A MESMERIZING BREAK-OUT CRIME THRILLER SET IN NORTHERN IRELAND FULL OF BREATH-TAKING TWISTS
Nic always hated clubbing.
She only went out that night because she’d promised a friend.
She wakes up, naked and bound in an abandoned cottage in the middle of nowhere. Dappled light comes in through a dirty window. Her body is covered in cuts. Across the room her friend groans in pain.
A shadow passes the window. He’s back.
He picks up a knife. He begins to cut her friend. In that moment of bloody frenzy, Nic wrenches free and runs.
She’s finally safe. But this is only just the beginning.
Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch arrive at the scene hours later. There is no body, there is no sign of the killer. It’s as if it never happened.
YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW IT ENDS? THINK AGAIN.
Fans of Lynda La Plante, Tana French, Patricia Gibney, Brian McGilloway and Helen H. Durrant will devour this electrifying crime thriller by one of Northern Ireland’s newest talents.
I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I love it when I pick up a book and am immediately pulled into the story, and Knife Edge certainly does that.
The story follows Nic, who escapes the clutches of a terrifying killer, but the nightmare for her is only just beginning as he can’t let go and is hell bent on torturing her.
Nic is a fantastic character. Even though she’s been through so much, she’s so strong and determined that I ended up admiring her a lot. Okay, there were moments where her determination made her actions more than a little foolish, but it just added to the entertainment of the novel.
Even though this is more of a psychological thriller, there is still a police presence in the form of detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch. They’re both tenacious characters, who work together well with some much needed banter to break up the tense storyline.
I can’t deny I was a little taken aback by the ending, but I can’t wait to see what Kerry Buchanan comes up with next!
Knife edge is a tension packed thrill ride of a novel that had me flying through those pages.
About The Author:
Kerry Buchanan has had numerous short stories published internationally, including some prize-winners, but her heart lies with novel-writing. Her crime series is set in Belfast and in the rolling County Down hills she sees from her window as she writes. She is often invited to perform her work at literary events or to be a member of panels at conventions, and she loves to help new writers by facilitating writing groups and classes in her local community.
Although Kerry is disabled, her hobbies include sailing and attempting to outwit the slugs in her vegetable patch. Generally, the slugs win.
Happy publication day to Carolyn Arnold for the second in the Detective Amanda Steele series Stolen Daughters! I’m going to sharing my review today but first a bit about the book:
Title: Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele 2) by Carolyn Arnold
Date Published: 6th April 2021
Genre: Police Procedural
The girl looked so peaceful, she could have been asleep. Except her eyes were open, blankly reflecting the flickering flames spreading towards her…
When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.
Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.
Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.
When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?
An unputdownable, pulse-pounding mystery. Fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni will be gripped.
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Stolen Daughters in exchange for an honest review.
So this is my first Carolyn Arnold book but the second in the Amanda Steele series, but it’s easily read as a standalone. I would probably recommend going back to the first and starting there, just to get a bit more history of the characters.
The story opens with a young woman being found dead in an abandoned house after a fire was started deliberately. She’s got no ID and they do not know who the young girl is. Amanda Steele is assigned to the case with her partner Trent. Dealing with the aftermath of her last case, she has a higher up officer gunning for her badge. As the body count rises, the case takes a personal turn. Can Amanda deal with it all and solve the case?
Stolen Daughters is an American police procedural that leans more towards the procedural aspects with a bit of psychology thrown in there for good measure.
I usually read British police procedurals, but it made a nice change to read one set in a small town in America. I enjoyed seeing the differences and similarities between policing methods, although one thing they certainly have in common is all police officers seem to run on caffeine and junk food!
I do so love to get inside the mind of a killer, and it intrigued me to see little peeks into this killer’s twisted mind throughout the book.
I struggled a bit to warm up to Amanda at first. She’s a good cop but seems to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. She was also a bit standoffish, refusing to cross the boundaries between professional and perhaps friendship with her partner Trent. In future books I’d love to see a bit more of Trent, I feel there’s a lot of potential with his character.
I felt the pace was a little slow to start off with but it builds nicely to an action paced ending that leaves it open for the next in the series.
Stolen Daughters is a realistic and gritty read with an ending that leaves you wanting more.
About The Author:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has nearly thirty published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.
Title: Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst
Translated by: Megan Turney
Date Published: 18th February 2021
Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion and the city is put on terrorist alert.
Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Semplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.
Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…
The second in the hard-boiled and furiously compelling Blix & Ramm series, created by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst, two of the biggest names in Nordic Noir.
I want to thank Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this tour and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
So I read the first in the Blix/Ramm series last year, Death Deserved, which was one of my top reads of 2020, so I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of Smoke Screen!
The story starts off with a bang, literally. Journalist Emma Ramm is on the scene at a bombing during the annual New Year’s eve festival. One of the victims is identified as Ruth-Kristine Smeplass, whose daughter Patricia disappeared as a baby years earlier. It’s up to Blix and Emma to find out if she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time or is there more to Ruth-Kristine’s daughter’s disappearance than they thought.
Smoke Screen is a brilliant mix of thriller and police procedural, with the short and concise chapters it’s easy to devour in a few sittings.
For me, the characters really make this novel. Everyone from our main characters Blix and Emma to the suspects are well thought out and believable. I also enjoy the contrast of the experienced police officer Blix with the young and tenacious Emma. They seem an unlikely pairing and at times butt heads, but it’s great to read.
The beginning of the book really grabbed me, but I felt there was a bit of a lull after the first few chapters, but the tense and nail biting end made up for it.
Smoke Screen is an entertaining and engaging read with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. I’m eagerly awaiting book three!
About The Authors:
Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. Death Deserved was Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller. They are currently working on the third book in the Blix & Ramm series.
Hello lovelies! Today as part of the re-publication celebrations, I’m re-sharing my review of Degrees of Darkness by Tony J Forder! It’s from way back in 2017 during my first year reviewing here on On The Shelf Reviews. It is also still one of my favourite novels by Tony Forder! Now a little about the book:
Title: Degrees of Darkness by Tony J Forder
Date Re-Published: 5th February 2021
Publisher: Spare Nib Books
Genre: Psychological Thriller
From the bestselling author of the addictive DI Bliss series and the compelling standalone novel, Fifteen Coffins, comes a dark, psychological journey into the nightmare world of a serial killer.
Nothing is ever entirely black or white.
Pre-teen girls are being abducted from their homes and their families murdered. When Frank Rogers, ex-DI with the Metropolitan Police, is told that his own daughter is missing, his son a victim, he sets aside his grief to help old colleagues investigate the case.
Soon Frank’s face is all over the news. And in an unexpected turn of events, the killer contacts the police to say he is willing to talk. But only to Frank.
When the body of the first abducted girl is discovered, Frank realises the investigation has become a race against time to save his daughter’s life.
In order to solve the case, Frank must work out how the killer is choosing his victims. To do that, he must first enter the killer’s mind. But is Frank able to drag himself into its darker reaches? And if so, will he be able to pull himself back?
First published by Bloodhound Books in 2017. Republished by Spare Nib Books February 2021.
Frank Rodgers used to be a policeman until he quit and became a debt collector. He is pulled back into police work when his ex-wife and son are brutally murdered and his daughter goes missing. But she is not the first. Frank wants to make sure she is the last.
I have not read a more aptly named book this year. Degrees of Darkness is indeed a very dark book. It covers a lot of distressing subjects like murder, kidnapping and child abuse. It’s not for the faint of heart!
The serial killer in this book is one of the creepiest and most disturbing I have read for a while but I found them utterly fascinating.
As for the story, it really builds to a nail biting ending, you hope and pray that Frank gets his daughter back.
My only complaint was that it featured taxidermy, which featured in a book I read earlier this year, and frankly is one of those subjects that makes me a little queasy. (I know I read a lot about murder, I don’t quite know why taxidermy effects me so much).
Overall, a well written and fascinating book, and one I’d recommend to fans of Chris Carter.
About The Author:
Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins,The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.
Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder, and Cold Winter Sun. These are currently unavailable, but will be back in 2021.
In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins, released in November 2020.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.
You thought your little girl was safe at summer camp. You were wrong…
The little girl drags her eyes open, realizing she’s starting to fade. She tries calling out—“Daddy?”—using all her remaining strength. But she’s too late and her voice just isn’t loud enough…
When Detective Madison Harper arrives at a remote summer camp in Shadow Falls, northern California, her heart breaks for Jenny, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake with her friends before she vanished. Peering into the silent cabins filled with rows of neatly made beds, Madison knows this idyllic place is hiding a terrible secret.
The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She’ll do whatever it takes to crack this case, because it’s the only way back to the son she lost to the care system years ago when she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit.
But with the camp staff keeping tight-lipped and her new partner on the edge of a breakdown, Madison can’t find any truth to her instinct that there is more to Jenny’s perfect parents than meets the eye. Until she discovers a disturbing family portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most?
One thing is certain, if Madison doesn’t find the answers soon, the lives of more innocent children will be at risk…
An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night! Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Shadow Falls in exchange for an honest review.
Madison is an ex cop, falsely convicted of murder. She seeks out Nate, a former priest and former inmate on death row, exonerated of killing his fiancee, to help clear her name. Little does she know that offering to help with his latest case, a girl gone missing from summer camp, will put her in danger.
Shadow Falls is the first in the Madison Harper/Nate Monroe PI series that is a delightful mix of police procedural and psychological thriller.
Madison is an intriguing character. She’s still recovering from her stay in prison and keeping a lot of secrets to herself, obviously not sure who to trust. Nate on the other hand is a very damaged character, clinging to his sanity in hopes of finding his fiancee’s actual killer.
This story contains the old missing child trope common to detective fiction, something I’m not usually a fan of being a mother myself, but the author really did a good job with such an emotional subject.
For me, the first half of the book didn’t quite grip me as much as I would have liked, but the shocking ending made up for that. Also, it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger exactly, but it leaves you with questions that will hopefully be answered in the next book.
Shadow Falls is a well-written detective story with plenty of shocks and surprises along the way.
About The Author:
Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 cats.
As well as her two crime series and the YA crime novel – The Girl Who Died – Wendy has several short stories published in UK and US anthologies. She has also been shortlisted and longlisted for various competitions, including the Mslexia Novel Competition.
In the week before Christmas, two people are brutally murdered in their homes. There is no sign of a struggle and both victims have had their throats slashed open. Detective Jason Smith is on holiday for the Christmas period, but he finds himself in the middle of the investigation before he knows it. There are no clues left at the murder scenes besides a bizarre series of numbers and letters left in random places – E6TOM. Smith and the team are baffled. What is the relevance of this ambiguous message? As the bodies start to pile up, and the tensions heat up within the team, Smith soon senses that someone in his team knows more about this than they’re letting on. Is there a rat in their midst? And if so, who is it? And, why is someone killing people without any obvious motive? In the most bizarre case of Smith’s career, will this be the murderer that finally beats him?
So I missed reading this book last year, and I thought I better catch up before I jump into the next in the series Australia which I’m on the blog tour for tomorrow!
I can’t quite believe this is book thirteen in the series! It can be read easily as a standalone, but I would recommend reading a few of the previous novels just to get to know the characters better.
Smith and his wife Whitton are meant to be enjoying a peaceful Christmas, that’s until bodies keep turning up with a strange message written in blood. To make matters worse, the killer leaves behind no trace and the victims are all seemingly unrelated to each other. Can Smith and his team figure out the motive and catch the killer?
I really enjoyed this story. It reminded me of some of my favourites from earlier in the series, like Harlequin or Venom. It has a fast pace, a dastardly murderer, and it kept me guessing throughout.
The ending and motive were a little unrealistic, but it didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the novel.
Motive is a quick, absorbing read that had me hooked from start to finish.
About The Author:
After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live.
In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later.
3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor: Cornwall series.
The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well.
I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results. I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.
After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor.
The Miranda trilogy is something totally different. A psychological thriller trilogy. It is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before.
The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 14 books including the introduction: Phobia.
Camden mortuary assistant Cassie Raven has pretty much seen it all. But this is the first time she’s come face to face with someone she knows on the slab. Someone she cared about. Her friend and mentor, Mrs E.
Deeply intuitive and convinced that she can pick up the last thoughts of the dead, Cassie senses that there must be more to the ruling of an accidental death. Is her grief making her see things that aren’t there, or is her intuition right, and there’s something more sinister to her friend’s death than the ME thinks? Harbouring an innate distrust of the police, Cassie sets out to investigate and deliver justice to the woman who saved her life.
For fans of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series and Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan, Cassie Raven is the edgy new forensic sleuth on the block.
I saw so many fantastic reviews for this book at the end of last year when I saw it was on loan through my library app, (because you know I don’t have enough books to review), I thought I had to read that!
Body Language is an unusual crime thriller with a paranormal twist. First, we have our sleuth Cassie Raven, who’s a mortuary assistant rather than the usual either pathologist or police officer. Then the author added a bit of the supernatural, in the form of the dead speaking to Cassie, which made it a unique and memorable read.
Cassie and Flyte are fantastic characters who on the surface you think are very different. Cassie is a little Gothic with tattoos, piercings and a habit of talking to the dead bodies she looks after. She’s also a bit of a free spirit, not letting anyone or anything hold her down. Flyte on the other hand has just moved to London and is finding it a little hard to fit in. She is very uptight and a little OCD. The pair together was the perfect foil for each other, and I really warmed to both characters (although it took me a little longer to warm to Flyte!).
There was a lot going on in this book, as we have mysteries but these were also wrapped up alongside Cassie and Flyte’s day to day which got a bit much to keep straight in my head but didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story overall.
I really hope this turns out to be a series and I look forward to reading more from these characters!
About The Author (taken from goodreads):
AKA Anya Lipska
A K Turner likes to create memorable characters, throw them into unusual settings, and add a hefty dose of murder and a twisty-turny plot. Her latest book, Body Language, introduces a new kind of forensic heroine – a crime-solving Goth-girl mortuary technician who talks to the dead, a character first launched in two crime shorts aired on BBC Radio 4. A K’s previous series, written under the pen name Anya Lipska, starred a London-based Polish fixer who’s happy to crack heads to solve crimes – which saw her being selected for Val McDermid’s prestigious New Blood Panel at Harrogate Crime Festival in 2012.
A K (aka Ali) lives in East London where she is writing more mortuary-set mysteries. Her day job is producing TV documentaries on true crime and science topics. And just for light relief she is training to be a City of London guide…
Read more about A K’s books over at www.anyalipska.com where you can sign up to her newsletter for news and giveaways.
Hello lovelies! Today on my blog, I have an exclusive excerpt from Ray Britain’s latest novel Forgotten Lives as part of the blog tour organised by Emma at Damppebbles Blog tours but first a little about the book:
Title: Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain
Date Published: 10th January 2021
Genre: Police Procedural
A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.
But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?
When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?
Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!
Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!
As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.
The rider’s eyes flinched warily as the door was opened by a woman. Behind her, a floodtide of music tumbled and cursed its way down the stairs to join battle with noise blaring from a half-open door at the far end of the hallway. The air around them pulsed under the throb of a penetrating bass beat.
Unable to hear the rider speak, the woman shook her head and walked to the foot of the stairs where she drew in a deep breath and hurled her words upwards, ‘’Wayne! Turn that bloody music down!’
The music continued.
She looked at the delivery rider, rolled her eyes and shouted harshly down the hallway. ‘Mickey! It’s a pizza delivery. You ordered pizzas?’
There was no answer, and no one appeared.
With a hissed obscenity she turned and left the helmeted rider standing at the door, two pizza cartons resting in the crook of an arm, as she walked barefoot along the hallway where she pushed open the door. A fresh blast of excited screams from a television show swept along the hallway and pushed past the rider, out into the street.
The rider glanced back down the driveway, concerned that the noise might draw the attention of neighbours or a passer-by.
An aggressive exchange of words was followed by the appearance of a broad-shouldered man in an open-neck shirt drawn tight over his muscled bulk. Around his neck hung a heavy gold chain, half-hidden amongst a mat of dark curly hair. He glared belligerently at the leather-clad figure in the porch, tossed an abusive remark at the woman and swaggered towards the door with the bow-shouldered gait of a body builder.
Mickey McBride stood in front of the delivery rider and stared hard into the flat, impenetrable eyes that gazed at him from behind the half-raised visor of the crash helmet.
‘Who are you?’ demanded McBride, aggressively. ‘I ain’t order no pizzas!’
Balancing the boxes on one arm, the rider held up a delivery note as explanation.
‘I only delivers them mate. Two pizzas for a Mickey McBride at this address, all paid for. That you?’
Behind McBride, the woman leant against the door frame, watching the television while glancing occasionally towards the front door until a roar of laughter drew her into the room and out of sight. Seemingly oblivious to the noise around him, McBride’s nostrils flared at the smell of hot cheese and spiced meats. He swallowed instinctively as his eyes slid greedily to the boxes.
‘Paid for, you say?’ he demanded, and looked back at the eyes above the neckerchief.
The rider nodded, tucked the delivery slip into a pocket of the leather jacket and held the boxes out for McBride to take.
McBride gave a sly grin. ‘Well, seems a shame to let ‘em go to waste,’ and put out his hands to receive the boxes. As he did so his eyes narrowed suspiciously, and he peered over the motor-cyclist’s shoulder.
‘Ain’t you a bit old to be delivering pizzas? Where’s your bike?’
The rider let the boxes tilt forwards. Instinctively, McBride grabbed for his falling prize with both hands.
He barely saw the rider’s right hand strike upwards. Barely registered the blow to his ribs as thin, cold steel parted flesh and muscle to pierce his heart, where it was deftly twisted, then withdrawn with a soft, sucking noise.
McBride did feel an explosion of pain fill his chest. The immediate, overwhelming loss of control. Still clutching the boxes, he gulped fish-like for air that would not come and fell to his knees. The rider bent forward and spoke into the dying man’s ear.
Bewildered, McBride looked up into the blue eyes studying him with a cold detachment. A faint glimmer of recognition flickered briefly in McBride’s eyes but was extinguished as his ruined heart emptied, and he pitched forward across the threshold of his home.
The helmeted figure stepped aside and stared down the hall, the knife ready. The woman was still out of sight. Another swell of noise washed down the hallway and over the prone body, smothering the soft snap of a blade being returned to its concealed sheath.
The rider pulled down the visor, turned, and walked away. Nearby, a motorcycle was started quietly and slowly ridden away.
A woman’s scream tore the air.
If that has piqued your interest, you can buy your copy here:
Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.
As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role – responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.
Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.
Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.
When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..
Five days in the history of a small rural town, visited and infected by darkness, are recounted by Evil itself. A stunning high-concept thriller from the bestselling author of Good Samaritans and Nothing Important Happened Today.
It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.
Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.
Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.
Because something was coming.
Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.
Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.
Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone.
Evil had a plan.
I want to thank the The Book Club Reviewer group and Orenda books for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So I read Nothing Important Happened Today back in March and I was absolutely blown away by Will Carver’s writing so I was very excited when I got my copy of Hinton Hollow Death Trip.
What I didn’t realise while reading the previous book and this one, it’s actually part of a series but it’s easily read as a standalone.
Hinton Hollow Death Trip is, well, a head trip a half! I mean I can’t think of another novel that’s narrated by evil itself.
The story follows Detective Sergeant Pace as he heads back to his hometown of Hinton Hollow, a small village of just over five thousand people. The story is set over just five days and my goodness what a terrifying ride it was!
Beware before you going into this book, much like the previous book it’s dark and could prove upsetting as there’s some sensitive subjects like suicide, child deaths and animal creulty covered.
I have to be honest I didn’t find the style of this book a little choppy at times. Plus there were a couple of more minor storylines that I found a little distracting from the main story but of course that’s just my opinion.
Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an original yet shocking read, perfect if you like your thrillers on the darker side.
About The Author:
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. 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.
It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?
And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.
And nothing will ever be the same again…
Ever since I picked up the Puppet Master a few years back this series has always been a must read for me and the third is no different.
Fingers are being displayed around Cumbria at Christmas, so Poe and Tilly are brought in to investigate. What seems to be a serial killer case takes an stranger turn when they discover a sinister figure, The Curator, is involved. Will they be able to find him before more people die?
The Curator is what I’ve come to expect with this series, a complex mystery, coupled with a few gruesome scenes and nail biting moments.
For me what makes the series a standout is Poe and Tilly. Their relationship is sweet, they’re very loyal to each other and always look out for one another, which makes the perfect contrast to the gruesome/upsetting murder cases they investigate.
Truthfully, it kind of lost my attention a bit in the middle but the tense and emotional ending really made up for it.
The Curator is a good addition to this great series, I’m looking forward to Tilly and Poe’s next adventure!
About The Author:
M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .
M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.