August 17

Block 46 – Johana Gustawsson – Audio

Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

 

Another from my unexpected (but very enjoyable) Audiobook Season – today I get to rave about Block 46.

First the audiobook experience.  Very positive!  The narration duties are split for Block 46 – the majority of the book is delivered by Patricia Rodriguez with the “historical” elements (which I shall come to shortly) picked up by Mark Meadows. The two voices work wonderfully – both actors are to be commended for bringing the story to life around me.

Block 46 is a modern day murder mystery but it holds a link to 1944 and a concentration camp in Germany (the aforementioned Historical element of the tale). In London Alexis Castells attends the launch of a new jewellery collection designed by her friend Linnea Blix – despite the importance of the night Linnea does not appear. Alexis travels to Sweden where Linnea would often stay “on retreat” but as she arrives in snowy Falkenberg Linnea’s body is found.

While Alexis gets swept up in the investigation into Linnea’s murder – kept in the loop through a friendship with criminal profiler Emily Roy – the reader gets to slip back in time where we encounter Erich Hebner.  A German national in a German concentration camp.  Erich is doing what he can to survive but when Johana Gustawsson begins to outline some of the terrors which Erich, and the other prisoners, endure each day it becomes impossible to see how he will escape from this Hell.

Narrative swings to present day, the murder investigation reveals some unexpected connections to London. Then we are back in wartime Germany and Erich’s story moves on…he has been granted a rare opportunity to contribute to the German “war effort” but how will he feel about helping when he learns he is going to Block 46. Nobody every comes out of Block 46 alive.

I cannot praise this book enough – at times harrowing but always compelling. It threw up the classic reading dilemma – so good I want to reach the end to find out what happened. But I don’t want to reach the end as I was enjoying it so much.

 

Block 46 is published by Orenda Books and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Block-Roy-Castells-Johana-Gustawsson/dp/1910633704/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502917618&sr=1-1

 

 

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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

 

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August 10

To Kill the President – Sam Bourne

A blockbuster thriller from No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author Sam Bourne, in which Maggie Costello uncovers an assassination plot to kill the tyrannical new president.

The unthinkable has happened…

The United States has elected a volatile demagogue as president, backed by his ruthless chief strategist, Crawford ‘Mac’ McNamara.

When a war of words with the North Korean regime spirals out of control and the President comes perilously close to launching a nuclear attack, it’s clear someone has to act, or the world will be reduced to ashes.

Soon Maggie Costello, a seasoned Washington operator and stubbornly principled, discovers an inside plot to kill the President – and faces the ultimate moral dilemma. Should she save the President and leave the free world at the mercy of an increasingly crazed would-be tyrant – or commit treason against her Commander in Chief and risk plunging the country into a civil war?

 

My thanks to Harper Collins for my review copy – received through Netgalley.

I don’t think there can ever have been a better timed political thriller. As I type we have President Trump threatening North Korea with “Fire and Fury”.  As the world waits to see if someone gets an itchy trigger finger (and people plan to beg George RR Martin to tweet who ends up on that Throne if the 15 minute warning sounds) we have a work of fiction which reads like the newspapers.

To Kill The President opens with a 3am situation in the…well it is in the Situation Room…as the unnamed president demands that his staff launch a nuclear attack on North Korea.  This fury has been prompted by a tweet the President has seen from the North Koreans which he believes to be a personal attack on his character.

The incident requires cool heads but that is not going to come from the Commander in Chief and someone will need to step up to save millions of lives.  I shouldn’t refer to this as an “explosive” opening but it certainly grabbed my attention. As you read To Kill The President you are left in no doubt that you are looking at a mirror on reality, perhaps some events are marginally blurred and not a true reflection on the last 8 months, but it is hard to convince yourself this could not happen.

As the title suggests – an extreme option appears the only course of action left to save USA and the World but who would step up to take the life of their democratically elected leader? Who can be trusted?  How could it be done quickly? What are the consequences of failure?

If you have even a passing interest in political thrillers then this is a great read. You don’t need to understand the inner workings of the US Political Machine to keep track of the players in this power game as the story flows with a surprisingly small central cast of characters.  Perfect summer reading and truly a thriller for our times.

 

To Kill The President is published by Harper Collins and is available in paperback and digital format.  Copies can be easily ordered through this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kill-President-most-explosive-thriller-ebook/dp/B0167NVGQ0/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

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August 9

The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza – Audio

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound, and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong…resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

 

My thanks to Kim at Bookouture for the opportunity to listen to this book.

 

The variable nature of my day job sprang a recent surprise…gone is my daily train journey and my hour of peaceful reading on the train. Say hello to 3 or 4 hours in the car each day. Say hello to a series of audiobook reviews here at Grab This Book.

Audiobooks live and die on one crucial element – the narrator. It really does not matter how good the underlying story is, if the narration is jarring then listening to that voice for 10+ hours is not going to be a fun or relaxing experience.

Fortunately for Robert Bryndza’s The Girl in the Ice the listener is in very good hands. Jan Cramer narrates throughout and she does a fantastic job. Erika Foster’s voice is now firmly fixed into my mind and Cramer’s narration has brought a character to life for me more vividly than would have been the case had I read a paper copy of the book.

As for the story – I loved it. A society rich girl (and seemingly an extremely shallow young woman) is found dead in the waters of London. She has been bound and brutally attacked prior to death and Erika Foster is put in charge of the investigation. Foster is taking on a new role in London, relocating from Manchester following the death of her husband (a fellow police officer) when a police operation went badly wrong.

Thrown in at the deep end – Foster must establish her authority over a new team, overcome racial prejudices when dealing with the dead girl’s parents and contend with factions within the police who are determined to undermine her investigation to keep a politically sensitive murder investigation “acceptable” in the media.

The juggle and pressure which Foster faces will take its toll and I felt myself getting frustrated that she was being thwarted at pursing the leads she felt needed tackled. Robert Bryndza presents us with a string of red herrings and a suspect pool which is sufficiently broad and unlikeable (for various reasons) that it will keep you guessing to the identity of the killer – right until the shocking endgame.

Fans of police procedurals and gripping serial killer thrillers – this is a book for you. I cannot listen as fast as I can read – but I grudged every second that I had to remove my earbuds whilst listening to The Girl in the Ice.

 

The Girl in the Ice is available as a paperback, digital book and (obviously) as an audiobook. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Ice-gripping-thriller-Detective-ebook/dp/B019G6DSDE/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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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

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July 31

Holiday Reading 2017

I went on holiday with a few carefully selected books I had really wanted to read and a Kindle which I knew to be loaded with drama. I got through a decent number of books and didn’t entirely ignore my family so everyone was happy.

But then I got back from holiday and I found I had a wee change to my day job (ie a whole new gig for 3 months) and suddenly I am driving 3 or 4 hours per day and I will not have much time to write up comprehensive reviews for the holiday reads. 

The solution: A Holiday Roundup Post. I shall forsake my usual attempt to summarise the story and aim for brevity…this may get messy!

 

Echoes in Death – JD Robb

First up is the latest Eve Dallas thriller from JD Robb. I have been reading these stories for 6 or 7 years and there are over 50 books and novellas out there – this makes me very happy.  With so many books in the series I do tend to classify them as either A: Pivotal Story or B: Progressive Story.

The Pivotal books are the big impact tales which have huge implications for the ongoing continuity. The Progressive titles are the books which are fun to read and can generally be read out of sequence as they just move everyone along a little.  Echoes in Death is a Progressive read so one that you can pickup and enjoy – which is exactly what I was able to do.  I love these books and Echoes did not let me down.  Fun, thrills and characters I know better than some members of my own family – long may Eve and Roarke continue to kick ass.

 Order a copy here

 

Witness – Caroline Mitchell

As I was reading Witness I took to Twitter – mainly to give myself a little break from the words rushing past my eyes.  I had to share that Caroline Mitchell’s writing had totally freaked me out and made me uncomfortable and nervous as I sat reading in a dimly lit room somewhere in the wilds of The Netherlands.

