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Luca Veste

Monthly Round Up – December 2021

I managed to read more books in December than I did in any other month, largely due to finally succumbing to Covid and having a lot of isolation time. I was grateful to have my Kindle! The TBR pile has grown considerably, however!

Books I Have Read

The Wind Chime by Alexandra Walsh

A timeslip novel set partly in the Victorian era and partly in the present day, I’d been looking forward to reading this since enjoying the Marquess House books by the same author.


Darkness Falls by Robert Bryndza

The third in the Kate Marshall series grabbed me straight away and the twisty plot kept me hooked until the end. My favourite in the series so far.


The Appeal by Janice Hallett

I can see why this book has received so much praise! Its novel format, the plot being told in the form of emails and messages, really kept me engaged throughout the whole book.


The Foundlings by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The latest in the Morton Farrier series sees the forensic genealogist investigating the case of several babies that were found abandoned in shop doorways. Mystery, murder, mayhem… this book has it all!


The Girl From Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl

The latest dual timeframe novel from Kathleen McGurl is, as the name suggests, set partly in Bletchley Park during World War Two. A superb read about betrayal.

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Like her previous book, The Appeal, the author tells the story in a novel way, this time in the form of voice messages left on a phone. What did happen to a school teacher who took her class on a field trip never to return?


Gangsta Granny Strikes Again by David Walliams

This sequel doesn’t have the same impact as the first in the series but children will love it nonetheless. some of the well-loved characters return along with the infamous Black Cat.


Mind Games by Neville Southall

This insightful look into issues faced by footballers and the wider world in general is well-written and researched and deals with issues such as racism, mental health and homophobia.



The Body Beneath the Willows by Nick Louth

The latest in the Craig Gillard series sees the detective investigating the discovery of a body with part of an Anglo Saxon dagger lodged in his neck. Is it the body of a long-missing man or is something else afoot?



Books I Have Aquired

Brighton, 1965

When theatrical impresario Bert Billington is found dead in his retirement home, no one suspects foul play. But when the postmortem reveals that he was poisoned, suspicion falls on his wife, eccentric ex-Music Hall star Verity Malone.

Frustrated by the police response to Bert’s death and determined to prove her innocence, Verity calls in private detective duo Emma Holmes and Sam Collins. This is their first real case, but as luck would have it they have a friend on the inside: Max Mephisto is filming a remake of Dracula, starring Seth Billington, Bert’s son. But when they question Max, they feel he isn’t telling them the whole story.

Emma and Sam must vie with the police to untangle the case and bring the killer to justice. They’re sure the answers must lie in Bert’s dark past and in the glamorous, occasionally deadly, days of Music Hall. But the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in…

BAFTA-winning actor, voice of everything from Monkey to the Cadbury’s Caramel Rabbit, creator of a myriad of unforgettable characters from Lady Whiteadder to Professor Sprout, MIRIAM MARGOLYES, OBE, is the nation’s favourite (and naughtiest) treasure. Now, at the age of 80, she has finally decided to tell her extraordinary life story – and it’s well worth the wait.

Find out how being conceived in an air-raid gave her curly hair; what pranks led to her being known as the naughtiest girl Oxford High School ever had; how she ended up posing nude for Augustus John as a teenager; why Bob Monkhouse was the best (male) kiss she’s ever had; and what happened next after Warren Beatty asked ‘Do you fuck?’

From declaring her love to Vanessa Redgrave to being told to be quiet by the Queen, this book is packed with brilliant, hilarious stories. With a cast list stretching from Scorsese to Streisand, a cross-dressing Leonardo di Caprio to Isaiah Berlin, This Much Is True is as warm and honest, as full of life and surprises, as its inimitable author.


On the tree-lined banks of Surrey’s River Wey, a decaying corpse is dug up by workmen in the middle of an Anglo-Saxon burial site. His modern dental fillings show that this is no Dark Age corpse…

DCI Craig Gillard is called in, but the body’s condition makes identification difficult. One man, however, seems to fit the bill: Ozzy Blanchard, a contractor employed by the same water firm doing the digging who disappeared six months ago, his crashed company car found nearby.

But then an X-ray of the corpse throws the investigation into turmoil. A shard of metal lodged in his neck turns out to be part of an Anglo-Saxon dagger unknown to archaeologists. Who wielded this mystery weapon and why? Does the answer lie in a murderous feud between two local families?

