Love Me Not by M. J. Arlidge #BookReview @mjarlidge 

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Book description

She Loves Me
A woman’s body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother?

She Loves Me Not
Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer’s choices?

She Loves Me
Who lives? Who dies? Who’s next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not
If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own …

img_1258 Love Me Not by M.J Arlidge is the seventh book in the Helen Grace series, and personally I wouldn’t say it’s the best one in the series, but it’s a worthy contender. This book isn’t as dark as previous books in the series, but it’s certainly got the “thrilling” element that I enjoy so much in a crime thriller. The plot focuses on a series of murders that happen over a day. At first they appear to be random acts of terrible violence but it soon becomes apparent to Helen and her team they are anything but, what follows is an intense and heart thumping read.

The author expertly presents the reader with short, concise chapters time stamped over a twenty four hour period which give a sense of urgency to the plot. In Love Me Not we get to see a very different side to Helen’s personality she is suspicious and feels isolated from her team, which lead to conflict within her team. This book has a very different feel to previous books in the series, but I mean that in a good way it feels fresh and vibrate and made it all the more exciting to read.

As the killing spree intensifies Love Me Not makes for a chilling read , even more so when the reasons behind the killings are revealed. As the investigation intensifies this is very much a cat and mouse crime thriller that will keep you on tenterhooks until you reach the last thrilling chapter. This maybe the seventh book in the series but it’s still a series that has plenty to offer, the plots are surprising, the characters have evolved and M J Ardlidge writing shows no signs of getting stagnant or repetitive.

Print Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Penguin (18 May 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

**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 Souls by Angela Marsons #BookReview @bookouture @writeangie

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Book description

The truth was dead and buried…until now.

When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy – and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?

img_1258Dead Souls is the sixth book in the Kim Stone series, now normally when I get to this point in a book series I find it can lose its shine, things become predictable, the writing repetitive, well you get the picture. Fortunately this isn’t the case with Dead Souls by the super talented Angela Marsons. If anything this book is much darker than previous books
and just as gripping, it’s a cliche but this really is the best book in the series yet, and that takes some doing as each book has been an exceptional read.

Angela Marsons takes a bold step in my humble opinion and changes the dynamics in Kim’s team, as she is forced to work a separate case to her colleagues. In Dead Souls her team come into their own and you feel like you get to know each character in the team as individuals foibles and all and rather that distract from the plot, it actually gave a fresh approach to the series. Of course Kim Stone still has a large part to play and she’s still one of my favourite crime series detectives, as she doesn’t hold back with her thoughts or opinions, throughout this series she has always come across as a control freak, but in Dead Souls she has to allow her team to make decisions for themselves which may just make or break the team.

Dead Souls deals with a very topical and disturbing subject, which at times made for an uncomfortable read, but at the same time it’s one that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let you go to the last heart pumping chapter. As you would expect Angela Marsons masterfully builds on the suspense and intrigue, so much so I really couldn’t swipe the pages on my kindle quick enough as I attempted and failed miserably to guess where this dark and thrilling tale was leading. It’s obvious from the off the author has researched the subject of this novel in great depth which makes for an authentic and disconcerting read.

What I like about Angela Marsons is that she writes stories that challenge and shock, she isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what we expect. She writes with grit, enthusiasm and passion and manages to deliver on all fronts. Would I recommend this book? Hell yes I certainly would, and personally I’m off to hibernate until the next book in this thrilling series is published.

Print Length: 387 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (28 April 2017)

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Dead Souls 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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You can pre-order your copy of Dead Souls here……

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

**Blog Tour** Last Breath by Robert Bryndza #BookReview @Bookouture @RobertBryndza

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Today I’m super excited and it’s not just because I’ve got a  mountain of Easter Eggs to eat my way through, but it’s also the day I’m able to share my review for the fabulous and gripping Last Breath by Robert Bryndza. Last Breath was published by Bookouture on the 12th of April so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy of the 4th book in the series, and if you haven’t already read the previous books in the series I would highly recommend each and everyone of them.

