#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh | @bookouture

serial killers daughter cover.jpg“Suzanne Tyler barely knew her father. But when she’s given a series of secret diaries and eight mysterious photographs of women from his possessions, she knows she won’t be able to rest until she knows the truth about him. 

To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire.

But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her?

Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his diaries? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move?

Chilling and utterly page-turning, The Serial Killer’s Daughter is a compelling thriller, perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Rachel Abbott, and Tom Bale.”

I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the The Serial Killer’s Daughter blog tour which I share with the very lovely Shell over at Chelle’s Book Reviews.  The Serial Killer’s Daughter is written by Lesley Welsh and was published by the mighty Bookouture on 14th June 2017.

And what a novel!  You know when you start reading a book but you ‘kind of’ know what to expect…?  Maybe a variation on the theme of judging a book by it’s cover…? (Although I have to say that I love the cover of this one and if anything, it caught my attention and made me want to read it even more.)  I was so totally, completely, absolutely wrong in my assumptions.  This book packs one heck of a punch and I really enjoyed it, a lot more than I initially thought I would.

Don Tyler, Suzanne’s estranged father, is probably one of the most evil, manipulative and sinister characters I have ever met (in a fictional sense of course).  The classic horror/noir novel, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis is mentioned within the plot but I was drawing similarities between Don and Patrick Bateman waaay before then.  And if you’ve read American Psycho you may now have some idea why I was so surprised by this book!  The plot does contain some pretty hefty sexual content (which I do like to avoid reading about….normally) but it worked and was key to the storyline.  Without certain aspects then Don, just wouldn’t be….well, Don!  I felt uncomfortable, of course, but that’s what I believe the author was trying to do.  I should add that The Serial Killer’s Daughter is by no means as graphic as American Psycho so don’t let that put you off.  But I did feel there were similarities between the two.

I liked Suzanne.  I liked how normal she was despite being the daughter of a serial killer. But my favourite character was Joan, Suzanne’s mother.  Ex-hippy now happily settled with a nice, normal, stable man but still able to control her ruthless, immoral, psychopathic beast of an ex.  Now that’s girl power, lol!

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  It’s dark, edgy and unexpected.  I love a book where the body count is high and it certainly is in this one thanks to Don’s ‘talents’.  All in all, a great read which I heartily recommend to all serial killer thriller fans.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that this is one novel fans of the serial killer thriller should not miss!

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Serial Killer’s Daughter.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh was published in the UK by Bookouture on 14th June 2017 and is available in eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

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about the author2

lesley welsh.jpgLesley Welsh sadly passed away in April this year.  Lesley was born in Strawberry Field children’s home and raised on a notorious council estate in Liverpool. Later she moved to London where she studied English and Drama and worked as a freelance writer specialising in alternative lifestyles. Her articles appeared in CosmopolitanMarie ClaireRedBiteTime Out and many others before she established Moondance Media, a magazine publishing company. Her dark and compelling short story Mrs Webster’s Obsession was turned into a film.  Lesley moved to Spain and sadly passed away in April.

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite (@BCopperthwait) @bookouture

darkest lies cover.jpg“A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk? 

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Before I Let You In will be captivated.”

I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the The Darkest Lies blog tour which I share with the fabulous Kate over at Bibliophile Book Club.  The Darkest Lies is written by all-round lovely person and talented author, Barbara Copperthwaite.  I read Barbara’s self published Flowers for the Dead last year and fell in love with her writing (along with her incredibly likeable serial killer, Adam).  If you missed that review or would like a recap then please click here.  So I was very excited to hear that not only had Barbara been snapped up by brilliant publishers Bookouture, she was also about to publish a brand new crime thriller.

And what a thriller!  Flowers for the Dead left such a lasting impression on me that I was maybe a little harsh in my ‘bar-setting’ for The Darkest Lies.  It had to be good, and I mean really, really, unequivocally, stupendously good to merit a five star rating from me (sorry Barbara Copperthwaite, us readers have pretty high, almost unachievable standards sometimes.  It’s not just me, is it…?).  This book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  The lies, the deceit, the secrets and the fear.  It was all beautifully done.  But what I loved the most, and what hasn’t happened to me while reading for a LONG time is that I bawled my eyes out.  It was one of those big, ugly cries that is uncontrollable and very snotty.  Now I only tend to read crime and psychological thriller novels so I’m pretty used to bad things happening to good people. And I’ve read some pretty difficult and heartbreaking stuff over the years, but this book…..this book!!! This book was the one to convey the characters pain and turn this badass tough-nut reader into a smushy pile of tears.  Amazing stuff!

