Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

Good Neighbours Mary Grand 5*#Review @authormaryg @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #psychological #suspense #friendship #neighbours #relationships #secrets #mystery #MurderMystery #GoodNeighbours #BlogTour #BookReview #IsleofWight #MondayBlogs

It was meant to be a safe place to start again… 

In need of an escape from her failing marriage, Nia agrees to house-sit her aunt’s cottage on the Isle of Wight. She feels sure the cosy close in a quaint harbour town will be a safe place to hide and figure out what to do next. 

But things are not all as they seem in the close, and the neighbours who welcome her with open arms, are keeping secrets. When Nia finds the body of one of her new friends lying on the beach, she feels sickeningly sure that the killer is dangerously near to home.

Who killed her friend and why did she have to die? And if Nia discovers the answers she’s looking for, is she next on their hit list? Good neighbours may become good friends, but they can also make deadly enemies…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The sense of menace is evident at this novel’s inception and intensifies with each event in this psychological suspense set on the Isle of Wight. The Close residents initially appear friendly and open, but they all have secrets. Nia is housesitting for a favourite aunt seeking an escape from a controlling marriage. She feels safe in the nice close where she lives, but when someone dies, the accusations start, and the sense of danger is tangible.

It is soon apparent that Nia is initially an unreliable narrator. She is likeable, and her character develops realistically and satisfyingly, becoming more self-aware and sure of herself. Nia realises she has value and can see the truth, something that is necessary for her to move on and solve the murder of her new friend Ruby. Immersive and claustrophobic, this is addictive reading.

I like the vividly described island setting, the detailed characterisation and clever plotting that hides as much as it reveals until the satisfying conclusion.

Mary Grand

Mary Grand is the author of six novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense, with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her new novel, Good Neighbours is set

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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 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 Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense

The Paris Apartment Lucy Foley 4*#Review @LucyFoleyTweets @HarperFiction #HarperCollinsUK #TheParisApartment #BookReview #MurderMystery #mystery #PsychologicalSuspense #Suspense #Paris #Family #noircrime

Welcome to No.12 rue des Amants

A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine.

Where nothing goes unseen, and everyone has a story to unlock.

The watchful concierge
The scorned lover
The prying journalist
The naïve student
The unwanted guest

There was a murder here last night.
A mystery lies behind the door of apartment three.

Who holds the key? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Paris Apartment is a building with a timeless faded glory, but it also has secrets that Jess has to unravel to find her brother Ben. Atmospheric and intense, this is a compelling mystery with a cast of unlikeable characters and an unreliable protagonist. This story has a noir flavour, and the plot is twisty. It keeps the reader engaged and guessing.

I like the setting, which is powerful and an essential part of the mystery. The characterisation is intricate, and the multi viewpoints with before and after timelines are compelling. The plot is multi-layered and concludes in a dramatic yet believable way.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Domestic Thriller, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

I Will Find You Amanda Rigby 4*#Review @AmandaRigbyNZ @BoldwoodBooks IG: @bookandtonic #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #IWillFindYou #psychologicalthriller #sisters #secrets #family #suspense

Three sisters…One terrible secret

Ashleigh: A creative, free spirit and loyal. But Ash is tormented by her demons and a past that refuses to be laid to rest.

Jessica: Perfect wife and loving mother. But although Jessica might seem to have it all, she lives a secret life built on lies.

Grace: An outsider, always looking in, Grace has never known the love of her sisters and her resentment can make her do bad things.

When Ashleigh goes missing, Jessica and Grace do all they can to find their eldest sister. But the longer Ashleigh is missing, the more secrets and lies these women are hiding threaten to tear this family apart.

Can they find Ashleigh before it’s too late or is it sometimes safer to stay hidden?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

‘I Will Find you’ is a disturbingly poignant psychological suspense with solid family and sibling dramas. Believably flawed characters are multifaceted, drawing the reader into their lives. There are many secrets and noir elements in this story. The suspense intensifies with revelations from the sisters’ pasts and how it affects the people they are. This multi-viewpoint story is a compelling read that is swiftly paced and full of surprises.

Amanda Ashby & Sally Rigby

Amanda Rigby is the nom de plume of the writing partnership between Amanda Ashby and Sally Rigby. Both authors live in New Zealand, have been friends for eighteen years, and agree about everything (except musicals). They decided to collaborate on a psychological thriller which they then entered into a competition, run by Boldwood, which they won!

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Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Historical Crime Fiction, New Books, Noir, Thriller

The Heretic Liam McIlvanney 5* #Review @LiamMcIlvanney @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #BookReview #TheHeretic #DuncanMcCormack #CrimeFiction #ScottishCrime #1975 #HistoricalFiction

Glasgow 1975

A deadly fire
An arson attack on a Glasgow warehouse causes the deaths of a young mother and child. 
Police suspect it’s the latest act in a brutal gang warfare that’s tearing the city apart – one that DI Duncan McCormack has been tasked with stopping.

A brutal murder
Five years ago he was walking on water as the cop who tracked down a notorious serial killer.  But he made powerful enemies and when a mutilated body is found in a Tradeston slum,
McCormack is assigned a case that no one wants. The dead man is wearing a masonic ring, though, and Duncan realizes the victim is not the down-and-out his boss had first assumed.

A catastrophic explosion
As McCormack looks into both crimes, the investigations are disrupted by a shocking event. 
A bomb rips through a pub packed with people – and a cop is killed in the blast.  The cases are stacking up and with one of his own unit now dead, McCormack is in the firing line.

But he’s starting to see a thread – one that connects all three attacks…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric, disturbing crime thriller. I like the menacing ethos created by the author, where anything could happen. Vibrant characters draw the reader into their world through excellent characterisations, and it’s a frightening place to be. The setting is vividly described and intrinsic to the plot. The sense of forbidding and hopelessness keeps the reader engaged throughout.

Read my review of The Quaker

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

Bitter Flowers Gunnar Staalesen 4* #Review @OrendaBooks #BitterFlowers @RandomTTours #GunnarStaalesen #Translator Don Bartlett #BlogTour #BookReview #VargVeum #ChillingWinterReads

Fresh from rehab, PI Varg Veum faces his most complex
investigation yet, when a man is found drowned, a young woman disappears, and the case of a missing child is revived. The classic Nordic Noir series continues…

PI Varg Veum has returned to duty following a stint in rehab, but
his new composure and resolution are soon threatened when three
complex crimes land on his desk.

A man is found dead in an elite swimming pool. A young woman
has gone missing. Most chillingly, Veum is asked to investigate
the ‘Camilla Case’: an eight-year-old cold case involving the
disappearance of a little girl, who was never found.

As the threads of these three apparently unrelated cases
come together, against the backdrop of a series of shocking
environmental crimes, Veum faces the most challenging, traumatic
investigation of his career.

A stunning, sophisticated, tension-packed thriller – the darkest of hardboiled Nordic Noir – from one of
Norway’s most acclaimed crime writers.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The reader is drawn into Varg Veum’s world from the first page in the emotionally poignant Nordic noir. It’s the second book I’ve read in this series. Believably flawed, Varg Veum is a likeable protagonist. His struggle with his addictions contrasts with his desire to achieve justice and truth for victims.

It’s an atmospheric and claustrophobic story where even the simplest things hide a web of complexity.
The multiple plot strands draw together by the astute investigator. It’s a murder mystery within a disturbing environmental and political arena.

It’s easy to get absorbed into this distinctive, dark world.

Granite Noir fest 2017. Gunnar Staalesen.

One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1947. He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty titles, which have been published in twenty-four countries and sold over four million copies.

Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim. Staalesen has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award for Nordic Crime Fiction and Big Sister was shortlisted in 2019.

He lives with his wife in Bergen.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Mystery, Noir, Parenting and Famlies, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Blood Games Liz Mistry 5*#Review @LizMistryAuthor @HQStories @rararesources #CrimeFiction #DSNikkiParekh #Detective #BlogTour #BookReview #noir #psychological #suspense #BloodGames #MondayBlogs

THREE MURDERS. ONE MISSING BOY. THE GAME IS JUST BEGINNING…

When a body is found at the edge of Chellow Dene reservoir Detective Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik are quick to arrive.

This is the third murder in the space of a few weeks. Each murder has a completely different MO, but there is one common theme… all the victims are teenagers. The dead boy reminds Nikki of her nephew, and she feels more helpless than ever.

But then another boy goes missing. And this time his parents have been sent a threatening package too. The pattern is different again – is the killer just playing a game? Can Nikki find the strength to uncover the shocking truth before the killer strikes again?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This deeply disturbing depiction of twenty-first-century Bradford is addictive reading. The multilayered plot draws the reader into a dark, almost dystopian world. It resonates because the story focuses on the young, the future, but everything is not what it appears from the outset.

Fortunately, a dedicated, effective detective team mitigates the evil. Nikki Parekh is the team’s lynchpin. When her mental health issues affect her ability to work, the team has to regroup. The characters are believable, the detective team dynamic realistic, and you want them to succeed.

The plot is complex but credible and explores contemporary issues with insight and sensitivity. Readable, as a standalone, but part of a relevant urban crime series, this is a book that will absorb you until its conclusion.

Liz Mistry

Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, with three children, two cats (Winky and Scumpy) and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.

Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too.

In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp. 

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Dark Memories and a relaxation bundle (Open INT)

The contents are :

A signed copy of Dark Memories (Nikki Parekh book 3)

A Weekly Planner pad

A fruit infuser water bottle

Planet Spa face mask

Avon Footworks

Pomegranate and rhubarb bath salts

A Candle Bag

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Noir, Parenting and Famlies

Other Parents Sarah Stovell 4*#Review @sarahlovescrime @HQStories #otherparents #relationships #community #secrets #rurallife #friendship #political #humour #noir #parenting

Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.

Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.

When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.

But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.

Waterstones Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Immersive, insightful and inquisitive are three adjectives that reading this novel conjures in the reader’s mind. It is an intriguing study of small-town/rural life from the viewpoint of five women. It explores disturbing contemporary issues, astutely exposing them to the reader. The narrators have an unreliable quality that makes it difficult to know who to believe and whose opinion to trust. It is addictive reading.

Believably flawed characters all have secrets, and there are relatable dynamics in the acquaintance, family and friendship groups. The writing has a lyrical quality, but the characters and situations are easily recognisable. Vivid settings and vibrant characters bring the story to life in an engaging way.

Sarah Stovell is a lecturer in creative writing at Lincoln University and a crime fiction author. She has published four novels, including the critically-acclaimed psychological thrillers Exquisite and The House. Her latest novel Other Parents, published in January 2022will delve into small-town British life through a series of scandals.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Detective, Family Drama, Folk Tales, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Replacement Melanie Golding – 5* #Review – @HQStories @mk_golding #detective #Folklore #suspense #mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #TheReplacement

When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn’t take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.

Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn’t dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.

Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing truths start to come to light that connects the man to the mother and child, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…

Weaving together the trademark folklore inspiration that readers loved in Little Darlings, with the procedural narrative force of a brilliant mystery, this is the excellent and unnerving new novel from Melanie Golding.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A twisty noir that weaves legend and reality into a compelling tale that menaces and mystifies. The relationships are complex and form the basis of this story that defies belief. The protagonists are easy to empathise with, and this keeps you turning the pages. The chapters are pacy and absorbing. An authentic police investigation conducted against a network of strong emotional bonds and powerful unseen forces makes this story appealing on many levels.

Strong female relationships, mystery and myth deliver an addictive reading experience.

Read my review of Little Darlings