Search

Go Buy The Book

Month

May 2020

**BLOG TOUR** Buried Angels by Patricia Gibney

When part of a dismembered body is found near to the railway line, DI Lottie Parker is horrified to find that it belongs to a child. It soon becomes apparent that the torso had been frozen, leading the police to believe that this is not a recent death. Why has no one reported a missing child and where is the rest of the body? After a local woman discovers a small skull when renovating her house, connections are made, but are they the right ones? Why have these body parts started appearing and who else must die to protect the secret?

Well, Lottie certainly had her work cut out with this case and it has definitely confirmed for me that Ragmullin is fast becoming Ireland’s answer to Midsomer due to the amount of murders occurring in a relatively small place! As well as having to deal with possibly her most complex case to date, Lottie is having to contend with numerous problems in her personal and professional life. Finally engaged to her colleague, Boyd, she is having to support him through his recent cancer diagnosis whilst also helping him with his sister due to the death of his mother. Added to this, Lottie’s daughter is also looking to move away from Ragmullin to live in America with her young son and there is also someone at work desperate to bring the detective down. With all of this turmoil, it’s a wonder she manages to solve the crime!

Buried Angels has arguably the most complex plot so far in any of Patricia Gibney’s books with numerous characters and plots providing a complicated yet gripping story line. What initially starts off as a cold case soon becomes much more recent as more bodies are found. It was obvious that all of these deaths were linked, but how? As the book progressed, it became apparent that there was a link to something that took place many years before and we become privy to some of this by the way of flashbacks. I was genuinely horrified by what I read, shocked by the depravity of the individual who Lottie would go on to reveal towards the end of the book.

With such a complex plot, I was pleased that the ending tied up all loose ends beautifully, linking each seemingly unrelated event successfully. The turn taken in Lottie’s professional life is an interesting one, and I can’t wait to see how the relationship between herself and her superior develops in the next book. I always look forward to reading the next Lottie Parker book and Buried Angels has left me in a similar position. Bring it on!

With thanks to Sarah Hardy for organising the Books on Tour and to Bookouture and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

 

Poisoned at the Priory by Antony M Brown

In 1876, disaster struck the London area of Balham when Charles Bravo, a newly-married lawyer, was found to have ingested an unknown poison, ultimately killing him. Initial evidence seemed to show that it was a case of suicide, an inquest ending with an open verdict. Such was the interest in the case, however, a second inquest returned a verdict of willful murder, with no guilty party ever brought to justice. Poisoned at the Priory, the fourth in the Cold Case Jury series, examines the evidence, inviting the reader to draw their own conclusions – was it suicide and, if not, who did kill Charles Bravo?

I really enjoyed the previous Cold Case Jury book, Move to Murder, and so I was delighted to see that the author had decided to tackle an unsolved crime that I have, for a long time, been intrigued by. The main players in the story are like characters straight out of a Victorian crime novel: the young, wealthy wife with a dubious past, the controlling husband, reliant upon his wife’s fortune and the lady’s companion, keen to keep her position, whatever the cost. In Poisoned at the Priory, Antony M Brown gives a complete picture of the lives of these characters, his extensive research being apparent.

The thing I like most about these books is that all theories are presented to you, the evidence for each one being given to help you make up your own mind as to what actually happened. I think that this is a great idea as in other books of this genre, what you generally get is an overview of what happened, the presented evidence pushing you towards the author’s way of thinking. Instead, we are presented with four theories, some more plausible than others, and we are even treated to the opinion of the great mystery writer Agatha Christie. I have always had my own theory about this case and after reading Poisoned at the Priory, it has not changed. I will let you decide for yourself though!

Although this is the fourth in the series, you do not need to have read any of the previous books as each one is a self-contained case. If you have an interest in true crime, then this is a series I can highly recommend and you won’t go far wrong by starting with this one.

With thanks to Net Galley and Mirror Books for my copy.

 

 

**BLOG TOUR** The Glass House by Eve Chase

After a traumatic event, children’s nanny, Rita, has gone with the family she works for to stay in a remote house in the middle of the woods. Secrets lurk within the family and when a baby is found among the trees, Jeannie, the mother, feels that this could be the start of something good. Soon, however, the discovery of a body changes everything and the Harrington family will never be the same again.

My interest was piqued right at the start of The Glass House when we are told that a body has been found at Foxcote Manor, the home of the troubled Harrington family. The story then transports us back to the time leading up to the discovery of the unnamed body, giving us a peek into the lives of the Harringtons and their nanny, Rita, known affectionately as ‘Big Rita’ by Hera and Teddy, the children she looks after. There was a very strange atmosphere surrounding the family, partly due to the fact that all was not well between Jeannie and Walter, the parents. I really felt for Rita, who found herself caught between the two while trying to provide love and care for the two children who she clearly had a lot of affection for.

We are also brought into the modern day where we meet Sylvie, a woman who has just separated from her husband after years of marriage. I found myself immediately warming to Sylvie and was devastated when tragedy struck her family. Although I enjoyed reading about this character, I did find myself wondering how she was going to fit into the story of the Harringtons so was pleased when all was revealed. I particularly liked how the connection felt very natural, not contrived in any way. Too many books like this rely upon coincidences to link two plots together, but this was not the case here. 

The Glass House is a beautifully written tale about secrets and how they always have a habit of resurfacing when you least expect it. This is not by any means an action-packed story, despite there being a dead body and other exciting parts along the way, but it doesn’t need to be. The characterisation is perfect, and you really feel that you know these people by the end of the story. The setting is also ideal with Foxcote Manor and the surrounding area providing a claustrophobic atmosphere where danger lurks around the corner. 

The story comes to a very satisfying conclusion and, although some of the details of the plot can be worked out earlier in the book, I was still gripped until the end as more revelations are made.

If you want to become completely immersed in a character-driven plot with an air of mystery and intrigue, then I can highly recommend The Glass House as this was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

With thanks to Penguin/Michael Joseph Books and Net Galley for my ARC and to Gaby Young for organising the blog tour.

 

**COVER REVEAL** The Thief on The Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas

One of the most novel books I read last year (and probably the book with the best cover!) was The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. I am pleased, therefore, to be able to take part in the cover reveal for Kate’s new book, The Thief on the Winged Horse, which looks amazing!

About the Book

A dazzling mixture of crime, romance, magic and myth from the acclaimed author of The Psychology of Time Travel.

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

About the Author

Kate Mascarenhas is a part-Irish, part-Seychellois midlander. Since 2017, Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Before that she worked as a copywriter, a dolls’ house maker, and a bookbinder. She lives with her husband in a small terraced house which she is slowly filling with Sindy dolls. Her first novel, The Psychology of Time Travel was published in 2018 to wide acclaim. This is her second novel.

The Cover

Pre-order links:

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/2Tkcvcq

Amazon: https://bit.ly/336YEJu
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2KbkofM

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Zg9ugU

 

Follow Head of Zeus

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

 

Publication date: 12th November

Formats: Hardback & eBook

#TheThief

 

With thanks to Vicky Joss and Head of Zeus.

 

**BLOG TOUR** Love Me To Death by Susan Gee

When a gruesome, homemade doll is found in Lyme Park, Stockport, the police are repulsed to discover that the hair once belonged to a human and that part of the scalp is still attached. Just where did this doll come from and is it connected to the discovery of the body of a young woman in the woods? In a town where everyone seems to be hiding something, who has got more to hide than most?

In Love Me To Death, we have two main protagonists. The first, Jacob, is a tragic character. Desperately missing his mum who has passed away, his life is being made a misery by his dad’s new partner, Paula, although no one else seems to realise what he is having to endure. He is not like the other boys, preferring to spend his time at the local library or drawing pictures of the love of his life, Maggie. My heart really went out to Jacob and, throughout the book I found myself rooting for him, hoping that his life would take a turn for the better.

It is whilst at the library that Jacob develops a sort of friendship with one of the librarians, Mr Anderson. Also his neighbour, it is not giving anything away to say that Mr Anderson is not the sort of person you would want to befriend! I found him a very complex character, and worried what his intentions were as he grew fonder of Jacob. There were definite similarities between the two characters and, despite the uneasiness I felt as the story progressed, I could see why they felt that there was a connection between them.

Although there were several parts of the story where it was obvious to see what was going to happen, there was one part that I did not see coming towards the end. This was a genuine surprise and the twist made complete sense – with hindsight, I felt I should have seen this coming!

With thanks to Head of Zeus, Aria Fiction and Net Galley for my ARC and to Vicky Joss for organising the blog tour.

**BLOG TOUR** The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl

It is the end of the 18th century and Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the privileged life they lead at the court of Versailles to set up home at a chateau, the ancestral home of Pierre. With attitudes towards the aristocracy changing rapidly, will the couple manage to start a new, more bourgeois life or will their aristocratic life catch up with them?

In the present, Lu and her husband, along with three of their friends have upped sticks to France to start a new life as joint owners of French property – the chateau Aubert. When people start to talk about the ghost that is known to live there, Lu’s interest is piqued and she begins to research the history of their house, revealing a secret that has remained hidden for centuries…

As always, it is a privilege to be part of the blog tour for one of Kathleen McGurl’s books as this is an author whose work I always eagerly anticipate. As in previous books, the story is told in two time frames: the present and, in this case, the lead up to and the aftermath of the French Revolution. It soon became apparent how much research the author has done into this turbulent time, not only with her historically accurate account of the events In France but also with the descriptions of the Alpes Maritimes. It was easy to visualise the setting such was the description, Kathleen McGurl painting a very picturesque view of this area of south east France. (If you want to see some pictures that inspired the book, take a look at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/kathmcgurl/future-novel/) .

In the two main characters, we see contrasting personalities. Lu is someone who is in need of a purpose in life after retiring from work to care for her mother. The death of her mother has left her at a loose end and so the opportunity to relocate to a chateau in France with her husband and friends seems like an ideal opportunity. Her uncertainty about the venture, however, is the complete opposite to Catherine, a woman who, despite her tender years, knows her own mind, even though her desire to emulate Marie Antoinette could end up being her downfall.

As someone who researches my family history, I liked reading about the discoveries made by Lu as she attempted to find out about the previous occupants in the chateau. This was where the two story lines converged, leading to a harrowing revelation about what actually happened to Pierre and Catherine Aubert. I found this very moving and, although I won’t give any spoilers, I was pleased that there could be closure for characters in both time frames.

As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret of the Chateau and loved the slow, mysterious build-up leading to a heart-breaking yet satisfying conclusion. This is a standalone, but I can definitely recommend all of Kathleen McGurl’s previous dual time frame books:

The Emerald Comb

The Pearl Locket

The Daughters of Red Hill Hall

The Girl From Ballymor

The Drowned Village

The Forgotten Secret

The Stationmaster’s Daughter

With thanks to HQ Digital, Net Galley and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC and for my spot on the blog tour.

 

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh

A telephone call is received by the police from a young woman, stating that her father has been killed by her sister and that she is still in the house. Seconds later, another call is received from the sister, saying the same thing. One of them is lying. One of them is a cold-hearted killer. Both of them stand accused of murder but who should we believe?

Steve Cavanagh has become the author with the killer hook and this has definitely continued in Fifty Fifty. From the very start, where we have two separate calls being made to the emergency services, from two sisters each accusing the other of murder, I was immediately drawn in to this twisty, sadistic tale of cat and mouse.

In Fifty Fifty, we have two defendants, each protesting their innocence and each represented by a lawyer who believes in what their client is telling them. One of them is being played, but who? Eddie Flynn is defending Sofia Avellino, a messed up young woman with a history of psychological trauma. Does she have it in her to carry out such a horrific crime? New lawyer Kate Brooks is representing Sofia’s sister, Alexandra, a woman much more together than her sister, but does her calm demeanor hide something more sinister? Usually when reading a book like this, I have some sort of theory as to who the guilty party is but I truly could not make up my mind! Just when I’d think it was definitely Alexandra, something would happen to lead me to believe it was Sofia, only a few chapters later have me convinced, yet again that it was Alexandra! I loved how this plot kept me on my toes, keeping me guessing right to the end.

