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

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

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

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Praise for Gunnar Staalesen

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

‘The Norwegian Chandler’ Jo Nesbø

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Mature and captivating’ Herald Scotland

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

‘Masterful pacing’ Publishers Weekly

About the Author

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

Granite Noir fest 2017. Gunnar Staalesen.

Other Books by Gunnar Staalesen

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

When You Disappeared by John Marrs, published by Thomas & Mercer, @johnmarrs @AmazonPub #Blog #review

After reading What Lies Between Us, I rushed to buy another John Marrs book. When You Disappeared is a story that will leave you on the edge of your seat, but it will also leave you emotionally drained. Published in 2017, it still holds up as one of the finest pieces of psychological thriller writing. It will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.

Description:

All she wanted was the truth, but she’ll wish she never found out.

When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing—except him.

Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.

But Simon knows the truth—about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.

But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.

And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (July 13, 2017)
  • Publication Date: July 13, 2017
  • ASIN: B01MR4XQL6

Review

I didn’t know what to expect when I read the description of this book, but I was gob-smacked by the unique way Marrs wove together two stories both present and past. I hated Simon from the beginning. Callous, narcissistic and driven to immense hatred by something that happened in the past, I was incensed by him abandoning his family. Why and what caused him to do such a despicable thing?

Twenty-five years ago, Catherine and her young children are abandoned by her husband. She is left to pick up the pieces and start all over again. But there is no body to bury and no closure, and as the in-laws begin to pick away at the marriage, and question if Catherine had any part in Simon’s disappearance, you feel her desperation and her loneliness. Instead of wallowing, she picks up the pieces and forges her own career while single-handedly bringing up her children. When you’re a single mother (like me) you know how hard this is. Marrs takes great care to show her failures and successes in a realistic and well-paced manner. I loved her story.

Meanwhile Simon contemplates ending his own life, and then decides instead to simply throw in the towel to a good career and marriage, and swan off to pastures new. He doesn’t look back. Much. His life takes on a grotesquely downward spiral as he travels abroad. A free spirit now, he has no direction, but there is a curiously OCD side to him, a strength of character that I found both fascinating and despicable. Each page brings you closer to finding out why Simon did what he did. You can’t help being completely invested in the characters because you know there is a huge chunk missing. We catch glimpses of a terrible mistake that had somehow impacted the relationship and brought it to its knees.

I did ask myself a question as I closed the book. What happened to the sons? The illnesses all round were sad, although I wondered if perhaps there were too many.

Although I felt terrible sadness for Simon’s story and his friendship with Doug, I wanted to stand up and scream. A life changing tragedy incurred by a simple lack of communication seemed so unnecessary, but when you consider why secrets weren’t divulged at that time, you can understand it more clearly. But the most unforgettable scene for me was the final admission. An innocent child which amounted to an act of unforgivable neglect. Yet Marrs still made me feel sorry for the villain when I shouldn’t have given a damn.

Trigger Alert: This is an unputdownable book for me, but the tragedy at the heart of it is so dark it may be a nightmare for some readers. Please read the reviews before diving in. Even so, I gave it a solid five stars because of the skillful formatting of the story and the twists and turns that leave you breathless.

What people are saying:

“A compelling dark read that gets you thinking.” 4/5, The Sun Newspaper.

“It’s crammed with twists and turns that’ll keep you guessing right until the very end.” 5/5 OK! Magazine.

“Looking for a thrilling read? Then look no further.” -TV Extra Magazine, Sunday Star Newspaper.

“A magnificent story, one that truly captivated from the start with its style and grace and ever so subtle disclosure of the ultimate history.” – littleebookreviews.com

“A story that left me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down. You simply must read this book for yourself.” – Book Lover’s Attic.

“The story is masterfully told … the book is one that will stay with the reader for a long time. It is an extremely impressive first novel.” – Online Book Club

“There are many jaw-dropping moments. If you pick up this book, expect to be shocked! This is a book that firmly deserves to be defined as a page-turner.” – Cleopatra Loves Books. –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author:

John MarrsJohn Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. What Lies Between Us is his seventh book. Follow him at http://www.johnmarrsauthor.co.uk, on Twitter @johnmarrs1, on Instagram @johnmarrs.author and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/johnmarrsauthor.

More Books by John Marrs

John Marrs books

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

Left for Dead by Caroline Mitchell #LeftForDead #NetGalley @Caroline_writes @AmazonPub  @BOTBSPublicity #writingcommunity #blog #review

I was so excited to receive a copy of Caroline Mitchell’s new book. By far one of my favorite authors, this is a five star read that  leaves you chilled to the bone. Gripping and deliciously creepy, Left For Dead is the third installment in the DI Amy Winter Thriller book series.

Book description:

A victim on display. A detective on the rails.

Shopping with her sister, DI Amy Winter is admiring a Valentine’s Day window display of a perfect bride encrusted in diamonds and resplendent in lace—until she notices blood oozing from the mannequin’s mouth.

This is no stunt. A post-mortem reveals the victim was left to die on her macabre throne for all to see. When a second victim is found, it emerges that both women were ‘Sugar Babes’ arranging dates with older men online—and Amy finds herself hunting an accomplished psychopath.

As she tracks down the killer, Amy’s instincts go into overdrive when the charismatic head of the agency behind the display makes no attempt to hide his fascination with her serial-killer parents. What exactly does he want from Amy? With her own world in freefall as her biological mother, Lillian Grimes, appeals her conviction, Amy pushes the boundaries of police procedure when a third ‘Sugar Babe’ disappears…Is she as much at risk as the killer’s victims?

  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (July 8, 2020)
  • Publication Date: July 8, 2020
  • ASIN: B082HT291W

 

Review

The book opens on a chilly February day in the office of Samuel Black who, after having scratched his way to the top, now lives in a large home in Notting Hill. Itching to release his hidden desires, he unlocks the second draw of his desk, and with the help of a little black notebook, he is thrust from his mundane life into the bowels of a secret society.

DCI Hazel Pike is retiring and Donovan, toned and muscular and without a tie, has been transferred from Essex Police to take over her role. Dubbed as the psychopath-whisperer and with fan-mail to boot, it’s a bitter pill for DI Amy Winter to swallow. But I love Donovan, in fact, I quite fancy him myself.

A shopping trip with her sister down London’s Oxford Street on a Saturday morning, starts the ball rolling on the most bizarre case yet. A widow display with the distinctive scent of death and a dummy, left on a throne, ice cold with blood dripping from her mouth. A small heart-shaped wound had been cut in her chest, reminiscent of Claire Lacey’s murder twenty years ago— nicknamed The Love Heart Killer.

With all the ingredients of a fabulous plot, this book definitely delivers on many counts. The antagonist is deliciously creepy (which I love) and the protagonist is a pitbull of a crime fighter, whose punchbag sessions in her basement gym make up a small part of her amazing strength. The word ‘no’ doesn’t exist in her vocabulary and wedging a boot in a closing a door demonstrates her prickly dedication. Reluctant to discuss the Beasts of Brentwood with the likes of Samuel Black, she will have to atone for Lillian’s crimes, the true reason why Amy does what she does. But with tainted blood running through her veins—or you could say a foot in both camps—I wonder if this makes her twice as intuitive. Her nemesis in this case may refer to her as ‘same dog, different fleas,’ but he doesn’t know what he’s dealing with.

On the final stretch of the crime, the twist in the tale had me reeling. I thought I might have it all worked out by about the three quarter mark, but I hadn’t. A twenty-year-old murder told from two perspectives, with a cruel and perverted outcome. What’s that Harper Lee saying? “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

I always have my go-to crime writers and I’m happy to say, Caroline Mitchell is one who never disappoints. Edgy, dark and showcasing one of the finest detective characters in modern fiction, it’s exciting to note that the series has been optioned and will soon be on our screens to watch.

Huge thanks to author Caroline Mitchell, publisher Thomas & Mercer (APub) and Sarah Hardy at Books on the Bright Side Publicity and Netgalley for an advance reader copy of this book.

About the author:

fullsizeoutput_1095A former police detective, Caroline Mitchell now writes full-time.

She has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims—high-risk victims of domestic abuse and serious sexual offences. The mental strength shown by the victims of these crimes is a constant source of inspiration to her, and Mitchell combines their tenacity with her knowledge of police procedure to create tense psychological thrillers.

Originally from Ireland, she now lives in a pretty village on the coast of Essex with her husband and three children.

You can find out more about her at http://www.caroline-writes.com, or follow her on Twitter (@caroline_writes) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor).

Other books by Caroline Mitchell:

caroline mitchell

Caroline Mitchell Left For Dead Banner (2)

 

Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald, Published by Orenda Books @FitzHelen @OrendaBooks #bookreview #blog

This is my first Helen Fitzgerald book. Nail-biting suspense, and a roller-coaster plot with pitch-perfect characters and tension a plenty. A relatable, thrill-a-minute ride that takes you into the heat of Fran’s Australian hometown – the last place she wants to go. A tour de force of storytelling that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

Book Description:

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.
She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating
bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants… Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

Review

A fateful wish, a town burning. Ash Mountain, an inland town in Victoria, is about to succumb to the tragic loss of life and wildlife. Fran Collins prays she can get her daughter Vonny back before the fire storm above McBean’s Hill swallows the world whole. As the sky reddens, Fran must leave her dad alone and get to the monument.

Rewinding ten days prior to the fire, Fran returns home to look after her dad. As her story unfolds, we see a larger-than-life character who desires all the things a young woman would want and has survived exclusion and ridicule to boot. Understandably resentful of the town and it’s memories, she is tough, relatable and emotionally alert enough to survive this. But not without a few more challenges along the way. Humor sprinkled with high tension, Fran re-examines her life and the events that changed her forever — a hard-hitting journey expressed with lyrical prose and one that stays with you long after the book has finished.

The novel has a strong sense of place where secrets are peeled away through the chapters and staggering surprises keep coming. In fact, every new detail makes you wonder where the story is heading. A good portion of the book is dedicated to Fran’s backstory with scenes that drop you right there, seeing it through her eyes and feeling what she must have felt. Although I preferred being catapulted to the present, the backstory in this book is relevant to Fran’s character arc and has to be examined in order to appreciate her many layers.

As the fire engulfs the area, it is eerily quiet and the heat unbearable. The clock ticks and the burning question is; who will make it out alive. The power is off and there is no access in or out of the town. Everything is smoke as the fire approaches from the northwest. Fran grieves one death and soldiers on desperate to find Vonny. The burning photos are so poignant as is that last kiss, and hope and loss laid to rest one final time. Poor Ronnie Corbett brought a few more tears and I felt drained at the end.

I raise a glass to the author. This book is not only packed with emotion but stuffed with gold stars. It’s a powerful read which twisted and lurched where you least expected.

HUGE thanks to Anne Cater for organizing this tour, Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books and author Helen FitzGerald for a copy of this incredible book.

About The Author

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

Praise for Helen Fitzgerald:

Helen Fitzgerald Author Pic (2)‘Helen Fitzgerald’s sublime Worst Case Scenario, a foul-mouthed, satirical revenge thriller in which Glasgow probation officer Mary Shields battles career burnout and the menopause’ The Guardian

‘ The plotting is intricate and beautifully handled, and the narrative pace is absolutely breakneck … a wonderful, energetic, hard-hitting and deeply funny novel’ The Big Issue

‘Shocking, gripping and laugh-out-loud hilarious’ Erin Kelly

‘ The main character is one of the most extraordinary you’ll meet between the pages of a book’ Ian Rankin

‘A dark, comic masterpiece which manages to be both excruciatingly tense and laugh out loud funny at the same time’ Mark Edwards

‘Outrageous, extremely funny and ultimately devastating ’ Ambrose Parry

‘Fabulously transgressive and completely unique’ Mark Billingham

‘ The classic thriller gets a hell of a twist ’ Heat

‘FitzGerald writes like a more focused Irvine Welsh or a less misogynist Philip Roth’ Daily Telegraph

Other books by Helen Fitzgerald:

Helen Fitzgerald other books US

 

Helen Fitzgerald FINAL Ash Mountain BT Poster (2)

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones, published by Minotaur Books @realsandiejones @MinotaurBooks @MacmillanUSA #review #blog #domestic #thriller #writingcommunity

WOW! An absolute corker of a read. For those with a devilish MIL and a partner blinded by the manipulative dealings of his mother, this roguishly relatable book is one for you. So addictive, you won’t be able to put it down!

Book Description:

REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“One of the most twisted and entertaining plots.—Reese Witherspoon

“Whiplash-inducing.”—New York Times Book Review
“Such fun you’ll cheer [Emily’s] chutzpah.”—PEOPLE
“This thriller will hit close to home.”—Refinery29

The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you’ll read this year.

HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.
BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.
AND SHE’LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones’ chilling psychological suspense about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.

The Other Woman: A Novel by [Sandie Jones]

Click for link here:

  • Print Length: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 21, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 21, 2018
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • ASIN: B079DW9LVX

Review

 

Well and truly HOOKED! Plenty of twists and turns and, in parts, some dark humour to take away the edge. A fast read that left me breathless and one I couldn’t put down.

The Other Woman is an emotional character study about the destructive triangle of girlfriend, boyfriend and potential mother-in-law from hell. Trusting and very much in love, Emily is sold on Adam—the perfect man, but not nearly as sold on his mother, Pammie. Manipulative and doting, no one is good enough for Adam and Pammie wants to keep it that way. But is the cost worth the effort? As Emily becomes more determined, we see Pammie struggling to maintain first place. It quickly becomes a fight to the death.

Emily sees through the charade but can never stay ahead of the game. Frustrated she turns to Adam for support, but he is oblivious to his mother’s psychotic and manipulative personality and refuses to get involved. It seems almost unbelievable at times, as does Emily’s failure to act when Adam won’t support her. As their relationship peaks and troughs, clashes with Pammie become all too frequent, and I began to wonder how dangerous Pammie is.

The storyline is cleverly structured, and it’s impossible to imagine how twisted the ending can be. The journey camouflages the true motives of these exceptional people, with supporting characters such as James, Adam’s brother, who fights for Emily’s attention. This bid to pull her away from his brother seems dangerous and doomed from the start, what with Adam’s palpable jealousy, regardless of his behaviour. This adds an extra layer to the plot which is advancing at warp speed, increasing in tension and viciousness. Will Pammie never cease to turn up at functions like a bad penny? And how much pain can one person possibly inflict?

I had to wonder why headstrong Emily stuck it out for so long. Was Adam really worth it? Many of us would have tossed him to the curb before now, but I began to wonder if her focus swayed from Adam to outmaneuvering the intrusive and competitive Pammie. I have to hand it to Pammie, she goes to great lengths to destroy Emily’s reputation so Adam will dump her once and for all. But he whatever mistakes he makes, he keeps crawling back and Emily keeps forgiving him. But for how long? That’s what kept me reading.

It’s deliciously sinister, and somewhat reminiscent of Annie Wilkes’ in Misery—a psychotic fan who holds an author captive in the same way Pammie holds Emily captive. But what other weapons does Emily have in her arsenal to beat her nemesis? And is she up for the task? You’ll just have to read the book.

A gripping and compulsive read. Congratulations to the author on this debut novel. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next read.

About the Author:

Sandie Jones Jones has been a freelance journalist for over 20 years, interviewing celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Isla Fisher, Simon Cowell and Naomie Harris.

Her debut novel, The Other Woman, is a psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a woman and her partner’s mother.

If Sandie wasn’t an author she’d be an interior designer as she has an unhealthy obsession with wallpaper and cushions!

She lives in London, England, with her husband and three children.

Other books by Sandie Jones:

Sandie Jones - The Other Woman

One Of Us Is Lying by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture @GrandCentralPub #review #blog @sarahhardy681

WOW! An addictive story from an author I hadn’t read before, and it takes off like a rocket! I didn’t just read this mesmerizing book, I inhabited it. One Of Us Is Lying is one of those rare stories that grips you until the early hours. With such glowing star ratings and testimonials from happy reviewers, I was longing to read this much anticipated book.

Book Description:

One of Us Is Lying: A totally gripping psychological thriller with a brilliant twist by [Boland, Shalini]Tia never harmed anyone. So why does someone want to destroy her?

Tia is walking home with her children, along the lakeside of their quiet, safe town, when she realises something is wrong with her five-year-old daughter, Rosie. She seems troubled, not at all her usual happy self.

But when Tia finally coaxes Rosie to open up, she wishes she hadn’t. Because her sweet daughter asks a question Tia never thought she’d hear.

‘Mummy, why did you kill someone?’

Tia knows how rumours spread around her small town. She just can’t understand who would have shared such a horrible story. Or why.

It can’t have anything to do with what happened. Only her two best friends really remember that…

Tia thought she could trust Fiona and Kelly with her life. They’ve been through so much together. But when she’s sent photos of herself that could tear her whole world apart, she starts to wonder. Someone is determined to punish her. But who? And will her friends stand by her, or will the past destroy all of their lives?

Print Length: 299 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (April 3, 2020)

Publication Date: April 3, 2020

ASIN: B083QH6VS2

Review

It’s a well-crafted mystery about three friends living immaculate lives and dealing with the inevitable emotional and psychological trauma that occurs with a few threatening texts. Tia, Fiona and Kelly form the narrative in this cracker of a story in alternating points of view, each with their own tale to tell.

Tia is horrified when her daughter alludes to a terrible rumor. A few boys at school say she killed someone, an allegation Tia hotly denies. Not to mention a few photos that could easily destroy her marriage. Kelly, recently widowed and with a recklessly bleeding heart, allows a stranger to stay with her — a stranger who is escaping a violent husband. Fiona, impossible to read and somewhat mysterious, is an interior designer who is being audited by the HMRC. An ambitious woman who wants to enjoy her career without the burden of kids, at least for now.

The book hurtles onwards and can only be described as a heart-pounding, page-turning, can’t-put-down, adrenaline-pumping novel. Each character is drowning in a mire of someone’s making and their carefully ordered lives are turning into a tangle they never expected. The book examines the obliterating trauma that comes with keeping secrets and their aftermath.

Each chapter goes back in time to provide the reader with an inviting summary, shaping each woman a contour at a time. As silhouettes begin to transform, it becomes clear that envy sits center-stage, and someone is threatening them. In such a small community, there is nowhere to hide. Dialogue provides a discrete eye into who they are and what they’re about. But the burning question throughout the book is who is targeting them and why is the past returning to bite them? Their lives are irrevocably damaged and things become chaotic in a very small space of time. The pace ramps up when Kelly receives a text to meet someone at the boathouse in Ashridge Falls, Fiona receives a message that intimates Mr Taxman will disappear, and Tia sees a text that assures her the photos will be destroyed — but it’s not all plain-sailing and the ending will have you tied up in knots.

I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this novel. Many thanks to Bookouture, Shalini Boland and Negalley for the privilege of reading this book. And to Sarah Hardy @sarahhardy681 for organizing the tour.

What people are saying:

‘Totally mesmerising! I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor… had my heart pounding so hard I thought it would burst! Totally amazing and brilliant!… a definite must-read author!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fantastic, suspenseful… so, so good. I really didn’t want to put the book down and finished it in one day.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Another stunner… 5 stars all the way from beginning which hooked me to the very last page… I already want more!!!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow… thrilling… worth each and every minute’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Enthralling… leaves you gasping for air… If you haven’t read anything by this author, then you really should. Be warned though as her books are highly addictive… you won’t be going anywhere until you get to the last word.’ Bytheletterbookreviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Fantastic… thrills us with twists, turns and suspense… tense, gripping… captivating and addictive… I’m already looking forward to the next one!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oooh!!… Another stunning read from the very talented Shalini. Boy has she done it again!’ Nicki’s Book Blog, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Author:

Shalini Boland Shalini Boland is the million-copy, USA-Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers: ‘THE GIRL FROM THE SEA’, ‘THE BEST FRIEND’, ‘THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE’ (optioned for TV by Legendary Studios), ‘THE SECRET MOTHER’, ‘THE CHILD NEXT DOOR’, ‘THE SILENT SISTER’, ‘THE PERFECT FAMILY’, ‘THE MARRIAGE BETRAYAL’ and ‘THE OTHER DAUGHTER’.

Her titles are published by Bookouture, Grand Central (USA) and Tantor.

Shalini lives by the sea in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and endless baskets of laundry).

She is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as a children’s WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

http://www.facebook.com/ShaliniBolandAuthor
http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk

Other books by Shalini Boland

shalini boland

One of Us is Lying - Blog tour (2)

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen @panmacmillan @netgalley @greerkh @sarahpekkanen @StMartinsPress #blog #review #thriller

Absolutely amaaaaaazing! I had this on my anticipated reads for this year and loved it.
So cleverly and powerfully written and gallops along at break-neck speed.  A fiendishly clever thriller with masterful twists that will keep you guessing.

Book Description:

You Are Not Alone: A Novel by [Hendricks, Greer, Pekkanen, Sarah]

US Link

The electrifying #1 New York Times bestselling authors of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and AN ANONYMOUS GIRL return with a brand new novel of psychological suspense.

Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.

Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better.

Shay would die for them to like her.
She may have to.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (March 3, 2020)
  • ISBN-10: 1250202035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250202031

What people are saying:

One of Newsweek‘s Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of SheReads Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of PopSugar’s Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of HelloGiggles’ Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of Marie Claire’s Best Fiction by Women in 2020
One of Woman’s Day’s Best Fiction Books Coming Out in 2020

Review

You Are Not Alone: The Most Gripping Thriller of the Year from the Bestselling Authors of the Richard and Judy Smash Hit The Wife Between Us by [Hendricks, Greer, Pekkanen, Sarah]

UK Link

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are two of my favorite authors so I knew I was in for a treat. They’ve mastered the art of building suspense and dishing out inner secrets one grain at a time. It’s more-ish. You have to get back to it after a day at work and it rattles around in your mind while you’re driving home. A book that leaves it’s glorious residue long after you’ve finished it.

Hooked from the start You Are Not Alone follows the story of Shay who works a low-paid temporary job and lives with the love of her life. A devoted statistician, she’s extremely relatable — a young woman who feels isolated and vulnerable, perhaps someone whose helplessness comes into question. But when she witnesses a shocking accident, her focus on the victim could be seen as obsessive.

Shay meets the Moore sisters — Cassandra and Jane — two stylish and alluring women who appear to have everything, demonstrating the lifestyle Shay would love. There is definitely an unsettling mood right from the start which made me want to read on. The book digs deep into the multi-layers of each character and their secrets, an enigma if ever there was one!

Shay’s obsession to find out more about Amanda may come at a cost, and the Moore sisters seem to be all too controlling. I did wonder why she didn’t have an ‘Aha’ moment a little sooner, and regroup to weigh up her options. But what is obvious to the reader, is not obvious to Shay. She’s complex and insecure and desperate for friends, and let’s face it, she’s been abandoned, so why not? I think this more than adequately covers for any inconsistencies in character. For instance, why didn’t she get suspicious about her make-over? Then I reminded myself that her naivety was born out of loneliness and a hungry need to fit in.

There are quite a lot of characters and for me, this became a little confusing. I wondered if they scrambled the plot a little and whether they were entirely necessary. This book is about greed, paranoia and revenge, and while the roller-coaster journey was dark and tense, the ending is nicely wrapped up. A clever twist I didn’t see coming.

At no time did I get that jarring feeling that the book was written by two authors. The narrative is joined seamlessly and effortlessly to give an outstanding reading experience. A medium to fast burn for me, which is what kept me coming back.

Thank you to netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Authors:

Greer HendricksGREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent over two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

 

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally-bestselling author of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and the upcoming AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, cowritten with Greer Hendricks.

Sarah PekkanenTHE WIFE BETWEEN US – an instant New York Times bestseller – is a twisty psychological tale that has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment. Sarah and Greer are penning the screenplay for Amblin.

AN ANONMYOUS GIRL is currently in production as a television series by eOne,with Sarah and Greer serving as executive producers.

Sarah is also the author of eight solo novels.

Please find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @sarahpekkanen

Other Books by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Greer Hendricks