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**BLOG TOUR** The Bad Daughter by Joy Fielding

Today, I am pleased to be able to share with you an extract from Joy Fielding’s latest book, The Bad Daughter, which will be published on 27th February.

The Blurb

STRANGER. LIAR. KILLER?

YOU CANT TRUST THE BAD DAUGHTER . . .

Robin Davis hasn’t spoken to her family in six years.

Not since it happened.

Then they’re attacked; left fighting for their lives.

And Robin is back.

All families have their secrets.

And one of theirs may have put them all in terrible danger . . .

YOU CAN ALWAYS TRUST YOUR FAMILY . . . CAN’T YOU?

 

The Extract

Robin climbed out of the too hard queen-size bed and shuffled toward the bathroom. Why do all motel rooms look alike? she wondered. Is there some union rule that dictates they all be uninteresting rectangles in shades of beige and brown? Not that she was an expert in motel decor, having stayed in only a few over the years. She’d gone from her parents’ crowded house in Red Bluff to a dorm room at Berkeley, back to her parents’ house to work and earn money to continue her education, on to a small shared apartment off campus, then back and forth between Berkeley and Red Bluff to help care for her mother, then on to a cramped studio apartment in Los Angeles, and finally to the spacious two-bedroom unit she shared with Blake.

Blake, she thought, silently turning the name over on her tongue as she stepped into the tub. What must he be thinking? She turned on the faucet for the shower, then had to brace herself against the wall as a torrent of ice-cold water shot from the showerhead.

Blake would be furious with her.

She hadn’t called him since yesterday afternoon. Even then, she hadn’t spoken to him directly, but just left a message with his pretty new assistant to the effect that she had to go to Red Bluff to deal with a family emergency and she’d call him later. Then she’d canceled the week’s remaining appointments, gone home to pack a small suitcase, and taken a cab to the airport, where she’d boarded the first available flight to Sacramento, arriving at almost six o’clock in the evening. The bus to Red Bluff didn’t leave till the next morning, but the thought of renting a car and making the drive herself had proved too daunting, and in truth, she was in no hurry to get there. Instead she’d found a motel close to the bus terminal and checked in. She’d eschewed dinner, instead wolfing down a Three Musketeers bar she got from the vending machine down the hall.

She also resisted turning on the TV, hoping to avoid reports of the shooting. She could handle only so much information, process only so much. She really didn’t want to know every awful detail yet.

She thought about calling Blake again, but then remembered he’d said something about a dinner meeting with clients, so why bother? He was busy. He was always busy. Too busy to phone, obviously. Too busy to spare a few seconds to inquire as to what sort of family emergency would necessitate her taking off like that, to return to a place she’d sworn never to go back to. Would it have been so hard for him to interrupt one of his seemingly endless meetings to call her, to feign at least a modicum of interest?

So maybe he wouldn’t be furious that she hadn’t tried contacting him again. Maybe he’d be relieved. Maybe she’d finally handed him the ammunition he’d been waiting for to end their relationship once and for all.

Not that he could do anything to help the situation, she reminded herself. His specialty was corporate law, not criminal law. And it wasn’t as if he even knew her father. Or her sister. Or any member of her screwed-up family, except her brother, Alec, who lived in San Francisco, so they’d actually met only twice. She’d left a message for Alec, but he hadn’t called her back either. So screw both of them, she’d decided, turning off her cell phone and climbing into bed at barely eight o’clock.

Joy Fielding is the New York Times bestselling author of Charley’s Web, Heartstopper, Mad River Road, See Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida.

With thanks to Emily and Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre.

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**BLOG TOUR** Best Friends by Carys Jones

Struggling to pay the rent, four housemates, Grace, Jasper, Franklin and Aaron think that all of their prayers have been answered when they find a case containing a large sum of money in a skip. Despite their consciences telling them to leave it where it is, they are soon spending their new-found wealth. The arrival of a thug on their doorstep, though, changes everything when he demands his property be returned in a week’s time or consequences will be dealt. When one of the four suddenly finds themselves fighting for their life, the others begin to wonder whether they, too, will suffer the same fate…

What would you do if you found £20,000? Personally, I’d hand it in to the police but our protagonists in Best Friends are in such dire straits that all they can think about is how this unexpected windfall could solve all of their problems. In addition to paying their rent, they soon start to purchase items that they feel will help them in their burgeoning careers, whether it be time at a dance studio or a new guitar. Of course, it was inevitable that the real owner of the case would come looking for his money and this sets in motion a chain of events that will see several of the friends venturing into the seedier side of money-making in order to prevent something terrible happening to them.

I liked the main character, Grace, and felt desperately sorry for her as she tried, to no avail, to fulfil her dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Her early life was beyond traumatic and I willed her to succeed so she could finally live the life she deserved. It was pleasing to see how her housemates tried to protect her even when she stepped completely out of her comfort zone to try to earn back some of the money that they took.

While Best Friends definitely deals with a crime and its consequences, I would not put this in the thriller or crime genres. Instead, it is a great study of how people react in different ways to a situation and how easy it is to get drawn into something unsavoury. The ending is tied up neatly and it is a good lesson in how vital friendships are and how you should always aim high in order to reach your potential.

With thanks to Aria and Net Galley for the ARC.

Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mKlVg0

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DMGC34

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mMlsKp

iBooks: https://apple.co/2rk5pZN

Follow Carys Jones

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2rmTGti

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Dpix5D

Website: http://bit.ly/2mS51gj

Follow Aria

   Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2lkKB0e

Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

 

 

 

**BLOG TOUR** Unconvicted by Olly Jarvis

Today, as part of the blog tour for Unconvicted, the new book from Olly Jarvis, I am pleased to be able to share an extract with you.

The Blurb

In a razor-sharp legal thriller, Jack Kowalski must win two challenging trials to save his reputation and his career

Junior barrister Jack Kowalski is crushed. His client Timothy Smart appears to have committed a monstrous crime while on bail – a bail application Jack fought hard to win.

When a high-profile Polish footballer is charged with rape and demands a fellow countryman represent him, Jack must overcome his guilt and get back to work. Before long he takes on a second case, a GBH for instructing solicitor Lara Panassai, who Jack remains desperate to impress. But neither case is what it seems, and Jack will face an extraordinary uphill battle to see that justice is done…

The second Jack Kowalski novel, Unconvicted is a gripping courtroom drama written with the expert insight of a practicing criminal barrister, perfect for fans of William L. Myers, Deborah Hawkins, and Scott Turow.

Chapter 11

PC Adil Khan checked his watch as he drove. It would be another late finish, just so the prickly DS could have a chauffeur from some dinner at the town hall.

‘Slow down a second, Adil,’ asked DS Joan Baker. ‘See that girl there?’

‘Oh yeah, too right!’ he replied. ‘Quite a looker.’

The girl was half-walking and half-running down Deansgate. She wore a skimpy, figure-hugging white dress. No shoes.

‘There’s something not right, Adil. Pull over.’

‘Yeah, hammered probably.’

‘Just pull over, will you?’ she said, with a hint of irritation.

‘All right, all right,’ PC Khan replied.

They pulled up alongside the young woman. At first, she didn’t notice them.

DS Baker called out, ‘Is everything OK, love?’

The girl saw them now. She stopped, then walked straight to the police car, opened the door and got into the back seat. She was shaking. They could see marks, possibly burns on her wrists.

‘It’s all right. You’re safe now. What’s your name, love?’ asked Baker above the crackle coming from their radio.

The girl stared blankly back at her. Her face was a mess, the bruising made worse by the smeared lipstick and smudged eyeliner.

DS Baker turned to her colleague. ‘She’s in shock, poor thing.’ She tried again: ‘We’re going to take you somewhere comfortable, OK, love?’

No reply.

‘What’s your name, sweetheart?’

