book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten (Review)

It’s almost Christmas! It’s been a heck of a wild year. Great job making your way through it – I’m proud of you! If you want to lose yourself in a book, I might have just the thing for you… Today I’m on the tour for Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten which is available now in both Kindle and Paperback formats. I received a paperback copy for free as part of the tour. Be sure to check out the other stops!

Dead Perfect is the third and latest installment in Noelle Holten’s DC Maggie Jamieson series. This time, the pressure is really on has her current case hits really close to home as her friend and colleague Kate is targeted. Dead Perfect reads fine as a standalone but I’d recommend reading the previous books, especially as some of the current story starts there. Plus they’re excellent.

A stalker keeps abducting women from the streets of Staffordshire. He alters their appearance before leaving them out in public, dead. As he escalates and the threats toward Kate loom overhead, the pressure is on for Maggie to catch the killer, meanwhile Kate can no longer put on a brave face and pretend to be unaffected and dismissive of the ordeal.

Dead Perfect is tense, well paced and dramatic. I couldn’t put it down. I did find Kate frustrating as a character in this book… and the plausibility of some things to be a little questionable – namely if Maggie would be able to work on the case, though this IS a work of fiction, so that didn’t really put me off or anything because I enjoyed the emotional investment aspect and the dynamic between Maggie and Kate.

I really enjoyed Dead Perfect. It seems there is no rest for Maggie though as once again, the author leaves things open and hanging and boy am I ready for the next book already!

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten Paperback cover

About the Book

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten (Review)

Hello! I hope you are all keeping safe and well. Today, I’m pleased to be closing off the blog tour for Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten – Out now in both Paperback and Kindle formats! You can pick it up for 99p for a limited time!

Dead Wrong is the second book in the Maggie Jamieson series from Noelle Holten. I read the first book (Dead Inside) previously, but this reads just fine without the knowledge from the previous book – however, I’d recommend picking it up anyway because the extra character context is always nice.

First of all, this book is set in my town, so that instantly won points with me. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have trouble imagining things, so having known the location, it really helped me get in to the book. Some locales are fictionalised, though I’m pretty sure I know where they’re supposed to be.

Maggie has returned to Stafford and is on quite a tricky case. Years prior, she had caught a serial killer, only, the victims are only now turning up. Had she put the wrong person behind bars?

Dead Wrong has a really enjoyable cast of characters that feel real and believable. Being with Maggie on a ride-a-long to get to the bottom if this case was incredibly enjoyable. There is mounting tension throughout and plenty of curiosity. A seed is planted – a thread of something else going on which has only served to make me anticipate the next book which I believe is coming out in October!

I read this book cover to cover. Honestly. I cared so much about the characters, especially Maggie (of course) but also Kate and Nathan – part of the cast that feature quite prominently throughout. The tension and suspense was mounting and the pages left in the book were dwindling, I never guessed the true conclusion (would that make me a terrible detective?!) though there was one thing I guessed correctly. I can’t really elaborate without a major spoiler!

Trust me, this is one to read if you want a thrilling crime-fiction book, with a strong female protagonist, that you can’t put down!

About the Book

The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…
 
They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…
 
But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.
 
Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

book reviews · Bookish

The Bloodline Will by A.B Morgan (Review)

Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful bank holiday weekend! Today I’m on the tour for The Bloodline Will by A.B Morgan. It’s out now in both Paperback and Kindle formats and is available as part of Kindle Unlimited.

The Bloodline Will is the second book in the Second Chance Investigations series. I didn’t read the previous one, and while doing so would have provided a little more context for the situation in the start of the book – the main character being in psychiatric care, it reads perfectly fine as a standalone. I’d like to go back and read the first one now though.

Ella Fitzwilliam is in a facility, rather than prison after having her life blown up by Konrad Neale; a journalist who exploited her for his own career. He goes to visit her in the facility to apologise but also see’s Abigail Nithercott – the wife of a well known businessman, wealthy and usually kept out of the public eye. Konrad is obsessed with the family, convinced they’re hiding something and wants to unveil it. In that moment, he decides to once again, use Ella to achieve his goal.

The doctor overseeing Ella’s care doesn’t seem very professional nor does she treat her patients very well. It turns out, Konrad’s wife, Lorna, has decided she wants to help Ella and her case (Ella doesn’t want to be held indefinitely, she would rather go to prison and do her time) and in a way, make amends for what Konrad did to her. After hearing about Dr Yellnow, they uncover that her doctor is not who she says she is and it really changes the tide of things. Because of all of that, Ella is able to be released. The details aren’t really gone in to, but I don’t think they need to. However, the incident isn’t really revisited and I kind of wish it was. I want to know what happened with that doctor and the other patients that are mentioned early on in the book.

The pace is comfortable and steady and I find myself really taking a liking to Ella and the people she ends up surrounding herself with. Konrad seems like a terrible person at first, but I think morality catches up to him a little. It’s a really nice cast of characters, especially Mal; Ella’s new PI partner. I found myself drawn in, also fascinated to find out what the deal was with Abigail Nithercott. Did she actually have problems or was she putting it on? Or both? What was the big family secret? I got reeled in as more details came to light, including somethings I didn’t expect. One thing I knew of for sure though – I do not like the Nithercotts.

The pace picks up late in the book as several characters go to attend a pre-opening session of a new local venture. It turns out to be packed with drama and the truth is revealed. The Nithercotts big secret.

I really enjoyed this book, it was interesting and exciting. I always hesitate a little when I see that mental health patients will be depicted, but I trusted in the authors background (a former mental health nurse) and she didn’t disappoint. I was so pleased that Ella wasn’t depicted as a “crazy person” or that people with her diagnosis are unstable and dangerous. I feel a point was made that with the right treatment and medication, Ella could live a normal life, she just needed a chance and the right help and I feel this is very important. So often are mental health patients depicted as if manic episodes are the norm for everyone, it made me really happy that this wasn’t the case. There was a huge contrast between Ella and Abigail and quite a point about how Abigail did NOT get the help she should have, but nor did she seem to want it. I thought it was quite insightful. Waffling on a little here, I know, but I feel it was something worthy of acknowledging and noting.

Overall, I would indeed recommend this book, I’d also suggest reading the previous installment first to give that extra context to this book. I found this review a challenge to write without including spoilers because there’s a surprising amount of drama in this book and that really kept me interested.

About the Book

He made a mistake, and for the sake of his future career, investigative reporter Konrad Neale must apologise in person to Ella Fitzwilliam.

Detained under section in a secure forensic unit, she doesn’t foresee a bright future. And she despises Konrad for exploiting her and exaggerating the truth about what she really did.

All in the name of journalism

However, when he spots famous recluse Abigail Nithercott in the same facility, he cannot resist the chance to scoop the next big story.

But must use Ella to uncover the dark Nithercott family secret.

Blood. Thicker than water, it spills…

Some family trees have to die.

book reviews · Bookish

Containment by Vanda Symon (Review)

Happy Friday! Today I’m pleased to be part of another fab Orenda blog tour, bringing you a review of Containment by Vanda Symon, book 3 in the Sam Shepard series. This is out now in both Kindle and Paperback formats. I was sent a copy of this book free for review purposes.

Containment is the third book in the Sam Shepard series. This book reads just fine if you’ve not read the previous installments. Sam(antha) has been promoted to Detective Constable in the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Dunedin. Sam’s life is a little chaotic and she has a lot of problems, but thankfully, her flatmate Maggie will pull her up on them and her colleague has her back at work.

The book immediately jumps in with the drama, when containers wash up on the shore along with the remains of a body. As first officer on scene, Sam gets to control the investigation and it’s her job to figure out just who, how and what the heck happened. The public are making things difficult as people are looting the containers that washed up. Unfortunately, one of the looters doesn’t respect Sam’s authority as an officer, but a member of the public has her back.

DI Johns uses that event as an excuse to try and sit her on the bench and assign her to more menial tasks, tasks that end up becoming quite relevant to the case. DI Johns is a wonderfully written unlikeable character and I found myself frustrated at him for his behavior. Meanwhile, Sam is clever, a little stubborn and pretty tough, but she’s also very human, very believable and has plenty of ups and downs along with the struggle of working in a team dominated by men.

Containment is incredibly immersive – as I have aphantasia, sadly, this level is description is a negative for me as I just can’t put my head in the environments no matter what, I just can’t *see* it (and with the current state of affairs, I struggle to get in to things a little more than usual in general, I’m noticing), but it is incredibly descriptive of New Zealand – I know for many people, this immersiveness is incredibly enjoyable. Combined with such a well written and balanced character, I think people could very easily get absorbed in to reading Containment and lets face it, that’s something a lot of people want from their reading material right now.

Containment is an excellent, dramatic police procedural that will hook you in, right from the start; with a strong, believable female lead who worries about her home life and her work life, this book is great for those who really like to get cozy and lose themselves in an atmospheric and well-paced procedural.

About the Book

Chaos reigns in the sleepy village of Aramoana on the New Zealand coast, when a series of shipping containers wash up on the beach and looting begins.

Detective Constable Sam Shephard experiences the desperation of the scavengers first-hand, and ends up in an ambulance, nursing her wounds and puzzling over an assault that left her assailant for dead.

What appears to be a clear-cut case of a cargo ship running aground soon takes a more sinister turn when a skull is found in the sand, and the body of a diver is pulled from the sea … a diver who didn’t die of drowning…

As first officer at the scene, Sam is handed the case, much to the displeasure of her superiors, and she must put together an increasingly confusing series of clues to get to the bottom of a mystery that may still have more victims…

book reviews · Bookish

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb (Review)

Greetings! Today I am chuffed to be on the Orenda tour for Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb. Orenda just have so many awesome releases recently! This one is available in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook formats. I was sent a copy for free for review purposes. Be sure to check out the other tour stops!

Deep Dark Night is the fourth installment in the award winning Lori Anderson series. I haven’t read the previous installments, but this reads perfectly fine as a standalone.

Lori is a single mother and bounty hunter, working for the FBI with her partner, JT. Specifically, an Agent Monroe, an absolute git of a bloke who really left a bad taste in my mouth. He’s a really well-written and unlikable character, especially compared to Lori, our protagonist, whose pretty awesome and relateably human. Her and JT have an excellent dynamic and you can’t help but cheer for the pair of them, both in their work and personal lives.

The book starts off as a fairly slow burn, luring you in as Lori prepares for a high stakes poker game in a penthouse at one of the cities tallest buildings; against a mob boss named Cabressa in a bid to entrap him for the FBI, using a very high valued chess set to lure him.

Things seem worrisome as Lori doesn’t seem to excel at poker, however, she walks in like she owns the place and seems to put on a convincing act. Things seem to go to plan until something entirely unexpected occurs. The entire city is plunged in to darkness, the penthouses panic room system is triggered and Lori, JT and the other players are locked inside. It turns out, they’re being held hostage by a voice over the speaker system. But who is it, and what’s their true agenda?

It turns out, none of the players are who they say they are, except for maybe Cabressa. They’re instructed to find out which one of them is Heron – someone who seems to be muscling in on Cabressa’s turf. The person over the speaker seems to already know, so why does he want them to find it out? The drama ramps up at a steady pace while the players and the reader, try to figure out what on earth is going on, while slowly, they get picked off and “Heron” is no closer to being found.

Perfectly balanced suspense, drama and action, Deep Dark Night is a tense ride with a perfect female protaganist whom I found myself really hoping came out on top of the whole situation. Realistic and relatable as opposed to some superhero that defies mortal limits; Lori Anderson is a believable and interesting character.

Far more complex than anticipated, this book really kept me on my toes and I couldn’t deduce the outcome until nearer it being revealed which was awesome. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

About the Book

A city in darkness. A building in lockdown. A score that can only be settled in blood…

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts.
My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.
Follow Steph on Twitter @CrimeThrillGirl and on Facebook facebook.com/CrimeThrillerGirl or visit her website: crimerthrillergirl.com

book reviews · Bookish

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald (Review)

Happy Tuesday! Today I am on the tour for Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald, available from the 16th May in Paperback, Kindle and Audio-book editions. I received this book for free as part of the tour. More info after the jump. Please check out the other tour stops too!

Mary Shields is a menopausal, alcoholic, probation officer, who’s tired, fed up and ready to pack it in. She’s got a foul mouth and a bad attitude, but an obligation to help people due to her job. It appears Mary is not a bad person, but she does have a whole bunch of problems which results in things becoming chaotic to the detriment of those under her care/supervision.

