Friday, 26 November 2021

The Bloodless Boy by Robert J Lloyd Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for "The Bloodless Boy" by author Robert J Lloyd.




About the author:




Robert J. Lloyd grew up in South London, Innsbruck, and Kinshasa (his parents worked in the British Foreign Service), and then in Sheffield, where he studied for a Fine Art degree, starting as a landscape painter but moving to film, performance, and installation. His MA thesis on Robert Hooke and the ‘New Philosophy’, inspired the ideas and characters in The Bloodless Boy. He lives in Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons. This is his first book.

The book is out to buy now, click HERE to buy from AMAZON UK.


The Bloodless BoyThe Bloodless Boy by Robert J. Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in an out over 5 days

Pages - 392

Publisher - Melville House

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Amazon

The City of London, 1678. New Year's Day. The body of a young boy, drained of his blood and with a sequence of numbers inscribed on his skin, is discovered on the snowy bank of the Fleet River. With London gripped by hysteria, where rumors of Catholic plots and sinister foreign assassins abound, Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, the powerful Justice of Peace for Westminster, is certain of Catholic guilt in the crime. He enlists Robert Hooke, the Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and his assistant, Harry Hunt, to help his enquiry. Sir Edmund confides to Hooke that the bloodless boy is not the first to have been discovered. He also presents Hooke with a cipher that was left on the body. That same morning Henry Oldenburg, the Secretary of the Royal Society, blows his brains out. A disgraced Earl is released from the Tower of London, bent on revenge against the King, Charles II. Wary of the political hornet's nest they are walking into - and using evidence rather than paranoia in their pursuit of truth - Hooke and Hunt must discover why the boy was murdered, and why his blood was taken. Moreover, what does the cipher mean?


My Review

London, 1678, the body of a child is found - drained of blood, London is in a state of unrest, fear, distrust and blame is being laid toward the Catholics. Robert Hook, Curator of Experiments in the newly formed Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge with his assistant Harry Hunt are called in to investigate. What has happened to the boy, why take the blood, why was he murdered and is it anything to do with a plot against the king?

Historical crime, politics, religion, scientists in their early discoveries - it is a busy book! You can tell a lot of research and work has gone into it. My history knowledge is super patchy so there is plenty of the factual stuff that was new to me. I do enjoy reading up and seeing what has been gleamed from fact and infused into a book, it has been really well done and I think folk actually familiar with those parts of history would be impressed.

The chapters are short which you know I love but I think in this book it works really well because there is so so much to take in. Loads of characters, developments, sidelines, political, medical, plotting, underhanded behaviour, murder. Political stuff doesn't engage me nor religious but there is enough going on and chapters wee enough you are never stuck on any one thing and it is all relevant to where the story is going.

Some of the scenes are graphic and not for the faint hearted, there isn't lots of gore/violence but enough to say probably best not be eating if of a weak stomach and vivid imagination. Characters - Harry Hunt I liked, he seems like such a nice guy, curious, loyal and not seeing himself as worthy in certain aspects, I think I have a soft spot for him, wanting him happy not fancying. This absolutely doesn't read like a debut and I am looking forward to book two to see where the story goes, 4/5 for me this time!






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Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Wish You were Here by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were HereWish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 319

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Amazon

Contains an exclusive short story from Jodi Picoult featuring the main character, Diana, available in the first print run only. Pre-order now to guarantee your copy!

Diana O'Toole's life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she's up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby's and she's about to fly to the Galápagos where she's convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.

But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees.

Once she's in the Galápagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded - albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there's a better way to live.

But not everything is as it seems . . .


My Review

Covid has well and truly hit, Diana O'Toole and her doctor boyfriend and meant to be going on holiday. The hospitals are struggling and Finn encourages Diana to go the non refundable trip of a lifetime alone. Paradise has no signal, Diana ends up stranded in a place she doesn't speak the language with only a troubled teen, her angry dad and helpful gran to get through the days. We hear from Finn back home in broken correspondence from the bits of emails/messages that manages to make it across the seas.

So I know this book won't be for everyone because a lot of people don't want to read about covid. Whilst covid does feature in the book in isn't the whole focus or even the main meat of it. Diana goes on a bit of a person journey, self discovery and growth being stranded, very limited communication from back home. I loved the island she goes to, Picoult paints such a vivid picture you could see the places, smells, animals, just serene!

Then we have the aspects of covid, poor Finn, caught in the midst of it, unable to properly talk to Diana, offload, decompress - the things we do with partners during extreme stress. I think if you aren't in healthcare or haven't been affected by covid this is a fantastic book to let you see the devastation, emotional impact that covid can have, on healthcare, on a person, on relationships, there isn't really anything it doesn't impact upon.

Sometimes Picoult can knock the stuffing out of you in some of what she writes or how she constructs parts of her story. I actually uttered the words out loud "No Waaaaaay" during one part and that my friends is a teaser not a spoiler! I really liked this book, I think she wrote a really hard subject and humanised it by creating the characters the way she did. 4/5 for me this time, I do enjoy Picoult's books and have at least one or two more to catch up on so I have read them all. I need to bump them up the tbrm, this reminded me how much I like her writing!



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Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for book Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten.




About the Book



A brutal murder… When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues. A dark history… As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted. A terrible secret… In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

About the author



Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/

Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @author_noelleholten

Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

For my stop I have my, as always, non spoiler review, enjoy.

Dead Mercy (Maggie Jamieson #5)Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 3 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - One More Chapter

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

A brutal murder…
When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.



My Review

If you haven't read the previous books in the series I would suggest going back, whilst you could read this as a standalone you miss out on so much background. In this book we see DC Maggie Jamieson investigating a pretty horrific crime, someone is set on fire and teeth extracted. It also looks like the killer may just be getting started. As the violence/murderer escalates Maggie needs to investigate all angles and soon finds there is more to these killings than meets the eye.

Being book five we have gotten to know the characters and for some of us really love and invest in them. Maggie is all work work work but also looks out for her brother and we get a wee peek into her personal relationships. Her parents, her brother and in previous books we have seen Maggie go back and forth on her personal life, sexuality, pro and cons of dating and the object of her reluctant affections. Maggie is complex which makes her relatable, she champions for her victims, wants to get the right person and do a good job. She is loyal, an animal lover and honest, she is a good egg and good at what she does, I am a fan!

We see other characters we have met before, coming back, character development, I love that especially when invested in a series. The killings are brutal, graphic and Holten paints a very vivid picture, not for the faint hearted or if you are offended by swearing! Been a fan since book one and very much looking forward to seeing what is in store next for our crew, 4/5 for me this time.





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Sunday, 21 November 2021

The Jodi Arias Story - Picture Perfect by Shanna Hogan

Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias StoryPicture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story by Shanna Hogan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - St Martin's True Crime

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Mormon motivational speaker Travis Alexander, was involved in a relationship with a beautiful photographer, until it turned deadly...
In June 2008, in Mesa, Arizona, the body of 30-year-old Travis Alexander was discovered brutally murdered in his home. He had been shot in the face, slashed across the throat, and stabbed in the heart. Alexander had been a devout Mormon, handsome and hard-working, beloved by all, and his death came as an enormous shock.

Suspicion pointed to one woman: Jodi Arias. Travis had met Jodi at a conference 18 months prior, and he was instantly taken with the beautiful aspiring photographer. Separated by 400 miles, they began a long distance relationship. It became clear to Travis's friends, however, that Jodi was a lot more invested in the relationship than he was. Travis was seeing multiple women, and his relationship with Jodi eventually came to end. But rather than move on, Jodi moved from her home in Palm Desert, California to within just miles of Travis's home, where she continued to insert herself into his life.




My Review

I seen snippets of Jodi Arias interview with the police on one of those true life programs and I seen lots of folk chatting about it on true crime book groups. Jodi was arrested for the brutal murder of her ex boyfriend, this book looks at Travis's life before and after meeting Jodi.

The first chapter is Travis's body being found then chapter two and the first half of the book looks at Travis childhood all the way up to adulthood, his career path/choices and meeting Jodi. We also learn about Jodi growing up and her issues. Their meeting, relationship, breakup and staying in touch with a very toxic relationship. Then the body discovery, the damage to the body (not for the faint hearted) and the book (this version) includes 8 pages of photos, some of the crime scene, some from the camera. The interviews with Jodi, her arrest and thereafter.

I actually had to google to see what the final sentence was which you would think the book included. I imagine anyone who knew Travis would be devastated by this book, first half would be fine as it is just about him as a person and what he went through in life. However the details of the brutality of his murder and the details of his relationship and physical encounters with Jodi. Travis was a devout Mormon and Jodi held back on nothing when it came to their physical relations, the book briefly covers the horror those who knew him felt on discovering a different side to the religious devout guy they knew.

Even now Jodi continues to appeal and raise complaints against those involved in her case. The book also highlights she gave many interviews in her earlier detainment before she was charged and before she changed her story. I think true crime fans will find her an interesting study, 3.5/5 for me.



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Wednesday, 17 November 2021

The Shadows by J R Ward

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)The Shadows by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 654

Publisher - Piatkus

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads


Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...



My Review


You can read this as a standalone but as it is book thirteen of a series you do miss a lot of the back story however each book focuses on a particular character or handful of characters. Trez and his brother iAm are an accepted part of the brotherhood, welcomed to their home, firm respected friendships. Trez is on the run from his *legacy* he was promised to the queen, for the Princess, Trez has never wanted that. Now time is running out and the Royal promise/agreement will be fulfilled.

Life is never straight forward in these books, Trez finally finds someone he loves, Selena (we met her before) but of course there is a huge something that stands in the way. Then fate intervenes and they are together but he has to fulfil his duties or die. His brother iAm is the oppose of Trez, he has never been with a woman and he looks out for Trez, will do anything for him. The royals have reached out and both men will feel the effects of the promise their parents made all those years ago.

As with the other books there is graphic sex and a ton of body fluids so not for the easy offended or mortified. We see Layla and her dilemma with Xcor, I get she feels she is doing the right thing but the danger she puts herself and her unborn, I was beyond exasperated with her at times. Rhage, I don't really know what happened to him in this book, even after finishing it, clearly something is coming and I feel this is setting the scene but he wasn't our normal Rhage and I don't know why.

For the books having romance throughout this book was a bit sad. Quinn's brother Luchas we see a bit more of him in this but again not a lot so I am wondering if he might get a book of his own coming?

I didn't love this book, I didn't hate it, I was left feeling a wee bit empty, maybe loss - I don't know. Usually you get a happy sigh in amongst a lot of danger and badness, I just felt this book had flashes of a lot of the characters and storylines but no real meat for any of them. Usually the book focuses on one person/couple and then you get scenes and bits with the others. I don't know/feel like we did with this one. There was a lot going on, 3/5 for me this time. The last quarter of the book picked up more for me but yeah not my fave of the series. I have the rest to read, most on my tbrm and I look forward to where the story goes but rooting for Layla to sort her crap out!







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Tuesday, 16 November 2021

The Lost by Simon Beckett blog tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for "The Lost" by Simon Beckett. For my stop I have my review, enjoy.




Buy link for the book, available from AMAZON UK, available for PRE ORDER HERE, Out on 25th of November.

The Lost (Jonah Colley #1)The Lost by Simon Beckett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 368

Publisher - Orion Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley's young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH

Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew - forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago...



My Review

Jonah Colley gets a call from his old friend (they haven't spoken in a long long time) asking him to meet him, he is the only one he can trust. Jonah is a cop, his pal is a cop and one thing he has never heard in his voice, fear. Jonah goes off to Slaughter Quay and finds a horrific sight before being attacked. What follows is Jonah getting suspicion from his fellow officers, he needs answers to what happened and his past comes back with a vengeance, a past he thought had been grieved over, a link to his missing child.

The book is pretty fast paced and Jonah has to be one of the most unlucky people/police officers ever. We learn about his past, what happened to his marriage and with the brutal murders he has been linked to he NEEDS answers. Add to all that he is banged up pretty badly it isn't an easy task. The past and present gets interlinked and we flip back a few times to Jonah's past all the while questioning why the crackpot went to an abandoned place to meet his auld pal he hasn't spoken to in so long.

Colley is a flawed character, he makes mistakes, he seems weak at times then surprises you with gumption and strength. The story is a bit like an onion, lots and lots of layers, a fair few characters but written well enough to not distract or take away from the plot. There was one character I would have liked a bit more scenes and information from, I think, for the smart parts they appeared they were a great addition to the story. I hope this is the first in a new series and we hear more from some of the characters, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 15 November 2021

Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls by Michelle Rawlins

Today is my turn and last stop on the blog tour for "Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls" by author Michelle Rawlins.





For my stop I have my review, enjoy!

Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls (The Steel Girls #2)Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls by Michelle Rawlins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - HQ

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

With the country at war, can they come together this winter?

Winter, 1939
As December draws nearer and with her family facing their first Christmas without Bert, Nancy is desperately trying to keep up her children’s spirits and her own.

Young Patty should be excited to be spending her first festive season with sweetheart Archie, but why does she worry he’s keeping something from her?

Betty is missing her beloved William as he continues his RAF training but she’s determined not to sit around wallowing. In the midst of the coldest winter on record and with the introduction of rationing, times are tougher than ever but Betty has an idea to make sure nobody goes without this winter.

And with our Steel Girls rallying around each other, can there still be hope this Christmas?

The second novel in the new heartwarming Steel Girls series following our feisty factory sister’s bravery and hope during wartime, perfect for fans of Nancy Revell and Elaine Everest.



My Review

so I didn't realise this was book two in a series but you can absolutely pick this up as a standalone. We have a Betty, I LOVE a Betty as you know so boxes being ticked already. 1939, winter and families are trying to adjust to their loved ones off to war. Positions changed, women were working in the steel factory to aid the cause and to make ends meet. Betty, Patty and Nancy - working together, surviving each day and looking forward to things being back to normal.

Aw you guys, a wee Betty and omg she is an actual scone. So kind, thinking of others, she is just a tonic to read. I have been reading horror for October reads and some of that was really dark and creepy. So to come into a book where the people are doing their bit, pulling together despite living through such horrible times. Loved ones away to war, rationing coming in and still people go over and above for each other, a sense of belonging and community.

We have the courting and relationships strengthening, families missing their loved ones, new relationships blossoming and an authentic feel for that time period. I actually liked it so much I bought the first book in the series when I finished this so I can read more on the characters and look forward to the next in the series. Survival, loved, relationships, hope in a time of darkness, community, love and strength. It is more about the people and them getting through each day than the darker aspects of or intricate details of the actual war, 4/5. This was my first dance with this author but it won't be my last.



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Sunday, 14 November 2021

Baby It's Cold Outside by Emily Bell

Today is my stop on the blogtour.




For my stop I have my review, enjoy.




Buy link from AMAZON UK, available now on kindle and treebook.

Baby It's Cold OutsideBaby It's Cold Outside by Emily Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Penguin Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

FATE PULLED THEM APART BUT NOT BEFORE THEY MADE A PROMISE.

TEN CHRISTMASES LATER WILL THEIR WISH COME TRUE . . .

As Norah battles alone, yet again, through the bustling December crowds outside Fortnum & Mason, she hears the first notes of a busker's song that transports her back to the most romantic week of her life.

