Blog Tour: The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today on the blog, Ellen is reviewing The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Patricia MacDonald is the author of several psychological suspense novels set in small towns. MacDonald grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and has a master’s degree from Boston College. Before writing her own novels she was a book editor and was once an editor for a soap opera magazine in New York. She is married to writer Art Bourgeau. They live in Cape May, New Jersey and have one daughter.

Her first novel, The Unforgiven, published in 1981, received an Edgar Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America. Secret Admirer (1995) won the literary prize at the 1997 Deauville Film Festival in France, where MacDonald is consistently a number one bestseller. She’s also been awarded the prize for literature at the International Forum of Cinema and Literature in Monaco.

About the book:

Fifteen years ago, Blair’s best friend Molly was murdered. Fifteen years ago, Adrian Jones went to prison for it. Fifteen years ago, the real killer got away with it.

And now, Blair’s terminally ill sister has made a devastating deathbed confession, which could prove that the wrong man has been imprisoned for years – and that Molly’s killer is still out there. Blair’s determined to find him, but the story behind Molly’s death is more twisted than she could imagine. If she isn’t careful, the killer will ensnare her and bury Blair with his secret.

The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald

Ellen’s Review:

Fifteen years ago Molly Sinclair was murdered after leaving her best friend Blair Butler’s house. Now Blair is forced to return to see her terminally ill sister one last time – only for Celeste to make a shocking deathbed confession. At the time of the investigation she denied being in the company of a young, black man (Adrian Jones) due to the attitude of her bigoted Uncle and an innocent man was sent to the jail. Blair promises her sister she will try to solve this injustice and begins her own investigations into the shocking events of the past. Things are not made easy for her along the way; as far as the police are concerned they have the right man and Celeste’s confession does not hold much power. They are loathe to admit any wrong doing was done by them in the first place. Blair also faces the fact that the murderer is still out there and does not want to be discovered.

It was interesting to see how Blair had to readjust to the small town mentality and fight to have the truth heard and her ability to now tell her Uncle Ellis a few home truths that were long overdue. In my opinion there were a few threads within the story that seemed to peter out with no explanation but if you’re looking for a quick read you’d do no wrong with this one.

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Blog Tour: Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge ~ Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Picture

Chris McGeorge has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime / Thriller) from City University London where he wrote his first crime novel Dead Room for this thesis. He constantly told stories from a young age, whether they took the form of comics, short stories or scripts.

He is a lover of Golden Age crime, like Christie and Conan Doyle, leading his crime stories to be a mix of the old and the contemporary. He likes weird and wonderful plots, with plenty of intrigue and twists. 

His often coherent ramblings about everything pop culture can be found on his blog Festival of Blood and occasionally he produces the Sarcasmicast podcast with a group of friends.

About the book:

NOW..

My name is Matthew McConnell. You’ve probably heard my story.
I took five of my friends on a boat through the longest canal tunnel in England.

YOU…

It takes two hours and twenty-six minutes to travel through that tunnel.
Six of us entered that tunnel but I was the only one to come out.

DON’T…

It was pitch black in there – I don’t know what happened to them. But I’m the only suspect. 
And if I don’t find out how they disappeared, I’ll be sentenced to murder.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Ellen’s review:

This is the first book that I have read by Chris McGeorge but it won’t be the last! I absolutely loved this “locked room” thriller. In place of a locked room we have a long, creepy AF, claustrophobic tunnel; Standedge Tunnel in Marsden, West Yorkshire to be precise which is Britain’s longest, deepest, highest canal tunnel and one of the seven wonders of the waterways. Since reading Now You See Me I’ve added this attraction to my list of local places to visit – fingers crossed the rest of my family see it through to the other side!

The novel revolves around the case of The Standedge Six – six students entered the tunnel, two and a half hours later the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students on board, unconscious. The remaining student Matthew is immediately under suspicion, the police investigation concludes that he killed his friends, hid their bodies and returned later to move them but Matthew insists he is innocent. In desperation he reaches out to Robert Ferringham, a man who is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. Matthew contacts Robert for help with his case on the promise of revealing information about Sam.

Now You See Me is a book of many layers involving friends, secrets and lies. I was gripped the whole time that I was reading and didn’t predict any of the reveals. The small town mentality of the locals really adds to the tension; they are loathe to rake up the murky events and resent Robert’s appearance. The truth when it is revealed is jaw dropping, to say any more would spoil your enjoyment so just go read it!

Highly recommend!

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Blog Tour: Dead Inside by Noelle Holten~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten and I’ll be sharing her review with you all in a little bit!

About the author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Links:

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

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten

Blog: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

About the book:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Out now from Killer Reads, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

Ellen’s Review:

Dead Inside is the debut novel from renowned book blogger Noelle Holten and I have to admit I was a little scared to agree to reading and reviewing it as I have known Noelle for quite a few years now and seen her move from the probation service into publishing and then to writing a novel as well. This lady is living the dream! What if I hated her book!?!

There was no need for concern, Dead Inside is certainly an impressive debut, Noelle’s knowledge and personal experience shines through and you can’t help but be pulled into the world of DC Maggie Jamieson. No punches are pulled in this story, it is gritty, realistic and really gives you an appreciation of what domestic abuse victims are put through and how not every case is black and white.

You are also given an insight into the abuser and while I was glad that they met a grisly end I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for some of them; violence begets violence after all. I’m in no way excusing this behaviour just saying that this book gives you a fuller picture of the development of a person’s behaviours and actions.

As this is the first in a series we are introduced to a large cast of characters which I initially struggled with but soon settled in to. It was interesting to get a behind the scenes look into how a multi-disciplinary team works in this situation and I enjoyed the interaction between the different groups of staff involved.

I really felt for Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who deals with domestic abuse daily, not only at work as she is a victim at home. Her husband Patrick is possibly one of the most vile characters I have encountered! You really get an insight into how manipulative these people can be and how hard it is to escape that situation. But has Lucy resorted to being a vigilante…Maggie Jamieson certainly begins to suspect as much as men are being murdered and the only link appears to be her! When Patrick is brutally murdered there is even more suspicion, is Lucy capable of such grisly acts?

An enjoyable read and I have already pre-ordered the next in the series!

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Blog Tour: The Whisper Man by Alex North ~ Ellen’s Review

Good morning folks,

After a blip this morning where the draft post and not the full post went out, I’m back again with the proper one!

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Whisper Man by Alex North, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Alex North was born in Leeds, where he now lives with his wife and son. He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their sociology department.

About the book:

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken . . .

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a much-needed fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago, a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys.

Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home.

Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window . . .

Click the link below to order your copy:

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Ellen’s Review:

Stop the press! The Whisper Man is going into my top reads of this year! The perfect combination of supernatural and serial killer chills are exactly what I’m looking for in a book and I found it in this outstanding debut novel by Alex North. I devoured it in one sitting; there was no way I could put it down and carry on as usual until I knew what the outcome was going to be!

I loved Tom and Jake Kennedy – after the sudden death of his wife Tom is struggling with his new life as a single parent and Jake is obviously deeply upset at the loss of his mum. His way of coping with this loss appears to be in creating an imaginary friend to talk to but at times this friend tells Jake scary things. Tom hopes that a fresh start in the town of Featherbank is just what they both need to move on and create new memories but is oblivious to the fact that the town has a dark past.

Twenty years ago a serial killer nicknamed The Whisper Man abducted and murdered five young boys, luring them out by whispering at their windows…admit it, you’ve got the shivers right!? The culprit, Frank Carter, was found and imprisoned but now a young boy has gone missing; did Frank always have an accomplice like the rumours suggested or is there a copycat on the loose?

It is up to detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis to find the boy before history repeats itself but this means Pete has to delve into a past he would rather forget and visit The Whisper Man in prison. It all takes a turn for the terrifying when Jake starts hearing a whispering at his window.

This book totally got under my skin and I definitely triple checked all my locks before I went to bed that night. The thought of your child being abducted is nightmarish in itself and there is so much more in this book to give you the creeps.

It is really difficult to review without being spoilery so I’ll end on saying that I am stunned this is a debut and excited to read more from Alex North.

All the stars!!

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Blog Tour: Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Hey lovelies,

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson and I’ll be sharing my review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

David Jackson is the author of a series of crime thrillers featuring New York Detective Callum Doyle. His debut novel, Pariah, was Highly Commended in the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Awards. When not writing fiction, David spends his time as a lecturer in a university science department. He also gives occasional workshops on creative writing. He lives on the Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.

David can be followed on Twitter, where he goes under the name @Author_Dave. Join David Jackson’s Readers’ Club for all the latest news from David on his books, events and giveaways: http://www.bit.ly/DavidJacksonClub

About the book:

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband. 

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected. 

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable . . .

Click the link below to get your copy now:

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of the DS Nathan Cody series, and when I saw that there was a new installment I was thrilled! It felt like I had been waiting for AGES for it, but it was definitely worth it!

Your Deepest Fear sees Cody investigating a murder where the bereaved wife is displaying rather unusual tendencies. Not upset when she should be, and quite secretive at times. This leads Cody to thinking there is more than meets the eye with Sara. The reader gets glimpses into Sara’s train of thought, and as she becomes almost vigilante-like in her quest for justice for her murdered husband, even Cody is pulled into it unknowingly.

Parallel to this, and I’m mindful of spoilers here, Cody has his own problems. Issues in his past have led him to experience some emotional turmoil, and he’s still feeling the effects. Terrifyingly, his past is coming back to haunt him in a big way in Your Deepest Fear.

I’ve never seen him as vulnerable as he is in this book, and it works really well. You get a deeper insight into how his mind is working almost overtime to keep on top of everything and processing what’s happening around him in this book.

Your Deepest Fear is a supremely satisfying thriller. It gives you the creeps, pulls you in immediately and doesn’t let you go until the bitter end. It is clever, dark and downright scary.

I LOVED IT!

Highly recommended, as always!

Previous reviews:

A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson

Hope To Die by David Jackson

Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson

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Blog Tour: The Controller by Matt Brolly

Hey everyone,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Controller by Matt Brolly and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky and Dead Embers. The fourth in the series, Dead Time, was released by Canelo in May 2018 and a prequel, Dead Water, will be published in September 2019. In 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing).

The Controller, released in May 2019, is the first of a new thriller series set in Texas.

Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, was released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children. You can find out more about Matt at his website MattBrolly.co.uk or by following him on twitter: @MattBrollyUK

Social Media:

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

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

Website: https://www.mattbrolly.co.uk/

About the book:

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed DCI Lambert series comes The Controller, a gripping serial killer thriller introducing Sam Lynch and Special Agent Sandra Rose. 

It is six years since special agent Samuel Lynch left the FBI following the disappearance of his son, Daniel. Lynch believes an underground organisation known as The Railroad is responsible and has never stopped searching. 

When Special Agent Sandra Rose investigates a house invasion gone wrong, she discovers the assailant has the legendary, and infamous, Railroad tattoo carved onto his back and he claims to know Daniel’s whereabouts.

Rose draws Lynch in to her case, and together they become embroiled in an unparalleled world of violence and evil.

It seems that to see his son again, Lynch will have to confront his greatest fear and face the ultimate test: an encounter with the Railroad’s enigmatic and deadly leader, The Controller.

The Controller (Lynch & Rose 1) by Matt Brolly

My thoughts:

The Controller is the first in a new US crime thriller series by Matt Brolly, and what a promising start it is. It follows Samuel Lynch as he searches for his son who went missing six years ago, and he thinks its connected to an underground organisation known as the Railroad. Special Agent Sandra Rose, called to an assignment, ends up pulling Lynch in to the case as she believes it to be connected to the Railroad.

I found The Controller to be a solid start to a new series. It builds up enough back story, introduces the characters, and leaves enough unanswered questions that the reader will be looking forward to the next book.

The premise for the book is also quite clever. Lynch was ousted from the FBI after he carried out an investigation into The Railroad, but he ends up being pulled into Rose’s case when she finds out the assailant has the markings of the Railroad on his body.

What follows is an action-packed, dark and at times, harrowing read. You will question the motivations of those involved, while at the same time, willing Lynch on as he continues to search for his son.

The Controller is dark, cinematic and definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy US-based conspiracy thrillers.

Recommended for sure.

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Blog Tour: Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt ~ Ellen’s Review

Hello lovelies,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Mel Sherratt is the author of thirteen crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers. For the past four years, she has been named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She also works alongside the National Literary Trust as an ambassador on The Literary Project, to support their ongoing work in the city, aiming to raise literacy levels. 

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.

About the book:

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

Click the link below to grab your copy now:

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt

Ellen’ Review:

After reading (and loving) the first book in the Grace Allendale series (Hush Hush), I couldn’t wait to dive into the second Tick Tock. Grace’s character and background had been established well and a new relationship started; I was curious as to how this would develop and how she would try to move past her extended family’s dodgy dealings and interference in her police work.

Tick Tock’s story returns to Stoke where a teenage girl has been murdered in broad daylight and if there was ever a reason to not do cross country at school here’s the proof! I remember our route at school was through fields, forest and an old quarry and the thought of just being picked from the back of the group and killed in minutes chilled me. Two days later a young mum is abducted and murdered in the same manner and DS Grace Allendale and her team are tasked with finding the culprit, they soon have a third body on their hands and there is an urgency to solve the case before anyone else falls victim to this apparent serial killer.

You can really feel the pressure mounting in this book as the number of victims start growing and with most of the action being centred around the local school and a risque online chat group I had no idea who to suspect. There were just so many people that I was suspicious of!!

Never mind the stress Grace is under to crack the case she is still navigating the waters of her relationship with Simon (a local journalist), they were always going to encounter difficulties as both their superiors expect a little inside information from each of them. Grace is also trying to win over Simon’s daughter who was a close friend of one of the victims. I can imagine the drama and histrionics from a group of teenage girls all keeping secrets from each other and their parents! Throw into this some added pressure from Grace’s estranged family who also want a piece of her time and you really wouldn’t want to be in her position.

An enjoyable read and I look forward to more!

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