Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd #BookReview #BlogTour (@williamjtodd) @damppebbles #GodlefesCuckoo #damppebblesblogtours

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Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded. Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth. An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man. If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be.

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd today. My thanks to Emma Welton at damp pebbles blog tours for including me on the tour and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This is my first book by Bill Todd, although I believe it is the fifth full-length book featuring ex-soldier-turned-private-detective, Danny Lancaster. The fact I had not read the previous books in the series did not detract from my enjoyment of this book, although having knowledge of the previous books may have increased the depth of my understanding of events in this book, so you might want to read them in order. I would certainly like to go back and catch up with how Danny got to the place we find him at the beginning of Godlefe’s Cuckoo, which is missing, presumed dead by some.

I was drawn in to the novel very quickly by the historical opening scenes, which bed the book firmly in the setting of Brighton, and I have to say that the author shows great skill in bringing the location to life, from the wild areas of uninhabited coastline to the gritty back streets and local pubs, as well as the bits familiar to tourists. I really enjoyed the fact that the sea and the coast play an important part in this book, which makes the coastal setting very relevant, rather than just an aside. This is a novel where sense of place is important.

There are a lot of characters introduced very quickly at the start of the book and it was a little dizzying and hard to keep up with to begin with, especially for someone who has not read the previous books and is not familiar with the characters which are recurring from the previous volumes. They all have separate storylines, and it is quite hard to fathom for the first third of the book how they could possibly tie together, although all does become clear as the book progresses. Therefore, the book requires a degree of concentration to follow, which is not necessarily a criticism. I like a book which is mentally challenging, but this is not a book that can be read on ‘coast’ mode.

There are a lot of very interesting and diverse characters in the story, and I particularly like the fact that this male author had created a cast of strong, independent and varied women, with not a female stereotype in sight.  I grew particularly fond of Wanda throughout the book, but all of the characters bring something to the story and have a range of complex motivations. The Russian element were the weakest in the book as far as character development went, and I did feel that it parts they were in danger of tipping in to ‘typical of the type’ villains and I would have liked them to have had more depth to be honest, but it is a minor quibble that may well be peculiar to me. You will have to be your own judge.

The book is a little different in development to a standardly plotted book, because the main character, Danny, features very little be begin with in person and is mostly referenced by other characters in his absence, so there is not much time for those of us coming fresh to the series to develop a sense of who he is or a direct relationship with him. However, this would obviously be different for people who had read the previous stories and, I have to say, once he did appear and start taking centre stage, I found him a fascinating and compelling character with a strong personality, which definitely made me want to read more about him.

The plot clipped along at a brisk pace and contained enough excitement, action and mystery to keep me turning the pages without wanting to put it down. I am not sure how realistic it is, as a plot as my knowledge of international criminal activity is minimal, but it was easy enough to buy in to it to a degree to allow me to enjoy the book. I have to say, I think a particular strength in this book is the author’s use of convincing dialogue. It certainly moved the book along nicely and sounds natural, which is not an easy thing to achieve, and it impressed me enough to stand out as a positive attribute.

Somewhat out of my usual reading tastes, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely go back and check out the earlier Danny Lancaster stories when I get chance. Highly recommended.

Godlefe’s Cuckoo is out now and you can get a copy here.

Please do check out the rest of the reviews on the tour on the dates listed below:

GodlefesCuckoo

About the Author

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I’m a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. Love a good wilderness. I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007.

I’ve written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. I’ve also written three short factual military histories. I live to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.

Connect with Bill:

Website: http://www.billtodd.co.uk

Facebook: Bill Todd

Twitter: @williamjtodd

Instagram: @billtodd_writer

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The City of Second Chances by Jane Lacey-Crane #BookReview #BlogTour (@JaneLaceyCrane) @Aria_Fiction @RNATweets #PublicationDay #NetGalley #TheCityOfSecondChances

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She’s already met The One, it was just that Mr Right came along at the wrong time….

Evie Grant is forty-five years old, a widow, and single mum of two children about to leave the nest. Suddenly alone in the family home, Evie realizes she hates her job, hardly goes out and hasn’t had a date since who knows when…

So it feels like fate when the opportunity arises for a girls trip to New York City. Staying with her sister on the Upper East Side, Evie is enchanted by a snow-covered city consumed by preparing for Christmas. Bobble hat firmly on, Evie is walking through the city one day when she bumps into Daniel Roberts, Hollywood heartthrob and one-time boyfriend of hers.

It’s now or never for Evie – but she open her heart to the possibility of a new beginnings and true happiness once again….?

Funny, real and wonderfully romantic, this is the perfect feel-good read to keep you warm this winter!

Today is Publication Day for The City of Second Chances by my fellow RNA member, Jane Lacey-Crane so I want to say happy publication day to Jane. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour on Publication Day and I want to thank Victoria Joss at Aria for inviting me to take part and for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. I apologise profusely for posting my review so late in the day, I have been tied up unavoidably, but I am hoping both Jane and Victoria will forgive me once they read it.

Where do I start? This book has made me feel so many things that my emotions are still swirling and I’m still sifting through them in my head but I’ll do my best to sort them in to some semblance of a coherent review. Suffice it to say, this book has absolutely blown me away by how much I love it. It has everything I love in a good book and, not only are all the elements there, they are delivered so perfectly; with so much warmth and charm and sincerity and sheer honesty that it has wriggled under my skin and settled there.

The book is the story of Evie, widowed mum of two who has lost the love of her life and is now facing an empty nest as her children reach adulthood and leave home. She has to face what she is going to do with the rest of her life, and that question currently has no clear answer. The main part of what I loved about this book was Evie and how much I could relate to her. From the very beginning, I felt like I knew her. she could be me, or one of my friends. She is my age, and I was totally on board with what she is going through. Her feelings leapt off the page in their authenticity and wrapped themselves around my heart. I was living the story with her from page one, and that doesn’t happen all that often in a book, where you are actually carried in to the story to live it with the main character, but when it does it is magical.

Aside from Evie, all of the other characters in this book were so well drawn and real that they just enhanced the feeling of being in a real person’s life. Evie’s sister and her friend, Rachel, were also people that I felt I recognised and I loved the dynamic between them. The storyline with Olivia was an interesting twist and, although it did not go the way I thought, I understood why the author did what she did with it and it was absolutely correct for the story. Daniel was a romantic lead that anyone would fall in love with, and the relationship between he and Evie was everything you could wish for. It put me through a whole wringer of emotions throughout the story and the plot was not at all predictable, I just loved it. The whole book is perfectly balanced with regard to the emotional rollercoaster.

This book has difficult elements included in it, and the author tackles them bravely and head on. Plots like this only work if you don’t shy away from the topic – if you are going to tackle them, you need to commit to it, and Jane really does that, I feel. This is not a light and fluffy romance, and I love that about it. The settings are also perfect. New York at Christmas, always appealing and the author really brings the city to life. It is festive enough to bring a pleasing warmth to your cockles, but not so twee that it makes your teeth ache, perfectly balanced – the salted caramel of Christmas novels.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Jane at the RNA conference back in July and the thing that struck me most about this book was that I could very clearly hear her voice throughout. This is definitively her book, her voice, it couldn’t have been written by anyone else and I really felt that this was her putting herself honestly on the page. This is a massive leap forward from her first book, you can feel the confidence flowing through the pages. This is an author who has hit her stride and is powering forward. The honesty pulses off the page and pulls the reader in to experience the story with her. This is what confident writing looks like.

As you may have gathered, I adored this book. I’ve just ordered a paperback copy to add to my library. It is for the discovery stories like this that I read and I could not be happier for Jane at what she has achieved with this novel.

Please go and buy a copy, I promise you won’t regret it. You can get it here.

If you would like to get some other perspectives on the novel, please check out the rest of the tour:

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About the Author

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Born in London, Jane’s writing career began in cable TV, writing true crime documentaries. More recently, Jane has contributed to an anthology of short stories and written two weekly crime serials. When she’s not writing, Jane loves to read good books, binge watch TV boxsets and drink tea. And wine. 

Connect with Jane:

Facebook: Jane Lacey-Crane
Twitter: @JaneLaceyCrane

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe #BookReview #BlogTour (@HJRolfe) @RaRaResources @RNATweets #RaRaResources #Christmas #LittleLogCabin #NewYorkEverAfter

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

We have a total switch of mood for my third review of the day and I’m delighted to be finishing off with something Christmassy by joining the tour for Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by fellow RNA member, Helen J Rolfe. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to take part in the tour and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

This is the first book in this series that I have read, although I understand it is number 4 and some of the characters are reappearing from previous books. However, this book can easily be read as a standalone novel without losing any enjoyment, and enjoy it I certainly did.

