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

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

A Grave for Two by Anne Holt #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on A Grave for Two by Anne Holt. I received this book as part of a giveaway by Readers First. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I Admit that I will be reading more!

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Anne Holt is the godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction.’ Jo Nesbø

Selma Falck has hit rock bottom. Having lost everything – her husband, her children and her high-flying job as a lawyer – in quick succession, she is holed up alone in a dingy apartment. That is until Jan Morell – the man who is to blame for her downfall – rings her doorbell, desperate to overturn a doping accusation against his daughter, Hege – Norway’s best female skier. He’ll drop his investigation into Selma, but only if she’ll help… With just weeks until the Olympic qualifying rounds, clearing Hege’s name, and getting Selma’s own life back on track, seems impossible.

But when an elite male skier is found dead in suspicious circumstances, the post-mortem showing a link to Hege’s case, it becomes clear to Selma that there is a sinister web of lies, corruption and scandals lurking in this highly competitive sport. As time starts to runs out, another person is found dead, and Selma realizes that her own life is at risk…

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and she has left me with a curiosity to read more. The main protagonist of this story is Selma Falck, a woman with a past history and intriguing life. I met her as she was in a dingy flat as she has no job prospects and things look grim and uncertain. She is given a second chance when the father of the number one women’s Norwegian skier comes to ask for her help. The skier is Hege Chin Morell, she has been accused of taking an illegal drug and it threatens her Olympic dreams.

Along with Hege, another athlete is also brought into the story. Though its his death that is in question. There are several threads of other story lines that the author has woven into A Grave For Two and she deals with corruption, cronyism, drug and doping accusations as well as a more personal look into Selma’s life.

This is a wonderful read and a slow burner that is intriguing and has well woven story-lines. The investigation that Selma embarks on takes her down some dubious and shady paths. I liked how the author flitted between all the different threads and gradually built up the story towards its climax. For the most of the story I was addicted and found it very interesting reading, but then as the end approached I found myself loosing that addiction. I felt that things were dragged out a little too much. At this point for me a lot of the questions had been answered and there was still the odd revelation to be revealed but it just felt like it slowed in pace a little. It may that my tiredness didn’t help as I was trying to finish the book before going to bed.

Even though I felt a little disappointed by the ending, I still enjoyed the vast majority of the story and it has left me wanting to know more about Selma and what has happened in her life up to this point. This is an author who I will be revisiting in the future.

This is a story that I would recommend to readers who like a slow burn to their mysteries, with suspicion and corruption and a personal side stories.

Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I own several books by this author and this is the first I have read. This is book #1 in the Grant County series and it was a cracking read. It is #17 in my reading challenge for #20 Books Of Summer.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The first book in Karin Slaughter’s #1 bestselling GRANT COUNTY series.

She was found in the local diner. Brutally murdered. Ritually mutilated.
And she won’t be the last.
___________________

The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it’s only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer’s brutality becomes clear.

Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver – Sara’s ex-husband – is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that Sibyl’s murder wasn’t a one-off attack. What they’re dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer…

I have to say right from the off that I really, really enjoyed this book and what a fabulous introduction to a “new to me” author!

The synopsis is one that gives a great idea as to what the story is about, not that I read the synopsis until I have finished reading the book! It does give an indication that this story is going to be a bit on the brutal side, and yes it and in such a brilliant way.

Dr. Sara Linton is the medical examiner/ coroner whose main job is a paediatrician. She works for her ex-husband while doing her role as coroner, not ideal but they do still talk to each other. Oh I should mention that her ex is Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver.

Sara stumbles on the victim in a toilet booth. Sybil has been brutally murdered, and I must add it is quite a bloody affair and as wrong as this sounds… it was so good. It meant that straight away I wanted to know more, the how’s, the why’s and the who’s, it made me impatient and I was addicted straight away.

So with a beginning like that, I knew this was going to be a good book. A great opening with blood, guts, murder and a character I was going to get on with and like. Over the course of the story I got to know Sara a little better, her family, her past and also her relationship with her ex.

The author builds up the story and gradually adds more intrigue and never was I close to working out who was responsible, though I did have the odd idea floating around. The characters fall into various categories, those you will like, those you won’t and those that don’t quite sit right but you don’t know why! I like the way the author littered this story with seeds of doubt, it kept me on my toes and my fingers turning the pages.

Having a main character as a coroner meant I was able to see inside the examination room so to speak, and it was not pleasant but at the same time it was again very good. The descriptions of the bodies and what had happened to them made me shudder and curl my toes up. The investigation was brilliantly paced and move along nicely.

This book could just as easily been called Blindsided rather than Blindsighted and I was the former for most of the story. This author got the balance right with regards to the case, the drama of the personal lives and also the tension and stress in trying to track down the killer.

So as I mentioned, this is the first time of reading anything by this author and what a brilliant book I chose to read. I can definitely see why she is so popular. I am looking forward to reading more in the series as well as the others that she has written. It’s great to find a new author who has lots of already published books out there.

And, as if you really needed me to mention this…. I would Absolutely Recommend Blindsighted!


Book #17 of 20


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

The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts on The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. This is #5 in the DI Bliss series and I want to say a huge thank you to Heather at Bloodhound Books for arranging for an e-copy of Tony’s latest book.

I am a huge fan of this series and the author, and this latest book is bloody brilliant!

Let me show you what it is all about…

To keep a secret hidden you must bury the truth

One night. Two shootings. Two victims.

When DI Bliss arrives at the scene of the second murder, he recognises the same three-shot pattern as the first. But there is one major difference: the second victim has been decapitated, the head nowhere to be found. When a second headless corpse is discovered the following day, Bliss and his team realise the killer is on a spree – and he’s not done yet.

After Bliss links the killings and forms a task force with officers from Lincolnshire, they uncover further disturbing news: the murders are not the first in the series – there are four more headless victims, and the Lincolnshire team believe they know why. Not only that, they are also convinced that more potential victims are on the killer’s list.

In a race against time to save further loss of life, Bliss constantly finds himself one step behind and chasing shadows. In order to flush out the hired assassin, he and his team have no choice but to put their own lives at risk. But will everyone survive? 

This is the latest in the DI Bliss series, and you know I am going to say that Yes you should read this series in order. There are smaller personal stories that are running through the series, and they are mentioned in the books but obviously are much better when read in order.

Oh Wow, what a book! This for me see’s a real step up for this author, I have always been a fan of his books, but this one just knocks the socks off what I have read by him… so far! This author always provides a good solid read and I have enjoyed reading the developments with the characters and the addictive story lines. For me, The Death of Justice sees this author step things up big time.

The case begins with a shooting, it is then followed by a decapitation. This is only the beginning! Bliss and his team realise that this could be the start of something much bigger and things could spectacularly spiral out of control. There is a sense of not having much time as Bliss and his department have to cross into another county and co-operation is required across the county borders. Bliss has never really been one for tact and diplomacy and is often found stamping on toes within the hierarchy, but this time he is going to have to hold back, well to a certain extent!

The author has definitely ramped up the complexity in the case as Bliss finds himself in an investigation that has him pulled from pillar to post and is struggling to be everywhere he wants to be. Yet while the case is complex for Bliss, it is not for the reader. I found it easy to follow and I like the logical progress the author uses for Bliss.

Bliss is old school and knows about grey areas and experienced in reading people. He is one of those characters that does interact well with his team, they are valued and respected by Bliss and they have a bond that has been built up over time. This is where I back up my statement about reading in order.

As well as the complex case , the author has injected a great pace to this story. There is definitely a “race against time” aspect to the investigation. It adds to the dramatic and tense that is present throughout. The unusual nature of the case means Bliss is given a little more leeway than usual, he has this with the blessing of his superiors. This is the grey area that Bliss seems to thrive in, and he is definitely well placed to think outside the box as far as protocol and procedure is concerned.

This story starts dramatically and ends spectacularly dramatically. I was able to get up to date with the smaller personal stories in the lives of the regular characters, while they are not major storylines and they do fade during the investigation, they make an appearance again at the end. They are poignant and I like them a lot.

In between the main story there is also some chapters from the perspective of another character. Oh my goodness are they chilling and creepy or what! This adds a great psychological suspense to the story and definitely gets the spine tingling as I read these particular chapters.

Emotions… well… Yes Mr Forder you broke me! That means you got it absolutely right! The author mentions in a note at the end of the story about the balance of this story, my floods of tears meant that for me it was right. Yes it was balanced, the investigation is obviously the main focus, but in with that there was drama, suspicion, tension, emotion and complexity and they all have an important part to play.

This is without doubt THE best book I have read by this author. So many things I loved about it and even though there is a sadness it also made sense because not everything is finite and there are things that happen in daily life that is life itself. I also feel that this is a huge step forward in a series I already love and has left me with such a feeling of “WOW that was bloody good!”

I would have happily read this book in one sitting, instead I had to read it over a couple of days, it’s so annoying when you have to work a night shift ad you would rather be sat at home with your head in a book!

This is a book that , as if you need telling at this point, that I would absolutely would Highly Recommend!

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and international bestselling crime thriller series featuring Peterborough based detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, will be joined on 9 September by The Death of Justice.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books.

Scream Blue Murder was written as a standalone, but even before it was published back in November 2017, he had decided to write the sequel, Cold Winter Sun, which was released on 1 November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is busy working on book six in the DI Bliss series, as well as another novel, Fifteen Coffins. 

Follow tony on his – Website Twitter

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A Fever In The Blood by Oscar De Muriel #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for A Fever In The Blood by Oscar De Muriel.

This is the second in the McGray and Frey series and it sees the return of the two detectives and there very different approaches in their line of work.

Let’s see what it’s about…

In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey.

Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient—a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition?

McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill—home of the Lancashire witches—where unimaginable danger awaits.

The year is 1889 and the story begins on New Years Day in Edinburgh. Lord Joel Ardglass has escaped from the local asylum and is on the run after murdering a nurse. McGray finds evidence of witchcraft, this is right up his street, and fits into his beliefs in the occult and superstition. Frey is a man of science and believes that there is another explanation.

This is definitely a cat and mouse story and it really tests the McGray and Frey partnership. McGray is especially invested in this case for personal reasons that are explained at the beginning of the story. Frey can see why McGray is so keen to catch Ardglass, and is unsuccessful in trying to convince McGray to see things from a more productive and better thought out approach. McGray is more bull in a china shop type of guy.

Tempers are frayed and tested as Ardglass takes the two on a merry dance from Edinburgh to the infamous Pendle Hill, given it’s reputation and history it ties in well for McGray. As for poor Frey, well, he needs hits wits about him and more of that steely British nerve .

The time and setting lend itself so well to this type of story. It is full of mystery, especially given the involvement of witchcraft. The author has once again built up an atmosphere, that, as I read, I could feel the swirling mists, ominous shadows and felt a chill as I was taken into the cold and bleakly described landscape.

At the end of the story the author gives a few insights into the story, he mentions how his Phd in Chemistry helped him to create some of the dramatic elements to his story.

This is a murder/mystery that has a fabulous Gothic feel to it. If you have read the first, then I think this has a slightly different feel. I is a book I thoroughly enjoyed and left me wondering what the author has in store next for McGray & Frey.

It gets a definitely recommended from Me!

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

Book 11 out of 20


Holy Island by LJ Ross #20Booksof summer #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Holy Island by LJ Ross. This is the first book in the DCI Ryan Mystery series. Although I do have a few of this authors books, this is the first one I have read. I am reading this as part of the #20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge and it marks the half point for me.

Let me show you what it’s about…

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.

When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.

Holy Island of Lindisfarne provides a wonderful setting for this crime and mystery story. It is accessible by a road at low tide, this gives it a secluded and remote feel. It’s where DCI Ryan has retreated and why he is first on scene when a young girls body is reported. She has been found in the midst of the islands ruins. Given the history of the island a consultant is required, this is where Dr Anna Taylor is called in. She knows the island, she used to live there.

This is a book that has atmosphere, it is enhanced by the setting, the ruins and the history of the area. The island has religious roots as well as pagan ones as well and the author has nicely woven in the later.

I found myself quickly warming to the characters as I got to know them and I liked the initial stubbornness shown by Ryan and Anna at the very beginning. Though as they do have to work together, they do warm to each other.

Because Anna used to live on the island, she appears to be the best choice to consult. Coming back brings up old memories and opens the odd wound. Ryan in contrast is more about the crime and personal issues he has not got time for.

This story is one that at times felt like a cosy mystery, almost like a classic “whodunit”but also has a macabre side given the bloody state of the bodies. It has several clever twists and turns that threw a red herring or two along the way. Easy to follow as there are not a huge cast involved, it also kept me guessing until the conclusion.

A good introduction for a new to me series and one that I am looking forward to progressing further with.

It is one I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, alike or share is always appreciated xx

Book 10 of 20

Cold As The Grave by James Oswald @SirBenfro @annecater #RandomThingsTours #Review

I am so delighted to be sharing my review for Cold As The Grave by James Oswald. I recieved my copy as part of the Blog Tour and my thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for accpeting my request to join.

Let’s see what the bookis all about…

The ninth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling phenomenon that is the Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers .

Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place.

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

Wow! 5 Stars! Will, that do? Is that enough for a review? I only ask because I am not sure quite how to articulate my thoughts into some sort of coherent review!!!!!

This is a police procedural with such a creepy and sinister undertone to it. A supernatural air adds to the atmosphere and reminded me of a Victorian gothic story with swirling mists, ominous shapes and shadows, but very much set in the present day.

Following DCI McLean around Edinborough because DCI’s sit at desks working on budgets and reports right? Well, that is where you would be wrong! He likes to get right in the thick of things, getting a feel for the case with his feet firmly on the ground. He is very much like a dog with a bone as when he gets his teeth into the case he does not let go and tenaciously hangs on till the end.

McLean is such a committed copper and his team around him have a similar ethic. In the background, there is a lurking menace, a character that he has a past with. A character with cogs constantly turning and finger in all the pies. While they don’t have a huge physical role as such it is their presence definitely is there. It felt a little like Moriarty to Holmes.

I loved the route the author took with this story, it kept me on my toes and constantly questioning what I thought. The way the victims met their demise was gruesomely brilliant, it sounds wrong to say that but, it was so different and added to the suspense and mystery. Definitely not your usual MOand that added such a wonderful tense feel to the investigations and the overall air of the story.

How the author would get to the ending had me a little concerned until I got there myself, and I am so happy to say he got it so right. I really should stop trying to see ahead as I am often wrong-footed!

Now I know this is quite a vague review to the story and I have picked out some of the things I loved about it. When I finished this book and tried to write a review I crossed and scribbled out so many things, they contained spoilers and hinted too much at what happened. In the end, I decided that picking out some of the key things that worked so well for me.

If you like your crime thriller reads that are dark, atmospheric, mysterious and ominous, with a storyline that has various elements that have been brilliantly drawn together, then this should really be on your ‘Must Read’ list!

Cold As The Grave by James Oswald is a book that gets an ‘Absolutely & Highly Recommended’ from Me!

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Wolves at the Door by Gunnar Staalesen Translated by Don Bartlett #RandomThingsTours #NordicNoir @annecater #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review of Wolves at the Door by Gunnar Staalesen and the translation by Don Batlett. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my copy of the the book.

This is the second book by this author that I have read and I love his writing, atmospheric and addictive immediately spring to mind. Anyway, before I get too carried away let’s have a look and see what the book is about…

The wolves are no longer in the dark … they are at his door. And they want vengeance… The next instalment in the international, bestselling Varg Veum series by one of the fathers of Nordic Noir…

One dark January night a car drives at high speed towards PI Varg Veum, and comes very close to killing him. Veum is certain this is no accident, following so soon after the deaths of two jailed men who were convicted for their participation in a case of child pornography and sexual assault … crimes that Veum himself once stood wrongly accused of committing.

While the guilty men were apparently killed accidentally, Varg suspects that there is something more sinister at play … and that he’s on the death list of someone still at large.

Fearing for his life, Veum begins to investigate the old case, interviewing the victims of abuse and delving deeper into the brutal crimes, with shocking results. The wolves are no longer in the dark … they are at his door. And they want vengeance.

