Review: Each Little Lie by @T0mBale @Bookouture #blogtour

Each little Lie Blog Tour

My Review:

Regular readers of my blog will know that I like Tom Bale’s books. He has an incredible skill at sucking the reader into the story, making it difficult to put his books down. His book, See How They Run, probably has the best first chapter of any book that I have read, with All Fall Down not far behind. Each Little Lie is a little bit different, although the reader’s interest is piqued, it didn’t have me holding my breath and desperate to read on. But if I didn’t compare it to the previous books then it is still a cracking first chapter.

When Jen decides to do a good dead for her neighbour after she finds his house keys dropped outside his home, she makes a decision that considering she is a character in a Tom Bale book is clearly going to be a mistake. It feels a bit like one of those horror movies where you want to shout ‘don’t run up the stairs’, but Jen doesn’t listen to the reader, and so the scene is set, and Jen’s life will never be the same again.

The story kept me guessing, not only about what was going to happen to poor Jen next but also who was behind making her life so awful and why. She did continue to make some questionable choices and I didn’t find her particularly likeable, but she went through hell and kept fighting, and so I was able to forgive her rather stupid mistake at the beginning of the book.

The characters in the book were great, many weren’t likeable, some were downright creepy and we were never quite sure who to trust. Poor Jen seemed to have particularly bad luck when it comes to attracting dodgy characters, but Bale made a smart decision when he makes her a single parent, and when her son Charlie is at risk, Jen will stop at nothing to fight and protect.

All in all, Each Little Lie is another tension-filled, action-packed book by Tom Bale, he really does have a great skill and I will be reading his books for a long time to come.

Blurb:

Each-Little-Lie-Kindle
UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2qUMvVj 
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2qU9ORi

One split second can destroy your life forever.

Single mother Jen Cornish is just trying to hold things together for the sake of her seven-year-old son Charlie. Until the day when she does an impulsive good deed to help a neighbour, setting off a terrifying chain of events that quickly spirals out of control…

When she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, Jen quickly starts to wonder if someone is playing a cruel game with her – or is she losing her mind?

Desperate to clear her name with the police, she must first untangle a chilling web of lies. But someone is watching her every move – and it isn’t just Jen who is in danger.

They’re watching her child as well.

An unputdownable psychological thriller with plenty of twists that will keep you hooked until the very last page…

About the Author:

Tom Bale
Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full-time. His latest novel is the thriller SEE HOW THEY RUN, published by Bookouture in May 2016.

Review: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait @Bookouture

 

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The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

 

My Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite as I hadn’t read the blurb before I started to read it. I got it on the because of the author and her reputation for writing great books. Although I have a couple of her books on my Kindle I have yet to read them, but I was keen to read this one.

The storyline is a good one, Melanie’s much-loved daughter goes missing and is soon found beaten and left for dead in the marsh that is close to the village that they live in. Frustrated that the police seem to be getting nowhere, Melanie decides to start investigating what happened herself, aided by an old friend from school who has recently returned to the area. It soon becomes clear that people in the village are hiding things and know more than they will tell, but also that there is someone in the village who is dangerous and it seems that Melanie’s life might be at risk.

The story is cleverly woven and you can’t help but feel compassion for Melanie, even though many of her actions are questionable and she upsets many of the people living around her.

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and the marsh setting becomes so real it is like a character in itself. I will definitely be reading more from Barbara Copperthwaite.

Thank you to the author and publisher, Bookouture, for a copy of The Darkest Lies via Netgalley.

Blurb:

A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.
Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

About the author:

barbaracopperthwaite

Barbara Copperthwaite is an Amazon UK best-selling psychological crime author.
Barbara’s writing career began over 20 years ago when she became a journalist. She has written and edited for a number of national magazines and newspapers.
At the start of her working career she also worked in a men’s maximum security prison. It was there that her fascination with crime began, as she realised that bad guys don’t always seem that bad – and are often charming.
Interviewing real people who have been victims of crime, either directly or through the loss of loved ones, consolidated Barbara’s interest in crime. As a result, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrongdoing. That’s why her novels are not simply about the criminal act, but the repercussions they have. People are always at the heart of her thrillers, along with a genuine ability to get under the skin of even the most evil of characters.
This insight is what has propelled both of her novels, INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD onto Amazon’s bestsellers charts, and led to rave reviews.
To find out more go to:
www.barbaracopperthwaite.com
or
www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCoppert…
or @BCopperthwait on Twitter.

The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: Dead Souls by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture

 

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Dead Souls by Angela Marsons.

Regular readers of this blog will know how much I love Angela Marsons and her DI Kim Stone novels. I’ve read them from the beginning before they became super popular and earned Marsons’ numerous bestsellers in many languages across the world. All of the books are written so that they can be read as a standalone but I strongly suggest that if you have yet to read any Kim Stone books, that you start with Silent Scream, the first book in the series.

 

My Review:

As a huge fan of Angela Marsons and DI Kim Stone, the bar was set very high for this, the sixth book in the series. I’m always excited to read a new Kim Stone book, but a little bit worried that I might not like it.

I certainly didn’t need to worry about Dead Souls. Right from the start, it sucked me in and I absolutely loved reading it. The book talks a lot about hate crimes, something that is not always easy to read but feels so very topical in a post-Brexit world. Marsons had clearly researched the subject at length and this shone through in the writing and storyline and giving the reader plenty to think about.

I loved how Stone was given new challenges and taken away from the comfort of her team and especially her sidekick Bryant. But we also got to know more about the rest of her team which was great, especially Stacey who until now has been a small but important character in the books, this time she got to do a lot more than sitting at her desk searching the computer, it reminded the rest of the team, and the readers, that she is a police officer and not just a computer geek.

Of course, things for Stone and her team don’t go smoothly and the finale is a tense and shocking read. I really don’t know how Marsons manages to keep the standard of writing so high, so many times you start a new series and love it but as time goes on they start to become a bit old and predictable, not so with this series, each one has been a brilliant read and this one, I think, might just be the best yet.

Thank you to the publishers, Bookouture, and the author for a copy of Dead Souls.

Blurb:

The truth was dead and buried…until now.
When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy – and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?

About the Author:

angiemarsons

Angela is the author of the Kim Stone Crime series. She discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.
Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.
After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.
She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.
Angela is now signed to write a total of 16 Kim Stone books for http://bookouture.com and has secured a print deal with Bonnier Zaffre Publishing.

Dead Souls is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can read more of my reviews of Angela Marsons’ Kim Stone books here and here and a review of one of her non-crime books here, I also did a Q&A with the author which you can read here.

Book Review: The Gift by Louise Jensen.

 

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The Gift by Louise Jensen.

 

My 4* review:

Jenna was happily living her life, she was a vet nurse and in a happy relationship with Sam. But all that changed in a flash when Jenna got sick, so sick that her heart was giving up and she needed to have a heart transplant. Having been happy and healthy, life is suddenly very different for Jenna, she’s reliant on medication that has difficult side effects, the strain of her illness caused her parents to separate and for Jenna to break up with Sam, believing that he was better off without her.

Jenna also wants to know more about her donor, whose heart now beats in her chest? Frustrated with the boundaries that rule any official contact between the recipient and the donors family Jenna hires a private investigator and contacts the donors family herself. At first she feels positive about this, she just wants to know more about Callie, the donor, and there can’t be too much wrong with that?

But gradually Jenna starts to loose her grip on reality, she is having dreams and flashbacks that she is sure are Callie’s memories. Is Callie trying to tell her something? Jenna researches this and comes across cellular memory a theory that supports Jenna’s belief that she is experiencing Callie’s memories. Everyone Jenna tries to tell about this thinks that she is simply experiencing the side effects of her medicine but she remains convinced that Callie is trying to tell her something, especially when she learns that there are some questions around how Callie died.

I found the premise of The Gift really interesting, I firmly support organ donation and both myself and my children are on the register for this, and the idea that the recipient changes because of the donor’s organ is fascinating.

I have to admit that when I was reading The Gift I couldn’t help but think that it would not be a good book for someone who is waiting for an organ to read, and I did wonder whether it would put people off donating. However, I have read that the author has been contacted by people who say that after reading The Gift they have joined the register which is blooming fantastic.

As the book progresses Jenna really loses her grip on reality, she thinks that she is being followed, she is obsessed with Callie and her fiance Nathan and she can think of little else. An attempt at returning to work doesn’t go well and Jenna is gradually pushing everyone around her away.

Things come to a head in a gripping finale and I have little doubt that by the end of the book Jenna wishes that she had respected the boundaries when contacting Callie’s family. It is definitely a case of all not being as it seems.

The Gift is a great read, it is gripping and keeps the reader guessing. Definitely a good choice for any fan of the psychological thriller genre. Louise Jensen skillfully weaves a tale that keeps the reader engaged and wondering.

I received a copy of The Gift from the publishers, Bookouture, via Netgalley but was under no obligation to review the book. All thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

The perfect daughter is dead. And a secret is eating her family alive…

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister

The Gift is out now and available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Book Review: A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer.

 

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A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer.

 

My 5* Review:

A Mother’s Confession tells the story of Olivia and her marriage to David. We know that together they had a baby called Zoe, but over the book the truth about their marriage becomes clear.

Ivy, David’s mother, also part narrates the story, telling us about her son who can do no wrong. She devoted her life to her son and became heavily invested in him and his life, wanting to know about and be part of everything. Ivy and Olivia always had a difficult relationship with Ivy struggling with jealousy when David met and fell in love with Olivia.

We know early on that David had a darker side to him, and that he is now dead. But we don’t know what happened that tore Olivia’s world apart. It is clear that Olivia has no desire to interact with her in-laws, but also that her relationship with her own family has been fractured but that since David’s death it has been rebuilt.

Olivia is attempting to move on with her life, she wants to be a good mother for her daughter Zoe and is keen to get back to work as a vet. Living in a small town where everyone seems to know everything about everyone proves challenging for Olivia, but as she gets stronger she starts to move on with her life and to tell us what when so badly wrong between her and David.

I just loved this book, I felt quickly immersed in the story and wanted to keep reading it to find out exactly what had gone on. At times I thought that I had worked it out, but of course, I hadn’t. I loved that the story was told by two mother’s, meaning that the reader was never really sure which mother had a confession to make.

I have read a few books by Kelly Rimmer now and all have been excellent, but I think that this one has to be my favourite. It was wonderfully told and although not always easy to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thank you to the publisher Bookouture for a copy of A Mother’s Confession via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to give a review.

A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour Review: Blood Lines by Angela Marsons.

 

I am super excited to be part of the blog tour for Blood Lines by Angela Marsons. As you might know I’m a huge fan of the Kim Stone series. You can also read a Q&A that I did with author Angela Marsons and my review of Play Deadalso in the Kim Stone series and The Forgotten Woman which is a standalone book.

But today we are here to celebrate Blood Lines, the fifth book in the amazing Detective Kim Stone series.

 

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Blood Lines by Angela Marsons.

 

My 4.5* review:

If you’re a regular reader of If Only I Could Read Faster then you will know that I am a huge fan of author Angela Marsons and her Detective Kim Stone novels, so it was with much excitement that I started to read Blood Lines.

Blood Lines is book five in the Kim Stone series, and although Marsons has always been clear that they can be read as standalone books, as time goes on I think that the reader would definitely benefit from reading the series from the start. And frankly, if you didn’t you’d miss out on some brilliant books.
Marsons is signed up to write a whopping 16 Kim Stone books and I have to admit that as much as I love the character I am unsure how Marsons will manage to maintain her for that many books. But thankfully she appears to be a long way from running out of steam with Blood Lines.
Book number two, Evil Games, featured a character that was so brilliantly written that she scared the bejeebers out of me. it was one of the best portrayals of a sociopath that I had read. So when I heard that Alex Thorne was to make another appearance in Kim Stone’s life I was even more excited.
For some reason, the relationship between Stone and Thorne just didn’t click for me in the same way and Thorne did not make my skin crawl as she had in Evil Games. This was disappointing for me. I felt that Stone dealing with Thorne and the chaos she was creating took up a lot of the story, but at the same time Stone was the lead detective on a puzzling murder investigation. For me, I think that it would have been better for the story to focus on one of these things, and to save the other for another book, as I felt that neither could be dealt with satisfactorily.
Having said that Blood Lines is still a very good book and will no doubt satisfy the many Kim Stone fans desperately waiting for another book in the series. I was pleased that we got a teeny bit more about Stacey and Kevin, two of Stone’s team but I’d love Bryant and Stacey to feature more.
Marsons is a skilled writer who is able to write in a way that makes the stories flow and feel so real. I’ve said it before but I do feel that each time a new Stone book comes out I get to catch up with a friend. The Detective Kim Stone books have been phenomenally successful and Blood Lines doesn’t let the team down and it gets a great 4.5* from me.
 Thank you to the publishers, Bookouture, for a copy of Blood Lines.
Blurb:
How do you catch a killer who leaves no trace?
A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

A totally gripping thriller that will have you hooked from the very first page to the final, dramatic twist.

Blood Lines is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Book Extract: Dark Water by Robert Bryndza.

 

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Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

 

To mark the publication day of the third book in Rober Bryndza’s Detective Erika Foster series, Dark Water, I am giving you a treat of the prologue for the book. Have a read and hopefully you will like what you read and want to read the rest of the book! Enjoy.

Dark Water

by Robert Bryndza

Autumn 1990

It was a cold night in late autumn when they dumped the body in the disused quarry. They knew it was an isolated spot, and the water was very deep. What they didn’t know was that they were being watched.

They arrived under the cover of darkness, just after three o’clock in the morning – driving from the houses at the edge of the village, over the empty patch of gravel where the walkers parked their cars, and onto the vast common. With the headlights off, the car bumped and lurched across the rough ground, joining a footpath, which was soon shrouded on either side by dense woodland. The darkness was thick and clammy, and the only light came over the tops of the trees.

Nothing about the journey felt stealthy. The car engine seemed to roar; the suspension groaned as it lurched from side to side. They slowed to a stop as the trees parted and the water-filled quarry came into view.

What they didn’t know was that a reclusive old man lived by the quarry, squatting in an old abandoned cottage which had almost been reclaimed by the undergrowth. He was outside, staring up at the sky and marvelling at its beauty, when the car appeared over the ridge and came to a halt. Wary, he moved behind a bank of shrubbery and watched. Local kids, junkies, and couples looking for thrills often appeared at night, and he had managed to scare them away.

The moon briefly broke through the clouds as the two figures emerged from the car, and they took something large from the back and carried it towards the rowing boat by the water. The first climbed in, and as the second passed the long package into the boat there was something about the way it bent and flopped that made him realise with horror that it was a body.

The soft splashes of the oars carried across the water. He put a hand to his mouth. He knew he should turn away, but he couldn’t. The splashing oars ceased when the boat reached the middle. A sliver of moon appeared again through a gap in the clouds, illuminating the ripples spreading out from the boat.

He held his breath as he watched the two figures deep in conversation, their voices a low rhythmic murmur. Then there was silence. The boat lurched as they stood, and one of them nearly fell over the edge. When they were steady, they lifted the package and, with a splash and a rattle of chains, they dropped it into the water. The moon sailed out from behind its cloud, shining a bright light on the boat and the spot where the package had been dumped, the ripples spreading violently outwards.

He could now see the two people in the boat, and had a clear view of their faces.

The man exhaled. He’d been holding his breath. His hands shook. He didn’t want trouble; he’d spent his whole life trying to avoid trouble, but it always seemed to find him. A chill breeze stirred up some dry leaves at his feet, and he felt a sharp itching in his nostrils. Before he could stop it a sneeze erupted from his nose; it echoed across the water. In the boat, the heads snapped up, and began to twist and search the banks. And then they saw him. He turned to run, tripped on the root of a tree and fell to the ground, knocking the wind out of his chest.

Beneath the water in the disused quarry it was still, cold, and very dark. The body sank rapidly, pulled by the weights, down, down, down, finally coming to rest with a nudge in the soft freezing mud.

She would lie still and undisturbed for many years, almost at peace. But above her, on dry land, the nightmare was only just beginning.

DARK WATER (Detective Erika Foster Book 3) 

UK: http://amzn.to/2baBO8N

US: http://amzn.to/2bkuwRk

Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. Above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child. 

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago. 

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on. 

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice and The Night Stalker, comes the third heart-stopping book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes. 

1. THE GIRL IN THE ICE
2. THE NIGHT STALKER
3. DARK WATER

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