The Heights by Louise Candlish, published by Simon and Schuster UK. @simonschusterUK @louise_candlish #blog #review

I was so excited to receive an advance copy of The Heights by Louise Candlish. I’m such a fan and this was just as good as all her others. My review follows after the book description and editorial reviews.

Description

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF OUR HOUSE, WINNER OF THE CRIME & THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD, COMES A NAIL-BITING STORY OF TRAGEDY AND REVENGE

‘Louise Candlish is the queen of the sucker-punch twist’ Ruth Ware

He thinks he’s safe up there. 
But he’ll never be safe from you. 

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. 

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.  

You know this for a fact.  

Because you’re the one who killed him.  

‘It twists and it turns and it twists again. The Heights by Louise Candlish is the very definition of a “just one more chapter” novel. I devoured it. And it’s full of such great writing about the ferocity of maternal love’ Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You

Praise for Louise Candlish:

‘Louise is the mistress of the “Oh my God, this could be me” nightmare’ Fiona Barton

‘The queen of the urban thriller returns’ Red

‘Louise Candlish just gets better and better’ Lisa Jewell

‘Stylish, suspenseful and absorbing’ Best

‘Psychological suspense at its most elegant and sinister’ AJ Finn

‘You won’t want to put down this roller coaster read!’ Closer

‘A gripping read with a brilliant first-person narrative. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It’s so good!’ BA Paris

‘Not only is Candlish a terrific storyteller, she has the gift of making you care about unlikable characters’ Guardian

‘A must read!’ Lucy Foley

?‘Gripping from start to finish’ Bella

‘I couldn’t put it down!’ Shari Lapena

‘The layers of plot astound’ Sunday Times Crime Club

‘An instant classic’ Mark Edwards

‘A chillingly addictive and glamorous thriller’ Sunday Post

The Heights by Louise Candlish is another well-plotted, highly entertaining book from this author. I’m one of those readers who rushes out to buy the latest Candlish offering because I know it’s going to be brilliant.

Ellen Saint is a remarkable character and has all the traits of someone fit for this role. Mother to Lucas and Freya, her intuition is spot on when Lucas finds a new friend. Kieran is not the type of person Ellen wants her son to hang out with. If you could use the metaphor “chalk and cheese” this is as good as it gets. Kieran scared me right from the start. He is the type of person that makes your skin crawl and there appears to be no redeeming features. He is creepy, vulgar and secretive, all the ingredients that make up a huge disaster. Throughout the book, Ellen is desperate to end their friendship and when tragedy strikes, her despair doesn’t stop there. A pact to end all this terror is about to happen and not in the way the reader thinks.

Candlish is skilful with twists and turns, so much so, you often miss the underlying character layers that call for these clever devices. It’s the “who’d have thought” image that kept surfacing chapter after chapter and there’s no way I would have predicted the ending. Kieran is so vile, I wanted to kill him myself!

Ellen is a tough bird trying to persuade those around her that this friendship is toxic. She is protective, often a little intrusive and stalky perhaps, but none of these traits stopped me from liking her. In fact, I applauded her. But in her aloneness, there is a wretchedness with which we can all resonate. Whether you’re a parent or a friend, you’ll find this book remarkably accurate in its portrayal of an endangered family, suffering the manipulation of one powerfully equipped individual.

The writing and plotting is second-to-none. You won’t find a better collaboration of author and editor. I leave Louise Candlish’s novels disgruntled that there isn’t another book coming sooner. Quality is at the forefront of everything she writes and you know you’re in for a darkly intricate ride. As always, highly recommended.

Thank you to Netgalley, author Louise Candlish and publisher Simon & Schuster UK for the privilege of reading this book.

A bit about the author: I live in a South London neighbourhood not unlike the one in my books, with my husband, teenage daughter, and a fox-red Labrador called Bertie who is almost two and is the apple of my eye. Books, TV and long walks have been my top sanity savers during lockdown. Oh, and wine.

Get up-to-date offers by clicking on the yellow ‘Follow’ button under my pic. For more book news (and doting pictures of Bertie), catch me on Twitter @louise_candlish, on Instagram @louisecandlish or find out more at louisecandlish.com and facebook.com/LouiseCandlishAuthor. I’d love to hear from you.

More Books by this Author

The Art of Loving You by Amelia Henley, published by HQ (Harper Collins Publishers Ltd) @MsAmeliaHenley @HQstories #blogger #review

Having read a few psychological thrillers by this author, I thought I’d try this lovely romance. Henley’s writing style is fluid, easy to read and she’s a marvelous story-teller. It was a pleasure to delve into Libby’s life.

Book Description:

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

General Fiction (Adult) Romance Women’s Fiction
Pub Date 22 Jul 2021
EDITIONEbook
ISBN9780008375782
PRICE£3.99 (GBP)

Elisabeth Emerson (Libby) and Jack are about to start a new life together. With a new home that needs renovation, they are excited and planning their future. But when Jack meets with a tragic incident, all their dreams come crashing down. Libby, who doesn’t know what to expect, believes Jack will recover and all will go back to the way it was. But all their wishbone wishes come tumbling down and although Sid is there to comfort her, Libby is heartbroken. To add insult to injury, Jack’s parents are determined to have the last say.

This sudden change of events changed the mood of the book which is a thumbs up to the brilliant writing. As events begin to unfold, the book becomes raw and emotional. One life full to the brim with plans for the future, another heading off to his next adventure like the butterfly. The suspense of each chapter is what keeps me turning the page, and although the book is a romance novel, the pace is reminiscent of the thrillers Henley pens under different name. We can all resonate with the guilt of going out to get something for a patient, those precious few moment when something life-changing could happen and the intense what-ifs if it does. True to Henley’s style, a medical condition and a string of mood swings add to the mystery and sets her protagonist on her path to healing.

Libby’s reminder, a beautiful painting, is permission to let go for the guilt and to move on. Her journal is testament to Jack’s remarkable presence, his sacrifice and strength of helps her to recover. Liam is her project now and it’s to him she focuses all her energy. I loved Sid, although much of his backstory made me cry. Grief and restoration is at the heart of this book and the strength to move forward together. The house, a character in itself, begins to find its lustre and love may spring again in the most unexpected places.

This book brings you wonderful characters with engaging storylines and if by chance you’ve forgotten how to believe in love, forgiveness and faith in humanity, then this book’s for you!

Thank you to the publisher, HQ, the author, Amelia Henley and Netgalley for the privilege of reading an advance reader copy.

About the Author

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 this Author:

The Source by Sarah Sultoon, published by Orenda Books #review #Blog @SultoonSarah @OrendaBooks

The Source by [Sarah Sultoon]

I was so excited to take part in The Source blog tour, an unforgettable debut with sharp writing and a brilliant plot. Even more exciting that this first book is currently in development for television. Written in two points of view, it takes the reader to London in 2006 as seen through Marie’s eyes and to Warchester in 1996 in Carly’s world. With its cast of hard-hitting and uncompromising characters, I was curious to know who was behind this gruesome ring.

Book Description:

A young TV journalist is forced to revisit her harrowing past when she’s thrust into a sex-trafficking investigation in her hometown. A startling, searing debut thriller by award-winning CNN journalist Sarah Sultoon.

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier…

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.

A riveting, searing and devastatingly dark thriller, The Source is also a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience … an immense, tense and thought-provoking debut that you will never, ever forget.

Product details

  • ASIN : B08NXT7DL9
  • Publisher : Orenda Books (February 15, 2021)
  • Publication date : February 15, 2021

Marie is a junior TV journalist working with a crew to expose a gang of sex traffickers. Even though Dominic stashes a camera in his pants in case he gets frisked, the footage they capture on camera is only a coded exchange that doesn’t incriminate the perpetrators. Viewers need a victim. Someone they can root for. When the police commissioner reopens a billion pound investigation into the British Army, Marie knows new information on a cover-up could bring down half the government.

Carly is thirteen and struggling with a bleak home life. Her mother is unable to take care of her baby sister and the home is a wreck. Without her squaddie brother’s help they’d be destitute. The life they lead is distressing and you can’t help feeling a nudge of pity at every page. A three year-old left in dirty clothes, unchanged and covered in rashes, latterly to be taken to hospital for a high fever. Rach teaching Carly all she knows and introducing her to a dark world that forces her to grow up too fast. This is where I was desperate for Carly’s life to change and for someone to come to her aid. I wanted to slap her brother, a sergeant desperate to keep face rather than protect his sister. But he’s afraid, same as Carly.

I wasn’t sure if I liked Dominic until I realised his story mirrors Marie’s. The nugget of a bond forms around their separate lives, a friendship that embraces hidden truths. They understand what sacrifices it takes to keep secrets. Each personality is rugged, perhaps more the nature of TV journalists, and Marie’s inner monologue puts us right beside her, seeing what she sees and feeling her pain. I am truly impressed by how the threads of this book wrap so tightly around the reader, it’s impossible to let go. Even though some parts are hard to read, they are subtly described.

The writing is razor sharp and the plot is thought-provoking. I don’t think there was one thing I didn’t like about this book. The timeline is easy to read, never the distracting array of different dates and years of other books in this genre tend to depict. It flowed well. There will be that unforgetable residue long after putting the book down. Thank you to Orenda, Anne Cater and author Sarah Sultoon for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Author

Sarah Sultoon is a novelist and journalist, whose prior work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate degree in languages, chosen mainly so she could spend time itinerantly travelling the world. She likes running, Indian food, cocktails, playing sport with her children and throwing a ball for her dog, order dependent on when the cocktails are consumed. The Source is her first novel and is currently in development for television with Lime Pictures.

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

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

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)

When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes One Page At A Time by Emma Mitchell (Editor) and Authors Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Louise Jensen, Alex Kane, Robert Scragg, Lucy Cameron, Mark Brownless #blog #Christmas @emmamitchellfpr

It is my absolute honour and pleasure to blog about this amazing book. Brought to us by freelance editor Emma Mitchell – and a whole host of fabulous authors – When Stars Will Shine is a must read at any time of year. Authentic detail and heart stopping narrative grips you from the outset, bringing stories from a host of bestselling authors at the top of their genres. A book for everyone and a solid five star read!

Amazon reviewers are quoted as saying:

The writing standard is superb and all the different styles and ‘ways’ seem to fit perfectly and flow even though all are different. Book Mark (Top 500 Reviewer)

Would I recommend this read? You bet your Christmas baubles I would! When Stars Will Shine is an anthology packed with twists, emotions and compelling tales to keep readers turning the pages – all the chills and Christmassy thrills to hook you in! Highly recommended!’  Noelle@Crimebookjunkie

What a truly AMAZING collection of stories. Welcome to When Stars Will Shine! 

Book Description

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist. 

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time. 

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

 

When Stars Will Shine

Links:  US flag US here  British flag UK here

Print Length: 346 pages

Publication Date: December 9, 2019

Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC

Contributing Authors:

(Story descriptions taken from author Kerry Parson’s Amazon Review)

Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Heart-wrenching and heart-warming.

Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
A very clever tale of revenge.

A Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Actually gave me goosebumps!

Believe by Mark Brownless
Creepy! I did not see that coming.

What Can Possibly Go Wrong? By Lucy Cameron
Quite amusing!

Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
Gave me goosebumps!

The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
A chilling mystery with a touch of romance.

A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
Heart-warming. Sometimes the kindest people are those who don’t have much themselves.

Free Time by Stewart Giles
Hard hitting. A split-second decision with devastating consequences.

Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
A very powerful and emotional story, beautifully written.

The Christmas Killer by Louise Jenson
Made my blood run cold!

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
Terrifying!

A Present of Presence by HR Kemp
So sad, but full of hope.

The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
Heart-warming and heart-breaking.

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Spine tingling!

Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
Captivating and thought provoking with a heart-breaking conclusion.

Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
So, so sad. I can’t imagine feeling so helpless, but there is always something, or someone, worth living for.

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Just beautiful!

Time for a Barbecue by Carmen Radtke
Oooo, creepy!

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
Lovely!

Inside Out by KA Richardson
So sad to think how much some people suffer from past traumas. This story is full of hope for a brighter future though and proof that just one person can make all the difference.

Penance by Jane Risdon
Oh my! Not what I was expecting at all. Very cleverly written,

New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
Another thought provoking tale and an important message to us all.

Family Time by Graham Smith
A tale of sacrifice and truly being the bigger person. Beautifully written!

What people are saying:


‘WOW! When Stars Will Shine is an anthology packed with twists, emotions and chilling tales to keep readers turning the pages – all the chills and Christmassy thrills to hook you in! Highly recommended!’ Noelle Holten, author of the DC Maggie Jamieson series.

‘I intended to only pick out a few of the stories to read, but once I picked it up I read one, and then another, and then another……and before I knew it I had read the whole book!’ Lorraine Rugman, The Book Review Cafe

‘When Stars Will Shine is a wonderful collection of short stories that are very readable. I have to be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy them as I’m more a romance reader but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each one I’ve read and I’m looking forward to continuing with the rest.’ Adele Blair, Kraftireader

‘If you are looking for a great collection of stories that will not only shock, cheer, chill and entertain, but give you that warm glow that comes from knowing you’ve helped a really worthy cause, this is the book for you.’ Jen Lucas, Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman was a really touching story especially when you realise that it is actually about members of his family. It’s not always easy to convey everything you want to in a short story but this one was very well written and effective.’ Mandie Griffiths, Jen Med’s Book Reviews

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

Photograph Provided by Telegraph & Argus – See article here

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas-themed short stories compiled to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

There isn’t a person in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour working on these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.

Where to buy the book

When Stars Will Shine is available to in digital and paperback formats and on Kindle Unlimited.

For more information, please contact Emma Mitchell: emmamitchellfpr@gmail.com

 

 

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin – published by @StMartinsPress @MacmillanUSA #review #blog #psychological #thriller

Firstly, I want to thank the author, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This book was one big WOW from beginning to end. So many guarded secrets. Who is a friend and who is foe? An excellent, engrossing story that I highly recommend!

Genre: Financial Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Book Description:

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

The Escape Room: A Novel by [Goldin, Megan]In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.

Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.

Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

Review

WOW! This is one of the most memorable psychological thrillers I’ve read all year. Megan Goldin is a new author for me and I was excited to read a book recommended by Lee Child. Needless to say, I couldn’t put it down. Easy to read, this is a rollercoaster ride you can devour in one afternoon.

Sarah Hall’s point of view was fascinating and you can’t help liking her from the outset. In a bid to help her ailing parents, she embarks on an exciting career at Stanhope. After much a laborious job search, she has a chance encounter with a future employer. Too good to be true? You bet it is. As an ambitious MBA graduate breaking into the vicious cut-throat world of Wall Street Finance, she is immediately thrust into a corrupt and hostile environment, where greed and revenge are at the forefront. At the very start, the mood is one of high-wire suspense as millions are at risk and Sarah must navigate a smart route through the tensions and wiles of high-powered investment bankers.  At times, I wanted to shake the naivety out of her, and the irritating willingness to trust. Aren’t the collusions and maneuverings of Wall Street life taught to all MBA graduates before embarking on such a career?

Vincent, Sylvie, Sam and Jules are the four game players, served to the reader in an alternate point of view. Summoned on a Friday night for a team building exercise they are expected to play the Escape Room game. But the room is a locked elevator with no cell phone service and no emergency call button to alert security. Nothing can be more frightening than being trapped in an elevator, especially with people you loathe. Clues are found to assist their escape but the longer they are confined, infighting and tension builds, and confrontations are inevitable. When past transgressions are revealed, can one person rectify the abuse that has been dished out to the most vulnerable?

The first three quarters of this book is a steaming read and I particularly enjoyed the resonant backstory set in such a small setting. But at no time did I get the impression Sarah would overcome a bunch of sociopathic analysts in quite this way. Where she suddenly got these additional skills beats me.  I gave the book five stars for originality and for the staggering pace.

Thank you to #Netgalley and #StMartin’sPress for the ARC of #TheEscapeRoom in exchange for an honest review.

Book details

Print Length: 361 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250219655

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (July 30, 2019)

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Sold by: Macmillan

Links: US flag USA  here    British flag UK  here

What people are saying:

Praise for The Escape Room:

The Escape Room: 'One of my favourite books of the year' LEE CHILD by [Goldin, Megan]“The pages turn themselves…THE ESCAPE ROOM delivers all that it promises. It is a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion.” ―New York Times Book Review

“THE ESCAPE ROOM works as the ultimate locked-room mystery…Goldin excels at illustrating the pressures of a Wall Street career.” ―Associated Press

“Addicting.” ―Time Magazine

“There is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside [the escape room]; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them…a nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.” ―Booklist

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

About the author

 

Other books by Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin

After The End by Clare Mackintosh @PutnamBooks #bookreview #womensfiction

Clare Mackintosh’s beautiful, page-turner tackles one of the hardest decisions parent ever have to make. I fell in love with Pip, Max, and Leila as they worked together, cried together and struggled together with the question of: What if. After the End possibly the most heart-wrenching book I’ve ever read. So much so, I had to call a friend and talk it through with hankies at the ready. I don’t always recommend books in Facebook’s The Book Club, but this one is a must read! Definitely one of my top ten this year!  

Book description:

From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh, a deeply moving and page-turning novel about an impossible choice—and the two paths fate could take.

“A beautifully written novel, compelling and clever, tender and true. I can’t stop thinking about it.” —Liane Moriarty

“Tailor-made for book clubs and for fans of Jodi Picoult.”—Publishers Weekly

After the End by [Mackintosh, Clare]Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

Book Links:  British flag UK here     US flag US here

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 25, 2019)

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

 

Review

I don’t have words to describe what I think about this book, other than WOW, bloody, WOW! This is not only a book about a very sick little boy, but also about the unbelievable strains a marriage must endure, especially in the case of Pip and Max. There is no relief, not even after the end, but as the author says, there is hope.

Clare Mackintosh has based this story on her own painful experiences, so be prepared for a tough and emotional ride. As painful as it is, this book is one to be savored. Every single chapter brings a new awareness of how parents feel when faced with an impossible decision to keep their children alive or to remove all life support and let them die. After having read this book, I can say I’m a little better acquainted with the courts and legal decisions in such a tragedy, and the courageous path both doctors and parents must sometimes take.

I loved the characters, especially Leila. Her acute senses, her experience, her observation of the relationship between Max and Pip is beautifully drawn. When research is of such a high standard, it makes a difference to the reader. You learn something and that’s time well spent on a book.

It took me a lot longer to read this book and to comment than I have with any other. It is with some reservation that I say I ‘enjoyed it.’ It was harrowing and draining, but I couldn’t put it down. A departure from this author’s usual thrillers, it initially threw me for a loop. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. A book like this is definitely going to be a women’s fiction classic. I had read her book, I Let You Go, so I knew I was in for a very intricate, powerful read.

The only thing I didn’t like was the timeline, but in hindsight, how else could the author have done it? There were places where I had to go back and read sections over again as I did get lost along the way.

I can’t thank the author enough for writing it, and special thanks to Netgalley and to Penguin Group Putnam for an advance copy of this deep and and moving book.

Other books by Clare Mackintosh:

Clare Mackintosh books

 

New Covers!

Hi everyone.

I’m pleased as punch to tell you that the Detective Temeke Crime series The 9th Hour and Night Eyes are being given two brand new faces. While there are no additions or subtractions to the books themselves, they will soon have a different look.

the-ninth-hour-finalThe third book in the series, Past Rites will also be available in eBook and paperback via all retailers by December 15. Most of all, I want to thank all those who helped spread the word and to the readers who have told me how much they love the series.

But what is it that makes these books so real? Is it the characters themselves, the unique New Mexico landscape, or the extensive research into the finer workings of law enforcement?

For me, I don’t want a book to just amuse me for a few hours. I want a book where my life becomes the book for days on end. If I find a fictional character who is brave, funny, charismatic and suffering from some kind of life trauma, it spurs me on to build an emotional bond with them. I enjoy the messes they create, the pain and the tears, and where I find their problems may not be so different from mine. The big difference is, how they were able to overcome them. How they became a better person in the end.

As I crack on with the fourth Detective Temeke novel, I am reminded how grateful I am to the brave men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department. For taking time out of their busy schedules to teach us about the police department and its many units. I thank God for their sacrifice, their dedication and for their professionalism. And for helping make these stories so real.

img_1765It was a privilege to attend the 50th Citizen Police Academy ‒ a tuition free, twelve-week program designed to introduce members of the community to the Albuquerque Police Department. The Academy is designed to teach citizens about the philosophy, policies, and guiding principles of law enforcement and ethical conduct governing police services in our community. Please see the website here.

This was a three month training which included units such as firearms training, special weapons and tactics, crimes against children, bomb squad, use of force, active shooter, violent crimes, crime scene investigator, K-9, reality based training and scenarios, and so many more.

The 9th Hour was inspired by a violent case involving a fugitive who exploited young female victims by impersonating an authority figure. He decapitated at least 8 women keeping the severed heads as mementos. This man, whose name has been changed for this book and whose MO was based on folklore, suffered from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) a condition which describes many serial killers. But no matter how horrific the crime, we will never forget the victims.

Even though the past often casts a shadow over the present, the Detective Temeke series always sees each investigation in a whole new light.

nm-az-2016

A very big THANK YOU to all those who nominated the first in the series, The 9th Hour as a finalist for the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. I’m really chuffed! The awards dinner promises to include an auction and a fabulous menu at one of the most beautiful country clubs in Albuquerque.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claire.

 

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