Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, New Books, Noir, Parenting and Famlies, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The House Guest Charlotte Northedge 4*#Review @charnorth @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #TheHouseGuest #psychsuspense #relationships #publicationday

The perfect family. The perfect chance. The perfect lie.

A stunning novel about motherhood and betrayal

When Kate moves to London after the disappearance of her sister, she’s in need of a friend. A chance meeting leads Kate to Della, a life coach who runs support groups for young women, dubbed by Kate as ‘the Janes.’

Della takes a special interest in Kate, and Kate soon finds herself entangled in Della’s life – her house, her family, and her husband. It’s only when she realises that she’s in too deep that Della’s veneer begins to crumble, and the warnings from ‘the Janes’ begin to come true.

Why is Della so keen to keep Kate by her side? What does Kate have that Della might want? And what really lies beneath the surface of their friendship?

Kate trusts Della, and Della trusts Kate.
Their downfall is each other.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Relatable characters and a well thought out plot make this psychological suspense an absorbing, chilling and sometimes poignant story.

Kate’s sister left home when she was ten, and she never saw her again. She spent her subsequent years making up for her sister’s disappearance whilst never recovering emotionally from her loss. As an adult, Kate is in London pursuing a lead about her missing sister. She is vulnerable when she meets life coach Della, who draws her into her life like a spider capturing prey into their web.

The story takes many unexpected twists seen from Kate’s viewpoints but remains believable because of unreliable protagonist Kate’s sense of abandonment and susceptibility to manipulation. Themes of societal expectation of women, social class, family relationships, obsession and loss are recurrent. As the story progresses, the noir elements dominate, making it both addictive and disturbing to read.

The ending is impactful and offers hope and a sense of closure for both Kate and Della.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, New Books, Noir, Suspense

Buried For Good Alex Coombs 5*#Review @AlexHowardCrime @BoldwoodBooks #CrimeFiction #PIHanlon #Scotland #BuriedForGood #noircrime #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources

On a remote island, everyone is a suspect…

When Private Investigator Hanlon is hired to protect famous yoga instructor Camille Anderson on her Scottish island retreat, she thinks this may be her simplest job yet.

But when an attack on Camille’s life goes wrong, it soon becomes clear that there is a murderer on the island – and Hanlon will stop at nothing to track them down.

With only a small group of guests the suspects are clear, but as the body count rises Hanlon must step up to find out who the killer is before it’s too late…

A tense, atmospheric page-turner from Alex Coombs.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The latest book in the PI Hanlon has action, self-realisation, romance and suspense. The plot is layered with many suspects, two crime threads and a cast of characters who are not what they seem.

I have enjoyed all the books in this series, but after reading the previous series where Hanlon is a police officer, I appreciated her creative character more. She is a clever and courageous woman with undoubted issues, but her many positive traits outweigh these and make her likeable.

The story takes place in Scotland on an atmospheric island, Glasgow and the rural west coast. There is a murder mystery ethos to the first part of the story, with all the suspects marooned on an island battered by severe weather. There are also elements of psychological suspense and the supernatural which keep the reader guessing.

The clues to the final reveal are all there but well hidden. The suspense building leads to a climactic ending and a positive personal conclusion.

Alex Coombs

Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He is the author of the highly acclaimed DCI Hanlon series.

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

Games People Play Owen Mullen 4* #Review #PICharlieCameron @OwenMullen6 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbooks #BlogTour #BookReview #Detective #MissingPersons #CrimeFiction #noir #MondayBlogs #GamesPeoplePlay #cantgiveupwontgivein

When a baby is stolen from a Scottish beach, private investigator Charlie Cameron reluctantly agrees to take the case.

While her parents are just yards away, thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland. Three days later, her distraught father turns up at private investigator Charlie Cameron’s office. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has taken his daughter. And why.

Against his better judgment, Charlie takes the case—and when bodies are discovered, he suspects this may not be an isolated crime. Is there a serial killer whose work has gone undetected for decades? Is baby Lily his latest victim? Charlie won’t be able to give up on this case. Memories and guilt from his childhood won’t let him… Owen Mullen is a best-selling author of psychological and gangland thrillers.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The story begins with a traumatic struggle for life followed by a sinister child abduction. Charlie Cameron is a successful private investigator with a tender heart. A past emotional trauma defines him, and he never takes cases involving children until now.

The first in the series introduces the reader to Charlie, his friends and his clients. The writing style draws the reader into his world, and it’s easy to imagine the characters and setting, which makes this addictive and engaging.

The plot is full of clues, false leads and complex, often toxic relationships. It showcases the best and worst of humanity in a heartrending and poignant way. Charlie is a dedicated and diligent investigator. Driven by his emotions and past experiences, he understands human nature and the devastation of a lack of closure and loss. His empathy gives him important insight but at the risk of his wellbeing.

Aptly named, Games People Play is well-plotted noir suspense, with relatable characters and a likeable main protagonist.

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. He has now written seven books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood, Family  will be published in January 2021.

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

Vanished James Delargy 4* #Review @JDelargyAuthor @simonschusterUK #Vanished #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours #PschSuspense #Thriller #Detective #Australia

From the groundbreaking author of 55 comes an extraordinary new thriller…

The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, relocate from Perth to Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert to start over again, free from their chequered past. 
 
The town seems like the perfect getaway: Peaceful. Quiet. Remote. Somewhere they won’t be found.  
 
But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if the town is coming back to life. 
 
But the family can’t leave. No one can talk sense into them.
 
And now, no one can talk to them at all.
 
They’ve simply vanished. 
 
Now it’s up to Detective Emmaline Taylor to find them… before it’s too late. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric, intriguing fusion of psychological thriller and police procedural. Written from multi viewpoints, it allows the reader an omnipotent insight into events both past and present from the unreliable protagonists’ viewpoint and that of the detective leading the investigation into their disappearance.

Based on betrayal, deceit and secrets, most of the characters are hard to like as they exhibit the worst side of humanity. The suspense-building uses sensory imagery to immerse the reader into the barren and unforgiving setting. This allows the reader insight into what the characters perceive and how it feels. Even ordinary occurrences are disturbing in the right circumstances.

The final twists are impactful and poignant.

James Delargy

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Political Thriller, Thriller

The Rift Rachel Lynch 5* #Review @r_lynchcrime @canelo_co #CrimeFiction #International #Thriller #political #France # MilitaryPolice #BookReview #TheRift

She’s determined to save a stolen son. But will that mean justice?

As a high-ranking woman in the Royal Military Police, Major Helen Scott gets the job done – no matter the task. So when she is pulled in to lead a NATO summit security team in Paris, it barely causes a ripple. Yet within hours she’s dispatched to Lyon on a new mission. One with a complex problem at its heart.

Kahlil Dalmani and Fawaz bin Nabil were close in childhood, growing up in the hubbub of Algiers. As men, they are both wildly successful. Yet their paths to fortune have caused a rift. Fawaz’s empire is built on illegal trade, and when his estranged friend refuses to grant a favour he seeks to change Kahlil’s mind the best way he knows how: kidnapping his son, Hakim.

Working out of the Interpol headquarters, Helen must unpick a web of deceit that spreads across borders and dates back years. Only by trusting those from her own painful past can she hope to return Hakim to his family. But with her focus on saving one life, she risks overlooking a plan that puts many others in grave danger.

An explosive and gripping crime thriller from one of the most brilliant British crime fiction authors of recent years.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a suspenseful international thriller from the author of the DI Kelly Porter series.

Set in France and North Africa, it features Major Helen Scott, a Royal Military Police officer. Helen, on first acquaintance, appears to be a career officer but this more by design than intention after a personal tragedy. The story is multi-viewpoint, and several sub-plots successfully dovetail into a climactic conclusion.

The contemporary plot is authentic and multilayered with a good balance of action and introspection. The detailed and vivid writing style makes the action and settings easy to visualise.

The reader gets to know the main characters and what motivates them well. Helen Scott has emotional strength and human flaws making her believable. The cast of characters are diverse and add to the story’s authenticity and depth of interest.

In conclusion, this is an exciting international political crime thriller.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Literary Humour, Political Thriller

Facets of Death Michael Stanley 4*#Review The Detective Kubu series @detectivekubu @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #FacetsofDeath #DetectiveKubu #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana,
introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself.

First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.

Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Botswana in the late 1990s, this story introduces the reader to Kubu as he embarks on his career as a police detective. The story is multi-viewpoint and written in a police procedural style with a keen insight into the culture and politics of the Botswanan setting.

This is an atmospheric noir story with multiple murders. Kubu proves to be worthy of his fast-track appointment, as he gradually wins around those opposed to his detective status. He is an intuitive, intelligent investigator. His relative youth makes him impulsive in following leads despite the personal risk, but this is also what makes him effective.

This is an absorbing story with a likeable detective.

Michael StanleyMichael Sears and Stanley Trollip

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand.

On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.

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

The Therapist B.A.Paris 5*#Review @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #psychological #Suspense #domestic #relationships #secrets #lies #friendships #BlogTour #BookReview #TheTherapist #publicationday #PsychSuspense

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it.

Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Therapist is an addictive blend of cleverly crafted characters, nail-biting psychological suspense and a puzzling plot. Alice and Leo move into the exclusive gated development in London to begin their lives together. Alice is unsure if London life will suit her, but Leo wants to live in London, and she wants to see more of him.

Told exclusively from Alice’s perspective, she soon reveals herself as an unreliable protagonist. A past family tragedy still defines her life, and she sees the change of lifestyle as a way of living again. Alice dislikes The Circle’s sinister ethos. A series of unexpected revelations intensify her emotional vulnerability to breaking point. Everyone has secrets, and Alice isn’t sure who she can trust. The house’s tragic history immerses Alice until her life starts to unravel, pushing her relentlessly towards danger.

Short passages from the past with undefinable characters intensify the sense of menace and suspense towards the climactic, twisted conclusion. The final shocking twist is well disguised. This is a book you won’t want to put down. It will have you checking you’ve locked the doors.

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

A Chance Encounter Rae Shaw 4*#Review @RaeShawauthor @rararesources #JuliannaBaptiste #CrimeFiction #AChanceEncounter

Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, that is until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?

Mark works for Haynes’s vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.

His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend whom she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.

For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?

Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives in danger.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This story is crime fiction from a different perspective which is always refreshing for the reader.

Multifaceted characters and a well thought out plot draw the reader into the story. Julianna is courageous and intelligent. The characters are cleverly crafted and relatable. The story builds from a chance encounter into a tangled web of betrayal, crime and investigation. The pacing reflects the plot.
I look forward to the next book in the series.

Rae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.

Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.

As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Thriller, Extract, Family Drama, Friendship, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Who Do You Trust? Kirsty Ferguson 4*#Review @kfergusonauthor @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #domestic #noir PsychologicalThriller #suspense #Trust #grief #love

A perfect sunny day, a family celebration, a heart-stopping hour that changes everything…

Dana has all she ever wanted – a husband she loves, her four-year-old daughter Kelsey who is the apple of her eye, and another baby on the way to complete her perfect family.


But then the worst fear that Dana has, comes true, and everything she thought she knew, she now starts to doubt. As her world comes crashing around her, who can Dana trust?  


Her husband Logan who seems to be getting worryingly close to Dana’s best friend Pippa?
Her new friend Melanie who has a sinister habit of turning up in the strangest places?


Her parents and her sister, who Dana knows are keeping a terrible secret from her?


Matt, who says he’s Dana’s friend, but sometimes she’s not so sure?
Or will Dana discover that it’s a dangerous mistake to trust anyone…

Join Kirsty Ferguson on this heart-stopping, plot-twisting, roller coaster read.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A twisty domestic noir where a tragic event leaves the main protagonist (Dana) vulnerable. Devastated, she doesn’t feel supported by her family and friends. This story explores the darker side of human nature when faced with unexpected tragedy. Most of the characters are unsympathetic, and it’s hard to empathise with them.

Dana is portrayed as an unreliable protagonist, but is she? Her grief and lack of emotional support push her to seek solace from people who have suffered similarly. This introduces new characters, increasing the story’s intensity and builds suspense. The writing is immersive told from Dana’s viewpoint and other characters’ perspectives. Many of the unlikeable characters appear superficial.

The final twists are chilling and dramatic.

Who Do You Trust? – Kirsty Ferguson – Extract

The dark-haired woman sat in the passenger seat of the old station wagon drumming her fingers along the arm rest. Dana was slightly annoyed with her husband, Logan, for making them late. She glanced in the back seat at their four-year-old daughter, Kelsey, who had fallen asleep, mouth open, summer sunlight streaming in on her pretty face. They were driving out to Dana’s parents’ property on the other side of town and they were running behind schedule. Looking out of the window at the bush bordering either side of the road, the sun glinting off the barbed-wire fences, Dana was reminded of her idyllic childhood. The rolled-down window allowed the sounds of the bush, trees groaning together, birds cawing overhead, the scent of the earth, to permeate the car. 

Logan drove down the rutted driveway towards the house, pulling up in a cloud of dust. Dana followed him as he took a still-sleeping Kelsey from the back seat and carried her into the spare bedroom. She watched as her husband laid her on the bed gently. Dana then kissed Kelsey’s forehead softly and left the door ajar so she could hear if she called out. 

Logan considered his job done and didn’t help Dana unpack the car, leaving her to carry in the camp chair, the salads and Kelsey’s bag. All Logan cared about was getting his cooler full of beer into the back yard where his brother-in-law, James, was already setting up his chair. He had positioned himself downwind of the BBQ where Dana’s father, Robert, was grilling hamburgers, sausages and onions for lunch, while her mother, Mischa, cut and buttered rolls, putting them in a colourful bowl on the wooden table that sat under the shade of the veranda. 

‘Hi, Mum, Dad,’ Dana said as she hurried through the front door, giving them a kiss in turn, then hugging her mum awkwardly with one arm, a potato salad wedged under her other arm. 

‘Let me take that for you before you drop it,’ her mum said, grasping the purple container and putting it on the table. Things were still strained between Dana and her mother, but Dana viewed the BBQ as a chance to repair, to heal the wounds she carried. Logan was supposed to be an emotional support to her today, but it looked as if he was going to be no help as he was already getting drunk with James. 

‘You’re late, love. Lunch is nearly ready. Thought you’d gotten lost,’ her mum said, pointedly looking at the table already covered with food. 

‘Sorry, Mum, someone just had to finish watching the game.’ She threw her husband an exasperated look. They’d argued for half an hour before they’d even left the house. She knew Logan loved her, Dana had never doubted his love, not one bit, and he was a great father, but sometimes she wanted to wring his neck. Dana had wanted to leave on time to arrive before her mum and dad sat down to eat. 

‘It’s OK, you’re here now and that’s all that matters. Have you said hello to your sister yet?’ her mum asked, striving for casual and failing. She looked at Dana through her lowered lashes, not able to meet her daughter’s penetrating gaze. Dana knew how hard this was for her mum, knowing the part she had played in their bitter argument, but Dana was ready to try and work through it with her. 

Kirsty Ferguson

Kirsty Ferguson is an Australian crime writer whose domestic noir stories centre around strong women and dark topical themes. Kirsty enjoys photography, visiting haunted buildings and spending time with her son. Her first book for Boldwood was Never Ever Tell published in June 2020.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery, Noir, Suspense

The Wherryman David Blake 5*#Review @DavidDBlake #NorfolkBroads #MurderMystery #DetectiveTanner #noir #CrimeFiction @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #TuesdayThoughts #TheWherryman


Four missing children, three murdered men, and the helm of a boat with a blood-red sail, hiding a secret only he can tell.

Returning to the Broads after nearly two years at sea, Tanner moors up next to a boat to find the body of a man whose five-year-old daughter is nowhere to be seen. As a torrent of unwanted memories begins flooding through his mind, an attractive Broads Ranger arrives at the scene with a disturbing tale; one of children being taken by a ghostly figure, standing at the helm of an old wooden boat.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I read this immediately after reading Horsey mere, and I was interested to see how John Tanner would emerge from the dramatic events he experienced in the previous book. His two years sailing has changed him, but when he stumbles upon a crime scene, his detective intuition can’t be ignored, despite the pain revisiting his past may cause.

The prologue is chilling. Folklore defines this story, creating an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. DI Tanner embroiled in the investigation by his need to find the missing children. The setting adds to the sinister ethos as the suspense builds. The investigation team dynamics are in disarray with festering resentment and jealousy surrounding Tanner’s return.

Noir crime and clever plot twists make this a riveting read.

David Blake


Consistently ranked within the top 30 most read authors on Amazon.co.uk, David Blake is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written eighteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his nineteenth, The Wherryman, which is the next in his series of crime fiction thrillers after Broadland, St. Benet’s, Moorings, Three Rivers and Horsey Mere. When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.

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