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

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

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Praise for Gunnar Staalesen

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

‘The Norwegian Chandler’ Jo Nesbø

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Mature and captivating’ Herald Scotland

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

‘Masterful pacing’ Publishers Weekly

About the Author

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

Granite Noir fest 2017. Gunnar Staalesen.

Other Books by Gunnar Staalesen

The 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

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb, published by Orenda Books #review #blog @OrendaBooks @crimethrillgirl, @Netgalley @AnneCater

WOW! Another white-knuckle read from this author. Unique premise, fast-paced, and easy-to-read makes this a fabulously memorable book. I finished it in one sitting. Sunday has always been my reading day, but today I was too engrossed to cook lunch! Sorry family.

Book Description:

Deep Dark Night (Lori Anderson Series Book 4) by [Broadribb, Steph]The fourth book in the award-winning Lori Anderson series, Deep Dark Night sees daring bounty hunter and single mother Lori Anderson journey from Florida to Chicago to take down a notorious crime family. Published to coincide with International Women’s Month, it will see the full series rebranded a fresh, contemporary new look.

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe,

Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the

Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with

Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary

blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

Links: US flag US here  British flag  UK here

Print Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books (January 5, 2020)

Publication Date: January 12, 2020

Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC

ASIN: B07XW8SQL3

Review

Bounty-hunter and fierce in her pursuit of justice, Lori Anderson is no quitter. With her ‘use whatever you’ve got to get the job done’ attitude, she’s ready to play the game. With the Mob on one hand and the FBI on the other, it’s a very uncomfortable squeeze for Lori. She must survive, no matter what. But the assignment Munroe wants her to do is nothing short of frightening, and ramped-up by impossible odds.  Similar to the other books in the series, wiping the slate clean is all that Lori craves. If she fails, she loses Dakota and JT. I liked Lori instantly. Tough and resilient, she must think quickly on her feet. Improvising seems to be her gift. She’s definitely one to champion.

This time, a priceless chess set and a few tough opponents causes the adrenaline to run high. Lori must learn to play a high stakes game, but does she have enough time to prepare? What if Cabressa doesn’t fall for the plan? These were my questions as I read on. Lori’s best chance to keep Monroe off her back is to give him a watertight case against Cabressa. If she does exactly what he asks, then she’s free to live the life she’s always wanted to live. With her daughter and her man. What lady doesn’t have a few tricks of her own? Lori isn’t about to be cheated, after all, if things go south, she needs a fool-proof plan, even if it means withholding one tiny piece of it. With her type of street smarts, things could still get tricky.

Once past the security check, the penthouse is a quiet, intimate space, perfect for a small group. But as the game progresses, Lori is up against her worst fears. Having only played a few games prior to this, I’m amazed she can take on some experienced and hardened opponents. As the game draws closer to its end, Cabressa decides to up the stakes. A two week-old Rolls Royce worth over eight hundred grand for Lori’s chess pieces. The problem is, Lori has made an incomplete bet, and not only that, the whole of Chicago is suddenly engulfed in darkness. Nothing is going to plan and this is where the story takes a menacing turn. I’m not sure I’ve read a locked-room mystery quite like it. 10 people with loaded secrets and only one of them has a carefully guarded identity. It’s a guessing game that has tempers rising to record heights. But if they are to deactivate the lockdown protocols, someone had better guess right. When they do, there may be a price to pay.

I didn’t expect this author to allow her characters to have a clean run. But what I hadn’t expected was the level of skill she demonstrates with her plots. Taken from Lori’s point of view and written in first person, it’s easy to get into her head and understand what she’s going through. I don’t know how else to describe Lori except to say she’s genuine and extraordinary. I was very impressed at how Broadribb etched this character into my mind, so much so, it was hard to let her go after the last chapter.

It’s a definite five stars from me! I want to thank @crimethrillgirl, @OrendaBooks, @Netgalley and @AnneCater for an advance copy of this book and for inviting me to take part on this blog tour.

About the Author

Steph Broadribb Author Pic (2)

Steph Broadribb

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.

Other books by Steph Broadribb

Steph Broadribb all books

Other links:

Agent: 

Facebook:

Goodreads:

Deep Dark Night BT Poster (2)

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

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

Amazon reviewers are quoted as saying:

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

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

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

Book Description

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

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

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

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

 

When Stars Will Shine

Links:  US flag US here  British flag UK here

Print Length: 346 pages

Publication Date: December 9, 2019

Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC

Contributing Authors:

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

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

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

A Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Actually gave me goosebumps!

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

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

Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
Gave me goosebumps!

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

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

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

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

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

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
Terrifying!

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

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

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Spine tingling!

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

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

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Just beautiful!

Time for a Barbecue by Carmen Radtke
Oooo, creepy!

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
Lovely!

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

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

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

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

What people are saying:


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

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

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

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

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

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

Photograph Provided by Telegraph & Argus – See article here

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

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

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

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

Where to buy the book

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

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

 

 

Violet by SJI Holliday @OrendaBooks #crime #thriller #mystery #review #blog

YAY! You’re going to love this one! One helluva page-turner and perhaps one of the best psychological thrillers released this year. I’m privileged to be part of the blog tour for Violet by SJI Holliday.  With such a thrilling setting and great characters, who wouldn’t be excited by this fabulous book and its cover? Quotes from Ian Rankin, Liz Nugent and the Guardian make it a must read for 2019.

Book Description

When two young women – strangers – end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, a strange friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday

When Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, Carrie decides to go it alone.
Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place. Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

A tense, nerve-shattering psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

Review

 

What a nail-biter of a novel! The prologue is terrifying, definitely my idea of a nightmare, and sets the mood for the rest of the ride.

‘Looks can be deceiving’ but there is nothing is curious as two girls on a backpacking trip, both with their own secrets. The book opens with a young woman sitting outside the Beijing train station, abandoned by her boyfriend and missing her rucksack. Things are looking grim. Alone, she needs a friend, and the Beijing International Hotel offers one such possibility in the bar. Over the clink of glasses and laughter, Carrie and Violet appear to have much in common. Having parted ways with best friends and boyfriends, they are free to enjoy each other’s company. One has a ticket the other wants and with a little maneuvering, they are both traveling on the Trans Siberia Express. What makes this book intriguing is not only the setting but the unique agendas each girl has.

Even though the haze of alcohol and drugs, and bad decisions, things happen when you least expect it. Tiny cracks start to appear in their relationship as they journey from China to Moscow. There are so many twists and turns, and as hangovers kick in when the buzz wears off, there is jealousy, unrest, secrecy and murder. All of which make up an excellent thriller with a pace that hurtles along at break-neck speed. I can’t give away too much detail about the plot, you’ll just have to read the book!

The writing is addictive and so are the characters. Having traveled so much myself, I could relate to two young women forging a friendship and the impulsive decisions that follow. But a dark sense of menace lurks in the background as their relationship gravitates from crush to toxic, and you know things will spiral out of control. You just don’t know when.

The author has clearly done a ton of research to write this book as evidenced by her blog. Exotic settings where two exceptional characters take extraordinary risks. The chapters take you through Beijing to Ulaanbaater, Irkutsk to Moscow and then to Berlin. You can see, taste and smell the backdrop which is the sign of excellent writing. The story gains depth and complexity as it evolves and terminates each chapter with a mini-cliffhanger.

One helluva page-turner and a denouement I didn’t see coming. It’s hard not to give this book a solid five stars as so many other readers have. It’s a keeper, one of those memorable coffee table classics, because it kept my mind spinning in several different directions at once.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour, to author SJI Holliday for writing such an entertaining read, and to Karen from Orenda Books for my copy of this book.

Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books (November 14, 2019)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1912374854

ISBN-13: 978-1912374854

Links:   British flag   UK here  US flag  US here

What others are saying about SJI Holliday’s books

‘Such a brilliantly dark compelling story set against such a fantastically exotic backdrop. I don’t think I read the book as much as inhaled it. Compelling, gripping and horrifically entertaining, fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a bumpy read! I loved it’ Liz Nugent

‘Twisted, gripping and totally addictive’ Paddy Magrane

‘Echoes of a Killing Eve vibe. Fabulously awful women you will love’ Sarah Pinborough

‘Utterly beguiling and darkly sinister, this superb Gothic ghost tale is a brilliantly crafted rug puller’ Lisa Howells, Heat Magazine

‘A wonderful cross-over novel that ranges from taut psychological chiller to supernatural suspense … Nail-biting stuff, superbly executed’ Sunday Times Crime Club

‘Readers will find this contemporary gothic tale hard to put down’ Publishers Weekly

‘A thrilling, chilling, shocking tale, perfect if you take delight in an icy shiver scuttling down your spine’ LoveReading

About the Author

Susi author photo (3)S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday grew up in East Lothian, Scotland. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize.

She has written three crime novels set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun, which are a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller. They are: “Black Wood”, “Willow Walk” and “The Damselfly” – all featuring the much loved character, Sergeant Davie Gray.

Her serial killer thriller “The Deaths of December” (written as Susi Holliday), featuring Detective Sergeant Eddie Carmine and Detective Constable Becky Greene was a festive hit in 2017.

Her spooky mystery “The Lingering” was released in late 2018.

You can find out more at her website: http://www.sjiholliday.com and on Facebook and Twitter @SJIHolliday. Sign-up for updates and giveaways here: http://eepurl.com/beHpez

Other books by SJI Holliday

SJI Holliday books

 

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver @OrendaBooks @will_carver #blog #review #Contemporary #Urban #Fiction

This HAS to be one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read. But it’s also one of the hardest. Extraordinarily well written and typical of the high standards we’ve come to expect from Orenda Books. I couldn’t wait to dive in and I don’t believe I came up for air until the very end.

Book description:

When strangers take part in a series of group suicides, everything suggests that a cult is to blame. But how do you stop a cult when no one knows they are members? A shocking, mesmerisingly original and pitch-black thriller from the critically acclaimed Will Carver.

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe: a decapitation in Germany, a public shooting at a university in Bordeaux; in Illinois, a sports team stands around the centre circle of the football pitch and pulls the trigger of the gun pressed to the temple of the person on their right. It becomes a movement.

 

 

Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books (November 14, 2019)

ISBN-10: 1912374838

ISBN-13: 978-1912374830

Links US and UK

Review

The saying ‘you never really know what goes on behind closed doors’ is true in the case of Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver. Because something very important did happen to 9 people, nine very unsuspecting, seemingly unhappy people but with one thing in common. A drive to end it all and in a way that will shock thousands.

What really happened forced me out one rainy day to a coffee shop, where I could read this book in the safety of a crowded room. To say the writing style is addictive would be an understatement. I had to know what happened at the end. It’s not often I find the subject matter of a tale unforgiving, and sometimes a little uncomfortable. But this is a train-wreck of a book where you can’t look away. One that talks of ‘nobodies’ — dissatisfied and directionless, all running away from something. Shockingly, even DS Pace is trying to escape from something, and what makes it psychologically realistic is that we all are. Let’s not forget, this is not Pace’s case. He is merely drawn to it — as I was drawn to him to solve these bizarre and chilling deaths.

The writing is tense, dark and broody, and whenever someone new comes on scene, there is a high probability he/she will buckle under this terrifying ‘thing’ that has blighted the 9. All over the world people have been selected, ripping themselves from their families and we are left wondering how children, husbands, wives and dogs will cope without them. How many more will die in horrific self-inflicted deaths and in public places to an audience of horrified onlookers? Because any one of them could be next.

But who is behind The People Of Choice? Or The People Of No Choice. And how are these victims linked?

This is one of the most twisted stories I’ve ever read and probably one of the darkest. Too many scenes to count that are heinously graphic, namely the car and the rope, although there are a few others that made me want to stop, drop and roll.

The thing about this book is that it’s memorable. The residue sits with you for days and you’ll go over it in your mind, especially the final words that bring a high-five moment at the end of a very depraved few hours of reading. Definitely one of a kind, brutal, thought provoking and with a pace that leaves you breathless.

A brilliantly, twisted story that will make your toes curl!

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for allowing me a place on this blog tour, Orenda Books and the lovely Will Carver for a copy of this brilliant book. Many apologies for missing my stop! But here it is.

About the Author

Will Carver pic

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

More books by Will Carver

will carver

Praise for his books:

‘Will Carver has taken the rules of a serial killer novel and ignored every single one of them … A twisted and twisty thriller. This book will mess with your head’ Michael Wood

‘A literary thriller with the darkest storyline and the most ingenious execution I’ve ever read. If you think you know what’s going on in this book, you’re wrong; and when it all unfolds, your jaw will drop. This book is incredible, and Will Carver one of a kind’ SJI Holliday

‘I’ve never read such an original, stunning, clever, literary thriller. I’m absolutely blown away. This deserves so much success’ Sarah Pinborough

‘Will Carver redefines crime fiction with a twisted slice of literary noir that breaks all the rules. This is a gloriously melancholy, twisted and twisty, with so much to say on modern lives it’ll stay with me for a very long time. Wow’ Tom Wood

‘It’s darkly twisted and deliciously distorted, shocking and completely mind warping!’ Book Obsessed

‘It’s beautifully written. The writing is staccato – quick, fast-paced and compelling’ Off-the-Shelf Books

‘This is stylish and extraordinary writing. It’s puzzling and perplexing but so damn good. There is something quite mesmerising about this story that defies genre and quite frankly, logic. Stunning … this will linger in my mind forever’ Random Things through My letterbox

All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox @HeraBooks @Charlylynncox #blogtour #review

Happy Publication day to author Charly Cox! 
I was delighted to be given an advance copy of All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox. A strong first chapter which catapulted me into the story. I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end — an easy read that keeps you up half the night!

Book Description

Detective Alyssa Wyatt is hunting a serial killer. She doesn’t know that he’s hunting her.

AllHisPrettyGirlsA woman is found naked, badly beaten and barely alive in the New Mexico mountains. The shocking discovery plunges Albuquerque Detective Alyssa Wyatt into a case that will test her to the limit.

It appears that Callie McCormick is the latest plaything of a shadowy psychopath that leaves a long shadow on the streets of New Mexico – an individual linked to a string of deaths but leaving no evidence.

But when Alyssa makes a breakthrough that just might reveal the killer, she unknowingly puts herself in the crosshairs of a brutal maniac – one with an old score to settle.

Because the killer knows Alyssa very well, even if she doesn’t know him. And he’s determined that she’ll know his name – even if he has to extract his deadly revenge on her and everything she loves.

The launch of a dark, gripping, completely unputdownable crime thriller series, All His Pretty Girls introduces Albuquerque detective Alyssa Wyatt.

Publisher: Hera (October 23, 2019)

Publication Date: October 23, 2019

ASIN: B07VV281J3

Categories: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Fiction Urban Life

Review

Alyssa, with her partner Cord, are investigating a missing person. But when they find what they’re looking for, Alyssa realizes there are unwelcome commonalities. Still haunted and blaming herself for the disappearance of her brother Timmy, she has a few skeletons in her own closet with which to contend. I liked how the author gave us glimpses into the killer’s actions and thoughts. It added indispensable creepiness crime fiction fans will enjoy. Without adding any spoilers, I did wonder about the perp and why his chosen target was so significant. I think that’s when it became clear to me what had happened. I think his motive and how he could gain from it cleverly drips a few tidbits along the way. I was a little concerned that the perp was able to gain access to the house and take things personal to the homeowner, (especially that homeowner) and I was wondering if Alyssa would have been more suspicious of Isaac’s report of someone in the Zeller house.

Subjective comments: All crime is extremely dark, especially in Albuquerque which has one of the highest crime rates in the US. So I liked the case itself and found it authentic to the area. However, I didn’t sense the Hispanic flavor, except in foods and a few place names, and I felt it needed more to drop the reader into the heart of Albuquerque and her extraordinary people. A sentence of description here and there would have been a welcome tug back into such a magical southwestern dust bowl. In APD, female officers often remark on the ‘male dominated society’ within the ranks and I’d like to see how Alyssa tackles this in her next case. I hadn’t heard the word ‘precinct’ mentioned much, rather more area commands and their specific functions within APD. So this book had a different feel for me than other detective books written by local authors. Also, too much mention of coffee and snapping rubber bands became a little distracting.

Overall, the book is tense, fast-paced, not so much a mystery with twists and turns but one that follows a more traditional style which I prefer in police procedural. Rather than getting entangled in Alyssa’s home life, I was more interested in how she and Cord would catch the criminal and bring him to justice. But I could see, early on, this was bound to provide complexity and emotion to Alyssa’s struggles as we see at the end. Lies are so damaging, especially to a child and this case hits close to home. It’s a solid storyline with a little humor to break the tension. I recommend All His Pretty Girls to anyone who enjoys a good, dark procedural.

Author Bio:

 

Charly Cox photoBorn in the South, raised in the Midwest, Charly now resides in the Southwest in the Land of Enchantment where she enjoys eating copious amounts of green chile and other spicy foods. When she’s not reading, writing, or plotting sinister evils with her antagonists, she enjoys doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, hanging out with her husband and her spoiled Siberian Husky, visiting her son in Arizona, and traveling, preferably to places surrounded by sun, sand, and warm uncrowded beaches.

Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/charlycoxauthor/

https://www.clcox-author.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Charly-Cox/e/B07WGQN19Q

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19490745.Charly_Cox

 

No Looking Back by Alex Kane @HeraBooks @AlexKaneWriter #bookreview #psychological #thrillers

It’s always exciting to blog about fabulous books, especially No Looking Back by Alex Kane. I was thrilled to be given an advance reader copy from the publisher (Hera Books) via Netgalley and to be invited on this deliciously exciting Blog Tour.

About the Author

Alex is from Glasgow and writes psychological thrillers.

Alex Kane

© Alex Kane

She loves to read whenever she can and her favorite genre is psychological thriller and crime. She loves something that will get under her skin and make her think about the story long after she has finished it.

Inspirations are BA Paris, Lisa Hall and Paula Hawkins. Alex is currently working on her new novel.

Alex is the pseudonym for Emma Clapperton, who writes supernatural crime thrillers with Bloodhound Books.

Book Description

He’ll find you… unless you find him first.

Kat Denton is a woman running away from her past. For the past sixteen years, her life has been a living hell as Jimmy, the man she fell in love with as a teenager, becomes ever more cruel and abusive. Following the fire that killed her parents, leaving her an orphan when she was just a teenager, Kat is utterly alone and can’t see a way out.

Until the day she finds out that she’s pregnant. Vowing to protect her child from Jimmy’s violence, Kat decides to fight for survival – for her and her unborn baby.

Fleeing the traveller camp that has been her lifelong home isn’t easy. But along with her sister in law, Kat escapes with just the clothes on her back and the one photograph she has of her parents.

Kat, along with her baby girl Lucia, starts to build a better life. But when she looks into what really happened in her parents’ death Kat uncovers dark secrets – including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the place she had been so desperate to run away from. Is she strong enough to uncover the truthand save everything that she loves most, or will Jimmy Denton have his revenge?

Previously published as Chasing the Traveller

A fast-paced, totally unputdownable crime thriller that fans of Mel Sherratt, Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers will absolutely love.

DontLookBack

Links:     US flag  US:  https://amzn.to/2BFtcWV      British flag  UK: https://amzn.to/2Eeys5o

 

Review

 

No Looking Back by Alex Kane is a book that pulls you in from the very beginning and not one you can easily put down.

Kat Denton wants a new life, but can she evade the clutches of one man hell bound on keeping her as a possession. Having expected the best in Jimmy, she has overlooked all those tiny red flags along the way and has lost herself in the process. Her life as a traveler is compromised after the tragic loss of her parents in a house fire and this alone is a mystery. There is nowhere for her to turn and she appears to be surrounded by enemies rather than friends.

The abuse she suffers at the beginning of the book is hard to stomach and we hate Jimmy Denton from the very beginning. A narcissistic bully who has no business treating Kat the way he does. You can’t help wondering how she has managed to put up with it for sixteen years and whether she could have escaped sooner. But Kat is an innocent, controlled by a man (and his pit bull of a friend) with no intention of allowing her a mind of her own, let alone freedom or an opinion. Then help comes in a very unusual corner. Running as far as she can with her sister-in-law, she is followed by an underlying tone of menace and as powerful as the Denton’s are, they are never far behind.

The book gallops along at lightning speed with little time to draw breath. It’s well-paced, well-written and not confusing, even though jumping through timelines as it unfolds.

Thank you to the author, Hera Books and Netgalley for the privilege of reading this book.

Author and Book Links

Twitter: @AlexKaneWriter

Amazon Author Page here

Facebook Author Page here

Alex Kane FB

© Hera Books & Alex Kane

 

Last Lullaby (Detective Natalie Ward Book 2) by Carol Wyer #BookReview @Bookouture @bonniesbooktalk

I’m really excited to be talking about Carol Wyer’s new book, Last Lullaby on my blog today. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy via Netgalley and wanted to share my review. Below is a brief description and a copy of the fabulous cover!

Last Lullaby

Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?

When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood.

As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.

Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’scrawled on the wall next to her. 

All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.

When a young woman and her baby disappear, a member of Natalie’s own team is put in terrible danger. Can Natalie stop this twisted serial killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will send shivers down your spine. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

What people are saying about Last Lullaby:

‘Tense, fast paced and totally engrossing, this is a book that will exasperate you, thrill you, chill you and truly test your detecting skills as you strive to pinpoint whodunnit. I loved Last Lullaby. I have to say that this series is shaping up to be one heck of a killer read and I am relieved to hear that book three is well on its way as I cannot wait to read more.Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘Another winner for Ms. Wyer!! I started Last Lullaby yesterday around noon & finished it last night.There was no way I could put it down!Last Lullaby was ripe full of excellent character development, lots of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion …I very much look forward to continuing this series.’ Fish Ducky Blog, 5 stars.

Buying links:

British flag   UK:   https://amzn.to/2qprpyU         US flag  US:   https://amzn.to/2OfZcEp

 

Review

As always this publisher churns out the best fiction, so it’s not a surprise that this book was a sure-fire winner. Expertly paced, expertly crafted. Then boom! Another surprise.

Adam Brannon and his wife, Charlotte return from a 30th wedding anniversary a little worse for wear. But when Charlotte wakes up in the night to hear a strange noise coming from the baby monitor, all hell breaks loose. Detective Ward must investigate a chilling murder where all suspects seem to have adequate alibis. But with sightings of two people running from the scene and more characters coming into play, I was flummoxed to say the least! The second murder threw me for a loop due to the similarities and I thought I had it all worked out only to have that theory blown out of the water.

A fast-paced read with plenty of twists to chew on, Detective Natalie Ward is one of the most realistic characters in police procedural books I’ve read so far. Dedicated to family and work, she juggles her own relationships with this horrifying and sinister case. I thought this was cleverly handled and not one of the weak squeaks you can sometimes find in this genre. I didn’t warm to David, finding him unsupportive and potentially hindering Natalie’s progress. Although appearing tough, she could be on the path to cracking emotionally and that I found frustrating. Other characters come into play, Carmichael, Anderson and Jarvis whose sheer determination to crack the case and shatter any foregone conclusions certainly gets to the heart of the matter. Was it him? Was it her? The story moved organically and twists and red herrings were well performed, without exploiting the reader at all.

There’s more depth to this story that needs to be examined. Relationships aren’t what they seem and the web is tricky to untangle. It was one of those ‘just one more chapter before bed’ kind of reads because it’s so hard to trust anyone. I kept racing off the wrong track on more than one occasion and that’s the mark of an excellent writer. Loved it!

Thank you Netgalley, Ms. Wyer and Bookouture for such an entertaining book. It was well worth the wait!

Publication date: December 7, 2018

Find other books by author Carol Wyer here

 

 

 

Review Tour – Cut.Print.Kill by Robert D. Kidera @Suspense Publishing #BookReview

I am pleased to welcome award-winning author Robert D. Kidera. Kidera’s debut novel Red Gold earned the Tony Hillerman Award as Best Fiction of 2015 at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. It was also named as Best Mystery of 2015 and the best eBook of the year. Its sequel, Get Lost also was selected as Best Mystery of 2016 and Best eBook of 2016 at the NM/AZ Book Awards.

Cut.Print.Kill., the third Gabe McKenna mystery, is targeted for release on September 5, 2017 and all I can say is, you won’t want to miss this one!

Bob bigger

 

Buy Links 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2wtrwgY 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2wtwdr0

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook, Audio

Print Length: 218 pages

Publisher: SUSPENSE PUBLISHING

“ ‘Cut.Print.Kill.,’ Robert Kidera’s third Gabe McKenna novel is tight, smart, lightning fast-paced and filled with surprises. Hard to believe that Kidera could top the first two books in the series, including the Tony Hillerman award-winning ‘Red Gold,’ but he has!”

—Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning author of “White Heat”

There’s always room for one more lie…

Reeling from family betrayal and tragedy, Gabe McKenna charts a new course as historical consultant on a motion picture filming in New Mexico. Before you can say “Action!”, he is entangled in a web of illusion and deceit, where death plays a starring role. With the help of The Onion, a private investigator and long-time friend from New York, Gabe peels away layer after layer of dishonesty, battles brutal drug cartels, is accused of murder, and must unmask a mysterious, seductive woman to reveal the truth in a world full of lies.

About the Author

Bob

After an early fling in the motion picture industry and a long and successful career in academia, Kidera retired in 2010. With his desire to play major league baseball no longer a realistic dream, he chose to fulfill his other lifelong ambition and became a writer. He is a member of Southwest Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers organizations.

The author lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Annette and two cats, Otis and Woody. He has two daughters, a grandson and granddaughter.

Book-Review

A tale of comebacks, death threats and bitter rivalries in the dark heart of film, Cut. Print. Kill., the third book in the Gabe McKenna series, showcases Gabe McKenna at his unstoppable best. With its trademark blend of sharp wit, this book is yet another example of why Robert Kidera remains in the top ranks of New Mexico crime writers.

Kidera has successfully created his own brand of unforgettable fiction and Cut.Print.Kill. hits the canny nexus of mystery with its many twists and turns. The rare hypnotic pull and artful playfulness in his writing make these books hard to put down, not to mention a sweeping assortment of characters to season the plot. Gabe’s scathing dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny in places and the descriptions of Tony Fredericks had me chuckling. With its 30’s ‘black & white’ feel this book is sure to be a hit with Robert D. Kidera fans everywhere. Amazon 5* Review (Bookpreneur)

Public Appearances

Robert D. Kidera will be attending Bouchercon in Toronto next month.

Bouchercon

Other books by Robert D. Kidera

Bob Kidera books

Books are also available at

Barnes and noble

audible

You can reach the author through his website: www.robertkiderabooks.com

Follow him on Twitter at: @RKidera

Why not check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bob.kidera.3