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Mark Billingham

Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham

DC Alice Armitage is investigating the murder of a patient on a psychiatric ward. In a facility where security is paramount, she must try to discover how this was able to occur and also who could have possibly been able to carry this out. Could it have been one of his fellow patients? One of the members of staff? An outsider who has managed to gain access? Alice’s work is cut out, not least because the detective isn’t exactly on the case – she’s one of the patients in the ward.

I loved the premise of this book and found Alice a fascinating character. Despite traumatic events in her past placing her in the psychiatric unit, she is convinced that the police are not doing their job properly and so uses her skills to conduct an investigation of her own. Feeling that she has identified the killer, she uses her contacts in the outside world to assist, only to find her theory derailed several times.

Despite the setting, Rabbit Hole is packed with dark humour as we meet a plethora of characters, each given a nickname by Alice. Some of her fellow patients are an absolute joy, their well-described quirks making it easy to visualise what life was like in this unit.

For fans of the author’s Thorne series, you will be pleased to see that there are a few cameo appearances of characters you may recognise. I particularly liked the subtle Phil Hendricks reference quite early on in the book.

There are plenty of twists and turns along the way with numerous red herrings thrown in for good measure. The ending was not expected with part of it making me question everything I had read! This is a great standalone from Mark Billingham, an author who I don’t think has ever written anything less than a brilliant book.

With thanks to Little, Brown and Net Galley for my copy.

Monthly Round Up – July 2021

After finding a bag containing books I had completely forgotten about, I have decided to try to make an effort to read some of the growing TBR pile! As a result, I’m halfway through The Chain by Adrian McKinty, a book I have been wanting to read for a while after hearing such good things about it.

Books I Have Read

The Clockmaker’s Wife by Daisy Wood

This dual timeline novel set partly during World War Two is an engrossing tale of courage, espionage and long lost family. Big Ben will never seem the same again after reading this book!



The Ghost in the Garden by Elly Griffiths

The third in the Justice Jones series will delight children alike. When one of her fellow pupils is kidnapped and a ghostly apparition is seen, Justice has another case to investigate.



Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham

This standalone from the author of the Tom Thorne books introduces us to Alice, a police officer investigating the murder of a patient at a mental health facility. The only problem is – she is a patient herself. Review to follow.




The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley

A mother’s worst nightmare comes true when her baby is abducted by someone she thought she knew. This is a gripping book about how we don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. Review to follow as part of the blog tour.



The Body on the Moor by Nick Louth

The eighth in the Craig Gillard series is a twisty tale of murder and revenge. When the body of a headteacher is found decapitated, police are at a loss to find a motive. His personal life may hold the key but what exactly has been going on? Review to follow.



Books I Have Acquired

A thrilling and perplexing investigation of a true Victorian crime at Dublin railway station.

Dublin, November 1856: George Little, the chief cashier of the Broadstone railway terminus, is found dead, lying in a pool of blood beneath his desk.

He has been savagely beaten, his head almost severed; there is no sign of a murder weapon, and the office door is locked, apparently from the inside. Thousands of pounds in gold and silver are left untouched at the scene of the crime.

Augustus Guy, Ireland’s most experienced detective, teams up with Dublin’s leading lawyer to investigate the murder. But the mystery defies all explanation, and two celebrated sleuths sent by Scotland Yard soon return to London, baffled.

Five suspects are arrested then released, with every step of the salacious case followed by the press, clamouring for answers. But then a local woman comes forward, claiming to know the murderer…



She lifted up her granddaughter from the cot, clutched her to her chest and, without looking at her beautiful daughter lying dead on the floor of her bedroom, ran from the house. Only when she was outside did she let a wail escape her lips, frightening the baby who joined in her screams.

When Isabel Gallagher is found murdered on the floor of her baby’s nursery by her mother, it’s a gruelling case for Detective Lottie Parker. Isabel’s pyjamas have been ripped, her throat cut and an old-fashioned razor blade placed in her hand. As Lottie looks at the round blue eyes and perfect chubby cheeks of Isabel’s baby daughter, she can’t understand who would want to hurt this innocent family.

That very same day she receives a call with devastating news. Another young mother, Joyce Breslin, has gone missing, and her four-year-old son Evan has been abducted from daycare. Lottie is sure that the missing mother and son are linked to Isabel’s death, and when she finds a bloody razor blade in their house, her worst fears are confirmed.

Desperate to find little Evan, Lottie leaves no stone unturned as she delves into Isabel and Joyce’s pasts and when she realises the two women have been meeting in secret, she knows she must find out why.

But when Joyce’s body is found in a murky pond and some little bones are found on a windy hillside, it feels as if this merciless killer will stop at nothing. The bones aren’t Evan’s but can they give Lottie the final clue to find the innocent child before more lives are taken?


I’ve been trying to avoid Net Galley but who knows how long that will last for!

Monthly Round Up – June 2021

Another month over and I’ve read a range of books during June. Net Galley has been utilised quite a bot and I have been pleased to be able to get some books by some of my favourite authors.

Books I Have Read

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry

When Liz Catalano discovers that she has been adopted, she is more that shocked to discover that she is related biologically to a serial killer who has evaded capture for decades. Part genealogical fiction, part serial killer novel, I really enjoyed how this story unfolded.



The Weeping Lady Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh

A novella that follows on from the Marquess House saga. After a storm uncovers some interesting finds, sisters Piper and Perdita Rivers investigate an age-old ghost story. A great bonus story in a series that I love.



Hunt by Leona Deakin

The third in the Dr Augusta Bloom series is my favourite to date. When she is tasked by the foreign secretary to investigate a shady feminist organisation, Augusta finds herself undercover in what she suspects is a cult. Just how much danger has she put herself in? Review to follow.


Killing for Company by Brian Masters

The book that the TV series Des was based on is a detailed description of the life and crimes of one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, Dennis Nilsen. The audiobook, read by the actor Jason Watkins, is enthralling and horrific in equal measures. A great read.


The Rule by David Jackson

David Jackson’s latest standalone is full of the dark humour and fantastic characters that I have grown to expect. Telling the story of how a law-abiding person can become embroiled in the world of crime, this unexpected plot is fast paced and incredibly readable.



The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood

Vanessa loves taking on the persona of someone else, looking around upmarket houses that she has no intention of buying. Until one of the householders is murdered and she is the prime suspect… This multi-faceted book was a joy to read and deals with some very serious subjects. Review to follow.


Books I Have Acquired

A dangerous American is in town, but is he really responsible for a deadly crime spree in Leeds?

Leeds, June 1913. Deputy Chief Constable Tom Harper is a busy man. He’s overseeing a national suffragist pilgrimage due in Leeds that his wife Annabelle intends to join, and his daughter Mary has exciting plans of her own. Then a letter arrives from police in New York: Davey Mullen, an American gangster born in Leeds, is on his way back to the city, fleeing a bloody gang war.

Despite Tom’s best efforts to keep an eye on him, Davey’s arrival triggers a series of chilling events in the city. Is he responsible for the sudden surge in crime, violence and murder on Leeds’s streets? Facing a mounting workload, Tom must hunt down a cold-blooded killer while also confronting danger and tragedy close to home.




They’re in your house.

They want your life.

And now, they have your baby.

To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.

They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.

But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.

I just don’t know why.

But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.

Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.


My name is Alice. I’m a police officer.
I’m trying to solve a murder on a psychiatric ward.
But I’m also a patient…

They were meant to be safe on Fleet Ward: psychiatric patients monitored, treated, cared for. But now one of their number is found murdered, and the accusations begin to fly.

Was it one of his fellow patients? A member of staff? Or did someone come in from the outside?

DC Alice Armitage is methodical, tireless, and she’s quickly on the trail of the killer.

The only problem is, Alice is a patient too.


It was an ‘open and shut’ case. Hawley Harvey Crippen, an American quack doctor, had murdered his wife, the music hall performer Belle Elmore, and buried parts of her body in the coal cellar of their North London home. But by the time the remains were discovered he had fled the country with his mistress disguised as his son. After a thrilling chase across the ocean he was caught, returned to England, tried and hanged, remembered forever after as the quintessential domestic murderer.

