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keep your friends close

** My thanks to damppebbles blog tours and Killer Reads for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

An addictive and shocking psychological thriller, full of twists you won’t see coming, perfect for fans of FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall.

A friend who won’t let you escape.
When Karin is taken on a romantic break by her loving partner Aaron, she can’t wait for him to propose. But her surprise weekend quickly becomes a nightmare from which she may never escape.

Who wants everything you have.
They are staying by the beach at the Midland – a grand hotel where Karin used to work. And where Karin’s dangerous and obsessive ex, whom she has been trying to leave behind for years, is waiting patiently for her to return.

Who won’t stop until your life is in ruins.
Now all of Karin’s darkest secrets are being dragged into the light and her friends are turning against her. When one of them is murdered, Karin begins to realise just how treacherous relationships can be…

My Thoughts & Review:

The moment I read the description of this book I knew that I needed to read it, this sounded so intriguing and exciting!

With a creeping unease, June Taylor slowly gives readers breadcrumbs of information as she reveals the details in Keep Your Friends Close. The opening chapter is deceptively vague, giving no solid information about characters and the connections between them, something I found that made me even more intrigued. I needed to find out about the characters and their connections. I needed to find out more about Karin and where she came from, and what the significance of her twenty second birthday was!

Taylor has created some fantastic characters in this book, whilst not all readers will like all characters, there are definitely ones here that have you squirming uncomfortably in your seat. The real tricky thing is working out which characters to trust, or more, which parts of the story to trust … it certainly does make for an engrossing and exciting read.
Karin has a history steeped in secrets, there are very few people who know everything about her and that’s the way she wants to keep it. Knowing her secrets gives people power over her and that’s something she cannot let happen. She realises all too late that it might have been a good idea to share some more of her secrets with her boyfriend, especially after arriving on the doorstep of the hotel where her abusive ex works. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of Karin’s carefully constructed new life unravelling.

The pacing of the book was spot on for me, I felt that I was pulled in with the good use of short chapters and found that I almost managed to read this in one day.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK

Waterstones

BookDepository

Foyles

About the Author:

June Taylor is a UK psychological thriller writer.  For many years she was a TV promos writer/producer before turning to writing plays and fiction.  She was runner-up in the 2011 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition with her YA novel.  Her debut Adult psychological thriller Losing Juliet was nominated for the Not the Booker Prize 2017.

Keep Your Friends Close is June’s second psychological thriller for the HarperCollins Killer Reads imprint.  The ebook comes out on 26th October 2018 (paperback 10th January 2019).

June is active in her local writing scene, including serving on the Board of Script Yorkshire and taking part in Leeds Big bookend.

When she’s not writing she likes to shrink her life down into a campervan and take off on some adventure with her husband.  She lives in Yorkshire.  You can also find June at her website. On Twitter and Facebook and occasionally on Instagram too.

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Today I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Jackie Baldwin’s latest novel, Perfect Dead.  It’s an honour to be part of the buzz around publication and even more of an honour to share an extract with you from the book.  Before you get the chance to have a sneaky look at chapter one, lets find out a little more about the book.

 

Description:

Perfect Dead - high-res - Copy (1)

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest, DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective,’ a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

 

Extract – from chapter one:

 

7th January 2013

DI Frank Farrell glanced across at Mhairi as the police car slid and bumped its way along an icy farm track towards a small stonewashed cottage. It was 10.10 a.m. and the sky was bright with a pale wintery sun. A young police officer who worked out of Kirkcudbright stood in front of the blue and white tape and walked towards them as they parked alongside the SOCO van.

Farrell exited the car with a feeling of dread in his stomach. In his time as a practising Catholic priest, suicides, in particular, always had a profound effect on him. The thought that someone might be driven to die at their own hand was unfathomable.

‘SOCO nearly done in there, PC McGhie?’

‘Yes, sir, they reckon it’s fairly cut and dried. The police surgeon is in there too. Didn’t exactly have to look for a pulse. Blood and brains everywhere.’

Farrell quelled him with a look.

‘Do we know the name of the deceased yet?’

‘Monro Stevenson, according to the opened mail, sir.’

Silently, Mhairi and Farrell suited up in their protective plastic coveralls and overshoes. Even if it was suicide, care had to be taken not to contaminate the scene, just in case.

‘Right, let’s get this over with,’ said Farrell.

He opened the door and entered with Mhairi.

A middle-aged man in a tweed jacket and cords was packing away his stethoscope in a brown leather satchel in the hall. He straightened up as they approached. Farrell noticed that he had an unhealthy greyish tinge to his face and that his hands were shaking.

‘Morning, Doctor. DI Farrell and DC McLeod.’

‘Dr Allison. Cause appears to be suicide. A terrible business,’ he said. ‘A patient of mine, as it turns out. He was only twenty-seven.’

‘It must be difficult when you know the deceased,’ said Mhairi.

‘Yes, if only he had come to me. I could have got him some help. Anything to avoid this,’ he said, gesturing towards the other room.

‘Any chance you can give us an indication of the time of death?’ asked Farrell.

‘Well, as you know, my role here is restricted to pronouncing life extinct. However, given that rigor is at its peak, I would hazard a guess, strictly off the record, that he died somewhere around fifteen hours ago. However, you’ll need to wait for the preliminary findings from the pathologist for any degree of certainty.’

‘Thanks, Doctor,’ said Farrell. ‘I appreciate the heads-up.’

The doctor turned to leave. Farrell approached the two experienced Scene of Crime officers, Janet White and Phil Tait, who were gathering their stuff together at the rear of the hall.

‘Janet, what have you got for us?’

‘It looks like a suicide,’ she said. ‘Gun placed in the mouth and trigger pulled. We lifted prints from the gun. Gunshot residue on the right hand of the deceased matches that scenario.’

‘There’s a note,’ Phil said. ‘It’s in a sealed envelope. We’ll get you a copy once we’ve done the necessary checks back at the station. We’ve also removed the gun for ballistics analysis.’

‘What was it?’

‘A PPK 380 mm. We recovered the bullet from the wall behind the chair.’

‘How on earth did he get hold of one of those in this neck of the woods?’

‘Your guess is as good as mine,’ shrugged Phil.

‘A suicide note,’ said Mhairi. ‘That means it’s unlikely to be a murder?’

‘Unless he was coerced, or it was staged,’ said Farrell.

I don’t know about you, but that has me really keen to read more!

 

 

About the Author:

Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practices in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair.

Perfect Dead Blog Tour graphic final

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