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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The Retreat by Sarah Pearse @TransworldBooks #thriller #policeprocedural #NetGalley #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Retreat by Sarah Pearse. This is the second book I have read by this author, the first one The Sanitorium (full review HERE) was a tense and very addictive read.

My huge thanks to Bantam Books and Transworld Books for accepting my review request for this title via NetGalley.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium, a Reese’s Book Club Pick, detective Elin Warner’s second outing, as she uncovers the truth behind the suspicious deaths on a stunning island getaway.

Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . .


An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation—but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumoured to be cursed.

Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.

When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?

Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Detective Elin Warner series, the first one being The Sanitorium that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Retreat took me a few chapters to get into as there were several characters to get used to and also different timelines. Once I started to recognise these I found it a much more coherent story. With the different characters there are back stories that the author has also given, these didn’t make much sense until I started to realise who was who and what their relationships are.

If you read the previous book you may remember that Elin has struggled and she still doubts if she is up to the job. When she gets sent to an island off the Devon coast to look into a suspicious death she really has to get her act together. The island has a mysterious past that has been fueled by hearsay, local legend and also murders in the past. Hoping to change the local and public image of the island by turning it into a luxury retreat.

This is a story that takes a while to get settled, but once I got to grips with things I found it really hard to put down. It has a tense air to it given its isolated location, the tales and also the overall general feel of the place. While some are there literally to unwind in the spas, pool and yoga lounges others can take advantage of the watersports. This is a rugged island that the owners have tried to tame for the benefit of its paying guests. This again is something that doesn’t altogether well with some.

This does get more complex as the story progresses, but it is easier to follow. There is more to this than a mysterious death and I do like the atmospherics that the author has brought into the book using the island itself almost as its own character. The island gives it a “locked room” feel and you can feel the danger looming.

As well as the crime and police procedural side of this story, there are also some personal stories, those of the main characters for this story and for the returning ones. AS this is the second book in the series the author is still fleshing out Elin and I am looking forward to getting to know her as the series progresses.

This is one for those who like tense crime, thriller, procedural murder and mystery novels. After the first few chapters it becomes very addictive and it is one that could be read as a stand-alone, but to be honest, this is only the 2nd book so why not read them in order. This is a book I would happily recommend.

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The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler @RandomThingsTours @ZaffreBooks #crime #thriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mirror Man by the writing duo of Lars Kepler. This is the 8th book in the Joona Linna series, and if you are a regular visitor to my blog, then you will probably know what I am going to say next…

Yep, this is the first one I have read, and yes it does work as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my e-copy of this book and my spot on the Blog Tour. My copy came via NetGalley from the publisher Bonnier Books.

The gripping new crime novel from global thriller writing phenomenon, Lars Kepler

IF YOU SEE HIS REFLECTION IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE . . .

Seventeen-year-old Jenny is abducted in broad daylight and taken to a dilapidated, isolated house where she is chained and caged along with several other girls. Their captor is unpredictable and as wily as he is cruel: he foils every one of their desperate attempts to escape . . . and once caught they rarely survive their punishment.

Five years later, Jenny is found dead in a public park, and the police are scrambling to find a lead among the scant evidence. But Detective Joona Linna realizes that this murder has an eerie connection to a death that was declared a suicide years before. And now when Mia, a seventeen-year-old orphan, goes missing, it becomes clear to Joona that they are dealing with a serial killer-and the murderous rampage has just begun.

As the police close in on the killer, Mia and her fellow captives are plunged into ever greater danger, and Joona finds himself in a seemingly impossible race against time to save their young lives.

MY REVIEW

So this is the 8th book in the Joona Linna series, and it is the first time I have read a book by this author, as is my norm it seems. I do wish I had started this series at the beginning, but to be honest there is enough detail from the author for me to focus on this one story. I am curious however as to mentions of past events!

Joona Linna is a detective who doesn’t always follow orders, it could be said that his actions cost jobs, especially as his previous boss is no longer around. A new boss, a new set of rules that Linna just seems to be able to wrangle his way around. It is just as well really.

