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Archive for the tag “murder”

Blog Tour – ‘Ice Lake’ by John A Lenahan

‘Ice Lake’, the first of a series, was published as an eBook on the 7th July 2017 by Killer Reads. I was invited to take part in the blog tour for this book and was very kindly sent an ARC for review.

This story is set in Pennsylvania. A man is found murdered in the woods by a local kid. But what was the motive for killing him? Harry Cull a psychologist with a tragic past is called in to help with the murder investigation. Arriving at the picturesque town of Ice Lake he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A few days later another body is found and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer who will do absolutely anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Ice Lake’ and I think this book is a promising start to a new series. I liked the writing style although it took a little bit of getting used to. The snippets of information at the beginning of some of the chapters were quite interesting and I actually felt that I learnt something. I wouldn’t have minded living near Ice Lake. The view from the house Harry was staying in sounded spectacular. I’d probably get fat from eating too many donuts though.

I warmed to Harry Cull almost instantly and I liked the banter between him and Trooper Cirba. Cirba was another favourite of mine. There were a few people who could have been responsible for the murders and it did seem as if the investigation wasn’t really going anywhere for a while. But Harry was smart and Cirba knew this. I thought the author did a pretty good job of keeping me guessing who the killer was. He kept me intrigued.

I am delighted to have been given the chance to discover yet another new author and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope Harry Cull gets involved in many more investigations.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

 

About John Lenahan

John Lenahan is a popular TV magician who became the first person in 85 years to be expelled from the Magic Circle. He has had a prime time BBC1 TV show called ‘Secrets Of Magic’ and also a BBC2 series ‘Stuff The White Rabbit’. He was the voice of the toaster in ‘Red Dwarf’ and has made guest appearances on numerous variety shows. He has toured with Jack Dee, Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood. Shadowmagic was an award-winning podcast novel prior to being signed to The Friday Project.

 

 

‘Ice Lake’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ice-Lake-gripping-guessing-Psychologist-ebook/dp/B06XBKYTB7/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499750704&sr=1-1&keywords=ice+lake+by+john+a+lenahan

 

Interview with Deirdre Quiery

Let’s have another author interview.  Deirdre Quiery’s debut novel, ‘Eden Burning’ was published by Urbane Publications in August 2015 and her new book, ‘The Secret Wound’ is out in June of this year.

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘The Secret Wound’ please?

“The Secret Wound” is inspired by my love of why we keep secrets, the world of myths, the sense that every single person’s life is a mythical journey, taking them through a world of adventure to transformation and metamorphosis and my love of storytelling.

I have always been fascinated by the “secrets” which people keep and take with them to the grave. That made me think that perhaps what makes people really unique and interesting is everything that we don’t know about them and maybe will never know.

It is as if when we look at another person we see a door but it is locked. We don’t have the key to open it. The person looking back at us is holding the key in their heart. They are torn by this dilemma. One part of them wants to hand us the key and allow us to open the door and to walk inside and see who they truly are. They know that this will open to them the depths of intimacy and acceptance which they so desire. The other part of them is afraid that if they hand us the key, we will walk inside and run away screaming in horror at what we have discovered. This second possibility is terrifying – as it has the potential of totally destroying the fragments of identity which the person is so desperately clinging to. They choose to keep the key in their heart and most insist on the door remaining closed.

When I started writing “The Secret Wound” I had a dream of creating “a new myth” – which would allow me to tell a new story about the hero setting out on a journey, facing challenges and returning home transformed. I imagined making it “new” by having the journey take place on two levels – one is a real physical journey and the second a psychological journey into the heart, where the hidden key is discovered. The individual with great difficulty opens the door which allows them to see themselves as they truly are and rather than run away screaming – this revelation of what was hidden and distorting their lives will be the catalyst for transformation.

Gurtha – a key protagonist – goes to Mallorca after his mother Nuala is murdered and his life is in disarray. He does not know who killed Nuala or why she was murdered. He decides to spend 40 days on the beautiful Mediterranean island to take stock of his life and to find a new direction and meaning for life. He meets with a circle of friends within the ex-pat community; dark secrets are revealed which transform each of their lives within 40 days and the secret about who murdered Nuala is unlocked.

