#Blogblitz Dying Day by Stephen Edger #Review @StephenEdger @Bookouture

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the Dying Day by the awesome and very talented Stephen Edger #Blogbitz tour. Dying Day is published by one of my very favourite publishers on the planet Bookouture. You don’t even have to wait to buy yourself a copy of this gripping crime thriller as it was published yesterday, so you can hop over to Amazon and “click” the buy now button, before you do you might just want to read my review or maybe not!

Book description

Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge…

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken…

Mysterious sympathy cards sent to the victims’ families finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?

An absolutely heart-stopping crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, James Patterson and M.J. Arlidge.

My review

Flipping heck I just loved Dying Day it’s much darker and than the first book in the series, and do you know what? that’s just the way I like a crime thriller to be, make of that what you will! Dying Day is the second book in the Detective Kate Matthews series, personally I think this book could be read as a standalone, but if like me you prefer starting a series at the beginning it’s definitely worth reading Dead To Me  first. Stephen Edger draws the reader in with a prologue that leaves you desperate to learn more and keeps you in his clutches until you reach the “OMG I never saw that coming” conclusion.

Dying Day has an extremely spine tingling premise, Young women brutally murdered and left naked, exposed, in public places. As the body count rises Detective Kate Matthews is determined to connect the killer to past crimes which resulted in Amy a young Detective being killed whilst under cover hunting down the killer. If I’m honest, I disliked Kate’s character in Dead To Me but I was surprised to find she’s actually growing on me. Burdened by guilt over the death of Amy, she is determined to seek justice for her by hook or by crook. Her feelings of guilt give her a sense of vulnerability that was lacking in the previous book.

I love the way the author has written this book alternating chapters that move between the current investigation and the POV of Amy before her death, the two threads work well and there’s a constant sense of unease reading about Amy, and the chapters around the police investigation add a sense of urgency to the plot. Perfectly paced, the author misdirects the reader at every opportunity which I just love in a crime thriller. I don’t know about you, but I’m left feeling slightly miffed when I guess the killer early in a book! Crime series are two a penny so for me to continue to invest in a series, each book has to be better than the last, and I’m thrilled to report Dying Day is a worthy addition to this series and I’m excited to see where the author goes from here.

Print Length: 326 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Nov. 2017)

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

Author links:   FacebookTwitterWebsite

Print Length: 326 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Nov. 2017)

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Cruel Secrets by Kerry Barnes #Review @KerryBarnes1

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Book description

A gripping thriller that will shock you to the core.

Controlled all her life by her religious mother, fifteen-year-old Kelly Raven commits the ultimate sin.
She soon discovers that running away to the cold, frightening streets of London is less harsh than her previous life.
A drug dealer, two fraudsters, and a prostitute are her new family now and she becomes the woman she was destined to be.

Little does she know that Eddie Raven is coming for her, but she is no sweet four-year-old child and he is certainly no doting father.
The Raven’s blood may run through her veins, but in her case, blood is not thicker than water.

My thanks to fellow book blogger Shell Baker over at Chellesbookreviews for recommending this author to me.

My review

I get so excited it when I come across a new author and even more so when When I pick up their book and it exceeds all my expectations. Cruel Secrets by Kerry Barnes falls into this category and WOW I can’t believe I haven’t picked up a book by this author before, in fact I’m kicking myself, how have I never heard of this author before? The author writes what I call “grit lit” and it’s a genre I really enjoy reading, Kerry Barnes writing has been likened to that of Martina Cole, I would agree there are some similarities but in my opinion the author has her own unique style that made Cruel Secrets an exciting and very gritty read.

What I really loved about Cruel Secrets was the abundance of characters, all of whom appear lager than life, you have the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Kelly is a brilliant character you can’t help rooting for her, as someone who starts off as the underdog I loved the way her character evolved, she’s a mass of contradictions gentle but tough, caring but hard as nails when people cross her, but she also has an air of vulnerability that make the people she meets along her journey want to care for her and protect her. Unfortunately her father Eddie Raven, the epitome of a gangster thug is definitely not a likeable character, in fact I ended up despising him, to the “why” I felt like this you will just have to read the book and see.

Cruel Secrets explores the underbelly of the crime world, so expect violence and plenty of swearing, for me this added a gritty authenticity to the plot. The author certainly knows how to write a story that packs a punch. From the first chapter it’s one of those books that just grabs your attention with a wicked plot and characters who get under your skin and worm their way into your heart (but definitely not Eddie Raven). Kerry Barnes brilliantly delivers a story of violence, treachery and family ties, a fab book to read and an impossible one to put down. I will definitely be pre-ordering the sequel Wicked Lies which will be published in 2018.

Print Length: 479 pages

Publisher: ONCE UPON A BOOK (1 Nov. 2017)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧Amazon US 🇺🇸

The Teacher by Katerina Diamond #Review

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Book description

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You’re wrong…

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

 

I must be one of the few book bloggers on the planet who hasn’t read The Teacher by Katerina Diamond, but I’ve finally rectified that. Prior to publication of The Teacher, I remember there was a lot of hype on social media regarding this book, add to that a tag line definitely “not for the faint-hearted hearted” and you would think I would have bought it straight away but no me being me I decided to wait until all the hype had died (excuse the pun!) down, also with a huge TBR pile I just never found the time I’m afraid.

My review

I really have mixed feelings about The Teacher it was a book I really enjoyed reading, but there was a small part of me that was expecting something far more gruesome, now this could be because I read such a large amount of crime books I’ve become accustomed to descriptions of murders that might turn other readers stomachs, but I really don’t think it was that disturbing or gruesome. On the other hand if you don’t like well described murder scenes this may not be the book for you I’m afraid.

To begin with I admit I found myself confused each chapter introduces new characters, so by the half way mark there were an array of characters that I found difficult to keep tabs on, but then it happened! The Teacher began to make sense and I realised just how clever the author had been, she set the scene and then cunningly bought all the characters together in a dark and troubling tale. From the title I pretty much had the plot worked out in my head, but rather like the book nothing was as it seemed and it wasn’t long before I realised I had been pretty much misdirected by the blurb.

The Teacher introduces a new partnership DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles, and I’m intrigued by the pair as I’ve come to expect in a crime thriller they both appear to be messed up, but I’m interested to see how there partnership will evolve over the series. The Teacher is very much about good V evil, I never expected to have any sympathy for a killer that could do such awful things to other people, but I did, as to the reasons why, well I’m not about to giveaway spoilers so you will just have to read the book and see.

Although I enjoyed The Teacher I did find it a slightly disappointing read, I think because of all the hype surrounding this book I expected something more, but in fairness that’s my problem and not the authors. I do think The Teacher was a great start to a new crime series, deliciously dark with an eclectic mix of characters and I will certainly read the next two books in the series at some point.

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Avon; UK (10 Mar. 2016)

A day in the life of author Peter James @peterjamesuk @panmacmillan

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Today I’m thrilled, scrap that I’m over the moon to have international crime thriller writer, the one and only Peter James share a day in his life with the book review café. I know it’s going to sound cliched but I’m a huge fan of Peter James and have been ever since I read my first book in the Roy Grace series. The latest book in the series Need You Dead is out in paperback right now. So without further ado hands up who wants to read A day in the life of author Peter James? Well here you go……..

As a writer, the easiest thing is to not write! To make a cup coffee.. phone a friend… open the post…. surf the internet…..walk the dogs… But I think continuity is really important and that you only get that by maintaining a rhythm. I write six days a week and break on Sundays, unless I am bang up against a deadline, I try to keep Sundays free to relax, walk the dogs for a long walk with my wife, and catch up on emails. I set myself a daily writing target of 1000 words, and I always recommend to writers who ask me for advice to also set a minimum number of words to reach. It should be an attainable target, 250 words a day, 500, 1,000, whatever you can manage, so you feel a sense of satisfaction at reaching or exceeding it, but I think a routine is essential if you want to take writing seriously.

I have offices in my Sussex and Notting Hill homes, but I can write anywhere. Thanks to laptops, my office has long ceased to be a concrete space and I can write on the move. I actually write really well on airplanes, in the back of a car and in hotel rooms.

