#blogtour In The Silence by M R Mackenzie

Anna hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years. And for very good reasons…

When Anna, a criminology lecturer, does return to Glasgow from Rome, during the coldest winter in memory, tragedy strikes. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew, and later that night discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow. Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble. When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.

As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in. But can she solve the gruesome mystery before the killer strikes again?

Atmospheric and intriguing, In The Silence is a read that slowly pulls you into its grip, taking its time to wrap itself around your curiosity and make you want to dig deeper into the story.

Soaking you up in an easy feeling of the real nature of Glasgow, and especially considering Mackenzies’ use of native Scottish speech, you’ll feel fully enveloped in the whole story, as it unfolds before you.

I found the characters of Anna and Zoe both addictive and yet annoying, swinging between like and dislike of each, often, always a sign to me of a well written persona.

A mesmerising debut, it’s well worth reading and I’m certainly going to be looking out for more from this author.

#CoverReveal – A Friend Is A Gift You Give Yourself – William Boyle

After Brooklyn mob widow Rena Ruggiero hits her eighty-year-old neighbor Enzio in the head with an ashtray when he makes an unwanted move on her, she retreats to the Bronx home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her granddaughter, Lucia, only to be turned away at the door. Their neighbor, Lacey “Wolfie” Wolfstein, a one-time Golden Age porn star and retired Florida Suncoast grifter, takes Rena in and befriends her. When Lucia discovers that Adrienne is planning to hit the road with her exboyfriend, she figures Rena is her only way out of a life on the run with a mother she can’t stand. The stage is set for an explosion that will propel Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia down a strange path, each woman running from their demons, no matter what the cost.

#BlogTour – Overkill by Vanda Symon – Exclusive Extract

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.
To find the murderer … and clear her name.
.

The cellphone ring snapped me out of my trance. Well, it didn’t ring, strictly speaking. It performed an electronic abomination that would have made Bach scream with indignation.

‘Ah, God damn it.’

I slowed up, pulled the phone from my running-shorts pocket and gulped in a few quick breaths.
‘Shephard.’

‘Gore Watch House.’

It would have to be work. They could find you anywhere.

‘Hi. What’s up?’

‘We have had a missing person report come in. Wyndham Road. Are you able to attend?’

Wyndham Road? I knew several people down there. I glanced down at my watch and calculated it would take another ten minutes to run home.

‘Yes, I can be there. It could be half an hour, though. You caught me out on a run. What number?’

‘One fifty-three. The Knowes household.’

‘Knowes?’ Lockie? Missing? My heart rate jumped up again.

‘Yes, the reported person missing is Mrs Gabriella Knowes. Mr Knowes called it in.’

‘Thanks. I’ll be there soon.’ I hung up, tucked the phone back in, then set off at a jog in the direction of  home. My quiet little winddown after work was out the window.

Gaby Knowes? At least it wasn’t Lockie. Curious, though: he wasn’t the kind of man to panic if the wife was late home and there was no dinner on the table. And it was only 5.15pm. He must have only just got in from work and called the police straight away.

As the sole-charge policewoman at the Mataura station, it was my lot to be on call more often than not. But call-outs after hours were a rarity now. When I lived at the police house behind the station, I
was fair game for the slightest gripe at any hour of the day, or night. The situation had improved only when I moved to a flat and put some distance between me and the job. Nowadays call-outs were
usually for a fracas at the pub or a minor car accident – something quick to sort out.

I looked up at the horizon, judged that there were, at best, two or three hours of light left and took off at a trot, preferring the regularity of running on the road rather than on the scraggy roadside gravel
and overgrown grass, and having to dodge the matchstick roadside markers. There was only the odd car to worry about, and they generally gave me a big swerve. Occasionally, I’d get some idiot who’d
almost force me into the drainage ditch, but they were the exception around here. For the most part, farming folk were very polite. I knew most of the occupants of the houses on the outskirts of town. Molly Polglaise had lost her husband of forty-five years only a few weeks back; her granddaughter had moved in for a month or so as consolation company. The smell of her freshly trimmed macrocarpa hedge reminded me of Christmas. The Mayberry household had a new baby. John, who was out watering the garden, gave me an absentminded wave as I passed. Considering it had rained the day before, I wasn’t quite sure why he was bothering.

Mataura was quintessential small-town New Zealand, although if I was being honest, it was a slightly shabbier and more run-down version of it. Like most towns, it struggled to provide employment
and ways to entice the young folk to stay. How could it compete with the excitement of the city? It had a smattering of pubs, stores – mostly empty – and churches: the main ingredients for life in the sticks, although the pubs saw a lot more patronage than the churches.  I knew the area intimately, and its residents. That included Lockie Knowes, though I hadn’t had more than a passing conversation with
him for an age. The fact I’d avoided him probably had something to do with that. Since he’d married the city girl and settled down to do the family thing, I’d pretty much sidestepped any contact – an achievement in itself, given the size of the town and my job. Now it looked like a good dose of professional detachment would be required. I would have to ignore the tightness in my stomach.

I slowed up the pace only when I reached the gateway to my house and its slightly skewiff letter box. Running was my vice – freedom of the road, isolation, being able to tune out everything but the rhythmic rush of blood pumping and powerful breathing. A legal high. 

Bugger the telephone.

#BlogTour Death Rope – Leigh Russell

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.

Foul Trade – BKDuncan #blogtour

It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.

The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.

May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.

As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.

In which our feisty heroine takes on chinese gangs, deals with drugs and more….

Hot on the heels of introductory novella The Last Post, comes Foul Trade the first of the May Keaps series.

It’s a highly atmospheric novel that uses all of your senses  to  envelope you in the richness and diversity of London in the ’20s,  and the attitudes of the day.  Attitudes which are often unacceptable to May, who will not let anyone talk down to her.

There is a lot going on in the book to keep you keen to turn pages with plenty interesting characters along the way.  It can be confusing at times to keep track, but that ensures that Foul Trade is action packed and thoroughly engrossing.

It’s another recommended book from me that you won’t want to put down.