Laughing under an Italian sky, knowing they had to part, Andrew made her a promise:

If they are both single on Christmas Eve in ten years' time, they will meet under the clock on Grafton Street, Dublin.

Norah has no idea if Andrew will remember, but she has nothing to lose.

So that's where she decides to go. To Dublin. To that clock. Hoping for a Christmas miracle with Andrew.

But it wouldn't be Christmas without a few surprises . . .



My Review

Everyone has that ex, be it a holiday romance, the one who got away, the what if. For Norah that was Andrew, a short but intense romance where they both agreed, if they were both single in ten years they would meet in Dublin at a cafe, under a clock, Christmas Eve, 6pm. Well Norah is single, blew off by her mum and her womaniser pal Joe agreed to go with her, a wee adventure.

This is definitely a cozy read, we experiences two *timelines* - we go back to when Norah and Andrew and meet, their time together and how their promise comes to be. The other, present day, the remembrance of the promise and the trip towards the agreed meeting point, will he be there, won't he?

Norah annoyed me a wee bit at times with some of her behaviour and choices but I think that makes it a bit more real cos you know what us humans are like sometimes. This is my first time reading this author, I look forward to reading more!

Romance, friendships, relationships, a wee tour about Dublin, I think this would be a fab book to read when there so you can experience the places as they do! Norah goes on a bit of a journey, physically and a good dose of personal growth heading to an agreed location/meeting but the journey there may lead to something entirely different. Apart from a few correspondences with Andrew back then and missed opportunities to meet up they haven't seen each other in ten years. So much unknown, so much what ifs but Norah is ready to check it out and we are absolutely along for the ride.





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Friday, 12 November 2021

Stolen Ones by Angela Marsons

Stolen Ones (Detective Kim Stone #15)Stolen Ones by Angela Marsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 324

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

25 years ago he took a girl. Today he takes another.
One August afternoon, eight-year-old Grace Lennard skips into the garden of the childcare centre she attends and vanishes into thin air.

Hours before, Steven Harte walks into Halesowen police station and confesses to having information that will lead Detective Kim Stone to Melody Jones – the little girl who was taken from a playground exactly twenty-five years ago. But something about his confession is off and Kim dismisses his claims.

Arriving at the scene of Grace’s disappearance, Kim finds a chilling piece of evidence: the heart bracelet belonging to Melody. Now Kim must play Steven’s twisted game if she is to find Grace alive. But they’re going to play by Kim’s rules.

With only twenty-four hours to make every second of Steven’s interrogation count, and scan his behaviour for hidden clues, Kim and her team soon link Steven to the abduction of several vulnerable girls – two were kept for a year and then released, unharmed – but where are Melody and the others?

Then small bones are discovered in the grounds of a local park, and Kim fears the worst.

Kim may be close to convicting a killer, but there’s another who wants revenge against her – Dr Alex Thorne – the evil woman Kim did her best to keep behind bars. Alex is about to reveal a shocking secret to Kim that will hit her where it hurts the most. And if Kim lets Alex mess with her head, she might not be able to save Grace and find the other missing girls in time.

An edge-of-your-seat thriller that will leave your heart in your mouth. You will be totally hooked on the utterly addictive, number one, multi-million-copy bestselling Detective Kim Stone series.


My Review

Book fifteen guys! If you haven't read the others you should because 1. They are fab and 2. There is a huge backstory, the team have been through a ton. However you could read this as a standalone but as we see characters from previous stories and they are epic anyway, go read them.

Stone is on the case, a child goes missing from a public place and it looks like she hasn't been the only one, this has happened before. When Steve Harte, millionaire, walks into the police station voluntarily, hinting at knowing about child disappearances, teasing clues/information about an old missing child case. Stone has no time for his crap, she has a kid missing and an old case has no bearing on this or does it? When kids disappear, when crimes happen folk often say they have information, the admit to know, they know stuff so Stone has no time for Harte's nonsense and all Harte wants is to talk to Stone, tell what he knows, under his conditions.....

So this is different, we know a kid is missing, taken and someone rocks up to the police, wanting Stone and hinting at knowing stuff. It isn't often we have a potential bad guy coming into the cops espesh at the beginning so you immediately distrust what he is projecting and we, along with Stone have to go at his pace to see if he knows anything. Plus we have the investigation into the kid and if that isn't enough the B*TCH is back. Crack pot Alex since her arrest has never been able to quite let go of Stone and now she is reaching out, why now?

I love that we have two parts if you like, the investigation/Harte and Alex. Alex is the kind of character you love to hate, I mean she is a sicko who will use any and all people and means to get what she needs and just to entertain herself.

This book takes us in new directions, cat and mouse and you don't really know what is the end game, sometimes you can work out where the book is going. From the kidnap side I had no idea and Alex always keeps you on your toes. Page turner as always - suspense, shocking behaviors from some of the characters, twists, turns - you name it - you will be entertained as always and kept going from the start. Marsons always delivers that, when we were on the investigation I wanted more Alex, when on Alex I wanted to know what was happening with Stone and the team. 4.5/5 for me this time, I cannot wait for the next installment.

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Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Sons of Brutality by Daniel Jeudy

Sons of Brutality #1Sons of Brutality #1 by Daniel Jeudy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages -

Publisher - Vivid Publishing

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads/back cover

When Detective Addison Mowbray begins investigating the murders of two young women in the Hollywood Hills, he can't imagine where the case will lead. He suspects the crimes were inspired by an occult fascination, due to some missing body parts and the inverted Christian cross branded on the victims' breasts. But apart from Addison's temperamental partner, Jed, the only other person keen on them pursuing that line of investigation is Lilly Coniglio, a medical examiner from the Coroner's Department. The LAPD is already under immense public pressure due to all the bad press another killer – a vigilante – has brought to their door: it's been over a year since the first organized-crime figure showed up full of holes, with a plastic police badge beside his body.

As Addison and Jed navigate a murky, disturbing occult landscape in search of answers, they uncover something even more terrifying than a killer hiding in the shadows: an organization so vile and powerful that it changes their lives forever. These two troubled detectives are all that stand between this organization and a spectacular season of carnage.

Set against a backdrop of urban bleakness and social inequality, 'Sons of Brutality' combines deeply flawed protagonists with human monsters, integrating strong dialogue, violent action and gripping suspense.



My Review

Detective Addison Mowbray is investigating the brutal murders of two young women in Hollywood Hills, the bodies have been mutilated. As the case progresses, Mowbray feels more and more the murders have more than a little nod to the Occult. Add into that LAPD are already under fire as another serial killer is operating in the area, killing bad guys and leaving plastic badges by the bodies. If that isn't enough for you dear reader we have a third player, Narek, high ranking in the Mafia, ruthless, racist, misogynistic, foul mouthed villain, it is a busy book!

It is a lot crammed into 328 pages, Mowbray has a lot of issues/baggage, issues with the bottle but is a good dude. We follow his investigation, hear from the killer and their views, the vigilante and the Mafia bad guy. Despite multiple storylines I didn't feel too disjointed bouncing from person to person.

This isn't for the faint hearted, there are so many dark, brutal, graphic, horrific elements, some of the characters are really sick, twisted individuals. Narek really brings up the bile, the way he speaks to, thinks about and treats women, the C word is bandied about frequently and that isn't close to being the worst, he is a racist scumbag. I found his parts quite hard going and remember there is an occult/sadist/horror individual, also dark reading but Narek really got under my skin. I think because there is so much hate/bile/abuse in reality it just touched a nerve, I was rooting for someone, anyone to pan his melt in!

