Author Archives: Thebookreviewcafe

About Thebookreviewcafe

Hi and welcome to my blog, I love reading and always have a book or my kindle on the go. I love reading crime/psychological thrillers, but I will read most genres if a book takes my fancy. If you would like me to review a book for you please send me a email, although I cannot guarantee to review a book if it has a tight deadline due to work commitments. As a new blogger I would be grateful for any hints or tips established bloggers could give me, so feel free to email me. Thanks for calling in and hope you enjoy my reviews

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons #Review @WriteAngie @bookouture  #KillingMind #KimStone **Blog tour**

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Killing Mind by Angela Marsons. If you follow my blog you will know I’m a huge fan of the Kim Stone series, and couldn’t wait to read this one, did it live up to my expectations? read on for my thoughts, but first the book description….

3D7BE943-576B-4932-827A-23D4D0ADC42D
It had seemed so simple. Get in, get the information, get out. But now they were getting inside her mind and she didn’t know how to stop them…

When Detective Kim Stone is called to the home of Samantha Brown, she finds the young woman lying in bed with her throat cut and a knife in her hand. With no sign of forced entry or struggle, Kim rules her death a tragic suicide.

But a visit to Samantha’s parents rings alarm bells for Kim – there’s something they’re not telling her. And, when she spots a clue in a photograph, Kim realises she’s made a huge mistake. Samantha didn’t take her own life, she was murdered.

Then a young man’s body is found in a local lake with his throat cut and Kim makes a link between the victim and Samantha. They both spent time at Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life.

Beneath the retreat’s cosy façade, Kim and her team uncover a sinister community preying on the emotionally vulnerable.

Sending one of her own undercover into Unity Farm is high risk but it’s Kim’s only hope if she is to catch a killer – someone Kim is convinced the victims knew and trusted.

With Bryant distracted by the emergence of a harrowing case close to his heart, and an undercover officer in way over her head, Kim’s neck is on the line like never before. Can she protect those closest to her before another life is taken?

2D012990-C287-4C92-AA9C-9E82E91967FB

Woohoo Angela Marsons is back with yet another cracking read!  It’s a rare author who makes the twelfth book as exciting and compelling as the first book in a series. I’m not certain how Angela Marsons manages it but Killing Mind the latest book in the Kim Stone set, is just as impressive, riveting, and exciting as every other book in this much-loved series.  Another thing that’s worth a mention is the fact the author never fails to deliver a gripping storyline for each and every one of her books, they’re always original and well researched .

Kim Stone is called to what appears to be a routine suicide, but something  doesn’t entirely add up. It soon becomes evident to Kim and her team that the suicide was staged to cover up a murder, and that at every turn leads back to Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life. As Kim digs deeper into the Farm, she realises she is looking into a Cult, a subject she knows very little about. Cults are something that have always fascinated me, especially the psychology behind what attracts people to cults. Angela Marsons gives the reader a realistic, spine chilling insight into the world of Cults, the members who prey on peoples’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities and how they manipulate, compliment and flatter victims to reel them in. The author has the extraordinary ability to turn a crime thriller into something more, she’s able to give her victims and their families a voice, she highlights the effects a cult can have on Family members, loved ones and friends, when they lose someone to a cult.

It’s great that the author has brought Tiffany (AKA Tink) back, I love her character, she has a certain innocence about her, that makes her very likeable, as more of her backstory is revealed, I really felt for her. Team member Bryant has a side story of his own in Killing Mind, which adds another yet another layer of intrigue to the story. Kim is as difficult as always, but underneath that cold, brittle exterior is the Kim fans of this series have come to love.

The cult gives the plot a dark and sinister tone that continues to thread its way through the plot, and when one of Kim’s team whose working under cover is placed in danger, a palatable sense of dread fills the pages. There are moments in this book I found gut wrenching, not something you would expect in a crime thriller, but that’s the beauty of the authors writing she never fails to surprise the reader. Once again Angela Marsons has written a taut, fast-paced crime thriller, it’s a cliche but I really ‘couldn’t turn the pages fast enough’ as the body count rises and the investigation intensifies. If you consider yourself a crime thriller lover then this book, hell the whole series is unmissable.

Print Length: 367 pages

  • Publisher: Bookouture (13 May 2020)

Buying links:

My thanks to Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

About the author

1356A5AF-5D3C-4C18-A1EB-AF912F43FCCC

 

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon pre-order alone.

Other books in the Kim Stone series

**First Blood is the prequel to the Kim Stone series**

Follow the blog tour…..

4B4C1BAF-CBD8-4E5D-BE4D-F5B45A2AB598

What Lies Between Us by John Marrs #BookReview  @AmazonPub @Johnmarrs1 #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m sharing my review for What Lies Between Us by John Marrs, this has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2020, did it live up to my expectations? Read on for my thoughts…..

65B0AFD0-012A-42F2-9AE2-EC43324A92DE

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

1BCBF4C2-12C7-4BDB-8C55-62C673EC5C84

‘OMFG’  what have I just finished reading? Only one of the most twisted books I’ve had the pleasure to read. What Lies Between Us by John Marrs is an incredible, intense read, the plot, the twists, the characters, the writing, all blend to create the perfect read for psychological thriller lovers. If you don’t believe me, then perhaps knowing that THE Renee Zellweger’s Big Picture Co/MGM TV have purchased the television rights, will convince you that this book is a ‘MUST’ read.

What Lies Between Us is one of those that the less you know the more thrilling the read and please if you are thinking of checking out reviews for this book tread carefully as so many of them describe one of the big ‘reveals’. What Lies Between Us tells the story of two women, Maggie and Nina, who live together. Many would  consider that normal, but their relationship is anything but! Maggie is kept in chains, imprisoned in the attic, by Nina. What has Maggie done to Nina to deserve such treatment? What secrets is Maggie desperate to hide? What’s the connection between the two?

I found The complex relationship between Nina and Maggie fascinating, the bitterness and resentment between the pair is palatable throughout. I found I couldn’t flick the pages on my kindle fast enough as their story unfolded, there were so many emotions that spilled from the pages, anger, fear, guilt, and disgust. The author has created characters with their own unique voice; he discloses Maggie and Nina’s story in such away your sympathies constantly waiver between both characters, Amid the horror and the abuse, there are tender moments that offer glimmers of hope that their toxic relationship can be repaired. I must admit I had a love/hate relationship with both women, throughout What Lies Between Us depending on which part of the book I was reading.

The beauty of this book is the way John Marr’s tantalises the reader with details about both women’s life’s, never revealing too much, but just enough to tease you.  The author’s twisted imagination allows you to be privy to the two women’s disturbed minds, it’s bone chilling, and creepy, but it also makes for an exciting read. The tension never waivers, the horror of the story ebbs and flows, and the plot is perfectly executed. Up until now The One has always been my favourite book by John Marrs but I’m not sorry to say What Lies Between Us has just taken its place. Is it a book I would recommend? You bet! This has to be one of my favourite reads this year.

And yes in case you hadn’t already guessed I’m giving What Lies Between Us my shiny Book hangover 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 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 reach the very last page.

97013C7E-05C2-488C-9664-D76C673009DF

  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (15 May 2020)

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

5E82B0E8-271C-4C1F-A14C-6BF64BC756F7

The book review café book of the month for **March 2020**

4B5A26F0-FC35-4D74-AA61-81485CCCC7F8
I normally post my book of the month at the beginning of each month, but unfortunately I’m a bit late with this post, but as the old saying goes “better late than never”. I hope you are all keeping safe and well, along with your family, loved ones and friends.

The reason I haven’t been around for a while is I have been really worried about Mr book review café aka Andy, he got tested through work for the Corona virus and unfortunately the test came back positive, so as you can imagine first came the shock and then the worry! He’s doing fine and due to be retested later this week, but the most worrying thing about it all is that this virus is the silent killer, my husband has had no symptoms apart from a loss of sense of taste and smell, no cough, no temp so he had no idea he had it, so it doesn’t take much imagination to see how easily it’s spread.

As usual I’m digressing here, and now to the point of this post, my book of the month for March 2020. I read some cracking books in March, but if I’m honest the book I’ve chosen was always going to be a contender for my book of the month, and it’s already one of my top reads of the year so far.

How do I choose my book of the month?

I choose 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 reach the very last page. So without further ado here’s my book of the month for March….

The Memory Wood by Sam Llyod

DF8E1322-D971-4F71-9D9A-612D6DD82FE0

I expected The Memory Wood to be a disturbing read, after all the plot is based on a child’s abduction,  what I wasn’t expecting was a read that was harrowing, and ultimately heartbreaking, I must admit I finished this book with a lump the size of a golf ball in my throat. Sam Lloyd has written a book that’s compelling, and one of the most original books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended. You can read my full review here….The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Highly recommended

You can read my full  reviews here…….

Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman #BookReview @RobAshmanAuthor @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTour 

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel #BookReview @amyengle @niamh_anderson @HodderFiction #AuthorInterview #BlogTour

Mr Nice by John Nicholl #Review @nicholl06 #MrNice

Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten #BookReview @nholten40 #BlogTour @KillerReads @0neMoreChapter @BOTBSPublicity @HarperCollins #MustReads

Books I’m hoping to read this month

God knows! I’m really struggling to concentrate at the moment, so I really could be reading anything or nothing! But here’s some of the potential books that I hope to read this month.

 

 

 

 

 

The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd #BookReview @samlloydwrites @TransworldBooks #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on The Memory Wood, it’s the debut novel from Sam Lloyd, but first here’s the book description.

DF8E1322-D971-4F71-9D9A-612D6DD82FE0

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .

F7C6559E-FB05-4E83-A77A-DB64A7D01C77

When I read a book it normally falls into two categories, books I’ve really enjoyed, and then there’s the rare gem, it’s a book that finds its way into my my heart, a book that lingers in my thoughts long after I’ve reached the last page, a book that evokes many emotions, The Memory Wood is one such book. The debut novel from Sam Lloyd is a book that I would describe as ‘creepily atmospheric, unforgettable, a horrifying account of child abduction. Beautifully told, the author has written a book that reads like the darkest fairytale, where monsters roam the woods, and evil lurks. This isn’t your ‘run of the mill’ child abduction story by any means there’s so much more to the plot than you can ever imagine. 

The story is mostly told from three perspectives, Elissa an abducted 13 year old, who finds herself shackled, abused, neglected and held captive in the ‘gingerbread house’ a deserted cottage in the woods. Elijah, a boy who finds Elissa in the cellar, he’s her only hope for survival, but is he trustworthy, or is there something far more sinister at play? Then there’s Mairead a detective, whose determined to bring Elissa home, but to what cost? The characters are so well drawn they leap from the pages. The relationship between Elissa and Elijah captivated me, on one hand you have Elissa brave, defiant, clever and  resourceful and then you have Elijah, who appears immature, and naive, their friendship is one built on mistrust and deception. 

The authors vivid descriptors bring the The Memory Wood and the gingerbread house to life, creating an atmosphere that’s both sinister and ominous. I swear I could smell the damp cloying earth, feel the dark and the cold, and sense the evil and dark aura that surrounds her abductor. At first I made assumptions about Elissa’s captor, but any such thoughts were soon turned on there head, as the author deftly reveals more details, each turn is more twisted, and shocking in its delivery.  I expected The Memory Wood to be a disturbing read, after all the plot is based on a child’s abduction,  what I wasn’t expecting was a read that was harrowing, and ultimately heartbreaking, I must admit I finished this book with a lump the size of a golf ball in my throat. Sam Lloyd has written a book that’s compelling, and one of the most original books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.

And yes in case you hadn’t already guessed I’m giving The Memory Wood my shiny Book hangover 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 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 reach the very last page.

75271212-FACE-4DCE-845D-882D346A5B12

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (20 Feb. 2020)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

Please note this book was bought by myself, and not given to me by the publishers.

BF5278CC-C1B9-4F9E-89A0-940F20B68687

Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman #BookReview @RobAshmanAuthor @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTour 

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in Killing Pretties by Rob Ashman blog tour. If you are a fan of the authors this is probably his darkest book yet, and you are going to love it. If Rob Ashman is a new author to you and you enjoy a dark gritty crime thriller then look no further.  Before I share my review here’s the book description…..

5BB9FDC2-B059-41B3-B29D-8D594710EE3A
Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice is a rubbish ex-husband, a crap father but a damned good detective. It’s a shame he spoils his only redeeming quality by being a bent copper.

Detective Kelly Pietersen joins the team to help find a missing woman. But Kelly has a secret…

Damien Kaplan is a leading criminal barrister and a keen amateur potter. He also happens to be a serial killer with a chilling approach to creating his art. He’s married to Elsa, though she considers him more of a possession than a husband. She controls those around her using sex and procures men and women for her husband to play with but only after she’s finished with them first.

Killing Pretties is his passion, having sex with them is hers. It is difficult to say which one is worse.

The missing woman brings all four crashing together – an incendiary mix that doesn’t end well.

63A4061A-D5CB-48AE-A594-2337EF31A502

’OMFG’ God The ‘king’ of twisted crime thrillers is back! Rob Ashman is one of my ‘turn to authors’ when I’m looking to read a dark crime thriller and Killing Pretties is unquestionably his darkest book yet! The authors latest heart thumping crime thriller has all the elements I enjoy, a protagonist whose beyond twisted, gory crime scenes, a tense plot, and a style of writing that is sharp and to the point. The authors draws the reader in with a shocking opening chapter, that’s full of promise and sets the dark tone of the book. The good news is this is a brand new series featuring DS Malice, so there’s no backlog of books to catch up on. 

There’s no need for me to give a recap on the plot, as the book description pretty much covers it, so let’s move on to the characters, starting with Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice. I have a feeling Malice is a character reader’s will have a love hate relationship with,  he wouldn’t win a father or husband of the year award, he’s considered to be a good Detective but he’s also bent. Normally in a crime thriller Detectives are sterotyped, ‘the conventional good guys’, so it makes a change to have a character who will freely cross the line, it means that Malice is unreliable, and unpredictable. 

The author takes a bold step and reveals the serial killer Damien Kaplan from the off, and ‘oh my giddy aunt’ twisted doesn’t even cover it! Sick, depraved, and warped spring to mind. Kaplan is enigma on one hand he’s smart, funny, clever and  sought after crime barrister, and then there’s the dark side of his character. He has a disturbing relationship with his wife Elsa, let’s just say it’s a ‘match made in hell’, a relationship that reminded me of the infamous Rose and Fred West, spine chilling to say the least! The nature of this book made for an uncomfortable read, and yet at the same time I read on with morbid curiosity, I’m a sucker for a well depicted serial killer! Killing Pretties is fast-paced, gruesome, and shocking, there are so many ‘OMFG’ moments that I’m sure I read most of the book with my mouth open! 

Thank god for Rob Ashman’s twisted imagination, he has such a vivid and dare I say fertile imagination I do wonder how he manages to sleep at night!  No one can ever say his books are ‘boring’ that’s for sure! This isn’t a book that I would recommend to those of a nervous disposition, as there are sexual scenes (although not in the romantic sense) included. But if you aren’t averse to a dark crime thriller with blood and guts, and you enjoy a dark, twisted read then it’s one I would happily encourage you to buy.

  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to a Rob Ashman and Sarah Hardy for an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the author

A98C99A5-1967-4640-BC5F-7DBC6DAF2FB7

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.
Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family 
encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. 

Rob published Those That RemainIn Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Ashman-Author-1428800800468097/

Website: http://robashman.com/

Twitter: @RobAshmanAuthor

**********

Sarah Hardy

Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo
Twitter: @BOTBSPublicity

Follow the blog tour…..

94F8AD8D-8623-4D98-A5BB-BF6FB37132E5

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel #BookReview @amyengle @niamh_anderson @HodderFiction #AuthorInterview #BlogTour

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for The Familiar Dark by Amy Engle. If you enjoyed the authors debut novel The Ronake Girls, then you definitely need to read this one. I’m also sharing an author interview that Amy kindly agreed too.

Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description.

