#BookReview: The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven (@MWCravenUK) @LittleBrownUK #ThePuppetShow #WashingtonPoe

the puppet show“A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of . . .

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive …”

Hello you! It’s me. I’m alive! I know you haven’t heard from me in a while but I’m back… Well, ‘sort of’ back. I ‘intend’ to be back providing I can find the right words as I have to confess that I have been struggling to write reviews of late.  I’m still reading, still enjoying books but putting my thoughts together into a coherent post has been…difficult.

Anyway, I digress.  The absolutely phenomenal The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven was released in paperback yesterday and I couldn’t let the moment pass without posting my review once more (the words came easily for this one, believe me!).  So, without further ado, here is my review of The Puppet Show from June last year.

A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a book called Body Breaker written by Mike Craven (that’s Mike Craven as in M.W. Craven, if you were wondering what odd tangent I was meandering off at!), and it was an absolute joy to read from start to finish. I pretty much fell in love with Craven’s protagonist, DI Avison Fluke. Then I heard Mike was about to release a new book called The Puppet Show, featuring a brand new detective with a brand new publisher. Now I openly admit, I was intrigued. After all, what crime fiction fan wouldn’t be? Particularly when I heard the main character of The Puppet Show is called Washington Poe (what a name! Where does this author get inspiration from for his character’s names? He appears to err on the unusual which is a rather splendid thing IMHO). Then, as if by magic (I pressed a button on NetGalley) a copy of The Puppet Show arrived on my Kindle and the deal was sealed. Washington Poe and I were destined to meet…

And truth be told, I flipping love him as much as I love DI Fluke. Craven certainly knows how to write and develop a character to the point where they jump off the page at the reader. I was smitten from early on; particularly as we meet Poe after he has shunned modern life and is living with his loyal pet dog, Edgar, in a semi-converted shepherd’s croft in the middle of nowhere (for ‘nowhere’ read Cumbria or the Lake District! Please don’t hurt me Cumbrians, it does sound pretty vast, lonely and desolate from Craven’s illustrative descriptions and I’ve never visited 😉). Suspended from work following his last (bodged) case and awaiting the result of an internal investigation and an IPCC inquiry, Poe has pretty much decided that his past is very much behind him and that his future lies in Herdwick Croft with Edgar, and the sheep. But that was before Cumbria’s latest serial killer, The Immolation Man made matters personal. Whether he wants to or not, Poe must return to the Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) and to a case that could easily be the death of him.

I have a bit of a thing for serial killer novels. They’re my favourite, particularly if they are a smidge on the gory side as well (which this book is). I also thoroughly enjoy books which make you think the plot is heading one way and then totally flips things over and makes you gasp in surprise when you end up somewhere you didn’t expect (which again, this book did). Another thing I love is a cast of well-written, individual, stand out characters who all add something to the story (yup, that’s The Puppet Show). I loved this book.

As I’ve mentioned Washington Poe’s supporting cast it would be rude to ignore them. First and foremost, Tilly Bradshaw is a shining star and will appeal to nerds far and wide. Her intelligence and her awkwardness are a delight to read and I hope she makes future appearances with Poe as her sidekick! Beleaguered DI Stephanie Flynn is now her ex-bosses boss (!) which makes things somewhat tricky between her and Poe at times. He’s a little reckless and likes to follow the evidence anywhere, whereas Flynn likes to play by the book. I would LOVE to read a prequel to The Puppet Show and see the dynamic between the two of them before Poe was demoted from DI to DS and Flynn was promoted. Not dropping any hints here, Mike…

Would I recommend this book? I would, most definitely. If you’re a fan of crime fiction, if you can stomach a drop of blood or a pool of melted human fat (OK, it is a little grisly in places and you may need a slightly stronger stomach than I’ve alluded to in this paragraph, but for me I loved the gruesome touches to this book. Plus the author provides a wealth of information about burns and the effect of fire on a human body) then you will enjoy this well-written, engrossing crime thriller. I struggled to put it down and I’m left wanting more Washington Poe and more Tilly Bradshaw. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Five out of five stars.

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

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven was published in the UK by Constable on 24th January 2019 and is available in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Book Depository | Goodreads |

about-the-author3

16473225_743395339158440_999373164873613480_n (1)Although M.W. Craven was born in Cumbria in 1968, he grew up in the North East, going to the same school as Newcastle and England centre-forward, Alan Shearer, before running away to join the army. He believes, but has no proof, that his little sister moved into his bedroom before the train had even left the station. He trained for two years as an armourer (that’s gunsmith to you and I) before spending the next ten being paid to travel the world and drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol.

In 1995, sick of writing postcards and having fun, he decided it might be time to do something a bit more sensible. And it doesn’t get more sensible than doing a law degree. So he did Social Work instead. Two years later, as pimply-faced, naive social worker he started working in Cumbria as a probation officer. Sixteen years, and a few promotions, later he is still there, although as a crime writer, he now has 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 will be out on 11th June, published by Caffeine Nights. His collection of short stories featuring Fluke and his colleagues from the Cumbrian Force Major Incident Team, Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything, is out now.

In March 2017 Mike signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown for his new Washington Poe series. The first book, The Puppet Show, will be released in hardback under his new name, M .W. Craven, in June 2018.

In between joining the army and securing a publishing deal, Mike found time to have a pet crocodile, survive cancer, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He wanted to call him Gimli but was told to grow up. He lives in Carlisle where he tries to leave the house as little as possible and gets annoyed by people who say “it’s too cold to snow” and “watch that swan, its wings can break your arm”.

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

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#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger H.C. Newton (@HCNewton) #TheIrresponsibleReader

Happy Friday everyone. I hope those of you who were celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday had a wonderful day and you’re all keeping your eyes peeled for those Black Friday bargains today! Personally, I’m checking out the Kindle accessories……

I am delighted to welcome a blogger to damppebbles who I suggest you follow RIGHT NOW, HC Newton of The Irresponsible Reader. I discovered HC’s blog earlier this year and I absolutely love it. Honestly, give him a follow. You won’t regret it.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for bookish folk to share the book love and shout about three books they think the rest of us should read. Any three books, any three genres but there’s a catch! All three books must have been published in 2018.

Here are HC’s choices…

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Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott
It’s funny, great concept, erudite and silly in the same breath — completely unique.
https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3xP

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Everything is Normal by Sergey Grechishkin
This memoir isn’t perfect — but it’s a surprisingly fun look at life in Soviet Russian in the 80s. Even in the dystopia it was — his childhood had fun and wonder, but Grechishkin is honest about the struggles and pain.
https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3hy

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Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
It’s an entertaining spoof of fantasy tropes and cliches while telling a pretty solid fantasy story as well.
https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3pZ

Thanks for your choices, HC. I’ve only heard of one of them and that’s Dear Mr Pop Star which was all over the blogosphere for a time. I’m really intrigued by it and will be adding it to my wishlist.

If HC has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books he recommends then please see the following links:

| Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott | Everything Is Normal by Sergey Grechishkin | Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne |

About HC:
Just some guy who reads a lot.

HC’s Social Media Links:
| The Irresponsible Reader | Twitter @HCNewton | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D is full for this year but make sure you check back tomorrow when I will be welcoming another awesome blogger to share their #R3COMM3ND3D2018!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with#BookBlogger Cathy Ryan (@CathyRy) #BetweenTheLines

Happy Hump Day!  It’s Wednesday which means the weekend is only a squeak away now…phew!  I am delighted to welcome a wonderfully supportive blogger and another of my favourites to damppebbles today, the ever so lovely Cathy Ryan of BetweenTheLines ~ Books’N’Stuff.  You must, must, must check out Cathy’s blog if you don’t already.

If you haven’t seen any of my #R3COMM3ND3D2018 posts so far then where have you been for the last 20 or so days?! #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those who work in publishing to share three books they love with the rest of us.  The catch being, all three books must have been published in 2018.  Other than that, there are no rules.

Here are Cathy’s choices…

the tattooist of auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a powerful and moving account of one man’s experience during the war, especially so because it’s a true story, and incredibly it’s also a love story. The author actually met Lale, the main character, and got the details first hand, so the perspective is quite personal. It really made an impression on me.
https://wp.me/p47cK4-5xs

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The Runaway Wife by Dee MacDonald
I enjoyed The Runaway Wife because it’s just a really fun read with an unexpected twist. It also has a more mature protagonist, which is a refreshing change, and one who isn’t content to make do with an unsatisfactory life. She loves her family but is tired of being taken for granted.
https://wp.me/p47cK4-5n9

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Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis
Bitter Sun is a dark and disturbing tale with shocking twists, very evocative and something that’s not unrealistic. The author really brings the small town America of the period to life and it’s not a nice image. It’s quite tragic and very atmospheric.
https://wp.me/p47cK4-5zZ

Thanks so much for your choices, Cathy.  Good to see The Tattooist of Auschwitz making it’s second appearance.  It’s now one of only five books with two votes to it’s name.  I’ve added Bitter Sun to the wishlist as it sounds everything I want in a novel.

If Cathy has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following links:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris | The Runaway Wife by Dee MacDonald | Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis |

About Cathy:
I’ve always loved reading and books have been a constant throughout my life. Now I enjoy sharing, and finding new books through the wonderful blogging community. My ideal job would be in a book/coffee shop – the best of both worlds! Photography is a fairly new hobby which I’m having lots of fun with. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, walking by the sea with my dog, exploring new places, music and going to the theatre. And possibly the odd glass or two of wine! We’ve moved around quite a bit and are now based in (windy) North Wales.

Cathy’s Social Media Links:
BetweenTheLines ~ Books’N’Stuff | Twitter @CathyRy | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ |

Join me again tomorrow when I welcome another brilliant book blogger to share the book love and their three #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks!

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Zoé O’Farrell (@zooloo2008) #ZooloosBookDiary

A very good morning to you all.  I hope your Monday is looking to be a good one and the week ahead full of wonderful bookish delights.  A very warm welcome to today’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post.  I am delighted to welcome the fabulous Zoé O’Farrell of the brilliant Zooloo’s Book Diary to the blog today.  I haven’t been following Zoé’s blog all that long really but it has fast become one of my favourites.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those who work in publishing to share the book love.  Are there three books which immediately spring to mind?  Three books you think everyone else MUST READ?  That’s what #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is all about…providing the three books you choose were published this year in 2018!

Here are Zoé’s choices…

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The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech
OMG why wouldn’t I recommend this book? Anyone who has read the review I wrote would see I was just in tears throughout.  In fact, I do not even know if my review makes sense, I just cried when I wrote it. It is such a beautiful love story, I am really protective over Ben and Andrew, they are my happy place for sure.
http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/bookreview-of-the-lion-tamer-who-lost-by-louise-beech-louisewriter-orendabooks-teamorenda-liontamerwholost

medium wave

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock (Becky Moran #1)
This is the first blog tour I ever took in so it will always have a special place in my heart. It was a supernaturally one and I was hooked by this book, I even got to chat the author a little on Twitter about it! This book gave me the biggest shivers and goosebumps…still just thinking about it! I can’t wait for the second book in this series!
http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/bookreview-of-medium-wave-by-rose-zolock-rosezolock-rararesources

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Do No Harm by L.V. Hay
This was a toss-up between two books that have given me book hangovers..and I highly recommend both can I name the other one?! [Sorry Zoé, only three!].  Anyway, this book gave me such a hangover it chilled me to the core! I actually wanted to cancel my weekend plans just to keep reading this (I didn’t but it was close!) This book is just unbelievable so many red herrings and when you get to the end….well jaw stayed on the floor for a few days! OMG left my mouth quite a lot.
http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/bookreview-of-do-no-harm-by-lv-hay

Great choices, thanks Zoé.  I loved seeing the reactions to The Lion Tamer Who Lost, there was so much love!  Do No Harm is on the TBR and I’m really looking forward to reading it as I thoroughly enjoyed The Other Twin by L.V. Hay.

If Zoé has managed to tempt you with her recommendations, or if you would like to find out more, then please see the following links:

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech | Medium Wave by Rose Zolock | Do No Harm by L.V. Hay |

About Zoé:
Well, I am human and I go by the name of  Zoé (Zooloo being the nickname), a mother to a gorgeous little spitfire who is 4 years old and she definitely keeps me on my feet!

I am a wife to a soldier and have had to move around with him, but in his current posting we have found home surrounded by the White Cliffs of Dover and I have a cat which I am slightly obsessed with.

I could list the “normal” interests that everyone has like ‘listening to music’, ‘watching sports’, ‘watching TV and movies’ or ‘socialising with my friends’ but in truth, these are my interests outside of reading. I am OBSESSED with TV and movies, in another life, I would be a movie critic. I LOVE music, and I do love a good gig (I could bore you more!). I am an AVID sports watcher, football season ticket holder for Watford FC (promise they are real), and probably more boring watching the cricket. Finally, I do love socialising with my friends which is how my blog started…..I think they got bored with me talking about books…or generally talking!

Zoé’s Social Media Links:
Zooloo’s Book Diary | Twitter @zooloo2008 | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads |

#R3COMM3ND3D is full for this year so I’m sorry to say I’m not taking any more submissions.  Fret not though, #R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the guise of #R3COMM3ND3D2019.  But until then we have lots more book recommendations to come.  If your TBR ends up touching the ceiling then don’t say I didn’t warn you…

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Yvonne Bastian (@yvonnembee) #MeandMyBooks

It’s Sunday, it’s the 18th November and it’s another fabulous #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post!  I hope your Sunday is going well so far.  For those in the UK it won’t really have had a chance to get going yet as this post is scheduled for 7.30am and we’ll all hopefully still be in the land of nod (unless you have young children of course, then you will have been up for hours!).

I am delighted to welcome a fabulous blogger (another favourite!) to damppebbles today to share their #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks, Yvonne Bastian of Me and My Books.  If you haven’t checked out Yvonne’s blog then you must!  I always enjoy reading her reviews.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those who work in publishing to shout about three books they love.  There’s a catch though, the books must have been published this year in 2018.  That’s the only rule.  All three books must be 2018 titles.

Here are Yvonne’s choices…

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Sunset Over The Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas
This book definitely transported me. It took me to the rural setting of Spain as I followed the main character through her journey. This book had a fantastic story line, an atmospheric and picturesque setting, some great local details and I just fell in love with the characters, the story, the setting and the …well everything.
https://vonnibee.com/2018/08/28/sunset-over-the-cherry-orchard-by-jo-thomas-jo_thomas01-bookreview/

the craftsman

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
If there was a book that made me feel claustrophobic then this is it. Not only does it have a local history aspect that has been brilliantly woven into the story, it has the most wonderful descriptions that had me on the edge of my seat. The story is one that comes full circle as details are filled in about the characters. A spine tingler and skin crawling book that I loved.
https://vonnibee.com/2018/08/03/the-charftsman-by-sharon-bolton-bookreview/

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Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce
This was such a great book to read as I followed Emmy on her journey to become a Lady War Correspondent only to discover that the job was not quite what she expected. There were some great fun moments in this story set during World War II. I liked the way the author mixed the good and the bad to create a story that had me hooked as well as sniggering, crying and grinning as I turned the pages.
https://vonnibee.com/2018/04/01/bookreview-dear-mrs-bird-by-aj-pearce-ajpearcewrites-panmacmillan-netgalley/

Great choices, thanks Yvonne.  This is the second mention for the brilliant The Craftsman which is now joint first with Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon, The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven and Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh.  All four books have two votes each.  Will one of these titles be crowned the winner of #R3COMM3ND3D2018?  We’ll have to wait and see…

If Yvonne has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following links:

Sunset Over The Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas | The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton | Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce |

About Yvonne:
I’m Yvonne and I have a mountain of a problem…its called my TBR but thankfully I know I’m not alone. I live in Cornwall and I am a avid book reader, reviewer and Book Blogger. I love reading a whole range of different genres that cover a multitude of different subjects. I like a book that will transport me, that will show me new and interesting things, that will scare the pants off me, that will have me laughing and or crying, that will have me on the edge of my seat and inspire me, that will challenge my thoughts, that will leave me wanting to read more by the author. Choosing just three books is a hard thing to do, actually choosing three out of most things in life is hard, but only three books!! Yes I am a book reader and I love being a book reader 🙂 [Sorry Yvonne, you’re not the first to say so, lol]

Yvonne’s Social Media Links:
Me and My Books | Twitter @yvonnembee | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D for this year is full! There are still lots of wonderful book recommendations to come though, between now and the end of the year.  So make sure you pop back tomorrow for more bookish delights!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Robyn Reo (@sinfullywickedb) #SinfullyWickedBookReviews

Happy Saturday everyone. I hope your plans include lots of downtime, particularly if it’s curled up with a good book. Today I am delighted to welcome a new-to-me blogger to damppebbles, Robyn Reo of Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews. Having had a nosey around Robyn’s blog I’m definitely subscribing as it looks gorgeous!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those in publishing to shout about three books they loved. Any three books with no bias towards genre, author or publisher. The only catch is that all three choices must have been published in 2018.

Here are Robyn’s choices…

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The Lost Letters by Sarah Mitchell
It is such a beautiful and moving war time story.
https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.com/2018/08/03/blog-tour-and-review-the-lost-letters-by-sarah-mitchell-bookouture-sarahm_writer/

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A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt
It is a heartbreaking story filled with emotion.
https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.com/2018/06/16/a-mothers-goodbye-by-kate-hewitt-review-katehewitt1-bookouture/

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Father Figure by James J. Cudney
It is an extraordinary story that spans twenty years.
https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.com/2018/06/08/father-figure-by-james-j-cudney-blogtour-review-jamescudney4-shanannigans81/

Great choices, thanks Robyn. If Robyn has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following links:

| The Lost Letters by Sarah Mitchell | A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt | Father Figure by James J. Cudney |

About Robyn:
I am a self-confessed book junkie and hoarder of books. My love of reading began many, many years ago when I cracked open my first fiction book when I was still a young girl. Fast forward thirty plus years later, my addiction to reading has not changed. I love being immersed in a story/fantasy where I can fall in love with the characters of a book. My keeper shelf is overflowing with all of the great treasures I have found during my reading journey.

Robyn’s Social Media Links:
| Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews | Twitter @SinfullyWickedB | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is fully booked but make sure you pop back tomorrow when another fabulous bookish type will be sharing their recommended reads from 2018.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with Freelance Blogger, Reviewer and Commentator on Crime Fiction Ayo Onatade (@shotsblog) #ShotsmagConfidential

I am thrilled to welcome a widely respected freelance blogger, reviewer and commentator who has her finger on the pulse of all things crime fiction. The fabulous Ayo Onatade of Shotsmag Confidential joins me to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2018 reads. If you’re a crime fiction fan and you’re not already following the brilliant Shotsmag Confidential then I strongly suggest you do. It’s a treasure trove of bookish goodies.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for bookish folk to shout about three books they love. I’m not fussy about the author, the title or the publisher. It could be anything…providing it was published this year in 2018. Not as easy as it sounds (or so I have been told).

Here are Ayo’s choices…

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Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X #3)
The third book in the brilliant OrphanX series. Raw, visceral action writing layered with rare depth and emotion, that will keep you turning the pages. A fun thriller that with each book getting better and better.

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Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Modern noir written by one of the best chronicles of American life. A suspenseful, page turner that has you wishing for more. A very twisty satisfying read.

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The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly (A Charlie Parker Thriller #16)
A beautifully written but disturbing story with a supernatural element that does not take away from the brutality of the crime. Totally enthralling and unsettling but a brilliant read.

Thanks Ayo, all three of your choices have gone straight onto the wish list! All three sound excellent reads and I can’t wait to get my mitts on them all.

If Ayo has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following links:

| Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz | Sunburn by Laura Lippman | The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly |

About Ayo:
Ayo Onatade is a freelance crime fiction critic and blogger. She has written a number of articles on different aspects of crime fiction and has also given papers on the subject as well. She has an eclectic taste in crime fiction, which runs the gamut from historical crime fiction to hardboiled and short stories. Her research interests include historical fiction especially crime fiction and crime fiction literary criticism. She is also a visiting lecturer at Kingston University.

Ayo’s Social Media Links:
| Shotsmag Confidential | Twitter @Shotsblog | Facebook |

Normally at this point I would be encouraging you to sign up for #R3COMM3ND3D2018 but it’s full for the year, YAY! Lots more posts to come before the end of the year though – we’ll have book recommendations coming out of our ears and I can’t wait!

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Good Samaritans by Will Carver (@will_carver) @OrendaBooks #GoodSamaritans

GOOD SAMARITANS AW PR1.indd

“One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.

But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…

And someone is watching…

Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.”

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my stop on the Good Samaritans blog tour. Good Samaritans is written by Will Carver and was published by Orenda Books in paperback yesterday.

I’m pretty much a single genre reader. I don’t mind that, it’s my personal choice. I love crime fiction and I’m more than happy to spend my days immersing myself in some brilliant dark stories. But I find that, as time progresses, it takes a really unexpected twist or a different slant to grab my attention and keep it. I often find, whilst reading a book, that I can pretty much guess which direction the plot will go in. That’s why Good Samaritans was such a breath of fresh air. What a book! If the eye-catching cover doesn’t grab you (that gorgeous yellow and blue!), if the tagline doesn’t pique your interest; ‘One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach’. C’mon, you’re intrigued, right? Then let me assure you, the author’s words will certainly demand your attention 100%. The story Carver shares with us is something else, something fresh, something exciting and I loved it!

Shortly after starting this book I realised I had already become heavily invested in the characters’ lives. They’re all a little peculiar but that just made them more appealing to me. They’re human, they’re flawed, they are perfect. I couldn’t stop myself from reading. This was one of those ‘just another chapter’ books and when I was carrying out mundane ‘life stuff’, I was thinking about Seth, Hadley and Maeve. So involved was I in their lives that I had almost forgotten I was reading a suspense novel. That’s when the first shock twist hit. I remember the sharp intake of breath I took, the dizzying realisation of what was happening and the heart-stopping ‘nooooooooooo’ which rang through my mind. From that point on I could predict which direction the story was headed but oh my gosh, I loved it! It really didn’t matter one jot.

The plot is seamless, I was so absorbed in the story I didn’t feel as though I was reading a book (hopefully I’m not the only person this happens to, where you’re so involved you forget what you’re actually doing!). This is a book which will stay with me for a long time to come and I expect it will get a mention on my top 10 of the year. It was so exquisitely different, so utterly refreshing and so dark – I flipping loved it!

I will say one more thing before I sign off. I’m not a lover of sexy scenes in the books I read. Often they seem unnecessary, like the author wants to add an extra *shock* factor by including a few saucy bits here and there. Good Samaritans is quite naughty (it’s doing quite well in the ‘erotica’ section on Amazon as I type). However, I didn’t feel the author was trying to pad the story out, the scenes felt a necessary part of the story and to be honest, I wasn’t the slightest bit offended by them. Saying that, if sexual content is not your thing you may want to give this book a swerve.

Would I recommend this book? Oh yes! I love this book and I want you to read it and love it too. It’s brilliantly done and something quite special. A book which will stay with me. I loved all of the characters and their devious, dark little ways. Will Carver has become an author to watch out for in the future because if this is the quality of work he is producing then oh boy, I want more! Memorable, dark, highly readable and something completely different! Loved it. Want more. Now please….

Five out of five stars.

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

Good Samaritans by Will Carver was published in the UK by Orenda Books on 15th November 2018 and is available in paperback, 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): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |

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about-the-author3

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Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off.

He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.

He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Jen Lucas (@JenMedBkReviews) #JenMedsBookReviews

It’s the 15th of November which means we’re two weeks into #R3COMM3ND3D2018. How are we all coping? How many books have been added to your TBR? I’m trying to be strong……but failing miserably!

Today I am delighted to welcome another favourite book blogger to damppebbles, the fabulous Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews. This is another case of ‘if you’re not following Jen’s blog then we need to have words…’. Jen won’t blow her own trumpet so I’ll do it for her. If you want beautifully written, enthusiastic book reviews written by someone who puts their heart and soul into books, reading and promoting the authors she loves, then Jen’s your gal. A must-read blog for all book lovers.

So this #R3COMM3ND3D2018 lark, what’s that all about? #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is where I invite book bloggers, authors and publishers to recommend three must read titles. There are no rules (which is a blatant lie because there is a rule, one very important rule. All books must have been published in 2018).

Here are Jen’s choices…

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We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt
This book made me cry. Ugly cry. In fact it nearly killed me as I had a bad cold when I read it and could barely breathe for tears. A thoroughly moving story of a family beset by tragedy when the young son develops a terminal case of cancer. There are so many moments in this book which moved me to tears but one especially poignant scene when he is with his friends that nearly did for me.
https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/2018/02/02/blogtour-we-own-the-sky-by-luke-allnutt-lukeallnutt-trapezebooks/

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Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen
This book just made me chuckle from start to end. Very Fargo-esque in its styling, it is full of murder and comedy and the most unlikely setting for a beach resort you could ever imagine. I love Antti Tuomainen’s writing and this is another example of his incredible wit at work.
https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/2018/10/03/palm-beach-finland-antti-tuomainen/

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The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but the premise of this one intrigued me and given the pedigree of the authors, husband and wife writing team Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, I couldn’t resist. Set in Edinburgh in the mid 1800s this book engages the reader from the off. The story was compelling and the central characters of Raven and Sarah absolutely brilliant. The writing style and language was just so accessible and it just held my attention to the very last page. And the book is so pretty!
https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/2018/09/05/the-way-of-all-flesh-ambrose-parry/

Thanks for your brilliant choices, Jen. Both Palm Beach Finland and The Way of All Flesh are on the wish list. (I’d be adding We Own the Sky too if I read outside of the crime genre!)

If Jen has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she has chosen, please see the following links:

| We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt | Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen | The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry |

About Jen:
Forty something year old grump I’ve been blogging for two and a half years. Used to spend all of my time travelling around the country keeping drivers in check but now spending it all in front of a laptop, laughingly trying to write (failing miserably). Often to be found attending book events when not walking around Shropshire or cuddled up with my kitty, Luna, and a good book.

Jen’s Social Media Links:
| Jen Med’s Book Reviews | Twitter @JenMedBkReviews | Facebook | Instagram |

Normally at this point I would be inviting you to sign up for #R3COMM3ND3D2018 but it’s full. Actually full. All 57 spaces have been allocated so I’m afraid you’ve missed the bus. #R3COMM3ND3D will be returning next year in the form of #R3COMM3ND3D2019, YAY!! Keep your eyes peeled for the new form, coming soon….(although you may want to wait a while before filling it in 😉🤣)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Linda Hill (@Lindahill50Hill) #LindasBookBag

Welcome to damppebbles.com bookish friends.  I know, it’s Monday…ugh.  But I hope I can lift your mood and start the week off on the right foot with another cracking #R3COMM3ND3D2018.  I am delighted to welcome one of the loveliest people you could wish to meet to the blog today to share their #R3COMM3ND3D picks, the fabulous Linda Hill of Linda’s Book Bag.  Linda’s blog was one of the first I followed when I started blogging and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a blogger ‘do’ back in 2016.  She really is the loveliest person in the book blogging world, without a doubt.

What’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018, I hear you cry?  It’s an opportunity for those in the book world to share three titles they LOVE.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published after 1st January 2018.

Here are Linda’s choices…

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Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly
I have a horrible feeling this will be a book that goes totally unrecognised and it is the most remarkable book I’ve ever read.
https://lindasbookbag.com/2018/06/11/mary-ann-sate-imbecile-by-alice-jolly/

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You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac
I was so emotionally touched by this book that it will resonate with me for a very long time. I loved it.
https://lindasbookbag.com/2018/02/18/you-me-everything-by-catherine-isaac/

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Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
Joanna Cannon has the ability to see into her characters’ souls and make the reader see what’s there too.
https://lindasbookbag.com/2018/01/03/three-things-about-elsie-by-joanna-cannon/

Thanks for your choices, Linda.  The second appearance for Three Things About Elsie, will it be this year’s top pick? We’ll have to wait and see.

If Linda has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more information about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly | You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac | Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon |

About Linda:
I’m a very middle aged book lover who lives in the back of beyond in South Lincolnshire with my husband. I have terrible sight which meant I was a late reader so it feels as if I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since. I’m self-retired (I just decided to stop working but don’t quite get my pension yet) from education. I was an English teacher, local authority adviser, an educational consultant and OfSTED inspector. I’m an aspiring writer (and by that I mean fiction – I don’t count the 18 or 19 non-fiction books with my name on!) and have 26000 words written so far. Apart from books I love chocolate, my husband, travel, cats and gardening but not always in that order.

Linda’s Social Media Links:
Linda’s Book Bag | Twitter @Lindahill50Hill | Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or publisher and would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2018, please complete the following form: