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

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

An Amazon Charts bestselling series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What people are saying:

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other books by Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza Book page

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

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

Book description:

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

 

Click here

 

A murdered woman…

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

A determined detective…

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

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

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

 

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

Other books by Noelle Holten

Noelle Holton 3 books

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

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

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

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

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

*JO NESBØ HAS SOLD OVER 45 MILLION BOOKS WORLDWIDE*

 

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the author

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

Other book covers of The Kingdom

Other books by JO NESBØ

Jo Nesbo

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

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

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

Book Description:

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

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

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

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

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

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

 

Review

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

More books by Lisa Jewell:

Lisa Jewell

 

 

 

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

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

Book Description:

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

 

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

twitter: @Rod_WR
email: rodreynoldsauthor@gmail.com

What people are saying:

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

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

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

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

More Books By Rod Reynolds

Rod Reynolds

Blood Red City BT Poster (2)

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @simonschusterUK #blog #review #Thrillers #Mysteries

I was so excited to get a copy of The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish who has quickly become one of my favourite authors to date. I couldn’t believe anything after Our House could be quite as good, but this might have topped my 2020 reading list. It’s a corker of a book, wonderfully plotted, and a compulsive page-turner. I defy you to read anything better!

Book Description:

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF OUR HOUSE, WINNER OF THE CRIME & THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Other Passenger is just brilliant; gripping from the first page with an incredible first person narrative and a sense of place that pulls you through the pages fast enough to make your head spin. Louise Candlish just gets better and better, I love her’ Lisa Jewell, author of The Family Upstairs 

You’re feeling pretty smug about your commute to work by riverboat. No more traffic gridlock or getting stuck on the tube in tunnels (you’re claustrophobic). Now you’ve got fresh air, an iconic Thames view, a whole lifestyle upgrade. You’ve made new friends on board — led by your hedonistic young neighbour, Kit — and just had your first official ‘water rats’ get-together.

The day after the drinks, Kit isn’t on the morning boat. The river landmarks are all the same, but something’s off. When you disembark, the police are waiting. Kit’s wife, Melia, has reported him missing and another passenger saw you arguing on the last boat home after your drinks. Police say you had a reason to lash out at him. To threaten him.

You protest. You and Kit are friends — ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is pointing the finger? What do they know about your private lives?

No, whatever coincidences might have occurred last night, you are innocent, totally innocent.

Aren’t you?

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (25 Jun. 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471183440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471183447

Advance Praise

Review

 

What a helter-skelter of a read! It doesn’t get twistier than this. It’s unusual to find such a deliciously well-plotted book with ‘real’ characters you actually care about. A book you can’t wait to dive into at the end of the day.

Jamie Buckby has been living with Clare for ten years rent free. His salary hardly compares to hers which creates its own set of problems from the start. After a dinner party with a younger couple, Kit and Melia, Jamie upgrades himself to a daily commute on the Thames riverboat. Probably a smart idea after his panic attack on a stifling and claustrophobic tube. Although the tube journey is familiar to me, taking a boat is something I’ve never done and the scenery and history of London buildings is beautifully illustrated.

Kit and Jamie hit it off from the start, although I found Kit’s flaky personality wearing at times. Certainly not off-putting but skilfully drawn to reveal his grating behaviour. When he disappeared, I was almost relieved. However, a disappearance requires a police investigation and Jamie is their number one man. He was the last person to have seen him and their parting was less than harmonious. With Clare playing a super-sleuth and Jamie digging himself deeper into a hole of his own making, the book keeps you hooked.

The story is told in dual timelines: Jamie’s interrogation later in the year with two detectives, and his initial meeting with Kit in January. It takes us on a capricious journey interspersed with so many misleading and cleverly disjointed paths, it left me breathless. Jamie is likeable, although easily-led, and I wasn’t surprised by his change of direction. The curiously seductive Melia has a turbulent relationship with Kit, although I found her the most interesting of them all. The police interviews, which confirm a high level of research for a book such as this, peel away the layers of an intricate plot. But in spite of everything, the gold nugget at the centre continues to evade us.

The ending was utterly shocking, and I have to say this is one of the best books I’ve read this year. If you like your books shaken and thoroughly stirred, with a twist of acerbic wit, then this is the book for you. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for the ARC, and to Netgalley and the author for an intense and dazzling read!

About the Author

Louise CandlishWINNER of British Book Awards 2019 Book of the Year – Crime & Thriller for OUR HOUSE

Hello and welcome! I am the author of thirteen novels, a fact I can’t quite believe myself. My thriller OUR HOUSE has sold over 200,000 copies in the UK and won the 2019 British Book Awards Book of the Year – Crime & Thriller. It was shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award 2019, the Capital Crime Amazon Publishing Best Crime Novel of the Year Award​ 2019, and the Audible Sounds of Crime Award 2019, and longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018. A #1 bestseller in paperback, ebook and audiobook, it is now in development for a major TV series with Red Planet Pictures, makers of ‘Death in Paradise’.

THOSE PEOPLE, about the neighbours from hell, is also out now and is described by the Guardian as being ‘guaranteed to have you vibrating with impotent fury’. It recently reached #2 on the Sunday Times bestseller list and has also been optioned for TV.

Both books have been labelled ‘property noir’, ‘property porn lit’ and ‘crib lit’, but I prefer ‘suburban noir’ because it has that mood of longing, of broken dreams, that I love so much (but don’t let that put you off…)

I live in a South London neighbourhood not unlike the one in my books, with my husband, teenage daughter, cat and a fox-red Labrador puppy called Bertie.

Get up-to-date offers by clicking on the yellow ‘Follow’ button under my pic. For more bits and pieces, catch me on Twitter at @louise_candlish or find out more at louisecandlish.com or facebook.com/LouiseCandlishAuthor. I’d love to hear from you.

Author photos ©Jonny Ring; ©Joe Lord/Archant

Other books by Louise Candlish

Louise Candlish

What Lies Between Us by John Marrs, published by Thomas & Mercer @AmazonPub @johnmarrs1 #Review #blog #DomesticThriller #psychological#fiction

A twisted and evocative read. This is my first book by John Marrs and I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews about his books and decided to give this one a try. I’m very glad I did!

Book description:

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 15, 2020)
  • Publication Date: May 15, 2020
  • ASIN: B07XDVHDH4

 

Review

To say this is the worst thing that could ever happen between two people in a house is an understatement. It’s a sheer nightmare. It tested my perspective and interpretation to the max. Both women wreak havoc in each other’s lives, and both have a price to pay.

Maggie and Nina take crazy to a whole new level, harbouring secrets of the worst kind that unfurl meticulously with each page. You’ll be thrown back and forth sympathising and hating them both at the same time and you may think you’ve figured it all out. Think again.

I empathise with Maggie the most. With all her sacrifices – be they tragic and gruesome – I can’t help rooting for her. Locked in a room with a cuff and chain, she is a prisoner in her own home. Ironically, you could say this is the price she must pay for her choices, and an ingenuity that goes well beyond sanity. As a mother, I know I couldn’t have done half of what she did, nor would I have had the physical or emotional strength to go to such lengths.

Love is the driver, and to some this love might seem a little extreme. If you think baby wipes, a bucket and a plate of food is all she needs to sustain her, you’d be wrong. There is no way out of her attic room, and for nearly three years she has been held captive with no one to call for help. If scratching away at a tiny hole is the only hope she has, then freedom is her biggest stumbling block.

Nina is a conundrum from page one. You know there’s something sinister lurking beneath the surface, not only because of the part she plays, but the psychological unravelling of past and present. Nina allows her mother downstairs for dinner where Maggie is taunted no end, depending on Nina’s mood. I couldn’t help screaming inside for Maggie to tell her side of the story, but how much does Nina really remember? And if she remembers, how dangerous could that be for Maggie?

When you think help is on its way, it is very quickly dashed. To me, this book was like a house of mirrors – a puzzle with so many obstacles there seemed to be no way out. Just when you thought there was an escape, another challenge presented itself. Told in two perspectives, both Nina and Maggie are sensitively and beautifully drawn, bouncing from present day to 25 years ago. Their lives and their secrets are woven into this well-plotted novel, so much so, I wasn’t sure what to believe.

Toxic co-dependency and a serious case of DID, made my skin itch. There is so much to unpack, you’ll love every twist and turn this clever author has to offer. You could say it is a game of wits – a gaoler and a hostage each with their own agenda. But are both their stories reliable? Are they both prisoners in mind and spirit? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.

What people are saying:

“Dark and disturbing.” Crime Monthly

“[Marrs’] most sinister novel to date.” Daily Express

“A modern-day Whatever Happened to Baby Jane that is dark, twisted, and full of surprises.” —Mark Edwards, bestselling author of Here to Stay and The Retreat

“An excellent psychological thriller. A one-sitting read about a daughter who keeps her mother locked in the attic. Twisty, moving, and chilling.” —Sarah Pinborough, bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes

“Great premise and masterful use of twists.” —Claire McGowan, bestselling author of What You Did

About the author

RGershinson_JohnMarrsPortraits_-19.jpgJohn 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.

Other books by John Marrs

John Marrs

 

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)