Getting to Know You with Paul Harrison. Revenge of the Malakim blog tour.

Today I’m very happy to be getting to know Paul Harrison – author of Revenge of the Malakim.

Tell us a little about your current novel, what readers can expect from it..

It’s an exciting, and fast paced, police procedural, with lots of surprises, twists and turns, that should keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Based in Bridlington, in the fictional police area of Eastborough, it’s summer. The streets of the town are filled with tourists, and… a serial killer with a difference. This one, likes to get up close and personal with each victim. As the murders move around the country, to Leeds, Kettering, and London. Newly promoted DCI Will Scott and his team have their work cut out in catching the elusive killer.

Where did you grow up and what was family life like?

I’m originally from Carlisle, in Cumbria, but spent a lot of my life in Leeds. Family life as a child, was a challenge, to say the least. However, I came through it and still laugh, dance and dream, now, I have a wonderful family of my own.

Academic or creative at school?

Definitely creative. I was a non-studious schoolboy. Too busy larking about.

First job you *really* wanted to do?

It might sound obvious, but being a writer is brilliant. Every path of my life provided experiences that led me towards fulfilling my dream job.

Do you remember the moment you first wanted to write?

Yes, I always enjoyed writing, it first happened one night, when I was on duty as a police officer. I entered a short story competition, writing it during my break. I submitted it, and won. That was it. I have written ever since.

Who are your real life heroes?

There’s been a few, however, my German Shepherd dog, George, attacked two burglars in my home who, at the time were in the process of beating me up. My injuries were genuinely serious, the doctors said that George undoubtedly saved my life. He’s a top dog.

Funniest or most embarrassing situation you’ve found yourself in?

I have a large library of true crime books, around four thousands books. I have these lined up in bookcases. Once when my house was for sale, an interested party, a young woman, viewed the house. As we entered the library, she saw not only my book collection, but the covers from my true books on display. As she looked over at me, I smiled. Only to realise, she thought I may be a serial killer. She left the house before I could explain. Needless to say, she didn’t buy the house.

DIY expert or phone a friend?

I’d phone a friend every time. I can’t hammer a nail without hitting my thumb!

Sun worshipper or night owl?

I love the sunshine and I love my night time sleep, so its a no brainer, this one.

A book that had you in tears.

It’s going to sound soppy, but I loved Marley and Me. I love dogs, they are a big part of my life.

A book that made you laugh out loud.

Pies and Prejudice – In Search of the North. by Stuart Maconie. So accurate, and hilarious.

One piece of life advice you give everyone

Never, ever, give up on your dream. In life, there are two types of people, radiators and drains, listen to the radiators, ignore the drains.

Thanks so much!

About the Book:

It’s high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems.

Publisher – Williams & Whiting

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Deadly Game Matt Johnson. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now From Orenda

Source: Review Copy

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate.

Deadly Game continues the story started in Wicked Game (highly recommended from me) and also takes a dark yet realistic look at the world of sex trafficking. As such it is a hard hitting novel but done with genuine thought and feeling to the subject matter, is endlessly fascinating and a totally gripping read.

I was and still am a big fan of Matt Johnson’s first novel in the Robert Finlay series but with Deadly Game he takes things both up and down a notch – emotionally speaking this is on a whole new level, with less action but more considered, brutally and beautifully authentic prose that really delves into the themes within the story and keeps you totally immersed throughout. Another book I read fast, not wanting to put it down until I was done.

Robert Finlay as a character, well, so refreshing to read a main protagonist within a thriller who is not any one thing. He has a depth that is not seen so much, a wonderfully likely outlook considering the background the author has given him, every action he takes and thought he has makes sense in the wider picture, he is both sympathetic and intriguing. He anchors us in the moment, keeping the reader emotionally invested. That is some brilliant writing right there.

Whilst we all love a good edge of the seat thriller a la Lee Child, for me the kind of novels Matt writes are more in my ballpark, I want that emotive edge and that sense of genuine involvement. Proving here that you can give multiple layers to the crime thriller genre and still not lose the thrill aspect, a thing that whilst it is not rare is not common either, Deadly Game comes highly recommended by me. I can’t speak for anyone else but I simply can’t wait for the next one, to see the bigger picture the author is creating here and because seriously, its just a damned fine read. Don’t miss it.

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Jeopardy Surface Sheri Leigh Horn. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Perpetuity

Source: Review Copy (E-book)

It’s the witching hour and Special Agent Regan Ross is having a WTF kind of night. Morning? How the hell did she get from her bed to her front yard? And why is she holding a loaded firearm? Sleepwalking doesn’t bode well for the rising star in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, but whatever is causing her recent weight loss and bizarre nocturnal activities will have to wait. The phone is ringing. It’s probably her sister Erin, the surgeon who knows best, demanding to know her plans for the holidays. Why would this year be any different? They’ll spend the somber anniversary and Christmas like always—drinking too much, watching Turner Classic Movies, and not talking about their dead parents. Caller ID provides yet another surprise.

Hearing Special Agent Robert Haskins’ voice for the first time in six months has Regan reeling. The mention of Maryland’s Eastern Shore conjures images of Jennifer Abbott, the student-athlete whose disappearance from a small campus is national news. There are complications. For starters, her areas of expertise—geographic profiling and predictive analysis—require a lot of information from a series of crimes. Single murders typically aren’t her purview and involving herself in an investigation to which she has not been officially assigned will send the BAU chief’s blood pressure through the roof.  She should say no, but she won’t.

Really enjoyed this start to a new series of novels featuring highly intriguing main protagonist Regan Ross, whose specialty within the FBI is slightly different to that which you normally see in crime books and gave the premise an inventive cutting edge.

This is one of those fast flowing novels that you pick up then read in a gulp – the mystery elements are clever, the character building is particularly good – and I was completely engaged by the whole geographical profiling thing – its not that I’ve never seen it in other novels but not so far as the main focus so it made it really compelling.

Its nice when you get something different – It was easy to get behind Regan who has some rather tangled up issues but deals with them in her own way and I liked the tie between her and Haskins, it kept the underneath of the book going really well.

Great writing and a diversion from the norm in crime thrillers. Excellent stuff. Bring on the next book is what I say.

Recommended.

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The Roanoke Girls Blog Tour. Editorial Interview.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel is one of the most emotional and thought provoking reads of 2017 so far for me, today as part of the blog tour I’m talking to the editor who helped bring it all to fruition – Emily Kitchin. Thanks so much Emily!

So we are talking about The Roanoke Girls today – beautifully written and hard hitting emotionally, tell us a bit about what you thought when you first read it in the early stages.

The Roanoke Girls drew me in immediately. One of the first things we find out is that Lane (the main character)’s mother has died: ‘The second time I saw Roanoke was a month after my mother committed suicide… Her death showed a kind of dedication, a purpose, I’d never seen from her in life.’ The starkness of that, and the fact that Lane seems quite indifferent to her death, intrigued me straight away, and I knew that this was going to be one of those books I wouldn’t be able to put down. As well as Amy’s beautiful, suspenseful writing, the dark mystery of the Roanoke girls, and the curse which has befallen the family over generations (either the girls run away, or they die), made for incredibly compelling and disturbing reading. I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages – and I knew that this was a book I had to publish!

Now we can’t really talk about the central premise to this without spoilers so maybe we can talk around it a bit – The Roanoke Girls is really less psychological thriller and more pure character study, the Roanoke Girls seemingly having huge privilege but there are huge costs as well – how well do you think this author has captured that, made it real.

This is a great question! One of the things I love most about The Roanoke Girls is the way that Amy creates this image of the Roanoke women as these beautiful, privileged creatures, who all share the same long, dark hair and ice-blue eyes, who are all envied and lusted after by the men and women of the small Kansas town where the book is set – but that image is underpinned by darkness. On the surface, the girls seem to have it all – but underneath they’re all damaged in different ways, all suffering. The contrast between their beauty and the disturbed, twisted legacy of the Roanoke family is utterly chilling, and it’s what gives the book its power.

Looking at the final version in comparison to the original work, can you talk a little about the editing process, which I know I find fascinating having been delving into that a little myself lately – as an Editor, what is your first job when reading a manuscript you are going to work on?

In this case, The Roanoke Girls was edited by Amy’s US editor – the brilliant Hilary Teeman at Crown in the US. Hilary had already edited the book before we acquired the rights. In general, if I’m editing an author’s work, I read the manuscript once without making any notes – I’m reading it and responding to it as a regular reader would. Then I go back through it and evaluate it critically, making notes which will eventually become an editorial letter, which often goes alongside a line edit of the manuscript using tracked changes.

It is a very collaborative process – how important is the relationship between author and editor, and how did you and Amy bond?

The relationship between author and editor is the most important one there is. It’s often said that for an author, trusting an editor with their book is a bit like trusting them with their child… and I think there’s some truth in that. The author has worked on this project for ages, and it’s something they’re incredibly close to – and they have to trust their editor to totally ‘get’ their vision, and be proactive and passionate and strategic in publishing it. I’ve been lucky to work with Amy on two novels already – her brilliant young adult duology, The Book of Ivy – so we already had a good working relationship, which I’m pleased to say has stepped up a notch with our publication of The Roanoke Girls. My team and I are also sure to be very communicative with Amy, her agent and Crown’s team, too, so hopefully Amy feels supported and in the loop at all times, and process on both sides of the Atlantic feels very collaborative and joined-up.

How would you describe The Roanoke Girls to someone who is considering reading it?

I would describe it as a darkly disturbing, suspenseful mystery about the deeply twisted secrets families keep – beautifully written, incredibly atmospheric, and not for the faint-hearted! This is a book which will imprint itself on your soul and stay with you long after you turn the last page. And I’d say that if you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn, The Virgin Suicides or Flowers in the Attic, it’s a book which you’ll love.

Thank you!

About the Book:

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

Read My Review

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The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman. Blog Tour interview with Mindy Mejia.

Today I am VERY happy to welcome Mindy Mejia to the blog talking about her brilliant novel The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman.

 

Tell us a little about what started Hattie’s story in your head – was it her as a character that began the journey or was it a hint of an idea?

I grew up in a small town surrounded by a lot of farmland. There was one decrepit barn that stood at the edge of a pond. Every year the barn seemed to sink a little further into the water and that was the initial image I had for this story, of Hattie’s body in that barn.

In the novel she is very divisive, on one hand very innocent but on the other can be manipulative – if you had to describe her personality in one short paragraph what would you say?

Hattie is a natural actress, a people pleaser, but she doesn’t inhabit her roles altruistically. She does it because she’s persuasive enough to get away with it, which feeds into a bit of her natural teenage narcissism. The truth is that she’s sometimes a victim of her own manipulations. She believes what she’s selling, and that’s makes her very compelling.

The events that unfold in the novel are very emotive and have some intriguing themes running through them – not least the differing relationships Hattie has with those around her. How much do you think that our interactions with those close to us change our perceptions, and how much do you think is just ingrained in ourselves. OOH look that was quite a deep question don’t worry the next one will be easier…

Okay, (big breath), let’s paddle into the deep end of the pool. One of the major themes of this book is identity, and I think it’s commonly perceived as a static thing—that our personalities and behaviors come from some fixed noun that we think of as our ‘self’—when actually we are much more like verbs. We are bundles of dynamic, changing energy and of course we change as we respond to those around us. Hattie is more changeable than most of us, but we are all affected by our relationships. As humans we have to keep growing and evolving. The idea of a static personality means your brain is done breathing. (Swimming frantically back to the shallow end.)

What do you hope that people will take away from Hattie? Ok that wasn’t THAT much easier, the next one will be I promise!

Marginally easier. High expectations for the next question now. We all look for an escape when we pick up a novel, and I think the best fiction has the power to set us back in our worlds with new eyes and a greater sense of empathy, because we’ve just walked in someone else’s shoes. For a small town, there’s a fairly big cast of characters in HATTIE and I hope readers will empathize with at least one of them. Maybe even one they didn’t expect to.

Do you read avidly yourself? If so are there one or two novels you’ve read recently that you would like to recommend? See that one was easier, yes?

Finally! Yes, I would read all day if I could. I finished GOOD AS GONE by Amy Gentry recently and that was an addictive, utterly absorbing read. Her use of the dual POV in diverging timelines is mesmerizing.

Finally, just for a bit of fun, tell us 3 things about you that are unlikely to come up generally when you are promoting the book.

1. I enjoy reading the reasoning in U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

2. I can purchase train tickets in Japanese.

3. Olives are disgusting. That’s not something about me. It’s just something everyone else needs to realize.

Thanks so much!

Thanks for having me on your blog!

Read my Review HERE

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All Our Wrong Today’s – Elan Mastai. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Michael Joseph

Source: Review Copy

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have.

But it never should’ve turned out like this. And it’s all my fault – well, me and to a lesser extent my father.

And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

In both worlds, she’s the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist.

I have one impossible chance to fix history’s greatest mistake and save this broken world.

Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever – and I have absolutely no idea which to choose . . .

Beautifully done. Think Sliding Doors with added geekery and a wonderfully written deftly developed plot using a clear and funny character voice.

Poor Tom. He’s a bit useless really. So you probably don’t want him messing around with timelines and technology but he has an impressively intelligent and famous Father and is constantly wandering about in his shadow and disappointing him. Then Tom falls in love. What happens next is funny, engaging, full of little life insights and a whole lot of joy to read.

The humour is quirky and ironic, the time travel aspects are full of scientific what if scenario’s (except here of course the what if’s are actually happening) this is a love story on a sugar high (but not at all saccharine) Elan Mastai has an unconventional slightly wacky writing style that immerses you into Tom’s world and has you rooting for him all the way.

The short snappy chapters make this an ideal book for bedtime (or anytime that you just want to have a fast moment of indulgence reading) and also keep the story flowing out in somewhat linear style. The world Tom occupies is a strange utopia, an impressively imagined one, then of course being Tom he goes and messes around with things. Almost casually, often on a whim, sometimes through sheer emotional frustration. As a character he has many levels and I loved reading his story.

Overall All Our Wrong Today’s is a beauty of a read. Different, peculiar, often bizarre but ever bewitching, the kind of utterly captivating read you need to take you away from the mundane routine of life. I loved it.

Highly Recommended.

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Stasi Wolf – Interview with David Young

Today I’m VERY happy to be having a chat to David Young all about his follow up novel to Stasi Child, the pretty brilliant Stasi Wolf.

RIGHT so (hey I’m actually going to write a review to go along with these, just mere weeks after reading it – I must be unwell) but let’s get right to the heart of things. The main premise for Stasi Wolf is emotionally hard hitting and could be said to make for traumatic reading, but as last time is utterly gripping. Tell me a bit about what made you go with that central theme. Without spoilers. It is a challenge.

There were three things that fed into it. Two real-life murder cases, and also a feeling that I wanted to explore the after effects of WW2 on East Germany, particularly on women as my main detective protagonist is female. The idea of babies going missing from a hospital was inspired by a real-life case of multiple infanticide at a Leipzig hospital where the Stasi took over the investigation to keep it secret, and avoid alarming the public. Little was known about this until last month when it featured in a German TV documentary, so I was slightly ahead of the game (for once!).

Karin goes through the mill in this instalment – is a very different person at the end of it, her story arc was one of the best parts of Stasi Wolf for me – how do you see her progress and what might be next for her?

I think she becomes a different character quite quickly in this book. She’s forced to impose herself — at the start she doesn’t have Tilsner as her crutch. She learns a lot more about her family background too — some of it quite shocking. I suspect her story arc may not be as dramatic in Book 3. She is still part of the system. Her every move will be a compromise. But there are more shocks in store as the series develops. Some characters will reappear from Stasi Child through the series — some of whom you might have thought you’d said goodbye to.

The historical aspects as ever are brilliantly done – how much research and hair clutching goes into making it so authentic?

I do carry out extensive research, and I enjoy it. But my books aren’t fictionalisation of real stories, unlike some historical fiction. I use real stories as springboards and then extrapolate them. Hopefully the overall framework has an air of authenticity — that’s what I strive for. Some East Germans who’ve read the books agree, some don’t! But then people’s own memories of the GDR vary hugely depending on their own experiences. At the end of the day, my stories are fiction, so I don’t pull my hair out over it. I hope anyone reading my books would be inspired to seek out the real history, but no-one should accept a novel as historical fact without questioning it.

What is your favourite part of the writing process?

Thinking up the story and then writing the first draft. It’s very exciting creating this new world. I hate the editing process — although I recognise its necessity and value. I long for the time when an editor comes back without any suggested changes. It’ll never happen!

Finally, can you tell us anything about what is next for you?

I’ve just signed a new three book deal, although one of those is the third book from the first deal, renegotiated at a higher rate thanks to the success of Stasi Child. I’m about to start a redraft of Book 3, which takes Müller to the far east of the GDR, on the Polish border. And I’m researching and then writing Book 4, which again springs from horrific events in WW2.

Thanks lovely David – I’ll have that blog post from you soon right? 😉

You haven’t asked me for one! As soon as you do, it will be there by return of post (if you believe that, you’ll believe anything!)

About the Book:

East Germany, 1975. Karin Müller, sidelined from the murder squad in Berlin, jumps at the chance to be sent south to Halle-Neustadt, where a pair of infant twins have gone missing.

But Müller soon finds her problems have followed her. Halle-Neustadt is a new town – the pride of the communist state – and she and her team are forbidden by the Stasi from publicising the disappearances, lest they tarnish the town’s flawless image.

Meanwhile, in the eerily nameless streets and tower blocks, a child snatcher lurks, and the clock is ticking to rescue the twins alive . .

Stasi Wolf is just brilliant – and rather emotional to be honest – first of all our favourite (well mine anyway) Karin gets all sorts of life hiccups thrown at her here and during all that she is on the trail of some missing children – but in her world things are never straight forward with the Stasi looking over her shoulder at every turn.

The writing in these is pitch perfect – engaging, historically authentic and I think it is the subtle nuances of the scene setting that make these so addictive – in Stasi Wolf perhaps even more than in Stasi Child because you’ve already absorbed some of the history and have an inkling at what our characters are going to face. David Young paces things brilliantly, throws some real curveballs your way, all the while tugging at the heartstrings with a heart breaker of a tale and an incredibly emotive ending.

If you want tough, clever historical crime novels these are the books for you.

Highly Recommended.

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25708878

East Berlin, 1975

When Oberleutnant Karin Müller is called to investigate a teenage girl’s body at the foot of the wall, she imagines she’s seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other: the girl was trying to escape – but from the West.

Müller is a member of the national police, but the case has Stasi written all over it. Karin is tasked with uncovering the identity of the girl, but her Stasi handlers assure her that the perpetrators are from the West ­- and strongly discourage her asking questions.

The evidence doesn’t add up, and Muller soon realises the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Muller doesn’t realise that the trail she’s following will lead her dangerously close to home . . .

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Cursed Thomas Enger. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: May 2017 from Orenda Books.

Source: Review Copy

When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests. Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.

Oh I DEVOURED this one. I’ll let you into a little secret, I’m terribly disorganised and only realised  at the beginning of this week that I was supposed to be doing this today. Good job its a damned fine bit of storytelling as I read it in 3 hours straight on Monday evening. Sssh don’t tell anyone…

What you CAN tell them is that for any fan of Nordic Noir Thomas Enger is a must read. Beautifully atmospheric, really quite addictive and although this is my first taste of this series it certainly won’t be the last – also, you don’t need to worry about not having read the previous novels. The lovely Mr Enger tells you all you need to know without generally spoiling anything.

Things I loved:

The opening – it just  drops you right into things, no holds barred this is not a book that waits to present itself.

Once it HAS Thomas Enger then takes you on a taut, immersive, highly compelling journey towards a brilliantly placed and clever conclusion.

Nora and Henning: Their shared grief over the loss of their son and their still deep feeling relationship is palpable. Clever clever characterisation with many layers that shone through despite me coming into it at book 4.

The sense of place. Terrific terrific and huge kudos to the translator as well as the author. Beautiful writing all the way.

Journalists as main protagonists rather than police officers. Opened up so much, made for a different feeling mystery element, allowed for some intelligent plotting that kept Cursed as addictive as chocolate – the very very best kind of book calories. A good evenings intake.

Big fan. Big big fan. That would be me.

Highly Recommended.

 

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The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Quercus

Source: Review Copy

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they are recent – the boiling not the medieval curiosity she thought – DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands.

Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard of a vast network of old chalk-mining tunnels under King’s Lynn, home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history – but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?

As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart – before it claims another victim.

I’m a HUGE fan of the Ruth Galloway novels so it was a treat to be sure to receive a copy of The Chalk Pit for review and it did not disappoint. Also, caused me to randomly shiver at inopportune moments.

This novel has many layers as ever, a homeless community that may have taken refuge underground, the “Chalk Pit” of the title, some go missing and Ruth Galloway finds that the bones she has been asked to assess may not be so ancient after all. Cue the usual brilliant forensic insight that peppers the whole series, combined with those intriguing and utterly compelling mystery elements, some familiar and unfamiliar characters and basically you are good to go.

I read this in two sittings, they never stay on the currently reading pile for long, so fascinating especially the science which is written in very accessible terms and the character dynamics as built up over the course of the novels always make you really keen for the next in the series. One of my favourites to be sure and long may it continue.

As a main protagonist, Ruth Galloway is endlessly engaging, anchoring each story and keeping you right in the action. No change here – she is what keeps me coming back for more.

Excellent writing, excellent plotting, some utterly riveting detail and always a banging good story means this whole series comes highly recommended by me.

 

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Say Nothing Brad Parks – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: March 2nd from Faber and Faber

Source: Review Copy

Judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: A prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead.

It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. A man who warns the judge to do exactly as he is told in a drug case he is about to rule on. If the judge fails to follow his instructions, the consequences for the children will be dire.

The tension in Say Nothing is palpable – and that is what you want from a decent thriller, for it to actually feel like you are right on the edge of a cliff..

This novel featured many nail  biting cliff hanging moments and is written beautifully to drag the reader into an impossible decision making process taking place within the pages. Judge Scott Sampson is stuck between a rock and hard place, from the moment he and his wife Alison realise their children are gone, you are hook line and sinkered into the rest of the tale which bangs along at breakneck speed, barely giving you a chance to breathe.

At the heart of it is an intriguing and thought provoking theme – how far as parents would you go to save your children, well all the way of course, but this tale also has a lot of twists and turns that make it more edgy and dynamic – and the ultimate resolution was perfectly plotted to maximum effect.

It is the ultimate moral dilemma – whatever Scott does there will be consequences and as the couple try to find a solution, you will be utterly gripped and totally rooting for them. Great characterisation, genuinely riveting storytelling and a bang on target writing style means Say Nothing really is a top notch read.

Recommended.

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