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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#BookReview : Chilling Tales Of The Unexpected by Ann Girdharry @GirdharryAnn @rararesources

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I am delighted to be sharing “Chilling Tales Of The Unexpected” by Ann Girdharry as part of the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for my spot on the tour and also Ann for my e-copy of the collection. You can get a copy from Amazon or see have a look at it on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Four twisty, short reads.
Addictive works of suspense,
That will leave you breathless and give you goose bumps…

Trading with Death
What sacrifice might we make for those we love? In the face of death, will we be selfish or selfless?

Tell Me a Secret
Deceit, lies and secrets – how well do we know those close to us?

Sweet Justice 
We follow Tess as she confronts the dark side…

Written on the Apple Tree 
A moment from a past life, a possession, or a simple meeting between strangers?

My Thoughts:

This is another new to me author and based on these short stories I will definitely be looking to read read more by her.

So this is a collection of four stories and each one has an element of the unexpected, or it has a twist. They bring a range of interesting concepts that I really enjoyed and yes I did like the unexpected kick at the end of each one. Given their short nature I found them to be compelling and well thought out with a feeling of completeness to them.

I always feel that I am being to vague when reviewing short stories as the review tends to also be on the short side and I never want to give any spoilers away. So what I found within the stories was that they had a slightly sinister element or maybe better described as an element of thrill, and left me with an “ooooohhh” at the end of each one.

They cover a range of themes and each one has been well developed and even though they are short I felt they had a good amount of depth. It would be hard to pick a favourite as they are so different to each other.

I would definitely recommend these to readers who like short stories with an unexpected twist and thrill to them.

 

About the Author:

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Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years.
Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.

She writes suspense and thrillers, is a book reviewer and occasionally blogs for the Huffington Post UK. Her crime thriller novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, was an Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist 2017. Two of her thrillers are READERS’ FAVOURITE Five Star Books.

Social Media Links – Follow Ann on – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Bookbub

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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

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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.

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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

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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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#BlogTour : Indigo Lost by S R Summers @IndigoLost : @Authoright #Extract

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I am sharing an extract today for “Indigo Lost” by S R Summers for the blog tour by Authoright. Indigo Lost is available in hardback, paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

After the brutal murder of her family, and the uncovering of her mysterious abilities, a young girl escapes and hides in the city of Las Vegas — but who is going to protect her?
Violence has always has always been familiar to seven-year-old Mysty, known for her piercing indigo eyes. Ever since she can remember her father has been an aggressive and brutish man, but then one day things go too far and Mysty witnesses the violent murder of her beloved mother. Taken in by the police for safety and questioning, she realises that she has nobody to turn to and can only rely on herself to survive. So, when she has the chance, she decides to make her escape; the only problem is she’s three floors up and it’s one hell of a drop. But seeing no other option, she takes a leap of faith out of the window and never looks back.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the king of the city, cut-throat mob boss Donny Capello, is contemplating his next takeover when an out-of-control truck nearly crashes into him. Dazed, he notices a skinny young girl with bright blue eyes injured and crouching in a doorway, who he swears somehow saved his life, like a guardian angel. But before he can speak to her she disappears. Determined to find out who the girl is, and why she would trouble herself to save someone as irredeemable as him, Donny Capello will do anything to find her. But she’s not yet ready to reveal herself, and this time there’s no window for her to escape from, and Vegas is Capello’s city, so it’s only a matter of time before he finds her.
In the first book of her epic Infinity Squared series, author S.R. Summers has drawn on her varied life experiences and the challenges she’s personally faced —from work-place bullying to xenophobia— to craft not only a dramatic and, at times uncomfortable, narrative, but also one which provokes questions within the reader about their place in the world. Through the relationships between her central female protagonist, Mysty, and those she encounters, Summers hopes to highlight the importance of personal growth, the internal conflicts an individual experiences when faced with diicult life questions, and the strength and empowerment of reaching out in life and making real connections and friendships rather than the at-a-distance relationships of today’s technology-mad world.
Blending elements of crime, fantasy, romance and coming-of-age with social fiction, Indigo Lost is the perfect next read for those looking for an exciting and thought-provoking new series to get stuck into this spring.

Extract:

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This extract comes from a scene between Donny Capello, mafia boss of Vegas, and our young central female character, a runaway child from a broken home who escaped a brutal end to a tragic domestic abuse case that claimed the lives of her sister, mother and grandmother. This is an important moment when she chooses a new name for herself, as her powerful new friend offers her a chance to get her life back on track. An opportunity she is only partially cognisant of, in her childlike innocence.

He got up and came back with a pad of paper and a pen, and slid it across the table to her right side, knowing she was right-handed, and looked at her. 

Will you write down what you will not tell me?”

Her face paled again and her heart pounded. Why did he have to ruin everything by asking her to do that? She didn’t want to do that. She squeezed her eyes shut. But the urge to wipe her soul clean of the pain, of the hurt and the blood, was growing within her. But why here is this room, with this . . . stranger?

You don’t want to know what I know. I don’t want you to know.” It was a whisper. “Sometimes I wish I was dead too so I wouldn’t be able to remember.” She shook her head. “I can’t write it.”

The man who killed your family, I can make sure he’s never able to come after you.”

Her eyes snapped open, and despite the emotion they were bright and alert now. “He’s in prison. I think he is, anyway.”

Even easier.”

She shook her head. “No. I’m not a killer. Though he deserves to die a million times for what he did.”

You’re sure?”

Yes . . .”

It was a shaky whisper. It was clear the idea was tempting, but agreeing to more death was obviously unthinkable for her. And he didn’t want her to become blood-thirsty, he just wanted her to feel safe.

Will you tell me your name?”

No.”

She picked up the pen and wrote the initials of her mother’s name very faintly, then crossed them out, not wanting to give away any clues.

You can’t go through your whole life being a mystery with no name.”

Absent-mindedly she wrote the word ‘mystery’, doing an impressive slanted ‘M’ and two looping ‘Y’s. She tilted her head and crossed out some of the letters, and then rewrote the word she ended up with. She put the pen down and turned the pad around and pushed it to him.

Then I’ll be a mystery inside a name.”

This was no average kid. He was going to have to get used to that.

Mysty? Two ‘Y’s? Unusual. It suits you. You’re sure?”

She nodded decisively.

Fine. OK, Mysty, now explain to me another mystery: how do you survive those jumps off buildings?”

He crossed his arms and leaned back, looking at her with eyes that told her he wanted an answer and it had better be honest. Squirming a little under the scrutiny, she fiddled with her napkin while she tried to come up with a good enough answer.

About the Author:

  About the author: Living in Leamington Spa, West Midlands, S.R. Summers owns and runs the popular ZouBisou cafe. Previously, she has enjoyed a career working within broadcast media whilst living in Belgium and within the field of e-commerce. She also holds a degree in History from the University of Cambridge. When not managing her cafe, you’ll find her busy writing and working on the final book in her Infinity Squared eight-part series. The first in the series, Indigo Lost by S.R, Summers (published by ShieldCrest Publishing XX April 2018 RRP £20 hardback, £12 paperback and £5.99 e-book) is available to purchase from online retailers, including Amazon, and to order from all good bookstores. For more information you can follow the author @indigolost.

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#BlogTour : Judge Walden: Back in Session by Peter Murphy @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours @NoExitPress #JudgeWalden #BookReview

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I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for “Judge Walden: Back In session” by Peter Murphy and today I am sharing my thoughts. Thank you to Anne Cater at #RandomThingsTours and No Exit Press for a spot on the tour and also a copy of the book that is due to be published on 24th May.

Synopsis:

If you like Rumpole of the Bailey, you’ll love Walden of Bermondsey

Judge Walden is back, to preside over five new cases at Bermondsey Crown Court.
Retired resident judge Peter Murphy takes us back to the world of criminal trials in South London for another session with Charlie Walden keeping the peace between his fellow judges – Marjorie, ‘Legless’ and Hubert – while fighting off the attacks of the Grey Smoothies, the civil servants who seem intent on reducing the court’s dwindling resources to vanishing point in the name of ‘business cases’ and ‘value for money’.
Meet the rum and memorable characters who pop into Charlie’s domain, including Lester Fogle from one of London’s Disorganised Crime Families, Arthur Swivell the one-time Bermondsey singing legend and the very unbardlike Elias Shakespeare. And you will never feel the same about ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ or the Entente Cordiale again.
Fortunately, Charlie has Elsie and Jeanie’s lattes and ham and cheese baps, and newspaper vendor George’s witty banter, to sustain him in the mornings; and in the evenings, the Delights of the Raj, or La Bella Napoli, to enjoy with the Reverend Mrs Walden.

