September 10

Copycat – Alex Lake

Imitation is the most terrifying form of flattery…

Which Sarah Havenant is you?

When an old friend gets in touch, Sarah Havenant discovers that there are two Facebook profiles in her name. One is hers. The other, she has never seen.

But everything in it is accurate. Photos of her friends, her husband, her kids. Photos from the day before. Photos of her new kitchen. Photos taken inside her house.

And this is just the beginning. Because whoever has set up the second profile has been waiting for Sarah to find it. And now that she has, her life will no longer be her own…

 

My thanks to Felicity at Harper Collins for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour

I always enjoy when I pick up a new thriller and find that it unsettles me.  Not that I enjoy being unsettled – but if a book can give me pause for thought and make me feel nervous or apprehensive for the characters within, then I know it’s going to be a good book!

Copycat did just that.  We first meet Sarah Havenant and an old friend returns to town and tries to catch-up through Facebook. But a curious question to Sarah causes some confusion – which Facebook profile was hers?  She only operates one account on Facebook so why should their be confusion over which may be the correct profile for her?  A Google search reveals that there ARE two Facebook accounts for Sarah Havenant. Not two people sharing the same name – two people sharing the same life, the posts on the second account show Sarah’s home, her family and have updates which reflect things Sarah has actually done.  But Sarah did not post any of this information so where did this second account come from?

She speaks with her husband and friends about this strange discovery but nobody seems to give it too much concern and most believe it may be a prank.

The reader then gets a sneaky look into the events through the eyes of a watcher – we know that Sarah is now a target. We can see that someone has a plan and that the future for Sarah is going to be unpleasant as this mysterious watcher is looking to ruin Sarah’s life.  You don’t know who this may be and you don’t know why Sarah has been chosen for this malicious attack – but you WANT to know and you will keep reading.

As you get further into Copycat you become more involved in Sarah’s life.  We see how her paranoia increases as it becomes clear that the Facebook account was just the start of the problem.  Someone is impersonating Sarah online. They are sending messages to her friends and pretending that they are Sarah, meetings are arranged or cancelled without Sarah’s knowledge and her friends start to query whether Sarah may be imagining everything.  It does not take long before everyone notices a change in her behaviour and it starts to have a detrimental impact on her relationship with her family and friends.

Copycat is a chilling read which sees the gradual attempt to unpick somebody’s life and shatter everything they have worked hard to build. Sarah comes under intense pressure and then Alex Lake raises the stakes even higher. A brilliant, tense read where your natural curiosity will compel you to keep reading to find how Sarah can fight back against this unseen menace – but can she fight back or will she lose everything?

Thriller fans, Copycat is a proper treat and absolutely a book that you should be looking to read.

 

 

Copycat is published by Harper Collins and is available in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Copycat-unputdownable-thriller-bestselling-author-ebook/dp/B06XK848QD/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Copycat – Alex Lake
September 7

Lost in the Lake – A. J. Waines

She came at first for answers…now she’s back for you

Amateur viola player Rosie Chandler is the sole survivor of a crash which sends members of a string quartet plunging into a lake. Convinced the ‘accident’ was deliberate, but unable to recall what happened, she is determined to recover her lost memories and seeks out clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.

But Rosie is hiding something…

Sam is immediately drawn to the tragic Rosie and as she helps her piece the fragments together, the police find disturbing new evidence which raises further questions. Why is Rosie so desperate to recover her worthless viola? And what happened to the violin lost in the crash, worth over £2m?

When Rosie insists they return to the lake to relive the fatal incident, the truth about Rosie finally creeps up on Sam – but by now, she’s seriously out of her depth…

A stand alone novel (and the second book in the Dr Samantha Willerby series), Lost in the Lake is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat Psychological Thriller that will leave you glancing over your shoulder.

 

My heartfelt thanks to Alison for my review copy

Last year A.J. Waines introduced us to Dr Samantha (Sam) Willerby in a brilliant and thought provoking thriller called Inside the Whispers.  I really enjoyed that book and so I was delighted to learn that Sam was going to return for Lost in the Lake.

Sam is a clinical psychologist and she has helped patients recover lost memories. It is through this skill that she encounters Rosie – a young woman who has narrowly survived a terrible ordeal and is reaching out to Sam to help her recall the events leading up to the accident which she had been involved in. Rosie hopes that by recovering her memories of the event she may understand what happened to her friends that were in the van she was traveling in. All she can recall is that the van left the road and Rosie managed to get out but her friends do not appear to have been so lucky.

