Tag Archives: Crime Thriller

Left for Dead by Caroline Mitchell BookReview @Caroline_writes @BOTBSPUBLICITY @AmazonPub #BlogTour  #thomasandmercer

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell blog tour. This book is one of my most anticipated reads of this year. Before I share my review here’s the book description to pique your interest.

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A victim on display. A detective on the rails.

Shopping with her sister, DI Amy Winter is admiring a Valentine’s Day window display of a perfect bride encrusted in diamonds and resplendent in lace—until she notices blood oozing from the mannequin’s mouth.

This is no stunt. A post-mortem reveals the victim was left to die on her macabre throne for all to see. When a second victim is found, it emerges that both women were ‘Sugar Babes’ arranging dates with older men online—and Amy finds herself hunting an accomplished psychopath.

As she tracks down the killer, Amy’s instincts go into overdrive when the charismatic head of the agency behind the display makes no attempt to hide his fascination with her serial-killer parents. What exactly does he want from Amy? With her own world in freefall as her biological mother, Lillian Grimes, appeals her conviction, Amy pushes the boundaries of police procedure when a third ‘Sugar Babe’ disappears…Is she as much at risk as the killer’s victims?

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At long last it’s time for the third book in the DI Amy Winters series,  Left For Dead. I seem to have been waiting for what seems like forever, as this is one of my favourite crime series and also one of my most anticipated reads of the year. If you haven’t started the series yet it’s one that’s best started from the beginning as Amy has such a fascinating backstory, I promise you it will be time well spent!  If you’re not convinced perhaps knowing that the first book Truth and Lies has been optioned for TV may tempt you. Caroline Mitchell captures the reader’s attention with a picturesque scene a beautiful bride, looking magnificent in her wedding dress, elaborately posed in a shop window, in full public view. Unfortunately the scene takes a macabre turn, the blushing bride isn’t a mannequin, she’s  a murder victim! The victims murder bears similarities to a case twenty years earlier. Are they connected? Is it a copy cat killer? you will just have to buy the book to find out! 

As well as tracking down the murderer, there is a secondary plot that focuses on Amy’s personal life but  rather than distracting from the main plot it compliments it. Amy’s character is evolving as the series progresses and I really like her character, she’s forthright and to all appearances lacks the ‘team player’ gene, which is hardly surprising when you read her back story, but she has empathy for her victims, determined to get justice for them by fair means or foul. Her past is a burden that weighs heavily on Amy, and every action and reaction as a DI is carefully scrutinised by those who know her history. Amy’s past is a big draw for me and it’s one of the reasons I love this series so much, I’m sure we still have so much to learn. 

I always think an author takes a bold step when they reveal the identity of the killer from the start, as part of the enjoyment of reading a crime thriller for me is working out the ‘who dunnit’. Caroline Mitchell uses this ploy to good effect though, because you know the identity of  ‘The Love Heart Killer’,  there are chapters told from their perspective so you get a sense of their personality, but you also get a chilling insight in to the mind of one seriously depraved psychopath. You know exactly what dark thoughts they are  entertaining, and who their next victim will be, adding an element of anticipation as you wait for the killers  next move. 

Caroline Mitchell is one of my favourite authors for a very good reason, I always find her plots imaginative, she knows exactly how to grab the readers attention from the off. Left For Dead is another stellar addition to the series, it’s a fast paced read,  with a fascinating array of characters, some you will love and others will make your skin crawl. The author leaves the reader with a teaser, which has left me incredibly excited for the next book in the series. This is a series I would gladly recommend to crime junkies, the plots veer towards the dark side, which is always an attraction for me, I’m sure a psychiatrist would have something to say about that! Highly recommended 

  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (8 July 2020)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to the publishers, Sarah at BOTBSPublicity and the author for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

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An international #1 and New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author, Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time, with over a million books sold.

As well as her crime series, Caroline also writes stand-alone psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached the Amazon number 1 spot in the UK, US and Australia and won first place as best psychological thriller in the US Reader’s Favourite Awards. Her previous thriller, Witness, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Awards in New York. She has also been shortlisted for ‘Best Procedural’ in the Killer Nashville awards. Her crime thriller, Truth And Lies recently became a No.1 New York Times best seller and has been optioned for TV. Her works have been translated worldwide and her book, The Silent Twin, has been converted as an interactive app in the Chapters Interactive game.

www.Caroline-Writes.com

F: www.facebook.com/CMitchellauthor

T: www.twitter.com/caroline_writes

 

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Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

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Quiet Acts Of Violence by Cath Staincliffe #GuestPost @CathStainclffe

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the Quiet Acts Of Violence by Cath Staincliffe. Unfortunately due to the timeframe for this tour I couldn’t fit in a review, so the author has kindly written a guest post. I’m must admit I love the sound of this book and I will be adding it to my humongous and ever growing TBR pile.

Before I share Cathy’s guest post here’s the book description…..

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Family and betrayal, injustice and poverty, the ties that bind and those that break usQuiet Acts of Violence is a crime novel for our times.

A dead baby. A missing mother. A cradle of secrets. Has the woman killed her child? Is she at risk to herself? Someone in the neighbourhood of old terraced streets has the answers. But detectives Donna Bell and Jade Bradshaw find lies and obstruction at every turn, in a community living on the edge, ground down by austerity and no hope. A place of broken dreams. Of desperation. And murder.

When a stranger crashes into Jade’s life, her past comes hurtling back, threatening to destroy her and the world she has carved out for herself.   

Donna struggles to juggle everything: work, marriage, kids. It’s a precarious balancing act, and the rug is about to be pulled from under her..

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I’ve written three detective series, the
Sal Kilkenny private eye stories, the Blue Murder books and the Scott & Bailey novelswhich act as prequels to the brilliant TV series created by Sally Wainwright and Di Taylor. In them all I’m dealing with women characters who live real, messy lives often juggling home and work in a way that reflects what life is like for so many of us. (Even if we’re not chasing killers in the day job). And now it looks like I’m writing a fresh series.

Quiet Acts of Violence sees DI Donna Bell and DC Jade Bradshaw investigating the death of a newborn baby and launching a hunt for her missing mother. It’s set in 2018 against a backdrop of austerity, and resulting poverty. Donna and Jade, are the same detective duo, who investigated a transphobic murder in The Girl in the Green Dress. But you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy the second.

The Girl in the Green Dress was initially a standalone book, the story inspired by my experience as the parent of a transgender child, and my knowing that she was at increased risk of violence simply because of her identity. I recognised then that Donna and Jade had the potential to return and several readers asked me if I’d plans to bring them back. They wanted more. Given how much I’d enjoyed writing them, and feeling there was lots still to discover about them, it seemed increasingly like an excellent idea.

I like the contrast between them, Donna is settled, married with five kids and she’s an experienced professional who is good at her job and gifted in dealing compassionately with people in the most horrific situations. Jade is much younger, inexperienced, though her tough early life has given her street smarts. Jade can be reckless, thoughtless and as Donna observes, Jade wasn’t wired like most people. The empathy gene missing or disabled. But she needed to grasp that part of being a good detective was to be able to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes. It required the ability to hold someone’s hand and walk them over the stepping stones of truth, steadily and with care, because no matter what horrors they had witnessed or perpetrated they were human. Like you. Could Jade learn any of that? Was the capacity in there hidden beneath the surface?’

I think Jade has the potential to learn and grow. But Jade is also vulnerable, she has her own demons to fight and in Quiet Acts of Violence they pursue her with a vengeance.

I’m not sure when Donna and Jade will next return but I can tell you that The Girl in the Green Dress has been optioned for TV so with a whole heap of luck we might one day see them onscreen. Fingers crossed!

  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (2 July 2020)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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Praise for Cath Staincliffe:

‘A star in the firmament of British crime fiction’ Big Issue in the North

‘Sensitive and humane’ The Guardian

‘Unique in British crime fiction: truthful, affirmative and exciting.

Planted in the real world and looking good on it’ Literary Review

‘Harrowing and humane’ Ian Rankin

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Cath Staincliffe is an awardwinning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV’s hit series Blue Murder. Cath’s books have been shortlisted for the CWA Best First Novel award. She was joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2012. Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club on ITV3 in 2014. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey books based on the popular ITV series. She lives with her family in Manchester.

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My thanks to Cathy Staincliffe for her guest post

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All Fall Down by M.J.Arlidge #Review @mjarlidge @orionbooks

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for All Fall Down, the latest book in the Detective Helen Grace series. I have followed this series since the first book and this is one series that never gets stale. Before I share my review here’s  the book description……

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“You have one hour to live.”

Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.

But why?

The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is A case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.

