#GuestAuthor #LewisHastings @istheauthor author of #TheChemist @hobeckbooks release date UK 22.02.22

J; Thank you so much Lewis for being a guest on my blog

LH; My pleasure!

 J; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea for The Seventh Wave Trilogy come from?

LH; I fell in love with writing in the 1970s, when my English teacher, the brilliantly named Theodora Bruton told me I had a gift for​storytelling. My parents felt that this meant I daydreamed or told lies! Needless to say, Theo Bruton was right. I so wish she was alive now to read my work. (Of possible interest my old school approached me and asked me to be a writing ambassador for the current generation – I was thrilled!)

 The Seventh Wave Trilogy was a real-life event. I was the duty officer at an international airport when a mysterious Bulgarian female asked to see an Interpol officer. I was the nearest we had. Over six hours she told me her story. That story formed the Seventh Wave (Terribly, as she was telling me, I couldn’t help but see a movie series…)  I tracked her for a week then lost all trace of her somewhere in Thailand as contrary to what we knew she’d managed to get hold of a false passport and slipped off the radar. I have no idea where she is now but I hope she’s OK…she was the woman behind Niko Petrova.

J; How much research did you need to do before writing The Chemist?

LH; Very little. Again, the characters are all very real or based upon real people I have either worked with, followed, or taken into custody. A lot of the chemistry/toxin work was self-researched, but the more complex stuff is down to two men; Mr Brian Price, a fellow Hobeck author who has far more knowledge in the forensic space and a dear friend, Jeremy Batchelor, one of the most gifted organic chemists I’ve ever met. What he doesn’t know about making things explode isn’t worth knowing!

J; Constantin Nicolescu is probably THE most fucked up criminal in any book I’ve read, where did the original ideas for his murders come from? 

LH; Thank you. I think…I’m smiling nonetheless. Constantin was mentioned by Nikolina, (she’s the mysterious Bulgarian woman), as being the cruellest man that she’d ever met. From there I just let my mind inhabit his and considered what I’d most like to do to the few enemies I have in the world. The centrepiece in the old music hall (again a very real place, you can find it on Google maps if you know where to look!) was purely my imagination.

J; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Nicolescu, Jason Roberts, Jack Cade and Carrie O’Shea ( or any other of your great characters) if The Chemist was made into a movie (I hope it is!)

LH; Ah the eternal question. Here goes, and this may surprise you. I would LOVE someone to make them into films, I am told repeatedly that the books are cinematographic which is humbling – to be told that they drew a colourful picture in the mind of a reader who has aphantasia (Google it..) was possibly my greatest achievement.

Jack. he’s the difficult one. Possibly an unknown like Daniel Craig was relatively speaking when he became Bond. Someone like a Rupert Penry-Jones with a rougher edge.

Nicolescu the same. An unknown, or someone who can really get into a character. Who knows perhaps Michael Sheen – he’s yet to put a foot wrong!

Michael Sheen

Jason Roberts – I’m smiling but you need to know the real Jason. I’d possibly go a little off-piste and choose Eddie Izzard.

Eddie Izzard

Carrie. Easy. Vicky McClure (sultry, sexy, but with attitude.) I’ve thought about this. I just need Adrian from Hobeck to bribe Jed Mercurio…

Vicky McClure

Bridie would be someone like Jessica Raine.

Jessica Raine

Colin Firth would make a good JD.

Colin Firth

J; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

LH; Famous Five, Secret Seven that sort of thing. Adventures, for the young mind! TV was very much BBC oriented, so Blue Peter rather than Magpie and Swap Shop instead of TISWAS…

J; What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

LH; The Body – Bill Bryson. I love his style and research – humour meets science head-on. 10/10.

J; Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

LH; I love Peter James’ books – he was my early inspiration and we stay in touch now. He wrote back to me whilst in Jamaica doing some research (him, not me…) and even offered to have Seventh my first novel read by the real Roy Grace. It meant a lot. (‘Roy’ loved it..)

That said, my favourite books of all time are probably Papillon (Henri Charriere) and Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks).

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

LH; Christmas Eve 1914. To witness the truce. To stand and watch my dear grandfather as a young man and to listen to him tell the tales of the Great War. I was never allowed to ask later in life when as a boy I was fascinated by his bravery. It was never mentioned again. He was one of the most highly decorated members of the Royal Tank Corps as a 26-year-old Corporal on the Western Front.

    “The night wore on to dawn – a night made easier by songs from the German trenches, the pipings of piccolos and from our broad lines laughter and Christmas carols. Not a shot was fired.”

J;  If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why? 

LH; My grandfather to finally listen to those tales. My Dad. I flew 10,000 miles to read my autobiography to him in a hospice in Kent (this may sound familiar if you have read The Angel of Whitehall) just so I could tell him I’d made it as an author! Something still so powerful that even typing that sentence brings a tear to my eye. For selfish reasons, Kate Beckinsale and for cinematic reasons Vicky McClure to discuss her role as Carrie. And I’d pay for my family to sit on the next table as they’ve all endured my endless book conversations…

J; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

LH; I’ve been lucky to have travelled very well with work and privately. Cape Cod appeals. I flew over it after enduring a hurricane off the coast of Newfoundland once, and we nearly had to divert there. Looking down it really appealed. Or Bora Bora with Kate Beckinsale.

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

LH; Never go back!

J; Do you have a hidden talent? 

LH; Many. I can’t play the guitar in any key. And I’m a mimic, having turned down a fair amount of voice-over work.

J; Are you currently writing another book?

LH;  I am, yes. It’s the sixth in the Jack Cade series and features three places with the same name. I have a seventh in development already which may be a standalone and will introduce a new character which I think will be a first in literature.

Then I have another which is like nothing else I’ve ever written. A love story like no other set initially in sixties London among the publishing world and the British Army. Hobeck might not find a place for it, but like all my books, it will have a twist.

In closing, I’d like to thank you for what you do for people like me Jude, for supporting me and above all reading my books. They are subjective, like people, that you enjoyed them means more than you could ever imagine.

Lewis Hastings is a pseudonym. His real name is far more, real.

Born as a product of the long, harsh and miserable winter of the early nineteen sixties in southern England he soon shot to fame for his child acting, embellishment and love of justice and propensity for injury. His catalogue of injuries and their research has actually proven to be of use, particularly when describing some of the medical events within the book. The sensation of pain, often clinically described, is based upon real-world events and countless hours in Accident and Emergency Wards. His relationships with the many nurses, doctors and specialists is acknowledged.

Above all Lewis is a passionate and caring soul who always puts the needs of others before his own, a career in law enforcement was, therefore, a logical path, having drifted helplessly on a sinking rudderless ship that saw him involved in many diverse occupations, including but not limited to selling, border security, exotic dancing, prostitution and people trafficking*.

He joined the British Police in April 1990 and was posted to an upmarket suburb of Nottingham where he learned the art of policing; investigation, intelligence and communication. Along the way, he dabbled in many varied branches of policing and worked for seven years in one of the toughest inner-city areas in Britain. Some of the key events and people are brought back to life in the early segments of the story that are set in Nottingham, again, to protect those still serving their names have been changed.

Having spent his formative years both living and working in the United Kingdom he was offered what for many would be the chance of a lifetime. Clutching his worldly goods, his family and his reputation he took the leap of faith and now lives on the other side of the world in a house, with the same wife and a lake-loving Labrador.

Having headed across the world, his law enforcement career – not unlike Jack Cade’s – would take an unexpected turn and soon he found himself building a capable and worthy team at an international border. The thirteen years that followed saw him carve out a reputation as a subject matter expert in port security, document fraud and international border intelligence, particularly the influence of travelling European criminals.

He now acts as a government liaison officer – connecting law enforcement units throughout the Five Eyes community. He hopes for the chance to meet another “Theodora”  – tired, afraid but agenda-driven and with her own unique story to tell to someone prepared to listen.

He has two amazing children, one adorable granddaughter, an equally adorable grandson and a long-suffering, incredibly patient wife who meets all of the cliched aspects of a redhead.

You can find Lewis Hasting’s Website HERE Twitter HERE

Instagram HERE Facebook HERE

My #Review of the #creepy and #sumptuous #ChasingTheBoogeyman by @RichardChizmar @HodderBooks

In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to the terrifying assumption that a serial killer is on the loose in the quiet suburb. But soon a rumor begins to spread that the evil stalking local teens is not entirely human. Law enforcement, as well as members of the FBI are certain that the killer is a living, breathing madman-and he’s playing games with them. For a once peaceful community trapped in the depths of paranoia and suspicion, it feels like a nightmare that will never end.

