ARC of Rob’s latest book. My thoughts are completely my own and unbiased.

Oh! I should also say, “Happy Publication Day to you Rob” 🙂

Synopsis…

Valerie Riggs lets the coin rule her life. Every decision is based upon a game of chance, even the decision to kill. She trusts the coin to keep her safe … it’s never let her down.

DS Khenan Malice is called to attend a clear case of suicide. But all is not what it seems. Then his world is turned upside down by a casual remark. The worst thing is … the remark comes from his seven-year-old daughter.

DC Kelly Pietersen is close to breaking point. The ghosts of recent events won’t leave her alone. She’s about to snap and someone is going to get hurt.

Valerie is always one step ahead … the coin knows best.

Purchase from Amazon – KindlePaperback (these are Amazon affiliate links)

My Review…

Right from the start, I am going to say I am a big fan of this series. DS Mally and Detective Pieterson are a brilliant combination. They both have their issues and Pieterson is really struggling to come to terms with events from the last book. While this is a continuation of a previous storyline, this book could be read as a standalone but to, for the bigger picture reading in order is definitely advised.

So, Heads or Tails. The first thing that comes to mind is flipping a coin. How bad can that be? Well, the person flipping the coin has real darkness behind them and depending on whether the coin lands on heads or tails it will provide an answer. To simplify this, heads I will have milk in my coffee, tails I will not. Now, take this down the rabbit hole that Rob Ashman and his writing take us and you get a whole different set of questions and the outcomes are dark, well thought out and definitely macabre and so devious.

This coin flipping reminded me of a book by Luke Rhinehart – The Dice Man, I read this book years ago and it really stuck with me. The premise is similar in as much as the role of a dice dictated an outcome, so in some ways similar to Heads or Tails. But the route this author has taken is very twisted and takes so many turns, throws quite a few red herrings for the investigation as well as the reader.

The author managed to portray a sense of frustration that this difficult investigation took. The dead ends and unanswered questions seem to be never-ending and when they think they are on the right track along comes another curveball to send them almost back to the start.

This is not a straight-forward police procedural it is much deeper than that it pulls in other agencies and things could have very easily got complicated. But the skill of the author really shows when dealing with a series of subplots and how he has worked them so for me as a reader the reading is so effortless. There is such an addictive flow to the overall story that I didn’t realise the time ticking away as I was engrossed

This is a police procedural but there is also much more to it than that. It has a psychological aspect that adds darkness to it, there are various subplots that kept me turning the pages. A wonderful next instalment in this series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. 

Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Follow Rob on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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

Red Snow by Will Dean #20booksofsummer 14/20 #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Red Snow by Will Dean. This is another of my many books that have been languishing on my bookcase from when I first bought them, this is why Red Snow was one of the books to make my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

Longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, 2020

Red Snow is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, selected for ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you)

My Review…

I read the first book, Dark Pines, quite a while ago and when this second book came out I immediately bought it. Like many of the books I buy, it has gradually lipped down my TBR and is why it was one of the books I chose for my summer reading challenge.

This is the second in the Tuva Moodyson series. Tuva is a journalist in a small out in the middle of nowhere town. She is not the usual main protagonist for a story and I think this is why I like her character so much. She has been death since childhood, is bisexual and has been living in the Swedish town of Gavrik. A town she is due to leave after a job offer to bigger and better things. This is a result of her last big story.

Red Snow has a slow style to it as Tuva is looking for leads on the suicide of a local businessman. The leg work of getting people to reveal what they know in a tight-knit community is hard. SHe gets snippets from local law enforcement but the majority of what she learns takes its time.

The author has such a wonderful way of describing the setting in the bitterly cold town. There are so many little things that are mentioned as a standard way of life that I was not aware of. I think this sort of knowledge is only gained from living in the area. I liked the picture that was built up over the book of an area that is bleak, cold but also has some stunning areas.

