February 15

Before It’s Too Late – Sara Driscoll

In this powerful K-9 crime thriller, FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her trusted search-and-rescue Labrador, Hawk, must race against the clock before a diabolical killer strikes again…
Somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area, a woman lies helpless in a box. Beneath the earth. Barely breathing. Buried alive. In Quantico, the FBI receives a coded message from the woman’s abductor. He wants to play a game with them: decipher the clues, find the grave, save the girl. The FBI’s top cryptanalysts crack the code and Special Agent Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, scramble to the scene of the crime. Cryptic clues lead them astray and by the time they solve the puzzle, it’s too late. But the killer’s game is far from over . . .

Soon another message arrives. Another victim is taken, and the deadly pattern is repeated—again and again. Each kidnapping triggers another desperate race against time, each with the possibility of another senseless death. That’s when Meg decides to try something drastic. Break the Bureau’s protocol. Bring in her brilliant sister, Cara, a genius at word games, to decipher the kidnapper’s twisted clues. Meg knows she’s risking her career to do it, but she’s determined not to let one more person die under her and Hawk’s watch. If the plan fails, it could bite them in the end. And if it leads to the killer, it could bury them forever . . .


My thanks to Jen Danna and Kensington Books for a review copy, received through Netgalley.


Last year I reviewed the first FBI K-9 novel Lone Wolf and fell in love with a fictional labrador called Hawk.   Hawk is a search and rescue dog working for the FBI in the canine unit, his handler is Special Agent Meg Jennings and together they make a formidable team.  Lone Wolf saw the duo on the track of a bomber who was targeting government buildings and it was a powerful and engaging read.

Meg and Hawk are back for a second outing in Before it’s too Late and this time the action is taking place much closer to home.

The FBI receive a coded message – a woman has been kidnapped and if the FBI can crack the code in the message then they will be able to locate the missing woman and rescue her. If they don’t solve the puzzle in good time the woman will die.  A game from the kidnapper with a deadly twist.

Meg and Hawk are involved in the chase to rescue the woman but their chances of success are slim. When a cryptic clue throws the FBI off track it is too late to save the woman. Meg takes the failure hard but the kidnapper/killer is not done yet and a second woman is abducted, the alert is raised when her dog is spotted running free.

I am avoiding plot spoilers but suffice to say Meg becomes close to the action as she blames herself for not saving the first kidnap victim and she will not rest until she sees the killer brought to justice.

The FBI K9 novels have been a welcome and refreshing addition to my kindle. I love the dynamic between Meg and Hawk (and the other dogs which appear through the stories). After the thrill of hunting the bomber in Lone Wolf, the change to a sadistic killer in Before it’s too Late was equally welcome as I love a serial killer tale.

I hope that more FBI K9 stories shall follow, not enough dogs in my crime fiction and these warm my heart.


Before it’s too Late is published by Kensington and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Before-Its-Late-F-B-I-Novel-ebook/dp/B01N7NZL8T/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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February 11

Gallery of the Dead – Chris Carter

Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what’s inside that room would be it.

That’s what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders; a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing – it’s an art form.

Welcome to The Gallery of the Dead.


My thanks to Rhiannon at Simon & Schuster for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.


I can only say good things about Gallery of the Dead as I absolutely loved it. It’s a dark but totally gripping read in which Robert Hunter finds himself attending a murder scene and believing that the killer has been too efficient for this to have been his first kill.

From the opening chapter I was hooked – a woman arrives home, she potters through the rooms whilst chatting to her cat. It seemed all too normal, too domesticated and so I expected something nasty was about to happen.  Reading on my mind was whirring with possibilities over what Chris Carter could have in store…would she find something horrible? Is there someone in her house?  Will she receive a terrifying phone call?  From the very first paragraphs you are drawn in and you want to keep reading as you are sure something bad (really bad) is about to happen.

And it does.

Boom – he got me. And for the next few hundred pages Chris Carter was not letting me go – Gallery of the Dead is one of those rare gems where you don’t want to stop reading and the action and twists and shocks just keep coming. “One more chapter?” Hell no…I can give it another hour – at least.

Hunter is back in top form too (this is book 9 in the series).  Gallery of the Dead can be read entirely on its own, wholly self contained and easy to enjoy without knowing the back story.  His analytical mind and sharp eye quickly identifies “marks” left on the body of the victim (no spoilers here) and using the police database to search for similar occurrences he alerts the FBI to the murder he is investigating.

The FBI have already been aware of the killer (this is not his first murder) and they propose a liaison with the police.  The agent heading up the FBI taskforce is aware of Hunter’s skills and is keen to have him on board – but if you get Hunter you get his partner too and with that comes a wisecracking cop who will rub up the FBI agents in the wrong way. I loved the friction and rivalry between police and FBI and it was only made better by Hunter’s reaction to the sniping around him!

If you like a serial killer story, one which will not hold back on the grim detail and the sadistic nature of a murderous mind then you need to seek out Chris Carter’s books.  Gallery of the Dead is a brilliant read – entertainment to the max.


Gallery of the Dead is published by Simon & Schuster and is available now in hardback, audiobook and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gallery-Dead-Robert-Hunter-9/dp/1471156346/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1518307286&sr=8-1

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February 11

The Extremist – Nadia Dalbuono

On a hot summer’s morning in Rome, three public places — a McDonald’s, a preschool, and a café — come under siege from a group of terrorists who appear to be Islamic extremists. When word comes through that the terrorists will only negotiate with Detective Leone Scamarcio, no one is more surprised than Scamarcio himself.

The young man with frightened eyes who speaks to Scamarcio seems anything but in control. He says that Scamarcio is the only person he can trust to care about the truth. Then he gives Scamarcio an unusual list of demands, including that everything must be done without police or intelligence involvement, and within twenty-four hours — or the hostages die.

With his face on every TV screen, and with all of Italy on alert, Scamarcio must race against the clock and elude the grasp of the increasingly unhinged chief of intelligence, Colonel Scalisi, to meet the terrorists’ demands, and to uncover the truth behind the attacks. But, as Scamarcio follows the young man’s clues, he finds that every question seems to turn up five more, and, as usual for this son-of-a-Mafioso policeman, nothing is as it seems.


My thanks to Adam Howard at Scribe for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.


The Extremist stars with an explosion of horror as the reader is witness to a terror siege in Rome. One of the terrorists makes a demand – he wants to speak with Detective Leone Scamarcio and nobody else will do. This is something of a shock to Scamarcio who is required to walk into the heart of the action with no protection, no back up and no idea why he has been summoned.

Even after speaking with a nervous terrorist Scamarcio is unclear exactly what is expected of him – he does know that his own unique background (a cop with mafia connections) is the reason he was sought out.

Scamarcio is set a challenge, recover a box from a garden far from where the action is taking place then come back and speak with the terrorist again. Not easy – as soon as he leaves the scene of the siege Scamarcio is expected to update his colleagues but he is not to speak of the task he has been set and to share the detail means he will not have the chance to get to that garden…he needs to escape from the police and go it alone.

The situation in Rome is critical and Scamarcio is racing against time to meet the deadline he has been set – if he fails then innocent lives will be lost. The challenges he faces will put him in peril more than once, he cannot trust anyone and it seems the terrorists may also be pawns in a more deadly game. You need to keep your wits about you whilst reading The Extremist, it gets twisty.

The Extremist is the fourth Leone Scamarcio thriller. Do you need to have read the earlier novels?  Nope….but there is a lot going on in The Extremist and I suspect that returning readers will get great enjoyment from seeing how the characters move on while new readers get a high tempo adventure.

I usually have three or more books on the go at one time, while reading The Extremist I only wanted to focus on this one story. It is fast and furious and with many of the characters not being open with Scamarcio and playing their own game it needed my full attention to ensure I was keeping up with events.

I do enjoy when I can get my teeth into a gripping tale, when characters will have me questioning their motives and especially when I cannot predict where a story is heading.  The Extremist was an intense read but I was hooked so I am happy.


The Extremist is published by Scribe and is available in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Extremist-Leone-Scamarcio-Nadia-Dalbuono-ebook/dp/B077Y7DSP5/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1518302325&sr=1-3


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February 6

Don’t Look For Me – Mason Cross

Don’t look for me.

It was a simple instruction. And for six long years Carter Blake kept his word and didn’t search for the woman he once loved. But now someone else is looking for her.

He’ll come for you.

Trenton Gage is a hitman with a talent for finding people – dead or alive. His next job is to track down a woman who’s on the run, who is harbouring a secret many will kill for.

Both men are hunting the same person. The question is, who will find her first?


Last year I broke one of my self-imposed reading rules when I read a book called Winterlong. The “rule” I broke was that I should not begin reading a new series unless I start at Book One of that new series.  Winterlong subsequently renamed to The Time To Kill and it was the third novel in the Carter Blake series.

I regret nothing as it was brilliant.

This week Carter Blake book 4: Don’t Look For Me, is released in paperback and is currently hitting bookshelves up and down the land. If you like an action packed adventure thriller then Don’t Look For Me should be an essential purchase.

Following events outlined in the previous books (all handily explained by the author without need to have read the earlier books) we know that 6 years ago Carter Blake had to quickly slip away from the life he had built for himself. He told the woman he loved that she too also had to vanish – her parting shot “Don’t Look For Me”.

Blake has honoured that request but it seems he may not be permitted to continue to do so.  In a quiet residential suburb of Nevada a young couple have mysteriously disappeared from their home.  A concerned neighbour has found Blake’s email address which was hidden in the home owned by the missing couple and, as a last resort, emailed Blake.

When his past comes calling out of the blue Blake will need to break the promise he made and find the woman he loved. However, he is not the only person searching for the missing couple and soon he will become caught up in a dangerous race against time.

As I mentioned, Don’t Look For Me is a cracking adventure thriller. The action zips along and I found it incredibly easy to slip into the story and lose myself for an hour or so – only surfacing by necessity as I’d rather have kept reading.

Five star thrills – grab this when you see it.


Don’t Look For Me is published by Orion and is available in paperback, audio and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Look-Me-Carter-Blake-ebook/dp/B01M3NSD91/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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February 5

Two Nights – Kathy Reichs

Meet Sunnie Night a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.

But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead?

Did someone take her?

If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found?

It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons – because they might just lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.


My thanks to Random House, Cornerstone for my review copy which I received through Netgalley

A stand alone thriller from Kathy Reichs, a break from the Tempe Brennan thrillers which I have enjoyed for many years now. As a fan of recurring characters and getting caught up in an ongoing series, I should be vexed when an author breaks from the familiar to introduce new heroes to follow. However, there is always that fascination to find out what they may come up with when “unshackled” and able to cause havoc on new characters with no responsibility to keep them all alive so they can appear in the next book.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with Two Nights, it felt totally different from from a Brennan thriller (which I guess was the point). Sunnie Night is a complex character who is living a reclusive lifestyle until she is sought out and her services requested by a well-to-do client for whom money is no real object when it comes to tracing a missing member of her family.

A bomb explosion has robbed a family of precious lives, however, there remains some doubt that a teenage girl (related to Sunnie’s client) actually died in the blast.  Sunnie is engaged to find out if the girl may still be alive.  If she is to be successful Sunnie will need to understand why the girl may not have made herself known to her remaining family after surviving such an ordeal.

But Sunnie’s investigations will mean looking into why the bomb was placed and at those responsible. These are not people who will welcome snooping and Sunnie has put herself in the firing line – good job she is more than adept at outfoxing the tw0-bit thugs.

Something very different from Kathy Reichs but she knows how tell a good story and Two Nights is well worth hunting down.


Two Nights is currently available in Hardback and digital format with the paperback released scheduled for April 2018. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Nights-Kathy-Reichs-ebook/dp/B019CGXMCK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1517871460&sr=1-1

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February 5

The Lost Village – Neil Spring


The remote village of Imber – remote, lost and abandoned. The outside world hasn’t been let in since soldiers forced the inhabitants out, much to their contempt.

But now, a dark secret threatens all who venture near. Everyone is in danger, and only Harry Price can help. Reluctantly reunited with his former assistant Sarah Grey, he must unlock the mystery of Imber, and unsurface the secrets someone thought were long buried. But will Sarah’s involvement be the undoing of them both?


My thanks to Quercus Books for my review copy which I received through Netgalley

Last year I reviewed The Ghost Hunters which introduced us to Harry Price and Sarah Gray. Harry investigated paranormal activities and spent most of his time debunking frauds and opportunists. He and Sarah were invited to Borley Rectory (England’s most haunted house) and, if you have not read The Ghost Hunters, then you can find out in that book what occurred.

If you have read The Ghost Hunters then it may help to understand that The Lost Village takes place during events in The Ghost Hunters. There are some spoilers over how Sarah and Price’s friendship has twisted through the time they have known each other but both books are easily enjoyed as stand-alone tales.

The Lost Village in the title is Imber. A village standing on Salisbury Plain and a settlement which was cleared by order of the British Army to allow them to use Salisbury Plain for their operations.  As it would not be safe for the Imber residents to remain in their homes they were made to leave – relocated against their will – and are only permitted to return one day each year.

The annual “return” day is fast approaching but the army are worried about the safety of the residents as there are strange things taking place in Imber. Things which they cannot rationally explain. Sarah Gray is approached to visit Imber by an old acquaintance, she is asked to persuade Harry Price to visit the village with her…his skills are required.

Neil Spring is rather excellent at building up the tension in his story telling and I found The Lost Village atmospheric and frequently chilling. Good supernatural thrillers have been too thin on the ground of late but I’d highly recommend Neil Spring’s books; he hits the perfect balance of great story and creepy chills.


The Lost Village is published by Quercus and is available in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Village-Haunting-Page-Turner-Hunters-ebook/dp/B06XYGXD75/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8



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February 1

Forget Her Name – Jane Holland

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? She doesn’t have the answers – and in one final question lies her greatest fear.

Is Rachel still alive?


My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to join the blog tour.


One of the tricky reviews this one…how to discuss Forget Her Name without letting slip any spoilers?  It should be easy (in theory) but I really wanted to talk about the bits of the story I particularly enjoyed. Or the “shock” bits which I didn’t see coming and which at times were a wee bit icky. You see it was those bits of the story which made it such fun to read – that reader dilemma of needing to stop but just wanting one more page. Or maybe two more pages.

Forget Her Name is about Catherine, she hails from a nice family seems to have had a comfortable upbringing and is now engaged to the hard-working, love of her life, Dominic. But in her past there is a memory which she is keeping secret from Dominic but which may now be threatening her idyllic life.

When she was a child Catherine had a sister, Rachel, who was a thoroughly unpleasant child and made Catherine’s life Hell.  However, Rachel died Catherine was suddenly free of her tormentor. Spin forward to present day and Catherine finds that unusual incidents are happening and someone has sent her one of Rachel’s most treasured possessions but with an additional nasty twist.

Nasty twists are very much in keeping with Forget Her Name. It is a tense read, well paced out and I enjoyed it a lot. If you like a thriller which will keep you turning those pages then look no further.


Forget her name is published by Thomas & Mercer and is available in paperback, Digital and audio format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forget-Her-Name-gripping-thriller/dp/1542046645/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517522607&sr=8-1&keywords=forget+her+name



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January 31

The Bucktown Babies – Janine R Pestel

A former priest and demon hunter, Father Gunter is a demon’s worst nightmare. But even he will need help to destroy the demons that threaten the small farming community of Bucktown. When he sees a news broadcast about tragic events taking place in the town, he realizes he has work to do.

Along the way, help arrives – but from an unexpected source. Will it be enough to see the demon hunter through the final showdown with evil?



My thanks to Anne Cater for the chance to host a leg of the Bucktown Babies blog tour


It is the oldest battle: Good vs Evil. In The Bucktown Babies the forces of Good are represented by Father Gunter (once a priest but now a demon hunter). Evil is represented by…well by a Demon so it is a relief Father Gunter is on hand.

It has been a while since I read an out and out horror novel.  Ghost stories can flit around with thriller and chiller titles but demons, demonic possession and dead children is pure horror fodder. With a good horror tale you enter the realms of “anything goes” and you just run with the story.

Gunter is heading to Bucktown, drawn by stories of too many young children dying suddenly and unexpectedly. Working undercover (as who lets a demon hunter stroll around unchallenged?) Gunter identifies the hospital as the key focus point for his investigations. He can see the traces of a demonic presence and even smells the sulphuric odour left behind by the visiting evil.

He will be challenged along the way – a car which tries to force him off the road. Bloody messages left for him to find and an unexpected guest in his hotel room!

Gunter is driven by the desire to find what happened to his sister some years earlier.  She suffered personal tragedy and embraced darkness shunning Father Gunter’s God. Gunter, a former man of the cloth, now devotes his time to ridding the world of demons and puts his faith in the new tools of his trade whilst retaining some of his former apparel (holy water and crosses).

It all makes for an exciting game of cat and mouse as Gunter and the demon try to outfox each other – both aware of the other’s presence and both determined to kill their enemy. At around 200 pages it will not take long to read through The Bucktown Babies but it kept me entertained and that is exactly what I look for in a story.


Bucktown Babies is available in paperback, audio and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bucktown-Babies-Father-Gunter-Hunter-ebook/dp/B01N2507SI/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517341651&sr=8-1&keywords=bucktown+babies


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January 25

Perfect Death – Helen Fields

There’s no easy way to die….

Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task….


My thanks to Sabah at Avon for my review copy and for the opportunity to launch the Perfect Death blog tour.


By the time I hit “publish” on this review Perfect Death will be in shops and available to download. Buy a copy now…this is a brilliant book.

Luc Callanach and Ava Turner are back for a third outing. Happy Days.

Perfect Death feels much more like an Ava story. Luc is still very much present so panic not! Events early in the story (no spoilers) lead to a shock revelation. Ava wants to investigate and find answers to questions she never imagined she would be asking yet she cannot let anyone else know what she is looking into. This dilemma means Ava will work solo and cannot rely upon Luc’s council or support. What she has to face (alone) is bigger and more dangerous than she could have imagined.

Luc is tasked with investigating the death of a young woman who died as a result of a drug overdose. Her naked body was found on a grassy hillside in the heart of the Edinburgh but her family are adamant she would never have taken drugs.

A second suspicious death gives a suspicion that foul play is involved. However, with virtually no similarities in the cases the connection between the two deaths so tenuous Ava’s boss will not entertain the notion that there is a calculating serial killer working in Edinburgh.

Following events in Perfect Prey Ava is now Luc’s boss and the shift in dynamic of their relationship is fun. Still friends, but with Luc being deferential to Ava’s rank, the pair seem almost seem less assured in each other’s company. I have really enjoyed the “Moonlighting-esk” relationship between the two lead characters and Perfect Death only adds to the intrigue.

Moonlighting…it was a big deal in the 80’s – just go with it.

I cannot say enough good things about the Luc Callanach books.  If you love crime fiction and are not reading Helen Fields then you are missing out on one of the best new voices in your favourite genre.


Perfect Death is published by Avon books and is avaialbe in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Death-bestseller-Callanach-Thriller-ebook/dp/B077MNKFTL/ref=la_B006M3SPSS_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516824675&sr=1-3


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January 21

The Confession – Jo Spain

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.

An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.

Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?


My thanks to Quercus Books for my review copy and to Anne Cater for the chance to join the blog tour.

Not many books will get down to the action as quickly as The Confession.  A brutal attack on one of Ireland’s most successful bankers is vividly described in the opening chapter of Jo Spain’s superb new novel.

JP Carney walks into the home of Harry and Julie McNamara and beats Harry with a golf club as Julie sits watching, frozen in fear and unable to help her husband. It is graphic, it is shocking and it makes you want to read on – what could possibly have led to this?

Knowing Harry will suffer at the hands of Carney the author takes us into the lives of Julie, JP Carney and investigating police office – Alice Moody. We are taken back in time to when Julie first met Harry and we are given a good look at Carney and the tough upbringing he had to endure and the strong bond he formed with his younger sister. As the story unfolds we get to understand more about Carney but it remains unclear why he may have walked into a strangers home and attacked the homeowner.  But is Harry McNamara a stranger to JP Carney?

We also follow Julie’s history. Her chance meeting with Harry and the fairy-tale romance as she is courted by one of the most successful (and rich) bankers in Ireland. Once again, as the story unfolds, we see Julie open up more about her relationship with Harry and the pressures and self doubts as she tries to remain Julie rather than Mrs McNamara.

The real-time investigations are being conducted by Alice Moody, my favourite character in The Confession. She cannot accept Carney’s assertion that he has no knowledge of Harry McNamara and that his house was picked at random. Moody will drive the story as she pushes to get to the bottom of Carney’s seemingly random attack and she believes that the McNamara’s may have somehow brought Carney into their lives – even if they don’t know why.

The reason The Confession worked so well for me was the characters driving the story. It is all about the people and how they faced up to several key moments in their lives – all bringing them to a critical point when a seemingly random act of violence will change everything forever.

Wonderfully written and deeply compelling.


The Confession is published by Quercus on 25 January 2018 and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Confession-most-addictive-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B06XRL3N98/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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