The book doesn’t focus on Mary’s alcoholism, and this isn’t made super crystal clear during the book, in my opinion, but the presence of alcohol is firmly there and Mary clearly has quite a relationship with it. There’s no obvious sneaky flask, or vodka in water bottles, it’s more nuanced than that. I quite appreciated that. Many people have issues but they’re not always glaringly obvious or displayed in the usual means.

Mary has a tricky new charge to deal with – Liam Macdowall; murderer of his wife, author of the book “Cuck”, filled with letters to his dead wife and now hailed a hero and poster boy for mens rights activists with an ego far too large for his former prison cell.

Mary has a son, and he seems far more level headed than her. Macdowall has a daughter named Holly. The two of them become friends and Mary is really unhappy about the situation, but it appears the pair of them have far better wits about them than their parents do. Liam is bad at following the rules of his life license. Mary is bad at managing Liam. Perhaps things would be different if she wasn’t so self absorbed.

Worst Case Scenario is pretty funny, tense at times and a whirlwind of chaos. Mary just seems to break things more and more. I really enjoyed her character despite her serious issues. I was looking forward to seeing where her smart-mouth would land her! I’m honestly unsure how I feel about the ending though. I wanted more. What next? But not all books have happy endings and everything wrapped up neatly in a bow. This book is one of them. You – the reader, can come up with your own theories and ideas about what happens next. I feel like this book would be a good book-club read as there are many points for readers to discuss. Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. Mary and her dark humour were quite entertaining!

About the Book

Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line. Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.

Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.

A heart-pounding, relentless and chilling psychological thriller, rich with deliciously dark and unapologetic humour, Worst Case Scenario is also a perceptive, tragic and hugely relevant book by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

About the Author

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of Dead Lovely (2007) and nine other adult and young adult thrillers, including My Last Confession (2009), The Donor (2011) and most recently The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Helen has worked as a criminal justice social worker for over ten years. She is one of thirteen children and grew up in Victoria, Australia. She now lives in Glasgow with her husband and two children.

book reviews · Bookish

Who Is She? By V Clifford (Review)

Today, I am on the blog tour for “Who is She?” by V. Clifford. This book is the 5th installment in the Viv Fraser Mysteries and is available now in both Paperback and on Kindle – it is also available to borrow via Kindle Unlimited.

About The Book

Who is She? No one knows that the past is a strange country more than Scottish sleuth Viv Fraser. In this, the fifth Mystery, Viv is compelled to investigate a series of misadventures that are too close to home. Unravelling a veil of deception she discovers just how much of her past is in the present. No stranger to a challenge, she risks more than her pride hunting down the people who have threatened her family. Mac is on hand to help but will she let him?  

Viv Fraser is a hairdresser. She also has signed the official secrets act and has great technical prowess. “Who is she”? indeed?

This book is the fifth in a series, but it was my introduction to this character and series. It read perfectly fine as a standalone, but I feel I definitely would have benefited from reading previous installments. There is a dynamic between the characters and I feel like this would have added a lot more to my understanding of it, however, it wasn’t difficult to really pick things up and understand the bonds of the main character and those she interacted with. Viv Fraser is definitely up there as one of my favourite characters to date.

I really want to know more about Viv, and I am definitely looking forward to the next installment, as the book ended on an open note, paving the way for the next installment. Despite this, the plot of this book did all wrap up and conclude to a satisfactory ending.

I feel like it’s hard to talk about this book without spoiling it. Viv is an enigma. It would appear that she gets this from her mother! Viv’s mum, Trude, lives in a place not-so-affectionally referred to as “The Pound” by her daughters. A person had been looking in her mum under the pretense of window cleaning and Viv had been convinced her mum might be losing her marbles, but it turns out, she couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact, her mum was so incredibly on the ball, with a whole lot of history that Viv only so much as get a glimpse at.

Viv only got to glimpse this alter-ego as her mother ends up going missing and herself and her sister need to find out what is going on and if she is okay. It turns out, someone has been following Viv, her sister Manda and her mother, and they have an agenda.

I guess I’ll be leaving this review here – I never intend to give spoilers; and you can go and meet Viv Fraser for yourself if I’ve piqued your interest!

Bookish · Uncategorized

Death Will Find Me by Vanessa Robertson (Excerpt)

Today I am on the tour for Death Will Find Me by Vanessa Robertson, a historical mystery crime thriller. The book is out now and available both in Paperback and Kindle editions and is also available as part of Kindle Unlimited. I have an excerpt from Chapter 14 to share with you.

Tessa walked around the tenement, avoided touching anything and similarly avoided the curious gazes of the constables and the hysterical sobbing of the deceased’s daily woman in the kitchen. She had found his body and raised the alarm and it seemed to be taking a significant amount of the dead man’s whisky to calm her down. It struck her that the woman would be out of work and that she was in need of a charwoman. Perhaps she ought to offer her a job? Then she saw the whisky glass being refilled and decided against it, if only for the sake of her liquor bills.

Although his name was indeed familiar, Tessa couldn’t remember much about Callum McKenzie. She was pretty sure that they’d never been introduced and she didn’t remember James mentioning him. Not since he’d been demobbed, at least. Which was slightly odd; most soldiers kept in touch to some degree with former comrades, especially those who lived so close by.

It seemed that McKenzie was a tidy man: clothes folded with military precision, books in alphabetical order, tins lined up in the larder. Although the lock on the front door had been forced, there were no signs of a search or a burglary. Whoever had broken into his apartment and shot him had come with that sole intention.

The body was in the bathroom, slumped on the floor with its head towards the window. Tessa went in, the constable at the door too surprised to do anything other than step back out of her way. McKenzie had been shot in the back of the head; the entry wound was less than an inch in diameter. Blood, bone fragments and things that Tessa would rather not think about, pebble-dashed the whole room and she knew that the exit wound would be substantial. She bent over to study the injury near his hairline at the back and saw that there was a little scorching around it and what looked like a tiny feather. Then she noticed a cushion in the bath, a blackened hole through it. If the murderer had hoped that would muffle the sound of the gunshot they would have been disappointed. Perhaps one of the neighbours had heard something.

‘Lady Kilpatrick, if you’ve quite finished, may I see the body?’ Rasmussen’s tone was clipped, his annoyance barely concealed.

About The Book

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love. 

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

About The Author

I grew up in the Midlands where my main interests were horses and drama. Being a writer was a dream from childhood but I gave up on the idea of writing when I was a teenager, not long after I abandoned other childhood ambitions of being a trapeze artiste or a spy. After acquiring a couple of degrees and trying various ‘proper jobs’, I realised that I am fundamentally unsuited to office politics, bad coffee, and wearing tights.

My husband and I founded The Edinburgh Bookshop, winner of many awards. Bookselling is a wonderful profession and a good bookshop is a source of pure joy to me. I love independent bookshops and the amazing job they do in championing reading, supporting authors, and building communities. But, after a few years, it was time for a change and we sold the bookshop to make way for other projects.

I took the opportunity to start writing again and was a winner at Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect event for unpublished authors in 2015. It was a fantastic opportunity and getting such positive feedback about my ideas gave me the push I needed to take my writing seriously.

I live in Edinburgh with my husband, our teenage son and an unfeasibly large Leonberger dog. I can usually be found walking on windy Scottish beaches, browsing in bookshops, or tapping away on my laptop in one of the scores of cafes near my home.

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Antiques and Alibis by Wendy H. Jones (Review)

Today, I am bringing you a review as part of the tour for Antiques and Alibis by Wendy H. Jones! The book is available now in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

The blurb instantly had my interested in this book. A former ballerina turned Private Investigator? Sign me up! I love a good, strong female protagonist. Cass had to leave her life as a ballerina as an accident, replaced it with motorcycles and an inherited detective agency where her friend basically forced her to hire a charming dwarf ex-con by the name of Quill; who, I might add, charms literally everyone and that scope is not just within the book but extends to me too. The dialogue was witty, charming and had me laugh on multiple occasions. Cass’s cynicism paired with the charming retorts of Quill made for great entertainment. Throw a giant beast of a dog in, and you’ve got a heck of a motley crew.

With no idea what she’s doing, a rich lady keeps basically throwing money at Cass to find her sons missing teddy bear. But it’s just a toy, isn’t it? No, it’s an antique that for some reason they have given to a child which seems even stranger based on what we learn later on in the book.

Fast paced, I ended up reading the book cover to cover. I loved it. I felt like the book was heavy on the back story and it lacked in the actual “investigations” department, however, Cass had inherited the detective agency and her bumbling her way through it made total sense based on the history of it all. So to me, that wasn’t a negative factor, albeit not what I was expecting. While that may be disappointing to people who want an actual PI book, I really enjoyed this including being on the journey with Cass as she tried to work things out and learn the ropes and solve her first case – a missing antique teddy-bear.

I really enjoyed the book overall and I’m quite interested in any further adventures of Cass and her new companion.

AandA-WEB.jpg

Blurb

Cass Claymore, a red headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina inherits a Detective Agency, and accidentally employs an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Hired by a client who should know better, Cass has no leads, no clue and a complete inability to solve a case. Still a girl needs to eat and her highbred client’s offering good money. Join her as, with bungling incompetence, she follows a trail littered with missing antique teddies, hapless crooks, a misplaced Lord of the Realm and dead bodies. Will Cass, and Scotland, survive?

wendyjones Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland.

Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent traveling around the UK, and lands much further afield.

As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Hard Return by Rosie Claverton (Review)

Hard Return BT Poster

Hey guys, today I’m bringing you a review as part of the blog tour for Hard Return by Rose Claverton which is available now in both Kindle and Paperback formats and is also available as part of Kindle Unlimited.

BLURB: 12 men locked in a compound.
12 men watching their every move.
1 man murdered.

When Jason’s friend Lewis is trapped in a secret prison compound with a murderer, Jason must go back behind bars – but Amy won’t let him go in alone. Hiding their intentions from both the convicts and their watchers, they work together to find justice for the murdered man while keeping their cover. As the danger mounts, Jason, Amy, and Lewis find there might be no escape for any of them – except in death.

Hard Return Cover Image

Hard Return is the fifth installment in Rosie Claverton’s Amy Lane Mysteries. I admittedly hadn’t heard of the author or this series prior to the invitation to the tour, but I now realise what a shame that was and look forward to Rosie’s future works. So you can gather, this was my first venture in to the series and while it worked totally fine on its own, I do wish I had read the previous installments to know more about the characters and what brought them up to the events of this book as you get caught up and swept along with no idea how they got to this point,  but it also makes you want to know WHY and HOW they got to this point. In my opinion, that isn’t a bad thing. *Glances at her ever growing TBR pile*

The characters I found to be excellent. I ended up feeling invested in them, fascinated and they carried me through the story – one I found myself unable to put down. I didn’t expect to enjoy the book as much as I did. It was fairly fast but well paced throughout and I honestly feel like the blurb doesn’t do the book justice – however to say much more would be spoilers and nobody likes spoilers. Or maybe they do. I’m sure someone out there does, but the majority of us don’t. It’s honestly hard to write this review without spoilers.

Hard Return is a wild ride from start to finish. While the characters live in a world that is nothing like my own, I found myself really connecting with them – not just Amy, our fantastic female protaganist; who is actually human and demonstrates anxiety (in an actual realistic manner to boot) in the situations she’s put in, rather than appearing cold and superhuman, but also the secondary character, Jason, who I gather was previously locked up for something he didn’t do and also their watcher and former friend (another thing that makes me want to read previous installments – I’m wondering what the heck happened there!) Owain. I felt really immersed in their journey and the author really kept me on my toes. When I thought something – something fairly obvious and cliche was about to happen, she went the other way and I found myself surprised by the turns things took.

The book ends with some questions. I can’t specify details without spoilers, but there is certainly a “what next” which has me looking forward to the next installment in the series and seriously needing to go and read the previous installments. I love when a book does that. When a book works as a standalone, but it’s so good and really grabs you that you find yourself needing to consume more tales of the characters and go back to previous installments while you await the next. That, to me, is a sign of an excellent book. I’d highly recommend picking this one up. You can buy it here via Amazon.

rosie Claverton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Claverton is a novelist, screenwriter, and junior psychiatrist.She grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home. She then moved to London to specialise in psychiatry.

Her first short film Dragon Chasers aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. She co-wrote the ground-breaking series of short films The Underwater Realm. Her Cardiff-based crime series The Amy Lane Mysteries is published by Crime Scene Books.

Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating for accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction.

Recently returned to Cardiff, she lives with her journalist husband and their nearly new daughter.