Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Friendship, New Books, Noir, Thriller

A Beginner’s Guide to Murder Rosalind Stopps 4*#Review @RosalindStopps @HQStories #CrimeFiction #Age #Women #Society #BlogTour #BookReview #ABeginnersGuidetoMurder

Grace, Meg and Daphne, all in their seventies, are minding their own business while enjoying a cup of tea in a café, when seventeen-year-old Nina stumbles in. She’s clearly distraught and running from someone, so the three women think nothing of hiding her when a suspicious-looking man starts asking if they’ve seen her.
 
Once alone, Nina tells the women a little of what she’s running from. The need to protect her is immediate, and Grace, Meg and Daphne vow to do just this. But how? They soon realise there really is only one answer: murder.
 
And so begins the tale of the three most unlikely murderers-in-the-making, and may hell protect anyone who underestimates them. 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story contains a powerful commentary on society’s view of older women and young women who are let down by those who should care for them. The issues are disturbing, but whilst the reader is provoked to think about them, it’s delivered in an engaging way that resonates.

The story follows the lives of three women in their seventies and a young woman of seventeen. They are virtually strangers, but a fatalistic meeting draws them together into a world of darkness and depravity. The women have secrets that are revealed to each other and the reader as the story progresses. They are not what they outwardly seem, an important point this story explores for all the women. All have courage and hidden strengths that help secure safety for the vulnerable young woman who asks for their help.

The thriller is well-written with twists and is full of satirical noir humour, but it’s the believable characters, their brave actions and poignant stories that make this such a good read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Icelandic Noir, International Thriller, Noir, Nordic Noir, Psychological Suspense, Scandinavian Crime

Girls Who Lie Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir 4*#Review @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks #Translator Victoria Cribb #ForbiddenIceland #GirlsWhoLie #IcelandicNoir #RandomThingsTours @annecater @GoldsboroBooks #BlogTour #BookReview

At once a startling, tense psychological thriller, and a
sophisticated and twisty police procedural from a rising star in
Icelandic literature

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed that she’s taken her own life – until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the
childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

Amazon UK Orenda Books

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

My Thoughts…

The second in the Forbidden Iceland series is a multi-layered plot with clever twists and believably crafted characters. Chilling, compelling and complex, it keeps the reader engaged. An absorbing balance of psychological suspense and police procedural, the Icelandic setting reflects the story’s noir ethos. The reader gets to know the investigation team and what motivates them. This is an emotional, poignant and thought-provoking story.

Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir studied for an MSc in globalisation in Norway before returning to Iceland and deciding to write a novel – something she had wanted to do since she won a short-story competition at the age of fifteen.

After nine months combining her writing with work as a stewardess and
caring for her children, Eva finished The Creak on the Stairs. It was published in 2018, and became a bestseller in Iceland. It also went on to win the Blackbird Award, a prize set up by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson to encourage new Icelandic crime writers. It was published in English by Orenda Books in 2020.


Eva lives in Reykjavík with her husband and three children and is currently working on the third book in the Forbidden Iceland series.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Horror Fiction, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Thriller

The Runner P.R.Black 5*#Review @Aria_Fiction @PatBlack9 #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #horror #BlogTour #TheRunner #BookReview

You can’t escape him.

He abducts lone joggers and forces them to run for their lives. When he catches them, he pulls out his blade…

Now he’s locked away and will be in prison for years. They call him a psychopath, a murderer, the ‘Woodcutter Killer’.

But what if you just found out you’re supposed to call him father?

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

My Thoughts…

This is powerful psychological suspense with authentic characters and a compelling investigation that is addictive reading. Freya finds out her previously unknown father is in prison and possibly a notorious killer. She is determined to discover the truth. What follows is a true-crime investigation with two unlikely detectives and some grisly discoveries. Some of the descriptions are graphic but are integral to the twisty plot and impactful ending.

Pat Black is kind to spiders.

He is the author of The Long Dark Road and the Amazon bestsellers, The Beach House and The Family.

His short stories have been shortlisted for awards including the Bridport Prize and the Bloody Scotland short story competition. He was also longlisted for the William Hazlitt essay prize.

He was named one of the winners of The Daily Telegraph’s Ghost Stories competition, and his work has been performed on stage in London by Liars’ League.

He lives in Yorkshire, but will always belong to Glasgow. He knows full well what your opinions are about people who talk about themselves in the third person.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Domestic Thriller, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Serial Killer’s Wife Alice Hunter 5*#Review #DidSheKnow @AvonBooksUK @Alice_Hunter_1 #BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #psychsuspense #Lies #Secrets DomesticSuspense #TheSerialKillersWife

They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The intensity of this twisty psychological suspense builds with every page turn. Then the secrets begin to unfold, and you can’t stop reading. You have to know, what next?

Told mainly from Beth and Tom’s viewpoints, this story gives the reader insight into the main players, but you’re never sure if they are truthful, and the mystery deepens. A well-written plot makes it easy to read. Beth is so shocked by the police investigation into her husband it’s hard not to empathise with her.

The suspense builds believably and relentlessly. With each revelation, another question is raised. The ending draws all the plot strands together with some notable twists that resonate.

Posted in Book Review, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Noir

Both of You Adele Parks 5*#Review @HQStories @adeleparks #BlogTour #noir #FamilyDrama #mystery #DomesticThriller #Marriage #Secrets #psychologicalsuspense

Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.

Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamourous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.

DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they are.

How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Compelling yet easy to read, this is addictive psychological suspense. There are elements of police procedural and a twisty mystery to solve. The character dynamics are relatable, and contemporary issues of raising teenagers, misogyny at work and missing persons are highlighted.

The story focuses on two missing persons, Leigh married to Mark with two sons, and Kai, who is married to Daan. Detailed characterisation and relationship dynamics in the early chapters make the shocks and twists impactful. The reader is invested in the characters even though not all are likeable.

The story is passionate, poignant, and often menacing, but it is always addictive reading. Whilst the ending may not be a total surprise if you follow the clues, it remains sinister, suspenseful, and ultimately shocking.

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 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.