blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Zodiac – Anamaria Ionescu*


When investigator Sergiu Manta is handed the investigation into a series of bizarre murders, he can’t sure what he’s getting involved in as he has to work with regular detective Marius Stanescu, who has his own suspicions about the biker he has been told to work with, and wants to get to the truth. The twists and turns of their investigation takes them from the city of Bucharest to the mountains of rural Romania, and back.

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My thoughts:

This was a really interesting, twisty, clever thriller. I really enjoyed it. One of the joys of translated literature is getting to read more widely but also see how tropes translate in other cultures. I’d really like to read more from this author, with her great grasp of narrative and suspense. It also gave me a tour of parts of Romania, which was really interesting too.

*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: Hypnos – Jon Biddle*

What if the unthinkable became a reality? What if technology could be used against you?

A software program has been stolen from the digital vaults of the CIA. It is capable of bridging the gap between A.I. and human consciousness, making a person do whatever the controller wants, creating a potentially terrifying new world. The organisation responsible has racist, right-wing views and a perverted desire to reduce population growth by culling it using the software. Only the rich and the powerful can be part of Asclepius. The software is uploaded to the brain via eye movement using a smartphone, leaving open the possibility for entire countries to be controlled remotely.

Alex Brown, newly-appointed to the B5 Intelligence cell of British intelligence while hunting for the serial killer Dale Broc who has kidnapped her daughter, has been assigned to the case and now has to choose. Will she save the country or her daughter?

Hypnos is the second novel in the Alex Brown series. Author Jon Biddle brings extensive medical knowledge coupled with military and law enforcement experience that combines to produce an exciting sequel to The Harvester.

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Jon spends his days smashing out people’s hip and knee joints, and his nights writing medical thrillers.

A veteran and a medical professional who spends 45 hours a week in the OR, Jon brings considerable medical and military/law enforcement expertise to the crime thriller genre, evident by the attention to detail in his six books.

Jon’s writing is dark and eclectic, provoking and deviant. He surrounds himself in the white glow of pureness, with one foot always in the dark. The dark always surrounds us, but Jon has a knack of making his readers ask “Could this happen to me?”

There is nothing too dark for Jon to write about. He has no level, base, or filter, and will get into your head and “scare the living daylights” out of you.

Jon lives in the south-west of England with his childhood sweetheart, Sam, and two Springer Spaniels. With full-time medical responsibilities in his day job, Jon spends 15-20 hours a week writing for his growing online audience. His new medical thriller, The Harvester, was released in 2019 as the first of six books in the Dale Broc series.

Find out more about Jon Biddle, including his new releases and regular short stories, by going to http://www.jonbiddle.uk and joining the mailing list.

My thoughts:

This is a weird, and at times, confusing, thriller. There’s a lot going on, plots that don’t really go anywhere, details that don’t add anything to the story and I got a bit annoyed with some of it.

Now, that may be because I haven’t read the previous book and the continuing storylines from that meant nothing to me. It may also be that two of the male characters had the same first name and I got a bit confused by that.

However, it was a clever, deep state conspiracy, intelligence service thriller with lots of guns and explosions, as well as complicated high tech doomsday software.


*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: Deep State – Chris Hauty*

Hayley Chill isn’t your typical West Wing intern. Ex-military and as patriotic as she is principled, she is largely vilified by her peers and lauded by her superiors – it’s a quick way of making enemies. It is Hayley who finds the body of the White House chief of staff, Peter Hall, on his kitchen floor having died from an apparent heart attack. It is also Hayley who notices a single clue which suggests his death was deliberate, targeted. That he was assassinated. Unsure who to trust, Hayley works alone to uncover a wideranging conspiracy that controls the furthest reaches of the government. And Hall is just the beginning – the president is the next target. Hayley must now do the impossible: stop an assassination, when she has no idea who the enemy is, all while staying hidden, with Peter’s final words to her ringing in her ears: Trust no one. Because the Deep State will kill to silence her. And they are closing in.

***

It is entrenched. It is hidden. It is deadly.

Who can you trust?

Chris Hauty is a screenwriter who has worked at all the major movie studios, in nearly every genre of film. He currently lives in Venice, California, in the company of a classic Triumph motorcycle and a feral cat. Deep State is his first novel.

My thoughts:

This is a clever, twisty turny thriller. The twist at the end in particular is pretty jaw dropping.

Well written, pacey and gripping.

I really liked the little asides telling you about how some of the characters end up, they were entertaining little snippets that broke the tension in the plot and helped you focus on all the political intrigue and sneaky double dealings.

I’ve passed my copy onto my Grandad who loves a good thriller and likes to ring me up to tell me his favourite bits.

*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: Dead Ringer – Nicola Martin*

Get ready to meet the other you.

Just upload your photo to get started. Using the latest facial recognition software, plus your votes, MeetYourDouble will find your doppelgänger.

She might be an astronaut or a model. He might live half a world away … or a few miles down the road. You share the same face. Who knows what else you might have in common?

Start now…

The idea is simple, vain, exciting. Tap the app, upload a picture of yourself, find your lookalike. Set up a meeting to see whether you have anything else in common.

When Ella and Jem meet, the physical resemblance is uncanny, but their lives couldn’t be more different. One is from a tiny island in a deprived Northern community – pretty much the back of beyond – where she has no job, no boyfriend, limited prospects.

The other is a London socialite, an aspiring actress living in a multimillion-pound mansion. By all appearances, she’s living a charmed life, but she’s got some serious shit to run away from. Both of them have. Can either hide in her double’s skin? And at what cost? Will it solve any of the problems, or merely compound them?

Nicola Martin studied at the University of East Anglia and the University of California, Berkeley. After many years working as a senior copywriter in the low carbon technology sphere, she is now a freelance writer. Dead Ringer is her first novel.

My thoughts:

This is a very clever concept, two girls who look so similar they could be sisters, dip into each others lives and wreck havoc.

Obviously it’s not a new concept – the idea and appeal of doppelgangers has been a subject for countless writers, from Alexandre Dumas (The Man in the Iron Mask) to Mark Twain (The Prince & The Pauper) but this brings the idea bang up to date with a twist on the dating app.

Jemima is a spoilt socialite with wealthy parents and a devil may care attitude to everything, Ella lives in a caravan and cleans hotel rooms for a pittance. But what happens when one decides she wants the other’s life?

Darkly comic and viciously apt on how teenagers think and act, this is a clever, twisted tale of how the other half lives.

*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 Woman Downstairs – Elisabeth Carpenter*

womandown

Can you ever really know your neighbours?

When human remains are found in a ground floor flat, the residents of Nelson Heights are shocked to learn that there was a dead body in their building for over three years.

Sarah lives at the flat above and after the remains are found, she feels threatened by a stranger hanging around the building.

Laura has lived in the building for as long as she can remember, caring for her elderly father, though there is more to her story than she is letting on.

As the investigation starts to heat up, and the two women become more involved, it’s clear that someone isn’t telling the truth about what went on all those years ago…

 

My thoughts:

This reminded me of the film Dreams of a Life with Zawe Ashton, which was about a woman who died alone and nobody noticed for three years, it was based on an actual person’s tragic end.

The thought that no one in your life would notice you’d disappeared is harrowing, can you imagine not a friend, family member, colleague, neighbour or even the postman noticing you’d basically vanished from your own life?

This book made me feel a bit sad, loneliness is a huge problem in this country, it’s one of the reasons we check in on our elderly neighbour, and reading this made me pop round just to be sure she was ok.

But the person whose remains are discovered in the book did have friends, did have family, they just weren’t very good at checking in and keeping in touch.

The writing is clear and concise, Sarah makes a great investigator/protagonist. It was really interesting to read and despite the sad moments, it was not a weepy book.

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*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 Home – Sarah Stovell*

When the body of pregnant, fifteen-year-old Hope Lacey is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised.

For Hope lived in The Home, the residence of three young girls, whose violent and disturbing pasts have seen them cloistered away. As a police investigation gets underway, the lives of Hope, Lara and Annie are examined, and the staff who work at the home are interviewed, leading to shocking and distressing revelations … and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge.

A dark and devastating psychological thriller, The Home is also a heartbreaking and insightful portrayal of the underbelly of society, where children learn what they live … if they are allowed to live at all.

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Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart.

She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, was called ‘the book of the summer’ by Sunday Times.

My thoughts:

This is a clever thriller, centred on two young women living in care and the complex relationship between them.

Both have secrets, some darker than others and those secrets are closing in.

Atmospheric and sinister, the lives of Hope and Annie are revealed in flashbacks as violent, tragic and damaging.

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*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: Critical Incidents – Lucie Whitehouse*

Detective Inspector Robin Lyons is going home.

Dismissed for misconduct from the Met’s Homicide Command after refusing to follow orders, unable to pay her bills (or hold down a relationship), she has no choice but to take her teenage daughter Lennie and move back in with her parents in the city she thought she’d escaped forever at 18.

In Birmingham, sharing a bunkbed with Lennie and navigating the stormy relationship with her mother, Robin works as a benefit-fraud investigator – to the delight of those wanting to see her cut down to size.

Only Corinna, her best friend of 20 years seems happy to have Robin back. But when Corinna’s family is engulfed by violence and her missing husband becomes a murder suspect, Robin can’t bear to stand idly by as the police investigate. Can she trust them to find the truth of what happened? And why does it bother her so much that the officer in charge is her ex-boyfriend – the love of her teenage life?

As Robin launches her own unofficial investigation and realises there may be a link to the disappearance of a young woman, she starts to wonder how well we can really know the people we love – and how far any of us will go to protect our own.

My thoughts:

What starts off as “former cop who should know better sticks her nose in” becomes something much darker and more shocking as you read it.

Lennie is a sympathetic character and the supporting cast flesh out the story of missing women and dubious deeds.

I am definitely looking forward to more books in this series as I think the character could go a lot further, I enjoyed the balancing of her career/involvement in the case and her home life, messy as it is.

Well written and intelligent, this is definitely one for the crime thriller fans like me. But I think a new reader in the genre would equally enjoy this book.

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