Marnie Riches The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows Blog Tour

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Marnie Riches’ new book The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows and I’m super excited to have a guest post from the lovely Marnie to share with you all today! 🙂

First off though, here’s all you need to know about Marnie and her previous books in the series…

About the author:

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester, aptly within sight of the dreaming spires of Strangeways prison. She swapped those for the spires of Cambridge University, gaining a Masters degree in Modern & Medieval Dutch and German. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. In her spare time, she likes to run, renovate houses and paint. Oh, and drinking. She likes a drink. And eating. She likes that too. Especially in exotic destinations.

Having authored the first six books of HarperCollins Children’sTime-Hunters series, her George McKenzie crime thrillers for adults were inspired, in part, by her own youth and time spent in The Netherlands as a student. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction.

The George McKenzie series so far:

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die:

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When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer.

But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.

And the killer has a very special part for George to play…

A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!

The Girl Who Broke The Rules

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When the mutilated bodies of two sex-workers are found in Amsterdam, Chief Inspector van den Bergen must find a brutal murderer before the red-light-district erupts into panic.

Georgina McKenzie is conducting research into pornography among the UK’s most violent sex-offenders but once van den Bergen calls on her criminology expertise, she is only too happy to come running.

The rising death toll forces George and van den Bergen to navigate the labyrinthine worlds of Soho strip-club sleaze and trans-national human trafficking. And with the case growing ever more complicated, George must walk the halls of Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, seeking advice from the brilliant serial murderer, Dr. Silas Holm…

 

Of course, the next book in the series is:

The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows

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The third edge-of-your-seat thriller in the Georgina MacKenzie series. Fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo won’t be able to put it down!

Europe is in the grip of an extreme Arctic blast and at the mercy of a killer, who leaves no trace. His weapons of choice are razor-sharp icicles. This is Jack Frost.

Now a fully qualified criminologist, Georgina McKenzie is called upon by the Dutch police to profile this cunning and brutal murderer. Are they looking for a hit man or a frenzied serial-killer? Could there be a link to a cold missing persons’ case that George had worked with Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen – two abducted toddlers he could never quite give up on?

The hunt for Jack Frost sparks a dangerous, heart-rending journey through the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Roma gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society. Walking into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring, can George outrun death to shed light on two terrible mysteries?

You can purchase The George McKenzie series by clicking the relevant links below:

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die

The Girl Who Broke The Rules

The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows

 

 


 

Without further ado here’s Marnie’s fab guest post for Bibliophile Book Club…

 

 

What’s next for George McKenzie?

 

It’s very difficult to talk about my future plans for George without giving away a little of what happens in The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows. So I must be careful not to litter this post with spoilers about my own book! But what I would say is that George is a character who is so complex and does such interesting work as a criminologist that she is never going to be short of professional adventures, personal trials and tribulations in her private life.

 

I’ve read the odd review on Amazon – not just for my series but for the novels of fellow crime writers, too – bemoaning the fact that main protagonists in the genre are often flawed in some way, i.e. alcoholics or terrible womanisers or socially odd loners. And yes. Dr. Georgina McKenzie is terribly flawed. She has a short temper and is slow to trust others. She’s argumentative and contrary. She suffers from borderline OCD at times in her life when she’s under extreme stress. Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen, who is as much of a star of the series as George, is addicted to prescription painkillers, suffers from anxiety disorder and despite being head over heels in love with George, is a shocking commitment-phobe. But I would argue that it is these flaws that inspire readers’ sympathy and drive the stories forward. Without adversity in a character’s life, there is simply little scope for dramatic tension. That makes for a very quiet read – not something I’m interested in writing in the least. So, it is the contrariness of George’s character and the complexity of her backstory that suggests what might happen next…Relationship angst – tick. Mother-daughter squabbles – tick. Danger at every turn – big tick.

