The Book Review Café #BookOfTheMonth April 2017


Now we’re in May it’s time for me to look back at the books I  read and reviewed  in April and choose my Book Of The Month.

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.

I read some outstanding books in April, but there were two books that really stood out for me this month. As I wasn’t able to choose between these two books I’ve decided to share the award.  These books had all the elements I look for when reading, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense. So without further ado here are my books of the month and there absolute crackers……………


The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury

Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury Is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017, it’s dark and very disturbing due to the difficult subject it covers.  This is certainly a book that packs a punch, its gut wrenching and makes for an uncomfortable read at times but it’s also offers so much more, it’s a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse. You can read my full review here……..


Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Last Breath is a truly dark, disturbing and most definitely a gripping read, one that will make your heart pound and the paranoia kick in, but my god it’s definitely worth the ride. What I particularly like about this series is how original each book has been from the last and how each story offers something unique, which is why Robert Bryndza continues to be one of my very favourite authors on the planet.

You can read my full review here……

As I mentioned earlier I really did read some fantastic books in April, so I’m also including the books I would highly recommend if you are looking for a gripping read………..



Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton 

The Quiet Man by James Carol

You can read my reviews for the above books here………

**Weekly Wrap Up**


I’ve only managed to read one book this week, I haven’t lost my reading mojo thankfully. I’ve had a week off and been far to busy to read. I might have only read one book, but it was a gripping one and very different to my normal reads, part history and part thriller.

I will be taking a regular social media free break one day every week as it certainly helps me to concentrate on my reading, and  I’m so easily distracted once I start trawling through Facebook and Twitter 🙈

 The One Man by Andrew Gross


Books I bought this week



Book description

They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them.

A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journaling draws the attention of Police Scotland’s CID. This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind.

Edinburgh’s DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts.

But McGuire might have met her match…What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands? Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante?



Book description

Tom Cheever is an IT specialist, a recovering alcoholic, and a single dad. Molly, his ten-year-old daughter is his whole life. But one ordinary morning, Tom discovers that Molly’s not in her room.
Gone. Vanished.

Police are called, a search party goes out, and Tom, already struggling with staying sober, finds himself coming undone. As hours become days without any sign of Molly, everyone she knows is called into question, including Tom himself.

As he tries to desperately piece together what could’ve happened, Tom realizes that nothing is quite as it seems. Will Molly be found in time? Or will Tom have to face the rest of his life not knowing what happened to his little girl?

ARC’s I received this week


Book description

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.


Book description

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners – including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.


Book description

Robin and Sarah weren’t the closest of twins. They weren’t even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn’t…

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she’s just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can’t be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn’t the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship…

I also got sent two “Top Secret” Arc’s…….my lips are sealed for now 🤐

Last week on the book review café

Next week on the book review café

After The Affair by Jonathan Kaye **Blog tour**

The Quiet Man by James Carol #Review

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens #Review

Love Me Not by M J Arlidge #Review

The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury #Bookreview @bloodhoundbook @MTilburyAuthor


Book description

The past is never far away. Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his
father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up from a coma inhospital suffering from amnesia and paralysis.Confused and terrified, he is charged with the
fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

Hells bells what a book! Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury Is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017, it’s dark and very disturbing due to the difficult subject it covers. At times it’s pretty graphic but in the authors defence while it never felt gratuitous within the context of the story, I can see that this won’t be to everyone’s tastes. This is certainly a book that packs a punch, its gut wrenching and makes for an uncomfortable read at times but it’s also offers so much more, it’s a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse.

Michael Tate wakes from a coma in hospital with no recollection of how he came to be there, but he finds himself at the heart of a murder investigation. With no recollection of events leading up to accident, he relives his childhood memories in the most extraordinary way and my god those secrets well let’s just say they are shocking, harrowing and very, very sad and that’s all I’m going to say about this superbly plotted tale, as it’s definitely one the less you know the better the read.

