Category Archives: John Nicholl

Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl #BookReview @nicholl06


Book description

Every aspect of Kathy’s life is dominated by her abusive bully boy husband. Now she’s pregnant and in fear for her life. Can she ever escape him?

img_1258BULLY BOY BLUE is a dark psychological suspense novella by John Nicholl, and when I say dark it’s really, really dark! It may only be a short story but the author certainly packs a powerful and disturbing tale into these pages. It’s dark, intense and hard hitting, in fact some readers may prefer to give Bully Boy Blue a miss as it deals with domestic abuse, and the author doesn’t hold back on the details.

The plot centres around Kathy whose life is dominated by her abusive husband Michael a pillar of society, unfortunately for Kathy whose going to believe her story? Can she escape the evil clutches of a monster? I’m certainly not going to give anything away here. Oh my Michael really is a nasty piece of work, as you learn more about his abusive behaviour towards Kathy I found my stomach turning, and all my sympathies lay with her. All I could hope for in this sorry tale was Michael would get what he deserved.

John Nicholl never fails to amaze me as his villains are always so well portrayed, so much so you can’t help but detest them for the terrible things they do and Michael is no exception. The author takes the worse parts of human behaviour and creates characters that you wouldn’t wish to meet in your worse nightmares. Bully Boy Blue makes for a grim, brutal and very disconcerting read, but it’s well plotted with a very satisfying conclusion.

Print Length: 60 pages

Publication Date: April 1, 2017

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

**Weekly Wrap Up**



This week I’ve managed to read three books, ok two plus a novella but it’s still a 100% better than last week. Stepping away from social media for a day really helped and in fact it worked so well I’m going to make it a regular event. Thanks to awesome book blogger Renee over at who came up with the tag #StepawayTuesday, I will not go near social media on a Tuesday.

Personally I found it worked for me as I really do spend to many hours trawling social media when I could be reading. I did miss reading fellow bloggers awesome reviews, and yes it meant that I missed the most exciting news of the year Last Breath by Robert Bryndza was up on NetGalley shocker! But on the plus side I now have three reviews for the books I’ve read this week.

Books I’ve read this week

Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney


ARC’s I’ve received this week

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus



Book description

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

I’m so excited to read the next book in the Erika Foster series, anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of Robert and have been known to go a bit overboard with my reviews for this awesome series 🙈



Book description

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Other news from the book review café

I was so excited (an understatement) to see my quote included on the book jacket for my favourite author on the planet Robert Bryndza’s The Girl In The Ice, yes it’s in Spanish and No I can’t translate it so if you can help please feel free to leave me a comment in this post 😂

Last week on the book review café

Next week on the book review café

It’s a surprise! or what I really mean is I’m still working out which reviews to schedule next week😂😂



Portraits Of The Dead by John Nicholl #Review


Book description

Emma didn’t know how long he hid, silent and unmoving, in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered out, salivating and drooling, between the two heavy dark oak doors, and watched, mesmerised, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the drab grey darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself floundering when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed five young women.

How far would you go to save your life?

img_1258This book completely freaked me out and that was just from looking at the  fantastic and very creepy cover! It’s the clown that did it, they absolutely terrify me! There is no doubt about it author John Nicholl certainly knows how to write a darkly disturbing and hair-raising tale, in my opinion this is john Nicholl’s best book yet. The author pulls the reader in with a shocking and sinister opening chapter, it was so intense I just knew I was in for a hell of a read. A young student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, and my god he’s one deviant and twisted individual, devoid of empathy, incapable of sympathy or understanding he torments his victims in the cruellest possible ways. The author portrays the serial killer so well I felt I was looking into the darkest corners of the human mind. There is another shocking character who is just as evil and twisted, and shocked me to the core with their antics, but if you want to know more about them you will have to read the book (no spoilers here). The characters are well developed, and although not necessarily likeable they added depth to a very intriguing read.

