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Monthly Round Up

Monthly Round Up – August 2018

August is always the month where I manage to read more books than any other and this has been no exception! I’ve also taken part in several blog tours of books which are getting some great reviews:

The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber – a fantastic guest post about how important it is to choose the right location in your book.

Implant by Ray Clark – an extract that really sets the tone of the book.

Bone Deep by Sandra Ireland – an extract that helps you to get into the mind of the character.

Through His Eyes by Emma Dibdin – an extract to set the scene.

Night Driver by Marcelle Perks – a creepy extract.

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarhenas – a review.

Books I Have Read

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarhenas

A brilliant murder-mystery set in the world of time travel. This is a very clever book which, as well as being highly entertaining, also makes you think about the ethics of time travel. Highly recommended.

 

 

Murder Mile by Lynda La Plante

I’m a huge fan of Lynda La Plante, especially anything Tennison/Prime Suspect related and the latest in this series is a great addition. When the body of a woman is found, it seems as though a serial killer may be in operation.

 

 

Keep Her Silent by Theresa Talbot

When a cold case involving the serial killer known as ‘Raphael’ is reopened, investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil unearths a cover up of huge proportions. Review will follow as part of the blog tour.

 

 

Lying and Dying by Graham Brack

Lieutenant Josef Slonský investigates the murder of a young woman found on the streets of Prague. Lots of dark humour and a genuine twist I did not see coming.

 

 

Full Metal Cardigan by David Emery

A humorous take on the author’s career as a social worker. I really enjoyed this and some of the anecdotes will stay with me for a long time! Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

 

41100476Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan

I loved the premise of this book where a blind woman witnesses a murder. Tense in parts with a claustrophobic feel, this was a great read.

 

51eqNpzedZLThe Vanishing Box by Elly Griffiths

The latest case for Edgar Stephens sees the detective investigating the murder of a young woman who has been posed to look like a well-know piece of art. The fourth in the Stephens and Mephisto series, and probably my favourite so far.

 

514dwwIhhvL._SY346_The Guilty Dead by P J Tracy

A murder staged to look like suicide and a bomber intent on causing destruction on a huge scale. The ninth book in the Monkeewrench series is an exciting read!

 

51Zjp0hbpsLThe Body on the Shore by Nick Louth

The murder of an architect at his desk and the discovery of an unidentified male body hundreds of miles away see DCI Craig Gillard investigating a case that will put his life and the lives of those closest to him in extreme danger. A fast-paced, exciting read which I am reviewing as part of the blog tour.

 

Books I Have Acquired

51d16+NlOxL._SY346_When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.

At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.

Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate…

 

51BH3yWrGhL._SY346_The boy’s body was so white it was almost transparent. But that’s not what caused the nausea to rise up her throat. He was so young. His body was unmarked, surrounded by a halo of plucked wildflowers.

One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way home from playing with friends. Two days later, his body is discovered on a bed of wildflowers by some local teenagers.

The case is assigned to Detective Lottie Parker and this time it’s personal. The victim was a close friend of her son, Sean, from the run-down Munbally estate on the other side of town. Sean tells his mother Mikey was behaving normally before he died, but Lottie can’t help but feel that her son is keeping something from her…

Then days later, another boy is found dead, surrounded by wild flowers next to beautiful Ladystown Lake.

On the hunt for a twisted individual with a terrifying calling card, Lottie must uncover the web of secrets within Mikey’s circle of friends. Someone is hiding something but who are they protecting and can Lottie find out before it’s too late? Lottie is desperate to catch the killer before he strikes again because this time her own child could be in terrible danger…

 

September looks like being a great reading month and I’m hoping to get through some of my TBR pile too. I can hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monthly Round Up – June 2018

The end of June already – just where has the year gone?! I’m ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge despite having hardly any reading time over the last few months. I had, however, managed to reduce my Net Galley shelf until books by some of my favourite authors appeared on there this month!

Books I’ve Read

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Known for his courtroom dramas featuring lawyer Eddie Flynn, Steve Cavanagh has produced this masterpiece which can be read as a standalone. When a young starlet is found brutally murdered, the lawyer meets his match when the killer finds himself not on trial but a member of the jury. An absolutely brilliant read.

First to Die by Alex Caan

When a senior civil servant is found dead, seemingly killed by a highly contagious virus, Kate Riley, Zain Harris and their team have their work cut out to stop it spreading before panic sets in. The second in a series where i feel it would have been beneficial to have read the first.

I Know You by Annabel Kantaria

Happy that she is finally widening her social circle, Taylor is blissfully unaware that someone is stalking her and that this is about to lead to deadly consequences. As a fan of Annabel Kantaria’s writing, I found this another fantastic read.

Conan Doyle for the Defence by Margalit Fox

The true story of Oscar Slater who, in 1908, was found guilty of the murder of an elderly spinster in Glasgow. This would become one of the most well-known miscarriages of justice in Scotland, not least because of the involvement of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in trying to secure his release and pardon.

False Accusations by Cora Harrison

The first in a new series featuring former headteacher Flora Morgan who, after acting as an ‘Appropriate Adult’ for a girl with learning difficulties, decides to help find her innocent of a murder charge. A great plot but not one to sink your teeth into.

Books I’ve Acquired

Beneath the surface lie forgotten secrets…

A village destroyed

It’s the summer of 1935 and eleven-year-old Stella Walker is preparing to leave her home forever. Forced to evacuate to make way for a new reservoir, the village of Brackendale Green will soon be lost. But before the water has even reached them, a dreadful event threatens to tear Stella’s family apart.

An uncovered secret

Present day, and a fierce summer has dried up the lake and revealed the remnants of the deserted village. Now an old woman, Stella begs her granddaughter Laura to make the journey she can’t. She’s sure the village still holds answers for her but, with only days until the floodwaters start to rise again, Laura is in a race against time to solve the mysteries of Stella’s almost forgotten past.

Haunting and evocative, The Drowned Village reaches across the decades in an unforgettable tale of love, loss and family.

A baby lies abandoned amongst the rubbish;her tiny face as white as alabaster, her body as stiff as a miniature doll.

A young prostitute lies beaten, her figure lying like a mannequin on the frozen concrete, her blood spilt, her life ebbing away.

As DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford and her boss DI Hunter struggle to identify the victim from the violator their hunt brings them to the crack houses of Lambeth, littered with damaged people, their lives scarred by tragedy and violence, most broken beyond repair.

As further lives hang in the balance Charlie must enpower the weak to speak out against those who seek to cause harm.

But can a broken doll ever truly be mended; or will the wounds of the past, fashion the events of the future?

The fourth in the Sunday Times bestselling Jane Tennison thrillers, MURDER MILE is set at the height of the ‘Winter of Discontent’. Can Jane Tennison uncover a serial killer? 

February, 1979, ‘The Winter of Discontent’. Economic chaos has led to widespread strikes across Britain.

Jane Tennison, now a Detective Sergeant, has been posted to Peckham CID, one of London’s toughest areas. As the rubbish on the streets begins to pile up, so does the murder count: two bodies in as many days.

There are no suspects and the manner of death is different in each case. The only link between the two victims is the location of the bodies, found within a short distance of each other near Rye Lane in Peckham. Three days later another murder occurs in the same area. Press headlines scream that a serial killer is loose on ‘Murder Mile’ and that police incompetence is hampering the investigation.

Jane is under immense pressure to catch the killer before they strike again.Working long hours with little sleep, what she uncovers leaves her doubting her own mind.

Why Mummy Swears is the much anticipated new novel from Gill Sims, author of the hilarious Why Mummy Drinks and online sensation Peter and Jane.

It’s every parents’ nightmare – the start of the school holidays – and instead of sitting in the sun, reading a book over a cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, Mummy has two bored moppets to attend to. After frantically booking sports camps, child minder slots, not to mention time off work, Mummy is exhausted. But this is only the beginning…

After being dragged to join the school’s PTA in the new term by an annoyingly kind-spirited neighbour, Mummy is stuck with organising the Christmas Fayre and pleasing all the overly disapproving parents. In combination with getting to know her father’s surprise new glamorous (and much younger) wife, and being forced to spend more time with her narcissistic mother, life isn’t cutting her much of a break. What more could possibly happen?

One spring day a young woman is found dead on a beach at the bottom of a cliff. She has no identification on her, just a scribbled note for an appointment that morning with Madeleine Porter, a local family historian. Did she fall or was she pushed? The police struggle to identify the mystery woman and Madeleine, intrigued by the case, decides to do her own investigation. She uncovers a mixture of adultery, ballroom dancing and greed before discovering the reason behind her presence on the beach.

 

 

I’ve got so many good books on my Kindle at the moment, I don’t know what to read next!

Monthly Roundup – May 2018

May has been a ridiculously busy month for me so I haven’t done hardly as much reading as I had anticipated. I’m hoping June will be a bit more fruitful!

Books I Have Read

61RUGiggOTLMy Mother’s Secret by Sanjida Kay

It’s amazing how one single event can completely alter the course of your life. This is what happens to Lizzie when she witnesses a horrific act and her life is thrown into disarray. An excellent, twisty book telling how the past can’t always stay hidden.

 

61HbeiKW7lL._SY346_Deep Fear by Rachel Lynch

The second book in the Kelly Porter series of police procedurals sees the detective investigating a serial killer with a specific calling card in the idyllic setting of the Lake District. This is looking like being a great series!

 

imagesWojtek: War Hero Bear by Jenny Robertson

Although this is aimed at 9-12 year-olds, this is a fascinating true story of a bear cub who became part of the Polish army during World War Two. A heart-warming and emotive story which I will review as part of the upcoming blog tour.

 

image001The Night Caller by David Field

The second in the Esther and Jack Enright series set in Victorian London sees the couple investigating the attacks of women in the East End. If you are a fan of easy-to-read historical crime, this series is for you!

 

Books I Have Acquired

51Hun9Zbi4L

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

 

514dwwIhhvL._SY346_

Gregory Norwood, wealthy businessman and close friend of Minnesota’s leading candidate for Governor, is found dead on the first anniversary of his son’s drug overdose. It seems clear to Detectives Gino and Magozzi that grief drove him to suicide.

Until they realise the left-handed man seems to have used his right hand to pull the trigger.

And they find the second body.

As the seemingly open-and-shut case becomes a murder enquiry, the detectives begin to delve into the dark secrets of one of the city’s most powerful families. It seems the murders are not the first in the Norwoods’ tragic story – and they won’t be the last . . .

 

51vvx8RPkCL._SY346_SOMEWHERE IN THE CROWD IS A KILLER 

Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner’s office are called in.

The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. Why would anyone want him dead?

THEY WILL STRIKE AGAIN 

As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus scramble to discover an antidote, first one, then another pharmacist goes missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behaviour resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT . . .

With thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?

 

I’ve got my fingers crossed for a couple of books I’ve requested on Net Galley but I’m probably most looking forward to the new Mark Billingham book, The Killing Habit, which is published on 14th June – Tom Thorne is definitely one of my favourite fictional characters.

 

 

Monthly Roundup: April 2018

Although this month has seen me read books from the crime/thriller genre, I’ve read a bit of an eclectic mix including a book set in Victorian England, some Scandi Noir and even an erotic thriller! My book of the month is definitely the latest Kim Stone book, Dying Truth, by Angela Marsons. Talk about an ending!!

Books I’ve Read

The Gaslight Stalker by David Field

The first in a new Victorian crime series sees a young seamstress becoming embroiled in the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. An easy read and an interesting take on a well-known historic crime.

 

If He Wakes by Zoe Lea

An easy-to-read psychological thriller which asks the question, how well do you know your partner? Shocking in parts, If He Wakes has some great twists that make you change your perceptions of the people you are reading about.

 

The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo

The fifth in the Harry Hole series and probably my favourite so far. Harry’s problems are getting worse yet his experience with serial killers is essential as there appears to be one on the streets of Oslo. Some great twists make this a fast-paced, clever read.

 

5992b77e545d4f8fa328f444823272b3Dead and Gone by D. L. Michaels

The first in a new police procedural series featuring DI Annie Parker has a bit of a twist. Instead of her being the sole protagonist, we also follow the very different lives of Paula and Sarah knowing that, at some point, all of their stories will intertwine. Review will follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Cross Her HeartCross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

The long-awaited follow-up to Behind Her Eyes is a tale of how even if you think you know someone well, secrets are always lurking beneath the surface. A shocking plot with plenty of twists and turns.

 

51x4+VX3izLDying Truth by Angela Marsons

The eighth book in the Kim Stone series is, in my opinion, the best so far. Telling the story of strange deaths at an exclusive boarding school, this one will definitely have you gasping in shock at the end!

 

4128bR3P03LTubing by K A McKeagney

An erotic thriller that shows the dangers of getting involved in something you don’t really understand. A fast-paced read that makes you wonder what really goes on in the packed trains of the London Underground!

 

Books I’ve Acquired

61HbeiKW7lL._SY346_

DI Kelly Porter is back. But will this new case push her beyond her limits?

On a peaceful summer’s morning in the Lake District, a woman’s body is discovered outside a church. She’s been murdered and a brutal, symbolic act performed on her corpse. DI Kelly Porter is in charge of the team investigating the crime, and is determined to bring the killer to justice. But as more deaths occur it is clear this is the work of a disturbed, dangerous and determined individual. Can Kelly put the puzzle pieces together before the danger comes closer to home?

 

51SXPfKJzFL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_When Superintendent Tom Harper’s wife is threatened during an election campaign, the hunt for the attacker turns personal.

Leeds, England. October, 1897. Superintendent Harper is proud of his wife Annabelle. She’s one of seven women selected to stand for election as a Poor Law Guardian. But even as the campaign begins, Annabelle and the other female candidates start to receive anonymous letters from someone who believes a woman’s place lies firmly in the home.

The threats escalate into outright violence when an explosion rips through the church hall where Annabelle is due to hold a meeting – with fatal consequences. The only piece of evidence Harper has is a scrap of paper left at the scene containing a fragment from an old folk song. But what is its significance?

As polling day approaches and the attacks increase in menace and intensity, Harper knows he’s in a race against time to uncover the culprit before more deaths follow. With the lives of his wife and daughter at risk, the political becomes cruelly personal …

61RUGiggOTL

 

You can only hide for so long…

Lizzie Bradshaw. A student from the Lake District, forced to work away from home, who witnesses a terrible crime. But who will ultimately pay the price?

Emma Taylor. A mother, a wife, and a woman with a dangerous secret. Can she keep her beloved family safely together?

Stella Taylor. A disaffected teenager, determined to discover what her mother is hiding. But how far will she go to uncover the truth?

And one man, powerful, manipulative and cunning, who controls all their destinies.

 

As we enter a new month, I’d like to re-share my review of the amazing Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson, which is published on 3rd May. With over a third of the year gone, this is still my favourite book of 2018 so far, so give it a read if you haven’t done so already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Roundup: March 2018

In a month where I thought reading time would be limited, managing to get chicken pox has certainly given me a bit more time on my hands! Thankfully, just before I became ill, I managed to attend the launch night for the new book by Luca Veste, ‘The Bone Keeper’, meeting the man himself and also the other fantastic author David Jackson. A link to my review of ‘The Bone Keeper’ can be found below and you can also see my review of Don’t Make a Sound here, the outstanding new book from David Jackson. Published on May 3 2018, this is one of my favourite books of the years so far!

Books I Have Read

No Safe Place Patricia GibneyNo Safe Place by Patricia Gibney

When women begin to go missing on the Dublin-Ragmullin train, Detective Lottie Parker fears that a serial killer is at work. After the body of one of the girls is discovered in an open grave, she knows that they have a race against time to find the women before they become the next victims. The fourth book in the Lottie Parker series is another great read.

 

Member of the Family: Manson, Murder and Me by Dianne Lake

Everyone knows something about the infamous killings orchestrated by Charles Manson. Where this book differs is that it is told from the perspective of someone who was actually part of the Family. Dianne’s story is one of how a need to belong forced her into being part of one of the world’s most infamous cults at the tender age of fourteen. A fascinating read.

 

Trafficked Girl by Zoe Patterson

A highly emotive real-life story of how society failed a young girl, abused from an early age by her mother and then bullied, ignored and trafficked as a result of her time in ‘care’. It’s not often a book makes me completely despair of the society we live in but this one managed to do just that. A well-written book.

 

Mind of a Killer by Simon Beaufort

People are being murdered in Victorian London, parts of their brain removed. Even though they have been officially told to stay away, journalists Lonsdale and Friederichs put themselves into untold danger by trying to uncover exactly what is happening.

 

The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste

Every town has an urban legend, but what if that urban legend turned out to be true? When numerous bodies are found, attributed to the legendary Bone Keeper, Detective Louise Henderson must investigate the myth whilst coming to terms with events from her own past. A chilling read!

 

614hsAHOY-LKilling Time by Mark Roberts

When a young Czech girl is found abandoned in a park after being missing for eight days and two Polish men are found dead in their burnt flat, DCI Eve Clay fears that there is something sinister afoot in Liverpool. Is there a connection between the crimes and does the graffiti found at the victims’ home mean that more deaths are to follow? Another great read from Mark Roberts. (Full review to follow)

 

61lypFhIrtLDeadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza

The sixth in the Erika Foster series sees the detective investigating the murder of a young burlesque dancer and the assaults of numerous people by a gas mask-wearing assailant. All of this series have been excellent, but this one is probably my favourite so far!

 

51b9NbGiGzLPerfect Match by D. B. Thorne

D. B. Thorne again looks at the dangers of the internet when a young woman is found brutally assaulted after going on an online date. Knowing that this is not an isolated incident, her brother Solomon is rebuffed by the police so embarks on his own dangerous investigation.

 

The Vanished Child by M J Lee

The fourth in the Jayne Sinclair series sees the genealogist on the trail of a child born out of wedlock during the Second World War. A highly emotive story detailing one of the most controversial periods in recent history. A brilliant read and the best one of the series so far.

 

Books I Have Acquired

4128bR3P03LPolly, 28, lives in London with her ‘perfect-on-paper’ boyfriend. She works a dead end job on a free London paper… life as she knows it is dull. But her banal existence is turned upside down late one drunken night on her way home, after a chance encounter with a man on a packed tube train. The chemistry between them is electric and on impulse, they kiss, giving in to their carnal desires. But it’s over in an instant, and Polly is left shell-shocked as he walks away without even telling her his name.

Now obsessed with this beautiful stranger, Polly begins a frantic online search, and finally discovers more about tubing , an underground phenomenon in which total strangers set up illicit, silent, sexual meetings on busy commuter tube trains. In the process, she manages to track him down and he slowly lures her into his murky world, setting up encounters with different men via Twitter.

At first she thinks she can keep it separate from the rest of her life, but things soon spiral out of control.

By chance she spots him on a packed tube train with a young, pretty blonde. Seething with jealousy, she watches them together. But something isn’t right and a horrific turn of events make Polly realise not only how foolish she has been, but how much danger she is in…

 

51zNl-mP6eL

You can always trust your best friend… can’t you?

When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened.

Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine… Can their friendship survive?

Can she get out before it s too late?

 

Just before Christmas 1908, Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy 82-year-old spinster, was found bludgeoned to death in her Glasgow home. A valuable diamond brooch was missing, and police soon fastened on a suspect – Oscar Slater, a Jewish immigrant who was rumoured to have a disreputable character. Slater had an alibi, but was nonetheless convicted and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment in the notorious Peterhead Prison.

Seventeen years later, a convict called William Gordon was released from Peterhead. Concealed in a false tooth was a message, addressed to the only man Slater thought could help him – Arthur Conan Doyle. Always a champion of the downtrodden, Conan Doyle turned his formidable talents to freeing Slater, deploying a forensic mind worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Drawing from original sources including Oscar Slater’s prison letters, this is Margalit Fox’s vivid and compelling account of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Scottish history.

 

I was thrilled to see that there is a new Angela Marsons ‘Kim Stone’ book imminent – definitely one to watch out for!

 

 

Monthly Roundup: February 2018

I can’t believe that we are in March already. Where does the time go? February has brought books by some authors new to me and also some of my ‘old’ favourites!

Books I have Read

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

The Porter family have more secrets than most and when the bodies of a man and a baby are discovered at the family home, a can of worms is opened that will change the lives of them all for ever.

 

Orchard View by Deborah J Miles

A fascinating tale of a house through history and its various residents. After bodies are discovered in the garden, the present owner’s actions set in motion an intriguing chain of events.

 

The Wicked Trade by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The seventh book in the Morton Farrier series sees the forensic genealogist researching the shadowy world of Georgian smuggling as he tries to uncover the story of his client’s ancestor, Ann Fothergill. A series that just keeps getting better!

 

Taken by Monty Marsden

Has the infamous serial killer Riondino struck again? Dr. Claps is determined that, this time, he will not get away and so he heads to Ecuador on his trail. A gruesome tale of murder that had me on the edge of my seat. Full review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer

Another serial killer book, this time set in Liverpool. For months, The Thorn Killer has been terrorizing their victims, tattooing them using thorns before finally killing them. With a suspicious-looking police team behind the investigation, this made for a brilliant read and one I hope will form part of a series.

 

An Unquiet Ghost by Linda Stratmann

The third book in the Mina Scarletti series, set in Brighton in 1871,  sees her engaged by a betrothed couple to find a genuine psychic who can help them discover which of their family murdered their grandfather several years before.  A great read for anyone interested in Victorian crime fiction.

Books I have Acquired

Beneath the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small village where the children run in and out of one another’s houses and play unafraid in the streets. But when a naked body is found by the lake at the top of the mountain, its seeming tranquillity is disturbed forever.

Inspector Sejer, a tough, no-nonsense policeman whose own life is tinged by sadness, is called in to investigate. As the suspense builds, and the list of suspects grows, Sejer’s determination to discover the truth leads him to peel away layer upon layer of distrust and lies in this tiny community where apparently normal family ties hide dark secrets.

 

Following the recent death of Charles Manson – the leader of the sinister 60s cult – Dianne Lake reveals the true story of life with Manson and his ‘family’, who became notorious for a series of shocking murders during the summer of 1969.

In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals and life as one of his “girls.”

At age fourteen, Dianne Lake―with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them―became one of “Charlie’s girls,” a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson’s true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips, to the Beatles’ White Album and Manson’s dangerous messiah-complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group’s descent into madness as she lived it.

Though she never participated in any of the group’s gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution’s case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later adopted her, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life.

While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history.

 

Jack the Ripper is stalking the streets of London. Can anyone stop the serial killer before more women are murdered? 

London, 1888

Whitechapel is full of the noise of August Bank Holiday celebrations. Everyone is in high spirits until a woman – Martha Turner – is discovered brutally murdered.

Her friend, Esther, a lowly seamstress turned female sleuth, is determined to find the killer.

A young police officer, Jack Enright, takes the lead on the case, and he and Esther soon embark on a professional – and personal – relationship.

When another murder is committed and whispers of a slasher calling himself Jack the Ripper start flowing through the London streets, the search becomes even more desperate.

The police are on the wrong track and the young couple take matters into their own hands, and soon find themselves navigating through London’s dark underbelly.

Can they find the murderer before he kills again? Will anyone listen to their suspicions?
Or will this dark presence continue to haunt Whitechapel…?

