#BlogBlast! #Review – Dying Breath by Helen Phifer (@HelenPhifer1) @Bookouture

Dying Breath - Blog Tour
Happy publication day to Helen Phifer, author of the amazing ‘Dying Breath’! I am SO excited about this book as it really did blow my mind! Speaking of which, it’s super handy that I get to share my review of ‘Dying Breath’ today as part of Helen Phifer’s Blog Blast, eh! As always, huge thanks to Bookouture for the blast invite and the ARC of the book. I hope you enjoy my review:

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Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.

Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland. 

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town. 

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers. 

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

What does TWG think?

Oh my GOD!!!!! How the heck did I miss the first book in this series?! More importantly…WHY DID I MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES! Luckily ‘Dying Breath’ can be read perfectly fine as a standalone, it just means that I now have another book making its way onto my TBR pile as I type. Yes, I did just buy the first book! I might even need to set an alarm on my phone so that I don’t miss the next book!

Can you tell that I absolutely fudging loved this book?! If you haven’t got Detective Lucy Harwin on your radar already, you must rectify that immediately! I’m assuming the first novel contained more of Lucy’s history, as it was clear from the onset in this book that Lucy has had a bit go a difficult time of late. Seeing as I had no idea what Lucy’s past entailed, I was intrigued to see what she was going to be like when it came to investigations. Would Lucy make her past known? Was the past going to hinder her work? Either way, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

‘Dying Breath’ has the type of storyline which requires careful reviewing to ensure that no spoilers are accidentally given. I realise I do say that a lot where this genre is concerned, but it’s true. I wouldn’t want to give away anything, nor do I wish to ruin the authors hard work, hence why I may end up being vague. This storyline is incredibly complex and fast paced. Each piece of information in the book is entwined with another piece, whether it’s a character’s personality trait, a piece of information regarding the investigation, or even something which could go unnoticed to the ‘untrained’ eye as it were. Never has the phrase ‘the smaller things matter the most’, been more accurate.

Honestly? I had absolutely no idea what to expect with ‘Dying Breath’, nor did I have any idea what the book was about before I started reading it as I don’t read blurbs. I just knew from the cover and the title of the book that I wanted to read it. Gut instinct. Seriously, one of the best decisions I have ever made. No joke.

By far one of the best books I have ever read, ‘Dying Breath’ literally took my breath away more than once. Ever had a moment where you’ve been far too engrossed in something that you realise you’ve been holding your breath? Yeah, me too – WHILST I WAS READING THIS! There was a certain part of the storyline which literally made my mouth hang wide open, gasp, and then cover my mouth with my hand in shock. Oh, and holding my breath. Y’know, just incase I didn’t feel shocked enough. I couldn’t believe my eyes and oh my god I still can’t. How did I not see it coming? I am SO glad that I didn’t see it coming, but after reading the book I wondered whether I had missed something to reach the same conclusion.

I could not recommend this book more if I tried! Helen Phifer has written an absolute BELTER of a book – I couldn’t put it down! (To be honest, I didn’t want to either!). There was nothing about this book I didn’t like, yet there was everything about the book I absolutely flipping loved. ‘Dying Breath’ really is a jaw dropping, spine tingling, and intense storyline which takes you on a rollercoaster ride the entire time.

Full of suspense, high intensity and some of the most well-defined characters I have ever come across in a book, I would use my ‘Dying Breath’ to tell you to go and get a copy of Helen Phifer’s novel right now.

F’awesome. I cannot WAIT to read the next instalment.

Thanks so much Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own. 

Helen’s debut novel ‘The Ghost House’ was published by Carina UK in October 2013 and went on to become a best seller along with the rest of the Annie Graham series. The Secrets of the Shadows, The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone horror story which will scare the pants off you or so her lovely readers have told her. It scared Helen when she was writing it so she pretty much agrees with them.

March 2017 saw the release of psychological thriller Dark House (previously called The Lost Children), book 1 in the Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin series. Book 2 – Dying Breath is due for release in Nov 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

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

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

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#BlogTour! #Review – Mother by S.E.Lynes (@SELynesAuthor) @Bookouture

MOTHER - Blog tour
Happy publication day to S.E.Lynes! ‘Mother’ is published today by Bookouture and what a way to kick off publication day than a blog tour! I am delighted to be one of the blogs hosting S.E.Lynes today, alongside the lovely Sharon Bairden from ‘Chapter In My Life’! Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as an ARC of the book. As the blog tour is only just beginning, make sure you follow the blogs listed above to ensure you’re kept up to date with all the goings on.

