A day in the life of author Peter James @peterjamesuk @panmacmillan


Today I’m thrilled, scrap that I’m over the moon to have international crime thriller writer, the one and only Peter James share a day in his life with the book review café. I know it’s going to sound cliched but I’m a huge fan of Peter James and have been ever since I read my first book in the Roy Grace series. The latest book in the series Need You Dead is out in paperback right now. So without further ado hands up who wants to read A day in the life of author Peter James? Well here you go……..

As a writer, the easiest thing is to not write! To make a cup coffee.. phone a friend… open the post…. surf the internet…..walk the dogs… But I think continuity is really important and that you only get that by maintaining a rhythm. I write six days a week and break on Sundays, unless I am bang up against a deadline, I try to keep Sundays free to relax, walk the dogs for a long walk with my wife, and catch up on emails. I set myself a daily writing target of 1000 words, and I always recommend to writers who ask me for advice to also set a minimum number of words to reach. It should be an attainable target, 250 words a day, 500, 1,000, whatever you can manage, so you feel a sense of satisfaction at reaching or exceeding it, but I think a routine is essential if you want to take writing seriously.

I have offices in my Sussex and Notting Hill homes, but I can write anywhere. Thanks to laptops, my office has long ceased to be a concrete space and I can write on the move. I actually write really well on airplanes, in the back of a car and in hotel rooms.

My whole day is back to front… It goes back to the time when I was writing novels, whilst working full time in film and television as a screen writer and producer, so I had to make my “Me time” to write. Although I am an early riser, my real writing day starts at 6pm in the evening, when I mix a large vodka martini, with four olives, put on some music, turn off the phones, ignore emails and get into a “zone” for the next three and a half hours. After that Lara and I relax in front of the TV. In the morning, I’m up early and we take the dogs out and feed all our menagerie of animals. I either swim or run for 30 minutes. After breakfast, I revise what I wrote the night before and plan the next pages, and in the afternoon I break, walk the dogs, go for a bike ride, or play tennis or catch up social media and emails. My least favourite part of my job is my vast email mountain!

I plan a book carefully, it is really the first 20% that I plan in detail, along with the ending, which I always know, to give me a “road map” and the three high points – but after that I like events to happen spontaneously, and for the story to start to take on a life of its own – that is when, for me, the real excitement starts. I believe that if, as a writer, you do not surprise yourself, you aren’t going to surprise your readers!

Your readers expect more from you than just a story with a beginning, middle and end, and interesting characters. They want to be thrilled, entertained, scared, perhaps, but they also want to learn from you. They want a little wisdom from you, insights into our world. So you must learn. I set myself a challenge of trying to learn something new every day. Ghandi said something I think is very beautiful and very true: “Live as if you were to die Tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

I have a number of passions when I am not working, I love to read as much as possible, play tennis, run, swim, ski, cycle spend time with my wife, and race cars! It helps me to switch off on the motor racing circuit because I really have to concentrate. I race classic cars – currently a 1965 BMW, a 1958 Austin A35, a 1958 Fiat Abarth and a 1965 Mini. I have a huge passion for good food, good wine and good company!

I collect old gadgets and smoking memorabilia, as well as wine and rare whiskies. I love animals, and we have a menagerie at home with dogs, alpacas, emus, ducks and hens. I love spending time with my animals. They’re a great “normaliser” after the dark stories I write. It is wonderfully therapeutic to hand-feed the alpacas and emus and stroke them. There is something amazing about the simplicity of the lives of animals. A reminder to us all of the magical world of nature and a great respite of the darkness that is out there in the world so often.


About Peter James


Peter James is an international bestselling thriller writer. He is a New York Times bestseller, as well as having 11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1s, and he is published in 37 languages. His DS Roy Grace crime novels have sold 18 million copies worldwide. Prior to becoming a full-time author, he was responsible for 25 movies. In 1994 Penguin published his novel, ‘Host’, on two floppy discs as the world’s first electronic novel. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the coveted 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence, and he was publicly voted by WH Smith – Britain’s biggest book selling chain – The Best Crime Author Of All Time. Visit Peter James on YouTube: http://www.peterjames.com/youtube

My thanks to Peter James for his fabulous post.

You can learn more about the authors books here….Peter James author page Amazon

The Roy Grace series



The Treatment by C.L. Taylor @callytaylor #Review @HQYoungAdult


Book description

“You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.”

All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She’s not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she’s almost relieved.

Everything changes when she’s followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.

My review

I’m a huge fan of Cally Taylor’s psychological thrillers so I was slightly miffed when I realised The Treatment is actually aimed at the young adult market, I’m not saying the author shouldn’t write for a different audience by any means, in fact after reading this book I’m convinced the author has the ability and talent to write for any audience YA included. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I can say “hand on heart” I really enjoyed The Treatment and read it in one sitting, and I’m sure many adults will enjoy this book as much as the younger audience it’s aimed at.

The Treatment has a very intriguing plot an sinister institute for wayward teenagers, I’m sure if there was such a place many moons ago I would have made the perfect candidate, cheeky, always pushing the boundaries and getting into trouble at school, well you get the picture! How does the institute turn wayward teens in respectable pillars of the community? Well you will just have to read the book and see as I’m not going to give away anymore of the plot. From the start The Treatment made for a sinister and chilling read that kept me captivated throughout.

C.S. Taylor has put her heart and soul into this book, she doesn’t skimp on developing her characters they are a diverse bunch, some are good and so are pretty damn evil, but all have a place in this creepy tale. I think The Treatment has a lot to offer the YA, it’s action packed with a heroine that’s feisty and determined. The author has shown what a diverse writer she is, even more so when she is able to engage a reader who in no shape or form would be seen as a YA! The Treatment made for a intriguing and suspense filled read and one which I really throughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.

Buying links:    Amazon Uk 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 384 pages

Publisher: HQ Young Adult (19 Oct. 2017)


When You Disappeared by John Marrs #BookReview


Book description

When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing–except him.
Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.

But Simon knows the truth–about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.

But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.
And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Wronged Sons, this edition of When You Disappeared includes editorial revisions.

My review

Imagine one day your husband disappears, you have no idea what has happened to him, as time passes you grieve, you go on to build a life without him and then when you least expect he turns up on your doorstep, I’m sure you would be shocked to say the least! and even more so when he reveals what he’s been up too! And this is pretty much the premises for When You Disappear. The story opens with the day Simon left and follows the impact this has on his family, and on Simon himself, when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he really is, and that’s when the book gets really interesting as there are shocks and dark buried secrets galore. 

I absolutely loved The One by John Marrs so I really wanted to read When You Disappeared the author’s debut novel. Although it made for a good read I did have mixed emotions regarding the book as a whole some parts I really enjoyed and other parts I struggled with. Personally I felt this book read more like a mystery until just over the halfway mark when the psychological thriller element kicked in. I do have to mention Simon what an evil, cold hearted individual John Marr’s has created he doesn’t have one endearing feature, and at times he literally made my blood boil, sometimes I think having strong feelings for a character even if they are negative ones can actually heighten my enjoyment of a book, but unfortunately I disliked him so much it actually distracted from my enjoyment of When You Disappeared.

When You Disappeared is told in alternating chapters past and present from the two main characters POV, unfortunately I did find the constant change sometimes made the chapters feel disjointed. Although I can see why the author used this ploy I did find it slightly distracted from my enjoyment of this book. I would describe this book as a Character driven family drama and so I found the pace quite slow, although I do feel the author builds on the suspense and tension as he slowly reveals Simon’s darkest secrets. There is no doubt the author has written a captivating tale that many readers will enjoy with an original plot. It’s an impressive debut and one I’m sure many readers will enjoy.

Buying links:   amazon UK 🇬🇧     amazon US 🇺🇸

Length: 350 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (13 July 2017)

Perfect gift ideas for a bookworm #PartTwo


When I did my first post https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/10/22/perfect-gift-ideas-for-a-bookworm/I found so many gifts I wanted to share but the original post would have gone on and on and…..well you get the picture so hence the #PartTwo version, yet again I would be thrilled to receive any of these as presents (hint, hint Mr book review café 😂😂)

Personalised Gift Box


This touching gift gives you the opportunity to have your name printed in one of the classic novels:

Treasure Island
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Wuthering Heights
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wind in the Willows
Robin Hood
Romeo & Juliet
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Pride & Prejudice

Personalised gift box

Vintage Book, Tea And Stationery Subscription Gift


A special literary package on the doorstep every month: a surprise vintage paperback, some lovely stationery and delicious tea. Perfect!


Subscription vintage book gift

Classic Book Personalised Organiser Files


Get organised with beautiful personalised classic book lever arch ring binders or box files, hand crafted in England using traditional bookbinding techniques.

Our book style organiser files are the perfect solution for messy and cluttered studies and offices. Organise your filing all at once or over time with your own titles on a range if heritage book spine designs.

Personalised organiser files

‘Once Upon A Time’ Silver Story Book Necklace

Keep a bit of magic close to your heart with this delightful ‘Once Upon A Time’ Silver Story Book Necklace.

The magical handcrafted book is engraved with ‘Once upon a time’ on the front and ‘Happily ever after’ on the back. You shall go to the ball!

Suspended from a fine solid silver trace chain which is available in a variety of lengths.

The book can be personalised, add a personal touch by adding your very own favourite book onto the front and back cover. There’s room for a maximum of twenty five characters in total, and six to seven can fit per line. The lettering will be in block capitals is applied using a letter punch and then oxidised black.

Once upon a time book necklace

Hot Dudes Reading Wall Calender 2018


Good looks and good books, paired with flirtatious (and hilarious) captions from the original creators of the Instagram sensation. Get on board with this collection of hot dudes, who are guaranteed to make your year memorable.

Hot dudes reading calendar

Book rest lamp


Both a reading lamp and a book stand. This clever lamp even functions as a bookmark (without breaking the book’s spine!) You can either rest your book on it after reading, or choose a favourite book to stay on the lamp semi-permanently.

Book rest lamp

Wicked witch book mark


Ding dong the witch is… squashed inside your book! This fantastic bookmark features the feet of the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz. You will always know where you are in the book, just look for feet sticking out!

Measure 17.5 x 4.
Made from metal and plastic.

Wicked witch book mark

Libary stamp T-shirt


Show your love for libraries with this library stamp inspired t-shirt. We definitely give our stamp of approval.



Libary stamp T-shirt

Magnetic Poetry – Charles Dickens Edition



A Dickensian take on one of our most popular poetic gift ideas, this box contains words for you to create themed poetry on your fridge.

Magnetic poetry

Ivory Bookcase Wallpaper


Not technically a gift but I love this wallpaper so I had to include it 😂😂

Trompe-l’oeil of a gorgeous bookcase in soft, relaxing white and ivory tones, reproducing the aesthetic of beautiful antiquarian books selected for the quality of their bindings. Each roll covers up to 4 square metres, and displays over 570 books that have artfully arranged to minimize the impression of repetition. Why not mix up the shelves, and rearrange them to suit your tastes. High quality wallpaper from the Koziel studio in France.

Bookcase wallpaper

Pride And Prejudice Pencil Case or Pouch



This fantastic pencil case Features the Penguin design for Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice – it’s fully lined, and would make a brilliant makeup bag as well!

Pride And Prejudice pencil case


Quotation Marks Bookends

IMG_3177Brilliant laser-cut steel bookends put quotation marks around your books.

Measurements: 15cm x 11cm x 12 cm.
Steel bookends.


Quotation marks bookends

A Room of One’s Own Tote Bag


A design featuring the classic Penguin Paperback edition of this rather significant book by Virginia Woolf. Perfect as a bag of one’s own for any inspiring belletrist.

Large canvas shopping bag with long handles.
Measures 34 x 40 x 5 cm plus shoulder length handles.

Tote bag

Handmade Tree Book Shelf ‘Oak Tree’


I love this book shelf and it’s definitely going on my “when I win the lottery” wish list 😂😂

This tree shelf offers a great way to display and store your favourite everyday items whist creating a great focal point for your room.

Our Oak Tree Shelf has inclined branches towards the base and flat branch surfaces towards the top making it ideal for a variety of items. It is perfect for storing media in an eye catching and accesible way or filling with your favourite novels so they are never far from hand.

Tree book shelf

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post I must admit I’ve been salivating over some of these bookish gifts, I would love to know which ones are your favourites, so please feel free to leave a comment.

#BlogBlitz Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell #Review @Caroline_writes @Bookouture


Today I’m may just be a little over excited because not only do I get to share my review for a gripping book, but  I’m also one of many bloggers taking part in the #BligBlitz for Murder Games by the awesome Caroline Mitchell, so make sure you check out all the reviews. Murder Game was published by the fabulous Bookouture on the 31st October 2017.

Murder Game is the third book in the Detective Ruby Preston series and it’s a series I would highly recommend. My thanks to Noelle at https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk and Bookouture for my ARC and allowing me to be part of the #BlogBlitz. 


Book description

To catch a killer, you must first think like one…

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die.

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

My review

I will say one thing for Caroline Mitchell her books always open wth an prologue that immediately draws you in with a promise of a dark and deviously plotted tale and Murder Game is no different. Hells bells once I read the epilogue for this one I knew it was going to be a read “in one sitting” kind of book and I wasn’t wrong! This is the third book in the Detective Ruby Preston and although you could probably read it as a standalone I would urge you to read the series in order, just because it’s such a well written crime thriller series.

The author has used her very vivid imagination to come up with a deliciously dark and brutal plot, and what a disturbing killer the author has created, especially when you consider the fact once the victims are captured, the killer sends clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, and dead. As the investigation intensifies Detective Ruby Preston can’t help but think the killer is following in the footsteps of notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, who murdered six women in exactly the same gruesome way? Ruby certainly has her work cut out in Murder Games as she tries to bring one killer to justice, whilst trying to keep one step ahead of the devil himself psychopath Mason Gatley.

It must be difficult when writing a crime thriller to devise a Detective that stands out from the norm, more often than not they end up being your typical stereotype. Fortunately the author manages to add an original slant to her character by putting her in a relationship with gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby. At some point you know her relationship with Nathan will go spectacularly wrong and put her career in jeopardy, but the not knowing why are how just makes their relationship all the more interesting.

The author’s background in the police force adds authenticity to Murder Game, Caroline Mitchell very much brings the brutal crime scenes, the investigation and police procedures to life, which at times make for a disconcerting read. The plot is fast paced very much like the investigation, and I’m sure my heart was pounding as Murder Game reached its dramatic conclusion. I think this is the most gruesome book in the series, shocking and gristly in parts and never a dull moment that’s for sure, for me personally, they make the perfect crime thriller read. I’m devastated to learn this will be the last book in the series, as it has huge potential, but Caroline Mitchell has ended the series on a high and Murder Games is a worthy addition to this gripping and highly addictive crime series.

Print Length: 285 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (31 Oct. 2017)
Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author


USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Author Social Media Links:



If you want to learn more or buy the other books in the series you can find them here……..Detective Ruby Preston series


**Blog tour** The Good Samaritan by John Marrs @johnmarrs1


Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on The Good Samaritan by John Marrs blog tour. I’ve been wanting to share this review for ages, as I absolutely loved this gripping psychological thriller. The Good Samaritan is published by Thomas & Mercer on the 1st December 2017, but you can pre-order today with just one click so I’ve included the link further down the post. My thanks to Tracy over at http://www.compulsivereaders.com and John Marrs for my ARC and inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

Book description

She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her–Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.


My review

I absolutely loved John Marrs last book The One so I had high hopes for his latest offering The Good Samaritan. Oh my what a seriously twisted and original psychological thriller The Good Samaritan turned out to be. The title alone wrong-foots you, if you were thinking you were going to be reading a book about a Good Samaritan who volunteers to help others in distress you wouldn’t be wrong, but there again we are talking about a book written by John Marrs here, so expect the unexpected. Devilishly plotted, well paced and utterly gripping this is one book you don’t want to miss.

John Marrs has the ability to create characters that are both chilling and yet intriguing, and they don’t come more chilling or more complex than Laura, she’s calculated, a master of manipulation, and preys on the most vulnerable, Laura’s definitely a character who will send shivers down your spine. John Marrs has a remarkable knack of creating characters that have many sides, and despite my intense dislike for Laura, as the author digs deeper into her character I found my feelings towards Laura moved back and fourth one minute I detested her, the next I hated myself for feeling some sympathy for this manipulative and complicated character.

John Marrs sucks the reader in from the first enticing chapter and keeps you firmly in his clutches until the very last spine chilling sentence of this dark and compelling book. There were so many surprising twists in this book you would be hard pressed to second guess them all, which only heightened my enjoyment of this book. I haven’t focussed on the plot in this review, read the book description by all means, but this book is definitely one where “the less you know the more thrilling the ride”. The Good Samaritan made for a deliciously twisted, head spinning read, and it’s definitely one of the best and most original psychological thrillers I’ve read this year and it’s one that’s certainly headed for one of my top reads of 2017. Highly recommended.

Pre-order links:      Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 390 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (1 Dec. 2017)

About the author


John Marrs is a freelance journalist based in London, England, who has spent the last 20 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.
He has written for publications including The Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company; Daily Star and News of the World’s Sunday Magazine.

His debut novel The Wronged Sons, was released in 2013 and in May 2015, he released his second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are.

In May 2017 came his third book, The One. It was chosen as the book of the month for BBC Radio 2’s Book Club.

The Wronged Sons was re-edited and re-released in July 2017 under a new title, When You Disappeared.

And his fourth book, The Good Samaritan, is set for release in November 2017.

Follow the blog tour………


The book reviews cafés #BookOfTheMonth **October 2017**



Hello November, oh how I hate the darker nights, the cold mornings, the rain I could go on and on! Anyway it’s the first of a new month which means it’s time to choose my Book of the month for October 2017. 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.

You all know by now I’m indecisive and very often choose more than one book. Yes I’ve chosen two books again this month! but I loved them both so much it was hard to choose between them, so without further ado here they are………

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst


I do love a creepy and disturbing psychological thriller and The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst fits the bill perfectly. When a child is portrayed in a book as someone evil and not to be trusted I always find the read somewhat more creepy, I think it’s because children are seen as sweet and innocent you never expect them to scare the life out of you, but Jenny Blackhurst has created a character who gave me the heebie-jeebies. From the start this book made for a chilling and genuinely disturbing read that took me by surprise at every twisted turn. Full review can be read here The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst #BookReview @JennyBlackhurst @headlinepg

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite


This isn’t a fast paced book by any means, but I’m glad it wasn’t as Barbara Copperthwaite spends time intricately unravelling the mysteries of this family, which in turn heightens the suspense of what’s to come, you know it’s going to be bad, but to the why and wherefore’s, well let’s just say they were definitely worth the wait. I do enjoy a book that challenges me to guess the outcome, just when I thought I had it all figured out Barbara Copperthwaite threw an almighty curveball that left me reeling. Shocking, sad and very twisted this is definitely a book I would highly recommend. You can read my full review here……Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite #BookReview @BCopperthwait @Bookouture



Broken Bones by Angela Marsons 

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture

All The Colours In Between by Eva Jordan

All The Colours In Between by Eva Jordan #BookReview @EvaJordanAuthor @urbanebooks

November’s reads

These are some of the books I’m hoping to read during November I’ve decided by doing this I might actually keep to some sort of reading schedule or that’s my plan. As long as I keep away from NetGalley or don’t receive any “read me now because you know you want too” book post.

I do think I might be being a tad over optimistic as I’ve listed eight books, and as some of you may well know some weeks I struggle to read one 😂😂😂 Watch out for my Sunday catch up posts to see how I’m getting on or more likely not getting on.


What books will you be reading in November? What book did you read in October that would be your book of the month? I’m so nosey I would love to know, so please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.