Tag Archives: Must Reads 2020

Torment by a Mark Tilbury #BookReview #BlogTour @MTilburyAuthor @reviewcafe

I’m back but don’t get too excited it’s a one off! I’m doing a favour for author Mark Tilbury who is relaunching his book Torment today with a brand new cover, and to celebrate I promised to re-share my review as part of the blog tour, I’m not liking the new block editor so it’s definitely a one off 🤣🤣

Book description

Beth couldn’t be happier. She is eight weeks pregnant and married to the man of her dreams. But after returning home from a celebratory meal, she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. There are no signs of a forced entry. Nothing is stolen. And no one other than the cleaner has a key to the house.

Then a campaign of terror begins. Beth becomes increasingly paranoid as it becomes clear that someone close to the family is behind these disturbing events.

But who would want Beth dead?

Does the past hold the clue?

And can Beth find the answer before it’s too late?

Torment is a story of misplaced loyalty, revenge and sacrifice.

My review 📚📚📚📚📚 

When I pick up a book by Mark Tilbury I’m never certain what to expect, and that’s why I love this author’s books I always think ‘expect the unexpected’ and the author normally delivers. Torment is the author’s latest stand-alone psychological thriller, it’s not as dark or gritty as some of his previous books but it still made for a heart stopping read. When someone wants you dead is there anywhere to hide? For Beth Cruikshank it appears not, unless she moved to a desert Island, but then where would be the fun In that? It appears eight week pregnant Beth has a stalker, an unbalanced one at that! First she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife lodged in her pillow (enough to freak out even the most fearless amongst us) but that’s just the start. So begins a campaign of terror, that will push Beth to the edge, its obvious someone wants Beth dead, but to the who? and why? you will just have to read Torment to find out.  

Mark Tilbury is a master in creating the most loathsome characters, their complex, calculated, and unlikable, they are the type of characters that make your skin crawl, their auras are surrounded by malevolence.  Beth’s stalker is such a character and although you have no idea who it is, it’s obvious they are one sick and troubled individual. You can’t help but have some sympathy for Beth’s predicament, and sense her growing panic and fear, as the stalkers psychological torment towards Beth escalates the sense of foreboding increases. Mark Tilbury keeps the reader engaged throughout as you are never sure what the stalker has planned next for poor Beth. 

I have to admit I guessed the offender, and worked out the ‘why’ quite early on in the book, but I must apologise to the author as I thought he had gone for a much-used plot that’s been done to death (no pun intended). I really thought that meant the book would hold no surprises for me, but guess what? 

The author still managed to combine an element of surprise, with a deliciously deceptive twist in its tail. 

Torment is the type of book where paranoia flourishes, each character raises suspicion, which added tension to the overall plot. I read a lot of psychological thrillers, plenty can produce the suspense but very few give the element of surprise that I crave in a book of this genre, but Mark Tilbury managed to accomplish both. For me personally I enjoyed the second half of the book the most, it’s here the author’s vivid imagination really comes into play. I read Torment literally in two sittings (always a sign of a good read) so absorbed was I in this tale of escalating terror. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a fast-paced narrative with a good deal of tension.

Buying link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Torment-misplaced-loyalty-revenge-sacrifice-ebook/dp/B08MWNK3KN

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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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I Know The Truth by M A Comley #BlogTour @ComleyMel @BOTBSPublicity 

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the  blog tour for I know The Truth by M A Comley.

M A Comley is an author whose books I’ve always been meaning to read, so when Sarah at Book On The Bright Side was looking for bloggers to join the I Know The Truth blog tour I jumped at the chance. Before you read my review here’s the book description…..

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She escaped his clutches.

Now she hides under a new name.

For the past five years, Lucy has lived in fear of her past.

But all that changes when Matthew enters her life.

Is she able to trust another man after…

Should she listen to her head or her heart?

As she fights for her future, someone is lurking in the shadows with their own agenda.

And they will determine whether she lives or dies.

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I’m one of those readers that appreciate a strong opening chapter, it’s one of the things that determine whether a book is likely to hold my attention. M A Comley did just that with an opening that immediately piqued my curiosity! It’s obvious from the start of this book that Lucy has escaped from an abusive relationship that has left her traumatised. The author slowly reveals shocking snippets that go a long way to explaining why Lucy finds it hard to trust people and prefers to keep them at arm’s length.

When we first meet Lucy life is looking good, she’s made plans to move in with her best friend,  and then when she least expects it she meets the man of her dreams, Matthew whose handsome, kind, generous, and well off. Life is looking good for Lucy, but like any good thriller nothing is straightforward and it soon becomes apparent Lucy can run from her past, but she can’t hide from it. As you learn more about Lucy’s past, things take a worrying turn. I found myself becoming more paranoid at each turn of the page. I convinced myself that every character was hiding something, either that or they were an axe murder in heavy disguise! That’s one of the things I love about a well written psychological thriller the author’s ability to make you feel the emotions of the victim, I became paranoid, terrified, and anxious as Lucy’s story progressed.

The author has a way of drawing you into a story that I found compelling, the conversations between Lucy and her best friend Tricia, and boyfriend Matthew make you feel you’re a bystander listening in, being drawn into their story. If I had one small quibble, it’s the lengths of the chapters, they are super long, which isn’t very good when you have a weak bladder and refuse to leave a chapter midway! Thankfully, the author writes in such a way you become so immersed in the plot, each chapter flies by.

A person lurking in the shadows, strange accidents, questionable characters and a dead body ensure the tension never waivers. As Lucy and Matthews relationships deepens alarm bells started ring, was I being misled? Or was there something far more sinister at play? I’m not saying, you will just have to read I Know The Truth to find it! Although I was expecting a twist that never materialised,  I really enjoyed this book, it made for a very entertaining read with plenty of suspense and mystery.

Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited (21 Jun. 2020)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to the author and Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for my ARC in exchange for an honesty and unbiased review. 

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M A Comley is a KINDLE UNLIMITED ALL-STAR author as well as being a New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, she has topped the book charts on iBooks as a top 5 bestselling and reached #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble. Over two and a half million copies sold world wide. She’s a British author who moved to France in 2002, and that’s when she turned her hobby into a career.

When she’s not writing crime novels as well as caring for her elderly mother, she’s either reading or going on long walks with her rescue pup Labrador, Dex.

Here is a list of her books, Cruel Justice, Impeding Justice, Final Justice, Foul Justice, Guaranteed Justice, Ultimate Justice, Virtual Justice, Hostile Justice, Tortured Justice, Rough Justice, Dubious Justice, Calculated Justice, Twisted Justice, Prime Justice, Heroic Justice, Shameful Justice, Immoral Justice and Overdue Justice. There are several novellas and short stories in the series too.

No Right To Kill, Killer Blow, The Dead Can’t Speak, Deluded and The Murder Pact in the DI Sara Ramsey series.

Her other successful series are: The DI Sally Parker thriller series, which includes WRONG PLACE, NO HIDING PLACE, COLD CASE, Deadly encounter and Lost Innocence

The DI Kayli Bright Trilogy – The Missing Children, Killer on the Run, Hidden Agenda, Murderous Betrayal and Dying Breath.

The Hero series, TORN APART, END RESULT, IN PLAIN SIGHT, DOUBLE JEOPARDY and CRIMINAL ACTIONS.

There are three books in the Intention series, Sole Intention, Grave Intention and Devious Intention.

Plus a couple of standalone novels – EVIL IN DISGUISE and FOREVER WATCHING YOU.

I’ve also penned a cozy mystery Private Investigator series – Murder at the Wedding, Murder at the Hotel and Murder by the Sea.

As well as co-authoring the Deception Series co-authored by fellow NY Times bestselling author, Linda S Prather Clever Deception, Tragic Deception and Sinful Deception.

48121CE3-27DB-4A96-A01E-211DCBF1F8C2You can follow M A Comley via:-

Twitter @Melcom1

Blog

http://melcomley.blogspot.com

Facebook

http://smarturl.it/sps7jh

Newsletter

http://smarturl.it/8jtcvv

BookBub

www.bookbub.com/authors/m-a-comley
Sarah Hardy

Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo

Twitter: @BOTBSPublicity

Facebook: Book On The Bright Side

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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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The book review café book of the month **May 2020**

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Today it’s the first day of June, is it just me? I’m finding all the days, weeks and months are blurring into one! Lockdown and the Corona Virus in general has affected my reading, I’m struggling to read one book a week! I’m finding I’m getting distracted easily.

I hope you are all reading more than me, it’s such a strange time for us all. I’m struggling with not seeing and spending time with my family, as we’re all close. We FaceTime and message each other constantly but it’s not the same but I’m sure most of you can relate to this. I haven’t posted much to my blog the last couple of months, but I have numerous reviews to publish in June, and some of those books have made for a cracking read.

As normal I am digressing from the original point of this post…...my book of the month, this one will definitely be on my top reads of the year, so without further ado and no more ramblings my book for this month is…….

Drum roll

What Lies Between Us by John Marrs

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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.

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. You can read my full review here….What Lies Between Us  

Books I’m hoping to read in June

I’m hoping to read the following books in a June, some are ARC’s others are from my own personal bookshelf.  This list may change or I may just manage to stick to my list and read them all, concentration permitting 😂😂

Binge worthy television

I may not have reading much, but I have been binge watching some series, which I really enjoyed

Non book related

I have noticed since the lockdown not only have I been buying more books than usual, and I have also been buying a lot more bits and bobs for the home on line.
I treated myself to some Becky Bettesworth  prints for my back room. I love these quote prints and they do some lovely prints of Cornwall and other UK holiday spots, if you fancy checking them out follow the link above. Please note this is not an affiliated link.