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

In The Wake Helen Trevorrow 5* #Review #BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @helentrevorrow @UrbaneBooks @LoveBooksGroup #Thriller #crimefiction #psychologicalthriller #Noir #BookReview #suspense #paperback

#IntheWake

When a body is found floating in London’s Royal Albert Dock, successful public relations expert Kay Christie is sent to quiet the media, but things get complicated when it emerges that she knew the victim.

As events spiral out of control, Kay discovers that those close to her may be harbouring another secret – the story of a missing girl. Can Kay discover the truth before her life unravels and she risks losing everything?

In the Wake questions whether we can ever truly leave our pasts behind and explores the lengths that we will go to protect the people that we love.

Amazon UK

#LoveBooksTours

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

My Thoughts…

A dark crime thriller, with a fusion of psychological suspense, police procedural and noir romance making this book a riveting read.

This story starts with an unnoticed disappearance, then a body and finally a connection. The reader is thrown into a maelstrom of crime, drama and suspense, which ramps up with each turn of the page.

Told in the third person from Kay’s point of view, with illuminating flashback chapters to two historical time periods, you wonder if she is hiding something, and she is. Past connections and present-day loyalties and dangerous sexual attraction, make Kay vulnerable. If she cannot work out what is happening and who she can trust, she will pay the ultimate price.

This is a fast-paced, gritty thriller, with sex and violence taking centre stage. Kay takes the role of an unreliable protagonist. A clever, intriguing noir crime thriller, that makes an enjoyable read for those who like a seamless fusion of literary genres.

#HelenTrevorrow

Helen Trevorrow is a graduate of the 2016 Faber Academy creative writing programme. She studied at Leeds University and has worked in marketing and public relations in London. She is a specialist food and drink PR. Helen’s debut novel IN THE WAKE is a feminist crime thriller about family, unrealised trauma and alcoholism. Helen has ghost-written many articles for newspapers, magazines and websites. She lives in Brighton, Sussex with her wife and child.

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

Woman in the Water Katerina Diamond 4* #Review @TheVenomousPen #BlogTour @AvonBooksUK #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Suspense #PoliceProcedural

Mature Adult Read

#Womanin the Water

I’m alive. But I can’t be saved . . .

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed.

Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them.

What’s their connection to the body in the river?

Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished?

And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late?

Smart, shocking and twisty. 

Amazon UK

#WomanintheWater

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling, emotional, twisty thriller. Part of a series of detective stories featuring DS Mills and DS Grey. It reads well as a standalone police procedural, as enough backstory on the detectives is given to illuminate their relationship and the dynamic of the police investigation team.

The story begins with a drama and a mystery to be solved, then a murder which focuses on a local business empire. The story is primarily told from the two detectives point of view, with the woman in the water’s point of view solving bits of the mystery as the story progresses.

The turning point for the thriller occurs half-way through and involves a graphically described act of violence, which is unexpected in its ferocity. It alters the tone of the investigation and introduces an intensity not previously evident.

This is a pivotal moment in the story, but the description is brutal and horrible to read. Since this is my first book by this author, I’m not sure if her regular readers expect to read such gratuitous violence, I didn’t.

I read the second half of the story reeling from the previous violence. The ending has a few more twists, which I guessed. It still leaves loose ends, which will alter the focus of any books that follow.

An excellent story, which keeps you engaged, but the levels of violence will not be for everyone.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Mystery

Hunter’s Force Val Penny 5*#Review @valeriepenny @crookedcatbooks @rararesources #Hunter #Mystery #TheEdinburghCrimeMysteries #CrimeFiction #PoliceProcedural #BlogTour #BookReview #HuntersForce

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature.

Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted?

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son. Cameron’s flatmate was murdered. Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city? 

Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation due to the reorganisation of police services. Hunter’s ability to be involved, however, is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing, and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks? 

Meanwhile, Hunter’s team must work closely with the MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taut crime thriller. 

Amazon UK – Hunter’s Chase

Amazon UK – Hunter’s Revenge

Amazon UK – Hunter’s Force

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in ‘The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries’ delves into the horrific world of human trafficking and reveals a dark side to Edinburgh. Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is drawn into this noir world, through a personal connection, which demands he investigate the case even though it falls under the auspices of the Murder Investigation Team.

I haven’t read the first two books in this series, and this one reads well as a standalone. The crime stories are complete and there is sufficient backstory on the recurrent characters to let a new reader understand their flaws and motivations and how they work as a team. However, the quality of the writing style and the authenticity of the characters demands I add the earlier books to my festive holiday reading list, it’s that good.

The crimes are well described and don’t make pleasant reading, but there is no gratuitous description and the darkness is counterbalanced with lighter moments, between the investigators, which increases the believability of the plot.

For readers who enjoy hard-boiled crime fiction and mystery, this is an addictive read, which draws you into the Edinburgh setting and the world of crime and detection.

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Force are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, follows shortly.

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#HuntersForce
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Posted in Book Review, Crime, Noir, Political Thriller, Scandinavian Crime, Suspense, Thriller

Cage Lilja Siguroardottir 4*#Review @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks #Orentober #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @AnneCater #IcelandNoir #ReykjavikNoirTriology #Cage #Thriller #CrimeFiction #politicalthriller #Translator #QuentinBates @graskeggur

#Cage

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla when her sentence for financial misconduct ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.
As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless entrepreneur Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. And at the same time, a deadly threat to Sonja and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive…

The lives of these characters are about to collide in a shocking crescendo until the winner takes it all…

Amazon UK

#Cage #BlogTour

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

My Thoughts…

This is the final book in an Iceland Noir trilogy, which explores the underbelly of Iceland. The underworld of crime that appears to be gaining a foothold, as Iceland becomes increasingly globalised.

I haven’t read the previous two books in this trilogy, and so can only review the final book. Whilst I gained a taste of the ethos of the setting, and the motivations of the main characters, this would be more powerful, if you read the previous two books.

The story focuses on Agla, Maria, Sonja and Ingimar. characters featuring in the two previous books. The characters have experienced various fortunes as the story progresses, and in the main, they are not easy to empathise. Drugs, financial crime and stripping of natural resources are the main themes in this final part of the story. There is also a terrorist subplot which runs concurrently, but the connection with the other crimes is not immediately apparent.

The pacing is fast, and this makes it unique in Iceland and Scandinavian Noir, The plot is complex and original, and the characters. who are explored in some detail in this book are intriguing, if not likeable.

The ending is powerful.

#LiljaSiguroardottir

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare and Trap, the first two books in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

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Posted in Book Review, Crime, Suspense, Thriller

The Boy Tami Hoag 5*#Review @OrionBooks #TamiHoag @TrapezeBooks @TamiHoag #CrimeFiction #Broussardand Fourcade #Suspense #Thriller

#TheBoy

MOTHER. LIAR. MURDERER?

When Genevieve’s seven-year-old son is found bleeding to death in his own home, she’s horrified when the police turn to her for answers. There’s no evidence of a break-in, and parts of Genevieve’s story don’t seem to make sense. But could a mother really kill her own child?

Twenty-four hours later, teenager Nora Florette is reported missing – and panic begins to spread. Someone is preying on the local children – and the police are caught in a race against time to catch the killer.

Detective Nick Fourcade and his partner Annie Broussard must uncover the truth about Genevieve’s past before it’s too late. Is she simply a grieving mother? Or is she a danger to them all?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

It’s a while since I’ve read a thriller by this author, who has always been a favourite of mine. Coincidentally, this story is set in the Louisiana Bayou area, where her earlier novels that I enjoyed so much were set.

The story concerns the murder of a young boy, which is not easy to read, but the descriptions are not overly graphic, concentrating more on the emotions of the detectives and the suspects.

The plot is cleverly written, nothing is as it appears on the surface. With each twist, the suspects’ increase, the suspense builds, and the detective’s skills are pushed to their limits.

The characters are distinctive and depict the Cajun population of the area well. The politics of police work and the public relations angle of a high profile murder case is integral to this thriller, Nick Fourcade is a powerful character, driven, but maverick. The person you’d want investigating if you’d lost someone. Annie Broussard, his wife is equally dedicated, but she provides her husband with the grounding he needs to work in such a politically correct setting.

Their relationship inevitably reflects their work, and since their son is a similar age to the victim, they are both personally, as well as professionally affected by the tragedy, and its outcome.

A fast-paced, intense thriller, with relentless suspense building, a cast of close-knit believable characters, and clever detectives with human flaws, who are easy to empathise. Addictive, reading with a unique setting and characters that keep you reading.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Mystery, Psychological Thriller

Gone Leona Deakin 4*#Review @LeonaDeakin1 @TransworldBooks #PsychologicalThriller #MissingPersons #Game #Suspense

#Gone

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.
DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.

And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.

But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld Publishers – Black Swan via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A thriller with a strong psychological element and complex, sinister characters. It is slow-paced and focuses on unravelling the psyche of a schoolgirl, and a group of missing people, who appear to have left their lives to join a mind game.

The main protagonists are a criminal psychologist and her partner, who specialises in finding missing persons. Augusta Bloom is the stronger of the characters, and she takes the lead into finding the missing people, who appear to be drawn to a strange, potentially dangerous game. Her professional meetings with a schoolgirl who has been involved in a violent incident run alongside her other investigation. Are they connected directly, or indirectly or not at all? Where are the missing people? Are the victims or the antagonists?

The build of suspense is good, the knowledge of the human mind apparent, and you learn interesting facts about profiling and psychopaths. These subjects need to intrigue you for this novel to appeal, the clues are there, but well-spaced, so unless you have a good memory, you may forget them when they are returned too,

Worth reading, if you are interested in what makes the human mind work, from a psychologist’s point of view. and enjoy case study thrillers.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Mystery, Noir, Suspense, Thriller

Rewind Catherine Ryan Howard 4*#Review @cathryanhoward @CorvusBooks #CrimeFiction #TechnoThriller #Noir #Suspense

#Rewind


PLAY Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself? 

PAUSE Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for… 

REWIND Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…


Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

An interesting fusion of crime fiction genres.

The setting and some of the characters give this story a noir twist, the suspense and level of menace keep the reader turning the pages, and if you’re reading it alone, probably wishing you weren’t.

There is a murder, a cast of possible suspects, and an amateur sleuth working out whodunnit, more efficiently than the authorities. Part of the enjoyment is not just finding out who, but also why, and what the others part in the mystery is.

This is also part techno-thriller, the victim is a social media influencer, there are strange online groups and the dangers of the dark web. Living life in the full glare of social media may reap celebrity and monetary rewards for some, but there are setbacks, in terms of obsessive fans and haters.

The thriller also had an original layout, scenes are short and prefaced by media playback terms; play, pause, fast forward and rewind. This emphasises the media aspect of the story and enables the story to be told from different viewpoints and different periods, before, during, after and outcome.

Complex characters, a brave and largely successful mix of genres and something a little different, which is always exciting to find and read.