#BlogTour! #Review – Born Bad by Heather Burnside (@HeatherBWriter) @Aria_Fiction

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Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.

Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an
alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only
prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.

Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and
gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.
But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent
past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…

What does TWG think?

Oh my god, what a book!! Despite being siblings and bring brought up in the same home environment, Peter and Adele couldn’t be more different if they tried. In his spare time, Peter enjoys doing anything that he SHOULDN’T do, aka, anything that’s against the law. Whereas Adele is seen as the ‘goody two shoes’, a hard worker who is severely misunderstood. Well, if your father was beating you to a pulp as well, I reckon you might be a smudge misunderstood too. A mother is meant to protect her children; Adele and Peter’s mother didn’t, even though she too was used as a punchbag by her violent husband.

Again, OH MY GOD, WHAT A BOOK!!!! I couldn’t stop reading this book! From the very first page until the very last page, my eyes didn’t move from the book in case I missed something important. The things which Peter got up to, shocked me to the core. The things which their father did, also shook me to the core. As for Adele’s anger, did that shake me to my core? No. Why? Because she was hardly going to turn into a calm, anger free type of person considering the environment in which she was brought up! Just to clarify, I don’t condone the results of her anger, but I can see WHY she was so angry.

Peter’s choice of lifestyle didn’t shock me at all, whereas the specifics did. I think that was because I had only watched Peter grow up in one way; the bad way, therefore it probably would have shocked me more if he had turned into a priest.

‘Born Bad’ has such a fast paced storyline which works well with the overall plot. If the pace had turned out to be a bit of a slow burner, I feel like that would have ruined the vibe. Luckily, the pace was spot on and so was the vibe. Heather Burnside has written about such chilling, devastating subjects, whilst still keeping them realistic. I’m not going to lie, the vivid imagery my mind conjured up thanks to the authors incredible descriptive story telling, gave me goosebumps and made me wince. I really was on the edge of my seat with this book as each and every situation seemed to get amplified as the story went on. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more cut throat; it did.

I am so pleased that ‘Born Bad’ is book one in a new series, as I cannot wait to find out how Adele’s story unfolds in the next book. The only irk I have with this book is the conclusion being left severely hanging – annoying!! I just hope that we don’t have too long to wait for book two.

A chilling, realistic, intense, and addictive storyline which will not only have you on the edge of your seat, it will also stay in your mind a long while after completing the book. Absolutely brilliant, highly recommended!

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

About the author

Heather Burnside is a Manchester-based author who, after taking a career break to raise a family, swapped credit control for writing and decided to study for a writing diploma.
Heather had articles featured in several popular UK magazines before publishing her first Manchester-based crime thriller in 2014.

Follow Heather

Facebook: @HeatherBurnsideAuthor
Twitter: @HeatherBWriter
Website: http://www.heatherburnside.com

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#BlogTour! #Review #Excerpt – Dying Art by @MHollingdrake @BloodhoundBook

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Big thanks to BloodhoundBooks for inviting me to be involved in Malcolm Hollingdrake’s blog tour! I hope you enjoy my review of ‘Dying Art’, as well as the extract.

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Following his recovery from a personal and professional trauma, Detective Chief Inspector Cyril Bennett has been declared medically fit to resume his police duties. He returns to discover a complex case involving the art world.

Soon Bennett unearths a dark side of the industry where greed, ambition and dubious practices thrive and, where there is money to be made, violence and murder are never far away.

Working their way through a maze of galleries, museums and the internet, Bennett’s team struggles to make sense of the evidence.

Can Bennett tell the difference between what is real and what is fake?

What does TWG think?

‘Dying Art’ is the fifth book in the DCI Bennett series and, whilst it had been confirmed that this book could be read as a standalone (my green light for reviewing the book), I completely disagree with that. ‘Dying Art’, in my opinion, cannot be read as a standalone novel. I felt as though I was missing out on a lot of information regarding Cyril Bennett, including both personal and professional relationships. I didn’t have the back story. I didn’t know what had happened in the previous books. If ‘Dying Art’ was meant to be read as a standalone, I should have been able to start the novel without feeling as though I was walking into an already half told story. But I didn’t.

However, the overall premise of Malcolm Hollingdrake’s novel was quite intriguing, as well as being full of a lot of promise. The storyline being centred around real and fake art was such a clever idea. So unique. I enjoyed how the history of said art was severely entwined, requiring a lot of chiseling away to get to the bottom of the investigation. Hats off to the author for keep the investigation consistent, especially as there were so many characters and different viewpoints involved, I was quite impressed at the ease of which they were described. How the author didn’t get confused is beyond me!

Personally, I found the heart of the investigation to be my most favourite part of the book. It’s unique approach made me sit up and take notice, securing my attention for the rest of the investigation. As for the overall novel; I did struggle with the majority of the book for reasons I mentioned above. ‘Dying Art’ as a whole didn’t blow me away, yet ‘Dying Art’ as an investigation itself; did.

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now.

Extract.

The sun hung like a limp, yellow balloon in the early morning Yorkshire
sky; it was neither high nor low but at a height that was blinding both for the few
drivers and even fewer pedestrians alike. It would prove to be far from innocent.
For Nathalie Gray, it was a total nuisance. Each step of this part of her morning
run was becoming unacceptably difficult. The lack of suitable pavement was also
a hindrance.
‘Merde!’ she whispered under her breath as her foot dipped into the third
pothole within a hundred yards. She made a mental note to wear sunglasses on
her next run.
She had pounded the same route for four consecutive mornings and this
was the first day of sunshine; she was so ill-prepared. Within the hour she would
be back at the hotel, she would have breakfasted and be heading for the
Conference Centre and the Antiques and Fine Art Fair. It was the penultimate day
of her annual working pilgrimage to Harrogate. The songs of Jack Savoretti
caressed her ears, blocking out the surrounding sounds; there were few, not
surprisingly, considering where she was and the time of day.
The silver-grey Lexus had passed her ten minutes previously. The driver
knew Nathalie’s route, she had run a convenient distance behind her each day,
but today was to be different, very different. Monica parked the car at the side of
the road and waited. There was no tail of grey smoke from the exhaust of the
now stationary vehicle. The driver, ever alert, was sensing her pending and
approaching prey. The hybrid car sat ready to pounce; it would do so electrically
and silently. The driver checked the rear view mirror and yawned. The occasional early morning and late night were tolerable, but four in a row were
proving unacceptable, especially considering the exercise.
She lowered herself into the seat as the runner came into view. Pulling
down the sun visor with her gloved hand, she slipped on a pair of sunglasses.
Within seconds, Nathalie was closing on the car, now a dark silhouette ahead in
her path. The driver saw her turn her head as if checking there were nothing
approaching from behind in preparation for rounding the parked car, unlikely
considering the time of the morning, but it was more instinctive. She quickly
veered to the right and ran around the parked obstacle, unaware of the driver’s
presence. She checked her watch and in spite of the dazzling sun she was still on
schedule.
It was then, when she was a hundred yards past the parked car, that she
suddenly pulled up abruptly as a startled rabbit sprang from the hedge. It paused
briefly before darting, bob-tailed across her immediate path and vanishing
magically into the far hedge. Nathalie raised her hand, shielding the sun so as to
allow her eyes to focus on the white, swiftly-disappearing tail. A smile came to
her lips. It’s like ‘Watership Down’, she thought, her breathing slowly steadying as
she bent at the waist to take a deep inhale. It would be the last thing that would
pass through her mind as the blinding sun was swiftly snuffed like a candle flame
touched by wet fingers. Her breathing stopped seconds later.

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone (@LisaStoneBooks) @AvonbooksUK

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So excited to be today’s stop on Lisa Stone’s blog tour! I have the honour of being able to share an extract of Lisa Stone’s new novel, The Darkness Within, with my review of the book to follow as soon as possible. Enjoy.

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A gripping new crime novel from the global bestseller Cathy Glass writing as Lisa Stone

The Darkness Within hooked me from the start. Once you start you won’t be able to stop!’ Katerina Diamond, No.1 bestselling author of The Teacher

You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

This is a spellbinding crime novel with a dark heart from the worldwide bestseller Cathy Glass, writing as Lisa Stone.

DARKNESS WITHIN EXTRACT
[Extract 8 from Chapter 4 pp. 20-21]

Rosie had wiped the blood from her face and cleaned the vomit from the floor, scrubbing the carpet with disinfectant until the smell of sick had gone. She often vomited after he attacked her; she thought it was from shock and the pain of being punched in the stomach. She never used to be sick – not before. She’d been very healthy and happy back then, before he’d moved in. But now even thinking about his anger and what he might do to her caused her stomach to contract and the bile to rise to her throat.

Shane liked everything to be back to normal with no trace of ‘their fight’ when he returned, so she’d also changed out of her blood- and vomit-splashed clothes. They were in the washing machine. The duvet cover would go in once the first load had finished, and she’d already put a fresh cover on the bed. The only sign of their fight now was her swollen lip. She’d managed to stop the bleeding by pressing a wet tissue on the cut, and make-up had covered the redness and bruising around her mouth and on her cheek, but it couldn’t hide the swelling. In fact, if anything, it accentuated it.

Had she really deserved the beating? she wondered as she examined her face again in the bathroom mirror. Was it really always her fault? Did she provoke him beyond reason as he accused her of doing? She honestly didn’t know. So much of her life had changed in the last six months that she barely recognized herself any more.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Ice Lake by @JohnLenahan @killerreads

ICE LAKE Blog Tour Poster

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…WHERE EVERYBODY LIES. AND SOME PEOPLE KILL…

An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Peter May.

AN ABANDONED BODY
Deep in the woods of north-eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A HAUNTED PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A DESPERATE KILLER
It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, this time a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

What does TWG think?

‘Ice Lake’ is the first book in the Harry Cull series, so not only was this a brand new series to get my teeth stuck into, it’s also written by an author I have had no literary dealings with before. Not a bad start really, eh?

The cover of ‘Ice Lake’ intrigued me something rotten, the colourful tone of it screams ‘read me’ but with an added ‘dun dun dun’. To say I was excited about reading this book would have been an understatement. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Set in Pennsylvania, I had to try to re-train my brain as any novels I have read in the past with Pennsylvania in them were from my childhood and included vampires. It’s safe to say that ‘Ice Lake’ does not contain any vampires, but it does contain a murder or too. Same thing I guess!

Straight away this book starts with a murder, and it’s a big one. A local man has been killed – Harry Cull has been asked to arrive on scene and do a bit of Pennsylvanian Jeremy Kyle in the shape of lie detector tests. If I’m perfectly honest, it seems as though every person that Cull comes up against is trying to appear on his ‘liar’ list. The murder investigation didn’t seem to be as straight forward as Harry Cull would have liked, especially when a second body is found and drugs are entered into the mix.

My first impression of John Lenahan’s novel was completely different to what I actually thought when I read the book. For some reason my brain seemed confused by the cover and the actual content of the novel because of the difference. Although saying that, I can’t seem to be able to pinpoint EXACTLY what I found different; except the vibe that is. I’m not saying that in a bad way at all. It’s crazy how strong our first impressions can be when it comes to books.

All in all, ‘Ice Lake’ had me engrossed throughout the entire storyline, my mind was full of questions, and I seemed to spend a lot of the book on my toes. Whilst the book didn’t blow me away as such, there was enough promising content to keep my intrigue level peaked, as well as keeping me entertained.

A very promising start to a new book series, I’m looking forward to book number two!

Thanks Netgalley.

Buy now from Amazon UK

@DavidVidecette #Takeover Post 2 – #Review – ‘The Detriment’ @The_Detriment

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David Videcette is taking over TWG today! Well, indirectly! Does this mean I can put my feet up? No? Damn it, worth a shot! This morning TWG decided to interrogate the author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’ & ‘The Detriment’, and if I do say so myself – it was such fun! In case you missed it, you can check it out here:
@DavidVidecette usually does the interrogating, but now it’s TWG’s turn! #AuthorInterview

As promised I now bring you my review of ‘The Detriment’, enjoy!

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“The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…”

June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.

From the author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’, the smash-hit 7/7 thriller based on true events, comes the sequel about a real-life mystery that threatens to destroy a nation. Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.

We all have secrets we say we’ll never tell…

What does TWG think?

‘The Detriment’ is David Videcette’s second novel which, just like his first novel, is based on real life events. Trying to differentiate between the real facts and the authors fictional work, is incredibly difficult. In my eyes, that just proves how consistent and realistic the author’s plot actually is.

Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan is a bit of a live wire. He has the knowledge, but he doesn’t quite understand the correct processes to be able to use his knowledge in the right circumstance. Put it this way, if Flannagan has a hunch, Flannagan will walk to the end of the Earth to ensure that justice is prevailed. Not all of Flannagan’s colleagues agree with his worth ethic, especially as it seems to ruffle a few feathers! After all, Jake Flannagan is a law unto themselves! Whilst reading ‘The Detriment’, I tried to see things from all different angles. I’m not inspector, granted, but I wanted to see if I could engage in the storyline in a completely different way by seeing each situation from all sides. Including Jake’s. Whilst I could appreciate the frustration that was coming from Jake’s team, I could also understand why he went about things in a certain way. Nobody could ever say that that man isn’t passionate about his job. Ever.