Book description

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual. Establishing his trust with the victims by forming online relationships questions her own ability to solve the case her abrasive side makes way for a much more vulnerable Erika

img_1258As anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of Robert Bryndza and have been known to be a tad over enthusiastic with my reviews so I will keep it fairly short plot 5 ⭐characters 5⭐, did I like it? 💯% yes! Job done!

But just in case you really want to know what I thought of Last Breath feel free to read on…………

Oh my giddy aunt Robert Bryndza never fails to surprise me, just when I convinced myself the Detective Erika Foster series couldn’t possibly get any better, he delivers another belter of a book. Last Breath is the 4th book in the Detective Erika Foster series and although it can be read as a standalone I would recommend you read this series in order just because there such a cracking good read. I’m going to say it again but this is definitely the best book in the series (until the next book anyway). Each time this author writes a book he raises the bar and I’m not sure how he’s going to top this one but I have no doubt he will.

The author doesn’t hold back and Last Breath opens with a spine chilling prologue that pretty much sets the pace for this gripping read. When the body of a tortured young woman is found in a dumpster it’s up to Erika and her team to find the killer before he finds new victims, but first she will have to fight to secure her place on the investigation team. It’s great to see Erika back she’s a character whom I’ve come to love, in many ways she’s your typical fictional detective, she’s feisty, isn’t afraid to kick ass, but over the series the author has developed her vulnerable side and in Last Breath we see a side of her personality I really wasn’t expecting.

As I suspected the author has created one sick and sadistic individual, this is a serial killer who will chill you to the bone, as to their motive for committing such heinous crimes they really are a twisted soul. A serial killer stalking their victims on social media, makes for a very credible plot. After all how often do you look at social media sites and wonder why people share so much of their personal life on line for everyone to see, it’s frightening to see how much you can learn about a person without them even being aware of unwelcome visitors trawling their posts. In fact I became so paranoid after reading Last Breath I checked all my own personal settings on social media!

Robert Bryndza doesn’t waste words he takes the reader to the heart of the story, as I said before his writing is so descriptive it brings Last Breath to life, especially the crime scenes, they are so vivid you feel like your there amid the horrific scenes, so much so my stomach was churning at times. The authors style of writing leaves you with a constant sense of unease and foreboding which you just can’t shake off no matter how hard you try.

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.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Last Breath the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is the authors third book to get this award. It’s 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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Print Length: 281 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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About the author

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now buy the fourth, Last Breath which was published on April 12th 2017.

Robert’s books have sold over 1.7 million copies, and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

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You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

If you want to follow the rest of the blog tour……

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**Cover Reveal** Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell @Bookouture @Caroline_writes

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WHOOP, WHOOP this evening I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover for the super awesome Caroline Mitchell’s latest book SLEEP TIGHT. Sleep Tight is the second book in the series featuring Detective Ruby Preston and this is a series that is going from strength to strength, this book is a hell of a read and one I would definitely recommend and don’t you just love the cover?

Sleep Tight is published on the 20th April 2017 by one of my favourite publishers Bookouture. So want to know more about this gripping and not to be missed crime read? Then read on………..

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?

A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.

What readers are saying about the Ruby Preston series

Oh my friggin God! Thisssss booooook! Su-bloody-perb! …a quadruple #HellYeah recommendation from me! Tantalisingly terrifying, twisted, and dark’ Crime Book Junkie

Just superb!! I can tell you, you will NOT know the ending until you get there!! It’s a shocker!’ Next Book Review

‘OMG what a corker of a book. I absolutely love Ruby. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough … Loved it, loved it, loved it.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

Compelling, absorbing, chilling, gruesome and freakishly brilliant. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews (5*)

‘Ruby is an excellent character. Real, raw and utterly relatable’ Bibliophile Book Club (4*)

‘Caroline Mitchell creates some seriously dark and scary stuff ‘StefLoz Book Reviews

‘Fast paced, great lead character and twists and turns, what more could you ask for?’ Worcester Source (4*)

‘It will certainly have you holding your breath on more than one occasion… I really can’t wait for more from this series.’ Victoria Wilkinson – I Love Reading

Oh my God…this book blew me away! Kept me hooked right till the last page’ The Book Guzzler (5*)

‘Ruby, well she’s just in a league of her own. She shows so much strength yet I love the vulnerable side to her’ By The Letter Book Reviews (5*)

‘I think I pretty much held my breath through the last few chapters! There are twists and turns aplenty and it’s packed full of action and suspense’ Chat About Books (5*)

‘It’s a compelling and dark read; it gives you thrills, it gives you the fear and it gives you all the twists and turns you are looking for’ Chapterinmylife (5*)

A thrilling ride that blurs the boundary of what is right and what is wrong. The plot is terrifying yet somehow heartbreaking’ Kitty Catalyst – Bibliophile (5*)

About Caroline

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.

www.caroline-writes.com

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

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

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Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson #BookReview @OrendaBooks @ragnarjo

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Book description

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…

In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson is the fourth book in the Dark Iceland series and bad blogger that I am I have skipped two, not because I haven’t wanted to read them, it’s more to do with the fact that I have so many books on my TBR pile I just haven’t had the time, but when I received a very special hardback signed edition in a competition over at http://bluebookballoon.blogspot.com
I just had to bump this one to the top of my TBR pile and I’m so glad I did.

img_1258Rupture is a crime thriller that feels like a breath of fresh air, it has much more to offer than the average crime thriller, for me this novel is beautifully written with a well crafted plot, this is Nordic crime noir at it’s best. I’m normally a reader who loves a crime read to be fast paced, which I don’t consider Rupture to be, but what I loved about this novel was the authors incredible gift of being able to pull the reader into his plot and build on the suspense and mystery leaving me eager to read more. Sometimes I struggle with novels that have been translated as the writing can feel stilted or the heart of the story gets lost in translation, but Rupture proves that it can be done successfully, in fact I found it difficult to believe this book was written in anything but English.

Ragnar Jónasson’s writing is beautifully descriptive, he describes the town of Siglufjöróur in great detail, so it’s easy to imagine the bleakness and claustrophobic atmosphere that surrounds the small Icelandic town, as the town is quarantined from a deadly virus, the sense of unease and isolation are palatable. Ari Thór is asked to investigate a suspected murder from the 1950’s, and with the town in quarantine he finds himself with plenty of time on his hands, and as he begins to investigate the case it soon becomes clear that not everything is as it seems. The author intricately adds various plots to the story, but in doing so he adds layer upon layer of mystery to the story which kept me captivated to the last page. Despite the numerous threads the author expertly weaves them into an absorbing and suspense filled plot.

The author even manages to make his characters multi dimensional and complex, so much so you can’t help but feel a connection to them, I especially liked Ari Thor whose life doesn’t appear to run to plan, but never the less he’s a very intriguing character. There are no shocking or fast paced scenes in Rupture, but the author expertly builds on the atmosphere with every sentence he writes whilst maintaining the suspense and mystery. Rupture reads like a classic who dunnit, but that’s a good thing in my opinion and one of the things that make Rupture standout from other crime thriller reads. For me Rupture is refreshingly different amid all the crime thrillers on the market, beautifully and eloquently written it conjures up breathtaking images of a stark landscape that beg to be visited. Chilling, complex and addictive I would highly recommend Rupture to anyone looking for a unique crime thriller.

Print Length: 253 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (24 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen at Orenda books, David at BlueBookBalloon and Ragnar Jónasson for my treasured signed hardback of Rupture. 

**Book Of The Month** February 2017

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Now we’re in March it’s time for me to look back at February’s reads and choose my Book Of The Month for February 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.

I read some outstanding books in February, but there is one clear winner this month. This book had all the elements I look for when reading books, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense. So without further ado the book I have choosen is………..

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A Room Full Of Killers by Michael Wood

A Room Full Of Killers is the third book in the DCI Matilda Darke series and in my opinion Michael Wood’s writing goes from strength to strength with each book he writes. It may sound cliched but it’s definitely the best book to date in the series, it’s much darker and definitely more disturbing than his previous books. You can read my full review here……..
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/07/a-room-full-of-killers-by-michael-wood-bookreview-michaelhwood-killerreads/