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

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

Let me show you more…

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

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

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

My Review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Family by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted today to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for Family by Owen Mullen. This is an author who I have read and featured on my Blog a few times. Although I have not read all of his books, the ones I have read I have thoroughly enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot ont he Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Owen’s latest book.

I really like the cover of this book, it does subtly capture some of the essence of the story. Here’s more about it…

Family – might be the death of you…

The Glass family business is crime, and they’re good at what they do. Vengeance took Luke Glass behind bars – but now he’s free and he’s never going back. Luke wants out of the gangster life – all he has to do is convince his family to let him go.

His brother holds the reins of the South London underworld in his brutal hands – nobody tells Danny Glass no and expects to live – not even DCI Oliver Stanford, bent copper and one of the Met’s rising stars. The way Danny sees it, his younger brother and sister Nina owe him everything. The price he demands is loyalty, and a war with their arch enemy gives him the leverage he needs to tie Luke to the family once more.

Luke can’t see a way out, until Danny commits a crime so terrible it can’t be forgiven. Love turns to hate when secrets are unearthed which pit brother against brother. Left with no choice but to choose a side, Nina holds the fate of the family in her hands.

In the Glass family, Owen Mullen has created a crime dynasty to rival the Richardsons and the Krays. Heart-pounding, jaw-dropping with non-stop action, Family is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

If you like a tough, hard-hitting gangland crime thriller then look no further than Family by Owen Mullen. This book really does take the reader into a dark, dangerous and criminal world of the Glass family. This gangland family is run by Danny, older brother to Luke and Nina. Danny is responsible for raising his younger siblings and they have a lot to be thankful for, but how far that gratitude stretches is anyone’s guess.

This book is very addictive, I mean really addictive and I was pretty much hooked within a couple of chapters. The main character is Luke, and it’s through him that I got an idea of how the family was run, the controls, the loyalties and also how people changed during the years he spent in prison. Luke had wanted to break free from the family business, but Danny is not having that.

Danny is a character who you don’t say “No” to, you agree with him and do as he says no ifs no buts. Nina, not so much a main character but one that does have a smaller role to play, she gives another perspective on what it is like to be a member of the Glass family.

As this is a gangland crime thriller there are certain things I do kind of expect, such as corruption, feuds, infighting, and the obvious criminal and murderous elements. This book definitely fills all those criteria and then some. The author has twisted this story in such a brilliant way that it definitely kept me on my toes with its fast pace and unique characters. Fast-paced it definitely is and I had to keep turning pages.

The characters are brilliant and I do think this is something that this author really does excel with, providing a realistic set of characters that all have their own traits. He weaves the stories of the characters really well and at no point to you get a feeling of something not quite working, for me, everything just flows seamlessly to create a wonderful read.

This is a dark story, there is violence, there is murder, there is drama, there are hopes and dreams. The body count rises, the corrupt coppers are having their hands forced, the net is tightening and who is still standing at the end I will leave you to discover.

This is a book that could easily be the first in a series or trilogy. Even though there is a satisfactory ending, I have to admit, to not wanting this to be the last time I meet some of the characters. This is one for hard-boiled crime readers who love a gangland thriller story. Excellent book and one I would Very Definitely recommend.

About the Author…

When he was ten years old, Owen Mullen won a primary schools short story competition and didn’t write another word for four decades. One morning he announced he was going to write a book. He did. Since then he has written seven. Owen was born in Coatbridge, a few miles from Glasgow, where the Charlie Cameron stories take place, and where he ran a successful design and marketing business. A late developer, he has a Masters degree from Strathclyde University which he got in his forties. In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. People tell him he enjoyed himself and he has no reason to doubt them. The journey from rocker to writer has been a fascinating experience and the similarities between the music and book industries, never cease to amaze him. His passions are travel, food and Arsenal Football Club. A gregarious recluse, he now splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete, along with his wife, Christine.

