Bloq by Alan Jones #BookMarks #Photos @alanjonesbooks #BookReview #Bristol #Wales

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When I spotted Alan Jones was looking for people to share Bookmarks of Bloq for a competition he was running over on his website and Facebook page I just had to take part. I loved this gritty book and was more than happy to place the bookmarks around Bristol and surrounding areas.

Then I had a lightbulb moment, yes I get one every year or so……..and decided to make a feature post and share my love for this book by reposting my review for Bloq, just in case you missed it first time round!

I must thank my brother in law Bryn for taking the more artistic photos and my Sister DeeDee (who posed the bookmarks and stopped them blowing away in the wind😂)

Don’t forget if you find a Bloq #Bookmark You have a chance to win a signed copy of Bloq. Details can be found over on Alan Smith FB page…….   https://www.facebook.com/AlanJonesBooks?ref=br_rs

or  his website at……..
http://www.alanjonesbooks.co.uk/blog_bookmark_tour.html

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Book description

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

img_1258Alan Jones is a new author to me, but there has been a huge buzz on social media regarding his two previous books the The Cabinet Maker and Blue Wicked so I thought it was high time I joined the “Alan Jones” party. When I first picked up Bloq I wasn’t sure what to expect, but from the prologue where Alan describes a not so conventional funeral I was hooked!

Glasgow man Bill Ingram waits in the city’s Central Station to meet his daughter Cathy, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train pulls in, and she doesn’t get off it, Bill immediately realises something isn’t right, and so begins a concerned parents quest to find his missing daughter. As Bill delves into Cathy’s secretive life he finds himself thrown into the murky and dangerous world of trafficking, drugs, prostitution, and murder.

Bill is a fantastic protagonist he is determined and driven by his love for his daughter, a father who gives up his job, home, friends and willingly puts his life on hold in a quest to find out the truth about Cathy’s disappearance. The lengths he goes to in his bid to get to the truth are both imaginative and engaging, and at times heart wrenching, which certainly make for an absorbing tale. Bill’s relationship with Anna, whose sister has also gone missing was an interesting one as they joined forces to get to the truth. The dialogue between the pair flowed well, and the bond between them was credible and at times heartwarming.

As Bill delves deeper into the seedier parts of Cathy’s life he learns things that no father should ever know, and even though his heart is breaking he manages to remain stalwart throughout his investigations. Bloq contains subjects such as Trafficking and prostitution which at times make for a difficult read, but are very much in keeping with the plot, even the explicit sex scenes! I found Cathy’s story very sad and unfortunately very believable ( I can’t say much more, without giving away spoilers). As Bill and Anna plot their revenge on the monsters who changed both their life’s forever the tension is palatable.

Bloq at times is a very disturbing read, it’s also dark and full of suspense, well plotted with characters who were so realistic I shed a tear for them, because I totally bought into their story.
Alan Jones has written a highly entertaining novel, that has plenty of nail biting moments to keep the readers of crime thrillers captivated until the final page. I will certainly be reading The Cabinet Maker and Blue Wicked by Alan Jones in the not to distant future.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

**Blog Tour** Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell #Review @Bookouture @Caroline_Writes

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Today I’m literally jumping up and down with excitement because it’s my turn on the blog tour for Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell and I can finally share my review for this brilliant and gripping crime thriller.

Sleep Tight was published yesterday by one of my favourite publishers Bookouture so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy just head over to Amazon and “click”. If you love a gripping crime series then you really don’t want to miss one. So without further ado here’s my review

Book description

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.
A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.
Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.
Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

img_12581-2-3 and breathe…… OMG Caroline Mitchell’s writing never fails to amaze me. Sleep Tight is the second book in this not to be missed series featuring Detective Ruby Preston. It’s going to sound cliched but it really is the authors best book yet, I kid you not! It’s twisted, menacing and damn right creepy, with an antagonist who makes most fictional serial killers look like choir boys in comparison. When the serial killer is someone who admires Jack the Ripper’s work, and poses his victims as fairytale princesses you just know you are in for a hell of a ride and the author does not disappoint, no sirree she takes the reader on a dark and twisted ride and I loved every minute of it.

Detective Ruby Preston is back and I must admit I’m becoming very fond of her, she’s feisty, funny, and she’s complex, there’s the law abiding Detective who seeks out justice and then there’s Ruby whose involvement with crime lord Nathan forces her to take unnecessary risks and ignore procedures to protect him. Ruby’s relationship with Nathan doesn’t bode well for future books in the series as I’m sure she’s going to find her career in jeopardy, as her work and private life appear to be heading for a spectacular collision.

