No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Hey guys,

I’ve got a review for you all today! I KNOW, an actual review!!! It’s been a while, right! 🙂

About the author:

Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, sharp skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.

About the book:

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the spider-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job―stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own―a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

Click the link below to grab your copy:

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

My thoughts:

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Season (review below), I was delighted to receive a copy of No Mercy from Titan Books to read ad review on the blog.

No Mercy catches up with Ellery in the aftermath of the events in The Vanishing Season (no spoilers, but I’d suggest reading it before you read No Mercy!) where she is off work pending the outcome of her therapy sessions for victims of violent crimes.

However, Ellery being the tenacious character she is, finds more to the therapy than she bargained for. An old arson case, and a brutal rape are just two of the situations her fellow group members are dealing with. And Ellery can’t leave well alone.

What follows is a tense, taught and gripping thriller. Ellery calls on her FBI profiler friend Reed Markham, who also happened to save her from a killer when she was a child, to come in and see if he can help her figure out whats going on with the two cases and its safe to say, things get very dark once they start investigating!

I’m not going to say any more about the plot because there is so much going on that I don’t want to mention anything by accident! No Mercy is a great book, pushed forward by the brilliant Ellery and supported effortlessly by Reed (my fave!). It has everthing I look for in a thriller.

Engaging, fast-paced and cinematic, No Mercy would not be out of place on the big screen if you ask me!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

January 2019 Book Haul

Hi guys!

Its book haul time! 🙂

*For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books, ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

So, here’s what I’ve added to my library since last month:

  1. The Bat by Jo Nesbo
  2. The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer
  3. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
  4. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  5. The Food Medic by Hazel Wallace
  6. The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda
  7. The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross
  8. Twisted by Steve Cavanagh
  9. We Are Blood & Thunder by Kesia Lupo
  10. The Orphanage of the Gods by Helena Coggan
  11. The Queen’s Wing by Jessica Thorne
  12. I’ll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller
  13. Naked in Death by JD Robb
  14. No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen
  15. Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus
  16. The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl
  17. Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb
  18. The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon
  19. A Modern Family by Helga Flatland
  20. Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
  21. City of Lies by Sam Hawke
  22. The Rig by Roger Levy
  23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First Ed) by JK Rowling
  24. Breakers by Doug Johnstone
  25. After The Eclipse by Fran Doricott
  26. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  27. Hunting Evil by Chris Carter
  28. Night by Night by Jack Jordan
  29. The One Who’s Not The One by Keris Stainton
  30. Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhari McFarlane
  31. Dead Lions by Mick Herron
  32. Embers Of War by Gareth Powell
  33. A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell
  34. Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson
  35. Tell Him He’s Dead by Tony Parsons
  36. Girl on Fire by Tony Parsons
  37. Ninth and Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver
  38. If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton
  39. I’m Still Standing by Colleen Coleman
  40. Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow

So, there you go! 40 books isn’t too bad at all, I actually thought it was less until I started to compile the list!

Have you read any of these? Would you? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Blog Tour~Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

So, today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down this post!

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski.jpeg

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is
an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in
horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an
US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End
of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror
story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a
winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing
Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the
USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV
rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published
in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

About the book:

Changeling.jpg

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished
in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped
the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of
the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden
was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts
have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance,
interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened
that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with
strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed
to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little
boy…

Published by Orenda Books, click the link below to order your copy:

Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski

Ellen’s Review:

Matt Wesolowski is a genius. End of.

That’s how I suggested a blogger wrote their review of Changeling because it’s true and the simplest way of reviewing such a book full of complex ideas and feelings! Obviously that wouldn’t be fair to the author, his books deserve all the praise they get so I’ll try to sum up how much I loved it.

Changeling is book three in the Six Stories series and having loved the previous two (Six Stories and Hydra) I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Always with a sense of trepidation though as the author has a way of tapping into your deepest darkest fears and dialling the tension to the maximum. Had anyone knocked at my door at certain points in this book I would have filled my pants!

As a child one of my favourite books was a huge tome of folklore, myths & legends. A beautiful cloth bound book with an image of The Green Man on the front; I was obsessed (as only a child can be) with fairies, witches, wood sprites, nymphs and curses and convinced myself I was a changeling. Hey, I grew up into a (reasonably) well adjusted individual so all’s well considering! The story in Changeling revolves around the paranormal happenings in Wentshire Forest and the disappearance of Alfie Marsden. Alfie is travelling with his father Sorrel when he vanishes into thin air, he is never seen again and no body has ever been found. Scott King (presenter of the Six Stories podcast) receives a mysterious note regarding the case thirty years later and cannot resist investigating.

As with Six Stories and Hydra the tale is told as a podcast, this is such an ingenoius method of story telling and it works so well. We are drip fed information from various people that were involved in the case and slowly the picture becomes clearer, I challenge you to predict that ending though. My jaw is still sore from dropping on the floor!

Matt Wesolowski has such a talent for presenting a story as horror/supernatural but then totally flipping the genre as you progress through the tale. It is evident from his writing that Matt works with children in care; all his books provide a social commentary on the current issues our children face on a daily basis. Bullying, peer pressure and parental separation feature in all three and what could be more horrific to any child (and indeed adult) than that…?

It should be no surprise that I’ve given Changeling five stars and I’m really interested to see what is next from Matt.

Check out the blog tour:

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

I’m back with more reviews. It honestly feels like I will never get to clear this backlog, but I’m going to do what I can! 🙂

Dark Sacred Night: The Brand New Bosch and Ballard Thriller (Harry Bosch Series Book 21)

I’m a huge fan of the Bosch series, and I was lucky enough to be approved for this on Netgalley. I really enjoyed it, especially as I got to read about Renée Ballard. I haven’t gotten around to reading the first book featuring her. I loved the story, and it kept my attention the whole way through. I really like the relationship between Ballard and Bosch and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22)

The Midnight Line was another super fun Reacher read. I loved the idea of seeing the West Point ring in the pawn shop and the way everything spiralled once Reacher decided to find out why it was there. Interesting characters in TML too, and I flew through it.

Past Tense: (Jack Reacher 23)

I had a BEAUTIFUL hardback bound proof of this since Harrogate, but I had been saving it until closer to publication. I loved Past Tense. I found the story to be a bit of a departure from the usual Reacher story, in the sense of character motivations and actions, but I enjoyed it. I will now be impatiently waiting for the next one 🙂

Wild Magic (The Immortals, Book 1)

I’ve never read any Tamora Pierce so this was a new author and style for me, and I definitely got into it. The main character, Daine, is a young mage and she can communicate with animals and nature. I found myself thinking about it often when I wasn’t reading it, and I had to get the next books in the series to find out what happens! Highly recommended!

Wolf-Speaker (The Immortals, Book 2)

This one delves deeper into Daine’s world and it was as compelling as the first book. These are gentler than the usual magical/fantasy reads, but just as captivating.

Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3)

Lots more happened in this book than the previous two. Questions were answered, more questions were asked. I found myself getting lost in the world, and I really liked seeing the characters journeys throughout the series. Definitely recommend this series, and I’m dying to read the fourth book in the series!

The Importance of Being Aisling: Country Roads, Take Her Home

I’m the first to admit I am not a big fan of Irish fiction, not for any particular reason, I just prefer books set in a different country. But then I met Aisling, and I have never read a more relatable book in terms of being able to see traits in people I know woven through the story. It made me laugh, it had some sombre moments, but it was just a genuine and fun read. It really surprised me!

The Hangman’s Hold: A gripping serial killer thriller that will keep you hooked (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4)

Absolutely love Michael’s DCI Matilda Darke series and The Hangman’s Hold was another excellent installment. Dark, gripping and unsettling, I would highly recommend this series if you’ve not read any!

The Hermitage: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9)

I love this series, and I really liked The Hermitage. I enjoyed the dual locations and I found the story to be quite engaging. I kept reading and before I knew it I had it finished. The camaraderie and friendships between the characters are what make this series for me. It feels like catching up with friends when I pick up LJ Ross’s books !

Storm Rising (An F.B.I. K-9 Novel Book 3)

Another awesome installment in the FBI K-9 series. Hawk is such a cool dog, and I love reading these books because they are always so insightful from a technical aspect while being completely absorbing in terms of the story. I couldn’t put it down when I started it! Highly recommend this as another series to add to your TBR!

Blog Tour~Red Snow by Will Dean~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s turn on the blog tour for Red Snow by Will Dean and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying at the LSE and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.

About the book:

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Click the link below to order your copy:

https://amzn.to/2Hn4Bve

Ellen’s Review:

I read Dark Pines in December 2017 and as soon as I’d finished I was desperate to read more about Tuva Moodyson – I loved her character so much (along with the numerous shady people that also inhabited the small Swedish town of Gavrik)! I was delighted to get hold of the next in the series Red Snow. Some familiar characters are back (the Troll Sisters for example) and we are introduced to a few new intriguing ones as well. This could be read as a standalone but I would recommend that you read Dark Pines first to get a grasp on Tuva’s world.

I couldn’t wait to return to Gavrik although I’m pretty certain I would NOT survive the freezing conditions! After the Medusa Murders investigation and the death of her mother, Tuva has managed to escape the happenings of the previous months and bagged a journalist position in the bigger town of Malmo in the South. However…the suicide of Gustav Grimberg (head of the liquorice factory which is Gavrik’s main source of employment)  followed by a gruesome murder happen in quick succession and Tuva is determined to investigate the case before her departure. She is also asked by local ghost-writer David Holmqvist to help him write his book on the history of the Grimbergs. The Grimbergs have a little bit of a checkered past and Tuva is intrigued by the remaining members of the family who keep themselves to themselves and guard their secrets well. Anna-Britta (widow), daughter Karin and grandmother Cecilia slowly open up to Tuva which only leads to more questions and danger for the inhabitants of the factory, its staff and Tuva herself!

I was fascinated with the liquorice factory; I work in Pontefract the home of UK liquorice and Pomfrey cakes. The details of the factory were fabulous, Will is such a visual writer and I was right there with Tuva – the sounds of the workers tapping their liquorice coins, the smells from the canteen and feeling the growing fear over who The Ferryman’s next victim would be. Small town paranoia is hard at work in Red Snow and I had no idea who the perpetrator was.

Tuva is one of my favourite protagonists EVER – so sardonic but likeable, I’d love to have a night out with her but doubt I could keep up with her rum drinking but could take her out to our local liquorice festival. It was lovely to get to know her more and see a softer side to her nature, I really hope that love blossoms soon and she gets a bit of a break in the next book!

Five stars from me; Will Dean writes my favourite kind of Nordic Nwaaaaar and I cannot wait for Tuva 3. Go Team Tuva!

Check out the blog tour:

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

So, I’m 44 (yes, FORTY-FOUR!!!!) reviews behind. Which sucks. But, I am adamant that I will get through them and this is once again, the ONLY way I can play catch up! These are all books I read towards the end of 2018 and I feel terrible that I haven’t gotten around to doing this until now, but hey, better late than never, right? 🙂

Murder on the Orient Express (Poirot)

I will hold my hand up and say until last year, I had never read an Agatha Christie novel. I rectified that by buddy reading Murder with some lovely twitter folk and I really enjoyed it. It is definitely a cosy crime novel, and it was exactly what I needed to read. So much so, that I’m now reading another AC novel, And Then There Were None and enjoying it just as much.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

Very much a character-driven book, Do You Dream of Terra-Two is one for fans of Becky Chambers. It’s got a really good premise, and I enjoyed the journey that the characters take the reader on.

Ink and Bone (The Great Library Book 1)

I’m a sucker for anything that uses books/libraries as a selling point. Ink and Bone is a promising opening for the Great Library series. Good world-building, intriguing characters and plenty of action. It took me a while to get into, but I would happily continue on with the series!

Trust No One: I Am Pilgrim meets Orphan X in this explosive thriller. You won't be able to put it down

This one was on my Netgalley shelf for far too long so I picked it up late last year. It reminds me of the Jason Bourne movies, it reads quite cinematic in that sense. Its a good thriller, with a lot to keep the reader turning the pages. Read this if you enjoyed I Am Pilgrim!

Empress of all Seasons

I am deep into my YA fantasy phase at the moment, and this one was top of my want list last year. I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley copy so I dove right in. Epic world-building, some seriously good characters and beautiful imagery in this one!

Zero Hour: Omnibus Edition

Zero Hour is a tense and emotive book. It is short, but packs a proper punch. It will leave you thinking about it long after finishing it. If you like Hugh Howey you will love Zero Hour!

The Masked City (The Invisible Library series Book 2)

I’m really enjoying this series. I found The Masked City to be hard going at the star though. There was a lot going on, and I couldn’t follow it initially, but once I figured it out I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters in this series, and I can’t wait to read the next ones!

Rosewater: Winner of the Nommo Award for Best Novel (The Wormwood Trilogy Book 1)

Rosewater is one of the more different books I’ve read lately. Speculative, graphic and immersive, it is an intriguing read. I thought it was a bit confusing at times as it jumps around a bit, but it was the premise that kept me reading!

The Lion Tamer Who Lost

An absolutely beautiful book. Emotive, beautifully-written and with a truly captivating story, this is a book with real heart. I can’t do it justice with my words, but I would highly recommend picking it up.

The Last Namsara: Iskari Book One

Another stellar YA fantasy series. I loved The Last Namsara. It is stunningly immersive, characters that will have you rooting for them from the start, and DRAGONS! Super fun read.

The Caged Queen: Iskari Book Two

I read this one before Namsara (I obviously went and bought Namsara as soon as I had finished this one!!!) and I was hooked. It was such an engaging read, and it had enough tie backs to the first book that it made the reader question a few things, but it didn’t give everything away. Loved it!

Disaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell~Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Ellen has a review for you all today of Disaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell and I’ll be sharing it with you a little further down!

About the author:

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.

He is a man who wears many hats. As well as being an author, he is an award-winning writer for TV, a stand-up comedian and ‘the voice’ of London Irish rugby club. His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces, which was nominated for a CAP Award in 2017, is the first book of the Dublin Trilogy series. The sequel and prequel, The Day That Never Come and Angels in the Moonlight, were published in 2017. The books are fast-paced crime thrillers set in Caimh’s hometown of Dublin and they are laced with distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

Caimh’s TV writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme,A League of Their OwnMock 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.

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

About the book:

He’s a good man having a bad day with the worst hangover. 

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the diner’s other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and the odds aren’t great that she is going to live to see another breakfast. 

So just how much trouble is she in? 

Well, you know how they’re always telling us to pay attention to our pensions?   Some ex-employees of the US government are really taking that advice to heart by using their mayhem-creating abilities to maximise their investments. When one of their fund managers has a momentary crisis of conscience and confesses all to a woman he hardly knows, they will stop at nothing to deal with the problem.  Amy Daniels is in big trouble and the only thing keeping her alive is a man who is supposed to already be dead.

Disaster Inc is the first book in a new series featuring Bunny McGarry, beloved by those who enjoyed the critically-acclaimed Dublin Trilogy of books. It melds high-octane action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit. 

Click the link below to order your copy:

https://amzn.to/2SVnCGq

Ellen’s Review:

Now we all know I love Bunny McGarry and he’s back with a bang (and an EPIC hangover) in Disaster Inc! Bunny is in New York, no mean feat as according to official records he’s dead, and looking for the love of his life Simone Delamere. We catch up with Bunny in a diner where all he wants is breakfast and a cup of tea in the hope of recovering from aforesaid hangover, what he ends up with is being in the middle of a robbery gone wrong, the ensuing brawl and a damsel in distress!

Amy is the lady in need of help; a dominatrix just trying to fund her way to a law degree but thanks to the loose lips of a client dealing in some dodgy insider information she is being framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Bunny to the rescue! Of course it’s never going to be straight forward, this is Bunny McGarry we’re dealing with. Crazy comedic capers commence (try saying that after a few pints of Guinness and a few whisky chasers)and it wouldn’t be a Caimh McDonnell book without the bonkers characters and antics we’ve come to know and love.

Disaster Inc is book five featuring Bunny and can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend that you read the four books in The Dublin Trilogy first. I know..one’s a prequel sssshhhhh just roll with it. So go make yourself a lovely cup of tea and settle down with this cracking book! Qll the stars and LOLs for Disaster Inc and bring on book six!