Blog Tour: The Controller by Matt Brolly

Hey everyone,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Controller by Matt Brolly and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky and Dead Embers. The fourth in the series, Dead Time, was released by Canelo in May 2018 and a prequel, Dead Water, will be published in September 2019. In 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing).

The Controller, released in May 2019, is the first of a new thriller series set in Texas.

Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, was released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children. You can find out more about Matt at his website MattBrolly.co.uk or by following him on twitter: @MattBrollyUK

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MattBrollyUK @MattBrollyUK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattbrollyauthor/

Website: https://www.mattbrolly.co.uk/

About the book:

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed DCI Lambert series comes The Controller, a gripping serial killer thriller introducing Sam Lynch and Special Agent Sandra Rose. 

It is six years since special agent Samuel Lynch left the FBI following the disappearance of his son, Daniel. Lynch believes an underground organisation known as The Railroad is responsible and has never stopped searching. 

When Special Agent Sandra Rose investigates a house invasion gone wrong, she discovers the assailant has the legendary, and infamous, Railroad tattoo carved onto his back and he claims to know Daniel’s whereabouts.

Rose draws Lynch in to her case, and together they become embroiled in an unparalleled world of violence and evil.

It seems that to see his son again, Lynch will have to confront his greatest fear and face the ultimate test: an encounter with the Railroad’s enigmatic and deadly leader, The Controller.

The Controller (Lynch & Rose 1) by Matt Brolly

My thoughts:

The Controller is the first in a new US crime thriller series by Matt Brolly, and what a promising start it is. It follows Samuel Lynch as he searches for his son who went missing six years ago, and he thinks its connected to an underground organisation known as the Railroad. Special Agent Sandra Rose, called to an assignment, ends up pulling Lynch in to the case as she believes it to be connected to the Railroad.

I found The Controller to be a solid start to a new series. It builds up enough back story, introduces the characters, and leaves enough unanswered questions that the reader will be looking forward to the next book.

The premise for the book is also quite clever. Lynch was ousted from the FBI after he carried out an investigation into The Railroad, but he ends up being pulled into Rose’s case when she finds out the assailant has the markings of the Railroad on his body.

What follows is an action-packed, dark and at times, harrowing read. You will question the motivations of those involved, while at the same time, willing Lynch on as he continues to search for his son.

The Controller is dark, cinematic and definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy US-based conspiracy thrillers.

Recommended for sure.

Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour: Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt ~ Ellen’s Review

Hello lovelies,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Mel Sherratt is the author of thirteen crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers. For the past four years, she has been named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She also works alongside the National Literary Trust as an ambassador on The Literary Project, to support their ongoing work in the city, aiming to raise literacy levels. 

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.

About the book:

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

Click the link below to grab your copy now:

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt

Ellen’ Review:

After reading (and loving) the first book in the Grace Allendale series (Hush Hush), I couldn’t wait to dive into the second Tick Tock. Grace’s character and background had been established well and a new relationship started; I was curious as to how this would develop and how she would try to move past her extended family’s dodgy dealings and interference in her police work.

Tick Tock’s story returns to Stoke where a teenage girl has been murdered in broad daylight and if there was ever a reason to not do cross country at school here’s the proof! I remember our route at school was through fields, forest and an old quarry and the thought of just being picked from the back of the group and killed in minutes chilled me. Two days later a young mum is abducted and murdered in the same manner and DS Grace Allendale and her team are tasked with finding the culprit, they soon have a third body on their hands and there is an urgency to solve the case before anyone else falls victim to this apparent serial killer.

You can really feel the pressure mounting in this book as the number of victims start growing and with most of the action being centred around the local school and a risque online chat group I had no idea who to suspect. There were just so many people that I was suspicious of!!

Never mind the stress Grace is under to crack the case she is still navigating the waters of her relationship with Simon (a local journalist), they were always going to encounter difficulties as both their superiors expect a little inside information from each of them. Grace is also trying to win over Simon’s daughter who was a close friend of one of the victims. I can imagine the drama and histrionics from a group of teenage girls all keeping secrets from each other and their parents! Throw into this some added pressure from Grace’s estranged family who also want a piece of her time and you really wouldn’t want to be in her position.

An enjoyable read and I look forward to more!

Check out the tour:

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhari McFarlane

About the book:

‘I love your laugh. x’

But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.

So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.

The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhari McFarlane

My thoughts:

I hadn’t read any of Mhari’s books for years but I loved the sound of this one. Not least because its the title of one of my favourite songs.

Georgina, when we meet her, is having a nightmare of a time. She found her boyfriend in bed with someone else, and she got fired from her job in a restaurant on the same day!

Taking the next job she’s offered, she ends up working as a barmaid in a newly opened pub. What she’s not expecting is to be working with a boy she loved in school, and he doesn’t even remember her!

What follows is a funny, awkward and really brilliant story. I loved the characters. I was really rooting for Georgina the whole way through the book. It is genuine, honest and proper laugh out loud at times, but it is a novel with real heart and emotion.

Highly recommended!

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

About the book:

A perfect town is hiding secrets. 
Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. 

Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it.

It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. 

Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news.

And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab.
_____

Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death.

His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace.

His mother’s remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again.

And the return of Malcolm’s brother doesn’t help matters. But his return is just a coincidence… isn’t it?

Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure.

Then another girl disappears.

As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. 

And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

My thoughts:

I loved One Of Us Is Lying when I read it so I was super excited to be sent a copy of Two Can Keep A Secret to review.

Ellery and her brother move to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother while their mother goes to rehab. Ellery’s aunt went missing from Echo Ridge when she was 16, and now they return 5 years after another girl was murdered.

Another girl disappears, and Ellery was one of the last people to see her alive. What follows is a twisty turny narrative with so many secrets and layers that it is difficult to reconcile the truth out of any of it.

I really enjoyed Two Can Keep A Secret, not as much as One Of Us Is Lying, but it definitely kept me hooked because the characters kept pulling me back into the narrative.

Recommended for sure!

Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox

About the book:

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.
_________________

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs. 

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing. 

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body…

Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox

My thoughts:

Gone By Midnight is the third book in the Crimson Lake series, but it absolutely can be read as a standalone. I didn’t feel like I had missed out on anything by jumping in with book 3.

When a young boy disappears from a hotel while on holidays with his mother and friends, Ted Conkaffey ends up being drawn into the investigation. The boy’s mother hires him in the hope that he can find her son.

I found Gone By Midnight to be a really engaging read. Short chapters, plenty of action and a solid plot meant I raced through it in record time. I couldn’t put it down!

Gone By Midnight is an emotive and thrilling book, packed with great characters and a scarily plausible plot. It eerily echoes the Madeleine McCann case from years ago. Its every parent’s worst nightmare.

I really enjoyed Gone By Midnight. So much so, that I would happily go back and start the series from the beginning to catch up.

Highly recommended!

We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo Mini Review

About the book:

In a city where magic is feared and the dead are worshipped, life is overshadowed by a powerful and devastating storm cloud.

One young woman is running for her life. Another is trying to return home. Both are looking for a place where they belong.

But what Lena and Constance don’t realise is that the storm cloud binds them. Without it, neither can get what she desires.

We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

My thoughts:

We Are Blood and Thunder is a stunning new YA fantasy, reminiscent of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas.

It follows Lena and Constance as the former tries to leave her sealed city, and the latter is looking for a way out.

This book unfolds slowly, drawing the reader in to Lena and Constance’s world as they try to deal with their problems.

Surrounded by a storm cloud, the city they live in is under a spell but nobody knows who cast it or why. Neither young woman know it, but they are bound together.

Their journey is only just beginning. Strong women, politics, ambition and power are all in play in We Are Blood and Thunder and it is a brilliant addition to the genre.

Highly recommended.

The Plotters by Un-Su Kim Mini Review

About the book:

Plotters are just pawns like us. A request comes in and they draw up the plans. There’s someone above them who tells them what to do. And above that person is another plotter telling them what to do. You think that if you go up there with a knife and stab the person at the very top, that’ll fix everything. But no-one’s there. It’s just an empty chair.

Reseng was raised by cantankerous Old Raccoon in the Library of Dogs. To anyone asking, it’s just an ordinary library. To anyone in the know, it’s a hub for Seoul’s organised crime, and a place where contract killings are plotted and planned. So it’s no surprise that Reseng has grown up to become one of the best hitmen in Seoul. He takes orders from the plotters, carries out his grim duties, and comforts himself afterwards with copious quantities of beer and his two cats, Desk and Lampshade.

But after he takes pity on a target and lets her die how she chooses, he finds his every move is being watched. Is he finally about to fall victim to his own game? And why does that new female librarian at the library act so strangely? Is he looking for his enemies in all the wrong places? Could he be at the centre of a plot bigger than anything he’s ever known?

The Plotters by Un-su Kim

My thoughts:

The Plotters is utterly mad, but not in a bad way! It is raw, acerbic and witty while totally in keeping with the crime book genre.

Assassins who get told to kill by The Plotters, so it is essentially a hierarchical strata. You can’t go above your station, you just have to do what you’re told.

But what happens if you rebel? Reseng, an assassin, is going to find out.

The Plotters is dark, offbeat and definitely a quirky read. My first time reading Korean crime, but not the last. It is a unique and intriguing read.

Recommended