#BookReview: Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi #EightDetectives #damppebbles #20booksofsummer22

All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules.

In the 1930s, Grant McAllister, a mathematics professor turned author, worked them out, hiding their secrets in a book of crime stories.

Then Grant disappeared.

Julia Hart has finally tracked him down. She wants to know what happened to him.

But she’s about to discover that a good mystery can be murder to solve . . .”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi. Eight Detectives was published by Penguin Books on 5th August 2021 and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and digital formats. I chose Eight Detectives as one of my ‘20 Books of Summer reads as I’ve been keen to make a start on since it arrived at damppebbles HQ last year. It’s also part of my ’12 books in 12 months challenge’.

As a side note to the ’20 Books of Summer Challenge’, today is officially the last day of the challenge and I’ve only managed to read 14 of my selected books. Which is a bit pants, in my opinion. I’ll post an official end of challenge post soon with the very disappointing facts and figures. However, what I will say is that I will be reviewing all of the 14 books I’ve read, I just won’t manage to do so within the challenge window.ย  So look out for ‘20 Books’ reviews coming your way over the next few months and into 2023 ๐Ÿ˜ฒย (I know it’s not quite within the rules but hey, what can you do…?? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ)

Editor Julia Hart has been tasked with tracking down an elusive professor of mathematics turned author to discuss republishing his self-published novel ‘The White Murders’. Grant McAllister wrote a research paper titled ‘The Permutations of Detective Fiction’ which examined the mathematical structure of murder mysteries. From there ‘The White Murders’ was born. But the book, featuring seven short stories, each containing one of McAllister’s rules, was not successful. Which is why Julia has been tasked with locating McAllister on a remote Mediterranean island and convincing him to update and republish the work with her publisher, Blood Type Books. But on arrival at the island, Julia discovers there is more than one mystery to solve…

Eight Detectives is a complex, clever, assuredly written debut perfect for fans of the golden age of crime. The reader is presented with seven short stories, all of which feature one aspect of McAllister’s mathematical observations, the rules he believes are required in a murder mystery. Now, if you’re anything like me and mathematics is not your thing, then please don’t worry. The rules are fairly basic principles, for example, you need at least two suspects otherwise it’s not a murder mystery. Well, yes. How many victims can you have in a murder mystery? As many as you see fit. Following the first short story the reader is introduced to the two main characters in the book, Julia and Grant. This pattern continues for the entire novel; short story followed by analysis/discussion between writer and editor. These conversations were the sections I looked forward to the most, particularly as they tie everything together. They were very intriguing, I wanted to know more about the characters – particularly the elusive and mysterious professor. I think the author deserves an award for the amount of work and planning that’s gone into Eight Detectives. I don’t think this could have been an easy book to write with so many individual, standalone short stories, all within the same 1930s time period but all very different. With the overarching storyline of Julia and Grant keeping everything together.

Would I recommend this book? If you’re a fan of the golden age of crime, prefer a slower pace to your books or like a novel which makes you think then yes, I think you will enjoy Eight Detectives. This book received a lot of hype when it was first published but for me it fell a little short. I do feel I’m in the minority though. My favourite story in the book was the clear nod to Agatha Christie. I also enjoyed the first story set in Spain, the other stories I struggle to remember. There are some lovely twists and turns as the reader approaches the end of the book, several surprises which made me smile but I can’t help feeling that it just missed the mark for me. A great concept, cleverly written with interesting characters which I would recommend to fans of the golden age of crime.

Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi was published in the UK by Penguin Books on 5th August 2021 and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): |ย amazon.co.uk |ย Waterstones |ย Foyles |ย Book Depository |ย bookshop.org |ย Goodreads |ย damppebbles bookshop.org shop |

ImageAlex Pavesi lives in London, where he writes full time. He previously worked as a software engineer and before that obtained a PhD in Mathematics. He enjoys puzzles, long walks and recreational lock picking. Eight Detectives is his first book.

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner (@Ronnie__Turner) @HQDigitalUK #LiesBetweenUs #WhereIsBonnie?

Lies Between Us.jpg“Will they ever learn the truth?ย 

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together โ€“ with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he canโ€™t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it โ€“ and the truth wonโ€™t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.”

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the blog today and to my stop on theย Lies Between Us blog tour (‘epic’ blog tour, I should say!).ย ย Lies Between Us is Ronnie Turner’s debut and oh my, what a debut it is!ย  Published by HQ Digital at the start of October, Lies Between Us is available to purchase in eBook and audio formats NOW!

Full disclaimer here, Ronnie Turner is not only a fabulous debut author she’s also a fabulous book blogger who I consider to be a friend via my book blogging circles.ย  That, however, has not influenced this review at all.ย  I may have been a little more excited to read the book, what with knowing the author, but that’s where it ends.ย  And I WAS excited, really really excited.

What a book!ย  What an emotive, chilling read. I became totally engrossed in it.ย  Many of you will know that I am mummy to two small people.ย  My daughter is around the age of Bonnie inย Lies Between Us which makes what happened to her all the more horrifying for me.ย  Turner’s writing made me want to hold my children tighter at night to keep them safe from the world.ย  It made me want to relish every single moment I spend with them and it made me realise how utterly grateful I am that they are safe.ย  The despair emanating from the pages as the reader experiences John’s hopelessness and fear for missing daughter, Bonnie, was palpable.ย  I really couldn’t believe I was reading a debut!

I like a darker feel to my novels, it’s true.ย  I’m often left disappointed though as what I want from a novel and what others want is quite different.ย  I want authors to push it that extra notch and make their characters so despicable they make my flesh crawl (I may be in the minority on this one though).ย  Turner has created a character that surpassed all expectations.ย  Miller.ย  Miller made my skin crawl and called out to my black heart.ย  He is so unlikable that I actually loved him!ย  By far the stand out character of the book for me and one that will stay in my mind for a long time to come.ย  The story is told from three separate points of view; John, Maisie – an ICU nurse and Miller.ย  The Miller chapters were my favourite and I looked forward to reading them more than the other characters.ย  He made me feel so uncomfortable, and I loved it!

I’m sorry to say there is a ‘but’ though.ย  I was really enjoying this book until I got to the end of the story.ย  When I reached the end all I felt was confusion.ย  I had my suspicions throughout but even with this in mind, the ending felt odd.ย  I would have like a little more explanation.ย  Maybe I missed something obvious (it’s very possible).ย  The following morning after finishing the book I was still chewing the ending over, trying to put the pieces in the right order and come up with something that worked for me.ย  But I’ve failed.ย  I can’t get my 40-year-old brain to fathom this one out, sorry Ronnie.

Would I recommend this book?ย  I would.ย  As debuts go it’s really rather outstanding.ย  I absolutely loved 95% of this book (it’s just the ending which has thrown it a little for me).ย  It’s full of raw emotion and so deliciously chilling.ย  If you love to hate characters then Miller is the boy for you!ย  Brilliantly creepy, I would pick up another book by Ronnie Turner without a second thought!

Four out of five stars.

Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner was published in the UK by HQ Digital on 1st October 2018 and is available on eBook and audio formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): |ย amazon.co.ukย |ย Goodreadsย |

LiesBetweenUs_BlogTourBanner2.jpg

about-the-author3

Author Photo 2.jpgRonnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.

Author Links: |ย Twitter |ย Facebook |ย Instagram |ย Website |ย Goodreadsย |

#BookReview: Rubicon by Ian Patrick (@IPatrick_Author) @fahrenheitpress #RubiconBook

rubicon cover.jpg

“Two cops, both on different sides of the law โ€“ both with the same gangland boss in their sights.

Sam Batford is an undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardinoโ€™s drug supply.

DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, sheโ€™s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford sheโ€™s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.

Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.”

You have no idea how long I have wanted to read this book. I saw a couple of stonking reviews for it months ago now (before the recent blog tour) and I knew, as a die-hard fan of the police procedural, as a lover of coppers on the edge, as a book blogger that lives and breathes crime fiction that this book and I were destined to meet. I feel quite sad that it’s taken me this long to read it because it’s an incredible read and I relished every moment of being in Sam Batford’s company.

Rubicon is Ian Patrick’s debut and it’s such an assured read that I had to stop at times and remind myself of that fact. Ian Patrick has experienced life on the beat himself and that experience, that living of ‘the job’ gives the novel a level of authenticity that readers (readers like me, anyway) crave. Rubicon is a fast-paced crime thriller that keeps you turning the pages from start to finish and I was hooked from the explosive opening to the very last word.

Sam Batford is an Undercover Officer walking a very fine line. He’s prepared to do whatever is necessary to get what he wants. But he has a heart too, which I loved. Sam is seconded to work with DCI Klara Winter on the Vincenzo Guardino (or ‘Big H’) case but he has his own ideas and instead of working in harmony with his new DCI, he is determined to do his own thing and leave Winter flailing in his dust. Winter is an unlikable, do-gooder character who seems more out for the glory of arresting notorious local gangster Big H than anything else. She plays by the book though, whereas Sam…..doesn’t so much. The reader is regularly given an insight into Winter’s thought processes thanks to her ‘Sensitive Decision Log’; a clever move on the author’s part as it gives the reader a more candid look into this senior detective’s thoughts and feelings.

Now I’m a fairly slow reader but you can easily lose a day (chances are you read faster than me) to Rubicon. It has a way of completely absorbing you into the story and before you know it, you’ve read half of the book before you’ve even realised. It’s punchy, it’s thrilling and it’s everything I want in a crime thriller. One of the things I liked most about Rubicon is that Sam isn’t your usual copper. I read a lot of detective fiction so it’s good to have a lead who isn’t scared of REALLY breaking the rules (and oh my gosh, those rules get shattered!). Sam Batford is a character I want to see more of, I love the idea of a renegade cop and Sam fits the mould perfectly.

Would I recommend this book? I would. It’s edgy, absorbing and so deliciously different to other books in the genre. An absolute delight to read and I will be recommending this book to everyone. What a debut!

Four and a half stars out of five.

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

Rubicon by Ian Patrick was published in the UK bu Fahrenheit Press on 21st August 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats (please note, the following Amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Fahrenheit Press | Goodreads |

about the author3

ian patrick.jpg

Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.

He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.

Now retired, the need to write didnโ€™t leave and evolved into fiction.

Author Links: | Twitter | Amazon Author Page |