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March 2020

**BLOG TOUR** Buried by Lynda La Plante

When the body of a man is found in a burnt-out cottage, the police are astounded to also find the remains of millions of pounds worth of bank notes. It is not long before a connection is made to unsolved crimes of the past, and to an infamous group of criminals. DC Jack Warr, struggling with events in his personal life, suddenly finds himself embroiled in the criminal underworld of the 1980s and 1990s, making shocking revelations about his past along the way. Just how far will he allow himself to become involved?

I have been a fan of Lynda La Plante’s books and TV shows ever since watching the original Prime Suspect and so I jumped at the chance to be one of the blogs on the tour for her latest book, Buried. For those who have read the Widows books or seen the TV series/film, then this book is definitely for you as it follows on from the story of Dolly Rawlins and her gang. The beauty of Buried, however, is that although it will bring back a touch of nostalgia for Widows fans, you do not need to know any previous plot as backstory is explained in the book.

I loved how the story developed, the body of the charred man being linked to a train robbery of twenty years ago. This gave us an opportunity to meet some brilliant characters, each of them knowing more than they were willing to let on. These women, over the years, had become very adept at hiding in plain sight and I couldn’t wait to see what the results of them playing the long game would be.

Jack Warr is a great character who becomes more complex as the book progresses. As we (and him) discover more about his life, we see a change in his character as he comes to terms with his past. This led to some great interactions between the detective and the people he is tasked with interviewing and created lots of internal conflict. At the same time, we also see the softer side of his personality as he struggles to come to terms with the impending death of his adoptive father.

In a book with numerous twists and turns, we were treated to a proper ‘gasp’ moment at the end, which, although shocking, was in-keeping with what we had read about Jack. This set up the next book nicely and I can’t wait to read where Lynda La Plante takes DC Warr next. Buried is a book that I can definitely imagine on the small screen, so I have my fingers crossed that it will be optioned for TV. This promises to be another huge hit for the author.

With thanks to Net Galley and Zaffre Books for my copy and to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for organising the blog tour.

 

Where the Innocent Die by M J Lee

When the death of a woman in an Immigrant Removal Centre is adjudged to be a case of suicide, it is only when the coroner’s office gets involved that a more thorough investigation begins to take place. Just how could a woman locked in a high-security building get hold of the knife that killed her when she had been searched on arrival? With only five days until the inquest, will DI Ridpath have enough time to find out the truth about what happened to Wendy Tang and will he be able to prevent even more deaths?

In the fourth installment of the DI Ridpath series, the author has painted a bleak picture of life inside the Immigrant Removal Centre. Operated by an outside agency, the establishment is clearly under-resourced and, quite frankly, not the sort of place you would want to spend any time in. Despite this, there are strict regulations in place which should have prevented the death of the woman, something which Ridpath realises quite early on. Although working as the coroner’s officer, his detective skills really came to the fore as he investigated what really happened, reaching the conclusion that this was no suicide. It was good to see Ridpath back working alongside MIT, leaving us wondering if he will return full time or whether he will continue his work alongside the coroner. Personally, I hope it will be the latter as  I enjoy the deviation from the average police procedural.

With only five days to investigate, and with more bodies turning up, Ridpath really had his work cut out to reach a conclusion before the inquest took place.  I find that many courtroom scenes can be quite long-winded, but I really enjoyed the coroner’s inquest, feeling that this provided a natural conclusion to the detective’s investigation. This also provided us with some great action and, although I had worked out who the killer was, there was so much more to this book than just finding out ‘whodunnit’.

Ridpath is a great character and I am thoroughly enjoying this series. After his good news at the end of this book, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my copy.

Take a look at my reviews of the rest of the series:

Where the Truth Lies

Where the Dead Fall

Where the Silence Calls

 

**COVER REVEAL** Daisy on the Outer Line by Ross Sayers

Two of my favourite TV shows in fairly recent years have been Ashes to Ashes and Life in Mars and so my interest was immediately piqued when I read the blurb for Daisy on the Outer Line by Ross Sayers. Time travel is a fascinating concept and I really like the sound of this plot.

The Blurb

Life, Death and Time Travel on the Glasgow Subway…

When selfish student Daisy trashes her stepdad’s funeral, she gets blind drunk and wakes up on the Glasgow subway to find she has travelled back in time. To make amends for her behaviour, she must save a life—but she doesn’t know who, how, or where to begin. She’ll have to find out fast if she wants to make it back to her old life and avoid being trapped in the wrong timeline forever.

The Cover

 

Daisy on the Outer Line will be published by Cranachan Books on 5th November 2020.

With thanks to Kelly from Love Books Group.

**BLOG TOUR** The Prized Girl by Amy K Green

After a teenage girl, Jenny,  is found brutally murdered, the police are convinced that the culprit is a man who was an obsessive fan of her work in beauty pageants. Something doesn’t sit right with her older half-sister, Virginia, however, and she undertakes on an investigation of her own. It soon becomes apparent that in a town where everyone seems to know everyone else, there are many people with secrets to hide, Jenny and Virginia included, and soon the suspect list rises. With numerous potential motives coming to light, just exactly who did kill Jenny?

Told from the perspectives of both Jenny and Virginia, we get an insight into the weeks and days leading up to the death of the teenager and also Virginia’s uncovering of what actually happened. I really enjoyed this writing technique, as it helped to create a slow burner of a story which had me constantly asking questions about what had occurred.

This is one of those books where the more you read, the more suspects you encounter, each one with their own motives for wanting Jenny out of the way. My opinions of Jenny changed throughout the book, as initially I felt a great deal of sympathy towards her as she found herself desperate to leave the beauty pageant world. This is a phenomenon that has never sat right with me and I found it interesting that the author addresses my concerns as part of the plot. Jenny undergoes a great transformation as the book progresses and, whilst I was horrified by some of her actions, I could see her need to rebel.

Virginia was a fascinating character, and I found her backstory a very tragic one. Despite the strained relationship she had with her family, the love for her half-sister was evident as she worked tirelessly to find who had killed Jenny. Like the murdered girl, she too had secrets she would prepare to remain hidden, these secrets surfacing and playing a major role in the killing. I enjoyed reading how something that happened a long time ago could create a ripple effect, creating a chain of events that ultimately led to the murder.

The Prized Girl  is a very strong debut from Amy K Green, full of twists and turns that had me gripped right until the end.

With thanks to Sian Baldwin at HQ for my copy of The Prized Girl.

 

Little Doubt by Rachel Lynch

When a local woman is brutally stabbed to death, there is a great deal of shock amongst the Lake District community. The death of another girl in a similar fashion does not command the same level of outrage, however, due to the difference in their social standing, and DI Kelly Porter faces a wall of silence as she tries to uncover the truth. When she begins to unearth a much larger conspiracy, the detective knows that she must put her job on the line if she is to see justice served.

This is a series that I have enjoyed since the first installment and I think I can safely say that this, the seventh book, is by far my favourite. With knife crime on the up, Rachel Lynch has written a very topical book, and one that highlights how this is not just a problem of the big cities. It was easy to see why witnesses were not forthcoming, with fear of reprisals being at the forefront of their minds. I am sure that there are some people who will read this book and will draw comparisons to an estate or area that they know.

For those who have watched the television series, there is a definite ‘Line of Duty’ feel to parts of this book, with Kelly realising that she cannot trust everyone who is supposed to be on the right side of the law. By introducing police corruption to the plot, we get to see a different side of Kelly as she realises that due to her integrity, matters may be taken out of her hands as she not only battles to solve the case, but finds herself fighting against those supposedly helping her to solve it.

One of the themes that I enjoyed most about Little Doubt, was how we get to see the best of people in the worst of circumstances. The mother of Keira Bradley, the murdered girl, was the epitome of a strong woman, going against the grain in order to bring order to her lawless estate.

Little Doubt is a fantastic book, with numerous plots that all converge to create a clever, gripping, topical story. One of my favourite reads of the year so far.

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my copy.

Take a look at my reviews of the rest of this series:

Dark Game

Deep Fear

Dead End

Bitter Edge

Bold Lies

Blood Rites

**COVER REVEAL** Lost Cause by Rachel Lynch

One of my favourite crime series in recent years has been the D I Kelly Porter series by Rachel Lynch. Set in the Lake District, these books are a great read and the latest, Little Doubt, is, in my opinion, the best one yet. My review for this will be published in a few days, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover of the next in the series, Lost Cause, which will be published on 20th August 2020 by Canelo. This promises to be another great read.

The Blurb

Is he a victim? Or a killer?

Kevin Flint is a young man on the cusp of adulthood and something of a misfit. He has no friends and a reputation of being odd. At home he lives in fear of his cruel, controlling father. Kevin starts spending time at an abandoned church with an ancient graveyard, and learns couples also go there to have sex. He becomes obsessed with watching them. Soon, one of the women who he has followed is reported missing.

DI Kelly Porter investigates the disappearance and knows that the adolescent boy is hiding something. Kevin is culpable, but to what degree? The evidence against him begins to stack up and Kelly is torn between instinct and facts. Distracted by a looming crisis in her personal life, can she preserve what she loves and still uphold the laws she lives by?

A stunning new DI Kelly Porter crime novel set in the Lake District which is perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, L. J. Ross and Angela Marsons.

 

 

The Cover

With thanks to Sophie Eminson fron Canelo.

The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood

Fleeing from her controlling partner with her young son, Joe, Lisa is given directions to a lake house in Yorkshire from a friend, a place where she can feel safe. Rowan Isle House isn’t what she was expecting but despite it being run down and having no running water, she perseveres, desperate to keep her and her son safe. After receiving a visitor from the nearby village, however, Lisa realises that maybe she isn’t as safe as she thought she would be. When her past returns to haunt her, just what will she need to do to survive?

Nuala Ellwood has become one of those authors whose books I download without even needing to read the blurb as I know that I am going to enjoy it. Her previous books, My Sister’s Bones and Day of the Accident were both superb reads and I couldn’t wait to read her latest offering. I was definitely not disappointed as The House on the Lake is a dark, gripping tale that kept me intrigued right until the very last page.

Lisa is a woman living on her nerves, terrified of meeting new people in case she is discovered. I could feel her desperation as she found herself living at a clearly uninhabitable house and wondered exactly what it was she was fleeing from. Her unconditional love for her son was apparent, despite him not being the easiest child to bring up. Throughout the book, I willed her to succeed and felt genuine fear for her as her world seemed to be closing in around her.

Lisa is not the only main character as we meet, in alternate paragraphs, previous occupiers of Rowan Isle House. The girl who, initially, we know only as ‘soldier’, tugged at my heart strings from the off. Living with her father, who clearly has PTSD, I had nothing but sympathy for this girl who is longing to experience life outside of the regimented existence inflicted by her father. There were several terrifying scenes where I genuinely feared for her life and I willed her to find a way out of this situation.

It was obvious that the two stories would eventually merge, and I liked how the author built this up slowly, creating a tense read that just made you want to keep reading. There were plenty of surprises along the way that I did not see coming and I was gripped right until the fitting end.

If you have never read any of Nuala Ellwood’s books before, then I can recommend each of them, this one being no exception.

With thanks to Net Galley and Penguin Books (UK) for my copy.

 

**COVER REVEAL** Death in Vermilion by Barbara Elle

Today I’m pleased to be one of the blogs taking part in the cover reveal for the first book in the Cape Mysteries series by Barbara Elle, Death in Vermilion.

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist. Growing up in Boston, her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting the Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

The Blurb

A psychological thriller about murder among friends and enemies.

Who can you trust?

Leila Goodfriend is laying down the bones of a painting. When interrupted by Iris, the noisy, unlikeable artist in the studio upstairs, Leila is distracted and annoyed.

When she discovers the racket was actually Iris’ dead body hitting the floor, Leila becomes obsessed: Who murdered Iris?

The other Red Barn Cooperative artists — competitive, jealous and hypocritical — are prime suspects. They all hated Iris. “An artist owes his life to his art,” Iris said.

Iris was good for a laugh. But no one is laughing now.

In this gripping mystery, new author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a charming Cape Cod town.

Alibis fall apart. Plot twists multiply. And Leila comes to a dangerous conclusion.

The Cover

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/38OSuQD

 

Twitter

@barbaraelleauth

 

With thanks to Kelly from Love Books Group

 

 

Monthly Round Up – February 2020

The only up side to the numerous storms we’re currently enduring in Britain is that people are probably finding a bit more time to read! This month I’ve read a few cracking books.

 

Books I’ve Read

The Body in the Snow by Nick Louth

The fourth book in the DCI Craig Gillard series has a complex plot where you just can’t make up your mind who is the killer of celebrity cook, Tanvi Roy. This is a great police procedural series and is highly recommended.

 

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

This is a series that just keeps getting better and better! The twelfth in the series sees Ruth Galloway assisting in the case of a convicted murderer – can she assist in finding the bodies of victims that haven’t yet been found? Elly Griffiths has written another superb book with plenty of heart-stopping moments.

 

The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

This is the most complex plot to date for Nathan Dylan Goodwin and sees forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, investigating a particularly baffling case involving assumed identities. A superb read for those who enjoy genealogical mysteries. 

 

17 Church Row by James Carol

An unnerving look into the not-so-distant future sees a family moving into a state-of-the-art home, their lives being controlled by a souped-up version of Alexa! This is one of those books that really makes you think about the direction in which technology is going. 

 

The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood

When a woman flees an abusive relationship with her young son, she doesn’t expect to find herself in a dilapidated cottage in the middle of nowhere, a cottage with a very traumatic history. This is another fantastic read from Nuala Ellwood, an author whose books I always enjoy. 

 

The Prized Girl by Amy K Green

When a teenager is brutally murdered, there are no shortage of suspects, but are the police looking in the right place? Her older sister decides to take matters into her own hands, uncovering a wealth of family secrets in the process. A tense, thrilling read – my review will form part of the blog tour.

 

Little Doubt by Rachel Lynch

This topical tale of knife crime is my favourite in this series to date. Rachel Lynch has written a fast-paced, exciting read that I could definitely see on the small screen. Review to follow.

 

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Nowhere is safe. No one can be trusted.

A bloodied body is found in a Manchester Immigrant Removal Centre. The investigating officer and the pathologist seem certain: a suicide. But for DI Ridpath something doesn’t add up.

As the evidence starts to unravel, and with few leads, the pressure is on to find answers before the Inquest is closed. Caught between the police, the coroner and a system that doesn’t care, Ridpath isn’t making any friends.

And at the centre of the case Ridpath will find a heart of darkness. Innocent people are suffering. How many more will die before Ridpath discovers the truth?

 

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.
 
Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

 

 

Megan has to climb round and step across the body to get a proper view. What’s left is like a chalk white mask in the rough shape of a face. The innocence is still there, and a hint of the cheekiness. But perhaps she is imagining that.

Detective Megan Thomas spent years undercover. It cost her marriage and her peace of mind, but she got the job done. Now she has to decide if she can go back to her life before, to a regular crime unit alongside other cops who have no idea about the fear that haunts her dreams. She’s still running from her memories. She doesn’t know how to stop.

Moving to Devon was meant to be a fresh start. She’s staying with her sister and swimming in the sea daily, battling the tides and letting the waves wash her past away. But she can’t outrun everything. First, the discovery of a body in a claustrophobic crime scene triggers a panic attack. And then, when she gets too emotionally involved in an attack on a local teenager, her boss pulls her off the case entirely.

When a body is found on the stretch of beach where she swims every day, Megan remembers why she joined the force, and what she’s fighting for… But how can she find justice for others, when she’s no longer sure of herself?

 

Some places make their own laws…

When Ella Watson, a woman of wealth and status, is brutally stabbed to death in broad daylight it sends a shockwave through the Lake District community. Later that day, Keira Bradley meets the same fate. But whereas Ella’s murder is a tragedy, Keira’s death on the notorious Beacon Estate is just another statistic in a dangerous place.

DI Kelly Porter has the unenviable job of running simultaneous investigations. Her efforts aren’t helped by a boss driven by protecting his reputation and a housing estate where fear rules and no one dare speak out. Kelly knows the answers can only be found by winning the trust of the residents at Beacon Estate. A task so hard it may be impossible.

Kelly puts everything she has into finding justice for both victims. The only thing she hadn’t anticipated was a traitor in the ranks. When the evidence points to someone in her team, Kelly has to put feelings aside and work the case – no matter where it leads. By the time it is over, nothing in her world will ever be the same…

 

Sometimes helping a stranger is the last thing you should do . . .

The Cornish village of St Petroc is the sort of place where people come to hide. Tom Killgannon is one such person. An ex-undercover cop, Tom is in the Witness Protection Programme hiding from some very violent people and St Petroc’s offers him a chance to live a safe and quiet life.

Until he meets Lila.

Lila is a seventeen-year-old runaway. When she breaks into Tom’s house she takes more than just his money. His wallet holds everything about his new identity. He also knows that Lila is in danger from the travellers’ commune she’s been living at. Something sinister has been going on there and Lila knows more than she realises.

But to find her he risks not only giving away his location to the gangs he’s in hiding from, but also becoming a target for whoever is hunting Lila.

 

Have you read any of these? I’d love to read your opinions!

 

 

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