But if it was as straightforward as the prosecution alleged, why did he leave only some of the body in his house, when he had successfully disposed of the head, limbs and bones elsewhere? Why did he stick so doggedly to a plea of complete innocence, when he might have made a sympathetic case for manslaughter? Why did he make no effort to cover his tracks if he really had been planning a murder? These and other questions remained tantalising mysteries for almost a century, until new DNA tests conducted in America exploded everything we thought we knew for sure about the story.

This book, the first to make full use of this astonishing new evidence, considers its implications for our understanding of the case, and suggests where the real truth might lie.


A DEADLY PROSECUTOR

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A FORMER CON-ARTIST

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

The world is at war. And time is running out…

London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming. 

When Arthur disappears, Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined… 

New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten… 


Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, is back for her third spine-tingling adventure! For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton.

Justice and her friends are third years now and there’s an intriguing new girl in Barnowls. Letitia has never been to school before and doesn’t care for the rules – and the teachers don’t seem to mind! She decides that Justice is her particular friend, much to Stella and Dorothy’s distress. But Letitia just isn’t the kind of girl you say no to.

Then, after a midnight feast in the barn, and a terrifying ghost-sighting in the garden, a girl disappears. Soon ransom notes appear, and they’re torn from the pages of a crime novel.

Where is the schoolgirl and who has taken her? It will take all of Justice’s sleuthing to unravel this mystery!


Every family has their secrets…

Windsor, England, 2019

Amelia Prentice is recovering from the worst two years of her life. First her daughter and then her parents have died, leaving her without any surviving relatives. As she gets ready to put the family home, a vast Victorian house in Windsor, on the market, she fulfils her mother’s last request to clear out the attic, and she discovers a strange box of Victorian photographs.

The photographs are of a large estate in Pembrokeshire called Cliffside, and they feature the Attwater family. When Amelia uncovers the diaries of Osyth Attwater, she realises the family had tragedies of their own…

Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1883

Every summer the Attwater family gather at Cliffside to tell each other stories. The youngest in the house is Osyth, a dreamer and writer who waits eagerly every year for the wind chime in the garden to signal the arrival of her relatives. But her happiness is shattered when she overhears a conversation that tears her world apart.

Raised by her grandparents, she believed her mother, Eudora, had died. But it seems that may not be the case. Desperate to find out the truth, Osyth decides to unravel her family’s secrets. But what she discovers will shock her to her core…

What did Amelia’s mother want her to find out about the Attwater family? Who is Eudora, and what really happened to her?

And how is Amelia connected to it all…?



A good mix there – I can’t wait to find the time to read them all!

Monthly Round Up – July 2020

This month, I’ve read a couple of books from my favourite authors and have been introduced to some new writers. I’d been pleased that I managed to get my Net Galley shelf down to just a few books but with some of the books I’ve been looking forward to appearing on there this month, I have succumbed once again! 

Books I Have Read

The Dead Tell Lies by J F Kirwan

Criminal psychologist Greg Adams specialises in hunting down serial killers but he has his work cut out with his present case. After the murder of his wife, he realises that her death has been attributed to the wrong man. Can he find the real killer before it is too late?

 

The Molten City by Chris Nickson

Leeds, 1908, and Detective Superintendent Tom Harper is awaiting a visit from the Prime Minister. With protests planned by several groups and the cold case investigation of a child who went missing fourteen years previously, the Leeds police department has a lot of work to do to prevent the collapse of law and order.

 

Hush Little Baby by Jane Isaac

Fifteen years ago, a baby went missing from outside a shop and was never seen again. Now,the body of a baby has been discovered, threatening to open up old wounds and revel secrets that have been well-hidden.

 

 

Cry Baby by Mark Billingham

This prequel to the Tom Thorne series takes us back to 1996 and the disappearance of a young child. A nostalgic look back at 1990s Britain and a great read from one of the best crime writers around.

 

The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson

When two friends go on holiday to Lisbon, only one returns. Just what did happen to Kate and what secrets has she been hiding? A great summer read with one of the best last pages I’ve read in a long time.

 

 

The Resident by David Jackson

A serial killer trying to evade the police chances upon an empty house with access to the attic space of several other houses providing him with the perfect cover for the games he has planned… A chilling yet humorous read, deserving of the social media hype! Review to follow. 

 

Before He Kills Again by Margaret Murphy

A predator stalks the streets of Liverpool, attacking women and subjecting them to indescribable terrors. Detective Cassie Rowan has made the case personal and now he has his sights set on her. Review to follow.

 

Books I Have Acquired

PS: Thanks for the murders.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…

And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…

And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…

Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

 

A victim? Or a killer?

One icy cold morning, the remains of a woman are discovered. She has been abused, then butchered. DI Kelly Porter knows this is the work of a monster. One who has killed before – and will do so again.

Kevin Flint is a young man with no friends and a reputation for being odd. He explores the hidden corners of the Lake District, and likes to creep, and watch. He witnesses depravity and it excites him. But will he cross the line from bystander to perpetrator?

Despite her personal life taking unexpected turns, Kelly’s detective instincts tell her that the answers lie with Kevin – if only she knew the right questions to ask. Will Kelly miss her chance and have blood on her hands? And will she ever be the same when it’s over?

 

When Kate Marshall finds the bloated body of a young man floating in the Shadow Sands reservoir, the authorities label it a tragic accident.

But the details don’t add up: why was the victim there, in the middle of the night? If he was such a strong swimmer, how did he drown?

Kate is certain there is more to this case than meets the eye. As she and her research assistant Tristan Harper dig deeper, they discover a bloody trail that points towards an active serial killer hiding in plain sight. People have been silently disappearing for years, and when another woman is taken, Kate and Tristan have a matter of days to save her from meeting the same fate.

 

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

 

What happened while they were sleeping?

A school for the deaf takes an overnight trip to the snowy woods. Five teenagers go to sleep, but only four wake up. Leon is missing, and a teacher’s body is found in the forest…

Sign language interpreter Paige Northwood is brought in to help with interrogations. Everyone at the school has a motive for murder – but they all have an alibi.  

As Paige becomes increasingly involved, she suspects there’s something sinister going on. With the clock ticking to find Leon, only one thing is certain: the killer is among them, and ready to strike again…

 

Detective Megan Thomas hoped that moving to Devon would mean a quiet life. Her years undercover in London left her broken and alone, unsure if she would ever recover. Slowly, she’s learning to work with a team and trust other people. But when her sister Debbie finds the body of local businessman Greg Porter, that peace is shattered.

Porter’s wife and children don’t seem entirely grief-stricken, and his business dealings are not all they appear to be. So why are the police so determined to focus on Debbie? And why is she acting so suspiciously? When Megan learns what happened between Porter and Debbie, it threatens to tear the family apart, and forces her to ask if her beloved sister could really have done something so terrible.

Her boss won’t allow her anywhere near the case, leaving Megan on the sidelines. Caught between the job she loves, and what she feels she must do, Megan finds herself faced with an impossible decision. She’s desperate to save her sister, but what if Debbie is lying? When a second body and a surprise confession takes the case into even muddier waters, Megan must decide where her loyalty lies – with her family, or the truth.

And whatever choice she makes, will she be able to live with herself?

Are there any of these books that you have read or are looking forward to reading? 

 

Cry Baby by Mark Billingham

The year is 1996 and seven-year-old Kieron Coyne has vanished while playing with his friend in the woods. With an eyewitness stating that he saw the child being led away by a man, Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne knows that time is against him if he is going to find him alive. With a mole in the ranks, however, feeding information to the vulture-like journalists, how many more people are going to find themselves collateral damage?

For long-time Mark Billingham fans like myself, this is the book we didn’t know we wanted until we read it! Twenty years since the first Thorne book, we have now been taken back to where it all started, giving us an insight into the early life and career of the detective.

Mark Billingham transported me back to the summer of 1996, with references to the sport and popular culture of the day. Memories of Euro 96 came flooding back, the belief that the ‘thirty years of hurt’ could finally be over swiftly followed by the inevitability of a loss on penalties against the Germans! It’s strange to think that a book set in 1996 could now be seen as historical, but this is exactly what it is, the methods of policing showing how quickly time has moved on.

Knowing what happens in previous (or should that be future?) books, it was good to see Thorne with his parents and also witness the relationship he currently has with his soon-to-be ex-wife. My favourite parts, though, had to be the first meeting with Phil Hendricks, and how quickly this developed into the strong friendship that they still have today. It was fascinating to see Hendricks, who we know as a confident, straight-talking man, struggling to tell Tom about his sexuality.

Cry Baby has a well-written, readable plot, with enough dodgy characters thrown in to make you really think about who the guilty party could be. With nods to police corruption and the role the press have in cases such as this, Mark Billingham definitely has another hit on his hands. Long may Thorne reign!

With thanks to Little Brown and to Net Galley for my copy of Cry Baby.

 

Monthly Round-Up: June 2020

With everything that is going on, I forgot to do my round up of what I had read last month! Better late than never!

Books I Have Read

The Body in the Marsh by Nick Louth

After reading the rest of the Craig Gillard series, I thought it was about time that I read the first! When a woman goes missing and is feared dead, the case is very close to home for Gillard as it is an ex-girlfriend from his youth. If you haven’t read this series yet, I can highly recommend it.

 

Death on Coffin Lane by Jo Allen

The third in the DCI Jude Satterthwaite series sees the detective investigating a string of deaths, the common link being an academic who is currently staying in the area. Is she a potential victim or is she involved in the crimes?

 

I Robot: How to be a Footballer 2 by Peter Crouch

A bit of light relief for football fans with stories from his footballing career and beyond told in the author’s self-effacing way.

 

 

The Redemption Murders by J C Briggs

When a sea captain is found stabbed to death on his ship, The Redemption, Superintendent Jones, ably assisted by the writer Charles Dickens, find themselves involved in a case full of secrets. This is the sixth in the Victorian crime mystery series. Review to follow.

 

The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond

A missing girl sparks memories of a similar occurrence sixteen years ago, leading Felicity to return to the town of her youth, determined to put the past behind her once and for all. This is a brilliant summer read – review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

The Fear of Ravens by Wendy Percival

The fourth in the series sees genealogist Esme Quentin researching a case of witchcraft, family feud and murder. A great read, probably the best in the series so far.

 

Books I Have Acquired

Someone stole a baby…

One sunny day in July, someone took three-month-old Alicia Owen from her pram outside a supermarket. Her mother, Marie, was inside. No one saw who took Alicia. And no one could find her.

They silenced her cry…

Fifteen years later, a teenager on a construction site sees a tiny hand in the ground. When the police investigate, they find a baby buried and preserved in concrete. Could it be Alicia?

But the truth will always out.

When Alicia disappeared, the papers accused Marie of detachment and neglect. The Owens never got over the grief of their child’s disappearance and divorced not long after. By reopening the case, DC Beth Chamberlain must reopen old wounds. But the killer may be closer than anyone ever suspected…

 

Orla and Kate have been best friends forever. Together they’ve faced it all – be it Orla’s struggles as a new mother or Kate’s messy divorce. And whatever else happens in their lives, they can always look forward to their annual weekend away.

This year, they’re off to Lisbon: the perfect flat, the perfect view, the perfect itinerary. And what better way to kick things off in style than with the perfect night out?

But when Orla wakes up the next morning, Kate is gone. Brushed off by the police and with only a fuzzy memory of the night’s events, Orla is her friend’s only hope. As she frantically retraces their steps, Orla makes a series of shattering discoveries that threaten everything she holds dear. Because while Lisbon holds the secret of what happened that night, the truth may lie closer to home…

 

It’s 1996. Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Haunted by the moment he ignored his instinct about a suspect, by the horrific crime that followed and by the memories that come day and night, in sunshine and shadow.

So when seven-year-old Kieron Coyne goes missing while playing in the woods with his best friend, Thorne vows he will not make the same mistake again. Cannot.

The solitary witness. The strange neighbour. The friendly teacher. All are in Thorne’s sights.

This case will be the making of him . . . or the breaking.

 

Hopefully next next month I’ll be a bit quicker!

 

My Books of 2019

2019 has seen some amazing books being published and it has been hard to find my favourite ten out of all of the great books that I have read. Yesterday, I finished an amazing book, Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton, but I’ve decided that, as it isn’t published until January 9th, I will save it for next year’s list!  After much deliberation, this is my list, in no particular order.

First Blood by Angela Marsons

Bookouture published a surprise sequel to the Kim Stone series and what an absolute corker is is! Great for existing fans of this series but, also, a great introduction for anyone who hasn’t yet read any of the previous books.

 

All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox

As someone who isn’t a huge fan of police procedurals set in the USA, this debut completely blew me away. With a breathtaking, fast-paced serial killer plot, I really hope this isn’t the last we see of Detective Alyssa Wyatt.

 

Sleep by C L Taylor

With a claustrophobic plot reminiscent of a modern-day Agatha Christie novel, Sleep was one of those books that definitely lived up to the online hype. A tense thriller with some great twists.

 

Avaline Saddlebags by Netta Newbound & Marcus Brown

This graphic serial killer novel was like a breath of fresh air with its gritty plot and light-hearted moments. I am sincerely hoping that we see more of the likeable DI Dylan Monroe.

 

The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey

This twisty tale of a potential miscarriage of justice is one of those books where no matter how hard you try to figure it out, there is always a nagging doubt at the back of your mind. The ending genuinely made me gasp!

 

On My Life by Angela Clarke

This well-researched novel about a possible miscarriage of justice and life inside a women’s prison is one of those plots that will stay with me for a long time to come. I’ve loved all of this author’s books but this one is special.

 

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

If awards were being given out for the most apt title, then this would definitely win! Just when you think you have it all worked out, Steve Cavanagh hits you with yet another twist and makes you rethink everything once again!

 

Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham

This, the sixteenth book in the DI Thorne series, is probably one of my favourites. Do we always know the people closest to us?

 

The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

This is the third book in the DCI Craig Gillard series but, if you haven’t read the previous books, it can be read as a standalone. This story of a hit and run and the exposure of decades-old family secrets is one that you can immediately visualise on the small screen.

 

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

The one that all fans of the Nathan Cody series had been waiting for – we found out more about the clowns! If you haven’t read any of this series, I cannot recommend it highly enough!

 

I’d love to know your thoughts. Are any of these books on your ‘best of…’ list?

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!

 

Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham

To the outside world, Sarah is just a normal single mum, juggling her home and work life like the other mums in her circle. She craves more though, something that will excite her. Meanwhile, DI Tom Thorne is investigating the death of a woman who, although appearing to have committed suicide, seems to be have been driven to it by a man who preys on vulnerable women. A man who Sarah is about to become acquainted with…

I have been a huge fan of Mark Billingham for many years, ever since reading Sleepy Head, the first Tom Thorne novel. Now, eighteen years later, Their Little Secret is the sixteenth Thorne book in a series that is showing no signs of losing its touch!

What we have in Their Little Secret is an incredibly clever plot. Sarah, to all intents and purposes, is a normal mum, her life revolving around her son, Jamie. There are a few little hints that she is hiding something but I was not prepared for what exactly this was! I loved the way the author developed her character to the point where I found my opinion of her at the end of the book was completely different to what I felt about her at the start!

Thorne’s experience really comes through in this book when he gets a hunch that there is more to the suicide of a woman than meets the eye. Not being able to explain what it is, and with his colleagues including Nicola Tanner less than interested, he is vindicated when the suicide case leads him to a seasoned conman and murder. Thorne is a great detective and I always feel that he comes across as a very real character. His relationship with his best pal, Phil Hendricks, is always a highlight in these books and there are certainly some great moments here.

Their Little Secret is a masterclass in how destructive relationships can be and how we don’t always know someone as well as we think we do. With several twists along the way, this was one of those books that I did not want to put down, reading it in a day. I think this may have become one of my favourite Thorne books and if this is a series you haven’t yet read, I can recommend all sixteen!

With thanks to Little, Brown Book Group and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

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