#BlogTour! #Review – The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell (@caroline_writes) @midaspr @AmazonPub

It’s TWG’s turn on ‘The Secret Child’ blog tour – many thanks to MidasPR for the blog tour invite and review copy. Here is my review:

DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years . . .

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?

What does TWG think?

Caroline Mitchell is back with the latest instalment in the ‘DI Amy Winter’ series. ‘The Secret Child’ is book two and whilst the storyline does go over past events to keep readers in the loop in case they haven’t read book one, I would still recommend reading the books in order so that you can get a real feel for the storyline and each event as it happens.

I adored the first book so when I had the option to read book two, I grabbed it with both hands. Amy Winter is as feisty as ever, and when she finds herself trying to get to the bottom of a new case that is so close to the bone, her own personal life gets put into the firing line.

The whole situation involving the young girl was enough to make my toes curl. I had everything crossed for a good outcome, but as the storyline progressed and the kidnapper ups the ante, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread wash over me.

Caroline Mitchell sets the scene brilliantly, incorporating Amy Winter’s situation with her mother and ex into the overall storyline as though it was the norm, which I guess it was.

‘The Secret Child’ gripped me from the very beginning and kept me hostage until the very end. I thought that the storyline of this book wasn’t as strong as the previous book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless as it seemed to have more of an emotional undercurrent than the first.

A rollercoaster ride of a read, ‘The Secret Child’ may have made my feelings change like the weather, but it’s a book which I highly recommend and would urge anyone to read. I hope we catch up with DI Winter again soon!!

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Girl Across the Street by Vikki Patis (@PatisVikki) @Bookouture

Happy publication day, Vikki Patis! It gives me great pleasure to kick off the blog tour today with a review of Vikki’s new book, ‘The Girl Across the Street’. Many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

You’re hiding a secret that only she can see.

 

Her name is Beth. She came into my life when I needed her the most. We lead very different lives, but she’s the only person who understands me.

 

She was the only other witness to the terrible accident on the street between our homes. The only person who saw the cracks in my perfect life before I had the chance to cover them up.

 

It’s been so long since I’ve had a friend. Someone to talk to, to listen to, to laugh and dream with.

 

Beth would never do anything to hurt me.

 

She only wants what’s best for me, for my marriage.

 

Doesn’t she?

What does TWG think?

How did they…

Why did she….

Where did the…

AHHHHHH!!!!

This book!!!!!!! I’m not usually one to struggle with typing my thoughts, but I can’t help but be lost for words!

Isla doesn’t have it easy. Hell, Beth doesn’t have it easy, which is probably why they end up getting on so well. I mean, honesty is the best policy when it comes to carving new friendships, right?

You would have thought so!

My jaw literally hit the floor when I reached the end of the book. I nearly found myself recreating Eastenders actors with their tendency to go ‘omg NOOOOOOOO!!!!!’, but at least I knew I would be genuine! I couldn’t believe how the book concluded, nor could I quite believe just how the storyline got there.

In case you’re wondering – I am not meaning this in a bad way at all, quite the opposite in fact! I thought it was absolutely brilliant! The emotionally twisted elements to the story were cleverly written and left me questioning everything. As for the characters, well, there are several which could easily win awards for being the most cactus type characters ever….naming no names, obviously, yet I couldn’t help but be gripped by their dislikable personalities. Perhaps I couldn’t wait to see karma come back and bite them on their backsides, maybe that’s why I was on the edge of my seat watching their every move!

Vikki Patis has written one hell of a psychological rollercoaster ride of a novel. I was hooked and left wanting more – a surefire BELTER of a read!

Buy now!

About the author.

Vikki Patis is an author and blogger, as well as an avid reader and book reviewer. When she isn’t working as a Regulatory Affairs Manager, she can usually be found drinking tea, baking cakes, or taking walks in the Hertfordshire countryside. She lives with her partner and two cats.

 

Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/vikkipatis/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/PatisVikki

WEBSITE: https://vikkipatis.com/

Happy paperback publication day to #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksbooks) @arrowpublishing

I originally posted this review as part of the blog tour last year, but to celebrate the paperback release of ‘Now You See Her’, I have been asked to share it again. So I thought I would do a whole new post! Heidi Perks’ novel made my ‘Top Books of 2018’ list – carry on reading to find out why!!

Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy and Arrow Publishing for the advance copy in 2018 – hope you enjoy my review:


Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

What does TWG think?

Helloooooooo biggest book hangover of the year! I finished reading #NowYouSeeHer in the early hours of Sunday morning, and since then I have tried (and failed) to get into several books because I am suffering with not only my biggest book hangover of the year, but my biggest book hangover EVER! I mean, come on, have you read this book yet? You must rectify that pronto as ooooohhhhhh my goodness me, what a phenomenal, hair-raising, spine tingling, and energetic read this is. I probably shouldn’t be saying this given the theme of the book, but I fluffing loved it! Obviously I didn’t love the theme, because that would be weird, BUT, I thought the way that Heidi Perks delivered it in her storyline was mind-blowing.

‘Now You See Her’ switches between the past and the present, and between the two main characters, Charlotte and Harriet. For the first time ever, Harriet is leaving her daughter with another person, so she asks her only friend, Charlotte, to babysit Alice alongside her own children. Simple enough, right? Wrong. One minute Alice was there, and then the next moment she was……nowhere to be seen. With guilt eating away at Charlotte from the inside out, she struggles to comprehend what has happened, especially when Alice’s disappearance hits the news and Charlotte finds herself in the firing line.

Understandable, right? I mean, you asked your best friend to babysit your daughter, hoping that they would look after her and return her safely at the arranged time. Therefore, you would expect that to happen, you wouldn’t expect to be told that your daughter was now missing. Well, I wouldn’t.

Obviously, the police get involved and Charlotte finds herself growing accustom to the decor in the local police station as they try to get to the bottom of Alice’s disappearance. However, due to Charlotte being unable to give the police the answers they require, will it mean that her cards are now marked?

With the publicity of ‘Now You See Her’, the publishers have hashtags with #TeamCharlotte and #TeamHarriet on them, but to be perfectly honest, I still can’t say which team I am on! Can’t I say that I am on #TeamCharriet? There is so much to this storyline aside from the missing child. I would love to be able to go into detail, but I can’t due to spoilers. I just want to talk about this book!!!! Someone? Anyone?!

Just like most psychological thrillers/crime/suspense novels I read, I attempt to work out whodunnit before I reach the end of the book. Let’s just say that I won’t be making Detective anytime soon! Although, giving myself a teeny bit of credit, I was pretty adamant that I had the culprit by halfway through this book, but I quickly found myself questioning my own decision the more the storyline progressed.

Heidi Perks is an exceptional writer – not only has she written about the lives of multiple characters, she has written them in such a way that makes the reader question every conceivable thing. The weird thing about that though, is the fact that the words are written just like any other book, in black and white. Perks may have just been describing the events of what happened the day Alice went missing, yet there was definitely more to those words that meets the eye.

‘Now You See Her’ is a very, very cleverly written novel which had me on high alert from the first page, until the very last. I am utterly flabbergasted by the strength behind the authors words, and how my mind was able to convey them due to the snippets of doubt which Heidi Perks laced her words with. At the very beginning, my mind was strong and things made perfect sense. But, by the time I had reached the end of the book, I was unable to trust anything. Hell, I didn’t even believe it when the clock said that it was 1.45am!

I am envious of every reader who gets to read ‘Now You See Her’ for the very first time – you are in for an absolute treat! Heidi Perks has written a truly phenomenal book and I, hand on heart, cannot find fault with a single thing. My first thought as I finished this book, was ‘one of the best books I have ever read’, but now, I have to say that that has changed now that I have had the time to digest Perks’ outstanding talent. ‘Now You See Her’ is my most favourite book of all time, my most favourite book of 2018, and Heidi Perks has very quickly become one of my all time favourite authors. This is a book to lose yourself in, and Heidi Perks should be incredibly proud of what she has achieved! I know I am, and I didn’t even write it! I cannot WAIT to read more from this author, that’s for sure, even if she has set the bar incredibly high!

Highly recommended, ‘Now You See Her’ is THE book to read without any disturbance, and Heidi Perks is definitely THE author to watch in the future. Bloomin’ brilliant!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – My Summer of Love and Limoncello by Sue Roberts (@SueRobertsautho) @Bookouture

Happy publication day to Sue Roberts and ‘My Summer of Love and Limoncello’. I am delighted (whilst being super poorly) to kicking off the blog tour for Sue’s book today – many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite, here is my review:

Three best friends, Italian sunshine and a handsome stranger can fix just about anything… Can’t it? 

Maisie Knight had it all. A gorgeous husband. A successful business. A beautiful home. Until one day, after walking into the storeroom of their shop, she loses it all at once – catching her husband cheating on her with the girl from Checkout 3. So when she wins a holiday to Italy, a week under the Tuscan sun couldn’t come soon enough. 

Treating best friends Cheryl and Emma to a girls’ trip, the terracotta-roofed Villa Marisa on a rustic farm awaits them. The fields of golden sunflowers could be the perfect cure for Maisie’s broken heart – and local farmer, suspiciously perfect Gianni, with his thick black hair and twinkling brown eyes is a welcome distraction from her broken heart.

Mornings waking up to freshly brewed coffee and views of the rolling hills, moped rides with cheeky Italians, and feasts of prosecco and pasta help Maisie forget her troubles. After all her heartache, she’s surprised when she starts opening up to Gianni – she’s even more surprised when the temperature rises and it’s not just the rays of the Italian sunshine…

Maisie could get used to the good life. But just as she’s getting her spark back, disaster strikes. The next thing she knows, her past is catching up with her, reopening old wounds and Maisie has a life-changing decision to make. Should she say ciao to her summer of love and limoncello?

What does TWG think?

This book definitely ticked my box for ‘up-lit’, even if the poor main character, Maisie, had her life spin on its axis. But as they say, ‘when life throws you lemons…’ or limoncello in this case!!!

I really enjoyed the relaxing, and easy to read vibe of the storyline as it wasn’t at all taxing and meant that I was able to lose myself in the storyline without worrying whether I was going to miss out in a vital piece of information.

Romance is featured in this book, naturally, and despite not being a big ol’ romantic myself, I enjoyed watching relationships blossom. However I did find it a little too cheesy at times, if not a little forced.

‘My Summer of Love and Limoncello’ an ideal holiday read, as well as being the ideal read to kick you up the backside and remind you just how important self care is. I did feel for Maisie but she showed that she was such a tough cookie, even if she did crumble at times. Cookie Monster would be proud!

A heartwarming, enjoyable novel which puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheScandal by Mari Hannah (@MariWriter) @AlainnaGeorgiou @orionbooks @orion_crime

Blog-tour-poster-2
You’ll have to excuse how close to the bone I am with posting my review this afternoon, it’s just that I am not at all well. However, I am unbelievably excited to be today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘The Scandal’ by Mari Hannah. Many thanks to Alainna and Orion for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

9781409174097

When an young man is found stabbed to death in a side street in Newcastle city centre in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a botched robbery to DCI David Stone. But when DS Frankie Oliver arrives at the crime scene, she gets more than she bargained for.

She IDs the victim as Herald court reporter, thirty-two-year old Chris Adams she’s known since they were kids. With no eyewitnesses, the MIT are stumped. They discover that when Adams went out, never to return, he was working on a scoop that would make his name. But what was the story he was investigating? And who was trying to cover it up?

As detectives battle to solve the case, they uncover a link to a missing woman that turns the investigation on its head. The exposé has put more than Adams’ life in danger. And it’s not over yet.

What does TWG think?

‘The Scandal’ fits the definition of the word ‘fabulous’ to a T! That said, given the theme of the book it’s probably surprising that it does – but I loved it! Mari Hannah’s new book is the third book in the ‘Stone and Oliver’ series. Personally, I think that they work perfectly well as standalone, but if you’re wanting to know more about the relationship and history between the two main characters, you might find that you would benefit from reading the books in order – entirely your choice.

