Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath #BookReview @mcgrathmj @HQstories 

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Book description

An unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge her mother’s death, her connection to Cat Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own

Compulsive, dark and devastating, Give Me the Child is a uniquely skilful thriller with an unforgettable twist.

IMG_2298Imagine a knock on the door in the middle of the night, and you find your husband’s child stood on the door step, a child you had no idea even existed until that moment, well that’s pretty much the premise for Give Me A Child. Oh my what a tangled and gripping read this book turned out to be, with unreliable narrators and a dysfunctional family at the centre of this well constructed plot, prepare yourself for a hell of a ride. I do love an unreliable narrator as you are never quite sure what to believe, so I feel I’m always reading such books on an uneven keel, never sure where the author is leading you which I personally enjoy when reading a book.

Mel McGrath has created an array of dysfunctional characters some more likeable that others, but what an intriguing bunch, firstly there’s Cat a mother who suffered with mental health issues whilst pregnant, Ruby a child who really unsettled me, she appears to have an aura of malevolence radiating from her which made her a very creepy character. I’m not going to rehash the plot details as all you need to know is in the book description, but Give Me The Child certainly made for a highly original read.

As Cat tries to accept Ruby into her life things take a sinister turn, and it’s not long before she begins to fear for her own daughters safety, but have recent events made Cat unstable, or is there something much more frightening taking place? The author expertly weaves her magic, it’s a tale of families, lies, secrets and mental health although they are familiar and often used subjects in this genre, the author has presented the reader with an highly original and gripping plot, which made for a compelling read.

I could say so much more about this book but in doing so I would be at risk of giving away spoilers, what I will say is it’s a book with many layers, full of malice and intrigue and utterly terrifying as you are never quite sure where the plot is heading or what’s going to happen next. Give Me The Child is very much character led so if you like a fast paced read, this book may not be for you. If like me you enjoy a book that’s taut with tension and makes for unsettling read then look no further, Give Me The Child is a book I would highly recommend.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQ (27 July 2017)

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#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Nicki at Secretlibary @Nicki_Mags

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Today I’m thrilled to have book blogger  Nicki answer those pesky #TopFiveThursday questions. Nikki blogs over at the awesome https://thesecretlibrarysite.wordpress.com/. I love Nikki’s blog as she reviews a wide range of books, so I’m always finding books I haven’t considered reading,  added to my overwhelming TBR pile. I also love her profile photo so different and highly original, it always puts a smile on my face. You can check it out further down the post.

Top 5 books you read in 2016?

Only 5?

Touch by Claire North
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
Breaking Dead by Corrie Jackson
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Lisa Jewell I’ve enjoyed her books for years and they’re getting better, if that’s possible?

Eva Dolan is seriously underrated in the crime genre and should have lots more exposure for her Zigic & Ferreira series

Margaret James is a new author I’ve recently discovered on Twitter and also deserves more readers for her wonderful Charton Minster series.

Lucretia Grindle is another author who doesn’t get much recognition.

Nicky Pellegrino is another author I’d recommend for her women’s fiction set in Italy and the UK. They’re perfect books if you’re in need of a comfort read with sunshine and mouth watering descriptions of Italian food. 😊

Top 5 books you want to read in 2017?

The Lighterman (Charles Holbourne #3) by Simon Michael
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick
The Sewing machine by Natalie Fergie
Girl in Red Velvet by Margaret James

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

Do it for yourself and then there’s less pressure on you

Join in with the community by following, commenting and sharing

Go easy on NetGalley I made this mistake and have now gone off ebooks but still need to read and review them :/

Set up social media accounts for your blog, it’s great fun

Post regularly or people will forget who you are

Top 5 book blogs you follow?

Dannielle at http://booksvertigoandtea.com
Inge at http://thebelgianreviewer.wordpress.com
Zuky at https://bookbum.co.uk
Yvo at https://melovebooks.wordpress.com
Drew at http://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress.com

IMG_2620.JPGI’m Nicki a 40 something wife and mother to a 16 year old son. I live on the beautiful island of Jersey where we only have a Waterstones bookshop and a WHSmith to buy books from. Fortunately we have a fantastic library service over here and all the charity shops sell second hand books too. Twice a year the local guide Dogs for the Blind charity have their second hand book sales which raise thousands of pounds each time. I’m also a member of postcrossings a site where you send and receive postcards to random strangers around the world.

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you can follow Nicki at……..

 

https://thesecretlibrarysite. wordpress.com/

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https://www.facebook.com/ SecretLibraryBlog/

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https://twitter.com/Nicki_Mags

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I’m sorry to say but #TopFiveThursday is coming to an end, I’m running out of bloggers to feature. I can’t believe how well this feature took off, it’s been running for over a year now, and always receives so many positive comments. From my point of view I’ve loved doing these posts I’m always amazed by the varied books and authors that bloggers suggest, we all have such different tastes, which make ever book blogger unique.

I’ve also had numerous messages from new bloggers who have find the tips for new bloggers enormously helpful. I know I’m waffling here but I have to say a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all the bloggers who took part, for the likes and shares and for sharing your love of books with me, as Tina Turner once sang “you’re simply the best” x 

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Small Talk by Robert T. Germaux @RGermaux 

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Book description

A serial killer has the people of Pittsburgh on edge, and Detective Daniel Hayes and his hand-picked Special Assignment Squad are working feverishly to solve the case before more innocent lives are lost. But the killer proves to be a formidable foe, whose viciousness appears to be matched only by his ability to elude capture.

Throughout “Small Talk,” the reader is given glimpses into the mind of this cunning and sadistic murderer, an individual who seeks a face-to-face confrontation with his pursuers, a confrontation Daniel is only too willing to provide.

IMG_2357I’m not sure what a psychologist would make of me, although there again I could probably hazard a guess! I admit I do enjoy reading a crime thriller that features a serial killer, you never quite know “who” you are getting. I’m always hoping to find a “unique” serial killer (not literally may I add quickly!), as I read so many crime thrillers they need to be different and stand out from the usual “serial killer on a rampage” kind of novel. Set in Pittsburgh I had high hopes for Small Talk by Robert T. Germaux as I always find crime thrillers set in the USA seem darker and bolder.

Detective Daniel Hayes is leading the investigation alongside his hand-picked Special Assignment Squad (SAS) as they attempt to find a ruthless serial killer who stalks and brutally murders young women. Robert Germaux has created a well developed and credible bunch of characters, Hayes especially has an unique background which makes him a very interesting character. The dynamics of the group also add an air of credibility to Small Talk, as the investigation intensifies each member of the teams commitment to the case shows no bounds, adding a sense of urgency to the read.

I did have one small niggle the “romantic element” between Hayes and Lauren, yes I know everyone’s allowed to have a love life! But when I read a crime thriller I much prefer to concentrate on the nitty gritty and not get waylaid by chapters focused on relationships, I find it slightly distracts from my enjoyment of a book, that’s only my opinion of course and Small Talk still made for a very compelling read.

Although the chapter related to the serial killer made for an intriguing read, I wouldn’t say they made for a disturbing read, I was expecting them to be darker and make for a spine chilling read, unfortunately they felt “diluted” almost as if this author didn’t want to make them to gruesome or upsetting to readers. Perhaps because I read so many books in this genre I’ve come to expect these sort of novels to be darker and more disturbing than normal, but that’s my problem not the authors. Yes I did enjoy Small Talk it’s a very accomplished crime thriller with great characters and a decent plot line and well worth a read if you prefer a crime read that isn’t to dark or gruesome.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 266 pages

Publisher: Robert T. Germaux (4 Mar. 2015)

**Blog Tour** House Of Spines by Michael J Malone @OrendaBooks @michaelJmalone1 #BookReview

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for the terrifying psychological thriller House Of Spines by the very awesome Michael J Malone. It’s published by the superb Orenda Books and the good news is you can actually by a kindle copy right this minute or you can pre-order the book which is published on the 15th September 2017, links included further down this post.

Book description

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families.

Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who it seems has been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up.  Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems.

As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman…

A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

A house with a troubled past

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Oh my I really struggled to write a review for this book why? Because I’m not sure anything I write will truly reflect what a fabulous and enthralling read House Of Spines turned out to be. Ever since I read A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone I’ve been eagerly awaiting for his next offering. Firstly I have to mention what a versatile and gifted writer Michael J Malone is, I’m amazed that he’s gone from writing about domestic abuse to the eloquently and beautifully written House Of Spines.

One of my favourite things when I’m reading a book are an author’s description of a setting, and the author describes Newton Hall with a great deal of passion and imagination. Newton Hall is deceiving, a beautiful home full of wealth and splendour, but it also a house that feels claustrophobic, chilling and terrifying, it’s a house shrouded in mystery and secrets. The author’s descriptions give the reader an overwhelming sense of unease and trepidation, one that grows stronger as the novel progresses.

When Ran inherits Newton Hall, a vast and elegant mansion filled with books, it seems all his troubles are over, but little does he realise they are just beginning. From the moment Ran walks through the doors of his new home he senses a chilling presence, a presence that will soon consume his every waking moment, even sleep will give him no relief. What follows is a disquieting tale that has so many themes running through it, lust, betrayal, lies and greed.

I do love an unreliable narrator and Ran certainly fits the bill perfectly. As the author weaves his magic and Ran’s mental health issues begin to surface you cant help but wonder how much of what Ran is experiencing is real. Are the ghostly images he see’s part of his escalating illness? or is there something far more sinster hiding in the shadows of his lavish home? This novel oozes with tension and although the pace is slow, each page adds layer about layer of intrigue and malice. I really wasn’t sure where this story was heading, but WOW when I reached the climax I sat there open mouthed stunned by this simply mind blowing novel.

I want to say so much about this book, but in doing so I could possibly give away spoilers which is never my attention, but what I will say is the author has written a novel that is both captivating yet horrifying, it’s dark with a constant sense of malevolence bubbling away under the surface, with elements of fear, horror, death, and gloom running through this novel it has a very gothic feel to it, which only adds weight to this very creepy read. House Of Spines is an very original psychological thriller and one I would urge anyone and everyone to read just because it’s such a powerful and beautifully haunting novel.

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 276 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (29 Aug. 2017)

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Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/

He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1

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**The book review café book of the month** August 2017

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OMG it’s September, can you believe it’s only three months to Christmas?  Where has the year gone? I use to laugh when my grandparents use to say this, I never understood what they meant, but I guess it’s a thing people say as they get older me included 😂😂

So it’s time to choose my Book of the month for August 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………

Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman

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This has to be one of the best crime series I’ve read this year, I loved the Mechanic series so much Those That Remain and In Your Name were my books of the month for July. If you missed my reviews you can read them here…  Those That Remain    In Your Name

Now back to Pay The Penance……..

This is one serial killer I can’t get enough of, and once again author Rob Ashman’s imagination runs riot, making the third book in the Mechanic series a heart thumping read. I’ve been eagerly waiting for Pay The Penance the last book in the Mechanic series to be published, I was so desperate to read this book I got up extra early to download it, and then made the fatal mistake of reading the opening chapter, and I was well and truly hooked, if work hadn’t got in the way I would have read it in one sitting and that’s a fact!

you can read my full review here….Pay The Penance

My second book of the month is…..

The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

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What a fantastic read The Doll House turned out to be, I loved every page of this dark and intense psychological thriller. Steeped in malice with a constant nagging sense of unease I literally couldn’t put this book down, and read it in just under twenty four hours. I must mention this is Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel, which I was really surprised at, I’m convinced The Doll House will be a book everyone will be talking about, and I’m sure we will be hearing a lot more about this very talented author. The Doll House is a story of family secrets, lies and revenge, which makes this book deliciously twisted and very creepy.

You can read my full review here…….The Doll House

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Hide And Seek by Richard Parker

you can read my review here….Hide And Seek by Richard Parker #BookReview @Bookwalter @Bookouture 

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow

you can read my review here……The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow #Review & Q & A @ChristieJBarlow @HarperImpulse

The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

you can read my review here……The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse #Bookreview @MrsAmandaProwse

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Jacob at jacobreviewsbooks @collinsjacob115

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Today I’m thrilled to have Book Blogger Jacob answer my #TopFiveThursday questions. I have been running this feature for over a year now and it’s been dominated by mostly female bloggers, I think the men who blog must either hate this feature or they are very shy 😂😂

Jacob blogs over at http://jacob-reviews-books.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1  Jacob mainly reviews crime and psychological thriller novels, but again he’s another bloggers whose reviews I always enjoy reading,  and who knows one day I might be writing a review for Jacob’s book as he is writing a crime thriller. If you haven’t already checked out Jacob’s blog it’s one I would highly recommend, so don’t forget to click on the link to his blog I can guarantee you will find plenty of books to add to your TBR pile.

Top 5 books you read in 2016?

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker
Watching Edie by Camilla Way
Two O’clock Boy by Mark Hill

 

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Erin Kelly
Sarah Hilary
Angela Marsons
Jane Casey
M. J. Arlidge

Top 5 books you want to read in 2017

Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner
My Sisters Bones by Nuala Ellwood
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Wrong Place by Michelle Davies

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?
I think it’s important to give honest reviews when you a providing feedback for a book that you have read, it can be easy to always say that a book is great but in my experience, constructive criticism is always appreciated.

I also think that it is important to join social media. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account for your blog it is a great way of connecting with different bloggers, authors and publishers. The blogging community is really friendly and it is a great community to be part of.

Try not to take too much on at once. When I first joined up with Netgalley I found it impossible to ignore the tempting request button whenever a new promotion email popped up in my inbox. I have started to feel the pressure because of this.

It’s a good idea to keep to a schedule when you are preparing your blog posts, especially for books that haven’t been published yet and if you are taking part in any blog tours. This will help you to prioritise what you have to read.

And most importantly enjoy it; there is nothing more satisfying when someone has bought a book based on your recommendation that is, for me, the main joy of book blogging.

Top 5 book blogs you follow

Off-the-Shelf Books http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

Joy Kluver
https://joykluver.wordpress.com/

My Chestnut Reading Tree
https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/

Cleopatra Loves Books
https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/

Jen Med’s Book Reviews
https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/

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My name is Jacob, I am 21 and I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I have always wanted to be an author and I am currently working on my own crime novel, I started writing when I was eleven. Recently I have discovered a true passion for crime and thriller novels, it is a genre that I don’t think will ever have its day as writers are always coming up with ingenious new storylines and twists.
I set up my book blog in June 2016, I review crime and psychological thriller novels. I also take part in blog tours and occasionally hosts book giveaways.

Follow links:

Blog: http://jacob-reviews-books.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: @collinsjacob115
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hookedfrompage1/?ref=bookmarks

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My thanks to Jacob for agreeing to take time out of his busy schedule to answer #TopFiveThursday.

Blood Daughter by Dreda Say Mitchell #BookReview @DredaMitchell @HodderBooks

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Book description

BLOOD DAUGHTER sees the Miller sisters’ loyalties put to the ultimate test in a gripping thriller, perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

They say blood is thicker than water.

That’s not going to stop it being spilled.

Life hasn’t been easy for the Miller family. Finally, mum Babs has had one bit of luck. She plans to share the profits with her daughters. She thought they’d be pleased…
But money always causes trouble, especially when it’s desperately needed. Jen wants to make a better life for her kids. Tiff owes a lot of bad men a lot of money. And Dee is worried that her husband is getting back into the criminal life.

As the sisters fall out, a gold bullion heist brings more opportunities – and many more dangers. None of them are giving up without a fight…

IMG_2357I know when I pick up a book by Dreda Say Mitchell I’m in for a real treat, Blood Daughter takes the reader on a journey through the seedier side of life, the criminal underworld, dysfunctional families, a world where violence is an every day occurrence. Although you could probably read this book as a standalone I would recommend you read the first two books in the series first, Blood Sister and Blood Mother, not only because it’s such a fabulous series but there’s a hell of a back story to the Miller family.

In many ways the characters are the typical stereotypes I have come to expect in this type of crime book, but the author has expertly created an array of characters with big personalities that make them unforgettable. I thought things couldn’t get any worse for the miller’s but boy was I wrong. Mum Bab’s and daughters Dee, Jen and Tiff have all had their fair share of life throwing them a duff hand, things appear to be on the up when Bab’s comes into some money and tells her daughters she’s going to share it with them, you would think all their problems would be over, but hell no, as the saying goes “money is the root of all evil” and it’s not long before the once close family are at war.

Blood Daughter won’t be to everyone’s taste as it’s punctuated with choice language, but it’s very much in keeping with the characters, some of the subjects touched on may make some readers feel uncomfortable, prostitution, violence and debt are just a few that come to mind. In the author’s defence Blood Daughters is a very gritty and entertaining read and if like me you enjoy what I personally call “grit lit” authentic characters, settings and story lines that depict the shadier side of life, then I would highly recommend this book.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇬🇧

Print Length: 448 pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (24 Aug. 2017)