Q&A A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw @RaeShawauthor @rararesources #BlogTour

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic Q&A with Rae Shaw, aka Rachel Walkley, as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources but first a little about the book:

Title: A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw

Date Published: 24th March 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, that is until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?

Mark works for Haynes’s vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.

His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend whom she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.

For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?

Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives in danger.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X1PN4VH

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X1PN4VH

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57237006-a-chance-encounter

Trailer – https://youtu.be/g2U11opEcqs

Q&A with Rae Shaw:

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? 

Julianna has quit a good job as a government agent to work as a chauffeur and bodyguard. She’s lost her way but not her curiosity. So when she suspects her boss’s wife is having an affair, she can’t stop herself from spying. What starts out as a personal mission ends up being a far greater threat to her life.


Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

The idea for a bodyguard who doesn’t play by the rules was the catalyst and from there, Julianna developed into a kind of PI who sometimes takes investigations too far.


If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be? 

Murder takes seconds, revenge takes years.


What is a typical writing day like for you? 

I used to write full-time. These days I grab a few hours when I can at the weekend.

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why? 

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. They have everything you could want in a story.


Who are your favourite authors? 

I have reliable favourites – Isabel Allende and Robert Goddard are both brilliant storytellers. I have a fondness for procedural police novels and especially American writer Ed McBain. Although he passed away some years ago, I read his books over a span of thirty years, from when I was eleven until his last book in the late 1990s.


Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job? 

I work as an information scientist and I spend my weekdays analysing scientific texts rather than writing.


Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!) 

I’m a biologist.


What are you currently working on? 

I’m working on the third book of the Julianna Baptiste series, the second is written and ready to be published. I’m also editing another book which will be published in a different genre using my real name – Rachel Walkley.

About The Author –  

Rae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.

Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.

As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.

Social Media Links – 

https://raeshawauthor.com/

Rae Shaw Facebook page

Rachel Walkley

#BlogTour #BookReview Trust Me by T.M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Title: Trust Me by T.M. Logan

Date Published: 18th March 2021

Publisher: Zaffre Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.

Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia

Don’t trust the police

Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . . 

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and Zaffre books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

This is my third T.M.Logan book and having enjoyed those novels I was very excited to see what this one had to offer.

Trust Me may be just over four hundred pages long, but with its quick pace and short chapters it didn’t feel that long at all. 

The story follows Ellen, a woman in her forties who’s just received the diagnosis that she won’t be able to have children. On the train home she’s asked to look after baby Mia while her mum makes an urgent call. Time passes, but her mum doesn’t come back. Looking for clues to the woman’s disappearance it leads Ellen down a dangerous path but she knows one thing, she must protect Mia at all costs.

Ellen was an excellent character with hidden depths. At first you think she’s just an average person who I felt more than a bit sorry for, but it turns out she’s a bit of a badass. Her determination and stubbornness to let things go really drew me on through the novel.  

There’s a good deal of intrigue and tension running through the story, and you’re really not sure who to trust. Unfortunately, the author tried so hard to deceive that I felt it made the real bad guy a bit obvious.

Trust Me is a quick and addictive read, perfect to lose yourself in for a few hours. 

About The Author:

Tim’s thrillers have sold more than one million copies in the UK and are published in 19 countries around the world including the USA, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Netherlands.

His brand new novel TRUST ME has been described as ‘Everything you want from a thriller, and more…’ TRUST ME is out now in hardback, e-book and audiobook.

His debut thriller LIES was one of Amazon’s biggest selling e-books of 2017 and was followed by 29 SECONDS in 2018. THE HOLIDAY was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for summer 2019 and spent ten weeks in the Sunday Times paperback top ten.

THE CATCH is about a father who becomes convinced his daughter is about to marry a man with terrible secrets.

Tim was born in Berkshire and studied in London and Cardiff before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children, and writes in a cabin at the bottom of his garden.

For exclusive writing and new releases from TM Logan, sign up to the Readers’ Club: www.bit.ly/TMLogan.

#CoverReveal A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw @rararesources @RaeShawauthor

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fab cover reveal for A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw that will be released on the 24th March! First a little about the book: 

Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, that is until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?

Mark works for Haynes’s vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.

His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend whom she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.

For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?

Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives in danger.

You can Pre-order your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X1PN4VH

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X1PN4VH

Now here is the fantastic cover:

You can watch a quick trailer for the book here – https://youtu.be/g2U11opEcqs

About The Author:  

Rae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.

Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.

As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.

Social Media Links – 

Rae Shaw Facebook page

Rachel Walkley

#CoverReveal and an exciting announcement! MIMIC by Daniel Cole #Mimic @trapezebooks @DanielColeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Hello lovelies and happy Friday! Today I have a fantastic cover reveal of a standalone thriller MIMIC by Daniel Cole author of the Ragdoll series, will be published by Trapeze on the 19th August 2021. I will also be bringing you an exciting announcement for an Daniel Cole fans out there but first a little about the book:

1989. DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winters are on the trail of a serial killer with a twisted passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. After Chambers nearly loses his life, the case goes cold due to lack of evidence. The killer lies dormant, his collection unfinished. Seven years later, DS Marshall has excelled through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service, despite being haunted by the case that defined her teenage years. She obtains new evidence and joins Chambers and Winters to reopen the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between justice and vigilante in pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated.

Daniel Cole, author, said: “Sam Eades and the team at Trapeze gave me my big break back in 2016 with the RAGDOLL trilogy, so I couldn’t be more excited to be moving into this new chapter of my writing career together.”

Sam Eades, editor, said: “MIMIC has the winning combination of a killer you love to hate, three flawed but compelling detectives and ambitious storytelling with plenty of jaw-dropping twists and turns. It reminded me why I fell in love with his debut thriller all over again, and marks an exciting year for Danny, culminating with the release of the RAGDOLL TV adaptation this Autumn.”

You can Pre-order your copy here:

www.smarturl.it/Mimic

Now for the amazing cover:

Now as promised the exciting announcement!

Daniel Cole’s bestselling crime novel RAGDOLL greenlit for six-part series,
from the team behind the hit television show Killing Eve!!! 

UKTV has teamed up with Sid Gentle Films Ltd and AMC to announce the greenlight of the new modern-day Faustian thriller Ragdoll (6×60), based on the international bestselling debut novel by Daniel Cole, for its crime drama pay TV channel Alibi. The project will air on Alibi in the UK and AMC in the United States. The pitch black and darkly witty thriller will be adapted into six parts, with a writing team led by Freddy Syborn (Ms Marvel, Bad Education). 

Six people have been murdered, dismembered and sewn into the shape of one grotesque body — nicknamed the ‘Ragdoll’. Assigned to the shocking case are DS Nathan Rose, recently reinstated to the London Met; his best friend and boss, DI Emily Baxter; and the unit’s new recruit, DC Lake Edmunds. The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by sending them a list of his next victims, with Rose’s name among them. And with those victims to protect, our heroes soon come under intense public scrutiny. A darkly funny, gruesomely imaginative serial killer thriller, Ragdoll also captures the fascinating but flawed friends struggling with the consequences of institutionalisation and trauma. 

Filming will commence in Spring 2021 around London and air in late 2021. Cast will be announced at a later date. 

Daniel Cole says; “’With “Killing Eve”, Sid Gentle Films have already demonstrated an uncanny ability to walk the line between black humour and gripping TV. They bought the rights way back, before I even had my first book deal, and their passion for the project hasn’t wavered since. They got it from the off, and I feel that RAGDOLL couldn’t be in safer hands.”

Freddy Syborn says; “I hope RAGDOLL will be a visually exciting, darkly funny thriller in which the personal is the political. Above all, I hope our characters can make you laugh, then break your heart.” 

Sally Woodward Gentle, Executive Producer, Sid Gentle Films says; “I am so excited that we are embarking on this twisty and sophisticated piece with Freddy and the team. AMC have already proved themselves to be brilliant partners and we can’t wait to work with Alibi.” 

Philippa Collie Cousins, Commissioning Editor, Drama, UKTV says; “RAGDOLL is a dystopian, mesmerising, wickedly funny piece of hard-boiled detective screen fiction. It invites the audience into a timeless world of crime thriller, sending us on a rollercoaster ride with flawed, compelling Rose, his best friend/cop partner Baxter and rookie Edmunds. Together, they tread a maverick route to the truth in a broken world, with touches of Raymond Chandler meets Tina Fey in their memorable banter. Beautifully designed, this atmospheric project mirrors the pure evil, suspense and attention to detail of Silence of the Lambs.” 

Emma Ayech, channel director for Alibi adds: “I am thrilled to be bringing this exciting series to Alibi and to be working with such great partners in Sid Gentle Films and AMC. RAGDOLL is a dark and twisty murder mystery that will hook our viewers with its macabre sense of humour and addictive plot; it will be a great addition to our growing slate of brand-new British crime drama.” 

I can safely say I’ll be looking forward to the TV series!

About The Author:
Daniel Cole is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the RAGDOLL series, with over half a million copies sold worldwide in 35 territories. Daniel has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and the RNLI, and now writes full-time.

#BlogTour #BookReview Deity by Matt Wesolowski @OrendaBooks @concretekraken @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours

Title: Deity by Matt Wesolowski

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date Published: 18th February 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rakes over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge. Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Why was he never officially charged? Are reports of a haunting really true?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive, spine-chilling thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we are willing to turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…

Review:

I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Orenda Books for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

So this is my second outing into the world of podcaster Scott King even though this is the fifth book in the series, (The previous novel I read was the first Six Stories which I read last year and loved.), but I thought, it’s lockdown, I’m living on the edge so I’ll just jump into Deity. For me it did work well as a standalone, even though it had a character from one of the previous books in it.

I have such a book hangover and it’s all Matt Wesolowski’s fault! I genuinely have not stopped thinking about Deity for days and how I am going to do justice in my review! 

If you’re not familiar with the series, it’s told through six podcast interviews, this time it’s interspersed with the last interview that Zach Crystal ever did. We’re taken through Zach Crystal’s rise to fame, then infamy and hear from detractors and obsessed superfans trying to actually find out who the real Zach Crystal was and what really happened to him.

I absolutely love the sort of supernatural aspect that is brought into the story, to run alongside the mystery that adds that extra layer of intrigue and creepiness. The paranormal element in this book took the form of a creature that legend says roams the woods around Zach Crystal’s property and is supposedly a portent of disaster.

Deity really kept me guessing until the end. There were a few subtle clues along the way but it was so cleverly written that I completely missed them.

A little warning, this story deals with themes of abuse and violence which some people may find a little upsetting.

Deity is a dark and devastating yet utterly addictive and I cannot recommend highly enough!

About The Author:

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies, such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Changeling, the third book in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His fourth book, Beast, won the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Book of the Year award in 2020.

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

Title: Body Language by A.K Turner

Publisher: Zaffre

Date Published: 26th November 2020

Genre: Thriller

Description:

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

Camden mortuary assistant Cassie Raven has pretty much seen it all. But this is the first time she’s come face to face with someone she knows on the slab. Someone she cared about. Her friend and mentor, Mrs E.

Deeply intuitive and convinced that she can pick up the last thoughts of the dead, Cassie senses that there must be more to the ruling of an accidental death. Is her grief making her see things that aren’t there, or is her intuition right, and there’s something more sinister to her friend’s death than the ME thinks? Harbouring an innate distrust of the police, Cassie sets out to investigate and deliver justice to the woman who saved her life.

For fans of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series and Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan, Cassie Raven is the edgy new forensic sleuth on the block.

Review:

I saw so many fantastic reviews for this book at the end of last year when I saw it was on loan through my library app, (because you know I don’t have enough books to review), I thought I had to read that!

Body Language is an unusual crime thriller with a paranormal twist. First, we have our sleuth Cassie Raven, who’s a mortuary assistant rather than the usual either pathologist or police officer. Then the author added a bit of the supernatural, in the form of the dead speaking to Cassie, which made it a unique and memorable read.

 Cassie and Flyte are fantastic characters who on the surface you think are very different. Cassie is a little Gothic with tattoos, piercings and a habit of talking to the dead bodies she looks after. She’s also a bit of a free spirit, not letting anyone or anything hold her down. Flyte on the other hand has just moved to London and is finding it a little hard to fit in. She is very uptight and a little OCD. The pair together was the perfect foil for each other, and I really warmed to both characters (although it took me a little longer to warm to Flyte!).  

There was a lot going on in this book, as we have mysteries but these were also wrapped up alongside Cassie and Flyte’s day to day which got a bit much to keep straight in my head but didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story overall.

I really hope this turns out to be a series and I look forward to reading more from these characters!

About The Author (taken from goodreads):

AKA Anya Lipska 

A K Turner likes to create memorable characters, throw them into unusual settings, and add a hefty dose of murder and a twisty-turny plot. Her latest book, Body Language, introduces a new kind of forensic heroine – a crime-solving Goth-girl mortuary technician who talks to the dead, a character first launched in two crime shorts aired on BBC Radio 4. A K’s previous series, written under the pen name Anya Lipska, starred a London-based Polish fixer who’s happy to crack heads to solve crimes – which saw her being selected for Val McDermid’s prestigious New Blood Panel at Harrogate Crime Festival in 2012.

A K (aka Ali) lives in East London where she is writing more mortuary-set mysteries. Her day job is producing TV documentaries on true crime and science topics. And just for light relief she is training to be a City of London guide…

Read more about A K’s books over at www.anyalipska.com where you can sign up to her newsletter for news and giveaways.

#BookReview The Spiral by Iain Ryan

Title: The Spiral by Iain Ryan

Publisher: Zaffre 

Publication Date: 10th December 2020

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Erma Bridges’ life is far from perfect, but entirely ordinary. So when she is shot twice in a targetted attack by a colleague, her quiet existence is shattered in an instant.

With her would-be murderer dead, no one can give Erma the answers she needs to move on from her trauma. Why her? Why now?

So begins Erma’s quest for the truth – and a dangerous, spiralling journey into the heart of darkness.

With all the inventiveness of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and the raw brutality of Mulholland Drive, THE SPIRAL is a unique crime thriller with killer twists – and 2020’s most jaw-dropping ending.

Review:

I want to thank the lovely people at Zaffre for providing me with an arc copy of The Spiral in exchange for an honest review.

Hmm, I’m going to need a minute to sort out my feelings over this book…

Okay let’s start with what I enjoyed…

It’s billed as the most original thriller of the year, which I totally agree with. We had Erma’s point of view mixed in with the mysterious Sero, a barbarian in a fantasy world. I can safely say I’ve never read a novel which has mixed fantasy with a psychological thriller before. 

Erma was a flawed and realistic character, if not that likeable. You know the type, they’re their own worst enemy. Then we have Sero who has no memory and is searching for answers and slaughtering whoever they feel like along the way. There were times when I was more intrigued with Sero’s POV over Erma’s.

It started out as a really addictive story, I wanted to find out more, the mystery really spurred me on to read more. Then it was that pesky third part. There was something unsatisfying about it and it became a little disjointed to me. 

Would I read something else by this author? Definitely. I really enjoyed the characters that the author created, I just wish there had been a better ending to the book.

About The Author:

Iain Ryan grew up in the outer suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. He predominantly writes in the hardboiled/noir genre and his work has been previously published by Akashic Books (New York), Crime Factory (Melbourne) and Broken River Books (Portland). His most recent novel ‘The Student’ is available now via Echo Publishing/Bonnier.

Always Adam by Mark Brumby #AlwaysAdam @brumbymark @BoomslangBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Hi lovelies! Today I have a guest post from Mark Brumby as part of the blog tour for Always Adam, organised by Emma at Damppebbles blog tours but first a bit about the book:

Title: Always Adam by Mark Brumby

Publisher: Boomslang Books

Publication Date: 30th November 2020

Genre: Thriller

Description:

London-based financial journalist Spencer Beck is obsessed with billionaire biotech prodigy, Adam Reid, orphaned in his mid-teens when his parents died in a tragic murder-suicide in New York City. A shadowy informant with MI5 connections promises Beck unfettered access to the mysterious Reid and introduces him to Daniel Flanagan, a retired Big Apple detective who investigated the deaths of Adam’s mother and father. Spencer’s initial scepticism, fed by the suspicions of the former police officer, turns to excitement when Reid reveals the truth about himself and his altruistic ambitions to protect society from a deadly virus with a powerful vaccine he’s developed. But when Beck’s entire world starts to implode, he discovers Reid harbours a vendetta that, left unchecked, threatens not only his survival but that of an entire species.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3koeGq4

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3lcGFKp

Guest Post: When is it appropriate to cry wolf?

Although it maybe shouldn’t have done, the Covid-19 pandemic took much of the Western World by surprise and, until very recently, we’ve been very much on the back foot.

Armchair experts have polarised to the extremes. Healthcare professionals have taken one view but libertarians have quite another and experts, such as Messrs Whitty & Vallance have been pilloried for crying wolf.

However, as there really is a wolf out there, isn’t that perhaps a little unjust?

The professionals have been criticised for getting their ‘forecasts’ wrong but, to be fair to them, they have always said their numbers were only an indication of what could, and most likely would, happen if people did not change their behaviour.

But behaviour did change.

And it changed before the experts made their views known with people behaving much as they have done for centuries in similar situations. They stayed in, they mixed less and they self-imposed lockdowns long before the word itself was coined since much of our behaviour is hard wired and, unfortunately, that is not a secret.

We can be manipulated. Our fears, hopes and dreams are predictable and, in Always Adam, a book first written some seven years ago when the idea of a global pandemic was nothing but a distant fantasy, we consider how such knowledge, in the hands of a billionaire such as Adam Reid can be dangerous.

We suggest that history, and even pre-history, is written by the winners and that just who are and were the ‘good guys’ is similarly determined.

Our anti-hero, the twenty-something Adam Reid, is a genius with a vaccine and a vendetta. He is ruthless and plays his cards well. Read Always Adam to find out how his plans unfold and who, if anyone, can stop him.

About the Author:

A Cambridge economics graduate, Mark Brumby is a vastly experience financial analyst and owner of Langton Capital, an FCA-regulated advisory company specialising in the hospitality and leisure sectors. He is a partner in the Imbiba Partnership, which invests in pub, bar and restaurant start-ups.

Mark wrote Always Adam (originally published as Payback) in 2013. Boomslang is republishing the book in November 2020 as it deserves to reach a wider audience in the current pandemic climate.

“Covid-19 has brought home not just the fragility of human life but the power of vaccines. Very shortly, we hope, a vaccine could physically alter the cell structure of three or four billion people and protect the same number again via herd immunity. But what if a vaccine were misused?”

“In some ways the world has changed but in many ways it remains the same. The ‘facts’ re our existence have not and will not change. But the events of the last few months have brought home the truth that we are only animals and that we are almost as much at risk from novel diseases with high R ratios and significant mortality rates as we have ever been.”

“I tried to take a step back and look at how we got here & what we’re doing. That sounds deep but some 99% of species that have ever existed are extinct, so what makes us so special?”

“Indeed, we’ve very nearly joined the list of ‘used-to-be’ species list on several occasions. Anthropologists believe that the human population at times in our history fell to a total of less than 10,000 individuals worldwide. You could fit them all in a small football ground and it’s more than a 99.99% reduction on the number of people around today.”

“As an author, Covid-19 has moved the goalposts a little. It has made the unbelievable a little more believable. A pandemic, until December of last year was, literally, a fiction.”

Mark Brumby is married with five children and commutes between London and his home in York.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdamGregorReid 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ASpencerBeck  

Social Media Links for Boomslang Books:

Website: https://boomslangbooks.org/ 

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoomslangBooks 

#BookReview The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone @OrendaBooks

Title: The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date Published: 20th August 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in book two of the darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive new Skelfs series!

‘Compelling, compassionate … just brilliant. This series gets better with every book. I cannot get enough of the Skelfs’ Mark Billingham

‘Confirms the Skelfs as a classic crime clan. I can’t wait for the next one’ Erin Kelly

‘I LOVE the Skelfs … The only problem with The Big Chill is that you’ll devour it so fast you’ll feel as bereft as one of the Skelfs’ clients … Doug Johnstone has murdered sleep’ Val McDermid

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life. 

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

 But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.

Review:

I want to thank THE Book club Reviewer group and Orenda books for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first book in this series, A Dark Matter, at the beginning of the year and is still one of my top reads in 2020 so far, so I was very excited for The Big Chill! I can safely say it lived up to my expectations.

I will say before I get too far into this review, that you should definitely read the first book before reading this one as events from the first have a knock on effect in this one.

This story starts off six months after the first book. The Skelf women are still struggling with what happened at the end of the last book but they’re trying to push through it and carry on as normal, or as normal as their lives are as funeral directing private investigators. 

Dorothy is pulled into an investigation after a car chase ends in tragedy in the midst of a funeral she’s conducting. Jenny is still trying to put the pieces of her life together. Hannah seems to be suffering the most, shutting out her girlfriend Indy and becoming obsessed with the suicide of one of her professors.

What I love about this series is the way there’s several different storylines/cases that are woven together expertly, so they’re easy to follow without confusion and not one overshadows the other too much. Honestly, like the first there’s never a dull moment in this book.

The story is also strengthened by the relationships between the three generations of the Skelf family, Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. They’re complex and just so compelling, I genuinely love these characters!

The Big Chill is a fantastic piece of fiction that kept me glued to those pages. I can’t wait for more! 

About The Author:

Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His tenth novel, Breakers, was published by Orenda Books in May 2019, and was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. His previous books include The Jump, shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, Gone Again, an Amazon bestseller, and Hit & Run, which was an Amazon #1 as well as being selected as a prestigious Fiction Uncovered winner. His work has received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, William McIlvanney, Megan Abbott and Christopher Brookmyre.

Doug has been Writer in Residence with William Purves Funeral Directors. He is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow, and was RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh 2014-2016. Doug was also Writer in Residence at the University of Strathclyde 2010-2012 and before that worked as a lecturer in creative writing there. He’s had short stories appear in various publications and anthologies, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. He is also a manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy and Emergents in the Scottish Highlands. He has taught creative writing at festivals and conferences and regularly at Moniack Mhor, and he has mentored aspiring writers for New Writing North and Scottish Book Trust.

Doug is one of the co-founders of the Scotland Writers Football Club, for whom he also puts in a shift in midfield as player-manager. He is also a singer, musician and songwriter in several bands, including Northern Alliance, who have released four albums to critical acclaim, as well as recording an album as a fictional band called The Ossians. Doug has also released three solo EPs. He plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a crime writing supergroup featuring Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville and Luca Veste.

Doug has a degree in physics, a PhD in nuclear physics and a diploma in journalism, and worked for four years designing radars. He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver #BookReview

Title: Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver

Date Published: 12th June 2020

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Literary Thriller

Description:

Five days in the history of a small rural town, visited and infected by darkness, are recounted by Evil itself. A stunning high-concept thriller from the bestselling author of Good Samaritans and Nothing Important Happened Today.

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.

Making them steal.

Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone.

Evil had a plan.

Review:

I want to thank the The Book Club Reviewer group and Orenda books for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

So I read Nothing Important Happened Today back in March and I was absolutely blown away by Will Carver’s writing so I was very excited when I got my copy of Hinton Hollow Death Trip.

What I didn’t realise while reading the previous book and this one, it’s actually part of a series but it’s easily read as a standalone. 

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is, well, a head trip a half! I mean I can’t think of another novel that’s narrated by evil itself.

The story follows Detective Sergeant Pace as he heads back to his hometown of Hinton Hollow, a small village of just over five thousand people. The story is set over just five days and my goodness what a terrifying ride it was! 

Beware before you going into this book, much like the previous book it’s dark and could prove upsetting as there’s some sensitive subjects like suicide, child deaths and animal creulty covered.

I have to be honest I didn’t find the style of this book a little choppy at times. Plus there were a couple of more minor storylines that I found a little distracting from the main story but of course that’s just my opinion.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an original yet shocking read, perfect if you like your thrillers on the darker side. 

About The Author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

Follow Will on Twitter @will_carver