With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…

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I can’t believe I read the first book in the Detective Helen Grace series Eney Meeny way back in 2014 and now here we are at book nine! I used to read many crime series, some I lost interest in over time, others became a chore to read, but this series is one that grabs my attention every time and makes me impatient for the next book in the series. Although All Fall Down could be read as a stand-alone, but it’s worth bearing in mind like any long running series, you will have missed out on the backstories of some of the more established characters. 

Imagine receiving a phone call, and someone declares, “You have one hour to live.” Would you shrug it off? Put it down to a prank call? Or would you run for the hills and hire a bodyguard? That’s the premise for All Fall Down, once the victim gets ‘that’ call it’s all downhill from there! The big question is why? Helen and her team really have their work cut out, there are wrong turns, false leads, and a case of mistaken identity. As to the killer they are one twisted, cruel individual, and as slippery as a snake,  always staying one step ahead of the investigation team. Helen’s private life has also gets complicated, thanks to her relationship with fellow officer DS Joseph Hudson.

One of the things I really appreciated about All Fall Down is the way M.J Arlidge incorporates a book within a book, extracts from ‘One Dark Night’ are peppered throughout the book , I’m not going to reveal what the books about or how it fits into the plot, the less said the better,  as it will make your reading experience all the more thrilling. Its these chilling extracts that heighten the suspense, whilst urging  the reader onwards to unravel the connections. Short,  snappy chapters ensure the reader’s interest doesn’t waiver, and propel the story forward at a speedy pace. As you would expect from M. J. Arlidge there are some jaw dropping twists along the way. Although perhaps not as gruesome as previous books it’s a worthy addition to the series and one that made for an exciting read. 

  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (11 Jun. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to the publishers for my Arc in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Other books in the series

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The House Guest by Mark Edwards #Review

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest offering from Mark Edwards, The House Guest.

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A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.

When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

The House Guest is the chilling new psychological thriller from the three million copy bestselling author of Here to Stay and Follow You Home.

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I’m Mrs Cautious and we’ve all heard of ‘stranger danger’ perhaps the couple in The House Guest would have done well to heed this advice! When the beautiful and charismatic Eden turns up on the doorstep of the house Ruth and Adam are housesitting, they not only invite her in but encourage to her stay! Immediately all my senses went on high alert, after all having read most of Mark Edwards books which involve scary things happen to ordinary people,  I knew Eden couldn’t possibly be your ‘average house Guest’.

I must admit when I first read the book description for The House Guest  I thought the plot didn’t sound very original. I have read so many psychological thrillers that centre around the uninvited House Guest who just happen to turn out to be a psychopath! So what makes this book different? you may well be asking, in typical Mark Edwards style he adds the all important twist and turns that make his books such an unpredictable and entertaining read.

The House Guest is broken up into three parts, the first part sets the scene and introduces numerous characters to the plot, the second part moves at a much faster pace with surprising revelations and tension building moments along the way. The third part of the book brings all the threads together with some shocks along the way. I enjoy a book more if I can relate to the characters but unfortunately I didn’t feel any connection to the characters in this story, so I wasn’t invested as much in their story as I would have liked. The House Guest read more like a thriller’, and like many thrillers in this genre I found I had to suspend belief at certain points in the story. Never the less it made for an enjoyable and quick read.

  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (3 Jun. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon Uk 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the author for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

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His And Hers by Alice Feeney #BookReview @alicewriterland’s @HQstories

Today I’m sharing my review for His And Hers by Alice Feeney, a psychological thriller full of surprises and twists. Read on for my review…..

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If there are two sides to every story, someone is always lying…

Jack: Three words to describe my wife: Beautiful. Ambitious. Unforgiving. 

Anna: I only need one word to describe my husband: Liar.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

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I’m not going to beat about the bush His And Hers by Alice Feeney made for one of those ‘complete head f##k’ kind or reads! The author expertly weaves a deliciously dark, twisty tale, which shocked me to the core! No mean feat when you read as many psychological thrillers as I do. His and Hers is mainly narrated by two characters, His: DCI Jack Harper, is the lead Detective on a murder case in the village of Blackdown, it soon becomes apparent that he knows more about the victim than he is letting on. Hers: Anna Andrews, a news presenter, and  borderline alcoholic, is sent to report on the murder. She discovers that her ex husband, Jack, is the senior investigating officer and the dead woman is part of her past, a past she prefers to keep buried.

Neither character is a reliable narrator, Jack and Anna don’t even trust each other! So how the hell is the reader meant to? As the story progresses there are lots of grey areas, the characters muddy the lines between half truths and lies, making sure the reader can’t take anything they say at face value, for me this made the read much more exciting, and unpredictable, something that can sometimes be lacking in a novel of this genre. If I’m honest Anna and Jack aren’t the most likeable characters, in fact sometimes I just wanted to give Jack an almighty slap! but that said, it’s their flawed personalities that make it difficult to trust them. Normally I need to feel a connection to the characters if I’m going to relate to their story, but in this instant it no way spoilt my enjoyment of this read, and come the end I found myself warming to both Jack and Anna.

The book takes a dark and more than one disturbing turn, some turns are shocking, others misdirect the reader. I found the pacing perfect, a constant shifting of tension which reaches fever pitch for the shocking conclusion. I read a lot of psychological thrillers, so rarely do they have the element of surprise I crave, but Alice Feeney pulled the rabbit out the hat with this book, I never saw THAT coming! His And Hers is an unsettling psychological thriller, with twists and misdirection at every turn, it’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve had the pleasure to read this year. Highly recommended.

Publisher: HQ (28 May 2020)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

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No Escape by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @bookouture

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of No Escape by Casey Kelleher, read on for my thoughts…..

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The one place she never wanted to go back to. The one place she can’t escape.

When she was just five years old, Lucy Murphy witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in their home on London’s notorious Griffin Estate. The case was never solved. Now a newly qualified police officer, Lucy has been given her first job: she’s going back to the Griffin Estate.

She is there to protect the estate’s vulnerable residents, including Shannon and Kian Winters, two kids struggling to deal with their alcoholic mother. Fifteen-year-old Shannon is working every spare hour to keep a roof over their heads, but thirteen-year-old Kian has fallen under the sway of gang leader Jax Priestly. And now Jax has plans for Shannon too…

As Lucy gets to know Kian and Shannon she becomes determined not to let the two teenagers become Jax’s victims. But time is running out. Jax is out of control, and the gang’s violent reprisals are escalating. Can Lucy face down her own demons in time to prevent a tragedy? As a child, she already witnessed the murder of one innocent person. It will take all her courage and training to stop another.

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Casey Kelleher is one author whose books I turn to when I’m looking for my ‘grit lit fix’ I’m a huge fan of stories that delve into the murky world of crime. For me personally this type of book has to have an engrossing story line that features violence, feuds, and family. Even better if it’s a tale of survival against the odds. Guess what? No Escape the latest book by the author has it all, and so much more to offer. No Escape is set on the notorious Griffin Estate where crime and violence are very much part of the residents every day life. The plot follows the life’s of Detective Lucy Murphy,  Fifteen-year-old Shannon and her thirteen-year-old brother Kian.

The author has created some remarkable characters. My heart went out to Shannon and Kian, the responsibilities they have forced upon them through living with an alcoholic mum, mean they’ve had to grow up fast. The lack of parental supervision means Kian is the ideal candidate to be recruited by wannabe gangster Jax and the Griffin boys. Newly qualified police officer, Lucy Murphy is another character who I warmed to, despite witnessing her mothers horrific murder at five years old, she doesn’t come across as a victim, quite the opposite, as she’s determined to make a difference to the life’s of kids like Shannon and Kian. There is also a superb supporting cast, some I grew to loathe, but there were others that pulled on the heartstrings, offering hope in the most depressing circumstances.

Casey Kelleher takes the readers into the seedy and murky world of the criminals at work on the Griffin Estate it’s not pretty, it’s violent, grubby and sometimes very disturbing, the scenes, the violence, the gangs that prey on the vulnerable residents of the estate give this book an authentic feel to the read. The author draws you into this world; you feel the fear and emotions of the residents, experience their frustrations and pain, the Estate comes alive thanks to the authors descriptive writing. I really enjoyed No Escape with its vibrant characters and gritty, authentic plot. Casey Kelleher’s writing goes from strength to strength and I’m keeping everything crossed this is the first book in a series featuring Lucy Murphy and the Estate.  Highly recommended

  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (2 Jun. 2020)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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The Curator by M.W. Craven #Review @MWCravenUK @BethWright26 @TheCrimeVault #TheCurator #TeamPoe #TeamTilly

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for The Curator by M.W. Craven the third book in the Washington Poe series, and one of my most anticipated reads of 2020.

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It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetised, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

 And nothing will ever be the same again . . ..

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Woohoo Poe and Tilly are back in one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, The Curator. This has to be one of my favourite British crime series EVER! The Curator opens with a macabre murder scene, it’s gruesome and shocking, but the perfect opening to what I think is the best book in the series so far. Don’t get me wrong each book has been a fantastic read, but the authors writing goes from strength to strength. The plot lines are a work of a genius, they lure you in and keep you gripped until the very last sentence of this compelling series.

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with their most challenging case yet, it’s one that throws up more questions than answers, more suspects than victims. Why is a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria? Why were some victims anaesthetised, while others died in appalling agony? The investigation is such a complex one, that it tests Poe and Tilly investigation skills to the limit. I could rattle on all day about the plot, but in doing so I would giveaway spoilers, so all I will say it’s a cracking plot, modern and fast paced, and seriously twisted! 

The Curator like every other book in this series is as much about the characters as the plot. The relationship between the dynamic duo Poe and Tilly is stronger than ever, their unique personalities compliment each other perfectly. Poe is complex, charismatic, whereas the wonderful Tilly is naïve, painfully honest and just as complex. The dialogue between the couple is endearing, charming and funny, but it’s these moments that add light to the darkness of the plot. They are both such fabulous depicted, compelling characters they are one of the reasons this series is a must read for me.

M. W. Craven has written another fabulous addition to this series, throughout The Curator the plot is complex, clever and engrossing, just as you think the dynamic duo have the serial killer in their grips, the author throws in a twist that propels the story in a very different direction. One of the things I enjoy the most in a crime thriller is when the author can write a story that not only keeps you engrossed but one that also keeps you constantly guessing, never revealing too much in one go to spoil the read. For me this crime series has it all brilliant  characters, exceptional writing, twisted plots, gory crime scenes, and the most evil killers. The Curator is now firmly my favourite book in the series until the next book anyway! Highly Recommend.

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (4 Jun. 2020)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers and the author for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

About the author

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M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

Website: mwcraven.com
Twitter: @MWCravenUK

 

Other books in the series

The Last One To See Her by a Mark Tilbury #BookReview #BlogTour @MTilburyAuthor 

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury, one of the authors I turn to when I’m looking for a dark twisted read.

Don’t forget to check out my partner in crime (excuse the pun!) review the awesome Linda Hill at https://lindasbookbag.com/

Before you read my review here’s the book description….

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He says he is innocent. So why did he lie?

Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.

Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression.

Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime?

The Last One to See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.

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I’ve long been a fan of Mark Tilbury’s writing, he’s an author whose books I always look forward to. The Last One To See Her is the latest offering from Tilbury took me by surprise, in the best possible way might I add! The author is best known for writing books that veer towards the dark side, and this book is as dark as the night sky, but what I wasn’t expecting was the heart-rending, gut punching, all too human characters that make this book such a fascinating read .Mathew Hillock has learning difficulties caused by a head trauma as a child, here’s a character who I immediately warmed to, in fact it’s fair to say at times I had to swallow the lump in my throat! He’s a gentle giant, naïve, vulnerable, and doesn’t see the world the same as others, when he’s stressed he has blank episodes, and retreats to his ‘cave’ a safe haven that’s free of danger and evil.

Unfortunately for Matthew he was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive, and it’s not long before he becomes the main suspect in the case. Matthew begins to question if he could be in some way connected to the crime, as when he has his ‘blackouts’ has has no recollection of them. Tilbury gives a distressing insight into Matthew’s world and how frightening life is for him once he becomes the main suspect in the case. Matthews naivety, his relationships with his older brother Gareth, Tortilla (his pet Tortoise) and his grandfather, plus his gentle humour, add a well needed dose of warmth to this dark tale. To balance the ‘good’ characters, the author has created some real sick ones, they will make your skin crawl, and your blood boil, it’s a case of good versus evil!

At first I thought The Last One To See Her would be a straight forward Psychological thriller, but we’re talking Mark Tilbury here! and it isn’t long before the plot moves to the dark, gritty side, one that fans of this author have come to love and enjoy. This has to be my favourite book by the author, it has all the elements I enjoy in a thriller, an excellent plot, strongly depicted characters, tension, scenes that shock, gut punching ones where you really feel for the main character, and a hell of a twist.  An excellent read that I would highly recommend to crime thriller lovers.

  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Tilbury Publishing (4 Jun. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had seven novels published by Bloodhound Books. His latest novel, The Last One To See Her will be published 4th June 2020.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.

Mark Tilbury – Author of dark psychological thrillers.

Website: http://www.marktilbury.com

E-mail newsletter subscription: http://eepurl.com/bNSvJn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor/

Twitter: @MTilburyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marktilburyauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/marktilbury

My thanks to the author for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Follow the blog tour……

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What Lies Between Us by John Marrs #BookReview  @AmazonPub @Johnmarrs1 #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m sharing my review for What Lies Between Us by John Marrs, this has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2020, did it live up to my expectations? Read on for my thoughts…..

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Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

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‘OMFG’  what have I just finished reading? Only one of the most twisted books I’ve had the pleasure to read. What Lies Between Us by John Marrs is an incredible, intense read, the plot, the twists, the characters, the writing, all blend to create the perfect read for psychological thriller lovers. If you don’t believe me, then perhaps knowing that THE Renee Zellweger’s Big Picture Co/MGM TV have purchased the television rights, will convince you that this book is a ‘MUST’ read.

What Lies Between Us is one of those that the less you know the more thrilling the read and please if you are thinking of checking out reviews for this book tread carefully as so many of them describe one of the big ‘reveals’. What Lies Between Us tells the story of two women, Maggie and Nina, who live together. Many would  consider that normal, but their relationship is anything but! Maggie is kept in chains, imprisoned in the attic, by Nina. What has Maggie done to Nina to deserve such treatment? What secrets is Maggie desperate to hide? What’s the connection between the two?

I found The complex relationship between Nina and Maggie fascinating, the bitterness and resentment between the pair is palatable throughout. I found I couldn’t flick the pages on my kindle fast enough as their story unfolded, there were so many emotions that spilled from the pages, anger, fear, guilt, and disgust. The author has created characters with their own unique voice; he discloses Maggie and Nina’s story in such away your sympathies constantly waiver between both characters, Amid the horror and the abuse, there are tender moments that offer glimmers of hope that their toxic relationship can be repaired. I must admit I had a love/hate relationship with both women, throughout What Lies Between Us depending on which part of the book I was reading.

The beauty of this book is the way John Marr’s tantalises the reader with details about both women’s life’s, never revealing too much, but just enough to tease you.  The author’s twisted imagination allows you to be privy to the two women’s disturbed minds, it’s bone chilling, and creepy, but it also makes for an exciting read. The tension never waivers, the horror of the story ebbs and flows, and the plot is perfectly executed. Up until now The One has always been my favourite book by John Marrs but I’m not sorry to say What Lies Between Us has just taken its place. Is it a book I would recommend? You bet! This has to be one of my favourite reads this year.

And yes in case you hadn’t already guessed I’m giving What Lies Between Us my shiny Book hangover award, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (15 May 2020)

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

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The book review café book of the month for **March 2020**

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I normally post my book of the month at the beginning of each month, but unfortunately I’m a bit late with this post, but as the old saying goes “better late than never”. I hope you are all keeping safe and well, along with your family, loved ones and friends.

The reason I haven’t been around for a while is I have been really worried about Mr book review café aka Andy, he got tested through work for the Corona virus and unfortunately the test came back positive, so as you can imagine first came the shock and then the worry! He’s doing fine and due to be retested later this week, but the most worrying thing about it all is that this virus is the silent killer, my husband has had no symptoms apart from a loss of sense of taste and smell, no cough, no temp so he had no idea he had it, so it doesn’t take much imagination to see how easily it’s spread.

As usual I’m digressing here, and now to the point of this post, my book of the month for March 2020. I read some cracking books in March, but if I’m honest the book I’ve chosen was always going to be a contender for my book of the month, and it’s already one of my top reads of the year so far.

How do I choose my book of the month?

I choose a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page. So without further ado here’s my book of the month for March….

The Memory Wood by Sam Llyod

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I expected The Memory Wood to be a disturbing read, after all the plot is based on a child’s abduction,  what I wasn’t expecting was a read that was harrowing, and ultimately heartbreaking, I must admit I finished this book with a lump the size of a golf ball in my throat. Sam Lloyd has written a book that’s compelling, and one of the most original books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended. You can read my full review here….The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Highly recommended

You can read my full  reviews here…….

Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman #BookReview @RobAshmanAuthor @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTour 

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel #BookReview @amyengle @niamh_anderson @HodderFiction #AuthorInterview #BlogTour

Mr Nice by John Nicholl #Review @nicholl06 #MrNice

Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten #BookReview @nholten40 #BlogTour @KillerReads @0neMoreChapter @BOTBSPublicity @HarperCollins #MustReads

Books I’m hoping to read this month

God knows! I’m really struggling to concentrate at the moment, so I really could be reading anything or nothing! But here’s some of the potential books that I hope to read this month.