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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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review 2016-12-28 03:49
Review: Dark Water (Detective Erika Foster #3) by Robert Bryndza
Dark Water - Robert Bryndza

Published by: Bookouture (17 October 2016)

 

ISBN: 978-1786810694

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

 

Review:

When one of my favourite authors has a new book scheduled for release, I'm more excited than a kid in a candy store! So, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Detective Erika Foster's third outing, having been super impressed with books 1 and 2.

The action starts from the very first page, when we're drawn into the sinister goings on at the original crime scene, as the body of a young girl is dumped into the water. This scene was so well written, it really gave me the shivers!

Fast forward 26 years and Erika Foster wants to find out who killed Jessica Collins. That it's a tough cold case receiving media attention thrusts more focus onto Erika, piling on extra pressure. This story has so many twists and turns! The author is a masterful storyteller who is adept at leading you up the garden path and in the wrong direction! At one time or another I think I suspected almost everyone except Erika herself! 

I really enjoyed catching up with Foster's colleagues,  Peterson and Moss, again, and getting to know Erika a bit more. Her sister, Lenka also makes an appearance, together with her children.

The only downside was that I seemed to read this book far too quickly, as I read it in one sitting! I cannot wait to meet Erika Foster again; I hope it isn't too long. Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.

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review 2016-12-28 02:29
Review: Safe With Me by K. L. Slater
Safe With Me: A psychological thriller so tense it will take your breath away - K. Slater

Published by: Bookouture (1 November 2016)

 

ISBN: 978-1786811066

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 3*

 

Synopsis:

 

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller.

 

Review:

Despite liking the blurb on the back cover, I initially found this book quite hard to get into. I found the way the timeline kept shifting between the present time and the 'event' some years previously quite distracting. The timing in general seemed problematic too. Although Anna got up early for work, it quickly seemed to be the afternoon. There were also general inconsistencies and/or unexplained things occurring like the smell at Anna's - was it real or did she imagine it? There seemed to be various disappearing and reappearing cats!

This book definitely made me think.

The last third of the book was altogether more gripping, meaning I could even forget most of what had previously bothered me about the writing. Even though not all the questions were answered by the time the book concluded, it was a pretty good read. Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.

 

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