As for the events that unfolded, my poor heart couldn’t keep up with the sheer level of intensity! There were moments where I found myself so engrossed in certain parts of the investigation, my heart was close to pounding out of my chest. As readers, we are drip fed pieces of information at the same time the force are so it’s like we are investigating the events with the team, which I absolutely loved! I felt quite important…sad to admit I know, but oh well! Having said that, seeing as I was so engrossed in the moment, I ended up teetering on the edge of the sofa shouting ‘MOVE IT!!!’ whilst I was reading the bomb information. Just like Jake Flannagan at that time, I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen. My instinct was to shout move…so I did. It didn’t seem to matter that A) I wasn’t actually IN the book, and B) nobody could hear me and it wouldn’t have made the blindest bit of difference. Yet I still did it.

I’m not going to lie, I tried to decipher the truth from the fiction, but seeing as the author has written the entire plot with such tenacity, every single situation and event seemed real to me. I remember seeing certain things on the news when they happened, similar to certain events in this novel, yet when I sat reading about those horrific incidents in black and white, I kept thinking to myself ‘did I see that on the news too?’.

In all honesty, I could have carried on reading ‘The Detriment’ long after it had finished. I hadn’t prepared myself for the book to end, and in actual fact, I didn’t want it to. I was involved, I was engrossed and I was in awe at the entire novel. Pardon the pun but it blew me away.

This book is severely intense. It’s severely hair-raising. It’s severely nail-biting. It’s severely unbreakable. Ever since I finished reading ‘The Detriment’, I haven’t found another book that matches up in the same way since. Yes, David Videcette’s book has given me a chronic book hangover.

In my eyes, ‘The Detriment’ is unmissable. An outstanding portrayal of such devastating incidents, all written with enough power to make you sit up and listen.

Absolutely fantastic, my most favourite book of 2017 without a doubt.

Thanks DV.

Buy now from Amazon UK

@DavidVidecette usually does the interrogating, but now it’s TWG’s turn! #AuthorInterview

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I am delighted to have author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’ and ‘The Detriment’, David Videcette, back for a visit today. So much so, he’s actually taking over The Writing Garnet today, as all of the blog posts published will be about him and his books -puts feet up-.
If you’re aware of David Videcette’s background, you’ll know that he is incredibly clued up on interrogation. So, instead of putting Mr Videcette to work and allowing him to interrogate TWG, I turned the tables and interrogated him instead!

I am SO excited about this interview it’s unreal, I got to interrogate the main man!
We had a good chat…hopefully I didn’t scare him off too much! Enjoy folks!

David Videcette, former detective with the Anti-Terrorist Branch.

  • Hi David, thanks so much for agreeing to a TWG interrogation! 

Thank you for having me back on The Writing Garnet, Kaisha!

  • Huge congratulations on the success of your first novel, The Theseus Paradox! Were you expecting the book to be received as well as that when you published it?

To be honest, no. The Theseus Paradox is based on a real-life case I worked on as a detective for many years. The book takes its name from Operation Theseus, which was the police investigation into the 7/7 London bombings. It’s a case very dear to my heart, and one which took over my life.  I wrote my thriller exactly how I wanted it. The original manuscript was read by all the major publishers who wanted me to alter the story to make fit whatever gap they had in their particular publishing list at the time, which I wasn’t prepared to do. Some of the publishers felt that I needed to make my main protagonist more likable, and tone down some of his wilder habits. One even wanted me to make it into a love story rather than a thriller. They said the book wouldn’t sell unless I changed various elements.

I guess all the conflicting voices condition you into thinking it won’t do very well, but the reality is – it’s been amazing. I’m glad I stood my ground and persevered with it. It’s a very personal, warts-and-all tale, which I suppose is why I didn’t want to sugar coat it. And I believe that readers respect the honesty, authenticity and integrity of it. They know it’s as close to crime fact as crime fiction ever gets.

  • David, some of my eagle-eyed readers may be wondering why they recognise your name from television, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself, and your background?

As a police detective with twenty years’ service, much of which was spent in specialist operations and counter units, I’m often asked to commentate on policing and terror operations for television and radio. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with Crimewatch, The Bill and a couple of TV documentaries over the years. On one police show for the BBC, I was followed by a camera crew every day for a year. People do sometimes say they’ve spotted me on the telly and moan at me if I’ve not go a suit and tie on!

  • I’ve noticed that your novels are also helping a rather special charity; the Police Dependants’ Trust. Could you tell us how your novels can make a difference for that particular charity, and why? 

Sales and downloads of The Theseus Paradox and The Detriment are supporting the National Welfare Contingency Fund which helps police officers who have been involved in a major incident such as a terrorist attack. The fund will provide assistance with personal care plans, welfare support officers and talking therapies – enabling officers and their families to better deal with the aftermath of a traumatic national incident.

There is a perception that police officers and emergency service personnel as a whole are immune to the events they have to deal with at work. Their mental wellbeing is often overlooked. Historically, post-traumatic stress disorder has been more commonly associated with combat veterans and sadly, there are few places that police officers can turn if they fall into crisis. That’s why the help that the Police Dependants’ Trust offers is so incredibly important and I’m very proud to support their work through sales of my crime thrillers. So please buy a book or donate directly to the PDT here!

  • Your new novel, The Detriment (published 29th June), is such an addictive read; how important was it to you to base events on real life situations/events?

I like to write what I know and know what I write, particularly around cases I’ve been involved in personally over the years. For the foreseeable future my books will always be based on real events. I try to immerse the reader in the investigation, as if they were there as a detective trying to solve each case. The reader gets the clues about what’s going on, just as I would as a police officer in real life. I enjoy providing an insider’s perspective and new insights into cases we all remember having seen on the news.

  • In case anyone is wondering, can ‘The Detriment’ be read as a standalone, or is it advisable to have read ‘The Theseus Paradox’ beforehand?

Detective Jake Flannagan’s journey in this series begins in 2005 with the 7/7 London bombings, and then moves onto the next major terrorist attack on home soil – the burning Jeep attack on Glasgow Airport attack in summer 2007. Chronologically and in terms of Jake’s relationships, it’s much better to read the books in order. Start with book one, The Theseus Paradox, and then read book two, The Detriment, as they are intended to be a series.

  • Jake Flannagan, what a character! Without landing yourself in any hot water, yet still being as honest as you can, was Jake based on a real person?

Let’s put it this way – I do all my own stunts…

TWG – well that’s one way to get the ladies to swoon!

– Have you ever found it difficult, whilst writing your novels, to differentiate between what’s real life and what’s made up? I mean, you have the knowledge to write 100% truth, why didn’t you?

I did set out to write an autobiographical, non-fiction book. However, the Official Secrets Act forbids me from actually writing a factual book. But what the law can’t do, is interfere with my artistic rights. So if I write something and say its fiction, then I don’t break any rules or any laws. The question is, how much of it is fiction? There are very few people who know the answer to that question, (even my editor!) and I leave it up to the readers to decide for him or herself…

  • What made you decide to make such a drastic career change, has it always been a dream of yours to write novels?

I used to read a lot of crime fiction as a police officer and I watch a lot of films. Often I’d see glaring mistakes in police procedure, in the plots – or know that things couldn’t happen in the way that they were being portrayed. This would pull me right out of the story and spoil my enjoyment. I guess for a lot of police officers or those in the emergency services, reading crime fiction is like taking a busman’s holiday. One of the reasons I have quite enjoyed writing books, is to cater to people like me. They say write what you want to read. I wanted to create a series that was so close to the truth, people couldn’t differentiate.

  • Not being rude or anything, Mr V, but I can’t quite see you penning a women’s fiction type novel in the future. That said, do you think you could write for a completely different genre? Show people your softer side maybe? 

Not many people know this, (*Writing Garnet exclusive reveal*) but many years before I started writing books, I wrote a dating blog, which was very popular with female readers.  My books do look at relationships, their dynamics, how these impact upon your life – so I do have a softer side, and I can alter my writing style to suit different audiences. But I love writing about crime and terrorism, so you won’t see me popping up on the women’s fiction, chick-lit or romance shelves just yet!

TWG – where can we see this dating blog? 😉 

– Which authors, if any, did you look up to as a child? Any favourite books from your childhood?

Danny The Champion of the World was my favourite book as a child. And it’s possibly responsible for my love of writing because I won a competition to meet the author, Roald Dahl. It was the first time I had read a book as a child where good people do bad things. I remember Roald making me feel completely at ease when I met him – so much so that it didn’t seem a big deal at all. I guess I have always had this experience in the back of my mind – never forget who your fans are!

– If you could put your name as the author of any book that has already been published; which one would it be and why?

Andy McNab’s Bravo Two Zero – it put fact/fiction crossover books back on the map and it shows that things in real life don’t always go according to plan!

– As an author of detective thrillers, how do you manage to switch off, especially as you’re reliving certain events?

I enjoy spending time with my girls, just doing the regular dad stuff like shopping, taxi driving or even the dreaded DIY! To really switch off, I love to watch films. It gives me an opportunity to empty my mind, and fill it with new stuff! I’m also a big fan of London’s fabulous museums and art galleries and will try to regularly catch whatever new exhibitions are showing when I can.

  • What is an average day for you (aside from showing your legs on social media)?

A typical day for me starts at 5.30am. Alongside my writing, I work as a security consultant for high-net-worth individuals based in central London, so much of time is spent trying to keep them safe from harm. I also regularly field calls from crime journalists asking for insights or opinion about this or that case, or asking me to write something for their newspaper or website. In the evening I might visit a radio or television studio to do interviews, or try to grab some downtime to write a scene for my latest book. I get home most days at 9pm, apart from the days I’m on after-school club pick-up duty!

  • What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a writer, with the aim of becoming published?

Look at the writing and publishing process as a series of small steps, because it can seem daunting at first. Keep putting one foot in front of another to get to the next destination, and don’t ever give up.

– Saving the best question until last so don’t let me down Mr.V! Will there be a third book? If so, when? I hate odd numbers so if there will be a third, will there also be a fourth? Do you have any exclusives for TWG? What do you have up your sleeve for the future?

There will be a third, fourth and many more books! I’m currently writing book three which has a much more international element to it and sees Jake working abroad just a short time after we leave him in The Detriment. I’m also working on a non-fiction investigation into a real-life unsolved crime which may turn into a book or a documentary. And I’d love to write a couple of prequels with Jake. I’ve got plenty up my sleeve, don’t you worry!

Thank you so much for answering all of my questions! It has been a pleasure to have you back on TWG!
It’s been lovely to chat to you, Kaisha.

Thanks for inviting me.

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“The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…”

June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.

From the author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’, the smash-hit 7/7 thriller based on true events, comes the sequel about a real-life mystery that threatens to destroy a nation. Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.

We all have secrets we say we’ll never tell…

The Theseus Paradox is available to buy on Kindle or in paperback at Amazon, or via The Book Depository with free international delivery.

The Detriment can be ordered on Kindle with a paperback to follow soon.

If you’d like the chance to win a signed copy of David’s latest release, you can enter your email address here, and you’ll go into the hat each time he has a new book out.

Note from TWG.

Big thank you to, David Videcette, for taking the time out of his schedule to allow me to interrogate him! Absolutely fantastic! Stay tuned though as later on today, David Videcette returns to TWG (indirectly) as I review his new novel, ‘The Detriment’.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney (@trisha460) @Bookouture

The-Stolen-Girls-Kindle
The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’

One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.

Could this be the same girl?

When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.

Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?

The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.

What does TWG think?

First of all, why the fudging fudge fudge have I not read the first book in this series?! Despite the fact that I didn’t start this series in order, I found it fine to read as a standalone. However, I really do feel that I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I had read the first book as I would have a better insight into Lottie’s backstory. 

Oh.My.God this book! It didn’t take long for my body to be covered in goosebumps and my brain forgetting how to breathe! There was no easing in gently, or gradually increasing the intensity level. No. It really was super intense nion straight away.

A body is found, the victim was pregnant.
A young woman and her son approached Lottie Parker for help…on her doorstep.
A storyline with multiple murders, and multiple missing people. Are they linked? Who is the killer? WHY are they going on a rampage?

Now, seeing as I hadn’t read book one, it took me a little while to come up to speed with what happened in Lottie’s past. Thankfully the author decided to bring it up in several characters conversations in the storyline. Although, I could tell early on that something devastating must have happened due to the way that Lottie and her family were acting. It kept me glued though!

‘The Stolen Girls’ kept me on my toes from page one with a storyline that was full of spine tingling, toe curling, and heart racing moments. I have to admit that I struggled to read certain parts of the book due to the extremely vivid imagery that made its way into my mind, thanks to Patricia Gibney’s outstanding (if yet uncomfortable) descriptions of certain situations. It was really quite surreal, I had to keep looking on the floor to ensure that a murdered body hadn’t found its way into my home! In my opinion, it takes a lot of talent to be able to write such vivid and descriptive scenes, such as the ones which Gibney wrote in ‘The Stolen Girls’, as well as managing to make the situation come alive for the reader, whether they wanted it or not.

Like I say, pretty uncomfortable reading but geeeeez the author did good!

