~Blog Tour Review~ Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman and I get to share my review with you all!

About the book:

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In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, Officer Henry Farrell’s life is getting complicated. Widowed and more traumatised than he cares to admit, he is caught up in an affair with a local woman, and with helping out his friend’s barn construction job – on which the clock is ticking. When a troubled old acquaintance of theirs becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of his girlfriend, it becomes increasingly clear that something seriously dark is at large in the woods that surround them.

Against this old and strange landscape – where silence rules – a fascinating and troubling case ensues, as Henry struggles for his very survival.

For fans of James Lee Burke and Cormac McCarthy, Tom Bouman is the new must-read author exploring the outer darkness of contemporary America.

Published by Faber and Faber and out now, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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Tom Bouman is a former book editor and musician who lives with his wife and daughter in northeastern Pennsylvania.

My thoughts:

Fateful Mornings is the first book I’ve read by Tom Bouman, but I’ve had Dry Bones in the Valley on my bookshelves since it came out, just waiting to be read. I’ll definitely be picking it up at some point having read this one.

In Fateful Mornings, we meet Officer Henry Farrell, the central character in these books. Struggling after the death of his wife, he is carrying out an illicit affair with a married woman. Along with this, there is trouble in Wild Thyme. When he is called on to investigate the disappearance of Penny, the girlfriend of an old acquaintance, things take a turn for the worse for Officer Farrell.

Situated on the edge of the woods, Penny’s home is on the precipice of a place where there is most definitely something sinister going on. When Farrell starts to nose around, he ends up finding more than he bargained for.

I don’t want to say much more for fear of giving anything away. Fateful Mornings is a slow and intricate book, with a great sense of location and a wide-ranging cast of characters. The author has an excellent eye for detail, and his prose is second to one. I read Fateful Mornings is a day as it was a compulsive and enveloping read.

Recommended!

Catch up with the blog tour:

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~Mini Review~ Little Boy Lost by J. D. Trafford

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*Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy*

About the book:

In a city divided and broken, this revelation will set it on fire…

Attorney Justin Glass’s practice, housed in a shabby office on the north side of Saint Louis, isn’t doing so well that he can afford to work for free. But when eight-year-old Tanisha Walker offers him a jar full of change to find her missing brother, he doesn’t have the heart to turn her away.

Justin had hoped to find the boy alive and well. But all that was found of Devon Walker was his brutally murdered body—and the bodies of twelve other African American teenagers, all discarded like trash in a mass grave. Each had been reported missing. And none had been investigated.

As simmering racial tensions explode into violence, Justin finds himself caught in the tide. And as he gives voice to the discontent plaguing the city’s forgotten and ignored, he vows to search for the killer who preys upon them.

Little Boy Lost by J. D. Trafford

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed Little Boy Lost. Its short chapters make it very easy to speed through half the book without realising it. I am a fan of legal thrillers, and this one was no exception.

There is so much more going on with Little Boy Lost though. Racism, politics, bullying and murder can be found in this book, and the author handles every theme quite sensitively.

I found that at times the flow of the book felt a bit off, in that there was time skipped and I wondered what was missing, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. Packed with great characters, and with some very current themes, it’s a very good read! 

Recommended!

The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork

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*Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy!*

About the book:

When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the murder site is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene meticulously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.

Detective Mia Krüger is a woman on the edge – she has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.

Published in April 2017, click HERE to order your copy!

About the author:

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Samuel Bjørk is the pen name of Norwegian novelist, playwright and singer/songwriter Frode Sander Øien. Øien wrote his first stageplay at the age of twenty-one and has since written two highly acclaimed novels, released six albums, written five plays, and translated Shakespeare, all in his native Norway. Øien currently lives and works in Oslo.

My thoughts:

I’m not going to lie, I had been waiting to read The Owl… since I turned the last page in I’m Travelling Alone as it was one of my favourite reads of 2015. Something about the authors writing really captured my attention with the first book, so I was really hoping that they would be able to do the same with the second in the series.

In The Owl… we’re back with Holger and Mia. When the body of a troubled teen runaway is found posed on a bed of feathers in the forest, Holger and Mia are called in to investigate the apparently ritualistic killing. What follows takes the whole team off down a very dangerous path.

In this book, Mia is very troubled. Still struggling with her demons after the events in book one, she throws herself into this case in a bid to get herself back on track. Burying herself in solving the case seems to be the only way Mia is able to expend all of her nervous energy. Thanks to this manic energy, she manages to spot vital clues throughout the investigation.

Holger is also having a bit of personal trouble in this one, yet he still manages to keep the investigation moving forward. His daughter, Miriam, also features prominently in The Owl… She has met an activist and seems to be veering away from her marriage towards something that she does’t understand. It turns out to be bigger than anyone could have anticipated.

The Owl Always Hunts at Night is a suspenseful and gripping slice of Scandinavian crime fiction. Packed with creepy and unusual ritualistic elements, with a very dark undertone, it is a crcking follow-up to I’m Travelling Alone.

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork

Afterlife by Marcus Sakey

About the book:

The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion—a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.

He wakes without a scratch.

The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people—until he sees they’re carrying machetes.

Welcome to the afterlife.

Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic.

Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love…with Will Brody.

But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect—and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.

Out today and published by Thomas & Mercer, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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Marcus Sakey’s thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Time‘s Editor’s Picks, and selected among Esquire Magazine‘s Top 5 Books of The Year. His novel GOOD PEOPLE was made into a movie starring James Franco and Kate Hudson, and his other books are in various stages of development for film.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Marcus fell in love with story at a young age. At five, when other kids were hoping to be rock stars and astronauts, he dreamed of becoming a novelist. He attended the University of Michigan before beginning a decade-long career in television and advertising, which gave him “plenty of exposure to liars and thieves”—the perfect apprenticeship.

His debut thriller THE BLADE ITSELF was sold at auction and published to wide critical acclaim, allowing him to work full-time as a writer.

To research his novels, Marcus has rappelled with SWAT teams, pub-crawled with bank robbers, dissected a human brain, chased pirate treasure, and learned to pick a deadbolt. He is a certified SCUBA diver and sailing captain, a rock climber, an accomplished carpenter, a spice junkie, and “a hell of a cook.”

Marcus was the host and writer of the acclaimed television show Hidden City on Travel Channel, for which he was routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs.

He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

My thoughts:

Without realising it, I have been waiting for a book to come into my life and completely blow me away. Afterlife was this book for me. I had no preconceptions going into it, didn’t re-read the blurb, didn’t Google it, I just dove right in. And I was greatly rewarded once I started.

Afterlife is a stunning read. There is a reason Ron Howard is making this into a movie! It is utterly captivating. Spanning decades and moving between life and death, it is an epic tale of survival and the lengths to which one will go to exist. It is also a sweeping love story, by accident or design I don’t know, but it really got to me.

Will Brody is an FBI agent, and the last thing he remembers is an explosion. Everything is abandoned, the sky is empty and the city of Chicago is still. When he sees people, he is relieved until he realises they have weapons and he is in big trouble. Apparently that’s the afterlife for you!

Head of an FBI task force Claire McCoy is left standing over the ruined body of her former agent. Killed in the line of duty, Brody was trying to protect Chicago from a sniper who has taken the lives of eighteen people. What McCoy’s agents don’t know is that she and Will were in love.

Separated in death, all that matters to Will and Claire is each other. Spanning different worlds, Afterlife is a truly genre-bending novel packed with suspense, murder, life and death. I got lost in this book. The plight of the main characters consumed me while I was reading it. I didn’t want the book to end to be honest. I became so thoroughly invested in the fates of these characters that I couldn’t think of anything else, even when I wasn’t reading it. In fact, I am weeks out from reading it, and I still think about it on a daily basis.

Afterlife addresses the age old question of whether or not there is life after death. What I loved about this book was the battles that were fought before death and beyond. Even in death, the author has created a war. But it is a war unlike any other.

I’m afraid to say any more, but only because I want readers to discover the stellar writing for themselves. I can only speak for myself. For me, Afterlife is one of the best books I’ve had the opportunity to read in quite a while. An excellent, and so very different plot, with a cast of brilliantly-drawn characters made this book a complete winner for me.
Afterlife is an absolutely outstanding book! Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. It is compelling and beautiful, yet so dark at the same time. It is a mix of crime/dystopian fiction and a love story unlike any other, spanning years and worlds, with a very different antagonist. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It caught me unawares and I will be thinking about it for a long time!

All the stars for this one.

Highly, highly recommended!

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly


About the book:

Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that ‘The Travelling Man’ is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.

Buy the book:

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

My thoughts:

I’ve had Every Dead Thing on my (personal) TBR for possibly well over a year. Obviously it’s been on my radar as so many people have been raving about it so I picked it up recently to see what the fuss was about!

When we meet Charlie Parker, he is a broken man. Devastated from the horrific killing of his wife and daughter, he is destroyed by grief. Not thinking straight, he agrees to look into a missing girl. What follows is a chilling game of cat and mouse with a killer called The Travelling Man.

John Connolly is an excellent writer, there is no disputing that fact. His prose is so brilliantly descriptive and his characterisation is spot on. Charlie Parker is a wonderful character. Battling his own demons and dealing with everything that’s thrown at him, the reader is constantly gripped by his journey.

Elements of the supernatural, coupled with an investigation riddled with corruption and conspiracies, Every Dead Thing is a really solid start to the series. While it didn’t grab me completely, I am definitely looking forward to reading more from John Connolly.

Recommended for sure!

~Blog Tour Review and Q&A~ The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Hey guys,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Last Place You look by Kristen Lepionka and not only do I get to share my review, but I have a great Q&A with the lovely lady herself. More of that anon. Here’s the bookish info first!

About the book:

The Last Place You Look

Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.

THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK by Kristen Lepionka is published by Faber & Faber in July (£7.99).

Click HERE to order your copy!

About the author:

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Kristen Lepionka grew up mostly in a public library and could often be found in the adult mystery section well before she was out of middle school. Her writing has been selected for Shotgun HoneyMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyGrift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats.

My thoughts:

Regular readers of my blog know that I mainly read crime thrillers. Lately everything has become very samey, so I’ve been on the lookout for a book that would blow me away. The Last Place You Look is definitely one of the best crime books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in the past few months!!!

The Last Place You Look focuses on Roxane Weary, a PI, struggling to keep her head above water in the months after her father’s death. When she gets a call to meet Danielle, whose brother is scheduled to be executed after supposedly carrying out a brutal double murder 15 years ago, Roxane reluctantly agrees. She then finds herself submerged in the history of the case of Brad Stockton, and the disappearance of his girlfriend, Sarah Cook, who never returned home on the night of her parents murder.

Roxane is definitely a troubled character. Self-medicating with alcohol, she is setting herself on a path to self-destruction. This case could be her salvation. What she uncovers during the course of her investigation could change the lives of many more than just her. But can she focus long enough to see the investigation through to the end?!

The Last Place You Look is an outstanding crime fiction DEBUT (!!!!!). Roxane is such a well-drawn character. I loved reading about her, and I was rooting for her from the very beginning. Yes, she is flawed, but she is intrinsically good. She is human, she is relatable, she basically kicks ass!

I loved this book. Honestly. I couldn’t put it down. My heart was racing, my mind overflowing as I got drawn further into the superb narrative. I don’t want to say any more. Amazing debut! Stunning!

Highly, highly recommended!

Q&A with Kristen:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a mystery writer and I’m so excited that my debut novel THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK is out this summer. I live with my girlfriend and our 2 cats, who are scientifically proven to be the cutest cats ever.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As soon as I learned how to put words down on the page, I started stringing words into stories—but I didn’t get serious about writing until about eight years ago, when I sat down and wrote my first full-length novel.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I wish I knew exactly where it came from—it would be easier to replicate that way. But it kind of comes from all over the place. Overheard conversations, stories in the news, songs, settings, etc. I am a shameless true crime documentary addict, too.

 

Toni Morrison once said “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I really love this idea of writing the kind of book you’ve always wanted to read. In creating my protagonist Roxane Weary, a bisexual private investigator, I was trying to do just that.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

I would say I write hardboiled mysteries for fans of Sue Grafton or Dennis Lehane, with a healthy dose of feminism.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

Social media is an incredible tool for connecting with communities. No one likes following a writer who just tweets about her own work all the time, so I think it’s more about relationships and conversations than it is about promotion. But it’s essential to have that channel open!

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

Research! I love that stage of a project where I’m just Googling stuff and making notes. It’s so full of possibility. I also love mentoring other writers through online contests such as Pitch Wars and Teen Pitch.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

Not sure that I have a “least” fave! It’s all pretty great. But self-promotion is tough—like many writers, I’m an introvert. But my excitement about the book helps me put that aside when necessary.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

Hopefully writing a bunch more Roxane Weary mysteries. I’ve got ideas for a few standalone crime novels too.

 

What’s next for you?

Speaking of standalone crime novels, I’m in the planning stages of a project about, among other things, donuts and female rage.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

Definitely a huge reader! I read a lot of mysteries and literary fiction. My favorites include Tana French, Sue Grafton, Richard Price, Joan Didion, and Tom Drury—it’s a pretty long list.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

All-time favorite is a really tough call! But there are 2 books I can read and re-read over and over without ever getting tired of them: THE DRIFTLESS AREA by Tom Drury and SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

I wish I’d written Helen DeWitt’s THE LAST SAMURAI. It’s about as far away from a mystery novel as you can get, but it has a delightfully inventive structure that would make any writer jealous.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I’m a graphic designer by day.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

Most of my hobbies relate to books in some way, but I also play the guitar. And I spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to take adorable pictures of my cats.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

My favorite place to travel is probably Iceland. I’ve been there twice and would go back this afternoon, if possible. I love the surreal quality of the landscape and the fresh, fresh air.

 

Favourite food?

Anything spicy—the spicier the better.

 

Favourite drink?

If we’re at a bar, I’ll order an old fashioned or a bourbon on the rocks. Coffee shop? Tea with mint has my name on it.

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

Writing fiction gives me the opportunity to create a different version of the world—one where the bad guys go to jail, the right people do the right things, the conversation always sparkles… It’s an escape, like reading is, and I find it irresistible.


Huge thanks to Lauren at Faber for the opportunity to take part in the blog tour and to Kristen for answering my questions! 🙂

Check out the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Ice Lake by John A. Lenahan

Hi guys,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Ice Lake by John A. Lenahan and I get to share my review with you all!

About the book:

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…WHERE EVERYBODY LIES. AND SOME PEOPLE KILL…

An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Peter May.

AN ABANDONDED BODY
Deep in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A HAUNTED PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A DESPERATE KILLER
It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, this time a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

Out NOW, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

 

John Lenahan came to Britain from his native Philadelphia for a short trip and has never quite made it back.

John originally grabbed the headlines as the first person in 85 years to be expelled from the Magic Circle. The 3-card trick he exposed on How Do They Do That? is no more than a gambling con, but John took the rap and enjoyed the publicity.

2004 saw him starring in a new primetime BBC1 show, Secrets of Magic. His own BBC2 series, Stuff The White Rabbit, achieved record ratings for the slot. Other TV credits include presenting the travelogue Open Road, playing the voice of the toaster in Red Dwarf, and guest appearances on everything from TFI Friday to Celebrity Squares. He also fronted HoaxBusters, an ITV network show lifting the lid on scams and hoaxes.

John has performed onstage all over the world, from Beijing and Dubai to Dublin. He has toured alongside Jack Dee, Victoria Wood, Lenny Henry and Michael Ball.

Besides all this, Lenahan is one of the most successful corporate entertainers in the country. Apart from his show-stealing cabaret, he has made kitchens appear, taught Bank of England staff to juggle, read thousands of minds and levitated a 20-pound Toblerone bar. He was the first person on record to perform magic live over the Internet, for BT.

John has been described by The Guardian as ‘the mascot of a magical renaissance’ – and by Jackie Collins as ‘extremely good looking’.

John Lenahan lives in Cricklewood, London. In a world dominated by awards, he is proud to have once been voted Time Out Street Magician of the Year.

John’s novels: Shadowmagic , The Prince of Hazel & Oak and Sons of Macha are now avalable in one omnibus -The Shadowmagic Trilogy – published by Harper Collins and is out in paperback iBook, Nook and Kindle formats.

The Magic Circle has finally recognised their mistake and reinstated John.

My thoughts:

Ice Lake is the first book in the Harry Cull series by John A Lenehan, and its a very solid start to a promising series. I flew through this one as I was gripped early on!

When the body of a man is found at a well known hang-out spot, Harry Cull gets a call to come and investigate. Cull carries out polygraph tests, and is pretty adept at picking out those who lie, but in Ice Lake is seems everyone has something to hide and Harry has his work cut out for him from the get go!

The deceased was shot, and it looks like it was by someone he knew. When Harry arrives at the tranquil Ice Lake, he quickly realises that all is not as peaceful as one would be led to believe. In this town, there is so much bubbling under the surface with its residents that it becomes and increasingly dangerous place to be.

There is more than just murder here too, although the rising body count tries to keep Harry from finding out any more, there are quite a few themes running alongside the crime aspect. The author has done a great job in layering the mystery in Ice Lake. I found myself wondering what was really going on more than once during the course of the book.

Excellent characterisation coupled with a quick and pacy narrative make Ice Lake an engrossing and thrilling read. This is a very accomplished novel packed with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader thoroughly engaged. I look forward to reading more from John A Lenehan.

Highly recommended!

Follow the blog tour:

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