Category Archives: Fiona Cummins

The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins #BookReview @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan #MustReads.

Today I’m sharing my review for The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins, a stand-alone Psychological thriller. 

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FOR SALE: A lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . .

And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune. The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

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The Neighbour is a stand-alone psychological thriller from Fiona Cummins, and very different in tone to Rattle and The Collector   (I loved both books). So I opened this book with some trepidation, and the reason for my trepidation? I have read many crime thrillers with “neighbours” as the main theme, so I wasn’t convinced the author could come up with a plot that would standout from the crowd. As usual, any doubts I had were dismissed once I read the prologue and the first couple of chapters. The Neighbour has to have one of the creepiest prologues EVER! It literally sent shivers down my spine.

FOR SALE: A lovely family home with a good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . .. sounds perfect doesn’t it? but there’s a catch the area where the house stands is the hunting ground for a serial killer dubbed the Doll Maker. This doesn’t stop the Lockwood family moving into their new home on The Avenue. Even before the removal vans unload, a fifth body is found in nearby Woods. The police seem to be struggling for leads and the Lockwoods’ neighbours all seem to have guilty secrets they would prefer to remain hidden, but which one is capable of murder?

The chapters give a “through the keyhole” view into each of the neighbours lives, allowing the reader to learn more about the secrets each one is hiding, there’s a growing sense of mistrust as you try to work out which of the oddball neighbours is most likely to be the killer. The story is told in short chapters, some of the chapters shine the spotlight on the owners living in the Avenue, whilst others relate to the investigation, but it’s the chapters that are narrated from the killers POV I found the most unsettling. You can’t beat a well-depicted serial in a crime thriller and the author has created a monster, as you learn more about them through past events, and their very dark thoughts regarding the crimes they committed I found myself repulsed by the killer, but a small part of me also found this insight strangely fascinating. 

Fiona Cummins has a remarkable talent she can write gruesome crime scenes, layered in horror and menace, and yet her writing is memorising and very descriptive, which seems at odds with the books she writes, but they fit perfectly together, making her books even more compelling to read. Without a shadow of doubt the author knows how to write a top-notch psychological/crime thriller, the sense of  horror, menace, and trepidation is palatable throughout. The Neighbour is a powerful, dark and disturbing story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until it’s heart stopping conclusion, cliched I know but also very true. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a crime thriller with a dark heart and a chilling premise.  

  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (28 Mar. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

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A day with author Fiona Cummins @FionaAnnCummins

 

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Today I’m thrilled to have Fiona Cummins author of Rattle  and The Collector  pop by the book review café and share a guest post about her working day with me. Interestingly enough both books by the author have featured on my top reads. If you haven’t read them yet I would highly recommend them both, especially if you love a darker crime thriller with a very intriguing serial killer.

A day with author Fiona Cummins

My typical writing day starts as soon as I drop my two children at school.

On the walk home, I begin to think about what I’m going to write next, and how I can move my story forward.
I’m lucky enough to have a study so I often write there.
The gorgeous paperweight on my desk was a gift from my university friend Emma to celebrate the publication of Rattle. The pen on the notepad was a present from Jason, my husband.

I keep copies of my novels on my desk to remind me that it is possible to finish a book, which is a great motivator when the writing is not going well.
I tend to scribble notes about my characters on scraps of paper, and have a file where I keep details of my research.

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I also spend a lot of time looking out of the window from my desk. I find it inspiring to watch the sky change, and to watch the boats as they move up the silvery strip of the estuary.

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Sometimes, I need a change of scene so I write at the kitchen table or in armchair in the sitting room, blanket over my knees and a mug of tea.

And if all else fails, I head to my favourite cafe Barlow and Fields, which has the best baristas, and there’s always someone to chat to. I like the noise and buzz while I’m writing.

I usually write (and poke about on Twitter) until lunchtime when I’ll take our puppy Binks for a walk. This helps to clear my head.

Then I potter around until it’s time to collect the children, but I’m also thinking about the story. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m chopping vegetables or folding laundry.

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Much later, after dinner, I’ll sit down at my desk, switch on my lamp and get back to work, perhaps with a large Jack Daniels and some music.

Depending on my progress, I’ll either go to bed despairing or quietly pleased.

My thanks to Fiona Cummins for taking time out of her busy schedule and also for the photographs from her personal collection.

About the author

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Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course.

