Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch #fantasy #crime #murder #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. This is the first book in the Rivers of London series and I am so glad there are lots more to read since this one was first published in 2011.

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Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

MY REVIEW

I have had this book on my kindle for far too long. (3rd August 2012 to be exact!) When I first saw this book I knew it was one I wanted to read but over time it has slipped down the list and now I have discovered it!

This is a police procedural of sorts, it does have police officers, and detectives and there is a chain of command and all that gumpf. But in with this, there are also ghosts, ghouls, auras, vampires and other things that lurk in the shadows.

Peter Grant is a probationary police officer, he has been given his first assignment. It isn’t to the detective department as his fellow officer is going to go, but to work alongside DCI Thomas Nightingale. He is a one-man department within the MET and he has decided to take on an apprentice. Yes, an apprentice!

Nightingale is the officer that is called when bizarre and other world events happen. River of London is a wonderful introduction to the Gods Goddesses and other creatures of the Thames and tributaries. Peter will have to tiptoe the shores and the politics of the river rulers as well as keep on the right side of other detectives who are reluctant to accept that Nightingale does in fact have his uses.

This was a brilliant story to sit down with and it soon became one that I knew I would not put down until I had finished it. A one-sitting read that has many twists, and unexpected occur5ance, with danger lurking around and within the walls.

At times this is quite funny and I love the writing style of the author. A mix of fantasy and mystery that have been warped or wrapped around a crime and police procedural genre. I can see now how this book has garnered so many great reviews and why it has become a popular series. I will definitely be reading the next book very soon and I would definitely recommend this to readers who like crime with a fantasy twist.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Aaronovitch’s career started with a bang writing for Doctor Who, subsided in the middle and then, as is traditional, a third act resurgence with the bestselling Rivers of London series.

Born and raised in London he says that he’ll leave his home when they prise his city out of his cold dead fingers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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

You can find out more on his Goodreads Author Page.

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

February’s Son by Alan Parks #crime #historicalfiction #policeprocedural #bookreivew

I am delighted to share my review today for February’s Son by Alan Parks. This is the second book in the Harry McCoy series and it now means I am up to date with this series. There are five books published so far and I am eagerly awaiting the next one.

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Bodies are piling up with grisly messages carved into their chests. Rival gangs are competing for control of Glasgow’s underworld and it seems that Cooper, McCoy’s oldest gangster friend, is tangled up in it all.

Detective Harry McCoy’s first day back at work couldn’t have gone worse.

New drugs have arrived in Glasgow, and they’ve brought a different kind of violence to the broken city. The law of the street is changing and now demons from McCoy’s past are coming back to haunt him. But vengeance always carries a price, and it could cost McCoy more than he ever imagined.

The waters of Glasgow’s corruption are creeping higher, as the wealthy and dangerous play for power. And the city’s killer continues his dark mission.

Can McCoy keep his head up for long enough to solve the case?

Bruised and battered from the events of Bloody January, McCoy returns for a breathless ride through the ruthless world of 1970s Glasgow. 

MY REVIEW

After reading the first book a while ago I was really looking forward to seeing how things progressed. I should mention that I have read the books that follow this one, the author is currently up to book 5 in the series.

Detective Harry McCoy is a copper with dubious friends. Having recently been injured he is back to work as a new brutal case rears its head. This isn’t a pleasant one as the body has a word carved into the chest. As the team is getting their heads around this murder another body turns up.

This is set in the tough 1970s Glasgow area. Gangs, drugs and prostitution are rife, life is tough and for some, it is going to get tougher. The fact that Harry has dubious friends can at times work to his advantage. At others though these friends test the patience of Harry’s boss. Wattie finds himself in the midst of things as well.

This is one tough one to read at times as there is a lot of violence in it. If you are a fan of hard-boiled crime then you are going to want to read this one. This is a tough area, people do not hold back and if you find yourself on the wrong side then you had better know how to disappear or find yourself in a fight for your life. The book, the language and the storyline are, well colourful to say the least. It is all in context and having anything softer would not work.

The cases and the evidence does start to stack up and another storyline is introduced, this one though is one that McCoy is going to try to sort out with his old friend Stevie. The author does like to give these two a battering.

