Tag Archives: Suspense

**Blog tour** #HushHush by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt. Hush Hush Is the first book in a exciting  new police procedural series featuring DS Grace Allendale. Before I share my review here’s the book description…..

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A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

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I’ve long been a fan of Mel Sherratt’s writing, she is such a versatile writer, and proves it by writing books in a wide range of genres whether it be a psychological thriller, crime fiction or suspense you are always guaranteed a cracking read. When I picked up Hush Hush the first book in a new crime series featuring DS Grace Allendale I was hoping she would incorporate her trade mark “grit lit” into the story, something this author does so well. I’m thrilled to report I personally think this is the author’s best book to date and had so many aspects that made Hush Hush such a gripping read. 

DS Grace Allendale  has recently returned to her home town of Stoke-on-Trent. Grace’s early years were spent living with a violent and abusive father, which ended when Grace’ s mother left him. Now he’s been murdered and Grace newly promoted feels able to return to the town she grew up in. On her return she finds herself investigating a murder, which is complicated by the fact The Steele’s a family who are well known for their criminal activities also happen to be Grace’s half brothers and sisters. As the old proverb goes  “blood is thicker than water”, but there’s always an exception to any rule,  which is certainly the case for Grace and the Steele family, loyalty is tested and conflict arises.

Grace like many fictional detectives has baggage, she’s a loner, she’s reserved but Grace is also a strong character, the brutal and disturbing chapters that describe her abusive childhood help the reader to understand the complexities of the “grown up” Grace. Alongside the investigation and on going problems with her family, she also has difficulty fitting in with her new team, they still miss their old boss Allie Shenton (featured in previous books by the author) and they also have trust issues which is hardly surprising considering who she is, but all these issues add to the overall tension.

Hush Hush is a solid start to this new crime series, with misdirection, suspense, and a dysfunctional family at its core this is undoubtedly a not to be missed crime thriller. There’s a gritty realism within the author’s books that some crime thrillers can lack, I found the chapters that delved into Graces past very disturbing and heartbreaking to say the least, but Mel Sherratt isn’t afraid to tackle uncomfortable subjects head on and in doing so has written a crime thriller that is a worthy addition to any crime thriller lovers bookshelf. Highly recommended. 

  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (18 Oct. 2018)

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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My novels take you to the heart of the crime. I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and crime dramas – fiction with a punch. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes. 

Since 2012, I’ve sold over one million books. All eleven of my crime novels have been bestsellers, each one climbing into the Kindle UK top 10 and I’ve had several number ones. I’ve also had numerous Kindle All-star awards, for best read author and best titles.

My latest book, HUSH HUSH is the first in a new series featuring DS Grace Allendale. It’s a police procedural which finds Grace returning to her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent and coming face to face with her estranged family during her first murder investigation. It’s a story of ‘is blood thicker than water’ and being stuck between a rock and a hard place. And there’s a serial killer on the loose… 

SHE DID IT is a standalone psychological thriller, and my first novel set in London. I wanted to write about a character who was nice to everyone using one persona but out for revenge with another side to her that she tries to keep hidden away. The reader knows exactly what she is up to – but not the reason why. 

TAUNTING THE DEAD is my best selling book. It’s part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It was standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as the main character to create a trilogy. FOLLOW THE LEADER is book two and ONLY THE BRAVE is book three.

THE ESTATE SERIES is a mix of psychological suspense and family life with a sprinkling of grit and a dash of menace – where drama meets crime. There are four books, available individually or you can read the first three as a box set. 

DETECTIVE EDEN BERRISFORD works in a community intelligence team and helps to gather information and intel for investigations. THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR is the first book, followed by DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU. 

WATCHING OVER YOU is another standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turn into murder.

I also write women’s fiction under the pen name of Marcie Steele. Stirred with Love, The Little Market Stall of Hope and Heartbreak and The Second Chance Shoe Shop are out now. 

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and make liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website http://www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels 

Follow the blog tour……

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#AndSoItBegins by Rachel Abbott #BlogTour @RachelAbbott @annecater

Today I’m over the moon  to be opening the blog tour for Rachel Abbott and her latest book And So It Begins. If you love a twisted psychological thriller then you need to buy this one immediately. Before I share my review here’s the book description……..

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Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

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There’s nothing more thrilling than reading a psychological thriller that is deliciously twisted, one that literally leaves your head in a spin, and a plot that’s big on the unpredictable And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott fits the bill perfectly. Evie Clarke meets Mark, a reclusive widower, and they soon become a couple. Mark starts to feel he has a future after the accidental death of his first wife. There’s only one fly in the ointment, and comes in the shape of Cleo, Mark’s overprotective sister, who is is mistrustful of Evie from the start. What first appears to be a fairly straightforward story of a marriage gone wrong soon ascends into something darker and far more disturbing. 

As the reader you are privy to details of the couples personal struggles, at times this made for a disquieting read, but you can’t help but read on in fascinated horror as Rachel Abbot reveals more details about the couple and Cleo’s past. Now normally I have to feel some connection to the characters to invest in their story, both Evie and Cleo had qualities that made them impossible to like, but if anything it actually made the story far more interesting as I only took them at face value. I do love an unreliable narrator and in this book you don’t get one but two! and so I  found myself constantly questioning their involvement and motives. There is an undercurrent of lies and deception throughout the book and it is not clear until the very end where the deceit lies.

I was surprised when I realised this novel was Part court room drama, but if anything this was the part of the book I enjoyed the most, as the author deftly reveals more details about the damaged characters within the book.  And So It Begins Is a book that is guaranteed to keep you guessing it’s not about the “who” as that’s revealed early on in the book it’s the complexities of the “why” that make this book such an exciting read. With themes of jealousy, violence, toxic family relationships, and damaged characters, it’s one of those books that holds surprises at every deviously twisted turn. I must mention I love the fact that author Rachel Abbott manages to maintain the element of surprise right up to the last page, making this novel a thrill a minute read. Highly recommended 

  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wildfire (11 Oct. 2018)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again and The Sixth Window. Her most recent novel, Come a Little Closer, is available from February 2018.

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language. 

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter.

Rachel’s website can be found at 

Website : http://www.rachel-abbott.com 

Blog : http://rachelabbottwriter.com/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/RachelAbbott1Writer

Twitter: @RachelAbbott

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**Blog Tour** #TheHunted by Kerry Barnes #BookReview @KerryBarnes1 @HQDigitalUK

Today I’m  really excited to be taking part in The Hunted by Kerry Barnes blog tour. 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:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hunted-gripping-crime-thriller-hooked-ebook/dp/B07D535TWB/🇬🇧

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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.

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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.  

**Blog tour** Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner #MustReads @Ronnie_Turner @HQDigitalUK

Today I’m over the moon to be on the blog tour for Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner, a fabulous book blogger turned author. Before you read my review here’s the book description……

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Will they ever learn the truth?

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . .

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Every parents worse fear becomes a reality for John when his daughter goes missing. “Not another child missing book” I can here you muttering, but wait Lies Between Us the debut novel by Ronnie Turner takes a familiar subject used in psychological thrillers and then turns it on its head. What makes it stand out? Firstly the characters, best of luck trying to work out their connection, it’s intricately plotted, and the writing is superb, best of all I loved the way the author keeps the reader guessing throughout. If you are looking for a read that’s taut with tension and rife with suspense then look no further Lies Between Us contains bucketfuls of both.      

Told from three POV this book is very much character driven, the BIG question is what connects the three? As a parent my heart went out to John whose daughter has been taken, his emotions and fears were very credible. My favourite character was definitely Miller, oh dearie me what a disturbed and creepy child he turned out to be, the chapters told from his POV add an overwhelming sense of menace to the overall story. Maisie a nurse was a character who puzzled me  I knew her POV must have some relevance to the story, but as to the “how” I just couldn’t fathom it out, but once I reached the big reveal and so superbly executed might I add, I realised just how devious the author had been. Lies Between Us does require the reader’s full attention due to the complexity of the plot, there were a couple of times where I did find myself confused, my advice would be to pay particular attention to the chapters time stamps it definitely helps.

There’s nothing more satisfying than reading a psychological thriller that takes me by surprise, and Lies Between Us not only surprised me it left me sat there flabbergasted. I did manage to work out the “who” after numerous false starts, but by the time I did I had nearly reached the end of the novel, so my “detective radar” was definitely scuppered by the author. Ronnie Turner deftly explores obsession and the lengths people go to in the name of “love” it’s deliciously dark and definitely very twisted but I loved every page of this novel. I must admit as I reached the conclusion I was left wondering about a few things, but that’s the beauty of this book as the author lets the reader come to their own conclusion.

should mention the author has the most twisted mind (I mean that as a compliment) Ronnie Turner teases and taunts the reader at every possible turn. Lies Between Us is my perfect kind of psychology thriller, it’s  one that kept me constantly guessing with enough “OMFG” moments to make Lies Between Us a superbly compelling read. A promising debut from Ronnie Turner and I will certainly be reading her next book without a shadow of a doubt.

  •  Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (1st Oct. 2018)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Find her on:

Twitter: @Ronnie_ _Turner

Facebook: @RonnieTurnerAuthor

Instagram: @ronnieturner8702

Website: www.ronnieturner.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40169201-lies-between-us

This Is a huge blog tour and if my review for Lies Between You hasn’t tempted you, perhaps one of my fellow 71 awesome book bloggers reviews will……

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#BlogBlitz One Dark Night by Tom Bale @t0mbale @Bookouture #BookReview

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the #BlogBlitz for Tom Bale’s new thriller One Dark Night, but before I share my review here’s the book description…..

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He see his wife’s eyes watching him in the rear-view mirror, the kids up on their knees to get a better look. That’s when he hears the scream…

You’re driving home from a family outing one afternoon, when a speeding car cuts you up, nearly causing you to crash. Like anyone would, you pull over to confront the driver.

But a glance into the backseat of the speeding car reveals a woman fighting to escape. She is terrified and she’s screaming for your help: these men have murdered her husband…

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Welcome back Tom Bale, oh how I’ve missed you, just in case you haven’t already guessed I love this author’s books and his style of writing. One Dark Night the latest offering from the author is the definition of a “thriller” it’s fast paced, a plot fuelled by tension, with plenty of action. Adam, Katy and their children, Freya and Dylan have spent and enjoyable and perfectly normal day out, but on the journey home they are involved in a car accident which sparks a train of events that place the family’s life’s in jeopardy.

The authors trade mark of putting ordinary folk into extraordinary situations, works really well, as you can’t help thinking “what would I do in a similar situation?” Some readers may consider the plot to be far fetched, but at the end of the day it is a work of fiction and personally I was happy to buckle up and enjoy a very bumpy ride. You can’t help feeling  some sympathy for the families terrifying ordeal but there was a small part of me that struggled to connect with any of the characters, and I’m not really sure why, although I did think some of Adam’s and Katy’s decisions were reckless to say the least, 

The pace slows about mid way but this time is used to explore the motivation behind the situation the family find themselves in, I know this sounds very vague but I really don’t want to enter spoiler territory. There are some unsavoury characters in this thriller that certainly don’t get the reader’s sympathy, but they do add a dark and dangerous tone to the overall plot. Tom Bale manages to throw in a few surprises along the way which leads to a constant niggling feeing of unease.  One Dark Night is a tale with a dark heart, with plenty of suspense and mystery and heart stopping moments, theres plenty to keep thriller lovers reading into the small hours. In my humble opinion this thriller is a very worthy addition to the author’s ever growing list of books.   

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://geni.us/ODNCover

iBookstore: https://tinyurl.com/y8lt6a89

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y82k6jnt

Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/yautyxz3

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Tom Bale is the author of nine books, including the bestsellers SEE HOW THEY RUN and ALL FALL DOWN. His latest book, ONE DARK NIGHT, is due out in October 2018.

Follow the blog tour……

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#BookReview: After He Died by Michael J. Malone (@michaelJmalone1) @OrendaBooks #AfterHeDied

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for After He Died by Michael J. Malone, but first the book description

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You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note 

suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

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Michael J Malone never fails to surprise me, he is such a versatile author, Crime, Gothic mystery, domestic noir, psychological thriller, which every genre he chooses to write about, its obvious he puts his heart and soul into his writing. When I read the book description for After He Died I convinced myself this novel was going to be purely domestic noir, along the lines of one of his previous books A Suitable Lie (which is one of my favourite books EVER by the way) but  apologises to the author as I should have known better, this novel doesn’t fit into one particular  genre, it has mystery, crime and Psychological aspects which made this novel an unique and extraordinary read. 

After He Died is the story of Paula Gadd, newly widowed. We first meet Paula at her husband’s funeral where she is approached by Cara a strange young woman  who mutters one heart stopping sentence “your husband is not the man you thought he was”. Of course once said Paula’s imagination goes into over drive, what secrets as her husband been hiding? How can the man she trusted the most harbour secrets from her? As she tries to unravel the truth with only her husband’s family to turn to, events take a very dangerous and sinister turn. I really thought this novel would take the familiar route in domestic noir, but Michael J Malone does the exact opposite and takes the reader on a unique ride, one full of surprises, mystery and copious amounts of  suspense.  

The author captures Paula’s grief perfectly as the reader you feel her pain, bewilderment and overwhelming sense of loss. Cara’s character is the complete opposite of Paula’s she hasn’t had an easy life but she’s determined and resourceful. Paula despite her grief is determined to find the truth about her husband however painful that might be, and Cara needs answers to her own personal tragedy. What I particularly enjoyed about this book was the way in which the author places Paula in a world she has never had to really think about, living a very comfortable and charmed life (to a point) she is shown through Cara’s work, that not everyone has the comfortable lifestyle she has very much taken for granted.   

Throughout After He Died I find myself completely immersed in Paula’s and Cara’s story, it’s gripping and not without surprises. The tension slowly simmers, as the author deftly reveals hidden secrets, lies and the worse kind of betrayal, exploding in a shocking conclusion which also felt to be a very fitting one. Once again Michael J Malone has written  an intensely gripping tale, it’s one that reminds the reader what an exceptional and talented writer the author is.  Highly recommended.  

  •  Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; None edition (30 July 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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