The plot is very captivating, there are hints of things from the past that added an extra level to the overall atmospheric feel. I was so impatient to discover more and this kept me eagerly turning the pages. This was increased with the secrecy of the three generations of women in the family, secretive, evasive and reluctant to talk to Tuva initially and then gradually opening up.

This is a book that you savour as you read. A book this length I would normally read quite quickly, but I took my time, it isn’t a book I wanted to rush through and it makes for wonderful reading. A mystery that is intriguing, has just enough twists and has a lot of details. It is one for crime and mystery fans and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

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

The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee @RichardDockett1 @rararesources #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers openeing the Blog Tour and to share my review today for The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee. It has been quite a while since I read one of Richard’s books so I was looking forward to this one. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis…

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

Can the hitman and the thief get the job done, more importantly, can they keep each other alive?

Beta Readers comments,

“Richard’s latest book, The Hitman and the Thief, takes the reader on a twisting journey through different worlds. The action moves swiftly, with unexpected twists and turns. As usual, Richard’s excellent technical knowledge conveys a gritty reality with ease. This is a fun read, hard to put down and I sure hope there is a sequel in the making.”

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

I really enjoyed this book, it is a mystery and crime read but with a sci-fi setting. The author wove a very addictive tale between Dan Jones a hitman and the thief… you will soon meet.

I really liked the feel of the storey with brief mentions of planets and their uses, it did give space and sci-fi feel but not full of convoluted jargon or tech-speak. This makes it a very accessible book for crime and mystery readers and especially those who prefer a cosy-mystery style read.

So, Dan, I do like this character who seems to have principles, well if an assassin can have principles. His latest job is to infiltrate another gang and kill their boss. It seems to be a simple plan, but, well, let’s just say that plans do not go according to plan!

There is a good amount of intrigue and it didn’t take me long to get into this book. It moves along at a reasonable pace and with a good amount of characters that are easy to remember I soon found myself turning the pages.

I really enjoyed this book, it was easy to follow and made for a relaxing read. A book that would fall in the genre of cosy mystery sci-fi – is there such a genre? AS I said earlier this is a book that is very accessible, yes it is sci-fi as such and this may put some readers off but it is also a very good mystery read that has an intriguing storyline and some interesting characters. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Richard Dee is from Brixham in Devon. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then he went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986. 

He has also worked as an Insurance Surveyor, Lockmaster, Harbourmaster and Ships Pilot, taking over 3,500 vessels up and down the Thames, passing through the estuary, the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.

Since the publication of his first Science Fiction novel, Freefall, in 2013, Richard has written another twelve novels, a textbook and a selection of short stories. He has been featured in several anthologies, including 1066 Turned Upside Down and Tales from Deepest Darkest Devon.

He writes Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures and also chronicles the exploits of reluctant amateur detective Andorra Pett.

Richard is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

Social Media Links –

If you’d like to know more about my writing, my website is richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the My Novels and Short Stories tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, unavailable anywhere else.

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

My Amazon author page is here.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup #20booksofsummer #thriller #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup, this is a book I bought when it was first released and another that has gradually slipped down the TBR. This is why it was one of the books I chose to go on my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge list and it is book 13 of 20.

So, what is it about…

Synopsis…

THE CHILLING DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF HIT TV SHOW THE KILLING

As the leaves fall, he’s coming for you. . .

One October morning in a quiet suburb, the police make a terrible discovery.

A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing.

Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Examining the doll, Forensics are shocked to find a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

Can a new killer be the key to an old crime?

And will his spree be over when winter arrives – or is he only just getting started?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links) some of the covers are different, but I have used the image from the hardback as this is the copy I have.

My Review…

Wow!!!!!
Where exactly do I start with my review for this outstanding book? I mean when I finished it, it left me in “book hangover mode”

I bought my copy of this book when it was released and I had all intentions of reading it then, but it gradually slipped further down my TBR as other books took priority. I know this is something that many readers will get!

