#BookReview: Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley (@RebeccaJBradley) #DIHannahRobbins #FightingMonsters

fighting monsters cover.jpg“Twenty-four hours after he walked away from court a free man, cop killer and gang leader Simon Talbot is found murdered. In his possession; the name of a protected witness from his trial. 



For DI Hannah Robbins, it’s a race against time to find Talbot’s killer, and locate the bystander before it’s too late.



But as Hannah delves deeper into the past, she begins to question the integrity of the whole operation. 



Where do you turn when you can’t trust the police?”

Fighting Monsters is the third book in the DI Hannah Robbins series written by former police detective, Rebecca Bradley.  I have a confession to make, this is the first full novel from Bradley which I have read.  I thoroughly enjoyed her prequel novella published in 2016, Three Weeks Dead but haven’t managed to fit Shallow Waters (book 1) or Made to be Broken (book 2) into my reading schedule as yet.  Having recently finished Fighting Monsters I can assure you that that will indeed change in the near future, so look out for a review or two coming soon.

Change is afoot as the reader is introduced to new girl, Pasha, as she tries to desperately fit into a well-oiled and cohesive unit.  Not easy when the shoes she has to fill are those of a recently deceased colleague and well-valued member of the team.  Not helped by the arrival of a new DCI who doesn’t have the same work ethic as his predecessor.  When Hannah and her team are instructed to investigate the murder of gang boss and suspected cop killer, Simon Talbot, all personal issues are put to one side (or so they should be anyway).  With Simon’s grief-stricken brother at her heels, and with many of her colleagues firmly believing that whoever killed Simon Talbot did them all a favour, Robbins finds herself under a great deal of pressure.  Not wanting to face the fact that the investigation may take them to places they don’t want to go and, ultimately, the possibility of arresting a fellow police officer…

Bradley’s characters really stood out for me.  I enjoyed the working relationship between DI Robbins and her DS, Aaron.  I got the feeling there is a lot of history between these two characters and I particularly enjoyed the scenes they shared.  I was also interested in the relationship between Hannah and the new girl, Pasha, but this was a whole different dynamic.  I felt quite sorry for Pasha.  Trying to fit into a well-established team and despite trying your best, every time you open your mouth, reminding those around you exactly what they had lost.  I will be interested to see how (and if) Pasha makes her mark in future books.

There were a number of unexpected emotional moments during the story.  I really felt for Lee, one of the young PC’s seconded to the team, as we discover he looks after his elderly Nan who suffers from Alzheimer’s and, as a result, leads no life of his own.  The reader gets to know Lee and his story, but more importantly, I found Lee fast becoming one of my favourite characters in the book.  Other heartbreaking moments involve Simon Talbot’s neighbour and her young son.  There is one particular scene where I was perched precariously on the very edge of my seat!

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  I read it as a standalone and I think it works perfectly well without having read the first two books in the series (I am planning on reading and reviewing both soon, though!).  What you get from a Rebecca Bradley novel that you might not find elsewhere is realism.  Bradley previously worked as a detective so she knows what she’s talking about and as a fan of the police procedural, I love that.  Well worth checking out.

Four out of five stars.

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

Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley was published in the UK on Monday 19th February 2018 and is available in eBook format (please note, the following Amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

about the author3

rebecca bradley.jpgI live in Nottinghamshire with my family and two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep me company while I write. I need to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if I could, I would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.

After 16 years service, I was recently medically retired from the police service where I finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.

My first crime novel, Shallow Waters is set in Nottingham. The lead protagonist is DI Hannah Robbins. Because the novel is written in first-person narrative you get a pretty good feel for who she is.

 

I blog about my writing, policing, social media, occasionally the above disorders and anything else that springs to mind. It’s a loosely connected place inside my head and it’s possible anything could come out. I would genuinely love to see you around and to hear your thoughts.

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Author Image and Bio © http://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/about/
Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com

 

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Blink by K.L. Slater (@KimLSlater) @Bookouture

blink cover.jpg“What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister. “

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Blink blog tour.  Blink is the second psychological thriller from author K.L. Slater and was published on 16th February by Bookouture.  K.L. Slater is a new author to me so I was full of excitement and apprehension when I first started to read Blink.  To say I was blown away is a bit of an understatement really…

Recently widowed Toni and her young daughter, Evie are leaving their old life behind and moving to Nottingham.  Toni’s mum lives locally and feels her daughter and granddaughter both need a fresh start.  They have a house, Evie is offered a place at St Saviour’s primary school and Toni manages to find a small part time job in a local estate agents doing what she loves.  But Toni has a secret.  A secret which she believes only she knows about.  But others are watching and they’re watching closely enough to work it out for themselves.  Evie is in danger.  Toni’s secret has made her daughter the centre of someone else’s attention and it’s all Toni’s fault…

Outstandingly good!  This is the first book I’ve read in a while that I’ve really immersed myself in.  I went through so many emotions whilst reading which always makes a book a favourite read for me.  There were times I felt genuine sadness and empathy for Toni, and other times I despised her and wanted to give her a good shake!  The chapters are either set in the present day or three years ago and told from several different perspectives.  The chapters narrated by Evie broke my heart, pure and simple.  K.L. Slater manages to write the 5 year old voice so incredibly well that I was near to tears at times.  I should add that I have a 6 year daughter myself so I could easily picture her speaking in a similar way to Evie and having similar thoughts.

The tagline of this book is no understatement; a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist you’ll never forget.  It sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo and something you should take with a pinch of salt.  Let me tell you though, the tagline, it’s true.  There is a brilliantly crafted twist which makes this book go from a great read to a ‘fantastic, remember it for some time to come read’.  I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading and had to go back and re-read the section again.  It happens so subtly, so beautifully that you almost miss it…only to realise shortly afterwards what is going on.  Superb writing!

Would I recommend this book?  Of course I would.  It’s a completely mesmerising tale which I devoured from it’s shocking buzzing start to it’s explosive end.  I can’t wait to read more from K.L. Slater.  She’s definitely on my ‘authors to watch’ list now.  The characters make this story; from the repulsive TA, Miss Watson to Bryony, the overbearing, hateful boss to Toni, the barely coping, newly single mother.  All brilliant, all wonderfully written.  Blink gave me goosebumps.

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Blink.  My thanks to Bookouture and K.L. Slater for providing me with a copy.  The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Blink by K.L. Slater was published in the UK by Bookouture on 16th February 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | Bookouture |

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What readers are saying about Blink:

‘I was excited to start reading this one and once I started I couldn’t stop. I devoured it. Chomped away chapter by chapter until I have hoofed the whole damned lot and you know what? It left me hungry for more …An absolutely stonking 5 stars from me. Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘This is a novel that those who liked The Girl on The Train and Behind Closed Doors won’t want to miss’ My Little Book Corner

‘I finished this book in nearly one day. I was completely unable to put this book down. Everything about this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go.’ Bombshell Reads

Blink was just BRILLIANT’ It’s All About Books

‘A thrilling roller coaster of a read that will have you gripping on for dear life to see how it will all end’ By the Letter Book Reviews

‘The book had me from the very first sentence and kept hold of me until I finished it…. There are twists galore but on one occasion my jaw actually dropped open as I realised that all was not as it seemed. Fantastic writing, excellent characterisation that has left me salivating for book number three! Five stars.’ Angela Marsons

‘Five stars! This book had me hook line and sinker … this author’s mind is very very clever …’ Sue and her Books

‘WOW,What a corker of a book, gripping story, believable untrustworthy characters and not just one but two totally jaw dropping unexpected twists.’ Nicki’s Life of Crime

‘What a read …The ending took me completely by surprise! In most books, I end up guessing the ending, but this book was spectacular. The book had me gripped from word ‘go’. I couldn’t stop reading …a brilliant brilliant book’Any Excuse to Read

‘a fantastic psychological thriller and I was kept hooked throughout. Lots of twists and turns, an excellent pace and so much suspense and surprise, I didn’t quite know where the book was going at times …couldn’t be anything other than five stars!’ Donna’s Book Blog

‘With bucketfuls of suspense and intrigue Blink is guaranteed to keep the most hardened psychological thriller love on the edge of their seats. Five Stars. ‘ The Book Review Cafe

‘Pure genius!! Blink is everything a psychological thriller should be! K L Slater is in a class of her own …Just when you think you have it figured out, you are knocked out of the park! One of the most mind-bending twists ever, just simply stunning!’ What Rachel Read Next

‘The twist towards the end took me completely by surprise. I actually had to put the book down for a moment and stop before I could carry on. It really took my breath away. K. L. Slater pulled this off brilliantly!’ Hooked from Page One

‘K.L. Slater has done it again with her latest book, Blink. From a creepy beginning to the twisty end, this book keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Hang on for the ride’ Shelf Knowledge

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k l slater.jpgFor many years, psychological thriller author KL Slater sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

Author Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter |