Category Archives: Authors M to O

Reviews by author surname M to O

Blog Tour – Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell *Review*

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be part of the Sleep Tight blog tour today along with Sharon at Chapter In My Life and Claire at Crimebookjunkie. So what did I think of the second book in the Detective Ruby Preston series? Has Caroline Mitchell managed to pull off another cracking read? Read on to find out…

The Blurb

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.

My Thoughts

Detective Ruby Preston is back and I have to say I’m very pleased she is! I adored Love You To Death and couldn’t wait to get my mitts on the second in the series. I’m pleased to say that Mitchell has done it again with Sleep Tight and written another bloomin’ brilliant book.

Ruby has her work cut out for her as a serial killer is on the loose and bodies of young women are being discovered across East London. The case becomes personal when body parts are found at her on-off lover and gangster Nathan Crosby’s home.

Mitchell has written a macabre, twisted novel in which the bodies are dressed as fairy tale princesses. I love the way she has incorporated the fairy tales within the killer’s MO harking to the original dark stories told by the Grimm brothers. It makes the killings even more disturbing thus making Sleep Tight all the more thrilling.

I devoured this book in a matter of hours. The prologue is darkly enticing and creepy, and the pace that follows is unforgiving and relentless, forcing you to read ‘just one more’ chapter until, before you know it, you have finished the book. Mitchell takes you to the brink of thinking you have it all sussed out and then quickly pulls the rug from underneath you.

I really liked the character of Ruby with her complicated life in the first book and Sleep Tight has cemented my view of Ruby being a Detective to follow. The personal perspectives on police procedures, the investigation and interrogation give that real insight into how the job is viewed by those who undertake it every day adding that extra layer to the story. Mitchell’s previous life as a detective shines through and gives her work an authentic feel.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sleep Tight, it is fast-paced, creepy and nail-biting. Mitchell has created a fantastic follow-up to Love You To Death and I can see the Detective Ruby Preston series being a big hit with crime fiction fans. Read it, you will love it!

Published 20 April 2017 by Bookouture.

Purchase Links
UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2oFTxLj
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2npDVLY

About the Author

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.
www.caroline-writes.com
https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/
https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

A huge thank you to Noelle at Bookouture and Caroline Mitchell for the advance copy and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Be sure to catch the rest of the fab bloggers on the tour…

 

Book Review – Everything But The Truth by Gillian McAllister

The Blurb

Everything but the Truth is Gillian McAllister’s stunning breakthrough thriller about deceit, betrayal and one woman’s compulsive need to uncover the truth.
It all started with the email.
Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him.
But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.
Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

My Thoughts

I really love a book that makes you think beyond the storyline and Everything But The Truth, the debut novel by Gillian McAllister, is definitely one of those books. It’s going to be pretty tricky to say everything I want to in this review without giving any of the plot away but I will try. This is one of those books you are desperate to discuss with somebody else who has read it!

Everything But The Truth tells the story of Rachel who is pregnant with her first child to Jack; a man she has been in a relationship with for only a short period of time. Rachel begins to discover that the man she is involved with is not who she thinks he is. What follows is a tale of secrets, lies and insecurities which also has a psychological edge to it. Told over two timelines, switching with ease between the present and a year ago, it is told from the perspective of Rachel.

I had a feeling from the outset that I would enjoy this book as McAllister has chosen the following quote by H. Jackson Brown, Jr at the beginning of the book;

‘Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.’

The characters play an important part in this story and through the use of first person narrative the reader is privy to all of Rachel’s innermost feelings and thoughts and, therefore, her flaws. Her back story is drip-fed resulting in a feeling of anticipation throughout the novel. I found myself questioning how much I could rely on Rachel to accurately portray what was going on due to her own nuances. The result is that this is as much a story about the psychological effects of traumatic events as it is gripping domestic noir.

Add to this the moral dilemmas that are presented throughout—which had me constantly mulling over ‘what would I have done?—and McAllister has written a cracker of a psychological thriller that has that slow-burn I love so much. I was desperate to have a conversation about the book with somebody else who had read it to get another person’s perspective and thoughts.

McAllister has also written a gripping and compelling novel. I devoured Everything But The Truth in pursuit of finding out what that truth was and how things would work out for our main character. You are completely pulled into the novel from the very first line and the combination of prose, thought-provoking storylines and in-depth characterisation make this an accomplished debut.

Everything But The Truth is riveting, mentally stimulating and intelligently written; really giving the reader food for thought. It is a book to mull over and discuss. A highly recommended read and if this is anything to go by McAllister has a great career as a writer ahead of her.

Thank you to Gillian McAllister, Penguin Books (Michael Joseph) and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Published on 9 March 2017 by Penguin Books (Michael Joseph).

Review – Old Friends and New Enemies by Owen Mullen

The Blurb

The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI  Charlie Cameron was looking for.

But it wasn’t a stranger.

Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.

Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.

Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.

There is only one problem…Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

My Thoughts

A dead body, missing money and Glasgow gangsters result in what could be Private Investigator Charlie Cameron’s most difficult case yet…not least because the dead body is that of an old friend and it has become personal!

Old Friends and New Enemies is the second book in the Charlie Cameron series. Initially I felt I had missed out as I have not read the first book The Games People Play and it took me a little while to get into the characters and the setting as I didn’t have the benefit of the backstory that had gone before in the previous book. However, as the book progressed I settled in, got to know the characters better, and it worked well as a standalone novel.

Charlie Cameron is a great character who I really warmed to. He has the right combination of being straight-forward with hidden depth which makes you want to get to know more about him. Mullen has created a great cast around Charlie in his friends which results in the reader feeling fully involved in their lives. I really liked the dynamics portrayed in the Rafferty family and Mullen has made the ‘bad guys’ gritty and two-dimensional with insights into their family and personalities. This always adds extra to the story as I always love to know more about the villains and their motivations.

Fast-paced with ‘Oh my God’ moments, Mullen writes well keeping up the momentum until the very end. With two investigations running concurrently, Mullen effectively keeps the reader’s interest with both until they reach their conclusions. There are also moments in the book in which Mullen writes about Charlie’s thoughts and feelings with a depth and sensitivity I wasn’t expecting.

A thoroughly enjoyable read, Old Friends and New Enemies is a great book with a protagonist I look forward to seeing more of. The Charlie Cameron series is set to become a firm favourite and I will definitely be reading The Games People Play, the first book in the series.

A huge thanks to Owen Mullen for my copy in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.

Old Friends and New Enemies is published in paperback on 6 February 2017 and Ebook on 21 February 2017 by Bloodhound Books.



#AroundTheUKIn144Books challenge – County: Glasgow

Blog Tour – The Day That Never Comes by Caimh McDonnell *Review,Excerpt and Promo*

I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to be taking part in The Day That Never Comes blog tour, the latest in The Dublin Trilogy by Caimh McDonnell. I’m able to share my thoughts on the book and excerpt. If you fancy a bit of humour with your crime thriller I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

The Day That Never Comes cover[2685]

The Blurb

Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off in their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.

Dublin is in the middle of a heatwave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-Benton exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy.

Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together for long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?

When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?

The Day That Never Comes is the second book in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin Trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly acerbic Irish wit.

Excerpt

Chapter 10

“Have you got any books on how to follow somebody?”
The woman behind the counter pulled a face like Paul had just shat in her hand and asked her to clap. She had a couple of facial piercings, and her dyed red hair looked like three different hairdressers had fought it out to an unhappy stalemate on her head.
“Who wants to know?” she said.
“Ehm, I do,” said Paul. He would have thought that was obvious.
“Did Maureen send you? She accuses me of harassment and then she sends someone to my work? That is fucking typical!”
“No, no I—”
The girl leaned forward on her high stool, and jabbed at the wooden counter-top with her finger.
“You tell Maureen that I’ve as much right to go to an exhibition on the depiction of the female form in African culture as she does. It’s not my fault that her and that… thing, were there.”
“Right. I’ve not been sent by anybody, I promise. I just really need a book on how to follow somebody.”
“Really?” she eyed him suspiciously.
“This is a book shop, isn’t it?”
She looked around, as if confirming that his story was indeed correct. Paul looked around too, just to double-check that he really had walked into a three-storey building filled with books that were available for purchase. The assistant’s level of aggression would have been nearly justifiable if he’d mistakenly gone into a delicatessen. Perhaps she didn’t work there at all. Maybe she’d just wandered in and thought the stool behind the register was a good place to read her graphic novel.
“Is everything OK, Lianne?”
The question had come from a tall, bespectacled man that had been rearranging a stack of Dan Brown books in the large display window with the enthusiasm of a vegetarian working in an abattoir. His facial expression carried clearly legible overtones of ‘what now?’ Lianne waved back nervously. “Yeah, fine, Gerald. I’m just helping this gentleman with something.” She lowered her voice. “C’mon.”
She led Paul around the corner into the children’s section.
“And you’re sure you’re not here about Maureen?”
“I don’t know anything about your ex-girlfriend.”
“Woah, how did you know Maureen was my ex-girlfriend?”
“I’m a private detective,” said Paul, feeling slightly smug about it.
“And you don’t know how to follow somebody?”
“It’s my first day.”

My Thoughts

The Day That Never Comes is the second instalment of Caimh McDonnell’s The Dublin Trilogy and sees the very welcome return of Paul Mulchrone, Brigit Conroy and Bunny McGarry and a fantastic new character in the form of Maggie the German Shepherd. While really looking forward to reading this second book, I did wonder if it could live up to its predecessor A Man With One Of Those Faces. It not only lives up to it, in my opinion, it’s even better! If you haven’t read the first book, The Day That Never Comes does work as a standalone, however you’re missing out if you haven’t read the first.

A businessman is found dead and tortured in Dublin during a time in which the citizens have had enough of austerity measures and the corruption of MP’s and businesses. Amidst this Paul is trying to get the private investigation company he, Brigit and Bunny set up, there is, however, a problem…Brigit has fallen out with him, Bunny is missing and Paul is a hopeless private investigator! What follows is a rip-roaring read that combines gripping thriller with incredible wit.

McDonnell draws you in immediately with a prologue that sets the scene perfectly, leaving you intrigued and just having to read more. His writing is second to none and all of the chapters are perfectly paced with the right hooks at the end of each. There are a few threads and storylines running, however, it is easy to keep track and they all complement each other perfectly.

Full of fantastic characters that, while they have their flaws, are incredibly likeable. You find yourself really rooting for them and get totally involved in their antics. Maggie the dog is brilliant and her antics had me crying with laughter. I felt sad when I had finished the book and had to say goodbye to Paul and the rest of the gang!

There is an additional layer to The Day That Never Comes as it addresses some current and relevant political and societal issues, resulting in a novel that is also thought-provoking. McDonnell makes this subject accessible and interesting via the nature of his humour and writing.

I loved this book! It is rip-roaringly funny and yet at the same time totally gripping. McDonnell’s talent is such that he pulls this combination off flawlessly. I really enjoyed A Man With One Of Those Faces but in my humble opinion The Day That Never Comes is even better. I really can’t wait for the third instalment of The Dublin Trilogy and McDonnell is a force to be reckoned with. Absolutely fantastic!

The Day That Never Comes is published on 23 January 2017 by McFori Ink.
A huge thank you to Caimh McDonnell and Elaine Ofari for the advance copy in exchange for my review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

You can purchase a copy of The Day That Never Comes  HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

Promo

If you haven’t read A Man With One Of Those Faces what are you waiting for? A Man With One Of Those Faces is available for 99p/99c from 23 – 30 January!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the Author

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Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.

His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League Of Their Own, Mock The week and Have I Got News For You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Follow Caimh’s witterings on @caimh

Facebook: @CaimhMcD 

Be sure to follow the rest of the tour…

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Book Review – The Lost Daughter Of India by Sharon Maas

The Lost Daughter of India

The Blurb

When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He’s enchanting, charismatic and she can’t wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they’ll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha.

Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind.

Ten years later…

Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have a chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years until now.

A heart-breaking and beautifully written story of loss, secrets and the strength of a mother’s love against all odds. If you enjoyed Diane Chamberlain and Lucinda Riley then this book will find its way into your heart and stay there.

My Thoughts

‘Bombay, or Mumbai, as it is now to be called, was the enemy. She arrived prepared to do battle, prepared to wrest from its bowels that precious jewel, her Asha.’

Sharon Maas has done it again with The Lost Daughter Of India, having created a heart-felt, intensely moving, beautifully written novel.

When American Caroline meets Indian Kamal, she believes her childhood dreams of India have come true. After marrying, giving birth to their daughter Asha and settling in a small village in India, she realises that this is not the life she wanted, compounded by her struggle to adjust to motherhood. Returning to America, leaving her daughter behind with the family they have resided with, things later go awry when Asha goes missing in India and Caroline, Kamal and Asha’s foster-sister Janiki try desperately to find her. What follows is a gripping story of secrets, regret and desperation in a country of contrasts.

The Lost Daughter Of India is not always a comfortable book to read as it addresses some of the horrifying aspects of India and the way it treats some of its women and children. It touches on topics that are not easy to come to terms with and that are, sadly, a reality for many Indian children, however it is done with sensitivity and understanding.

Told from the perspectives of Asha, Caroline, Kamal and Janiki, Asha’s foster-sister, with Asha’s parts told in first person narrative, Sharon has created well-rounded characters. The impact their different cultures have had on each of them come across perfectly. Asha’s parts really struck me as you feel as though you are actually sat with Asha as she tells her story. She becomes more than a character in a book due to Sharon’s way of having Asha address the reader directly. I really liked this as it ensured that I was fully invested emotionally in Asha’s story and plight. Caroline is at times unrealistic and I didn’t agree with some of her decisions, however I found myself questioning my own views and wondering if I was coming from a very western point of view as a result.

The Lost Daughter of India would make a great book for a reading group as it touches on various themes—attachment difficulties between mother and child, child trafficking, the impact of culture on behaviour and views—that are thought-provoking and ripe for discussion. The downside to reading advance copies of books is being unable to talk about it with someone else who has read it. This is one of those books you really want to get into a conversation about.

And then there is the writing. You are immediately drawn into the book from the prologue. Sharon’s enchanting and rich descriptions evoke all of the sights, sounds, colours and smells of India. As Caroline’s nanny reads to her and Caroline talks about how the book makes her feel, she could be describing how her own books make me feel. Sharon writes about India wonderfully, getting across the dual nature of this country of contrasts perfectly and it made me feel really emotional!

‘Two-faced India, gentle and brutal, gloriously beautiful, hideously ugly. The India that kissed you on one cheek and slapped you on the other. The India that soothed your soul one day and ripped it to shreds the next. The India that nourished your senses and starved your ego, kicking it into the ground.’

The difficulty of finding Asha is portrayed beautifully through the prose, with Sharon illustrating the importance of the setting in such a way that India takes on a life of its own and becomes omnipresent.

I loved The Lost Daughter Of India. It is poignant, evocative, beautiful yet shocking and intelligently and sensitively written. It is all-absorbing, gripping and emotionally charged – an absolute must read and I just hope I have done it justice in this review.

Thank you to Sharon Maas, Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Published on 20 January 2017 by Bookouture.

You can purchase a copy HERE.

Review – Cold Calling by Russell Mardell

Cold Calling Cover

The Blurb

Still reeling from is break-up with the love of his life, insurance firm cold-caller Ray English has become a bit of a screw up.  Cynical and withdrawn, Ray is aimlessly drifting through life in London with his long suffering best friend, Danny.  However, once he is asked to reform his college band for a friend’s wedding, Ray is soon forced to face up to his old life, and the hometown he had tried so hard to turn his back on.  Anya Belmont is a woman with a secret and a history that continues to shape her life.  A coffee shop owner in Salisbury, Anya is successful, yet bored; married, yet lonely.  She is also slowly being driven to distraction by her highly temperamental friend, the child-hating children’s author, Eva Cunningham.  Through fate, coincidence or just bad timing, Ray and Anya’s lives begin to change when Ray cold calls Anya and the two strike up a seemingly innocuous conversation.  Against their better judgement, their conversation is soon the start of a relationship played out over the phone.  But can there ever be anything real in a phone call? A sharp-witted, saccharine-free, thoroughly modern tale of lost loves and found friendships.

My Thoughts

Cold Calling by Russell Mardell is a sardonic observation of life, love and friendship with wry humour and moments of perfectly placed astuteness.

Ray is still getting over his ex-girlfriend five years after they split up. Seeing a counsellor, it is Anya, a woman he ‘meets’ over the telephone during a cold call he makes as part of his job in an insurance company who helps him achieve the closure he needs while Anya finds the courage to discuss a part of her life which she had kept to herself. A friendship is established between Ray and Anya despite them never meeting.

Cold Calling is quite unlike anything I have read before. It is told in first person narrative by four different people – Ray, Anya, Ray’s friend and flatmate Danny and Anya’s author friend Eva – with the main story line centring around the phone calls between the main characters. The characterisation is fantastic with each bringing their own unique voice and perspective to the story which serves to add a wider perspective and humour. Ray is a little bit of a screw up, his relationship with Katie was not long lasting and yet his life has been on hold for the five years since they split up. Anya has issues of her own she is dealing with and her friendship with Ray allows her the opportunity to find the courage to discuss her issues with her long standing friend, Eva. Eva is a successful author, but not in the genre she wants to write. Like a petulant, spoilt child she is infuriating and yet funny and Mardell’s observations of the world of writing for a living made me laugh. The characters are likeable and not perfect which gives them an authenticity.

While in the main humorous, there are touching moments throughout the book. Ray’s memories of his grandfather and the words of wisdom he gave to him before his death are told in a down to earth way and yet have a real depth and genuineness to them.

The nature of friendship plays a central role in this book. We accept and love our friends despite their flaws and foibles. They may drive us mad but we stick with them and support them.

A great light read – if you are after a book that is different, witty and gives accurate observations on life and love look no further that Russell Mardell’s Cold Calling.

A huge thank you to Russell Mardell for the copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Published on 18 February 2016 by Troubador Publishing.

Blog Tour – Witness by Caroline Mitchell *Review*

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I’m so pleased to finally be able to share my review of Witness by Caroline Mitchell as one of today’s hosts of the blog tour alongside Kate at Bibliophile Book Club.  So without further ado I will tell you what Witness is about and my thoughts on it.

The Blurb

To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse.  To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.

It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away.  Enough time for nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.

Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom – but it’s not her phone.  Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime.  And, to make matters worse, she has to chose the victims.

‘Fail to respond and you get hurt.  Talk to the police and you die.  Ready to play?  You have sixty seconds to decide…

As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.

My Thoughts

Just how far would you go to protect your family? Rebecca finds herself having to answer this question in Caroline Mitchell’s searing new psychological thriller Witness.

When Rebecca’s abusive ex-partner Solomon is released from prison after serving time for murder, the new and safe life she has built up over the course of ten years comes crashing down around her. Hell bent on revenge after Rebecca’s testimony put him away, Solomon demands that Rebecca become a silent witness to ten crimes…with her choosing the victims. Afraid of the consequences of not complying with his demands and the impact on her family Rebecca feels she has no choice but take part in his sick game.

Witness had me totally hooked from the prologue and whispering ‘oh my God!’ to my Kindle at 3 percent. Caroline pulls you into the story from the first paragraph and she doesn’t let you go until you have devoured the whole book. A totally unique and compelling storyline Witness has you thinking about your morals and dying to have the ‘what would you do?’ discussion with someone else who has read it.

Perfectly structured with a dual timeline that switches between the present and the past, the reader is given real insight into the nature of Rebecca and Solomon’s past relationship – how it began, progressed and evolved – evoking empathy with Rebecca and adding to the understanding of Rebecca’s reaction to the situation she is in. Told by Rebecca in first person narrative and Solomon in third person narrative, Witness seamlessly flows while ensuring the reader stays with the predicament Rebecca is in while also getting a look at the mindset of Solomon. I always love it when the bad guy features as I’m intrigued by them and Caroline doesn’t disappoint. Needless to say the characterisation is great.

It is clear that Caroline has worked with those who have suffered domestic abuse as she writes with an insight and an understanding about the issue. Acknowledging that there is so much more to domestic abuse than physical attacks, the emotional, sexual, financial abuse and complete control that often features in abusive relationships are all demonstrated in the relationship between Rebecca and Solomon. The fact that their relationship begins when Rebecca is at a particularly vulnerable time in her life is realistically portrayed. Solomon’s tale is one of generational abuse and the impact of a child’s tenuous attachment to their parents.

I absolutely loved the premise of Rebecca having to decide who would be the victims of the crimes she is forced to witness. As Rebecca tried to make her decisions based on her morals and who is and isn’t deserving it becomes clear that appearances can often be deceptive. I really felt the dilemmas Rebecca faced each time a message came through on her phone, along with her guilt.

The tension is palpable throughout, along with the ever growing fear that Rebecca feels when her own safety and those she loves is put in jeopardy. The isolation of her home is the perfect setting to add to the unease the reader feels.

Caroline has written a first class psychological thriller and the absolute definition of a page-turner.  Witness is all-absorbing, completely gripping and thought-provoking, I absolutely loved it. You really need to read this book!

A huge thank you to Caroline Mitchell and Thomas and Mercer for the advance copy and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Published on Ebook and paperback on 20 December 2016  by Thomas and Mercer.

You can purchase a copy HERE.

A massive thank you to Caroline Mitchell for inviting me to take part in the Witness blog tour.  Be sure to catch the other bloggers on the tour.

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Review – The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

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The Blurb

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava.  Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life.  She just doesn’t know it yet…

My Thoughts

The Christmas Promise was, I have to say, a delightful surprise. I was expecting a fluffy romance, which don’t get me wrong is fine, however Sue Moorcroft has written a romantic winter tale that incorporates some serious issues which gives it a real depth.

Ava Blissham does not like Christmas and this year the festive period looks as though it is going to be more challenging than ever. Struggling to make a living from her hat-making business and being harassed by her awful ex-boyfriend, Harvey, Ava wishes she could ignore Christmas. However, this may unexpectedly turn out to be the best Christmas ever…

Sue has created a fantastic cast of characters. Ava is extremely likeable and she quickly felt like a friend, Sam is wonderful as the man to restore your faith in men and yet they are not perfect which makes you warm to them even more. The group of family and friends surrounding the main characters are equally enjoyable and add to the whole depth of the story. Along with wonderful descriptions that create the setting, The Christmas Promise quickly becomes a book that you become fully immersed in.

The story is completely absorbing with the main characters having to overcome their own difficulties and the right amount of ‘will they/won’t they’ romance. I got totally wrapped up in the story and had to know what the outcome would be for Ava and Sam.

Through her writing, Sue was able to evoke some strong emotions within me as she touches on subjects which can potentially effect everyone. The way in which she describes the character’s emotions provide moving moments in which I, as the reader, felt every bit of what they were going through.

Despite the serious subjects that make up part of the story line, The Christmas Promise is never maudlin and the touches of humour through characters such as Booby Ruby make this the perfect mix of moving and uplifting.

Hope, love and friendship with a touch of romance set against the backdrop of Christmas make The Christmas Promise a great festive read. Hats off to Sue Moorcroft for writing a wonderful Christmas novel!

Huge thanks to Sue Moorcroft and Helena Sheffield at Avon Books for the advance copy. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Published by Avon books The Christmas Promise is out now on ebook and paperback and you can purchase a copy HERE.

Review – A Man With One Of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell

A Man With One Of those Faces

The Blurb

The first time somebody tried to kill him it was an accident.

The second time was deliberate.

Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence.  Together, they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history…

…or else they’ll be history.

My Thoughts

A Man With One Of Those Faces is the debut novel by Caimh McDonnell, a stand up comedian. I was curious as to how a comic would create a crime novel and the answer is…uniquely and brilliantly!

Almost killed by accident then pursued by a notorious gangland criminal in a case of mistaken identity, Paul Mulchrone, the central character, has to be the unluckiest man alive! Along with Brigit Conroy, a nurse with a penchant for crime novels and Bunny McGarry, an over-zealous, not ‘always-by-the-book’ copper Paul must solve an historical, notorious crime in order not to be killed.

A Man With One Of Those Faces is not, however, your average crime novel. It comes with a wicked sense of Irish humour that has you laughing out loud whilst also keeping you gripped to the crime aspect of the story. I was immediately drawn into the first chapter and compelled to keep reading due to the perfect combination of wit and mystery. Used to crime and thrillers novels that are serious in tone, I loved this mix and Caimh pulls it off perfectly.

Full of fantastic characters – including an 83 year old influenced by programmes such as The Wire and Sons Of Anarchy – I felt a real affection for Paul, Brigit and Bunny and am pleased we will be seeing more from them in Caimh’s next novel. The humour certainly added to the affinity I felt for them and Paul‘s back story is intriguing.

Don’t be fooled though by all my talk of comedy, this is also a thrilling novel and I had no idea how it would turn out. A Man With One Of Those Faces hooked me in quickly and kept me guessing right to the very end. With chapters that are the perfect length and end at exactly the right moment and well paced prose this is also a great crime novel with perfect timing.

Gangland criminals, mistaken identity, an unsolved mystery mixed with cracking Irish humour that reminded me of Father Ted make A Man With One Of Those Faces a fantastic novel. Simultaneously making you roar with laughter and bite your nails, Caimh’s debut is quite unlike anything I have read before and it’s a belter. Can’t wait for the second novel.

A huge thank you to Caimh McDonnell for a the copy of A Man With One Of Those Faces in exchange for my honest review.

Published on 27 August 2016 by McFori Ink.

You can purchase a copy from Amazon UK and Amazon.com

Review – Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell

Love you to death

The Blurb

Twenty years ago you were forced to give your daughter up.  Now she’s back.  Or is she?

Women who’ve had to give up children for adoption are being killed.  A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never give up.

East London detective Ruby Preston and her team must hunt down a disturbed individual before someone else is taken.  But when bodies start turning up, staged in perfect, domestic scenes it carries the echo of a memory in Ruby’s mind.  The tinkling of a music box.  A mother and a child reunion…

Then just as Ruby thinks they’ve made a breakthrough, she receives a sinister email, and the case takes a terrifying personal twist.

Can Ruby catch the killer before they strike again? Or will her troubled past catch up with her first?

My Thoughts

In Love You To Death Caroline Mitchell introduces us to DS Ruby Preston in the first volume of her new crime series. A detective in the Shoreditch Serious Crime Squad, DS Ruby Preston and her team have to solve the ‘door-knocker’ murders following the death of a woman and her husband. As the bodies start to stack up, it is clear that a deranged and deluded killer is behind them and they must race to catch her.

These are not, however, straight forward killings. All of the victims are women who gave up a child for adoption and Lucy, the killer, is posing as their long lost daughter. But why is she targeting women who are not her mother? This is a deliciously twisted tale with a truly chilling perpetrator. Lucy is unnerving, has a totally skewed view of life and is very bitter. Caroline has created a creepy, totally deranged protagonist who sent shivers down my spine. I loved the way that the story did not just centre on the detective side of things and that we also get to follow the killer and get her point of view. I felt for her at times, she has been dealt a bad blow in life, and the revulsion I felt for her was interspersed at times with sympathy.

I really enjoyed getting to know a new character and Ruby is great. Caroline has created an interesting character in Ruby. She is not perfect and her life is littered with complications, some of which serve to complicate this murder inquiry, and I look forward to getting to know her better in future books. The back story Caroline has created for Ruby has definitely piqued my interest and I feel there is a lot more to come. Ruby’s situation added an extra element to the book and made the story even more interesting.

I don’t want to say too much about the story and the characters as you need to discover this cracking book for yourself but I will say it is fast paced, full of twists and turns and will give you the heebie-jeebies. It kept me on the edge of my seat, had me guessing right until the end and was impossible to put down. In I Love You To Death, Caroline has created the start of what promises to be a fantastic series. Roll on the next instalment!

A huge thank you to Caroline Mitchell, Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance copy.

Published on 11 November 2016 by Bookouture.

You can buy a copy HERE.