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

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. 

The Promise by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture

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Book description

Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life.

When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.

Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money.

Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.

img_1258My oh my I’m really not sure where to begin with this review, Casey Kelleher writes what I call grit lit. The Promise by Casey Kelleher certainly falls into this category, I wasn’t expecting a “heartes and flowers” kind of read, and I wasn’t wrong, in fact due to the subject matter it sometimes made for a very uncomfortable read, but my god I have to say it was also a gripping one. Josie Parker is a repeat drug offender, a heroin addict and a prostitute, she’s bringing up her two daughters in the most damaging way. Georgie and Marnie know violence first hand, they know what it’s like to be hungry, and scared, they have to endure the very darkest side of life. Then you have Javine a seventeen year old who meets the wrong man. At first Javine is taken in by a man who treats her like a princess but she soon finds her dreams turn to dust, when she realises she is in the clutches of a powerful and violent pimp. As the two stories collide in the most dramatic way The Promise makes for a riveting read.

The story is a slow starter but in the authors defence she concentrates on developing her characters and my god she does it brilliantly, you can’t help being drawn into the characters life’s, love them or hate them they all have a part to play. I found my opinions of various characters changing as the plot developed, I don’t want to spoil the plot but suffice to say some of the characters I started out disliking managed to redeem themselves by the end of the book. As for Georgie and Marnie they are the stars of the book despite their awful life’s they remain resilient and feisty, determined to protect each other from bad things, at times my heart broke for the two girls, yes they are characters, but Casey Kelleher writes about very real subjects and it makes me  very sad to think that this issome children’s  reality.

As the plot reaches midway it picks up the pace I found myself desperate to read more I so wanted Georgie and Marnie to find their “happy ever after”. Casey Kelleher paints a vivid and believable picture of the seedier side of life, this is an author who isn’t afraid to tackle the most difficult subjects head on, she paints an ugly and brutal picture which at times made for a harrowing read. Trust me this really isn’t a book for the faint hearted due to the subject matter, abuse, violence, prostitution all find there way into this book. The Promise could have been a very depressing read, but fortunately the author offers the reader hope amid the horror. In my opinion this is the authors best book yet, despite the difficult subject matter it’s one that’s hard to put down, thanks to Casey Kelleher’s ability to create such believable characters you will find yourself captivated by the two little girls willing them on through troubled times. Would I recommend this book? I certainly would especially if you enjoy a gritty realistic read.

Print Length: 363 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Feb. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry #BookReview #BookShelfReads 

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Book description

Emily and Elizabeth spend their childhood locked in a bedroom and terrorized by a mother who drinks too much and disappears for days. The identical twins are rescued by a family determined to be their saviors.

But there’s some horrors love can’t erase…

Elizabeth wakes in a hospital, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak. The last thing she remembers is finding Emily’s body in their bathroom. Days before, she was falling in love and starting college. Now, she’s surrounded by men who talk to themselves and women who pull out their eyebrows.

As she delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Emily’s death, she discovers shocking secrets and holes in her memory that force her to remember what she’s worked so hard to forget—the beatings, the blood, the special friends. Her life spins out of control at a terrifying speed as she desperately tries to unravel the psychological puzzle of her past before it’s too late.

img_1258When I picked up Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry I didn’t have any preconceived thoughts about this book as the author was a new one to me, it was the book description that enticed me to pick this one up, I’m always drawn to books that explore the human psyche and Phantom Limb explores the very subject with both empathy and understanding. I expected a psychological thriller with twists and turns and bucketfuls of suspense, but what I never expected was to read such a raw and emotive tale that at times made for a disturbing and deeply tragic tale. I think it’s only fair to point out this book covers many themes, self harming, childhood abuse and mental health issues to name but a few, although while it never felt gratuitous within the context of the story, it may upset some readers.

Elizabeth finds herself on a psychiatric ward after the death of her twin sister Emily, she has no memories of past events apart from being the one who found Emily dead. Firstly Elizabeth has to cope with the loss of not only her sister but her best friend, but she also needs to confront her past however painful that maybe, if she ever hopes to leave the confines of a psychiatric ward. Much of the novel is told around Elizabeth’s time on a secure psychiatric ward, the author describes the scenes, emotions and characters in a very credible way. Phantom Limb is very much a character driven story so if you were hoping for a fast paced read this definitely isn’t the book for you. Lucinda Berry gives a very authentic insight into mental illness and how childhood trauma can affect a person years after the fact, she expertly uses her clinical experience to create a psychological thriller that on the whole makes for a realistic read.

Reading about Elizabeth and Emily’s traumatic childhood made for a very uncomfortable read at times, as you learn more about their past I couldn’t help but care about these characters and what happened to them. What I did find intriguing was how despite them being twins, each sister reacted very differently to their childhood trauma.This is a fairly short book and I read it in almost one sitting, as Elizabeth begins to unravel her lost memories it made for a tension filled read. Although I found Phantom Limb to be a dark and disturbing read,  I did think  it would have more twists and turns to truly mess with the reader’s head, for me this book swayed heavily on the mystery side. I wouldn’t consider this to be an enjoyable read due to some of the subject matter, but I would say it’s an intriguing read with plenty of mystery.

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Print Length: 260 pages

Publisher: Rise Press (17 Jan. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter #BookReview

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Book description

A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.

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I must be the last book blogger on the planet to read The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech, I think the reason it took me so long to read it was because everyone was saying how fabulous it was, now normally I usually find a book with so much praise leaves me feeling disappointed, but this wasn’t the case, so now every book blogger can say “I told you so”. I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.

This book is about Bernadette, a young woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who happens to befriend Conor, a 10-year-old who has spent all his life in foster care. The same night Bernadette’s husband Richard doesn’t come home, Conor also disappears. What happened to Richard and where has Connor gone? What follows is a gripping and deeply emotional read. Conor is a young boy who has spent his life being passed around the care system, he is desperate to be part of a loving family, as I read Conor’s life story told in book form I couldn’t help hoping he would find his “happy ever after”. The way the author tells Connor’s life story is ingenious, I felt for every child who has been through the care system, the writing is so expressive and credible I found myself in tears on more than one occasion.

Although this book deals with difficult issues of abandonment and abuse it’s a story of hope, compassion and the beauty of good people wanting to help others, it examines the meaning of family and explores how far a person is willing to go for the people they love. The Mountain In My Shoes is like no other psychological thriller I have ever read, it has depth but it’s also heartwarming and captivating.

This book has so many elements that made it such a special read, characters, settings, the attention to detail, the workings of the foster system all make this book something extra special. Louise Beech describes both characters and settings with such conviction the pages of this story come to life. Hauntingly poignant I really did not want this book to end, and I’m sure the characters will stay with me for a long time to come. On reflection The Mountain In My Shoes deserves all its hype and much more, would I recommend this book? Hell yes I will be recommending this book to everyone (who hasn’t read it yet!)

I won’t be giving The Mountain In My Shoes 5 star’s but I will be giving it the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the first book of 2017 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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Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda (30 Sept. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen over at Orenda Books  for my copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Orenda books have published some of the books I have ever read and personally I can’t wait to see what books this publisher has to offer the reader in 2017.

Snatched From Home by Graham Smith @caffeinenights @GrahamSmith1972 #BookReview

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Book description

Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas’ gambling debts. Penniless and desperate the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom.

Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. Evans is fighting against enforced retirement and his replacement – DI John Campbell – is foisted upon him along with other cases. If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes.

In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. If they don’t pay up on time the kidnappers have threatened to amputate their children’s limbs with an oxy-acetylene torch.

Can they save their children before time runs out?

img_1248Snatched From Home by Graham Smith was my first read of 2017, and I’m kicking myself! Why oh why did I leave this book sat on my poor forsaken bookshelf for so long? I can now see why fellow blogger Noelle over at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk raves about this author, so thank you Noelle for introducing me to the fabulous Graham Smith, an author I haven’t read before, but rest assured I will be looking to read the rest of the books in this series.

Snatched From Home is like a breath of fresh air, as anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge crime fan, everything about this book is highly original,  the plot, characters and dialogue all made for an exciting read. Parents Victoria and Nicholas have to face their worse fears when their two children are kidnapped, if they want them back they will have to pay Nicholas’s  gambling debt. With little chance of raising the money, Victoria will do anything to get them back even if it means breaking the law. What follows is a hell of a read, fast paced with bucketfuls of suspense.

What I loved about this book were the eclectic bunch of characters, especially DI Harry Evans although I started out disliking him he grew on me as the story progressed. He’s certainly an original character, larger than life, better known for his insubordination and disregard for following procedures, his extremely unpolitical views and so much more, but he’s a character that will make you laugh, make you cringe, but will also have you rooting for him. As he’s about to retire DI John Campbell Is brought into replace him, as different as chalk and cheese the dialogue between the pair makes for a humorous read at times. Harry’s way of working may be far from perfect but he gets results, but in his last case before more retirement has he bit off more than he can chew?

The story is told in short snappy chapters which add a sense of urgency to the plot, there are subplots within this novel which can sometimes hamper rather than add to a story, but Graham Smith very cleverly intertwined the plots making for a fast paced read. The plot is fast paced, nail-biting with fascinating characters. I also loved the fact this book has a large dose of humour thrown highlighted through its characters and dialogue, despite the serious crimes taking place I found myself chuckling away, which I never expect when reading a crime thriller. So if you are a lover of a highly original crime thriller I would suggest you add this book to your TBR pile, but PLEASE make sure you put it to the top of the pile, you won’t be disappointed I promise.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing (19 Mar. 2015)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧            Amazon US 🇺🇸