books

Cover Reveal: Mimic – Daniel Cole #Mimic @trapezebooks

Daniel Cole’s latest novel MIMIC, the chilling new standalone thriller, is to be released by Trapeze in Hardback on the 19th August 2021. Sam Eades acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights from Sue Armstrong at C & W.

1989. DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winters are on the trail of a serial killer with a twisted passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. After Chambers nearly loses his life, the case goes cold due to lack of evidence. The killer lies dormant, his collection unfinished.

Seven years later, DS Marshall has excelled through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service, despite being haunted by the case that defined her teenage years.

She obtains new evidence and joins Chambers and Winters to reopen the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between justice and vigilante in pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated.

The killer lies dormant, his collection unfinished.

Seven years later, DS Marshall has excelled through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service, despite being haunted by the case that defined her teenage years.

She obtains new evidence and joins Chambers and Winters to reopen the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between justice and vigilante in pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated.

Pre-order here

TV announcement!
Daniel Cole’s bestselling crime novel RAGDOLL greenlit for six-part series,
from the team behind hit television show Killing Eve.

Trapeze announces the acquisition of MIMIC, the new standalone from Daniel Cole, to be published August 2021.

UKTV has teamed up with Sid Gentle Films Ltd and AMC to announce the greenlight of the new modern-day Faustian thriller Ragdoll (6×60), based on the international bestselling debut novel by Daniel Cole, for its crime drama pay TV channel Alibi. The project will air on Alibi in the UK and AMC in the United States. The pitch black and darkly witty thriller will be adapted into six parts, with a writing team led by Freddy Syborn (Ms Marvel, Bad Education).

Six people have been murdered, dismembered and sewn into the shape of one grotesque body — nicknamed the ‘Ragdoll’. Assigned to the shocking case are DS Nathan Rose, recently reinstated to the London Met; his best friend and boss, DI Emily Baxter; and the unit’s new recruit, DC Lake Edmunds. The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by sending them a list of his next victims, with Rose’s name among them. And with those victims to protect, our heroes soon come under intense public scrutiny. A darkly funny, gruesomely imaginative serial killer thriller, Ragdoll also captures the fascinating but flawed friends struggling with the consequences of institutionalisation and trauma.

Filming will commence in Spring 2021 around London and air in late 2021. Cast will be announced at a later date.

Daniel Cole says; “’With “Killing Eve”, Sid Gentle Films have already demonstrated an uncanny ability to walk the line between black humour and gripping TV. They bought the rights way back, before I even had my first book deal, and their passion for the project hasn’t wavered since. They got it from the off, and I feel that RAGDOLL couldn’t be in safer hands.”

Freddy Syborn says; “I hope RAGDOLL will be a visually exciting, darkly funny thriller in which the personal is the political. Above all, I hope our characters can make you laugh, then break your heart.”

Sally Woodward Gentle, Executive Producer, Sid Gentle Films says; “I am so excited that we are embarking on this twisty and sophisticated piece with Freddy and the team. AMC have already proved themselves to be brilliant partners and we can’t wait to work with Alibi.”

Philippa Collie Cousins, Commissioning Editor, Drama, UKTV says; “RAGDOLL is a dystopian, mesmerising, wickedly funny piece of hard-boiled detective screen fiction. It invites the audience into a timeless world of crime thriller, sending us on a rollercoaster ride with flawed, compelling Rose, his best friend/cop partner Baxter and rookie Edmunds. Together, they tread a maverick route to the truth in a broken world, with touches of Raymond Chandler meets Tina Fey in their memorable banter. Beautifully designed, this atmospheric project mirrors the pure evil, suspense and attention to detail of Silence of the Lambs.”

Emma Ayech, channel director for Alibi adds: “I am thrilled to be bringing this exciting series to Alibi and to be working with such great partners in Sid Gentle Films and AMC. RAGDOLL is a dark and twisty murder mystery that will hook our viewers with its macabre sense of humour and addictive plot; it will be a great addition to our growing slate of brand-new British crime drama.”

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Dragonfly Girl – Marti Leimbach*

In this spellbinding thriller and YA debut from bestselling author Marti Leimbach, Kira Adams has discovered a cure for deathand it may just cost her life.

Things aren’t going well for Kira. At home, she cares for her mother and fends off debt collectors. At school, she’s awkward and shy. Plus, she may flunk out if she doesn’t stop obsessing about science, her passion and the one thing she’s good at . . . very good at.

When she wins a prestigious science contest she draws the attention of the celebrated professor Dr. Gregory Munn (as well as his handsome assistant), leading to a part-time job in a top-secret laboratory.

The job is mostly cleaning floors and equipment, but one night, while running her own experiment, she revives a lab rat that has died in her care.

One minute it is dead, the next it is not.

Suddenly she’s the remarkable wunderkind, the girl who can bring back the dead. Everything is going her way. But it turns out that science can be a dangerous business, and Kira is swept up into a world of international rivalry with dark forces that threaten her life.

Amazon

Marti Leimbach’s latest novel is DRAGONFLY GIRL, a YA action/thriller about a high school girl with a gift for science who discovers a “cure” for death and ends up embroiled in an international rivalry. It is published by Harper Collins in February 2021.

Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’t Talking. She is interested in neurodiversity and has shared the stage with young inventors at the Human Genome Project (Toronto), the National Autistic Society, and the University of Oxford.
She teaches on the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Dragonfly Girl is her eighth novel, but her first for young adults.

Website Twitter

My thoughts:

This was very good, blending science fiction and fact, action and intrigue, Dragonfly Girl takes us from small town America to Stockholm’s fanciest hotels and then to Russia in all its decaying finery.

Kari is a science genius, her brilliant mind can process information quickly and she can think out a method for all sorts of experiments in no time.

Her intelligence gets her awarded science prizes that stave off debt collectors but then catch the attention of men who might not be entirely as they seem.

I loved April the rat carer and Dmitry the grumpy Russian defector in the lab, I felt for Kari as she took on her family’s worries and tried to juggle high school as well.

This was really enjoyable and I hope there’s a book two in the works.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Killing the Girl – Elizabeth Hill*

For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed.

When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed.
She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to suffer, then they will too.
Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who’d let her suffer.
Amazon

Elizabeth published ‘Killing The Girl’ in April 2019, which has won the ‘Chill With A Book’ Premier Readers Award and Book Of The Month for October 2020. She is now busy working on her second novel, Killing The Shadowman.

We all love a great murder mystery and ‘Killing The Girl explores the reasons why an ordinary woman kills. What pushes her to her limit of endurance and sanity? And could that woman be you?
Elizabeth is a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, The Bristol Fiction Writers Group and Noir At The Bar, Bath. She was a speaker at the 2019 Bristol Festival of Literature.
Find out more on her website
Twitter

Elizabeth lives in Bristol, UK.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting, compelling book that keeps you guessing. Carol is an unreliable narrator as she doesn’t know everything and can’t always be trusted to remember or tell the truth.

There are so many layers of secrets and lies to unravel as the ghosts from 1970 are revealed. Very cleverly done.

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

books, reviews

Book Review: The Church, Who Needs It? We Do! – Yvonne Bennett and The Women of Mummies Republic

A group of mums in South London living in poverty come together to form a group to help each other.

They talk of their struggles on Universal credit and the ways in which a pioneer Methodist missionary has brought them together. Not all have a faith, but all believe in the power of prayer. Their struggles escalate as the pandemic lockdown comes into play.

They start a blog and use this to express their feelings. This book is their voice.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting study looking at the role of the Church (encompassing all denominations) in modern life. The women who attend the Wednesday meetings of Mummies Republic are not all regular church goers but that doesn’t matter. The assistance, support and fellowship they receive there transcends those restrictions.

They find comfort and solace in prayer and their community – as well as practical help and advice as they navigate the ludicrous benefits system and then 2020’s first lockdown. Unable to meet in person they connect via WhatsApp and a blog they take turns contributing to.

While religious faith may be on a decline in the UK, the role the Church can play in providing essential services the government and wider society fail to, is often unrecognised and unsung. From credit unions to food banks, mental health support and even holidays, the Church is there to try to uplift and support its parishioners.

The pioneering work of this South London Church is vital to the lives of the Mummies Republic women, empowering them and supporting them during dark and difficult times. Many of them are single parents, some are survivors of domestic abuse, all of them are struggling.

This slim volume assesses the work being done and also gives voice to this community of women, in their own words, revealing their hopes and fears.

Powerful and moving, it should remind us that we can do more to support the people that are often overlooked and neglected. And that the church is often there (as are temples, mosques, synagogues and gurdwaras) to offer solace and practical support without fanfare.

I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Deep Level – Richard E. Rock*

When Rich stumbles upon a secret Victorian underground network, he sees not only a great historical discovery, but also a way out of his humdrum life. He convinces three of his friends to join him, and together they venture deep into the maze of tunnels beneath London’s bustling streets.

A rude girl made good. An aspiring writer. A cinema usher from Wales. A bookseller who dreams of being an urban explorer. Four friends trapped together in one nightmarish situation as they realise some things are kept secret for a reason.
Will any of them manage to escape the horror that lurks in the DEEP LEVEL?

Amazon UK
Amazon US

By day, Richard E. Rock works as a commercial scriptwriter for radio and contributes ideas to Viz Comic. But by night…he writes horror.
He was inspired to do this after experiencing a series of particularly ferocious nightmares. After waking up and realising he could turn these into utterly horrible stories, he started deliberately inducing them.

Based in Wales, he lives with his girlfriend and their cat. If you’re looking for him, you’ll probably find
him wedged up against the barrier at a heavy metal gig, for that is his natural habitat.

Twitter Instagram Facebook

My thoughts:

As someone who’s fascinated by the layers and layers of history buried beneath London’s streets this sounded fascinating. And it was, then it was really, really creepy. In the best way, where you get a shiver down your spine and you are really pleased you’re safely in your home reading and not wandering around in the dark being terrorised by monsters.

Truly sinister and unnerving, this is a great book for those who like their horror malevolent and greedy.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Second Chances in Chianti – T.A. Williams*

Alice thought her future was set in stone, until her past came knocking…
Alice Butler starred in a successful US sitcom until tensions in the cast and crew caused the show to be cancelled.

Now, five years later and working towards her dream job in art history, she’s called back for a revival of the show. It can only end in disaster, surely?

Flown to a villa in Chianti to meet with the rest of the cast, Alice must decide where her future lies – with her boyfriend, David, who laps up the Hollywood company, or with the mysterious Matt, who shies away from public attention?

Purchase

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English.

My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy
little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my
readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

Website Twitter Facebook

My thoughts:

This was a really enjoyable slice of escapism. I’ve been to Tuscany, many years ago, and it is truly beautiful. So u completely understood Alice’s reasons for wanting to stay there and enjoy the art, history, delicious food and sunshine.

Her former co-stars actually seem like quite nice people and I can see the appeal of recapturing their past triumphs, but also not wanting to deal with all the drama.

The romance was gentle and quite honestly it was the lovely dog she falls for first, very understandable too!

Considering the current sulky weather and ongoing lockdown, this was a dose of much needed sunshine and dreamy Italian countryside. Enjoy while thinking of escaping somewhere wonderful!

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Alone in the Woods – Charly Cox*

The sudden appearance of a man’s booted feet had Addis snapping her mouth shut. Screaming, she kicked out at the tall, muscular guy as he dragged her from beneath the desk…

It was a scene from a horror movie; Gabriel Kensington and his wife Lydia found, brutally slain in their luxurious home in New Mexico. The frantic, whispered phone call from their teenage daughter Addis, spending the evening with best friend Emerson, quickly alerts the authorities to the killings – and worse, that the killer is still inside the house.

But when detective Alyssa Wyatt and the squad appear at the house, the unthinkable has happened – the girls are nowhere to be found.

Waking up in a dilapidated cabin, nestled high in the woods north of Albuquerque, the girls find themselves at the mercy of a brutal stranger who could take their life at any moment. While they fight for survival, it’s up to Alyssa Wyatt and her partner Cord to discover just why the Kensingtons have been targeted – and fast.

Because for Addis and Emerson, solving this mystery might just mean the difference between survival – or an unthinkable death…

Born in the South, raised in the Midwest, Charly now resides in the Southwest in the Land of Enchantment where she enjoys eating copious amounts of green chile and other spicy foods. When she’s not reading, writing, or plotting sinister evils with her antagonists, she enjoys doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, hanging out with her husband and her spoiled Siberian Husky, visiting her son in Arizona, and traveling, preferably to places surrounded by sun, sand, and warm uncrowded beaches.

Twitter Facebook Website Goodreads

My thoughts:

This was really good, the two teenagers were brave and their connection kept them alive and carried them through their ordeal. The strands of the investigation wove together in an interesting way and I never would have guessed the culprit.

I hadn’t read the previous books but I don’t think it mattered too much, even though one strand of the case links back to it, as the main plot isn’t connected.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Safe and Sound – Philippa East*


Home can be the most dangerous place…

In a small London bedsit, a radio is playing. A small dining table is set for three, and curled up on the sofa is a body…

Jenn is the one who discovers the woman, along with the bailiffs. All indications suggest that the tenant – Sarah Jones – was pretty, charismatic and full of life.

So how is it possible that her body has lain undiscovered for ten whole months?

My thoughts:

Inspired by one of the saddest real life stories I know, this book deals with some big themes – loneliness, family, mental illness and death.

Jenn’s discovery of the body of a tenant, forgotten and alone, who seems to have had no family or friends around her, sparks a determination to find someone who cared, especially when she realises there is a connection between them. At the same time she’s dealing with her own issues and worries.

Sensitively handled and written, the reasons why Jenn is so desperate for answers slowly reveal themselves in her own life. She’s an interesting protagonist and her hypervigililence around her son makes sense the further the book goes.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Bad Habits – Flynn Meaney*

Alex is a rebel with a purple fauxhawk and biker boots.
St Mary’s Catholic School is the strict boarding school where she’s currently trapped.
Despite trying everything she can to get expelled, she’s still stuck with the nuns, the prudish attitude and the sexism. So Alex decides to take matters into her own hands. She’s going to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues . . .
Trouble is, no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud!

A riotously funny novel about the importance of friendship and finding your voice.

My thoughts:

I went to church school, which wasn’t quite like this one, but I recognised certain elements and I think teenage me, who was so fed up of the hypocrisy and the useless sex ed lessons (raised by a midwife and nurse who used to treat sex workers and AIDS patients as part of her job meant I was a lot better informed than many of my peers) as well as all the usual things to hate about high school, and Alex would be friends.

I’d certainly be joining her Feminist Club and starting protests, I have been told I needed to tone myself down and focus on schoolwork.

Alex is a force to be reckoned with and I think Father Hughes has a bit of a soft spot for her, tolerating some of her excesses more than he might for another student.

I loved her quiet but determined friend Mary Kate, sometimes you don’t have to be the loud out there one to get things done.

This was overall just a really fun, smart book that sticks it to the patriarchy and celebrates friendship and empowerment in all its forms.


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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Where Ravens Roost – Karin Nordin*

The raven cawed at him, craning its neck unnaturally. As it dug its hooked beak into the mess of dried grass and twigs that made up its nest, a shiny glimmer reflected off a low-hanging bulb. Kjeld edged closer to get a better look. It was a human tooth.

Detective Kjeld Nygaard wants nothing more than to forget his family and Varsund, the small mining town he once called home, even exist. But while on suspension after his last case went disastrously wrong, his estranged father Stenar leaves a message on Kjeld’s phone claiming he’s seen a murder.

But with no evidence and Stenar suffering from Alzheimer’s, the local police think he must have imagined it. Kjeld can’t stop himself from investigating what actually happened, and soon discovers a body. But when the police start to suspect Stenar, it’s a race against time to discover the truth before it’s lost forever.

But will uncovering the truth expose family secrets that are best left buried?

My thoughts:

A slow beginning turns into a gripping, complex thriller, revolving around Kjeld’s family and the secrets locked in his father’s memory, secrets that are slowly coming out as Stenar’s Alzheimer’s has him living half in the past.

The author deals with dementia sensitively and depicts the struggle of Stenar’s family, especially daughter Sara, well. It’s very hard to watch someone slowly lose their memories and forget who you are.

The crime scene in the barn, with its audience of watchful ravens is creepy and sinister. Even though corvids are clever birds, I felt a bit sorry for them, stuck away in the dark, unable to fly off.

Kjeld is an interesting protagonist, he’s dealing with the break up of his relationship as well as professional concerns following his last case in Gothenburg. Adding his troubled family situation – an estranged father, a resentful sister, to his plate could have sent him spinning but he focuses on the case in hand and manages to unravel a much larger mess than first appears.

A really good, solid crime thriller with well developed characters and a smart, knotty plot.