There was one part of the book that had me holding my breath, desperate to read the next part yet, simultaneously, not daring to as I knew that something horrific was about to happen. I do not want to give away any spoilers, but this was a magnificent piece of writing and all I can say is Steve Cavanagh, how could you? If you’ve already read the book, you will know which part I am referring to, if not, strap yourself in as you’re in for a bumpy ride!

The author’s last book was called Twisted, and this one definitely follows suit. Fifty Fifty has a gripping plot that kept me on my toes throughout, outfoxing me at every turn. If you’ve never read a Steve Cavanagh book, you won’t go far wrong with this one. Superb!

With thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons

When the body of a young woman is found with her throat cut and a knife in her hand and no evidence of forced entry into her flat, D I Kim Stone agrees with the initial findings – Samantha Brown has committed suicide. After visiting her family to give them the awful news, however, something doesn’t sit right and another look at the body confirms the worst – she was murdered. When a second body is found, also with his throat cut, it is not long before a link is made to a commune called Unity Farm as both murdered people were known to have spent some time there. With the commune residents refusing to speak and with no actual evidence that would enable her to get a search warrant, Kim knows that she must send in one of her team undercover, putting them in a potentially dangerous situation.

As soon as I pick up one of Angela Marson’s Kim Stone books, I know that I am in for a treat and Killing Mind is no exception. Over the years, I have almost come to regard Kim and her team as real people as I feel I know them so well, and it is the strength of the characters that makes this series so readable. I like how Angela takes her time to bed in new characters, giving you a chance to get to know them, first with Penn and now with Tiffany, or ‘Tink’ as Kim prefers to call her. Tink plays a huge part in this book and, after getting to know her in a previous installment, I was totally invested in her involvement in the case, hoping that no harm would come to her.

I found the setting of the book – inside a cult – fascinating and although on the surface, Unity Farm seemed almost like a countryside retreat, a place to get away from the problems engulfing your life, it was scary to see how these people target the vulnerable, manipulating them until they have a very skewed view of reality. As Kim and her team discover more about the history of Unity Farm, I began to fear for the safety of her undercover officer, not just in case their identity discovered, but also in case they found themselves sucked in to the cult’s ideals. This provided numerous heart-in-the-mouth moments as danger seemed to lurk around every corner.

The second plot in the book is also a good talking point. Bryant becomes aware that a killer is about to be released from prison, a killer who has haunted the detective ever since he was a young constable due to him being one of the first on the scene of the brutal rape and murder of a young girl. Convinced that he will kill again, Bryant believes that he should remain incarcerated to prevent another death. I really enjoyed this plot, and fully understood the detective’s obsession with the killer.

Killing Mind is another unbelievably entertaining book by Angela Marsons, one that had me gripped throughout and had me reluctant to put it down. Surely it’s about time we saw Kim Stone on the small screen?

With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for my ARC.

Take a look at the rest of my reviews for the Kim Stone series:

Silent Scream

Evil Games

Lost Girls

Play Dead

Blood Lines

Dead Souls

Broken Bones

Dying Truth

Fatal Promise

Dead Memories

Child’s Play

First Blood

 

Monthly Round Up – April 2020

Well, it’s definitely been a very different sort of month. I hope that all of you are managing to keep well and that books are giving you a few moments where you don’t have to think about what is happening in the world. Working from home has given me a bit more reading time and I’ve also started to listen to some audio books courtesy of my local library.

Books I Have Read

The Death Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

It’s been a while since I read the author’s first book so I was pleased to see he’d finally written a second! Set partly in the present day and partly in the Victorian era, this is a great read and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next book!

 

Strangers by C L Taylor

From the start when we meet three characters, unfamiliar to each other, standing with a dead body, I was hooked! I loved her last book, Sleep, but I think I enjoyed this one even more!

 

The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth

The fifth in the Craig Gillard series is just as good as the rest. There’s a particularly clever serial killer and, for some of Craig’s team, he might just be someone the already know…

 

 

Remain Silent by Susie Steiner

This is the third in a series that continues to go from strength to strength. DS Manon Bradshaw investigates the death of an immigrant worker, dealing with many prejudices along the way. A superb read.

 

 

The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl

Another historical timeslip novel from Kathleen McGurl takes us to the time of the French Revolution. Mystery, death, history, intrigue – this had it all! I always look forward to Kathleen McGurl’s books and this one did not let me down. Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims

The first in the series introduces us to Ellen and her family. In these worrying times, this gave me a much-needed bit of light relief due to the many laugh-out-loud moments.

 

 

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons

I’m still amazed as to how Angela Marsons keeps this series going with such a high standard! In Killing Mind, Kim Stone and her team investigate a cult, putting a member of her team in danger in the process. Fans of this series are going to absolutely love this! Review to follow.

 

Love Me To Death by Susan Gee

A creepy tale of a warped killer plying his trade in Stockport. In a town full of secrets, who exactly has something to hide? Review will follow as part of the blog tour.

 

 

Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries by John Taylor

Highly recommended for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, especially as the audio book is narrated by Shelock himself – Benedict Cumberbatch!

 

Books I Have Acquired

Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?

‘911 what’s your emergency?’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

One of them is a liar and a killer.

But which one?

 

Outside a remote manor house in an idyllic wood, a baby girl is found.

The Harrington family takes her in and disbelief quickly turns to joy. They’re grieving a terrible tragedy of their own and the beautiful baby fills them with hope, lighting up the house’s dark, dusty corners. Desperate not to lose her to the authorities, they keep her secret, suspended in a blissful summer world where normal rules of behaviour – and the law – don’t seem to apply.

But within days a body will lie dead in the grounds. And their dreams of a perfect family will shatter like glass.
Years later, the truth will need to be put back together again, piece by piece . . .

 

Bubbles of cold sweat trickled down Faye’s spine. The hole wasn’t empty. Before she could turn and run, she caught the two sightless eyes staring up at her. Only then did she scream.

When Faye Baker discovers a fragile child’s skull behind the walls of her new home, Detective Lottie Parker is called to investigate. The house has been owned for years by the family of Faye’s boyfriend Jeff, so when Jeff starts acting suspiciously, Lottie wonders what he might be hiding…

Lottie doesn’t have long to dig deeper before a child’s bones are found by eleven-year-old Gavin on nearby railway tracks. The bones don’t match the small skull behind the walls, but Lottie can’t ignore the coincidence. Someone out there must be missing their loved ones and it’s up to her to put right a terrible wrong.

Unable to shake a feeling of foreboding, Lottie goes to speak to Faye, and discovers that she hasn’t turned up for work. When Faye’s body is found stuffed in the back of her car, Lottie needs to find out who wanted her to keep quiet.

As Lottie hunts for Faye’s killer, the case takes a darker turn when Gavin goes missing. Faye and Gavin are connected only by the grisly body parts they discovered. But who are these little victims and why has their killer come back? Can Lottie find the answers before another precious life is taken?

 

You don’t want to play their games…

All around Albuquerque, New Mexico, young women are going missing, seemingly vanished into thin air. With no link between the victims, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is quickly plunged into a horrifying case with no obvious clues.

And when Jersey Andrews, the best friend of Alyssa’s teenage daughter, Holly, joins the list of vanished girls, the case becomes personal.

But this investigation will lead Alyssa and partner Cord into the most sinister depths of humanity; an evil place where life is expendable, and where the depraved can fulfil their darkest desires – if they have the money to pay for it.

As the first bodies appear, abandoned on the streets, Alyssa is forced into a frantic hunt to track down the killers – before more innocent women lose their lives. But when the truth comes out, it seems that the key to solving the case was hiding in the last place anyone expected…

 

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Hopefully, May will bring a less scary month for us all.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