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…

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Tony can also be found on Instagram.

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The Lies of Our Fathers (The Barnabas Trilogy #2) by Jonathon Mark #TheLiesOfOurFathers @jonmark1956 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #actionthriller #bookreview

It is an absolute honour to be sharing my review and to be opening the Blog Tour today for The Lies of Our Fathers by Jonathan Mark. This is the second in the trilogy and the first time I have read a book by this Author and I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, action-packed read. While it does work well as a stand-alone I do wish I had read the first book! Typical of me 🙂

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book. Let me show you more about it…

Synopsis…

Antioch 1098. A Crusader knight saves the lives of a Muslim family.

A city under siege by the army of the First Crusade. Sickened by the slaughter of Muslims, an English knight rescues a family and helps them escape. In the midst of battle he discovers a holy secret. When the tide is turned and the Crusaders find themselves besieged within the walls of Antioch, the same Muslim family must risk their lives to save the English knight.

Ankara 2000. An ancient bible is discovered.

An original version of the Gospel of Barnabas, supporting the Islamic view of Jesus and suppressed by the Christian church for centuries, is discovered by Turkish police in an anti- smuggling operation.

Iran 2005. A son hunts his terrorist father.

Richard Helford, MI6 agent, is searching for his father, a wanted terrorist. A search for the truth will take him from the Greek islands to the deserts of Iran, via Turkish occupied Cyprus. Embroiled in the bloody rivalries of Iranian politics, could his father be guilty of a murder that hurts Richard to the core of who he is? Richard must find the secret of the Crusader knight and the proof that the Gospel of Barnabas is not a forgery. Or will the assassination squads from the CIA and Mossad get there first?

What are The Lies of Our Fathers?

The second novel in the Barnabas trilogy.

Purchase from Amazon US or UK ( the UK link is an affiliate link)

My Review…

First off I am going to mention the cover for this book, it was very eye-catching when I first saw it. Now I have read the book I realise how perfectly it fits! That is not all that fits, the title is spot on as well!

This is the second book in The Barnabas Trilogy, typically of me I didn’t read the first book so I can say this does work well as a stand-alone. But, yes I do wish I had read the first book as this second one is a cracking read. It is set over two time periods, the first takes the reader back to the crusades in Antioch 1098. Not much time is spent here as the main story is set in Iran in 2005.

What starts as a hunt for his father and the truth about an ancient scroll takes a definite turn into something much more unexpected for Richard Helford. He is an MI6 agent but is working off-grid as such and does not have the backing of the agency as he looks for his father David. The story leaps various countries as the cat and mouse chase begins and Richard tries to put together the pieces of an ancient puzzle.

It has been a while since I have read a book that involves lost artefacts and I have to say this one ticked all the boxes for me. Ancient artefacts usually have a religious base, this is certainly the case for this story as the hunt for a lost and ancient gospel hits fever pitch. Different religions factions are eager to get their hands on it. There are some who want it to use as leverage, others to prove a point and those that will not want it to see the light of day.

The author packs the religion, the politics into a story that is such a brilliant read and has a wonderful fluidity to it. There are several plots the at have been woven in together and yet I felt that I never felt lost. I admit it did take me a while to get my head around the characters, but then as I got used to them everything was good.

Because the author has injected religion and politics into the story, as well as government agencies then you just know that there is going to be a lot of conspiracy, mistrust and double-dealing. This sort of thing is right up my street and the author had me convinced… convinced that I couldn’t trust any of the characters that is! This again is something that worked really well for me, being off footed and not quite knowing who was working for who, who was telling the truth keeps the story flow moving along at a breakneck pace.

Sometimes you come across a story that you know would work really well as a film. As I was reading this book this is what kept springing to mind. I would love to see this as a film! There is also an interesting Afterward where the author explains briefly some aspects of religion and history with a list of books for further reading.

So, this is a cracking book. Fast-paced, action-packed, adrenaline-fueled, full of conspiracy and intrigue. I wanted to savour this book rather than read it at my usual speed, and yet I also never wanted to put it down! Fabulous read and one for action, thriller, conspiracy readers. It one I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

Jonathan Mark worked for nearly forty years in the City of London financial district, he retired early to pursue his long held ambition to write novels.  He shares his time between Essex and Cornwall and travels around the world to research material for his books.

To kick start his writing career he completed an MA in Crime and Thriller writing at City University London. At the time, this course was the only creative writing MA in the country which focused on commercial crime fiction. The Last Messenger was the novel submitted to complete the MA.

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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.

Social Media links – TwitterFacebookWebsite

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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

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh #1) by Michelle Kidd #ThePhoenixProject @AuthorKidd @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Phoenix Project by Michelle Kidd. This is a fabulous break necked action packed read that was such a fabulous read and a brilliant start to a series.

I would like to thank Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you more about this book…

Synopsis…

How long can the past remain buried?

A simple message in a local newspaper. A set of highly sensitive documents left in the back of a London black cab. Both events collide to cause Isabel Faraday’s life to be turned upside down. Growing up believing her parents died in a car crash when she was five, Isabel learns the shocking truth; a truth that places her own life in danger by simply being a Faraday. Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh of the Metropolitan Police races against time to save her, and at the same time unravels long forgotten secrets involving MI5, MI6, the KGB and NASA. Secrets that have lain dormant for twenty years. Secrets worth killing for. With kidnap, murder and suicides stretching across four continents, just what is the Phoenix Project?

