Cry For Help (Detective Madison Harper 2) by Wendy Dranfield @bookouture @WendyDranfield #BookReview

Title: Cry For Help (Detective Madison Harper 2) by Wendy Dranfield

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 22nd February 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet.

When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide––a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harper think otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments…

Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail?

It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Addictive reading for anyone who loves Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Review:

I enjoyed the first in this series earlier this year and as I know the third is coming out soon; I thought I’d better catch up with this one.

Madison is heading home to clear her name and find her son, but things get complicated when the body of a teenage girl is found. She and Nate can’t leave it unsolved, but the case quickly gets personal for Madison.

Cry For Help is one of those books that grabs you from the very beginning, getting more and more taut with tension building to a satisfying and action packed ending.

This book had so many little shocks and surprises along the way, which I didn’t see coming and absolutely loved!

I really enjoyed getting the full story of Madison’s arrest and more bits and pieces from her past, something I felt was missing from the first book. Of course that meant Nate sort of took a back seat for most of the book but I think it worked out well and I wonder what Wendy Dranfield will do next with these characters.

I absolutely flew through the first half of this book but for some reason I found the second half a little more slow going, maybe it’s just I didn’t want it to end!

Cry For Help is a fast-paced and addictive read and I can’t wait to read more from this series!

About The Author:

Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 cats.

Her first novel (The Girl Who Died) was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. Since then she has written two crime series – one follows Officer Dean Matheson on his quest to make detective, and the other is her current series which follows Detective Madison Harper as she tries to reclaim her life after spending six years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

As well as crime novels Wendy also has short stories published in various anthologies in the UK and the US, and she has been shortlisted and longlisted for various writing competitions.

Wendy’s social media:

Website: https://wendydranfield.co.uk/

Twitter: @WendyDranfield

Facebook: Wendy Dranfield Author

Pinterest: Wendy Dranfield

Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author

#BlogTour #BookReview Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan @DabblinginCrime @JoffeBooks

Title: Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 3rd June 2021

Genre: Mystery

Description:

DON’T MISS THE MUST-READ CRIME THRILLER OF SUMMER 2021

AN ABSOLUTELY JAW-DROPPING CRIME THRILLER FEATURING DETECTIVES ASHA HARVEY & AARON BIRCH
 
If you can’t trust your father and you can’t trust the police, who can you trust?
 
Sue Hearn is planting a herb garden on the site of her grandfather’s old greenhouse. She’s spent the morning digging up all sorts of odds and ends already. But she doesn’t expect this grisly find.
 
Could it be the remains of her mother, Monica, who went missing thirty years ago?
 
Sue’s father, in hospital with dementia, insinuates that a police officer was involved in her mother’s disappearance. But can he be trusted?
 
So now Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch might be looking for a bent copper.
 
As they dig deeper into the past, Sue and Asha find secrets so dangerous it will put all their lives in danger.
 
Fans of BBC’s Line of Duty, Lynda La Plante, Tana French, Patricia Gibney, Brian McGilloway, Ann Cleeves, Caro Ramsay and Helen H. Durrant will devour this electrifying crime thriller by one of Northern Ireland’s newest talents.
 
MEET THE DETECTIVES
DETECTIVE ASHA HARVEY
Asha Harvey has always had a powerful sense of right and wrong. She has wanted to be a detective since she was a child, and while she can be a little too trusting, her open manner makes people want to confide in her. She is especially driven to succeed as a woman of colour in a largely white, male police force in Northern Ireland. Her family support her and are ridiculously proud of her, which adds to her internal pressure to succeed.
 
DETECTIVE AARON BIRCH
Boyish and gangly, Aaron Birch entered the police force as a detective through a graduate recruitment scheme. This makes him the butt of snide remarks by fellow officers, so he always feels he has something to prove. He also has a tendency to stretch the rules to suit himself, which can lead to him getting into trouble.
 
THE SETTING
A city of contrasts, Belfast is filled with beautiful old relics dating back to a golden age of shipbuilding and wealth, as well as the scars of more recent wounds. The city has an exciting sense of newness and potential, but it can’t quite shed those who lurk in the darker shadows born of its turbulent past.
 
WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT KERRY BUCHANAN:
 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Oh my this book . . . so fast paced, I enjoyed chapter after chapter. It will send your heart pounding, it’s full of massive twists . . . this book will shock you to the core right till the very end.” Booklover Bev
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Its not often a debut novel is as well written as this. I found myself utterly riveted from very early in the book, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was spending my time wishing I was . . . highly, highly, recommended.” Sean S.
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “If you love an intense, creepy, and suspenseful psychological thriller that you cannot put down once you’ve started it, this book will absolutely thrill you.” L. M. Darter
 
DETECTIVES HARVEY & BIRCH MYSTERIES
Book 1: KNIFE EDGE
Book 2: SMALL BONES

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe books for providing me with a copy of Small Bones in exchange for an honest review.

Acting DI Asha Harvey, along with her partner Aaron Birch, are back to solve another mystery. This time when Sue Hearn finds the skeleton in her garden. As they dig further into the mystery, they find that Sue’s mother Monica went missing thirty years ago and was never heard of again. Are the two cases linked or is there something more going on?

This series is part psychological thriller, part police procedural with a whole heap of twists and turns along the way.

I enjoyed that we got to see a bit more of Asha and Aaron in this book than we did in the first, getting to know them a bit better. Asha is a kind and caring copper, trying to prove herself, which bumps up nicely next to the loyal and sweet Aaron. 

Sue was an interesting character, too. Looking after her dad, who had dementia, full time would be enough for anyone to cope with, but finding a body on top of all that? It amazed me to see she didn’t fall to pieces (I would have) and became integral to the case.

I would say that I found this story a little slower to start than the first in the series but of course that’s just my opinion. 

Also, it leaves a few unanswered questions, paving the way for the next in the series which I’m looking forward to.

Small Bones is a well written and action packed mystery that was both entertaining and intriguing in equal measure. 

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.

FOLLOW KERRY ON

AUTHOR WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
GOODREADS
AMAZON

The Pact by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton @Tr4cyF3nt0n @TrapezeBooks #BlogTour #BookReview

Title: The Pact by Sharon Bolton

Date Published: 1st May 2021

Publisher: Trapeze 

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.

Let the games begin . . .

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and Trapeze for providing me with a copy of The Pact in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of Sharon Bolton so I’m always excited when I hear she has a new novel out, especially after her last novel, The Split, was one of my top reads last year. 

The story starts off with six friends, all about to get their A-level results and go off to university. That night they decide to do a dare, drive the wrong way down a motorway. Tragedy strikes and a family is killed. Megan agrees to take the blame but for a price, a favour when she gets released. They agree to the pact but once Megan is released she’s not going to leave them alone until she gets what she wants.

What I liked about this book is I went in expecting something very different but the author surprised me and took me in a much darker and devious direction.

None of the characters were likeable, they’re privileged, spoiled and more than a little selfish, but there was just something about them all that drew me in and made me want to carry on reading. 

I don’t want to say too much about the story line because this is one of these novels that I think you have to go into knowing as little as possible to really appreciate it but all I will say was it was a little slow burn to begin with, the tension slowly going up and up until it all culminated in a nail biting ending.

The Pact is a well crafted psychological thriller that was compelling and cleverly plotted.

About The Author:

Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her whole body of work.

Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and son.

Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan @DabblinginCrime @JoffeBooks #BookReview #BlogTour

Title: Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published:15th April 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

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.

Review:

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.

BOOKS BY KERRY BUCHANAN

COMING SOON!

FOLLOW KERRY ON

AUTHOR WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
GOODREADS
AMAZON

Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele 2) by Carolyn Arnold @bookouture #BookReview #PublicationDay #BooksOnTour

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

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

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.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08WPSQM28social

Apple: http://ow.ly/eEQV50DDq10

Kobo: http://ow.ly/KR1V50DDpYb

Google: http://ow.ly/gEqy50DDq3Z

Review:

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.

Author Social Media Links:

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

#BookReview Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks #RandomThingsTours

Title: Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst 

Translated by: Megan Turney

Date Published: 18th February 2021

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

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.

Review:

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.

Degrees Of Darkness by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder #RePublished #BookReview

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

Description:

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.

You can buy your copy here: http://tiny.cc/gbm7tz

Review:

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.

Links

Website: https://www.tonyjforder.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TonyJForder @TonyJForder

Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B01N4BPT65

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16166122.Tony_J_Forder

Fantastic Fiction: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/f/tony-j-forder/

Tony can also be found on Instagram.

Shadows Falls by Wendy Dranfield @bookouture @WendyDranfield #BooksOnTour #BookReview

Title: Shadow Falls by Wendy Dranfield

Date Published: 25th January 2021

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

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.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B08LQLP3FXCover

Review:

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.

Social Media:

Website: https://wendydranfield.co.uk/

Twitter: @WendyDranfield

Facebook: Wendy Dranfield Author

YouTube: Wendy Dranfield Author

Pinterest: Wendy Dranfield

Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author

#BookReview Motive (Jason Smith 13) by Stewart Giles

Title: Motive by Stewart Giles

Date Published: 31st August 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

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?

Review:

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. 

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33

#BookReview Body Language by A.K. Turner #LibraryLoan

Title: Body Language by A.K Turner

Publisher: Zaffre

Date Published: 26th November 2020

Genre: Thriller

Description:

THE DEAD CAN TALK – WE JUST NEED TO LISTEN . . .

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.

Review:

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.