Thursday, 25 February 2021

One by One by Chris Carter

One by One (Robert Hunter, #5)One by One by Chris Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 512

Publisher - Simon & Schuster UK

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

'I need your help, Detective. Fire or water?' Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD's Homicide Special Section receives an anonymous call asking him to go to a specific web address - a private broadcast. Hunter logs on and a show devised for his eyes only immediately begins. But the caller doesn't want Detective Hunter to just watch, he wants him to participate, and refusal is simply not an option. Forced to make a sickening choice, Hunter must sit and watch as an unidentified victim is tortured and murdered live over the Internet. The LAPD, together with the FBI, use everything at their disposal to electronically trace the transmission down, but this killer is no amateur, and he has covered his tracks from start to finish. And before Hunter and his partner Garcia are even able to get their investigation going, Hunter receives a new phone call. A new website address. A new victim. But this time the killer has upgraded his game into a live murder reality show, where anyone can cast the deciding vote.



My Review

A dangerous and callous killer, victims picked at random, each death more gruesome than the previous. Hunter and Garcia are on the case once again, the killer is reaching out to them and showing them the murders in real time, online. When they take it a step further and broadcast live online, inviting Joe Public to take part - like the sickest reality show you will ever see. How do you begin to hunt a killer that has targets no-one can predict, is super smart and the world is watching every step of the way.

This is book five in the series and you can absolutely read as a standalone but the previous books are so good you should go back and read them first. Not for the faint hearted or squeamish as the books/killers are really graphic. Short chapters WHICH I LOVE but are brutal for the old just one chapter before bed.

A super smart killer, the cops are scrambling trying to get a lead but for once Hunter and co are many steps behind. Pacey, gorey, shocking, what we have come to expect from Carter but still manages to keep it fresh. 4/5 for me this time, got the next few waiting to be read, it won't be long!



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Sunday, 21 February 2021

Allegation by R G Adams - Blog Blast



Today is my post for the blog blast, for book, "Allegation" by author R. G. Adams, check out my non spoiler (as always) review for my stop.

Allegation: the page-turning, unputdownable thriller from an exciting new voice in crime fictionAllegation: the page-turning, unputdownable thriller from an exciting new voice in crime fiction by R.G. Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 320

Publisher - Riverrun

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

An evil monster exposed?

Or an innocent father condemned?

A scandal will shake a small community to its very foundations.

Sandbeach, South Wales.

Two women have come forward to make historical sexual allegations against a pillar of the local community, Matthew Cooper.

The case lands on the desk of inexperienced Social Worker, Kit Goddard, who must remove Cooper from his home and family while the investigation is carried out. Although intrepid and intuitive, she is ill-prepared for such a high-profile case.

Kit finds herself navigating a local minefield of connections and class, reputations and rumour. Unsure whether her interference is a heroic intervention or a hurtful intrusion, she knows one thing: it will have an impact. The question is whether this impact will be to expose a lie, or destroy an innocent life...



My Review

Kit Goddard is a social worker who finds herself landed with her first big/challenging case, still relatively new, it is a big ask. Throw into the mix it is historic allegations against one of the pillars of the community, money, charm, well connected, father of three - married Matt Cooper has everything. It is Kit's job to talk to the family, the children, wife and assess if there is a risk, is it a genuine accusation or is someone after money and is Kit about to ruin lives over malicious claims?

What a fantastic debut, Kit isn't just an inexperienced new social worker thrown in at the deep end, she comes with her own emotional baggage having been a kid known to the services herself. We follow her through many challenges just to do her job, I actually was howling at one interaction with one of her colleagues, we all know someone like her. The team is a very mixed bunch and I enjoyed the dynamics of the team. I found the whole process on the investigation really interesting, how she interacted with the kids and the authentic feel with the obstructiveness of the family.