Not only do we get to know the serial killer during Portraits Of The Dead, we also get to learn about the victim and her time as a captive, although the way she was treated at times made for an uncomfortable read, it wasn’t particularly graphic but chilling never the less. As the investigation intensifies and police appeals are made, we do get to see glimpses of the police side of the investigation, again there were some great characters who appeared very credible in their investigation to find Emma and bring a killer to justice.

Despite working out who the killer was half way through the book, this in no way spoilt the novel for me, in fact it heightened the tension as you weren’t entirely sure what the killer would do next. The plot moves along at a steady pace with some shocks along the way, some of which I never saw coming, so this certainly added to my enjoyment of Portraits Of The Dead Just as you thought the author could not possibly have any more shocks in store for the reader, he hits you with the biggest one of all! By the time I reached the end of the novel I was well and truly struck dumb, the author managed to tie up the plot in a very original way, which I loved (sorry that’s all your getting, no spoilers remember!)

I’m afraid there is no way to avoid the cliché: I could not put this novel down! Disturbing and compelling, an edge-of-the-seat story. I would certainly recommend this book to crime lovers and anyone else who is looking for a gripping and darkly disturbing read. In my opinion John Nicholl’s is a fresh innovative and powerful new voice in crime fiction, and I hope he get’s the recognition he deserves as a crime author.

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5


Publication date: 1st September 2016

You can read my reviews for John Nicholl’s other books which I would highly recommend, and an interview I did with him earlier in the year here…….

Links to John Nicholl’s other books, which I would highly recommend 

Amazon UK

**Weekly Wrap Up**


This week I have managed to finish one book, read another and start on my third so not to bad a week for reading

All Fall Down by Tom Bale


I absolutely loved this book, and I would love to share my review unfortunately you will have to wait until the 4th September, as I’m one of the bloggers on the blog tour.

They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

imageA promising debut which I enjoyed, my review will be live next week

Portraits Of The Dead by John Nicholl


Book post I received this week
The Wharf Butcher by Michael K Foster


Arc’s I’ve received this week

I tried to keep away from NetGalley this week and failed miserably …..oh well there’s always next week 😂😂

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

The Taken by Casey Kelleher

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

Hide and Seek DI Helen Grace 6 by M.J. Arlidge

Books I’ve bought

I bought three books this week……..

Cut by Marc Rabbe

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

Bad Blood by Julie Shaw



Last week on The Book Review Café

Next week on The Book Review Café

Review for They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

Review for Dead To Me by Lesley Pearce

#TopFiveThursday with Clair Boor

**Blog tour** Blood Sisters by Dreda Say Mitchell, author interview

Blogging news from The Book Review Café

Author Tom Bale tried to lead me astray when I moaned on Twitter I couldn’t read All Fall Down in one sitting as I had to go to work.



And what a fabulous end to the week Christie Barlow included me in her Thank you’s, along with some really brilliant bloggers, in her new book Lizzie’s Christmas Escape.


My book of the month **gold coffee cup award** March 2016



The gold star award is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. This very prestigious award (well I think so anyway!),Will be presented (reality wise anyway) to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and would possibly have given a higher rating than a 5 star review, if I could. I have read some truly amazing books in March and I found it really difficult to choose the one book that stood out. So I’m going to give my award to three books this month (at this rate I’m going to have to rename this award to books of the month!). These books stood out for me because I still thought about them long after I finished them, and when I was reading them I was so engrossed in them, time just flew by so without further ado the three books I have given the gold coffee cup award are as follows……….


White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl


Book description

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.

The book includes content that some readers may find disturbing from the start. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

Some readers will be put off by the subject matter of this book, and the first couple of pages were very graphic and stomach churning, but after that it only contains minor elements. John gives an amazing insight into the mind of a predatory paedophile, it’s gripping and makes for a very tense read.

You can read my author interview with John and see my review Here

Bloq by Alan Jones


Book description
A gritty crime thriller. Glasgow man Bill Ingram waits in the city’s Central Station to meet his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train pulls in, and she doesn’t get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.

This book is crime fiction at its best gritty and dark with enough twist and turns to keep the most hardened crime thriller reader engrossed to the last nail biting page

You can read my review for Bloq Here

Beneath The Surface by Heidi Perks


Book description

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters’ room is completely empty. But the police think she’s trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there’s no choice other than face the future – alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth – and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

This is the debut novel from Heidi Perks, which I find difficult to believe due to her delivering an exceptional novel, with multi dimensional characters, and an original and well thought out plot.

You can read my review Here



Apologises to any author whose book I read in March, and didn’t make it to my book of the month post, I enjoyed all the books I read, but for me these three were particularly outstanding.

What book would you give the book of the month to? I would love to know, so please feel free to leave a comment below

When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl


White Is The Coldest Colour introduced the reader to Dr David Galbraith, to the world he presented himself as a highly trusted and respected child psychiatrist, happily married with two daughters, but in reality Galbraith was a sadistic predatory paedophile. Galbraith used his position of power to groom and abuse young boys. We also see glimpses of Galbraith’s wife Cynthia, and the abusive and controlling life she was part of. In when evil Calls Your Name Cynthia is now serving a prison sentence and struggling to come to turns with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life. A prison counsellor encourages her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder. She begins writing and holds nothing back: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.

When Evil Calls Your Name answers many of the questions I had about Cynthia, in the previous book I wanted to shake her and tell her “to get a grip”, she appeared weak and in awe of her psychopath husband. I did wonder why Cynthia did not do more in response to the crimes her husband committed, but after reading Cynthia’s story I feel my questions have been answered.Through Cynthia’s writing we learn so much more, as she goes from a confident carefree student to a shadow of herself. Galbraith is a master in manipulation, we discover how he gradually takes control of every aspect of Cynthia’s life, by degrading and abusing her until she is nothing more than a puppet in his twisted games. Galbraith has to be one of the most despicable characters I have ever read about, and that is down to John Nicholls skilful writing, he is scarily believable, I’m sure I will be having nightmares about this character for months!

Cynthia’s story is unfortunately a believable one, and by the the end of the book my views on Cynthia had completely changed, I could empathise with her and appreciate what she went through. When Evil Calls your name is a disturbing read, and with no graphic details of any abuse, you can’t help imagining the awful things Cynthia had to put up with, which made for a very compelling psychological read. You really need to read both books in this series, as Cynthia’s story will not be as convincing if you haven’t read White Is The Coldest Colour. I did wonder why Cynthia did not do more in response to the crimes her husband committed, but after reading Cynthia’s story I feel my questions have been answered

John Nicholls has once again written an intense and thought provoking read, that kept me reading late into the night, (hence the dark circles under my eyes!). I will certainly be adding John Nicholls to my list of “MUST READ” author’s. I am giving this book 4 out of 5, because although I found it compelling, it wasn’t as dark or gripping as White Is The Darkest Colour, which has to be one of my best reads of 2016.

4 ☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5



You can see my interview with author John Nicholl Here


**Author Interview** White Is The Coldest Colour By John Nicholl


White Is The Coldest Colour entered the UK top 100 best seller chart, just 15 days after being published, and today I’m really excited to have John pop by the book review cafe and answer some questions about his book so without further ado…


Welcome to the book review cafe John, it’s lovely to have you here, for those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book White Is The Coldest Colour can you provide us with an introduction?

Thanks for inviting me. I write dark psychological thrillers which draw heavily on my professional experiences. I live in west Wales, and am married with three adult children.

Where did the idea White Is The Coldest Colour come from?

White is entirely fictional, but many of the things that happen in the book occurred in one case or another over a twenty year period.

How did you come up with the title?

I stumbled across it when listening to ‘A whiter shade of pale’ on Radio 2.

