#Blogtour Deep Fear by Rachel Lynch


DI Kelly Porter is back. But will this new case push her beyond her limits?

On a peaceful summer’s morning in the Lake District, a woman’s body is discovered outside a church. She’s been murdered and a brutal, symbolic act performed on her corpse. DI Kelly Porter is in charge of the team investigating the crime, and is determined to bring the killer to justice. But as more deaths occur it is clear this is the work of a disturbed, dangerous and determined individual. Can Kelly put the puzzle pieces together before the danger comes closer to home?

A beautiful setting, a heinous crime, and a cop with troubles of her own…  

The second book to feature DI Kelly Porter, Deep Fear is a cracking read. It moves along well and keeps you thoroughly involved in the story from page one right until the very end.

You don’t need to have read the previous book to enjoy this one but it does make the experience better if you have.

I really like the character of Porter, she’s tough and needs to be given everything she has on her plate, family wise. There’s an awful lot going on outside of the workplace.

Rachel Lynch lives near London with her husband and two children. Her husband left the Army in 2013 and they are now concentrating on being civilians. Canelo signed the first three books in the DI Kelly Porter series and Rachel is currently writing the fourth.

#BlogBlitz Faceless by Rob Ashman

After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined…

One chapter, it’s all you need, trust me…..

I say that because even before the end of the first chapter I knew I was going to love Faceless. DI Rosalind Kray is just the kind of female protagonist I love.  A feisty, no nonsense, straight talker she is everything that compels you to keep on reading, not only to discover the messes she’ll get herself into, but to revel in the way she gets out of them too.

Told in alternating narratives between Kray and the killer, it’s a read that will keep you guessing from page to page, it will at times have you horrified, the killer is more depraved than any I have read for some time.

All this said you will still be unable to put the book down.  I sat and read it in one sitting  and recommend you find yourself a comfy corner and huddle yourself up with all things cosy so you can enjoy.  Don’t do a LifeOfCri.me and sit in the dark, during torrential rain and a thunderstorm…..

 

 

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

#blogtour Motherland by G D Abson

Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. But as she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion. 

 

Bringing modern day St Petersburg to life, with amazing narrative, Motherland puts you right in the heart of Putin’s Russia.  Featuring every possible ‘faction’ you could imagine from the criminal Mafia, to the political FSB and the very public ‘legitimate’ Oligarchs of modern day, Motherland is a fascinating read.    Whilst it did take me one or two attempts to get into the story,  Once I did I loved it, and I definitely say that, once you have familiarised yourself with names etc, in the the beginning it will then keep you up all night because you want to see how tenacious Captain Natalya Ivanova is going to navigate her working obstacles, home life issues, and get to the bottom of a case far from as straightforward as it would appear.

I my opinion, if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t class this as a debut novel because it is so well written, and I’m certainly looking forward to more from Natalya….

 

G.D. Abson was born in County Durham (England) and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, which was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

#blogtour Stench by AB Morgan

Rory Norton didn’t always make his living as a motorbike instructor and he went to great lengths to leave his past life behind, to start again.

He thought he had succeeded, until the body of a missing woman is discovered under the floor of his cottage. Only then do the guilt and shame of his wife’s mysterious, untimely death and the accusations about his connection to the missing woman combine to break him.

The question is not how the missing woman died but why, and who is responsible?

Sometimes the truth stinks.

Starting literally with a bad smell, alone with suspected rats, a dead body, and Rory’s odd behaviour, Stench has a great opening which launches you straight into a story that ‘reeks’ of mystery.

The story unravels through Rory and Anna, as we discover the truth behind their lives, and deaths. It’s a gripping tale that you will want to rip through, but I suggest taking your time, as the character of Anna needs some careful thought and understanding, due to the problems she faces with her mental health.  It is in this character that once more Morgan’s previous life within the NHS really comes to the fore, creating a truly troubled soul.

I recommend this one as a great book club read, as I’m certain that Anna’s behaviour and that of those around her will make for an interesting discussion.

 

 

Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.

Alison worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line. She eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes and her career juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.

Her first two novels, A Justifiable Madness and Divine Poison, were inspired by her career as a psychiatric nurse and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Then she stepped sideways and wrote a gritty psychological thriller, The Camera Lies. All published by Bloodhound Books, Alison’s novels have received excellent reviews and inspired many an interesting debate. Above all, they are entertaining reads and, despite dark subjects, will raise a smile.

#blogtour Don’t You Dare by A J Waines

What if your daughter becomes your enemy?

When barmaid, Rachel, discovers her soon-to-be-married daughter, Beth,​ pinned down by a stranger in the pub cellar, Rachel lashes out in panic and the intruder ends up dead. In desperation, Rachel convinces Beth they should cover up the crime and go ahead with the planned wedding in one month’s time.

Rachel, however, has her own reasons for not involving the police.

Hiding their dreadful secret is harder than they both imagined and as the big day approaches and the lies multiply, Beth becomes a liability. Rachel looks on in dismay at the hen party​ ​when, after too many drinks, Beth declares she’s about to make a special announcement. But before Beth can say a word, she disappears…

When two people share a chilling secret, can both hold their nerve?

 

Adeptly written and addictive, Don’t You Dare is a clever look on the relationship between a mother and her daughter in the wake of a mistaken, and deadly act that binds them together in its secrecy, whilst tearing them apart in its weight.

Rachel and Beth are the kind of characters that you will like and support, whilst at the same time disliking them too.  It makes for a great read as you go through the love/hate with them both and any book that emotionally connects you to it in that way is a sure fire winner for me.

Intense and twisty, you won’t see what’s coming and I guarantee you will be more than eager to find out, the deeper you get in, the faster you want to get out because you won’t be able to help yourself.

#Blogtour Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone

In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery.

On a clandestine trip to The Inch – the new volcanic island – to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery of his corpse secret.

Desperate to know how he died, but also terrified she’ll be exposed, Surtsey s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she’s done…

I’ve read quite a lot of Doug’s previous novels, which I have enjoyed, but this one had me a tad nervous, with it’s ‘re-imagining’ of Edinburgh, but I need not have worried.  I found it far easier than I believed it would be to envisage the setting, but Johnstone’s writing made it simple for me.

Faultlines is a slow burn novel, written tightly.  There is no single piece of ‘filler’ in there at all, every word moves the narrative along brilliantly,  which is a bigger challenge than you might think.  This style meant that it only took me a handful of hours to read with only time for sipping a drink to move my eyes away from my Kindle screen.

Definitely not one to read on your bus / train journey as you’ll likely miss your stop.

 

 

 

 

#Blogtour The Adulterer’s Wife by Leigh Russell

Julie is devastated to learn that her husband, Paul, is having an affair. It seems her life can’t get any worse – until she comes home to find his dead body in their bed.

When the police establish he was murdered, Julie is the obvious suspect.

To protect her son from the terrible situation, Julie sends the teenage boy to his grandparents in Edinburgh while she fights to prove her innocence.

With all the evidence pointing to her, the only way she can escape conviction is by discovering the true identity of her husband’s killer.

But who really did murder Paul?

The truth is never straightforward…

The Adulterer’s Wife, is Leigh Russell’s first foray into psychological thrillers amid an extremely successful career of writing police procedurals.  This is just one of the reasons why I was excited to read this book, I’ve read many authors over long periods of time and I find it thrilling when any choose to move away from their ‘norm’ and embrace a new challenge.

This book is such a thing and it was fabulous, I slipped into the story easily, comfortable in the knowledge of Leigh’s style and pace, but eager to discover this whole new ‘side’ to one of my favourite authors, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Julie’s flawed character might make you question yourself, would you make the decisions she made? Would you have behaved differently? You may think her actions questionable, but how would you react in a similar situation?  When a book makes me not only wonder the motivations of the character, but to also ask myself these sorts of questions as I’m reading, I consider that to be a winner.

It’s a definite one sitting read, and perfect for one of those lazy days by the pool, or sunbathing in the garden.  You won’t put it down until you are done.

My only lingering thought is that no matter how focused I was on the matters of the day, would I not truly realise my husband was dead?

 

 

 

Bryant & May – Hall of Mirrors by Christopher Fowler

The year is 1969 and ten guests are about to enjoy a country house weekend at Tavistock Hall. But one amongst them is harbouring thoughts of murder. . .

The guests also include the young detectives Arthur Bryant and John May – undercover, in disguise and tasked with protecting Monty Hatton-Jones, a whistle-blower turning Queen’s evidence in a massive bribery trial. Luckily, they’ve got a decent chap on the inside who can help them – the one-armed Brigadier, Nigel ‘Fruity’ Metcalf.

The scene is set for what could be the perfect country house murder mystery, except that this particular get-together is nothing like a Golden Age classic. For the good times are, it seems, coming to an end. The house’s owner – a penniless, dope-smoking aristocrat – is intent on selling the estate (complete with its own hippy encampment) to a secretive millionaire but the weekend has only just started when the millionaire goes missing and murder is on the cards. But army manoeuvres have closed the only access road and without a forensic examiner, Bryant and May can’t solve the case. It’s when a falling gargoyle fells another guest that the two incognito detectives decide to place their future reputations on the line. And in the process discover that in Swinging Britain nothing is quite what it seems…
So gentle reader, you are cordially invited to a weekend in the country. Expect murder, madness and mayhem in the mansion!

Man, oh man, oh man, I loved this. I even had to go against all my instincts and stretch out the reading, because I just didn’t want to get to the end and have to wait another year for the next one.  Just *love* Bryant & May.

The release of a new Bryant and May novel is always a big event at LifeOfCri.me Manor.  Each eagerly awaited edition is devoured, normally, and when the opportunity arises to get a chance of an early copy it’s one that I won’t miss.  As such I found myself getting to grips with John May and Arthur Bryant in full on throwback mode, with Hall of Mirrors being set in 1969, and trying desperately to slow down my reading and swallow up each and every delicious word.

It’s definitely my favourite of the series so far, mainly because it’s one of my favourite styles of tale.  Hall of Mirrors is what Fowler calls a ‘precinct’ novel (as was White Corridor).  Everything happens in a limited space and time.  In this case an old manor house, a flooded and a closed off village, alongside a small cast of vivid characters, and of course the requisite murder.

I adored meeting younger versions of Bryant and May, and seeing the beginnings of some of their well known idiosyncrasies.  It was also fun to meet some of the earlier generations of staff at the PCU, names you will be familiar with from earlier novels but have only met fleetingly.

All of this makes Hall of Mirrors as amazing a read to satisfy the most ardent of followers, whilst making the entire series completely accessible to anyone new to Bryant and May, because it can be read and enjoyed as a completely standalone novel.  If you are new to these pair, I’m sure you will be hooked, and more than pleased to know there are another 14 books you can catch up with!

Highly recommended by me.

Captor – Anita Waller

Liz Chambers is a devoted mother who works for a successful law firm. She has two children, a husband and a blossoming career. But behind closed doors, Liz is harbouring a secret that could destroy her life.

Then the unthinkable happens, and in a frenzied attack, her young son is snatched from the home of the childminder charged with looking after him.

As Liz’s life unfolds, it becomes clear that someone is out for revenge.

Desperate to get her baby boy back, Liz must work out who is responsible for his kidnap, and why.

But as the body count begins to mount, Liz’s concern grows for the safety of her child.

Who has taken her baby?

And why is Captor so determined on revenge?

Loved, loved, loved it….

Wow. what an amazing book.  To say I couldn’t put it down doesn’t seem enough.  I felt like it was glued not just to my fingers, but to my eyes and my mind.  I didn’t have a choice. It’s *that* good.