Mark Tilbury has created an array of fascinating characters, my heart broke for Michael as his past is revealed, it’s brutal and heart breaking, but amid it all there’s hope, friendship and laughter. I do have to mention Detective Inspector John Carver never have I disliked a character so much, he’s the worse kind of monster and one that made my stomach churn. I always think an author is doing his job well if I have strong feelings either way about a character, and the author certainly manages to achieve this with Carver.

The Abattoir Of Dreams is darkly impressive the tension and sense of foreboding that radiated from each page made this a hard book to put down, despite how disturbing this book was I still found myself racing through it. Mark Tilbury has written a roller coaster of a thriller for sure, but this novel is also a rich and harrowing story of the psychology of evil and those who strive to stop it, this is certainly one read that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. Mark Tilbury is a new author (this is where I kick myself) to me but this certainly won’t be the last book I read by this author. If you enjoy a crime thriller that isn’t the norm and you don’t mind a disturbing read then this book is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

Print Length: 497 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (28 Feb. 2017)

You can get a copy of The Abattoir of dreams here…… Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

**Blog Tour** The Watcher by Netta Newbound #GuestPost @nettanewbound @bloodhoundbook


Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for The Watcher by Netta Newbound which was published by Bloodhound Books on the 30th January 2017, so you don’t even have to wait to get yourself a copy of this chilling serial killer thriller. 

Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to read The Watcher yet but it’s certainly one that I will be reading once my TBR pile has diminished,  it’s getting some fab reviews from fellow bloggers whose opinions I trust and it’s already got a fair few 5 ⭐ reviews. Netta Newbound has very kindly written a guest post for my blog, I hope you enjoy it and I’ve also included a book description and buying links further down the post.


Self-publishing – V – Traditional Publishing

As a lover of self-publishing and also a total control freak, I didn’t think I would ever choose to go the traditional route. To hand over the reins to somebody else seemed abhorrent. But in the later part of last year, a good friend and fellow author suggested I send my then current WIP to Betsy at Bloodhound Books. And here we are, three months later, on the blog tour following the release of my latest book, The Watcher.
People often think the writing of a book is the hard part—well, let me tell you, they couldn’t be more wrong. Once you have the beginning, middle and ending thrashed out, you need to take your writer’s hat off and don your publisher’s hat. An enormous amount of energy goes into the next part:-

  • Send the manuscript off to your critique partners and beta readers.
  • Make any suggested and agreeable changes.
    Send it off to an editor who will then return your beloved manuscript covered with red ink.
  • Make their changes.
  • Send the finished book out to proof readers.
  • Work on the cover. For several of my books I used a designer, but I was never totally happy with their concept of my ideas, so I took a Photoshop course and began to design them myself.
  • Organise the formatting for both the eBook and the paperback.
  • Write the blurb and synopsis.
  • Upload the book file to KDP and Createspace.
  • Arrange a blog tour and write Q&As and guest posts.
  • Set up plenty of tweets and Facebook posts.
  • Work on your website and Facebook Author Page.

And about a million other things not listed here…Exhausting!

  • However, by handing over the control to a publishing company, you’re also handing over the bulk of the workload.
  • Send the completed manuscript to the publisher.
  • Make editorial changes. (Still plenty of red ink!)
  • Write a few blog posts and Q&As.
  • Sit back and pour yourself a large G&T. *Cheers!*

Now even a habitual control freak like me can’t deny which is the better experience. My only question is, why did I take so long to realise it?


Book description

Life couldn’t get much better for Hannah. She accepts her dream job in Manchester, and easily makes friends with her new neighbours.

When she becomes romantically involved with her boss, she can’t believe her luck. But things are about to take a grisly turn.

As her colleagues and neighbours are killed off one by one, Hannah’s idyllic life starts to fall apart. But when her mother becomes the next victim, the connection to Hannah is all too real.

Who is watching her every move?

Will the police discover the real killer in time?

Hannah is about to learn that appearances can be deceptive.

