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review 2017-10-23 01:07
Review: Murder Game (Detective Ruby Preston #3) by Caroline Mitchell
Murder Game: A gripping serial killer thriller you won't be able to put down (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 3) - Caroline Mitchell

Published by: Bookouture (31st October 2017)

 

ISBN: 9781786811622

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead. 

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die. 

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

 

Review:

Wow! Every time I finish one of Caroline Mitchell's books I'm aware that I've spent the most part on the edge of my seat, mouth hanging open in shock and my heart hammering away! This was a real page turner with such a captivating plot. You can't help but like the fantastic Ruby Preston, who I absolutely ADORE. She's intelligently written and utterly captivating. I really like how her relationships with Nathan and daughter Cathy are interwoven with the case. It gives such a personal perspective in contrast to the professional side of Ruby and makes for a superbly well rounded character.

 

The case is shocking yet fascinating, like the scene of a car crash. The author is an expert at those twists and turns we just don't see coming...and there are plenty here. The story is intricate, dark and gripping, with great attention to detail. I was more than a little annoyed when life interrupted my reading time (much too often!) and I'm now eagerly awaiting my next fix of Detective Ruby Preston! Thanks to Bookouture for providing an ARC via NetGalley in return for my honest review.

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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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