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

Born Bad - jacket

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

About the author

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

Follow Heather

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

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#BlogTour! #Review – Brothers & Sisters by Adele O’Neill (@AdelesBooks) @Aria_fiction

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Do you have the Friday feeling? No? Well you should as today is the start of Adele O’Neill’s blog tour for her debut novel, Brothers & Sisters! What more could you want on a Friday? Well, except my review of the book of course….

Brothers & Sisters - jacket
Nothing remains buried forever… What would you do to protect the ones you love?
A gripping, highly emotive story of love, survival, dark family secrets and sibling loyalty.
Perfect for the fans of Kathryn Hughes and Dorothy Koomson.
When human remains are found on Fitzpatrick Estate, Detective Kelly is drawn deep into the complex web of Fitzpatrick family secrets as Timothy and his sister Rose, now in their sixties, are catapulted into the centre of the investigation.
When the pathology report identifies the remains as that of their uncle, Patrick Fitzpatrick, missing from Fitzpatrick Estate since 1970, they scramble to protect their past.

What would you do to protect the ones you love?

What does TWG think?

Geezus! Nothing like entering the book world with a debut novel like ‘Brothers & Sisters’, is there? A family with a devastating back story. A murder. A dead body. A murder investigation. Enough family secrets to secure a lifetime spot on Jeremy Kyle. It’s safe to say that this debut author hasn’t written the novel by halves – just look at what the book contains!

So much information crammed into such a relatively short space, ‘Brothers & Sisters’ is the type of novel which requires the reader to be focused, especially as the storyline switches between 1970 and 2016, concentration is vital where this book is concerned. Usually books like that confuse me. Thankfully I was able to work out what type of storyline I was dealing with, long before I could get confused.

I have to say, this book contains such a devastating topic which made me feel sick to my stomach. I found it incredibly, incredibly difficult to read due to reasons which aren’t suitable for this review. I understand that the author needed to create an authentic vibe for the overall plot, I just felt that that situation in particular was written in such a black and white manner, thus lowering the sensitivity level of the topic in question. In my eyes, it was too vivid and extremely hard to switch off from.

As for the murder investigation, I enjoyed getting involved in the nitty-gritty parts of that! Perhaps that portion of the story could have been extended to give the readers more of a feel to the murder instead of the family history. That said, the investigation on its own kept my entertained. Simple, yet effective.

‘Brothers and Sisters’ kept me on my toes, enabling my heart to jump into my mouth due to its chilling, shocking, and stomach churning timeline of events. Looking at the shell of the novel; I was entertained to a certain degree, as well as being kept guessing about the conclusion, therefore making the overall premise of the novel a promising read.

However, the horrific subject matter within the storyline was too much to swallow, and extremely difficult to read. For me, those parts of the book made me realise that this book wasn’t my cup of tea, yet Adele O’Neill shows such promise in regards to her writing.

Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play

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

BLOG TOUR (5)
Big thanks to BloodhoundBooks for inviting me to be involved in Malcolm Hollingdrake’s blog tour! I hope you enjoy my review of ‘Dying Art’, as well as the extract.

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now.

Extract.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review & #Extract – Her Last Breath by @TracyBuchanan @AvonBooksUK

HLB Blog tour

Tracy Buchanan’s blog tour ends with me, TWG! I am delighted to be able to share my review of ‘Her Last Breath’ with you guys, alongside an extract from the book itself. Big thanks to Avon Books for inviting me on this fabulous tour!

Her Last Breath Cover
A girl has gone missing. You’ve never met her, but you’re to blame.

FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF MY SISTER’S SECRET AND NO TURNING BACK

Food writer Estelle Forster has the perfect life. And with her first book on the way, it’s about to get even better.

When Estelle hears about Poppy O’Farrell’s disappearance, she assumes the girl has simply run away. But Estelle’s world crumbles when she’s sent a photo of Poppy, along with a terrifying note: I’m watching you. I know everything about you.

Estelle has no idea who’s threatening her, or how she’s connected to the missing teen, but she thinks the answers lie in the coastal town she once called home, and the past she hoped was long behind her.

Estelle knows she must do everything to find Poppy. But how far will she go to hide the truth – that her
perfect life was the perfect lie?

Her Last Breath is an addictive, page-turning read that fans of Liane Moriarty and Claire Douglas will love.

What does TWG think?

I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t end up using my last breath whilst reading Tracy Buchanan’s novel! Estelle Forster hasn’t exactly had a plain sailing life and, despite coming across as a clean, level-headed author, Estelle fears that her past will come back to haunt her and ruin the life that she has made for herself. When a teenager goes missing and Estelle receives a photo of the missing girl, her perfect image starts to unravel.

What impressed me most about ‘Her Last Breath’, was the amount of dead ends in the storyline! When events started unfolding, I felt pretty certain about a character who I thought was involved due to his behaviour throughout the storyline. However, my certainty was short-lived. I’m not going to lie, that happened on more than one occasion throughout the book.

I found it extremely difficult not to be engrossed by ‘Her Last Breath’ as the suspense level seemed to get raised in every chapter. I was eager to find out what Estelle’s story was and how she ended up receiving photographs of a missing girl. I thought that the lead up to the conclusion was incredibly intense, full of depth and brilliantly written. Without giving anything away, I didn’t see the conclusion coming…at all. I was shocked. I thought I had missed several red flags along the way, and maybe I did. But because I was focusing on other characters involvements, I wasn’t focusing on those involved in the conclusion. It’s kinda crazy how we interpret storylines differently, especially seeing as we focus on different parts and different situations in our own special way.

‘Her Last Breath’ had me hooked from the first page with its chronically addictive plot and intriguing characters. I could not believe what I was reading, I’m surprised I didn’t end up with paper cuts on my fingers due to my swift page turning!

Intense, addictive, and rather shocking, ‘Her Last Breath’ is such a fantastic and more-ish read written by the fantastic Tracy Buchanan.

Thanks Avon Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

[Extract 14 from Chapter 6 pp. 48-49]

After they left, Estelle stayed where she was for a few moments, taking in some deep breaths. After all these years, today, that moment, she knew who her child was. Knew what she looked like. Knew what had become of her. Knew that she had run away from her seemingly perfect family. She blinked away tears and strode into the kitchen, getting her laptop out and searching for information on Poppy and her new family. They clearly had money: her father a TV presenter, her mother an interior designer. She learned they lived in a huge house overlooking Richmond Park. My God, they’d been living less than a half-hour train ride from each other! Poppy attended one of the UK’s top schools and was a keen hockey player. There were photos of Poppy with her father. A beach shot. Another of them walking through muddy puddles as they laughed. There was the dog again too, a golden Labrador puppy.

Poppy had a good life with a well-off family who could provide her with everything she needed. If anything came out of this, Estelle reassured herself, it was that she’d done the right thing giving her up for adoption. There was no way a fifteen-year- old Estelle could have offered the kind of perfect life the O’Farrells had. But, then, why had Poppy run away if it was all so perfect? She was a teenager, Estelle reasoned. Teenagers rebelled. Estelle knew that more than anyone. She’d return safe and sound soon, just like the police officers said.

But why the Polaroid photos, the messages?

#BlogTour! #Review – Reported Missing by Sarah Wray (@Sarah_Wray) @Bookouture

Reported Missing Cover Image

Four months ago, Rebecca Pendle’s husband disappeared. So did 14-year-old Kayleigh Jackson.

Just a coincidence? Rebecca wants to believe so… But as the police start to draw parallels between Chris and Kayleigh, it’s getting harder for her to trust his innocence.

Faced with an angry town that believes Chris has abducted the teenager, Rebecca tries to discover the truth.

But what she finds shocks her more than she ever thought. How well does she really know the man she loves?

What does TWG think?

‘Reported Missing’ gave me the heebie jeebies, I’m not gonna lie! Two people missing, both at the same time. The only difference is; one is an adult, the other is a fourteen year old girl. Heart in mouth moment, anyone? Did Chris abduct the teenager? We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t think the worst, and that includes situations like these. I assumed the worst. For me, two people going missing at exactly the same time, a male and a teenager, I felt sick. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of readers think along the same lines, not at all.

‘Reported Missing’ is a bit of a slow starter; there’s a lot of setting the scene, getting to know the characters, whilst slowly building the level of intensity. Sarah Wray has been extremely clever with her organisation of the storyline as she also incorporated multiple dead ends, red herrings, as well as quite a few head funk type situations. If you like storylines like that, then you’ll really enjoy ‘Reported Missing’. Whilst I do enjoy the head funk type novels, sometimes the slow pace irked me a little bit as I couldn’t sink my teeth into the storyline. Information was delivered throughout the storyline in dribs and drabs – ideal to keep you engrossed in the storyline, although not so good if you’re an impatient reader who just wants to find out the ‘whodunnit’ and the gritty parts of the investigation.

I was engrossed. I was also impatient. So all in all, my opinion of the overall novel is pretty mixed as sometimes I felt that the slow pace worked well with the plot, and other times I felt like it was hindering the storyline a tad. Either way, ‘Reported Missing’ was able to get multiple reactions from me, it was able to keep me hanging, as well as eager to reach the conclusion. Can’t really complain at that really, can I?

Thanks Bookouture.

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

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…WHERE EVERYBODY LIES. AND SOME PEOPLE KILL…

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Netgalley.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks DV.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TWG – where can we see this dating blog? 😉 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for inviting me.

det2
“The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from TWG.

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

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

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

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

Could this be the same girl?

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Bookouture.

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

About the author

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

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

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

www.patriciagibney.com 

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

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