My whole day is back to front… It goes back to the time when I was writing novels, whilst working full time in film and television as a screen writer and producer, so I had to make my “Me time” to write. Although I am an early riser, my real writing day starts at 6pm in the evening, when I mix a large vodka martini, with four olives, put on some music, turn off the phones, ignore emails and get into a “zone” for the next three and a half hours. After that Lara and I relax in front of the TV. In the morning, I’m up early and we take the dogs out and feed all our menagerie of animals. I either swim or run for 30 minutes. After breakfast, I revise what I wrote the night before and plan the next pages, and in the afternoon I break, walk the dogs, go for a bike ride, or play tennis or catch up social media and emails. My least favourite part of my job is my vast email mountain!

I plan a book carefully, it is really the first 20% that I plan in detail, along with the ending, which I always know, to give me a “road map” and the three high points – but after that I like events to happen spontaneously, and for the story to start to take on a life of its own – that is when, for me, the real excitement starts. I believe that if, as a writer, you do not surprise yourself, you aren’t going to surprise your readers!

Your readers expect more from you than just a story with a beginning, middle and end, and interesting characters. They want to be thrilled, entertained, scared, perhaps, but they also want to learn from you. They want a little wisdom from you, insights into our world. So you must learn. I set myself a challenge of trying to learn something new every day. Ghandi said something I think is very beautiful and very true: “Live as if you were to die Tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

I have a number of passions when I am not working, I love to read as much as possible, play tennis, run, swim, ski, cycle spend time with my wife, and race cars! It helps me to switch off on the motor racing circuit because I really have to concentrate. I race classic cars – currently a 1965 BMW, a 1958 Austin A35, a 1958 Fiat Abarth and a 1965 Mini. I have a huge passion for good food, good wine and good company!

I collect old gadgets and smoking memorabilia, as well as wine and rare whiskies. I love animals, and we have a menagerie at home with dogs, alpacas, emus, ducks and hens. I love spending time with my animals. They’re a great “normaliser” after the dark stories I write. It is wonderfully therapeutic to hand-feed the alpacas and emus and stroke them. There is something amazing about the simplicity of the lives of animals. A reminder to us all of the magical world of nature and a great respite of the darkness that is out there in the world so often.

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About Peter James

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Peter James is an international bestselling thriller writer. He is a New York Times bestseller, as well as having 11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1s, and he is published in 37 languages. His DS Roy Grace crime novels have sold 18 million copies worldwide. Prior to becoming a full-time author, he was responsible for 25 movies. In 1994 Penguin published his novel, ‘Host’, on two floppy discs as the world’s first electronic novel. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the coveted 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence, and he was publicly voted by WH Smith – Britain’s biggest book selling chain – The Best Crime Author Of All Time. Visit Peter James on YouTube: http://www.peterjames.com/youtube

My thanks to Peter James for his fabulous post.

You can learn more about the authors books here….Peter James author page Amazon

The Roy Grace series

 

 

#BlogBlitz Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell #Review @Caroline_writes @Bookouture

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Today I’m may just be a little over excited because not only do I get to share my review for a gripping book, but  I’m also one of many bloggers taking part in the #BligBlitz for Murder Games by the awesome Caroline Mitchell, so make sure you check out all the reviews. Murder Game was published by the fabulous Bookouture on the 31st October 2017.

Murder Game is the third book in the Detective Ruby Preston series and it’s a series I would highly recommend. My thanks to Noelle at https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk and Bookouture for my ARC and allowing me to be part of the #BlogBlitz. 

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Book description

To catch a killer, you must first think like one…

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die.

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

My review

I will say one thing for Caroline Mitchell her books always open wth an prologue that immediately draws you in with a promise of a dark and deviously plotted tale and Murder Game is no different. Hells bells once I read the epilogue for this one I knew it was going to be a read “in one sitting” kind of book and I wasn’t wrong! This is the third book in the Detective Ruby Preston and although you could probably read it as a standalone I would urge you to read the series in order, just because it’s such a well written crime thriller series.

The author has used her very vivid imagination to come up with a deliciously dark and brutal plot, and what a disturbing killer the author has created, especially when you consider the fact once the victims are captured, the killer sends clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, and dead. As the investigation intensifies Detective Ruby Preston can’t help but think the killer is following in the footsteps of notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, who murdered six women in exactly the same gruesome way? Ruby certainly has her work cut out in Murder Games as she tries to bring one killer to justice, whilst trying to keep one step ahead of the devil himself psychopath Mason Gatley.

It must be difficult when writing a crime thriller to devise a Detective that stands out from the norm, more often than not they end up being your typical stereotype. Fortunately the author manages to add an original slant to her character by putting her in a relationship with gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby. At some point you know her relationship with Nathan will go spectacularly wrong and put her career in jeopardy, but the not knowing why are how just makes their relationship all the more interesting.

The author’s background in the police force adds authenticity to Murder Game, Caroline Mitchell very much brings the brutal crime scenes, the investigation and police procedures to life, which at times make for a disconcerting read. The plot is fast paced very much like the investigation, and I’m sure my heart was pounding as Murder Game reached its dramatic conclusion. I think this is the most gruesome book in the series, shocking and gristly in parts and never a dull moment that’s for sure, for me personally, they make the perfect crime thriller read. I’m devastated to learn this will be the last book in the series, as it has huge potential, but Caroline Mitchell has ended the series on a high and Murder Games is a worthy addition to this gripping and highly addictive crime series.

Print Length: 285 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (31 Oct. 2017)
Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. 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. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Author Social Media Links:
www.caroline-writes.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3076677.Caroline_Mit
https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes
www.pinterest.com/Writeparanormal
https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

 

 

If you want to learn more or buy the other books in the series you can find them here……..Detective Ruby Preston series

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Broken Bones by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture

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Book description

They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

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My review

There are so many Crime detective series on the market that it’s almost impossible to keep up with them all. There are a few series that come high or hell water I wouldn’t miss the latest instalment of and Angela Marsons Detective Kim Stone series is one of them. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Broken Bones that I didn’t even read the book description, but then I have such faith in this author’s ability to deliver a riveting read. Was my faith misplaced? Hell no despite this book being the seventh in the series Angela Marsons has only gone and written another worthy nail biting addition to what is a compulsive series.

Detective Kim Stone is one of my favourite crime Detectives and I feel as the series has evolved so has her character, interestingly in Broken Bones there is more emphasis on Stacy and Dawson valuable members of Kim’s team. This works perfectly as the reader learns more about the dynamics of her team, and each character has a very different story to tell, so as the reader you feel a connection to the team as a whole.

I will say one thing for the author, she certainly doesn’t hang about and waste words, no siree Angela Marsons grabs the reader’s attention with a disturbing prologue, one which promises the reader an intense and unputdownable read. From the first page to the last the author keeps the reader firmly in her clutches, as Kim and her team investigate two crimes that involve human exploitation and cruelty you will be hard pressed to put this gripping book down. As usual the author doesn’t shy away from writing about difficult subjects, prostitution, modern day slavery, grooming to name but a few, but that’s what make her books so original there dark, gritty and disturbing, but one thing they can never be called is “dull”.

I could wax lyrical about Broken Bones from morning through to night the characters, the plot and the heart racing moments, and so much more but then in doing so I could possibly spoil the read for others, so all I’m going to say is “read this book at the earliest opportunity” and to those who have yet to read this series well your definitely missing out on one of the best crime series out there at the moment.

Pre-order links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 374 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (3 Nov. 2017)

Other books in the series:

 

 

 

 

 

**Cover Reveal* Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan @Bookouture @Lisalregan

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This evening  I’m soooo excited to be one of the many bloggers taking part in the cover reveal for Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan. This is definitely one book I MUST read, the book description plus the fabulous cover are screaming at me “read me now”, unfortunately Vanishing Girls is Not available just yet, so I’m just going to have to be patient like the rest of you. In case you were wondering Vanishing Girls will be published by the amazing Bookouture on the 18th January 2018.

Before I reveal the cover in all its glory here’s the book description.

Vanishing Girls: A totally heart-stopping crime thriller (Detective Josie Quinn gripping crime fiction series – Book 1)

She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni will be utterly gripped and sleeping with the lights on once they discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.

Impressed? I think this book sounds fantastic and without further ado here’s the fabulous cover…..

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I love this cover, it’s very ominous and slightly creepy, just the way I like them. What do you think? 

Pre-Order links:    

UK 🇬🇧: http://amzn.to/2gQn1on

US 🇺🇸: http://amzn.to/2hQp23w

About the author

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website: http://www.lisaregan.com

Connect with Lisa Regan here:

Website: www.lisaregan.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lisalregan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Regan-189735444395923/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443334.Lisa_Regan

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