Rattle, her debut novel, has been translated into several languages and received widespread critical acclaim from authors including Val McDermid, Lee Child and Martina Cole. Marcel Berlins wrote in The Times: ‘Amid the outpouring of crime novels, Rattle is up there with the best of them.’

Fiona was selected for McDermid’s prestigious New Blood panel at the 2017 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, where her novel was nominated for a Dead Good Reader Award for Most Exceptional Debut.

Rattle is now being adapted into a six-part TV series by the producers of Golden Globe-nominated Miss Sloane.
Her second novel, The Collector, was published in February 2018.

When Fiona is not writing, she can be found on Twitter, eating biscuits or walking her dog. She lives in Essex with her family.

To read more about the authors books or buy them click here

 

The book review cafe’s book of the month **December 2017**

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Time is like a flowing river, no water passes beneath your feet twice, much like the river, moments never pass you by again, so cherish every moment that life gives you and have a wonderful New Year.

Yes I’m back after an extended break which I desperately needed, I hope you are all well and the hangovers are receeding😂😂, and wishing you all a fabulous 2018 where all your dreams come true.

As it’s the 1st January it can only mean one thing it’s time to choose my book of the month for December. The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review if I actually star rated books on my blog.

I read some fabulous books in December, but there were two (yes it’s a New Year, but I remain indecisive😂) I loved these books I would highly recommend them so without further ado here they are…..

The Collector by Fiona Cummins

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Ever since I read RATTLE The Collector has been one, if not my most anticipated read of 2017. Now sometimes I find when when I finally get to read a sequel I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever it can go one of two ways, I will either love it or I’m left feeling cheated that the book just didn’t make the cut, but OMG I’m thrilled to report The Collector exceeded my expectations and then some, I loved it so much it’s gone straight on my “top reads of 2017” list. Utterly gripping I absolutely loved everything about this book, its dark, packed to the brim with tension and very creepy. You can read my full review here…..The Collector by Fiona Cummins #mustreads @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillian

The Liar’s Promise by Mark tilbury

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Terrifying and deliciously dark this has to be one of the most original books I have read this year. Yes you will have to suspend belief but in my opinion it’s definitely worth doing so. The Liar’s Promise is twisted and very disturbing and is definitely the most disquieting book I’ve read in a long time. In case you haven’t already guessed I absolutely loved this book. You can read my full review here…….The Liar’s Promise by Mark Tilbury #bookreview @MTilburyAuthor @BloodhoundBook

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

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The Wife Between Us deserves all the hype surrounding it and much more, in fact this is one of those books that you want to shout and scream about to all and sundry. It’s one of those books that will make you question everything you read and everything you think you know, it will have you flipping back through the pages making sure what you read was correct, it’s expertly executed and such an addictive read. You can read my full review here…..The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen #OmgthatTwist @panmacmillan

And as it’s a New Year I have to share one of my favourite inspirational quotes

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The Collector by Fiona Cummins #mustreads @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillian

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Book description

A taut and terrifying psychological thriller from a the author of Rattle
The Collector by Fiona Cummins is the gripping sequel to Rattle.
Jakey escaped with his life and moved to a new town.

His rescue was a miracle but his parents know that the Collector is still out there, watching, waiting…
Clara, the girl he left behind, is clinging to the hope that someone will come and save her.

Life has fallen apart for Clara’s mother as she starts to lose hope.
The Bone Collector has a new apprentice to take over his family’s legacy. But he can’t forget the boy who got away and the detective who had destroyed his dreams

Detective Etta Fitzroy’s life collapsed when the Collector escaped. With Clara still missing, and a new wave of uncannily similar murders beginning, will she be able to find him again?

The Collector is back and this time he has nothing to lose

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**Warning if you haven’t read Rattle then this review may unintentionally give away spoilers**

Ever since I read RATTLE  The Collector has been one, if not my most anticipated read of 2017. Now sometimes I find when when I finally get to read a sequel I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever it can go one of two ways, I will either love it or I’m left feeling cheated that the book just didn’t make the cut, but OMG I’m thrilled to report The Collector exceeded my expectations and then some, I loved it so much it’s gone straight on my “top reads of 2017” list. Utterly gripping I absolutely loved everything about this book, its dark, packed to the brim with tension and very creepy.

I would urge you to read Rattle first if you haven’t already, as you will gather from the book description it picks up from where Rattle ends. I found from the very first chapter I had an overwhelming sense of foreboding, perhaps because I already knew how incredibly evil The Collector was from the previous book I was immediately on tenterhooks. This novel focuses on the after mass of Rattle, the family who are looking for answers to their daughter Clara’s disappearance, Jakey the victim who escaped, but is convinced The Collector will come for him and Detective Etta Fitzroy’s who lives and breathes the case that haunts her.

Fiona Cummins has a style of writing that’s both atmospheric and compelling, as I was reading The Collector I felt a constant chill deep in my bones that never quite? left me. The chapters are titled with a time frame which the author uses to good effect, there’s a constant sense of urgency as it feels like time is running out for some of the main players in this novel. I do have to mention the characters Fiona Cummins has done a brilliant job yet again of depicting characters that you can’t help feeling a connection to, you feel their pain, the trauma and above all their resilience to survive when The Collector comes calling. As for The Collector what a character, and so well depicted his thoughts and actions will send shivers down your spine and keep you awake at night.

What makes this book stand out from most crime thrillers is the author’s ability to write a book that’s almost poetic in its writing, with more than a touch of the macabre you would expect lots of gruesome or gory scenes, but that isn’t the case. Fiona Cummins describes the setting, atmosphere and characters so vividly I found my own imagination went into overdrive making me feel very “jumpy” I read so many crime thrillers it’s not often an author manages to stir such emotion in me. The Collector never loses momentum, it’s fast paced with a few deviously plotted twists that shocked me to the core, this is definitely one of the most gripping and original crime thrillers I’ve read this year. A MUST READ AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 432 pages

Publisher: Macmillan; (18 Dec. 2017)

#TopFive with the book review café #crimethrillers #standalones

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Today on the book review cafe I’m sharing my top five crime books that are stand-alones, yet again there are so many brilliant books that could fit this category , but after much pondering these are the books I came up with.

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Rattle by Fiona Cummings

I actually loved this book and it’s a MUST READ for fans of crime thrillers and if you like them Dark then you are going to love it too. Rattle is a chilling and inventive debut from a very talented author, and with a serial killer (the bone collector) that made my blood run cold.

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Bloq by Alan Jones

Bloq at times is a very disturbing read, it’s also dark and full of suspense, well plotted with characters who were so realistic I shed a tear for them,I totally bought into their story.
a highly entertaining novel, that has plenty of nail biting moments to keep me captivated until the last page.

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My Girl by Jack Jordan

I found My Girl to be a chilling and captivating read. Yes it was shocking and very disturbing in parts but it did add to the plot making for a riveting read.

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 Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

Inspired by real UK police investigations this book unfortunately makes for a very credible and heart breaking read as it explores the issues of abuse and the high end of society having the money and power to cover up their atrocities. Dark and disturbing this book gripped me from the first page.

Flowers For The Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite

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Flowers For the Dead is very different to most of the crime thrillers I have read, mainly because the reader takes a terrifying and Spine-chilling look into the dark and deviant mind of a serial killer.

 You can see my reviews for these superb books here……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/03/25/bloq-by-alan-jones

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/09/blog-tour-my-girl-by-jack-jordan-guest-post/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/12/15/rattle-by-fiona-cummins-review-fionaanncummins-2017mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/11/untouchable-by-sibel-hodge-review-sibelhodge/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/11/16/flowers-for-the-dead-by-barbara-copperthwaite-authors-question-and-answers/

 

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Noelle Holten aka CrimeBookJunkie (eeeek)

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Eeeeek I’m really thrilled to have the awesome Noelle Holten aka https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk answer today’s #TopFiveThursday. I’m sure Noelle needs no introduction she has to be one of the most enthusiastic bloggers I know, her reviews often contain an eeeek or two!

Noelle mostly reviews crime books but every now and the she lets guest reviewer Claire Knight take over her blog.  If you haven’t checked out Noelle’s blog (where the hell have you been?) it’s well worth a look and her enthusiastic reviews make me buy books I never thought I needed. So without further ado here’s Noelle’s #TopFiveThursday. 

P.S how many eeeks can you count in Noelle’s post? 

Top 5 books you read in 2016?

Wow! I am not sure how I can narrow this down and need to put a disclaimer in to say that I have read some amazing books last year and know I also have some amazing ones left to read…but here goes (in no particular order)

I Know Your Secret by Graham Smith

No Longer Safe by AJ Waines

The Exclusion Zone by Jeanette Hewitt

Open Wounds by Douglas Skelton

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone
…eeeek! I wanted to keep going

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Again, you are killing me here Lorraine as there are so many! Two will be repeats from above because I just adore them! That is,

Graham Smith and the #DIHarryEvans series and

Michael J Malone – all his books!

Mel Sherratt has some amazing books too, so going to put her here as well! And my final two:

Paul Grzegorzek – totally awesome writer

Craig Russell – I adore the #Lennox series and cannot wait to get caught up on this!

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

…searches through TBR…….I want to read

A Room Full Of Killers by Michael Wood

Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan

Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste

Pendulum by Adam Hamby

Rattle by Fiona Cummings!

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

Don’t feel pressured – if it starts to feel like a chore, take a break.

Embrace the blogging community – they are awesome and I have made some life long friends

Write what you feel, enjoy it – make it your own.

Learn to say “No” or you will find yourself drowning in books …amazing books…but so many books!

Get a diary! ha ha – I would be lost without one and it’s a great excuse to buy some pretty stationary!

Top 5 book blogs you follow? 

You are killing me here! There are SO many I want to shout out about but I am a die hard friend and follower of:

Sarah at https://bytheletterbookreviews.wordpress.com/

Kate at http://www.bibliophilebookclub.com

Joseph at http://relaxandreadreviews.weebly.com

Shell at http://chellesbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Kat at http://www.bestcrimebooksandmore.co.uk

…..I know that is FIVE but also Grab This Book, The Suspense Is Thrilling Me, Chapter In My Life and Damppebbles…..ok…I will stop now as there are some amazing bloggers out there!

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My name is Noelle and I am in my 40’s. I am an avid reader and by that I mean I am never without a book! By day I am a Senior Probation Officer and by night I read all things crime!! My fascination for books started at a young age and I truly feel withdrawal symptoms if I am unable to read for a few days hence the name #crimebookjunkie!

I am interested in many genres, my faves being Grit Lit, psychological thrillers and all things murder. I do enjoy Police Procedurals and legal/action thrillers as well. I have been lucky enough to be taken on by Bookouture (Eeeek!) on a freelance basis as well as Britains Next Best Seller (Eeeeeek again!) Oh..and I am obsessed with my chocolate Lab Buster – love my #furrybaby!

Thanks so much, Lorraine for letting me take part and cheat a wee bit! #NaughtyNoelle

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Links: CrimeBookJunkieBlog         Facebook       Twitter: @nholten40

My thanks to Noelle for taking time out of her hectic schedule to take part in #TopFiveThursday. 

If you are a book blogger who would like to take part in this feature, please leave a comment on this post or contact me via my contact page which can be found on the home page of my blog thank you  

 

**End Of The Year Wrap Up **

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Well I for one will be glad to see the back of 2016, for many reasons this hasn’t been the best year I’ve ever had. I’m going to embrace 2017 though and make it my year to take on new challenges.

Now I’m not one for New Years resolutions I always fail at the first hurdle (usually the 2nd of January 😂), but I am hoping to do a couple of things regarding my reading and my blog

  • Read some books from my TBR pile, which I’m desperate to get through
  • cut down on blog tours, as there’s too much pressure to read a book in a limited time
  • Only request one book at a time on NetGalley (this ones going to be hard)
  • if I’m not enjoying a book, I DON’T have to finish it, after all there are far too many amazing books out there to waste time on a duff one!
  • learn to say “no” it’s ok NOT to agree to read and review every book that comes my way (my new mantra😂)
  • Read more books by authors that are new to me, I’ve already got a couple lined up…..so watch this space!

Although I haven’t compiled a list of my top reads, here are just some of the books I really enjoyed this year and would highly recommend.

My top five most read posts

You can read the reviews here……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/11/author-interview-behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/08/behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/01/26/tainted-love-by-kimberley-chambers/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/26/between-you-and-me-by-lisa-hall/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/10/the-sister-by-louise-jenson/

My First read of 2017

My first read of 2017 is Snatched From Home by Graham Smith, this is a book that has been sat on my TBR pile for a while, it’s also by an author I haven’t read yet which means I’ve already started on my goals for 2017

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Books I’ve read to watch out for in 2017
As the end of the year approaches I would like to say a huge thank you to each and everyone of you who follows my blog and wish you all a fabulous New Year and hope all your dreams come true.
Lorraine x x x