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Splinter in the Blood

Monthly Roundup: February 2018

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

Books I have Read

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

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

 

Orchard View by Deborah J Miles

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

 

The Wicked Trade by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

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

 

Taken by Monty Marsden

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

 

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer

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

 

An Unquiet Ghost by Linda Stratmann

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

Books I have Acquired

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

London, 1888

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Happy reading!

 

 

 

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer

41DaNTibw8L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_For months, a serial killer dubbed ‘The Thorn Killer’ has terrorized Liverpool, daubing victims with macabre tattoos over most of their body. With no tangible leads, Detective Greg Carver is living and breathing the case… until he is shot in his own home. Finding him in his armchair, the actions of his colleague Ruth Lake are more than suspicious. Instead of calling it in, she removes the gun, carefully wipes down surfaces and takes away Carver’s case notes. The only problem is, Carver isn’t actually dead. Waking in his hospital room, with few memories of what happened that night, his obsession with the case grows. What exactly is Ruth hiding and will it cause more blood to be shed?

Well, this book certainly grabs your attention from the off! It’s not often you read a book where, right from the start, you are incredibly suspicious of the detective in charge but from the moment Ruth Lake tampers with the crime scene, I was not sure whether she was a reliable officer. This mistrust remained for much of the book and, coupled with the unknown reason behind Carver’s shooting, this made for an interesting read where you don’t know if the police can be trusted.

The modus operandi of the killer was a particularly gruesome and painful one and when we actually experience them in action, I found myself wincing as they used thorns to tattoo their latest victim. Several possible candidates are put forward as to who the killer is and I was pleased to spot a clue whilst reading that steered me towards that person. One part in particular resonated with me as, being from the city where it is set, the locations were very familiar. Let’s just say the Fairy Glen in Sefton Park now takes on a whole new meaning!

I liked the complicated relationship that Lake and Carver shared and feel that there is definitely more to be explored if this book becomes a series. There is a definite respect between the two detectives although, in light of the cases they are working on, there was also a lot of apprehension. Both detectives are very tenacious and probably a lot more like each other than they care to realise.

As the book progressed, I found it hard to put down and I whizzed through the second half at a rate of knots. There were numerous twists and turns that held my attention right until the very end. I hope that a second book will follow.

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

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Monthly Roundup: January 2018

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

Books I’ve Read

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

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

 

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

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

 

Dark Game by Rachel Lynch

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

 

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

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

 

Best Friends by Carys Jones

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

 

The Lying Kind by Alison James

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

 

Books I’ve Acquired

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

Brighton, 1871

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Happy reading!

 

 

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