Lost in the Lake begins with Rosie’s near death experience then spins forward to her first encounter with Sam. From the very first meeting of the two women it becomes clear to the reader that Rosie is a deeply troubled person and has experienced more than one terrible ordeal. However, we also get a hint that she is not being entirely honest with Sam and that she is keeping things back.

We also spend time with Sam. Events from Inside the Whispers have cast a bit of a shadow over her current personal situation (nb reading Whispers is not essential as the author deftly provides all the relevant information). Sam appears at a bit of a low ebb, her oldest and dearest friend may soon be moving away and there is a suggestion that Sam is lonely. But she is throwing herself into her work and the chance to assist Rosie is a compelling motivator.

Once the pattern of visits is established we come to see that Rosie is not behaving normally and that her dependency upon Sam is spilling out of control. Sam too is becoming aware that Rosie is becoming too needy for Sam’s attentions and she begins to wonder if she should end Rosie’s sessions.

The relationship between the two becomes a tense and intricate dance. While their conversations are professional and aimed at helping Rosie we also know how each woman is also trying to control the nature and extent of the relationship they have with each other – it is brilliantly conveyed by the author and I was gnawing at my fingernails in horrified frustration.

I cannot share too much detail over how the “dance” unfolds, however, if you are a fan of psychological thrillers and books which ramp up the tension as the characters reveal more and more of their driving forces, then you will not go far wrong with Lost in the Lake.

I read the whole book in two sittings as I had to know how events were going to play out – I was not disappointed. Lost in the Lake is available now and I urge you to read it.

 

Lost in the Lake released on 7 September 2017 and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Lake-Samantha-Willerby-Book-ebook/dp/B073W8X17W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Lost in the Lake – A. J. Waines
September 3

House of Spines – Michael J Malone

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who appears to have been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his new-found home, he finds that Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran.

But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman …

A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

 

My thanks to Karen and Anne who allowed me the opportunity to join the House of Spines blog tour

 

This is the type of review I hate writing – the one where I enjoyed a book so much that I don’t think I can put the rights words together to convey how much I lost myself to this story.

Ran McGhie seems to be the luckiest fellow in the West. He has been left a sizeable property on the outskirts of Glasgow (one of the posh bits of town) and charged with looking after the immense book collection that his great uncle amassed during a long and prosperous life.

It transpires that Ran’s mother had fled the family home many years before and turned  her back on her kin. Ran grew up oblivious to his mother’s background but we learn that his (secret) family have not entirely ignored Ran. His great uncle kept an eye on Ran down the years and has come to the conclusion that in a family of odious and self-serving Fitzpatrick’s that Ran McGhie can keep his legacy going. The family solicitor reaches out to Ran and tells him that his crushed wee flat will soon be replaced by the sumptious Newton Hall. He will have a house with a huge number of rooms, a housekeeper and gardener, a private lift, a pool, a gym and most significantly an enormous library but there are conditions attached to the inheritance.

Ran accepts his good fortune and tries to settle in his new home. But something odd seems to happen in Newton Hall and Ran finds his sleep becomes disturbed, he is drawn more than once to a mirror and in the reflections he sees a woman.

What had been a creepy story suddenly ramps it up several notches and I was hooked. A giant mansion house with the promise of a ghost soon gives us a disturbing insight into the dark history of a family where money has been no object and the family members are all too used to getting their own way.

Ran was not the only potential heir to the Fitzgerald estate and it does not take long before “new” family members will make themselves known to Ran – they have their own plans for Newton Hall and are keen to keep Ran onside to help them fulfill their goals. Following Ran through the story I could not help but cheer him on as he learns to stand up for himself in the face of the arrogant elite class. But there was worry too as Ran is out of his depth and fighting more than one battle (no spoilers) things look bleak.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed House of Spines. I love a ghost story, I love a mystery and I love how Michael J Malone delivers such engaging characters. He sure knows how to plot a twisty, pacy tale and he caught me off guard more than once. House of Spines is a belter – you need this in your life.

