blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Hashtag Killer – A.S. French*

Catch a killer or save a child. What would you do?

DI Jen Flowers thought she’d seen it all after fifteen years on the force, but when a vigilante serial killer hits the city and uses social media to gather supporters, she must fight the public and her doubts to catch a murderer and save her daughter.

Suffering from blackouts and abandoned as a child by her father, Ruby Vasquez has been chasing
that one scoop to make her an internet star. Living with an alcoholic mother who hates her, Ruby discovers a secret about the vigilante’s first victim, which puts her in the killer and DI Flowers’ sights.

Jen and Ruby have to overcome the secrets in their past while battling each other to discover the Hashtag Killer’s identity. Jen will have to choose between keeping her daughter safe or finding a killer, while Ruby will need to decide if becoming famous is more important than doing the right thing.

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Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.

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My thoughts:

This was a clever thriller, complete with red herrings and false leads, sending the police in the wrong direction as they hunt for a vigilante killer.

Ruby is trying to build a name for herself as a citizen journalist, with her crime blog. But her apparent close proximity to the killer makes her a person of interest to the police. But is her criminal father connected?

Both Jen and Ruby are interesting characters, they have a lot going on in their personal lives and their pursuit of the killer places them at risk. They’re smart and while they take different angles on the crimes, they ultimately want the same thing – justice.

*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 Black Fox – Gordon Bickerstaff*

Read my review of Everything to Lose

Incredible conspiracy. Intricate espionage. Spy story.
Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.
As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.
Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.
Run for your life…

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I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.

I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.

The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.

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My thoughts:

Another thrilling adventure for Zoe and Gavin, as they attempt to avoid the CIA, acting on British soil without authorisation.

Somewhere inside Gavin’s head is a secret the US will do anything to protect, including murder, kidnap and launching rockets on public roads.

Trouble is Gavin doesn’t have a clue what it is they think he knows. And he and Zoe are running out of time, and heading to Scotland, running out of country.

Clever, gripping and action packed, Zoe believes she’s following orders but is that the case and what is so secret that the CIA are willing to break all the rules?

*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 Source – Sarah Sultoon*

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge.

When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier.

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth… and justice.

A tense, startling and unforgettable thriller, The Source is a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience.

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan.

She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs.

As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television.

When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if…

My thoughts:

This was really good. Clever, tense and gripping, especially as Marie and Carly’s stories draw closer together and more secrets and conspiracies are forced up to the surface.

Marie wants to use the power of the press to expose corruption at the heart of the military and government, corruption the police have decided to reinvestigate after their previous attempt failed. But dragging the darkness into light means pressure is being applied to find the leaks and stem them.

The scandal it revolves around is pretty grim and hard to stomach but just as in reality, you mustn’t look away, that’s how the men behind this get away with it. It’s why Marie and her colleagues are so angry when their trafficking story might get pulled. It’s why Marie pushes so hard to expose the truth. It’s why the leak is there.

The writing is crisp and concise and crackles with condemnation and the rage Carly and Marie feel over the coverup, and the way they’ve been hung out to dry. Only by naming names and getting the worst of the worst to justice can they be safe.

*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: Trust Me – T.M Logan*

Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass. Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:Please protect Mia Don’t trust the police Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . .

T.M. Logan’s thrillers have sold more than 900,000 copies in the UK and are published in 18 countries around the world.

His novel The Holiday was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and became a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback.

Formerly a national newspaper journalist, he now writes full time and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.

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My thoughts:

I’ve read a few of the author’s other books so I knew it would be a knuckle biting thriller, wrong footing me at every turn and with more twists than a rollercoaster and I was right!

The plot speeds along, throwing out clues, red herrings and new suspects, till you’re not remotely sure who to trust, apart from Ellen. She seems to be the only one with Mia’s safety in mind, despite not knowing any history or why this baby is so important.

I was utterly gripped as Ellen deals with some very odd characters, tries to move on from her own losses and somehow make it back home in one piece.

*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: Empire of Wild – Cherie Dimaline*

Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year–ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One hung-over morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher. By the time she staggers into the tent the service is over, but as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.
She turns, and there is Victor. Only he insists he is not Victor, but the Reverend Eugene Wolff, on a mission to bring his people to Jesus. And he doesn’t seem to be faking: there isn’t even a flicker of recognition in his eyes.
With only two allies–her odd, Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, and Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with deep knowledge of the old ways–Joan sets out to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor, his life, and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon her success.
Inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou–a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities–Cherie Dimaline has created a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel.

My thoughts:

Blending traditional mythology with crime thriller, this is a smart and gripping book with a strong protagonist in Joan, a member of the Métis community in Canada’s Georgian Bay.

Her search for her missing husband is all consuming, she’s stopped turning up for work regularly (good thing her mum is the boss), she’s drinking too much and it’s all she can talk about. Seeing him in a Walmart car park is a shock, but he doesn’t seem to recognise her.

I loved her sidekicks, twelve year old cousin Zeus and elderly aunt of some sort Ajean, one who doesn’t know much and one who knows too much. Zeus won’t be left behind as Joan starts following the revival mission Victor seems to have been claimed by, and Ajean provides the ancient wisdom of their people that just might save him.

I don’t know much about the beliefs of First Nations people, only what I’ve read in books so this was interesting, the rogarou or similar creatures occur in several cultures around the world, dangerous creatures that seek to take you over if you get caught. The author is Métis herself, so this is her history and culture brought up to date in an intelligent and enjoyable read.

*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 Girls Are All So Nice Here – Laurel Elizabeth Flynn*

Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before–and will stop at nothing to get it–in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.

A lot has changed in the years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she’s worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads “We need to talk about what we did that night.”

It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia’s past–and the people she thought she’d left there–aren’t as buried as she’d believed. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb’s former best friend, who could make anyone do anything.

At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they’re being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused–the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else, and the girl who paid the price.

Alternating between the reunion and Amb’s freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a shocking novel about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they’re owed, and what happens when the games we play in college become matters of life and death.

My thoughts:

There’s a reason so many of my friends are male, and it’s girls like this to be honest. The bitchy, clique-y girls, the ones who think they’re better than anyone else. The nasty girls. That’s not to say I don’t have female friends, I do, but I shy away from women who have never grown out of their mean streak a mile wide.

Amb and Sully are those girls, Amb thinks she’s moved on and grown up but a reunion weekend at college shows she’s still the same. I felt sorry for her husband, a puppy dog of a man, so eager to please, and her other supposed friends as she and Sully basically rewind ten years in no time at all.

They did something awful to another girl, and someone wants the truth to come to light. But who? They’ve finally met their manipulative match in this shadowy figure, someone’s who has been planning this for a long time.

Twisted, dark and compelling, this is what Mean Girls can really be if left to their own devices.


*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 Invitation – A.M. Castle*

Thirteen guests. One killer. No escape.

On an island on the coast of Cornwall, cut off from the mainland by the tides for most of the day, thirteen old friends meet at Tregowan Castle for a weekend of revelry.

By the next evening only twelve are still alive.

Amongst them is a killer – but who? As a storm traps them on the island and past betrayals and grievances are revealed, nerves fray and friendships begin to fracture.

But with no escape and no way of calling for help it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. And when everyone is keeping secrets, anybody could be the next victim…

My thoughts:

In the And Then There Were None mold, this takes place on an isolated island akin to St Michael’s Mount, off the Cornish coast.

Invited by their old uni friend, the new Lady Tregowan, this group of people are all hiding secrets that are about to surface. And then the first body drops.

I really enjoyed this, all the incestuous relationships and complicated back stories that entangle this group who maybe should have gone their separate ways years ago.

And I was completely wrongfooted by the reveal – I had no idea that the killer was who it was. Really liked that nice twist.


*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: Hotel Cartagena – Simone Buchholz*

Read my review of Mexico Street

Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.

With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge.

Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg.

In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months.

She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

My thoughts:

This was a trippy book, with strange moments where the text changes form as the narrator lapses in and out of consciousness and struggles with sepsis. Moving from Germany to Colombia and back, it traces a reckoning years in the making as well as one eventful and strange night in a bar.

The shocking twists and turns of the night, as the story moves back in time and then returns to the present is gripping and utterly compelling. Who are the gunmen and why is the bartender so relaxed? What is happening to Chastity’s mind as her friends’ faces swim in and out of focus?


*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: A Beautiful Breed of Evil – Andy Maslen*

He’ll never speak of the evil they did…

A former Swedish ambassador lies dead in his swanky Mayfair flat. With his tongue torn out and placed on a Bible. Competing theories swirl. A religious maniac? A psychopath? The truth is far darker than either. DCI Stella Cole’s search for the killer takes her to Sweden. There, she discovers a horrific chapter in the country’s history that throws the case into turmoil. And then more people start dying.
Teaming up with Swedish cops Oskar Norgrim and Johanna Carlsson, Stella pieces together Ambassador Brömly’s shocking past. And discovers the killer’s motive.
Meanwhile, Stella’s personal life is about to take a significant turn as her boyfriend, Jamie, suggests a change in their relationship. But as Stella tries to process what it means, she makes a fateful decision.
Why won’t the dead stay buried?
On the other side of the Atlantic, a kid practising BMX stunts over water finds a skeleton on a lake bed. When the victim is revealed to be a British cop, the FBI ask for assistance. Stella’s arch-enemy from her own department gets the case. She flies to Chicago and soon discovers the murderer’s identity.
The scene is set for a showdown in Sweden as DI Roisin Griffin pursues her vendetta against Stella all the way to the north of Sweden during the annual festival of Midsommar.
A fast-paced, twisty crime thriller …
A Beautiful Breed of Evil is the fifth book in this series of hard-hitting crime thrillers. Much of the action takes place in Sweden, home to fictional detectives Martin Beck, Kurt Wallander, Harry Hole and Saga Norén.
Even as Stella is fighting to bring the killer to justice, shadowy figures from her past are planning to silence her before she can expose their brutal methods.

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Andy Maslen was born in Nottingham, in the UK, home of legendary bowman Robin Hood. Andy once won a medal for archery, although he has never been locked up by the sheriff.

He has worked in a record shop, as a barman, as a door-to-door DIY products salesman and a cook in an Italian restaurant.

He lives in Wiltshire with his wife, two sons and a whippet named Merlin.

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My thoughts:

This was a really enjoyable international thriller with investigations spanning the UK, Sweden and the US.

When a former ambassador is murdered and mutilated, seemingly related to lines in the Bible left underlined, DCI Cole discovers a discrepancy in the victim’s past that may just help her find the killer, so she’s off to Sweden to fill in the gaps.

Meanwhile bodies have been recovered from a lake in Minnesota that link back to the UK, and could spell trouble for Cole.

It’s a fast paced, whip crack of a case as more bodies start to drop in Sweden and Cole’s neck is on the line.

Really enjoyable, utterly gripping thriller with lots of red herrings and dodgy dealings and a link to a shocking chapter in Swedish history.

I actually know the Swedish Church in London, I used to work about two doors down but I never went in for the delicious cinnamon buns that prove a vital plot point (buns not the probably very nice Swedes in the church).

*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 Guilty Husband – Stephanie DeCarolis*

THE PERFECT HUSBAND…

Vince Taylor has everything he could dream of. He’s the CEO of a tech firm in New York City, owns a beautiful home, and most importantly, he is married to Nicole – the woman who stole his heart the first moment he set eyes on her. Together they have built the perfect life.

ONE GUILTY SECRET

But when Layla, a stunning young intern at Vince’s company is found dead, all eyes are suddenly on him. Vince has a secret that threatens to tear their perfect world apart…

He was having an affair with Layla. And he’ll do anything to cover his tracks.

DO YOU BELIEVE HIM?

When the police discover Vince lied about their relationship, they are convinced they have found Layla’s killer.

If Vince kept quiet about the affair… what else is he guilty of?

My thoughts:

Vince comes across as typical wealthy boss who took advantage of his intern – complete with lying to the cops and fiddling the evidence, but he was being played too. As the case unrolls, secrets are slowly coming to light that cast a different angle on Layla, Vince and some of the other potential suspects.

The twist at the end was very nicely done – it paid off only really seeing things from limited perspectives, because the more you know, the more doubt you have. Did Vince do this?

Enjoyable and gripping, this was a clever thriller about secrets, lies and money.


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