Again, ‘The Stolen Girls’ is the type of book that needs to be devoured to be believed. You need to read the book with your very own eyes to be able to appreciate the authors high-end literary skills, that’s for sure. I wish I could sit and natter about this book all day, but I think I would get slapped on the wrist for spoilers.

Despite wishing that I had read the first book in the series beforehand, ‘The Stolen Girls’ seemed to enjoy taking my breath away and scaring me half to death. Patricia Gibney has written such a hair-raising tale of devastation and destruction, I couldn’t stop reading. An intense, jaw-dropping novel by Patricia Gibney, I most definitely will be reading a book by this author again, very soon.

Thanks Bookouture.

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2puBdJc
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2pcNNgs

About the author

Patricia yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!

In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from my job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.

Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and live in the Irish midlands with her children.

www.patriciagibney.com 

https://www.facebook.com/patricia.gibney1

The blog tour isn’t over yet! If you have missed any of the previous hosts tour stops, you can find out their blog names below! Make sure you check out the last three days of the tour from tomorrow. Details below:
The-Stolen-Girls---Blog-Tour

#BlogTour! #Review – Marked For Life by Emelie Schepp (@emelieschepp) @MidasPR @HQStories

marked for life
Today it is TWG’s turn to host a stop on Emelie Schepp’s blog tour for her new book, Marked For Life, which was published in paperback this year. Here is my review, enjoy!

markedforlife

WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS READERS CHOICE AWARD 2016

In Lindö, on the Swedish coast, a man has been found brutally murdered in his own home.

The victim, Hans Juhlén, had no shortage of enemies. But the case stalls when a child’s handprint is found inches from where the dead man fell.

Hans Juhlén had no children.

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius has perfected the art of maintaining a professional distance from her cases. But when the body of a small boy is found – and with him, the weapon that killed Juhlén – Jana’s impenetrability is tested to its limits.

The small body is a bleak reminder that Jana has her own secrets to hide. And if she is to keep them safe, she must find the perpetrator behind these crimes…before the police do.

What does TWG think?

I have always wondered what a Nordic crime novel would be like to read, after all, I have seen a lot of people raving about the particular genre for a while. Saying that, you would have thought it would have made me pick up a novel before now, wouldn’t you? In an ideal world, yes. But as bookworms know, seeing a range of books that you want to read and actually read them, are two completely different things. My TBR is currently taller than me (not hard)! I was uber glad when Midas PR contacted me about reading Emelie Schepp’s ‘Marked For Life’, as it gave me the well needed kick up the youknowwhat to commit to reading it.

I really didn’t know what to expect before I started reading this novel, all I knew was that I was extremely intrigued; I mean, have you actually seen that cover? Despite my original intrigue, I have to admit that I was a little bit apprehensive. I started ‘Marked For Life’ with literally no idea what I was letting myself in for, and seeing as others had raved about Nordic crime, I was hoping not to end up disappointment. Big ask I suppose, but sometimes it can’t be helped with certain novels and certain genres.

Emelie Schepp doesn’t ease us into the storyline slowly, instead she puts a high-profile, chilling murder, right near the start of the book. Nothing like keeping your reader’s attention eh! Fingers are pointing everywhere yet no-one seems to know anything. Well, until an important piece of information comes to light; a child sized handprint was found next to the dead body in the house. As far as the public prosecutor, Jane Berzelius, is aware, the people involved didn’t have any children. Who’s child’s handprint was it? What was it doing there?

Already I was glued to the storyline, I was waiting with bated breath to see how the plot was going to unfold. In such a short space of time I had already compiled a short list of questions in my mind, and I was so eager to find out the answers.

But all of a sudden the storyline turned even darker; the pint-sized owner of the hand print, a little boy, was found dead in a different location with the murder weapon next to him. As soon as I read that, a wave of nausea came over my body. I wasn’t expecting that piece of information to affect me as much as it did, I’ll be honest. It also turned the chill factor of the storyline up several notches.

‘Marked For Life’ continued to shock me due to the severely dark topics of child trafficking and rape. I’ll give the author her due, Emelie Schepp certainly knows how to get a reaction out of her readers! Whilst I found the plot quite uncomfortable to read, my eyes didn’t want to move from the page. Every page that I turned, the more uncomfortable I became. This book really is dark. So dark in fact, it’s almost pitch black.

Whilst the storyline managed to make me react in multiple ways, as well as keeping me glued to every single page, I didn’t quite find the characters memorable or likeable. I don’t know if it was due to the overall chill of the novel itself, but I couldn’t warm to any of the characters no matter how hard I tried.

‘Marked For Life’ kept my attention big time as the author certainly knows her stuff. But in all honesty, the more of the book I read, the more uncomfortable I felt. Unfortunately that feeling seemed to stay with me long after I had finished the novel. The plot, I’m sorry to say, was a bit too pitch black for my capabilities, although hats off to the author for managing to keep me engaged until the end.

Thanks Midas PR.

Available to buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLastPlaceYouLook by Kristen Lepionka @KMLwrites @faberbooks

The Last Place You Look - BLOG TOUR POSTER

The Last Place You Look
Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.

With echoes of Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane and the hit podcast Serial, The Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

What does TWG think?

Despite being content knocking back countless shots of whiskey, Roxane Weary knows that her bank balance won’t exactly be jumping for joy. Luckily for Roxane an out of the blue phone call from a lady with a cheque book, seems to be enough to knock her backside into gear. For now.

A missing teenager. Her dead parents. A man on death row. His sister adamant that he’s innocent. Outlandish? Maybe so. Impossible to solve in two months? Who knows…

The story started with a character hangover and a missing person, but it didn’t take long for the storyline to turn incredibly twisted. Whilst PI Roxane Weary is ballsy and determined, I am genuinely surprised that she didn’t land herself in more trouble. She got herself into some scrapes, that’s for sure. But, I could see why she did. She was going with her gut instinct and in my eyes, that made up for the fact she chose not to use her noggin.

Having read multiple storylines which start off with a missing person just like this one, I really hoped that the story was going to be unique and not just be a case of hide and seek. Thankfully, the plot grew darker and darker with every chapter. Just when I thought that the case was nearly solved, something else came out of the woodwork and turned the investigation on its head.

I found it exceptionally easy to get lost in the storyline, mirroring the main characters frustrations in the investigation which resulted in a complete, and utter head funk. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going! There were so many police offers popping up sporadically, I couldn’t keep track! By the way, everything I’ve mentioned so far is all good as I was so invested in the book.

Most of the time I liked Roxane’s uniqueness, and her ‘I don’t give a f…’ attitude to regulations. However, I did find myself disliking the way she refused to take certain things seriously. There’s being laid back and then there’s being uninterested, and I found that Roxane was the latter. Don’t get me wrong, she was determined to get results and I praise her for that, but I felt that something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what.

Overall, ‘The Last Place You Look’ was a dark, and twisted story which managed to keep me on my toes. I thoroughly enjoyed the intensity of the plot as well as the rollercoaster ride of events. Such a promising debut from author, Kristen Lepionka, I am looking forward to seeing what she produces next.

Thanks Faber and Faber.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Other Twin by L V Hay @LucyVHayAuthor @OrendaBooks

The Other Twin cover

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana?

Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her?

Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as the truth…

What does TWG think?

In all honesty, it’s safe to say that I am sitting on the fence where ‘The Other Twin’ is concerned. For most part of this storyline, I was flabbergasted that it was the authors debut novel, as the intense level of complexity stunned me beyond belief. To be able to show such fine tuned roller coaster moments in a debut novel, really is something to be proud of. I have read many debut novels by various authors in my time, so to read a novel with such promise, truly was a breath of fresh air.

Whilst I loved all of the roller coaster moments, and the ‘dun dun dun’ situations, I couldn’t help feeling a little put out. The storyline is centred around Poppy’s sister, India, India’s sudden death and the harsh reality of social media. What’s not to like, right? We all like to get to the bottom of a sudden death in genres just like this one, where we are able to play detective and try to solve the mystery before the book ends. However, I found myself questioning every single thing, and whilst the storyline was full to the brim of information, I still felt put out by the lack of answers.

‘The Other Twin’ has plenty of chilling and hair-raising moments where India’s death is concerned, I’m not going to lie. Whether I would class this book as a psychological thriller or not, that’s what I am on the fence about.

L.V.Hay has made sure that the storyline stays modern due to the themes that the characters come face to face with – fantastic. I think that just because social media is widely used, people may assume that it doesn’t come with its own problems. It does, and for me, the author has brought those red flag moments into the spotlight, whilst showing readers exactly what could happen if vigilance wasn’t your main thought when it comes to social media.

As I said at the beginning, L.V.Hay clearly knows her stuff when it comes to writing high intense moments. The author also clearly knows her stuff when it comes to making you look over your shoulder.

Overall, I felt that L.V.Hay has written such an addictive and intense debut novel. ‘The Other Twin’, for me, showed that the author has such promise and dedication to the genre, which makes me extremely excited to see what the author comes up with next.

Thanks Orenda Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

 

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