The deeper Gillard digs, the more shocking truths he will uncover.


A DEVOTED MOTHER
Sam Cooper has a happy life: a good job, a blossoming relationship. Yet, there’s something he can never forget – the image seared into his mind of his mother, Laurie, dying when he was a child. His father allowed his grief to tear them apart and Sam hasn’t seen him in years.

A LOVING WIFE
Until an unexpected call from Firwood hospital, asking Sam to come home, puts in motion a chain of devastating events. On his deathbed, Sam’s father makes a shocking confession.

A LIAR?
Who was Laurie Cooper? It’s clear that everything Sam thought he knew about his mother was wrong. And now he’s determined to find out exactly what she did and why – whatever the cost.

What happens if you discover you’ve been lied to by your own family for twenty-five years?

Sam Cooper is about to find out.


A coffin is dug up by builders in the grounds of an historic convent – inside is the body of a young nun.

In a city as old as London, the discovery is hardly surprising. But when scratch marks are found on the inside of the coffin lid, Detective Jane Tennison believes she has unearthed a mystery far darker than any she’s investigated before.

However, not everyone agrees. Tennison’s superiors dismiss it as an historic cold case, and the Church seems desperate to conceal the facts from the investigation.

It’s clear that someone is hiding the truth, and perhaps even the killer. Tennison must pray she can find both – before they are buried forever . . .

Here’s to a great 2022!


The Game by Luca Veste

It starts with some form of communication you can’t ignore: a phone call, a text, an email… The person you’re communicating with knows your secret and if you don’t play The Game, it will be revealed. Complete each level and you may be able to leave; fail and your fate is in the hands of some unknown puppet master.

After enjoying Luca Veste’s previous standalone books, The Bone Keeper and The Six, I couldn’t wait to read The Game – even if I do still live in hope for another in the Murphy & Rossi series! In The Game, we have probably one of the most twisted killers the author has written about and yet, for me, the scary part was that I could actually imagine something like this happening in real life!

When a young woman goes missing, DC Mark Flynn feels that there is more to this case than meets the eye. Going against what his colleagues believe has happened, he begins to investigate an online challenge known as ‘The Game’, linking the disappearance to the death of another young woman nearby. Although Mark found himself flying solo for the majority of the time, he is not the typical maverick detective you find in police procedurals, finding himself an outsider through circumstance not choice. I liked Mark, admiring his perseverance even though his beliefs pushed him further away from the rest of the squad.

The internet has become a feature of many crime books in recent years and here, Luca Veste has definitely demonstrated the negative side. As I said earlier, as the plot develops and we discover how people are ‘recruited’ to play The Game, you begin to realise how this could actually happen in the real world and how important it is to remember the consequences that online comments can have.

I really enjoyed The Game and hope that this isn’t the last we hear of Mark Flynn.

With thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster UK for my copy.

Monthly Round Up: December 2020

The last month of the year and I’d hoped to make a dent in the books that appear to be multiplying on Net Galley, but instead I seem to have added some more! I am a bit late with this month’s round up as I’ve had no internet access for over a week – nightmarish first world problem!

Books I Have Read

People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield

A great new take on the infamous Jack the Ripper story. When a young woman starts to suspect that her new husband could be the Whitechapel killer, we are drawn deep into the London underbelly that is not featured on any tourist map.

Lost by Leona Deakin

The second in the Dr Augusta Bloom series follows the aftermath of an explosion. When one of the injured disappears only to reappear some time later, there is a mystery to solve. Where did he go and why can’t he remember anything about what has happened to him? I’m enjoying this series and have downloaded the third book to read soon.

The Christmas Carol by M J Lee

Genealogist Jayne Sinclair takes on an unusual case when she is asked to prove the provenance of a first edition of A Christmas Carol. Taking us back to Victorian Manchester and the possible inspirations for many of the characters, we encounter Charles Dickens as he sees how the mill workers of Lancashire live. A great festive tale.

Silent Night by Nell Pattison

The second in the Paige Northwood series sees the sign language interpreter aiding the police when a deaf teenager goes missing and his head teacher is found murdered. This is another series I am really enjoying due to the different slant taken on the investigation.

The Island by C L Taylor

A YA book from an author whose books I have loved over the past few years. A group of teenagers aim to spend a week on a deserted island, living off the land with the help of a local guide. When things go drastically wrong, their lives are put in danger. Can they work out what is going on and escape from their nightmare? Review will form part of this month’s blog tour.

The Burning Girls by C J Tudor

When a vicar arrives at their new church, it is not long before they realise that all is not well in this village. Just what exactly happened to the previous vicar and why are people still obsessed with the burning of local marytrs hundreds of years previously? This is another sure-fire hit for the author of The Chalk Man. My review will form part of the blog tour later this month.

The Game by Luca Veste

When a young woman goes missing and another is found dead, D C Mark Flynn has his work cut out trying to convince his colleagues that the cases are connected and that they are players of something known as ‘The Game’. Just who is the shadowy figure behind this game and can the players ever leave?

Books I Have Acquired

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney

The words blurred as she read the note from the killer. She could feel her blood turning to ice. Shivers ran up and down her spine. ‘Before you make the biggest mistake of your life, meet me. If you don’t, her blood will be on your hands. She is with me. You know where to find us’.

When twenty-five-year-old Beth Mullen returns home, expecting to find her twin Rachel waiting for her, the silent house sends a shiver down her spine. She races upstairs to find her beautiful beloved sister cold in her childhood bed, her sparkling blue eyes closed forever, the morning after attending a glittering party…

Newly engaged Detective Lottie Parker knows that Rachel has been murdered the minute she enters the bedroom. Rachel’s neck is bruised and a shard of glass placed in her throat. Confronted with such a horrifying killing, Lottie wastes no time in pursuing every clue.

While interviewing the partygoers, Lottie discovers that Rachel’s handbag and keys are nowhere to be found. But as she is searching for them, a brilliant young doctor is found murdered with glass in her throat. The doctor was nowhere near the party and Lottie is forced to question everything. Two beautiful young women with the world at their feet have been brutally silenced. Why did the killer need them to die?

Desperate to find proof of what really happened to Rachel that night, Lottie gets close to the hostess of the party, whose two daughters were friends with Rachel. But Lottie’s hunt for the truth is getting under the killer’s skin, and when Lottie’s fiancé Boyd goes missing, will she be able to find him before it’s too late? Or will he too be silenced forever?

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.

Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner’s suicide note includes the line, ‘He’s buried in the garden.’ Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog.

All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn’t scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm …

Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante

‘Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he’s ready, you release him and he’ll bring his team back into the corral – like Judas betraying them…’

Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.

As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes – and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.

When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr’s head – and any more blood spilled, on his hands…

Hunt by Leona Deakin

The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom.

He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis.

But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett?

The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?

The Girl on the Platform by Bryony Pearce

‘The train doesn’t slow. We aren’t stopping. We are going to burn past, leaving her behind in a swirl of leaves and dust. I blink. And then men are there, two of them. They lift the squirming girl to her feet, haul her towards the van… and then we are past.’

I am the girl on the platform.
When new mother Bridget catches her train home from London, she witnesses something terrible: a young girl is taken from the platform, right before her eyes. 
No one knows where I am.
But no one is reported missing and with Bridget the only witness, she is written off as an attention seeker. Nobody believes her – not even her own husband.
Can you find me? 
But Bridget knows what she saw, and becomes consumed with finding the little girl. Only she can save the child’s life… but could delving into the mystery cost Bridget her own?

A Del of a Life by David Jason

”So lithe,’ they say. ‘So spry and sparkling. So uncannily youthful. How on earth do you do it?’

Well, what can I tell you? An hour of tai chi first thing in the morning, an HIIT work-out with my personal trainer, a bowl of steamed kale and a handful of almonds for lunch, and then two hours of yoga in the afternoon followed by an ice bath – this is a routine which I’m sure would work miracles for anyone of any age, although I can’t be entirely sure because I haven’t myself adopted any aspect of it at any point.

Fortunately, during my life and career I have been given all sorts of advice and learned huge amounts from some great and enormously talented people. I’ve been blessed to play characters such as Derek Trotter, Granville, Pop Larkin and Frost, who have changed my life in all sorts of ways, and taught me lessons that go far beyond the television set. And I’ve worked a few things out for myself as well, about friendship, ambition, rejection, success, failure, adversity and fortune.

With any luck, some of these thoughts and observations will chime with episodes and challenges you have faced, or are facing, in your own life. And if they don’t… well, hopefully, at the very least you’ll get to have a good old laugh at my expense.

So lean back, pour yourself a glass, and try not to fall through the bar flap . . .’

Why Mummy’s Sloshed by Gill Sims

I just wanted them to stop wittering at me, eat vegetables without complaining, let me go to the loo in peace and learn to make a decent gin and tonic.  
It genuinely never occurred to me when they were little that this would ever end – an eternity of Teletubbies and Duplo and In The Night Bastarding Garden and screaming, never an end in sight.  But now there is.  And despite the busybody old women who used to pop up whenever I was having a bad day and tell me I would miss these days when they were over, I don’t miss those days at all.  
I have literally never stood wistfully in the supermarket and thought ‘Oh, how I wish someone was trailing behind me constantly whining ‘Mummy, can I have, Mummy can I have?’ while another precious moppet tries to climb out the trolley so they land on their head and we end up in A&E.  
Again.

Mummy has been a wife and mother for so long that she’s a little bit lost. And despite her best efforts, her precious moppets still don’t know the location of the laundry basket, the difference between being bored and being hungry, or that saying ‘I can’t find it Mummy’ is not the same as actually looking for it.

Amidst the chaos of A-Levels and driving tests, she’s doing her best to keep her family afloat, even if everybody is set on drifting off in different directions, and that one of those directions is to make yet another bloody snack. She’s feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated, and the only thing that Mummy knows for sure is that the bigger the kids, the bigger the drink.

Wishing everyone a very happy new year!

I was hoping to read a few more books than last month, but I’ve really struggled even though I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read. Hopefully you’ve had a more productive month than me!

Books I Have Read

Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper of Whitechapel by M K Wiseman

As a fan of the original Conan Doyle books and someone who has an interest in the Jack the Ripper case, this was right up my street! Written very much like a Conan Doyle, we see Holmes investigating the famous case, fearing that the perpetrator may be his friend, Dr Watson. Review will follow as part of the publication day push.


A Song For the Dark Times by Ian Rankin

The latest in the Rebus series is another fantastic read from Ian Rankin. When his daughter’s husband goes missing, the ex-detective finds himself involved in a case that is very close to home. This is a series that is showing no sign of losing its touch.


The Body on the Island by Nick Louth

When an unidentified body is found, Detective Chief Inspector Craig Gillard has his work cut out with not only working out who the man is, but trying to determine the cause of death. With the most bizarre MO I have read about in a while, this is a great addition to a brilliant series.


The Forgotten Gift by Kathleen McGurl

Another superb dual timeline novel from Kathleen McGurl takes us back to the Victorian era and an incredibly dysfunctional family. A great plot with some heart-wrenching moments, I really enjoyed this book. Review will fllow as part of the blog tour.


Books I Have Acquired

It has been three years since the death of Sherlock Holmes. Watson is now solving mysteries solo and he’s about to face his toughest one yet: the impossible murder of Mr Adair. What Watson doesn’t know is that this curious case will unearth secrets from beyond the grave …

The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection: Creatures, Codes and Curious Cases:

Sherlock Holmes returns! Facing beastly creatures, catching curious criminals and uncovering deadly secrets from beneath the sea are all in a day’s work for this world-famous detective and his faithful biographer, Watson, as they face their final (and most dangerous!) cases.

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?

Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide


Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .


THEY KNOW WHAT YOU DID
You receive a call, an email, a text – someone knows your secret and they want to ruin you.

AND THEY’RE OUT FOR BLOOD
If you don’t do what they say, they’ll tell everyone what you’ve been hiding.
They will come after you, destroy you, and they aren’t afraid to kill.

IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME


I’m currently reading The Searcher by Tana French which I’m really enjoying. A slow burner and I can’t wait to see where it leads.

Keep safe everyone!

Monthly Roundup – September 2019

I’m at that stage where my Net Galley TBR list doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller! I’ve tried not to get any more books but am failing miserably! I have nearly completed my GoodReads challenge, however, so it’s not all bad!

Books I Have Read

The Posing Playwright by David Field

In the fifth book in the series, Jack and Esther Enright investigate the disappearance of a peer on a train and Jack also finds himself mixed up in the trial of famous playwright, Oscar Wilde. Not my favourite in the series, but there were some good moments.