Threats, anger, sex abuse claims against minors, small town reaction to such a shocking allegation against "one of their own" - even how some of the internal issues/obstacles when she is just trying to do her job. As well as that we get to see the very human side of Kit as more of her own past and vulnerability is exposed. I liked her, she has spunk and as I said one interaction with a colleague was absolute gold *air punch* - I hope this is a long series, I very much look forward to the next one. An engaging read, pulled in quickly and as the nature of the book is allegations of a sexual nature - it does feature/investigate although nothing graphic or gratuitous, 4.5/5 for me this time.

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Friday, 19 February 2021

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan

One Summer in ParisOne Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - HQ Stories

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely…until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

Grace can’t believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can’t believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they’ve both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them…



My Review

Meet Grace - organizer extraordinaire, super wife and mum, getting ready to celebrate her 25th anniversary with her husband. He has his own surprise, he wants a divorce and like that Grace's world falls apart. Her anniversary trip for them to Paris will not go unused, Grace is going on the holiday of a lifetime to pick up the pieces of her life and face her past and present.

Meet Audrey, a young lady with a harder home life than first appearances, she is good at hiding things. When the opportunity to go to Paris turns up she jumps at it, despite not being able to speak French, she is determined to give it a go.

A chance encounter brings Grace and Audrey into each others paths and a friendship blossoms. Audrey has much she can teach Grace and Grace has much she can offer Audrey. They are both so so very different, age, personality, life styles, attitudes and both exactly what the other needs.

Oh man I was rage at some points, some characters are so oblivious and selfish, infidelity obviously features and this isn't a spoiler - tells you in the blurb. Lots of mixed emotions and its a bit of an emotive rollercoaster, I think depending on what has happened in your own life dear reader will depend on how you are impacted by the book.

Friendship, personal growth, joy, sadness, loss, family oh there are so many themes within the book. I have read Morgan before and I will read her again - I think the book will have mixed reactions from people, again depending on your life experiences but I think pretty much everyone would enjoy it, 4/5 for me!

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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Random Acts of Kindness day

So apparently today is Random Acts of Kindness day




As you may know we already have a comp or two listed just now - check HERE

One is an Amazon x1 £5 voucher (UK only as Amazon won't allow me to gift outside my own country) and a love themed bookmark (it is the month of love) and a light up mermaid bath light. Not everyone is into mush and the poll last night on Twitter was a yesr for something horror themed. So I am adding another giveaway, worldwide, of the following, as pictured!




X1 material facemask, horror themed, with characters from horror movie "House of 1000 corpses" - it is quite thick material, tartan print on the inside.




And a wee zombie style bookmark.




Postage is ridiculous just now but as they are light the competition is open worldwide.




To enter, as usual, just fill in the Rafflecopter entries. Please only fill in entries you complete, draws are checked and every single giveaway we have disqualifications. Good luck and thanks in advance.

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You are invited by Sarah A Denzil

You Are InvitedYou Are Invited by Sarah A. Denzil
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 257

Publisher -

Source - Netgalley and bought a hardback copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When Cath receives her invitation to The Event - a monetized retreat for social media influencers - she can't believe her luck. Irene Jobert is the most famous influencer in the world, and now Cath will be one of the five participants chosen to stay with Irene in a renovated Transylvanian monastery.

The catch? Their every move will be live-streamed to millions of people around the world. Patrons pay for constant access to their favourite social media stars: Irene, the model; Nathan, the gamer; Jules, the blogger; Daniel, the fitness guru; and Cath, the writer.

Nestled halfway up a mountain, the five are isolated, with nothing but the internet to connect them to the world. That is until eagle-eyed live-stream followers all around the globe notice a sixth participant. A dark figure lurking in the background.

They thought they were alone. Perhaps they were wrong.


My Review

An opportunity of a lifetime for author Cath when she is invited to a retreat to a renovated monastery in Transylvania. Along with other influencers with the ultimate influencer Irene Jobert and a few hand selected others. Cath is quiet in comparison, doesn't have as many followers and is a bit of an introvert. They get sponsored to perform tasks, they have camera's all around and ones on their person to upload anything good. Before long it appears they are not alone, the fans are watching everything and the pressure is mounting.

The group are being watched, trying to get used to each other, everything is exposed and then things turn a bit creepy and spooky. It is a bit of a social experiment type story in the middle of a secluded and spooky location. A back story of a massacre of nuns and query some malevolent spirit still resides there, help is miles away.

Spooky, creepy, bitchy, shocking - a wee blend of some of the best elements in a story. I wasn't sure where the whole thing was going to be honest and couldn't have guessed. It made for interesting reading and a page turner because I HAD TO KNOW! 4/5 for me this time, this was my first time reading this author, it won't be my last.

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Monday, 15 February 2021

Out in the Cold by Stuart Johnstone

Out in the ColdOut in the Cold by Stuart Johnstone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Allison & Busby

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

INTUITION IS EVERYTHING IN THE POLICE FORCE, SOMETHING THAT SERGEANT DON COLYEAR KNOWS BETTER THAN MOST.



When a superior officer's decision not to respond to a routine disturbance has fatal consequences, Colyear finds himself sent away from Glasgow to work in a remote Highlands town.

Despite not wanting to be there, a feeling shared by his commander, Colyear soon settles into life investigating petty crimes. But it isn't long before he discovers something sinister about the town. A series of teenage disappearances seem to have been ignored by the authorities, and when a groundsman from the local country estate is gruesomely murdered, Colyear suspects that long-held secrets could be coming to the surface. As the town's dark secrets are revealed, Colyear must trust his instincts to stay alive.



My Review

Colyear is a cop, transferred from Glasgow to a wee town, punishment for something that happened that we aren't immediately clued up on. Colyear is a good cop he also happens to have something different about him, a wee bit more than "cops instinct". When he tried to find his place in the new town he ends up with more than he bargained for. Secrets, lies, romantic interest and instead of the wee petty crimes he initially thought he was going to be dealing with, there is something bigger going on, something people may not want him looking at.

So the "gut instinct" thing he has going I think some readers may not like but actually I really did and hopefully this will be more developed in books to come. This is book one is what I hope is a long series. I think the reason I like Colyear, besides being a good guy, is because he is down to earth, he seems to find himself in trouble A LOT but he is a decent guy.

Settling into town Colyear finds himself the focus of speculation, not exactly wanted, getting into trouble when he tries to help. And as always a wee town, it's colourful characters (language and personalities) and dodgy happenings. Chapters aren't overly long and I got pulled in quite quickly, really looking forward to book two and seeing where the series goes, 4/5 for me this time.

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Friday, 12 February 2021

The Burning Girls by C J Tudor Blog Tour

Today is my turn and final stop on the blog tour for The Burning Girls by C J Tudor, enjoy my review (non spoiler as always).



The Burning GirlsThe Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 304

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Netgalley & bought a copy

Blurb from Goodreads

An unconventional vicar moves to a remote corner of the English countryside, only to discover a community haunted by death and disappearances both past and present--and intent on keeping its dark secrets--in this explosive, unsettling thriller from acclaimed author C. J. Tudor.

Welcome to Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And two months ago, the vicar of the local parish killed himself.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping to make a fresh start and find some peace. Instead, Jack finds a town mired in secrecy and a strange welcome package: an old exorcism kit and a note quoting scripture. "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known."

The more Jack and daughter Flo get acquainted with the town and its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into their rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo is troubled by strange sightings in the old chapel, it becomes apparent that there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

But uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village where everyone has something to protect, everyone has links with the village's bloody past, and no one trusts an outsider.




My Review

I have read and enjoyed a few of Tudors books (only just realised there are a couple I still have to get) and this one is no different. Jack is a priest and been moved to a small town Chapel Croft with the teen daughter. The town welcomes them with a weird package, an exorcism kit (noone admits to sending) and some of the parishioner's are weird, rude or a bit creepy (not all of them). The town has a history , martyrs were burned hundreds of years ago, they like their tradition oh and two young girls disappeared 30 years ago but didn't ever get much of an investigation. Father Jack (I keep thinking of Father Ted when I read the name lol) is intrigued and can't help but get involved in the towns business but every village has it's secrets and some people will do anything do protect them.


So as well as all of that and some shady characters, we have weird bumps in the night, ghostly apparitions that surely cannot be true. The town has a dark and bloody history, people aren't exactly what they seem. Family, love, ghosts, spooky, freaky, darkness, murder, death - I do love the tales/characters Tudor creates.


The book has lots interwoven, small town bitchy characters/shade/bullying/mystery/intrigue, the burning girls history and what it means to the town. A new priest trying to integrate into the new position without all the facts of why they have been relocated or their predecessor. Supernatural elements, teen angst, darker and deeper levels of shade from humanity - it has so so much in one book.

Undertones and echoes of Stephen King, small town, characters to love and hate, history, town ghosts/legends and some shady shady darkness, a creeping sense of unease as you delve further into the story, fabulous, 4/5 for me this time.

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Sunday, 7 February 2021

Bitter Herbs by Marga Minco

Bitter Herbs: The vivid memories of a fugitive Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied HollandBitter Herbs: The vivid memories of a fugitive Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied Holland by Marga Minco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 128

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

The story of a Fugitive Jewish Girl in Nazi Occupied Holland

‘Whether I want to or not, I always return to 1940 – 45. Those were the years that made the most impression on me.’ Marga Minco

Marga Minco was a Jewish schoolgirl in the Holland of 1940 and survived the war in hiding. Her entire family were sent to concentration camps, none survived. Her entire body of work is informed by these facts and this short crisp semi-autobiographical novel was her debut. In it a naïve young Jewish girl escapes through a back door when her family is arrested and discovers that she has lost everyone close to her.

Written in a charmingly naïve, deceptively simple but profoundly moving style, Bitter Herbs, has been compared to Anne Frank's Diary and has become a Dutch classic


My Review

A very simplistic almost diary like account by a little girl living through the Nazi regime during world war two. When the Nazi's invade the Netherlands it isn't exactly covered by the telling of the young narrator. It is snapshots (diary like), no times, just observations as she goes about her day/routine. Whilst she never mentions the war/nazi's outright it is more what she sees, what she and her family are having to do. It is very clear to the reader what is happening and despite it being sedate the reader sees the darker implications than the innocent writing the tales.

An autobiographical that has been dubbed a classic and translated into more that ten languages. An almost sanitized telling of one little girl's survival with her being completely ignorant of what is truly happening and the horror around her. I think the fact it is so innocent actually makes it a bit more horrific, no specifics or graphic accounts are mentioned in detail but there is enough through an innocents eyes you get the pull of emotion, knowing what she is oblivious to.

A very easy to read and different approach to the horror of what people endured during this horrific time in history. For people who want to read about the time of the Nazi reign without graphic content but still captures what this family went through, 3.5/5.

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February worldwide giveaway




I did say I would sort a giveaway for worldwide. After sharing my wee mermaid bath light I have had so many messages. So I have a brand new one of them to giveaway, as pictured.


Here is the mermaid light in action - click HERE


The bookmark is magnetic, full length on both sides. I do love a magnetic bookmark.




And this is the wee light, in its original packaging.




To enter, as always, use the Rafflecopter below - please only complete entries you have actually done. Every month we have disqualifications, thanks and good luck.


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Monday, 1 February 2021

February Giveaway is now LIVE

Happy February you guys




I think I will do two competitions if I can arrange smmething in the next few days. Just now, we will go with a x1 £5 Amazon voucher. UK only guys as Amazon will not allow me to gift outside my own country.




As always please use the Rafflecopter below, only complete entries you actually do - you wouldn't believe how many disquslifications we have every single month. Good luck xxx


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