Tuesday 29 March 2016

The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

Hi Everyone,

Today is the last stop on the Blog Tour of The Teacher by Katerina Diamond. I was thrilled to be asked by Helena Sheffield from Avon Books to take part with some other fab book bloggers over the last number of weeks.  You can check out the other blogs that have been featured below as I've attached the Blog Tour schedule at the end of my review.

Thanks to Helena Sheffield from HarperCollins UK, Avon, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.......

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil?
You’re wrong …


The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall, only hours earlier he’d received a package and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

We are also introduced to Abbey Lucas, a young girl who works in the local museum as a taxidermist but she has been keeping a dark secret and trying her best to forget about her past.

DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles are called in to deal with the gruesome murders and must solve the case and make their city safe again as Exeter suffers a rising body count of gruesome and ongoing deaths.  Both DS Grey and DS Miles have their own problems and troubles to deal with and address too.

The Teacher was brilliant, it was well written and cleverly constructed. I didn't know who to trust and was a little shocked when the killer was revealed.  The killer was everything you'd expect with a killer  - cold, calculating, manipulating and has no regard for anyone's feelings or who they hurt on their path of destruction.  Clues are fed to us in small amounts throughout the chapters. I will admit that I found parts of the story made my heart thump but it definitely didn't disappoint.  I will also say that if you're squeamish or don't like graphic descriptions then maybe this won't be your type of read but I LOVED it.  If you can watch and can stomach the likes of the TV series Hannibal or the SAW movies then you will love this.

This is Katrina Diamond's debut novel and I would recommend The Teacher if you're looking for a good thriller full of blood, guts and pretty graphic descriptions.  I look forward to reading more of Katrina's work (no pressure).

The Teacher is available on Kindle and in paperback from 10th March 2016 and is currently 99p on Kindle at the time of publication of this review.

Monday 28 March 2016

The Hollow Men by Rob McCarthy

Thanks to Rebecca Muddiman and Mulholland Books, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review..........

Some men heal, others harm.......

Dr Harry Kent is a doctor in ICU in the local hospital, a police surgeon for the Metropolitan Police and a former army medic too so you could say he likes to keep busy as he tries to ward off the memories of his time as an Army medic, but why??

Usually the police work means minor injuries and mental health assessments. But Solomon Idris's case is different.  Solomon Idris has taken eight people hostage in a chicken takeaway, and is demanding to see a lawyer and a BBC reporter.  Harry is sent in to treat the clearly ill teenager, where he keeps saying he's doing this for Keisha as they didn't care about her before the siege goes horribly wrong.

Solomon is rushed to hospital in a critical condition but when Solomon's life is put in danger again from the safety of a critical care ward, it becomes clear he knows something people will kill to protect but what is it??  Everyone within the hospital becomes a suspect. Harry is determined to uncover the secret that drove the boy to such desperate action but he soon realises that someone in the medical world and even someone he may even know has broken the doctors' commandment 'do no harm' many times over........

I really liked this book, it started off with lots of fast and furious action, however I felt that for me it dipped a little in the middle but then it took off again right until I turned the last page. It had two of my favourite things, a police procedural meets a medical drama.  This is ideal for fans of The Bill, Silent Witness, Casualty, ER or any other programmes that may involve these two things.  There is a bit of medical jargon but it didn't shouldn't really bother a reader that is interested or not in this field as it's a really good read.  I discovered that this book is going to be the first in a series of books that is going to feature Dr Harry Kent and I'm really looking forward to reading the next installment from Rob McCarthy.

I also loved the marketing that the publishers Mulholland Books did on this book. This is what was sent out to Book Bloggers, I thought that it was a very clever idea and you can see the picture of it below.

The Hollow Men is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is currently £9.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Friday 25 March 2016

BLOG TOUR - Two Evils by Mark Sennen

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Two Evils by Mark Sennen. I was thrilled to be asked by Helena Sheffield from Avon Books to take part with some other fab book bloggers.

I've got an extract from Two Evils and the lovely Kate from @BibliophileBookClub had yesterday's extract on her blog which you can read here.

A missing boy. A brutal killer. D.I. Charlotte Savage is ready . . .

DI Charlotte Savage has been warned to lay low. After a string of high profile cases, her infamous reputation precedes her.

But when a vulnerable child goes missing, for Savage, it’s too close to home. She’s not the kind of detective who can sit back and watch events unfold.

Then a second child is snatched – echoing a terrifying incident that happened over two decades before. It soon becomes apparent that there is a more chilling motive behind the disappearances.

History looks set to repeat itself. It’s down to Savage to seek out the cold blooded killer. Before it’s third time unlucky. Before it’s too late . . .

Extract from Two Evils.........

Chapter 2

Derriford Business Park, Plymouth. Monday 19th October. 3.30 p.m.

A throng of reporters clustered round the entrance to the coroner’s court as Detective Inspector Charlotte Savage emerged. Rob Anshore, Devon and Cornwall Police Force’s PR guru, drew the reporters’ attention to the person following close behind and ushered Savage away.

‘Let the Hatchet deal with this, Charlotte,’ Anshore said. ‘She’s prepared a statement in response to the inquest verdict with the official line. You know, sadness, condolences, and all that crap to start with, moving on to the utmost confidence in her officers bit to finish.’

The Hatchet. Otherwise known as Chief Constable Maria Heldon.

Heldon was a replacement for the previous Chief Constable, Simon Fox. The late Simon Fox. Fox had killed himself using a vacuum cleaner hose, his fifty-thousand-pound Jaguar, and a one-pound roll of gaffer tape. Savage had been the one to find him sitting there stone dead, a cricket commentary playing on the car radio an unlikely eulogy for a man whose idea of fair play had been to try to kill her.

Inside the courtroom she’d presented her own account of the events leading up to Fox’s death and her testimony had, thankfully, been accepted at face value. The coroner had listened to all the witnesses and weighed the evidence and after due consideration he’d arrived at a verdict of suicide. Summing up, he’d said Fox had been living a tangle of lies and deceit which had included friendship with a corrupt Member of Parliament who himself was involved with a group of Satanists. Ultimately Fox’s precarious mental state had led him to believe there was no way out other than to top himself.
Savage and Anshore stopped a few metres to one side of the entrance and they turned to watch as Maria Heldon dispatched the reporters’ questions with curt, defensive replies.

‘Chalk and cheese,’ Anshore said, gesturing at Heldon. ‘Simon Fox was a media charmer. Knew how to play the game. He was a decent man. Pity he’s gone.’

Crap, Savage thought. The real reason for Fox’s troubles was that he’d been prepared to break the rules, ostensibly to shield his son, Owen, from prosecution. Some years ago Owen had been involved in a hit-and-run accident which had killed Savage’s daughter, Clarissa. Fox had used his position as Chief Constable to obscure his son’s tracks, but Savage reckoned he’d done it more out of concern for his own career than any love for his son. She’d discovered the truth thanks to help from a local felon by the name of Kenny Fallon and some out-of-hours work by DS Darius Riley. She’d confronted Owen Fox and foolishly put a gun to his head. The lad had confessed it hadn’t been him driving the car, but rather his girlfriend – now wife – Lauren. Owen had also told Savage it had been his dad who’d decided to cover up the accident in the first place.

‘Simon Fox was a disgrace to the force,’ Savage said, trying to remain calm. ‘He let power go to his head.’

‘Really, Charlotte, I’m surprised.’ Anshore wagged a finger. ‘Don’t you have any sympathy for the man’s mental condition?’

Savage didn’t answer. Clarissa’s death had badly affected her and her family. Jamie, her son, had been little more than a baby at the time, but Samantha – Clarissa’s twin – continued to feel Clarissa’s absence as much as Savage and her husband, Pete, did. Fox’s actions had compounded the misery. His death had brought about a resolution of sorts, but nothing would bring Clarissa back. The moment when Savage had seen her child lying broken in the road would stay with her forever. The worst of it was that Savage had had to keep everything bottled up. Aside from herself, Fallon and Riley, no one knew the real truth behind Fox’s downfall or Savage’s unorthodox investigative approach. Nevertheless, Maria Heldon could smell a rat.

‘You know what they’ll say,’ she’d said when she’d questioned Savage about Fox’s death. ‘No smoke without fire.’

Well, there was fire, plenty of it, but Savage wasn’t about to tell Heldon anything of the spark which had set the flames alight.

‘Anyway, bet you’re glad the whole thing is over,’ Anshore said, sounding conciliatory. ‘Can’t have been pleasant finding Foxy in the car like that. All gassed up and turning blue.’

Anshore was a media guy, so he could be forgiven for not knowing about the finer details of carbon monoxide poisoning. Fox hadn’t been blue, in fact he hadn’t even looked dead. Just a trail of drool trickling from his mouth alerted Savage to the fact something was wrong.

As for pleasant? Well, worse things had happened.

They walked away from the court towards the car park and as they approached her car Savage turned back for a moment. Maria Heldon had finished speaking and the reporters had shifted their attention to the next group to emerge: Owen Fox, his wife, Lauren, and their solicitor. Owen had jet-black hair like his dad, but his facial features were softer. Lauren was blonde, her hair matching the curly locks of the baby in her arms. Both parents were early twenties, not far off the age Savage had been when she’d had the twins.

‘A difficult time, hey?’ Anshore said, following Savage’s gaze. ‘Tough for the family.’

‘Tough?’ Savage held herself stock-still, bristling inside once again. She wished Anshore would shut up, wished she was away from here. ‘I guess you could fucking say so.’

With that she wheeled about and headed for her car, leaving Anshore standing open-mouthed.

Detective Superintendent Conrad Hardin had been at the inquest too. He’d listened to three days of evidence replete with a myriad of unwholesome revelations about Simon Fox. Now, back in his office at Crownhill Police Station with a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits, he could finally relax. The past few weeks had been a nightmare, but at least, he thought, his own officers had come through with flying colours. DI Savage in particular had handled the situation with a coolness he’d rarely seen in a woman.

Hardin reached for his tea and slurped down a mouthful. A stack of mail formed an ominous pile next to the plate of biscuits. He took the first piece of mail from the pile, promising himself a biscuit once he’d dealt with three items. The white envelope had been addressed in block capitals, with his full name – without rank – at the head. A first-class stamp sat in the top right corner and was franked with yesterday’s date. The letter had been posted in Plymouth.

He noted the details without really thinking about them, the result of half a lifetime as a detective, but when he opened the envelope his interest was piqued. The letter inside had been handwritten in a Gothic script with eloquent curls and flowing lines. The Fs, Ps, Qs and Ys were nothing less than calligraphic perfection. This, Hardin thought, was somebody who thought presentation was as important as content.

Having read the first few lines, he was swiftly disabused of the notion. The content was waffle and he’d barely skimmed through half the letter before dismissing the message as the mad ramblings of somebody who needed psychiatric help.

Hardin stuck his tongue out over his bottom lip, as he always did when he was deep in thought. The letter had been addressed to him personally and began in an overly familiar fashion.

Dear Conrad …

He paused and started from the beginning again, once more struggling to make any sense of most of the content. However, towards the bottom of the page a line stood out.

How about your sense of duty, PC Hardin? What about your sense of respect? Do you have any left? Are you ready to repent?

PC Hardin?

It was a long time since he’d been a police constable. For a moment Hardin smiled to himself, memories flooding back. He looked up from the letter, his eyes drawn to the map of Devon on the wall. He’d started out at Kingsbridge nick, what – twenty-five, thirty years ago? Things had been very different then. He’d patrolled the town on foot, the lanes and nearby villages on a bicycle. If he was lucky he went out with a colleague two up in a squad car. Stopped for lunch in a sunny layby with a view of the sea. Back in the eighties the area had hardly entered the twentieth century. A few drunks, the occasional burglary, some Saturday night argy-bargy after closing time. So different from the inner-city problems he had to deal with now.

He stifled the smile and bent to the letter again.

You probably won’t recall me, but you must remember what happened all those years ago. When you were just a bobby on the beat. Before you became a DETECTIVE. Who could forget that face in the photograph?

Of course he remembered. The event was imprinted on his memory. He’d pushed the details as far back into the recesses of his mind as he could, but every now and then an echo came sliding to the surface, like a body rising bloated from the depths of a lake.

How about your sense of duty, PC Hardin?

Duty? He’d done his duty back then. Ever since, too. What was this joker hinting at? Were they trying to scare him? Was this some kind of blackmail scam or a threat, even? He’d put away dozens of criminals in his career, many of them dangerous, and yet it seemed unlikely the letter was from one of them. No professional felon would act in such a way.

A prank then. A prank or a madman.

He read the final paragraph.

Last time you failed them and you failed me too. Back then you obeyed your superiors and followed orders, but now we’re going to start afresh. We’re going to play a game, PC Hardin, and this time we’re going to play by my rules.

Hardin shook his head and then refolded the letter and placed the piece of paper back in the envelope. Really he should report this, get John Layton and his CSIs up here to examine the thing. By the book was Hardin’s motto. He tapped the envelope with a fingertip and stared at his name, wondering how he could possibly explain the circumstances to Layton. He shook his head once more and sighed. Then he opened one of his desk drawers, popped the letter in, and slid the drawer closed.

I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into this from reading the first 2 extracts from Two Evils and you can get a further extract tomorrow.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Beneath The Surface by Heidi Perks

Thanks to the author Heidi Perks, I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.........

I don't know where you are.....I don't know what I've done.....

Fourteen year old Abigail Ryder arrives home from school one afternoon to find that her mother & twin baby stepsisters are gone, things are missing from the house and the babies room is completely empty but none of this makes sense to Abigail.  She contacts the police and as she's been interviewed they think that she's a troublemaker and their suspicions are confirmed when her grandmother Eleanor arrives to the house and has a word with them. Then her grandmother tells her to forget them all and move on, there's no choice other than face the future - alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood but the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth - and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years......

I didn't like this, I LOVED it and was hooked from the very first page.  The story flows well throughout the book. I really enjoyed Heidi's book which I read in a couple of days.  It  is told in a dual time frame, back as far as 2001 and then 14 years later.  This story had it all from a little bit of humor, love, betrayal, a web of lies, protectiveness to more sensitive and hard-hitting issues like the lengths that some people will go to to cover up a family secret - I found I had a little tear in my eye at the end along with shedding a few along the way, so grab this book, curl up on the couch with a box of chocolates and prepare to have a few lump in your throat moments too. It will definitely not disappoint and I HIGHLY recommend it.  This is Heidi's debut novel and I'm really looking forward to reading more of her work very soon but no pressure!

Link to Beneath The Surface ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beneath-Surface-Heidi-Perks-ebook/dp/B01BH9BB82/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1458826153&sr=8-2

Beneath The Surface is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is currently £3.99 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence

Today, it's my turn on the final day of The Mirror World of Melody Black Blog Tour and I'm delighted that I was asked to participate with some great Book Bloggers over the past week so a HUGE thanks to Ruby Mitchell from Hodder & Stoughton, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review........

Meet freelance journalist Abby who is in her mid-twenties and lives with her boyfriend Beck. Abby needs to borrow a tin of tomatoes from her neighbour Simon and when she knocks there's no answer so Abby lets herself in where she discovers his body, she rings the ambulance and when the paramedics take him away she returns to her apartment as though nothing happened but in the coming days her life begins to spiral out of control and depression sets in and her mental stability goes completely out of control as she feels that if she hadn't have gone near Simon's flat and had a normal Wednesday night then none of what happened next would have happened and she would never have met Melody Black.........

I really liked this book, Gavin has taken a very personal issue and exposes it in order to try help others to understand the effects it can cause.  It was hard to warm to Abby by the way her character and mannerisms were towards certain characters within the story but I also felt empathy towards her too as she was spiraling into depression.  I'm sure we've all either experienced or known someone we know who's had depression/bi-polar and to me reading this was very real and certain things that Abby does in the novel I've experienced and witnessed it been done.  There is also some humour and lighthearted parts thrown into the mix which work well too.  Mental health shouldn't have a stigma attached to it and more people shouldn't feel afraid or like a burden if they talk to someone about the way they're feeling and I feel that it was very well researched so thank you for writing this book, Gavin.

This is Gavin Extence's 2nd novel, the first been The Universe Versus Alex Woods which I haven't got around to reading yet but I will, one day.

The Mirror World of Melody Black is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is currently £3.99 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review.

Monday 14 March 2016

You Sent Me A Letter by Lucy Dawson

Thanks to Corvus books, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review..........

What if your worst enemy found out your darkest secret??

Sophie Gardener is happy and engaged to be married to Marc, the love of her life, he's away on business, it's the night before Sophie Gardener's 40th Birthday and at 2am she wakes to find an intruder in her bedroom, she is terrified and fears for her life as the intruder hands Sophie a letter and issues a threat to open the letter at her party which will be no ordinary party that evening, in front of family and friends, at exactly 8 pm or the lives of the people she loves will be destroyed forever but what exactly is in this letter???

I have to say that the marketing around this book was fantastic, I along with some other bloggers received an invitation to this said party which was a very clever idea, see the picture below and I was very intrigued into receiving this book.

I didn't like You Sent Me A Letter, I LOVED it, it was fantastic, it was full of betrayals, deceptions, twists and turns through out which I love and it kept me hooked. I really didn't see the ending coming, I was quite shocked.   This is the first time that I've read a book by Lucy Dawson and I will definitely read more of her work.  I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a suspense or thriller then turn off your phone, grab this book, curl up on the couch with some chocolate, a few glasses of wine, it definitely won't disappoint.

You sent me a letter is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is currently £2.99 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review.

Monday 7 March 2016

The Principle of Evil by T.M.E. Walsh

Thanks to Carina UK, I received a copy of this as part of the #CarinaCrimeClub in exchange for an honest review.......

DCI Claire Winters and her team are back in the second book in the series to investigate another case involving a body that has been found in a frozen lake around Guy Fawkes night but the victim, a prostitute had been reported missing by her to friends only days earlier.  As the investigation into her death gathers pace, the pathologist that has examined the body and discloses how the victim was killed, they get another phone call comes in that another girl, a solicitor is also reported missing by her husband but as the body count mounts up it's a race to uncover the twisted mind behind the crimes. Claire finds herself in a race against time to connect the dots between a host of devastating secrets but as Claire begins to get closer to the victim’s family what it reveals turns her murder case into something far more sinister.....

I didn't like it, I LOVED it, I thought it was much better than the first book For all Our Sins, it was fast paced with twists and turns right from the start.  I did have my suspicions and I didn't know who to trust either.  I felt that DCI Claire Winters' character was much stronger in this book than in the first.  The sociopath character was absolutely brilliant, very well written and cleverly constructed.  They were everything you'd expect with a sociopath - cold, calculating, manipulating and has no regard for anyone's feelings or who they hurt on their path of destruction.  At times, I could feel I was right there with the victims.

I am looking forward to reading more from T.M.E. Walsh and hope it won't be too long until another DCI Claire Winters book is amongst us.

The Principle of Evil is available on Kindle and is currently £2.99 at the time of publication of this review and For All Our Sins is currently 99p.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

For All Our Sins by T.M.E. Walsh

Thanks to Carina UK, I received a copy of this as part of the #CarinaCrimeClub in exchange for an honest review.......

Father Wainwright is murdered in his own church in a most gruesome and horrific way.  DCI Claire Winters, DS Michael Diego and her team are called into investigate the circumstances but with there been no clues, no leads this is a very clever killer. It becomes clear to DCI Claire Winters that the victims death was prolonged, agonising and motivated by a lust for revenge.

As the investigation begins to gather pace, one body becomes two, and then three, Claire finds herself in a race against time to connect the dots between a host of devastating secrets but as Claire begins to get closer to the victim’s family what it reveals turns her murder case into something far more sinister.....

I didn't like this, I LOVED it.  It was brilliant. I had it finished in 2 days, I will admit that it was a little slow to start off and I was unsure if it was going to get going but then all of a sudden it hit me with a bang and I couldn't swipe the pages quick enough on the Kindle.  I did have my suspicions and I didn't know who to trust either.  It was full of twists and turns which I love and I couldn't believe the twist.  I was shocked and didn't see it coming at all. I couldn't warm to DCI Claire Winters at all in this book but maybe that's the way her character is supposed to be portrayed but the story didn't disappoint.

This is T.M.E. Walsh's debut novel and For All Our Sins is the first in a series featuring DCI Claire Winters and I'm really looking forward to reading the next in the series which is The Principle of Evil.

All Our Sins is available on Kindle and from all good bookstores.  For All Our Sins is currently on Kindle for 99p at the time of publication of this review.