Blog Tour~ The Silent Dead by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Silent Dead by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland. 

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

Author Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972

WEBSITE: https://grahamsmithauthor.com/

GOODREADShttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5446655.Graham_Smith?from_search=true

About the book:

He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…

Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District. 

The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

A tenacious young detective with scars both physical and emotional, Beth Young will stop at nothing in her fight for justice for the innocent. The Silent Dead is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District, it is perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and Peter James. 

Ellen’s Review:

I must start this review with a little bit of author awe and praise – Graham Smith has created three fantastic protagonists over three separate series of books and I have come to the conclusion that he is either a true genius or a little bit mad! To be able to “listen” to these characters then tell their stories and do every single one of them justice must take some doing. Graham often says that he is nothing more than a stenographer for the voices in his head and I have the upmost respect for his ability to translate all this into some outstanding stories and the talent to draw his readers into every new novel.

In The Silent Dead we are introduced to his latest creation, DC Beth Young, a new recruit to the Cumbrian Major Investigation Team. Beth is the youngest (a fact she is not allowed to forget)and she is torn between proving she is good enough to be there and not stepping on the toes of the already established team. As this is the first in the series we are given some background information of them all and gain an understanding into how they all react to Beth initially. I love how Beth often just blurts out her theories in one word Staccato answers; her initial thoughts are shot out and then she fleshes them out for those around her. I can imagine this would be quite disconcerting until you got to know her!

The murders in The Silent Dead are some of the most gruesome I have ever read and I loved this (don’t judge me). Bodies are being found in abandoned stately homes and not just rolled into a ditch or hidden away…these bodies are displayed and wings have been attached to their back. The wings aren’t the extent of the horrors that these poor victims have endured but I’ll leave those juicy details for you to find out for yourselves!

The Silent Dead is a fantastic start to a new series and I look forward to reading many more.

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Blog Tour~ The Cold Years by Joel Hames Ellen’s Review

Hey guys, 

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Cold Years by Joel Hames and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist. Joel writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him). His first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015.

If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthor or Twitter at @joel_hames

About the book:

When so many haven’t survived, just being alive can feel like a crime

Everyone needs to be heard: if there’s one thing Sam Williams has learned it’s that. Which is why he finds himself defending Richard Fothergill against accusations that date back decades.

But Sam’s real problems are closer to home.His nemesis, Trawden, is finally dead, but so are those he once called friends.The people he used to count on, the ones who aren’t in the ground, aren’t whatthey once were, either. DI Martins is on his back again, and she’s got company.And Sam’s girlfriend Claire might be recovering from her breakdown, but she’snot telling him everything.

Life would be so much easier if Sam knewthe answers. Instead, all he’s got are questions.

Who is following him, and what do they want?

What did Fothergill really do to the children he taught?

And where was Claire the day Edward Trawden was killed?

Everyonehas a secret to hide, but some secrets are too close to home.

Ellen’s Review:

Sam Williams is back! In this third instalment he is still dealing with the repercussions of the previous book (No One Will Hear) and under suspicion of murder. Of course Sam isn’t going to let a little thing like this get him down, he is soon agreeing to take on the case of Mr Fothergill, a teacher who is being accused of abuse by a former pupil. On top of this he is trying to help his girlfriend Claire recover from her recent breakdown. She is really having a tough time of things in The Cold Years and appears so fragile but Sam has his suspicions that she is not as devastated as she is making out and has evidence she is sneaking out of the house when he is not in. This puts him in a very difficult position as he enlists a shady colleague to keep tabs on her comings and goings but will he like what he discovers?

 

I love the fact that reading Joel’s books is like seeing a huge jigsaw come together, all those little parts you have that won’t fit however hard you try and shove them in somehow magically take shape to create the perfect picture. The slow drip feed of information was fantastic and the  denouement when the final act plays out is perfection.

 

I really hope that this isn’t the last we see of Sam Williams (and Claire). More please Mr Hames!

 


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Blog Tour~ The Lingering by S. J. I. Holliday Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Lingering by S. J. I. Holliday and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December. Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.

About the book:

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history. When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution… At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

The Lingering by S. J. I. Holliday

Ellen’s Review:

If you’re looking for a modern Gothic thriller you can’t go far wrong with The Lingering by SJI Holliday! I was immediately drawn in by the cover which is so atmospheric, I’ll give you a moment to check it out again….…gorgeous isn’t it!? I can totally see myself arriving at Rosalind House (then getting straight back in my car and leaving again), such an imposing building which exudes, and contains, so much character.

Jack and Ali Gardner sell up and move to a commune that inhabits Rosalind House – former asylum and source of rumours in the local village. Whispers of witchcraft, ghosts and historic abuse of patients are rife and I think a lot of people would enter that environment with a sense of trepidation. I did wonder why Jack (a former policeman) and Ali (a psychiatric nurse) would move to such a place. I was immediately suspicious of their actions and obviously the spirits of the house are too as ghostly activity steps up a notch or is it all the figment of someone’s imagination? Is this a case of them finding the house at the right time or the other way around? With each page turned the tension grows and grows.

The Lingering is such a perfect book to read at this time of year as the nights are drawing in and the moon is high. You will definitely be more aware of the slightest creaks and groans your house makes as you’re reading. I’d maybe keep the lights on a bit longer at bedtime if I were you, you definitely didn’t just see what you thought you saw from the corner of your eye…Oh, and you’ll never get a bath again once you’re done. Showers all the way!

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Blog Tour~The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author: 

Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’ 

The Liar’s Wife is out now! 

About the book:

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.

But Ella has never been married…

Absolutely love twisty and unputdownable psychological thrillers like Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and Gone Girl? Then you will be totally hooked by this jaw-dropping novel about the dangerous secrets behind a perfect marriage.

Amazon: http://geni.us/TLWSocial

iBookstore: https://tinyurl.com/y8er9m3o

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y938sgjo

Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/y9adv2fr

Ellen’s Review

Having loved Tell Me a Secret by Samantha Hayes I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest offering! The Liar’s Wife had me gripped straightaway and I flew through the pages; it was another book that I couldn’t put down until I had answers to all my questions.

Work. Home. Sleep. Repeat – this is Ella Sinclair’s mantra in life and one that she sticks to rigidly. She is obviously a recluse and we are left wondering why; what is it that she is running/hiding from? Even enthusiastic work colleague Liam can’t break through her routine and tempt her on an evening out. Ella does not socialise in any capacity, she cycles home alone to her flat every day so when she is involved in a traffic accident and wakes to be told her devoted husband Jacob has been waiting for her to wake up and take her home my brain did a little flip and my stomach dropped. Ella is obviously terrified of this man but he claims to hold information on a terrible secret from her past that he will reveal if she doesn’t play the happy little wife.

So begins a dark and disturbing story of Ella being incapacitated and held against her will by a very dangerous (and clearly demented) man. Jacob is one of the most horrible characters I have read recently, my skin was crawling over his actions and my heart was in my mouth every time Ella had a confrontation with him or broke his many rules. I was desperate to know what this secret from the past was that Ella and Jacob shared and as The Liar’s Wife reached its epic conclusion my mind was well and truly blown!

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Recent Reads Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

I’ve got some more mini-reviews for what I’ve been reading lately!

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven: The sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness.

As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey – and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

I really liked The Five People You Meet in Heaven when I read it so I was eager to check this one out. And while it was still a nice read, I found it to be less enchanting than the first one. I think I just wanted more Eddie because he was such a pillar in the first book. That being said, Annie’s story is still a good read, and I liked how it was all interwoven. I think if you loved the first book, you’d enjoy this one!

Snapshot

Anthony Davis and his partner Chaz are the only real people in a city of 20 million, sent there by court order to find out what happened in the real world 10 days ago so that hidden evidence can be brought to light and located in the real city today.
Within the re-created Snapshot of May 1st, Davis and Chaz are the ultimate authorities. Flashing their badges will get them past any obstruction and overrule any civil right of the dupes around them. But the crimes the detectives are sent to investigate seem like drudgery – until they stumble upon the grisly results of a mass killing that the precinct headquarters orders them not to investigate. That’s one order they have to refuse.
The hunt is on. And though the dupes in the replica city have no future once the Snapshot is turned off, that doesn’t mean that both Davis and Chaz will walk out of it alive tonight.

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

I found the premise of Snapshot really clever, but I felt like I never got into it  properly. I liked the idea, and its a short book, but it fell a little flat for me. I really wanted to enjoy it, especially as I had never read any of Sanderson’s work before. But I think I’ll be sticking to the sci-fi/fantasy side of his stuff. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

I decided to start re-reading this series because I haven’t read them since they came out, and I wanted a little comfort reading. I can honestly say I loved this as much now, as I did when I read it the first time. It is magical, heartwarming and a really great start to the series. I love it as much now, and I can’t wait to read all of the others!

