#BlogTour! #Review – The Fourth Victim by John Mead (@JohnMeadAuthor) @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC – here is my review of ‘The Fourth Victim’ by John Mead:

Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight.  And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging gone wrong.  The victim deserves more.  However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

What does TWG think?

I really don’t quite know how to review this book I must admit. I was quite intrigued about the overall premise of the book to begin with – police procedural, a whodunnit and questionable circumstances – definitely my kind of book.

However, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was missing something! There were times where I felt as though I had walked into a conversation half way through, or picked up the book in the middle of a situation when in actual fact I hadn’t. I couldn’t quite grasp the way in which the storyline came together which ended up making the novel, in my eyes, a very difficult book to follow.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the police procedural content, especially the gripping events which led to the conclusion. There was definitely a complex level of suspense throughout the entire novel which I thought worked very well with such flawed characters.

For me, ‘The Fourth Victim’ had the ideal recipe for a belter of a read, I just felt that the icing on the cake needed a bit of fine tuning. All in all an intensely promising read.

Buy now!

About the author.

Born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built. I was the first pupil from my local secondary modern school to attend university.

I have travelled extensively during my life from America to Tibet. I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that I am an avid ‘people watcher’ and love to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. 

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in my novels are based on real incidents and people I have come across. Although I have allowed myself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

 

Social Media Links – 

Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor

Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

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#BlogTour! #Review – #TruthandLies by Caroline Mitchell (@Caroline_writes) @Amazonpub

carolinewrites
It’s my turn to host Caroline Mitchell and her latest novel, ‘Truth and Lies’. Big thank you to Midas PR for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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Meet Amy Winter: Detective Inspector, daughter of a serial killer.

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?

What does TWG think?

I don’t even know where to begin with this one! If you have an interest in serial killers, Caroline Mitchell’s latest novel will be right up your street. I’ll tell you something else, if you had mentioned this type of book to me several years ago, I would have said no to reading it, ten times over – it’s funny how things change, eh!

‘Truth and Lies’ is an extremely uncomfortable, yet highly addictive read which made my toes curl, make me feel incredibly nauseous, as well as making me rub my hands together wanting more. I know, I know. I shouldn’t feel excited about reading a book where serial killers are the running theme, but Caroline Mitchell’s addictive story telling brings that excitement to the top of the pile, time and time again.

Even though this book is the work of fiction, I couldn’t help but think of a certain serial killer duo whilst I was reading this (there’s quite a few so I’m not giving anything away by saying that!), especially as I felt like I was reading a non-fiction novel. Yep. That’s how strong the writing was in this book. Caroline Mitchell certainly knows what she’s talking about, yet even though a lot of her readers may not have the knowledge of police talk or the like, the author refuses to let that be an issue by teaching her readers indirectly, instead of patronising them like other books I have read in this genre.

Lillian is an absolute -insert bad word here beginning with C-, yet she makes the book the twisted, uncomfortable, jaw-dropping read this is. Well, not just her, obviously. I just don’t think that ‘Truth and Lies’ would have made me react in the same manner if Lillian’s character hadn’t been the psycho that she was.

I am so, so pleased that this is the start of a new series because there are quite a few characters I must find out more about. Don’t get me wrong, they had their time in the spotlight in this novel, but even then I felt like their guards were up and I wasn’t able to see the entire picture where a couple of them were concerned. Namely Paddy and Pike – something just didn’t sit right with me with either them.

I’ve often wondered whether blood could be tainted or whether a family member could end up like one who broke the law. Does it go down the family tree? If one person commits a murder does that mean that anyone related to them would have a higher chance of following in their footsteps? I thought it was very clever that Caroline Mitchell had that thought running throughout the storyline as it made me more intrigued about what lay ahead. The psychology behind serial killers psyche is one that interests me greatly, and after reading ‘Truth and Lies’, that interest has been cemented so deeply, I must act on it and educate myself further.

What an out of this world, deeply unsettling, jaw-dropping, spine tingling, and phenomenal read this is. Caroline Mitchell has upped her game once again as this book, in my opinion, is her best book yet.

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Death on the Coast by Bernie Steadman (@BernieSteadman) @BloodHoundBook

B LO G B L I T Z
Day two of the blog blitz for ‘Death on the Coast’, and I am delighted to be one of the bloggers taking part today. Big thank you to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite!

death on the coast FINAL

Can DCI Dan Hellier decipher the twisted mind behind the ritualised burning of homeless men on Devon’s beaches before more people are sacrificed?

