A Cut for a Cut (Detective Kate Young #2) by Carol Wyer #ACutForACut #DetectiveKateYoung @carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #PublicationDay #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for A Cut for a Cut by Carol Wyer. This is the second book in the Detective Kate Young series. I read and loved the first book, An Eye for an Eye (full review HERE)and this second is also totally brilliant.

My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book via NetGalley.

I also want to take the opportunity to wish Carol a very Happy Publication Day xx

DI Kate Young can’t trust anybody. Not even herself.

In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.

DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?

When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

Having read and loved the first book in this series, An Eye For An Eye I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second Detective Kate Young book. And Wow! what a story!

The author does fill in details about Kate and her life from the first book, but in all honesty, I would recommend reading the first book to get a proper idea of what Kate has been and is currently dealing with.

It is often the case that the lead detectives in fiction do have some trouble or scarring from their pasts. With Kate, however, this is something that she is not over dealing with, she is constantly reminded of her loss. I am not going to delve into this too much, but what the author did with this thread at the end of the book left me with goosebumps and also worried about Kate! Such a subtle sentence!

The case itself is brutal. A woman found dead with the word MINE carved into her skin is only the start of the investigation. Having only a small team at her disposal keeps Kate on the back foot to a certain extent. Lacking the resources but still having the pressure from those above doesn’t help her but her tenacity is something that keeps her going.

As the case intensifies the intrigue is built upon. Occasional italicised chapters add a very tense edge giving a more brutal, chilling psychological side to the story.

There is so much I want to say about the case, Kate’s personal life and the story in general. It is a brilliantly woven story and I am only just touching the edge of what happens. Fear of leaving spoilers and ruining it for those who have not yet read this is keeping this review vague.

With a personal story, a family reunion, pressure from the hierarchy it is a wonder Kate holds everything together. Is she holding it together or is she just hanging on? This is where the author has worked some magic, keeping Kate juggling so many things.

This is a brilliantly worked second book in the series and one that had me gripped. It is brutal, chilling, carefully worked and just amazing reading. One for those who like a gritty, crime, thriller and one I would very definitely recommend.

About the Author…

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

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

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.

When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

Social Media:

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The Heeding by Rob Cowen and Nick Hayes @robbiecowen @nickhayesillus1 @eandtbooks @alisonmenziespr #poetry #illustration #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Heeding, a book of poetry written by Rob Cowen and illustrated by Nick Hayes. This is a gorgeous book and one that I wish to thank Alison at Eliot & Thompson for sending me for review.

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“Rob Cowen, the acclaimed poet and nature writer and author of Common Ground, joins forces with printmaker Nick Hayes for this luminous sequence of poems, which forms a meditation on our relationship with the natural world through four seasons of a global pandemic” 

Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller – Editor’s Choice 

These two bestselling and award-winning writers on landscape were brought together for the first time by the Lockdown and this stunning book is the result.   

Published on the anniversary of the end of the first lockdown (21st June), The Heeding paints a picture of a year caught in the grip of history, yet filled with revelatory perspectives close at hand: from a sparrowhawk hunting in a back street, the moon over a town or butterflies massing in a high-summer yard, to remembrances of moments that shape a life. Collecting birds, animals, trees and people together, and surfacing memories along the way, it becomes a profound meditation on a time no-one will forget.

My Review…

What a wonderful book of poetry this was to sit and read. I do like reading poetry but sometimes I can feel lost or out of my depth. The Heeding however is a collection I could totally understand and also nod knowingly along with.

The author wrote these poems during the lockdown, this is something everyone experienced and therefore it means everyone has some similar shared experiences. I think this is what in some ways goes towards making this a relatable collection.

During the lockdown, many things happened that were not necessarily pandemic related. So getting out into the garden or an allotment, being out in nature and also experiences from the authors past.

The poetry is illustrated in such a striking way. They are blocky, eye-catching and so poignant and this makes them so very relatable. Turning a page after finishing reading a poem to discover a bold illustration that sums up the poem brilliantly. They really compliment the words.

This is a mix of poems, some happy and made me chuckle, some slower and almost story-like that took a little more thinking about and some are heartbreaking. It is a collection that I think if you were to sit and go through you would definitely find one if not several that you could relate to somehow.

I sat and read two or three poems a night over several nights. This gave me time to think about them and digest them, occasionally reading some of them twice.

A wonderfully presented book that has a great introduction, and is one that I will treasure. A book that I can keep coming back to and one that I would very definitely recommend.

About the Author

Rob Cowen is an award-winning writer, hailed as one of the UK’s most original voices on nature and place. His book, Common Ground (2015) was shortlisted for the Portico, Richard Jefferies Society and Wainwright Prizes and voted one of the nation’s favourite nature books on BBC Winterwatch. His poems have featured on Caught By The River and in Letters to the Earth (Harper Collins). He lives in North Yorkshire.  

About the Illustrator…

Nick Hayes is a writer, illustrator and print-maker. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, The Book of Trespass (2020).  He has exhibited across the country, including at the Hayward Gallery. He lives on the Kennet and Avon canal.  

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

The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry @JaneCorryAuthor @VikingBooksUK #thriller #TheLiesWeTell #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry. I have read all of this authors books and very much enjoyed them all. The Lies We Tell is a fabulous tense read and has just become my favourite book by this author.

My thanks to Viking Books UK for my advance copy that I requested for review. It is the kindle Publication Day today, with the paperback being published on 24th.

WHAT IF YOUR SON HAD MURDERED SOMEONE?

Sarah always thought of herself and her husband, Tom, as good people. But that was before their son Freddy came home saying he’d done something terrible. Begging them not to tell the police.

Soon Sarah and Tom must find out just how far they are willing to push themselves, and their marriage, to protect their only child . . .

As the lies build up and Sarah is presented with the perfect opportunity to get Freddy off the hook, she is faced with a terrifying decision . . .

Save her son . . . or save herself?

My Review…

This is an author whose books I will automatically read. Her latest book is amazing! How far would a mother go to protect her son? How far would a father go to do the same thing? Sarah and Tom will soon discover this when their son Freddie walks in one night stating that he has killed someone.

This book is told from the alternating perspective of the parents. The first two chapters are from Sarah, and then the book begins with Part one. This section goes back to when Sarah and Tom met, their relationship and their lives as being a couple and then a family. It continues through for just over half of the book. The second part of the story is from Sarah’s perspective.

This was a fabulous book and one that definitely needed the 500 to get across the whole story. The first part was great as it built up a background of Tom and Sarah, their views, their opinions and also their ways and habits. Being a couple changed when Freddie was born. Tom and Sarah had things in their pasts that had been discussed, but it turns out that not everything was laid on the table.

Using the first half of the book to discuss the dynamics of the family was a brilliant way of getting to know the characters. The author used this to great effect. There were also some italicised paragraphs that brought in other names. This helped to add more intrigue into the story and I thought added more suspicion.

The second section was equally addictive, it showed how Sarah reacted after Freddie’s admission and why she did what she did. But, this section becomes twisted and so devious as more things are revealed. I am not going into much detail about his part of the book but the author had me dangling from every word. I thought the first part was brilliant, the second part blew my socks off!

This is a book that covers a few genres, so while it is contemporary fiction as it deals with the family. It is also a mystery as details are uncovered and also a crime because, after all, Freddie has admitted to killing someone. It has a tense thriller feel to it and is just brilliant reading.

This was such an addictive read, it was a book that I devoured over two sittings and did not want to put down. A fabulous book about family, about protecting the ones you love and admitting when you are wrong. This would appeal to many readers and it is one I would very definitely recommend.

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

The Autumn Tree by Tony Forder @TonyJForder #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the latest book from one of may favourite authors. The Autumn Tree by Tony Forder is the latest in the DI Bliss series and boy oh boy is it a good one!

My thanks to Tony for my e-copy of this book and for a spot on his Blog Tour.

When dark desires have no limitations, anything is fair game.

After a young woman is found strangled to death, Bliss is called to the scene. When he learns that one of his business cards was found among the victim’s clothing, and he is told what was written on the back of it, Bliss is immediately troubled. The card was one of five he handed out to trafficked young women he and his team had previously rescued from a shipping container.

When he sees the victim, Bliss realises she was not one of those saved that day. So whose card does she have? Any why? And is it connected to her murder?

The murder investigation proves to be more complex and challenging than the team could possibly have imagined. But just as they think they have it figured out, they learn that depravity has no boundaries…

My Review…

Oh! I am a little speechless after reading the 8th book in the DI Bliss series. Wow! I never read the synopsis for these Bliss books as I have read every single book in the series. So I went into this one completely blind.

The author didn’t hold any punches with this story, it does have a theme that continues from a previous book, that being said you could, I suppose, read this latest instalment as a stand-alone. You would however be missing out on an outstanding series.

DI Jimmy Bliss is currently DS Bliss due to being demoted. This kind of gives the story an additional twist. Rather than being the team’s figurehead, he is now one of the floor guys is you like. The thing with Bliss and the rest of the team is the huge respect they have for each other and the closeness that has come with working together. The roles may have changed but the players are still the same, and there is an additional player who comes with strings!

A case is taken over by Bliss, this is due to a past case and why there are strings. The past involves people trafficking and the author has run further with the story in this latest book. This is one of the tougher stories I have read by this author, tougher because of the nature and content of the crimes involved. While the author does go into some detail, he does it in the context of the story.

The story involves such a complex case that has clues coming in left right and centre, all random and with no sort of order or focus. This is then made more complex when another case is also added to the pot. Realising that they have not got time on their side adds pressure.

The author has taken several threads and wonderfully woven them to create a very dark case for the team. Due to the closeness of the team, there is some banter and humour that does break the tension, not only for the characters but also the reader. It gave me a chance to take a big breath before continuing on several times.

The author absolutely knows the bones of his characters. As a reader I have to remind myself that they are not real people, they are characters. The author has given Bliss such a lot to deal with, but deal with it he has. Being an older character I was interested to see poor Bliss feeling his age, and dare I say contemplating his future.

This is one of the darker stories from this author and one that has a gritty and intense feel to it. Not for those who are looking for a cosy crime but one for the hard, crime thriller readers. A fabulous addition to the series and once again the author has left me wondering what will come next! One I would very definitely recommend, it was brilliant.

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Family by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted today to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for Family by Owen Mullen. This is an author who I have read and featured on my Blog a few times. Although I have not read all of his books, the ones I have read I have thoroughly enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot ont he Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Owen’s latest book.

I really like the cover of this book, it does subtly capture some of the essence of the story. Here’s more about it…

Family – might be the death of you…

The Glass family business is crime, and they’re good at what they do. Vengeance took Luke Glass behind bars – but now he’s free and he’s never going back. Luke wants out of the gangster life – all he has to do is convince his family to let him go.

His brother holds the reins of the South London underworld in his brutal hands – nobody tells Danny Glass no and expects to live – not even DCI Oliver Stanford, bent copper and one of the Met’s rising stars. The way Danny sees it, his younger brother and sister Nina owe him everything. The price he demands is loyalty, and a war with their arch enemy gives him the leverage he needs to tie Luke to the family once more.

Luke can’t see a way out, until Danny commits a crime so terrible it can’t be forgiven. Love turns to hate when secrets are unearthed which pit brother against brother. Left with no choice but to choose a side, Nina holds the fate of the family in her hands.

In the Glass family, Owen Mullen has created a crime dynasty to rival the Richardsons and the Krays. Heart-pounding, jaw-dropping with non-stop action, Family is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

If you like a tough, hard-hitting gangland crime thriller then look no further than Family by Owen Mullen. This book really does take the reader into a dark, dangerous and criminal world of the Glass family. This gangland family is run by Danny, older brother to Luke and Nina. Danny is responsible for raising his younger siblings and they have a lot to be thankful for, but how far that gratitude stretches is anyone’s guess.

This book is very addictive, I mean really addictive and I was pretty much hooked within a couple of chapters. The main character is Luke, and it’s through him that I got an idea of how the family was run, the controls, the loyalties and also how people changed during the years he spent in prison. Luke had wanted to break free from the family business, but Danny is not having that.

Danny is a character who you don’t say “No” to, you agree with him and do as he says no ifs no buts. Nina, not so much a main character but one that does have a smaller role to play, she gives another perspective on what it is like to be a member of the Glass family.

As this is a gangland crime thriller there are certain things I do kind of expect, such as corruption, feuds, infighting, and the obvious criminal and murderous elements. This book definitely fills all those criteria and then some. The author has twisted this story in such a brilliant way that it definitely kept me on my toes with its fast pace and unique characters. Fast-paced it definitely is and I had to keep turning pages.

The characters are brilliant and I do think this is something that this author really does excel with, providing a realistic set of characters that all have their own traits. He weaves the stories of the characters really well and at no point to you get a feeling of something not quite working, for me, everything just flows seamlessly to create a wonderful read.

This is a dark story, there is violence, there is murder, there is drama, there are hopes and dreams. The body count rises, the corrupt coppers are having their hands forced, the net is tightening and who is still standing at the end I will leave you to discover.

This is a book that could easily be the first in a series or trilogy. Even though there is a satisfactory ending, I have to admit, to not wanting this to be the last time I meet some of the characters. This is one for hard-boiled crime readers who love a gangland thriller story. Excellent book and one I would Very Definitely recommend.

About the Author…

When he was ten years old, Owen Mullen won a primary schools short story competition and didn’t write another word for four decades. One morning he announced he was going to write a book. He did. Since then he has written seven. Owen was born in Coatbridge, a few miles from Glasgow, where the Charlie Cameron stories take place, and where he ran a successful design and marketing business. A late developer, he has a Masters degree from Strathclyde University which he got in his forties. In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. People tell him he enjoyed himself and he has no reason to doubt them. The journey from rocker to writer has been a fascinating experience and the similarities between the music and book industries, never cease to amaze him. His passions are travel, food and Arsenal Football Club. A gregarious recluse, he now splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete, along with his wife, Christine.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube BookBub

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The Captive by Deborah O’Connor @ZaffreBooks #NetGalley #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Captive by Deborah O’Connor. This is such a brilliant book and, well I’m going to stop there and show you what the book is about first…

Hannah knows the cage intimately. Small, the size of a shopping mall parking space. A bed, a basin, a table and chair. A hatch and metal drawer through which to exchange food and other items.

Then there’s him. Always there on the edges of her vision, no matter how hard she tries to block him out.

Every day, the same thoughts run through Hannah’s mind:

What if he speaks to me?

What if he hurts me?

What if he gets out?

My Review…

Oh, this is so good! I love the concept of this book and I have to say the author has done a brilliant job with weaving a story around a country with no prisons. Yeah, you read that right, No Prisons! What you have instead is a money-saving scheme by the Government, obviously, and the prisoners now live in a cell in the victims home!

I cannot think of anything worse than having to face the person who killed your partner or loved one on a daily basis. Or being their keeper, making sure they are fed, clean, have access to phone calls and basically being part of your everyday life. This is known as restorative justice. While I do understand victims wanting to voice their feelings to those who committed the crime, having them live their sentence out in your own home is taking things to the next level. I mean spending 20 years living together. This is what Hannah, the main character has to do with Jem, the man who murdered her husband.

I do think they are several routes the author could have gone with this plot, it is only now after I have read the book that I can see this though. I have to say that the author decided on a brilliant route and got me completely hooked in the story of Hannah, her life as it was and is now. Having Jem in the house when she works at home definitely would test anyone.

This is a book that has a basic synopsis, it gives you a simple idea and then the author works her magic. It has a chilling edge to it with loads of intrigue and it also kept me on my toes with changing attitudes as the story went further. I am not divulging anything more about the plot, even though I seriously want to!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and it is one for those who like a domestic noir edge, who likes a book with a good sense of intrigue, mystery and that gets you thinking about possible scenarios after you have finished the book. I mean can you imagine being in lockdown under this system! Sorry I digress yet again!

Excellent concept, brilliant story and very definitely recommended.

P.S. I don’t think I have ever used so many !!!!!!’s in a review before!

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