blog tour, Book reviews, War fiction

Pathfinders by Cecil Lewis – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUMS TO PUBLISH ANOTHER NOVEL IN THEIR WARTIME CLASSICS SERIES FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE FAMOUS MEMOIR SAGITTARIUS RISING

In May 2021, IWM will publish two more novels in their Wartime Classics series which was launched in September 2019 to great acclaim, bringing the total novels in the series to ten. Each has been brought back into print to enable a new generation of readers to hear stories of those who experienced conflict firsthand.

First published in 1944 and set over the course of one night in 1942, the story follows the fate of six crew members of a Wellington bomber ‘P for Pathfinder’ thrown together by chance from different corners of the world. They each reflect on the paths of their own lives, as they embark on a fateful mission deep into the heart of Nazi Germany. Cecil Lewis’ novel examines the life of every man in turn, rendering a moving account of each as not merely a nameless crew member, but as an individual with a life lived, ‘a life precious to some, or one… these men with dreams and hopes and plans of things to come.”

Cecil Lewis was a flying instructor for the RAF during the Second World War where he taught hundreds of pilots to fly, including his own son. It was while doing this training that he wrote Pathfinders. Pupils were graded by the time it took them to fly solo – the best became fighters and then bombers. The RAF’s Bomber Command was the only branch of the armed forces that could take direct action against Germany and in 1942 the strategic air offensive changed from precision to area bombing where whole cities were targeted in order to destroy factories as well as the morale of those who worked in them.

The ‘pathfinders’ of the story were needed because often the bombers could not find the towns and cities they were destined to attack at night, let alone the industrial centres within. The crew used coloured marker flares to guide the bombers to their targets and the crews selected (often from the USA, Canada and NZ as well as Britain) were the best night flying crews who were able to find the target unaided. As a pilot who took part in both World Wars, Cecil Lewis brings his unique experience to bear, shining a light on this vital and sometimes contested aspect of Britain’s Second World War focusing on the sacrifice made by the Allied airmen it depicts.

IWM Senior Curator, Alan Jeffreys, has written an introduction to each book that provides context and the wider historical background. He says, ‘researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM. It’s been very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’.

MY REVIEW 

Pathfinders is the tale of the crew of a Wellington bomber, they are preparing for a mission (little do they know it is their last).

This is not an action packed war story, but one about the men who fought in one. It tells of their backgrounds, their different nationalities and lives before the war.

It is also about camaraderie and trust. For me, it’s a reminder that these men are not just part of the huge number of casualties and deaths at war, everyone of them was a man with lives and families waiting for them to come home……and many never did.

A heart breaking and thought provoking read.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of Pathfinders.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Cecil Lewis (1898 – 1997) was a British fighter ace in the First World War and his memoir Sagittarius Rising became a classic of the literature from that war, considered by many to be the definitive account of aerial combat. He was a flying instructor for the RAF during the Second World War

where he taught hundreds of pilots to fly, including his own son. After the war he was one of the founding executives of the BBC and enjoyed friendships with many of the creative figures of the day, including George Bernard Shaw, winning an Academy Award for co-writing the 1938 film adaptation of Shaw’s Pygmalion. He had a long and varied career but retained a passion for flying all his life. In 1969 he sailed a boat to Corfu where he spent the remainder of his life, dying two months short of his 99th birthday. He was the last surviving British fighter ace of the First World War.

blog tour, Book reviews, Mystery, Supernatural

The Crazy Season by Jim Ody – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

MY REVIEW 

The Crazy Season is a paranormal mystery that has you hooked from the very start.

Joel and Melody begin to investigate a series of teen suicides, while they are years apart it appears they may be linked. A small coastal town, full of secrets and a sense of the claustrophobia of living in a place where everyone knows everything about each resident adding a feeling of tension.

Joel is a great character, a little awkward and quiet and the bright, fierce Melody is the perfect fresh breeze of a character, just what Joel needs. A great partnership in the making.

The Crazy Season is a mystery tale with a paranormal edge and great characters and a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Zooloo’s Book Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Crazy Season.

blog tour, Book reviews, Nordic noir, Thriller

The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The award-winning Godfather of Nordic Noir returns with a fascinating and richly authentic portrait of Oslo’s interwar years, featuring Nazis operating secretly on Norwegian soil and militant socialists readying workers for war…

Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; civil war rages in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.

When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler, Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.

But all is not what it seems. Soon, Jack is accused of murder, sending them on a trail which leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.

A stunning, sophisticated, tension-packed thriller – the darkest of hardboiled Nordic Noir – from one of Norway’s most acclaimed crime writers.

MY REVIEW 

The Assistant is set in the 1920 and 1930’s in the time of prohibition in Norway. 

Jack Rivers is a smuggler and Ludvig Paaske is trying to catch him, it is illegal after all.

Even after their differences of opinions in the past, they eventually become colleagues as private investigators and with the threat of war looming, there is an errant husband case to solve. But then Jack is accused of murder!

The Assistant is a thriller, but it’s also a tale of friendship, love and betrayal all set in pre-war Norway. Beautifully written with a real sense of time and place, this is a sharp, tension packed thriller. Nordic Noir at its best.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Assistant.

PURCHASE LINK: https://amzn.to/3aXnl0I

ABOUT KJELL OLA DAHL

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eighteen novels, the most prominent of which form a series of police procedurals- cum-psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix, and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015 (published in English by Orenda books in 2019). His work has been published in fourteen countries. He lives in Oslo. Follow him on Twitter @ko_dahl

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Number One bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her twentieth edge-of-your seat thriller featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past.

En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre LaManch to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice—and comfort—of her longtime beau Andrew Ryan.

Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Carolina. The citizens of Charleston are struck by capnocytophaga, a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable.

Shockingly, Tempe eventually deduces not only that the victims in both grisly murder cases are related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause . . .

MY REVIEW 

The Bone Code is #20 in the Temperance Brennan series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

This starts with a hurricane, as it begins Tempe meets an old woman who asks her to find out what happened to her aunt who went missing many, many years ago. The only clue is a death mask which is the exact image of this old lady, her sister and even her grandmother,

After the storm, Tempe visits her friend Anne, but then receives a call from the local coroner, a shipping container has washed up on the beach, with two bodies inside. Tempe’s heart drops as it reminds her of a similar case from years ago…

And so the story begins…

This is Tempe at her very best, a cold case, new bodies and a missing aunt, along with her relationship with Ryan and her cat Birdie, all the while dealing with the dead and their secrets. Plenty of medical details told in Tempe’s unique, matter of fact way, this is a marvellous read, lots of tension, a clever and twisty plot. So utterly compelling from start to finish. I loved every minute.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The Bone Code.

Purchase link…https://amzn.to/3t4E609

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The Bone Code is Kathy’s twentieth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temper- ance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Mirrorland by C L Johnstone – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

With the startling twists of Gone Girl and the haunting emotional power of Room, Mirrorland is a thrilling work of psychological suspense about twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues in almost every room: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

A twisty, dark, and brilliantly crafted thriller about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom.

MY REVIEW 

Mirrorland is a unique thriller with a twist.

Cat and her twin sister, El had an imaginary world when they were growing up, Mirrorland. Here there was fear, clowns, witches and more….

As they got older they become estranged, Cat lives in the US but El still lives in Edinburgh in their childhood home with her husband. But then El disappears.

Cat returns to Edinburgh and the hunt for El begins. The police are involved but Cat begins to get strange messages……a treasure hunt, but will she like what she finds?

This dark, imaginative thriller is told from two timelines, the past, with the children’s make believe world and the present. It’s dark and full it a subtle tension that keeps you wondering just what is going on…….but then it all comes together in the incredible final chapters. Well written with great characters, even if they weren’t particularly likeable and thoroughly engrossing. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Mirrorland.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Vanished by James Delargy – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the groundbreaking author of 55 comes an extraordinary new thriller…

The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, are desperate to move their young family far away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life in Perth.

