Today I’m featuring the first in a new historical fiction series set in the Jacobean era.
Gunpowder and treason changed England forever. But the tides are turning and revenge runs deep in this compelling historical thriller for fans of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor’s Ashes of London, Kate Mosse and Blood & Sugar.
1606. A year to the day that men were executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament, a towering wave devastates the Bristol Channel. Some proclaim God’s vengeance. Others seek to take advantage.
In London, Daniel Pursglove lies in prison waiting to die. But Charles FitzAlan, close adviser to King James I, has a job in mind that will free a man of Daniel’s skill from the horrors of Newgate. If he succeeds.
For Bristol is a hotbed of Catholic spies, and where better for the lone conspirator who evaded arrest, one Spero Pettingar, to gather allies than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel journeys there to investigate FitzAlan’s lead, but soon finds himself at the heart of a dark Jesuit conspiracy – and in pursuit of a killer.
If this sounds like a book you’d enjoy, then head over to my Instagram page where I’m giving away a proof copy of this book.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Karen Maitland is an historical novelist, lecturer and teacher of Creative Writing, with over twenty books to her name, including the much-loved Company of Liars. She grew up in Malta, which inspired her passion for history, and travelled and worked all over the world before settling in the United Kingdom. She has a doctorate in psycholinguistics, and now lives on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.
Published: April 29th, 2021 Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Hardboiled, Police Procedural, Crime Series
The latest novel by the author of FIREWATCHING, by ‘a bold and brilliant new voice in crime fiction’
Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens – an oasis of peace in a world filled with sorrow, confusion and pain. And then, one morning, a body is found in the Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body’s been there for months. It would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone just sneaked into the Gardens and dug it up.
Who is the victim? Who killed her and hid her body? Who dug her up? And who left a macabre marker on the body?
In his quest to find her murderer, DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable… and willing to kill to keep what they find.
That which was lost… will always be found again
He can’t bear to think of her that way, all cold and dead and wasting away in her grave beneath the rose bushes. He’d always pictured her whole, whenever he thought about her. All peaceful and sleeping. The way she’d looked when he buried her.”
On a cold winter night, a nighthawker – a treasure hunter who operates under the cloak of darkness – breaks into Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens to search for treasures buried beneath the flower beds and instead uncovers the arm of a murdered young woman. DS Adam Tyler is called in to investigate, drawing him and his team into the mysterious, tangled web of nighthawkers, hidden treasure, secrets and murder.
Russ Thomas’ debut thriller, Firewatching, was one of my favourite books of last year, leaving me eagerly awaiting its follow up. But with such excitement comes trepidation. Would Nighthawking live up to the brilliance of Firewatching? The answer is, yes. Like its predecessor, Nighthawking is a heart-pounding thriller that had me on the edge of my seat.
Being set in my hometown gives this series a special place in my heart, but that isn’t the only reason I love these books. They are exquisitely written, intricate and action-packed, bringing Sheffield to life not only in terms of the vivid imagery, but the atmosphere. When I first heard that this book would be set in the Botanical Gardens I was delighted as it is probably my favourite place in the city. I even went there just last week and loved how clearly I could picture every moment that happened there. It was a fabulous setting that the author has clearly researched extensively and I know that the Gardens will forever be synonymous with this book for me.
The author has filled this book with a cast of richly drawn, compelling and nuanced characters. The multiple narrators allow him to weave in the human elements of the story and offer us greater insight into their nature, behaviour and motivations, and drawing more empathy from us for certain characters by showing us the trauma and pain they have suffered. I loved being back with Tyler and his team, a realistic bunch who bicker and don’t always work together well. I like that Tyler isn’t your usual affable and charming protagonist. He is someone you warm up to and I think his spiky, zealous nature gives the books a bit of an edge over the ones with a more likeable central character. I was glad to see Mina Rabbani back as she is probably my favourite character. It was great to see her grow in confidence and come into her own over the course of this book and I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store for her next.
Complex, twisty, dark and exhilarating, Nighthawking is an addictive page-turner that keeps you guessing. This can be read as a standalone, but I would highly recommend reading them in order because they are simply fantastic thrillers. My only question after that nail-biting finale is how long do I have to wait until book three?
MEET THE AUTHOR:
RUSS THOMAS was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. After a few ‘proper’ jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist, and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. Firewatching is his debut novel.
Published: April 1st, 2021 Publisher: Agora Books Format: Kindle (Paperback published April 29th) Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Crime Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Welcome to my stop on the tour for this evocative novel. Thank you to Peyton at Agora Books for the invitation to take part and the gifted ARC.
‘A compelling, multi-layered read – equal parts funny, frank and sinister’ – Fiona Valpy, author of The Dressmaker’s Gift
Memories are fragile when you are seventy years old. I can’t afford to lose any more of them, not when remembering the past might help with the here and now.
Nadia needs help. Help getting out of her hospital bed. Help taking her pills. One thing she doesn’t need help with is remembering her sister. But she does need help finding her.
Alone and abandoned in a London hospital, 70-year-old Nadia is facing the rest of her life spent in a care home unless she can contact her sister Simone… who’s been missing for 50 years.
Despite being told she’s ‘confused’ and not quite understanding how wi-fi works, Nadia is determined to find Simone. So with only cryptic postcards and her own jumbled memories to go on, Nadia must race against her own fading faculties and find her sister before she herself is forgotten.
Set against the lush and glamorous backdrop of 20th century Alexandria, Carol Cooper’s third novel is equal parts contemporary mystery and historical fiction: a re-coming of age story about family, identity, and homeland.
Seventy-year-old Nadia is in a London hospital and not quite sure what’s going on. Her memory isn’t what it used to be, and she keeps getting confused and misremembering. But one thing she’s sure of is that she needs to find her sister Simone, who she hasn’t seen in fifty years. The problem is, no one else believes Simone exists. Well, no one except the lovely nurse Deidre, who tries to help her find her sister before it’s too late.
The author opens the book talking about how her inspiration for the story came from her own memories of growing up in Alexandria and you can really feel that authenticity radiating from the pages. The author offers the reader not only an insight into the cultural and political landscape of Egypt, but also an authentic perspective on how it feels to grow up in Alexandria, its multiculturalism and verve oozing from the pages. It is a fascinating, educational and thought-provoking read, the author touching on a variety of subjects such as family, identity, loss, loneliness and female empowerment.
Nadia is a character I won’t soon forget. It is impossible not to feel for her lying in hospital distressed, confused and alone. But there is so much more to her. She is a nuanced, funny, compelling and feisty character who is determined to find her sister by solving the brief, cryptic messages she wrote on decades-old postcards; even learning how to use the internet to search for answers. I enjoyed following her through timelines, countries and cultures as she revisited old memories and searched them for any small clue that might lead her to her beloved sister.
I will admit that it took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this story. The huge shift between the bleak British hospital where Nadia languishes alone and confused and the striking, sunny backdrop of Alexandria was difficult to follow at first, particularly as the flashbacks don’t follow a chronological order. But once I did I was engrossed, lost in Nadia’s story and fully invested in her search for Simone.
This novel is unlike anything else I’ve read. Merging historical fiction, mystery and coming-of-age fiction,, the author has crafted a multilayered, evocative and affecting story that will linger long after reading.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Carol graduated in medicine from Cambridge University. She then spent time in different hospital specialities, including orthopaedic surgery and rheumatology, before entering general practice when her first son was born.
Carol’s journalism and broadcasting developed in tandem with GP work, and she is now well-known as a media medic. She writes for The Sun newspaper and other titles, and broadcasts on TV and radio on topical health issues.
Many of Carol’s non-fiction books are on child health and parenting, such as the much-loved guide Twins & Multiple Births, and the titles combine her professional expertise and her personal experience as a mother. As co-author of the book General Practice at a Glance, Carol won a British Medical Association book award in 2013. A companion volume, General Practice Cases at a Glance, appeared later.
Carol’s frivolous side has never been far from the surface. She became a columnist for Punch magazine and her articles can still be read in dentists’ waiting rooms. Her contemporary novels One Night at the Jacaranda and Hampstead Fever are also infused with a sharp wit. Her next novel, The Girls from Alexandria, is due to be published in April 2021.
At Imperial College, London, Carol teaches medical students consultation skills, clinical reasoning, and medicine in the media.
Carol is a Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, a trustee of Action on Pre-Eclampsia, an ambassador for Lucy Air Ambulance for Children, and honorary consultant in family medicine for the Twins Trust (formerly Tamba). She was elected President of the Guild of Health Writers in 2014.
Published: March 4th, 2021 Publisher: Michael Joseph Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Thank you to Michael Jacobs for the invitation to take part in the tour and for the gifted copy of the book.
The compelling, gorgeously atmospheric tale of female friendship, redemption and betrayal, inspired by the incredible true story of female convicts at sea
The Rajah sails for Australia.
On board are 180 women convicted of petty crimes, sentenced to start a new life half way across the world.
Daughters, sisters, mothers – they’ll never see home or family again. Despised and damned, all they have now is each other.
Until the murder.
As the fearful hunt for a killer begins, everyone on board is a suspect.
The investigation risks tearing their friendships apart . . .
But if the killer isn’t found, could it cost them their last chance of freedom?
Based on a real-life voyage, Dangerous Women is a sweeping tale of confinement, hope and the terrible things we do to survive.
“That’s what we, too, are like, us women… We’re many small pieces, each of us different but now stitched together. A patchwork of souls.”
Dangerous Women is a story of dark secrets, intrigue, betrayal and redemption. Flawlessly blending fact with fiction, the author has reimagined the story group of needlewomen who made the Rajah Quilt and crafted an epic sea voyage turned locked room murder mystery where everyone is a suspect and anyone could be next…
As soon as I heard about this book I knew it was one I had to read. I’m a big lover of the three key elements at the heart of this book and had high expectations. It did not disappoint. The author brings the past to life, telling the story of the Rajah’s long journey from London to Van Diemen’s Land with almost two hundred female convicts on board. Exquisitely written, richly imagined, and told with finesse, it is a real labour of love. Her passion for the subject is poured onto the pages and the depth of her research is clear as she immerses you in the women’s bleak world aboard the ship. Her love for this story is so infectious that it has sparked a desire in me to learn more about the Rajah, its ladies and the quilt, and I’ve got a number of books added to my wishlist so I can delve deeper.
Moving between past and present, the story is narrated by three women – Kezia, Clara and Hattie – who each offer a unique voice and perspective. All of the characters are vibrant and compelling, with richly drawn backstories full of heartbreaking tragedy. We learn that most of the women have only broken the law due to desperation and are as much victims as criminals. Thankfully, their matron Kezia understands this and is there to advocate for them with the other staff on board who may have been more ready to dismiss them as mere criminals without a thought for what they have endured. I loved her character and am eager to know more about the real woman she is based on, particularly her work with Elizabeth Fry.
I love character-driven stories so I revelled in the fact that the author made the women’s stories as fundamental as she did the murder investigation. It made me care about them, root for them and have a stake in the outcome. Though as I learned more about them I actually found it harder to predict who might have stabbed poor Hattie. The author had embedded the truth in the women and their stories with such skill that it was invisible even to my watchful eye, making my jaw drop when it was revealed.
Atmospheric, mysterious, suspenseful and compelling, this is a beautiful piece of historical fiction. If you are a fan of this genre, then make sure you pick up this book.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Hope Adams was born in Jerusalem and spent her early childhood in many different countires, including Nigeria and British Norht Borneo. She now lives near Cambridge. She has written books for children and adults as Adèle Geras.
Thank you to the wonderful Miranda at Viper Books for sending me a gorgeous gifted ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
THE MUST-READ GOTHIC THRILLER OF 2021
‘I haven’t read anything this exciting since Gone Girl’ STEPHEN KING
‘Believe the hype… a masterclass’ KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE
‘Books like this don’t come around too often’ JOANNE HARRIS
This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.
All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.
You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it’s not what you think…
“Don’t let anyone find out what you are.”
The Last House On Needless Street is a gothic masterpiece. It’s a few months since I read it and yet it still lingers vividly in my mind. Mysterious, unsettling and original, I was mesmerised from the start and completely enrapt by the eerie world the author had created. And the creepier it became, the deeper I fell; lured against my every instinct into the dark and twisted world of a murderer, his cat and the mystery of a missing child.
The story is told from multiple points of view: Ted, Dee, Lauren and Olivia the cat. Yes, the cat is a narrator in this book. Each is vividly drawn, fascinating and memorable, but they may or may not be reliable, adding to the mysterious atmosphere and leaving the reader never quite sure what is and isn’t real in this bizarretale.
It takes a talented author to write a story that is both horrifying and funny, something Ward has achieved with flourish with this book. She has crafted a tale unlike anything I’ve read before. One full of beautiful imagery and prose that belies the dark, murky, spine-chilling story it tells. She plays with your mind, cleverlylullingyou into a false sense of security where you accept what you’re reading, while using it to mask an entirely different narrative that only becomes visible as you approach the finale. And when you see it, it changes every word you just read. It is a masterclass in storytelling, twists and plotting that blows my mind every time I think about it.
“… if you wait long enough, evil always shows up.”
One of the things I loved most is how deeply Ward delves into the mind of the killer. I need more books like this! Don’t miss the Afterward for the full, fascinating insight into Ted’s mind. The amount of research that has gone into it is phenomenal and sent me down a fascinating and frightening rabbit hole.
Striking, inventive and gloriously unhinged, this jaw-dropping thriller is one that doesn’t come around often. It is a truly spectacular and original novel that you won’t be able to shake. One that will haunt you, horrify you and surprise you. Someone needs to call Spielberg or Howard because this is a story that belongs on the big screen.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Catriona Ward was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Her next gothic thriller, The Last House on Needless Street, will be published March 2021 by Viper (Serpents Tail).
Ward’s second novel, Little Eve (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018) won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award and the August Derleth Prize for Best Horror Novel at the 2019 British Fantasy Awards, making her the only woman to have won the prize twice, and was a Guardian best book of 2018. Her debut Rawblood (W&N, 2015) won Best Horror Novel at the 2016 British Fantasy Awards, was shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and a WHSmith Fresh Talent title. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. She lives in London and Devon.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this entertaining cozy mystery. Thank you to Bookouture for the invitation to take part and the eBook ARC.
A magnificent seaside hotel, striped deckchairs, strawberry ice cream… and a rather familiar dead body? Lady Swift is on the case!
Spring, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, explorer extraordinaire and accidental sleuth, hasn’t had a vacation since she arrived in England a year ago. Being an amateur detective can be a rather tiring business and she is determined to escape any more murder and mysteries. So she books into the Grand Hotel in the fashionable resort of Brighton for some fresh air, fish and chips and, of course, a dip in the ocean.
Eleanor is enjoying her view of the waves and trying to find her bathing suit when calamity strikes: a guest has been found dead at her beautiful hotel. The distraught manager, who can’t afford a scandal, asks Eleanor to solve the case as swiftly as possible. Thank goodness she has her partner in crime – Gladstone the bulldog – to help her sniff out the dastardly culprit.
But when Eleanor enters the dead man’s room, she receives a shock big enough to make her forget even the finest ice cream sundae. The body is that of her husband, who supposedly died six years ago on the other side of the world. Has he been alive all these years? Why does he have a copy of their wedding photograph with a cryptic message written on the back? If Eleanor can keep herself safe long enough to find her husband’s killer, she might discover that everything is not quite as it seems beside the seaside…
A warm and witty whodunnit! Fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and L.B. Hathaway will be utterly charmed by this addictive and absolutely gripping page-turner.
Brighton, March 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift is off on her first holiday since arriving back in England a year ago. The explorer extraordinaire and accidental sleuth is looking forward to some down time after the unexpected misadventures of recent months. But, before she’s even booked into her hotel, she is confronted by a dead body and yet another mystery waiting to be solved. The body belongs to Hilary, her husband who supposedly died six years ago. Can Eleanor decipher the few clues left behind to discover how he died twice and catch his killer?
Mystery by the Sea is a fun frolic that was like being in a time capsule; the author taking you back to a time when a trip to the English seaside meant striped deck chairs, donkey rides and a Punch and Judy show alongside the sea breeze, sandcastles and fish and chips. She brings it all to life so vividly that I felt like I was there walking along the breezy promenade, paddling in the sea and chasing a killer alongside the characters.
It is the fifth installment in the Lady Eleanor series but despite this it is easy to read as a standalone. I can vouch for that as it was my first time reading this series. Despite being an established series I never felt lost, quickly caught up on past events and soon felt like the characters and their relationships were familiar.
Lady Eleanor is a dazzling heroine who I absolutely loved. Outgoing, vibrant, daring and fiercely intelligent, she is a breath of fresh air and was a joy to read. She and her butler, Clifford, make a compelling and entertaining duo who I could happily read again and again. I loved their witty banter and how their differences complement each other. Eleanor may dazzle alone, but she is even more glorious with him. The background characters are just as richly drawn; the female staff may not feature as heavily in the story but make a memorable impression and I can’t wait to see more of her blossoming relationship with DCI Hugh Seldon.
This book was just the tonic I needed on a difficult day. Lively, charming, sharp and authentic, this glorious whodunnit lifted my spirits and left me yearning for more. I didn’t need yet another series to add to my already bulging list, but I found one. And I can’t wait to enjoy more of Lady Eleanor’s exploits.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery.
Published: March 1st, 2021 Publisher: Lume Books Format: Audio, Kindle, Paperback Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Today I’m thrilled to be closing the audiobook blog tour for The Abduction. Thank you to Lume Books and A. A. Chaudhuri for the gifted copy of the book.
The gripping sequel to Amazon bestselling thriller, The Scribe.
Kramer and Carver are back…
Madeline Kramer has finally got her life back on track at top City law firm Sullivan, Blake, Monroe. But when two armed, masked men burst into a conference room one lunchtime, kidnapping a trainee and a partner, Maddy’s life is plunged into disarray once more—particularly when charismatic DCI Jake Carver, who caught a heartless killer when they last met and with whom Maddy shared a mutual chemistry, is called to the scene.
Things become more complicated when a disturbing video reveals two more trainees have been taken. What initially appears as a random kidnapping for mercenary gain soon evolves into something far more complex, the horrifying events of thirty years ago motivating the abductors and having colossal implications for those in the present…
Against a backdrop of sleaze, sex, lies and murder in The Abduction, Maddy and Carver must work together to unravel the truth, and ensure that no crimes—past or present—are left unpunished.
The Abduction is the thrilling second installment in the Kramer & Carver series. I was delighted to be asked to review this book for an audiobook tour, something I’ve never done before.
The series follows lawyer Madeline Kramer and DCI Jake Carver. In this installment, the story opens with kidnappers storming the offices of Sullivan, Blake, Monroe, the top City law firm where Madeline now works, and abducting three trainees and a senior partner. As DCI Carver investigates, he discovers that the kidnappings are linked to dark, terrifying events thirty years ago and that this is a fight for justice both in the past and present.
I’ve not yet read the first book in this series but the author succinctly catches you up and never leaves you feeling out of the loop. The protagonists and supporting cast of characters are fascinating and richly drawn with compelling, intricate backstories that entwine them far deeper than we first imagine. The combination of the great writing and narration made it feel like they were in the room with you, transporting you into their world and the dark, twisted secrets of the staff at Sullivan, Blake, Monroe.
I liked Kramer and Carver and found them to be interesting and compelling protagonists. They were a great investigative team and I enjoyed the chemistry that sizzled between them. Though they tried to fight it, I was rooting for them to give in to how they felt for each other.
I enjoyed listening to this gripping, action-packed thriller. While it did take me a little while to warm to the narrator, I soon found myself hooked by the story and enjoying his riveting narration.
The Abduction is a multilayered, pacy and twisty story of decades old secrets, sex, lies, power, greed and vengeance that will have you on the edge of your seat. I will be reading the first book in this series and am looking forward to book three.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. Once a highly ranked British junior tennis player, she went on to gain a degree in History at University College London, then trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing. In addition to books featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, she has written four stand-alone novels, including racy thriller, Illicit Retainers, and political thriller, The Darker Side of White, yet to be published. She lives in Surrey with her family.
Amazon bestselling crime writer pub’d by Endeavour Media, rep’d A for Authors Literary Agency: #1 Amazon Australia Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Canada Women Sleuth Mysteries; (Aug ’19) top 10 Amazon UK Legal crime thrillers (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Australia Legal Thrillers (November ’19)
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this gripping thriller. Thank you to Bookouture for the invitation to take part and the eBook ARC.
Just four words were printed in the card. He doesn’t love you.
I’ve been dreaming about this day – marrying Adam, my childhood sweetheart, who I’ve loved for eighteen years.
I didn’t realise the perfect day would turn into the perfect nightmare.
I was so excited to send out the wedding invitations, carefully writing everyone’s names on thick cream paper in beautiful cursive script.
I had no idea I was inviting someone to destroy our marriage.
I couldn’t wait to say ‘I do’ surrounded by loved ones clinking champagne glasses.
I couldn’t imagine that one of them would try to hurt me.
It was meant to be the first day of the rest of our lives.
I never thought it would be the end of my life as I knew it.
We were meant to share our vows, to toast our future. But when the truth comes out, shocking the onlooking guests and ripping my heart out, is a happy ever after possible?
A completely gripping and totally addictive read that will get your blood pressure rising and send shivers down your spine. Fans of Date Night, The Sister-in-Law and The Girl on the Train will devour this twisty, dark and gasp-worthy page-turner in one swift gulp!
“And then it hits me. I’m going to die here… On my wedding day. All because of her.”
Husband and wife-to-be Adam and Lauren narrate this story that takes place in the months and weeks leading up to their wedding day. The childhood sweethearts have been anticipating this moment for years. Eighteen years to be exact; ever since those first sparks flew between on a holiday to Thailand that we see in flashbacks from Adam’s perspective.
But someone doesn’t want the couple to get their happily-ever-after and begins to try to sabotage both their wedding and their life together. Could till death do us part come sooner than they expect?
This is another first rate thriller from Ruth Heald, who has now secured a place on my must-read authors list. I devoured this book in just a few hours, the author holding me in the palm of her hands as she took me on one hell of a wild ride. I loved the darkly atmospheric world she crafted; the whisper of menace that hovered in the shadows sending shivers down my spine and making it impossible to stop reading. As the author slowly unveiled jaw-dropping twists that turn everything you thought you knew on its head, the story shifts to a much more nuanced and intricate thriller than it first appeared to be. I found this utterly addictive and it ensured I kept reading until ridiculous o’clock. I was totally invested and there was no way I could sleep without knowing who was behind all of this and what would happen to Lauren and Adam.
Enthralling, taut, twisty and suspenseful, this packs a punch from the first pages and doesn’t let go. A spectacular and electrifying thriller that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Ruth Heald is the bestselling author of psychological thrillers I KNOW YOUR SECRET, THE MOTHER’S MISTAKE and THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS, and the relationship drama 27: SIX FRIENDS, ONE YEAR.
Ruth studied Economics at Oxford University and then worked in an eclectic mix of sectors from nuclear decommissioning to management consulting. She worked at the BBC for nine years before leaving to write full time. Ruth is fascinated by psychology and finding out what drives people to violence, destruction and revenge. She’s married with two children and her novels explore our greatest fears in otherwise ordinary, domestic lives.
“Sometimes when I close my eyes, there is a rifle in my hands. My hands are small; my fingers are pudgy. I’m eleven years old. There’s nothing special about this particular rifle, nothing to distinguish it from any other Remington, except that this is the rifle that killed my mother.”
Today is the first in a new series where on the first Friday of each month is a flashback to an older book. As soon as I read the gripping first lines above I knew this was the book to start with. And that book is…
The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne! This was on my list of most anticipated reads when it was released last summer. I was a big fan of Karen’s first book, The Marsh King’s Daughter, so I’m very excited about reading this one.
A startling novel of psychological suspense, as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.
You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.
But what if nothing about your past is as it seems?
For a decade and a half, Rachel Cunningham has chosen to lock herself away in a psychiatric facility, tortured by gaps in her memory and the certainty that she is responsible for her parents’ deaths. But when she learns new details about their murders, Rachel returns, in a quest for answers, to the place where she once felt safest: her family’s sprawling log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan.
As Rachel begins to uncover what really happened on the day her parents were murdered, she learns – as her mother did years earlier – that home can be a place of unspeakable evil, and that the bond she shares with her sister might be the most poisonous of all…
Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Broken Ones. Thank you to Bookouture for the invitation to take part and the gifted eBook ARC.
Amber applies a dash of red lipstick and checks herself out in the mirror before heading out on a date. ‘Don’t wait up!’ she calls to her housemates as she leaves. But Amber never returns home that night. Amber Slater is never seen again.
The last person to see Amber was her housemate. He remembers everything she was wearing that night. He watched her leave. He listened to every word of her phone conversation with her friend before she left. He knows more about Amber’s movements than anyone.
At university, she is well-liked by her fellow students and teachers. Her tutor’s voice shakes when he is questioned by the police. Some say he and Amber were very close. Too close. Some say his wife had just found out about their relationship.
The manager at the restaurant where Amber was supposed to eat that night says she didn’t show up. Yet the chef at the restaurant is overly chatty about her. He wasn’t working that night. He wasn’t answering his phone. Nobody knows where he was when Amber went missing.
Rumours begin to circulate about Amber, it seems that everyone has a story to tell. But when the young girl’s lifeless body is found in a local park, with her blue lips glued shut, the gossip suddenly goes quiet. As the police trace the last few hours of Amber’s life, it seems that the girl simply vanished on her way to catch her bus. And when another woman goes missing in the dead of night, it’s a race against time to find her before she too is silenced forever.
“She’s out there and if she won’t come willingly, I will take her and I will transform her, like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.”
Detective Gina Harte and her team are back. This time they are investigating the kidnapping and murder of Amber Slater after her body was found in a local park with her lips glued shut. As they interview those who knew her they begin to suspect the killer might have used a dating app to target and track his victim. And when he snatches another young girl, the team finds themselves up against the clock in a race to find their culprit before he can silence her too forever.
This series was one of my first new discoveries after joining NetGalley and Bookstagram and I always look forward to coming back to these books. It’s like catching up with an old friend, just with a side order of murder. And after a week of being unable to read due to illness, this book was just what I needed to get my mojo back.
One of my favourite things is when a thriller tells you the story from the killer’s point of view and, once again, the author has done this perfectly; crafting a disturbing, sinister and eerie antagonist who I would definitely want to avoid on the street. Reading as he hunted for his perfect woman and then stalked her, all while she was completely unaware that he was about to pounce, made the suspense soar. I liked that the author toyed with us and brought Gina and her team into the fray as potential victims. The tension couldn’t have been higher and I was on the edge of my seat hoping that she wouldn’t kill off a much-loved character.
The author keeps the reader on their toes through an abundance of suspects, curve balls and red herrings that make it impossible to predict what will happen next and who is behind the kidnappings. The scenes from the adductor and his victim’s perspective ramped up the tension and Gina’s frustration and fear was palpable as she worried they wouldn’t identify the culprit in time to save his latest victim.
Captivating, addictive and sizzling with tension, this crime series shows no signs of slowing down. Carla knocks it out of the park with every book and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Carla Kovach is a crime and horror author from Worcestershire. Her most popular work, the DI Gina Harte series is published by Bookouture. As well as books, she also writes stage and screenplays.