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The Devil's Advocate

Monthly Round Up – August 2021

August brought a range of books for me and I acquired some of the books I’ve been looking forward to reading.

Books I Have Read

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

When a young girl is abducted, it sets a chain of events in motion. To get her back, her mum must pay a ransom and find a replacement child. A great premise for a novel with some shocking moments.




The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

The latest in the Eddie Flynn series deals with corrupt law enforcement and racism amongst other controversial topics. This is a series that just gets better and better!


Brass Lives by Chris Nickson

The year is 1913 and Leeds detective Tom Harper is back investigating a string of crimes unlike anything he has ever seen before. Guns and American gangsters along with trauma in his personal life make this a very testing case for Tom.


The Man on Hackpen Hill by J S Monroe

This multi-genre book had me gripped from beginning to end. A man is found dead in the middle of a crop circle with a coded message that Porton Down scientist, Jim, seems to understand. What is the meaning behind the death and why is Jim fearing for his life? My review will form part of the forthcoming blog tour.


Put a Paper Towel on It by Lee & Adam Parkinson

A very funny and accurate portrayal of life in a primary school. From the staffroom, school trips, lessons and not forgetting the children, this is a must-read for all teachers and parents. Review to follow.

Books I Have Acquired

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?


A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH

Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew – forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago…


Three severed hands. No clues. A race against time.

Three embalmed hands are discovered in a disused Victorian house. Is it a gangland ritual? The work of a cult? Or just a prank played by Medical Students? And what happened to the bodies?

Meanwhile the Coroner needs to issue a Presumption of Death certificate on a teenage girl who vanished eleven years ago in mysterious circumstances.

As hints emerge the two cases are connected, DI Ridpath pushes himself to the limit to find out what really happened. It soon emerges the house is a former children’s home. When another woman, a local social worker, disappears, he is under immense pressure to find answers. What really happened at Daisy House Children’s Home all those years ago?

He has just one week to discover the truth…


When the danger is already inside, nowhere is safe…

Highton prison sits nestled within the moors of western Cumbria, close to the coastal road. When two former inmates turn up dead, DI Kelly Porter is tasked with finding out why. It soon becomes obvious that she is hunting for one killer and the place where both victims were incarcerated holds the key. As Kelly delves into life at Highton she finds more questions than answers. A web of corruption and deceit emerges within the prison walls.

As Kelly gets closer to unpicking the relationships between the officers and their wards, a full scale prison riot explodes – with police caught in the middle. Kelly now faces a hostage situation with a well-loved member of her team caught in the middle.



In a town full of secrets…
Someone was murdered.
Someone went to prison.
And everyone’s a suspect.
Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered.

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?



So there you have it! Have you read any of these yet?

The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is murdered, a suspect is soon arrested, his fate sure to be the death penalty. No one seems concerned that Andy Dubois is innocent and with local feeling the way it is, there is no chance of him receiving a fair trial. Prosecutor Randal Korn is determined to put Andy on death row, and judging by his reputation as the district attorney to send the most people to their death, this is a foregone conclusion. When Andy’s defence attorney disappears, New York lawyer Eddie Flynn is drafted in to try to achieve the seemingly impossible – beat Randal Korn and save Andy Dubois.

The Eddie Flynn books have become a firm favourite of mine and I couldn’t wait to read The Devil’s Advocate. Here, we see Eddie out of his comfort zone, heading to Alabama to defend a young black man, charged with the murder of a popular white woman. Race definitely plays a part in this book, his skin colour condemning him to death in the eyes of many people regardless of the evidence. Andy and his mum were very likeable characters, and, although they don’t feature much in the book, their bond was clear to see and I willed Eddie to break the case and see justice served.

We see Eddie at his best in The Devil’s Advocate, using every trick in the book (and tricks most definitely not in the book!) to counteract the devious mind of Randal Korn. This is where the author’s legal background really comes to the fore, Eddie’s investigations and courtroom scenes being a joy to read.

In Randal Korn, we have a despicable antagonist of the highest order. He is one of those characters who get under your skin right from the start, without a single redeeming feature. His control over society was terrifying and we see this right from the start with the hostility Eddie and his team face when arriving in Alabama. In The Devil’s Advocate, Steve Cavanagh has given us a plethora of abhorrent characters, each of them with their own terrifying reasons for framing Andy.

In the previous book in this series, Fifty Fifty, there was a particularly shocking moment where we saw the death of someone unexpected. There was a horrible sense of deja vu in this book that had me completely on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t believe that Steve was doing this to us again! You will have to read the book to see what I am referring to and see the outcome. Be prepared!

Eddie Flynn has become a force to be reckoned with and I am already eagerly awaiting the next in the series.

With thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my copy.

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!

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