Dead Girl Walking



Blurb –
Jessie wills the young woman to breathe as she desperately tries to save her life. Between chest compressions, she catches a glimpse of her face. The girl could be on her honeymoon—chestnut hair tumbling around her head, rose petals gripped in her hand, like she had been holding a bouquet. Wake up, please…

Jessie Novak is determined to find the person who viciously attacked a young, popular schoolteacher, Ann. Her partner Detective Sam Dallas is assigned to the case and together they dig into Ann’s past, trying to find the person who wanted to hurt her. But then Jessie receives a gift that sends shivers up her spine: a huge bouquet of blood-red roses, just like the ones Ann was clutching…

As the first snow falls, another body turns up. Jessie is standing in the morgue when the sheet is pulled back, her heart stopping when she sees a familiar face. She looks down at her friend Bert, a local journalist, who has supposedly committed suicide whilst investigating Ann’s death. But as Jessie examines his body, she sees defensive wounds that make her sure: this is another murder by the same killer.

Jessie is utterly devastated when she realizes she missed several calls from Bert before he died. He was reporting on the case and when she listens to his last message—don’t trust anyone—it’s clear he was getting too close to the truth. Determined to avenge Bert’s death, Jessie tracks a lead to an abandoned house, putting her life on the line. Can Jessie turn the tables on the killer, or is she just a dead girl walking? 

A totally addictive mystery novel that will leave you gasping for breath and have your heart thumping! Fans of Lisa Regan, Gregg Olsen and Tess Gerritsen will be completely hooked. 

My thoughts…..

Dead girl walking the first book in the series by Roberta Gately- another new author for me. 

Loved it!  I’m a huge fan of crime thriller books and happy to add this to one of my favourite reads of the year.  

Jesse an ER nurse has a very busy night when two people – husband and wife – get rushed in after being shot.  The husband an up and coming political hotshot makes the shooting front page news.  Jesse has her thoughts on the crime and whilst working her already stressful and high paced job helps the police with questioning and her views to help solve the crime. 

I loved that our main character was an ER nurse and that we get the story from her perspective and not so much from the normal police detective side.  The glimpse we get into the busy hospital environment was good to read also.

I did find some of Jesse’s personal choices questionable but no one is perfect.  The interaction between herself and her elderly neighbour I found endearing and hope to read more between the two further in the series.  I feel that this book is very nicely set up for the future books and there is plenty more that I want to read about Jesse.  

I will note that I did guess who the culprit was and who I thought was involved but I thoroughly enjoyed reading how it all came about.

Finally a big thank you to Bookoture and Roberta Gately for allowing me to review this ARC – I received a copy free in exchange for an honest review.

What my husband did

It’s my turn on the blog tour for What my husband did by Kerry Wilkinson ☺️

What my husband did

Blurb

A little girl has been left for dead. And now my husband is missing.

‘I can give you a lift home,’ the man says. Little Alice tightens the zip of her big red coat. She’s unsure, but the walk will be cold and dark. ‘I’m not supposed to get in a stranger’s car.’ He forces a smile. ‘I’m not a proper stranger, am I?’

I return home to our beautiful house on a chilly winter evening expecting to find my handsome husband Richard waiting for me by the fire. We’re still so in love, and he always takes care of me: buying us this home in the little village where he grew up, making sure I settled in and made friends, and treating my teenage daughter like his own. There’s a bit of gossip about our age gap, but the death of his first wife years ago was so tragic that he still gets sympathetic looks. Everyone loves Richard.

He usually comes straight back from work. But tonight, our antique clock ticks on through the dark evening, with no sign of him. Then a knock at the door shatters my perfect life. A 12-year-old-girl, Alice from the village, has been found unconscious in the field behind our house. They say she was last seen getting into Richard’s car.

Now rumours are flying. As Alice fights for her life in hospital, nobody will speak to me: and when they do it’s to ask if he didn’t hurt Alice, why hasn’t Richard come home?

I know that revealing my own darkest secret about Richard’s first wife could prove his innocence… but even if I do, he’s still missing. Is everyone right, and is my husband on the run? And will telling the truth about my past turn my own daughter against me, and tear our lives apart for good?

My thoughts….

Maddy and Richard live in a small village town where everyone knows each-other  and where everyone knows everyone else’s business.  When little Alice is found near death and Richard missing people are quick to put two and twee together and accuse him of hurting the poor girl.  Maddy being the one left behind to answer police questions and to get the accusatory stares from people she once thought friends. 

I liked the character of Maddy, I found her to be strong, loyal and not easily swayed by others.   Although we see her questioning the motives of her husband having Alice in his car she is not quick to simply condemn him also.  

I enjoyed the suspense throughout the book especially when Maddy receives a burner phone with messages giving her clues as to what could have happened.  

The book is written with two time lines – present day and back when Madeline was a teenager.  The earlier timeline gave us a look into the way she looks at the crime and why she doesn’t simply believe what is evident to everyone else.

Another quick read from me full of suspense and a good twist at the end.  I gives this book 4 ⭐️.

Finally thank you to Kerry Wilkinson and Bookouture for the advanced readers copy in an exchange for my honest review. 

Fans of The Girl on the Train, I Am Watching You and Shari Lapena will adore this absolutely unputdownable read by bestselling author Kerry Wilkinson, about the dark secrets we hide to protect ourselves and the ones we love.

Grab your copy here:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3n1Zal6

Apple: https://apple.co/3lffwGy

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3eIqAtj

Google: https://bit.ly/2GO6K3C

The Beach Party Mystery

Book blog tour today for me is for The Beach Party (Deadline Murder Series Book 5) by author Peter Bartram. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

** I had thought I’d posted this earlier but on checking obviously I hadn’t (thankful I looked before falling asleep!)

BLURB

Murder stalks the beach party…

Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show.It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death.As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea?The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.

My thoughts…

A very quick read from a first time author for me, my first book in the series of 13 books. Being book 5 in the series did not stop me from enjoying this, I feel that it can definitely stand alone and be appreciated.

A crime thriller mystery with dad joke quality humour that was highly appreciated and had me gripped from the first chapter. Written with a fast pace and flows easily from page to page.

Set in Brighton in the 60’s the book revolves around a reporter who uses his tips and tricks to gain him status as a top writer for his newspaper.

Our main character Colin Crampton the crime reporter for The Chronicle gets a lead from a source about a murder – he sets off to get a scoop for his article and it turns into a larger mystery. I loved the character of Colin, I found him to be loyal, honest – to a degree – clever and quite heroic when needed.

I loved the book, loved the humour which is found all throughout the story and can’t wait to read more from the series. Crime thrillers have to be my favourite genre and this one did not disappoint. If you love a mystery you have to read this!
Strong ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from me.

Finally I’d like to say a thank you to Peter Bartram for very kindly sending me a signed copy of his book 😍 and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for allowing me to review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from http://www.colincrampton.com.

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Follow Peter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/peterbartramauthor.

Twitter @PeterFBartram

Bloodstock

It’s my turn to host the blog tour for Bloodstock by author Rod Humphris.  I received copies of all 4 of the books in this series in exchange for an host review.

Blurb – 

After what feels like a lifetime of mayhem, Simon Ellice returns to the Hampshire village where he grew up. He enjoys the solace and tranquility of rural life, working on a farm and getting to know the lively locals, but suddenly Si walks right into a deadly mystery.

Old friends are going missing and then turning up dead. Someone from the City is spreading their evil tentacles and Si dives into London’s underworld to uncover a conspiracy of poisoning, murder and pagan ritual that threatens those closest to him.

Written with Humphris’ razor-sharp style, this is Simon Ellice’s darkest and most challenging adventure yet, touching on themes of sacrifice and objectification, that threaten the very foundations of our civilised world.

My thoughts – 

Unfortunately due to time constraints my end I have not managed to read all 4 of the books in the Simon Ellice series yet however this did not hamper my enjoyment of this book.  This being my first book from this author it has made me excited to go back and read the previous 3 stories involving Si.

Our main character Simon (Si) lives in his yacht – Polly – he has returned to England after adventures abroad to pursue his friends’ offer of a job.  Si quickly stumbles into a world of missing well to do women, working with his friends to try to find out what happened to them.

Firstly I loved the way two completely different settings were used simultaneously within the story.  The harsher underworld scenes of London mixed with more peaceful, simpler ones in Hampshire showed very different aspects of Si’s character.  

The character of Si very much reminded me of a British version of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, but perhaps with a bit more darker tones.  I liked the way he threw himself into the roles required of him but loved the way he chose to go help his friends work on the farm – definitely a softer side to him.  

I found some slower paced chapters mixed in with the faster pace worked really well in this and added to the flow of the book.  The addition of the illustrations i loved also.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will be making time to read the previous 3 very soon.  With 502 pages this is one of the longer books I’ve read in a while however I read it in just 2 days – having to know what happened.  A great read and a new author that I would recommend highly.

Finally a huge thank you to Rod Humphris, Rat Tales publishers and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for allowing me to review. 

Once Again

My second blog tour, this time posted on the correct day! 😍


BLURB

What if you had the chance to save someone you lost? Isolated in the aftermath of tragedy, Erin Fullarton has felt barely alive since the loss of her young daughter, Korrie. She tries to mark the milestones her therapist suggests – like this day: the five hundredth – but moving through grief is like swimming against a dark current. Her estranged husband, Zac, a brilliant astrophysicist, seems to be coping better. Lost in his work, he’s perfecting his model of a stunning cosmological phenomenon, one he predicts will occur on this same day – an event so rare, it keeps him from being able to acknowledge this milestone alongside Erin. But when Erin receives a phone call from her daughter’s school, the same call she received five hundred days earlier when Korriewas still alive, Erin realises something is happening. Or happening again. Struggling to understand the sudden shifts in time, she pieces together that the phenomenon Zac is tracking may have presented her with the gift of a lifetime: the chance to save her daughter. As Erin is swept through time, she’s unable to reach Zac or convince the authorities of what is happening. Forced to find the answer on her own, Erin must battle to keep the past from repeating – or risk losing her daughter for good.

My thoughts…

Once again – an apt title for this book – focuses mainly on Erin, a mother who has suffered the tragic loss of her 6 year old daughter – Korrie – who was kidnapped and subsequently murdered 500 days ago.
Understandably unable to come to terms with their loss, Erin asks her husband – Zac – to move out of their home as she tries to deal with her emotions.

The book has some quite hard to read moments which may cause triggers for some. Having said this I feel that the author dealt with these parts quite delicately and didn’t go too far.

Zac works within the astrophysics field – dealing with time, black holes – on the 500’th day after their tragic loss he works on a project tracking black hole type phenomena, working in a ‘clean room’ unable to be contacted from outside.
Erin experiences time hops where she finds herself momentarily back 500 days to the day of the incident, then back to the present and sometimes into the not too far future. She tries to find a way to stop the events happening that cause her to lose her daughter.

Has a Groundhog Day likeness, however a very much darker storyline. I won’t lie and say that I understood all the terminology used in this book – I feel that it was very cleverly written, perhaps a little too clever.
I loved the fierce determination of Erin’s character and as a mother myself I could feel her turmoil going through every parents nightmare.
I did enjoy the time hops during the book – it gets you thinking of time and how if in just one moment a different choice was made such different paths can be taken.

A strong 4 stars.

Thank you to Catherine Wallace Hope, Random Things Tours and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read and review.

The Portal

I was given the opportunity to join a blog tour for this title. ☺️ My very first Blog tour – a very excited me – only managed to post a day late! 🙈 My sincerest apologies to all involved!

My thoughts…

A small and quite idyllic island, Stone Harbor, seemingly quiet with few visitors out of season soon takes an unexpected turn of events.  A black clothed man – Joey Oates – makes an appearance via boat in search of his long lost Portal, a gateway which will open allowing demons to enter the world.  

Oates doesn’t come alone but with a group of people who had previously made a deal with him who go in search of this portal.  They intend to leave no stone unturned, anyone who gets in their way is dealt with.

Allie, an ex Hollywood actress, came home to the island to find herself again along with her ex boyfriend Scott find themselves in the middle of all the chaos and horror that is unfolding around them.  They race Oates in attempt to find and secure the Portal.  

I enjoyed the characters of the childhood sweethearts, each had well written backstories with their own secrets brought to light.  Oates who we quickly find out is in fact the devil himself also well written and definitely devilish.  He is easy to hate with his singular dedication to his cause of opening the gateway to hell.

Overall, a very quick and highly enjoyable read full of horror, supernatural, murders and intrigue all mixed in.  My first book from this author, I would recommend to those who enjoy a good horror.  I will be adding more of his stories to my TBR pile.

A massive thank you to Russell James and Flame Tree Press for the ARC and the opportunity to review.

You think you know someone

I received an ARC from #booktasters in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb –

Who is Dominion 1431?

And why shoot the PM? 60 million suspects. Only one culprit.

Eduard Foxx, secret agent, traitor and the tactician who planned the assassination, meets his match in Julie Connor, a quiet, unexceptional, self-deprecating, reclusive civil servant with a secret.

For their own reasons, they each need to uncover the identity of Dominion 1431, the shadowy figure behind the assassination and unravel a complex plot to change the course of history. But nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted in the convoluted world of political intrigue.

Foxx and Connor find themselves in a race to stop the destruction of democracy . . . or are they already too late?

My thoughts…

The first few chapters had me a bit confused with just what was going on, I thought nope not the book for me …. however I hate a DNF and I’m so pleased that I carried on.  Very fast paced and clever, filled with twists and unexpected happenings.  A tad unbelievable in parts but forgivable.  The main characters – Eduard Foxx – likeable in parts, frustrating in others, he reminded me of a Jack Reacher/James Bond type but darker. Foxx had me wondering about his motives throughout – I thought I had him figured out a few times until I found no I didn’t. Julie Conner – at first an unlikely hero, it took me a while to like her – she seriously makes some questionable relationship choices! Connor gets sucked into the action seemingly by chance but reading on I found her specialities invaluable to the pace and the story overall.

Not normally one for politics but I enjoyed the fact that the story was influenced by current topics and felt that this added to the overall thrill of the story. It also highlighted to me that politics really does have a darker side and in this the title ‘you think you know someone’ was quite appropriate here.

I would recommend to those who like a quick read that really will keep you guessing until the last page.

And have to say the funniest acknowledgment page yet.

My first book by J. B. Holman, I’m hopeful that this is the first in the series between Foxx and Connor as I would like to see how their dynamic would survive in the future.

The Ex boyfriend

I received an ARC from #Netgalley and #Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.

Becca and Dean are married with a 3 year old daughter Mia.  Their marriage appears to be quite strained due to Becca working part time as a nurse and being the main caregiver to Mia and with Dean working away to build up his business.  

Becca receives  a twitter message from Connor – her ex-boyfriend – who appeared to want to get back in touch and see what went wrong with them.  Shortly after Connor got back in touch, Mia becomes quite violently ill out of the blue.  Becca being a nurse knows that something is wrong with her daughter but as the illness seems to come and go she is told all is fine – until it’s not.  

The Ex boyfriend by Rona Halsall from the first chapter I was intrigued – I had to know what was going on with Mia.  I did find it hard to relate to some of the characters initially as I was suspicious to most if not all of them at different times throughout the book.  I had myself convinced that I knew who the ‘bad guy’ was until I continuously changed my mind and then found I had no idea – I certainly did not see the conclusion coming.  

As a mum I truly felt for Becca and Dean with their daughter being so inexplicably ill, especially for Becca who was so desperately trying to find the cause knowing that something was wrong.  

A truly gripping story that had me needing to read on to find out what was happening!  A very quick read for me that was superbly written with plenty twists, suspense and suspicion.  
My second book from the author and it won’t be my last!

Other books by Rona Halsall –

Her mother’s lies

One mistake

The honeymoon

Thank you to Netgalley, Bookouture and of course Rona Halsall.


The Choice

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from #Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Choice by author Alex Lake had me gripped from the first few pages! Loved it!  Every parents nightmare, children kidnapped and the ransom demanded? – their mother!
Matt and Annabelle have a choice to make – do they agree to not call the police and sacrifice Annabelle to save their children? A very fast paced book that keeps you guessing throughout! My first book by the author but definitely not the last!

As a mother I could only imagine the pain and anguish that this poor couple were put through!  It’s certainly made me think – nothing is impossible and to ensure if ever I do leave the kids in the car – it certainly will be locked!

I really enjoyed the main two characters and the way in which we got a glimpse of Matt’s earlier life at uni with two timelines was brilliant.  If you enjoy reading action filled psychological thrillers then this is one not to be missed!

Other books by Alex Lake –

Copy cat

The last lie

Seven days

 

Thank you to Netgalley, HarperCollins and of course Alex Lake.