The Woman Inside by Anna-Lou Weatherley @Bookouture @annaloulondon #BooksOnTour #BookReview

Title: The Woman Inside by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 13th January 2021

Genre: Police Procedural/Psychological thriller

Description:

Daisey Garrett wakes up in a hospital bed. She remembers her boyfriend has left her for another woman but she doesn’t remember what happened to her. The night she was attacked in her own home.

Daisey shouldn’t be alive but against all odds, she’s survived an ordeal most would never recover from. And her new friend and roommate Iris will help her get back on her feet.

But Daisey’s mind is broken. She’s on edge, drinking too much and as she sits across from her cheating ex, Luke, in the beautiful home they once shared together, she can’t shake the feeling that she is being watched.

Yet tiny fragments of Daisey’s memory are starting to come back to her.

The missing pieces of that fateful summer night are beginning to surface…

The lies she told the police.

The lies Luke told her.

Iris will help her find the truth, won’t she?

A tense, twisty, addictive page-turner,The Woman Inside takes you within the tangled mess of people’s lives and the dark secrets they hold close. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Before I Go to Sleep and The Wife Between Us.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08M9YFVSZCover

Apple: http://ow.ly/Yhj850C8LWB

Kobo: http://ow.ly/pJOo50C8LQ4

Google: http://ow.ly/CKaS50C8LZz

Review:

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

So this is actually the fourth in the Detective Dan Riley series, a fact I wasn’t aware of until after I’d finished reading. I’ve not read any of the other books in the series but it didn’t spoil anything for me, in fact I’m even thinking of going back and putting other books on my tbr pile now I’ve finished this one.

The Woman Inside is a great blend of psychological thriller and police procedural that created a very intriguing read.

The story switches between Daisey and Dan Riley. Daisey survives an attack after a night out, an attack she shouldn’t have survived but has no memory of it. Dan is tasked to investigate the crime, but with no leads he and his team are having a hard time cracking it.

Dan is a fairly likeable character, trusting his gut instincts and not always following protocol.  I had mixed feelings over Daisey. On one hand, I found her likeable but there were occasions where I got a bit annoyed with her, specifically when it came to her cheating ex Luke, and I just wanted her to stand up for herself.

The grand reveal of the killer and motive fell into the ‘bit out there’ category for me, but it didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

The Woman Inside is a solid mystery with well-drawn characters and a good deal of suspense. 

About the Author:

Anna-Lou began her career as a dancer but a moped accident in Ibiza put paid to those aspirations and so she went back to her first and one true love – writing! She re-trained as a journalist, specialising mainly in women’s interest and celebrity, becoming the Editor of J-17 and Smash Hits as well as writing for a host of women’s magazines.

Anna-Lou has written three Adult Fiction titles – Vengeful Wives and Wicked Wives, both published by Avon in the UK and Bookouture in the US and Canada and Pleasure Island published by Bookouture.

To find out more about Anna’s novels, go to https://www.facebook.com/annalouweatherleyauthor/ or follow https://twitter.com/annaloulondon on Twitter.

Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) by Ray Britain #Forgotten_Lives @ray_britain @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #BlogTour

Hello lovelies! Today on my blog, I have an exclusive excerpt from Ray Britain’s latest novel Forgotten Lives as part of the blog tour organised by Emma at Damppebbles Blog tours but first a little about the book:

Title: Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain

Date Published: 10th January 2021

Genre: Police Procedural 

Description:

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn. 


But what linked the victims in life, and now in death? 


When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them? 


Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast! 


Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!


As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Excerpt:

Prologue

The rider’s eyes flinched warily as the door was opened by a woman. Behind her, a floodtide of music tumbled and cursed its way down the stairs to join battle with noise blaring from a half-open door at the far end of the hallway. The air around them pulsed under the throb of a penetrating bass beat. 

Unable to hear the rider speak, the woman shook her head and walked to the foot of the stairs where she drew in a deep breath and hurled her words upwards, ‘’Wayne! Turn that bloody music down!’ 

The music continued.

She looked at the delivery rider, rolled her eyes and shouted harshly down the hallway. ‘Mickey! It’s a pizza delivery. You ordered pizzas?’

There was no answer, and no one appeared. 

With a hissed obscenity she turned and left the helmeted rider standing at the door, two pizza cartons resting in the crook of an arm, as she walked barefoot along the hallway where she pushed open the door. A fresh blast of excited screams from a television show swept along the hallway and pushed past the rider, out into the street. 

The rider glanced back down the driveway, concerned that the noise might draw the attention of neighbours or a passer-by. 

An aggressive exchange of words was followed by the appearance of a broad-shouldered man in an open-neck shirt drawn tight over his muscled bulk. Around his neck hung a heavy gold chain, half-hidden amongst a mat of dark curly hair. He glared belligerently at the leather-clad figure in the porch, tossed an abusive remark at the woman and swaggered towards the door with the bow-shouldered gait of a body builder. 

Mickey McBride stood in front of the delivery rider and stared hard into the flat, impenetrable eyes that gazed at him from behind the half-raised visor of the crash helmet. 

‘Who are you?’ demanded McBride, aggressively. ‘I ain’t order no pizzas!’

Balancing the boxes on one arm, the rider held up a delivery note as explanation. 

‘I only delivers them mate. Two pizzas for a Mickey McBride at this address, all paid for. That you?’ 

Behind McBride, the woman leant against the door frame, watching the television while glancing occasionally towards the front door until a roar of laughter drew her into the room and out of sight. Seemingly oblivious to the noise around him, McBride’s  nostrils flared at the smell of hot cheese and spiced meats. He swallowed instinctively as his eyes slid greedily to the boxes. 

‘Paid for, you say?’ he demanded, and looked back at the eyes above the neckerchief. 

The rider nodded, tucked the delivery slip into a pocket of the leather jacket and held the boxes out for McBride to take. 

McBride gave a sly grin. ‘Well, seems a shame to let ‘em go to waste,’ and put out his hands to receive the boxes. As he did so his eyes narrowed suspiciously, and he peered over the motor-cyclist’s shoulder. 

‘Ain’t you a bit old to be delivering pizzas? Where’s your bike?’ 

The rider let the boxes tilt forwards. Instinctively, McBride grabbed for his falling prize with both hands. 

He barely saw the rider’s right hand strike upwards. Barely registered the blow to his ribs as thin, cold steel parted flesh and muscle to pierce his heart, where it was deftly twisted, then withdrawn with a soft, sucking noise. 

McBride did feel an explosion of pain fill his chest. The immediate, overwhelming loss of control.  Still  clutching the boxes, he gulped fish-like for air that would not come and fell to his knees. The rider bent forward and spoke into the dying man’s ear. 

Bewildered, McBride looked up into the blue eyes studying him with a cold detachment. A faint glimmer of recognition flickered briefly in McBride’s eyes but was extinguished as his ruined heart emptied, and he pitched forward across the threshold of his home.

The helmeted figure stepped aside and stared down the hall, the knife ready. The woman was still out of sight. Another swell of noise washed down the hallway and over the prone body, smothering the soft snap of a blade being returned to its concealed sheath. 

The rider pulled down the visor, turned, and walked away. Nearby, a motorcycle was started quietly and slowly ridden away. 

A woman’s scream tore the air.

If that has piqued your interest, you can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3fvjmtg 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kYeT3u 

About The Author:

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career. 

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives. 

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate. 

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ray_britain 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raybritain.author/ 

Website: http://www.raybritain.com/

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

Forgotten Victim by Helen H. Durrant @hhdurrant @JoffeBooks #BookReview #BlogTour

Title: Forgotten Victim by Helen H. Durrant

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 29th December 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

MEET DETECTIVE RACHEL KING IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.

A BRAND NEW MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT THAT WILL HAVE YOU GRIPPED FROM START TO PULSATING FINISH.

The decomposed remains of a body are found entombed in the depths of a disused Manchester cotton mill. Detective Rachel King is called in to investigate the grisly discovery.

IF NO ONE KNOWS THE VICTIM, HOW CAN YOU CATCH THE KILLER?

With gunshot wounds to the knees, this was no accident. This was murder. But the question is: was this a gangland killing or a murder motivated by a deadly secret closer to home?

With the help of DS Elwyn Price, Rachel must follow the evidence where it takes her. But who can she trust? And who in this notorious area knows more than they’re admitting to?

Meanwhile, Rachel has a huge secret of her own. How long can she keep her pregnancy from her colleagues before she has to face up to the reality of her relationship with the shadowy character Jed McAteer?

Can Rachel uncover the dark secrets of the past and catch the killer — before anyone else dies?

A MYSTERY FULL OF STUNNING TWISTS

Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.

What readers are saying about HELEN H. DURRANT

“I couldn’t put it down.” Barbara

“This new series by Helen H. Durrant certainly has got off to a thrilling start.” Viv

“If you want a book to get your teeth into, this is the one. A massive 5*.” Greta

“Another fast-paced murder mystery.” Aileen

“The writing was top notch and the characters were very real.” Kat

THE DETECTIVE
DCI Rachel King. Mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan. She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester. She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one — family, friends or colleagues know the truth about this.

ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT
RACHEL KING
Book 1: Next Victim
Book 2: Two Victims
Book 3: Wrong Victim
Book 4: FORGOTTEN VICTIM

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS
Book 8: DEAD BAD
Book 9: DEAD GUILTY

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS
Book 1: DARK MURDER
Book 2: DARK HOUSES
Book 3: DARK TRADE
Book 4: DARK ANGEL

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this blog tour and Joffe Books for providing me with a copy of Forgotten Victim in exchange for an honest review.

This is the fourth in the Rachel King series but it can easily be read as a standalone but I would suggest reading the previous novel as some of the storyline carries over.

A couple of kids find a decomposing body entombed under the derelict Shawcross Mill. Rachel is called in to investigate but with no I.D. and residents too scared to talk she and her team have a hard job ahead of them.

Forgotten Victim is a well-written police procedural as I’ve come to expect from Helen H. Durrant.

I still love the character of Rachel with a personal life almost as complicated as the cases she investigates. She is still standing in the way of her own happiness and making things harder for herself as usual.

I will say I wasn’t all that shocked by the culprit but what really kept me going was finding out the killers motive, that was a bit of a surprise!

Forgotten Victim is a fast paced mystery that really pulled me and didn’t let me go.

About The Author:

OVER 750,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

Twitter @hhdurrant

Facebook       https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl

Website  https://www.helenhdurrant.co.uk/

The Ice Daughters (Dove Milson 2) by D.E. White @DEWhiteAuthor @JoffeBooks #BlogTour #BookReview #PoliceProcedural

Title: The Ice Daughters (Dove Milson 2) by D.E White

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 17th December 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

AS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS THE BODY COUNT RISES

Firefighters race to put out a blaze at a remote farm-house, only to discover two young girls alone in the house.

Their mother is gone — and in her place is the dead body of a man, frozen into a foetal position. Two chess pieces made of ice are arranged on her doorstep. Then it happens again. A missing woman. A frozen body. Chess pieces made of ice.

DC Dove Milson and her team are on the case, but time is running out to stop the killer. Then ice sculptures are left outside her front door.

Is this check or checkmate?

THE ICE DAUGHTERS is the utterly gripping follow-up to GLASS DOLLS in D.E. White’s bestselling Detective Dove Milson series.

ALSO BY D. E. WHITE
DETECTIVE DOVE MILSON SERIES
Book 1: GLASS DOLLS
Book 2: THE ICE DAUGHTERS

Review:

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

A woman goes missing, leaving her two daughters behind. A frozen body is found near her house. Are the two crimes linked?

The Ice Daughters is a great follow up to Glass Dolls, I can see this developing into a really strong series. I will say that you should start with the first in the series, as it gives away a bit of the plot of the previous book in this one.

I feel the author was a bit more confident in this outing and built on the great characters that I enjoyed in the first book. I really like Dove and Steve. I feel we get to know them a little better in this book than the last which is always a bonus.

This was a well-paced book, with plenty of action and a puzzling mystery that kept me guessing until the end.

I really enjoyed the mystery narrator whose POV was scattered throughout the book, adding to the mystery.

My only criticism is there’s a lot going on. First you’ve got a fire and a missing woman, then a frozen body and ice chess pieces…it was a lot to keep straight in my head.

The Ice Daughters is a solid police procedural that really kept me entertained throughout.

About The Author:

Daisy White started writing fifteen years ago, scribbling ideas at work on the night shift, firstly flying as cabin crew, and latterly working for the Ambulance Service.

Her 1960’s cosy mystery trilogy, The Ruby Baker Mysteries, was published in 2017 by Joffe Books, followed by psychological thrillers Remember Me and The Forgotten Child (HarperCollins) in 2019. 

Daisy’s new crime thriller GLASS DOLLS, (Joffe Books), is out at the end of March 2020, and is the first in the DC. Dove Milson series. 

Daisy is a multi- award-winning entrepreneur, and loves inspiring new writers to put pen to paper to start their own creative journey. She is represented by The Kate Nash Literary Agency.

Website; www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk

Social Media;

https://www.facebook.com/DaisyWhiteAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/daisywhiteauthor/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daisy-white-b6764059/

For book enquiries; lina@katenashlit.co.uk 

For speaking engagements please contact; kaye@andromedatalent.com 

 To contact Daisy; daisy@daisywhiteauthor.co.uk 

#BookReview The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Title: The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Publisher: Avon

Date Published: 29th October 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.

Review:

I’ve seen some great reviews of The Christmas Killer and I saw it was available through my library, I really had to read it.

As I’ve said before in my reviews I don’t read a lot of Christmas themed books but having read some good short mystery/Christmas themed stories I really think I’ve been missing out!

James and his wife Annie moved back to Annie’s hometown after a threat forces them to move from London. They think the small village of Kirby Abbey is the perfect place to hide out, until threatening Christmas cards turn up and bodies start to drop…

The Christmas Killer is a police procedural which gripped me from the start and really had me turning those pages!

Both James and Annie were really likeable well drawn characters as were the rest of the supporting cast. My only issue with Annie is she was a little annoying at times.

I love the setting of the small village with the threat of a disastrous snow storm that could cut them off from the rest of the world and trap them with a killer. It reminded me of those old mysteries where you’re trapped in a manor house or such with a killer and everyone’s a suspect. 

I would say this novel verges more on the cozy side than the usually gritty hard hitting police procedural. I’m not complaining about this, I love a cozy, but as with some stories like this it takes a bit of time to get going.

The Christmas Killer is an enjoyable whodunnit and I’m very much looking forward to more from this author!

About The Author:

Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world – many of the stories he covered were crime-related. Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on a marina close to the New Forest on the South Coast – providing him with the best of both worlds!

#BlogTour The Guilty Man (Lennox & Wilde 1) by Helen H. Durrant @JoffeBooks @hhdurrant

Title: The Guilty Man (Lennox & Wilde 1) by Helen H. Durrant

Publisher. Joffe Books

Date Published: 29th October 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

MEET DETECTIVE HARRY LENNOX AND JESS WILDE IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.

A BRAND NEW MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT THAT WILL HAVE YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FROM PAGE ONE. FAST-PACED AND FULL OF SURPRISES.

A little girl, presumed dead, turns up playing happily in the park. She is barefoot but otherwise unharmed. The child’s mother, who lives on a notorious local estate, doesn’t seem bothered that her daughter has returned alive.

Meanwhile, a man is tortured by a ruthless criminal. The victim’s severed hand is left on his wife’s doorstep.

Detective Harry Lennox and DI Jess Wilde investigate. How do the cases connect and who is using threats to drive people out of their homes?

Harry Lennox is battling his own demons, trying to bury a secret from his past with alcohol. He stays in a rundown campervan on a friend’s driveway. Jess wants to know why he’s living like this, but he refuses to tell her anything. What’s he hiding?

A MYSTERY FULL OF STUNNING TWISTS WHICH YOU WON’T WANT TO PUT DOWN. WILL HARRY’S PAST TEAR THE DETECTIVES APART?

Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.

What readers are saying about HELEN H. DURRANT

“I couldn’t put it down.” Barbara

“This new series by Helen H. Durrant certainly has got off to a thrilling start.” Viv

“If you want a book to get your teeth into, this is the one. A massive 5*” Greta

“Another fast-paced murder mystery” Aileen

“The writing was top notch and the characters were very real.” Kat

THE DETECTIVES

DI HARRY LENNOX began his career in Glasgow, but due to a traumatic incident, transferred to West Yorkshire and then Ryebridge. He blames a local villain for what happened and is afraid that he’ll catch up with him. Harry is single, thirty-five and has a chaotic lifestyle. Currently living on a mate’s drive in a campervan. This is down to his girlfriend throwing him out.

DS JESS WILDE is thirty and still lives with her parents. She is unattached and keen to progress in her career. She gets on well with Harry. He doesn’t have much time for protocol, and this suits her. She is critical of how he lives. She is about to buy her first property locally.

ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT

RACHEL KING

Book 1: Next Victim

Book 2: Two Victims

Book 3: Wrong Victim

Book 4: Forgotten Victim

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES

Book 1: DEAD WRONG

Book 2: DEAD SILENT

Book 3: DEAD LIST

Book 4: DEAD LOST

Book 5: DEAD & BURIED

Book 6: DEAD NASTY

Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

Book 8: DEAD BAD

Book 9: DEAD GUILTY

Book 10: DEAD WICKED

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS

Book 1: DARK MURDER

Book 2: DARK HOUSES

Book 3: DARK TRADE

Book 4: DARK ANGEL

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’ve read several of Helen Durrant’s books now, so it intrigued me when I heard she was releasing a new series with new detectives.

A little girl who they thought was dead is found alive and well. A local dodgy businessman has gone missing, his severed hand turns up on his doorstep. Can detective’s Harry Lennox and Jess Wilde find out what is going on in their small town before someone else gets hurt?

The Guilty Man is a tense and intricately plotted police procedural that pulls you in with a steady pace and realistic characters.

Harry is a heavy drinker with a past which he’s keeping to himself. This annoys Jess a lot, and I mean a lot, and she’s determined to figure it out, which causes them to butt heads a fair few times through the story. I have to be honest I’m not too struck on these new detectives yet, but as this is the first in the series there’s plenty of room for them to grow. I will say that I’m very intrigued by the character of Harry and I’ll be interested to see him develop. 

The Guilty Man is a fairly quick and gripping read and a good start to this series. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for these detectives.

About The Author:

OVER 750,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

Twitter @hhdurrant

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl

Website  https://www.helenhdurrant.co.uk/

#BookReview Knock Knock (Lockhart & Green 1) by Chris Merritt @bookouture @DrCJMerritt

Title: Knock Knock (Lockhart & Green 1) by Chris Merritt

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 17th March 2020

Genre: Police Procedural 

Description:

Natasha Mayston wasn’t expecting anyone to knock on her door so late at night. And she has no idea that the face staring back at her is the last one she’ll ever see…

As Detective Dan Lockhart is called to a wealthy London street to investigate Natasha’s death, he’s startled by the similarity to a previous case. Noticing the cable-tie restraints and the tiny scratches on Natasha’s wedding finger, Dan already knows what he will find if he looks in her mouth – the metal ball which choked her to death. He knows Natasha isn’t the killer’s first victim and is certain that he will strike again.

Months earlier, Kim Hardy was found in the same position in a run-down hotel across the city – an identical silver ball in her throat. But Kim’s murderer was caught and sent to prison – did they arrest the wrong man? And what connects the two victims? Fearing that he’s dealing with a psychopathic serial killer, Dan calls in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help him to get into the perpetrator’s mind. Tough and smart, Lexi will stop at nothing to hunt down the man responsible for the deaths.

Then, another body is discovered, just as Lexi finds a clue online leading to the killer. Dan’s team aren’t convinced, but in pushing Lexi away from the investigation, they force her to dig further into the case on her own. Convinced that she’s on to something, she puts herself in unthinkable danger… but can Dan piece together the clues and identify the killer before it’s too late?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Cara Hunter will love this thrilling new series from Chris Merritt. From an explosive start to a heart-stopping finale, you will not want to put this book down!

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for my copy of this book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a couple of Chris Merritt’s Zac Boateng series, so I was intrigued to see what these new characters, Detective Dan Lockhart and Dr Lexi Green, were like.

Knock Knock is a tension packed serial killer thriller and a great introduction to these new characters.

Dan is a former soldier suffering from mental health issues after his wife disappeared years earlier. Lexi is a talented psychiatrist who can hold her own in most situations. I sensed a bit of romantic tension between the two but having read Chris Merritt’s previous books he never makes anything easy for his characters! 

I really enjoyed the secondary cast of characters from Dan’s team, particularly Max, who’s not only a woman trying to make it in a male dominated profession but she’s also missing two fingers and a thumb on one of her hands. 

The serial killer in this novel was one of the most despicable I’ve come across, choking women with a metal ball. Yes, all serial killers are awful but this one’s hatred of women and all their accomplishments really dripped from the pages. 

I did get a little frustrated with Dan and his team, I mean they brought Lexi in and then pretty much ignored what she said. I hope in the future novels this changes!

This was a solid start to the series with plenty of room for characters to grow. I’m looking forward to reading the second instalment Who’s Next?

About The Author:

Hello! I’m a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.

All my novels are set in London, where I live. My first trilogy starred Zac Boateng and Kat Jones, two detectives motivated by family, who tackle organised crime and police corruption. LAST WITNESS, the second Boateng and Jones book, reached #13 in the UK Kindle chart in 2019.

My second series features detective Dan Lockhart – an ex-soldier with a missing wife – and psychologist Dr Lexi Green, an American living in London. These novels are darker, more psychological serial-killer cases, with romantic relationships as a central theme.

I began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. I specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked my interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.

Now, I spend most of my time writing novels and drinking coffee while *thinking* about writing novels. When I’m not writing, I love climbing and playing basketball.

You can find out more about my work at http://www.cjmerritt.co.uk or follow me on Twitter @DrCJMerritt

#BookReview The Curator (Washington Poe 3) by M.W. Craven

Title: The Curator by MW Craven

Published: Constable

Date Published: 4th June 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

Review:

Ever since I picked up the Puppet Master a few years back this series has always been a must read for me and the third is no different.

Fingers are being displayed around Cumbria at Christmas, so Poe and Tilly are brought in to investigate. What seems to be a serial killer case takes an stranger turn when they discover a sinister figure, The Curator, is involved. Will they be able to find him before more people die?

The Curator is what I’ve come to expect with this series, a complex mystery, coupled with a few gruesome scenes and nail biting moments.

For me what makes the series a standout is Poe and Tilly. Their relationship is sweet, they’re very loyal to each other and always look out for one another, which makes the perfect contrast to the gruesome/upsetting murder cases they investigate. 

Truthfully, it kind of lost my attention a bit in the middle but the tense and emotional ending really made up for it.

The Curator is a good addition to this great series, I’m looking forward to Tilly and Poe’s next adventure!

About The Author:

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Raven Girl by Stewart Giles @stewartgiles

Title: The Raven Girl by Stewart Giles

Date Published: 15th July 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

From # 1 bestselling author, Stewart Giles comes a new detective Harriet Taylor/Jason Smith thriller.

The lives of the people in the charming Cornish village of Trotterdown are about to be shattered.

When the body of a man is discovered on a beach near Trotterdown, detective Harriet Taylor gets to work. It soon becomes clear that this was no ordinary murder – the man was placed in a yoga position and his pockets were filled with seashells.

As more bodies pile up, suspicion falls on the residents of the old Beekeeper’s house. Who are these New-Age youngsters and is their ‘peace and love’ philosophy merely a front to cover up something sinister?

Harriet and her team are stumped. Everywhere they turn seems to lead nowhere, and they soon believe these gruesome murders will remain unsolved forever.

Then Detective Sergeant Jason Smith receives a phone call that will change his life forever. Harriet’s DI calls and gives him some terrible news.
‘Harriet Taylor is dead.’

Smith must now make a choice. Harriet’s DI has asked for his help in the investigation that resulted in her grisly death, but does Smith really want to get involved in something that really does not concern him?

Against his better judgement and ignoring his wife’s pleas, Smith heads off to Trotterdown to see if he can find out what it was that Harriet failed to see, but when he eventually does uncover what it was Harriet discovered that culminated in her death, his own life is put at risk. Could this be the case that finishes off Smith for good?

BOOKS BY STEWART GILES

DS JASON SMITH SERIES
Book 0.5-Phobia
Book 1-Smith
Book 2-Boomerang
Book 3-Ladybird
Book 4-Occam’s Razor
Book 5-Harlequin
Book 6-Selene
Book 7-Horsemen
Book 8-Unworthy
Book 9 – Venom
Book 10 – Severed
Book 11 – Demons
Book 12 – Deadeye

DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1-The Beekeeper
Book 2-The Perfect Murder
Book 3-The Backpacker
Trotterdown a box set of DC Harriet Taylor books 1-3

DS JASON SMITH &DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1 – The Enigma
Book 2 – Dropzone
Book 3 – The Raven Girl

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS
Miranda
Mistress
Medusa (coming soon)

STANDALONE HORROR
The Divide

DI O’REILLY MYSTERIES
Blood on the Island

Review:

I want to thank Jill at Books n All promotions for inviting me on this tour and Stewart Giles for providing me with a copy of The Raven Girl in exchange for an honest review.

While this can be read as a standalone, I would suggest you read either the Harriet Taylor series (The Beekeeper especially) or the previous books in the Harriet Taylor/Jason Smith series first to get a better understanding of the characters. 

The Raven Girl made me quite emotional! I’m very sad to see that this is probably going to be the last book that features DC Harriet Taylor. The character of Harriet was how I was introduced to Stewart Giles’ writing and it feels a bit like the end of an era for me.

A body is found on Totterdown beach in a yoga pose, his pockets filled with seashells. Suspicion immediately falls on the residents of the old Beekeepers cottage, particularly Alice Green, the beekeeper’s granddaughter. Another body is found further up the beach and it doesn’t look good for Alice but Harriet is not convinced. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she doesn’t realise that it will be her last…

As with all of Stewart Giles’ books there’s no shortage of blood, bodies and drama. The first half focuses on Harriet’s investigation, then the second Smith is brought in after Harriet’s murder to wrap it all up.

I liked that there seemed to be a bit of character growth with Jason Smith. If you know Smith he’s not one for treading lightly and has a bit of a lone wolf thing going on but in this novel he actually worked with Harriet’s team rather than go off on his own.

I did feel like the ending was a bit abrupt for my liking but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the overall story.

