Deadly Waters – Dot Hutchison

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Florida journalism undergrad Rebecca Sorley is like any other college student. She tries to keep up with her studies, her friends, and her hot-tempered roommate, Ellie, who regularly courts trouble with the law.

When a male student’s remains are found in alligator-infested waters, the university warns students to stay away from the reptiles. But then a second body shows up, and the link is undeniable. Both men belonged to the same fraternity and had a reputation for preying on and hurting women.

Ellie has previously threatened to kill men who don’t take no for an answer. Rebecca and her friends thought Ellie was kidding. But now a vigilante killer is roaming campus—someone who knows how to dispose of rapists. Someone determined to save female students from horrible crimes.

With each passing day, those who know Ellie become more convinced she’s responsible. But if she is, stopping her might not be in everyone’s best interest…

I got this as part of my Amazon first reads line up for August, where I get to choose from a selection of reads a month before release. I selected this one after just a quick scan of the synopsis so I wasn’t sure exactly where the story was going to go, but I found it brilliant, a completely cracking read. I just sat down in the morning and didn’t stop until I finished.

Taking its theme from #metoo  it cuts through some of the hardest blockers to women looking for justice in a female shaming environment, and tackles some of those unrequired questions when it comes to who we should teach.  Women not to be themselves? or Men not to rape?

It’s an excellent story, with debate into both college culture and vigilantism.  I won’t say I enjoyed every word, some of it was close to uncomfortable, but it’s an amazingly true representation of the difficulties women face in the world today, at the same time as being a twisty thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the end.  I know I changed my mind half a dozen times until I got to there.

With that said, I will say only one more thing…

#MeToo

 

The Chalet – Catherine Cooper

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French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

 

I’ve only ever been skiing once in my life, a school trip when I was thirteen and I absolutely hated every single minute of it.  I also understood the guides disdain for the pretentious ‘richies’ that came along thinking they knew it all.  These two things for me meant a well written opening sequence had me already wanting to know what was going on…

I completely devoured this one sitting read, not being able to work out who the killer was and the truth behind the past despite a number of separate scenarios I came up with along the way.  Each one I was certain about until the next twist came along.  I couldn’t stop being intrigued about who was involved in this tale.

Totally loved it.

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.

#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.

#blogtour Motherland by G D Abson

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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 Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone

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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 If He Wakes by Zoe Lea – The Value of Keeping a Writing Journal

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The Value Of Keeping A Writing Journal

It took me roughly three years to write If He Wakes. That’s from having the initial idea, to my lovely editor saying it was ready to go. Three years. I’ve learnt a lot about the writing process in those years and the one thing I would recommend to anyone who wants to create any kind of content is to keep a writing journal. Or a notebook. Or the notepad feature on your phone even. I call mine a writing journal, but what I really mean is just having something to hand that you can write on at anytime, anywhere.

Here’s why; I had the idea for If He Wakes in a car park. My daughter was about eight months old at the time and she was in the car with me, we were waiting for my husband when inspiration struck and I had absolutely nowhere to record the initial idea. I didn’t worry. It was a great idea, a wonderful premise, there was no chance of me forgetting it, and I didn’t.

But by the time I came to write down my idea for If He Wakes, it was two hours later. I’d been to the supermarket, dealt with a crying baby, made numerous decisions about what was on the family menu for the week and I was tired. My brilliant idea, the one that had made me gasp in the car park when everything was still and quiet was reduced to seven words. ‘Woman sees husband run man over, why?’

It wasn’t hopeless, I did pick up that sentence the next day and start to develop it, but by then, I was searching out the inspiration.

I felt like I’d missed the full opportunity with that idea. I had to chase it down. I had to sit and think about what exactly I’d envisaged in that car park, where my daughter slept silently behind me.

However, if I’d had my writing journal, I know that I would have spent a good ten minutes scribbling in a feverish way everything about that premise.

The way I knew the lead character would feel pain not only mentally, but also physically at what she saw. How the shock of it would shatter everything around her, it would leave her breathless and on a course that would change her life forever. I would have been able to write down where she was, who came to her aid and what she saw. The emotions would have been so raw at the moment I had the idea, it would’ve been easy.

And when I came back to my journal the next day, my enthusiasm for it would’ve jumped off the page and bitten me all over again. I would have read the words that I scribbled down and smiled, and it would all be there, ready for me to pick up and run with.

It took me two years before I realised that having a notebook with you at all times is essential. It’s no good thinking, ‘I’ll remember that, I don’t need to write it down,’ because you will remember the idea, but you will forget your enthusiasm for it.

I used to think that people who got a notebook out and started writing at odd times were just that, odd, but now I yank mine out at any given opportunity. You never know when inspiration will strike and you never want to miss it.

You can always trust your best friend… can’t you?

When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened.

Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine… Can their friendship survive?

Two thirds of the way through this novel, I was sat in my favourite reading chair with a smug smile on my face thinking “I know where this story is going”.

I COULD NOT have been more wrong, but it was in a delightfully interesting way.

A fantastic and compelling read, I wonder just how many of you will feel the same?

Captor – Anita Waller

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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.

Blurb is the word – The Bone Field – Simon Kernick

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“If you go down to The Bone Field today, you’re in for a big surprise…”
“If you go down to The Bone Field today, you really should close your eyes”

A NEW TWIST TO A DECADES OLD MYSTERY

1990
A young woman goes missing while backpacking in Thailand.

She is never seen again.

2016
Her bones are discovered 6000 miles away in an English field and, within hours, the boyfriend who reported her disappearance all those years ago is dead.

So begins a hunt to solve her murder that will take DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd into a dark and terrifying world of corruption and deadly secrets, where murder is commonplace, and nothing and nobody is safe…

 

Grab yourself a stiff drink, settle yourself down, and prepare for a dark and twisty read that is one hell of a journey….