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

(Simply cut-and-paste that address into your browser. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)

Other books by Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza Book page

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

The Searcher by Tana French, published by Penguin #review #blog @PenguinBooks @VikingBooks #TheSearcher #NetGalley

Another fabulous book from Tana French. I almost pulled an all-nighter with this one! If you want a book that transports you to another land, then this is it. Beautiful descriptions of rural Ireland, the brogue and deep characterisation that drops you there.

Book Description:

‘One of the most compulsive psychological mysteries since Donna Tartt’s The Secret History‘ THE TIMES
The Searcher by [Tana French]
UK link

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren’t always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door.

Our greatest living mystery writer weaves a masterful tale of breath-taking beauty and suspense, asking how we decide what’s right and wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we risk if we fail.

Seen through the eyes of a former Chicago police officer, Cal Hooper buys an old shack and attempts to rebuild his life. Peace does not come easily and a young visitor makes it near impossible for Cal to enjoy his retirement. A missing sibling must be found and the mystery takes time to solve. He must tackle getting the information he needs both sensitively and skilfully, and tiptoe around the nuances and eccentricities of local customs.

There is much meandering around conversation, getting to know the villagers and their customs. In essence the book is a slow burn with undercurrents of graver things and threats that would keep a normal person at home. No so with Cal. He is detailed oriented with patience that would put a nun to shame. He needs to get the lie of the land before making decisions and he’s remarkably adept at winning most of the locals around. He also has a life in the US, whether or not he’s trying to forge a new one in a foreign land. He has worries. His daughter for one and an ex-wife who is on his mind and on his nerves.

The locals, equipped with their secrets and foibles are handled realistically and you can’t help liking and disliking a few. Cal might have appeared to have missed a few tricks, but he is persistent in a somewhat leisurely way. Trey is an enigma and the more we learn the more chilling the story becomes. The book is not terrifying, nor is it challenging. I would put it at the comfortable and evocative end of the spectrum. But that’s me. For those who have issues with animal cruelty, there are scenes that may be hard to read.

The writing style, as with all French novels, is impeccable with an easy poetic flow I’ve come to enjoy. The only issue I had with this one is it was a little slow getting off the ground. But what I find a tad tedious — champing to get to the action — others will find fascinating. I don’t take off stars for this. Authors have their own way of drawing out the plot of which French is an absolute master.

The Searcher: A Novel by [Tana French]
US link
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (October 6, 2020)
  • Publication Date: October 6, 2020
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B08681BNKV

WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT TANA FRENCH

‘An engrossing, unpredictable, beautifully written mystery’ SOPHIE HANNAH

‘To say Tana French is one of the great thriller writers is really too limiting. Rather she’s simply this: a truly great writer‘ GILLIAN FLYNN

‘French offers a masterclass in unreliability‘ SUNDAY TIMES

‘I’m a big fan of Tana French‘ IAN RANKIN

The Wych Elm should cement French’s place in the first rank of great literary novelists‘ OBSERVER

‘This book confirms Tana French as [crime fiction’s] biggest contemporary star‘ GUARDIAN

Terrific – terrifying, amazing, and the prose is incandescent‘ STEPHEN KING

‘Another one of her rich psychological thrillers that will work its way under your skin’ LUCY MANGAN, STYLIST

‘This mystery about family, memory and the cracks in both will haunt you for a long, long time‘ ERIN KELLY

‘A tale of flawed characters, complex relationships and elusive loyalties. Subtle and powerful‘ CHRIS HAMMER

About the Author

Tana French

French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as an actress at Trinity College Dublin and worked in theatre, film and voiceover. She is the author of IN THE WOODS (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity and IVCA Clarion awards), THE LIKENESS, FAITHFUL PLACE, BROKEN HARBOUR (winner of the LA Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and the Irish Book Award for Best Crime Fiction) and THE SECRET PLACE. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children.

Other books by Tana French

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, Published by St. Martin’s Press @StMartinsPress @MacmillanUSA @megangoldin

The Night Swim: A Novel by [Megan Goldin]

In The Night Swim, a new thriller from Megan Goldin, author of the “gripping and unforgettable” (Harlen Coben) The Escape Room, a true crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before.

Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin is a first class read. Rachel Krall runs a true crime podcast, now in its third season. As an impartial observer, she takes viewers into the courtroom in real-time. Set in North Carolina’s coastal town of Neapolis, she follows the case of Scott Blair — an outstanding swimming star set for the Olympic team who allegedly raped a sixteen-year-old-girl. The victim has been prevented by the court to talk about the case and the bullying she suffers on social media will set your teeth on edge.

The narrative, which balances the past and present, is interwoven with letters from a woman recounting the events leading up to the death of her sister, Jenny, twenty-five years earlier. Letters left in prominent and personal places for only Rachel to find. Not only are they designed to provoke Rachel’s journalistic nature, but they bring to light moral issues disturbingly absent in such a heinous case. The more Rachel investigates, the more startling the parallels become. Especially because Jenny’s incident — said to be a tragic drowning — is slowly beginning to look more like murder. Some townsfolk insist Jenny was a down and out liar, although Hannah’s letters challenge that theory, making the reader root all the more for Jenny and for Rachel to dig deeper. As small town politics take control, you can’t help questioning who or what to believe.

The reliving of testimony on the witness stand is the part I found the most traumatic. As the defence continues to paint the victim known only as ‘K’ to be a liar and delves too deeply into every tiny detail, you know her life will never be the same. Whether or not the jury will be persuaded to believe her word against his remains to be seen. But you also know she is lamenting the day she ever met Scott. I know I would.

Having read The Escape Room, I knew Night Swim would be a smooth, twisty ride. Goldin writes poignantly and skilfully on the victimization of women in a rape trial. Warning to other abuse/rape survivors, the explicit content will leave you pretty raw. Goldin doesn’t sugar-coat any of the details of both these cases and for many this will not be a comfortable read. Sexual abuse and assaults that were once considered harmless are brought to the fore. None detract from the pacey and clever plot, and all controversial issues are delivered sensitively.

It’s an outstanding read, masterfully plotted with a unique premise. Will Rachel’s podcasts become a series? Who knows? I would definitely enjoy reading another of her cases.

Many thanks to author Megan Goldin, St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan and Netgalley for the privilege of reading this advance copy.

What everyone is saying:

  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250272777
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (August 4, 2020)
  • Publication Date: August 4, 2020
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0818N4HC8

About the Author:

Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin is the author of The Escape Room, a 2019 thriller that Lee Child called “one of my favorite books of the year” and Harlan Coben called “thrilling and unforgettable”. Megan’s new novel The Night Swim will be released in August 2020. Before becoming a novelist, Megan worked as a reporter covering the Middle East and Asia for the Reuters news agency, the Associate Press and the ABC as well as other news outlets.

Other books by Megan Goldin

Invisible Girl: A Novel by Lisa Jewell, published by Simon and Schuster (Atria) #netgalley #domestic #thriller #blog #review @lisajewelluk @SimonBooks

I loved Invisible Girl. It’s a captivating thriller, where a reader’s instincts are vital to uncover the real suspects. It deals with sinister themes and some of the darkest pits of human nature. With a final bone-chilling revelation, it’s best not to lay bets on one person. Everyone is a suspect because everyone has something to hide.

Book Description:

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

Invisible Girl: A Novel by [Lisa Jewell]In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

 

Review

 

Set in north London, Saffyre Maddox is seventeen and still carrying the scars of an assault that occurred seven years prior, and at an age too innocent to comprehend the damage done to her. The therapist she once used lives nearby and through her interior monologue we see secrets in his life and a brewing deceit which Saffyre feels she must unravel. Camping out in the wasteland near his home at night, she watches him and is well-attuned to his comings and goings. As women continue to be attacked and sexual assault crimes are on the rise, someone in Saffyre’s street must be guilty of these crimes, especially after Saffyre disappears.

Cate is married to Roan, the therapist who once treated Saffyre. Cate appears to have the perfect life, but her striking child psychologist husband won’t forgive her for an incident a year ago, and yet here he is with secrets of his own. Cate’s paranoia over Roan’s life is well drawn, and there were times when I wondered if I were being led down a rabbit hole with more surprises at the end of the trail. Suspense is maintained throughout this novel and it’s hard to tear yourself away even for a moment.

I have to say one of my favourite characters was Owen Pick, who is in his thirties and lives with his aunt. His relationship with his father is tainted by memories of what happened between him and his mother many years ago. But with the incel culture at its heart, he is flung into an online friendship which delves into the haves and the have nots, beauty and not so beautiful, and the dangerous manner in which they protect their genes from dying out altogether.

Although a reader can resonate with many of the qualities, exclusions and rejections of this type, the subject matter is so dark, it’s frightening. Owen Pick is subjected to such intrusive scrutiny, you wonder if he will ever recover. If reporters can report whatever they like, we know the target of their articles is permanently blacklisted.

Other favourite characters: The fox, whose hunger and curiousness is scattered throughout the narrative, and Josh for understanding Saffyre’s homelessness and pain. Descriptions of urban nature are ones to savour. It was a solid five-star read for me from one of the best writers in this genre.

Thank you to the publisher, Random House, to the author, Lisa Jewell, and to Netgalley for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Author:

Lisa JewellLisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone and the UK instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller The Family Upstairs, as well as other much loved novels such as Watching You, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into over twenty five languages. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

More books by Lisa Jewell:

Lisa Jewell

 

 

 

The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne, published by Little, Brown Book Group UK, G.P. Putnam’s Sons #TheWickedSister #NetGalley @sphere

Having read the Marsh King’s Daughter, I knew I was in for a treat. The Wicked Sister —rich in descriptions, paired with deep research into psychology, made this a must read for me. Evocative settings and complex characters are Dionne’s hallmark, that and powerful drama, twists and tension galore.

Description

Review

Set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness and told in dual narratives, The Wicked Sister flips from past to present in this compulsive tale of manipulation and deception. Rachael Cunningham is locked up in the Newberry Regional Mental Health Centre, believing she has committed an unspeakable crime. Subjected to horrific torment and having only a spider for company since the age of eleven, she has surely paid her dues. But when a discrepancy in the police report is discovered, no matter how Rachael looks at it, the crime could not have been committed by her. Discharging herself from the facility, she is free to investigate on her own terms.

Jenny, a wildlife biologist, must escape the neighbourhood after a tragic accident. Leaving behind a trail of devastation, the family travels to the wilderness to research bears. But Jenny’s young daughter Diana is precocious, manipulative and decidedly psychotic. I found it frustrating to watch a parent cave to such outrageous demands, but as disturbing as these scenes are, Dionne writes them so well. I found myself as uneasy and as traumatised as Jenny, with little or no solution to offer. A child with callous-unemotional traits is not everyone’s cup of tea. She certainly isn’t mine. The pillow incident made me want to throw something at someone and there were other cruelties that sadly fit the criteria. As these devastated parents endeavour to keep Diana’s condition a secret, I wonder how long it will take for another life-threatening accident to happen.

The massive hunting lodge made of Oregon pine is sadly the scene of a murder. Two ravens, nesting outside Rachel’s old bedroom may have answers to what really happened. As Trevor leaves Rachel alone in the house there is a spark of something in the air. I was excited by this chapter because of Rachel’s ingenuity and I wanted to know how she could possibly pull off keeping herself hidden from her sisters for the reasons she chose.

There are so many things to like about this book; the rapid pace and robust setting, and an exceptionally powerful conclusion. It’s not often you find a book with so many psychological layers, drip-fed a morsel at a time—an unnerving psychological thriller with enough suspense and action to hold you spellbound to the very end. Absolutely sensational!

Many thanks to the publisher, Little, Brown Book Group, UK, Netgalley and to the author, Karen Dionne for the privilege of receiving an advance reader copy of this book.

About the author:

Karen DionneKaren Dionne is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter. She is the co-founder of the online writers’ community Backspace, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors. She enjoys nature photography and lives with her husband in Detroit’s northern suburbs.

 

What people are saying:

Review

“A gut-clenching wilderness thriller.”–Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review) The Wicked Sister is massively thrilling and altogether unputdownable. Dionne is proving to be one of the finest suspense writers working today.”–Karin Slaughter, author of 20 International Bestselling Books

“A terrifying thrill-ride of psychological suspense. Karen Dionne is wickedly good at deception, deceit and misdirection and The Wicked Sister is seductively compelling. You will not stop reading.”
Robert Dugoni, New York Times Best-Selling Author of My Sister’s Grave

“In Karen Dionne’s wilderness, humans are the most dangerous animals of all. The Wicked Sister is enthralling and terrifying, and I couldn’t put it down.  A terrific novel.”–Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of House on Fire

“A chilling portrait of a psychopath that will shock and fascinate you. Dionne is a master storyteller who has crafted a terrifying thriller that will haunt you long after the last page is read.” –Liv Constantine,  bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

“Chilling and captivating, The Wicked Sister explores the complex layers of family bonds, guilt, and redemption. A beautifully written, haunting psychological thriller.”—Megan Miranda, author of All the Missing Girls

“Karen Dionne is back with a dark, atmospheric and chilling tale set in the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Beautifully written, The Wicked Sister moves seamlessly between past and present, unraveling the truth behind a family tragedy. From her insightful depiction of both the grace and bitter cruelty of humanity, to her command of the plot and pacing, Dionne’s brilliance shines through on every single page. Prepare to be blown away!”–Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

“Fresh, truly original, and utterly unpredictable, Karen Dionne is at the top of her game with the gorgeously told The Wicked Sister. I devoured this book in one sitting! It’s hard to balance complex and heartrending familial relationships with pulse-pounding suspense, but somehow this book does exactly that. Propulsive and terrifying to the very shocking end!”–Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

 

Other books by Karen Dionne

Karen Dionne

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver, published by Orenda Books. @will_carver @OrendaBooks #blog #review @annecater

Another exciting tale from a brilliant writer! A gripping read that explores the nature of evil and his relentless pursuit to stir the pot. While the small town of Hinton Hollow’s residents smolder with renewed passion, energy and vice, the story takes one twist after another until reality itself is called into question, and everything they knew about love and hope will change.

Book Description

Five days in the history of a small rural town, visited and infected by darkness, are recounted by Evil itself. A stunning high-concept thriller from the bestselling author of Good Samaritansand Nothing Important Happened Today.

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

Review

Hinton Hollow Death Trip follows Detective Sergeant Pace to his old stamping ground. He is hoping for peace. But peace is the last thing he is going to get. Something sinister follows him there, blowing in on an ill wind. And it’s here to stay.

This book, written from the perspective of Evil itself, is a dark, brooding tale that casts a malevolent pall around the residents of Hinton Hollow. A select group of people whose secrets are laid bare and whose lives are tossed into the air as if they were dice.

Evil is the game show host. He dishes out strife and turmoil at the drop of a hat. And he’s very good at it.

Little Henry Wallace, alone on the train, isn’t afraid. Like a good boy, he’s not to talk to anyone. The note around his neck says it all. Darren works in an abattoir but are his vile actions his own, or has evil whispered in his ear? Dorothy Reilly is eating her way to heart failure. It’s only a matter of time. The Hardings don’t interact, until Evil waves a hand. Why did Annie throw a brick through the florist window? The most frightening of these is the Brady family and the man with a gun.

DS Pace is apprehensive about returning to Hinton Hollow, and I don’t blame him. There’s a lot to greet him when he gets there. Will he return Maeve’s call? Or will she be permanently banished to voicemail? He can’t forget the people who jumped from Tower Bridge and he’s running with no idea Evil is right there with him, the invisible shadow behind him.

All the people who are affected by this blast of doom are somehow intertwined, from the flower arranger — who prepared the wreath for Oz’s father’s grave four years ago — to the unsuspecting Faith Brady where nothing important had happened that day. But it would, something so horrific and something you’d never imagine because Evil dances around them all.

To me this book has a Dekker-esque feel. I’m thinking of Showdown in his Paradise series and almost eerily reminiscent of Peretti’s This Present Darkness. Where it differs, is that Hinton Hollow Death Trip is psychological warfare rather than spiritual, and takes place in a secular, true-to-life setting. Strong, unforgettable characters and a carefully constructed plot make this the next HUGE bestseller in its genre. A wickedly smart page-turner that reveals the thin line between psychosis and insanity. It will keep you glued to its pages and guessing wrong until its breathless ending.

So many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, Will Carver and Anne Cater for allowing me the privilege of reading this book.

What other people are saying:

‘Carver as one of the most exciting authors in Britain. After this, he’ll have his own cult following’ Daily Express

‘Weirdly page-turning’ Sunday Times

‘Laying bare our 21st-century weaknesses and dilemmas, Carver has created a highly original state-of-the-nation novel’ Literary Review

‘Arguably the most original crime novel published this year’ Independent

‘At once fantastical and appallingly plausible; this mesmeric novel paints a thought-provoking if depressing picture of modern life’ Guardian

‘This book is most memorable for its unrepentant darkness’ Telegraph

‘Unlike anything else you’ll read this year’ Heat

‘Utterly mesmerising;’ Crime Monthly

About the Author:

BLOG TOUR: Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver - NBWill Carver lives in Reading, though his younger years were spent in various parts of West Germany. He is the author of four books in the JANUARY DAVID thriller series – GIRL 4 (UK: Arrow, 2011), THE TWO (UK: Arrow, 2012), DEAD SET (UK: Arrow, 2013) and THE KILLER INSIDE (UK: Arrow, 2013).

Carver likes to work his body as much as his mind and runs his own fitness and nutrition company, though he prefers to talk about his writing more than how he consumes adequate protein as a vegan. 

‘I was blown away by this gripping book. I sense Carver will break out of genre boundaries and become a literary voice to be reckoned with.’ —Sarah Pinborough

‘There is a vivid – almost cinematic – quality to the writing. It is intense and makes for uncomfortable yet compulsive reading.’ — News of the World

 

Will Carver other books

 

Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds @OrendaBooks @Rod_WR #crimeactionfiction #review #blog @annecater

Once again, I find myself praising Orenda Books for introducing me to another fabulous writer. I’m blown away by this compelling thriller that dishes out cliff-edge tension. A pacey read with so many blind alleys you feel dizzy with excitement. It’s the kind of story you could inhale in a leisurely few hours.

Book Description:

When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts—until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime. Michael Stringer deals in information—and doesn’t care on which side of the law he finds himself. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows. When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect, and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet. Blood Red City twists and feints to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless.

 

  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Orenda Books (April 11, 2020)
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2020
  • ASIN: B082P734LB

Review

Journalist Lydia Wright works the graveyard shift on the showbiz desk. She has only been with the company twelve months and receives a video of an assault on the Northern line of the London Underground. An empty carriage and a man struggling for his life, a slowly unfurling nightmare that had me biting my nails down to the quick. There is no indication of who’d sent it, or any reason why Lydia had been targeted to receive it. Fake news? Maybe not.

With no indication of who the killers might be, gutsy Lydia meets her friend Tammy Hodgson, a former investigative journalist at the same paper, who’s brief meeting with the victim ‘Joe the banker’ has left her nervous. A money laundering scheme begins to unravel, while at the same time, promising a story worthy of a comeback. But will Lydia jump on the same bandwagon if her life is at risk? Working on the 13th floor could be seen as unlucky in some cultures, but maybe her luck is about to change.

To me Lydia is someone you care about. Her die-hard mentality gives a reason to keep going when everything tells her to give up. Following every lead, her tenacity never fails and I suppose you could put it down to a journo’s unmistakable determination to see it through to the end. The visceral prose draws you right in and with one revelation after another, it’s hard to put the book down. This is what kept me hooked.

Written in Reynold’s unique descriptive style, this is not an offering to be missed. There’s just the right amount of backstory not to bog you down and I enjoyed the way he toys with your expectations right up until the packs-a-punch ending. The dialogue is top-notch. I’m not sure I’ve seen it done better. As befits a crime action book of this nature, it’s the twists that make this novel such an exciting and surprising reading experience, and I enjoyed keeping company with these exceptional characters. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone is working on a screen play to bring Blood Red City out as a film sometime soon. Highly recommended.

Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, Anne Cater for including me on this blog tour, and author Rod Reynolds for an advance copy of this fabulous book.

About the Author:

www.davidhigham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/ybtpde...Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’ A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters. Contact him:

twitter: @Rod_WR
email: rodreynoldsauthor@gmail.com

What people are saying:

‘Brutal, brilliant and razor sharp. Blood Red City is pure adrenaline rush from the first page to the last’ Chris Whitaker

‘A searing, white-hot journey through the dark underbelly of modern London. Bristling with tension, danger and seamed with the constant threat of violence … Blood Red City confirms Rod Reynolds status as one of the greatest crime talents of his generation’ Tim Baker

‘An outstanding page-turner that ratchets up the tension as it builds via a labyrinthine plot towards a satisfying and well-crafted climax … relevant and at times alarming, Blood Red City slaloms its way through the world of social media, geopolitics and hi-tech innovation with compelling conviction’ G.J. Minett

‘A well-researched, complex and fully realised story with three-dimensional lead characters. The creeping tension and mistrust is palpable and there’s an absolutely cracking end reveal’ Shots Magazine

More Books By Rod Reynolds

Rod Reynolds

Blood Red City BT Poster (2)