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!

Check out the blog tour:

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!!

Check out the blog tour:

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

Check out the blog tour:

The Plotters by Un-Su Kim Mini Review

About the book:

Plotters are just pawns like us. A request comes in and they draw up the plans. There’s someone above them who tells them what to do. And above that person is another plotter telling them what to do. You think that if you go up there with a knife and stab the person at the very top, that’ll fix everything. But no-one’s there. It’s just an empty chair.

Reseng was raised by cantankerous Old Raccoon in the Library of Dogs. To anyone asking, it’s just an ordinary library. To anyone in the know, it’s a hub for Seoul’s organised crime, and a place where contract killings are plotted and planned. So it’s no surprise that Reseng has grown up to become one of the best hitmen in Seoul. He takes orders from the plotters, carries out his grim duties, and comforts himself afterwards with copious quantities of beer and his two cats, Desk and Lampshade.

But after he takes pity on a target and lets her die how she chooses, he finds his every move is being watched. Is he finally about to fall victim to his own game? And why does that new female librarian at the library act so strangely? Is he looking for his enemies in all the wrong places? Could he be at the centre of a plot bigger than anything he’s ever known?

The Plotters by Un-su Kim

My thoughts:

The Plotters is utterly mad, but not in a bad way! It is raw, acerbic and witty while totally in keeping with the crime book genre.

Assassins who get told to kill by The Plotters, so it is essentially a hierarchical strata. You can’t go above your station, you just have to do what you’re told.

But what happens if you rebel? Reseng, an assassin, is going to find out.

The Plotters is dark, offbeat and definitely a quirky read. My first time reading Korean crime, but not the last. It is a unique and intriguing read.

Recommended

The Boy in the Headlights (Munch & Krüger #3) by Samuel Bjork

About the book:

Munch and Krüger. An unexpected pairing. A brilliant team. 

Winter 1996 An old man is driving home when his headlights catch an animal on the empty road up ahead. He stamps hard on the brakes. But it is not an animal at all. It is a young boy, frightened and alone, with a set of deer antlers strapped firmly to his head. 

Fourteen years later, a body is found in a mountain lake. Within weeks, three people have died. Each time, the killer has left a clue, inviting Special Investigations Detectives Munch and Krüger to play a deadly game – a game they cannot possibly win. Against the most dangerous and terrifying kind of serial killer. One who chooses their victims completely at random. 

To find the killer they must look deep within their own dark pasts, but how can you stop a murderer when you cannot begin to predict their next move?

Out now, you can grab a copy by clicking the link below:

The Boy in the Headlights by Samuel Bjork

 

My thoughts:

Having read and loved the first two books in this series, I was delighted to get a review copy for The Boy in the Headlights, so thanks to Transworld for this one!

We’re back with Holger and Mia in The Boy in the Headlights as they recover from the events of The Owl Always Hunts at Night. They each had a lot to deal with and are doing so in their own way. 

When a body is found at a mountain lake, they are called in to investigate. But as with all good crime novels, the body count inevitably rises. As Holger and Mia work to find out who is leaving them clues at each scene, they find themselves drawn in deeper into the killer’s game at every turn. What follows is a game of murderous cat and mouse that delves into their pasts while simultaneously threatening their future.

I really like the pairing between these two detectives, it shouldn’t work, but it does. Both have their own flaws and foibles, but they know each other well enough to push past them and focus on the job at hand.

The Boy in the Headlights is another excellent addition to the series. A gripping plot, dark characters and great writing make this a highly absorbing read.

If you like your Scandi crime (as we all know, I LOVE it), this is a series you need to add to your TBR!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork

The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork

The Chemical Detective by Fiona Erskine

About the book:

Dr Jaqueline Silver blows things up to keep people safe. 

Working on avalanche control in Slovenia, she stumbles across a delivery problem with a consignment of explosives. After raising a complaint with the supplier, Zagrovyl, a multinational chemical company and her ex-employer, her evidence disappears. She is warned, threatened, accused of professional incompetence and suspended. Taking her complaint to Zagrovyl head office, she narrowly escapes death only to be framed for murder. Escaping from police custody, she sets out to find the key to the mystery. 

From the snowy slopes of Slovenia, to the wreckage of Chernobyl, Jaq attempts to expose the trade in deadly chemical weapons, while fighting for her life.

Published by Point Blank Books, click the link below to get your copy:

The Chemical Detective by Fiona Erskine

My thoughts:

I had seen The Chemical Detective popping up on social media recently so I was delighted to receive an ARC from the publisher for review on the blog.

The Chemical Detective follows Dr. Jaq Silver, a chemical engineer, as she uncovers some inconsistencies in what looks like a routine delivery from supply company Zagrovyl. Jaq used to work for this multi national company, but left under a cloud.

When evidence of these inconsistencies disappears, and people start getting hurt, Jaq realizes quite quickly that there is something serious amiss in the explosives supply and delivery.

What follows is a fast-paced thriller, reminiscent of Cold War era espionage movies, and almost cinematic in its writing. I could easily picture the snow covered mountains, the explosives facilities, all of it. It could even be a Bond movie, it’s got that kind of vibe.

Dr. Jaq Silver is an interesting main character too. Flawed, but with a fairly decent moral compass, it’s hard not to feel sorry for her with everything that takes place in the book.

If you like Jason Bourne, you’ll love The Chemical Detective.

Recommended for sure!

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Hey guys,

I’ve got a review for you all today! I KNOW, an actual review!!! It’s been a while, right! 🙂

About the author:

Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, sharp skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.

About the book:

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the spider-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job―stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own―a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

Click the link below to grab your copy:

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

My thoughts:

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Season (review below), I was delighted to receive a copy of No Mercy from Titan Books to read ad review on the blog.

No Mercy catches up with Ellery in the aftermath of the events in The Vanishing Season (no spoilers, but I’d suggest reading it before you read No Mercy!) where she is off work pending the outcome of her therapy sessions for victims of violent crimes.

However, Ellery being the tenacious character she is, finds more to the therapy than she bargained for. An old arson case, and a brutal rape are just two of the situations her fellow group members are dealing with. And Ellery can’t leave well alone.

What follows is a tense, taught and gripping thriller. Ellery calls on her FBI profiler friend Reed Markham, who also happened to save her from a killer when she was a child, to come in and see if he can help her figure out whats going on with the two cases and its safe to say, things get very dark once they start investigating!

I’m not going to say any more about the plot because there is so much going on that I don’t want to mention anything by accident! No Mercy is a great book, pushed forward by the brilliant Ellery and supported effortlessly by Reed (my fave!). It has everthing I look for in a thriller.

Engaging, fast-paced and cinematic, No Mercy would not be out of place on the big screen if you ask me!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen