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.

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#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.

 

The Accident – S D Monaghan

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One mistake could change your life forever.

Tara has it all. Married and about to move into her dream home, she can’t explain why she is tempted by one last fling with her ex before she settles down.

David would do anything for Tara. So when he finds her with another man, his world starts to crumble around him.

Ryan isn’t prepared for the punch David throws at him. Stumbling, he slips over the balcony and falls three storeys to the patio below.

In one split second a man will be killed. In one split second David and Tara’s life will change forever.

How far would you go to save everything you have?

These one sitting reads are getting to be a bit of a habit for me of late, I just can’t seem to stop picking them up, and this was just another fabulous example,  I absolutely adored this book.  It’s a great read, you name it, it’s got it all, lies & deceit, blackmail, murder, and even some neighbour from hell moments that lighten the mood.

With layers of plots to unravel, it will trip you up with another twist every time you think you might have a handle on what it actually going on.

I also particularly enjoyed the characters in this book, well written and believable I totally bought into each of them from the naive Tara, to her hardworking husband, even to the point of taking a distinct dislike to the slimy architect Gordon.

Now we’re heading towards the cooler months, if you are looking for an enjoyable rainy day read, this one comes recommended by me.

Degrees of Darkness – Tony J Forder

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Pre-teen girls are being abducted from their homes and their families murdered. When Frank Rogers, once a DI with the Met and now running his own debt collection agency, is told that his own daughter is missing, his son murdered, he naturally wants to become involved with the case.

Soon Frank’s face is all over the news. In an unexpected turn of events, the killer contacts the police and says he is willing to talk, but only to Frank.

When the body of the first abducted girl is discovered, Frank realises it is a race against time to save his daughter.

In order to solve the case, Frank must work out how the killer is picking his victims.

But how do you catch a murderer who is hiding in plain sight? And can Frank solve the mystery, when he has so much to lose?

This is one of those fabulous books that just worms its way under your skin as you turn the pages.  Aptly titled, it creeps you out by degrees as one of the most heinous of serial killers I’ve read in months and one tenacious ex-cop play cat and mouse as Frank tries to locate his daughter.

Brilliantly written, and superbly paced it carefully takes you down dark corridors in your mind,    as you contemplate the cruelty of the killer.  I absolutely loved this book, and whilst it only took a couple of days to read I savoured every chapter.  In a genre that is currently filled with fast paced, race to the end it was a delight to read something different.  Whilst it is still a race against time thriller, it gives a really genuine feel for the passage of time, building the tension carefully.

It’s not an easy book to read, as it can be quite disturbing in places, but that is what makes it all the more compelling.  Highly recommended as a deeply dark and disturbing read for anyone who loves being entirely absorbed in a difficult world.

12 Words with Paul Finch

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Paul Finch studied History at Goldsmiths, London, before becoming a cop in the north west of England. He then let his passion for writing allow him to follow a career in journalism. Now a full time writer, he first cut his literary teeth penning episodes of the British TV crime drama, THE BILL, and has written extensively in the field of children’s animation. However, he is probably best known for his work in thrillers and horrors.

Today as part of the LifeOfCri.me Theakstons Crime countdown he’s taking on our 12 word challenge.

 

Rules

All answers must be complete sentences and completed in no more than 12 words

Contractions Count.  It’s = 2 words

LOC: Your latest release Ashes to Ashes is your sixth book to feature Detective Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, what can you tell us about it?

PF: It is the darkest and most violent of the hecks to date

LOC: You are particularly evil to your protagonist, regularly putting him through the mill, why?

PF: I believe that personal jeopardy is intrinsic to a good crime thriller

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

PF: A bit haphazard, but it seems to get the job done

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

PF: Because my writing matters to me, that does not mean it matters

LOC: What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring authors?

PF: Pay attention to your rejections, and make sure you learn from them

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?

PF: The Cartel by Don Winslow

LOC: Why?

PF: The ultimate account of a lone cops war against organised crime

finally just for laughs…

LOC: Thanks to the author Angela Marsons you’ve just woken up on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with only an ironing board, a box of matches and an armadillo. What do you do?

PF: Warm the armadillo’s feet (through the board), to check out his moves.

John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.

A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.

But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck…

#blogtour Little Boy Found by L K Fox

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WHEN HE FOUND HIS LITTLE BOY, NICK THOUGHT THE NIGHTMARE WAS OVER . . . IT WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING.

One rainy morning, just after Nick drops off his young son Gabriel outside the crowded school gates, he has a minor collision with another car. The driver won’t surrender his insurance details, so Nick photographs the licence plate. When he gets home, he enlarges the shot on his phone and spots something odd about the picture – Gabriel in the back seat, being driven away by a stranger. Nick needs to know what happened to his boy, but losing Gabriel turns out to be far less terrible than the shock of finding him. Now, to discover the truth, he must relive the nightmare all over again…Be warned, this is not another missing child story: what happened to Nick and his son is far more shocking.

 

When you hear one of your favourite authors has taken up a pen name and written a new book, in a different style it often casts the authors shadow over your thoughts, when you decide to read the new novel.  So I was really happy that I was already over half way through my advance copy before I became aware that it had been written by Christopher Fowler. It was great to be able to form my opinions without prior knowledge and meant I had a genuine feel for the writing and its flow.

With a distinctly different take on the usual crime of a missing child, Little Boy Found is a gripping read, that really didn’t take long for me to become completely addicted to with regard to discovering what really happened to Nick’s son, and determined not to put the book down until I knew the truth for myself.  I felt I was just as determined as Nick was to put the pieces together and solve the riddle of Gabriel’s last day, and often as amazed by each revelation along the way.

Little Boy Found is told from the perspective of two central characters, both of whom are broken, struggling with their lives,  their relationships with family, friends and partners whilst trying to understand and come to terms with the tragedies that have befallen them. It’s a well paced read and has plenty twists and turns to keep you off kilter as you try and figure out who was responsible for what happened, how and why.

If you are looking for your next lazy day read Little Boy Found comes highly recommended by me.

 

 

 

The Step-Mother – Claire Seeber

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Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.

No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.

And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.

Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending… doesn’t it?

 

As an unofficial (but officially as of next year) step mother I’m always keen to read novels about blended families, as whilst my own situation has been an easy one to accept due to the age of my fiancé’s son when we met, it’s still a subject close to my heart. So when I was offered an advance copy of The Step-Mother, the latest novel by an author of whom I have long been an admirer, I accepted it with glee.

As I said I’ve been an admirer of Claire Seeber’s novels for a long time, but have to say that The Step-Mother is a fantastic step up in her skills, and deserving of all the advance praise I have been seeing on GoodReads, and from other reviewers.  I was hooked from the very beginning, and immediately all I wanted for Jeanie was the happy ending she was desperate for.

Told alternately between the narratives of Jeanie and her sister Marlena, it is an ingenious web of intrigue, so cleverly and intricately plotted that you’ll constantly change your mind as you who is up to no good, go through just about every possible culprit and still be left guessing by the end of it all.

What I enjoyed most about this novel was the profound emotional response I felt towards the characters as I was reading.  I wanted to scream at Matthew for being a useless dick, shout at her sister for being to wrapped up in her own problems, and felt every moment of shock, fear and helplessness of Jeanie as her happy ever after unraveled before her.

It’s a gem of a book that I read in just two sittings, and that was only because I had to go to bed.  It’s highly recommended by me.