blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Deep as Death – Katja Ivar*

Hella Mauzer has just been fired by the police and is now a reluctant private investigator. Escaping the mind-numbing routine of shadowing unfaithful spouses, Hella finds herself at the centre of an investigation of multiple murders.

It all begins when a prostitute is found floating upside down in Helsinki Harbour. Not exactly a high priority case for the Helsinki police, so homicide chief Jokela passes the job to his former colleague Hella. It’s beginning to look like a serial killer is at work when another lady of the night narrowly escapes being driven into the harbour, handcuffed to the car by her client.

What begins like a taut whodunit turns into something more tantalizing as Hella turns her attention to different suspects, often to the consternation of the fascinating Inspector Mustonen, charismatic, ambitious and trying desperately to live up to the standards of his high-maintenance wife.

Katja Ivar grew up in Russia and the U.S. She travelled the world extensively, from Almaty to Ushuaia, from Karelia to Kyushu, before finally settling in Paris where she lives with her husband and three children. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and a master’s degree in Contemporary History from Sorbonne University. Evil Things was her debut novel.

My thoughts:

This was a clever tale of murder and mystery in 1950s Finland, with a female PI doing her best to solve crimes and keep her business afloat.

At a time when women in the UK were only just about being allowed to join the police, seeing a female detective leading the charge is pretty interesting, makes a nice change from most historical crime novels with their male protagonists.

The writing is crisp and the plot tight, the supposedly straight forward death of a prostitute goes somewhere completely different and twists and turns around the city as Hella and Inspector Mustonen try to solve the mystery.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Wives – Tarryn Fisher*

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket — an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realise she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?

My thoughts:I got a bit confused when the plot switches up towards the end but the main bulk of the plot focuses on Thursday and her investigations into the rest of husband’s life.She seems quite lost in her life, despite having a job and her family, she doesn’t seem to have any friends.The plot ratchets up as she goes in search of Hannah and starts questioning the arrangement she agreed to when she got married.When the twist came I wasn’t prepared for it and the ending definitely left me a little puzzled. What was true? What was really going on?*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: All Fall Down – M.J. Arlidge*

“You have one hour to live.”

Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth… That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.

But why?

The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is a case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.

With no motive, no leads, no clues – nothing but pure fear – an hour can last a lifetime…

My thoughts:

I read the first Helen Grace book a while ago so I was vaguely familiar with the characters, but this can easily be read as a standalone.

A clever, twisted plot, a game played by a cruel and determined killer, and no immediately obvious links between the victims.

Arlidge is an accomplished writer and knows how to keep a reader successfully hooked as the detective and her team come ever closer to the truth.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books

Cover Reveal: Not The Deaths Imagined – Anne Pettigrew

Today I’m helping reveal the cover for Anne Pettigrew’s new book Not The Deaths Imagined – review to follow.

In a leafy Glasgow suburb, Dr Beth Semple is busy juggling motherhood and full-time GP work in the 90s NHS. But her life becomes even more problematic when she notices some odd deaths in her neighbourhood. Though Beth believes the stories don’t add up, the authorities remain stubbornly unconvinced.

Soon, Beth’s professional reputation is challenged. There follows a chilling campaign of harassment and she finds her professional reputation – and family – are put at risk.

Is a charming local GP actually a serial killer? Can Beth piece together the jigsaw of perplexing fatalities and perhaps save lives? And as events accelerate towards a dramatic conclusion, will the police intervene in time?

From the author of Not the Life Imagined, this slow-burning tartan noir novel from a Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight author follows Beth on another quest for justice. Reflecting Pettigrew’s own medical expertise, Not The Deaths Imagined re-affirms the benefits of growing up in a loving family and the need for friends in hard times, while offering insight into the twisted development of a psychopathic mind.

Ringwood Publishing

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Glasgow-born, 31 years a Greenock GP, graduate of University of Glasgow (Medicine 1974) and Oxford (MSc Medical Anthropology 2004). Worked also in psychiatry, women’s health, and journalism (Herald, Pulse, Doctor, Channel 4). In retirement took Creative Writing tuition at Glasgow University aiming to pen novels about women doctors (rare in literature except as pathologists or in Mills & Boon). Runner-up in SAW Constable Award 2018, chosen as a 2019 Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight Author – ‘one to watch.’ Member of several writers’ groups and a short story competition winner, she lives in Ayrshire and enjoys good books, good wine, and good company.

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: We Ride The Storm – Devin Madson*

In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s propulsive epic fantasy.

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

My thoughts:

This is an action packed fast paced novel, leaping between three first person narrators as the countries of Kisia and Chiltae go to war.

Without too much preamble or heavy back story, you’re thrust straight into the heart of the story, as Chiltae’s army captures Levanti soldiers and forces them into its ranks as it aims to conquer neighbouring Kisia.

I loved Cassandra, the whore turned assassin with a secret, annoying, passenger, who just wants to get paid, not dragged into politics. Snarky and grumpy, she’s easily the funniest character.

Miko is the most complex character, convinced she’s got to do the right thing for her family, her country, herself. Conflicted and never sure about her plans, she seems to just cross her fingers and hope it all works out.

I look forward to book two, We Lie With Death, as the ending to this gives absolutely no clues as to what might happen next.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Deja Vu – Melody Saleh*


Happiness is finally within reach for best friends, Amber, Dominque, Debra and Zya. But fate has other plans…

Pregnant and widowed, Debra is engaged to suave and charming Italian heartthrob Roberto. So why does her heart race when she thinks about her therapist, Brian? Has she said yes to the wrong man?

Dominque has found the love and acceptance she always longed for with Tad. But devastating news soon threatens their future together.

Successful fashion designer Zya has discovered her own unexpected happily ever after with Tina . . . until her daughter, Ashanti is bullied and becomes the focus of a police investigation and the media. Now Zya suddenly stands to lose everything she holds dear.

Finally, together with the only man she’s ever loved, Amber is determined to not let anything come between her and Patrick—not even her jealous and vindictive identical twin sister. But someone is watching . . . waiting for the right moment to destroy her . . .

Will the women get their happy ending, or is it déjà vu all over again? Find out in the dramatic and suspenseful second book of the Unbroken series

Find out in the dramatic and suspenseful second book of the Unbroken series

After 35+ years in operations for various businesses (including her own), Melody pursued her dream of writing a novel. Having written for business publications, local magazines and even publishing a poem, Chemo’s not for Sissies, during treatment after her first cancer diagnosis, it was time to finish the novel that was started many years ago. When she started writing, “Facade: Things Aren’t Always as They Appear,” she had no idea where her characters were going to take her. “The story basically wrote itself. It was like a movie projector playing in my mind,” is how she describes her experience. It soon became apparent, their voices were not to be silenced… “The Unbroken Series” was born. “Deja Vu: Here We Go Again,” Book II, to be released June 23, 2020, followed by C’est la Vie, Book III, in December.

Melody lives with her husband in her native home state Florida. She’s blessed to be alive today after two cancer diagnoses and enjoys watching her grandchildren grow up; something she doesn’t take for granted.

My thoughts:

This book is definitely an improvement on the first book in that the reader knows the characters and there’s not so much background to fill in. The characters are trying to move on with their lives but spanners continue to be thrown in the works.

As with Facade a lot of things happen very quickly and all at once sometimes, which can be a little confusing. The author certainly packs a lot into the plot. It’s nice to see the younger characters get a bit more of the storylines, and characters like Tina and Tad who were a bit underwritten in Facade.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Crossing in Time – DL Orton*

The past isn’t over, it’s an opening. The future isn’t hidden, it’s a trap.
If she ever wants to see him again, she’ll have to take the risk…

Publishers Weekly Starred Review: “Funny, Romantic & Harrowing!”
When offered a one-way trip to the past, Iz sacrifices everything for a chance to change her dystopian future—and see her murdered lover one last time.
After a perilous journey through a black hole, she wakes up on a tropical beach, buck naked and mortally wounded—but twenty years younger! With only hours to live, she must convince an enraptured but skeptical twenty-something guy to fix their future relationship and thereby save the planet (no one is quite sure why.)
But it’s easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that’s a heartbreaker, save the world or not.

Across the infinite expanse of space and time, love endures…

(Unfortunately, it’s not going to be enough.)
FALL INTO THIS EDGY, action-packed, darkly comedic, dystopian love story, and be prepared to encounter a finicky time machine, a mysterious seashell, and a very clever dog (some sex, some swearing, some violence, but no vampires and absolutely no ditzes.)

Content Warning!
This book contains material that may be disturbing to some, and in movie form, would be rated NC-17 for strong language, nudity, sexual situations, and violence (including attempted sexual assault, abduction, intense danger, miscarriage, confinement, a pandemic, religious fanaticism (Christian), government malevolence, and death).
Reader discretion is advised.

Author

DL ORTON, THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS series, lives in the foothills of the Rockies where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.♂‍

In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

My thoughts:

This was an interesting, if at time slightly confusing, read. Starting as a love story, it becomes a bit post-apocalypse-y, then a time travel story, then a sort of survivalist story, then a love story.

Basically it contains elements of a lot of genres and at times perhaps too many. However it is very readable and enjoyable if you don’t think about it too much (like if you’re reviewing it).

Diego and Isabel make engaging protagonists and the team inside the mountain are also well realised characters.

Hopefully as the series continues it all becomes clearer and the time travelling solves the end of the world.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Blood Red City – Rod Reynolds*

A witness with no victim. A crime with no crime scene…

When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts – until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime.

Michael Stringer deals in information – and doesn’t care which side of the law he finds himself on. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows.

When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect … and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet.

A nerve-shattering and brutally realistic thriller, Blood Red City bursts with energy and grit from the opening page, twisting and feinting to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless.

Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’

A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City.

Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters.

My thoughts:

This was a clever, twisty turny story, with lots of smart writing and a compelling plot. As Wright and Stringer get drawn into a dangerous conspiracy and risk their lives to uncover the truth about the man on the tube, who is behind it all and how far will they go?

I gobbled this book down in one sitting, it really gripped me and the familiar settings (I live on the Northern line and know most of the places, like Brent Cross, pretty well) helped me visualise the events.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The First Lie – A.J. Park*

A freak accident. An impossible choice. But what was…

THE FIRST LIE

When Paul Reeve comes home to find his wife in the bathroom, bloodied and shaking, his survival instinct kicks in.

Alice never meant to kill the intruder. She was at home, alone, and terrified. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for it. Covering up the murder is their only option.

But the crime eats away at the couple and soon they can’t trust anyone – even one another…

My thoughts:This was a lot more twisted and complicated than it first appeared. As the secrets and lies stack up and the mental states of both Paul and Alice appear to deteriorate things become more complex and a conspiracy comes to light.*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Before I Die – Jackie Morrissey*

She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.

Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.

But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.

Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.

Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores… But no one will listen.

Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.

Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.

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Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time. The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

My thoughts:

This is something I genuinely worry about – the carer who’s out for whatever they can get. As someone with mental health issues, married to a disabled person I fear being left, like the elderly victims in this book, with someone who presents a different face to the outside world.

That being said, most people in the caring professions are nice and would never turn into Dolores.

I liked that the heroine is an older woman – Maureen is in the Miss Marple mold of a sleuth who many overlook due to her age.

There were some genuinely chilling moments and a satisfying denouement, a very impressive debut novel all round.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.