#BookReview Ballad For A Mad Girl by Vicki Wakefield @text_publishing

Title: Ballad For A Mad Girl by Vicki Wakefield.

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date Published: 29th May 2017

Genre: Young Adult.

Source: NetGalley

Description:

Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can’t explain.

The funny girl isn’t laughing any more. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.

As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.

Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?

I trace the word with my finger. It shimmers. A sharp impact near my ribs knocks me sideways and the pipe seems to buckle and twist. My legs lose grip. Close by, someone is sobbing as if their heart could break.

Review:

On the surface Grace Foley is a risk-taker, a prankster, a troublemaker but in reality she’s struggling. Her dad moved them from the farm she grew up on to a ‘cardboard house’ after the death of her mum, while her friends seem to be moving on without her.

She accepts a challenge to walk across a pipe, something she’s done several times before but something strange happens. Slowly her grip on reality seems to be fading, she’s seeing things, experiencing things she could never have known about and it’s all linked to the mysterious disappearance of Hannah Holt twenty-three years ago.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this book, I’ve been looking for a good spooky story for ages. It’s part mystery, part ghost story, set against the back drop of high school.

At first I was a little confused, I thought it was set in the US, as most YA books seem to be nowadays, but they used words like bloody, pub and they wore school uniforms, it turns out it’s set in Australia which made a welcome change.

Then we have Grace. The whole book is written in the first person, from Grace’s perspective, which usual I’m not a fan of, they are usually slightly whiny, but I thought she was a fantastic character. Okay she’s moody, grumpy and a little self centred but to me she felt like a real teenager and I really liked her.

The book was creepy, atmospheric and very realistic, it even made me feel a little emotional at times. There’s also some wonderful description, one of my favourite is:

He’s got a long line running through the middle of his forehead, as if somebody ironed a perfect crease there.’

And even a harden fan of crime fiction like myself, didn’t see any of the twists in the story coming! I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.

Rating: 5/5

Author Bio:

Vikki Wakefield’s first YA novel, All I Ever Wanted, won the 2012 Adelaide Festival Literary Award for YA Fiction, as did her second novel, Friday Brown, in 2014. Friday Brown was also an Honour Book at the Children’s Book Council of Australia, in 2013, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Awards. Vikki’s third novel, Inbetween Days, was Highly Commended in the 2016 Barbara Jefferis Award, was a 2016 CBCA Honour Book and was shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Awards. Vikki lives in the Adelaide foothills with her family.

#BookReview #BlogBlitz The Camera Lies by A.B. Morgan @AliMorgan2304 @Bloodhoundbook

Title: The Camera Lies by A.B. Morgan

Publisher: Bloodhound Books.

Date Published: 3rd February 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Konrad Neale is a television presenter. His waning career has been given a new lease of life since he took on a series of hard-hitting documentaries that investigate miscarriages of justice.

Matthew Hawley has been convicted of the brutal murder of his wealthy attractive wife Helena. However, he has no memory of the events and insists he is not responsible for willingly killing her.

When Konrad interviews Matthew in prison, he explores the details of the murder and the possible motives behind it. But all is not as it seems.

Did Matthew murder his wife?

Soon the search is on to identify who else might be involved in the murder of Helena and Konrad is about to learn that sometimes the camera lies.

B L O G B L I T Z

Review:

Konrad Neal presenter of true crime series, The Truth Behind The Lies, begins investigating the murder of Helena Chawston-Hawley by her husband Matthew. He has no memory of killing her and claims they were blissfully married and had no motive to kill her.

Konrad and his team begin digging around, uncovering evidence of Helena’s mysterious sister but soon he begins receiving messages threatening him and his family, somebody who doesn’t want the truth to come out.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author this year, you can read my review of the other novel, Divine Poison, here.

This is one of most unusual crime novels I’ve read this year. It’s told as if your behind the scenes on a documentary TV show, watching through the research/interview/editing process but it’s not as dry or boring as you would imagine it. I could actually see this being turned into an excellent TV series.

There’s as a little of that unreliable narrator from Matthew Hawley.  Do you really believe his story? How could he have no memory of murdering his wife? As the story goes on it’s revealed that Helena is not the smart successful woman that everyone believes she is and has a much darker side that makes you question Matthew’s innocence.

Now I have to be honest I didn’t find Konrad all that likeable, a bit full of himself to be honest, but he’s one of those characters that is so interesting that he holds your attention. I did also feel a bit sorry for him a little being trapped in a loveless marriage and in love with someone else.

It’s quite difficult as with most mystery/thriller to give a complete review without revealing any spoilers but I did find certain aspects of the plot a little unbelievable. I also felt that there was a little lack of character description, the only person I could picture clearly was Konrad’s friend Annette.

Overall there a few plot issues but it’s still a unique and interesting psychological thriller.

Rating: 4/5

Author Bio:

Alison Morgan started writing a couple of years ago to address that niggling question: could she write a book? The answer was a simple yes. She’s had to retire from the NHS a little earlier thanunnamed planned, but has discovered a new passion. Writing. Her debut novel, A Justifiable Madness, was published by Bloodhound Books in September 2017 attracting great reviews for its refreshing premise and dark humour. With two further novels being published at the beginning of 2018, it seems Alison has a promising future as an author. Divine Poison is the second novel to feature Monica Morris, a mental health nurse, as the main protagonist in this crime mystery, but there are no plans for a series. Alison’s third suspense novel, The Camera Lies, steps away from the field of nursing and into the world of real crime documentary films.

Alison lives with her husband Andy and their dog Sadie, in a small village north of Bedford. She’s not the type to let life get in the way of adventure and so, always up for the next challenge, she decided to have a proper midlife crisis and learn to ride a motorbike. In August she passed, first time. Her husband was impressed until she swung her leg over his prized Triumph and roared off with a big grin on her face. ‘Research for the next book,’ she cried. The fourth book is under construction and does indeed feature motorbikes.

Links:

Alison Morgan: writes under the name AB Morgan

www.abmorgan.co.uk

Email: alison@abmorgan.co.uk

Facebook: @ABMorganwriter

Twitter: @AliMorgan2304

#BlogTour #Review A Cold Cold Heart by John Nicholl @nicholl06 @Bloodhoundbook

Title: A Cold Cold Heart by John Nicholl

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 31st January 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller.

Description:

DI Gravel and his daughter Emily are oblivious to the terrible danger she is in when she accepts a job working for the solicitor Charles Turner.

Meanwhile Gravel is on the hunt for a serial killer. And when Emily becomes the killer’s latest obsession, the murderer will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.

But as further bodies are discovered, the killer seeks to befriend DI Gravel and misdirect his investigation.

How can you catch a killer who is hiding in plain sight? Can DI Gravel and Emily come away from this case with both their lives in tact?

Sometimes evil wears a suit…

BLOG TOUR (1) (1)

Review:

I want to thank Bloodhound Books for my advanced copy of A Cold Cold Heart and Sarah Hardy for organising this blog tour.

Four women have been found murdered, all with the same colour hair, each wearing an unusual outfit. The killer covers their tracks well, never leaving any evidence behind, the police are baffled.

Emily Gravel has returned home after a bad break up to live with her father, unwittingly becomes the next target for this brutal serial killer.

This book is fast paced, dark and disturbing that kept me hooked chapter after chapter.

From early on in the book we know who the killer is, which worried me as it’s not something I’m a fan of but it really ended up enjoying getting inside the mind of a killer, and what a sicko they are!

I have to be honest, I wasn’t that keen on DI Gravel or Grav at the beginning. He’s grumpy, has a quick temper and seems to treat every woman within his vicinity as his personal tea lady. As the book progresses you get more of an insight into him and how he’s not taking care of his health and his still raw grief after the death of his wife from cancer. I also found his relationship with his daughter Emily and his fellow officer DS Laura Kesey quite endearing.

I will warn you it’s a little gruesome in places and there’s a good dose of swearing, so it’s not for the faint of heart!

However there are a few plot inconsistencies, The big one that stood out to me was the killer nearly has his thumb severed, then there’s no mention of it again, surely he would have had to have an operation of some kind? Also I feel it did make the police look a little dim witted at times, but of course that’s just my opinion.

Overall I found this a quick and easy read, a good mix of psychological thriller and police procedural.

Rating: 4/5

Author bio:

John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, writes popular dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon international bestseller, fullsizeoutput_8reaching # 1 in multiple categories in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the USA. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire. A Cold Cold Heart, John’s sixth book, is published by Bloodhound Books in January 2018. John is represented by Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.

Links:

Author website

http://www.johnnicholl.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/john.nicholl.988

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13795294.John_Nicholl

Twitter

https://twitter.com/nicholl06

Agent

http://tma-agency.com

#BookReview #BlogTour Killer Lies by Chris Collett @crime_crow @JoffeBooks #Thriller #Mystery

Title: Killer Lies by Chris Collett

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 15th January 2018

Genre: Mystery/thriller. Police Procedural.

Description:

Do you love gripping police procedurals with great characters?

Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

‘Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.’ Yorkshire Post

Just when DI Tom Mariner seems to be settling down with his new girlfriend . . . everything kicks off.

First, a badly decomposed body of a young woman is found in a Birmingham sewer. The police can’t identify her and dub her “Madeleine.”

Then an important politician and his wife are shot on an isolated road.

And finally, a bomb explosion in the busy city kills 5 people, causing chaos and panic.

Can Detective Mariner and his team get to the bottom of crimes that will come very close to home for his team.
Mariner will need to bend the rules and risk everything to get to the truth. And in a thrilling conclusion, his own life will be at risk.

Discover an absorbing crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the third book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

THE SETTING
Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

THE DETECTIVE
Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “WRITTEN IN BLOOD.”

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Killer Lies

Review:

So this is the third of the DI Tom Mariner series and the second I’ve read but it could easily be read as a stand alone without you missing very much.

The story starts with a farmer finding MP Sir Geoffrey Ryland, his wife and his driver shot to death in a secluded spot, a message; Vengence is mine, daubed in blood on the window of the car. Elsewhere, Mariner set to deliver a speech at the annual Christmas carol service when the world around him explodes, literally.

Suffering from the aftermath of the explosion, Mariner is trying to concentrate on a case involving a young woman found in a sewer but a phone call from an old colleague turns his fragile world upside down and he becomes obsessed with Geoffrey Ryland’s case.

Another fantastic book from Chris Collett, that starts with a heck of a bang!

Mariner is still a bit of a headstrong loner, who refuses to let anyone into his inner world, not even his partner Anna, torturing himself over things he can’t control. I still like him even though he frustrates me so much! I kept thinking just talk to someone, tell them what’s going on, but of course he never does! Also he and Anna are considering having children, I’d love to see him as a dad!

There’s also a huge revelation about Mariner in the book, but I’m not going to spoil it for you, you’ll just have to read it and see.

There’s lots of conspiracy theories, about dodgy policemen and drug dealers even the government gets accused of covering up Geoffrey Ryland’s murder. It was so cleverly plotted I genuinely had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed.

My attention did waver a little in the middle, but it quickly pulled me back in and built to a tension packed, satisfying ending.

Overall an explosive read that will keep you guessing until the end.

Rating: 4/5

Author Bio:

Chris Collett grew up in a Norfolk seaside town where she worked in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). Graduating inChris Collett - author pic Liverpool, Chris has since taught children and adults with varying degrees of learning disability, including autism. She is now a university lecturer, with two grown up children, and lives in Birmingham; DI Tom Mariner’s ‘patch’. She has published short stories, teaches creative and crime writing and is a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.

The first five DI Tom Mariner books will be released in revised editions by Joffe Books in 2017/2018.

Author Links:
Website: www.chriscollettcrime.co.uk

Twitter: @crime_crow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.collett.5477

#Review Cargo by J.C. Macek III @Bloodhoundbook @Kneumsi

Title: Cargo by J.C Macek III

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Released: 9th January 2018

Genre: Mystery/thriller.

Description:

Over the years Anthony Peterson has amassed a fortune, numerous properties, a trophy wife and a reputation for ruthless business dealings. He is a man who is used to getting his own way.

But when Peterson wakes to find himself locked in a metal shipping container, with only a cell phone and twenty-four hours of air left, he begins to unravel.

Desperate to escape Peterson soon learns that there is more to the container than he first realised. And when the kidnappers call and demand ten million dollars, while threatening to murder and rape his beautiful wife if he doesn’t comply, Peterson must fight to meet their impossible terms or face being left to die alone in the darkness.

Why has Peterson been targeted?

Who are those responsible for his kidnap?

And will Peterson make out of the container alive?

Cargo is an edge of your seat thriller about the choices we make.

BLOG TOUR (3)

Review:

Anthony Peterson wakes up inside a metal shipping container, with no memory of how he got there. He receives a phone call telling him that they have his wife Susan and want 10 million dollars in exchange for their safe release.

This book opens with a bang! You’re thrown right into the story, wondering who and why businessman Anthony Peterson has been kidnapped. As the story progresses it’s revealed that he’s not the upstanding citizen that he claims to be, in fact in my opinion he’s a nasty piece of work. His associate Tom, whom he’s using to amass the 10 million dollars for his release, is not much better, in fact at times I thought he was a little insane!

It’s quite an engrossing read, action packed and a little violent, but it also it brings up questions about how you live your life. What I mean is, if you’re greedy and treat everyone around you badly, like Anthony, who is going to help you when you need it the most?

The story has been adapted from a screenplay and unfortunately at times you can tell. There were some things that may work for a film, like Anthony listening to things on the end of a phone, that just don’t work for a book. There was a lack of atmosphere too, I mean being trapped in such a small space, (okay not quite a coffin but still), would be quite claustrophobic but I didn’t really feel that in the story. I also felt an injection of Tom’s point of view would have made it a bit more absorbing.

Overall an intense read perfect for action movie fans.

Rating: 3/5

Author Bio:

He began writing at a very young age and launched his professional writing career after graduating from Louisiana State University with a BA in English Literature.download

His first noteworthy professional writing was in the world of entertainment journalism. He became a movie, TV, book and music reviewer which soon expanded to film history columns and celebrity interviews. Over the years, J.C. has become known in his professional life for interviewing bands such as The Cult, Judas Priest, Faith No More, The Zombies, Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Queens of the Stone Age’s Nick Oliveri and KMFDM.

After writing literally thousands of articles, columns, reviews and interviews for multiple print and online magazines, J.C. published his first novel Seven Days to Die: A Jake Slater Mystery in 2016. He followed this success in 2017 with a collection of short stories and novellas entitled The Pretty Good and Pretty Representative Stories of J.C. Maçek III. This collection continues the hardboiled detective saga of Jake Slater with the new novella The Pestilence of Spring: A Jake Slater Mystery.

J.C. is also an actor, musician, director and film producer. His most recent film is [Cargo], produced by J.C. and written and directed by James Dylan. As producer, J.C. also took the commission to write the novelization to[Cargo] which will be published by Bloodhound Books in early 2018.

J.C. lives in Southern California with his wife, daughters and a veritable zoo full of pets. He is currently working on more Jake Slater crime novels starting with the thriller Hard Core and is looking to expand the mythos of [Cargo].

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/JakeSlaterMystery

https://twitter.com/kneumsi

https://www.amazon.com/J.C.-Macek-III/e/B07111NTNF

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15259619.J_C_Macek_III

http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/jc-maek-iii

#Review Bad To The Bone by @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook

Title: Bad to the Bone by Tony J Forder

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 29th April 2017

Description:

A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.

A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported.

As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.

As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media.

When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.

Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost?

And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?

 

Review:

A skeleton of a woman is unearthed in a forest, DI James ‘Jimmy’ Bliss and DC Penny Chandler are called into to investigate. With the help of the ‘bone lady’ they set out who the young woman was and why she was killed.

Out of the blue DI Bliss receives a call from a retired colleague DI Weller wanting to meet up but before they meet Weller ends up in a car crash. When a second officer turns up dead Bliss believes there could be a link between these death and the skeletal remains.

So this is the first Bliss and Chandler book, I’m reading this in preparation for the next book, The Scent Of Guilt, which comes out February.

There was never a dull moment in this book! I had everything, murder, nail biting car chases, death threats, even a little romance…I don’t think the author could have squeezed any more action into it.

DI Bliss has a tragic past, his wife was murdered before he moved to Peterborough, and is still under a cloud after a previous murder investigation went sideways. He’s also battling an unknown health condition. He seems like his own worst enemy and a bit of a loner but he’s a good policeman and I found myself liking him. I liked DC Chandler too, she’s loyal and ambitious but also seems to genuinely care about Bliss (as a friend of course).

My only issue, and it’s exceptionally minor, was I would have liked a bit more about DC Chandler’s story/background. I know her daughter was kidnapped by her ex and taken to another country but it was only touched upon briefly, I just wanted to know more!

After reading this book I can’t wait to read the next one.

Rating: 4/5

Author Bio:

On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who published his edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone in spring. It is the first in a series.TJF05

Later this year, Tony’s second novel for Bloodhound Books, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will be published.

Tony has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.

The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale.

During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: “The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer.”

Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley’s wife, Dorothy.

Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn’t so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day.

As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.

Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-J-Forder/e/B01N4BPT65/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490529612&sr=8-1-spell

https://www.facebook.com/tonyjforder/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/TonyJForder?lang=en-gb

#Review The Stone Arch Secret by @kddowdall @shanannigans81

Title: The Stone Arch Secret by KD Dowdall

Genre: Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date:January 2018

Description:

Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead. The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss. For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation. Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her home town, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

Review:

Lilly Allaire returns to her home town after her best friend Dax dies. He’d been confined to a mental health hospital unable to speak as he and Lilly witnessed something terrible as teenagers but Lilly has no memory of this events.

After his death he leaves her a note, forcing her to confront her worst fears and revisit to Salmon Brook forest. On returning Lily meets former classmate Noah Hawthorne who offers to help her.

The story started off with plenty of mystery and intrigue, what had Lilly and Dax seen all those years ago and what was in Dax’s note? Unfortunately the villain (I won’t tell you who but they made my skin crawl) was revealed a little too early for my liking and the romantic elements of the story took over.

I liked the character of Noah, he’d gone from being an awkward skinny kid to a bit of a dish, and a sweetheart to boot. At times I got a little frustrated with Lilly though, she’s meant to be a smart anthropologist but she makes some dumb decisions!

There unfortunately was a few issues with the story. The dialogue seemed a little too formal and unnatural. There was a lot of repetition of the same phrases, Indian summer is the one that springs to mind. The timeline was also a little wonky in places and the story a bit rushed especially near the end.

Rating: 3/5

About the Author

K. D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade KD Dowdallschool years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

https://karendowdall.com/

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stone-Arch-Secret-K-Dowdall-ebook/dp/B077H11HKW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1514987310&sr=1-1

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f25/?

Blog Tour Organised by:

RR Book Tours Button (2)

Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#Review #BlogTour Truth or Dead by TJ Brearton @BreartonTJ @JoffeBooks

Title: TRUTH OR DEAD by T.J. Brearton

Publisher: Joffe Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Date Published: 11th December

Description:


How far would you go to protect your kids?

On her drive to work, Heather Moss gets a phone call which will turn her life upside-down. If she doesn’t do what the caller wants, they will kill her two little girls.

An inmate dies in the county jail. He was a witness who could have brought down notorious criminal Mario Palumbo.

Special Agent Tom Lange is trying to get his life back together after losing his brother Nick. And he thinks Palumbo was responsible for Nick’s death.

Tom desperately wants the evidence to point to Palumbo, but it doesn’t all add up.

Can Tom protect Heather and bring down crime boss Palumbo? He faces a choice between the truth and getting the result he wants.

Set in Florida, this atmospheric thriller will keep you turning the pages till the tension-packed conclusion.
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Review:

When Heather Moss answers the phone to hear a heavily disguised voice telling her if she doesn’t deliver a package to a man in prison, her little girls will die. Fearing for their lives she does what she’s told which results in the death of a man. In steps FDLE Agent Tom Lange, freshly back on duty after his brothers death, all the evidence seems to point to gangster Mario Palumbo the man he holds responsible for his brothers demise but it doesn’t sit right with Tom. He needs to uncover the truth before anyone else gets hurt.

So this is the second book in the Tom Lange series which I didn’t realise when I started reading it. It can be read as a stand alone but personally I would recommend you read the first, Dead Gone as I did feel like I was missing some information when I first started reading this.

I liked Tom Lange. I found him a good hearted character, much as he wants to uphold the law, he gets emotionally involved with Heather and her children and ends up bending the rules for them. Then there’s Heather, trying to live her life with her girls after the death of their father, who’d do anything to protect them, which even if you are not a mother or a father could probably understand that need to protect the ones you love.

The book contains some really nail biting scenes, not that many twists but there was plenty of mystery and murder to keep any crime fan entertained.

I also liked the fact that there’s a little glossary at the end of the book that explains what the FDLE is, as being from Britain I don’t quite understand the different types of American law enforcement.

But unfortunately there was a lot of legal jargon which I found a little hard to understand and I thought it lack a little bit of tension in places.

Rating: 3/5

Author Bio:

T.J. Brearton is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the novels Gone andTJ Brearton Author photo png Dead Gone, both of which have ranked among Amazon Kindle’s top 100. His Titan trilogy has been an international best-seller. With Ted Magee, Brearton wrote Bare Knuckle, a martial arts film, and wrote and directed Breathe, about amateur MMA fighter Lane Buzzell on an undefeated streak.

He has written more than a dozen novels, mostly crime thrillers, including one paranormal mystery, and published short fiction in numerous literary journals. He lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York with his wife and three children where he writes full time, takes out the trash, and competes with his kids for his wife’s attention.

Website http://tjbrearton.com/

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

Twitter @BreartonTJ

#Review I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Title: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Date Published: 14th July 2016

Description:

A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.

In a windswept British seaside town, single mum Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgement, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel, filled with the “beautiful writing, believable characters, pacey narrative, and dark secrets” (London Daily Mail) that make Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Review:

Alice finds a man on the beach. He doesn’t know who or where he is. Lily has just moved from the Ukraine after marrying her husband Carl but he fails to come home from work one day so she sets out to find him. How is this all linked to something that happened in 1993?

Another one of my birthday books read, finally! I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages after seeing pretty much everywhere for months but just haven’t found the time until recently that is.

Before this book I’d never heard of this author before and I was quite shocked to find she’d written several books before this one.

I have to be honest when I saw the cover, coupled with the brief synopsis on the back (nowhere near as lengthy as the one I found on Goodreads above), I was expecting a dark psychological thriller but I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a bit more mystery. Who is this man that Alice’s daughter christens Frank? Where did he come from and why is he there on the beach underneath Alice’s cottage.

It’s written from several viewpoints, Alice, Frank, Lily and teenager Gray back in 1993. I loved the way the writer cleverly alternated the short chapters in different viewpoints which really kept me turning page after page.

I loved the character of Alice, she a little flaky and kind hearted but also very lonely. She has made lots of mistakes and is definitely not perfect. I loved seeing her and Frank’s relationship grow as the story goes along. Lily on the other hand is a little less likeable. She very brusque and seems to have led a very charmed life with a perfect husband and a perfect flat. But she is still a very interesting and tenacious character who in a strange country, far away from friends and family, refuses to give up on her husband even when the police have sort written him off.

I don’t want to say much more, if you are one of the few people who haven’t read this yet but this book has really stuck in my mind (for good reasons of course). It is definitely one of the top books I’ve read this year.

Rating: 5/5

Author Bio:

Lisa Jewell was born in 1968 in London, brought up in Totteridge, in the North of the city, and for ten years she had varying jobs, including in fashion retail, until after a redundancy she became a secretary.

Soon Jewell began attending a part time creative writing course, but not with the intention of becoming a writer, but instead for something to do in the evening. Her writing became more serious after a friend told her that she would take her for dinner if she would write the first three chapters of a novel. Ralph’s Party was the result, and she has gone on to write several more bestselling novels including the follow up to Ralph’s Party – After the party.

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#BlogTour Innocent Lies by Chris Collett @crime_crow @JoffeBooks @Books_n_all

Title: Innocent Lies by Chris Collett

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Joffe Books.

 

Description:

Do you like police procedurals with great characters and real grit?

Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

Two teenagers go missing on the same day. Just a coincidence?

The two young people are from very different backgrounds: Yasmin is the talented, grammar-school-educated daughter of devout Muslim professionals. Ricky disappears after storming out of his council house after an argument with his mum’s latest boyfriend.

DI Mariner knows Ricky’s mother from his days in uniform. He is furious when his superiors take him off Ricky’s case and reassign him to the more politically sensitive investigation. The press — and his bosses — are convinced that Yasmin’s disappearance is a racially motivated abduction. The Akrams have been the target of a far right group.

But Mariner soon discovers that Yasmin is far from the innocent victim her parents think she is. Can he get to the bottom of a perplexing case where no one is what they seem?

Find out the answers in this crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the second book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

THE SETTING
Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “BLOOD OF THE INNOCENTS.”

DI MARINER SERIES
Book 1: Deadly Lies
Book 2: Innocent Lies
More coming soon!

Review:

I firstly want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for organising and inviting me on this blog tour.

So according to the author’s note, the story is set in the early noughties, when mobile phones and the internet weren’t as common place as they are now. DI Mariner is asked by Colleen, a worried mother and someone he has known for years, to look into the disappearance of her son Ricky. But Mariner is pulled off the case to investigate the disappearance of young girl called Yasmin Akram who went missing around the same time.

This is the second in the series but can be read as a stand alone. I want to commend the author on the fact that I didn’t feel I’d missed anything or spoilt anything from the previous book.  

It felt a little weird reading a story set during a heatwave, especially as right now it’s bloody freezing! But this is a good solid police procedural. It’s not exactly edge of your seat suspense and frankly the first half of the book was a little bit slow, but the mystery kept me hooked throughout.

I felt desperately sorry for Ricky. He is a bright kid who had a bad start in life, from his poor background, to the fact his dad used to beat up his mum. Then poor Mariner, the guilt he felt not being able to look for him, instead it was palmed off on a detective with too big a workload and not enough time, it broke my heart.

I did feel that I should have felt more sorry for Yasmin but even though she had quite a Muslim strict upbringing, she came across a bit more of a spoilt little girl, who wanted to get her own way.

I don’t want to say much more as I don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of this fantastic book!

Rating: 4/5

 

Author Bio:

Chris Collett grew up in a Norfolk seaside town where she worked in a boarding house (nowChris Collett - author pic defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). Graduating in Liverpool, Chris has since taught children and adults with varying degrees of learning disability, including autism. She is now a university lecturer, with two grown up children, and lives in Birmingham; DI Tom Mariner’s ‘patch’. She has published short stories, teaches creative and crime writing and is a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.
Find out more at www.chriscollettcrime.co.uk

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