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

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

Book description:

A victim on display. A detective on the rails.

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

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

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

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

 

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the author:

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

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

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

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

Other books by Caroline Mitchell:

caroline mitchell

Caroline Mitchell Left For Dead Banner (2)

 

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 10) @bookouture @LittleBrownUK

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading all the Detective Kim Stone books. Each one keeps getting better and better, and all of them have been un-put-down-able police procedurals.

This story begins with the discovery of a young man and woman tied to a radiator in the same tower block DI Kim Stone was found when she was six. Is this a coincidence or something far more sinister? During the investigation, a second gruesome crime occurs—a copycat perhaps?—sent to torment Kim and throw her off her stroke. My review follows after a brief description of the book.

I was lucky to grab a copy of Angela Marson’s newest book Dead Memories—out on February 22, 2019—from Netgalley.

Book Description

She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the death of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?

The heart-stopping and totally addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy number one bestseller Angela Marsons will have you completely hooked.

Dead Memories: An addictive and gripping crime thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 10) by [Marsons, Angela]

Buy Links:    US flag  US: https://amzn.to/2SP8WfW    British flag  UK: https://amzn.to/2U08Bn2

Read what everyone is saying about Dead Memories:

‘The book I’ve been waiting for without even knowing that I was… A great starting point for anyone new to the series… I couldn’t put the book down…It is completely addictive and easily my new favourite in this series, I have a feeling I’ve said that before, but what can I say Angela Marsons seems to outdo herself each and every time.’ Rachel’s Random Reads, 5 stars

‘As always, another brilliant book by Angela Marsons featuring Detective Kim Stone and her team… Fast-paced and dark it kept me gripped from the first page to the last. Utterly superb.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘The author writes to such a consistently high level. Yet again, gripping plot line, strong characters and a well-paced story that builds to a crescendo. If you haven’t already tried this author do yourself a favour and start reading now.’ Worcester Source, 5 stars

Review

I was thrilled to be approved by NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of Angela Marson’s latest book. The past ties in with the present in this one and Kim is faced with a decision. To either accept the truth or deny it.

A young couple found chained to a radiator bring back a host of memories, mirroring a dark time in Kim’s childhood. Although the case has startling similarities, it becomes very clear that someone wants her to relive the pain she once suffered, Kim is not unduly phased overall. The traumatic events of her childhood—a haunting theme throughout the series—has been summarized in this tenth instalment. But even though someone is ‘picking at the closed boxes in her mind,’ she is one of those exceptional people who takes strength in weakness. Tough, hard-wearing and deliciously assertive, she’s certainly not immune to emotion.

There are former felons stoking hatred from behind prison walls and other cases to be investigated. With seamlessly thick, complex plots and a crime team to die for, you can’t help loving these books for the way they’re written. I like Alison for her bottle, Woody, who appears to get more devious by the minute and, of course, tolerant and unflappable Bryant. With a cast of capable characters returning with every ‘episode’, the uber-sharp Kim Stone has to be one of the best detectives out there. A twisty, fast-paced plot stocked with red herrings, Marsons aficionados will be very happy to add this book to their bookshelves alongside other Kim Stone novels.

This is a story with superior twists and turns, and a cast of excellent suspects, designed to keep the reader on their toes right up until the final page. It’s a heart-stopping finale and goes to show how Marsons has become the Queen of Scream in her genre.

I do recommend reading these books in order to get the impact and flavor of Kim’s life, but each book is a stand-alone and you’ll definitely enjoy this one!

BIG thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. This is an honest review for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

About The Author

Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

 

 

The Venetian

It’s a trait of ours to be attracted by fear as well as repulsed by it, so I was fascinated to read The Venetian. Having never tackled this genre before I decided to take the plunge. I must say, I was very glad I did.

61rrbvsmrdlThe novel picks up in 2015 with a married couple Rob and Louise who venture to Venice for a romantic weekend. It is clear by the sultry nights and bizarre sights this weekend is going to be anything but normal. I visited Venice in 1972 and recall the hauntingly beautiful sunsets behind this city of canals. Taking us on a whirlwind tour of the winding streets with their Byzantine and Gothic architecture, Struthers devises a unique tour not only for her characters, but for her readers as well.

The focus at this point is mainly upon Louise, a sensitive young woman with a passion for the unknown, and after a fractious few hours with her husband, she sees something that will change the course of her entire weekend – a veiled lady that appears to be trapped between two worlds. As Louise tries to make sense of what she has seen, her passion to visit the island of Poveglia becomes stronger.

Woven into this tale is an English lady living in 1938, a Charlotte Evans bound for Venice with her new husband, Italian doctor, Enrico Sanuto. At this point forward, the pace accelerates as we see Charlotte in love but at the same time entrenched in the mysteries cultivated by two doctors bent on a path of discovery. As Charlotte begins her employment on Poveglia she plunges deeper and deeper into a vivid frightscape where she realizes nothing on the island is quite what it seems.

It becomes clear that these two resilient protagonists, although living in different time periods, are somehow linked. What I liked about this book was the tragedy behind the mystery and the sheer horror of an emerging truth. But most of all, the evil energies we suddenly begin to empathize with. Struthers captures the darkness beyond our perception with every turn of the page.

A treasure trove of detail, filled with suspense and curiosity and a deftly crafted read you won’t be able to put down. I was extremely grateful to TBC for giving me an ARC for an honest review.

The Venetian is published by Storyland Press/Authors Reach (August 4, 2016)

Full Five Star Amazon Review here

Book Description

An Amazon International Bestseller!

For fans of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black and du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now

‘Welcome to the asylum…’

2015
Their troubled past behind them, married couple, Rob and Louise, visit Venice for the first time together, looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Not just a romantic destination, it’s also the ‘most haunted city in the world’ and soon, Louise finds herself the focus of an entity she can’t quite get to grips with – a ‘veiled lady’ who stalks her.

1938
After marrying young Venetian doctor, Enrico Sanuto, Charlotte moves from England to Venice, full of hope for the future. Home though is not in the city; it’s on Poveglia, in the Venetian lagoon, where she is set to work in an asylum, tending to those that society shuns. As the true horror of her surroundings reveals itself, hope turns to dust.

From the labyrinthine alleys of Venice to the twisting, turning corridors of Poveglia, their fates intertwine. Vengeance only waits for so long…

Endorsements:

Praise for Shani Struthers, author of the bestselling Psychic Surveys series and Jessamine:

“If you’ve ever watched Ghost Whisperer and enjoyed it, then you’ll love the Psychic Surveys series.” Paranormal Romance Guild

“I was gripped from the word go. Shani is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.” Orchard Book Club

“A ghost story that should stand the test of time.” Jesse Christiansen (author)

“This is one of the best ghost stories I have ever read (and I read a lot!)” Happy Customer

“Ms Struthers tells a gripping edge of your seat story of darkness and possession.” Andy Angel

“From the wickedly tantalizing opening, Highdown Hall never let’s up.” John Bowen

“A refreshing new take on an often overdone genre.” WildWelshWoman

“Eve is a poignant story with a knockout impact.” Mallory Heart Reviews

“This book had me enthralled, bewitched even with some of the wonderful descriptive passage. I was completely at its mercy throughout.” Ashrae – Top 500 Reviewer

“Shani Struthers goes from strength to strength as a writer.” Lady Roachford

Meet the Author

shaniBorn and bred in Brighton, I’m the author of several paranormal books, some set in and around my hometown, others further afield, in the world’s most haunted locations to be exact! After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in Sociology and English and American Literature, I became a freelance copywriter. Twenty years later, the day job involves crafting novels too. I don’t have much time for hobbies at the moment but when I can I enjoy reading, walking in all weathers and lazing with my family. I love chatting to my readers so do get in touch – I’ve a very active Facebook Author page and an occasional newsletter you can subscribe to (see the box below) for information on new books, competitions and special offers.

For a list of all Shani’s books on Amazon: Author Central on Amazon

More Books by Shani Struthers

Psychic Surveys Prequel: Eve – A Christmas Ghost Story
Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall
Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me
Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street
Blakemort – A Psychic Surveys Christmas Novella – COMING NOVEMBER 2016

For more books by Shani Struthers visit her website here

Why not visit Shani on Twitter and follower her on Facebook.

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