Print Length: 232 pages
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (30 Jan. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧           Amazon US 🇺🇸


Netta Newbound, originally from Manchester, England, now lives in New Zealand with her husband Paul and their boxer dog Alfie. She has three grown-up children and three delicious grandchildren.

As a child, Netta was plagued by a wild imagination, often getting in trouble for making up weird and wonderful stories. Yet she didn’t turn her attention to writing until after her children had grown and left home.

Although she mostly writes psychological thriller novels, all of which consistently rank highly in the best seller categories, she has also written several non-fiction books with a close friend and fellow author under the names of Sandra Rose & Jeanette Simone.







**Blog Tour** Dark Minds A Collection Of Short Stories #Review


Book description

You think you know darkness? Think again.Bloodhound Books presents Dark Minds –
a collection of stories by authors who have come together to produce an anthology that
will lure, tantalise and shock its readers.

What took place By the Water?

What goes on behind A Stranger’s Eyes?

And what is so special about Slow Roast Pork?

From master authors such as Lisa Hall, Steven Dunne, Louise Jensen and Anita Waller,
readers can expect a one hell of a ride…

All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal.



Dark Minds is definitely a book any crime and horror thriller lover will love, it’s a collaboration of a group of 41 amazingly talented authors, Louise Jensen, L.J. Ross, Lisa Hall, Steven Dunne, Betsy Reavley, M.A. Comley, plus many more, so you see you really are spoilt for choice. All profits from this book go to two charities, Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal so not only do you get a gripping book, but you are also helping two worthy charities.

When I picked up Dark Minds I faced my first dilemma, there really are so many fantastic authors included in this book I really didn’t know where to start (I felt like a kiddie in a sweet shop!), but then I decided to do what I normally do when I pick up a book and that’s start at the beginning, simple! There are a wide range of stories some more chilling than others but each and everyone is deliciously dark and sometimes disturbing.

The one I’m going to mention is London’s Crawling by Emma Pullar, oh my, oh my this was one dark and creepy story, the authors descriptive writing allowed me to image the fear, the setting and much more, so much so it gave me the heebie jeebies. The author takes the reader on a terrifying trip through London, Jody is alone, with no signal on her phone, and someone appears to be following her, what happens next is blood curdling.

Don’t think for one minute that just because they are short stories they are going to lack depth. London’s Crawling only took me five minutes to read, but it felt like much longer as the plot was so detailed. Emma Pullar certainly doesn’t lack imagination as each page of this short story was filled with horror and dread.


Each story is worthy of a mention, unfortunately it would take too long to review each one, but for me personally it’s giving me a welcome introduction to some new authors, whose books I’m certainly going to order at a later date. Dark Minds is one of those books you can dip into when the mood takes, or you could read the WHOLE book in a couple of sittings. It’s a collection of short stories that fit all the cliches you can think of….spine-tingling, gripping and thrilling, this book also brilliantly showcases the diversity of crime fiction. I would highly recommend you get a copy of Dark Minds, why?  Because not only are you guaranteed a damn good read, but all proceeds go to two very worth while charities, win  win in my opinion.

Print Length: 399 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (9 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the two charities 


Hospice UK are the national charity for hospice care, supporting over 200 hospices in the UK. They believe that everyone matters throughout their life right up until they die, and that no one should die in avoidable pain or suffering.


The aims of Sophie’s Appeal To support the social, emotional and educational welfare of children, their families, nursing and support staff and provide a caring and supporting environment in both local hospitals and in the community. There are so many ways in which the Trust can provide support to parents, carers and schools who find themselves suddenly faced with the reality of cancer.

Treatment to provide additional resources to meet the specific needs of cancer care. The Trust aims to work with two Hampshire hospitals and monies raised can meet their treatment requests. Research Without research…without hope! This is why it is vital to support research and development into treatments and cures for childhood diseases Sophie’s Appeal is funding a research project at the University College London into Wilm’s Disease, a rare childhood cancer.