Category Archives: Marnie Riches

**Weekly Wrap Up**


Oh woe me 😢😢 I have read zilch this week! What sort of book blogger does that make me? I would say a pretty rubbish one. I have had a very stressful week, basically I started a new job I managed eight shifts and resigned! Never in my 33 years of working have I ever walked away from a job, I won’t go into details but it’s suffice to say it wasn’t for me! But on the upside I’ve got an interview on Monday for another job (I don’t hang about), so fingers crossed. Hopefully I will get to read at least one book next week or I will have to rename my blog The lots of books but no reviews café 

ARC’s I received this week

Despite not reading anything I still managed to find myself on the dreaded NetGalley and got improved for Four books 🙈🙈



Lori Golden’s family have had more than their fair share of troubles. But through it all, Lori and her sister, Jessie, have always supported each other. Then Jessie is killed. And Lori’s world turns upside down.

Devastated, Lori struggles to cope with her loss, and to learn to live in a world without her bright, bubbly sister by her side. Around her, her already fractured family start to fall apart. And, as Lori and her mother try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, secrets long thought buried are coming painfully to light.

Faced with the unthinkable, Lori is forced to ask herself how well she really knows those who are left behind…




DCI Matilda Darke is the perfect heroine’ Elly Griffiths The third book in Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid. Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison.

Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood. When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted. There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…




The battle is on…

When gang leader Paddy O’Brien is stabbed in his brother’s famous nightclub, Manchester’s criminal underworld is shaken to the core. Tensions are running high, and as the body count begins to grow, the O’Brien family must face a tough decision – sell their side of the city to the infamous Boddlington gang or stick it out and risk losing their king.

But war comes easy to the bad boys, and they won’t go down without a fight. So begins a fierce battle for the South Side, with the leading Manchester gangsters taking the law into their own hands – but only the strongest will survive…




A daughter’s secret. A mother’s betrayal.

Every mother knows never to let their child out of their sight. But Freya has been distracted recently, and now her teenage daughter, Zoe, is missing.

Freya knows that the only way to bring Zoe back is to tell the truth, but when your whole life is built on secrets and lies, the truth could destroy everything.

Surely there’s no harm in telling just one more little white lie?

55Cs 100%


1970s London has stopped swinging, but it’s not staying still.

Babs thought she had all the world ahead of her. Then she got pregnant and the father did a runner.

Salvation comes in the form of a man who’ll look after her. Or so she thinks.

But Stan Miller is the devil in disguise…and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him. Can she protect her family – or will he get the better of her?

BLOOD MOTHER is the second thrilling book in the Flesh and Blood series, capturing a world very different from today but where some things still hold true: be careful what you wish for, and watch out for who you trust…

Books I bought this week

I only bought one book this week and despite my long suffering husband Andy offering to buy me some books to cheer me up when we went shopping, I actually looked but didn’t buy any, see I do have some self control, by the way Andy bought me some flowers to cheer me up instead, it may sound corny but he really is the best husband, well he’s got to be he’s put up with me for 29 years 😂😂





In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned.

His body was never recovered.

Ten years later, Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and in control again…

… until Aiden returns.

Too traumatized to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Only his body tells the story of his decade-long disappearance. The historic broken bones and injuries cast a mere glimpse into the horrors Aiden has experienced. Aiden never drowned. Aiden was taken.

As Emma attempts to reconnect with her now teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But who, in their tiny village, could be capable of such a crime?

It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.

This dark and disturbing psychological novel will appeal to fans of The Widow and The Butterfly Garden.

Last week on the book review café

Next week on the book review café

The Breakdown by B A Paris review

My Book of the month

Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt blog tour

The Day That never Comes by Caimh McDonnell blog tour

**Author Interview** The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows by Marnie Riches


Today I’m really excited to have Marnie Riches drop into the book review cafe for a grilling, and on publication day too. Marnie has just released her third book in the George McKenzie series – The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows, and it’s brilliant. You can read my 5 star review at the bottom of the page.  If you love a good gritty crime thriller you may want to take a look at the two previous books The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die and The Girl Who Broke The Rules 


The first instalment in Marnie Riches new crime thriller series – The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die was launched 2nd April 2015 to smoking reviews, critical acclaim and success as an Amazon top 100 bestseller. The second book in the series, The Girl Who Broke the Rules found its way into many bloggers’ top 5 and top 10 books of 2015. It was in the Amazon Suspense top 50 for many months, praised by some as “the best sequel for years” and “undoubtedly up there with the best”.