 

Where did you get the idea for it from?

By observing in real life people acting in ways which cause great suffering to themselves and others but they are unaware of what is driving their behaviour. It is hidden to them. It is only when they see what is hidden that they are released from their personal “prison”, are healed and liberated.

 

Did you have to do any research for your new book?

Yes. I adored it. I researched the origin of myths, remembering Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero of a Thousand Faces” and “The Power of Myth”.

I then began to read Bernard McGinn’s books on the “foundations, growth and flowering” of mysticism. Bernard McGinn is a Professor of Divinity at Chicago University and is considered to be the world’s expert on mysticism. The path of mysticism is very much like the hero’s journey. It is a journey to experience love, casting off the ego along the way. It has phases of awakening, purgation, illumination and union. Union is the experience of ‘resting’ in a love beyond human understanding.

I so much enjoyed this research that I am off to Houston in August of this year to attend a 3 day workshop run by Bernard McGinn on the subject of mysticism.

 

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Yes. I am in them all in one way or another! When people have read “Eden Burning” they are quite shocked that I can create a murderer. However, I think a writer has to have empathy for every single one of their characters. If you have deep empathy that means that you understand how they feel, the situation that they find themselves in and why they are acting in ways which may not be understood by others.

When your level of empathy for your characters deepens, you find that you have compassion for them. For me, this means suffering with them. At that moment the writer and the character are one and the same. For that to happen, I have to be in them from the start.

When my friends say goodbye to me after a visit, they often say, “Don’t be murdering anyone today – well do it, only if it’s in your novel.”

 

Are you the type of person who wakes up in the middle of the night with ideas that you have to jot down straightaway?

No. However, I do awaken up at times in the middle of the night from a strange and wonderful dream which I always remember in the morning and which inspires my stories.

I love the dream world. I have experienced in my own life, dreams which predict the future, archetypal dreams presenting me with an insight into life and lucid dreams where I am aware in the dream that I am dreaming. In these dreams I can make the dream change according to my wishes. I remember one such dream when I realised within the dream that I could make anything I thought come true. I had great fun doing that!

 

Will you be having a book launch?

Yes. I am thrilled to be having my book launch on the 6th July 2017, at the Meditation Centre, St Mark’s Church Myddelton Square, London, EC1R 1XX – 1830 – 2100. At the book launch I will simultaneously be opening an exhibition of my art which will explore the theme of “The Secret Wound” in oils.

 

What do you want people to get out of your book?

I really want them to enjoy it. I love TV programmes like Agatha Christie – including Poirot, Criminal Minds, Inspector Morse, Lewis … I would like them to have a sense of reading a psychological thriller in which they are captivated. I also would like to give them a sense that life is really wonderful and mysterious. If they already feel this – then we can have a chuckle together about it.

 

Any pearls of wisdom for anyone wanting to write?

If you want to write – you already have the desire planted within you which is your gift. All you have to do now is to honour it and begin to write. Don’t judge your writing but be open to feedback from people you trust and especially from people who know the key to your heart.

 

How long have you been painting for?

Since moving to Mallorca – 15 years ago.

 

What’s it like living in Mallorca?

When people hear that I live in Mallorca, they think I am lying on the beach for a large part of the year. However, nothing could be further from the truth. I actually haven’t been into the sea in 15 years – even though it is only 10 minutes from home in the car.

What I love about Mallorca is its natural beauty – being in nature – living beside the sea, seeing the oranges change colour at sunset, watching the figs appear on the fig trees, the orange blossom in April turning into Christmas oranges.

For the first year and a half, we lived in an isolated olive grove, with no running water, no TV, no fixed line telephone, no internet. It was then that I felt myself a part of nature – at one with sheep, cats, eagles, bees, beetles and the olive trees.

I would say that what I have learnt living there, when I am not travelling with work, is that life can be incredibly simple and we have a tendency to complicate it.

 

Would you ever move to London?

