Blog Tour~The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor~Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor and I’l be sharing her review with you all just a little further down.

About the author:

C. J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author. 

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.

About the book:

One night, Annie went missing.

Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst.

And then, after 48 hours, she came back.

But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.

Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what.

I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same.

She wasn’t my Annie.

I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

Ellen’s Review:

I absolutely adored C. J. Tudor’s debut The Chalk Man and could not wait to read The Taking of Annie Thorne. I was not disappointed – this book was even better!!

The main character Joe Thorne returns to his home town of Arnhill in Nottinghamshire (an old colliery town). Now a teacher with some bad debts from gambling and nasty sorts after him, Joe is no-ones idea of a hero. Arnhill is a typical Northern mining village (and I was born and raised in one so can say this), a small community filled with small minded people. Although Joe lived there he is still seen as an outsider and people are suspicious of his agenda, the fact that he is renting a house where a murder/suicide took place recently does not help his image. The events of the house seem linked to Joe’s past; his younger sister went missing and came back 48 hours later…different. A mother had lived in the house Joe is renting with her young son and inexplicably murdered him then killed herself, above his bed she had written NOT MY SON.

As a teenager Joe was involved in a local gang who revelled in making the local misfits/different kids lives a misery. The episodes of bullying are not an easy read and there is a certain scene which really gave me the shivers! Their actions lead them to a life changing event which will have repercussions for everyone involved.

The Taking of Annie Thorne is definitely more of a horror than a thriller and I loved the supernatural element. Creepy kids, terrifying bugs and secrets that literally refuse to stay buried. C. J. Tudor has been compared to Stephen King and I would agree, I am definitely reminded of his earlier works. I reckon it’s about time we had a Queen of the horror genre and I’d happily hand C. J. Tudor the crown!

Check out the blog tour:

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hey guys,

I’m back with another of these because if I don’t post them now I’ll never do it! 😂

Die Cold (Jake Boulder Book 4)

I love the Jake Boulder series. It’s got everything I look for in thrillers. Pace, action, great characters and just all round good fun! Die Cold is another brilliant installment in the JB series. I was hooked pretty much from the off. For the full effect, I would recommend reading the previous books in the series in order to know the backstory, but you could probably jump in with this one and still enjoy it! Graham Smith has a knack for writing US-based thrillers. You really get a feel for the locations plus he has a real cinematic quality to his writing. There is a definite nod to Die Hard in this one, and you’ll notice plenty of bookish easter eggs/homages to that action stalwart in Die Cold. Thoroughly enjoyed Die Cold and can’t wait for the next one!

The Cross: An Eddie Flynn Novella

I had been saving The Cross for when the Eddie Flynn-shaped hole in my reading life got too big to ignore, so I had to pick it up because I’m really missing Eddie. This is a novella, but it feels like you’re reading a full book, such is the depth of the story that Cavanagh has in this book. I love this series, and The Cross was perfect to get me through my withdrawals. I really enjoyed it, and actually took my time reading it. If you’ve not read this one yet, I would definitely recommend picking it up. And if you’ve not read the Eddie Flynn series then add that too because they’re great fun!

Gone By Dawn: An Exclusive Short Story (Victor)

I haven’t read Tom’s Victor series (YET) but Gone By Dawn was the perfect intro to him as a character. Think Eastern European Jack Reacher kind of style. This is only a quick read, but it fairly packs a punch. It’s made me want to read the series to find out more about Victor. There is an excellent amount of action and just the right amount of humanity to make Victor a character you would happily keep reading again!

Orphan, Monster, Spy

Orphan Monster Spy was one of the book club choices for Rick O’Shea’s Book Club on Facebook (at some point in the past few months) so I was eager to read it because Rick had been raving about it. I have to say, it wouldn’t have been a book I would have picked up of my own volition normally, but I absolutely loved it. I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, and wishing the time away so I could get back to reading. Compelling, emotive and gripping, I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Our Bloody Pearl (These Treacherous Tides Book 1)

The obsession with mermaids (shoutout to Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant and To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo for starting it!) continued with Our Bloody Pearl. It popped up randomly on a Bookbub email so I downloaded it because I saw mermaids in the description 😂 It’s actually not a bad book. It’s got an interesting story, and I did feel for the characters as the plot developed. It kept me reading, and that’s always a good thing. I would happily continue reading if the author brings out more books!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I’m continuing my re-read of the HP books, although I appear to have stalled because Goblet is a TOME, my Azkaban one is in another batch of these reviews! I love these books, and it’s really weird reading them as 30-something because I’m seeing a lot more now than I was when I read them many years ago. While Chamber isn’t my favorite of the series, it’s still a good one. It introduces one of my fave characters, Dobby, so it was always going to be a positive thing! I genuinely don’t know how to review these books now, because I never envisioned reviewing them then! So I’ll just say I love them 🤣

The Burning Page: The Invisible Library 03 (The Invisible Library series Book 3)

Not my favorite of the Invisible Library series, but it was still really good. There seemed to be a lot more going on in this one than in the previous books, but it’s still really enjoyable. I really like the characters, especially Kai and Irene, and the world building is so complicated that I have the utmost of respect for Genevieve Cogman and her ability to weave these worlds together so seamlessly. Highly recommend this series if you enjoy fantasy books!


So that’s it for another R4 (yep, I’m too lazy to type the words 😂) post. I’m hoping to get through these a bit more in the next week or so if I get the time so keep an eye out!

I’ll have fantasy, YA, crime and thriller reviews coming soo, along with blog tour posts too 😊

Until next time…

Happy reading 📚😊

A Killer’s Alibi (Philadelphia Legal #4) by William L. Myers Jr.

About the author:

William L. Myers, Jr

William L. Myers Jr. is a Philadelphia lawyer with thirty years of trial experience in state and federal courts up and down the East Coast. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, he has argued before the United States Supreme Court and still actively practices law.

Myers was born into a proud, working-class family and now lives with his wife, Lisa, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

About the book:


For attorney Mick McFarland, the evidence is damning. And so are the family secrets in this twisty legal thriller from the Amazon Charts bestselling author of A Criminal Defense.
When crime lord Jimmy Nunzio is caught, knife in hand, over the body of his daughter’s lover and his own archenemy, he turns to Mick McFarland to take up his defense. Usually the courtroom puppeteer, McFarland quickly finds himself at the end of Nunzio’s strings. Struggling to find grounds for a not-guilty verdict on behalf of a well-known killer, Mick is hamstrung by Nunzio’s refusal to tell him what really happened.
On the other side of the law, Mick’s wife, Piper, is working to free Darlene Dowd, a young woman sentenced to life in prison for her abusive father’s violent death. But the jury that convicted Darlene heard only part of the truth, and Piper will do anything to reveal the rest and prove Darlene’s innocence.
As Mick finds himself in the middle of a mob war, Piper delves deeper into Darlene’s past. Both will discover dark secrets that link these fathers and daughters—some that protect, some that destroy, and some that can’t stay hidden forever. No matter the risk.

A Killer’s Alibi (Philadelphia Legal #4) by William L. Myers Jr.

My thoughts:

Having read and loved the first two books in this series, I was delighted to read A Killer’s Alibi!

First off, I will say it would be helpful to have read the first two books because the characters are interwoven throughout the books. Secondly, just read the books because they are brilliant legal thrillers! 🙂

There are two plots in A Killer’s Alibi, one focusing on Mick McFarland and one focusing on his wife, Piper, as she tries prove the innocence of a woman convicted of killing her father.

Bill Myers is an exceptional plotter. The way he uses misdirection to throw the reader off the scent is brilliant. I always find myself trying to figure out where the story is going, and I am NEVER right. I love that, because it means I am engrossed from start to finish, eager to know how everything pans out in the end.

I liked the thread with Piper trying to prove the innocence of Darlene Dowd. I thought it was really interesting to see how she works, especially considering events in the previous books!

Also, we meet Jimmy Nunzio again, and this time he is found holding the knife over his daughter’s dead lover. Nunzio retains Mick for his defense, and it becomes one of the hardest cases because how can you get a not guilty verdict when the man is a known killer!?

I don’t want to go into any more detail because the joy of reading these books is the figuring out of the various plot points. I always look forward to these because I am always hooked straightaway and I end up devouring them as fast as I can!

A Killer’s Alibi is a thrilling, pacy and thoroughly engaging story, with some excellently shady characters and plenty to keep the reader turning those pages!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

A Criminal Defense by William L. Myers Jr.

An Engineered Injustice by William L. Myers Jr.

Dead Is Beautiful (Charlie & Rose Investigate #4) by Jo Perry

Hi guys,

I’m back with a review for you all again today, this time for Fahrenheit Press legend, Jo Perry and her fourth installment in the Charlie and Rose series.