The case is one that had gripped the Swedish newspapers 5 years previously, Jenny Lind went missing and hadn’t been seen, assumed dead. When her body suddenly turns up in an execution-style way. There is a witness, but he cannot remember anything.

This is a brilliant story and has a good length to it at around 480 pages. This was a book that had me hooked from the outset and it was definitely an addictive one as I read it in one sitting!

The story is about a missing girl, but this isn’t the only story. There are various other substories, well I say that but they are also stories in their own right if you get what I mean. Trying to work out what connects them is what kept me eagerly turning the pages.

There is the story of a man who has mental health problems and it tells why he cannot remember what he saw. There is the story of his wife, the story of the missing girl and of Linna who is trying to piece together the puzzles when he isn’t even supposed to be working on the case.

These stories do start to connect but I didn’t see the bigger picture until the author literally dropped the bombshell. I had ideas, I had theories and I was, as I usually am, wrong. I discovered that each character has a lot more to them than first meets the eye. Everyone has a secret or has something that they don’t like to let on, but his story had many of them. What was preventing people from telling all they knew… fear!

This was such an addictive story and fr me the pacing was perfect. It is a slow case as there are no real leads as such, the odd lead that there is could be seen as tenuous at best. But this is where Linna comes into his own. While he can be annoying to his bosses, he is also quite tenacious. AS this is the first time I have come across this character I am curious. Curious to know more about him and what he has been through, he is a bit of an enigma for me and I think this also added to the intrigue of the story.

This is a fab story and one that has some really awful moments in it. It is shocking reading at times at the brutality but somehow the details that the author does include sort of fit with the image that the author builds up throughout the story.

This is one for those who like the longer mystery thriller, there are some brilliant clues and red herrings scattered throughout. Nothing can be taken for granted and I loved this. Brilliantly paced, fabulous characters and storyline and one for crime, thriller and police procedural fans. I loved it and would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril (b. 1966) and Alexander Ahndoril (b. 1967), authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series.

With seven instalments to date, the series has sold 15 million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels.

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Kiss of Death by Adam Croft @adamcroft #policeprocedural #RutlandCrimeSeries #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for the latest book in the Rutland Crime Series – Kiss of Death by Adam Croft. This is the 4th book and today is the Publication Day for this title.

My thanks to Joanne Croft for getting in touch to see if I would like to read and review this book. I have read several of Adam’s books and have always enjoyed them.

Book four in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

An elderly woman collapses and dies during a Sunday morning church service in Oakham. But things aren’t quite as innocent as they seem.

Within hours, there’s a second unexplained death in Rutland. Then a third. But the victims appear to be completely unconnected.

With the body count rising by the day, DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine need to uncover the link before more innocent people die.

Only one thing is certain: a killer walks the streets of Rutland. But no one knows who the next victim will be, when they will be killed — or why.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

I have read a few of this author’s books and I really do like the Rutland Crime Series. Kiss of Death is the 4th book, yes you could read it as a stand-alone but this one has more details about DI Caroline Hills family life. It had been strained from her days working in the Met, so the change to a quieter rural area was supposed to ease the workload and give her more quality time. It’s a shame crime doesn’t stop when your local DI is on holiday with her husband and children!

Caroline isn’t the only one that’s in the small squad, she has her DS Dexter Antoine who is perfectly capable. However he isn’t happy when he is looking into sudden death, there is one thing that doesn’t sit right. When another sudden death occurs then things start to intensify. Trying to help Dex while on holiday isn’t the best idea. Neither is Caroline returning to work and leaving her family behind. The dilemma about what to do for the best is one that made this a more personal story. While I do like her as a character, she is very work centred, it’s all about the job. Things need to change.

The case is very random, and this is a good thing by the way. First one death and then a second but both are completely different as far as the victims go. So no links, and therefore some limitations as to how to progress. It is when a third death occurs that things start to link, but even then the links are tenuous.

For a short story, 226pages, the author once again adds loads of details. There are the victims, the procedures, the personal stories, the links and all the other juicy bits that make for a very fast-paced read. If you haven’t read any of these authors’ books then you really should pick one up. He does specialise in quick-paced, short crime thrillers and mystery reads. I should also add there is quite a lot to choose from.

As far as this series is concerned, I think this is the best one. I do like the more personal side of Caroline, and the way she has to battle to get the support she deserves. I liked this one a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Croft is one of the world’s biggest-selling authors of crime fiction and gripping psychological thrillers.

His books are known for their quick pace, thrilling plots and believable characters, and have sold in more than 120 countries around the world.

His books have topped the Amazon storewide chart seven times, and in February 2017 Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his achievements.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast PARTNERS IN CRIME with fellow bestselling crime writer Robert Daws.

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May God Forgive by Alan Parks @AlanJParks #HarryMcCoy @RandomTTours @canongatebooks #crime #histfic #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for May God Forgive by Alan Parks. This is a brilliant book and series, although I do still have the first two to read!!! I do have them and I really must get to them.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book via the Publisher –

Detective Harry McCoy returns in the suspenseful, atmospheric fifth instalment in Alan Park’s internationally bestselling thriller series.

Glasgow is a city in mourning. An arson attack on a hairdresser’s has left five dead. Tempers are frayed and sentiments running high.

When three youths are charged the city goes wild. A crowd gathers outside the courthouse but as the police drive the young men to prison, the van is rammed by a truck, and the men are grabbed and bundled into a car. The next day, the body of one of them is dumped in the city centre. A note has been sent to the newspaper: one down, two to go.

Detective Harry McCoy has twenty-four hours to find the kidnapped boys before they all turn up dead, and it is going to mean taking down some of Glasgow’s most powerful people to do it.

MY REVIEW

Wow! Wow! And Wow! This is a brilliant read and if you like your crime to be dark, murky and set in the 70s then you really need to pick up this book. In fact, pick up the series so far!

Harry McCoy, well what a brilliant character he is. He is the epitome of the 70s style copper. He drinks too much and smokes too much and he is suffering because of it. When he is given a case there are those who don’t think he is up to it due to his health. If you have read the previous books you will understand more of McCoy as a character, this latest book however does delve a little further into his past. Does it have connections with his present case? Well, you know what? Read the book and you’ll find out!

This is set in Glasgow in 1974. Three young men, as the synopsis states, have just been taken from a prison van. They had been charged with arson and the death of five people. Tempers are high within the community and the city. When one of their bodies is found there isn’t much sympathy for them. Just what they deserve, is the overall opinion.

Whatever the opinion is though, McCoy has a job to do, discover where the remaining men are, discover the motives and also deal with an apparent suicide. Not bad considering McCoy has just come out of the hospital!

I really enjoy this author’s writing, he does slip in some dialect, but nothing that is not understandable btw. He also does such a brilliant job of showing the reader the darker, murkier side of Glasgow. The tenements, the alley and back streets are not the places anyone would want to be, especially a copper. But McCoy is different, he knows these streets and while he isn’t afraid to walk them he is very wary.

Using his knowledge of the area and the locals he gradually pieces things together, well he thinks he does! This is the part of the book I adored, as the author teases the reader just as much as he does McCoy. It feels like things are just in grasp, but the answers are just out of reach, tantalisingly close but slippery and elusive. As I was r4eading this book I kept thinking, “I wonder if it’s…” and ” Oh what if…”. It definitely kept me turning the pages.

The way the author moves in between procedural and, well let’s say, slightly off the book, is great. It introduces the criminal and gangs to the reader. Some very nasty characters to say the least. It is a credit to the writing skill of the author who managed to give a sense of unease, danger and doubt as McCoy carefully walked the grey line between legal and illegal activities on the streets.

This book, in case you haven’t realised by now, is brilliant. I didn’t want it to end. The story is so addictive and draws in some worthy moral dilemmas. McCoy isn’t alone in his search for the truth, he has Wattie, at times a bit of a hapless character, but one who does have McCoys back. He also keeps an eye on McCoy, and yes, he does need a bit of looking out from time to time.

If you are looking for a series or a book that allows you to wander vicariously, yet safely through the underworld of Glasgow during the 70s then you need to have a look at these books. I started this series with the March one (Bobby March Will live Forever) but I did buy the previous two… I still have them to read! So, yes you can read it as a stand-alone but I for one, wish I had started this series at the very beginning.

Gritty, with some not altogether likeable characters, dark, murky, full of tensions, public opinion and an all-in-all amazing book to read. I would highly recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALAN PARKS captures the dark beating heart of 70s Glasgow in his highly acclaimed Harry McCoy series.
Parks has spent most of his working life dealing with the production of images for Musical Artists, as
Creative Director at London Records in the mid-1990’s then at Warner Music. From cover artwork to
videos to photo sessions, he created ground-breaking, impactful campaigns for a wide range of artists
including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barclay and Cee Lo Green. He was also Managing
Director of 679 Recordings, a joint venture with Warner Music. For the past few years, he has worked as
an independent visual and marketing consultant.
Alan was born in Scotland and attended The University of Glasgow where he was awarded an M.A. in
Moral Philosophy. He still lives and works in the city as well as spending time in London.

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The Patient by Tim Sullivan @HoZ_Books #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Patient by Tim Sullivan. This is the 3rd book in the DS Cross mysteries, and yep… this is the first one I have read in the series and also by this author.

My huge thanks to the publisher Head of Zeus for granting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

Introducing your new crime thriller fix: Bristol detective DS George Cross, champion of the outsider, the voiceless and the dispossessed.

DS George Cross can be rude, difficult, and awkward with people. But his unfailing logic and dogged pursuit of the truth means his conviction rate is the best on the force. An outsider himself, having been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder, DS Cross is especially drawn to cases concerning the voiceless and the dispossessed.

Now, Cross is untangling the truth about a young woman who died three days ago. With no fingerprints, no weapon and no witnesses, the Bristol Crime Unit are ready to close the case. The coroner rules suicide: the woman had a long history of drug abuse. But her mother is convinced it was murder: her daughter has been clean and sober for over two years.

DS Cross is determined to defy his bosses and re-open the case, even if it costs him his career. Soon he is mired in a labyrinth of potential suspects – but can he solve the case before his superiors shut it down for good?

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything from this author, and as seems to be my usual, I am starting mid-series!!! This is the 3rd book in the DS Cross Mysteries series and yep, I wish I had started it from the beginning.

Being introduced to Cross part way through a series was actually quite good in some respects as the characters already know him and his routines and ways. Although I do think the journey from the beginning to book 3 would definitely be interesting knowing what I now know.

Cross, is a brilliant character. He has a very analytical mind, in some ways reminiscent of Holmes in the way he does or says things that don’t quite seem relevant to the rest of the team. The synopsis does mention Cross as having Asperger’s, but as I had read the synopsis sometime ago I had, to be honest, forgotten what the synopsis was apart from knowing it was a police procedural.

Having a character with Asperger’s was great for several reasons, it kept the emotional side out of the way. I know this may sound harsh but it gave the analytical process and the way Cross approaches everything a clean, crisp and more structured way of investigating. The second reason was that it made for some interesting conversations between characters as well as showing how far he has presumably come from the beginning of the series. Thirdly it was great to see someone on the spectrum being positively assisted in the workplace.

Now for the plot. This was brilliant, it was quite a complex one as investigated as suicide is then challenged. This in itself leads to other issues and becomes a subplot as such. The main plot has a great amount of intrigue, the process of Cross trying to work only with facts and not gut instinct is quite refreshing and the balance between the team supports Cross and his traits. I have to say the author, in my opinion, did a great job with Cross. His initial emotionless persona was solid, but there were some subtle inclusions that made him a very, very likeable character.

The rest of the team adds a great balance to this story, they are more traditional in their approach, but they also take on advice and adopt different styles to how they think. This for me gave various different perspectives during the investigation, questioning process and the feel of the story overall.

There was also a more personal story within this one, and this again had me hooked. I think pretty much everything about this story had me hooked. The personal story brought in some additional characters and I admit to having a big lump a couple of times.

Brilliant crime thriller story with a psychological aspect t it. A story that deals with mental health
shows personal growth and is a cracking read. It is one I would definitely recommend, and I would also suggest that unlike me starting it from the beginning of the series.

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Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon @knntom @GladiusPress @ZooloosBT #crime #policeprocedural #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon. This is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and I am so glad that I have started this one at the very beginning. Pennance is a character that I really liked and I can’t wait to read more. Also, the name choice is so good as well.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s book tours for the spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous crime thriller.

Three bodies, one suspect. That suspect is you…

When the unidentified corpse of an apparent suicide victim is found hanging above a complex pattern of forty photographs of children, Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance of the Met’s specialist Sapphire Unit is brought in to investigate.

A post-mortem reveals the suicide was murder, and Pennance realises he knows the man. But as the body count rises, all the signs point to a care home in Kent – a place that Pennance is all too familiar with.

The problem is the only person connecting the victims is Pennance – and he has a solid motive for wanting them dead… Can Pennance prove his innocence?

Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James Blood Sentence is the first book in the explosive series featuring Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance.

MY REVIEW

WOW! What a brilliant read this book was. It is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and what an opener it is.

When Pennance is dragged away from a crime scene in London to go to Anglesey, he isn’t expecting to find that he is a connection, not that he is connected to others. I have to be really careful here, it would be so easy to make a slip up in this review and reveal details!!!

Pennance, well he is mystified and so was I. I mean how could he be connected to two bodies, one a suicide in Wales and a murder in London. He works for the Sapphire Unit of the MET, it’s the department that deals with sex crimes, so it becomes more and more intriguing.

Pennance is a bit of a closed book, the only person who he seems to really get on with is a work colleague, Smithson. The relationship between them is friendly and supportive and I am glad it is a friendship rather than a relationship as it means that Pennance has someone to turn to. Why would he need someone to turn to I hear you ask! Well the more you learn about him the more you realise the complexities of his character. Yeah, I know, vague!

The author has created a wonderfully intense and twisted police procedural that has some really dark scenes, it is twisted around one main plot, but it isn’t straightforward. It also has subplots that keep you on your toes and makes for very addictive reading.

Pennance is a character that comes across as cold, so having a sidekick as such makes a good balance. You do get to learn more about him and his past and I think there is possibly more to come out, I definitely think there are more layers to him for the author to tease out, there is definitely the potential from this reader’s opinion.

This is a crime thriller, it has a very mysterious feel to it and it kept me reading. It feels wrong to call a book exciting when it deals with murders and crime, but exciting it is as it is the start of a new series, and I think it is going to be a very good one. I will be keeping my eye out for more.

Ideal for those looking for something new in police procedures. It’s got plenty of twists, some unexpected turns and all in all a fab read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the author

Keith Nixon is the best-selling author of sixteen novels and one million words in print, including the Margate based Solomon Gray series of over 250,000 copies in circulation and reached no.1 on Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Keith lived near the gritty seaside town of Margate, where many of his novels are based, for 17 years before relocating to the edge of the Peak District with his family where he lives today. Keith works in a senior sales role within a high-tech industry and has regularly travelled all over the globe.
His novels are published by Gladius Press and Bastei Lubbe (German)

Social media links – Facebook Instagram Twitter – Website

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Darker Days to Come by Tony Forder @TonyJForder @lilmissmorfett #crime #thriller #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Darker Days to Come by Tony Forder. Tony is one of the authors who I will automatically read without reading a synopsis. His writing is fabulous and his Bliss series is superb.

My huge thanks to Tony and also Donna Morfett of Donna’s Interviews, Reviews and Giveaways for getting in touch for me to read and review his latest book and to join the Blog Tour. To be honest it was a no brainer to say that I would be on the tour. It is always going to be a “Yes”.

Darker Days to Come, by Tony J Forder, is the ninth full-length novel in his widely acclaimed UK crime series, based in Peterborough and featuring DI Jimmy Bliss. It will be published on 14 March 2022.

In this book, Tony veers back towards the more procedural elements of crime investigation, with the team working under enormous pressure – which only increases with every new piece of information they unearth.

DI Bliss and his team absorb two new cases which don’t initially present as major crimes.

But who is the man who stepped in front of an express train? Did he willingly commit suicide or was he coerced? And what, if any, connection is there to an abandoned vehicle whose owner cannot be traced?

