Category Archives: Mary-Jane Riley

**Blog tour** Dark Waters by Mary-Jane Riley #GuestPost @mrsmjriley @KillerReads


Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Dark Waters by Mary-Jane Riley. This book is described as A darkly compelling psychological thriller, full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of Louise Jensen, Cass Green and Alex Lake. For my stop of the blog tour the author has written  A day with author……… post

First of all here is the book description to whet your appetite.

Secrets lie beneath the surface…
Two men, seemingly unconnected, are discovered dead in a holiday boat on the Norfolk Broads, having apparently committed suicide together.
Local journalist Alex Devlin, planning an article on the dangers of internet suicide forums, starts digging into their backgrounds.
But Alex’s investigation soon leads her to a much darker mystery – one that will hit closer to home than she could possibly have imagined, and place the lives of those she loves in terrible danger.


We (my husband and I) are woken up bang on seven in the morning by Reggie, the youngest of our two golden retrievers, who, until then has been sleeping (relatively peacefully) down by the side of my bed. He is so reliable as an alarm clock that we haven’t set an actual alarm for over a year. My husband gets up and makes me a cup of tea before he goes off to work (he is a television reporter). I stay in bed and listen to the news for another half-hour or so. This is luxury for me as I had years of getting up at just after five for my job.

About half-past eight I take the dogs out. We are lucky to live in a small village with a lot of countryside around, and a large area of common land at the bottom of our garden. I find the walk really useful for thinking about what I’m writing, solving plot problems, working out my characters and how to move them from one place to another.


When I get back I fiddle about having some yoghurt and honey and tidying up a bit before making a coffee and hitting that writing desk…..where I fiddle and faff about some more, having a quick look at twitter and e mails and Facebook and Instagram and then I open up the document with writing in it…and begin. Hopefully I will have left the previous days masterpiece in the middle of a scene or I’ve worked out what I’m going to say while on the walk so I’m not sitting there wondering where to go next.

I write some words.
I delete those words.
I look at Twitter and Facebook for inspiration.

I turn the WiFi off. Then have to turn it on again when I need to research something or look at a map (necessary for what I’m working on at the moment) so have to be very firm with myself and turn it off again or maybe I will fiddle about on social media…I do have the attention span of a gnat!


More coffee and a thousand words later (hmm… a bit of creative licence there…) it’s time to take the dogs out again…a shorter walk this time and I take the opportunity to listen to a play or the omnibus edition of The Archers or the Kermode and Mayo film podcast – fabulous stuff if you like film!

Back to the desk for thirty minutes, then lunch and then… *whispers* a little sleep (sometimes curled up with Reggie on the futon thing in my study) or watch something on Netflix – often something recommended by author Mark Edwards (though he doesn’t know I take him up on his Twitter recommendations!) before feeding the dogs (see how they dominate!) and then doing bits of housework, like making up the fire, cleaning the floors (dogs, remember?) and other dreary tasks. I might do some more writing before my husband gets home at about 8.15pm. Then it’s a glass of wine (just the one?) and maybe a chat with one of the children (two boys and a girl, all of whom have left home).


This is an ideal writing day which happens occasionally, though is more often than not interrupted by real life and shopping. And it has taken years of writing around the children and the day job and many, many rejections to get to this point.

I have, of course, glossed over the tears and the swearing and the banging of head on desk when the writing doesn’t go according to plan!

About the author


Mary-Jane wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Mary-Jane has three grown-up children and lives in Suffolk with her husband and two golden retrievers.

DARK WATERS is her third crime thriller featuring investigative journalist, Alex Devlin

You can follow the author:

Twitter: @mrsmjriley
Instagram: maryjanerileyauthor

Links for the authors books:

Dark Waters

After She Fell

The Bad Things




**Author Interview** Mary-Jane Riley author of After She Fell



I’m so excited to have Mary-Jane Riley pop by the book review cafe, Mary-Jane is the author of Bad Things and her latest book After She Fell, was published on the 28th April 2016, both books are psychological thrillers.

Welcome to the book review cafe Mary-Jane and thank you for popping by to answer some questions

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book After She Fell can you provide us with an introduction?

Of course. I’m a middle-aged mum of three grown-up children (the mid-50s are the new mid-40s, right?) and am married to a television reporter. We live in East Anglia and have a beautiful Golden Retriever. I was a radio presenter for many years – both for the BBC and Independent radio. During the course of that particular career I interviewed all sorts of people: from prime ministers to actors to authors to heroes to chimney sweeps and even a lady whose passion was collecting plastic carrier bags. More recently I worked on the BBC News website covering many of crime stories. After She Fell is my second crime novel and features some characters from my first, The Bad Things, though it does work as a standalone. It’s set on the North Norfolk coast and centres on the death of Elena Devonshire, a 17-year-old student from an exclusive boarding school in a coastal village. Elena is found at the bottom of the cliffs and the question is, did she fall or was she pushed? The story is told from Alex’s point of view, and from Elena’s in the months leading up to her death.

Where did the idea After She Fell come from?

I’ve always been fascinated by boarding schools – I think it comes from reading too much Enid Blyton and Anthony Buckeridge as a child and wanting to have lots of best friends and midnight feasts! (After I’d written the book I was very glad not to have gone to boarding school!) And I imagine that there can be quite an intense and competitive culture in those schools, particularly as you are with the same people 24/7. I also wanted to explore the relationship between the youngsters in an exclusive school and the youngsters of a relatively poor rural village. And there was more of Alex Devlin’s story (my journalist protagonist in The Bad Things) to tell. So I sent her to The Drift in Hallow’s Edge on the crumbling Norfolk coast – both fictitious places, by the way!

How do you research material for your book?

Hmm, good question… I usually research as and when I need to otherwise I think I would get overwhelmed and completely sidetracked! I use a combination of the BBC website, the internet and contacts I’ve made during the course of my work.

Do you write an outline before you start writing?

I usually know the characters and whose story I’m telling, what the story is and have an inkling of the ending before I start. If I write detailed plans or outlines I find I lose enthusiasm and get a bit bored! I like to surprise myself…

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?

I don’t know really, it’s always been there for as long as I can remember.. I’ve always been interested in people’s stories and read voraciously – it’s my way of escaping from the world sometimes… Going about it seriously was a different matter. I began by writing stories for women’s magazines and then one day found myself with a one-line idea for a crime book. It took a bit of time to expand that to 90,000 words…

What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

The opportunity for procrastination! Too many distractions, I’m better if I turn the wi fi off… especially as I have just discovered the delights of the Gif button on Twitter… And the terror of wondering if anyone will buy your book and most importantly, enjoy it.

Are you inspired by any particular authors?

So many…. Ruth Rendell, PD James, Stephen King, Louise Doughty, Kate Atkinson, Daphne Du Maurier (her short stories are peerless) and one of the best – Patricia Highsmith.

If you could co write a book with another author, who would it be and Why?

Patricia Highsmith – just imagine what I would learn!

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

Everything, anything. A lot of crime. Thrillers. Romance.

What book are you reading now?

The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent. Fabulous writing. And have just ordered Reacher Said Nothing by Andy Martin.

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

I’m dithering at the moment and sort of writing two at the same time – a possible third and final one featuring Alex Devlin and another crime book, which I don’t want to say too much about in case the idea dissolves in front of me!

During all the interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

Am I happy being a writer? Yes. There are days when it’s all going horribly wrong, but there are many more when I can think, dream and talk to the dog about plots.

Can you give me three interesting facts about yourself ?

I wish I was one of those people who’d had a really interesting life… you know, climbing Everest naked, living in the jungle for three years… that sort of thing. But I’m not. So… I was a model,* I regularly chaired a radio phone-in for people with sexual problems (and boy, did I learn a lot), and I have a vast collection of cookery books.
*My hand holding a pen was used in a charity Christmas catalogue

Thank you Mary-Jane for stopping by the book review cafe, and I wish you all the best with After She Fell. You can read my review for The Bad Things HERE

About the author

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades.



Social media links


Twitter @mrsmjriley

Instagram: maryjanerileyauthor

THE BAD THINGS by Mary-Jane Riley out now in ebook and paperback HERE

AFTER SHE FELL out as an e book April 28th and paperback July 14th HERE

**Weekly Wrap Up**


I thought I would have a change and do a weekly wrap up post rather than a Stacking the shelves post, so here it is…..

I’m on a weeks holiday at the moment and not been well, so on the downside I haven’t been up to much, but every cloud has a silver lining and all that jazz, and I have have managed to read 6 books

In to Deep by Samantha Haynes


you can read my review here……. In too Deep Review

Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn


I am taking part in the blog tour so check back on Friday the 20th May for my review, I did really enjoy this “feel good read”

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza


My review will be up shortly for The Night Stalker, but I will say I absolutely loved this book

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton


Again I will be posting my review soon, and Sharon Bolton is on form with Daisy In Chains

Blanket Of Blood by Eileen Wharton


You can read my review here ……Blanket Of Blood Book Review

My Girl by Jack Jordan


This is another book I’m reading and reviewing for the My Girl blog tour, you will be able to read my review on Thursday 16th June, if you love a dark and twisted crime thriller I would highly recommend you get a copy of My Girl

I bought three books this week, I use to read loads of real crime books, and so after seeing these posted on a thread on Facebook I decided to treat myself (well it is my birthday this weekend)

Coming next week on the book review cafe


Author interview with Mary-Jane Riley

Review for Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton 

Guest review by Virginia King for In Her Wake by Amanda Jenning 

Review for Play Dead by Angela Marsons


The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley #BookReview


Book Description

Alex Devlin’s life changed forever fifteen years ago when her sister Sasha’s two small children were snatched in broad daylight. Harry’s body was found a few days later, but Millie’s remains were never discovered.

The Bad Things opens with the release of Jackie Wood, who was jailed as an accessory to the twins’ murder, her conviction is quashed by the Appeal Court.Alex decides to interview her for an article she is writing, in the hope woods will reveal where Millie is buried

During the interview Wood reveals information that shocks Alex to the core and threatens to uncover the dark secret she has managed to keep under wraps for the past fifteen years.

img_1258The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley is her first published book, and what a debut, a psychological thriller, with a fascinating plot guaranteed to keep the reader engrossed until the last page. The story is shared between Alex and DI Kate Todd who found Harry’s body, both woman still have issues connected to what happened 15 years ago, and they are impacting on their personal life’s.

Both characters are very well written and believable and I felt empathy for both of them at times. Although this book is about two children being murdered, a very upsetting subject, it’s is done sensitively and not over dramatised. As the tension mounts, secrets that have been buried, begin to surface one after another adding to the suspense.

The last couple of chapters left me breathless, as what really happened 15 years ago is revealed layer after layer. The Bad Things was a much better debut novel than I expected, and feel overtime Mary-Jane Riley will become a well respected writer in psychological thrillers, I will certainly look forward to her next offering with anticipation.

5 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ Out of 5