 

I’ve tried to be a bit more selective with my Net Galley books although there is one I’m desperate to get, currently awaiting confirmation…

Happy reading!

 

 

 

Monthly Roundup: January 2018

The first month of the year has been and gone and I have already read some of the books on my ‘most anticipated’ list. Thankfully, they all lived up to my expectations!

Books I’ve Read

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

It’s still a while before this one is published and I’m actually quite jealous that some people still have this to look forward to! The Bensons have a daughter, the only problem being she doesn’t actually belong to them and now they’ve decided they’d like another one. This is the third book in the Nathan Cody series – a series that is going from strength to strength.

 

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

The third in the Stephens and Mephisto series sees the pairing trying to thwart an attack on the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Another great story that transports you back to 1950s England, a time when many changes were about to take place.

 

Dark Game by Rachel Lynch

The first in a new police procedural series set in the picturesque Lake District has everything – human trafficking, prostitution, illegal fighting, gangland crime… I’m looking forward to reading more of Rachel Lynch’s work.

 

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

One of my most anticipated books and it was everything I hoped. Ruth Galloway is in Italy, assisting with the discovery of a skeleton when a murder brings everything firmly into the present day. Ruth has definitely become one of my favourite fictional characters.

 

Best Friends by Carys Jones

Four friends find a suitcase containing £20,000, believing that this unexpected windfall will be the answer to all of their problems. What they don’t realise is that the money belongs to a dangerous gangster and he wants it back… My review will be live on 13th February as part of the Blog Tour.

 

The Lying Kind by Alison James

Detective Rachel Prince has been tasked with a cold case – the disappearance of six-year-old Lola Jade Harper. When the body of a woman is discovered, connections begin to be made between the two cases, leading the detective to realise that this is a much more complex case than she first thought. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that there will be more to follow!

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Deceit, betrayal and tension abound in this chilling police procedural from dazzling new voice Ashley Dyer.

Sergeant Ruth Lake and DCI Greg Carver are on the hunt for a serial killer who carefully poses his victims and covers every inch of their bodies in intricate, cryptic tattoos. Dubbed the ‘Thorn Killer’, by the media, the killer uses a primitive and excruciatingly painful thorn method to etch his victims. After many months, a breakthrough feels imminent. Then the killer gets personal: the latest victim – a student found only a week earlier – is staged to look like Carver’s wife.

Pushed over the edge, Carver spirals into a self-destructive cycle of booze and risky sex. Now he lies near death, and the unreadable Lake stands over him with a gun. Did she shoot her boss? If not, why is she removing evidence from his apartment, faking the scene?

Ruth, too, is convinced that Carver is holding back; that he remembers more than he admits. Why is he lying? Does he know what she did? How can she hope to unravel the half-truths, hidden meanings, secrets and lies at the centre of this investigation when she herself has lied and lied?

Intrigued, the Thorn Killer watches their every move – all the while plotting the next. Can Carver and Lake pull together to catch him before he strikes again? Or will they be held captive by their own web of lies?

Utterly gripping, with a twisting plot that keeps you guessing until the end, SPLINTER IN THE BLOOD is an unforgettable read that will get under your skin.

 

Digging in the garden, builder and current owner, Bill Maynard, discovers some old bones. He worries that the discovery will upset his plans for renovating and selling the house. Fortunately, his neighbour tells him the whole area was a burial site at the time of the Black Death and finding bones is commonplace. “Well, as they’re so old and the museums have enough bones already, I suppose we can ignore them. It’s not like there’s been a murder and we’ve just found the body,” he justified his decision. But had they? His discovery sets off a chain of unfortunate events.

 

 

Mina Scarletti returns in her most thrilling mystery yet! Perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and Antonia Hodgson…

A family is being torn apart by rumours of a murderer in their midst. Can Mina solve the mystery and lay the ghosts to rest? 

Brighton, 1871

Mina Scarletti is becoming well known for unmasking fraudulent psychics. So it is no surprise to her when a young couple write to her seeking her advice.

George Fernwood and Mary Clifton, betrothed distant cousins, have a family secret that is preventing them from getting married. Twenty years ago, their alcoholic grandfather died in his bed and since then rumours have been circulating that someone in the family murdered him.

Desperate to find out the truth, they have decided to seek out a medium to communicate with their grandfather, and they want Mina to help them find one who is genuine.

Though she is not a believer in ghosts, Mina is intrigued by the family mystery and decides to help them in any way she can.

Could one of the new mediums advertising in Brighton really be genuine? Will they help George and Mary find the answers they are looking for? 

Or will this Unquiet Ghost ruin the chance of happiness for future generations …?

 

Happy reading!

