26.10.21

BLOGTOUR, BOOK REVIEW - The Hidden Girl (Agent Tori Hunter #3) by Roger Stelljes

 

                                                                     BOOK SYNOPSIS

The lights of her parents’ cabin just visible through the woods, the girl carefully curls up amongst the reeds, her knees pulled tight to her chest. Terrified, the only sound she makes is the pounding of her heart, but she hears the stranger searching… if she keeps silent, will she be safe?

When Agent Tori Hunter is urgently called to the murder scene of Dan and Heidi Newman, she finds their throats slit, and Dan tied up: forced to watch his wife lose her life. Tori’s first thought is for their seventeen-year-old daughter Cara who is nowhere to be found. Will this popular young girl be the next victim?

A broken bracelet is the one clue left at the scene, but the team are running in circles until Tori finally tracks down Cara hiding in the woods. Sobbing, the devastated girl says all she remembers is a flash of a man’s face as she was chased through the forest…

Desperate to find the monster behind this crime, Tori pieces together the broken chain: and it leads her to an elderly lady living alone nearby. When the woman won’t speak to police, Tori senses that although it means breaking all the rules, introducing Cara will show this lonely soul what’s at stake. And once inside her house, Cara gasps when she sees a framed photo on display. It’s the man who chased her…

But then another local couple is murdered in their isolated home, another husband forced to watch his worst nightmare unfold. As more couples lose their lives, can Tori keep Cara, her one witness, safe from this vicious killer? And can she track him down before more innocent families are torn apart?


This gripping thriller opens with seventeen year old Cara Newman returning home to her dad's isolated cabin after a night out with her friends and stumbling into a sickening crime scene. Unfortunately for Cara, the killer's of her dad and step mother are still in the house and she finds herself involved in a terrifying chase through the woods that surround the property. Utilising her ingenuity and athletic prowess, Cora manages to avoid capture and contact the police causing Tori Hunter and her partner and lover Will Braddock to be summoned to the scene. The couple find themselves investigating a complex and frustrating case which has fingers that reach back into Tori's past and will have repercussions on both their personal and working lives.

The addictive story is set in the present day and twenty four years in the past and voiced from the perspectives of a number of characters including Tori, Braddock and the ruthless killers. A lot had changed in Tori's life in the year that had passed since she was lured back to Manchester Bay in Wisconsin by the search for her sister's killer. She had solved that case as well as the murders of many other women and with the help of the occasional session with a therapist was learning to cope with her past. In this book,we learn more of her background story from when she was a teenager and about the career of her father legendary County Sheriff big Jim Hunter. Tory is a very likeable individual,a strong willed woman who is dedicated to her job and I loved her caring interactions with poor traumatised Cora. I was a bit disappointed with Braddock's behaviour and attitude as the story unfolded and totally agreed with Steak's assessment of him during one of their interactions. Braddock is usually a really likeable individual but there was a point in the story when he came across as a bit of a jerk.

The antagonists were cruel, twisted individuals and their crimes were described in graphic detail and would definitely upset anyone who is triggered by descriptions of violence.Who were the killer's and how did events from the past fit into what was happening in the present day?

This is a thrilling police procedural that hooks the reader in from the first page, keeps you guessing and glued to your kindle. The story is intricately plotted, intelligently written and has a breath taking, edge of your seat conclusion. This is the third book in the series and although it can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone, if you want to enjoy the series to its full potential,I would personally advise that you read the books in the correct order. The author has created a cast of fantastic, realistic recurring characters and I look forward to finding out what the author has in store for them in book four especially in the case of the relationship between Tori and Braddock after the cliff hanger ending of this book.

                                                                     AUTHOR BIO


Roger Stelljes is the acclaimed New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of pulse-pounding murder mystery and suspense novels, including the Tori Hunter and McRyan Mystery Series. Roger’s crime thrillers are noted for their fast-paced, yet intricate plots filled with layered and complex characters.


Roger started his first novel in July 2002 while on vacation in Minnesota’s Brainerd Lakes area and has been writing ever since. His debut book, The St. Paul Conspiracy, was nominated in genre fiction for the Minnesota Book Awards along with finalists Brian Freeman and William Kent Krueger. With his follow-up, Deadly Stillwater, where Vince Flynn hailed Roger as a “powerful new thriller voice”, he won the Midwest Independent Book Publishers award for commercial fiction.


Born and raised in Minnesota, Roger still lives there with his family. In addition to his work as an author, Roger is a partner in his law firm. Roger is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys spending time outdoors boating, attending hockey games, and honing his golf game.


Social Media

Pub Day: Oct 7th 2021

Buy Links: 

AMZ: https://buff.ly/3kKo772

Apple: https://buff.ly/3iy3Y1b

Kobo: https://buff.ly/36TJmeo

B&N: https://buff.ly/3zrBrB1

Google: https://buff.ly/3BvHhmQ


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25.10.21

BLOGTOUR, BOOK EXCERPT - The Hidden by Alison Knight

 


                                                                     BOOK SYNOPSIS

Montana, 1973. 

Faye has found sanctuary in a simple cabin in the wilds of the Crazy Mountains in Montana with a dog called Bear. She’s a long way from her old life in England . But she knows that one day her peaceful life could be invaded by her enemies, and she keeps her guard up at all times. 

Jeff returns home from Vietnam, a wounded, damaged hero, just weeks after his father’s sudden death. He finds hostile, secretive Faye living in his cabin and refusing to leave. The reading of his father’s will adds another layer of mystery to this woman’s presence. 

The tension between them grows as Jeff tries to overcome his nightmares and expose Faye’s scars and secrets. The more he learns about her, the more enigmatic she seems. 

When her enemies come calling, she needs Jeff to protect her. Can they learn to trust each other? And will Faye ever be safe?


Background: Montana 1973. Jeff has returned from fighting in Vietnam to find an Englishwoman called Faye living in his cabin. She refuses to leave, claiming that she leased it from Jeff’s recently deceased father. Faye is a mystery, guarding her secrets well. Jeff is wounded and traumatised by his experience in Vietnam and furious that his father apparently let this woman take over his house, his dog (who is called Bear) and even his old truck without telling him. He reclaims the main bedroom in the cabin and Faye retreats to a makeshift bedroom in the attic. In this extract, Jeff has fallen asleep on the couch. Faye, asleep in the attic above, is woken by a noise.

Faye awoke, unsure what had disturbed her. She sat up, her senses immediately on full alert. She heard a deep murmur coming from the room below. Was it Jeff? Or Bear? Or had they found her? She’d known that leaving the cabin unlocked was a damned stupid risk. What if they’d been inside when she locked up? It would serve that stupid sod right if they were hiding in the main bedroom when he went to bed.

But if that was the case she thought,they'd have slit his throat and immediately come for me.These people didn’t hang about. 
She heard the voice again, but this time it was louder and more urgent. Was he fighting them off? She got up and crept towards the hatch. Leaving the light off, she quietly opened it, peering into the moonlit room below. 
“No, Greg!” 
She gasped as she saw that Jeff was alone down there, his tall frame stretched out on the sofa. He seemed to be having a nightmare. This was confirmed when he screamed, the sound making her blood run cold. Within seconds, she’d climbed down the ladder and was at his side. 
“Jeff!” she said. “Jeff, wake up.” 
Bear appeared at her side, whining. She put a hand on his head. “It’s all right,” she said, not sure whether she was trying to reassure the dog, the man or herself. “It’s just a dream.” 
Jeff writhed, swiping at whatever was covering his face, his body, his arms. He was covered in sweat, and his teeth gritted as he fought to escape from whatever terror had made him scream. 
She reached out and touched his arm. “Jeff, wake up,” she said, trying to keep her voice calm and clear. 
He lashed out, catching her in the stomach. She fell backwards with a gasp. A moment later he was on top of her, straddling her body, his hands finding her throat. She didn’t have time to scream before his fingers tightened, closing her airway. She scratched at his hands, trying to loosen his grip, but he was still in the throes of his nightmare and her vision began to swim as she was starved of oxygen. With one last effort, she brought her knee up and caught him in the balls just as Bear leapt on him. The pain in his groin and the weight of the dog made him loosen his hold on her and he slumped to the side. She lay there, dragging in deep breaths as he rolled away, groaning. Bear licked her face and she put up a hand to stop him. “It’s all right, Bear. He’s just having a dream,” she whispered, her voice sounding raspy. She coughed, trying to ease the pain in her throat. 
“What the fuck?” Jeff sat up, pain etched on his face. 
“What just happened?” He winced as he registered where she’d kneed him. Faye coughed again and slowly sat up. “I think you were having a nightmare,” she said. 
   He looked dazed, as though he couldn’t work out what was real and what was a dream. She knew that feeling. 
He frowned when he saw that she was lying on the floor, watching him with caution. 
“Did I hurt you?” She turned away and got to her feet. “Nothing serious,” she said. 
“What are you doing down here?” he asked. 
“I need a drink.” She headed into the kitchen, Bear at her heels.
She heard him groan in pain as he got up. He came into the kitchen limping badly. She didn’t turn to look at him, but pulled a couple of glasses out of a cupboard and stood at the sink, filling them with cold water. She put one on the table and turned back to the window and drank hers down, trying not to gasp as her throat protested. 
She heard him move, and watched his reflection in the dark window as he got up and limped over to the light switch. Brightness flooded the room and she flinched, closing her eyes against the glare. When she opened them again, he was standing next to her. 
“I hurt you,” he said, his fingers lifting her chin. “Damn! I’m sorry.” 
She stepped away from him touch. “It’s all right. You were having a nightmare.” 
He ran a hand down his face. “Yeah. I guess. I thought I was back in ‘Nam.” She filled her glass again then sat at the table. He sank into the chair opposite her and stared at her, frowning. In a reflexive action, she lowered her head and combed her fingers through her hair, pulling it over her left shoulder. 
“Why’d you do that?” She looked up. 
“What?”
“That with your hair. You always cover your left cheek.” 
She shrugged. “Habit, I suppose.” 
He reached towards her but she sat back out of his reach. 
“So you’re not covering anything?” he asked, his gaze narrowed. 
She glared at him. This wasn’t about her. “What was your nightmare about?” He sat back and closed his eyes. “When I got shot.”
“Have you had it before?” He was silent for a while , as though considering what to say. 
“It’s quite common,” she said softly. 
“What is?”
“Having nightmares after a trauma. I expect you saw more than your fair share of horrible things in Vietnam.”
“What are you, a psychologist?”
“No.” She took another sip of her water then put the glass down and stood up. “I could do with a real drink. Scotch?”
“You drink whisky?”
“I certainly do,” she said, disappearing into the pantry. Seconds later she was back, a bottle of twenty-year-old malt in her hands. 
He whistled. “That’s good stuff.”
“I know. What’s the point of drinking paint-stripper when you can savour a wee dram of the amber nectar?” She got two more glasses from the cupboard and poured them both a generous measure. “Just don’t suggest putting ice or water or any other abomination in this.”

                                                                     AUTHOR BIO


Alison Knight has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between. 

In her mid-forties, Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full -time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree. 

Alison currently has a trio of novels published by Darkstroke. The first, Mine, is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations. 

The Legacy, a drama set a scene in Mine, and explores how an unexpected legacy can be both a blessing and a curse. The Legacy looks at themes of greed and expectations, and the lengths people will go to when they are desperate. 

The Hidden, available from September 2021, is a romantic suspense that picks up the story of one of the characters in The Legacy. Set in Montana in 1973, two wounded, damaged people are forced together, each guarding their secrets. Can they learn to trust each other? And will their nightmares ever end? 

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops( www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk ) as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. 

She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS – ALISON KNIGHT 

www.facebook.com/ alison.knight. 942 

@Alison_Knight59 on Twitter 

www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk 

www.darkstroke.com/ dark-stroke/ alison-knight/

PUBLICATION DATE: 23rd September 2021

PURCHASE LINK....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BRDWQFB?geniuslink=true

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22.10.21

BLOGTOUR, BOOK REVIEW - Reunion (Sarah Macintyre#2) by R V Biggs

 

                                                                    BOOK SYNOPSIS

One random, violent act is enough to change Sarah Macintyre's life forever.Left unsettled, and yearning for a new beginning, Sarah is unsure of what to do with her life. 

But one day she discovers an anonymous letter hidden amidst a pile of unopened mail.The note, however, contains nothing more than a confusing riddle.Intrigued and excited, Sarah’s hunger for a new life compels her to search for the author to understand the puzzle and solve the mystery.

Embarking on a journey that will shape the rest of her life and that of her family, Sarah uncovers a past of which she had no knowledge, a present she must find a path through, and a future filled with intense grief and utmost joy.

The book opens with a intense prologue that is set in 1710 in which two young are being pursued through some woods by a unknown number of enemies. Then the story moves forwards in time to present day and the reader is reunited with Sarah and John Macintyre and their young daughter Claire. Five days had passed since Sarah's discharge from hospital following the events of the previous book and she is feeling muddled and tells her best friend Rachel that she feels compelled to make changes in her life,maybe find a way to help other people. Rachel was a very loyal friend and couldn't help feeling concerned once Sarah informed her about the strange things that she was still experiencing. As the story unfolded, the author added more dimension to Rachel than the character had in the first book by giving the reader a insight into her shocking backstory. 

When Sarah receives a intriguing letter, the family find themselves returning back to Scotland where Sarah will uncover some hidden secrets from her own families history and the truth behind her newly acquired gifts.

Sarah and John are a really likeable couple, I loved how close they were and how accepting John was about the situation that they had been trust into since the attack on Sarah. Being a police officer,he always tried to be the voice of reason but he was never dismissive of Sarah's suggestions and revelations and was always open minded and supportive. As the story unfolded both characters found that they would need to rely on each other for support after they found their individual lives blighted by feelings of grief and loss.

Scattered throughout the book was chapters that slipped back in time to the 1700s and continued the story of the two children that we were introduced to in the prologue but who were they and how did their story fit into events that were unfolding in the present day?

This is a very well written, gripping mystery with a plot that has elements of domestic drama with a large sprinkling of the supernatural that hooks the reader in from the first page. The cast of recurring characters are all likeable and realistic individuals who worm their way into your heart and you look forward to revisiting and catching up with their stories. This is the second book in a trilogy and although it be read as a standalone because of the references to events from the previous book, to enjoy the story to its full potential it is advisable to read the books in the correct order.

                                                                        AUTHOR BIO

R V Biggs lives in a small ex-mining village near Wolverhampton, England, with his wife Julie and Mags the black lab. He has four grown up children and eight grandchildren. 

Walking with the dog is a favourite pastime and much of the story line for his first novel was developed during these lengthy outings. Robert worked for 35 years in telecommunications but changed career paths to a managerial supporting role within a local Mental Health National Health Service trust. 

It was during the period between these roles that the concept for his first novel was born. Robert is a firm believer that destiny and co-incidence exist hand in hand and this conviction extends to his writing. He has a passion for holistic well-being and after first-hand experience of the potential healing powers of Reiki, a form of energy therapy, took a Reiki level 1 training course to heighten his spiritual awareness. Robert’s experiences in these areas helped conceive the ideas that led to Song of the Robin and its sequels Reunion and Broken, novels with central themes of fate, love, and the strength of family. His writing is not fantasy however but is set in modern times involving real people living real lives. 

Social Media Links – 

FaceBook :- https://m.facebook.com/RVBiggs

Website :- rvbiggs.com


PUBLICATION DATE: 6th August 2014

PURCHASE LINK......

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reunion-Sarah-Macintyre-R-Biggs/dp/1795265582/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

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18.10.21

BLOGTOUR, BOOK REVIEW - You Need You by Sharon Bairden

 

                                                      .             BOOK SYNOPSIS

Your secret didn’t die with me.’

The mysterious note tucked inside the pages of a recently returned book leaves librarian, Morag McLaughlin, chilled to the bone. She knows it was meant for her.

Someone out there knows her darkest secrets and they could destroy everything.

Torn apart from her own family, she will stop at nothing to create a perfect new one.

Why are they all so ungrateful? She’s only looking after them...

Isn’t she?

Set in Scotland, this is a dark, chilling and at times uncomfortable to read thriller with a plot that covers a wide range of relatable issues including grief, loneliness, loss, abuse, deception, mental health and manipulation. The author also highlights the sad but realistic fact of how judgemental society is of people who don't fit into what is viewed as normal or acceptable.

The chapters are written from the perspectives of four vivid, realistic characters, Morag, Susan, Jess and Ronnie, individuals who had been affected emotionally and mentally at some point in their lives and were each harbouring their own personal secret. Morag was a middle aged woman who worked in the local library at which she ran a club every Tuesday to which people could come and share their troubles and have a chat. But Morag was very picky about who was allowed into her club or family as she referred to her chosen few and someone who was definitely not welcome was Jess who worked at the cafe. Morag only interacted with people who were vulnerable and easy to manipulate and there was something about Jess that she just didn't trust. Or maybe Morag saw in Jess something that she didn't want to acknowledge in herself. Unlike Susan who was a struggling single parent to four year old Lily and living in fear of two violent, dangerous men. Then there was poor, severely disturbed Ronnie who lived with his mother and found himself being manipulated by not just one but two women. My heart went out to both him and Susan and there was a number of times I was tempted to scream don't listen to her at my kindle.

My thoughts and feelings about Morag were conflicted, due to her actions it would have been easy to label her unlikable but it was obvious that she was very lonely and had some serious issues. People don't voluntarily chose to have mental health issues, believe me, I can personally testify to that, all Morag wanted was a family of her own, yes, her actions throughout the book were morally wrong but didn't her issues mean that she deserved at least a tiny bit of sympathy.

There was also some chapters towards the end of the book that gave the reader a insight into the shocking events from Morag's past and why she detested her mother so much in the present day.

Oh boy, there isn't enough superlatives in the English dictionary that I could use to describe this extremely well written,addictive,dark thriller. The story hooks you in from the first page,is intricately plotted and so chilling at times that I had goosebumps on top of my goosebumps. The last quarter of the book is seriously intense and had me on the edge of my seat, if I was in the bad habit of biting my nails (which I'm not) I wouldn't have any left. A incredible thriller with a genuinely unexpected twist that is perfect for curling up with on these dark Autumn nights and very very highly recommended. This is most definitely going to be one of my favourite reads of this year.

                                                                    AUTHOR BIO

By day Sharon Bairden is the Services Manager in a small, local independent advocacy service and has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. She blogs over at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer.

Sharon lives on the outskirts of Glasgow, has two grown up children, a grandson, a Golden Labrador and a cat. She spends most of her spare time doing all things bookish, from reading to attending as many book festivals and launches as she can.

She has been known to step out of her comfort zone on the odd occasion and has walked over burning coals and broken glass – but not at the same time!


Publication Date: October 12, 2021

eBook: 978-1-914480-23-2

Paperback: 978-1-914480-22-5

Hardback: 978-1-914480-24-9


Purchase Links:

Limited Edition Hardback—numbered, with signed and dedicated bookplate.

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/you-need-me-limited-hardback-edition

Standard formats (eBook, Paperback, Hardback)

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/you-need-me

Also available in all bookshops, and online at Kobo, Google and Amazon

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16.10.21

BLOGTOUR, BOOK REVIEW - Song Of The Robin (Sarah Macintyre#1) by R.V.Biggs

 



                                                                    BOOK SYNOPSIS

The whispered voices and unsettling dreams were puzzling enough, but when the visions began , disquiet crept into Sarah Richards heart.

 Living a joyless and unfulfilled existence, Sarah’s life, however, is ordered and routine. But one autumn morning she sees a figure waving to her, the figure of a man more ghostly than real. 

Several times he appears, but is the spectre harmless, or are his intentions malevolent? Disturbed and intrigued, Sarah endeavours to understand the mystery, to identify her unknown stalker. 

But with each visitation, she becomes ever more bewildered, and as her ordered life begins to unravel, she questions the reality of all that she knows, and with mounting horror, even her own sanity. 


The story which is essentially divided into three sections opens with a chilling chapter in which a woman is stumbling along a path that has brick walls towering on either side. Then, in the first chapter, we are introduced to Sarah Richards who is the narrator of the first section of the story. Sarah worked for Wolverhampton Council in the same office as her best friend Rachel, had loving parents Rose and Graham and a black Labrador called Mags. She tried to make the best out of her life but couldn't help feeling her existence was unfulfilled and then there was the massive thorn in her side named Steve, her lazy slob of a husband. Sarah was slowly running out of patience with him and his slovenly behaviour, maybe the stress of living with a adult child was why she couldn't shift the blinding headache that she occasionally suffered from. But that wouldn't explain the mysterious whispering voices that she kept hearing but always faded away when she concentrated on the sounds. Then, there was the mysterious figure that appeared to be stalking her, someone who looked and sounded vaguely familiar although she couldn't figure out why. As Sarah took us through her daily life and her situation just got more strange and intriguing, her feelings of fear and confusion radiated from the pages and I loved the suspense and intense atmosphere of this section of the story. We later learned that as in reality, sometimes things are not what they appear to be but as I read this part of the story, the predominant question running through my mind was What the hell is going on?

The second section of the story was voiced from the perspective of a character called John Macintyre who was a friend of Sarah's brother David. His section slipped back and forth between the present day where we witnessed his interactions with Rachel and a little girl called Claire and the past where he took us through the story of his relationship with Sarah. John was a really likeable,caring individual which I thought made a refreshing change from the abusive, controlling male characters that you generally find in modern day thrillers.

The third section is voiced from the alternating perspectives of both Sarah and John with some of the paragraphs being very short which ramped up the tension and caused the story to rocket along faster than a heart rate monitor. I also loved this part of the story, the pages were permeated with the feelings of fear and confusion that was radiating from both the characters as the story worked it's way towards the heart warming conclusion.

Song Of The Robin is a captivating blend of genres that has a cast of vivid, realistic characters. It is very well written, cleverly plotted and has a chilling ending which leaves the reader in no doubt that Sarah and John's torment is most definitely not over. This is a gripping read that is perfect for curling up with on a dark October night on the lead up towards Halloween and I look forward to finding out what the author's imagination has conjured up for the characters in the next book which is called Reunion.

                                                                         AUTHOR BIO


R V Biggs lives in a small ex-mining village near Wolverhampton, England, with his wife Julie and Mags the black lab. He has four grown up children and eight grandchildren. 

Walking with the dog is a favourite pastime and much of the story line for his first novel was developed during these lengthy outings. Robert worked for 35 years in telecommunications but changed career paths to a managerial supporting role within a local Mental Health National Health Service trust. 

It was during the period between these roles that the concept for his first novel was born. Robert is a firm believer that destiny and co-incidence exist hand in hand and this conviction extends to his writing. He has a passion for holistic well-being and after first-hand experience of the potential healing powers of Reiki, a form of energy therapy, took a Reiki level 1 training course to heighten his spiritual awareness. Robert’s experiences in these areas helped conceive the ideas that led to Song of the Robin and its sequels Reunion and Broken, novels with central themes of fate, love, and the strength of family. His writing is not fantasy however but is set in modern times involving real people living real lives. 

Social Media Links – 

FaceBook :- https://m.facebook.com/RVBiggs

Website :- rvbiggs.com

PUBLICATION DATE: 11th April 2018

PURCHASE LINK...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Song-Robin-1-Sarah-Macintyre/dp/1546988319/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=Song+of+the+robins&qid=1634334789&s=books&sr=1-10

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15.10.21

SECRET READER, BOOK REVIEW - The Ex Husband by Karen Hamilton


                                                                     BOOK SYNOPSIS

An addictive page-turner, pulsing with threat. Thrillingly sinister!' Lucy Clarke

He's missing, presumed dead. But she still can't escape.

Charlotte and Sam were partners. In life, and in crime. They never stole from anyone who couldn't afford it. Wealthy clients, luxury cruise ships. It was easy money, and harmless. At least, that's what Charlotte told herself, until the world caved in on her.

But now, years after she tried to put that past life behind her, it comes rushing back when her estranged ex-husband Sam suddenly goes missing - and someone threatens to expose what they did.

Desperate to escape whoever is tormenting her, Charlotte takes a job as events planner for an engagement party onboard a superyacht in the Caribbean. For a while, her plan seems to have worked, nothing but open ocean and clear skies ahead. Until it becomes clear that she's no longer a thousand miles away from harm.

Because whoever is behind it all is onboard too. And now there's nowhere left to run.

I love a book in which the characters are cut off from civilisation wether it is set in a isolated house or cabin situated in the woods. A island that is surrounded by thrashing waves that are crashing on the deadly rocks, a chalet that is snowed in by a blizzard or as in the case of this intense thriller, a luxury yacht that is on a ten day voyage between The Bahamas and Barbados.

For the vast majority of this twisty story, the chapters alternate between four years previously (then) and eighteen months after the events of the opening chapter (now) But eventually the two time frames converge and the story concludes in the present day.

In the chapters that were set in the past,we learnt how Charlotte met Sam whilst they were both working on-board a cruise ship and how, having always felt that she deserved the best things in life, she found herself drawn into the life of a con artist. They justified their actions by insisting that they only targeted wealthy couples who wouldn't miss the money and expensive jewellery that they stole, nobody got hurt. Charlotte was constantly telling herself that she wasn't a thief (yeah, right, and who are you trying to convince lady, the reader or yourself?) Charlotte and Sam eventually got married but as time passed, she became concerned about Sam's volatile behaviour and began to doubt exactly how much she could trust him. Eventually Charlotte decided that she had to get away, little realising that she was about to be confronted with the ultimate betrayal.

In the now chapters, Charlotte had moved on from her dubious past or that was what she thought until she started receiving texts demanding money from someone who obviously knew her secrets. Charlotte tries to contact Sam and is shocked when she discovers that he has mysteriously disappeared. When Charlotte is offered the opportunity to be the events planner for an engagement party on-board a superyacht, she views it as the chance to escape her tormentor. All goes well for a while and she has just started to relax and believe that her plan has worked when the death threats and attempts on her life start and it becomes apparent that her life is in serious danger. Had she been lured into a trap? How could anyone know about her past? Was Sam hiding on-board the boat? Was Charlotte's luck about to finally run out? These chapters were my favourite parts of the story, I loved the intense atmosphere when Charlotte was on-board the boat, the mystery and intrigue, the moments of danger and trying to figure out who was terrorising Charlotte.

The story had a eclectic cast of vivid, realistic characters, a number of whom,in the now chapters were untrustworthy and viable suspects for being Charlotte's tormentor. I can't say that I thought she was a very likeable individual and therefore I struggled to feel any sympathy for her at any point in the story. I felt a lot of sympathy for the unsuspecting couples who found themselves targeted by Charlotte and Sam, the consequences for some of them were shocking and proved the undoubted that theft is most definitely not a victimless crime.

This is a very well written, gripping, addictive thriller that hooks the reader in from the first page, keeps you guessing and glued to your kindle. There is some unexpected twists and turns, red herrings, intense danger scenes and a unpredictable, shocking conclusion. The places that the characters visit throughout the book are beautifully and vividly described. This is the first book that I have read that was written by this author and it most definitely will not be my last. Very very highly recommended by little old me.

                                                                  AUTHOR BIO


Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. She has now put down roots in the UK to raise her three children with her husband and she also writes full time.


PUBLICATION DATE: 19th August 2021

PURCHASE LINK...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ex-Husband-holiday-thriller-escape-this-ebook/dp/B08PF7XDFR/ref=sr_1_1?crid=X029SDXPUBUB&dchild=1&keywords=the+ex+husband&qid=1634260074&s=books&sr=1-1




























13.10.21

PUBLICATION DAY PUSH, BOOK REVIEW - The Girl In The Tunnel by Deirdre Palmer

 


                                                                     BOOK SYNOPSIS

London. A January night. Commuters surge into the Underground. Ellen Randall recognises a man standing close to the platform edge: Matt Leyton, her sister Rosanna’s married lover. The man who’s playing a game as old as time. A red-hot flash of uncontrollable anger propels Ellen to his side. The train approaches. Seconds later, Matt has gone. 

Carl Teviot is convinced Ellen isn’t a killer, even though he’s only just met her – or rather, found her, huddled in a sleeping bag in an abandoned Tube station: a ghost station. He can’t leave her there, alone, and in danger

But rescuing her from the tunnel is only the beginning… 


This enthralling thriller has chapters that are written from the perspectives of a multitude of characters but the story is voiced predominantly from the perspectives of Ellen, her sister Rosanna and Ellen's saviour Carl. The sister's had tragically lost their parents when they were younger and had made a vow to always stick together no matter what fate decided to throw their way. Despite being two years younger that her sister, Ellen was determined to protect Rosanna from harm which was the reason why she found herself confronting her sister's (married) boyfriend on the underground platform. A confrontation that would result in her life tumbling down a dark tunnel of grief, depression and despair and would change her life forever.

The brain is a complex organ and can play cruel tricks on its host especially when it decides to mess with your memories and convince you that something is not what it appears to be. This has happened to me personally and it is really scary how convinced you can become about what you believe to the truth and you can find yourself becoming obsessed with proving that your version of events is the true version. Did the events in the platform really happen the way that Ellen remembered them or was her brain playing with her memories and thought processes and causing her unnecessary grief and guilt?

The sister's had always had a volatile relationship and it wasn't difficult to figure out why as their stories that were set in the present day but also occasionally slipped back into the past unfolded. I had mixed feelings about both of their characters, there was times when I liked them and times when I didnt.

Carl came across as a likeable, trustworthy individual but could Ellen truly trust him? Why was he so insistent on helping a woman who he had only just met or that should be found? Was he a genuine nice guy or was she just a pawn in his twisted game?

I loved the parts of the story that were set in the abandoned station, they were so chilling and atmospheric.

This is a very well written, character driven thriller with a plot that covers a wide range of relatable issues. Many of the characters were flawed individuals and quite a number of them were not very likeable. The plot keeps the reader guessing, has some unexpected twists and turns and I liked how the author ended the story with updates on the lives of the main characters. This is the first book that I have read that was written by this author and it most definitely will not be my last.

                                                                       Author Bio – 


Deirdre lives in Brighton , on the south coast of England. She writes women’s and psychological fiction under her own name , and as Zara Thorne. 

Becoming an author was a childhood dream, although she didn’t have much of a clue as to what it meant. But fast forward several years – okay, many years – and the dream showed signs of becoming reality. 

She entered the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, twice, and came fourth, twice. So there was the incentive to complete her first novel, Remarkable Things, which was published by Crooked Cat and shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award. The Girl in the Tunnel is Deirdre’s 14th book. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS....

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/deirdre.palmer.735

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/DLPalmer_Writer

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deirdre-Palmer/e/B007TBPX3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Purchase Links 

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Tunnel-Deirdre-Palmer-ebook/dp/B09BZW8GXS

US - https:// www.amazon.com/ Girl-Tunnel-Deirdre-Palmer-ebook/ dp/ B09BZW8GXS/