Sleep Tight feels darker than the first book in the series Love You To Death I think this is due the nature of the crimes, a serial killer whose victims faces are transformed into perverse fairytale heroines, it  doesn’t make for a happy read, but it certainly makes for a spine chilling one. Caroline Mitchell manages to turn the fairytale stories I remember reading into something gruesome and terrifying.

The reasoning behind the killings are multi-layered and complex and just as I thought I had it all worked out Caroline Mitchell threw in some very devious twists. The author takes a bold step in my opinion and reveals the Killers identity fairly early on in the book now I’m not sure about you but that can sometimes spoil a read for me, but did it hell! in fact knowing who the killer was added layer upon layer of tension and suspense.

Sleep Tight is a compelling read and one that begs to be read in one sitting, at times I find my heart pounding as the body count mounted, Caroline Mitchell builds on the suspense until the very last chapter. As Sleep Tight reached it’s dramatic and heart stopping conclusion I found myself completely wrapped up in the story, so much so I find myself holding my breath in anticipation of what was still to come. 

As I’ve said before I’m a huge fan of this authors descriptive style of writing, especially around the crime scenes you feel your right there alongside Ruby, conjuring up images that stayed with me as I read. Sleep Tight has all the ingredients I love in a crime thriller and more thrilling plot, fabulous characters and a serial killer who chills you to the bone. A word of warning once you’ve read Sleep Tight those old familiar fairytales will never seem the same again. It’s going to sound cliched but I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for someone looking for an original crime story but with all the hallmarks of a truly thrilling tale. Personally I can’t wait for the next book in this highly gripping series, so Caroline Mitchell if you happen to read this, is there any chance you could write any faster? 

Print Length: 345 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (20 April 2017)

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Sleep Tight the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is award is given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good 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.

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About Caroline Mitchell

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. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.
Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive newsletter only competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

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Links:

www.caroline-writes.com

https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

You can get your copy of Sleep Tight here……… Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

There are some awesome book bloggers on the Sleep Tight blog tour so I’ve included the blog tour poster so you can keep track…..

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Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton #BookReview @AuthorSJBolton

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Book description

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all

img_1258I must admit when I picked up Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton I wasn’t sure it was going to be a book I enjoyed, if I’m honest I found the book description immediately made me think “how the hell can a hot-air balloon disaster be turned into a gripping crime thriller?” But oh my goodness I couldn’t have been more wrong this is now firmly one of my favourite books by this author, it’s gripping, fast paced and taut with suspense. As you will gather from the book description this book is based around a hot-balloon disaster, and my god those first couple of chapters my heart was in my mouth as Sharon Bolton describes the terrifying events surrounding the disaster.

This is going to be a vague review as it’s really one of those books the less you know the more you will enjoy this thrilling ride. Dead Woman Walking is a stand-alone Crime thriller and one not to be missed. The novel is told through multi narratives and past and present which create a sense of constant unease. It’s certainly a compelling story with multiple threads and I hold my hands up and admit I couldn’t see where the plot was heading as the author deceives the reader at every possible turn.

Sharon Bolton has created an array of characters who all find their way into this complex tale, I just loved the nuns they added a very original slant to the book, to see why you really need to read the book, as explaining my reasons I would be forced to giveaway major spoilers, but they are a hoot and add a touch of humour to what could have been a very dark read. I take my hat off to the author she has created a dark and complex plot with twist and turns galore, if you are looking for a crime thriller that has an unique premise then look no further.

The short chapters heighten the tension and make this a fast paced read. I would never have dreamt something so tranquil as a hot-air balloon ride would provoke such a high-octane crime thriller. Dead Woman Walking has all the elements I look for in this genre, a devious plot, thrills and chills and it’s one I would I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a top rated crime thriller.

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Bantam Press (20 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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

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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?

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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 🇺🇸

I’m back with a **Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well I’m back after nearly a two week break from social media and blogging (apart from the blog tour posts I already agreed to) and I must say its done me the world of good, no frantically trying to share and retweet posts, spending hours trawling through social media in fact it just reinforced to me how much time I spend on my iPad when I could be reading.

I worked Monday-Friday throughout the experiment and still managed to read, wait for it………..8 books and I’m half way through the 9th.……..yes the book review café has found her reading mojo and what a treasure trove of books I’ve read. Some of theses books are for blog tours in May, so I really achieved a lot in my two weeks off…… blog tour reviews, books that have been sat on my bookshelf that I’ve really wanted to read, and new to me authors. So I definitely feel a social media break every now and then works for me.

Books I read

Books I’ve bought

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Certain criminal cases have a life of their own. Despite the passage of years they continue their hold on the public imagination, either because of the personalities involved, the depravity of the crime, doubts over whether justice was done, or the tantalizing fact that no one was ever caught…

Now John Douglas, the foremost investigative analyst and criminal profiler of our time, turns his attention to eight of the greatest mysteries in the history of crime, including those of Jack the Ripper, The Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Taking a fresh look at the established facts, Douglas and Olshaker dismantle the conventional wisdom regarding these most notorious of crimes and rebuild them – with astonishing results.

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1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.

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TWO GIRLS GO TO A PARTY, ONLY ONE RETURNS ALIVE
Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .
Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.
And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.

EACH ONE OF THEM IS SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER AND THE POLICE MUST GIVE THEIR FAMILIES JUSTICE AND CLOSURE

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evansof the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.
There is evidence of an illegal drinking club run by a shadowy group of men, who are grooming teenagers. And the team come across a sinister former hospital called Windrush which seems to house many dark secrets.
Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the shocking ending.

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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 in hospital from a coma 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?

I couldn’t resist adding Remember Me by Lynda Renham to my TBR pile after reading Jo’s fabulous review for this book over at https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com

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A new neighbour becomes a new friend. She looks up to you. She admires you, but is it you she wants? You begin to wonder if she wants your husband, or even your child. But then you realise, she wants your life.

When Sharni and Tom move into 24 The Pines, it seems like Clare and Chris have the perfect neighbours. Sharni is always there to help, especially with childcare for Clare’s two-year-old, Ben. But Clare can’t shake off the feelings of anxiety that assail her whenever Sharni is near. Is Clare just being overprotective, or are her feelings justified? As Sharni‘s influence touches everyone around her, Clare finds herself fighting for her sanity as well her family.

ARC’s I’ve received

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/14/blog-tour-the-escape-by-c-l-taylor-review-authorinterview-callytaylor-helenasheffield/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/16/blog-tour-last-breath-by-robert-bryndza-bookreview-bookouture-robertbryndza/

Next week on the book review café

Cover reveal and a fabulous Giveaway The Art Of Fear by Pamela Crane

**Blog tour** Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell

The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury #Review

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #Review

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton #Review

**Blog Tour** The Escape by C.L. Taylor #Review #AuthorInterview @callytaylor @HelenaSheffield

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on The Escape by C.L. Taylor blog tour, and my god I absolutely loved this psychological thriller, I’ve always enjoyed this authors books, but without doubt this is definitely her best book yet. The Escape was published by Avon in March so you don’t even have to wait to get yourselves a copy of this gripping book.

You can read my review further down this post, but first I have an exclusive Q & A with C.L. Taylor which I’m so excited to share with you all.

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Hi Cally I’m so excited to have you on my blog so welcome to The Book Review Café Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you for having me! My name is Cally Taylor and I live in Bristol with my partner and son. I started my writing career writing romantic comedies as Cally Taylor then, when I was on maternity leave with my son I had an idea for a psychological thriller. That book was The Accident and I have now written four psychological thrillers for Avon HarperCollins and I’m contracted to write three more. My second psychological thriller The Lie has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane. In addition to The Escape which was published in March I also have a young adult thriller The Treatment which will be published by HarperCollins HQ in September.

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Escape can you provide us with an introduction?
The Escape is about a woman called Jo Blackmore who lives in Bristol with her partner Max and their two year old daughter Elise. Jo suffers from agoraphobia and her life is filled with anxiety and fear. One day, when she’s about to get into her car, a stranger asks her for a lift. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband and she got a glove belonging to Elise. Feeling threatened Jo turns to her husband for support but Max is dismissive. He’s seen Jo overreact to situations before. Jo tries to forget about what happened but the stranger has other ideas. She thinks that Max has something that belongs to her and she won’t stop hounding the Blackmore’s until she gets it back…

Where did the idea for The Escape come from?
I got the idea for The Escape from a local news story. I follow Avon and Somerset Constabulary on Facebook and noticed an update asking for help finding a woman who’d gone on the run with her young son instead of turning up at court to hand over residency of him. As members of the public commented that they’d look out for her the woman’s family told them not to. They said she wasn’t a danger to her son, she was actually protecting him by running away. That made me wonder how I’d feel if I had to go on the run to keep my child safe.

What made you decide to have all the titles of your book begin with “The”?

I didn’t! My title for my first psychological thriller was An End to Silence but my publisher felt that The Accident would be more impactful. The book sold so well that, when it came time to name my second book, my publisher suggested we stick with ‘The…’ title and that book became The Lie. Now all of my books have ‘The…’ titles!

How did you research material for The Escape?

The Escape is my most heavily researched book to date. It took me three months of research before I wrote a word. I talked to a GP, a social worker, a family lawyer, an IT specialist, a journalist and an expert in Irish policing. I also travelled across to Ireland to research locations for the second part of the book and went to dinner with two Irish blogger who answered my questions about life in Ireland now and in the 1980s.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I have to have warm feet when I’m writing so I keep a pair of skiing socks close by. I also have a soundtrack to each novel I write. I can’t write to lyrics so will pick an instrumental or film soundtrack album that matches the mood of the novel then I’ll play it on a loop each time I sit down to write. I sometimes have a scented candle burning too (different for each book).

My favourite character in The Escape has to be Jo, Who was your favourite character to write about?

I loved Jo but she was exhausting to write because she’s so anxious all the time and you have to channel the emotions that your character is feeling. I really enjoyed writing Max as I wrote him in the third person and that’s the first time I’ve used that point of view in one of my novels.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

The emails from authors telling me that one of my novels made them fall in love with reading again, or even that one of my books has ignited a love of reading. When people tell me that they’ve never finished a book before or they normally struggle to read but they sped through one of my books it’s the biggest compliment I could ever be given. Reading those emails always makes me feel very emotional.

On the other side, what would you say is the most challenging part of writing?

Sitting down to write when you’re not in the mood or when you know you’ve got a difficult scene to tackle. At times like those I wish I could magic the words out of my head and onto the screen.

Who is/are your favourite author/authors? What is it that draws you, as a reader, to certain books?
My favourite author as a child was Enid Blyton. Her Magic Faraway Tree series so was so magical it fired my imagination. As an adult I’m a big fan of George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Maggie O’Farrell, Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards and Tammy Cohen. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to certain books – it’s normally a writer’s style or voice that draws me in first, then it’s their storytelling ability (they have to write a page turner) and then there’s the subject matter. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian novels which explains George Orwell and Margaret Atwood and I enjoyed the Hunger Games series too.

Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?

My next book is actually my debut YA thriller THE TREATMENT. I recently completed the edits and it’s due to be published by HarperCollins HQ in September 2017. It’s about a young woman called Drew who tries to rescue her younger brother from being brainwashed at a remote residential reform school in Northumberland. In April I’m due to start my fifth psychological thriller for Avon but, as I haven’t written a word, I can’t tell you about that yet!

And lastly can you describe yourself in five words?
Tall, tired, creative, determined, introvert.

My Thanks to Cally Taylor for taking time out of her hectic schedule to answer my questions.

img_1639C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of four gripping psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING and THE ESCAPE. Her books have sold in excess of a million copies, been translated into over 20 languages and have been shortlisted for three Dead Good Books awards. THE LIE has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane.

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

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Links:

http://www.callytaylor.co.uk
http://writing-about-writing.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/CallyTaylorAuthor

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Book description

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger.

img_1258It’s not very often it happens but The Escape by C L Taylor left me with a serious book hangover, I picked up this book thinking I would just read the first couple of chapters, BIG MISTAKE as three hours later I reached the final page in this addictive psychological thriller. There are a huge number of books in this genre so for me the difference between a good psychological thriller and an outstanding one is the authors ability to mess with my head, a plot that contains suspense and “edge of your seat moments” and C L Taylor manages this and so much more with this addictive novel.

The author presents the reader with an unreliable narrator in the shape of Jo Blackmore, a young mother whose behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, she’s neurotic, has panic attacks and she’s paranoid. Unreliable narrators are one of my favourite types of characters and so I was immediately drawn to her tale, unpredictable she also appears to be losing her grip on reality so you are never quite sure what to believe. When she is threatened by a young woman Jo’s life begins to unravel in the most spectacular fashion. You cannot help questioning is what Jo going through real?, is she really in danger? Or is she misinterpreting events? I found I became totally immersed in Jo’s tale, her sense of fear is palatable from the first chapter and this grows as the plot progresses. It’s a disturbing yet believable study of family, lies, and deception and the overwhelming need to “Escape” from the harsh realities of life.

The chapters told in the voice of an unknown narrator add a sense of malice and danger to the tale, and it was these chapters that completely threw me. In fact when I finished reading The Escape I went back and re-read them, a very clever and deceiving ploy by the author I have to say. Wickedly told and fast paced this is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. C L Taylor delivers the most deliciously devious plot that will throw the reader at every twisted turn, even the most hardened psychological thrillers readers will struggle to put this one down. In my opinion C L Taylor’s writing goes from strength to strength, each of her books is worthy of high praise but The Escape is definitely my favourite so far and I’m already excited to see if her next book can beat this truly gripping read.

Print Length: 433 pages

Publisher: Avon (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

If you want to read further reviews on this gripping book, you may want to check out some of my fellow bloggers posts…..
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Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl #BookReview @nicholl06

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Book description

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

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

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

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

Print Length: 60 pages

Publication Date: April 1, 2017

Amazon UK 🇬🇧