My #Review of #NoCountryForGirls by #EmmaStyles @emstylesauthor @BooksSphere

GOLD. THEFT. MURDER. A ROAD TRIP TO DIE FOR.

Charlie and Nao are strangers from different sides of the tracks. They should never have met, but one devastating incident binds them together forever. A man is dead and now they are unwilling accomplices in his murder there’s only one thing to do: hit the road in the victim’s twin cab ute, with a bag of stolen gold stashed under the passenger seat.

Suddenly, outlaws, Nao and Charlie must make their way across Australia’s remote outback using only their wits to survive. They’ll do whatever it takes to evade capture and escape with their lives . . . Thelma & Louise for a new generation, No Country for Girls is a gritty, twisty road-trip thriller that follows two young women on the run across the harsh, unforgiving landscape of Australia

As a fan of Australian crime fiction, I was excited to start reading No Country For Girls.

From the very first chapter, the reader is thrown into a tense and gripping story. We meet the wonderfully sharp-edged Charlie and the calmer Nao during the night, they’ve never met before but when they stumble across each other they become allies after a brutal murder. We then follow their journey through rural Australia as they try to outrun the law in a dead mans Ute with a bag full of stolen gold ingots!

I mean the premise for the story is bloody superb, and it does not let up! I found No Country For Girls an exceptional book, so well written from the point of view of 2 girls from different sides of Australia by descent, the way Emma Styles portrays their inner feelings and thoughts is so perfect! Both girls have “backgrounds” that have molded them into the people they are now, and it shapes the whole novel and the outcome.

I was literally full of anxiety reading No Country For Girls, the plot weaves at a fast pace just like the girls across Australia, and there are so many shocking moments that will have you going ” oh no” out loud! As always I’m not giving any of the plots away, but if you like your thrillers dark, edgy and realistic then No Country For Girls is going to be a book for you.

I read this novel in 2 days so that tells you how superb it is, I had both girls, Charlie and Nao firmly in my mind, in fact even after finishing No Country For Girls, they are still vivid and alive in my mind!

A triumphant debut novel from Emma Styles, about friendship, hope and survival. I hope Emma Styles will be up there with the other big names of Australian Thrillers very soon. I am so eager for the next novel!

A ripper of a 5-star read from me!

Emma Styles writes contemporary Australian noir about young women taking on the patriarchy. She grew up in Whadjuk Noongar Country in Perth, Western Australia, and now lives in London where she was born. Emma loves a road trips and once sat out a cyclone on the northwest coast of WA in a LandCruiser Troop Carrier. She spent her teens and twenties learning to ski, snowboard, ride horses and motorcycles, and fly small airplanes. She is less afraid of great white sharks than she should be and is hopeless at surfing.

Emma has an MA in crime fiction from the University of East Anglia. Her debut novel, No Country for Girls, won the Little, Brown UEA Crime Fiction Award in 2020 and was chosen by Val McDermid to feature in her New Blood panel for outstanding debut novelists at the 2022 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

You can follow Emma Styles on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can find out more about Emma Styles HERE on her website

You can buy No Country For Girls HERE

My #Review of the outstanding new novel #DeadMansCreek by #ChrisHammer @hammerNow published by @Wildfirebks on 05.01.2023

Newly-minted homicide detective Nell Buchanan returns to her hometown, annoyed at being assigned a decades-old murder – a “file and forget”.

But this is no ordinary cold case, her arrival provoking an unwelcome and threatening response from the small-town community. As more bodies are discovered, and she begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her, Nell realises that finding the truth could prove more difficult – and dangerous – than she’d ever expected.

The nearer Nell comes to uncovering the secrets of the past, the more treacherous her path becomes. Can she survive to root out the truth, and what price will she have to pay for it?

First, thank you so much to Zoe at Headline for sending me the lush Proof of Dead Mans Creek.

Dead Mans Creek is the second book in Detective Nell Buchanan and Detective Sergeant Ivan Lucic series, so if you want to read them in order, The first book is Opal Country.

Upon opening the book I find a map, this always makes me excited, I’m a real sucker for maps in books, and I did indeed come back to it many times whilst reading Dead Mans Creek.

I have to say having read all of Chris Hammer’s novels I think this might just be his most accomplished and perfect crime novel. The storyline is brilliant involving present-day investigations into a skeleton being found in a reservoir where an eco-terrorist has blown up a dam, and also moving back in time throughout Dead Mans Creek to slowly give us the events that have led up to the body being found. The story is complicated and gripping, Chris Hammer has such a great way of describing his characters and making them so realistic they just jump off the page.

The setting for Dead Mans Creek is the fictional Tulong and the Millewa – Barmah Forest, and the way Chris writes the description of the Forest and its wildlife, creeks, and grassy plains is so magical, it really bought the pages to life, and you can see what a beautiful place it is in your imagination. It is a real place that Chris has visited and this tells by his writing.

The plot is intricate and involves 50 years of family history, and again this is written so so well, it’s easy to follow again to my surprise at the end of Dead Mans Creek is a family tree, which I found really helpful.

I was totally immersed in the story of Dead Mans Creek, I love Nell Buchanan’s character and Ivan Lucic, in Dead Mans Creek, we see newly promoted homicide Detective, Nell Buchanan lead the investigations in her hometown, and it gets pretty risky, in the end, she uncovers old truths that have been kept secret for so many years, and have a rippling effect on several families.

I loved Dead Mans Creek, and I loved that there are references to Martin Scarsden, and Chris Hammer’s other series of novels. I was gripped from the first page and as with every book I read by Chris Hammer, I didn’t want it to end! The ending was brilliant and I really think that this is the most perfectly written crime novel.

I will be giving Dead Mans Creek 5 stars, it’s a must-read when it’s released in January 2023.

Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. For many years he was a roving foreign correspondent for SBS TV’s flagship current affairs program Dateline. He has reported from more than thirty countries on six continents. Chris’s non-fiction book, The River, published in 2010 to critical acclaim, was the recipient of the ACT Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award. Scrublands, his first novel, was published in 2018 and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award, Best Debut Fiction at the Indie Book Awards, and Best General Fiction at the ABIA Awards. It has also been longlisted for the Ned Kelly Best Crime Novel of the Year. Scrublands was optioned for television by Easy Tiger (a FremantleMedia company). Chris has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University and a master’s degree in international relations from the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra with his wife, Dr Tomoko Akami. The couple have two children.

You can follow Chris Hammer on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Chris Hammer has his own WEBSITE

You can BUY Dead Mans Creek HERE

My #review of #TheInvisable by #PeterPapathanasiou @peteplastic @maclehosepress

Burnt out from policework, Detective Sergeant George Manolis flies from Australia to Greece for a holiday. Recently divorced and mourning the death of his father, who emigrated from the turbulent Prespes region which straddles the borders of Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, Manolis hopes to reconnect with his roots and heritage.

On arrival, Manolis learns of the disappearance of an ‘invisible’ – a local man who lives without a scrap of paperwork. The police and some locals believe the man’s disappearance was pre-planned, while others suspect foul play. Reluctantly, Manolis agrees to work undercover to find the invisible and must navigate the complicated relationships of a tiny village where grudges run deep.

It soon becomes clear to Manolis that he may never locate a man who, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist. And with the clock ticking, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the events of today as Manolis’s investigation leads him to uncover a dark and long-forgotten practice.

After reading The Stoning recently (see my other reviews) I wanted to read The Invisible as I love the way Peter Papathansiou writes, gritty outback noir.

The start of The Invisible sees Detective George Manolis working in the inner city, he’s also got Constable Andrew Sparrow with him however they are involved in a tragic shooting of a homeless kid, which leads to Manolis being ordered to take leave after suffering PTSD. He decides to head off to Greece, in search of inner calm and a break…… however things don’t work out that way!

When he arrives in the mountainous region of Perpes, he’s drawn into an off-duty undercover search for his friend Lefty, which will take him into the furthest reaches of the deserted and harsh landscape and put him in danger.

Now as always, I’m not going to give the plot away, but I must say that The Invisible is a stunning novel, it’s a love story of Greece from an author who loves his heritage and has clearly done a lot of research in this region of Greece. I learned an awful lot about Greek culture and history, in fact, it made me wish that Peter Papathansiou was around when I was at school as he explains the conflicts affecting Greece and its neighboring Countries really well. There is so much to take away from The invisible that it had me hitting up Google to find out more about the customs and culture of Greece, a place I’ve never visited but that I felt I had whilst reading Peters’s novel. It’s written in the same gritty, noir style as The Stoning but it leaves you feeling like you’ve just visited Greece as the prose is absolutely magical and so visceral.

And as for the climactic ending of The Invisible, well let’s just say, I did not see that coming and was super surprised! I’m so looking forward to the next book in the Detective George Manolis series.

If you like to travel the world from your armchair whilst reading then look no further than The Invisible, it will also teach you some Greek history on the way, A compelling and lush novel. A 5-star read from me!

Peter Papathanasiou was born in northern Greece in 1974 and adopted as a baby to an Australian family. His debut book, a memoir, was published in 2019 as “Son of Mine” by Salt Publishing (UK) and “Little One” by Allen & Unwin (Australia). His debut novel, a work of crime fiction, was published in 2021 as “The Stoning” by MacLehose Press (UK) and Transit Lounge (Australia), and in 2022 by Polar Verlag (Germany). Peter’s writing has otherwise been published by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Guardian UK, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Good Weekend, ABC and SBS. He holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from City, University of London; a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from The Australian National University (ANU); and a Bachelor of Laws from ANU specializing in criminal law.

My review of The Stoning is HERE

You can follow Peter Papathanasiou on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy The Invisible HERE

My #review of #OperationMoonlight by #LouiseMorrish @LouiseMorrish1 @centurybooksuk

1944: Newly recruited SOE agent Elisabeth Shepherd is faced with an impossible mission: to parachute behind enemy lines into Nazi-occupied France and monitor the new long-range missiles the Germans are working on.

Her only advice? Trust absolutely no one. With danger lurking at every turn, one wrong move for Elisabeth could spell instant death.

2018: Betty is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. With her carer Tali at her side, she receives an invite from the Century Society to reminisce on the past.

Remembering a life shrouded in secrecy and danger, Betty remains tight-lipped. But when Tali finds a box filled with maps, letters and a gun hidden in Betty’s cellar, it becomes clear that Betty’s secrets are about to be uncovered . . .

Nostalgic, heart-pumping and truly page-turning, OPERATION MOONLIGHT is both a gripping read and a novel that makes you think about a generation of women and men who truly knew what it meant to survive.

I happened across Operation Moonlight whilst looking at books on Amazon, once I read the premise, I knew I would want to read it. So duly ordered it ( even though I’m not supposed to be buying books! ), and when it arrived was a gorgeous looking tome by a new author to me, Louise Morrish.

The novel is told from two timelines, 2018 when we meet Betty Shepherd the soon to be 100 year old slightly frail lady who lives in her family home of Weyside in Guildford, Surrey, with her lovely young Maurician carer Tali. The second timeline is during WW2, 1944 to be precise when we meet Elisabeth Shepherd and travel with her during her journey of secrets through 1944 & 1945.

So if you like the sound of the premise, you will love Operation Moonlight. It is written so well by Louise Morrish and it’s her debut novel ( it does not read like that!). The attention to detail describing Elisabeth’s adventures during WW2 is truly excellent, and for me, really visceral as most of the action takes place where I’ve lived and visited in the past! Maybe that’s what made the book more magical for me? Who knows, but the wonderful descriptions of what accounts for everyday life during WW2 are astounding, and so moving. Louise Morrish has a real talent for writing from the heart and making that character live through her words, a rare talent, especially in a debut author! Betty/Elisabeth just appeared off the page during both timelines so magically. You can tell that Louise Morrish has studied people of all ages and used that research in writing about Betty.

The story is gripping, and at times had me breaking out in a fit of nerves I did not expect several of the events that happened in fact I was shocked! Operation Moonlight is such an easy read even though it’s packed with historical facts, Louise Morrish really does know how to write a compelling read and keeps the reader engaged the whole way through.

I was left wanting more once I had finished, mainly because I loved all the characters so much. As usual, I’m not going to give any of the plot away, but having read a few Wartime books, I have to say that this is going to be up there as one of my favorites, and it’s a certain contender for my yearly top ten books!

I know I normally stick to crime fiction, as I’m obsessed with murder LOL, but I do love novels set during WW2, this has defiantly been one of my highlights of that genre. That it passed below my radar and hasn’t been talked about on Twitter etc is a travesty, I urge my fellow readers to go out and buy a copy now, you won’t be disappointed.

A glorious 5 stars from me…indeed I’d give it more if I could!

Louise Morrish is a Librarian whose debut novel won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. She lives in Hampshire with her family.

You can buy Operation Moonlight HERE

You can follow Louise Morrish on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

My #Review of #Chapter1 #MrJones’sSmokingBones by @iqbalacomics

Firstly thank you so much to Iqbal Ali for sending me the first chapter of Mr. Jones’s Smoking Bones, a comic.

Is anyone into historical mysteries featuring secret societies and occult magic rituals? Then Mr. Jones Smoking Bones is the comic for you.

The first chapter is very well written and really left me wanting more from this story. The story is set during Victorian times, and our main character is Mr. Barzakh, the opening chapter see him trying to “find” someone, maybe a former version of himself, by taking drug-induced “trips”, The artwork is really well drawn and being in black and white, it only adds to the atmosphere.

I was especially taken by the meeting between Mr. Barzakh and Queen Victoria! It really added to the mysterious storyline, and I like that there’s a lot left for us to imagine what is going to happen, as the storyline develops.

And the added inclusion of rituals, secret societies, and flaming skeletons had me gripped….I finished the first chapter and was left wanting more! Iqbal Ali is a talented writer and the artwork by Pricilla Grippa is really creepy and evocative.

I mean who doesn’t want to see 7 human skeletons fused together at the spine and the reasons behind it!?

If you like comics that are written about historical times and intertwined with horror and mystery then Mr. Jones’s Smoking Bones will be a must-read for you.

Iqbal Ali has written several other comics and they can be found on his website HERE, and if you sign up you will get free samples by email.

Iqbal Ali says “Mr. Jones’s Smoking Bones is my labor of love”, and it really has the feel of a comic that will be a success. I can’t wait to read chapter 2.

You can follow Iqbal Ali on TWITTER & INSTAGRAM

My #Review of #ThePainTourist by @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks out 10.11.22

A young man wakes from a coma to find himself targeted by the men who killed his parents, while someone is impersonating a notorious New Zealand serial killer … the latest chilling, nerve-shredding, twisty thriller from the author of The Quiet People

How do you catch a killer…
When the only evidence is a dream?

James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ execution, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case that her now retired colleague, Theodore Tate, failed to solve all those years ago.

But between that, and hunting for Copy Joe – a murderer on a spree, who’s imitating Christchurch’s most notorious serial killer – she’s going to need Tate’s help. Especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma, and there are things he couldn’t possibly know, including the fact that Copy Joe isn’t the only serial killer in town…

Firstly huge thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy of The Pain Tourist, you are the best!

This is the second book I’ve read by Paul Cleave, the first being The Quiet people which I loved, so I have been looking forward to The Pain Tourist.

From the opening chapter, I was absolutely gipped by The Pain Tourist. And I was struck by how utterly unique this novel really is. The opening chapter is brutal and frankly quite terrifying, I really don’t want to spoil anything but let’s just say that the way Paul Cleave describes the first events in this book made me feel on edge and not knowing what would happen next.

The Pain Tourist then evolves into a brilliantly written crime thriller, how Paul Cleave comes up with these ideas I will never know, but the way he describes things from such an unusual perspective is superb. James Garrett, one of the lead characters in a coma, and how the mind works during that time are the beginnings of a frankly amazing and credible hunt for a killer. I mean how do you even write about someone in a coma?? You’d think well that would be boring …. er no not with Paul Cleave! Again I SO dont want to give anything away but it’s truly a work of art the way this book is written and how the characters interact and have an impact on each other.

I loved the characters in The Pain Tourist, James Garrett is such a well-written character and very likable, as are his sister hazel, detective Rebecca Kent and retired Detective Theodore Tate. I just loved the way that the hunt for a killer also links into another called Copy Joe, this is a truly intricate plot but it isn’t hard to follow. the writing flows and is so easy to follow the storyline. And it’s so gripping and had my palms sweating at times it’s so realistic and visceral. Paul Cleave really is a master crime fiction writer and has an amazing way of writing humans from so many points of view, dare I say it a genius!

The story doesn’t slack at all, it builds and builds and keeps going right to the climatic ending (which had me saying things out loud!) totally brilliant and a really breathtaking bookbanger!

As always orenda books seem to publish the most superb books, if you fancy looking for excellent fiction then you could do no worse than heading to the Orenda website…every book is a winner!

So my rating….. another 5-star read from Paul Cleave, if you thought the Quiet People was a cracking read then you will be blown away by the Pain Tourist. Follow the link below and buy it now!

Paul Cleave is currently dividing his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where all of his novels are set, and Europe, where none of his novels are set. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages. He has won the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year in France, has been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly award, the Edgar Award, and the Barry Award, and has won the Ngaio Marsh award for NZ crime fiction three times.

The New Zealand Listener said that Cleave writes with ‘an energy that conventional crime novels lack’, and he has been called ‘the next Stephen King’, a rising star of the genre’, and a writer to watch. Publishers Weekly has said ‘a pulse-pounding serial killer thriller. The city of Christchurch becomes a modern equivalent of James Ellroy’s Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness… the book’s real power lies in the complexity of its characters,’, and

Cleave numbers among his fans top crime and thriller writers such as Mark Billingham, who wrote: ‘Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave.’ John Connolly called Blood Men ‘dark, bloody, and gripping . . . classic noir fiction’, and said that in Paul Cleave ‘Jim Thompson has another worthy heir to his throne’. The Lab’s John Heath calls Cleave’s writing ‘uncompromising, unpredictable, and enthralling’, adding, ‘Made me vomit — seriously, it’s that good.’ Simon Kernick said ‘Cleave writes the kind of dark, intense thrillers that I never like to finish. Do yourself a favor and check him out,’ and S.J Watson said ‘An intense adrenalin rush from start to finish. It’ll have you up all night. Fantastic!’ Lee Child lists him as an ‘automatic must-read’.

You can follow Paul Cleave on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Paul Cleave’s website HERE

You can buy The Pain Tourist HERE

My #Review of #ByWayOfSorrow by #RobynGigl @robyngigl @VERVE_Books

Erin McCabe is a New Jersey criminal defense attorney doing her best to live quietly in the wake of a profound personal change – until a newsworthy case puts her whole life at risk…

Erin McCabe has been referred the biggest case of her career. Four months ago, the son of a New Jersey state senator was found fatally stabbed in a rundown motel near Atlantic City. Sharise Barnes, a nineteen-year-old transgender sex worker, is in custody, and, based on the evidence against her, there seems little doubt of a guilty verdict.

As a transgender woman herself, Erin knows that defending Sharise will blow her own private life wide open and doubtless deepen her estrangement from her family. Yet she feels uniquely qualified to help Sharise and duty-bound to protect her from the possibility of a death sentence.

While Erin works with her law partner, former-FBI-agent Duane Swisher, to show Sharise acted in self-defense, the senator begins using the full force of his influence to publicly discredit them and their efforts to mount a defense for Sharise. And behind the scenes, his tactics are even more dangerous. For his son had secrets that could destroy the senator’s own political aspirations – secrets worth killing for…

Firstly I must thank Sarah at Verve Books for gifting me a proof of By Way Of Sorrow.

This is an absolutely bloody brilliant book! I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t this!! It’s an immensely well-written, groundbreaker of a book!

I’ve not read any American novels that are set in their criminal justice system, but it is written with what feels like a totally realistic and authentic edge. Our heroine is Erin McCabe and she is a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey. Working with her partner, Duane Swisher who is a former FBI agent, they get referred to a case that will be the biggest of both their careers.

Now I really do not want to give any of the plotlines or story away so I’m going to try not to! The case involves Sharise Barnes a teenage transgender sex worker who was arrested and seems guilty, based on the evidence, of murdering the son of a prominent New Jersey senator. And that’s where things start, this novel is so gritty and dark yet also laced with humor and compassion.

The narration of each of the characters is brilliantly written, and so emotionally charged and intense in parts, but so authentic! I really was amazed at the quality of the writing by Robyn Gigl, the handling of several sensitive scenes was thrilling and also emotive! And had me on the edge of my seat and anxious which is always the sign of a good writer!

I loved Erin McCabe’s character, she is a bloody sassy lady, and when things get tough she does not cower in the corner she fights and gets results in the courtroom and in life, and against the daily prejudice that she faces. She is such a wonderful fictional character, and so memorable, I totally see this being a long-running series and indeed it so needs to be made into a film!

The legal terms are written in such a way that anyone can understand what they mean and in fact, it’s a good insight into the American Justice system. I’ve always thought that legal thrillers can be a bit too staid and boring, but not By Way Of Sorrow, there are no down chapters, or page fillers here this is just a thrilling gripping page-turner from the start, in fact, I was gutted when it finished!

I really want to tell you the storyline, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you want to read a legal thriller for the here and now, dealing with transgender issues, racism, misogyny, family issues, the American legal system, and corruption, then By Way Of Sorrow is the book for you.

If you are interested in transgender characters this is a must-read. I cannot wait for the next installment, if it’s as good as By Way Of Sorrow I will be so pleased! Thank you Robyn Gigl for your talented writing!

A super 5-star read and one that’s also important for today’s society, and has to be one of the thrillers of the year!.

Robyn Gigl (pronounced Guy-gull), the author of BY WAY OF SORROW and SURVIVOR’S GUILT, is an attorney, speaker, and activist who has been honored by the ACLU-NJ and the NJ Pride Network for her work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Robyn is a partner at Gluck Walrath, LLP in Freehold, NJ, where she handles complex commercial and employment litigation. She has been selected as an NJ Super Lawyer since 2010 and as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in NJ in 2020 & 2021. Robyn is a member of the Board of Directors of Garden State Equality, NJ’s largest LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Organization. She is a graduate of Stonehill College and Villanova University School of Law. A frequent lecturer on diversity issues, she lives in New Jersey where she continues to practice law by day, and work on her next novel by night. Fortunately, she has a very boring social life. 

You can follow Robyn Giglon TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Robyn Gigl has her own website HERE

You can buy By Way Of Sorrow HERE

My #review of the #TheBrutalTide by #KateRhodes @K_RhodesWriter published by @simonschusterUK #DIBenKitto #6 #ALockedIslandMystery

REVENGE
DI Ben Kitto made many enemies in his time working as an undercover officer for the Met police, none more ruthless and calculating than gang leader Craig Travis.
IS WORTH
Travis has longed to make Kitto pay for his role in getting him convicted – and that day has finally arrived. Now, a dark and twisted killer is heading for the Scilly Isles, one who has waited a long time for revenge.
WAITING FOR . . .
With Kitto busy investigating the discovery of a body on the islands and distracted by the imminent arrival of his first child, his defences are down. He has so much to lose.

And Travis will stop at nothing to take it all from him.

I’m a huge fan of Kate Rhodes Isles of Scilly, DI Ben Kitto series and always wait eagerly for the next installment. So as soon as The brutal Tide was published it was in my basket!

Now if you’ve never read the Ben Kitto Locked Island Mysteries, then, where have you been!? Seriously they are simply tremendous. Kate Rhodes is an absolutely accomplished and fabulous writer. She has created a wonderful cast of characters that live on the small island of Bryher one of the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall, UK. You really need to read the series in order as there is a back story with Ben Kitto that’s been running throughout the series and it impacts on The Brutal Tide.

Kate Rhodes says that the Isles of Scilly are one of her favorite places in the world, having spent many holidays there when she was a child. And the thing is that love comes out in the writing, the books are so visceral in their descriptions of the Islands and they come with a map! I’m a massive fan of maps in books, it always helps me to visualize where the story and action are taking place, please keep putting maps in your books authors!

I always find Kate’s books super easy to read, which means i whizz through them ( which is so annoying!) but having now read all 6 I can safely say that each one is different and each one has a brilliantly scripted plot. the brutal Tide kicks off with someone from the past and is told from two points of view, but it works extremely well, and with each page the tension starts to get bigger and bigger.

The plot is gripping, slick, and tense, and made me scream “Oh No” several times at the climactic ending sequences! But the ending of The Brutal Tide was fantastic and awesome but I’m not telling you why…Buy the book!!

As always another 5-star read from an author who seemingly cannot put a foot wrong!

Kate Rhodes is a crime novelist and award winning poet. Kate was born in south London but now lives in Cambridge with her family. She studied English at university and did a wide range of jobs including working in bars, being a theatre usherette, and teaching at a liberal arts college in Florida, before focusing on her writing.

Her latest crime novels are the acclaimed HELL BAY series set in the Isles of Scilly. Kate has been passionate about the islands since holidaying there as a child and still returns for regular visits. Books in the series include HELL BAY, RUIN BEACH, and BURNT ISLAND.

Kate’s bestselling ALICE QUENTIN series includes CROSSBONES YARD, A KILLING OF ANGELS, THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS, RIVER OF SOULS, BLOOD SYMMETRY, and FATAL HARMONY.

You can follow Kate Rhodes on TWITTER & FACEBOOK

You can buy Kate Rhodes’s books HERE

My #Review of #TheStoning by #PeterPapathanasiou @peteplastic @maclehosepress

A small town in outback Australia wakes to an appalling crime.

A local schoolteacher is found taped to a tree and stoned to death. Suspicion instantly falls on the refugees at the new detention center on Cobb’s northern outskirts. Tensions are high, between whites and the local indigenous community, and between immigrants and the townies.

Still mourning the recent death of his father, Detective Sergeant George Manolis returns to his childhood hometown to investigate. Within minutes of his arrival, it’s clear that Cobb is not the same place he left. Once it thrived, but now it’s a poor and derelict dusthole, with the local police chief it deserves. And as Manolis negotiates his new colleagues’ antagonism, and the simmering anger of a community destroyed by alcohol and drugs, the ghosts of his past begin to flicker to life.

Vivid, pacy and almost dangerously atmospheric, The Stoning is the first in a new series of outback noir featuring DS Manolis, himself an outsider, and a good man in a world gone to hell.

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou had been on my bookshelf for quite a while, but I finally managed to pick it up last week and make a start.

As a huge lover of Australian Crime Fiction Noir (think Chris Hammer or Jane Harper), I was eager to see what Mr. Papathanaious could bring to the table.

Well, he really hits it out of the park with The Stoning, it’s a sumptuously described novel set in the tiny hamlet of Cobb, in the outback of Australia, once a fine thriving town, now a dead-end place full of dustballs, kangaroos and drunks, and druggies plus The Immigration Centre, a stark square building plonked in the middle of nowhere. that’s a political time bomb within the community.

And this is what our novel revolves around, a woman is found apparently Stoned to death, and this has a huge impact on the fractured society of Cobb. We follow Detective George Manolis, and his quest to find the truth amongst rumors, racism, hate, bigotry, and the simmering anger of the inhabitants of Cobb.

The story was bloody gripping and I instantly loved several of the characters including George Manolis and Andrew Sparrow a local Gay Aboriginal Copper. The language is authentic, the descriptions of the setting are utterly engaging and on fire, and you can feel the heat and the flies. The dialogue between the characters is just stunning, it reads like a movie it is so vivid and gritty.

It’s a tense, medium-paced thriller that is dark and littered with Political references that make it an outstanding debut.

I look forward to the follow-up once it arrives, suffice to say this is a 5-star read, and Peter Papathanaious is on my favorite author’s list!

Peter Papathanasiou was born in northern Greece in 1974 and adopted as a baby to an Australian family. His debut book, a memoir, was published in 2019 as “Son of Mine” by Salt Publishing (UK) and “Little One” by Allen & Unwin (Australia). His debut novel, a work of crime fiction, was published in 2021 as “The Stoning” by MacLehose Press (UK) and Transit Lounge (Australia), and in 2022 by Polar Verlag (Germany). Peter’s writing has otherwise been published by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Guardian UK, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Good Weekend, ABC and SBS. He holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from City, University of London; a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from The Australian National University (ANU); and a Bachelor of Laws from ANU specializing in criminal law.

You can follow Peter Papathanasiou on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can BUY Peter’s books HERE

My #reviews of #TheCrossingPlaces & #TheJanusStone by @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier – or are the bones much older?

DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for the missing girl. Since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows that Ruth’s expertise and experience could help him finally to put this case to rest.

But when a second child goes missing, Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she’s getting ever closer to the truth…

It amazes me how sometimes we, as readers, miss some amazingly good book series, and the Dr. Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths is one of those for me.

I had seen the books on social media and years ago when I used to use a library but had never read them, then finally at the beginning of the year I saw a set of the first 9 books and I thought I must buy them to read, well they’ve been sat looking lovey in my bookshelf ever since! (I’m sure we are all guilty of this!)

So I started the first book with an open mind, and The Crossing Places did not disappoint.

It’s a fabulous opener to the series which I now know is loved by fans all over the world. Dr. Ruth Galloway is a slightly overweight Forensic archaeologist who loves nothing more than to find bones and search out what happened to the person they were, she also loves Bruce Springsteen and her cottage on The Saltmarsh. In the first book, we follow her on a hunt to find out whether the bones discovered on the site of a pre-historic henge are those of a missing local girl.

We meet the excellent cast of characters that surround Ruth in the series, the huge and intense DCI Harry Nelson, the slightly odd but lovely Cathbad, a druid and laboratory assistant at The University of Norfolk, (Ruth works here as a Lecturer), and Shona, Ruth’s better looking, lover of married men girlfriend.

The story is brilliant with a huge input of historical fact, folklore, and suspense. I loved the way the story climbs to a climactic ending and was really gripped all the way thru.

As an opening book to a series, it’s fabulous and I suspect the series and stories surrounding Dr. Ruth Galloway will get even better as I binge-read the books in order!

A Great 4 star read.

Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.

When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death…

My Collection of Dr Ruth Galloway books

I was really ready to find out what would be happening in Dr. Ruth Galloway’s life after reading the first book.

In the Janus Stone, we find out lots more about Ruth and her life ( I’m not going to give anything away here!), enough that her storyline is keeping me gripped alongside the latest case of old bones that are found in an ex children’s home.

The usual cast of characters is here and they are now starting to evolve which I just adore!

The storyline and plot are gripping and I raced through The Janus Stone, the plot builds to a brilliant ending and I thought it was really well written.

I find Elly Griffith’s style of writing really easy to read and almost dare I say it cozy ( I’m not a great lover of cozy crime I prefer gritty), but I think the skill involved in writing the great cast of characters and involving a good Police procedural around Ruth’ life is really clever.

Again I was not at all disappointed, indeed it took me 2 days to read! A 5-star read.

 Elly Griffiths is the author of the Dr. Ruth Galloway books and the Brighton Mysteries. Last year I also published a stand-alone, The Stranger Diaries, and a children’s book, A Girl Called Justice. I have previously written books under my real name, Domenica de Rosa (I know it sounds made up).

The Ruth books are set in Norfolk, a place I know well since childhood. It was a chance remark of my husband’s that gave me the idea for the first in the series, The Crossing Places. We were crossing Titchwell Marsh in North Norfolk when Andy (an archaeologist) mentioned that prehistoric people thought that marshland was sacred ground. Because it’s neither land nor sea, but something in-between, they saw it as a bridge to the afterlife; neither land nor sea, neither life nor death. In that moment, I saw Dr. Ruth Galloway walking towards me out of the mist…

I live near Brighton with Andy. We have two grown-up children. I write in a garden shed accompanied by my cat, Gus.

You can follow Elly Griffiths on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Elly Griffiths’s website is HERE

You can BUY all of Ruth Griffiths’s books HERE