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Archive for the ‘Crime Thriller’ Category

I am so excited to welcome you along to my stop on the blog tour for Caroline Mitchell’s latest thriller featuring the wonderful DS Ruby Preston.  ‘Sleep Tight’ is the much anticipated sequel to ‘Love You To Death’ and once you’ve read this you will be begging for the next book too!

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Published: 20 April 2017

Description:

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into disturbing recreations of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down the murderer who is using the women to realise his dark fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.
Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

As Ruby starts to close in on the twisted individual, can she stop him before he strikes again? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

A terrifying, addictive, serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.

My Thoughts & Review:

Wow…..I feel I need to break you into this book gently….This is quite possibly one of the best books that Caroline Mitchell has written.  Yes I am aware that I’ve probably said that after reading each of her previous books but ….. this book…..this book is epic!

For those not familiar with the character of Ruby Preston, fear not,  you can start reading this book from the second you get your hands on it. The way in which it is written means you will quickly pick up on events that have occurred in book one, and you will also get a good grasp of the history/relationships between characters.

“Sleep Tight” is fantastically dark and sinister, the killer is transforming his victims into fairytale princesses, and the level of detail that Mitchell writes about the practices of the killer really makes her books stand out from other crime thrillers out there.  I really enjoyed the clever way that work of the serial killer links back to the original tales by the Brothers Grimm, granted I will struggle to read the fairytale to my little one now without remembering “Sleep Tight”.

The descriptions of the characters are fantastic, the development of Ruby’s character is done so well and it feels that with each book the reader gets to know her a little more, I really hope that this continues as the series progresses.  I can only describe the pace of this as a relentless nail biter, the reader is hooked from the prologue and will struggle to put this down, one of those books in the “one more chapter” category….
The vivid descriptions of settings make crime scenes come alive, making the reader feel like they are peering over Ruby’s shoulder.

Caroline Mitchell’s time as a detective gives her a wonderful insight into the world of criminal investigations and this shines through in her writing.  There is a realistic feel to the policing in this novel and knowing that the author has intimate knowledge of the procedures and policies they are writing about makes a reader feel privileged with this information as well as adds an authenticity to the book.

An excellent follow up to “Love You To Death”, and I cannot wait to see what book three has in store for Ruby Preston, one thing’s for sure, it won’t be dull!

You can buy a copy of “Sleep Tight” via:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the Author:

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A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.  She now writes full time.

www.caroline-writes.com
https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/
https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes


Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

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Published: 20 April 2017

Copy provided by HarperCollins & Netgalley

Description:

Gripping standalone thriller from the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series.

Welcome to the Misfit Mob…

It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from.

But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own.

No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again?

My Thoughts & Review:

As a long-established fan of Stuart MacBride’s books, it was only natural for me to excitedly jump at the chance to read and review an early copy of “A Dark so Deadly”.  At over 600 pages this is a hefty book, but the Aberdonian in me approves at the value for money you get with it (yep, my preorder was placed the minute I found out about this book and I’ll be following the local post delivery agent aka ‘the postie’ round the village till it arrives).

Following on the success of his police procedurals with Logan McRae and Ash Henderson, Stuart MacBride brings fans a new set of characters in a thrilling police procedural set in the fictional town of Oldcastle.  Enter DC Callum MacGregor, recently dumped in the Misfit Mob under a rather dark cloud with speculation and rumour rife.  The Misfit Mob named accordingly because the officers assigned there are either trouble(d), damaged, incompetent or do not toe the line as they should and cannot be sacked from the Force.

The opening chapter of this book really sets out how things are going to go for Callum MacGregor – battered, bitten, has an unexpected meeting with “The Claw” which leaves him able to sing soprano and he is mugged by the most unlikely culprits.  He’s not the luckiest of people, and this is nothing compared to what happens next.  But in spite of this, he is quite an endearing soul, his troubled past is enough to make most readers feel some sympathy towards him and indeed once his current situation evolves into chaos…well you’d be forgiven for wanting to give him a hug, a cuppa, and a few words about life going on.

