5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Twisted by Steve Cavanagh. @SSCav @orionbooks #Twisted #ThisBookIsTwisted #thrillerread #whoisjtlebeau @PoppyStimpson @orion_crime


I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Twisted by Steve Cavanagh. This is a mammoth five week tour which just shows how many book bloggers love Steve’s writing. I’ve previously reviewed Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh on here and it was one of the cleverest books I’ve read in a long time. But will Twisted meet everyone’s high expectations?

I received a copy of Twisted by Steve Cavanagh from the publisher, Orion Books. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for having me as part of the blog tour.

My Review:

JT LeBleau is the world’s best selling author, their books have been translated into many different languages and fans eagerly await the next book. But everyone has one question, who is JT LeBleau?

I loved this premise, and I loved how Cavanagh approached this story and revealed the truth to the reader. Quite often I thought that I had it all worked out, but then I would doubt myself, and change my mind before going back to what I thought first and then going round it all again. The twists in this book were thrown at the reader thick and fast.

It was hard to know who to like, who to trust and who was what they said they were. This book can be gruesome, but what is fiction and what is real?

I will not spoil it for you, but if you enjoy thrillers and you like lots of twists then this book is for you. If you haven’t read the genre before then this is a great book to start with as it really is well done and I’m sure that it will convince many just how much fun the thriller genre can be.

Blurb:

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK 
I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

About The Author:

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). He is married with two young children.

Find out more at www.stevecavanaghbooks.com or follow Steve on Twitter @SSCav.

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter @JaimeCarter1 @AvonBooksUK

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter. I was attracted to this book when I read the blurb and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

My Review:

I started In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter a little unsure about what I was going to get. I hadn’t read anything by the author before and I had long forgotten the blurb that I had read a few months previous.

So I was totally unprepared for the ride that was to come. I was immediately sucked into the story, I suspect that few could resist finding themselves drawn into a story that involves nine young children being kidnapped from their nursery.

DCI Anna Tate is put in charge of the investigation and we quickly learn something about Anna’s past that makes her the best person for the job, but could also mean that the impact of it on her could tip her over the edge.

I loved pretty much everything about this book, I just wanted to keep reading it, desperate to find out whether the children would return home safely and who exactly was behind this awful crime.

I changed my mind quite regularly when trying to work out who was behind it, and I love a book that keeps me on my toes. It was very cleverly done and kept the pace fast, I quickly found myself racing towards the end, desperate to find out what was going to happen but also not wanting the book to end.

There are many, many books out there with a female detective these days, but this book proves that there is still room for more. I really liked Anna Tate and I’m delighted that this is book one in the series and so there will be more. I can’t wait to see what book two will bring!

Thank you to Avon Books for a copy of In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

How far would you go to save the ones you love? 

The first book in a gripping new crime series featuring DCI Anna Tate.

When nine children are snatched from a nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again. The community in the surrounding area in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

But DCI Anna Tate knows that nothing is impossible, and she also knows that time is quickly running out. It’s unclear if the kidnappers are desperate for money or set on revenge, but the ransom is going up by £1million daily. And they know that one little boy in particular is fighting for his life.

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DCI Anna Tate has ever worked on – not only because nine children are being held hostage, but because she’s pretty sure that someone close to them is lying…

About the Author:

J P Carter is the pseudonym of a bestselling author who has also written sixteen books under the names Jaime and James Raven. Before becoming a full time writer he spent a career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and television producer. He was for a number of years director of a major UK news division and until recently co-owned a TV production company.  For a while he was also a part-time professional magician. He’s married and divides his time now between homes in Hampshire and Spain.

In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog blast, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour Locked In by GB Williams @GailBWilliams @Bloodhoundbook

BLOG BLITZ

My review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blurb:

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

Author Links:

Twitter:       @GailBWilliams

Facebook:  @ GBWilliamsCrimeWriter

Blog:           thewriteroute.wordpress.com

Website:     www.gailbwilliams.co.uk

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

5*, blog tours, book review, historical fiction, Richard & Judy

#blogtour Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. @MsTamarCohen @PenguinRHUK #RachelRhys #ADangerousCrossing

Dangerous Crossing Blog Tour Poster.png

I was very excited when I got an email asking me if I would like to be part of the blog tour for the paperback release of Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. I’m a big fan of Tammy Cohen. author of psychological thrillers including When She Was Bad and the brilliant First One Missing. When I heard that she was releasing a historical fiction book under the name Rachel Rhys I was disappointed as this would mean that she would be taking time out from writing psychological thrillers and because I did not want to read historical fiction. When Dangerous Crossing was released on Kindle it got great reviews and I was slightly tempted but I’d never been interested in reading historical fiction. But then I read a book, Block 46which had parts set in the past and I found that I actually really enjoyed those bits and figured that I was probably missing out by discounting all historical fiction books and I knew that Dangerous Crossing was the book that I should read to change that.

My Review:

I’d heard a lot of positive things about Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys aka Tammy Cohen whose psychological thriller books I loved, so I was excited to read this book.

I found that I was quickly pulled into the story of Lily, a young English woman who was travelling to Australia for what promised to be an exciting adventure. With some trepidation, Lily boarded the Orontes, a large boat that would take Lily and many others on the long journey. Lily was travelling under the assisted travel scheme which was set up to encourage young women to move to Australia to work in the houses of those rich enough to afford staff.

Although travelling standard class Lily found herself thrown into a world where she lived among others who had much higher social standings than she did. She soon found herself drawn to Edward and his sister with whom she shared the dinner table. Things didn’t always go smoothly though, with the threat of war back at home people were divided and the Jewish travellers found themselves shunned by many, although no by Lily. Lily herself was popular on the boat and even Max and Eliza, an extravagant couple travelling in first class, were drawn to Lily and Edward and keen to spend time with them.

Dangerous Crossing is beautifully written, I felt so drawn into life on the boat and could picture the scenes and imagine myself right there with Lily. There were many different characters in the book who all added a richness to the story and showed how people from many different walks of life were thrown together on board and how they coped with this.

As Australia draws closer Lily realises that she had let herself get caught up with life on the boat and that once she was on land she would soon be working for the very people that she had been socialising with. I loved this bit, society was so different then and the expectation that people would socialise and marry within the same circle and class that they were born into, it really was fascinating to think about.

And Rhys hasn’t totally left her psychological thriller past behind, we know from the start that something happens on the boat, that a woman leaves it in handcuffs, but we’re never quite sure until right at the end exactly what had happened. A great twist to end a superb book.

Blurb:

 

Dangerous Crossing Cover
Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys.

 

England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go …

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

About The Author:

Rachel Rhys+©+Johnny Ring

I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria where my anthropologist father happened to be doing fieldwork at the time. Sabbatical years in far-flung places were a feature of my childhood and I attended school in both Sierra Leone and California. Otherwise, I mostly grew up in the suburbs of London where my adolescence was spent either in the local library or waiting for the last tube home.

After taking an American Studies degree at Manchester University I taught English in Madrid. While working as a secretary back in London, I started writing features and hand-delivering them to the magazine publishing house around the corner. The day the first one got accepted, I packed in my job and declared myself a freelance journalist, which is basically what I remained for the next twenty years, writing features for national magazines and newspapers, such as Marie Claire, The Times and The Telegraph, and then moving on to non fiction books. My dream was always to write fiction but it wasn’t until I was forty-seven that I finally conquered the self doubt and my first novel, The Mistress’s Revenge was published.

These days I live in North London with my partner and three (nearly) grown children and one very badly behaved dog. Together with my family I spent four happy years living in Spain from 2004 to 2008 and I live in fear of people finding this out and asking me something in Spanish at which I remain shamefully inept.

My first novel, The Mistress’s Revenge, was followed by three more contemporary fiction titles under the name Tamar Cohen – The War of the WivesSomeone Else’s Wedding and The Broken.

In November 2014, my first crime novel, Dying For Christmas was published under the name Tammy Cohen, followed by First One Missing a year later, and When She Was Bad in April 2016. My latest, They All Fall Down is published in July 2017.

Writing as Rachel RhysDangerous Crossing, my first foray into historical mystery was published in March 2017.

I am a member of the Killer Women collective of London-based female UK crime writers.

 

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

3*, book review

#review Broken Branches by @MJonathanLee @HideawayFalls

 

brokenbranches
Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee

 

My Review:

I wasn’t quite sure what I’d think about Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee. There was quite a buildup to me receiving it, with the publisher Hideaway Falls, sending myself and many other book bloggers a fun teaser pack before the book finally landed on my doorstep.

I know that M Jonathan Lee is vocal about mental health issues, a subject close to my heart so I was quite looking forward to reading Broken Branches.

The book centres on Ian who is currently living in a cottage that frankly, sounds rather lovely. He lives with his wife and young son and at first, all seems to be well in the family home. But it soon becomes clear that all is not as it first seems.

There are clearly big problems in Ian’s marriage and Ian himself seems to be obsessed with ‘research’ into his family that has lived in his home for many generations. The story changes between the present day and Ian’s childhood as a boy growing up in the cottage when his father farmed the surrounding land. Ian’s childhood was not a happy one and it becomes clear that the family had been plagued by what they called a curse, and that is what Ian is determined to get to the bottom of with his research.

This book is definitely a slow burner, not a great deal actually happens in the book and much of it is spent within Ian’s mind, a mind that seems to be confused and perhaps very unreliable at telling us what is really happening, and at times it seemed to all be getting a little bit silly.

I liked how the story developed though and the more we got to know about Ian the more unsure I was about whether he was totally mad or well, only slightly mad. The writing is solid and it is easy to read, with plenty to keep the reader guessing and a few twists along the way.

Thank you to the author, and to Hideaway Falls, for a copy of Broken Branches.

Blurb:

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

About the author:

jonathan-lee

M. Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author who was born in South Yorkshire in 1974. He still lives and works in Yorkshire, England and has three children.

Jonathan began writing seriously at the age of 9 at which point he self-published a magazine which ran for six issues and sold more than 500 copies. Since then, he has written a number of short stories and eagerly hoarded away journal after journal of ideas before finally writing The Radio.

The Radio was shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2012 and is his first novel. He is currently touring schools, colleges, prisons and universities talking about creative writing and storytelling.  The Radio continues to receive excellent reviews and film rights are currently being discussed with interested parties. Jonathan appeared at Sheffield’s Off the Shelf literary festival in 2013 and will appear again this year as well as headlining at Doncaster’s Turn the Page festival 2014.

His second novel, The Page was released in February 2015. He has just finished his third novel, A Tiny Feeling of Fear which was released in September 2015. He is currently working on the final part of the ‘The’ trilogy: working title ‘The Knot’ which is due for release in 2016. He is currently signed on a four book deal with boutique publishers, SoloP Publishing based in the north of England.

Broken Branches is out on 27th July 2017 and is available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can find out more about the author on his website.

On a little side note, my puppy loved Broken Branches. The photo below shows just how much. She was lucky that she wasn’t rehomed!

IMG_5245

4.5*, book review, psychological thriller

#review: The Honeymoon by @tinaseskis @MichaelJBooks

 

thehoneymoon
The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

 

My Review:

I had heard a lot about The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis, but not having read any of her previous books I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

This psychological thriller really does keep the reader guessing. Jemma is on her honeymoon on a beautiful and exclusive island in the Maldives, but it is clear from the start that all is not right with her new marriage, and when her new husband goes missing the reader is unsure whether Jemma’s version that gradually emerges as the book progresses it true, or if she is hiding something.

The book goes back to the start of Jemma’s relationship with Dan when Jemma was really not sure whether he was ‘the one’. As the relationship progresses and we learn more about the backstory I became less and less sure about what was true and what wasn’t. Jemma definitely didn’t seem like a reliable witness.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the book, and I’m happy to admit that I didn’t see the main ones coming. Jemma, as a character was not likeable and there was very little about her that I could like, but that didn’t stop me wanting to know what had happened to her husband and whether she was involved. Another couple on the island provide a bit of light relief, which was welcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Honeymoon, I wanted to keep reading and the twists were great and cleverly done. If you like a twisty, turny book then this is for you! It gets an easy 4.5* from me. I’m off to look at Seskis’s other books.

Blurb:

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

About the author:

Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, before going off to study in the beautiful city of Bath and then moving to London, where she has lived on and off ever since.

Tina’s first novel One Step Too Far was released in 2013, and has since been published in 17 languages in over 60 countries. Her latest novel, The Honeymoon, will finally be released on 1st June 2017.

Tina lives in North London with her husband and son.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis is out now and available from  Amazon UK and Amazon US.

3.5*, book review

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

 

 

behindhereyes2
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.

 

I’d heard a lot of rumblings about Behind Her Eyes before I read it, it was pretty much all positive so I was keen to read it. It was only after I started that I discovered that the ending was a bit of a marmite ending, either you loved it or you hated it. I’d be interested to hear what others think if you’ve read it.

My 3.5* Review:

Having heard a lot of good things about Behind Her Eyes I was keen to read this book, I didn’t know what it was about which is how I generally like to read books. It’s nice to be surprised.

What I found was a book that was very well written, the characters were strong and the story was interesting and easy to read. I was enjoying it and could easily understand the good things that I had heard about the book.

There was one part to the storyline that seemed a little unusual and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but it wasn’t a major thing so it didn’t really bother me. I was really enjoying reading it.

But then the last chapter happened. Most psychological thrillers have a twist in them and it is fun to try and guess what it might be while reading, but I had absolutely no idea what the twist was going to be, it certainly took me by surprise. But, and I now know that the final chapter is a bit of a marmite chapter, I didn’t like it. I actually wish that I had read Behind Her Eyes right up until the final chapter and then let my imagination come up with the ending, as that would have been a much more believable and satisfactory ending. I don’t want to give too much away and ruin it, but I bet you won’t see it coming.

It’s hard when you really enjoy a book but don’t like the ending and I’ve knocked a star off because of it giving it 3.5*s, perhaps a bit harsh giving the number of amazing reviews that this book has but as I said it is a marmite ending. I will definitely read more from the author though, I’d be very interested to see what else she comes up with!

I received a copy of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough from Netgalley, I was under no obligation to review it and my views are my own.

Blurb:

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is out now and available from Amazon UK and in paper book and audiobook on Amazon US.