Perfect Prey – Helen Fields ~ Blog Tour.

Helen Fields

 

Back of the book : 

There will be blood ….

Welcome to Edinburgh.

Murder capital of Europe.

In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.

The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster, strangled with her own scarf.

D.I Ava Turner and D.I Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – Until graffiti appears around the city, describing each victim.

Its only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim … And the more innocent the better.

What I think : 

When a well-liked charity worker is slashed in the stomach and killed at a rock festival, no-one saw it. And then almost minutes after, across town, a woman is crushed by her own furniture. Her attacker/murderer pushed a heavy chest of drawers on her and jumped on it, Squashing her to death. There are no clues and again no-one saw anything. Are the two linked … ?

D.I Luc Callanach and D.I Ava Turner are put on the case, they have nothing to go on. They have no witnesses and no CCTV.  Soon, however, there are two more murders. An elderly Librarian is skinned and strung up in the basement of the library where he worked and then a young woman is found strangled by her own scarf, and thrown in a dumpster.  Are all four linked do they have a serial killer on the loose … ?

Then there is the graffiti that has started appearing around town …

Who is doing this and why .. ? Can Luc and Ava catch them before its too late … ?

Just like the last book, this one has a lot of blood and is pretty gory, the line on the front of the novel is very true … ‘There is a lot of blood”

This time however the author has split Luc and Ava up. Luc is more on his own as D.I Turner has her own cases to solve and also a face from her past has turned up in the shape of DCI Joe Edgar. He has arrived at the station with his own team to help investigate a cyber crime. DCI Edgar doesnt really seem to like Luc very much. He also seems to be taking up a lot of Ava’s spare time, so Luc isn’t even seeing her socially either.

I really liked all the twists and turns of this one and as usual the characters are really well written. I did think that Luc seemed slightly more human in this novel. But Ava seemed really unapproachable and different. I know she has a lot to deal with, but I do hope that in the next one she’s back to her normal self.

All in all a brilliant second novel in the D.I Callanach series and I’m really looking forward to the next one.

I give this a well earned 8/10 (4 Stars)

four-stars

Published by Avon Books on 27/07/17.

A big thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for the review copy of the book.

And here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.

Extract …

Extract 2 Chapter 2 page 10 – 12

The cut was deep, even, and yet very little force seems to have been required to puncture far into the abdominal cavity. Whoever did this took pride in it, thought about efficiency, understood the mechanics of it. This was no impromptu stabbing or weapon grabbed in the heat of an argument.’

‘An assassination then?’ Callanach asked, bending over the body and taking stock.

‘More like a ritual, if you ask me,’ she said. ‘This was dreamed up, practised and perfected.’

‘How old is he?’

‘Between eighteen and twenty-two, I think. Five feet, eleven inches. Active, no spare fat, good muscle mass but not one of those types who live at the gym. Size ten shoe. Brown hair, hazel eyes. No defence wounds. Never saw it coming.’

‘So he didn’t recognise his attacker as a threat when they came for him?’

‘Most unlikely. You don’t look well yourself, Luc. Are you sleeping?’ Ailsa asked as she peeled off her gloves and made notes.

‘I’m sleeping just fine,’ he lied.

‘Eating properly? You’re pale and you have broken blood vessels in your eyes.’

‘I’ll phone you tomorrow for the tox results,’ he evaded. ‘Anything before that and you have my mobile number.’

‘Give my regards to DI Turner, would you? I haven’t seen her for an age. I used to catch up with her mother regularly at an opera appreciation group but I haven’t bumped into her recently either,’ Ailsa said, stretching her back. In her mid-sixties, tiny and birdlike, she was a force to be reckoned with.

‘I’ll pass that on,’ he said, stripping off his own gown and dropping it into the bin outside the door.

On his return to the station, a grim welcome party sat around in the incident room. Callanach looked directly to Detective Constable Tripp.

‘Just following up a lead from a phone call, sir,’ Tripp said. ‘Young woman called in to say she and her boyfriend got separated at the festival. He hasn’t turned up yet. I’ve sent a car to pick her up.’

‘Did she give his name?’ Callanach asked, grabbing coffee as he sat at a computer.

‘Sim Thorburn,’ Tripp replied, pressing a couple of keys and

waiting for a photo to load, one step ahead as ever. Some new social networking site popped up in seconds with a multitude of larger than life photos. In each one, the lad was smiling, laughing, his expression carefree and guileless. In the last, he was hand in hand with his girlfriend. Without a doubt, it was the same hand that Ailsa Lambert had been patting a short while ago.

‘That’s him,’ Callanach said. ‘So what do we know?’

‘At the moment, everything that’s on his home page. He didn’t bother with privacy filters, so it’s there for the world to see. He’s twenty-one, Scottish, lives in Edinburgh.’

‘Police record?’

‘Not that we can find.’ A phone rang behind Tripp and someone passed him a note. ‘The girlfriend’s here, sir. And DCI Begbie wants to see you as soon as you’re done.’

‘Of course he does,’ Callanach said, standing up. ‘Do you have any idea where DI Turner is, Tripp? Only Ailsa Lambert was asking after her.’

‘Off duty,’ DC Salter shouted from the corridor. ‘Said something about maybe being in late tomorrow too. Did you want me to get a message to her, sir?’

‘No thanks, Salter,’ Callanach shouted after her. ‘It’s nothing that can’t wait.’ Unlike Sim Thorburn’s girlfriend, no doubt already suspecting the worst but who’d be downstairs holding out for a miracle. She would be imagining some mistake, hoping perhaps that in

spite of the evidence, her boyfriend had met some friends and wandered off without telling her. Any number of excuses for his disappearance would be going through her mind. Until she saw Callanach’s face, he thought. People knew the second they looked at you.

 

 

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Do not Become Alarmed – Maile Meloy ~Blog Tour.

Do not become alarmed

 

Back of the book :

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ships comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ships safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone …

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

 

What I think : 

Cousins Liv and Nora have taken their husbands and Kids on a winter cruise around South America. Nora had recently lost her mother and really didn’t want to spend Christmas at home, so Liv suggested that they all take a cruise. So Nora’s Husband Raymond and kids Marcus and June, join Liv and her husband Ben and their children Sebastian and penny on a trip of a lifetime.

At first everything seems to be brilliant, the rooms are spotlessly clean and very posh, there is plenty to do and lots of trips to take when they stop off at each place. They even make friends with a Argentinian family – Guntha, Camilla and their children. Everything is good. Then a few days into the trip, small disasters start to happen, a tire blow-out on a day trip, then a car accident.  Its whilst they’re waiting for assistance, after the car accident, that they decide to visit a beach that is close by.  Then the kids go missing …

At first, the kids forget about the tide coming up fast, they think it’ll be ok, they’ll just wait for their parents to realise and someone will come find them. But then the whole thing takes a sinister turn ….

I must admit,I really wasn’t sure about this book when I first started reading, its really not your normal crime novel, in as much that you know exactly whats going on at all times. You know whats going on with the kids and how they go missing and what happens throughout. Usually in Thrillers/crime novels you only find out what and why right at the end.

Its also quite slow to get going, but do stick with it, because all of a sudden you jump straight into the main bit of the story and it really gets going.

The characters weren’t your normal ‘everyday’ people, I’m mean for instance, Nora’s husband is some sort of TV star and Liv herself is a programme director !

I really didn’t like either women much, when the kids go ‘missing’ Nora is off with the tour guide somewhere in a bush, doing heaven knows what and liv has fallen asleep, so neither of them were taking any notice of what their kids were up to. This lays the path for them to start turning on each other, each blaming the other for what has happened.

Like I said earlier, this is not your average thriller/crime novel but it is a very interesting way to see all perspectives and because of that it has stuck in my mind.

I give this one 8/10 (4 stars)

four-stars

Published on 06/07/17 by Viking (Penguin)

A big Thank you to Josie Murdoch for the review copy of the book

 

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her last breath – tracy buchanan – Blog Tour.

tracy buchanan

Back of the book : 

A girl has gone missing, you’ve never met her, but, you’re to blame. 

Food writer Estelle Forster has the perfect life. And with her first book on the way, its about to get even better.

When Estelle hears about Poppy O’farrell’s disappearance, she assumes that girl has simply ran away. But Estelle’s world crumbles when she’s sent a photo of Poppy along with a terrifying note : I’m watching you. I know everything about you.

Estelle has no idea who’s threatening her, of how she’s connected to the missing teen, but she thinks the answers lie in the coastal town she once called home, and the past she hoped was long behind her.

Estelle knows she must do everything to find Poppy. But how far will she go to hide the truth – that her perfect life was a perfect lie.

 

What I think : 

Estelle has a wonderful life, A perfect boyfriend, and book coming out soon ..

When a young girl goes missing, she thinks nothing of it. She doesn’t know Poppy O’farrell, and anyway she ran away from home didn’t she ?

Then, on the evening of a dinner party she receives a bunch of flowers, some poppys. At first she thinks they are from well-wisher, but then she receives a photo of the missing girl in something she has ordered. There is also chilling message written on the photo, it’s then that Estelle’s past comes rushing back and she realises she must revisit that past.

Estelle still has no idea how she is connected to the missing girl, however its plain that someone from her past does …

Estelle travels back to the seaside town she spent her teenage years to see if she can find the answers there.

Can she help find the missing teenager without revealing her past … ?

 

I really quite liked this one, although it is a bit of a slower burner at the start, it really doesn’t get going for quite a while.  I also liked the way that there was small paragraphs from the point of view of the person sending the photo’s etc, it lets you know exactly how that person was feeling at that time.

The characters are pretty well written although I did find Estelle’s foster parents quite irritating and I think that they must have been the most unhealthy people in that small town with all the fry-ups that they ate ! Im really not surprised that Estelle had a eating disorder, although I do think that the author should  have covered it more than the small paragraph s here and there referring to it.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this book and a huge twist at the the end. It does shape up to be quite a good thriller in the end after its slow start.

I give this one 8/10. (4 Stars)
four-stars

 

Published by Avon on 29/06/17.

A huge thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the review copy of the book.

And Here for your reading pleasure is a small extract from the book.

Extract: 

I see you standing there. Can you sense me watching you?
You’re usually so good at hiding your feelings. Not now though.
You look so sad. So confused.
I ought to feel guilty. And yes, it oozes at the back of my mind, briefly. But it doesn’t take much to shut it down.
You deserve this, after all.
You told me you felt like this when they put you into care. Like you were helpless on a stormy sea. But then Autumn and Max came along, your anchors.
Well, they’re not here for you now, are they?
So maybe you’ll drown.
And then you’d be really pure, not just covering up the filth inside like you’re doing now with grown-up dresses and pretty hair.
But clean inside and out, just like you told me you wanted to be.
And then you’ll realise what you’ve done.
You’ll understand why I’m doing what I’m doing.
To save you, in a way. To save all of us

 

The Summer of Impossible Things – Rowan Coleman.

Rowan Coleman

 

Back of the book :

If you could change the past, would you ?

It’s only after her mothers death that Luna discovers the secrets she has been hiding for thirty years.

Now she and her sister must travel to their mothers childhood home and settle her affairs.

But, in Brooklyn something impossible happens to Luna. She finds herself in 1977, face to face with her mother as a young woman, in the week that changed her life forever.

To save a life, would you sacrifice your own ? 

 

What I think : 

Luna’s mum has just died. But before she died she told Luna a huge secret. This secret is as big as it gets.  To find out some answers to a few of her questions, Luna and her sister Pia must go to Brooklyn, New York, the place where her mum grew up, and met their father Henry. Whilst there they also need to settle her mums affairs.

Amongst all of this, Luna is trying to cope with her sister, Pia, who is a recovering alcoholic and drug taker. But perhaps the biggest thing of all, is that odd things have started to happen, she’s started to see things that aren’t there, and it appears she can travel in time ! and somehow she’s found herself back in the summer of 1977 with her mum and all of her friends !

Can Luna change things for her mum at the biggest time of her life and possibly lose her own ? or should she just let nature take its course ?

I really love Rowans books, they hold a really special place in my heart – if it wasn’t for Rowan and her lovely novel  “The Memory Book” I probably wouldn’t have started reviewing and blogging.

This is a wonderfully written, bittersweet story about families and the heartbreak that long hidden secrets can cause. I really love the way that Rowan builds her characters to really make them jump out of the page and become real.

I read this book in a matter of days, I just couldn’t put it down, however I did slow down a bit at the last few chapters as I really didn’t want this one to end.

I have never believed in anything ‘Supernatural’ or time travel etc, however the story was written in such a way that it had me believing  in the impossible, and wishing that perhaps it might be nice to have this ability and go back and visit loved ones that have passed on.

This is a book that I really enjoyed, right from the first page to the last and its a book that will stay with me for quite a while, and yes I did cry at he ending !!

Go out and buy this book NOW !!

I give this brilliant book a very well earned 10/10 (5 Stars)

5 gold stars

Published by EBury on 29/06/17

A very big thank you to Ebury Publishing for the review copy of the book.

 

The Friend – Dorothy Koomson.

Dorothy Koomson

 

Back of the book : 

After her husbands big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.

Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.

Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya, and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her new life.

That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again.

 

What I think : 

Cece has just arrived in Brighton from London. She is trying really hard to make things work. She doesn’t know anyone in Brighton so she’s feeling a bit isolated. Her husband, Sol, has already been there for three months and because they’ve been apart a while  they seem to have drifted apart. Cece is also worried that Sol may also, if he hasn’t already, be thinking about having an affair. When she meets Maxie on the beach and then through her, she meets Anaya and Hazel she thinks that things may finally be going to be Ok, she finally has some friends. But then, she hears about what happened to Yvonne, who was a very close friend to Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, She wonders if her new friends know more than they’re saying. Then to top it all she bumps into a face from her past who tells her a few things about the ladies and she knows she needs to find out what really happened that night to Yvonne ….

This is such a fabulous thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Dorothy’s books are always a real treat to read, her characters are always really well written and real.

The book is written over a few weeks from the points of view of all the characters, it also takes you back into their pasts as well, so you have a bit of background for all the characters.

Full of twists and turns, it makes you really sit back and think about what is going on. I loved this book because I really couldn’t work out ‘who-dun-it’ and I was really surprised in the end at the marvellous twist.

I give this wonderful novel a well earned  9/10 (5 stars)

5 gold stars

Published by Century (Penguin Random House) on 01/06/17.

A big Thank you to Emma Draude at Century for the review copy of the book.

Also, a big Thank you to Dorothy Koomson for the extra copy of the book to give to a Friend. (I haven’t decided who to give it yet, but when I do I’ll let you know) and the lovely note that accompanied it.

All The Good Things – Clare Fisher ~ Blog Tour.

Claire Fisher

 

Back of the book : 

Twenty-one-year-old Beth is in prison.

The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list pop all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with foster dad no.1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime ? And does anyone – even a 100% bad person – deserve a chance to be good ?

 

What I think : 

Bethany or Beth for short, is in prison. She’s done something really bad. So bad she doesn’t even want to think about it, let alone talk about it. She’s only been in there for three weeks. She has a counsellor, Erika who, even although Beth doesn’t talk to her, keeps on coming anyway. Day after day, week after week, she doesn’t give up on her.

Erika has asked Beth to write a list of ‘All the good things’ in her life. So, as she’s got nothing better to do, Beth sits down and writes ‘All the good things’ in her life. She writes about the running she loves, but has to do and also of her friend/enemy Cal, that she’s known since her school days. Beth’s life unfolds into the pages of the exercise book that Erika has given her. And she realises that her life isn’t that bad after all (apart from the ‘Bad Thing’ that she’s done)

But soon the writing must come to an end and Beth must face up to the ‘Bad thing’ the she did ….

When I was asked to read and review this book, I really didn’t know where this book was going to go, I mean a book about a woman in prison for doing something really bad isn’t really a uplifting subject isn it ? However as I started to read it, I got quite engrossed and actually read the book in an afternoon !

The story is told through the memories of Beth, of her life really. Its in the form of a list of  ‘Good’ things that are in her life.

Its quite heartbreaking in a way because Beth’s life has never really been a good one. So this list is a kind of therapy for her. She really needs it as she needs to face up to ‘The bad thing’ that she has done.

I really loved the well written characters and all their faults made them seem more human.

You don’t find out what the ‘Bad thing’ that Beth did until the very end of the book. I don’t want to ruin anything so I won’t say what the ‘Bad thing’ that she did is. But I will say this, all the clues are there and I pretty much guessed it correctly.

This is a fabulous debut book which I definitely would recommend.

I give it 9/10  (Five Stars)

5 gold stars

Published by Viking on 01/06/17.

A huge Thank you to Josie Murdoch and Claire Fisher for the review copy of the book.

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The Original Ginny Moon -Benjamin Ludwig ~ Blog Tour.

Ginny Moon

 

Back of the book :

The Original Ginny Moon’s painfully honest narrator is Ginny, a girl with autism living in a world that just doesn’t add up. Five years ago the police forcibly removed her from the home of her abusive mother Gloria.

Now fourteen and in her fourth Forever Home, Ginny is hell-bent on returning to her mothers apartment – despite knowing how dangerous that could be – to find something she insists she hid under the bed.

Ginny will steal, lie, plan her own kidnapping and tear apart every shred of the normal, stable life she currently has, just to find what she has left on the furthest edge of forever …

 

What I think :

Ginny Moon has at last got a Forever Mum and a Forever dad, (for the fourth time !) and she’s trying very hard to be good. However its proving very hard.

Ginny has autism and when she was nine years old the police came and took her away from her abusive and drug addict mum, Gloria.

Ever since then all Ginny wants to do is go back to the apartment to collect her ‘Baby Doll’ from the suitcase under the bed. Even although its very dangerous for her, she wants Gloria to ‘Kidnap’ her so she can get back to the home they once shared to get her ‘Baby Doll’, its very important to her. She has sent messages and told her the address In the hope that Gloria will come for her. Gloria has a restraining order preventing her from coming into contact with Ginny so its proving a bit problematic.

Will Ginny get back to the apartment, on the other side of Forever, to get the ‘Baby doll’ in the suitcase, or is it far too late …. ?

I really loved this sweet and gentle story about an autistic girl living in our ‘normal’ world. how is copes with life even although she had a pretty awful start to life.

I must admit I wasn’t too sure when I read the blurb on the back of the book, I didn’t think it was my kind of book. However it had me enchanted right from the first page to the last. It gathers you up and gently pulls you in.

The story is written in Ginny’s voice, so we find out exactly what she is thinking and feeling and also what she wants and what she must have, at any cost. its quite comical in places and very dry.

The author has done a fantastic job of conveying how Ginny’s thought processes happen, and even although she hasn’t been abused for five years, how it has affected her for possibly the rest of her life.

I really adored this debut novel and really hope that the author writes many more.

I give this lovely book 10/10. (5 stars)

5 gold stars

Published on 01/06/17 by HQ (Midas)

A very big Thank you to Samantha Evans at HQ for the review copy of the book.

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