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

Retribution Heaton Wilson 4*#Review @kkevvin #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Detective #DCIJaneBirchfield #Retribution

An ex-soldier is mown down in a brutal hit and run. Was it an accident, or an act of murder?

DCI Jane Birchfield isn’t sure. She is struggling to stay focussed after a surprise marriage proposal, and is still waiting for news about a promotion. But she has to push it all to one side as the investigation swiftly escalates into the biggest challenge she has ever faced, bringing her into conflict with her superiors, her partner, and the British Army. She’s tested to the absolute limit, and for the very first time, finds herself asking whether it’s worth the sacrifice. Can she survive the pressure as the harsh reality of military conflict hits the streets of Ashbridge?

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

My Thoughts…

My first book in the DCI Jane Birchfield series, but that didn’t detract from the story. Well described characters and sufficient background information to make this readable as a standalone. It’s a detailed and fast-paced police procedural with relatable characters. The investigation team’s dynamic is believable, and there is a good balance of personal and professional in the story. The plot is full of twists, immersing the reader in the investigation making it an addictive read.

Heaton Wilson

I have been a newspaper journalist, a postman, a public relations officer, a consultant, an actor, a director, a playwright. And I have always kept writing.

I always felt I could write a novel. And I did! The first book in my crime fiction series featuring DCI Jane Birchfield, Every Reason, came out in 2016.  Whatever It Takes was published in 2021; and the third book (which follows on where Whatever It Takes ends) is nearing completion.

I’m from Manchester but now live on the Isle of Wight, where the sea is never far away. It’s the perfect place to be creative, and to walk the dogs.

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

Bring Her Home S. A. Dunphy 5*#Review #BoyleandKeneally @dunphyshane1 @bookouture #IrishCrimeFiction #CrimeFiction#Detective #CriminalPsychologist #Suspense #Folklore #CrimeNoir #BookReview #BringHerHome #MondayBlogs

She had taken only one step towards the hotel when she heard the car door opening, and then something had her by the shoulders in a grip like steel. Penny tried to fight, but it was no good. The last thing she heard as consciousness drifted away was the whisper of a familiar song…

In a small town on Ireland’s west coast, a young woman named Penelope O’Dwyer leaves a restaurant. It should take five minutes to walk back to where she’s staying. In those five minutes she disappears without a trace.

It’s a few days before the tape arrives. The kidnapper’s face is masked, his voice distorted, but no one doubts for a second he will follow through on his threat: a ritual murder at the end of October – and after that, many more murders to come. Penelope has two weeks to live. And the police don’t have a single lead.

Detective Seamus Keneally insists they need help. Especially when imprisoned murderer Frederick Morgan offers vital information connecting this case to a series of historic murders. But he will only speak to one person: criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle. Jessie is still grieving after a brutal tragedy that cut her career in London short – but right now, she’s the only chance Penelope has.

Morgan claims this is the work of a serial killer who’s been working in the shadows for longer than the police have ever realised. Now Jessie must use all her instincts and insight to get inside the mind of a criminal more ruthless than any she’s faced in her career – before the evil that has secretly stalked Ireland for decades is unleashed again.

A totally breathtaking and chilling crime thriller that will keep you gripped to the very last page.

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

My Thoughts…

This is such an atmospheric crime thriller full of emotion and suspense. Vibrant characters Boyle and Keneally have a believable team dynamic. Set in Ireland, the setting adds to the suspenseful ethos with hints of the supernatural interwoven with Irish folklore.

There is an overriding menace in this story. It’s explored but not resolved in this story, making the reader want to know how it will develop. The fast pacing adds to the story’s addictive quality, and Jessie Boyle has secrets but is easy to like. Seamus Keneally seems to be more open with less to hide and is the perfect contrast for his partner.

Terri, the historical researcher and technical expert, has a poignant past. Dawn, the Police Commissioner, has a history with Jessie. Both have complex pasts that add depth to the story.

Authentic and well-paced, this is an immersive read that is hard to put down.

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

The Man on Hackpen Hill J.S. Monroe 5* #Review @HoZ_Books @JSThrillers #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #Detective #Noir #Suspense #psychsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #TheManonHackpenHill #preorder #2September

It isn’t unusual for crop circles to appear overnight on Hackpen Hill. In this part of Wiltshire, where golden wheat fields stretch for miles, the locals have got used to discovering strange mathematical patterns stamped into the earth.

But this time, it’s different. Not only because this particular design of dramatic spiralling hexagons has never been seen before. But because of the dead body positioned precisely in the centre of the circle. DI Silas Hart, of Swindon Police, is at a loss.

Only Jim, a scientist at secretive government laboratory Porton Down, knows the chilling truth about the man on Hackpen Hill. And he wants Bella, a trainee journalist on her first ever story, to tell the world. But Silas has other ideas – and a boss intent on a cover up.

As Bella and Jim race against time, dark forces conspire against them, leading them to confront the reality of their own past and a world in which nothing is as it seems.

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

My Thoughts…

This story has an intrinsic sense of authenticity, which is in itself chilling given the disturbing elements it explores. It features the detective team of Silas and Strover, a familiar combination if you’ve read the authors other psychological thrillers. It begins with a disquieting prologue that sets the scene for what follows. Bella leaves Oxford for a fledgling career in journalism. Her complex past unfolds as the story progresses. Silas and Strover are investigating a death in a crop circle which leads them into the fields of secret laboratories and mental health issues. Jim meets Bella in a Wiltshire pub, accidentally he believes at first.

The story is told from these points of view. The police investigation is absorbing and allows the reader to make their deductions. Bella and Jim are both unreliable protagonists, but they are easy to empathise with. The plot is fast-paced with its short chapters. The use of sensory imagery makes the events easy to imagine. The plot twists are impactful. The story changes perspective dramatically but realistically and is addictive reading. The climactic ending is satisfying, delivering action, poignancy and positivity for the main protagonists.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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