Lament The Common Bones by Jen Danna & Ann Vanderlaan

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*Many thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the book:

When death hides in plain sight, only the most discerning eye can see the truth.

Forensic anthropologist Dr. Matt Lowell and his team of grad students don’t go looking for death—it usually comes to them. But when one of Matt’s students suspects the skeleton hanging in a top competitor’s lab is actually from a murder victim, Matt has no choice but to sneak in to confirm a suspicious death. Once the case comes to Massachusetts State Police Trooper Leigh Abbott, the team is back together again.

While trying to handle the new murder case, Matt and Leigh also uncover new evidence behind the mysterious deliveries intended to smear the name of Leigh’s father, an honored cop, fallen in the line of duty four years before. When the person behind the deliveries is finally uncovered, it becomes clear that lives are in jeopardy if they attempt to thwart him. At the same time, as the murder case delves into underground societies and grows complicated when the killer himself becomes a victim, it will take all of Matt and Leigh’s teamwork to solve both cases and escape with their lives.

Lament The Common Bones by Jen Danna & Ann Vanderlaan

About the authors:

A scientist specializing in infectious diseases, Jen J. Danna works as part of a dynamic research group at a cutting-edge Canadian university. However, her true passion lies in indulging her love of the mysterious through her writing. Together with her partner Ann Vanderlaan, they write two series.

Under Danna and Vanderlaan, they craft suspenseful crime fiction with a realistic scientific edge. Their five Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries include DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT; NO ONE SEES ME ’TILL I FALL; A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH; TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER; and LAMENT THE COMMON BONES.

Under the joint pseudonym of Sara Driscoll, they write the FBI K-9s mysteries series, starring search-and-rescue team Meg Jennings and her black lab, Hawk. LONE WOLF, released in December 2016, is the first book in the series. The second book in the series, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, will release in October of 2017, followed by the third book in 2018.

My thoughts:

Lament The Common Bones is book 5 in the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries series, but to be honest, it can be read as a standalone. There is more than enough backstory present, without actually making you feel you have missed out on the history of the characters. I am most definitely going to be buying the rest of these books though as I was hooked immediately!

The books focus on Matt Lowell and Leigh Abbott, forensic anthropologist and Massachusetts State Police Trooper respectively, as they are tasked with investigating how the skeleton of an unknown murder victim has ended up in another lab, used as an anatomical model for teaching. What are the odds, right?! Well, Abbott and Lowell are going to find out!

This investigation leads them on a very winding path, where even the killer becomes a victim! I know, it sounds odd, but it makes complete sense when you read the book! Alongside the murder investigation, Abbott is dealing with the fallout from her father’s death, because someone is out to tarnish him as a dirty cop.

Both investigations run simultaneously, but at no point are they hard to keep up with. The levels of detail are brilliant, the characters are really well-written and feel almost approachable (I know they’re not real, but they read like they are!!!), and the plot is taut and gripping.

Lament The Common Bones was an excellent introduction to Abbott and Lowell. As I mentioned above, I will most definitely be picking up the first four books. I loved the repartee between them, it gave levity in dark moments, but there was real emotion there too which translated off the page so well. So yeah, another series for me to catch up on for sure, and well worth adding to your list if you enjoy the forensic detail of Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan coupled with the addictiveness (don’t even know if that’s a word!!!) of Cornwell’s earlier Scarpetta books!

Highly recommended!

 

The Death File by J. A. Kerley

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About the author:

John Albert Kerley is an American author. He spent 20 years in a successful advertising career before writing his first book, The Hundredth Man.

He currently lives in Newport, Kentucky, and is married with two children. He enjoys the outdoors, particularly fishing.

He is the author of the acclaimed Alabama-set series of Carson Ryder novels

About the book:

Detective Carson Ryder returns, on the trail of a brutal killer with mysterious motives.

Detective Carson Ryder returns with his most mind-bending case yet…

Two psychologists are murdered 2000 miles apart – one in Phoenix, Arizona, one in Miami, Florida.

Amazingly, both have noted down the name of Carson Ryder – a detective with the Florida Center for Law Enforcement who specializes in catching psychopathic killers.

