#BlogTour A Deadly Game by Joanne Griffiths

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Kate Palmer, an undergraduate student, discovers that she is pregnant and makes the decision to drop out of university. However, on the evening before she returns home, her body is discovered in Aston park. She is the first victim of several murders that will rock the city of Birmingham.

Detective Sergeant James “Jim” Wardell, who has his own issues to contend with, is given the case.

When Eddie Carter, a popular talk show host on Birmingham’s Radio Station, is contacted by someone claiming to be the killer, it is the start of a cat and mouse game between a deranged killer and the police.

After a second body is discovered the pressure mounts on the police to capture the man responsible.

Who is killing these women and why?

Can Jim capture the twisted killer before more innocent women are murdered?

Totally addictive….

I’ve been struggling with catching up on my reading of late, picking books up and discarding them after just a few pages.  A Deadly Game, has just fixed the problem  😉

It’s really easy to get engrossed in this book after just a few short pages, and that addiction stays with you. I sat up all night to get to the end because I just didn’t want to put it down until I had finished, a good job I wasn’t working the next day!

It’s a fantastic police procedural, I’m not quite sure if I’ve made up my mind about Jim yet, but that’s just me.  I tend to prefer the usual ‘broken’ detective and whilst his lack of failings is promising, I”m always waiting for the fall.

What I must say, is how well written the representation of an abusive relationship is.  It’s an often tackled subject in crime novels, but one which doesn’t always give a true reflection of the beliefs of the partner on the receiving end.

I genuinely loved reading this book, and I’m honestly looking forward to how the writer develops Jim as a character, it could be fun, depending on how evil Joanne decides to be on her protagonist 😉

Enjoy all.

 

 

 

#BlogTour – Fight Or Die by James Hilton – exclusive extract

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When the Gunn brothers Danny and Clay answer a call to help old friends, they are plunged into a volatile and deadly situation. Larry and Pamela Duke own one of the most popular nightclubs in the Spanish resort town of Ultima, but a local gang known as the Locos are determined to take it. Danny and Clay are hired to protect the club, but new adversaries enter the game. Against such odds there are only two choices: fight or die…

Ortega had spent two years in one of Spain’s toughest prisons, where he’d been in the company of many vicious men. He’d also been in enough street fights to recognise a dangerous prospect when he saw one. He studied the big American with practised eyes, made subtle calculations behind his unwavering façade. The man was about six-five, maybe more. His accent unmistakable. Powerful-looking with enough scars on his face to give him a sinister edge. Well over two hundred pounds. Big arms and shoulders. But he wasn’t slow: two experienced Locos had gone down in a few seconds. This Clay could be real trouble.
Got to take him out!
Ortega set himself.
Do it now!
But then the big man did something unexpected. He started to walk away. “You know what? This is none of my business; go ahead and do what you were gonna do. I’m going for a beer further down the road.”
Ortega looked at the big man’s back as he stalked away. No way was this American pig leaving here in one piece. He snatched at his knife and lurched after Clay. With deadly intent, he aimed for the kidney and slammed his blade forward—but all he hit was air.
The big man wasn’t there. He’d turned in a subtle pivot and now had Ortega’s arm caught at the wrist and wrapped up at the elbow. Ortega had been in a few arm-locks in his time but this was unlike anything he’d experienced before. When a cop had you in a hold they were trying to restrain you. This was very different.
Pain erupted in his arm, a sudden heat like boiling water in the joint of his elbow. The two men locked eyes in a battle of wills. Ortega strained against the hold.
The big man braced his arms and chest in one severe movement and Ortega felt his elbow joint first hyper-extend and then dislocate fully in a mind-numbing separation of bone and sinew. Ortega felt his legs begin to give way beneath him as his knife clattered to the floor.
“Well I guess you won’t be signing any deeds after all,” said Clay.
Ortega found his voice, but all he could emit was a high-pitched series of gasping curses.
The woman’s—Pamela’s—voice rang out from behind the bar. “You know you’re right, Mr Vincenzo Ortega. My husband isn’t a match for you anymore, but you’ll find that good men have good friends and Clay here is one of the best. Tell your boss that we’re not interested and won’t be railroaded. Any more shit like today and he’ll be the one out of business. For good.”
“You piece of shi—” Ortega’s response was cut short by an elbow to his face. A quick spin by Clay coupled with a few running steps and Ortega found himself crashing out into the street.
Seconds later Donal and Aspanu were dumped unceremoniously by his side. Clay glowered down at the fallen gangsters. “You’d better listen to the lady. If you come back again, I’ll be mighty upset. These are decent people. Bring crap like this here again and you’ll pay dearly; unlike the easy ride you got today.”
Ortega began to vow retribution but discovered that his mouth didn’t work. That fucker had broken his jaw! He struggled to his feet, both dislocated arm and shattered jaw sending a barrage of pain through his nervous system.
The big man pointed to the knife embedded in Donal’s blood-soaked thigh. “Hey, you might want to get that looked at.”
Aspanu had regained consciousness and was looking around, blinking rapidly, clearly trying to make sense of the situation. A fierce grunt and head nodding from Ortega sent him scurrying towards a black Mercedes parked kerbside. Aspanu unlocked the car and then helped Ortega into the passenger seat. Donal, still bleeding profusely and glassy-eyed, was hauled up and pushed without ceremony onto the back seats. The Mercedes then sped away, causing an oncoming car to swerve out of its path.