MacBride is a skilled author, and this is clear through his wonderful style of writing.  Not only is the reader treated to his usual brand of dark humour with a gritty edge, there is a seriously dangerous killer to taunt us, one that is horrifically unstable and will cause readers discomfort.   The narration from the perspective of the victims adds an extra sinister edge to this killer and if I’m honest, it really creeped me out, however it gave a fantastic insight into the depths of the darkness that permeate this book.  Just when the reader begins to squirm uncomfortably, MacBride throws in some of the best humorous scenes I’ve read recently, and quirky dialogue between characters makes for some entertaining reading.  Even the poetic DS McAdams was welcomed interruption to the grisly goings on.
As the multiple strands of the plot weave together this changes from a thrilling, fast paced read to a frantic page turner.  In the beginning I did wonder how it would all pull together, and I shouldn’t have worried, MacBride knows how to spin a yarn that will capture the attention of his audience and hold them fast and despite the heftiness of the book I read this over the course of two evenings as I struggled to stop reading.

I cannot wait to see what fates befall the Misfit Mob and Oldcastle next if Stuart MacBride decides to bring these guys out again.  A must read for fans of crime thrillers and police procedurals.

You can buy a copy of “A Dark so Deadly” via:

Amazon
Wordery
The Book Depository

My thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of this.

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Published: 12 April 2017

 

Description:

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Last Breath will have you on the edge of your seat, racing to the final dramatic page.

My Thoughts & Review:

There are a few authors out there that when a new book is announced I will pre order unquestioningly and Robert Bryndza is one of them.  His Erika Foster series has gone from strength to strength since the publication of “The Girl In The Ice” in February 2016 and now with the arrival of the fourth instalment fans are in for a well timed treat.

“Last Breath” highlights the dangers of social media to readers from the perspective of a killer, how one killer in particular stalks his victims, befriends them and lures them in before savagely beating and murdering them.  Erika arrives at a crime scene almost as if by chance, unfortunately for her she’s no longer on the Murder Investigation Team and has no authority to be there.  But knowing our plucky protagonist as well as we do, readers can be assured she will not let this stop her finding the killer and putting a stop to his spree.  Erika makes connections that others missed, and earns the attention of superiors to explain her thoughts and before long she’s closing in on the killer.

It’s ironic that this book is titled “Last Breath”, reading this book the reader is often not aware they are holding their breath, frantically turning pages as the plot weaves around red herrings, cleverly manipulating their mind  as they try to guess ahead.  It’s the sort of book that you want to devour in one sitting, it’s too good to put down.  The characters crackle with energy and the chemistry between them is fantastic to read.  Erika Foster is a special character, and for fans that have followed the series and watched her develop are rewarded with some wonderful scenes in this book.  Equally, the detectives that Foster works with are superb, the dynamic in the team is laugh out loud funny at times, the camaraderie that exists between them feels authentic.
I was so glad to see that Dr Isaac Strong makes an appearance in this book, he’s one of my absolute favourite characters and the relationship between Strong and Foster is so well crafted.

And the killer, well that’s a character that’s so repugnant and makes your skin crawl.  The lengths that he will go to to secure his victim make for compelling reading, relying on vanity or weaknesses for them to fall for his tricks.  As much as I  disliked this character, I  liked how strongly the writing made me feel towards him, a sign of a skilled writer.

A breathtaking addition to the series that I would thoroughly recommend!

You can buy a copy of “Last Breath” via Amazon here

Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review.

 

About the Author:

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now pre-order the fourth, Last Breath which will be published on April 12th 2017.

Robert’s books have sold over 1.7 million copies and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

 

 

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Published: 17 February 2017

Copy provided by Bookouture as part of blog tour

 

Description:

Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life. 

When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.

Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money.

Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth. 

My Thoughts & Review:

“The Promise” is a book that I might not have ordinarily picked up to read, Casey Kelleher isn’t an author I’ve read much from but she came highly recommended by some wonderful and trustworthy bloggers so I figured it was worth taking a chance.

This is a very gritty read, with topics that make for uncomfortable reading but they are handled with sensitivity and the writing is superb.  The pace of this was matched well to the plot, catching the attention of the reader quickly and remaining enthralling throughout.  I enjoyed that the plot kept me hooked in,  needing to read on to see what happened next, see how the characters developed.
The characters were incredibly well crafted, some so absolutely beyond redemption that the reader cannot help but be drawn to them, utterly fascinating specimens of the human race for their abhorrence.  The juxtaposition of Georgie and Marnie, witnessing and enduring some truly awful things and remaining strong in the face of adversity is magnificent writing.

I’d say it’s not a read for the faint hearted, this book certainly packs a punch.  It reminds me somewhat of Martina Cole’s books, there’s the same sort of gritty, gripping toughness about it, but also a vulnerability just under the surface waiting to grab the reader and pull on their heart strings.  I may well have to go back and read some of Kelleher’s previous books now, just to see what I’ve been missing out on!

You can buy a copy of “The Promise” here

 

My thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Mark Hardie’s debut Burned and Broken, and share my review of this impressive novel.
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Description:

 An enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found burned to death in his car on the Southend sea front.

A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague’s death, they’re under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force’s reputation. 

When a dramatic turn of events casts a whole new light on both cases, the way forward is far from clear. Were the victims connected in some way? And just how much should Pearson and Russell reveal to their bosses as they begin to unearth some dark secrets that the force would rather keep buried?

My Thoughts & Review:

The book opens with the horrific scene of DI Sean Carragher burning to death  in his car.  The discovery of his unrecognisable body in the burnt out vehicle sparks an investigation by DS Frank Pearson and the Essex Police Major Investigation Team.  As far as openings go, this is a pretty powerful one, it immediately grabs the reader’s attention.

The narrative jumps back four days, the author recounts the events leading up to the investigation of DI Carragher’s death.  During these four days the reader is introduced to Donna Freeman, a sixteen year old in her first year out of care.  Donna is convinced that her friend Alicia has been murdered and continuously tries to get someone to listen to her that it was not an accident.  We also discover that DI Carragher was being investigated by Professional Standards for suspected corruption, witness intimidation and assault to name but a few, and that there are no shortage of suspects connected with his death.

In amongst the sprawling investigation, DS Frank Pearson has his own troubles, in poor health and undergoing tests for suspected pancreatic cancer and estranged from his wife.  DC Catherine (Cat) Russell finds the reach of the Professional Standards investigation into her former partner (DI Carragher) is coming too close to home, falling under suspicion by association, she desperately wants to protect Sean Carragher, but remaining loyal will mean telling lies for him.
The death of one of their own sees the Police throwing resources at this case to solve it quickly, but that also means there are many pair of eyes watching the investigation, ones that will not approve of the discoveries made by Pearson and Russell.

This is a very cleverly written thriller, with layer upon layer of detail. The use of different perspectives for narration gives the reader a good insight into the Police investigation as well as the life of Donna in care.
The novel is split into three distinct parts, and this is a very effective technique for setting out the story, indeed this would also make this an idea book to transfer to screen.
Well paced plot, with brilliant little details added for that extra something special.  The characters are well crafted, realistic and credible.  The location used is a welcome change from the normal big cities, so thank you Mr Hardie, you’ve broken away from the “norm” and given the reader what we’ve been screaming out for.

A very impressive début novel and one I would have no hesitation to recommend.

You can buy a copy of Burned and Broken here.

About the Author:

Mark Hardie was born in 1960 in Bow, East London. He began writing fulltime after completely losing his eyesight in 2002. He has completed a creative writing course and an advanced creative writing course at the Open University, both with distinction.

Mark lives with his wife Debbie in Southend-on-Sea.


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Angela Clarke’s “Watch Me” and share my review of this brilliant thriller.  Even more excitingly though, Angela has teamed up with the wonderful Cass Green and Tammy Cohen to offer you the chance to win a copy of The Woman Next Door and a copy of First One Missing as well as her own book – details below!

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Published: 12 January 2017
Reviewed: 3 January 2017

5 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by publisher as part of blog tour

Description:

YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

My Thoughts & Review:

As the second novel in the Social Media Murders Series I was intrigued how this novel would pan out.  Having quickly read “Follow Me” before delving into this book to make sure I had a good grounding in the series and of DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton, I can honestly say this is superb “follow” up (see what I did there?!).  I want to stress that “Watch Me” can be read without having read “Follow Me”, there is enough detail for a reader to appreciate the previous case and the relationship between Cudmore and Venton.

The plot is the work of sheer genius, taut and intense, goading the reader to ‘just one more chapter’.  The brilliant use of timings on each chapter, telling the reader how long is left makes the pace almost frantic, and really adds a sinister edge.  I’m not a fan of rehashing the plot and spoiling the book for others but I will say that this twists and turns in ways I would not have expected and it certainly gave me pause for thought with the current trends in Social Media.

It’s fair to say that Angela Clarke has secured her place on my list of favoured authors after this book, the way that she struck a feeling of great unease within me whilst I read this was impressive.  The characters she has created are very well rounded and so well developed – the relationship between Cudmore and Venton is wonderfully written and it is nice for fans of the series to see these characters grow both individually but still retain that connection from the case involving ‘The Hashtag Murderer’.

