My #Review of the gripping #Thriller #Shiver by @AuthorAllier @headlinepg

They were all there. So which one of them did it?

It’s that time of year when the glacier gives up bodies. But there’s one in particular someone is looking out for. When five friends meet for a reunion in an isolated mountain lodge, things turn deadly in the must-read thriller of the year. Fans of Lucy Foley and Lisa Jewell will be gripped by the spectacular debut novel Shiver.

When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can’t seem to let go.

The five friends haven’t seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don’t know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.

In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.

I’ve had Shiver sitting on my bookcase since I bought it in January this year, as it’s winter, I wanted to read a book set in the snow (my favourite weather). So in I went!

What an absolutely exceptional book! I find it hard to believe that this is Allie’s first book because it’s an absolutely brilliantly written, gripping, thriller that actually gave me the shiver’s!! From the first page, I was so involved with the story, a reunion that goes horribly wrong, but the storyline is so well plotted and throws in some fantastic twists and turns. I loved the setting or La Rocher, snow, glaciers, cold, high up in the mountains and you feel as though you are really there! If you are a lover of a locked room mystery with a twist, then you will want to read Shiver.

The characters are really well described and I found myself hating one (no spoilers!) and really getting into the other’s personalities, and liking some! A great story has great characters and Shiver has it all.

Shiver is a blindingly good read, thrilling, gripping and you can feel the cold and damp start to sneak into you whilst you read, an all-round brilliant debut from an author who has a talent for writing, I hope that Ms Reynold’s writes another book as good as this one.

And absolute book-banger and a 5 star read!

About Allie Reynolds

I was once a freestyle snowboarder in the UK top ten at halfpipe. I spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada.

I taught English for fifteen years. I’ve also been a London primary school teacher, bookshop assistant, barmaid, nanny and French teacher/translator. My short fiction has appeared in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa. I’ve been a full-time writer since 2018.

Born and raised in Lincoln, England, I moved to Gold Coast Australia in 2003. I have two young children and a cat who thinks he’s a dog.

Allie’s Website Twitter Instagram Facebook

You can BUY Shiver HERE

My review of the brilliant and unique #PsychopathsAnonymous by @will_carver @OrendaBooks

Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters. She’s also an addict: A functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men.

When she can’t find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve.

Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve’s drinking spirals out of control.

She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group.

But Maeve can’t seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man…

A scathing, violent and darkly funny book about love, connection, obsessions and sex – and the aspects of human nature we’d prefer to hide – Psychopaths Anonymous is also an electrifyingly original, unpredictable thriller that challenges virtually everything.

This is the first book that I have read by Will Carver, and I must say a very kind thank you to Karen at Orenda Books for sending it to me to read, and hopefully Will Carver will be on my blog answering questions next year.

This is such a unique book, there is no Police Detective to lead an investigation but there are murders….several of them! The story revolves around Maeve and her addictions….to booze, to killing and sex!

The way Will Carver has written this book is not like any other you will read, the protagonist, Maeve is so fucking fierce, bold, messed up, funny, weird, and mostly psychotic, it’s brilliant! Never have I ever felt that I identified with a character in a novel more, than Maeve ( I know slightly worrying, right! ) There are moments of hilarity interspersed with her ravings about God, Booze, Alcoholics Anonymous and life in general. She is such a bloody immense fictional character! I adore her!

Will Carver is so talented and his writing style and talent for describing his characters are just sublime, he obviously has a dark and fantastical mind!

If you like you crime with an edge, something different, something unique, something that may be too close to the bone for some! Then look no further than Psychopaths Anonymous, it’s an unputdownable gripping read, dark, bold, unique and truely the work of genius!

About Will Carver

Will Carver is the bestselling author of the January Series – Girl 4 (2011), The Two (2012), The Killer Inside (2013), Dead Set (2013) – and the critically acclaimed Detective Pace series, which includes Good Samaritans (2018), Nothing Important Happened Today (2019) and Hinton Hollow Death Trip (2020), all of which were selected as books of the year in mainstream international press. The books in this series have also been longlisted/shortlisted for the Amazon Readers Independent Voice Award, Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award, Not The Booker Prize and the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award. Will spent his early years living in Germany, but returned at age eleven. He studied theatre and television at King Alfred’s Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition business and lives in Reading with his children

You can buy Will’s books from Orenda Books

Will’s Social Media Links – Twitter Instagram Facebook

#Guest #Author #AlexChaudri @AAChaudhuri #Author of #ShesMine @Herabooks

Thank you so much to you Alex, for being my Guest Author, and answering my questions.

Thank you for having me, Jude, it’s my absolute pleasure, I’m just so thrilled to be featured on your blog!

I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? Can you tell us about your previous Careers?

Although I was a tennis player and a lawyer before I started writing, I guess, deep down, I knew that becoming a writer was something I was capable of because I’d always had a predilection and flair for writing stories since I was a child. However, it didn’t become a realistic possibility until 2010 when I was pregnant with my second Son.

