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When the Evil Waits by M J Lee

When a dog walker finds the body of a young boy in a meadow beside the River Mersey, memories are immediately evoked of the Moors Murders. With no DNA or other clues to help find the killer, the police are struggling to make any progress and know that they have a race against time before there is another victim. After recent traumatic events, DI Thomas Ridpath has just returned to work and is thrown straight into the investigation. When another child is taken, Ridpath must try to put aside his own issues to stop the killer in his tracks.


After the shocking cliffhanger M J Lee left us with at the end of the previous book, When the Past Kills, I had been champing at the bit to read this one to see how the story would play out. Within the first few pages, we find out, and we see Ridpath having to come to terms with the aftermath of what happened. If you are new to this series, I would advise you start back at book one in order to get a full picture of Ridpath’s life up to now. While the cases themselves are standalones, I do feel that you need to read about Ridpath’s past to fully understand his character.

Still seconded to the coroner’s office, Ridpath finds himself tasked to re-investigate another officer’s work in order to prove that the case is watertight. Again, we see him falling foul of his colleagues as they realise what he is doing but this is what I like most about him – he has courage of his convictions and will stop at nothing to find the truth even if it means upsetting his fellow officers on the way.

Any plot involving the murder of a child is always a harrowing one and M J Lee has written this in a sensitive way. We soon become aware that there is something amiss in the household of the dead child but what? Could his father really have killed him? The police seem to think so but Ridpath isn’t so sure. Again, we see his tenacity in trying to prove the man’s innocence, not caring whose back he gets up along the way.

I do feel that this series would be great on television and the showdown towards the end of the book had my heart racing just as if I were watching it rather than reading. In Ridpath, M J Lee has created a great character who becomes more and more likable with every book, exactly the sort of police officer I would want to see investigating crimes in real life. I am already eagerly awsiting book seven!

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my ARC.

Take a look at my reviews of the rest of the series:

Where the Truth Lies

Where the Dead Fall

Where the Silence Calls

Where the Innocent Die

When the Past Kills

**BLOG TOUR** Alone in the Woods by Charly Cox

Teenager Addis Kensington arrives home with her friend, Emerson, to find her parents slaughtered in a scene straight out of a horror movie. While trying to contact her aunt, she makes a terrifying discovery: the killer is still in the house. On their arrival, the police, led by detective Alyssa Wyatt, find their worst fears have been realised when there is no sign of the girls anywhere, seemingly taken by the killer. To have any chance of finding the girls alive, Wyatt and her team must find out why private detective, Gabriel Kensington, and his wife were killed, uncovering a catalogue of crimes that have remained hidden for many years.

The Alyssa Wyatt series by Charly Cox have become some of my ‘must read’ books and I have been looking forward to reading this one. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, this could be read as a standalone but I do thoroughly recommend the previous two, All His Pretty Girls and The Toy Box as they do give a great insight into Alyssa’s life and what makes her tick.

In Alyssa and her partner, Cord, Charly Cox has created hugely likeable characters with very realistic lives. Stories involving their families complement the main plot and do not overpower it unlike in many books of this genre. I find that many authors place too much emphasis on the detectives’ family life but here we see a very good balance, leaving you caring about Cord’s impending fatherhood and Alyssa’s relationship with her husband and children.

As well as seeing the police investigation into the murders and the missing girls, we also experience what the two teenagers are having to endure at the hands of their captor. We realise that there is more to this case than meets the eye and soon we are fearing for the safety of Addis and Emerson. I admired the tenacity of the girls who when faced with utmost danger somehow find the strength to continue.

There are a wide range of supporting characters in Alone in the Woods and I really liked how the author kept us guessing as to the motives of some of the people we meet. It is obvious that people are hiding something, but what? I found myself totally engrossed in the plot and couldn’t wait to see how everything fitted together, leaving me open-mouthed when the final reveal was made!

Charly Cox is becoming one of my favourite authors and Alone in the Woods has definitely confirmed my opinion. If you haven’t read any of this series yet, I recommend it highly – you won’t be disappointed!

With thanks to Hera Books and Net Galley and to Sarah Hardy at Book on the Bright Side for organising the blog tour.

**BLOG TOUR** Hush Little Baby by Jane Isaac

Fifteen years ago, three-month-old Alicia Owen was taken from her pram outside a shop and, despite an extensive police investigation, was never found again. Now, a teenage girl has found a small hand in the ground, the police discovering it belongs to the body of a baby, entombed in concrete. Could this be the missing baby after all these years? With the case reopened, and painful wounds revisited, can DC Beth Chamberlain finally find out what happened to baby Alicia on that fateful day?

I had not realised that Hush Little Baby was the third in a series before reading it but while there are definitely links to a previous book, I felt I could follow the story, the author giving enough detail about what had gone before. Reading this one has made me curious about part of the plot, so I will definitely be catching up with the other books at some point!

The main plot concerns the cold case of the disappearance of baby Alicia Owen fifteen years ago, a case which has now become active once again. I felt that this was well-written, showing how the uncertainty of what happened years ago still affected the baby’s family today. It was heartbreaking to see how the two parents had reacted to the loss, the father’s story being particularly sad. It was difficult to see old wounds opening up for both parents, their fears, once again, rising to the surface. While it was obvious that someone definitely knew more than they had told the police investigating the original case, I did not see the conclusion coming so the revealing of the killer came as a shock!

The other plot is the conclusion of a case from the previous book but, like I said, enough detail is given so this part of the story is easy to follow. This is the part of the book where we get to find out more about Beth Chamberlain and her personal life while also seeing the tenacity she displays in her work life.

I really enjoyed Hush Little Baby and will definitely be catching up on the rest of the series.

With thanks to Aria Fiction and Net Galley for my copy and to Vicky Joss for organising the blog tour.

 

 

 

The Molten City by Chris Nickson

All eyes are on the Leeds police as the city is soon to receive a visit from the Prime Minister. The year is 1908, however, and the unemployed are planning to disrupt the visit along with the Suffragettes who see this as an ideal opportunity to get their grievances heard. With his men already stretched, an anonymous note sent to Detective Superintendent Tom Harper has piqued his interest. Telling of an abducted child fourteen years earlier and naming the family with whom he now lives, Harper is concerned that the original investigation seemed to be a bit lacklustre with a paper thin file detailing the steps taken. When missing children are a top priority, why was the disappearance of Andrew Sharp never taken seriously and why is there still an attempt to keep the story hidden?

Tom Harper is back, and this time things are looking very different in his personal life. At the start of the book, we see him having to come to terms with the loss of a close friend, someone who we have got to know throughout the series. This death, although not suspicious, sets the tone for the rest of the book, with numerous murders occurring to try to protect an old secret.

One of the things I have always liked about this series is the prominence placed upon Tom’s wife, Annabelle. Very much a woman ahead of her time, we now see this replicated in their daughter, Mary. Now sixteen years of age, she is very much involved in the suffragette movement, although unlike her mother, she is prepared to go against her father’s wishes to achieve her aim. I had great sympathy for Tom who, despite showing support for his daughter, knows he has a job to do, finding it difficult to prevent his daughter from getting involved in potentially dangerous demonstrations.

The Molten City has a lot happening between its pages, but the story flows easily, each plot being as enjoyable as the other. Chris Nickson, again, adds an air of authenticity by including real historical events as part of the plot, and it is easy to imagine yourself in the Leeds of 1908.

My only concern with this series is that, as time is moving on, Tom Harper is getting older. I hope that we do not see him retiring any time soon, as this is a series that I am thoroughly enjoying! If you haven’t read any of this series before, I can highly recommend it. Take a look at my reviews of some of the other books in the series:

Two Bronze Pennies

Skin Like Silver

On Copper Street

The Tin God

Leaden Heart

With thanks to Net Galley and Severn House Publishers for my copy.

 

 

 

 

**BLOG TOUR** Buried Angels by Patricia Gibney

When part of a dismembered body is found near to the railway line, DI Lottie Parker is horrified to find that it belongs to a child. It soon becomes apparent that the torso had been frozen, leading the police to believe that this is not a recent death. Why has no one reported a missing child and where is the rest of the body? After a local woman discovers a small skull when renovating her house, connections are made, but are they the right ones? Why have these body parts started appearing and who else must die to protect the secret?

Well, Lottie certainly had her work cut out with this case and it has definitely confirmed for me that Ragmullin is fast becoming Ireland’s answer to Midsomer due to the amount of murders occurring in a relatively small place! As well as having to deal with possibly her most complex case to date, Lottie is having to contend with numerous problems in her personal and professional life. Finally engaged to her colleague, Boyd, she is having to support him through his recent cancer diagnosis whilst also helping him with his sister due to the death of his mother. Added to this, Lottie’s daughter is also looking to move away from Ragmullin to live in America with her young son and there is also someone at work desperate to bring the detective down. With all of this turmoil, it’s a wonder she manages to solve the crime!

Buried Angels has arguably the most complex plot so far in any of Patricia Gibney’s books with numerous characters and plots providing a complicated yet gripping story line. What initially starts off as a cold case soon becomes much more recent as more bodies are found. It was obvious that all of these deaths were linked, but how? As the book progressed, it became apparent that there was a link to something that took place many years before and we become privy to some of this by the way of flashbacks. I was genuinely horrified by what I read, shocked by the depravity of the individual who Lottie would go on to reveal towards the end of the book.

With such a complex plot, I was pleased that the ending tied up all loose ends beautifully, linking each seemingly unrelated event successfully. The turn taken in Lottie’s professional life is an interesting one, and I can’t wait to see how the relationship between herself and her superior develops in the next book. I always look forward to reading the next Lottie Parker book and Buried Angels has left me in a similar position. Bring it on!

With thanks to Sarah Hardy for organising the Books on Tour and to Bookouture and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

 

**COVER REVEAL** Small Mercies by Alex Walters

Today I am pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal of Small Mercies by Alex Walters, the first book in a new crime series to feature DI Annie Delamere. Published by Canelo on 11th May, this looks right up my street!

A killer is sending a message – but for who?

DI Annie Delamere and her colleague DS Zoe Everett are off duty and enjoying a walk on the Peak District’s vast moorlands when they stumble across a mutilated corpse. The victim is unclothed and his tattoos indicate an affinity with the occult.

While Annie is put in charge of the case her long-term partner, MP Sheena Pearson, is confronted by a group of far right extremists. Rather than back down Sheena chooses to stand her ground – and almost pays for it with her life.

As more bodies are found, Annie is under pressure to prove her worth. But with one eye on her personal affairs can she catch a murderer and still keep her loved ones safe? And are the killings the work of a deranged mind – or a cover for something even more chilling?

Buy link: Amazon

With thanks to Sophie Eminson and Canelo.

The Stranger’s Wife by Anna-Lou Weatherley

To the outside world, Beth has the perfect life: a wealthy husband, a beautiful daughter and everything money can buy. Looks can be deceiving, though, as the marriage is a far from happy one, and when she finally makes the break and leaves him, she realises just how manipulative Evan can be. Cath, on the other hand, has the complete opposite: a grotty bedsit with a violent drug addict partner who she is too scared to leave. Then one day, the two women meet, and things will never be the same again…

I wasn’t aware, before reading, that this was the third book in the Detective Dan Riley series, but please don’t be put off by this if you haven’t read the previous two. Although I have read the first, Black Heart (formerly known as Last Cry), I have not read the second, but did not feel that this hindered me in any way – if anything, I will now be going back and reading this one (The Couple on Cedar Close) as soon as possible!

I really liked the format of The Stranger’s Wife, merging police procedural with psychological thriller. Most of the book focuses on Beth and Cath, two unconnected women who have something in common due to the abuse they are experiencing at the hands of their respective partners. My heart immediately went out to Cath who is on the receiving end of horrific physical abuse and, although she is desperate to escape, fears for her life should she ever manage to do so.

Beth has found herself in a different sort of abusive relationship, and we soon discover the extent her husband, Evan, will go to to preserve the life he wants to lead. Despite the series of awful events to happen to her, I found Beth an incredibly strong and resilient woman and willed things to go right for her by the end of the book. Evan, on the other hand, had no redeeming qualities whatsoever – a truly despicable character!

Although it was obvious what was going to happen with these women, the inclusion of the police procedural element of the book made this a bit different to other books of this genre. Dan is a great character and I admired his ‘straight down the line’ stance. It’s not often that we meet a fictional detective with so much integrity and this definitely added to the tension as I wondered how he was going to wrestle with his conscience to get the result he wanted. I also liked how, although we find out some information about Dan’s personal life, it does not take over the plot which is something that can happen in similar books.

The Stranger’s Wife has a great plot and I will definitely be looking forward to seeing what Dan investigates next!

With thanks to Net Galley and Bookouture for my copy.

**BLOG TOUR** Death at Eden’s End by Jo Allen

When 100-year-old nursing home resident, Violet Ross, is found dead, it seems like, although a tragedy, it is just a case of demise due to old age. One member of staff, however, is concerned by the haste to draw a line under the incident, feeling that a post mortem should be carried out on the old, but otherwise healthy, woman. In an environment where everyone seems to be hiding something, DCI Jude Satterthwaite and DS Ashleigh O’Halloran must uncover an age-old secret before another person is found dead.

Death at Eden’s End is the second in the Jude Satterthwaite series, the first being Death by Dark Waters. I felt that the previous book served as a good introduction to the series, introducing the characters but leaving us wanting more. I was pleased that in this book, we get to find out more about Jude, and feel that he became much more of a rounded character. Similarly, we previously found out some of Ashleigh’s backstory and this was expanded upon here with the introduction of a character from her past. As a result, I definitely developed more of a connection to Jude and Ashleigh than I did in the previous book.

I really enjoyed the setting for the murder, especially as the victim seemed an unlikely one. It was apparent from the start that all was not well at Eden’s End, the Lake District nursing home, with an abundance of characters who seemed to be hiding something and had the opportunity to carry out the murder. This is definitely a book about secrets and we soon realise that Violet was hiding some major ones of her own. With a plot that takes us right back to World War Two, and the subsequent consequences of a person’s actions, there were plenty of twists and turns to hold my attention and make me desperate to find out the culprit and discover what their motive was. Although I deduced part of the plot, I didn’t work out who the killer was and was shocked when all was revealed.

I really enjoyed Death at Eden’s End, and feel that this was even better than the previous book. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

With thanks to Aria Fiction and Net Galley for my copy and to Vicky Joss for organising the blog tour.

Buy links:

 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Q67Knr

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2LrQJ2P

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Loiucm

iBooks: https://apple.co/35LzYqq

 

**BLOG TOUR** All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox

When a young couple find a savagely beaten, naked woman in the New Mexico mountains, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is plunged into a particularly testing case. The woman, Callie McCormick, is seemingly the latest victim of a mysterious psychopath who is linked to a string of deaths, but who has, so far, left no clues as to his identity. When Wyatt finds herself close to a breakthrough, she unwittingly puts herself straight in the firing line. The killer knows who she is and wants her to know his name, even if it means destroying everyone around her…

I don’t often read crime books set in the USA, preferring, instead the more familiar UK criminal justice system. There was something about All His Pretty Girls that grabbed my attention, however, and piqued my interest enough to make me want to read it. All I can say is, I am so glad I did! It is hard to believe that this is the author’s debut, as it is a confident, well-written serial killer novel with some fantastic twists and turns!

Alyssa Wyatt is a great character with an emotional backstory which has shaped her police career. I liked the relationship she had with her team, particularly her partner, and thought it made a refreshing change to see a united team, all focused on the job in hand. In books like this, I am accustomed to seeing the detective having an erratic home life so it was pleasing to read scenes involving her supportive, well-balanced family – even if there is a little bit of animosity towards her mother-in-law!

The killer in the book is a particularly heinous one and there are several descriptive scenes which should come with a health warning! His shadow box containing ‘mementos’ of his previous victims was particularly graphic, and you could feel the panic Callie was feeling as she wondered what her fate would be. In a clever piece of writing, I also felt some sympathy towards the killer as we read about his childhood, and realised what a horrific start to life he had.

All His Pretty Girls is a fast-paced, breathtaking read and is one that I struggled to put down. This will definitely be making my list of favourite books of 2019 and I sincerely hope that this is not the last we see of Alyssa.

With thanks to Hera Books and to Sarah Hardy from Book on the Bright Side.

 

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