Thirteen year old Beth Oak plans to spend the night at her friend’s house.  Mani/pedi’s are on the agenda, lots of giggly girlie talk about boys and a sickening sweet midnight feast.  Well, that’s what Beth is telling her mum anyway.  Beth has other, much more mature things planned for her evening.  But first she needs to escape her mother and make it to the cricket pavilion in time for her date.

Melanie Oak, Beth’s mum is completely oblivious to her daughter’s hidden agenda.  She leaves her outside her friend’s house and heads home to husband, Jacob and her warm bed.  Only in the morning, when she starts to question what time Beth will be home does she realise something is terribly wrong.  Beth is missing.  Beth’s BFF doesn’t know where she is and no one from the village has seen her (despite someone, somewhere always seeing something).  Melanie begins to fall apart, drinking herself into oblivion and pushing friends and life-long neighbours away.  A chance encounter one evening in the local pub gives her the idea to start her own investigation.  After all the police, headed by DS Devonport, aren’t doing anything constructive so what harm could it do?  Will Melanie be able to discover what dark secrets her daughter was keeping and exactly what happened to Beth that fateful evening?

One of the first things which struck me about this book was the use of the second person narrative.  I’ve been pondering on this for a while now, trying to remember the last book I read which took this approach and I can’t think of a single one.  It’s unusual and made the book feel immediately different to other missing child stories.

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  There I was watching this once happy and content woman unravel before my eyes.  The anguish, the fear, the fading hope all eating away at what was once a strong family-centred woman.  Oh, and the suspicion.  I loved how suspicious Melanie became of everyone around her.  The turning away of neighbours when they saw her coming down the street.  The strange flickering looks on their faces when they couldn’t escape Melanie’s interrogation.  The guarded sympathy, all wonderfully written to cast suspicion and doubt on most of the villagers.

Despite trying hard to work out what had happened to Beth, I didn’t succeed.  I was surprised (in the best way possible) by the reveal as I certainly didn’t see that one coming.  That however, is not the end of the story.  I had certain suspicions about one aspect of the book so when those suspicions were confirmed it made up for my sleuth powers letting me down in the first instance.

Would I recommend this book?  I loved The Darkest Lies and will heartily recommend it to anyone who will listen.  I adored the closing chapters which made me give a little cheer despite something quite horrific happening.  Although good doesn’t come out of this book completely unscathed, it does eventually win in the end…..just with a little rust and mud taking the shine off of its halo.

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Darkest Lies.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite was published in the UK by Bookouture on 12th May 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author2
barbara copperthwaite.jpgThe people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.

She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes) @bookouture

sleep tight“Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise his dark fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

As Ruby starts to close in on the twisted individual, can she stop him before he strikes again? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.”

I am so incredibly happy to welcome you to damppebbles today as it’s my stop on the Sleep Tight blog tour.  Sleep Tight is the second book in the DS Ruby Preston series and is written by the incredibly talented Caroline Mitchell and published by Bookouture. If you missed it, I was rather fond of the first book in the series, Love You to Death.  So much so that it made it onto my books of 2016 list.  If you click here you can read my five star review of the book which started my obsession with Ruby Preston.

I guess the question is, did the second book in the series live up to my incredibly high, almost unachievable expectations?  I’ve been waiting with bated breath for my next fix of DS Ruby Preston so when I say the pressure was high, it was REALLY high!  And once again, Caroline Mitchell has knocked it out of the park.  It was SO good to be back on the case with Ruby and Co.

Ruby is as strong-willed and kick-ass as she was in the first book.  Her relationship with local crime boss, Nathan is as fully charged as ever but this time Ruby has to clear Nathan’s name as part of an investigation into a serial killer dressing his victims as macabre fairytale princesses.  It’s hard to deny you had something to do with the murders when a box of recently harvested organs is discovered beneath your bed, as Nathan quickly discovers.   Ruby however is convinced of Nathan’s innocence.  Her senior officers are convinced of Nathan’s guilt, so it’s down to our fearless hero to find the real killer and clear her man’s name.  The chemistry between Ruby and Nathan is something which makes this series of books extra special in my opinion.  As I may have mentioned before, I’m not one for slushy stuff in my crime novels but it’s such a big part of these characters stories that it just works.  There was less friction between the couple this time around but that was partly to do with Nathan being in hiding for the majority of the book.

Lenny, Nathan’s rather creepy brother, is back with a bang this time around as well.  I mentioned friction a moment ago and that’s what Lenny brings to the story.  But definitely NOT in the same way as Nathan.  His antagonistic personality, his needling, inappropriate behaviour towards Ruby makes my skin crawl.  He’s so repulsive but it just wouldn’t be the same without him.

We find out fairly early on who the killer is but what we don’t know is, who is pulling their strings.  The killer’s back story is quite shocking and it immediately clarifies why certain things are happening and the reason they’re happening to the people they are.  For me, it just made me fall a little more in love with one of the main characters but I refuse to say which one.  There are plenty more twists and surprises in store, including one that left me gasping like a fish out of water.  Thinking about it now, I still can’t quite believe it happened!

Would I recommend this book?  Of course I would (you’d be a fool not too!) but start with Love You to Death as it sets the scene and it’s bloody fabulous!  A tense, edge of your seat read which I devoured.  I didn’t want it to end!  Oh, and I have such a girl crush on Ruby Preston…but don’t tell anyone. Please Caroline Mitchell, keep writing about Ruby. I’m totally hooked!

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Sleep Tight.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell was published in the UK by Bookouture on 20th April 2017 and is available in eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

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caroline mitchell

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.  She now writes full time.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

 

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Lie to Me by Jess Ryder (@jessryderauthor) @bookouture

lie to me cover.jpgHow can you tell the truth… if all you’ve ever known is a lie?

Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.

Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera? 

The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?

To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…

A dark, compulsive psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Louise Jensen.”

I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the Lie to Me blog tour which I share with the lovely Rae over at Rae Reads.  Lie to Me is written by Jess Ryder and was published by the fabulous Bookouture on 19th April 2017.

The blurb of this book grabbed my attention straight away and that tagline, how can you tell the truth if all you’ve ever known is a lie…I just love it!  I was excited to make a start on this intriguing psychological thriller.  And the verdict? I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Meredith, the main character in the book is instantly likeable.  You join her as she sorts through the contents of her father’s attic where she makes an unexpected discovery.  A videotape with her name written on it in her mother’s handwriting.  Against her father’s advice she enthusiastically watches the tape hoping for answers about her estranged mother, Becca.  But what she gets is a whole lot more twisted and life will never be the same again for Meredith.

I flew through the pages of this book.  It grabbed my attention and kept pulling me back, time and time again.  So much so that I finished it in two short days (that’s quick for me). The author’s writing style was very much to my taste and I wouldn’t hesitate to read another book by Jess Ryder.

Each chapter is told from one of three points of view; you have Meredith the lead character, Cara before her death in the mid-1980s and Jay, the man accused but found innocent of Cara’s murder.  Cara is also a very likeable character and I felt a little sad knowing that all the future held for her was a terrifying death.  The chapters told from Jay’s point of view make it very clear that he is man living on the edge and doing everything he can to escape his past.

You discover that the only reason Jay was found innocent of Cara’s murder was because of Becca’s testimony which confused the court and led to Jay being released.  The impact had by Becca’s testimony on the case instantly drags Meredith into a cold case investigation, alongside her detective ex-boyfriend Eliot.  Eliot’s only focus is his career and he refuses to share certain findings with Meredith.  Which only frustrates Meri and makes her even more determined to work out who killed Cara all those years ago.  Surely it wasn’t her own mother, only to be driven mad by the guilt?

For me, the story of Meredith’s quest, her desire to find out what happened to her mother and the slightly odd bunch of characters she meets along the way made this book for me.  All of the characters add something to the story, and the character of Isobel will stay with me for a long time to come.  There are shocks and surprises along the way, none of which I saw coming so full marks to the author.

A tale of family secrets, lies and betrayal which I found hard to put down.  In all honestly I preferred the main body of the book to the ending but it’s still a great read which I would recommend to fans of the genre without hesitation.  I’m looking forward to reading more from Jess Ryder.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Lie to Me.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Lie to Me by Jess Ryder was published in the UK by Bookouture on 19th April 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

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jess ryder.jpgJess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer.  After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime.  Writing, that is.   So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me.  Her other big love is making pots.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#CoverReveal: Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes) @bookouture

I am beyond thrilled to welcome you to damppebbles this evening as I have something incredibly exciting to share.  Earlier today the fabulous folk at Bookouture (one of everyone’s favourite publishers) revealed the cover of the second Ruby Preston novel written by the extremely talented Caroline Mitchell.  Now I absolutely ADORED the first book in the series.  So much so that it made it onto my ‘books of the year’ post in 2016.  To read my review of Love You to Death click here.

