The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @emblabooks #TheMidnightMan #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a book I read at the end of August. The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell is a brilliantly woven crime thriller and I was delighted to get the opportunity to read it via NetGalley from the digital publisher Embla Books.

From number one bestselling author Caroline Mitchell, comes the first chilling Slayton thriller for fans of C. J. Tudor and Stephen King.

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

PURCHASE HERE – (Publication Day tomorrow 13th Oct 2021)

MY REVIEW

I own several books by this author, and this is the first time I have read one! I know, I know…

Her latest book The Midnight Man is a fabulously addictive crime, thriller and series suspense novel that has its roots based in the past. After a family is murdered an urban legend gradually starts to permeate from the abandoned and creepy Blackhall Manor. Fast forward 25 years and a group of teens decide to follow the rules to summon the Midnight Man. A game, nothing will really happen, but five girls arrive and only four return home again!

Well, this had a very series feeling to it pretty much all the way through. The opening for the story sets the tale that is to follow. I do like the way an old mystery or crime can give credence to a rumour. This sets the atmosphere for the story and with the inclusion of someone who has knowledge of the old manor it also adds secrets.

When the teen goes missing it starts to bring the past to the forefront of peoples minds. This gives the police investigation a nice twist. There is more to Det. Sarah Noble than first meets the eye. She has recently returned to the force and she herself bears an air of mystery.

This is a story that has mystery upon mystery. The author has started with one theme that centres around the Manor, it has then been morphed, twisted and tweaked. This gives the reader a chance to encounter several characters, a few other theories and this leads the reader to start drawing conclusions. I found myself convinced I had this one sussed out, and then I changed my mind, and yep changed it again! I love it when this happens.

As this is the first time I have read anything by this author I found a deeply twisted story that was creepy yes, but not too frightening. It is a mix of crime, thriller, mystery and suspense, it does have an element of police procedural. There is far more to this story than I have hinted at here, and I did find it hard to put down. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Mitchell

USA Today and Global #1 Bestselling Thriller Author.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Sign up HERE to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. 

Social Media – Twitter Website Facebook

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The Farmhouse by L.B. Simpson @stimsonink @QuestionPress @zooloo2008 #TheFarmhouseOfPeaceandPlenty #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today for The Farmhouse by L.B. Simpson. This is an atmospheric, gothic, mystery story that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s BookTours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book via Question Press.

The house, for all of its solitude, seemed incredibly noisy

The Farmhouse, having stood against time and history for nearly 160 years in the Virginia countryside, was forgotten and abandoned until Kyle and Jenny Dowling moved in during the summer of 1972.

The Dowlings, married just a year, were struggling to repair their broken marriage. It was to be the perfect place, away from it all, to heal their relationship. Jenny would write and Kyle would tend to minor renovations. The rent was cheap.

The realtor warned them, however, against staying beyond the final days of fall.

Purchase Link – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW…

This was a wonderfully atmospheric, slightly eerie story that was a quick read at just 125 pages long. The author didn’t hang about with setting the tone, right from the off, there is unease to the house that Kyle and Jenny first view.

For this couple it is the chance to try to rebuild their marriage, Kyle found this run down and unloved farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a rural property that they plan on renting cheaply and decorate so an acceptable level for it to be sold on.

Jenny is a writer and Kyle is an ex-schoolteacher. Jenny is the more sensitive of the two and does notice things, movements on the periphery of her vision, shadows, noises and unexplained things. This adds to the atmospherics as the author focuses on Jenny and the story that the house is seemingly trying to get out.

The isolation of the farmhouse and the general run down and old decor certainly add to the story. The house is actually a character in its own right. I know if this was me, I wouldn’t agree to live here if my husband had suggested it. I wouldn’t have quite said on your bike, I would have grabbed the bike and pedalled away as fast as I could!

While this is a spooky story, I didn’t find it too far up the scare scale, it is a good medium and I think I would say there is more intrigue to the mystery. With a house that is very old, there is going to be a rumour or two. The area is devoid of additional characters so in some respect this does give it the feel of a locked-in mystery and it has been done well.

This was a wonderful read and one that I happily sat and read over 2-3 hours. It has a good suspense feel and is full of mystery. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

L.B. grew up in a one stop-light town in central Idaho. After earning a Bachelor of Art’s degree in cultural anthropology from California State University-Chico, she uprooted herself to begin a new life in Washington, D.C., where she began a varied career in professional communications in private business and education.

“I’ve always had a passion for photography, travel, writing, and history. I am thrilled to now be creating works of fiction that allow me to share these passions with others. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is the historical research required to bring authenticity to my characters’ lives.”

This is her fifth book and the second in her standalone series: Tales from the Parlor Room–a collection of gothic and ghostly tales.

She currently resides in Virginia where she enjoys cemetery walks, visiting abandoned and haunted places and working on more ghostly tales.

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Lethal Ties by Helen J Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources #mystery #psychologicalthriller #Giveaway (UK only) #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Lethal Ties by Helen J Christmas. This is a very powerful and emotional read and one that does have a chilling edge to it.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot don’t he Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous story.

I do have to mention the cover, it is so appropriate now I have read this story!

Lethal Ties


A haunting vision. A spine-chilling nightmare. A missing boy.


When Joe, Maisie and Sam met in a residential children’s home, they pledged to look out for each other; three friends who were inseparable until the night Sam went missing…


Twenty years later, Maisie suffers flashbacks, unable to understand what lies at the root of her recurring nightmares. Shocked to find Joe, homeless on Bognor seafront, she helps him turn his life around, but it doesn’t seem long before their past comes back to haunt them.


What really went on at Orchard Grange all those years ago?
Where did Sam go?


Only he can provide the answers but they need to find him.

Within weeks of Maisie and Joe being reunited, however, an eerie presence disrupts their world. A mysterious black car is tailing them; a campaign of online abuse makes Joe wonder if his enemies are still around. He has never forgotten Mr Mortimer from the children’s home until a shocking attempt on his life launches a police investigation. 
Lethal Ties is a tense psychological thriller, an untangling of secrets with an utterly chilling twist.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

MY REVIEW…


This is a book that has had me hooked for the past couple of days. It is the story of three children who met while in care. One went to live with foster parents, one disappeared and one ran away. Years later they find each other.

Maisie is the main character of this story and as the synopsis tells, she finds one of her friends Joe. Together they begin to piece together events from the past, the ones that give Maisie nightmares and that Joe finds very difficult to describe. This is a story that involves child abuse, it is a story that is hard reading but has not been over-described.

The story is a mystery, a psychological thriller, it also has a criminal and police procedural aspect to it. The nature of the main theme is gradually brought out as initially Maisie and Joe deal with the past, they make links. It is as their friendship becomes more solid again that then turns this into a psychological thriller.

I am finding this quite difficult to review, I want so much to shout about the various events but can’t as I would give too much away.

Suppressed memories, nightmares and an uneasy feeling of being watched does not help Maisie feel safe, she does however have a good support network, though small, it provides her with the opportunity to voice her concerns. Through talking and through therapy she is able to piece things together. She realises that there is far more she has repressed than she had first realised. The author then adds the twists, the manipulation and also the realisation as things start to come together.

It is a story that the author has done so well considering the content. There is an amazing piece at the end of the book that describes how this story came about and also the people she met. I imagine research for this book to have been difficult but I think the author has done an amazing job.

This is an emotional read and also a very powerful one. Enough detail has been given so you are aware but as I mentioned earlier, there isn’t a lot of detail. I think the author got the balance for this very right. The psychological thriller aspect really builds, and I found this to add more pace to the story as it went on.

It always feels wrong to say that stories like this are wonderful reads, and Lethal Ties was such a wonderful read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

I’ve had a passion for writing since childhood and wrote my first full-length novel in 2011. This grew into a five-book mystery thriller series (Same Face Different Place). I love networking with other authors and the highlight of my writing journey was in 2015 when I was selected as a winner in a short story competition “Write Across Sussex,” judged by Kate Mosse and Peter Lovesey. I love where we live and with a passion for walking and photography, found the inspiration to base my novel in West Sussex.


I am active on social media and have written various articles about my characters on my blog. The underlying premise of ‘Lethal Ties’ is to raise awareness of mental health problems and promote a better understanding of conditions such as Asperger’s.


‘Lethal Ties’ is my first standalone psychological thriller and set in my local town, Bognor Regis.
Social Media Links – Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Website


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of Lethal Ties (Open to UK Only)


*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames @joel_hames @zooloo2008 @SpellBoundBks #mystery #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames. This is a mystery and suspense thriller that is a slower paced one, but also very addictive and intriguing.

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

SHE’S WATCHING YOU,

BUT WHO’S WATCHING HER?



From the bestselling author of Dead North, a tense, claustrophobic psychological thriller perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Claire McGowan and Clare Mackintosh.

Meet Polly.
Meet Emily.
Meet Belinda.

They’re all me.

My name is Lisa and I’m an identity thief. If I’m not inside your system stealing your money, I’ve probably already stolen it. I’m your friend. I’m a thief. I’m gone. I’m in control.

Only now, the tables have been turned. I’m in danger. My son is in danger. And I don’t know where that danger’s coming from.

Any friend.
Any enemy.
Any stranger.
Anyone from the past I’ve been trying to outrun for years.

NOBODY CAN BE TRUSTED.

My Review…

This was a book I took a little longer to read than usual. It is a story that alternates timelines and has several names that I needed to get used to. The names are the different aliases used by the main character, Lisa. She is an identity thief and a mother. Each one of these aliases is used in a different way.

This is a clever and complex story as I followed Lisa and her son Simon. Lisa’s story is told in two parts, the main one is set in a present day setting. The second is in shorter italicised chapters and this is about her time growing up and is gradually brought up to the present. I do like this style as you tend to get stories that are more in-depth giving the reason behind certain behaviour.

As the synopsis suggests, Lisa is definitely stumped when she discovers that someone has done the very thing that she does to others. The story follows true frustrations, struggles, torments and dangers that she now has to face. Thanks, f it was just Lisa she would know what to do, but she has her son to think of.

This is a slower-paced story and one that I was glad to slow my reading speed down for. It gave me the chance to absorb the story more and understand the character. This was clever and I was so intrigued by it. Following Lisa’s reasoning as to who could be after he led me down so many routes and roads. Not once did I have any inkling as to how the end would play out until the author was ready.

A mystery as well as suspense. I do think it is a thriller and psychological element to it as well. It’s a fabulously twisted story that gradually picks up as the story progresses. It is one that really caught my attention and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

A Londoner in exile, Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire with his wife and two daughters.

His works of fiction include the bestselling Sam Williams trilogy Dead North, No One Will Hear and The Cold Years, and the standalone psychological thriller The Lies I Tell.

When not writing or spending time with his family, Joel likes to eat, cook, play the piano, and make up excuses to avoid walking the dog. There’s the MMA thing, too, but he doesn’t like to show off.

You can find out more about Joel and sign up to his mailing list through social media or his very own Website

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The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley @rubyspeechley @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #thriller #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the reviewers opening the Blog Tour and to share my review today for The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley. The cover and synopsis were intriguing when I saw the email for this and joining the Blog Tour. My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy.

They’re in your house.

They want your life.

And now, they have your baby.

To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.

They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.

But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.

I just don’t know why.

But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.

Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.

A compelling thriller, packed with suspense – fans of K.L. Slater and Lisa Jewell won’t be able to put it down.

My Review…

The cover for this book definitely caught my eye. It has an unsettling synopsis and one that made me intrigued before I even started it.

Gemma is married to Nick, and everything about being a mum to Thomas is new. He’s only 5 days old and she is trying to do some shopping. When one of her employees spots her and offers to help, Gemma is only too happy to. After all, she knows this person and trusts them!

This is a suspense novel that is told in differing timelines and from differing perspectives. It caught me initially but as I got to know the characters I was able to differentiate between them.

The author has woven a story that is about a missing baby. It does, however, have more to it than that, it does sound like I am downplaying the severity of the baby, honestly, I am not. The baby is the finale in some ways even though it’s at the beginning. The story that follows is the lead up to that climax and you get all the whys, who’s and where’s.

His was a story that definitely hooked me. Even though you will guess early who he who is going to about the journey that takes place between the characters.

This one was an addictive read as I was so curious. Took a route I didn’t expect and it was a route I enjoyed. This is one for readers who like mystery, intrigue and stories set in a domestic setting. I would happily recommend this book.

About the Author…

Ruby Speechley is the author of four psychological thrillers published by Hera Books. She loves writing about domestic situations with plenty of twists and secrets.

She was born in Portugal but has lived in the UK since she was three months old. She now lives in Cheshire with her husband and two of her three children and two dogs. She has an older son and grandson.

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The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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The Crazy Season by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress

I am delighted to share my review today for The Crazy Season by Jim Ody. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and after reading his latest book, it will not be the last time! It was a brilliant read.

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I loved the tense and suspense ridden atmosphere he has created in this first book in the Joel Baxter series. I do own several of this author’s books and it is only now that I have got around to reading one. Yes, I am kicking myself for this lapse!

A journalist, Joel is used to strange and unusual events, it’s what he is known for. So the email he receives really catches his attention. With the help of his best friends sister Melody, they go off in search of the truth behind the curse of The Crazy Season not realising what exactly they are walking into.

Right from the start, this author caught my attention and what a start it was. It sort of sets the feel of the story that follows. It is one with more to it than first meets the eye. As the chapters progressed I discovered more not only about Joel and his wife Cherry but also got more of a glimpse into what exactly Joel does. He is a journalist as such but not the manic story hungry one looking for the latest headlines. He is more about trying to help find the truth and in turn, it helps others. This also helps him. Melody, well Melody is Melody, she is blunt and outrageous in what she says, but underneath her bluster, there is a caring and thoughtful women. I liked her a lot and she made me laugh several times!

The story of the curse is one that was intriguing and the author really knows how to spin a tale. More questions than answers and false leads with the feeling of Joel and Melody going around in circles, hearing similar stories but not quite getting anywhere as far as the truth goes. It’s a mysterious story with plenty of intrigues, to say the least.

The answers, or really that should be the breadcrumbs are not revealed until a lot further into the story. Up until this point, the author gives plenty for the reader to discover and think about. Introducing new characters and adding subtle hints along the way. Once things start to connect you begin to realise how well this story has been thought about. Not only that but there is something else lurking in the background.

This was such a wonderful story to read, mysterious, full of suspense and quite atmospheric. At times it had a noirish tinge to it and I really enjoyed the slower pace of the journey. It is one I would definitely recommend and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one in the series.

About the Author…

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

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Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman #Geiger @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman. This is a tense conspiracy thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and is published tomorrow (29th April 2021).

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book via Net Galley.

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For fans of  I Am Pilgrim, GEIGER is set to become the must-read international thriller of 2021. 

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making…

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

Well, the synopsis for Geiger is definitely intriguing, well I thought so, it also makes for a very good start to this story.

This is a really good and well-plotted spy thriller that I really enjoyed. There is a blend of past and present that the author links together really well and is full of little subplots. The present is about the death of Stellan, and of his missing wife as well as the character of Sara a police officer with connections to the family. The past is more in the eighties with the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunifications, USSR, GDR, spies, espionage, theories, politics and various other items of the time.

The mix of historical into this story was the part that I probably enjoyed the most, the cloak and dagger spy stuff if you like. But then I also liked the present story with a more procedural presence to it as you would find in a crime thriller. The idea of having a historical aspect in the story is great as it does add a great amount of intrigue. There is a good amount of detail that emerges as part of the story, this does however slow the pace down. I do like a slower paced book, and it meant I could take my time and not feel rushed while I was reading. I was able to read with the flow of the story and absorb the many details.

The author has a good mix of characters, enough for the different parts of the story and the different subplots, but not too many that I lost track of who was who. I did mention that there is a whole range of different things going on in this story, one of the themes is quite a distressing one and one I didn’t expect. While it is part of the story, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

A story that starts with a murder that then develops into a central European espionage ring, with mentions of family, upbringing and lifestyle there is a lot going on. A really intriguing and interesting read that had me wondering who was who and why they did what they did. I would recommend this for readers who prefer a slower-paced and intense spy-thriller story.

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Prisoner by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #NetGalley #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Prisoner by Ross Greenwood. I do like this authors books and have read several, Prisoner is a little different and a fabulously addicted read!

