#BlogTour Death Rope – Leigh Russell

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Can Geraldine catch the killer or has the killer caught her? 

Mark Abbott is dead. His sister refuses to believe it was suicide, but only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel will listen.

When other members of Mark’s family disappear, Geraldine’s suspicions are confirmed.

Taking a risk, Geraldine finds herself confronted by an adversary deadlier than any she has faced before… Her boss Ian is close, but will he arrive in time to save her, or is this the end for Geraldine Steel?

While my colleagues were cheering on Tiger “Woods” in The Open, I found myself addicted, as always, to reading the latest Geraldine “Steel”. Putting a new spin on an long serving character, Russell has moved Steel from London to York, demoted her and made her former sergeant her new boss, an interesting change in their dynamic.  With all these changes I was wondering how this book would pan out, but as usual all thoughts of whether it would be another winner were soon banished once the book was begun.

Once again Leigh Russell has proven why her books consistently enter the charts on Amazon, and every other book seller out there,with a great plot that keeps you guessing right until the very end, some subtle subplots, brilliant characters both old and new and as ever a completely gripping read.

I would just say one thing, if you’ve not read a Geraldine Steel book before, don’t start here. Go right back to the beginning and work your way through. Geraldine and Ian have been through a lot together and knowing their history shows off this change in their friendship/working relationship all the more.

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#Blogtour I Never Lie – Jody Sabral Guest Post

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Writers and Reviews

It’s an exciting time, publishing my first debut psychological thriller. Having found the agent, then the publisher, it’s now the books turn to find its readers and that is both thrilling yet terrifying at the same time. The early reviews are starting to flood in. Upwards of sixty people secured a copy via NetGalley – a website where avid readers of books are encouraged to read and review pre-publishing date.

Like any new author, I obsessively and secretively checked the review page daily as it started to make waves to see if I’d pulled it off or not. The sheer joy of reading a brilliantly positive review is something one cannot put into words, says the writer who should be able to put absolutely anything into words! It’s a real moment that makes you feel it was all worth it. It took two years to write this book and it was devoured in two sittings. There’s oddly something satisfying in that.

Then came the first negative review. I won’t lie. It stung. It’s not easy to take that kind of criticism when you’ve labored over it for hundreds of hours, putting your all into it. Having tried your best to make an entire world out of just words. I found myself Googling ‘how to cope with bad reviews.’ And to my delight I found a best-selling author saying she felt exactly the same way, but that in all honesty there is always someone who doesn’t like it and instead of just passing on writing a review they have to have their say. The more people who read it, the more negative reviews there will inevitably be, but on the upside and to my relief the good reviews outnumber the bad.

As the reviews started to stack up I came to realise that in actual fact the negative reviews were just as helpful as the positives. I started to see a pattern in the criticism, which has ultimately informed me on aspects of my writing and story telling which I can improve on. I’m a work in progress as are all writers. I think we like the constant challenge of personal development. Of constructing and deconstructing our thoughts. So I decided to see the positives in those negatives and turn that into an opportunity for growth as a writer. So this is a personal thank you to all who have commented on the book. I deeply appreciate it.

Alex South, my protagonist isn’t for everyone. She is a tricky customer. And as most readers have commented her character is the driving force in the book unlike most thrillers. One review I read the day before publication really summed up what I tried to do with Alex. “I’m not sure if it was intentional, but I thought this carefully crafted novel sent out a powerful message about the dangers of alcoholism. A mix of excitement and nerve-wracking! There was humour, four dead bodies and loads of suspects. It’s a food-for-thought novel.”

A food-for-thought novel. Yes, I wanted I NEVER LIE to kick-start a positive conversation around alcoholism in this country having lost a friend to the bottle, but obviously I wanted it to entertain too. It is a tricky combination to get right. I have always felt that art and literature have the power to transform society unlike the other business I’m in, the news business, which in my opinion is often more to do with keeping power accountable. I still remember scenes I read in novels fifteen years ago that touched me and shaped my grown up self.

You will be in utter despair with Alex, frustrated by the voice in her head, and often sad for her, but ultimately she is just flawed, living in a constant state of denial. We track how that can create all kinds of problems. It’s her character that drives the plot, which is characteristic of my writing. Whatever you make of her, please do leave a review good or bad for it is in these moments of commentary I find a new sense of development as a writer, which hopefully shall help shape my future writing!

Is she the next victim? Or is she the culprit…?

Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?

Jody Sabral is based between the South Coast and London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement. In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post, Al–Monitor and Brics Post.

#blogblitz Deception Wears Many Faces – Maggie James

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When Lyddie takes her sister to Devon to recover after a recent suicide attempt, it starts a train of events that will put their lives in grave danger.

Ellie has been the victim of a professional con artist, one who stole her savings, then disappeared from her life. Driven by her own history of failed relationships, Lyddie vows revenge on the man who broke her sister’s heart.

Soon she assumes a false identity and begins her hunt for a man she knows to be cold, calculating and ruthless. But who is fooling whom? And can Lyddie find the justice she seeks and heal her damaged sister?

 

A super quick read, with some sneaky surprises…

Late to the party again I grabbed this to read a couple of days ago, and was almost immediately left cursing myself that I hadn’t picked it up sooner.

It’s a remarkable easy read that soon sweeps you up in it’s momentum, as Lyddie puts to good use internet dating sites, and female forums in order to try and help her sister find the con man who broke her sisters heart and left her once more struggling with thoughts of suicide.

However we soon find out that many of the assumptions we’ve been led to make are well and truly false, as the twists come quickly, keeping you frantically flipping through the book desperate to know what will happen next.

Lyddie, is well written, in the way she deals with what is happening, trying to tackle things head on, and making the occasional mistake or assumption that makes things worse, it’s all a very real possibility in today’s world.

In my opinion it’s certainly one to get.

 

 

 

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

The Camera Lies by A B Morgan

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Konrad Neale is a television presenter. His waning career has been given a new lease of life since he took on a series of hard-hitting documentaries that investigate miscarriages of justice.

Matthew Hawley has been convicted of the brutal murder of his wealthy, attractive wife, Helena. However, he has no memory of the events and insists he is not responsible for willingly killing her.

When Konrad interviews Matthew in prison, he explores the details of the murder and the possible motives behind it. But all is not as it seems. Did Matthew murder his wife? Soon the search is on to identify who else might be involved in the murder of Helena, and Konrad is about to learn that sometimes the camera lies.

Wow, wow, wow, Just wow…..

I’ve loved every book of A B Morgan’s that I’ve read to date, but this is definitely my favourite.

The Camera Lies begins with Konrad investigating the case of Matthew Hawley, who brutally killed his wife but can’t remember anything about it.  As Konrad and his team delve further into the crime they come across a person of interest. Someone who despite insisting that they don’t want to be found, ends up becoming the stalker from hell, who systematically begins to destroy Konrad’s life piece by piece.

With a completely twisted villain at its heart The Camera Lies is an exceptionally well put together twisted and dark thriller, that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

The Darkness – Ragnar Jonasson

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A young woman is found dead on a remote Icelandic beach.

She came looking for safety, but instead she found a watery grave.

A hasty police investigation determines her death as suicide . . .

When Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik police is forced into early retirement, she is told she can investigate one last cold case of her choice – and she knows which one.

What she discovers is far darker than suicide . . . And no one is telling Hulda the whole story.

When her own colleagues try to put the brakes on her investigation, Hulda has just days to discover the truth. A truth she will risk her own life to find.

Jonasson delivers again, I absolutely bloody loved it.

A speedy read, with a great character in the about to be forcibly retired Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir.

I enjoyed her tenacity, and her inner reflections on her history in the police as she doggedly tries to uncover the killer before she finishes work.

With a whopper of an ending it’s highly recommended.

#BlogTour The Captives – Debra Jo Immergut

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Convicted of murder, destined for life in prison, Miranda is desperate for an escape. She signs up for sessions with the prison psychologist, Frank Lundquist, so that she can access the drugs to end it all. But unknown to her, Frank remembers her from high school, where, forgettable and unseen, he had a crush on Miranda Greene. Now, captivated again, his feelings deepen to obsession. What led the daughter of a former Congressman to commit such a terrible crime? And how can he make her

A totally engrossing thrill ride!

Well that was a rush.  The Captives is an amazingly well written book, that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and pulls you along at break-neck speed as you find yourself consumed by the obsessions of and the relationship between Frank and Miranda.

Written in ideally sized chunks, and perfectly paced, you will be half way through the book before you even know it, every time you go to put it down, you’ll find yourself saying “just one more chapter”.  The chapters alternate between Frank’s first person narrative, and Miranda’s third, which I thought was a great way to help move the story along nicely.

Covering all the many ways a person can be held captive, by others and by themselves, and exploring the sacrifices we make, and the potential for good or bad in all of us, The Captives is a completely immersive debut.  I highly recommend it.

 

#Blogblitz Merciless – Heleyne Hammersley

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Two murders. One missing girl.

DI Kate Fletcher is called out to a freezing canal where a woman’s body is found floating in a lock. With no identification, the police struggle to piece together the details of the woman’s life.

In Thorpe a daughter confesses to the murder of her father. She says she helped him escape a painful death from liver cancer, but was her role more active than she claims?

As Kate and her team investigate, the links between the two cases are inescapable and everything seems to lead back to the disappearance of a teenager years earlier.

Then the main suspect vanishes….

Can Kate connect the events of past and present to bring the culprit to justice?

A cracking one sitting read, Merciless is a book that moves along swiftly, with a deft skill and style ensuring you won’t want to put down.

Merciless is the second book to feature Hammersley’s protagonist DI Kate Fletcher, but don’t let that bother you, you can read it as a standalone with ease, I haven’t read the first book (although I will be downloading it now) and I didn’t have any issues at all with picking this book up.

It’s written in switching narratives between Fletcher and Caroline, the woman who confessed to assisting her father’s suicide, in slightly different time frames.  Fletcher in the present day, as she investigates both Caroline and the body in the canal, Caroline in the months leading up to the death of her father.

Fletcher is a compassionate character keenly attuned to her team members and eager to discover the truth behind the mysteries before her.  Caroline is awful, devious and manipulative.  She is a character you will automatically dislike, yet at the same time you won’t be able to help yourself from empathising with her situation, even though you won’t want too.

If you want an intriguing read, that will add a dash of thrilling suspense to your lazy Sunday afternoon, this is the book for you.

 


Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.

Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool.

When she’s not writing, Heleyne can often be found wandering on the fells or in the local park with her dog.