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.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: All The Wrong Places – Joy Fielding*

You always know who you’re meeting online . . . don’t you?

Turning to online dating each with their own reasons, four women download an app, hoping to swipe their way to love and happiness.

But not everyone is who they seem online. Hidden behind a perfect smile and charming humour, he appears to be the perfect date. But the night he has planned is unlike any other.

The clock is ticking, and for one woman, this date might just be her last . . .

My thoughts:

I’ve never tried online dating, meeting my husband in a rather old-fashioned way at work, but my cousin met her husband on Tinder, so it works well for some. Unless of course a serial killer is hunting his victims through an app.

Paige is single, her long-term boyfriend having cheated on her with her cousin Heather, and living with her mother, she’s also currently unemployed. So between job hunting, she decides to see if she can find Mr Right, but what if he isn’t quite so nice?

I love a clever thriller and this one is that, told from the perspective of both Paige, and the mysterious murderer, Boston forms the backdrop to a world of interviews, dates and coming to terms with your mother dating again!

There some humorous bits as well as lots of death, will Paige end up on the killer’s list of matches?

I’m not telling!

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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 Pact -Amy Heydenrych*

What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay.

However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery. After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank.

The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?

 

My thoughts:

This was a clever psychological thriller, did Freya cause Nicole’s death or is she losing her mind?

I loved the use of modern technology to cause disruption in people’s lives, with online dating and sinister text messages.

I raced through this book, it’s an enjoyable and smart plot and the writing is tight and gripping.

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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: Ghoster – Jason Arnopp*

Ghoster by [Arnopp, Jason]

Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his texts, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.

That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the door that she can’t explain.

And the growing feeling that she’s being watched . . .

My thoughts:

This was a very clever book, at first it seemed like a traditional missing person thriller situation, but then it got weirder and weirder. The strange things that keep happening to Kate, the things she discovers through Scott’s phone, the creepy sense of being watched sleeping. There’s a sense of claustrophobia, but set in a modern block of flats and not in an old manor house, which makes it slightly more sinister. I loved the idea of possessed technology, the things we use every day, the obsession we have with things on the internet, from social media to the darker side.

This is a smart, well written, tightly plotted thriller with a hell of a twist.

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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: Cage – Lilja Sigurđardóttir*

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence for financial misconduct ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her. As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless entrepreneur Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. And at the same time, a deadly threat to Sonja and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive… The lives of these characters are about to collide in a shocking crescendo, until the winner takes it all…

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare and Trap, the first two books in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

My thoughts:

I really liked the two women at the centre of this; Agla, a criminal financier and Maria, an investigative journalist. Their relationship is complicated but in this case beneficial to both – but more deadly for Maria.

The writing is slick and compelling, the plot clever and intriguing. I wolfed this down in one sitting, driven to find out what was going to 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: False Prophet – James Hazel*

False Prophet by [Hazel, James]

A secret buried for two thousand years. 
The rise of an ancient evil.
An invisible killer who will stop at nothing. 

When a brutal serial killer defies all known methods, the police call in prolific lawyer and former homicide detective, Charlie Priest, to assist the hunt.

Working together they soon discover a link to a lost scripture that contains a secret so devastating that its custodians are prepared to die to keep it.

Tangled in a dark world of fanaticism, chaos and deadly secrets, Priest comes up against a nemesis more formidable and deranged than any he has previously encountered.

There is no Judgement Day. There is something far worse.

 

My thoughts:

I remember reading the first Charlie Priest book when it came out, but I don’t remember it being as gripping as this one. Possibly because the author is more confident in his writing, I was completely hooked. It’s not often I find myself so involved with a book I tell my husband to go away!

Priest and his team are tracking a mysterious serial killer, there’s a missing Dead Sea Scroll that paints the story of Noah’s Ark as something much darker and fanatics that will do anything to fulfil a mission they believe is from God.

It might be my background as a Sunday School teacher and a theology student, that means I’m maybe a little more intrigued than most by the idea of Apocryphal scriptures, stories the editors didn’t include in the Bible as we know it, and religious fanaticism; the fact the Bible is so open to interpretation makes it quite dangerous, but I found the use of symbology and mythology dating back thousands of years really interesting.

I think this is one for reading when you have a good solid chunk of time, and not possibly, on your commute to work, as you might just miss your stop!

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