My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Behind bars, the rules are different…

Prison Officer Jim Dalton is used to walking the landings on the male side of HMP Peterborough. It’s a dangerous place, fuelled by testosterone-driven violence, but he’s done the job for a long time. He understands the unwritten rules, and he has the prisoners’ respect. 

When a relative is sent to the jail, Dalton is transferred to the female side of the prison. His next shift is so easy, he can’t believe that the officers over there get paid the same wages. He sleeps well for the first time in years.

But when he is assigned to the young offenders’ wing, dealing with female prisoners no longer seems so simple.  As every day passes, and he gets to know the women better, he is slowly drawn in to new temptations, new traps and a new nightmare. One which could destroy everything.

Taking a break from his bestselling DI Barton series, Ross Greenwood returns with this shocking, page-turning and utterly compelling glimpse behind the bars of a women’s prison. From a man who walked the landings himself…

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

I have read quite a few of this authors crime thriller books, his latest release Prisoner is very different to what I have read in the past. Ross uses his working experience in the Prison Service as inspiration and it shows in the writing.

A blend of fact and fiction as the author writes a very compelling story around Prison Officer Jim Dalton. A man who has respect on the male side of the prison from both fellow officers and also inmates. He comes across as a fair person, but one who is struggling in his home life. The stress of the job is telling and his marriage is rocky.

A move from the male wing to the female wing for a short period gives him a reprieve as such. The stress is less and the work more manageable. There are however a different set of unspoken rules for working in the female wing, unfortunately, Jim is a little slow to heed the warnings and see the signs.

I loved the way the author created an understated thriller like this one. There is a good amount of intrigue and suspense and there is a tense vibe and atmosphere to it. The author has created some great characters and making them so believable. Having the experience of working in a prison has definitely added a wonderful balance to the story as he gives a more balanced outlook. Describing the ways in which the psychology of a male or female wing differs.

How the characters of Jim deals with the changes in his role gives a really good insight and shows how easy it is to get caught up in simple things and to fall prey to a lie. While it is obvious that this is an environment where lies and deceit are going to be part of the norm, the author takes a little bit further.

This is such a clever story and one that I adored. There are some very hard to read parts of the story, again adding credibility to an at times harrowing read. It shows the good and the bad as well as the grey areas. If you like prison-based stories then this is one for you. It is a story that sort includes many genres from the obvious crime to the thriller, suspense and also partly psychological. It is a book that I do think will appeal to a great variety of readers. Tense, gritty, absorbing and definitely recommended.

It also includes a very insightful author note as the end. 

About the Author…

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 and his first title for Boldwood – the beginning of a series – The Snow Killer was published in November 2019.

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The Island by C.L. Taylor #TheIslandBook #YAThriller @HQStories #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by C.L. Taylor. It has been a while since I read one of Cally’s books, so I was really looking forward to this one. Aimed at Young Adult Readers it also works very well for Adults as well.

Here’s more…

Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My Review…

I really enjoyed this YA book and how the author approached fears and phobias through a group of teens alone on an island near Thailand.

The group of 6 have known each other all their lives, they have holidays every year. As they have grown up they have drifted apart somewhat, dynamics between each of them have altered. Tragedy has hit more than one of the group and this leads to a small void starting to encroach on the group.

A holiday on an island, a chance to get away under the supervision of a guide should be good for the group. However, when the guide dies things that had been kept hidden or controlled start to unravel. A sense of seeing beyond the mask if you like as the situation the teens find themselves in changes dramatically.

I really enjoyed the tense suspense of this novel and how the author explored the changing and challenging dynamics of the group. As they find themselves in disarray they also start to suspect that there is a danger stalking them. What or who this is they are not sure, who is to blame, who is playing games and what is to happen are questions that I needed to know the answers to as I read.

The isolation of the island adds to the sense of loneliness and separation. As I got to know each of the 6 better I began to realise that there is more than meets the eye, they are not quite the stable group I initially thought they were.

This is a really good tense, suspense ridden YA thriller and one that I really enjoyed. A good deal of mystery, intrigue and suspicion across the novel gives it that page-turner addiction. One I would recommend.

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