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

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

The Fallen By Michael Wood #Review #ShortStory @MichaelHWood

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Book description

A short story and prequel featuring DCI Matilda Darke, star of Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

It’s Christmas in Sheffield. But not everyone is enjoying the festive season…

A man has been found brutally murdered in his own home. The victim is Iain Kilbride, a once-famous TV star who has faded into obscurity. All signs point to a break-in, but why has nothing been taken?

For DCI Matilda Darke, this is the perfect chance to prove her newly formed Murder Investigation Team are up to the task. Matilda suspects the clue to finding the killer lies in Iain’s past, but she’s about to discover how dark that past really is…

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Having read For Reasons Unknown and Outside Looking In which I loved I was delighted to hear that Michael Wood was releasing The Fallen, but once I realised it was only 85 pages long I felt slightly disappointed. I’m not a huge fan of short stories I’m afraid, they often feel rushed or lack the depth of characters and plot. Fortunately this wasn’t the case, for such a short book it packed hell of a punch, which made for a quick but never the less a gripping read.

In The Fallen we are introduced to the newly promoted DCI Maltilda Darke, It was fascinating to read about Maltilda’s earlier years and her relationship with her husband James, I found this glimpse into her past intriguing as it added another dimension to her character. Maltilda is brought in to investigate the murder of a famous TV star and what follows is an original tale laced with sadness and regrets.

For such a short story I was surprised at just how well it was written, there’s enough intrigue and suspense to make this a read in one sitting kind of book. Michael Wood’s writing goes from strength to strength, his books appear to be getting darker and more twisted and I absolutely love this element. The Fallen doesn’t lack plot or character development in fact it reads, like a full length novel as the author doesn’t waste anytime in getting to the heart of the plot.

If you haven’t read any books by Michael Wood this short story is well worth a read as you get a feel for Maltilda’s character as well as some of the other characters that pop up in both books. If you are already a fan of the author then I’m sure you will love it too. After reading The Fallen I can’t wait to read A Room Full Of Killers a full length Matilda Darke book which is published in February 2017.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐out of 5

Print Length: 85 pages

Publisher: Killer Reads (23 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

The Girl Before by JP Delaney #Sampler #MiniReview @Quercusbooks

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Book description

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl comes this spellbinding Hitchcockian thriller which takes psychological suspense to the next level.

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

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Firstly I have to say when I see a book that comes with the tag line “For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl” I want to scream, nearly every psychological novel I pick up these days uses it, when will publishers come up with something more original? Oh and the bad book blogger that I am, I haven’t read either of the books and nor do I intend to anytime soon! Ok that’s my rant over! On with the review…..

Now normally when I am offered the chance to read a sampler for a book prior to publication it’s normally a “no from me” but as The Girl Before keeps popping up all over social media I just thought I would take a quick look, big mistake! I could kick myself so absorbing was the sampler, I’m now desperate to read the whole book, in fact I would go as far as to say “I would sell my soul to the devil to get my hands on a copy”

The story is told by two narrators Jane who moves into the perfect house, or is it? There are so many rules and regulations some of which are bizarre to say the least, and then other chapters are told from Emma’s POV whose mysterious death, becomes central to the plot. As the past and present become entwined you really can’t help wondering where the plot is heading.  One Folgate Street is not a place I would choose to live in that’s for sure, but oh my what an intriguing and darkly disturbing place it is.

The Girl Before has certainly piqued my interest, from the opening chapter I was immediately drawn in. Full of intrigue and suspense, the sense of malice was overwhelming from the opening chapter. As I read more I became uneasy HERE was a book that I desperately wanted to read more of and I would have read the whole book in one sitting, if it had not been a damn sample! And to top it all the sample ends on the mother of all cliffhanger’s.

So now I’m left feeling very frustrated I NEED to read the WHOLE book, but what I can tell you is The Girl Before is going to be a huge hit in 2017, it has all the elements I love in a psychological thriller mystery, suspense and bucketfuls of intrigue. As for me I’m off to sulk in a corner until I can read the COMPLETE book!

Hardcover: 448 pages

Publisher: Quercus (26 Jan. 2017)

Amazon UK

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