Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

Love Me Tender Lorraine Mace 5* #Review @lomace @AccentPress @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Detective #DIStirling #suspsense #psychologicalsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #LoveMeTender

IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .
Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.


An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.


At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author and Headline Accent via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is my first read from the Detective Inspector Sterling series. Despite this being book five, I quickly connected with the detective and his team. Sterling is newly promoted to DCI. He is grieving the death of a colleague, and friend which affects his rapport with one team member. Overall the investigative team has a good dynamic, but they are overstretched with high profile cases that may have a connection.

The investigation is easy to follow several twists keep the reader guessing. The reader also has insight into the antagonist’s viewpoint, which is chilling and suspenseful. There is a good balance of personal and professional insights into Sterling’s life which makes him believable.

The story flows well, and the ending ties up all the leads nicely. It poses a question to be answered in the next book in the series.

Lorraine Mace

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

Author of the D.I. Sterling series of novels, Lorraine has been engaged in many writing-related activities. A columnist for Writing Magazine, she has recently stepped down from writing two columns for Writers’ Forum and also her role as head judge of the magazine’s monthly fiction competitions in order to concentrate on her own writing. She is currently writing two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline Accent.

She also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

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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, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Psychological Suspense

The Lucky Eight Shelia Bugler 4*#Review @sheilab10 @canelo_co @CaneloCrime @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours #lovebookstours #BlogTour #BookTour #Detective #BookReview #CrimeFiction #TheLuckyEight

When the plane crashed, 160 people perished. Now, is someone killing off the survivors?

Five years ago, a horrific airline disaster made headlines around the world. On the anniversary of the fatal crash, a number of those who were spared gather to mark the occasion. By morning, Nick Gilbert, a celebrity chef and one of the party, lies dead. Detective Rachel Lewis leads the investigation and within days another survivor is stabbed to death. It seems certain that a killer is targeting the lucky eight.

Clodagh Kinsella recovered from the injuries she sustained in the crash, but lost her sister that day. The bereavement shared by Clodagh and her sister’s husband led them to a romance of their own. Yet lately, Clodagh knows something isn’t right. As the noose tightens on the group and Rachel comes across more questions than answers, it’s only a matter of time before Clodagh will have to face the consequences of a mistake she made before the plane went down… A tense and gripping crime thriller.

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

My Thoughts…

There is a nice balance of murder mystery, police procedural and psychological suspense in this suspenseful story. There are multi-faceted characters and an unreliable narrator, both of which adds to the story’s complexity. The investigation is well developed and paced. There are numerous suspects, clues, false leads and interrelationships which complicate the investigation. The reader gains an extra perspective on the investigation, but can they trust the unreliable narrator?

Shelia Bugler

Sheila grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland. After studying Psychology at University College Galway (now called NUI Galway) she left Ireland and worked as an EFL teacher, travelling to Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland and Argentina.

She is the author of a series of crime novels featuring DI Ellen Kelly. The novels are set in South East London, an area she knows and loves.

She now lives in Eastbourne, on the beautiful East Sussex coast. Eastbourne is the location for her series of crime novels featuring investigative journalist Dee Doran.

When she’s not writing, Sheila does corporate writing and storytelling, she runs creative writing courses, is a tutor for the Writers Bureau and is a mentor on the WoMentoring programme. She reviews crime fiction for crimesquad.com and she is a regular guest on BBC Radio Sussex.

She is married with two children.

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

The Corfe Castle Murders Rachel McLean 4*#Review #Detective @rachelmcwrites @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Detective #Dorset #TheCorfeCastleMurders #DorsetCrime #MondayBlogs

Meet DCI Lesley Clarke. She’s a straight-talking city copper who doesn’t suffer fools gladly… and she’s been transferred to rural Dorset.
After being injured in a bomb attack, Lesley is presented with a choice – early retirement, or a period of respite in a calmer location.
But things don’t stay calm for long.
Before she’s even started her new job, Lesley is dragged into investigating a murder at one of England’s most iconic landmarks, the imposing Corfe Castle.
Lesley must hit the ground running. Can she get along with her new partner DS Dennis Frampton, a traditionalist who doesn’t appreciate her style? How will she navigate the politics of a smaller force where she’s a bigger, and less welcome, fish? And most importantly, can she solve the murder before the killer strikes again?
The Corfe Castle Murders is a compelling, character-driven mystery.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

A detective story with some interesting characters, a complex plot and a lovely rural setting. DCI Lesley Clarke is rehabilitating and has taken a rural posting to remain on the job. Her sense of frustration is authentically portrayed and leads to friction with her new team.

The murder investigation has numerous clues, false leads and suspects. There is a good balance of the personal and professional that draws the reader into their world. The setting is engaging, and the rural world-building adds to the story’s authentic quality. This is engaging and entertaining and promises to be a series to look out for.

Rachel McLean

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at a breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Crime, New Books

Coldharbour John Mead 4*#Review @JohnMeadAuthor @rararesources #PoliceProcedural #CrimeFiction #EastEnd #London #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #Coldharbour

The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.

For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.

And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts

This is a well-researched and written police procedural set in London and Europe. It is gritty and disturbing in parts, reflecting the seriousness of the crimes. DCI Matthew Merry is sometimes hard to empathise with. I liked and understood him better in this book. His self-insight is honest, and he endeavours to achieve a more equitable work-life balance.

A lot is going on in this story, which adds to its authenticity. The threads of most of the cases are drawn together well as the story unfolds. The engaging writing style immerses the reader in the investigation, which has cleverly crafted characters and a knowledgeably described setting.

John was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city

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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 Book Review, Cozy Mystery, New Books

The Murders at Foxglove Close Rose Temple 4*#Review @Hodder_Studio @HodderBooks A Neighbourhood Watch Mystery @HodderPublicity #cosymystery #rural #Sussex #MurdersatFoxgloveClose

The sleepy village of Little Cote was meant to be a quieter pace of life for ex-Met PC Jemima Cotton. But she soon discovers, here a petty rivalry can erupt into full-blown murder . . .

Police Officer Jemima Cotton expected Little Cote to be a quieter pace of life. But, unlike London, everyone knows everyone, and beyond the cake sales and coffee mornings, tea parties and village fetes, the neighbours aren’t all the best of friends . . .

When Jemima is unpacking her mugs and teabags in her new home on Foxglove Close, she’s called to attend her first murder investigation. She’s excited, until she discovers it’s only a few doors down from her. And she hasn’t even met her new neighbours yet! As she steps out of her house in full uniform, Jemima can feel the eyes on the back of her neck, and she can see the curtains and blinds twitching.

But the crucial question is why did the lonely gentleman at the end of the road get murdered, eating dinner alone at his garden table, tucking into a new bottle of Chablis? As she digs deeper into the murder, Jemima discovers that here in Little Cote, underneath the surface, tensions bubble away . . . and the smallest vendetta can erupt into full blown murder.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton -Hodder Studio via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An enjoyable cosy mystery set in a Sussex village with a rural police officer as the main protagonist. This is not a traditional police procedural, although the authenticity of the procedures is evident. This is a study of human nature, village dynamics tinged with humour, mystery and romance.

PC Cotton is an engaging protagonist and a resourceful sleuth. The rural police team are convincingly portrayed. The vibrantly created villagers provide Jemima Cotton with many suspects and constant interference in her personal life.

The plot is well thought-out and, this promises to be an entertaining cosy mystery series with noteworthy originality.

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

A Murder At Rosings Annette Purdey Pugh 4*#Review @APurdeyPugh @honno @RandomTTours #MurderMystery #JaneAusten #CrimeFiction #HistFic #BlogTour #BookReview #AMurderAtRosings

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Using the setting, some notable characters and style of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this is a classical mystery story investigating the death of Mr Collins.

The lyrical writing style is engaging, and the characters vividly portrayed. The main protagonists’ are constable Archer and magistrate Sir John Bright, the investigation team, but Jane Austen’s characters have delightful cameos which add depth to the well thought out plot. The vulnerability of the servants and their indebtedness to their employers is explored in an insightful way reminiscent of Austens’ acute observations on gender, social class and society.

The mystery is cleverly plotted with comprehensive interviews of the numerous suspects, full of historical details that give an excellent sense of place and time. This is an enjoyable Jane Austen style murder mystery.

Annette Purdey-Pugh

Annette Purdey Pugh grew up in Flintshire and graduated in English from Lancaster University. In a varied career, she has worked as a medical librarian, an optical assistant, and a milkwoman, bottling and delivering milk for almost twenty years to customers in Ceredigion. A writer from childhood, she has won awards for her short stories and poetry at the National Eisteddfod of Wales but was inspired to take up her pen more regularly following an Open University course in CreativeWriting.

A Murder at Rosings is her first novel, and has its roots in a lifelong love of Jane Austen. She still lives on the family farm in West Wales with her husband and three hundred sheep.

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

Sleepless Romy Hausmann 4* #Review @QuercusBooks #RomyHausmann @JoeChristie #Sleepless #BlogTour #BookReview #PsychSuspense

It’s over, my angel. Today I’m going to die. Just like her. He’s won.

It’s been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven – free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja’s boss – kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can’t seem to be able to refuse.

The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer . . .

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intricately plotted psychological suspense with complex characters, all of which have noir traits. The story builds from several seemingly unrelated sub-plots into a rich tapestry of darkness.

The characters are hard to like, but it’s difficult not to sympathise with the main protagonist at some points in the story. The detailed plot is a challenging read, but the slow and somewhat disparate beginning clarifies and intensifies as the story progresses. The use of sensory imagery makes this a vivid reading experience.

Romy Hausmann was born in East Germany in 1981. At the age of twentyfour she became chief editor at a film production company in Munich. Since the birth of her son, Romy has been working as a freelancer in television.

Her thriller debut, Dear Child, became a number one bestseller in Germany and is being published in twenty countries.

Sleepless is her second thriller. Romy lives with her family in a remote house in the woods near Stuttgart

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

Right to Kill John Barlow 4*#Review @John_Barlow_LS9 @HQStories #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #PublicationDay

On a Thursday night in February, DS Joe Romano finds himself back on home turf. He’s following up on the disappearance of drug-dealer Craig Shaw.

It’s the start of a case that could make or break Romano’s career. Because Shaw is about to go from missing to murdered.

While some don’t think Shaw’s killer should be brought to justice, Romano believes every life counts. But he’s running out of time.

The killer is ready to strike again. And Romano will be forced to question whether anyone has the right to kill.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Leeds and the surrounding area, this is a gritty noir style police procedural with an originally crafted detective. Joe Romano believes in justice for all, and for him, that includes criminals that are murdered. Seen from the point of view of the murderer, this story is disturbing and gritty, but it gives the reader insight, into the antagonist’s motivations, from the onset. The story then follows Joe’s viewpoint as he investigations a missing person case turned to murder, in a hostile ethos.

This is a twenty-first-century police investigation exploring political extremism and vigilante justice. Trial by social media is also an issue. It has an engaging pace and plot that keeps the reader turning the pages.