Blog Tour~A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith ~Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing er review with you all a little further down this post.

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 with Bookouture is set in Cumbria and 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.

About the book:

The woman’s limbs were so thin; the skin on her arms as translucent as tracing paper. Around her neck lay a faint string of purple bruises. In one so frail, darker, angrier marks might be expected but Beth knew the bruising would have stopped the moment her heart stopped beating.

When a walker finds the body of a woman by the shores of Lake Ullswater, the police are put on high alert. Felicia Evans was known to be a tough character, but who would have strangled her?

Detective Beth Young quickly spots the links to three cold cases. Three women strangled and discarded in the stunning, wild hills of the Lake District.

As Beth begins tracking down witnesses, the team receives an anonymous letter claiming the charming mayor of Carlisle is behind the murders. There’s pressure from the top to clear his name. But Beth is determined to find the truth no matter whose feathers she ruffles in the process.

Beth knows the clock is ticking. The killer is hunting again. And it’s down toher to find who’s responsible before another woman becomes his prey…

A gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller from bestselling author Graham Smith, perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and J.R. Ellis. 

Click the link below to order your copy:

A Body In The Lakes by Graham Smith

Ellen’s Review:

We’re back with DC Beth Young in this second book of a new series. After having the main characters “fleshed out” in the first book it was great to get stuck straight in with the FMIT (force major investigation team) in A Body In The Lakes. 

A woman’s body is found by the shores of Ullswater Lake and someone is trying to pin her death on a prominent member of the community. With a little nudge in the right direction Beth Young soon spots a link to three cold cases. The team is under immense pressure once this information becomes public and all eyes are on Beth.

I was gripped by this book and had no idea who the killer was, as usual the author led me down the garden path and I was left feeling guilty for who I initially suspected. This is how much I’m drawn into Mr Smith’s worlds!

I hope Beth Young and her team have a long future ahead of them and I look forward to the next in the series. 


Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour~If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

IMG_8706.jpg

Hannah Beckerman is an author and journalist.

Her new novel, If Only I Could Tell You, will be published by Orion Books in February 2019, with a third novel coming in 2020. 

She is a freelance features writer and book critic for The Observer, the FT Weekend Magazine and The Sunday Express, a regular book pundit on the Sara Cox Show on BBC Radio 2, and regularly chairs panels, discussions and interviews at literary festivals and publishing events throughout the UK.

She has chaired numerous book prizes including the Costa Book Awards.

You can chat to Hannah on Twitter: @hannahbeckerman

Instagram: @hannahbeckermanauthor

Facebook: @hannahbeckermanauthor

About the book:

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?

You can order your copy by clicking the link below:

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

Ellen’s Review:

Before you start to read If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman I have a few words of advice: get yourself a comfy spot, bulk buy some tissues and maybe a bar of chocolate! Comfort is essential for this heart-breaking read. This is a book you will have to finish once you’ve started, I made the mistake of starting to read on my lunch break and was then desperate for my work day to be over so I could continue.

If only I Could Tell You deal with many issues, estrangement being one of them. Sisters Jess and Lily have not spoken since they were young when Jess saw something she shouldn’t have. We are not told what she has seen and the details are slowly revealed throughout the story. There are a lot of surprises along the way and circumstances that I was not expecting. Their mother Audrey has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is desperate to reconcile her daughters before she passes away. I have two teenage daughters myself and the thought of them falling out to the extent that Jess and Lily does truly upset me, on top of this they both have teenage daughters themselves who are forbidden to meet. I really felt for Audrey and how she had to walk a fine line to please both of her daughters.

There is far more to this book than I have mentioned but to say much more would be spoilery! If Only is definitely one of the best books that I have read this year and my tear ducts were truly cleansed by the end of it. All the stars for the beautiful book!

Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour~After The Eclipse by Fran Dorricott

Hi guys,

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for After The Eclipse by Fran Dorricott, and I’ll be sharing my review with you a little further down.

About the author:

Fran Dorricott is a bookseller and author. She studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia, and she received a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing from City University London. Her day job in a bookshop is secretly just a way for her to fuel her ridiculous book-buying addiction. The opportunity to draw inspiration from the many wonderful and wacky customer requests is also a plus.

About the book:

A little girl is abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse. Her older sister was supposed to be watching her. She is never seen again.

Sixteen years later and in desperate need of a fresh start, journalist Cassie Warren moves back to the small town of Bishop’s Green to live with her ailing grandmother. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister – that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out.

Click the link below to order your copy:

After The Eclipse by Fran Dorricott

My thoughts:

It’s been a while since I have read a psychological thriller so I was looking forward to reading After The Eclipse as it sounded like an interesting premise. Two girls go missing sixteen years apart, coinciding perfectly with a solar eclipse.

It follows Cassie, sister of the first missing girl, as she returns home to take care of her grandmother. When the second girl goes missing just before the eclipse, it leads Cassie to thinking it’s connected with her sisters disappearance all these years ago.

What follows is a dark and layered story that lovers of books like this will enjoy. It’s got plenty in the way of suspense and tension as the reader goes on the journey with Cassie to find out what happened to her sister, and what happened to the local girl who has disappeared this time.

