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Archive for the ‘Serial killer’ Category

LittleBird alegra sans + ancona cd FINAL

Published: 31 July 2017

 

Description:

Some secrets are best kept quiet. Declan Wells, a forensic psychologist, has a lot on his plate. He has been struggling with the aftermath of a car bomb, which has left him in a wheelchair, his wife has been dutiful but Declan is certain she is having an affair, and his eldest daughter Lara’s new property developer husband, has dubious business practices.

Meanwhile, Anna Cole is running away from her mother’s death and a stale relationship. On secondment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland from Wales, Anna hopes that she can throw herself into work to distract herself from her guilt. Then the murders begin and the killer leaves behind some very strange messages. Can Anna and Declan work together to catch this deranged murderer?

Will either of them be able to get over their turbulent pasts?

My Thoughts & Review:

Little Bird is a gripping read with some very intriguing characters, and a killer that leans heavily towards depraved and gruesome.

Anna Cole leaves her home in Cardiff after the death of her mother, her marriage has come to a stalemate but her husband isn’t fully aware of it yet.  The opportunity for secondment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland affords her the opportunity to make a fresh start, expand on her skills and do some digging into her birth family who originate from Ireland.
In some respects she is a selfish character, taking the secondment without talking it over with her husband or even allowing him to voice an opinion on the matter.  She is also troubled by the cases she has worked previously, which have clearly left a lasting impression on her.  But amidst this, she is juggling the grief of watching her mother slowly die a painful death through cancer.  Some of her motives and actions are questionable, her involvement with certain characters makes the reader want to shout at her to stop.  She walks a very dangerous tightrope at times.
Her quest for answers about her birth mother unearths information that she could never have imagined.

The case that the team are investigating is strange, brutal and seemingly impossible to find connections between the murder victims.  The killer is a depraved individual that the author gives her readers a glimpse into the mindset of, this works well in building the tension throughout, and in some ways keeps readers guessing as to their identity.  But at the same time, there are aspects of the killer that I found hard to read about, being an animal lover I did find the reference to taxidermy and the mistreatment of animals a little uncomfortable to read about.  I wouldn’t say I was squeamish but there was a point in the book that I definitely felt repulsed by the killer, a hat tip to Sharon Dempsey for crafting such a strong character that can evoke that level of disgust and abhorrence.

Overall I would say this is a well written and well thought out book, there is depth to the investigation, lots of history that links in well with the plot without becoming too heavy and there is a very intriguing case for the team to solve.

My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read this and participate in the blog tour.

You can buy a copy via Amazon

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BLOG TOUR (4)

 

 

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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!

Sleep-Tight-Kindle

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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 Dance With The Dead

Author: James Nally
Published: 28 July 2016
Reviewed: 2 August 2016
5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review
Description: 
Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district.  Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.  

PC Donal lands himself a place on the murder squad just as his unconventional brother, journalist Finton, unearths the secret double life of Elizabeth. 

The bodies mount, each clinging to the strands of hair belonging to the previous victim.  The police are convinced it’s the act of a serial killer.  But how does Donal convince them it’s not?
The only people he can trust are the victims he dances with in his dreams.  

My Thoughts & Review:
Dance With The Dead sees the welcome return of PC Donal Lynch.  For anyone not familiar with this character, the first book Alone With The Dead is utterly brilliant and well worth a read.  This can be read as a standalone, but why deprive yourself of James Nally’s writing?  

We open in early 1990s London and Donal has been moved to the Cold Crime Unit, a punishment for his behaviour at the end of book one.  The discovery of a mutilated body in the Red Light District is the perfect opportunity for Donal to ingratiate himself back in to the embrace of the Murder Squad.  His work on cold cases involving prostitutes leads him to believe there is a connection between the historical cases and this new body.  

With “help” from his journalist brother Fintan, Donal really has to be careful walking this tightrope.  When the patriarch of the Lynch family unexpectedly arrives from Ireland, a spanner is thrown into the works.  Donal already having a seriously troubled relationship with his father because of the connections to the IRA and the Troubles finds juggling the presence of his father, attempting to solve the mystery of the murdered woman and the budding romance with Zoe from Forensic Science Service almost too much to handle. 

As the case escalates the cover ups, deception, political intrigue and corruption intensify.  London’s gangsters, police corruption, IRA, Irish Peace Talks, Special Branch and paedophilia are just some of the things involved in this multi layered wonder. 

Happily, the author has continued on Donal’s sleep paralysis, and this time it enriches the story so much more.  Plagued by hangovers, his ghostly visions seem to haunt him even when awake.  Nally cleverly writes this aspect of the story to allow the reader to interpret it as though it’s in Donal’s head, a bad dream if you will, however I like to think of it as it’s his “old fashioned gut instinct” talking to him.  

Donal is a wonderful character, so thoroughly well written.  He’s a tortured soul, with an incredibly dry sense of humour and a loving for Shiraz.  His brother Fintan is another brilliant character, incredibly unscrupulous.  I was delighted to see him appearing more in this book, and found myself liking him and his antics more than I had previously.    

Once again, Nally has given the reader a book that transports them back in time.  Referencing events from the early 1990s, giving a history lesson about the Irish-British Troubles, he takes the reader right into the heart of dark atmospheric world he has scripted.  Setting and atmosphere are key in thrillers, and this book has it in abundance.

James Nally is a gifted writer, he constructs a a book that is dark, twisted, and mercilessly violent but at the same time it is rich with humour and wit (at times the inappropriateness of the humour is what makes it even funnier).  It is so cleverly plotted, layer upon layer of detail brings this story to life, the characters come alive and the atmosphere feels real.     

I cannot wait to see what James Nally comes up with next for Donal, just please don’t make me wait too long to find out!

You can buy a copy of Dance With The Dead here. 

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The Silent Twin

Author: Caroline Mitchell
Published: 14 April 2016
Reviewed: 1 August 2016

5 out of 5 Stars

Copy supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review


Description:

I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life? 

My Thoughts & Review:

The Silent Twin is the third book in the DC Jennifer Knight and quite frankly Caroline Mitchell has really set herself a high target to beat for any further books in this series – this book really is that good!

For those that have not read Don’t Turn Around or Time to Die, then fear not this book works well as a standalone, however I would absolutely recommend seeking out the previous books.  I say this not because you need to so that you will fully understand the back stories but more because Mitchell demonstrates awe inspiring skill in her writing.  Initially setting a pace akin to a comfortable and steady read, the intensity escalates to the point the reader is almost on the edge of their seat, desperately trying to master speed reading to find out what is going to happen next. 
As with the first two books, DC Jennifer Knight finds herself involved with a case that draws on her unique abilities, and from the very start this case is not going to be easy.  Twin sisters Olivia and Abigail were playing hide and seek at Blackwater Farm but Abigail soon disappears.  Following the disappearance of her sister, Olivia stops talking and it is down to Jennifer Knight to try and find out what she can from the mute twin.  This coupled with strange happenings in the house means that Knight has her work cut out for her, trying to find Abigail before it’s too late and getting to the bottom of what everyone is hiding.  

The clever style of writing allowed the reader to experience a roller coaster of emotion along with Jennifer Knight, the shock of some discoveries did have me looking up from my book in absolutely amazement.  The characters are great, something about the parents of the girls seemed to niggle at me, their reactions to their daughter being missing seemed unnatural – this subtle way of dropping little snippets of information was both helpful and a complete red herring in some cases, meaning the reader has their work cut out for them if they want to try and second guess Caroline Mitchell.
An utterly captivating read, dark and twisted enough to secure Caroline Mitchell the title of one of my favourite authors.  This is an impressive crime fiction series with a touch of something unearthly, very enjoyable and absolutely gripping!    
You can buy a copy of The Silent Twin here

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Last To Die

Author: Arlene Hunt
Published: 24 June 2016
Reviewed: 27 July 2016

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Copy supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review
 
 
Description:
 
He watches. He waits. He kills …

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.

Caleb Switch, a sadistic serial killer has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge to him. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now…she is his ultimate prey.

As Caleb picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie… But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be Caleb’s final sacrifice …  


My Thoughts & Review:

Opening with a shooting in a high school this book certainly grabs the reader’s attention.  The female protagonist Jessie Conway, is a special needs teacher at the school in question and following this horrific event, her life is turned upside down.  She is labelled a local hero after her part in saving the lives of those in the school and helping to “take down” the shooters, but the spotlight draws the attention of sadistic serial killer Caleb Switch who has her locked in his sights.

Jessie is an interesting character, she has a past that not even her husband is aware of, and despite her being portrayed as strong minded and very determined, she is troubled and damaged.  Caleb is a dark and twisted character, and I think Hunt has written this character very well.  He displays the characteristics readers have come to expect from psychopathic killers – cold, feels no empathy, ruthless and very scary to name just a few.  In spite of the terrible qualities of Caleb, his is a character that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about, incredibly interesting and I would say well researched.  

Narration from both Jessie and Caleb’s perspectives allows the reader full access to the inner workings of their minds, gives great insight to the depravity of Caleb’s mind when it comes to his victims and hunts.  
The plot flows well for most of the story, but for me there was a lull in the middle slightly, but the final third of the book made up for it.  
As far as psychological thrillers go, I thought it was ok, although it felt more like an action story at times.  
The one aspect of the book I was less keen on was the story of the reporter who dug into Cassie’s past.  This seemed to trail off and was never really finished, but I suppose it served its purpose in bringing the information out to the reader. 

Overall it was a good read, just maybe not living up to the expectations I had of it.  I would definitely look up some of Hunt’s other books as I did enjoy her style of writing. 

You can buy a copy of Last To Die here 

 

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The Principle of Evil

Author: T.M.E Walsh
Published: 14 January 2016
Reviewed: 26 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Carina UK in return for an honest review

3.5 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

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The Girl in The Ice

Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: 12 February 2016
Reviewed: 12 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Bookourture in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice… She is not the only one.
When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.
The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.
What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?
As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.
The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

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