Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Suspense

Knock Knock Chris Merritt (Detectives Lockhart and Green Book 1) 4*#Review @DrCJMerritt @Bookouture #KnockKnock #CrimeFiction #Psychologist #London #Suspense #BookReview

Natasha Mayston wasn’t expecting anyone to knock on her door so late at night. And she has no idea that the face staring back at her is the last one she’ll ever see…

As Detective Dan Lockhart is called to a wealthy London street to investigate Natasha’s death, he’s startled by the similarity to a previous case. Noticing the cable-tie restraints and the tiny scratches on Natasha’s wedding finger, Dan already knows what he will find if he looks in her mouth – the metal ball which choked her to death. He knows Natasha isn’t the killer’s first victim and is certain that he will strike again.

Months earlier, Kim Hardy was found in the same position in a run-down hotel across the city – an identical silver ball in her throat. But Kim’s murderer was caught and sent to prison – did they arrest the wrong man? And what connects the two victims? Fearing that he’s dealing with a psychopathic serial killer, Dan calls in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help him to get into the perpetrator’s mind. Tough and smart, Lexi will stop at nothing to hunt down the man responsible for the deaths.

Then, another body is discovered, just as Lexi finds a clue online leading to the killer. Dan’s team aren’t convinced, but in pushing Lexi away from the investigation, they force her to dig further into the case on her own. Convinced that she’s on to something, she puts herself in unthinkable danger… but can Dan piece together the clues and identify the killer before it’s too late?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A powerful fusion of police procedural and psychological suspense underpins this story to good effect. The beginning draws the reader into an unknown killer’s world. The killer’s on a crusade against women determined to impress their protector. The sense of menace felt from the start builds with the suspense, as the investigation continues and the deaths escalate.

Lockhart is a complex protagonist with emotional and mental health issues which he tries to address through therapy where he meets psychologist Lexi Green. The two characters make a connection that draws them together, on a professional level, and given the right circumstances, personally too.

Calculated grisly crimes make detection difficult. The impactful ending resonates.

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

The Soul Killer Ross Greenwood 5* #Review #DIBarton @greenwoodross @BoldwoodBooks #PoliceProcedural #Suspense #noircrime #PsychologicalThriller #BlogTour @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview

‘Repent in this life, rejoice in the next…’

A murder made to look like suicide. Another that appears an accident. DI Barton investigates the tragedies that have shattered a family’s lives, but without obvious leads the case goes nowhere. Then, when the remains of a body are found, everything points to one suspect.

Barton and his team move quickly, and once the killer is behind bars, they can all breathe a sigh of relief. But death still lurks in the shadows, and no one’s soul is safe. Not even those of the detectives…

How do you stop a killer that believes life is a rehearsal for eternity, and their future is worth more than your own…?

Ross Greenwood writes gritty, heart-pounding thrillers, with twists aplenty, and unforgettable endings.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Soul Killer is a noir crime thriller. The antagonist’s, first-person point of view, gives unique insights into an abusive childhood and motivation for subsequent crimes. Alongside this is a third-person perspective detail the police investigation.

There’s an authentic mix of psychological suspense and police procedural. A complex plot keeps its clues well hidden. DI Barton’s character continues to develop in a realistic and relatable way. This is the second in the series but reads as a standalone too.

The Soul Killer is riveting crime fiction with a twist of psychological suspense.

Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood, an author from Peterborough, has written six crime thrillers. He uses his experience of travelling and working all over the world to create layered believable characters that will capture your imagination. In 2011, Ross decided to take on a new challenge and became a prison officer. He writes murderers, rapists and thieves brilliantly because he worked with them every day for four years.

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

Locked in Fear Liz Cowley, Donough O’Brien 4*#Review @urbanebooks #Lovebookstours @LoveBooksGroup #Crime #PoliceProcedural #BlogTour #BookReview #LockedinFear #AliceDiamond @lizlifepoetry @Quirkyhistory

The stunning new thriller from the authors of Serial Damage. In a sleepy country village, Detective Inspector Robin Marshal – now in retirement – is nearly killed by a stranger. His friend Alice, a police psychiatrist, discovers that the murder attempt was almost certainly ordered by a terrifying criminal, ‘Big Mack’, currently incarcerated in a notoriously violent prison. There his criminal kingdom controls not only the inmates but many of the guards, through the power of money and the threat of extreme violence.

When Alice goes to work in the prison to find out more, she too becomes a target, her car machine-gunned on a country road, and Robin is attacked again while recovering in Spain.

Under pressure from an outraged public and with political concern rising, the authorities try to put a stop to Big Mack’s activities. But everyone is under threat when he is suddenly at large following a murderous escape. How can this evil kingpin be stopped?

Locked in Fear is a gripping thriller.

Publishes in March 2020

Amazon UK Urbane Publications

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

My Thoughts…

Suspenseful and sinister this story starts with an unexpected and near-fatal attack. The action keeps the adrenaline pumping throughout the book’s twists and turns. Ex-policeman Robin and psychologist Alice have been in the line of fire before. They have history and are firm friends. Some of the characters previously featured in the first novel, Serial Damage.

The insight into prison life and problems is well-researched. The characters are realistically flawed and don’t shy away from moral dilemmas. The character development focuses on the protagonists, but a little more insight into the antagonists would have increased impact on the reader.

I like the pacy, short-headed chapters and the gradual suspense building, which rises and falls believably. The ending is clever and unexpected.

Liz Cowley, whose family comes from Connemara, is a long-time fan of poetry, she enjoyed success with her first collection, A Red Dress, published in 2008 and her second, What am I Doing Here? (2010), which were then made into a theatrical show. Her next book ‘And guess who he was with?’ published in 2013, and two poetry books for gardeners, Outside in my Dressing Gown, and Gardening in Slippers, are bestsellers. Serial Damage was her first novel.

Her latest thriller, Locked in Fear, written with Donough O’Brien publishes in March 2020.

Donough enjoyed a successful marketing career in Britain, Ireland and the US. His previous books include Fame by Chance, Banana Skins, Numeroid, and In the Heat of Battle: a study of those who rose to the occasion in warfare and those who didn’t. His latest historical book was WHO? The most remarkable people you’ve never heard of. He has co-authored thrillers Peace Breaks Out with Robin Hardy and Serial Damage with his wife Liz Cowley.

His latest book Locked in Fear will be published in March 2020.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Bookstagram, Crime, Noir, Suspense

Perdition’s Child Anne Coates 5*#Review @UrbaneBooks @Anne_Coates1 @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #PoliceProcedural #Crime #CrimeFiction #HannahWeybridge #Journalist #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

Urbane Publications Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Having read Dancers in the Wind the first book, in the Hannah Weybridge series, I eagerly anticipated reading this fourth book and it is an addictive read. Hannah, an investigative journalist, is a dedicated investigator. She believes justice for the victim is worth the personal danger. As a single mother, Hannah is a realistic character, with contemporary relatability. The 1990s setting means less advanced forensic science and technology, making deduction and intuition skills vital, for crime investigation.

The plot is original and cleverly written, full of menace and twists, to keep you reading. There are connections to previously known characters, but the story is standalone.

Anne Coates

For most of her working life in publishing, Anne has had a foot in both camps as a writer and an editor, moving from book publishing to magazines and then freelancing in both. Having edited both fiction and narrative non-fiction, she has also had short stories published in a variety of magazines including Bella and Candis and is the author of seven non-fiction books. Telling stories is Anne’s first love and nearly all her short fiction as well as Dancers in The Wind and Death’s Silent Judgement began with a real event followed by a ‘what if …’. That is also the case with the two prize-winning 99Fiction.net stories: Codewords and Eternal Love.

Perdition’s Child published February 2020

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Read my review of Dancers in the Wind

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Noir, Scandinavian Crime, Suspense

Sister #OsloDetectives Kjell Ola Dahl 4*#Review #Translator Don Bartlett @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks #RandomThingsTours @annecater #CrimeFiction #NordicNoir #BookReview #BlogTour #Crime #Sister

Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.

Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run…

A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

‘Sister’ is atmospheric, complex and well-paced Nordic noir. Frølich, currently suspended from his detective role in Oslo, is making a living as a PI. Wondering where his next case will come from, a friend of a friend asks him to look for an asylum seeker’s sister. The search leads to connections with a cold case, a mystery woman who denies having a sister, and an increasing body count. The plot is multi-layered, with many twists and misinformation. The suspense builds with each connection and event. Frølich finds his skills much in demand, even though he’s warned against pursuing his investigation by the police.

Sister is addictive nordic noir, with a realistic investigation and insightful psychological suspense.

Kjell Ola Dahl

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in
1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo

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

Silenced For Good Alex Coombs 4* #Review @AlexHowardCrime @BoldwoodBooks #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #BoldwoodBloggers #RachelsRandomResources

Detective Hanlon is addicted to violence. She likes the rush, the danger, the losing control…

When Hanlon is suspended from the force for assaulting a suspect, she escapes to the remote Scottish island of Jura, home to the mysterious Corryvreckan whirlpool.

But wherever Hanlon goes, violence is sure to follow.

As soon as she checks into The Mackinnon Arms, Hanlon senses something isn’t quite right about the staff at her home for the week. 

Sure enough, within days of arriving, the body of a member of staff is found floating in the sea. While police believe she was claimed by the local whirlpool, Hanlon isn’t so sure. 

As she pieces together the evidence, dark secrets begin to unravel. Can Hanlon work out what is going on before another floating body is found…?

The start of a gripping new crime series.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

In this gritty, gripping Scottish crime thriller, DCI Hanlon is driven and on the edge, as she battles addictive anger issues. An enforced break on the Isle of Jura, one of the Western Isles, finds her embroiled in a series of grisly crimes.

Hanlon and politically correct are at opposite ends of the spectrum, She’s arrogant and hard. Character traits that get her in trouble with her bosses at the Met. Told predominately from her point of view, this story is insightful. The plot is simple, with enough possible suspects and twists to keep it interesting. I did guess the major twist, but it’s a good story, with a memorable detective, with scope for more cases.

Alex Coombs

Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He has written four well reviewed crime novels as Alex Howard.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Suspense

Blood Rites Rachel Lynch 5* #Review #DIKellyPorter @r_lynchcrime @canelo_co #LakeDistrict #CrimeFiction #Detective #BookReview

DI Kelly Porter is about to discover just how dark things can get in the Lake District.

When a young woman is found unclothed, unspeaking at an ancient stone circle it’s not clear if any crime has been committed. DI Kelly Porter and her team start looking into the circumstances, but the mystery girl disappears.

Soon after, a brutal murder is committed and sinister markings at the scene indicate that the killer had a message. The investigation reveals that in the beautiful Lake District there are those who believe in ancient ways, and within those circles, old resentments are spilling over into terrible violence.

Kelly has all the pieces to solve the puzzle, but to put them together she must confront a figure from her past: one who nearly destroyed all that she holds dear. Will she avoid the same fate this time, or can the killer stay one step ahead of her to the bitter end?

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

I always enjoy reading the DI Kelly Porter series. There’s a great balance of human interest and police investigation. Kelly is a conscientious, driven detective, who wants justice for the victims and tempers her investigative skills with humanity. The English Lake District’s raw beauty is a perfect setting. A varied and pacy plot features ancient beliefs, abuse, cold cases and an intriguing mystical element. There’s a shocking murder, a puzzle to solve and a sinister connection with the past.