Posted in Blog Tour, Crime, Extract, Gangland Crime, ganglit

Villain Caro Savage #Extract @CaroSavageStory @BoldwoodBooks #CrimeFiction #ganglit #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources

To catch a villain sometimes you have to become one.
Bailey’s Back! From the bestselling author of Jailbird.

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan is back doing what she does best – working undercover.
This time she has to infiltrate the inner circle of a notorious underworld family. Posing as a fellow villain, she is on a one-woman mission to bring the family to their knees.

But things are never that simple. Bailey finds that she is forced to confront shadowy wraiths from her past and will come face-to-face with a set of devastating revelations that will shatter her world and threaten her very existence.

With only herself to trust, Bailey is on her own and the stakes are higher than ever.

Amazon UK

Extract from Villain – Caro Savage

At that point, the door of the restaurant swung open, letting out a gust of noise which made him turn his head sharply, all thoughts of the mysterious figure dropping from his mind. He saw that a couple had emerged into the chilly night and it looked like they were heading in his direction. A bolt of anticipation shot through him. Here was his opportunity, the chance to earn some money.

The man ambled along in a self-assured swagger, his black leather jacket flapping open despite the freezing weather. The woman was wrapped in a figure-hugging fur coat, below which a pair of slender long legs ended in towering stiletto heels. The woman, in particular, looked quite glamorous, like some kind of model or actress, and both of them looked considerably well-off.

The couple were laughing, the man saying something indiscernible in a low rumble, the woman tittering in response, their puffs of breath frosting in the night air. It sounded like they were tipsy, bathing in the high of a good evening.

They were drawing closer, the woman’s heels clacking sharply on the pavement as she tottered along a little unsteadily, her arm hooked into the man’s elbow, their conversation becoming more clearly audible the nearer they got.

‘Now remember you promised me,’ the man was saying in a rough, gravelly voice.

‘When we get back to the car,’ the woman replied, with a coy twinkle in her eye.

‘I’ve been waiting for it all evening,’ he said with a leering grin. ‘And I can’t wait any longer.’

‘You won’t be disappointed,’ she purred seductively.

Dave readied himself for their imminent approach. They were only a few metres away now. He projected the appropriate air of two parts dejected to one part cheerful and one part humble, a recipe he’d spent some time refining.

‘Spare some change?’ he said as they passed, making sure not to sound too whiny.

The man stopped abruptly, pulling the woman to a halt beside him. He peered down at Dave, the smile dropping off his face. Up close, Dave absorbed his appearance – a large diamond stud in his left ear, his loud shirt open at the collar revealing a heavy gold chain around his neck, a chunky, expensive-looking watch on his left wrist and one of those rings with a gold sovereign in it on the little finger of his right hand. He certainly didn’t look short of cash, that was for sure. And he appeared to be coked up, if the wide twitching eyes and the clenching jaw were anything to go by.

Dave suddenly felt uneasy. Just beneath the surface, he could detect the whiff of violence, as if this was the kind of bloke who thought nothing of doling out a beating to anyone who looked at him the wrong way. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut. He wondered if the man was going to assault him. It wouldn’t be the first time someone had done so. He felt a faint quake of fear. He gulped and braced himself for a possible kicking.

Caro Savage

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing, Jailbird was published by Boldwood in October 2019.

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Posted in Extract, Historical Fiction, Saga

Minnie’s Orphans Lindsey Hutchinson #Extract @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #MinniesOrphans #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #Saga #historicalfiction #HistFic #BlogTour

The Fitch children are finally safe, after they and their friends were rescued from the grim orphanage Reed House by Minnie and Billy Marshall. Their children’s home Marshall’s is full of love and laughter, and a world away from their terrible ordeal of being sold to Una Reed for five shillings.There are many more children who still need a home, especially in a world where the workhouse is the last option for desperate families, and so Minnie makes it her mission to build Marshall’s into a refuge for all the waifs and strays. 

But kind hearts can be taken advantage of, and before long, Marshall’s in under attack. Can Minnie and Billy keep their family together and keep all the children safe, or will they be torn apart again? 

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-warming, unputdownable and unforgettable tale of triumph against the odds.

Amazon UK

Extract from Minnie’s Orphans Lindsey Hutchinson

Adam Fitch and Billy Marshall stood waiting at the front of Stafford Gaol as they had done once a month for the last five years.

The door in the huge brick-built gatehouse was firmly locked and was flanked either side by a tall concrete wall.

Adam’s eyes glanced over the women leaning against the wall, awaiting a visit to their menfolk inside. Dressed in rags, some had scruffy children clinging to their worn skirts. Others stood alone as if trying to hide from the stigma of being a convict’s spouse. No one spoke. They simply waited patiently for the echoing sound of the key grating in the lock which heralded that their visit time was imminent.

Shuffling from foot to foot, Adam was eager for the wrought iron gates to swing open. He shivered. The spring sunshine gave very little warmth, but Adam realised it was anticipation which was making him shake rather than the cool air.

Lifting his flat cap, he pushed his dark hair back before replacing it. He heard a whisper from a small girl hiding behind her mother.

‘Is he a peaky blinder?’

‘Don’t be so daft!’ the woman scolded, but she eyed Adam warily nevertheless.

‘Won’t be long now, lad, and then we’ll not be coming again, God willing,’ Billy whispered as he laid a hand on the boy’s shoulder.

Adam nodded and glanced around again at the small group of people who were also waiting. Young men with their own flat caps pulled low over watchful eyes, everyone keen to see whoever it was they had come to the prison to visit.

As he attempted to quell his excitement, Adam’s mind ran swiftly over the last few years of his fifteen-year-old life. His natural father, a pugilist, had been killed in the boxing ring. Adam and his sister were sold to Reed’s Orphanage by his stepfather, who died by the hand of his brother James in a freak accident. When Polly was then sold again to a wealthy family, Adam and his friends broke out to rescue her.

Feeling strong fingers squeeze gently at his arm, Adam glanced at the big man at his side. Billy Marshall, champion pugilist, now retired, had taught him how to box and so defend himself if and when the need arose. Billy had married Adam’s mum Minnie four years previously, and they had bought a massive property in Major Street, which was now a children’s home.

Whilst on the run from Reed’s, Adam and his friends had met up with three boys who were living together, thieving and scavenging to survive. Two of them, Echo and Flash, had joined Adam’s ever-expanding family; the third had been apprehended by the police, which was the reason for their visit here today. Adam and Billy were awaiting the release of Digit, who had served five years for theft.

So lost in his thoughts was he that Adam had not heard the warder come to unlock the doors. The squeal of hinges drew his attention and he again glanced at Billy.

‘They will let Digit out today, won’t they?’ he asked in barely more than a whisper.

Billy nodded confidently, and the two watched the small group of people shuffle forward into the yard. Then the huge wooden doors began to close and Adam felt his stomach lurch. Where was Digit? Had something happened since they had last seen him? Was he ill – had he died? Adam pushed the thought aside as he stared at the huge wooden doors, willing them to open.

‘Bloody hell, Digit – come on!’ Adam muttered.

‘Patience, lad – all in good time,’ Billy said.

Suddenly the door opened, and a young man stepped out into the yard. Toby Hanley, aka Digit, stood for a moment with the sun shining on his thick black hair, which was long and lank and badly in need of a wash. His dark eyes blinked at the bright sunlight, then they searched for the two friends who had promised to be there on his release. His clothes hung on his frame which had once been thickset and muscled but now after five years in gaol, appeared to have lost a little of that mass, although there was still strength beneath the bedraggled appearance.

Lindsey Hutchinson

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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

What She Saw Diane Saxon 5*#Review @Diane_Saxon @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #suspense #DSJennaMorgan #WhatSheSaw

Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Another gripping blend of investigation and psychological suspense. There a dramatic beginning, and then the painstaking police procedural begins. The ending is fast-paced and adrenaline-inducing as DS Morgan tries to stop the killer.

This is an authentic detective thriller, and the pacing is part of this, slower where the investigation is struggling. The level of menace is high, and the psychological suspense keeps you guessing and on tenterhooks.

Jenna is a complex character, and we learn more about her as the series progresses. The police team dynamic is well-researched and believable.

Diane Saxon

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Extract, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

What If? Shari Low 5*#Review @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #WhatIf #selfdiscovery #Romance #Friendship #theone #BlogTour #BookReview #extract #romcom

The book that started it all! A classic retro romcom from #1 bestselling author Shari Low.

1999.
Carly Cooper is 30, single, and after coming close to saying ‘I Do’ to six different men, she’s wondering if she accidentally said ‘goodbye’ to Mr Right.
But there is a problem.
Her ex-boyfriends are scattered all over the world and Carly lives in 1999; an era before Facebook, Google, smartphones, 4G and Broadband, when it was impossible to track people down with a few clicks of a mouse.
On a mission to discover if she walked away from her ‘happy ever after’, Carly quits her job, her flat, her whole life and sets off on a quest to track down all the men she has ever loved.
Her Mr Right is out there, but can she find him?
And what if he’s moved on from the ex-girlfriend who said goodbye?

A wonderful classic 20th-anniversary re-release.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

With this book, you get the chance to revisit the nineties and eighties briefly and enjoy the first magic novel from this author. Carly on the eve of the millennium is wondering if she’s made the best of her life. Has she missed out on the one?

Carly is a likeable character, funny and self-deprecating and you empathise with her. She revisits old relationships (six) and then decides to find her former lovers to see if she made a mistake. This has hilarious, poignant and romantic results and is an entertaining read.

It’s a lovely book to explore the late twentieth century and escape this one for a little while.

What If? Shari Low – An Extract

Chapter 1

March 1999

Millennium – Robbie Williams

Oh, b**locks.

I love that word. It has a ‘don’t mess with me, I’m a hormonal lethal weapon’ ring to it. I’ve been muttering it dementedly since I got out of bed this morning, because I can’t think of a single thing that’s right with the world today.

I reach over to refill the kettle, dropping the arm of my dressing gown in last night’s dishwater and knocking over my ashtray in the process. It’s not going to be one of my better days. Before you start reaching for the telephone to summon a counselling service to my kitchen, can I just say that I’m having a midlife crisis. I look and feel like Liam Gallagher after a night on the tiles and I can tell you in years, months, days and minutes how long it is since my last sexual experience. But, according to every reputable (trashy) women’s magazine, this behaviour is typical of a single female of my age. One who’s having a midlife crisis, that is.

Do you ever think, ‘What if this is all there is to life?’ Do you ever contemplate your lot and wonder why you’re not a supermodel in Milan? Or the director of a multinational corporation? What about married to an international business tycoon with homes in seven countries? For the purposes of this ponderance, I’m going to ignore that I’ve got forty pounds on any supermodel, I have no cheekbones, zero entrepreneurial skills, I’m a hopeless commitment-phobe and I couldn’t handle seven houses because I get irritated having to run the Hoover round my tiny flat.

But all that aside, look at me now. I’m sitting at my breakfast table alone, having called in sick to work with an ever more ridiculous reason (‘I stubbed my toe in the garden’ isn’t a bad excuse, except that I live in a third floor flat), with absolutely nothing to look forward to except a chocolate croissant and a long linger over the latest edition of Hello! magazine.I can’t help thinking, ‘What if this is it?’ What if this is the way my life is going to be until I’m having Zimmer races up and down the corridor of my retirement home, flirting with old men and cheating at bingo?

I suppose I owe you an explanation for this sudden outpouring of self-pity.

My name is Carly Cooper. I’m careering towards my thirties at terrifying speed, and I pay an obscene portion of my monthly salary to live in a studio-cum-cupboard in the desirable area of Richmond, near London. I arrived here from my native Glasgow via a multitude of countries, adventures and disasters (mostly due to Mr Rights who inevitably turned out to be Mr Couldn’t Be More Wrongs). I’m 5’8”, with long blonde hair (extensions), blue eyes (coloured contact lenses) and ample curves (in many of the non-supermodel places).

I earn a great salary doing a job I detest and therefore spend every penny of it doing things I enjoy to take my mind off work. I am officially a National Accounts Manager for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tissue-paper products. Translated, this means that I persuade buyers of large multinational companies to sign annual contracts for the supply of their toilet rolls. Don’t laugh. There’s a future in toilet rolls. They’ll be here long after all this modern technology like CDs and carphones are on a scrap heap somewhere.

I’m officially enjoying the single life with no significant other to answer to. Believe me, to paraphrase Jerry Maguire, I absolutely know that I don’t need a man to complete me. I should just be content being a single, cosmopolitan woman of the world. But unofficially, off the record, and with apologies to my fellow singletons everywhere, I’m bored, fed up and itching to be in a couple again.

Shari Low

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, ganglit, Noir, Suspense

Missing For Good Alex Coombs 4*#Review @AlexHowardCrime @BoldwoodBooks #CrimeFiction #PIHanlon #Scotland #ganglit #MissingForGood #noircrime #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources

Is she alive, or is she missing for good…?

When the estranged daughter of Scotland’s premier art dealer goes missing, Private Investigator Hanlon is hired to find out where Aurora is.

But what she thinks will be a relatively straightforward job, soon turns dangerous. The missing girl has a troubled past but what made Aurora suddenly pack her bags and disappear?

Hanlon has her work cut out for her. The stakes are rising and she needs to get to the bottom of the case before someone else is attacked.

And is Aurora still alive, or is she missing for good?

A gripping new case for feisty female Private Investigator, Hanlon.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in the Hanlon series, now a private investigator she takes on her first case, not the simple missing person’s case its first seems. Aurora has secrets and is hiding from her art dealer father who also is not the upstanding businessman he portrays. The story darkens as it progresses, as Hanlon comes up against drug dealers, gangs and people with secrets that they will kill to keep hidden.

Hanlon continues to have anger issues and remains a closed book to most her relationship with her dog shows her lighter side. She is an enigma but excellent at her role. This gritty, graphic ganglit but Hanlon isn’t afraid of danger given her background at the Met and is determined to find out the truth.

If you like your crime fiction hard-boiled this will suit you.

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 has written four well reviewed crime novels as Alex Howard.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Motivational, Romance

Life After You Sian O’Gorman 5* #Review @msogorman @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #Love #Loss #Bereavement #Family #Romance #Friendship #Motivational #Heartwarming #SundayThoughts #LifeAfterYou

Meaningful and moving, a beautiful story with life-affirming qualities.

Milly Bryne’s world came crashing down when she lost her beloved Dad and boyfriend in a matter of weeks.
Losing her Dad has broken her family. Losing her soul mate made has made her give up on life and love.
After swerving from stability to chaos to despair, Milly finally believes she has her life back on track when the unexpected return of a familiar face to Ireland throws her life once more into a spin. Milly is forced to decide if her new life is the one for her, or if there is another path that will bring even greater riches of joy, excitement and fun into her world. Life just isn’t worth living if your heart isn’t in it?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I always love reading a book written by a true storyteller and this one of those. Milly is not coping, no one would know, but she’s still crippled with grief after losing her father five years ago, has a ruthless career that demands all her time and offends her moral code and was abandoned by her soulmate at the lowest point in her life. When her old lover returns, it forces her to look at her life and decide what she truly wants it to be.

Milly is a likeable and relatable protagonist. You want her to overcome her anxiety, learn to live with her grief and be happy. A diverse cast of characters both hinder and support Milly in this quest. Everyone is authentic and adds something to this enjoyable story.

The story explores how Milly and her family members experience, both anxiety and grief believably.

The story is heartbreaking and humorous in equal measure but ultimately heartwarming.

Extract from Life After You Sian o’Gorman

Chapter One

A low hum of chatter, the odd bray from the over-inebriated, the tinkling of Cole Porter from the grand piano in the corner, the soft lighting, the waft of the kind of perfume that hadn’t been bought as an after-thought in Duty Free, the pop of the champagne bottles. Siobhán held up her glass of fizz. ‘I could get used to this,’ she said, putting on a posh voice. ‘I may insist on always socialising in the Shelbourne.’

It was early April and there was a touch of spring in the air and we were both a little over-excited. It was a Tuesday which was enough to celebrate on its own, but we were at the launch of a new development for my boyfriend’s property company and although Ryan and I had been going out for three months, he and Siobhán were yet to meet.

She’d already peered across the room at him as he shook hands with and chatted to some of the other guests. ‘He’s handsome,’ she said, approvingly. ‘The kind of cheekbones that make him look like he’s sucking on a lemon or an eighties popstar.’

Siobhán and I had been best friends since our third year of high school when we both realised we shared a hatred of hockey and a love of talking to each other. We’d lived with each other many times over the years, her moving in with me when my then boyfriend, Darragh, left me five years earlier. Her partner, George, was often to be found on our sofa – normally asleep, wrecked from his early starts in a bakery.

Siobhán’s arm darted out to nab a handful of canapés as a tray bobbed past our heads. She handed one to me. ‘Being a corporate lawyer, you probably eat like this all the time,’ she said, mouth full, ‘expense-account lunches…’

‘I’m lucky if I get ten minutes to buy a sandwich. Normally, it’s just me and Catriona working through.’ Catriona was my boss, one of the partners at my law firm McCoyMcAvoy. I’d worked there since getting onto the graduate scheme, and had slowly made my way up to being junior to the firm’s only female partner. As corporate lawyers, we bent the rules to nearly breaking point, discovering legal loopholes and building cases so rock-solid that we always ensured our clients got their way.

‘Lunch is the most important meal of the day,’ Siobhán reminded me.

‘I thought it was breakfast.’

She held up a canapé. ‘No, I forgot. Nibbles and snacks are the best meal of the day.’ She grinned at me. ‘Can’t live without snacks.’

‘I’d die.’

‘We’d die together for the want of a good snack… talking of which, these are very nice, very nice indeed!’

Siobhán was small, with long, waterfall-wavy red hair, and always wore bright red lipstick. I was tall, with shoulder length light brown hair which I tied back for work, with minimal make-up. She wore long skirts and chunky cardigans and dangly earrings, whereas I couldn’t remember the last time I wore anything that wasn’t sensible. I couldn’t remember the last time I had done something that wasn’t sensible. But, then again, I was the one who’d signed up to be a lawyer and being sensible was part of the deal. Except, I wouldn’t mind some fun. It was exactly why I insisted on Siobhan coming tonight. It was at least something.

Sian O’Gorman

Sian O’Gorman was born in Galway on the West Coast of Ireland, grew up in the lovely city of Cardiff, and has found her way back to Ireland and now lives on the east of the country, in the village of Dalkey, just along the coast from Dublin. She works as a radio producer for RTE.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Extract, Family Drama, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Guilty Wife Nina Manning 5*#Review @ninamanning78 @BoldwoodBooks #PsychologicalThriller #Domestic #Suspense #Family #Guilt #boldwoodbloggers #TheGuiltyWife @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #SundayReads #SundayMorning

One woman’s past could cost her everything…

Frankie Keegan is struggling.
While she tries to make strides in her career, life at home is slowly unravelling as she is haunted by the secrets of her past.


Someone else remembers…
As the dark nights draw in, the anniversary of the loss of her brother looms and Frankie is drawn back to the memories of that fateful night 20 years previously. As she descends into a guilt-ridden state, she begins to suspect that someone else is also remembering that night and they are determined to terrify her…

Can she confront her past before it’s too late?

From the international bestselling author of The Daughter In Law, a gripping psychological thriller about family, secrecy and grief – with a twist you won’t see coming.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The suspense grips you in this story from the first words and keeps its hold until the dramatic conclusion.

Frankie’s never recovered from the accident twenty years ago that took her brother. She’s moved on with life, but the grief and guilt remain festering. A functioning alcoholic with her marriage in trouble, she’s a flawed, and unreliable protagonist but you want her to find peace.

Plot-driven this is a detailed story told from Frankie’s viewpoints both past and present. Everyone in her life has their agenda. As the story progresses, it’s hard to know who to trust. The story’s addictive quality keeps you reading, thinking you know what’s going to happen next.

The compelling characters all have a purpose often to confuse the reader. I did realise what was happening late on in the story, but the dramatic ending still resonated.

This is a poignant tale about the payback of youthful indiscretions and damaged minds.

TheGuilty Wife – Nina Manning – Extract

Prologue

I stood at the top of the stairs and held my breath as my anxiety spiked and my heart pounded in my throat. But I could no longer hear the noise that had drawn me there. As I stood, my foot perched ready to take the first step, I wondered if perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me. Maybe the events of the last few days had finally caught up with me. But faces were hovering in front of me. Those people I had trusted. And those who I had hurt.

All those years ago I was trying so hard to make a difference in any way I could. But I was young. And I was foolish. I knew the past would never be able to bury itself, and I had not been able to rest for twenty years because the horrors of that day would stay with me until I took my final breath.

But now it was time to face the past head on. I tightened my grip on my weapon and began the descent to the kitchen. I knew I was now in grave danger. I knew that I had to protect my children and face the person who had found their way into my home.

Nina Manning

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

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Read my review of The Daughter in Law

First published as Her Darkest Fear 26 March 20

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

The House Party Mary Grand 4*#Review @authormaryg @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #psychological #suspense #MurderMystery #TheHouseParty #BlogTour #BookReview

Someone is about to die… Someone is about to lie…

At the intimate house-warming party for her glorious ‘grand design’, Kathleen confides in her best friend Beth that she is terrified of one of their close friends, but daren’t reveal which one. The guests are a tight-knit group, but Kathleen is convinced one of them is dangerous.

The next day Kathleen’s body is found at the foot of a cliff and Beth must face the sickening truth that she may have been killed by one of their trusted friends. With little help from the police, Beth’s decides to seek answers.

All the friends have secrets they are desperate to hide, but only one of them is ready to kill to keep theirs safe…The House Party is set on the Isle of Wight – insular,claustrophobic, and with nowhere to run. Mary Grand has written a heart-stopping novel of secrets, betrayal and desire.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is more noir crime than the murder mystery I was expecting. In keeping with the murder mystery genre, there is a cast of characters with the motivation for murder and secrets. This story also has an element of psychological suspense increasing the level of menace.

The opening scenes at the house party flag up that Kathleen has secrets and that someone is using these against her. She’s troubled but anxious to talk them over with Beth her lapsed best friend. Patrick Kathleen’s partner interrupts their conversation. The next morning Kathleen is dead.

Beth feels she owes it to, Kathleen,to investigate her death, and this leads to deceit, danger and eventually the discovery of the murderer in their midst.The island setting makes this atmospheric. The suspects’ closeness makes this intense. No one is reliable, and the undercurrent of danger is strong in this story.

This story makes the most of its unusual setting with an intriguing plot and mysterious characters.

Mary Grand is the author of five 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,

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery

A Village Murder Frances Evesham 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @FrancesEvesham #AHamHillMurderMystery @rararesources #cozymystery #murdermystery #villagelife #BoldwoodBloggers #BlogTour #AVillageMurder #BookReview #Somerset #RachelsRandomResources #TuesdayBookBlog #TuesdayMotivation

An English village can be deadly, when your past catches up with you…


In the beautiful rural Somerset village of Lower Hembrow, crammed full with English eccentrics, something is amiss…

Landscape gardener Imogen Bishop has spent the last thirty years trying to forget one fateful school night but when her estranged husband Greg Bishop is found dead in the grounds of her fathers Georgian hotel, danger threatens to overwhelm her.

Retired police officer Adam Hennessey, hoping for a peaceful life running his traditional Somerset country pub, finds himself drawn into the unfolding drama in the hotel across the road.

Imogen, Adam and Harley the stray dog form an unlikely partnership as they try to untangle a knot of secrets, solve a murder mystery, and bring a killer to justice.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I have to admit that cosy and murder mystery is my ultimate escapist read. This first book in ‘A Ham Hill Murder Mystery has an engaging village ethos, authentic characters and an intriguing murder mystery plot.

The mystery plot is layered and full of twists. The main protagonists are relatable and easy to like. The dog is the star of the show for me. The dynamic between Adam and Imogen is believable and promises to be a gripping series.

The rural setting contains all the recognisable village nuances. The people are equal parts nosy and supportive.

Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. Boldwood plan to republish the complete series with the next new instalment due in Autumn 2020.  Frances is also starting a new cosy crime series set in rural Herefordshire with thefirst title being published in June 2020.

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

Reckless Gemma Rogers 5*#Review @GemmaRogers79 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #BoldwoodBloggers BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #FamilyDrama #urbanfiction #RachelsRandomResources #MondayBlogs

English teacher Izzy Cole wanted a fresh start.

A new town, a new home, a new school.

But when sixth former Nicky Stevens sets his sights on her, he begins to reel her in at a time when she’s most vulnerable. Soon Izzy is risking her family, her career and her life as she finds Nicky wants more than she ever planned to give.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Authentic characters, a believable scenario and some surprising twists make this an absorbing read.

It’s a story of two parts. Firstly the forbidden attraction. Izzy behaves recklessly and betrays her position of trust. You understand her motivations, but she crosses a line that anyone with children finds hard to condone. Nicky’s manipulation of Izzy in a depraved narcissistic game makes the second part of the story dark and chilling.

This is an intense and immersive story well-paced and believable.

Extract from Reckless Gemma Rogers

Steadying my breathing until I felt in control, I pulled open the door and stepped into the busy corridor, almost colliding with the frowning headmaster.

‘Ah, there you are. Welcome, Isabel.’ He smiled, opening his arms wide and, for a worrying second, I thought he was going to envelop me in a hug.

‘Izzy, call me Izzy. Sorry, you had someone in your office,’ I explained but he waved me away.

‘No problem. Now, Izzy, let me take you through to your classroom. As I mentioned before, you have a lovely year eight class that you’ll be form room teacher for. You’ll be known as 8C; they are all aged between twelve and thirteen. They’ll be with you for about twenty minutes twice a day, each morning and afternoon, where you’ll take the register. I looked after them for part of last year and they are a smashing bunch.’ Mr Scott strode quickly down the corridor and I hurried to keep up. My skirt too tight at the knee to walk fast. Why did he look after a form? In my previous school that would have been unorthodox for a headteacher.

‘Will I teach my lessons from the same classroom?’ I asked.

‘Yes, absolutely, that will be your classroom.’ He glanced over his shoulder. ‘Still raining out there?’ I nodded, remembering my umbrella in the boot of the car.

‘Afraid so, but I think it’s slowing down. The Great British Summertime, eh,’ I said, palms dampening as a tirade of bewildered-looking students pushed through the doors and ploughed towards us.

Someone bumped my shoulder and mumbled an apology.

‘Stevens,’ Mr Scott said sternly.

The boy turned around and my stomach plummeted to the floor like a sack of potatoes.

‘Yes, sir?’ he replied in a bored tone, his mouth in a tight smile.

‘You bumped into Mrs Cole. Can you apologise please?’ He hadn’t seen me properly; hadn’t registered me yet. But I saw him, clearer now he wasn’t behind a windscreen. Blond shaven head, blue eyes, vaguely resembling a young Jude Law. Athletic-looking, he stood almost as tall as the headteacher. Our eyes met, and I thought I heard him gasp.

His smile faded, and he stuttered, ‘I, I did.’

‘He did,’ I agreed, unsure why I was defending him. I eyed him coldly. He could have killed us this morning.

‘Off you go and tuck that shirt in,’ Mr Scott instructed, nodding towards his untucked T-shirt, before we carried on down the corridor.

As he held open the classroom door to 8C, I glanced behind me in the direction we’d come from. The boy, last name Stevens, was still standing there, staring at me. A permanent fixture in the corridor as students scurried around him. I paused, my hand briefly touching the small mound on my head. My thumping skull stepped up a notch. Mr Scott’s voice was muffled in the background. As I crossed the threshold into the classroom, I took one last look down the corridor, sure I saw the corners of the boy’s mouth curl upward.

Gemma Rogers

Gemma Rogers was inspired to write gritty thrillers by a traumatic event in her own life nearly twenty years ago. Stalker is her debut novel which Boldwood will publish in September 2019 and marks the beginning of a new writing career.  Gemma lives in West Sussex with her husband, two daughters and bulldog Buster.

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