Dead Already by Tim Adler #DeadAlready @timadlerauthor @NightsBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Already by Tim Adler. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am looking ofrward to reading more. Huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this crime thriller.

Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

What if someone you accidentally killed came back to haunt you?

When the perfect crime results in the kidnap and murder of Megan, his only child, East End villain Mickey Speight is grief stricken. But now, nearly thirty years later, Megan sends a message to her father, gone-to-ground in present-day Margate.

As the messages from his dead daughter keep coming, Mickey teams up with a young American female therapist to discover whether this really is a voice from beyond the grave, or if somebody has loomed out of Mickey s past wanting revenge. Someone is fingering Mickey’s collar and Mickey doesn’t like it.

Mickey realises that he must haunt the old East End boozers, betting shops and strip clubs of his youth if he’s to find out what really happened to his daughter.

DEAD ALREADY is a psychological thriller that splices the ever-popular East End gangster genre with a ghost story; a cross between revenge thriller YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and supernatural horror DON T LOOK NOW.

Purchase from –

Amazon UKAmazon USWaterstonesFoyles

My Review…

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and my first outing was a really intriguing read and one that caught me unawares initially. I had read the synopsis for this book a long time ago when I decided to sign up for the Blog Tour because I really liked the idea of this story. Then I sat down to read and found myself somewhat confused as I struggled to get to grips with the story. I then re-read the synopsis and suddenly things that I had read started to make a lot more sense!

Where do East End London gangsters go when they want to start over, well Margate of course. Mickey Speight is such a villain, he has had a hard life, he hasn’t many friends and 30 years ago he watched his daughter die. Why is he now getting messages from her?

I liked this story a lot, especially after I read the synopsis! It is a timeslip novel that flits back and forth and really easy to follow as well. The past is in italics and fills in the history for the present-day story. The past is something that haunts Mickey but tells of what he has done.

I liked the way the author tackled the layout for the story because the information the reader needs for the past is gradually drip-fed throughout. It makes it easy to digest and it has been worked really. well.

The messages from the grave give an eerie feel to the book, but not scary though, in some ways it has a more sinister feeling and adds a psychological feel to the thriller aspect of the story. It has good pacing as I followed Mickey and the author deeper into the mystery.

This was a story that nagged at me when I wasn’t reading it, it is unfortunate that readers also have lives to get on with and are not always able to sit and read a book in one go all the time. I think it would have easily been a one or two sitting read. It is a book for those who like a bit of old school gangster mixed in with a modern crime mystery feel. A good thriller with a psychological dimension that made for very interesting reading and one that I would be happy to recommend.

About the Author…

Tim Adler is a journalist and former commissioning editor on the Daily Telegraph, who has also written for the Financial Times and The Times.

His debut self-published thriller Slow Bleed went to number one in the US Amazon Kindle psychological thriller chart. Its follow-up Surrogate stayed in the top 40 psychological thrillers for more than a year. Bestselling crime author Peter James said of Tim’s third novel Hold Still, “Adler’s engaging style and sharp pace kept me glued”.

The Sunday Times called Tim’s most recent nonfiction book The House of Redgrave “compulsively readable” while The Mail On Sunday called it “dazzling”. Tim’s previous book Hollywood and the Mob was Book of the Week in The Mail On Sunday and Critic’s Choice in the Daily Mail.

Tim is a former London Editor of Deadline Hollywood, the US entertainment news website.

Social Media links – TwitterFacebookWebsite

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The Chalet by Catherine Cooper #NetGalley @HarperCollinsUK #HarperFiction #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chalet by Catherine Cooper. I received an e-copy of this via NetGalley and all opinions are my own.

Let me show you what this debut is all about…

Synopsis…

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is a debut for this author and it had me hooked from the very first page and left me unable to put it down, I read it in one sitting.

The setting is a ski resort in the French Alps and flits back and forth between 2 timelines that are separated by 20-years. I like this back and forth style and the author used it very well to inject a mysterious and intriguing story.

20 years ago there was an accident as two men go out skiing and only one returns. In the present, the author brings in characters that may have a connection to the past, but exactly who they are and what their connection to the past is kept back from the reader.

I did have an inkling about one of the characters but I wasn’t completely sure and what the connection was but the build-up to the conclusion was brilliantly done. The author kept up the air of mistrust and gradually wove more details into the story.

I really enjoyed this story and how the author put it together, it was addictive and a joy to read. There are some serious subjects dealt with in this story and I thought the author dealt with these well. I am very interested to see what this author writes next as I really enjoyed this story.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it to readers who like a mysterious crime story that is full of doubt, mistrust and intrigue.

About the Author…

Catherine Cooper
Image and Bio taken from Amazon UK

I am a freelance journalist living in the South of France with my husband and two teenage children. We moved from London in 2009 so that the children could grow up bilingual and we could all ski more, and to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

I learned to ski on a school trip when I was 14 and have loved it ever since.

I’m an avid thriller reader and have been since I discovered Agatha Christie as a child.

The Chalet is my first published full-length novel, though I have also written several (unpublished) thrillers for teens and a (what used to be called) chick lit novel set in TV production.

Other than skiing and reading I love travel, rollercoaster, and I spend far too much time on social media. Some of my other favourite things include Alan Partridge, sparkly flip flops and salt and vinegar crisps.

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

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh #1) by Michelle Kidd #ThePhoenixProject @AuthorKidd @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Phoenix Project by Michelle Kidd. This is a fabulous break necked action packed read that was such a fabulous read and a brilliant start to a series.

I would like to thank 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 more about this book…

Synopsis…

How long can the past remain buried?

A simple message in a local newspaper. A set of highly sensitive documents left in the back of a London black cab. Both events collide to cause Isabel Faraday’s life to be turned upside down. Growing up believing her parents died in a car crash when she was five, Isabel learns the shocking truth; a truth that places her own life in danger by simply being a Faraday. Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh of the Metropolitan Police races against time to save her, and at the same time unravels long forgotten secrets involving MI5, MI6, the KGB and NASA. Secrets that have lain dormant for twenty years. Secrets worth killing for. With kidnap, murder and suicides stretching across four continents, just what is the Phoenix Project?

The Phoenix Project is the first Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh novel.

If you like a gripping page turner, with plenty of surprising twists, buy The Phoenix Project today to discover its secrets.

Purchase from Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

Wow, this is a fabulous break necked, action-packed read if ever there was one. This book was laid out so that I found it very easy to keep up with the numerous characters and also the ever-evolving plotline.

The synopsis is quite intriguing and gives little away apart from that fact that nothing is what it appears to be. the truth is not quite what it seems and this adds wonderfully to the overall tension and sense of suspicion right the way through the story.

Isabel Faraday is about to get her whole world turned upside down as she is told some shocking truths about who her parents are. This leads Isabel from London to France, things happen so fast she has barely time to get her head around what she has been told before she is plunged into a dangerous situation.

DI Jack Macintosh is one of the people who like to get the answers to all the questions and it is just as well because this case is about to go global with ramifications that will shake people at the top.

This was such a brilliantly fast-paced book that I just couldn’t put down. There are a couple of reasons why I think this worked so well for me. Firstly I do read quite a few thrillers that have conspiracy and governmental agencies involved, this one focused more on finding the truth rather than trying to work around agencies.

Also, there is not too much tech-speak or weaponry mentions. While this does work for me in books it is also nice to just get on with the story and not get caught up with what gun, what calibre and all the velocity stuff, instead I was able to get completely involved in the mystery unravelling. Believe me when I say there is a lot to unravel and the author has tackled this so well.

Cover-up, conspiracy, false identities, top-secret projects and finding out the real truth is what this story is all about. It would be very easy to get confused with the different threads and theories that are mentioned in this story but I never felt this at all. Everything followed and flowed really well and it made for such an enjoyable experience.

I really enjoyed this book and if you like crime, thriller, conspiracy and mystery reads then this is one you should definitely add to your list. A brilliant book that I would absolutely recommend.

About the Author…

Michelle Kidd is a self-published author known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels.

Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.

But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.

In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and had not looked back since. There are currently three DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fourth in progress.

Michelle works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order J

Bibliography:

The Phoenix Project (DI Jack MacIntosh book 1)

Seven Days (DI Jack MacIntosh book 2)

The Fifteen (DI Jack MacIntosh book 3)

Social Media: Twitter: Facebook: Website: Instagram

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Fifteen Coffins by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @BOTBSPublicity #PublicationDay #FifteenCoffins #BOTBSPublicity #crime #bookreview

I am absolutely over the moon to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today for Fifteen Coffins by Tony J Forder. Regular readers of my blog will probably be aware that Tony is an author who is a favourite of mine. He is usually associated with his highly successful DI Bliss series, Tony has taken a step away from his series and written another stand-alone book and I adored it a lot!

I would like to thank Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Tony’s latest book. Also to wish Tony a Happy Publication Day 😁

Synopsis…

From the bestselling author of the DI Bliss series comes an enthralling mystery thriller.

The truth can set you free – or bury you.

When FBI Agent Sydney Merlot returns to her home town in northern California to wind down her late father’s PI business, she soon finds herself on the wrong side of the aftermath of a high school shooting.

Sydney’s childhood friend – who is now county sheriff – plus the local PD, the mayor’s office, and most of the town’s inhabitants, are convinced the horror ended when the gunman was killed. Now they just want to be left alone to mourn. But Sydney has other ideas – and she is not alone.

While having to work through her own personal grief, Sydney is openly intimidated and receives anonymous threats. After discovering she is under surveillance, she begins to fear for her life. During her investigation, she gains several allies, but as the days pass, Sydney doesn’t know who to trust, and which new friends might actually turn out to be foes…

Purchase Links – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is one of my favourite authors and I adore his DI Bliss series so I was really looking forward to reading a book that is a step away from this series. Enter Sydney Merlot an FBI agent who has returned to her home to start to get her fathers Private Investigator business and house in order after his untimely death. A potential client of her fathers comes to her and asks if she would look into the case of his son. He was accused of being the gunman responsible for the deaths of 14 highschool children. He believes his son was a victim and not the one responsible.

I really enjoyed the intro to this new character from the author. Stepping away from the UK and onto US soil with different law enforcement agencies was a real treat. The usual suspense and twisted storyline that I have come to expect from this author is very evident, in some ways more so. I think taking a step away from his usual characters have almost given the author a free rein to explore different way s of investigating. With a change of country, it also opens up a different way of life than we are used to in the UK.

The story starts off as one that seems like a father not accepting his sons’ guilt, but there is something that grabs Syndey about his story that leads her to look further. This then begins the slope into something more than she bargained for. Coming home should be positive, but she wonders what has changed, who can she trust. I like the feeling that Sydney feels as she is spiralling and has trouble performing to her usual standard, it adds a realism to the story as after all she is still grieving for her father.

This is Sydney’s hometown, therefore she should feel confident about who she can trust. Things have changed, people have changed, they have different responsibilities, loyalties and priorities. Those she thought she could have banked on left her feeling unsure, this is really the tip of an iceberg. The author does a brilliant job with a sense of suspense and lurking danger.

I really enjoyed this book and I really hope this is top be the start of a new series. I like the character of Sydney, she is bull-headed, determined, stubborn and doesn’t take no for an answer if she thinks it should be a yes! A wonderful read and one that readers of crime and mystery will enjoy and it is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.


Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun.
In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California called Fifteen Coffins which was released just last November.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.


Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterAmazon AuthorGoodreadsFantastic Fiction

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Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @OneMoreChapter_ #DeadPerfect #crime #bookreview

Today I am delighted to share my review for Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten. This is the 3rd book in the series and another great read. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Bog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book.

Synopsis…

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

Dead Perfect continues where the previous book left off, with this in mind I do think it is a series that should be read in order, you could read it as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on a lot of detail.

DC Maggie Jamieson is the main character and when her boss calls her to say there is a body that looks like one of her friends Maggie does go into a spin. Frantically trying to get hold of Kate who is notorious for not having her mobile phone with her! Kate is found and the story unfolds of a body that has a very specific wound, not a pleasant one as there is not the level of blood and gore that some murders have, but still an unpleasant one!

The author uses more of a police approach to this story as it is a focus on the investigation from Maggie’s perspective that takes s precedence. The previous books have had more focus on inter-agency involvement in her stories, while other agencies are mentioned in this story they do take more of a backseat.

For Maggie though, this is more personal, Kate is a colleague and also a friend. The author does bring the insecurities and worries from the previous case into this one and injects doubts. Maggie feels under more pressure and finds that her temper is frayed, her mood is short and I think the feeling of being on the edge of overwhelmed has been done so well.

This is story has a much more personal feeling, it is a story that explores Maggie’s emotions as well as how Kate deals with a stalker. For Maggie, the emotions and strain are more evident as she works in a team and so interacts with more people. I should also mention that there is another voice, it pops up occasionally and it is that of the killer.

Now, I did get the identity pretty early on, and I didn’t waver on my initial thought. Yes, I was right but the full extent of the why the crimes were committed was a revelation. It is a story about the journey rather than the who did it.

This is a police-procedural murder mystery book and one that general crime readers would definitely enjoy. I did and therefore I would recommend it.

About the Author…

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter : Twitter : FacebookBlog FB pageWebsiteBookbub Author page

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After today I am taking a short break from social media so I will see you all soon 🙂 xx

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

One Fatal Night by Helene Fermont @HeleneFermont #OneFatalNight @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for One Fatal Night by Helene Fremont on the final day of the Blog Tour My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book/ Let me show you what it’s all about…

Synopsis…

One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.

Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.

Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.

As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.

If you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Debbie Howells, you’ll love this character driven thriller with a noir edge.

Purchase from…

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2F4wV4Y

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2GEkAVN

NOOK: https://bit.ly/2ZdQajz

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2F9kNzR

My Review…

This book has quite a curious start. Astrid is flirting with her boss Daniel and as it goes further the author brings a sense of revulsion into play from Astrid’s perspective. Astrid has ulterior motives for getting close to this man. Daniel’s second in command as such is Joel, he is head of security and also the two have been best mates for years.

The story of the past is gradually revealed in this fast-paced mystery thriller. I was soon quickly turning the pages as I greedily wanted to know more about why and how the characters in this story are connected.

Now, I did mention it was fast-paced, at times I felt it was a little too fast, not a criticism as such but I would have liked a little more. I found the jumps between the links came a little too thick and fast and this gave the impression of it being too coincidental. Putting that aside though it was very addictive reading and I did think the story was well presented.

The author does touch on some hard subjects, and I am glad that not too many details were described, enough to give a basic idea of awful acts being committed. The author instead focused more on how these acts gave certain characters a reason for why they behave as they do now.

This is quite a gritty mystery thriller read, it is a shortish story, more a novella that I read over the course of an afternoon. A fast, suspense-filled, mysterious story set in Norway that I think readers will enjoy and I would happily recommend.

About the Author…

Hélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.

Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.

Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/helenefermont

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helenefermontauthor/

Website: https://www.helenefermont.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helenefermont/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15484308.Helene_Fermont

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The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs is the last book I read as part of my #20booksofsummer reading challenge and what a book to end the challenge with !!!!! It has taken me a month to get the final reviews posted, but better late than never!

Before I get carried away, let me show you what this book is about…

Synopsis…

Soon to be a major Netflix Original series and perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes’s You
__________________________
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO FIND THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

You can get a copy of this and other books by John Marrs HERE

My Review…

I have seen several readers rave about this book in various book groups on Facebook and thought yeah it’s about time I read it. I should have read this when I first bought it as it is such an amazing book to read.

The basic premise is that a gene in human DNA has been identified and it is now possible to find your perfect match, the love of your life, your soul mate.

So is science a sure-fire way of finding the person you are meant to be with? Is this cheating fate if you are led to the one or does fate still have a hand in the natural way of things? I really enjoyed the various different ways that this subject has been expanded on. Some of the scenarios mentioned are what if you are matched with someone of the same sex, what if you are already in a relationship and find that your DNA shows it is not the one. What if there are other problems of a medical kind? These are the tip of an ice-berg that took a wonderful slippery path around the possibilities.

I adored the way the author approached various themes in his story. Introducing and exploring the characters and what makes them tick, but more importantly gradually drawing their secrets out. There is a whole lot of twist in this book and I loved the journey with some unexpected revelations and surprises.

I really enjoyed this fictional look at love and human nature. Secrets, shocks, surprises all wrapped up in such a wonderfully gripping and addictive story. A mix of mystery, crime, psychological, contemporary and basically a really cracking read that left me wishing I had read it when I first bought it. I would most definitely recommend this book.

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

Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming #20booksofsummer #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Raven’s Gathering by Graeme Cumming. This was one of the books I added to my #20booksofsummer reading list, and yes, I am still playing catch-up on the reviews. Raven’s Gathering was a fabulous read and let me show you more about it…

Synopsis…

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.

“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but their unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. And no one can explain why the ravens are gathering.

Ravens Gathering twists and turns as the truth is gradually exposed in a gripping thriller with a supernatural edge to it.

You can get your own copy from Amazon, HERE is the link to his Author Page 🙂

My Review…

I went into this book blind, by this I mean I didn’t read the synopsis immediately prior to starting it so I was unsure what to expect. From a dark, eerie and very creepy start, it took me on a journey that I found myself very quickly wrapped up in.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I have to say I really enjoyed it as it crossed genres. A mix of suspense, family secrets a little fantasy and a sense of an underlying ominous sense of something nasty lurking around the edges.

The main character is Martin Gates, he has returned to his childhood home after being away for many years. He hasn’t been in touch with his family in all this time. So his arrival is tinged with a sense of nervousness and also apprehension. Returning to a village community I would expect to see something along the lines of being asked how you are, or its been a while but no. Not in this village. Strangers are met with a silence and wariness that borders on being almost hostile. The only spirit is found in the pub in a bottle, a pub that falls silent when unknown people enter.

The author built up such a sense of foreboding and an air of suspense with this story as I was unsure what was actually happening and what route the story would take. But through this, I was still hooked on the atmospherics, the mistrust, the strange occurrences and too many coincidences. It was further into the story that I began to see how the various threads were gradually linked together. It led me to a story that was dark, secretive, mysterious and quite creepy.

This was such a good book to read as I really enjoyed the suspense that was woven through along with the eerie atmosphere. As I read, I was aware that there were many things that were unknown to me, but the author did a fantastic job of gradually filling in the gaps and also putting back on the right track when I was caught out by the red herrings.

A wonderful book that is a mix of things but one that absolutely captured my attention so that I read it over two sittings. A book that ticked many boxes for me and one that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from Graeme’s Amazon Page

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas. 
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

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

Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp #20booksofsummer #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp. I have had this book in my tbr for a year or more, I had seen some reviews and decided rather than buy the latest book (at the time) I would start at the beginning. I decided it had lingered long enough and this is why this book was one of my picks for #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

Purchase links from Amazon (these are affiliate links) KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio CD

My Review…

This is the first book in the Charlies Fox series by Zoe Sharp. This is also the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say Charlie is a fabulous character.

Charlie Fox is a no-nonsense woman who teaches self-defence to women. She is confident and comes across as a very sure person. There is a good amount of mystery behind her and some of it has been included in this, story, but I feel there is more her than I have seen so far.

The plot involves Charlie as another body is discovered at a nightclub that she has just been to with her friend and involves an altercation. This is the start of a very twisted road that the author takes not only her main character but also her reader upon.

The further the story progressed the more I got to see of Charlie, what makes her tick, her friendships and there is also a sense of vulnerability that comes with being let down in the past. It makes her a very interesting character that has a sense of loneliness about her at times.

A fabulous first book and one that is intriguing and with a character that I really like the sound of. The plot is a good fast-paced one with Charlie string to join all the dots to discover who is behind the crimes. She is in some ways a one-woman sleuth, but she is no Miss Marple, she is tough, can be dangerous but has a level head on her shoulders. Yeah, a little on the moody side, but then who doesn’t have a moment like that.

AS I mentioned this is the first book and there are quite a few more in this series that I am definitely looking forward to reading. If you like an excellent good fast-paced crime with a strong female lead that has full-throttle action then you really do need to have a look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from the Authors Amazon Page

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father’s suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.

It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.

“I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn’t find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own.”

She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.

Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website — http://www.ZoeSharp.com — on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp).

Check out all of Zoe’s books on her Amazon Author Page

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

Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor #3 DS Malice series #crime #publicationday #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman. This is the 3rd book in the DS Malice series and it always makes me wonder how this authors mind works, he comes up with wonderfully dark plots and his latest book is no exception!

My huge thanks to Karen Ashman for sending me an e-ARC of Rob’s latest book. My thoughts are completely my own and unbiased.

Oh! I should also say, “Happy Publication Day to you Rob” 🙂

Synopsis…

Valerie Riggs lets the coin rule her life. Every decision is based upon a game of chance, even the decision to kill. She trusts the coin to keep her safe … it’s never let her down.

DS Khenan Malice is called to attend a clear case of suicide. But all is not what it seems. Then his world is turned upside down by a casual remark. The worst thing is … the remark comes from his seven-year-old daughter.

DC Kelly Pietersen is close to breaking point. The ghosts of recent events won’t leave her alone. She’s about to snap and someone is going to get hurt.

Valerie is always one step ahead … the coin knows best.

Purchase from Amazon – KindlePaperback (these are Amazon affiliate links)

My Review…

Right from the start, I am going to say I am a big fan of this series. DS Mally and Detective Pieterson are a brilliant combination. They both have their issues and Pieterson is really struggling to come to terms with events from the last book. While this is a continuation of a previous storyline, this book could be read as a standalone but to, for the bigger picture reading in order is definitely advised.

So, Heads or Tails. The first thing that comes to mind is flipping a coin. How bad can that be? Well, the person flipping the coin has real darkness behind them and depending on whether the coin lands on heads or tails it will provide an answer. To simplify this, heads I will have milk in my coffee, tails I will not. Now, take this down the rabbit hole that Rob Ashman and his writing take us and you get a whole different set of questions and the outcomes are dark, well thought out and definitely macabre and so devious.

This coin flipping reminded me of a book by Luke Rhinehart – The Dice Man, I read this book years ago and it really stuck with me. The premise is similar in as much as the role of a dice dictated an outcome, so in some ways similar to Heads or Tails. But the route this author has taken is very twisted and takes so many turns, throws quite a few red herrings for the investigation as well as the reader.

The author managed to portray a sense of frustration that this difficult investigation took. The dead ends and unanswered questions seem to be never-ending and when they think they are on the right track along comes another curveball to send them almost back to the start.

This is not a straight-forward police procedural it is much deeper than that it pulls in other agencies and things could have very easily got complicated. But the skill of the author really shows when dealing with a series of subplots and how he has worked them so for me as a reader the reading is so effortless. There is such an addictive flow to the overall story that I didn’t realise the time ticking away as I was engrossed

This is a police procedural but there is also much more to it than that. It has a psychological aspect that adds darkness to it, there are various subplots that kept me turning the pages. A wonderful next instalment in this series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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.

Follow Rob on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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