Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl #BookReview @nicholl06


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


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…


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 🇬🇧

Open Your Eyes by James Carol #Review


Book description

Jefferson Winter returns in a gripping ebook story from bestselling author James Carol.

Jefferson Winter is at the beginning of his FBI career. He’s young and unpredictable, but he has a gift – he can understand the mind of a murderer like no one else.

Winter is in Las Vegas with Yoko Tanaka, a tough agent with the unenviable task of showing him the ropes. The bodies of three young women have been found and each of them is missing a limb.

Winter is in Las Vegas with Yoko Tanaka, a tough agent with the unenviable task of showing him the ropes. The bodies of three young women have been found and each of them is missing a limb.


I’m a huge fan of James Carol and the Jefferson Winter’s series so when I saw Open Your Eyes was available as an ARC I just had to grab myself a copy, even though it was a novella which if I’m honest I’m not a big fan of, as they often feel rushed or lack the depth both in the characters and the plot. Fortunately this wasn’t the case in fact for such a short book it packed a punch, which made for a taut read.

It was interesting to see how Jefferson Winter has evolved from an eager and unpredictable young FBI agent to the polished and guarded Detective we meet in the series. In Open Your Eyes Winter’s hasn’t yet grown into his personality he’s glib, abrasive and he’s definitely not a team player or predictable. Fellow agent and mentor Yoko has her work cut out trying to keep Winter’s in line throughout the investigation. I found their relationship a very interesting one as sometimes it felt like Jefferson was the teacher, where as Yoko helps him to hone his less endearing personality traits, dialogue between the pair is often full of humour which makes their relationship appear more authentic.

The plot is delivered in true James Carol style, three women murdered each of them missing a limb, it’s up to Yoko and Winter’s to find the killer before he strikes again. Considering this is a sort story it felt longer than 120 pages as it didn’t feel rushed, the reader learns enough about a younger Winter, and his relationship with Yoko to add a new dimension to his character I felt like I knew him a lot better after reading this novella. Open Your Eyes is a MUST read for fans of the Jefferson Winter series it’s fairly tense and moves along at a fair pace, but what I enjoyed the most was learning more about one of my favourite detectives in the crime genre. I shall certainly be looking forward to reading The Quiet Man a full length novel, unfortunately for lovers of Jefferson Winter me included it isn’t  published until May 2017.

5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5

Print Length: 120 pages

Publisher: Faber & Faber (6 Oct. 2016)

Amazon UK

Web Of Deceit by M. A. Comley and Tara Lyons


This is a novella written by Mel Comley together with new author on the block Tara Lyons, I wanted to read Web Of Deceit and get a feel for their writing prior to the release of their first full length novel The Caller released June 2016.

Megan becomes good friends with Tina, a woman whom she met on the Internet, they decide to meet up when Megan returns from France, but how well can you really know someone you have only interacted with through social media? Web Of Deceit explores this issue with relish! It’s difficult to say too much about this book as it is a short story and I’m not one for spoilers! But suffice to say it maybe short but it’s packed full of intrigue and suspense.

I hold my hands up and admit I’m not a big fan of Novella’s but I really enjoyed Web Of Deceit, it has a well defined plot which comes together to make a gritty quick read. One negative, I would have probably rated this 5 stars if the story had been longer, as there was so much potential in the plot. It’s certainly a topical book, as we all have “friends” we think we know well, even though we only know them through social media, would you meet up with them? If you said “yes” you may change your mind after reading this short story!

If you are looking for a quick read and you’re a fan of fast paced crime thrillers, with plenty of tension then this is the book for you, it maybe short but it’s compelling and guaranteed to keep you glued to your seat until you’ve read it all in one sitting. After reading Web Of Deceit I am really looking forward to the publication of The Caller, if Mel Comley and Tara Lyons can pack so much into a novella, then I have high hopes for their full first length book.

4☕️☕️☕️☕️ Out of 5

Print Length: 70 pages

Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited (20 Jan. 2016)