5*, blog tours, book review, crime thriller, series

#BookReview #BlogTour Her Shallow Grave D.K. Hood. @bookouture @DKHood_Author #HerShallowGrave

Yay, another book by the fabulous DK Hood who takes us back to Black Rock Falls, a place that I will never tire of virtually visiting although I’m not sure that I want to visit in real life given the crime there. But I do love these books and so I was delighted to be able to read this one and be part of the blog tour, thank you to Noelle and Bookouture for having me on the tour.

My Review:

I love this series, it is still going strong with addictive storylines and great characters. I love how the characters have grown over the series and I can’t wait to see where they are going to go next.

There aren’t many book series that I keep reading, many kind of lose their steam a little and can feel as though the author is writing them for the wrong reasons. This is not one of those series.

How DK Hood keeps coming up with the storylines I don’t know, the twisted way that people are murdered are so original and I love reading how the characters deal with, and solve, the latest crime spree.

Her Shallow Grave is another great read in the series, I love catching up with the characters and it all feels really real, I can see the settings and the people in my mind which is the sign of a great book.

If you haven’t read any of this series before then you are really missing out. They can be read out as standalone books but it is always better to start at the beginning and let the characters develop as you read.

Roll on the next book, I can’t wait to see how the next crime wave in Black Rock Falls turns out.

Blurb:

She runs her trembling fingers over the dark, damp walls surrounding her. Above her head, she hears heavy footsteps. She knows she has nowhere to hide and as the door to the cellar is flung open, she finally sees his face.

It’s winter in Black Rock Falls and, as tourists flock to the small town to take in the snowy mountain peaks, one visitor makes a sickening discovery. The frozen body of a young woman hangs from a tree on the outskirts of town. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.

Jenna’s stomach turns as she surveys the ice-cold remains, and she’s soon alerted to similar burial sites nearby. With no missing persons reported, Jenna and her deputy, David Kane, fear Black Rock Falls is being used as a dumping ground for bodies.

As the body count mounts up, Jenna is more determined than ever to find the person responsible. But as she tries to catch the killer out, he outsmarts her once again and Jenna begins to wonder if he knows her next move. Could he be closer to her than she thinks?

When the investigation takes Jenna to a homeless shelter right in the heart of the community, she fears for the life of a woman who hasn’t been seen for a few days. It’s clear the killer is beginning to escalate, so Jenna ramps up the investigation and puts herself in unthinkable danger. Can she catch the murderer off guard, or does he already know she’s on her way? Has Jenna finally met a killer she can’t catch?

If you like Lisa Regan, Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot, you will love this thrilling new book from bestselling crime author D.K. Hood.

**Each Kane and Alton book can be read as part of the series or as a standalone**

About The Author:

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.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.dkhood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dkhoodauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DKHood_Author

Her Shallow Grave by DK Hood is out now and is available from Amazon UK, Apple, Kobo and Google.

5*, blog tours, book review, series

#BookReview #BlogTour Killing Mind by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture #KillingMind #BooksOnTour @ifonlyread

While life is very unusual and uncertain at the moment in lockdown but there is one thing that we can be sure of, a damn good read from Angela Marsons. I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Killing Mind and I was delighted to be asked by Bookouture to be part of it. I received a copy of Killing Mind but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

It is hard to believe that Killing Mind is the twelfth book in the Kim Stone series. Over the years I have read many other series but I don’t think that there has been one that I have still been enjoying at book twelve. Kim Stone has staying power and keeps readers enjoying and desperately waiting for more.

One thing that I love is that Angela Marsons picks topics for her books that she is interested in herself, that interest and the subsequent research that the author clearly does means that the books feel fresh and interesting and, frankly, a joy to read.

I still love the characters and how they have developed, every books sees them face challenges and more forward in their story.

If you haven’t read any of Angela Marsons’ books then you are in for a treat, I do think that every book can be read as a standalone, but you will be missing out on an amazing journey and some cracking reads so I really would start from the beginning.

There really is something special about Angela Marsons and her writing, I love visiting Kim Stone and her team as they solve crimes, it really does feel like I am visiting friends and although I am always disappointed when the visit is over, I know that it won’t be too long before the next visit, and that one will be just as good as all the visits before.

Roll on book thirteen…

Blurb:

It had seemed so simple. Get in, get the information, get out. But now they were getting inside her mind and she didn’t know how to stop them…

When Detective Kim Stone is called to the home of Samantha Brown, she finds the young woman lying in bed with her throat cut and a knife in her hand. With no sign of forced entry or struggle, Kim rules her death a tragic suicide.

But a visit to Samantha’s parents rings alarm bells for Kim – there’s something they’re not telling her. And, when she spots a clue in a photograph, Kim realises she’s made a huge mistake. Samantha didn’t take her own life, she was murdered.

Then a young man’s body is found in a local lake with his throat cut and Kim makes a link between the victim and Samantha. They both spent time at Unity Farm, a retreat for people seeking an alternative way of life.

Beneath the retreat’s cosy façade, Kim and her team uncover a sinister community preying on the emotionally vulnerable.

Sending one of her own undercover into Unity Farm is high risk but it’s Kim’s only hope if she is to catch a killer – someone Kim is convinced the victims knew and trusted.

With Bryant distracted by the emergence of a harrowing case close to his heart, and an undercover officer in way over her head, Kim’s neck is on the line like never before. Can she protect those closest to her before another life is taken?

An unbelievably gripping crime thriller from multi-million copy bestseller Angela Marsons that will have you hooked on the Detective Kim Stone series.

About The Author:

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone. 
http://angelamarsons-books.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AngelaMarsonsAuthor/ https://twitter.com/WriteAngie

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://bit.ly/2SXw61I Apple Books: https://apple.co/2WMR6cK Kobo: https://bit.ly/2WPhm67 Google Play: https://bit.ly/3bpFNMH

5*, blog tours, book review, series

#BlogTour #BookReview Dead Wrong by Noelle Holton. @nholten40 @OneMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity #DeadWrong @harpercollinsuk

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten. Dead Wrong is the second book in a thrilling series, you can read my review of the first book, Dead Inside, here but I do believe that this book can be read as a standalone.

I received a copy of Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I really enjoyed the first book in the Maggie Jameson series, Dead Inside, by Noelle Holten so I was really keen to read Dead Wrong. What surprised me was that Dead Wrong is even better than the first book, the writing is so assured and confident and there are plenty of twists and turns and goodness, the cliffhanger…

It was nice to touch base with some of the characters again, although one of my favourite characters from the first book barely featured in Dead Wrong but I am hopeful that they will have more of a role in future books.

The storyline is suitably gruesome, with plenty of unexpected twists. I could really see the difference between the authors’ debut novel and this one, you can see how the writing has matured and grown in confidence. I’m really blown away by the difference and I cannot wait to see what the author will give us next. Noelle Holten is definitely an author to watch.

Blurb:

The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…
 
They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…
 
But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.
 
Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

About The Author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie 
Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk
Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

Dear Wrong by Noelle Holton is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview A Dog’s Hope by Casey Wilson. @CaseyWilsonAuth @bookouture #ADogsHope #DogsLove #BooksOnTour

Ok, so things have been far quieter than usual here on If only I could read faster and I’m sad about that. I have totally lost my reading mojo, it has never happened to me before and I am not impressed that it has happened now but A Dog’s Hope by Casey Wilson is the first book that I have actually finished in 2020. And it is March! I’ve tried and put down more than a few books in that time but this is a book that I finished. It’s strange because it is a genre that I don’t normally read and perhaps that is a sign that maybe I need to change my reading habits a bit. Who knows but I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for this lovely book, thank you to Bookouture for having me on the tour. I received a copy of A Dog’s Hope from the publisher but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I’m not really sure where to start with this review. I normally read thrillers which are full of twists and generally shows the bad side of people. This book is not like that.

Toby is a resentful teenager who is not happy that his mother is moving him from a big city to a small town after separating from his bully of a father. Toby is convinced that life in such a small place can only be boring but he is quickly proved wrong when he is asked to try out for the school baseball team and a golden retriever, who he names Buddy, appears matted and dirty when Toby is walking home from school .

Unusually, the book is written from the point of view of Toby and Buddy, and in the present and the past with different chapters featuring on pov. I don’t think that I have read another book that has chapters with an animals thoughts and feelings, it was a bit strange but also rather lovely, although I am sure that dogs don’t really think like Buddy. Sure, they are perceptive but can they really get a feeling of what is about to happen, or that something is happening to their owner when they are apart?

I don’t know, I’d love to know what my dogs think of me and I’d love to think that they love me in the same way that Buddy loved Toby. If you don’t like dogs or understand the connection that a person can have with their dog then perhaps this book isn’t for you, although maybe it will help you to understand. If you love dogs then you will probably love this book, although you may want tissues handy.

The story is beautifully told, the author has done a great job of putting into words how a dog can help a human. I have had dogs for most of my adult life and without them I am not sure where I would be now, their love and loyalty has carried me through many difficult times. I’m sure that this helped me to connect with the relationship between Toby and Buddy and it has really made me think about my dogs over the years and the relationships that we had.

A beautiful book that is easy to read, makes you think and fills your heart with love. I’m now off to go and give my dog a cuddle.

Blurb:

There are some things in life that only a dog can teach you.

A poignant, heart-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting novel about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog. Perfect for fans of A Dog’s PurposeThe Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me.

In the farming town of Riverside in Washington, Toby Fuller is feeling more alone than ever. Nothing Toby did was ever good enough for his father, but he never expected his father to leave, to abandon him and his mother forever. He loses hope, until a scruffy golden retriever called Buddy follows him home from school.

Though he’s struggling to walk, Buddy matches Toby step for step, never taking his eyes off him, as if Toby is all he needs in the world. And from that day on Buddy never leaves Toby’s side.

Buddy shows Toby a loyalty that he has never known. But then disaster strikes and Toby’s life is changed forever. Will Buddy be able to give Toby the strength he needs to carry on?

A tale of how unconditional love can bound into your life when you least expect it, giving you hope in the darkest of times.

About the Author:

Casey Wilson is the author of A Dog’s Hope, published with Bookouture.

Born and raised in the United States in Nevada, she is the owner of a gorgeous golden retriever, who may or may not have inspired the dogs in her novels.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaseyWilsonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaseyWilsonAuth

A Dog’s Hope by Casey Wilson is out now and is available from:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B083XYXMLKSocial

Apple: https://apple.co/2u41lyH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FYLp3f 

Google: http://bit.ly/2RweWa6

5*, book review

#BookReview Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton. @Rosamundlupton #ThreeHoursNovel @VikingBooksUK

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton.

I have to confess that I really wanted to read Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton and not like it, which is not how I normally feel when starting a book. The reason is that the first book that I wrote (but as yet haven’t done much with) was about a school shooting in the UK and I was not impressed that there was another book about a school shooting by a successful author. I found that this book is totally different to mine, but also that it is an absolutely amazing book.

I received a copy of the book from the publishers via Netgalley, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I read Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton in, well I’d like to say three hours but that would be impossible for me, but definitely, three days which is fast for me. From the very first page, this book sucked me in and took me on a rollercoaster of a ride which lasted until the very last page.

I was totally hooked and desperately wanted to get to the end but at the same time, I really didn’t want the book to be over. I loved the diverse characters, how the situation brought out the good in many and how the school itself and the weather became characters of their own.

Three Hours is a book that I thought about a lot since finishing it, it has stayed with me and I have actually considered reading it again which I never, ever do as there are just too many books that I want to read to spend time reading one twice, but I think that I will be reading it again soon.

This book really was amazing, It may just be February but I am confident that this book will be in my top 2020 books.

Blurb:

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

About The Author:

Rosamund Lupton’s new book, ‘Three Hours’ is published on 9th January 2020.

Her debut novel, ‘Sister’ was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, a Sunday Times and New York Times best seller and the fastest selling debut in WHSmiths’history. Her next two books ‘Afterwards’ and ‘The Quality of Silence’ were also Sunday Times best sellers. Her novels have been translated into over thirty languages.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, anthology, blog tours, book review, charity

#BlogTour #BookReview When Stars Will Shine, edited by Emma Mitchell. #HelpForHeroes #CharityAnthology #WhenStarsWillShine

Emma Mitchell is a fellow book blogger and fabulous editor that gives so much of her time to help authors. And now she has decided to combine that with helping an amazing charity, Help For Heroes. Some amazing authors have written short stories for the anthology, many have a Christmas theme but not all.

I received a copy of When Stars Will Shine but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Anthologies are a great way of discovering new authors, and when buying the book also helps an amazing charity then that can only be a good thing.

Some of the stories in When Stars Will Shine are only a few pages long, and others are longer, a lot have a Christmas theme but this book can be read year round. Given the charity the book is raising money for, many of the stories have a war theme, but many do not. The stories fit into a variety of genres so it will suit every reader.

I have read books by many of the authors before and it was great to read their stories, but I also discovered authors who I haven’t read and now want to. I loved reading this book, not only to discover new authors but because you never knew what the next story was going to be about as they were all so different from each other.

Editor Emma Mitchell has done an amazing job putting this anthology together, I know she has worked incredibly hard on it and that has paid off with this fantastic collection of stories from some amazing authors. Buy this book, you will be helping an amazing charity and you’ll have a cracking book to read. Win-win in my book!

Blurb:

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist. With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time. From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride! When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

Featuring:

Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Believe by Mark Brownless
What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron
Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
Free Time by Stewart Giles
Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
A Present of Presence by HR Kemp
The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke
Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
Inside Out by KA Richardson
Penance by Jane Risdon
New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
Family Time by Graham Smith

Available from: Amazon

5*, blog tours, book review, crime thriller

#BookReview #BlogTour The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell. #TheSoundOfHerVoice @orionbooks @Nathan_B_Author @Tr4cyF3nt0n #NZCrimeFiction

If a book is set in New Zealand then you can be pretty sure that I will want to read it so I jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour for The Sound Of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell. Thank you to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for asking me to be part of the tour. I received a copy of The Sound Of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

When most people think of New Zealand they think of sheep, greenery and stunning views. They would be right, all those things exist in New Zealand but there is a far darker side to the country than most people know. Gang culture is big and that leads to crime and violence that you wouldn’t think would be part of life in a county that is often hailed as one of the best places to live.

The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell is a gritty crime book, following Detective Matt Buchanan as he tries to solve some truly heinous crimes. The death toll in the book is high and many of them involve people that Buchanan is close to, it drives him to do everything to solve the crimes and ensure that those responsible are held to account, and that often leads him to act far outside the law.

I often wondered how much of the book was based on fact rather than fiction, it felt so very real at times. The author, Nathan Blackwell although that is not his real name, does a frankly remarkable job of portraying the mental impact of the job on the Detective. It is hard for me to put into words how real it all felt and how at times it was painful to read Matt Buchanan’s breakdown.

This book is not for the faint hearted or the easily offended. There are many, many swear words in the book including the ‘c’ word, it is strong and that might bother readers. I don’t mind swearing if it is appropriate, and most of the time it was but the one thing I would change about the book is the number of swear words including the ‘c’ word.

But if you can stomach that and the gruesome murders and the descent into madness then read this book, it is disturbing and thought provoking and may just make you look at policing a little bit differently. I was blown away by The Sound Of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell and it will stay with me for a long time to come. Hopefully, the author will write more books as I will be keen to read them!

Blurb:

Some murder cases you can’t forget.
No matter how hard you try.

The body of a woman has been found on a pristine New Zealand beach – over a decade after she was murdered.

Detective Matt Buchanan of the Auckland Police is certain it carries all the hallmarks of an unsolved crime he investigated 12 years ago: when Samantha Coates walked out one day and never came home.

Re-opening the case, Buchanan begins to piece the terrible crimes together, setting into motion a chain of events that will force him to the darkest corners of society – and back into his deepest obsession…

Sound of her Voice is an authentic, gritty, character-led police procedural by an elite former detective – for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart Macbride, and Joseph Knox

About The Author:

Nathan Blackwell was raised on Auckland’s North Shore and attended Westlake Boys’ High School before commencing a ten-year career in the New Zealand Police. Seven of those years were spent as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch, where he was exposed to human nature at its strongest and bravest, but also at its most depraved and horrific. He investigated a wide range of cases including drug manufacture, child abuse, corruption, serious violence, rape and murder. Because some of his work was conducted covertly, Nathan chooses to hide his true identity.

The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review, crime thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview First Blood by Angela Marsons @bookouture #FirstBlood #ExcitingBookNews @WriteAngie

First Blood by Angela Marsons

Well, where do I start with this one? I am beyond excited to be part of this amazing tour for one of my absolute favourite authors and my favourite series, and it is even more exciting because until today I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone that the book even existed! I know many, many fans of Angela Marsons and her brilliant DI Kim Stone books, we’ve all waited for a new book in the series to be released, we’ve laughed and most of us have cried as we followed the journey of Stone and her team, we’ve read as the characters grew and learnt and gained confidence in themselves and, if you are anything like me, you’ve wondered what it was like at the very beginning.

Well, wonder no more. Angela Marsons has given us such a treat, she has gone back to the beginning when Stone and her team were first introduced to each other and, well, I’m sure you aren’t reading this now because you’re scrolling down to the buy link so you can get reading! And if you are still here, then here is my review of this blooming brilliant book, I received a copy of First Blood by Angela Marsons from Bookouture, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

If you are a fan of Angela Marsons then head over to the Bookouture Facebook page tonight, Thursday 14th November, at 7pm for a live video chat.

My Review:

Holey Moley, Angela Marsons! This book just confirms what I have always thought, Marsons is an amazing author and I cannot understand why is she not a household name like James Patterson, Val McDermid, Patricia Cornwell and Karen Rose!

I have loved the DI Kim Stone series since I read Silent Scream back in 2015, the series has got better and better and I have loved every single book in the series. I love the character of Kim Stone, her vulnerability that is hidden behind her tough exterior and her heartbreaking childhood make her a complex and interesting character. Her team all contribute to the stories and I know that I am not alone in loving each of them and there is many people who hold grudges against Marsons for some of what she has put her characters through.

What I wasn’t expecting was for Marsons to go back to the beginning and tell us the story of when Kim Stone first met her faithful team, and how they began to pull together as a team despite them appearing to be so very different from each other. But what a blooming brilliant idea it was, I was so excited to read the book that I immediately stopped reading the book I was a third of the way through and started reading First Blood. I just couldn’t wait and I tore through the book and stayed up far later than I should have so that I could finish the book. But it was definitely one of those books where I wanted to get to the end to find out what would happen, but I also didn’t want the book to end because I was enjoying reading it so much.

I just loved reading about the teams first impressions of each other and how they found their strengths and weaknesses that meant that together they were a team that solved even the toughest crimes.

If you have read previous DI Kim Stone books then I doubt you are even reading this as you will have bought the book regardless of what the reviewers had to say, but if you haven’t read an Angela Marsons book before then buy this book, buy it and read it and enjoy the rollercoaster of the rest of the series, you will love every moment of it!

Blurb:

In the darkness of a cold December morning, Detective Kim Stone steps through the doors of Halesowen Police Station.  She’s about to meet her team for the first time.  The victim of her next case is about to meet his killer…

When the body of a young man is found beheaded and staked to the ground in a secluded area of the Clent Hills, Kim and her new squad rush to the crime scene.

Searching the victim’s home, Kim discovers a little girl’s bedroom and a hidden laptop.  Why is his sister relieved to hear he’s dead – and where is the rest of his family?  

As Kim begins to unearth the dark secrets at the heart of the case, D.C. Stacey Wood finds a disturbing resemblance to the recent murder of Lester Jackson.  But that’s not all Stacey finds.

She’s convinced there is a link between the victims and a women’s shelter run by Marianne Forbes, Lester’s niece. A child of the care system herself, Kim knows all too well what it means to be vulnerable. Could Marianne be the key to cracking this case?

With the killer about to strike again, Kim is in deep water with a rookie squad.  Inexperienced Stacey is showing signs of brilliance but struggling to hold her nerve and, while D.S. Bryant is reliable and calm, D.S. Dawson is a liability. With his home life in pieces, his volatile behaviour is already fracturing her fragile new team.

Can Kim bring Dawson in line and pull her crew together in time to catch the killer before another life is taken? This time, one of her own could be in terrible danger…

Discover where it all began for Kim and her team. An absolutely heart-stopping mystery thriller that will keep you glued to the pages, reading late into the night.  Perfect for Kim Stone fans and new readers to the million-copy bestselling series.

A detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.

About The Author:

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

First Blood by Angela Marsons is out now on e-book, it will be released in hardback on 21st November 2019. Go to https://geni.us/B07ZDG34ZCblogger to get your copy now!

5*, blog tours, book review, Children's books

#BlogTour #BookReview Home Alone Harry by Jerry Rhodes and Rachael Messiter, illustrated by Nicky Hill. @rararesources

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for a lovely little book called Home Alone Harry by Jerry Rhodes and Rachael Messiter and illustrated by Nicky Hill. Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to be part of the tour. I received a copy of the book but was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

This really is a fabulous little book!! The first thing that jumps out is the brilliant illustrations, they really bring the story to life and help to engage a young reader.

I love how this book teaches children how to be around a pet dog, especially if they are getting a new pet. I wish this book had been around when I got my dog and my children had such a tough time giving her space and time to sleep etc without being bothered. It isn’t easy for excited children to do that so anything that helps them to understand why that is so important is great in my eyes.

But whether you have a dog or not, I think that most children will delight in reading this book, it is targeted at three to six year olds and I think that is a fair age range, although younger children would no doubt enjoy it too even if they didn’t understand it as well as they might.

This is the first book featuring the Thunkies and I hope that it is the first of many, these really are books to look out for!

Blurb:

Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Mum, Dad, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos, and Dad cries out, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” The Thunkies respond to his call. They help the family learn how Harry, as a dog, thinks completely differently from them. There is a surprising game “Home Alone Harry” that the family play together, which helps resolve Harry’s behavioural problem.

Written for children aged 3 – 6 years, the book is bursting with vivid, colourful illustrations and uses a rich vocabulary. The aims of the book are threefold: to delight readers, to show through the story how the Thunkies cartoon characters help the family realise that dogs don’t think like humans, and to reveal the wisdom of respecting the dog’s world-view.

The educational substance of the book arises from the research and teaching of its two authors. They demonstrate that we can learn to understand how dogs really think even though as humans we all think differently. The registered names of the research are Amichien® Bonding and Thunkies®.

Jerry Rhodes Author Bio:

Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his world-wide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

Rachael Messiter Author Bio:

Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs

Nicky Hill Illustrator Bio:

Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wottonunder-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.

Want To Know More?

Website – https://thunkies.com/
Shop – https://shop.thunkies.com/
Facebook – @thunkies
Instagram – @thunkies
Pinterest – thunkiesteam

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

#BookReview Manhunt: How I Bought Serial Killer Levi Bellfield To Justice by Colin Sutton. #TrueCrime #Manhunt @colinsutton @bonnierbooks_uk @jblakebooks

Manhunt by Colin Sutton.

If you like true crime then you will love this book, Manhunt by Colin Sutton is probably the best true crime book I have read. It sucked me right in and shocked me and upset me and made me feel almost every emotion out there. A very impressive book.

My Review:

I had wanted to read Manhunt by Colin Sutton for a good while before I finally got round to reading it. Like many I watched the television programme with the same name, staring Martin Clunes as Sutton. It was an excellent dramatisation but as someone who is fairly familiar with the crimes of Levi Bellfield I knew that a fair amount of dramatic licence had been used so it was time to read the book and hear the story from the man who led the police team who finally bought Bellfield to justice.

I’ve seen Sutton on various television programmes and I’ve always felt that he speaks well and knows he stuff. I was worried that the book would be full of how wonderful he is and how he almost single handedly caught Bellfield. But thankfully Sutton comes across as a team player, who appreciated his team and how hard they worked to catch the killer.

It is a shame that the blurb focuses on Milly Dowler, because this book is about so much more than her, and the other cases deserve to be as well known and talked about as Dowler.

The story is fascinating, the way in which Sutton and his team gradually pieced it all together, worked out that the killings and attempted murders were the work on the same person, the many hours of CCTV they trawled through and then eventually, the way they arrested Bellfield and then gathered further evidence as people finally felt safe to be able to talk about the things they had seen him do.

That bit was shocking and fascinating. So many people know just how awful a person Levi Bellfield is but were too scared to come forward while he was a free man. It was also really interesting to read how resources were thrown at Sutton and his team when they realised what a dangerous man Bellfield was, they were determined that Bellfield would not be able hurt anyone else while they compiled the evidence against him.

I really enjoyed reading this book, sure it is horrible to think that this really happened and Bellfield was able to hurt so many people over the years and how he managed to manipulate almost everyone to get what he wanted, but it was so interesting and a story that kept me hooked and desperate to keep reading.

Sutton surprised me as an author who was able to describe what had happened clearly and with impressive recall. I was surprised to read the criticism that he gave other police forces, especially the one responsible for investigating the disappearance of Milly Dowler.

If you are interested in true crime then this is a great book to read, if you have watched Manhunt and want to know more, then read this book. If you want to learn more about how the police go about solving major crimes, then this book is for you. So many people will get something out of this book, I got loads and it is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. Thank goodness Bellfield is in prison and will never be released to hurt and manipulate people again.

Blurb:

NOW A MAJOR TV DRAMA STARRING MARTIN CLUNES

What does it take to catch one of Britain’s most feared killers?

Levi Bellfield is one of the most notorious British serial killers of the last fifty years – his name alone evokes horror and revulsion, after his string of brutal murders in the early 2000s.

At 3:07pm on 21st March, 2002, Milly Dowler left her school in Surrey for the last time. Less than an hour later, she was to be abducted and murdered in the cruellest fashion, sparking a missing person investigation that would span months before her body was found.

In the two years that followed, two more young women – Marsha McDonnell and then Amélie Delagrange – were murdered in unspeakably brutal attacks.

Yet with three murdered women on their hands, and few leads open to them, investigating officers were running out of ideas and options, until SIO Colin Sutton was drafted into the investigation for the murder of Delagrange. Seeing a connection between the three women, and thriving under the pressure of a serial killer hunt, Sutton was finally able to bring their murderer to justice after the case had begun to seem hopeless.

Manhunt tells the story of how he led the charge to find a mystery killer, against the clock and against the odds – day by day and lead by lead. At once a gripping police procedural, and an insight into the life of an evil man, this is the story behind what it takes to track down a shockingly violent murderer before he strikes again.

About The Author:

Colin Sutton was a Senior Investigating Officer in the Metropolitan Police from January 2003 to January 2011, leading more than thirty successful murder investigations, notably the Levi Bellfield case and the successful re-investigation of the seventeen-year reign of terror of the ‘Nightstalker’ Delroy Grant.

Manhunt: How I Brought Serial Killer Levi Bellfield To Justice by Colin Sutton is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.