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

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

Here is more about the book…

You can run… but death will always find you

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Review…


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

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

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

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

About the Author…

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

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Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) by Ray Britain #Forgotten_Lives @ray_britain @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain. This is a fantastic crime, police procedural book that I thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and also for my e-copy of the book.

Here’s more about it…

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.


But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?


When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?


Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!


Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!


As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the 2nd book in this series, but the first one I have read so I can say it works very well as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel I was missing out on too much, but I do wish I had read the first beforehand.

So, DI Doug Stirling. Seems like a pretty decent guy, a workaholic who seems to spend more time awake and working than he should. But the demands of the job are as such that it cannot be helped. His home life is hit and miss with a relationship in the balance.

A body is reported, then another and another. There is no apparent link, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. What Stirling and the team don’t realise is that when this link is discovered things really get serious. Crimes from the past are starting to emerge leaving the reader wondering how far and for how long this enigmatic killer has been on the loose.

This book is a fair lump a book and I did a double-take when I realised how long it would take me to read. It turned out that this book needed to belong to get the questions answered from a series of long-running events, things needing to link up and to be done in such a way as to not falling place too conveniently.

There was something about the way this book has been written that struck me as slightly different from other crime books. This one seemed to have more of a technical, interagency, knows how things work set of feel. When I mention it has a technical feel, don’t think computer tech, but instead think of a more procedural line. There are several aspects that made me think that the author is someone that knows his stuff. Indeed, when I checked out his bio I could see straight away I was right. This definitely shows in the writing, the plot, the story and also how the interaction between hierarchy and other agencies have been worked.

The author has definitely taken a hard subject for a reader to read about, but I do think he has done it in a way that does not edge to the graphic, more insinuating events. I much prefer this approach when reading, in this case, less is more. It was the reactions, comments, and emotions of officers that gave the gravity of the crimes.

This is one of those books that has a lot going on in it if you tried to explain it, but makes perfect sense while reading. It is laid out in a way that makes it compulsive reading, it nagged at me when I put it down! It does have more of a slower pace as there is a lot of detail, but this really works well in this case, although the pacing did pick up.

The way this is laid out is in days, with subchapter of hourly breakdowns. Giving the reader a time frame adds to the tension, the working pattern, the out of hours calls and the long working days. Again this and also mentions of budgets, cuts, not enough resources, all adding to the fact that the author has an experience. In fact, some of his bio does have similarities to that of his main character.

This really is a book that shows the pressures of the job, the stress on home life, the working pressures under tense and media-frenzied scrutiny. A brilliant read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

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

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

Happy Publication Day Adam.

Here’s what you need to know…

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

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

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

Purchase – Amazon UK

My Review…

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

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

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

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

About the Author…

Adam Croft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media – Amazon Author PageTwitter Website

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Bliss Uncovered by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPublicity #crime #prequel #novella #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review on the last day for Bliss Uncovered by Tony Forder. I am a big fan of this Author and my reviews of his books have featured regularly on my Blog. If you have never read one of Tony’s Bliss books then this could be just the place for you to start. Bliss Uncovered is a prequel novella that begins at the beginning, so to speak. It is a great intro for readers new to Forder and Bliss as well as working really well for established fans.

My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and to Tony for supplying a early review copy. Now, let me show you what this is all about…

Synopsis…

The bestselling author of the stunning DI Bliss crime series is back – this time with a thrilling prequel novella.

A double life – a single truth.

Fresh out of uniform, DC Jimmy Bliss finds himself at the centre of an undercover sting. Enlisted by a crew of villains to crack a safe, he fears his cover is blown when he’s seen in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But on the night of the job, things run smoothly enough until the gang leader changes the location of the heist. As the job spirals out of control, Bliss has to trust his instincts and buy some time. There’s just one problem: he has no idea if his team know what has become of him.

As the situation escalates, Bliss finds himself at the mercy of a violent criminal who will do anything not to be caught.

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link and may earn me a small commission)

My Review…

I am always a little wary and dubious about prequels that appear when a series is well established. Some work and some almost do, thankfully this author definitely made this prequel work!

Set in the early years of Bliss’ career I found a man who is a little cocky, little too sure of himself and already has a target on him from those higher up, oh and he is also a little opinionated! While he hasn’t got all the moodiness and wise-cracking repertoire he has in the series, there are elements of him still there.

I liked how the author made this a stand-alone read, yes it is part of the Bliss series as all the books are, but taking a step back in time gave this reader a chance to see a character who is not quite so cynical, battle-worn or weary around the edges. There is more of a lighter side to him, and if you know this series then you will know to what I am referring.

The plot for the story is an undercover one, Bliss is one of the thieves in a gang planning a robbery. Bliss is one of the new members of the gang so tension and mentions of being completed trusted are expected. A novella that does have quite a lot packed into it and not just a crime thriller read.

A wonderful prequel and it was wonderful to see a lighter side of one of my favourite fictional characters. If you have not read any of the Bliss series then this gives you a great intro, but the main series does start a few years in time. Given my initial trepidation, I am delighted to say that I would definitely recommend this.

About the Author…

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of GuiltIf Fear Wins, The Reach of ShadowsThe Death of JusticeEndless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, will be joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.


Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder, and Cold Winter Sun.

In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins, released in November 2020.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.

Links…

Website Facebook TwitterAmazon AuthorGoodreads Fantastic Fiction

Tony can also be found on Instagram.

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Dead Already by Tim Adler #DeadAlready @timadlerauthor @NightsBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Already by Tim Adler. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am looking ofrward to reading more. Huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this crime thriller.

Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

What if someone you accidentally killed came back to haunt you?

When the perfect crime results in the kidnap and murder of Megan, his only child, East End villain Mickey Speight is grief stricken. But now, nearly thirty years later, Megan sends a message to her father, gone-to-ground in present-day Margate.

As the messages from his dead daughter keep coming, Mickey teams up with a young American female therapist to discover whether this really is a voice from beyond the grave, or if somebody has loomed out of Mickey s past wanting revenge. Someone is fingering Mickey’s collar and Mickey doesn’t like it.

Mickey realises that he must haunt the old East End boozers, betting shops and strip clubs of his youth if he’s to find out what really happened to his daughter.

DEAD ALREADY is a psychological thriller that splices the ever-popular East End gangster genre with a ghost story; a cross between revenge thriller YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and supernatural horror DON T LOOK NOW.

Purchase from –

Amazon UKAmazon USWaterstonesFoyles

My Review…

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and my first outing was a really intriguing read and one that caught me unawares initially. I had read the synopsis for this book a long time ago when I decided to sign up for the Blog Tour because I really liked the idea of this story. Then I sat down to read and found myself somewhat confused as I struggled to get to grips with the story. I then re-read the synopsis and suddenly things that I had read started to make a lot more sense!

Where do East End London gangsters go when they want to start over, well Margate of course. Mickey Speight is such a villain, he has had a hard life, he hasn’t many friends and 30 years ago he watched his daughter die. Why is he now getting messages from her?

I liked this story a lot, especially after I read the synopsis! It is a timeslip novel that flits back and forth and really easy to follow as well. The past is in italics and fills in the history for the present-day story. The past is something that haunts Mickey but tells of what he has done.

I liked the way the author tackled the layout for the story because the information the reader needs for the past is gradually drip-fed throughout. It makes it easy to digest and it has been worked really. well.

The messages from the grave give an eerie feel to the book, but not scary though, in some ways it has a more sinister feeling and adds a psychological feel to the thriller aspect of the story. It has good pacing as I followed Mickey and the author deeper into the mystery.

This was a story that nagged at me when I wasn’t reading it, it is unfortunate that readers also have lives to get on with and are not always able to sit and read a book in one go all the time. I think it would have easily been a one or two sitting read. It is a book for those who like a bit of old school gangster mixed in with a modern crime mystery feel. A good thriller with a psychological dimension that made for very interesting reading and one that I would be happy to recommend.

About the Author…

Tim Adler is a journalist and former commissioning editor on the Daily Telegraph, who has also written for the Financial Times and The Times.

His debut self-published thriller Slow Bleed went to number one in the US Amazon Kindle psychological thriller chart. Its follow-up Surrogate stayed in the top 40 psychological thrillers for more than a year. Bestselling crime author Peter James said of Tim’s third novel Hold Still, “Adler’s engaging style and sharp pace kept me glued”.

The Sunday Times called Tim’s most recent nonfiction book The House of Redgrave “compulsively readable” while The Mail On Sunday called it “dazzling”. Tim’s previous book Hollywood and the Mob was Book of the Week in The Mail On Sunday and Critic’s Choice in the Daily Mail.

Tim is a former London Editor of Deadline Hollywood, the US entertainment news website.

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The Beach Party by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature a review for Peter Bartram, The Beach Party is the latest in the Crampton of the Chronicle series.

My huge thanks at Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my signed copy of the book. Let me show you what it is all about…

Synopsis…

Murder stalks the beach party…

Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show. It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death. As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea? The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.

· Paperback : 282 pages

· ISBN-13 : 979-8689870687

· Publisher : Independently published (28 Sept. 2020)

· Product dimensions : 13.97 x 1.8 x 21.59 cm

· Language: : English

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

It is always a pleasure to catch up with Colin Crampton, a crime reporter at the Chronicle newspaper based on Brighton. What starts out as trying to get the latest story out before the deadline ends up with our intrepid crime reporter being repositioned!

Colin is definitely a wily man when comes to getting the scoop and he does use the occasional dirty trick much to the annoyance of a fellow hack. But this time he has gone a step too far and he is moved from reporting the crime to reporting entertainment! While Colin is definitely entertaining he is not that sort of writer.

Never fear though, because no matter where Colin goes or he finds a crime or crime finds him. A man beaten to death, a pirate radio station and various suspects lead Colin over land and sea to discover follow the leads.

The author has definitely got the workings of his main character, his flaws and also his dogged determination is always to be admired. Colin in some ways reminds me of a dog who refuses to let go of a bone, he will not give up on a story. Part of me does wonder if there is a stubborn streak that means he doesn’t like to be beaten or if there is a morality to him as he wants to discover the truth; maybe there’s a little of each!

The story is a good pace, and I love how there are no mobile phones, computers or tech. This is set in the 1960s and there are mentions of bands and music that help keep the sense of time as well as some of the phrases that are used. I also really enjoy the humorous tones, very tongue in cheek and I think to a certain extent a very British style to them.

I am a fan of this series and I have a real soft spot for Colin and his escapades around Brighton. This latest book is another excellent read, it has drama, danger, unexpected surprises and a fair few twists. If you like cosy mystery and crime that has a sense of humour then you really should have a look at these books. The Beach Party can be read as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on some very, very good books in the series. I would definitely recommend this one, well all of them to be honest.

About the Author…

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns. You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from http://www.colincrampton.com. Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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The Ice Killer by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Ice Killer by Ross Greenwood, I have read a few of Ross’ books and I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for his latest one.

My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you more….

Synopsis…

Once, her heart was empty. Now it’s filled with ice…

Ellen’s therapist told her to forget the past, but the life she’s left with is boring. All she wants is to be happy and normal, but the approaching long bleak nights of winter loom heavy before her, especially as she’ll be alone.

But when the secrets her mother put in place to protect her are exposed, Ellen learns the frightening truth. Her history is darker than she imagined. She’s not who she thinks she is, and the real her is a very different person to the one that others have mistreated and exploited.

