~Blog Tour~The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher, and she’ll be sharing her review with you all. First though, here is all of the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

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Colleen Byrne is wife to one of the biggest faces on the streets of Soho, Jimmy Byrne. He promised her the life of luxury, but behind the diamonds and fur coats is a dangerous world of violence and lies. With her two children, Nancy and Daniel, Colleen is in too deep, bound to Jimmy forever.

TWENTY YEARS LATER
Nancy has grown into her father’s daughter, strong, calculated – and ruthless, while Colleen blots out the pain of her marriage any way she can. When Jimmy is found brutally murdered, Nancy is hell bent on finding the culprit. She’s going to make them pay for what they did.

Only the perpetrator is someone close to home. Someone who betrayed them all. To catch a killer, mother and daughter must find the secrets tearing their family apart…

A totally gripping and gritty thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of Kimberly Chambers, Martina Cole and Jessie Keane.

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2nmLJOg
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2mSi9UL

About the author:

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Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole.

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time.

She has since published Rise and Fall, Heartless, Bad Blood, The Taken, The Promise and her latest release, The Betrayed is due for publication on the 21st June 2017.

For all news and updates:

www.caseykelleher.co.uk

www.facebook.com/officialcaseykelleher

http://caseykelleher.wordpress.com

Twitter: @caseykelleher

Ellen’s Review:

This gritty thriller starts with a punch and then the tension is carried on through until the last page. I am not usually a fan of this genre but the writing style caught me up into the lives of Colleen and Jimmy alongside their mothers Edel and Joanie. Although Jimmy is the top dog of crime in his local area I would say that Joanie held a lot of the power and was pulling the strings behind the scenes. This was made apparent after the events of Colleen and Jimmy’s marriage; Joanie’s behaviour is abhorrent, she is such a cow-bag and that is putting it politely!! It is obvious that no one would ever be good enough for her golden boy Jimmy and she is willing to go to any lengths to exert her power over her weaker willed daughter in law who has entered into this relationship without a clue about its dark heart.

 

I felt really sorry for Colleen as she slowly had her spirit stripped away by the Byrne family. It was awful to witness her heartbreak and mental breakdown and the thought that even her own flesh and blood thought nothing of her really got to me. Colleen seemed the polar opposite of Jimmy and I kept hoping that she would rediscover some of her old fire and fight back against the old battle-axe mother in law! Her own mother Edel was a delight to read even if her radar for a suitable suitor for her precious daughter was slightly off.

 

The Betrayed features a web of lies and deceit and at its centre sits the Byrne family weaving their own brand of truth and justice in the East End of London.  This is the first book of Casey Kelleher’s that I have read but I look forward to more, especially to find out what happens where this story ended. Four stars.

 

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13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough~ Mini Review


About the book:

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

My thoughts:

13 Minutes had been on my kindle for way too long so I figured it was high time I read it, especially considering I had read Behind Her Eyes by the same author.

While reading the book, I think definitely as a YA psych thriller, with elements of crime and mystery interspersed throughout the narrative. 13 Minutes is the story of Natasha and how she came to be dead for that length of time. There is also a heavy weight placed on secrets and lies between the characters and how they can slowly chip away at solid foundations.

13 Minutes is a compulsive read. I found myself flying through it trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together along with Natasha. The minds of teenage girls are scary places to be, and the author has done a good job of capturing the devious and underhanded behaviour that some kids partake in.

13 Minutes is a fast paced book, with plenty of different threads that are all woven together towards the end relatively well. I enjoyed it even though it wouldn’t be my usual kind of read.

Recommended.

 

Blackwater by GJ Moffatt

*Many thanks to Chris at Fahrenheit Press for my review copy!*

About the book:

Deputy Sheriff Early Simms of the Blackwater County Sheriff’s Department knows about the violence that incubates within the souls of men – and that sometimes it needs a release. As a high school football player he relished inflicting pain, until he made a tackle that left a promising young athlete dead from a broken neck. Early did not play another game and his dreams of leaving the small town that he grew up in never materialised. Instead, he followed his father into the town’s police force.

Now older, Early is outwardly content with the life he has made for himself in Blackwater. But that life is about to be turned upside down. Kate Foley, his high school girlfriend, arrives in town on the run from an abusive husband and it stirs feelings that Early thought he had forgotten.

Jimmy and Marshall Cain are brothers – men with the capacity for the kind of violence that Early Simms knows all too well. A botched home invasion by the brothers goes horribly wrong, leaving a man and woman dead and their teenage daughter kidnapped.

Events spiral further out of control, with the brothers embarking on a killing spree that leads them to a confrontation with Early Simms and an FBI task force. At the same time, Kate Foley’s husband is armed and on the hunt for his wife.

Early is about to find himself in a fight not just for the life he has known, but for the future he has glimpsed in stolen moments with Kate. And to defeat the maelstrom hurtling towards him, he must once again confront the violence in his own soul.

Blackwater by GJ Moffatt

My thoughts:

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of American crime fiction. Most especially when it takes place in small towns. Something about a tight-knit community and the sense that everyone knows everybody’s business really appeals to me. Needless to say, I was eager to read Blackwater as it sounded exactly like the kind of book I would love.

I was not disappointed!

Early Simms is the Deputy Sherriff of Blackwater, a relatively quiet little town on the east coast of America. Chaos descends onto his doorstep initially with the arrival of Kate, his old high school girlfriend, who happens to be on the run from an abusive husband. Naturally, this stirs feelings in Early both as a professional and in a rather more protective capacity too.

Alongside this arrival, there is a much more dangerous duo who have appeared, the Cain brothers, fresh from a home invasion that went dramatically wrong. Violence seems to be their method of communication, and they are intent on wreaking havoc in Blackwater. This causes a host of problems to Early and the residents of the town.

What follows is a riot of action, violence and mayhem. These bursts of drama are interspersed beautifully with rare moments of calm through vignettes into Early’s life both now, and in the past. I genuinely loved Early as a character as he is so well-drawn that its nigh on impossible not to become invested in his fate and that of those he cares about. The reader is rooting for him from the beginning, willing him on and hoping that he can prevail over the evil that the Cain brothers are intent on bringing to Blackwater.

American crime fiction at its best and most gripping, Blackwater will grab you by the throat from the first chapter and won’t let go. Addictive as f***!

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!

 

~Blog Tour~ One To Watch by Rachel Amphlett~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’ stop on the blog tour for One To Watch by Rachel Amphlett and she’ll be sharing her review with you all. As usual, here’s the all-important bookish information first!

About the book:

One to Watch Cover LARGE EBOOK2

Sophie Whittaker shared a terrifying secret. Hours later, she was dead.

Detective Kay Hunter and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of a teenage girl at a private party in the Kentish countryside.

A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as twisted motives point to a history of greed and corruption within the tight-knit community.

Confronted by a growing number of suspects and her own enemies who are waging a vendetta against her, Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question her trust in everyone she knows.

One to Watch is a gripping murder mystery thriller, and the third in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

  1. SCARED TO DEATH
  2. WILL TO LIVE
  3. ONE TO WATCH
  4. HELL TO PAY (out 2017)

One to Watch (The Detective Kay Hunter series) (Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series Book 3)

About the author:

author

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017

Ellen’s review:

It’s no secret that I am a massive fan of the Kay Hunter series (and Rachel Amphlett). I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read and review the 3rd in the series One to Watch. This could be read as a standalone but why deny yourself the pleasure of the first two; Scared to Death and Will to Live? Go get them all and dive in.

 

DS Kay Hunter is one of my favourite protagonists; she is the perfect paradigm of a police officer. Willing to go to any lengths to grill suspects even if that means she may face disciplinary action from her superiors. Underneath this resilient exterior Kay has a soft and vulnerable side. She is still obviously distraught over a personal loss as well as the thought that she may not be able to trust her team, some of who who she counts as close friends.

 

I really felt for the young victim of the story, 16yr old Sophie Whittaker. Found bludgeoned to death at her own “purity pledge” party, there were a number of likely suspects, none of who seemed particularly keen on participating in the enquiry process. It was unsettling to think that such a young woman would have so many people who would want her dead. There were tons of twists, turns and red herrings – all the ingredients for a winning police procedural.

 

I absolutely loved One to Watch and hereby award it #allthestars. I cannot wait for Kay Hunter #4 Hell to Pay later this year!

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~Blog Tour~ The Suicide Plan by Emma Clapperton

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Suicide Plan by Emma Clapperton and I get to share my review with you all!

About the book:

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Standing up and welcoming everyone to the spiritualist church is something Patrick McLaughlin does most evenings. Most of the faces in the audience are familiar to him, except one. David Hopkirk walks into the West End Spiritualist church in Glasgow and slits his own throat in the middle of a demonstration. Buy why?

Patrick is then catapulted into a case, which sees the death of a child, a failed court case and a family torn apart.

Soon Patrick will have all the pieces of the puzzle but will he be able to fit them together in time?

 

About the author:

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Emma Clapperton, born December 1985, has always had a passion for reading and writing. She particularly enjoys reading supernatural or horror books.
Emma studied childcare and gained qualifications to work with the early years in 2002, later going on to work in the Montessori sector of early years. In 2017 she gained a qualification to work as a Forest School early years leader and can often be found teaching three and four year olds how to cook on an open fire.
She is the writer of a supernatural crime series based in Glasgow, which she writes under the pen name of Emma L Clapperton.
She currently resides in a little town outside of the city of Glasgow with her husband and ginger cat and is working on future projects.
You can contact Emma via:

My thoughts:

The Suicide Plan is a short novella that focuses on Patrick McLaughlin, who is part of the West End Spiritualist Church in Glasgow. On this particular evening, a man called David Hopkirk comes into the church and commits suicide in front of the congregation. This traumatic incident begs the question, why there? Why in Patrick’s church?

What follows is an unusual story, with elements of the paranormal as well as a murder case that is time-sensitive. I don’t know what I was expecting when I started The Suicide Plan, but it was a punchy and different storyline to my usual reads.

With such a short story it’s very difficult to write a review without spoiling anything. Emma has managed to pack a hell of a lot into so few pages, with an intriguing story and some very well-drawn characters. Really enjoyed this one!

Recommended!

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Stone Groove by Erik Carter ~ Ellen’s Review ~

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About the book:

An empty crime scene. A blood-spattered stone. And a 400-year-old mystery.

An entire colony disappeared off the face of the earth. It’s America’s greatest mystery, and it happened centuries ago. Now it’s happened again.

Federal Agent Dale Conley specializes in the unusual, and he’s seen it all. Except for this. An entire community has vanished overnight. One hundred forty-seven people. The only clue is the word ROANOKE chiseled into a blood-spattered stone.

Dale knows that in the 1930s a series of stones was discovered—stones with carved messages that allegedly told the fate of the Roanoke Colony. When Dale finds more stones with cryptic messages, it’s clear he has a copycat criminal on his hands. Each of the stones lead Dale to a few more of the missing people, and he must solve the stones’ riddles correctly—or the hostages are killed.

Dale soon realizes that the kidnapper knows the details of his past. Including his dark secrets. Now, as Dale races to find the stones, he must come head-on with his own demons to have a chance at saving the missing people.

Stone Groove (Dale Conley Historical Action Thrillers Series Book 1)

About the author:

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Erik Carter writes thrillers and mysteries. A trained public historian and design professional, his adventures have led him across America, where he has done everything from hosting a television show to shooting documentaries in the desert to teaching college. These experiences gave the background he needs for his greatest adventure—writing fiction.

ErikCarterBooks.com
facebook.com/ErikCarterBooks
twitter.com/ErikCarterBooks

Ellen’s review:

As soon as I read the blurb for Stone Groove my interest was piqued; described as a historical action thriller it didn’t sound like anything I had read before. I wasn’t wrong!!
Four hundred years ago in Roanoke 117 people simply disappeared without a trace and became known as the Lost Colony. In present day America the same thing has happened to a colony called The Marshallites, 147 people are missing and it is up to Dale Conley to solve the riddles left carved into stones before time runs out.
Dale works for the Bureau of Esoteric Investigations (BEI), a kind of X Files of the Department of Justice. He is often given copycat cases and ends up with the task of solving this mystery.
I really liked Dale; he is methodical but a rule breaker, a charmer with moral values and an all round nice guy.
The tension is really high and my nerves were wrecked following Dale trying to find the Man in Black who is pulling the strings and battling with ghosts from his past which threaten to unbalance him.
I enjoyed Stone Groove and hope there will be more books featuring Dale Conley. Four stars.