The abandoned town of Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert, seems like the perfect getaway: no one has lived there for decades. It will be peaceful. Quiet. Secure.

But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. Lights flicker at night. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if their presence is breathing new life back into the long-dead town.

Lorcan and Naiyana refuse to leave. No one can talk sense into them. And now, no one can talk to them at all.

They’ve simply vanished.

MY REVIEW 

Vanished is set in the Australian outback and it’s here the Kane family now live after leaving Perth, making a new, safe life in this inhospitable part of the world. But, why did they leave?

They now live in a remote area, but so does a group of men who also have secrets and there is an uneasy, tense agreement to live and let live between them. But things get dark with strange noises, and some creepy moments too. 

The story is told gradually, with little asides showing how past events have led to this point. All the while there is a police investigation trying to find this missing family….

Well, what can I say?  This is well written and full of tension with an oppressive atmosphere that’s almost claustrophobic. A slow burn of a psychological thriller that is utterly compelling from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Vanished.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

James Delargy was born and raised in Ireland and lived in South Africa, Australia and Scotland, before ending up in semi- rural England where he now lives. He incorporates this diverse knowledge of towns, cities, landscape and culture picked up on his travels into his writing. His first novel, 55, was published in 2019 and has been sold to 21 territories to date. Vanished is his second novel. Find him on Twitter: @jdelargyauthor/

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Incredible conspiracy. Intricate espionage. Spy story.

Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.

Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.

Run for your life…

MY REVIEW 

THE BLACK FOX is #3 in the Lambeth Group series by Gordon Bickerstaff and it is a belter.

Here, Zoe (Black Fox) has been tasked with taking Dr Gavin Shawlens into hiding to keep him safe from the CIA. What does Dr Shawlens know that is worth causing an international incident over?

What can I say? This is an action packed, tense thriller that has you utterly gripped from start to suspense filled end. Full of sharp twists and complex characters that makes this a true page turner. (It would make a perfect movie). A truly memorable thriller. I love this series and it’s perfect for anyone who loves a clever thriller.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Black Fox.

About Gordon Bickerstaff:

I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.

I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.

The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GFBickerstaff

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012357701552

Website: http://bit.ly/1g4gEoa

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gordon-bickerstaff

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5776209.Gordon_Bickerstaff

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Facets Of Death by Michael Stanley – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana, introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu.

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.

Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?

MY REVIEW 

This is a prequel to the series featuring Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu , it is an introduction to his beginnings in the police force Criminal Investigation Department in Botswana.

Assistant Superintendent Makabu assigns Kubu to a complex case on his first day. A plane disaster which is at first believed to be an accident….but there’s more to it than that…diamonds are at the heart of it. When the diamond deliveries are moved to armoured trucks there’s a robbery.

But the robbers start turning up dead and some believe a witchdoctor has cursed them.

Kubu really is thrown in at the deep end with his first big case and it highlights what a patient and thorough detective he is.

This is a crime thriller at its very best, so well written with beautiful descriptions of Botswana and the surrounding area, a fascinating and immensely likeable main character and a dark, dark and twisty plot. Incredible writing that has me totally engrossed from start to finish. Simply brilliant .

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Facets of Death.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3sc9fOR

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and

learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand.

On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger. 

The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. 

They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Missing Pieces by Tim Weaver – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Rebekah Murphy knows too much. . .

She knows she’s alone on an abandoned island with a killer on her trail. 

She knows that to get home to her children, she must survive long enough to understand why this is happening. 

She knows someone tried to kill her for a secret.

What she doesn’t know is what that secret is . . .

Detective Frank Travis doesn’t know enough . . .

He doesn’t know where to find Louise Mason. He doesn’t know how and why she vanished into thin air three months ago. He doesn’t know the identity of the man last seen talking to her. Not yet.

But what he does know it that he’s a week away from retirement — and if he doesn’t find out where Louise went, no one will. 

What neither Rebekah nor Detective Travis realise is that each holds a missing piece from the same puzzle — and it will cost them everything they love to finally solve it . . .

MY REVIEW 

Rebekah Murphy is stranded on Crow Island, she’s in a n area ravaged by a hurricane with few facilities left.

Why is she stranded? Who is it that wants her dead?

All will become clear……eventually

The story is told from various perspectives and timelines, from Rebekah past and present which gradually reveals how she has ended up on Crow Island, and from Detective Travis and his search for a missing artist. 

Are these cases linked?

This is a thriller, absolutely packed with tension and the descriptions of the island and its weather feels almost claustrophobic adding a nail biting edge to the story. With lots of twists, a feeling of impending danger throughout this is gripping from start to finish. I need a lay down now.! Brilliant storytelling from Mr Weaver.

Thank you to Chrissie at Michal Joseph for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of Missing Pieces.

blog tour, Book reviews, Domestic noir

Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it?

MY REVIEW 

Look What You Made Me Do is the tale of two sisters , Jo and Caroline. They weren’t particularly close and when their father dies the secrets they have long kept hidden start to be revealed.

Beautifully written this family drama has a simmering tension as every member of this fractured family tries to keep their secrets. A tale of keeping up appearances in a toxic environment with a dark mystery just waiting to be revealed. A compelling read from start to finish. Brilliant.

Thank you to Alex at Orion Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of Look What You Made Me Do.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2R7iDGB 

Currently only .99p for Kindle.

Book reviews, Family drama

The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Warm, funny, life-affirming and true, The Best Things is the joyous debut novel from much-loved comedian, writer, actor and presenter Mel Giedroyc. 

It’s the story of a family who lose everything, only to find themselves, and each other, along the way.

Sally and Frank Parker have it all.

Then one day, because of Frank, they don’t.

As the bailiffs move in and the money runs out, Sally realises that she and her children don’t have a clue about how to survive.

Or do they?

The Parkers are about to discover that the best things in life aren’t things at all.

MY REVIEW 

Sally Parker is married to Frank, hedge fund manager and their three children, Stephen a bit of a glutton, Cleo a tv addict and Mike a budding entrepreneur. They are wealthy and have staff to look after their day to day lives and a housekeeper, Paloma.

But then disaster strikes, a market crash wipes out their money completely and life changes drastically, but they gradually find there is more to life than money.

This is a well written, warm hug of a read. Full of great characters and a gentle humour, pure escapism, something much needed in these days of doom and gloom. 

Purchase Link:  https://amzn.to/3sPDdt0

blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama, Thriller

The Source by Sarah Sultoon – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier.

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth… and justice.

A tense, startling and unforgettable thriller, The Source is a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience.

MY REVIEW 

The Source is told from two distinct perspectives, one from Carly who lives on an army base, she has an alcoholic mother and cares for her baby sister. She gets excited when invited to a ‘special’ party, but her excitement is short-lived.

The other is from a journalist who is investigating allegations of sex abuse at an army base many years ago and the police have reopened their Operation Andromed. As she investigates she has to deal with her own past.

This is not an easy read as it deals with child sexual abuse and trafficking, it’s not done in any sensational way, but shows the horrors of this vile trade in a sympathetic way……while this doesn’t make it any easier to read at times the story has you hooked from the very start.

It has a clever, engrossing plot and well developed character that you can’t help wanting to protect. A heartbreaking, eye opening and utterly compelling read. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour , for the promotional material and an eARC of The Source.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3ws16cq

ABOUT SARAH SULTOON

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters

of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if

blog tour, Book reviews, Scottish Noir

The April Dead by Alan Parks – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

NO ONE WILL FORGET . . .

In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker.

Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.

On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got.

MY REVIEW 

The April Dead is #4 in the Harry McCoy series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in the ‘70s Glasgow, DI Harry McCoy has picked up his old friend Stevie, after his stint in jail. But Stevie has hardened in jail and is searching for a traitor amongst his crew.

All the while Harry is investigating a bombing, the only casualty appears to be the bomb maker. But who would set a bomb in this area of the city?

Then a second bomb explodes in the city’s cathedral.

Harry’s friend, Wattie is investigating a murder, that Stevie may have been involved in and Harry is also helping to try and find an AWOL US naval officer. So much is going on as Harry gets closer to the truth of the April dead.

This is a dark, grim and action packed thriller with a sharp, twisty plot. The characters are so well developed you can picture them easily, and the descriptions of Glasgow in the 70’s are frankly, terrifying. A marvellously gritty tale that’s compelling from start to finish. Scottish Noir at its darkest, Simply brilliant. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The April Dead.

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/3cqbZTX

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Scare Me To Death by CJ Carver – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A homemade bomb exploded mid-air, killing 214 people on board. Thirteen people survived. 

Sixteen years later one of the survivors is found brutally bludgeoned to death. It looks like a crime of passion but DC Lucy Davies knows something is wrong. They were trying to find the bombers. 

Lucy’s search for the killer brings her into conflict with her long lost father – who has his own secrets. Dangerous secrets which Lucy must expose so she can confront a vicious murderer with only one thing on their mind. 

To keep on killing to stop the truth from getting revealed.

MY REVIEW 

Scare Me to Death is a London based, crime thriller in the series featuring retired MI5 agent Dan Forrester and DC Lucy Davies, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Sixteen years previously a bomb caused an  explosion on a plane out of Marrakech killing nearly every passenger, apart from 13 survivors. Dan had helped save them.

In the present day, Lucy is asked to help an old school friend who has been arrested for murder. Dan is also involved and as they begin to work together, they find a link between the murder and the bombing of the plane all those years ago. All the while Lucy is trying to trace her father, who had left when she was young. 

This is a fast paced, exciting thriller it has great characters, lots of secrets and a clever twisty plot with a gasp inducing ending. Well written and compelling from start to finish.

Thank you to C.J Carver and Bloodhound books for an eARC of Scare Me To Death.

Book reviews, Non fiction

Birdsong in a Time of Silence by Steven Lovatt – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A lyrical celebration of birdsong, and the rekindling of a deep passion for nature.

“At this time of year, blackbirds never simply fly: instead, like reluctantly retired officers, they’re always ‘on manoeuvres’, and it’s easy to see from their constant agitation that for them every flower bed is a bunker, every shed a redoubt and every hedge-bottom a potential place of ambush”

As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. Birdsong in a Time of Silence is a lyrical, uplifting reflection on these sounds and what they mean to us.

From a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong, this book ultimately shows that natural history and human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs.

MY REVIEW 

Birdsong in a Time Of Silence is a beautifully written, almost poetic, book about birds and their songs, something many of us have noticed so much more this past year. With lockdowns and shielding, for some of us the only link to nature available is the birds in our gardens.

This book clearly shows Steven Lovatt’s love of birds, I loved reading about his childhood memories evoked by the simple sound of a bird singing, from the alarm calls of a blackbird to the knife grinding of the magpie. 

It also tells of their feats of endurance during migration, the effects of climate change and the destruction of many bird habitats. All mixed with interesting facts for n just how a bird sings, their physiology and habits.

The author has a beautiful way with language and his way of using metaphors to explain what he means, makes this an interesting and totally engaging read. An absolute joy to read.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

After the gut-punch ending of Firewatching, DS Adam Tyler returns to another shocking cold case…

A body has been discovered in Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body has been there for months, and would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone has dug it up.

Who is the victim? Who killed her and buried the body, resting two ancient Roman coins over her eyes? And who dug her up?

DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable, and willing to kill to keep what they find…

MY REVIEW 

Nighthawking is the follow up to Firewatching, a Sheffield based crime series featuring the DS Adam Tyler and DC Mina Rabbini working in the Cold Case Review Unit. 

Adam’s dad, Richard, has died and this was put down as suicide, but Adam believes it to be murder. He is investigating this alone and Mina is covering for his absences against her better judgment.

One night, a metal detectorist is ‘nighthawking’ in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens, and makes a find he wasn’t expecting, a buried body.

With murder enquiries and Adam doing his own thing, Mina is swamped and things get complicated.

Slowly, all begins to come together.

This is a dark, twisty thriller full of tension and suspense. It has a mix of the characters personal lives, with Adam making a mess of his relationship with Paul, and Mina who is keeping work under control, she really is a force to be reckoned with, and the police investigations.  With its clever plot, marvellous characters and a truly nail biting end, this is utterly compelling . I’m already looking forward to book 3.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Nighthawking.

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/3s9JCPf

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. After a few ‘proper’ jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist, and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. His highly-acclaimed debut novel, Firewatching, is the first in the DS Adam Tyler series and published in February 2020. Nighthawking, the second book in the series, will publish in February 2021.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Hunt by Leona Deakin – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom.

He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. 

The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis.

But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett?

The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?

MY REVIEW 

Hunt is #3 in the series featuring Dr Augusta Bloom, it can be read as a stand-alone too.

The Foreign Secretary’s niece is missing and the only person he wants to find her is Dr Bloom. Working with her friend and business partner, Marcus, they find a feminist organisation has all the traits of a cult. So, Augusta goes undercover to find out why women are going missing.

Ooh and Seraphine is back!

This is a sharp, fast paced thriller with fantastic characters and a clever plot full of tension that keeps you on tenterhooks. Completely engrossing from start to finish. Unputdownable!

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hunt. 

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/30UPoIO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Leona Deakin draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels.

Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written three novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost and Hunt.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Takers and Keepers by Ivan Pope – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Where do the disappeared go?

The girls and women who vanish, seldom to resurface.

Allen Kimbo, a freelance reporter, believes there is a network of men who guard their “taken” and keep the silence that surrounds such deeds.

An email lures him to Eastern Europe, to a meeting of the Takers and Keepers.

His girlfriend, Emily, pleads with him not to go.

In Belgrade more is revealed than he had thought possible.

Back at home, Emily is missing.

MY REVIEW 

The Takers and the Keepers is about the dark underworld of human trafficking.

Here, journalist Allen Kimbo is investigating in Eastern Europe and what he finds is this horrific trade, which treats desperate people like nothing more than livestock.

This is not an easy read even for those of us who like our crime fiction on the darker side, this is as dark as it comes, all the more terrifying as this is really happening every day.

I found this to be a compelling thriller that is heart rending and thought provoking and it will stay with me for a long time. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Takers and Keepers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ivan Pope is a writer, artist and long-distance cyclist who lives in Brighton.

He graduated from Goldsmiths College Fine Art BA with the YBA generation and was involved with a number of early internet developments in the UK and across the world.

He invented the cybercafe at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and founded the world’s first web magazine, The World Wide Web Newsletter.

He has taught at art colleges in London, Newport and Brighton.

He is now a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction.

He is currently undertaking a PhD in creative non-fiction at Plymouth University.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

bound by Vanda Symon – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The passionate, young police officer Sam Shephard returns in a taut, atmospheric and compelling police procedural, which sees her take matters into her own hands when the official investigation into the murder of a local businessman fails to add up…

The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.

The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect.

MY REVIEW 

Bound is #4 in the Sam Shephard series, it can be read as a stand-alone )but you are missing out on a great series.).

A local businessman is murdered in his home, his wife is left bound to a chair and seriously injured, their young son had returned home to find them like this.

Sam is investigating the case to find out who would kill a supposedly respectable man, all the while she is also dealing with the fact her father has cancer and is dying. Throwing herself into work helps her forget her personal life for a while.

Can she find out the truth?

This is such a tightly plotted tale full of tension, great characters and a gasp inducing twist. So well written you are willing Sam on as she fights to find a killer. Sam is such a great character, strong and determined, yet with a softer side too. A marvellously tense, emotional thriller that’s has you hooked from page one. Just brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Bound.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/38qOBDg

ABOUT VANDA SYMON

Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.