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** My thanks to the folks at Orion and Tracy Fenton for my copy of this BRILLIANT book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

If you’ve somehow missed reading the books by Steve Cavanagh then get thee to a bookshop and remedy this immediately!  Or if you have an ereader device, then get digital copies and start reading, you will not regret it.

Fans of legal thrillers are in for a treat with Thirteen, this is an expertly plotted and paced novel that has characters that reach out to readers from the pages.
Eddie Flynn is a  reformed conman turned lawyer who can dazzle in the courtroom, his unique way of looking at facts and evidence means that he sees things differently, not accepting them at face value.  This insight proves vital for his clients, and in many instances seems to be just what he needs to convince a jury of the innocence of his client.  That is until he is brought in on this latest case, one where the evidence all points to one culprit and Flynn is expendable if it all goes wrong.

As if this weren’t enough, the author has crafted several richly detailed characters and there is one in particular that gives readers shivers.  Joshua Kane is an extremely intelligent killer, a psychopath with one of the most intricately planned modi operandi I’ve encountered in a long time.  And his determination to get a seat on the jury for the trial of movie and reality TV star, Bobby Solomon is astounding.
The real cleverness comes when Cavanagh writes from the perspective of Joshua Kane, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of the psychopath who will stop at nothing to achieve his sinister goals.   There were moments of reading what was happening in Kane’s mind that had me gasping in shock, or wanting to read with a hand over my eyes … the writing is so powerful that you cannot help but actually ‘see’ the scenes playing out in your mind like a film.

The writing is crisp and taut, the plotting is excellent and this is arguably one of my top reads of 2018.  Thirteen keeps readers on the edge of their seats and holds their attention for the duration, it’s one of those books that you actually want to read more than once, because the first read through you’re blown away by plot, but on a second read through you pick up on subtleties that Cavanagh deftly weaves throughout his writing.

Thirteen is all kinds of brilliant and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

verdict

 

You can buy a copy of Thirteen via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Waterstones

 

About the Author:

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Steve was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At 18 he moved to Dublin and studied Law, by mistake, and went on to be a pot-washer, bouncer, security guard and call centre operative before landing a job as an investigator for a large law firm in Belfast, where he eventually qualified as a solicitor. He then moved to a smaller firm where he could practice in the field of civil rights law. Steve has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and often lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). Steve is also one half of the hysterically funny podcast duo, Two Crime Writers and a Microphone.

Social Media Links:

Twitter @SSCav
Website http://stevecavanaghbooks.com/
Two Crime Writers & a Microphone (Twitter)

 

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Published: 6 October 2016
Reviewed: 27 October 2016

5 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Orion in return for an honest review

Description:

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…

But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the cosy crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.

My Thoughts & Review:

Magpie Murders harks back to the Golden Age of detective fiction, and I think that fans of Agatha Christie or Dorothy L Sayers will appreciate the clever mystery within a mystery of this book.

I have to admit that this is the first book by Horowitz that I have read and I’m really impressed with both the style of writing and the skill of the author.  Masterfully weaving two narratives throughout, Horowitz introduces the reader to Susan Ryeland, a wonderful character who is Head of Fiction at Cloverleaf Books.  It is through Susan that one thread of narrative is cleverly related to the reader, she begins to read a novel by Alan Conway, despite not being a fan of him on a personal level, she is very much a fan of his work.  His novel is about Atticus Punt,  a German detective who turned PI in the 1950s in England, the latest case involves a death in the village.  But as she nears the end of the tale, Susan realises the ending is missing, and more startlingly she discovers that the author has died.
What then follows is Susan’s attempts at sleuthing to discover the missing pages of Conway’s book and along the way she makes remarkable discoveries that seem to show a link between Conway’s life and what happened in his novel.

This wonderful technique of storytelling means that the reader is spoiled with two mysteries to ponder, and it does feel like a salute to the masters of Golden Age detective fiction with the clever use of puzzles in the ‘Magpie Murders’ to help solve the case in the present day.  Well fleshed out characters make this an entertaining read, Susan Ryeland is a great character who develops so well throughout the novel.  Alan Conway on the other hand is a hard character to like, and there are no shortage of motives for his possible murder.
The way in which Horowitz brings all the strands of each narrative and mysteries together is very well done, everything ties up nicely and once the final reveal is made you almost feel like berating yourself for missing the obvious clues scattered throughout and for being led astray by the red herrings – well played Mr Horowitz!

A very enjoyable read, with brilliant characters and an absolutely fantastic plot!

You can buy a copy of the Magpie Murders here.

 

 

About the Author:

Anthony Horowitz is the author of the number one bestselling Alex Rider books and The Power of Five series. He has enjoyed huge success as a writer for both children and adults, most recently with the latest adventure in the Alex Rider series, Russian Roulette and the highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk. His latest novel, Moriarty, is also set in the world of Sherlock Holmes and was published in October 2014. Anthony was also chosen by the Ian Fleming estate to write the new James Bond novel which will be published next year. Anthony has won numerous awards, including the Bookseller Association/Nielsen Author of the Year Award, the Children’s Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards, and the Red House Children’s Book Award. In 2014 Anthony was awarded an OBE for Services to Literature. He has also created and written many major television series, including Injustice, Collision and the award-winning Foyle’s War.

For more information on Anthony’s books go to his website anthonyhorowitz.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHorowitz

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Author: Harry Bingham

Published: 28 July 2016
Reviewed: 1 September 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Orion in return for an honest review

 

Description:

British detective Fiona Griffiths, one of the most engaging female protagonists in crime thrillers, is back with her toughest case yet.
When the body of a young woman is found in an old ‘dead house’ – the annexe where the dead were stored before burial in medieval times – of a tiny church in a small town in Wales, it seems that past and present have come together in a bizarre and horrifying way. For DC Fiona Griffiths, the girl – a murder victim whose corpse was laid out with obvious tenderness – represents an irresistibly intriguing puzzle, given Fiona’s unusual empathy for the dead. And when her investigations lead her to an obscure and secretive monastery hidden in a remote valley, she finds that the murder victim is far from the only victim of a dark and disturbing melding of modern crime and medieval religious practices. Only Fiona is capable of solving this brilliantly crafted mystery.

My Thoughts & Review:

The Dead House is the fifth instalment of the Fiona Griffiths series and in all honesty this can be read as a standalone.  For those who have not read the previous four novels and wish to do so, the back catalogue provides great background to this character as well as showcases the skills of Harry Bingham.

The story begins with the discovery of a body, but strangely this body has been laid out peacefully and there is no obvious apparent crime.  The even more intriguing idea is that the body was laid out in what was once a ‘dead house’, in medieval times corpses were laid out in these dead houses temporarily before burial – this could have been for numerous reasons including weather conditions being too poor to allow grave digging.
The identity of this body and the circumstances for the final resting place require investigation.  During the course of her investigations, Fiona realises there is more to this case, the discoveries she makes lead her to the tangled web of organised crime.

Continuing with his educating his readers, Bingham gives great detail on topics of rhinoplasty,  seed digestion and prayer – quite how he finds the time to research these things I will never know, but I certainly find them interesting and it adds another layer of brilliance to his books.

Using Wales as the setting for this story adds to the charm of the novel, the rugged and historic landscape are wonderfully described.  The detail of the monastery is vivid and gives the reader a great mental image whilst reading.

Fiona Griffiths is an interesting character, very much a maverick detective.  Her affinity with the dead is interesting and adds another layer to this already complex character.  She can be a hard character to like and understand, but she is worth sticking with.  Her personality and quirks will soon have a reader hooked!

An absolutely gripping thriller from a master of the genre!

You can buy a copy of The Dead House here.

 

About the Author

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Author image & information courtesy of Amazon

Harry is the author of the Fiona Griffiths series of crime novels, set in Cardiff and featuring a heroine described by the Sunday Times as ‘The most startling protagonist in modern crime fiction … brutal, freakish and totally original.’ Harry – slightly less freakish than his creation – lives in Oxford with his wife and young family. He also runs The Writers’ Workshop, an editorial consultancy for new writers. His books on Getting Published and How to Write are among the leading titles in their field.

To find out more about Harry and his books go to his website or follow him on Twitter @harryonthebrink

 

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