Tag Archives: Police Procedures

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.

5D97226A-3089-4BE5-AED7-04514A65D0D0

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?

F23AFA0C-D38D-4013-9A54-804C3423731E

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.

2C171158-0B79-4918-95A3-B39517F56AB2

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

 

91A678E8-2871-4DEF-A0AA-757EDA900ADD

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

Follow the blog tour……

93AF59B5-E885-412E-B979-4399E3AF6E33

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……

b149784b-a52d-442d-b919-35269ee6e4af

“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…

78C67279-F4CF-4475-B5F0-E3A42F77841B

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

66DAF058-39E1-4F7E-8CBC-B398B6481E76

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.

780F8C0E-C2E7-4BA3-8947-60F8B9ADD6D3

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 . . ..

0D9F6F47-6DA6-4EB6-A579-678DE6D82176

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

147503B1-76B1-4F15-9635-6FD5D6F9548C

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

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons #Review @WriteAngie @bookouture  #KillingMind #KimStone **Blog tour**

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Killing Mind by Angela Marsons. If you follow my blog you will know I’m a huge fan of the Kim Stone series, and couldn’t wait to read this one, did it live up to my expectations? read on for my thoughts, but first the book description….

3D7BE943-576B-4932-827A-23D4D0ADC42D
It had seemed so simple. Get in, get the information, get out. But now they were getting inside her mind and she didn’t know how to stop them…

When Detective Kim Stone is called to the home of Samantha Brown, she finds the young woman lying in bed with her throat cut and a knife in her hand. With no sign of forced entry or struggle, Kim rules her death a tragic suicide.

But a visit to Samantha’s parents rings alarm bells for Kim – there’s something they’re not telling her. And, when she spots a clue in a photograph, Kim realises she’s made a huge mistake. Samantha didn’t take her own life, she was murdered.

Then a young man’s body is found in a local lake with his throat cut and Kim makes a link between the victim and Samantha. They both spent time at Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life.

Beneath the retreat’s cosy façade, Kim and her team uncover a sinister community preying on the emotionally vulnerable.

Sending one of her own undercover into Unity Farm is high risk but it’s Kim’s only hope if she is to catch a killer – someone Kim is convinced the victims knew and trusted.

With Bryant distracted by the emergence of a harrowing case close to his heart, and an undercover officer in way over her head, Kim’s neck is on the line like never before. Can she protect those closest to her before another life is taken?

2D012990-C287-4C92-AA9C-9E82E91967FB

Woohoo Angela Marsons is back with yet another cracking read!  It’s a rare author who makes the twelfth book as exciting and compelling as the first book in a series. I’m not certain how Angela Marsons manages it but Killing Mind the latest book in the Kim Stone set, is just as impressive, riveting, and exciting as every other book in this much-loved series.  Another thing that’s worth a mention is the fact the author never fails to deliver a gripping storyline for each and every one of her books, they’re always original and well researched .

Kim Stone is called to what appears to be a routine suicide, but something  doesn’t entirely add up. It soon becomes evident to Kim and her team that the suicide was staged to cover up a murder, and that at every turn leads back to Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life. As Kim digs deeper into the Farm, she realises she is looking into a Cult, a subject she knows very little about. Cults are something that have always fascinated me, especially the psychology behind what attracts people to cults. Angela Marsons gives the reader a realistic, spine chilling insight into the world of Cults, the members who prey on peoples’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities and how they manipulate, compliment and flatter victims to reel them in. The author has the extraordinary ability to turn a crime thriller into something more, she’s able to give her victims and their families a voice, she highlights the effects a cult can have on Family members, loved ones and friends, when they lose someone to a cult.

It’s great that the author has brought Tiffany (AKA Tink) back, I love her character, she has a certain innocence about her, that makes her very likeable, as more of her backstory is revealed, I really felt for her. Team member Bryant has a side story of his own in Killing Mind, which adds another yet another layer of intrigue to the story. Kim is as difficult as always, but underneath that cold, brittle exterior is the Kim fans of this series have come to love.

