Flowers Over The Inferno by Ilaria Tuti #BookReview #BlogTour (@Ilaria_Tuti) @wnbooks @gigicroft @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #FlowersOverTheInferno #NetGalley

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An idyllic village in the alps.
A legacy of sin.
An evil lurking in the woods.

In a quiet village surrounded by the imposing Italian Alps, a series of brutal assaults take place.

Police inspector Teresa Battaglia is called in when the first body is found. Soon more victims are discovered – all horrifically mutilated – and when a new-born baby is kidnapped, Teresa’s investigation becomes a race against the clock.

But Teresa is also fighting a battle against her own body, weighed down by age and diabetes, and her mind, once invincible and now slowly gnawing away at her memory…

Delighted to be rounding off the blog tour today for Flowers Over The Inferno by Ilaria Tuti. my thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on to the tour and to Virginia Woolstencroft of Orion for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This is the debut novel by Ilaria Tuti, and the first novel featuring Detective Teresa Battaglia, and I have to say it is impressive to see such a strong and unique novel coming from the pen of a brand new author. Everything about this book is accomplished and confident, you would be forgiven for believing that this is a writer who has been doing this for years.

There is so much to enjoy about this book if you are a fan of the Euro-crime genre. Firstly, and probably the strongest aspect of this book, are the main detective duo. Teresa Battaglia is a really refreshing change to the standard grumpy male or feisty, young, ambitious female detectives you find carrying these stories. A woman of middle years, not beautiful, not thrusting, not particularly stand out in any way except through her intellect, her dedication to her job and the devotion she inspires in her team. I absolutely loved her, and was willing to follow her through whatever ups and downs she might face throughout the novel. She is brutal and forthright in her opinions, no nonsense, dedicated. She has personal issues, health issues, issues with relationships, but battles all these quietly and with dignity to get the job done.

She also does not suffer fools gladly, which appears to be a problem when she gets a new, young, male wet-behind-the-ears inspector to add to her team. To begin with there is the usual chalk and cheese friction between the two, but this has the makings of a great partnership for future books and the two will find that their differences can be an asset, as they have lots to learn from each other.

There is a great supporting cast for this book, but these two carry the book, along with the third standout star of the novel, which is the setting. Forget Scandi-noir, here we have Italy as a back drop for the drama, but not the picturesque coastal towns of Amalfi or Sorrento or Portofino; not the glamorous cities of Rome or Venice or Florence; not the rural beauty of Tuscany or the Italian Lakes. This is the remote, forgotten, mountainous area on the Italian-Austrian border which very rarely has the literary spotlight shone upon it. This author, however, obviously has a great fondness for the region, she brings it vividly to life throughout the book, illuminating the forests, gorges, peaks, rivers and isolated villages making the landscape an integral part of the story, a character in its own right.

The setting of this book is what gives it its atmosphere, and that atmosphere is deeply claustrophobic and unsettling. This is a place cut off from the outside world to a large degree. They are insular, superstitious and extremely suspicious of outsiders. Protective of their community and any perceived external threat, they close ranks and shut out interlopers, protecting their secrets, even if that means protecting a serial killer from the police. This makes the investigation more complicated, and the diplomatic skills of Teresa Battaglia vital to crack the case. The area is sparsely populated, mountainous, heavily wooded, large areas unexplored or long forgotten. The intrusion of the modern world into this ancient wilderness, upsetting the dynamics unchanged for centuries, is one of the fascinating themes of the book and adds to the air of menace and threat.

The case itself is gruesome and deeply disturbing. It is hard to say too much about it without including any spoilers in the review, but there are links to unpleasant echoes of a unedifying era of the area’s past. Some aspects of the book are quite graphic and upsetting, but the plot is completely gripping from start to finish and the reader will find it very hard to break away from the story without finding out what happens. I am still thinking about the plot, even now the book is finished and I have moved on to my next read. There are some moral questions raised in the book that will get you thinking more deeply than is often the case in a standard crime novel, a deeper dimension to the narrative.

The book is written from a few different perspectives, in a variety of time periods, and through different mediums, such as diary entries. As it hops around quite a lot, I did find it tricky to keep up in places. Some of this was due to the way my review copy was formatted on my Kindle I think, but I do believe that this is one of those odd books that would be more easily and enjoyably read in physical format, rather than on an e-reader. Fortuitously, this is also a book where I would suggest that the story is worth the investment in an actual book. This was something new and different and interesting din would highly recommend it. A brave new voice in the crime genre.

Flowers Over The Inferno is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour and read some alternative reviews of this book, check out the blogs on the poster below:

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About the Author

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ILARIA TUTI lives in Friuli, in the far north-eastern part of Italy. FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO, her debut novel and the first book in the Teresa Battaglia trilogy, was a top 10 bestseller on publication and the biggest debut of 2018 in Italy. Rights for the novel have been sold in over 15 countries, making her one of the most internationally successful Italian authors of recent years.

Connect with Ilaria:

Twitter: @Ilaria_Tuti

Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny #BlogBlitz #GuestPost (@valeriepenny) @crookedcatbooks @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksGroupTours #HuntersChase #EdinburghCrimeMysteries #TartanNoir

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Some of you may remember that I reviewed this excellent book, Hunter’s Chase, by Val Penny last summer and really enjoyed it, so I am delighted that Kelly Lacey from Love Books Group Tours has invited me to take part in this blog blitz today to celebrate the book being available both in paperback and ebook format. I have a great guest post from Val to share with you and also a link further down to my original review of the book.

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Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course.

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough.

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

Guest Post by Val Penny

I am delighted to be visiting your blog today to chat about so many of the exciting events and opportunities 2018 offered me and my family.

            It was clear that 2018 would be an exciting one for our family, because my husband had learned last May that he had qualified, again, to represent his country in their International Fishing Team. This is his third Scottish Cap for his beloved fishing. We are all very proud of him.

            Imagine our happiness when our older daughter and her husband compounded our excitement by making us grandparents for the first time in April. Joy of joys! A beautiful baby girl. Of course, I have never seen a more beautiful baby nor one more fascinating. Time to get knitting.

            I also made a New Year Resolution this year. The first one I have made in many years, and it is one I have found very easy to keep. I resolved to read more books by authors with whose work I was not familiar. This has been a fabulous resolution. I have been thrilled by a historical romance, ‘Heart of Stone’ by John Jackson, spooked by the ghost story ‘Woman in Back’  by Susan Hill and intrigued by the mystery that is ‘The Silence’ by Katharine Johnson. The book that I have found most compelling book so far is the autobiography ‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah. He is a South African comedian and presenter who grew up during the period of Apartheid. As the son of a black South African mother and a white Swiss father his tales of life as a child in his native country are fascinating.  This is the best resolution I have ever made.

            But the thrills of 2018 continued to roll in. My debut crime novel, the first in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, was ‘Hunter’s Chase’. The book, set in Edinburgh was published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. I was excited and nervous about that, in equal measure. So, when my publishers confirmed that they were accepting the second book in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’, with a view to launching it on 09.09.2018, I really did not think things could be any better.

            I was wrong: in a good way, but I was wrong: things could and did get better when I was asked to lead a session on publicising your work at the prestigious Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in England in August. I have no doubt that the magic of Swanwick gave me the confidence to show ‘Hunter’s Chase’ to my publishers in the first place, so it will be a delight to be back.

            All in all, 2018 was an extraordinary year for me and my family.

            Believe it or not, 2019 looks like being even more exciting! The third book in my series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, Hunter’s Force, will be published by Crooked Cat Books on 03.03.2019 and I have been invited to Denver, Colorado to launch the book. It is my first international launch and I am thrilled. I hope the year ahead will be similarly exciting for you and all your readers.

Val, thank you so much for visiting my blog today, it was great to hear about your fantastic year in 2018 and I hope an equally great 2019 lies ahead.

If you would like to read my original review of Hunter’s Chase, you can find it here.

If you would like to get hold of a copy of this excellent book, you can find it here, where it is also available for free as part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

About the Author

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Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland was published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. The sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ will be published on 09.09.2018.

Connect with Val:

Website: https://authorvalpenny.com

Facebook: Valerie Penny

Twitter: @valeriepenny

Instagram: @valerieepenny

Goodreads: Val Penny

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Friday Night Drinks with….Jo Furniss @Jo_Furniss @AmazonPub #FridayNightDrinks #PricePromotion #KindlePromo

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Tonight we have a change to our advertised guest, and I am delighted to welcome to the blog the author of one of my Top Ten Books of 2018Jo Furniss. 

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Welcome, Jo. Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening, a little earlier than expected! First things first, what are you drinking?

Day or night, I do enjoy a nice cup of tea. But as it’s a special occasion, being here on your blog, I’m going to have a Bloody Mary with plenty of spice. Thanks.

The one cocktail that I can’t stomach, although The Irishman loves them. I’ll have a mojito, I think. If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

We’d nip to Singapore on my own private Concorde, and I’d take you to an outdoor eatery called Gluttons Bay, where we’d combine cheap local street food with a Michelin-star view of the city. Drinks-wise, we’d switch to Tiger beer or a fresh coconut.

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That would be amazing, I have always wanted to go to Singapore, but haven’t made it there yet. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

That would be Roald Dahl because I think he’d be a bit of a rogue. And Margaret Atwood because, you know, hero!

That would be a great combo, I’m sure they both would have a lot of wonderful stories. So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

I’m currently writing my third novel, which has no title yet. That’s freaking me out a bit, the lack of title! But I do have a first draft. This novel is another domestic thriller. It tells the story of a young American journalist, Rose, who moves to the UK to live with her British husband in the village where he grew up. She’s never visited Dylan’s homeland before, and she soon discovers that both Dylan and his family are unpopular – pariahs, even – and ostracized from the local community. When a body is found in the grounds of his family home, fingers point at Dylan, and Rose has to use her investigative skills to unearth his secrets. 

I started writing this book last year, shortly after I moved back to the UK after 15 years abroad. So it’s about those links with home, relationships with people in your past, and how much we change – really, deeply change – over the years. 

That sounds really interesting. Your books have each been so different, so far. What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?

Once upon a time, I would have said that my biggest challenge was writing my first novel, All The Little Children. But, now, I feel that this third novel is my biggest challenge yet. On a practical level, I’m writing to deadline for the first time. And there’s more to prove, more to lose. The pressure is on!

My proudest moment, for sure, was seeing that first novel in print and online. It went to #1 in the US Kindle Store and became one of the biggest-selling Kindle titles of 2017. Most importantly, it reached so many readers and I love that human connection.

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You forgot to include being in my Top Ten Books of 2018 as one of your proudest moments, LOL. What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

Well, it would be nice to win awards and plaudits and top the best-seller charts and have Netflix adaptations and all the hoop-la… but mainly I’d just like to write a novel that I’m really proud of, with characters that stick in the reader’s mind as though they’d met in real life.

Well, you already achieved that for me. What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

I’m excited about this third novel – the One With No Title (which makes it sound like an episode of Friends). I’m at the stage where I’m fleshing out the characters, bringing them off the page, and that’s my favourite part of the writing process.

On the side, I’m also hoping to write a story for my son. A couple of years ago, I wrote one for my daughter and had it printed into a book, just for her. So now I owe him one! I’ve recently dreamed up a story so now I need to write it. It’s fun to write something without worrying whether it’s good enough to be published – it’s just between me and my kids.

That is such a lovely thing to do! I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

Top of bucket list is the Galapagos Islands. I will get there eventually. I’ve been lucky enough to live on three different continents and I’ve traveled a lot for work and pleasure, so I have many favourite places that hold wonderful memories. If I could click my fingers right now and teleport, I would be snorkeling alongside my kids somewhere in Indonesia where the sea is so shallow and warm, you have to get out to cool down! Generally speaking, I like being warm.

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Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

I was once arrested on suspicion of spying.

Okay, that is a story that needs further development if we ever meet in real life! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

Only one?! That’s hard. I recently read the auto-biography of one of the UK’s top forensic pathologists – Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd – and it was a great insight into the science and art of the autopsy. We often read about the post mortem examination in books, but here’s the real thing!

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This would not be my usual taste in books, even non-fiction, but I will add it to my TBR. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

Eat carbs before drinking. Alternate alcohol and water. And if you end up with a hangover despite this excellent advice, then call in a favour and get someone else to look after your kids for the day. Kids plus hangover equals hell.

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

We’d go to lunch with a load of inspiring writers. Or just read their books on the flight back from Singapore.

Jo, thank you so much for being on the blog tonight, it has been lovely to talk to you and find out more about you and I can’t wait to read The Book With No Title when it comes out.

You can find my review of Jo’s debut novel, All The Little Children, here. Anyone who enjoyed Bird Box will like this book. This book was an international best-seller and one of my Top Ten Books of 2018. Jo’s latest novel is called The Trailing Spouse – a domestic thriller set in the hothouse expat world of Singapore.

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Amanda Bonham moved halfway around the world to be with the man she loves. Although expat life in Singapore can be difficult, Edward Bonham is a dream husband and a doting father to his teenage daughter, Josie.

But when their maid dies in an apparent suicide—and Amanda discovers the woman was pregnant and hiding a stash of drugs prescribed to Edward—she can’t help but wonder if her perfect husband has a fatal flaw. And if he can’t resist temptation under their own roof, what does he get up to when he travels?

Camille Kemble also has questions for Edward. Recently returned to Singapore, Camille is determined to resolve a family mystery. Amid a jumble of faded childhood memories, she keeps seeing Edward’s handsome face. And she wants to know why.

For one woman, the search for answers threatens everything she has. For another, it’s the key to all she lost. Both will follow his trail of secrets into the darkness to find the truth.

You can get a copy of The Trailing Spouse here and it is currently available on a Kindle promo deal of £1 in the UK and $2 in Australia until 14 February.

After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the UK, she lived in Switzerland and Cameroon, and currently resides with her family in Singapore.

As a journalist, Jo has worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle, The Economist, Business Traveller, Expat Living (Singapore) and Swiss News. Jo has also edited books for a Nobel Laureate and the Palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University. In 2015 she founded http://www.SWAGlit.com—an online literary magazine for writers in Singapore.

If you would like to find out more about Jo and her writing, connect with her on social media:

Website: http://www.jofurniss.com

Facebook: Jo Furniss Author

Twitter: @Jo_Furniss

Instagram: @jofurnissauthor

Please come back to the blog next Friday when I will be having drinks with author, Graeme Cumming.

Bones In The Nest by Helen Cadbury #BookReview @TheFictionCafe #FictionCafeBookClub #FictionCafeReadingChallenge2019 #amreading #bookbloggers #challenges

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The Chasebridge Killer is out; racial tension is rising and the mutilated body of a young Muslim man is found in the stairwell of a tower block in Doncaster. As he gets drawn into the case, Sean Denton’s family life and his police job become dangerously entwined. Meanwhile a young woman is trying to piece her life back together, but someone is out there; someone who will never let her forget what she’s done.

This is the second book I have chosen in the 2019 Reading Challenge for my online book club, The Fiction Cafe Book Club.  You can find details of what the challenge entails in this post. The second category is ‘A book set in the town in which you were born,‘ which in my case is Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

This is the second of the Sean Denton books I have read. I read the first, To Catch A Rabbit, which won a couple of awards, last year and enjoyed it and, in my opinion, this one is even better.

Sean Denton has now graduated from Police Community Support Officer to full police constable now, which gives him, and consequently the reader, a more central role in the investigation this time around. This investigation also centres around racial tensions, whether a person deserves a second chance after committing a horrendous crime, and a possible honour killing, so the topics are very current and relevant, even though this book is now a couple of years old. The author has also continued the aspects I really enjoyed from the first book, namely Sean’s family, work and romantic relationships, and the inclusion of these give him a real humanity which allows the reader to get close to him and become invested in his journey.

It is novel and interesting to have a very rooky investigator at the centre of a book of this nature, and there are certain aspects of his junior position that provide interesting plot points in the story, as he has to assert himself and find his place when manipulated by the hierarchy. He is a very warm, honest and likeable character that you can’t help but want to succeed. He also has certain disadvantages and divided loyalties to overcome – there is a lot going on in the book.

Although not a Doncaster native, the author did live in York and obviously knows and likes the Yorkshire folk and has a great grasp of the region. Although the main setting of the book, the Chasebridge estate, is fictional, there are a lot of allusions to real life areas of Doncaster and the town is depicted fairly and accurately but warmly and kindly in the book. I felt well disposed towards the author and her depiction of my birthplace having read it, despite it being rife with crime!

This book was a great read, pacy and entertaining with an enjoyable, gripping plot and interesting characters. I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series and think it is a great shame that we have lost an author who was clearly talented.

You can get a copy of Bones in the Nest by Helen Cadbury, here, along with the first book in the Sean Denton series, To Catch A Rabbit and book three, published posthumously, Race To The Kill.

About the Author

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Helen Cadbury was a British crime fiction author, poet and playwright, whose debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, won the Northern Crime Award, was an Amazon Rising Star, and was chosen as one of the Yorkshire Post’s top novels, since the millennium, to reflect the region. It introduces Sean Denton, a young Police Community Support Officer, uncovering the murky truth behind the death of a trafficked young woman and the disappearance of a local man.

Her second novel, Bones in the Nest, follows Sean Denton back to the Chasebridge Estate, where racial tensions are rising and the notorious Chasebridge Killer has just been released from prison.

Before writing fiction Helen was an actor and teacher, including spending five years teaching in prisons. Sadly, Helen died in 2017 aged 52 after a battle with breast cancer.

The Suspect by Fiona Barton #BookReview #BlogTour (@figbarton) @TransworldBooks @ThomasssHill @PenguinRHUK @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheSuspect

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When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…

I have been very excited for this tour so it has felt like it has been a long time coming but the day has finally arrived when it is my turn on the blog tour for The Suspect by Fiona Barton. Huge thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for offering me a place and to the author and publisher for my gifted copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This is the first book I have read by Fiona Barton, although I have had a copy of The Widow sat on my TBR for an embarrassingly long time (like most things on my TBR). Why have I waited so long to pick one up, I am now asking myself? This was the most enthralling, exciting and heart-stopping book I have read in a long while.

The story of two young girls going missing whilst travelling has to be every parent’s worst nightmare so, as a mother myself, I was immediately in the shoes of the parents of the missing girls; feeling their pain and confusion and riding that rollercoaster with them. However, things begin to get very interesting when a second parent-child relationship is thrown in to muddy the mix. It is difficult to say more without throwing in spoilers, so you are going to have to trust me on this – if you are a parent, this book is going to may you feel tense all the way through.

The structure of the book is interesting, told as it is from the viewpoints of one of the missing girls, her mother, the chief detective on the case and a reporter who is following the investigation very closely. The narrative jumps between these viewpoints very quickly but not in a specific order, so you have to pay close attention to begin with but the different points of view are clearly labelled and you soon get familiar with the different voices and find it easy to follow. This method of telling the story is a very effective way of revealing different plot points at relevant stages, but also giving the reader different windows on to the investigation. I really enjoyed it.

The book is set in two locations – in the UK where the missing girls’ parents are suffering their agonies and the UK police are investigating, and in Thailand where the girls have gone missing, which adds an extra level of interest to the story for readers who like to read books set in overseas locations (as I do) and the Thailand portion is very well portrayed and authentic. I really enjoyed the contrast between the way the investigation was carried out in Thailand and in the UK. The flow between the two locations was seamless and you would think that the author was equally familiar with both locations. I need to get some research tips from Fiona Barton for my own writing.

This book is full of, excuse my French, WTF moments, as all good thrillers are. There are a number of unexpected things that happen, and that happen at really startling times. I honestly raced through this book in a day because I could not put it down, and my heart was racing at points, as if I were personally living the story. The ending, for me, raised some interesting moral and personal questions, and I would be interested to see how this affects some of the main characters going forwards, if they are included in any of the author’s future books.

All in all, this is a slick, intelligent and gripping psychological thriller that covers some interesting personal and moral questions. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of this genre, in fact I already told my sister to read it.

The Suspect is out now and you can buy a copy here.

If you would like to see what my fellow bloggers made of the book, please follow the tour as detailed below:

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About the Author

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Fiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born inCambridge, Fiona currently lives in south-west France.

Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the DailyTelegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal casesand she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it wasthose just outside the spotlight who interested her most . . .

Connect with Fiona:

Website: http://fionabartonauthor.com

Facebook: Fiona Barton Author

Twitter: @figbarton

She Saw What He Did by Lynda Renham #Extract #PublicationDay (@lyndarenham) @RaucousPublishi #bookbloggers

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Abby Miller thought she had the perfect family; a good looking, loving husband and a beautiful daughter.  Her life was complete. The shock discovery that her husband, Jared had been having an affair rocked her world. So when Jared suggested a short break to the Cannard Islands, to heal their fractured marriage, Abby agreed. An idyllic holiday turns into a nightmare when Abby witnesses something terrible. Suddenly her life and the life of her daughter are in serious danger and no one seems able to help them.

Happy publication day, today, for Lynda Renham and her new novel, She Saw What He Did. My thanks to Lynda and her publisher for inviting me to join the publication day celebrations by sharing an extract from the book with you and for providing me with a copy of the book.

Unfortunately, due to other pressures this month, I haven’t had chance to read the book yet but I look forward to doing so soon and sharing my review with you then. In the meantime, please enjoy this short extract from the book.

Extract

Sparrow

He looked down at his phone and smiled. A withheld number meant only one thing.

‘Yeah,’ he said roughly.

‘Sparrow?’ questioned the gravelly voice at the other end of the line.

‘Yeah it’s me.’

‘I’ve got a job for you. It’s a bit different from the usual. These are new clients. It’s a big one. Do you think you can handle it?’

Sparrow’s jaw twitched.

‘Sure. Don’t I always?’

‘This is different. You can’t make any mistakes,’ snapped the voice.

Sparrow bristled.

‘When have I ever made a mistake?’

‘Just as long as you understand. I don’t want any problems. There’s fifty thousand in this for you, but these people aren’t amateurs and they don’t take prisoners. This is a big contract. I don’t want it fucked up.’

Sparrow’s eyes gleamed. He’d misheard, surely.

‘How much?’ he questioned. It had always been a few thousand and he’d been more than happy with that.

‘Fifty thousand,’ repeated the voice.

Sparrow whistled. His insides quivered with excitement. That was a hell of a lot of money.

‘No mistakes. You do a good job, you’ll be well rewarded. You mess it up and you’re fucked. Well and truly.’

‘What do I have to do?’ Sparrow asked breathlessly.

‘The same as usual, get the package in safely, except this time you have to caretake for a while longer. This is highly sensitive. We want the heat off before any collection. There’ll be others wanting this cargo and …’

‘What is it?’ he interrupted, pulling a stale sausage roll from a brown paper bag and biting into it. There were a few seconds of silence.

‘Fifty thousand means you don’t ask questions,’ said the voice. ‘The less you know the better.’

Sparrow wrinkled his nose. He wasn’t so sure he agreed with that, but, fifty thousand …

‘Suits me,’ he said, throwing the remainder of the sausage roll into the sea.

‘There won’t be a collection straight after the drop. It’s up to you to keep the cargo safe for a while. A few days, that’s all. ‘

‘Sure,’ he said casually, although he would have been happier knowing just what he’d be caretaker of. Perhaps it was heroin this time. It was drugs, no doubt about that. It must be a big shipment. Still, what did he care?

‘We have to deliver. I’m making myself clear, aren’t I?’

‘How dangerous is this?’ he asked, combing his fingers through his brown curly hair.

‘Fifty thousand dangerous. Take it or leave it. I can find someone else.’

Sparrow doubted there was anyone else on the island that would be able to get the goods in as well as he did.

‘I’ve just got to keep it safe, right?’

‘That’s it. As soon as things are clear it will be collected.’

‘That’s all I’ve got to do?’ asked Sparrow, suspiciously. It seemed too good to be true.

‘You don’t have to take the job. There are others who …’

‘No, I’ll take it,’ interrupted Sparrow.

‘Think of this cargo as your baby,’ laughed the voice.

Sparrow didn’t laugh with him. The sound of the waves breaking on the rocks roared in his ears. The thought of fifty grand had heightened his senses. He’d be set up for life. He could move to South America, maybe even get his own bar. He could buy one of those open- top convertibles. He’s always fancied himself in one of those.

‘So, you’re in?’ asked the voice.

‘I’m in,’ said Sparrow.

‘I’ll be in touch,’ said the voice. There was a crackle and then the line went dead.

If you enjoyed this extract and would like to get a copy of Lynda’s book for yourself, you can buy it here.

Please watch to for my review of the book later this month.

About the Author

lynda2

Lynda Renham is author to many popular romantic comedy and gripping psychological thriller novels. She lives in Oxford, UK. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and is a prolific blogger, Twitter and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook. Lynda lives in Oxfordshire with her second husband and two cats.

Connect with Lynda:

Website: http://www.renham.co.uk

Facebook: Lynda Renham

Twitter: @Lyndarenham

Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell #BookReview #BlogBlitz (@DredaMitchell) @Bloodhoundbook #SpareRoom #BloodhoundBooks

Dreda Say Mitchell - Spare Room_cover

Beautiful double room to let to single person

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

Compelled to undercover the secrets of the man who lived in the room before her, Lisa is alarmed when increasingly disturbing incidents start to happen. Someone doesn’t want Lisa to find out the truth.

As the four walls of this house and its secrets begin to close in on Lisa, she descends into a hellish hall of mirrors where she’s not sure what’s real and what’s not as she claws her way towards the truth…

Did this room already claim one victim?

Is it about to take another?

I am delighted to be taking part on day one of the blog blitz for Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell. My thanks to Emma Welton at Bloodhound Books for inviting me on to the tour and for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I have wondered from time to time recently whether the trend of the ‘domestic noir’ psychological thriller might have run its course and there can’t possibly be anything fresh and new to come out of this genre – it has all been done to death (pun entirely intended!). Then you come across a book like this one and an awakened interest in this type of book is ignited by a novel with fantastic writing, breath-taking suspense and twists so devious that you couldn’t possibly have seen them coming.

This book is deeply creepy, from the extremely disturbing prologue until the unforeseeable denouement where the truth of everything is finally revealed. The main character is Lisa, a confused and tormented girl who finds herself renting a room in a house which hides a multitude of secrets and pain behind its innocent facade, and her already tenuous grasp on sanity is stretched to its limits by her search for the truth about the house’s past, and her own.

I found Lisa a believable and very sympathetic character who easily draws the reader into the heart of the story and carries them breathlessly along with her as she digs into the mystery. All of the characters are well drawn and individual, but absolutely none of them are what they seem to be. The author very deftly completes tiny pieces of the puzzle throughout the book to keep you guessing and then, every so often, throws in a bombshell that explodes every theory you thought you had and leaves you gasping and confused as you search for a new explanation for what is going on. This book has so many twists that you will meet yourself coming back and it will leave you in a complete spin.

The writing is fantastic, the author really creates an oppressive and dangerous atmosphere throughout the book; I found myself actually holding my breath in places and it is one of those books that had my racing to the end to get the puzzle finished. It did, perhaps, get a little crazy and outlandish towards the end, but it was all in the spirit and enjoyment of the story, and enjoy it I did. A huge thumbs up from me for this book, the first I have read by this author, and I will definitely be seeking out more of her writing.

Spare Room is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To read the rest of the reviews on the blitz, you can find the rest of the blogs taking part detailed on the poster below:

Spare Room Blog Blitz.jpg

About the Author

dreda say mitchell

Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, broadcaster, campaigner, and journalist. Since her sixth book she has been co-writing with Tony Mason. She is the author of eleven novels, with her debut awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio including Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, The Stephen Nolan Show, Front Row and Woman’s Hour and numerous others. She has presented Radio 4’s Open Book. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek in association with Nokia. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony’s work is currently in development for TV. She was born and raised in the East End of London where she continues to live.

Connect with Dreda:

Website: https://dredamitchell.com

Facebook: Dreda Say Mitchell

Twitter: @DredaMitchell