#OnlyLivingWitness #TedBundy @MirrorBooks #TrueCrime #serialkiller #blogtour

Many thanks to Mirror Books for asking me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Only Living Witness’ by Hugh Aynesworth and Stephen.G.Michaud, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Two journalists with unprecedented direct access speak to Ted Bundy and those closest to him – friends and family.

What follows is a candid and chilling full account of the life and crimes of the most notorious serial killer in history.

What Bundy had to say in over 150 hours of face-to-face interviews is as relevant today as it was at the time.

What does TWG think?

Ted Bundy was a very profilic killer. He died on death row in 1989 after being convicted of multiple murders but, due to the nature of those murders and the ‘treasure hunt’ he sent the police on, the actual amount of people he killed couldnt be confirmed. So, because of this, two journalists were given access to Ted Bundy as he wished to tell his story in a book. Would they get him to confess to other murders? Would they be able to find out what made him destroy the lives of many families?

In short, the answer is no. Ted Bundy was an extremely clever man and refused to give the police extra confessions as he knew what would happen. Hugh and Stephen describe the intimate discussions they both had with Bundy, and the way in which he responded to certain questions.

The detail discussed in the book is chilling and definitely not for the faint hearted. Information about the murders is laid bare, with the victims last movements put down on paper to give people the bigger picture, instead of simply saying Bundy murdered someone in Arizona for example.

This book is a heavy one to read and, in all honesty, what I read was not what I had expected at all. I guess I was expecting Bundy to be a bit more black and white than what he was, but then I also had to remember that his mind worked very differently to the mind of someone who hasn’t murdered.

Due to the fact that I am currently studying Criminology, ‘The Only Living Witness’ was such an eye opening and compelling read. Hugh and Stephen had so much patience and what they achieved with Bundy was incredible. I cant even begin to imagine what their own mental health was like coming face to face with such a dangerous man.

If you love true crime then this will definitely feed your appetite!

Buy now.

Is anyone familiar with #TheFoundling? @Stacey_halls @ZaffreBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #review #blogger

Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for inviting me to take part in Stacey Halls’ blog tour, and for the stunning ARC. Here is my review as part of the tour:

Two women, bound by a child, a nd a secret that will change everything . . .

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, she is astonished when she is told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

What does TWG think?

As ignorant as this may seem, I had absolutely no idea that ‘The Foundling’ got its inspiration from real life. I had no idea that places like that, for children facing abandonment, even existed! It certainly puts things into perspective really, doesnt it?

Being aware of the historical facts behind the novel, the storyline took on a totally different vibe and it came across a lot more darker than if the idea behind the story was fictionalised, does that make sense?

I cannot even begin to imagine what Bess went through when she gave her daughter up, nor can I even begin to imagine what anyone went through during those times where children were concerned. I know that Bess was doing right by her daughter because of the time she lived in and how illegitimate children were not something to be proud of, so to speak, but to give up your child not knowing whether they would live or die, not seeing their milestones etc, all because society frowned upon it, must have been absolutely devastating. I felt that emotion throughout the storyline, and I believed it.

I wouldn’t say that the storyline gave off too much of a mysterious vibe. In fact, I felt as though it could have pushed the boundaries with it a little bit more because, whilst the drama was evident, I still felt as though something was lacking where it was concerned, which was a shame.

That said, I was intrigued at the journey Bess was required to take later on in the story, and I loved how authentic the author made the storyline. Despite my views above, I still found the story to be compelling and quite intricately described. Stacey Halls is a unique storyteller and I am looking forward to reading more from her.

Compelling, dark, highly detailed, and intriguing, ‘The Foundling’ is a heroic and gutsy read which highlights some of the emotive times in history that should never, ever be forgotten.

Buy now.

#DeathDeserved #Blogtour #BlixandRamm @EngerThomas @LierHorst @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne and Orenda for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm join forces to track down a serial killer with a thirst for attention and high-profile murders, in the first episode of a gripping new Nordic Noir series…

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.
Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

What does TWG think?

Bloody hell! If my heart wasnt already beating irregular, it certainly is now! What an incredible start to a new series! Move over Tom and Jerry, Blix and Ramm are the newest duo in town and I think they’re here to stay!

#DeathDeserved is full of suspense and intrigue. Oh, and serial killers….if you like that sort of thing! I wasnt complaining at all, even when the vibe of the storyline turned as dark as my heart! It worked and it was all delivered brilliantly.

Enger and Horst are definitely a force to be reckoned with – I really did enjoy this punchy, thrilling, high octane novel which puts nordic noir on the map, bolder and better than ever before.

Buy now.

#AllTheFlowersInParis #WW2 #Paris @SarahJio @OrionBooks @Tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #review #historicalfiction

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite and ARC of ‘All The Flowers In Paris’ by Sarah Jio. I am delighted to host day two of the blog tour with a review:

One mother’s desperate hope for survival.

1943: In occupied Paris, Celine creates bespoke bouquets at her father’s flower shop on rue Cler, whilst trying to shield her young daughter from the brutal reality of war. But when an SS officer takes an interest in Celine and her family, all their lives are put in jeopardy…

One woman’s search for the truth…

2009: Caroline wakes in Paris with no memory of her previous life. Hunting for clues to her identity in her apartment on the rue Cler, she discovers a bundle of letters written by a young widow during the Second World War. As she peels back the layers of the past, Caroline finds new purpose – but Celine’s story is unfinished. Desperate to find out the truth, Caroline digs deeper, uncovering dark and dangerous secrets…

Can learning the truth about Celine help Caroline unlock the mystery of her past?

What does TWG think?

What with being set in WW2 AND having a beautiful cover, it was as though Sarah Jio’s novel was calling out to me through the ether.

If you aren’t already aware, historical fiction is one of my most favourite genres to read, and ‘All the Flowers in Paris’ was already ticking my boxes before I had even opened the cover!

Like many historical fiction novels, this particular novel had a dual timeline so, not only was it set in 2009, it was also set in 1943 Paris, during the Second World War. I really did appreciate being able to step back in time to do a little bit of detective work for Caroline, whilst also eagerly awaiting the truth behind the many secrets that had come to light.

I loved the historical element to the storyline, and I felt that that was the star of the entire novel. I did feel as though the fractured past, family secrets and longing for the truth, was a bit predictable in the sense that it’s been covered a lot in historical fiction, and i was a little bit concerned that it would make the overall vibe of the book a bit too ‘samey’.

Nonetheless, I still really enjoyed reading ‘All the Flowers in Paris’, especially the way in which Sarah Jio was able to get under my skin with the war references. A pleasure to read. It was an honour to have been indirectly part of Caroline and Celine’s journey.

Buy now.

Ben came in like a wreckage ball, he never meant to start a war… #TheWreckage @Rmorganbentley @TrapezeBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogger #review

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Wreckage’, and for the ARC. I had been so eager to read this novel! Here is my review:

One fatal crash

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works. A day like any other, except for the crash.

Two colliding worlds

Adam has left his home for the last time. In his final despairing act, he jumps in front of Ben’s car, turning the teacher’s world upside down.

Three wrecked lives

Wracked with guilt, Ben seeks out Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max. But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to ease his conscience?

What does TWG think?

God, I don’t envy Ben! How on Earth does someone live with themselves after that, an accident or not?! Ben was advised to try to get on with his life and let the family process the disastrous turn of events in their own way, but did he listen? Did he heck! I can see why he wanted to check on the family. I totally get that. What I dont quite understand is whether he was seeing them for their gain, or for his? A guilty conscience is a powerful thing. Hell, a conscience itself is a powerful thing! The family owned Ben nothing. Absolutely nothing. Did he owe them anything? In my opinion, yes. He owed them to stay away.

Alice’s reaction to the entire thing totally confused me, like she even admitted herself. She couldn’t quite understand why she wasnt being the grieving widow that people expected her to be. People deal with things in totally different ways. Plus, nobody else knew Adam like she did. I mean, the psychological elements to this book really did make me think, especially as, like most things, we wont ever find out the answer as to why Adam made the decision he made that morning.

I was so impressed at this debut novel. It read like the author had been writing for many years and that this was a book in a long list of publications. So yeah, I’m a bit shocked at it being a debut because of the strength behind the characterisation and compelling storyline. Also, the fact that this book had a character which got my back up was another thumbs up!

It’s safe to say that Robin Morgan-Bentley’s novel wasnt a wreckage in the slightest! If this is what the author can achieve with his debut, I cannot WAIT to see what he writes next!

Intriguing, compelling, enlightening, and very clever – will you want to be in #TheWreckage?

Buy now.

The Likely Resolutions of #OliverClock #Review #blogger @janerileyauthor @amazonpub @ed_pr

Huge thanks to EdPr for inviting me to take part in Jane Riley’s blog tour for ‘The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock, and for the ARC – here is my review:

His life is perfectly regimented. Is there really room for something as unpredictable as love?

Oliver Clock has everything arranged just so. A steady job running the family funeral parlour. A fridge stocked with ready meals. A drawer full of colour-coded socks. A plan (of sorts) to stay trim enough for a standard-sized coffin. And in florist Marie, he’s even found the love of his life—not that she’s aware of it.

When a terrible tragedy takes Marie out of his life but leaves him with her private journal, he discovers too late that she secretly loved him back. Faced now with an empty love life, a family funeral business in trouble, a fast-approaching fortieth birthday and a notebook of resolutions he’s never achieved, Oliver resolves to open himself up to love—and all the mess that comes along with it.

But, with a habit of burying his feelings, can he learn to embrace his lovability and find the woman who will make him feel whole?

What does TWG think?

If you have a dark sense of humour and aren’t easily offended by death related jokes, then this novel will be right up your street. However, if you’re a person who believes in decorum when it comes to funerals and what not, either take this book in the way that its intended, or don’t read it. I’m not saying that the entire storyline has death related innuendos, ‘inappropriate’ suggestions for a funeral etc, because it doesn’t, its just definitely appropriate given the fact that the book is set in a funeral parlour….

Oliver Clock is a quirky character. A man who is very set in his ways, and one that has such a huggable personality. Some may say that he is too nice, yet I felt that he was quite misunderstood. Oliver Clock likes a list….or ten. He prefers having his thoughts laid out where he can see them instead of being jumbled in his head like a cake mixture. We all have our own little quirks, right?

Working in a funeral parlour and aside from the death of his father, Oliver has only ever been on the other side of death and not fully immersed. He knows the right thing to say to a loved one of the deceased. He knows how to give them a send off worth celebrating. But does he know what to do if death literally stares him straight in the face?

Despite having many responsibilities, Oliver has quite an immature edge to him and, even tho it was quite endearing at times, it was also frustrating as I just wanted to tell him to grow up.

From the outside looking in, this novel can seem a little macabre, however the humour was absolutely brilliant and kept the storyline away from the dark depths of grief, and kept it under the more charming header. I appreciated the fact that the author enables her readers to look at death and grief from an alternative point of view, and I thought the way in which many emotions were contested throughout the book, was very sensitively brought to life in a relatable way, especially as grief is something that people deal with in their own ways.

‘The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock’ is a unique tale of life, loss and the aftermath. I enjoyed this charming, endearing read and I truly believe that a lot of readers will be able to appreciate the authors humourous delivery of topic filled with such finality.

Buy now.

#TheVault #blogtour @pbackwriter @angelaontour @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne Cater and the publisher for the tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘The Vault’ by Mark Dawson.

A desperate agent. A petty criminal. An audacious plot.

When Harry Mackintosh is called upon to exfiltrate a valuable asset from East to West Berlin, what could have been an intelligence coup becomes an international embarrassment. Mackintosh’s men and his lover are killed by the East German secret police in a brutal crossfire and he barely escapes with his life. He flees to the West and promises himself that he will have vengeance.

Mackintosh is the head of Berlin Station but he doesn’t have the staff to compete with the Stasi. He returns to London to plead for the resources to fight back. But instead of the seasoned operatives that he needs, Mackintosh is given a single man: Jimmy Walker, a petty criminal with a record for robbing banks.

Mackintosh takes Walker to Berlin and sets in train an audacious plan that will see them both on the other side of the Wall. Mackintosh and Walker face off against Karl-Heinz Sommer, the Stasi general known as die Spinne – the Spider – a man known for his brutality and ruthlessness.

The plan is already a longshot, and then Walker learns of the riches that Sommer stole from displaced Berliners in the days after the Wall was constructed. Will Walker follow orders or will he find the prospect of the Stasi gold in Sommer’s secret vault too tempting to ignore? Will Mackintosh have his revenge or will he become another fly caught in the Spider’s web?

What does TWG think?

Mark Dawson may be a new author for me, however I have a strong feeling that ‘The Vault’ wont be the last book of his that I read!

I LOVE reading about all things spy, something which Dawson executes brilliantly in this book.

Set with the ‘Cold War’ in mind, ‘The Vault’ tells a story that is tightly interlinked with history and thrilling suspense. Not only that, take a look at the characters names! I mean, the name ‘Spider’ is a belter!

Having not read any of the others authors books, I felt a little bit out of sync in regards to the backstory. I was glad that that didnt lower my enjoyment of the book, however it did make me a little bit more mindful about what each of the characters were doing so that I kept involved in the overall storyline.

Overall I was really impressed by what I read, and I thought the revenge element was such a thrilling addition. Mark Dawson is a very clever author who has intensity down to a fine art and I am very excited to read more. I was definitely NOT expecting this Pandora’s box type read – awesome!

Buy now.

#TellMeLies, tell me sweet little lies #blogtour @edjamesauthor @bookouture

Huge thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Ed James and ‘Tell Me Lies’, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be closing the tour this evening with a review:

Megan Holliday opens her eyes and finds herself slumped on her doorstep. The last thing she remembers is being in the car with her two kids. She sees a handwritten note on her lap – Don’t call the police. It’s then that she realises her car is missing, and her children are gone…

Leading the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team, FBI agent Max Carter will stop at nothing to find children taken from their families. After all, he was once one of those taken children, so he knows exactly what’s at stake. When he hears that a young senator’s two children have been abducted and their mother left for dead, he races to the Holliday family home in Washington State.

Facing a wall of police cruisers and blacked-out SUVs, Carter quickly uncovers the facts. Megan Holliday was ambushed by a man with a gun as she returned home from taking her kids out for ice cream. Bound and drugged, the attacker left her unconscious on the doorstep with the sinister note on her lap.

As Senator Christopher Holliday walks through the halls of the US Federal Building in Seattle, his phone beeps with an alert. Frustrated by the interruption, he takes a cursory glance and is horrified by the image on the screen – his two children, Brandon and Avery, unconscious. The message he gets simply reads Meet me or they die.

When Agent Carter tries to make contact with the busy senator, it seems the politician has gone missing, fleeing from the Federal Building and abandoning his distraught wife. If Carter knows one thing, it’s that Holliday has something to hide. And he just became Carter’s prime suspect.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever, after reading or watching something which makes you content, rubbed your hands together with a squeal? I’m hoping some of you say yes now as I sound odd, but omg that was me! I am SO excited to find out where the series goes from here! For a start to a new series, ‘Tell Me Lies’ ticked my boxes in terms of suspense, intrigue, and pace, whilst also leaving me to question each of the characters motives….including Detective Carter. Of course I hoped that the detective would be above board, but in these types of books you just cant be too sure now, can you?

A storyline containing missing children always makes my heart skip a beat. I try not to keep my mind close regarding the topic, and I try to ensure that my own emotions dont get too entangled into what the author is trying to convey with their storyline. Its easier said than done though, which I am sure you can appreciate! I think my own thoughts on the subject enabled me to become invested more quickly in the storyline, keeping everything crossed for an ending I of course would like!

I flew through ‘Tell Me Lies’ like a little dog on heat! I couldnt get over how well everything just flowed! It’s safe to say, and there are no lies from me here, that I bloody loved this book, especially the character development. The personalities of the detective and his colleagues left me wanting more and I still stand by what I said at the beginning – I cannot wait to see where the series goes from here! You are all in for a treat with this one!

Buy now.

It only takes one day to be #TheDayThatChangedEveryrhing @katylittlelady @bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Catherine Miller’s blog tour today, and for the ARC. It gives me great pleasure to host a review of ‘The Day That Changed Everything’ on my blog this evening.

When you lose the love of your life, how do you find yourself again?

For Tabitha, the day that changed everything started like any other.

She woke up, slid her feet into fluffy slippers, wrapped herself in a dressing gown and tiptoed out of her bedroom, leaving her husband Andy sleeping. Downstairs, she boiled the kettle and enjoyed a cup of tea as the sun rose.

Upstairs, Andy’s alarm sounded, and Tabitha took him a freshly brewed coffee, like every other morning. Except today, the incessant beeping rang out and her husband hadn’t stirred. She called his name, she nudged his shoulder. But Andy wouldn’t wake up.

Three years later Tabitha is trying her hardest to get by in the shadow of her grief. She may have lost the love of her life but she won’t give up on the family they dreamed of. Fostering troublesome teenage girls and a newborn baby is a chance to piece together her broken heart.

But being a mother isn’t easy, and neither is healing the heartache she carries around. After losing everything, could saving these three children help Tabitha save herself too?

What does TWG think?

Emotion and strong family bonds are at the heart of this novel. From the very beginning, heartstrings were threatened to be tugged, with the author setting the scene for poignancy and relatibility.

Tabby thought hearts were only meant to fall in love once, afterall, she had already found the man that she wanted to have at her side for the rest of her life…

Tabby has the personality that I believe a lot of readers will really like. Shes so down to earth, kind hearted and comes across so genuine – I really felt for her when life threw her curveballs and her spirit diminished. I know that’s life, yet she really didn’t deserve to be dealt the hand that she was.

Throughout the story Catherine Miller teases readers with a fractured friendship, not revealing the truth behind that until much later on in the book. Whilst I can appreciate how heartbreaking broken friendships can be, I felt that the real reason to the two friends not speaking, was a bit of an anti climax because I was expecting something incredibly devastating, when in actual fact it wasnt as bad as what the author had made it out to be.

Grief, fostering, life changes and relationships are discussed a lot of times throughout, some more than others, and I was so impressed by the delivery of those topics and the sensitivity of the author as she put those subjects in the spotlight.

‘The Day That Changed Everything’ is such a touching, enlightening, powerful novel which will make readers sit up and take notice. It may even be a novel that helps to mend fractured friendships. I really enjoyed the emotion of the book and I truly felt that the author believed the story that she was telling. Personally, when you can feel that from an authors words, you cant really ask for much more can you? Beautiful.

Buy now.

Theres nothing sweeter than a touch of #Payback @RCBridgestock @DomePress

Many thanks to Emily at Dome Press for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘Payback’ by R.C.Bridgestock.

Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back, she’s in charge and the area’s first young, female DI. Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive.

When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex – reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.

What does TWG think?

What an interesting start to a new series! I had heard many good things about R.C.Bridgestock before I read this book, and I was looking forward to seeing what this powerful duo had up their sleeve. Thankfully I wasnt disappointed! They clearly are very talented writers.

I will hold my hands up and say that I am slightly on the fence where this story is concerned, purely because I hoping for a bit more oomph and flow. I’m not saying that the authors didn’t deliver on the above, because they did in certain aspects of the book such as the murder discovery, and the psychological edge to Charley’s psyche. What I am saying is that I would have preferred the storyline to be a bit more consistent, however I have very high hopes for the rest of the series.

Charley is an intriguing character who has many skeletons in her closet, and I was impressed by how the authors conveyed her personality, especially the way in which they created her as such a multi layered person who readers would struggle to keep from their minds.

Overall, I found ‘Payback’ to be an intriguing, cleverly crafted novel that holds such promise for a brand new series. I have everything crossed that the oomph keeps on growing as the stories multiply. Definitely a pleasing read!

Buy now.