Enter The Dark by Chris Thomas

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About the book:

An anonymous website, a few clicks, and Joe Henderson’s life is changed forever.
‘The Red Room’ is the only place where the failings of a weak justice system are righted and where the line between good and evil becomes blurred. When the lights go up, viewers bid, criminals are punished, and the Brotherhood of the Righteous broadcasts a show like no other.
The room has remained hidden until now, when a video arrives in the inbox of the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit. But outclassed, outplayed, and torn apart by corruption, is there anything Detective Pete Harris and his team can do except watch?
Their only lead may be the room’s latest bidder, Joe Henderson. Because when Joe found the Red Room, it found him too, and now the Brotherhood are watching through the wires, willing to do wrong for a righteous cause.
As they pull Joe deeper into the dark web, will he find any mercy or a way out? And could he be the Red Room’s next volunteer?

Enter The Dark by Chris Thomas

My thoughts:

I’m a big fan of cyber crime type books so I was looking forward to reading Enter The Dark. Dealing with the seedier side of the internet, the dark web, and those that dwell there made it a promising read.

Imagine if you could decide how to punish people who have committed heinous crimes, and watch the punishment being meted out on a live stream. Well in Enter The Dark, The Brotherhood of The Righteous will let you, but for a price. With Bitcoin being an untraceable way to pay, these vigilantes will take your money in return for letting you watch people being tortured.

At times gruesome (it doesn’t bother me, but it can be graphic), Enter The Dark is a good addition to the cyber crime genre. It has some horrible characters, an interesting plot, and is quite current in terms of the technology used.

I enjoyed this one. A quick read, and a decent opener for a series, but possibly not for the faint of heart.

Recommended!

What You Want to See (Roxane Weary #2) by Kristen Lepionka

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About the author:

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Kristen Lepionka grew up mostly in a public library and could often be found in the adult mystery section well before she was out of middle school. Her writing has been selected for Shotgun HoneyMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyGrift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats.

About the book:

Shaken by the outcome of her last big case, PI Roxane Weary is keeping a low profile. When she takes on a new client who suspects his fiancée is cheating on him, Roxane is happy to have landed a run-of-the-mill surveillance job. Until, that is, Marin Strasser, the woman she’s been tailing, turns up dead.
The police are convinced her client is the one who pulled the trigger. Certain – and scared – that things aren’t so straightforward, Roxane starts to follow a paper trail that gets more dangerous the farther it goes.
So who really was Marin Strasser? Who could have wanted her dead? And how can Roxane stop her work from once again pushing away the few people she thinks she can trust?

What You Want To See by Kristen Lepionka

My thoughts:

Having read and enjoyed The Last Place You Look I was delighted to be able to read and review book two in the Roxane Weary series, What You Want To See.

Roxane is such a great female lead. She is a private investigator, but bless her, she has a tough time of it. She has her own issues, but these lend themselves well to her character development. In this book, she definitely has her work cut out for her!

Tasked with investigating Marin Strasser, she’s not expecting to hear Marin has been gunned down in a suspected mugging. The investigation takes a turn for the worse when Marin’s fiancée becomes a suspect. What follows is a journey into the past, on a road paved with secrets and lies.

As usual, there is excellent characterisation. Roxane is flawed but so damn likeable that its hard not to root for her the whole way along. Throw in some property fraud and some shady alliances and you have a really interesting crime thriller.

What You Want To see is a great book, and aptly titled. I loved being back in Roxane’s world, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. If you haven’t read it yet, it is definitely one to add to your list!

Recommeded for sure!

Previous reviews:

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

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About the book:

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.
When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

My thoughts:

I’m weeks out from reading Furyborn and I’m STILL having trouble trying to formulate a review decent enough to convey just how much I loved this book. It has got everything I look for in a book. Strong main characters, a truly epic story line and excellent world-building. Once I picked it up, I knew I was on to a winner, and I could not stop reading!

Rielle and Eliana are two of the best female characters I’ve read in a fantasy book this year, and I found myself thoroughly invested in their fates throughout the course of the book. I am still thinking about them and its been two months since I read Furyborn!

I am reminded of the addictiveness of Sarah J. Maas’s Court books when I think of Furyborn. It evoked much the same feelings as I had when I picked those up, and its safe to say that I NEED MORE from Claire Legrand. More Eliana, more Rielle, more Corien, who reminds me of both Rhysand AND the Darkling (Leigh Bardugo’s creation).

I don’t know what else to say. No amount of raving can convey how I actually feel about this book. It left me breathless. Gasping for more. Bereft when I finished it. Lots of feelings, basically!

I absolutely loved Furyborn. Right from the beginning I knew it was going to be a great read. Excellent characterisation, clever magical-type aspects, great world building, I just loved it all. The power struggles, the action, the dual timeline narrative, it all worked really well for me. A perfect foundation for a trilogy. It left me with questions, and wanting more to read, but that’s the beauty of the first book in a series. I can’t wait for the next!

Highly recommended!

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

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About the book:

Fourteen years ago, teenager Ellery Hathaway was victim number seventeen in the grisly murder spree of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. She was the only one who lived.
Now Coben is safely behind bars, and Ellery has a new identity in a sleepy town where bike theft makes the newspapers. But each July for the last three years, locals have been disappearing. Then Ellery receives strange messages hinting that the culprit knows exactly what happened to her all those years ago. When she tries to raise the alarm, no one will listen, and terrified she may be next, Ellery must turn to the one person who might believe her story…

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

My thoughts:

I read the majority of The Vanishing Season in one day because once I got pulled in to the story I had to keep going to see what was going to happen!

Ellie Hathaway is living under a new identity after surviving a killer when he was younger. Said killer is now behind bars, but Ellie has been getting strange messages, and now people are disappearing from the town she lives in. Nobody will believe her when she tries to tell them, so she takes matters into her own hands and calls in the FBI.

What follows is quite a tense read, packed with plenty of shady characters and a really interesting story. I was thoroughly engaged with this one and I was eager to see if my suspicions were correct or not. The Vanishing Season is definitely a fast-paced and clever crime thriller.

Recommended for sure!

Blog Tour~ Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen

Hi everyone,

Today, I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

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Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at
the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book
in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been
published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film
adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring
the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is being
filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of
Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives
in Bergen with his wife.

About the translator:

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Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Karl Ove Knausgård. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.

 

About the book:

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PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail
leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark actions are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the
world’s foremost thriller writers.

Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen

My thoughts:

Having read and enjoyed the previous translated Varg Veum books, I was thrilled to be able to read Big Sister recently. Gunnar Staalesen is a masterful storyteller and I was eager to get reading.

In Big Sister, Veum finds out that he has a half-sister, Norma. The only reason he finds this out is because Norma turns up at his office needing his help in finding her missing goddaughter Emma. Emma has vanished from Bergen, and Norma figured this was as good a reason as any to track down her half-brother.

The police don’t seem to be taking the disappearance seriously, so Norma and Veum undertake their own investigation. This leads them into danger, when what seems to be a wide investigative net becomes quite smaller and they find themselves wondering what they have stumbled into.

I don’t want to go into the plot any more than that because Gunnar Staalesen does such a wonderful job of weaving the threads together that I don’t want to spoil it by picking them apart. I really enjoy reading about Varg Veum as a character. Something about him makes him seem really genteel, and relatable. This is what I love about these books, the comfort in picking up the book and feeling like you are catching up with an old friend. Staalesen’s lyrical prose makes it an engaging and enthralling read, and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Big Sister is an excellent example of Nordic noir. Hints of menace coupled with a chilling climate make this the perfect locational mystery. There is also an emotional element attached to these books, and that is extremely prevalent in Big Sister.

Highly recommended!

Previous Reviews:

Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen

Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Check out the blog tour:

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Blog Tour: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon

Hi everyone,

Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Holly Seddon Author Picture

Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books. 

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller. 

Her second novel DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES was published in July 2017.

Twitter @hollyseddon

Website: http://www.hollyseddon.com/

Facebook Author Page : https://www.facebook.com/hollyseddonauthor

About the book:

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Sometimes a promise becomes a prison.

Fearing eternal singledom, childhood friends Kate and Paul make the age-old vow that if they don’t find love by thirty, they will marry each other. 

Years later, with the deadline of their 30th birthdays approaching, the unlikely couple decide to keep their teenage promise. After all, they are such good friends. Surely that’s enough to make a marriage? 

Now, on the eve of their 10th wedding anniversary, they will discover that love between men and women is more complex, and more precarious, than they could ever have imagined. As Kate struggles with a secret that reaches far into their past, will the couple’s vow become the very thing that threatens their future? 

Love Will Tear Us Apart is a moving and heart-breaking exploration of modern love and friendship, from the bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe

Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of Holly’s writing so I was delighted to be asked to take part in the blog tour for Love Will Tear Us Apart. Also, every time I say this title, I start singing the Joy Division song so I defy you not to do the same 🙂

Love Will Tear Us Apart is an emotional roller coaster, let’s be honest. I found myself experiencing a range of emotions while I was reading. Something that Holly is superb at doing with her readers, and that is no different with this book.

Dealing with relationships and friendships, I found myself thoroughly engaged with the story from the very beginning. I loved the characters, and I found myself thinking about them even when I wasn’t reading the book.

When we meet Paul and Kate, they are in the lead up to their tenth wedding anniversary, and heading away with their family to spend some time together. But a past secret threatens everything that they have known up until now. Through the narrative, the reader is transported back and forth in time, and it is in these vignettes that we learn a lot more about their characters and motivations.

Love Will Tear Us Apart is a powerful and thought-provoking book. It has an emotional rawness and is written with real heart and humanity. I found myself well up a little at times, which NEVER happens, but something about Holly’s writing speaks to my dark heart.

Highly recommended!

 

Previous reviews:

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

Follow the tour:

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Blog Tour~Motherland by G. D. Abson

Hi everyone,

Today I’m closing out the blog tour for Motherland by G. D. Abson and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all!

About the author:

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G.D. Abson was born in County Durham and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, and was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

About the book:

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Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. As she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion.

Motherland by G. D. Abson

Prologue:

Two hours had gone by since they’d left the city behind. The heater was on full but still she shivered. Out here, away from the water and heading north to Finland, forests threatened the road and the temperature dropped to minus thirty in winter. Ksenia stirred with the noise of the engine and Kristina shifted position, bringing circulation to her numb right arm. The silence was oppressive in the Zhiguli and he broke it by turning on the radio; there was nothing except static and he switched to long-wave. She heard the President’s voice and was stunned.

There had been the horror of Chechnya, then everyone’s savings had been wiped out when the rouble crashed. And still Yeltsin survived, propped up by Berezovksy and the other oligarchs. He’d gone to America and been discovered drunk outside the White House in his underwear. On the TV puppet show, Kukly, she had cringed as he was humiliated again and again.

‘He’s leaving,’ she said in shock. ‘Boris Yeltsin is resigning.’

She twisted the volume control to hear it over the Zhiguli’s engine and caught phrases:

“I want to ask for your forgiveness because many of our dreams didn’t come true… the pain of every one of you, I feel in myself, in my heart… in saying goodbye, I want to say to every one of you: be happy. You deserve happiness. You deserve happiness, and peace.”

The old buffoon had made her cry. She dipped her head forwards to dab her tears on the arm of her jacket.

Now the Acting President, a KGB goon called Putin, was promising freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. She wondered if he was smirking while he spoke. At least he didn’t drink, maybe he was what the country needed now: someone serious and sober.

They were travelling faster, a hundred kilometres an hour on the empty carriageway; the Zhiguli’s lights illuminating cones of snowflakes. She wanted to tell him to slow down but she was just as impatient to get away. The radio announcer cut to a live broadcast outside the Kremlin and they sat in silence as the bells of Spasskaya Tower clock chimed.

‘Happy New Year, darling.’ She reached across to squeeze his hand. ‘To our happiness and peace.’

‘I love you,’ he said.

‘I love you too.’ She offered a smile to cover up the white lie.

He yanked his hand from hers.

She looked at him, confused, and saw him gripping the steering wheel; his mouth had fallen open.

The Zhiguli slid silently along the iced road. He stamped on the brake pedal; the car jerked to the left. She held Ksenia tightly against her chest. The Zhiguli cut across the opposite carriageway and there was a smashing of steel that thrust her forwards. She floated in clear air and screamed all the way down.

 

Catch up with the tour:

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