Eventually, in a whisper: ‘Lauren.’ Her bottom lip began to quiver. ‘I’ve been raped.’

DS Baker sighed. ‘I know, love. I know.’

Hopefully that has whetted your appetite! If so, here’s where you can get your copy:

Amazon (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Olly Jarvis is a writer and criminal defence barrister, originally from London but now working in Manchester. Drawing on his experiences, he writes both fiction and non-fiction with a particular understanding of the pressures and excitement of life in the courtroom. He wrote the highly acclaimed Radio 4 drama Judgement, and wrote and presented the BBC documentary Mum Knows Best. He is also the author of Death by Dangerous. Olly has two children and lives in Cheshire.

 

Take a look at the rest of the blogs on the tour:

 

**BLOG TOUR** Undertow by Anthony J. Quinn – Extract

Today, I am the latest stop on the blog tour for Undertow by Anthony J. Quinn and am pleased to be able to share an extract. Anthony’s first novel, Disappeared, was a Daily Mail crime novel of the year so this one promises to be a good one!

A simple case of suicide takes on a more sinister tone when Detective Celcius Daly travels across the Irish border to the desolate village of Dreesh, a place where law and order have ground to a halt, and whose residents, ruined by a chain of bankruptcies, have fallen under the spell of a malevolent crime boss with powerful political connections to the IRA.

Anthony J. Quinn

Out of his jurisdiction, out of his claustrophobic cottage and out of his comfort zone, Daly is plunged into a shadowy border world of desperate informers, drunken ex-cops, freelance intelligence agents haunted by their own reflections and violent smugglers.

Doomed to be kept on the fringes by two separate police forces working in parallel , Daly’s dogged search for the truth soon sparks an outbreak of murderous violence as the desire to keep the Irish border in the shadows intensifies.

The Extract:

Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland

Fog, dragging across the shoreline, hung over the heaving expanse of the lough.

The view at the jetty had no depth; nothing to see or touch but a cold stagnancy pressing upon everything, no stealthy shapes or shadows and no sign of the drowned corpse. The vast mass of the lough and its secret, washed ashore overnight, had slid into oblivion.

A disorientated Inspector Celcius Daly stepped from his car and listened for the telltale sounds, the churn of the waves, the wash of shifting currents, the web of birdcalls bubbling up from tree-lined coves, but heard nothing. It was early in the morning, too early for most. He had worked all night, and had been looking forward to clearing his head with the exhilarating air of the lough, and a glimpse of its wind-slapped waves, their rainy glitter and gloom thrusting towards him. Since his father’s death, this great wild space had been his only respite from the two habits that governed his existence: work and insomnia; the only place he could breathe freely and figure out his thoughts by himself.

Daly groped in the direction of the water, trying to get his bearings, but almost immediately the fog enclosed him in walls of whiteness, and all he could see were floating fragments, dark rocks, thorn trees, and an abandoned fishing boat with rotten timbers. No sounds, no sense of direction, no signs of his colleagues or police tape, no sad clues as to what had happened overnight, only these white suffocating corridors to roam.

Where was everybody? Lough Neagh might be the largest lake in Western Europe, but it was small in the parochial sense. Bad news travelled quickly along its shores, and Daly had expected to encounter a few press photographers and gawping members of the public fringing the scene, but the shrouded cove was completely devoid of life. Perhaps he had made a mistake and parked up at the wrong place. A solitary swell broke, heaving and sucking along the invisible shore. He wheeled around and changed direction.

He was supposed to know this terrain by heart, but this morning the very presence of the lough seemed unimaginable. He clambered along a muddy bank, shuffling slowly, playing blind man’s buff with the shoreline.

To his relief, the fog had other occupants. The profile of a young man floated into view, a police officer minding the crime scene, his face becalmed by the fog.