The Raven Girl is a quick and compelling read that had me racing through those pages.

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. 

Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. This was followed by the sequel Mistress in 2019.  Medusa is coming soon

The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 13 books including the introduction: Phobia. Book 12: Deadeye was published in February 2020.

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

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

#BlogTour #BookReview The Deadly Houses by Charlie Gallagher @JoffeBooks @gloriouscharlie

Title: The Deadly Houses (Maddie Ives 6) by Charlie Gallagher

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 14th July 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Discover the hottest crime thriller this summer.

THEY LOST THEIR FAMILIES, NOW THEY’RE COMING FOR YOURS

Four brutal men destroyed their own families. And they will do anything to get them back.

Detective Maddie Ives won’t let that happen.

She works with the people who will keep them safe. But then the team protecting them begin to be hunted down.

The social worker leading the case is found beaten and suffocated. A man turns himself in claiming to be the killer, but Maddie knows he’s lying.

FEAR WILL MAKE YOU DO THE UNIMAGINABLE

Three more victims are under pressure. If they fail, their families will die.

Detective Maddie Ives faces a heart-pounding race against time to connect the crimes. And she calls in Harry Blaker, still grieving the loss of his own daughter, to help.

YOU’RE NOT EVEN SAFE IN YOUR OWN HOUSE

Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.

DON’T MISS THE MOST GRIPPING THRILLER YOU’LL READ THIS YEAR!

PRAISE FOR CHARLIE GALLAGHER

“An exceptional thriller with a truly evil antagonist, this is a book that is nigh on impossible to put down.” Lou

“This is a brilliant read.” Billie

Riveting crime fiction with twists and turns that make this a real page-turner.” Linda

“I haven’t come across such an evil, warped-minded villain for a long, long time.” Sarah

“I think this is the best yet — fantastic read from start to finish.” Nerys

“This is a truly sensational thriller that’s impossible to put down.”

“As the story hurtled towards its devastating denouement, I was caught totally by surprise at what happened.”

ALSO BY CHARLIE GALLAGHER

MADDIE IVES

Book 1: HE IS WATCHING YOU

Book 2: HE WILL KILL YOU

Book 3: HE WILL FIND YOU

Book 4: HE KNOWS YOUR SECRETS

Book 5: HE WILL GET YOU

Book 6: THE DEADLY HOUSES

GEORGE ELMS, LANGTHORNE SERIES

Book 1: BODILY HARM

Book 2: PANIC BUTTON

Book 3: BLOOD MONEY

Book 4: END GAME

Book 5: MISSING

Book 6: THEN SHE RAN

Book 7: HER LAST BREATH

STANDALONE

RUTHLESS

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw at Books ‘n’ all promotions for inviting me on this tour and Joffe books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is the sixth in the Maddie Ives series but it can easily be read as a standalone, although I would recommend reading a few of the other books in the series just to get a fuller picture of the characters.

The deadly houses is a dark and at times quite scary read with plenty of pulse pounding moments.

A man shows up confessing to a murder which Maddie Ives isn’t convinced he committed. Her new boss won’t hear her out and wants the murder all wrapped up. In desperation she turns to her old boss and friend Harry Blaker. When they dig deeper, the case becomes a lot more sinister that it first appears.

As always with all of Charlie Gallagher’s books, it’s cleverly written with his experience as a police officer shines through, adding the air of authenticity to the novel.

I did feel the middle of the story lost a little bit of steam but the emotion and tense ending made up for it.

The Deadly Houses is both an emotional yet at times quite chilling read that had me thinking about it long after I’d finished it. 

About The Author:

Charlie Gallagher has been a serving UK police officer for ten years. During that time he has had many roles, starting as a front-line response officer, then a member of a specialist tactical team and is currently a detective investigating serious offences. 

LINKS

Website:   https://www.writercharliegallagher.com

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

Twitter:     @gloriouscharlie