Tag Archives: Police Procedures

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?

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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 🇺🇸

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#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.

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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 🇬🇧

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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.

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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.

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#DeadMemories by Angela Marsons #MustReads @WriteAngie @Bookouture #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Dead Memories by Angela Marsons, a must read series for crime thriller lovers.

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She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the deaths of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?

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I’m a huge fan of Angela Marsons “Kim Stone” series, and will literally drop everything to read her latest book, and woe betide anyone who disturbs me! Dead Memories maybe the tenth book in the series but my god what a series it’s been, it’s made me laugh, sob uncontrollably,  I’m still not sure I’ve forgiven the author for that one yet! And kept me reading into the small hours. As a huge crime thriller reader I can sometimes find a long-running series has lost its lustre, they can feel repetitive and lacking the suspense I look forward too, but “hell” no Angela Marsons makes sure each book has a unique plot, that are packed to the brim with suspense, with characters whom you genuinely care about. 

Someone is recreating crime scenes that relate to Kim’s disturbing past, someone wants to destroy her, with a list of suspects as long as her arm Kim faces her most complex case yet, How far will one of her enemies go to exact their revenge? And who is the person who seems to know so much about Kim’s past?   Desperate for answers and determined to stay on the case which has become personal, Kim is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been recruited to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour, which goes down like a lead balloon to say the least ! but Alison has her own demons to face, which add yet another layer of intrigue to Dead Memories. Each murder scene recreates an exact replica  of traumatic events in Kim’s life, forcing her to relive the tragic events of her past, buried emotions are pushed to the surface, resulting in the reader seeing a very different “Kim” to the one featured in previous books.

As the series has progressed Kim Stone has really got under my skin, I can’t help but feel protective of her, I know her backstory, her fears and the events from her past that make it difficult for her to get close to anyone. Underneath all the bravado and hot air is a vulnerable woman, one you feel could fracture into a million pieces if pushed to far. One of the things I love about this crime series is the way the author has worked her magic and created living, breathing characters, I love the camaraderie between the members of Kim’s team, the dark humour, the way they irritate the hell out of each other, it’s the small details that make them a very credible team. The relationship between Kim and her sidekick Bryant is entertaining, but Bryant is also protective of Kim which makes him a very endearing character. 

I enjoy a crime thriller so much more when the crime scenes are imaginative and this is where the author comes into her own they’re not what I consider to be gory, but Marsons paints a picture that’s so vivid that you can imagine yourself alongside Kim and her team, picking through the bones (no pun attended) of a crime scene. Dead Memories has all the elements I love in a crime thriller, the thrill of the chase, the deciphering of the clues, plenty of red herring wrapped up in a taut and suspense fuelled plot. Personally Angela Marsons books writes in such a way you are guaranteed the suspense and high levels of tension you would expect from a crime thriller, but they are also emotionally charged and are as much about the characters as the crimes committed, something often lacking in books of this genre.

If you haven’t read this series, I seriously recommend you start with Silent Scream, believe me when I say you won’t be “disappointed”. Would I recommend Dead Memories? it’s a “hell yes” with bells on.  This maybe book ten but this is one crime series that goes from strength to strength, and I’m already missing Kim Stone and her motley crew so roll on the next book in the series I’m ready and waiting.  

  • Print Length: 459 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (22 Feb. 2019)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

It will come as no surprise but I’m giving Dead Memories 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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My thanks to Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Other books in the series

 

 

 

#TheSilentDead by Graham Smith #Blogtour #BookReview @GrahamSmith1972 @Bookouture #CrimeReads

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in The Silent Dead by Graham Smith blog tour. It’s the first book in a new police procedure series and it’s a cracker of a start to the series. Before I share my review here’s the very intriguing book description……

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He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…

Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of Lake District.

The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another darling to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

A gripping new detective series set in the Lake District

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The Silent Dead is the first book in a new crime police procedure series, written by Graham Smith,  and what a fantastic start to the series it turned out to be. From the opening chapter where a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner in a crumbling castle in the hills of the  Lake District the author draws you in with an atmospheric setting and a crime scene that is gristly to say the least. This book felt much darker and far more sinister than some crime thrillers I’ve read recently and personally that’s the way I like them. Graham Smith has written a crime thriller that has it all, red herrings misdirection, mystery, and bundles of suspense.

 A new crime series always has to put some emphasis on the team, how else are you going to get to know them? Like any regular team, there is friction and disharmony, but when the chips are down or in this case when the team is caught up in a frantic search to catch a killer they pull together, and I’m interested to see how there characters will evolve over the series. I especially found Beth Young an intriguing character, she’s the youngest member of the team so she finds herself constantly trying to prove to her superiors she’s a valuable and worthy addition to the team. 

It never fails to amaze me how authors come up with such ingenious methods of killing off their victims, and Graham Smith has created some very dark and macabre scenes, what a twisted mind this author must have, his methods and vivid description are enough to make the most hardened crime thriller lover have nightmares, me included! And a word of warning perhaps read the autopsy scenes on a empty stomach, there fascinating in there own right but very gory to say the least. 

The short chapters told from two unknown voices add tension to the overall read, the author gives a chilling insight into the Killers thoughts and motives, you get a sense of how disturbed the killer actually is as he experiments and refines his methods of killing with each victim he takes, spine chilling to say the least! The Silent Dead is a brilliant start to this new series it’s well written, with a gory, fast paced plot. I for one would buy the next book in the series without hesitation. 

  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (30 Nov. 2018)

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧     IBookStore 📚     Kobo📚

Google Play 📚

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Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

Author Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972

WEBSITE: https://grahamsmithauthor.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5446655.Graham_Smith?from_search=true

Follow the blog tour…….

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Her Last Move by John Marrs #BookReview @johnmarrs1 @AmazonPub

Today I’m sharing my review for Her Last Move by John Marrs which is published on the 8th Of November by Thomas & Mercer, before I share my review here’s the book description……..

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She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

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Her Last Move is the latest offering from author John Marrs and his first police procedure novel, so I was interested to see if he could manage to put his own unique spin on a genre that can sometimes feel oversaturated with similar plots. Although parts of Her Last Move felt familiar, for example serial killer becomes vigilante,  I do think John Marrs has managed to add a couple of unique features to the read, I was especially intrigued by Joe Russell a facial recognition expert, I must admit I thought it was something the author had dreamt up, but no! one search on google proved me wrong, I ended up doing a test I found and I’m potentially a super-recogniser, how cool is that? Anyway I’m digressing here I throughly enjoyed this fast paced, dark and sometimes disturbing read.

Detective Sergeant Becca Vincent is trying to balance her career and family life without much success. In the hope of advancing her career she takes the lead on a new case, which finds her tracking a vigilante serial killer, where each death becoming more violent and gruesome than the next. With no leads and no idea who the next victim will be, Becca is teamed up with a facial recognition expert, Joe Russell. As she strives to get a lead on the elusive murder, time is running out as the killer plots the murder of the final victim on his “to kill” list. Both Becca and Jo have very interesting back story’s and personally I thought this added another layer of suspense and intrigue to the overall plot. 

As to the serial killer John Marrs has created a monster, he is calculating, cold and lacks any remorse for his actions, making him an unsettling character. The killers identity is revealed early on which can sometimes spoil my enjoyment of a read, but in fairness to the author the story lies in his motives and once revealed you realise just how warped the killer really is. There were parts of Her Last Move I found predictable but then the author threw in a couple of curve balls which made this novel stand out from many other police procedure novels I have read. This book is darker than some of  the author’s previous books, but personally that’s the way I like them. John Marrs takes one very bold step that really shocked me,(that’s all saying) but it worked perfectly and made the read all the more riveting. It’s certainly a book I would recommend to those who enjoy a crime procedure novel with a compelling plot. 

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (8 Nov. 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

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If you want to find out if you are a super-recogniser, you can take test here……⬇️

http://superrecognisers.com/

my results:

A4A21183-6AA9-4E12-983A-5760C257711BIf you take the test I would love it if you left your results in the comments.  

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

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Today I’m sharing my review for In The Dark by Cara Hunter and what a gripping crime thriller it turned out to be, read on for my thoughts, but first the book description

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY’RE HIDING IN THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR?

From the author of the massive bestseller CLOSE TO HOME, comes the second pulse-pounding DI Fawley crime thriller.

A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive.

No one knows who they are – the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. The elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.

The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.

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Last year I read Close To Home the debut novel from Cara Hunter which I thought was a pretty amazing crime thriller.  In The Dark the second book in the DI Fawley series has made this an unmissable series. Yes it can easily be read as a standalone but because this is shaping up to be a such a gripping series it’s definitely worth starting at the beginning.  In The Dark opens with a belter of chapter, A young woman and a child are found locked in a cellar, William Harper the owner is an elderly man who  appears to be confused, and is unable to remember how they got there. Neither of the victims can speak due to trauma they suffered. Which means DI Fawley and his team start an investigation where they find themselves literally working “In The Dark” who is the woman?  how did she end up in the cellar of a quiet Oxford street? These are just some of the questions that are at the forefront of this gripping and compelling crime procedure thriller. 

Cara Hunter has a gift for writing crime books centred around police procedures, she not only tells a story in the conventional way, but adds police interviews, forensic reports, social media post and newspaper articles to make the reader feel they are right there amid the investigation sifting through the clues. This way of sharing the information gives the plot a present day feel but it also makes the whole investigation feel very credible. It’s very cleverly done in my opinion as it adds a sense of urgency to the plot, the need for answers to the why and how,  keep the reader fixated.

Creating a character whose confused to say the least, who also happens to be the main suspect was sheer genius on the author’s part. Although there is some character development of Fawley and his team, the investigation is definitely at the forefront of this book, so no time is wasted on unnecessary chapter filling, which made this book even more enjoyable to read. There is nothing more satisfying than being surprised by a book, and boy did Cara Hunter surprise me! At one point I thought the author was rehashing a well used plot in crime thrillers but when I least expected it she threw in the mother of all curve balls, it truly was a “OMFG I never seen that coming” type of moment.  Definitely one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read this year, with a compelling narrative, twists galore and oodles of deceit, I have a feeling In The Dark is going to be a HUGE success and one of this summers MUST reads. Highly recommended.

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. 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 reached the very last page.

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  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (12 July 2018)

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧           Amazon US 🇺🇸

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