I would love to see the vigilante get more *air time* - I got echoes of a bit of Jack Reacher code from him. We always love to see someone bring justice to bad people so yeah I would like the next book to be theirs or heavily featured if there is a book two. I think if there is a series then there has been good foundations laid down. I would like to read more from this author but definitely prepare yourself to step into a very dark, nasty world, 3/5 for me.





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Beyond The Inferno by Shannon Butler

Beyond The InfernoBeyond The Inferno by Shannon Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 244

Publisher -

Source - Bought (I think)

Blurb from Goodreads

When a mismatched group of people wakes up and sees their city burning to ashes, they have no idea what happened. They don't remember the dead rising to kill their friends. They don't remember the end of the world. There is just a dark spot in their heads where the memories should be. But one of them rescues a girl from the wreckage; a woman who has seemingly cut off her own arm. And now she'll tell them what happened. The catch? The apocalypse is all she remembers. She is a girl born and bred in war.
And now she'll help them find out why the Revenant destroyed their world, and who destroyed their home, and in the process, hopefully discover who she is.



My Review

GUYS THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE BOOK, well not in any way us zombies fans would count it. The main character wakes up with an arm gone *Rosemarie* and that is from a zombie attack. She has memory issues, she remembers the zombies (revenants), the explosions/fires but not who she is, not her life before, just that immediate after the attack(s). She is with a bunch of people and starts to try and piece together her life, what happened and how she goes forward from here.

This is absolutely an apocalyptic book, the aftermath of zombies and a handful of survivors all suffering memory issues although unlike *Rosemarie* they don't remember the attacks/before. They make a plan on getting some answers and the book goes from there. It is very much about survival, looking for answers, relationships forming, dealing with the memories *Rosemarie* has personal journey.

There are no zombie attacks as the book is focused mostly on the after. I had questions, I was disappointed we didn't have zombs probably because I went into this looking for them. However I do enjoy apocalyptic type books so this is just one with a different type of spin. The attractions/relationshipy parts I was a wee bit eye rolling because, really? however I did enjoy seeing where the whole thing was going to play out. The last quarter of the book, whilst I did feel echos of a smidge of The Walking Dead well at least one part, it does take a change of pace and I thought that was quite good, I flopped between 2.5/3 stars for this but went with 3 because I did like the story. I found we were left with questions and would have liked more, even a second book, with the rest of the zombies and what happened next!



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Thursday, 4 November 2021

Last One At The Party by Bethany Clift

Last One at the PartyLast One at the Party by Bethany Clift
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING

It's November 2023. The human race has been wiped out by the 6DM virus (Six Days Maximum - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself). The end of the world as we know it.

Yet someone is still alive. Alone in a new world of burning cities, rotting corpses and ravenous rats, one woman has survived. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants and hiding how she feels to meet other people's expectations. From her career to her relationships, to what she wears and where she lives, she's made a lifetime of decisions to fit what other people want her to be.

But with no one else left, who will she become now that she's completely alone?


My Review


6DM - 6 days maximum from symptoms start to your utterly horrific/painful death. There is no cure, there is only pain, suffering and death, there are pills available to help you end it, that is it. So when our main character (unnamed) not only is immune but the only survivor what is a girl to do with the whole world at her disposal.

The book takes us through the female narrator's navigation through the beginning of the pandemic, current situation and flips back to pre pandemic. We get to know her through her current choices, who she was before everything went bad and as she tries to survive a lonely and dangerous new existence.

There is a lot about this book that will make the reader uncomfortable, she goes off the rails, she makes some questionable choices but I think being so flawed brings her to life. Some of the stuff with the animals I found really hard going, I always do in books or movies, everybody has a thing that gets them, mine is harm/badness to animals.

I think the author captures humanity quite well in this character, what would you do if you had the world to yourself. Every shop, house, drink, drug, place available - no consequences to your actions but also the pure fear of being truly alone. The smells, the terror, the new threats to you, having to be extra careful because there are no doctors, no hospitals, no healthcare - things you took for granted are now risks.

Some people may find this book too dark in light of our current pandemic however for me it was a good escape, how much worse things could be. Walking through the abandoned streets, houses, lives of others, how very lonely it would be and weighing up the choices available. I think this will be a marmite book and what some folk like others won't, it is different that is for sure, I would absolutely recommend, 3.5/5 for me. I look forward to seeing what this author has to offer next!

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Tuesday, 2 November 2021

The Bachman Books by Stephen King aka Richard Bachman

The Bachman BooksThe Bachman Books by Richard Bachman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over months

Pages - 704

Publisher - PLUME

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Omnibus collection of four early Bachman novels (Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man) and the essay "Why I Was Bachman"


My Review

Four novels by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork and The Running Man. I apparently read these years ago but didn't remember and rebought another, then found my original.

Rage is about a high school shooting/hostage situation with the gunman being a student and we are in the class with them all as the situation progresses. Tense, shocking, teens and the book has since been removed from publications.

The Long Walk, the contestants literally walk, they are allowed three warnings to speed up to the allocated time/speed and if they fall under it again, they are shot. There can be only one winner, it is pretty dark and shocking.

Roadwork is one man vs the big business. His life is being turned upside down, a new motorway is being built and his home, everything heads south. A descent into madness, when what you own/love is threatened and you decide to go take matters into your own hands.

The Running Man, I LOVE this movie but my God the book could not be more different. Still a game show called The Running Man, still running for your life but you are out in the world and need to post tapes (that aye sure they don't track). Ben Richards could not be more different from Arnie's portrayal. It is also quite a dark tale and yet you could see something like this flying these days an the gen public reaction to it. 4/5 for me, I love King's books, they provide an escapism when you most need it, same as when I was a kid, he got me hooked on reading and horror.

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Monday, 1 November 2021

The Restoration by J H Moncrieff

Today is my stop and last day of the blog tour for book "The Restoration" by author J H Moncrieff, arranged by Random Things Tours.




About the author:




J.H. Moncrieff's City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense. Reviewers have described her work as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradburyand Stephen King thrown in for good measure.



The book is available to buy now, click HERE for Amazon UK.

For my stop I have my review, non spoiler as always, enjoy.

The RestorationThe Restoration by J.H. Moncrieff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 256

Publisher - FlameTreePress

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Inspired by the author’s overnight stay in a historical haunted house, The Restoration is a thrilling tale of intrigue, murder, and family secrets that refuse to stay buried.

It was the perfect opportunity…or so she thought. When Terri Foxworth is hired to spend a year restoring a crumbling manor house, she believes she’s hit the jackpot. She moves in with her young daughter and high hopes for the project’s success. As the restoration begins to go terribly wrong, she realizes dark forces won’t let her leave the house until its horrible secrets are revealed.

This job could very well be the death of her.


My Review

Terri Foxworth restores old houses, live in on the job and this house is perfect, Glenvale House. The only problem is she isn't the first to be hired, those who came before her have bolted because Glenvale doesn't just have beauty, it has secrets oh and a ghost. Not that Terri believes in ghosts however when her daughter Dallas has encounters with it she can't keep denying. Then things start to escalate, the owner has no time for these stories and some people just can't let the house or the past go.

The story moves at quite a fast pace, it is only 256 pages so you don't have loads of descriptions of the actual house being restored. As the ghost manifestations increase we delve deeper into a ghost story with twists and turns, terrifying a mother and daughter and a house that has secrets some people would rathe stay buried.

I didn't love Terri, I questioned her behaviour in a fair few moments but disliked characters often make for the best because you do a 180 (often) and root for them. The book offers ghosts, murder, mystery, spooky, secrets, relationships, family and then some! I needed a story that let me leave behind my life/dramas and step into another's, The Restoration provided that. This is my first dance with this author I will be having a nose at her other works. A ghost story to give you a wee creep or two and inspired after the author stayed in a historical house.



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