The main Protagonist Dr David Galbraith is the most despicable character, is he based on a real person or persons you came across in your job as police officer and social worker?

Yes, he’s a compilation of several predatory criminals I encountered.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

To be honest, it was a cathartic process. You can control events far more easily in fiction than in real life.

What inspired you to write this book?

I retired early from my job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire, and had plenty of free time. I’d written a child protection good practice guide and articles for newspapers and a national social work magazine during my career, but never a fictional book. I decided to give it a go.

How do you research material for your book?

I wrote the book from experience. Future books may well require more research.

Do you write an outline before you start writing?

No, I just see where the story takes me.

How long did it take to get your first book published?

Two years.

Can you tell us a little about When Evil Calls Your Name, the follow up to White Is The Coldest Colour? And why you decided to write it?

Several people asked me why the wife of the villain in ‘White’ stayed with him, and didn’t do more in response to his crimes. I hope the sequel answers those questions.

Can you tell us anything about your next book?

I’ve just started it. It’s about the abduction of several young women and the investigation that follows.

What authors/books do you like to read in your spare time?

Kurt Vonnegut, Roald Dahl, Paulo Coelho and many others. I enjoy original writing that breaks the mould.

What book are you reading now?

‘Sick’ by Christa Wojciechowski. Really fascinating reading! If you’re a fan of Roald Dahl’s darker work, I can recommend it.

Describe your book in 5 words?

Dark and gripping psychological thriller.

Describe yourself in 5 words?

Husband, father, grandfather and writer.

And one final question…During all the interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

What is the one book you wish you’d written? Slaughter House Five. So original!

Thank you John for taking the time to answer my questions, and I’m really looking forward to reading your next book

About John Nicholls 

John Nicholl has worked as a police officer and as a social worker and operational manager for the child guidance service, two social services departments and the NSPCC. He has also lectured on child protection matters at several colleges and universities. His debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker.

The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and reached number 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached number 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, number 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and number 1 British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached  number 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached number1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, number 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and number 1 in Violence in Society in the USA.



Web page    Goodreads   Twitter


White Is The Coldest Colour is the debut novel from John Nicholl, and it’s a hell of a debut. From the first page I was truly hooked. Some readers will be put off by the subject matter of this book, and the first couple of pages were very graphic and stomach churning, but after that it only contains minor elements. Yes the plot is disturbing, but any book that is based on a predatory Paedophile is not going to be a comfortable read by any means.

This book takes you deep into the thoughts of Dr David Galbraith, to the world he presents himself as a highly trusted and respected child psychiatrist, happily married with two daughters, but the reality is Galbraith is a sadistic predatory paedophile. Galbraith uses his position of power to groom and abuse young boys, and when seven year old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service, following the break down of his parents marriage. Anthony soon becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and unfortunately for Anthony he will stop at nothing to make his fantasies reality.

John Nicholls the author has managed to create the most despicable fictional characters I have ever read about. Galbraith abandons any semblance of conscience and fully embraces his true nature, he’s cunning, depraved and carries out the most heinous crimes without remorse.
Unfortunately he is a very realistic character, you hear of such people every day of the week. People who are highly respected individuals of impeccable status, who plant themselves in the community, who have later turned out to be predatory paedophiles, and used their position of trust to groom and abuse vulnerable children.

It’s difficult to believe this was the authors debut novel, it is so well written, the plot flows with ease, and as you reach the end of a chapter the tension mounts. It is clear the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker, have been used to construct a very powerful and intense tale. White Is the Coldest Colour is a thought-provoking, dark and disturbing psychological thriller. In fact I would go as far to say it has to be one of the best psychological thrillers I have read in a long time. This book kept me gripped until the very last nail biting page, and I will certainly be reading When Evil Calls Your Name the second book in the series.

Many thanks to the author for my copy of White Is The Coldest Colour in exchange for an honest review.

5 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️out of 5

Paperback: 286 pages

Publisher: (7 April 2015)