4.5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Keeper by Johana Gustawsson. @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks #FrenchNoir

FINAL Keeper blog poster 2018

I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for Keeper by Johana Gustawsson. I read and loved Block 46 by the author and this is the second part of the series so I was looking forward to reading it. You can read my review of Block 46 here.

My Review:

I was really looking forward to reading Keeper by Johana Gustawsson having read and really enjoyed the first book in the series, Block 46. I adored that book on so many levels so I have to admit that I was concerned that Keeper could never live up to my high expectations

Thankfully my concern didn’t become reality, and although I didn’t find that Keeper grabbed me into the story as fast as Block 46 did, it is still a great read with plenty of twists and turns that I am sure you won’t see coming.

I really like profiler Emily Roy, she is no-nonsense and brilliant at her job, but believably brilliant. So often a profiler in a crime book comes up with amazing insight but it is based on absolutely nothing but, of course, it is completely accurate. None of that here thankfully, as Gustawsson skillfully reveals her thoughts and how she puts the pieces to the puzzle together.

There was a real ticking clock to Keeper with a character being kidnapped at the start of the book, we know that she’s in danger and that she needs to be found urgently. Will the police, assisted by Roy and Alexis Castells, find her in time? A warning for more sensitive readers, Gustawsson does not hold back when it comes to gruesome, I love it but some might struggle with the level of detail given in some cases

Once again Gustawwson weaves stories from the past into the story, sucking the reader into another world and wondering how on earth it connects to the present. I really like that the past also includes a true event, the holocaust last time and Jack The Ripper this time.

There is very little backstory in Keeper, if you have forgotten the characters from Block 46 there is little to remind you which at times I felt was frustrating, especially with Alexis who clearly made less of an impression on me. It is unusual for a book in a series not to give more reminders, and so I think that in this case the books should definitely be read in order.

Once I got into the story I really enjoyed reading Keeper, Gustawsson is a great author and I look forward to reading what she does next.

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

Blurb:

KEEPER COVER AW 2.inddWhitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.

London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some 10 years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?

Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.

About The Author:

Johana PhotoBorn in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

3.5*, blog tours, book review, debut author

#BlogTour #Review Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan @LivKiernan #TooCloseToBreathe @riverrunbooks

tooclosetobreathe

My Review:

I love the cover for Too Close To Breathe, just looking at it made me want to read the book and I don’t think that I even read the blurb. So that meant that when I started the book I had absolutely no idea what to expect, which is how I like it when I read a book.

Too Close To Breathe is the first book in a new series, but I did have to double check that when reading it as I felt as though I was missing something, but nope, it is definitely the first book. It is also quite a slow burner, most detective series takes place over a few days or maybe weeks, but this book takes place over months, but it is an intriguing story that keeps the reader wondering as the story twists and turns and many different suspects come under suspicion.

There were a few instances where plotlines seemed to be forgotten halfway through or character traits. A heavy cold suddenly disappearing, or characters that started off swearing colourfully and then suddenly stopping and not swearing again for the rest of the book.

Many of the characters are pretty unlikeable, even the victims, which is unusual but I quite like. I did want to find out more about Baz, the sidekick detective. There is the promise of a good series and it will be interesting to see where the characters go next.

Too Close To Breathe is an original book and is definitely not your standard detective book which can only be a good thing.

Blurb:

9781786489869 (1)Perfect for fans of Tana French, Jane Casey and Gillian Flynn

TOO SOON TO SEE

Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanging in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.

TOO LATE TO HIDE

DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.

TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE

As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.

Olivia Kiernan’s debut is a bold, brilliant thriller that will keep you guessing and leave you breathless.

About The Author:

7128026Olivia Kiernan is the author of TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE, a crime thriller where DCS Frankie Sheehan investigates the murder of Dr Eleanor Costello. At first glance the murder appears uncomplicated but soon spills out onto a dark canvas of fear, lies and murder.

Olivia Kiernan grew up in the Irish countryside, a background which left her with a great appreciation of storytelling. Being almost sensible she shelved aspirations of becoming a writer and embarked on a career in science, spending six years in university studying anatomy and physiology before receiving a BSc in Chiropractic in 2003. She worked in this vein for over a decade, always writing in the evenings after work and completing an MA in Creative Writing through part-time study in 2012.
In 2015, she began writing TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE as part of National Novel Writing Month, polishing off half the first draft by the end of the month-long writing marathon. After hiding the manuscript on her hard drive for close to a year, revisiting it from time to time to add a scene or remove one, she sent it out to agents. Within a month she had signed with a literary agent and in 2017 a dream was realised when TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE sold.

Follow on Twitter: @LivKiernan 
On Facebook: Olivia Kiernan Author

Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

3.5*, blog blast, blog tours, book review, debut author, psychological thriller

#BlogBlitz The Choice by Jake Cross @JakeCrossAuthor @Bookouture

The Choice - Blog Tour

My Review:

I enjoyed The Choice by Jake Cross, it’s a fast-paced read with lots happening, but in order to enjoy this book I think that you really need to just go with the book and not think about how realistic something is (or isn’t).

If you were driving along a road when it is dark and there are no houses or other cars around and suddenly in front of your car was a woman, you slam on the brakes and she begs you to help her, would you help? That’s what Karl is faced with at the start of this book, it is clear that the woman is terrified and so he decides to help her. But it soon becomes clear that people are after the woman and Karl knows that they have seen his van. The woman, Liz, insists that Karl is at risk, that the men she is running from will find him but he dismisses it. She also refuses to go to the police, something that Karl goes along with.

It soon becomes clear that Karl and his pregnant wife are in danger and Karl teams up with Liz to try and survive. This is when things get a little bit far-fetched, but if you ignore that then you’ll enjoy the ride!

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of The Choice by Jake Cross, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

The-Choice-Kindle‘You’ve got to help me,’ she pleads.
On a wet road in the black of night, Karl Seabury is driving home to his pregnant wife. Suddenly, caught in his headlights in the middle of the road is a woman shaking with fright.

The woman says her name is Liz Smith, that her home was attacked, and that she was the only one to escape.

In a split-second decision, Karl decides to help her to safety. But Liz is hiding a dark secret and now his good deed has put his family in terrible danger…

An absolutely unputdownable thriller, with twist after twist after twist, that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, John Marrs and Harlan Coben.

About The Author:

davJake has been making stuff up from a real early age. His parents never believed his silly lies when he was young, so he still has no idea why he thought he could invent a decent story as an adult. But he kept trying, and here we are. THE CHOICE is his first novel, the first of three thrillers to be published by Bookouture, and he hopes you like it. If you don’t, he at least hopes you don’t ask for a refund.

 

The Choice by Jake Cross is out today and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall. @RuthDugdall @LegendPress

the woman before me Blog Tour Banner jpeg

My Review:

It isn’t usual that I will read a series out of order, but that is most definitely what I have done with the Cate Austin books. The first one that I read was book four, Nowhere Girl, which I thought was a brilliant book. Keen to read more I then read Humber Boy B which is number three and was even better than Nowhere Girl. And now I have read book one, The Woman Before Me.

I actually don’t think that it has mattered reading them out of sync and I found it quite amusing reading this book and knowing how far Cate as a character develops over the series.

Although this book is the start of the Cate Austin series, Cate herself is very much a minor role in The Woman Before Me, although a very crucial one.

Rose is most definitely the main character and the majority of the book is told by her. She’s a complex character and I was never sure how reliable she was, as we follow her as she hopes for parole. The book goes back to the past when Rose met her partner and the birth of her little boy Joel.

We know that Joel died and we know that Rose is in prison for the murder of another little boy called Luke, and as the story evolves the truth about what really happened becomes clear. I have to admit that I worked it out quite early on but I still really enjoyed it and a few times I decided that I had got it wrong.

Dugdall is a great storyteller and I love her characters, she has a real way of making them feel real. I love how her characters deal with what life throws at them, there’s no dramatics in her writing and as a result the characters are more believable.

I’ve really enjoyed the Cate Austin series and think that they get better and better. I now need to read number two to complete the set!

Thank you to Legend Press for a copy of The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

‘An absolute tour de force that left me thinking for days.’ Alex Marwood

They came for me, just like I knew they would. Luke had been dead for just three days.

Rose Wilks’ life is shattered when her newborn baby Joel is admitted to intensive care. Emma Hatcher has all that Rose lacks. Beauty. A loving husband. A healthy son. Until tragedy strikes and Rose is the only suspect.

Now, having spent nearly five years behind bars, Rose is just weeks away from freedom. Her probation officer Cate must decide whether Rose is remorseful for Luke’s death, or whether she remains a threat to society. As Cate is drawn in, she begins to doubt her own judgement.

Where is the line between love and obsession, can justice be served and, if so… by what means?

New Edition includes exclusive material and author Q&A.

About The Author:

ruthdugdallRuth Dugdall was born in 1971. She holds a BA honours degree in English Literature (Warwick University) and an MA in Social Work (University of East Anglia). She qualified as a probation officer in 1996 and has worked in prison with offenders guilty of serious crimes, including stalking, rape and murder. This has informed her crime writing. Since she started writing, Ruth has won awards in several writing competitions, and has had short stories published in the Winchester Writers’ Conference and the Eva Wiggins Award anthologies.

 

The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog blast, blog tours, book review

#BlogBlitz The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash. @PJNash2 @Bloodhoundbook #bookreview

B L O G B L I T Z (1).png

My Review:

When I read the blurb for The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash I knew that I wanted to read it, actually it was just the cover that made that decision for me, how could you not love it?

Having visited Australia and knowing how vast the country is and how the outback would make a great setting for any thriller I was excited to read this book. I also have a bit of a thing about Dingos but of course in this book the Dingo in question isn’t actually an animal but a person.

The Hunt For The Dingo is a really fast paced read, it has short chapters that keep the tension going and although it isn’t a long book at under 200 pages the author keeps the reader wanting more right to the very end.

I just wished that I had been able to get to know some of the characters a little bit more, perhaps if a few more pages had been added to the book with more details about the characters within then this book would have really worked, because although I really enjoyed reading it I felt a little bit disconnected from the characters.

Overall a great read, I look forward to reading more from the author.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash. I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

 P.J. Nash - The Hunt for the Dingo_cover_high resA fast paced serial killer thriller
In the arid expanses of Australia’s red deserts, a killer is preying on British female backpackers. Dubbed ‘The Dingo’ by the media, he stalks his prey then disappears without a trace.
In a bid to catch the man responsible, the local police call on the talents of Melbourne’s finest, ex British cop, Lawrence James and leading criminal psychologist Jesse Sandersen.
Meanwhile, James has unfinished business with Melbourne crime kingpin, Cyrus Bain, a gangster who will do whatever it takes to stay out of jail.
When another young girl disappears, it is a race against time to catch the killer.
Can James bring The Dingo to justice?
Will he escape with his life intact?
In their hunt for the murderer, James and Sandersen unearth some disturbing secrets that many would rather remain buried.

About The Author:

P.J+NashP.J Nash was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, the birthplace of George Eliot and Shakespeare, respectively. Not surprisingly he decided he’d like to be a writer too.

After studying history and working in PR for a few years, he was running a second hand bookshop, when wanderlust and destiny in the form of his future wife took him to Prague.

During his time behind the counter in the shop and travelling on trams between English lessons he wrote his first crime novel, The Hunt for the Dingo featuring maverick British expat cop , Lawrence James and and his hunt for a serial killer in Australia. On his return to the UK, he drew on his Bohemian adventures to write his second crime novel featuring Lawrence James and his co-investigator, Dr Jessie Sandersen.  He currently lives on a narrowboat with his wife Clare and grumpy cat, Lulu.

In his past life P.J. Nash was a Special Constable for the Warkwickshire police.

Nash is also a member of the CWA and International Thriller Writers.

www.facebook.com/pjnash.501

The Hunt For The Dingo by P.J. Nash is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review, debut author

#BookReview Home by Amanda Berriman. @DoubledayUK @MandyBerriman @jounwin @TransworldBooks @bookreview

35103181
Home by Amanda Berriman.

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Home I knew that I wanted to read it, I then started to hear from others who had read it and they all seemed to love it so I was even more determined to read it. And I’m so pleased that I did.

From literally the very first page I was hooked. The book is narrated by Jesika, a four year old who lives with her Mummy and little brother Toby after her Father moved to Poland, never to be heard from again. Jesika’s Mum is struggling with life, she doesn’t have enough money and they live in a flat that’s got many things wrong with it, including mold. As a result Toby and their Mum both have a bad cough that won’t go away. Life is about to get very difficult for Jesika.

A book narrated by such a young child could easily be awful but thankfully that is not the case here, not even close. It is written in a simple language but I really liked that. From the very start Jesika worked her way into my heart, she was such a wonderful little girl who felt so very real. Her innocence was wonderful and I loved seeing her world through her eyes, but this isn’t always an easy book to read.

Home gives a brilliant example of how grooming happens, the subtleties and ways in which an adult will convince a child to keep secrets for them. While it is not easy to read I thought that Amanda Berriman handled it sensitively and realistically, something that is impressive for any author, let along a debut author. But some will find this very difficult to read so be warned.

But despite this darkness, there is much light in the book. The love that Jesika has for her Mother is wonderful, but also for her little brother Toby. Jesika really is a special little girl who unknowingly brings out the best in people.

Home had me going to bed early so that I could read and check in on Jesika because I’d be worried about her and how she was doing, that is how real that she felt to me. When I finished the book at 2am I felt as though my heart had been shattered by little Jesika and what she went through, but filled with hope that her life was going to get better. The most upsetting thing? That I won’t get to check in on Jesika again and see how she is doing. Home really is a special book and for a debut author it is nothing short of brilliant.

Blurb:

Jesika is four and a half.

She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

About the Author:

Berriman-Mandy-Author-Pic-640x707Mandy was born in a British military hospital in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She studied music at Sheffield University, where she met her husband, and they climbed some more hills in the Peak District before setting off to travel around the world. After learning to teach in Glasgow, she taught in a primary school in the Cambridgeshire fens (not very hilly), where she rediscovered the joy of making up stories and started writing again. She’s now a specialist music teacher at a primary school in Oldham and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two lego masterbuilders and dog.

Home by Amanda Berriman is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour: 37 Hours by J.F. Kirwan. @kirwanjf @UKCarina @rararesources

37 Hours Full Banner

My Review:

Having read and enjoyed book one in the series I was looking forward to reading 37 Hours and finding out what was next for Nadia and Jake and what they were going to get themselves into this time.

The book did not disappoint because once again Nadia gets herself caught up in a whole lot of trouble. Once again the threat is nuclear and it takes all that Nadia has along with the help of MI6 as they race against time to find a stolen warhead.

37 Hours had many twists and turns and lots of unexpected events that kept the pace going and the tension rising. I had really like the character Jake in the first book and I was disappointed that he didn’t feature more in this book but hopefully book three will make up for that.

The diving remains a central part of the plot but this time there are also some recreational dives to enjoy which I liked, although sharks were a little too demonised in my opinion which was a shame.

I do think that to fully understand the plot of 37 Hours the reader needs to have read the first book in the series, 66 Metres as Nadia especially has so much history that there would be big gaps missing if you hadn’t started the story at the beginning.

Overall this is a great read, it’s fast paced and will keep the reader hooked and guessing what will happen next. I’m now looking forward to reading book three in the series.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of 37 Hours, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

37 Hours_FINALAfter two long years spent in a secret British prison, Nadia Laksheva is suddenly granted her freedom. Yet there is a dangerous price to pay for her release: she must retrieve the Russian nuclear warhead stolen by her deadliest enemy, a powerful and ruthless terrorist known only as The Client.

But her mysterious nemesis is always one step ahead and the clock is ticking. In 37 hours, the warhead will explode, reducing the city of London to a pile of ash. Only this time, Nadia is prepared to pull the trigger at any cost…

The deadly trail will take her from crowded Moscow to the silent streets of Chernobyl, but will Nadia find what she is looking for before the clock hits zero?

About The Author:

KIRWAN Barry 01 ret 6x8J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels.

An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

33 Hours by J.F. Kirwan is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can also read my review of book one in the series, 66 Metres here.