Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Romance

I have something to tell you Susan Lewis 5*#Review @susanlewisbooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Lies #Secrets #Crime #Love #Relationships #Forgiveness #FamilyDrama #Marriage #Friendship #Legal #BookReview #Ihavesomethingtotellyou

High-flying lawyer Jay Wells has it all. A successful career, loving husband Tom and a family she adores. But one case – and one client – will put all that at risk.

Edward Blake. An ordinary life turned upside down – or a man who quietly watched television while his wife was murdered upstairs? With more questions than answers and a case too knotted to unravel, Jay suspects he’s protecting someone.

Then she comes home one day and her husband utters the words no-one ever wants to hear. Sit down, because I have something to tell you….

Now Jay must fight not only for the man she defends, but for the man she thought she trusted with her life – her husband.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

You are always guaranteed an immersive reading experience with this author. The characters are complex, flawed and relatable. The situations they encounter are believably created and explore moral dilemmas and relationship dynamics. The pacing is perfect, and you are addicted after the first few pages.

Jay is a successful criminal lawyer who takes on a case as the duty solicitor. She has a good balance of personal and professional life and enjoys her work. Edward is a successful architect and property developer. When he discovers his wife’s body upstairs in his home, he finds himself the prime suspect in her killing.

This is a multilayered story with a strong,well-researched legal element. Interwoven with the criminal case is a myriad of emotional relationships, as perceived by Jay, the lawyer. Her marriage seemingly perfect comes under pressure, and as she delves deeper into her client Edward’s life, she finds herself compromised, emotional and professionally.

This is an engaging and fascinating story that resonates.

Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later and Home Truths and My Lies, Your Lies. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Killing Kind Jane Casey 5* #Review @JaneCaseyAuthor @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Legal #suspense #PsychologicalSuspense #BookReview #TheKillingKind #CrimeFiction

As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.

Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intelligent, layered psychological suspense where the main protagonist is a barrister. Her interpretation of events is concise, considered and critical. Ingrid has elements of unreliability that are notable for the protagonists in this genre, but with a few exceptions, she is trustworthy. John is a sociopath. Complex, he keeps his true intentions secret until the climactic conclusion.

The legalistic setting has intrinsic interest. The plot is twisty and the characters shadowy, creating an ethos of menace and mystery. The lines of right and wrong are blurred, and the differences between justice and the law explored through the events that unfold.

This is a compelling story with convincing characters and a set of events that are frighteningly real.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Romance

Beyond The Yew Tree Rachel Walkley 4*#Review #timeslip #Lincoln #Victorian #Romance #family #drama #HistoricalFiction #Gothic #ghosts #Legal #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads

Whispers in the courtroom.

Only one juror hears them.

Can Laura unravel the truth by the end of the trial?

In an old courtroom, a hissing voice distracts shy juror, Laura, and at night recurring nightmares transport her to a Victorian gaol and the company of a wretched woman.

Although burdened by her own secret guilt, and struggling to form meaningful relationships, Laura isn’t one to give up easily when faced with an extraordinary situation.

The child-like whispers lead Laura to an old prison graveyard, where she teams up with enthusiastic museum curator, Sean. He believes a missing manuscript is the key to understanding her haunting dreams. But nobody knows if it actually exists.

Laura is confronted with the fate of two people – the man in the dock accused of defrauding a charity for the blind, and the restless spirit of a woman hanged over a century ago for murder. If Sean is the companion she needs in her life, will he believe her when she realises that the two mysteries are converging around a long-forgotten child who only Laura can hear?

Ordinary women.

Extraordinary experiences.

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Goodreads

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

My Thoughts…

This story perfectly captures the atmosphere and the dark vibrations that haunt ancient buildings, especially those where terrible events took place. I know the setting for this story, and it’s well-described.

Laura is on jury service and the story follows the case she is hearing, day by day. The other characters on the jury, add to the story’s authenticity. When Laura realises, only she can hear the noises in the jury room and court, she sets out to find out why. A chance meeting with Sean gives her an ally in more ways than she first expected.

The gentle pacing and the increasing timeslips into the past reveal a poignant and terrible story.

The final chapters show that Laura’s slips into the past reveal an unknown truth. There is a twist you may not expect and a positive romantic ending.

Rachel Walkley

Aspiring writer who pens Women’s Fiction and magical tales about family secrets.

What else?

An East Anglian turned Northerner – almost.

Information professional, always.

Biologist, in my memories.

Archivist, when required.

Amateur pianist and flautist.

Reluctant gardener.

Scribbler of pictures.

And forever…. a mother and wife.

Oh, not forgetting, cat lover!

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Giveaway to Win One copy of The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (Open INT)

Click on Giveaway Link To Enter

  • If the winner is in the UK then it will be a print copy, otherwise International winner is e-book.

Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway Link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Noir

One Dark, Two Light Ruth Mancini 5* #Review @RuthMancini1 @HoZ_Books @Aria_Fiction #crimefiction #noir #BlogTour #BookReview #Author #Interview #legal #family #drama #detective

New Year’s Eve, London.

Outside the Hope & Glory pub, a man has been left to die. A victim of extraordinary violence, he will never walk or speak again. He remains in hospital for months, until criminal defence lawyer Sarah Kellerman walks onto his ward.

Sarah barely recognises the man she once worked with – he was honourable and kind – what was he involved in? Who wanted him dead? But in her race to uncover the truth, Sarah comes to realise there are two men in her life that she never really knew at all…

From one of crime fiction’s most compelling voices, One Dark, Two Light is where the personal and criminal collide, as Sarah works to bring dark secrets into the light.

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

My Thoughts…

You’re invested in this story from the first page. The relatable characters are easy to empathise. Drama, twists and intensity keep you absorbed and turning the pages, right until the end. Cleverly written the story, unfolds like a Pandora’s box of betrayal and lies. There are three main plot lines, two of which converge as the story progresses. The world-building is authentic, underscored by obvious knowledge, and research of the criminal and legal world and how they interact.

Character-driven, the main protagonist Sarah, a dedicated defence lawyer becomes personally involved in a case, which is prejudiced by a chance encounter. Sarah is easy to like, she’s emotional, impulsive and tenacious, good news for her clients, but she often risks her safety. Her home life is complex when her ex returns and her boyfriend is gravely ill. She is someone you want in your corner if you need help.

Fast-paced the story has disturbing, sinister undertones. The ending brings the plot strands to a believable, if unexpected conclusion, which is perfect for this addictive read.

Author Interview: Ruth Mancini– ‘One Dark, Two Light’ Blog Tour

 One Dark, Two Light’, is dark crime fiction, what are the inspirations behind it?

Well, the main inspiration came – sadly – from what happened to my father. He disappeared one New Year’s Eve and was found in a London hospital three months later by a work colleague. He’d had no ID when he came in, so no-one knew who he was. Then, bizarrely, the exact same thing happened to my brother just over twenty years later in almost the exact same area of London. Pretty dark, I know. I’ve also drawn a lot on what I do for a living when I’m not writing. I’m a criminal defence lawyer and so there is a wealth of material there.

How do you create your characters?

My characters usually just appear in my head. I can’t deny that I draw, to some degree, on people I know or have read about or have seen on TV, even if it’s just a case of borrowing their name or looking at a photo and then mixing them up with someone else and then developing them from there. It’s probably like creating your own recipe when you’re cooking. A little bit of this. Taste it. A bit more of that…and then they start grow as ‘real’ people as the story progresses and as you write.

What comes first in your creative writing process, the characters, plot or setting? Why do you think this is? Is it the same for every story?

All of it comes together simultaneously for me. But I plot it first. I’m not a ‘pantser’, as we know it in the business – that’s the name writers give themselves when they write by the seat of their pants and hope it goes in the right direction! I’m sure many amazing works of fiction have been written that way and I doubt Dostoevsky plotted Crime and Punishment out first, but I find a little cold, calculated premeditation works for me!

What interests you about dark crime fiction? Do you enjoy reading books in this genre?

I enjoy reading books that have psychological depth. I don’t mind whether they’re dark, light, crime or something else, so long as I enjoy the characters and want to spend time in their world with them.

 How do you research your novels?

On the internet and by approaching professionals who can talk to me about their day job. I do a lot of research. I’ve been known to spend a day or longer researching one sentence! I probably need to cut that down a little …

Ruth Mancini

Ruth Mancini is a criminal defence lawyer, author and freelance writer. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two children.

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Posted in Book Review

No Further Questions- Gillian McAllister – 4*Review

The police say she’s guilty.

She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.

You love her.

You trust her.

But they say she killed the person you care about most.

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

This is a well-written thriller, with authentic courtroom drama and a nightmare scenario for the family of characters.

It’s a story of two sisters and how their lives are irrevocably changed by a tragic event. Accident or intentional act is what the jury has to decide, but the effect on the two sisters their spouses’, parents and children is devastating.

For me, this was more family drama than thriller, although there is a mystery to solve. I guessed the outcome before the end, but there are plenty of twists and lies to explore. The ending makes the story so poignant, but ties up all the clues in a satisfactory way.

I received a copy of this from Penguin UK – Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review

5* Review-Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh

 

 

 

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead, and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century, and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the courtroom start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

For once a thriller lives up to its blurb.

The twisty nature of this thriller made it a must-read for me, and I wasn’t disappointed.

A celebrity trial, an unusual lawyer and a serial killer but is he the man on the stand? Well, he’s undoubtedly in the courtroom.

Told from two points of view this predominately courtroom based story lets the reader into the psyche of Eddie Flynn, a con-man turned lawyer and Kane, the serial killer. A fast-paced plot faithfully traces court procedure with essential insights into the lawyer and killer’s personality cleverly entwined with the on-going trial.

The extensive cast of characters is slickly used to add depth and authenticity to the plot. It’s easy to follow, but there are plenty of surprises, well-crafted suspense and a great twisty ending. The killings are not overly graphic, but they give you a chill down your spine. The fourth book in the Eddie Flynn series but the first one I’ve read. There is enough backstory on Eddie and his friends to make this easy reading as a standalone story. 

A chilling, clever, courtroom thriller that enthrals the reader and gives you a definite adrenaline rush.

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

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Our Kind of Cruelty Araminta Hall – 4* Review

Most of us spend our whole lives searching for the person who’ll make us feel complete.

But Mike and Verity know they’re different. They’ve found their soulmate, and nothing can tear them apart.

Not even the man Verity is marrying.

Because they play a secret game, one they call ‘the Crave’, to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and Mike alone. But Mike knows that Verity’s impending marriage will raise the stakes of their game higher than ever before.

Because this time, for Mike and Verity to stay together, someone has to die…

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

‘Our Kind of Cruelty’ is an unusual psychological thriller. The relentless plot isn’t full of the usual twists and misinformation.

Told from Mike’s point of view, the outcome is inevitable, but it’s the events that lead up to this that make this dark thriller absorbing and chilling. Drawn into the mind of a damaged man, whose obsession with Verity, his girlfriend since university colours every action, plan and thought. Mike is blinkered and driven; Verity is his only reference point. He lacks insight concerning everything outside the bubble that contains the two of them.

The first two-thirds of the story is overlong. While it is essential to relive Mike’s version of events, his lack of self-worth, his abusive childhood and his obsession with Verity make for exhausting reading and condensing this would make the story an easier read.

Mike’s character is undoubtedly well- written, but he lives in a warped reality, and it’s hard to empathise. Verity’s point of view is unknown, her action may be indicative of her differing perspective, but Mike’s perception of them always comes back to the two of them being inseparable.

It’s not until the book’s last third that the pacing picks up and the real point of the story becomes clear. The legal courtroom scenes are realistic and riveting, the lawyer’s cross-examination of their clients are fascinating. Mike’s barrister’s direction of his client illustrates that knowing how to play the legal game doesn’t necessarily equate to justice.The ending is suitably unsettling and highlights the inequities of the legal and other social systems, despite equality laws.

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK, Cornerstone via NetGalley in return for an honest review.