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

51HnHbj9sBL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

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:

NhbeEhrg

About the Author

dY9xf8OA

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

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

Keep-Her-Close-Kindle

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

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

The-Silent-Dead-Kindle

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

One Way Ticket To Paris by Emma Robinson #BookReview #BlogTour (@emmarobinsonuk) @bookouture #PublicationDay #OneWayTicketToParis #NetGalley

One-Way-Ticket-to-Paris-Kindle

“When I was a kid and I’d lost something, my dad always said ‘Go back to the place you last had it’. The problem is that what I’ve lost is… me.

Kate loves her family more than anything, but recently she has started to feel invisible. Lying awake at three a.m. as her husband snores, panicking about shopping lists, birthday parties, and the school bake sale…

She finds herself in the kitchen, gulping water, staring at a postcard of the Eiffel Tower from Shannon, her best friend.

Paris, with its red wine, slippery cobbles and curly lamp posts. Where the scent of freshly-baked croissants hangs in the air, and Kate last remembers feeling like herself.

The postcard is a year old. It has just one line on it: When are you coming?

An inspiring, feel-good tale of friendship, love, and what happens when running away is the only way you can find your way home.”

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for One Way Ticket To Paris by Emma Robinson. My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for inviting me to take part and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. Today is Publication Day for this book, so I hope you have a marvellous day, Emma.

I haven’t read anything previously by this author so I am coming to her writing fresh and, having read this book I am wondering why I haven’t discovered her before.

This story is really fresh and enticing from first page to last as we follow the lives of three women dealing with personal crises, as they all come together in Paris. Kate is a mum-of-two wondering where she lost herself along the way and how to find herself again. Laura is sick of waiting for her life to move on with boyfriend, James and Shannon wonders if she is ready for the next step in her life or if she is still running from the past.

Any woman reading this book will recognise some facet of herself or something she has been through in the lives of one of these women and the author does a really fantastic job of building real women with real lives who are relatable to all of us. They were all the kind of people we know or who are friends with and whose problems are very real and relevant.

I had particular sympathy with Kate who finds herself trying too hard to be the perfect mum, and judging her success in the eyes of the other mums who she deems to be doing a better job. I am sure any of us who have children will be familiar with the pressure we put on ourselves to be the very best mum our children deserve and the guilt we feel when we believe we are failing and the frustration that often the father of the children don’t feel the same pressure. The issues women have balancing motherhood and career and sense of self are very much at the forefront of society and I think that Emma does a really great job of reflecting the different pressures women are under in modern society in this book, but in a way that is not aggressive or preachy but warm and compelling.

I was hooked on this book from page one and once I had finished it I felt like I had spent a few hours with some really great friends pouring out their problems in to my sympathetic ear. Grab a glass of wine and settle down for a girl’s night in with this lovely book. I will definitely be looking for other titles by this author; this is just the type of female-focused fiction that I enjoy reading.

One Way Ticket To Paris is out today and you can get your copy here.

This book is on a blog tour for the next three days so make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the tour:

OWTTP - Blog Tour

About the Author

Emma

Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Connect with Emma:

Website: https://motherhoodforslackers.com

Facebook: Motherhood For Slackers

Twitter: @emmarobinsonuk

Instagram: @emmarobinsonuk

The Cornish Village School – Second Chances by Kitty Wilson #BlogTour #BookReview (@KittyWilson23) @canelo_co #TheCornishVillageSchool #SecondChances #NetGalley

I’m really thrilled to be on the blog tour today for the second book in The Cornish Village School series by Kitty Wilson, Second Chances. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Breaking The Rules (you can read my review of that book here) and I can’t wait to go back to Penmenna and see what has been happening. My thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for inviting me to be part of the tour for the new book and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

The Cornish Village School Second Chances Cover

“Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?”

Although this is the second book in the series set in Penmenna, it is a completely new story and it really isn’t necessary to have read the first book at all to enjoy this one, it can be read completely as a standalone. Some of my favourite characters from book one reappear, but the focus is on new characters and I think the author has been very clever in making sure she pleases readers returning eagerly from book one without alienating new readers.

This time the story focuses on Sylvia and Alex, two single parents dealing with the day to day issues which that situation inevitably brings whilst also trying to resist the attraction growing between them for the sake of their children, who have become best friends.

You pretty much know what to expect from this type of book looking at the cover and the blurb and there are no major surprises in that regard but it is a lovely example of a book in the genre. The characters are genuine and honest and I was totally invested in their story. Kitty writes the children and their lives particularly well I think and I really loved this aspect of the book. The secondary characters are great additions – I particularly love Marion from book one who continues to add great comedy to the book, and the new character of Uncle Tom – no one is wasted, everyone is there for a reason.

Kitty does a great job of balancing humour, romance and genuine stories of people’s lives and her writing is warm and approachable. I love the setting of the little village in Cornwall, which she uses without over-working it. All in all, another fabulous book that I would highly recommend.

To get your copy of the book, click on this link.

To follow the rest of the tour and find some alternative opinions, check out the poster below:

Second Chances blog tour (2)

About the Author

Kitty-Wilson-resized.2e16d0ba.fill-300x300

Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Connect with Kitty:

Twitter: @KittyWilson123

The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant #BookReview #BlogTour (@TillyTenWriter) @Bookouture #TheChristmasWish #NetGalley

The-Christmas-Wish-Kindle

“Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme. Jilted by her cheating fiancée Warren and mourning the death of her beloved grandmother she’s determined not to let life beat her and books a trip to Lapland, on a holiday that her grandmother had always dreamed of taking.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, love is the last thing on Esme’s mind but she can’t ignore a spark with Zach, a broodingly handsome actor, also nursing a broken heart. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something-will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent Zach’s own secret past is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?”

It is my great pleasure today to be on the blog tour for The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for my place on the tour and my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Anyone who is a regular reader of Tilly’s books will know she is the go to author for beautifully written, uplifting, cosy romance and the charm of her writing is doubled in her Christmas books, so I was delighted to get my hands on this beauty to review. Just look at that cover – if it doesn’t get you in the festive mood, nothing will, you old Grinch!

We meet Esme as she arrives at her Grandma’s house with her tail between her legs, having split up with her fiancé, Warren (and what a horrible character he turns out to be!), knowing that she is the only person who can help her pick up the pieces of her shattered life. but then, tragedy strikes, and Esme finds herself running back to Warren. After all, better the devil you know. But then, Esme finds her Grandma has booked her on the trip of a lifetime to Lapland, and Esme is offered the chance to get away and figure out what she wants from life.

Everything about this book is charming, the characters (except Warren!), the settings – both Derbyshire where her Grandma lives and Lapland- and the heart-warming plot of taking a chance and breaking free to find happiness. I really warmed to Esme and her dilemma, but her grandma was my favourite character, which made the events earlier on in the book very poignant and moving, and I could feel Esme’s loss and confusion, so I understood her subsequent actions to a degree. Although, I have to say that I did get the point where I wanted to slap some sense into her and get her to open her eyes and be brave, but I think Tilly’s way of waking her up was probably a better story!

Once the story reached Lapland, I was in seventh heaven. Having been there myself, the book brought back all the wonderful memories of that trip I took, particularly the sense of otherworldliness there is in the place where there is a perpetual twilight and constant sparkling snow. Everything seems that bit more magical and special and you are a million miles away from real life. Tilly does an amazing job of bringing this place to live and imbuing the story with that winter wonderland magic, it is fabulous writing.

This book is an antidote to everything cynical and depressing and doom-laden that might be dragging you down in the modern world, so I would prescribe a healthy helping of this lovely book as an entirely legal, and side-effect free, mood-enhancer. Take as large a dose as required at any time of day.

The Christmas Wish is out now and you can buy your copy here.

Please check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour for this charming book:

A Christmas Wish - Blog Tour

About the Author

23776_1435621208482_8239110_n

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her next Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier.

Connect with Tilly:

Website: https://tillytennant.com

Facebook: Tilly Tennant

Twitter: @TillyTenWriter

Death on the River by Clare Chase #BookReview #BlogBlitz (@ClareChase) @bookouture #DeathOnTheRiver #NetGalley

Death-on-the-River-Kindle

“Meet Tara Thorpe – she’s Cambridge Police’s newest recruit… but her dark past is never far behind her. 

When a body is pulled from the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s secret past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…

When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?”

Given how much I loved Clare’s first book featuring Tara Thorpe, Murder on the Marshes (read my review of that book here), I am thrilled to be taking part today in the blog tour for the next in the series, Death on the River. My huge thanks to Noelle Holten, of publishers Bookouture, for inviting me on to the tour and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly.

I just want to pass comment and give my congratulations on another stonking cover which really evokes the spirit of the Cambridgeshire fens and the setting of the book. People say, you should never judge a book by its cover, but I am afraid I often do and this is another one I would love to have on my shelves. I love Bookouture books, they always feel lovely and solid in your hand – you know you are holding a piece of quality, nothing something flimsy. Mad, I know, but these things matter to a book lover!

Although this is the second book in the Tara Thorpe series, it could easily be read as a standalone without losing anything of the plot. Clare gives you enough of the back story for you to understand what you need to without it feeling like an information dump. However, I would highly recommend you read the first book to get deeper background on the characters and also because it is just so damn good, you will be missing out if you don’t!

The second book starts four years after the end of the first. In the interim, Tara has left her journalism career behind and has retrained as a police officer, newly joining the CID unit who investigated the crimes in book one, which brings her back into the orbit of DI Blake and other characters from the first book. I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed to hear that Tara was no longer a journalist, as I thought that brought a unique perspective to the investigation in book one. However, I need not have worried as Tara has brought all her journalistic skills to her new role in the police and this gives rise to an interesting aspect of the book where her old skills both compliment and clash with her new job. Her insatiable curiosity and dogged determination to get to the bottom of events being both  help and a hindrance.

There are so many different aspects of this book that I really enjoyed, the criminal investigation being only one of them. The mystery is very well-crafted from the dramatic opening scene to the eventual denouement, it is sufficiently tricky to keep the reader guessing and hold our attention throughout. The pace of the story is not frantic but even and compelling and I was totally engrossed in the investigation, even though the first victim is not a particularly likeable character. There were lots of interesting details to the crime – I was left wondering where the author gets her ideas from!

An equally riveting aspect of the book was the relationships between Tara and her fellow officers, particularly Blake and Wilkins. Anyone who has read the first book will recall that it appeared there was a possible relationship developing between Tara and DI Blake, and I was pleased to note that vestiges of this had carried through to this book, leaving a residual tension between the two. The author cleverly uses this as a plot device to influence the professional relationship between the two, as we wonder whether Blake’s decisions to back Tara are due to his professional respect for her, or his personal feelings. I love the fact that there is an open will they, won’t they question left hanging.

Wilkins is a different kettle of fish altogether and the man becomes more and more unpleasant as the book progresses. His dislike and, possible jealousy and resentment towards Tara grows and grows to the point where it is impacting on his objectivity and decision-making and he is in danger of putting his own career at risk. It is always good to have a character you love to hate in a book!

The book is written largely from Tara’s perspective and, as a protagonist, she continues to grow on me as she remains independent, determined and feisty and true to her own values, no matter what is thrown at her. I love a strong, female role model in a book, and this one certainly knows who she is and what she stands for.

The final thing which really makes this book stand out in the genre for me is the setting. It is as much a character in the book as any of the people and plays a big part in the stories. The plot simply would not work as well anywhere else and, just as in book one, the suppressing, empty isolation and loneliness of the Fens adds so much to the atmosphere of the story, and is brilliantly and vividly brought to life by the writing.

For some reason, this series has really grabbed me and I really look forward to reading more. Another paperback is on its way to add to the shelf for repeat enjoyment.

Death on the River is out now and you can buy your copy here.

Please do support the rest of the blog blitz for this book by following it over to the other blogs listed below:

Death on the River - Blog Tour

About the Author

Clare-Chase-500-356mp41qg1bccrg2bat0xs

Clare Chase writes mysteries set in her home city of Cambridge and is fascinated by the location’s contrasts and contradictions. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books. She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Connect with Clare:

Website: https://clarechase.com

Facebook: Clare Chase Author

Twitter: @ClareChase_

Instagram: Clare Chase Author

Goodreads: Clare Chase