blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Stranded – Stuart James*

A family trapped. A psychopath on the loose. Let the game begin…

What could be more innocent than going on holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing three years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane which has just won The International Book Award in horror fiction. I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way, which was a world wide number 1 best seller and stayed at number 1 for 19 weeks in the US.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death. A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party. A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them. A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year and was a number 1 hot new release on Amazon for 4 weeks.

Stranded goes on pre-order Monday October 12th on Amazon and is released October 19th.

I’m 47, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

Website Twitter Facebook

My thoughts:

This was gripping, heart in mouth stuff, it made me think of a horror film, which I think it would make a great one. It seemed so innocent to start with, then suddenly Ben, Lisa and Milly are plunged into a nightmare.

The sadistic killer who has kidnapped a coach load of people and now holds Ben’s family too, wants to play twisted games with their lives and has stranded them in the middle of nowhere.

Not all the passengers are good people, some of them are guilty of terrible things, but it’s not the killer’s place to decide their punishment, despite him doing just that.

Utterly sinister and totally twisted, this is one nightmare holiday.

*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: Five Little Words – Jackie Walsh*

..Can destroy your life

Wow, wow, wow, this book had me guessing all the way to the end!’ ☆☆☆☆☆ Reader Review

When new mother, Laura Caldwell, opens the card dropped through her letterbox, she expected to see a heartfelt note, congratulating her on the birth of baby Shay.

Instead, she sees a message that makes her blood run cold. ‘Your husband is a murderer.’ It couldn’t be true, could it? Not Conor, her adoring husband. He couldn’t be behind the brutal killing of local barmaid, Vicky. Not him.

But while Laura fights to discover the truth about her husband, she’s also holding dark secrets of her own; secrets she’s spent years trying to hide. Could the card be a desperate attempt at revenge – or could her husband really be a murderer? There’s a tangled web between this perfect couple – and the truth might just destroy them…

Jackie Walsh lives in Dublin with her husband Paul and dog Layla. She is a member of the Irish Writers Centre and The Irish Crime writer’s group. After years spent building her own business she decided to take time out and pursue her interest in writing. With a lot to learn, Jackie attended classes, writing groups and travelled to lots of festivals and launches She secured a publishing deal with Hera Books who published Familiar Strangers and The Secrets He Kept in 2019 and Five Little Words in 2020.

Twitter

My thoughts:

Small towns hold lots of secrets and people with ulterior motives. Why was the dead woman so interested in Laura? Who thinks her husband’s a killer?

Laura has just had a baby, and now she’s plagued with fears about Conor, fending off her overbearing mother-in-law, and investigating a murder on the side.

Laura’s life seems charmed but bubbling under the surface are some dark facts from her past and Conor’s. They married four months after meeting and now they’re parents. Can you really know someone that well in such a short time?

As Laura digs deeper into Vicky and her new family, things start to surface and her worries mount.

Clever, engaging and with a shocking end twist, this is a domestic thriller and a half.

*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: Betrayal – Lilja Sigurđardóttir*

Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Úrsula has returned to Iceland. Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again.

But on her first day in the post, Úrsula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Úrsula could ever have imagined.

A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And the death of her father in police custody so many years rears its head once again.

As Úrsula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witchlike cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised ever higher…

The award-winning internationally bestselling author Lilja Sigurðardóttir returns with Betrayal, a relevant, powerful, fastpaced thriller about the worlds of politics, police corruption and misogyny that feels just a little bit too real…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, Trap and Cage, making up 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:

A political thriller, set in Iceland, with Úrsula steps into the role of Minister of the Interior, intending to stay a year but fate conspires against her from the start – or maybe it’s people around her.

Her father’s supposed killer, a homeless man called Petur, keeps turning up, there’s death threats to contend with and she has so many things she wants to do while in post.

Fast paced, I didn’t realise that all this action was only set across two weeks, so much happens. There’s all sorts of twists and turns and the final scenes are shocking and sew up all the various plot points. Brilliant.

*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: Emergence – Shira Shiloah*

A SCALPEL WIELDING VILLAIN.

A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT FAILS.

A WHISTLEBLOWER THAT PROTECTS HER PATIENTS – NO MATTER THE COSTS.

Trusted anesthesiologist, Dr. Roxanne Roth, is healing from the loss of her fiancé by consuming her time with work. It doesn’t hurt that her new love interest, Dr. Justin Kirkland, spends almost as much time at the hospital as she does.

Entranced in the throes and complications of new love, Roxanne looks forward to work every day. Her time at the hospital would almost be cathartic if not for Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon, who is quickly amassing a pile of complaints – and bodies.

Despite trying to avoid Webb, Roxanne finds herself working alongside the doctor during a routine, low-risk surgery. Fueled by cocaine and ego, Webb intentionally sabotages the case, leading to the patient dying on the operating table.

Roxanne’s tenuous grip on recovery is shattered with her patient’s death, quickly replaced by anger and a drive for justice. Now Roxanne will do anything to protect her patients from the killer on the other side of the sterile surgical field—before he can silence her as well.

In this gripping, sinister medical thriller, Dr. Shira Shiloah will leave readers wondering about the potential evil lurking behind every surgical mask.

“Authentic characters and a vivid hospital setting enhance a tense medical tale.”

– Kirkus Review

Goodreads

Purchase Link

Giveaway win $25 Amazon voucher (International)

Dr. Shira Shiloah is an anesthesiologist and author of the debut thriller, Emergence, that details Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon who intentionally maims and kills his patients in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Shiloah bring both a personal and professional perspective for what may happen when a sociopath holds a scalpel.

Shira Shiloah MD Twitter

Instagram

My thoughts:

Written by a real anesthesiologist, so all the medical details are correct, this is a gripping thriller about malpractice and murder, featuring a ruthless psychopathic surgeon and the brilliant anesthesiologist who is determined to bring him to justice after a series of patients are left much worse off than before he went anywhere near them.

As someone with a neurological condition, Webb, the villain, is my worst nightmare, thank goodness my doctors are all more in line with Dr Roxanne Roth, the hero, kind, compassionate and good at their jobs.

Webb doesn’t care about his patients, colleagues or even his girlfriend, preferring money and drugs to his job and responsibilities.

He is a monster and Roxanne is driven to stop him after the death of a patient who should not have died. What ensues is gripping, horrific and it is only Roxanne’s determination and strength that ensures Webb doesn’t evade justice forever.

A great debut novel, with pace, strong characters and hopefully more to come. I could see this easily becoming a new medical TV series – there’s so much drama and intrigue here.

*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 House Mate – Nina Manning*

The perfect life? …Or the perfect lie?

When Regi moves into her new house share, she’s ready for a clean slate. A new home. A new routine. A new identity…

Desperate to escape the shadow of her past that follows her everywhere she goes, Regi finds the ideal distraction in the perfect lives of others on social media.

But as innocent scrolling turns into an unhealthy obsession, Regi will soon learn that seeking perfection comes at a price…

A gripping psychological suspense from the international bestselling author of The Daughter In Law. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, K L Slater and Jackie Kabler.

Purchase

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family).

She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast.

Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.

She lives in Dorset.

Newsletter Website

Facebook Twitter Instagram

YouTube Podcast Bookbub

My thoughts:

This was very cleverly done, flipping between Regi now and what seems to be Regi in the past, but then a massive set of twists throw all of your assumptions in the bin!

There’s also a Mrs Hinch style instagrammer in the mix, which seems banal but Regi gets very curious and goes digging.

A very clever, very gripping thriller that just isn’t what it seems at all. I think Nina might just be a bit of a plotting genius!

*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: Left Hanging – Maria Frankland*

Two’s company in a marriage. How do you cope when there’s three?

Ed and Kerry Huntington-Barnes have an idyllic life, with their five-year-old twins, successful careers, a luxurious house and an affluent lifestyle. Yet the secrets they’re harbouring force their separation. Kerry is fighting her own demons, amongst which is the knowledge that she is the wrong gender for her husband to ever truly love her.

Parallel to this is the death of a local man, Russell Lawson, which affects both Ed and Kerry in different ways. Will his widow Davina, and the other shadows that surround their separation and Russell’s death, destroy their lives, and their sons’ lives even further?

This is a story that portrays the darkness that can exist inside marriage and the hatred that can linger amongst families that are supposed to love each other.

Amazon

Maria Frankland’s life began at 40 when she escaped an unhappy marriage and began making a living from her own writing and becoming a teacher of creative writing.

The rich tapestry of life with all its turbulent times has enabled her to pour experience, angst and lessons learned into the writing of her novels and poetry.
She recognises that the darkest places can exist within family relationships and this is reflected in the domestic thrillers she writes.
She is a ‘born ‘n’ bred’ Yorkshirewoman, a mother of two and has recently found her own ‘happy ever after’ after marrying again.
Still in her forties, she is now going to dedicate the rest of her working life to writing books and inspiring other writers to also achieve their dreams too!

Website Twitter

My thoughts:

This unravels in a very satisfactory manner, beginning with a suspected suicide that leaves Ed reeling, and determined to end his sham of a marriage.

His wife, Kerry’s, fury knows no bounds and as things start to spiral, Ed’s malignant estranged father returns, angry at Ed and after revenge.

What seems to be a domestic drama suddenly becomes a shocking thriller and goes in a totally different and utterly unexpected direction.

Very clever, gripping and full of darkness, under a thin veneer of respectability.

*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 Wicked Oath – Michael L. Lewis*

A wicked conspiracy. A diabolical offer.

Survival: a matter of life or death!

Behind the walls of Blackleigh, a prestigious public boarding school in northern England, lurks wickedness and bullying. Those in power form a conspiracy to devise any means to expel certain boys. Surviving for their victims becomes a matter of life and death…

Jonathan Simon, in his second year, returns to school to find that ruthless prefects – Sleeth, Tunk and Miller – are in charge of his house. Things take a turn for the worse when the new Headmaster starts, and Jonathan and his friends are targeted.
As the pressure mounts, friendships become closer and scheming increases as unexpected revelations occur.

For Blackleigh, the year is just beginning…

Amazon UK Book Guild

Blackwell’s Waterstones

WHSmith Foyles

Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools and has been a
member of the same book club for twenty-five years.

Facebook

My thoughts:

I love boarding school stories, I don’t really know why, and this trilogy is very dark. You don’t have to have read The Oath (book one) to read this one, but it is also very good.

As Jonathan’s second year at Blackleigh, things have changed and now the nastiest bullies at the school have all the power. Their pledge to destroy Jonathan and his friends through cruelty and violence puts lives at risk.

But positive changes are coming too.

This book is dark and twisted, Sleeth and Tunk are violent, cruel and have no regard for anyone else. Their twisted interpretation of the school rules sees them met out extreme and disproportionate punishment.

Jonathan is a great character, resilient and kind, with a great inner strength and determination. He manages to find the good things in life, despite the horrors of the behaviour of the prefects.

I’m looking forward to reading the third book at some point and finding out how Jonathan’s school days end, and how the school changes with the new headmaster and the addition of female students.

*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: Last Girls Alive – Jennifer Chase*

Half-buried in the muddy earth and surrounded by puddles of water lies the naked body of a beautiful young girl. Her pale skin looks like porcelain in the early morning light. Her fragile arms bent and crooked like a broken doll.
When Detective Katie Scott is called to the discovery of a young girl buried on the grounds of a former children’s home in Pine Valley, California, she’s hopeful it’s the end to a devastating cold case she’s been working on.

No one has seen Candace Harlan since she ran away from Elm Hill Manor five years ago. Her death will be a tragedy, but it will also bring peace to those who miss her most. But the girl in the ground is not Candace.
The victim is almost identical to Candace in every way, but fear grips Katie as she takes in the black ink that decorates the girl’s back—a terrifying message tattooed on her skin after she drew her last breath.
Forcing down traumatic memories of losing her own parents, Katie is certain someone mistook this poor soul for Candace, and that this crumbling home for lost girls is at the heart of this terrible crime. She sets to work digging into the tragic history of the owners who lost so many children of their own and tracking down the last six residents and the staff who cared for them—but no one wants to talk, let alone remember.
The next day, as second girl’s body is found down by the creek at high water, the same words etched into her skin. Katie’s worst fear is confirmed: someone is picking off the last of the Elm Hill girls one by one.

But what does the tattoo mean? And what monster would target these innocent girls who have already been through so much?

Katie must dig deep to confront her own fears and protect the vulnerable—but as the body count rises further, will there be anyone left to save?

An absolutely gripping, dark, and totally unputdownable serial killer thriller that will keep you racing through the pages all night long. Fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh will read in one sitting!

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells.

In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

Twitter

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this, the shocking ending was just juicy enough to be very satisfying. I would have liked more about the mysterious bookshop run by the enigmatic Mr Holmes.

I was obviously delighted that there was a dog in the story, it always makes things better.

The mystery of the woman’s body found in the grounds of a former care home for girls, and the way it all links to terrible things that happened in the past is interesting, especially as there’s several red herrings thrown in, leading Katie astray.

*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: Station Helix – Ash Greenslade*

“I DON’T WANT YOU TO FEEL PARANOID ABOUT ME LYING TO YOU.” An inexplicable suicide… A devastating car wreck… A secret Ministry of Defence facility… Told with pace and tension, STATION HELIX is an exciting and modern novel rooted in the tradition of British thrillers. Alex Hannay makes a shocking discovery which draws him into a perilous world of conspiracy and murder. As operatives from the CIA pursue their own operation on the streets of London, Alex is torn between protecting those who share his secret and seeking retribution for a terrible crime.

Amazon

Ash Greenslade is a former police officer and trainer who became hooked on thrillers after reading David Morrell’s THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE. Despite dabbling with numerous writing projects since his schooldays, it took over two decades from reading Morrell’s landmark book for Ash to finally take writing seriously. Determined to accomplish an original novel, he embarked on STATION HELIX, a conspiracy thriller inspired by a visit to Orford Ness. Originally intended as a standalone novel, STATION HELIX prompted another two books, THE ELZEVIR COLLECTIVE and TORUS, plus the RYAN KERREK spin-off series (SINISTER BETRAYAL, DEADLY ACQUISITION, BLACK SCARAB and HUNTING CARACAL).

Ash credits his love of words to weekly spelling tests from the age of four, an incredibly enthusiastic English teacher who wrote children’s stories in the 1960s, and his collection of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis and Willard Price books. Captivated by the escapism of stories, the young Ash wanted to become a children’s author, and he still has a few early projects hidden away which might resurface one day. But it was the thriller genre which grabbed him as an adult. Although Morrell remains his favourite author, he’s a fan of the old-school British stalwarts such as Buchan, Ambler, MacLean, Bagley and Higgins.

Despite his working background, Ash doesn’t write crime thrillers, preferring the more secretive and enthralling world of espionage for his stories. Betrayal and conspiracy are recurring themes. And while he avoids revealing too much of his own character through his pages, some aspects of Ash’s books are very personal, such as the scuba diving scenes in BLACK SCARAB. (Ash worked as a divemaster in the Red Sea before qualifying as an instructor in Grand Cayman.)

When time permits, Ash researches his family tree and takes photographs. Several family surnames feature in his books, and he took the cover shots for the STATION HELIX series. And while he enjoys the occasional trip to London to meet friends, visit the theatre or conduct some research for his books, he’s more at home exploring the solitude of rural Essex in search of wildlife. He can be found online at www.ashgreenslade.net.

My thoughts:

This was insanely good, I love a good scientific/political thriller and this was so gripping and clever, I was completely hooked.

At first I thought it was going to be a bit more of a basic whodunnit and why but it just explodes outwards to take in spies, the MOD, CIA, MI5, government, assassins, secret science, hidden labs, hair raising drives through nighttime Scottish wilderness and a shootout on a Greenland glacier.

There’s a lot going on but it’s kept tight and to the point, everything coming together in a race to protect highly classified intelligence and the people involved, most of whom have no idea whats going on.

I am already planning to get a copy of the second book ASAP as I can’t wait to see what happens next.

*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: Plague – Julie Anderson*

There are many ways to die. Plague is just one of them.

Work on a London tube line is halted by the discovery of an ancient plague pit and, within it, a very recent corpse. A day later another body is found, killed in the same way, also in a plague pit. This victim is linked to the Palace of Westminster, where rumours swirl around the Prime Minister and his rivals.

As the number of deaths climbs, the media stokes fear. Government assurances are disbelieved. Everyone feels threatened. This has to be resolved and fast.

The Westminster connection enables Detective Inspector Andrew Rowlands, working alone on a series of rapes and murders of vulnerable young people in central London, to finally persuade his superiors that there is a pattern. He is assigned to lead the case. Cassandra Fortune, a disgraced civil servant, is given the uncomfortable task of investigating the investigation, while joining forces with Rowlands to find the killers before Parliament rises for recess.

Together they navigate the arcane world of the Palace of Westminster as the body count grows. But someone is leaking important details about the case to the press and the media ratchets up the pressure. Misinformation and malice online feeds distrust and panic and the Black Death begins to stalk the streets of London once again.

Meanwhile the commercial and political world focuses on the launch of a huge government Thames-side building programme worth billions. Powerful forces, in Parliament and the City, are competing for its spoils. How, if at all, does this link with the killings? Drawn into the melee, Cassandra Fortune finds herself the object of the attentions of one of the major players, wealthy City broker, Lawrence Delahaye. The attraction is mutual. Fortune and Rowlands discover a shadowy underground network of influence and power as they race against the clock to prevent the death of more innocents and the destruction of the Mother of Parliaments itself. Cassandra will be forced to make a terrible decision as she faces ruin. Time is running out and it’s not clear what, or who, is going to survive.

Drawn into the melee, Cassandra Fortune finds herself the object of the attentions of one of the major players, wealthy City broker, Lawrence Delahaye. The attraction is mutual. Fortune and Rowlands discover a shadowy underground network of influence and power as they race against the clock to prevent the death of more innocents and the destruction of the Mother of Parliaments itself. Cassandra will be forced to make a terrible decision as she faces ruin. Time is running out and it’s not clear what, or who, is going to survive.

Amazon UK Amazon US

Foyles Barnes and Noble

Waterstones

Julie Anderson was a Senior Civil Servant in Westminster and Whitehall for many years, including at the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister, the Inland Revenue and Treasury Solicitors. Earlier publications include historical adventure novels and short stories. She is Chair of Trustees of Clapham Writers, organisers of the Clapham Book Festival, and curates events across London.

Website Twitter Instagram

My thoughts:

Inspired by the real plague pits rediscovered by things like HS2, and the very real stoking of paranoia around Covid-19 by the media, this is an interesting and twisting narrative, tracing the halls of power and influence as well as some forgotten parts of London’s history.

Underneath the city’s streets are networks of tunnels, sewers and rivers, long buried as London grew, and it is within those networks that Cassandra will discover terrible schemes and villainous murderers.

The fast paced plot, everything taking place in two weeks, the back and forth between the Houses of Parliament and New New Scotland Yard, the relationship that develops between Cassandra and DI Rowlands, all work together to create a truly modern thriller, riddled as it is with history.

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