 

 

Monthly Roundup: December 2017

I’ve managed to read a few more books than usual this month mainly due to it being the holidays and having time to do so! As well as several ARCs, I’m glad to have finally started on the Stephens and Mephisto series by Elly Griffiths – they’ve been on my TBR list for a while!

Books I’ve Read

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

I’m a big fan of The Ruth Galloway novels of Elly Griffiths and so it was high time that I started on her Stephens and Mephisto series. The first sees  a woman found murdered, her body dismembered in a way reminiscent of a magic trick known as ‘The Zig Zag Girl’. It soon becomes apparent that the murder, and others that follow, are linked to the detective’s exploits in World War Two. A great start to the series.

 

Everything is Lies by Helen Callaghan

When Sophia returns home to find her mother dead and her father seriously injured, a can of worms is opened that leads her to the conclusion that her parents were not the people she thought they were. With murder, a cult and paranoia, this is an intriguing book that definitely picks up pace as you read.

 

Last Cry by Anna-Lou Weatherley

The first in a new series sees Detective Dan Riley investigating the murder of a man in an exclusive London hotel. This is soon followed by another murder, Dan’s fears that there is a serial killer on the loose becoming reality. A great start to a new series.

 

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

The second in the Stephens and Mephisto series deals with the death of two young children found buried with a pile of sweets. The scene is reminiscent of the ‘Hansel and Gretel’ story and Detective Stephens wonders if their deaths are linked to the fairy tales that one of the victims so enjoyed writing about. A novel, entertaining read.

 

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

The year is 1986 and a group of young friends are forced to grow up quickly after a series of unsavoury events culminate in them finding a dismembered body in the woods. This dual time frame book looks like being one of the biggest hits of 2018 and is definitely one of the best books I have read recently.

 

In Her Footsteps by Ruth Harrow

When Harriet finally flees her abusive husband, Dan, and starts a new life in Coventry, all does not go according to plan when she starts to experience debilitating panic attacks. Just what is she hiding and why will she do anything to stop her secrets from being exposed? A great debut.

 

Blood Underground by Dan Waddell

It’s been some time since we read anything about the genealogist Nigel Barnes but he is finally back in this short story where he is assisting in an investigation into murders on the London Underground. It’s good to see Nigel back!

 

41odISkCAaLThe Intruder by P. S. Hogan

A deeply unnerving tale of an estate agent who keeps copies of the keys from all the houses he has sold and uses them to his advantage. This will definitely have you thinking about how many keys are in existence for your house…

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Newspaper reporter Alec Lonsdale discovers that a series of seemingly random murders may be connected in this absorbing historical mystery.

London, 1882. Alec Lonsdale, a young reporter on the Pall Mall Gazette, is working on a story about a fatal house fire. But the post-mortem on the victim produces shocking results: Patrick Donovan’s death was no accident. But why would someone murder a humble shop assistant and steal part of his brain?

When a second body is discovered, its throat cut, and then a third, Lonsdale and his spirited female colleague, Hulda Friederichs, begin to uncover evidence of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest echelons of Victorian society.

 

Kelly’s gut turned over as she realised the danger she was in. She heard no sirens. She knew that she was simply collateral. To these men who made a lot of money from the suffering of others, they’d have no problem snuffing her out.

After a scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home turf in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies.

Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get to the truth…

 

You can’t choose your family. Or can you? 

Meet the Bensons. A pleasant enough couple. They keep themselves to themselves. They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours. And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.

There’s just one problem. Daisy doesn’t belong to the Bensons. They stole her.

And now they’ve decided that Daisy needs a little brother or sister.

D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet . . .

 

downloadIn his first book David Jason told us about himself from his early years training as an electrician through to making it as one of Britain’s greatest actors.

This autumn, in a follow up autobiography, he tells us about the many other lives he has lived – his characters. From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost, he takes us behind the scenes and under the skins of some of the best loved acts of his career.

And in the process he reflects on how those characters changed his life too. The result told with his characteristic charm and wit is both funny and poignant, honest and heart warming.

 

download (1)Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and The Who were all performing in the Queensway and Shepherds Bush areas of London in 1964-65, but in those same areas during the early hours a meticulous serial killer was stalking local prostitutes, dumping their naked bodies on the streets.

While London was famed for its trendy boutiques, groundbreaking movies and its Carnaby Street vibe, the reality included a huge street prostitution scene, a violent world that filled the magistrate s courts but rarely made headlines. Seven, possibly eight, women fell victim making this killer more prolific than Jack the Ripper, 77 years previously. His grim spree sparked the biggest police manhunt in history. But why did such a massive hunt fail? And why has such a traumatic case been largely forgotten today?

With shocking conclusions, one detective makes the astonishing new claim that all the original evidence from the crime scenes has been destroyed. Using secret police papers, crime reconstructions and interviews with contemporary police experts along with insights from the world s leading geographical profiler, Hunt for the 60s Ripper revisits this chilling case. What do modern experts say about the case today? And why did the leading detective, John du Rose, claim to know all along who the killer was? With links to figures from the vicious world of the Kray twins and the Profumo Affair, the case exposes the depraved underbelly of British society in the Swinging Sixties. An evocative and thought-provoking reinvestigation into perhaps the most shocking unsolved mass murder in modern British history.

51rTH32ECKL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_On the eve of the Queen’s coronation, DI Stephens and Max Mephisto uncover an anarchist plot and a ticking bomb at the same time as solving the murder of a man close to them – from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries.

‘Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie’ Sunday Express(on Smoke and Mirrors)

Elizabeth II’s coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright’s possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are for Stephens and Mephisto to be summoned to the case.

Edgar’s ongoing investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show – and his television debut – so it’s Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He’s on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone silences him first. It’s Edgar’s colleague, DS Emma Holmes, who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day.

Now it’s up to Edgar, Max and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who’s been dealing the cards .

 

51DrGCRmNsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Winter, 1953. A young flower seller is found dead in her room at a Brighton boarding-house, posed with chilling perfection into a recreation of the death of Lady Jane Grey. This is a killer unlike any DI Edgar Stephens has encountered before.

Across the city at the Hippodrome theatre, Max Mephisto is top of the bill in a double act with his daughter Ruby. Tarnishing the experience, though, is one of the other acts: a seedy ‘living tableaux’ show where barely-dressed women strike poses from famous historical scenes. Is the resemblance to the murder scene pure coincidence, or is life imitating art?

When another death occurs – this time within the troupe itself – Max once again finds himself involved in one of Edgar’s cases, and a threat that will come closer to home than anything before. What should be just a job is about to become personal.

 

Wishing you all a very happy new year  – here’s to some great new books due in 2018!

happy-new-year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Round Up: November 2017

It’s nearly the end of the year! November has not seen too many book posts from me but I have a couple of reviews coming up in the next few days as part of blog tours – they’re definitely ones to look out for! I’ve also tried to limit my Net Galley downloads as I know I’ve got a few books winging my way for Christmas!

Books I’ve Read

51G29ghJMvL._SY346_Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

The series that just keeps getting better! The seventh book in the Kim Stone series sees the detective investigating the murder of a prostitute and the discovery of an abandoned baby. A fantastic read that deals with the seedier side of society.

 

51xLXqtfgrLLiar Liar by Sarah Flint

The third in the DC Charlie Stafford series is a bang up-to-date tale of how vulnerable police officers are in modern society. Members of the force are being killed, a red rose being left at the scene of each crime. Another series that just keeps improving! Review will be live soon as part of the blog tour.

 

41cxnbhoYTLThe Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

When journalist, Charlie Swift, is accused of murder, his friend and colleague Sophie Kent is determined to prove his innocence. When he disappears, though, she begins to realise that maybe all is not what it seems. An absolutely brilliant book which is sure to feature in my  top 10 list of 2017. Review will be live soon as part of the blog tour.

 

Return of the Magi by P. J. Tracy

Known primarily for the Monkeewrench crime series, the writing team of P. J. Tracy turn their hand to a short Christmas story. A habitual thief is befriended by a couple of elderly women who are convinced he is the third wise man. What ensues is a funny yet heartwarming tale of how they convince him to take them to the City of David to see the baby Jesus!

 

The Text by Claire Douglas

When a woman accidentally sends a text to her work colleagues  wishing her boss dead, she becomes the prime suspect when he is found murdered. A great premise for a short story but, due to its 40 pages, seems rushed.

 

 

Books I’ve Acquired

51w4IWGhv9L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Brighton, 1950.

When a girl’s body is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another ‘trick’, the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in the killer’s sights…

 

51VFfTURZKL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_No-one is who you think they are

Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed.

Everyone has secrets

Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.

Especially those closest to you

The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .

What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?

 

A MISSING CHILD. A DEAD WOMAN. WHO IS NEXT?

Six-year-old Lola Jade Harper is taken from her bedroom. Her mother is distraught. She is convinced her estranged husband, Gavin Harper, has abducted their daughter.

Detective Rachel Prince is leading the investigation but is soon out of her depth as she searches for the most high-profile missing child in the country. To uncover the truth about Lola’s disappearance, Rachel must untangle the Harper family’s complicated web of secrets and lies.

As the case progresses, the body of a local woman is found. The death at first seems unrelated, until a trail of social media posts lead Rachel to a chilling discovery.

And then another little girl is taken…

With growing pressure from the public and the appearance of someone from her past she’d rather forget, will Rachel be able to solve the connection between the two missing children and the murder – before it’s too late?

 

It’s strange to think that the next time one of these posts is published it will be 2018!

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