About the author:

Picture

Jo Perry earned a Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing, produced and wrote episodic television, 
and has published articles,  book reviews, and poetry.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry.    

They have two adult children. Their three cats and two dogs are rescues. 

You can follow her on twitter @JoPerryAuthor

About the book:

DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL, finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harboring a protected bird is being illegally cut down.

The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a to murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger. 

Charlie fights-across the borders of life and death–for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose. 

Dead Is Beautiful (Charlie & Rose Investigate #4)

My thoughts:

Dead is Beautiful is the fourth book in this series, and its safe to say its another excellent installment. As always, the chapters begin with a quote about death. While some may find this morbid, I think it really suits the tone of the books.

In this one, Rose is the driving force in getting Charlie to one of his most hated places, “Beverly Fucking Hills”. There is a tree being cut down that is housing a protected species of owl, and Rose just can’t keep away. There is usually a motive for Rose hanging around so you just know the story is going somewhere. Charlie wasn’t expecting it to be straight into his brother’s life.

What follows is a dark and weird look at Beverly Fucking Hills and its inhabitants. Meeting some real characters along the way (looking at you, McGurk!!!), Charlie and Rose are drawn much deeper than they could ever have expected. Murder, corruption and cover-ups aplenty in this one.

It seems to me that Dead is Beautiful is almost a social commentary on the whole Beverly Hills “thing”. The affluence, the materialistic and shallow undertones, it is a dark and satirical look at what is usually portrayed in a positive light.

I really enjoyed Dead is Beautiful, and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!

Previous Reviews:

Dead Is Better (Charlie & Rose Investigate #1) by Jo Perry

Dead Is Best (Charlie & Rose Investigate #2) by Jo Perry

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Hey guys,

I’ve got a review for you all today! I KNOW, an actual review!!! It’s been a while, right! 🙂

About the author:

Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, sharp skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.

About the book:

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the spider-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job―stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own―a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

Click the link below to grab your copy:

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

My thoughts:

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Season (review below), I was delighted to receive a copy of No Mercy from Titan Books to read ad review on the blog.

No Mercy catches up with Ellery in the aftermath of the events in The Vanishing Season (no spoilers, but I’d suggest reading it before you read No Mercy!) where she is off work pending the outcome of her therapy sessions for victims of violent crimes.

However, Ellery being the tenacious character she is, finds more to the therapy than she bargained for. An old arson case, and a brutal rape are just two of the situations her fellow group members are dealing with. And Ellery can’t leave well alone.

What follows is a tense, taught and gripping thriller. Ellery calls on her FBI profiler friend Reed Markham, who also happened to save her from a killer when she was a child, to come in and see if he can help her figure out whats going on with the two cases and its safe to say, things get very dark once they start investigating!

I’m not going to say any more about the plot because there is so much going on that I don’t want to mention anything by accident! No Mercy is a great book, pushed forward by the brilliant Ellery and supported effortlessly by Reed (my fave!). It has everthing I look for in a thriller.

Engaging, fast-paced and cinematic, No Mercy would not be out of place on the big screen if you ask me!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

I’m back with more reviews. It honestly feels like I will never get to clear this backlog, but I’m going to do what I can! 🙂

Dark Sacred Night: The Brand New Bosch and Ballard Thriller (Harry Bosch Series Book 21)

I’m a huge fan of the Bosch series, and I was lucky enough to be approved for this on Netgalley. I really enjoyed it, especially as I got to read about Renée Ballard. I haven’t gotten around to reading the first book featuring her. I loved the story, and it kept my attention the whole way through. I really like the relationship between Ballard and Bosch and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22)

The Midnight Line was another super fun Reacher read. I loved the idea of seeing the West Point ring in the pawn shop and the way everything spiralled once Reacher decided to find out why it was there. Interesting characters in TML too, and I flew through it.

Past Tense: (Jack Reacher 23)

I had a BEAUTIFUL hardback bound proof of this since Harrogate, but I had been saving it until closer to publication. I loved Past Tense. I found the story to be a bit of a departure from the usual Reacher story, in the sense of character motivations and actions, but I enjoyed it. I will now be impatiently waiting for the next one 🙂

Wild Magic (The Immortals, Book 1)

I’ve never read any Tamora Pierce so this was a new author and style for me, and I definitely got into it. The main character, Daine, is a young mage and she can communicate with animals and nature. I found myself thinking about it often when I wasn’t reading it, and I had to get the next books in the series to find out what happens! Highly recommended!

Wolf-Speaker (The Immortals, Book 2)

This one delves deeper into Daine’s world and it was as compelling as the first book. These are gentler than the usual magical/fantasy reads, but just as captivating.

Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3)

Lots more happened in this book than the previous two. Questions were answered, more questions were asked. I found myself getting lost in the world, and I really liked seeing the characters journeys throughout the series. Definitely recommend this series, and I’m dying to read the fourth book in the series!

The Importance of Being Aisling: Country Roads, Take Her Home

I’m the first to admit I am not a big fan of Irish fiction, not for any particular reason, I just prefer books set in a different country. But then I met Aisling, and I have never read a more relatable book in terms of being able to see traits in people I know woven through the story. It made me laugh, it had some sombre moments, but it was just a genuine and fun read. It really surprised me!

The Hangman’s Hold: A gripping serial killer thriller that will keep you hooked (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4)

Absolutely love Michael’s DCI Matilda Darke series and The Hangman’s Hold was another excellent installment. Dark, gripping and unsettling, I would highly recommend this series if you’ve not read any!

The Hermitage: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9)

I love this series, and I really liked The Hermitage. I enjoyed the dual locations and I found the story to be quite engaging. I kept reading and before I knew it I had it finished. The camaraderie and friendships between the characters are what make this series for me. It feels like catching up with friends when I pick up LJ Ross’s books !

Storm Rising (An F.B.I. K-9 Novel Book 3)

Another awesome installment in the FBI K-9 series. Hawk is such a cool dog, and I love reading these books because they are always so insightful from a technical aspect while being completely absorbing in terms of the story. I couldn’t put it down when I started it! Highly recommend this as another series to add to your TBR!

Blog Tour~Red Snow by Will Dean~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s turn on the blog tour for Red Snow by Will Dean and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying at the LSE and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.

About the book:

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Click the link below to order your copy:

https://amzn.to/2Hn4Bve

Ellen’s Review:

I read Dark Pines in December 2017 and as soon as I’d finished I was desperate to read more about Tuva Moodyson – I loved her character so much (along with the numerous shady people that also inhabited the small Swedish town of Gavrik)! I was delighted to get hold of the next in the series Red Snow. Some familiar characters are back (the Troll Sisters for example) and we are introduced to a few new intriguing ones as well. This could be read as a standalone but I would recommend that you read Dark Pines first to get a grasp on Tuva’s world.

I couldn’t wait to return to Gavrik although I’m pretty certain I would NOT survive the freezing conditions! After the Medusa Murders investigation and the death of her mother, Tuva has managed to escape the happenings of the previous months and bagged a journalist position in the bigger town of Malmo in the South. However…the suicide of Gustav Grimberg (head of the liquorice factory which is Gavrik’s main source of employment)  followed by a gruesome murder happen in quick succession and Tuva is determined to investigate the case before her departure. She is also asked by local ghost-writer David Holmqvist to help him write his book on the history of the Grimbergs. The Grimbergs have a little bit of a checkered past and Tuva is intrigued by the remaining members of the family who keep themselves to themselves and guard their secrets well. Anna-Britta (widow), daughter Karin and grandmother Cecilia slowly open up to Tuva which only leads to more questions and danger for the inhabitants of the factory, its staff and Tuva herself!

I was fascinated with the liquorice factory; I work in Pontefract the home of UK liquorice and Pomfrey cakes. The details of the factory were fabulous, Will is such a visual writer and I was right there with Tuva – the sounds of the workers tapping their liquorice coins, the smells from the canteen and feeling the growing fear over who The Ferryman’s next victim would be. Small town paranoia is hard at work in Red Snow and I had no idea who the perpetrator was.

Tuva is one of my favourite protagonists EVER – so sardonic but likeable, I’d love to have a night out with her but doubt I could keep up with her rum drinking but could take her out to our local liquorice festival. It was lovely to get to know her more and see a softer side to her nature, I really hope that love blossoms soon and she gets a bit of a break in the next book!

Five stars from me; Will Dean writes my favourite kind of Nordic Nwaaaaar and I cannot wait for Tuva 3. Go Team Tuva!

Check out the blog tour: