The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker, published by Hutchison Books / Riverhead Books @NancyCNTucker @HutchinsonBooks/ @RiverheadBook #Bookreview #BlogTour

**A GUARDIAN 2021 BEST CRIME AND THRILLER PICK**
___________

If you liked “The Push” or “Girl A,” you’ll enjoy this contemporary urban fiction story, told through the voice of Chrissie the 8 year old killer.

DESCRIPTION:

‘So that was all it took,’ I thought. ‘That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn’t so much after all.’

Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands.

Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn’t get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.

Fifteen years later, Julia is trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried – about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away.

That’s when the phone calls begin, which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it’s clear the caller knows the truth about what happened all those years ago.

And it’s time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?

Complex and riveting from start to finish, The First Day of Spring will leave a pit in your stomach. Many thanks to Hope Butler at Penguin for recommending this book. Debut author Nancy Tucker delivers a nuanced narrative that describes the damage wrought by neglect. A fascinating and devastating read, one of the best this year!

Narrated through the voice of the killer, the opening chapters describe the exiled and demoralized life of Chrissie whose Da is absent and whose Ma is unable to provide. I rooted for her and adored her voice which is testament to great writing. I also resonated with her neediness as she continues to be starved of everything so vital to her development. Her mother is skillfully drawn, a woman who despite all her tears and struggles, has no support, not even for dental work on her daughter’s rotten tooth. The adoption scene almost made me cry. There is enough detail to drop a reader right there without it being labored or overdone. Empty cupboards force Chrissie out into the streets to scrounge for food, or stay in a friend’s house long enough to be offered tea. A child too young to understand what is going around her. The toll it takes on an eight-year old is beautifully described, her vulnerability, the stunts she has to pull to get what she needs. Sometimes there’s humor to her inner monologue which lightens the gut-churning load. It’s not surprising she spirals down a dark path, desperate to be recognized and accepted. But when a two-year-old boy is killed, Chrissie’s point of view becomes so harrowing, it’s hard to read and hard put down.

Julia, Lucy, Chrissie is a mother now, frying fish and mopping floors and giving Molly the childhood she never had. But when a phone call threatens to reveal her past, she must face up to the horror or risk losing her daughter. Her thoughts are ingenuous as if she’s never been allowed to mature, almost a show-and-tell of her tragic life both past and present. Christmas with its cracker and horrid grey soup. There’s always the anticipation of something more sinister.

This is a moving story about the all-consuming consequences of a stolen childhood and the aftershocks that haunt this type of trauma. Gripping and stunningly written, I had a lump in my throat until the end.

Many thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone and to Netgalley and the author Nancy Tucker for an advance copy of this amazing book. It was a privilege.

#TheFirstDayofSpring #NetGalley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Tucker was born and raised in West London. She spent most of her adolescence in and out of hospital suffering from anorexia nervosa.

On leaving school, she wrote her first book, THE TIME IN BETWEEN (Icon, 2015) which explored her experience of eating disorders and recovery. Her second book, THAT WAS WHEN PEOPLE STARTED TO WORRY (Icon, 2018), looked more broadly at mental illness in young women.

Nancy recently graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Experimental Psychology.

Since then she has worked in an inpatient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents and in adult mental health services.

She now works as an assistant psychologist in an adult eating disorders service. The First Day of Spring is her first work of fiction.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

‘Perceptive and compassionate’ GUARDIAN
‘A stunning debut’ WASHINGTON POST
‘I loved this book’ CLARE MACKINTOSH
‘Ccompulsively readable’ ASHLEY AUDRAIN
Compelling . . . stunningly powerful’ GRAZIA
‘An unforgettable narrative voice’ PAULA HAWKINS
‘An extraordinary and heart-rending novel’ OBSERVER
‘This is outstanding . . . so powerful’ TRACY FENTON
‘A darkly dazzling debut . . . gripping’ LISA JEWELL
‘A gripping, unsettling debut novel’ ABIGAIL DEAN
‘Sharp-edged and highly discussable’ BOOKLIST

All For You by Louise Jensen, published by HQ Stories, an imprint of HarperCollins UK #review #blog @HQstories @HarperCollinsUK

I was thrilled to be invited on Louise Jensen’s blog tour for her new book, All For You. Here is another heart-pounding, sizzling psychological thriller from the best selling author of The Date and The Sister.

MEET THE WALSH FAMILY

Lucy: Loving mother. Devoted wife. And falling to pieces.
Aidan: Dedicated father. Faithful husband. And in too deep.
Connor:Hardworking son. Loyal friend. But can never tell the truth.

Everyone in this family is hiding something, but one secret will turn out to be the deadliest of all . . .

Can this family ever recover when the truth finally comes out?

Readers are GRIPPED by All For You

‘This book keeps you on your toes! It is an excellent psychological thriller, with the tension building up throughout . . . A well-deserved 5 stars from me’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Compelling and chilling. Louise is at the top of her game when it comes to writing a unputdownable psychological thriller’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Louise Jensen has done it again . . . The writing had the sheer talent of wanting me keep reading one more chapter deep into the night’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Full of suspense and edge-of-your-seat moments. If I could give more than 5 stars I would because this book is definitely one of my favourite reads’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

All For You by Louise Jensen is a twisty thriller narrated from three different perspectives. Lucy, Aiden and Connor. I had a feeling the title would be significant, but how significant isn’t revealed until near the end. The prologue tells us something terrible has happened to Connor, Lucy’s eldest son.  There are flashbacks, taking us back to their time at school and a teenage dare that went horribly wrong at summer camp. A truck-load of secrets provide tension and panic and a family weighed down with anxiety and guilt. What happened to Connor’s girlfriend, Haley? Who can we trust?

Lucy, whose chapters are narrated through first person point of view, is an orthopaedic surgeon. She has given up her career to car for her teenage son, Kieron who has chronic liver disease. Looking for a liver transplant would be enough to knock her to the kerb, but there are too many problems aside from something as serious as this. The author really holds Lucy’s feet to the coals and we see her tested almost to breaking point. Through her narrative we see a dedicated wife and mother, and a child suffering from the sickness. Connor’s chapters show a conflicted teenager, whose love for his brother is paramount. But he is traumatised and struggling to cope and the truth of what happened is clawing at his sanity. As are all the secrets each Walsh family member keeps. Aiden, Lucy’s husband is a vet. His secrets threaten to destroy his career and his marriage and there’s something in his past that is relevant to the present. The fact that someone is watching them, only intensifies the pace even more.

With different characters alternating their stories, the novel gets darker and darker. There are plenty of red herrings to keep you on your toes. The ending was not one I was expecting, and I was treated to the gnawing question – how far will people go for their loved ones?

All For You is one of the twistiest thrillers I’ve read this year. Many thanks to the publishers, HQ, the author Louise Jensen and to Netgalley for the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book.

About the author:

Louise Jensen

Louise Jensen has sold over a million English language copies of her International No. 1 psychological thrillers ‘The Sister’, ‘The Gift’, ‘The Surrogate’, ‘The Date’, ‘The Family’ & ‘The Stolen Sisters’. Her novels have also been translated into twenty-five languages, as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise’s seventh thriller, ‘All For You’, will be published in Autumn 2020 by Harper Collins.

Louise has been nominated for multiple awards including Goodreads Debut Author Of The Year, The Guardians ‘Not The Booker Prize’, best polish thriller of 2018 and she has also been listed for two CWA Dagger awards. All of Louise’s thrillers are currently under option for TV & film.

Louise also has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories under the pen name Amelia Henley. ‘The Life We Almost Had’ was an international best seller. her latest release ‘The Art of Loving You’ is out now.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers.

Other books by Louise Jensen

Lucky by Marissa Stapley, published by Simon & Schuster (7 Dec. 2021). @simonschuster #review #blog #writingcommunity

Book Description:

REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity–when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved–whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.

REVIEWS:

“An electric story about an unconventional heroine who is on the run from her past with a winning lottery ticket that could change her future forever. But here’s the catch . . . she can’t cash it in! I loved all the twists and turns of this adventure, not knowing where Lucky was going to end up next.”
— REESEWITHERSPOON

“[A] rollicking road-trip novel . . . With Lucky’s traumatic childhood with her conman father revealed in flashbacks, it’s no wonder the TV rights were sold to Disney with Stapley tapped to write the pilot. . . . This book club pick will no [doubt] lead to lively debates on duplicity, truth, luck, nature vs. nurture in child-rearing, and how to spot a con from a mile away.”
— Zoomer

“A compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter whose past comes back to haunt her.”
— 49th Shelf

“A criminal with a winning lottery ticket scrambles to elude arrest in this thrilling adventure. . . . Stapley raises the stakes through Lucky’s increasingly desperate moves while adding depth via flashbacks to Lucky’s childhood, which was full of scams and disappointments, and through Lucky’s gradual reckoning with the truth. This page-turner packs in more than its share of heart.”
— Publishers Weekly

Lucky by Marissa Stapley is a pacey read, taking you inside the life of grifters Luciana (Lucky) Armstrong and her father. It alternates between past and present, from when Lucky was left outside a nunnery in New York City in 1982, to present day in a gas station bathroom in Idaho, where she changes her appearance and name, and buys a winning lottery ticket.

Leaping back to aged 10 and her life in the Adirondacks, things aren’t so easy for Lucky. Her father is a con artist, always on the run and never putting down roots. Although the “running” is adrenaline-filled, it is not the life Lucky wants. Nor does she enjoy bilking people to get where they need to go. Imprisoned by the grifter life-style, she searches for a way out, only to find she falls back into the routine as a means to an end. Lying comes naturally because it’s all she’s ever known. But everything is about to crash, and she begins to question all the things she trusted to be true. Who is she, really?

With a father who can spin a believable yarn and get away with it, Lucky is out of luck. She must find out who she is and where she came from in order to bring closure to her journey. This is what kept me reading until the early hours. I wanted her to succeed, but the safety of the lottery ticket was an agonizing burden. The more impossible the mission, the more invested I became in the book.

For me, this was a fun read. Even though you see Cary, Lucky and her father through their dialogue — their past, and their points of view — I did crave a little more detail in order to breach the many layers of these stimulating and compelling characters. It’s a Bonnie and Cyde caper, for sure. The ending wrapped up nicely, and overall, I really enjoyed it. The paperback is short, only about 256 pages, and the writing style is informal and concise. It’s unputdownable and I can see why it is a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub Pick.

About the author:

An image posted by the author.

Marissa Stapley is an award-nominated journalist and the bestselling author of the novels Mating for Life (2014), Things to Do When It’s Raining (2018) and The Last Resort (2019), which is an Oprah Magazine, New York Post, US Weekly and Parade Magazine favourite. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across North America, including the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Elle and Today’s Parent. She has taught creative writing and editing at the University of Toronto and Centennial College. She lives in Toronto with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @marissastapley or like her page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MarissaStapleyAuthor/) for updates and contests!

Other books by Marissa Stapley:

The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee, published by Random House UK, Vintage, Harvill Secker. @radiomukhers @PenguinUKBooks @HarvillSecker #TheShadowsOfMen #NetGalley #blog #review #TheShadowsOfMen

WOW! What a fabulous and unique crime duo. The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Why? Read on… my review is below the book description.

Award-winning crime novelist Abir Mukherjee is back with another brilliant mystery featuring police detective Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surrender-Not Banerjee, set in 1920s Calcutta.

Calcutta, 1923

The Shadows of Men: Wyndham and Banerjee Book 5 (Wyndham and Banerjee series) by [Abir Mukherjee]

When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force—Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee—track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08LW5CPH6
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pegasus Crime (November 11, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 11, 2021

I was thrilled to be offered a copy of The Shadows of Men as I hadn’t read anything by this author before. Although this is book 5 in the series, it reads as a standalone and certainly didn’t undermine my reading experience in the least. Set in Raj-era India, you can bet your last rupee, this author is one of the best to bring historical details about colonial Calcutta to life.

The Shadows of Men: A Novel (Wyndham & Banerjee Mysteries) by [Abir Mukherjee]

We are thrust into the life of Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee, who takes us back to 1923 and the “eternal shroud of industrial smog” of Calcutta. In his humble way, he navigates British rule (gentlemen’s clubs and cricket grounds) and although some scenes of entitlement are cringe worthy, they are strikingly accurate for the period. There are so many descriptions I loved, not to mention internal monologue and observations which, at times, made me laugh out loud. For example: “How was I to explain to Lord Taggart that, while we all might look the same to him, a Hindu following Gulmohamed into the Muslim parts of town would stick out as much as he would at a meeting of the Women’s Institute.” To see life through his eyes was a privilege, and the author’s voice served to make me feel as if I was in safe and dependable hands.

The doggedly determined Captain Sam Wyndham, whose dry British wit and eternal optimism seems to drive him to the root of the problem. No matter what challenges he faces, you can’t help having complete faith in his skill. The pressures between upper and lower castes and Hindus and Muslims continues to escalate, and with Banerjee in a jam, Wyndham’s day just got worse. How will he ever reinstate Banerjee’s freedom? By putting himself in harm’s way to save his backside, that’s how.

The case takes him to Bombay and again, beautiful descriptions abound. I was treated to vivid characters; Miss Colah, Cyrus Irani, Cecily Parsons, and I particularly enjoyed the Englishmen armed with a drink and a cigar, “the brave men of the King’s Own Bombay Gin drinkers” — another dazzling display of brilliant writing. You can’t shy away from the haves and the have nots, the sheer opulence in contrast to the simplicity of everyone else. But crammed between these sweat inducing layers is the suspense, and I couldn’t read to the end fast enough.

Sam Wyndham and Surrender-not Banerjee are one of the most unique crime duos I’ve come across in a long time. I hope they will continue for many books to come. Many thanks to the author and to Harvill Secker, Vintage and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

Other books by this author:

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll, published by Thomas & Mercer @TeresaDriscoll @AmazonPub #mysteryandthrillers #blog #review

I was thrilled to be offered an advance copy of Her Perfect Family by the author. Like all Teresa Driscoll’s books, the writing style is easy to read, fast-paced and with enough description to drop you right into the action.

Description:

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of I Am Watching You. The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?

Her Perfect Family by [Teresa Driscoll]

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big—from him and from each other.

While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08N5YFL78
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thomas & Mercer (November 1, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 1, 2021

I was thrilled to be offered an advance copy of Her Perfect Family by the author. Like all Teresa Driscoll’s books, the writing style is easy to read, fast-paced and with enough description to drop you right into the action. You can’t help relishing such an addictive read, a brilliantly sustained psychological suspense.

From a well-chosen pink dress in the prologue to blood-red spatters in Chapter 1, this was a frightening opening for me. And at such a public occasion where families and children were present. Pomp and pageantry turned to mayhem and unspeakable horror—a parent’s worst nightmare. This is an injury that will require enormous strength to tell a patient and if that’s not enough, a heartrending mystery to unravel.

The book is written from several points of view — the mother, the private investigator (PI Matthew Hill is my personal favourite and DI Melanie Sanders), the father, the daughter, all with their own stories to tell. Yet everybody has something to hide and, as more secrets come to light, you can’t help feeling you’ve been deceived somewhere along the line, and not necessarily by the character you thought. About 78% through the book I thought I’d guessed the shooter, but I was wrong.

This is a highly accomplished thriller, a very frightening one with a backdrop of evil you hope never to encounter. Driscoll expertly weaves her stories together in unexpected and clever ways. This book has every thriller’s trifecta: love, marriage and murder.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author Teresa Driscoll for the privilege of reading this book.

@AmazonPub @TeresaDriscoll #mysteryandthrillers

Review

“Intriguing. Different. I raced through it beyond my usual ‘lights-out’ time. You simply HAVE to read to the end to find out what happens.” —Jane Corry, Sunday Times bestselling author

From the Publisher

I devoured Her Perfect Family in one sitting, unable to put the book down! If you love twisty and gripping thrillers, then bestselling author Teresa Driscoll’s brand-new psychological suspense novel will have you sitting up all night, desperate to find out what happens next.

Can you imagine watching your daughter get shot on what is supposed to be her proudest day? Gemma Hartley is graduating from university. Rachel and Ed Hartley are in attendance and prepared for a day full of hope and glittering futures. Until their perfect moment turns into a nightmare. With a detective on the scene and a heart-wrenching mystery to uncover, PI Matthew Hill realizes that even the most perfect of families have secrets to hide…

In this fast-paced thriller Teresa Driscoll takes you on a breathtaking ride as time ticks away with Gemma’s life hanging the balance. Can the killer be brought to justice before they strike again, or will this perfect day become the Hartleys’ perfect nightmare?

—Victoria Oundjian, Editor

About the Author:

Teresa Driscoll

Teresa Driscoll is a former BBC TV news presenter whose psychological thrillers have sold more than two million copies across the world.


Her first thriller I Am Watching You hit Kindle Number 1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has sold more than a million copies in English alone.


Teresa writes women’s fiction as well as thrillers and her work has been optioned for film and sold for translation in more than 20 territories.
For decades Teresa was a journalist working across newspapers, magazines and television. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.


Teresa lives in glorious Devon with her family and blogs regularly about her “writing life” at her website – http://www.teresadriscoll.com.

More Books from this Author:

The Image of Her by Sonia Velton, published by Quercus Books. @Soniavelton @QuercusBooks #reviews #blogs #writingcommunity

A HUGE thank you to Quercus Books, Netgalley and author Sonia Velton for the privilege of receiving an advance copy of this amazing book.

Book Description:

STELLA and CONNIE are strangers, brought together by two traumatic events – cruel twists of fate that happen thousands of miles apart.

Stella lives with her mother, a smothering narcissist. When she succumbs to dementia, the pressures on Stella’s world intensify, culminating in tragedy. As Stella recovers from a near fatal accident, she feels compelled to share her trauma but she finds talking difficult. In her head she confides in Connie because there’s no human being in the world that she feels closer to.

Connie is an expat living in Dubai with her partner, Mark, and their two children. On the face of it she wants for nothing and yet … something about life in this glittering city does not sit well with her. Used to working full time in a career she loves back in England, she struggles to find meaning in the expat life of play-dates and pedicures.

Two women set on a collision course. When they finally link up, it will not be in a way that you, or I, or anyone would ever have expected.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Quercus; 1st edition (July 22, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529406498
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529406498

I was thrilled to receive a copy of this contemporary upmarket thriller. Although I hadn’t read anything by Sonia Velton, I knew by the standard of the writing and pace it would be an enjoyable read. The plot follows two points of view, Stella and Connie — one living in England and the other an expat mother living in Dubai. I had no idea how these two lives would intersect, but I did get the sense the book would touch on many relevant and soul destroying issues.

Stella, a recluse after a near fatal accident, is healing slowly. Even makeup can’t cover the scars on her face or the fractured stranger she has become. She misses going to the library, a connection to the outside world. She has little in common with Connie, a happily married mother of two living in the UAE. Stella, written in first person narrative, confides in Connie through her thoughts, and at the same time struggles with the abuse she receives from her controlling mother. She watches Connie through the lens of social media — a privileged housewife who seems to have everything. But as the dual narrative unravels, it’s easy to see how underneath it all both women are shackled to disillusionment, their lives eroding with each page.

Connie is a mother and a wife. Her feelings of isolation are due to Mark working late and somewhat disengaged with the kids. She feels unsupported and that their once close solid relationship is unravelling. One perfect example is the school fete where Mark, partly due to a work-do hangover, is desperate to leave. Rosamie, the Filipino nanny, is working to pay for Gabriel’s education. With Marijo in trouble comes another set of problems for Rosamie. Even with the kafala system being reformed, it can’t protect all the migrant workers against abuse. But Stella has an idea. For me, this provided a tinge of excitement, a possible turning point.

What bond or common heritage do these women share? A tragic and yet inspiring read that is dedicated to an astonishingly brave woman. The compassion the reader has for each character is the mark of excellent writing and the tension kept me engaged till the emotional end.

 #TheImageofHer #NetGalley

About the Author

Sonia Velton

Sonia Velton has been a solicitor in Hong Kong, a Robert Schuman Scholar in Luxembourg and spent eight years being an expat Mum of three in Dubai. She now lives in Kent.

Her first novel, BLACKBERRY AND WILD ROSE was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, long-listed for the HWA Debut Crown and has been optioned for film.

Her second book, THE IMAGE OF HER, is a literary thriller about two women whose lives come together in a way that is both chilling and awe-inspiring.

Other books by Sonia Velton

FINDING SUZY: The Hunt for Missing Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh and ‘Mr Kipper’ by David Videcette, published by DNA Books August 5, 2021. #Review #Blog @DavidVidecette

I was really excited to read this wonderful book. My review comes after the description and buying links for Finding Suzy by David Videcette.

How can someone just disappear?

Step inside a real-life, missing person investigation in this compelling, true crime must-read.

FINDING SUZY: The Hunt for Missing Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh and 'Mr Kipper' by [David Videcette]

Uncover what happened to missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, as David Videcette takes you on a quest to unpick her mysterious disappearance and scrutinise the shadowy ‘Mr Kipper’.

One overcast Monday in July 1986, 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh vanished whilst showing a smart London property to a mysterious ‘Mr Kipper’.

Despite the baffling case dominating the news and one of the largest missing persons cases ever mounted, police failed to find a shred of evidence establishing what had happened to her.

Sixteen years later, following a second investigation and under pressure from Suzy’s desperate parents, police named convicted rapist and murderer John Cannan as their prime suspect. However, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge him, citing a lack of evidence.

High-profile searches were conducted, yet Suzy’s body was never found. The trail that might lead investigators to her, long since lost.

Haunted by another missing person case, investigator and former Scotland Yard detective, David Videcette, has spent five years painstakingly reinvestigating Suzy’s cold case disappearance.

Through a series of incredible new witness interviews and fresh groundbreaking analysis, he uncovers piece by piece what happened to Suzy and why the case was never solved.

People don’t just disappear…

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0999M1FJ4
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ DNA Books (August 5, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 5, 2021
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 310 pages

This is a case that has haunted us all. Suzy Lamplugh, a negotiator working in an estate agent, suddenly disappears leaving no trace. She had no known enemies and the only suspect that emerged at the time was John Cannan, responsible for the abduction of 29 year-old Shirley Banks in Bristol a year later. But he was never convicted for Suzy Lamplugh nor was he completely eliminated. The enquiry tapered out a year later and in 1987, the police had no suspect and no motive. But for us — the general public — the mystery of her disappearance has never waned.

The investigation reveals the oblique reference to Mr Kipper in her diary, how the police went to her flat in Putney and saw nothing untoward. How her company car was found unlocked in Stevenage Road, which was about a mile and a half from Shorrold Road in Fulham. How the positioning of the seat determined that someone else must have been driving it. Reports of a possible altercation with a man and several eye-witness testimonies (including one from someone who knew her) only add to the confusion as to what really happened. Coverage from the media and help from the public was massive. Despite all this support, theories about Suzy’s fate continued to lead to a dead end.

David Videcette has spent many hours reconstructing Suzy’s last moments, chasing down witnesses and interviewing them again many years after the tragic event. I won’t go through each witness’s taped and noted statements here, you’d have to read the book to fully appreciate what they saw or what they heard. Videcette’s tireless determination will impress you as it did me. Finding Suzy opens up another theory to what the police confirmed at the time. The question is, will the police act on this new evidence? Or will they refute it and remain with the original? It’s a cold case worth re-opening and I’d love to see fresh eyes on this without any preconceived opinions put forward by the original investigators. For instance: The property key, what the next-door neighbour actually saw, Suzy’s partners at the time, and the Prince of Wales Pub, all play a huge part in her disappearance. The question is, did Suzy return to the pub to retrieve her secret pocket diary? Was the witness Videcette interviewed, credible?

All I can say is that the author and his partner did a fantastic job, digging and dismantling facts. He has exhausted all avenues to this case and it’s now up to the police do the rest. I think it would be a crying shame if nothing were done to exhume the last pieces of material so vital in Suzy’s disappearance. Really, what harm would it do to take another look?

The family’s agony was channelled into starting a charity in Suzy’s name, educating people to take steps to improve their safety. It was the only thing positive that came out of her disappearance. It’s an engrossing, modest book offering a different path, a what-if scenario that makes me believe evidence might have been overlooked at the time. Highly recommended reading for those desperately seeking the truth about estate agent Suzy Lamplugh.

About David Videcette

David Videcette

As an investigator, David Videcette has worked on a wealth of famous cases. He’s chased numerous dangerous criminals and interviewed thousands of witnesses.

With decades of experience working in counter-terror operations and combatting organised crime, David investigated the 7/7 London bombings as a Scotland Yard detective.

Today he uses his policing expertise to painstakingly investigate cold cases in his true crime series: Investigations by Videcette. David is also the author of the Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan thrillers.

David lives in London. When he is not writing, he consults on security operations for high-net-worth individuals and is a key media commentator on crime and policing for many broadcasters and newspapers, both nationally and internationally.

You can find out more about him here:

Visit his website at: http://www.DavidVidecette.com
Chat to him on Twitter: @DavidVidecette
Via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidVidecetteCrimeBooks

For all the latest news and updates, sign up at: http://www.davidvidecette.com/title-reveal

Other books by this author:

Witness X by S E Moorhead, Published by Orion. @semoorhead #Blog #Review @piperverlag @TrapezeBooks @Orionboos

SOME CRIMES CAN’T BE SOLVED IN ONE LIFETIME.

“Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.” STEPHEN BAXTER

Witness X: ‘Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner’ Stephen Baxter by [SE Moorhead]

THE PAST. Fourteen years ago, the police caught a notorious serial killer who abducted two victims during the month of February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

THE PRESENT. But when another body is discovered, the race is on to catch the real killer before he abducts his second victim. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses.

THE FUTURE. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

This is the story of how Kyra tries to save a past she cannot change and a future she cannot allow. A genre-bending thriller for readers who enjoy books by Clare North, Stephen King and John Marrs.

‘A fast-paced, near-future, psycho-thriller, Witness X has got ‘soon to be a Netflix series’ written all over it.’ Reader review

‘Thrilling, unnerving but ultimately satisfying – you will not be disappointed.’ Reader review

Set in the near-future, Witness X is an intelligent and highly inventive take on the traditional serial killer thriller.―Ashley Dyer, author of Splinter in the Blood

Nice, tightly plotted whodunit that’s both sobering and entertaining. Amazon Reviewer – S. E. Moorhead has written an excellent debut in this more than plausible sci-fi police procedural that raises questions about what’s ethical as technology advances. Dr. Kyra Sullivan is the type of character that you want more of and makes me hope for sequels.

Witness X by S E Moorhead – A mind-bending thriller – coming out in paperback in US on May 25th.

I was very excited to receive an advance copy of this amazing book. Delivered in the past, the present and the future, Doctor Kyra Sullivan finds herself the midst of mortar fire and a scene of violence and carnage. The year is 2035 and she sits on a recliner in the CarterTech lab, wearing a headset. Through Brownrigg’s body, she feels fear, sees what he sees and hears what he hears — a memory transference procedure she has invented. This makes for a compulsive page-turner with prose that moves along at breakneck speed.

Seeing into Brownrigg’s past, not only confirms how useful this technology is but how it could easily get into the wrong hands. For me, this is positively chilling and the terror mounts. Originally made for the criminal justice system, Brownrigg feels it would be better served to tackle terrorism to gain intel that might prevent an attack and save lives. Kyra isn’t so sure, while Carter, the business side of the partnership, has the interests of the company to heart. There is one devastating question; is it possible to inherit someone else’s physical traits whilst being in their memories? This would certainly be my deepest fear.  

This is a time where bio-chips and tracking devices make a subject’s whereabouts easy to spot. Brain-hacking sounds frightening, but very plausible given the speed of technology today. Haunted by the Mizpah Murderer, Kyra can’t help thinking Lomas isn’t the right man. With her profiler background, she’s charged with interviewing the man who could have butchered her sister.

The journey she takes to discover the perpetrator is viscerally exciting. Moorhead has great skill in creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible situations. The plot is carefully layered, trapping us into the dark paranoia of her world. It’s been described as an apocalyptic dystopian thriller with hints of Blade Runner and its long-buried secrets. This is a suspense worth remembering and I believe the author has yielded her most imaginative and popular work yet.

Biography

SE Moorhead

Born in Liverpool, S.E.Moorhead has told stories since childhood and uses writing as bubblegum for her over-active brain – to keep it out of trouble. Fascinated by meaning, motivation and mystery, she studied Theology at university.


Over the last twenty five years, apart from teaching in secondary school, S.E.Moorhead has attained a black belt in kickboxing, worked as a chaplain, established a Justice and Peace youth group, and written articles for newspapers and magazines about her work in education and religion.

She still lives in her beloved hometown with her husband Seán and two sons.

Amazon Author Page

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.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson, Published by William Morrow and Custom House (23 Mar 2021) General Fiction (Adult) Mystery & Thrillers @WmMorrowBooks @PeterSwanson3

Every Vow You Break: A Novel by [Peter Swanson]

A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this electrifying psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of Eight Perfect Murders.

Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. He’s a good guy, stable, level-headed, kind—a refreshing twist from her previous relationships.

But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.

Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something much, much more. Something special. Something real—and he’s tracked her down to prove it.

Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.

What people are saying:

“Probably what you need right now is a good murder mystery. One that is bookish, engrossing, not overly gory and impossible to solve. Peter Swanson delivers all of this in Eight Perfect Murders… Swanson drops in lovely clues, but good luck figuring it out. — Minneapolis Star Tribune on Eight Perfect Murders

“Fiendishly clever catnip for any lover of classic crime fiction.” — Seattle Times on Eight Perfect Murders

“Engagingly original. . . . This [is a] multilayered mystery that brims with duplicity, betrayal and revenge—all bubbling slowly to the surface. . . . Swanson has a bent for revenge and murder. Fans won’t be disappointed.” — USA Today on Eight Perfect Murders

“The wintry setting and eerily cool narration, together with trust-no-one twists and garish murders, will satisfy thriller readers; fans of classic mysteries by Agatha Christie, Ira Levin, and John D. MacDonald will enjoy… You’ll stay to the finish of this one.” — Library Journal

“With mounting tension and fraying nerves, it careens to the final stunning conclusion. A true tour de force.” — Lisa Gardner on Eight Perfect Murders

I love Peter Swanson’s books and Every Vow You Break is another brilliant read. His writing style is easy, fast-paced and with enough description to drop you right into the action.

Abigail Baskin, who works for a small press, is enjoying her bachelorette weekend. Engaged to generous, solicitous Bruce Lamb, she seems to have found her Prince Charming. Though he maybe a little dour, he’s loaded and nothing is too much for Abigail. But when she meets a handsome stranger and decides on a one-night stand days before her wedding, her life begins to unravel. Desperately trying to push the ill-fated night out of her mind, she continues with her wedding plans. But the stranger appears at a café and at the wedding ceremony. To make matters worse, he is also staying at the same island retreat as Abigail and Bruce. Evil keeps knocking at her door.

The island itself is every man’s dream. Waiters ready (rather too ready) to take her order no matter where she is and at first Abigail is outnumbered by men. A woman, Jill, shows up and begins to get a little too friendly, whispering the same frightening scenarios as Abigail’s. Something isn’t right and she’s definitely someone I would hold at arm’s length. Who wants to share a secret like that? Is this all part of a conspiracy? Or is Jill as much of a victim as Abigail? As the tension rises, Abigail is swept on a tide of deception and secrets she has no hope of escaping. It’s a question of coming clean with her husband or getting rid of the threat on her own.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. A very frightening book with a backdrop of evil you hope never to encounter. The signs were there, each ramping up to the grand finale. The helplessness Abigail and Jill face, the sheer terror of what happens next. I could only scream run! I felt sickened by the scene, almost to the point of closing the book. I was hoping that it wouldn’t turn into a ghastly assault, a fight to the death. A bow and arrow act from the Hunger Games springs to mind and men and dogs in hot pursuit.

I love this book. Not so much for its uniqueness, but because the ride was cleverly written and everybody seemed to have something to hide. As the plot unravels and more strange things begin to occur, you can’t help feeling you’ve been deceived somewhere along the line, and not necessarily by the person you thought.

A suspenseful murder mystery for lovers of classic crime fiction and fans of Patricia Highsmith. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher William Morrow and the author Peter Swanson for the privilege of reading this book.

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About the Author:

Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

Other Books by Peter Swanson: