blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Hashtag Killer – A.S. French*

Catch a killer or save a child. What would you do?

DI Jen Flowers thought she’d seen it all after fifteen years on the force, but when a vigilante serial killer hits the city and uses social media to gather supporters, she must fight the public and her doubts to catch a murderer and save her daughter.

Suffering from blackouts and abandoned as a child by her father, Ruby Vasquez has been chasing
that one scoop to make her an internet star. Living with an alcoholic mother who hates her, Ruby discovers a secret about the vigilante’s first victim, which puts her in the killer and DI Flowers’ sights.

Jen and Ruby have to overcome the secrets in their past while battling each other to discover the Hashtag Killer’s identity. Jen will have to choose between keeping her daughter safe or finding a killer, while Ruby will need to decide if becoming famous is more important than doing the right thing.

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Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.

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My thoughts:

This was a clever thriller, complete with red herrings and false leads, sending the police in the wrong direction as they hunt for a vigilante killer.

Ruby is trying to build a name for herself as a citizen journalist, with her crime blog. But her apparent close proximity to the killer makes her a person of interest to the police. But is her criminal father connected?

Both Jen and Ruby are interesting characters, they have a lot going on in their personal lives and their pursuit of the killer places them at risk. They’re smart and while they take different angles on the crimes, they ultimately want the same thing – justice.

*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: The Black Fox – Gordon Bickerstaff*

Read my review of Everything to Lose

Incredible conspiracy. Intricate espionage. Spy story.
Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.
As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.
Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.
Run for your life…

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I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.

I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.

The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.

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My thoughts:

Another thrilling adventure for Zoe and Gavin, as they attempt to avoid the CIA, acting on British soil without authorisation.

Somewhere inside Gavin’s head is a secret the US will do anything to protect, including murder, kidnap and launching rockets on public roads.

Trouble is Gavin doesn’t have a clue what it is they think he knows. And he and Zoe are running out of time, and heading to Scotland, running out of country.

Clever, gripping and action packed, Zoe believes she’s following orders but is that the case and what is so secret that the CIA are willing to break all the rules?

*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: Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery – Rosalie Knecht*

Read my review of Who Is Vera Kelly?

Recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine Vera Kelly finds herself travelling from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.

When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective.

Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape. Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the Caribbean.

Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.

In this exciting second instalment of the ‘splendid genre-pushing’ (People) Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fibre, and martini-dry humour who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.

Rosalie Knecht is the author of Who Is Vera Kelly?, Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery and Relief Map. She is also the translator of César Aira’s The Seamstress and the Wind (New Directions). She lives in New Jersey.

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My thoughts:

This second outing for reluctant former CIA agent, Vera Kelly, is another fun misadventure. This time Vera is down on her luck, dumped and fired, she sets up shop as a PI.

Struggling to get clients who trust a woman, she takes on the case of a missing boy. Only she senses something off about her clients. So it’s off to the Dominican Republic to find out more, and then back to New York in a hurry as she tangles with the bad guys.

She’s also trying to find love, will something happen between her and Max, the bartender from the gay bar she frequents? In a dangerous time to be queer, Vera treads carefully but might just need to trust a bit more.

I really enjoyed this book and Vera’s adventures, despite the lack of training the CIA gave her, she’s good at disappearing into a role and has a strong sense of right and wrong. She tangles with dangerous people and risks her neck a few times, but somehow always gets through. I hope there’s more to come.

*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: The Prison Healer – Lynette Noni*


Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.

Click on the poster to buy tickets to Lynette’s only UK event.

My thoughts:

This was so, so good. I really enjoyed it, it reminded me of Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire series and Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, all the amazing protagonists escape terrible prisons and fight their way to the top.

But this book takes place in the prison, you’re in Kiva’s suffering with her, the way she’s treated by both guards and other prisoners, her fears and hopes, her quiet days in the prison infirmary treating the sick and new arrivals.

But one of those new arrivals shakes up her existence – and offers new hope even if her family never come. But there are complications ahead, and inmates keep dying of a strange stomach virus.

I couldn’t put this down, it was so gripping and clever, enjoyable and I am so excited for book two, which I now have to wait for. If you want an epic new adventure series with a brilliant protagonist and excellent supporting characters, read this one.

*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: Coastal Cahoots Club – Victoria Johns*

Thirty-year-old Tessa Archer is an emotional eater who is full of self-loathing and lacking confidence – she’s a woman who is desperate to change if only she had the nerve.

Her cause isn’t helped by her family whose all-round lack of regard, belief and simple love make her life a whole lot harder. Unable to match up to her ‘perfect’ siblings, a brutal family dinner pushes Tessa to take the first tentative steps towards transformation. Inventing a girls’ weekend away, she plans a short break in Cornwall – alone. It’s a place where she hopes she can feel reinvigorated about life, even if she’s terrified of the prospect. This is a last-ditch attempt to prove to her family that she isn’t the scared, useless ‘lump’ they think she is.
Once in St. Ives, with no expectations or standards to uphold, Tessa finally feels as though she can breathe, and not just because the air is cleaner. She pushes herself to meet new people and finally concentrate on her own life.

With the help of the Coastal Cahoots Club, a group of crazy elderly ladies, led by the indomitable Winnie, a new Tessa emerges. There’s even the possibility of love with Winnie’s sexy grandson Ben – if only he was willing to open up his heart.
Who knew a group of old aged pensioners, a sexy bar owner, a militant seamstress and a beautiful Cornish coastal town could bring such magic to a person’s life?
Read this beautiful and poignant story and fall in love with the wonderful cast of characters and their gorgeous surroundings, because life can be amazing if you just learn to trust it.

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Victoria Johns is a writer who enjoys sharing a happily ever after and believes that it’s every good girls dream to experience a steamy, hot one.

Growing up in North West England in a large family surrounded by love and support she found her Prince Charming many years ago and enjoys living the life they’ve made with their son. Being a mum, wife and in full time employment means multi tasking like a super power!
When she’s not writing she’s overdosing on crisps, Rosé wine, trashy TV and raunchy reads.

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My thoughts:

This book was a lot of fun,very funny, quite filthy and a bit of a treat all round. Set in St Ives, Cornwall (I miss the sea) in a time where physical contact is allowed, there’s lots of surfing, drinking, chippy teas, snogging and chasing old ladies up hills!

Tessa is a character to really root for, she’s feeling a bit lost in her life and needs a serious reboot. Enter Winnie and the other dangerous grannies of the Coastal Cahoots Club, armed with years of knowledge, buckets of tea and a walker she will whack you with; these “old dears” will get Tessa to see herself the way they do. Oh, and engineer a romance along the way!

A story about learning to love yourself, live the life you want and finding happiness.

*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: Another Man – Leslie Croxford*

Haunted by a sense of inner emptiness, Frank Ward struggles to reconcile with his tormented past. He is aided by a series of intense encounters, as well as by an unexpected plunge into researching the life of so-called “Good Nazi”, Albert Speer.

My thoughts:

Frank returns to the Spanish village he spent a holiday in as a young student; now a published author, he searches for his next subject, a historian, he becomes fascinated by the story of Albert Speer’s driver, who recuperated in the village after being repatriated from Russia.

Frank becomes friends with Bruno, a pianist, and they discuss Speer over and over, much to the boredom of Bruno’s wife, Frank’s landlady and other women. When Paloma, Bruno’s daughter, arrives back in the village, she and Frank begin to fall in love.

The switches back and forth from first to third person narration are interesting, they add to the unsettling subject matter, the life of Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect, and a man who built his own myth, that of being a “good Nazi” while in Spandau prison for twenty years. Frank and Bruno are obsessed by him and the weak link to the village where they are. They endlessly debate whether he was a liar (as shown after his death) or as he wanted to be seen – ignorant of the horrors going on around him.

It’s a rather redundant debate, one quick Google search would have answered their questions, and I think that’s why the other characters get a bit fed up with them. Paloma, who actually knew the recuperating driver, tolerates it slightly better than her mother.

But Frank seems to be one of those people who broods on the past, their own included. He thinks about his previous trip to this village, to stay with his friend Juan, and the girl he met then. His Speer obsession becomes so all consuming it stops his melancholy.

It’s an interesting book, beautifully written, even if I got a bit bored of their fixation on one of the chief Nazis, and the fact that we know there’s so such thing as a “good” one.

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

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Blog Tour: Gifted – Andy Lewer*

The last thing Abigail Everett thought would happen over spring break was having her world shift into an entirely new perspective. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what happened.

Between struggling to master her newly-formed abilities, coming face-to-face with dark, deceiving mind tricks by those that seek her leadership, and learning of a mythical world that she never deemed possible, Abigail risks everything with the future of mankind and the safety of its’ people in her hands.

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Andy is an urban fantasy/fictional writer that loves a healthy dose of character development. She’s a true Potter-head at heart with a deep love of nature, cooking, and comfy clothes. Andy is constantly plotting and pondering her works to come and has many exciting things in store.

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My thoughts:

This was an interesting take on the teenager discovers they have special powers trope, as Abby’s newly appeared heritage puts her in danger. There are two factions who both want her to lead, but for different reasons. Unfortunately she’s in the dark about all of this and makes mistakes.

The book was fairly short and sweet, setting up the conflicts to come – between the two sides but also within Abby, and between the bad boy who says he loves her and the best friend who’s loved her for years.


*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: The Fall of Koli – M.R. Carey*

Read my reviews of Part One and Part Two of The Rampart Trilogy


M. R. Carey’s Rampart Trilogy is ‘an epic post-apocalyptic fable’ (Kirkus), set in a future where nature has turned against us. Now, in the breathtaking final chapter, the world that was lost comes back to haunt those who survived – as Koli’s journey comes to its astonishing close.

My thoughts:

Koli, Cup and Ursala have made it to The Sword of Albion, but all is not right there and they and their cyber pal Monono must pull out all the stops to escape from more danger.

Meanwhile in Mythen Rood, war with Half-Ax and the so-called Peacemaker is coming and all they can do is prepare to fight. Spinner really comes into her own as she plans and schemes to get the advantage. They may be few but they’re brave.

As the various plots and adventures start to weave towards the finale of this trilogy set in a possible future, Koli grows up and starts to see what he can accomplish with friends by his side and the good kind of tech (although Monono has her darker moments too).

This was probably my favourite of the three books chronicling Koli’s life and times, partly because he felt like a much more developed character, in keeping with the increase in his knowledge and the shedding of his naivetè. But Cup and Monono are still my favourite characters, both know who and what they are and are stronger for it.

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

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Blog Tour: The Source – Sarah Sultoon*

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge.

When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier.

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth… and justice.

A tense, startling and unforgettable thriller, The Source is a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience.

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan.

She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs.

As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television.

When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if…

My thoughts:

This was really good. Clever, tense and gripping, especially as Marie and Carly’s stories draw closer together and more secrets and conspiracies are forced up to the surface.

Marie wants to use the power of the press to expose corruption at the heart of the military and government, corruption the police have decided to reinvestigate after their previous attempt failed. But dragging the darkness into light means pressure is being applied to find the leaks and stem them.

The scandal it revolves around is pretty grim and hard to stomach but just as in reality, you mustn’t look away, that’s how the men behind this get away with it. It’s why Marie and her colleagues are so angry when their trafficking story might get pulled. It’s why Marie pushes so hard to expose the truth. It’s why the leak is there.

The writing is crisp and concise and crackles with condemnation and the rage Carly and Marie feel over the coverup, and the way they’ve been hung out to dry. Only by naming names and getting the worst of the worst to justice can they be safe.

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

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Blog Tour: Trust Me – T.M Logan*

Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass. Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:Please protect Mia Don’t trust the police Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . .

T.M. Logan’s thrillers have sold more than 900,000 copies in the UK and are published in 18 countries around the world.

His novel The Holiday was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and became a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback.

Formerly a national newspaper journalist, he now writes full time and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.

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My thoughts:

I’ve read a few of the author’s other books so I knew it would be a knuckle biting thriller, wrong footing me at every turn and with more twists than a rollercoaster and I was right!

The plot speeds along, throwing out clues, red herrings and new suspects, till you’re not remotely sure who to trust, apart from Ellen. She seems to be the only one with Mia’s safety in mind, despite not knowing any history or why this baby is so important.

I was utterly gripped as Ellen deals with some very odd characters, tries to move on from her own losses and somehow make it back home in one piece.

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