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

To the Grave John Barlow 5*#Review @John_Barlow_LS9 @HQStories #CrimeFiction #Leeds #BlogTour #BookReview #noir #PublicationDay #TotheGrave

When DS Joe Romano first meets Ana Dobrescu she’s nervous, in serious danger, and clearly needs help. The next time Romano sees her, she’s dead.

There was nothing more he could have done, but that’s cold comfort for Romano. He’s determined to catch Ana’s killer. Although the prime suspect, her millionaire boyfriend, is in a coma.

With the help of his larger-than-life partner Rita Scannon-Aktar, Romano begins to piece together a puzzle that places Ana at the centre of something much bigger than they could have imagined.

But while they’re hunting a murderer, those higher up are more concerned about the money. So it’s up to Romano to get justice for Ana. And whatever she knew, he’ll just have to pray that she didn’t take her secrets to the grave

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The return of DS Joe Romano in this second book in the series sees him witnessing a vicious attack on a man outside a notoriously rough pub, he helps, and the man survives. Joe knows Stefan needs help, and when he meets Ana, he knows that he will help them both. Set in Leeds, this is a dark contemporary thriller exploring the darker side of humanity in a complex plot. DS Joe Romano’s family’s experiences make him sensitive to the plight of immigrant workers and the victims of people trafficking. Disturbing themes contrast with lighter moments in the investigating team’s lives. They have a believable dynamic, and all are vibrant characters.

The ending is impactful and completes this addictive read perfectly.

Read my review of Right to Kill

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Romance

Mystery at Lovelace Manor (An Eve Mallow Mystery Book 8) Clare Chase 5* #Review @ClareChase_ @bookouture #CozyMystery #MurderMystery #Suffolk #Mystery #Village #Coastal #BookReview #secrets #family #lies #betrayal #EveMallowMystery #MysteryatLovelaceManor

Lovelace Manor has a famous past… but when a historian becomes history at its annual open day, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is on the case!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter flocks to Lovelace Sunday, the festival celebrating the romantic history of the beautiful Lovelace Manor. This year will be even more exciting, as famous TV historian Cammie Harington is planning a spectacular stunt with a hot-air balloon for her new show.

Eve Mallow jumps at the chance to volunteer – it’s a great people-watching opportunity. But she soon realises there is no love lost between Cammie and the family who own the manor… so why did Cammie agree to come?

When Cammie’s hot-air balloon tumbles from the sky, Eve feels sure this is no accident. Alongside dachshund Gus, she sets to work investigating the mystery, piecing together all the odd things she’s seen and heard.

Could the killer be discreet Diana, lady of the manor, who fell out with Cammie years ago? Or Diana’s dashing brother Sebastian, whose dark secret Cammie knew? Why was the loyal gardener following Cammie around? And had Cammie uncovered something explosive about the manor’s past, as she claimed?

When someone breaks into Cammie’s cottage and a priceless Lovelace heirloom goes missing, Eve is sure she’s on the right track… but can she solve the case, before the killer brings her crashing down?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Mystery at Lovelace Manor sees Eve helping out at a local manor house’s annual festival. The manor has a romantic past, but the current owner, newly widowed Diana, struggles with the upkeep, and her stepbrother is of little help. When Cammie, a celebrity historian, meets with an untimely accident, Eve’s investigation is increasingly dangerous and twisted.

There are many motives and suspects in this cosy mystery. It immerses the reader in the story through amateur sleuth Eve’s methodical investigations. The characters are believably flawed, and they all have credible motives for the murders. The ending is exciting and menacing.

I enjoyed the characters and clever plotting in this engaging and entertaining cosy mystery.

Read my reviews of previous books in the series.

Mystery on Hidden Lane (Book1) – Read my review

Mystery at Apple Cottage(Book2) – Read my review

Mystery at the Old Mill (Book4)Read my review

Mystery at the Abbey Hotel (Book 5) – Read my review

Mystery at the Church (Book 6) – Read my review

Mystery at Magpie Lodge (Book 7)- Read my review

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

Cold Grave Jenny O’Brien 5*Review @ScribblerJB @HQStories #CrimeFiction #DetectiveGabyDarin #ColdGrave #Detective #BlogTour #BookReview

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…

Seventeen-year-old Bryony Lloyd’s father drops her off at a friend’s house to study – but when he returns to pick her up there’s no sign of her, and the woman who lives in the house swears she lives alone. Bryony has vanished into thin air, and her ‘friend’ doesn’t seem to exist.

DI Gaby Darin immediately sees similarities with another missing-persons case: seventeen-year-old Christy Taylor, who vanished without warning several months earlier. There’s nothing in the girls’ personal lives to suggest trouble at home – could someone have taken them both?

After a third case is linked, Gaby knows time is running out if she’s going to find Bryony and Christy alive. After going missing over a year ago, this girl’s just been found dead.

