#CoverReveal: Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes) @bookouture

I am delighted to be able to share a rather stonking cover reveal with you this evening. Regular readers of the blog will know that I am a HUGE fan of Caroline Mitchell’s Detective Ruby Preston series.  If you haven’t discovered this series yet then I urge to get hold of a copy and soon.  The first book in the series, Death Note blew my socks off. You can read my review by clicking here.  The second book in the series is a brilliant and twisty follow up.  Click here to read my review of Sleep Tight.  And now I am thrilled to share with you the cover and blurb of the third book in the series….MURDER GAME.

To catch a killer, you must first think like one …

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die.

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James will be hooked by this dark and utterly disturbing thriller, packed with twists until the final page.

If the blurb hasn’t convinced you (pah! of course it has) then maybe the cover will…

Murder-Game-Kindle.jpg

Isn’t that gorgeous?!  This series really is a must read for fans of crime fiction, police procedurals and serial killer thrillers.  It ticks all the boxes and I flipping love Ruby Preston (I may also have a soft spot for her rather dishy on/off fella, Nathan!).

Get over to Amazon and grab a copy of the first two books, then stick a pre-order in for this one.  You won’t regret it!  Murder Game will be released on 31st October 2017 and I cannot wait.

UK: http://amzn.to/2v1l8v5
US: http://amzn.to/2umrDqp

about the author3

IMG_6478.pngUSA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. 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. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

Connect with Caroline:
www.caroline-writes.com
https://plus.google.com/+CarolineMitchell/posts
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3076677.Caroline_Mitchell
Twitter: @Caroline_writes
www.pinterest.com/Writeparanormal

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins (@vicwritescrime) @bookouture

The Girls In The Water cover image.jpg“When the body of Lola Evans is found in a local park on a cold winter’s morning, Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane are called in to lead the hunt for the killer. 

Days later, a second girl goes missing. It seems the two shared a troubled history, and were members of the same support group. Who is the monster preying on these vulnerable girls? 

As the detectives start to piece together the clues, Chloe realises that she too is in danger – as she uncovers secrets about her own brother’s death which someone will kill to keep hidden. 

Alex and Chloe are soon fighting for their lives, and in a race against time to reach the next victim before it’s too late… 

Chilling and totally compelling with an utterly surprising twist, The Girls in the Water is perfect for fans of Robert Bryndza, Sarah Hilary, and Patricia Gibney.”

I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the The Girls in the Water blog tour today alongside Marina at licence2read.  The Girls in the Water is author Victoria Jenkins’ debut novel and is published by Bookouture in eBook format TODAY!  Happy book birthday to Victoria and the gorgeous folk at Bookouture.

I was immediately drawn to this book thanks to that stunning cover.  And then I read the blurb and knew it would be a match made in heaven (that’s me and the book, by the way!).  There’s nothing I like more than a gripping police procedural/serial killer thriller but when the two lead female protagonists are feisty, head-strong, kick-ass detectives then I know I’m in for a corker of a read.

As soon as you start reading you are hurled, by the well-constructed prologue, into a harrowing scene of mental child abuse.  Your heart goes out to the unknown boy who is being berated by his mother for something that, whilst distressing, is blown all out of proportion in order to serve the mother’s own needs.  The boy’s attempts to distance himself from the hurt were a tough read and I felt incredibly sad for this unnamed character.  I admired this debut author’s ability to create such a heart-wrenching and intriguing opening to her novel.

Before long you meet DI Alex King and DC Chloe Lane.  I wanted to fall head over heels in love with both characters but I’m afraid it didn’t happen immediately.  It was much more of a slow build over the course of the novel.  I initially warmed more to DC Lane as she felt more spontaneous, more outgoing and a lot more fun to be around than her superior.  However, as the story progressed I felt I had a lot more in common with DI King (plus she’s more my age, obv.!).  She felt like a safe and trusted pair of hands and she shone that little bit brighter for me.

DC Lane becomes quite distracted with an older case at an early stage in the story which creates an interesting discord between Chloe and her senior officers.  It’s clear to see there has been a lot of careful planning in creating the character’s back stories as these all add real value and link seamlessly as you approach the conclusion.  For a debut, this book is incredibly well plotted and the characters felt very credible.

Would I recommend this book?  I would and I plan on pre-ordering the next book in the series as soon as it is available. There is one twist in this book that I really didn’t see coming and it knocked me sideways.  As an avid crime reader I will always appreciate the books that can do that!  A brilliant debut and I look forward to reading more from Victoria Jenkins in the near future.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Girls in the Water.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.  My thanks to Kim, Noelle and the Bookouture team for asking me to join the blog tour.

The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins was published in the UK by Bookouture on 3rd August 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | Book Depository |

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about the author3

Victoria Jenkins Author Pic.jpgVictoria Jenkins lives with her husband in South Wales, where she writes crime fiction and teaches English. The Girls in the Water is her debut novel, the first featuring Detective Inspector Alex King and Detective Constable Chloe Lane. The second book in the series will be published in late 2017.

Author Links: | Facebook | Twitter |

#CoverReveal: The Surrogate by Louise Jensen (@Fab_fiction) @bookouture

I am happily bouncing off the walls because I’m part of the cover reveal team for the new book by LOUISE JENSEN!  Louise Jensen is one of my very favourite authors so I can’t wait to get my mitts on this little beauty.  We don’t have long to wait as The Surrogate will be published by Bookouture on 27th September 2017 (guys, it’s July tomorrow!  It’s really not THAT long!).  So let’s get this show on the road and have a peek at the blurb…

THE SURROGATE by Louise Jensen

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’ 

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister and The Gift, this is an unputdownable psychological thriller which asks how far we will go to create our perfect family.  

How good does that sound?  I CAN’T WAIT to read The Surrogate.  I’m such a huge fan of Louise’s books (click here to read my review of The Sister, Louise’s debut and here for my review of The Gift) so this new release can’t come soon enough for me!  But I digress, here’s the stunning cover….

the surrogate cover.jpg

Wow!  I love that cover, gives me the heebie jeebies and makes me want a copy of The Surrogate even more than I did before (if that’s possible).  Mark the date in your diary (27th September 2017) and make sure you grab yourself a copy on publication day.  I know I will be doing just that!

Here are those all important pre-order links:

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2sY4hK1
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2uqwxmv

about the author3

louise jensen.jpg

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 puppy and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook |

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson (@kerrywk) @bookouture

two sisters cover.jpg“They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.

Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.

A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.

Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.

Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.

‘Z’ is all it read.

Z for Zac.

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, Sue Fortin and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.”

Today I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles as it’s my turn on the Two Sisters blog tour.  My partner in crime (or blog tour buddy, if you prefer) is the totally fabulous Claire Knight, guest reviewer extraordinaire over at one of my very favourite crime blogs, CrimeBookJunkie

Anyway, enough of the blogger love.  Let’s move on to what we’re all here for (which is obviously the book love).  I’ve seen author, Kerry Wilkinson’s name mentioned a lot. Wilkinson has penned a number of well received crime novels so he was, of course, on my radar.  But I hadn’t managed to read any of his books due to my blog tour commitments.  How to get round this, I thought to myself…feature on the Two Sisters blog tour, obvious really!

When I first started reading Two Sisters my heart sank.  I immediately disliked the lead character, Megan.  I mean she really got my back up.  I wondered how I was going to fare, having to read about this obnoxious, conniving little madam (I should add that she is 20 years old but felt much younger to me).  But then I met Chloe, her younger sister and I started to forgive Megan a little for being the cow she is.  And then you find more out about the girls upbringing, and although I still didn’t really ‘like’ Megan, I began to understand her more.  What I did like most about Megan is how much she loves and cares for her younger sister.  Surprisingly, Megan and Chloe don’t really know each other that well.  They were sent off to separate boarding schools from a young age but distance failed to break that sisterly bond.  And that was a joy to read.

Two Sisters works so well because of it’s creepy, claustrophobic setting of a small village called Whitecliff on the Cornish coast.  I loved the way the author stranded his cast of characters in this remote location.  I loved the friction between the locals and the well-to-do ‘dumped by their parents’ beach kids.  I loved that there was no mobile signal unless you went to the lightning tree.  It sounds like the core ingredients of a horror movie, doesn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this book as much as I did.  It was brilliantly tense.  Despite loving the setting, I do often wonder (still to this day,  after a couple of weeks have passed) how this book would work set in small town America.  Maybe something for the future, eh Mr Wilkinson? *wink*.

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  If you’re a fan of the psychological thriller then I would say this is a must read.  It’s so wonderfully claustrophobic that I had to take breaks along the way to come up for air!  A really engrossing, enjoyable read and I will be making a point of reading Kerry Wilkinson’s books in the future.

Four and a half out of five stars.

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

Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson was published in the UK by Bookouture on 23rd June 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

two sisters blog tour.jpg

about the author2

kerry wilkinson.jpgKerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.

He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.

Author Links: | Website | Twitter |

 

#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 |

serial killers daughter blogtour.jpg

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 |

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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 |