November 21

Hunger Moon – Alexandra Sokoloff

Revenge has no limits.

Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.

Hiding from the law, avenging angel Cara Lindstrom is on her own ruthless quest. She plans to stay as far away from Roarke as possible—until an old enemy comes after both her and the FBI, forcing her back into Roarke’s orbit. This time, the huntress has become the hunted…

 

My thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours for the opportunity to join the blog tour

 

If you have not been following the Cara Lindstrom “Huntress” books by Alexandra Sokoloff then you are missing out on some of the most powerful and important serial killer stories currently on release.

A pretty bold opening statement given the vast wealth of choice crime readers have. However in Cara Lindstrom we have a killer who is fighting back on behalf of the women who have fallen victim to men and suffered at their hands. She picks off the abusers and the rapists and she makes them pay on behalf of the silent victims. After years of working in silence she has become “famous” and now men are hunting her – not just the authorities (though FBI agent Roarke has been pursing her through 4 previous books) but men who would harm her and make an example of her are chasing Cara down.

Cara’s cause is taken up by a group calling themselves Bitch. They are also seeking justice against the men who have for so many years been able to get away with heinous crimes and assisted in covering for their counterparts.

The relationship (as it is) between Cara and Roarke has been tracked through Hunger Moon and the 4 books which precede it. It really does help to have read the earlier novels.  Previous books have also seen the growth of Bitch and some associated characters to Bitch who will enforce their own justice in the way they feel Cara would. Now take a powder-keg of revenge and drop it into 2017 America – the America of Trump “Making America Great Again” and of sexual scandals and the recent #metoo declarations. Hunger Moon is going to rip off the cover of all the bad behaviours and expose the evil within and it is done exceedingly well.

In Hunger Moon Alexandra Sokoloff slams the worst of society and shows a few good souls trying to do right by the victims against an overwhelming wall of secrets, lies and covering up. Roarke and his team are trying to investigate a college frat house – victim of an act of vandalism – but they suspect the vandals were also delivering a warning. The fraternity will close ranks to protect their own but Roarke needs to know why they were a target and if there is any potential that the vandal may return with a bigger “message” in mind. Reading of Roarke’s frustration at not being able to do a full investigation as powerful men tried to play political games was thoroughly engrossing and wholly believable.

Not one to shy away from the realities of the crimes being committed, readers are left in no doubt that the author finds no sympathy for the victims of Lindstrom and Bitch – their crimes are cast back to them and they will pay. This is not a book for the mild mannered or faint of heart. Hunger Moon shows the anger of the author at today’s society and it is guaranteed to elicit an extremely emotive response – anger, frustration, horror, regret, sympathy…they all get drawn out over the course of the book.

Powerful and unmissable – Hunger Moon…a must read.

 

Hunger Moon can be purchased via the link below – all the earlier books can be acquired on the second link

Purchase: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/HungerMoon-Alexandra-Sokoloff-ebook/dp/B071L1NQJ2
Previous books in the series:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073FWYBPM/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Throughout the Hunger Moon tour there is a an ongoing Giveaway offering the chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Voucher.  Open to International applicants – access the competition via this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251232148/

 

Category: From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Hunger Moon – Alexandra Sokoloff
November 20

The Man in the Wall – Emma Angstrom

Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games.

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two weeks after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

 

My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for the chance to host the Blog Blitz

 

The Man in the Wall – I was hooked by the name and sold by the description (above). How utterly chilling, to think that whilst in the safety of your home there may be someone watching you…moving around your house, maybe even while you are sleeping. Or if your wife disappears, returning dead two whole weeks later – clearly having been killed some days earlier.

Let there be no doubt that The Man in the Wall is deeply unsettling and more than a little chilling.

Alva moves into a new home with her mother and elder sisters.  She is excluded by her siblings and seems to be having problems fitting in at school too. Alva has an unusual fascination with the occult and paranormal (unusual in one so young). She has an encyclopedia which she frequently consults and is looking for hidden messages in everyday objects, convinced her dead grandmother is trying to communicate with her. Following Alva’s story was fascinating as she was often unpredictable and made for a quirky character to keep up with.