The Phoenix Project is the first Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh novel.

If you like a gripping page turner, with plenty of surprising twists, buy The Phoenix Project today to discover its secrets.

Purchase from Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

Wow, this is a fabulous break necked, action-packed read if ever there was one. This book was laid out so that I found it very easy to keep up with the numerous characters and also the ever-evolving plotline.

The synopsis is quite intriguing and gives little away apart from that fact that nothing is what it appears to be. the truth is not quite what it seems and this adds wonderfully to the overall tension and sense of suspicion right the way through the story.

Isabel Faraday is about to get her whole world turned upside down as she is told some shocking truths about who her parents are. This leads Isabel from London to France, things happen so fast she has barely time to get her head around what she has been told before she is plunged into a dangerous situation.

DI Jack Macintosh is one of the people who like to get the answers to all the questions and it is just as well because this case is about to go global with ramifications that will shake people at the top.

This was such a brilliantly fast-paced book that I just couldn’t put down. There are a couple of reasons why I think this worked so well for me. Firstly I do read quite a few thrillers that have conspiracy and governmental agencies involved, this one focused more on finding the truth rather than trying to work around agencies.

Also, there is not too much tech-speak or weaponry mentions. While this does work for me in books it is also nice to just get on with the story and not get caught up with what gun, what calibre and all the velocity stuff, instead I was able to get completely involved in the mystery unravelling. Believe me when I say there is a lot to unravel and the author has tackled this so well.

Cover-up, conspiracy, false identities, top-secret projects and finding out the real truth is what this story is all about. It would be very easy to get confused with the different threads and theories that are mentioned in this story but I never felt this at all. Everything followed and flowed really well and it made for such an enjoyable experience.

I really enjoyed this book and if you like crime, thriller, conspiracy and mystery reads then this is one you should definitely add to your list. A brilliant book that I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

Michelle Kidd is a self-published author known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels.

Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.

But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.

In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and had not looked back since. There are currently three DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fourth in progress.

Michelle works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order J

Bibliography:

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh book 1)

Seven Days (DI Jack MacIntosh book 2)

The Fifteen (DI Jack MacIntosh book 3)

Social Media: Twitter: Facebook: Website: Instagram

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Fifteen Coffins by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @BOTBSPublicity #PublicationDay #FifteenCoffins #BOTBSPublicity #crime #bookreview

I am absolutely over the moon to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today for Fifteen Coffins by Tony J Forder. Regular readers of my blog will probably be aware that Tony is an author who is a favourite of mine. He is usually associated with his highly successful DI Bliss series, Tony has taken a step away from his series and written another stand-alone book and I adored it a lot!

I would like to thank Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Tony’s latest book. Also to wish Tony a Happy Publication Day 😁

Synopsis…

From the bestselling author of the DI Bliss series comes an enthralling mystery thriller.

The truth can set you free – or bury you.

When FBI Agent Sydney Merlot returns to her home town in northern California to wind down her late father’s PI business, she soon finds herself on the wrong side of the aftermath of a high school shooting.

Sydney’s childhood friend – who is now county sheriff – plus the local PD, the mayor’s office, and most of the town’s inhabitants, are convinced the horror ended when the gunman was killed. Now they just want to be left alone to mourn. But Sydney has other ideas – and she is not alone.

While having to work through her own personal grief, Sydney is openly intimidated and receives anonymous threats. After discovering she is under surveillance, she begins to fear for her life. During her investigation, she gains several allies, but as the days pass, Sydney doesn’t know who to trust, and which new friends might actually turn out to be foes…

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

My Review…

This is one of my favourite authors and I adore his DI Bliss series so I was really looking forward to reading a book that is a step away from this series. Enter Sydney Merlot an FBI agent who has returned to her home to start to get her fathers Private Investigator business and house in order after his untimely death. A potential client of her fathers comes to her and asks if she would look into the case of his son. He was accused of being the gunman responsible for the deaths of 14 highschool children. He believes his son was a victim and not the one responsible.

I really enjoyed the intro to this new character from the author. Stepping away from the UK and onto US soil with different law enforcement agencies was a real treat. The usual suspense and twisted storyline that I have come to expect from this author is very evident, in some ways more so. I think taking a step away from his usual characters have almost given the author a free rein to explore different way s of investigating. With a change of country, it also opens up a different way of life than we are used to in the UK.

The story starts off as one that seems like a father not accepting his sons’ guilt, but there is something that grabs Syndey about his story that leads her to look further. This then begins the slope into something more than she bargained for. Coming home should be positive, but she wonders what has changed, who can she trust. I like the feeling that Sydney feels as she is spiralling and has trouble performing to her usual standard, it adds a realism to the story as after all she is still grieving for her father.

This is Sydney’s hometown, therefore she should feel confident about who she can trust. Things have changed, people have changed, they have different responsibilities, loyalties and priorities. Those she thought she could have banked on left her feeling unsure, this is really the tip of an iceberg. The author does a brilliant job with a sense of suspense and lurking danger.

I really enjoyed this book and I really hope this is top be the start of a new series. I like the character of Sydney, she is bull-headed, determined, stubborn and doesn’t take no for an answer if she thinks it should be a yes! A wonderful read and one that readers of crime and mystery will enjoy and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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 Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were 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 which was released just last November.
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 – WebsiteFacebookTwitterAmazon AuthorGoodreadsFantastic Fiction

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