Girl A by Abigail Dean, published by HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction General Fiction (Adult) | Literary Fiction @abigailsdean @HarperCollinsUK @HarperFiction @VikingBooks #blog #review #literaryfiction #truecrime

I was very excited to receive a copy of Girl A. It was publicized as one of the most anticipated this year, so I had fairly high expectations from the start. It’s a remarkable book and a difficult book. Remarkable, because I read it in such a short timeframe which for me means the writing flowed, the premise kept me engaged and the characters were lifelike in their struggles. Difficult because of the subject of child poverty, abuse and mental illness. The upside is, it’s a tale of escape and empowerment.

Book Description:

Girl A: The Sunday Times best seller, an astonishing new crime thriller debut novel from the biggest literary fiction voice of 2021 by [Abigail Dean]
ASIN : B07Z5J6SJ2
Publisher : HarperCollins (21 Jan. 2021)

*THE INSTANT NO. 2 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*

THE BOOK THAT WILL DEFINE A DECADE
‘Haunting, powerful, with a pitch-perfect ending’ THE NEW YORK TIMES
‘Sensational. Gripping, haunting, and beautifully written’ RICHARD OSMAN

‘The biggest mystery thriller since Gone Girl’ ELLE
‘Incendiary, beautifully written debut’ Guardian
‘Psychologically astute, adroitly organised, written with flair’ Sunday Times
‘An astonishing achievement.’ JESSIE BURTON
‘Gripping, beautifully written perfection.’ SOPHIE HANNAH
‘A masterpiece.’ LOUISE O’NEILL
‘Fantastic.’ PAULA HAWKINS

‘Girl A,’ she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’

Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.

Beautifully written and incredibly powerful, Girl A is a story of redemption, of horror, and of love.

RIGHTS SOLD IN 29 TERRITORIES

SOON TO BE A TV SHOW DIRECTED BY JOHAN RENCK (Chernobyl)

‘Terrifyingly gripping’ SUSIE STEINER
‘Beautiful’ ADELE PARKS
‘Incredibly well written, devastating in a good way, and intriguing to the last page’ LIZ NUGENT
‘I was obsessed by it. As close to perfect as thrillers get’ JOHN MARRS
‘A gripping debut’ Oprah magazine
One of Marie Claire, Waterstones and Grazia’s best books for 2021

Told in two timeframes: Lexy now, trying to escape the media storm of the past. She is the eldest child in the Gracie family and executor of the will. After her mother dies in prison, the house is left to her and her siblings, forcing a return to Moor Wood Road. Faced with her siblings now, all of whom were adopted out, it’s time to unpack their separate journeys and past traumas. As the two timelines begin to merge, Lexy is determined to turn the house into something good.

Then there’s Lexy as a child, whose chilling experience in what the press hypes as a house of horrors is a deeply layered excavation of the past. I was chilled to the bone with ‘binding days’ and a wasteland of neglect between the beds dubbed The Territory. You can smell rot and you can see skin ingrained with filth that would take several scrubs to put to rights. Flashbacks of early memories are painful to read – the slow decline into degradation and a mother powerless to stop the violence and the unnatural isolation of hungry children chained to beds. This, and the undertones of an obsessive father caught up in a chaotic and cult-type faith, will be hard for some readers. The book will have triggers, so check the comps (My Dark Vanessa being one).

At the start of the book, Lexy is a little disengaged, which is correct for a child in such an abusive environment. Tormented day and night and desperate to protect her sister, Evie, she understands there is no one to save them unless she escapes. Her plan is meticulous and cleverly executed and the author did a fantastic job of capturing the mood. My adrenalin spiraled out of control at this point.

I understand this book is based on a similar case set in a different location, but none of that detracted from the story itself. Masterful writing coupled with the need for survival had me gripped. It gave me the shivers in places and a few tears now and then. It’s one of those books that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you Netgalley, the author, Abigail Dean, and Harper Collins UK – HarperFiction for the privilege of reading this book.

#GirlA #NetGalley

About the Author:

Abigail Dean

Abigail Dean was born in Manchester, and grew up in the Peak District. She graduated from Cambridge with a Double First in English. Formerly a Waterstones bookseller, she spent five years as a lawyer in London, and took summer 2018 off to work on her debut novel, Girl A, ahead of her thirtieth birthday. She now works as a lawyer for Google, and is currently writing her second novel, The Conspiracies.

Girl A sold in the UK after a 9-way auction, and also sold at auction in the US. The novel has since been acquired in 27 other territories, and television/film rights have sold to Sony. Johan Renck, director of Chernobyl, is attached to work on the television adaptation of Girl A.

Abigail has always loved reading, writing, and talking about books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AbigailSDean.

Girl A, Abigail Dean, best debut fiction, thriller book, true crime, best books of 2021, crime

Cover Reveal! The Art of Loving You by Amelia Henley, published by Harper Collins (HQ Stories). #coverreveal @MsAmeliaHenley @HQstories

And here it is! The brand new emotional and heart-breaking novel from Amelia Henley.

No description available.
Amazon Link Here

Perfect for fans of Rebecca Serle, Josie Silver and Sophie Cousens.

They were so in love . . .
And then life changed forever . . .
Will they find happiness again?
 
Libby and Jack are the happiest they’ve ever been. Thanks to their dear friend, eighty-year-old Sid, they’ve just bought their first house together, and it’s the beginning of the life they’ve always dreamed of.

But the universe has other plans for Libby and Jack and a devastating twist of fate shatters their world.
 
All of a sudden life is looking very different, and unlikely though it seems, might Sid be the one person who can help Libby and Jack move forward when what they loved the most has been lost?
 
The Art of Loving You is a beautiful love story for our times. Romantic and uplifting, it will break your heart and then put it back together again.

* * * *

Praise for Amelia Henley:

‘A love story with a definite difference . . . intensely emotional’
Best

‘Beautifully written and plotted. Get ready for the final chapter – you have been warned’
Candis

‘Intriguing, unusual and intensely romantic’
Sunday Mirror

No description available.

Author Bio:

Amelia Henley

Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories.

Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.

‘The Life We Almost Had’ is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and it’s out now.

Other Books by Amelia Henley:

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner, published by Dutton (January 19, 2021) @DuttonBooks @LisaGardnerBks #blog #review #policeprocedural #crimethriller

Before She Disappeared: A Novel by [Lisa Gardner]

WOOHOO! A great storyline, a complete knockout! More, More, More of Frankie Elkin please! In my opinion, this is another winner.

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a propulsive thriller featuring an ordinary woman who will stop at nothing to find the missing people that the rest of the world has forgotten

Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

“In this rare standalone, the prolific Gardner has come up with one of the most original characters in recent crime fiction, a woman readers can care about even while not being entirely sure of what to make of her.”–Washington Post

“This book, the best-selling author’s first stand-alone novel in 20-years, is a sharply-written, tension-filled yarn full of twists readers are unlikely to see coming. The most compelling element, however, is the character of Frankie, a recovering alcoholic whose obsession with the missing is a penance of sorts for the burden of guilt and grief she carries over a past trauma that took the life of a man she loves.”–Associated Press

Named one of 2021’s Most Anticipated Books by “Good Morning America,” PopSugar,BookpageCrimeReads, and Mystery Tribune

“A masterpiece of post-modern noir….A riveting stunner of a tale where the rare appearance of the sun shines down on what is certain to be one of the best thrillers of 2021.”Providence Journal

“[An] outstanding crime novel…. Gardner pulls no punches in this socially conscious standalone.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

I was really excited to read a copy of Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner. The smooth writing style and deep characterization of the passionate and driven Frankie Elkin made it an entertaining read from the start. Gardner is a prolific writer whose books are well-known for their complex twists and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Hands up those who have always wanted to help out with a missing person’s case? Me! I knew this was going to be just up my alley.

An ex-alcoholic, itching to have just one more drink, inserts herself into a cold crime case of a missing Haitian teenager. Angelique Badeau disappeared in the suburbs of Boston and has not been seen since. Living above a pub — a test to her self-control — Frankie finds a job as a waitress and settles into darkest Mattapan (Murderpan) a far cry from what she’s used to. She hardly welcome with the locals or the investigators of the local police department. But the job has to be done. Frankie is certain that what the police have failed to find, she will unearth by whatever means. This is what makes me want to root for her, but with all the challenges along the way, intuition assures me she’s the right woman for the job.

Taking on cases of missing persons is nothing new for Frankie. Out of fourteen investigations, she has managed to find everyone, even though all of them have so far been dead. With that type of success rate, the Badeau family open up to her humble personality and Frankie is able to make a profile of the missing teenager who, a keen scholar, has never gone missing before.

There have been sightings of Angelique, but nothing concrete and the more Frankie digs, the more dangerous her investigations become of two missing friends, one Summer Camp and a market for fake IDs. Stirring up a hornets nest bring new encounters, but Frankie braves each trial head-on.

This is the type of book you can really get your teeth into. A well thought-out plot with all the trappings of a compelling mystery. Although it’s a standalone, I’d love to see it as a series. You can’t help liking the middle-aged Frankie Elkin; an intuitive sleuth with a multi-layered personality and sense of humor to savor. She insists on seeking the truth and I was fully invested in her all the way.

Gardner writes believable female leads, an exceptional amateur sleuth who is pulled in unexpected directions. She is definitely one of the masters of her genre. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Author

An image posted by the author.

New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, criminal minds and twisted plots into a streak of bestselling suspense novels. Her 2010 novel, THE NEIGHBOR, won Best Thriller from the International Thriller Writers. Most recently, she was honored with the Silver Bullet Award for her work with at-risk kids and homeless animals. Lisa loves to hike, travel the world, and yes, read, read, read!

Readers are invited to enter the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. People have nominated themselves, spouses, bosses. It’s cheaper than therapy and twice as much fun! For more details, visit Lisa’s website.

Lisa’s latest novel BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED, is available January 19, 2021. Meet Frankie Elkin, an everyday average woman who specializes in finding missing people. When the locals have given up, when the media has never bothered to care, Frankie takes on the challenge. Her latest mission has brought her to Mattapan, Boston to find a missing Haitian teen. Eleven months later, Angelique Badeau’s disappearance remains a mystery. What happened to the quiet, studious teen? Frankie learns quickly the dangers of asking too many questions, but that won’t stop her from discovering the truth behind what happened BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED.

More Books By Lisa Gardner

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor, published by Penguin (21 Jan. 2021) @MichaelJBooks @cjtudor #netgalley #blog #review

Wow!! Yet another brilliant read by C J Tudor. She’s the queen of plot twists and first class storytelling. According to the Daily Mail, Tudor is Britain’s version of Stephen King. For admirers of the mystery writing style of Anthony Horowitz (Amazon Reviewer) you might remember this author’s first novel, “The Chalk Man”, a superb debut which I thought would take some living up to.

The darkly compelling new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk ManThe Taking of Annie Thorne and The Other People

‘Hypnotic and horrifying . . . Without doubt her best yet, The Burning Girls left me sleeping with the lights on’ CHRIS WHITAKER, bestselling author of Waterstones Thriller of the Month We Begin at the End

‘A gothic, spine-tingling roller-coaster of a story . . . CJ Tudor is a master of horror’ C.J. COOKE, author of The Nesting
______

The Burning Girls by [C. J. Tudor]
ASIN : B0882PLRBF
Publisher : Penguin (21 Jan. 2021)

Book Description:

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .
______

‘Tudor operates on the border between credulity and disbelief, creating an atmosphere of menace’ Sunday Times

‘A mesmerising and atmospheric page-turner, with plenty of shocks and a surprise twist for a finale. Her best novel yet’ Sunday Express

‘The best book yet from C. J. Tudor’ Best

Praise for C. J. Tudor:

‘C. J. Tudor is terrific. I can’t wait to see what she does next’ 
Harlan Coben

‘Britain’s female Stephen King’ Daily Mail

‘A mesmerizingly chilling and atmospheric page-turner’ J.P. Delaney

Her books have the ability to simultaneously make you unable to stop reading while wishing you could bury the book somewhere deep underground where it can’t be found. Compelling and haunting’ Sunday Express

‘Some writers have it, and some don’t. C. J. Tudor has it big time’ Lee Child

‘A dark star is born’ A. J. Finn

The Burning Girls is the story of the quirky Revd, Jack (Jacqueline) Brooks, and her teenage daughter, Flo, who are posted to Chapel Croft until a new priest is found. But it’s not the quiet idyll Jack has been led to believe.

When a blank-faced girl shows up covered in blood and an apparition appears in the church, Jack can’t stop feeling a wedge of unease. Especially if an upside-down cross scored into the paintwork of her car — and a flickering light bobbing about in the chapel late at night — are anything to go by. Rural church life didn’t do much for Reverend Fletcher, whether or not he was wrestling with personal issues.

I enjoyed the way Jack acquaints herself with folklore — two girls Abigail and Maggie burnt at the stake with six other martyrs in the sixteenth century — and the way she sees similarities in the apparitions. There are too many people in this village with too many demons, especially when Jack’s are about to make themselves known. Tudor has remarkable skill at making memorable characters that stick with you for days afterwards. You worry about them; their safety, their strengths, their weaknesses and their entire emotional arc.

Living inside Flo’s point of view is harrowing at times. Not happy at leaving her school in Nottingham and her friends, she tries to ease into life in this sleepy town with its dark secrets, but nightmares of The Burning Girls continues to plague her. A keen photographer, she takes pictures of higgledy-piggledy headstones which brings her face to face with a burning girl. But when she develops the film, there is no such image.

The portrayal of her time at the new school probes the evil side of human nature, and this, weaved through the story, makes for an un-put-downable read. It’s an out of the frying pan into the fire story, which covers a startling amount of emotional territory. With C J Tudor’s witty and engaging writing style, it’s no surprise she’s one of the best authors in her genre.  

Thank you to Netgalley, Penguin Michael Joseph and author C.J. Tudor for the privilege of reading this book.

#Theburninggirls #netgalley

About the Author

C. J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.

Other Books by C.J. Tudor

Deadly Cry (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 13) by Angela Marsons, published by @Bookouture @WriteAngie

I was jumping for joy when I saw the 13th instalment of the Kim Stone series available on Netgalley. I can’t believe it’s been that many books. This time the tough, no-nonsense Kim Stone is faced with a case full of diversions that are more baffling at every page. In this book, Kim appears to have put her past behind her and she seems stable and well-adjusted, adding further charm to her thorny personality.

Book description:

You have to stop me from hurting anyone else. I don’t want to do these horrible things. Help me before I’m forced to do it again. And I will do it again because I have no choice. I’ve never had a choice.

Deadly Cry: An absolutely gripping crime thriller packed with suspense (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 13) by [Angela  Marsons]

In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional kill. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?

Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.

With her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.

With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.

Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.

But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?

And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.

The multi-million-copy bestselling Detective Kim Stone series is every bit as addictive, original and exciting as readers say and you’ll be hooked from the very first page. Nobody does it better than the Queen of Crime, Angela Marsons.

Our favourite Black Country detective, is bummed to be attending a meeting to discuss security arrangements for a visiting celebrity. But when a four-year-old girl is found abandoned in a shopping centre the pace begins to accelerate. As Kim says, better a missing mother than a missing child. But in this case, the tragedy is brutal. It’s a hard-hitting storyline that is gripping from start to finish.

A body found a hundred meters from Shop N Save turns out to be twenty-five-year-old Katrina Nock. Stone is angry the mother has been discarded amongst building debris with her neck broken. Was she leading some kind of double life? Charged with giving the bad news to the family, Stone learns that Katrina suffered anxiety and depression, but there is something more sinister afoot.

As Kim, Stacey, Bryant and Penn work on leads – some which include unsolved cases with other police teams – there are personal issues each must come to term with. Although there is plenty of dark humour to soften the heartbreak, this case doesn’t give the reader much of a breather. And that’s a good thing because galloping through the book to find the twisted perpetrator is all part of the challenge. We see the return of Alison, the behaviourist and the charismatic reporter Frost, who is developing into someone you can’t help rooting for. Penn’s loss was palpable, something with which every reader will resonate.

One of the things I love about Marson’s writing is the clarity. You burn through her books at lightning speed and I’m constantly having to tell myself to slow down so I don’t miss the details. She’s created wholly original characters and a story that is the very definition of a page-turner and unputdownable. The plot is thick with intense imagery and nail-biting terror. What really ramped it up for me were those who didn’t always get it right, who, although highly trained, still had their heads turned the wrong way. I’m not the only one!! Thank you to Netgalley, Bookouture and author Angela Marsons for the privilege of receiving an advance copy of this book.

What people are saying:

Whoopee The queen of crime is back…this book is a reminder to all her fans what a brilliant crime series this is…Unlike some long running crimes series, each book always brings something new to the table, whether it be its characters, the plot, or jaw dropping moments that take the reader by surprise.’ The Book Review Café, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Utterly fabulous! I loved this book so much. The whole series is fantastic and it just gets better and better with every book. Read this in one sitting as I was literally glued to it. Highly recommend, if I could give it more than 5 stars I would.’ Linda Strong Book Reviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Angela Marsons writes the type of books that I will literally drop everything just so I can read it.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I honestly don’t know how Angela Marsons gets better and better with each book…My jaw dropped over and over again and I’m just sitting here so shocked at the end!’ With A Book In Our Hand, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I could read Kim Stone books every day and never get bored, I read this in a day as couldn’t put it down.’ NetGalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Angela Marsons is the Queen of Crime, and every police team needs a Kim Stone! With a strong, fast paced storyline, this book will bring tears to your eyes, then have you covering those same eyes for fear of what may happen on the next page!!’ stardustbookreviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Reading this series is like catching up with old friends…Yet another brilliant work by the amazing Angela Marsons!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh how much have I missed Kim Stone… you are guaranteed a story that will grab a hold of you from the start and keep you invested in the outcome right to the very last page.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quite simply, Angela Marsons is THE QUEEN of Crime Fiction…Every book of Angie’s is a masterpiece of storytelling, each so different in theme and incredibly enjoyable to read.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author:

Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 4 million in 5 years.

She lives in Worcestershire with her partner and their 2 cheeky Golden Retrievers.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 28 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone and the translation of Dead Souls, La Verita Sepolte, recently won the prestigious Primo Bancarella award.

More books by Angela Marsons:

Shadow Sands: A Kate Marshall Thriller – Book 2 by Robert Bryndza, published by Thomas & Mercer. @RobertBryndza @AmazonPub @kirsteenastor @NetGalley #thriller #review #bestsellers

Another knife-edge thriller that unfolds with cut-throat ferocity! This is the second book in the Kate Marshall series, an ultra-satisfying, seat-of-your-pants action mystery with a corkscrewing plot.

An Amazon Charts bestselling series.

THE UNMISSABLE NEW THRILLER FROM THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE GIRL IN THE ICE AND NINE ELMS ROBERT BRYNDZA

The moors are a perfect hiding place for a serial killer. And a chilling return to the past for nascent private investigator Kate Marshall in a pulse-racing thriller by the author of Nine Elms.

Criminology academic Kate Marshall is on a scuba jaunt with her son when they dive toward a shocking discovery: the body of a teenage boy entangled below the surface of the Shadow Sands reservoir. The detective chief inspector’s too-quick narrative of a tragic drowning doesn’t add up, and when Kate follows the evidence, it leads to a darker discovery.

The victim is only the latest in a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances linked to the moorlands—and a mythic phantom said to hide in the rolling fog. When a researcher of urban legends vanishes without a trace, Kate and her associate Tristan Harper must act fast and look deep if they hope to find her alive.

But the elusive serial killer they’re hunting isn’t the only one a step ahead of Kate and Tristan. Someone else is making dead certain that the secrets of Shadow Sands stay buried.

Review
The book opens with a UK regional swimming champion being attacked by an unknown assailant at Shadow Sands reservoir. Two days later, forty-two-year-old Kate Marshall and her teenage son, Jake, are swimming in the same waters, taking pictures of a sunken village — only to stumble on a gruesome find, something that Kate is rather good at.

SHADOW SANDSKate becomes embroiled in the case at the request of the victims mother. With the help of Tristen Harper and the mortician, it becomes clear the Kendal boys death was no accident. Geraint Jones’ melancholic statement and Alan Herman’s refusal to comment on time of death make this an eerie case—that and the police’s rapid decision to rule accidental death.

There’s clearly something much bigger going on with witnesses about to give statements and then winding up dead. The ending, as with all Bryndza’s books threw me for a loop. I’m loving the PI stance to Kate’s career and I’m hoping to see her getting up to all kinds of ticks without the oppressive rules of a police department to hinder her. Another ACE read.

This is one of those books that gives you goose pimples, a few sniffles and sniggers. Loved the cappuccino/Al Pacino comment. Oh, and Dylan and Thomas. It explores the darkest criminal minds and puts killers where you least expect to find them.

Bryndza’s writing is always clear, well researched. His understanding of forensics and police procedural always makes me feel I’m in reliable hands. His descriptions of the area: Kate’s two-storey house in Thurlow Bay and the edgy, dark imagery of the crime scene is sure to stay with you for a very long time.

This series is maddeningly addictive and soaks up every dark pleasure and every nail-biting terror and provides a protagonist you definitely want to root for.

Thank you to the author Robert Bryndza, Netgalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.

What people are saying:

‘Robert Bryndza knows how to keep the pages – and your stomach – turning’ – The Times

 ‘It is impossible not to root for the feisty, flawed Kate’ – Daily Mail

 ‘So chilling, with truly terrifying characters and a hard-hitting storyline that is gripping from start to finish’ – Rachel Abbott

About the Author

Robert Bryndza began his career training at the Guildford School of Acting in the U.K. He spent six years as an actor, doing all kinds of strange jobs in between, which was the perfect training for being an author. He began to write during a long period of unemployment, first comedy sketches, a show which he took to the Edinburgh Festival, and then four romantic comedy novels which he self-published, and they became Amazon charts bestsellers selling over 250,000 copies.

His debut crime thriller The Girl in the Ice was the first book in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over 1 million copies in the English language, and won the Dead Good Reader Award for best kick-ass female character at the 2016 U.K Harrogate Crime Festival. Erika Foster has gone on to kick-ass in five further books; The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets. The series was twice nominated in Goodreads Choice Awards (Mystery and Thriller category) in 2016 for The Girl in the Ice, and in 2017 for Last Breath. Robert’s books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language, and have been translated into 29 languages.

Nine Elms, the first book in his new Kate Marshall private detective series was published late in 2019 and was an instant Amazon USA no.1 bestseller, an Amazon UK top 10 bestseller and topped bestselling charts around the world. The second book in the series, Shadow Sands, will be published in November 2020. Robert is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about Robert at http://www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert’s new book release mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

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Other books by Robert Bryndza

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Fallen Angels by Gunnar Staalesen, published by Orenda Books @OrendaBooks @annecater #GunnarStaalesen #review #blog

I was so lucky to receive an advance copy of Fallen Angels by Gunnar Staalesen. A credible and dark page-turner with a relentless pace. Vivid, taut and evocative, this book had my pulse racing from start to finish.

Description:

Ever-dogged Bergen PI Varg Veum has to dig deep into his own past as he investigates the murder of a former classmate. Vintage, classic Nordic Noir from international bestselling author Gunnar Staalesen.

Description: When Bergen PI Varg Veum finds himself at the funeral of a former classmate on a sleet-grey December afternoon, he’s unexpectedly reunited with his old friend Jakob – the once-famous lead singer of 1960s rock band The Harpers – and his estranged wife, Rebecca, Veum’s first love.

Their rekindled friendship come to an abrupt end with a horrific murder, and Veum is forced to dig deep into his own adolescence and his darkest memories, to find a motive … and a killer.

Tense, vivid and deeply unsettling, Fallen Angels is the spellbinding, award-winning thriller that secured Gunnar Staalesen’s reputation as one of the world’s foremost crime writers.

  • Paperback : 276 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913193063
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913193065
  • Publisher : Orenda Books (March 1, 2021)

PI Varg Veum reunites with a former friend Jakob at the funeral of Jan Petter in Bergen. The reunion brings back old memories of former classmates, some of whom have already died, but none, as it turns out, from old age.

Deciding to go for a pub crawl with their friend Paul Finckel, they reminisce about the past. There’s a melancholy mood to the opening chapters as if the ‘group’ are trying to reclaim their youth, trapped in an eddy of musical memories of The Harpers for which Veum was a roadie. They drink and carouse the night away, while ‘valleslette’ – sleet and biting winds and a few degrees above zero – sets the tone. Even though there is no life on the fjord there is always the Beetles…

Jakob asks Veum to search for his wife, Rebecca, a girl who grew up with Veum in Nordnes in the 60s. Thinking she may have run off with Johnny Solheim, Veum makes inquiries. But Johnny has a wife and claims he hasn’t seen Rebecca.

A few hours in another Sodom and Gomorrah type watering hole ‘where Caligula would have felt at home,’ Veum finds a heap of bad news outside. Holed up in a tight space and dreaming of the Rebecca he once knew, he is forced to answer a few questions. As another picture of an angel surfaces, Veum’s sharp instincts recognise the deaths may be connected. What did happened after the dissolution of the band? Someone is carrying around an awful secret and with Staalesen’s great sense of pacing, the reveal was phenomenal.

Fallen Angels is a remarkable example of its genre. The religious and psychological aspects bring deeper layers to the novel as told in powerful prose. It’s an elegant and complex thriller, meticulously laid out with a corkscrewing plot. The characters are well-drawn and mysterious, and the protagonist takes us on a wild ride with vivid scenes of Norway in December and its snowy, sleet-grey skies. There’s no doubt about it: Staalesen belongs on every crime fiction reader’s bookshelf.

My thanks to the publisher, Orenda Books, the author, Gunnar Staalesen and Anne Cater, blog tour organiser for the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book.

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Praise for Gunnar Staalesen

‘Gunnar Staalesen is one of my very favourite Scandinavian authors. Operating out of Bergen in Norway, his private eye, Varg Veum, is a complex but engaging anti-hero. Varg means “wolf ” in Norwegian, and this is a series with very sharp teeth’ Ian Rankin

‘The Norwegian Chandler’ Jo Nesbø

‘Not many books hook you in the first chapter – this one did, and never let go!’ Mari Hannah

‘Staalesen continually reminds us he is one of the finest of Nordic novelists’ Financial Times

‘Chilling and perilous results — all told in a pleasingly dry style’ Sunday Times

‘Staalesen does a masterful job of exposing the worst of Norwegian society in this highly disturbing entry’ Publishers Weekly

‘The Varg Veum series is more concerned with character and motivation than spectacle, and it’s in the quieter scenes that the real drama lies’ Herald Scotland

‘Every inch the equal of his Nordic confreres Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbo’ Independent

‘Mature and captivating’ Herald Scotland

‘One of the finest Nordic novelists – in the tradition of Henning Menkell’ Barry Forshaw, Independent

‘Masterful pacing’ Publishers Weekly

About the Author

One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen published the first book in the Varg Veum series in 1977. He is now the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007. Staalesen has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award for Nordic Crime Fiction, and Big Sister was shortlisted in 2019. 

Granite Noir fest 2017. Gunnar Staalesen.

Other Books by Gunnar Staalesen

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @HarperCollinsUK @0neMoreChapter_ #blog #review @Netgalley @BOTBSPublicity

The reigning queen of noir crime is back with another addictive read! I was so thrilled to be included in this blog tour. A sparkling, confident book that will stay with me for months to come. I can still hear the tap, tap, tap, in my head and the sickening silence of a victim who cannot speak or move. It’s a story guaranteed to make you look over your shoulder.

Book description:

Dead Perfect: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with dark and jaw-dropping twists (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 3) by [Noelle Holten]

 

Click here

 

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls?

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

  • Publisher: One More Chapter (October 16, 2020)
  • Publication Date: October 16, 2020
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ASIN: B085ZSTY37

 

Review

It’s a tough day for Maggie and standing with Dr Blake in the crime-scene tent confirms that this recent victim bears a striking resemblance to her friend. The case is as gruesome as it gets. The Jane Doe is between twenty-five and thirty-five, has dyed black hair, and her eyes and mouth have been sewn shut. It’s the doll-like quality that makes my stomach turn and the killer’s silent statement that is his gruesome signature.

Maggie and DS Nathan Wright trawl through copious details, interviewing likely suspects and checking every line of enquiry. Even the forensic department is under scrutiny. I don’t blame Kate for feeling like a paranoid lunatic as she suspects everyone with whom she comes in contact. As Dr Blake takes them through the findings, secrets are so interlocked, you wonder if they are going to be able to hack their way through this seamless mosaic of lies.

A villain, marking his victims and staking his claim will do your head in, but coloured contact lenses confirm his psychotic obsession. He watches his victims, learns their habits and then he strikes. You really can’t take your eyes off him for one minute. But who is this elusive killer? Is he a med school dropout? Or a keen observer of online medical ops? Living dolls is his jam, a protector for a princess. With the murders of Tracy Holloway, Kelsey Gilbey and Catherine Hill, who was stalked for over a year before she was abducted, things don’t look good for Kate.

An insidious sense of dread propels you to a very startling conclusion. Blood may well be thicker than water but in this case, it’s mashed with lies. As Nathan says, this particular stalker has managed to disguise his presence expertly as he stalked his prey.

Inscrutable, intriguing characters bear the qualities we all crave in a thriller. A dark-hearted, quintessential Holten that will keep you up for hours!

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers, One More Chapter, author Noelle Holten and Netgalley for an advance reader copy of this book. And to Sarah Hardy, blog tour organizer extraordinaire for including me in another round of Maggie Jamieson.

About the Author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside is her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK, an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

Other books by Noelle Holten

Noelle Holton 3 books

The Kingdom by JO NESBØ, published by Random House (Knopf) @randomhouse #JoNesbo #Blog #review #TheKingdom #NetGalley

What a fabulous book! All the trappings of an excellent thriller with a treasure trove of secrets you have to uncover. As always, Jo Nesbo delivers a deeply layered, intricate study of the human mind. It’s not surprising this book is a number one bestseller!

*A STUNNING NEW STANDALONE THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING HARRY HOLE SERIES*

In the mountains of Norway a man lives a peaceful existence. However one day his younger brother, always the more successful and charming of the two, turns up to visit, accompanied by his new wife. It soon turns out that the little brother is not quite as angelic as he seems.

Set in a small town filled with secrets, this is a compellingly atmospheric new thriller from the Sunday Times number one bestseller.

*JO NESBØ HAS SOLD OVER 45 MILLION BOOKS WORLDWIDE*

 

Review

This is a story of choices and courage, and about Roy against everyone else. A year older than Carl, it is clear he is the more robust of the two brothers. But the day Carl heads out with his father’s beloved dog changes everything.

Roy has always been Carl’s guardian, his protector and helper. ‘Nothing is as good as the sound of a little brother who is safe.’ He has lived in his wilderness kingdom for fifteen years alone with the oppressive ghosts of Opgard, while Carl studied finance and business administration in the USA. Now Carl is back home with a rather large agenda. A mountain hotel and the idea of selling the property that had been in their family’s possession for four generations. He returns with Shannon in tow and this time, the world is a little different.

The book has a great sense of community and rivalry, and the poetic descriptions that stay with you for days are, as always, stunning. A much slower pace than Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, it nevertheless delivers the same massive punch. It also delves deep into Roy’s and Carl’s pasts, a seemingly normal upbringing with the underpinnings of unresolved grief, infidelity and revenge. Is Carl’s sudden return simply to show off how well he’d done? And how will he build this ‘castle in the air’ and gain investors from a town built on skepticism?

From the outside, Carl’s relationship with Shannon appears tender and devoted, living in each other’s pockets. But there is underlying tension and you wonder what kind of straw will break the camel’s back. Accidents do happen, although Kurt Olsen has his own opinions. He’s a hunter. He won’t give up.

To say I couldn’t put it down is an understatement. I kept thinking I knew how it would end but I was far from it. Bruises, revenge affairs, fires, and Roy’s plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Strangely addictive and a keep-you-up-all-night story, it’s no wonder Scandinavian writers continue to dominate the thriller market. Intricate plotting and masterful characterization makes this one of my favorite books this year.

Thank you to Netgalley, Random House, and the author – Jo Nesbo, for an advance copy of this fabulous book!

About the author

JO NESBØ is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard and Phantom, and he is also the author of several stand-alone novels and the Doctor Proctor series of children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel.

Other book covers of The Kingdom

Other books by JO NESBØ

Jo Nesbo

One By One by Ruth Ware, Published by Random House, Gallery/Scout Press, @RuthWareWriter @GalleryBooks @ScoutPressBooks #Review #blog

WOOHOO! One By One publishes today. I was thrilled to receive an advance copy and having loved all of Ruth Ware’s books to date, this was a real treat! You are bound to devour this locked-door mystery setup in one sitting and it will keep you guessing through the very last page.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation.” —David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Diabolically clever.” —Riley Sager, author of Final Girls

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

One by One by [Ruth Ware]

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

“Especially timely, given that the terror of isolation is at its heart… This is And Then There Were None rendered for the twenty-first century.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“Tempestuous . . . [a] claustrophobic, adrenaline-fueled cat-and-mouse game.” —Publishers Weekly

“Hilarious, well plotted, and vintage Ware, this one is not to be missed.”
—CrimeReads

“Ruth Ware’s Hitchcockian thrillers have yet to disappoint.”
PopSugar

“Ware does what she does best: Gives us a familiar locked-door mystery setup and lets the tension and suspicion marinate until they reach fever pitch. Another win for Ware… Simply masterful.”
—Kirkus

The Turn of the Key was not her first book, but its sweep of starred reviews and awards sets up One by One to be a most anticipated thriller of 2020.”
Library Journal

Anything by Ruth Ware is a huge treat and this book certainly lives up to its hype. Told from dual points of view — Erin, the chalet girl and Liz, socially anxious, fish-out-of-water misfit, enables you to get both an inside and an outside perspective to the story.  Ware certainly lives with her imagined characters for a while, knows them inside and out before committing them to paper. These intricate layers for me are so necessary to fully enjoy a book.

The writing is fluid and hard to put down.  The format in the opening chapters is very different to her past books and begins by introducing nine colleagues of a tech company called Snoop; an app described as ‘voyeurism for your ears.’

The guests are staying in the luxury French ski resort of St Antoine with views to die for. But when a snow forecast threatens to become a snowpocalypse (Snowmaggedon) this desirable setting has the potential to become — yes, you’ve guessed it, a little hamlet with no way out and a group of people trapped together. The only access is via funicular railway or a blue run to the centre of the village. It might well be a beautiful place  with its peaks and pistes and great skiing, but not when inclement weather makes it inaccessible by helicopter. I’m already sensing tension and claustrophobia, especially in a low of minus 20.

After a meeting in the den where the employees have a difference of opinion over the future of Snoop, tempers begin to flare, giving us a reason to be on high alert. As the guests are picked off one by one you hope the characters you like survive and the ones you don’t get what’s coming to them. But it’s not quite as cut and dry as that. Each guest is either a have or a have not, sleek, witty, beautiful, born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Whereas one ‘unwraps secrets carried for three years,’ someone underestimated that you think might needs further examination. So much food for thought.

Ware has done a brilliant job of holding these guests hostage in freezing conditions, dwindling heating and food to add to the ever growing list of worries. A terrible sense of abandonment and being cut off from the outside world increases the threat, hostility and suspicion building tension. She always writes about ordinary people in frightening situations and has expert knowledge of the .com boom. Adding a character who allows toxic practices to take root within this company brings a clever variation to the archetype.

A fantabulous read! Highly recommended.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author Ruth Ware and the publisher Random House (Vintage Publishing) for the privilege of reading an advance copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times, and she is published in more than 40 languages. She lives on the south coast of England, with her family.

Visit http://www.ruthware.com to find out more, or find her on facebook or twitter as @RuthWareWriter

OTHER BOOKS BY RUTH WARE