#BlogTour #Review In The Silence by M.R. Mackenzie @Bloodhoundbook @landofwhimsy #DebutNovel

Title: In The Silence by M.R Mackenzie

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 10th September 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Anna hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years. And for very good reasons…

Anna, a criminology lecturer, returns to Glasgow from Rome during the coldest winter in memory. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew. Tragedy strikes later that night when Anna discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow.

Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble.

When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.

As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in.

But can she solve the gruesome mystery before the killer strikes again?

Review:

Dr Anna Scavolini has lived in Rome for the last ten years but is drawn by home to Glasgow by her friend Zoe for her birthday. Unpleasant memories begin to surface, especially when she comes across her former crush Andrew Foley at Zoe’s birthday party.

After an awkward conversation, Andrew disappears until she finds him later bleeding in a local park. Anna is soon drawn into the police investigation as their only real witness, but she feels like she can’t trust the police.

Another victim turns up, someone she also went to school with. He gives her a strange message which leads to an incident in the past.

Anna doesn’t know who to trust and with her rapidly declining mental state, she’s putting herself in more danger than she knows.

So this is the author’s debut novel and wow what a way to start! It’s an intense and gripping read which kept me guessing until the ending with some very good red herrings.

I do enjoyed a story that a member of the public puts on their detective hat and digs into a mystery! (I think secretly a lot of us would like to do that ourselves.) Anna is not all that likeable, I feel she’s a little self absorbed and standoffish but when you find out her family history, the trauma she’s been through and her mental health issues, I warmed to her a little more.

The wintery setting of Glasgow and the use of the Scottish dialect added a little bit more authenticity to the story and although there were a few words I had to look up, I still really enjoyed reading it.

In The Silence deals with quite a lot of sensitive issues, including sexual assault and how the victims of such crimes are treated, mental health and toxic masculinity. I think the author deals with them well and in a delicate manner but at times I did feel like I was being preached to a little, because I have seen over the years how bad it is for victims of sexual assault and how horribly the court system treats them.

Also while I enjoyed the ending I did feel there was a few unanswered questions but that’s me just being a little fussy.

In The Silence is a powerful yet thoughtful mystery that raises a few moral questions along the way.

Rating: 4/5

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Author Bio:

M. R. Mackenzie was born and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied at Glasgow University M.+R.+Mackenzie+and has a PhD in Film Studies. In 2016, he contributed a chapter on the Italian giallo film to Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion.

In addition to writing, he works as an independent Blu-ray/DVD producer and has overseen releases of films by a number of acclaimed directors, among them Dario Argento, Joe Dante and Seijun Suzuki.

When he’s not doing any of the above, he works in a library, which tests his sanity and keeps him in touch with the great unwashed.

In The Silence is his first novel.

Links:

Website: http://www.michaelmackenzie.scot

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/landofwhimsy/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m.r.mackenzie/

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#BlogTour #Review Avian by Emma Pullar @Bloodhoundbook @EmmaStoryteller

Title: Avian by Emma Pullar

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 4th September

Genre: Dystopian.

Description:

CENTRAL IS LOSING ITS GRIP ON THE CITIZENS OF GALE CITY.

Megan Skyla, who refused to play by Central’s rules and become a surrogate for her masters, has thrown the city into chaos. Corrupting those around her, she and her friends are forced into hiding – hunted by Central, the evil rulers of Gale City. Skyla’s desperate attempts to keep everyone alive ends when they’re kidnapped by feuding gangs.

Skyla cuts a deal and then betrays both gangs. Now there is nowhere left to run. It’s the desert or die. Her best friend, Crow, thinks she still wants to find a way to cure the Morbian masters of their obesity and finish what she started.

But Skyla has other plans. She’s sure there are settlements in the desert, there must be something out there … and there is. Something terrible.

Skyla is about to find out there’s more than one way to bring about change but one truth remains … Central must be destroyed in order to ensure her survival. There is no other way.

Review:

Skyla has uncovered the truth that Central has been trying so desperately to hide. Everything that they’ve been told about Skels and Mobihans is built on lies and they will stop at nothing to silence her.

Skyla is still reeling from events in the last book Skeletal and is hell bent on revenge but with a bounty on her head it makes it impossible for her to hide. In an attempt to save her friends, Dove, Andia, Crow and Cara she ends up in the hands of a murderous gang who put her through mind bending trials to join their ranks.

But Skyla has another plan, betraying the gang she sets out into the desert to find other survivors cast out of Gale City but they have a traitor in their midst. Will she and her friends survive?

So this is the second in this dystopian series, I would highly recommend reading the first, Skeletal, (you can read my review here) just because you will miss a lot of background otherwise.

This is one of those books that I found a little creepy and unsettling much like the first but I have to keep on reading because I have to find out what happens next!

I will warn those of you with a sensitive stomach that there are quite a few gut churning scenes within the book, that even me, a hardened crime fan, made me feel a little nauseous.

In the first book, the story revolves around Skels (basically the slaves of Gale City) of which Skyla is one and the Morbihans (the overweight humanoid creatures who control them). This book we get to see more of the underbelly of Gale City, focusing on it’s warring gangs and the strange and sick people who control them. Also we get to see outside the dome which everybody lives and the monstrous creatures who lurk in the desert.

Skyla has a really tough journey in this book, the author certainly doesn’t pull any punches throwing her into constant danger. She’s also eaten away by guilt, tortured physically and mentally her grip on reality is getting a little shaky. Yet through that she still remains true to her friends and tries her best to save them. To make things even more complicated, her relationship with Crow her former best friend becomes a little more awkward, he has feeling for her but Skyla’s feeling are definitely in the ‘it’s complicated’ realm.

Overall Avian is an action packed and brutal dystopian tale of revenge, betrayal and friendship but not for the faint of heart.

Rating: 4/5

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Author Bio:

Emma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and Children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from DSC_3665_lowres (2)Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Emma has also written several winning short horror/Sci-fi stories which have been published in four different anthologies. Emma’s latest picture book, Kitty Stuck, has been hugely popular and her novel, Skeletal, and the sequel, Avian, have been described as disturbing and not for the faint-hearted. She also writes articles for an online advice site called Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting.

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Pullar/e/B01N5FM39O

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4795002.Emma_Pullar

Webiste: www.emmapullar.come

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Emma-Pullar-Storyteller-315550881823466/

Twitter: @EmmaStoryteller

Instagram: @emmapullar_storyteller

#BlogTour #GuestPost No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman @Bloodhoundbook @RebeccaMuddiman

Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post from Rebecca Muddiman herself on the inspiration behind her new novel No Place Like Home!

Title: No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 6th August 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

What would you do if you came home to find someone in your house?

This is the predicament Polly Cooke faces when she returns to her new home.The first weeks in the house had been idyllic, but soon Jacob, a local man, is watching her.

What does he want and why is he so obsessed with Polly?

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, you might end up regretting letting some people in.

The Inspiration for No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman:

The inspiration for a book can come from many places. For me, especially with my crime novels, it often comes from real life – e.g. domestic abuse or child abduction. I keep several folders of cuttings from newspapers and magazines, things that caught my eye or my imagination; as well as dozens of notebooks with ideas ranging from a single word, to a what if? sentence, to a longer sketch of the idea. These are both really useful in coming up with and developing ideas, though if anyone who was unaware of my job came across them, they’d probably think I was a lunatic.

When I’m starting a new book, sometimes I know exactly what I’m going to write about without having to consult the notebooks. Some ideas come forward, announcing themselves, and refuse to leave you alone until you’ve given them attention. Other ideas, you have to go looking for. After writing four books in a series, I knew I wanted to try a standalone. I just didn’t know what I wanted to write about at that point. So I headed for the notebooks and folders, flicking through, looking for the ideas that grabbed me the most. Some ideas can sit there for years without jumping out at me and then suddenly they seem like the most urgent thing in the world.

When coming up with what would eventually become No Place Like Home, there were three ideas I shortlisted. I wrote the three ideas down on one piece of paper, staring at it, trying to decide which one I would focus on. And as I stared, I realised they weren’t three ideas at all. Without realising it, I’d picked three ideas that were actually one idea.

The first came from an idle thought I’d had one day, soon after I’d moved in to my own house. Walking the dog on the field behind it, I looked back at my house. It was still new enough that I had to count the houses to work out which was mine. Once I’d found it, I looked at the bedroom window, and the first thing that came to mind was what would I do if I saw someone in the house? Someone who shouldn’t be there? Maybe everyone thinks like this, maybe it’s just crime writers. But either way, when I got home (where there was no intruder in the house) I wrote the thought down in a notebook and then forgot about it.

The second part of the idea came from something that happened to me about fifteen years earlier. My brother got a temporary job in another part of the country, but as it was temporary he didn’t want to give up his flat. So I volunteered to move in while he was away. The flat was on the second floor of a small block, located in a small square otherwise occupied by a pub, a fish and chip shop, and a handful of mostly closed down places. I was really excited by the idea of having my own place (even if it was temporary) but one day the buzzer went and when I answered it there was a man’s voice I didn’t recognise. I couldn’t make out what he was saying so I went to the bedroom window and peered down to the street below. I recognised the man. He was one of those semi-famous people in small towns, someone everyone knows, or at least knows of. He was obviously a man with troubles, the kind that kids cruelly shout at on their way home from school, running off as soon as their victim responds. I knew he was harmless, but it was still a little unnerving that he was standing outside, staring up at my window, wanting to be in. I found out later he was the previous occupant of the flat and had been evicted for trashing the place. Clearly he wasn’t pleased about that and he kept on coming back, pressing the buzzer, standing outside looking in, sometimes for an hour at a time. This was before mobile phones and my brother had no landline. The only way I could call for help would be to use the phone box across the square, but the only way to get to the phone box would be to pass the man at the front door. It never came to that. After a few visits he gave up. But the memory of it never left me, and one day it went into the notebook.

The last part came from a newspaper article about cuckooing. It focused on drug dealers and users who would target people who lived alone, vulnerable people, and take over their homes, using them as a place to conduct business without risking the police catching them.

These three ideas were linked by the theme of home and the invasion of what should be our safe haven. It was exciting putting the three ideas together and I knew I was onto something. But finding the idea was the easy part, making it into a book was much harder. Figuring out how these three pieces fitted together (or not) was where the hard work began. But, much like building a house, you have to start with strong foundations, and with these three ideas, I did.

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About The Author:

Rebecca Muddiman was born and raised in the North East and worked in the NHS for many rebecca+muddimanyears. She has published four crime novels – Stolen, Gone, Tell Me Lies, and Murder in Slow Motion. Stolen won a Northern Writers Award in 2010 and the Northern Crime Competition in 2012. She is also a screenwriter and was selected for the London Screenwriters Festival Talent Campus in 2016.

Most of her spare time is spent re-watching Game of Thrones, trying to learn Danish, and dealing with two unruly dogs. Sometimes all at the same time.

Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaMuddiman

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

Website: https://rebeccamuddiman.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7053551.Rebecca_Muddiman

#BlogTour #Review Faceless by Rob Ashman @Bloodhoundbook @RobAshmanAuthor #NewRelease

Title: Faceless by Rob Ashman

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 31st May 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined…

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Review:

I want to thank Bloodhound books and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book and Sarah Hardy for organising this blog tour.

DI Roz Kray has only been back at work for short time after a vicious knife attack, she is called out to investigate the complaints of a bad smell which turns out to be a young woman who has been brutally attacks and seemingly dead for a long time. Another body shows up and it seems they have a serial killer on their hands. Can Roz battle her own demons and get to the bottom of the case?

Now Rob Ashman has been on my radar for a while now but I’ve never actually read any of his books so I’m so glad that I finally got to read this one! This book is gritty, realistic, brutal and absolutely terrifying which to many people would seem off putting but I absolutely loved it.

This is a seriously addictive read. There were so many shocking twists and revelations I gasped out loud on several occasions (cue a lot of are you okays from my family).

Roz is a little OCD with bad eating habits (.i,e barely eats at all) and she is incredibly depressed but after losing her husband and being horribly scarred herself who wouldn’t be? I found myself really rooting for her especially as she ends up clinging onto the case with her fingertips as her senior officers start doubting her sanity.

I’m going to say that this book has one of my top fears in it, I’m not going to tell you what in case of spoilers but still I just couldn’t put this book down. Okay yes, there are certain aspects of the story which I found a little unbelievable but it’s so well written that I personally didn’t really think about it until I started writing this review.

Overall not for the faint of heart or those that are overly squeamish but a fantastic read and I hope there will be more DI Roz Kray books in the future!

Rating: 5/5

Author Bio:

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-twodownload (2) years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob published the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books in 2017 and will be releasing three new books during 2018. These are titled: Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution.

Links:

Twitter: @RobAshmanAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Ashman-Author-1428800800468097/

Website: http://robashman.com/