Recent college graduate Richard Chizmar returns to his hometown just as a curfew is enacted and a neighborhood watch is formed. In the midst of preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into the real-life horror story. Inspired by the terrifying events, Richard writes a personal account of the serial killer’s reign of terror, unaware that these events will continue to haunt him for years to come.

A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, ‘Chasing the Boogeyman does what true crime so often cannot: it offers both chills and a satisfying conclusion’ (Stephen King). Chizmar’s ‘brilliant . . . absolutely fascinating, totally compelling, and immediately poignant’ (C.J. Tudor, New York Times bestselling author) writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

I’ve had Chasing The Boogeyman on my radar since it was released, so as a start on my backlogue, I gobbled it up!

From the start you can tell that Richard Chizmar is an author who pays attention to the little details, his writing is sublime and sumptuous. Putting himself at the heart of a spate of murders in his hometown of Edgewood, was frankly audacious! But it works SO well. His descriptions of everyday life in small town America is awe inspiring, I was absolutely drawn in to this story from the opening page. The way Richard has worked his love for his hometown, memories of growing up and his parents is frankly brilliant, add to that a serial killer and you have a perfect novel.

I flew through the story totally rapt at what events were happening, I loved the fact that there are photographs included which makes it seem super realistic. The plot and storyline is twisty and frankly chilling, and I loved it! I didn’t guess who the killer was but the way we are bought to that moment is brilliant.

A gripping, creepy, almost memoir like, fabulous read from someone who writes with a clear love of words.!

A 5 star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read


Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy’s Button Box (with Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and multiple editions of The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustee’s award. His third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar’s work has been translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor.

You can buy Chasing The Boogeyman HERE

You can go to Richard Chizmar’s website HERE

You can follow Richard on Twitter HERE Facebook HERE

My #Review of the fabulous #theEchoMan by @SamHollandBooks @HarperCollins @crookedlanebks Published OUT NOW!

For fans of Harlen Coben and “Mindhunter,” Sam Holland’s chilling debut draws inspiration from infamous serial killer cases, culminating in the ultimate, heart-pounding copycat tale.

Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on the case of a series of seemingly unconnected murders, each different in method, but each shocking and brutal. As the body count increases, they can’t ignore the details that echo famous cases of the past—Manson, Kemper, Dahmer, and more. As Elliott and Deakin get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders are moving closer to home.

Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose is on the run. She’s been implicated as the arsonist who killed her neglectful husband and injured her young daughter. With the help of disgraced and suspended detective Nate Griffin, Jess discovers a shocking link between her case and that of the ultimate copycat killer working on his horrifying masterpiece.

Firstly thank you so much to Harper Collins for the Proof of The Echo Man.

I knew I would love The Echo Man before I even started because the cover on the proof was so amazing! Before I started blogging I always chose books by their covers!

From the very beginning The Echo man hits you straight between the eyes, the prologue is so gory and nasty, I was instantly gripped! Once the storyline gets going at its fast pace, I was wracking my brains and notes (yes I made notes to see if I could guess who the perp was!) to see if I would be able to work out the identity of the murder…I did not and when I found out who it was I was really shocked!

I loved all the main protagonists in this book, The mentally broken and damaged Jess Ambrose and Nate Griffin, and the brilliant and caring DCI Cara Elliott, were all so well written and I absolutely related to all of them and actually I was a little in love with them! That is the talent and skill of a great author, I’m so glad I came across Sam Holland’s work as I think The Echo Man will be one of the years bookbangers, and I cannot wait to read her next book!

If you have an interest in true crime, you will love The Echo Man, the motivation and unique style of the murders (of which there are many!), had me really loving this book so much. It’s so obviously well researched and also you can tell Sam loves her true crime! It is a gory, bloody, dark, intense and very descriptive book, if you have a weak stomach, then you will be gagging at some parts, trust me, even I did at a few bits BUT that’s the magic of a fabulous book! To be able to get that visceral reality into the reader’s mind is a superb talent!

At 400+ pages long it’s a great read that doesn’t have any duff chapters and it keeps you gripped all the way through, and let me just tell you about the ending…..wait…no, you will have to read it, BUT OH MY GOD!!!!!

So another 5 stars read for 2022, and Sam holland will be a guest on my blog in the near future, so look out for that. She is going to be HUGE in the book world in 2022, plus this is her DEBUT novel!!

A bit about Sam Holland

Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, Sam Holland’s love of reading was forged in the library through Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert. A self-confessed serial killer nerd, Holland studied psychology at university then spent the next few years working in HR, before quitting for a full-time career in writing. The Echo Man is the result.

You can follow Sam on Twitter HERE Facebook HERE Instagram HERE

You can Pre-Order The Echo Man HERE

My #Review of #TheQuietPeople by @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks


Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time…

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisted thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.

Firstly thank you so so much to Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of the Quiet People, is there ever a bad book from Orenda? NO!

So from the extremely shocking and gripping prologue, The Quiet People had me, there is no way you would be able to read this slowly, you need to devour it and with each page the plot just gets more and more shocking!

I really want to say lots about this book, but I also don’t want to give the plots away! But it is without a doubt one of the darkest, thrillers I’ve had the pleasure of reading!

The 2 main characters, Cameron and Lis Murdoch go through absolute hell in this storyline, the way Paul has written the events and how someone would probably cope (or not) and how one reaction leads to the butterfly effect, is just sublime! I was so anxiety ridden reading The Quiet People, I actually didn’t sleep much over the two days I was reading it as I could wait to see what transpired next! Gripping is an understatement! The setting for this book is Christchurch, New Zealand and I found the descriptions of the city were wonderful, gritty and added to the dark atmosphere.

Once you get halfway thru, the shocks and twists just keep building like a train rushing down a track, you KNOW that there’s going to be a crash, but not what it will be!! I will also say that I cried at the end of the book, this is because you will feel like you’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster just like Cameron Murdoch!

In summing up, this is a fabulously well written thriller, by a writer who knows how to look inside the darkest places of the human mind and to then be able to write this for us the readers to enjoy! Phenomenal book and I look forward to reading Paul Cleave’s next work!

Another 5 ⭐️ read ( although it’s so good it deserves more!)

Paul Cleave is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. He started writing at nineteen when a friend asked him the classic question of ‘if there’s anything in life you could do for a living, what would it be?’ The answer was simple. He wanted to be a writer. For the next five years he worked in the evenings on manuscripts that he has promised will never be taken out of the bottom drawer. Back then he wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real life crime – is horror. As he says, people don’t come home from vampire movies and lock their doors to keep them out, but they will come home from a movie like Silence of the Lambs and lock their doors incase the neighbour is planning on eating them. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.
These days he still lives in Christchurch, but generally spends two or three months travelling overseas for book festivals and meeting readers and publishers and talking on stage. He always travels with his frisbee, and throws it in as many countries as he can – often in iconic locations if possible. He’s thrown it on five continents, and in over forty countries – with the goal of throwing it in fifty before he’s 50. He’s also learning to play the guitar, he can hit a golf ball extremely far in the wrong direction, can do some basic card tricks, and he’s pretty handy with a power tool. He hates shopping and hates gardening, he can solve a Rubik’s cube in under two minutes, and plays tennis as well as any six year old can.

Visit Paul Cleave’s WEBSITE Twitter

You can buy The Quiet People HERE at Orenda Books

My #Review of #AndYourEnemiesCloser #AudioBook by #RobParker @robparkerauthor @RedDogtweets @audibleuk @audible_com @warrenisbrown

In the North West criminal underworld, a deal goes tragically wrong, resulting in war between the two main organised crime factions in the region. Shockwaves rock the 30-mile gap between Liverpool and Manchester – with retired detective Brendan Foley right in the middle of it all.

For Brendan, six months after his resignation, life is all different. His marriage is a mess, he’s working as a nightclub bouncer, his brother is still missing and he just can’t stop searching for the crime family that destroyed his life. And at last, he’s found them – and he’s got them bang to rights.

Iona Madison, his one-time partner and now successor as a DI in Warrington Police, is tasked with a body pulled from the River Mersey – a teen-age boy that went missing the previous year, which might bring her own conduct into question. Not only that, Brendan is feeding her information whether she likes it or not – and his unsanctioned activities are causing her headaches.

And now, there’s a price on his head. A million pounds, dead or alive.

And Your Enemies Closer is a serpentine race against time as Brendan and Iona must stay one step ahead of criminals at every corner, while trying to bring justice – in whatever form it takes, and whatever loyalties it might burn.

It’s been probably a year since I read Far From The Tree, Rob Parker’s first book in the Thirty Miles Trilogy, so I have really been looking forward to Book 2 .

The opening chapter ( prologue ) reels you in with a gripping opening, and is quite shocking! Well those shocks reverberate thought And Your Enemies Closer, as a follow us book, this is fabulous, totally gripping!

The characters are well written, with Brendan Foley the now ex-cop estranged from his brother Ross, and desperately trying to get revenge for deeds that shocked me in Book 1, is such a great character. The battle he has in trying to justify staying within the Law, even though he is no longer a Detective, and breaking the Law for revenge against Culpepper, the crime Lord, is fantastically written. Both the Foley brothers are great characters.

My other favourite character in And Your Enemies Closer is DI Iona Madison, she is a totally kick arse, no nonsense Detective who loves boxing and is good at it, she’s a total ball breaker and I love her!

The descriptions of the settings for the storyline are well observed and it makes you feel like you are in the gritty underbelly of Liverpool. And the criminal gangs and their leaders are remarkable. The plot is fabulous and I was gripped, there are some twists that I didn’t see coming and had me gasping out loud! And I must mention the utterly unique way of committing murder, Mr Parker has really done his research for this and it’s absolutely grim and brilliant!

Just a quick mention of the Audible quality, as always with Audible it’s fantastically produced and Warren Brown is a great narrator for this book, really suits it.

So my rating…. Well you’ve guessed it 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in a village near Warrington, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken thrillers and the standalone post-Brexit country-noir Crook’s Hollow, he enjoys a rural life on an old pig farm (now minus pigs), writing horrible things between school runs.

Rob writes full time, as well as organising and attending various author events across the UK – while boxing regularly for charity. Passionate about inspiring a love of the written word in young people, he spends a lot of time in schools across the North West, encouraging literacy, storytelling and creative-writing.

He is also a co-host of the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, and a regular voice on the Blood Brothers crime book podcast.

You can follow Rob Parker on Twitter Instagram Facebook

Rob has his own website HERE

You can buy And Your Enemies Closer HERE

My #Review of #Outside the chilling new thriller by @ragnarjo published by @MichaelJBooks Due 28/04/2022 #DontGoOutside

Four friends. One night. Not everyone will come out alive . . .

In the swirling snow of a deadly Icelandic storm, four friends seek shelter in a small abandoned hunting lodge. Miles from help, and knowing they will die outside in the cold, they break open the lock and make their way inside, hoping to wait out the storm until morning.

But nothing can prepare them for what they find behind the door . . .

Inside the cabin lurks a dangerous presence that chills them to their core.
Outside, certain death from exposure awaits.
So with no other option, they find themselves forced to spend a long, terrifying night in the cabin, watching as intently and silently as they are being watched themselves.

But as the evening darkens, old secrets are beginning to find their way to the light.
And as the tension escalates between the four friends, it soon becomes clear that the danger they discovered lurking in the cabin is far from the only mystery that will be uncovered tonight.

Nor the only thing to be afraid of . . .

A huge thank you to Micheal J Books for sending me an early copy of Outside by Ragnar Jonasson as a Christmas gift! 🙏❤️

Well where do I start with Outside!?….. From the opening chapter you will be absolutely gripped by the shoulders and pulled into this claustrophobic crime thriller set in the highlands of Iceland during November…..as one of our 4 characters says on their trek up to shoot Ptarmigan “it was mind-numbingly cold”…

The group of friends Daniel, Gunnlauger, Helena & Armann decide to have a weekend shooting Ptarmigan….only this is part of what soon becomes clear to be a dark and sinister plot for revenge. The Characters are as always with Ragnar’s writing, are written to such an high standard, I’ve no idea how he can in a few words from a character, set the scene and invoke such visceral feelings of high tension and deep unease. The whole book revolves around one place with 4 people, and it is gripping! I could not put it down, even now thinking about the plot and storyline is making me feel anxious!

If you are a fan of locked room mysteries, then please look no further than Ragnar Jonasson, he is truly THE master of these and add into it the harsh cold climate of Iceland and you have a diamond of a book! This is, in my opinion, his best work yet, so taught and suspenseful, utterly gripping and claustrophobic, it really is anxiety inducing just thinking about it!

Without a doubt this will be made into a movie, it’s a classic and I suggest will be a huge hit this year! Ragnar is THE number 1 Crime writer of Icelandic Noir!

Nothing more to say apart from a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!

About Ragnar Jonasson

Ragnar has been a no. 1 bestseller in Germany (Spiegel Bestseller), a no. 1 crime fiction bestseller in France and a no. 1 Kindle bestseller in the UK and Australia. In 2020 he became the first Icelandic author ever to have three books in the top ten of the German Spiegel bestseller.

Ragnar has also enjoyed awards across the international crime scene. He won the Mörda Dead Good Reader Award for Nightblind, and The Mist won the Amazon Publishing & Capital Crime Mystery of the Year award in 2020. Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015. His books have also won praise from publications such as The Times of London, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Times Literary Supplement.

He has also been shortlisted for Novel of the Year in Sweden, The Barry Award in the US and the Petrona Award. The film rights for The Darkness have also been snapped up by Hollywood production company Stampede, led by former President of Warner Bros, Greg Silverman. They have struck a deal with CBS Studios to adapt the novel into an eight-part series.

Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. Ragnar has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik. Ragnar has a law degree and works as an investment banker in Reykjavik, in addition to teaching law at Reykjavik University.

You can pre-order Outside HERE

Ragnar Jonasson website Twitter – @ragnarjo Instagram – @ragnarjo

My #Review of #TheSanatorium by @SarahVPearse published by @TransworldBooks

A beautiful, eerie hotel in the Swiss Alps, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, is the last place Detective Elin Warner wants to be. But her estranged brother has invited her there for his engagement party, and she feels she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. And things only get worse when they wake the next morning to find her brother’s fiancée is missing. With access to the hotel cut off, the guests begin to panic.

But this is only the first disappearance. Everyone’s in danger – and anyone could be next . . .

Well, I’ve had The Sanatorium sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year, and during the Christmas break I decided to read some of those books that I should have read months ago!

So let’s dive in! I loved The Sanatorium for the first chapter – I have to say that I’m not one for reading creepy books, but The Sanatorium was breathtakingly creepy and gave me the shivers from the outset. The first chapter’s description of the old Sanatorium, high up in the desolate and bleak mountain setting, whilst it is being remodelled into a Hotel, with one person wandering around it almost made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up and when that chapter climaxes….well suffice to say it made me jump!

This is a fairly fast-paced locked-room mystery set in a vast modern hotel that has a dark history, we have our lead character Elin Warner who is there to meet her estranged Brother who is celebrating an engagement, Elin has her own demons to deal with but as a British Police Detective, she unwittingly gets pulled into a game of cat and mouse with a desperate and scary killer, all the while without any outside help as a snowstorm has shut down any access to the Hotel Le Somnet.

I loved this book so much, it held my attention the whole way thru, I didn’t guess the outcome which is always a bonus, but the buildup and twisty turn of events to the climax, made this a great thrilling read, and due to the setting (which is exquisitely described) was pretty dark and spooky. I liked that we saw the flaws in the main character and her own story and her Brothers was intertwined with the main plot.

A superb book and a storyline that will stay with me for a while…..then ending lead’s me to believe there may be a follow -up? Maybe?

A 5 Star read

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.

You can buy The Sanatorium in various formats HERE

You can follow Sarah on Twitter HERE Instagram HERE Facebook HERE

And Sarah’s Website HERE

My #Review of #Unhinged by @LierHorst & @EngerThomas published by @OrendaBooks translated by @meganturney

When a police investigator is killed execution-style and Blix’s own daughter is targeted by the killer, he makes a dangerous decision, which could cost him everything. Blix & Ramm are back in a breathless, emotive thriller by two of Norway’s finest crime writers…

When police investigator Sofia Kovic uncovers a startling connection between several Oslo murder cases, she attempts to contact her closest superior, Alexander Blix before involving anyone else in the department. But before Blix has time to return her call, Kovic is shot and killed in her own home – execution style. And in the apartment below, Blix’s daughter Iselin narrowly escapes becoming the killer’s next victim.

Four days later, Blix and online crime journalist Emma Ramm are locked inside an interrogation room, facing the National Criminal Investigation Service. Blix has shot and killed a man, and Ramm saw it all happen.

As Iselin’s life hangs in the balance, under-fire Blix no longer knows who he can trust … and he’s not even certain that he’s killed the right man…

Two of Nordic Noir’s most brilliant writers return with the explosive, staggeringly accomplished, emotive third instalment in the international, bestselling Blix & Ramm series … and it will take your breath away.

Firstly I must say a HUGE thank you to Karen at Orenda Books for kindly sending me a proof of Unhinged, This meant so much to me as Jorn and Thomas are my 2 favourite authors of Nordic Crime, I am super grateful, Karen!

So onto my review….. Having read the two previous books in the Blix & Ramm series, I was super excited to open the first page of Unhinged. The opening chapter had me gripped! In a storyline that was utterly explosive with shocking twists, it was easy to read Unhinged in a matter of days.

I have to be careful describing the book as I really do not want to give anything away, but for fans for this series – your world will be rocked!!

We visit the story from two points of view the present and the past and in this style the events unfold in the usual slick and gripping way that Jorn lier Horst & Thomas Enger write together, Theirs is a spectacular combination of top class crime fiction writing, they are able to weave a storyline so professionally that its hard to see that this was written by two authors.

The plot is not revealed at the beginning, its a twisty, melting pot of sumptuous prose and the character of Alexander Blix must surely be one of THE best in Nordic Noir, we feel everything he does so deeply, only writers with extreme talent can write books like Unhinged, that shock you, that make you gasp, that make you hurt – just like Blix!

I must also give praise to Megan Turney who skillfully translated Unhinged from Norwegian to English, in doing so she has not lost any of the story or indeed nuances of language, well done Megan, for without you I would not get to read books like this by my two favourite authors!

So for the third book in the Blix & Ramm series it’s a magnificent 5 star read for me, I just hope there are more to come!

You can buy Unhinged HERE

You can follow Jorn Lier Horst on Twitter HERE Instagram HERE Facebook HERE and Jorn’s Website HERE

You can follow Thomas Enger on Twitter HERE Instagram HERE Facebook HERE

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 10 best books of 2021

I have had such a year of differing emotions! For those that don’t know, I started my book review blog in February, after being made redundant. (First time in over 30 years working and I was gutted) I wanted it to be something to keep my mind busy whilst I looked for another job. I am disabled and have chronic illness after contracting Lyme Disease in 2013, but my mind is sharp it’s just my body that feels 100! Anyway I have not been able to find another job (DWP rules state I can only work to certain criteria) BUT my blog has been a source of joy and amazement to me as it’s grown and opportunities have availed themselves to me.

I must thank Fiona Brownlee for inviting me to interview an author for Bloody Scotland 2021, and that author was Stuart MacBride, without these two wonderful people, my blog would not have evolved into what it is today, so thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart!

So in less than a year, I’ve found out that I have a little talent for writing, this is a surprise to me! I’ve always had the gift of the gab, and have a way of communicating verbally that makes people at ease, and usually telling me their deepest secrets! And I have been able to read some superb books which have kindly been gifted by authors and publishers, thank you so much for your kindness I am eternally grateful. And of course the authors themselves that have let me probe them with my questions, and who have taken the time to write their answers, you are ALL the stars not me!

And finally to anyone who has followed my blog, and who reads my blog posts….THANK YOU so much for your support! I am forever grateful!

Now on to my Top 10 books of 2021!

(In no order as ALL are worthy of the Top Ten!)

Red Wolves Adam Hamdy
She’s Mine by AA Chaudri
Falling T.J Newman
The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
Anthrax Island by D.L Marshall
No Honour by Awais Khan
The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard
Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds
The Inheritance by Gabriel Bergmoser

And finally my Book of The Year goes to ………….

The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean

ALL of these books are absolutely amazing and brilliant in their own right, written by a plethora of Uber talented authors, however I had to choose The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean because I read it in January of this year and I can still remember the whole storyline and characters after reading another 50+ books!! It is a gripping, page-turning, thriller which made my anxiety go thru the roof! Which is why it’s my book of the year! Thank you Will Dean for your magnificent talent!