Daly flicked open his ID. ‘Which direction?’ The officer pointed the way. A colleague drifted close by, another ghost, and then the world whitened again. Daly slithered down an embankment of rocks, treacherously greasy with algae, hearing waves splash nearby. Gobbets of water soaked his trousers and dribbled down his legs. Thin air one moment, deep dark water the next; he’d better mind himself. He reached out a hand to steady himself against a post, the strangeness of the invisible shore made stranger by the fact that each footstep was one he had taken countless times before, loping and clambering over the uneven terrain as a boy, but somehow the fog had swept those memories aside. Wary of jumping from one rock to another, he plodded on, slipping down the sides, getting his feet soaking wet.

A thorn tree in blossom appeared and then disappeared, recoiling into the fog, otherworldly. Again that disorientating sense that the lough was suddenly far away, that it had fled with the crime scene under cover of the fog, its waves breaking on a distant shore.

He shouted: ‘Hello, police,’ hoping to call his way out of the murk. His words came out more querulously than he intended, half strangled and hoarse. Annoyed at having to draw attention to himself in this way, he shouted louder, and then listened. The lough lay cushioned in silence. Then it came, a murmuring response further along the shore. Followed by another gurgling call, further away, repeating the first. Was it just his muffled echo? Or were there other detectives out there, searching for corpses, trying to yell their way out of this mist-shrouded labyrinth?

For a moment, the fog dissolved and Daly was rewarded with a view of the shore lined with the debris of winter gales. The Lough Neagh landscape was a deserted, inhospitable place, prone to sudden flooding that impregnated the surrounding fields and cottages with mud and slime. Apart from a few bird sanctuaries, it did not attract many visitors. Across Ireland, developers had built wherever they wanted, erecting expensive shiny apartments and holiday homes right on the banks of lakes and rivers. The planners’ sleight of hand that allowed builders to ruin the country’s waterways did not apply here. The lough and its shore was one of the country’s last true natural spaces, a marshy landscape Daly kept returning to for reflection, to help shape his thoughts and memories, but this morning all that was wiped away.

Stirring amid the breaking mist were the white figures of scene-of-crime officers, moving like maggots across a little beach. A shore full of strangers to announce the arrival of the mud-smeared corpse that had washed up during the night. Ignoring the other officers, Daly slipped down the stones to where the body lay sprawled on its back, feet still in the water, face turned to one side, bloated by the long immersion, its lifeless eyes and patchy beard several inches long covered in slimy liquid.

‘Typical Irish suicide,’ murmured Detective Derek Irwin as he came up beside him.

Daly turned to the grey face of his colleague. ‘There’ve been no reports of a missing person.’

‘That’s why forensics are still here.’ Irwin gave a bored sigh. ‘The body of a middle-aged overweight male consigned to a dismal lough. Sounds like a suicide to me.’

With thanks to Blake Brooks and Head of Zeus for giving me the opportunity to take part in the blog tour. Undertow was published on 14th December.

**BLOG TOUR** Liar Liar by Sarah Flint

51xLXqtfgrLA man is found murdered, hideously disfigured, alongside his dying dog. A woman is discovered dead, tied up and gagged in her own bed. Both have a rose placed next to them but that is not the only similarity – both victims are police officers. DC Charlie Stafford and the rest of their team know that someone is out to kill more their own and they must be stopped before one of them becomes the next victim.

It is always nice to be asked to take part in a blog tour but even more so when the book is part of a series that you have grown to love. Liar Liar is the third book to feature Charlie Stafford and is part of a series that is going from strength to strength. I have mentioned in previous reviews (Mummy’s Favourite and The Trophy Taker) how much I enjoy the working relationship between the police officers in this series and this is still the same in Liar Liar. It is also pleasing to read a police procedural series where the focus is placed on the plot rather than the personal lives of the characters.

Sarah Flint

Liar Liar is very current with references to the recent terrorist attacks in London. This helped to place the story very much in the modern day and also helped to introduce how vulnerable police officers are in the world we live in. Despite them being on heightened terrorism alert, however, the team are not prepared for the heinous acts undertaken by the killer and their mentor, ‘Ice.’ It becomes apparent quite early in the book that there is some sort of leak, the perpetrator feeding information about the officers to the murderer. With several possible candidates, though, it is not made too obvious as to who this could be so it was fun trying to guess, along with trying to work out who the killer could be.