C1FBE60F-62A5-481E-B3F5-144BB209F4EB

‘In other places, the murder of two little girls would have blanketed the entire town in horror. Here, it was just another bad day.’

Eve Taggert’s life has been spent steadily climbing away from her roots. Her mother, a hard and cruel woman who dragged her up in a rundown trailer park, was not who she wanted to be to her own daughter, Junie.

But 12-year old Junie is now dead. Found next to the body of her best friend in the park of their small, broken town. Eve has nothing left but who she used to be.

Despite the corrupt police force that patrol her dirt-poor town deep in the Missouri Ozarks, Eve is going to find what happened to her daughter. Even if it means using her own mother’s cruel brand of strength to unearth secrets that don’t want to be discovered and face truths it might be better not to know.

Everyone is a suspect.

Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will answer for her daughter’s murder.

From the bestselling author of The Roanoke Girls, The Familiar Dark is a spellbinding story about the bonds of family as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home. The Familiar Dark will blow you away.

FB3F87F4-AB07-41B2-BC21-55282B1C05C0

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel opens with an unusual start to this harrowing tale, it begins at ‘the end’, it’s a powerful and haunting start to the book, and leaves the reader in no doubt that it will not be a ‘happy ever after’ kind of read. The authors poetic prose seem almost at odds with this stark plot, that features drug abuse, rural town poverty and abuse, and yet the two blend perfectly together creating a spellbinding story about the complexities of family relationships, and how even the most dysfunctional families can pull together in the face of adversary.

Set in the small rundown down town of Barren Springs in the Missouri Ozarks, tells the heartbreaking and brutal story of Eve, a young mother whose daughter is one of two 12-year-old girls found murdered in the towns dilapidated park.  The only way Eve can stop herself drowning in grief is to seek vengeance for her daughter’s Junie’s murder, a path that leads Eve to the town’s seedy criminal underbelly. A path that will open up old childhood wounds, as Eva’s own traumatic past comes back to haunt her. Eve’s relationship with her mother is based on neglect and abuse, she’s always been determined  to become her mother’s daughter, but without Junie, and with vengeance firmly on her mind, Eve finds that she is more like her mother than she cares to admit. 

The author vividly describes the experience of growing up in Barren Springs, a dirt poor town, where people live in trailers, patched up with tape, it’s town people are mostly drug addicts, and people live hand to mouth, living for their next fix of crystal meths and heroin. The town is as much a character as Eve. The town feels claustrophobic, seedy, and unclean, it’s a town everyone wants to escape from, but poverty and addiction keeps them in its clutches, it’s a place where the life is sucked out of you. Eve is a character that immediately finds her way into your heart, as her grief takes her through a spectrum of emotions, you feel her anger, and her pain, and her need for vengeance, these emotions are raw and intense, The relationship between Eve and her mother is a difficult one, and yet a bond is created through grief and wanting to do the right thing in the most appalling situation.

Despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexities of relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity and incredible insight. Amy Engel’s visceral style of writing makes each of her novels memorable, The Familiar Dark and Eva’s tragic tale will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. If you are looking for the ‘usual whodunnit’  then this may not be the book for you. If you enjoy a book that is very much character driven, with a dark heart then look no further. Highly recommend.

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (31 Mar. 2020)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

88441C66-27B3-4D21-A60A-AA0704A4112F

Hi Amy I’m thrilled to welcome you to the book review café. The Familiar Dark revolves around such a difficult subject matter – a mother grieving for her daughter, lost in the worst of circumstances. As a mother yourself, how did you find the writing process? 

I had a hard time writing this book, I’m not going to lie. My daughter is only a few years older than Junie and there were times I had to walk away from the book for hours or even days at a time. It was incredibly stressful and painful to put myself in the shoes of Eve and imagine the aftermath of losing a child, especially in such a brutal and senseless way. 

As a former criminal defence attorney from a small town, how much of what you write comes from what you have lived?

I’m actually not from a small town; I was born in Lawrence, Kansas, but lived the vast majority of my childhood and adult life in cities. But my mom was from a very small town in Kansas and her grandparents lived there until I was in college, so I spent a lot of time in that environment and it served as fodder for my previous nove, The Roanoke Girls. The Missouri Ozarks, the setting of The Familiar Dark, is also a place I’ve spent a lot of time. It’s important to me that my books be set in places I know well. I like the settings to feel almost like another character in the story. I want readers to really be able to picture the environment, even if it’s someplace they’ve never visited.

The Familiar Dark is your second adult novel, coming after your bestselling The Roanoke Girls and fantastic young adult series The Book of Ivy. Did you prefer the writing process for young adult or adult fiction?

For me, the writing process wasn’t that different between genres. I always start with characters, and that doesn’t change whether I’m writing for adults or young adults. I do think, however, that adult novels allow for a little more exploration of the dark side of life, which seems to be my wheelhouse. 

Who is your favourite author?

Stephen King, hands down. And I love Tana French, as well. And Dennis Lehane. This list could go on forever.

What are your future writing plans?

I’m working on a new novel right now. It’s dark psychological suspense set in rural Kansas and involves a woman who is serving a life sentence for the murders of her entire family when she was a teenager. 

About the author

9856371D-32E7-4DEC-94A1-E6EB8C84A8BA

Amy Engel is a former criminal defence attorney living in Missouri with her family. Her debut adult novel, The Roanoke Girls, was a #1 ebook bestseller, a Richard and Judy book club pick and has sold 100,000 copies across formats to date. The Familiar Dark is her second adult novel.

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review, and my thanks to the author for her interview.

Follow the blog tour……

DA4F1602-416E-472E-A094-8A0DE207E74C

Mr Nice by John Nicholl #Review @nicholl06 #MrNice

Today it’s a pleasure to share my review for Mr Nice by John Nicholl, if you like a crime thriller that veers towards the dark side then I may have just the book for you, but first the book description.

B5C0E51E-AF4F-430B-8D15-01289E60BE05

 

Your worst nightmare is about to come true…

When Megan discovers that her young daughter is missing, she thinks that her ex-husband is to blame. 

But was it someone else entirely? 

Someone out for revenge? Someone with a grudge? 

As DI Laura Kesey begins her investigation, she discovers that the case is infinitely more wicked than she could ever have imagined. 

The clock is ticking. 

The search is on. 

But will Kesey find Lottie before it’s too late?

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The greater the evil, the deadlier the game.

09317864-AFB0-4D21-B15A-D11CB55E675C

Once again John Nicholls twisted imagination holds no bounds, and his latest offering Mr Nice is a chiller thriller with an evil presence that  comes in the shape of a protagonist that will give you the heebie-jeebies, and a few sleepless nights! A child being abducted is every parents worse nightmare, it must be incredibly difficult for parents in this position not to think the worse, especially when the child isn’t found, and the days turn into weeks. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak and pain parents go through when dealing with a child’s abduction. Mr Nice by John Nicholl tackles the difficult subject of child abduction and plays on the worse fears of parents. This book is definitely not one I would recommend to those of a nervous disposition, it’s a grim read at times, and some scenes are very dark.  

The mystery of  the  person who abducted Lottie is known throughout the book. This means Mr Nice  takes a very dark turn  from the the start. By revealing their identity it gives the author plenty of time to get inside the mind of his protagonist, it’s not pretty view, it’s ugly, stomach churning, and repulsive. Here’s a person who enjoys inflicting pain and humiliation on his victims, as for the scenes with the abductor’s mother, they freaked me out, they are spine chillingly creepy to say the least!

I really felt for Lottie’s mother, Megan, she’s left vulnerable, broken and terrified following the abduction of her daughter. To add to her nightmare the abductor enjoys nothing more than taunting her, these are the scenes I found incredibly unsettling, as the abductor feeds on Megan’s vulnerability, by playing mind games that are cruel and beyond evil. Mr Nice is a relatively short read at 258 pages, but I thought it was the perfect length for the plot, as it doesn’t allow the tension of the plot to waiver.  This book reminded me of one of the authors earlier books White Is The Coldest Colour, Dark, gritty and spine chilling.

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (17 Mar. 2020)

My thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon USA 🇺🇸

5FA73395-DF74-4C82-9128-9FCDD88007A3