In Your Name by Rob Ashman #BookReview @RobAshmanAuthor @bloodhoundbook

IMG_2333

Book description

A chilling serial killer thriller from The Mechanic trilogy

Police detective Lucas has become consumed with tracking down the deranged killer, known as Mechanic, and bringing the murderer to justice. Nothing else matters, not even his wife. His marriage is falling apart.
Mechanic has not killed for eight months and the trail has gone cold, then Lucas receives a terrifying letter. In a desperate bid to reignite the case, he tries to convince his boss to mount an operation in Baton Rouge where the letter was posted.

But was the letter really sent by Mechanic?

Not knowing where to turn, with his marriage in turmoil and his career on the rocks, Lucas begins to spiral out of control and when Mechanic meets the head of a drug smuggling cartel the situation takes a grave turn.
Meanwhile, a bizarre set of murders are taking place in Vegas and Detective Rebecca Moran is put on the case. She will stop at nothing to make a name for herself.

Is there a link between the murders and Mechanic?
Can Lucas apprehend the killer this time or will Mechanic remain one step ahead?

IMG_2357Now I don’t know about you, but when I pick up the next book in a series I do so with trepidation. I’m always concerned that the next book won’t live up to expectations. I actually loved Those That Remain by Rob Ashman, the first book in the Mechanic series and I would go as far as to say it’s one of my top reads of 2017, so unfortunately for the author I was expecting great things for In Your Name. I’m not going to keep you in suspense as far as I’m concerned Rob Ashman has only gone and done it again and written another dark and gripping addition??? to the Mechanic series. This is one crime series you don’t want to miss!

Detective Lucas’s every waking moment is consumed with catching the cold hearted and sadistic serial killer known as The Mechanic, even if it means putting his career and marriage in jeopardy. From the opening chapter where Lucas is stood over a grave, you get an immediate sense of foreboding and just know things are about to get a lot worse for Lucas as he tries to bring the mechanic to justice. Poor Lucas as if he didn’t suffer enough in the last book, he returns to his job a broken man in both body and spirit, but like the saying goes “you cant keep a good man down” Lucas is filled with rage and won’t rest until he catches Mechanic.

Just like the previous book Mechanic is one seriously twisted and cunning killer always managing to keep one step ahead of Lucas, taunting him at every opportunity. Rob Ashman has created a monster there’s no doubt about it, but the Mechanic is a complex characters and once again I did find myself having just a smidgin of sympathy for them especially when you know their back story. I’m so intrigued by Mechanic, they are one seriously sick and twisted individual, I was hoping this would be a long running series alas it looks like there is only going to be one more book in this highly compelling series.

I thought this series couldn’t get any better but I’m pleased to report I was wrong, if anything this book is darker, and definitely more gruesome, the pace is relentless so you don’t have time to catch your breath before the next big shock comes along. I should point out all though Rob Ashman is a British author this novel reads very much like it’s been written by an American, the settings are authentic and the scenes frighteningly disturbing just the way I like my crime thrillers. In Your Name is fast paced, brutal and addictive, each book leaves you desperately wanting more, luckily we don’t have to wait long as the third book in the Mechanic series Pay The Penance is out the beginning of August and I can’t wait!

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear I’m giving In Your Name the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

image

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧 Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 290 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (13 July 2017)

 

IMG_2201

You can read my review for Those That Remain here….Those That Remain

Friend Request by Laura Marshall #BookReview @laurajm8

IMG_2304

Book description

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past she feels sick.
Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Because Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers’ party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life knowing herself responsible for Maria’s disappearance. But now Maria is back. Or is she?

As Maria’s messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress, to try to piece together exactly what happened that fateful night. But when another friend’s body turns up in the woods outside their old school, Louise realises she can’t trust anyone and that she must confront her own awful secret to discover the whole truth of what happened to Maria . . .

IMG_2357Friend Request deals with a very relevant and current subject, and one we all pretty much use in our daily life’s, the addictive but dreaded Facebook, we all reveal details of our life, what we ate, where we went on holiday, things we’ve done, but do you ever think about who could be reading your posts, looking at your photos without your knowledge? Are they really who they say they are? Well once you’ve read this book the paranoia will kick in and I’m sure like me you will be checking your privacy settings and friends list time and time again!

When Louise Williams receives a friends request on Facebook, a normal day occurrence for most of us, but for Louise it’s not everyday you get a request to befriend someone who has supposedly been dead for over twenty years! It’s apparent from the start that Louise is hiding something regarding Maria’s disappearance, the what and why’s are intricately revealed layer by layer in this tense psychological thriller.

Friend Request switches between the present and 1989 which reveals the events leading up to Maria’s disappearance, by using this ploy the author heightens the suspense and there’s a undercurrent of disquiet and foreboding running throughout this novel. As Maria’s messages escalate Louise is forced to examine what happened all those years ago, memories that she was preferred to keep buried.

At this point I must admit I found it hard to like any of the characters in this novel, now normally this can spoil the read for me, but fortunately it actually heightened my enjoyment as I couldn’t help but hope some of the characters would get “their just deserts”. Friend Request is a chilling psychological thriller that explores many relevant issues, with an highly original plot and taut with suspense Laura Marshall has written a very accomplished debut psychological thriller. A great read for the summer and one I would highly recommend.

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Sphere (27 July 2017)

 

I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen #BookReview @tessgerritsen

IMG_2283

Book description

In the twelfth gripping novel featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, the crime-solving duo—featured in the smash-hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles—are faced with the gruesomely staged murder of a horror film producer.

The crime scene is unlike any that Detective Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have ever before encountered. The woman lies in apparently peaceful repose on her bed, and Maura finds no apparent cause of death, but there is no doubt the woman is indeed dead. The victim’s eyes have been removed and placed in the palm of her hand, a gesture that echoes the terrifying films she produces. Is a crazed movie fan reenacting scenes from those disturbing films?

When another victim is found, again with no apparent cause of death, again with a grotesquely staged crime scene, Jane and Maura realize the killer has widened his circle of targets. He’s chosen one particular woman for his next victim, and she knows he’s coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Jane and Maura catch the killer.

IMG_2357I’ve been a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen since I read her first medical crime thriller Harvest way back in 1996. As far as I’m concerned the authors writing is gritty, gruesome and authentic and makes for a highly thrilling read. In this latest offering I Know A Secret we meet up with the crime solving duo Detective Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles a forensic pathologist, both characters I feel are very original protagonist’s in the world of crime thrillers. By combining the two the author delves deftly into the criminal mind and forensic sciences, which make for a fascinating and throughly gripping read. Although this is the twelfth book in the series it can easily be read as a standalone.

No plot spoilers here as all you need to know is pretty much in the book description, I always find Tess Gerritsen has the ability to grab my attention from the first intriguing chapter and keep me in her grips until the final heart stopping chapter. As you would expect from this author the murders are pretty grotesque I’m not sure where Tess Gerritsen gets her ideas from, but this is a lady with an incredible vivid and twisted imagination. There are numerous threads running through the tale and I did find myself wondering how they could all possibly connect, but the author does a magnificent job in bringing everything together in the most shocking way.

Fraught with tension the authors impeccable attention to detail make you feel like your involved in the investigation, and very much like Rizzoli and Isles you find yourself trying to unravel the clues before the killer strikes again. With red herrings a plenty the author always manages to keep one step a head of the reader, I Know A Secret definitely sent my mind into overdrive as I tried to piece the clues together. The author has a real talent for telling a story and keeping the reader guessing right to the very last moment, and once again Tess Gerritsen proves that she is still one of the leading female authors in crime fiction and rightly so.

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (15 Aug. 2017)

 

 

Those That Remain by Rob Ashman #BookReview @RobAshmanAuthor @bloodhoundbook

IMG_2201

Book description

The heat of the Florida summer is relentless. Lucas is coasting to retirement in a mundane Florida police precinct. His world falls apart when a brutal serial killer codenamed Mechanic lands on his patch.

Three years ago they thought Mechanic was dead. But Mechanic is very much alive and the savage ritualistic murders continue. No family is safe from the threat of slaughter at this sadistic killer’s hands.

Mechanic is always one step ahead and Lucas is forced to operate outside the law.

Who can he trust?

The shocking truth is more terrifying than Lucas could ever imagine … and he has to put his life on the line to get it.

IMG_2298I think I have just found myself a new crime thriller author and series that will be going straight on my “must read authors list”. What a gripping book Those That Remain turned out to be. I do love American based crime thrillers they always seem so much darker and twisted. To say I loved this novel is an understatement it’s probably one of the best debut crime thrillers I’ve read this year in fact. Rob Ashman’s superb writing drew me in from the first chapter and I’m sure I spent much of my time reading this book in stunned silence (not a mean feat, I can tell you!).

I’m a sucker for a well depicted serial killer and the Mechanic certainly fits the bill. Oh my goodness what a character the author has created one of the most intriguing serial killers I’ve read about in a long time, they are one twisted individual and to their motives for the killings, I couldn’t help having a smidgen of sympathy for them. The Chapters from the killer give you insight to this very troubled and damaged character, from these chapters I felt like I was in the Killers head looking into the darkest and most troubled corners of the human mind which made for a blood chilling read and a couple of restless nights sleep. The crimes committed are gruesome but in the authors defence these scenes never felt gratuitous within the context of the story

Those that Remain has so many great characters I especially liked Lucas’s he’s not you typical stereotype detective for a start he’s counting down the days to retirement, so I found his character a refreshing change from the “kick ass” Detectives that are the norm in many a crime thriller. I’m not going to go into plot details as I would hate to give away spoilers, but what I will say is this novel certainly made for a gripping and unpredictable read that will chill you to the bones. In my opinion it’s one of those books you just don’t want to put down as each chapter leaves you desperately wanting more, it moves along at a fast pace with so many twist and turns my head was spinning.

There were so many elements that made this book an exciting read, unique characters, an intricate plot, and a dash of dark humour. I was extremely intrigued by the profiling side of things, who knew there were so many different types of serial killers? I have one question for the author “why, oh why did it take you so darn long to get published?” I just love it when a book leaves you wanting more, and I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out I’m not going to have too wait long for the second book in this series as it’s published on the 13th July 2017. If you are looking for a new crime thriller to read then look no further than Those That Remain I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 303 pages

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (22 Jun. 2017)

 

 

Final Girls by Riley Sager #BookReview

IMG_2299

Book description

Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead…

They were the victims of separate massacres. Grouped together by the press, and dubbed the Final Girls, they are treated like something fresh out of a slasher movie.

When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same.

IMG_2298Final Girls is a compulsive read, with characters who are at once unreliable and sympathetic. Just when you think you’ve figured out the plot, the story pivots in a startling new direction. … A taut and original mystery that will keep you up late trying to figure out a final twist that you won’t see coming.”

If your looking for an “edge of your seat” thriller then look no further, Final Girls by Riley Sager will have you gripped from the first page, all the way to its nail biting conclusion. Final Girls tells the story of Three victims of separate massacres, they all have suffered similar experiences to those slasher movies most of us have watched, you know the ones I mean where one “Final Girl” is left in the closing scenes and manages to come out alive.

What follows is the story of two of the survivors Quincy and Sam, and that’s all I’m going to say about the plot as I would hate to give away spoilers. What drew me to this book in the first place was the author took the unusual step to focus on the survivors of the most awful crimes after the event, so this novel certainly makes for an original and compulsive read.

As you would expect both Quincy and Sam may have survived shocking and traumatic events but neither of them have come out unscathed, at the start they both seem pretty average until the author weaves her magic and you realise both characters are not only complex but also very damaged by their traumatic experiences and they seem untrustworthy, and for me that’s what made this novel such a compelling read.

With twist and turns galore it’s pretty much impossible to “second guess” where the author is leading the reader, but I certainly enjoyed every minute of this dark crime thriller. Full of mystery and suspense this novel certainly fray’s the nerves, as the tension and suspense reaches fever pitch before the final shocking scenes. Riley Sager without doubt has written a novel that makes for a tense and exhilarating read and if you are a fan of a well written crime thriller then this is one book you don’t want to miss.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (13 July 2017

 

The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh #BookReview @Bookouture

 

IMG_2260

Book description

Lesley Welsh sadly passed away in April but Bookouture are extremely honoured to be publishing The Serial Killer’s Daughter on 14th June.

Charmer, liar, father… Killer.

Suzanne’s life changes forever the day she receives a visit from Rose Anderson, the woman who has been living with her estranged father, Don.

Don is dead, but Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women.

To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire.

But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her?

Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his journals? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move?

img_1258Oh my goodness what a dark and twisted read The Serial Killers Daughter by Lesley Welsh turned out to be. Gripping from the first page, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to its shocking conclusion. The author has given the reader a roller coaster of a thriller that’s for sure, but this crime thriller is also a gripping story of the psychology of evil and the lengths people will go to meet their own needs.

Suzanne’s estranged father Don passes away. His girlfriend Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women, which leads Suzanne to start looking into her fathers past, what follows is a tense and a highly disturbing read. This novel does contain explicit scenes and language so definitely not one for the faint hearted but in the authors defence it’s in keeping with the plot and characters.

The author has created one of the most despicable and cold hearted psychopaths I’ve ever come across, they are the definition of evil, they made my skin crawl and my heart race, this is one book I wouldn’t recommend for a “bedtime read” unless you want nightmares. The constant sense of madness and evil bubbling away below the surface made this a highly compelling read.

I do have one small niggle I feel this book would have worked so much better with a different title, I would have enjoyed it slightly more if the mystery of Don could have been revealed without any preconceived ideas of the nature of the plot. On the positive side Lesley Welsh deftly manages to reveal Don’s secrets layer by layer, painting a chilling picture of the darkest corners of the human mind. The Serial Killers Daughter makes for a chilling yet engrossing read and if you like your crime thrillers dark, well they don’t come much darker than this one.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 343 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (14 Jun. 2017)

 

Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel #Bookreview @HALeuschel

IMG_2216

Book description

Five stories – Five Lives.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

There are five short stories:
The Narcissist
Tess and Tattoos
The Spell
Runaway Girl
My Perfect Child

img_1258Manipulated Lives is a very different read to my usual crime/thriller reads but never the less I was intrigued by the book description. Here’s the thing after spending years working in mental health I’ve always been intrigued by the human psyche and behaviour so the concept for Manipulated Lies fascinated me . What makes someone become a manipulator and more importantly how does someone find themselves caught up and damaged by a Manipulative individual?

In this collection of five short stories we meet the masters of manipulators, we also meet the victims ordinary people trying to lead normal life’s, there’s no specific gender, (although interestingly a high percentage of men are classed as manipulators) or age group, or characteristics that sets these victims apart. It literally could happen to anyone.

The five stories are all very different, each one gives a troubling insight into the workings of a manipulator, their ability to lack compassion and the devastating impact their behaviour has on their victims. Although each story is fairly short they certainly don’t lack depth, each one will stay with me for very different reasons. The Characters were an intriguing bunch and they were really well developed which took my by surprise as sometimes a short story doesn’t  give the author time to develop the characters.

The story that stands out for me is the third in the book The Spell, it features Sophie who unwittingly becomes entangled in the lives of a young boy and his father, both running from something or someone…it shows how a perfectly normal relationship between a couple can turn into something much darker and sinister. I’m not sure where or how but H A Leuschel manages to give such an incredible insight into the subject of manipulative behaviour, I couldn’t help but wonder was she writing from experience or has she researched the subject throughly?

Each story very much highlight the fact that anyone has the ability to be a manipulator, just like everyone has the potential to become a victim so Manipulative Lies not only made for a disconcerting read but a thought provoking one too. I’m not sure this book gave me all the answers I was looking for, but it certainly gave me a better understanding of the subject and made for a very compelling read.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (28 Jun. 2016)