When a tragic accident means Gaby loses a vital member of her team, she distracts herself from her grief by throwing herself into finding the missing girls. Even if it means putting her whole career on the line…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Detective Gaby Darin and her motivated detectives try to find a missing teenager whilst looking for links with a past unsolved case. Gaby’s issues, coupled with a bereft of clues case, make it an emotionally challenging time for her. I enjoyed the detailed plot, which only allows Gaby and her team and thus the reader a few clues to solve the mystery. A cleverly crafted antagonist and the impactful plot twists make this an addictive read.

Cold Grave is an excellently paced police drama whose engaging detective team and twisty plot make this a compelling crime fiction.

Jenny O’Brien

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.
In her spare time,
she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier loaves of bread. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer. Readers can find out more about Jenny and her books on her blog

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Books in series reading order, although each is stand-alone:-

Click on book title link to read my reviews.

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

Her Child’s Cry S. A. Dunphy 5*#Review #BoyleandKeneally @dunphyshane1 @bookouture #BooksonTour #Bookouture #IrishCrimeFiction #CrimeFiction #Detective #CriminalPsychologist #Suspense #Folklore #CrimeNoir #BookReview #HerChildsCry #BlogTour

‘I just want my little girl back. She’s so little, she needs her mummy. And she doesn’t even have her panda bear with her. Find her, please find her, before it’s too late.’

Little Rosie Blake has been taken. Since going missing from the hospital where she was being treated for cancer, Rosie’s distraught parents haven’t heard a word. And time is swiftly running out. They have to find her, and right away because Rosie can only survive for ten days without her medication.

With the police unable to find any leads at all, criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle and her team are brought in to help. Who would be so evil as to steal a sick child? Narrowing down on a suspect, Jessie quickly moves to arrest them, only to discover the suspect’s dead body instead… And with no Rosie in sight, the case becomes even more desperate.

Who killed their chief suspect, and where is Rosie now? And is Rosie’s disappearance linked to the sudden revival of Dublin’s Hellfire Club, an ancient and terrifying cult obsessed with death and human sacrifice?

As the race to find Rosie intensifies, her heartbroken parents know their little girl’s time is running out. The clock is ticking, but Jessie clings on to the hope of finding her safe. Then her search leads her to Ireland’s remote mountains… Will Jessie be able to survive the deadly threat that awaits her, rescue Rosie, and get her back to safety, before it’s too late?

An utterly compelling crime thriller that will have you hooked from the very first line.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Boyle and Keneally’s courage and their detecting and investigative skills are called upon to find a seriously ill child abducted from her hospital bed, putting her life in imminent danger. The child’s parents seem to be hiding something, and menacing darkness surrounds their investigations. The theme of evil folklore permeates this story, and the reader is never quite sure what is real.

I like the intensity and the story’s suspenseful nature; with its clever plotting and the believable team dynamic, it’s an addictive read. The Irish setting, interwoven folklore, and relatable characters make this disturbing and intriguing to read. The ending is impactful and paves the way for the next instalment in this excellent series.

S.A.Dunphy

Shane Dunphy (S. A. Dunphy) was born in Brighton in 1973 but grew up in Ireland, where he has lived and worked for most of his life. A child protection worker for fifteen years, he is the bestselling author of seventeen books, including the number one Irish bestseller Wednesday’s Child and the Sunday Times Bestseller The Girl Who Couldn’t Smile. His bestselling series of crime novels (written under the name S. A. Dunphy) feature the criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of true crime books written for Audible, has been critically acclaimed and the second title in the series, The Bad Place, is an Audible True Crime bestseller. 

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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 Book Review, Crime, Detective, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

The Hiding Place Simon Lelic 4*#Review @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #CrimeFiction #detective #game #murdermystery #bookreview #TheHidingPlace

FOUR FRIENDS. ONE MURDER. A GAME THEY CAN’T ESCAPE

‘It was only a game.’

Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt.’

But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun.’

Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

DI Fleet is up against some of the most powerful people in the country as he attempts to discover the truth about what happened on the day of the game…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Chilling and claustrophobic detective fiction unfolds following an anonymous tip-off that leads to discovering a boy’s remains within the grounds of the school he attended over twenty years ago. DI Fleet and DS Collins investigate the cold case, increasingly hampered by powerful forces as the number of suspects grows.

The sense of place is vivid, and the school and what it stands for are integral to the story. Complex characters, often unlikeable and evil, populate this murder mystery. I like the twisty plot, the atmospheric setting and the relentless investigators determined to find the truth despite the considerable obstacles.

An absorbing, addictive read immerses the reader in the setting and the story.

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

The Serial Killer’s Girl L.H. Stacey 3*#Review @LyndaStacey @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #bookandtonic #CrimeFiction #FamilyDrama #Suspense #PsychologicalThriller #BlogTour #BookReview #TheSerialKillersGirl

Does a killer’s blood run in the family?
Lexi Jakes thought she could run from her past.

But when her biological mother is found dead, strangled with a red silk scarf and holding a chess piece, Lexi knows that her worst nightmare has come true. Because the murder has all the hallmarks of her own serial killer father, renowned strangler Peter Graves.

Now with her own precious daughter’s life in danger, Lexi will do anything to keep her child safe…she is her father’s daughter after all.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This story explores the effect of being a serial killer’s child on their future life, a complex and original idea. Lexi needs to control her life living in the shadow of being a serial killer’s daughter. She is secretive and unsettled, not sharing her past even with her partner. When a copycat murder happens, she runs to her childhood home and straight into danger.

Lexi is an unreliable protagonist, and because of her past trauma and current fear, most of her decisions lack rationality. Her thinking is confused and disturbed, which comes across in the narrative.

I like the atmospheric and claustrophobic island setting that intensifies the suspense and reinforces Lexi’s fear of pursuit.

Lynda Stacey

Lynda Stacey is the bestselling psychological suspense author of over five novels. Alongside her writing, she is a full-time sales director for an office furniture company and has been a nurse, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Staff Instructor. She lives near Doncaster with her husband.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books, Paranormal, Psychologist, Suspense

The Secret Voices M.J. White 4* #Review #CoraLael @wurdsmyth @HeraBooks @MJWhite13 @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Supernatural #Detective #TheSecretVoices #BlogTour #BookReview

They said they’d keep me safe.
They said, ‘It’s okay, Hannah. You know you can trust me.’
They lied.

When eight-year-old Hannah Perry goes missing in the small Suffolk village of St Just, the community is rocked. Heading up the investigation is Acting DS Rob Minshull, but he’s out of his depth in a case that seems to mirror the disappearance of a young boy, seven years ago. That search ended in
unimaginable tragedy…and Minshull is praying that history won’t be repeated.

But with an investigation full of dead ends, and a kidnapper taunting the police with sinister deliveries of Hannah’s belongings and cryptic notes, the young girl’s life hangs perilously in danger.

Until Dr Cora Lael enters the picture. A psychologist with a unique ability, Cora’s rare gift allows her to sense emotions attached to discarded objects. When she is shown the first of Hannah’s belongings, she hears the child’s piercing scream.

With few leads on the case, could Cora prove Hannah’s only hope? And as time runs out, can they find Hannah before history repeats itself…?

Don’t miss the crime thriller debut from the bestselling women’s fiction author, Miranda Dickinson.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This book is a well-written police procedural with a supernatural twist that adds extra depth to the plot and introduces the complex character Cora Lael. When a young girl goes missing, the case has echoes of a previous abduction that ended badly. Rob Minshull, the acting senior investigating officer, wants to succeed but isn’t confident he will. The local community and media want a positive result and quickly blame the investigators when the case escalates.

The first in a series, this story introduces the main protagonists well, telling the story from Cora and Rob’s perspectives. The missing girl, Hannah, also has a viewpoint that shows what her life is like and how courageous she is. Hannah’s point of view invests the reader in the investigation and intensifies the suspense.

The plot is twisty and suspenseful, and Cora’s unusual gift and how it impacts her adds originality to the story. It’s a compelling read and a promising start to the series.

M.J. White (Miranda Dickinson)

MJ White is the crime pen name of the internationally bestselling author Miranda
Dickinson. To date, she has sold over one million books worldwide and has been translated into sixteen languages. Miranda has always been a huge fan of crime fiction and The Secret Voices marks the start of a new and exciting departure for her writing.

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

Miss Aldridge Regrets Louise Hare 4*#Review @LouRHare @HQStories #murdermystery #histfic #BookReview #BlogTour #London #socialhistory #political #AtlanticCrossing #NewYork #1930s #1936 #crimefiction #historicalcrimefiction #MissAldridgeRegrets

London, 1936

Lena Aldridge is wondering if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn’t worked out. Instead, she’s stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho and her married lover has just left her. She has nothing to look forward to until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. 
 
After a murder at the club, the timing couldn’t be better and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. Until death follows her onto the ship and she realises that her greatest performance has already begun.

Because someone is making manoeuvres behind the scenes, and there’s only one thing on their mind…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Set in the classic age of murder mystery, the Atlantic crossing aboard a luxury liner provides the setting for a locked room mystery. The murder mystery is only one aspect of this multilayered novel that explores the social history of the time evocatively, mainly centring on class, politics, and race.

Lena’s career has not developed despite her obvious talent and tenacity. London in 1936 is rife with prejudice and extreme politics making Lena’s position precarious. An offer of a role in New York comes at the right time. Possibly implicated in a murder leaving town seems the best option for Lena. Life on the luxury liner is not what she imagined as beneath the glamour, danger, deceit, and depravity simmer, waiting to destroy her.

I like how the social-historical issues explored give this story a literary fiction feel. Interwoven with the well-written classical murder mystery, it has depth and originality that resonates.

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