Saturday, 24 February 2018

#BlogTour: Blue Night by Simone Buchholz @OrendaBooks @FwdTranslations @ohneKlippo #BlueNight #Krimi

Published February 2018 by Orenda Books. My thanks to the Author and the Publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater for inviting me on to the blog tour.

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived… Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.

My Thoughts:

Blue Night has been a runaway success in Germany where the author Simone Buchholz is from. It has been seamlessly translated by Rachel Ward and deserves to a be a success across the globe.

Blue Night is the first in a series to feature Chastity Riley, a state prosecutor that has recently been assigned a desk job. Her superiors preferring for her not to cause anymore problems. A new assignation through promises to be anything but boring.

This is a relatively short novel at under 300 pages so I raced through it, the sentences were snappy and the writing was highly addictive and engaging. Once I settled into the underbelly of Hamburg there was no putting it down until I had read the final chapter.

Chastity Riley is something of an enigma, we only ever really learn bits and pieces about her. I couldn't help but like her though, she has a certain fire about her and I look forward to learning more about her in future books in this series.

This book had a very cinematic feel to it and I think that mainly came from the perspectives that the story was told and the snippets of information that were laid bare over the course of the book.

German Noir is something new on me but I was utterly enthralled and will most definitely be reader more. Simone Buchholz has a refreshing writing style and a unique talent of drawing the reading right into the heart of the story with the wonderful descriptions of Hamburg and a narrative that is spectacular.

Really recommend it.

About the Author:
Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up for the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

#BlogTour: The Promise by Sally Jenkins @sallyjenkinsuk @rararesources #ThePromise

The Promise is available now. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for having me on the blog tour. Should you wish to get your own copy you can do so on the following links:





A man has been stabbed. A woman is bloodstained. The nightmares from her teenage years have begun again for Olivia Field – just as she is preparing to marry.


Ex-convict, Tina is terminally ill. Before she dies, the care of her younger, psychologically unwell brother, Wayne must be ensured. So Tina calls in a promise made to her thirty years ago in a prison cell. A promise that was written down and placed with crucial evidence illustrating a miscarriage of justice in a murder case.

Tina believes Olivia is perfectly placed to provide the care Wayne needs, but to do so, Olivia must be forced to cancel her own wedding and wreck the lives of those close to her. Tina’s terrible blackmail demands put Olivia’s entire future and, ultimately, her freedom under threat.

The Promise is a fast-paced psychological thriller told from several third person viewpoints. The novel explores the lengths to which people are prepared go in order to protect those they love and the impossibility of ever fully escaping our past actions.

My Thoughts:

The Promise is an interesting and accurately paced psychological thriller. Many of the characters were unlikeable and this aided in the tension and the telling of the story. It is a relatively short book that managed to pack a lot in. 

Tina is dying and she would like to see her brother settled before she dies, she made a promise to her mother to do so. When Tina was in prison many years previously she befriended Audrey who is in prison for murdering her husband. Audrey made a promise that her son and his partner would help Tina if needed. What ensues is a claustrophic story of blackmail, desperation and mental illness. 

The Promise explores the lengths that someone is prepared to go to in order to honour a promise. Tina was particularly unlikeable but I think she behaved as she did out of desperation and love for her brother, by the end of the book she painted a pretty sad and lonely lady. 

The reader is swept along with the story, always knowing which direction the story was headed but never quite sure of the journey. This is a book because of its length that I managed to read in one go. It didn't feature the complexity of some psychological thrillers that I have read but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

The ending provides somewhat of a cliffhanger and I hope that there is a follow up in the future. 

I would recommend this to fans of thrillers who fancy a change of pace and direction from some of their recent reads.

About the Author:

Sally Jenkins lives in the West Midlands. She is a member of a Speakers’ Club, a volunteer library reading group coordinator and a church bell ringer. Sally's first psychological thriller, Bedsit Three won the Ian Govan Award.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @sallyjenkinsuk

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Saturday, 10 February 2018

#BlogTour: Force of Nature by Jane Harper @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK #ForceofNature

Published by Little Brown in Hardback on the 8th February 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and having me on the blog tour. 

Where did Alice Russell go? 

Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them. 

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side. 

The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their airconditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises. 

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

My Thoughts:

Force of Nature is the second novel by the author Jane Harper and the second to feature Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk. The first The Dry was a runaway success last year and you can read my review here. Although it could be read well as a standalone I would recommend reading The Dry first to get a feel for Aaron Falk. 

I welcomed the return to the Australian landscape that featured so heavily in The Dry and whilst I didn't find Force of Nature quite as claustrophobic I enjoyed it. The predominant setting this time is the Giralang Range, where five women set off on a team building exercise. Unfortunately only four return. Alice disappears and it falls to Aaron Falk to attend and unravel her disappearance. 

The author excels at scene setting and the descriptions of the scenery are evocative and puts the reader right in the heart of the story in amongst the action. The prose contained within this book is beautiful. 

The author expertly manages the time lines, as we learn about the other members of the outback trip and the lead up to the events that happened. Force of Nature seemed much more of a classic crime novel than The Dry and I liked this fact. 