‘The Scandal’ does what it says on the tin – it really is a scandal. In fact, I would go as far to say that the entire storyline is like one of those double-sided puzzles; complex, uncertain and insanely addictive. I thought it was brilliant how the author slowly reels in her readers with a hint of what’s to come, and then takes it away again only to make the reader ‘work’ for it. To put it simply, the storyline is slow and steady, but due to the complexity of ‘the scandal’ and the intricate details which the main characters unearth, it needs to be like that otherwise I don’t think it would pack the same amount of punch that it did.

I will fully admit that I spent a bit of time with my eyebrow raised, unsure of where the storyline was going. It’s not that I was confused, it’s more that the puzzle pieces I was trying to fit together, won’t doing as they were told. I’ve said it once before, and I’ll happily say it again – I would make a diabolical detective!

I thought this book was bloomin’ clever, highly gripping and left me wanting to lose myself in yet another Mari Hannah novel. I adore this authors unique and complex writing style – she always has me on the edge of my seat with every book I read.

I highly recommend ‘The Scandal’ as it really is such a detailed, gripping, and very clever piece of writing – especially as Frankie’s fiery personality had its own pedestal throughout the novel!

Pre-order now! Published 7th March

#BlogTour! #Review – The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerWrites) @Headlinepg @AnneCater

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the fantastic, Kelly Rimmer, back to TWG today as I review her new novel, The Things We Cannot Say (published 7th March), as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the review copy. Here is my review:

 2019. Life changed beyond recognition for Alice when her son, Eddie, was born with autism spectrum disorder. She must do everything to support him, but at what cost to her family? When her cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementoes reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest.

WWII. Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn’t know if Tomasz is alive or dead.

2019. In Poland, separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell, and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?

What does TWG think?

Be still my beating heart….

Wow – even though I finished reading ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ a few days ago, a lump still forms in my throat whenever I think about it.

I admitted on social media that I had no idea how I was going to write my review, and I still stand by that (no, not in a bad way. Kelly Rimmer’s latest literary gem has a title which takes the words right out of my mouth; ‘The Things We Cannot Say’. There is so much I want to express about the beauty of the storyline and the characters, but for some reason I am struggling to put those thoughts into coherent sentences. I’m trying my best!

Okay so, this storyline is told from the viewpoint of Alina, a young Polish woman who has seen her fair share of heartbreak and devastation courtesy of the Second World War and the Nazi’s, and Alice, a mum who is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. She just doesn’t know it yet. Both stories are, obviously, incredibly different, yet they are both connected in a way which only makes sense towards the latter half of the book.

Whilst I loved following Alina’s journey and learning more about the devastating effects the war had on Poland in 1942, the reality of the situation absolutely broke my heart. Kelly Rimmer described scenes which no-one should ever have to endure, many of which left me crying my eyes out due to the unfairness of it all. Innocent people. Lives lost. Separated from loved ones. And for what? A power trip? A moment of insanity for the Nazi’s?

The chapters which involved Alina’s journey were hard hitting, emotional, and devastating, yet they were combined beautifully due to the way the author believed in her characters and their love for each other. I genuinely think if Alina didn’t have the love of Tomasz, her life would have had a very different outcome.

Now, where Alice is concerned in the chapters containing ‘the present’, her relationship with her son, Eddie, once again brought tears to my eyes as he seemed like such a lovely little boy who just deserved to be understood. His relationship with Alice’s ‘babcia’ made my heart melt and once again showed the power of love in a different form.

I’m trying my best not to give anything away here, and it’s very hard!!

I adored ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ and the way that the entire storyline showcased the deep routed beauty of love, life and loss. Kelly Rimmer, once again has outdone herself in creating a story which was both beautifully written, and beautifully thought out. The strength of the characters journeys was so powerful, it made the entire storyline have such a wonderful, highly charged vibe to it.

This beautiful, beautiful book blew me away, broke my heart and then pieced it back together again. Babcia showed me that scars are an individual persons battle marks and that they’re something to be proud of. Hell, if Babcia was mine, I would be proud of her as well. Easily my top read of 2019 so far.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom by Beth Miller (@drbethmiller) @bookouture

Happy publication day to Beth Miller and ‘The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom. I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour today alongside some rather fabulous bloggers! Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review:

Eliza Bloom has a list of rules: long, blue skirt on Thursdays, dinner with mother on Fridays, and never give your heart away to the wrong person. Nothing is out of place in her ordered life…

Then she met someone who she was never supposed to speak to. And he introduced her to a whole world of new lists:
New foods to try – oysters and sushi
Great movies to watch – Bambi and Some Like It Hot 
Things I love about Eliza Bloom

Eliza left everything she knew behind for him, but sometimes love just isn’t enough. Especially when he opens a hidden shoebox and starts asking a lot of questions about her past life. As the walls Eliza has carefully constructed threaten to come crashing down, will she find a way to keep hold of everyone she loves, and maybe, just maybe, bring the two sides of her heart together at last?

What does TWG think?

I don’t know what I was expecting with ‘The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom’, but this wasn’t it – and no I don’t mean that in a bad way! I guess I just assumed that the storyline was going to be the slushy romantic kind, and it wasn’t like that at all. In fact it couldn’t have been more different.

I’m not a Jew, nor do I practice any type of religion, so reading a book where the main theme of the storyline was centred around a Jewish woman and her faith, was quite eye opening. It’s not that I have ignored the faith over the years, it’s just that I have never had the need to find out more about it in my own personal life. I had no idea how many rules there are for women regarding their love life, food choices, clothing choices, association with other faiths. I also had no idea just how much of a divide it could cause if someone were to go against their faith and choose a different path in their own life. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this – yes, Eliza Bloom was the rebel, the one who chose to start a new life after listening to her heart and not the opinions of her parents.

Brave? Yes, I thought she was. I mean, I can’t judge someone who lives a different faith to me, nor can I comment in depth on something I don’t fully understand due to not living that lifestyle myself. So yes, I thought she was brave as she put her life on the line with no guarantee of a happy outcome.

I actually really enjoyed following Eliza’s journey as well as meeting some rather unsavoury and colourful characters along the way. It was clear to see that Eliza loved her family, but on the other side of the coin I could see why her loved ones were upset. Now, as for Alex, I’m sitting on the fence with that one I must admit.

‘The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom’ was such a life affirming, eye-opening and often humorous read which allowed me to see how different lives are lived. I thought that Beth Miller captured the essence of her characters wonderfully, and I loved how she was able to convey the Jewish faith in a way that people like me would be able to understand. This book is definitely an unexpected little gem.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The One Who’s Not the One by Keris Stainton (@Keris) @Bookouture

If you saw my posts on twitter the other night, you’ll know just how excited I am to be sharing my review of Keris Stainton’s new novel today. Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Cat’s life has hit a brick wall. Since her ex ditched her without ceremony five years ago she’s quit stand-up comedy, landed in a steady but dull job, and lives in a tiny flat with roommates she knows only as The One Who Eats All My Food and The One Who Has Really Loud Sex.

So when she bumps into old friend Harvey and sparks fly, Cat is surprised – and horrified, because Harvey is her ex’s brother, and so absolutely, 100% off-limits romantically. Even if his dimples do make her insides fizz…

When she’s offered a new job abroad, Cat is tempted to accept – and leave her depressing flat and mess of a love life behind her. But will running away from her problems really solve them?

What does TWG think?

Have you ever sat and pondered how bees mate? I can’t say that it’s something I say and googled whilst drinking my brew, however I will hold my hands up and say that, after reading ‘The One Who’s Not the One’, I unashamedly Googled a bees balls. I’m not even joking, and no, I won’t tell you why I did that, but if you read this book it will all make perfect sense!

OMG the sounds that were coming out of my mouth were very questionable – I could NOT stop laughing!!! Cat has got to be THE most funniest character I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Her one liners are absolutely brilliant, and the way that she always has something funny to say about every situation had me channeling my inner seal and pig mating. As you do, obviously!

Now, there is a young lad in the story who is, even at the young age he is, a dude you want to have as your best friend like right now. Plus, with a name like ‘Arnold’, I couldn’t help but picture the popular namesake from the TV show, ‘Hey Arnold’. You’re welcome…

Cat’s relationship with her best friend is one of a kind and made for excellent reading. However, don’t hate me when I say this but geez there were times where I just wanted to shake Cat and tell her to stop being so selfish! I mean, not everything is about her and yet she seemed to make most situations into the ‘Cat Show’. I did like her, don’t get me wrong, I just wished that she would change the record more often!

‘The One Who’s Not the One’ is such a charismatic, energetic, addictive and utterly hilarious read which left my sides needing sewing and my brain thinking ‘whaaaaa?!’ (In a good way, obvs). I absolutely loved this book and, like Keris Stainton’s previous books, this author has knocked it out of the park once again in more ways than one.

Full of witty anecdotes, brilliant friendships, budding romances, and of course the knowledge of bees, ‘The One Who’s Not the One’ is definitely The One for me.

Buy now!

About the author.

Keris Stainton was born in Canada, grew up on the Wirral, lived in London for a while and now lives in Lancashire with two boys, two guinea pigs, and an unhealthy (but enjoyable) obsession with One Direction. 

She’s written books for children, teenagers, and adults and can almost always be found on Twitter.

 

Author Links: 


 Twitter

Facebook

#BlogTour! #Extract from #BadSeed by Heleyne Hammersley (@hhammersley66) @BloodHoundBook @LifeBookish

Stepping in last minute to take part in the Bloodhound Books blog tour for ‘Bad Seed’ by Heleyne Hammersley. Before I share an extract, here is a little bit more about the and the all important ‘buy’ link:

When the body of a woman is discovered near Doncaster’s red light district, DI Kate Fletcher is called to the scene. 

The victim has an abdominal wound that looks like a Caesarean incision, leading the police to believe she may have been pregnant.

Kate’s team establish the woman’s identity but it soon becomes clear that those close to her have something to hide.

The post-mortem reveals the victim wasn’t pregnant and, when a second body is discovered with similar wounds, the police realise they are hunting for a serial killer with a sinister fixation.

Can Kate solve the case before another woman dies?

And can a ruthless, methodical killer be brought to justice?

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

DI Kate Fletcher unbuttoned her jacket, breathing heavily in the humid air as she studied the scene in front of her. The body of a woman was lying on her back amid the lush vegetation which bounded much of Doncaster’s Town Fields like the hair around a monk’s tonsure. The body was surrounded by crimescene technicians who continued their work as Kate approached. She kept back beyond the blue-and-white crimescene tape and followed the step plates with her eyes, knowing that she wouldn’t be welcome to approach until she’d donned protective clothing.

She could make out dark hair and pale limbs but little else from where she was standing, as the body had been dumped amongst nettles and cow parsley that were as high as Kate’s waist in full June growth.

‘What have we got?’ she asked the nearest overall-clad figure. He turned to face her and she recognised her colleague, DC Barratt. He took a couple of steps towards her and lowered the hood of his overalls, messing up his hair and revealing patches of pink scalp through the thinning strands.

‘Body of a woman. Looks like she’s about thirty or so. Undressed from the waist down so possible sexual assault, but obviously we won’t know until the test results are back.’

‘Cause of death?’ Kate asked.

Barratt glanced round at the other people attending and then lowered his voice. ‘They haven’t been able to establish that yet but there’s a whacking great wound in her abdomen. They were just debating whether it was pre- or post-mortem when you arrived. There’s also bruising round her neck and throat so strangulation’s another possibility.’

Kate nodded and glanced again at the body. She was tempted to find a set of overalls and get a closer look but she didn’t want to undermine Barratt. She knew that there would be photographs and notes and she also knew that Barratt’s report would be fastidiously detailed.

‘Who found her?’

Barratt gestured to a support van parked on the running track that went around the top section of the field. A man in sports clothes was sitting on the back step, nursing a cardboard cup of something that Kate hoped was hot and sweet. Another of her DCs, Hollis, was standing next to the van but he didn’t appear to be talking to the man.

‘Bloke over there with Hollis. He was setting up a football training session for a team of pre-teens. Does it at weekends and in the school holidays. Thankfully he found the body before the kids arrived.’

Kate thanked Barratt and crossed the grass to the van where the man had stopped studying his drink and was looking up at her expectantly.

‘DI Fletcher,’ Kate introduced herself. ‘I understand that you found the body?’

He nodded and stood up, holding out his hand, which Kate ignored. ‘Duncan Cawthorne.’

‘Okay, Duncan. I want you to tell me what happened this morning. My colleague, DC Hollis, will make notes if that’s all right with you?’

Cawthorne watched as Hollis took a notebook and pencil from the inside breast pocket of his suit jacket. ‘I get down here early on a Sunday,’ he began. ‘Have a bit of a run and then set up for the kids.’

Kate appraised him as she listened to his account of arriving at the car park, jogging for half an hour and then retrieving the cones and balls from his car so he could set up a course for ‘the kids’. He was probably in his early thirties, well built and tall. He was wearing baggy grey tracksuit bottoms and a zip-up red hoody with a Doncaster Rovers badge below the left shoulder. His hair was hidden under a tight-fitting grey beanie hat with DRFC emblazoned across the front. He’d obviously dressed for his role as a football coach. His broad face was clean-shaven and tanned – Kate suspected a sunbed or a spray considering the grey cloud that seemed to have enveloped Doncaster for much of the spring and early summer.

‘And then I saw her,’ Cawthorne was saying. ‘Just lying on her back in the bushes.’

Kate glanced across to the police tape. It was a few hundred yards away from the neat row of miniature traffic cones that had been set up next to the running track. She looked at Hollis. He’d stopped making notes and was looking at where the body lay. He’d also spotted the anomaly.

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.

 

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Finding Stevie by Cathy Glass (@CathyGlassUK) @HarperNonFic

I am a huge fan of Cathy Glass, so it gives me great pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for her new release, ‘Finding Stevie’. Many thanks to Rosie and the team at HarperNonFic for the blog tour invite and review copy.

Finding Stevie is a dark and poignant true story that highlights the dangers lurking on online.

When Stevie’s social worker tells Cathy, an experienced foster carer, that Stevie, 14, is gender fluid she isn’t sure what that term means and looks it up.

Stevie, together with his younger brother and sister, have been brought up by their grandparents as their mother is in prison. But the grandparents can no longer cope with Stevie’s behaviour so they place him in care.

Stevie is exploring his gender identity, and like many young people he spends time online. Cathy warns him about the dangers of talking to strangers online and advises him how to stay safe. When his younger siblings tell their grandmother that they have a secret they can’t tell, Cathy is worried. However, nothing could have prepared her for the truth when Stevie finally breaks down and confesses what he’s done.

What does TWG think?

Wow – this book knocked me for six. Now, as a fully fledged Cathy Glass fan, I am well aware of just how emotional her books can be, yet nothing prepared me for what my eyes were going to digest in ‘Finding Stevie’.

Stevie has been put into care voluntarily, and it’s now Cathy’s job to guide the lost boy that he is. I say ‘lost’ because underneath of the bravado, Stevie is incredibly lost. He’s at a point in his life where he isn’t sure about his gender, identity, and doesn’t quite understand that his actions can have disastrous outcomes. That said, it angered me at times how Stevie just couldn’t see how much danger he had put his loved ones in. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that he may not have had the guidance regarding technology, like other teenagers, but he clearly knew his actions were wrong so why go through with it?

I’m not shaming at all as I do appreciate how much of a uncertain personality he was, which was heartbreaking to see. I wanted him to do well, and I wanted him to finally be comfortable in himself to be happy.

The undercurrent theme in this book really got under my skin and I won’t lie, I couldn’t shake the feeling of my skin crawling long after I had finished the book. With that in mind, it just goes to show how close to the bone and real Cathy’s stories are because, of you aren’t already aware, they are true stories and the fact that she was able to convey that on paper was utterly mind blowing.

I have never ‘seen’ Cathy lose her cool in any of the books I’ve read, yet my heart went out to her and her family because they couldn’t help but be affected by the choices that Stevie made.

Cathy Glass has written a book which makes you think just how difficult life can be if you don’t have the correct guidance. I admire Cathy for what she does and how much she gives to all of the children she fosters. Yes, ‘Finding Stevie’ played with my emotions and had me cuddling my daughter even tighter, but Cathy Glass has outdone herself once again with this eye opening, poignant, and heartbreaking read. Never mind Cathy giving others hugs, I want to give her one!!

Buy now!