We also get to see how the Man in the Wall is living out his days – the residents in the rooms he is watching will sometimes feel they are being watched, whirling around they look to the corners or the vents but never actually believe their home has been invaded. As a reader this was a very uncomfortable feeling, watching the watcher and almost sharing his fascination.

There was initially a bit of a slow build into the story while reading The Man in the Wall. However, once characters are established, the building introduced and the relationship between different family members are shown to be strained then the pace will pick up and the chills begin.

I like the phrase chiller/thriller for books like these – page turning tension but with a creepy edge to the action which some readers may find a bit distressing.

 

The Man in the Wall is published by Bloodhound Books and is available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Wall-dark-disturbing-thriller-ebook/dp/B0777HCJ54/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1511112861&sr=1-1&keywords=the+man+in+the+wall

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Man in the Wall – Emma Angstrom
November 19

Hell to Pay – Rachel Amphlett

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

 

My thanks to Emma Mitchell for the chance to join the blog tour.

 

Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter is back in a 4th outing.  She has had a rough time in the previous books (not that it is essential to have read them) but in Hell to Pay she will come directly up against Josef Demiri – the man behind much of her pain.

Hell to Pay has a great opening sequence.  Called to a traffic incident Hunter finds that what may have been a simple car crash has become exceedingly unpleasant as it becomes clear there was a body in the boot of the crashed car.  Investigation into the car and its driver reveals a connection to Demiri.  Hunter has been waiting for her chance to get back at Demiri and she wants to be involved in the investigation – she is determined to arrest him and bring down his criminal empire.

Dimiri is equally determined to get to Hunter.  He feels she needs to pay for her previous interference in his business affairs. He has been keeping a close watch over her – too close for Hunter’s liking – and he now feels that the time has come to put an end to her attempts to arrest him.

Rachel Amphlett has made a truly deplorable bad guy in Demiri. Returning readers knew he was a danger to Kay, however, the stakes are significantly raised in Hell to Pay. We get to see the worst of Demiri yet it appears that he is mocking the police and simply toying with them…all to ensure he can get a chance to get to DS Hunter. It ensures the story builds towards an inevitable showdown and it did have me worrying that Kay’s obsessive focus to bring down Demiri may be ill-advised.

I always enjoy Rachel Amphlett’s books – the interplay between her characters does make the reader feel they are part of a tense and frustrating investigation. Hell to Pay zips along at a good pace and I loved the twists and turns along the way. The Kay Hunter series is highly recommended – if you pick up Hell to Pay you will find that you will want to catch-up on the first three books too.

 

Hell to Pay is a gripping fast paced crime thriller, and the fourth in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH
2. WILL TO LIVE
3. ONE TO WATCH
4. HELL TO PAY

You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hell-Pay-Detective-Hunter-Book-ebook/dp/B077CLS6RL/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Hell to Pay – Rachel Amphlett
November 16

Whiteout – Ragnar Jonasson – Audiobook

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

 

Huge thanks to Karen at Orenda for the opportunity to listen to this audio book.

 

Whiteout was sublime listening. A tale of Iceland at Christmas time and the audiobook wonderfully conveyed a feeling of chilled darkness.

In a very remote settlement a young woman has been found dead at the foot of a steep cliff. Ari Thor Arason is drafted in to help his former boss investigate the circumstances surrounding her death. Suicide seems likely but when it is discovered that the woman’s mother and sister both died in the same spot it merits a little more investigation.

If the potential suicide is actually a murder then there are very few suspects – three residents in the house she had been visiting (all three older than the dead woman) and in the neighbouring house resides a couple who were roughly of ages with the deceased. None appear to have any possible motive for wishing her dead, she has not been in their company for over 20 years so why can murder not be ruled out?

Unpicking the mystery of this unusual death will be a challenge but it makes for excellent reading. Masterful teasing out of clues, slow reveals and clever, clever plotting by Ragnar Jonasson kept me hooked.  I have always been a fan of the Dark Iceland series but Whiteout is easily my favourite thus far, it was quite brilliant.

The audiobook was narrated by Leighton Pugh and he does a terrific job. Character voices were easily identifiable and perfectly fitted how the players had been described in the text. The story flowed around me as I listened and I felt transported to the craggy cliff edges, the stone lighthouse and the old houses where the five suspects tucked away their secrets.

Whiteout is set at Christmas and I discovered so many wonderful Icelandic traditions whilst listening to the book. Hearing about the Christmas Messages, the gifting of books and other heartwarming memories contrasted sharply with the investigation into a death – my sadness accentuated at the timing of a life lost.

 

Whiteout is published by Orenda Books and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook format.

You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whiteout-Dark-Iceland-Ragnar-J%C3%B3nasson-ebook/dp/B06Y6HWP9Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1510871147&sr=1-1&dpID=51j8pDxoAML&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

 

Category: Audiobook | Comments Off on Whiteout – Ragnar Jonasson – Audiobook
November 12

See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt

Just after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He’s found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.

It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie who the police first question, but there are others in the household with stories to tell: older sister Emma, Irish maid Bridget, the girls’ Uncle John, and a boy who knows more than anyone realises.

In a dazzlingly original and chilling reimagining of this most notorious of unsolved mysteries, Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.

 

My thanks to Anne Cater for the chance to join this blog tour

Lizzie Borden took an axe

and gave her mother forty whacks,

when she saw what she had done

she gave her father forty-one.

I first heard that rhyme years ago – long before I knew it was based upon actual events. I took it at face value and did not give it much thought beyond the fact it was a slightly more grim rhyme than other chants I heard.

What I have never given any thought to in all the years I have known of Lizzie Borden’s gruesome legacy was WHY. What prompted Lizzie to pick up an axe and slay her parents?  I also never gave any consideration to the fact the rhyme may be misleading.  Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders and spent less than a year in prison while her trial was conducted. I had always assumed she had been guilty,

Sarah Schmidt takes the Lizzie Borden story and builds a story around the facts as known. She brings us into the Borden home and gives the reader an insight into the lives of the family and how they may have interacted.

The tale is told from a variety of viewpoints and will shift in time a little too. It gives us a chance to see a broader view of family life and of the period and places where the story is set. Fans of historical crime fiction will love See What I have Done. Sarah Schmidt does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the time and plonks the reader in the midst of a terrible moment letting everything unfold around us.

Compelling reading and at times it is utterly entrancing.

 

See What I Have Done is published by Tinder Press and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/See-What-Have-Done-Critically/dp/1472240871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510440797&sr=8-1&keywords=see+what+I+have+done&dpID=51juSb%252BhKbL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt
November 9

Neil White – Lost In Nashville

I am delighted to welcome Neil White back to Grab This Book.

Neil’s new book, Lost in Nashville, was published on 8 November and takes the reader on a nostalgic road-trip as a father and son go traveling through the life of the one and only…Johnny Cash.

As is always the case when someone reveals a favourite artist there is one question which must be answered.

 

I’ve been asked to pick my favourite Johnny Cash song as part of the lead-up to the release of Lost In Nashville, my novel about a father and son who travel Johnny Cash’s life and songs in some effort to reconnect. When I apply my mind to it, it seems an almost impossible task. Try looking across a sun-dappled meadow and being asked to pick your favourite flower. 

I don’t know when I realised I was a Johnny Cash fan, because he was very much the soundtrack to my childhood, my father blasting him out whenever he put music on. Eventually, it seeps into you and becomes part of you. 

What I do know is that Johnny’s music covers such a wide spectrum and that they all have their own particular appeal. 

There are the early Sun records, raw and young, and then there are the songs about the wild west and cowboys. Historical songs were a common feature, and a lot of my knowledge of American history is down to Johnny’s songs. Like, who assassinated President Garfield, or the story behind one of the men hoisting the US flag at Iwo Jima, Ira Hayes. Tales of the American west and its characters, from the legendary cowboy figures to the stories of great Native Americans, they were all handed down to me by Johnny Cash, the son of a sharecropper from some small dusty Arkansas town. 