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How far would you go for the perfect family?

When Christopher Harris climbs into his family’s dusty attic, he finds a battered old suitcase containing a letter. Inside the letter is a secret; a secret about his mother that changes everything. 

Every mother loves their child. Every child deserves to be loved. But Christopher has grown up so lonely it hurts. 

Finally, Christopher thinks he has a chance at happiness. A happiness he will do anything to protect, whatever the cost…

An unputdownable thriller about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep, Mother will hold you breathless until the very last page and leave you reeling. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Apple Tree Yard.

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea where to start with this review to be honest! I still can’t quite decide whether I’m on the fence with it, or whether I am off the fence completely.

The prologue reeled me in big time. In such a short space of time the author had gotten my attention, peaked my interest and left me wanting more. Honestly, I couldn’t have wished for a better opening for this book.

Part of me was expecting the story to contain in the same vein, yet part of me was looking for something out of the ordinary. Y’know, a mixed bag type of thing. As I was reading the first chapter, I kept having to stop and check that I hadn’t accidentally missed a part of the book out – I was extremely confused! The story is being narrated by an unidentified person who is basically narrating Christopher’s life, including his feelings surrounding his newfound family bombshell. Whilst I found the bombshell theme incredibly interesting as it was set in the 1980’s when things were a lot different to how they are now, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lost.

I thought the addition of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ was cleverly thought out, whilst also being combined exceptionally well with the fictional story S.E.Lynes has created. As the story progressed my confusion didn’t let up. I got the gist about the emotional values surrounding being a mother and so on, but I couldn’t seem to work the rest out. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t too worried that I couldn’t work things out at that moment because as I’m sure you already know, I am a big dunce when it comes to workout out the ifs, whys and hows when it to psychological thrillers/crime procedurals, or anything along those lines. At least I admit it, right?

Thankfully during the second half of the novel things began to make a little more sense and feeling shocked became a regular occurrence. For me, the element of surprise and grit was rather slow burning, yet it was written in such a mesmerising and clever manner.

As for the storyline itself, I appreciated the overall theme of the novel for sure, but I just couldn’t gel with how everything came together and the journey the storyline took from beginning to end. Don’t get me wrong the suspense element is extremely well crafted! The fact that I couldn’t work the book out is of my own doing and not the authors I’m sure!

S.E.Lynes is like a composer of the literary world. Her writing skills are enchanting and very addictive on their own – I reckon that this author could write a story about a cow eating grass in a field, and make it come alive with no qualms at all. She really does have an exceptional talent. Whilst the storyline and I, didn’t end up being best buddies, I am super excited to read more from this author. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ‘Mother’ since I finished reading it – it certainly has left some sort of mark that’s for sure!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 

After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington. Her first novel, Valentina, published by Blackbird Digital Books, came out in July 2016. Her follow up novel, Mother, is published by Bookouture.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Stopping Place by Helen Slavin (@HelenSlavinBook) @IpsoBooks

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“Martha has responsibility for the book club and the author visits, and dresses like a gypsy. That’s not a criticism, by the way. She puts tones and shades together that make you feel you’ve been seeing the world in black and white all your life. In winter she’s velvet and raw silk and wool. Have you ever seen raw silk? Just the sight of her coming through the door each day makes you want to jump up and wave your arms. I’d love to dress like that.”

Ruby works at the library. Shelving, mainly. Not in the archive; that’s Mrs Atkinson’s magical white-gloved domain, where she stands watch over the historical photos and the special files of the lost boys who went to war. Ruby would like to work in the archive of course, but there’s only one pair of white gloves-and anyway Martha’s the one being groomed for greatness. Martha of the flamboyant bohemian style and russet-toned beauty. And the Affairs.

Ruby can see the appeal of the Affairs; the heat, the danger. Ruby sees a lot, loitering there behind Geography 910, enough to worry her. Maybe even enough to bring her out of hiding. And that could be a problem, because everyone has history-especially someone who’s trying to lose it.

Helen Slavin brought the afterlife to life in her funny, quirky first novel, The Extra Large Medium. With The Stopping Place she takes her delicious observational humour into darker and more mysterious territory, with the harrowing story of a woman whose past has made her try to become invisible.

What does TWG think?

Stepping out of my comfort zone once again with ‘The Stopping Place’ by Helen Slavin. Having not read (or heard of) Helen Slavin and her books, I was intrigued to see what awaited me beyond the front cover of ‘The Stopping Place’. Seeing as I’m not really one for reading blurbs, I went into this book ‘blind’ so to speak, my decision based on the cover of the book and the title alone.

What peaked my interest at the start of the book was how the storyline was set in a library. As nerdish as people may think, you cannot beat a book which is set in a library if you’re a bookworm. End of. There really is no better setting. However, when the storyline seemed to point in the direction of invisibility for the main character, I knew straight away that ‘The Stepping Place’ was a different style of book to what I’m used to. I continued reading as I didn’t want to give up purely on the basis of the storyline being ‘different’, that wouldn’t have been fair on the author at all.

The main character, Ruby,  seemed to play all of her cards close to her chest and, weirdly enough, I actually found myself becoming more and more intrigued by Ruby’s personality as well as the traits which were being kept hidden. What was Ruby hiding?

As the story went on, it became clear exactly what Ruby’s life was all about and whilst the author did write the story well, I have to admit that I spent a lot of time waiting for the ‘Big Bang’ part of the book to happen. And it didn’t.

There is a lot about ‘The Stopping Place’ which made me stop and listen, especially the way in which the author produced the storyline itself. Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, I can still appreciate the thought behind it, including the historic features which Ruby came into contact with.

Very different.

Thanks IpsoBooks.

Buy now from Amazon US
Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Dying Day by Stephen Edger (@StephenEdger) @Bookouture

Dying Day Blog Tour
Delighted to be sharing my review today of Stephen Edger’s ‘Dying Day’ as part of the blog blitz on publication day! Congratulations to Stephen Edger and a huge thank you to Bookouture for the blog blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge…

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken…

Mysterious sympathy cards sent to the victims’ families finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me, what a book!!!!! Detective Kate Matthews’ past has come back to bite her on the backside. She knows it. Her boss knows it, and because of that, he orders Kate to stay away from a new investigation for her own sake. Doers she listen? Does she heck and to be perfectly honest, you can’t really blame her as guilt really does override logical thinking. After all, she’s only human.

Despite not listening to her boss’s orders, Kate still goes ahead and tries to piece everything together. Is the investigation from the past linked with the newest murder, or is Kate wishful thinking? Something isn’t sitting right for the Detective and she is determined to get to the bottom of it, regardless of how much hot water she lands herself in.

Even though I could see where Kate’s boss was coming from, I loved how determined Kate Matthews was, even if she did end up playing with fire a lot of the time. For me, her determination made the storyline have fire in its belly. Armitage’s ignorance was annoying me and whilst I understood his hands were tied to a point, he still didn’t give Matthews a chance to talk properly and I found that a little bit arrogant. Although to be honest, because of the way he was acting throughout the storyline, part of me did suspect him!

When another body is found murdered in a similar way, Kate’s determination goes up yet another notch, but instead of it making her think logically, it ended up building her frustration. She knew deep down that all of the murders were linked and nobody was listening to her due to her connection with a previous investigation. I felt her frustration – Stephen Edger has done a brilliant job of making Kate’s character come alive in more ways than one. I really would be surprised if readers turned around and said that they couldn’t connect to Detective Matthews because in all honesty, Kate is the most relatable character in the entire book.

I had to admit defeat whilst reading ‘Dying Day’ as I just couldn’t seem to work out who had done what. I tried but once again, I failed. Please remind me NEVER to go for a job as a detective. I would be absolutely shocking! I didn’t suspect the actual person who had done it – my jaw hit the floor when it came to light!

I am so impressed by the strong storyline which Stephen Edger has written. Everything flowed flawlessly, and the red herrings were a very clever addition to an already complex storyline. ‘Dying Day’ is a fast paced, rollercoaster ride of suspense, intensity and truly genius writing from the outstanding Stephen Edger.

I absolutely loved this book and everything it stood for. I cannot wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended, ‘Dying Day’ is a book that needs to be devoured because once you ‘pop’, you really can’t stop. Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author bio.

Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

Facebook // Twitter // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – Trading Down by @StephenNorman49 @EndeavourPress

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This evening on TWG I have a review of Stephen Norman’s ‘Trading Down’ which was published on the 9th November by Endeavour Press. Huge thank you to Midas PR and Endeavour Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, as well as an ARC of the book. ‘Trading Down’ is out to buy now. Here is my review:

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London – Chris Peters loves his work: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. But the dream turns sour as mysterious meltdowns begin to hit datacentres across the grid and a true banking collapse threatens. Desperately trying to hold his marriage together as systems crash and traders turn on him, Chris must uncover the sinister truth before chaos is unleashed…

 Yemen – When Zahra’s father fails to return from a work trip to Dubai, she is sure there is a simple explanation… until gruesome warnings arrive on the doorstep. As the threats become more violent Zahra’s family are thrown into a desperate race to pay off their father’s captors. But how far will her family go to meet the abductors’ demands?

What does TWG think?

This book couldn’t have been further from my comfort zone if it tried! The only reason which me and financial services have come into contact is because I have walked into my own bank and spoken to an advisor. Apart from that, I couldn’t tell you anything else at all about investment back and financial services. Honestly, it goes right over my head and, you know what? Weirdly enough that actually gave me more reason to want to read this book. Why? Because I had absolutely no idea about the overall theme of the book and that really intrigued me. I know, I’m odd.

As for including the topic of financial terrorism – what an extremely clever move. It was yet another thing I didn’t have a clue about yet Stephen Norman pulled me in hook line and sinker. I really didn’t want to put the book down at all!

Just to add yet another dimension to the storyline, the author has split the storyline into two settings – London and Yemen. We get to ‘see’ a lot of chaos being caused in Chris Peters’ line of work, as well as finding out exactly how far Peters would go to protect everyone’s investments before it’s too late.

Fitting in with modern-day technology with the emphasis of the cyber world, Stephen Norman has written a very well thought out, exciting and fast paced novel. Yes okay, I didn’t understand a lot of the things to do with the overall topic, especially when the storyline included several words which only people in the know would truly understand, I still managed to enjoy the thrilling side of the book and would definitely recommend ‘Trading Down’ to my friends. A realistic portrayal of such devastating circumstances. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Thanks Midas Pr & Endeavour Press.

Trading Down by Stephen Norman, published by Endeavour Press, is available to buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Gone Missing by T.J.Brearton (@BreartonTJ) @Bookouture

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Next on the blog is my review of T.J.Brearton’s ‘Gone Missing’ as part of the blog blitz for Bookouture. What a book! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I enjoyed reading this book. Thanks Bookouture for the ARC of the book.

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As she reached the park, she heard a baby crying. She stopped. She couldn’t see anybody around. “Hello?” She raised her voice an octave. “Anybody there?”

Katie Calumet is on an early-morning run when she hears a baby crying. The park is deserted, and there’s no one in the street. She follows the cries, but then everything goes black. When Katie wakes up, she’s blindfolded and her hands and feet are bound.

Detective Justin Cross takes on the case, but with the trail leading into endless dense forest, and a failing marriage weighing on his mind, finding Katie is his most challenging case yet – not least because the Calumet family are keeping secrets of their own.

Justin and Katie face a race against time that will push them both to their very limits. As Justin works day and night to discover who took her and why, Katie fights desperately to escape from her kidnappers and the forest that surrounds her…

Can Justin find her before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

jfbiebkejngkeng!!!!! Where the hell do I begin? Not only did the storyline pull me in straight away, I had no time to regulate my heart-rate due to the fast paced, jam-packed storyline! I have no idea how I am going to do this book justice with my review, but I shall give it my best go.

Once again, ‘Gone Missing’ is yet another book which makes me want to grab everybody and go ‘did you read the part where….? or ‘OMG what about when Katie….’. But I can’t! If any book clubs are needing a new book to discuss, I really do recommend this one. I’m half tempted to make my own book club just so that I can talk about this ‘Gone Missing’ until I’m blue in the face. Seriously!!

Katie heard a baby crying on her early morning run and she did what anyone with a heart would have done – went to check it out. Unfortunately, Katie’s decision wasn’t the best one, but she couldn’t have foreseen what was going to happen. Would I have done the same as Katie? Possibly.

Naturally, Katie’s husband is beside himself that his wife has gone missing, yet he didn’t seem to want to tell Detective Cross everything. I couldn’t put my finger on the vibe I was getting from the husband, but I know for sure that it wasn’t a good one. Well, the same goes for Katie’s family actually. There really was a lot more to them that meets the eye. But what WERE they hiding? Or was I just pointing my finger in their direction just because? Something wasn’t right, well, aside from the fact that Katie was missing obviously.

The storyline switches between the investigate led by Justin Cross and Katie’s time away from her loved ones. Reading Katie’s story was very gritty, intense, and very descriptive when it came to her injuries and other circumstances. Put it this way, I really was glad that I chose not to eat whilst reading ‘Gone Missing’. I’m really not convinced that I would have kept my food down. Of course I’m not complaining as the storyline required that level of description to make Katie’s story come to light in the way that it did. Without it, I don’t think that it would have packed as much punch as it did.

Comparing the two viewpoints, weirdly enough I actually preferred reading about Katie’s situation than reading the investigation side of things. I think that was because I felt that the situation with Katie’s family was just going round and round in circles. That said, I was completely engrossed when Detective Cross and his team involved maps and other forms of transport. Ahem – vague much? I really don’t want to give anything away but, that change in direction with the investigation had me on the edge of my seat as all I could hear subconsciously was the tick tocking of a clock. Would they get to Katie in time? Would Katie survive everything she endured?

I did feel that the story concluded rather abruptly though. One minute everything was fast paced and my heart was in my mouth, and the next minute everything just stopped and that was that. I’m not saying that the book should have dragged on – of course not, I just felt that the conclusion didn’t really match with the rest of the storyline.

However, I really did enjoy ‘Gone Missing’. It kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time, and I loved reading a storyline which had a completely different setting from the usual thrillers. It made a change to exercise my brain in different circumstances and I cannot wait to read another of T.J. Brearton’s books.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Snow Light by Danielle Zinn (@DanielleZinn4) @BloodHoundBook

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Busy day on TWG today! First up is my review of Danielle Zinn’s ‘Snow Light’ as part of the Blog Blitz arranged by BloodHoundBooks. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invite as well as the ARC.

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When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Turtleville, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again. However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park murder re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village. For Thomas the situation gets worse when DS Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question. Who is the victim? And why was he murdered? Thomas and Collins will find themselves trying to solve a highly unusual case and both may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.

What does TWG think?

One thing I love about reading books published by BloodHoundBooks is the fact I am able to read so many new authors, a lot of them producing books I probably wouldn’t have picked out for myself on Amazon. Why? Because I never really knew these types of books existed and you can’t really type random words into the Amazon search bar, hoping that you’ll be given a new style of book. I love that I am able to step out of my comfort zone by reading a lot of different genres. Especially this book.

DI Nathaniel Thomas is living in the past. After a previous case didn’t go to plan, Nathaniel was left feeling extremely guilty and in need of a fresh start. Whilst the idea of a fresh start was all well and good, it didn’t exactly turn out that way a year down the line. Faced with another murder and a case of mistaken identity, Nathaniel is thrown head first into the snow as he attempts to find the culprit. If DI Thomas thought that his fresh start was going to be easy, he was completely mistaken.

My first thought of DI Thomas and the murder was ‘WAHEYYYY welcome back!’! What a corker of a case to get stuck into eh! Of course DI Thomas attempts to be as professional as possible without bringing his past back into future, but when he gets told that a colleague from his past will be assisting him on the case, I really do think that he would have made yellow snow right there and then if he could have done.

I found myself rather engrossed in the developing storyline, especially when fingers seemed to be pointing to everyone in the village! How on Earth could I begin to narrow it down? I had absolutely no idea who the culprit was yet several characters seemed to be showing a lot more signs of guilt than others.

Whilst I was hooked on ‘Snow Light’, I did find some parts of the storyline to be a little slow. For me, I would have preferred it to be a little more fast paced as I felt that there were too many pregnant pauses. That said, ‘Snow Light’ did keep me guessing until the very end, with the conclusion stealing the show. Definitely a heart in mouth moment!

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The First One to Die by Victoria Jenkins @vicwritescrime @Bookouture

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Happy publication day to Victoria Jenkins and ‘The First One to Die’! Super excited to be taking part in the blog blitz today – thank you to Bookouture for the invite as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

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Four friends. A house full of secrets. And a killer picking them off one by one…

She tried to break her fall, twisting desperately, but there was nothing to catch hold of, nothing with which she could stop herself. Her single scream cut through the night air.

Keira North falls to her death at a party. It initially seems like an accident, but Detectives Alex King and Chloe Lane suspect foul play: they are convinced they are dealing with a murder.

When the detectives start to investigate, they soon find that all of Keira’s closest friends have secrets that someone might kill to keep.

And as Alex and Chloe are fighting their own demons and struggling to stay on top of the case, Keira’s killer is circling the group of friends, who one by one find that their lives are in danger…

What does TWG think?

I have to be honest – the cover of this book pulled me in something chronic. I mean, just look at it! How can you NOT be intrigued by it? I crossed every part of my body in hope that the contents of the book would be as much of a belter as the cover was.

My goodness, I never expected what I read, that’s for sure! What a book! Victoria Jenkins is a new author for me so I was looking forward to finally reading one of her books. It’s safe to say that I devoured the book in a mere few hours. Usually I update my Goodreads status as I go, but because my nose was stuck in the storyline just like my hand in a packet of cookies, I only had chance to update it the once and that was it.

Er hello, I wasn’t lifting my head for nobody!

‘The First One to Die’ reminded me of the game Cluedo…except more twisted and a slim chance of a candlestick being used as a weapon in the drawing room. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but y’know.

A girl has died at a house party. Some say that it was an accident yet the DI’s seem to think otherwise. Only the people at the party knew what had happened yet they seem to be withholding vital information from the police which could land one of them, if not more, in severe hot water. How did she die? Was it actually an accident or did someone push her?

Without coming across cheesy, this book really does have the ‘DUN DUN DUNN’ effect. I was on the edge of my seat whilst trying to work out what the truth was behind Keira’s death, especially as a lot of people seemed to know something but weren’t saying anything. Even though it was like getting blood out of a stone with several of the characters, I couldn’t help being hooked on the overall situation. It really was a storyline that I was able to sink my teeth into without coming up for air.

As the storyline progressed and another case came in for Alex and Chloe, I weirdly found myself becoming extremely excited about what that meant for the storyline overall. Were the two cases linked? Did others know things but not saying anything, just like the first case? I couldn’t help feeling intrigued once again.

Victoria Jenkins is a severely addictive author. In a minimal amount of time the author seemed to know exactly what her readers wanted – suspense, intense and grit, and Jenkins delivered. Boy she delivered.

‘The First One to Die’ is a brilliant, fast paced storyline which is guaranteed to increase your heart rate tenfold. Addictive, thrilling and severely intense – Victoria Jenkins really is an author to watch.

Wow!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

#BlogTour! #Review – The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland (@ShaliniBoland) @Bookouture

The Secret Mother - Blog tour
Today I am thrilled to share with you my review of Shalini Boland’s novel, The Secret Mother’, alongside fellow blogger Novel Gossip! Huge thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the tour as well as the ARC of Shalini’s novel. Here is my review:

The-Secret-Mother-Kindle

‘Are you my mummy?’


Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. 

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there. 

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?

What does TWG think?

Wowza, what a corker of an opening to this book! Straight away Shalini Boland puts the suspense wheels in motion when the main character, Tessa, comes face to face with a child in her kitchen. ‘Are you my mummy?’ the child asks, but Tessa doesn’t have any children and even if she did, she wouldn’t have left a child all alone in her kitchen whilst she went off to work. Is the child a figment of Tessa’s imagination like everyone seems to believe? Or is there a genuine reason as to why the child ended up being all alone in her kitchen…?

Nion straight away my heart was in my mouth and my motherly instincts kicked in. Of course they would have been no use as it’s fictional, but still. They were there. Where did the random child come from? How on Earth did someone manage to get into Tessa’s house to put him there? WHY did they put him there? So many questions and not a lot of answers – no wonder Tessa was getting frustrated with not being believed. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding the child, Tessa’s past got brought back up and the media went to town. It didn’t matter how many times Tessa said she was innocent, everyone seemed to disbelieve her, which in turn made her start doubting herself.

Now, whilst the storyline completely and utterly funked over my head, making me unsure as to what to believe, a certain part of the storyline gave me a hunch and I was convinced I knew where the book was heading. It’s rare that I’m right so I didn’t think too much of it.

As the storyline progressed my hunch started to make even more sense. I was adamant I knew what had happened and, for the first time ever, I was right. Because I had worked out the outcome of the book a while before the storyline actually properly concluded, I did feel a little disheartened as I really was hoping I was wrong, purely so I could enjoy the rest of the book unawares. I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the author put her storyline together along with multiple red herrings, bucketfuls of emotion and never-ending psychological battles, as it meant the book came across as an addictive, easy read which I flew through in a couple of hours.

Personally, the only downside to the storyline was that the conclusion was easy to work out. I didn’t have the shock factor like I had hoped I would which was a shame. I don’t usually work out a conclusion before the end!