I read After The Eclipse in a handful of sittings over the course of 24 hours. I was eager to see where the author would take the reader, and to see what was going to happen. The plot moves along nicely, the characters are intriguing and it’s another good addition to the psych thriller genre. I look forward to seeing where Fran Dorricott will go with her next book!

Many thanks to Titan Books for my copy in exchange for a blog tour review.

Check out the blog tour:

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:

Blog Tour~Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

So, today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down this post!

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski.jpeg

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is
an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in
horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an
US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End
of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror
story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a
winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing
Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the
USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV
rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published
in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

About the book:

Changeling.jpg

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished
in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped
the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of
the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden
was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts
have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance,
interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened
that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with
strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed
to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little
boy…

Published by Orenda Books, click the link below to order your copy:

Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski

Ellen’s Review:

Matt Wesolowski is a genius. End of.

That’s how I suggested a blogger wrote their review of Changeling because it’s true and the simplest way of reviewing such a book full of complex ideas and feelings! Obviously that wouldn’t be fair to the author, his books deserve all the praise they get so I’ll try to sum up how much I loved it.

Changeling is book three in the Six Stories series and having loved the previous two (Six Stories and Hydra) I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Always with a sense of trepidation though as the author has a way of tapping into your deepest darkest fears and dialling the tension to the maximum. Had anyone knocked at my door at certain points in this book I would have filled my pants!

As a child one of my favourite books was a huge tome of folklore, myths & legends. A beautiful cloth bound book with an image of The Green Man on the front; I was obsessed (as only a child can be) with fairies, witches, wood sprites, nymphs and curses and convinced myself I was a changeling. Hey, I grew up into a (reasonably) well adjusted individual so all’s well considering! The story in Changeling revolves around the paranormal happenings in Wentshire Forest and the disappearance of Alfie Marsden. Alfie is travelling with his father Sorrel when he vanishes into thin air, he is never seen again and no body has ever been found. Scott King (presenter of the Six Stories podcast) receives a mysterious note regarding the case thirty years later and cannot resist investigating.

As with Six Stories and Hydra the tale is told as a podcast, this is such an ingenoius method of story telling and it works so well. We are drip fed information from various people that were involved in the case and slowly the picture becomes clearer, I challenge you to predict that ending though. My jaw is still sore from dropping on the floor!

Matt Wesolowski has such a talent for presenting a story as horror/supernatural but then totally flipping the genre as you progress through the tale. It is evident from his writing that Matt works with children in care; all his books provide a social commentary on the current issues our children face on a daily basis. Bullying, peer pressure and parental separation feature in all three and what could be more horrific to any child (and indeed adult) than that…?

It should be no surprise that I’ve given Changeling five stars and I’m really interested to see what is next from Matt.

Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour~Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski

Hi everyone,

So, today is my stop on the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski and I’ll be re-sharing my review with you just a little further down this post!

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski.jpeg

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is
an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in
horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an
US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End
of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror
story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a
winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing
Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the
USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV
rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published
in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

About the book:

Changeling.jpg

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished
in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped
the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of
the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden
was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts
have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance,
interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened
that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with
strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed
to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little
boy…

Published by Orenda Books, click the link below to order your copy:

Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski

Review:

We’re beneath different trees this series, but our feet are sounding against the same darkness and once again we’re facing our fears head-on.

If ever a quote summed up the experience of reading Matt Wesolowski’s books, this chiller from Changeling is perfect.

I had been dying to read Changeling ever since I saw the beautiful cover on Twitter a few months back, and let’s face it, being a superfan means I have literally NO PATIENCE when it comes to waiting for these things. So huge thanks to both Karen and Matt for letting me read an early copy.

Reader, it does not disappoint.

In Changeling, Scott King is back investigating again. This time it is the disappearance of Alfie Marsden from his father’s car in the Wentshire Forest Pass on Christmas Eve 1988. Alfie disappeared without a trace and was officially declared dead seven years and three months after he disappeared. Scott sets out with his usual investigative zeal in search of answers.

I read Changeling over the course of today, making notes as I went, which I never do. And even with these notes, I still feel like I can’t do this book the justice it deserves.

Changeling is by far, my most favourite of the Six Stories books, and I love them all, I mean I REALLY love them. So just know I am not saying that lightly. Changeling got under my skin in a way the others didn’t.

The tension and sense of menace is there from the outset. It builds steadily, rolling like waves in a storm, until it crashes around your consciousness and leaves you almost breathless. Hidden and implied horror help to make Changeling a thoroughly bracing read, leaving the reader more than a little unsettled in its wake.

Much like the Changeling in old folklore, this book itself goes through a metamorphosis. But the author does this slowly, almost imperceptibly, and it creeps up on you gradually that what you are reading is a little different to what you started reading.

What you need to know is this;

Changeling is an intense, dark and utterly absorbing book. The pages crackle with tension, the characters have real depth and the writing is truly stunning.

Matt Wesolowski has to be one of the most imaginiative and talented young writers out there at the moment. His ability to make his writing current in terms of style, while still managing to write the perfect kind of crime/horror/psychological thriller mash-up, astounds me more with every book of his I read.

Highly, highly recommended.

Always.

Previous Matt-related posts:

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

*Blog Tour* Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

~COVER REVEAL~ Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

Check out the blog tour:

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: