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?

1

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

1-1

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

img_0020

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, Ghost Stories, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

There is something rather wonderful about reading ghost stories during the time between Halloween and the New Year, and oh how I do like a good creepy read. I love nothing more than curling up with an atmospheric, spine-chilling novel whilst the wind howls outside and the lights flicker inside. It therefore gives me great pleasure to join in with the Halloween takeover for the very wonderful, very creepy The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

Synopsis

Some houses are never at peace.

England, 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

In the classic tradition of The Woman in Black, Anita Frank weaves a spell-binding debut of family tragedy, loss and redemption.

51MFQ-YbE5L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

My thoughts

I have had this book sitting on on my tbr pile for a few weeks now but I was due be away from home for a few nights, sleeping alone, and I just knew I would never have been able to sleep whilst reading it. How right I was! Once back in th safety of my own bed opened the first page and was immediately swept away. This is a delicously creepy, gripping novel, one that whispered into my thoughts even when I wasn’t reading it. At times I literally found myself holding my breath as I read.

Set in 1917 in the gentle english countryside at a time when the country is shrouded in the darkness of the First World War. So many mourn the loss of loved ones and Stella Marcham is still reeling from the death of her beloved fiancee Gerald. In an effort to distract herself from her sadness she travels to visit her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at Greyswick, an imposing country mansion where Madeleine’s husband spent his childhood. When Stella arrives at the house Madeleine is withdrawn and not herself. There is something deeply unsettling about the house that Stella can’t quite put her finger on. Strange things start to happen and these, alongside the ghostly noises and sobbing in the night, lead Stella to try and uncover the truth hidden in Greyswick’s past and the family who live there. There is much unexplained about this life and what happens next and sometimes secrets are best left undisturbed…just like the ghosts waiting in the shadows of the attic.

I can hardly believe that this is a debut. It’s wonderfully constructed and filled with all the ingredients of a nail biting gothic thriller. The atmosphere Anita creates is tangible. I could feel the chill of the room, hear the footsteps on the stair. I was completely absorbed and terrified as I disappeared into the pages. I absolutely adored it and having recently read Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black and Sarah Water’s The Little Stranger can absolutely say that Anita Frank is way up there with those brilliant authors of such calibre. Thoroughly recommended. This is sure to be a great success and would make the perfect read for the long, winter evenings ahead of us.

Thank you so much to the lovely team at HQstories for inviting me to read and review this novel as part of the amazing Halloween take over.

About the author

91VUQEMiF1L._US230_

A farmer’s daughter from Shropshire, Anita studied English and American History at the University of East Anglia before moving to London to work in media analysis and communications.

She left paid employment to become a stay-at-home mum when she had the first of her three children. Sadly, Anita‘s youngest child developed a rare form of epilepsy in infancy which has left him severely mentally disabled and she is now his full-time-carer, but she has begun snatching what time she can to pursue her lifelong ambition of writing historical fiction.

Anita now lives in Berkshire with her husband, her two lovely girls and her gorgeous boy, a fluffy cat with an attitude, and a bonkers Welsh Springer Spaniel.

You can follow Anita on Twitter at @Ajes74

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, Crime, Fiction, Summer Reads, Suspense, Thriller

Summer Reads – The Closer I Get

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting. I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations. (Don’t forget to check back through my July post for further summer reading recommendations)

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston

Adult Fiction

Here’s the synopsis:
Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.
Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.
When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.
But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.
A compulsive, disturbingly relevant, twisty and powerful psychological thriller, The Closer I Get is also a searing commentary on the fragility and insincerity of online relationships, and the danger that can lurk just one `like’ away…

*

Now, I know I have only posted my review for this quite recently (do have a read of it here) but it really is a super novel and I so wanted to include it in my summer recommendations.
The Closer I Get was published in July and is available in paperback, eBook and on Audiobook. Visit the Orenda website here for more information but it should be available in any good bookshop.

Paperback ISBN: 9781912374779

*

Read it already? Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

IMG_20180723_161859

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Summer Reads, Suspense, Thriller

The Last Stage by Louise Voss

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for the rather excellent The Last Stage by Louise Voss

*

At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now she lives incognito in a cottage on the grounds of Minstead House, an old stately home, whilst working in the gift shop. Her past is behind her and she enjoys her new life.

But a series of inexplicable and unsettling incidents have started to happen around her – broken china, vandalised gardens… And when a body is found in the gardens of Minstead House, Meredith realises that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is and who wants to destroy her…

A dark, riveting and chilling psychological thriller, The Final Stage is a study of secrets and obsessions, where innocent acts can have the most terrifying consequences.

img_0230

There is such a wonderful amount of thrilling crime novels in out midst at the moment that you would be forgiven for feeling spoilt for choice, The Last Stage, however, is one you must not miss. There is an underlying sense of menace from the very start and Louise brilliantly builds the tension steadily as the novel moves on. At times she has the ability to create a kind of stillness that almost makes you feel as though you are holding your breath before the next devastating scene unfolds.

Meredith Vincent has a colourful past. After living in the public eye as the lead singer of a popular indie band back in the 80’s she is now enjoying a life of obscurity managing the gift shop in a historical house. No-one recognises her and that’s the way she is keen to keep things. Her past is not a place she wants to revisit and most certainly she doesn’t want to be found by the one person who nearly took her life one terror-stricken night over twenty years ago. Unfortunately Meredith soon discovers that the past has a way of catching up with you – especially when someone has vengeance on their mind.

The isolated setting of a stately honest time full to the brim with visitors and yet at others completely devoid of life provided an impressive and atmospheric backdrop for events to unfold. Strange happenings that couldn’t quite be explained and could initially be shrugged off but actually became much more sinister and unsettling as the story moved on.

The Last Stage is a brilliant murder-mystery come psychological thriller. The effect of events on Meredith kept me on edge throughout as her past came hurtling into her present. There was a sense of the inevitable upon finding the body but from there on the twists and turns kept me completely engrossed in this thrilling read. I whole-heartedly add this to my list of Summer Reads and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you so much to the lovely Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to the fabulous Orenda Books for sending me the review copy. As always the quality of their fiction is top notch!

The Last Stage was published on July 11th and is available in paperback, on eBook (currently 99p on Amazon) and on Audiobook (I would imagine this is fantastic to listen to!)

About the author

Louise Voss

img_0231Over her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Her most recent book, The Old You, was a number one bestseller in eBook. Louise has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime- writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

 

1

Adult Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Thriller

Summer Reads – The Inquiry

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The Inquiry by Will Caine

Adult Fiction

51mW15a5cLL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Here’s the synopsis:

Former MP Francis Morahan swore never to return to politics. But when he’s asked to chair a government inquiry into the intelligence agencies’ record against terror, it’s clear that it’s an order from the top – not a request.

Sara Shah once teetered on the edge of a dangerous circle. Now a lawyer in a prestigious London firm, she’s put her past behind her. Until a letter delivered by hand summons her to join the Morahan Inquiry.

Duty-bound, Sara accepts. Armed only with a list of names, dodging her one-time connection to the networks she infiltrates, she finds herself led by an anonymous source into the darkest corners of post-9/11 Britain.

What, or who, was the weapon at the heart of British terror?

IT IS A SECRET SOME WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO KEEP HIDDEN.

Westminster’s best-kept secrets are hunted down in this edge-of-your-seat political thriller – perfect for fans of Sam Bourne, Frank Gardner and Mick Herron.

*

I love a good thriller and this is most definitely one.  Out in hardback now (paperback is due at the end of the year) and it’s also now available on eBook and Audiobook.  It’s published by HQ and imprint of HarperCollins so check out there website here for more information.

Hardback ISBN: 978008325619

*

Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

IMG_20180723_161859