Tag Archives: Police Procedures

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture #ChildsPlay #CrimeSeries #MustReads

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for one of my favourite crime series Child’s Play by Angela Marsons, but first the book description……..

404D4237-D4EB-41A2-BA3C-E7EDBEA96EF2

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck.

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event.

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killer’s they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

The addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy, number one bestseller Angela Marsons explores the dark side of child prodigies and will have you absolutely hooked.

56204BD4-C616-452C-A3EB-50DE745906AC

I’ve thought long and hard about writing a review for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons, not because I didn’t enjoy it, in fact I bloody loved it! But it’s the eleventh book in the series and I’ve reviewed every book,  and I’m not sure I have anything original to say, unlike the author! Am I biased towards the author? Definitely not if I love a book i will shout about it, if I dislike a book  I tend to keep my opinions to myself! I keep expecting this series to lose momentum, or the latest book to be a pleasant read, but not one that sets my heart racing with excitement, and yet the latest instalment of the ‘Kim Stone’ series is just as good, or even better than previous books in the series, and just as thrilling, Angela Marsons is an author who was born to write crime thrillers.

Child’s Play opens with a blood curdling scene, there’s no slow build up here the author goes straight for the jugular, no pun attended! Which immediately draws you into Child’s Play. Diverting from her usual format the author has uses two plots to engage the reader, personally I sometimes find this affects the flow of a book, but that’s definitely not the case with Child’s Play. The first focuses on the investigation of the gruesome murder of Belinda Evans, a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. The second focuses on DC Penn whom we were introduced to in a previous book. By weaving both plots together we learn more about Penn’s personality and learn more about his strengths  and weaknesses during a reopened investigation.

The strength of this series lies in its characters, Kim Stone and her team are so well developed, they jump out of the pages. Like any team they each have a place, they have their disagreements, their banter is second to none and yet they are a ‘work family’ who always have each other’s back.  The relationship between Kim and her sidekick Bryant goes from strength to strength, the humour better the pair adds light relief to the contrast of a dark plot. A new member temporarily joins the team, Tiffany aka ‘Tinks’  her character fits in really well with the dynamics of the team, even if Kim finds her irritatingly cheerful! I hope she makes a return in future books, as I think she would definitely make a worthy addition to the team.  

As I’ve come to expect the author’s research into her plot and characters is impeccable, she also gives an incredible insight into the psyche of her troubled characters. In this book the author spotlights child prodigies, a subject which I found intriguing but at the same time alarming, these children are often seen as oddities, they are bullied, ostracised, isolated because they are ‘different’. Marsons explores the difficulties child prodigies face, alongside the ramifications on siblings and families. Child’s Play seems such an innocent title, it’s one that conjures up images of children’s laughter, and childhood games, but Angela Marsons turns it into something dark and far more sinister. 

Once again the author has written a crime thriller that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, taut with tension and bursting with malevolence and trepidation, it’s a book that crime thriller lovers will race through. Angela Marsons has again delivered a riveting read, with an original plot, all to human characters and a style of writing that immerses the reader from the start. I cannot wait for the next book in this ‘unmissable’ series. Highly recommended by me. 

  • Print Length: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (11 July 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

D758160B-B9B3-4A36-A859-42D463A54950

 

 

 

Black Summer by M.W.Craven #BookReview @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @TheCrimeVault #WashingtonPoe #BlackSummer #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m sharing my review for Black Summer by M.W.Craven the second book in the Washington Poe series, and one of my most anticipated reads for summer 2019. You can read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……

24B8B0E4-9F42-4D05-A958-B9CF974D512A

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

CB9DAE77-6976-41F5-952C-A12813127667

Ever since I reached the last page The Puppet Show  I have been (in)patiently waiting for Black Summer by M.W. Craven, the second book in the Washington Poe series. One of my favourite things about picking up a new book is when a crime author grabs your attention with a dramatic opening, as soon as I read the first page I just knew that this was a book I knew I would savour. Although Black Summer could be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to read both books in order, not doing so would be like ordering a dessert without the main course! Where’s the pleasure in that? This book is perfectly paced, with engaging characters, it’s definitely one of this year’s summer unmissable crime reads. 

Black Summer is the perfect title for this book, there’s a storm brewing with Poe planted firmly in the eye of the storm!  M.W. Craven puts our hero Poe through the wringer as he finds himself on the wrong side of a crime investigation, one that will question his integrity, and potential end his career.  A case from his past dramatically takes centre stage when Elizabeth Keaton staggers into a police station, nothing wrong with that you might think, but Poe helped to convict her father Jared Keaton, chef to the stars for her murder! A conviction  based mainly on forensic evidence. So it doesn’t bode well for Poe, aided by his colleagues, computer, science and maths genius, Tilly Bradshaw, Poe is in a race against time to prove his innocence. There’s nothing Tilly loves more than a complex the puzzle, if anything she embraces them, and M.J. Craven delivers a deliciously complex  case, one that allows Tilly to showcase her skills in helping to solve a bewildering case. 

There is so much I could say about Poe and Tilly the dynamic duo, they are both such fabulous depicted, compelling characters. Poe is complex & charismatic, complex, whereas the wonderful Tilly is still socially awkward, some of her comments need fine tuning, tact definitely isn’t her strong point but she’s a hell of a character all the same. The dialogue between the couple is endearing, charming and funny, but it’s these moments that add light to the darkness of the plot. There is an array of brilliant characters in Black Summer that are worthy of a mention. We are introduced to forensic pathologist, Estelle Doyle another quirky character, and one I hope will reappear in future books. As for the charming, charismatic Jared Keaton, without giving away spoilers, he’s the definition of a psychopath, chilling but so brilliantly depicted!  The author has a knack for creating characters that are multidimensional, quirky and unforgettable, always a definite plus. 

I loved how the author brought all the threads together culminating in a jaw dropping, but very satisfying and clever conclusion. Black Summer isn’t as dark or gory as The Puppet Show, but OMG if anything I probably enjoyed this book more, there’s so many questions, intrigue, and mystery, my perfect kind of crime read. This is one book that will definitely be on my top reads of 2019, I’m only sorry that we will have to wait another year for the next book in the series, but I will definitely read it and the one after that, and the one……… Black Summer is a book I would recommend without hesitation,  and for those of you who love a crime thriller that’s taut and brilliantly twisted it’s a ‘must read’

  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (20 Jun. 2019)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

And yes I’m giving a Black Summer 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.

FF8EB1CE-86A8-4090-97E4-2F25FA9B55A4

 

#NoWayOut by Cara Hunter #CrimeSeries #MustReads @CaraHunterBooks @PenguinUKBooks

Today I’m sharing my review for the latest book in the DI Fawley series, No Way Out by Cara Hunter if you are a fan of crime/police procedures then this is an unmissable series. Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……..

75F9D5AF-774B-40CF-A3CC-69986BAC7D89

DID YOU SEE ANYTHING ON THE NIGHT THE ESMOND FAMILY WERE MURDERED? 

From the author of CLOSE TO HOME and IN THE DARK comes the third pulse-pounding DI Fawley crime thriller.

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DI Fawley has ever worked. 

The Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his brother is soon fighting for his life.

Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?

Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true.

Because this fire wasn’t an accident.

It was murder. 

d8b18442-e003-4d85-9fb4-f74ccccd8fbc

Woohoo Cara Hunter is back with No Way Out the third novel in the D I Adam Fawley series, in case you haven’t guessed this is one of my favourite crime series ever, in fact I didn’t even bother reading the book description, I picked up the book and dived right in. After reading No Way Out in a day it’s safe to say this crime thriller turned out to be everything I hoped for and more. The author pulls out all the stops, No Way Out is a nail biting, complex tale of arson, child murder and family intrigue. 

No Way Out opens with the chilling discovery of two children, burned in a fire in their family home. Initially, there’s no sign of their parents. The police are not only dealing with arson, but possibly murder. Who would want this seemingly “normal family” dead? Where are the parents? Enter Di Fawley and his team whose job it is to piece the clues together. No Way Out begins in the present but gradually reveals events in the families past that led to the devastating house fire. With so much going on you would be forgiven if you thought this novel may be difficult to follow, but it’s really not, Cara Hunter has a knack of blending past and present timelines, and other mediums into a seamless read that’s nigh on impossible to put down.  

