#BlogTour | #BookReview: Dark Minds @Bloodhoundbook #charity #crimefiction

51ynfbovm4l-_sx347_bo1204203200_“Bloodhound Books presents Dark Minds – a collection of stories by authors who have come together to produce an anthology that will lure, tantalise and shock its readers.

From master authors such as Lisa Hall, Steven Dunne, Louise Jensen and Anita Waller, as well as less familiar writers, readers can expect a one hell of a ride…

What took place By the Water?

What goes on behind A Stranger’s Eyes?

And what is so special about Slow Roast Pork?

You think you know darkness? Think again.

All net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal.”

The warmest of welcomes to my stop on the Dark Minds blog tour which I share with my regular blog tour buddy, the gorgeous Emma the Little Book Worm.  Once you’ve finished here at damppebbles, make sure you pop over to Emma’s blog.

Well I take my hat off to the folk at Bloodhound Books.  What an achievement!  For those who haven’t heard of Dark Minds, let me explain.

Bloodhound Books are one of my favourite crime publishers and over the last year they’ve gone from strength to strength.  2016 has seen some fantastic signings and new releases from the Bloodhound kennel (my favourite being The Optician’s Wife which will remain in my ‘favourite books of all time’ list for, well, ever!)  Bloodhound decided they wanted to produce a crime anthology where all net proceeds go to charity.  What they needed though was the input of generous, selfless authors to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys!) and write some blisteringly good dark stories for inclusion in the book.  Surely it would be a struggle to get authors on board, particularly as there was no personal gain to the authors involved.  They needn’t of worried.  Within the covers of this book you will find 41 brilliantly crafted dark stories by 41 talented writers.  Some names you’ll recognise, some not so much (at this point I would like to say to 17 year old Jenna-Leigh Golding who has a story in the anthology; keep on writing, I think you have a bright future ahead of you!).  There really is something for everyone; a short story collection that caters to all crimey tastes. And if that doesn’t get your attention then the eBook is a mere £1.99 in the Kindle store at the moment!  If you love crime, Dark Minds is a must-buy.

I had wanted to review each story individually but it’s nearly Christmas and I’m sure you all have things to do.  So instead I will explain why I loved this book.  First off, this year has been an exceptional booky year for me and other devoted crime readers.  I’ve read some astoundingly good books such as The Sister and The Gift by Louise Jensen, Valentina by S.E. Lynes, The Optician’s Wife and Frailty by Betsy Reavley, In the Shadows by Tara Lyons and Death do us Part by Steven Dunne to name a few.  All of the aforementioned authors have written a story for Dark Minds.  It was such an enjoyable experience to read more from these writers and in this restricted format.  How would they adapt their style to fit, would the characters still have the same believability, would I still enjoy their stories?  The answer to that last question is a big fat YES!

Then we come to the fact that I am a crime fiction blogger who is yet to read some very prominent author’s work.  There were names on the contents page that leapt out at me.  Authors who I have been wanting to read for some time but haven’t managed to squeeze in (as yet!).  Authors such as Lisa Hall, Jim Ody, L.J. Ross, Lucy V. Hay and Paul D. Brazill to name a few (in all honesty, there were quite a few names which I ooh’ed and ahh’ed over!).  It was an exciting prospect which delivered again and again.

And finally we come to the stories where I NEED to read more by these authors.  Their short story has drawn me in and I’m adding them to my ‘authors to watch’ list.  The book opens with a blisteringly good piece from B.A. Morton.  DS Fuller and DC Harte felt like fully established characters to me and I would love to read more.  A Christmas Killing by Richard T Burke is immediately intriguing and very compelling reading.  I thoroughly enjoyed Sticky Fingers by J.T. Lawrence; reading about Nicolette antics and her heartbreaking conclusion.  Pop Dead – The Pension Papers by Pete Adams made me laugh out loud.  And Jane E. James’ take on a writer’s retreat gave me goosebumps.  Thanks to Dark Minds I’ve added so many new authors to my favourites list.

Would I recommend this book?  If you’re a crime fiction fan then you’d be silly not to buy a copy.  Not only do you have 41 brilliant stories to dip into as and when needed but you’re supporting two brilliant charities at the same time.  It’s a win-win situation.  I firmly believe there is something for everyone in this book.  Outstanding reading!

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Dark Minds but I will be purchasing my own copy.

Dark Minds was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 13th December 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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About the charities…

img_1066Hospice UK are the national charity for hospice care, supporting over 200 hospices in the UK. They believe that everyone matters throughout their life right up until they die, and that no one should die in avoidable pain or suffering.

https://www.hospiceuk.org/

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The aims of Sophie’s Appeal To support the social, emotional and educational welfare of children, their families, nursing and support staff and provide a caring and supporting environment in both local hospitals and in the community. There are so many ways in which the Trust can provide support to parents, carers and schools who find themselves suddenly faced with the reality of cancer.

Treatment to provide additional resources to meet the specific needs of cancer care. The Trust aims to work with two Hampshire hospitals and monies raised can meet their treatment requests. Research Without research…without hope! This is why it is vital to support research and development into treatments and cures for childhood diseases Sophie’s Appeal is funding a research project at the University College London into Wilm’s Disease, a rare childhood cancer.

http://www.sophiesappeal.org/sophie

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