#Giveaway The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

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Today I have a very special Giveaway I’m offering one lucky reader the chance to win a hardback copy of The Friend by Dorothy Koomson and a very special letter from the author herself written on seeded paper, you basically put the paper in compost, water it and watch the seeds from the paper grow into a bunch of flowers 🌸🌼🌻💐how brilliant is that? Before  I give you details on how to enter here’s the book description for you

Book description

What secret would you kill to keep?
After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret. Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.
Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life. That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . .

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Century (1 Jun. 2017)

Link to buy: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
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Unfortunately this competition is open to UK residents only due to postage costs. The winner of this giveaway will be notified within 24 hours of competition ending. Competition ends midnight 29th June 2017 

Enter to win a beautifully wrapped hardback copy of The Friend and the seeded paper here………. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/86b4d40512/?

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My thanks to the publishers Century and Dorothy Koomson for sending me this fabulous #Giveaway

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well here we are again another Sunday Weekly Wrap Up Post, and here’s where I share how many books I’ve read this week, yet again it’s been a dismal week, so let’s get it over with……once again I have only managed to read one book. I can’t even blame social media this week, if I’m honest after spending 8.5 hours staring at a computer screen by the time I get home my eyes are to tired to read (oh woe is me🙈).

I’m really not sure what the answer is, but it’s going to be a pretty darn boring week on my blog as all the reviews I have are for blog tours. Hopefully I will get back on track once I’m reading some of the books on my TBR pile, and if not I might have to change this blog to something completely different, perhaps a blog about books,  but without the reviews 😂😂

I must say a huge thank you to guest reviewer Jo for sending me her fabulous review of Sweetpea, which I will be posting this week. It actually means with Jo’s post and a blog tour review I may just manage to keep my blog ticking over!

The one Book I read this week!

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This is the first book I’ve read by Conrad Jones, but it certainly won’t be my last. I absolutely loved this gritty read, but  unfortunately I can’t share my review until the blog tour on Monday 29th May 

What I’m reading now

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins

ARC’s I received this week

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Book description

How far would you go to protect your family?

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage.

Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.

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Book description

PI Varg Veum fights for his reputation, his freedom and his life, when child pornography is found on his computer and he is arrested and jailed. Worse still, his memory is a blank…

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.

When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material… and who is seeking the ultimate revenge.

When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet

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Book description

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman?

As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

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Book description

DI Duncan Waddell has big problems. He’s borderline diabetic. The paperwork is piling up faster than the underwear at a porn shoot.

Now his best pal DC Stevie Campbell, who’s in a coma after being attacked by a suspect, has started to talk to him. Trouble is, only Waddell can hear him.

The last thing he needs is the country’s biggest case to land on his lap.

Three women have gone missing in the city he used to love, but is fast coming to despise, victims of the GLASGOW GRABBER, as their assailant has been dubbed by local hack and all round thorn in Waddell’s backside, Catriona Hastie.

Shelley Craig is the latest victim, snatched as she and her boyfriend took a shortcut through Glasgow city centre.

And she’ll do anything to make it home.

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Book description

Lesley Welsh sadly passed away in April but Bookouture are extremely honoured to be publishing The Serial Killer’s Daughter on 14th June.

Charmer, liar, father… Killer.

Suzanne’s life changes forever the day she receives a visit from Rose Anderson, the woman who has been living with her estranged father, Don.

Don is dead, but Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women.

To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire.

But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her?

Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his journals? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move?

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Book description

Ben Whittle’s father, a private investigator, has been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating the case of a missing girl. When Ben receives a desperate call from his father asking for help he is drawn into a dark underground world.

As Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl he discovers his only option left is to join the cult and rescue his father from the inside.

The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is.

Ben must find his father and the missing girl, but the odds are stacked against him and time is running out.

Can Ben rescue his father and the girl and escape with his life?
And what is the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room?

The Revelation Room is the first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers.

As everyone who follows my blog by now will know I’m a huge fan of author Robert Bryndza, so you can imagine how excited I was to receive a signed copy of Last Breath and chocolate, and I’m sorry but I just have to share the photos

 Last week on the book review café

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Danielle @BooksVertigoTea | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/11/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-danielle-booksvertigotea/

**Blog tour** Child Taken by Darren Young #BookReview @DARRENYOUNGBOOK @REDDOORBOOKS | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/12/blog-tour-child-taken-by-darren-young-bookreview-darrenyoungbook-reddoorbooks/

**Mystery Blogger Award** | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/08/mystery-blogger-award/

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens #BookReview | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/10/never-let-you-go-by-chevy-stevens-bookreview/

Next week on the book review café

Sweet Pea by C J Skuse #Guest review from Jo

#TopFiveThursday with a super duper awesome blogger

*Blog tour* Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff #Review

and for the rest of the week I will be trying to catch up on some reading, so if you hear so much as a squeak from me on social media please feel free to give me a telling off 😂

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Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis #BookReview 

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Book description

TWO GIRLS GO TO A PARTY, ONLY ONE RETURNS ALIVE

Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .
Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.
And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.

EACH ONE OF THEM IS SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER AND THE POLICE MUST GIVE THEIR FAMILIES JUSTICE AND CLOSURE

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.
There is evidence of an illegal drinking club run by a shadowy group of men, who are grooming teenagers. And the team come across a sinister former hospital called Windrush which seems to house many dark secrets.

img_1258Don’t you just love it when you pick up a book by an author you’ve never read before, with no expectations and it’s just so darn good you’re left wondering why and how you’ve never read this authors books before. That’s exactly how I’m feeling after picking up The Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis, my god it’s good, in fact it was that good it made for an outstanding and engrossing read and definitely one that I was reluctant to put down.

This is the second book in Jackman and Evans crime series but it can be easily read as a standalone. From the opening chapter when a young girls body is found on the beach I just knew this one was going to grip me and it certainly did not disappoint. As the plot evolves the reader is presented with many threads a missing girl, a cold case and illegal drinks club. The author expertly links them together and slowly but deftly reveals horrors that are unimaginable.

Jackman, Evans and the rest of the team are an interesting bunch, they are very much a team which is pretty unusual in a crime thriller as most police teams have some animosity between them, that’s not a criticism in fact I found it refreshing. The back drop of the Fens give this book an atmospheric feel, and running throughout is a sense of evil that I found at times overwhelming. As the plot becomes more complex Joy Ellis throws in some deliciously twisted turns that I never seen coming. I loved the way the author expertly drew all the threads together in a way that left me open mouthed with its very imaginative conclusion.

Despite the subject matter the author doesn’t go into the finer detail, so this book never made for an uncomfortable read, but it certainly made for a suspense filled one. Although the plot line may not be the the most credible at times, this in no way spoilt my enjoyment of The Lost Daughters. Dark and menacing, this book was one I found hard to put down and I really am kicking myself for not reading this authors books before.

Paperback: 329 pages

Publisher: JOFFE BOOKS (27 Mar. 2017)

Amazon Uk 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

The Book Review Café #BookOfTheMonth April 2017

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Now we’re in May it’s time for me to look back at the books I  read and reviewed  in April and choose my Book Of The Month.

The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review.

I read some outstanding books in April, but there were two books that really stood out for me this month. As I wasn’t able to choose between these two books I’ve decided to share the award.  These books had all the elements I look for when reading, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense. So without further ado here are my books of the month and there absolute crackers……………

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The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury

Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury Is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017, it’s dark and very disturbing due to the difficult subject it covers.  This is certainly a book that packs a punch, its gut wrenching and makes for an uncomfortable read at times but it’s also offers so much more, it’s a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse. You can read my full review here……..

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/17/the-abattoir-of-dreams-by-mark-tilbury-bookreview-bloodhoundbook-mtilburyauthor/

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Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

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.

You can read my full review here……
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/16/blog-tour-last-breath-by-robert-bryndza-bookreview-bookouture-robertbryndza/

As I mentioned earlier I really did read some fantastic books in April, so I’m also including the books I would highly recommend if you are looking for a gripping read………..

 

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Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton 

The Quiet Man by James Carol

You can read my reviews for the above books here………

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/21/blog-tour-sleep-tight-by-caroline-mitchell-review-bookouture-caroline_writes/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/19/dead-souls-by-angela-marsons-bookreview-bookouture-writeangie/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/18/dead-woman-walking-by-sharon-bolton-bookreview-authorsjbolton/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/28/the-quiet-man-by-james-carol-bookreview-jamescarolbooks-faberbooks/

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #BookReview @bookouture @writeangie

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Book description

The truth was dead and buried…until now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Print Length: 387 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (28 April 2017)

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

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

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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

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

Book description

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Print Length: 281 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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About the author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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