Brilliant – you can’t ask for anything more from a book if you get so caught up in a story that you start to get apprehensive over what may (or may not) be in the room alongside you.  Checking over my shoulder every few minutes really slowed down my reading pace too!

A stalker drama with some very dark and unexpected twists – creepy is good.

 Order a copy here

 

Did You See Melody? – Sophie Hannah

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one and it didn’t grip me quite as much as some of the other books I read. What it IS, however, is a cleverly plotted drama with some larger than life characters but a lead character that I never really warmed to.

What Did You See Melody? Would be IDEAL for is a reading group.  There are elements of the story which I felt required total buy-in from the reader, without that buy-in it I can’t see it wowing everyone. I would love to see a book group discuss their thoughts on this book as I think it may be one which would spark debate.

Order a copy here 

 

Doctor Who: Plague City – Jonathan Morris

The Doctor (with his Capaldi face), Bill and Nardole. The trio find themselves in Edinburgh and they have broken curfew – imposed as a plague is laying waste to the city. As a Scottish type person I loved this story. As a Glasgow Scottish type person I liked that the plague was in Edinburgh 😊

Jonathan Morris has done a great job with the latest residents of the TARDIS. The story is well thought out and I wish the image of a doctor (not THE Doctor) in their plague masks could make the jump to a tv story.

Exactly what I want from a Doctor Who novel and Mr Morris always tells a good tale.

Order a copy here  

 

The Marriage Pact – Michelle Richmond

I have seen this getting a big push via online adverts.  It is another story which requires a big buy-in from the reader.  If you just go along with the assumption that the husband/wife lead characters are wholly embracing The Marriage Pact then this is a solid thriller which is ideal for a holiday read.  Again book groups on standby – not everyone is going to be happy with the concept that two successful professionals would accept The Pact without question and debate should ensue.

Some surprising twists and Michelle Richmond has some nasty ideas when it comes to ensuring her characters are compelled to obey their promises. 

Order a copy here 

 

 

 

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July 22

In The Still – Jacqueline Chadwick

When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist. Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness. In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

 

My thanks to Chris at Fahrenheit Press for my review copy

 

Lets start with an important word for this review:

benchmark
noun
noun: benchmark; plural noun: benchmarks
  1. a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared.

 

In The Still is the book that all my forthcoming reads will be compared to for the considerable future. I absolutely-bloody-loved it. Ali Dalglish is the smart, in-your-face protagonist who made me want to keep turning the pages.

Having left Britain 8 years prior to events in In The Still, Ali has left a successful career and emigrated to Canada with her family.  Her husband works for the local fire service but Ali is home schooling her son and seems to be living a reasonably unfulfilling life. Home tensions will come to the fore during the telling of the story and it helps make Ali and her family appear much more authentic and gives some break from her pursuit of a killer.

Oh yes there is a killer at loose and Ali (along with her irritating neighbour) have found the body. Ali’s initial exposure to the corpse gives her the opportunity to consider the victim – her previous training as a forensic pathologist kicks in and Ali begins to formulate some ideas as to what may have happened to the unfortunate young woman who would become known as The Alder Beach Girl. Ali is not convinced that the local police have the skill (or competence) to investigate the murder and pushes for a reliable investigator to become involved.

It needs to be noted that In The Still is quite graphic in places and as far from “cozy crime” as you could hope to be. Exactly how I like them.

Jacqueline Chadwick provides great detail on Ali’s profiling rationale. The technical and background information which is considered during Ali’s investigations gives a depth to the story and established Ali’s status and her ability to push the investigation forward. But Ali doesn’t suffer fools gladly so there are some fabulous conversations to enjoy as an angry Scottish woman vents at the world around her.

In The Still totally grabbed me, I couldn’t put it down and it was one of those brilliant reading experiences where everything just worked for me. The killer is sadistic and deploys horrible methodology, the investigation to track down the killer is well paced, fun to read and extremely gripping. The lead character won me over from virtually the first page and the suspicion as to the identity of the killer swings between different contenders as the story unfolds – it kept me guessing and I am not ashamed to admit I called it wrong.

Every time I pick up a new book to read I hope it will be a story which enthrals, entertains and excites. I want it to be the book I will recommend to all my friends and I want it to be a story I will return to (and know I will enjoy reading it more than once). In The Still is that book.

 

In The Still is published by Fahrenheit Press and is available now in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Still-1-Ali-Dalglish/dp/1548611956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500741390&sr=1-1

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July 20

Trust Me – Angela Clarke

YOU SAW IT HAPPEN. DIDN’T YOU?

What do you do if you witness a crime…but no-one believes you?

When Kate sees a horrific attack streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who attacked her.

Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but the trail has gone cold. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

 

My thanks to Sabah at Avon for my review copy

The third Freddie and Nas thriller in Angela Clarke’s engaging Social Media murder series and this has been my favourite of the three.

First the housekeeping, it is book 3 of a series so there are some references to past events. I have goldfish memory and can never remember character names so I can confirm that Trust Me *can* be read as a stand alone (or out of sequence). The author ensures that new (and forgetful) readers will not be disadvantaged when previous events are discussed as she nicely outlines events from earlier books and ensures you have the pertinent detail to enjoy Trust Me.

To the book…it is generally accepted that you can find anything on the internet but one evening Kate comes across a Periscope feed which is streaming the attack of a young woman.  Kate is compelled to watch the feed as she realises that the woman is initially incapable of refusing the sexual advances of her assailant. When the attack becomes increasingly violent Kate is convinced the girl cannot have survived the incident.

She contacts the police but they seem unable to help – she cannot find the video again, there is no sign of a victim and Kate does not even know where the incident took place. Her frustration eventually leads her to call Freddie who has no doubt that Kate is telling the truth but can  she make her police colleagues believe Kate’s story?

Freddie has her own problems to contend with – her role with the police is in jeopardy due to funding problems. There is a potential solution but Freddie will need to change her role and undergo some training if she is to remain attached to the police. Meanwhile Nas is also battling to recover her status amongst her colleagues as past decisions are still casting a shadow over her place within the squad.

As Trust Me unfolds we are treated to the frustrations of Freddie, the problems with investigating an incident with little evidence and a potentially unreliable witness and we see loyalties tested under extreme circumstances. It makes for gripping reading and fans of Angela’s previous novels are in for a treat with Trust Me.

 

Trust Me is published by Avon and is available now in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-Me-Angela-Clarke-ebook/dp/B01MRGTMK6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

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June 26

The Fourth Monkey – J D Barker

The Fourth MonkeyBrilliant. Complicated. Psychopath.

That’s the Four Monkey Killer or ‘4MK’. A murderer with a twisted vision and absolutely no mercy.

Detective Sam Porter has hunted him for five long years, the recipient of box after box of grisly trinkets carved from the bodies of 4MK’s victims.

But now Porter has learnt the killer’s twisted history and is racing to do the seemingly impossible – find 4MK’s latest victim before it’s too late…

 

My thanks to Sahina at Harper Collins for the chance to join the blog tour

 

I love a serial killer story and the majority of the serial killer thrillers that I read and enjoy are really well done. But sometimes a book comes along which just ticks all the right boxes and stands out from the rest – The Fourth Monkey is that book.

For years a Killer has eluded the police and cop, Sam Porter, has long been frustrated in his attempts to track down the Fourth Monkey Killer (4MK). The killer leaves gift wrapped boxes which contain body parts of the victims, an ear, their eyes and then their tongue.

The body parts of each victim are removed over a short period of time which prolongs the suffering and distress of their family. However the killer is delivering more than just body parts – they are leaving a message to someone close to the victim. The ear, eyes and tongue which are removed represent the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil mantra which we all recognise. However there is a fourth monkey and his caution to Do No Evil drives this story.

A lucky break for the police gives them their first real clue in the 4MK murders. A road traffic accident kills the man en-route to posting the ear of his latest victim to their unsuspecting family. With the killer dead, the race is on for the police to locate the victim (where ever they may be hidden) before they perish alone.

The police have a tangible clue that may assist – the killer’s journal. A telling of a childhood incident which forged the path the killer would follow (and show what a twisted childhood he had).  The narrative will switch from present day to the killers childhood diary – both storylines are compelling reading (I am not normally a fan of flashback tales but in this case is is gloriously twisted and grim).

I cannot give away too much of the story as this is a book you really need to read to get the best impact from the reveals. What I will say is that The Fourth Monkey is without doubt one of the best Serial Killer Thrillers I have read for a long, long time. It is June – there is going to have to be a pretty spectacular book lurking in the latter months of 2017 to improve on The Fourth Monkey for sheer reading pleasure.

 

The Fourth Monkey is published by HQ on 27 June 2017 and is available in Hardback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fourth-Monkey-Detective-Sam-Porter/dp/0008216991/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

The Fourth Monkey - Blog Tour Banner

 

 

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June 12

The Last Night at Tremore Beach – Mikel Santiago

Last Night at Tremore BeachHe’d seen the danger coming. And now it’s here…

When Peter Harper, a gifted musician whose career and personal life are in trouble, comes to northwest Ireland and rents a remote cottage on beautiful, windswept Tremore Beach, he thinks he has found a refuge, a tranquil place in a time of crisis. His only neighbours for miles around are a retired American couple, Leo and Marie Kogan, who sense his difficulties and take him under their wing. But there’s something strange about the pair that he can’t quite figure out.

One night during one of the dramatic storms that pummel the coast, Peter is struck by lightning. Though he survives, he begins to experience a series of terrifying, lucid and bloody nightmares that frame him, the Kogans and his visiting children in mortal danger. The Harper family legend of second sight suddenly takes on a sinister twist. What if his horrifying visions came true, could tonight be his last…?

 

My thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for my review copy

Musician Peter Harper is living in rural seclusion on the Irish coast. His life has been in turmoil and his confidence is shot – a world renowned composer he now cannot capture a simple tune and he is seeking solitude to try and rediscover his love of music.

Harper is renting a cottage on Tremore Beach, he is becoming a known face around the nearby village and his only neighbours (an American couple who have also sought a peaceful life) have tried to make him feel welcome and are keeping an almost paternal eye on him. While his days seem idyllic, Peter is increasingly frustrated by his inability to compose anything worthy of recording – a problem exacerbated by unsubtle approaches of his agent who is looking for Peter to return to work soon.

When we first meet Peter we learn that the mother of all storms is due to hit the Irish Coast. Against all advice Peter decides not to shelter safely at home for the evening and takes up an invitation to join his American neighbours (the Kogans) for dinner.  At the end of the evening and with the storm raging Peter tries to drive home.  He is forced out of his car and while exposed to the elements he is struck by lightning.  Badly scorched, Peter survives but he now finds he is plagued by horrific nightmares or visions.  Each incident feels real to Peter and he is certain he is awake when the occur, however, the things he sees are chilling and all seem to foretell an event which is yet to unfold.

The Last Night at Tremore Beach is a delightfully dark supernatural tale.  Peter’s visions lead him to believe that his friends and family may be in danger and the terror  at the prospect of the incidents leads him to seek professional help. But is he really seeing the future or has the lightning strike aggravated a medical condition?

Rural locations, terrifying visions, the prospect of death and danger and a potentially unreliable narrator – they all combine well to create a creepy page turner.  As Peter faces his fears he realises that there are secrets at Tremore Beach and uncovering the truth may be the worst thing that Peter could do.

Tense supernatural read which strikes a nice balance between thriller and terror, an enjoyable read and definitely one to seek out if you like a spooky twist to your books.

 

Last Night at Tremore Beach is published by Simon & Schuster and is available in hardback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Night-Tremore-Beach/dp/1471150135/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497216373&sr=8-1&keywords=last+night+at+tremore+beach

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Last Night at Tremore Beach – Mikel Santiago