As Bliss and his team dig deeper they soon realise there are three people now missing – a journalist, a mother, and her young daughter. But as the investigations continue, the team struggle with too many unanswered questions. What they do know is that lives are at risk, and the chances of finding all three still alive decrease with each passing hour… 

MY REVIEW

Having read and loved each book in this series, this one is dark. It delves into the most horrid of acts. This is the 9th book in the DI Bliss series and I would recommend reading these in order as the characters have changed so much since the first book. Also, they are each excellent books in their own right.

Let’s start with the basics of this latest book. There are two crimes, one an abandoned vehicle, the other a suicide. Neither warrant having Peterbortough’s Major Crime Unit investigating them, but both have thrown up extenuating circumstances that make the Detectives think otherwise. They have a limited time to make a case about the cases becoming part of their remit rather than being passed on to CID.

The team of Bliss, Chandler and the rest of the detectives are about to start two very complex cases. Neither one seems connected. Neither one is straightforward. Neither one is going to be an easy one to solve. And, no one on the team actually realises how the days ahead are going to become darker for them as they struggle and to discover the details of the cases.

This is such an aptly named title, in fact, all the books have very suitable titles and this one does hint at being a lot more serious than some. If you have been reading this series then you may have noticed that the crimes have been getting more severe, and to put it bluntly, more evil in nature. Credit to the author for continuing down this darker route and giving the details in an evidence-based way. By this I mean the basic facts and nothing more, and to be honest nothing more was needed.

This is also one of the more complex cases, and the author does complex in such a great way. The intriguing plots are teased and batted around and it gives a real sense of the investigators going through a more realistic procedural route. This is not a mystery, this is a thriller. The team do have a hierarchy and chain of command, but the main guys are the ones that don’t stand on ceremony, throw suggestions, discuss the merits for ideas and dismiss others. All work as a team as well as individually. This creates a great dynamic and gives a real sense of the team being close.

The answers are still piling up at the halfway point of the story, it isn’t until a little after that things start to slot into place. Now, this doesn’t mean that this is a slow start, in fact even though there doesn’t seem to be much progress there is a great pace to it. This obviously does speed up as more and more things finally start coming together. At no time did it feel rushed or that certain outcomes were expected.

I have, as I may have mentioned, really enjoyed this series. I thought the previous book was amazing, this one is just WOW!!! Hard-hitting, dangerous, time-sensitive, definitely dark and a superb read from start to finish. It is one I would absolutely 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. The series continued with The Autumn Tree in May 2021.

Tony’s other early series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun. These books were republished in April 2021, and will be joined in 2022 by The Dark Division.

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

The Huntsmen, released on 4 October 2022, was the first book in a new crime series, set in Wiltshire. It featured DS Royston Chase, DC Claire Laney, and PCSO Alison May.

Tony is in the process of moving to Sussex with his wife and is a full-time author. He is currently working on DI Bliss #10 and the second DS Chase novel.

Links
All of Tony’s links can be found on Linktree
Darker Days to Come: getbook

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A Life For a Life by Carol Wyer @CarolEWyer @ZooloosBT @AmazonPub #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review on the opening day of the Blog Tour for A Life For a Life by Carol Wyer. This is the 3rd book in this series and it is another fabulous story involving Detective Kate Young.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this excellent book.

Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.


When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.
Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.


With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

MY REVIEW

This is the third book in this series and it is a cracking series. This latest book, A Life For a Life is such an aptly named title for the story.

detective Kate Young is a tough as boots detective, she has to be to have dealt with what has gone on in her past. She is still coming to terms with the death of her husband, and she still misses her father. While she is making progress and in touch with her remaining family, things are still challenging for her.

When a new case lands on her desk, she once again battles with one of her superiors. She is convinced he wants her to fail so appears to limit her and her small team. The case of a body discovered shot through the head isn’t a normal shooting. It is also the start of something that has the team really struggling to piece things together.

While working on this official case, she is also still working on her own personal one. This is a case that has been developing over the course of the series, it has the potential to blow things out into the open and careers could be ended. The problem is that she has very little in the way of evidence. She also finds that her own sounding board for advice has disappeared.

Working one main case is one thing, especially when you have a team working it with you. But when you add another case that you are essentially working yourself and undercover, it makes things difficult. Another problem Kate has is that she really doesn’t know who she can completely trust, her team seem ok but she has her doubts.

Knowing that certain people are waiting for her to fail and fall makes her more determined to do all she can. Working all the hours she can and concentrating all her energy on the shooting case leaves her run down. Her appearance adds fuel to fire that she isn’t able to cope with. All she needs is more pressure, but she does have a superb team to help her.

The author has created a storyline that really does pull on the heartstrings. It is a plot that has a real emotional side to it and it was easy to see how this had developed. Combining this with the unusual weapon of choice is an interesting angle. It is also one that makes sense as things are eventually laid out.

Some surprising twists, an excellently laid out police procedural with an underlying personal story and a one-sitting read for me. This is one where the bodies pile up, the questions keep coming and the pressure is constant. If you have not read any of the previous books in the series I would recommend doing so for the underlying story and also because they are really, really good. This is a book and a series I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer’s crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series, featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye For An Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia. 

Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr. Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy. When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

To learn more, go to http://www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter: @carolewyer

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Three Little Girls by Jane Badrock @janebadrock @ZooloosBT @QuestionPress  #ThreeLittleGirls #QuestionMarkPress #ZooloosBookTours #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Tour today and to share my review today for Three Little Girls by Jane Badrock. This is the second book in the Karen Thorpe series, and while it is good to read a series in order, I do think it would work well as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book from the publisher Question Mark Press.

THREE COLD CASES ONE DETERMINED COP
Someone’s playing tricks on Karen at home and at work. When two cold case files about missing girls turn up on her desk, she’s fuming. When a third file arrives…
she blows a fuse.
Her boss demands she take a holiday leave just as Karen discovers her late father was involved in one of the cases. Now she’s compelled to investigate them.
Karen’s accompanied by sometime boyfriend John- but can she trust him or his friend and map keeper Mr Binks?
She has formidable detective skills but will they work in places where old-world magic is still powerful?
Karen’s life is in serious danger… but from whom…. or what?

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Karen Thorpe series, and I have read the first book. I can say that they do work well as stand-alone. As I had read the previous book I immediately wanted to read this one, I didn’t read the synopsis so it was a very pleasant surprise to see the story that the author had in mind for our detective.

As I started reading this I remembered the main protagonist, Karen Thorpe, not particularly likeable. She is abrupt, short with people and very, very work-focused. She is a character that thrives on her work, it is all she thinks about and in her job she has no time for fools. It’s a good job that her on/off/maybe-boyfriend John understands her and the work, and his role plays out so well in this story.

When case files randomly start turning up on her desk, Karen is sure someone is taking the mick out of her. Then she starts to see something in them, something that reminds her of her Dad. The more she tries to work out the more bizarre things become, even the level headed John is puzzled. The three cases are from 50 years ago, unsolved and opened by various people over the years but never resolved. Karen and John team up to try and sort through the mysteries and the clues that will lead them to several cities.

This is the second time I have read a book by this author, so I am not familiar with her style yet. Given how much I enjoyed the first book in the series I was a little bewildered at how this story was going. There are definitely more sides to this author and I believe she may like to enjoy swapping genres and mixing things up. It was only when I finished the book that I actually read the synopsis, yeah I know it’s the wrong way around, but it has made this book a really interesting and unexpected read.

I am aware of this being a bit of a vague review, and now I have read the synopsis I do see that there is a mention of what this story was going to be. I am in fact rather glad that I came to this one blind, it made for a really interesting police procedural with a strong mysterious vibe to it. For me, it worked well and I did enjoy the journey.

One for those who like a crime and mystery read that is a little different but also very addictive reading. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane writes novels, short stories and poems, usually with a good dose of humour in them. She probably owes it all to her late grandmother who, she’s just found out, also wrote short stories and poems. She tends to get an idea and then run with it whether it be a 100-word short story or an 80 thousand word novel. It all depends on the voices in her head at the time…

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