Hi Marnie welcome to the book review cafe, and thank you for stopping by to answer some questions about you and your books. Firstly I must say congratulations on writing such a fantastic series of books

Thanks so much, Lorraine. I appreciate readers investing in the series and am indebted to the bloggers who have really got behind George, Van den Bergen and me.

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows can you provide us with an introduction?

Hi. I’m Marnie Riches and I’m the author of the George McKenzie series (sometimes dubbed as #TheGirlWho series, as I use that hashtag on Twitter). I’m a middle aged Mum of two, living in the North West. After spending twenty years as a professional fundraiser, mainly working for children’s charities and then doing up houses when my kids were very small (like a low rent Sarah Beeney), I feverishly threw myself into writing when the property market crashed in 2007. I had already written a novel when I was at university but it had just sat in the bottom of a wardrobe for 17 years. Believing I wanted writing to be a career that would last a lifetime, I dusted the manuscript off and started to rewrite it. I caught the bug. I’ve never looked back!

The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows is the third book in the George McKenzie series – Euro-noir crime thrillers set in London, Cambridge and Amsterdam in a similar vein to Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series. My main protagonist is the feisty Georgina, who is a criminologist attached to Cambridge University. Splitting her time between the ivory towers, her Aunty Sharon’s house in South East London and Amsterdam, George conducts studies in prisons whilst freelancing as a profiler for the Amsterdam police. Her partner in crime and silver-fox love interest is Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen. What a pair they make! When they’re not arguing, they’re racing against time across Europe, usually on a hunt for a serial killer. The books are dark and gritty. They do contain violence, some sex and swearing. But this is the world that George lives in and I think you’ll love her for it.

In The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows (which can be read as a standalone), George must help the Dutch police to track down a brutal and ingenious serial killer, dubbed Jack Frost. The entire continent is in the grip of an Arctic freeze, and our killer is using icicles and snow to despatch his victims without leaving any forensic trace. When George realises there might be a link to a missing persons’ case where two toddlers were abducted from their garden in the outskirts of Amsterdam, she embarks on a journey through the dark heart of Europe, rubbing shoulders with the Roma, trans-national people traffickers and paedophiles. Can she solve two cases before Jack Frost finds her?

What inspired you to write The Girl Who series?

I have always enjoyed reading crime thrillers. Once I had read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, I was so taken with Lisbeth Salander that I knew I wanted to write something similar but very much in my own style. Having studied Dutch and German at University, it made sense to set the series in Amsterdam, initially, taking in a little Heidelberg, Berlin and a healthy dose of London and Cambridge. These are places I’m familiar with and I adore fiction set in different countries. I didn’t want to write a straight police procedural. It had to contain high-octane thrills and a main character who is a little different. So, George is young, mixed race and a criminologist, rather than a police officer. Being a fan of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs and Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole books, I knew I would have to make my killers quirky with intriguing back stories to really work. So, there you go. I looked to my literary idols and tried to write something as good.

You wrote the Time-hunters Series for children, what made you decide to write a crime series?

I absolutely adored writing for children. My favourite bit was the humour. I love to inject a bit of a laugh into a story and it’s essential in children’s fiction. But I did find that I wanted to write something darker and much more complex. I really wanted to test my writing skills to see if I could pull off a multi-layered plot containing some real twists and turns. Crime fiction was the perfect avenue for me to go down.

How do you research material for your book?

If I need to know about a career path, such as George’s pursuit of becoming a criminologist, I try to interview the real deal. I was very lucky to be introduced to two criminologists from Manchester University. They were fascinating women! If I need to find out about the technicalities of murder, as with most things, I rely on Google. What I tend to do is seek out academic articles to learn about things like trafficking or medical matters. They’re more reliable and in depth than generalist stuff you might read in the newspapers. I have visited pretty much every country I write about – I lived in London, Cambridge and the Netherlands and visited Germany frequently, as my best friend used to live there. I top up my own reminiscences with a little google street view!

Do you write an outline before you start writing?

Yes. I prepare a two to six page outline, so I know where I’m going…roughly!

How long did it take to get your first book published?

I wrote seriously for a couple of years as a student. I took up writing again in 2007 and got my first agent very quickly, although had no joy in getting my first middle grade book published. Time-Hunters (2013-2014) was a commission as a jobbing writer, so that was slightly different. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die was completed in 2010 but wasn’t published until 2015! If you add together all the years I’ve been writing seriously, I’ve put in about a decade’s practice!

What is your least favourite part of the writing/publishing process?

I’m really not a fan of edits. I try to turn in manuscripts that are as clean as possible, simply because I detest editing. That’s not to say that editing isn’t very important. It is. It can turn an average book into a great book.

What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

The paranoia that comes from wondering if your book will sell and if it will be well received.

When And Where do you write?

I write in my office during the day, mainly, but sometimes deep into the night too, as I pen two books per year and have tight turnarounds. I sit at the same table I used to do my homework at as a small child – my mother’s old pine dining table. It’s the best desk in the world.

What authors do you like to read in your spare time?

I love Joshua Ferris and Lionel Shriver. I love many British crime writers – most of whom I’ve discovered only in the last year through socialising with my contemporaries. They’re a cracking bunch. I enjoy a good Nesbo. I have started to read outside of the genre a lot, though. If you only read crime after writing crime all day long, it’s a bit like being a plumber and coming home to solder pipes for the evening.

What book are you reading now?

Jihadi by Yusuf Toropov. I’ve just finished Ruby Wax’s book on mindfulness too. That was a good read.

Is this going to be the last in The Girl Series? I put on my sad face for this question

Aw, don’t be sad. I might have a little news to cheer you up soon…but you’ll have to watch this space for now.

Are you able to tell us anything about your next book?

I’m writing something new at the moment but again, I can’t tell you what it is, I’m afraid until my publisher has made an announcement. Let’s just say it is PACKED full of baddies, intrigue, sex and violence but that’s all counterbalanced with some poignant relationship stuff, some heart-rending back stories and a GREAT location. A whodunit with a real difference. And this time, you’ll be able to turn those pages for real!

Thank you Marnie for stopping by the book review café. It’s been great learning more about you and how The Girl who series came about, and good luck with The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows (not that you need it by the way), and I can’t wait to see what you produce next.

About Marnie Riches

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester, aptly within sight of the dreaming spires of Strangeways prison. She swapped those for the spires of Cambridge University, gaining a Masters degree in Modern & Medieval Dutch and German. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. In her spare time, she likes to run, renovate houses and paint. Oh, and drinking. She likes a drink. And eating. She likes that too. Especially in exotic destinations.

Having authored the first six books of HarperCollins Children’sTime-Hunters series, her George McKenzie crime thrillers for adults were inspired, in part, by her own youth and time spent in The Netherlands as a student. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction.


Photograph by Phil Tragen

Find Marnie

Website     Facebook     Twitter


This is the third book in the Georgina MacKenzie series, and although you could read it as a standalone I would recommend you read The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die  and The Girl Who Broke The Rules first, as the characters evolve over the three books and they are really worth reading if you love a good crime thriller with plenty of grit.

The story picks up two years after The Girl Who Broke The Rules and Georgie is back, feisty and outspoken as ever, her relationship with Chief Inspector Paul Van den Bergen continues even though they are barely on speaking terms! With Europe in the grips of an extreme Arctic blast, there’s a new killer on the loose named Jack Frost whose weapon of choice is a razor sharp icicle (I kid you not). As George and Paul begin to investigate, they realise the case could be connected to a cold missing person’s case of Two abducted children. As the hunt for Jack Frost gains momentum George and Van Den Bergen find themselves trawling the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Roma gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society where they find themselves thrown into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring,

I love the way George has evolved as a character over the three books, she sometime comes across as immature and mouthy, she’s got attitude and she certainly knows how to “kick ass” when the need arises. Her relationship with Van Den Bergen adds a touch of humour to a very dark tale, as George becomes frustrated with his reluctance to be part of her life and his reasons for keeping her at arms length. As the investigation gains momentum so do the twist and turns, the novel is well paced with multiple threads that all fit together perfectly come the last chapter.

This is a very tense crime thriller that covers many different issues, murder, pedophillia, and trafficking, so at times makes for a disturbing and very dark read. Marnie Riches writes in a way that captures the reader from the first chapter, it’s very well crafted, gritty and realistic. I would highly recommend The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows to lovers of crime fiction. One small negative this book is billed as the last in the series, I hope this isn’t the case, as I would love to read more books about George

5☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️out of 5

Print Length: 378 pages

Publisher: Maze (31 Mar. 2016)



**WWW Wednesday**


It’s WWW Wednesday time.

The WWW Wednesdays meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Beneath The Surface by Heidi Perks


Book description

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters’ room is completely empty. But the police think she’s trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there’s no choice other than face the future – alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth – and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

Publication date: 24th March 2016

What did you recently finish reading?

The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows by Marnie Riches


Book description

The third edge-of-your-seat thriller in the Georgina MacKenzie series. Fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo won’t be able to put it down!

Europe is in the grip of an extreme Arctic blast and at the mercy of a killer, who leaves no trace. His weapons of choice are razor-sharp icicles. This is Jack Frost.

Now a fully qualified criminologist, Georgina McKenzie is called upon by the Dutch police to profile this cunning and brutal murderer. Are they looking for a hit man or a frenzied serial-killer? Could there be a link to a cold missing persons’ case that George had worked with Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen – two abducted toddlers he could never quite give up on?

The hunt for Jack Frost sparks a dangerous, heart-rending journey through the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Roma gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society. Walking into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring, can George outrun death to shed light on two terrible mysteries?

Publication day: 31st March 2016

What do you think you’ll read next?

Bone By Bone by Sanjida Kay 


Book description

Laura loves her daughter more than anything in the world.

But nine-year-old daughter Autumn is being bullied. Laura feels helpless.

When Autumn fails to return home from school one day, Laura goes looking for her. She finds a crowd of older children taunting her little girl.

In the heat of the moment, Laura makes a terrible choice. A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter…

Please feel free to leave a comment about the books you are reading right now or hope to start this week.

**Cover Reveal** The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows by Marnie Riches

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows by the very talented Marnie Riches.  I love the cover and can’t wait to read the next instalment. I’m loving the book description too, this one will certainly be going on my TBR pile.

Whether you’ve read any books from her The Girl Who series, you should definitely get ready for this one. It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s full-on, and it’s PHENOMENAL! So without further ado here it is ……..,




Marnie Riches

31st March 2016


Europe is in the grip of an extreme Arctic blast and at the mercy of a killer, who leaves no trace. His weapons of choice are razor-sharp icicles. This is Jack Frost.

Now a fully qualified criminologist, Georgina McKenzie is called upon by the Dutch police to profile this cunning and brutal murderer. Are they looking for a hit man or a frenzied serial-killer? Could there be a link to a cold missing persons’ case that George had worked with Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen – two abducted toddlers he could never quite give up on?

The hunt for Jack Frost sparks a dangerous, heart-rending journey through the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Romani gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society. Walking into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring, can George outrun death to shed light on two terrible mysteries?

Link to pre order

About Marnie Riches

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Previously a children’s author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women’s fiction.

Marnie Riches is the author of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – the first installment of the George McKenzie crime thriller series, published by Maze and Avon at Harper Collins.

In her spare time, Marnie likes to run (more of a long distance shuffle, really) travel, drink and eat all the things (especially if combined with travel) paint portraits, sniff expensive leather shoes (what woman doesn’t?) and renovate old houses. She also adores flower


Other books in the series 


The Girl who Broke the Rules by Marnie Riches


The girl who broke the rules

The reader is transported between the dual locations of London and Amsterdam, When the mutilated bodies of two sex-workers are found in Amsterdam, Chief Inspector van den Bergen is assigned to the case. Georgina McKenzie is conducting research into pornography among the UK’s most violent sex-offenders but once van den Bergen calls on her criminology expertise, she to finds herself embroiled in the case.George and van den Bergens investigations take them to the worlds of Soho strip-club sleaze and human trafficking.

I’m not a big lover of euro noir, So I wasn’t in a hurry to read The Girl Who Broke The Rules, but after reading so many positive reviews on it, I thought I would give it a go, and I’m so glad I did.

This is a gripping thriller with a large dose of gritty realism thrown in, some readers may find the graphic nature of the crimes difficult to read, but I felt they were realistically portrayed and were in keeping with the story. Utterly compelling Marnie keeps the reader enthralled until the last page. Her characters are well written and developed. George  Mackenzie is a character Who grows on you she is ballsy and not afraid to ” kick ass”, her relationship with Van den Bergen is not a typical one, and I for one can’t wait to see how their relationship progresses in book 3.

5 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ Out of 5 for me