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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A ripper of a 5-star read from me!

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

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

You can follow Emma Styles on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

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

You can buy No Country For Girls HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can follow Paul Cleave on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Paul Cleave’s website HERE

You can buy The Pain Tourist HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can follow Robyn Giglon TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Robyn Gigl has her own website HERE

You can buy By Way Of Sorrow HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can follow Kate Rhodes on TWITTER & FACEBOOK

You can buy Kate Rhodes’s books HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can follow Peter Papathanasiou on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can BUY Peter’s books HERE

Todays #Author answering Questions is #Guest #JohanaGustawsson @JoGustawsson #TheBleeding @OrendaBooks

JW; How much research did you have to do for The Bleeding? Especially the settings as they are so visceral!

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Bleeding come from?

JG: No, I didn’t know yet! At the time I was answering: an actress! Hahaha! I studied in Paris at a famous acting school at the same time as working as a journalist for the press and TV, and I dreamt of becoming an actress. I was on stage in Paris and had an agent, but I really didn’t like this business. I didn’t like learning the texts, or going to auditions, which was problematic, as you can imagine! It took me a while to realize that what I liked was the text itself! I have always been an avid reader and was very fond of crime novels so, years after that, I started writing and that, I tremendously enjoyed!

The idea of The Bleeding was a mix of crazy and completely different desires: writing about La Belle Epoque, Maxine, and Lina, who came first in my mind and had to be fleshed, setting up my characters in Québec, which I fell in love with thanks to Roxanne Bouchard a friend and fellow writer at Orenda Books.

JW; How much research did you have to do for The Bleeding? Especially the settings as they are so visceral!

JG; It was a lot of research, about the Belle Epoque and witchcraft, but it was fun and I spent a few phenomenal months! I started researching something that had nothing to do with what The Bleeding ended up talking about: I wanted to write about the secret society of the Golden Dawn, and with this terrible habit I have to research more and more and some more with every detail which I find thrilling, I ended up in the caldron of quite a few witches!

JW; The 3 women in The Bleeding are all strong characters, was it important to you to portray them in this way even during the eras?

JG; It was key to me. I wanted to showcase the battles we, women, go through. Battles that can become wars. And some of those battles haven’t changed, despite changing centuries. We have still so much to fight for and against.

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Did any part of your childhood make you the writer you are?

JG; I became an avid reader after plunging into my first Agatha Christie, around the age of 7. It was The Mysterious Affair at Styles that made me one. Then I devoured books. I don’t know how I became the writer I am today, but reading, from poetry to dark gritty crimes, surely played its role.

JW; As we’re now in September, which books that you’ve read this year have been your favorite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

JG; I have been reading quite a few but mostly for research for a project I cannot yet talk about. Reading about neurology mostly and memory. And I really found fascinating “Livewired” by David Eagleman, a neuroscientist explains how our brains work.

JW; Do you have a favorite Author or favorite book of all time?

JG: Agatha Christie and French poet Charles Baudelaire. French writer Marguerite Duras is too… “Murder on The Orient Express” and “Les Fleurs du Mal” (Flowers of Evil) are two of my favorites. And actually, traveling on the Orient Express train is still on our dream list with my father, who is also a big fan!

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

JG; As a journalist, I met Samuel L. Jackson with whom I shared breakfast (well, I did not eat a thing). I was interviewing him for the movie Snakes on the plane, and he welcomed me saying: “that was a shit movie, don’t you think? Let’s talk about something else. Where are you from?” And we ended up talking about Provence and golf, and god knows what else, whilst he ate his eggs and bacon! And I met Harlan Coben, in 2019 at the Harrogate festival, and there too: starstruck!

JW; What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

JG; Oh yes! Dancing! I used to be a ballet dancer, and I would love to go back to some sort of dancing: flamenco being my top choice, but I have absolutely no time to dive into anything but writing, which is also my passion, as my three boys take up all my time!

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

JG; Oh god. There are so many. But I’d chose Paris during La Belle Epoque, like in The Bleeding. The international fair. Another era. The Beauty of Paris in the making.

JW; Can you share a shelfie (photo of your bookshelf) with us?

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

JG: Agatha Christie. Almodóvar. Poirot (David Suchet will do if I’m not allowed to have a fictionalized character). Dalí. I think the night would be completely mad!

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

JG: That hard work is the key. Consistency and hard work always pay off. It was, of course, my parents. They taught me it is not over when you lose, it only is when you quit. And of course, they were right!

JW; What’s next? Are you writing a new novel?

JG; I just handed in my next novel to my French publisher, called The Island of Yule, which Karen Sullivan, my UK and US publisher Called “Christmas Island”, on the spot. The novel is taking place on the island of Storholmen, just in front of the one I live on, in Sweden, where a young girl is found hanged close to a manor said to be haunted. It is out in France in January 2023.

You can buy The Bleeding HERE from Orenda Books

You can follow Johana on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Johana Gustawsson has her own website HERE

#Review of #TheSkeletonKey by @mserinkelly @HodderBooks

THIS REUNION WILL TEAR A FAMILY APART …

Summer, 2021.
 Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.

The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.

But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

Inspired by the author’s love for Masquerade, this is a taut, mesmerising novel of danger and obsession.

This is the first book I’ve read by Erin Kelly, and I actually was drawn to it by the excellent cover art.

Once I started, I was absolutely hooked and obsessed! It is a fantastic Bookbanger and within the first chapters, I just knew this would become one of my favourite books of the year!

If like me you are old, then you will remember the book that was the spark of inspiration for Erin Kelly, and what made her write The Skeleton Key. It is such a different story/novel from any others I’ve read for a long time.

A crime within a dysfunctional couple of families, and a book about power, love, fear, and obsession.

I ADORED our main protagonist Nell and her child Billie, and I must say ALL the cast absolutely jumped out from the pages at me. You could feel their fears, their hate, their lust, their obsession so much and to be honest although this is quite a big book of nearly 500 pages, I really didn’t want it to end!

The setting is London, and it is exquisitely described! The story takes us in the past as well as the recent present, it does not stop, it’s relentless in its shocks and twists and turns! I don’t want to give you any spoilers but it was such a magical book for me, I feel like I’m in love with it! But I’m also feeling better now I’ve finished The Skeleton Key, I just can’t think I will find another book like it!

If you like books about art, families, and the intricacies that can happen when power shifts and obsessions enter relationships, then you will love The Skeleton Key. I dare you to read it and not be left with a sad feeling, it was just so magical!

A fantastic 5-star read from me!

What if? To a suspense writer, these are the most powerful words in the English language. My job is to imagine a strange situation and ask the question that will make it stranger still. My new book, Stone Mothers, is set a former Victorian mental hospital. I got the idea when a friend who’s an urban explorer was in an abandoned asylum and found old patient records. She’s a nurse, and knew what to do with this sensitive documents. But I thought: what if they had got into the wrong hands? And my story was born.
I’m best known for He Said/She Said, about a young couple who witness a rape and, after the trial, begin to wonder if they believed the right person. My first novel, The Poison Tree, was a Richard and Judy bestseller and a major ITV drama starring Myanna Buring, Ophelia Lovibond and Matthew Goode. I’ve written four more original psychological thrillers – The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind.
I had read scores of psychological thrillers before I heard the term: the books that inspired me to write my own included Endless Night by Agatha Christie, The Secret History by Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine. My books are atmospheric thrillers, always about people trying to atone for, escape, or uncover a past crime. I’m more interested in what happens before the police arrive – if arrive they ever do – than how murder is solved.

You can follow Erin Kelly on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Erin Kelly has her own WEBSITE

You can buy The Skeleton Key HERE plus Erin’s other books

#Review of #TheGirlsWhoDisappeared by @Dougieclaire @MichaelJBooks

THREE GIRLS MISSING……..Twenty years ago: One rainy night, Olivia Rutherford is driving three friends home when a figure in the road causes her to swerve and crash. Regaining consciousness, she finds herself alone in the car – her friends have vanished.

THEY ARE NEVER SEEN AGAIN…….Now: Journalist Jenna Halliday visits the close-knit community of Stafferbury to persuade Olivia to talk and solve the mystery of the girl’s disappearance. But Olivia won’t speak.

What happened?……….. Is Olivia hiding something?
Why are the people of Stafferbury so frightened?
How many secrets can one small town hide?

I loved The Girls That Disappeared by Claire Douglas, a totally gripping read from page one.

The start of this book had me hooked and I could not put it down, a very creepy feel to this story which I found made my anxiety rise whilst reading!!

The plot is intelligent and the cast of characters is easy to follow and identify with, the story builds and builds to a crescendo of an ending! A truly great gripping read for spooky October!

Claire Douglas is the award-winning author of seven stand-alone thrillers, THE SISTERS, LOCAL GIRL MISSING, LAST SEEN ALIVE, DO NOT DISTURB, THEN SHE VANISHES, JUST LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS and her most recent, THE COUPLE AT NO. 9, which is a number one Amazon bestseller and reached number three on the Sunday Times bestsellers list. Her books have sold over 500,000 copies in the UK and have been translated into twenty languages.
You can find Claire on Twitter at @DougieClaire, on Instagram as clairedouglasauthor, or visit her Facebook page clairedouglasauthor

You can Follow Claire on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy The Girls Who Disappeared HERE

My #Review of #HerSistersShadow by @CWimpeney published by @northoxpress

Child killer Gary Brunswick has just been imprisoned for life for the murder of ten-year-old David Foster, but for DCI Kay Harris of Greater Manchester Police, it’s cold comfort.

As Senior Investigating Officer Kay has agonised over the case for months, could she have saved the boy? The Foster case, and the death of her sister, Helen, by suicide a year ago, weigh heavily on her.

She finds her sister’s diary, believing that Helen meant it for someone else. Each page exposes her sister’s pain, her marriage problems, her suspicions about her husband. It becomes clear the diary was intended for Kay alone. Each entry taunts and pokes and Kay’s guilt. Her sister’s words haunt her.

As Kay’s concentration deteriorates, a period of leave is recommended. A condition of which is that she accepts therapy. Reluctantly Kay attends but decides to escape the probing sessions by retreating to her holiday home in the Scottish Highlands.

Before leaving for Scotland Kay happens upon Ava, a woman intent on jumping to her death to escape her abusive ex-husband. Kay convinces Ava to flee with her to Scotland. In her increasingly fragile state, Kay believes by saving Ava she will earn redemption for all those she couldn’t save and will finally be able to lay her sister’s shadow to rest.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Her Sisters Shadow, but once the story started I was utterly gripped!

Without giving too much away this book s about grief, guilt and the way our minds handle extremely stressful situations. Our main protagonist DCI Kay Harris is an amazing character and a real feat of writing, we follow her slow descent into mental distress and how our minds work during a total mental breakdown. It was so well written I really couldn’t put this book down, the way Ms Wimpeney has crafted this insight into what must be such a horrific experience is astounding, combine this with a fabulous plot, shocking twists, and a great cast of supporting characters make this book a real gem.

If you like a book that will keep you up all night and have you totally invested in it’s cast and storyline, then Her Sisters Shadow is a must!

Brilliant and another 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!

Catherine was born and raised in Manchester. Her Sister’s Shadow is her debut novel. She has worked as a mental health nurse and is a qualified Psychotherapist. She is drawn to writing which reflects her psychological practice.

You can buy Her Sisters Shadow HERE

You can follow Catherine on TWITTER @CWimpeney

#Review of #TheRetreat by @SarahVPearse published by @TransworldBooks @PenguinUKBooks 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Most are here to recharge and refresh.
But someone’s here for revenge . . .

The new atmospheric locked-room thriller from the author of The Sanatorium, the bestselling crime thriller debut of 2021.
___________________________________

This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.

A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.

We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.

A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.

As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.

Well after reading and loving The Sanatorium last year, I’ve been counting the days down to receive and read The Retreat.

And what a stinking bookbanger The Retreat is! From the outset we are taken on a spooky, locked island journey with out heroine DS Elin Warner on an Island called Reapers Island off the coast of Devon UK.

The Retreat moves along at at fabulously fast pace, with punchy chapters and superb characters. The description of Reapers Island is amazing and really struck me as being so visceral! How writers are able to take the reader to a place and make you feel like you are there, always amazes me, and Sarah Pearse has done it again here! I was almost out of breath at the climatic ending and it’s situation!! ( Nope not giving that away! )

For Sarah’s second book it is an amazing gem of a well written cast, and I love the way we are able to get into DS Elin Warners mind, and her doubts and fears really add to this storyline. The plot is stunning and I didn’t guess the perp until the very end when they were revealed, there are twists and turns a plenty and it really is a gripping read! Sarah seems to have a absolute gift at writing “locked room” mysteries and I am in awe of her talent, a modern Agatha Christie!

I hope with The Retreat this will seal Sarah’s writing in the Suspense/Thriller genre. And I cannot wait for the DS Elin Warner book 3!

A superb and gripping book and a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ readi!

AUTHOR

Sarah Pearse

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 find out more about Sarah Pearse on her WEBSITE

You can BUY The Retreat HERE