blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Never Ask The Dead – Gary Donnelly*

When only the dead have the answers, who can tell you the truth?

Retired PSNI cop Tom ‘Tucker’ Rodgers has a cracked ballpoint pen, one second class stamp and no time left. The best he can do is try to get a message to DI Owen Sheen, the only man he knows he can trust.

Sheen and DC Aoife McCusker are struggling with political agendas fed to them from the Chief Constable and now the single note from the missing Tucker is preying on Sheen’s mind. A list of four dates, decades old, and a cryptic message. Tucker says that they killed his friend, and now they’re coming for him. Sheen and Aoife’s search places them on the path of the most highly placed IRA double agent of the Troubles as well as another man with an old score to settle…

About the Author
Gary Donnelly is a writer and teacher who was born and raised in west Belfast. After attending a state comprehensive school, he read History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and has lived and worked in London since the late 1990s.

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My thoughts:

This was really good, the detectives are part of a historic crime unit, mostly dealing with the Troubles, which brings them into contact with some very dangerous people. But they’re determined to do their jobs and solve the cases that have been left untouched for some time.

A letter addressed directly to DI Sheen, with a mysterious key word and a set of dates, spark a complex and deadly investigation into the role of a tout or grass, one who may have been responsible for an awful lot of death.

As they attempt to find the mysterious person, criss crossing Belfast, seeking out survivors who might have a clue, they’re unaware someone is out to stop them.

Edge of your sear gripping stuff, a smart thriller with a political element and the weight of the Troubles echoing through the places and people.

*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: Bad Blood – Lily Hayden*

Tim, Rose, Will and Belle led a charmed childhood growing up together on idyllic Bluebell Farm, but
everything changed when their mother died. Sixteen years on, they’re practically strangers.

An unexpected invitation from their estranged father brings them back together giving them an opportunity to heal past wounds and start afresh.
But when Frank is found dead on the morning of his wedding, suspicion turns to the four siblings’ motivations, and the bad blood of the past resurfaces.

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Lily Hayden writes chick lit with a kick. Modern day women want modern day heroines and Lily’s characters want sizzling romance, rewarding careers and equal partnerships, but like all of us, they face many challenges and it isn’t always easy.

A mother to four children, Lily graduated with a degree in Business in her hometown in South Wales
and enjoyed a successful career in Financial Services before fulfilling a lifelong ambition to write books.

Her debut novel Butterflies, a heartwarming alternative to the traditional boy-meets-girl story, was
released in 2018, reaching readers all over the world and she is the author of seven books, including a Young Adult Dystopian novel Project Terra under the alias SJ Woods (because who doesn’t love a bit of action and defeating bad guys every now and again).

Follow Lily on social media for the latest releases, promotions and occasional photos of her dogs.

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My thoughts:

Families are complicated, messy things, and I totally understood the complex relationship between the four siblings and their father in this story. It reminded me of my dad, his siblings and my grandfather, a not particularly pleasant man.

The four here haven’t been back to the family farm in a long time, but an unexpected invitation to their dad’s wedding, to a woman they’ve never heard of, draws them back.

Their own relationships with each other aren’t great and the tensions stretch as they spend more time together. They’re all suspicious of Linda, and slightly worried about their remote father.

Frank’s sudden death draws suspicion down on them and they have to bond in a way none of them expected as they’re accused of murder.

A clever, knotty thriller, revolving around the ties that bind and the people you can never entirely escape – your family.

*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: Gordon Square – Tracy Martin-Summers*

On a cold blustery November night, Detective Sergeant Mike Brugge and his partner Detective Constable Mel Bailey come across a girl, age unknown, in the parkland in Gordon Square. She was frail, malnourished, dirty and covered in excrement.
What had happened to this girl? Why was she covering down, shielding her eyes from the light, with a look of horror on her face?

She appeared to be non-coherent, totally unengaged and would not speak to anyone. Nothing could penetrate the world where her soul had taken solace.

Mike and Mel set out to find out where she had come from and what had been per plight. Revealing hypnosis sessions allow them to glimpse some of her pain suffering. Follow their story deep into the
horrors that unfold, causing chaos and turmoil among their own lives.

The detectives are about to discover a horrific, gut-wrenching story, that spanned over four decades. But will it end?

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Tracy was born in Harrow Weald, Middlesex in 1964, growing up in a loving family home. She married her first husband in 1990, has two grown up children and a granddaughter.

She studied a variety of topics via module learning, embarking on City and Guilds and NVQ courses, ranging from a brief spell in hairdressing to administration and now works for a utility company in North West London.

Tracy has numerous hobbies consisting of landscape painting to landscape gardening and always likes to paint the scene, even if it’s changing the colour scheme, yet again, within her home.

Tracy has always enjoyed writing and used to write short stories for her own children’s amusement but it has only been in the last few years that she has taken this more seriously and has gone on to write her first debut crime detective Novel called Gordon Square.

Tracy Married her second husband in 2014 and now lives in Bedfordshire in a sleepy hamlet where she writes whenever she gets a spare moment.

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My thoughts:

This was a dark and twisted thriller, both the case of the girl found in Gordon Square and what happens to the detectives investigating her sudden appearance.

The writing was compelling and gripping, the crimes truly awful and I felt for Mike and Mel as they worked to solve the case. They had to deal with some terrible things and their determination to get justice was at the heart of the story, as was their bond. Their long partnership and the connection they share was an important part of the story and added to the need to solve their cases.

Random fact: the author and I come from the same place, my first home was in Harrow Weald.

*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

Book Blitz: Love Him Hate Him – Chris Bedell

LoveHimHateHim

Today we are celebrating the release of Chris Bedell’s latest novel, Love Him/ Hate Him! Read on for more details!

LHHM digital coverLove Him/ Hate Him

Publication Date: February 16th, 2021

Genre: YA Thriller/ LGBQT

Publisher: Willow River Press

17-year-old Connor doesn’t believe his best friend’s death was an accident. Falling down the stairs was random, and Connor can’t help but wonder if someone might’ve pushed her…

Determined to find out the truth, Connor starts his own investigation. Along the way, he discovers Evelyn’s affair with a married man and thought she was pregnant before she died. Connor thinks he’s found her killer, but an airtight alibi forces him to look in a new direction. Perhaps closer to home.

Complicating the situation more is Connor’s own secret – an unexpected hook up with Evelyn’s twin brother, Liam, at a party the previous spring. Afterward, Liam goes on a homophobic rant and punches Connor, leaving him confused. His confusion deepens when, after Evelyn’s death, Liam apologizes and they start to hook up secretly.

Liam is trapped between his attraction to Connor and his abusive father. Connor struggles with his growing attraction for Liam. Their secret rendezvous are fun, but if Connor is going to have more with Liam, he’ll have to be honest about his feelings and his suspicions on who killed Evelyn. Will either survive the truth coming out?

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Available on Amazon!

About the Author

My previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. My debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018.

My 2019 novels include NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Paranormal Romance DEATHLY DESIRES (DEEP HEARTS YA), and YA Thriller COUSIN DEAREST (BLKDOG Publishing). My 2020 novels include my YA Thriller I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA),  YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER (Between The Lines Publishing), YA Sci-fi DYING BEFORE LIVING (Deep Hearts YA), and YA Thriller LOVE HIM/HATE HIM (Between The Lines Publishing). I also graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Close Your Eyes – Rachel Abbott*

Don’t let him under your skin. He’ll destroy you.

Don’t fight him. He’ll win.
Run. Never let him find you.

I thought I was safe here, but I’m not. I’ve stayed too long.
Now Genevieve is dead, and the police are on their way. It’s time for me to go. I must stick to the plan – the one I made the day I arrived in this city. My bag is packed. It always is. I will destroy every shred of evidence of my existence. The police must never find me. If they do, so will he.
I made a mistake, and someone had to die. But I’m the one who has truly lost her life. I need to make a choice. If I keep running, I’ll never stop.
If I go back, he will make me suffer.
How many lives can one person ruin?

A Tom Douglas thrillerRachel Abbott is a British author of psychological thrillers. As a self-published author, her first nine novels (and one novella) in the DCI Tom Douglas series have combined to sell over four million copies and have all been bestsellers on Amazon’s Kindle store. In 2015, she was named the number one bestselling self-
published author in the UK and the 14th bestselling author (both published and self-published) over the previous five years on Amazon’s Kindle in the UK.

In 2017, following a five-way auction, Abbott signed a two-book deal with Headline Publishing Group. The first book, And So It Begins, was published in 2018 and features Sergeant Stephanie King. The second book in this series, The Murder Game was released in April 2020. Her books have now been translated into over 20 languages.
Abbott’s writing career began in 2009, when she decided to write a book about a woman facing a situation
which gave her no option but to commit murder. In November 2011, Abbott published the story – Only the
Innocent – on Amazon. Abbott followed up Only the Innocent with The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Kill Me Again, The Sixth Window, Come A Little Closer, The Shape of Lies and Right Behind You. All the thrillers in this series focus on the victims and perpetrators of the crimes, and the complex relationships that exist between protagonist and antagonist. This series features Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas.

Abbott grew up near Manchester, England. She worked as a systems analyst, and then founded an
interactive media company, developing software and websites for the education market. When she sold
the company in 2000, she moved to Italy where she restored a 15th-century Italian monastery. For a time she and her husband operated the property as a venue for weddings and holidays.

She now lives on the Channel Island of Alderney in a Victorian Fort where she spends her days writing in her office – a former gunpowder shelter.

For publicity enquiries please contact Rachel on rachel@rachel-abbott.com

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My thoughts:

This was a dark and gripping thriller that seemed to be about a murder but then swerved off into different territory with a cult that destroyed a family.

When her boss’ wife is found murdered, Nicola grabs her small son and goes on the run. Her past is full of dark secrets and they threaten to bubble to the surface. But the police are looking for her, if she’s innocent, why’s she running?

Truly clever story, utterly engaging and full of suspense as Nicola’s past is revealed to the reader, there were some jaw dropping moments and some that were truly grim.

*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 Yorkshire Dipper – Maria Frankland*

Read my reviews of The Last Cuckoo, The Man Behind Closed Doors and Left Hanging all by the same author.

Seven drownings. Three months. Who is to blame?

Lauren is fed up with covering local small-town news in Northern England. The bride-to-be and mother-of-one dreams of recognition and accolades as a national journalist.
Yet, the reporting opportunity that lands on her doorstep is one she would never have invited. When it is thrust on her,, she is duty bound, both professionally and personally to investigate.
Lauren is the voice for the women, whose lives have been cut short in the river Alder, and she will not stop until she finds the link that binds their deaths together and gets justice for them.
But she is a lone voice, overpowered by the police and other officials. Lauren has to make herself heard, even when this compromises her own safety. Her police sergeant fiancé begs her to step away and leave it to the police.
Seven drownings, she continues to argue, in three months, warrants blame. How can the deaths of these innocent women be deemed accidental?

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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!

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My thoughts:

This was a really good crime thriller, with only determined journalist Lauren convinced that this many deaths in the same spot can’t possibly be accidents. The police don’t seem to be making any effort to investigate so she decides to draw attention to the fact and try to solve this herself.

But her fiancé, Mark, a police officer, wishes she wouldn’t make things worse with his grumpy boss DCI Ingham, it’s not helping his career and he’s getting sidelined in the case.

This was a cracking read, and the twists (no spoilers) were the kind that make you audibly gasp. You won’t see them coming.

I liked the juxtaposition of Mark and Lauren’s home life with the crimes they’re both investigating, from different angles. It just reminds you how banal crime actually is, unless it affects you directly, we’re so immune to it in a way. Another excellent book from the pen of Maria Frankland, who goes from strength to strength.

*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 Art of Death – David Fennell*

London’s latest art installation is a real killer . . .

An underground artist leaves three glass cabinets in Trafalgar Square that contain a gruesome installation: the corpses of three homeless men.
With the artist promising more to follow, newly-promoted Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must race against time to follow what few clues have been left by a savvy killer.
As more bodies are exhibited at London landmarks and live streamed on social media, Archer and Quinn’s pursuit of the elusive killer becomes a desperate search.
But when Archer discovers that the killer might be closer than she originally thought – she realises that he has his sights set firmly on her . . .
He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

My thoughts:

This was really good, dark and compelling. The weird “art” installations are a brutal and shocking concept, a killer keen to show off, preening at their own cleverness.

DI Grace Archer is an intriguing character, her back story is never fully revealed but it’s dark and tragic, and the marks of it linger in her panic attacks and claustrophobia. Her team is full of bitterness and secrets, which makes their working relationships awkward and tense, adding complications to their investigations.

*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 Last Snow – Stina Jackson*

Early spring has its icy grip on Ödesmark, a small village in northernmost Sweden, abandoned by many of its inhabitants. But Liv Björnlund never left. She lives in a derelict house together with her teenage son, Simon, and her ageing father, Vidar. They make for a peculiar family, and Liv knows that they are cause for gossip among their few remaining neighbours.

Just why has Liv stayed by her domineering father’s side all these years? And is it true that Vidar is sitting on a small fortune? His questionable business decisions have made him many enemies over the years, and in Ödesmark everyone knows everyone, and no one ever forgets.

Now someone wants back what is rightfully theirs. And they will stop at nothing to get it, no matter who stands in their way…

Stina Jackson was born in 1983 and raised in Skellefteå, northern Sweden. In 2006 she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and small dog.

Her debut novel, The Silver Road, was an international bestseller and won The Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2018. The Last Snow is her second novel.

My thoughts:

This was so good, quietly compelling and mesmerising, drawing you into the lives of Vidar, his daughter Liv and grandson Simon. Living out in an old, slowly decaying house in Lapland, rumours swirl about Vidar’s hidden wealth, but he’s stingy and hoards it away.

When an incident happens in the dark forest around their home, everything changes and Liv must decide whether to finally leave.

What seems like a slow start quickly gathers pace as more of the rural community are introduced and various enemies and old friends of Vidar’s emerge, he’s managed to alienate pretty much everyone and his family keep secrets from him.

Interspersed with the chapters are flashbacks to Liv’s childhood and teen years, difficult years for a young girl living alone with her bitter and difficult father. These build a fuller picture of her life and the reasons she resents but also stays with her dad.

A slow burner of a wintery thriller, each character with a story of their own, hinted at in some cases, but never revealed, keeping the spotlight on the Björnlund family and their misfortunes.

*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: Find You First – Linwood Barclay*

Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

My thoughts:

This book was going in one direction and then went in a completely different one! What looked like a story about family became something much darker when the bodies started turning up and the disparate strands start to weave together.

It was cracking stuff and I really enjoyed it, the ending was jaw dropping, Chloe is an incredible person, resilient, strong and determined. I wouldn’t mind a whole series about her and Miles having adventures and solving crimes!


*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 Longest Shadow – R.J. Mitchell*

This is my review of the third book in the DS Thoroughgood series. Book one (Parallel Lines) is here and book two (The Hurting) is here.

THE LONGEST SHADOW begins atop Scotland’s Wallace Monument where a skeleton from DS Thoroughgood’s past threatens to put a stop to his future.

The third installment in the DS Thoroughgood series of Scottish crime thrillers sees Angus Thoroughgood in pursuit of a suspect he believes to be the psychotic leader of a vicious gang wanted for abduction and murder.

Taking to the streets of Glasgow’s West End, these famous streets are the stage for a high octane pursuit that will leave the reader gasping for breath — but does Thoroughgood have the right man?
With the case still wide open, Thorughgood’s complicated love life drags him into the battle for the control of the Roxburgh Whisky dynasty. Tensions build towards a nail-biting crescendo as Thoroughgood works to identify the killer intent of wiping out Scotland’s most famous whisky family. With the finger of guilt pointed at a powerful Triad leader, clues from a 70-year-old war-time diary lead Thoroughgood to realise nothing as it seems.

However, with the charms of Victoria Roxburgh clouding his judgement, Thoroughgood is dragged into a fight to the end with a ruthless foe whose identity shocks them both.
The Longest Shadow sees author RJ Mitchell drawing from his 12 years of experience as a Glasgow police officer utilising his knowledge of the city and its history to his advantage in this thrilling third chapter of the DS Thoroughgood series.

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Matthew James Publishing

Robert James Mitchell was brought up in Stirling. Mitchell was initially detailed beat duties out of the former Blackhill Police Office and then Baird Street Police Office in the former ‘D’ Division, or the North, as it was known to all the men who served in the division.

In January, 2007, while recovering from an appendicitis, Mitchell decided to write the first draft of ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy‘, drawing heavily on his own experiences and featuring the characters of Detective Sergeant Gus Thoroughgood and DC Kenny Hardie.

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My thoughts:

Another cracking case for Thoroughgood and Hardie, as they pursue a gang of meat thieves turned kidnappers and then solve the hunt the killer stalking the Roxburgh family as they attempt to save their distillery business and family name.

Thoroughgood never gets a chance to rest, his cases crack on at a pace, his body taking some serious damage as he literally runs after madmen and throws himself around trying to stop them.

These books are really clever and highly enjoyable, the details are all there and I felt like I was there with the intrepid duo as they chase criminals through Glasgow’s streets and the stunning Scottish countryside.


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