Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Debut, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Gone by Leona Deakin

Today is my final blog tour for 2019 and so close to Christmas I am certainly ending on an absolute cracker as I play host to Gone by Leona Deakin.

Synopsis

Four strangers are missing.

Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME
DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic, and psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom is persuaded to investigate. As she delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.
And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the puppeteer. But is she playing into their hands?

An addictive debut thriller with an ingenious hook that turns the missing person plot on its head

– what if the missing people are the dangerous ones?

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My thoughts

This was a very, very enjoyable read.  I have to say I am mightily impressed that this is a debut and rather excited that it kicks of the start of a series.

Right from the very first page this novel had a grip on me and I honestly found it hard to put down.  Daily life became frustrating as I was constantly on the lookout for my next opportunity to read, even waking up extra early to read.  The structure and plotting is superb and the twists and turns of the story executed with a expert hand.

The story begins with a crime scene.  A victim lies on the floor, life slowly ebbing away.  With him are two school girls.  At this stage we’re unsure what happened but the event leaves us with a feeling of unease. Something isn’t quite right and one of the young girls is sent to see Dr Bloom.  Alongside this runs what appears to be the main plotline of the disappearance of a young mother. Lana disappears without a trace on her birthday.  The only clue that remains is an unsigned birthday card simply stating ‘YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.  DARE TO PLAY’.  As Dr Augustus Bloom and her partner Marcus Jameson begin to investigate it becomes clear that there are more disappearances and that the danger doesn’t lie with the missing people but is closer to home.

Exciting, fast-paced and with an very engaging detective team this is definitely a series to watch.  I can’t wait to read more. There are also reading group questions at the back and a sneak peek at book 2.  Thankfully the second novel is not too far away, with Lost due to be published in 2020. 🙂

Gone was published by Black Swan (Transworld Books) in paperback on October 3rd. Also available in EBook.

Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

About the author

Unknown-1Leona Deakin

Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.  Gone is her debut thriller.

You can follow Leona on Twitter at @LeonaDeakin1

You can follow Transworld Books on Twitter at @TransworldBooks

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Thriller

Collapse by Freddie P. Peters

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for the first novel in the Henry Crown Paying The Price series, Collapse.

Synopsis

Henry Crowne: Paying the Price – Book One

COLLAPSE (Surviving is a skill – Killing another)

He is a secret IRA operative.

He is one of the most successful City banker in London

…then the 2008 Financial Crisis happens.

Nancy Wu, former eminent Queen’s Counsel, now prominent patron of the arts, receives the most unexpected call for help. Henry Crowne is accused of murder in a case that seems decided from the very beginning. His Irish background, financial terrorist connections and investment banking success inexorably tilt the scales against him. Nancy’s own lingering darker past calls for her to mount Henry’s defence but her client is the biggest obstacle. Will she manage to unpick the devious manipulations of a most twisted mind?

Collapse is a financial and espionage thriller, the first book in the Henry Crowne: Paying the Price trilogy. If you like The Big Short, The Fear Index and A Week in December you will enjoy the twists and turns of Freddie P Peters’ latest fast-paced thriller. Discover it now…

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My thoughts

This is a very different type of thriller than I would normally read. It was incredibly engaging and there is much to enjoy within this first in a brand new trilogy. The high staked financial world is something I know very little about but Freddie made me feel the high adrenaline atmosphere that goes with it, especially when combined with terrorism, espionage and murder. Did I like this world? Let’s just say I am glad I could visit within the pages of this novel but it was rather exciting and a thrill to journey there briefly. Fast paced throughout, this is a super read and I”m pleased to say the next two novels in the series are now available to.

Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Freddie Peters for my review copy.

About the author

Discover more about Freddie P Peters by visiting her website at: WWW.FREDDIEPPETERS.COM

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Debut, Suspense, Thriller

Blind Witness by Vicki Goldie

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Blind Witness by Vicki Goldie, the first novel in The Charters’ Mysteries Series.

Synopsis

In 1922 a blind WWI veteran and former intelligence officer attends a weekend with his aristocratic wife and her family at a country house in the New Forest, Hampshire. Fourteen people sit down to dinner on the Friday night; by the end of the weekend there are tow murders, an attempted murder and a suicide.

This is book one in a series of humorous murder mysteries and introduces young sleuths The Hon Melissa Charters and her war veteran husband Major Alasdair Charters.

The pair collaborate using Melissa’s powers of observation and Alasdair’s old skills gained in the Secret Intelligence Service to investigate the events unfolding over the weekend. A murder mystery, with a spy plot told from many different points of view in the tradition of Simon Brett, M.C. Beaton and Kerry Greenwood.

My thoughts

Major Alasdair Charters returned from the First World War without his sight. What happened the night he sustained his injury is unknown but there is something about it that still doesn’t sit well with him. Relieved to be alive and yet feeling much less of a man, he has struggled to come to terms with being looked after by his young, long suffering wife, Melissa Charters. He wonders why she is still with him and fears it may be more duty and pity than love. Melissa, however, adores her husband and wants nothing more than to remain by his side. If only she could lift his war battered spirit. After much patience on her part, he finally relents and agrees to escape the safety of their London flat and accepts a weekend visit to her family house in the country. A house that has also seen it’s own loss during the war. Melissa’s family have been summoned by her uncle, Brigadier Ferguson and his wife, Lady Honor. At first it seems like an innocent reunion but before the first night is over a murder has been committed and everyone in the house is a suspect. Could there be evil lurking within the family or could the small number of other guests, strangely invited considering it is a family gathering, have something to do with it? Desperate to discover the killer and prevent further crimes Alasdair shakes off his sense of uselessness and with Melissa by his side the two delve deeper into family and war time secrets – secrets that someone will resort to anything to keep quiet. Alasdair may be blind but his mind (and hearing) is still sharp as a tack and with Melissa as his eyes the pair may just get to the bottom of the mystery.

I am a big fan of crime novels and in particular the style of Agatha Christie, the original Queen of the murder mystery. She was of course a master creator of character and could find evil in the most mundane of situations, creating a thrilling read along the way. Her novel always entertain and thrill/  Blind Witness provided me with a welcome return to this gentle, yet intriguing style of crime novel and an interesting debut. I found the central characters interesting and I feel there is still a great deal to be seen from them. This is an engaging read and I feel that it shows a promising start to the series. I hope that we discover more about Major Charters and his wife. They make a good team and I look forward to revisiting them again in the second novel of the series.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and to Vicki Goldie for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I wish you all the very best with the series.

About the author

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Vicki Goldie

Vicki worked as a Chartered Librarian for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and then for the past 19 years in public libraries in Bournemouth and Poole. There she enjoyed arranging and attending writing courses and author events, including such luminaries as Fay Weldon and Peter James. With the Reading Agency and other librarians round the country she reviewed and selected books for The Radio Two Book Club. All the time writing away in her spare time.

Born in California but brought up in England she was introduced to the Golden Age of crime authors at an early age by her mother. She is married to a blind physiotherapist, and it is from his mother, born in a large country house in Devon (now a hotel), educated by governess and with a cut glass voice like the Queen, that she absorbed real life stories about the twenties and thirties.

She has always had a fascination with the Art Deco period and the Golden Age of crime writing. She has been filling her house with Art Deco inspired artefacts and clothing for 40 years. 

Blind Witness is her debut novel and is the beginning of the Charters Mysteries Series featuring Major Alasdair Charters and The Honourable Melissa Charters.

 

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Thriller

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the outstanding Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver.

Synopsis

A shocking, mesmerisingly original, pitch-black thriller, which, following the critically acclaimed Good Samaritans, confirms Will Carver as one of the most imaginative, innovative and exciting authors in crime fiction.

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge.

They’ve never met. But, at the same time, they leap to their deaths.

Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on a train witness the event.

Two of them will be next.

By the morning, People of Choice are appearing around the globe. It becomes a movement. A social-media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers.

The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader who does not seem to exist …

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My thoughts

So, take a crime thriller,  someone is murdered and then a determined and quietly brilliant detective will investigate, leaving  no stone unturned as they work towards bringing the killer in, hopefully avoiding further deaths in the process.  Now turn that idea completely on it’s head and you might come somewhere close to Will Carver’s latest offering, Nothing Important Happened Today.

This novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read.  It was certainly gripping but oh did I find it an uncomfortable (yet wonderful) read.  The power of suggestion is alway slightly unnerving and yet, in reality, we are surrounded by it every day – every time we turn on the TV, open a newspaper or simply, innocently scrolling through the tiny screens that have become almost a part of our very being. It’s tricky to talk in too much detail without giving the plot away but in a nut shell Will has created a modern psycopath who uses the mind as a tool for their killing.

This is very much a crime story for the world we live in today.   There is no evil lurking in the shadows here, theyr don’t even have to lay a hand on their victims. The killer is subtle in their method uses the victim’s weakness against them as he drives them to their undoing.  They don’t want to die, of course they don’t, that’s what makes it so thrilling for our killer but somehow they just can’t seem to step away from the edge.

There is bucket loads of suspense following the victims as they go about their everyday lives and yet on one particular day, just one tiny thing changes and suddenly they are in mortal danger, from themselves – all quite brilliantly orchestrated by this unknown leader (and they didn’t even realise they were in a cult).

It is actually a rather brilliant novel.  The style is unique and Will has the ability to hit the nail on the head with modern society and what makes us tick (or not) as human beings. It’s almost a bit of a wakeup call.  He uses social media within the story to show how an idea can spread and how our perception can be manipulated.  It’s rather unnerving to say the least, yet there are even further ways to reach the inner workings of our minds, as our killer shows us.  This is a superb example of an author watching the world around him, looking deep and showing us how it could be, how it is.  His ending is, I think rather superb and incredibly satisfying.  Read this impressive piece of fiction and look at your world around you…perhaps turn off your phone for a bit and take back your mind.  You never know it might just save your life.

Thanks so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to the wonderful team at Orenda Books for my review copy.  As always, they and their authors make me look at the world around me in a slightly different way.

About the author

1Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.  He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Debut, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch

 

Synopsis

How well do you know your wife?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are married. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

My thoughts

I started reading This Little Dark Place first thing on a Sunday morning and was finished by lunchtime. I absolutely couldn’t put it down. There is an underlying sense of unease from the beginning. A story told from the viewpoint of Daniel, we see everything through his eyes from start to finish. Writing to the mysterious Lucy, he admits that he has, until now, been reluctant to tell his version of events and yet for her he is willing to divulge all. But what story is unfolding before us? Who is the victim here? Who the monster? Two women in his life. Victoria his wife, they’ve shared difficult times and yet he tried to be strong for her, tried to make her happy. Then Ruby, a women he reached out to when he was feeling lost, in an effort to support her during her time in prison by giving her hope via the pen pal programme. Reckless? Perhaps, but sometimes we make foolish choices to try and fill the void. Can our own vulnerabilities make us reveal too much ourselves? How well can we ever know anyone, especially someone we’ve only met via email.

A S Hatch has written a debut filled with suspense. We’re not quite sure who to trust and as Daniel shares his experience we begin to wonder where this will end. Ruby is always a shadowy character, her story shared by Daniel and when she finally arrives uninvited at his front door, he begins to doubt everything she has told him.

This is a super debut novel, chilling and wonderfully plotted I was completely drawn into the story. It was an intense ride and there was a moment where I had to pause to take a breathe. I knew that something terrible was on the horizon, I could feel it coming, gradually building to the crescendo and that moment when I thought “oh no! I didn’t see that coming.’

This novel explores the darker side of the psyche and makes us question how well we can ever really know even those closest to us and just what they might be capable of.

Thank you so much to the lovely people at Serpent’s Tail for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. This was a fantastic read and one I very much enjoyed. I look forward to reading more from A S Hatch in the future. Highly recommended.

About the author

A_S_Hatch

A.S. Hatch grew up in Lancashire in the 90s, and has lived in Taipei and Melbourne. Now he lives in London and writes fiction in his living room-slash-office-slash-gym in the early hours of the morning before going to work in political communications

You can follow him on Twitter at @andrewshatch

You can follow Serpent’s Tail on Twitter at @serpentstail

 

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Thriller

Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson.

Synopsis

The third book in the award-winning, critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, featuring true-crime writer Alexis Castells and profiler Emily Roy.

Previous titles in the series, Block 46 and Keeper, have won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balaid’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards and sold in 19 countries. A French, Swedish and English TV series is in production, adapted by and starring award-winning French actress Alexandra Lamy.

Spain, 1938

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Teresa witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Teresa gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016

A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells, and they soon find themselves on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer, in an investigation that takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule…

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My thoughts

Back in April 2018 I read and reviewed Keeper, the second instalment in the Roy & Castells series.  I absolutely loved it and so have been waiting in anticipation to see what would come next.  Johana Gustawsson is fast becoming one of my favourite crime writers.  She just sweeps me away with the story.  These ain’t no light hearted old fashioned crime novels.  They reach right in and grab you by the heart.  She brings the horror of the past into our modern world reminding us that these events remain with us, that the effects are still being felt.

The backdrop may be Franco’s dictatorship in which so many suffered and died but Johana shines a light on the evil amongst us that feed off of those darks times to satisfy there own ends.  Within her novel we see the pain and suffering of the innocent at the hands of those who should be sheltering and protecting them.  There were times when I wondered how one human being could do something so hideous to another.  There are parts that are quite distressing but Johana does not embellish or glorify those.  She brings them to the page with an eloquent, expert hand.  The historical aspects are brilliantly portrayed as she focuses on the effects on the everyday people, the victims of the heinous times. Do monsters breed monsters or are they living within us waiting to be unleashed.

Johana’s novels have strong, smart and professional female protagonists.  I like them very much.  There is a tenderness behind their steely professional exterior that add an interesting dimension to the story. After Aliénor’s family are brutally murdered profiler, Emily and writer, Alexis set out to track down the perpetrator.  Is it a serial killer satisfying a sadistic need or is there a more personal motive behind the killings?  We move back and forth between the present and the past as the crime takes us from Sweden to the blood soaked streets of Franco’s Spain.

I really can’t praise this highly enough.  It is a superb, engrossing read.  I am normally a lover of a paperback but on this occasion I was oh so grateful to be reading it on eBook so I could read on into the night whilst the rest of the house slept.  If you haven’t discovered this series yet then I strongly urge you to seek it out. I really don’t think there is an absolute need to read them from the start to finish but really, they are all fantastic so why stop at just one.  I’m excited to read that a TV adaptation is underway. I think it could make for some very exciting viewing.  Now I just need to to wait for the next novel…I do hope there is going to be one.

Thank you so much to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.  I haven’t read one book by this publisher that I haven’t loved and this one is right up there with the best. They are an amazing team and their translators are heroes, bringing the authors stories to us and capturing every nail biting moment perfectly. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

About the author

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons. She drew on her own experience of fertility clinics and IVF to write Blood Song and is happy to speak and write pieces about this.

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Plenty Under The Counter by Kathleen Hewitt

Today I’m so delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Plenty Under the Counter by Kathleen Hewitt. This novel is one of four war time classics being brought to new readers by the Imperial War Museum.

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Synopsis

London, 1942, Flight-Lieutenant David Heron, home on a convalescent leave, awakes to the news that a murder victim has been discovered in the garden of his boarding house.  With a week until his service resumes, David sets out to solve the murder.  Drawn into a world of mystery and double-dealing, he soon realises that there is more than meets the eye, and that wartime London is a place where opportunism and the black market are able to thrive.  Can he solve the mystery before his return to the skies?

Inspired by Kathleen Hewitt’s own experience of wartime London, this new edition of a 1943 classic includes a contextual introduction from IWM which sheds light on the fascinating true events that so influenced its author.

My thoughts

I do love a murder mystery and so was delighted when I discovered one of the four titles released in this project was one.  Often war on the frontline is covered in stories but this looks at the war from the Homefront.  Whilst men were away fighting life carried on whilst we hear plenty about the wartime spirit there were also plenty that took advantage of this difficult time.  Whilst many sheltered from the bombings others used the blackouts and misfortune of others to their own end.  This story shows that darker side, the side of a society pushed to their limits with the fear of the nightly raids, rationing and separation from their loved ones, and the criminals who take advantage of them.

Right from the get go the story drags you in with the discovery of a body.  David Heron is our protagonist and he becomes determined to help solve the crime.  The thing I liked most about this novel is that it perfectly sets the scene for battle worn London.  This wonderful series written by those who lived and breathed it captures the feeling and atmosphere of the time.  Kathleen Hewitt is a talented writer and I’m so delighted to have been able to read her work thanks to the IWM.  I read with interest the introduction written by Alan Jeffreys and I find her a fascinating woman.  I would definitely love to know more about her, not just her work but life in London.  We do get a glimpse of this in her writing.  Her plot is intriguing and her characters engaging.  Humour is splattered throughout and yet there is the undertone of the hardship that the war brought so many of the people simply trying to survive it.  We now know that the war eventually ended but at this time they had no idea how it would turn out.  This is a gripping murder mystery that perfectly captures a slice of British history and brings the realities of war on the Homefront to life.

Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to the IWM for my review copy.  I have already brought a copy all four of these titles for our school library and I look forward to sharing them with students and staff.

About the author

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Kathleen Hewitt (1893-1980) was a British author who wrote more than twenty novels in her lifetime, mainly in the mystery and thriller genre.  During the Second World War she lived in Marylebone, and belonged to the The Olde Ham Bone, a bohemian club in Soho, as well as frequenting the Ivy, the Cafe Royal and the Pen Club.  Hewitt enjoyed friendships with many literary and artistic figures of the day including Olga Lehman and the poet Roy Campbell.

 

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Here is a little more about the project:

In September 2019, to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, IWM have launched a wonderful new series with four novels from their archives all set during the Second World War – Imperial War Museums Wartime Classics.
Originally published to considerable acclaim, these titles were written either during or just after the Second World War and are currently out of print. Each novel is written directly from the author’s own experience and takes the reader right into the heart of the conflict. They all capture the awful absurdity of war and the trauma and chaos of battle as well as some of the fierce loyalties and black humour that can emerge in extraordinary circumstances.

Living through a time of great upheaval, as we are today, each wartime story brings the reality of war alive in a vivid and profoundly moving way and is a timely reminder of what the previous generations experienced.

The remarkable IWM Library has an outstanding literary collection and was an integral part of Imperial War Museums from its very beginnings. Alan Jeffreys, (Senior Curator, Second World War, Imperial War Museums) searched the library collection to come up with these four launch titles, all of which deserve a new and wider audience. He has written an introduction to each novel that sets them in context and gives the wider historical background and says, ‘Researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM. It’s been very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’.

Each story speaks strongly to IWM’s remit to tell the stories of those who experienced conflict first hand. They cover diverse fronts and topics – preparations for D-Day and the advance into Normandy; the war in Malaya; London during the Blitz and SOE operations in occupied Europe and each author – three men and a woman – all have fascinating back stories.

These are Second World War novels about the truth of war written by those who were actually there.

War Time Classics

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