Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Bookouture (29 May 2015)

The Blurb

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal stabbing, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But as further disturbing events come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone even more sinister at work.

With the investigation gathering momentum, whilst also trying to expose the secrets of a sick paedophile ring, Kim finds herself in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Pitted against a dangerous sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing.

And this time - it’s personal.. . .

My thoughts . . .

Well, what I can say?

After reading Silent Scream in one sitting and being blown away by Marsons' writing, I wasn't sure if this second instalment would live up to the same level of brilliance ... I'm so glad that it did!

In Evil Games, DI Kim Stone and her team are back and working on the case of the Dunn family, who have just been torn apart after an eagle eyed teacher realised that daddy was being more than just a good daddy. Now, the CPS have decided that they may not have enough evidence and may throw the case out, Stone and the team are frantically trying to tie up any potential loose ends to ensure a conviction. Then, following the discovery of a dead body, seemingly an unprovoked attack on an innocent man, we are introduced to Dr Alex Thorne and my gosh, what an absolute bi*ch she is!

The Dunn family are going through hell, their daughters are involved in a paedophile ring, the 2 little girls are taken into care and all this brings back memories for DI Stone, deep buried memories, once again forcing her to look at her past and all those feelings she has boxed away.

To be able to render a reader to feel such hatred towards a fictional character is an amazing skill and Marsons has it in buckets. She clearly researched every inch of the world of psychology and sociopaths and created a character beyond loathsome. Dr Thorne uses her skills as a psychologist to manipulate the vulnerable but how and, more importantly, why?

I found Dr Thorne absolutely fascinating, the insights into the workings of the human mind that Marsons brings to the table are brilliant.

DI Stone is cold and hard and harsh, she doesn't mince her words, she doesn't fake emotions, she doesn't suffer fools but she doesn't share either, and when her past starts to be brought into the present, we start to see more of that softer side, the surprisingly sympathetic elements which we saw glimpses of in Silent Scream. DI Stone is so eloquently written, the layers Marsons has created to build up this broken girl and create a woman with such a fierce determination to ensure that justice is brought to those who deserve it, are so deep and meaningful, she is a delight to read, and it really is a pleasure watching how she is starting to let those defences down, little by little.

Marsons could very easily have used each of these plots in their own books and delved into each story line a lot deeper and for a lot longer, and in all honesty, parts of me wished she had, however thinking about it, that's not real is it? Criminals don't gather together at the start of the month and decide who will commit their crimes and when, they don't create a schedule so that the police have the time to investigate and solve one before moving on to the next, the police force aren't that lucky! And, thinking about it some more now, I'm actually glad that this happened, it's not very often you get a story in which the different plots don't end up twisted together and that was really refreshing!

I want to talk and talk and talk about Dr Thorne for ages but it's too hard to discuss her without giving anything away, so I will leave her for now and let you discover for yourself, just look out for her and be warned ... You will love to hate her and Angela, if you read this, please please please don't let that be the last we see of her! She would be my vote for the Dead Good Readers Dr Lecter Award for Scariest Villain without a shadow of a doubt!

Evil Games made me laugh out loud (the famous larger advert reference), cry (too many parts to mention) and made me hate (Dr Thorne and ... read it and find out!), there are lots of things going on in this book, twists that had me gasping out loud on the bus, turns that made me want to scream and an ending that left me desperate for more.

You will not put this down, you will not sleep and you will love every second of it!

I would like to thank myself for buying this book (Emma you are great!), I was kindly sent Silent Scream (book 1) and Play Dead (book 4) by Net Galley and Bookouture and, as Evil Games is book 2 I didn't want to read them out of sequence. That is totally my preference though, each of these books works brilliantly as a stand alone novel.  

About the author . . .

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 8 books. The second, third and fourth books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS and PLAY DEAD are also now available.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Roy Grace Series 1 - 10 by Peter James

Publisher: Macmillan (3 Dec. 2015)

The blurb . . .

The first ten novels of Peter James' enormously popular, multi-award-winning crime series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace are collected together in this EBook bundle.
These ten bestselling titles follow Brighton's best police detective as he investigates missing persons, terrible murders, copycat killers, and races against the clock to catch dangerous criminals before they strike again.
Peter James' Roy Grace EBook Bundle: Books 1-10 contains the following gripping novels from the Roy Grace series:

Dead Simple
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man's Footsteps
Dead Tomorrow
Dead Like You
Dead Man's Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man's Time
Want You Dead

My thoughts . . .

First of all, I started reading these in paper back way back before the Kindle even existed! It seems like a life time ago (it's actually 11 years since Roy Grace first graced (no pun intended) our book shelves!) and I was totally in love from the start. My brother actually introduced me to Peter James and I have never looked back. I sit and wait eagerly for the next instalment to be published, and devour it in the day - although I try my hardest not to because I never want them to end!

I've come to the blogging world too late to review them all individually, but I certainly will be moving forward!

I would highly recommend these books, each follows the life of DS Roy Grace, Brighton's finest major crime investigator. Each book works exceptionally well as a stand alone, you are given enough background about his personal life to understand any references and to appreciate what is going on in that particular book, but the focus is on the crimes and criminals of that story.

Each book is so brilliantly written, with plots that twist and turn and shock and stun and leave you gasping for breath and begging for more.

James introduces us to some of the most unsavoury criminals ever, with some of the most heinous and gruesome crimes possible.

I can't wait for the next one!

About the author . . .

Peter James was educated at Charterhouse, then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screenwriter and film producer before returning to England. His novels, including the Sunday Times number one bestselling Roy Grace series, have been translated into thirty-six languages, with worldwide sales of fifteen million copies. Three books have been filmed. He has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research, as well as his fascination with science, medicine and the paranormal. He has also produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London, and near Brighton in Sussex.

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Publisher: HarperCollins (28 July 2016)
Source: ARC via Net Galley
Format: Kindle Edition

The Blurb . . .



Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.


Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.


Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?

Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?

My thoughts . . .

When Heather shows back up in Edie's life 16 years after they last saw each other, Edie is shocked and stunned. Heather is acting like nothing has happened and Edie is scared. Why has she suddenly reappeared? What does she want? And why now?  

I've said a few times before, I love an author who can write between two time periods and Way is no exception. We have Edie's chapters in the present, Heather's in the past and, seeing it from both sides in a then and now format adds a real depth to the story that I really enjoyed.

It's such a cliché but I really was gripped from the start. We are given enough of the story in the first chapter to keep us wanting more, and every chapter is the same there after, giving you more information, building up the story perfectly and leaving you needing to keep on reading and keep turning those pages.  

As the intensity builds, Way draws us into a powerful and superbly written tale of jealousy, love, hatred and shame, with raw emotion oozing off of the pages and twists that you will never see coming.  

This is a gripping thriller about friendship, love and the most ultimate betrayal, which left me emotionally drained, and thanking God that I never had a friend like Heather or Edie… I'll certainly be picking up more of Way's books for my TBR pile!

I would like to thank the author, publishers and Net Galley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the author . . .

Camilla Way was born in Greenwich, south-east London, and studied Modern English and French Literature at the University of Glamorgan. Formerly an editor on the men’s style magazine Arena, Camilla now writes full time and lives in south-east London with her partner and twin boys.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan


(3 Nov. 2016)

The Blurb . . .

Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she's missing. She's an adult - nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video's uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life.

Who better to head up the investigation than the Met's rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She's leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It's time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Sergeant Zain Harris - poster boy for multiracial policing and the team's newest member - has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he's around, can she trust herself?

Ruby's millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares.

And the videos keep coming . . .

My thoughts . . .

I am rather shocked that this is Caan's debut novel! What a start!

When I read the blurb for this book, I was really intrigued to discover the angle the author would take, hoping that I wouldn't be met with thousands of pointless police interviews with randoms who had once sent Ruby a negative comment online, and I wasn't disappointed!