 

When I was planning The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows, I knew I wanted to write a story that continued to explore themes of international trafficking, the psychology behind brutal criminality and the darker side to sexuality that appear in books one and two. George is a little older in this third novel – she is 26 and now qualified as a criminologist, working on studies in women’s prisons as well as researching people-trafficking – and she needs to be. The novel tackles the tricky subjects of child pornography, paedophilia and child abuse, though I hope I’ve addressed them with a sensitivity and seriousness that informs but never glamorises such dark, emotive topics. Though she has been fearless to the point of recklessness from the outset (usually fuelled by her short temper and fierce loyalty), twenty-year-old George in The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die could never have faced the emotional trials that twenty-six-year-old George does in The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows. So, in the short term, the future for George holds danger and darkness, lightened by a domestic backdrop we can all recognise of relationship anxieties, family squabbling, office politics and financial woe.

 

But what will happen beyond this third book? Do George and her pals have a future? Well, given that crime is the ultimate world-traveller, I think we can safely assume that if a fourth book were to appear, George and Van den Bergen’s fight against organised crime and trafficking might lead them beyond the tough streets of S.E. London, Cambridge’s ivory towers and Amsterdam’s canal network once again. Perhaps George will wash up on distant shores in pursuit of the bad guys. Given her propensity to become entangled in the dodgy dealings of the underworld she is trying to study and given George’s knack for courting high drama in her personal life, I think it’s safe to say there might well be more international thrills in store for our coolest, mouthiest, brightest, most kick-ass heroine!


 

Huge thanks to Marnie Riches for joining me on the blog today! You can follow the tour and catch up with previous stops on these brilliant blogs!

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In The Shadows by Tara Lyons Blog Tour 

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Yay!! My stop on the IN THE SHADOWS blog tour is finally here! 🙂 Massive thanks to Tara for asking me to be a part of it, as well as letting me read it before release!

 

About the book (via Goodreads):

 

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is tasked with apprehending a brutal murderer stalking the streets of London – and leaving not a shred of DNA evidence. As the suspect list mounts, his frustration and pressure from his superiors intensify.

Grace Murphy, who is dealing with the recent loss of her beloved grandfather, falls deeper into despair when her friends’ bodies are discovered. Fearing she may be the killer’s next target, she begins to question if her horrifying nightmares are the key to unravelling the murderer’s identity.

How far would you go to uncover the truth? Would you venture into the shadows to unmask a killer?

 

My thoughts:

 

In The Shadows is Tara’s solo debut novel so I was super excited to read it. I had read and enjoyed Web Of Deceit, which was co-written with Mel Comley and I reviewed it on here too so if you click the link below it will take you to the review.

Web Of Deceit

In The Shadows is a really well written book. The prologue grips you immediately as you meet the killer and get a glimpse into their twisted mind as they commit a murder.

We are introduced to the main character, Grace, who is mourning the loss of her grandfather and struggling to hold herself together while grappling with her grief. We also meet Detective Hamilton, who is trying to catch a killer stalking and murdering women, yet somehow not leaving a shred of DNA evidence behind.

The frustration at the lack of evidence is apparent for those tasked with investigating the murders. As they stack up, and suspects are non existent, you can feel the tension being built in the book.

Since her grandfather passed away, Grace has been having awful nightmares and has been finding comfort at the bottom of bottles. In a moment of clarity, Grace takes it upon herself to do some investigating of her own, especially as she knew at least one of the victims. In doing so, the reader is made to question whether or not Grace is going to end up on the killer’s radar and if she’s putting her own life in danger too.

I don’t want to say much more about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away! I really enjoyed reading In The Shadows though! It is a brilliant solo debut, and Tara Lyons is definitely an author to watch out for!

In The Shadows was released on March 17th and you can purchase a copy HERE.

You can also follow the IN THE SHADOWS BLOG TOUR on these brilliant blogs! 😉

IN THE SHADOWS_Blog tour March 2016

 

 

 

The Teacher Blog Tour Short Story Exclusive

Hi everyone,

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for Katerina Diamond’s new release, The Teacher. I posted my review this week for publication day and you can catch up with that post by clicking the link below:

The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

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About the book (via Goodreads):

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil?

You’re wrong …

A LESSON YOU WILL NEVER FORGET

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

SMART. GRIPPING. GRUESOME.

This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.

You can purchase a copy HERE.

 

If you’ve been following the tour, you will know that the first ten bloggers are each hosting a part of an exclusive short story written by the author in conjunction with The Teacher. If you’ve missed the first three days, you can catch up by clicking the relevant links below:

Part 1- Linda’s Book Bag

Part 2- Brook Cottage Books

Part 3- La Chouett

I am hosting PART FOUR so without further ado…

 

STALKERS – Part 4

The lights in the hall had stopped working, the corridor was washed out and depressing which made the whole encounter feel a little creepy. But not as creepy as this woman made Imogen feel. In her brief time working with Adrian Miles, Imogen had learned two main things about him. The first was that he drove like an octogenarian and the second was that he had absolutely no instincts when it came to women.

Lucy pushed on the door and they all went inside. She pulled out her phone and pulled up a photo of the room they were standing in, the lounge. It was the same. Lucy took a deep breath and sighed, Miles put his hand on her shoulder reassuringly and she turned and smiled. Imogen watched as Lucy kept checking where Miles was in proximity to her, she definitely seemed agitated.  They walked into the kitchen.

“Did you leave your mug in the sink this morning?” Adrian asked as they all walked slowly towards the sink.

“Yes. Look.” She showed them a photo of her sink, the mug was there.

When they arrived at the sink it was empty, Lucy’s hand went up to her mouth and her eyes began to water. Miles rubbed her shoulder. Imogen shook her head.

“Who is doing this?” Lucy sobbed.

Imogen saw Miles move in towards Lucy and so quickly put her arm around her, before Adrian had a chance to. Lucy turned to Imogen with her face crinkled in confusion, as if she had completely forgotten Grey was there.

“We’ll get someone to come and take a statement from you in the morning, OK?”

“You believe me now, don’t you?” Lucy looked at Miles, mascara streaked down her face.

Imogen waited to get Miles’s attention then signalled to the front door with her eyes. He looked puzzled but that was not unusual. They hadn’t quite had time to fine tune to each-other’s facial expressions just yet, so she would have to settle for crude eye signals until they did. Imogen steered them all toward the door and looked at the handle until Miles got the hint and opened it.

Imogen waited until Miles was out before letting go of Lucy then following him, deliberately standing in the way.

“Someone will be in touch.” She smiled and pulled the door closed before looking at Miles.

“What the hell was that?” he asked.

“You need to step off. Get someone else on this. She’s all over you.”

“What are you talking about? She’s upset because some creep has been in her house! Nothing’s going on!”

“Well someone needs to tell her that. Trust me Miley. Keep your distance. She’s lying about someone breaking into her house.”

It’s true that wherever they went the women went a little weird around Miles, to the point where he didn’t even really notice it. But if there was one thing Imogen had the drop on, it was mentally unstable women. Some people had Gaydar – Imogen had this; this wasn’t the last they would hear from Lucy.

 


 

So, there you have it! Make sure to follow the tour to read more from Stalkers by Katerina Diamond!

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Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading! 🙂

 

 

Jihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov

Today it’s my stop on the #Jihadi Blog Tour! Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and to Yusuf Toropov for allowing me to hop on the tour! You can see the full schedule below!


About the book (via Goodreads):

A former intelligence agent stands accused of terrorism, held without charge in a secret overseas prison. His memoir is in the hands of a psychologist with her own agenda, and her annotations paint a much darker picture.

As the story unravels, we are forced to assess the truth for ourselves, and decide not only what really happened, but who is the real terrorist.

Peopled by a diverse and unforgettable cast of characters, whose reliability as narrators is always questioned, and with a multi-layered plot heaving with unexpected and often shocking developments, Jihadi: A Love Story is an intelligent thriller that asks big questions.


My thoughts: 

I have no idea where to start with my review for Jihadi. Not necessarily a bad thing, just a lot to digest.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a few days to really get into the book. As it’s not my usual genre, I read a little at a time and then I did something I never do. I took notes. Yes you read that right. Never in my life have I taken notes on a book, possibly in school but that’s a good 15 years ago now!

Jihadi is the kind of book that you need to read slowly. You need to soak in every word, every new character, every harrowing scene. Whether you realise it or not, while you are reading, it seeps into the deep recesses of your mind, and takes hold of your emotions.

I tend to shy away from books that have war, terrorism and religious themes running through them. However, Jihadi has been a thoroughly breathtaking introduction to subjects that cause so much trouble in the world we live in.

Towards the end of the book, I found myself becoming emotionally invested in the fates of the characters. All of them. Toropov has created a wonderfully diverse set of characters and they all have their own quirks and agendas.

While I was on the fence to begin with, by the end of Jihadi I was definitely certain of one thing. It’s most definitely a piece of modern literature unlike anything I’ve read before and in the best possible way.

The prose is wonderfully written and beautifully observed. I found myself having to stop reading on more than one occasion, such was the vividness of the picture painted with the authors words.

I’m so thankful to Karen and Yusuf for my copy of Jihadi: A Love Story. You can pick up a copy HERE.

Happy reading 🙂


*Rachel Abbott Kill Me Again Blog Tour*

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Hey everyone!

Today is my stop on the Kill Me Again blog tour! For any of you who don’t know, Rachel Abbott is the UK’s most successful self-published authors and Kill Me Again was released on the 17th of February.

 

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I’m delighted to be able to share with you Rachel’s Top Five Thrilling Reads, so without further ado, have a read! 😉


TOP FIVE THRILLERS

 

I have loved thrillers for as long as I can remember, and I’ve read so many brilliant ones it’s really hard to remember them all. I’ve chosen a few here, but I could have come up with a much longer list.

 

My favourite types of thrillers are those in which the investigation team are on the periphery. They may well have strong personalities of their own and play a vital role in the story, but essentially the story is about the victims and the perpetrators, so we see majority of the action from their perspective. There are a couple of exceptions in this list below, but they are all good reads – so much so that most have been made into films.

 

 

Misery – Stephen King – 

Every writer’s nightmare in the terrifying flesh, being kidnapped by a super fan who has mental health issues and a burning desire to keep you in one place by any means necessary. I have fresh respect for the plight of Paul Sheldon being forced to write a book to please the unhinged, violent Annie Wilkes every time I walk past a sledgehammer. This is a true thriller.

 

Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris – 

High-functioning psychopath and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter is approached by his darling Clarice Starling for help with another serial killer. Buffalo Bill skins his female victim’s corpses. There are a hundred reasons to love this book but I’m afraid I love it most for a gruesome one-liner involving a vest!

 

Before I go to Sleep – SJ Watson – 

The idea behind this book is brilliant. It’s the kind of idea that I’m sure most writers wish they had thought of first. The main character, Christine Lucas, has lost her life because she has lost her memory. Every night when she goes to sleep, her memory is wiped and so she records her daily existence to figure out who she really is. Gradually she discovers, through reading the diaries, that something isn’t quite right. But who should she trust?

 

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson – 

I confess that it took me a while to get into this book. The early part of the story didn’t grab me, but I am so glad that I persevered. The story has so many twists and turns and sub-plots that it is quite a mental work out. Larsson has several strands all leading to a story of rape, sexual assault and murder, and I loved the way the tiniest nuggets of information became so hugely important. And I don’t think I guessed who the killer was until the very end – always the sign of a good book.

 

The Body Farm – Patricia Cornwell – 

Any book that involves the death of children recalls Brady and Hindley for me, especially as I used to live in Saddleworth – the area in which this couple buried some of the bodies of their victims. In The Body Farm, Kay Scarpetta investigates the brutal murder of an 11-year-old girl and it looks like the handiwork of a serial killer who has dodged the FBI for years. Unlike the others, this is more focused on the investigation – but as with most books by this author, that doesn’t mean that the main characters are safe from harm. Far from it. I particularl love the fact that an actual research facility for the study of human decomposition was the inspiration for the title and the plot.


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Ive read three out of the five books listed, and have the other two on my TBR so I must root them out and read them! 😉

 

***There’s also a giveaway running here and on Twitter for a paperback book and T-shirt saying ‘careful, or you’ll end up in my next novel’! All you have to do, is comment below or on Twitter with your favourite crime book OF ALL TIME. It’s that simple! A winner will be chosen at random, and their prize sent out!***

(UK & IRE ONLY)


Here’s some links if you want to keep up with Rachel Abbott:

Twitter: @RachelAbbott

Facebook: Rachel Abbott1Writer

Website: www.rachel-abbott.com

The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo

My thanks to Hayley at Harper Collins for my copy of The Invisible Guardian to read and review.

I’m honoured to be the last stop on the blog tour for this book, the first in the Baztán trilogy.

About the book: 

The naked body of a teenage girl is found on the banks of the River Baztán. Less than 24 hours after this discovery, a link is made to the murder of another girl the month before. Is this the work of a ritualistic killer or of the Invisible Guardian, the Basajaun, a creature of Basque mythology?
30-year-old Inspector Amaia Salazar heads an investigation which will take her back to Elizondo, the village in the heart of Basque country where she was born, and to which she had hoped never to return. A place of mists, rain and forests. A place of unresolved conflicts, of a dark secret that scarred her childhood and which will come back to torment her.

Torn between the rational, procedural part of her job and local myths and superstitions, Amaia Salazar has to fight off the demons of her past in order to confront the reality of a
serial killer at loose in a region steeped in the history of the Spanish Inquisition.

 

My thoughts:

I had seen The Invisible Guardian pop up on social media a couple of times, so when I was contacted by Hayley to see if I was interested, naturally it was a yes. I was intrigued to read this Spanish bestseller to see what it was like!

Initially, I found it hard to get into. It took a while for the story to progress and there were many asides to do with Spanish mythology and with character backgrounds. However, these descriptions all (whether I realised it or not) had some impact on the developing story and it was all explained much later on.

I liked Inspector Salazar as a character. Well written and quite a strong woman, she didn’t take any prisoners (pardon the pun) and did her job well. Salazar, like many main characters, has her own hidden weaknesses and some of these threaten to undo her during the course of the book.

The murder investigation takes many different twists and turns, and I honestly couldn’t see where it was going for quite some time! Every time I thought I had the perpetrator, the author cleverly pointed the finger in another direction. I quite like that in books, as it makes you think back over what made you choose one person over another and what changed for the characters.

Redondo has skilfully written in Basque heritage and mythology into her novel. The pictures painted are wonderfully vivid, misty mornings that roll on, dense forestry and a flowing river all add to the darkness of the ritualistic subject matter in The Invisible Guardian.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would happily read the following two books in the Baztán trilogy.

You can purchase a copy HERE
Happy reading 😊📖

Nightblind Blog Tour

Woop!! It’s mine and Grab This Book’s turn on the blog tour for Ragnar Jónasson’s latest offering in the Dark Iceland series, Nightblind. 😊

 

 

Jónasson is easily one of my favourite authors of 2015, and I am beyond thrilled to be on the blog tour for one of my top series of 2015!

 

I waited patiently (ahem 😂) for Nightblind and was lucky enough to get a review copy early, as well as a signed first edition (which I am quoted it!) for Christmas. So without further ado, here’s my review for Nightblind…

 

About the book: (via Goodreads) 



Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him.
The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman – shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will.
Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all. Dark, chilling and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent.
My thoughts:

 

I always wonder when an author you love writes a spectacular book, can they continue to write books that you know you will love even before opening the first page…

In Ragnar Jónasson’s case, ABSOLUTELY!!!
I have been eagerly waiting for Nightblind for weeks, and have not stopped singing its predecessors (Snowblind) praises on Twitter and Facebook for months.
Nightblind begins a few years after Snowblind, with Ari Thór still working as the police in Siglufjörðor, passed over for promotion to Inspector, but back with Kristín and a father to baby Stefnir.

The book opens with the murder of the other policeman, Herjólfur, at a desolate and dilapidated house near the edge of the town.
Ari Thór is tasked with finding out what happened, and he calls in his old work colleague Tomás to help with the investigation.
Small towns and tight communities make for difficult work when it comes to finding out what has happened and sometimes people aren’t always what they seem.
Nightblind is a beautifully written mystery. It echoes days gone by, bringing past and present day secrets together in a quietly chilling way.
The subdued nature of the story is offset by Jónasson’s superb writing style, bringing alive characters who see each suffering in their own way.

Nightblind is also a stunning lesson in Icelandic geography. Jónasson has a wonderful way of painting pictures with words and each sentence adds an extra dimension to scenery.
This book has been worth the wait, without a doubt. The Dark Iceland series are fast earning a place on my favourites of all time list.
The elegant prose, coupled with the chilling, almost sleepy location, make for an utterly enthralling read.
An easy 5 stars for me, all the stars, always. ❤️

 

You can buy your copy here: Nightblind (Dark Iceland)

 

Make sure you follow the tour, the dates and blogs are listed here!