Force of Nature has pace and tension aplenty and the multi faceted plot is more than sufficient to keep the reader entertained. 

Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen are likeable and are the perfect duo to investigate what happened to Alice. Although I would say that I enjoyed The Dry slightly more, there is much to like between the pages of Force of Nature. 

Palpable tension and perfect pacing make this book an engrossing read with a satisfying end that I would recommend. 


About the Author:
Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year and the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne. Force of Nature is Jane’s second novel. Janeharper.com.au 


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http://janeharper.com.au/

#BlogTour: Home by Amanda Berriman @MandyBerriman @DoubledayUK @sophiechristoph #Home

Home is published by Doubleday/Transworld on 8th February 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour.

Jesika is four and a half.
She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn't draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.
She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

My Thoughts:

I always find it hardest to review the books that I loved very much, almost unable to convey how wonderful I think they are. Home is one of those and I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour. 

Home is narrated by Jesika. She is four years old and tells us the story in the entirety. Jesika tells a story of poverty, despair and a home covered in mould. A story of social isolation and being set aside by society. Home is relevant and sadly very current. 

By telling the story from the viewpoint of Jesika it made me want to be able to rescue her. Using the voice of Jesika the author has created a highly emotive story that is emotionally charged. 

At times Home makes for very uncomfortable reading, although Jesika is naive at four. The reader is able to understand fully and the implications and ramifications of that brought me to tears. Despite all that happens between the pages of the novel Jesika remains strong and resilient. 

By the sheer fact that the novel is called Home this book made me think and it made me sad, it made me angry. It made me consider what constitutes a 'home'. Everyone,whether they are a struggling single mother or a four year old girl deserve somewhere adequate to live and somewhere they can call home. Somewhere that is safe and somewhere where those familial relationships can be nurtured and cherished. Somewhere that is full of love. What do you think about when you think about 'home'? 

An unusual, highly emotive and thought provoking read that I thought was just spectacular. It was written with a great level of sensitivity and skill and I have nothing but admiration for the author for writing this story and shining a light on the subjects contained within the pages of Home. 

About the Author
Amanda was born in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She works as a primary school teacher and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two children and dog. 

Follow Amanda on Twitter at @MandyBerriman




Please do have a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour.


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

#BlogTour: Hydra by Matt Wesolowski @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken #Hydra #SixStories

Published in February 2018 my thanks to the Author and the Publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour.

A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five witnesses. Six Stories. Which one is true? 

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the northwest of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, stepfather and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the Macleod Massacre. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation. 

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five key witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was as diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious black-eyed kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess… 

Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.

My Thoughts:

Oh my, how pleased was I when I heard that there was more to read by Matt Wesolowski. Six Stories was one of the most interesting, intriguing and clever books I read last year. I am now sure that Hydra will make it to my favourite reads this year. 

Hydra again is written in a series of six podcasts and this format works so well as a vessel for bringing the story out and the different versions of events. Hydra has a dark feel to it from the outset. Arla Macleod is in a secure mental institution because she violently murdered her family. This event is known as the Macleod Massacre. 

Scott King, investigative journalist returns to interview five witnesses of the crime and then Arla herself. I really don't want to go too much into the plot here because this really is a book that needs to be read to be appreciated and understood. 

There is so much to admire between these pages, Scott King presents the facts and the reader has to form their own opinion. This book has no boundaries, we have horror here, we have mental illness, we have the supernatural. A reminder or even a warning that real horror though is always lurking. This is a book not to be pigeon holed. 

Dark and chilling, my heart was racing and my mind went cold. What a talent Matt Wesolowki is. The skill with which he writes is as breathtaking as his plots. 

Hydra is honestly phenomenal, a writing masterclass and an absolute pleasure to read. On very rare occasions I come to the end of a book, read that last sentence and just say Wow. Hydra did that to me. 

Compelling and utterly compulsive, I can't recommend this enough to everyone. I was utterly consumed by this one. 

About the Author:
Matt Wesolowski is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio..

You can find the Author on Twitter: @ConcreteKraken

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.


#BlogTour: Unconvicted by Olly Jarvis @canelo_co @ollyjarviso #Unconvicted

Published by Canelo on 29th January 2018. My thanks to the Author and the Publisher for the review copy and having me on the blog tour. You can get your copy on the following purchase links:

In a razor-sharp legal thriller, Jack Kowalski must win two challenging trials to save his reputation and his career
Junior barrister Jack Kowalski is crushed. His client Timothy Smart appears to have committed a monstrous crime while on bail – a bail application Jack fought hard to win.
When a high-profile Polish footballer is charged with rape and demands a fellow countryman represent him, Jack must overcome his guilt and get back to work. Before long he takes on a second case, a GBH for instructing solicitor Lara Panassai, who Jack remains desperate to impress. But neither case is what it seems, and Jack will face an extraordinary uphill battle to see that justice is done…
The second Jack Kowalski novel, Unconvicted is a gripping courtroom drama written with the expert insight of a practicing criminal barrister, perfect for fans of William L. Myers, Deborah Hawkins, and Scott Turow.

My Thoughts:

I was delighted when I learnt that Olly Jarvis had written a second novel featuring Jack Kowalski, the first Cut-Throat defence I reviewed here in 2016. I enjoyed this one equally or perhaps even slightly more. 

Unconvicted is certainly a page turner and I do love a legal thriller. Olly Jarvis really manages to get under the skin of his characters. Jack in particular is wonderful, he has a real sense of right and wrong and wants to do good.

Featuring a few new cases, Unconvicted also sees the welcome return of Solicitor Lara. I love her straight talking attitude she seems to keep Jack grounded and always knows the right thing to say. The burgeoning romance between the two seems to bubble on the surface in this book too. 

Olly Jarvis uses all of his technical abilitites and experience of the legal system to write with great accuracy but he also writes with warmth and sensitivity. In particular I refer to one of the cases that was very tricky for Jack Kowalski when as defence barrister he managed to get bail in a case when perhaps that wasn't the best course of action.

Short, sharp chapters keep the writing crisp and the reader engaged. There is so much here for the reader of legal thrillers to enjoy and if you haven't read anything by Olly Jarvis yet I implore you to do so. 

Unconvicted is current, engaging, and relevant. Never bogged down with legal jargon. The pace of this novel is fantastic and I would highly recommend it.

About the Author:
Olly Jarvis is a writer and criminal defence barrister, originally from London but now working in Manchester. Drawing on his experiences, he writes both fiction and non-fiction with a particular understanding of the pressures and excitement of life in the courtroom. He wrote the highly acclaimed Radio 4 drama Judgement, and wrote and presented the BBC documentary Mum Knows Best. He is also the author of Death by Dangerous. Olly has two children and lives in Cheshire.
You can find the author on Twitter: @OllyJarviso

Please do have a look at some of the other stops on the tour.


Friday, 2 February 2018

#CoverReveal: The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @HQDigitalUK @rararesources

I am delighted to be able to reveal the cover for The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton today in conjunction with HQ Digital and Rachel's Random Resources. I am also able to share the first Chapter with you. Published on 11th May 2018, you can pre-order your copy here. I will have a review here later in the year.


Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.


 Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan

First Chapter

DECEMBER 2004

It started at the party. His hands on my hips, my forehead against his shoulder. He asked me to dance but he didn’t know how. We stood together at the edge of the dance floor shaking with laughter at his two left feet. I don’t know how long we stood there. I don’t know if anybody noticed.

He’d waited for me, sitting with my friends, not sure if I’d turn up or not. I wasn’t in the habit of going to work Christmas parties; I only went in the end because he said he would be there, because he said he would wait for me. I arrived just as the main course was being served. I slipped into the seat next to him. His hand brushed against my thigh as I sat down. He held my gaze for longer than he should have done.

I fell in love with him that night as we stood on the dance floor laughing, my hands on his waist, feeling the muscles of his back, the warmth of his body, through his dress shirt, the press of him against my hip.

That was where it began. I sometimes wonder if that should have been where it ended.
But later that evening, as I got out of his car, and I said those words I should have kept to myself, we both knew there was no going back.

About the Author:
Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.

After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn't really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all.....maybe.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday....


Thursday, 1 February 2018

#BlogTour: 66 Metres by J.F. Kirwan @kirwanjf @rararesources #66Metres

66 Metres is published by Harper Collins and is available now. You can get your copy here. My thanks for the review copy and to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour. 


The only thing worth killing for is family.

Everyone said she had her father’s eyes. A killer’s eyes. Nadia knew that on the bitterly cold streets of Moscow, she could never escape her past – but in just a few days, she would finally be free.

Bound to work for Kadinsky for five years, she has one last mission to complete. Yet when she is instructed to capture The Rose, a military weapon shrouded in secrecy, Nadia finds herself trapped in a deadly game of global espionage.

And the only man she can trust is the one sent to spy on her... 

Book One of Nadia Laksheva spy thriller series

My Thoughts:

I would like to start by saying that I don't have much experience of reading spy thrillers, this however certainly didn't put me off of reading 66 Metres as I found the blurb to be so intriguing.

Nadia is devoted to her sister Katya and she has one last mission to do at the hands of Kadinsky to free them both from his evil clutches forever. However the mission proposed is the deadliest one yet, a mission to retrieve The Rose, a weapon capable of great destruction when in the wrong hands. 

I found 66 Metres to be fast paced from the offset, the constant cat and mouse chases were exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure. There is a great many characters and they all added to the storyline. J.F Kirwan has a great skill for creating a 'baddie' and an unlikeable character or two as well. 

Nadia is on the wrong side, I guess we could say she is a baddie but some of that is down to circumstance and I really liked her character and warmed to her as every page of the book turned. 

There is a lot about diving in the book, and as someone who doesn't even particularly like swimming I wondered if this would put me off this book. The opposite is true, I think when an author writes about a subject with such great passion that rubs off on the reader. These scenes were some of the best in the book. I could just imagine being down under the sea, perhaps better to not be followed by trained assassins but still....

This book has a hurtling pace with little let up. I found it absorbing and exhilarating and I can't wait to read the next one.

About the Author:
J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

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