The cult gives the plot a dark and sinister tone that continues to thread its way through the plot, and when one of Kim’s team whose working under cover is placed in danger, a palatable sense of dread fills the pages. There are moments in this book I found gut wrenching, not something you would expect in a crime thriller, but that’s the beauty of the authors writing she never fails to surprise the reader. Once again Angela Marsons has written a taut, fast-paced crime thriller, it’s a cliche but I really ‘couldn’t turn the pages fast enough’ as the body count rises and the investigation intensifies. If you consider yourself a crime thriller lover then this book, hell the whole series is unmissable.

Print Length: 367 pages

  • Publisher: Bookouture (13 May 2020)

Buying links:

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

About the author

1356A5AF-5D3C-4C18-A1EB-AF912F43FCCC

 

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon pre-order alone.

Other books in the Kim Stone series

**First Blood is the prequel to the Kim Stone series**

Follow the blog tour…..

4B4C1BAF-CBD8-4E5D-BE4D-F5B45A2AB598

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

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman blog tour. If you are a fan of the authors this is probably his darkest book yet, and you are going to love it. If Rob Ashman is a new author to you and you enjoy a dark gritty crime thriller then look no further.  Before I share my review here’s the book description…..

5BB9FDC2-B059-41B3-B29D-8D594710EE3A
Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice is a rubbish ex-husband, a crap father but a damned good detective. It’s a shame he spoils his only redeeming quality by being a bent copper.

Detective Kelly Pietersen joins the team to help find a missing woman. But Kelly has a secret…

Damien Kaplan is a leading criminal barrister and a keen amateur potter. He also happens to be a serial killer with a chilling approach to creating his art. He’s married to Elsa, though she considers him more of a possession than a husband. She controls those around her using sex and procures men and women for her husband to play with but only after she’s finished with them first.

Killing Pretties is his passion, having sex with them is hers. It is difficult to say which one is worse.

The missing woman brings all four crashing together – an incendiary mix that doesn’t end well.

63A4061A-D5CB-48AE-A594-2337EF31A502

’OMFG’ God The ‘king’ of twisted crime thrillers is back! Rob Ashman is one of my ‘turn to authors’ when I’m looking to read a dark crime thriller and Killing Pretties is unquestionably his darkest book yet! The authors latest heart thumping crime thriller has all the elements I enjoy, a protagonist whose beyond twisted, gory crime scenes, a tense plot, and a style of writing that is sharp and to the point. The authors draws the reader in with a shocking opening chapter, that’s full of promise and sets the dark tone of the book. The good news is this is a brand new series featuring DS Malice, so there’s no backlog of books to catch up on. 

There’s no need for me to give a recap on the plot, as the book description pretty much covers it, so let’s move on to the characters, starting with Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice. I have a feeling Malice is a character reader’s will have a love hate relationship with,  he wouldn’t win a father or husband of the year award, he’s considered to be a good Detective but he’s also bent. Normally in a crime thriller Detectives are sterotyped, ‘the conventional good guys’, so it makes a change to have a character who will freely cross the line, it means that Malice is unreliable, and unpredictable. 

The author takes a bold step and reveals the serial killer Damien Kaplan from the off, and ‘oh my giddy aunt’ twisted doesn’t even cover it! Sick, depraved, and warped spring to mind. Kaplan is enigma on one hand he’s smart, funny, clever and  sought after crime barrister, and then there’s the dark side of his character. He has a disturbing relationship with his wife Elsa, let’s just say it’s a ‘match made in hell’, a relationship that reminded me of the infamous Rose and Fred West, spine chilling to say the least! The nature of this book made for an uncomfortable read, and yet at the same time I read on with morbid curiosity, I’m a sucker for a well depicted serial killer! Killing Pretties is fast-paced, gruesome, and shocking, there are so many ‘OMFG’ moments that I’m sure I read most of the book with my mouth open! 

Thank god for Rob Ashman’s twisted imagination, he has such a vivid and dare I say fertile imagination I do wonder how he manages to sleep at night!  No one can ever say his books are ‘boring’ that’s for sure! This isn’t a book that I would recommend to those of a nervous disposition, as there are sexual scenes (although not in the romantic sense) included. But if you aren’t averse to a dark crime thriller with blood and guts, and you enjoy a dark, twisted read then it’s one I would happily encourage you to buy.

  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to a Rob Ashman and Sarah Hardy for an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the author

A98C99A5-1967-4640-BC5F-7DBC6DAF2FB7

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.
Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family 
encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. 

Rob published Those That RemainIn Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Ashman-Author-1428800800468097/

Website: http://robashman.com/

Twitter: @RobAshmanAuthor

**********

Sarah Hardy

Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo
Twitter: @BOTBSPublicity

Follow the blog tour…..

94F8AD8D-8623-4D98-A5BB-BF6FB37132E5

Mr Nice by John Nicholl #Review @nicholl06 #MrNice

Today it’s a pleasure to share my review for Mr Nice by John Nicholl, if you like a crime thriller that veers towards the dark side then I may have just the book for you, but first the book description.

B5C0E51E-AF4F-430B-8D15-01289E60BE05

 

Your worst nightmare is about to come true…

When Megan discovers that her young daughter is missing, she thinks that her ex-husband is to blame. 

But was it someone else entirely? 

Someone out for revenge? Someone with a grudge? 

As DI Laura Kesey begins her investigation, she discovers that the case is infinitely more wicked than she could ever have imagined. 

The clock is ticking. 

The search is on. 

But will Kesey find Lottie before it’s too late?

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The greater the evil, the deadlier the game.

09317864-AFB0-4D21-B15A-D11CB55E675C

Once again John Nicholls twisted imagination holds no bounds, and his latest offering Mr Nice is a chiller thriller with an evil presence that  comes in the shape of a protagonist that will give you the heebie-jeebies, and a few sleepless nights! A child being abducted is every parents worse nightmare, it must be incredibly difficult for parents in this position not to think the worse, especially when the child isn’t found, and the days turn into weeks. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak and pain parents go through when dealing with a child’s abduction. Mr Nice by John Nicholl tackles the difficult subject of child abduction and plays on the worse fears of parents. This book is definitely not one I would recommend to those of a nervous disposition, it’s a grim read at times, and some scenes are very dark.  

The mystery of  the  person who abducted Lottie is known throughout the book. This means Mr Nice  takes a very dark turn  from the the start. By revealing their identity it gives the author plenty of time to get inside the mind of his protagonist, it’s not pretty view, it’s ugly, stomach churning, and repulsive. Here’s a person who enjoys inflicting pain and humiliation on his victims, as for the scenes with the abductor’s mother, they freaked me out, they are spine chillingly creepy to say the least!

I really felt for Lottie’s mother, Megan, she’s left vulnerable, broken and terrified following the abduction of her daughter. To add to her nightmare the abductor enjoys nothing more than taunting her, these are the scenes I found incredibly unsettling, as the abductor feeds on Megan’s vulnerability, by playing mind games that are cruel and beyond evil. Mr Nice is a relatively short read at 258 pages, but I thought it was the perfect length for the plot, as it doesn’t allow the tension of the plot to waiver.  This book reminded me of one of the authors earlier books White Is The Coldest Colour, Dark, gritty and spine chilling.

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (17 Mar. 2020)

My thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon USA 🇺🇸

5FA73395-DF74-4C82-9128-9FCDD88007A3

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

Today I’m over the moon to be taking part in the blog tour for Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten. One of my most anticipated reads of the year, was it worth the wait?  you can read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……

2D9A1EA9-CCE6-472D-9CF9-69A4663916BA

The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…

They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…

But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.

Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

F47902EA-7AD3-4B54-9D19-0061E6AE71CA

I have been impatiently awaiting Dead Wrong, the second book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, it seems like forever since I read Dead Inside by author Noelle Holten. The author knows how to draw the reader in from the off, even more so when you realise one of Raven’s victims is named after you! I would forgive you for thinking this could sway my review, but you would be dead wrong! (See what I did there?). Personally I think Dead Wrong is even better than the first book in the series, it’s what I would describe as a ‘heart-pounding, page-turner with a dark, gritty heart’.

Raven, admitted he killed three women and is serving a life sentence for his crimes, but fast forward to present time and body parts of his said victims start turning up, so he must be innocent right? And Raven makes an appeal to the courts to be set free, so begins a nightmare for DC Maggie Jamieson’s, as she attempts to solve the case once and for all. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a crime thriller that features a chilling but intriguing serial killer, and Raven is one such character, he lacks remorse, he’s callous, a master of manipulation, and a pathological liar. The heart of the plot focuses on Raven toying with Maggie, is he lying? Or is he mentally ill? Was he coerced by Maggie, admitting to crimes he didn’t commit? So many questions, but for those of us who love playing the amateur detective, it’s the perfect crime read to get those brain cells working. 

Hallelujah! DC Maggie Jamieson isn’t your standard stereotype you often find in a crime thriller, she’s not an alcoholic, nor is her character bogged down by personal problems or a shady past which makes a refreshing change. That doesn’t mean Maggie lacks depth, on the contrary her character is continuing to develop, she’s relentless in her pursuit for the truth, committed,  and has literally no personal life, I’m sure there are a lot of DC’s who can relate to that!  It’s obvious the author has an incredible insight into the justice system and the way different agencies work together, which adds an authentic feel to the plot, I find some crime thrillers lack this vital ingredient, mostly because authors have relied heavily on research, rather than personal experiences. 

Dismembered victims turning up in pieces made for a gristly read, but these scenes are paramount to the plot, and add a profound sense of tension to the overall plot. Like any good crime thriller there are many read herrings, and well-plotted twists, and that ending! Let’s just say it will leave readers desperate for the next book in the series. Noelle Holten’s writing goes from strength to strength, her writings bold and confident, she has a vivid imagination, her plots are exciting and gripping. If ever there was someone who was born to write crime thrillers, it’s this author. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a crime thriller. 

  •  Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: One More Chapter (14 March 2020)

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

About the author

72C0DE09-ECDC-4843-8CCF-CCF486FBADBE

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast.

Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog. 

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

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

Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk  

Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

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

Follow the rest of the blog tour…..

CFBE942D-BFFA-43CB-9E1B-0FB53B2D6DDB

 

Liar Liar by by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview #BlogTour #LiarLiar

Today I’m thrilled to be opening the blog tour for Liar Liar by Mel Sherratt, alongside my partner in crime (excuse the pun!’) Kaisha, you can find her review at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/. 

Liar Liar is published today so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy, just one click and it’s yours. Before I share my thoughts, here’s the book description…..

A7EBCDF7-E47D-4C17-9DAB-15D9726653B1

The truth can be a dangerous thing…

When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.

Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…

2438174E-96CF-4483-8ED2-CEB41DAD0F86

Mel Sherratt’s back! with Liar Liar the third instalment in the DS Grace Allendale series. As the title suggests there are so many lies, and half truths buried within this story, Grace has her work cut out that’s for sure! The book opens with a shocking scene when a young boy called Tyler falls from a balcony in a block of flats. From the start of the investigation it’s apparent the boy’s parents are being evasive, their story doesn’t quite ring true, but why would they lie? Did Tyler fall over the railings? Or is there a far more sinister reason behind his accident? The author leads the reader a merry dance through a tangled web of lies and deceit. As I mentioned this is the third book in the series, however Liar Liar could be read as a standalone, although if you are anything like me I prefer to read books in order! It’s won’t be any hardship as it’s shaping up to be a cracking crime series. 

For the residents of Harrison House there’s a familiar mantra around the investigation ‘I never saw nothing, ‘I never heard anything’ seems to be the favourite. Residents don’t trust the police, hell they don’t even trust their neighbours! Living day in, day out,  alongside crime, the residents have their own code, ‘you never tell the police anything’, after all no criminal wants to be labelled a ‘grass’! The book alternates between chapters that follow one of the main characters past, and the present day investigation, sometimes I find that dual time lines get over complicated, but that wasn’t the case with a Liar Liar, but it’s these past chapters that provide the reader with an insight into one of the characters, and their motivation for the choices they make. 

Liar  Liar’s focus is set firmly On the back story of its characters, Grace has a much smaller part to play in this book, which worked really well, as the main plot wasn’t overshadowed by police procedures and the investigation. Thinking about it Liar Liar felt very different to the last two books in the series, but I mean that in a good way as it’s great to see an author not stick to a specific formula for each book. One of Mel Sherratt’s strengths is her capacity to delve into the darkest corner of the criminal world and create unlikable, violent and authentic ‘shady’ characters. The tension ramps up as the lies begin to unravel, and more crimes are committed. Liar Liar made for a gritty, hard-hitting read, and although I wouldn’t consider this a fast-paced read, there’s plenty to keep the crime lover eagerly turning the pages.

  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (10 Feb. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

About the author

9AF06F88-3AB7-4F56-AE53-1B4F3E911199

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.

I’m not sure which I am most proud of – being on the list of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 most influential people 2018 or after years of rejection going on to sell over one million books.

Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

I regularly appear at festivals, conferences and events across the country – my favourites being London Book Fair and Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow the blog tour….

7AEC8EE8-9645-40E8-8715-CFCA06444C6A40B2C727-DD0D-48A5-96E3-E8EF103BB537

The Murder House by Michael Wood #BookReview @MichaelHWood #CrimeFiction @0neMoreChapter_ #TeamDarke @HarperFiction #MustReads2020

Today I’m sharing my review for The Murder House by Michael Wood, it’s the fifth book in the ‘Matilda Darke’ series, and it’s one of my favourite crime series. Read on for my thoughts….

4DD6079D-242B-4035-B58C-65B62F9D5A29

They were the perfect family. It was the perfect crime.

The new gripping DCI Matilda Darke crime thriller about the dark secrets that lie within a perfect family. For fans of Patricia Gibney and Angela Marsons.

It’s the most disturbing crime scene DCI Matilda Darke has ever seen…

The morning after a wedding reception at a beautiful suburban home in Sheffield, the bride’s entire family are stabbed to death – in a frenzied attack more violent than anything DCI Matilda Darke could have imagined.

Forensics point to a burglar on the run across the country. But cracks are starting to appear in Matilda’s team, someone is playing games with the evidence – and the killer might be closer to home than they thought…

4083C85B-A22F-4718-8F4E-F2596618D39F

I have been (im)patiently awaiting the fifth instalment of the Matilda Darke crime series, as hand on heart I can say ‘ I absolutely love this series’. When I  enjoy a series so much I always worry the book won’t be as good as previous books in the series, but I’m delighted to report that any worries I had were unjustified, in fact I would say The Murder House is the author’s best book yet, it’s dark, erring on the gory side with an intriguing plot that will leave you blurry eyed as you forsake sleep for ‘just another chapter or ten!’

Give Michael Wood his due he knows how to get the reader’s attention from the off, the first chapter opens with a wedding and ends in a bloodbath when three members of the same family are murdered in the most appalling way. On first appearance the victims appear to be the ‘perfect’ family, pillars of the local community, they regularly fundraised and contributed to local causes, so why would someone want them dead? What possible motive could they have?  I must admit rather like Matilda and her team I had no idea! 

 For me a crime thriller is never more satisfying, than when you have a list of suspects as long as your arm and the author makes it’s almost impossible to guess the culprit, for me it makes the read that more thrilling as you try to search for clues, hold on to the suspects every word looking for the slightest slip up. I felt like a detective (admittedly an amateur one!) working alongside Matilda to capture the murderer, each character came under scrutiny. 