 

House of Spines is published by Orenda and available from 15 September 2017 in both paperback and digital format – you can get a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Spines-Michael-J-Malone-ebook/dp/B06Y6LSMBS/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Category: 5* Reviews, Blog Tours | Comments Off on House of Spines – Michael J Malone
August 31

Witch Dust – Marilyn Messik

A red gash of a mouth rimmed with impossibly tiny, razor-sharp teeth yawned wide, then swift as a snake, she bent and struck..

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, it proves a chorus girl too far, and Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without, and learns a few home truths she’d prefer not to know. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, her newly discovered nearest and dearest, their peculiar tendencies and their failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to be.

Dire straits call for desperate measures and Sandra reluctantly rises to the occasion. A hanged housemaid, a fly-on-the-wall documentary, The Psychic Society and a quasi co-operative journalist all handled correctly should, she reckons, get the family business up and running, which will allow her to do the same – as fast as she can, and in the opposite direction. Things unfortunately move swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One moment Sandra’s struggling to save the family’s income, the next, she’s battling to save their lives. Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed

 

My thanks to Kate at Thick as Thieves for my review copy and the chance to join the tour

 

Regular visitors to these pages may have noted a reduction in the number of reviews over the last few weeks. Life away from my reading is particularly busy at the moment so there are fewer reviews to share as I am reading fewer books. The consequence is that I need to select my reading carefully, no juggling six books at once – I need to pick a new read and stick with it. This is where Witch Dust comes in (I know you were wondering).

When I am too busy to get much reading done I want to pick up a book which will keep me entertained, ideally it will not be too heavy in content and a lighter tone or subject matter is appreciated. Witch Dust certainly entertained and the diverse cast of characters – beginning with Sandra (the daughter of two stars of the stage) and her extremely high maintenance mother – kept me flicking through the pages as the story was spun around me.

The story opens with a murder confession and I felt on familiar ground (I have been known to read a crime novel or two). However, events quickly moved on and suddenly I was following Sandra on a journey to meet a whole side of her family that she never knew existed. Not long after that she is giving them business tips to save their ailing family business…unexpected but lots of fun too.

Marilyn Messik can spin a story which keeps readers attention and there is a great balance between humor, thrills and sheer whacky creativity. I do enjoy when I find myself drawn into a story which takes a paranormal/fantasy twist and I know that literally anything could happen next.

Witch Dust was the perfect read for the busy days of late.  A welcome bit of escapism with some light tones and some darker moments I had fun reading this one.

 

Witch Dust is published by Matador and is available in Paperback and Digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witch-Dust-Marilyn-Messik/dp/1788033728/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504131721&sr=1-1

 

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Witch Dust – Marilyn Messik
August 13

I Know A Secret – Tess Gerritsen

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

 

My thanks to Alison at Transworld for the chance to join the tour – and to Anne who made it happen

 

By the time a bestselling series reaches Book 12 you can be assured that the previous 11 books have found their way into many, many homes and that readers everywhere will be keenly awaiting the next instalment. The good news for fans of Rizzoli and Isles is that their latest adventure – I Know A Secret – is in shops know and it is a cracking read…you will think the wait was worthwhile.

I appreciate that not every reader can keep up with all the books by all the authors so can I Know a Secret be enjoyed by someone picking up a Tess Gerritsen novel for the first time? I believe it can. There are references to events, characters and relationships which clearly occurred in earlier titles (you can’t write 12 books in a series whilst pretending each new novel begins with a blank slate on all previous events) but I did not feel there was any disadvantage to come to this book as a new reader. Everything is clear or self explanatory but the main focus is firmly kept of the latest investigation.

Rizzoli and Isles are called to a murder scene – the victim had been involved in making horror films and her death could almost be said to mirror her genre of choice. A gruesome spectacle meets the investigators but despite the unsettling scene they are not immediately able to identify a cause of death.

An investigation is ongoing and, pleasingly, we get to follow Jane Rizzoli as she interviews suspects and chases down potential leads – I do very much enjoy when you feel you are also uncovering the facts as you read. It is not long before a second body turns up. The nature of the attack on each victim is very different but a connection is found and an apparent symbolism throws new light onto the case.

I zipped through I Know A Secret – one of those great books which will keep you hooked. Tess Gerritsen has spun a slick story, the narrative moves along at a good pace so you don’t feel that there are any lags or drops in the action.

Fans of Tess Gerritsen will love I Know A Secret. New readers should seek it out, it is a great story and does not fall into the trap of being too concentrated upon the lives of Rizzoli and Isles at the price of neglecting the murder investigation. You are in the hands of a great storyteller and there I got nothing but pure enjoyment from I Know a Secret.

 

I Know A Secret is available in Hardback and Digital format – you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Know-Secret-Rizzoli-Isles-12-ebook/dp/B01MTK7M7O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on I Know A Secret – Tess Gerritsen
August 6

The Girls in the Water – Victoria Jenkins

When the body of Lola Evans is found in a local park on a cold winter’s morning, Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane are called in to lead the hunt for the killer.

Days later, a second girl goes missing. It seems the two shared a troubled history, and were members of the same support group. Who is the monster preying on these vulnerable girls?

As the detectives start to piece together the clues, Chloe realises that she too is in danger – as she uncovers secrets about her own brother’s death which someone will kill to keep hidden.

Alex and Chloe are soon fighting for their lives, and in a race against time to reach the next victim before it’s too late…

 

My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the chance to join the tour.

I love knowing that the book I am about to read is going to be part of a series. I usually prefer to read about recurring characters than a stand-alone thriller (mainly because I buy in to the characters more readily when I see them grow from book to book).  So when I turned to The Girls in the Water and spotted “Detectives King & Lane, Book 1” my heart soared – a serial killer tale with two cops that look like they may become a regular feature in the release schedules – good start!

Happily The Girls in the Water did not let me down. King and Lane are strong characters in their debut outing – King with a “complicated” home life and Lane with a troubled past which will spill over into her work as she reaches out to King to assist with a private investigation into a murder from years earlier.

More pressing for the two is the fact that someone seems to be killing vulnerable young girls. As a reader we get to watch the killer with his victims.  He uplifts them and takes them to a remote room “you can scream, nobody will hear you” then subjects them to some extremely unpleasant ordeals before finally snuffing out their life. Potentially disturbing scenes warning for those of a nervous nature!  Victoria Jenkins is not going to draw a curtain over the peril that the girls face and it makes her book darker and more intense.

Getting a series established cannot be an easy task but this is a very promising opening and I will certainly be looking out for the next book.

 

The Girls in the Water is available in paperback and digital format and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girls-Water-completely-detective-Detectives-ebook/dp/B0722TFLVW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Follow the Tour

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Girls in the Water – Victoria Jenkins
August 3

Perfect Prey – Helen Fields

Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.

In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.

The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.

D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.

It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.

 

My thanks to Sabah at Avon for a review copy of Perfect Prey and the chance to join the tour.

 

One day.

A single day.

I started Perfect Prey at 8.30am this morning in a Starbucks coffee shop and at 11.58pm this evening (well now yesterday evening) I finished the last chapter. It was fantastic. I am enjoying a summer where I seem to be only choosing great books to read but Perfect Prey has been a wonderful high point.

Luc Callanach was first introduced in Perfect Remains – he arrived in Edinburgh from France where he had worked for Interpol. Luc now works for Police Scotland, his arrival and the problems which forced his move to Scotland are covered in Perfect Remains – reading the books in order is recommended but not essential.

If you are a fan of crime fiction then reading both books IS essential. Helen Fields is making Edinburgh a very nasty place to be and I am loving her work. Her tales are dark, the crimes that Callanach is called to investigate are both graphic and disturbing and I found both Perfect books utterly gripping.

In Perfect Prey Edinburgh is rocked by a series of high profile brutal killings. Over a very short space of time 3 vicious deaths have shocked the residents of the capital and the reputation of the city world-wide is suffering. Pressure is placed on Callanach and his colleague, Ava Turner, to come up with results (and fast). What is not helping is the presence of an old flame of Ava’s. He is also a cop – up from London to work on a high profile tech/internet operation, his presence unsettles Callanach as the two do not hit it off. It also disrupts the effective working relationship that Callanach and Turner had established.  With the two at loggerheads the investigations stutter – they are reliant upon their colleagues to keep communications flowing.

With little progress being made and more lives in danger, Callanach reaches out to two contacts from outwith the Police. By going off radar and involving civilians he risks his career but who can he really trust when vital information from the investigations is leaking to the press?

I want to tell you about evil murderers. I want to discuss Luc and Ava. I want to share all the great twists and that terrible thing that happened….but they would all be spoilers and you really need to find them out for yourself. What I really need is for it to be January 2018 so I can read the next book.

Perfect Prey is a must read. The Callanach books are already firmly established as a series I want to follow. Don’t let these books pass you by – brilliant, brilliant stories.

 

Perfect Prey is published by Avon and is available now in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Prey-DI-Callanach-Thriller/dp/0008181586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501715565&sr=8-1&keywords=helen+fields

Follow the tour

 

 

Category: 5* Reviews, Blog Tours | Comments Off on Perfect Prey – Helen Fields
August 1

The Pinocchio Brief – Abi Silver

A schoolboy accused of a brutal murder. A retired lawyer with secrets to hide…

A 15-year-old schoolboy is accused of the murder of one of his teachers. His lawyers, the guarded veteran, Judith, and the energetic young solicitor, Constance, begin a desperate pursuit of the truth, revealing uncomfortable secrets about the teacher and the school. But Judith has her own secrets which she risks exposing when it is announced that a new lie-detecting device, nicknamed Pinocchio, will be used during the trial. And is the accused, a troubled boy who loves challenges, trying to help them or not?

The Pinocchio Brief is a gripping, very human thriller which confronts our assumptions about truth and reliance on technology.

 

Click here to view a one-minute trailer for The Pinocchio Brief http://bit.ly/2uHzCzk

 

A murder mystery in a prestigious school leads to a fascinating courtroom drama and we also have an accused that is something of an enigma.

Ray is a schoolboy, quiet, bullied and a genius. He is also accused of the murder of his maths teacher after being found in his room, hands covered in blood and unable (or unwilling) to provide police or his legal representatives with any information which may help clear him of the crime.

The aforementioned legal representatives are Constance, a young and diligent solicitor and Judith. Judith is a courtroom veteran who retired from practice some years previous to the Ray’s trial.  Constance persuades Judith to come out of retirement to help defend Ray, but can the two combine the best of their skills to persuade a jury that the awkward loner did not kill his teacher.

What may be the biggest hurdle to overcome is the new Pinocchio technology which is being introduced to the courtroom.  Developed as a more reliable “lie detector” the Pinocchio machine is intended to read the movements and mannerisms of witnesses or defendants in court and provide accurate feedback on whether they have lied to the court.  Ray’s trial is the first big public test of the technology and Judith, for reasons of her own, is keen to have Pinocchio removed from the process.

Can a machine replace a jury? Why does Judith want the technology removed from the court? Why is Ray so unwilling to communicate with Constance and Judith? Who really killed the teacher, could it have been Ray – despite Judith’s conviction he is innocent?

All those questions kept me reading. Several hooks which all drew me in.  The Pinocchio Brief is a cracking courtroom drama but the murder story is also really well thought out. Shades of classic Christie with the murder in the school, a small suspect pool who all have very different backgrounds and each of the suspects has a reason for bumping off the teacher. This is the type of book I love to read.

Thoroughly enjoyed The Pinocchio Brief and hope this finds its way into many homes – seek it out…there is a handy link just below. 

 

The Pinocchio Brief is published by Lightning Books and is available in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pinocchio-Brief-Silver-Abi-ebook/dp/B073QCN77F/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

Category: Blog Tours | Comments Off on The Pinocchio Brief – Abi Silver
July 25

I Am Missing – Tim Weaver

When a young man wakes up bruised and beaten, with no memory of who he is or where he came from, the press immediately dub him ‘The Lost Man’.

Naming himself Richard Kite, he spends the next ten months desperately trying to find out who he is. But despite media appeals and the efforts of the police, no one knows him.

Richard’s last hope may be private investigator David Raker – a seasoned locator of missing people. But Raker has more questions than answers.

Who is Richard Kite?

Why does no one know him?

And what links him to the body of a woman found beside a London railway line two years ago?

Could Richard be responsible for her death – or is he next?

 

My thanks to Laura at Penguin for my review copy

 

I will start with the confession – this is the first of Tim Weaver’s novels that I have read. Having seen Tim at Bloody Scotland last September I promised myself that I would introduce his David Raker books to my bookshelves. Spin forward 10 months and I have just finished I am Missing.

Did it whet my appetite and leave me wanting to read more of Mr Weaver’s books? 

Hell Yeah.

Did it matter that I had not read the earlier books? Not one jot – I felt the story was complete and other than a slight suggestion that Raker had ruffled some feathers within the police during the course of his previous adventures I was happy I had a good feel for the character.

So what made me jump into a series without catching up on the earlier volumes?  Well I loved the premise of I Am Missing. Raker has proven that he is an accomplished investigator and can track down missing people but in this story he is approached by Richard Kite who wants Raker to find someone for him. Kite wants Raker to find out who Richard Kite really is – he has amnesia and cannot recall his own life prior to 10 months earlier when he was found washed up on a beach. A great twist on the missing person story and one which I initially found quite sad too.

As I was reading and Kite was explaining how so much of his life was a mystery to him I was very unsettled about his predicament. Tim Weaver dropped a tragic character into my lap and I was willing Raker to succeed even before he had ended his first conversation with Kite. Hooked I was!

What I had not expected was where Raker’s investigations would lead. As I got deeper into I am Missing I began to realise that there were several characters working to a secret agenda and that were hampering Raker at every turn. Soon I was suspicious of everyone and I was utterly engrossed.

I am reluctant to give much more detail regarding the plot for fear of spoilers – the joy of I am Missing was not knowing where the story was leading and having the mysteries teased out and explained as Raker himself pieces the clues together.

This was a treat and I would suggest a nice jumping in point for the David Raker stories if, like me, you are new to the series.

  

I Am Missing is published by Penguin and is available in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Am-Missing-David-Raker-Persons-ebook/dp/B071F2ZPV5/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1501021302&sr=8-2&keywords=tim+weaver+i+am+missing

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on I Am Missing – Tim Weaver
July 22

The Art of Fear – Pamela Crane

A life no girl should endure. A father no daughter could love. A twist no one would predict.

From award-winning author Pamela Crane comes a terrifying tale of small-town secrets and murder.

Ari Wilburn’s life ended long ago–the day she watched her little sister die in a tragic accident and did nothing to stop it. Crippled with self-blame and resented by her parents, she stumbles through life … and onto an unexpected clue that casts doubt on whether the death was accidental.

Now a psychological wreck, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a sex-enslaved escapee who finds her long-lost father dead. Suicide, police ruled it. But Tina suspects foul play. As a bond develops between the women in their shared loss, they’re dragged into playing a dangerous game with a killer.

Faced with a murderous wake-up call and two possibly linked deaths, Ari’s investigation puts her next on the killer’s list. But she’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Needing closure, Ari must face her demons and the killer behind them … or lose everything she loves.

 

My thanks to Kate at Thick as Thieves for the opportunity to join the blog tour

 

At a suicide support group Ari meets Tina Alvarez.  Ari is struggling to contend with the guilt associated with the death of her younger sister ten years earlier, however, Tina comes to her group fresh from learning of the suicide of her father. Ari and Tina bond and Tina tells Ari that she does not believe that her father took his own life – the two women begin to investigate the suicide.

As the story develops it becomes clear to Ari that Tina’s father did not take his own life. Yet as Ari becomes drawn deeper into Tina’s life we learn more of the horrific ordeals she has had to suffer. Sold to a sex trafficker by her father, subjected to the worst abuse over a number of years Tina has managed to escape from her captor but he is looking to take her back – claiming that she has not yet earned back the money he paid for her.

Meanwhile Ari is spurred on to reconsider the events surrounding the death of her sister.  Her family firmly placed the blame onto Ari and it drove a wedge between Ari and her parents which could never be broken down.  However, as Ari reconsiders the events which led to her sister’s death she begins to question whether the blame was entirely her own.

As you can tell there are some dark topics holding the narrative together during The Art of Fear; but full credit to Pamela Crane for keeping it engrossing and tacking these difficult subjects with compassion and sympathy. She also writes a cracking story which features some very nasty people and you will get drawn into the lives of Ari and Tina.

One of the most disturbing elements of the story is that Ari has a countdown to her death in the chapter headings. As you read the story will switch timelines to show current events, circumstances from the time Ari’s sister dies and other key points in her (and Tina’s) life. However, when the narrative returns to the current time there are chapters which begin with the number of days that Ari has to live – and it is not many!  The deeper you get into the story and the more you come to like Ari the more worrying the death-clock is – lovely wee touch to keep me hooked.

So in summary – dark themes which are woven into a thrilling and engaging story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

The Art of Fear is published by Tabella House and is available in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fear-Little-Things-That-Kill-ebook/dp/B071R3M2J5/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Category: Blog Tours | Comments Off on The Art of Fear – Pamela Crane