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.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Liar’s Sister by Sarah Denzil. @bookouture @sarahdenzil #TheLiarsSister #BooksOnTour

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A Denzil. I’ve been a fan of the author for a while now and I know that I am not the only one who enjoys her writing because my review of Silent Child is one of my most read blog posts ever, and Only Daughter isn’t too far down the list either.

I received a copy of The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A Denzil from the publisher, Bookouture, via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Wow, I don’t really know where to start with this review. The Liar’s Sister starts off being your everyday psychological thriller and then it goes along seemingly following a normal path and then BAM! You realise that you stopped breathing a couple of minutes ago and you can’t read fast enough to find out what actually happened ten years before.

I quite liked Heather as a character, although I never really felt as though I got to know who she really was, but by the end that all made a lot more sense. I wasn’t sure about her sister Rosie, she seemed to be so consumed by guilt that it was impossible to work out what exactly she felt guilty about, although again that all became clear.

With The Liar’s Sister, Sarah A Denzil has weaved a clever story, one that gradually builds up the tension as more and more is revealed but it is hard to know who to trust.

The setting of Buckthorpe village was perfect, it felt claustrophobic and remarkably unfriendly, but why were the villages so contained, were they also keeping secrets too?

I feel as though I need to process this book a lot more to work out exactly what happened and why and also how I feel about it. It is one of those books that I will think about for a couple of weeks after finishing, a sure sign of a great read that kept me wondering and guessing right until the very last page.

I’ve really enjoyed previous books by the author but I think that this one is probably her best one yet.

Blurb:

A SHOCKING DISAPPEARANCE. A VILLAGE FULL OF SECRETS.

Ten years ago, a boy named Samuel Murray went missing from the quiet village of Buckthorpe and was never seen again.

Rosie Sharpe cried over her missing friend for weeks after. But her little sister Heather knows that Rosie’s tears hide the truth. Because the night Samuel was last seen, Heather watched her older sister climbing back through the window of their childhood bedroom. Her jacket torn, her eyes wild and her body trembling with fear.

Heather never told anyone what she saw, but secrets can’t stay buried forever…

A decade later, Rosie and Heather return to the home they grew up in when their mother falls ill. But when their house is ransacked and they receive a threatening note, it becomes clear that someone in the close-knit village doesn’t want them there.

When Heather finally confronts her sister about what really happened on the dark, rainy night Samuel vanished, Rosie’s version of the truth is more shocking than she could ever have imagined. But can she trust her sister? And who broke into their house that night? As the lies of the past begin to unravel, they have the power to put the lives of both women in terrible danger…

This twist-filled, page-turning psychological thriller from the million-copy-bestselling author of Silent Child will keep you hooked until the final, jaw-dropping pages. Perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Girl on the Train.

About The Author:

Sarah A. Denzil is a British suspense writer from Derbyshire. In her alternative life–AKA Sarah Dalton–she writes speculative fiction for teenagers, including The Blemished, Mary Hades and White Hart.

Sarah lives in Yorkshire with her partner, enjoying the scenic countryside and rather unpredictable weather. 

Saving April, Sarah’s debut suspense thriller, is a psychological look into the minds of the people around us who we rarely even consider – our neighbours. What do we really know about them, and what goes on when the doors are closed?

Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahdenzil

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marmiteandbooks/

Website: https://www.sarahdenzil.com/

The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A Denzil is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview In The Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone. @annecater @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks #IntheAbsenceofMiracles

Today is my stop on the blog tour for In The Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone. Thank you to Anne Cater for having me on the tour and to Orenda Books for giving me a copy of the book. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed previous books by Michael J Malone, I was keen to read his latest book, In The Absence of Miracles. It was a book that I agreed to read without even reading the blurb, so I went in with no idea what to expect, apart from what I had assumed about the authors books from what I had read before.

This book is nothing like I was expecting. It was a story that was heartbreaking and difficult to read, and one which makes the reader face the assumptions we all make about the things we read and hear.

The main character in the book is John, a respected teacher who seems to be floating through life, a bit of a lost soul. When he discovers a brother that he knew nothing about John focuses on finding out what happened to him, and soon the search becomes an obsession.

It soon becomes clear that John is going to find out a lot more about his childhood than what happened to his missing brother. It’s a real journey and it is not an easy one to travel. How much can we trust what we remember from when we were young? Is it really possible to forget huge chunks of your life?

I was totally unprepared for where this book would take me, the story is full of heartbreak but also hope. It has left me thoughtful and sad, but also keen to read more from Michael J Malone.

Blurb:

A young man discovers a family secret that turns his world upside down in this dark, emotive, shocking psychological thriller by number-one bestselling author Michael J. Malone

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.

With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.

For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.

Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.

About The Author:


Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and MarkingsBlood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritanand Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

You can read my review of House Of Spines by Michael J Malone here.

In The Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review, psychological thriller

#BookReview The Family by Louise Jensen. @Fab_fiction @hqstories #TheFamily #psychologicalthriller #book

The Family by Louise Jensen.

I do love Louise Jensen, her books are always great to read with lots of twists and turns. I’ve reviewed some of her books, The Date, The Gift and The Surrogate, and I’ve enjoyed them all. The Family is her first book published with HQ Stories (previously Bookouture published her books) and I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I’ve enjoyed Louise Jensen’s previous books so I was looking forward to reading The Family. This is her first book published by her new publisher, HQ, and I have to admit that I was a bit worried that the change in editor would make this book different from her other books. Thankfully I needn’t have worried.

Jensen is great at weaving stories that revolve around families, normal families that find themselves in situations that nobody would want to be in. I love how she gives the characters this sense of normalcy, it really could be you or me that she is writing about.

We know that Laura’s husband died suddenly, leaving her and her daughter Tilly unable to pay their rent and waiting desperately for the life insurance to payout. But will the money come in time?

Obviously it doesn’t but Laura is grateful when someone steps in and offers them a safe home for as long as they need. The home is a farm that has been turned into a commune, where the members grow their own food, wear white and do as their leader tells them.

But things start to go wrong, Laura begins to feel uneasy about the way things work on the farm but she doesn’t know what to do as Tilly is loving her new life on the farm. and does not want to leave with her mother. Should Laura leave without her daughter?

I really enjoyed this twisty tale, I was never quite sure who to trust and who it was that was behind the bad things that kept happening. The thrilling ending left me shocked and for days after I finished the book I was thinking about the characters and what might have happened to them after the book ended.

This book really shows why Louise Jensen has sold millions of books, if you haven’t read one of them then you are missing out and need to change that immediately!

Blurb:

The latest psychological thriller from master story-teller, Louise Jensen, will leave you breathless.

COULD ONE MOTHER’S MISTAKE COST HER DAUGHTER EVERYTHING?

Laura is devastated when her husband dies, leaving her and their almost grown-up daughter, Tilly, alone. When the insurance company refuses to pay out, Laura is in danger of losing the house and has no choice but to seek help from elsewhere.

Oak Leaf Farm, a community that lives just outside of town, seems to be everything that Laura and Tilly need, so when this self-made family offer Laura the lifeline she’s been looking for she gratefully accepts.

But all is not right on the farm and when both Laura and Tilly are drawn to the community’s handsome and charismatic leader, mother and daughter find themselves on opposite sides of the battle line.

About The Author:

Louise Jensen has sold over a million English language copies of her International No. 1 psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift, The Surrogate and The Date. Her novels have also been translated into twenty-five languages, as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise’s fifth thriller, The Family, will be published in Autumn 2019 by Harper Collins.

The Sister was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award. The Date was nominated for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize 2018. The Surrogate has been nominated for the best Polish thriller of 2018. The Gift has been optioned for a TV film.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers.

The Family by Louise Jensen is out on 25th September 2019 and is available from Amazon UK.

5*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview Rage by Netta Newbound. @nettanewbound @Juntionpublish @BOTBSPublicity #Rage #5*read

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Rage by Netta Newbound. I’ve long been a fan of Netta Newbound’s books and her ability to suck the reader in and make her stories feel so real. So I was excited to read her latest book.

Thanks to Sarah Hardy for asking me to be part of the blog tour and to Netta Newbound and Junction Publishers for a copy of Rage. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Before I start reading a Netta Newbound book I take a deep breath and ready myself for what is to come. Normally that involves getting to know characters who feel so real, that you get to know and care about and who get put through horrible things. The death count in Newbound’s books are normally also high.

Rage starts with doctors telling a woman that a man needs to be kept highly sedated for the rest of his life as he is such a risk to women. We learn that this man, Charles, is a very famous ex-footballer whose condition needs to be kept secret.

Lizzie is hired to nurse Charles, she has strict instructions to keep him sedated at all times and believing that he is in so much pain due to a brain tumour, she agrees. But it doesn’t quite sit right with her and so when she’s left alone with Charles she starts to wonder whether it is really fair to keep him so medicated.

Poor Lizzie really has a lot going on in this book, there are bodies turning up, creepy neighbours, a lovely neighbour and a patient who is very dangerous. I often kept reading, desperate to see what was going to happen next. would Lizzie meet a grizzly end because of the neighbour? The patient? Or someone else?

Although there was a lot going on it was easy to keep track of it all and the story definitely kept me hooked. It was different to other books by the author that I have read, but I really enjoyed reading it and was disappointed when I had finished it. All in all the sign of a great book!

Blurb:

Nurse, Lizzi Yates, is assigned to provide end-of-life care to Charlie Maidley, one of Britain’s footballing legends, on the condition she keeps his identity a secret. 

Unbeknownst to Lizzi, Charlie’s doctors have agreed to allow his sister, Miriam, to take him home to die on the strict understanding he remains in an induced coma, due to his history of assaulting women—a side effect of his brain tumour. 

Miriam goes away on business, leaving Lizzi in charge, but a mishap with Charlie’s medication has Lizzi questioning why he is spending his final days comatose. Deciding he is being sedated without just cause, she makes the call to wake him up. However, a string of events and the discovery of a girl’s body at the bottom of the garden lead her to wonder if she’s made the right decision. 

Who is the killer? 

Could Lizzi be his next victim? 

Don’t miss RAGE by bestselling author Netta Newbound – A gripping psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

About The Author:

Netta Newbound, originally from Manchester, England, now lives in New Zealand with her husband Paul and their boxer dog Alfie. She has three grown-up children and three delicious grandchildren.

As a child, Netta was plagued by a wild imagination, often getting in trouble for making up weird and wonderful stories. Yet she didnt turn her attention to writing until after her children had grown and left home.

Most of her inspiration comes from the horror greatsStephen King, Dean Koontz and Richard Layman.

Although she mostly writes psychological thriller novels, all of which consistently rank highly in the best seller categories, she has also written several non-fiction books with a close friend and fellow author under the names of Sandra Rose & Jeanette Simone.

Rage by Netta Newbound is out today and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review, crime thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview Child’s Play by Angela Marsons. #ChildsPlay #CrimeThriller @bookouture #BooksOnTour @WriteAngie

Woohoo!!! I was so so so excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons. It’s hard to believe it is the ELEVENTH book in the DI Kim Stone but this one is definitely one of my favourites.

I received a copy of Child’s Play by Angela Marsons from the publisher, Bookouture. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

It’s hard to believe that this is book eleven in the Detective Inspector Kim Stone series. There are not many series that are still going strong after this many books but Angela Marsons is one special author.

All the books in the series could be read as a standalone book but to be honest if you did that then you would be missing out, because these books really are worth reading. The characters have become friends and I have loved reading as they have grown over the series.

I find that all the books in the Kim Stone series suck me in but this one did a particularly good job of it, I was only a few percent in when I was spending far too long reading late into the night. I also found the subject matter fascinating, the child genius’ and the pressure put on them and the long lasting consequences of that.

As a wannabe writing I envy the way Marsons is able to weave the story and the process Stone and her team work out the case and piece it all together.

There was much to love about this book, it was clever and it kept me guessing and wondering and thinking. This is definitely my favourite book series of all time.

Blurb:

Child’s Play: A totally unputdownable serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 11)

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. 

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event. 

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killers they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

The addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy, number one bestseller Angela Marsons explores the dark side of child prodigies and will have you absolutely hooked.

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.

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons is out now and is available from:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07QPKB7N7Social Apple Books: https://buff.ly/30pdrgA Kobo: https://buff.ly/2xBmVsJ Googleplay: https://buff.ly/2LIPf4I

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor @deboc77 @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheDangerousKind #1in100People

I was on the blog tour for Deborah O’Connor’s first book, My Husband’s Son quite early on in my blogging life and it was one of the best tours that I’ve done and it turned out that the author was absolutely lovely and very grateful for the blogger support. So when she had book number two out I really wanted to read it and jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour. I received a copy of The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Wow. Having read the author’s first book, My Husband’s Son, and thoroughly enjoying it I was very keen to read her second book. While I enjoyed book one it didn’t blow me away but it was good and I was excited to see what the author was going to do next.

I was right to be excited! The Dangerous Kind is a very impressive book and I was amazed by the jump from book one to book two, this book would not have been an easy book to write but it is solid in its writing, confident in its storytelling and brilliantly clever.

I loved the idea of the radio programme that the main character, Jessamine, works on where they look at a different crime each week. But when she agrees to look into a missing mother things start to go wrong for Jessamine.

There are a few threads to this story that slowly come together and some are really not easy to read. There is a fair amount about characters who are being sexually exploited as young teenagers, this is hard to think about and could be triggering to some.

It all comes together in the end and is very cleverly done but you can be fairly sure that the road will be bumpy and difficult and at times, heartbreaking.

The book does not make the BBC look good, highlighting their history of covering up for sexual predators who worked for them. It is hard reading and adds a sense of realism to the story.

Although hard to read at times I enjoyed reading The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor and I will definitely be reading her third book!

Blurb:

One in 100 of us is a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?

About The Author:

Deborah O’Connor is a writer and TV producer. Born and bred in the North-East of England, in 2010 she completed the Faber Academy novel writing course. She lives in London with her husband and her daughter. She has not worked at the BBC.

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.