Johnny wasn’t just about history to me though, because he sang about hardship and the lost lives of those who ended up on the wrong side of the law. The raw energy of the prison concerts sent shivers down my young spine, Johnny singing tunes that spoke to them, was in their language, tales of murder sung to whooping audiences of murderers that sparked an interest in criminal law. I ended up a criminal lawyer and an author of crime fiction. Johnny shaped me as well as entertained me. 

That is why it is so hard to choose a favourite song, because they cover so much and all spark different emotions. 

I’m going to settle on one though, because I’ve been asked to choose, and that song is Orange Blossom Special. 

The reasons are numerous, but most of all because it’s a great song, Johnny’s version of an old fiddle tune about a train that ran from New York to Miami. There is a story about how it was written, but I’ll leave that for the book to explore, but the story centres on Jacksonville, Florida, and it does for me, in part. 

I’ve picked the song partly because of the rhythm. It’s about a train and the rhythm of the song captures it perfectly, from the whistle-wail of the mouth organ to the way the steady pluck of the guitar matches the wheels on the rails. It’s impossible to listen to it without imagining the train hurtling south. 

Another reason is that it was the song that turned my father on to Johnny Cash, and without that, my musical education would have been much different. 

A final reason is that the album of the same name created a romantic image that stayed with me, of cruising the wide open plains on an old boxcar, feet dangling, the country moving slowly by. The album cover shows Johnny sitting on top of an old boxcar, looking into the far distance, and in my head he’s looking towards the prairie, of distant opportunity. 

I know the reality of boxcar living was less romantic, hopping from train to train looking for work, town to town, dodging the beatings from the guards, but the romance of carefree travel is one that stayed with me. 

Back to Jacksonville, pivotal for the story of how the song came about, and I was there once, travelling from Tampa to New Orleans by train. There was lay-off of about eight hours, and I spent it on Jacksonsville station, unaware of its place in the song, watching long lines of freight trains going past and thinking of how great it would be to hop on and rumble into the distance, my mind on that album cover. 

For all of his great songs, Orange Blossom Special gets the top spot. 

 

Lost in Nashville is published by Manatee Books and is available in paperback and digital format here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Nashville-Neil-White/dp/1912347008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510267687&sr=8-1&keywords=lost+in+nashville&dpID=51TrbUTk2JL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

Lost in Nashville

James Gray is a lawyer and his life is a success. Or at least, he thinks it is, but something is missing – a bond with his father, Bruce. Bruce Gray is old, retired and estranged from his family. He spends his time drinking and drifting in the small seaside town in England that James once called home. James decides to take Bruce on a road trip, to try and connect with his father through the one thing that has always united them: a love for Johnny Cash and his music. Together they travel through Johnny Cash’s life; where he grew up, the places he sang about – a journey of discovery about Johnny, the South and each other. Always fascinating, an evocative and emotional road trip, Lost In Nashville will captivate you, inform you and along the way may even break your heart

Category: Guests, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Neil White – Lost In Nashville
November 9

Trading Down – Stephen Norman

A new kind of terrorist…

Chris Peters loves his work in a multi-national bank: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. And he loves his beautiful wife, Olivia. But over time, the dream turns sour. His systems crash, the traders turn on him, and Olivia becomes angry and disillusioned. So much bad luck.

Or is it? A natural detective, Chris finds evidence of something sinister in the mysterious meltdown of a US datacentre. A new kind of terrorist. But can he get anyone to believe him? His obsessive search leads him to a jihadist website, filled with violent images; a man beaten to a pulp in a Dubai carpark; and a woman in a gold sari dancing in the flames of her own destruction. Slowly, a tragic story from decades ago in Yemen emerges.

Too late, Chris understands the nature of the treachery, so close to him. His adversary knows every move and is ready to strike. Even his boss agrees: if this program is run, it will destroy this bank as surely as a neutron bomb. And Chris Peters has 48 hours to figure it out…

 

My thanks to Alice at Midas PR for my review copy of Trading Down and for the opportunity to join the blog tour.

 

My day job is in financial services. I read crime thrillers for fun and escapism. These two parts of my life seldom cross over…a thriller set against a backdrop of Financial Services? A book which can make a page-turner out of investment banking?  Until I read Trading Down I would have seriously doubted that these worlds could collide so well – yet Stephen Norman has accomplished what I thought would be impossible and this is a stylish and sophisticated thriller.

The story flits around a few different windows of time and the international world of finance and trading is brought to the fore as we visit the worldwide banking hubs. But there is an underlying danger to be challenged and the very realistic threat of financial terrorism takes the story to Yemen and a backstory which begins a few years before we meet our key character – Chris Peters.

Everything in Trading Down felt fast, breathless and energetic. Peters is facing a crisis at every turn, both his home life and work are demanding and he is under enormous pressure.  At work he finds the computer systems which process a huge number of financial transactions are not functioning properly – after a late night crisis (when the bank activates the disaster recovery plan) Chris finds his workplace under severe scrutiny from the regulators. His attempts to maintain systems functionality unveil suspicious activities and Chris begins to explore further…his investigations reveal links to terrorist operations and Chris will be in extreme peril as he seeks to protect himself and those around him against a foe who seems always to be ahead of him.

Trading Down really appealed to me, the overlap with many of the environments I encounter through my work gave it particular fascination. It is a well plotted thriller which kept me hooked and thoroughly entertained.  It d0es stray into financial jargon at times but the authenticity benefits in that regard.  I don’t quibble if a military thriller does a discussion on ballistics or if a medical examiner in a crime thriller outlines an autopsy anomaly to a green faced police detective. So my full attention was given to discussions on investment trades and recording purchases and the story progressed at a nice fast pace entirely befitting a race against time thriller.

A very distinctive backdrop and a damn fine thriller.  Lots of fun was had with Trading Down, if you fancy trying a thriller which is a little different from police procedurals you can start here.

 

Trading Down is published by Endeavour Press and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trading-Down-gripping-cyber-thriller-ebook/dp/B075QF8LJ8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1510186440&sr=1-1&dpID=51FdMfy2YQL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

Category: Blog Tours | Comments Off on Trading Down – Stephen Norman
November 7

The Dead Whisper – Emma Clapperton

D.S Preston and D.C Lang are sent to investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow. But who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? When they believe their questions have been answered the case is closed.

Meanwhile, Sam Leonard could not be happier – he has a great acting career and a fantastic girlfriend. After being in a previously turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?

For Patrick McLaughlin life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.

But the house that Patrick moves into is not what it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased, and a recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

In order to lay the ghosts to rest questions will be asked but can the house ever let go of its past?

 

My thanks to Sarah Hardy for my review copy and the chance to join the Blog Blitz

A nicely creepy tale which is perfect for these dark November evenings. The Dead Whisper sees the return of Patrick McLaughlin (first encountered in The Suicide Plan). Patrick can see ghosts and spirits and when he moves into the former home of the Henderson family,  complete with the family burial plot in the grounds, it will throw up a challenge for Patrick to solve.

It should be noted that Patrick does not actually appear in The Dead Whisper until mid-way through the book and this is a story which can very much be read as a stand-alone thriller. The main focus is on Sam Leonard – a successful actor who seems to attract some very protective (possibly obsessive) girlfriends.  Sam is in the early days of a new relationship – his last partner had become infatuated with him and was sending hostile messages to Sam’s flatmate and childhood friend Jenny.

Jenny is extremely protective of Sam and given how his last relationship ended it is not surprising she does not wish her friend to be hurt again.  However, the reader gets to see that Jenny’s protective edge can ramp up to outright hostility if she feels that Sam is getting too much attention from a member of the opposite sex.  Sam appears totally unaware of Jenny’s over-protective side but it does unsettle people who fall foul of Jenny’s glare.

What was particularly unsettling was that women who show Sam too much attention seem to become a target and this can have fatal consequences. I was shocked when one character I had really liked suddenly faced extreme peril, nasty surprises and unexpected twists are the BEST way to draw me into a story and Emma Clapperton did exactly that.

Supernatural thrills mean a few dead bodies are likely and I really enjoyed The Dead Whispers as the balance between crime novel and creepy thriller was spot on.

 

The Dead Whisper is published by Bloodhound Books and is available in paperback and digital format and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Whisper-haunting-thriller-wont-ebook/dp/B076M2LR5Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1510096222&sr=8-3&keywords=emma+clapperton&dpID=517eMVekTiL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on The Dead Whisper – Emma Clapperton
November 6

Make Me / Wolves in the Dark (Audiobook)

Make Me

Lee Child is now one of the few authors that I read and re-read and then read all over again.  I think I have read Killing Floor well over a dozen times down the years.  Somehow I missed reading Make Me when it first released so my Audible credits were flexed to give me some listening pleasure. And what pleasure it was. 

The mystery at the heart of Make Me runs right to the final scenes and even if you had given me 100 guesses I would never have puzzled this one out – totally gripping and more than a little disturbing.  But definitely one of the better novels in the series – I really enjoyed this one.

Child is happy to let Reacher age and in Make Me there were signs that his is slowing down and becoming a bit more vulnerable…extra drama!

The audiobook was very well presented.  Narration by Jeff Harding who nailed Reacher but some of the other character voices were a bit too similar over the course of the whole book. A minor niggle and it took nothing away from my overall enjoyment.

 

Wolves in the Dark

Varg Veum returns in this dark, dark tale from Gunnar Staalesen.  Veum is in a dangerous position – charged with an horrific offence and the evidence against him is damning.  The biggest problem with Varg will face is…himself.  He had gone through a period of self oblivion, drinking heavily and hardly functioning from day to day. 

Now facing the very real prospect of a lengthy prison sentence Veum must do whatever it takes to shake off his clouded memories and discover who he may have upset that may have tried to plant evidence against him.  But what it Veum DID do the crimes which he was accused of?

His personal trauma, self doubt and the trust he needs others to have in him are brilliantly conveyed by Gunnar Staalesen – a magnificent storyteller and in top, top form here.  Wolves in the Dark is hard to “enjoy” as the topics covered are distressing at times – but this is a powerful book and I loved listening to it.

Narrated by Colin Mace, the gruff tones of Varg Veum were pitched perfectly and captured how I had imagined he would sound.

 

Category: Audiobook, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Make Me / Wolves in the Dark (Audiobook)
November 4

Shadows – Paul Finch

As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.

When Lucy’s patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.

Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…

 

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

 

A new Paul Finch book is always met with much excitement at Grab This Book so when Shadows hit my Kindle I could not wait to start reading.

Lucy Clayburn returns for a second outing following her debut in Strangers. Having read Strangers will help you better understand  a couple of the conversations in Shadows, however, Shadows can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. Both are great reads so you are not going to be unhappy whichever reading option you opt for!

Lucy had a terrible start to her police career and has been working hard to restore her credibility and prove her value to the department.  Events in Strangers has significantly helped and her stock is rising but now an old acquaintance is looking for help as one of his friends has been caught in possession of narcotics – if Lucy can have a lesser charge pursued he can provide information on a violent armed robber.

The possibility of catching a serial offender gives Lucy the opportunity to join the high profile team that work on capturing armed robbers.  She embraces the opportunity and tries to ensure she shines through careful planning and preparation. It is great to see Lucy getting the chance to step-up and her enthusiasm and determination make her an engaging a likeable character.

Away from Lucy’s case the reader gets to see what the “bad guys” are up to.  Established (and high profile) criminals are being attacked in places they believe to be safe.  It looks like there are new players in town and they are intent on disrupting the old guard and taking out the competition.  Their mission is deadly and the story takes a dark turn when they met out their unpleasant lessons and establish their authority. It makes for gripping story telling and I got completely caught up in events.

I have yet to read a Paul Finch book that I have not enjoyed – Shadows is another great read and I highly recommend it.

Shadows is published by Avon and can be ordered in paperback or digital format here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadows-gripping-thriller-bestseller-Clayburn/dp/0007551339/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509788309&sr=1-1&keywords=paul+finch

 

Category: Blog Tours, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Shadows – Paul Finch