So, the book!!!!! It is absolutely blooming fantastic from start to finish. The characters are a real interesting bunch and there were a couple I definitely warmed too, others definitely not so much. They have varied personalities and traits and I have to say I really did like Hess. He is damaged goods and has been sent back to Copenhagen under a little bit of a shadow. Even though I didn’t know exactly what had happened in his past until further into the book I was aware of a solitary, broken man who buried himself in work.

Hess is teamed up with Thulin, she is waiting until she can move to the new cybercrime unit. It is something that will give her a chance to have more regular hours and so she spends more time with her daughter. Thulin is another character I really liked which is really odd because she isn’t someone I would necessarily warm to in real life. Both Hess and Thulin rile each other but they also see that each other knows their job and so respect is gradually built up.

Now the plot, well where to begin with that!!!!! It is a plot that I had no idea who had done it! The author creatively led me through the investigation, the body count started to rise and I was never anywhere close to guessing the culprit. Yes, I did have a couple of suspicions but I was way off the mark.

I loved the way he set the scenes, and the details are something I really got on with in this book. Some may find this a bit of a drag but for me, it just added to the story. There was at times a remoteness to the setting and this was sort of mirrored int he characters as well as the plot. It felt like everyone was alone, or working by themselves and this gave it more of a scandi noir feel.

The crime is dark and definitely on the disturbing side. It has a macabre side to it and by the time all is revealed, there was a little bit of me that could understand the why, only a little bit mind you! A cracking ending that left me stunned.

This is a book I read over several sittings, it was like I had to stop and digest chunks of it before I could pick it up and carry on again. I still read it over a couple of days as I could feel it nagging me to carry on reading again.

An excellent read and one that crime, thriller, murder readers who like their fiction on the dark and disturbing side will most likely really enjoy. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.

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

I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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The Curator by M.W. Craven #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge #mustread #bookreview

Today see me sharing another review from one of mt #20booksofsummer #reading challenge books. This is #10 on my list and is an absolute belter of a read. The Curator by M. W. Craven is the 3rd book in the Washington Poe series.

SYNOPSIS

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

*THE NEW THRILLER FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2019 AWARD*
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Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperback (to be published dec 2020) – HardbackAudio (these are affiliate links)

My Review

I really don’t know where to start with my review for this awesome book. It’s the third book in the Washington Poe series and yes you do need to read them all just so you understand how and why Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw work so well together.

The synopsis, well, to be honest, I have only just read it! Why? It’s quite simple, I don’t need a synopsis for this series I will automatically buy the next book as soon as its available, this has been the case since I finished the first one. Oh yeah! the synopsis… it does give a good idea of what you are going to get, but it also comes nowhere near to the journey you are about to embark upon.

The characters of Poe and Tilly are exceptional, they have been brilliantly developed and the banter between the two is spot on. The author has definitely given these two their own voices and set of personal traits that fit them to a tee. Poe is occasionally acerbic, blunt and comes across as tough as nails but he is showing a more softer side when it comes to Tilly. She is naive, a computer genius and has no filter when it comes to speaking, this is explained more int he first book. This is where I suggest reading all the books in order.

As for the plot of the story, well there are a few things that immediately spring to mind and they are dark, twisted, devious and then some. This is such a cleverly executed plot that had me on my toes right the way through. I was wrong-footed many times.

A cracking story, exceptional characters and a storyline that just has to be read, I think this is going to be in my Top Reads of the Year list. This is a must-read book and series, if you haven’t read them already, and especially for crime thriller readers and those that like a mystery on the darker side. This is a book that I would give a massive thumbs up to and therefore it gets a Highly Recommended from me. For me, this is fictional deviousness at its very best.

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Slow Slicing by Tony Forder @TonyJForder @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPublicity #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Slow Slicing by Tony J Forder. This is a brilliant series and this latest one is a fabulously dark read. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side Publicity for spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book.

I am away from Social Media at the moment so any shares would be massively appreciated ❤

Let me show you what this one is all about…

The bestselling author of the compelling DI Bliss crime series is back with another stunning novel.

