The Chalk Man by C.J.Tudor @cjtudor #BookReview

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I have my thoughts on The Chalk Man by C.J.Tudor on my blog today. I had heard so many good things about this book from loads of fellow Book Bloggers that I really needed to read it myself. It is available in various formats and a paperback version is due out August 23rd and published by Penguin Books.

Synopsis:

You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.

He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.

Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.

Is history going to repeat itself?

Was it ever really over?

Will this game only end in the same way?

My Thoughts:

This is told from the perspective of Eddie in a dual timeline format, it flickers back and forth between 2016 and 1986. A mysterious letter brings back a host of memories of the summer 30 years ago. A summer of friends and friendship, family, a body and the Chalk Man.

This is a story that gradually gets under your skin in a creepy and eerie way as the past events unfold. I think it has more of an effect as it is from the characters as children as they are caught within the story. I loved this gang of kids, Eddie, Fat Gav, Hoppo, Metal Mickey and Nicky, they are your typical kids growing up in the 80’s, my era. A time of long hot summers, dens, mischief, finding their own fun, out playing for hours with no worries. Something I could identify with.

There are various threads running through the story and so you get to know more of the kids, their families and the dynamics between them. There is a saying that goes along the lies of “you never know what goes on behind closed doors”, it is very apt for this story.

The thing that really stood out for me about this story was the real sense of time and place for the kids. The language, the activities and games they played and secret coded messages, going round to call on friends. Then as I was reminiscing with my own childhood the author began to weave a sense of danger and apprehension in such a way that I could sense something coming. I love this sense of hairs raising, spine tingling and I have to make a real effort to slow my reading down a little as I am so eager to see what is coming.

The part of the story of 2016 is just as unsettling in the respect that as an adult there are things we like to know, for example if you got sent a letter regarding something from your past you would want to know why it had been sent and by who, and also why would the past be dragged back up again. Unless of course the past hadn’t actually been dealt with properly.

That is all I am giving you, I’m not going to go into details about the plot it would be wrong to spoil anything.Just take my word for it when I say that it most definitely worth reading, especially if you are a fan of psychological thrillers.

I loved this book, it had not only a great story line but was so well described, captivating and gave a sense of unease and suspense. An absolutely cracking, spine-tingler of a book and one I would highly, highly recommend.

If you are unsure about buying this then have a look at how other authors describe it.

‘If you like my stuff, you’ll like this’ STEPHEN KING

‘Wonderfully creepy – like a cold blade on the back of your neck’ LEE CHILD
‘[I] haven’t had a sleepless night due to a book in a long time. The Chalk Man changed that’ Fiona Barton, bestselling author of The Widow and The Child

‘Completely engrossing. Reminiscent of those unsettling Stephen King stories of childhood’ John Boyne author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

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

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My Summer Reading List.

Plans for my summer reading.

As some of you may be aware I am planning on taking a break from Blog Tours over the three months of the summer as work gets crazily busy, I work in a tourist destination and this means long hours and not much time for reading. Even though this was a tough call to make it was also the best call, this way I am not letting any organisers down if I struggle to meet a schedule, also it means I am not rushing to read a book and possibly not enjoying it as much as I should.

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As well as working I do like to get out in my garden, mainly vegetables and some flowers, walking around beautiful Cornwall gardens, coastline and hidden away places. I always have a book with me and my camera.

Then there are my two dogs Billy and Buster, I couldn’t resist putting them in this post. They alert me to the postman/woman arriving so I can intercept (this translates as hides some of the books hehehe) the books that I have bought or been sent 🙂

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So I thought I would make a list of the books that are at the top of my list from my TBR, I have photo’s “woohoo” so you see my physical books and then I will mention some of the books on my kindle. I am obviously not going to be able to read all the books that I am going to list, but it will be great to look back and see how I got on.

So here they are:

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Now to those I have on my Kindle:

I have managed to buy various book series on my kindle and the vast majority are from recommendations and reviews from fellow Book Bloggers. The series I really want to read are

Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone series. I have heard so many good things about this author and I’m really looking forward to reading this series. ( I know I will get many “about time” comments about this lol)

Barbara Copperthwaite: I was over the moon to have won a copy of “Flowers for The Dead” and it is an amazing read. I have since bought all her other books and I am desperate to read them all.

I love the covers and the sound of Bella Osbourne’s “Ottercombe Bay” series and have quite a few of these ready for the odd sunny summers day reading that I may get.

I have been collecting Karin Slaughter books and as yet have not read any, so another new to me author that I am excited to read.

I don’t know if I dare mention that I have not read any Anne Cleaves (Oh I know the shame of it), my husband loves to watch the series Vera and I must admit to following it and cannot wait to get into these and the Shetland ones.

So as you are all responsible for this rather large Kindle (1,122) and also physical books (500+) it will probably be increasing rather than decreasing, as there are some fantastic books coming out. I have a couple of questions for you…….

  1. What book/ series would you start with ?
  2. What is not on my list that should be ? ( I cannot believe I am asking this as I know I will be adding even more to my groaning TBR 🙂  )

 

Any hows, I have to go to work ( surprise, surprise) and I will catch up with you all later. Have fun and read lots

Yvonne xx

#BlogBlitz : Faceless by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor : @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook #NetGalley : #Faceless #BookReview

Rob Ashman - Faceless_cover_high res.jpgToday I am delighted to be sharing “Faceless” by Rob Ashman for the blog blitz for Bloodhound Books. My thanks to Sarah  for my copy and spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined…

My Thoughts:

I have not read anything by this author yet but I do have a couple of his books on my kindle ear-marked to read over the next few months. Hosting a spot on the blitz meant I would definitely read the book for my agreed spot rather than it nestling in my ever-increasing TBR. I am so glad I made this decision.

Faceless is a fantastic, jaw-dropping journey as I was introduced to DI Roz Kray. My god this is a character who has been through the mill it is explained through the story. The way other senior members and colleagues treat her is despicable and the story is not just about the investigation she is on but, also about her battle with departmental attitudes. She is a character I immediately liked with her quirky ways and her stubborn bloody mindedness. The author gives enough history on her so that you get a real idea of what makes her tick.

There are other characters who you soon realise are sleazeballs, power trippers and there are also a smattering of good guys. A copper with a demon. As for the baddie…. he is twisted, evil and then some as I soon discovered as the story was developed and things start falling into place.

The plot is kicks off at a pretty quick pace and the author has not held back. A few f-words escaped my lips and a couple of variations of said word also joined in. The story has twists and a superb sense of suspense and edge of the seat feel to it, with an underlying darkness that gripped me.

If you like your police procedural crime thrillers dark and evil then this is definitely a book for you. It is a story that has shocks and the odd graphic scene, cosy mystery it ain’t so be warned! I would highly recommend this book it is a bloody fantastic read and I did not want it to end.

About the Author:

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

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

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

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.

Rob published the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books in 2017 and will be releasing three new books during 2018. These are titled: Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution.

Links:  Twitter – Facebook –  Website

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#BlogTour : The Old You by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 : @OrendaBooks @annecater : #BookReview #TheOldYou

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I am delighted to be finally sharing my thoughts on “The Old You” by Louise Voss as part of the tour by Anne Cater at Random Things Tours with Orenda Books and my biggest thanks go to them for my spot and copy of the book. The Old You is available from Amazon UK in eBook and Paperback formats.

Synopsis:

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

My Thoughts:

How would you deal with your husband gradually loosing himself to early onset dementia? Personally it is something I hope never to have to experience though I know people who have had to deal with it. The author takes dementia and how it impacts not only the sufferer but those around them. Then she takes it on a route that I never saw coming as she took me on a suspense filled and breathtaking journey.

The start of this book really sets up the life of Lynn and Ed as I followed then through the diagnosis and how Lynn can see how their lives will change. My heart went out to both of these characters initially, please note the word “initially” as this believe you me when I say that my thoughts definitely made a massive u-turn!

The story does have a slight time slip element as I got to learn about Lynn in her life before she met Ed and how she met him. I almost dropped my book at this point, and from that point on the sinister and frighteningly realistic story really starts to make itself felt.

I want to say that I had a little hint of a something in the story, but as I reflect back I didn’t work anything out, the author just played games as she let teasing little pieces of information out. By the end of the book I was a little stunned, i should add in a good way, and it took me quite a while to write my review on paper as I was trying to work out what I had read. The twists and jaw dropping realisation that the author has managed to work into this story is brilliant. The plot is devious and manipulative as I learnt, experienced and saw through Lynn’s eyes what was happening around her.

This is a book that caught my attention from the get go and subtlety drew me into a world that was addictive and a real eye opener. By the end of the story my thoughts on the characters had changed so much. If you want a story with a definitely sinister, dark, manipulative and psychologically twisted route then this is the book for you. Billed as having a feel of Hitchcock and a domestic noir, and yes I completely agree with this. It is an addictive and brilliant read, one I would Highly Recommend it is an absolute cracker.

About the Author:

Louise VossOver her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had books out via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and Harper Collins), to digital-only (the Amazon-owned Thomas & Mercer) and self-publishing – she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon back in 2011. She has had eleven novels published in total, five solo and six co-written, a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. Louise has an MA(Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

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#BlogTour : Stench by AB Morgan @AliMorgan2304 : @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 : #NeyGalley #Stench #BookReview

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I am sharing my thoughts on “Stench” by AB Morgan as part of the Blog Blitz by Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books. Many thanks for my copy that I received via NetGalley. Stench can be purchased from Amazon UK in paperback and eBook format.

Synopsis:

Rory Norton didn’t always make his living as a motorbike instructor and he went to great lengths to leave his past life behind, to start again.

He thought he had succeeded, until the body of a missing woman is discovered under the floor of his cottage. Only then do the guilt and shame of his wife’s mysterious, untimely death and the accusations about his connection to the missing woman combine to break him.

The question is not how the missing woman died but why, and who is responsible?

Sometimes the truth stinks.

My Thoughts:

Ali Morgan is an author I am becoming quite familiar with as I have taken part in a few of the Blog Tours for her books. She is becoming an author that I agree to reading without paying too much attention to the book, now I know that sounds bad but it isn’t really, what I mean is she is an author I will read as I know I will get a story that I will enjoy.  Stench is no exception.

I thought the title was a bazaar choice as I started this story, but by the end I realised actually it is a really good choice of title, there are various meanings behind the title and it makes perfect sense. The author has used the various different threads for this story and from the smell of the noxious fumes from the neighbour and the fishy smell of something not being right as the plot unfolds you start to see a link, this does continue with a character as well, but I’m leaving it there for now.

The characters did take a little while to get used to but as you start to get familiar with their roles you soon recognise them. The timeline for this is not a standard one, it does flicker and change but as you realise how this style works it makes for a really enjoyable read. I think this also adds to the story as you get to witness different perspectives and this adds to the story. You begin to realise there is a lot more going on than you first think. Anna has her own story to tell and she decides she wants to learn how to ride a motorbike, walk in Rory an instructor who gets to know Anna. Through the story you get to learn about these two characters and what makes them tick. It is not straight forward and they both have things in their pasts that still haunt them.

Ali has a background in that she really does bring into play with this story. There are  Mental Health aspects within this story and the author has used her experiences of the system to show how quickly things can spiral out of control when someone does not get the treatment they need. It is a side to the Mental Health Service that we are aware, the under-funding, the out of hours service and general inadequacies, now I do mention this as it plays a part in the story but the author has got the balance spot on for me, incorporating a problem into a story without going over the top and coming across as preaching.

I thought this story was an addictive, absorbing and an insightful read. It has elements that I found fascinating and I liked the pacing of it, not all action and rush, but slower and deliberate that fitted in with the mystery element of the story. Another great read and a book I would definitely recommend as one for those who like a psychological mystery, crime and suspense read.

About the Author:

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Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.

Alison worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line. She eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes and her career juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.

Her first two novels, A Justifiable Madness and Divine Poison, were inspired by her career as a psychiatric nurse and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Then she stepped sideways and wrote a gritty psychological thriller, The Camera Lies. All published by Bloodhound Books, Alison’s novels have received excellent reviews and inspired many an interesting debate. Above all, they are entertaining reads and, despite dark subjects, will raise a smile.

Links:

Email: alison@abmorgan.co.uk /  www.abmorgan.co.uk / Facebook: @ABMorganwriter

Twitter: @AliMorgan2304 / LinkedIn: Ali Morgan

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#BlogTour : The Last Friend by Harvey Church @HarveyChurch1 : @CarolineBookBit : #BookReview

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“The Last Friend” by Harvey Church is available in eBook format from AMAZON UK or AMAZON.COM date of publication is 15th April.  My thanks to Harvey for my copy of the book and also to Caroline at Bits about Books  for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

The Knock on his Door…That Changed his Life

Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity and says she made a promise to tell him about their friendship.

The Last Friend to hold His Daughter’s Hand

When Monica claims to know where his daughter’s remains are buried, Donovan is immediately committed to doing whatever this last friend needs from him, regardless of the warnings from his family and friends.

The Friend Who Can Help Him Seek Vengeance

And when Monica claims to know where he can find the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess, Donovan knows he will stop at nothing to get his vengeance.

What Cost Will He Ultimately Pay?

Monica claims she can show Donovan a lot of things about his daughter, but what price will Donovan ultimately pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?

My Thoughts:

Donovan’s daughter Elizabeth was abducted 15 years ago and his wife has recently committed suicide. One night Monica Russell lands on his doorstep and tells him that she was held captive with Elizabeth.  Monica had promised Elizabeth that she would tell her Dad the truth of her life and death.

This book is the story of how far a father will go to discover the truth behind the kidnapping of his daughter.  It tells a dark tale that had me guessing Monica’s motives.  Was she stringing him along if so what were her reasons for doing so. Was she genuine and if she was why was she taking time to give Donovan all the facts. The characters of Donovan and Monica I really liked as I got to know them a little better.  They both have a lot of problems as well as emotional scars that they have to live with.

This is quite a quick read and I found myself eagerly turning the pages to discover the truth and discovered a twisted and dark world. The plot takes you into a world of kidnapping girls and also what is done to them, but I will emphasise that the author does not go into graphic details here.  He has chosen his words to convey enough to give an understanding of the situation.

This is a book that I would recommend to readers who read psychological, crime, mystery story from the perspective of the father of a victim and also a survivor.

About the Author:

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Harvey Church has a background in finance, which is how he found himself writing about the people and ridiculousness (sometimes the same thing) of that field in his Edwin Burrows light mystery series. Although he considers himself retired from that field (aka not working), he’s planning another three Edwin Burrows novels for 2018.

His first “serious” novel, The Last Friend, is a Kindle Scout writing competition winner and was published by Kindle Press on January 9, 2018. The BookLife Prize called it “an entertaining read for mystery and thriller fans alike,” and said it is “an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” Harvey plans two sister novels to The Last Friend in 2018, one titled The Last Night (Spring 2018) and the other tentatively titled The Last Survivor.

For fun, Harvey likes to practice street magic and spends hours engineering tricks to wow his audiences. He is also an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go). He has a wife and two kids. His favorite color is blue, but he drives a black car because he read somewhere, back in the 90’s, that radar detectors have a tough time seeing them. Interestingly, he never speeds because he’s too busy singing like nobody’s watching, or maybe it’s that everybody is deaf.

He’s a supporter of double-chins, double-dates, and double-dipping (though never on double-dates), and obviously enjoys writing about himself in the third person, in the voice of the narrator from The Royal Tenenbaums.

Connect with Harvey Church by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook, at @hashtag_harv on Instagram, and @harveychurch1 on Twitter. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you ever meet Harv, ask to see a magic trick! Don’t forget to sign up for his email list at AListHarvey.com

 

Harvey Church Online:  Website ~ Twitter  ~ Instagram

See what other Bloggers think of the book bu following the tour

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#Blogblitz : Another Mother by Amanda James @akjames61 : @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook : #BookReview #PublicationDay

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“Another Mother” by Amanda James. Published by Bloodhound Books and available in paperback or eBook, to purchase a copy CLICK HERE. I am delighted to be one of the opening Bloggers for this blitz my thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my spot on the tour. Happy Publication Day to you Amanda xxx

Synopsis:

A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of domestic noir.

Adopted at birth, for years Lu has secretly dreamt of finding her birth mother but childhood bullying has left her with a lack of confidence. When a tragic accident changes her life forever it sets her on a mission to get in contact with her birth mother and find out the reasons behind her adoption.

When she tracks down her mother in Cornwall there is an emotional reunion and the pair begin to form a relationship.

But is everything as wonderful as it appears or has Lu walked into a nightmare?

My Thoughts:

Lu is your average almost 30 something, dead-end job and a bit of a loner, she is also adopted.  After the recent death of her adoptive mother she decides this is the thing she needs to give her the push to actually find her birth mother.  When contact is made, Lu makes the decision to make the visit to meet her mother in Cornwall. Things seem to go well and a tentative relationship is struck between mother and daughter. As they get to know each other a little more the cracks start to show.

This starts off more like a contemporary fiction and then slowly it morphs into an absolutely amazing psychological story.  Lu is a really good character and I like the way she herself changed the story, from living at home with her adopted parents to finally taking the decision to stand on her own two feet.  By the end of the story I thought she was more confident and also more upbeat and positive about her life. From being a bullied child to a more confident woman. The dynamics between the two different families is a convincing read that really does draw you in the their lives.

I am a little bit biased about the Cornish setting of the book as I live in Cornwall, but I have to say the author does a wonderful job with the descriptions of St. Ives.  This knowledge of the area and also the love shows through in the authors writing giving a wonderful picture of a great place.

So as I mentioned earlier, this story changes, it steps up a gear and the depth the plot is revealed.  Here I think the author has done a great job of building up the thought of something not being quite right and when the twist finally shows itself bloody hell was I shocked, really didn’t see it coming and caught me completely unawares.

This is a great read and I would highly recommend it to readers who like a book that turns from a contemporary read into an amazing dark psychological suspense filled read.

 

About the Author:

Amanda+James.jpgAmanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her suspense/mystery novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins) Another Mother, also set in Cornwall is due out in April 2018 with Bloodhound Books.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Follow Amanda on her – Blog ~ Twitter   ~ Facebook

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#BlogTour Same Face Different Place : Visions by Helen J Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources #BookReview

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Today I have “Same Face Different Place : Visions” by Helen J Christmas, the second in this series of psychological thriller series.  My thanks to Helen and also Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour.  Visions is available for purchase HERE.

Synopsis:

Visions is a psychological thriller set in rural England. The year is 1985. It’s been 12 years since Eleanor escaped London, discarding the fragments of her tragic past to discover a new life. She is hiding in a remote country village, a place where she truly believes she is safe.

Her neighbour, James Barton-Wells is desperate to save his historic country house from ruin but this has attracted the attention of a wealthy property developer from London whose seemingly altruistic offer to ‘bankroll the restoration’ masks a sinister game plan. Suspicious of his motives, Eleanor consults her friend, Charles Bailey. But Charlie has his own story, fearful that Perry Hampton is the man who undoubtedly destroyed his own life.

The characters are drawn together in a battle to save Westbourne House, oblivious to the menace that surrounds them. Threats, stalking and deception lie at the root of the Hamptons evil. Yet it is not until Eleanor comes face to face with them, she recognises a deadly enemy from the past.

Can Eleanor unravel the clues that conceal an evil crime committed in the 70s? This book will draw you into a world of suspense with shocking psychological twists you will never see coming…

My Thoughts:

Eleanor is desperate to keep away from her past that was in 1970’s London.  This book set in the 1980’s and see’s Eleanor keeping her head down, out of trouble so that her son Elijah remains safe from the trouble that she ran away from.

Firstly you really do want to read the first book in the series, it is set in the 70’s and tells the story of Eleanor and why she had to leave London.  This story is set in the 1980’s and there are loads of references that keep you in the time and place of the story.  This book took me a while to get into as I have not read the first, heed my warning!  But once I started to get a feel for the characters and some of the previous stories I was gripped by what I was reading.  There are three families that have different pasts, losses and struggles and they do have a connecting factor.  That connection is a manipulative, dangerous, power mad business man. He is wanting to take over the properties in a local village and he does not like being told No.

The author has definitely invested a lot of time and thought into this book, it has a fantastic story line that has so many different layers, these are beautifully entwined and take you through a journey of emotions.  As things start to unfold you realise that this is a psychological thriller and also mystery, suspense, romance and crime.  The synopsis is intriguing, but I was surprised by  this story, it was totally captivating, addictive and I thoroghly enjoyed it.

I would highly recommend this book for readers of intense and deeply woven psychological crime, suspense and mystery novels.  Please read the series in order, you won’t be disappointed.

About the Author:

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Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series ‘Same Face Different Place’ in 2011 and published her debut novel, ‘Beginnings’ in 2012. Visions was the second book of the series and published in 2013; a suspense novel which explores British culture and social history in the 80s as well as the most evil traits people are capable of. The 16th Century cottage in which Helen lives with her husband (restored in 1991) provided endless inspiration for Visions, along with some very special places in Sussex that she loves. Writing is something she fits around her family and social life. Helen is a self employed web designer and works from home with her husband, Peter. They enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a beautiful white cat, though Helen confesses to have dreamed up many of her storylines, whilst walking Barney around the nearby beach and park.

Social Media Links –: Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter  : Goodreads   : Pintrest : Instagram

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#BlogBlitz | When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl @nicholl06 | @bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy #BookReview #BookReview

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Today I have the “When Evil Calls Your Name” by John Nicholl.  Published by Bloodhound Books and available in various formats from Amazon UK.  My thanks to Sarah for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

Are you looking for a dark and gripping psychological thriller? Then you’ll love When Evil Calls Your Name by #1 best-selling author John Nicholl. 

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a diary exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.

Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. As she begins writing she holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours. 

Will the truth finally be revealed?

My Thoughts:

This story follows on from White Is The Coldest Colour, (my review) and is from the viewpoint of Cynthia who now lives in prison.  Her story is told via a journal that her counsellor has advised she writes.

Please read the first book before you start this one.

This answers so many questions I had about Cynthia.  I was frustrated with her character, but this one is her account of her life as a child, through university and how she met David Galbraith and how he completely destroyed any control she had over any decision, he controlled her and others around her. This is a really addictive read, and as you learn about Cynthia’s life you realise how she was manipulated so convincingly. But also you see how she is starting to make steps towards standing up for herself, no longer wanted to be a victim.

This story really plays on how a master manipulator plays on the vulnerabilities and insecurities of a person until they become a shadow of their former selves.  Because of the writing style it has a very believable feel to it, that personal account adds the perfect touch to the realism of the story.

In comparison to the first book it does differ quite a lot.  Even though it has a dark psychology theme, it is not as the dark and twisted as the first book.  It is an addictive read and a great follow on story.  A book I would recommend to those who like to read a psychological thriller from the perspective of the victim who was unaware she was being manipulated.

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

#BlogTour : Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @CarolineBookBit #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be one of the opening hosts today for the Blog Tour for  Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood to share with you.  I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for this book organised by Caroline at Bits About Books. My thanks to Ross and Caroline for my copy of this book and my spot on the tour.  Abel’s Revenge is available in paperback and also eBook today. You can purchase a copy HERE.

Synopsis:

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.

This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.

An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.

Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?

Who will live and who will die?

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for this book is quite unique and it is not until I now sit and write my review that I really get it’s significance as I re read it, a story about a city.  This is a clever and a brilliant concept of the city being responsible for the actions of people.  Life in a city is what you make it.  If you don’t accept and embrace the diversity and opportunities it lays out before you, it will mess with your head.  A couple with two children, one parent accepts city life and loves her life, the other parent feels suffocated, out-of-place and struggles.  With their own problems to deal with the couple hear of a serial killer crime wave.  It is a crime wave that terrorizes the inhabitants of the sprawling urban streets, it has a name. Its name is Abel.

This is a cleverly thought out book, with dark depths and subtle moments of unexpected sarcasm and humour as it brings the city to life through those who live in it.  It shows us a typical family with the stress and strain of being parents, and trying to balance time between children, work and for themselves. We hear of their story as the city is in the grip of Abel, his actions are on the news and on everyone’s lips, this adds another worry to their lives.

Half way through this book is a newspaper article that gives the most perfect way of summarising events that have been escalating.  It’s a great way of taking the reader out of the cocoon and opening it up to give a wider general opinion, it expands the vision and lets the reader get more of a feel for what is being referred to as “The Abel Effect”.  It adds public opinion, fear and outcry as they feel the police are not doing enough to balance this is the police response and how they are dealing with this phenomenon.

It is at this inclusion in the story I made a note as I was reading, “this is bad, but I have an even badder feeling something sinister is going to happen”, okay I am not very articulate when I make notes, but I know exactly what I felt and what I meant. This is the point when you realise that the story is winding up again, upping the ante and giving this reader a real sense of dread.  The way I had no idea who the serial killer was, well  had several suspects and kept changing my mind but had no idea how this story was going to end.

This is a story that took me on a journey that was unexpected, even after reading I am still thinking about it.  It is deceptive and a brilliant read, a book I really wanted to race through to discover the whys and hows of the plot, but one that I slowed my reading for so I could really understand the story behind the story.

This is a definitely highly recommended read, not often I use definite and highly together, it is a psychological thriller that is powerful, brutal and honest.  A look into the mind of a serial killer as the crimes are committed and seeing the reasoning and justification behind them.  But also in contrast, how a family struggling in their relationship deal with the strains of living within a city. This is a book that I think would be brilliant for a brilliant Book Club pick, it has many aspects that I think could give some great discussions.

About the Author

Ross Greenwood  Author Image.jpg  Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on Website ~ Facebook ~  Twitter

Other Books by Ross Greenwood

Lazy Blood (Sept. 2016) Amazon UK
The Boy Inside (Feb 2017) Amazon UK
Fifty Years of Fear (Sept.2017) Amazon UK

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be amazing.  Get your own copy of this amazing book HERE 🙂 xx