As for Matilda I love the way her character is evolving, she’s strong and determined and yet she has a sense of vulnerability mostly due to a cold case that haunts her, Matilda feels she failed missing child, Carl Meagan, who was never found. The case is a disturbing one and one which has a big impact on the team, when you add in budget cuts, and personal issues you realise this is a team that could buckle as they are tested to the limits. These are characters with feelings, real emotions, and depth which made the read that more authentic. As the case gains momentum,  the tension intensifies urging the reader onwards, through red herrings and misdirection. 

Although this book could be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to start at the beginning, just because this is such a cracking series, it would be a shame if you missed out on the four previous books. I almost shrieked in frustration at Michael Wood as he winds up the The Murder House with the biggest teaser yet! Such an ingenious ploy as now I’m left counting down the days to the next book in the series.The Murder House is fast-paced read ‘whodunnit’, that I would happily recommend to all crime thriller lovers.  

Publisher: One More Chapter (31 Jan. 2020)

Pages in book: 400

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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

Other books in the Matilda Darke series

 

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

80F040AD-38A7-4356-976D-DE5391B2CEFB

Here we are in February, thank god for that is all I can say! January wasn’t the best for me I’m afraid I was laid up with flu! and I mean the flu I have never felt so ill or felt so completely worn out it knocked me for six, so I’m hoping this months going to be a better one. Roll on the summer, 😎 I hate the dark nights, and I’m definitely not a lover of the cold.

As usual I’m digressing here in January I read some brilliant books, with a fair few of them belonging to the Orenda family. Can I just say? what fabulous books Karen Sullivan founder of Orenda Books, publishes.  Each books,  highly original, captivating and brilliantly written which brings me to my next dilemma, two books really stood out for me last month, but my rule is ‘one book for one month’ so after much thought, deliberation and tossing and turning, here’s my book of the month……….

The Home by Sarah Stovell

5E2E6096-4DA4-4B21-A2B8-4567CEE40C2D

I’m not sure I can convey just how much this book affected me, The Home by Sarah Stovell is a book that will swallow you up, and then spit you out, your heart will break, you will live and breathe the tragic and horrifying story of three young girls Hope, Lara and Annie. These characters will burrow their way into your heart and mind leaving you bereft as this haunting tale reaches its final pages. The Home is part mystery, part thriller, and yet it’s so much more, it’s an emotive, deeply moving, and tragic tale of those who live amid abuse and poverty. You can read my full review here….The Home by Sarah Stovell @sarahlovescrime @OrendaBooks #BookShelfReads #BookHangoverAward

Highly recommended

You can read my reviews here…..

Queenie by Kimberly Chambers @kimbochambers @fictionpubteam @flisssity #BookReview #Queenie #BookHangoverAward

All The Rage by Cara Hunter #BookReview @CaraHunterBooks #AllTheRage @DIAdamFawley @penguinrandom @PenguinUKBooks

The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell #BookReview @Caroline_writes @BOTBSPUBLICITY @AmazonPub #BlogTour #thriller #thomasandmercer

#Beast by at Matt Wesolowski #SixStories @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken #HangoverAward

Nine Elms by @robertbryndza @LittleBrownUK @BooksSphere #NineElms #MustReads #BookHangoverAward #BlogTour

Mine by Case Kelleher @CaseyKelleher #Mine #psychologicalthriller #MustReads2020

When Stars Will Shine compiled by Emma Mitchell @emmamitchelfpr #BookPromo #WhenStarsWillShine #HelpForHeroes

Books I’m hoping to read in February

As you know I have cut right back on the blog tours, which gives me plenty of freedom to read ‘what ever takes my fancy’ so here are just a few of the books I may or may not read depending on my mood 😂 some of them are ARC’s but I’m determined to read more books off my own personal bookshelf this year too.

Which books that you read in January would you recommend? Did you have a favourite? Please feel free to leave a comment I’m always looking for new books to add to my TBR pile 🤣