Overall I would say this is a book that most crime fiction fans would appreciate, it’s edgy, fast paced and utterly brilliant!

You can buy a copy of Watch Me here.


About the Author:

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Angela Clarke is an author, columnist and playwright. Her debut crime novel Follow Me (Avon) is out now. Follow Me is the first in the Social Media Murders Series.

Her memoir Confessions of a Fashionista (Ebury) is an Amazon Fashion Chart bestseller. Her debut play The Legacy received rave reviews after it’s first run at The Hope Theatre in June 2015. Angela’s journalist contributions include: The Guardian, The Independent Magazine, The Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan. Now magazine described her as a ‘glitzy outsider’. Angela read English and European Literature at Essex University, and Advances in Scriptwriting at RADA. In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers’ Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing.

She is almost always late or lost, or both.

Find out more at: http://angelaclarke.co.uk


Giveaway

As part of her blog tour, Angela has teamed up with numerous authors to offer you lucky readers the chance to win a copy both her book and that of the featured author’s each day of the tour!  Today there are two other author’s books up for grabs  “The Woman Next Door” by Cass Green and “First One Missing” by Tammy Cohen. – can’t say Avon Books don’t know how to spoil their readers!

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A No.1 e-book bestseller, perfect for fans of HER by Harriet Lane and IN A DARK DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware.

Two suburban women. Two dark secrets. The almost perfect murder.

Everybody needs good neighbours…

Melissa and Hester have lived next door to each other for years. When Melissa’s daughter was younger, Hester was almost like a grandmother to her. But recently they haven’t been so close.

Hester has plans to change all that. It’s obvious to her that despite Melissa’s outwardly glamorous and successful life, she needs Hester’s help.

But taking help from Hester might not be such a good idea for a woman with as many secrets as Melissa…

Cass Green is the pseudonym of Caroline Green, an award-winning author of fiction for young people. Her first novel, Dark Ride won the Rona Young Adult Book of the Year and the Waverton Good Read Award. Cracks and Hold Your Breath garnered rave reviews and were shortlisted for eleven awards between them. She is the Writer in Residence at East Barnet School and teaches Writing for Children at City University. Caroline has been a journalist for over twenty years and has written for many broadsheet newspapers and glossy magazines. The Woman Next Door is her first novel for adults.

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A support group for families of victims of the same serial killer, where everyone is grieving and everyone has secrets. Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

Tammy Cohen (who also writes as Tamar Cohen) is a freelance journalist writing for national magazines and newspapers. After a late start, she has now written six novels – The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, Someone Else’s Wedding, The Broken and Dying For Christmas and First One Missing – all published by Doubleday/Black Swan. She is a member of the Killer Women crime writing collective and lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one very badly behaved dog.

How To Enter

  • Please share the pinned post on Twitter to spread the word about the launch of Watch Me –  you will find it over on @TheQuietKnitter.
  • Giveaway is UK only (sorry!).
  • Closes at Midnight on Monday 23rd January, the winner will be announced on Tuesday 24th January.
  • One winner will be chosen at random (names in a hat & first one drawn wins).
  • The winner’s address will be passed to Avon Books who will arrange for the bookish delights to be sent out.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for giveaways and reviews, and remember to check back to previous days for the posts you might have missed!!

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It’s time to finally set in stone the books of the year, a list that I have created, edited and ripped up mentally for the past few days…..When you’ve read so many books over the year it’s hard to narrow down a top 5, a top 10 or even a top 20, but I will attempt to share my top books of 2016.

Top Indie Books:

In no particular order:

  • Death of a Nobody by Derek Farrell (Fahrenheit Press)
  • The Mine by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda Books)
  • Summoning The Dead by Tony Black (Black and White Publishing)
  • A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone (Orenda Books)
  • A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh  McDonnell (McFori Ink)
  • Casing Off by P.I. Paris (Black and White Publishing)
  • Death In Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson (Urbane Publications)
  • Doorways by Robert Enright (Urbane Publications)
  • The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda Books)
  • The Cleaner by Elisabeth Herrmann (Manilla / Bonnier Zaffre)

Top Crime Fiction & Thriller:

I really tried to keep this to 10…..but well I just couldn’t…..

In no particular order:

  • Strangers by Paul Finch
  • Dark Water by Robert Bryndza
  • Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge
  • The Killing Game by J.S. Carol
  • Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
  • The Dead House by Harry Bingham
  • All Fall Down by Tom Bale
  • Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
  • Blood Lines by Angela Marsons
  • Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell
  • The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
  • In The Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride

Top Books of Brilliance or Smile Inducing Wonderment:

In no particular order:

  • The Accidental Dictionary by Paul Anthony Jones
  • How To Find Your (First) Husband by Rosie Blake
  • The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland by Julia Stuart
  • The Life Assistance Agency Thomas Hocknell
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig
  • A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn
  • 183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan
  • Christmas Under A Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin
  • A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh
  • Christmas At The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

What books would you rate as your top ones for this year?  Have you read any of these ones?  Let me know your thoughts below.


And just because I can, here’s ones I think will be top books for 2017….

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I am very excited to welcome you to my stop on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour by Orenda Books and share my review of Antti Tuomainen’s The Mine.

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4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Orenda Books as part of blog tour

Description:

A hitman.  A journalist.  A family torn apart.  A mine spewing toxic secrets that threated to poison them all…

In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.

A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.

My Thoughts & Review:

This is a book that I might not have discovered had it not been for the wonderful Karen at Orenda Books, I am a big fan of Scandi Noir and she knows I have a soft spot for a good conspiracy story!

The Mine has a wonderfully crafted plot that begins with an investigation into illegal mining in Finland by journalist Janne Vuori, and intriguingly it all comes about via an anonymous tip off.  Uncovering corruption is a huge incentive for Janne, it would be a boost for his career, but he has to decide if it is worth the strain on his personal life and those he loves.

Working in tandem with this fantastic plot is some of the most wonderful writing I have been lucky enough to read.  Tuomainen writes with such immensely vivid detail that the reader can almost feel the cold biting winds that hit Janne as he opens the car door, can visualise the the scenery in all it’s snowy wonders and really feel like they are there seeing/experiencing it all.
The characters in this are so engaging and well created.  They draw the reader in with their turmoil and struggles, Janne is a man who is proud of his job and is dedicated to it, but he is also dedicated to his wife and their child.  The struggles he faces at being a good journalist or being a better father and provider are captivating reading.  His wife is frustrated at the time he invests in his career and reminds him that his own father put work before his family – which gives an insight into the troubled relationship between Janne and his father. 

At the heart of the plot is the corruption angle and the environmental impacts of the mine, but the idea of covering up the truth and corruption also flows into the characters, the relationship between Janne and his wife suffers from consequences of the toxicity of mistakes.  The almost secret life of Janne’s father recounted throughout the story also plays on the idea of the truth being hidden.

The translation to English by David Hackston has been done so incredibly well, none of Tuomainen’s subtleties have been lost and this reads very comfortably as if it had originally been written in English.

An excellent thriller with all the earmarks of Scandi Noir, gripping, elegant and looks to the bigger issues that play an important role in society – in this case the environmental disasters surrounding the mine and the corruption in covering it up.

You can buy a copy of The Mine here


About the Author:

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Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labeled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable’. Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen “The king of Helsinki Noir” when Dark as my Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula.

For more information on Antti’s books go to his website http://anttituomainen.com/ or follow him on Twitter @antti_tuomainen


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour for reviews and guest posts by both Kati Hiekkapelto and Annti Tuomainen.

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I am so excited to welcome you to my stop on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour by Orenda Books and share my review of Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Exiled.

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Published: 19 August 2016
Reviewed: 13 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Orenda Books as part of blog tour

 

Description:

Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal?

Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit this is the first book that I have read by Kati Hiekkapelto, something I will definitely be remedying in the coming weeks as I fully intend to buy copies of the other books featuring Detective Anna Fekete.

The Exiled is actually the third book in the Detective Anna Fekete series, and thankfully this can be read without reading The Hummingbird or The Defenceless.  There are references to prior cases and colleagues but these are minimal so does not impact upon your enjoyment of the story.
The reader meets Anna upon her return to Serbia for a holiday.  She intends to spend time with family and friends but ends up involved in a robbery and a murder investigation.

Clever plotting and well constructed characters make this a great read, add in the use of native language and you have a wonderfully authentic offering from the Scani Noir genre.  The translation to English has been done so well that this reads as though it were originally written in English.
The vivid descriptions of both scenery and characters really bring them alive.  The easy flowing style of writing lends itself well to this story, the well woven threads of the plot ensure that the pace is good and slowly increases with the secrets that are waiting to be unearthed, drawing the reader in and making this a compulsive read.

As you would expect with Scani Noir, this is chilling, it’s clever and it looks behind the curtain at some very topical issues such as migrancy and refugees including detailing the social impacts and implications.  The writing of these subjects is done with transparency and a frankness that adds a chilling edge to the narrative but at the same time the author shows sensitivity to these subjects by using characters as voices of reason and conscience.

An fantastic read that I cannot thank Karen at Orenda Books for introducing me to, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next Anna Fekete book.

You can buy a copy of The Exiled here


About the Author:

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Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland.  She wrote her first stories at the age of two and recorded them on cassette tapes.  Kati has studied Fine Arts in Liminka Art School and Special Education at the University of Jyväskylä.  The subject of her final thesis/dissertation was racist bullying in Finnish schools.  She went to work on as a special-needs teacher for immigrant children.  Today Kti is an international crime writer, punk singer and performance artist.  Her books, The Hummingbird and The Defenceless have been translated into 16 languages and were both shortlisted for the Petrona Award in the UK.  The Defenceless won Best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Glass Key.  She lives and writes in her 200-year-ols farmhouse in Hailuoto, an island in the Gulf of Bothnia, North Finland.  In her free time she rehearses with her band, runs, hunts, picks berries and mushrooms and gardens.  During long, dark winter months she chops wood to head her house, shovels snow and skis.

For more information on Kati’s books, go to her website http://www.katihiekkapelto.com/ or follow her on Twitter @HiekkapeltoKati


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour for reviews and guest posts by both Kati Hiekkapelto and Annti Tuomainen.

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop of Caroline Mitchell’s blog tour for ‘Love You To Death’ and share my review of this unnervingly brilliant thriller.

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Published: 11 November 2016
Reviewed: 9 November 2016

5 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Caroline Mitchell & Bookouture as part of blog tour

 

Description:

‘I’m not your mother. You’re a monster. I don’t want you’

Women who gave a child up for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up.

For Detective Ruby Preston and her team, it is a race against time to connect the dots before the killer can strike again. But when Ruby receives a sinister email, the case takes a terrifying personal twist.

Could the clues to the identity of the killer lie in Ruby’s own past?

Who can she trust with her secrets?

And could Ruby be next?

My Thoughts & Review:

Love You To Death is one of those books that deserves many gold stars of awesomeness, it’s dark, it’s twisted and it’s utterly chilling.
Caroline Mitchell introduces readers to her newest creation,  Detective Ruby Preston, a wonderfully original character who has flaws and connections that make her life more complicated than she really needs.  Far from the textbook female detective, Ruby Preston stomps her way into the ring and takes her rightful place amongst the great fictional detectives.

Without retelling the story and potentially spoiling any part of this book, I will say that Mitchell has crafted an excellent plot with numerous separate threads that masterfully come together.  It’s intense, sharp and fraught with danger.  The menacing figure in this is one that makes the reader squirm in their seat, gives them the creeps and makes them think twice about opening the door to strangers!  The vivid descriptions of settings make crime scenes even more shocking and disturbing.  The descriptions of the characters are absolutely superb, the reader can almost envision the guises of the killer and the fear that is instilled by their presence.  The underlying menace in the story makes this an unnerving read, but at the same time it also makes this a book you struggle to put down.  Definitely one best avoided before bed, unless you have a free day ahead of you and you can catch up on sleep later!

Pace wise, it’s a nail biting frenetic read.  The reader is driven to keep going, desperate to find out what will happen in each thread of the plot and find out who the killer is.  I also found that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to Ruby Preston on a personal level.  With so many complications in her life, it is inevitable that at least one will capture the attention of the reader, and the way in which Mitchell has written this character means that there is so much scope for development in the future.  The links back to Ruby’s past were also incredibly interesting, adding subtle details that enhance her character.
The snippets of detail from the killer about life building up to this point are quite intriguing and gave me pause for thought – wondering whether it is nature or nurture which poses the greater pull on a person and the path they take in life……

Breaking up this sinister and chilling thriller is perfectly placed humour and wonderfully scripted dialogue, several exchanges between characters in this had me chuckling out loud – just the right amount of light relief from the gripping unease that flows through the book.

This is definitely a must read by one of my  favourite authors!

You can buy a copy of Love You to Death in the UK here and in the US here


About the Author:

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A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.

Published by Bookouture, her DC Knight crime thriller series reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts. Love You To Death, the first in her new series featuring DS Ruby Preston is due for publication 11th November 2016.

Her new psychological thriller, Witness, is published with Thomas & Mercer and due for publication 20th December 2016.

Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. Caroline Mitchell Reader’s Club


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for extracts and reviews

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