#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Bone Field by Simon Kernick (@simonkernick) @arrowpublishing

51-vigayfol-_sx331_bo1204203200_“When the bones of a 21-year old woman who went missing without trace in Thailand in 1990, are discovered in the grounds of an old Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist.

Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, Henry Forbes, now a middle-aged university lecturer, comes forward with his lawyer and tells DI Ray Mason of the Met’s Homicide Command that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.

So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich, dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost.”

I am very excited, a little awestruck and incredibly pleased to welcome you to my stop on Simon Kernick’s The Bone Field blog tour.  And it’s my first blog post of the year, so a belated Happy New Year lovely booky people!  What a way to start 2017 huh?

Now I don’t think Simon Kernick needs much of an introduction as I (and many others) consider him to be a household name and one of the biggest names in UK-based thriller writing.  However, if you have never read a Simon Kernick novel before (…seriously? You’ve been missing out!) then all you need to know is that Simon has released a number of darn good, bestselling, high intensity thrillers over the years and continues to do so (I hope, for many years to come).  He leads the way for British crime thriller writers, leaving many in his wake.

The majority of Simon’s books are standalone thrillers chock full of action, adventure and heaps of excitement.  He has previously published a couple of three-part serial thrillers but this, The Bone Field, marks the start of a brand new series.  And what a series it’s going to be!  High energy, action packed reading that’ll keep your heart rate high and your attention glued to the pages.  Some books should come with a health warning and this is certainly one of them.  Edge of your seat stuff that I insist you read!

What I love about The Bone Field is that the author, as is customary in his previous books, has used fully developed, pre-existing, previously published characters but put them up against (or with, in this case!) a new ally.  The Bone Field features DI Ray Mason who is now working at part of the Met’s Homicide Command.  We have met DI Mason before when he featured in The Witness (published June 2016) but back then he was part of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.  DI Mason (who I love by the way, he’s nearly everything I look for in my detectives…just not quite grumpy enough!) contacts a PI by the name of Tina Boyd as part of the ongoing investigation.  There was something familiar about Tina to me.  A strange sense of recognition.  That was when I realised that she is the lead protagonist in Relentless (pub. 2006), Target (pub. 2009) and The Last 10 Seconds (pub. 2010), all of which I have read and very much enjoyed.  What a treat!  The simmering chemistry between Ray and Tina was quite addictive.  As I may have mentioned before, I’m not one for romance in my crime books but they really worked for me.

I loved the action which was well written and at a consistent pace throughout.  This novel was incredibly easy to read, I polished it off in two short days (that’s quick for me).  There is, unsurprisingly in a Simon Kernick novel, a number of violent scenes but regular readers of the blog will know that the more gore and violence in a book, the more it appeals to me. I would also like to mention the villain of this book who is by far one of the creepiest bad guys I have met in a novel for some time.  Expertly written much like the majority of characters within the pages of The Bone Field. I very much enjoyed the plot which I found twisty and unpredictable from start to finish.  And as for that last sentence….WOW!!

Would I recommend this book?  I would as it’s a high octane, well written thriller by an author who knows his characters inside out and round-side-round.  To be able to maintain such a high level of action and suspense is a real skill and Simon Kernick is a master of the thriller.  I can’t wait for the second book in this new series.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of The Bone Field.  Many thanks to Sam Deacon at Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy.  All of the above views are my own and are unbiased.

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick is published by Century | Penguin Random House on 12th January 2017 and is available in hardcover, eBook and audio formats (with the paperback to follow later this year) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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Smith & Sons (11)

253943Simon Kernick is one of Britain’s most exciting thriller writers. He talks both on and off the record to members of the Met’s Special Branch and the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, so he gets to hear first hand what actually happens in the dark and murky underbelly of UK crime.

Author Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter |

 

 

#BlogTour | #BookReview: What Remains of Me by A.L. Gaylin (@alisongaylin) @arrowpublishing

what-remains-of-me-cover“People don’t need to know you’re a murderer.
They just have to think you could be…

June 1980: 17-year-old Kelly Lund is jailed for killing Hollywood film director, John McFadden

Thirty years later, Kelly is a free woman. Yet speculation still swirls over what really happened that night.

And when her father-in law, and close friend of McFadden is found dead – shot through the head at point-blank range – there can only be one suspect.

But this time Kelly has some high-profile friends who believe she’s innocent of both crimes.

But is she?

I am absolutely delighted to be closing the fantastic What Remains of Me blog tour today and it’s publication day too!  A very happy book birthday to A.L. Gaylin and the folk at Arrow Publishing.  I have something very special to share with you to mark the occasion; a character profile of the main protagonist, Kelly Lund.  I don’t think I’ve hosted a character profile before and this one is going to be hard to top as I absolutely adored Kelly!  Over to A.L. Gaylin…

Character Profile; Kelly Lund

Kelly Michelle Lund

Age: 17 and 47

Occupation(s)
High school student;  “Creative Consultant,” Sarabelle.com

Shown in 1980 and 2010, Kelly Lund is the daughter of Rose and Jimmy Lund and the twin sister of the late Catherine Lund, who died at 15 of an apparent suicide. The defining event of her life is the 1980 murder of Hollywood director John McFadden, of which she is ultimately convicted, spending 25 years in prison for the crime.

Kelly Lund in 1980:

Still mourning the untimely death of her glamorous fraternal twin, whose broken body was found at the bottom of a canyon two years earlier, Kelly is a lonely high school outcast at 17. She lives in Hollywood with her divorced mother, Rose, a former B-movie makeup artist who now works behind the cosmetics counter at I Magnin — and who desperately tries to keep Kelly away from the fast crowd of movie star children  her doomed twin used to spend time with. Rose’s worst nightmares come true when Bellamy Marshall – daughter of movie legend Sterling Marshall – befriends Kelly, introducing her to John McFadden’s son, teen actor Vincent “Vee” Vales, as well as a world of glamour, drugs and danger.

Over the next few months, Kelly becomes immersed in this new world, while discovering the many dark secrets that lurk beneath its glittering surface. After a falling out with Rose, Kelly goes to live with her father, Jimmy, an injured stuntman who is addicted to alcohol and painkillers.  The many things Kelly learns during this time, and the changes she goes through because of them, result in the death of McFadden.

After she is convicted of the crime, Kelly makes the mistake of smiling, ever-so-slightly, outside the courtroom. Captured on film, the chilling expression is dubbed the Mona Lisa Death Smile in the press, and Kelly becomes a near-mythic villain, covered as a dead-eyed teen killer with a chilling smile.

Kelly Lund in 2010:

Five years after her release from prison, Kelly is living in the wilds of Joshua Tree desert with her husband, Shane Marshall. Shane is Bellamy’s younger brother. He was only 10 years old when John McFadden was murdered, but was the only member of his family to correspond with Kelly while she was in prison. They had a prison wedding, which was covered in the press. Shane is a photographer and Hollywood photo archivist, while Kelly writes fake profiles for a hook-up website for would-be adulterers. She maintains a close, secret relationship with a local eccentric – a chainsaw artist who goes by the name of Rocky Three.

Estranged from Bellamy, who has made a career as an artist based on a shockingly negative depiction of herself, Kelly witnesses yet another sea-change in her life when Sterling Marshall is killed, in a similar way to his dear friend John McFadden. A suspect once again, cryptic, closed-off Kelly is now forced to unravel the mystery of both murders as she learns the truth behind her relationships, myriad family secrets – and herself.

***

Smith & Sons (9)

There was something about this book that really got under my skin.  I was completely smitten with it; the flashbacks to 1980s Hollywood, experiencing the underbelly of the glitz and glamour, the manipulation and the deceit.  Which was all centred around hapless Kelly Lund, now one of my all time favourite fictional characters.

I love the idea of the good girl turned evil, but does Kelly Lund fall into that category?  I think that’s exactly why she’s so appealing to me.  You just don’t know! From the early chapters you start to ask yourself, did she do it?  There is definitely something ‘not quite right’ about her, but murder?  I spent the entire novel chopping and changing my opinion; yes she did, no she didn’t.  What a rollercoaster of a read!

I found Kelly’s friendship with Bellamy an uncomfortable read at times.  Kelly’s neediness was quite intense but I guess that’s the way many teenage girls are with their friends (maybe it reminded me of my own BFF when I was 17 and that’s what made me uncomfortable!).  Their relationship was very defined with Bellamy as the confident, self-assured leader and Kelly the follower, the wannabe.  Living in the shadow of her deceased, more glamorous twin sister.

Would I recommend this book?  I most certainly would.  I read this book in 24 hours which, for me, is very fast.  I was completely gripped and entranced by Kelly’s story and the detective within me became obsessed with figuring out whether Kelly committed one murder, two murders or none at all!  With great twists and turns along the way, a clever crime novel which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Four and a half stars out of five.

I chose to read and review an ARC of What Remains of Me.

What Remains of Me by A.L. Gaylin is published in the UK by Arrow Publishing on 1st December 2016 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Goodreads | Arrow Publishing (Penguin Random House) |

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Smith & Sons (11)

al-gaylinAlison Gaylin’s first job was as a reporter for a celebrity tabloid, which sparked a lifelong interest in writing about people committing despicable acts. More than a decade later, she wrote and published her Edgar-nominated first novel, HIDE YOUR EYES.

She’s since published eight more books, including the USA Today and international bestselling Brenna Spector suspense series, which has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony and Thriller awards and won the Shamus award.

She lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter, cat and dog.

Author Links:Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook |