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Monthly Round Up – May 2019

A bit of a mixed bag for me, this month, genre-wise with crime, biography and genealogical fiction all being read! I’ve also taken part in several blog tours, sharing reviews and extracts:

 

The Body in the Mist

The Family

Death and the Harlot

Death by Dark Waters

Foul Deeds Will Rise

A Walking Shadow

Books I Have Read

When Darkness Calls by Mark Griffin

The first in a new series and a debut book for the author, this has a great twisty serial killer plot with some genuinely tense moments. Holly Wakefield, criminal psychologist, is a great character. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

 

 

Night by Night by Jack Jordan

Another great book from Jack Jordan sees unreliable narrator, Rose, fixated with the disappearance of a man whose journal she has acquired. Dealing with some hard-hitting issues, this has a very thrilling showdown at the end!

 

Legacy of Guilt by Wendy Percival

This free short book, available on the author’s website, is a great introduction to her Esme Quentin series. If you’ve never read a genealogical mystery before, this is an excellent introduction.

 

A Date With Death by Mark Roberts

The fifth book in the Eve Clay series sees the detective investigating a serial killer who is targeting young women via a dating app. Another great book from Mark Roberts.

 

The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

This is definitely a case of being thankful for your own family when we discover how dysfunctional DCI Craig Gillard’s is! A hit and run takes him to Exmoor where he is about to become embroiled in a very complicated case…

 

Bold Lies by Rachel Lynch

A complicated case for DI Kelly Porter sees her return to London and become reacquainted with a face from her past. My review for the fifth in the series will be published shortly as part of the blog tour.

 

What Nobody Knew by Amelia Hendrey

A heart-wrenching true story of a young girl’s life of abuse and neglect that had me angry throughout. My review will be part of the blog tour in a few weeks.

 

 

Salt Lane by William Shaw

A book I had been meaning to read for a while, it finally came off my TBR list and I’m glad it did. The first in the DS Alexandra Cupidi series sees the detective investigating the murder of a woman which soon becomes a much bigger case…

 

Books I Have Acquired

On a bitterly cold winter night, Kelly Ramage leaves her suburban home, telling her husband she’s going to meet a friend.

She never comes back.

When her body is discovered, murdered in what seems to be a sex game gone horribly wrong, Detectives Gino and Magozzi take the case, expecting to find a flirtatious trail leading straight to the killer.

However, Kelly’s sinister lover has done a disturbingly good job of hiding his identity. This isn’t his first victim – and that she won’t be the last…

 

Was Elizabeth I really the last Tudor princess…?

Nonsuch Palace, England, 1586

Elizabeth I has been queen for 28 years. She has survived hundreds of plots against her but now she faces the revelation of a secret she thought would remain hidden forever…

Elizabeth is not the last of the Tudor line — there are two more legitimate heirs to her crown.

Her sworn enemy, Philip II, King of Spain, has discovered the secret and thinks he can control the missing princess as his puppet queen.

Can Elizabeth maintain control over her throne? And what happened to the lost Tudor heirs?

Castle Jerusalem, Andorra, 2018

Dr Perdita Rivers and her twin sister Piper are safely hidden in Andorra.

Despite their narrow escape from those pursuing them, Perdita is determined to continue her grandmother’s legacy by uncovering her ground-breaking research into the English royal bloodline.

But she soon realises that nothing about the Tudor era was as it seemed. And now the national identity of Great Britain must be called into question.

With their enemies still tracking them and the lives of those they love in deadly risk, Perdita and Piper must succeed in exposing the secrets of history or there is no hope of them escaping alive…

 

D.C. Charlie Stafford is about to face her toughest case yet…

Someone is watching, waiting and preying on those who are at their weakest.

Uncover another gripping case in Sarah Flint’s latest action packed novel.

 

 

 

 

Happy reading!

 

 

Night by Night by Jack Jordan

Rose Shaw’s life is on a downward spiral. Haunted by events from her past, unwanted by her family and plagued by insomnia, her life is going nowhere. After colliding with a stranger one dark evening, she finds a journal written by newspaper editor, Finn Matthews. When her eye catches the sentence, ‘If you’re reading this, I‘m dead.’, she immediately becomes obsessed with trying to trace the missing man. Why did Finn think that someone wanted to kill him and why are the police reluctant to investigate? Refusing to give up on her search, Rose is soon putting her own life and the lives of her loved ones in danger…

From the very beginning of the book, I had nothing but sympathy for Rose. Suffering from debilitating insomnia, the people around her seemed unable to offer her reassurance and, instead, seemed intent on making life difficult for her. When a particularly heart-wrenching incident occurs, her life goes from bad to worse. With nothing else left for her, I could understand why she became so obsessed with the hunt for Finn and as the story progressed, we could see why the search became so personal to her.

There are several sensitive issues in Night by Night, namely police corruption and institutionalised homophobia. With the latest series of BBC’s Line of Duty coming to a close, police corruption is a very topical issue and after reading this book, one that leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. As it is revealed that Finn is not the only missing person and that there appears to be no investigations into their disappearance, it poses the question, just who can you trust if you can’t trust the police? This is something that Rose comes to learn and soon, she feels that she can’t put her faith in anyone for fear of retribution.

I ended the story with as much compassion for Rose as I had at the start, even if her circumstances were now completely different. Leading up to this, as the plot culminated in a thrilling showdown, I found I could not put the book down and raced through the final chapters, desperate to know how it would all end.

This is my second Jack Jordan book (after reading Before Her Eyes) and it will definitely not be my last!

With thanks to Corvus and Readers First.

Monthly Roundup – April 2019

I think I may have read a few more contenders for my favourite books of the year this month, one of which was one of my most eagerly anticipated books of 2019!

I’ve been part of a few blog tours this month with reviews of Final Betrayal by Patricia Gibney  and The Peacock Bottle by Angela Rigley. I also hosted an extract from A Tale of Two Sisters by Merryn Allingham.

 

Books I have read

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold

While the crimes of Jack the Ripper have been written about on countless occasions, Hallie Rubenold provides an alternative take, looking at the lives of the five canonical victims. This is a fascinating look at how circumstances, often beyond their control, changed the lives of these women and put them in the situations they found themselves in.

 

Death by Dark Waters by Jo Allen

The first in the DCI Satterthwaite series set in the Lake District is a great read for all fans of police procedurals. Telling the story of the discovery of the burnt remains of a child, there are many twists and turns that make this story not what it at first seems… (Review to follow as part of the blog tour)

 

Death at Hungerford Stairs by J. C. Briggs

The second in the series to feature Charles Dickens as an investigator has a great plot and paints a very vivid picture of life in Victorian England. I’m really enjoying these books!

 

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

This was one of the books that I couldn’t wait to read and I was not left disappointed! The latest in the Nathan Cody series sees the detective returning to duty and investigating a particularly horrible murder. For long time fans, we finally discover more about the event that has been haunting Nathan… (Review to follow).

 

Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham

The Tom Thorne books just keep getting better! The sixteenth in the series is probably one of Mark Billingham’s twistiest tales to date and has become one of my favourites. Do we really know our friends?…

 

The Family by P. R. Black

I was drawn to this book by the dark cover and ‘dark’ is definitely a word I would use to describe the plot! Ritual killings, deranged murderer, the dark net, shady secret societies – this book has it all! (Review to follow as part of the blog tour).

 

Books I Have Acquired

‘If you’re reading this, I’m dead.’

Rejected by her family and plagued by insomnia, Rose Shaw is on the brink . But one dark evening she collides with a man running through the streets, who quickly vanishes. The only sign he ever existed – a journal dropped at Rose’s feet.

She begins to obsessively dedicate her sleepless nights to discovering what happened to Finn Matthews, the mysterious author of the journal. Why was he convinced someone wanted to kill him? And why, in the midst of a string of murders, won’t the police investigate his disappearance?

Rose is determined to uncover the truth. But she has no idea what the truth will cost her…

 

One missing. One a murderer. One trying to find the truth.

Flora has her whole life ahead of her – until the summer night she vanishes.

Her sister Heather was a good girl – until the spring morning she kills two people.

Jess Fox was once like a sister to them both.

But called home to investigate Heather’s crime, she begins to wonder if she really knew either sister at all . . .

 

Holly Wakefield works for the NHS as a criminal psychologist specialising in serial killers. She has particular reason to be good at her job – but she keeps that to herself.

When DI Bishop from the Met Police approaches Holly to investigate a recent killing, Holly is horrified by the dismembered bodies and the way they have been theatrically positioned. More shocking still is when the pathologist reveals this is not the first time she has seen these mutilations. It means a serial killer is out there, and they’re going to kill again – soon.

Holly is used to chasing serial killers. But this killer has something in common with Holly that she’s kept hidden for as long as she can remember. And for the first time since she was a child, Holly is forced to face the darkness of her past…

 

An investigation leads Kelly back to her former command… and the ex who betrayed her

A brutal murder in the Lake District.

A double assassination in a secret lab in London’s west end.

Seemingly unconnected, unexpected links between the gruesome crimes emerge and it’s up to DI Kelly Porter to follow the trail – all the way to the capital.

Back amongst old colleagues and forced to work alongside her calculating ex, DCI Matt Carter, Kelly must untangle a web of deceit that stretches into the highest echelons of power. A place where secrets and lies are currency and no obstacle is insurmountable.

Hopefully there are a few books here that you like the sound of! Happy reading!

 

Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan

41100476After discovering the body of a young woman, Naomi Hannah fears for her own life when she realises that the killer is still there, watching her. Knowing that she could provide valuable information to help them apprehend the assailant, the police quickly step in to interview her, only to be bitterly disappointed when they meet her; Naomi has been blind since birth. With her life already seemingly in tatters, Naomi’s life soon starts to spiral out of control when a connection is made to an unsolved case from twenty years ago – a case that is still fresh in the minds of the people of Balkerne Heights. Just who is responsible and why have they let Naomi live?

From the very start of the book, my heart went out to Naomi. Abandoned at birth by her drug addict mother, separated from her husband due to their differing opinions on starting a family and trapped in a sightless world, she feels as though suicide is her only way out. I couldn’t even imagine the terror she must have felt when finding the body and then being dismissed by the police due to her disability. After experiencing several other horrifying encounters, Naomi’s world begins to get smaller and soon, the option of suicide starts creeping back into her mind. By having his protagonist as a blind woman, Jack Jordan has created a claustrophobic, tense thriller where nowhere, even her own home, is safe.

With the exception of Detective Marcus Campbell, the police in Balkerne Heights are a particularly unsavoury bunch. Secrets dating back to the disappearance of a local girl twenty years ago are beginning to rear their ugly head and Marcus wonders just how much was covered up. I admired Marcus’s tenacity even in the face of some quite overt bullying in the workplace.

Although I could understand why Naomi wanted to retain her independence by staying at her own home, I was desperate for her to cut her losses and move back in with her adopted mum. Every time there was a knock on the door, I was yelling at her to not answer it – either that or have an intercom fitted so she at least knew who was calling! Despite my frustration with her, I had lots of respect for the amount of courage she displayed throughout each of her setbacks.

I had my own theories as to who the killer was, theories that continually changed as I was reading. This definitely kept me on my toes and made me desperate to find out how it would end. I did enjoy the sting in the tail – a well-written ending. This is my first Jack Jordan book but it won’t be the last.

With thanks to Atlantic Books and Readers First for my copy.

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