Good Samaritans by Will Carver @will_carver @annecater @OrendaBooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review of Good Samaritans by Will Carver today as part of the Blog Tour with Orenda Books. Huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invite and to Orenda and Will for my copy of this fabulous book.

Synopsis:

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his
phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps
upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to
Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more
for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into
day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into
something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the
scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

My Thoughts:

The Samaritans are a group available to people in need. What happens if a phone call goes beyond a phone call. This story takes a dark look into a sinister world that kept me avidly turning the pages.

This is the first book I have read by this author and good god is it creepy, sinister dark and delicious. Full of twists and turns that left me just a bit shocked. Definitely not what I was expecting, and this is meant in a good way. The synopsis did a great job of getting me hooked, the pages of the story had me addicted.

I am not elaborating on the plot at all because I don’t want to give spoilers. I will say it is clever and has a real sense of suspense, there were times I was wondering where this story was going and how it was going to link up. By the end, I was feeling a little stunned as this disturbing story was revealed, Oh and in a really good way.

The way the book is laid out worked really well, in daily chapters and then broken down into quick sub-chapters. These gave a snappiness to the story as it moved along at a good pace. I would suggest that it would be ideal for picking up reading a couple of sections and then carrying on about your day, but this will not happen as once you pick it up you will not want to put it down.

If there were a limit to words I could use to describe this book they would be: twisted, dangerous, disturbing and sick and that is just some of the characters. You will soon work out who to like and then there are the ones that you want to be nowhere near, not in the same postcode, county or for that matter the same country.

I would say this is definitely a book aimed at adults with shall I say a slightly more open mind, there are a few erm… sexy, dirty bits and you know what it actually worked well and was appropriate.

So if you are after a book that has shocks, thrills, creepiness, and suspense then this is a must read. If you like an edginess that has a realistic feel to it then it is a must read and believe me when I say that you will never look at a bottle of bleach in the same way again…

A book that readers of psychological thrillers, domestic noir, crime, suspense and one I would highly recommend.
Purchase link: Amazon UK

About the Author:

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Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January
David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but
returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He
turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and
television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful
theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while
working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

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Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner. Ronnie is a well known and supportive lady in the Book Blogging Community and now she is a Published Author wohooo… Lies Between Us is published by HQ Digital and available as an eBook and audiobook with a paperback due out on 13th December.

When I first saw a post about being part of the Blog Tour for this book I jumped at the chance and so did many others, when I say many others I actually mean many, many, many others… 72 Book Bloggers !!!

Synopsis:

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.
YOU CAN PURCHASE A COPY FROM – Amazon UKGoogle PlayKoboitunes

My Thoughts:

John, Maisie and Miller have a connection they are as of yet unaware of in this psychological, mind-twisting thriller. The story is told from each characters own point of view and in their own timeline.

If you like psychological thrillers then you really do need to give this a read. Each character has their own story and it gave me the chance to get to know them, their friends and family. I have mentioned previously that I like this style of writing as it gives the chance to get inside the thoughts and emotions of the characters, though there are times when this can really give you the creeps.

The characters are very different to each other and also their role in the story, as I read I found that each character had its own set of emotions that ranged from guilt, loss, obsession, grief to name a few. Then the author adds in a good dose of manipulation and an obsessive tendency to give a real page turner of a read.

The psychological aspect of this book was clever and it gave me a twisted reading journey and it took a route that I did not expect. When I thought I was getting to the truth and working things out, this author through a curveball… had me completely hoodwinked.

The story itself… well I’m giving you nothing on it. There are little clues scattered throughout and it’s not until the author starts pulling them together that you start to see the connection.

The story took me a few pages to get into, my fault really as I didn’t pay enough attention to the chapter headings… each chapter has their own timeline, I would advise paying attention to this, as soon as I realised this I found the story much better to gel with.

This is a good solid debut novel from an author that I think, has got her foot well and truly on the ladder to higher things. A psychological thriller that had me guessing, twists, suspense and a great story. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.

You can follow Ronnie on –

TwitterFacebookInstagramBlogGoodreads Author Page

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The Cornish Retribution by Amanda James #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Cornish Retribution by Amanda James as part of the Blog Blitz with Emma at Bloodhound Books. My thanks to Emma for the invite.

As soon as I saw an email for the new Amanda James book I didn’t read the synopsis I just grabbed my diary and scheduled the review straight in. I have read a few of Amanda’s books and I have not been disappointed. There are a few authors whose books I will automatically agree to be part of a Blog Tour/ Blitz for and Amanda is one of them 🙂

Synopsis:

After a tragic car accident, Samantha is left widowed and bereft.  Her husband Adam was everything to her. But at least the home they shared together in Cornwall provides her with some security. Or does it?

Upon returning from a school reunion in Sheffield, where Sam met her old friend, Penny, and an old flame from her school days, Dan, she discovers that Adam had invested money unwisely and she is now penniless.

When Penny and Dan, who are now married, arrive in Cornwall to visit Sam, Dan comes up with a way in which Sam can keep the house. He suggests she turns it into a writing retreat. And he is willing to invest.

Despite his wife’s reservations, Dan gets his way but at what price?

Why is Dan so keen to help? Has Sam put herself in harm’s way?

Some relationships are built to last. Others are deadly.

 

My Thoughts:

Samantha (Sam) is recently widowed and struggling to deal with various things. She decides to attend an school reunion and meets up with Penny and Dan. They haven’t seen each other for many years and when Penny and Dan decide to visit. They find Sam isn’t quite as financially secure as she thought she would be and so a business partnership is arranged though not everyone is quite so keen …

One thing I have discovered with this author, no actually there are two things… one is the ability to keep me dangling as she weaves her story and the other is the spectacular setting descriptions.

The setting in this book is the Cornish coastline that provides its own range of characteristics that compliment the characters and the story in the book. The characters themselves are not all they appear to be and take routes I wasn’t expecting. What is a seemingly nice gesture and a friendly helping hand soon turns out to be something quite different.

As I read this book I found my emotions towards the characters changing, one moment feeling sorry for them and at others thinking they’re hiding something or being shocked at their actions.

As the characters were gradually introduced I did wonder how the connections would be made, they came across as nice, normal people…but what is normal? By the end of the book I had been manipulated into various beliefs and thoughts that had me chopping and changing as I read. I have to say the baddie was one that made my skin crawl as I discovered who they were and why they were doing the things they did. You will certainly work out your favourites.

I know this is my usual vague non spoiler review, but it has to be like this. I read this story on one sitting as I got hooked, willing some characters to see sense and hoping others would get their comeuppance. The story line held my  attention throughout and I really enjoyed that feeling of not quite being sure about who I could trust or what the truth would eventually be.

If you are a reader who likes a vividly described, atmospheric read that has a plot that has you guessing as it weaves and twists then this is one you should definitely read. A wonderful crime, thriller novel with a psychological edge, its devious, full of suspense, drama and manipulation and one I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published, given that she left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.

Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Four of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie and Rip Current. The Cornish Retribution is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in October 2018.

Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Links: Amanda’s blog – Amanda’s Blog –  Twitter  –  Facebook

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A House Divided by Rachel McLean #BookReview @rararesources

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on A House Divided by Rachel McLean. This is the first in the Division Bell Trilogy and I am excited to be part of the tour for this. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and also the author for my e-copy of the books.

You can purchase your own copy at  – Amazon UK –  Amazon US

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sinclair is many things: loyal government minister, loving wife and devoted mother.

But when a terror attack threatens her family, her world is turned upside down. When the government she has served targets her Muslim husband and sons, her loyalties are tested. And when her family is about to be torn apart, she must take drastic action to protect them.

A House Divided is a tense and timely thriller about political extremism and divided loyalties, and their impact on one woman.

My Thoughts:

Jennifer Sinclair is a MP, wife and mother. A terror attack escalates fear within the government and the country. Muslims are blamed and her husband and children become targets of racist attacks. Her husband is a Muslim.

Wow! I devoured this book in one sitting as the author wove her magic. This political thriller had me totally hooked. It has a sense of realism to it and then the author has taken it further. It begins in 2019 and is from Jennifer’s point of view giving me a great behind the scenes look as I followed her through the corridors of power. These corridors are fuelled with corruption, backstabbing, lies and liars who are intent on only saving their backsides and remaining in the job and position they want. It is good to know that there are those with principles, a conscience and a sense of what moral obligation is.

Jennifer’s home-life suffers as she has to spend more time dealing with ad meeting the demands of her job. The author shows that having a family and a very demanding work schedule is tough, but when a crisis escalates, then the pressure starts to show and cracks appear.

This is a great book that looks at not only the politics, but also takes into account the feelings of people. These feeling do incorporate racism, prejudice and hate but also that there are those that do have a sense of right and wrong.

As the story progresses from getting to know the characters and to then understanding the characters, the author also weaves in their personalities and their beliefs. It is a balance that I think she has successfully achieved and shows different points of view.

The tension that gradually increases in this book is great and there were several jaw dropping moments as I started to discover where this story was heading. The realisation that politics can be used and manipulated is used to great effect.

If you are after a story that brings all the corruption that is expected in politics then this is a book that you really do want to read. The story-line is effective and has plausibility to it, it captured my attention very early on and held it to the last pages as I was drawn deeper in.

A fantastic political thriller and first in a trilogy that I am really looking forward to reading. It gets a highly recommended from me.

About the Author:

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I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

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After He Died by Michael J Malone @MichaelJMalone @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on After He Died by Michael J Malone as part of the blog tour for Orenda Books. I would like to thank Anne Cater for my invite onto the tour for this fabulous book and also Orenda for my copy. You can get your own copy from AMAZON UK

Synopsis:

You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…
When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.
Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

My Thoughts:

Paula Gadd lost her son almost seven years ago, her husband has just died. But a stranger asking Paula how well she knew her husband leaves her questioning all she thought she knew.

Straight away I want to mention the cover, how simple, effective and amazing it is. The story itself is far from simple, but it is effective and it really is amazing. I got to meet Paula at the funeral of her husband Tommy, she is still stunned, shocked and in a daze when this random stranger just walks up and asks Paula how well she knew her husband…

By this point I am already hooked, what follows left me on the edge of my seat as the story unfolded. Paula is rocked and as she discovers there are things that her husband has done that she had no idea about. I also got to meet some of Tommy’s family and also the stranger and how she fits into the story. Yes this is vague for a reason, no spoilers from me..

This is a book that is fast paced but one where I forced myself to slow my reading of so I didn’t miss any little detail. The author does the most amazing job of building up tension and suspense and at the same time sows so many seeds of doubt along the way. The plot is deliciously deceptive and twisted, but never once did I feel confused, the writing simply flowed as the story was revealed.

The characters in the story are such a random lot, and yes some I did like, those that I couldn’t make my mind up about and some that completely hoodwinked me. I love the concept of how well you know someone and how the author has used that and then completely turned it on it backside to reveal a world of doubt, mistrust, conflict and finding the truth about the person you thought you knew.

This is the first book I have read by this author, I have now bought a myself a couple more as this was so amazing. If you are a fan of crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense with a good helping of domestic noir then you will absolutely want to read this one. An absolutely fantastic read that I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

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Perfect Silence by Helen Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK #NetGalley #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts with you all for Perfect Silence by Helen Fields. I admit to be being a huge fan of this series and I was so delighted to get approval from Avon Book UK for my copy from NetGalley. You can purchase this book from 23rd August from Amazon UK and it is available in various formats.

Synopsis:

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

My Thoughts:

So in this latest instalment there are two crimes, both as brutal as the other but in different ways and for ultimately different reasons. A young woman found dead with skin removed from her stomach and back. The second is the use of new drug Spice that leaves users zombified and open for attack.

I have read all the ‘Perfect’ books and always eagerly await the next in the series. This is where I say, yes each could be read as a stand alone but, in my heart of hearts I know that a series read in order works so much better for getting to know the characters and their dynamics within the group settings.

Perfect Silence for me had a slightly different feel to it in the respect that Ava seemed to take more of a lead in the story itself. She had been promoted, she is feeling her way in her new role and finding her feet. She also discovers that protocol and procedure falls directly to her to deal with. She is no longer part of the group as such because she is answerable to her own boss and responsible for the actions of her team. This actually made a lot of sense to me as far as her character development goes and in someway helps to stamp her authority.

So not only is Ava having to deal with a change in role she is also in the firing line from the powers that be, Overbeck in particular has been the proverbial ‘pain in the rear’ and it is a chance to get to know this one a little better. Good old, borderline cheeky / rude Lively is back and is another one I got to see a bit more of. There is a newcomer in the form of DS Graham, and what a nice form he has.

The story or should I say stories are of a bloody and gruesome nature, the authors descriptions does a great job of giving enough information to let your imagination do the rest. The cases are very different in the reasons for the attacks, they are not straightforward and the tension and frustration definitely start to mount.

As I mentioned earlier this for me was more about Ava rather the luscious Luc Callanch, I do have such a spot for him and as much as love his character I was more drawn to Ava. Don’t panic though he is still around and is as supportive as ever. But also he has his only little story going on, it is something I am not going to delve into as I am not as sure about this development in his character yet, but I’m interested to see where that part of his life will go.

So to kind of sum up a little, it is a fantastic next instalment in the Perfect books. If you have not read this series then you need to if you like dark, gritty, compulsive and addictive twisted story-lines. Ideal for crime, thriller, murder, mystery and tension filled suspense readers, it’s not all about the crime as there are things within some of the characters lives that are being brought out more as well, but the crime part is blooming brilliant 🙂

A book and series I would highly recommend.
My Reviews for the previous books:

My review for Perfect RemainsBuy from AmazonUK

My review for Perfect PreyBuy from AmazonUK

My review for Perfect Death Buy from AmazonUK

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About the Author:

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Helen Fields studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London. After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar.

Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company, acting as script writer and producer. Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

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Sirens by Joseph Knox #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Sirens by Joseph Knox. This is the first book in the Aiden Waits series and my first time with this author. You can get a copy of Sirens from all good bookshops and also Amazon UK.

Synopsis:

I stopped going to work. I went missing. We still live in a world where you can disappear if you want to. Or even if you don’t.

Detective Aidan Waits is in trouble 

After a career-ending mistake, he’s forced into a nightmare undercover operation that his superiors don’t expect him to survive.

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again

When the teenage daughter of a prominent MP joins Zain Carver, the enigmatic criminal who Waits is investigating, everything changes.

A single mother, missing for a decade

Carver is a mesmerising figure who lures young women into his orbit – young women who have a bad habit of disappearing. Soon Waits is cut loose by the police, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman.

How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?

My Thoughts:

The disgraced detective Aiden Waits is the right man for the job of tracking down a missing girl, especially when that girl is the daughter of an MP, and he wants the news of her disappearance kept quiet.

This is a story that I found a little slow to get going but in this slowness the author, managed to convey the scene, the characters and the basics ready for the story to evolve. I got to learn the story behind Waits and the way and why he was offered the job that I think many would have turned down. His record for being a dirty cop allowed him the space to work into the world of drugs, gangs and the whole heap of stuff that you expect to find along with this lifestyle.

I got a good idea of the people and the gangs that operate within the drugs world and also the methods of dealing with trouble or potential trouble makers. I felt that once all the basics were covered, the story then kicked into gear, this actually worked quite for me.  There are a couple of characters that I liked, but then I wouldn’t really want to like some of them, due to the nature of their characters, as they are pretty unpleasant. Even though there are quite a few characters and it took me a little while to get used to them, they are memorable.

I did enjoy this book and even though the slower beginning to this story, it gave a good foundation for the story that followed. It gave a lot of detail that I think will stand me in good stead for the next book The Smiling Man, and I am looking forward to reading that as well.

This book is definitely gritty and is detailed in some of its descriptions with a plot that explores things I would associate with a gang/drug theme. It deals with social and law disorder, drug abuse, gangs and crime in an atmospheric and noirish way. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who enjoy Northern Noir, Crime, Thriller with an undercover/ disgraced detective.

About the Author:

81f6ZqDnaKL._SY200_Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke-On-Trent and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively.

Sirens is his debut novel. His second, The Smiling Man, is available now.

 

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TH1RT3EN by Steve Cananagh @SSCav #orion_crime #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on TH1RT3EN by Steve Cavanagh. It is available from all good book shops and also Amazon UK.

Synopsis:

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

My Thoughts:

So the tag line for this is to the point, if that doesn’t grab you then check out the fabulous authors who also add their comments. I had seen so many reviews for this book from other readers and Book Bloggers that I had to get a copy to see what the fuss was about.

So admission time here… this is the first book I have read by this author, I do have three other books by this author in the Eddie Flynn Series and really must bump them up my TBR to read soon, this one works very well as a stand alone.

Eddie Flynn is a character I absolutely took to from the outset. He is one of those guys that has principles and he stands by them, putting himself in danger in the process. This is what he does to ensure he gets the absolute truth.

Kane, well what a sneaky, despicable and clever character this is. I loved to hate him, even if I didn’t know exactly which one he was on the jury. He is a character that blends in, an average Joe if you like.

Essentially this is a courtroom drama and it is a genre I don’t read that often but, when I do I enjoy them a lot. This felt so different to those I have read in the past because it is courtroom mixed in with thriller and crime that is in the present rather than in the past. In adding the threat in the present the author has managed to up the anti in the suspense, keeping the danger ever present is a great way to build up a sense of suspense for what may happen next.

I love the twist that the killer is on the jury and I did wonder how this would pan out over the story. This is where the author really has worked some imaginative magic. At no point did I know or even guess the identity correctly, I thought it would be a trial and error type of book where I would flit between the characters until I was reasonably sure I knew who it was…… no chance, not even close.

There are so many aspects to this book that I adored and worked for me; the pace, the plot, the characters and the … actually everything worked. It was set out in quick chapters and I liked the extra touch of the individual juror information included when the trial section of the book started.

I think the other good thing is that belief that not all trials are fair, that things can and are manipulated was something that interested me, that evidence can be seen in several ways and from different perspectives depending if you are for or against the bloke in the docks. The author has taken this manipulation to the next level and done it so well.

If you like crime, thriller, suspense and action in a courtroom drama then you should definitely have this book on your radar, it isn’t tied up with loads of jargon or red tape making it a book that you can lose yourself in easily. It is spectacularly deceptive and cleverly written and one that I would absolutely recommend as a must read book.

About the Author:

51nLx9c3RcL._SY200_ Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and lawyer. He is also one half of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. His latest novel, Thirteen, is out in ebook now and paperback in June.

Find out more at Website or follow Steve on Twitter 

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The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite.  I bought my copy way back right at the beginning  of this year and I am gutted that it has taken me this long to get to it. A problem fellow Book Bloggers will totally understand, any how you can get your own copy in eBook, paperback or audiobook format from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk? 

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Before I Let You In will be captivated.

My Thoughts:

Melanie  and Jacob, with their daughter Beth, live a nice normal life nothing major or drastic, a typical family. Beth is a nature lover and can often be found wandering around the marshes and fens with her mum and a pair of binoculars. That is until the morning that mum discovers that Beth didn’t stay at a friend’s house the previous night and no one knows where she is.

Oh my good god this author definitely packed a punch with this one as she delves into every parents worst nightmare. Emotions are high priority with this book, fear, dread, shock, depression, desperation, suspicion, anger, total heartbreak, panic oh I could keep going because this author has managed to capture the lot.

As the story makes itself known you are given glimpses into the life of this family, their friends. I got the idea that it was a nice community and a friendly village on the Fens, but the behind closed doors thing comes into play, you know the one I mean ” no one knows what goes on behind closed doors”, little cracks begin to appear, a little white lie or something is not quite admitted to and you begin to see things in a slightly different light.

The area the author has chosen as the setting is so wonderfully descriptive, it is also an area I know well from my own childhood camping holidays with my parents. The author brought back wonderful memories for me from the walks we used to take as a family through the pathways of the marshes and it also brought back to me how this beautiful are can be so potentially dangerous to those unaware of the tides. So for me, when the author was describing the setting she really did get it right and I felt she captured it in the right way.

The plot seemed to ebb and flow in pace and seemed to mirror the ebb and flow of the tide, what I mean is that there were times it was slower as a character was maybe reminiscing or thinking through things, then at times it felt urgent and needed to pick up the pace to achieve the desired goal.

Mel is one of the main characters and although I did sympathise with her quite a lot I did find at times my sympathy waned a little with some of her actions, but also she was pretty much the only character I didn’t think to be guilty of the crime. The finger-pointing in this book could be aimed at many of the characters, and I had my own ideas as to which one would be the main culprit and I still got it wrong.

So this is a book I adored from start to finish. It is emotional, descriptive, addictive and absolutely blooming brilliant. If you want a book that is wonderfully written and totally engaging then you really must read this. It is one I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

61kTbWFw1KL._SY200_ Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET. Her latest book is THE PERFECT FRIEND.

More importantly, she loves cakes, wildlife photography and, last but definitely not least, her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy (who force her to throw tennis balls for them for hours).
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Having spent over twenty years as a national newspaper and magazine journalist, Barbara has interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

To find out more about Barbara’s novels, go to Facebook or follow on Twitter. To find out more about Barbara go to Website

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Uncommon Cruelty by Liz Mistry @LizCrimeWarp #BookReview #NetGalley @BloodhoundBook

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Today I have my thoughts on Uncommon Cruelty by Liz Mistry. This is the fourth in the DI Gus McGuire series and is set around Bradford, West Yorkshire. You can buy a copy from Amazon UK and it is available in eBook or paperback formats.

Synopsis:

An unmissable new crime thriller from the best-selling DI Gus McGuire series

DI Gus McGuire and his team are called in to investigate the disappearance of a teenage boy after his parents return from a weekend away, to find their home trashed and their son missing. But that is just the beginning.   

As the investigation unfolds, Gus must discover what links a violent bikers’ gang, a Muslim youth group and a fundamentalist American based Christian church. 

Alongside this, two cases from the past come back to haunt DI Gus McGuire and his DS, Alice Cooper.

Gus has a lot to juggle, but will he cope?

Uncommon Cruelty is the fourth in the DI Gus McGuire series set in Bradford, West Yorkshire and is a gritty, Northern Noir read.

My Thoughts:

I have done my usual trick and not read any other books in the series and this is my first time reading this authors books. This book works well as a stand alone as the author does a very good job giving details on background so I didn’t feel I was missing out too much but, halfway through Uncommon Cruelty I had myself a little shopping trip and bought the other 3 in the series as I was enjoying it so much 🙂

So when parents come home from a trip to find their house trashed, their son missing and two bodies they immediately call the police. So enters Gus Mcguire and DS Alice Cooper to investigate.

I liked the dynamics of Gus and Alice, they are professional but also have a great banter and there is a good rapport with  fellow colleagues. This lifted the tone of the story at times and I think it worked well in what would be a stressful situation for those investigating.

There are little indications of past stories that are explained and this added to the intrigue for me. They have been added to give clarification to a reader who hasn’t read the previous books and do complement this story.

The plot covers so many different angles and takes trips down those pesky blind alleys that helped build up the suspense. It was as if I was being teased and being held just at arm’s length from the truth. Not only does the team have a tricky case to deal with but a past keeps poking their nose in.

The author did a fantastic job of leaving tantalising little clues giving an inking as to who it could possibly be and when the end arrives you definitely get to learn about the why of the crime.

This is a brilliant story that intrigued me, with several plot lines that twist and weave until you discover all the facts. A thoroughly enjoyable and addictive read that would be great for fans of gritty Norther Noir, crime, murder and mystery books. One I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

515eZyVQ9pL._SY200_ I am a crime writer based in Bradford but originally from West Calder in Scotland. I studied at Stirling University and taught in Bradford inner-city Primary schools for many years. I write gritty crime fiction drawing on the richness of Bradford’s diverse cultures and my writing is heavily influenced by Tartan Noir writers such as, Stuart MacBride, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid. I completed an MA in Creative Writing at the brilliant Leeds Trinity University. I currently have three novels published: Unquiet Souls (my debut novel) and Uncoiled Lies and Untainted Blood. I look forward to writing many more featuring my main character DI Gus (Angus) McGuire and his team. I am co-founder and lead blogger with The Crime Warp Blog

Follow Liz on Twitter – Blog

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