So imagine how excited I am that book two in the series is to be published on 20th April. I’m half way through reading it at the moment and it is SO good.  I adore Ruby Preston.

Whilst I ponder on my new #girlcrush, here’ s the blurb for book two in the Ruby Preston series, Sleep Tight.

SLEEP TIGHT by Caroline Mitchell 

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.

And here’s what my fellow bloggers and reviewers are saying about Ruby:

Oh my friggin God! Thisssss booooook! Su-bloody-perb! …a quadruple #HellYeah recommendation from me! Tantalisingly terrifying, twisted, and dark’ CrimeBookJunkie

Just superb!! I can tell you, you will NOT know the ending until you get there!! It’s a shocker!’ Next Book Review

‘OMG what a corker of a book. I absolutely love Ruby.  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough … Loved it, loved it, loved it.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

Compelling, absorbing, chilling, gruesome and freakishly brilliant.  Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.’  Jen Med’s Book Reviews (5*)

‘Ruby is an excellent character. Real, raw and utterly relatable’ Bibliophile Book Club (4*)

‘Caroline Mitchell creates some seriously dark and scary stuff ‘ StefLoz Book Reviews

‘Fast paced, great lead character and twists and turns, what more could you ask for?’ Worcester Source (4*)

‘It will certainly have you holding your breath on more than one occasion… I really can’t wait for more from this series.’ Victoria Wilkinson – I Love Reading

Oh my God…this book blew me away! Kept me hooked right till the last page’ The Book Guzzler (5*)

‘Ruby, well she’s just in a league of her own. She shows so much strength yet I love the vulnerable side to her’ By The Letter Book Reviews (5*)

‘I think I pretty much held my breath through the last few chapters! There are twists and turns aplenty and it’s packed full of action and suspense’  Chat About Books (5*)

‘It’s a compelling and dark read; it gives you thrills, it gives you the fear and it gives you all the twists and turns you are looking for’ Chapterinmylife (5*)

‘A thrilling ride that blurs the boundary of what is right and what is wrong. The plot is terrifying yet somehow heartbreaking’ Kitty Catalyst – Bibliophile (5*)

I think I’ve kept you waiting long enough.  Here’s the stunning cover:

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I absolutely love it and I can’t wait for you to read this book and enjoy it as much as I am doing at present.  So get clicking and pre-order Sleep Tight now!

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caroline mitchell.jpgA former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.  She now writes full time.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney (@trisha460) @bookouture

the missing ones cover.jpg“The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror. 

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how? 

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal. 

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger? 

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice. 

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni will be gripped by this page-turning serial killer thriller, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night.”

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the The Missing Ones blog tour.  The Missing Ones is the debut novel from Patricia Gibney and features kick-ass Detective Inspector Lottie Parker.  The lovely Susan over at Books From Dusk till Dawn is also featuring on the blog tour today, so make sure you pop over and give her a follow (if you don’t already that is!).

DI Lottie Parker is thrown into the middle of an investigation and begins to flounder from the very start.  Her two victims are very obviously connected somehow, but what that connection is is beyond Lottie and her team.  Lottie is struggling with her own life having recently lost her husband and being the sole carer to her three teenage children.  Regular disagreements with her interfering, overbearing mother don’t help the situation.  But Lottie knows she needs to find justice for the victims and throws herself head first into the investigation.  Before long her attention is drawn to St Angela’s children’s home where, in the 70’s and 80’s evil roamed the corridors.  Run by the Catholic Church, St Angela’s holds terrifying secrets that someone doesn’t want shared.  How far are they, and most importantly, how far is Lottie prepared to go?  Far enough to put her own children into mortal danger…?

This is a chilling read.  The subject matter is hard going at times but handled incredibly well by the author.  The sections where you’re reading about the children of St Angela’s are pretty intense but well written, creating an air of unease and uncomfortable expectation.

I loved the setting.  I have read a number of outstanding Irish crime thrillers this year and this one stands strong alongside them.  It’s an incredibly atmospheric read and you feel as though you are there, traipsing through the snow with Lottie and her team.

DI Lottie Parker is in an intriguing character and one I would like to read more of.  I felt I could sympathise with her situation but her parenting skills really irked me at times. She’s doing the best she can with the situation she’s in but I felt she neglected her children a lot of the time in favour of the job.  Now, I don’t claim to be super-mum but c’mon Lottie…they’re your kids!  Saying that, the story-line would have faltered quite early on without her questionable parenting, so I can understand why it was necessary for her to be so work focused.

