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review 2017-04-25 12:14
Blog Tour for The Lost Children (D. I. Lucy Harwin #1) by Helen Phifer: My Review
The Lost Children - Helen Phifer

 

Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…

For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to a gurney... 

Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging wrongs. 

What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.

As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose? 

An absolutely terrifying and gripping thriller that will chill readers of MJ Arlidge, Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott to the bone. 
 
Published by: Bookouture (21 March 2017)
 
ISBN: 978-1786811752
 
My rating: 5*
 
My review:
There are a lot of fantastic female crime writers around at the moment, and Helen Phifer proves she is no exception with this compelling introduction to Detective Lucy Harwin, who I absolutely LOVED from the outset! With her bright red hair, no-nonsense attitude and tattoos, I get the feeling we'd get on like a house on fire! I really like the way we get glimpses of her personal life and past as well as her work life. The same goes for her sergeant, Mattie Jackson. Lucy's personality shines through, and her relationship with Mattie, is brilliantly written. Their are comical moments that are a welcome relief among the chilling terror of the case they are working on. As for Lucy and Mattie...I think they are my new favourite police twosome.
 
The case itself is horrific and told both in the present time and from the perspective of a child in the asylum in 1975. It is completely gripping and I simply couldn't put it down. There are lots of twists and turns, it felt like I was on a rollercoaster! I was utterly mesmerised by the plot and the amazing attention to detail. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out what is in store next for Lucy and Mattie.
 
 
Buy The Lost Children:
 
About Helen Phifer

Helen Phifer’s love of reading began with Enid Blyton, before progressing on to Laura Ingals Wilder and scaring herself with Steven King. If she can’t write for any particular reason she finds herself getting itchy fingers and really irritable. She loves reading as much as writing and is also very fond of chocolate, Prosecco, The Lake District, New York, white Zinfandel wine, my children and grandchildren, my friends, porn star martini cocktails, Stephen King, watching scary films, Marilyn Monroe, Melissa McCarthy, Idris Elba, Simon Baker, Spandau Ballet, The Munsters and coffee. In no particular order.

 

Catch the rest of the blog tour here:

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review 2017-04-23 08:00
Blog Tour for Lie To Me by Jess Ryder: My Review
Lie to Me: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist - Jess Ryder

How can you tell the truth... if all you've ever known is a lie?

Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.

Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera? 

The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?

To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…

A dark, compulsive psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Louise Jensen.

 

My Review:

Lie to Me is a tale told from three different perspectives, with the narrator of each chapter named to avoid any possible confusion. As Meredith tries to uncover more about her mother Becca, following her discovery of the video tape in the present time; we also hear  from Cara, the Darkwater Pool murder victim from thirty years ago. We also hear from Christopher Jay, who was Cara's boyfriend at the time of her murder. All this information throws up threads linking the characters together and twists here and there. It was unusual to have the perspective of a murder victim, and I found it interesting getting to know her and find out more about her life and what happened leading up to her death.

 

There are more than a couple of red herrings here and there and a few twists, but among all the death and lies, Meredith's relationship with her lovely father Graeme shines through. It's a welcome relief! The appearance of the fabulous Isobel is great too. I enjoyed the second half of the book much more and it became much harder to put down. For a debut, this is a very readable novel and one I'd recommend to my fellow crime readers. I'm looking forward to seeing what Jess Ryder comes up with next!

 

Special thanks to Bookouture, Jess Ryder and Netgalley for providing an ARC in return for my unbiased review.

 

Lie To Me - Buy it here:-

UK 

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review 2017-03-13 02:31
Review: Blood Lines (Detective Kim Stone #5) by Angela Marsons
Blood Lines: An absolutely gripping thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 5) - Angela Marsons

Published by: Bookouture (4 November 2016)

 

ISBN: 978-1786810991

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 4*

 

Synopsis:

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring mother and social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

 

Review:

As a fan of Angela Marsons' previous novels featuring Detective Kim Stone, I was eagerly awaiting this latest publication, her second to feature Kim's nemesis, the evil Dr Alex Thorne. I was expecting high drama, emotionally charged scenes and a compelling plot...

 

It took me far longer to read Blood Lines than anticipated, purely because I wasn't plagued by my usual insomnia, so I read until I fell asleep every night, until I dropped my kindle and it hit me in the face or dropped onto the floor! The plot is enticing, it grabs you from the outset and winds itself around you, nudging at you to peek at the horrors within.

 

Kim is one of my favourite police characters; although she's sarcastic and a bit ferocious on the outside it's all a bit of a front to protect that vulnerable damaged part of her that she's so desperate to keep inside. I think we can all identify with that to a certain extent. I'd like to get to know more about Kim's team members; maybe that'll come in time. One thing I found annoying, and that stopped my flow of reading, was the phonetic spelling of Stacey's accent. Whenever I got to one of those words, I stopped and (unsuccessfully) tried to work out how to pronounce the word. I'm still none the wiser! When I read a book, if I know a character is from a particular place or has a certain accent, when I imagine them speaking, they automatically have that accent. Maybe other readers find it useful but I found it more of a hindrance, to be honest.

 

Having said that, I did really enjoy this book. The end few chapters felt a little rushed, as though nothing much happened for a while and then all of a sudden there was a buzz of activity and everything happened at once. But I guess the end of a case can be like that when everything falls into place.

Special thanks to Angela Marsons, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.

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review 2017-02-15 08:09
Review: Blink by K. L. Slater
Blink - K. Slater

Published by: Bookouture (16 February 2017)

 

ISBN-13: 978-1786811295

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 4*

 

Synopsis:

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

 

Review:

We're given a lot of information about the main characters in this book, so we get to learn a fair bit about Toni and little Evie, and their life together before Evie's disappearance. I really like it when authors give more background on characters as it makes me feel I know them a bit more, like friends, maybe; or neighbours. Perhaps this is why I felt so invested in Toni - I was rooting for her from the beginning. I got exasperated alongside her and anxious about her, as well as silently (I read quite a lot of this book in a public place!) willing her do/not do certain things! All the characters here are believable and very well written.

 

As with the author's previous book, Safe With Me, the narrative switches between the present time and a point in the past. In this book, however, I think it comes across almost seamlessly; much improved since the author's debut novel. The point in the past is the time of Evie's disappearance, upon which the tension builds and builds like a pressure cooker.

 

I was so shocked by the killer twist, which I definitely didn't see coming! To say any more would give the game away, but...wow! I found this book compelling in places would recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Thanks to K. L. Slater, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review. 

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review 2016-12-28 04:40
Review: Miss Wrong and Mr Right by Robert Bryndza
Miss Wrong and Mr Right - Robert Bryndza

Published by: Bookouture (15 December 2016) 

 

ISBN: 978-1786811080

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 4.5*

 

Synopsis:

Natalie Love has worked hard to have it all. She runs a successful London theatre that's about to host one of Hollywood's leading stars, Ryan Harrison. She’s pretty sure she’s found her man in yoga boyfriend Benjamin, despite his annoying habit of saying Namaste! every time he speaks. And her eccentric, glamorous Gran is always on hand to offer sage advice and steaming bowls of goulash. Life in the bright lights of London has always been Natalie's escape from her chaotic country family in rural Devon and Jamie, the childhood sweetheart she left at the altar fifteen years ago. Until he turns up at her theatre door... Jamie is in town producing a West End show and with rivalry suddenly clouding old feelings, this isn’t quite the reunion Natalie was expecting. Will Benjamin prove to be Natalie’s perfect match? With Ryan turning her head, Natalie is more confused than ever. And what about Jamie – could he be her second chance at first love?

 

Review:

I'm a big fan of the author's crime series but have only just discovered his romcoms through finding this available on NetGalley. I don't generally read much chick-lit but do enjoy the odd bit of light relief from my regular crime/horror/psychological thriller type books every once in a while! 

The author has a great way of building characters that seem so real, and Natalie is no exception. I adore her Gran, she's an absolute delight! I like both Jamie and Ryan, can't choose between them. No wonder Natalie's so confused! 

There are some real laugh out loud moments here as well as some that will make you chuckle to yourself or even just smile. I know I'll be checking out Rob's other offerings in this genre to see what I've been missing out on! Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.

 

 

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