Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2018

First Monday Crime is on 5th March 2018 at City University London.  Tickets are free & can be purchased via the website.

If you’re thinking about it, let me remind you of the lineup…..

Dark Angel, by Elly Griffiths

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He’s discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn’t know what to make of them. It’s years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!

So Ruth travels to Fontana Liri, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a medieval shrine and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also finds Harry Nelson, who is enduring a terrible holiday at a resort nearby. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock – the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Fontana Liri that someone would kill to protect

Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

Lucky Ghost, by Matthew Blakstad

Early one Monday morning, much like today, journalist Alex Kubelick walks up to a total stranger and slaps him across the face. Hard.
He thanks her.
They’ve both just earned Emoticoins in a new, all-consuming game that trades real-life emotions for digital currency. Emoticoins are changing the face of the global economy – but someone or something seems to be controlling the game for their own, nefarious purposes.
As Alex begins to pick apart the tangled threads that are holding the virtual game together she finds herself on the run from very real enemies. With the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, it seems there’s only one person who might have the answers she seeks.Someone who hides behind the mysterious name ‘Lucky Ghost.’
But who is Lucky Ghost… and can they really be trusted?
And what do they want?

The Intrusions, by Stav Sherez

When a distressed young woman arrives at their station claiming her friend has been abducted, and that the man threatened to come back and ‘claim her next’, Detectives Carrigan and Miller are thrust into a terrifying new world of stalking and obsession.
Taking them from a Bayswater hostel, where backpackers and foreign students share dorms and failing dreams, to the emerging threat of online intimidation, hacking, and control, The Intrusions explores disturbing contemporary themes with all the skill and dark psychology that Stav Sherez’s work has been so acclaimed for.
Under scrutiny themselves, and with old foes and enmities re-surfacing, how long will Carrigan and Miller have to find out the truth behind what these two women have been subjected to?

 

And the moderator for the evening is Jake Kerridge, hopefully he can keep the evening on the straight and narrow……

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

evidence_of_death

** My thanks to the lovely Lina at Black and White Publishing for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Billy Nelson is back home in battle-scarred Belfast. But the Troubles have cut this ex-Army Loyalist hard man deep – and now that his city’s allegiances have shifted, nothing is quite the same.

An outbreak of gang violence forces Billy to move on. This time to Edinburgh, where he muscles in on the capital’s drug trade and the family who run it. As the balance of power tips, underworld rivalries between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast spill out onto the streets.

With a spate of horrific incidents and a trail of victims, the pressure is mounting for Grace Macallan, new superintendent of the Crime & Counter Terrorism Directorate. Troubled by her own demons and with everyone baying for the blood of Billy Nelson and his old paramilitary contacts, can Grace hold her nerve?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone reading my reviews that I have a soft spot for Scottish crime fiction, and so when I saw this series I knew that I just had to read it and see what it was all about.

In the spirit of discovering a series properly I got hold of the first book, Cause Of Death and devoured it within days before moving on to Evidence of Death.
In this series readers are faced with a protagonist who has such a troubled past, one that has seen her face the dangers known and unknown before transferring to Scotland to head up a new task force.

Macallan’s days in Belfast are a distant memory so when a known Loyalist from the Northern Irish capital descends upon Edinburgh bringing a reign of terror with him, Macallan and her team have no idea what madness is about to ensue.  Billy Nelson returned from fighting with the Army to find a changed Ulster.  The peace process talks underway meant that opposing sides are no longer at war with each other, caches of arms were surrendered and those once embroiled in fighting turning to new ways.  However for Nelson, one enemy is replaced with another, his unprovoked attacks on innocent victims causing alarm enough to have the once leaders of the UVF to question his presence.  With that he is shipped off to Edinburgh to start up the Scottish arm of their drugs empire.

The great thing about this series is the characters, they are strong and so wonderfully detailed that you cannot help but feel that you get to know them through reading these books.  I would heartily recommend reading the series in order so that you can get a good understanding of Grace Macallan and those connected with her.  The relationships surrounding her are complex, and there are few who she takes into her complete trust.  The way that her mind works is fascinating, the mental leaps that she makes leave a reader almost breathless at times trying to keep up which makes for a thrilling read.
Billy Nelson on the other hand is a dangerous and dark character that will have readers racing through the pages to find out just what he might do next.  I always find it exciting when an author can create a character that both excites and horrifies me and it’s fair to say that Peter Ritchie has done just that with the Ulsterman.

Explosive action and thrilling plotting make this a gripping read and one that I cannot recommend highly enough.  Now the impatient wait for the third installment…..

You can buy a copy of Evidence of Death via:

Amazon UK
Wordery

 

Evidence of Death BLOG TOUR copy(1)

Read Full Post »

Today to Celebrate Indie Publishing I am delighted to share a book from the amazing Orenda Books, a publisher who brings exceptional books to the hands of readers around the world and I’m pleased to say that today’s offering is one such book!

Blue Night cover final

** My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived… Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.

My Thoughts & Review:

Billed as the first book in the Chastity Riley series, Blue Night gives readers a glimpse into German crime writing.
Chastity Riley is state prosecutor in Hamburg who’s careers has stalled somewhat after her previous case, turns out prosecuting one of her superiors  for corruption wasn’t the best move, neither was shooting a gangster in the genitals.  Her new posting is in witness protection, the theory being she cannot get into too much trouble here.  The discovery of a badly beaten man on the streets of Hamburg means a new case for our protagonist, and she has to use every ace up her sleeve to try and get him to open up and share his secrets with her, the most important being his identity.

There are so many aspects to the plot of this book and some wonderfully interesting characters that really make this book come alive.  The unique layout of this book is what sets it apart in the storytelling.  Between chapters are short monologues from the main characters, giving an intriguing look into their minds and their histories which builds a powerful and colourful  image of the characters.  These short snippets are used to great effect, adding so much to the plot through a few short paragraphs of even lines.

The style of writing is something that I think some readers may take a little getting used to but I did feel that it enhanced my enjoyment of the book.  The wonderful way that Buchholz brings her plot alive through gritty, punchy and thrilling writing makes this a gripping read that readers can race through and devour every last tantalising detail.

The characters in this are intriguing and I felt that the more I learned about Chastity Riley, the more keen I was to read on.  I’m glad that this is just the first book in the series, there seems to be so much to  Chastity, more than could ever be put into one book.  She’s fiercely loyal to those she holds dear and always tries to be there for them, this coupled with her cynical attitude makes her such a brilliant creation.

I’d definitely recommend checking this one out!

You can buy a copy of Blue Night via:

Orenda Books eBookstore
Amazon UK
Wordery

BLUE NIGHT Blog Tour Poster

Read Full Post »

51vakiwugfl-_sx325_bo1204203200_

 

Description:

December in Glendara, Inishowen, and solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe is working flat-out before the holidays; the one bright spot on her horizon is spending her first Christmas with Sergeant Tom Molloy.

But on a trip to Dublin to visit her parents, she bumps into Luke Kirby – the man who killed her sister – freshly released from jail. He apologises to her; remorseful, conciliatory … but as she walks away, he whispers something that chills her to the bone.

Back in Glendara, there is chaos. The Oak pub has burned down and Carole Kearney, the Oak’s barmaid, has gone missing. And then on Christmas morning, while walking up Sliabh Sneacht, Ben and Molloy make a gruesome discovery: a body lying face-down in the snow … Soon it becomes clear that these events are part of a plan for revenge that will have devastating consequences for Glendara’s residents.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

The Inishown Mysteries series has been one I’ve followed for a wee while now, and have to admit that I’ve taken a shine to Ben O’Keeffe.  She is a warm and compassionate character who seems to attract trouble regardless of her good intentions.  In this instalment of the Inishowen Mysteries, Ben has found some happiness.  A blossoming relationship with Sergeant Tom Molloy has her beaming with happiness and the promise of time off over the Christmas period is another reason so smile.

Ben’s past is something that is interwoven throughout the series, and the aftermath of her sister’s death has shaped the person she has become.  So when she hears that Luke Kirby, her sister’s killer has been released from prison she is understandably shocked.  Even with logic and legal experience, her gut feelings of being close to the victim mean she cannot comprehend his release from prison.  A chance meeting with him in Dublin throws her, he approaches her with an apology, shows remorse and almost pulls of a genuine act until his mask slips and he shows his true menace, but only Ben witnessed it.

As if the threat of Luke Kirby isn’t enough to keep Ben occupied, there is also the daily business of her legal practise to tie up before the Christmas break, various property sales and court appearances taking up her time.  But the local residents of Glendara have plenty to keep Ben from becoming bored, scandal is afoot when the local pub is burned down and the barmaid goes missing.  Is there a connection between these events? What is the connection to the body discovered upon up Sliabh Sneacht?  Ben’s relationship with Sergeant Molloy gives her a chance to puzzle over the cases, but instead of her getting information from him, she is the one feeding him titbits of information from the locals.

As with the previous books, Andrea Carter really spoils readers with some wonderfully vivid descriptions of the picturesque settings and atmospheric writing.
I would say that this book verges more towards cosy crime, slowly building up the pace and tension, hinting that something more sinister may be up ahead but never actually turning nasty.

On the whole an enjoyable read that brings the series a little more up to date and leaves me wanting to know what the future holds for Ben.

You can buy a copy of The Well of Ice via:

Amazon UK

Read Full Post »

cover116971-medium

 

** My thanks to Thomas and Mercer & Netgalley for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing—except him.

Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.

But Simon knows the truth—about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.

But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.

And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

My Thoughts & Review:

The very description of this book intrigued me, what would I do in the position of the main character Catherine?  How does she go on?  What thoughts are running through her mind when she discovers her husband has gone and never returns?  Also, what drives Simon to do this?  So much about this book just screamed “READ ME”.

The book opens on the day that Simon walks out of his life and the reader then sees the impact this has on his friends and family, watching the ground beneath their feet crumble and their lives are inexplicably changed.  But we also experience the life that Simon goes on to lead in the 25 years he spends estranged from his family before returning “home”, and allowing Catherine to find out who he really is and his reasons for leaving like he did.

From the outset, my heart went out to Catherine.  How awful it must have been for her to try and hold things together for the sake of her children whilst wanting to curl up and stop living.  Her marriage had some issues, and life wasn’t always easy with small children around but she thought that things were stable, that life was ok and that she and Simon were ok.  Not knowing that all the while that Simon had an ulterior motive, that he was planning to walk out on them all and not look back and leave them to try and pick up the pieces and get on with life.  From that moment I didn’t like Simon, I couldn’t help but feel a hatred towards him, yes I admit, I hadn’t read all of his story yet to find out what was driving his decisions but part of me didn’t want to find out.  Part of me wanted to stop reading there and then, I didn’t want Simon’s company, the spectre of him sitting on my shoulder as I read more about him.
I did however read on, more for the sake of finding out if Catherine and the kids managed to turn things around and move on.
It’s always a good sign if an author can evoke such strong emotions from their readers with the characterisation in their books and I have to admit that John Marrs has done that with When You Disappeared, he seems to have found a formula in his writing that makes readers hate characters but at the same time feel that they aren’t 100% sure of their gut instinct, keeping them questioning whether there may be an underlying story that might just save a character…….

Narrated from alternating perspectives, readers experience the lives of both Simon and Catherine, seeing how their lives have progressed in the intervening 25 years, leading up to the moment that they meet again.  I did feel that it pulled at my attention somewhat, the jumping back and forth between the two main characters did feel a little disjointed but it did add to the overall suspense and intrigue so kept me on my toes.  The pace felt that it matched the plot well, not an adrenaline packed, fast paced read, but more a slow build to increase the tension levels and keep readers wondering what might happen.

A very interesting and original plot with some incredibly well created characters that will test your resolve!

This book was previously published as The Wronged Sons.

You can buy a copy of When You Disappeared via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

The London Book Fair launches inaugural UK Book Blog Awards

 

The hunt to find the most influential book bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers is on

 

London, 14 February 2017: The London Book Fair (LBF) is delighted to announce the launch of the first ever UK Book Blog Awards @ LBF – a new initiative designed to celebrate social media influencers and their important contribution to the book industry.  

 

A new feature for LBF 2018, this will be the first time this community has been officially recognised and rewarded by the British publishing industry.

 

Bloggers, social media influencers, members of the publishing industry, and the general public are invited to nominate the best book blogs, bookstagrammers and booktubers across three categories:

·         Book Blogger of the Year

·         Bookstagrammer of the Year

·         BookTuber of the Year

 

Once the shortlist has been revealed, a panel of judges will select one winner in each category, who will be honoured at a special awards ceremony at The London Book Fair. In addition, the Fair will introduce new seminars and networking events aimed at bringing the social media influencer community closer to the publishing world.

 

Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair commented:Book bloggers are an increasingly important part of the book world. Their passion for authors, genres and books is integral in reaching new audiences. We’re really excited to be launching the inaugural UK Book Blog Awards @ LBF and recognising the crucial role social influencers play in the promotion of books.”

 

The awards are open to any blogger, YouTuber or Instagrammer that features books published in the UK and/or UK authors. To put forward a nomination, or to nominate your own blog/Instagram account/YouTube channel visit: www.londonbookfair.co.uk/UKBookBlogAwards

Read Full Post »

Another Friday and another wonderful book to share with you from the mind of the hugely talented John K. Fulton.  Last year I was incredibly fortunate to read a copy of John’s second novel The Beast on The Broch  and absolutely fell in love with the way he writes, bringing the stories alive through the eyes of a younger perspective and giving me a glimpse of a world I’d never experienced.  Today I am honoured to be able to share a review with you of The Wreck of The Argyll which is set in 1915 Dundee and is the tale of plucky young Nancy Caird and Jamie Balfour.

 

9781911279297_1

** My thanks to Anne at Cranachan Books for my copy of this wonderful book **

 

Description:

WHEN YOUR TEACHER’S A SPY, WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

Dundee, 1915.

When twelve-year-old Nancy suspects one of her teachers is a German spy, she ropes in the reluctant Jamie Balfour to help her uncover the scheme.

Midshipman Harry Melville is aboard HMS Argyll in the stormy North Sea, unaware of both hidden rocks and German plots that threaten the ship. Nancy and Jamie discover HMS Argyll is in deadly danger and they are drawn into a web of espionage, secrets, and betrayal, where no-one is as they seem and no-one can be trusted.

My Thoughts & Review:

The Wreck of The Argyll is a wonderful tale that explores the idea of WWI and spies through the eyes of 12-year-old Nancy Caird and her unwilling companion Jamie Balfour.  But also gives readers a glimpse into the life of a young Naval crewman on his first mission at sea in what proves to be a drama packed journey.

Nancy is the perfect mix of inquisitive, brave and determined, and so it’s only natural for our young protagonist to feel she’s wasting her time attending school when there’s a war on and her time could be better spent contributing to the war effort.  She fancies herself as a detective and is soon on the case of an enemy agent, following one of her teachers down the darkened streets of Dundee.  She’s sure that he must be a spy, and is out to prove it when she stumbles across a situation that even her quick thinking can’t save her from.  Her rescue by Jamie Balfour marks the beginning of a new friendship, and a new partner in the hunt for an enemy spy.

Meanwhile, aboard the HMS Argyll a young Midshipman is finding his feet on his first ship at sea, a rather stormy sea.  The conditions for sailing are far from perfect and it soon transpires that this ship must get to it’s destination and avoid the enemy at all costs.  Whilst Midshipman Harry Melville may come across as mature and responsible, it’s hard to remember that he is only a young lad, not that much older than Nancy Caird and Jamie Balfour.

The thread of the plot around the ship and crew is fascinating and holds so much intrigue.  The tension is perfectly paced with some superb characters that readers will eagerly race through to find out what will happen next.  But equally, the storyline of Nancy, Jamie and the spy is absolutely wonderful.  The dialogue and characters are spot on and work so fantastically.  The snippets of historical information are cleverly woven into the plot and make this hugely enjoyable, I loved the attitudes and sense of humour of the returning soldiers.

Casting a young person as the driver for the story allows readers a rare glimpse into a mindset that questions things at face value.  The way that Nancy sees something is wrong and feels that she must do something about it is commendable.  Perhaps it’s because of her young age that she’s not world-weary yet, or perhaps it’s her nature, but either way it makes for a wonderfully rich and authentic tale that draws readers in and makes them feel flutters of excitement, momentary dread and carried them off on a whirlwind adventure.

A fascinating and exciting tale that I would highly recommend for all readers with some very important messages sprinkled throughout the text, namely that working together will help you overcome obstacles.

So highly recommended!!

You can buy a copy of The Wreck of The Argyll via:

Cranachan Publishing (publisher)
Wordery
Amazon UK

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Broadbean's Books

Welcome to my blog where I share my thoughts on books.

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Book Reviews for Audiobooks, Ebooks, and Other Digital Forms

Me and My Books

Books, book reviews and bookish news.

The Beardy Book Blogger

Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB

Book lovers' booklist

Book news and reviews

Rosepoint Publishing

Book Blogger, Book Reviews, Book Promotion

Crime Thriller Fella

Crime reviews, news, mayhem, all the usual

juliapalooza.com

Books, bakes and bunnies

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

On The Shelf Books

A bookblog for readers

Gem's Quiet Corner

Welcome to my little corner. Grab a cup of tea, find your happy place and join me to talk all things books...

Creating Perfection

Delicately balancing the voice of the author with the needs of the reader

Hooked From Page One

A Crime Readers Blog

THE CHLOE DOUGLAS BLOG

A LIFESTYLE BLOG WITH PLENTY OF BOOK REVIEWS

Books and Wine Gums

Reviews of all-sorts (but not liquorice-based confections)

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time