3.5*, book review

#BookReview Don’t Tell a Soul by D.K. Hood @bookouture @DKHood_Author

 

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Don’t Tell a Soul by D.K. Hood.

 

My Review:

I’d heard some good things about Don’t Tell A Soul and the blurb of book two in the series really appealed so I decided to read this, book one, first. I’m pleased that I did as the scene is definitely set in this book and we are introduced to the main characters. Talking of which I have to say that I loved how the two main characters, Sherrif Alton and Deputy Kane were introduced, both to the reader and to each other, it was very clever and totally set up their relationship for the rest of the book and no doubt series.

Kane has a hidden past and thinks that a new job as a Deputy in a small American town will be something of a semi-retirement, after all not a lot will happen in such a small town. Of course he was wrong, very wrong given that he hasn’t even arrived in town when he gets caught up in what he believes is attempted murder. Talk about being thrown into the deep end.

I really liked the character Kane and his backstory was great, the same goes for Alton and the bonus with her is that we have a feisty female character. Both have an interesting past that added depth and made their relationship very interesting.

I enjoyed reading Don’t Tell A Soul and give it 3.5* but will round up to 4* as half stars aren’t allowed on review sites. I think that the book sets the story for what is bound to be a great series.

Blurb:

The floor was stone cold on her bare skin. Her heart pounded in her chest. ‘Not a soul knows where I am,’ she thought as she took in the darkness around her. And then she heard his footsteps…

When a body is found stuffed into a barrel at a garbage dump, covered in long red lacerations, Detective Jenna Alton and her new deputy, David Kane, rush to the scene.

Nothing ever happens in the small American town of Black Rock Falls, so Jenna believes the victim must be one of two recent missing persons, and she fears for the life of the other.

Both were strangers to the town, but there’s nothing else to link them. Jenna knows someone must have seen something, but no one’s talking; how well does she really know the people around her?

Then a disturbing clue makes Jenna suspect a connection with other disappearances in the town’s history. Just when she begins asking the right questions, she realises she’s being followed. Is she next on the killer’s list?

In a race against time, Jenna and David must unlock the dark secret at the heart of the town, before it’s too late…

A completely addictive detective thriller that will have you guessing right to the end. Perfect for readers of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott.

About The Author:

17096652

I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour, and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.
My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I’ll look forward to sharing many spine tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ dkhoodauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DKHood_ Author

Website: www.dkhood.com

Don’t Tell A Soul by D.K. Hood is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog blast, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour Captor by Anita Waller @anitamayw @Bloodhoundbook

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My Review:

I like Anita Waller, she writes good books that have lots of twists and turns and keeps you hooked. She has a real skill when it comes to creating characters that feel really real and relatable.

Liz is struggling to adjust with her return to work after maternity leave, she misses her son and hates leaving him but she is comforted to know that he is in capable hands, but when she finishes work and goes to collect her son she finds her worst nightmare.

There are many levels to this story and it is told predominantly from Liz’s point of view, but also from other key characters that help to build the tension and tell the story.

I love how Waller is able to make a story with real heart, we know the reason why the crimes are being committed and often can relate and understand why. Less so in Captor than her other books but that’s ok.

My one gripe about Captor is that I never really felt that Liz’s son was ever really at risk which was a shame as it meant that there was less tension than there could have been, although whether I was right in that assumption I’m not going to say.

Overall Captor is an enjoyable read, Waller has definitely done it again and proves herself to be one of the best storytellers in the genre of murder, necessary murder, as she likes to say.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for a copy of Captor by Anita Waller, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

CAPTOR 4

Liz Chambers is a devoted mother who works for a successful law firm. She has two children, a husband and a blossoming career. But behind closed doors, Liz is harbouring a secret that could destroy her life.
Then the unthinkable happens, and in a frenzied attack her young son is snatched from the home of the nanny charged with looking after him.
As Liz’s life unfolds, it becomes clear that someone is out for revenge.
Desperate to get her baby boy back, Liz must work out who is responsible for his kidnap, and why.
But as the body count begins to mount, Liz’s concern grows for the safety of her child.
Who has taken her baby?
And why is Captor so determined on revenge?

 

About The Author:

 

anitawallerAnita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation.

As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August, 2017.

So where next? Her new book, launching February 2018 and titled Captor, is a psychological thriller.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Links:

Anita Waller’s Amazon UK page

Anita Waller’s Amazon US page

Facebook page

Author website

Twitter

Captor by Anita Waller is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

I have also reviewed 34 DaysStrategy and Winterscroft by Anita Waller.

4*, blog blast, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour Locked In by GB Williams @GailBWilliams @Bloodhoundbook

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My review:

Ok, so this is book two in a series and I haven’t read book one. I hate doing that and it is normally something that I avoid but for some reason I read the blurb for this book and I just wanted to read it. And I’m very pleased that I did.

What followed was an unexpected thrilling read that hooked me right from the start and kept me right there until the very last page. It was a book that I stayed up late to read, it’s a book that I thought about when I couldn’t read it and it’s a book that I made sure that I had more time in the day to read. I had to know what happened.

Ariadne was a great character, although not always that likeable she was engaging and incredibly feisty, she has to use everything that she’s got when she finds herself caught up in a bank robbery. She finds herself getting the attention of the robbers when one of them recognises her from his time inside. That is not good for Ariadne.

I don’t feel for a moment that I missed out because I hadn’t read book one, but I have now got the first book, Locked Up, on my kindle ready for me to read when I get the chance and I will most definitely be reading book three when it is released later in the year.

This is a twisty and turny thrilling ride with some great characters and an original take on what could have been quite a run of the mill storyline. I really enjoyed reading this book and will most definitely recommend it to my friends.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of Locked In by GB Williams. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

GB Williams - Locked In_cover_high resAriadne Teddington is having a bad day. Then she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun.
Stuck in a bank robbery turned hostage situation, Ariadne keeps her head down and her mouth shut; because if there is one thing criminals hate more than the police it’s prison guards.
Trapped with a child, a policeman, and a robber on the edge, Ariadne desperately searches for a way out for them.
Can they all escape unharmed?
And when everyone is locked in, will anyone get out alive?

About the Author:

Colour Portrait 10After being made redundant in 2012, GB started taking her life-long passion for writing more seriously and looking to sell her work. Specialising in complex, fast-paced crime novels. Her debut novel, Locked Up, was released in September 2017, Locked In follows in February 2018, and Locked Down in September 2018.

GB was shortlisted for the 2014 CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition with the story Last Shakes, now available in Last Cut Casebook. She is also a
feature writer and occasional comic book reviewer. Crime novels are her stock in trade, but she has had success with short stories in various genres
including steampunk, horror, erotica and general fiction.

With bills to pay, she’s back working as a systems architect by day, a freelance fiction editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend. GB really needs to
learn to sleep.

Originally from Kent, GB moved to South Wales as a supposed first step on a year around the world.  Then she met a guy.  Kept the guy, kissed the travel goodbye. Knowing that the best way to travel is by book anyway, she has always read, always written. GB now has two grown-up children, the world’s most imperious cat, a house full of books and a hard drive full of manuscripts (though some will never be allowed out of a locked basement).

Author Links:

Twitter:       @GailBWilliams

Facebook:  @ GBWilliamsCrimeWriter

Blog:           thewriteroute.wordpress.com

Website:     www.gailbwilliams.co.uk

Locked Up by GB Williams is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, book review, non-fiction, true crime

#Review The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton. @PenguinUKBooks

 

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The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton.

 

My Review:

I love reading crime and thriller fiction books and I enjoy watching true crime programmes on tv so when friends were discussing The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton I was immediately intrigued and wanted to read it.

The book is in many ways fascinating. Britton gives insight into many cases including many that I was already familiar with like Fred and Rose West, Rachel Nickell and James Bulger. He provided details of those cases that I had not heard or read before, at times it felt like a little bit too much information but generally it was fascinating.

Britton displayed some detachment to the cases that he talked about which is understandable, to stay sane when dealing with such horrific crime some detachment is necessary. But it did feel like an unemotional read.

The James Bulger murder is an event that I remember well and I, like many, was horrified when we found out that he had been murdered by two young boys. Britton gives quite a lot of detail on the case including what the boys did to James before and after they killed him. This is not easy reading and is definitely something that has stayed with me since I finished the book. Consider yourself warned.

What Britton had to say about the murder of Rachel Nickell was very interesting, he gives a lot of detail into her murder and his thoughts around who had murdered her. Colin Stagg is discussed at length including the police sting using a female police officer to try and get a confession from him. Given what happened since the book was written, where Britton himself was investigated by the British Psychological Association and at one point was charged with misconduct for his role in the Colin Stagg sting, the charges were later dropped but I couldn’t help but pay a little more attention to what he said about Stagg. What he does is go into great detail about how careful they were to make sure that Stagg was not coerced or led in any way, it felt quite defensive and very much like Britton was saying that he had done absolutely everything by the book and was not at fault in any way.

Whether he was at fault or not I don’t really know, but the theme throughout the book is that Britton is fantastic at his job, loved by the police that he worked with and relied upon to solve numerous cases that he was instrumental in ensuring that the perpetrators were caught and convicted. This did get a little bit wearing and made me start to question how much of each story we were really being told. In something as subjective as psychology and profiling it is surely impossible that someone involved in so many cases didn’t get it wrong once, not even a bit wrong, but that seems to be what Britton thinks, or at least wants his readers to think.

Since finishing the book I have tried to find out a bit more about Paul Britton and it is clear that views are mixed and far more complex than he tries to make his readers think. Some claim that he wasn’t as involved in the cases as he makes out and that he has taken credit for some ideas that came from others. Who knows. Whatever the truth is The Jigsaw Man is a compelling and interesting read that will give the reader insight into police investigations. It is a long book and gives details of crime after crime, all but one or two involving some very unpleasant murders or serious sexual assault, the blackmail case providing a small amount of light relief.

I was surprised about the level of information Britton gives on some very well known crimes and so if you are interested in true crime then this is a book for you, I think that it helps if you remember the main cases that he talks about but this isn’t essential as he will give you more than enough detail. I really did enjoy reading it and found it fascinating, but I would have liked Britton to make himself more human and show that he isn’t perfect and did sometimes get it wrong, and perhaps what he learnt from that. His failure to do that makes me question the book and how true to life it really is, especially when, for example, he states that he believed that The West’s had eaten some of their victims due to marks on the bones, I have not been able to find anything else to substantiate this and even though I know that it would be impossible for it to be proven given the death of Fred West and the silence of Rose, it is something that I would expect to be discussed somewhere if there had been any evidence of that.

It was a good but frustrating read. I’d still read more books by Paul Britton but I’d definitely take what he says with more of a pinch of salt than I did when I started reading this one.

Blurb:

Forensic psychologist Paul Britton asks himself four questions when he is faced with a crime scene: what happened: who is the victim: how was it done, and why? Only when he has the answers to these questions can he address the fifth: who is responsible?

An intensely private and unassuming man, Britton has an almost mythic status in the field of crime deduction because of his ability to ‘walk through the minds’ of those who stalk, abduct, torture, rape and kill other human beings. What he searches for at the scene of a crime are not fingerprints, fibres or blood stains – he looks for the ‘mind trace’ left behind by those responsible; the psychological characteristics that can help police to identify and understand the nature of the perpetrator.

Over the past dozen years he has been at the centre of more than 100 headline-making investigations, from the murder of Jamie Bulger to the abduction of baby Abbie Humphries, the slaying of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common, the pursuit of the Green Chain rapist and the Heinz baby food extortionist, the notorious Gloucester House of Horror and most recently, the murder of Naomi Smith.

Told with humanity and insight, The Jigsaw Man is Paul Britton’s absorbing first-hand account of those cases, and of his groundbreaking analysis and treatment of the criminal mind. It combines the heart-stopping tension of the best detective thriller with his unique and profound understanding of the dark side of the human condition.

About The Author:

paulbrittonHe is perhaps the UK’s leading psychological profiler.

Paul Britton was born in 1946. Following degrees obtained in psychology from Warwick and Sheffield universities, he has spent the last twenty years working as a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist. He has advised the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Crime Committee on offender profiling for many years and currently teaches postgraduates in clinical and forensic psychology. He is married with two children. Paul Britton is the author of Picking Up the Pieces and The Jigsaw Man, which won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for Non-Fiction.

The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review, parenting

#BlogTour We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt @lukeallnutt @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #WeOwnTheSky

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My Review:

Now and then a book comes along that finds a place right deep inside you, perhaps the characters touch you or the storyline, possibly having something in common with your real life, gets inside you. We Own The Sky is one of those books.

It is beautifully written and I just loved how simple it is, there is no dramatics and it is just the story of a man whose life falls apart and how he slowly starts to put it back together again. This book ought to come with a warning because it is sad and most of those that I know who have been lucky enough to read this wonderful book prior to publication have talked about how they cried, it is not a book to read in public if you’re that way inclined. I appear to be somewhat heartless.

A book like this is never going to be an easy read and some people will find the subject matter offputting for various reasons, but it really is beautiful and the author has done an incredibly impressive job of telling us about Rob and his inner thoughts and feelings. I’ll miss him and while I, of course, know that Rob isn’t real, I hope that his life gets better.

Thank you so much to Tracy Fenton of THE Book Club on Facebook and Orion for a copy of We Own The Sky. I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

35956629A story about love, loss and finding hope-against all odds.

Rob Coates can’t believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he’s won the lottery of life. Or rather-he did. Until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack.

Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the gulf that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he’s determined to come to terms with what’s happened-and find a way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered loss or experienced great love. Luke Allnutt shows that the journey from hope to despair and back is never as simple as we think, and that even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.

About The Author:

Luke_ALLNUTT-385x615I’m a writer and journalist based in Prague.

My debut novel, We Own The Sky, will be published by Orion (U.K.) and Harlequin/HarperCollins (U.S.) in 2018.

The publication rights have been sold in 30 countries around the world.

I’m also the author of Unspoken, a Kindle Single about the death of my father.

Originally from the U.K., I’ve  lived and worked in Prague since 1998.

We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt is released on 8th February 2018 and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir @HodderPublicity @YrsaSig

Blog Tour

I’ve previously posted my review for The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir back in April last year but when I was asked whether I wanted to be part of the blog tour for the paperback release I just couldn’t say no. Afterall, I think that this book still wins my award for most creative murder!

My Review:

This is the first book that I’ve read that could be classed Scandi Noir. I know that I’m a bit late to the party with this but better late than never is definitely the case!

I heard the author of The Legacy talking about her latest book on the radio, she read an exert from this book and I did not want her to stop, I wanted to know what happened next so I read it as soon as I could.

What I hadn’t realised was quite how long this book was. At 464 pages this is not a short book, and as a slow reader, it’s quite a commitment for me to read and it took me a week to read. However, often when I read a long book I get almost resentful of the book and the amount of time that it is taking for me to read, I have so many other books waiting! But that did not happen with The Legacy, although aware that it was loooong I never felt that it should hurry up or get to the point, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish.

While the language was a little different and perhaps slightly simplistic due to the translation from Icelandic to English, I actually quite liked it, it made the book easy to read and a little bit different.

I really liked the main characters in the book, Hulder, the main detective was great and I look forward to getting to know him better in future books in the series, and the same with Freyja who works in The Children’s House, so is involved with a young girl who witnessed her mother being murdered but understandably does not want to talk about what she saw.

The deaths in The Legacy were really quite gruesome but the author skillfully avoided giving us too much detail and let us imagine what happened to the victim, something that I was very grateful for.

I am definitely converted and will be reading more from this author, and hopefully other Icelandic crime authors.

Blurb:

9781473621558The first in an exciting new series from the author of THE SILENCE OF THE SEA, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel.

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?

The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

About The Author:

yrsa_sigurdardottir_crime_authorYrsa Sigurdardottir is an award-winning, best-selling author from Iceland. She began her career writing humorous novels for children but got sick of being funny and found being horrible is much easier. She made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, the first installment in the Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series and has since been translated into 35 languages. Yrsa has also written several stand-alone thrillers and has a new series coming out in 2017 in the UK. Her work stands “comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world” according to the Times Literary Supplement. Her standalone horror novel, I Remember You will be in theaters in 2017, while adaptation of the Thóra series for English language television is underway.

The latest book to be published in the UK is Why Did You Lie, described by the Sunday Times as “a tour de force”. This was preceded by the 2015 Petrona Award winning Silence of the Sea and Someone to Watch Over Me, chosen by the Sunday Times as the best crime novel published in the UK in 2013.

Yrsa is also a civil engineer and still works as such on geothermal and hydro power plant projects in her native Iceland. She is not in agreement with her co-workers regarding her actual participation in the workplace lately, she states she works 50% but they say 30%. This issue is presently unresolved.

Follow Yrsa on Twitter: @YrsaSig (See what she did there? Saved you a whole lot of confusion while typing her last name).

The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir is out now in paperback and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour Blue Night by Simone Buchholz and translated by Rachel Ward. @OrendaBooks @FwdTranslations @ohneklippo #BlueNight

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My Review:

I have to admit that I found Blue Night quite hard to get into but I kept going and soon got into the story of Chastity Riley, a prosecutor who is demoted to an office that consists of a desk in a cupboard and the role that nobody wants to do. However it is a role that she happens to be quite good at, managing to get through to a man who has been beaten so badly that his body is broken, he won’t talk to anyone but she chips away and he starts to open up to her.

Chastity finds herself drawn into a case that is nowhere near as dull as she’d expected it to be, and perhaps she can win favours and get back into the meatier jobs that she misses. I loved Chastity’s relationship with the other characters, she has a way of relating to people and although she appears to be very tough and capable, there’s a soft side to her that she sometimes lets others see.

This is the first book that I have read that has been translated from German into English and I have to admit that I’m not sure that it works as well as books that I have read from Iceland/Norway etc. Something didn’t quite flow with the words and I suspect that my dyslexic brain made it harder for me to put the story together and so reading the book took a lot of concentration.

But don’t let that put you off, it’s a fun story that kept me guessing and thinking. Chastity Riley is definitely a great new character that I’m sure will soon have many fans.

Thank you to Orenda Books for a copy of Blue Night. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived… Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.

About The Author:

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I was born in Hanau in 1972 and grew up in Spessart. I studied philosophy and literature, but not until the end.

I was a waitress, columnist and editor. I’m talking about love, death and football, I like Naples, Tahiti, St. Petersburg and basically Brooklyn, but I live in Hamburg, mainly because of the weather.

Always on New Year’s morning I search the port for bottle post. So if you’re stuck somewhere and need rum and cigarettes urgently, try contacting me .

 

About The Translator:

rachel-aboutHaving always been an avid reader and enjoyed word games and puzzles, I discovered a flair for languages at school and went on to study Modern Languages at the University of East Anglia. I spent my third year working as a language assistant at two grammar schools in Saarbrücken, Germany. During my final year, I realised that I wanted to put these skills and passions to use professionally and applied for UEA’s MA in Literary Translation. Since then, I have been working in Norwich, UK, as a freelance translator of literary and creative writing from German and French to English.

Blue Night by Simone Buchholz is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.