As I have read the next few books I am aware of things that are going to happen, but coming back to the start of the series is great as I get to find out more about the main recurring characters. McCoy seems to court trouble at every turn and it is Wattie, his colleague who is starting to keep an eye on McCoy a little more. While he is naive he does what is best.

If you like tough, gang-related, crime fiction then this is a book you are going to enjoy. This one also has a great psychological edge to it and this makes it very twisted and dark. Pasts are brought up, egos are bruised, names are made and things are changing. Fabulous 2nd instalment and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was one of the top crime debuts of 2018 and was shortlisted for the prestigious international crime prize the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

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

Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton #crime #thriller #polioceprocedural #onefrommyTBR #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton. This is the 1st book in the Lacey Flint series, but it is the 2nd one I have read!

One night after interviewing a reluctant witness at a London apartment complex, Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, stumbles onto a woman brutally stabbed just moments before in the building’s darkened parking lot. Within twenty-four hours a reporter receives an anonymous letter that points out alarming similarities between the murder and Jack the Ripper’s first murder—a letter that calls out Lacey by name. If it’s real, and they have a killer bent on re-creating London’s bloody past, history shows they have just five days until the next attempt.

No one believes the connections are anything more than a sadistic killer’s game, not even Lacey, whom the killer seems to be taunting specifically. However, as they investigate the details of the case start reminding her more and more of a part of her past she’d rather keep hidden. And the only way to do that is to catch the killer herself. 

MY REVIEW

This is the 1st book in the Lacey Flint series, but it is not the first one I have read. I recently read the 5th book, The Dark, and decided I needed to start this series at the beginning. Some of the things mentioned in The Dark have their origins in this first book and even though I was aware of future events it didn’t spoil the story at all.

Lacey Flint is a brilliant character, she isn’t one that likes to be the centre of attention, she prefers to stand back. Not much of a chance of that with this case though. She is the one that comes across a victim, the woman has been stabbed and dies in Lacey’s arms. What sets alarm bells ringing however is a note that is sent. It is something that looks similar to the historical Jack the Ripper letters. The day of the stabbing is also the same as one of the Ripper victims.

This is a brilliant story and it was great to start this at the beginning. Knowing what I know of Lacey, it was so interesting to see her first foray into an investigation. There is however something about Lacey that doesn’t quite sit right. While she is very good at her job, she is also holding something back. As she is a loner it takes a lot for her to trust others and she can be stand-offish and abrupt at times, and also just plain stubborn.

Her past will have some part in this present case. The author has left wonderful snippets and breadcrumbs along the way and finally more of Lacey’s past will emerge. As I have read The Dark I was aware of her past, but it was great to see this storyline from the beginning of the series. It means that I have seen a progression the wrong way around but it is still a fabulous read.

The story itself is gritty and dangerous, there are many twists and red herrings. Not all the clues are obvious and not everyone lets on what they know. This makes it suspenseful and so intriguing.

This is one for those who like a darker crime thriller, it is a police procedural and it is fabulous to read. I adored this and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon J Bolton was born and brought up in Lancashire, the eldest of three daughters. As a child, she dreamed of becoming an actress and a dancer, studying ballet, tap and jazz from a young age and reading drama at Loughborough University.

She spent her early career in marketing and PR before returning to full-time education to study for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Warwick University, where she met her husband, Andrew. They moved to London and Sharon held a number of PR posts in the City. She left the City to work freelance, to start a family and to write.

She and Andrew now live in a village in the Chiltern Hills, not far from Oxford, with their son and the latest addition to the family: Lupe, the lop-eared lurcher. Her daily life revolves around the school run, walking the dog and those ever-looming publishing deadlines.

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

Tick Tock by Simon Mayo #thriller #contemporaryfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Tick Tock by Simon Mayo. I have not read any of his books before, but if his latest one is anything to go by I will be reading them.

It starts quietly enough. A tick tick ticking you can hear in your ear. Tinnitus, you think. It will pass. But it doesn’t. It gets worse – and then you pass it on.

Before you know it, it spreads. Elsewhere across the globe, it emerges, small outbreaks at first, contained groups of people, young and old, and suddenly it’s a plague – and ten days later it’s killing people. The hospitals are overflowing and there is no cure. There is a paranoid panic which sets friend against friend, neighbour against neighbour. Where does the world go from here?

In the north London school where it is first discovered, head of English, Kit Chaplin is struggling to understand what he is witnessing. Even eminent bacteriologist and his partner Lilly Slater can’t help him. But as the virus rips through the school and into the outside world, the world starts to take notice. Kit is more concerned about his students – and his young daughter, Rose – but little by little he gets sucked into where this mystery illness might have come from. And how it’s going to threaten his world.

Tick Tock is the compelling new novel from master storyteller and legendary DJ, Simon Mayo. It tells the story of a different kind of pandemic through the eyes of three people at the heart of the storm. Utterly exciting, urgently contemporary, piercingly insightful, it more than confirms the promise of his bestselling and acclaimed first thriller, Knife Edge.

MY REVIEW

I had seen this book getting some good reviews and decided it was one I really wanted to read. I mean the first paragraph in the synopsis – “It starts quietly enough. A tick tick ticking you can hear in your ear. Tinnitus, you think. It will pass. But it doesn’t. It gets worse – and then you pass it on.” that really was the hook for me!

This is a big story but one that has a small amount as far as the cast of characters goes. They are father and Daughter, Kit and Rose and Kit’s partner Lilly and her daughter Jess. The story focuses mainly on Kit, Rose and Lilly, as circumstances and events mean they come together for various reasons further in the story.

It has not been long since the Covid pandemic and this is referred to in this story as something that has happened and the world has moved on. The ticking can be heard not only by the person who emits it but also heard by those close to them. For me, this is a step forward from a cough or sneeze that we were all distancing ourselves from over a previous couple of years.

The author does use some of the reactions that we saw from Covid in this story and then elaborates on others. Pandemic and panic, social media and public opinion are something that goes hand-in-hand with this story. It adds to the tension and especially when the clicking then turns into deafness and then death.

I liked how the author brought things to a quiet presence, where people didn’t wear headphones and music playing loudly and while it sounds peaceful it came across as very ominous and quite a scary atmosphere. You need to be able to hear if people are clicking and therefore if they are infected. So this was a great move within the story.

The characters come across as trustworthy, Kit is a Head of English, Rose is a student and Lilly is a known virologist. This adds a credence to the feel of the story as such because we are talking about two adults who are educated and having the daughter involved means they have access to the modern generation’s use of technology and social media.

This was a gripping story and one that I really enjoyed. It was a tense read and one that I read easily over two sittings. I have not read any of this author’s previous books so I am looking forward to changing that.

This is one for those who like a story that is tense, well-paced and has a lot of theories that are discussed. I like how the characters are forced together to search for their own answers and this again is where the choice of characters and their roles come into play so well. This was one that had quite a few twists and I wasn’t entirely sure where the author was going to go or how it would end, definitely kept me hooked and I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop @davidbishop #20booksofsummer #historicalfiction #crime #murder #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop. This is the second book in the Cesare Aldo series and it is absolutely brilliant. My huge thanks must go to the wonderful Eva aka @noveldeelights who first introduced me to this series 🙂

This is book 19/20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge, and yes the final book has also been read!

The Darkest Sin is an atmospheric historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence and is the sequel to City of Vengeance.

Florence. Spring, 1537.

When Cesare Aldo investigates a report of intruders at a convent in the Renaissance city’s northern quarter, he enters a community divided by bitter rivalries and harbouring dark secrets.

His case becomes far more complicated when a naked man’s body is found deep inside the convent, stabbed more than two dozen times. Unthinkable as it seems, all the evidence suggests one of the nuns must be the killer.

Meanwhile, Constable Carlo Strocchi finds human remains pulled from the Arno that belong to an officer of the law missing since winter. The dead man had many enemies, but who would dare kill an official of the city’s most feared criminal court?

As Aldo and Strocchi close in on the truth, identifying the killers will prove more treacherous than either of them could ever have imagined . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Cesare Aldo series and you really should read the first book City of Vengeance as part of this story has links to the previous. Also, the first book gives a brilliant introduction to Aldo as a person, as an investigator and also the people in the city of Florence in this time period.

Set in Florence in 1537, Aldo is asked to see about the reports of intruders but finds the body of a man in the convent of Mary Magdalen. It is inconceivable that a nun would be responsible, but how and why this has happened is something that Aldo may not even be asked to investigate in. Aldo works for the Otto, the administration of the criminal court at the time. The murder is on Church grounds and therefore not under the same jurisdiction.

Another Otto constable is looking into a missing man when he discovers a body. Constable Strocchi is a new recruit who was introduced in the first book, while he is still wet behind the ears, he does pick things up and is learning the art of dealing with the criminal and underworld elements. He is very principled, newly married and under pressure to get results.

This second book is fantastic, and while I loved the first one, this one is even better. I think this is due to the fact that I am already aware of the main characters, their roles, their personalities and traits. The does mention the cases and details of Strocchi and Aldo, but it is so much better to already know them before starting this one.

The two investigations are run separately, so the author does flit back and forth between the two. I love this as it means I am eager to return to each of the cases to see what has progressed. The cases are different in the way they are investigated, but the basics are the same. Trying to discover the leads, getting to the truth, recognise the lies and taking the time to think things over.

It was great to see Aldo and Strocchi working sep[erately as it meant I got more insight into each of the characters and also what they are thinking about. They obviously have different priorities in their lives and this is a great way of really getting under the skin of each character.

The cases are brilliantly worked out, morals and dilemmas I do love them. Putting a character in the firing line, yes I adore that as well. The author chose some interesting routes for his characters and this meant the story had a great pace, constantly evolving and throwing up different challenges.

This is a fabulous book and it definitely cements this series as one that I will definitely be keeping up with. This is one for those who like historical murder mysteries with a complex storyline that is also easy to follow when you are in the zone. I really didn’t want to put this one down and read it in two sittings.

Excellent storyline, and interesting characters, can’t wait for the next book and it is one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. V. Bishop writes the Cesare Aldo mysteries set in Renaissance Florence. The first in the series, CITY OF VENGEANCE, won the New Zealand Booklovers Award for best novel and was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. Long listings include the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award, the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel, and the CWA’s Historical Dagger Award. The second Cesare Aldo mystery, THE DARKEST SIN, was published in March 2022.

Bishop was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship while writing CITY OF VENGEANCE. The novel won the Pitch Perfect competition at the 2018 Bloody Scotland international crime fiction festival and was a Sunday Times Crime Club Pick of the Week. Global bestselling author David Baldacci called the novel ‘a first-class historical thriller … a tour-de-force.’

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The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig #20booksofsummer #crime #horror #fantasy #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. I came across this author when I took part in a Blog Tour for The Wanderers, it is an amazing book btw. So when I saw this one I knew I wanted to read more by him, and this one did not disappoint.

This is 15/20 of the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.

And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another. 

MY REVIEW

When I read Wanderers by Chuck Wendig in 2019 it became my Top Book of the year. Why then has it taken me so long to pick up The Book of Accidents!

This is a fabulous story and one that is a mix of horror, mystery, murder, supernatural and a whole lot of other stuff. The focus is on the Graves family, Father Carl, Mother Maddie and Son Oliver. They have just moved into Carl’s father’s house after his father had died. Carl didn’t have a good relationship with his father, there is bitterness and anger, and even a feeling of being glad that his father had passed away.

Starting a new life away from Philly and being a cop, Nate is hoping for a more relaxed life. One that will allow Maddie to create her art and for Oliver to find some piece from the trauma of being at school. Oliver is a sensitive child, he picks up on others’ feelings and finds it all overwhelming.

The feeling is something that runs deep in this novel, the feeling of something sinister lurking waiting for the author to unleash it. The feeling that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Then there is the feeling of unfinished business and events that are unfolding in the town.

There was a series of murders in the area, and the man was caught, imprisoned and electrocuted. Then the mystery of why the boulder-strewn park is so notorious and why the tunnel is officially a no-go area.

There is a lot going on in this book and the author lays it out in a way that allows you to get to grips with some of the characters before introducing more. There isn’t an over-abundance of characters, instead, there are a lot of subplots, and plots within sub-plots. Again brilliantly executed and allows the reader to keep up to speed even though not necessarily know where the author is planning on going.

This is a horror, and while there are some gory moments, I didn’t find it scary. I was more intrigued by the mysteries and wanted to know what the outcomes would be. The tense and intriguing nature of the story makes this such an addictive read. Mysteries deepen, more questions form and the story goes on a wonderful rollercoaster of a journey.

The synopsis is good to tempt but comes nowhere near to giving anything much away, which is why this is such a vague review. The family concerned is one that I was rooting for, nothing however is guaranteed and I was on tenterhooks for a large part of the story as to what eventualities they would find themselves in.

This is a brilliant story and at 500+ pages it is one that you can really get your teeth into, so to speak. I think this is one that would interest a good many readers as it does span several genres. I thought it was a cracking read and I would absolutely recommend it.

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

The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean. I have read some of this authors books and they have been great, this one is very different and fabulous reading.

This is 13/20 of the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

A dark and brilliant new standalone thriller from a rising star in the crime genre.

He is her husband. She is his captive.

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him and waiting …

MY REVIEW

I bought this book when it came out last year after reading many great reviews. I have finally now read it and Oh my goodness! What a story this is!

It is set mainly within the isolated farmhouse on The Fens, and as I know the Fens I can see how and why this setting works so well. The Fens are flat, they can be desolate, but they are also ideal for hiding out of the way.

The story focuses on Jane, a woman who lives in the farmhouse. There is a reason she is there and there is a reason she tries her hardest to keep her head down, prepare the meals, clean the house and do all that is required of her.

The synopsis does not give away much, but what it does give is a terrible sense of fear and atmosphere. The author has done such a wonderful job of making Jane a character that the reader can care about, as I was reading this story I wanted her to escape to get away from her life. Knowing the reasons why she remains is heartbreaking though.

When there is a change at the cottage things do appear to get slightly better, if that’s possible, but better for one doesn’t mean better for all. Jane has to change her focus and needs to know how far she will risk things.

This is such a wonderful story but one that is also an incredibly heartbreaking read. It isn’t a story I want to say I enjoyed due to the horrific situation and circumstances, but it is a very addictive one. I needed to know what happened to Jane and get the answers to all the questions I had.

This is a brutal, dark story but one that shows how circumstances can change and how events can shape your life. This is a story that will get under your skin and one that I would definitely recommend.

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

Bloody January by Alan Parks #20booksofsummer #policeprocedural #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Bloody January by Alan Parks. This is the first book in the Harry McCoy series, I started this series part way through so it was great to go back to the beginning.

This is the 12th of my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

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When a teenage boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, Detective Harry McCoy is sure of one thing. It wasn’t a random act of violence.

With his new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to lead the investigation but soon runs up against a secret society led by Glasgow’s wealthiest family, the Dunlops.

McCoy’s boss doesn’t want him to investigate. The Dunlops seem untouchable. But McCoy has other ideas . . .

In a helter-skelter tale – winding from moneyed elite to hipster music groupies to the brutal gangs of the urban wasteland – Bloody January brings to life the dark underbelly of 1970s Glasgow and establishes Alan Parks as a new and exciting voice in Scottish noir.

MY REVIEW

This is the first book in the Harry McCoy series, it is not however the first one I have read! I first came to this series by reading book 3 -Bobby March Will Live Forever, then The April Dead and May God Forgive. I still have February’s Son to read.

Because I am already aware of Harry McCoy and his mate Wattie I think I had an advantage. Because I know what has happened in future books I was able to see things from a slightly different perspective than if I had started at the beginning of the series.

Going back to where it began with Bloody January was a good move for me. Wattie is the newbie and Harry is already established in the Glasgow Police. Harry is known to have an opinion, have dubious friends and seems to have a knack for winding his boss Murray up. Wattie is naive, and it is fun to see how naive he actually is, this doesn’t mean he is daft but doesn’t understand the streets of 1970s Glasgow as Harry does.

When a woman is shot in broad daylight in front of Harry and the shooter then shoots himself questions are obviously a priority. Who are the victims, why was she shot, what is the connection and why on earth would a prisoner give Harry an early heads up as to what was going to happen?

The case is one that has possibilities as to why things happened, for some, it would be a quick and easy case to deal with, but Harry doesn’t work like that. His contacts give him some extra info to work with. However, trying to get to the people and question them is a different matter especially when those people are wealthy, influential and do not want any publicity.

Harry is a tough copper, he isn’t scared of taking a punch and standing his ground. He has Wattie now, he is the voice of reason, well he is a whisper of reason as he finds his feet. These two are a good team in future books and it is great to see how the series started out.

Take my word for it when I say this is a good series, this first book is full of action, it is dark, brooding and dangerous. 1970s Glasgow is not a place for the faint-hearted, it’s a good job Harry is made of tougher stuff.

This is one for those of you who like a gritty, tough, dangerous and shady police procedural. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #childrenfantasy #childrenadventure #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin. This is the 4th book in the Letty Parker series and it is aimed at 8-12year olds. It is a gothic style fantasy, magical and mystery series that this grown-up is also very much enjoying.

The Hanging Tree (Adventures of Letty Parker Book 4) by [Misha Herwin]

The power of the Dark Ones is growing once more. Watching from their rooftop perches, the gargoyles and dragons have all the gossip they could ever want. Deadly night eels slither through the city streets. The thief-taker is on the prowl. And Jebediah Hill is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Letty discovers that Jeb, her oldest friend, has been keeping secrets, yet refuses to reveal them even though he knows he will pay a terrible price. Letty Parker and Associates set out on a race to save Jeb from The Hanging Tree.
And time is running out…

Purchase HERE

MY REVIEW

I have been looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for young Letty Parker and her Associates. The associates are a group of misfits in some ways as there is Letty who used to sell pies, Jeb a one time pickpocket and scoundrel who is now legitimate, Hepzibah a well off young lady, Mango a sort of fixer and a go-to guy as well as other recurring characters.

Letty and Associates are a tight-knit group who have come together over the past books and formed a mystery-solving agency set in the dark port city of Bristol. It is not a Victorian-era Bristol you would remember from history, this one has monstrous eels, gargoyles, dragons and The Dark Ones!

The author has taken a slightly darker turn with The Hanging Tree as Jeb has been arrested, at one time this would have been sort of expected but not now and especially when he is innocent, yes he really is! Breaking Jeb out isn’t an option as he would have no way of clearing his name, instead, it is up to Letty and Co to dig and delve into the murkiness and the backstreets in this against the clock mystery.

I do adore these characters and the whole group works together really well. They bring their own special qualities and skills as they track down and solve mysteries. As I mentioned this one is a slightly darker feeling as there is more going on with the Count. He is a Dark One and has a bigger game plan in mind. He is a threat and not everyone can see it yet.

Once again the author has created a wonderfully dark and atmospheric mystery that has such a wonderful setting. This setting has been reimagined, adapted and the author brilliantly describes the sights, sounds and unfortunately the smells! There is adventure around every corner and page, with intriguing twists and I adored it.

This is aimed at 8-12-year-olds but is also a great series for any age even the grown-ups. It is a book and actually a series I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Misha Herwin

Misha Herwin is a writer of books for adults and children.
They vary from time-slip to contemporary women’s fiction, family saga and children’s fantasy adventures.
All her books are set in Bristol, whether real, imaginary or remembered from her childhood. 

Social Media Links – WebsiteTwitter

Here are the previous books in the series

Adventures of Letty Parker

From Book 1: Letty Parker lives by her wits. Estranged from her family, she sells pies on the streets of Bristol. But this is a Bristol full of dark secrets, peopled by gangs, monsters, dragons and gargoyles – and by creatures older than time. When her friend and stepsister disappear, when members of Jeb’s gang vanish, Letty is plunged headlong into a conspiracy where homeless children are being spirited away to a place where a terrible fate awaits them. These are the poor and the lost children of the streets whom no one seems to care about – except for Letty. But what if a rich child went missing? Would the authorities then act? Together, Letty and Jeb hatch a plan…

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

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