#BlogTour: Vile City by Jennifer Lee Thomson (@jenthom72) @caffeinenights @TAsTPublicity

Vile City Cover“DI Duncan Waddell has big problems. He’s borderline diabetic, his boss thinks he’s in the Army and the paperwork is piling up faster than the underwear at a porn shoot. The last thing he needs is the country’s biggest case to land on his lap.

Three women have gone missing in the city he’s fast coming to despise, victims of the GLASGOW GRABBER as their assailant has been dubbed by local hack and all round pain in the backside, Catriona Hastie.

Shelley Craig is the Grabber’s latest victim, snatched as she and her boyfriend took a shortcut through Glasgow city centre. And she’ll do anything to make it home.

Handling this baffling case is stressful enough without Waddell’s pal DC Stevie Campbell, who’s in a coma after being attacked by a suspect, starting to talk to him. Trouble is, only Waddell can hear him.”

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Vile City blog tour.  Vile City is the latest release from award-winning crime write, Jennifer Lee Thomson and was publishing by Caffeine Nights Publishing in May 2017.

I do love a dark crime novel and this is probably one of the darkest I’ve read in a while. The themes in this book certainly aren’t for the faint hearted and at times made even me, Mrs Iron Stomach, a little queasy.  DI Duncan Waddell is just perfect in my eyes.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this long-in-the-tooth, ever so slightly bumbling detective and his new overly keen DC, Brian McKeith.  What I didn’t really get, and I think this is just me, is why DC Stevie Campbell is such a big part of the setup.  I mean, the series is titled ‘Detective in a Coma’.  The detective in the coma is DC Stevie Campbell, who until recently was DI Waddell’s right hand man but as the result of a bottling is now comatose in the local hospital.  Had Waddell experienced some brilliant insight whilst sitting with his comatose colleague, or in the moments when Waddell thinks Stevie is conscious, had he shared his thoughts which then led to the case being solved, I could have seen more of a connection.  But Stevie doesn’t offer any brilliant insights and Waddell doesn’t have any case changing ideas whilst sitting with Stevie.  Maybe there is more to come, maybe it’s just me.

There is a lot going on in this book and at times I did lose the thread a little.  There are many steps in the plot and some aspects felt they were there only to move the story along.  For example, Shelley Craig’s kidnap felt the first stepping stone albeit a rather large one.  Once this aspect of the case had been investigated, it wasn’t really mentioned or referred to again.  I don’t want to drop any spoilers here but I’m still not sure what the outcome was with the other two kidnapped woman.  Maybe all will become clear in the second book.

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  I really enjoyed Thomson’s investigative team, led by Waddell and featuring the ever so slightly annoying, McKeith.  I would be quite happy for Waddell to keep sleuthing alongside McKeith rather than bringing a conscious Stevie Campbell to the story, as they make an interesting pair and one I really warmed to (even though they didn’t really warm to each other!).  I also liked how wonderfully Scottish this novel is. Great story but I did feel a little dizzy in places.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review Vile City.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Vile City by Jennifer Lee Thomson was published in the UK by Caffeine Nights Publishing on 11th May 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author2

JAuthor Pic J Thomsonennifer Lee Thomson is an award-winning crime writer who has been scribbling away all her life. She also writes non-fiction as Jennifer Thomson and fiction as Jenny Thomson.

This is her first book as Jennifer Lee Thomson in tribute to her late father who passed away after a long battle with cancer. Books 2 and 3 in the series are already written and she’s working on book 4.

Jennifer is an animal rights and human rights advocate and has a rescue dog.

She also writes the Crime File series of books as Jenny Thomson. Book 1, 2 and 3, are out now. They are in order, Hell to Pay, Throwaways and Don’t Come For Me and feature tough rape survivor Nancy Kerr and her ex-Special Forces boyfriend who fight crime together.

In her spare time, she plans how to survive the zombie apocalypse.

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

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#BlogTour | #BookReview: Body Breaker by Mike Craven (@MWCravenUK) @caffeinenights

13932097_1782579222021581_758646725_o.jpg“Investigating a severed hand found on the 3rd green of a Cumbrian golf course was not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke had planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secretive unit from London swoop in quoting national security, he’s secretly pleased.

But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he’s just been barred from.

In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of new age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he’s alienated his entire team, made a pact with the devil and been arrested under the terrorism act.

But Fluke is only getting started. A voice has called out to him from beyond the grave and he has no intention of ignoring it.”

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Body Breaker blog tour which I share with the very lovely Jo over at lifeofcri.me.  Body Breaker is the second novel in the DI Avison Fluke series and was published by Caffeine Nights on 25th May 2017.

I am in love.  It’s that simple.  There are a small number of bloggers whose opinion I completely trust.  They only have to mention an author or their books and I’m signing into Amazon! Mike Craven’s books fall into that category.  I’ve had the first book in the series, Born in a Burial Gown on the TBR for a while now and have been desperate to read it.  So when the opportunity to feature on the Body Breaker blog tour arose, I jumped at the chance.

I absolutely fell in love with DI Avison Fluke.  But it wasn’t just our leading man, it was every member of his team as well.  For me, as an avid crime reader, someone who tends to read a lot of police procedurals, this book really grabbed my attention.  That was partly due to a cracking plot and partly due to probably the best investigative team I’ve had the pleasure of reading about.  Not since Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne have I been this excited and, let’s be honest here, this smitten with a detective.

Something else that was a little different; even though this is the second book in the series (there are 2.5 by the way, two full novels and a novella) I didn’t feel as though I was missing out by not having read the first book.  I find you tend to be left wondering about certain occurrences, things happen and you’re not sure if it relates to something from earlier in the series, almost like you’re always missing…something.   I didn’t feel that at all whilst reading Body Breaker.  It’s the best ‘part of a series standalone’ I’ve read! Saying that, I will be doing all I can to squeeze Born in a Burial Gown into my reading schedule very very soon.

DI Fluke and his second in command, DS Towler are both ex-military.  And despite not serving together, these boys have a strong history together.  As well as the type of friendship where the other would happily die to save his mate.  I loved their relationship as not only was it hilarious in places it brought a warmth to the story.  Each character is unique, each character had their moment to prove their worth to the investigation and I loved it.

What starts out as the discovery of a severed hand on a golf course turns into so much more.  This book took me places I didn’t expect, gave me reading material that was quite different to my normal choices and kept me gripped from the very start to the very end. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough but I also wanted the story to last much longer than its 320 pages!

Would I recommend this book? I most definitely would.  I’m excited to have discovered Avison Fluke and his team.  The author is currently working on a new series and I desperately hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of Fluke for a while (although I am very much looking forward to meeting Washington Poe!).  It’s a thrilling, heart pounding novel which gave me much more than I initially expected.  If I can’t convince you, I’ll hand over to (a very intimidating looking) Mike Craven.  I found this YouTube video online and had to share it with you.

Five out of five stars.

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

Body Breaker by Mike Craven was published in the UK by Caffeine Nights Publishing on 25th May 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author2

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Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.

Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and was published on 11th June 2015 by Caffeine Nights. Also available is his award winning collection of short stories featuring Fluke and his colleagues from the Cumbrian Force Major Incident Team, Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything. Body Breaker, the hotly anticipated follow up to Born in a Burial Gown, is out on May 25th.

In March 2017, Mike signed a two book contract with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable, for his new series starring the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe, an expert in serial killers and seemingly motiveless crimes. The first Poe book – as yet untitled – will be published in hardback in spring 2018.

Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out for the community and host events such as England’s first Noir at the Bar.

Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Association.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Caffeine Nights | Twitter |