After two fairly harrowing books which I have reviewed earlier today, I am happy to be talking about a festive read – and this book screams Christmas like a giant mug of cinnamon-laced mug of creamy chocolate with a huge dollop of cream on top. Add some marshmallows? Well why not, you can’t cram too much Christmas spirit in to a book for me and this one has it in shedloads. Just look at the title and the cover, it says it all!

From a sparkling New York to the festive cheer of a close knit little town, Yuletide warmth is spread across the pages like a cosy blanket and I revelled in every minute of it. I just loved the community feel of Inglenook Falls – and who can resist a ramshackle log cabin in the woods, complete with mysterious hunky man?

I really warmed to the characters in this book. I followed Holly’s journey with interest as she takes a step back from her hectic life and rediscovers herself in the quaint little town. However, Mitch was the more interesting character for me as we slowly discover why is is so reclusive and how he is brought out of himself as he unfurls in the warmth of Helen’s friendship. I really enjoyed the developing relationship dynamics between the two of them.

This is a story about friendship, first impressions and taking a leap of faith to make that change in life and it is written with such warmth and tenderness that it is impossible not to fall in love with the story and the characters. This is the perfect Christmas read and I enjoyed every page.

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin is available now and you can get a copy here.

To check out the rest of the posts on the tour, visit the blogs detailed below:

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin Full Tour Banner

About the Author

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending. 

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Connect with Helen:

Website: http://www.helenjrolfe.com

Facebook: Helen J Rolfe Writer

Twitter: @hjrolfe

Instagram: @helen_j_rolfe

Keep Her Close by Erik Therme #BookReview #BlogTour (@ErikTherme) @Bookouture #NetGalley #KeepHerClose

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Someone took your daughter. And nobody believes you…


Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?


Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family.
But her real father has sent her a letter.


And now Ally is missing. 

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for Keep Her Close by Erik Therme. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me on to the tour and for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This is my first book by Erik Therme but it definitely won’t be the last after reading this one. As soon as I read the deeply affecting and disturbing prologue, I was totally hooked and raced through the rest of the book faster than Shergar won the Grand National. I could not put the book down and, even once I had finished it, my head was still reeling with thoughts and questions. Only the best kind of thriller can get you that involved that you can’t forget it even once you’ve finished it.

The main protagonist is Ally, a young girl apparently abandoned as a small child and since adopted by Dan and Holly who have brought her up as their daughter. She is contacted by a man who claims to be her birth father and wanting to meet her before he dies, and this is where the trouble starts. Ally is at that metamorphic stage in life – on the cusp of adulthood and about to take her first tentative steps towards independence and eager to assert her autonomy but still retaining the innocence and naiveté of youth, which puts her in a dangerous and vulnerable position that unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of and she finds herself in the hands of someone very unpleasant indeed.

Ally’s adoptive parents obviously love her very much and are distraught by her disappearance. They have split up and it is obvious as we go through the book that they are different people and have very different ways of dealing with what has happened. Dan, her dad, in particular, is a volatile individual and he has quite extreme reactions to Ally’s disappearance which are sometimes hard to fathom and frustrate the reader, but as a parent most of us can imagine how we would react if we were put in the same position.

Most of the characters in this book are rather ambiguous and have very mixed motives for their behaviour, which are revealed over time. None of them are what they seem to be at the beginning, and are all multi-layered and this is the main thing which keeps the reader turning the pages and turning the pages to see where it is going. Nothing is what it seems and the answers to the puzzle are far from obvious. I thought I had worked out was happening, only to be proved completely wrong and totally taken by surprise at the end. The plot has more twists and turns than a Rubik’s cube and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

A fascinating, tightly-plotted, fast-paced psychological thriller with a cast of complex and diverse characters and a less-than-obvious ending. What’s not to love?

Keep Her Close is out now and you can get your copy here.

To follow the rest of the blog tour, check out the blog tour poster below:

Keep-Her-Close-Blog-Tour

About the Author

Erik Therme (author photo)

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Connect with Erik:

Website: https://eriktherme.com

Facebook: Erik Therme

Twitter: @ErikTherme

Goodreads: Erik Therme

One Law For The Rest Of Us by Peter Murphy #BookReview #BlogTour @noexitpress @annecater #RandomThingsTours #OneLawForTheRestOfUs

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When Audrey Marshall sends her daughter Emily to the religious boarding school where she herself was educated a generation before, memories return – memories of a culture of child sexual abuse presided over by a highly-regarded priest. Audrey turns to barrister Ben Schroeder in search of justice for Emily and herself. But there are powerful men involved, men determined to protect themselves at all costs. Will they succeed? Is there indeed one law for the rich and powerful, and one law for…?

