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)

 

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

 

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza, published by @BooksSphere @AmazonPub @RobertBryndza #review #blogger #NineElms #policeprocedural #psychologicalthriller

A BIG Happy Publication day to Robert Bryndza! I was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza and to finally meet Kate Marshall in this brand-new crime series.  The novel is published in eBook and audio today AND I understand there is a glorious shiny hardback coming in January! Woohoo!

Book description:

Nine Elms (Kate Marshall Book 1) by [Bryndza, Robert]From the breakthrough international bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice, a breathtaking, page-turning novel about a disgraced female detective’s fight for redemption. And survival…

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Traumatized, betrayed, and publicly vilified for the shocking circumstances surrounding the cannibal murder case, Kate could only watch as her career ended in scandal.

Fifteen years after those catastrophic events, Kate is still haunted by the unquiet ghosts of her troubled past. Now a lecturer at a small coastal English university, she finally has a chance to face them. A copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.

Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. Success promises redemption, but there’s much more on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim…and his successor means to finish the job.

Links for  US flag US here  British flag UK here

Print Length: 392 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (December 1, 2019)

Publication Date: December 1, 2019

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#2 in Serial Killer Thrillers

#15 in Police Procedurals (Kindle Store)

#11 in Psychological Thrillers (Kindle Store)

 

Review

WOOHOO! Another Bryndza book I couldn’t refuse. Only this time a new detective and a new series published by Thomas & Mercer.

Peter Conway is never far from Kate’s mind. During the aftermath of the most heinous crimes imaginable, she fumbles with a new life while at the same time regretting the day she stopped being Detective Constable Kate Marshall. Nine Elms Lane has changed since the 1990s with new developments going up and things aren’t the same any more. With a career in law enforcement lost to reputation and now living in Thurlow Bay on the south coast of England, she is a lecturer in Criminology at Ashdean University. Starting with the course “Criminal Icons,” Kate describes her relationship with Met Police Detective Peter Conway and the victims whose lives he took. There must be nothing worse than thinking about a murderer who has haunted her entire career. But when she receives an email from Malcolm Murray about their daughter Caitlyn who went missing in 1990 and may have been dating a police officer, all hell breaks loose.

As Nine Elms unfolds with a cutthroat ferocity, Conway receives a letter in prison and it’s this that made me shiver. I suspected the sender was someone in awe of the crime and it’s perpetrator, but I didn’t expect the crimes to be so horrendous. It reminded me of Alcatraz where prisoner Frank Morris led a minimalist existence inside, it surprised me how he was able to conjure up such a well-hatched, meticulous escape plan. With Bryndza’s descriptive prose, it’s easy to visualize Conway’s conditions, his routine and his jailers.

You’ll get a kick out of the Kate’s research assistant, Tristin, a young man with which every reader will resonate. Snowy white socks and an enquiring mind, reminiscent of a young Inspector Lewis. But when DCI Varia Campbell and DI John Mercy reveal a past misdemeanour, I liked Tristin a little more. Bryndza is skilled at drilling down to the smallest of foibles, which in turn brings an extra dimension to his characters.

I was convinced that Kate’s relationship with Peter Conway and his desire to see Jake would somehow play out in prison. That he would find a way to lure them there. But the backdrop of CM Logistics and an eerily staged scene from the past was a twist I never saw coming.

This is an ultra-satisfying, seat-of-your-pants police procedural and although I read it in three days — interrupted only by work — it was easy to pick up where I’d left off. The details of the case and the characters stayed in my mind and so did the surrounding story. The book is miraculously tied together in a violent and remarkably satisfying denouement.

Nine Elms is a sharp example of its genre. The pages turn, the violence is brutal, and for all police procedural and crime aficionados, fasten your safety belts because this is one hell of a twisty ride.

Many thanks to the Author, Netgalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read an advanced reader copy for an honest review.

What others are saying:

‘Twisty, dark and layered . . . A superb start to what promises to be another stand out series’  – M. W. CRAVEN

‘Gripping from start to finish. I will wait with bated breath for the next Kate Marshall thriller.’  – RACHEL ABBOTT

Bryndza’s characters are so vividly drawn – even the slightest character – and fully human and uniquely imperfect. His plots are clever and original and cool and his sense of timing is excruciatingly flawlessNine Elms is Robert Bryndza spreading his already formidable wings to thrilling effect.  – Augusten Burroughs, author of RUNNING WITH SCISSORS)

heart-pounding series launch from Bryndza . . . Readers will look forward to seeing more of the complex Kate (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Hello, I’m Robert Bryndza, and thank you for visiting my Amazon Author page. I’m a crime writer and my books have sold 3 million copies, and they’ve been translated into 28 languages. I’m British and live in Slovakia. In addition to writing crime fiction, I have published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels.

My new novel, Nine Elms, the first in my Kate Marshall private detective series has just been published.

I’m the author of the international #1 bestseller THE GIRL IN THE ICE, which is the first in my Detective Erika Foster series, and to date, it has sold over one million copies. There are six books (so far) in the Erika Foster series, and they can be read as a series, and also work as stand-alone books, so can be read in any order;

THE GIRL IN THE ICE
THE NIGHT STALKER
DARK WATER
LAST BREATH
COLD BLOOD
DEADLY SECRETS

If you click the yellow ‘follow’ button under my author photo, Amazon will send you an email when I have a new book release, or if there’s a special Amazon deal on my books that you might be interested in.

Rob

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

Sign up to my New 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.)

More books by Robert Bryndza.

Robert Bryndza

I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll @Thomas&Mercer @AmazonPub #review #blog #psychological #Fiction @TeresaDriscoll

If you want to curl up with a brilliant thriller, this is it.  I will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll is both harrowing as it is frightening.  For Driscoll fans who enjoyed I Am Watching You, this new offering will bring the same powerful plot line with rich characters and unexpected twists. The author switches points of view with each chapter, leaving the reader excited for more.

Description

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

I Will Make You Pay by [Driscoll, Teresa]It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

 

Review

 

One word: wow! This latest book from Teresa Driscoll weaves a fascinating plot with an emotional depth that leaves you gasping. What begins as a story about journalist Alice Henderson, morphs into a gripping, disturbing and fascinating tale, not just about who is calling her at work through voice change software to distort his voice but about Alice herself. I kept asking myself if this stalker was someone who didn’t warm to a story she wrote. Or is it someone she might have mistakenly overlooked in her past.

Alices changes all her social media passwords and makes an appointment with a security company to check her flat. Statements have been taken not only at work but also with the local coffee shop — a place she regularly frequents. Driscoll ratchets up the tension here and you can’t help wondering if Alice will be snatched away in broad daylight. You’d think Alice has done everything she can to protect herself, but is there something she might have missed? A small loophole perhaps that this ardent stalker will cleverly slip through. And what is the significance of Wednesday?

Tom, Alice’s boyfriend hires a private investigator called Matthew Hill to cover Alice. But Matthew does a little investigation of his own and realizes there is more to Alice than meets the eye. Chapters alternate between past and present, and the “Him-before” chapters are both disturbing and heartbreaking. A little boy – we don’t know who at this stage – who loves his gran, Martha. Martha’s struggles are all too real and her grandson whom she calls ‘My beloved little soldier’ witnesses her suffering through his time. She tells him she will never move from her home because of the bench and the memories that go with it.

Driscoll demonstrates over and over again that she has what it takes to shock, surprise and move her readers. I couldn’t help empathizing with a child left on his own and a caregiver strained to the limits to carve out a life for herself and the boy. I couldn’t help wondering what would happen to Brian. Will this child, who has suffered so much, eventually play out his ‘delicious dreams’ in order to feel alive? These chapters sucked me in so completely, I forgot to drink the pot of coffee I’d made in the morning!

Alice, her campaign, the housing block and the local paper, all come full circle in a frightening denouement I didn’t see coming. All I can say is Driscoll teases out this twisty plot at the perfect pace, introducing multi-layered characters that even the sharpest readers won’t predict what’s coming.

Print Length: 317 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 10, 2019)

Publication Date: October 10, 2019

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B07P7GLXNB

Links: US flag US here    British flag UK here

About the Author

Teresa Driscoll – a former BBC TV news presenter – is now a million-copy #1 bestselling author. Her debut psychological suspense I AM WATCHING YOU hit Kindle #1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has also been number #1 in Italy in translation. Her second thriller THE FRIEND again made the #1 top spot in the UK and Australia while THE PROMISE hit #2.

Teresa’s work has been sold for translation to 20 countries and optioned for film. She also writes women’s fiction; RECIPES FOR MELISSA was auctioned at the Frankfurt book fair between seven German publishers and her second women’s fiction title is LAST KISS GOODNIGHT.

During her long career as a journalist, Teresa worked for newspapers, magazines and television, including 15 years presenting the BBC TV news programme Spotlight. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.

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

Other books by Teresa Driscoll

Teresa Driscoll