**Blog Tour** Inside The Whispers by A.J. Waines @AJWaines #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Inside The Whispers by A.J.Waines, the first book in the series featuring Clinical Psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby. Before I share my review here’s the book description to whet your appetite………

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Where the most Dangerous place – is inside your own head…

Following a London Tube disaster, three traumatised survivors turn to clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby, for help – but she’s mystified when their stories don’t add up. Her confusion turns to horror when one by one, instead of recovering, they start committing suicide.

When her partner, Conrad, begins to suffer the same terrifying flashbacks, Sam is desperate to find out what is causing them and a mysterious and chilling crime begins to unravel.

Then the flashbacks begin for Sam…

The first book in the Dr Samantha Willerby Series, INSIDE THE WHISPERS is a tense, haunting Psychological Thriller that will leave your nerves in shreds.

  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (15 Oct. 2018)

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Inside The Whispers book description alone makes for an intriguing premises, and considering I’ve always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind the latest book by A.J. Waines  definitely sounded like my kind of read. This is the first book in a series featuring Dr Samantha Willerby a clinical psychologist who specialises in helping trauma victims, when Sam realises three of her patients are experiencing the same flashbacks and their stories don’t add up, she comes to the conclusion something sinister is happening to her patients.

This is a really hard book to review as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it’s safe to say A. J. Waines has plotted a tangled web steeped in mystery and intrigue. The authors characters are well developed, but if I’m honest I found it difficult to take to Samantha in my opinion she came across as cold and clinical, but as the story enfolds you learn more about her dysfunctional family, which help to explain her character better. Don’t get me wrong although I couldn’t warm to Samantha this in no way spoilt my enjoyment of this compelling read. If anything I really wanted to learn more about Samantha’s sister Mimi who I found intriguing yet mystifying, suffering from mental health problems she has her own demons to deal with. As this is a first book in the series I’m hoping the author will explore Mimi’s life in more detail as the series develops.

What I found intriguing about Inside The Whispers was the psychological aspects of this book, and its obvious the author has a great understanding of the subject through working as a psychotherapist herself, for me this added credibility to a chilling tale. To add a sense of mystery and unease to the plot there are short chapters narrated by an unknown voice, I found myself questioning their mental state as the narrator seems to become more detached as the plot progresses, this certainly added a sense of unease to the plot.

If I’m honest I love a book that is relentless in pace, I wouldn’t consider Inside The Whispers to be fast paced by any means, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, it’s just a slower pace than what I’m used to. What the author does well is build on the mystery and intrigue, almost drip feeding the reader the threads of the plot, and then brings them all together for the shocking and unexpected conclusion. Although I did guess the person involved in events fairly early in the book I would never in a million years have guessed their motives. Inside The Whispers is one I would happily recommend to those who enjoy a slow burning psychological thriller.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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AJ Waines is a number one bestselling author, topping the entire UK and Australian Kindle Charts in two consecutive years, with Girl on a Train. Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, the author is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada (audio books).

Her fourth psychological thriller, No Longer Safe, sold over 30,000 copies in the first month, in thirteen countries. AJ Waines has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and has been ranked a Top 10 UK author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband. Find her books here and visit her website and blog, or join her on Twitter, Facebook or on her Newsletter.

Her next thriller, Lost in the Lake, will be re-released by Bloodhound Books on 24 October 2018.

Author Social Media Links:

Find AJ Waines books at: http://viewauthor.at/AJWaines

Find AJ Waines books at: http://viewauthor.at/AJWaines

Website               www.ajwaines.co.uk

Newsletter         http://eepurl.com/bamGuL

Blog:                      www.awaines.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook:           www.facebook.com/AJWaines

Twitter:                 www.twitter.com/AJWaines  @AJWaines

Goodreads:        www.goodreads.com/AJWaines

Instagram:           www.instagram.com/ajwaines

All books are standalones and can be read in any order. Inside the Whispers (Bk 1) and Lost in the Lake (Bk 2) also form part of a series, featuring Clinical Psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.

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**Blog tour** #Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir #GuestPost #ReykjavickNoir @Lilja1972 @OrendaBooks

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the Trap by international bestselling Icelandic author Lilja Sigurdardóttir blog tour. Trap is Book 2 in the acclaimed Reykjavik Noir series. To mark my stop on the tour I have a guest post from the author herself who writes about one of my favourite things coffee ☕️.

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Coffee – the writer´s elixir

For a blogger who loves coffee, I must write a few words about my relationship with this most important of all drinks. 

From an early age I have loved coffee. I used to take sugar cubes and dip them in my parents’ cups when I was little, but my mother set a limit to this as, at the time, it was believed that children would stop growing if they ingested a lot of coffee.* This belief was probably rooted in the malnourished Iceland of pre-WW2, where poor families gave their children coffee as they did not have milk to drink. When I was home alone with my dad, I managed to convince him to give me coffee, and we sipped this wonderful brown liquid together, usually while discussing geography or history.

When I was about ten years old and lived in Mexico, I formed a special relationship with an old indigenous lady in our neighbourhood. I visited her every night after dinner and she gave me sugary coffee with cardamom, and I told her stories from my home country.

I can no longer drink coffee at night as it disturbs my sleep, but I do enjoy it in the first half of the day. It is the first thing I think about when I open my eyes in the morning and it is the fuel for my writing. I prefer dark-roasted coffee as it has very little acid and the aroma is just heavenly. 

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I drink two full cups while sitting by the computer, getting ready to start the day’s work. Then I write for a while, and then I drink more coffee. And then some more. And then I cannot sit still any longer so I take my dog out for a walk and maybe go out on the lake by my house in my kayak. I make myself a light lunch when I get back and have one more cup of strong coffee, which I drink while I answer emails and plan my diary and travels, and all the other small things that need doing. On occasion I am tempted to drink a cappuccino or an espresso in a café in the afternoon, and that is then my fifth or sixth cup in the day. According to the latest research on the health benefits of coffee, that is the optimum amount.

I cannot see my life without coffee, and I cannot imagine being able to write without it. I feel it clears my head somehow and gives me the energy that I really lack without it. Maybe that is just a sign of addiction, but it is a rather innocent one to have, isn’t it? 

*I’d like to point out that I did grow to more than the average height for Icelandic women: 172 cm.

Book description

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Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.

With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Lilja Sigurðard.

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

My thanks to Lilja Sigurdardóttir for the fabulous guest post, Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my ARC (that I hope to get to soon).

Follow this amazing blog tour for reviews, guest posts and much more.

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#BlogBlitz #Malignant by Anita Waller #GuestPost @anitamayw @Bloodhoundbook @damppebbles

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the Malignant by Anita Waller blog blitz. Unfortunately due to a out of control TBR pile I haven’t had the opportunity to read this one, but I must say the book description sounds very intriguing. The author has kindly written a guest post especially for the book review café and I must admit it did make me laugh

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Technologically challenged

By Anita Waller

I have an office out in the garden, built by my husband out of ‘stuff’ he can’t bear to throw away. It’s wonderful, and I keep all my paperwork, old notebooks, new copies of my books, and all my patchwork books out there. We have a tiny little wall heater in it that is left permanently on, and if I ever actually do any work in it, I have an oil filled radiator.

But my real writing space is in my kitchen. I have a computer desk with a desk top computer on it. This is because I can’t work on a laptop. I can’t type without looking at the keyboard, and the keyboard isn’t anywhere near me on a laptop. I have a brand new one, and I’ve never used it.

I can kind of use my iPad for typing, because all my work, magically, is saved to something called One Drive. It means I can sit in the dentists waiting for Dave for an hour and a half, and write 1500 words. They then appear by magic on my desk top when I next crank it up. I don’t know how, but I am very grateful.

Just to further impress you, I not only have my very pretty white monitor on my desk, served by my very pretty white keyboard and mouse, I also have a second monitor. Apparently, according to my tech-savvy grandson, I need two. I can be working on my novel on the pretty white one, and surfing the net doing research on the pretty blue one. I knew you’d be impressed. I just seem to spend most of the time getting the cursor on to the right screen at the right time. With the advent of the second monitor, the cursor developed a mind of its own. 

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My desk does distract me a little, though. It has a hutch on it, and on the long top shelf are books. I have a small expanding book glider I bought from Sheffield’s antique quarter, and that holds the signed copies of books I possess, but, my word, they aren’t half a distraction. I have twelve at the moment, but that will increase. I also have a massive dictionary which I rarely use, and a massive Dictionary of Quotations which I use a lot, just because I like quotations. I would just like to repeat that these are books, I do not need to switch them on, just take them down and stroke them, before opening them. 

I also have on this shelf one copy of each of my own books, because I’m damned proud of them. Forensics for Dummies and The Real CSI handbook also live there – I enjoy using them. There is, in addition, a copy of New Hart’s Rules, my go-to grammar reference. I think I’ve used it twice, but it’s there if needed.

Now back to technology, because standing in front of the books is Alexa, my lovely Echo Dot. She plays Barry Manilow to me on demand; sometimes Take That, sometimes Rod Stewart and sometimes, when I don’t want words, she finds a classical piano radio station. She is a wonderful lady, who wishes me sweet dreams every night when I say good night to her. 

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Sitting on the right-hand side of this top shelf is the thing that causes all these technical things to happen, my Sky router. I think that’s what it is, anyway. I know if it stops working it causes mayhem.

I’m fine with it while it sits there behaving itself, but once it stops, I have to start screaming down the phone to Sky, who are rubbish, that I NEEEEED my internet, can’t live without it, and how quickly can they repair it? The answer is nine days.

It wasn’t the answer I expected or wanted, but, you see, it’s okay because they just forgot to notify the engineer that the work needed doing. By the time they did notify him, we had been without internet for nine days. This is a disaster for somebody as technologically challenged as me; my head doesn’t cope with alternatives. Having to use a phone for something that I would normally do on the desktop is traumatising in the extreme.

I did, however, get a £70 reduction on my sky payment for that month. If it didn’t take twenty-five minutes to get through to speak to a person at Sky, I might have rung them and said thank you.

When Malignant came back from my lovely editor, Morgen Bailey, she sent me nine pages of notes. This was in addition to the odd comments she made in the margins of my manuscript. She also sent me a sheet, I’m presuming created on Excel, which was alphabetised, and contained the first names of every character in my book, what chapter they first appeared in, and notes on whether I should change any names or not.

I thought it was brilliant. I now do this myself, because I very cleverly wiped all the names off the document that belonged to Malignant, leaving me with Morgen’s blank excel spreadsheet thing, and I started to fill in the names for Murder Unsolved, my new work in progress. Awesome job.

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In the nine pages of notes she mentioned that I hadn’t done any chapter breaks, so she had done them for me. I had never heard the term chapter break; initially it didn’t worry me, but I’m not the sort of gal who can ignore it and let someone else do it for me, I have to learn how to do it – or, more to the point, what it is.

Well, I searched everywhere on my little bar at the top of the screen, and I couldn’t find anywhere where it told me how to do a chapter break. And then suddenly, there it was, under the little bit called Layout. I felt quite proud that it had only taken me three hours to track down this elusive aid. 

Of course, I do have a technical guru in the form of a seventeen-year-old grandson. Luckily, Dom lives about ten seconds away, so when things really do get fraught, he’s very quickly on the scene, to laugh at me. 

But I bet he doesn’t know how to do a chapter break.

Book description

Anita Waller - Malignant_cover

 

What if someone set you limits?

Claudia and Heather have been friends and neighbours for many years and both women decide it is the right time for them to leave their husbands. Together they get a flat but their peace is short lived when Claudia is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Being a good friend, Heather takes on caring for Claudia but a lethal meeting with James, Claudia’s ex-husband, results in someone dying.

