Search

Go Buy The Book

Month

October 2019

Reputations by John Nixon

Treating herself to a trip to Egypt, genealogist Madeleine Porter meets Margaret Smith, a woman who says she has no knowledge of her late husband’s family. Turning down Madeleine’s offer of help, Margaret is inspired to do some research of her own, promising to keep the genealogist informed of her findings. Soon, Madeleine and her husband, Ian, are shocked to discover that their new friend has been found murdered in her own home and are even more perplexed when, the following day, they receive a package from Margaret containing an old newspaper detailing the murder of an elderly couple in 1966. Written on the cutting, in Margaret’s own writing, are the words, ‘Peter didn’t do this’. What secrets have been hidden in the past and why did Margaret have to pay the ultimate price to keep them hidden?

Madeleine Porter is back, and this time her investigations bring her closer to home. The premise is a good one – a woman, Margaret, marries late in life, only to lose her husband without really knowing anything about his family. Spurred on to do some research after speaking to Madeleine, her untimely death spikes curiosity in the genealogist, who wants to know more about the 1966 murder and the potential links to Margaret’s husband. Working alongside her husband, Ian, we are treated to Madeleine’s thought processes as she tries to unravel the mystery – one that is, seemingly, perplexing the police.

This plot had so much potential, but I admit to finding myself confused several times as I was reading, as to the motive behind Margaret’s murder. Although this was explained satisfactorily at the end, I still felt that there were several characters that muddied the waters a bit too much, spoiling my enjoyment slightly.

This is a series that I will still continue to read as I love the genealogical aspect and enjoy reading about Madeleine and Ian, but I feel that this does not live up to the high standards of the earlier books.

 

COVER REVEAL – The Final Trail by A A Abbott

Today is publication day for the final book in A A Abbott’s ‘Trail’ series, and I am pleased to share with you the cover of The Final Trail.

Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us, the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott, also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series. 

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of The Final Trail which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said“I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in The Final Trail takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen addedIt’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

The Final Trail is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights. It will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and  dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

Website:  https://aaabbott.co.uk/    Twitter:  @AAAbbottstories

With thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours.

**BLOG TOUR** All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox

When a young couple find a savagely beaten, naked woman in the New Mexico mountains, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is plunged into a particularly testing case. The woman, Callie McCormick, is seemingly the latest victim of a mysterious psychopath who is linked to a string of deaths, but who has, so far, left no clues as to his identity. When Wyatt finds herself close to a breakthrough, she unwittingly puts herself straight in the firing line. The killer knows who she is and wants her to know his name, even if it means destroying everyone around her…

I don’t often read crime books set in the USA, preferring, instead the more familiar UK criminal justice system. There was something about All His Pretty Girls that grabbed my attention, however, and piqued my interest enough to make me want to read it. All I can say is, I am so glad I did! It is hard to believe that this is the author’s debut, as it is a confident, well-written serial killer novel with some fantastic twists and turns!

Alyssa Wyatt is a great character with an emotional backstory which has shaped her police career. I liked the relationship she had with her team, particularly her partner, and thought it made a refreshing change to see a united team, all focused on the job in hand. In books like this, I am accustomed to seeing the detective having an erratic home life so it was pleasing to read scenes involving her supportive, well-balanced family – even if there is a little bit of animosity towards her mother-in-law!

The killer in the book is a particularly heinous one and there are several descriptive scenes which should come with a health warning! His shadow box containing ‘mementos’ of his previous victims was particularly graphic, and you could feel the panic Callie was feeling as she wondered what her fate would be. In a clever piece of writing, I also felt some sympathy towards the killer as we read about his childhood, and realised what a horrific start to life he had.

All His Pretty Girls is a fast-paced, breathtaking read and is one that I struggled to put down. This will definitely be making my list of favourite books of 2019 and I sincerely hope that this is not the last we see of Alyssa.

With thanks to Hera Books and to Sarah Hardy from Book on the Bright Side.

 

Sleep by C L Taylor

After two of her colleagues die in a car crash, Anna Willis is consumed by guilt as she was the one driving. Not able to come to terms with what has happened, and concerned for her own safety when she starts to receive threatening messages, she relocates to the remote Scottish island of Rum, looking for a fresh start. Her hopes become a nightmare, however, when seven people check into the hotel where she has started to work, seven people with their own secrets. One of them, in particular, is hiding something huge – their identity – and it soon becomes apparent that their sights are set on Anna, and they want nothing more than to see her dead…

I had heard nothing but good things about this book and so I was itching to start it. There was some trepidation, however, as I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I am pleased to report that it most certainly did and that was the cause of a couple of very late nights as I couldn’t stop reading!

I warmed to the character of Anna immediately, a woman whose guilt for something that was not her fault, drove her to relocating to the back of beyond in an attempt to escape her past. While I could see why she did this, the alarm bells started ringing right away and there was a definite feeling of unease as she started her job at the hotel and the first group of people checked in. The feelings of claustrophobia were intense as she realised that her tormentor had followed her to Rum, and that she didn’t know which one of the guests it was.

The more I read, the more tense I became, as I desperately tried to figure out which of the characters was the one trying to kill Anna. The hint given at the beginning of the book, via the words of Anna, also built an air of suspense as I tried to figure out if the would-be killer would actually succeed. This is definitely one of those, ‘I’ll just read one more chapter…’ books as I couldn’t bear to put it down.

I felt that the book had a conclusion that I was happy with, especially with the macabre twist at the end. This is one of those books that you can instantly see being transferred to television, and the final scene, in particular, would make for superb cliffhanger!

Sleep is a thrilling, ‘unputdownable’ read which will certainly be featuring on my favourite books of the year list.

With thanks to Readers First and Avon for my copy.

 

**BLOG TOUR** Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney

When the body of a woman is found hanging in her home, wearing a wedding dress, it is initially thought that it is a case of suicide. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when a second woman is found dead, also wearing a wedding dress. This is too much of a coincidence for D I Lottie Parker, who immediately starts to look for evidence of foul play. When it is revealed that one of the women had a young daughter who has seemingly gone missing, it becomes a race against time to catch the perpetrator before more bodies are discovered.

It is hard to believe that Broken Souls is the seventh book in the Lottie Parker series, the first book, The Missing Onesonly being published in 2017. In this short time, we have seen Lottie grow as a character, dealing with the grief of her lost husband and now contemplating marriage to one of her colleagues. Her family is as dysfunctional as ever, with the added bonus of her half-brother, Leo, disrupting the equilibrium even further! After events in previous books, I was pleased to see Lottie’s family taking more of a back seat in this one – there is only so much trauma one family can take!

With there being two deaths near the beginning of the book, and a lot of characters introduced,  I initially struggled to remember who everybody was. As the book progressed, however, and the cases began to intertwine, I developed more of an understanding of each character and how they were connected to the dead women. The setting, a place where everyone seemed to know everybody else, helped to muddy the waters when trying to find the culprit as there were so many shifty characters! A few hints were dropped throughout the book, but I did not predict the outcome at all.

As this is now the seventh book, I feel that I have come to know the characters really well and so I was left reeling at the revelation at the end of this installment. There is a genuine, ‘”Noooo!” moment in the final pages, and I really hope that Patricia Gibney resolves this issue in a pleasing way! To find out what it is, you will just have to read the book!

If you have never read the Lottie Parker series, then I cannot recommend it enough. With great plots and characters, Broken Souls is a great addition to an already brilliant set of books.

With thanks to Bookouture & Net Galley and to Sarah Hardy for organising the blog tour.

 

**COVER REVEAL** Risking it All by Stephanie Harte

I am pleased to be one of the blogs sharing the cover of Stephanie Harte’s debut novel, Risking It All. Published on January 23rd, London author Stephanie plunges you deep into the criminal underworld.

Gemma has always been there for Nathan. He’s the love of her life and she made a commitment to him, one she’d never consider breaking… until smooth-talking gangster Alfie Watson comes into their lives and changes everything.

Alfie doesn’t care about true love – he wants Gemma, and the gangster always gets what he wants. When Nathan ends up owing him money, Alfie gets payback by recruiting Gemma to carry out a jewellery heist. To everyone’s surprise, she’s a natural. Until Alfie forgives Nathan’s debt, she has no choice but to accompany the gangster on more and more daring heists – even though one slip-up could cost her everything.

Nathan might have fallen under Alfie’s spell, but it doesn’t take long for him to realise that he needs to save Gemma from his own mistakes if their marriage is to have any chance of surviving. But when that means taking on the East End’s most notorious gangster at his own game, will he find himself up to the challenge?

Fans of Kimberley Chambers, Emma Tallon and Jessie Keane are going to enjoy this one!

Now to the cover:

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LZEevs

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2AZXGSw

Google Play: https://bit.ly/323iVyR

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Twitter: @StephanieHarte3

 

 

With thanks to Vicky Joss and Aria.

**COVER REVEAL** When the Time Comes by Adele O’Neill

I’m really pleased to be one of the blogs taking part in the cover reveal for When the Time Comes by Adele O’Neill

Adele is a writer from Co. Wicklow who lives with her husband Alan and her two teenage daughters. Influenced by writers across all genres she has a particular fondness for fiction that is relatable and realistic. Her debut novel was awarded The Annie McHale Debut Novel Award for 2017 and is a character driven story of survival, dark family secrets and sibling loyalty, just like life. Her second novel Behind A Closed Door is another emotionally harrowing tale of impossible choices, loyalty and friendship. Adele writes overlooking the Irish Sea, which she credits for the tumultuous dynamics in the relationships and lives of her unsuspecting characters in her third novel, When The Time Comes, another dark tale that tests the lengths we go to protect the ones we love.

About the book

Her husband says it’s suicide. The police say it’s murder.

Liam Buckley was a married man with two teenage children when he moved out of the family home to start a new life with his lover. His wife Jennifer never forgave him, but now she needs him to come back: she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the kids can’t cope alone.

One day after Liam moves home, Jennifer is found dead. Liam thinks it’s suicide. But the police, led by DS Louise Kennedy, are convinced it’s murder.

Liam hires a retired detective to help prove his innocence, but it’s no easy task. The children are distraught, and Jennifer’s best friend, Sarah, is waging a campaign against Liam, determined to expose him for a liar and a cheat.

As secrets surface from the complex web of Buckley family life, DS Kennedy must decide. Did Jennifer Buckley end her own life, or did Liam take it from her? The answer, when it comes, will shock them all…

And now to the cover reveal…

Buy links:

 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nNr5w4

iBooks: https://apple.co/2ozav3m

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2oz9MPG

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2mffAwP

 

Follow Adele:

Twitter: @adelesbooks

Facebook: @adeleoneillbooks

 

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

**Publication Day Party** Expiry Date by Alex Walters

A day out with his family turns into a busman’s holiday for DI McKay when he stumbles across the body of a man. To compound matters further, whilst on their trip, his brother-in-law, disappears and is later found dead, seemingly after an accidental fall. Meanwhile, DCI Grant has problems of her own after an online date turns sour. Sensing that something is not quite right with the man she has just met, her fears are realised when she starts to receive abusive texts from an unknown number. In a case involving murder and human trafficking, McKay has to come to terms that someone close to him has been keeping secrets.

I did not realise that this was part of a series before I began reading, and while there are some things referred to, seemingly from previous books, I did not feel that I was hindered in any way by not knowing what had gone before. The plot was easy to follow and I found myself developing an understanding of the established characters quite early in the book.

The plot is a complex one with several story lines running concurrently and it soon becomes apparent that there is a connection between the body found by McKay and the death of his brother-in-law. Similarly, we also see a link emerging between these cases and that of Grant’s disastrous online date. This was the part of the story I enjoyed the most, and I particularly liked the scene in the restaurant when Grant and her friend came to the rescue of another unsuspecting woman who was out on a date with the detective’s stalker. Girl power at its finest!

Trafficking is featured as part of the plot, and it is in these scenes where I encountered my favourite character, Jana. My heart went out to this woman who, unlike the other women, has an inkling as to what is happening due to her understanding of the English language. Her story is an incredibly sad one and each time I read part of her story, I willed her to get away and start a new life for herself…

Throughout the book, I was trying to figure out who could be behind the murders and when the reveal happened, it was definitely not what I was expecting! This was a clever plot twist and one that I enjoyed very much. This is definitely a series that I will be catching up on!

With thanks to Bloodhound Books at to Heather Fitt for organising the publication day party!

 

Monthly Roundup – September 2019

I’m at that stage where my Net Galley TBR list doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller! I’ve tried not to get any more books but am failing miserably! I have nearly completed my GoodReads challenge, however, so it’s not all bad!

Books I Have Read

The Posing Playwright by David Field

In the fifth book in the series, Jack and Esther Enright investigate the disappearance of a peer on a train and Jack also finds himself mixed up in the trial of famous playwright, Oscar Wilde. Not my favourite in the series, but there were some good moments.

 

The Six by Luca Veste

In this standalone from the author of the Murphy and Rossi novels, a serial killer with a particular modus operandi crosses paths with a group of six friends and soon, they are fighting for their lives. A cracking read.

 

The Quiet Ones by Theresa Talbot

After a famous football coach is found murdered and there is not the usual outpouring of grief in the media, investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil’s interest is piqued. She soon uncovers a well-hidden secret that has ruined the lives of numerous men and realises that someone is about to bring it all into the open. A hard-hitting, well-written book.

 

Where the Silence Calls by M J Lee

After the body of a man is found burned to death in his flat, DI Ridpath embarks on a case that  is much bigger than he first imagined, taking him back to Manchester in the 1990s. This is becoming one of my favourite series.

 

Expiry Date by Alex Walters

After he discovers the body of an unknown man, DI Alex McKay is drawn into the world of human trafficking, realising that the case brings him closer to home than he ever could have imagined. This is part way through a series, but can be read as a standalone. Review will be published soon.

 

The Hidden Lives of Jack the Ripper’s Victims by Robert Hume

A look into the lives of the women who became the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper, with much less emphasis placed on the actual crimes. There are some great photos which really bring the women to life.

 

 

Books I Have Acquired

Seven guests. Seven secrets. One killer. Do you dare to SLEEP?

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

 

I’m alive. But I can’t be saved . . .

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed.

Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them.

What’s their connection to the body in the river?

Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished?

And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late?

 

‘She shivered, though the kitchen was warm. Icicles of foreboding trickled down her spine. With trembling hands she whipped back her hair at the nape of her neck. As she turned away from the window, she missed the shadow passing by.’

One dark winter’s morning, bride-to-be Cara Dunne is found hanging in her home, dressed in her wedding dress, with a lock of hair removed. Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. Looking at Cara’s bruised and battered body, she wonders who could have hated her enough to kill her at the happiest time of her life.

The case takes a darker turn that afternoon with another shocking discovery – the broken body of a second young woman, pushed from the roof of the hospital where she worked. Fiona Heffernan was also due to be married, and her body is clad in a wedding dress, a lock of her hair cut off.

The killings seem so personal that Lottie is convinced the girls have been killed by someone they knew. When she goes to break the news to Fiona’s family, she’s on the alert for anything suspicious. But then she makes a discovery that causes her blood to run cold – Fiona’s eight-year-old daughter Lily didn’t return home from her dance recital that afternoon. Terrified that Lily will be the next victim of a twisted and dangerous individual, Lottie takes the case into her own hands, risking her life when she comes face-to-face with the killer…

 

Detective Alyssa Wyatt is hunting a serial killer.

She doesn’t know that he’s hunting her.

A woman is found naked, badly beaten and barely alive in the New Mexico mountains. The shocking discovery plunges Albuquerque Detective Alyssa Wyatt into a case that will test her to the limit.

It appears that Callie McCormick is the latest plaything of a shadowy psychopath that leaves a long shadow on the streets of New Mexico – an individual linked to a string of deaths but leaving no evidence.

But when Alyssa makes a breakthrough that just might reveal the killer, she unknowingly puts herself in the crosshairs of a brutal maniac – one with an old score to settle.

Because the killer knows Alyssa very well, even if she doesn’t know him. And he’s determined that she’ll know his name – even if he has to extract his deadly revenge on her and everything she loves.

 

When one-hundred-year-old Violet Ross is found dead at Eden’s End, a luxury care home hidden in a secluded nook of the Lake District’s Eden Valley it’s tragic, of course, but not unexpected. Except for the instantly recognisable look in her lifeless eyes… that of pure terror.

DCI Jude Satterthwaite heads up the investigation, but as the deaths start to mount up it’s clear that he, and DS Ashleigh O’Halloran need to uncover a long-buried secret before the killer strikes again…

 

 

I’ve just started the latest Patricia Gibney book and know that I’m going to enjoy it as much as I have all of her others. Have you read any of the books I’ve listed? What did you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