Lottie’s relationship with DS Boyd is an interesting one.  They’re colleagues and sparring partners, yes.  But there’s something else there too.  They do have a brief personal past together and I wonder if this is something we will see built upon in future books.  There’s definitely friction there along with a rather large dollop of chemistry.

I found the plot compelling and whenever I had to put the book down, I wanted to get straight back to the story.  There is a lot of action (which can only be a good thing), with twists and turns along the way to wrong foot you.  I’m afraid I was able to tell ‘whodunit’ quite early on in the story but this didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

Would I recommend this book?  I would, particularly if you’re a fan of dark crime fiction or have a penchant (like me!) for Irish crime.  It’s a good solid start to what promises to be a cracking new series and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of The Missing Ones.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney was published in the UK by Bookouture on 16th March 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

blog tour poster patricia gibney

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patricia gibney photo

Patricia yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!

In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from her job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.

Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and lives in the Irish midlands with her children.

Author Links: Website | Twitter |

 

#BlogTour #BookReview: Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French (@KFrenchBooks) @bookouture


cover maplemead.jpg“Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.

Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.

A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?

Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.

Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?”

I am absolutely thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the Mystery at Maplemead Castle blog tour.  This is the second book in the Chapelwick Mysteries series written by author, Kitty French.  Now, I’m a self confessed crime fan.  I like my crime gritty, with lots of blood spilt and the occasional character’s guts too (if I’m lucky!).  The gorier, the better for damppebbles.  But I have a secret (not really secret) addiction.  And that’s the Chapelwick Mysteries series of cozy crime.  I absolutely adored the first book in the series (you can read my review by clicking here but please note, the cover and title of the first book have changed since I wrote my review and it’s now called Skeletons of Scarborough House.  AND it’s only 99p at the moment, so what are you waiting for?!).

Oh my gosh, Kitty French has done it again with the second book in the series!

Starting this book felt like meeting old friends again.  I absolutely love every single character in this novel.  From the converse and jeans wearing, unlucky in love, bad-ass businesswoman Melody to the pimply, awkward young Artie to the slightly psychotic, fan-twins Nikki and Vikki.  Melody and the gang are back on the case and that dear reader, makes me feel good!

Melody and her team of unusual suspects are called to assist in the removal of ghosts from Maplemead Castle.  Maplemead Castle has recently acquired new owners in the form of Lady Lolo and husband Barty.  They purchased the castle over the internet without seeing it, as only eccentric Americans (or the insane) can do!  What they didn’t bargain for is the resident spooks who are driving away business.  And potential clients, aka Hollywood bigwigs, are refusing to step foot in Maplemead until an exorcism as has taken place.  Well, no.  That’s not how Melody goes about her ghost-busting.  Nor does it involve large ghost hoovers only to then deposit Timothy Claypole in the bank of eternal ghoul, a la Ghostbusters™ (mixing my ghost based programmes there AND showing my age in one fell swoop.  If you don’t know who Timothy Claypole is, I suggest you google ‘Rentaghost’).

Melody Bittersweet sees dead people and she uses her unique ability to find out why the ghosts she is investigating are still tethered to the mortal world.  Unfortunately Melody’s ex-boyfriend, Leo Dark, has the same gift but he uses it to promote his television career leaving Melody in his dust.  The competition between Leo and Melody isn’t so strong in this book and I did miss that constant sparring a little.  But Leo has his own problems this time around and it was good to see Melody step up and take charge of the situation.

I should mention Fletcher Gunn.  Ace, investigative reporter, naysayer of anything he can’t physically see and the one man who makes our heroine go weak at the knees.  Talk of a man’s nether regions would normally make me give up on a book.  Normally, that is.  Not this time.  It’s a pretty recurrent theme as the chemistry between Melody and Fletch is through the roof.  I was chuckling away to myself, hoping the husband wasn’t going to ask what I was finding so funny!

Would I recommend this book? I thoroughly enjoyed Mystery at Maplemead Castle.  It was so much fun and a complete joy to read.  My heart ached at times, the next moment I was laughing out loud.  A perfect mix of great storytelling, the very best characters and the perfect setting.  Highly recommended.

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Mystery at Maplemead Castle.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French was published in the UK by Bookouture on 17th March 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

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Kitty French lives in the Black Country with her husband, two young sons and two crazy cats. She’s a lover of all things romantic – songs, music, and most of all, books. Her USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight series topped the erotic chart on both sides of the pond, and she also writes romantic comedy as Kat French for Avon, HarperCollins.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Blink by K.L. Slater (@KimLSlater) @Bookouture

blink cover.jpg“What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister. “

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Blink blog tour.  Blink is the second psychological thriller from author K.L. Slater and was published on 16th February by Bookouture.  K.L. Slater is a new author to me so I was full of excitement and apprehension when I first started to read Blink.  To say I was blown away is a bit of an understatement really…

Recently widowed Toni and her young daughter, Evie are leaving their old life behind and moving to Nottingham.  Toni’s mum lives locally and feels her daughter and granddaughter both need a fresh start.  They have a house, Evie is offered a place at St Saviour’s primary school and Toni manages to find a small part time job in a local estate agents doing what she loves.  But Toni has a secret.  A secret which she believes only she knows about.  But others are watching and they’re watching closely enough to work it out for themselves.  Evie is in danger.  Toni’s secret has made her daughter the centre of someone else’s attention and it’s all Toni’s fault…

Outstandingly good!  This is the first book I’ve read in a while that I’ve really immersed myself in.  I went through so many emotions whilst reading which always makes a book a favourite read for me.  There were times I felt genuine sadness and empathy for Toni, and other times I despised her and wanted to give her a good shake!  The chapters are either set in the present day or three years ago and told from several different perspectives.  The chapters narrated by Evie broke my heart, pure and simple.  K.L. Slater manages to write the 5 year old voice so incredibly well that I was near to tears at times.  I should add that I have a 6 year daughter myself so I could easily picture her speaking in a similar way to Evie and having similar thoughts.

The tagline of this book is no understatement; a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist you’ll never forget.  It sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo and something you should take with a pinch of salt.  Let me tell you though, the tagline, it’s true.  There is a brilliantly crafted twist which makes this book go from a great read to a ‘fantastic, remember it for some time to come read’.  I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading and had to go back and re-read the section again.  It happens so subtly, so beautifully that you almost miss it…only to realise shortly afterwards what is going on.  Superb writing!

Would I recommend this book?  Of course I would.  It’s a completely mesmerising tale which I devoured from it’s shocking buzzing start to it’s explosive end.  I can’t wait to read more from K.L. Slater.  She’s definitely on my ‘authors to watch’ list now.  The characters make this story; from the repulsive TA, Miss Watson to Bryony, the overbearing, hateful boss to Toni, the barely coping, newly single mother.  All brilliant, all wonderfully written.  Blink gave me goosebumps.

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Blink.  My thanks to Bookouture and K.L. Slater for providing me with a copy.  The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Blink by K.L. Slater was published in the UK by Bookouture on 16th February 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | Bookouture |

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 What readers are saying about Blink:

‘I was excited to start reading this one and once I started I couldn’t stop. I devoured it. Chomped away chapter by chapter until I have hoofed the whole damned lot and you know what? It left me hungry for more …An absolutely stonking 5 stars from me. Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘This is a novel that those who liked The Girl on The Train and Behind Closed Doors won’t want to miss’ My Little Book Corner

‘I finished this book in nearly one day. I was completely unable to put this book down. Everything about this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go.’ Bombshell Reads

Blink was just BRILLIANT’ It’s All About Books

‘A thrilling roller coaster of a read that will have you gripping on for dear life to see how it will all end’ By the Letter Book Reviews

‘The book had me from the very first sentence and kept hold of me until I finished it…. There are twists galore but on one occasion my jaw actually dropped open as I realised that all was not as it seemed. Fantastic writing, excellent characterisation that has left me salivating for book number three! Five stars.’ Angela Marsons

‘Five stars! This book had me hook line and sinker … this author’s mind is very very clever …’ Sue and her Books

‘WOW,What a corker of a book, gripping story, believable untrustworthy characters and not just one but two totally jaw dropping unexpected twists.’ Nicki’s Life of Crime

‘What a read …The ending took me completely by surprise! In most books, I end up guessing the ending, but this book was spectacular. The book had me gripped from word ‘go’. I couldn’t stop reading …a brilliant brilliant book’Any Excuse to Read

‘a fantastic psychological thriller and I was kept hooked throughout. Lots of twists and turns, an excellent pace and so much suspense and surprise, I didn’t quite know where the book was going at times …couldn’t be anything other than five stars!’ Donna’s Book Blog

‘With bucketfuls of suspense and intrigue Blink is guaranteed to keep the most hardened psychological thriller love on the edge of their seats. Five Stars. ‘ The Book Review Cafe

‘Pure genius!! Blink is everything a psychological thriller should be! K L Slater is in a class of her own …Just when you think you have it figured out, you are knocked out of the park! One of the most mind-bending twists ever, just simply stunning!’ What Rachel Read Next

‘The twist towards the end took me completely by surprise. I actually had to put the book down for a moment and stop before I could carry on. It really took my breath away. K. L. Slater pulled this off brilliantly!’ Hooked from Page One

‘K.L. Slater has done it again with her latest book, Blink. From a creepy beginning to the twisty end, this book keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Hang on for the ride’ Shelf Knowledge

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k l slater.jpgFor many years, psychological thriller author KL Slater sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

Author Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Gift by Louise Jensen (@Fab_fiction) @bookouture

51ssdz2lgl-_sy346_“The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister.”

I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off The Gift blog tour today alongside Emma the Little Book Worm.  I am such a huge fan of Louise Jensen’s writing after reading her debut novel, The Sister earlier this year.  If you missed that review or would just like a quick recap, please click here.  To say I loved The Sister is a bit of an understatement really!  Which meant I was over the moon to be asked to join Louise’s tour for her second psychological thriller, The Gift published by the wonderful folk at Bookouture today!  A very happy book birthday Louise and Bookouture.

Jenna is critically ill and needs heart replacement surgery.  The worst possible news at a time when donor organs are scarce.  Luckily for Jenna a heart becomes available and the transplant goes well.  But Jenna can’t stop thinking about whose heart now beats inside her chest.  She is desperate to meet with the family and they don’t hesitate to arrange a meeting after she gets in touch.  Against the advice of her therapist, Jenna goes to meet Tom and Amanda.  It’s an uncomfortable start but Jenna feels she owes this couple and refuses to walk away.  Then the dreams start, along with other strange feelings and what appear to be memories…things Jenna herself never experienced.  Jenna knows that something isn’t right.  The way she is told Callie, her donor, died doesn’t tally with what she’s seeing in frightening visions.  Jenna decides that Tom and Amanda need closure to stop the hurt they’re suffering, and Jenna is the right person to deliver that closure.  So she starts to investigate; attempting to tie the feelings, the dreams and what little evidence she has together.  But the deeper she digs, the more secrets she uncovers.  What really happened to Callie?  And how far is Jenna willing to go to find out…?

First off, I want to say that I find it very hard to believe in some of the theories affecting Jenna in this book.  I seem to have a scientific head on my shoulders and try as I might, sometimes (most times!) I can’t submerge myself in unproven theories.  But I want to put that side of things away for now and comment on other aspects of this novel.  I absolutely ADORE Louise Jensen’s writing.  Jensen has a way of pulling you in, the way her words flow is sublime and that is exactly what she has achieved once again.  She is such a gifted storyteller and one of my very favourite writers.  Full stop.  I had highly anticipated the release of this book after falling head over heels in love with The Sister and I wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed, despite the scientific noggin!

I absolutely adored Jenna, the lead protagonist.  That drive and determination for her cause gave me goosebumps at times.  I love a strong, spirited female lead in my books and Jenna fits the bill nicely.  Strangely, that same determination did also annoy me a little.  Particularly when she was pushing away ex-boyfriend, Sam and best mate, Rachel in her bid to give Callie’s parents closure.

As I have come to expect from Louise Jensen’s writing, you never really have a hold on exactly who the bad guy/gal is or his/her reasons for being the bad guy/gal until the reveal.  The Gift is full to the brim of twists and turns.  There was an audible gasp from me at one point; I was so shocked by what I was reading!  Brilliantly crafted twists which send your brain into overdrive as you try and guess what will happen next.  But I bet you can’t..

Would I recommend this book?  I most definitely would (and grab yourself a copy of The Sister whilst you’re at it!).  Sleek, assured writing that pulls the reader into the story from the opening pages until the shocking conclusion.  Superb!

Four and a half stars out of five.

I chose to read and review an ARC of The Gift.

The Gift by Louise Jensen was published in the UK by Bookouture on 16th December 2016 and is available in eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | Bookouture |

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Smith & Sons (11)

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Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Author Links: | Website | Twitter | Blog | Facebook |

#BookReview: Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes) @bookouture

51hyonm5tdl“Twenty years ago you were forced to give your daughter up. Now she’s back. Or is she?

Women who’ve had to give up children for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up.

East London Detective Ruby Preston and her team must hunt down a disturbed individual before someone else is taken. But when bodies start turning up, staged in perfect, domestic scenes, it carries the echo of a memory in Ruby’s mind. The tinkling of a music box. A mother and child reunion…

Then just as Ruby thinks they’ve made a breakthrough, she receives a sinister email, and the case takes a terrifying personal twist. 

Can Ruby catch the killer before they strike again? Or will her troubled past catch up with her first?”

What a corker of a book!  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started reading…but I loved this book!  I came to Caroline Mitchell’s writing a little later than most.  I read Caroline’s The Silent Twin, which is book three in the Detective Jennifer Knight series, earlier this year (you can read my review by clicking here).  The Silent Twin was one of the first crime books I read with a paranormal twist to it, something I normally stay quite clear of.  The reviews were outstanding though and my FOMO (or, if you are my husband, my Fear Of Missing Out) kicked in.  I’m very glad it did as I loved The Silent Twin and wanted more Jennifer Knight.  So imagine my disappointment when I heard Ms Mitchell was putting Knight to one side and starting on a new series with a detective called Ruby.  I’ll admit it…I was a little disappointed.  Would it still have that paranormal aspect that I’d enjoyed so much?  Well, no, there are no ghosts assisting Ruby from the beyond. But oh my, DS Ruby Preston is SUPERB.  I absolutely loved this book!

Woman are being abducted from their homes only to turn up a few days later in an empty house, very dead and deliberately posed.  All of the women have one thing in common, they gave their daughter up for adoption 20 years ago.  Just like DS Ruby Preston did.  As the number of bodies rises, Ruby starts to receive correspondence from the killer who calls herself Lucy.  Lucy is the name Ruby gave her daughter…and the killer knows things that only the holder of Lucy’s birth certificate would know.  But surely Ruby’s daughter isn’t the killer, is she?  And is this some sort of sick revenge for giving her away all those years ago?  One thing is for sure, Lucy is on the hunt for her mummy and nothing will make her stop killing.  NOTHING! Not even finding her real mum…

DS Ruby Preston has the illustrious honour of being added to my girl crush list (other members of this elite group include Robert Bryndza’s DCI Erika Foster and M.J. Arlidge’s D.I. Helen Grace).  I loved her and I loved her relationship with gangster ex-boyfriend, Nathan. A brilliant addition to the story which leaves you wondering will they or won’t they.  It wasn’t a silly soppy romance that I find so stomach churning in other crime novels.  I could feel the character’s pain, their wanting to be together but knowing it just couldn’t happen.  Brilliant, clever writing as I’m not one for love affairs in my crime fiction but I couldnt get enough of this one (or rather, these two!).

Lucy is one of those memorable serial killers; the kind that come back to haunt you in your dreams, the kind where you see a picture of a slightly malevolent looking child and you go, “yep, that’s Lucy!”.  She’s a chilling character and not knowing who (or at times, what!) she is makes the feeling of unease grow. By the time the reveal came I was completely clueless and not sure what to expect (and if you had made me put a bet on, I would have lost my life savings).  Fantastically eerie, chock full of suspense and wonderfully disorientating in the best way possible.

I was hooked from the opening lines all the way through the nail biting conclusion.  The one moan I do have about the book is that it was too short!  Now you may think 314 pages is sufficient.  Normally I would agree, but not this time.  I didn’t want it to end, I wanted LOTS more.  I hope Caroline Mitchell has already made a start on book two in the series, I’m not sure I can wait much longer!

NOT REALLY A SPOILER ALERT:  For those that have read the book, I can somewhat dubiously confirm that nutscaping is a real thing.  I was too scared to look for myself so approached Caroline Mitchell on Twitter.  She MADE ME look, my eyes will never be the same again!  Thanks Caroline…

Would I recommend this book?  If you love crime thrillers and don’t buy this book, there has to be something wrong with you.  It’s superb.  I loved the characters, I loved the relationships and I loved Lucy!  Don’t miss out on the start of a breathtakingly brilliant new series.  You have been warned!  Chilling, twisted and disturbing – exactly what I want in my serial killer thrillers! #HereComesLucy

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Love You To Death.

Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell was published in the UK by Bookouture on 11th November 2016 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | Bookouture |

Smith & Sons (11)

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A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Published by Bookouture, her DC Knight crime thriller series reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts and sold over a quarter of a million copies in the first year and a half of publication. The first in her new series, Love You To Death, features DS Ruby Preston is due for publication 11th November 2016.

Her new psychological thriller, Witness, is published with Thomas & Mercer and due for publication 20th December 2016.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.

Author Links:Website | Twitter | Facebook | amazon.co.uk | Goodreads |