 When images from the burning appear all over social media, Hellier realises that he is dealing with a cult and a mystery that will leads back to the Irish Troubles.

 Hellier will battle a bitter man who has plotted revenge for more than twenty years, without a care for the lives he will destroy.

What does TWG think?

I am a little bit ashamed that I have only just come across these books, but I am so very glad that ‘Death on the Coast’ can be read as a standalone despite it being part of a series!

I was super impressed by the way in which Bernie Steadman had me engaged in the storyline almost instantly. There didn’t seem to be any of the slow, drip feeding of information like other books, instead the level of intensity was top notch from the very beginning, until the very end. I must admit that I don’t very much about cults, but after reading ‘Death on the Coast’, I found myself becoming very intrigued by them, even if people involved do deserve a tap on the back of the hands!

The overall theme of the storyline was a bit gruesome, but I cannot fault the author for the way she kept my intrigue despite the disturbing scenes. Because I am a naturally nosy person, police procedurals/crime novels tick a lot of boxes for me as you have to find out everything to get to the bottom of certain situations, and ‘Death on the Coast’ didn’t disappoint in that way at all.

I really do wish that I had read one of these books sooner, but after reading Bernie Steadman’s latest offering, I now have an excuse to binge read her previous novels.

An intense, vividly written, intriguing novel which I won’t be forgetting in a hurry!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Bernie taught English for many years but only dabbled in short fiction and poetry until a few years ago when she took to writing full-time.  She completed her debut novel, Death in the Woods when she escaped the classroom and could finally stop marking essays. This was the first in the West Country Mysteries series featuring DI Dan Hellier and his Exeter-based team. There are now three in the series, Death on Dartmoor and Death on the Coast completing the series.        

Bernie lives in a small village in East Devon and her novels are set in and around the ancient Roman city of Exeter, which has seen its fair share of murder and mayhem over the centuries. The books explore the beauty of the area, but demonstrate that even in the most charming of settings, terrible events may occur.

When not glued to the laptop, Bernie is a keen yoga fan and enjoys walking and cycling in the Devon countryside with her husband. They share their home with two large, black cats which came from the animal sanctuary where she is a volunteer and trustee.

Links:

@BernieSteadman

http://basteadman.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ExeterCrimeSeries/

What a difference, a day makes – or in this case, the month of May! #MonthlyRoundUp #TopBook (@NoelleHarrison @bwpublishing)

The Writing Garnet's Book of the Month is......
It isn’t often that I do a monthly roundup, purely because I often forget. However, I felt the urge to do one for the month of May because I feel that I have to speak out about a few things, and what better way to do it than in a roundup post! #KillTwoBirdsWithOneStone

So, what happened in May?

The highlights!

– TWG was involved in 52 blog tours, the highest amount of blog tours in one month, ever!
– I met up with author, Mary-Jayne Baker, in Edinburgh for bookish chat.
– My TWG Facebook page  hit 1602 likes!
– I went over 5000 followers on Twitter, despite starting with around 100 or so when I started blogging two years ago.
– I found myself being quoted yet another book cover (thanks Bookouture!), as well as being quoted on Amazon itself!
– I received so many wonderful proof copies through the post, as well as being approved for other many awesome books on Netgalley. Big thank you to the publishers/publicists who have either sent me books or approved me. You’re all amazing!
– I have had many wonderful bookish chats with my fellow book buddies on social media – love you all!

There have been, I’m sure, many other highlights but it is quite difficult to remember them all when you make yourself do so! Like most things, there is always a downside:

The Lowlights.

May was the month where I was trolled on social media not once, but twice in the matter of one week. Now, despite being told that other people have had similar and just to ignore, for me that isn’t easy and I’ll tell you why. From the age of five, I was horrifically bullied, tormented for the hair on my arms to how I spoke, being pushed into brick walls to then having a metal sellotape holder slammed down on my knuckles. I was even told that I was fat day in, day out, where I ended up battling with anorexia and bulimia. Whilst I would love to say that the bullied ended quickly, it didn’t. For some, comments on social media are like water off a ducks back. But for me, when they come across as personal attacks, similar circumstances or not, I find them to be a trigger. It isn’t nice because it then sets off my mental health which in turn sets off my chronic illnesses. Thankfully I have drawn a line under that, but I just wanted to speak about that.

