#BookReview: Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett (@RachelAmphlett) #CalltoArms #DetectiveKayHunter

call to arms

“Loyalty has a price.

Kay Hunter has survived a vicious attack at the hands of one of the country’s most evil serial killers.

Returning to work after an enforced absence to recover, she discovers she wasn’t the only victim of that investigation. DI Devon Sharp remains suspended from duties, and the team is in turmoil.

Determined to prove herself once more and clear his name, Kay undertakes to solve a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser.

But as she gets closer to the truth, she realises her enquiries could do more harm than good.

Torn between protecting her mentor and finding out the truth, the consequences of Kay’s enquiries will reach far beyond her new role…

Call to Arms is a gripping police procedural, and the fifth in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH
2. WILL TO LIVE
3. ONE TO WATCH
4. HELL TO PAY
5. CALL TO ARMS

A page-turning murder mystery for fans of Peter Robinson, David Baldacci and Harlen Coben.”

Call to Arms is the fifth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series written by author, Rachel Amphlett. I LOVE this series and always make a point of keeping up to date with the latest release (one of the few I actually manage as well!). You can check out my reviews of the first four books by clicking on the following titles; #1 Scared to Death, #2 Will to Live, #3 One to Watch and #4 Hell to Pay.

I was delighted to have the latest Kay Hunter novel in my mitts. And before long, the events of the previous novel came crashing back into my mind. (IF YOU HAVENT READ THE FOURTH BOOK IN THE SERIES, MISS THE NEXT BIT OUT!). The near-deadly tousle on the beach, the shocking conclusion where Hunter was suddenly promoted to DI as her friend and current DI, Devon Sharp, was forcibly removed from her hospital room. But despite being fully aware of all of that, having Kay’s colleagues refer to her as DI Hunter still came as a bit of surprise to me!

(SKIP TO HERE!) At the start of Call to Arms Kay Hunter is on light duties having only recently returned to work. She’s bored, not helped by a recent promotion and a large increase in the amount of paperwork she has to complete. Hunter realises the only way to get back to the action of ‘real police work’ is to get her friend and colleague, Devon Sharp reinstated as DI of the team. It helps a great deal if you’ve read Hell to Pay, the fourth book in the series before reading Call to Arms. I’ve always said each and every book in the Kay Hunter series can be read as a standalone. Not this one, this is the exception. It would help enormously if you’ve read Hell to Pay first. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Kay decides to reinvestigate a cold case in her own time which, if she can prove wasn’t properly investigated in the first place, may help clear Devon Sharp’s name whilst digging a fellow senior colleague deeper into the hole he has already made for himself – part of the draw maybe?! The investigation is into the death of an Army Private who skidded out of control and to his death on his motorcycle one dark and dismal night. Kay is connected to the case in other ways; the soldier who died was Devon Sharp’s godson. This time it’s personal and Hunter will stop at nothing to make sure the truth is discovered. No matter what the outcome.

So here’s the thing. I enjoyed Hell to Pay but not as much as I expected to (which is really weird as the despicable characters in the story and the evil deeds that were happening before my eyes are very much the kind of thing that I love to read about. Weird right?). However, I was thrilled to fully submerge myself in this latest brilliant instalment, Call to Arms. I REALLY enjoyed it and it reminded me exactly why I love Amphlett’s writing and, in particular, Kay Hunter as much as I do.

I loved that the plot headed off at an unexpected tangent and the more we discovered about the deceased, the darker the tale became. I devoured this book in a few short hours which is unheard of for me. I didn’t want to put it down.

One of my issues with Hell to Pay was the lack of Adam, Kay’s other half in the story. Again, it’s quite strange because I’m not a reader who cares much for romance in my stories. However, I love the relationship between Kay and Adam. I love how utterly normal they are. I was glad to see Adam playing more of a part in Call to Arms. He even managed to bring me to tears at one point! (And don’t forget to check out the brilliant guest post I hosted earlier this week – it’s all about the lovely Adam!).

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely but make sure you grab copies of the first four books in the series as well. I promise it’ll be worth it. My favourite in the series is still Will to Live but Call to Arms is a very welcome addition to a much-loved series. I hope Amphlett continues to write this series for many years to come. I am so fond of the characters and ALWAYS look forward to finding out what is going to happen next.

Four out of five stars.

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

Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett was published in the UK on 11th March 2018 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | GoodreadsRachel Amphlett’s online eBook store |

about the author3

rachel-2016-2141

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.

An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#GuestPost: Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett (@RachelAmphlett) #DetectiveKayHunter #CalltoArms

call to arms

“Loyalty has a price.

Kay Hunter has survived a vicious attack at the hands of one of the country’s most evil serial killers.

Returning to work after an enforced absence to recover, she discovers she wasn’t the only victim of that investigation. DI Devon Sharp remains suspended from duties, and the team is in turmoil.

Determined to prove herself once more and clear his name, Kay undertakes to solve a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser.

But as she gets closer to the truth, she realises her enquiries could do more harm than good.

Torn between protecting her mentor and finding out the truth, the consequences of Kay’s enquiries will reach far beyond her new role…

Call to Arms is a gripping police procedural, and the fifth in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH
2. WILL TO LIVE
3. ONE TO WATCH
4. HELL TO PAY
5. CALL TO ARMS

A page-turning murder mystery for fans of Peter Robinson, David Baldacci and Harlen Coben.”

It is my great pleasure to welcome the brilliant author of the Detective Kay Hunter series, Rachel Amphlett, to damppebbles today. I absolutely love the Kay Hunter series and always make sure I keep up with the latest release. The marvellous Call to Arms, the fifth book in the series, was published on Sunday 11th March 2018. To help celebrate Rachel has very kindly agreed to join me today and tell us about one of my favourite aspects of the series; Kay’s rather dishy other half, vet Adam!

Regular readers of the blog will know that I like my detectives damaged, on the edge and very much alone (i.e. no romantic counterpart). That is not the case with Kay though. Kay and Adam’s relationship really adds to the story for me. Plus the steady stream of creatures he brings home from work always makes me smile (and in Call to Arms, I have to admit I cried a little too).

So without further ado, I will hand over to Rachel to tell us why she chose a career in veterinary medicine for Mr Kay…

Why a vet?

One of readers’ favourite characters in the Kay Hunter series is that of her other half Adam, who’s a vet.

Writing a crime thriller series can be quite harrowing. A lot of the research can be disturbing, and let’s face it – when you’re running around chasing a serial killer or trying to solve a cold case murder, there isn’t much room for laughter.

I knew when I was first developing the idea for the series that I didn’t want my female detective to have a fractured home life – there were already plenty of other books like that around – and, as a lot of the crimes Kay Hunter investigates are dark and disturbing, I wanted her home life to provide her with a sense of normality.

The idea of Adam being a vet really appealed to me as soon as it popped into my head. (I blame watching repeats of the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small as a kid.)

Here was a character who was Kay’s equal in intelligence, could provide her with a safe home life AND give me a perfect excuse to provide some light relief for readers during the course of the series.

After all, you never know what animals a vet might bring home!

As well as Kay’s own career lows and highs, Adam’s veterinary practice impacts their lives too and I really enjoy seeing how these two characters support each other throughout the stories and challenges that their lives bring.

Of course, events in Kay’s professional life have meant it hasn’t all been plain sailing for her and Adam, but I think the dynamic between these two people is something that is working and seems to have been well received.

In fact, I’ve been amazed at how well readers have taken to Adam’s character – he and Kay are a real team, and I think it’s because they have a relatively normal home life (again, depending on what guests he’s looking after!) that readers can relate to the problems they encounter.

In Call to Arms, Adam gets his own chance to shine as we find him caring for a terminally ill patient. The storyline gave me an opportunity to explore his own character further, balancing out the investigation Kay leads with an emotionally-charged scene that anyone who has had a pet will relate to.

I hope that in Call to Arms readers get a greater sense of how much Adam cares about his work, his patients, and their wellbeing.

Adam is a huge support for Kay, and I don’t think she’d be the detective she is without him in her life.

Thank you so much for joining me today Rachel, and for giving us an insight into Adam. I have read Call to Arms and was delighted to see Adam shine. My review of Call to Arms will be up on the blog later this week so keep an eye out for that.

Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett was published in the UK by Saxon Publishing on 11th March 2018 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

about the author3

Author

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.

An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#BookReview: Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett (@RachelAmphlett)

scared to death.jpg“If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully.”

‘When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun…’

I have a terrible habit.  It’s not a secret, I’ve mentioned it on the blog before.  But it’s something that I’m determined to break as it causes undue stress and adds to my heightened levels of confusion.  I’m rubbish at starting a series with the first book.  Yup, you read that right, I’m one of THOSE people.  I always end up starting part-way through, normally somewhere between book 2 or 7!  I haven’t always been this way.  I blame the blog.  It used to be a strict rule of mine that if I hadn’t read the beginning of the series there was no way I was going to read later books.  Like I say, I blame the blog.

In a couple of weeks time I am hosting a stop on the Will to Live blog tour.  Will to Live is the second book in the DS Kay Hunter series written by author, Rachel Amphlett.  The first book is called Scared to Death and ladies and gentleman, I am delighted to confirm that I have managed to squeeze it into my reading schedule.  Yes dear reader, I have started a series with the first book!  Yay, go me!

And what a first book!  I featured on the Scared to Death blog tour towards the end of 2016.  If you click here you can read Rachel’s brilliant guest post about the editing process.  At the time I felt I was really missing out as the reviews from fellow bloggers were fantastic.  And in all honesty, I was.  This is a fantastic start to what promises to be an outstanding series.  The book starts with a bang and I was immediately drawn into the story.  Seventeen year old Melanie is missing and her frantic parents, Tony and Yvonne are racing to find her after having dropped the £20k ransom off elsewhere.  They find her…but it’s too late.  What no one realises is what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, is a whole lot darker.  And so the hunt for a psychopath begins….

DS Kay Hunter is an appealing character.  She’s not the usual fusty, grumpy, addiction riddled detective I tend to like in my crime novels but that didn’t matter on this occasion.  There is mention of an incident in the past which was thoroughly investigated, and feelings are still running high amongst Kay’s senior management.  You’re given the impression that Kay is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and I hope this will be covered in more detail in future books.  I’m curious about her.  As I said, she isn’t my usual type of detective but I really liked her!

You find out who the killer is quite early on in the story but you’re left wondering who their accomplice is; who is the guy/gal at the top of the tree pulling the strings?  I was drawn in from that fantastic opening until the very end.  A wonderfully intriguing story which is skillfully told.

However, there was one point which caused an issue for me.  One of the investigating team has a strong link to one of the kidnap victims but it is not mentioned until much later in the story.  I found this, for me, upset the flow of the plot somewhat.  Just as the adrenaline is starting to pump, just as the action is picking up, this ‘connection’ is thrown into the mix and it just felt wrong.  I’ve pondered on this since finishing the book but I’m afraid I still can’t fathom the reason for this.  This is a small moan though in what is a fabulous book written by a talented author.

Would I recommend this book?  Oh yes, I would.  I can’t wait to make a start on Will to Live ready for my stop on Sunday 9th April so make sure you join me then.  Rachel Amphlett has created a gutsy female detective who I really like and I can’t wait to read more!

Four out of five stars.

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

Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett was published in the UK by Saxon Publishing on 3rd December 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Rachel Amphlett’s online eBook store |

copy-of-copy-of-smith-sons-1

rachel-2016-2141Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.

An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.

Author Links: | Website | Facebook | Twitter |