That said, I still enjoyed Shalini Boland’s novel overall. The level of suspense at the beginning was second to none and due to the constant unanswered questions throughout the book, the intensity of the storyline made it a highly addictive read.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author:

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Shalini’s debut psychological thriller THE GIRL FROM THE SEA reached No 1 in the US Audible charts and No 7 in the UK Kindle charts. Her second thriller THE BEST FRIEND reached no 2 in the US Audible charts and No 10 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row. Shalini’s recent release THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE reached No 9 in the Kindle UK charts.

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

Shalini is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

http://www.facebook.com/ShaliniBolandAuthor
http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk
https://twitter.com/ShaliniBoland

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Scream Blue Murder by @TonyJForder @BloodHoundBook

BLOG BLITZ (9)
Huge thanks to Sarah from BloodHoundBooks for inviting me to take part in the blog blitz for ‘Scream Blue Murder’. I am delighted to be able to share my review with you all this evening.

Tony J Forder - Scream Blue Murder_cover_1

Mike Lynch is going through hard times. But things get much worse when he witnesses a murder in a lay-by. Snatching the victim’s car in order to get away, Mike soon makes a shocking discovery – the victim’s young daughter and her nanny are hiding in the rear footwell. This is when the real trouble begins.

 Mike wants to go to the police, but the nanny, Melissa, wants to delay until the daughter, Charlie, is somewhere safe. Mike agrees to this request before finding out the seriousness of the situation, and just how much danger they are really in.

 Who exactly was the man he saw murdered? And who is the man he saw pulling the trigger?

 In a situation where nothing is what it seems, Mike will have to fight for his life to protect a woman and a child he doesn’t know. And when the death count rises, he will discover what kind of man he really is.

What does TWG think?

Oh.my.god!!! What a book! The idiot that I am forgot to write this blitz in my diary which, thanks to the publishers incredible organisational skills, I was prompted on social media last night. Cue having my nose in ‘Scream Blue Murder’ all of last night. Am I complaining though? Am I heck! Whether I am a fast reader or not is irrelevant as I just could not put this book down, therefore I was speeding through it like goodness knows what!

The story begins with a teaser prologue – it certainly kept me guessing that’s for sure! Between that and the end of the first chapter, it felt as though I had a constant frown on my face. It seemed like such a big jump between the prologue and the ‘now’, I honestly thought I had missed a few pages!

I kept turning the pages thinking ‘what the hell is going on?’. Even though I couldn’t seem to work out what was happening, what the motive was, who exactly was in the firing line even though there were people after Lynch, I was 110% engrossed in the intensity of the storyline. The jam-packed, high intensity storyline kept me on the edge of my seat whilst also managing to fray my nerves. Clueless yet completely addicted.

About 60 or so percent in, the storyline cranked up yet another notch. Something was about to go down with Lynch and Melissa, but what, I had no idea. The author described certain goings on around and due to the way in which the author fed those descriptions to his readers, my heart rate shot up in anticipation. I have no idea why I was feeling apprehensive as I wasn’t even in the firing line yet the author made me feel as though I was slap bang in the centre of all the action! Genius!

From that moment, whenever I had to go outside to let my dog out for a tinkle, I began jumping at the slightest noise. Looking left and right in the garden to make sure that there was nobody about to shoot me. Yes, you may laugh as whilst it is hilarious now, I forgot to switch off from the book before I went outside so as far as I was concerned, any movement I made was still part of the storyline. If that makes any sense at all!

‘Scream Blue Murder’ kept me in suspense until the very last page. I’m not going to lie, I had my suspicions about several of the characters involved in the book as there had to be a lot more to the story. It was clear that someone was lying but I couldn’t for definite say who. I had a hunch who it might be and due to the risk of spoilers I shan’t tell you who I thought it might be, but oh my gosh!

A fantastic, well written, suspenseful and spine tingling novel, which left me finishing the book with my hand over my mouth in shock. Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now!

About the author.

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The second book in the series will be released in 2018, with a third currently in progress.

On 19 September 2017, Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

On 8 November, Bloodhound Books will publish Tony’s new fast-paced action thriller, Scream Blue Murder. This is the first novel in an intended series, and has received praise from both Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.

Some years ago, Tony won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books. The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale. It was the start of Tony’s publishing journey.

Tony is signed to Bloodhound Books for a minimum of four books, but believes there is much more to come.