Another lowlight in May involved the entire blogging community and the idea of ‘paid reviews’. I won’t get into it again, but I am sick and tired of hard working bloggers getting thrown under the bus by people who can waltz in without giving a damn about integrity or hard work. I don’t charge for my book reviews, and I don’t intend on doing so. I review because I love books and because I feel that I am forever in authors debts for writing books which allow me to escape my daily hell. And yes, it is often hell.

Again, another one which involved the entire book blogging community was when it became known that someone was selling ARCs/proof copies on Ebay. The fact that it says somewhere on the proof ‘not to be resold or used for quotation’, is neither here nor there…..clearly. Seriously, receiving proof copies from publishers/publicists is an honour and I feel privileged to be able to receive some amazing books through my letter box. Would I then go on to sell them on Ebay? Like fuck would I. Respect is earned, not given. Respect isn’t an entitlement, it’s a privilege.

The following lowlight is a personal one for me and one which I have ummed and ahhed about saying. Those who know me personally, or those who have read my previous posts, will know that I am rather lacking in the ‘healthy’ area, with illnesses such as fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, joint hypermobility syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, anxiety and depression, under my belt. It’s bad enough dealing with all of that, but now, after years of battling with doctors who told me it was ‘all in my head’ and being looked at like I had two heads, I am now being treated for CFS otherwise known as ME. I was also put on a new medication, one which isn’t going to become my bestie anytime soon that’s for sure (amitriptyline). Coming to terms with yet another illness at the ripe ‘old’ age of 28 is heart-breaking, and once again I’m left feeling like I am grieving a part of me now gone. Although to be fair, I’m surprised that there is anything left of ‘me’ to grieve but y’know! I want to say a personal thank you to a person who has been checking in with my every few days despite going through their own issues, and that big thank you is for Abbie Rutherford – your friendship means a lot to me, thank you for being there for me <3.

Enough of the lowlights, lets talk books!

With 52 blog tours in one month, I got through quite a lot of books in May such as:

#Review – The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton (@bookish_yogi) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Lead Me Home by CS Savage (@sarahsavage26) @BloodhoundBook

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineandSweetPeas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @simonschusteruk

& many, many more.

It is such an honour to be involved in the blog tours/blog blitzes for incredible books, so thank you to the publishers who invite me to take part!

If I did have to choose just one book from May, it would have to be ‘The Gravity of Love’ by Noelle Harrison. That book blew my mind like nothing before, plus I managed to make the author AND the publishing team cry with my review. I loved everything about the book and everything it stood for, and I am sure that you will too. In case you missed my review the first time round, you can read it again here:

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

The Writing Garnet is going from strength to strength and I can only thank you all for supporting me along my journey, sharing my blog posts/tweets, inviting me on tours, and involving me in a community that sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough to be in. It is such a joy to be able to share my love of books with you all, so thank you <3.

What’s coming up in June?

As it stands, I have 40 blog tours in my diary for this month already. I expect that to go up when I realise that I have included all of the tours by forgetting to write some of them down (it happens, but I do post them on time!). We are on the 5th June and I will have taken part in 11 blog tours by the end of today. Insane, but amazing. I don’t have many other bookish plans for June at the moment, well, apart from the usual, but I am looking forward to reading some fabulous books!

Lots of love and books,

TWG x

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Merciless by Heleyne Hammersley (@hhammersley66) @BloodHoundBook

B L O G B L I T Z-8
Third and final day of the blog blitz, and I have the honour of closing the blitz with my review. Thank you to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

Merciless - Heleyne Hammersley

Two murders. One missing girl.  
DI Kate Fletcher is called out to a freezing canal where a woman’s body is found floating in a lock. With no identification, the police struggle to piece together the details of the woman’s life. 
In Thorpe a daughter confesses to the murder of her father. She says she helped him escape a painful death from liver cancer, but was her role more active than she claims? 
As Kate and her team investigate, the links between the two cases are inescapable and everything seems to lead back to the disappearance of a teenager years earlier. 
Then the main suspect vanishes…. 
Can Kate connect the events of past and present to bring the culprit to justice?

What does TWG think?

DI Kate Fletcher is baaacccckkkkk! And boy did she make an entrance! It didn’t take me long at all to devour the second instalment in the ‘Kate Fletcher’ series, what with the incredibly intense plot and the high energy situations which Kate Fletcher and her team came across.

With a murder confession on their hands which was intent on raising several eyebrows, it doesn’t take too long for Kate Fletcher and her team to find themselves tangled in a spider’s web, when they realise that there is a lot more to that ‘confession’ than they first thought.

‘Merciless’ is a story that switches between past events and the ‘now’. Even though us readers have more insight to the truth than Kate Fletcher does, Heleyne Hammersley has ensured that her readers are still kept in the dark regarding the pieces of information that will really allow faeces to hit the fan.

I have to say that, even though I had roughly worked out what I had thought had happened, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the storyline as, whilst I had become aware of the minor details, the true grit and shocking moments were kept under lock and key until the very last knocking.

‘Merciless’ kept my attention from start to finish, raising my heart rate with every turn of the page. I thought that the tension in the book was fantastically written, and the addition of the author drip feeding her readers shocking information was very, very clever.

I cannot fault this book at all! I know I have been vague with my review, but ‘Merciless’ is the type of book which the less you know about beforehand, the more blunt your reactions will be.

A cracking, fast paced read which kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through.

Buy now!

About the author.

Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.

Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool. 

When she’s not writing, Heleyne can often be found wandering on the fells or in the local park with her dog.

Links: 

Website: www.heleynehammersley.com

Twitter: @hhammersley66

#BlogBlitz! #Review – If Fear Wins by Tony J Forder (@TonyJForder) @BloodHoundBook

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It’s my turn to host Tony.J.Forder today TWG as I review his latest novel, ‘If Fear Win’s. Thank you to Sarah from BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

grading IF FEAR WINS

When a torched body is found in a country lane, DI Bliss and Chandler are called in to investigate.

 The detectives are drawn towards recent missing person reports, and believe their victim will prove to be one of them. Bliss thinks he knows which, and fears the outcome if he is proven right.

 Soon the body is identified, and Bliss and Chandler discover evidence suggesting this murder might be a terrorist attack.

 Meanwhile, someone from Bliss’s past needs his help, and soon he is juggling his personal life with the demanding case. To make matters more complicated, MI5 and the Counter-Terrorist Unit are called in to help solve the case. But are they on the right track?

 Bliss and Chandler soon find themselves in a race against time, and this might just be their most challenging case yet…

What does TWG think?

Oh how Detective Bliss makes me laugh! To be honest with you, I probably shouldn’t say that because he deals with a lot of things that us civilians would run away from, but it’s the way he presents himself when dealing with the murders or colleagues he would love to murder himself, that is when I can’t help but laugh.

‘If Fear Wins’ is an incredibly intense read, especially seeing as it starts off with the discovery of a burnt body. Who wanted someone dead so badly that they chose to douse them in petrol and set them alight? What on Earth did the victim do to deserve that? I was flabbergasted by the incident and due to the authors rather descriptive writing, I felt as though I was seeing the burnt body with my own eyes. An image I have struggled to forget, that’s for sure!

Personally, I felt that there was a chunk of storyline in the middle which was incredibly slow to read. Bliss and his team were going round the houses with their investigation, using ‘could be’ scenarios as their way forward. Unfortunately that did make me struggle reading the book at times, because I felt that certain parts dragged on a little bit too much for my liking. That said, the majority of the storyline was very well written and full of oomph, making the slow parts not seem that much of a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

At one point, the MI5 and the Counter Terrorist Unit were involved in the investigation, there was a lot of complex material to try to get my head around. Yes, it was slightly confusing at times but it was so interesting. Tony J Forder could have easily taken on a lot more jargon than he did, yet he wrote the complex and intense scenes in such a way that even I could get the gist of the processes.

Whilst I do admit that ‘If Fear Wins’ had its ups and downs, I can honestly say that I did enjoy the novel, finding myself getting sucked into the investigation quicker than I can say ‘I love books’. Tony J Forder is an excellent story teller, executing his tales with precision, intensity and a lot of suspense.

This book cements my love of police procedurals – so much grit, intrigue, and roller coaster situations, how could I not like it?

Buy now!

About the author.

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first two books, Bad to the Bone and The Scent of Guilt, will be joined in the series on 29 May 2018 by If Fear Wins.

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.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.

 Links

Website: https://www.tonyjforder.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TonyJForder @TonyJForder

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16166122.Tony_J_Forder

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tony+j+forder?_requestid=248936

Bloodhound Books: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/tony-forder