Just Read… Come and Find Me, by Sarah Hilary

come2band2bfind2bme2bhb_final

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

* * *

Sarah Hilary delivers another belter with this, the 5th in the DI Marnie Rome series. I listened to this on Audible last month, and here’s what I tweeted at the time.

Tweet S Hilary

Come and Find Me follows Marnie and Noah in their hunt for sadistic prisoner, Michael Vokey, who’s on the run following a jail-break during a brutally violent prison riot. Vokey is a manipulator and with the police wading through the bloody aftermath of the riot, they are clear that he needs to be apprehended before more people get hurt. But with two infatuated women on the outside, and two other potential targets, Marnie’s team are stretched. And this is personal for Marnie – her foster brother, Stephen, is one of those prisoners hospitalised.

As ever, Sarah Hilary has created a tightly-plotted novel with plenty going on, and with the clever use of different viewpoints, we are kept guessing right up until the end. Because this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill police procedural; great characters, plenty of misdirection, and the ever impending sense of danger make this a real page-turner – figuratively speaking, if you’re listening on audio like I did.

And as I mentioned in my Tweet, poor Noah!

Advertisements
Posted in Book Review, Books, Crime Fiction, Crime Writing, Fiction, Thriller, Writers | Leave a comment

Just Read… Strangers on a Bridge, by Louise Mangos

strangers-on-a-bridge-a-gripping-debut-psychological-thriller-with-a-killer-twist

When Alice Reed goes on her regular morning jog in the peaceful Swiss Alps, she doesn’t expect to save a man from suicide. But she does. And it is her first mistake.

Adamant they have an instant connection, Manfred’s charming exterior grows darker and his obsession with Alice grows stronger.

In a country far from home, where the police don’t believe her, the locals don’t trust her and even her husband questions the truth about Manfred, Alice has nowhere to turn.

To what lengths will Alice go to protect herself and her family?

***

This is a great debut by Swiss-based author, Louise Mangos, who has clearly used her own experiences of living in Switzerland to create a story with a very authentic feel to it. The mountains and lakes imagery created provides a great backdrop for this tale of dark obsession.

The blurb on the cover, “She should never have saved him”, gives you a good idea of where this story goes. Right from the start, it is clear that saving Manfred is going to cause Alice a good deal of trouble, but actually, I found that the story didn’t quite take me where I expected. Which was good!

When the authorities take no notice of Alice’s complaints about Manfred’s increasingly worrying behaviour, she becomes more and more frustrated and takes matters into her own hands – which only makes things worse. Alice doesn’t always make the right decisions, but her decisions do stay true to her character. With her husband working away for long periods of time, Alice feels isolated and the Swiss locals aren’t going out of their way to make her feel part of the community.

Good pace, good tension and plenty of atmosphere make this an accomplished debut.

 

Posted in Author, Book Review, Books, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Writers | Leave a comment

Just Read… Turn a Blind Eye, by Vicky Newham

Turn-A-Blind-Eye-By-Vicky-Newham

A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.

A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:

I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.

At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.

Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.

Turn a Blind Eye is the first book in a brand-new series set in East London and starring DI Maya Rahman.


 

Vicky’s Newham’s debut police-procedural novel is a cracker! DI Maya Rahman is Bangladeshi but has been living in London for most of her life, and this novel explores the strands of racial diversity that make up London’s Tower Hamlets. The school mentioned in the blurb above is Maya Rahman’s old school; she knows it well, and she knows the problems its pupils face. But Rahman’s own life is complicated too. The story starts following the death of her own brother, and this is the first glimpse we get into the issues of culture and identity that Rahman herself is trying to feel more comfortable with.

The book delves deeply into racial and cultural diversity and it’s clear that it draws on the author’s experience of having been an East End teacher herself. Even Rahman’s sidekick, Aussie Dan Maguire, has an aboriginal wife and family back home in Australia.

There’s a large cast of characters here, and we are given a number of different viewpoints. This could easily have been confusing, but skilful writing and structuring stopped that from happening – not an easy task.

I’m not from London, but from an outsider’s perspective, the atmosphere felt very real indeed, and the plot kept me guessing until the end. A great start to what is undoubtedly going to be a successful series.

Posted in Author, Book Review, Books, Crime Fiction, Crime Writing, Fiction, Writers | Leave a comment

Just Read… When the Waters Recede, by Graham Smith

 

When The Waters Recede

I’m delighted to be part of the Blog Blitz to support the launch of Graham Smith’s latest Harry Evans novel, When the Waters Recede. Make sure you read to the end for news of an exciting giveaway!

When Waters Recede Cover

When a car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation.

The woman is soon recognised, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into areas none of them want to visit. Before they know it, they’re dealing with protection scams and looking for answers to questions they didn’t know needed to be asked.

A lot has happened to Harry Evans since my review of I Know Your Secret. He’s trying to get over the loss of his beloved Janet, and although now retired from the force, he has managed to ‘persuade’ the powers that be to let him back in a consultancy role. As the blurb says above, we’re straight into the story, with not one, but two bodies. The woman in the boot is seemingly hated by everyone, and the identity of the driver is a complete mystery.

Whilst Harry isn’t leading this investigation, it’s him his old team are looking to. And whilst he always seems closest to seeing the bigger picture here, he’s finding himself more and more distracted by both Lauren Phillips (not to mention anyone showing any cleavage) and the problems she’s dealing with.

Smith skillfully keeps us entertained, introducing new snippets of information at just the right pace to keep us readers on our toes.

When the Waters Recede is another accomplished offering by a great writer.

* * *

I recently spent some time with Graham as part of his brilliant Crime Publishment course, but if you’ve not come across him before, here’s his bio (and don’t be alarmed, he’s much more smiley in real life!):

Graham Smith Author Pic

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been the manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has three books and three novellas featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and three novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009.

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Graham can be found at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
Website: www.grahamsmithauthor.com

!*! Giveaway !*!

When Waters Recede - 6 Book Giveaway

To celebrate the release of When the Waters Recede, Graham Smith is offering one lucky reader the chance to win all six books in the Harry Evans series.

To enter, simply sign up for his newsletter via the link provided before the 5th of June 2018 and you’ll be entered into not just this competition, but all competitions that he runs. Entrants from across the world are welcome.
http://blogspot.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=8bbfc9a3acb79a408253510a8&id=48d2dc65e5

When The Waters Recede Full Banner

Posted in Author, Book Review, Books, Crime Fiction, Crime Writing, Writers | Leave a comment

Just Read… Deep Blue Trouble, by Steph Broadribb

I was invited to the Steph’s launch of Deep Blue Trouble this evening at Waterstones, Covent Garden – a joint launch, in fact, with Johana Gustawsson and her novel, Keeper – by the fab Karen Sullivan of Orenda. Unfortunately scheduling (and geography) meant I couldn’t attend. That doesn’t stop me shouting about it though:

91rzbdhvnrL-880x1351

Here’s the blurb:

Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free. Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything.

As with most of the books I get through lately, I listened via Audible to Deep Blue Trouble, the sequel to fast-paced Deep Down Dead. It is read (with a very fitting southern drawl) by Jennifer Woodward. If you follow the link to my Deep Down Dead review, you’ll see that I loved that, and made favourable comparisons to one of my favourite authors, Meg Gardiner. Steph’s first in the series is a tough one to follow, so how did she do?

Fabulously, that’s how. Deep Blue Trouble is another high-octane ride-along with mom turned bounty hunter, Lori Anderson. The blurb above gives you a decent outline of the story, but what it can’t convey is the tension Steph manages to get into the story. With the mob looking for both Lori and Dakota, and JT in danger himself, there’s a lot at stake here. And it isn’t always clear exactly who the good guys the bad guys are.

Lori wants to do the right thing by everyone, but doesn’t always make the wisest choices in trying to do that. And she’s not beyond making a few extra enemies when she doesn’t need to. But you can’t be a kick-ass heroine without kicking some ass. Even if it means you’re gonna get some bumps and bruises on the way.

If you like riding the roller-coaster, this is another fast ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review, Books, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Thriller | Leave a comment

Just Read… Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh

13

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the courtroom start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

Visitors to this occasional blog will know I’m a big fan of Steve Cavanagh and his hustler turned lawyer protagonist, Eddie Flynn. How big a fan I hear you ask? This big:

Eddie Flynn.jpg

And why am I such a big fan? Well, I finished this book in February, and this is what I tweeted at the time:

13 tweet

It’s now April (I know, I’m late!) and I’ve gotten through a decent number of books in the last two months. And am I still thinking Thirteen is likely to be the best book of 2018? You bet I am!

Thirteen is very much like the preceding Eddie Flynn books: fast-paced with a wonderful protagonist – and clever. Very clever. And by that I mean Steve Cavanagh throws cases at Eddie Flynn that are seemingly impossible to defend, which hooks the reader from the start. And watching Eddie work through them is watching a genius at work. There is no deus ex machina at work here; Flynn might have a little occasional luck on his side, but he solves them with wit, skill and flare. Which he really needs as in Thirteen he finds himself at the mercy of both corrupt cops, and a serial killer who has literally gotten away with murder many, many times.

A must read.

Posted in Writing | 1 Comment

Just Read… The House, by Simon Lelic.

81Ll1DKaEmL

The perfect couple. The perfect house.
…The perfect crime.

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door.

AND NOW THE POLICE ARE WATCHING THEM.

Just catching up with a backlog of reviews, starting with The House, by Simon Lelic. I heard Simon on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 Book Club and immediately added his latest novel to my want list. I’d last read one of his books – Rupture – some years ago, and really enjoyed it, which made me want to read The House even more. I wasn’t disappointed.

I actually listened to this on Audible, ably read by Adam Newington and Gemma Whelan, narrating the parts of Jack and Sydney. Each has been keeping a diary, and are telling us the same story from their own viewpoints. The same creepy story. Sydney insists this isn’t a ghost story but doesn’t do well in convincing us of that as the tale unfolds, and more and more bad things happen.

I loved this book and the two narrators gradually reveal what has happened to them in a way which keeps the reader/listener gripped and guessing. And just a little bit spooked.

 

Posted in Author, Book Review, Books, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Writers | Leave a comment