blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Our Little Secrets – Peter Ritchie*

This is the fifth book in the Grace Macallan series, but the first one I’ve read.

Written by a retired senior police officer with an extensive career, this book delves deep into the gangs and criminal conspiracies in Scotland’s underworld.

Grace Macallan is working in Counter Corruption, investigating dodgy officers like DI Janet Hadden who is running her own schemes involving some dangerous men.

I found this book really enjoyable and well written; the plot is well paced and draws you into the narrative.

The characters are well drawn, you even end up feeling sorry for one of the criminals; I don’t think he deserved what he got!

*I was gifted a copy of this book in order to take part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: One Way Out – A.A. Dhand*

A bomb detonates in Bradford’s City Park.

When the alert sounds, DC I Harry Virdee has just enough time to get his son and his mother to safety before the bomb blows. But this is merely a stunt.

The worst is yet to come.

A new and aggressive nationalist group, the Patriots, have hidden a second device under one of the city’s one hundred and five mosques. In exchange for the safe release of those at Friday prayers, the Patriots want custody of the leaders of radical Islamist group Almukhtareen – the chosen ones.

The government does not negotiate with terrorists. Even when thousands of lives are at risk.

There is only one way out.

But Harry’s wife is in one of those mosques. Left with no choice, Harry must find the Almukhtareen, to offer the Patriots his own deal.

A.A. Dhand was raised in Bradford and spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing. The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this novel, it’s a compelling, well paced thriller that has several unexpected twists. The characters of Harry and his wife Saima are brave, resilient people. Dhand mixes the traditional terrorist thriller with modern themes and worries – the friction between Muslims and the wider community being one of them.

I haven’t read any of the other books in this series but I will be looking out for them in my local library when I next want a thriller to read.

*I was gifted this book in return for taking part in the blog tour. However, all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Devil’s Equinox – John Everson

Austin secretly wishes his wife would drop dead. He even te ls a stranger in a bar, who turns out to be his new neighbor, Regina. One night he comes to find his wife dead. Soon he’s entranced with Regina, who introduces him to a world of bloodletting and magic. Can he save his daughter, and himself, before the planets align for the Devil’s Equinox?


John Everson is a staunch advocate for the culinary joys of the jalapeno and an unabashed fan of 1970s European horror cinema. He is also the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Covenant and its two sequels, Sacrifice and Redemption, as we l as six other novels, including the erotic horror tour de force and Bram Stoker Award finalist NightWhere and the seductive backwoods tale of The Family Tree. Other novels include The Pumpkin Man, Siren, The 13th and the spider-driven Violet Eyes. Over the past 25 years, his short fiction has appeared in more than 75 magazines and anthologies and received a number of critical accolades, including frequent Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror anthology series. His story “Letting Go” was a Bram Stoker Award finalist in 2007 and “The Pumpkin Man” was included in the anthology A l American Horror: The Best of the First Decade of the 21st Century. In addition to his own twisted worlds, he has also written stories in shared universes, including The Vampire Diaries and Jonathan Maberry’s V-Wars series, as we l as for Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Green Hornet.

My thoughts:

I originally thought this would be a straightforward thriller, with an obvious murder and a search for justice. But it’s a much weirder, darker story. Aidan gets completely out of his depth with a Satanic cult, and loses his wife and almost his baby daughter. It’s a twisted plot, and definitely for adult readers.

Despite my ambivalence over some of the sex scenes the plot zips along and the short chapters make it an easy read.

*I was gifted this book in order to take part in this blog tour, however all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Missing Years – Lexie Elliott*

She thought she would never go back…

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago. Her father.

Leaving London behind to settle her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.

With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…

Amazon


Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

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My thoughts:

There are a few things I really enjoy in a book; creepy houses, families full of mysteries, legends and myths that vary depending on the teller.

The Missing Years have all this.

This book was just the right amount of sinister and weird for a thriller, there is something about the more remote regions of Scotland that is made for twisted narratives.

The ending’s twist I definitely didn’t see coming and I’m usually pretty good at spotting them.

This is the author’s second book and I think if she keeps writing like this, there’s a great career headed her way.

* I was kindly gifted the book to review but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Lost in Vegas/North of the Rock – Ian Jones

John Smith is a man who solves problems, just don’t try to stop him.

He is in Las Vegas trying to track down a missing woman, which should be a simple job. But he soon discovers he is not welcome, and there are those who want to make sure he leaves the city fast, in one way or another.

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John Smith is a man who solves problems, just don’t try to stop him. As a favour to an old friend in the FBI John returns to West Texas. But there is now a whole new town and way of life that has sprung up since he was last there ten years previously. He soon finds out he is in the middle of some very rich men who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

As a favour to an old friend in the FBI John returns to West Texas. But there is now a whole new town and way of life that has sprung up since he was last there ten years previously. He soon finds out he is in the middle of some very rich men who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

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About the author

Residing in London, Ian Jones lives with his wife and daughter, a cat Gloria, tortoise Gary and three fish; Daphne, Velma and Scooby. He currently works at a Taiwanese hardware company, looking after Europe and works as an Electrician in his spare time. Ian Jones has been writing since he was twenty years old, though he mostly wrote black comedies and seemed unable to finish a complete novel. Fortunately, ten years ago, Ian Jones tried his hand at writing thrillers and published his very first novel, The Handsome Man. Since then he has had many other books published via Kindle Direct. Lost in Vegas is actually the second book that he wrote.

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My thoughts:

I enjoyed North of the Rock more than Lost in Vegas. LiV was more of a formulaic missing person with gangsters story but NotR was really intriguing as PI John Smith gets drawn into a complex conspiracy in small town Texas. It was really twisty turny, with moments where I really couldn’t figure out what might be going on. Theres a real web of lies and money criss crossing back and forth and shadowy figures manipulating everything. The writing is sharp and pacey, the story clever and surprising. If you like complex thrillers full of people with their own agendas then these books will suit you.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Wolves at the Door – Gunnar Staalesen*

A slice of Scandi noir for you today.

PI Varg Veum is almost knocked down by a car one night, an incident he is convinced is connected to the wrongful accusation of sexual assault and child pornography he has recently dealt with.

The other men convicted in that case are being picked off one by one in apparent suicides or accidents, Veum is drawn into a case of revenge and retribution that threatens the lives of those he loves.

I’m not going to mince words, this is dark stuff, the crimes these men were involved with are nasty and at times you empathise with the unknown killer – who wouldn’t think that the short prison sentences they received weren’t enough; especially when some of the victims are still dealing with their pasts.

Veum is a compelling narrator with a clinical mind and an analytical style of investigation; he’s easy to root for and likeable, despite his somewhat odd personality and occasional coldness.

About the author: One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty-three titles, which have been published in twenty-six countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is currently being filmed. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives in Bergen with his wife.


*I was gifted this book to review but all words and opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Book Review: The Lost Shrine – Nicola Ford*

Some of you may remember I reviewed the first in this series of archaeology thrillers last year, The Hidden Bones.

Those of you who don’t, not to worry. You can read it now or just order both books.

One of the things Britain has a lot of is history – reams of it stretching far back beyond written records.

It’s fascinating to see how by gently peeling back layers of earth and building works you can discover amazing things hidden underground.

Written by a real archeologist, Dr Nick Snashall, this second murder mystery amidst the dig on a housing development is filled with drama both past and present.

Clare Hills and her team are asked to take over a dig following the shocking death of previous site supervisor Beth Kinsella. With a ruthless developer keen to get on with the building work, strange locals, and the possibility that the site is more significant than it appears, can Clare solve the mysteries therein before the foundations are poured and the past rests again?

This was another well written, cleverly plotted book, with lively characters and a twisty turny storyline that had me racing through the pages.

If Dr Snashall ever decides to give up her day job as the National Trust’s Archaeologist for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site and write thrillers full time, I reckon we’d all be ok with that!

And all this week if you’re a fan of ebooks The Lost Shrine is only 99p.

*I was gifted this book in exchange for a review, all words and opinions remain my own.