#BlogTour #Review The Forgotten by J.V. Baptie @jvbaptie

Title: The Forgotten by JV Baptie

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Date Published: 13th June 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Historical.

Description:

What if everything was a lie?

Newly-promoted but not welcome in CID, Detective Sergeant Helen Carter is tasked with investigating a murder in an old abandoned picture house. The case takes a chilling turn when the business card of an ex-cop is found at the scene.

Helen must piece together the case before the bodies mount up around her, and before the killer strikes closer to home…

Delve into the underworld of Scotland’s capital city in this fast-paced thriller!

Praise for The Forgotten:

A genuine page turner.” Bestselling author, Alex Gray

Fast-paced and gritty Tartan Noir. A Brilliant Debut.” Bestselling author, Frances Di Plino

Fans of Rebus will love this.” Thriller author, E.A Clark.

Memorable and smart.” Tom Ward, author

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Review:

I want to thank Simon over at Black Books Blog for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with a copy of The Forgotten.

Set in Edinburgh in 1977, back when avocado bath suites and the Bay City Rollers were all the rage, Detective Sergeant Helen Carter faces an uphill battle when she’d promoted to CID. First off she’s a woman and her father was a prominent Detective Inspector, so a lot of her colleagues don’t think she deserves to be there.

When a body is found in an old cinema, tortured with a strange symbol painted in the victims blood, she’s tasked to work with DI Jack Craven, who makes his feelings clear on the fact she should be making tea and dealing with the soppy stuff, like talking to grieving relatives.

The investigation leads to private eye and former policeman George Stanley who used to work with Helen’s father, and left the police suddenly and seems to be holding something back. More victims turn up, killed in a similar manner, it’s a race against time to find the ruthless killer before they harm anyone else.

This is a great beginning to hopefully what will be a start of a new series. I really enjoyed the historical setting, I don’t know that much about the 1970’s but as with any era before I was born holds a bit of a fascination with me.

I appreciated each of the characters were flawed, Helen who’s facing opposition on all sides, including her own boyfriend to give up her job and get a nice nine to five and have a few kids, something she’d not that keen on. Then there’s DI Jack Craven who is constantly smoking and eating Marathon bars (they’re called Snickers now, I googled it) with a wandering eye which lead to the break up of his marriage.

There was a nice use of the Scottish dialect throughout the book which to me made it more authentic and I was surprised how few words I had to use my dictionary function for.

Unfortunately there were some action scenes which I kind of lost track of what was happening. Also I don’t think the prologue while it was intriguing and drew me in, I just felt it didn’t quite fit with the story, either that or I think it may not have been expanded on enough for my liking.

Overall a promising debut that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good police procedural. I hope to read more from JV Baptie in the future.

Rating: 3.5/5

About The Author:

J.V. Baptie graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2017 with an MA in Creativethumbnail_Jodie headshot Writing. When not writing, she is also an actress and has appeared in a variety of children’s shows and stage plays.

You can find out more about her at jvbaptie.com

Twitter: @jvbaptie

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorJVBaptie/

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#BlogTour #Review Deception Wears Many Faces by Maggie James @Bloodhoundbook @mjamesfiction

Title: Deception Wears Many Faces by Maggie James

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 15th June 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

When Lyddie takes her sister to Devon to recover after a recent suicide attempt, it starts a train of events that will put their lives in grave danger.

Ellie has been the victim of a professional con artist, one who stole her savings, then disappeared from her life. Driven by her own history of failed relationships, Lyddie vows revenge on the man who broke her sister’s heart.

Soon she assumes a false identity and begins her hunt for a man she knows to be cold, calculating and ruthless. But who is fooling whom? And can Lyddie find the justice she seeks and heal her damaged sister?

B L O G B L I T Z (2) (2)

Review:

Lyddie rushes back from Spain after her sister Ellie tries to commit suicide again. Due to a brain injury after a horrific car crash, that killer her best friend, Ellie has not been the same since. Trying to find out why, Ellie reveals that she’d had her money stolen by a man who she’d fallen in love with.

Heartbroken Lyddie digs deeper and finds other victims of the same con artist. Wanting justice for her sister, Lyddie assumes another identity of a wealthy woman thinking she can trap the con artist. But she finds herself caught up in a web of lies, can she even trust her sister was telling the truth?

This is the third book I’ve read by Maggie James, you can read my review of her previous book, Sister Psychopath, here. There’s no need to worry about reading the other as they are each stand-alones, although I think you should still check them out!

Wow, what a nail biter! (a cliché I know but well earned) I am never disappointed by the tension in Maggie James’ fiction, it never lets up. She always manages to give you that feeling of ‘uh oh, something bad is going to happen,’ but you have to read on to find out the who, what, where and why.

She writes such flawed and realistic characters like Lyddie and Ellie, which you may not always like them, but you can understand them and why they do what they do. It also shows the dark side of internet dating and how con men prey on the vulnerable or the lonely (even if they don’t realise it themselves) in our society and manage to convince them to part with lots of money.

I also salute her for showing how mental illness is an uphill struggle day after day with no quick and easy fix.

Yes, I did see a few of the twists coming but that is just because I have read so much crime fiction over the years, it’s quite hard to surprise me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves well written domestic noir with flawed, realistic characters.

Author Bio:

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion6142Per829L._UX250_ into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maggie-james/64/381/727

Google+ : https://plus.google.com/101511690389687930651

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/maggiejamesfict/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggie-James/e/B00BS9LVMI

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-james

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/mjamesfiction

#BlogTour #Review #SalazarMysteries A Dead American In Paris by Seth Lynch @fahrenheitpress @SethALynch

Title: A Dead American In Paris (Salazar Book 2) by Seth Lynch

Publisher: Fahrenheit Press

Date Published: 9th April 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Historical

Description:

Paris. 1931.

Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter.

He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.

As Salazar gets to grips with the case he’s dragged reluctantly into an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder.

Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.

Dead American Paris

Review:

I want to say a huge thank you to Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour.

It was no surprise to anyone that Arty Homebrook ended up stabbed to death in his dingy little flat. He had affairs with married women, blackmailed desperate people and ran scheme after scheme. The police only have one suspect, Harry Fulton who had been overheard threatening to kill anyone who slept with his wife, something Homebrook had been doing for months. Salazar is tasked by Fulton’s rich father to investigate but he isn’t convinced of Harry Fulton’s innocence.

The more Salazar digs, the deeper he becomes embroiled in Arty’s lies and deceit. Can he solve the case without losing himself?

So this is the second in the Salazar series but to me it worked perfectly well as a stand-alone.

Now this is how you write a historical novel! The language fit, the setting was vivid and the characters felt right for the time period. It is a beautifully written, almost poetic at times but it is also quite dark. Set in the 1930’s, an era I’m fond of, it shows the real seedy underbelly and seemingly unending poverty of Paris, a place usually associated with romance.

This really reminds me of those hardboiled detective novels of the 1950’s, the murder victim is utterly despicable but the people around him are not much better either!

Then we have the detective. Salazar is sarcastic, intelligent but also a damaged soul. Still suffering from what we’d call post traumatic stress disorder, back in those days they’d probably call it melancholy, from the first world war everyday is a battle for him. He sees ghosts, suffers from paranoia and often blacks out not remembering what he’s done which for a private investigator makes his job that much harder but he never gives up.

The book also deals with the dark topic of back street abortion, women being told not to use contraception but shunned if they ended up with an unwanted pregnancy and what they had to suffer through to terminate a child was absolutely barbaric!

I did cringe a little at the way crime scenes were treated by the police. People smoking, ransacking and stealing from them with little regard for persevering evidence but I suppose back in those days there wasn’t much in the way of forensics.

Overall a dark and compelling historical mystery that you can lose yourself in.

Rating: 4/5
About Seth Lynch:

Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich andseth lynch the Isle of Man.

With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.

Seth’s Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethALynch

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seth-Lynch/e/B00E7SZ3FS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sethlynchauthor/
Buy Seth Lynch’s book direct from Fahrenheit Press:

A Citizen of Nowhere (Salazar Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_citizen_of_nowhere.html

A Dead American in Paris (Salazar Book 2): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_dead_american_in_paris.html

The Paris Ripper (Chief Inspector Belmont Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_the_paris_ripper.html

#BlogTour #Review Phobia by Stewart Giles #ShortStoryCollection @stewartgiles @Books_n_all

Title: Phobia by Stewart Giles

Publisher: Self Published

Date Published: 25th November 2015

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

AN ESSENTIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE DS SMITH THRILLER SERIES.

Phobia is a series of five DS Jason Smith cases he worked on before we met him in the first book ‘Smith’. We get insights into what moulded him into the Detective Sergeant we first get a glimpse of in ‘Smith’. Smith quickly realizes that police work isn’t always cut and dry. Justice is not always black and white; there are many shades of grey in between.

BLOG TOUR banner - Phobia

Review:

So I’ve previously read a book of Stewart Giles published through Joffe Books and enjoyed it, so when Jill Burkinshaw offered the chance to read Stewart’s self published stories I jumped at the chance.

The book contains five stories:

Cause and Effect

This has Smith’s very first case as a PC and shows how he goes from studying law to the police. After a nasty bout of flu he’s drafted up to CID to help on a spat of armed robberies of Post Offices.

The Girl In The River

Now a detective constable, Smith is given his first murder case. A young woman is found dead in the river. Suspicion quickly falls on her dodgy boyfriend. Smith’s superiors think it’s an open and shut case but far from happy he digs further.

Lost boys

A teacher from the local school is found bludgeoned to death in her own home. Bizarrely the murder weapon, an ornamental rock has been wiped clean and placed on her stomach. Yet when a known felons fingerprints are found at the crime scene, the other members of Smith’s team think they’ve found their man but he is so sure.

Two Brothers

A man phones the police when his neighbour’s dog won’t stop barking. Smith and his colleague DC Bridge are sent to investigate further. They find a gruesome scene of a young man bludgeoned to death and another in a bathtub, seemingly having taken his own life. Is it a case of murder/suicide or is it just plain murder?

Phobia

Smith passed his sergeants exams and is now DS and heading up his first case, the suspicious deaths of two students from York University found laid out on the beach of a small town called Saltburn. Due to an incident when he was sixteen Smith is now terrified of the sea, will he be able to get over his fear and investigate?

Having not read any of his Jason Smith books before (even though I do own a couple, they are sadly languishing on my lengthy tbr pile), these short stories are a perfect introduction to the detective if like me you have yet to dive into this series.

It’s not very often that we get to follow a detective from when they joined to police force. Smith is definitely a character! He moved to England from Australia as a teenager, he lives in the lovely city of York, a place I have visited a couple of times, so I have a little soft spot for it. So much tragedy in his past too, from his father’s suicide to his sister that has gone missing and the death of his beloved grandmother. He has this knack of rubbing people up the wrong way but not letting go until he feels justice is served.

Each story is split into short sharp chapters making it a quick and pacey read. I don’t often say this with a collection, I could not pick a favourite, they were all fantastic! Each story was well plotted, action packed and entertaining.

I’m now really looking forward to reading the first full length novel Smith (watch out for my spot on the blog tour next month!).

Rating: 3.5/5

Stewart Giles – Author Bio:

After reading English & Drama at three different English Universities and graduating from none Stewart Giles Author Photoof them, I set off travelling and finally ended up in South Africa, where I still live. I enjoy the serene life running a boat shop on the banks of the Vaal Dam. I came up with the DS Jason Smith idea after my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head. Whether it was intentional still remains a mystery. Smith, the first in the series was finished in September 2013 and was closely followed by Boomerang and Ladybird. Occam’s Razor, Harlequin and Phobia (a series of short stories detailing Smith’s early life) were all completed in one hazy 365 days and Selene was done and dusted a few months later.

Links:

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

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

#BlogTour #Review Fire On The Fens by Joy Ellis. @JoffeBooks @Books_n_all #TeamJoffeBooks #NetGalley

Title: Fire On the Fens by Joy Ellis

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 28th May 2018

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Do you love gripping detective mysteries? Then try this book by a #1 best-selling author now. You won’t be able to put it down. By an author everyone’s talking about.

Detective Nikki Galena faces a cat-and-mouse battle with a killer arsonist.

Someone is lighting fires on the fens. First they target property, but then a body is found at one of the crime scenes.

More fires are lit. And at each one a single person dies. But the victims have led spotless lives and apparently there’s no connection between them.

Meanwhile, the town is facing a very peculiar threat from a group of sinister Satanists led by a charismatic businessman.

Who is burning with anger, and can Nikki stop them before anyone else dies? 

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the heart-stopping ending.

This is book 9 of the international best-selling books featuring Nikki Galena.

THE DETECTIVE
DI Nikki Galena: A police detective with nothing left to lose, she’s seen a girl die in her arms and her own family destroyed. She’s tough on criminals but fiercely loyal to her team.

HER PARTNER
DS Joseph Easter is the squeaky-clean member of the team. But his nickname “Holy Joe” belies his former life as a soldier. He has a daughter and an ex-wife who wants his attention.

THE SETTING
The Lincolnshire Fens: great open skies brood over marshes, farmland, and nature reserves. It is not easy terrain for the Fenland Constabulary to police, due to the distances between some of the remote fen villages, the dangerous and often misty lanes, and the poor telephone coverage. There are still villages where the oldest residents have never set foot outside their own farmland and a visit to the nearest town is a major event. But it has a strange airy beauty to it, and above it all are the biggest skies you’ve ever seen.

DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW

Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

ALSO BY JOY ELLIS
THE NIKKI GALENA SERIES
Book 1: CRIME ON THE FENS
Book 2: SHADOW OVER THE FENS
Book 3: HUNTED ON THE FENS
Book 4: KILLER ON THE FENS
Book 5: STALKER ON THE FENS
Book 6: CAPTIVE ON THE FENS
Book 7: BURIED ON THE FENS
Book 8: THIEVES ON THE FENS
Book 9: FIRE ON THE FENS

JACKMAN & EVANS
Book 1: THE MURDERER’S SON
Book 2: THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS
Book 3: THE FOURTH FRIEND
Book 4: THE GUILTY ONES

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Fire on the Fens

Review:

I’m very happy today to be closing out the blog tour for Fire On The Fens, I want to thank Joffe Books for my advanced copy of this fantastic book and Jill Burkinshaw for organising this tour.

Former fire investigator John Carson believes that the seemingly random attacks of arson aren’t down to the local youth like everyone thinks. Fearing the person is escalating he contacts his old friend DCI Cameron Walker who is now acting superintendent. Their worst fears are confirmed when a badly burnt body turns up in a caravan. The victim seems to be a citizen with no criminal record and goes out of his way to help people, why would someone want him dead?

Meanwhile a group calling themselves Luciferians have come to the attention of Nikki’s team. They seem charming and charismatic but are they hiding something darker?

More bodies turn up and its a race against time to find this deadly killer.

So this is the second in the Nikki Galena series I’ve read, the first being Thieves On The Fens, you can read my review here. (Due to being locked up in Twitter jail for three days I was only able to post it on Goodreads).

This book works perfectly well as a stand alone but I would recommend reading a few of the earlier books first. Having read the previous book I feel like I know the characters a lot better this time around and it didn’t take me as long to get to grips with the story.

As with Thieves On The Fens, there is not a dull moment in this book! It’s fast paced, with plenty of mystery and intrigue with a murderer is that is extra diabolical, the thought of being burned alive is makes me shiver.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Nikki in the last book but she has really grown on me, I can see a really caring yet compassionate character. Another stand out in this book for me was PC Yvonne Collins, a smart and intuitive police woman but she’s about to retire, leaving a bit of gap in the team. Also eagle-eyed fans of Joy Ellis’ Jackman and Evans series will be thrilled to see a little guest appearance from profiler Laura Archer.

I don’t want to say too much more, in fear of giving away spoilers, but this has to be one of Nikki’s toughest cases yet and the end, well wow, heart pounding doesn’t quite cover it.

Rating: 5/5

About The Author:

UK #1 Best Seller with THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS and THE FOURTH FRIEND

1 million books sold and rising!

“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprenticeJoy+and+the+boys+039+jpg florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!

And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, and our two second generation Springer spaniels. I had been writing mysteries for years but never had the time to take it seriously. Now I can, and as my partner is a highly decorated retired police officer; my choice of genre was suddenly clear. I have set my crime thrillers here in the misty fens because I sincerely love the remoteness and airy beauty of the marshlands. This area is steeped in superstitions and lends itself so well to murder!”

Bedtime Book Review: The Chalk Man by CL Tudor #Review

Title: The Chalk Man by CL Tudor

Publisher: Penguin

Date Published: 11th January 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.

He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.

Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.

Is history going to repeat itself?

Was it ever really over?

Will this game only end in the same way?

Review:

You can read my previous Bedtime Book Review, Black Eyed Susans, here.

So I saw this book last year on NetGalley but I was turned down by the publisher to get an advanced copy (I’m not bitter…honest) so I just had to buy a copy for myself. This was before all the furore when Stephen King said if you like my stuff then you’ll like this. As I saw all the praise and the hype surrounding it, I know this will sound a bit weird, but it put me off reading it a little. I’ve been disappointed in the past by books that have had a lot of hype but I’m happy to say this was not the case, this book actually surpassed my expectations.

The story is split between 1986 and 2016, revolving around Ed and his friends, Nicki, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey and Hoppo. After a fairground accident Ed meets a new teacher to the area, Mr Halloran otherwise known as the chalk man due to his pale skin and white blonde hair. He gives the group the idea of drawing a secret code with chalk but chalk men keep popping up when bad things happen, until they lead them to a body.

I got completely lost within this book, so much so that I forgot to write notes, (sounds a bit anal but I have the memory of a sieve!), so if this review is brief then you’ll know why.

I’m not going to give this amazing and complex novel it’s due in this little review. It’s creepy, yet haunting, I stayed up way too long after finishing just thinking about the ending (a downside I’ve found about reading before bed).

Having just watched the movie IT, I can understand where a lot of Stephen King comparisons come from,.i.e. a group of young(ish) kids coming of age against a backdrop of violence but thankfully this novel doesn’t have the evil clown.

I know some people may not be a fan of the jumping from 1986 to 2016 but it to me it added real depth to the story, adding to the mystery. I enjoyed finding out about older Ed, a slightly disillusioned adult, haunted by the past with a drinking problem compared to the more carefree younger Eddie.

I will warn you there are some upsetting scenes, especially one between young Eddie and his bully Metal Mickey’s older brother Sean. Then there was the nightmares, no I’d say they were more night terrors, as in they were super scary!

Overall a really memorable and haunting story that I can’t do just justice to with this review, you’ll just have to read it and see for yourself!

Rating: 5/5

About The Author:

C. J. Tudor lives in Nottingham, England with her partner and three-year-old daughter.

Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voiceover and dog-walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much.

THE CHALK MAN is her first novel.

Up Next on Bedtime Book Reviews: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Also a little note, I’m unable to comment on other people blogs at the moment as either my comments are spammed or automatically deleted.

 

Bedtime Book Review Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin #BookReview

Title: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Publisher: Penguin

Date Published: 13th August 2015

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Seventeen-year-old Tessa, dubbed a ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ by the media, became famous for being the only victim to survive the vicious attack of a serial killer. Her testimony helped to put a dangerous criminal behind bars – or so she thought.
Now, decades later the black-eyed susans planted outside Tessa’s bedroom window seem to be a message from a killer who should be safely in prison.

Haunted by fragmented memories of the night she was attacked and terrified for her own teenage daughter’s safety, can Tessa uncover the truth about the killer before it’s too late?

Review:

Before I start my review I’m going to tell you how I ended up owning this book. I got given book voucher for my birthday, went into the bookshop and there was a sale on, I spot the gorgeous cover and then glancing at the blurb I saw the words serial killer and I thought I’ll buy that. It has been sitting on my shelf for two years. I didn’t even realise until six months after I bought it, it was signed by the author!  So, yeah, I knew I had to read this as part of my next Bedtime Book Reviews.

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The book follows the story of Tessa, the only surviving victim of the Black Eyed Susan serial killer. She remembers nothing about the attack, thirty two hours of her life is missing. She did her best to move on but the imminent execution of Terrell Darcy Goodwin, the man convicted of her attack, somebody plants black-eyed susans under window. Is her monster back?

This is the third time I’ve tried to read this book over the years, I’ve never got past the first few chapters but after over a week I managed to get through the whole book.

The narrative is split between Tessa, in the present day and Tessie her teenage self back in 1995 just after the attack. Tessa is such an interesting character, haunted by the voices of the other ‘susans’ she has her own teenage daughter too and miraculously she doesn’t seem to be doing too bad a job at living a normal life. If I were in her shoes, the victim of a serial killer who I thought was still out there, I would be curled up in a padded room that I never have to come out of.

There is also her best friend Lydia who features quite a lot, who frankly for most of the story I thought was in her head (don’t ask me why). There’s that air of uncertainty around her, why hasn’t Tessa seen her for twenty years, was she a victim of the Black-eyed susan killer too?

I have to be honest writing about this review, I’m genuinely not sure how I feel about it. Was the writing good? Yes. Was the storyline good? Yes. Were the characters memorable? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not exactly. I think it all comes down to unnerving air about the whole book and the fact I had to go back over sentences sometimes because they didn’t make sense to me the first time around.

Overall an intense and intriguing story that I’d probably recommend for super fans of psychological thrillers.

Rating: 3/5

About The Author:

Julia Heaberlin is the internationally bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans as well as two other psychological thrillers, Lie Still and Playing Dead. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News and The Dallas Morning News. She has edited numerous real-life murder mysteries, including a series on the perplexing and tragic deaths of girls buried in the Mexican desert. She lives with her husband and son in Texas where she is at work on her next novel.

Up next on Bedtime Book Reviews – Chalk Man by C L Tudor.