Although No Way Out can be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to read the whole series in order, it’s no hardship I promise. In this novel we learn more about DI Fawley and his team, although the author doesn’t overwhelm the plot with details of their woes or personal life’s, which I find can often happen with a crime series. We just know enough about each of the characters to satisfy our curiosity and make each character all the more intriguing. As you can see from the book description a child dies, which although upsetting the author handles the subject with sensitivity. 

If there’s one thing I love about Cara Hunter’s books it her attention to detail, not only does she provide the reader with a gripping story line, but she adds newspaper reports, transcriptions from witness statements and fire statement reports. An original concept which adds a touch of authenticity to the read, but it’s also one that make you feel part of the investigation rather than a bystander, you’re there sifting through the mountains of evidence, poring over witness statements looking for the clue that will finally “crack” the case. As I expected Cara Hunter has woven an intricate plot, bound together in red herrings and misdirection at every turn, the most satisfying thing about a crime read is not working out the intricate plot before the big reveal,  and Cara Hunter kept me in the dark until the shocking but very satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended by me.

  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (22 Mar. 2019)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

B9B3CF2C-2B33-4CC4-A575-9DCCB32ECF97

Links to my reviews for the Close To Home and In The Dark by Cara Hunter…….

Close To Home by Cara Hunter #BookReview @CaraHunterBooks

In The Dark by Cara Hunter #MustReads @CaraHunterBooks @penguinrandom @PenguinUKBooks

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview #BlogTour #TickTock

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt. Tick Tock is the second book in the DS Grace Allendale crime series. Read on for my review…..

30E2DBFF-E517-49F8-9BF2-7679D87E0552

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

2C15D952-FF75-44D5-A1CE-F13DFC975D11

I’m one of those readers who likes a start of a book to grab me I’m not one for a slow buildup, I need to have my interest piqued from the start. Author Mel Sherratt knows how to deliver an opening chapter, one that’s shocking, it triggers the reader’s interest, as well as promising an exciting and heart thumping read.  Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt is the second book in the DS Grace Allendale crime series, and although it could be read as a stand-alone there are references to the first book in the series Hush Hush , so personally I would read them in order.

Grace and her team are called in to investigate the murder of a teenage girl murdered whilst on a cross-country run with her school. Was it a random attack? or was she specifically targeted? When the body count rises it really is a case of Tick Tock the clock’s ticking as the team are in a race against time to find the person responsible. Grace is one of those characters you can’t help but warm to, like any good detective she’s relentless in her quest to solve the crimes, but she’s also very aware of the victims family and friends distress and shows great empathy, as each death reminds her of her own loss. Her relationship with journalist Simon causes some conflict between the pair, but you can’t help hoping they are able to work through their problems. 

When I read a crime book, I’ve come to expect graphic crime scenes, I don’t necessarily want them, but more often that not they are there. What I really liked about Tick Tock is the fact the author doesn’t include graphic crimes to sensationalise her story, she concentrates more on the “after”. For me this made the read far more authentic, you sense the devastation and horror family and friends feel, their outpouring of grief, anger and disbelief, which give this novel a far grittier touch than any crime scene can convey. As you would expect like any good crime thriller, there are many red herrings and surprises to lead you astray on the path to the truth. 

The last quarter of the book really picks up the pace as Grace and her team move closer to finding the killer, and OMG I never seen that one coming!  I found Tick Tock to be a gritty, authentic, heart thumping read, Mel Sherratt’s writing goes from strength to strength with each book she writes. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a fast-paced, authentic crime thriller. 

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (2 May 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

4AD78C3C-1126-4E1C-ADB1-252206A4002D

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.

I’m not sure which I am most proud of – being on the list of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 most influential people 2018 or after years of rejection going on to sell over one million books.

Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

I regularly appear at festivals, conferences and events across the country – my favourites being London Book Fair and Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow the blog tour…….

41E6A413-B685-4792-872B-AF221D50D1D2.jpeg

 

 

#BehindTheBooks with #Author Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @Bookouture #KimStoneSeries

Today I’m thrilled to have  author Angela Marsons take part in my latest feature #BehindTheBooks. The author writes the “Kim Stone” crime series, and as anyone who follows my blog will now it’s one of my favourite crime series EVER. Read on for my interview with the awesome Angela Marsons…..

F9CF9241-32AA-4516-A0FB-A4E868B43121

Hi Angela I’m thrilled to have you visit the book review café, tea or coffee?

Tea, please. A big cup of hot sweet tea. It’s what I exist on.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Kim Stone series?

Yes, it’s a series about a Detective Inspector based in and around the Black Country in the West Midlands.  I am currently working on book 11 of a 16 book contract and surprisingly the character still seems to have a lot to say.

Dead Memories is the latest book to be published, it’s the tenth book in series, did you ever think when you published Silent Scream it would end up being a long running series?

I was originally signed for 4 Kim Stone books and I thought that I wouldn’t see that out. I had visions of my publisher, Bookouture, sending me the ‘sorry we made a mistake’ email and we can’t continue your contract for the 7 people that bought your book!! Yes, I had seven guaranteed sales from family members. So, after Silent Scream was published and it went to #1 (due in no small part to the blogger/reviewer support it received) I was asked to sign for 4 more and a few books later I signed for a further 8 books. There is no publisher I would rather be on this journey with than Bookouture as they gave me the opportunity to share my stories after many years of rejection.

EFBB001C-B9AB-4C31-9EF9-5C47FD74CB7E

How many more books in the series can we look forward to? 

Although I’m contracted to write 16 books I’ve always said that I’ll keep writing them as long as people want to keep reading them.

Do you spend a lot of time researching for your books? 

The research is one of my favourite parts of the process. I always buy factual books about the subjects that I’m planning to cover and crack open a new notepad and box of bic original pencils to start the project. I still love learning but the key is not to put in everything you’ve learned but to choose only what’s relevant to the story and that will particularly interest the reader.

After years of writing relationship based stories, you turned to crime, what made you decide to change direction?

I have always loved to read crime but never thought I could write a crime book due to the twists and turns needed. When I sat down to write Silent Scream it was an act of rebellion. I decided to write the book I wanted to write with the character that was screaming in my head, based in my own area and not a big city. I totally expected to reach 30K words and hit a brick wall but it was at that point that the pencil took on a life of its own and I couldn’t write it quick enough.  Much of the plot grew organically as I wrote and the twists and turns occurred to me during the process which was incredibly exciting. I still write each book in the same way. I have a vague idea of where I’m going but I don’t plan.

80B82B98-4A0E-4667-A940-E704CCB6C9E7

You received numerous rejections on your road to success, what advice would you give to would be authors in a similar position?

My first piece of advice would be to never forget what compelled you to write in the first place. When faced with rejection it’s easy to forget the love of words or making a good sentence or developing unique characters. Whatever it was that drove you to do it, keep the love for the process alive. Also, I would always advise new authors not to share their work too early. It’s easy to get excited and to seek validation for your first couple of chapters but any comment, positive or negative,  can affect the rest of your journey with the story. I always think of the first draft as my sandpit, it’s my time to make the book whatever I want it to be and only once I’ve reached the end do I share it with anyone.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Oh my goodness, there have been so many WOW moments. Things I never even dreamed could happen. It might have been my first Amazon #1 or seeing the books on supermarket shelves or my first foreign rights deals but I think it would have to be hitting the 3 million sales mark. I can’t even count that high and the number is unfathomable to me. I’m proud of each and every sale.

I’m a big fan of the “Kim Stone” book covers, did you get any say in choosing the cover? 

I love the covers too but no I don’t get any say in choosing them. This bothered me at first but I now trust Bookouture to do their bit and they trust me to do mine.

D6A7BBDC-A6B8-4472-ADC5-F362AAD355C1.jpeg

Once you finished writing a book whose the first person who gets to read it?

Always my partner Jules who works closely on the books with me. As I handwrite the first draft the process is slower at that stage. As I write Julie types the chapters so that when I get to the end of the first draft the chapters are typed and ready for me to get cracking on the second draft.  As I’m working on the second draft I’m printing and Jules has her red pen and gives me advice and points out things I might not have noticed.

Do you ever get writer’s block? And if so how do you get over it? 

I normally only get writers block if I’m trying to force the story or one of the characters in the wrong direction. In Silent Scream the ending between Kim and Lucy was going to be very different and I actually couldn’t write it because the original plan no longer felt right due to the relationship that had developed between them.  If I’m struggling to find creativity in a particular area of the book I’ll often move to a scene that I’m dying to write. Normally that will be a scene filled with emotion or conflict.

How do you cope with negative reviews? 

I try not to read them but it’s hard when a new book comes out. The nerves never go away so each time a new book is released I want to know what people think of it and it’s not always easy to read. Luckily I’ve learned to grow a thicker skin and as long as there are some folks that like the book I try to focus on that.

You are a big champion of book bloggers, how have they helped you?

When Silent Scream was first published neither myself nor Bookouture had any idea how it would go. It was their first crime book and they were still a relatively young publisher so we all just kind of crossed our fingers.  When the book went out to reviewers and bloggers they not only shouted about it, they shouted loudly. They reviewed and shared their reviews and recommended it to anyone who would listen. I have no doubt that the book would not have been anywhere near as successful had it not been for the passion shown to it by reviewers and bloggers.  But more than that – most authors feel like frauds. Most of us think that if a book is loved that it was a fluke and we’ll never be able to do it again. The response I received from bloggers and reviewers and the way they took Kim Stone to their hearts gave me the confidence to think I could do it again

E2CDBB3B-F6FC-4C81-9A6E-922989765775

And finally what’s next for Kim Stone?

She will continue to fight for the underdog with her loyal team. She will continue to be obnoxious but with a good heart and I promise that nothing is going to happen to Barney (a question I get asked a lot).

A6EE0AA1-C4A7-4821-92F2-2FF3611D0F90

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

Buying link to the #KimStone series 🇬🇧

Buying link to the #KimStone series 🇺🇸

 

 

 

The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell #CrimeSeries #MustReads @Caroline_Writes

Today I’m sharing my review for The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell, the second book in the DI Amy Winters series and what a cracker this series is turning out to be. You can read on for my thoughts…..

27E121FF-D997-4E58-9F9D-4597348CCF1EDI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years . . .

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?

d8b18442-e003-4d85-9fb4-f74ccccd8fbc

Ever since I read Truth And Lies  (the first book in the DI Amy Winter series), I’ve been eagerly waiting for The Secret Child to be published, and freaking hell it was definitely worth the wait. Amy’s biological parents are notorious serial killers, not the best background for a Detective I must admit! But that’s what makes this series refreshingly original and highly compelling. Before you ask “Yes” The Secret Child could be read as a stand-alone, but would I recommend it? No,  personally I think you need to read the books in order, Amy has such a fascinating and original backstory it would be a shame if you didn’t follow her disturbing tale from the beginning.

Amy is the Detective leading the case of the kidnapping of four-year-old girl Ellen, taken from her home in the middle of the night. Days later Ellen’s mother receives a parcel, along with a note, nothing strange about that you may think but the person who sent the parcel has been dead for years! Told across two timelines the author reveals a sorry tale, but my god it made for a nail-biting, heart thumping read. Although I would never condone kidnapping, I couldn’t help but feel empathy for a character whose own tortured childhood shaped the adult they become.

This book is as much about the characters as it is about the crimes committed, the author has created some fabulous characters, Amy, the kidnapper and her serial killer mother all added to my overall enjoyment of this read. Even from behind prison bars Amy’s evil mother Lillian Grimes continues to manipulate Amy and those around her, she’s one twisted mother ****** that’s for sure, and yet I couldn’t help being fascinated and disgusted in equal measures by her character, what makes a mother turn into a feared killer? How can she possibly consider herself to be a victim? Amy has her flaws like many a fictional Detective, but it’s hardly surprising when you consider who her parents are! The author gives an in-depth insight into Amy character, as she reveals more details of Amy’s very disturbing past, you can’t help but feel her pain and confusion, her constant dissecting of her personality looking for any psychopathic traits she may have inherited from her parents.

There is so much I loved about this book, the characters, the plot which draws on real events making it even more shocking, the shifting between past and present. Add to the fact The Secret Child is one of those reads that reels you in with a promising prologue and keeps you in its grips with an intense and captivating read, it’s definitely a series I would recommend to crime thriller lovers. I’m eager to see where Caroline Mitchell’s twisted imagination takes her next, and that’s the beauty of her writing no two books are the same, so roll on the next book which I will read come hell or high water.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

4DADD8E8-A7C4-43F6-987D-D58414EC6B6E.jpeg

 

 

#PoeticJustice by R.C. Bridgestock **Blog Tour** @RCBridgestock @DomePress #TeamDylan

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the blog tour for Poetic Justice by R.C. Bridgestock. From the husband and wife team who are the storyline consultants to TV’s Happy Valley and Scott & Bailey, comes the brand new book in the D.I. Jack Dylan series, which takes the reader back to where it all began… Read on for my thoughts……..

C786C9A4-F7F3-41F3-818C-78C7C0020C6DWhen Detective Jack Dylan heads home after a residential course, he has no idea that an extraordinary succession of events is about to turn his life upside down. A vicious, unprovoked attack is just the start. Soon his wife is dead and his step-daughter – dangerously depressed – is being expelled from university for drug use. And at work, two teenagers have gone missing. 

An ordinary man might break under the strain, but Dylan is no ordinary man. He knows that his survival depends on him carrying on regardless, burying himself in his work.

He is determined to pursue the criminal elements behind the events – both personal and professional – whether his superiors like it or not. And, as his family disintegrates around him, a newcomer to the admin department, Jennifer Jones, seems to offer some sort of salvation.

Life may have changed, but nothing will stand in the way of Dylan’s quest for justice.

7B5FA7D3-A9DF-4F69-9CEE-759872AFE4A9

Poetic Justice is the ninth book in in the Detective Jack Dylan series but it’s also the prequel to the previous eight books so if you haven’t read any of the books in the series Poetic Justice is the perfect introduction to Jack Dylan. Oh dear, poor Jack Dylan, the authors push him to breaking point in this book. First the victim of a vicious unprovoked attack, then his wife dies in mysterious circumstances, and his step-daughter gets expelled from university for drug abuse, enough to send any man over the edge, but not Jack Dylan, his unwavering quest for justice pushes him onward through a dark period in his life. Although I have only read a few books in the series I enjoyed learning more about Jack and how events from his past shaped his character.

For me it was the second part of Poetic Justice I enjoyed the most, I found the first half a slow burner, but in the author’s defence they use this time to build on the background behind the plots and although this slows the pace of the read, it gives the reader time to gain an in-depth view of the various characters and plots. The second half is much grittier and hard knocking. As the case the police are working involve Dylan, he has to take a ‘back seat’ so to speak, but even then he is determined to get to the truth despite his own grief, and it’s his tireless efforts that propel the story forward.

Poetic Justice is very much character driven so if you are looking for a fast-paced police procedure read this may not be the book for you, but if like me, you like to have a better understanding of the characters you read about then I would highly recommend this book. At certain points of this book there were scenes that were emotionally charged, and I found myself sympathetic to Dylan’s plight, something I wasn’t expecting. There are a couple of plots running through the book, and although not fast-paced or shocking, both added to my enjoyment of this book.  I should mention the author’s police background adds an air of authenticity to the story that some police crime thrillers can lack. Poetic Justice is the perfect read for new fans of the series and for those who are already big fans of this series, it’s a worthy addition to the Jack Dylan series.

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧

61173DCF-28BE-4FED-9E25-BDA3BFD2CF10

The D.I. Dylan series of books by RC Bridgestock (Husband and wife writing team, Bob and Carol Bridgestock) comes from a unique perspective of a collective real life experience of high level policing of 47 years. As a career detective Bob Bridgestock worked in the CID at every rank. For over half of his service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent of the West Yorkshire Police force.

As a Senior Investigative Officer (SIO) in charge of homicide cases he took command of some twenty-six murder investigations, twenty-three major incidents including shootings and attempted murders and over fifty suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults, some of which were extremely high profile in his last three years alone.

B85B8C6E-0B05-4848-B87A-844A94E634C4

www.rcbridgestock.com
Twitter @RCBridgestock
LinkedIn: Bob Bridgestock
Facebook: @RCBridgestock

Other books in the series

My thanks to the authors and Dome Press for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

A66492B5-6921-4A20-A615-49C19695459A