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

Cold Grave Jenny O’Brien 5*Review @ScribblerJB @HQStories #CrimeFiction #DetectiveGabyDarin #ColdGrave #Detective #BlogTour #BookReview

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…

Seventeen-year-old Bryony Lloyd’s father drops her off at a friend’s house to study – but when he returns to pick her up there’s no sign of her, and the woman who lives in the house swears she lives alone. Bryony has vanished into thin air, and her ‘friend’ doesn’t seem to exist.

DI Gaby Darin immediately sees similarities with another missing-persons case: seventeen-year-old Christy Taylor, who vanished without warning several months earlier. There’s nothing in the girls’ personal lives to suggest trouble at home – could someone have taken them both?

After a third case is linked, Gaby knows time is running out if she’s going to find Bryony and Christy alive. After going missing over a year ago, this girl’s just been found dead.

When a tragic accident means Gaby loses a vital member of her team, she distracts herself from her grief by throwing herself into finding the missing girls. Even if it means putting her whole career on the line…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Detective Gaby Darin and her motivated detectives try to find a missing teenager whilst looking for links with a past unsolved case. Gaby’s issues, coupled with a bereft of clues case, make it an emotionally challenging time for her. I enjoyed the detailed plot, which only allows Gaby and her team and thus the reader a few clues to solve the mystery. A cleverly crafted antagonist and the impactful plot twists make this an addictive read.

Cold Grave is an excellently paced police drama whose engaging detective team and twisty plot make this a compelling crime fiction.

Jenny O’Brien

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.
In her spare time,
she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier loaves of bread. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer. Readers can find out more about Jenny and her books on her blog

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Books in series reading order, although each is stand-alone:-

Click on book title link to read my reviews.

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

Her Child’s Cry S. A. Dunphy 5*#Review #BoyleandKeneally @dunphyshane1 @bookouture #BooksonTour #Bookouture #IrishCrimeFiction #CrimeFiction #Detective #CriminalPsychologist #Suspense #Folklore #CrimeNoir #BookReview #HerChildsCry #BlogTour

‘I just want my little girl back. She’s so little, she needs her mummy. And she doesn’t even have her panda bear with her. Find her, please find her, before it’s too late.’

Little Rosie Blake has been taken. Since going missing from the hospital where she was being treated for cancer, Rosie’s distraught parents haven’t heard a word. And time is swiftly running out. They have to find her, and right away because Rosie can only survive for ten days without her medication.

With the police unable to find any leads at all, criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle and her team are brought in to help. Who would be so evil as to steal a sick child? Narrowing down on a suspect, Jessie quickly moves to arrest them, only to discover the suspect’s dead body instead… And with no Rosie in sight, the case becomes even more desperate.

Who killed their chief suspect, and where is Rosie now? And is Rosie’s disappearance linked to the sudden revival of Dublin’s Hellfire Club, an ancient and terrifying cult obsessed with death and human sacrifice?

As the race to find Rosie intensifies, her heartbroken parents know their little girl’s time is running out. The clock is ticking, but Jessie clings on to the hope of finding her safe. Then her search leads her to Ireland’s remote mountains… Will Jessie be able to survive the deadly threat that awaits her, rescue Rosie, and get her back to safety, before it’s too late?

An utterly compelling crime thriller that will have you hooked from the very first line.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Boyle and Keneally’s courage and their detecting and investigative skills are called upon to find a seriously ill child abducted from her hospital bed, putting her life in imminent danger. The child’s parents seem to be hiding something, and menacing darkness surrounds their investigations. The theme of evil folklore permeates this story, and the reader is never quite sure what is real.

I like the intensity and the story’s suspenseful nature; with its clever plotting and the believable team dynamic, it’s an addictive read. The Irish setting, interwoven folklore, and relatable characters make this disturbing and intriguing to read. The ending is impactful and paves the way for the next instalment in this excellent series.

S.A.Dunphy

Shane Dunphy (S. A. Dunphy) was born in Brighton in 1973 but grew up in Ireland, where he has lived and worked for most of his life. A child protection worker for fifteen years, he is the bestselling author of seventeen books, including the number one Irish bestseller Wednesday’s Child and the Sunday Times Bestseller The Girl Who Couldn’t Smile. His bestselling series of crime novels (written under the name S. A. Dunphy) feature the criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of true crime books written for Audible, has been critically acclaimed and the second title in the series, The Bad Place, is an Audible True Crime bestseller. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, New Books, Noir, Suspense, Thriller

The Game Scott Kershaw 4*#Review @MrScottKershaw @HQStories #thriller #THEGAMEISON #TheGame #BlogTour #BookReview #suspense

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Five individuals become involved in a sinister game because they each have to save someone they love. Who initiates the game is a mystery. There are rules to follow, and no one knows each other, but they have to work together to succeed, but only one can win.

This thriller’s premise evokes a chill down your spine from the start. What would you do? It is compelling, disturbing, and suspenseful, written from the viewpoints of the five players interspersed with a few pre-game chapters—the relevance apparent at the impactful conclusion. The author creates a claustrophobic, intense ethos that draws the reader into the game. The characters are flawed and relatable, and the twists are good. I like the original perspective of this contemporary thriller.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Suspense

Cause of Death: The Shire Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #CauseofDeath #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama

All is not well in the village. The local meadows have been the pride of Bishops Well for hundreds of years, but now they are facing the sharp blades of developers. The landowner is a rich and reclusive author who is happy to see them destroyed, but the villagers – including Sam Dee and Maggie Kaye – are fighting back.

Until that is, someone decides to silence one of their number permanently.

As Maggie and Sam soon discover, there is more than a quick buck to be made in the developers’ plans. There are age-old secrets and personal vendettas that could have deadly repercussions in Bishops Well today.

With Sam’s legal expertise and Maggie’s… well, Maggie-ness, they delve into the past, determined to unearth the truth. And, as sparks begin to fly, could there finally be something more between this sleuthing duo?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Maggie and Sam have a new murder to investigate amidst the furore caused by a proposed development on disputed common land. Community is at the heart of this cosy mystery. The story begins with painting a white horse on a hill that overlooks the village to aid in the campaign against a proposed housing development. For those new to The Shires, this interlude introduces the main characters and allows the reader to absorb the group dynamic and hierarchy.

Psychic Maggie and ex QC Sam have diverse skills and connections that make them effective amateur detectives. Sam keeps Maggie grounded, and she gives him the emotional support he needs. A good balance of investigation and personal developments for the two protagonists makes this an engaging story.

Multilayered and suspenseful the mystery keeps the reader guessing. The connections between past and present are clever. I enjoy reading this is a lovely English cosy mystery complete with dramatic crimes, quirky characters and an idyllic rural setting.

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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Read my review of Death Comes to Bishops Well

Read my review of At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Noir

The Cook Ajay Chowdhury 5*#Review #DetectiveKamilRahman @ajaychow @vintagebooks @HarvillSecker #BookReview #TheCook #CrimeFiction #Detective #murdermystery #Kolkata #London #Lahore

Kamil Rahman is a cook in a Brick Lane restaurant. But he used to be a detective back in Kolkata.

And somehow trouble still knows how to find him.

When a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn’t so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his own investigation. Meanwhile, his friend and restaurant manager, Anjoli, is troubled by a rise in the number of homeless deaths in their local area.

Initially, the cases seem unrelated, but as the duo dig deeper, they discover connections that stretch from London to Lahore.

Together they take on the indifference of the authorities to the homeless and the casual racism that pervades the investigation of killings of Muslims – all while trying to stop a supremely intelligent murderer who always seems to be several steps ahead of them.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Kamil settled in his life in Brick Lane, East London; now, he is a cook in the restaurant that his friend Anjoli manages. It’s the second in the series but readable as a standalone. The book begins with a young woman realising that the man she married is controlling, she works out a way to escape to London to train as a Nurse, and it’s here that Naila meets Kamil. The amateur sleuths investigate a murder of a colleague of Naila’s and the deaths of homeless men in the vicinity.

I like the dynamic between Kamil and Anjoli and how he accepts his new life. The well-plotted murder mystery has surprising twists, and the story explores darker contemporary and cultural issues through the characters and plot. The humour and believable relationships make this memorable.

Read my review of The Waiter

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

The Hiding Place Simon Lelic 4*#Review @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #CrimeFiction #detective #game #murdermystery #bookreview #TheHidingPlace

FOUR FRIENDS. ONE MURDER. A GAME THEY CAN’T ESCAPE

‘It was only a game.’

Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt.’

But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun.’

Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

DI Fleet is up against some of the most powerful people in the country as he attempts to discover the truth about what happened on the day of the game…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Chilling and claustrophobic detective fiction unfolds following an anonymous tip-off that leads to discovering a boy’s remains within the grounds of the school he attended over twenty years ago. DI Fleet and DS Collins investigate the cold case, increasingly hampered by powerful forces as the number of suspects grows.

The sense of place is vivid, and the school and what it stands for are integral to the story. Complex characters, often unlikeable and evil, populate this murder mystery. I like the twisty plot, the atmospheric setting and the relentless investigators determined to find the truth despite the considerable obstacles.

An absorbing, addictive read immerses the reader in the setting and the story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Playing With Fire Mary Burton 4*#Review @HQStories #MaryBurton #BlogTour #thriller #familydrama #BookReview #suspense #romanticsuspense #mystery #PlayingWithFire

A year after the infamous arsonist Nero was found dead in one of his latest fires, journalist Darcy Sampson receives a tip that the body found at the scene wasn’t Nero at all. Determined to solve the case, Darcy heads to her small hometown in Virginia to track Michael Gannon, an arsonist investigator who refuses to believe that Nero is dead.

But when a new series of fires in the area have a remarkable resemblance to the arsonist’s previous work, Darcy and Gannon are in a race against time to put a stop to Nero once and for all.

But Nero is ready and waiting for them, and he intends on teaching both Gannon and Darcy one last, fatal lesson.

Previously published as The Arsonist

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

Gannon is an ex-arson investigator; Darcy is a journalist looking for her big story. When she receives a tip suggesting the infamous arsonist Nero may not have died the previous year, she is determined to get to the truth. There is an instant attraction between the couple but conflict too. Their connection puts them on the arsonist’s radar as he plots to bring them down.

I like how the setting and the action scenes intensify the suspense. I also enjoyed the developing relationship between the two investigators and how this made them vulnerable to the antagonist. Well-paced romantic suspense that keeps you absorbed until the end.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Serial Killer’s Girl L.H. Stacey 3*#Review @LyndaStacey @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #bookandtonic #CrimeFiction #FamilyDrama #Suspense #PsychologicalThriller #BlogTour #BookReview #TheSerialKillersGirl

Does a killer’s blood run in the family?
Lexi Jakes thought she could run from her past.

But when her biological mother is found dead, strangled with a red silk scarf and holding a chess piece, Lexi knows that her worst nightmare has come true. Because the murder has all the hallmarks of her own serial killer father, renowned strangler Peter Graves.

Now with her own precious daughter’s life in danger, Lexi will do anything to keep her child safe…she is her father’s daughter after all.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This story explores the effect of being a serial killer’s child on their future life, a complex and original idea. Lexi needs to control her life living in the shadow of being a serial killer’s daughter. She is secretive and unsettled, not sharing her past even with her partner. When a copycat murder happens, she runs to her childhood home and straight into danger.

Lexi is an unreliable protagonist, and because of her past trauma and current fear, most of her decisions lack rationality. Her thinking is confused and disturbed, which comes across in the narrative.

I like the atmospheric and claustrophobic island setting that intensifies the suspense and reinforces Lexi’s fear of pursuit.

Lynda Stacey

Lynda Stacey is the bestselling psychological suspense author of over five novels. Alongside her writing, she is a full-time sales director for an office furniture company and has been a nurse, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Staff Instructor. She lives near Doncaster with her husband.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books, Paranormal, Psychologist, Suspense

The Secret Voices M.J. White 4* #Review #CoraLael @wurdsmyth @HeraBooks @MJWhite13 @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Supernatural #Detective #TheSecretVoices #BlogTour #BookReview

They said they’d keep me safe.
They said, ‘It’s okay, Hannah. You know you can trust me.’
They lied.

When eight-year-old Hannah Perry goes missing in the small Suffolk village of St Just, the community is rocked. Heading up the investigation is Acting DS Rob Minshull, but he’s out of his depth in a case that seems to mirror the disappearance of a young boy, seven years ago. That search ended in
unimaginable tragedy…and Minshull is praying that history won’t be repeated.

But with an investigation full of dead ends, and a kidnapper taunting the police with sinister deliveries of Hannah’s belongings and cryptic notes, the young girl’s life hangs perilously in danger.

Until Dr Cora Lael enters the picture. A psychologist with a unique ability, Cora’s rare gift allows her to sense emotions attached to discarded objects. When she is shown the first of Hannah’s belongings, she hears the child’s piercing scream.

With few leads on the case, could Cora prove Hannah’s only hope? And as time runs out, can they find Hannah before history repeats itself…?

Don’t miss the crime thriller debut from the bestselling women’s fiction author, Miranda Dickinson.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This book is a well-written police procedural with a supernatural twist that adds extra depth to the plot and introduces the complex character Cora Lael. When a young girl goes missing, the case has echoes of a previous abduction that ended badly. Rob Minshull, the acting senior investigating officer, wants to succeed but isn’t confident he will. The local community and media want a positive result and quickly blame the investigators when the case escalates.

The first in a series, this story introduces the main protagonists well, telling the story from Cora and Rob’s perspectives. The missing girl, Hannah, also has a viewpoint that shows what her life is like and how courageous she is. Hannah’s point of view invests the reader in the investigation and intensifies the suspense.

The plot is twisty and suspenseful, and Cora’s unusual gift and how it impacts her adds originality to the story. It’s a compelling read and a promising start to the series.

M.J. White (Miranda Dickinson)

MJ White is the crime pen name of the internationally bestselling author Miranda
Dickinson. To date, she has sold over one million books worldwide and has been translated into sixteen languages. Miranda has always been a huge fan of crime fiction and The Secret Voices marks the start of a new and exciting departure for her writing.

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

Miss Aldridge Regrets Louise Hare 4*#Review @LouRHare @HQStories #murdermystery #histfic #BookReview #BlogTour #London #socialhistory #political #AtlanticCrossing #NewYork #1930s #1936 #crimefiction #historicalcrimefiction #MissAldridgeRegrets

London, 1936

Lena Aldridge is wondering if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn’t worked out. Instead, she’s stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho and her married lover has just left her. She has nothing to look forward to until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. 
 
After a murder at the club, the timing couldn’t be better and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. Until death follows her onto the ship and she realises that her greatest performance has already begun.

Because someone is making manoeuvres behind the scenes, and there’s only one thing on their mind…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Set in the classic age of murder mystery, the Atlantic crossing aboard a luxury liner provides the setting for a locked room mystery. The murder mystery is only one aspect of this multilayered novel that explores the social history of the time evocatively, mainly centring on class, politics, and race.

Lena’s career has not developed despite her obvious talent and tenacity. London in 1936 is rife with prejudice and extreme politics making Lena’s position precarious. An offer of a role in New York comes at the right time. Possibly implicated in a murder leaving town seems the best option for Lena. Life on the luxury liner is not what she imagined as beneath the glamour, danger, deceit, and depravity simmer, waiting to destroy her.

I like how the social-historical issues explored give this story a literary fiction feel. Interwoven with the well-written classical murder mystery, it has depth and originality that resonates.

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