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**BLOG TOUR** Taken by Monty Marsden

I am thrilled to be the next stop on the blog tour for Taken, the brilliant new book from Monty Marsden.

It’s been two years since serial killer Giacomo Riondino escaped the clutches of the police, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Not able to come to terms with the murder of his friend, Greta Alfieri, Dr Claps has been on a mission ever since to find the man responsible. Now an American girl has gone missing in Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. With no witnesses, the girl seems to have vanished into thin air. Convinced that this is the work of Riondino, Claps heads to Ecuador where he is sure the serial killer is residing. Will he finally be captured or will this obsession finally be the undoing of Claps?

After the dramatic ending of the previous book, Hunted, I had hoped that there would be a continuation of the Riondino story so was thrilled when I saw that there was. Riondino is probably one of the most horrific fictional serial killers I have ever come across and yet, due to his psychiatric condition, probably one of the most fascinating. The killer has a multiple personality disorder, each ‘person’ displaying completely different traits. Jack is the one in control who chooses which personality can come to the fore and it is Jack who we see most in this book. While some of the personalities have been suppressed, there are others who also make an appearance such as Hannibal, the murderous one and Julia, the gentler soul. Each play their part in this fantastic tale of a man’s mission to rid the world of this evil.

I love a book with a real-life setting, and such is the way Guayaquil is used, it almost becomes another character. As someone who knows little or nothing about Ecuador, I found myself googling places that were mentioned and became fascinated by the La Peñas steps. By using these steps as the location where the American girl went missing, the author has created a superb mystery – just how, exactly, could she go missing without anybody seeing where she went?

It soon becomes apparent that Claps is right to think that Riondino has set up home in Ecuador but not before several carefully executed pieces of misdirection by the author. With regards to Riondino, you know that a gruesome murder is probably round the corner, but in Taken, his modus operandi has changed. As a result, there were several points in the book where I could sense something was about to happen but was left with feelings of anticipation when it didn’t happen when I thought it would!

Monty Marsden

I really enjoyed the previous book but Taken was even better. In Riondino, Monty Marsden has the perfect villain and his superb writing really brings him to life – not that I would ever want this killer to actually exist! The plot is brilliantly chilling and provides more than one ‘heart in mouth’ moment. A must-read!

With thanks to Net Galley and Melanie Price at Aria/Head of Zeus for the ARC and for organizing the blog tour.

Take a look at the rest of the tour:


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!




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