The Dead Ex by Jane Corry @JaneCorryAuthor #NetGalley #BookReview

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I am so pleased to be sharing my thoughts with you for The Dead Ex by Jane Corry. It is available in various formats from Amazon UK and other good book shops and published by Penguin. This is not my first visit with this author, I have read and reviewed her previous two books

My Husbands Wife (my review here)

Blood Sisters (my review here)

Synopsis:

HE CHEATED. HE LIED. HE DIED.

Vicki’s husband David once promised to love her in sickness and in health. But after a brutal attack left her suffering with epilepsy, he ran away with his mistress.

So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that David is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.

What really happened on the night of David’s disappearance?
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?

For anyone who loved The Couple Next Door, Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone and Cara Hunter’s Close To Home, this book has everything you need for the perfect summer read – gripping twists and turns, brilliant characters and a story you can’t put down.

My Thoughts:

There is something that I have found with this author and it is that I know I am in for a good read, that it will have some great twists and story-lines. This book was no exception as i was taken into the world of Vicki and her dead ex.

The story takes a route that I didn’t expect and wove it’s way through different timelines. One thing I have come to expect from this author is her ability to hoodwink me completely.

Epilepsy plays a crucial role in this story as it is something that really does have an impact on the character of Vicki. I only know very basics about epilepsy but felt by the end of the book I had a better understanding. For me the author taught me things without me being aware, as a reader I really like this. It is not done in a preachy way, it is done via the character telling others what they need to be aware of when they have to deal with her. It felt as if the research had been done and also understood properly to be part of the story.

The synopsis for this book does the best job of keeping things vague and it is something I am going to mirror in my thoughts as well. There are some curvy curve balls that came my way as I worked the way through the story, and I loved them.

This author gives you not only a great read but also give you something to think about. She has the ability to educate and also weave a cracking story with a mixed bunch of characters that you will love or hate. Believe me when I say you will work out who fits into which list, eventually !

A story of family, life and new beginnings with twists in the telling and I that found addictive, a book I would definitely recommend to readers of crime, mystery and thrillers.

About the Author:

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Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has spent time working as the writer in residence of a high security prison for men – an experience that helped inspire her Sunday Times bestsellers ‘My Husband’s Wife’ and ‘Blood Sisters’. Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world. Many of her ideas strike during morning dog-jogs along the beach followed by a dip in the sea – no matter how cold it is!

Jane’s brand-new thriller ‘The Dead Ex’ is being published on 29th June 2018 by Penguin Viking and is available for pre-order.

You can find Jane on Twitter at @JaneCorryAuthor and on Facebook at JaneCorryAuthor as well as Instagram.

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

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The Note by Andrew Barrett @AndrewBarrettUK @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook

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I am delighted to be sharing my thought today on “The Note” by Andrew Barrett as part of the blog blitz with Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books. My thanks to Sarah and the author for my spot on the tour and my e-copy of the book. You can buy this book at Amazon UK

Synopsis:

A thrilling novella introducing Eddie Collins, CSI

Have you ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no ones there?

I have.

It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.

Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.

I had no idea who sent it or why they wanted to kill me.

But I was about to find out.

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI, and this is my story.

Andrew Barrett is the best-selling author of The End of Lies. This novella serves as a thrilling introduction to his Eddie Collins Series. It will appeal to fans of authors like Ian Rankin, Robert Bryndza and Kathy Reichs.

My Thoughts:

This is a novella that is told from the perspective of Eddie Collins and we meet him as he is at a crime scene.

Being a short story the author has managed to pack a real punch. This is another new to me author and it is great to read a book that is the start of a new series.

So impressions for me on this novella was that Eddies is intense, I mean really intense with his work ethic as a police officer tries to hurry Eddie up. A crime scene has to be preserved and all evidence to be collected and this is exactly what Eddie does. He takes no nonsense and comes across as also quite angry.

Now Eddie is still an enigma for me, a novella doesn’t give you more that a snap shot of a character, I have mentioned my first impressions of him but also as I read the book I did discover something else. He is not really a people person, he keeps to himself at work, doesn’t seem to mix with others and lives in an isolated area. This has really piqued my interest as to how this character is going to pan out in a future series, he seems dark, focused, moody and also a professional hmmmmm i am intrigued.

The plot moves along quickly, as you would expect for this short format, but does have quite a few interesting elements that definitely kept me hooked.

This is a great introduction for a new series that has left me wanting more. I owuld recommend this to readers who like their crime based on a CSI perspective. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Biography

Do you like your crime thrillers to have a forensic element that adds to the realism? Do you like your lead character to be someone intense and unafraid to take on authority?

Andrew writes precisely that kind of crime thriller, and has done since 1996, about the same time he became a CSI in Yorkshire.

He doesn’t write formulaic fiction; each story is hand-crafted to give you a unique flavour of what CSIs encounter in real life – and as a practising CSI, he should know what it’s like out there. His thrillers live inside the police domain, but predominantly feature CSIs (or SOCOs as they used to known).

Here’s your chance to walk alongside SOCO Roger Conniston and CSI Eddie Collins as they do battle with the criminals that you lock your doors to keep out, fighting those whose crimes make you shudder.

This is as real as it gets without getting your hands bloody.

Find out more about him at https://www.andrewbarrett.co.uk where you can sign up for his newsletter and claim your free starter library.

See what other think by following the tour

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After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac @JaneIsaacAuthor : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “After He’s Gone” by Jane Isaac as part of her blog tour. I do have a very special thank you for the fabulous Abby Slater @annebonnybook for passing my name to Jane as I might be interested in reading this book. If you would like to buy a copy of After He’s Gone you can get one from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

‘A refreshing female protagonist with guts and a heart…I was gripped.’- Ruth Dugdall ‘The safety catch on the Glock snapped as it was released. Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve. Listened to the words drip from his mouth, ‘Right. Let’s begin, shall we?’ You think you know him. Until he’s dead. When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them. As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Even the dead…

My Thoughts:

The story begins with being held at gun point! That got me straight away, nothing better than starting off with danger. Then I was taken back to the lead up to this point and  to back to the beginning to speak. It was in the story that I met DC Beth Chamberlain and the team and her role as the Family Liaison Officer.

The author didn’t hang about starting this story. I do tend to worry when a story starts with a bang ( no pun intended, well maybe a little bit), can the author match the dramatic start and keep me interested ? Well maybe I worry too much as the author definitely had me hooked right the way through. It was caught within the story and followed the wonderful character that is Beth as she makes her way through the investigation.

Beth is a tenacious character, especially when something doesn’t quite sit right, she lets the information sit and mulls it over while some of her colleagues dismiss them as unimportant. I like this route as you get to realise more about her character. She also comes across as being a little bit intimidated by some of the other “brighter stars” in the team, and while I did get the impression that she is not seen as much by others she definitely made an impression on me.

The story is not just about the investigation, there are several others going on and around as well and these have been cleverly woven in and around the main one. The suspense that builds has been done very well indeed. There are enough devious little moments that caught me out as I was taken deeper in. And that is all I am saying about the plot.

This is a book that is paced well to the story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was pleased to see in the authors notes that another book will follow in the series later this year, it will be great to see how Beth is developed as a character and also to learn more about her. I would definitely recommend this to readers of crime, thriller and suspense books and who are looking to start a new series.

Abut the Author:

ji author picJane Isaac is married to a serving detective (very helpful for research!). They live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane’s debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014′.

Jane’ s sixth novel, After He’s Gone, features Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain and will be released in June 2018. The second Beth Chamberlain novel will follow later in 2018.

Jane loves to hear from readers and writers. You can reach her via her website at www.janeisaac.co.uk

Sign up to her book club http://eepurl.com/1a2uT for book recommendations and details of new releases, events and giveaways.

See what others think by following the tour

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

#BookReview : Letterbox by P.A.Davies @padavies #Letterbox @CarolineBookBit

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I am delighted to be sharing “Letterbox” by P.A.Davies as part of the blog tour by Caroline at Bits About Books. My thanks to Caroline for my spot on the tour and also the author for my e-copy of the book.

You can purchase a copy at :-
Paperback (signed): https://padavies.co.uk/shop/
Paperback or Ebook from Amazon: getbook.at/Letterbox

Synopsis:

Letterbox is strong, powerful, emotive. A harrowing novel about the 1996 Manchester IRA bombing – what a haunting tale and heartbreaking insight into the lives of those, responsible for the bombings and of those, who by their very being had no choice but to be implicated in it… their lives will never be the same…
At approximately 09.00 hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; It contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.

At 11.15 hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the Second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family.  He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life.

Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbours a dark historic secret and follows a life less ordinary … as a furtive yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.

As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.

Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old.

Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government.

Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb-laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard …

And listened to…

My Thoughts:

This has been a difficult review for me to write. I understand people have their own reasons for their actions, I do not always agree with them. Trying to kill people to make a point is not something I agree with. But I am reviewing a book based on actual events and I will try to convey my thoughts on the story.