WHEN DEATH BECOMES THE KINDEST CUT OF ALL
When slices of flesh and body parts are discovered in different areas of the country, DI Bliss and his team are tasked with running the operation. After Bliss realises the victims have been subjected to a specific form of torture, it leads him to a cold case involving the brutal and bloody murder of a woman in London twenty-six years earlier.

As the team discover links between their victims, the murdered woman, and gangland crime, they begin a dangerous investigation into both the past and the present. But Bliss is stumped, unable to decide if the current spate of mutilations are acts of revenge or the result of ageing criminals seeking to hide their despicable actions. Following a leak to the media, Bliss’s reaction may have dire consequences.

With the hunt for the victims at fever point, Bliss uncovers evidence steering him in the direction of one particular individual. The only problem being, his prime suspect is the one person it cannot possibly be. When Bliss orders a sting operation, the astonishing truth is revealed. And that’s when things really start to go wrong…

The stunning DI Bliss series of fast-paced police thrillers will appeal to fans of authors like Michael Connelly, Joy Ellis, Peter James, Robert Bryndza and Angela Marsons. Tony J Forder is also the bestselling author of Degrees of Darkness, Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

Oh Wow! The author has really gone to the dark side with the 7th book in the DI Bliss series. It involves body parts turning up in random areas. When I say body parts, I don’t mean like a head, or a leg, I mean a chunk of flesh! I did say he had gone dark, didn’t I?

I felt that this is one of the more challenging cases for Jimmy Bliss and his team have had to deal with. There are three body parts and the first one falls under the Bliss’s team at Peterborough, when another two pieces are found in other areas it makes sense to form a Joint Task Force to pool resources.

As odd as it may sound, the further two body parts were kind of a lead that Bliss and his team needed, their investigation had fallen flat, no leads, no clues and no evidence. With more discoveries, the emphasis and drive to solve the case is renewed. Again another dark side!

With a large investigation, there are a lot of moving parts, pressure mounts and nerves are frayed. The team are tired and still, the investigation goes on. Bliss may be a blunt and to the point old boy, but he does have a very big heart and this is very evident in this story. The author has woven a sense of doubt into Bliss and this leads him to think back over his past and think about the future. He loves his job, in fact his job keeps him sane but he does stand on a few toes.

This is a complex story and it has many parts that are all linked, so in some respects, it has one storyline. There are lots of little parts that need slotting into place before the bigger picture is seen, very much like a jigsaw that has no picture on the box and you are left puzzling which bit fits where. But at no time did I feel lost or confused, I felt in the loop of the story and was more curious with each chapter.

This is a brilliant story and one that I got into from the very first dark and disturbing chapter. The banter between Bliss and his sidekick Penny Chandler is great and at times hilarious and definitely had me laughing. The story didn’t feel fast, but methodical and deliberate and this kind of matched the storyline, it wasn’t until later that the pace picked up and for me, it made it a cracking read.

If you haven’t yet read any of these books and you are a crime reader who loves police procedural books then you really do need to look at this series. I suppose you could read Slow Slicing as a stand-alone but in my opinion, it is much better if read in order as you get a chance to get to know the characters and the bonds that they have formed over the previous books.

Slow Slicing is a dark read, the author doesn’t elaborate too much on the nature of the crimes, but gives enough for the reader to imagine and often I felt myself cringing and making that funny “urghhhh” sound! A must read for crime fans and one I would definitely recommend.

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first six books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of GuiltIf Fear Wins, The Reach of ShadowsThe Death of Justice, and Endless Silent Scream, will be joined on 10 August 2020 by Slow Slicing, and in December by the DI Bliss prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.


Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone serial-killer novel. Scream Blue Murder, an action-adventure thrillerwas published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. The sequel, Cold Winter Sun, was published in November 2018.

In November, Tony will release a new standalone suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently editing a new novel, and has also started on Bliss #7, Slow Slicing.

Author Links – TwitterFacebookWebsiteAmazon Author PageGoodreads PageFantastic Fiction

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