Never say never. I love London. I know this is going to sound weird but I feel really at home in London – more than I do after 15 years in Mallorca. I also adored living in Oxford for 12 years. I am going to keep an open mind and who knows what might happen. What I might struggle with is cutting my umbilical cord to living so intensely now with nature.

 

Describe your life in five words.

I’m a seeker still seeking.

 

Links

‘Eden Burning’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/eden-burning/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eden-Burning-Deirdre-Quiery/dp/1909273902/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458254682&sr=1-1&keywords=eden+burning

‘The Secret Wound’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/the-secret-wound/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Secret-Wound-Deirdre-Quiery/1911331833/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489434292&sr=1-1&keywords=the+secret+wound

Author Page with a weekly blog –  www.deirdrequiery.com

Twitter – @SupernovaQ

Link for the book trailer for Eden Burning – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0v5Su7exVI

Book teasers for The Secret Wound – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4jxyEb0s_A and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftirPMb515Q

Book Review – ‘Fade to Dead’ by Tara Moore


‘Fade to Dead’ is the first book in the Jessica Wideacre series. It was published by Urbane Publications last year. Being a huge fan of crime thrillers I really liked the sound of this book and bought myself a copy.

A serial killer is at large on the streets of South London. Known as The Director, he seems to be obsessed with young women who are barely of legal age, are blonde and beautiful. What exactly is his fascination with them and why does he keep going for just one type?

DI Jessica Wideacre who has been recently promoted is put in charge of the investigation. As the body count rises Jessica and her team find that they don’t have much to go on and soon become very disheartened. Jessica starts feeling that she isn’t up to the job. With her boss breathing down her neck, the pressure of the job and her marriage in jeopardy, Jessica is driven to drinking.

Meanwhile, The Director has a new victim in his sights. Someone who will get the red carpet treatment for sure. He’s really looking forward to acting out this film.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Fade to Dead’. It was an exciting, thrilling and gripping read. Tara Moore really is off to a great start with this series. I liked her style of writing and the way she has managed to create characters who are genuine.

I liked DI Jessica Wideacre and thought that some of the things she came out with were hilarious. I suppose even when dealing with murder you need to have some sort of a sense of humour in order to survive everyday life. Jessica swore to the murder victims that she would find their killer and even though it seemed at times that he would never be caught, I knew that sooner or later something had to happen. Those poor girls though and what they went through, it was just horrendous. The reader is also given a glimpse into Jessica’s personal life which I always think is a good thing. There were certain members of her family that I really didn’t take to at all, especially her sister, Carol. I thought she was really selfish.

I was shocked by the ending, it was a real twist in the tale. I really wouldn’t have guessed it.

‘Fade to Dead’ is a must read for crime fiction lovers. This is sure to be one of my favourite books of the year. I am really looking forward to joining DI Jessica Wideacre on her next case. The second book in the Jessica Wideacre series is due out in 2018.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Fade to Dead’ is available from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/fade-to-dead/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fade-Dead-ruthless-Director-Wideacre-ebook/dp/B01FJA8EJO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489223492&sr=1-1&keywords=fade+to+dead

 

Interview with Anne Coates

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I’d like to welcome Anne Coates back to my blog.  Her new book, ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ is out on the 11th May of this year.  As part of the event I have interviewed Anne.

 

As you know I loved ‘Dancers in the Wind’ and I am thoroughly looking forward to your next book which is out in May. Can you tell me a bit about it please?

‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ continues Hannah Weybridge’s story and opens with her discovering the dead body of her close friend Liz Rayman in the crypt of St John the Evangelist at Waterloo where she ran a weekly pro bono dental surgery. Initially the police write off the murder as perpetrated by one of the homeless clients high on drink or drugs. Neither Hannah or Liz’s mother, Lady Celia Rayman, is convinced by this theory and Celia employs the journalist to start investigating. No spoilers here.

 

Did you have to do much research?

I know the area (and the Cardboard City in the Bullring in the 90s) really well. My mother was born in Waterloo and many of my extended family lived there. I also worked for IPC magazines when situated at King’s Reach Tower, Stamford Street which gave me a good backdrop. Having written the first three chapters many years ago, strangely I had never been inside the church. I have subsequently attended many meetings there and it will be the venue for my launch party.

My work as a freelance journalist for newspapers and magazines gave me a solid background for my protagonist.

There are themes that I have gone back to primary sources for research – I won’t mention these as I hope readers will be surprised and intrigued as to how the novel progresses. I am also blessed with friends who work in diverse careers whom I can tap into for information. Great to do my research over a glass of wine and a chat with a friend!

 

What made you decide to write crime fiction?

The first short story I had published was a “confession” of a crime and many of my tales with a twist which I wrote for magazines like Bella (some published in ‘Cheque-Mate & Other Tales of the Unexpected’) concerned a crime of some description from fraud to murder. I love reading crime novels and believe you should always write what you would like to read!

 

Can you relate to any of your characters?

I am blessed/cursed with the type of mind which can put me in someone else’s shoes very easily.

Hannah Weybridge has some of my foibles and characteristics (but is not me). In many ways she is my alter ego and does things I wish I had the guts to do. I would never be such a risk-taker. There are other characters I have fallen a bit in love with like Tom Jordan the DI in ‘Dancers in the Wind’ and James, the doctor who also features in both books. I have a real soft spot for Sam who has a small role in DitW and DSJ but may have more to say in book three which I am currently working on. Linda comes to the fore in book three and she is an amalgam of some of my loveliest friends. I can also put myself into the minds of my baddies – which probably reveals a bit too much about me and my darker side!

 

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

As a journalist I learned to write fast and stick to deadlines so that discipline helps with writing books. So the answer to your question is, it depends on the deadline but I do like a lot of thinking/dreaming time for ideas to percolate and take root. My writing is very character led and they often take me off in directions I would never have contemplated when I first started a particular book.

 

Do you have a favourite place where you do your writing?

Not really. I usually write at home although I also scribble down ideas on buses and trains. As my first draft is written on my laptop it means I can be anywhere – even in my garden when it’s warm. If I get stuck with a scene I find changing rooms helps – a move to the kitchen or bedroom encourages a new perspective.

 

Are there going to be more books?

I am currently writing book three in the Hannah Weybridge series (as yet no title) and I have an idea for another book when we meet her many years later.

 

I see that you are also an editor. What does that involve doing?

I have edited magazines for various companies and for many years I have abridged books for Reader’s Digest for the UK, Australian and Canadian markets. Cutting a book – sometimes by as much as 50 per cent – is a major task and by the end I have read the book so often I probably know it better than the author. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I had to cut Middlemarch in half for the Orion Compact Editions. With the classics you can’t change a word and as I love that book it was heart-breaking to eliminate themes or storylines.

I also copy edit, which involves checking facts and spellings, making sure of consistency, following house style and basically dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s.

 

What was your experience at getting published by Urbane Publications like?

I have been published by four other companies: Wayland, Bloomsbury, Need to Know, and Endeavour and each experience has been different. Urbane Publications – like many of the newer indie publishers – offers a more collaborative approach, which works well for me. The focus, enthusiasm and sense of purpose is brilliant and I also enjoy the being part of a group of authors who are supportive and happy to meet up in real life. Last year Urbane sent a group of us to CrimeFest, which was a great experience and this year I’ll be on one of the panels and we’ll all meet up for drinks and the Gala Dinner.

 

What advice have you got for anyone wishing to pen a book?

Read widely, keep writing and don’t give up. There are many routes to getting published now and if you persevere you’ll find the right one for you. I was once told to write the first novel, dump it and get on with the second. My first novel is still in a box in the attic.

 

Who are your favourite authors?

Twitter has introduced my to an amazing array of authors whom I might not have come across but whose books have become firm favourites. Some have become friends and if I started naming them I’d be bound to leave someone out in error. However it was with utter joy when I learned that the daughter of a close friend (and my daughter’s godfather) had achieved a brilliant publishing deal. Needless to say I loved reading it: ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ by E C Healey. When I have the time I go back to reading old favourites like Wilkie Collins, Dickens, James Joyce, and DH Lawrence among others.

 

If you were only allowed to keep three items what would they be?

Although I am an inveterate hoarder, I try to discipline myself not to be “owned” by possessions. It’s taken me a long time to realise this. My family, friends and three cats (the felines are all sitting with me as I write this, making sure I include them) are the world to me. If I had to choose items it would probably be my mother’s rings and earrings, old family photos currently framed and hanging in the dining room, and my phone which contains all my contacts. Actually this has given me an idea for another book …

 

Links

Dancers in the Wind
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dancers-Wind-gripping-thriller-Weybridge/dp/1911129635/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1486815984&sr=1-1

Death’s Silent Judgement
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deaths-Silent-Judgement-Hannah-Weybridge/dp/1911331353/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487075630&sr=1-1&keywords=death%27s+silent+judgement

Cheque-Mate & Other Tales of the Unexpected
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cheque-Mate-Other-Tales-Unexpected-Coates-ebook/dp/B008G1FI5M/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487075707&sr=1-1&keywords=Cheque+Mate+and+other+Tales+of+the+unexpected

Author website http://www.annecoatesauthor.com/

Blog Tour – ‘After She’s Gone’ and ‘Sins of the Father’ by Sheryl Browne

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I am delighted to be taking part in Sheryl Browne’s blog tour for her books, ‘After She’s Gone’, published recently and ‘Sins of the Father’ which is out today, both by Choc Lit.  The covers alone should tempt you to buy these books, but here’s what they are about.

 

Are you ready to take a journey into the mind of a madman?

After She’s Gone.

Sins of the Father.

All-consuming thrillers that will eat you and spit you back out.

 

After She’s Gone

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.

When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

 

Sins of the Father

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.

But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.

When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

~~~~~

Sound good?  Just to whet your appetites that little bit more here’s an excerpt from ‘After She’s Gone’.

 

Excerpt – After She’s Gone

Matthew walked purposefully, his breath freezing and flying into the crisp air like a soft white djinn. He’d debated hard whether to make the call. One call and air surveillance could be hovering overhead in minutes, armed officers despatched and honing in on their target, ready to shoot Sullivan down if they caught so much as a glimpse of him. And where might that leave Becky and Ashley? His thumb hovering over his mobile, he’d factored in that Sullivan would use them as a human shield.

Matthew hadn’t made the call. Those were exactly the tactics the coward would resort to, and Matthew had no idea whether Becky was in there. Depending on the soundness of the roof, thermal imaging might have indicated how many people there were and pinpointed their location, but it couldn’t have identified who was who. Ashley he’d heard. Matthew’s heart sank afresh as he recalled her soul-crushing scream. Becky though … The thought of her imprisoned in some dank, confined space … an underground sewer, a box buried somewhere … and the only man who knew where, shot down and killed before he’d disclosed her location? That was the unbearable scenario that had decided him.

The gun, bought with one specific aim in mind, to destroy Sullivan like the vermin he was, was now useless. Matthew had it with him. Biting rain now slashing down, obscuring his vision and soaking him through to the skin, he checked his jacket pocket for the lump of cold metal. He’d abandoned the shoulder holster, thought about trying to secrete the gun, but then abandoned that idea too. Sullivan would search him. He’d find it in seconds. Ditto any other weapon Matthew had considered. He had no plan. His only hope, he knew, as did Sullivan, was to do as instructed. Turn up at the designated time. Wiping a hand over his eyes, Matthew squinted at his watch. Thereafter, offer himself in exchange for Becky and Ashley, beg Sullivan to release them, take whatever crap the sick bastard dished out. Nothing could be worse than the pain tearing Matthew apart now, except to lose the woman he loved. To know that she and Ashley had suffered and he’d been able to do nothing about it.

Rage smouldering steadily inside him, Matthew stopped directly in front of the property, making sure he was in full view. One clear shot and Sullivan could take him out in an instant. But Sullivan wasn’t about to do that. He needed to satiate his depraved appetites, play his perverted little game, and in the nightmare this game had become, Sullivan was winning hands down.

Five minutes ticked by, excruciatingly slowly. Matthew didn’t move, other than to blink away the rain falling from his eyelashes like icy tears from a frond. Trying not to imagine what might greet him inside, he scanned the outside of the building, mentally noting all available exits. Close up, it was more dilapidated than he’d thought: slates off the roof, the framework skeletal in places, empty sockets for windows upstairs, dark, like blind eyes watching him. There was a hayloft-door hanging off, rotting supporting beams interlacing the brickwork. Two windows downstairs, both boarded, bar a gap in one, through which Matthew had no doubt he was being watched. A sturdy front door, cast iron hinges … Matthew fixed his gaze on it and waited.

Eventually, he heard a bolt being drawn. Bracing himself, Matthew drew in a long breath as the door slowly opened, jarring on the uneven floor as it went.

 

About Sheryl Browne

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Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WHSmith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

 

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest | Choc Lit

 

Trailer Links

DI Matthew Adams series: https://youtu.be/0MqZ5TpBwGk

After She’s Gone: https://youtu.be/ujK0mFpYYrM

 

Blog Tour – ‘Late Whitsun’ by Jasper Kent

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I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour. ‘Late Whitsun’ was published on the 13th October 2016 and it is the first book in the Charlie Woolf series. Read on for my review.

This story is set in Brighton, 1938. Charlie ‘Big Bad’ Woolf thought the errand he was being sent on would be simple enough, plus it would earn him some decent money. He’d also be doing his old partner, Alan O’Connor a favour. So off he goes to London to hand over the envelope he’s been given. But curiosity gets the better of Woolf and he can’t resist taking a look at the contents of the envelope. What he sees is quite shocking. It looks like a case of blackmail. Woolf can’t wait to get rid of the envelope.

When he arrives home he gets a very nasty surprise. O’Connor is dead and it seems that Woolf is the main suspect. Things are about to get very complicated indeed. Who really killed O’Connor?

I really like the way the story opened and I had the feeling that this would be a good read. In the first chapter the reader is introduced to Charlie Woolf, a private investigator who isn’t getting very much in the way of work. I enjoyed reading about his drawings. He certainly was artistic and his talent came in very useful during the investigation into O’Connor’s murder.

Charlie was very smart and I liked him from the start. It took me a bit of time to work out how his mind ticked. I would never have guessed who the murderer was and I was a bit shocked. Things really weren’t as simple as they seemed and that’s what made ‘Late Whitsun’ so good. There were a number of characters, some of them very unsavoury.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to discover yet another author. I really like reading books set in the past, plus I like reading about places. I’ve never been to Brighton so learning a bit about it was interesting.

The next two books in the series sound just as good. I am looking forward to following Charlie and his future investigations.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Jasper Kent

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Jasper Kent was born in Worcestershire in 1968, studied Natural Sciences at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and now lives in Hove. TWELVE, the opening book of his historical horror series THE DANILOV QUINTET was one of the bestselling debuts of the year. As well as writing novels, Jasper works as a freelance software consultant. He has also written several plays and musicals.

In addition to other projects, Jasper is planning two more Charlie Woolf novels: THE STALACTITE MAN and TO MUDDY DEATH.

To find out more, visit www.jasperkent.com.

 

‘Late Whitsun’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Late-Whitsun-1-Charlie-Woolf/dp/1537739573/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481386375&sr=1-1&keywords=late+whitsun

 

‘Dancers in the Wind’ by Anne Coates

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‘Dancers in the Wind’ was published on the 13th October by Urbane Publications.  I was very kindly sent a proof copy to read and review.

This story is set in 1993.  Hannah Weybridge is a freelance journalist and single mother.  Commissioned by a national newspaper to write an article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross, Hannah interviews a prostitute called Princess and a police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan.

When Princess turns up at her house badly beaten up and barely recognisable, Hannah finds herself in a very difficult position and has to decide quickly what to do for the best.  She soon finds herself drawn ever deeper into a world of deceit and violence and knows that she must do her utmost best to expose the truth whilst staying alive.  Will she succeed in her quest?

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dancers in the Wind’.  I loved the writing style and the element of suspense throughout.  The majority of the chapters were very short but I felt that this just added to the excitement.  I also absolutely loathe being unable to finish a chapter in one sitting or being interrupted halfway through it so the shorter chapters were better in that sense too.

I really liked Hannah Weybridge and thought she was a gutsy lady.  I don’t think she realised just what she was getting herself into in helping Princess and I feared for her and her adorable daughter.  I also liked Tom Jordan but like Hannah wasn’t too sure about him for quite a while.  I felt so sorry for Princess who hadn’t exactly had a great life and for others like her.

Anne Coates has written several non-fiction books and a number of short stories.  ‘Dancers in the Wind’ is actually her first novel but you would never guess it.  Anne writes with such confidence, it’s as if she’s been writing crime fiction for ages.  I also liked the fact that real events are used to base her stories on.

I bought a copy of ‘Dancers in the Wind’ at Anne’s wonderful book launch and it’s one I will certainly treasure.  At the end of the book you can read the first chapter of Anne’s next novel, ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ which is the sequel to ‘Dancers in the Wind’, due out next Spring  I loved the opening to it and am already intrigued.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Dancers in the Wind’ is available to buy from Urbane Publications:-

http://urbanepublications.com/books/dancers-in-the-wind/

 

‘The Butcher Bird’ by S D Sykes

The Butcher Bird

I reviewed ‘Plague Land’, the first book in the Oswald de Lacy series back in 2014. Having loved this novel I recently bought ‘The Butcher Bird’ which came out in paperback on the 7th April of this year.

It is now 1351 and life continues as it has been doing at Somershill Manor.  Oswald is doing his very best to continue to run a struggling estate.  However, with a socially ambitious mother, an overbearing sister and a mutinous workforce who are demanding higher wages, this doesn’t prove to be very easy and certain things are beyond his control.

When a baby is found impaled on a thorn bush word soon gets around and people start claiming that they have seen a huge creature in the skies.  It is up to Oswald to find out the truth and quickly before more murders are committed.  Is there such a thing as The Butcher Bird or is there something even more sinister at play?

I could have screamed with joy when I saw ‘The Butcher Bird’ in Waterstones.  Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series I was expecting great things and I’m really happy to say that my expectations were more than met.  This was an absolutely fantastic read with some shocking revelations and a number of twists and turns.  Throughout the story you are reminded about what happened in ‘Plague Land’ which is good because it means you don’t need to refer back to it.

It was interesting seeing the character of Oswald de Lacy developing.  He really did have a lot put on him at a young age but I think he coped pretty well.  I loved reading about the journey to London from Somershill.  I thought it to be very descriptive and fascinating.  I also enjoyed meeting a number of the same characters.

The author has written another interesting historical note which you will find at the back of the book.  I do like that she does her research and that a number of events that took part in the story actually did happen.  There is also a useful glossary at the back too.

S D Sykes has done it again by writing yet another brilliant book.  I don’t mean to wish the rest of the year away when it is already going so fast, but I really can’t wait for the next instalment in this series which is due out in early 2017.

You really should read ‘Plague Land’ first before starting this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Blog Tour – ‘Obsession in Death’ by J.D. Robb

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‘Obsession in Death’ is J.D. Robb’s new book.  It is being published by Piatkus on the 12th February 2015 in both hardback and eBook.  For these next two weeks a number of book bloggers are celebrating J.D. Robb’s latest novel which marks twenty years of the bestselling In Death series.  I love crime fiction and was thrilled to be invited to take part in this blog tour.  Until recently I had never come across J.D. Robb’s work so was really happy to be introduced to it.

Based in New York, ‘Obsession in Death’ is set in the future.  It is 27th December 2060 on a crisp winter morning.  A body of a woman is discovered lying stretched out on a bed in her luxury apartment.  On the wall above her the murderer has left a sinister message in bold black ink which is targeted at Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

Eve Dallas is famous for her high-profile cases and her marriage to a billionaire businessman.  Naturally she receives a lot of unwanted attention and has learnt to deal with intense public scrutiny and media gossip.  However, this appears to be different.  Eve has got a secret admirer, someone who is totally obsessed with her and who just can’t stop thinking about her.

With time against her, Eve is forced to play a very delicate and dangerous psychological game.  The killer is desperate for something she can never provide; approval.  Once that becomes clear Eve knows her life and the lives of the people she cares about the most will be at risk.  Just how far will the murderer go to prove how much Eve means to him or her?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Obsession in Death’ though I did find it hard understanding some of the police lingo and the expressions.  I was amazed by the technology used throughout and had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the future.

I found ‘Obsession in Death’ to be exciting, thrilling and fast-paced.  It held my attention and was hard to put down.  I kept wondering who was going to be the next victim.  Spread out over five days, it certainly didn’t take Lieutenant Eve Dallas long to solve the crime.  It was just as well really with a lunatic on the loose.  Eve came across as smart, tough, very brave and extremely quick thinking.

There was a good mix of characters in this story.  I really liked Eve’s partner, Detective Peabody.  I also thought Eve’s husband was lovely and very supportive.  He went out of his way to help her.

Having now finished ‘Obsession in Death’ I will definitely be reading more of J.D. Robb’s novels.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About the Author

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J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) published her first novel in 1995, with the In Death series.  Robb has become one of the biggest thriller writers on earth, with each new novel reaching number one on bestseller charts over the world.  With over 450 million copies of her books in print, she is indisputably one of the most celebrated and popular writers in the world.

 

Links

http://www.noraroberts.com

https://www.facebook.com/norarobertsjdrobb

 

‘Plague Land’ by S D Sykes + Competition

Plague Land

‘Plague Land’ was published today in both hardback and eBook. I first heard about this book from History Lives, the historical fiction community from Hodder & Stoughton.  It sounded so interesting and I was very kindly sent a proof copy to read and review.  ‘Plague Land’ is S D Sykes debut novel; an exciting new voice in historical crime.

This story is based in medieval Kent and is set in the aftermath of the Black Death.  It is 1350 and Oswald de Lacy has been sent home from the monastery he was packed off to at the young age of seven.  Now eighteen and having recently lost his father and two older brothers to the Black Death, he is faced with a huge amount of responsibility.  It will be his job to run the estate as Lord of Somershill Manor, something he never expected.

Oswald has no idea just how bad things are. The years of pestilence and neglect have affected the estate badly and lots of people have lost their lives.  His mother however still remains the powerful matriarch of the family and his sister Clemence who isn’t very easy to get on with still lives at Somershill Manor.  Just as Oswald is about to tackle things he is notified about a vicious murder of a young woman.  The rather ambitious village priest insists that she was killed by demonic dog-headed men, but Oswald sees his claim as a load of nonsense.  He soon finds himself with the job of trying to solve the crime and find the murderer, but each step he takes seems to lead him into a maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violence.

I knew as soon as I opened this book that I was going to enjoy reading it. The prologue had me totally intrigued.  If I had not known that this was S D Sykes debut novel I would never have guessed, it is that good.  The quality of the writing throughout is amazing and the story doesn’t drag.  S D Sykes paints a very good picture of what life was like in those days.

There is a handy glossary to refer to and at the end a very interesting historical note from the author which is really worth reading.

‘Plague Land’ is a fascinating and intriguing read and a real page-turner.  This is historical crime at its best.  I am already looking forward to S D Sykes next book.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Both S D Sykes and History Lives are on Twitter.  Do follow them.

S D Sykes – @SD_Sykes

History Lives – @HistoryLives_

 

Competition

Three very lucky people have a chance to win a copy of ‘Plague Land’.  To enter leave a comment telling me what your favourite era is.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 12th October 2014.

Winners will be notified within 7 days and their details will be passed on to Hodder & Stoughton who will send out the prizes.

 

Good luck! 🙂

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