I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour today for One Law For The Rest Of Us, the latest Ben Schroeder legal thriller by Peter Murphy. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I absolutely love legal thrillers and I am always on the look out for new authors so, when I found out that this was the sixth book in the series following criminal law barrister Ben Schroeder, I was surprised that I had not come across Peter Murphy’s work before. However, although this is the sixth book featuring this character, it works completely as a stand alone and I did not feel that I was missing anything from the plot by not having read the previous five books.

The novel follows the case of Audrey Marshall upon, who finding out her daughter has been abused at the boarding school she herself attended a generation before, she is flooded with memories of her own experiences at the school thirty years before and sets out to seek justice for both of them. However, she is thwarted at every turn as it becomes apparent that powerful people have very good reasons to stop her story ever seeing the light of day.

This is a UK-set legal thriller and deals with the ins and outs of trying to prosecute a case through the UK courts. Fans of John Grisham who are looking for his style of legal thriller where lawyers are forever breaking the law and getting involved in car chases and gun battles won’t find that here. The UK legal system is far more reserved and refined and British barristers a much more genteel and old-fashioned breed who wouldn’t consider doing anything so vulgar that would set their powdered wigs askew. That is not to say, however, that the book lacks thrills and suspense because it does not. The action and tensions is more cerebral in nature, though, as it takes the form of pitfalls and frustrations by trying to pursue justice through the courts.

Frustration is, indeed, the main driver of this book. By the end, I was almost screaming, my nerves twanging with tensions as Audrey and her daughter are thwarted at every turn by people high up in the executive who have vested interests in stopping their case succeeding. The fact that this is all too likely and plausible, makes it even more maddening, and you will be glued to the page, willing her lawyers to find a way through the maze of obstacles erected against them to get justice for the family. If you like a properly argued legal thriller, you will love this book but your nerves will be tested.

The plot, although clearly fiction, does have echoes of recent scandals in this country and may be triggering for some readers. It does give a good insight into the workings of the English justice system, and how it is not a perfect system for delivering justice. The author has a legal background, so it able to make the writing feel very authentic, although there is obviously poetic licence taken for the sake of the plot.

The book is populated by an intriguing mix of characters, it is very well written and easy to read and is not too filled with jargon, so will be appealing to non-lawyers. I think it is an excellent addition to the genre and I will definitely be going back to check out the other titles in the series by this author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys legal dramas.

One Law For The Rest Of Us will be published on 13 December and you can pre-order a copy here.

To read more reviews of this book, please follow the blog tour as detailed on the poster:

One Law For the Rest of us Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

Peter Murphy Author Pic

Peter Murphy graduated from Cambridge University and spent a career in the law, as an advocate, teacher, and judge. He has worked both in England and the United States, and served for several years as counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. He has written seven novels: two political thrillers about the US presidency, Removal and Test of Resolve; five historical/ legal thrillers featuring Ben Schroeder, A Higher Duty, A Matter For The Jury, And Is There Honey Still For Tea?, The Heirs of Owain Glyndwr and Calling Down the Storm. He is also the author of Walden of Bermondsey and Judge Walden: Back in Session and Judge Walden: Call The Next Case, which is due to be published in 2019.

Peter Murphy will be appearing on BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Cambridge, BBC Radio West Midlands, BBC Radio Newcastle and BBC radio Manchester this summer as part of promotion for his Walden of Bermondsey series.

Connect with Peter:

Website: http://www.petermurphyauthor.co.uk

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Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell #BookReview #BlogBlitz (@angelabritnell) @ChocLituk @RaRaResources #RaRaResources #ChristmasAtBlackCherryRetreat

Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat

Delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz today for Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and to Choc Lit for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas? 

When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer.

But what she didn’t bank on was meeting Tom Chambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Fee finally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life – and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas?

I knew this was going to be a Christmas book with a difference when I picked it up, as it is not set in the UK, but in a remote town in Eastern Tennessee, not a standard setting for a Christmas novel. However, this book is actually not particularly a Christmas-centric story at all, given that it starts around Halloween and focuses on this, and Thanksgiving, rather than just Christmas. However, this does not stop it being a good book in any way.

We meet Fee just as she is arriving at the remote Black Cherry Retreat as Fall has taken hold in the mountains of Tennessee. Fee is running away from horrors in her past an is looking for solitude and isolation to try and heal herself. However, she is immediately drawn to Tom Chambers, a retired police officer who owns Black Cherry Retreat and who has reasons of his own for withdrawing to his remote cabin. The story then focuses on the development of the relationship between this two reluctant characters.

I really loved the setting of this book. It was somewhere very different and the author does a fantastic job of bringing the setting to vivid life with her descriptions. I defy anyone reading this book not to wish they could spend a month or two there with nothing for company but some books, a deer or two and a hunky Tennessean man! I really enjoyed the descriptions of the little town of Pine Ridge and the close knit community there, most of whom Tom is related to.

Which brings us neatly to the characters who are all delightful. I was very drawn to both Fee and Tom and fascinated by their burgeoning relationship, hampered as it was by their pasts. Fee, in particular, seems to be  a mass of contradictions and the author has done very well to develop a really interesting character in Fee. The subsidiary characters are a lovely bunch, particularly little Lulu, and added great charm to the story.

Although this book does not focus particularly heavily on Christmas as a theme, despite the title, it includes great descriptions of various holiday events which gives it a lovely, warm, festive feeling and I am sure anyone looking for a seasonal read will not be disappointed. It also includes a little mystery element, which was a nice sub-plot, and gave the book extra interest for me. All in all, a rewarding read. I could actually envisage this book making a great Hallmark movie, albeit one with a slightly deeper twist than some of the very twee, fluffy ones you see, so if that is the kind of thing you like, this will be right up your street.

Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat is out now and is available here.

Please check out the reviews by the rest of the amazing bloggers taking part in the blitz. You can find their details on the poster below:

Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat Full Tour Banner

About the Author

Angela RONA Award Pub Photo

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

Connect with Angela:

Website: http://www.angelabritnellromance.com

Facebook: Angela Britnell

Twitter: @angelabritnell

Instagram:@angelagolleybritnell

The Silent Dead by Graham Smith #BookReview #BlogTour (@GrahamSmith1972) @Bookouture #NetGalley #TheSilentDead

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He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…

Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.

The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

I am delighted to be on my second blog tour this year for Graham Smith for the first in his new crime series set in the Lake District. The Silent Dead is the first book in a new series which features young, female detective Beth Young. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for my place on the tour and my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Can I just say how much I love the cover of this book? Gorgeous colour and very atmospheric imagery. Great job by the Bookouture cover design team.

I really enjoyed my first book by Graham earlier this year (you can find the review of that here.) but this is something very different. The first in a new series, it features brand new DC Beth Young, who is in her first week as a member of the FMIT (Force Major Investigation Team) and she is a fascinating character to be the focus of the book. Extremely bright and ambitious, but unsure of herself and her place in the new team and carrying scars, literal and metaphorical, from an attack in the past, she is a riveting conundrum of a character and I was eager to learn more about her throughout the book and see how her relationship with her colleagues develops. It was a very interesting dynamic, seeing someone so new in her job and relationships with her colleagues, and I very much enjoyed this aspect of the book. The author does a wonderful job of giving us some insight into Beth but leaving tantalising details to be teased out in future books.

Beth is thrown in to the deep end as, no sooner is she in the job, the team is confronted with a murderer carrying out bizarre and ritualistic killings that seem to have no pattern or motive for them to fix on. We are then given certain aspects of the book from in the minds of other characters, including the killer and a potential victim. I have to say that I was quite confused at certain points in the book as to whose perspective we were looking at things from between two unnamed characters. I am sure this was deliberate on the part of the author as a method of deflection and deception as to who was carrying out the murders but I did get a little muddled in parts. There was absolutely no way I had any clue who was doing what and why until right at the end, so it worked well as a book giving us the same perspective as he police have, as they seemed equally as baffled, but it did have me frustrated in parts as I felt we were scrambling around in the dark!

The plot is very twisted in this book, with a very disturbed killer and a lot of violent and graphic imagery which is intimately described. Not a book for a reader looking for a gentle Agatha Christie-type mystery, but if you like your crime gritty and dark, you will enjoy it. The brutality of the murders forms an interesting juxtaposition against the picturesque Cumbrian setting, and the whole book works really well from that perspective.

This book kept me intrigued and on the edge of my seat all the way through. I love the new protagonist in Beth Young and will definitely want to read the next book she appears in. Great work by the author, I highly recommend it.

The Silent Dead is available now by following this link.

Make sure you check out the rest of the tour for this book as detailed on the poster below:

Blog-Tour-Graphic-The-Silent-Dead

About the Author

Graham Smith Author Pic

Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

Connect with Graham:

Website: https://grahamsmithauthor.com

Facebook: Graham Smith Author

Twitter: @GrahamSmith1972