When the special task force are called straight to a missing persons case, an adult who has been missing less than 12 hours, they can't help but wonder why, there doesn't appear to be any reason why she is any different to any other missing young adult, other than her parents "just know" something is wrong. I was a little concerned with where this was going to start with, however, as the plot starts to dramatically unfold, things start to become clearer.

The attention to detail Caan portrays in his knowledge surrounding the workings of the elite police squad, the politics around them and his clearly intimate knowledge of the world wide web and technology is wonderful. All three are areas I like to think I know a bit about, but to no real intelligent level I'm afraid, yet Caan details aspects of each in such a way that you can understand it, and I mean really understand it, explaining jargon and not going over board with lengthy descriptives, which for me made the book so much better as I actually understood what they were talking about! Authors can run the risk of over explaining things, of making the reader feel stupid for not knowing something but Caan got the balance perfectly right.

I really loved how these characters developed - a new team, thrown together not so long ago, working on their first major crime case - seeing the dynamics between them was refreshing, and, as they are part of a new elite squad, their procedures and resources are different to those that we find in mainstream police crime thrillers, which added a really brilliant dimension to the story.

Kate and Zain clearly have pasts that they are keeping from each other, and it was a pleasure to watch their development on a personal level, seeing how they grew together and tried to learn to work together and trust each other. There is so potential for the whole squad, I really hope that Caan has plans for them in the future!

The plot twists and turns are intelligent and shocking, just when you think you have it all worked out, BAM, another heart stopping twist that keeps you more than engaged, it makes it impossible to put down, you will keep turning the pages until you get to the very end!

Cut to the Bone is an absolutely terrific debut novel from an author I hope sticks around for a long time to come!

I would like to thank the publishers and Net Galley for sending me this copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the author . . .

Alex Caan has spent over a decade working in Information Systems Security for a number of government organisations, and is currently specialising in Terrorism Studies. A lifetime passion for writing was sparked by the encouraging words of an English Teacher in school, and eventually led to Alex successfully completing an MA in Creative Writing, and write Cut to the Bone.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

In the Wake of Death by Billy McLaughlin

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(29 Jun. 2016)

The Blurb . . .

Sometimes waking up is only the beginning…

He was left for dead on the side of the road. Now Marc Adams is awake and he can barely remember anything about his life before. All he knows is that his meddling sister has returned to his life, whilst his partner Joel is gone.

Marc is convinced that something has happened to Joel. Why won’t anybody believe him?
As he is pulled further into the pit of his subconscious, Marc begins to remember exactly what happened on the night of his accident.

Soon, he’ll be wishing he hadn’t woken up at all.

My thoughts . . .

When Marc finally wakes up from his coma, he is convinced that his boyfriend Joel must also have been in the accident, but no one knows who Joel is. Margo, Marc's older sister is back in his life and is adamant that Joel doesn't exist, as are his doctors who insist that no one other than Margo has been to visit him. With his short term memory affected, Marc has to deal with this information everyday as he has no capacity to retain new information or form new memories.

Nathan Sykes is looking for his ex-boyfriend Dean who appears to have dropped of the face of the planet, with almost £30k of Nathan's money - which Nathan wants back.

As Marc's memory starts to return and Nathan closes the net on Dean, the pace seems to pick up quite nicely.

This is cleverly written, with nice, clean plot lines, and easy to relate to characters. The background detailing and the descriptive narrative doesn't get boring but gives enough information to allow you a really good sense of the history of these people. I really enjoyed the relationship between Margo and Marc, having fallen out at some point in the past, Margo immediately rushed to Marc's side, showing that there are situations in life where the past is not always relevant and love prevails. There is nothing majorly complicated to try and follow however this book does have a fantastically unexpected twist that left me breathless!

I would like to see what else the author has in store for us in the future as these characters showed lots of promise.

Thank you to the author and Shell Barker for providing me with this advanced reading copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author . . .

After releasing his debut novelette "Invisible" in March 2016, Billy McLaughlin set upon writing his first full length novel. "Lost Girl" was released on 20th May 2016 and has already charted inside the Top 500 Crime Kindle Charts. The story focuses on a young woman who escapes an unhappy married life only to find herself caught up in a double murder and at the mercy of a vicious stalker. Writer Dixie Howell wrote in its first review "The author writes in a lyrical way and the flow makes the novel pleasing. The characters and story line are entertaining and hold your interest".

Before he was even finished with the characters introduced in the first three books, Billy had already found a place for some of them in a world that exists outwith the confines of a singular story.

Keep your eyes peeled for future releases and news which can also be located via twitter (@bilbob20) and his Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/BillyMcLaughlinBooks/

Sunday, 17 July 2016

My First Blog Update

Well, what a month it has been since I started my Little Book Worm blog...

I have discovered a whole host of wonderful people within the publishing industry; authors, publishers, fellow bloggers and readers and I must say, what an amazing group they are! All filled with lovely and meaningful advice and always happy to help and promote each other, it really is a joy to be involved with these great people!

My most successful blog post is by far the absolutely amazing The Sister by Louise Jensen, what a flipping book... With over 600 views, I was blown away!

I've read some great books over the last couple of weeks, including:

  • Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
  • Mummy's Favourite by Sarah Flint
  • The Fire Child by S.K Tremayne
  • Local Missing Girl by Claire Douglas
  • The Step Mother by Claire Seeber
  • Willow Cottage (Sunshine & Secrets Part 1) by Bella Osborne
And I even had my first ever book banner quote by Aria Fiction with a quote taken from my review!

I've just added an email subscription option to my site (only just figured out how to do it!) so feel free to sign up!

Over the next few weeks you can expect reviews of the following:

  • In the Wake of Death by Billy McLaughin
  • The Good Husband by Christobel Kent
  • The Lost Girls by Angela Marsons
  • Evil Games by Angela Marsons
  • Cut To The Bone by Alex Cann
  • Play Dead by Angela Marsons

I am certain you may have noticed a theme running through my TBR pile... I read my first Ms Marsons book, Silent Scream last week and boy oh boy, what a book it is! I was gripped, totally and utterly adore the way she wrote and as such, I downloaded the rest of her books on my Kindle immediately, I have these to read for pleasure though as I have a few reviews to do for others first (which is obviously brilliant, but at the same time I want to read more D.I Stone!!)

I am also working on writing some retrospective reviews of the book s I have read in the past, this is taking a while though as I am reading and working on the current book reviews! One thing I have noticed since starting this blog is that I am never not reading, having recently given up a career in sales to start training as a proofreader, all I seem to do at the moment is read, read & read some more!!! I took a little part time job in customer services for a carpet manufacturer and as it's all phone based, I can read in-between calls - which is brilliant!

Well, I'm heading off to start another book, the lovely Shell Barker over at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CrimeBookClub/ has asked for a review so I best get started... Then next on the list is Christobel Kent's The Good Husband which I will be completing for www.TheBookBag.co.uk

Hope you all have a great week get in touch if you would like me to review a book or just to say hi!

Love & all that jazz

Emma x

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne


16 June 2016

The Blurb...

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

My Thoughts...

I loved that the chapters start at ‘178 Days Before Christmas’, putting the reader in the unusual position of knowing when something will happen, it really helped to build up the tension as the countdown to Christmas began and continued throughout the book.  

Due to the fantastic historic descriptions in this novel, you could be forgiven for thinking you had picked up a history text book at some points, although it really does work in the book. Tremayne really builds the sense of isolation Rachel feels, having given up her life in the bustling city of London, she is suddenly Lady of the Manor, a huge house in the middle of nowhere, with no friends to speak of and little option to make any, Rachel is struggling with the isolation.

With very few characters in this book, they needed to be well written, and thankfully they are, you really get a sense of how hard it is for both Rachel and widower David, to move on from past tragedies and start their new lives together with David’s 8-year-old son Jamie. Rachel is hoping to take over the renovation of Carnhallow House, started by David’s deceased ex – Nina, whilst David spends the weekdays working in London. There really isn’t anything else for her to do, however, when she starts looking at Nina’s plans, and exploring her new home, Rachel discovers that all is not as it seems with the explanation David gave her about Nina’s death. Jamie, her stepson begins to act strangely, convinced he can see his mother still walking the halls of Carnhallow House, Rachel starts to question both his, and her own, sanity.
Things start to take a sinister turn and, as Rachel begins to question the past, family secrets and past transgressions start coming to light. This is an emotionally charged tale of love, fear, intrigue and dishonesty, wonderfully thrilling and deceptively scary, it is by no means a fast-paced read, there aren’t several stories and plots intertwining and there isn’t much to think about, which I think makes for a really rather unique novel. It feels quite obvious, how the story is going to turn out, but don’t be deceived, once the story picks up pace, there are some shocking twists and unexpected jaw-dropping turns that will leave your heart pounding.

This is definitely a must read and I’d like to thank the publishers and Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the author . . .

S. K. Tremayne is a No. 1 bestselling author, an award-winning travel writer, and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines around the world. Born in Devon, the author now lives in London. S. K. Tremayne has two daughters.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Sunshine & Secrets (Willow Cottage part 1) by Bella Osborne


7 July 2016

 The Blurb . . .

Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

My thoughts . . .

I haven't read a proper chick lit book for years and I am so glad that I requested this! What a great book!

Having split up with her boyfriend, Beth is house hunting and has seen the perfect apartment at a local housing auction, however, whilst there, something makes Beth bid on a cottage, the beautiful Willow Cottage in the middle of the Cotswolds.

This is such a lovely read, really easy to get lost in, I found that Osbourne was easily able to take me away and make me wish I could go and buy a little cottage in a little village! The quirky characters and the relationships Beth is trying to both avoid and build are wonderful and I can totally imagine that these characters can be seen in almost every village in England.

I thought that Osbourne portrayed Beth brilliantly, the struggle she has with her decision to move to the sticks from the big city is really apparent and seeing her start to develop bonds with the villagers is lovely and eloquently written. I also found the relationship between Carly and Fergus absolutely hilarious and laughed out loud at some points!

I was shocked to find myself rather "upset" at the end of this part and I am really looking forward to reading the next instalment and finding out what happens to all these lovely people!

Thank you Net Galley and HarperCollins for sending me this copy in exchange for my honest review

About the author . . .

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.
In 2016, her debut novel, 'It Started At Sunset Cottage', was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.
Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.
She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on Twitter - @osborne_bella

Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

Penguin (11 Aug. 2016)

The Blurb . . .

Twenty years ago

21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night.
She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier -
and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca.


A body's been found.
And Francesca's drawn back to the seaside town she's tried to forget.
Perhaps the truth of what happened to Sophie will finally come out.
Yet Francesca is beginning to wish she hadn't returned.

Everywhere she turns are ghosts from her past.
The same old faces and familiar haunts of her youth.
But if someone knows what really happened to Sophie that night then now's the time to find out - isn't it?

Except sometimes discovering the truth can cost you everything you hold dear - your family, your sanity and even your life . . . 
My thoughts....

Frankie is back in the little seaside town she left when her best friend disappeared, and her dialogue is written as though she is speaking to Sophie in the present day. The chapters then switch to Sophie's diary from all those years ago, which are formatted in italics which I found brilliant, it makes it much easier to remember whose part you are reading and keep a track of what is going on.

I really enjoyed the way this book is written, and although I found some of Frankie's dialogue repetitive, it did help to build up an idea of her frame of mind, she's struggling being back in the little town having spent the last 18 years in London as a career woman as opposed to the dead girls friend.

I found that this story seemed to take a while to really kick in and pick up momentum, but when it does, my gosh does it pick up! There are lots of twists, lots of plots building up to really give you the run around and, although there was a point at which I thought some of it was a little pointless, BAM! It all falls into place perfectly (I even gave a gasp of shock whilst sat on the bus!)

Some books are quite predictable and you can gauge an idea of who dunnit, or where the story is going, I thought I had and I was shocked by the plot twists and turns at the end! Douglas brings everything together brilliantly and you will be left gasping for breath by the end!

I really enjoyed Local Girl Missing and would certainly recommend it to others, thank you to Net Galley and Penguin for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.
I will be keeping an eye out for Douglas' work in the future!

About the author . . .

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Bookouture / Zaffre
14 July 2016

The Blurb . . .

Even the darkest secrets can't stay buried forever...
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood...

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children's home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she's on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it's too late?

My thoughts . . .
As an avid reader I just love finding a new talent, whether they are new to the world of publishing or just new to me personally, I love that feeling of knowing I have so much more to look forward to in the future and Angela Marsons is definitely one for me.
It’s half past midnight and I have just finished Silent Scream (honest – check my Twitter feed!) and I am too geared up to even contemplate sleeping. I am sat thinking about how wonderful it must be to be able to create such brilliant written work, to be able to take people completely out of their “real” world and totally absorb them into somewhere you have created and make them feel, make them immerse themselves, make them forget they have 4 children to feed (ooppsss!! It’s ok really, the hubby sorted them out).
This was my first taste of Marsons’ work but it will not be the last, not by a long shot.
In Silent Scream, D.I Kim Stone is called to investigate the body found dead in the bath of a house that has been set on fire. As she and her team start to investigate the suspicious circumstances, it becomes clear that this isn’t going to be an isolated case and they are in a race against the clock to find out who could be next on the killers hit list, and why.
I loved the way Marsons wrote this book, there was just enough background about each character to allow the reader to get a really good feel for them and each was a relatable and likeable (obviously apart from the villains but I’m not telling you who they are!). Kim Stone is a survivor if ever I saw one and she is so fantastically written, a stereotypical hard assed woman excelling in a man’s world, but with the most wonderful soft side that I hope we see more of the future.
The chapters are really well paced, starting nice and slow to allow the reader to get a gage of everything that is going without over-facing you with lots of unnecessary jargon and descriptive narrative. Then, when that point comes, you know the one, when the intensity levels hitch up a notch (a bit like the key change in a Westlife song and they all suddenly stand-up to sing the final part) and you just know that that is it till the last word has been read, you will not be putting this book down, the pace really speeds up but is so brilliantly written you don’t get lost.
I think this comes down to not having too many plots going on, don’t get me wrong there are twists and turns and you will be left reeling by some shocking developments but they all fit, they all make sense and they are all integral to the story. You don’t leave it thinking “What was the point in that?” like I have done with a lot of books before. Everything in this book is in it for a reason and that makes for an even better read in my humble opinion!
I loved that we didn’t have to suffer a million different suspects and their interviews, that the police officers actually got some time off to go and sleep and that they ate more than a snack from the police stations vending machine, it was really refreshing! I loved everything about this book and I really cannot recommend it enough and would like to thank The Bookbag and Bookouture for providing me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
If you like Val McDermid’s Tony Hill series and Peter James’ Roy Grace, then this series will be right up your street.
Go and buy it. Now . . .  
Go on!!

About the author . . .

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 8 books. The second, third and fourth books in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, LOST GIRLS and PLAY DEAD are also now available.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Sister by Louise Jensen


7 July 2016  
The Blurb . . .
‘I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …’

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear that there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna,
a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie … Or was there?

My Thoughts . . .
Wow. Just Wow. Well, not just wow, I am going to give you my thoughts but for a moment, just WOW!
In The Sister, we meet Grace, whose best friend Charlie has recently died, leaving a massive hole in her life that nothing can fill. Having been through so much heartache in her life already, Grace is really struggling to carry on as “normally” as possible. With her job and relationship on the line, will anything or anyone be able to help her? Then along comes Anna, Charlie’s long-lost half-sister. Who better to take fill the void left by Charlie than her actual sister?! But all is not as it seems, is Anna really in this for the right reasons? Can Grace ever really get to the bottom of Charlie’s secrets and move on from her heartache and guilt?
Jensen spins an intricate web of lies and deceit, leading the reader up and down the garden path and back again. With the story flashing back to the day Grace and Charlie met, and brilliantly moving through their lives together, switching from the past to the present, Jensen vividly allows us to see how they grew together, and what effects those formative years have on the present day. Jensen delivers an intense and gripping narrative with shocking twists and turns that will leave you breathless, your heart in your mouth and your emotions in tatters.
There are books that you will read in your life that you hate and can’t finish, there are some that you will enjoy and then forget. There are some that you will read, enjoy and perhaps recommend to your family and friends. Then, there are THOSE books, a real select few that will leave an impression on you, never to be forgotten which you will shout about from the rooftops. I have a few of those, Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers, Judy Bloom’s Just as Long as We’re Together, Nick Hornby’s About a Boy, Jackie Collins’ Lady Boss – all for different reasons – have stuck with me over the years and I just know that The Sister by Louise Jensen is going straight on that list.
The Sister is an absolutely superbly written psychological thriller; an emotional rollercoaster that will make you love, hate, cry and loathe. But most importantly it makes you feel…
I genuinely cannot believe that this is Jensen’s first novel. Nothing like starting with a bang!
The way Jensen writes is unbelievable, I was totally absorbed in this book, the raw emotions surrounding death are heart wrenching and I can only assume that this emotion is drawn from real experiences. It is written in such a way that your heart will swell for the characters and, even if you are lucky enough to have never lost a loved one, you will be left knowing what it feels like. This book should be sold with a box of Kleenex and Pro-Plus because you will not sleep until it’s finished. It’s books like this that make me wish I didn’t have a day job!
There is not much more I can say without giving away spoilers, other than thank you. Thank you Louise (if I may?) for going to that writing class, thank you to everyone in her acknowledgements for not letting her give up on this book, thank you Bookouture for publishing it and thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read it in advance, in exchange for my honest review ... But most of all, and again, thank you Jensen for bringing these characters to life and for taking that risk.
Jensen is most definitely top of my “to watch” list, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us.

About the author . . .

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat. The Sister is Louise's debut novel.

Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Mummy's Favourite by Sarah Flint

Aria (1 Aug. 2016)

The blurb . . .

He's watching ... He's waiting ... Who's next?

Buried in a woodland grave are a mother and her child. One is alive. One is dead.

DC 'Charlie' Stafford is assigned by her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter to assist with the missing person investigation, where mothers and children are being snatched in broad daylight.
As more pairs go missing, the pressure mounts. Leads are going cold. Suspects are identified but have they got the right person?
Can Charlie stop the sadistic killer whose only wish is to punish those deemed to have committed a wrong? Or will she herself unwittingly become a victim.

A gripping, heart-stopping crime thriller, introducing new series character DC Charlotte 'Charlie' Stafford of the London Metropolitan Police.

My thoughts . . .

This is an absolutely fantastic debut novel,
I genuinely can't believe this is the first book written by Flint!

Mummy's Favourite introduces us to DC Charlotte Stafford, Charlie, a police officer in London who is called to work on a missing persons case. A mother and her son have disappeared, seemingly having run away from an abusive marriage, but why has she only taken one of her children?

The plot thickens as 2 more women go missing along with one of their children and the men in their lives weave webs of lies and deceit that Charlie must unravel to get to the truth before time runs out for the missing women.

From the very first page this book had me hooked. The prologue alone had my heart in my mouth and covered in goosebumps!

I loved the authors style of writing, giving us the perfect amount of descriptive prose to enable a connection with the characters and locations, without being boring, repetitive or tedious. I was really able to relate to the main character, she's not perfect, she has a past and she has had to prove herself good enough in her male dominated world.

The story line was unlike any I have read before, with twists and turns throughout, you are left thinking you have managed to solve it only to have another spanner thrown in the works and realise you are completely off track!

Without giving anything away, this is a brilliantly written, nail biting, edge of your seat thriller with a pace that never lets up, with breath-taking twists and shocking turns you will be left guessing until the very end! 

Do not start reading this unless you are prepared to read it all in one go!

DC Stafford and her team are so brilliantly written I just can't wait for the next instalment!

I would like to thank the publishers for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.