Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas #20booksofsummer #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas. This is the 6th book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. This was a roller-coaster of a psychological thriller and before I tell you more let me show you what it is all about…

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SHOCK YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST. . .

Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is a rollercoaster of a read as I followed the story of three girls, one went missing as a teenager, the other has a dark past and the other gradually moved away. Flora Powell disappeared 18 years ago, her body was never found. In present-day the younger sister Heather is found with a gunshot wound and is in hospital under police guard. Jess, who was once a friend of the sisters, has just returned back to the Bristol area after many years and reconnects with the family, she is also a reporter.

This is very addictive and also a very twisted story. I say twisted because I was never completely sure who I could trust. The story is told in a back and forth style so fills in the lives of the girls when they were younger. It is brought into the present day and gradually the truth starts to emerge, but is everything the truth? Who is lying and who is really to blame?

I liked this story a lot, it kept me hooked the entire way through and became a one-sitting read. It has a good plot line that took some dark routes that were definitely unexpected. Revelations are revealed that fill in gaps but how they are connected isn’t revealed until much later on.

This is a book where I didn’t really like the characters, it wasn’t because they were badly written but because I felt they were all hiding something, maybe rather than not liking them it is more a case of I didn’t trust them.

This is a mystery thriller that I think crime readers will really enjoy. It has a good amount of twists and is one I would recommend.

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

Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey #BeforeIDie #JackieMorrissey #InkubatorBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Before I Die by Jackle Morrissey. THis was such a compelling read and I would like to thatnk 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 what it is all about..

She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.

Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.

But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.

Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.

Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores…  But no one will listen.

Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.

Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.

The stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll, and Andrew Hart.

Buy your copy from – Amazon UKUS

The synopsis does a fabulous job of setting the scene for this book and it indicates that not all is as it should be. Maureen is a character I immediately liked, the is all there with no loose marbles. She is independent but does seem to be avoiding Delores who seems bossy, a bit of a bully and, according to most people, never stops talking.

Now I found that the main premise for the story was one that intrigued me, it has a relevance to events in the news as elderly and vulnerable people are taken advantage of. I found the way the author tackled the subject of getting older and therefore becoming forgetful to be very relevant and it played to the stereotype of the older members of society no coping and in need of more support.

Delores was a well drawn out character, she is sneaky and devious and knows how to push the right buttons. Unfortunately she doesn’t take into account Maureen’s tenacity, and that is fortunate for Maureen. WHile Maureen knows what is going on, her daughter doesn’t and she believes what the wonderful carer Delores tells her. Setting seeds of doubt and then following them up as they develop.

The story takes some surprising turns, and I soon discovered how well the author had this story plotted out. Events from earlier in the book suddenly become obvious later on as things start to draw to their conclusion. There are sneaky and deceitful characters, as well as those that mean well. But when certain things connect then watch out!

I really enjoyed this story, the characters were well developed and they played their parts wonderfully. The sad thing about this book is that even though it is fiction, this manipulation and praying on the vulnerable does happen in real life. I think this is why this book worked so well for me. Before I Die was a slower thriller, but full of suspense and I would definitely recommend it.

Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time.  The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

BEFORE I DIE is Jackie’s debut novel and her first published with Inkubator Books.

Jackie has no Social Media Links to follow.

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

Her Husbands Secret by Louise Mangos @LouiseMangos #20booksofsummer #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Her Husbands Secrets by Louise Mangos. This is the first book I have read by this author and it is also the first book I read in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Art college dropout Lucie arrives in a Swiss ski resort looking for work – but instead finds love in the form of the handsome and charismatic Mathieu.

Matt seems like perfect husband material – especially when Lucie discovers he’s from a wealthy family. But Matt’s dark side soon emerges. Manipulative, controlling and abusive, he is anything but perfect and will tear the life she has built for herself and their six-year-old son JP apart.

Then, one fateful night, things come to a head in the most shocking way . . .

Wrongly accused of her husband’s murder and left fighting for her freedom in a foreign prison, Lucie is starting to lose her grip on reality. Now, she must summon all her strength to uncover the truth about Matt’s death and be reunited with her son – before it’s too late.

The clock is ticking . . . but who can she trust?

Previously published as The Art of Deception.

Buy a copy HERE

(This site uses Amazon affiliated links at no cost to you)

After dropping out of Uni to take time out to travel, Lucie finds herself at a bar in Switzerland. She also catches the eye of Matt and gradually they become friends and her travel plans are on hold as they gradually form a relationship. There had been the odd mysterious comment about them being together and Lucie didn’t feel exactly welcomed into the family. So where did it all go wrong?

This was an intriguing read and one that I really enjoyed. It is set out in a past and present format. I like this style for this type of book because it means I get to understand the backstory that fills in the details that bring things up to date. I found this back and forth style very easy to keep up with and was eager to see what happened next in each of the tenses.

What started out as a potential holiday romance that then became a relationship sounds like a good basis for a story, but then as it progressed the little doubts and niggles started to creep in. Understanding the lead up to Lucie’s incarceration makes for good reading. Also making good reading was the mystery around what happens after her arrest.

Lucie was a naive character and it was easy to see how she fell for Matt. There are several other characters and if I am being honest I didn’t really like that many of them, Lucie and her friend Anne were nice and likeable, but the some others felt devious and cold suiting the part they played perfectly.

The story had a good deal of tension and this was increased as the pressure of time began to play its part. This meant the pacing gathered momentum the latter half of the story. Mystery, intrigue, suspense and tension were all evident, then the manipulation, lies and secrets are added to the plot making for a tense thriller. I enjoyed this a lot and would recommend it to readers who like a domestic thriller and psychological thriller reads.

Image taken from Amazon Author Page

Louise Mangos grew up in the UK but has spent more than half her life in Switzerland. Her debut psychological thriller “Strangers on a Bridge” was a finalist in the Exeter Novel Prize and long listed for the Bath Novel Award. Her second novel “Her Husband’s Secrets” (previously titled The Art of Deception) was published in June 2019. She lives on an Alp with her Kiwi husband and two sons, and when she’s not writing you can find her on the cross-country ski trails or wild swimming in the lake, depending on the season. She also writes short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes and been published in various anthologies. She has recently completed her MA in crime writing at UEA.

Visit Louise on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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I Made A Mistake by Jane Corry @JaneCorryAuthor VikingBooksUK @EllieeHud #Thriller #IMadeAMistake #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Made a Mistake by Jane Corry. This is another favourite author of mine and I have enjoyed all of her books and her latest one is an absolute corker.

Let me show you whats it is all about…

YOU DIDN’T MEAN TO DO IT.
IT WAS ONLY ONCE.
BUT NOW HE’S DEAD, AND SOMEONE HAS TO PAY . . . 

The darkly addictive new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of I Looked Away, Blood Sisters and My Husband’s Wife. 
In Poppy Page’s mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was.

But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake – and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could imagine.

Someone is going to pay for it with their life . . .

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

Right from the off I am going to say that I loved this one a lot. The author has woven a story about a family that consists of a married couple Stuart and Poppy, their two children Melissa and Daisy and his mother-in-law Betty. Stuart is a dentist, Poppy runs a film extra’s agency, the two girls are at school and the Betty lives with them now she alone after the death of her husband.

This is a very busy family, Poppy and Stuart are reliant on Betty to help keep the family organised. Poppy and Stuart both work long hours and they often seem like ships in the night as they pass.

The author has done such a fantastic job of creating a story that is told over several timelines and the flow between them all is flawless and so easy to follow. I loved how the author went back into Betty’s life as well as filling in the present. It gave a lot of depth to the story and made it so much easier to get to understand the characters.

Poppy is taken aback when she bumps into an old flame at a conference. Matthew had dumped Poppy before she met Stuart, she was hurt but had moved on. It appears that Matthew hasn’t and Poppy then makes a mistake, she does not realise the full impact until it is too late.

The author has created yet another story that had me completely hooked from the Prologue, I loved this short but to the point and extremely intriguing couple of pages. From that point on I found the story such a compelling read, I discovered more about Betty, I thought this was such a wonderful character. I also discovered more about Poppy, her father and her family. The author created a family scenario that made me wanting to keep reading and discovering more.

This is such an intriguing story and the synopsis was spot on in my opinion for giving the tiniest glimpse of the drama and suspense that was to follow. In some ways this is a story that is about a family, but it is also a story a family being threatened and it is this darker side that plays out so well.

I am a big fan of this author and I have really enjoyed all of her books, and this book is my favourite to date and is another fabulous read that I would absolutely recommend.

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist (Daily Telegraph and women’s magazines) who worked for three years as the writer in residence of a high security male prison. This experience helped inspire her Sunday Times Penguin bestsellers ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘Blood Sisters’, ‘The Dead Ex’,
‘I Looked Away’ and ‘I Made A Mistake’. She has now sold over a million copies of her books word-wide.

Jane also writes short stories as well as a weekly digital column about being a granny for My Weekly. As well as this, she speaks at literary festivals all over the world. Many of her ideas strike during morning dog-jogs along the beach followed by a dip in the sea – no matter how cold it is!

Jane’s brand-new thriller ‘I Made A Mistake’ is being published on May 28 2020 by Penguin Viking and is available for pre-order.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Lies by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor @sarahhardy681 #BOTBSPublicity #Twinkle #crime #thriller #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for the second book in the DS Malice series. Twinkle Twinkle Little Lies by Rob Ashman is a fabulous read, its dark twisted and very devious. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book…

Let’s see what it’s about…

Twinkle twinkle, little lies,

How I see them in your eyes …

DS Khenan Malice believes his troubles are behind him. But it’s never that simple. This time … it’s personal. 

Detective Kelly Pietersen has decided anti-corruption is not for her. But her previous life hunts her down, sending her world spiralling out of control.

Twinkle is a pillar of the community and an ambassador for the church. She is also a woman for whom lying is a way of life, wrapping those around her in a complex web of deceit. To her it’s a deadly game.

Their paths cross when a decomposed body is discovered.

The past and the present collide with shattering consequences, leaving the three of them fighting for survival.  

Purchase link – Amazon UK

DS Malice and Detective Kelly Pieterson are back and this time they are looking into a cold case that has just been unearthed. A body is discovered that has been buried for 10 years, no ID just a key card. Trying to discover who this body is no easy task.

Twinkle, is a wonderful pillar of the the local church. She helps run the Outreach Program helping young men to avoid getting trapped in the world of drugs. Her husband is not a well man and requires 24 hour care.

As Malice and Kelly start working on the case there is a stranger lurking. The past has just taken a step into the present, and it threatens to do some serious damage unless it can be contained.

This is a story that has various threads and once again the author has worked his magic to create a riveting read. I really like the combo of Malice and Kelly. They have a camaraderie that comes with working together, there is some snapping and joking, but there is a nice connection between the two as they look out for each other.

Now what to say about the “bad guy!” Yes they are bad, they are a criminal, they have done really bad things, but you know what? I really liked this person. Vague I know, but it is a person who is calculated, looks several steps ahead, not afraid to get stuck in, but oh so devious, deliberate and absolutely full of deceit.

This is another cracking read in the DS Malice Series, I know this is only the second book but I am already hooked. Not quite as brutal or dark as the first book, Killing Pretties, but just as good, and still twisted with a brilliant psychological edge to it. If you are a fan of crime, thriller reads then this is one you need to add to your collection. It was a fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. 

Rob published Those That RemainIn Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Follow Rob on TwitterFacebookWebsite

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The Soul Killer by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @rararesources #rararesources #thriller #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Soul Killer by Ross Greenwood. I do like this authors books a lot, and I know I am going to get a cracking read, The Soul Killer was no exception. I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog |Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Repent in this life, rejoice in the next…’


A murder made to look like suicide. Another that appears an accident. DI Barton investigates the tragedies that have shattered a family’s lives, but without obvious leads the case goes nowhere. Then, when the remains of a body are found, everything points to one suspect.


Barton and his team move quickly, and once the killer is behind bars, they can all breathe a sigh of relief. But death still lurks in the shadows, and no one’s soul is safe. Not even those of the detectives…


How do you stop a killer that believes life is a rehearsal for eternity, and their future is worth more than your own…?


Ross Greenwood writes gritty, heart-pounding thrillers, with twists aplenty, and unforgettable endings. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride.


Purchase Links – Amazon

The Soul Killer is a dark and deviously twisted crime thriller with a great psychological twist. It is the second in the DI Barton trilogy, and somehow I have missed reading the first book, so I can honestly say that this one works well as a stand-alone.

The story starts from the perspective of a young boy, he has a horrible home life. This is one of the two perspective that the story is told from. The second story-line is from the investigating team of Di Barton as he and fellow officers are brought into a suicide.

The story moves along at a good pace, and I love the way you get into the killers head. The author leaves a trail that eventually leads the reader to wonder who the killer is, there are little clues until the killer is finally named.

The investigation that starts with a suicide then moves on as an unfortunate accident hits the same family. Suspicions, accusations and questions run amok as the story-line gets deeper and darker. Twists a plenty for this story and it is such an addictive read. It had me guessing and double guessing and changing my mind.

The main characters are so well developed, and I soon had favourites, as well as the odd one I wasn’t too fussed about. The killer is definitely memorable and yes he is a baddies, but the author has twisted him into a person who thinks what he is doing is for the best.

This is dark, it is addictive and it is a wonderfully captivating read and one that I would definitely recommend.

Ross Greenwood is the author of six 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 House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @BOTBSPublicity @BloodhoundBoook #BOTBSPublicity #PsychologicalThriller #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book on The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Jake and Kate live in London but after an altercation with a stranger who threatens Jake with a knife, they take their son and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think until people in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Their neighbours are strange and when Kate sees a face at the window, the family realise they might be in danger.
When they find a tape hidden in the loft of the house, a video recording of the previous family who once lived there, it chills them to the bone.
They soon realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and they too could now be next.

What is the mystery surrounding the house on Rectory Lane? 

Jake and Kate are about to find out…

Well this book is definitely high on the creepy factor as it oozes drama and tension. Fed up with the smog, noise, traffic and smell of London the Morley family are looking for a new home. Their dreams come true when they find a stunning house in a nice village and in their budget.

Moving into a village is daunting and there are some odd comments from the locals. Their neighbours however seem nice, friendly and welcoming. Not used to living in an old house, they initially dismiss the sounds, but then Jake decides notices something rather odd while he is out on his morning run.

The tension and drama are great throughout this story, it is an edge of the seat read and one that I read in one sitting as I was not able to put it down. As I mentioned the creepy feeling was a constant and it is not until a lot later in the story that things start to connect.

Now when I started this book I hadn’t read the synopsis, I rarely do, so I was completely oblivious as to what it was about. This for me was great as it meant I went into the story completely blind. The author did a great job of drawing me in, adding intrigue and mystery along the way.

Now the ending, well I didn’t see that one coming and it was a cracking one and then there were the final concluding lines… well hell! Blindsided yet again!

If you like a psychological thriller that is full of mystery, suspense, intrigue and tension and you like a book that hit a quite a reasonable punch on the creepy-o-metre, then you should definitely pick this one up. A fabulous read that had me hooked and one I would definitely recommend.

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.
My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.
I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.
To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.
That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.
I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year. 

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.
I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true. 

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Rabette Run by Nick Rippington @nickripp #BOTBSPublicity #psychologicalthriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rabette Run by Nick RIppington. My huge thanks to Sarah Hardy at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

Alice in Wonderland meets James Bond

EMERSON RABETTE has a phobia about travelling on underground trains, so when he is involved in a car accident his worst nightmare is about to come true.

A middle-aged graphic designer and father of one, Emerson’s entire future depends on him reaching an important business meeting. Without an alternative method of transport, he has to confront his biggest fear.

Things immediately go wrong when Emerson’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder kicks in and his fellow passengers become angry at the way he is acting. Thankfully a young woman called Winter comes to his rescue and agrees to help him reach his destination.

Once on the train, she thinks her job is done. But Emerson can’t help feeling he is being watched by his fellow passengers, including a soldier, a woman in a hat covered with artificial fruit and a man with a purple goatee beard.

Is it just his paranoia kicking in, or are they all out to get him?

And Winter is taken totally by surprise when Emerson takes flight after reading a message scrawled on the train’s interior.

It simply reads: ‘Run Rabette Run’.

(Rabette Run is Nick Rippington’s fourth book, a standalone psychological thriller. The author’s Boxer Boys trilogy is highly acclaimed and is now available in a digital boxset)

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

This is such an interesting story and one that takes the reader down a rabbit hole as such. Welcome to the world of Emerson Rabette, a man with a complex OCD about the number three. This compulsive disorder dominates his life, but why, what started it?

This is a book that is different to the others I have read by this author. It has a psychological edge to it that has initial roots from a past event. The author gives the reader a scenario that rapidly changes from chapter to chapter and this makes for a fast paced book. It is full of intrigue, doubt, mistrust and deception.

The main protagonist is extremely paranoid and the author has taken this paranoia and woven into such and interesting story. From the looks people give to a scribbled message, the author has taken Rabette’s paranoia and taken it on a route that has quite a few surprises.

As the story runs its course things start to add up and then suddenly all is made clear. This is where we discover the cause of the OCD. I did have a small inkling about a couple of things but definitely noit for many others. A cleverly wrapped up ending with yet more surprises.

This is a book that kept me on my toes in such a good way. It is one that is fast paced and also very intriguing and this intrigue builds in momentum. A book that I think readers who like books with a human interest story as well as having a psychological angle. I would definitely recommend it.

NICK RIPPINGTON is the award-winning author of the Boxer Boys series of gangland crime thrillers.

Based in London, UK, Nick was the last-ever Welsh Sports Editor of the now defunct News of The World, writing his debut release Crossing The Whitewash after being made redundant with just two days notice after Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011.

On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back in the building, investigators sealing off the area with crime scene tape and seizing his computer as they investigated the phone-hacking scandal, something which took place a decade before Nick joined the paper. His greatest fear, however, was that cops would uncover the secrets to his Fantasy Football selections.

Handed the contents of his desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old baby to support.


With self-publishing booming, he hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup and in 2015 produced Crossing The Whitewash, which received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards. Judges described it as “evocative, unique, unfailingly precise and often humorous”. Follow-up novel Spark Out, a prequel set at the time of Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War, received a Chill With A Book reader award and an IndieBRAG medallion from the prestigious website dedicated to Independent publishers and writers throughout the world. The novel was also awarded best cover of 2017 with Chill With A Book. The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing The Whitewash, was released in December 2018 and went to the top of the Amazon Contemporary Urban Fiction free charts during a giveaway period of five days. A digital box set, the Boxer Boys Collection, came out in September last year.

Now Nick, 60, is switching direction feeling that, for the moment, the Boxer Boys series has run its course. His latest novel, Rabette Run, will be released in the Spring and Nick says, ‘It is a gritty psychological thriller with twists and turns galore. Think Alice in Wonderland with tanks and guns.’

Married to Liz, When Nick isn’t writing he works as a back bench designer of sports pages on the Daily Star. He has two children – Jemma, 37, and Olivia, 9. 

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Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor #HighlyRecommended #CrimeThriller #BookReview

I am so excited to share my review for Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman. This is an amazing read and I cannot wait to read the next one that will be called – Twinkle, Twinkle.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice is a rubbish ex-husband, a crap father but a damned good detective. It’s a shame he spoils his only redeeming quality by being a bent copper.

Detective Kelly Pietersen joins the team to help find a missing woman. But Kelly has a secret…Damien Kaplan is a leading criminal barrister and a keen amateur potter. He also happens to be a serial killer with a chilling approach to creating his art. He’s married to Elsa, though she considers him more of a possession than a husband. She controls those around her using sex and procures men and women for her husband to play with but only after she’s finished with them first. Killing Pretties is his passion, having sex with them is hers. It is difficult to say which one is worse.

The missing woman brings all four crashing together – an incendiary mix that doesn’t end well.

This is one of those books that make you go “Wow!”, I say wow because there were several times I actually said more than just Wow and it is about the only word that wasn’t a swear word!!! 😉😱

Where to start… well… this is a police procedural that is so well written. This author knows how to write a baddie that’s for sure!

There are several key characters in this book, DS Malice (what an excellent name I might add), is not exactly a by the book copper, he is good but also not that squeaky clean as all is made clear in the story. He is joined by DC Kelly Pieterson, another good copper who has great gut instincts. These two are caught up in a missing person case and also the death of a local drug dealer.

The husband and wife team of Damien and Elsa Kaplan are great, but as the synopsis tells you, this is not the normal sort of husband and wife team.

At this point I know that I am re-hashing the synopsis , but, I am still try to get my head around trying to write a review that does this book the justice it deserves…

This is a crime thriller that does have a good psychological aspect to it, the Kaplan’s are very different and definitely add a macabre twist to the story. In some ways the synopsis is quite detailed in what you are going to get, but this is a story that is very much about the journey.

There is some details in the story that made me curl my toes, I do think this is one for a reader that likes a more hardcore crime thriller read, the details are relevant if a bit twisted.

The story fills in details of the past for the Kaplan’s and this is a great way of getting to know this couple and there vices. I like the team of Malice and Pieterson, they make a good combination and they seem to suit each other as far as being a team goes.

An absolutely, amazingly brilliant read that I found totally addictive, a must for hard-boiled crime thriller readers and the start of a new series , I cannot wait for more. Killing Pretties is a twisted read that I would Highly Recommend and you really need to go and yourself a copy ASAP!

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. 

Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

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

Mine by Clare Empson @ClareEmpson2 @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #OrionBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Mine by Clare Empson. I would like to say a big thank you Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot onthe Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?’

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He’s an A&R man, she’s an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice – fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago – starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won’t settle for his mother pushing him aside once again…

One word…Wow!

What an emotional story Mine was, I say emotional but actually it was an emotional roller-coaster. The synopsis tells you the basics you need to know about this story and to be honest I am not going to really expand on that.

The story is essentially two stories that are intertwined in a Now and Then format. The Now part of the story of Luke and how he finally gets to meet Alice, his birth mother, and how their relationship builds. The second story is about Alice and her journey through Art school, life and to the point of giving her son up for adoption.

There are obviously others in the story, Hannah is Luke’s partner and together they have Samuel, there is Luke’s mother as well. In the past there are those important to Alice, such as renowned artist Rick.

During this slower paced story the there are various aspects that the author has dealt with and I think has done very well. There is an obvious impact of reconnecting with a birth parent, expectations, questions, guilt are just the tip of the iceberg. The impact is felt for all that are part of the family and in someways careful managing is needed.

The emotion aspect of the story was gradually built up, from the initial nervousness of a first meeting to Alice becoming part of the family. While the story does have a psychological thriller feel to it, it is more about family relationships, and it has a more dramatic second half.

A fabulous read that had some surprises, and though I did have a nervous feeling I wasn’t quite expecting the way the author played her story line out. A cracking read for readers who like a book that has a slower build-up, that is as much about family life and relationships as it is the psychological thriller. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website http://www.countrycalling.co.uk.

Him was her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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