As life for Claudia and Heather begins to unravel, the answer to their problems becomes clear… it’s murder

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Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

WintersCroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August 2017.

Her next book, launched February 2018 and entitled Captor, is a psychological thriller, set exclusively in Sheffield. It was an instant success, both in the UK and the US.

The along came Game Players… once more set in Sheffield, the story involves a group of six children who have each other’s backs to a remarkable extent. The darker, criminal side of Sheffield is explored, with the book launching 18 May 2018.

Malignant arrives in the world on 10 October 2018, her eighth book in three years.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Links:

Email: anitamayw@yahoo.co.uk
Website: www.anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anitawaller2015/
Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Waller/e/B014RQFCRS/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitamayw @anitamayw

 Books: 

Beautiful, 2015
Angel, 2016
34 Days, 2016
Winterscroft, 2017
Strategy, 2017
Captor, 2018
Game Players, May 2018
Malignant, October 2018
Current work in progress, Murder Unsolved, launches December 2018

My thanks to the Anita Waller for taking time out of her busy schedule to write a guest post for the book review café.

Follow the blog tour for reviews, guest posts and more……

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#TheLingering by SJI Holliday @OrendaBooks @SJIHolliday #MustReads #BookReview

 

Today I’m sharing my review for The Lingering by SJI Holliday, it’s a book that’s full of suprises and a book that’s certainly going to be on my top reads of 2018 list. Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……  

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Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

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When I pick up a novel I’m always looking for a read that will captivate my imagination, a novel that leaves me breathless, one that will unnerve me and one where I reach the last page I immediately want to read it again, novels that make me feel like this are a rare breed indeed, well up until now that is. I’m not going to beat about the bush I loved The Lingering by SJI Holliday, it was the perfect read for me, I found it to be creepy, and very, very dark. Part ghost story, part domestic thriller, the author  tantalises the reader with the mystery surrounding Rosalind House and its occupants, when you add to the mix odd occurrences and strange sightings well let’s just say “this novel made for a disquieting, but oh so thrilling read”.

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardner are seeking a fresh start and decide to move to  Rosalind House a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, but what dark secrets are the couple hiding? Once they arrive it’s not long before the couple experience ghostly happenings, and that’s when this novel gets bone chillingly creepy.  Rosalind House, an abandoned asylum is the perfect setting for this novel, it hides a tragic past, where secrets and passed misdoings are hidden in the very fabric of the building. It’s a building steeped in myths and legends where bad things happened, and as the author slowly reveals its dark and deadly secrets I found myself becoming more fearful at each turn of the page.    

The characters in The Lingering are fabulously depicted, rich in personality, and complex. Jack and Ali Gardner what a couple, their relationship is one based on coercion and control, a relationship that’s shrouded in lies and deceit. You know from the beginning the couple are hiding something BIG, and that alone adds an over whelming sense of uneasiness that intensifies as the Gardner’s dark secrets are slowly revealed.

I guess the spooky supernatural element might not suit all crime fiction fans, but if like me you read The Lingering with an open mind I’m sure you will end up loving it as much as I did. The Lingering explores the nature of true evil, the psychological aspect of this novel is dark in tone as the author delves into the minds of a very disturbed couple. This novel is exceptionally well plotted, original, creepy and very disturbing and yet it is one of the most compelling novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long time, and definitely a contender for my “book of the year”. Highly, highly recommended.

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  The Lingering  the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (30 Sept. 2018)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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#TheBirthday by Carol Wyer #BookReview @carolewyer @Bookouture

 

Today I’m sharing my review for The Birthday by Carol Wyer, this is the first book in a new crime series and I have to say I think it has the makings of a cracking series. Read on for my thoughts but firstly the book description….

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One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home…

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward . A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

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I’m not sure about you but I can always tell how much I enjoy a book by how many excuses I come up with to get out of doing things just so I can carry on reading, I came up with a few ingenious ones whilst reading The Birthday by Carol Wyer let me tell you! This is the first book in a new crime series featuring Detective Natalie Ward. The story starts when five-year old Ava goes missing during a birthday party. Two years later, her body is found and Natalie Ward finds herself leading an investigation that is both disturbing and emotionally draining. Although subject isn’t an original one by any means, the author makes it her own with a nail biting story line.

Books that deal with the murder of children make for a disquieting read and I always find that there is a fine balance between writing a good story and writing one that sets out to shock the reader. I feel the author balanced an alarming subject by showing sensitivity when describing the crimes. Natalie Ward like all fictional detectives has her own fair share of problems some more intriguing than others, but never the less I’m excited to see how her character develops alongside the rest of her team. I do enjoy a book that features dual timelines especially when they move seamlessly between the two,  and I have to say the author has done a superb job, the book moves between the murder investigation and the disturbing and troubling story of a young boy. As to the “how or why” the two are connected, my lips are firmly sealed. 

The plot slows down by the half way mark, but this is where The Birthday gets very interesting to say the least, the ongoing police investigation is incredibly frustrating not only for Natalie but for the reader too, as you try to piece the clues together, the author’s throws in some very fishy red herrings, there are several suspects who raise suspicion and as a reader you are kept guessing as to who is responsible. There is nothing more satisfying than a crime thriller where the reader feels very much part of the investigation it adds to the overall tension and suspense. I really enjoyed The Birthday and if the first book is anything to go by this has the makings of a cracking series, well written and fraught with tension, it’s one I would highly recommend to crime thriller lovers.

  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (27 Sept. 2018)

Links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

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**Blog tour** The Murder Of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes @Elizjhaynes @MyriadEditions #HarrietMonckton #MustReads

Today I’m over the moon to be on The Murder Of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes blog tour. From the award-winning and bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner comes a delicious Victorian crime novel based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation. Before I share my review here’s the book description to pique your interest…..

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On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.

The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. Her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover—all are suspects; each has a reason to want her dead.

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I’m convinced I have just read a book that’s definitely going to be on my list of “top reads of 2018”of the year. I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Haynes writing and I love a good crime thriller,  but until now I’ve always shied away from historical crime fiction I much prefer to read books written in the “here and now”. I’m thrilled that I decided to put my concerns to one side and pick up The Murder Of Harriet Monckton, what a fabulous book it turned out to be. I will never forget Harriet Monckton’s story as it’s based on fact. This novel is not only fascinating and beautifully written, it’s also one of the most compelling books I’ve read EVER.

Harriet was murdered in 1843 in Bromley, England. Elizabeth Haynes stumbled across some documents whilst researching another novel and this is Harriet’s enthralling story. I must applaud Elizabeth Haynes on her meticulous research into Harriet Monckton and Bromley as it was in 1843, as the reader you not only get a sense of time and place, but the claustrophobic feel of a town that has its fair share of narrow minded bigots.

Drawing on coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters. The Murder Of Harriett Monckton has a rich array of characters, that all draw suspicion, you have Harriet’s fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover, each one appears to have a very good reason for wanting her dead. Many are seen as upstanding pillars of the community but each and everyone comes under close scrutiny, vividly described by the author each character is brought to life. I found this novel fascinating especially the coroners investigation into Harriet’s death, everything about the investigation felt primitive but incredibly authentic.   

Harriet’s story made for an emotive read, here was a young girl naive in many ways who just happened to be led by her heart and the events that followed shaped her short and tragic life. Once I reached the afterword by the author I find myself becoming very emotional (ok I cried ugly tears), I had become so invested in Harriet’s story like Elizabeth Haynes I too wanted justice for her. To this day Harriet’s murder might remain unsolved, but the author’s gives a satisfying and entirely plausible explanation to her death.

Without a shadow of a doubt The Murder Of Harriet Monckton is a must read, the writing is sublime, the characters are wonderfully depicted, I’m sure Harriet’s story is one that will stay with me for a long time, it’s haunting and moving, and I would like to think Harriet is pleased her story has been told with such passion. In case you haven’t guessed I simply loved this book and I really can not recommend this novel highly enough.

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  The Murder Of Harriet Monckton the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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  • Print Length: 437 pages
  • Publisher: Myriad Editions (28 Sept. 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Elizabeth Haynes worked for many years as a police analyst. Her debut novel, Into the Darkest Corner, won Amazon’s Book of the Year in 2011 and Amazon’s Rising Star Award for debut novels.

Elizabeth grew up in Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. She is currently taking a career break having worked for the past seven years as a police intelligence analyst. Elizabeth now lives in Kent with her husband and son, and writes in coffee shops and a shed-office which takes up most of the garden. She is a regular participant in, and a Municipal Liaison for, National Novel Writing Month – an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

If my review hasn’t convinced you to buy the book, you may want to read my fellow book bloggers fabulous reviews….

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#InHerShadow by Mark Edwards #BookReview @AmazonPub @Mredwards #MustReads

Today I’m sharing my review for Mark Edwards latest book In Her Shadows, which is published on the Thursday 4th October but firstly here’s the book description…….

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Isabel’s life seemed perfect. Successful business, beautiful house, adoring husband. And then she was dead.

For four years Jessica has never doubted that her sister Isabel’s death was an accident. But when Jessica’s young daughter seems to know long-forgotten details about her aunt’s past, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that there’s a more sinister truth behind the tragedy.

As Jessica unearths disturbing revelations about her sister, and about the people she loved and trusted most, it becomes clear Isabel’s life was less than perfect and that Jessica’s might also be at risk.

Did someone murder Isabel? Are they now after Jessica and her family? The key seems to lie in the hands of a child. Can Isabel reveal the truth from beyond the grave, or is the answer closer to home?

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Mark Edwards books never fit neatly into one particular genre, and In Her Shadow is no different, is it a psychology thriller? Possibly, horror? it definitely has elements of that fit this genre, supernatural? there’s plenty of events that suggest it could be, see what I mean?The reader is never sure what the author has planned, and that’s one of the reasons I’m such a huge fan of  this authors work, he turns the most ordinary events into an extraordinary tale. In Her Shadow is spine-chilling creepy, it’s one of those books where your nerves are frayed, the  slightest noise will make you jump, there’s a sense of impending doom which only intensifies as the plot thickens, it’s  a story that’s brimming with suspense, misdirection and the most delicious twists.   

Jessica is mum to  four year old Olivia who appears to be communicating with Jessica’s sister Isabel, but that’s where things take a creepy and disturbing turn as Isabel died four years ago when she fell from the balcony of her house. At the time the fall was seen to be a tragic accident but Olivia has other ideas and soon Jessica is convinced that there is something far more sinister behind her sisters accident. In Her Shadows reminded me a little of the film The Sixth Sense, it’s the one where a young boy talks to dead people, I got the same sense of unease whilst reading this book. Olivia’s character is definitely the star of In Her Shadows, I had permanent goose bumps as Olivia’s behaviour became more disturbing, especially when she started  sharing memories that only Jessica and Izzy would have known about. 

Familiar themes run through this book, family secrets, lies and obsession but Mark Edwards adds his unique voice making the themes his own. I loved the way the author always manages to make his books multi genre, and even with elements of the supernatural In Her Shadows felt frighteningly credible. Add into the mix unreliable characters that as the reader you find yourself  constantly doubting how trustworthy they actually are. The author also leaves little time to contemplate because as each chapter ends the plot thickens, which certainly added to my enjoyment of this read. I really enjoy the fact you never know what story will be hidden in the pages of a new Mark Edwards books, but one thing you can be guaranteed it will be a highly entertaining read. Definitely one for fans of psychological thrillers. Highly recommended.

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (4 Oct. 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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