As in previous books in the series, Charlie is still trying to do the right thing by her friend, Ben, although, at the moment, she is struggling to help him cope with his issues. Ben is still a character I enjoy reading about and I am still willing him to come good! Although there are definitely hints of a romance on the cards, it is understandable why they are both wary and I’m glad that the author hasn’t rushed into this.

From the very beginning, when we are privy to a horrendous act of domestic violence, Liar Liar draws you in and takes you on a journey through the depraved mind of a killer and the lives of those tasked with bringing them to justice. This is a must-read series.

With thanks to Aria Fiction and Net Galley for the ARC and to Melanie Price for organising the blog tour.

Take a look at the rest of the blogs on the tour:

**BLOG TOUR** In the Dark by Andreas Pflüger Q&A

She lost her sight, but she can still see the truth…

Jenny Aaron was once part of an elite police unit tracking Germany’s most dangerous criminals. She was the best. Until it all went wrong. A disastrous mission saw her abandon a wounded colleague and then lose her sight forever.

Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world. But she’s still haunted by her betrayal. Why did she run?

Then she receives a call from the unit. They need her back. A prison psychologist has been brutally murdered. And the killer will only speak to one person…

It is my pleasure to be the next stop on the blog tour for In the Dark, the latest book by Andreas Pflüger. I am incredibly grateful to Andreas for taking the time to answer my questions in such a detailed and fascinating way:

Your lead character, Jenny Aaron, is blind. What challenges did this bring when writing In the Dark?

I had to do a tremendous amount of research because the story is told mainly from the point of view of my heroine. I read for almost a year, talked to blind women who were so friendly to share a lot of time with me, talked to doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, brain researchers. In the end one of the most distinguished experts for blindness worldwide became my special adviser: Professor Bernhard Sabel from the Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg (formerly of MIT and Harvard). He reads every sentence of my Aaron novels and is my guarantee that the facts about blindness are right. His work is a great inspiration for me.

Jenny is a government assassin. How did you research this role?

My first thriller Operation Rubikon which is not published in English, takes place  in the world of special branch, intelligence agencies and international terrorism and my main adviser was the former President of the BKA – the Federal Criminal Investigation Office of Germany. I worked for five years on that novel and learned so much about that business that I still benefit from the research.

You have written for the radio and theatre as well as writing novels. Which do you prefer to write and why?

In the last three years I concentrated on my novel writing. Both forms of storytelling are very different and each is fun. But there is one thing that helps to create a novel: A screenwriter is paid for a lot of things. But mainly for one talent: When somebody else wants to see a movie, he or she has to go to a cinema or turn on the TV. A screenwriter is able to watch a complete new film in his head. I am convinced that a good novel always is a kind of mental cinema. So you could say my first life as a screenwriter was a great preparation for my second one as a novelist.

Which authors do you enjoy reading that you would recommend to other readers?

Most of the time I only read non-fiction books about medicine, brain science or martial arts techniques. The novels I like most are the old fashioned ones: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett or James M. Cain. But I am a fan of Robert Harris and Stephen King too. His novel 11/22/63 is a brilliant piece of writing.

For anyone who has not yet read any of your work, why should they read In the Dark?

Because Jenny Aaron is a heroine you never met before.

 

In the Dark is available to purchase now.

Take a look at the other great blogs forming part of the tour:

**BLOG TOUR** Last Witness by Carys Jones – Extract

 

It is my pleasure to be the next stop on the blog tour for the brilliant new book by Carys Jones – Last Witness. My review can be found here, but I am also lucky enough to be able to share an extract with you!

1

‘I want to go home.’
Ewan’s voice was plaintive, sorrowful, as he lifted his head off Amanda’s arm and peered up at her through tired eyes.
Home.
The word pressed itself into Amanda’s side like a thorn. Each time she breathed in she felt its barbed tip. What was home? A place? A person? For Amanda, home had been the beautiful new house she’d bought with her husband, Will.
Bending forward, she coughed to conceal the sob which trembled up her throat and burst from her lips. Will was gone. All that was left of him was the little boy at her side.
‘Home.’ Ewan smacked his hands against his seat and blinked back tears.
‘We can’t go home,’ Shane briefly turned to look back at them from the driving seat. Amanda had watched his profile throughout their long journey, noticed the unrelenting tension in his jaw as he drove down seemingly never-ending motorways. Scotland was now in the rear-view mirror. The sun had started to dip in the sky and Amanda wasn’t sure if she’d reach her mother’s house before dark.
‘Why not?’ the little boy demanded of both the adults in the car, dividing his
heated gaze between them. Shane was looking ahead once more.
‘Because we can’t,’ Amanda wished she had a more concrete explanation to offer Ewan. She wrapped her arm around his slight shoulders and drew him back towards her. He was too tired to pull away.
‘But why not?’ his eyelids were drooping.
Because your mother and father are dead. Because the man who killed them may well be hunting you too.
‘Because we can’t,’ Amanda repeated softly. A minute passed and Ewan’s
breathing deepened as he drifted off to sleep.
*
As Amanda had predicted, night had fallen when Shane’s car pulled into the small driveway outside her mother’s cottage. She could taste the salt in the air sweeping in off the Southern English coast as she stretched out her legs, trying to unknot them after the long drive down from Scotland. Thick, velvety shadows gathered where the vehicle’s headlights couldn’t reach.
‘Are you sure she’s going to be okay with this?’ Shane’s voice was dubious as Amanda yawned widely in the back seat and stretched out her arms.
‘She has to be.’
‘And if she isn’t?’
‘Well,’ Amanda dusted a strand of blonde hair out of her eyes, ‘you don’t have a place of your own right now. I’m sure as hell not going back to my place. And that leaves hers.’
Even at night, the little cottage managed to look welcoming. A single outside light shone beside the front door. It banished away any shadows that lingered too close to the threshold. Amanda smiled a little to herself as she looked at its glow, remembering how that light used to be left on to help guide her back home during her teenage years, when she’d spent hours down on the beach with Shane and John. But who was it on for now? Or did her mother just like to think that she was offering a guiding light to any souls that wandered along the cliffside?
It was cold out. When she opened her car door the slap of the night air against his cheeks roused Ewan from slumber. He made his hands into little balls and furiously rubbed them against his eyes. ‘Where are we?’ he mumbled the question as Shane scooped him up in his strong arms and rested Ewan against his chest. The boy promptly lowered his head and fell back asleep.
‘I envy his ability to just sleep anywhere.’ Shane smiled. It wasn’t a hearty, natural one. More the sort of smile you use in polite company. But Amanda was grateful for it. It was nice to see someone else smile, especially since she doubted she’d ever be able to again.
Pushing back all her nerves and worries, she rang the doorbell.
‘Are you even sure she’ll be up?’
Amanda pulled her phone from her pocket and peered at the screen. It was a quarter to eleven. ‘She’ll be up.’
Sure enough it took less than a minute for the locks to turn on the other side of the door.
‘Who is it?’ Her mother’s voice was tight, suspicious. Amanda could imagine her staring hard at the door, rouge lips pursed in annoyance.
‘Mum, it’s me.’
The door opened. Light flooded the porch, brilliant and bright. Amanda had to stagger back, briefly shielding her eyes.

About the Author:

Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

Follow Carys

Twitter: @tiny_dancer85

Facebook: @CarysJonesWriter

Instagram: tiny_dancer_8

Website: http://www.carys-jones.com/

 

With thanks to Aria, Head of Zeus, Carys Jones and Yasmine Turan for enabling me to be part of this blog tour. Take a look at the rest of the great blogs that are participating:

 

 

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