Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Couple Upstairs Shalini Boland 5*#Review @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #Relationships #Secrets #Lies #Friendship #BookReview #psychsuspense #TheCoupleUpstairs

Our new home was supposed to be a chance to leave our past behind. But was moving here the worst mistake of our lives?

All our friends and family were gathered, glasses raised to toast our fresh start. It should have been a night for happiness and celebration. Zac and I had worked so hard for this: our first home together, just minutes from the sea. But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare…

We’d invited our neighbours too. I wanted to make a good impression – to show them we’re exactly the sort of people they want living on their street.

I hadn’t thought about who they might be, the strangers I was letting in.

It was going so well. There was laughter in the air and the wine was flowing. But then I noticed the narrowed eyes, the whispers.

And then the lights went out.

As my heart thumped in my chest, all the little things that had been going wrong since we moved here flashed through my mind: the food poisoning, the arguments, the flood of nasty reviews shaking my business.

Am I going crazy? Or is someone trying to destroy us?

From the USA Today bestselling author Shalini Boland comes an absolutely heart-thumping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley in return for an honest review..

My Thoughts…

Supremely confident psychological suspense with an unreliable protagonist, a supposedly idyllic community setting that is not quite what it seems and a manipulative and twisted antagonist. I love this author’s books because there is always an unexpected twist. For regular readers, the fun is trying to guess who isn’t what they seem.

Classic, domestic suspense with the expected underlying edge of menace. What seems obvious is twisted until it is unrecognisable and the threat real. The perfect book if you like your psychological suspense atmospheric and well-written.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Detective, Murder Mystery, New Books

Retribution Heaton Wilson 4*#Review @kkevvin #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Detective #DCIJaneBirchfield #Retribution

An ex-soldier is mown down in a brutal hit and run. Was it an accident, or an act of murder?

DCI Jane Birchfield isn’t sure. She is struggling to stay focussed after a surprise marriage proposal, and is still waiting for news about a promotion. But she has to push it all to one side as the investigation swiftly escalates into the biggest challenge she has ever faced, bringing her into conflict with her superiors, her partner, and the British Army. She’s tested to the absolute limit, and for the very first time, finds herself asking whether it’s worth the sacrifice. Can she survive the pressure as the harsh reality of military conflict hits the streets of Ashbridge?

Amazon UK Amazon.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

My first book in the DCI Jane Birchfield series, but that didn’t detract from the story. Well described characters and sufficient background information to make this readable as a standalone. It’s a detailed and fast-paced police procedural with relatable characters. The investigation team’s dynamic is believable, and there is a good balance of personal and professional in the story. The plot is full of twists, immersing the reader in the investigation making it an addictive read.

Heaton Wilson

I have been a newspaper journalist, a postman, a public relations officer, a consultant, an actor, a director, a playwright. And I have always kept writing.

I always felt I could write a novel. And I did! The first book in my crime fiction series featuring DCI Jane Birchfield, Every Reason, came out in 2016.  Whatever It Takes was published in 2021; and the third book (which follows on where Whatever It Takes ends) is nearing completion.

I’m from Manchester but now live on the Isle of Wight, where the sea is never far away. It’s the perfect place to be creative, and to walk the dogs.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Domestic Thriller, Gothic Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Woman in the Woods Lisa Hall 4*#Review @LisaHallAuthor @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #Psychological #Suspense #Gothic #domesticthriller #TheWomanintheWoods

Is her family in danger?

When Allie moves to a quaint old cottage with her husband, it’s their dream home. Nestled in the village of Pluckley, it seems a perfect haven in which to raise their two children. But Pluckley has a reputation. It’s known as England’s most haunted village. And not long after the birth of their new son, Allie begins to notice strange things…   
 
What’s the flash of white she sees moving quickly through the woods to the back of their house? And what’s the strange scratching noise coming from the chimney?
 
As Allie discovers more about the history of their new home, she uncovers a story of witchcraft and superstition, which casts a long shadow into the present day. And not everything is as it seems. Her family might well be in danger, but it’s a danger none of them could have foreseen…
 

Bestseller Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods is full of creeping unease and nerve-wracking tension, and will have readers on the edge of their seats…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Allie and her family move into a countryside house, it seems idyllic, but strange things begin to happen. When she finds out about the haunted status of the house and village Allie starts to wonder if they are safe.

Allie is an unreliable protagonist, but the reader feels empathy. Allie’s increasingly fragile mental state and emotional vulnerability raise questions in the reader’s mind about the validity of Allie’s perception of events. Vivid sensory imagery draws the reader into Allie’s fearful world.

There is an ethos of simmering menace that intensifies with each strange event. Impactful twists interwoven with gothic and paranormal elements make this a compelling and chilling story.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, New Books, Psychologist, Suspense, Thriller

Bring Her Home S. A. Dunphy 5*#Review #BoyleandKeneally @dunphyshane1 @bookouture #IrishCrimeFiction #CrimeFiction#Detective #CriminalPsychologist #Suspense #Folklore #CrimeNoir #BookReview #BringHerHome #MondayBlogs

She had taken only one step towards the hotel when she heard the car door opening, and then something had her by the shoulders in a grip like steel. Penny tried to fight, but it was no good. The last thing she heard as consciousness drifted away was the whisper of a familiar song…

In a small town on Ireland’s west coast, a young woman named Penelope O’Dwyer leaves a restaurant. It should take five minutes to walk back to where she’s staying. In those five minutes she disappears without a trace.

It’s a few days before the tape arrives. The kidnapper’s face is masked, his voice distorted, but no one doubts for a second he will follow through on his threat: a ritual murder at the end of October – and after that, many more murders to come. Penelope has two weeks to live. And the police don’t have a single lead.

Detective Seamus Keneally insists they need help. Especially when imprisoned murderer Frederick Morgan offers vital information connecting this case to a series of historic murders. But he will only speak to one person: criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle. Jessie is still grieving after a brutal tragedy that cut her career in London short – but right now, she’s the only chance Penelope has.

Morgan claims this is the work of a serial killer who’s been working in the shadows for longer than the police have ever realised. Now Jessie must use all her instincts and insight to get inside the mind of a criminal more ruthless than any she’s faced in her career – before the evil that has secretly stalked Ireland for decades is unleashed again.

A totally breathtaking and chilling crime thriller that will keep you gripped to the very last page.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is such an atmospheric crime thriller full of emotion and suspense. Vibrant characters Boyle and Keneally have a believable team dynamic. Set in Ireland, the setting adds to the suspenseful ethos with hints of the supernatural interwoven with Irish folklore.

There is an overriding menace in this story. It’s explored but not resolved in this story, making the reader want to know how it will develop. The fast pacing adds to the story’s addictive quality, and Jessie Boyle has secrets but is easy to like. Seamus Keneally seems to be more open with less to hide and is the perfect contrast for his partner.

Terri, the historical researcher and technical expert, has a poignant past. Dawn, the Police Commissioner, has a history with Jessie. Both have complex pasts that add depth to the story.

Authentic and well-paced, this is an immersive read that is hard to put down.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Room in the Attic Louise Douglas 5* #Review @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks #Family #Drama #Secrets #grief #loss #Suspense #mystery #Gothic #SocialHistory #mothers #women #Psychological #BookReview #BlogTour #boldwoodbloggers #TheRoomintheAttic @rararesources

A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric and chilling, The Room in the Attic brings All Hallows to life in a disturbing and resonating way. The story is told predominantly in dual timelines. 1903, when All Hallows was an asylum and 1993 when it housed a draconian boarding school. Lewis returns in the present day as a grown man, but the past makes him want to run.

The character-led stories are emotional with elements of gothic fiction and psychological suspense. The characters are believably vibrant and immerse the reader into their world. The social history and social injustice explored in the 1903 story is disturbingly poignant. The plight of the two boys in 1993 is equally harrowing, and their grief makes them susceptible to paranormal occurrences.

The mysterious plot’s clever twists let the characters shine and enthral the reader. The author captures perfectly the sense of fear, hopelessness and sadness that pervades, All Hallows.

Louise Douglas

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, New Books, Psychological Suspense

Last Girl Ghosted Lisa Unger 4*#Review @lisaunger @HQStories #BookReview #psychologicalsuspense #BlogTour #LastGirlGhosted

You trusted him with your secret…and then he vanished.

When Wren Greenwood meets a good-looking stranger from a dating app, she expects a casual fling – but they connect immediately. Adam Harper is her perfect match.

She falls for him.

She confides in him.

And then he disappears… his profiles deleted, his phone disconnected, his Manhattan apartment emptied.

First, Wren blames herself. Then she hears about the other girls – girls who fell in love with Adam, and are now missing.

Wren needs answers, but as she follows the breadcrumb trail Adam left behind, it leads back to her own dark past. Suddenly, she’s no longer sure if she’s predator or prey.

She only knows one thing: whatever it takes, she’ll be the last girl he ever ghosts…

This unforgettable thriller will keep you hooked until the very final twist. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a complex novel with contemporary themes and a sinister, unsettling ethos that resonates. Wren is intelligent and successful but has never found the one. Encouraged by her friend, she joins the world of online dating and meets Adam, who appears to be a soulmate. Then he ghosts her, and she wants to know why. The story moves between the past and present. The suspense builds as new characters and discoveries emerge. Wren and Adam are multi-layered characters who immerse the reader in their stories. This is a gripping read that intrigues and engages to the end.

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Lighthouse Fran Dorricott  #CoverReveal @franwritesstuff  @AvonBooksUK #suspense #gothic #preorder #3February2022 #TheLighthouse

No one expected them to go there. The question is: will any of them leave?

Six friends travel to a remote island north of the Scottish Highlands for an old school reunion. They’ve rented The Lighthouse – a stunning, now abandoned building that was once notorious for deaths at sea.

On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He’s looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been.

The party vow to put the strange night behind them and enjoy the rest of their stay, but when more unexplained things begin to occur, tensions escalate. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?

Amazon UK

#TheLighthouse

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Noir

Black Reed Bay Rod Reynolds 5*#Review @Rod_WR @OrendaBooks #DetectiveCaseyWray @RandomTTour #MeetCasey #BlackReedBay #BlogTour #DontTrustAnyone #BookReview #CrimeFiction #Detective #noir

Don’t trust ANYONE…

When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…

And then the first body appears…and Casey’s investigation plunges her into a darkness she could never have imagined…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set in Long Island, this is a well-researched, atmospheric and immersive story featuring Detective Casey Wray. A driven, intelligent and believable character. She has the necessary insight and intuition for a good detective. Hampered by the political manoeuvring of her superiors, she has to battle to solve her cases.

Embroiled in the investigation, the reader has numerous suspects and misdirections to ponder. The plot keeps its secrets until the author reveals them in an impactful way. The detectives’ frustration and the underlying menace resonate.

Vivid sensory imagery draws the reader into a world where good and evil merge.

Rod Reynolds

Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series.
His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian has called the books ‘pitch-perfect American noir ’. A lifelong Londoner, Rod’s first novel set in his hometown, entitled Blood Red City, was published by Orenda Books in 2020.
Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. He lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters. Follow him on Twitter @Rod_WR.



Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Travel

The Chateau Catherine Cooper 4*#Review @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #TheChateau #France #CrimeFiction #domestic #noir #psychological #suspense #MurderMystery #Relationships #Secrets #BookReview

They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set in a glamorous region of France renowned for its Chateaux, this is a twisty and menacing fusion of murder mystery and psychological suspense. Aura and Nick are living the French dream but can their relationship survive their past? The ex-pat community are welcoming, but not everyone wishes them well. The book begins with a party that ends tragically. The reader is taken back to the time preceding the party and Aura and Nick’s first few weeks. The main protagonists’ Aura and Nick, both give their viewpoints at different times. Neither are easy to like, and both are unreliable.

The chateau is a work in progress with a menacing ethos that the children pick up on. Pertinent additional points of view are injected into the story to add intrigue. Well-plotted twists and timely reveals are balanced with misdirections, multiple suspects and unreliable narrators, making the ending climactic.

Catherine Cooper

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels, and skiing who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian among others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, ganglit, New Books, Noir

The Accused Owen Mullen 5*#Review #PICharlieCameron @OwenMullen6 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheAccused #boldwoodbooks #BlogTour #BookReview #Detective #CrimeFiction #noir #ganglit

When Private Investigator Charlie Cameron agrees to take on a cold case, he is drawn back into Glasgow’s dark underworld…

Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron knew Kim Rafferty was bad news the moment they met. Desperate people always spelled trouble in his experience, and Mrs Rafferty was as desperate as they come. What she was asking for was insane. If he agreed to help the wife of the notorious East-End gangster, the consequences for them both could be fatal.

Twenty-four hours later, another betrayed woman with a hopeless case is pleading for Charlie’s help. The PI is her only chance to keep an innocent man from serving a second prison sentence for murders he didn’t commit.

Dennis Boyd is on the run, and as Charlie fights against the clock to keep him out of jail, he crosses a line that puts him on the wrong side of the law and pits him against his old friend and ally, DS Andrew Geddes.

As the body count grows, and the defence for his client falls apart bit by bit, Charlie refuses to accept the inevitable. But everyone has their limits – even the infamous Charlie Cameron. Will he be forced to admit that this case may be the one to beat him…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Charlie Cameron is an intelligent private investigator working in urban crime. He has a strong belief in justice and a soft spot for the vulnerable. The author creates a disturbing noir-crime ethos where betrayal is rife and human life has little value. Cleverly plotted with false leads and unexpected twists, there is an addictive mix of action and investigation.

Owen Mullen

Owen Mullen is a highly regarded crime author who splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete.  In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer.

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Read my review of Games People Play