If there’s hope of a future, Ellen must find answers about the past, and the new Ellen is less forgiving. This winter, there will be more than just discontent, and DI Barton will struggle in his hardest case to date.

How can he find the truth when all the victims and witnesses are dead?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is the third book in the DI Barton trilogy, or actually in this one he has the role of Acting DCI and the timing of this is, well it will see if he is ready for the next step up.

Barton is a family man and has been enjoying time at home with his family recovery from injuries inflicted on him in his last case. As he has been pushed a rung up the ladder then so have others. Barton takes his new role seriously and offers guidance and advice to those below him. I did mention a previous case and while it is mentioned it doesn’t have to be read prior to this one. But, then again reading it and the first book will give you an insight into the dynamics of this team.

The Ice Killer is intriguing and is also one that leaves bodies strewn. The why is gradually revealed as is the reasoning behind the killing as the chapters alternate between Barton and the Ice Killer. Yes, you work out who the killer is but this is a story that is deeper than you first think it is going to be. The Ice Killer has a history that gives valid reasons behind the actions.

This is the thing with this book because you get to see behind the killer you start to understand about their past, the family life and events that lead to the present-day setting. Instead of cheering for the apprehension of the killer, I found myself feeling for them. This is not the only character that this feeling happens for.

There are several characters to get to know, and when I say that the “bad guys” are a real mixed bunch, I really do mean that. Not everyone is what they appear and some are just downright awful. The author does a really good job of giving connections so that links are formed and it helps move the story through logically.

I did think the pacing fluctuated and I think this is quite a real thing as not all investigations flow at the same level, there are peaks and troughs in activity as the dots are joined. But, overall it was a good steady pace and then the ending was a wonderful flurry of adrenalin and excitement as further revelations are revealed.

This is a book that does deal with some very challenging subjects, the author hasn’t glamorised them but has dealt with them in keeping with the story. It is a brilliant read and one for readers who like a good crime, thriller book that has more to it than you first realise. One I would happily recommend.

About the Author…

Ross Greenwood is the bestselling author of eight crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough.

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The Chalet by Catherine Cooper #NetGalley @HarperCollinsUK #HarperFiction #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chalet by Catherine Cooper. I received an e-copy of this via NetGalley and all opinions are my own.

Let me show you what this debut is all about…

Synopsis…

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is a debut for this author and it had me hooked from the very first page and left me unable to put it down, I read it in one sitting.

The setting is a ski resort in the French Alps and flits back and forth between 2 timelines that are separated by 20-years. I like this back and forth style and the author used it very well to inject a mysterious and intriguing story.

20 years ago there was an accident as two men go out skiing and only one returns. In the present, the author brings in characters that may have a connection to the past, but exactly who they are and what their connection to the past is kept back from the reader.

I did have an inkling about one of the characters but I wasn’t completely sure and what the connection was but the build-up to the conclusion was brilliantly done. The author kept up the air of mistrust and gradually wove more details into the story.

I really enjoyed this story and how the author put it together, it was addictive and a joy to read. There are some serious subjects dealt with in this story and I thought the author dealt with these well. I am very interested to see what this author writes next as I really enjoyed this story.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it to readers who like a mysterious crime story that is full of doubt, mistrust and intrigue.

About the Author…

Catherine Cooper
Image and Bio taken from Amazon UK

I am a freelance journalist living in the South of France with my husband and two teenage children. We moved from London in 2009 so that the children could grow up bilingual and we could all ski more, and to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

I learned to ski on a school trip when I was 14 and have loved it ever since.

I’m an avid thriller reader and have been since I discovered Agatha Christie as a child.

The Chalet is my first published full-length novel, though I have also written several (unpublished) thrillers for teens and a (what used to be called) chick lit novel set in TV production.

Other than skiing and reading I love travel, rollercoaster, and I spend far too much time on social media. Some of my other favourite things include Alan Partridge, sparkly flip flops and salt and vinegar crisps.

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