Tag, You’re Dead by J. C. Lane

About the book: 

Six young people play a dangerous Game of Tag in public, chasing through the crowds, streets, and buildings of Chicago. This secret, one-of-a-kind, wildly expensive Game offers a macabre twist to the childhood version if you get Tagged, you get Dead. Three “Its” have their reasons for buying a place in the Game. Surgically enhanced Brandy is obsessed with destroying a naturally beautiful girl. Untalented Robert covets his target’s position as superstar of the basketball team. Brainiac Charles craves a battle against an intellectual equal. Given their elite social status, they reject any possible downside to the contest. Each expects the satisfaction of killing their prey, then walking away. Hand-picked innocents play as Runners, under threat to their loved ones should they refuse to participate: lovely, small-town Laura; celebrated athlete Tyrese; and Amanda, gamer extraordinaire. Alone, hunted by their adversary, each feels a single hope to survive. Technological wizardry controls the Game. As soon as Runners receive the Go signal on smartwatches locked to their wrists, the Game rockets them through the city, from the El to Michigan Avenue to the Lincoln Park Zoo. There is no time to rest. Every thirty minutes the Runner s location is transmitted to the It, which steadily diminishes the Runner s chance of ever reaching Home Base alive. The Game will not end until someone is Tagged, so the Runners must choose how to play. Will they accept death? Murder their Its? Or find a way to use individual strengths to stop the Game before anyone dies?

 

My thoughts:

Firstly, I want to thank the author for contacting me to review this book, it is a hidden gem that I would otherwise have missed!!!

Tag, You’re Dead has a very interesting premise, reminiscent of The Hunger Games but using modern technology, it’s a rip-roaring read. I was so surprised, and drawn in so completely that I started and finished it in one day!

This book was brilliantly written, with some extremely interesting characters. What struck me about Tag, You’re Dead is that while it may NEVER actually happen, it is something that could happen, in that it is delivered in a plausible way.

The characters that are thrown into this macabre game of tag are all very different to one another. There is nothing that makes them stand out as above average, so it’s very easy to root for the runners (those being chased) and get invested in the outcome. The concept of runners and Its is very unusul, but it makes for a super fast-paced read!

The blurb above tells you all you need to know about the plot so I won’t go any further into detail. What I will says is that Tag, You’re Dead is a highly unusual and inventive tale and I’m so glad I got to read it as it was (pardon the forthcoming pun) a fantastic change of pace for me compared to some of my usual reads.

J. C. Lane has done an exceptional job of creating a novel with wide appeal, as I’m pretty sure this book could be YA as well as a thriller, and it works equally well as both! I gave Tag, You’re Dead 4 stars on goodreads. It’s published on July 5th and you can pre-order your copy by clicking on the link below:

Tag, You’re Dead by JC Lane

I also have a fab guest post from J. C. Lane coming up on Bibliophile Book Club closer to publication day so make sure to keep an eye out for that! 🙂

 

Montecristo by Martin Suter

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My sincerest thanks to the lovely people at No Exit Press for my review copy!

About the book:

Video journalist Jonas Brand is on a rail journey from Zurich to Basel when stock trader Paolo Contini appears to throw himself from the train to his death.

Brand sets his footage of the aftermath of the incident aside to investigate a strange coincidence: two 100-Swiss-franc banknotes bearing the same serial number have come into his possession. Sensing an opportunity to graduate from celebrity journalism to serious investigation, he has the banknotes analysed, with bizarrely contradictory… and fatal results.

Set in the tangled world of finance, politics and the media, Montecristo is a pacy conspiracy thriller full of betrayal and underhand tactics – a sharp and entertaining demonstration of the topical maxim that some banks are simply ‘too big to fail’.

 

My thoughts:

Montecristo is a novel based in Switzerland, which means I’m automatically intrigued as I really enjoy books based in colder climates. It has won accolades aplenty, and after reading it, I can see why! It is a brilliantly written, twisty and intriguing novel.

It follows Jonas Brand, a freelance video journo, who finds himself on a train where a man supposedly jumped to his death. What follows is a brilliant financial and political thriller that I could not put down!!

The supporting characters to Jonas are really well fleshed out, and Martin Suter has done an excellent job. I really liked Jonas especially though. I couldn’t help but root for him the entire way through Montecristo. (Speaking of, Montecristo is actually the name of a film project Jonas had been trying to get off the ground in the novel.)

When Jonas comes into the possession of two bank notes with the same serial number, the pace of the story really picks up and the level of intrigue shoots up a notch. Conspiracy rears its head and Jonas is led into an investigation that could have devastating consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed Montecristo, and I would happily and highly recommend it! It is so twisty, and unexpected that it grabs you early on and leaves you reeling in its wake by the end of it all!

Montecristo is out on TODAY and published by No Exit Press.

Happy reading! 🙂

 

 

Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen *Blog Tour*

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About the book:

September 1977. Mette Misvær, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close, middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette’s mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge … Chilling, shocking and full of extraordinary twists and turns, Where Roses Never Die reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost crime writers.

 

About the author:

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

 

My thoughts:

Having heard of Gunnar’s first book, We Shall Inherit The Wind, but not having gotten around to read it I jumped at the chance to read Where Roses Never Die as it sounded brilliant, and I was not disappointed!!!

The book begins with Veum meeting Mette’s mother 25 years after her daughter’s disappearance. She implores him to take a look into the case before the statute of limitations is up on the investigation. What ensues is a spellbinding narrative that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go.

There was nothing about this book I didn’t like. The location, the characters and the plot are so effortless that you just cannot stop reading once you start! I had no idea how I missed Gunnar Staalesen as an author before now as he writes my favourite genre, in my favourite climate, so it’s safe to say I am definitely a fan after reading Where Roses Never Die.

The subject matter of this book is a bit tough to read as a parent, as it’s genuinely one of your worst fears. The author has done a brilliant job of weaving together 25 years of history within the plot and its main players though. Varg Veum is a superb main character too! With echoes of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole, he is likeable but he is also a flawed and troubled investigator who is not without his own shortcomings.

Where Roses Never Die is an exceptionally plotted, well written and hauntingly evocative lesson in Norwegian crime writing. I experienced a wide range of emotions while reading it, and in the interest of full disclosure, this Ice Queen shed some tears reading it! I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I am definitely going to be following Gunnar Staalesen’s writing after this!

You can purchase the book by clicking the link below:

Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

False Hearts by Laura Lam

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About the book:

False Hearts is a thrilling, addictive and action-packed story featuring twins and the ultimate crime.

When one twin is accused of murder, the other will do anything to get her released from prison. She’ll even take on her sister’s identity to plunge into a threatening, underground world of gang politics and mind-altering drugs, in a slick version of San Francisco in the near-future.

She’ll encounter matters best left buried, as she loses herself in her new identity. And she’ll discover a world of dangerous secrets that could prove fatal.

 

My thoughts:

I had seen False Hearts pop up on social media and was decidedly intrigued as it sounded like my kind of read in the murder mystery vein. I’m not a huge reader of books that are dystopian/futuristic so that was a rather large departure for me!

I was definitely not disappointed when I started reading though! False Hearts was a totally engrossing read and I was dying to know where it was going once I picked it up!

The story follows identical twins Tila and Taema in futuristic San Francisco. When one of the twins is arrested for murder, the other begins her quest to find the truth and try to save her sister from a fate worse than death.

I don’t want to go into the plot, because I don’t want to give away any of the subtle nuances that are hidden in there. False Hearts is layered with many different themes but it all works together to create a thoroughly engaging read.

Being set in the future, there are many references to technologies invented and huge changes to the world they inhabit in comparison to where we are now. In reading about these, it always makes me wonder What If?, and I like books that make me think!

False Hearts is an ambitious yet highly addictive book. It has all the elements of a murder mystery, in the future, on drugs and full of corruption! If you enjoy dystopian fiction, then I would highly recommend this book!

BUY THE BOOK: False Hearts by Laura Lam

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni 


About the book:

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger. 

My thoughts: 

I’ve had My Sister’s Grave on my kindle for ages, and I had been looking for something to read outside my usual ARC’s and review copies and this one jumped out at me. Also, any time I’m on Amazon I see the series being promoted and it keeps reminding me that I should start it 😂

I purposely avoided the blurb and reviews so I went into it not necessarily knowing anything about it, which is how I like it! Too much research and review reading beforehand means I have an idea of what to expect, and so times I just like to read without knowing too much.

My Sister’s Grave is a thrilling start to the series. Opening with the disappearance of Tracy  Crosswhite’s sister twenty years previously, and going back and forth with timelines, the reader gets an insight into Tracy then as well as now, where she is a homicide detective in Seattle. I really liked Tracy as a character too, there was just something about her that made me want to keep reading and hope for a resolution for her.

When her sister Sarah’s remains are found, Tracy returns to inter them, and at the same time ends up starting an investigation into her death again as there is new evidence. This investigation is rife with problems from the start. Something about small towns give these books a claustrophobic feeling that is heightened when information comes to light, and brings danger with it.

Running alongside this, the man who was initially charged with Sarah’s murder twenty years ago appeals for a new trial, because the evidence points to someone else. Edmund House was an interesting character; awful, vile and creepy are probably better adjectives in fairness!!! 

My Sister’s Grave reads like a crime thriller as well as a legal one, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Once I started reading, I was hooked and intrigued until the very last pages. If you haven’t read this, I would highly recommend it! 😉 I gave My Sister’s Grave 4⭐️ on Goodreads! You can pick up a copy by clicking on the link below:

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni
Happy reading! 😊📖

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza *Blog Tour*

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Today, I’m thrilled to be one of the closers of the blog tour for Robert Bryndza’s The Night Stalker! Read on for my thoughts…

About the book:

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

 

My thoughts:

Firstly, my thanks to the lovelies at Bookouture for my ARC of Robert Bryndza’s The Night Stalker. 🙂

I had read and LOVED Robert’s previous book, The Girl In The Ice (you can catch that review here: The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza) so needless to say I was super excited to read The Night Stalker and it didn’t disappoint!

Detective Erika Foster is  brilliant character, and I was eager to see where she would go in this second novel. There is always the worry that the second book may not live up to the first, but there is no fear of that here!

The Night Stalker is a supremely creepy character. It gave me the heebie jeebies at certain points in the book. If you’ve already read it you can probably guess what I’m talking about. If not, read the book and I defy you not to be creeped out yourself!

I don’t want to go into too much plot detail, as I always like to read it unfold myself so I won’t say any more. I will say that The Night Stalker is a superbly creepy, thrilling and gripping book. Robert Bryndza has a knack for writing characters that make your skin crawl, and here it is no different!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading  The Night Stalker, and was delighted to hear that there is plenty more Detective Erika Foster books on their way as they are brilliant reads. I cannot recommend The Night Stalker highly enough, it’s a super second installment for the series and I can’t wait for the next one! 🙂

You can order a copy of The Night Stalker HERE!

Catch up with the blog tour on all of these brilliant blogs! 🙂

Happy reading!

 

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My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

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About the book:

It’s the perfect love story.

Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.

But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…

The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.

‘Till death us do part…’

 

My thoughts:

Wow!!! This book was completely unexpected for me. I honestly thought I knew where it was going and more than once I got knocked for six by another twist in the tale!!!

My Husband’s Wife is a time-hopper, in that we go back and forward in time with the characters quite consistently throughout the novel. This is usually enough to make me get confused, but I was completely gripped by each jaunt into the past that I had to keep reading to find out just what was going on!

I really don’t want to go into too much detail with the plot, because there are subtle nuances that I wouldn’t want to mention for fear of spoiling anything! I will say that Jane Corry has done an exceptional job with My Husband’s Wife. It is full of great characters, all of whom have their own flaws, and the premise is really intriguing too.

The onslaught of domestic noir in the past few months can make it hard to pick out the best, but I really do think My Husband’s Wife is able to stand up against them all and then some. I seem to have read my fair share of them lately, and this one definitely stuck in my mind after reading it!

In the interest of honesty, I also very nearly ended up flinging My Husband’s Wife at a wall more than once during the course of my reading it! Not in a bad way, just a few frustrated WTF moments and how could I not have worked it out! 🙂

My Husband’s Wife is a brilliant book and I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy domestic noir! It’s out now in ebook and you can purchase a copy by clicking the link below:

My Husband’s Wife

Happy reading! 🙂