 

The Six by Luca Veste

In this standalone from the author of the Murphy and Rossi novels, a serial killer with a particular modus operandi crosses paths with a group of six friends and soon, they are fighting for their lives. A cracking read.

 

The Quiet Ones by Theresa Talbot

After a famous football coach is found murdered and there is not the usual outpouring of grief in the media, investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil’s interest is piqued. She soon uncovers a well-hidden secret that has ruined the lives of numerous men and realises that someone is about to bring it all into the open. A hard-hitting, well-written book.

 

Where the Silence Calls by M J Lee

After the body of a man is found burned to death in his flat, DI Ridpath embarks on a case that  is much bigger than he first imagined, taking him back to Manchester in the 1990s. This is becoming one of my favourite series.

 

Expiry Date by Alex Walters

After he discovers the body of an unknown man, DI Alex McKay is drawn into the world of human trafficking, realising that the case brings him closer to home than he ever could have imagined. This is part way through a series, but can be read as a standalone. Review will be published soon.

 

The Hidden Lives of Jack the Ripper’s Victims by Robert Hume

A look into the lives of the women who became the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper, with much less emphasis placed on the actual crimes. There are some great photos which really bring the women to life.

 

 

Books I Have Acquired

Seven guests. Seven secrets. One killer. Do you dare to SLEEP?

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

 

I’m alive. But I can’t be saved . . .

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed.

Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them.

What’s their connection to the body in the river?

Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished?

And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late?

 

‘She shivered, though the kitchen was warm. Icicles of foreboding trickled down her spine. With trembling hands she whipped back her hair at the nape of her neck. As she turned away from the window, she missed the shadow passing by.’

One dark winter’s morning, bride-to-be Cara Dunne is found hanging in her home, dressed in her wedding dress, with a lock of hair removed. Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. Looking at Cara’s bruised and battered body, she wonders who could have hated her enough to kill her at the happiest time of her life.

The case takes a darker turn that afternoon with another shocking discovery – the broken body of a second young woman, pushed from the roof of the hospital where she worked. Fiona Heffernan was also due to be married, and her body is clad in a wedding dress, a lock of her hair cut off.

The killings seem so personal that Lottie is convinced the girls have been killed by someone they knew. When she goes to break the news to Fiona’s family, she’s on the alert for anything suspicious. But then she makes a discovery that causes her blood to run cold – Fiona’s eight-year-old daughter Lily didn’t return home from her dance recital that afternoon. Terrified that Lily will be the next victim of a twisted and dangerous individual, Lottie takes the case into her own hands, risking her life when she comes face-to-face with the killer…

 

Detective Alyssa Wyatt is hunting a serial killer.

She doesn’t know that he’s hunting her.

A woman is found naked, badly beaten and barely alive in the New Mexico mountains. The shocking discovery plunges Albuquerque Detective Alyssa Wyatt into a case that will test her to the limit.

It appears that Callie McCormick is the latest plaything of a shadowy psychopath that leaves a long shadow on the streets of New Mexico – an individual linked to a string of deaths but leaving no evidence.

But when Alyssa makes a breakthrough that just might reveal the killer, she unknowingly puts herself in the crosshairs of a brutal maniac – one with an old score to settle.

Because the killer knows Alyssa very well, even if she doesn’t know him. And he’s determined that she’ll know his name – even if he has to extract his deadly revenge on her and everything she loves.

 

When one-hundred-year-old Violet Ross is found dead at Eden’s End, a luxury care home hidden in a secluded nook of the Lake District’s Eden Valley it’s tragic, of course, but not unexpected. Except for the instantly recognisable look in her lifeless eyes… that of pure terror.

DCI Jude Satterthwaite heads up the investigation, but as the deaths start to mount up it’s clear that he, and DS Ashleigh O’Halloran need to uncover a long-buried secret before the killer strikes again…

 

 

I’ve just started the latest Patricia Gibney book and know that I’m going to enjoy it as much as I have all of her others. Have you read any of the books I’ve listed? What did you think?

