October 14

The Angel -Katerina Diamond

THE TRUTH WON’T STAY LOCKED UP FOREVER

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

 

My thanks to Sabah at Avon Books for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.

Imogen Grey and Adrian Miles are back – they are called out to investigate a fire in an abandoned signal box but on arrival at the scene they find that their arson case has had a tragic outcome – the body of a homeless man (who must have been sheltering from the elements) is found under the main signal room where the fire started.

Grey and Miles manage to track down Gabriel Webb, he had been in the signal box with his girlfriend and a couple of other local kids.  Gabriel had started a small fire to keep them warm but had not wanted to be in the signal box and wanted nothing to do with the drugs which he was offered.

When confronted by Grey he confirms he started the fire (for warmth) but he had no idea that it had spread to ignite the whole signal box and he is devastated to learn that someone died.  His world shattered Gabriel finds himself in prison – pending trial.

The Angel keeps us updated on Gabriel’s story while in prison and I loved those scenes. We see how he moved from lonely and uncertain then started to accept his situation and adjust to his new life. What he had not anticipated was Asher – a fellow inmate who has his sights on Gabriel and more than a little power in their confined world.

Elsewhere a brutal murder of an elderly couple commands all the attention of the police. The seemingly unmotivated killings shock Grey and Miles but when they start their investigations they uncover some strange connections which suggest that this random incident may actually be part of something much more sinister.

Although they may not initially be aware – the double murder is going to have a huge impact upon both Miles and Grey. Katerina Diamond expertly spins a story and I was completely hooked on The Angel – Gabriel’s situation was compelling but the personal dramas which her cops encountered lifted this from a “great” book to a “fantastic” book.  I utterly loved it – reading late into the night as I did not want to stop.

The housekeeping bit – The Angel is the 3rd book and there are references to past events. But the good news for new readers or for those (like me) that have “goldfish” memories then The Angel can be enjoyed as a stand alone – really enjoyed, really, really enjoyed.

Katerina Diamond is now firmly established as a must read author, her books are all brilliantly written, paced to perfection and have that dark unpredictability which I always welcome.

The Angel is out in paperback and digital format now – treat yourself, I am going to be recommending this to everyone.

 

The Angel is published by Avon Books and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-shocking-thriller-Imogen-Adrian-ebook/dp/B06XB3R3PV/ref=la_B01C0H1GOE_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507970935&sr=1-1

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October 2

Sleep No More – P.D. James

The acknowledged ‘Queen of Crime’, P. D. James, was a past master of the short story, weaving together motifs of the Golden Age of crime-writing with deep psychological insight to create gripping, suspenseful tales. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories contained four of these perfectly formed stories, and this companion volume contains a further six, published here together for the first time.

As the six murderous tales unfold, the dark motive of revenge is revealed at the heart of each. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution.

The punishments inflicted on the guilty are fittingly severe, but here they are meted out by the unseen forces of natural justice rather than the institutions of the law. Once again, P. D. James shows her expert control of the short-story form, conjuring motives and scenarios with complete conviction, and each with a satisfying twist in the tail.

 

My thanks to Sophie at Faber for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.

 

One of my earliest memories of crime drama was watching Shroud for a Nightingale on tv with my mum. Shroud was a PD James story and I still remember being gripped by the story and being particularly disappointed when it ended.

I picked up all the PD James novels I could find once Shroud had finished and I spent many happy hours catching up on the stories of Adam Dalgliesh. I was a firm fan by then and over the next three decades I would always seek out a new PD James novel on release.

Now, many months after her death I get to read a new collection of stories – six in all – gathered in a new book from Faber & Faber: Sleep No More. As soon as I started on the first story I was caught up in her world once again. Her writing style feels so formal against modern books yet the tales she tells seem timeless.

The six stories collected in Sleep No More are:
The Yo-Yo
The Victim
The Murder of Santa Claus
The Girl Who Loved Graveyards
A Very Desirable Residence and
Mr Millcroft’s Birthday

My favourites were most certainly the 3rd and 4th in the above list. The Murder of Santa Claus a very nicely worked murder tale which was almost certainly mirroring the style of an Agatha Christie tale.

The Girl Who Loved Graveyards was the darkest of the collection. While each story has a murder to consider Graveyards was the “unfiltered” tale and the author did not shy away from the crime, it was vividly described to shocking effect.

Short stories are exactly that – short. This collection comes in at around 170 pages in length and if I were ordering the book online I’d like to have known that ahead of time. It is a cracking collection of cleverly written tales, which I read in a couple of hours.

But the treat in Sleep No More is the class of the author’s storytelling. I loved reading this one and the variety of approaches was a treat. A twist, a clever narrative, that shocking ending and the clever reveals which have you flicking back to see where you missed the clue.

She was one of the best at what she did, her work lives on and Sleep No More only enhances my appreciation of her skills.

 

Sleep No More is published by Faber & Faber and is available in Hardback and Digital formats – you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleep-No-More-Murderous-Tales-ebook/dp/B0721NSJZW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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September 28

Death Parts Us – Alex Walters

Twenty years ago, Jackie Galloway was a senior cop with a bad reputation. Then he ended up on the wrong side of the wrong people, and his career was ruined. Sacked and with no pension, he ends up eking out his last days on Scotland’s Black Isle, his mind lost to dementia, supported only by his long-suffering wife, Bridie.

Then Galloway is found dead. The police assume the death to be accidental, until Bridie Galloway reveals that her husband has been receiving apparently threatening letters containing only the phrase: ‘NOT FORGOTTEN. NOT FORGIVEN.’

DI Alec McKay is struggling to come to terms with life without his estranged wife Chrissie, and is living in isolation on the Black Isle. As a junior officer, McKay had been allocated to Galloway’s team and has bad memories of the man and his methods. Now he finds himself investigating Galloway’s death.

But when suspicion falls on him and more police officers are murdered, the pressure is on for McKay to solve the case.

Why would the killer seek revenge twenty years after Galloway left the force?

As McKay fights to link the events of past and present, he realizes that time is rapidly running out…

 

My thanks to Sarah and the team at Bloodhound Books for my review copy and the chance to join the Blog Blitz

If you live in London, Manchester or New York you will not bat an eye if you pick up a book set in the city you live. Happens all the time.  You may smile a little if you recognise a street name or if your old school is mentioned; it is a familiarity you would enjoy spotting.

I grew up in the Highlands of Scotland. I went to school in a town called Fortrose, I drove through the neighbouring town of Avoch* and walked to Rosemarkie. Ever heard of them?  Unlikely. They are not often selected as the setting for serial killer thrillers so we don’t get to experience that wee smile of familiarity.

But Death Parts Us by Alex Walters is set on The Black Isle and features all these towns (well…villages) and I read this book with a huge smile on my face.  I walked these streets, I went to that beach, I have crossed that bridge more times than I can count and I have tromped through the Fairy Glen. This is a book set in my wee part of the world and I bloody loved it.

But you are now thinking – I have never heard of these places, is this book one I will enjoy too?  YES. If we move beyond my love of the locations in the book there is also my love of great crime novels and Death Parts Us is a slick and highly entertaining thriller.

Retired police officers are dying. Initially their deaths are considered tragic accidents, old men in poor health who reach the end of their days. However, the frequency of sudden and unexpected deaths of old colleagues soon points to some sinister faction at work. Then it becomes clear that each of the dead men had been receiving letters “Not Forgotten. Not Forgiven”  DI Alec McKay wants to investigate, however, some unfortunate timing means he will be sidelined as Alec finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Can Alec have any influence on an investigation if he just asks a few questions around the villages?

The responsibility to investigate will fall to his younger colleague Ginny Horton. But Ginny has problems of her own. An unwelcome visitor from her past has tracked her down and Ginny is not prepared to face those old and unwelcome memories.  Not that she can turn to McKay, he is trying to adjust to life alone after a recent split from his wife and has his own problems to contend with.

Death Parts Us is the second novel to feature DI Alec McKay (Candles and Roses was the first book). I had not read the first book in the series so I can state with assurance that you can read Death Parts Us without needing to read Candles – the book is very enjoyable as a stand-alone novel.

I really enjoyed Death Parts Us and I cannot wait to go back and read the first book in the series. I urge you to seek this one out, a police procedural in a whole new setting and a cracking murder mystery to enjoy.

Death Parts Us is published by Bloodhound Books and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Alex+Walters&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Alex+Walters&sort=relevancerank

 

*Avoch rhymes with “Loch” and is pronounced “awch” – it has a harbour where you can take out a boat to go dolphin spotting in the Cromarty Firth.

 

 

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September 25

Friend Request – Laura Marshall (Audiobook)

Maria wants to be friends.
But Maria is dead . . . isn’t she?

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers’ party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret.

As Maria’s messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there’s much she didn’t know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again – until now. . .

 

Another audiobook review and this one made for uncomfortable listening.  Returning visitors will perhaps know that I find stories about bullies hard to read. Well Friend Request looks at the impact of school-girl bullying as it occurs and the consequences of one prank going too far.

The blurb for this story sold it to me.  A Facebook friend request from a long dead friend sends Louise Williams into a turmoil.  Maria wants to be her friend.  But Maria wanted to be friends with Louise in 1989 and Louise let her down and chose to hang around with the popular girl rather than the girls she could relax and enjoy spending time with. Then something really bad happened and Maria died – so how can she now want to be friends?

Readers know that Louise has done something terrible in her past and that it still haunts her.  Over the course of the story we (through a number of flashback chapters) see how Louise conducted herself at school.  It makes for awkward reading at times as Louise was no angel and some of the things that she agreed to do in order to retain her status among her friends made her cringe as she recalls them. Made me cringe hearing about them and I got really annoyed with her.

In the present day Louise is a single mum and her 4yo son is her world.  Her best friend is determined that Louise should start dating again but she is equally determined that Louise keeps away from her ex.  When you read a thriller and there is a young child so integral to the plot you cannot help but worry if something bad may happen – tension I could have done without while I tried to cope with my stress over the bullying!!!

I loved the balance of past and future and there are subtle clues over what may lie ahead but you want to keep reading to find out what went wrong in the past. You also want to know how Maria can suddenly have arrived back in Louise’s life and who else may have heard from her.   With a School Reunion looming is it really a good idea for everyone to revisit memories of days best forgotten.

I did mention that this was an audiobook read for me so some thoughts from a listener…narration duties were well handled by Elaine Claxton. She was very listenable and brought the story to life, particularly when covering the chapters from 1989 and she makes her voice younger and softer which was particularly effective.  At over 11 hours in length this was one of the longer stories I heard last month but it didn’t feel it – it zipped along at a good pace and I didn’t experience a feeling of padding or mid-story drop off as I have with some of my other recent audiobooks.

For this story of school days which may be best forgotten the report card is very positive.  I thoroughly enjoyed having Friend Request for company and would not hesitate to recommend it.

 

Friend Request is published by Sphere and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook formats.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Friend-Request-addictive-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B01LWTZ751/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506190627&sr=1-1

 

 

 

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September 21

The Ice Shroud – Gordon Ell

When a woman’s body is discovered frozen in the ice of a river near the alpine resort of Queenstown, Detective Sergeant Malcolm Buchan faces both a mystery and a moral dilemma. The identity of the nude woman is critical to the motives and manner of her murder, and Buchan is personally involved. So are a number of locals, from ski bums to multi-millionaire businessman.

Newly appointed to head CIB in the Southern Lakes district, Buchan hunts the killer through the entanglements of corruption and abuse that lie barely below the surface of the tourist towns.

The assistance of a woman traffic sergeant is critical to the hunt but she brings her own dilemmas. The community is practised at keeping its secrets, and finding the truth comes at a price

 

The Ice Shroud has been named on the Best First Novel shortlist for the first ever Ngaio Marsh Awards. I have been invited to join the blog tour for the Awards and I was thrilled to have the chance to read Gordon Ell’s debut novel. My heartfelt thanks to Craig Sisterson for inviting me to join this international blog tour.

 

Wikipedia tells me that Dunedin is the second largest city in the South Island of New Zealand – its name comes from the old Gaelic name for Edinburgh (capital city of Scotland) MY capital city.  I knew the origins of the name Dunedin before I read The Ice Shroud so every time Dunedin received a name check in the book I had a happy smile – wee things like this make me absurdly happy!

What also makes me happy is when I have the chance to read a cleverly written and engaging murder mystery and I found The Ice Shroud to be exactly that, I found it utterly compelling. A whodunnit tale set in a small New Zealand town where the police are not prepared to investigate a mysterious death and yet they have to cobble a team together when a badly mutilated corpse is discovered.

Leading the investigation is DS Malcolm Buchan he has completed tours in Afghanistan but returned to New Zealand and now works for the police. He is assisted in his investigations by Magda Hansen – a traffic cop who just happened to be first on scene when a woman’s body was found deep in a ravine and partially submerged in an icy river.

We follow Buchan and Magda as they first meet then try to work out how they can recover the body from its incredibly inaccessible resting place. Once the corpse is finally recovered Buchan will find himself facing a personal dilemma which could have significant implications over how the investigation will proceed.

The victim lived and worked in a Southern resort region on the South Island. There is a high turnover of tourists to the town but the locals have a strong support network and will close ranks against the police who come knocking at their doors.  As Buchan uncovers more details of the life that the victim lived he only uncovers more questions, how could her specialist boutique sustain such heavy losses? Why did  her Bank Manager and her Accountant both offer her personal loans on a loss making business but not seek any security on her borrowing?  Why does the local barman deny knowing the victim, despite her being a frequent visitor at his establishment?

Buchan will have to break down the suspicious defences of the residents, pick out the half-truths and work out why nobody is keen to admit to knowing his victim – despite all indications that they knew her well.  To this end Gordon Ell has penned a wonderfully crafted small town murder mystery. With a relatively small cast of potential suspects, all confined in a small area and all seemingly knowing of each other’s interests The Ice Shroud is also a fascinating study of characters and what may drive them.

Having read a few Ngaio Marsh novels in my younger days I can remember them being cleverly crafted tales which always kept me guessing. The Ice Shroud therefore sits very well on the shortlist for a Ngaio Marsh award, the clever plotting by the author reflects the dogged determination of DS Buchan to find a killer and I could not turn the pages fast enough. Highly recommended, if you are a fan of police procedurals then The Ice Shroud is not a book to miss.

 

The Ice Shroud is published by Bush Press.

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September 14

Dangerous Crossing – Rachel Rhys

England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go …

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

 

 

My thanks to Alison at Transworld for my review copy and to Anne for giving me the chance to join the tour.

 

All Aboard – the Dangerous Crossing Blog Tour is about to leave the harbour…

A young woman is leaving England to sail to a new life in Australia. She leaves behind her family and is taking the memory of her beau but a fresh start in a far-off land awaits. But all may not go according to plan as when the boat reaches Australia the police are waiting.

Dangerous Crossing opens with the promise to the readers that something unpleasant has happened on the long voyage. But we learn no more at that stage as Rachel Rhys takes us from one harbour (in the Southern Hemisphere) back to 5 weeks earlier when the same ship is leaving England and we meet Lily saying her farewells to her family.

The scenes are set brilliantly with Rachel Rhys capturing the feeling of the time and the mood of the passengers. It is 1939, the world is on the cusp of war but Mr Chamberlain has promised peace and as the crowds on the harbour-side wave off their friends the feeling of optimism and excitement flows from the pages.

As we join the travelers and get drawn into the story we discover more about the key characters. Lily and her new cabin-mates are all heading south to enter domestic service. Their fees have been paid but their cabin is of cattle class standard and functional at best. However, there are opportunities to meet the first class travelers too and one family in particular are breaking ranks and not mixing in the ‘better class circles’. Why they choose to mix outwith their social groups is one of the mysteries we need to discover as we read.

The story unfolds at a pace I found perfectly suited a cruise liner making its way through the oceans. Life on board is wonderfully depicted: finding a 4th for cards, bouts of sea-sickness, dining in polite company and the irritations of living in the pockets of strangers. Throw into the mix the political tension with a war brewing, some who believe Mr Hitler is a positive force who are sailing beside people they know to be Jewish. We have stops in Gibraltar and Italy (where the Italians cause outrage by not behaving in the way a Brit finds acceptable) and you can feel that you are very much taking part in the Dangerous Journey too.

Oh yes – don’t forget the name of the book…as nice as things may seem on the surface there is trouble ahead. Once you are deep into the pages you will want to keep reading as Rachel Rhys weaves her world around you.

This is not a high octane thriller but it doesn’t need to be – it is hugely engaging and wonderfully written. It gave off an Agatha Christie vibe and was every bit entertaining as any of Dame Agatha’s tales. I very much enjoyed Dangerous Crossing and would not hesitate to recommend it.

 

Dangerous Crossing is published by Black Swan and is available in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Crossing-captivating-Richard-page-turner-ebook/dp/B01IW4A22Q/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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September 13

The Kindred Killers – Graham Smith

Jake Boulder’s help is requested by his best friend, Alfonse, when his cousin is crucified and burned alive along with his wife and children.

As Boulder tries to track the heinous killer, a young woman is abducted. Soon her body is discovered and Boulder realises both murders have something unusual in common.

With virtually no leads for Boulder to follow, he strives to find a way to get a clue as to the killer’s identity. But is he hunting for one killer or more?

After a young couple are snatched in the middle of the night the case takes a brutal turn. When the FBI is invited to help with the case, Boulder finds himself warned off the investigation.

When gruesome, and incendiary, footage from a mobile phone is sent to all the major US News outlets and the pressure to find those responsible for the crimes mounts.  But with the authorities against him can Boulder catch the killer before it’s too late?

 

My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my review copy and the chance to join the tour

We were first introduced to Scot in exile, Jake Boulder, in Watching the Bodies and from the off I loved the new character introduced by Graham Smith.  So when I discovered Boulder was returning in The Kindred Killers I was more than a little excited – I always favour recurring characters and I love to watch their story build across multiple titles.

The Kindred Killers takes a much darker tone than Watching the Bodies – for a start we have murder victims with a very close link to Boulder. Boulder’s best friend, Alphonse, tracks Jake down after Jake has had a heavy night. Too drunk to recall what has happened Jake wakes to find a strange girl in his bed, his knuckles bruised from fighting and his best friend banging on the door of his room (angry with Jake for failing to come to his assistance the previous night). Jake would do anything for Alphonse so his sense of remorse at letting his friend down will drive him into action.

Alphonse explains that his cousin is missing (along with his cousin’s family) but when Jake and Alphonse reach the family home it is clear that there has been a struggle and that the family have not left willingly.  It is not long before 4 bodies are found…all four family members have been tied to a cross and set on fire.  The killings appear racially motivated and their murders have all the hallmarks of a Klan killing, but Jake is not convinced as something about where the bodies are found does not seem typical of the KKK.

Knowing the local police are not capable of conducting a murder investigation on this scale (and not wishing to be kept on the sidelines) Alphonse and Jake are on the trail of the killers. But we readers get to see that the murder of a single family is just the start of things and there are more potential victims unknowingly facing a grizzly fate.

As previously stated, The Kindred Killers is much darker in tone this time around. I found the murders (and their methods) to be quite unsettling. I deeply dislike bullies in stories and I also dislike people being singled out because someone may feel that they do not “fit in” – as such there were elements of this story which greatly rankled with me. This should reflect well on the author, creating the characters which will anger me as a reader, drawing me into the story and making me will the bad guys to fail. I wanted them to change their ways or to be brought to their knees.  I shouldn’t get angry at made up people but I did! Boulder is on the case but how many will have to suffer before he can track down the guilty and see that justice is brought down upon them.

If you enjoy a vigilante story, enjoy tales of the investigator who is not restricted by the rules of the police and a hero that will swing a punch to end a disagreement with the bad guys – Jake Boulder is the guy you need to discover.

 

The Kindred Killers is published by Bloodhound Books and is available in Digital and Paperback format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kindred-Killers-Jake-Boulder-Book-ebook/dp/B0759FD5ZH/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

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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

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September 8

Raising Steam – Terry Pratchett (Audiobook)

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork – a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work – as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital…but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse….

Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi’ t’flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all going off the rails….

 

Still doing the very long daily commute so it was time to bring some Terry Pratchett into my journey. I have been a fan of the Discworld books since the late 1980’s, I have read and re-read each title multiple times – mostly.

Even my favourite authors (and Sir Terry has been my favourite for many a long year) do not always hit the mark with their books.  Although Mort, Wyrd Sisters and Nightwatch are virtually imprinted onto my brain – I am less fond of Pyramids, Eric and Monstrous Regiment.  Raising Steam had fallen into the latter category, I bought the book on first release but never really got into it and it remained unfinished (a state previously unheard of for a Discworld novel). So when I wanted a Discworld book for my car journey – Raising Steam was getting a second chance.

Happy I am to report that I got much more involved with the story this time around and I enjoyed it a lot more as an audio experience than I had when I tried to read it.

Raising Steam sees the return of Moist von Lipwig, saviour of the Post Office and Vice-Chairman of the bank (with a small snuffly dog as the actual Chairman). I have loved both the previous Moist novels and this time around we see him coming to the fore as an industrial revolution blooms and the railways spring up.

Once again Pratchett has perfectly captured the best bits of our history and lampooned it perfectly.  We have the luddites (represented by Deep Down Dwarves) and the innovators – an engineer who gets a cracking Yorkshire accent from the narrator, the Patrician oversees the development using Moist as his conduit.  But Raising Steam is much more than an industrial revolution as there is a Political Revolution going on too. Dwarf’s are revolting (as in rising against their King) but stability and progress is the more desirable outcome for The Patrician, the King, The City Watch and also the Trolls (long time enemy of all Dwarf people). Tensions will rise and it will take a cast of many of our favourite characters to sort this mess out.

Raising Steam highlights again that there are few that can hold a torch to Terry Pratchett – his work is the stuff of legend and I sorely miss having the opportunity to enjoy new adventures with characters I have loved for all my adult life.

As for the audio – well Stephen Briggs does an admirable job and brings life to the whole cast. He gives accents to all the races (and characters) and Yorkshire, Wales, South-West and Cockney all shine through.  My only quibble is that the bad dwarf was Scottish and so was one of my most loved characters – “Spike”.  My mental image of Ms Dearheart were slightly tarnished by Mr Briggs making her sound like Supergran.

All in it was a great few hours of listening – with minor quibbles over Scottish accents – but only a Scot would pick up on that I feel!

 

Raising Steam is available in paperback, digital and audiobook. Terry Pratchett remains a legend.

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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

 

 

 

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