From the ages of 7-19 tennis dominated my life, to the extent that everything else took a backseat. I would play tennis three to four times a week after school, and every weekend was taken up with training camps, while every week of the school holidays I was off playing a tournament somewhere or other. I basically lived and breathed tennis for 13 years, was a member of the under 12/14 national squads, and turned pro at 16 touring the satellite circuit for nearly three years. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out as I’d hoped and I quit tennis at 19, went back to college, then university, then law school became a lawyer, and practiced in the City for eight years. Law wasn’t for me long-term though. Although I enjoyed some aspects of being a lawyer, made some wonderful friends (including my husband!) and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to write my legal thrillers authentically without the experience I gained from Law, it was never the perfect fit for me, not the way being an author is. I am the happiest writing, and it never feels like a chore, which sadly law, which can be quite dry and formulaic, often did!

Although completely different professions, both tennis, and law require a thick skin and certain ruthlessness to survive. It got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it either. The City is an especially tough place to work, and I came across quite a few spiteful characters who made my life miserable and who I didn’t much want to be around. It wasn’t for me as I said, but I’m grateful for the inspiration it gave me to write my books. Both experiences also made me a stronger person and I’m happy to say that career-wise, it’s third time lucky for me with my writing!

Luckily, my husband was able to support us financially for me to pursue my passion for writing and so I set about writing my first book in 2010 entitled Love & Limoncello – a women’s fiction novel with a bit of romance and mystery thrown in which I ended up self-publishing. It did extremely well reaching number 53 in the bestseller’s list and selling over 10,500 copies. That’s something I’m very proud of. Crime/thriller has always been my favourite genre, however, and once my children were in pre-school and I had more time to devote the time and research needed to write an effective and believable thriller I didn’t hesitate to switch genres and haven’t looked back since. I love how challenging crime/thriller writing is, both for the author and for the reader! There’s nothing better than a page-turning thriller to lose yourself in – the red herrings, twists and turns and intricate plotlines all make for compulsive reading.

Did you have to do much research for the characters in She’s Mine? Especially Christine Donovan, as she has so many demons, did you use personal experience?

I didn’t have to do much research, to be honest. Obviously, Christine and Greg are lawyers, and therefore, having worked in the City for seven years, I’m able to use my experience to portray that world authentically in terms of the kind of atmosphere people in the City operate in, including the various temptations that can result from working long hours and wanting to let off steam. I also lived in North London for thirteen years which is where most of the story takes place and so again, it’s an area I’m very familiar with and therefore able to portray realistically. I’m glad to say I didn’t use too much personal experience (!) for the character of Christine, although I have been through the pain of a divorce and so can appreciate how relationships can become strained, along with the emotional consequences of that. It’s also true to say that I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and therefore pretty hard on myself if I feel I’ve not done things to the best of my abilities. I don’t tend to do things by half measures, and in the past have become quite addicted to diets and exercise, and so it wasn’t hard for me to imagine falling into that trap on a long-term basis the way Christine does following the devastating loss of her child. Although, of course, her obsessions are a form of self-punishment for something she did in the past. As you know, the book centres on Christine’s grief for her missing child; a grief made more acute by the fact that she blames herself for losing her daughter, tormented by her guilt for her neglect but also a shameful secret she feels contributed to her child’s disappearance. Once the basic idea came to me, I very quickly became immersed in Christine’s story which, granted, wasn’t an easy one to tell being a mother of two young boys myself. In fact, it was extremely tough to write at various points, this being my worst nightmare, but at the same time, I hope this helped me to convey the sheer horror and incomparable pain of Christine’s, as well as her husband Greg’s, loss. Putting myself in Christine’s shoes, I could feel her excruciating pain and grief, her daily inner torment, a pain and torment that consumes her from head to toe, as it would do me, and so, having done this, having really got inside her head, I put her pain down on paper through the first-person narrative. As we follow Christine’s story we realise she’s a very different person in the present-day narrative to how she was in the past – not just physically but emotionally, and I guess that’s something else I can also relate to; after all, we all change as people to a certain extent over the years, we all learn from past mistakes and have our regrets, but also realise how things that had seemed so important in our youth really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and again, having had life experience, including a marriage that ended in divorce, that’s something I felt able to portray through the main characters of Greg and Christine. Similarly, in the case of Ella and Daniel, I can still remember the uncertainty, capriciousness but also naivety of my twenties and so, with a bit of imagination, I was able to get into their mindsets and think the way someone of that age would.

The plot and storyline of She’s Mine is so twisty, dark and made me gasp out loud, how on earth did you come up with the idea?

It was always my intention to make this novel as dark, sinister and twisty as possible because I think such an atmosphere sits well with fans of the psychological thriller genre; they want to feel on edge and they don’t want too much of the mundane; in short, they want to be shocked and surprised! But if I am being honest, and although I know this sounds a bit boring, the basic idea literally just came to me, while some of the twists didn’t actually formulate in my mind until I started writing. This has been the case with most of my books; something I find hugely exciting and fulfilling – coming up with that bigger and better idea or twist as you write that you hope is going to shock readers. I love the fact it made you gasp out loud, Jude, because that was my intention and it’s very satisfying for me as a writer to hear that I’ve achieved one of my aims in writing the book!

What I would say is that with She’s Mine, I wanted to focus on the idea of human frailty, about how we can all, as fallible beings, fall prey to the darker side of human nature – to temptation, lust, revenge, envy and so on, but at the same time have a basic need to be loved, wanted and valued, especially by those we seek and crave such sentiments from. When these are lacking, or taken to extremes, things can often go very wrong and lead the most normal of people in the most mundane of situations to behave in the most extreme and abnormal of ways.

Growing up did you face any challenges, and who was/were your role model/s?

I suffered from horrendous asthma as a child. I can still remember being up in the night gasping for breath, and my Dad, who was a doctor, drenching my top with Karvol capsules to help me breathe. A wonderful invention back then called the spinhaler was my saviour as well as, ironically, playing tennis. Both helped me grow out of it, but it was quite scary (probably more so for my parents!) at the time. Although I wasn’t as aware of it as my mother, there were definitely challenges to being a mixed-race child. I know that sadly this kind of prejudice still exists, but when I was growing up people could be even less tolerant and judgmental, not so much to your face but by making underhand, snide comments designed to hurt and ridicule, which isn’t a nice feeling. My father has always been a role model to me. He had an exceptionally hard childhood, separated from his mother (his father died when he was six leaving his mum and three brothers alone) in the time of partition, was physically beaten and generally treated very badly by an uncle he and his middle brother were sent to stay with for a number of years, and so to think that he survived all that and went on to become a doctor and be the first and last of his family to leave India and settle in the UK with my mum is hugely inspirational for me. Not only that, he survived two nearly fatal accidents and more recently has been fighting prostate cancer these past two years with a courage and optimism that astounds me.

Who would you like to see playing the parts of Christine and Greg if She’s Mine was turned into a Movie/TV Show?

Wow, seeing She’s Mine turned into a movie or TV show would be an absolute dream come true! I think Nicole Kidman would make a great Christine. Not only is she a fantastic actress, very intelligent and brilliant at doing English accents, she has the kind of haunted, elfin look required for the part of present-day Christine, but is also naturally beautiful which Christine, before her addictions set in, was. I could also see Rebecca Ferguson or Naomi Watts playing the part. For Greg, I think Ewan McGregor or Ralph Fiennes would be good choices.

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader? Do you have a favourite childhood book?

Yes, I was an avid reader from a very young age. My mother would read nursery rhymes and Enid Blyton classics to me for hours when I was a toddler. The Railway Children and Jane Eyre were also favourites that we’d read together. At primary school I have fond memories of Rebecca’s World, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web to name but a few, but if I had to pick a stand-out favourite childhood book, i.e. one that really sticks in my mind it would have to be The Magic Faraway Tree closely followed by The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I think being an only child and therefore not having a constant playmate, caused me to spend hours getting lost in books, and I’d find myself transported to the incredible worlds these authors created, and becoming friends with the characters who inhabited them.

What is your favourite book you’ve read this year and why?

That is a super hard question as there are simply too many to count. If I had to make a choice, on the literary fiction side it would be No Honour by Awais Khan and on the crime/thriller fiction side, Evaders by EC Scullion. Both books are class acts written by phenomenal writers up there with the very best in their genres.

Do you have a favourite Author or favourite book of all time?

John Grisham was a huge inspiration for me and remains one of my all-time favourites. His books are a masterclass in addictive thriller writing. I loved The Firm, but I think A Time To Kill is even better just because of the subject matter and powerful courtroom scenes. Even before I became a lawyer, I was drawn to Grisham’s slick, page-turning thrillers. I’d get lost in the complex, legal worlds he portrayed, rooting for his fearless, feisty, moralistic lawyers against the mean, corrupt corporate giants they faced. His books have everything that makes a cracking thriller, including compelling characters and tight plotting written at breakneck speed. I’ve read so many wonderful books, I know it’s a complete cop-out, but it’s simply impossible to name a favourite of all time. I love so many books in the thriller genre but also historical fiction classics like I Claudius and The First Man in Rome series.

If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

VE Day. Having studied both wars in depth for A-Level History and my degree at UCL it would be incredible to witness this historic and jubilant occasion first-hand. It’s hard for us to imagine the sacrifices people made over four years of war, to have lived under such perilous and restrictive conditions – children separated from their parents, young men torn from their loved ones – and I would think that the atmosphere that day, knowing it was finally over, would have been electric. Not just in the UK, but all over the world.

You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

This is the hardest question of all; I could name so many! OK, so I would have to say Agatha Christie because she is the Queen of crime fiction and had such an amazing, interesting and full life, Daniel Craig because, well, do I really need to spell that one out?! (NB, tuxedo a pre-requisite 😂🤣), Barack Obama as I’d like to ask him how on earth he managed to stay so calm and level-headed while surviving on minimal sleep during his Presidency, and finally Robert Downey Jr as I love his dry humour, think he’s a brilliant actor and really admire the way he fought his addictions to become one of the most successful actors on the planet.

How many books have you written and which is your favourite?

I have written nine books in total and am currently working on a tenth. The first two, as previously mentioned, were self-published women’s fiction novels written under my married name, Alexandra Sage.

The other seven are thrillers, three of which – The Scribe, The Abduction (part of my Kramer & Carver thriller series featuring feisty lawyer, Maddy Kramer, who teams up with DCI Jake Carver to solve investigations set in the legal world published by Lume Books and Isis Audio) and She’s Mine (my first psychological thriller with Hera Books) have been published. Of the other four, two are straight thrillers, the other two are psychological, one of which is out with Hera books Summer 2022.

The crime/thriller genre has always been my stand-out favourite and once I’d written my first thriller, I knew it was the genre I wanted to focus on. In fact, the first thriller I wrote, Illicit Retainers, yet to be published, is the book that piqued the interest of my agent, Annette Crossland.

She’s Mine is my favourite, though, just because I feel it’s unique in the way it is written and because I’m quite proud of the twists, especially the end twist. The feedback so far for the book has been amazing, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of readers (who I don’t know!!!) contacting me to say how much they loved it and couldn’t put it down. Also, how the characters really got under their skin and had their own unique voices. I worked really hard on the characterisation, so it’s lovely to get this kind of positive feedback.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be your own person and never follow the crowd for the sake of it. Also, hard work pays off.

Do you play music when writing, and if so what’s your favourite?

No, sadly not. I am not someone who can write with noise in the background, even soft playing music. It just distracts me. I need absolute quiet to focus and completely immerse myself in my writing. Which obviously wasn’t easy at the height of the pandemic with the kids at home!

What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received?

I always treasure the homemade cards my children give me for mother’s day and for my birthday. You can’t put a price on those.

Are you currently writing another book?

I am currently in the throes of editing my second psychological thriller for Hera Books. I can’t reveal too much about the storyline just yet, but I will say that it’s written in the first person from the perspective of three very different women all of whom have dark pasts and secrets they’ll do anything to keep buried. It’s a tense, complex plot with several twists including one BIG reveal at the end.

I am also working on book three in my Kramer & Carver series, another serial killer investigation but where DS Drake, Carver’s right-hand man gets more of a prominent role.

About A.A. Chaudhuri

A.A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer, turned thriller writer, who lives in Surrey with her family.

Once a highly ranked British junior tennis player, competing in the national championships and a member of the national squad, she went on to tour the women’s professional satellite circuit as a teenager and achieved a world ranking of 650.

After returning to full-time education, she gained a BA Honours 2:1 in History at University College London, and a commendation in both the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at the London College of Law, before training as a solicitor at City firm Norton Rose and then practising as a commercial litigator at two other City firms, Kendall Freeman and Travers Smith.

She left law in 2008 to pursue her passion for writing and in 2010 passed the NCTJ fast-track newspaper journalism course, in respect of which she was awarded The Oxford University Press Public Affairs Award for the most outstanding public affairs central government paper.

In 2013 and 2014 she self-published two women’s fiction novels under the name Alexandra Sage: Love & Limoncello and the sequel Love & Loss. Love & Limoncello has sold more than ten thousand copies to date, reaching number 53 in the Amazon Kindle Bestsellers List in October 2014.

THE SCRIBE and THE ABDUCTION, published by LUME BOOKS in July and December 2019, are her first crime book series, plunging readers into London’s glamorous legal world and featuring series’ heroine, Maddy Kramer, fiction’s first female City lawyer amateur sleuth, who teams up with charismatic DCI Jake Carver to solve a gruesome series of murders and a puzzling abduction.

Both books have hit the bestsellers lists in the UK, Australia and Canada, with bestseller tags in Australia and Canada.

THE SCRIBE and THE ABDUCTION were published as audio books by Isis Audio on 1st  January and 1st March 2021, both read by David Thorpe.

She has also contributed an original short story THE ENCOUNTER to crime anthology GIVEN IN EVIDENCE published by LUME BOOKS in May 2020, has written many articles and short stories for The Crime Writers’ Association.

In February 2021, Alex signed a two-book contract for two standalone psychological thrillers with HERA BOOKS, the first entitled SHE’S MINE was published on 18th August 2021 in ebook and 26th August in paperback. The second will be published in spring 2022.

Besides being an avid reader, she enjoys fitness, films, anything Italian and a good margarita!

Website Twitter Instagram Facebook

BUY Shes Mine HERE

My #review of #AQuestionOfGuilt by @LierHorst @MichaelJBooks

A killer caught. A murder sentence served. But did they arrest the wrong man?
_______

In 1999, seventeen-year-old Tone Vaterland was killed on her way home from work.

The police – desperate for a quick conviction – deemed the investigation an open-and-shut case and sent her embittered ex-boyfriend, Danny Momrak, down for murder.

Her family was able to grieve. The public felt justice had been done. The streets were safe again.

But twenty years later, William Wisting receives an anonymous letter suggesting that the wrong man was convicted, and worse yet: the real murderer is still out there.

Thrown into a terrifying race against time, Wisting must find the sender and catch the real killer before they strike again.

But nothing is as it seems. And as Wisting disappears further into a dark past of secrets, lies and murder, his own life is threatened . . .

Can he find Tone’s true killer before it’s too late?

Jorn Lier Horst

A Question Of Guilt is Book 4 In The Cold Case Quartet

So, I discovered the William Wisting books at the beginning of 2020, and immediately I fell in love with Jorn Lier Hort’s style of writing and the character, William Wisting. So ive eagerly been waiting for A Question Of Guilt for a year, when it arrived i was SO excited.

As with all the Wisting series, we start with William being on annual leave and he starts getting anonymous letters leading him to a case he was not involved in, twenty years ago. But being the honest Detective he is, He cannot help but to get involved.

I’m not going to give away the plot, but I will try to tell you why I adore the Wisting Series so much. Firstly Jorn Lier Horst is an ex-police Detective, so his knowledge of the procedural side of police work is extremely clear when reading his books. As someone who spent 12 years in the Police as a civvy but working closely with Police officers, I’m always wary of reading how fictional characters deal with the Police side of things, however, with Wisting there are no such worries. as a reader, you can feel that Jorn has a depth of knowledge of what it’s like to work on murder investigations etc, and this shines through in the writing.

The way these books are written and A Question of Guilt especially is just so smooth, the story flows and the plot builds like a snowball gathering speed and size down a steep hill. The amount of twists and turns is enough to make you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster ride! I also love that Wisting’s daughter Line, gets involved in some of the plots, she is a freelance Journalist and has the same exceptional mind as Wisting, and the way Jorn writes as Line’s character is fabulous.

The description of the settings in Norway are so realistic, whether it be in the summer ( as A Question Of Guilt is set) or in the winter. I’m a massive fan of Norway and Jorns’ Wisting series is perfect for that.

So in summing up, A Question Of Guilt was a fast and gripping read, and we again get to solve the crime with this century’s greatest Police detective, William Wisting. If you havent read anything by Jorn Lier Horst, then please start the Wisting series, they are quite simply an exquisite example of Nordic Noir. Any Jorn is one of my utter favourite authors!

Another 5 Star read!

About Jorn Lier Horst

Jørn Lier Horst is one of Norway’s most experienced police investigators, Bestselling author Jørn Lier Horst is a Former Senior Investigating Officer from Norway and recently winner of the Glass Key Award for the best Nordic Crime Novel and the prestigious Martin Beck Award. He made his debut in 2004 with the crime novel Key Witness, based on a true murder story. His crime novels has been extremely successful in Europe and is characterized by political and social commentary subtext.

The Night Man by Jorn Lier Horst is out 7/7/22

Jorn’s website is HERE Twitter @LierHorst Instagram @lierhorst Facebook

The first series of Wisting on AcornTV HERE

My #Review of #BloodNotes by @linleversa @HobeckBooks ….. A compelling thriller!

A TEENAGE PRODIGY

HIS OVER-PROTECTIVE MOTHER

HIS JEALOUS TEENAGE RIVALS

ALL PLAYERS IN A CONCERTO OF CONSPIRACY AND MURDER

Edmund Fitzgerald is different

Sheltered by An over-protective mother, he’s a musical prodigy.

Now,against his mothers wishes, he’s about to enter formal education for the first time aged 17. Everything is alien to Edmund: teenage style, language and relationships are impossible to understand.

Then there’s the searing jealousy his talent inspires, especially when the sixth form collies Head of Music, turns her back on her other students and begins to teach Edmund exclusively.

Observing events is Steph, a former police detective who is rebuilding her life following a bereavement as the college receptionist. When a student is found dead in the music block, Steph’s sleuthing skills help to unravel the dark events engulfing the college community.

Firstly, thank you once again to Hobeck Books for the gifted copy of Blood Notes, I’m extremely grateful, as always.

Well I was hooked from the extremely shocking first chapter, I was not expecting that! Nope I’m not giving it away, buy it, read it!

From then on the storyline and plot is one of murder, jealousy and madness and I was hooked.

The main character of Edmund is written really well as a beyond his years, awkward with other teenagers, but brilliant Cellist. His upbringing has cocooned him from other children, just him and his Mother and his music, so when he starts at the local college it’s a clash of 2 worlds! His shock at how teenagers are is the start of a journey for Edmund and his Mother, Imogen.

The characters are all written and portrayed very well by Lin Le Versa in Blood Notes. The involvement of a retired police detective is frankly, a great plot! Steph Grant and her trusty sidekick Derek the dog (I loved that name) help the local Detectives to piece together what is happening when murders start occurring. In the meantime she is being blackmailed and threatened, and even Derek can’t help her! There’s a love angle, which has been simmering for years and her sleuthing ways help to lead us to the killer, in frankly a great finale.

This is the first in a new series of Steph Grant books, and I shall look forward to the next instalment!

LIN LE VERSHA

Lin Le Versha has drawn on her extensive experience in London and Surrey schools and colleges as the inspiration for her debut crime novel which Hobeck are thrilled to be publishing later this year. In addition to crime writing, she has written over twenty plays exploring the issues faced by secondary school and sixth form students. Commissioned to work exploring the issues faced by secondary school and sixth form students. Commissioned to work with Anne Fine on The Granny Project, she created the English and drama lesson activities for students aged 11 to 14.

Creative writing courses at the Arvon Foundation and ‘Ways with Words’ in Italy, encouraged Lin to enrol at the UEA MA in Creative Writing (Crime) and her debut novel was submitted as the final assessment for this excellent course.

Lin is the Director of the Southwold Arts Festival, comprising over thirty events in an eight-day celebration of the Arts.

You can buy Blood Notes from Hobeck Books HERE

Twitter @linleversa

My #Review of #TheShadowsOfMen by @radiomukhers @HarvillSecker

When Abir Mukherjee’s latest book arrived from the Postman, I spent 10 minutes jumping around the lounge in joy!

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this ‘unmissable’ (The Times) series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

‘An engaging, evocative thriller that captures the heat of Indian nights and heady days of a bygone era, without being sentimental or simplistic’ Janice Hallett, bestselling author of The Appeal

The Shadows of Menfinds the always reliable Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Award-winner Abir Mukherjee on fine form
‘ Financial Times

When Abir Mukherjee’s latest book arrived from the Postman, I spent 10 minutes jumping around the lounge in joy! I have been hooked on the wonderful adventures of Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surrendranath Banerjee from reading the first book in the series, A Rising Man (see an earlier blog post).

We are now in 1923 Calcutta, and times are changing for the British Rulers, there’s an undercurrent of the uprising and amongst this, we find Suren in dire straits! I’m not going to give away the plot, but suffice to say that the book revolves around this event and the chaps trying to stop an all-out Religious war! Which affects Suren, Sam and all the usual characters who readers will know, the gorgeous and daring Miss Annie Grant and Lord Taggart among them.

I have read a lot of books in my life, but never have I read such a brilliant (that word isn’t really enough for how I feel!) series of books, that have taught me SO much about a historical period, as these books do. In The Shadows Of Men, Abir’s talent at taking the reader right there, right into the time, right into the fray, to feel what it must have been like and almost to experience it, is just frankly amazing and beyond my comprehension of how he can write like HE was there! I have always been fascinated with India, and wish I could have travelled there, the books take you there, you can smell the smells, taste the food, feel the oppressive heat or the steaming rain, Abir’s writing is poetic at times in describing the settings of 1920’s India. And to be able to write, with authority on the different faiths, and their peculiarities with such knowledge makes Abir, a once in lifetime Author, that rare mix of talent of a fantastic storyteller and a knowledgable historian.

However it’s not all seriousness, there are laughs, mixed in, Sam’s traditional British black humour to note! And I loved the introduction of another new Character, Miss Ooravis Colah, a fantastic and I’m sure ahead of her time woman.

In summing up, I must say that The Shadows Of Men is Abir’s best work so far, and to be fair, that’s high praise as the other 4 books were bloody amazing! As always I love the relationship between Sam and Suren and in this book we see their relationship start to shift, because of events and because of the times, but we are left with a cliffhanger that means that book 6 will undoubtedly move us into a different phase of their lives. I cannot wait… let’s hope Abir is writing away furiously now!! Thank you for your sublime talent Sir!

About Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee is the Times bestselling author of the Wyndham & Banerjee series of crime novels set in Raj-era India which have sold over 250,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages. His books have won numerous awards including the CWA Dagger for best Historical Novel, the Prix du Polar Européen, the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing and the Amazon Publishing Readers Award for E-book for the Year.
Alongside fellow author, Vaseem Khan, he also hosts the popular Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast, where every fortnight, joined by special guests from the media and literature, he takes a wry look at the world of books, writing, and the creative arts, tackling everything from bestsellers to pop culture.

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My #Review of the brilliant and gripping #DevilsTable by @K_RhodesWriter @simonshusterUK

THE GRIPPING LOCKED-ISLAND MYSTERY # 5

‘An absolute master of pace, plotting and character’ ELLY GRIFFITHS

A MISSING CHILD
St Martin’s is shrouded in bitterly cold fog when Jade Minear and her twin brother, Ethan, are attacked in a field, late at night. Ethan manages to return home but the shocking events of Jade’s disappearance have rendered him mute.

A LONG-HELD GRUDGE
On a small island where there are few places a child can hide, DI Ben Kitto must battle the elements to search for Jade. When his investigation reveals that the Minear family have many enemies on the island, Kitto grows increasingly worried that Jade is in danger.

A KILLER HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT . . .
Meanwhile, someone on the island knows exactly where the girl is. Someone with a deep-seated hatred of Jade’s family. To find the truth, Kitto must investigate the lives of the people he has known all of his life. Because one of them is lying – and it isn’t long until a body is found . . .

Having read all 4 of the other Hell Bay DI Ben Kitto series, I was so looking forward to finding out more about Ben and the next adventure in the Scilly Isles, I was not to be disappointed!

Firstly let’s talk about Maps in Books! I personally love a map in the beginning of a book, it really makes the story so much more tangible when you can see where it’s based. Kates books in this series are all based on the Isles of Scilly just off the coast of Cornwall, and her maps are always brilliantly illustrated. More maps in books please Authors!

Taken from Devils Table

The beginning of the book is a brilliant depiction of something bad happening in a beautiful setting, and from the first page I was totally gripped by Devils Table, devouring it in 2 days and reading deep into the night!

Imagine a locked room mystery but on a small Island and you have the premise of the story. The setting is just sublime and the way Kate writes, I could feel the oppressive setting with the fog pressing down on me! Kates writing about the Scilly Isles is almost poetic at times and her love of them shines thru with each chapter!

The lead character DI Ben Kitto is brilliant, he is a gentle giant with a complex personality due to a tragedy in his youth, but above all he is a fearless Police Detective, who is fair minded and won’t give up the hunt for a killer until he has caught them! His trusty sidekick Shadow the dog, just adds to his story and I love Ben as a written character so much!

As always I never give the plot away, that’s for you to find out by reading the book! But I will say that it kept me invested with every page and I did not guess who the perpetrator was! Thats a great book right there when the reader is kept in the dark! Kate Rhodes is a master of writing a genuinely great storyline and her characters just jump off the page at you!

So I must give Devils Table a 5⭐️ read, as it was everything I hoped it would be! I’m so looking forward to finding out what’s in store for Ben in the next book!

Kate Rhodes

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

Kates Simon & Schuster profile is HERE

Kate is on Twitter @K_RhodesWriter

Instagram @katerhodeswriter

#Review of #WhenTheGuiltyCry by @WriterMJLee published by @CaneloCrime

Three severed hands. No clues. A race against time.

Three embalmed hands are discovered in a disused Victorian house. Is it a gangland ritual? The work of a cult? Or just a prank played by Medical Students? And what happened to the bodies?

Meanwhile the Coroner needs to issue a Presumption of Death certificate on a teenage girl who vanished eleven years ago in mysterious circumstances.

As hints emerge the two cases are connected, DI Ridpath pushes himself to the limit to find out what really happened. It soon emerges the house is a former children’s home. When another woman, a local social worker, disappears, he is under immense pressure to find answers. What really happened at Daisy House Children’s Home all those years ago?

He has just one week to discover the truth…

The latest in the #1 bestselling DI Ridpath crime thriller series, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Peter James.

I will try not to be too biased with my review of the latest DI Ridpath thriller, When The Guilty Cry by the superbly talented MJ Lee, but I LOVE this book series!

From the opening chapter I just knew I was hooked, I’m trying to pinpoint why I love these books so much….I think it’s in the way MJ writes, every time I pick up one of the DI Ridpath books, it’s like Im being given a virtual hug, being wrapped in a warm blanket….I just know what to expect and I love it!

As with ever story and plot, this one is twisty and engaging, I personally love the Police procedural side and also the Coroner’s Office side…I’m thinking because I’m a frustrated Cop!, anything that details the procedures ticks my boxes! And I think learning about the Coroner’s office is really useful, I would love to have worked in a Coroner’s office, it’s seems so interesting and to be able to give the dead a voice is so powerful! The writing from both these points of view is really sublime, and with each Ridpath book it just gets better and better!

I’m not going to give anything away, but I will say this is a superb book and I also love the personal story that carries thru the books with Ridpath and his Daughter….as always I read this book in 2 days, now I will have to wait another year before I get a another fix of DI Thomas Ridpath!

A solid 5 ⭐️ read.

Martin spent 25 years of his life working for advertising companies in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai. As a copywriter and a creative director, he has won awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York, the LIAA, and the United Nations.
He’s written four historical crime novels. The latest, ‘The Irish Inheritance’, a Jayne Sinclair, Genealogical Mystery, will be published on June 15, 2016.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, dancing with his three year-old daughter, researching his family histrory, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

You can follow Martin HERE on his Website

Buy the DI Ridpath books HERE

#Review of #LethalGame by @Gloriouscharlie @AvonBooksUK

This fast paced, electric thriller races from page to page and keeps you guessing until the very end’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

He knows your name. Where you live. The car you drive.

If you don’t play, your family will die. If you lose, you will.

When DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose begin investigating the death of a young woman, murdered on a quiet country lane, they can’t imagine what lies ahead.

This killer uses his victims like chess pieces in a life-sized contest, with the highest stakes imaginable.

Now Norris and Rose are pawns at the mercy of a twisted rulebook.

Can they beat him at his own game before the next round begins and more innocent lives are taken?

A totally addictive, edge-of-your-seat, crime-thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride

Once again thank you so much to Avon Books UK for gifting me a print copy of Lethal Game, and may I say it’s another brilliant book from Avon, they just find the best authors!

My first foray into a book by Charlie Gallagher, and let me tell you I was hooked from the first chapter!

A gritty, violent opening to a brilliant hard-boiled thriller and Police procedural! I found the lead characters of DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose really easy to like, although both are complex cops ( aren’t they all?)

The plot surrounding a board game called Escape, is really quite unique, involving a deranged but highly intelligent killer who is seeking revenge, by playing with peoples lives!

Although this is book 2 in the series, the first being The Friend, it is easy enough to read as a stand-alone. I loved the realistic Police Procedural side ( Charlie being an ex Cop means it’s spot on ) but again found it easy enough for all non-Police readers to grasp. I was gripped from the outset and didn’t want the book to end!

A brilliant and engrossing crime fiction novel from an accomplished author, a 5 ⭐️ star read from me, and I’m looking forward to the next instalment!

Lethal Game is released by Avon Books UK on the 11/11/2021

Charlie Gallagher

Charlie Gallagher has been writing for twenty years, most of that time as a hobby but with the dream of one day ‘doing it properly.’ Alongside this hobby it was necessary to have a day job which, for thirteen years, was as a serving U.K. police officer. This career in policing opened up a whole new world of experiences and opportunities and he is now fortunate enough to be able to channel those experiences into stories on a full time basis.

Whilst a police officer, Charlie worked as a response officer, a member of a specialist tactical team, a detective and in a regional counter terrorism unit.

His books are thrillers and, rather unsurprisingly, policing and crime are central to the stories. 

Charlie lives on the south coast of the U.K with his wife and two daughters, a springer spaniel, a tortoise and a cat with a far higher number of twitter followers. Charlie is published by Joffe Books and Avon, Harper Collins.

The Joel Norris Series:

Book 1: The Friend

Book 2: Lethal Game Released 11/11/2021

The Maddie Ives Series:

Book 1 – He Is Watching You

Book 2 – He Will Kill You

Book 3 – He Will Find You

Book 4 – He Knows Your Secrets

Book 5 – He Will Get You 

Book 6 – The Deadly Houses

The George Elms Series:

Book 1 – Bodily Harm

Book 2 – Panic Button

Book 3 – Blood Money

Book 4 – End Game

Book 5 – Missing

Book 6 – Then She Ran

Book 7 – Her Last Breath

Standalone books:

Ruthless

You can buy Lethal Game HERE

You can follow Charlie on Twitter @Gloriouscharlie

You can follow Charlie on Facebook @Charliegallagherwriter

Charlie’s website is HERE

My #Review of #OpalCountry by @hammerNow published by @Wildfirebks….OUT ON 6th JANUARY 2022

OPAL COUNTRY BY CHRIS HAMMER

Opals…

In the desolate outback town of Finnigans gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable youngsters and billionaires do as they please.

Bodies…


Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner’s death is straight-forward, not even who found the body. Homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.

But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up, and if so, by whom?

Secrets…

As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, and a past long forgotten is thrown into scorching sunlight.

Because in Finnigans Gap, nothing stays buried for ever.

I’ve loved every book so far by Chris Hammer, and am so thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review Opal Country by the publishers Wildfire Books. Thank you so much. 🙏

We start the story in the outback of Australia, at night, with a team of ratters entering a mine in the dead of night, what they find is a hideously crucified, Christ-like, corpse instead of Opals and makes them retreat pretty sharpish!

We then follow Detective Sergeant Ivan Lucic, who as a homicide, detective has travelled from Sydney to investigate the horrible murder.

Chris Hammer manages to weave a really complex storyline involving Opal mining, family, murder, corporate espionage, revenge and the ending of Police Careers, into a phenomenal story, that had me guessing right up to the end as to whom the culprit was, and more importantly why?

The way Chris writes about Australia, the shimmering heat, the oppressiveness of a small town, the community divided by gossip, fears and history is without a doubt brilliant. I could feel myself getting sweaty and anxious in some parts with the relentless sun beating own onto Finnegans Creek.

There are some players from the previous novels in here, even though it’s a standalone, but that just makes it all the better!

And the inclusion of a Map always means it will be a great book in my experience!

Another fantastic 5 ⭐️ start slice of Aussie Noir from the master or Australian Crime Writing, in my opinion.

Finnegans Gap

CHRIS HAMMER – is a leading Australian crime fiction novelist, author of international bestsellers Scrublands, Silver and Trust.

His new standalone novel, Treasure & Dirt, will be published in Australia and New Zealand in September 2021 and internationally, as Opal Country, from early 2022.

Scrublands was an instant bestseller upon publication in 2018, topping the Australian fiction charts.

It was shortlisted for major writing awards in Australia, the UK and the United States. In the UK it was named the Sunday Times Crime Novel of the Year 2019 and won the prestigious UK Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award.

Scrublands, Silver and Trust all feature troubled journalist Martin Scarsden and his partner Mandalay Blonde, while Treasure & Dirt follows Homicide detectives Ivan Lucic and Nell Buchanan.

All four books are notable for their atmospheric Australian settings, range of colourful characters, intricate plots, descriptive language and emotional depth.

Before turning to fiction, Chris was a journalist for more than thirty years. He reported from more than 30 countries on six continents for SBS TV. In Canberra, roles included chief political correspondent for The Bulletin, senior writer for The Age and Online Political Editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Chris has written two non-fiction books The River (2010) – winner of the ACT Book of the Year – and The Coast (2012), published by Melbourne University Press.

He 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, Australia.

Chris Hammer

You can follow Chris on Twitter @hammerNow

Chris Hammer’s website – https://chrishammerauthor.com/