 

 

 

 

 

The Six by Luca Veste

Six friends, marriage and babies on the horizon, decide to spend a few days revisiting their youth by attending a 90s music festival. The atmosphere of a great few days takes a macabre twist, however, when somebody dies. Knowing that their life will never be the same, the six make a pact never to speak about what happened the night that they buried the body. Now, though, a year later, somebody seems to know what happened and the killing has started again…

I’m a big fan of Luca Veste’s Murphy and Rossi series and really enjoyed his standalone The Bone Keeper, so The Six was a book I had been looking forward to for a while. As the majority of serial killer plots tend to be police procedurals, I was also interested to read one from a different angle. Told from the perspective of Matt, one of the six, we immediately get an inside view of what is going on, his fears and neuroses showing us how greatly the death and subsequent events have affected his life.

Told in the present day and also in flashbacks to their time at school and university, The Six transports you straight back to the 90s, Luca Veste nailing the musical references, providing me with a pleasing nostalgia trip! I did smile at the Britney Spears reference, knowing the author’s penchant for “…Baby One More Time” thanks to his work with The Fun Lovin’ Crimewriters! The flashbacks provide a perfect insight into the pasts of some of the characters, helping us to understand the present-day friendships and also giving hints as to what really happened at that music festival.

From the start, I had convinced myself that I knew where the plot was going to go, only to find my theory actually discussed by one of the characters! This definitely took the wind out of my sails and made me even more desperate to find out what was happening. I was happy with how the story culminated, if a little shocked!

I have purposely avoided talking too much about the plot as I feel that this is a book where you will get more enjoyment by going in completely blind. All I will say is that if you enjoy a creepy serial killer plot that will have you listening out for strange noises at night, then The Six is the book for you!

With thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for my ARC.

Take a look at my reviews for other books by Luca Veste:

Bloodstream

It Never Leaves You

Then She Was Gone

The Bone Keeper

 

Monthly Roundup – August 2019

Having more time on my hands, August is the month I manage to read a lot more than I do any other month and this month has been no exception. A couple of books crept to the top of my TBR list as they were on my most anticipated list and, thanks to Net Galley, I was able to get some early copies!

Books I Have Read

The Dirty Dozen by Linda La Plante

The fifth book in the Jane Tennison series sees the detective combating sexism as she joins the famous Flying Squad, investigating a particularly nasty armed robbery. Knowing that she will have to work twice as hard just to gain acceptance, we see the tenacious officer showing off her skills to the max as she shows the men just how it’s done. This is one of my favourite series at the moment.

 

Ice Cold Heart by P. J. Tracy

When a woman is found dead after a clandestine meeting, detectives Gino and Magozzi believe it could be a case of a sex game gone wrong. A chance meeting, however, leads them to think that this is not his first victim and time is running out if they are to save his next… This next installment in the Monkeewrench series is, in my opinion, one of the best.

 

The Perfect Lie by Karen Osman

Claire Carmichael has a great life but something happened a long time ago when she was at school that threatens to change everything. What has she kept hidden all these years and how does it link to what is about to happen to her and her family? This is a great thriller.

 

Daddy’s Girls by Sarah Flint

When an elderly woman is found dead in her bed, D. C. Charlie Stafford fears that the man responsible for a spate of burglaries has escalated his crimes. With another, equally heinous, criminal on the loose, decisions must be made about which avenues to pursue before more victims are found. Review will be published as part of the blog tour.

 

46801377._SY475_A Pair of Sharp Eyes by Kat Armstrong

Even before she arrives in Bristol, young Coronation Amesbury hears about the deaths of six young boys, all found with their throats cut. Determined to make her own way in life,  she is also determined to find out what happened to these poor children. A great debut for fans of historical fiction, the review will be published as part of the blog tour.

 

Your Guilty Lies by Ruth Heald

This story of Katie, a mother of young twin girls, had me gasping with shock on more than one occasion! With a husband and a friend who are obviously keeping secrets from her, this is one of those books where you need to keep reading to find out what awful event is going to happen next! Review will be published as part of the blog tour.

 

Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths

The fifth book in the Stephens and Mephisto series is set ten years after the events of the previous case, and we see a huge change in the personal lives of the main characters. With less ‘magic’ than the rest of the series, we see the police investigating the disappearance of several local women, with some of the characters getting a little too close for comfort.

 

Avaline Saddlebags by Netta Newbound and Marcus Brown

A serial killer is targeting male to female transexuals and it is up to DI Dylan Monroe and his team to investigate in this highly sensitive case. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will definitely be making my favourites list this year. My review will be published as part of the blog tour.

 

 

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The well-known Sherlock Holmes book is given a retelling for a children’s audience. Despite this, I absolutely loved it and feel that this would be a great introduction to Sherlock for any young person.

 

 

The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A Denzil

Ten years ago, young Samuel Murray disappeared, never to be seen again. Now old wounds have been opened and the truth threatens to be revealed. How involved was Rosie Sharpe and will her and her sister, Heather, pay the price for their involvement? A shocking, fast-paced read. My review will be published as part of the blog tour.

 

Books I Have Acquired

 

Play with fire, and you’re going to get burned. The unputdownable new Ridpath crime thriller

In Manchester, a block of flats is burning. The only victim is a middle-aged man, sat watching TV. Are the fire and the man’s death an accident or is something more frightening at work?

Meanwhile, DI Ridpath is back with his wife and enjoying work at the Coroner’s Office, his myeloma still in remission. But the quiet life is soon shattered by a new threat.

More corpses start appearing; charred, burnt, silent bodies, strewn in the streets and lodged in buildings. Next to each one is a chilling message sprayed in orange ink.

Fighting on all fronts, Ridapth will be drawn into the dark past of his city and the youth football clubs of the 1990s. He must find the link before any more people die. Before the flames come close to home…

 

Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly are inextricably linked in history. Their names might not be instantly recognisable, and the identity of their murderer may have eluded detectives and historians throughout the years, but there is no mistaking the infamy of Jack the Ripper. For nine weeks during the autumn of 1888, the Whitechapel Murderer brought terror to London s East End, slashing women s throats and disembowelling them. London s most famous serial killer has been pored over time and again, yet his victims have been sorely neglected, reduced to the simple label: prostitute. The lives of these five women are rags-to-riches-to-rags stories of the most tragic kind. There was a time in each of their lives when these poor women had a job, money, a home and a family. Hardworking, determined and fiercely independent individuals, it was bad luck, or a wrong turn here or there, that left them wretched and destitute. Ignored by the press and overlooked by historians, it is time their stories were told.

 

Six friends trapped by one dark secret.

It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything.

In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again …

Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay?

 

A DETECTIVE WHO WOULD STOP AT NOTHING
Kate Marshall was a rising star in the London Metropolitan police force. Young, ambitious and with a keen sense of justice, she solved several high-profile murder cases.

UNTIL A KILLER STOPPED HER IN HER TRACKS
But when Kate was tasked with tracking down a vicious serial killer, even her sharp instincts couldn’t help her find him – until he found her.

NOW, HE’S BACK FOR MORE
Sixteen years after her narrow escape, Kate lives a quiet life on the English coast, though her years with the police are still with her. And when one day she receives a letter from someone in her past, she is pulled back into the twisted mind of a murderer she knows only too well – and into a case only she can solve.

 

Two years ago, Ben Fenton went camping for the night with his brother Leo. When Ben woke up, he was covered in blood, and his brother had gone. Days later, Ben was facing a charge of murder. 

Ben’s girlfriend, Ana Seabrook, has always sworn he was innocent. And now, on the hottest day of a sweltering heat wave, a body has been unearthed in Ana’s village. A body that might be connected to what really happened between Ben and Leo that fateful night. 

DCI Jansen, of St Albans police, is sure that Ana has something to hide. But as Jansen knows all too well, nothing stays buried forever…

 

 

When art dealer Ivan Fielding is found dead of a heart attack in his home, surrounded by the treasures he’s collected all his life, it doesn’t initially seem like a case for Detective Inspector Frost and the Denton police force. But then signs of a burglary are discovered, and Frost senses there’s more to the story than meets the eye – even though the only thing taken was a worthless amateur painting.

Then a young girl is abducted outside the school, an infamous gangster fresh from prison arrives in the area, and dead bodies start turning up in the woods. As Frost and his team dig deeper, everything seems to lead back to Ivan Fielding’s murky lifetime of misdeeds.

Will they find the answers they need before the dead man’s past puts them all at risk?

 

Have you read any of these or are any of them on your TBR list? At the moment, I’m reading The Posing Playwright, the fifth book in the Esther & Jack Enright mystery series by David Field, and my next read is going to be Luca Veste’s, The Six – this is one I’m really looking forward to!

My Books of 2018

As another year draws to a close, it’s time to, once again, look back at what I’ve read over the past twelve months and try to narrow it down to my ten favourites. Not an easy job! Again, I’ve looked back through my Goodreads reviews to see which books I gave five stars to and have chosen from there. Here are my final ten, in no particular order:

 

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

Although I’ve said that my list is in no particular order, this is by far my favourite book of the year. I loved the first two books in the Nathan Cody series but Don’t Make a Sound really is something else. Telling the story of the loathsome Malcolm Benson and the young children he has abducted, this book really did make me gasp in shock as I neared the end. There are not many books that throw me completely off the scent, but David Jackson’s twist succeeded to the point where I had to go back and re-read several pages to ensure that I had read it correctly! I predicted in January that this would be one of my favourite books of the year and I was right!

 

 

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons

The eighth in the Kim Stone series and one that had many devoted fans reaching for their tissues! The investigation into the deaths of some of the pupils at a local school saw Angela Marsons taking the story arc somewhere we never expected it to go. This is a series that is showing no signs of slowing down and Dying Truth is definitely up there as one of the best. If you have never read an Angela Marsons book, you don’t know what you’re missing!

 

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

I’m a huge fan of her Ruth Galloway and Stephens & Mephisto books, so I couldn’t wait to read Elly’s standalone, The Stranger Diaries. Part murder-mystery, part gothic thriller, when the body of her friend is found with horrific injuries, English teacher Clare is immediately a suspect. Clare, an expert in the author R M Holland, is perturbed when a quote from one of his stories is found nearby. This is soon followed by strange comments in her personal diary. Is someone messing with her mind or is there really a supernatural link to the case? A superb read.

 

Her Last Move by John Marrs

A gruesome murder-mystery that is more of a ‘whydunit’ than a ‘whodunit’. The two main protagonists, Joe and Becca, are investigating a serial killer who is stalking the streets of London, remaining one step ahead of the police at all times. This book has stuck in my mind mainly due to the twist that I most definitely did not see coming and is one that you don’t see very often in books of this genre.

 

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

A twisty thriller that had me hooked from the very first page, Jar of Hearts tells the story of Geo, a woman who is about to be released from prison after serving time for her involvement in the murder of her high school friend. Her then boyfriend, Calvin, has escaped from prison and soon there is a trail of bodies all bearing the hallmarks of the Sweetbay Strangler. Is this a message for Geo and is she destined to be the next victim?

 

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

This is a bit of a cheat really as I also included it in my books of 2017 but as it wasn’t officially published until 2018, I think I’m allowed to include it again! When a group of boys follow a trail of drawings depicting chalk men, they find a dismembered body in the woods, changing their lives forever. Now, thirty years later, the chalk men have started to reappear… Clever writing and an equally clever ending, I can’t wait to read the author’s next book, The Taking of Annie Thorne.

 

Killing Time by Mark Roberts

The fourth in the Eve Clay series is another dark thriller from Mark Roberts set, as in the previous books, in Liverpool, but also, this time, taking in the United States. When a young Czech girl is found abandoned in a park, there is some relief until the call comes in that two Polish men have been found dead in their burnt-out flat. Are the cases connected? There is, again, another chilling climax to the story with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

 

The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste

When a woman is found near a forest singing a childhood song about ‘the bone keeper’, people begin to ask the question – could the urban legend actually be real? A very eerie serial killer story with more than a touch of the macabre, Luca Veste has created another great protagonist in Louise Henderson (although I am still missing Murphy and Rossi!).

 

Move to Murder by Antony M Brown

The murder of Julia Wallace in 1931 is one of Britain’s classic unsolved cases. Move to Murder examines the evidence, putting forward several theories, asking the reader to take on the role of the jury and come up with a verdict. A well-written and researched book, this certainly made me question my long-held view on the case.

 

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

I’ve never been a fan of courtroom dramas, but the tagline, ‘The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury’ was too intriguing to miss. With one of the worst (and ingenious) serial killers I’ve read about for a long time, this was definitely one of the books that lived up to the hype.

 

So, there you have it. There’s a few that just missed out, but I’m happy with my final ten. Have any of these made your list? Is there anything you think I should have included?

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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