We begin, with the disappearance of Liz’s son, and we follow through as she struggles to find him.  At the same time as uncovering the ‘secret; she has been keeping and it’s far reaching consequences.

It’s a great tale of how even the simplest of our actions, all taken with the best of intentions create ripples, like a stone thrown in pond, that can unsettle the foundations of everything we believe in.

Cape Bay Cozy Mysteries – Harper Lin

Cappuccinos, Cupcakes and  a Corpse

Francesca Amaro moves back to her hometown of Cape Bay, Massachusetts, and takes over the family business, Antonia’s Italian Cafe. She spends her days making delicious artisan cappuccinos – until she stumbles upon her neighbor’s dead body. When the police discover Mr. Cardosi was poisoned, Francesca becomes a suspect. The victim’s son, Matty, happens to be Francesca’s old high school friend. Together they uncover the secrets of the locals in order to find the killer in their idyllic beach town.

Tea, Tiramisu and Tough Guys

When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty. During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right – what if Todd is a murderer?

Margaritas, Marzipan and Murder

Summer tourist season is winding down, but the Cape Bay police find a dead body in the alley beside Mary Ellen’s Souvenirs and Gifts. Police rule it a suicide, but Francesca Amaro knows it’s murder. Who would buy a bag of souvenirs, including a box of delicious marzipan, only to commit suicide moments later?

Even though the police tell her to stay out of the case, Fran is too curious not to investigate, even though she’s running a busy and popular cafe.

Lattes, Ladyfingers and Lies

Fran is anticipating her trip to Italy with Matty…until a precious diamond ring is stolen from the town’s jewelry store and an employee is murdered. Fran suspects the store owner of insurance fraud, but what if she’s wrong? Would her life be at stake again if she butts in on another police investigation?

Americanos, Apple Pies and Art Thieves

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and Fran is baking her family’s famous apple pies for the cafe. While pie fever spreads through Cape Bay, a world-famous artist holds a special art show in the town’s modest museum in honor of his late mother, who grew up there.

Louis Cliffton’s paintings are encrusted with valuable gems and gold. At the opening night, the centerpiece of the show is stolen. When Fran investigates the case, she receives threats, and someone follows her home and vandalizes her cafe.

What kind of thief would do this? A crazy outsider – or someone from her very own town?

Cremas, Christmas Cookies and Crooks

It’s almost Christmastime in Cape Bay, and another murder has everyone in town talking. A despised new drama teacher at the local high school is killed in the school’s parking lot. The police arrest a beloved teacher, Mrs. Crowsdale, but everyone else thinks she is too nice to murder anyone. Mike, however, says they have solid evidence that proves she did it.

Sammy is particularly devastated. Mrs. Crowsdale was her favorite teacher and still her hero. Sammy begs Fran to find the real culprit. Fran isn’t so sure. Mike would be angry with her for butting in on another case. And what if more danger befalls her? After all, there are some pretty dangerous people in town….

If you love cozy crime, with good plots, cheery characters, and the occasional recipe, then this is a series for you….

Every now and the I enjoy shaking up my crime routine with some cozy crime.  Sometimes you just need to be able to giggle to yourself while still trying to figure out a mystery.

I discovered this series thanks to a random freebie purchase on Amazon, I was looking for a break from the usual and took a chance on Cappuccinos, Cupcakes and a Corpse.  I’m glad I did, devouring all six books in a little under four days.  They were such easy reads, that flowed well, kept me pleasantly entertained, and I didn’t want to put them down until I was done, as I was enjoying the growth of the stories and the writing.

There are some delightful characters in here.  I love Fran and Mattie, who bounce off  each other well. I love one of Fran’s closest friends a part time police patrol officer / detective who is trying to balance his duty, his appreciation of assistance, his dislike of civilian ‘interference’ in his cases, and their eventual consequences.

If you want a break from the ‘harder crime novels’ I recommend these.

If you want cozy crime that ‘doesn’t include cats’, I recommend these.

If you want a great mystery, without the ‘gory details’, I recommend these.

Enjoy.