The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel #BookReview @emilykitchin

img_1536

Book description

Beautiful.
Rich.
Mysterious.
Everyone wants to be a Roanoke girl.

But you won’t when you know the truth.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family’s rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls.

But what she doesn’t know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice…
#RoanokeGirls

A gripping, provocative thriller about the twisted secrets families keep.

img_1258This is going to be a hard book to review without giving away major spoilers but The Roanoke Girls is a book that I’m sure is going to divide readers, love it or hate it, it’s controversial, disturbing and makes for a very unsettling read. As the title suggests the plot centres around The Roanoke girls, these girls appear to have it all they are beautiful, rich and mysterious, and everyone wants to be part of the inner circle, where girls are treated like princesses, but beneath the facade lies a very different story. It’s one of a dysfunctional family like no other. The Roanoke Girls keep secrets so dark and unbelievably twisted, you can’t help but wonder how they’ve managed to stay hidden for so long.

The story is told through the eyes of Lane, a fifteen year old girl. On the death of her mother, she moves to Roanoke to live with her grandparents and cousin Allegra, but over one hot summer she realises there are some secrets she wants no part of and runs away. Ten years later, when her cousin goes missing, Lane returns to the family home searching for answers to her disappearance.The characters in this book aren’t particularly likeable they are flawed, complex and have very few endearing qualities, but they are credible, as you learn more about the girls life you realise the characters could not have been portrayed any other way.

Told in alternating chapters between past and present, there are also random chapters where the author reveals more about other generations of Roanoke girls which added a sense of foreboding to this haunting tale. Amy Engel takes a bold step and pretty much reveals the big family secret very early on in the book, which I wasn’t expecting, but she still manages to hold the reader’s interest until the very last page due to her unique story telling and captivating writing.

At times I found this book an uncomfortable and upsetting read due to the disturbing subject matter, but the author tackled the book with a certain amount of empathy, so that the plot remained bearable, and in the authors defences she writes in such away there are no particularly graphic scenes, it’s left to the readers imagination to fill in the blanks. Throughout The Roanoke Girls there is an sinister undercurrent that permeates every page of this well written novel. This book is being billed as a thriller but for me it read more like a mystery, although it really does have its moments – this isn’t an edge-of-your-seat hardcore thriller.

The Roanoke Girls is well worth a read, despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexity of love and relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity. Although it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, it was a hard one to put down and I read it in one sitting.

Print Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 Mar. 2017)

Amazon US 🇺🇸       Amazon UK 🇬🇧

The Caller by Chris Carter #Book Review

img_1573

Book description

The terrifying new thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of I AM DEATH.

After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring. The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward. Tanya takes the call and the nightmare begins.

Karen is gagged and bound to a chair in her own living room. If Tanya disconnects from the call, if she looks away from the camera, he will come after her next, the deep, raspy, demonic voice at the other end of the line promises her.

As Hunter and Garcia investigate the threats, they are thrown into a rollercoaster of evil, chasing a predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear.

img_1258The Caller by Chris Carter is the eighth book in the Robert Hunter series, I must admit I was concerned that as there has been a two year gap between I Am Death and The Caller that the series might have lost its momentum, but I’m pleased to say that this is a very worthy and thrilling edition to the series. What I like about this author is that he writes stories that challenge and shock, he isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what we expect. The authors imagination knows no bounds, the killings are gruesome and pretty gory in detail, so be warned if you are squeamish you may want to give this one a miss!

This book is very relevant today’s society a serial killer who stalks social media looking for his next victim, it never fails to amaze me how much we share on social media without even realising it, but after reading this novel you might think twice about what your putting on social media sites. As you would expect the author has created a very twisted killer, but I would expect nothing else from Chris Carter as he skilfully takes the worse parts of human behaviour and creates a character who is chilling to say the least. I’m not going to go into plot details as the less you know about the plot line the better the read.
The killing scenes in this book are graphic to say the least, and at times make for a grisly read, but this is what makes Chris Carter such a fantastic crime writer, his details of police procedures and psychological profiling are second to none, and you are able to get a real understanding of the criminal mind and the way it works, something which fascinates me. As the investigation intensifies and the body count rises The Caller made for a gripping and heart pounding read.