Death At The Seaside – Frances Brody

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Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

I’m a big fan of cosy mysteries, so it’s quite surprising to note that this was the first Frances Brody novel I have read, despite the fact that this is the eighth book in her series featuring Kate Shackleton. With that in mind it was no hinderance to my enjoyment of the novel. As far as I could tell there are no spoilers in here for previous books, and I felt no need to have read any of them before this one, although there are plenty of references to past events that have given me a keen interest in catching up with some of the earlier books.

It’s a great read that’s ideal for snuggling up in a cosy armchair on a wet miserable afternoon and transporting yourself to the beautiful seaside resort. I loved the genuine sense of time and place I felt when reading Death at the Seaside, falling completely for the 1920’s atmosphere, of this truly British seaside mystery.

There are delightful characters, and a an intriguing plot line to ensure you keep turning the pages, which you will clearly want to keep doing.  If you love some good old fashioned escapism, this is definitely the book for you.

Kill Me Twice – 12 Words with Anna Smith

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CR: LUKE INMAN

Anna Smith is an award-winning journalist who spent a lifetime in daily newspapers, reporting from the front line all over the world, and who has been the first on the scene in many world shaking events. She now writes full time, using her vast experience as a journalist to create the hugely popular series featuring Rosie Gilmour, a gritty Glasgow journalist who tears down the walls of corruption and will stop at nothing to get her story.

Today, as part of her blog tour for the latest Rosie Gilmour release Kill Me Twice, Anna is taking on the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.

 

Rules
 
Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)
 
Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: Kill Me Twice is the latest novel in your series featuring Rosie Gilmour,  What can you tell us about it?

AS: Rosie tears down the wall of lies, from showbiz to Westminster.

LOC: How would you sum up Rosie to someone new to your writing?

AS: Rosie’s a gritty, tough frontline journalist with a shade of vulnerability.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

AS: I become wrapped up in Rosie’s life, I forget the real world!

LOC: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

AS: If you believe in your story and characters, someone else will.

LOC: Any tips for aspiring authors?

AS: Finish what you started, and keep writing. Have faith.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

AS: Morning walk on a sunny in Spain or Ireland, writing in the afternoons.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

AS: The Burning Room, Michael Connelly

LOC: Why?

AS. Been so busy this year, I’m still not finished it. But it’s brilliant!

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author David Mark you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of a TV Talent show, with only, a wagon wheel, your teenage diaries and a human foot. What do you do?

AS: Read diary: ‘I knew the road trip had gone wrong when I woke up next to a severed foot.’

 

9781784294793Dangerous secrets threaten to destroy lives from the sink estates of Glasgow to the corridors of Westminster in this latest case for Rosie Gilmour.

A beautiful model’s death uncovers an ugly conspiracy stretching all the way to Westminster in Rosie Gilmour’s darkest case to date.

When rags-to-riches Scots supermodel Bella Mason plunges to her death from the roof of a glitzy Madrid hotel, everyone assumes it was suicide. Except that one person saw exactly what happened to Bella that night, and she definitely didn’t jump. But Millie Chambers has no one she can tell – alcoholic, depressed herself and now sectioned by her bullying politician husband, who would believe her? And that’s not all Millie knows. Being close to the heart of Westminster power can lead to discovering some awful secrets…

Back in Glasgow, Rosie’s research into Bella’s life leads to her brother, separated from her in care years before. Dan is now a homeless heroin addict and rent boy, but what he reveals about Bella’s early life is electrifying: organised sexual abuse in care homes across Glasgow. Bella had tracked him down so that they could tell the world their story. And now she’s dead.

As Rosie’s drive to expose the truth leads her closer to Millie and the shameful secrets she has kept for so many years, it becomes clear that what she’s about to discover could prove fatal: a web of sexual abuse linking powerful figures across the nation, and the rot at the very heart of the British Establishment…

Thin Ice Blog Tour – Exclusive Extract

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imageSnowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter…

When two small time crooks rob Reykjavík’s premier drug dealer hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show.  Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.

Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eirikur and Helgi, find themselves at a dead end, investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.

Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages….

As part of the Thin Ice blog tour, here’s an exclusive extract to whet your appetite for more.

 

‘I will not get over it!’ Erna yelled at the top of her voice. ‘What’s going on? Why are we here? I don’t even believe that’s a real gun and I’ve a good mind to just walk out the door this minute.’ 

‘Go on,’ Össur hissed, ‘try it. See what happens.’ 

Erna stood up and stalked towards him, her hands on her hips, glaring down at him from the extra height two inches of heels gave her while Össur sat still, looking up at her from under heavy lids. 

‘I don’t believe you. I think you’re a petty, thieving conman, and I don’t believe for a second that you’d dare carry a gun if it was real. I’ve half a mind to give you a slap and go to that phone in the lobby and call the police.’ 

The report was deafening, and as the smoke cleared there was a rattling of metal from one of the cupboards. Össur had fired without taking his eyes from Erna’s face and he watched her expression dissolve from fury into disbelief as her hands went to her mouth. 

‘God . . .’ she whispered. 

They looked to see a hole punched neatly in the cupboard door while Erna gradually sank to the floor on her knees. 

‘I think the lady . . .’ Össur said with a sneer. ‘The lady has had a shock. So maybe she’d feel better if she went to lie down for a while?’