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.

Check out the tour:

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!

 


Check out the tour:

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!

Check out the tour:

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.

Check out the tour:

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

Check out the tour:

DIE COLD BLOG BLITZ banner (5).jpg

Blog Tour~Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey Ellen’s Review

Hey everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

M. R. Carey

M. R. Carey has been making up stories for most of his life. His novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a word-of-mouth bestseller and is now a major motion picture based on his own screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on Lucifer, Hellblazer and X-Men. His creator-owned series The Unwritten appeared regularly in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, games, radio plays, and TV and movie screenplays to his credit.

About the book:

MRC.jpg

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. 

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her kids in a loving home.

But there’s another side to Liz, one that’s dark and malicious. She will do anything to get her way – no matter how extreme.

And when her alter-ego takes control, the consequences are devastating.

Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey

Ellen’s Review:

Where to start with the review for Someone Like Me? How about… I’ve found one of my favourite books this year!? I’ve loved all MR Carey’s previous books but this one has stormed it’s way to the top. A mix of thriller/horror and supernatural I was hooked from the first few pages and Liz’s attack from her abusive ex-husband Marc had me gasping for breath. It’s during this attack that another side of Liz comes to the surface and finds the strength to fight back to save her life. Where is this alter ego from; is it simply Liz’s natural instinct for survival and her kids protection or something much darker? If you’ve read anything from MR Carey before you can guess what the answer to this will be.

I loved all the characters in this novel and the fact that even the “bad” guys have their redeeming features and reasons for their actions. Apart from Marc. We do not like Marc! Although separated from Liz he co-parents and is always pushing boundaries, playing the power game. Liz has cowed down to him in the past out of self salvation and to stop the violence escalating onto the children, Zac (16) and Molly (6). You can forgive her for finally snapping and her subsequent behaviour. There is also Picota who kidnapped Zac’s friend Fran when she was young causing serious mental issues as she grew up; is he really the shadowy monster to be frightened of?

When talking about Fran we must mention Lady Jinx, Fran’s imaginary friend who happens to be a fox that can also transform into a knight when she feels her friend needs protection or comfort. Fran is well aware of her own battles with mental illness and although at first wanting to up her medication to stop the terrifying hallucinations she suffers she becomes curious about her past and with help from Zac becomes brave enough to tackle her demons.

It is so difficult to say much more without being spoilery and I don’t want to do that. All the stars (and a den full of fox knights) for Someone Like Me!!

Check out the tour:

SOMEONE LIKE ME BLOG TOUR (2).jpg

Blog Tour Extract~Halcyon by Rio Youers

Hi guys,

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Halcyon by Rio Youers and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all in just a little bit!

About the author:

Rio Youers
Rio Youers is the British Fantasy Award–nominated author of Old Man Scratch and Point Hollow. His short fiction has been published in many notable anthologies, and his novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sunburst Award. He has been favorably reviewed in such venues as Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and The National Post. His latest novel, The Forgotten Girl, was released by Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017.
Rio lives in southwestern Ontario with his wife, Emily, and their children, Lily and Charlie.

About the book:

Halcyon.jpg

Halcyon is the answer for anyone who wants to escape, but paradise isn’t what it seems.

A self-sustaining community on a breathtakingly beautiful island, Halcyon is run for people who want to live without fear, crime or greed. Its leader has dedicated her life to the pursuit of Glam Moon, a place of eternal beauty and healing, and believes the pathway there can only be found at the end of pleasure.

On the heels of tragedy, Martin Lovegrove moves his family to Halcyon. A couple of months, he tells himself, to retreat from the chaos and grind. Yet he soon begins to suspect there is something beneath Halcyon’s perfect veneer. As the founder captivates his young family, Martin sets out to discover the truth of the island, however terrible it might be, where something so perfect hides unimaginable darkness beneath…

Halcyon by Rio Youers

Extract:

Laura muttered, “He does Dylan better than Dylan,” and Martin snapped out of his show. That was when he noticed the clicking. It wasn’t the rhythmic clicking he associated with Shirley’s texting. This was constant. A purr. He looked up, expecting to see her zoned out. And she was, but not in the usual way. Her head was angled awkwardly and her eyelids uttered. Her thumbs blurred on the screen.

“Shirley?”

She was having some kind of seizure. Martin drew his leg off the arm and sprang from his chair. He got Laura’s attention by waving a hand in front of her eyes, then crossed the room to where Shirley reclined in the other armchair.

 

He cradled the back of her head in one hand and gently tilted her jaw to keep her airway open. She garbled something. The veins across her throat bulged.

“What’s happening to her?” Laura asked, crouching beside the armchair. She tried removing the cell phone from Shirley’s hands but Shirley held tight, her thumbs still working.

“Seizure, I think,” Martin said. “Maybe she was looking at flashing images.”

“Should I call nine-one-one?”

Martin looked from Shirley to Laura, then down at the cell phone’s screen as Laura tried to free it from their daughter’s clasp. He glimpsed what she’d typed: a string of random letters, symbols, and emojis, but with several full words interspersed in all the nonsense. Martin barely logged them before Laura pried the phone away. He definitely saw SCARED and CHIPPEWA and perhaps BOTTLECAP, or maybe it was BOTTLETOP.

“Martin?” Laura snapped. She threw the cell phone on the floor and clutched Shirley’s hands. “Nine-one-one?”

“Wait,” he said. He eased Shirley onto her side and peeled damp strands of hair from her brow. “It’s okay, baby. Mom and Dad are here.” Her eyes flashed open and closed. Her mouth moved silently. Martin pressed the cool back of his hand to her cheek and she whimpered. A moment later, she screwed her face up and started to cry. It was like a pressure release. The tightness left her body at once. Her trembling first lessened, then stopped altogether.

“Mom . . . ?”

“Okay, sweetie,” Laura said. “It’s okay.”

 

Martin wiped her tears away. She blinked, took deep breaths, and looked into her empty hands for her phone. Her expression switched from confusion to fear.

“Edith,” she said.

“What about Edith?” Martin asked.

Shirley shook her head and groaned. More tears spilled from her eyes. “She’s screaming inside,” she said.

 

Check out the tour:

Halcyon blog tour banner.jpg