There are a couple of other strands running through this novel which also added to the suspense. I do have one small criticism when I read a crime thriller I like to feel I’m taking part in the investigation, working my way through the suspects, picking up clues but this wasn’t the case with The Caller as there are very few suspects, and then wham bam the killer is revealed with no big lead up or clues to the identity of the killer, in my opinion this made the ending feel very rushed and I couldn’t help feeling slightly disappointed.

The Caller is a worthy edition to the series, the writing is exceptional, the plot intriguing but it’s not my favourite Chris Carter book due to the abrupt ending, but I’m sure many of his fans will disagree with me. This can be read as a standalone but as it’s such a brilliant series I would recommend you read the books in order as they really are an exceptional series.

Print Length: 480 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (23 Feb. 2017)

Amazon Uk 🇬🇧              Amazon US 🇺🇸

**Weekly Wrap Up** & #Giveaway

image

Well I’ve done myself proud this week and read five books, now don’t get excited I haven’t managed to work my reading around working full time. As usual life is never simple and I’ve spent the week in agony thanks to the muscles in my neck going in to spasm, three types of pain killers later and I’m still in agony, consequently  two weeks in to a new job I’m off work, I feel awful that this has happened and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

I’ve read some amazing books this week and they certainly helped to take my mind of the pain…

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Promise by Casey Kelleher

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson

The Caller by Chris Carter

Books I bought this week

I only bought one book this week

img_1573

 

Book description

After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring. The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward. Tanya takes the call and the nightmare begins.

Karen is gagged and bound to a chair in her own living room. If Tanya disconnects from the call, if she looks away from the camera, he will come after her next, the deep, raspy, demonic voice at the other end of the line promises her.

As Hunter and Garcia investigate the threats, they are thrown into a rollercoaster of evil, chasing a predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear.

Book post

Only two books in the post this week,although I’m not complaining, and I’m sure the postman is glad of the rest 😂 (Second book further down the post as it’s a duplicate)

img_1594

 

Book description

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK.

On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate.

ARC’s I received this week

I managed to stay away from NetGalley all week and then blow me down Bookouture released this little beauty, normally nothing can tear me away from my crime/psychological thrillers but Christie Barlow gets me every time.

img_1599

 

Book description

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns.

Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own.

Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother.

Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past.

As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken?

And then I got improved for this book which I can’t even remember requesting, I blame it on the pain med!

img_1598

 

Book description

When baby Oliver breaks his arm, no-one can (or will) say how it happened.

His mother is exhausted.

His father is angry.

His older sister is resentful.

And they all have something to hide.

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/18/the-missing-ones-by-patricia-gibney-bookreview-trisha460-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/20/rapid-fire-booktag/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/21/blog-tourporcelain-flesh-of-innocents-by-lee-cockburn-guestpost-lee_leecockburn-gilbster1000/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/23/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-janel-aka-keeperofpages/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/24/top-five-friday-with-the-book-review-cafe-crimeseries/

Next week on the book review café

The Caller by Chris Carter- review

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel- review

My book of the month

#TopFiveThursday

Top Five Friday – psychological thrillers

Giveaway

img_1505

For some reason the publishers sent me a second copy of The People At Number 9, rather than it just sitting here if you would like to read and review it, please leave a comment in this post and I will get the hubby aka mr book review café to pick a random winner, sorry I can only post to the UK.

Other news from the book review café

After much deliberating and following a discussion on a FB book club star started by Sharon over at https://chapterinmylife.wordpress.com/ I’ve decided to do away with giving my reviews a ⭐ rating. I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while as they are ambiguous to say the least, 5 ⭐ for me maybe a 3 ⭐ read for you, so I’m just going to go with my reviews. I will be keeping my Gold Star Award, it’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read.

image

**Top Five Friday** With The Book Review Café #CrimeSeries

 

img_1557

Today I’m starting a brand new feature on my blog, I got the idea from the very popular #TopFiveThurday that I runI’ve decided to share my top five with you it will be book related and this week I’m choosing my best five top crime series 

Robert Bryndza

img_1546

I’m a huge fan of Robert Bryndza’s as anyone who follows my blog will know, I love the  DI Erika Forster series. I would urge everyone to read the series, fabulously written they make for a gripping read. What I like about Robert Bryndza’s writing is his ability to describe scenes with such conviction that you feel like your there along side Erika and her team. Each book is very original and personally found them to be a gripping read.

James Carol

IMG_1553.PNG

Again this is a series that I  would highly recommend I just adore Ex-FBI star profiler Jefferson Winter he  is no ordinary investigator. An eccentric genius and self-described geek with a passion for Mozart, he is haunted by the legacy of his notorious serial killer father…and not likely to admit this may be why he has such a phenomenal insight into the psychology that drives the criminals he hunts. I especially like the profiling element in this series and they make for a thrilling read.

Peter James

img_1559

Despite reaching the 13th book in the series I’m still a huge fan of Detective Roy Grace each book has been very different and the back story concerning his missing wife Sandy adds an extra layer of mystery to these well written crime thrillers.

Angela Marsons

img_1549

Strangely enough as I was compiling my list I realised Angela is the only lady in my top five crime series. In my opinion Angela Marsons goes from strength to strength with this series and despite reaching the fifth book they show no signs of getting tiresome or repetitive. As for Detective Kim Stone she’s one complex character with  many secrets which make her a fascinating character to read about.

Michael Wood

IMG_1554.JPG

The DCI Matilda Darke series is another of my favourites in my opinion Michael Wood’s writing goes from strength to strength with each book he writes. His books are getting much darker and definitely more disturbing as this series develops, and again Matilda Darke is another intriguing character.

Crime series to watch out for

I know I said top five but it’s my blog, my rules Remember?

Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell deserves a special mention, but I couldn’t really include it as there is only one book in the series at the moment .The Detective Ruby Preston series is shaping up to be a cracker, this first book was dark and disturbing so of course I loved it.

Caroline Mitchell

img_1555

If you can think of any book themes I could feature, please feel free to leave them in the comments. If I use your theme I will happily link it to your blog. Would these be on your list? What crime series would you recommend? I hope you enjoyed this feature and your comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Janel aka KeeperOfPages

image

Today I’m thrilled to have the awesome Janel answer those pesky #TopFiveThursday questions. Janel’s blog http://keeperofpages.wordpress.com is one of my favourite’s as like me she’s a huge crime thriller reader. Janel’s reviews are always a pleasure to read, so if you haven’t already checked our her fab blog you might want to pop over and take a look, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Top 5 books this year (so far)?

Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk – I feel like the author wrote this book just for me, like she knew my likes and dislikes and created the perfect story. It’s an abduction story featuring a pregnant 16 year old, with the ability to take her thinking to the next level.

False Hearts by Laura Lam – A sci-fi crime thriller that I read in one sitting. Sci-fi is not one of my favoured genres but when you throw in some crime, it’s a hit! Dubbed as Orphan Black meets Inception, this book has it all: hover-cars, wall screens and the ability to infiltrate dreams.

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer – Kate’s writing is so dark yet so beautiful, she creates a compelling need in me to read on. The story grabbed hold of my heart and didn’t let go.

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis – Another author with the ability to write dark yet beautifully. A literary debut with a great dystopian-mystery feel to it.

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn – Norwegian crime fiction at its finest, this book is mesmorising.

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read? 

Kate Hamer – To experience the dark, beautiful writing and feel the compulsion to read on.

Beth Lewis – For the same reason everyone needs to read a book by Kate Hamer – dark, beautiful, compelling.

M. J. Arlidge – Everyone needs to binge on the DI Helen Grace series.

Keigo Higashino – The King of Japanese crime fiction.

Ruth Ware – Particularly ‘The Woman in Cabin 10’, it’s a recent release but has traits of classic crime.

Top 5 books you want to read before the end of 2017?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The Exiled – Kati Hiekkapelto

You – Caroline Kepnes

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, have fun, you don’t have to post every day to get followers, do as much or as little as you can manage. Enjoy it!

Blogging is not a competition, don’t compare stats and feel like you’re not good enough if others have better stats that you – you’ll go crazy!

Join Netgalley, it’s a great resource for books. And don’t feel disheartened if you ask publishers for books and they don’t get back to you/ignore you; they are inundated with requests – it’s not personal.

Follow and interact with other blogs! No one care if you’ve got a million followers and are only following 5 blogs – take the time (as often as you can) to comment on and share others posts. Why should people interact with you if you don’t interact with others?

If you like a book, great, if you don’t, that’s okay too. Differing opinions on a book are great and generate great discussion. Be honest in your reviews. Be yourself – everyone else is taken.

Top 5 book blogs you follow?

Sam @ Clues and Reviews – https://cluesandreviews.wordpress.com/

Renee @ It’s Book Talk – https://itsbooktalk.com/

Kate @ Bibliophile Bookclub – https://bibliophilebookclub.com/

Annie @ The Misstery – https://themisstery.com/

Jo @ Jo’s Book Blog – https://josbookblog.co.uk/

img_1522I’m fairly new to blogging myself, I started my blog in August and I’m having so much fun. I’ve met so many great people, the book community is amazing! I live in England with my young son. I’ve recently returned to university to study for a degree in Mental Health Nursing, I hope to combine that with my degree in Criminology and study serial killers. I’m not reading all these crime books for no reason 😉

img_1523

Social Media Links

www.keeperofpages.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/keeperofpages

www.goodreads.com/keeperofpages

www.instagram.com/reads.crime

A huge thank you to Janel for participating in #TopFiveThursday, it’s very much appreciated 😘

**Blog Tour**Porcelain: Flesh Of Innocents by Lee Cockburn #GuestPost @lee_leecockburn @gilbster1000

img_1502

Today I’m on the blog tour for Porcelain: Flesh Of Innocents by Lee Cockburn. Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for crime and police thriller fans. It’s published today so you don’t even have to wait to get a copy, and to celebrate I have a fabulous guest post from Lee Cockburn who reveals her five favourite crime books.

image

5 crime books that I have enjoyed

My favourite crime writer just now is Tess Gerritsen, her books the surgeon and the apprentice were the first of a series, the characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles both believable, have real life vulnerabilities, but both very skilled workers in their chosen professions. I like the development of the romance between Rizolli and Gabrielle and I like the rest of the books in the series as I have read them all, where that relationship blooms and continues into marriage and family life.

The main perpetrator of the first book in the series Warren Hoyt, a cruel and vile man with surgical skills factually described throughout the book, and featuring in all of Gerritson’s books due to her profession, other than being an author. I like how Hoyt features in the second book, continuing his reign of terror and his unhealthy focus on Rizzoli. I also love Rizolli’s strength and her fiesty nature and her vulnerabilities and insecurities.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, I just loved it, the twists and turns throughout, the short chapters allowing you to race to the next, skilfully tying up all of the loose ends, and leaving me happy I picked it up, although I wasn’t available for a day or two. A great read, I couldn’t put it down, and I regret not reading more of his novels, I just don’t have time.

img_1509

Schindler’s list, by Thomas Keneally a war crimes thriller, brutally graphic, true account of the horrific atrocities that took place during the Second World War. Brilliant book, well written, provoking novel that leaves you with tears in your eyes at the way humans can behave towards one another. I highly recommend this book, a must read, but heart breaking, and make you wonder about human nature.

img_1510

The last book not a crime thriller as such, the Tea Planters Wife by Dinah Jeffries, given to me by my mother in law. I started reading it, initially moaning at some of the over description, but the story soon had me drawn in, the true crimes of life itself out on full display, opinions and beliefs leading to the main character giving up her daughter, lies and deceit throughout left me impatient to get to the end, where I found myself in tears, with the sadness behind the unfortunate chain of events. Not the type of book I read, but really enjoyed it.

img_1511

img_1259

Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.

Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn

img_1500

Book Description

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant. 

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card.

Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Barnes and Noble

Follow the rest of the blog tour…….

img_1501

**Rapid Fire BookTag**

img_1488

Thank you to Nat at https://theowlonthebookshelf.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Rapid Fire Book Tag! Here are my answers…

eBooks or physical books?

Both, I like to try and alternate between the two. You can’t  beat the feel or the look of a physical book but I like ebooks for convenience especially when I go on holiday.

Paperback or hardback?

Again both! I find paperbacks easier to hold but there are a few authors whose books I can’t wait for the paperback to come out as I’m that desperate to read them so I always buy the hardback.

Online or in-store shopping?

I buy most of my books online for convenience but you can’t beat a good old nose around a book shop, I could spend hours browsing all those book shelves.

img_1490

Trilogies or series?

There are lots of crime books that I read that are part of a series, I like the way the characters develop throughout the series and that on the whole as the series develops the plots get darker and more complex

Heroes or villains?

You can’t beat a villain, the more complex the better.

A book you want everyone to read.

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone, superbly written with fascinating characters, and a plot that was both dark and disturbing.

img_1345

Recommend an underrated book.

Hmmm that’s a hard one there are so many books that I feel deserve more recognition than they actually get. I guess I would say My Girl by Jack Jordan as a crime thriller lover I would highly recommend My Girl it’s dark, and genuinely disturbing! and one of my favourite books of 2016.

The last book you finished.

I can’t say as it was a top secret ARC but what I can say, it was a fabulous and gripping read

Weirdest thing you used as a book mark.

Hmmmm I’m not sure I have as I’ve always got plenty of book marks to hand, in fact I could probably set up a business selling them I have so many😂

Used books, yes or no?

I prefer new books as I like to keep them pristine you won’t find any cracked spines or creased pages in my books. I do buy second hand books occasionally though.

Top three favourite genres?

Crime, psychological thrillers and thrillers

img_1491

Borrow or buy?

Buy, I rarely I borrow a book these days there are far too many sat on my TBR pile

Characters or plot?

Both, the plot has to grab me in the first few chapters and I have to be able to relate to the characters on some level or I struggle with a book.

Short or long book?

Shorter books are better for me, it means I’m able to get through more books 😂

Long or short chapters?

Short, it drives me mad when the chapters go on and on and I can’t put the book down until I’ve reached the end of the chapter even if it makes me late for something 🙈

Name the first three books you think of?

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

A Room Full Of Killers by Michael Wood

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Cry! I enjoy a book that I become so involved in that it stirs up my emotions and leaves me a blubbing wreck.

Our world or fictional worlds?

I prefer books set in our world I’m a huge crime fan so that’s where all the books I tend to read are based.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

I’ve never bought a book solely based on its cover, I always read the book description first and if that tempts me I would buy the book even if it had a terrible cover.

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

I much prefer to read a book than watch the TV or movie adaption as I’m usually left feeling disappointed when they don’t live up to the book

Series or standalone?

Both, a lot of the crime books I read are series and I do enjoy seeing how characters develop over the series. I also love a standalone you don’t have to remember what happened to whom in previous books

I nominate –

Danielle at http://booksvertigoandtea.com

Renee at http://itsbooktalk.com

Jen at https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/

and anyone else who has the time to take part 😘