My Thoughts:

This is a book that contains 5 Stories about the Bermondsey Resident Judge, Charles Walden. They are a mix of cases that are brought before the Judge and his jury as well as behind the scenes of the court and the canteen with its dubious meal of the day! The synopsis for this book is great and definitely caught my eye when I had an invite to be part of the tour.

I really enjoyed reading Walden of Bermondsey: Where There’s Smoke and it did set the scene and expectations for “”Back In Session”. It takes in the various things of Walden’s daily life, his interactions with members of the public, the jury, other colleagues and the “Grey Smoothies” or civil servants as we know them!

The cases are brought before him and I enjoyed the way they were laid out, they are not full of legal jargon and so makes it easy to follow each case. It is not all about the cases though, there are things that occur behind the scenes that give great insight into how things work and also the politics that happen. Pandering to the civil servants demands and being a little sneaky is part of the course.

Walden is a principled and somewhat old-fashioned character who likes things done right, but also in an ethical and fair way. His wife is Reverend Mrs Walden, she is the priest in charge at Parish of St Aethelburgh and All Angels in Southwark. Together they make quite a formidable couple and their lives outside court does change for one of the stories.

The cases themselves cover a mix of topics as do the behind the scenes stories. These are great for quick reads, but once you get started you will want read one after the other as they flow brilliantly into each other, and helps to build up the characters and what makes them tick. The characters are a real mixed bunch that show many various traits you find in people, some you will agree with and some will make you hmmmm over.

These are great stories that show the highs and lows of the legal system with humorous undertones and stories to capture the imagination. It is entertaining reading and one I would definitely recommend to readers who would prefer a more lighthearted read, though there are serious stories included.

You can get a copy of this book in either paperback or e-book format from Amazon UK from 24th May 2018.

About the Author:

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Peter Murphy was born in 1946. After graduating from Cambridge University he spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He returned to England in 2007 on his appointment as a judge of the Crown Court. He lives with his wife, Chris, in Cambridgeshire.

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#BlogBlitz : Game Players by Anita Waller @anitamayw : @BloodhoundBook @sarahhardy681 : #NetGalley #GamePlayers #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Game Players” by Anita Waller today as part of a blog tour by Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books. It is available to purchase from Amazon UK. My thanks to Sarah, Anita and Bloodhound for my copy of the book from NetGalley.

Synopsis:

When a gang of six children playing in their den in the woods spot a man burying drugs nearby, it marks the beginning of the end of their childhoods.

Unsure what to do, the children dig up the drugs and take them away. But when the dealer, who they watched bury the stash, shows up dead, the youngsters are thrown into turmoil.

Scared of what might happen, the children tell the police about the body they have discovered.

Meanwhile, a group of gangsters start searching for their missing drugs.

 Soon the children and their families become the target of the vicious criminals who will stop at nothing to retrieve their narcotics…

My Thoughts:

Well the synopsis definitely did the job for me when I agreed to read this book for the Book Blitz, it did not however prepare me for the journey contained within its pages and the emotions I would go through reading this story. Be prepared to put everything on hold when you pick up this book, for me it was a “one sitting read” a book that I could not put down.

The six children are a close-knit group and it was great to read a story about a group playing outside, making dens and basically building the bonds of a strong friendship. They definitely have each others backs and this really shows when they discover not only bag of drugs but then a body. They discuss the stages of what they will do and the possible outcomes of their actions. They did not however discuss every possible variable or outcome and I can say that I didn’t envisage the route this story would take.

This fast paced story had me with my heart in my mouth as I read how their childhood innocence was taken from them, the author has injected real emotion, feeling and absolutely shocking story lines within its pages as I read.

The children are fundamental to this story in making this story a really great read. The plot is twisted and although I am not going to give any details, believe when I say you will be horrified, shocked and if like me you really get into a story you will also go through the wringer. It is easy to follow and also quite detailed.

This for me was a book I absolutely loved. It had crime, mystery, suspense and murder that was wrapped around the story of six children and their families as well as a community. It showed the bond of friendship and how decisions they made were for their own justifiable reasons. This is an absolute Highly Recommended read from me.

About the Author:

 

unnamed (1)  Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.
34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August 2017.

Her next book, launched February 2018 and entitled Captor, is a psychological thriller, set exclusively in Sheffield. It was an instant success, both in the UK and the US.

The along came Game Players… once more set in Sheffield, the story involves a group of six children who have each other’s backs to a remarkable extent. The darker, criminal side of Sheffield is explored, and the book launch is 18 May 2018.
In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Follow Anita on – Amazon Author Page – Facebook page – Website – Twitter

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