First off I am going to say that I am so glad there are translators, they give me a chance to read books that I would not otherwise be able to enjoy. Don Barlett doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to reading his translation of Wolves at the Door into English.

This is the latest instalment of the Varg Veum series. Varg is a Private Investigator and is looking into two old cases. The cases are based around those found guilty of child abuse. Now I will say straight off that while the author does not go into excessive detail, it does make the reading a little uncomfortable at times.

As Varg starts to gather the information he needs, he meets various characters and the job of trying to work out the who’s and the why’s begins. The problem with these other characters is that they all seem to have something to hide, or they are holding something back. This increases the tension as I was never sure who I could rely on for being truthful. Given that there are a few characters to follow, I found them easy to remember and to recognise. Varg has the same problem as I did when it came to working out who to trust. I was eagerly waiting for him to work through their stories and remarks so I could better understand the reasons and also the culprit behind the killings and also the attempt on Varg’s life.

The author is fabulous with his descriptions and it added to the slower style of the story adding suspense and a tense atmosphere. While the style of the story is slower the pace of it is not, I hope that makes sense!

I did take longer to read this book than I normally would. Rather than devouring it in one or two sittings, I read over several days. This is because my concentration levels at the time were not brilliant too many other things whizzing around my head. The bonus in doing this was that I was able to think about the story in between reading. I was able to mull over who I thought was behind it all, I had 3 people on my “Suspect list” and yes the actual guilty party was one of them. So I did not actually work it all out completely and I was not able to single out a definite character.

This is yet ano0ther fabulous Nordic Noir from an author who definitely keeps me on my toes. The story is like the cover, dark and atmospheric it is also full of suspense, surprise and with some wonderful descriptions. A book that crime and thriller readers will love.

It gets a “Highly Recommended” from Me!

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty-three titles, which have been published in twenty-six countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is currently being filmed. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife.

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The Comedy Club by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram #RandomThingsTours @annecater #Review

I am delighted to share my review for The Comedy Club by Peter Bartram. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Peter for my copy of his latest book.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

The Comedy Club Mystery: A Crampton of the Chronicle comic crime adventure

Murder has never been such fun…

When theatrical agent Daniel Bernstein sues the Evening Chronicle for libel, crime reporter Colin Crampton is called in to sort out the problem. But trouble escalates when Bernstein turns up murdered. Colin discovers that any of five comedians competing for the chance to appear on a top TV show could be behind the killing. As Colin and his feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith investigate, they encounter a cast of colourful characters – identical twin gangsters, an Irishman who lives underground, and a failed magician’s assistant. And it’s not long before their own lives are in peril as they battle to crack a code that will lead to a fortune. Join Colin and Shirley for a rollercoaster of an adventure in Swinging Sixties England – where the laughs are never far from the action.

Purchase Link – Amazon

I have read a couple of this author’s Colin Crampton books and it was a pleasure to read about Colin’s latest escapades.

Set in 1960’s Brighton, Colin is a crime reporter for the Evening Chronicle. The murder of Daniel Berstein causes problems for one of Colin’s colleagues who asks for help.

One-liners are aplenty in this book and had me smirking several times. Along with the gags are mentions of songs, films, actors of the day. Their inclusion kept me grounded in the time the novel is set in.

The victim is an Agent for comedy acts, though his shine seems to have lost some of its polish with the death of the Star act, one Max Miller. There is a mystery surrounding this comedian and it gradually comes to light over the story. The murder mystery rolls along at a pace that is suited to the decade of the setting. It keeps Colin on his toes and also means he drags his girlfriend Shirley along for her help.

There is not a huge cast for this book so it is very easy to keep up to speed with who is who and what their role is. Things heat up and the pressure for Colin to get to the bottom of the crime increases and it leads to a serious decision for him to make.

I really enjoyed The Comedy Club. It has just the right amount of humour. think it would have been easy to get carried away with too many gags and it would have taken the edge off of the crime side of the story.

This as a murder mystery with a good cast, a good storyline and the right amount of entertainment. I found myself quickly wrapped up in this and did not want to put it down until I was done! If you like murder mystery novels set in the 0’s then I think you will enjoy this one. It gets a Definitely Recommended from me.

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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