Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #BookReview @bookouture @writeangie

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Book description

The truth was dead and buried…until now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Print Length: 387 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (28 April 2017)

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Dead Souls the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is award is given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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You can pre-order your copy of Dead Souls here……

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Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton #BookReview @AuthorSJBolton

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Book description

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Bantam Press (20 April 2017)

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

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

Book description

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last Breath is a truly dark, disturbing and most definitely a gripping read, one that will make your heart pound and the paranoia kick in, but my god it’s definitely worth the ride. What I particularly like about this series is how original each book has been from the last and how each story offers something unique, which is why Robert Bryndza continues to be one of my very favourite authors on the planet.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Last Breath the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is the authors third book to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Print Length: 281 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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About the author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book description

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

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

What readers are saying about the Ruby Preston series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Caroline

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.

www.caroline-writes.com

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

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

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Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl #BookReview @nicholl06

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Book description

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

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

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

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

Print Length: 60 pages

Publication Date: April 1, 2017

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Blood Mother by Dreda Say Mitchell #BookReview @DredaMitchell

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Book description

Babs had all the world ahead of her, until she got pregnant and the father did a runner. Salvation comes in the form of a man who’ll look after her. Or so she thinks. Stan Miller is really the devil in disguise… and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him.

Starting in the 70s, BLOOD MOTHER is the second thrilling installment in the Flesh and Blood series, capturing a London that was very different from today but where some things still hold true: be careful what you wish for, and watch out for who you trust…

img_1258I love what I call a grit lit read and there are a few authors books I can always count on to deliver my fix, Dreda Say Mitchell is one of them. Grit Lit to me is a novel that delves deep into the dark side of Life,the characters are tough and the plot brutal, Blood Mother fits this description perfectly. This book is the second book in the Flesh And Blood series, it follows one family over forty years on an East London estate. Blood Mother takes the reader back to the 70s where we learn more about Bab’s who we first met in Blood Sisters, and I just loved her story.

As the plot develops we see Bab’s change from a naive young girl, into the hardened wife of crime boss Stan Miller. Bab’s thinks she’s found the perfect match, a man who will love and protect her, little does she realise Stan is the devil in disguise a master of manipulation and deceit who will use his own wife as a pawn to get what he wants in life. As Bab’s learns more about her husband’s treacherous ways, off come the “rose tinted spectacles” and Barb’s becomes tougher and a much more interesting character. As for Stan what a fabulous character the author has created, he’s evil through and through, he certainly wouldn’t win a father/husband of the year award, so he’s not a character I liked but he certainly adds drama aplenty, as you are never quite sure what his next heinous act will be or who will be caught in the fall out, I so much wanted him to get his comeuppance. Dreda Say Mitchell brings the 70’s to life with her descriptive writing, it’s was an age where prejudice was rife, and Bab’s story very much portrays the harsh reality of life back in the 70’s.

DS Mitchell portrays a gritty picture of the murky and deadly crime world on an East London estate where revenge and retribution are part of every day life. Blood Mother is very authentic, as is the dialogue so be warned this book contains a fair bit of swearing, but in the authors defence it’s very much in keeping with the characters and plot. A gripping tale that revolves around betrayal, survival of the most cunning and family drama, although this book could be read as a standalone I would recommend you read the first book in the series Blood Sister first because it really is such a fantastic series. Blood Mother is a fast paced read, it’s gritty, brutal, which it certainly made for a quick and entertaining read. Personally I can’t wait to read the next book in this highly engaging series.

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A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys #GuestReview @JoannaLouisePar

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome Joanna Park who is going to help me out with some guest reviews. We found each over on Twitter, Jo posts her reviews to Goodreads so I asked Jo if she fancied writing some guest reviews and she very kindly agreed. Passionate about books, an avid reader and a lovely lady to boot, Jo will fit in perfectly on my blog. Please give a warm welcome to Jo and here’s her first ever guest review. 

Book description

Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

IMG_1712Welcome aboard The Orontes for a fun filled glamorous crossing to Australia! Or so it first seems to Lily Shepherd who is taking advantage of the assisted passage scheme to start a new life in Australia. Life on board is a huge adventure for Lily as her eyes are opened to new things and she meets lots of interesting people, including the colourful Campbell’s, mysterious Edward and opinionated George. However as the journey continues boredom and tension start to bubble to the surface, Lily realises the journey isn’t as idyllic as she first thought. Soon Lily discovers that its hard to really know people you’ve just met, especially when they don’t have to tell you everything about themselves.
A Dangerous Crossing is one of those books that is perfect to immerse yourself in. I simultaneously wanted to read more to find out what happens and to slow down so it never ended!
The descriptions of life on board are really vivid and makes you feel that you are experiencing all the glitz and glamour alongside Lilly and watching all the action unfold. This is especially true of the wonderful descriptions of the ports they visit along the way and that I now have a yearning to visit. I felt I was there experiencing all the hustle and bustle and seeing the fantastic sights.

There is always underlying tension to the story which makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens. As the reader slowly gets to know the characters, it becomes apparent that they all have secrets to hide and are running away from something. As the outside heat increases and boredom sets in these tensions slowly bubble to the surface and start affecting the relationships on board.

The characters are all vastly different from each other which makes for a very compelling read. It was fascinating to read about their interactions with each other especially as ordinarily they wouldn’t have socialised with each other. Some of Lilly’s interactions, especially with the Campbell’s and George had me holding my breath as I wondered what was going to happen.
There is a little bit of murder mystery in it but in my opinion this is a secondary storyline, albeit one that is the reason for an amazing ending which took me completely by surprise. It’s not a traditional whodunnit and the fact that there is a murder isn’t a surprise as we know that from the start. It’s the story about getting to the murder and the reasons behind it which helps make this such a good book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who lines historical fiction that takes you to another time or place.

Thank you to Allison Barrow and Transworld publishing for the proof copy and for The Book Review cafe for inviting me to do a guest post!

Amazon UK 🇬🇧
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Hi I’m Joanna Park. I’m a stay at home mum to two children from Malvern in Worcestershire. Any spare time I have, normally when the kids are asleep, is spent reading! I will read anything, apart from horror but my favorite is historical fiction or thrillers. I got into reviewing by accident after seeing a comment about Netgalley on Facebook but am really enjoying it and have met some great people!

Links: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26160119-joanna-park

Twitter: @JoannaLouisePar

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