blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Little Falls – Elizabeth Lewes*

She tried to forget the horrors of war–but her quiet hometown conceals a litany of new evils.

Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq. She went home to Eastern Washington and got a quiet job. She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had left as a baby. She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.
While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a teenager’s tortured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding. In a flash, her combat-related PTSD resurges–and in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily similar death still haunts her. The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her ex-boyfriend–and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.
The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into. Her truck is blown up. Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when Sophie disappears, Camille’s hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child. At a remote compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her daughter–and redeem her own shattered soul.

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Elizabeth Lewes is a U.S. Navy veteran who served during Operation Enduring Freedom as a linguist. A practicing attorney, she resides in Seattle with her family.

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My thoughts:

Camisole finds the tortured, murdered body of a teenager in a barn and sparks an investigation into local criminals that comes a little too close to home.

Suffering from PTSD and unsure how reliable her memory is, frustrated by the police’s glacial pace, she starts investigating herself, getting entangled in a web of very dangerous people, who do not want her nosing around.

Fast paced and with an unreliable narrator, this is a clever, intense thriller, with shocks and twists that throw Camille and the reader curveballs as she ricochets around Little Falls.

*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 Witch House – Ann Rawson*

Who can you trust, if you can’t trust yourself?

Alice Hunter, grieving and troubled after a breakdown, stumbles on the body of her friend and trustee, Harry Rook. The police determine he has been ritually murdered and suspicion falls on the vulnerable Alice, who inherited the place known locally as The Witch House from her grandmother, late High Priestess of the local coven.

When the investigations turn up more evidence, and it all seems to point to Alice, even she begins to doubt herself.

Can she find the courage to confront the secrets and lies at the heart of her family and community to uncover the truth, prove her sanity, and clear herself of murder?

Ann Rawson has long been addicted to story. As a child she longed to learn to read because she knew there was magic in those pages, the inky squiggles that turned into words and became images in her head – the stories that could transport her away from the everyday. As she grew older, she divined there was truth in books too. They were a glimpse into other minds. Her reading became the foundation of a deep and abiding interest in what makes people tick – and so she soon became hooked on crime fiction.

Age ten, she wrote to Malcolm Saville, author of the Lone Pine Series, enclosing her first short story. He wrote back and encouraged her to continue writing – and she is heartbroken that the letter is long lost. His book, Lone Pine Five, sparked a lifelong interest in archaeology, as it mentions the Mildenhall Treasure which makes an appearance in The Witch House.

A lapsed witch with enduring pagan tendencies, she lives on the south coast. She still thinks of herself as a Northerner, although she’s been in exile for many years. Almost every day she walks on the Downs or the white cliffs with her husband, plotting her next novel while he designs computer systems.

Ann’s debut novel, A Savage Art was published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016. She has published some short fiction, and in 2019 her memoir piece If… was shortlisted for the Fish Short Memoir Prize.

She is currently completing a memoir and working on her third novel.

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My thoughts:

This was a really interesting story about family and inheritance, mental illness and anger.

Alice is arrested for murder, but due to her history of mental illness and paranoia doesn’t convince the police that she’s innocent – especially as the victim was the trustee of her grandmother’s estate and controlled Alice’s allowance.

Deciding to go rogue and solve the crime herself, aided by friend Kelly, archeology professor and lawyer, she unravels a whole heap of family secrets and lies.

Beautifully written and compelling, I found this novel full of little surprises and clever twists. There is a great love of the landscape present in the novel and it forms almost another character in the story, so much of the action taking place on the Downs.

*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: Final Cut – S.J. Watson*

S J Watson writes:

In writing Final Cut I wanted to move away slightly from the entirely domestic, urban and claustrophobic feel of Before I Go To Sleep and open the story world a little. I’m returning to my preoccupations of memory, narrative and identity, though bringing a fresh spin and new maturity to them.

The story follows a young ambitious documentary film maker whose first film was lauded and her second less so, and who is struggling with her third film. She hits on the idea of making a film about life in a small, northern village and is persuaded, against her better judgement and for reasons unknown, to film in Blackwood Bay. Once there she discovers a town shrouded in mystery and full of secrets, that threaten to engulf and ultimately destroy her. She has to dig deep to save herself, as well as the lives of others.

In researching the book, I was drawn to the idea of the way we document our lives now, on Instagram and Twitter etc., and the downsides of that, as well as the darkness that can hide in plain sight and the abuses that people can visit on their fellow humans. The sad fact is I had to tone down some of the horrific atrocities I read about, or else the book would’ve been too dark, even for me.

S. J. Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success and has now sold over 6,000,000 copies worldwide. It won the Crime Writers’ Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year.

The film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and directed by Rowan Joffe, was released in September 2014.

S. J. Watson’s second novel, Second Life, a psychological thriller, was published to acclaim in 2015.

S. J. Watson was born in the Midlands and now lives in London.

My thoughts:

This was really interesting, playing with concepts of memory and trust. Can Alex trust her own memories or anyone else’s? Why can’t she remember why she ran away?

For such a small town Blackwood Bay bristles with secrets and mysteries, rather than everyone knowing each other’s business.

The use of anonymous snippets of phone footage to plant clues and the film Alex says she’s making bring it up to date and add another dimension.

A very clever thriller that twists and turns, with an unreliable narrator and untrustworthy characters.


*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: Say No More – Karen Rose*

Perfect for fans of James Patterson and Karin Slaughter, this is the second gripping instalment of the Sacramento series from Sunday Times bestseller Karen Rose. An explosive crime thriller, Say No More will keep you gripped until the final page.

If they ever catch you, say nothing. Admit nothing. Never tell.
Mercy Callahan never thought she’d be able to talk about her past. When she arrives in Sacramento to make peace with her brother Gideon, and to help find the brutal cult that took away her childhood, she is finally ready to talk. But when Ephraim Burton – the man who made her life a living hell – follows her there, she realises she might never be safe.
Rafe Sokolov would do anything to have Mercy back in his life and would go to any length to protect her. But when it becomes apparent that Ephraim is more determined than ever to get Mercy back, even Rafe might not be able to stop the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. As Ephraim draws near, it’s clear it’s not just Mercy who is in danger; those closest to her are firmly in his sights.
Will Mercy sacrifice herself to help bring Ephraim down? Or will he finally get what he’s always wanted…

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Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep. Karen lives in Florida with her family, their cat, Bella, and two dogs, Loki and Freya. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, and her new hobby – knitting.

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My thoughts:

I really enjoy Karen Rose’s books, while there’s always some awful murderer that her characters are after, it’s more about the relationships between the people she writes about than the chase.

This is the second Sacremento set book, I read the previous one a while ago, but I think you pick up enough of the gist to go in cold if you want. There’s always some romance, lots of food and pets, in this case a little dog and two cats, all of whom act as emotional support for their humans.

I love the Sokolov family, especially Irina and Zoya, they provide the levity amidst the grim goings on that bring the group of Feds and cops and family members together around Mercy.

The search for serial killer and all around monster takes the crew across Northern California as they try to stop him from killing anyone else or getting his hands on Mercy; the object of his violent obsession.

Her relationship with Rafe blossoms, as her does the one with her brother Gideon – they both lived through horrors as children and still bear the mental scars, but are starting to heal.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series – I want to know if they find the cult Mercy and Gideon escaped from and whether they can finally lay their nightmares to rest.

*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: Her Husband’s Grave – P.L. Kane*

A hint of gold glistened in the sand. It was a watch, no doubt about it. A watch… attached to a body.

Criminal psychologist Robyn Adams is at breaking point after a previous case resulted in an attempt on her own life. But as she sits in the car about to head home, her phone rings. It’s Robyn’s cousin, Vicky Carter, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in years.

Vicky’s voice cracks down the phone. Her husband, Simon, has been found buried on Golden Sands beach. Desperate to help and determined not to let her last case get the better of her, Robyn returns to the coastal village where she spent summers with Vicky as a child.

Robyn knows that she has let Vicky down in the past and is set on making up for lost time. Throwing herself into the case, she combs through evidence, intent on discovering a lead that will help the local police.

But there is clearly someone who wants Robyn gone. She is convinced someone is watching her and when she begins to receive threatening notes, Robyn knows that she could be risking her life…

But Robyn won’t leave again – she owes it to Vicky to stay.

My thoughts:

An enjoyable thriller, where one person’s growing paranoia threatens to unravel everything around them.

Robyn needs a break, moving straight from a serial killer case that could have killed her to a more personal one involving her family members has a detrimental affect on her mental wellbeing and sends her spiralling.

Her past resurfaces and her relationship with her cousin threatens to fall apart completely. Complicating matters is her rocky professional agreement with the local police and her decision to try and solve the murder on her own.

The case takes a back seat to Robyn’s growing crisis and becomes more of a book about her not managing her issues and how dangerous that can be.

I found this book interesting and enjoyable as it was more than the average thriller it initially appeared to be.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Paper Dolls – Lisa Bradley*

YOU HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN.

THEY HAVEN’T FORGIVEN.

Leah Wallace has just achieved her dream of becoming editor at a regional paper. On her first day a 15-year-old girl, Hope Hooper-Smith, is reported missing. The police fear that she has been abducted.

Hours later, another teenage girl goes missing. But this girl, Tilly Bowers, is from a troubled background and is a habitual runaway. Leah decides to run the Hope’s abduction on the front page, while Tilly only gets a small mention on page eighteen. The next day, Hope is found unharmed at a train station. But Tilly is never seen or heard from again.

Sixteen years later, a TV documentary questions Leah’s decision not to give Tilly’s case immediate coverage, implying that she could have cost Tilly her life, and Leah starts receiving death threats online.

Then mysterious paper dolls begin appearing, cut from the newspapers Leah used to edit, and she suspects that an intruder has been in the house. Leah becomes convinced that someone wants to punish her for the part she played in Tilly’s disappearance. But just how far will they go to make her pay?

My thoughts:

Creepy paper dolls and candles, doors left open, footsteps in the hallway, Leah feels like she’s losing it, her family are worried. Who is coming after her?

This was a nicely creepy thriller, with weird goings on contrasted with every day activities like dropping the kids off and walking the dog; giving it the slightly off-kilter feeling that Leah experiences.

I honestly didn’t see the twist coming and had several wrong ideas about the villain of the piece. The sub plots are so cleverly done, leading you away from the stalking and off onto other tangents.

*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 One That Got Away – Egan Hughes*

You love him. You trust him. You can’t escape him.

Mia thinks she has escaped her controlling ex-husband, Rob. She’s found herself a new home, a new boyfriend and a new life.
But when the police arrive to tell her that Rob has been found dead on his boat, things quickly fall apart. Mia is terrified she’ll be suspected, however the police are keeping all options open. They know Mia had reason to hate her ex-husband, but she’s not the only one. Plenty of people wanted Rob Creavy dead, not least his new wife, Rachel.
What they don’t know is that Mia has a secret, one she’s desperate to protect.

But someone else knows. Someone with very dark secrets of their own . . .

My thoughts:

Coercive control or gaslighting is in the news a lot more recently, an insidious form of abuse that can be more easily hidden than the marks of physical violence. Rob is a skilled manipulator and con man. Mia, Rachel and plenty of other women suffered at his hands. So clearly there are people who want him dead.

The plot twists and turns, flashing back to Mia’s turbulent marriage and to the present and the investigation into Rob’s death.

Lots of red herrings pop up, little plot cul de sacs that trick the reader into going “a-ha!” incorrectly. Mia makes some of the same errors.

The sting at the end, after the case appears to be solved is very clever and makes you reconsider some of the characters and their actions.

A very enjoyable and clever thriller.

*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 Night Lawyer – Alex Churchill*

Sophie Angel is the night lawyer. Once a week, she’s the one who decides what the papers can and can’t say.

During the day, she’s a barrister. She struggles for justice in a system that’s close to collapse, where she confronts the most dangerous aspects of humanity.

Her life changes when a wealthy Russian offers her the biggest case of her career, a rape trial with a seemingly innocent client.

But is someone manipulating Sophie from the shadows? With her marriage under strain and haunted by nightmares from the past, Sophie must find the answer to these questions before it’s too late.

This is a story about betrayal, trust, guilt and innocence, played out from the courtrooms of London to the darkest corners of Soviet era Moscow.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting thriller that didn’t go where the synopsis suggests. It’s not Sophie’s Moscow connection that puts her in danger, or her work at the newspaper.

Sophie is an interesting character and this books gives a glimpse into the reality of life as a barrister under a system where there’s no guarantee of getting paid unless you take cases, some of which might make you very uncomfortable.

Sophie really grew as the plot unfolded, stepping into her own rightful place, demonstrating her competence and intelligence, in and out of the court room.

*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 Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler*

A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.
Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.
When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.
Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

Charlie has been writing for years but it was taking a creative writing course in 2018 which gave her the gentle kick she needed to finish her debut novel.

Charlie is very much a morning person and likes nothing more than committing a fictional murder before her first coffee of the day. She studied Theology at Worcester College, Oxford and now lives in a Leicestershire village with her husband, three teenagers and golden retriever.

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My thoughts:

There’s a woozy, disjointed feel to this tale of perverse sisterhood that mimics Lily’s lost memories and the past she can’t piece together.

At first I thought we were in My Sister, The Serial Killer territory but then it veered off somewhere completely different. In fact it does that several times, keeping the reader on their toes as Grace’s facade starts to slip and the trail of bodies begin to unravel behind her.

Shocking and chilling, the twists keep coming and I didn’t really know what to expect. A clever, clever 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: Under Your Skin – Rose McClelland*

Where is Hannah?
When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.
Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case, but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.
Local Belfast resident Julia Matthews joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could.
Julia was only trying to help, but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape?

Discover a gripping thriller that has you on the edge of your seat!

“Under your skin” is Rose’s fourth novel. Her previous three novels were romantic fiction published by Crooked Cat. She has made the genre jump from “chick lit” to psychological thriller and is enjoying delving into a darker corner of her mind!

Rose has also written two short plays which were performed in the Black Box theatre in Belfast.

She discusses book reviews on her You Tube channel and writes theatre reviews for her blog.

She loves nothing more than curling up with her cats and a good book. She has two rescue cats – Toots, who is ginger with an inquisitive face and Soots, who is black and hops along on his 3 legs looking ever so cute.

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My thoughts:

Kyle is a horrible worm of a man and Hannah and Julia both deserve better than being drawn into his web.

As the police investigate Hannah’s disappearance, and the cracks begin to show in Kyle’s nice guy visage, the truth is revealed in flashbacks.

The ending is very satisfying and suggests that there is light after the darkness of domestic abuse and coercive control.

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