Tag Archives: Mystery

The book review café book of the month **April 2019**

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Yay we’re in May hopefully the weather is going to improve and I can spend some time sat in the garden reading, but there again living in the UK it’s just as likely to snow 😂.

I haven’t shared many reviews to my blog this month, I’m still trying not to over do things at the moment, so although I have read plenty of brilliant books I’ve yet to share them on my blog. Hopefully I will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

Anyway less of the rambling and once again I have managed to narrow down my book of the month to ONE book, I think I’m finally getting the hang of it 😂😂😂 so without further ado here’s my book of the month⬇️⬇️⬇️

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

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Doug Johnstone’s writing is superb every word, in fact every sentence has a deep impact on the reader, his characters are superbly depicted, and if this book doesn’t leave you an emotional wreck, then I’m sure you will be in the minority. Breakers is a searing and heartbreaking portrayal of modern day Britain, the author takes the reader on an emotional journey, one that at times feels uncomfortable, it packs a hell of a punch, you will find yourself questioning your own assumptions, it’s a book whose characters will remain with you long after you reach the last page. In case you haven’t already guessed I loved this book, and it will definitely be one of my top reads of 2019. You can read my full review here……..Breakers by Doug Johnstone #BookReview @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #Breakers #BookHangoverAward

Highly recommended

 

 

My reviews can be found here….

#TheFive by Hallie Rubenhold @HallieRubenhold @DoubledayUK #thefivewomen #iamPollyAnnieElizabethKateMaryJane

The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins #BookReview @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan #MustReads.

AMAZING GRACE BY KIM NASH @KIMTHEBOOKWORM @HERABOOKS #REVIEW

Last Of The Magpies by Mark Edwards #BookReview @AmazonPub @Mredwards #MustReads #LastOfTheMagpies

Books I could read in May

As I’m cutting back on blog tours (I only have two books I need to read for June) I’m in a position where I’m able to read what ever takes my fancy, so here are some of the book I might or might not read depending on my mood.

 

 

 

 

 

The Paramedics Daughter by Tara Lyons @Bloodhoundbook @taralyonsauthor

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for The Paramedics’ Daughter by Tara Lyons, this is the author’s foray into writing a psychological thriller, and hopefully it won’t be her last.  Read on for my thoughts…..

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Paramedic Abi Quinn is hailed as a hero by the patients she saves with the London Ambulance Service; but a secret she’s kept since she was a teenager now threatens to shatter that perfect illusion. 

When her daughter Rose goes missing while studying at Brighton university, and ghosts from her past return to haunt her, Abi’s caught in a race against time to untangle the web of lies she set in motion over twenty years ago.    

Everyone has something to lose. 

Everyone is trying to protect themselves. 

Everyone is broken.

But what lengths will they go to in order to stop the truth from being exposed?

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The Paramedic’s Daughter is author Tara Lyons first foray into writing a psychological thriller which I find hard to believe, after reading this sorry tale, this is one author who is destined to write thrillers in this genre. This has to be one of the most seriously twisted books about relationships I’ve read in a long time, on about mess with your head!  This is a story of lies, secrets and complicated relationships, and the lengths people will go to to protect themselves, and stop the truth from being exposed.

I enjoy a book that hints at a hidden secret; the author drops subtle hints and teases the reader and being the nosy person I am it’s one thing that’s going guaranteed to keep me hooked. There’s nothing more satisfying than trying to work it all out before the author reveals all, mind you sometimes that means my imagination runs away with me and I come up with the most far-fetched scenarios. Although my imagination is nothing compared to Tara Lyons, the author takes “twisted imagination” to another level entirely. As for the secret it’s a shocker, and one that has huge consequences for those closest to Abi.

I really liked the fact that the protagonist Abi is a paramedic, the insight into her job is brutal, there’s no shying away from the life and death situations Abi comes across in her job, and the emotions she feels when dealing with life-threatening situations are authentic, raw and very gritty. Abi wasn’t a character I warmed to, and I’m really not sure why, normally I struggle with a book if I can’t connect with the main character, but in this instance it did not spoil my enjoyment of this book one iota. When Abi’s daughter goes missing, her panic and worry are something any parent will be able to relate too, although I was slightly surprised at the direction she took in the search for her.

Like many a psychological thriller The Paramedic’s Daughter starts off at a sedate pace, allowing the reader to gain insight into Abi’s personality, her job and her “big secret”. The author then deftly ramps up the pace, turning this novel into a heart pounding read, as secrets are revealed, and a sense of foreboding wraps itself around the reader. There are so many shocks in this book, I can honestly say there was one I would never have guessed in a million years, but it felt very much a part of the story, and not just randomly written into shock the reader.  As psychological thriller The Paramedic Daughter has it all mystery, suspense, and shocks galore its one I would definitely recommend to Psychological thriller lovers.

  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (1 May 2019)

Buying links:

Amazon 🇬🇧 https://amzn.to/2UGiNR8

Amazon 🇺🇸 https://amzn.to/2VzbDTD

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My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing @smariedowning @penguinrandom #MyLovelyWife #BookHangoverAward #Review

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for My Lovely Wife, the debut novel from Samantha Downing.  If you are looking for a thriller that’s different, then I definitely have just the book for you……

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HOW WELL DO YOU REALLY KNOW THE ONE YOU LOVE THE MOST?

‘The twist at the end of the first chapter made me read through the night’ Jane Corry, bestselling author of The Dead Ex

This is a story about a married couple. They met, fell in love, had two beautiful children. So far, so ordinary.

But they have a very dark secret.

It’s a story with a twist. And then another. And another.

You might think you’ve read stories like this before.

You’d be wrong.

By the end of the first chapter you’ll be hooked.

At page fifty you might not sleep until you finish.

And when you turn the last page, you’ll ask yourself one question:

How well do you really know the person you love most?

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This will probably be the shortest review I’ve ever written, My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing is one of those books where it’s nigh on impossible to mention the plot in any detail without giving away major spoilers. I had no idea what this book was about when I first started reading it; I had no expectations, no thoughts on where the book would lead, and for me personally it made this reading experience even more exciting and enjoyable. My Lovely Wife has to be one of the best novels I’ve read this year, addictive, deliciously dark and very disturbing. 

My Lovely Wife is the story of two ordinary people who meet, fall in love and settle into the humdrum life of suburbia and parenthood, but if you scratch beneath their veneer of respectability, there lies a dark and disturbing secret and one only the couple share, well until now that is! Narrated from the point of view of the husband, we the reader are privy to every detail of this couple’s marriage. As a reader, I’m used to seeing thrillers that come with the promise “a twist you won’t see coming” and more often than not I’m left feeling disappointed that the “twist” was obvious from the start. That’s not the case with this novel, there really were some brilliant twists and in very much in keeping with the plot. 

Samantha Downing has written a novel that captures the reader from the first chapter, and as the book description mentions “At page fifty you might not sleep until you finish” and I have to agree I literally read this book in two hugely satisfying sessions (it would have been one if life didn’t get in the way) My Lovely Wife is a deliciously dark tale of relationships and secrets, not original themes by any means, but it’s so different to any other novel I’ve read, it’s wickedly entertaining, full of black humour, and as for the characters their deeply flawed but fascinating never the less. I have a feeling this novel will be a big hit with fans of psychological and crime thrillers and rightly so. Highly recommended by me 

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books (26 Mar. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

I’m giving My Lovely Wife my shiny Book hangover 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 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 reach the very last page.

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Last Of The Magpies by Mark Edwards #BookReview @AmazonPub @Mredwards #MustReads #LastOfTheMagpies

Today I’m sharing my review for Last Of The Magpies By Mark Edwards. If you read The Magpies this book brings the trilogy to a shocking conclusion. Published tomorrow 30th April you can read on for my thought……

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The chilling conclusion to the #1 bestseller The Magpies.

Twelve months ago, Jamie Knight walked straight into Lucy Newton’s trap. Both Jamie and his ex-wife Kirsty barely survived. Now, with the police investigation into Lucy’s disappearance going nowhere, Jamie teams up with a true crime podcaster to track down his nemesis.

But can Jamie persuade Kirsty to help? Can Kirsty forgive him for his past mistakes? And who, if anyone, will survive the final showdown? Featuring extracts from Lucy’s secret memoir, Last of the Magpies brings the trilogy to a shocking conclusion.

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The Magpies was the first book I read by Mark Edwards way back in 2013 and it’s one that often springs to mind as it’s one of my favourite psychological thrillers EVER. I also really enjoyed the follow up A Murder Of Magpies. So imagine my delight when I found out the author had written a chilling conclusion to The Magpies in the form of Last Of The Magpies I should point out it’s a short story (100 pages) and not a full length novel, but don’t let that put you off the author manages to pack a lot into this thrilling  sequel. 

As far as Jamie Knight is concerned Lucy Newton is the devil reincarnated, she has made his life a misery from the day they became neighbours, she caused his marriage to break down, and drove him to the brink. Twelve months after his last encounter with Lucy, one in which he his ex-wife Kirsty barely survived, he’s determined to find Lucy for a final showdown, but who will survive? that’s the question I was eager to find the answer to.   

I loved the extracts from Lucy’s Secret memoirs, you get a real sense of her manipulative and conniving personality, she’s someone who has no compassion for others. It’s these chapters that make for an unsettling read. Lucy is a fascinating character you can’t help being drawn to her, trying to fathom out how far she will go to keep her freedom. You can’t help rooting for Jamie, a victim of Lucy’s depraved games, hoping that he would at last find away to rid himself of Lucy once and for all.

I’m not sure how I expected Mark Edwards to conclude Lucy’s story, but in my opinion it’s the most fitting ending. As I mentioned this is a short read, but the author still manages to pack plenty in, the plot doesn’t feel rushed and the author manages to incorporate a great deal of tension into the plot. I’ve really enjoyed this series of books and couldn’t help but find Lucy’s character memorising, even though she repulsed and fascinated me in equal measures.  Highly recommended

  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing (30 April 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

Books in the series

 

 

 

 

The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins #BookReview @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan #MustReads.

Today I’m sharing my review for The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins, a stand-alone Psychological thriller. 

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FOR SALE: A lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . .

And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune. The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

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The Neighbour is a stand-alone psychological thriller from Fiona Cummins, and very different in tone to Rattle and The Collector   (I loved both books). So I opened this book with some trepidation, and the reason for my trepidation? I have read many crime thrillers with “neighbours” as the main theme, so I wasn’t convinced the author could come up with a plot that would standout from the crowd. As usual, any doubts I had were dismissed once I read the prologue and the first couple of chapters. The Neighbour has to have one of the creepiest prologues EVER! It literally sent shivers down my spine.

FOR SALE: A lovely family home with a good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . .. sounds perfect doesn’t it? but there’s a catch the area where the house stands is the hunting ground for a serial killer dubbed the Doll Maker. This doesn’t stop the Lockwood family moving into their new home on The Avenue. Even before the removal vans unload, a fifth body is found in nearby Woods. The police seem to be struggling for leads and the Lockwoods’ neighbours all seem to have guilty secrets they would prefer to remain hidden, but which one is capable of murder?

The chapters give a “through the keyhole” view into each of the neighbours lives, allowing the reader to learn more about the secrets each one is hiding, there’s a growing sense of mistrust as you try to work out which of the oddball neighbours is most likely to be the killer. The story is told in short chapters, some of the chapters shine the spotlight on the owners living in the Avenue, whilst others relate to the investigation, but it’s the chapters that are narrated from the killers POV I found the most unsettling. You can’t beat a well-depicted serial in a crime thriller and the author has created a monster, as you learn more about them through past events, and their very dark thoughts regarding the crimes they committed I found myself repulsed by the killer, but a small part of me also found this insight strangely fascinating. 

Fiona Cummins has a remarkable talent she can write gruesome crime scenes, layered in horror and menace, and yet her writing is memorising and very descriptive, which seems at odds with the books she writes, but they fit perfectly together, making her books even more compelling to read. Without a shadow of doubt the author knows how to write a top-notch psychological/crime thriller, the sense of  horror, menace, and trepidation is palatable throughout. The Neighbour is a powerful, dark and disturbing story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until it’s heart stopping conclusion, cliched I know but also very true. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a crime thriller with a dark heart and a chilling premise.  

  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (28 Mar. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

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#IKnowYou by Erik Therme #BlogTour @ErikTherme @Bookouture

Today I’m thrilled to be opening the blog tour for I Know You by Erik Therme, along with my partner in crime (excuse the pun) Sarah Hardy don’t forget to check out her post at… bytheletterbookreviews

In my challenge to read more books by authors whose books I haven’t read before I decided to sign up to the blog tour, and I’m so glad I did. Read on for my thoughts….

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I can help you save your sister. But I need something from you …’

Sisters Bree and Alissa Walker share a special bond. Neglected by their parents, they have always looked out for one another. But one day, sixteen-year-old Alissa goes missing. When Bree discovers her green backpack with all her belongings, abandoned on the steps of their run-down trailer, she knows that something bad has happened …

Then she receives a chilling text message. Someone has Alissa. But Bree will have to give up something very precious in exchange.

Desperate to save Alissa, Bree looks at everyone close to their family. She’s sure that Alissa’s best friend is keeping something back about her little sister and a boy at school, and why has their estranged uncle, who they’ve not seen in years, been hanging around again?

It soon becomes clear that the person behind the message knows a lot about the dark truths within the Walker family and will go to any lengths to get revenge. And as the search for Alissa continues, Bree discovers something about her brother Tyler that she wishes she hadn’t, a dangerous secret, which is also the key to bringing her little sister back home …

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I Know You is a relatively short read at 221 pages, but what it lacks in pages it certainly doesn’t lack in action, it’s what I consider to be a fast paced, quick moving thriller. The Walkers can only be described as a “dysfunctional family”, with oldest daughter Bree being the main care provider by default for her younger brother and sister Alissa and Taylor.  

When Bree receives a text stating, simply, “find your sister”, the race is on to find sixteen year old Alissa before it is too late. Bree’s family may not win a “family of the year” award but they are Bree’s family, and rather like a lioness protecting her young she will do anything to safeguard her siblings, this mindset drives her on in the quest to save Alissa. Bree’s a character I really liked, she’s determined, resourceful and ballsy, and despite her difficult childhood she doesn’t allow this to define her.  