Theauthorhas used facts from the 1996 Manchester bombing by the IRA and wrapped a fictional aspect around it to create an addictive, powerful, hard and yet compelling read. As you will see from his Author bio below, he was raised in Manchester, he has an interest in the city. The synopsis is detailed so you are aware in advance of the content of the story.

The story begins with two old friends meeting up by chance just before the explosion, they have not seen each other for years. I was then taken back as these two characters as they grew up. Liam and Sean become best friends and I got to experience their childhood antics and the taunts towards Liam from other children. Liam’s family is a one of the father being away working a lot, with Liam not knowing exactly what his father does. This all changes one night and suddenly opens up a world that challenges everything Liam believes in.

The first part of the story is actually the main bulk of the book and deals with Liam, Sean and their lives. Then towards the end of the book is the shorter Part Two, and I got to learn a little bit about Liam’s sister. Even though she has been in the story, she is often only a brief mention, it is in this part of the story that I finally got to learn about her, and how events have affected her on a personal level. The often forgotten and older of the two siblings.

The story also incorporates little bits of history from the 1916 Easter Uprising against British rule in the Irish Republic, and the IRA. This gave a different perspective to the Manchester bombing. Though there are political reasons for why this happened, the author has not gone into the politics too much. He has kept the story about the friendship of two boys, about their family and also their belief.

The author, for me has done a wonderful job of setting out this story. I was hooked pretty quickly and as I was slowly drawn deeper in. I got a real sense of family and friendship from the lives of the boys. As they got older and events unfolded the speed gradually increased and I was flipping pages faster, it was if it had taken on an urgency as I turned the pages quicker.

The bombing is described and the author has in my opinion dealt with it well. I felt that he hadn’t over dramatised the event, but had shown a side of an event from the perspective of a characters personal point of view.

This is a book that I would definitely recommend to readers. It is an emotional, strong, fact based book.

I would also advise reading the Epilogue. I know many readers do this, but for those that don’t, you will find just a couple of pages of very interesting facts of Manchester before and also after the bombing.

About the Author:

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P.A. Davies grew up in Manchester, UK, a place he has lived in and around all his life – he loves Manchester and is proud to be part of the multi-cultural, modern city that houses two Premiership football teams and is the birthplace of many a famous band, such as Oasis, the Stone Roses, Take That and Simply Red.

For most of his life, he dabbled with writing various pieces, from poems to short fictional stories just for fun. However, following advice from a good friend he decided to have a go at writing a novel. Thus, his first novel ‘Letterbox’ was conceived, a fictional take on the infamous IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. It took him over a year to complete but while doing so, he found it to be one of the most satisfying and interesting paths he had ever followed. It comes as no surprise that the writing bug now became firmly embedded within him.

P.A. Davies’ second book was published in May 2013, ‘George: A Gentleman of the Road’, a true story about one of Manchester’s homeless. His third novel, ‘The Good in Mister Philips’, is an erotic novel (arguably set to rival Fifty Shades…!) and his fourth, ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’ (Dec. 2015) is again a fact-based tale, this time of Manchester’s darker side. The thriller ‘Absolution’ (Oct. 2017) is his fifth novel. Currently, P.A. Davies is writing his sixth novel, titled ‘I, Muslim.’

To label P.A. Davies’ writings would be difficult because his works diverse from thrillers to touching novels to true-to-life tales embedded in a captivating story for the author is an imaginative and versatile storyteller.

Follow the Author on ––  Website –  Facebook –  Twitter –  Goodreads – Amazon –  Google – Instagram

Other Books by the Author – 

 Absolution
Nobody Heard Me Cry
The Good in Mister Philips
George: A Gentleman of the Road
Letterbox

See what others think by following the tour

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#BookReview : The Hanging Women by John Mead @JohnMeadAuthor @rararesources #HistoricalFiction

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Today I have my thoughts on “The Hanging Women” by John Mead as part of  the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for my spot and to John for my e-copy of the book. you can purchase from Amazon UK.

Synopsis:

A historical crime thriller set in 1886 Chicago; the power house of America, a sink of corruption and vice which is haunted by riots and gangland killings.  A story of weak men and strong women.

Jack Stevens discovers the bodies of two women, Philomena Blackstaff and Mary Walsh, tied together and hung by their ankles in a position resembling the symbol for treachery as depicted on tarot cards. Though retired and now wealthy, Stevens is an ex-sheriff and involves himself in the subsequent investigation.

As a result of Jack `stealing’ Philomena’s diary and his association with the Pinkerton detective agency, it is discovered that Mary Walsh worked undercover for the Pinkertons, investigating the Knights of Labour (the fastest growing workers’ rights movements in America of the late 1800’s). The women had been working together, tracing the man who was selling guns and dynamite to the more extremest factions of the workers movement. This led them to Ruby’s, a secret `nightclub for deviants’, where Stevens and Inspector O’Leary believe the pair fell foul of the man they were looking for, gang leader Joseph Mannheim.

With the May 4th Haymarket riots and bombings looming, Stevens must uncover the truth about The Hanging Women before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for this book is quite detailed and I did find it useful when I felt the need to refer back to it on a couple of occasions as I read the book. The story itself is quite busy in relation to the plot lines and characters. There are several subplots that are seemingly unrelated to the investigation into the hanging women.

Jack Stevens is the main character and seems to have a limitless array of friends or associates and I did really like this whiskey drinking investigator as he wandered the 1880’s streets and alleys of Chicago. Told in chapters set out day by day I found myself reading of his investigations and other “activities”as well as learning of his wife Martha. I did like this couple and their antics though I did get confused trying to remember all the other characters they meet along the way, hence the need to return to the synopsis.

The subplots take in the Pinkertons, gangs, workers movements, murder, robbery and back street deals as well as a few other things. Some of the threads I really enjoyed and though I didn’t initially understand the relevance of all of them until the author started to the individual threads together towards the end.

Once I got into the story I felt it moved along at a reasonable pace, though I was slower at the beginning until I felt I had got a grip on it. As I mentioned previously it is a very busy story with lots of things happening and I did struggle initially but I did feel that my comprehension of the book picked up as I got further into it and especially as things were being pulled together. I would recommend this to a historical crime reader who prefers a more complex multi-thread read.

About the Author:

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John was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.

His inspiration for his debut novel came whilst attending a lecture in Denver about the history of the American midwest, describing a time and place that was very different from that espoused by popular culture, which started him thinking this would make a excellent period in which to set a crime story.

His book describes how Chicago was a prototype of much that we consider both good and bad in the current age, it had a vibrancy and decadence that allowed a few enterprising individuals to prosper whilst violence and intolerance held back many others. The situation for some African Americans and women was improving but it was still a time when to be anything other than white and male made you a second class citizen.  The city was the manufacturing and transport hub of America, the vast influx of immigrants swelling its already booming population brought great wealth but also corruption and criminality. The midwest and Chicago typified a way of life, the ‘gun culture’ which is a euphemism for individualism, from which much of modern American social values have grown.

John is currently working on a trilogy of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city: a Whitechapel noir. 

Social Media Links – Twitter – Goodreads Author Page – Amazon Author Page

Follow the tour to see what others think

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Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen transl by Don Batlett : @OrendaBooks @annecater #BigSister #VargVeum #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today for “Big Sister” by Gunnar Staalsen as part of the Blog Tour by Orenda Books. My thanks go to Anne Cater, Orenda and also the author for my spot on the tour and also my copy of Big Sister. This book is available in eBook and also paperback format and you can buy your copy from Amazon UK

 

Synopsis:

PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark actions are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal… Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

My Thoughts:

Private Investigator Varg Veum has more than the usual interest when taking on his new case. The woman who asks is his sister whom he has never met, so not only a chance to get to know her but also the possibility of finding out more about his family. His sister is concerned about the disappearance of her god-daughter.

This is yet another new to me author as I join in the Varg Veum series. Sometimes I think this is a good thing especially when the book works as a standalone, as this one does. It means I have no prior expectations. This is set Bergen Norway and one of the first things that struck me was the wonderful descriptions of the area the author describes, i was able to build a good picture of the area and also the climate brrr. It was a great stand alone book to read as I learnt some details about Varg at the same time he did from his sister. There are things in his past that I still want to know more about and reading the previous books will obviously fill in the stories.

This is a serious case for Varg as the disappearance of a young woman is not taken seriously by the police. The more he delves into he case the darker it gets, the more the plot twists and I was taken into a scenario I really didn’t expect.

This is a slower paced book and I thought it really did suit the story quite well, it gave me a chance to get to grips with the names of other characters and also place names. These I really did struggle with initially, taking me a few sentences to recognise which character was which. This is not anything to do with the author here and is no criticism with his writing, it is purely my lack of knowledge regarding Norway and not knowing any names. But it didn’t really distract from the story and this is where the slower pace really helped as I needed to pay extra attention.

So for a first time reader of this author I found the story addictive, interesting and as if I was being drawn down a tunnel that got darker the further I went. It had a good amount of suspense and kept me engrossed, I would have happily rad it in one sitting if I didn’t have to go to work. It has also left me wanting to know more about PI Varg Veum so I will be looking for other books by Gunnar Staalesen. I must also say that  the translator Don Bartlett has done a fantastic job, the translation is seamless.

If you are after a gripping, slower paced Nordic Noir that is dark and full of suspense then this book really is worth reading. It works really well as a stand alone and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author:

Gunnar.jpegGunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is being filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife.

Follow the Tour and see what other Book Bloggers think

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Brand New Friend by Kate Vane @k8vane : #PublicationDay #Extract

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I am delighted to be sharing an extract today for “Brand New Friend” by Kate Vane on it’s Publication Day. This book is one I have on my TBR and I am looking forward to reading it at a later date. Kate very kindly got in touch and was aware that I was closed for reviews but wondered if I could host an extract. Call it chance or fate, but the date she suggested was available. If you would like to purchase a copy then please follow the universal link and choose your preference HERE. It is being launched at 99p/99c. After 10 June it will go up to £2.99/$3.99

Synopsis:

BBC foreign correspondent Paolo Bennett is exiled to a London desk – and the Breakfast sofa – when he gets a call from Mark, a friend from university in eighties Leeds. Paolo knew Mark as a dedicated animal rights activist but now a news blog has exposed him as an undercover police officer. Then Mark’s former police handler is murdered.

Paolo was never a committed campaigner. He was more interested in women, bands and dreaming of a life abroad. Now he wonders if Mark’s exposure and his handler’s murder might be linked to an unexplained death on campus back when they were friends. What did he miss?

Paolo wants the truth – and the story. He chases up new leads and old friends. From benefit gigs and peace protests, to Whatsapp groups and mocktail bars, the world has changed, but Mark still seems the same.

Is Mark the spy who never went back – who liked his undercover life better than his own? Or is he lying now? Is Paolo’s friend a murderer?

Extract:

Kate has allowed me to share the opening chapter of “Brand New Friend”

EXTRACT:

Paolo’s mind was still in Yemen when his phone rang.

‘It’s me. Mark.’

He’d been recording a report on the cholera outbreak for The World Tonight, trying, in cool BBC tones, to conjure the faces of the people, the stunning mud-brick buildings, the terror of the bombing. The stink of sewage, the pain of loss.

‘I need your help.’

He couldn’t get the story on TV because it failed the vital test – do we have pictures? Radio. How he loved radio! For a moment he had forgotten that he was in London, on a chill, grey day, in a dark wool suit.

Mark.

It was an unknown caller but he always picked up. The habit of years of reporting on the ground in the Middle East. You never knew who it might be, whether they would call again.

He wondered how many hundreds of Marks he had met in his life and why this particular Mark thought he should know who he was. He wasn’t going to identify him from his silence, so he said, a little tersely, ‘Mark who?’

‘That’s why I’m calling.’

The voice thought he should know what this was about and he didn’t. ‘Where are you?’

‘Leeds, of course.’ It was the tone of beatific patience as much as the location that made him realise. A tone that threw him straight back to the eighties. ‘You haven’t seen the news?’

‘I’ve been in the studio. Give me a moment.’ He was already searching for Mark’s name, tapping on a link.

‘Can you come? Now?’

Like he was still a student. We’re going the pub, or Nazams, or a party on Brudenell Road, or maybe Street, or Mount. That was then. Of course he couldn’t come now.

Yet as he read on, he felt the old tingle that told him this was a story, and he found himself saying, ‘Yes, I’ll come.’

About the Author:

kate vane author image.jpg Kate Vane writes (mostly) crime fiction. Brand New Friend is her fourth novel.

She has written for BBC drama Doctors and has had short stories and articles published in various publications and anthologies, including Mslexia and Scotland on Sunday.

She lived in Leeds for a number of years where she worked as a probation officer. She now lives on the Devon coast.

Follow Kate on:-  Website – Twitter – Facebook

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#BlogBlitz : When Waters Recede by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 : @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “When Waters Recede” by Graham Smith on my blog today with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Graham and Rachel for my copy and my spot on the tour. You can buy a copy of this book at Amazon UK

Synopsis:

When a car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation.

The woman is soon recognised, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into areas none of them want to visit.

Before they know it, they’re dealing with protection scams and looking for answers to questions they didn’t know needed to be asked.

My Thoughts:

When a car is pulled from the floodwaters with a dead unknown driver and a surprise I the boot, no one on the investigation team realise what they would uncover in the ensuing enquiries. Former DI Harry Evans is called in to help as a consultant.

Having previously read No Comment (my review here) I was aware of some of the characters and their histories. I would advise reading the previous books as it helps build up a better understanding of the dynamics within this group and also of the changes that Harry is going through. The story is predominantly about the case; who the victim is, how it is linked, why the murder and for what reason. But also is Harry’s part of the story and what is happening with him. I liked the way the author has used the “out with the old and in with the new” as Harry is only in a consultancy role now and under a new DI. There is a certain amount of tension and testing of loyalties.

The case itself has a very realistic feel as those involved in it really struggled to find answers, in fact there were far more questions and answers most of the time. Gut instincts, hunches and what if’s showed up as the team have to use a range of different thought processes to work out what is going on. The book is not just about the investigation however, there is a story that emerges for one of the characters and it gave me a chance to see another side to those involved.

This book takes a surprising route and one that I really did not anticipate and I was clueless as it was developed, this adds to the realism of the story, you are not going to know all the answers all of the time. The author does a great job of leading you along and has you where he wants you at all times. It isn’t a fast, all guns blazing read, it is slower, methodical and gradually builds up pace.

This is a great read and one that I really enjoyed. For me it wasn’t just about the case but also the personal character stories and the interactions with a new boss. I would definitely recommend this book for readers of crime, thrillers, police procedural and suspense books.

About The Author:

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Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and three novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Graham can be found at:- Facebook – Twitter – Website

 ∗∗∗∗GIVEAWAY ∗∗∗∗

To celebrate the release of When the Waters Recede, Graham Smith is offering one lucky reader the chance to win all six books in the Harry Evans series.

To enter, simply sign up for his newsletter via the link provided before the 5th of June 2018 and you’ll be entered into not just this competition, but all competitions that he runs. Entrants from the whole world are welcome. Enter Here

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#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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#BlogBlitz : If Fear Wins by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder : @sarahhardy681 @BloodhoundBook : #NetGalley #IfFearWins #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on “If Fear Wins” by Tony J Forder as part of the blog tour by Sarah at Bloodhound Books. It is available in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK Many thanks to Tony, Sarah, Bloodhound and NetGalley for my copy and spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

When a torched body is found in a country lane, DI Bliss and Chandler are called in to investigate.

The detectives are drawn towards recent missing person reports, and believe their victim will prove to be one of them. Bliss thinks he knows which, and fears the outcome if he is proven right.

Soon the body is identified, and Bliss and Chandler discover evidence suggesting this murder might be a terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, someone from Bliss’s past needs his help, and soon he is juggling his personal life with the demanding case. To make matters more complicated, MI5 and the Counter-Terrorist Unit are called in to help solve the case. But are they on the right track?

Bliss and Chandler soon find themselves in a race against time, and this might just be their most challenging case yet…

My Thoughts:

A torched body, a missing person, possible terrorist threat, a friend needing help, MI5, a vindictive boss are just a few of the basics in this third in the series book. It can be read as a stand alone, the stories do have a continuing theme so to read the series would give a much better understanding.

The author definitely has a lot going on in this book as he takes the reader into a police procedural story. DI Bliss and Chandler are back working together and I really like this combo as they work their way through the streets and surrounding area of Peterborough. I really like the character of Bliss, in some ways he is corny, a little cliché but a great character all the same. He does have a the odd personality trait and a history that does not sit well with others but this adds a slight touch of humour to him and the story.

The plot is a labyrinth of twists that I have come to expect from this author with the red herrings along the way. The vast majority of the book is given to the investigations, briefings and the lives of the characters. The author gradually builds up the suspense and intrigue in the story before pulling the threads for the conclusion. I have not included anything about the plot for fear of spoiling it for other readers. The author has woven threads into the story that I didn’t expect and in a clear way as the story drew me deeper in.

This is darker and a little more gruesome than previous books. It also felt as if there was more police procedure to this than other with various agencies being involved with their bureaucratic faffing and interfering and this for me worked well.

A great read for those who like a clever plot in their crime, thriller, murder, suspense reads, and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first two books, Bad to the Bone and The Scent of Guilt, will be joined in the series on 29 May 2018 by If Fear Wins.
Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.

Links:-  Website –  Facebook –  Twitter –  Goodreads – Barnes & Noble –  Bloodhound Books

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