Carson joins forces with troubled Phoenix Detective Tasha Novarro to trace a ruthless killer whose advantages include an uncanny talent for persuasion, an utter lack of remorse, and the horrifying ability to predict their every move. A killer even Carson might not be capable of stopping…

The Death File by J. A. Kerley

My thoughts:

I have been a fan of Jack Kerley’s books since I stumbled upon The Hundredth Man a few years ago. I promptly bought the following books in the Carson Ryder series, and I flew through them. I was delighted to see that number 13 in the series, The Death File, was being published in October and I hopped onto Netgalley to read an early copy.

Carson Ryder is one of my most favourite series leads. Along with Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch and Jefferson Winter, Ryder stands deservedly amongst these brilliant main characters and fits in perfectly. Honest, hard-working and dedicated, Ryder is a really excellent character to read about. Throw in his buddy, Harry Nautilus, and then it gets even better. Harry is his port in a storm, his true true north in terms of a partner. Harry is definitely the guy you want to have your back.

In The Death File, Ryder has relocated from Alabama to Florida. Called to investigate the murder of a psychologist, things turn weird for Ryder when another psychologist is murdered in Arizona. The weird thing is his name has been found in the vicinity of the both of the deceased, and everyone wants to know why.

The cases merge, drawing in some new and unsavoury characters into the mix. This leads to some scary situations for all concerned, and it ramps up the tension quite well. The plot is more intricate than I first assumed, and I found myself unable to weave the threads together until it was there on the page in front of me! Needless to say, I was well hooked at that stage!

The Death File is the thirteenth book in the series, and I think Jack Kerley has found a great way to keep the series current and relevant. Carson Ryder has definitely been keeping up with all of the advances in investigation and technology over the years.

Listen, without spoiling the plot, I can’t say much more. I will say that I would highly recommend this book, and the entire series too. You can read this one without reading the others though, it works fine. BUT I do think if you like great detective series, you’d do well to start with The Hundredth Man!

Highly recommended!

(I’m off to find my Carson Ryder books so I can add them to my shelves to re-read!)

Previous posts:

Mini Review: Jack Kerley No One Will Hear… Her Last Scream

The Apostle by JA Kerley

Author Q&A with Jack Kerley

Mini Review~Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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About the book:

Soldier. Summoner. Saint.The nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

The Darkling rules from his shadow throne while a weakened Alina Starkov recovers from their battle under the dubious protection of the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Now her hopes lie with the magic of a long-vanished ancient creature and the chance that an outlaw prince still survives.

As her allies and enemies race toward war, only Alina stands between her country and a rising tide of darkness that could destroy the world. To win this fight, she must seize a legend’s power – but claiming the firebird may be her ruin.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

My thoughts:

I had been waiting for the library to get Ruin and Rising for me as I requested it as soon as I had finished Siege and Storm. Needless to say, I started it as soon as I got it!

Ruin and Rising is the conclusion to the Grisha trilogy and it was an epic finisher. I a obsessed with the world of the Grisha and absolutely loved being able to immerse myself in their world again!

I can’t discuss these books without wanting to tell you EVERYTHING, but spoilers.So, NO! It is safe to say that these books are amazing though. Packed full of action, with such a great cast of characters, it is easy to get lost between the pages. Not since Harry Potter has a book captured my imagination so much!

Ruin and Rising was definitely a perfect end to the series and I may have even teared up a little. It was quite an emotional read after following these characters throughout their respective journeys in the series. I felt bereft when I finished it, but in a good way if that makes sense?! It was a satisfying end to the trilogy!

I will definitely be re-reading these books again! If you like YA, then I would definitely recommend this series. Its just so captivating, and fun! I’m going to continue my exploration of the Grishaverse with Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom when I have time to read them!

Highly recommended!

~Blog Blitz Review~ Snow Light by Danielle Zinn

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz for Snow Light by Danielle Zinn today, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

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Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham and after gaining some work experience in Wales and the USA, she settled down in Frankfurt am Main where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany, Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.

Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting her friends scattered all over the world.

Mix everything together and you get “Snow Light”, her debut detective thriller combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.

Links:
@DanielleZinn4

About the book:

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When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Turtleville, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again. However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park murder re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village. For Thomas the situation gets worse when DS Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question. Who is the victim? And why was he murdered? Thomas and Collins will find themselves trying to solve a highly unusual case and both may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.

My thoughts:

When I read the blurb for Snow Light I was intrigued immediately as it sounded like the kind of book I would enjoy and I was definitely not disappointed!

Snow Light introduces us to Nathaniel Thomas, a Detective Inspector, who stumbled upon an attack but was unable to save the victim. Fast forward a year and he has relocated to a quiet town to try and work through his guilt away from Homicide HQ.

From here, Snow Light moves along quite slowly in terms of pace. A local hermit has been found dead, but here is little in the way of evidence or suspects. The investigation takes time, and there doesn’t seem to be much for Thomas or his team to go on initially. From here though, the pace picks up as they find out the victim wasn’t who he purported to be.

I don’t want to say much about the plot though, because the author has skilfully woven a taut narrative that leads the team on quite the investigation. The characters are well-written, the location lends itself really well to the chilling nature of the murder and the plot is definitely one for mystery lovers. I really enjoyed Snow Light. And its a DEBUT. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing where the author will take the reader next!

Recommended for sure!

Check out the other fab blogs taking part:

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~Blog Tour~ Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Hell To Pay, the new Kay Hunter book from Rachel Amphlett. I’ll be sharing her review with you all in a bit, but first, here’s the all-important bookish information!

About the author:

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Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.

Praise for Rachel Amphlett

“Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thriller” ~ Robert Bryndza, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice

“Scared to Death… moves along at breakneck speed with twists and turns” ~ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series.

As featured on ABC 612 Brisbane – listen here: https://soundcloud.com/abc_radio/rachel-amphlett-female-thriller-writer
As featured on BBC Radio Kent – listen here: http://www.rachelamphlett.com/uploads/7/7/9/0/7790161/rachel_amplett_on_bbc_rk.mp3

Follow the author:

Email: info@rachelamphlett.com

Skype: rachel.amphlett1

http://www.rachelamphlett.com

Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

Instagram: @RachelAmphlett

Facebook: Rachel Amphlett

About the book:

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When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett

Ellen’s Review:

Hell To Pay is the fourth in the Detective Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett; as with the other books (Scared To Death, Will To Live and One to Watch) it could be read as a standalone but you should definitely read the whole series because they are awesome! Kay Hunter is one of my favourite characters in a series and each book has teased a little more about her past troubles, false accusations of misconduct and the tragic consequences of the stress she was placed under.


 


In Hell To Pay, Kay is on the trail of a serial killer who is exploiting vulnerable women. The investigation leads her to the man who wants her silenced and who has been behind the plot to destroy her career. I was gripped from the start and raced through the pages as Kay got closer to cracking the case and hopefully delivering justice to those that had wronged her. Kay’s nemesis exudes arrogance and is totally loathsome; my nerves were shredded for the last chapter.


 


The light relief in the book comes from Kay and Adam’s house guests Bonnie and Clyde, I always look forward to seeing what kind of patient Adam has brought home from work and this time it’s guinea pigs.


 


This book is a fast paced thriller and I guarantee once you’ve picked it up you’ll struggle to get anything else done until you finish it. Five stars from me and bring on book five!!

Previous reviews:

Scared To Death by Rachel Amphlett ~ Ellen’s Review

Will to Live by Rachel Amphlett ~Ellen’s Review

One To Watch by Rachel Amphlett~ Ellen’s Review

Follow the blog tour:

~Blog Tour Review~ Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson trs by Quentin Bates

Hi guys,

I’m taking part in the blog tour for Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson today, and I’ll be re-sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

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Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 15 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and set up its first overseas chapter in Reykjavik. He is also the co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

About the translator:

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Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language, a new profession as a seaman and a family before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism largely by accident. He has been the technical editor of a nautical magazine for many years, all the while keeping a close eye on his second home in Iceland, before taking a sidestep into writing fiction. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, and Cold Comfort), which have been published in the UK, USA, Germany, Holland, Finland and Poland. He has translated a great deal of news and technical material into English from Icelandic, as well as one novel (Gudlaugur Arason’s Bowline).

About the book:

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Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson

My thoughts:

I have been waiting (im)patiently for Whiteout ever since I finished reading Rupture. I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now how much of a big fan I am of this series. So you can imagine my absolute glee in getting to read Whiteout before publication 😊

In Whiteout, we are back with Ari Thór and Tómas, both of whom are tasked with investigating the circumstances in which a young woman ends up at the bottom of the cliffs at Kálfshamarvík. Only a couple of days before Christmas, the men must work quickly and effectively to try to find out what has happened and how the woman ended up dead.

Whiteout is a really well-written mystery. With a large cast of characters, it really makes the reader work hard to try to figure things out alongside Ari Thór. I love Ragnar Jónasson’s writing style. There is something almost poetic in the way he describes the Icelandic location. The stunning visual imagery is second to none in terms of creating a clear location in the reader’s mind.

The author has assembled a really interesting cast of characters for this one. There are many of them, all with their own secrets that they are holding close to their chest. I found myself suspecting everyone at one time or another, such is the unreliable nature of the narrative Jónasson has created in Whiteout.

There is a haunting element to Whiteout as well. The cliffs, the lighthouse and the old abandoned house almost seem to become characters as well due to how well the author describes them. This creates a sense of foreboding as the reader gets drawn more into the story. It is quietly chilling and there seems to be a sinister element in the background when they are investigating in and around Kálfshamarvík.

I don’t want to say any more because the joy of reading these books is often found in unravelling the mystery alongside Ari Thór. Whiteout is another superb instalment in the Dark Iceland series. It has left me wanting more, and has also made some questions arise. So Ragnar, if you’re reading this, you and I need to have a bit of a chat 😂

I cannot recommend this series, and this book highly enough. Always atmospheric, often chilling and with plenty to keep the reader turning the pages, Whiteout is definitely a book to add to your TBR. The whole series is though, to be honest. If you haven’t read them, then you really should get on it!

I could keep rattling on about how much I enjoyed Whiteout. And the whole series in general. But I would be here all day, and still not do justice to my fave Icelander and his awesome books.

So yeah, Whiteout is all kinds of brilliant. Great characters, a gripping plot and a hauntingly atmospheric location. Another book added to my all time favourites list.

Highly recommended.

All the stars, always.

#AriThór

Previous reviews for the series:Snowblind by Ragnar JónassonNightblind by Ragnar Jónasson Blackout by Ragnar Jónasson Rupture by Ragnar JónassonFollow the blog tour:Whiteout BT.jpg

Dreams of A Broken Man by Roger Bray~Ellen’s Review

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About the book:

On a cold, misty night in Eugene, Oregon Hazel Reed disappears from outside her ex-husband’s home. Hazel is stunningly beautiful, intelligent and unfaithful. So when she vanishes without a trace a jealous ex-husband is the natural suspect. Alex says she came to reconcile but, the DA thinks otherwise and Alex is convicted and imprisoned for Hazel’s murder. His sister, Alice, refuses to believe that he is a capable of such an act.
Three years pass and the last appeal fails. Alex is in jail and Alice is desperate and alone; until a chance meeting gives her hope.
As her new friend, Steve, helps her peel away the hidden truths and fragile lies holding the prosecution case together they realise that they are revealing a deeper and more sinister mystery.
Without them knowing, finding out what happened to Hazel has become a race against time.

Click the link below to get your copy:

Dreams of a Broken Man by Roger Bray

About the author (info from author’s website):

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I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.

My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Personal fun facts:

I am married with three grown children and one grand daughter. I live with the love of my life, my wife of thirty years and her overly cute cat who, maybe unknowingly but I doubt it, saved my life by, for the one and only time, jumping on my lap and purring his head off when I was at my lowest and the depression almost got me.

I do enjoy hearing from my readers so please, drop me an email.

Ellen’s Review:

This book is quite different to anything I have read this year, the story concentrates on the friends and relatives of Alex who has been imprisoned for the murder of his ex wife Hazel and their quest to clear his name. Alice (Alex’s sister) is convinced of her brother’s innocence and after three years and a further appeal fails she enrols the help of a private investigator Steve to try and ascertain what actually happened that night. Hazel’s body was never found and there are a lot of inconsistencies in the investigation.

 

I liked the developing relationship between Alice and Steve and their persistence in clearing Alex’s name. An interesting story which really captured my imagination. It is difficult to say much more about this book without giving anything away, I’ll simply say that nothing is ever as it seems! Dreams of a Broken Man truly is a tale of hidden truths and fragile lies.

4/5