Thursday 25 January 2018

REVIEW~ The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft

Thanks to Lauren Woosey from Orion Books, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.......

If you were being framed for murder, how far would you go to clear your name?

Bethany Reston is a successful photographer who has been happily married to Jason almost 7 years but she is having an affair with a very famous client but no-one must ever know.  But when her lover is found brutally murdered, she has to hide her shock and grief from everyone. Unfortunately someone knows her secret and then the threats ensue with a mounting pile of evidence that all points to Bethany as the murderer.  The only way she can protect her secrets is to prove her innocence which means a deadly and tense game of cat and mouse to track down the killer.

I really, really enjoyed this one, it was full of twists and turns and hold your breath moments and to be honest I never seen that twist coming at all, I was left open mouthed when I read it.  I had my suspicions of who the killer was but I was completely wrong.  I also couldn't believe that this is Elle's debut novel, it was so well written and cleverly crafted.  I'm really looking forward to reading more of Elle's work and hopefully it'll be quite soon. Now, there's no pressure here Elle but I'm really hoping that there's going to be a follow up to The Guilty Wife with the way it was left!??


The Guilty Wife is available in all good bookshops, libraries and on Kindle from January 25th and is currently £0.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Monday 22 January 2018

REVIEW ~ In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

A perfect life … until she discovered it wasn’t her own.

Meet Bella who is married to David and when we meet them they are travelling back to Bella's childhood home for her mother, Elaine's funeral.  Her father Henry Campbell is now lost without his wife and seems to be a little disengaged from his daughter. He needs to talk to her about something important but can't seem to find the right time to talk to her. Then when a tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence that she thought was the truth but in fact is a lie. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life that she's led for so long.

It is a few weeks since I finished listening to this on audio and to say it was brilliant is an understatement, I absolutely LOVED it.  In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller which is both chilling and extremely moving that questions the nature of family and can remind us that sometimes the most shocking and complex crimes are committed closest to home, which is very true. I didn't really know much about the book when I borrowed it from the library and I think that sometimes it's the best way to go into reading/listening to a book, go in open minded. I'm really looking forward to reading more from Amanda Jennings real soon.


In Her Wake is available in all good bookshops, libraries and on Kindle and is currently £0.99 at the time of publication if this review.

Sunday 21 January 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ The Cover Up by Marnie Riches

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Cover Up by Marnie Riches where I welcome Marnie to my blog once again where she has kindly provided an extract. I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the extract so without further ado, here it is:

It had started with a scuffle. A little pushing and a testosterone-fuelled hokey-cokey where neither had conceded ground to the other.

‘No guns,’ Frank had prayed quietly to a God that never seemed to listen. ‘Please don’t let them have sodding guns.’

The transition from minor altercation to full-on fisticuffs had taken less than a minute. Otis, his burliest bouncer, had taken a right hook from one of the guys with dreads that had sent him flying backwards into a podium like an ungainly clown. 

Now, Degsy had pulled a gun to best the Asian lad’s knife in an underworld rendition of rock, paper, scissors. Shit, shit, shit. The lying, lanky arsehole was armed to the teeth. Should he stop the music? Should he call Conks, after all?

Frank withdrew a baggie of coke from the pocket of his jeans. Took a hefty pinch of the white powder and deposited it on the back of his sinewy hand. Snorted what he could. Rubbed the rest around his gums. The effect was instant. Pharmaceutical Columbian courage followed soon after.

‘Right, you bastards,’ he said to himself, pulling the sleeves of his old James T up in some deluded act of strong-arm bravado. ‘Nobody messes with an O’Brien.’

Ignoring his racing pulse and the feeling that his legs were liquefying, he crossed the club, heading towards the scrum. No need for that big Northern Irish bollocks. Not tonight. Remember Jack. Don’t make this all for nowt. He approached one of the white rogue dealers from behind.

‘Get out my sodding club!’ he screamed in the man’s ear, grabbing him tightly by the scruff of his neck. Turning his collar into a garrotte. Kneeing him in the sweet spot on the backs of his legs so that they buckled.

Frank was a warrior, now, posthumously defending his son’s honour. Heard his own voice, hoarse and venomous above the music.

‘Who’s your boss? Tell me or I’ll rip your bleeding head off.’ Fingers in the man’s kidneys.
‘Fuck you!’ the dealer shouted, elbowing Frank in the stomach.

There was a flash of metal as the Asian lad stabbed one of the bouncers. Fists flew. It was carnage.
‘Back off, or I’m gonna blow you all into next Wednesday!’ Degsy yelled, waving his piece at the interlopers.

But the guy with the dreads and bad acne scarring was suddenly upon Degsy, waving a semi-automatic. ‘Drop the gun, Manc twat, or I’ll put a bullet in your ugly head!’ His death threats were levelled in a sing-song accent like some nightmarish nursery rhyme. 

Degsy and Dreads both clicked their safeties off. A stand-off. Not good.

Frank was dimly aware of the shrieking of the clubbers on the fringes of his ill-fated dance floor and of the speed-daters who were clattering up the iron staircase from Jack’s Bar below, fleeing the scene. Gloria Bell’s face in among them, somewhere. An overwhelming sense of déjà vu and fear that his club-owning days were finished bore down on him. But his melancholy musings were interrupted by the unmistakeable growl of Conky McFadden, striding through the phalanx of onlookers.

‘Hands in the air, you scabby wee turds or I’ll take the lot of yous out!’ 

Who the hell had called the Loss Adjuster? The bouncers, almost certainly.

Upon them now and casting a long shadow over the interlopers like an avenging dark angel, Conky held a SIG Sauer before him. The music had stopped, as if to pay respectful tribute to the fabled Loss Adjuster’s appearance on the charged scene. 

‘Do you remember me?’ he bellowed, bearing down on dreads-with-a-gun. Striding right up to him, as though his opponent clutched a child’s toy weapon. Pressing the nose of his gun right into the dealer’s jaw. With his free leather-gloved hand, he removed his shades with a flourish. His bulging eyes shone with obvious professional glee. ‘Do you know who I am?’

Dreads dropped his pistol. Held his hands up. Swallowed visibly. ‘Yeah.’ 

‘Get out of this club and get on a train back to Birmingham, like the yokels you are,’ Conky said, encasing Dreads’ throat in a large hand. ‘Tell your eejit boss Nigel Bancroft that if any of you set foot in South Manchester again, you’ll be going home in Tupperware stacking boxes. And you make sure he understands fully that if I see his ponce’s bake in O’Brien territory again, I’ll shoot some fucking wrinkles in him that Botox will never remove.’

Realising that he had been holding his breath all the while that Conky had been speaking, Frank straightened himself up. Inhaled. Exhaled. He acknowledged with some bitterness that he’d been unable to control what went on in his own environment. He felt the humiliation neutralise the bravado in his body. But his pulse thundered on apace and for a moment, as pain travelled up his left arm and encased his tired heart in pure, uncut agony, he wondered if he too would be going home in a wooden overcoat.

‘Frank. Are you okay?’ Conky’s voice, close by.

Clutching his arm, Frank dropped to his knees. I’m coming, Jack. I’m coming.

Saturday 20 January 2018

REVIEW ~ Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo

When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead with a knife in his back in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case.

But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the streets of Bangkok lined with go-go bars, temples, opium dens, and tourist traps, trying to piece together the story of the ambassador’s death even though no one asked him to, and no one wants him to, not even Harry himself.

I enjoyed Cockraoches a little better than The Bat but it becomes more apparent in this book that Harry Hole is in disarray, he's very fond of the drink and women (like all men) and his life is a total mess and has a lot of personal history which we learn about in this book. Although I enjoyed this book, I still haven't felt what everyone else is saying in their reviews about Jo Nesbo and his books.  I think I'll skip right to reading The Snowman next and see if I can see what all the fuss is about and then come back to The Redbreast and follow the series.

Cockroaches is available from all good bookshops, libraries and is on Kindle and is currently £4.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Thursday 18 January 2018

REVIEW ~ The Bat by Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl, who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect, and the pattern of the other crimes seems impossible to crack. Then a circus performer is brutally murdered followed by yet another young woman. Harry is in a race against time to stop highly intelligent killer, who is bent on total destruction.

This is the first Harry Hole novel in the series and seeing as The Snowman was to be released in the cinema in October, I decided to start right from the start of the series to get acquainted with Harry Hole. The blurb sounded great and I was really excited that I picked it up in my local library but unfortunately I couldn't and didn't get on with it, I just felt it was too long winded and dragged out and boring in parts.  The only thing that I got from the book was a background to Harry Hole's character. I guess I just expected more from this seeing as EVERYONE raves about Jo Nesbo but I will definitely read the next installment in the series and I really hope that it will be better than The Bat as it saddened me that I have to say this about the book.  Just because I didn't get on with it doesn't mean that someone else won't so give it a go and see.

The Bat is available from all good bookstores, libraries & is available on Kindle which is currently £3.99 at the time of publication of this review.

Monday 15 January 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ That Girl by Kate Kerrigan

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for That Girl by Kate Kerrigan where I welcome Kate to my blog once again where she has kindly taken part in a Q&A session. I was thrilled to be asked by Melanie Price from Head of Zeus to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the extract so without further ado, here is the Q&A:

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I was always searching out creativity from when I was a small child. In this order  I wanted to be a ballet dancer, musician, actress and artist – but failed at them all. Like all teenagers I wrote bad poetry (although I think my teenage son writes beautiful poetry!) then in my late teens I began writing stories simply to amuse myself. Having flunked out of school at fifteen – I never thought writing was a possible profession. But I got a break on a teenage magazine at the age of 19 and have been earning my living now as a  professional writer for over 30 years.  It's my lif and I can't imagine doing anything else.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I used to simply write when I felt like it – which was random and most of the time. Since I started my family, 16 years ago, I now try to write to office hours. 9-5 my working day as much as possible. Not all of that time is taken up with pure writing, but I try to keep those hours free for work if I can.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
The thing that people find most unusual is the fact that I write at my best in an accountant's office. No distractions. Nothing happening of any interest around me. I have a beautiful office at home with a view of the sea, and I use that for my admin day-to-day work. But when it comes to being creative I find a beautiful view distracting. Grey carpets and blank wall gives me inspiration.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Writing is life and life is writing. Everything around me all the time. Everything people say. Newspapers. Family. History. When you're a writer everything in life goes through that filter and comes back in your work at one or another. The writer is alert to life 24/7.

How do you develop your plots and characters?
Meticulously with charts and notebooks. I spend as much time developing a book as I do writing it. Sometimes more. I know I can write – I've been doing it for a long time. The difficult thing is coming up with a great story and sustaining it for 300 pages.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Honestly? What did we do in the days before social media! Facebook means I hear from my readers every day. They always say they love me. Of course. If readers hate my books – they are kind enough to stay silent! Recipes for a Perfect Marriage seems to have been my most affecting book . Many readers have told me it changes their attitude to love.  It changed my attitude to love while I was writing it so – mission accomplished!