Tag Archives: Crime

#ThisLittlePiggy by Rob Ashman #BlogBlitz @RobAshmanAuthor @Bloodhoundbook #MustReads

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Today I’m ecstatic to be finally sharing my review for This Little Piggy by Rob Ashman. What a cracking crime series this is turning out to be, but before I share my rather enthusiastic review, here’s the book description……

Kevin Palmer is a regular sort of guy, or he was until his life fell apart. His wife, his money, his business and his reputation are all taken away from him. He tries to fight back and ends up in prison.

 There he concocts elaborate fantasies to wreak vengeance. He is sent to work in an abattoir and the final piece of the jigsaw falls into place with chilling consequences. Then a cruel twist of fate changes everything.

 DI Rosalind Kray is battling her own demons having returned to work following a brutal attack. She finds herself on the trail of a sick and twisted killer and cracks the macabre pattern of murders. But her boss is unconvinced.

 Kray has Palmer squarely in her sights. But he has other ideas 

Can Kray break him in time to save the final victim?

 Time is running out.

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Ever since I read  Faceless the first book in the DCI Roz Kray crime series, I’ve been waiting with baited breath for the second book in this fabulous series. When ever Rob Ashman releases a new book I don’t even bother to read the book description any more because as far as I’m concerned I will read anything the author writes.  The authors books are gritty, dark, with elements of horror thrown in, there the kind of books if it were possible you would read hiding behind a cushion (it’s impossible I’ve tried) Although This Little Piggy can easily be read  as a stand-alone I would urge you to start at the beginning just because I would hate you to miss out on one of the best crime thriller series to be released this year. 

One thing I will say for Rob Ashman OMG he certainly knows how to catch the reader’s attention, with a opening chapter that’s guaranteed to make you squirm you find yourself eagerly devouring chapter after thrilling chapter.  All you need to know about this book lies in the book description, I’m not entering spoiler territory when I mention the author has taken a bold step by revealing the killer very early on in the book. Normally this would bother me,  as surely the reveal of the killer should be left to the last possible moment to build on the tension? Wrong! Robert Ashman doesn’t follow the rules where crime writing is concerned, he pushes the boundaries so you are never quite sure where he’s heading and for me it’s what make his books such an exciting and thrilling read.

In many ways Roz Kray is as damaged as the serial killer she is chasing, but she’s also a good detective, determined, driven and committed, but she’s also vulnerable and for me that makes her a compelling character. As usual the author has created a serial killer that will chill you to the bone, the chapters told from his POV make you feel you’re inside his head, not a good place to be let me tell you, it’s the stuff of nightmares.  Rob Ashman has created a serial killer who despite carrying out the most horrendous acts of violence towards his victims, you just can’t help being intrigued by him, I was desperate to find what events had motivated the killer. 

This Little Piggy is Compelling and suffused with menace,   spine chilling, stomach churning, it contains all the elements that personally make an outstanding read for me. A word of warning you will need a strong stomach to read This Little Piggy as it contains some very gruesome and lurid scenes, if your not adverse to some fairly grim scenes it’s one I  would definitely recommend. I actually loved this book in case you haven’t already guessed, god knows where Rob Ashman’s vivid imagination will take him for the next book, but one thing for sure I will definitely be reading it.  

This is going to come as no suprise but I’m giving This Little Piggy the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

Who is Rob Ashman?

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Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob published the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books in 2017 and will be releasing three new books during 2018. These are titled: Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution.

Links:

Twitter: @RobAshmanAuthor

Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/Rob-Ashman- Author-1428800800468097/

Website: http://robashman.com/

Follow the rest of the blog tour……..

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**Blog tour** #DeadLock by Damien Boyd #GuestPost @DamienBoydBooks @amazonpub

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Today I’m thrilled be opening the blog tour for Dead Lock by Damien Boyd to celebrate the occasion I have a guest post from the author himself. I was really excited about this post as the locations mentioned aren’t far from where I live and I’ve visited many of them. Damien Boyd has a new crime thriller out soon, it’s being published by Thomas and Mercer on the 31st May 2018, it’s the eighth book in the The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series. You can find details about the book further down this post. 

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Choice of setting is probably one of the most important decisions a series author needs to take, but it’s the one I gave the least attention to when I started out. As it turns out, I made the right decision for the right reasons. I just didn’t know it at the time.

I chose Somerset, and in particular the Burnham-On-Sea area — it was always going to be Burnham —  for the simple reason that it’s my home and I love it. 

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Although I live in Devon and have done since 1994, I still feel like I’ve come home when I arrive in Burnham. Always have done and always will too, I hope. My grandfather was the manager of the Bristol Redfield branch of the National Westminster bank and the family left the city during the bombing raids in 1943. They ended up in Herbert Road, Burnham-On-Sea, where we stayed until my parents finally sold up in 1998. 

So, I grew up there. It’s my childhood home and spiritual home too. 

That’s why I chose to set my series there, but it turned out to be the right decision for so many different reasons. 

Firstly, I know it like the back of my hand. Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s we had greater freedom to run wild as kids, always out and about on our bikes; on the beach too. On a purely selfish level, this kept the research down when I was starting out, because I was still a solicitor in private practice and working full time. I already knew the best and most sinister places to hide a body without spending hours trawling through Google Earth. I’d already spent hours rock climbing in Cheddar Gorge, for example, which became the setting for my first novel, As the Crow Flies.

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But, more importantly, it enables me to set the books at places I know and love which, I hope, shines through in my descriptions. Every time I sit down to write it’s like going home.

And seeing old friends. Many of the characters are real people who live in the town, some of whom I went to school with and have known since I was 7 years old! They know who they are…

Secondly, it gives me the opportunity to learn more about the place, as I look for new locations. For Dead Lock I spent hours researching the abandoned Somersetshire Coal Canal that ran from the coal fields around Paulton and Radstock to join the Kennet and Avon Canal just east of Bath. I’ve been caving in the Mendips, explored the Somerset Levels in the aftermath of the catastrophic flooding, and even been out in the local lifeboat! 

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Readers who have lived in Somerset all their lives find themselves being taken to places they have not been before or didn’t even know existed. That’s part of the challenge and great fun. 

Thirdly, there is Somerset itself. I am never ever stuck for an atmospheric spot! From Cheddar Gorge, to Berrow Beach, Brean Down, Taunton Racecourse, the Somerset Levels, caving on the Mendips, to the Somersetshire Coal Canal, the county offers every option a crime writer could ever need. 

Except perhaps the big city, I suppose, but the way round that is to have the first murder in Somerset, on Nick’s patch, then he can investigate a connected murder anywhere. Using that device he’s been to London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, for those like their crime to have an urban feel.

Lastly, and the best reason of all perhaps, is the people of Somerset themselves. Not only have they embraced Nick Dixon and encouraged me every step of the way, but they have been so very helpful too. I have had guided tours of the new Police Centre at Express Park, Bridgwater, and the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station site, been taken down Swildon’s Hole by members of the Wessex Cave Club, been out in the Burnham lifeboat, and the BARB Search & Rescue hovercraft. Nothing has ever been too much trouble and I can’t thank them enough!

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So, there we are. One of the easiest and best decisions I’ve ever made.

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Book description 

Early on a cold Somerset morning, ten year old Alesha Daniels is reported missing by her father, a violent alcoholic. Her mother, a known drug addict, is found unconscious, but it’s her mother’s boyfriend the police are keen to trace.

As the hunt for Alesha gathers pace, a second local girl is taken, plunging another family into the depths of despair.

Cutting short his holiday, DI Nick Dixon races home to join the Major Investigation Team, but no sooner has he identified a network of local suspects than they begin to show up dead.

At odds with his superiors, Dixon is convinced the child abductions are anything but random, but nobody is prepared for the investigation to lead quite so close to home.

Can Dixon and his team crack the case before all the suspects are silenced? And will he find the missing girls before it’s too late?

Pre-order link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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Damien Boyd is a former solicitor turned crime fiction writer.

Drawing on extensive experience of criminal law as well as a spell in the Crown Prosecution Service, Damien writes fast paced crime thrillers featuring Detective Inspector Nick Dixon, Avon & Somerset CID.

My thanks to Damien Boyd for his fascinating guest post.

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Unwrapping the #BookPost with the book review café

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I have received some fabulous book post lately and although I post photos of the books I receive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram I thought they deserved their own post. I’m always eternally grateful to the publishers and authors who send me ARC’s even though I’m a book blogger it’s one thing I never take for granted or expect.

There is nothing more satisfying on hearing the sound of book post landing on my door mat, I’m like a child at Christmas wondering what delights await me.

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So I thought I would start a new feature called Unwrapping my #BookPost not highly original I know but I thought the title explains the post 😂. So here are a few of the fabulous books I’ve received over the last month or so…..

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson

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Book description

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
London, 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.
Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?
Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down. Following the highly acclaimed Block 46 and guaranteed to disturb and enthral, Keeper is a breathless thriller from the new queen of French Noir.

published 15th February 2018

Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin

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Book description

When her best friend Billie is found murdered, eleven-year-old Thera – fearless and forthright – considers it her duty to find the killer.

Aided by a Ouija board, Billie’s ghost, and the spirits of four other dead girls, she’s determined to succeed. The trouble with Thera, though, is that she doesn’t always know when to stop – and sometimes there’s a fine line between doing the right thing and doing something very, very bad indeed.

Tense, visceral and thought-provoking, Dead Girls is the new novel from Abigail Tarttelin, the critically acclaimed author of Golden Boy.

published 3rd May 2018

The Retreat by Mark Edwards

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Book description

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

published 10th May 2018

The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

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Book description

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

published 3rd May 2018

The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic

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Book description

THE NEXT SPINE-TINGLING THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE HOUSE

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt. And that’s when Susanna realises she was wrong.

She doesn’t know him.
He knows her.
And the girl he plans to hurt is her daughter.

Published 9th August 2018

Ghost by Helen Grant

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Book description

Langlands House is haunted, but not by the ghost you think.

Augusta McAndrew lives on a remote Scottish estate with her grandmother, Rose. For her own safety, she hides from outsiders, as she has done her entire life. Visitors are few and far between – everyone knows that Langlands House is haunted.

One day Rose goes out and never returns, leaving Augusta utterly alone. Then Tom McAllister arrives – good-looking and fascinating, but dangerous. What he has to tell her could tear her whole world apart.

As Tom and Augusta become ever closer, they must face the question: is love enough to overcome the ghosts of the past?

In the end, Langlands House and its inhabitants hold more secrets than they did in the beginning…

published 19th February 2018

My thanks to Joanne at Portobello Book Blog for this one which I won in a giveaway.

My Mother’s Secret by Sanjida Kay

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Book description

Lizzie Bradshaw. A student from the Lake District, forced to work away from home, who witnesses a terrible crime. But who will ultimately pay the price?

Emma Taylor. A mother, a wife, and a woman with a dangerous secret. Can she keep her beloved family safely together?

Stella Taylor. A disaffected teenager, determined to discover what her mother is hiding. But how far will she go to uncover the truth?

And one man, powerful, manipulative and cunning, who controls all their destinies.

published 3rd May 2018

I hope you have enjoyed this post and as you can see I have a diverse selection of #BookPost the only problem I have now is deciding which one to read first. I would love to know what book post you’ve recieved, please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

UNSUB by Meg Gardiner #BookReview @DuttonBooks @MegGardiner1 #MustReads

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Book description

A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.

Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?

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First of a huge thank you to Janel over at Keeperofpages, whose fabulous review convinced me I needed to read UNSUB ASAP!

Hells bells if you consider yourself to be a crime thriller lover then you MUST read Unsub by Meg Gardiner, it’s not just good it’s a flipping fantastic book and I would go as far to say it’s probably one of the best crime books I’ve read EVER. I read so many crime thrillers it takes a lot to scare me but this book unnerved me to the extent I had to keep checking that the doors were locked and the lights were on. Unsub caused my heart to thump and my pulse to race pretty much throughout. Drawing inspiration from the Zodiac Killer, and likened to Se7en, and Silence of the Lambs this is one book you don’t want to miss if you like your crime thrillers graphic and disturbing.

As you can see this book comes with a pretty lengthy book description, so I don’t feel the need to rehash the plot in my review. I do enjoy a crime thriller with an intriguing serial killer at the heart of the plot, and Meg Gardiner has created a fascinating one, the Unsub aka The Prophet taunts law enforcement with his gruesome murders and his cryptic messages, he thrives on mind games and generating fear in a city where people are advised to be vigilant, no one knows who his next victim will be or why. I think The Prophet makes a very credible character I feel this is because as the reader you are aware the author drew inspiration from the very real Zodiac Killer, making him that much more terrifying and convincing.

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Meg Gardiner has done a superb job with character development, building her grisly psychological thriller around detective Caitlin Hendrix, whose father failed to catch the killer decades earlier. Caitlin Hendrix is probably one of the most exciting protagonists I’ve come across in a long time the author has breathed life into her, you feel her frustration, her empathy for the victims and her complex relationship with her father make her someone that I WANT to know so much more about. Unsub is an unforgettable book, fast paced, chilling and downright frightening but I loved every page of this gripping crime thriller. Every scene, every word written is pivotal to the plot and the tension that radiates throughout definitely make this one of my top reads of 2018. Now I really can’t wait to read the sequel Into The Black Nowhere. In case you haven’t already guessed I would highly, highly recommended Unsub.

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Paperback: 420 pages

Publisher: Dutton Books; Reprint edition (2 Jan. 2018)

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to see I’m giving UNSUB the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page and plus this one gave me a #Major #BookHangover something I don’t suffer with very often!

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The Photographer by Craig Robertson #BookReview @SimonschusterUK

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Book description

The sergeant took some from each box and spread them around the floor so they could all see. Dozens upon dozens of them. DI Rachel Narey’s guess was that there were a few hundred in all.

Photographs.

Many of them were in crowd scenes, some just sitting on a park bench or walking a dog or waiting for a bus or working in shops. They seemed to have no idea they’d been photographed.

A dawn raid on the home of a suspected rapist leads to a chilling discovery, a disturbing collection hidden under floorboards. Narey is terrified at the potential scale of what they’ve found and of what brutalities it may signal.

When the photographs are ruled inadmissible as evidence and the man walks free from court, Narey knows she’s let down the victim she’d promised to protect and a monster is back on the streets.

Tony Winter’s young family is under threat from internet trolls and he is determined to protect them whatever the cost. He and Narey are in a race against time to find the unknown victims of the photographer’s lens – before he strikes again.

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I have a BIG Confession to make “I have never read a book written by Craig Robertson” what a terrible book blogger I am! so my apologises to Mr Robertson in my defence I would say “I have so many books, but so little time”. Anyway I have now rectified the situation by reading The Photographer and I’m so glad I did! I loved it. I should mention this is the seventh book in the series, now I’m one of those readers that likes to start a series at the beginning as I always feel I’m at a disadvantage if I start a series midway, but strangely enough I didn’t feel like this reading The Photographer, so I would say it can easily be read as a standalone.

What a read The Photographer turned out to be, compelling, thought provoking and so well plotted, it’s a book that deals with some highly emotional and disturbing themes. I must mention that every scene, every description is relevant to the plot, and although uncomfortable at times the author writes with a great deal of sensitivity and insight.

This book made for a topical and a very credible read, you only have to pick up a newspaper to see such crimes are very much part of the society we live in today, alongside that comes the ugly side of human nature, the need to judge someone else, form an opinion without the facts and then trolling their venom and inflammatory comments on social media. Craig Robertson has created an array of characters who are well developed, each has a different opinion on the crimes committed, but each and everyone of them brings something to this well told story.

The author has written a compelling crime thriller but this book has so much more to offer there are so many themes that are bought to light in this book which I would like to discuss in more detail but then I would definitely be entering spoil territory which is never my intention when writing a review. What I will say is the author raises many issues, thoughts and views which in turn evoked strong emotions in myself. As I read The Photographer the tension became unbearable I found myself desperate for justice to be served for the victims. This has to be one of the best crime books I’ve read this year gripping, horrific but so cleverly plotted, this is one book I will be highly recommending to anyone and everyone.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 448 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (25 Jan. 2018)

**Author interview** With Robert Bryndza #TheGirlInTheIce @RobertBryndza @TheCrimeVault

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Today to celebrate the fact that the  The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza is available today in bookshops and supermarkets, I decided to share my author interview with Robert Bryndza and my review for The Girl In The Ice which I first published way back in 2016. My love affair with this crime series continues to grow and if you haven’t started the series yet, don’t forget to pick yourself up a copy when you’re out shopping.

Today I’m really excited to have Robert Bryndza popping by the book review cafe. The Girl In The Ice is Roberts crime debut and also his first book to be published with Bookouture. From the publishers that brought you No. 1 bestselling Angela Marsons and Kathryn Croft, comes an incredibly addictive new series introducing fearless Detective Erika Foster. Already a top 100 ebook bestseller on pre-orders alone. It’s an absolutely fantastic book and if you love a good crime thriller, then I suggest you pop to Amazon and pre order it (well after you’ve read my interview with Robert Bryndza and review of course)

Hello Robert I’m so excited to have you pop by the book review cafe to answer some questions, I hope you don’t find them to boring

Hello Lorraine, thanks for welcoming me here today.

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For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Girl In The Ice can you provide us with an introduction?

I’m fairly hopeless at explaining things myself, so here is the book description…

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

Where did the idea For The Girl In The Ice come from?

I had the idea, several years ago when I was listening to the Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow. It’s a very hypnotic and evocative album and captures the loneliness and beauty of snow and ice in winter. An image came into my mind of standing on a frozen lake, scraping away the snow and seeing a girls face staring back at me from underneath the ice.

You are better known for your best selling romantic comedies, what made you decide to change genre, and write a thriller?

I’ve always wanted to write a crime thriller, and I realised that if I didn’t do it soon, I never would. For the past year the character of Erika Foster has been slowly taking shape in my mind, and I’ve been scribbling down notes and story ideas for the past few years.

The Girl In The Ice is your debut thriller, and also your first book with publishers Bookouture, how does that feel? 

I can honestly say it has been a great experience. Up until now I’ve self-published my romantic comedies and I vowed that if I ever signed with a publishing house, it would have to be right for me. Bookouture is run by an incredibly talented bunch, and I’ve loved working with them.

Did you consider changing your name when writing The Girl In The Ice, and if so why did you decide to go with your original name? 

Yes, at one point I wanted to be called James Artin. I like the name James and it’s the name of the town where I live, Nitra spelt backwards! But Oliver Rhodes the head of Bookouture pointed out that I have a very loyal readership and that many of them read and enjoy different genres, and would follow me over to the dark side – and so far many of them have, plus a whole new bunch of people have discovered me as a crime thriller writer.

How do you research material for your book?

First stop is Google and I tend to order a load of books. I also try to talk to people too

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I have a notebook by my bed, and before I go to sleep I jot down what I’m planning to write the next day. I’m not sure if that’s strange, it is a bit of a ritual,

Do you write an outline before you start writing? 

Yes, I do. When I first started writing I didn’t, and it’s very hard without a plan. Saying that I tend not to stick to it or it will veer off in unexpected ways.

How long did it take to get your first book published?

Three years – and that was when I had given up. Then someone told me about self-publishing, and I uploaded my first book in 2012.

What is your least favourite part of the writing/publishing process?

First drafts are very hard, and always found writing the product description for the book a bit of a nightmare.

If you couldn’t write books, what would you do for a living?

I would be an actor

Describe your book in 5 words?

Can I have fourteen? Bookouture have come up with this tagline that I love; She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

Describe yourself in 5 words?

Driven, insecure, likes to cook.

What authors/books do you like to read in your spare time?

Anything by Sue Townsend or Stephen King. I love Angela Marsons DI Kim Stone crime series and The Cormoran Strike books.

What book are you reading now?

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

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

Yes. I’m working on the next book in the DCI Erika Foster series. It’s called The Night Stalker, and it will be published later in the year.

During all the interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

Is there anything you wish you could do, but can’t? I would love to be able to sing. In my head I sound amazing, but something happens between the thought and it coming out of my mouth… some kind of short circuit, and I sound awful!

And finally Kindle or Book?

Both. I love a proper book, but I live in Slovakia and it’s much easier to download to my Kindle.

Thank you Robert Bryndza  for stopping by the book review cafe, and answering my questions. I have a feeling this is going to be one hell of a series. 

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About Robert Bryndza

Originally from the UK, Rob lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband and their two crazy dogs. He originally trained as an actor, but was bitten by the writing bug in his mid-twenties and hasn’t looked back. His debut novel, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller, and has grown to a best selling series of five books. In addition to his recent number one romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right, Rob is excited to embrace the darker side of life, writing his first crime thriller series. He is currently writing the second book in the series The Night Stalker which will be released in late Spring 2016.

You can find out more about the author here….

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

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz
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This is Robert Bryndza’s crime thriller debut, he is better known for writing romantic comedies, so I was interested to see if he managed to switch genres successfully. I’m a huge fan of crime thrillers, but the market is saturated with books of this genre, so for me a crime book, has to be of a high caliber, with a well written plot, good characterisation and above all else it has to keep me riveted. I’m so pleased to say the author does all this and more, he maybe a new author to this genre, but he certainly knows how to pack a punch!

From the prologue I was intrigued, as we are introduced to the victim minutes before she meets her death, and from there on in the pace picks up memento. From the start the tension is tangible, I found myself racing through the chapters, as I was intrigued to see where the plot led.

Robert Bryndza delivers a well plotted novel, which flows fluidly, his characters are well rounded, and very believable. Detective Erika Foster is the lead on the case, there is real depth to her character, she has a past which haunts her, she’s feisty, forthright and formidable, which provides for an intriguing protagonist. Erika has the makings of an excellent “serial” Detective, and I’m really curious to see how her character will develop in the authors next book.

The Girl In The Ice has all the elements needed to make a good crime thriller, it has plenty of twists and turns, with enough red herrings to keep the reader captivated to the very last page, it’s addictive, compulsive and much more. This is a very strong crime debut from Robert Bryndza and expertly told, he has now been firmly added to my list of “must read” authors. I will certainly be reading the next book in this series, and the one after that without hesitation.

Publishers: Bookouture 12th February 2016

 

 

 

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd #Review.

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Book description

A young schoolteacher falls for a man on Death Row whom she believes is falsely accused, only to begin wondering after their marriage – and his release.

Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.

But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?

My review

When I read the book description for The Innocent Wife I knew it was one I had to read. I’ve often wondered about the woman and men who write to prisoners on death row, and then go on to fall in love with them. I’m sure the reasons are complex and way beyond my comprehension, but intriguing never the less. If you are a fan of true crime documentaries then this is a book you won’t want to miss, as it’s a story which reads very much like a true crime story.

As you will see from the book description The Innocent Wife is a thriller about Samantha who strikes up a friendship with Dennis a prisoner on death row. What start’s out as a relationship based wholly on writing to each other, soon escalates into something far more intense. The author has created a very intriguing but flawed set of characters, I found myself sympathetic to Dennis’s predicament one minute, and then a couple of chapters later I found myself questioning his innocence and his motives for marrying Sam.You would think a character who has spent twenty years on death row would be the only flawed character, but no Sam is just as flawed, she’s obsessive with HUGE trust issues, not a good combination and doesn’t bode well for “a happy ever after”.

The Innocent Wife is told mostly in a documentary style, eye witness accounts and documents which gives the reader an in depth look into Dennis life and his personality. The plot is very much based on did he do it? Or not? So throughout the book has a sinister and threatening feel to it. I did think this book lacked any real drama or excitement, but then the focus is very much on the did he or didn’t he? conundrum. The author kept me guessing right up until the last few chapters, which is always a bonus and guaranteed to heighten my enjoyment of a book. Twisted and compelling The Innocent Wife is well worth a read if your looking for an original thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the final chapter.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 356 pages

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (6 Oct. 2017)