Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Dark Is The Day by Tana Collins – Book Review



DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.

Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi. Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?

When a second then a third victim is discovered, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.

What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?

It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?



This is #4 in the DI Jim Carruthers series by Tana Collins.

It starts with a young woman being followed by someone who grabs her and she sees a mask and a knife……

A young woman’s body has been found, slashed and strangled… there a link between the two attacks…..?

The tension is palpable… a woman it feels so close to home as I hate hearing footsteps behind me when walking so this really touched a nerve!

The main character, is DI Jim Carruthers and his DS Andrea Fletcher…..both have their personal issues but work well together. I really liked both characters and Tana Collins is a master at building a sense of familiarity that you really do care about them.

This is an incredibly tense tale that will keep you looking over your shoulder…..very well plotted and will keep you guessing right to the end…..brilliant.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review



Book reviews, Cover reveal

The Ingredients for Happiness by Lucy Knott – COVER REVEAL

A little about the book first :



The brand new uplifting read from Lucy Knott, full of love, family, and baking!

For fans of Carole Mathews, Juliet Ashton, and Lucy Diamond comes the must-read book of the summer!


and here it is in all its absolute gorgeousness….






Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Breakers by Doug Johnstone – Book Review




Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Whilst trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addicted mother, he’s also coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings.

One night whilst on a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead. And that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because they soon discover the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in terrible danger, Tyler is running out of options, until he meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house. Could she be his salvation? Or will he end up dragging her down with him?


Set in Edinburgh and Tyler lives in one of the most deprived areas of the city. He lives in a tower block, with his mother, Angela and young sister Bean….

His half-brother Barry lives in a flat on the same floor, with Tyler’s half-Sister, Kelly and two vicious bull terriers.

One night the three of them go on a burglary rampage, but during one the home owner comes home…..and things get out of hand. What they didn’t know at the time was the home belonged to Deke Holts of the largest crime family in Edinburgh.

Tyler is guilt ridden, he was only there as his brother made him…but he did call an ambulance for the stricken Monica…

For a little peace, he breaks into an empty house, and then meets Flick, who had done the same for a quite different reason. From so very different backgrounds, they become friends….

What follows is a heart rending tale of violence and fear…..with a little hope…Tyler, while he thinks nothing of stealing, it’s either under duress or for sheer necessity due to his circumstances…..A home with nothing, a heroin addicted mother and violent siblings…..and looking after his 7 year old sister. My heart broke for him.

Will Detective Inspector Pearce find the burglars, the attempted murderer?…..or will Deke find them first? Stunningly bleak and realistic this thriller will highlight the pressures young people are under when they have so little, just surviving shouldn’t be the norm. Marvellous creative writing by Doug Johnstone and I can thoroughly recommend this. A must read and one of my favourites this year.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)



Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh.
He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous
novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime
Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and
bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies
and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin,
Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned
for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow.
He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative
writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors.
He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and
regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

‘A cracking and highly original thriller. Johnstone never fails to deliver’ Mark Billingham

‘As psychologically rich as it is harrowing. I’ve come to expect nothing less from Doug Johnstone, one of the genre’s premiere writers’ Megan Abbott

‘Doug Johnstone is Scotland’s truest exponent of noir. He writes novels that are punchy, fast-paced and sometimes gruellingly dark; unflinchingly challenging his readers by taking them to places that are emotionally and ideologically uncomfortable’ Chris Brookmyre
 ‘Thought-provoking and heartbreaking’ Scotsman

Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell. @OrendaBooks

Book reviews, Horror

House Of Skin by Jonathan Janz – Book Review



Myles Carver is dead. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.


Paul’s Uncle Myles Carver has died and left him a house……so he leaves his old life and Emily and drives to the small town of Shadeland where the house and estate of Watermere is…..

He arrives late, finds the key left for him by the lawyer, Ted Brand and explores a little before falling asleep….The Police visit the next day as Ted is missing…

A neighbour, Julia knows where Ted is.

Paul hears rats in the walls and feels the need to get out of the house….he explores and finds a graveyard ……and also meets Julia.

“When he reached the large black tombstone, all he could do was stare”

Paul and Julia begin a relationship, but something is off……

Told from the perspectives of Julia and Paul with little jumps back to show the history of the house with  Myles, Annabel and David…

No spoilers, so I can’t give too much away, but this is an immensely moody and unsettling tale which gave me the spooks….that feeling of something sat in the shadows….just waiting….

Jonathan Janz writing certainly set my nerves jangling with his Lovecraftian tale of a waiting Evil….I can thoroughly recommend it for lovers of clever, modern horror with a nod to the gothic.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.



5CE1D2AC-8439-4D12-A38C-464DBCD0EFBFJonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story”
Since then Jonathan’s work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz’s Shadow Side.

His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim.

Jonathan’s primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz at


FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

HOUSE OF SKIN Jonathan Janz
Publication date: May 2019

Book reviews, Cosy mystery, Historical fiction

A Walking Shadow by Elizabeth Ireland – Book Review



In 1871, Lillian Nolan accepts a small role in Macbeth, and finally fulfills her dream of becoming an actress. That is until the renowned, but venomous, female star of the production is murdered onstage opening night. When her enraged spirit haunts the theater, Lillian is shocked to discover she can communicate with her. Offered a Faustian bargain in which she will be given talent and expertise way beyond her ability in exchange for uncovering the killer, Lillian can’t resist.

Her quest for the truth causes her to descend into the Underworld, the den of inequity below the streets of Chicago. What Lillian finds soon embroils her in a battle between her passion for performing and control over her own body as it all plays out in a supernatural game of good and evil.


A Walking Shadow by Elizabeth Ireland is historical fiction, but with a twist……there’s murder and mystery…

It gradually unfolds into a very clever and engaging read….

Lillian is so excited, she has been offer a part in the Shakespeare play, Macbeth. But, then tragedy strikes as the leading lady is murdered.

Lillian can see her ghost and while terrified, she starts to investigate……who is the killer? And why?

This is told from Lillian’s perspective and is a memoir of her thespian life, the life backstage, the murder and the investigation, a whirlwind of a mystery and ghost story right to the Great Chicago Fire making its debut at the fiery end…..

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.


Purchase Links
UK –
US –

Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.
Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant
to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.

Author Bio –

3992B707-65F6-4B09-BF58-A4AE502F8EACElizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations.

American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection
of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

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