#BookReview Found Her by N.J. Mackay @NikiMackayBooks @orionbooks

Title: Found Her by NJ Mackay

Publisher: Orion

Date Published: 10th February 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Belle Moriarty was there one moment and gone the next. Her older sister Eve was walking her home from school when she disappeared, ten years ago.

Eve has never recovered from the guilt of turning her back.

But then she receives a phone call that changes everything. Belle has been found – alive.

But who took her? Why did they keep her alive all these years? And now that Belle has escaped, will they try to silence her for good?

With Belle in a coma and Eve receiving increasingly terrifying threats, she must discover the kidnapper’s identity before they return to finish what they started…

Review:

I received an arc copy of Found Her from Orion via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first novel by NJ Mackay and after reading Found Her it won’t be my last!

Goodness me where do I start? Found Her had me utterly gripped from the very first chapter. I have to say it’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read for a while, perfectly paced and tension packed.

Eve is a complicated character, not all that likeable but very compelling to read. She’s been punishing herself for ten years after the disappearance of her little sister Belle, unable to sustain relationships apart from those stubborn enough to ignore her prickly exterior. She’s been on an even keel but that all goes out the window when her little sister is found alive but in critical condition. That’s when the story really comes into its own, as Eve’s paranoia gets worse until she’s almost at breaking point and all of her old unhealthy behaviours surface again.

I would have liked the ending to have been a little stronger but of course that’s just a minor thing.

Found Her is a genuine page turner and a must for anyone who loves a good thriller.

About The Author:

Niki Mackay studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School, and it turned out she wasn’t very good at acting but quite liked writing scripts. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama, and won a full scholarship for her MA in Journalism.

The Alibi Girl by C.J. Skuse @HQStories #Extract #BlogTour

Today I’m bringing you an extract from CJ Skuse’s latest thriller The Abili Girl but first a little about the book:

Title: The Alibi Girl by C.J. Skuse

Publication Date: 6th February 2020

Publisher: HQ

Genre: Thriller 

Description:

Joanne Haynes has a secret: that is not her real name.

And there’s more. Her flat’s not hers. Her cats aren’t hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.

Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels ever so sorry. They’re all just alibis.

In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.

But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out….

Extract:

1

Ellis

Monday, 21st October

I can’t read this Hello! magazine again. There’s only so many times I can admire Brooklyn Beckham’s left armpit. It’s not as though there’s anything else to read either. There’s a Vogue with dried snot on the contents page. And Charlize Theron is on the cover of Cosmo so I can’t even touch that one. I’ve been afraid of her since Snow White. Keep thinking she’ll come out of the page and bite me.  

So, in the absence of reading material, I’m squinting at a cockroach scuttling across the floor with a clump of shorn hair on its back like some tiny game show host. My own hair sits lankly around my ears – it can’t wait another day. I’ll give it another five minutes before I go back to the flat and dye it myself over the bath with a kit.

And now the baby’s grizzling. I’ve tried sticking my knuckle in her mouth but she’s hungry. I’m not feeding her here. How can you talk to a perfect stranger quite politely one moment and then flop your boob out the next? How do women do that? And what is the stranger supposed to do? Not look at it? A boob is my third most private part after my feet and my noo-noo. I’d look. Not for long, but I would look.

After fifteen-and-a-half full minutes, a short Roseanne Barr-ish woman scuffs through the beaded curtain. She has Hobbit feet wedged into mint-green flip flops and tattoos up and down both forearms – Tom Hiddlething as Loki all up her right, Chris HemWhatNot as Thor all up her left.

‘Hiya I’m Steffie. Is it Mary?’ Her eyes don’t smile.

‘Yes. Mary Brokenshire.’

Steffi’s in a washed-out Gryffindor t-shirt and her hair is spare rib coloured, parted and shaved severely up the side. 

 ‘If you’d like to come this way …’

Steffi leads me through the beads, across the glittery black floor tiles and through a grubby woodchip archway towards the sinks but not quite at them. We swerve over to a side chair with a mirror in front of it and she sits me down and places her hot hands on my shoulders. She gives me an unnecessary chat about what I want done even though she already knows because I came in last week for a patch test and we went through it all then.

‘Right, black it is then. Have you been offered a tea or coffee?’

‘No.’ I don’t like tea or coffee. I’d prefer a juice but they don’t have juice, only some value squash which I only have to look at to feel my teeth rotting at the roots. Even I know asking for a milk would be too childish in this environment so, for appearances sake, I say ‘I’d love a tea, thanks.’

Steffi disappears and returns with a cape but no tea. She waits for me to take Emily out of the papoose and transfer her to the pushchair, hoping to catch a glimpse. I get it: people love babies. I tuck her into the buggy and drape a muslin over the opening. I don’t like people looking at her, or me, for too long. Just in case.

Steffi sweeps the cape around my body, rendering everything but my head invisible. I used to like wearing a cape. Or an oversized bath towel. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of getting out of a hot bath, wrapping the big bath towel around you and pretending to fly up the corridor with the towel flapping along behind. Me and my cousin Foy used to do that all the time after our baths. Or was it only once?

‘How are you coping with the little one?’ Steffi asks.

‘Fine thanks. She’s our fifth so we’re used to being tired all the time, you know what it’s like I’m sure!’

‘Oh yeah,’ she says, face brightening. ‘We’ve got four and it’s chaos. We love it though. Love the chaos!’ We share the laugh only parents can share as she begins pasting on my colour. ‘Have you got anything planned for the rest of the day?’ I get the impression she’s asked this question 11,000 times. There’s no inflection. No real note of interest. I still answer.

‘Not really. A bit of shopping. Pick the kids up. I’m still on maternity leave from my practice so it’s nice not to have such a rigid timetable.’

‘What sort of practice?’

‘I’m a doctor. A GP.’

‘Oh right. Where are they all today then? At a friend’s house?’

I’m momentarily confused. ‘My children? They’re all at school.’

‘They not on half term?’

‘They’re all at private school,’ I say. ‘Their half term was last week.’

‘Oh,’ she says, with more than a hint of lemon juice about it. ‘You’ve got four of them at private school?’

 ‘Yeah,’ I tell her proudly, rocking the buggy. ‘Apples of their daddy’s eye. We’re stopping at five though. I’m having my tubes tied in January, I’ve told him already. He’d have a football team, given half the chance.’

‘Yeah, I think mine would!’

‘It’s our anniversary today so my mum and dad are going to have the kids tonight so we can go out for a meal.’

‘Ooh, where are you going? Anywhere nice?’

What a stupid question that is. No, we’re off to a complete dive with a one star hygiene rating and a chef who wipes his bum on the lettuce. ‘The China Garden. The one with the gold dragon hanging from the ceiling? His treat.’

‘What does he do then, your bloke?’

I ignite when she says ‘Your bloke.’ It’s lovely to have a bloke who belongs to me. ‘He’s a personal trainer.’

‘Nice. I wish my old man would take me out. Do you know I don’t think we’ve had a night out since our Livvy was born. And she’s starting Reception next month.’

‘Oh really?’

‘Yeah. We can’t afford it anyway. Rich’s been laid off from the airport.’

‘Oh right,’ I say, with the hint of gloom she seems to expect. ‘What did he —’

‘—baggage handler at John Lennon. Twenty years he gave them. Went in on his days off when they were striking and everything. And he caught a terrorist.’

‘Oh gosh.’ Cockroach Game Show Host scuttles back along the skirting board. I pretend to have a coughing fit and Steffi asks if I’d like some water, which is when she’s reminded about the tea she hasn’t made me yet and scurries off to see “where it’s got to” like tea has a mind of its own.

I’m finally brought my tea and two Custard Creams – one with a corner snapped off. I remove the top of one biscuit and scrape out the cream with my bottom teeth. I put the two sides back together and munch it until it makes a neat circle of spitty biscuit between my thumbs, then I put it in my mouth til it dissolves. I don’t realise until I swallow that Steffi has been watching me. My cheeks flame as red as my roots.

But then, my phone pings in my handbag and I riffle around to find it. ‘Probably Daddy, checking in on his girls.’

‘Ahhh,’ says Steffi, all misty-eyed.

It isn’t Daddy. It’s an email from eBay, letting me know about their half term sale on personalised school stationery.

‘Was it him?’ says Steffi, combing my colour through.

‘Yeah. He’s asking if I want anything brought in. Bless him.’

‘He sounds like a keeper.’ I hold up my iPhone screen to show her his photo. She takes it off me and squints. ‘Blimey, he’s gorgeous.’

I know what she’s thinking – that a woman like me couldn’t have possibly ‘got’ a guy like him. ‘I’m very lucky.’ She returns me the phone and I put him away safely in my bag. ‘We were childhood sweethearts.’

‘You started early then. I thought you looked young to have five kids.’

‘I had the first one at fourteen.’

‘Blimey.’

‘Then the twins, then Harry. Wasn’t easy with the medical degree, but we managed. Then this little surprise came along.’

‘I met my Rich on a hen weekend.’

I hadn’t asked and it’s not interesting to me but I pretend it’s the most interesting thing because for some reason I’m happy in her company. Two married mums together. ‘I love a good knees up.’

‘Yeah it did get a bit rowdy,’ she laughs. ‘He did karaoke to Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady and pointed at me when he was singing. I knew then he was The One.’

I smile at the mirror. ‘The One. It’s a nice feeling, isn’t it?’

‘Oh don’t get me wrong, we have our moments. He woke up yesterday with a cold, right? And his breathing has become all like that Darth Wossit. And I said to him “Rich I swear to God, if you breathe like that anymore, I’m gonna ram your head in the bacon slicer.” He was winding me up that much.’

I don’t get that. Why stay with a person whose breathing makes you want to commit actual murder on their head? So I ask her.

‘So you don’t love him anymore?’

‘Oh course I do,’ she laughs, ‘I were only joking. Just wish he worked on an oil rig or summut so he’d leave the bloody house once in a while, you know?’

I don’t get that either but, before I can ask, she hands me the same magazine I read six times in the waiting room and I’m treated to another glimpse of hairy Brooklyn and interviews with Liam Payne’s mother and the Britain’s Got Talent failure who’s had twenty facelifts and still hates himself. 

AlibiGirl_BTB

About The Author:

C.J. SKUSE is the author of SweetPea, In Bloom, Pretty Bad Things, Rockaholic, Deadc j skuse Romantic, Monster and Deviants. She was born in Weston-super-Mare. She has first-class degrees in creative writing and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance fiction consultant and lectures at Bath Spa University. CJ Skuse’s Rhiannon Lewis series (SWEETPEA and IN BLOOM) has sold over 20,000 copies in PB and been optioned for television by See-Saw, the company behind the Oscar nominated film Lion. 

#BookReview The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd @samlloydwrites @TransworldBooks @ThomasssHill #TheMemoryWood

Title: The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Publisher: Transworld

Publication Date: 20th February

Genre: Thriller

Description:

The must-read novel of 2020. Chilling, moving and unputdownable, The Memory Wood is a thriller like no other.

*************

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . 

Review:

I want thank Thomas Hill at Transworld books for sending me an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

And the award for first book hangover of the year goes to…you guessed it The Memory Wood.

What can I say about this book??? It was such an atmospheric read, with the right blend of creepiness and intrigue that gave it an almost fairytale like quality. In fact when I started reading it, I felt like I’d fallen into some sort of dark twisty fairy story.

The story is told from three different perspectives, Elijah, Elissa and Mairead, each one of them giving a different dimension to the story. Elijah is a troubled twelve year old boy who’s hiding a terrible secret. Elissa is a smart, mature (sometimes she seems a little too mature), thirteen year old. Mairead is the detective in charge of investigating Elissa’s disappearance but has a lot of personal problems that threat to interfere with the case.

I can’t say too much more in case of spoilers but I will say it was a fabulously twisty read.

The only real issue I had was I felt there were a couple of inconsistencies or things that were just kind of smoothed over, which slightly bugged me. 

The Memory Wood is a definite must read for anyone who loves a psychological thriller. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

About The Author:

Sam Lloyd grew up in Hampshire, making up stories and building secret hideaways in his local woods. These days he lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and a dog that likes to howl. He enjoys craft beer, strong coffee and (rarely) a little silence. The Memory Wood is his debut thriller.

#BlogTour #Review A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #ADarkMatter #Edinburgh #TheSkelfs

Title: A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone

Date Published: 23rd January 2020

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series.

The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it ’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was.

Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

A Dark Matter BT Poster

Review:

I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this epic blog tour and Orenda books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, A Dark Matter was a complex, dark and utterly fantastic!

There is so much crammed into the just over three hundred pages of this novel, it’s difficult to know where to start, there’s just never a dull moment!

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write; funeral directing private investigators are what crime fiction has been missing. Genuinely I don’t think I’ve come across this concept before, especially as all the main characters are all women, and I’ve read a lot of crime fiction over the years.

There are several mysteries run side by side through the novel, each one of them intriguing in their own right. After her husband Jim’s death, Dorothy finds that he’s been sending money every month to a mystery woman. An elderly man thinks his carer is stealing from him so he wants cameras set up to spy on her. Jenny gets involved in an adultery case that seems to be more complicated than she first thought. Jenny’s roommate Mel goes missing but it doesn’t get taken seriously by the police so she decides to investigate herself. 

The family dynamic really makes a dark matter. We follow three generations of the Skelf family, seventy year old Dorothy, forty five year old Jenny and Hannah who is in her twenties. Each one of these characters, at times are not all that likeable but they felt really and flawed.

A Dark Matter is an original, dark and gripping read, I can’t wait to see if there’s a second book. 

About The Author:

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018),

which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. 

He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years.

Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. 

He lives in Edinburgh.

#BlogTour Q&A Sixty Minutes by Tony Salter @rararesources @TonyOxford #AuthorInterview

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fabulous Q&A with author Tony Salter, plus a giveaway to win a copy of Sixty Minutes (see bottom of the post) but first a little about the book:

Sixty Minutes - Kindle Cover

Title: Sixty Minutes by Tony Salter

Date Published: 29th October 2019

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Five different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.

Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.

Who are the heroes and who are the villains?

Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sixty-Minutes-nail-biting-race-against-ebook/dp/B07WNRLHGR/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Sixty-Minutes-nail-biting-race-against-ebook/dp/B07WNRLHGR/

Q&A with Tony Salter

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? 

Sixty Minutes is my fourth novel and is somewhat different from my others although it is still very much a thriller. Without giving too much away, I am quite limited, but the novel explores the actions of five very-different characters over a one-hour period. The reasons for each character to be present  (and any connections between them) appear as the story progresses. 

We learn to know and understand all of the characters, although they are not all totally likeable. We see different sides to them, some of which are hopefully unexpected.

The core plot which drives the tension over the sixty minute period is reasonably obvious early on, but the way it plays out remains uncertain until the end. I wasn’t sure how it would finish myself until I reached the final chapters.

It is not trying to be a deep philosophical book, but it does touch onto some some sensitive themes and will hopefully make readers think a little once they’ve finished.

Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

I imagined the final scene (I can’t remember exactly why) and wrote it as a short story. I then realised that there was much too much room for cliché and stereotype in the short story format and decided to try to address the issues in detail and head on. I am aware that I am setting myself up for accusations of cultural appropriation, but don’t believe it is right to restrict an author’s imagination in that way. I don’t mind if a reader feels my characters aren’t real or even if they think the plot is dull and boring (actually I do mind – a lot), but do believe that an author should have the right to create characters who have very different backgrounds and experiences to the author’s own.

If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be? 

A tight tense literary thriller which will keep you gripped until the final page.

What is a typical writing day like for you? 

I would normally write at a standing desk for four to five hours after breakfast. I set myself a target of 1500 words, but am happy to stop at 1200 or so, if I’m not feeling focused or if I have  other plans. I might sometimes do an hour or two in the afternoon but not as a rule. I do my basic research and check emails as I go. (thereby breaking the author’s golden rule of not being connected to the internet while writing)

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why? 

Just now, Wake by Anna Hope

Who are your favourite authors? 

Kate Atkinson, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Salman Rushdie … an impossible question!

Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job? 

I consider writing to be my full-time job now, but am also Chairman of a travel technology company which gives me the luxury of being able to write when I want to.

Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!) 

When I was almost eighteen, I hitched down to the South of France from the UK with a friend. We slept on the beach in Cassis and woke up to find that everything we had  was gone. Passports, money, clothes – the lot. It made for an interesting holiday!


What are you currently working on? 

I am working on a new thriller which features one of the characters from Sixty Minutes, Nadia. This will be released in 2020

I am also working in the background on a historical  novel based on my grandmother’s diary which describes her journey from Brighton to Harbin in Manchuria in 1915 (via Newcastle, Norway Sweden, Petrograd and the Transsiberian Express). The book will also cover the six years she spent in Harbin, where she married my grandfather and gave birth to (and lost) her first son. This will probably take a couple of years to complete.

Sixty Minutes Full Tour Banner

About The Author:

Tony’s latest thriller, Sixty Minutes, was released on 29th August 2019. Tony is the author of bestselling psychological thriller, Best Eaten Cold. He writes pacy contemporary thrillers which explore different themes, but all share Tony’s thought-provoking plots and richly-painted characters. Sixty Minutes is his fourth novel. His second novel, The Old Orchard – a gripping family thriller – was published on the 7th of November 2017 and the sequel to Best Eaten Cold, – Cold Intent – was published in November 2018. Highlights of his early career include (in no particular order) three years as an oilfield engineer in the Egyptian desert, twelve years managing record companies for EMI Music in Greece, India and across Eastern Europe, running a caravan site in the South of France and being chauffeur to the French Consul in Sydney. Having survived the Dotcom boom, he went on to be a founder of the world’s largest website for expatriates, a major music publisher and a successful hotel technology business. In amongst this, Tony found the time to backpack around the world twice (once in his twenties and once in his fifties), learn six languages (including Norwegian and Greek) and to find a beautiful Norwegian wife. He now lives in Oxfordshire and writes full-time. He has recently turned sixty and is married with three children and five grandchildren. You can find out more about Tony at www.tonysalter.com 

Social Media Links 

https://twitter.com/TonyOxford 

https://www.facebook.com/tonysalterauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/tonysalter2017/

Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of Sixty Minutes (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494327/?

#BookSpotlight Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2) by Barbara Elle @barbaraelleauth @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Thriller #Books #promo #Giveaway #excerpt

Congratulations to author, Barbara Elle, on the release of her exciting thriller, Death in Smoke! I have an exclusive excerpt, plus your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift card but first a bit about the book:

Death in Smoke Cover

Title: Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2) by Barbara Elle

Publication Date: 5th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off Cape Cod.

A cold case in Kansas.

What’s the connection between two unrelated murders over a thousand miles away and decades apart?

In Death In Smoke, the thrilling sequel to Death In Vermilion, artist Leila Goodfriend unravels the truth about two brutal killings.

From Cuttyhunk Island to a Native American casino in Kansas, Leila tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a faded past.

Once again, Leila has to trust her instincts, which puts her at odds with Detective John Grace—a relationship of attraction that, in the end, reveals a tragic secret from her own past.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across clashing cultures and time, challenging assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49906431-death-in-smoke

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y7PT1B6

Excerpt: 

Her fingers bled as she dug, the blood spread like a stain, but she couldn’t know now whether it was her blood, or the blood seeping up from beneath the surface.

She knew what she’d find now. There was no urgency. Not anymore. Not with this spreading stain. She slowed down. She brushed aside the snow carefully, like an archaeologist at a dig; she had to see the eyes. The eyes would tell whether there was life, or death. It was silent, except for the pounding of blood in her ears.

The blood, coagulated into a fibrous mesh-like flesh, was more like a birth than a death. It was a woman. The crown of the skull had been split, maybe cracked along a fissure? The features were contorted. Had there been time to beg, no, no, don’t? Had there been time to scream? 

She brushed the bloody flecks away. Horrified. There was no question now. The eyes were open. The woman was dead. 

It was a queer, horrible irony that suddenly struck Leila: she had found another dead body. Iris. Now, there was this poor woman. This was supposed to be a walk in the woods.

Although the violence of death had distorted the features of its victim, there was something familiar in the angular chin, the cheekbones, and the mannish set of the jaw. It was a face she never expected to see again. 

Damn. It was Susie.

Giveaway: Win a $25 Amazon gift card:

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f129/?

About the Author:

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), barbaraelleacclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, the musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbaraelleauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17931175.Barbara_Elle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbaraelleauth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/barbaraelleauthor/

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 7th

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 8th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

January 9th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 10th

Ally’s Reading Corner (Spotlight) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organised By:

R&R Book Tours

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Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#BookReview The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_Writes

Title: The Secret Child (DI Amy Winter 2) by Caroline Mitchell

Date Published: 7th March 2019

Genre: Police Procedural 

Description:

DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years . . .

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?

Review:

This is my last review of 2019 and the decade!

Four year old Ellen Curtis is kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night. Her mother Nicole receives a parcel with four vials. One contains poison, the others are harmless, to get her daughter back all she has to do is pick one.

DI Amy Winter gets assigned to the case but feel like she’s getting blocked at every turn. A second child goes missing and they’re still no closer to finding the elusive kidnapper when suddenly, she finds herself as front page news, her history and serial killer mother displayed for all to see. Can Amy put her feelings aside and find the kidnapper?

The Secret Child is a fast paced, tension packed mystery that once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down again. 

So this book is the second in the series, I would highly recommend that you read the first just so you don’t miss out on any of the story and it happens to be a really good book too.

I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game that the kidnapper plays with Amy and her team through the novel, it really kept me on my toes. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that really keeps up the tension throughout like The Secret Child did.

I still love the character of Amy too. We get to see more of how the bombshell of being the daughter of serial killers affects her self esteem and how she’s trying to balance it within herself, really adding to the realism of the character.  

I have to be honest, I think it suffered slightly from second book syndrome, not quite living up to the first story wise. I also did sort of figure out how the ending would play out a little earlier than I would have liked but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

The Secret Child is an addictive police procedural that left me eagerly awaiting the next in the series. 

About The Author:

New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post and International #1 Bestselling Author.caroline mitchell Shortlisted by the International Thriller Awards for best ebook 2017 and the Killer Nashville Best Police Procedural 2018. Over a million books sold.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, she has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.

Caroline writes psychological and crime thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached No.1 in the Amazon charts in the UK, USA and Australia and was the winner of the Reader’s Favourite Awards in the psychological thriller category. It has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’.

Set in Notting Hill, London, her new DI Amy Winter thriller series, Truth and Lies and The Secret Child are published by Thomas & Mercer.

You can follow Caroline on Twitter at @Caroline_Writes and http://www.Facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor or http://www.caroline-writes.com

Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

#PublicationDay #BookReview The Six by Luca Veste @LucaVeste @simonschusterUK @simonschusterPR

Title: The Six by Luca Veste

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Date Published: 26th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

The brilliant new novel from the author of the highly acclaimed The Bone Keeper.

Six friends trapped by one dark secret.

It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything.

In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again …

Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay?

Praise for Luca Veste’s novels:

‘Properly Stephen King-style creepy’ Ian Rankin

‘Perfectly terrifying’ Amanda Jennings

‘A dark and brilliant thriller from a writer who just gets better and better’ Mark Billingham

‘An entertainingly nasty piece of work’ Christopher Brookmyre

Review:

I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this fab book.

So I’m ashamed to say that this is my first Luca Veste novel. Next year I am definitely going to be picking up some more of his books!

Six friends go to a 90’s music festival as a last hurrah to their youth but something goes wrong and somebody dies. They make a pact to never speak of it again but a year later, the killings start again… 

This is a well written psychological thriller, with good twists and turns and oodles of suspense. At times it was quite scary too!

The story told from Matt’s first person perspective, which gets you really up close and personal with the events through the novel, it almost feels like you’re there with him yourself. There was also a nice mix of characters, not all that likeable, but entertaining all the same.

I enjoyed the little bits of local Liverpool lingo and humour scattered throughout and the smattering of 90’s music references too. 

The Six is a tense and addictive psychological thriller that I just couldn’t get enough of.

About The Author:

Luca Veste is a writer of Italian and Liverpudlian heritage, married with two youngluca veste daughters, and one of nine children. He studied psychology and criminology at university in Liverpool. He is the author of the Murphy and Rossi series, which includes DEAD GONE, THE DYING PLACE, BLOODSTREAM, and THEN SHE WAS GONE.

Part psychological thriller, part police procedural, his books follow the detective pairing of DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi. The novels are set in Liverpool, bringing the city to life in a dark and terrifying manner…with just a splash of Scouse humour.

#BlogTour #BookReview Ghoster by Jason Arnopp @JasonArnopp @OrbitBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #Ghoster

Title: Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Publisher: Orbit

Date Published: 22nd October 2019

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his texts, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.

That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the door that she can’t explain.

And the growing feeling that she’s being watched . . .

Jason Arnopp – author of The Last Days of Jack Sparks, a Radio 2 Bookclub pick – returns with a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . .

Ghoster Poster 23 Aug

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for inviting me on this blog tour and Orbit for providing me with a free copy of Ghoster in exchange for an honest review.

Kate Collins thinks she’s found her perfect man in Scott but a few days before she is supposed to move in with him, he ghosts her, leaving behind only his mobile phone.

She wants to find out what happened to him, so she hacks his phone. Her life starts to spiral of control, can she stop what’s happening before it’s too late? 

Ghoster is one of those novels that you go in expecting one thing only for it to twist around and become something so unexpected and shocking that you find it hard to put down.

It starts out as a little domestic noir but the creepiness is really amped up as you go along, turning the book into more of a horror by the time you reach the end. As a lover of both horror and thrillers I really appreciated this.

I didn’t find Kate all that likeable, a little abrasive, a little obsessive but I think that works well in the story.

Truthfully, the first half of the novel is a little slow burn, it took me a little longer to get through it than usual but the second half had me racing along to find out what happened at the end.

Ghoster is a skillful mix of the supernatural and mystery that makes an intriguing and original thriller. 

About The Author:

Jason Arnopp is the author of the new Orbit Books novel Ghoster, which Barnes &jason arnopp Noble’s SFF blog has said, “just might qualify as the first true horror novel of the 21st Century.” The Three author Sarah Lotz calls it, “a fiendishly smart exploration of obsession and social media addiction”, while Cross Her Heat author Sarah Pinborough reckons it’s, “twisty, creepy and utterly absorbing.”

Arnopp’s previous novel was The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016), which has been described as “a magnificent millennial nightmare” (Alan Moore), “scarier than watching The Exorcist in an abandoned asylum” (Sarah Lotz) and “The Omen for the social media age” (Christopher Brookmyre). Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code) optioned the film rights shortly after the book’s 2016 release.

Arnopp co-wrote the official behind-the-scenes book Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.

Arnopp previously wrote and executive-produced the Lionsgate feature film Stormhouse and script-edited the Peter Mullan feature The Man Inside. He has also written for the worlds of Doctor Who (BBC), The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC) and Friday The 13th (New Line Cinema).

In his past life as a rock journalist, he interviewed the likes of Bon Jovi, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and Guns N’ Roses. He was once surrounded by angry guards holding semi-automatic weapons at The Vatican. His Slipknot biography, Slipknot: Inside The Sickness, Behind The Masks, was released in 2001 and is now available as a Kindle Edition. Arnopp has also written a guide to journalistic interviewing, entitled How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else, which is also out on Kindle.

Arnopp’s latest non-fiction book is From The Front Lines Of Rock. Available in the Kindle Store now, it gathers 30 of his favourite nterviews he wrote as a rock journalist, with the likes of Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Korn, Kiss, Faith No More, Garbage, Nine Inch Nails and Green Day.

When you sign up for Arnopp’s free newsletter at JasonArnopp.com, you can also download his short story American Hoarder for free. You might also want to check out his YouTube channel by searching for his name there. What a wonderful world.

#CoverReveal #PublicationDay The Final Trail by AA Abbott @AAAbbottstories #LoveBooksTours

Hi lovelies! Today not only do I have a fab cover reveal for The Final Trail, the last in the Trail series but also like to wish happy publication day to AA Abbott! A huge thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to take part.  Here’s a little about the book and the series so far:

Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen addedIt’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

THE FINALTRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights.

Title: The Final Trail by AA Abbott

Date Published: 28th October 2019

Genre: Thriller

Description: 

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

TFT thumbnail

You can buy your copy via the link below:

https://amzn.to/2BJmoHg

For more from the author AA Abbott, you can check out her website: https://aaabbott.co.uk or follow her on twitter: @AAAbbottstories