The challenges Bree faces to save Alissa, move from the down right scary to the almost impossible, but here’s a character whose going to save her sister come hell or high water. As the story unfolds numerous reasons come to light, each one could potentially be the reason Alissa has been taking, a clever ploy by the author because you find yourself constantly trying to work out why Alissa has been taken? and by whom? There is a long list of worthy suspects who come under the microscope, as each one is discounted another one takes their place. 

The Walker family are central to the plot and although it’s not a book entirely character driven, they do play a big part in the plot. I know You explores what can happen to a family who haven’t had the luxury of growing up in a stable and loving environment and the impact this has on their life’s, the good, the bad, and the damn right ugly.  I wouldn’t say this book had a “heart stopping twist” yes it had plenty of twists and turns, but it lacked that “OMFG” moment I was expecting from the tagline, but never the less this book made for a quick, enjoyable read. This is the perfect thriller for those who are looking for a quick read with well developed characters and a suspenseful plot.

  • Print Length: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2019)

Buying links:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07NCYMZSFSocial

Apple Books:  https://apple.co/2TtfXPM

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2MQZdzE

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/uX3W30nA9OJ

My thanks to the author, Noelle Holten and Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for a honest review.

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Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.eriktherme.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ErikTherme

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7831573.Erik_Therme

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erik.therme

Follow the blog tour….

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TheHunted by Kerry Barnes #BookReview @KerryBarnes1 @HQDigitalUK #TheHunted #BlogTour

Today I’m really excited to be re- sharing my review for The Hunted by Kerry Barnes, to celebrate the books paperback release on the 4th April 2019.

The Hunted is the first book in a brand new explosive crime series and it’s a cracker. Before I share my review here’s the book description……

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Having spent her life watching her father run his East London firm, Zara Ezra has learnt a thing or two about being a gangster, and she’s ready to take over when the time comes.

Mike Regan, a blast from Zara’s past, is the head of his own firm, but when his son is kidnapped in the middle of a gangland feud, Mike has no choice but to accept help from the Ezras to get his little boy back alive.

With a rival firm playing increasingly dirty, murder moves to the top of the agenda and Zara has some big choices to make. It seems that the only way to come out on top is to play them at their own game…

But will she become The Hunter or The Hunted?

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If you enjoy a gangland thriller where violence is common place, revenge is brutal and where loyalties are tested at every turn, then I would highly recommend you buy a copy of The Hunted by Kerry Barnes, it’s a fast paced tale with more than a hint of gritty realism. This is the first book in a new series and OMG what an introduction, with an array of bad ass characters including some very unlikeable ones, and a fast paced plot that takes the reader into the inner circles of a gangland feud, this is definitely a book I would highly recommend to fans of Martina Cole, Jessie Keane and Kimberley Chambers.

Mike Regan is the bad boy in The Hunted but luckily he also has some redeeming features, he’s loyal and adores his son Ricky. When Ricky is kidnapped seemingly by a rival gang, all hell let’s loose and Mike has to call upon Zara the head of an East London firm to help get his son back. It’s great that the author has created a Zara a strong female character, as most gangland thrillers tend to be male dominated, she’s uncompromising and intimidating with balls of steel,  but on the flip side she’s vulnerable and very much has to make her mark in a male dominated world. 

There are some scenes that the faint hearted amongst you might find a bit much, but personally I feel if you are going to read a fictional book about gangland feuds then you should expect violence and plenty of swearing, personally I think these are the things which make The Hunted much more authentic and gritty in its telling.  This isn’t just a story about a boy being kidnapped, it’s one full of treachery, revenge, life long grudges and retribution. I was surprised to find I actually found one point in this book very emotional to read, and that’s a testament to Kerry Barnes writing, as I found myself completely immersed in Mike and Zara’s story.  

The Hunted is a book that you will rush through, it’s one of those that you just have to read “one more chapter” as the author weaves her tale of the murky world of gangland feuds incorporating  lashings of grit.  There were larger than life characters that despite doing terrible things manage to get under your skin, so you invest in their story.  I really enjoyed this book and Kerry Barnes ends The Hunted with a humdinger of a teaser that already has me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Would I recommend this book? It’s a definite “hell yes”. 

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ (21 Mar. 2019)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US

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Kerry Barnes born in 1964, grew up on a council estate in South East London. Pushed by her parents to become a doctor, she entered the world of science and became a microbiologist. After studying law and pharmaceuticals, her career turned to medicine.

Having dyslexia didn’t deter her from her passion for writing. She began writing when her daughter was born thirty years ago. Once her children had grown up she moved to the Kent coast and now writes full time.

Follow the blog tour……

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