Find Me In The Dark (Detective Harlow Durant 1) by Dea Poirier @bookouture @deapoirierbooks #BooksOnTour #BookReview

Title: Find Me In The Dark (Detective Harlow Durant 1) by Dea Poirier

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 21st October 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

She’d been running for so long, it felt like her legs were on fire. Her heart was pounding so hard, she was sure it would give out. Around her, the snow was falling, casting an eerie silence over the town. A crack behind her, a foot snapping a branch, it warned her that he was still coming. She whipped around and saw the knife gleaming in his hand…

As the snow begins to melt across Plattsburgh, New York, the body of a young woman is found buried in a snowbank. When Detective Harlow Durant arrives at the scene she discovers that the victim has lain there for months: her arresting beauty, brightly-coloured nails and a distinctive gold bracelet perfectly preserved in the ice.

Searching missing person reports, Harlow soon identifies the victim as college student Alyssa Trent. Her grieving family describe her as someone who had no enemies and was a dedicated student. But Alyssa’s tutor has a different view: they claim Alyssa had another life that she kept hidden. But who would want her dead?

Harlow knows all about secret lives. She has spent years running from her past and from her father, a convicted serial killer. As the only female detective at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Harlow has vowed to bring killers to justice. Now she needs to find justice for Alyssa.

When another female student is found in the thawing snow, Harlow knows that she is hunting a twisted killer. The victims knew each other but what dark secret connects them? With the small-town reeling in shock and more snow coming, Harlow knows she needs to stop a killer dead in their tracks before another innocent life is lost.

From the bestselling author of Next Girl To Die comes an addictive crime thriller perfect for fans of Melinda Leigh, Kendra Elliot and Robert Dugoni’s Tracy Crosswhite series.

You can buy your copy here: Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ax5vki

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for providing me a copy of Find Me In The Dark in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first in the Harlow Durant series and my first book by Dea Poirier, but it certainly won’t be my last.

What an utterly compelling read Find Me In The Dark was! 

Harlow is a complex character. Raised by a serial killer and abusive mother, she’d used to people letting her down and moving from place to place, never feeling at home. She’s a bit standoffish, understandably, and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, which I enjoyed, especially when faced with the vile local officers she had to deal with.

Lucas made a nice foil for Harlow. New to the homicide department, he’s still a little inexperienced, but he’s loyal and determined. He also carries his own hurt from the past. It was also nice to see that there was any romance between him and Harlow, which made a pleasant change.

With all the buildup and tension in the story, I found the murderer reveal a little lacklustre, although at the end there is a little surprise that will lead nicely onto the next book.

Find Me In The Dark is a gripping serial killer thriller packed with action from the very beginning.

About The Author:

Author Dea (D.H) Poirier is the author of NEXT GIRL TO DIE, which hit #1 in the Amazon charts. She was raised in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she got her start writing in creative writing courses. She attended The University of Central Oklahoma for Computer Science and Political Science. Later, she spent time living on both coasts, and traveling the United States, before finally putting down roots in Central Florida. She now resides somewhere between Disney and the swamp. She spends her days at her day job as a President of Digital Marketing, and her nights writing manuscripts.

https://www.facebook.com/dhpoirier/

https://www.instagram.com/deapoirier/

#BookReview Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Title: Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Publisher: Sphere

Date Published: 22nd June 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

You can save hundreds of lives.

Or the one that matters most . . .

The atmosphere on board the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney is electric. Celebrities are rumoured to be among the passengers in business class, and the world is watching the landmark journey.

Flight attendant Mina is trying to focus on the passengers, instead of her troubled five-year-old daughter back at home – or the cataclysmic problems in her marriage.

But soon after the plane takes off, Mina receives a chilling anonymous note. Someone wants to make sure the plane never reaches its destination. They’re demanding her cooperation . . . and they know exactly how to get it.

It’s twenty hours to landing.

A lot can happen in twenty hours . . .

Review:

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of Hostage in exchange for an honest review.

So I’ve read several of Clare Mackintosh’s books over the years, so I know I’ll be in for one hell of a ride.

I’ve always been a bit terrified of flying, but when I read the synopsis for Hostage, I knew I still had to read it. In all honesty, it has not helped my fear of flying at all!

The story is told mostly from Mina and Adam’s point of view but to add intrigue there are some passengers POVs in there too. At first I was a little thrown by this, but it becomes clearer as you go along why they’re in there.

I didn’t guess the brains behind everything at all with this one and the end was shocking, to say the least!

It took a while for me to really get into this book. I think that was mainly because I didn’t find the characters all that compelling at first; it wasn’t until all their dark secrets were laid bare that they piqued my interest.

Hostage is a well written and tension packed psychological thriller. If you love a locked room mystery, I would highly recommend it to you!

About The Author:

Clare Mackintosh is a British author and former police officer. Her novels are published in more than 35 languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide.

The Silent Witness (Detective Amanda Steele 3) by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold @bookouture #BooksOnTour #BookReview

Title: The Silent Witness (Detective Amanda Steele 3) by Carolyn Arnold 

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 24th September 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…

When the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.

Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.

With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?

Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.

Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?

A completely gripping and addictive crime thriller that will keep fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni entertained into the early hours.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B09236T3JFsocial

Apple: http://ow.ly/xODf50EmlNI

Kobo: http://ow.ly/ZPy050EmlFW 

Google: http://ow.ly/jl8S50EmlKE

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of The Silent Witness in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third in the Detective Amanda Steele series which can be read as a standalone, but I’d recommend reading at least the previous book in the series as there are some secondary storylines that run over into this one.

Amanda is called to the scene of a double homicide. A husband and wife have been murdered and their six-year-old daughter Zoe is missing. Searching the house, she finds the little girl traumatised and unable to speak, having witnessed her parents’ deaths. The case is a baffling one, neither of Zoe’s parents seem to have an enemy in the world. It soon becomes apparent that Zoe’s life is in danger and it’s up to Amanda and her partner Trent to solve the case. 

The silent witness was packed full of tension, twists and turns, plus a few shocking revelations for the characters. Honestly, the more books I read in this series, the more enjoyable it gets!   

This is a really tough case for Amanda, having to take care of Zoe while also trying to deal with unresolved issues of when her own daughter died. I’ll be honest in the previous book I didn’t warm to Amanda that much but after finishing this one, I feel I got to know her better and saw a different side to her. 

I got a little impatient as the story neared its end. I felt it was a little dragged out, but of course that’s just my opinion. 

The Silent Witness is a well-written police procedural that was both entertaining and packed an emotional punch too.

About The Author:

Carolyn Arnold was born in a small Canadian 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. As an international bestselling and award-winning author, she has several continuing fiction series, including her popular Detective Madison Knight series. She offers readers nearly three dozen published books in genres ranging from crime thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries to cozy mysteries and action adventures. She currently lives north of London, Ontario, with her husband and two beagles.

Social Media

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Website: https://carolynarnold.net/

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

Me Tender by Lorraine Mace @lomace @rararesources #BookReview

Title: Love Me Tender by Lorraine Mace

Date Published: 21st January 2021

Publisher: Headline 

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .
Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.

An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.

At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

You can buy you copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vHyDxT

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of Love Me Tender in exchange for an honest review.

I’m back with the fifth installment of the DCI Paolo Sterling. I absolutely love this series so I’m always eager to get my hands on a new book.

Love Me Tender has everything I want in a police procedural, a twisty complicated investigation, an insight into a deranged killer’s mind and tenacious detectives out to solve the case.

Two cases run side by side in this novel. The first is the investigation into a club called ‘The Pipe’ that they believe is trafficking illegal drugs that lead to a young woman’s death. The other is the death of a young woman in her flat, along with the disappearance of her friend. It’s also interspersed with brief insights into the killer’s mind and their warped world.

Paolo really goes through it during this story. Struggling after the death of his friend and colleague, he has a promotion thrust upon him that he doesn’t want. He’s also facing opposition from a member of his own team, not even mentioning the fact his love life is its usual tangled mess.

As always with this type of book there’s a few gruesome scenes that are not for the faint of heart.

Love Me Tender is a dark, gritty and highly addictive read that reminded me just how much I love this series. 

About The Author:

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

Author of the D.I. Sterling series of novels, Lorraine has been engaged in many writing-related activities. A columnist for Writing Magazine, she has recently stepped down from writing two columns for Writers’ Forum and also her role as head judge of the magazine’s monthly fiction competitions in order to concentrate on her own writing. She is currently writing two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline Accent.

She also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

Social Media Links – 

Website: www.lorrainemace.com 

Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace 

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

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

#TheCWord Anthology #NHSTogether #SpellBoundsBooks #ZooloosBookTour @SpellBoundBks @zooloo2008 #BookReview

Title: The C Word anthology

Date Published: 7th January 2021

Publisher: Spellbound Books

Genre: Short story/Mystery/Thriller

Description:

100% of all royalties from The C Word will be donated to NHS Together Charities.

So, what do writers do during Lockdown? They create murder, mystery, death and destruction of course!

The C Word is a collection of short stories collated during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise money for NHS Charities Together. A plethora of wonderful stories created by a wide variety of writers, each with their own unique style. Some you will know already and some we’ve yet to introduce you to. However, we’re sure you’ll want to hear from each & every one of them again as we leave 2020 behind us.

With contributions from Steve Mosby , Sophie Hannah , Elly Griffiths , Sarah Hilary , Rob Scragg , Trevor Wood and many more

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Word-some-lockdown-been-murder-ebook/dp/B08RRW8K6P/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Word-some-lockdown-been-murder-ebook/dp/B08RRW8K6P

Review:

I want to thank Zoe at Zooloo’s book tour for inviting me on this blog tour to help spread the word about this fabulous book.

The C Word is a fantastic anthology which is a mix of crime, mystery, thriller with a couple of supernatural/dystopian themed short stories in there too. There’s also a mix of authors too, from household names to some I’ve never heard of to some who were previously unpublished.

I always love these types of collections, the fact I can dip in and out when I feel like and discover new authors at the same time. 

Another thing I love about an anthology like this is seeing what each other comes up with based on the same theme, it always amazes me how unique each story is.

The collection doesn’t pull any punches and highlights some serious issues that happened during lockdown in particular domestic violence.

The C Word is a dazzling collection of stories that will entertain, enthral and take you on an emotional journey too.

#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

#TheCrazySeason by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @QuestionPress @zooloo2008 #ZooloosBookTours #BookReview #QuestionMarkPress

Title: The Crazy Season by Jim Ody

Date Published: 4th May 2021

Publisher: Question Mark Press

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crazy-Season-Joel-Baxter-Book-ebook/dp/B08YXJG4RF

Amazon USA : https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Season-Joel-Baxter-Book-ebook/dp/B08YXJG4RF

Review:

I want to thank Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a couple of Jim Ody’s books now, but I have to say I think The Crazy Season is my favourite so far!

I saw the author posting about this a few weeks ago saying it was like a cross between the X-Files and Jonathan Creek and I can safely say that’s about right, a mix of the paranormal/weird along with an intriguing mystery.

The Crazy Season is the kind of novel that drags you in, and you just sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride.

The story follows Joel, complete with sidekick Melody as they investigate a string of teen suicides, twenty years apart in a small coastal town. When they dig a little deeper they find more and more lies, secrets and a whole heap of teen angst.

I loved the characters. Joel with his slightly awkward demeanor but he has a kind heart, who’s still grieving for the loss of his daughter and his wife in a coma. Then we have Melody, fierce and unapologetic, she brings Joel out of his shell. The two of them together were just a joy to read.

There was also a fantastic secondary cast of quirky characters that really added depth and a little dark humour to the story.

I felt the tension waned a little in the middle and I found my attention wandering a little, but the story pulled me back in with a nail biting ending.

The Crazy Season is a fantastic paranormal mystery, with a great cast of characters, that keeps you guessing until the end.

About The Author:

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres. 

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

Follow him at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JimOdyAuthor

Instagram: @jimodyauthor

Twitter: @Jim_Ody_Author

Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Ody/e/B019A6AMSY/

#BookReview The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz

Another book down from my 2018 NetGalley backlist, only another nine to go!

Title: The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz

Date Published: 1st November 2018

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late…”

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer. Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…

Review:

I received a copy of The Sentence Is Death from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

So I read the first in this series The Word Is Murder and was intrigued enough to get the second The Sentence Is Death over on NetGalley, but it’s taken me three years to actually get around to reading it (oops).

If you don’t know this series, the author, Anthony Horowitz himself, plays Watson to his fictional detective Daniel Hawthorne, chronicling their adventures as they try to solve murders. The murder in question for this novel is successful divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, who was bludgeoned to death with an expensive bottle of wine.

I remember when I read the first book I was a little confused about the author putting himself in the book, at the time I’d never really come across this but now I’ve seen it done a few times this sort of thing no longer bothers me.

On the surface the story is a bit like a cozy mystery, as the murder is more like a puzzle and there’s not too much violence, but there is a fair bit of swearing with a smattering of unlikeable characters to give it a more gritty feel.

There were parts of the novel I really enjoyed, like the glimpse into the life of a TV writer as it shows some parts of Anthony Horowitz working on his show Foyle’s War. Also, the introduction of copper DI Cara Grunshaw, who made Hawthorne seem not as bad in comparison and added an extra dimension to the story. 

Unfortunately, while the author tried to throw a few twists in there, I figured out whodunnit well before the end. I was also hoping that Hawthorne would change his ways a bit, I still found him unlikeable most of the time.

Overall, The Sentence Is Death is a solid mystery with a cast of very memorable, (not always in a good way), characters.

About the author:

Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as “The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century.” (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009.

On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled the House of Silk.

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