Loyalty

Loyalty: Book 2 in the Anarchy series

Don’t look back. That’s where the danger lies.

With Grace left reeling from choosing between Hayden and her family, she knows she needs to accept her decision.

Meanwhile as the youngest leader of Blackwing, Hayden is coping with the demands placed on him to keep the camp alive. Can he protect his friends from their violent rivals? And should he trust himself to do the right thing?

Demand loyalty. Protect your family. Trust no one.

Loyalty by Megan DeVos

I am loving this series. It has so much action, and I love the relationship that is developing between Grace and Hayden. There is a lot of “sexy-tension” (thanks to Ellen, this phrase will always make me laugh!), and in a way, it reminds me of Bella and Edward in Twilight! There is so much more going on than that obviously, but I enjoy watching their dynamic changing as the series progresses. I am eager to read the next book in the series as I find I CANNOT put these books down when I start them!

Blog Tour~Good Samaritans by Will Carver Ellen’s Review

Hey all,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Good Samaritans by Will Carver and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

View More: http://razialife.pass.us/vanessa-and-brendans-wedding

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

About the book:

GOOD SAMARITANS AW PR1.indd

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans. But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home… And someone is watching… Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

Good Samaritans by Will Carver

Ellen’s review:

Instructions on how to read Good Samaritans:

1. Buy the book 

2. Read the book as quickly as possible while pausing to pick dropped jaw from the floor repeatedly.

3. Finish and question what a dark genius Will Carver is.

4. Spread the word – seriously shout about it from the rooftops!

5. Glance around furtively when buying bleach…..

Seth Beauman is an insomniac. He stays up late into the night, calling strangers from his phonebook, desperate to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A troubled, suicidal Hadley Serf thinks she is speaking to The Samaritans but a crossed wire means she ends up pouring her troubles out to Seth. This seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. Soon this dysfunctional love story evolves into something altogether darker when Seth brings Hadley home. Add into this volatile mix actual Samaritan call handler Ant searching for lost souls to save and you have a deeply tangled web of troubled relationships and dark secrets.

I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure if Good Samaritans was going to be my kind of book with all the talk about it being sexy/steamy, I have an issue with “sexy tension” in books and sex scenes in general. I’m no prude I’m just not a fan of those lingering, when-will-it-end paragraphs! Thankfully Good Samaritans contains more wham bam thank you ma’am/sir scenarios and I’m cool with that…take from this insight into me what you will!

I tore through this book in two sittings, loving the shocks, thrills , spills and revelations. I don’t like to compare books to others but I was reminded of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and You by Caroline Kepnes (two books I am a massive fan of). So if obsession, attention to detail and stalking are your bag you’ll love this book. Yes there are shocking scenes and heinous acts committed but Carver draws you in making you an observer to these depraved things and desperate to know where the games will end.

It is difficult to reveal much about Good Samaritans you really need to experience it for yourself. So, follow the rules I’ve set out and enjoy!

Five stars and #sixbottlesofbleach from me.

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Final Good Samaritans BT Poster

Blog Tour~Die Cold (Jake Boulder #4) by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today Ellen is one of the stops on the blog tour for Die Cold, the latest Jake Boulder novel, by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Graham Smith Author Pic

Graham Smith is a time-served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Social Media Links:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972 @GrahamSmith1972

Website www.grahamsmithauthor.com

About the book:

Die Cold (Jake Boulder Book 4) by [Smith, Graham]

Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New  Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows he has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

Die Cold (Jake Boulder #4) by Graham Smith

Ellen’s review:

Die Cold is a high octane thriller from first shot fired to the final punch thrown! Book four in the Jake Boulder series – a series that just keeps getting better and better.

After being concerned about how Jake would recover from the events of Past Echoes (book 3) it was fantastic to see him back on form and then some!

Jake is working as a barman for an exclusive ski resort favoured by the uber rich when a group of terrorists descend and take everyone hostage. This gang are obviously professionals and it is clear to Jake that no one is going to get out of this situation to tell the tale unless he takes action.

An absolutely gripping read that I could not put down, this book would make an amazing film although I’m not quite sure who would star as Jake, I’ll leave that to your own sordid imagination….

If I had to say there was anything missing from this book it would be a white vest for Mr Boulder.

Yippee Ki-Yay Boulder lovers!! Bring on book five!

Previous reviews:

Watching The Bodies- Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Past Echoes by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

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DIE COLD BLOG BLITZ banner (5).jpg