~Blog Tour Extract~ The Lies Within by Jane Isaac

Hey everyone,

Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for The Lies Within by Jane Isaac and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all!

About the book:

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Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.

DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?

The Lies Within by Jane Isaac

About the author:

Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014’.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It’s Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, was published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, in May 2017.

Both DI Jackman and DCI Lavery will return again in the near future. Sign up to Jane’s newsletter on her website at http://www.janeisaac.co.uk for details of new releases, events and giveaways.

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Extract:

Prologue
August 2016 – Criminal Court 3, Leicester Crown Court

The barrister tilts his head back. “Members of the jury, I turn
your attention to Grace Daniels, the woman who stands before
you this afternoon.”
The eyes of the courtroom descend upon Grace. She
searches for a gap in the sea of faces, desperately trying to
maintain her composure while avoiding the anxious gaze of
her youngest daughter, Lydia, seated next to Phil in the public
gallery. Right now she wants nothing more than to be swaddled
in the comfort of their support. But even the shortest of glances
will induce fresh tears to her eyes. And she can’t allow that
to happen. Not now.
The barrister, James Sheldon, a tall, slender man with curls
of thick brown hair that tumble out of the back of his wig,
pauses for the briefest of moments. “During the course of this
trial you will hear accounts from friends, family, neighbours
and employers about her good character and nature. She is a
mother, sister-in-law, daughter and grandmother. A woman
who works and contributes to the fabric of society. But you
are not here to consider her character. You are here to examine
the facts.” His words hang in the air as he moves down the
line, pulling the eyes of every juror with him.
Grace notices Lydia turn away and risks a fleeting glance.
When her girls were young she’d impressed upon them the
importance of being honest. ‘You have nothing to worry about

if you’ve done nothing wrong,’ she would say. What would
Lydia make of that today? She’s sixteen now, although her
blue eyes bulge with the same trepidation they held on her
first day at school.
Grace flicks her gaze to the jury. Seven women and five
men. On the face of it, they seem a reasonable mix. Earlier
that morning, several of them faltered over their words as
they were sworn in. It was strange to think that they could
possibly feel more nervous than she. The woman on the end
wore a dark jumper overlaid with a colourful vintage scarf.
Sheets of hair were tucked behind her ears, her expression
kind and comforting.
Sheldon is concluding the prosecution opening with the
assured confidence of a man skilled in his art. In spite of
the curled wig, the black gown that flaps behind him as he
moves, his gestures are convincingly subtle. A simple touch. A
gentle, considered turn. No sweeping theatrics. Not a moment’s
hesitation in his voice.
Grace looks across at the profile of Eleanor Talbot-Deane,
her defence barrister, through the glass screen that separates
her from the courtroom. Eleanor is as still as stone. His words
haven’t fazed her, yet Grace feels her hands start to tremble
and squeezes them together.
“Over the next few days the Crown will produce compelling
evidence to support the fact that this woman meticulously
planned a cold-blooded murder.”
Grace recoils, aware of Lydia’s eyes boring into the side
of her face. They’d talked about this moment, several times.
Together. With her solicitor. With her barrister. As a family. But
no amount of talking could prepare her for the real prospect
of losing her mother to the confines of prison walls. No child
should ever have to watch a parent on trial.
“You will hear evidence that places her at the scene,
witnesses who heard her plan the murder,” Sheldon continues.
“Plan how to kill a woman who considered herself a friend.”
A head on the jury turns. The woman with the vintage scarf.

Grace imagines she is just like her, with a job and a family; a
small dog that sits beside her on the sofa while she watches
MasterChef on television. But there is no familiarity in her
expression, no sorority. Just cold, hard shock.
Grace’s throat constricts. Even though she has been briefed
on how to react, what to say, what not to say. Even though
she has been dragged through hours of police questioning,
nothing can truly prepare her for the exhausting fatigue that
exudes from the intensity of hanging on to every word, every
tiny detail, still trying to find a hole in the evidence mounting
against her. And this is only the beginning of a trial that is
scheduled to run for days.
“Be under no illusions by her smart clothes, her kind face,
her eloquent manner. Do not form judgements. I implore you
to keep a clear mind and consider the evidence in front of you.
And that evidence alone. This woman is guilty of murder. And
by the time this trial has finished, you will be in no doubt that
she should go to prison for life.”

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