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, 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 Tour, Book Review, Crime, Icelandic Noir, International Thriller, Noir, Nordic Noir, Psychological Suspense, Scandinavian Crime

Girls Who Lie Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir 4*#Review @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks #Translator Victoria Cribb #ForbiddenIceland #GirlsWhoLie #IcelandicNoir #RandomThingsTours @annecater @GoldsboroBooks #BlogTour #BookReview

At once a startling, tense psychological thriller, and a
sophisticated and twisty police procedural from a rising star in
Icelandic literature

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed that she’s taken her own life – until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the
childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

Amazon UK Orenda Books

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

My Thoughts…

The second in the Forbidden Iceland series is a multi-layered plot with clever twists and believably crafted characters. Chilling, compelling and complex, it keeps the reader engaged. An absorbing balance of psychological suspense and police procedural, the Icelandic setting reflects the story’s noir ethos. The reader gets to know the investigation team and what motivates them. This is an emotional, poignant and thought-provoking story.

Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir studied for an MSc in globalisation in Norway before returning to Iceland and deciding to write a novel – something she had wanted to do since she won a short-story competition at the age of fifteen.

After nine months combining her writing with work as a stewardess and
caring for her children, Eva finished The Creak on the Stairs. It was published in 2018, and became a bestseller in Iceland. It also went on to win the Blackbird Award, a prize set up by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson to encourage new Icelandic crime writers. It was published in English by Orenda Books in 2020.


Eva lives in Reykjavík with her husband and three children and is currently working on the third book in the Forbidden Iceland series.

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, 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.

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

In Dark Water Lynn McEwan 3* #Review @LynneJMcEwan @canelo_co #CrimeFiction @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours #DetectiveShonaOliver #BlogTour #BookReview #preorder #MondayBlogs #InDarkWater #CaneloCrime

Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets…

DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf.

Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police in Cumbria take the case but links back to Scotland keep Shona’s team involved. As they investigate, reports of people trafficking and a spate of thefts from local shops compete for attention with a large scale drug bust. But Shona’s work may all be in vain when those close to her threaten to tear the case apart – and ruin Shona in the process.

An unforgettable debut novel by a Scottish crime writer to watch.

Amazon UK- Kindle Amazon UK-Paperback

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

My Thoughts…

This is a well-written story with a good mix of police procedural and family drama. The setting is one I’ve not read about before, giving the story an added dimension of interest. The main protagonist, Detective Inspector Shona Oliver, is a well-rounded character juggling a challenging career, important voluntary work and family life, sometimes unsuccessfully.

This is the first book in a series, and there is a degree of world-building that affects the plot’s pacing. The characters are complex, and the straightforward plot has twists and a few surprises, making me want to read the next one.

A positive start to a police procedural series set on the Scottish borders.

Lynn McEwan

Glasgow-born Lynne McEwan is a former newspaper photographer turned crime author. She’s covered stories including the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War in addition to many high profile murder cases. She currently lives in Lincoln and is in the final year of an MA in Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia.

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Thriller

Death on the Lake Jo Allen 4*#Review #DCI Jude Satterthwaite @JoAllenAuthor #CrimeFiction #PoliceProcedural #Thriller #BlogTour #BookReview #Cumbria #EdenValley @rararesources #LakeDistrict

Three youngsters, out for a good time. Vodka and the wrong sort of Coke. What could possibly go wrong?

When a young woman, Summer Raine, is found drowned, apparently accidentally, after an afternoon spent drinking on a boat on Ullswater, DCI Jude Satterthwaite is deeply concerned — more so when his boss refuses to let him investigate the matter any further to avoid compromising a fraud case.

But a sinister shadow lingers over the dale and one accidental death is followed by another and then by a violent murder. Jude’s life is complicated enough but the latest series of murders are personal to him as they involve his former partner, Becca Reid, who has family connections in the area. His determination to uncover the killer brings him into direct conflict with his boss — and ultimately places both him and his colleague and girlfriend, Ashleigh O’Halloran, in danger.

Amazon Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

An engaging story with complex relationship dynamics and a Cumbrian setting. The police procedural is well-plotted with twists, misinformation and scenarios that cross the personal, professional divide. The relationships are complex but believable, with characters that give this traditional crime mystery its twenty-first-century edge.

The authentic Cumbrian setting demonstrates rural communities are as vulnerable to crime as their urban counterparts. Jude Satterthwaite is a well-developed character whose personal life often impinges on his professional life, making him enemies in the criminal world. The close-knit rural communities are well described, and the rugged beauty of the hills and lakes an added attraction for devotees of the area.

If you are looking for a new crime series with relatable characters and absorbing criminal investigations, this series is worth reading, and this book is the best one so far.

Jo Allen

Jo Allen is the author of the successful DCI Satterthwaite series of detective novels set in and around the English Lake District, where she lives. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read – crime. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.

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

Preacher Boy (The Dr Harrison Lane mysteries #1) Gwyn G.B. @GywnGB @RandomTTours #PreacherBoy #CrimeFiction #Detective #Psychologist #PsychologicalSuspense #London #DrHarrisonLane #Mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

IT’S TIME FOR A NEW CRIME MYSTERY HERO

Dr Harrison Lane is everything you wouldn’t expect from a man with a psychology doctorate. For victims, he’s everything they need.

As Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Ritualistic Behavioural Crime Unit, Dr Harrison Lane knows his Voodoo from his Aum Shinrikyo and a Satanist from a Shaman.

Harrison had an unusual childhood, raised by a bohemian mother and one of the native American Shadow Wolves – the elite tracking squad that works with US Drug enforcers. After his mother’s murder, he dedicated his life to finding those who hide behind spiritualism and religion to do evil.

Following the discovery of a missing boy’s body in what looks like a Satanic killing, Harrison is called in to help detectives. When a second boy is snatched, it becomes a race against time to save him, and sees Harrison come face-to-face with some dark secrets from his own childhood.

Preacher Boy is the first book in a gripping new crime mystery series from Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, Gwyn GB.

Amazon UK

Book 2: The Horsemen published June 19th.

Amazon UK

Book 3: The Bloodletting published July 17th

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling and well-plotted detective mystery with psychological suspense and police procedural elements that make it an addictive read.

Dr Harrison Lane has a mysterious and unusual past which facilitates his role as head of the Metropolitan Police’s Ritualistic Behavioural Crimes Unit. Some consider him a little strange and lacking in social skills, but his undoubted profiling knowledge and insight into the criminal mind draw respect from all who work with him.

The discovery of a young boy’s body and a subsequent abduction involves Harrison in a crime where the clock is ticking to save the young victim. He is a likeable character who empathises with the victims and puts his safety at risk for the sake of the victims. The police team dynamic is realistic and adds to the authenticity. The investigation is logical and immerses the reader in the story.

An intense and satisfying conclusion, which leaves clues to Harrison’s past to be answered at a later date.

An exciting crime mystery with an engaging protagonist.

GwynGB

Gwyn is an Amazon Top 20 bestselling author. She’s a former UK national TV newscaster and presenter, and journalist for national newspapers and magazines. Gwyn became a journalist because all she wanted to do was write and has finally realised her dream of being a full-time fiction author. Born in the UK, Gwyn now lives in the Channel Islands with her family, including a rescue dog and 17-year-old goldfish.

Gwyn launched her debut novel, Islands as Gwyn Garfield-Bennett in 2016, the romantic suspense book rose quickly into the Amazon top 20. Her first crime mystery series, featuring DI Falle, launched with Lonely Hearts in 2017.

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Posted in Book Review, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Noir

Both of You Adele Parks 5*#Review @HQStories @adeleparks #BlogTour #noir #FamilyDrama #mystery #DomesticThriller #Marriage #Secrets #psychologicalsuspense

Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.

Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamourous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.

DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they are.

How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Compelling yet easy to read, this is addictive psychological suspense. There are elements of police procedural and a twisty mystery to solve. The character dynamics are relatable, and contemporary issues of raising teenagers, misogyny at work and missing persons are highlighted.

The story focuses on two missing persons, Leigh married to Mark with two sons, and Kai, who is married to Daan. Detailed characterisation and relationship dynamics in the early chapters make the shocks and twists impactful. The reader is invested in the characters even though not all are likeable.

The story is passionate, poignant, and often menacing, but it is always addictive reading. Whilst the ending may not be a total surprise if you follow the clues, it remains sinister, suspenseful, and ultimately shocking.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Travel

The Hunting Season Tom Benjamin 4*#Review @Tombenjaminsays @LittleBrownUK #Constable #CrimeFiction #Italy #Bologna #Mystery #PrivateDetective @RandomTTours #TheHuntingSeason

Death stalks the hills of Bologna…

It’s truffle season and in the hills around Bologna the hunt is on for the legendary Boscuri White, the golden nugget of Italian gastronomy. But when an American truffle ‘supertaster’ goes missing, English detective Daniel Leicester discovers not all truffles are created equal. Did the missing supertaster bite off more than he could chew?

As he goes on the hunt for Ryan Lee, Daniel discovers the secrets behind ‘Food City’, from the immigrant kitchen staff to the full scale of a multi-million Euro business. After a key witness is found dead at the foot of one of Bologna’s famous towers, the stakes could not be higher. Daniel teams up with a glamorous TV reporter, but the deeper he goes into the disappearance of the supertaster the darker things become. Murder is once again on the menu, but this time Daniel himself stands accused. And the only way he can clear his name is by finding Ryan Lee…

Discover Bologna through the eyes of English detective Daniel Leicester as he walks the shadowy porticoes in search of the truth and, perhaps, even gets a little nearer to solving the mystery of Italy itself.

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from Little Brown Books – Constable and the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is best described as a literary mystery with its evocative settings and lyrical writing.

Private detective Daniel Leicester is hired to find a missing truffle taster by his parents. The story details the importance of the truffle economy to this area of Italy and explores the possibilities for crime with its unregulated nature. Investigations are hampered by the terrain and the lack of information about the missing man’s plans. An unexpected death intensifies the search and put Daniel in a precarious position.

The cast of characters are well-crafted, the detective team are diverse, and there is a believable team dynamic. Told from Daniel’s viewpoint, the reader gains insight into the Italian customs and settings and astute observations on possible suspects. Cultural and historical references and sensory imagery make this an inclusive reading experience.

The mystery is well-plotted with twists and satisfying conclusion, but it’s the atmospheric quality of this story that resonates.

Tom Benjamin

Tom Benjamin grew up in London and began his working life as a reporter before becoming a spokesman for Scotland Yard. He went on to work in international aid and public health, developing Britain’s first national programme against alcohol abuse and heading up drugs awareness campaign FRANK. He now lives in Bologna, Italy

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Read my review of A Quiet Death in Italy