After You Die by Eva Dolan 

 

Huge thanks to Eva Dolan and Harvill Secker for my ARC of After You Die. I’ve has this on my TBR for a good few weeks now, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it. I’m so cross at myself for leaving it so long as this book was just brilliant!!!


About the book:


Dawn Prentice was already known to the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit.

The previous summer she had logged a number of calls detailing the harassment she and her severely disabled teenage daughter were undergoing. Now she is dead – stabbed to death whilst Holly Prentice has been left to starve upstairs. DS Ferreira, only recently back serving on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty, had met with Dawn that summer. Was she negligent in not taking Dawn’s accusations more seriously? Did the murderer even know that Holly was helpless upstairs while her mother bled to death?
Whilst Ferreira battles her demons, determined to prove she’s up to the frontline, DI Zigic is drawn into conflict with an official seemingly resolved to hide the truth about one of his main suspects. Can either officer unpick the truth about mother and daughter, and bring their killer to justice?

My thoughts: 


Having never read any of Eva Dolan’s previous books, I didn’t know what to expect when I started After You Die. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be hooked immediately and not wanting to leave the book down to sleep, but with 2 kids, I need sleep 😂

Happily, when I picked it back up, I was just as engrossed. I started the book on Tuesday night and had it finished last night. It was utterly addictive reading!
While the themes in the book are tough subject matter, they were handled skilfully, both by the author and the characters she has created. Zigic and Ferreira are one of the best, and most cohesive pairs of detectives I’ve read in a while. I often find that one or the other gets more time, or demands more attention, but both were equally present throughout the narrative.

The plot in After You Die was very tight. Every story was perfectly constructed, and together they intermingled brilliantly. You felt something for almost every character, whether it be sympathy, sadness, happiness or anger, and that is something I look for in the books I read. If I can’t connect, I find it harder to concentrate on the story. No fear of that here!!!

I’m not going go into details of the plot, the synopsis above should be enough to whet your appetite. I, for one, am glad I went in without reading more that the synopsis as it was such a layered book that I wasn’t expecting half of what happened! Also, as usual lately, I guessed the perpetrator and was wrong, again! 😂

Dolan has a fabulous writing style, descriptive yet easy to follow, which I loved. After You Die just flowed off the pages, a compelling and pacy read that just reels you in and doesn’t let you go until you turn the last page.
I gave After You Die an easy 5⭐️ on Goodreads and I’d highly recommend it! I’m off to buy the first two books in the Zigic and Ferreira series! 😉

You can get your copy of After You Die HERE

Happy reading 😊📖

Broken Grace by E C Diskin

I received a copy of Broken Grace from Netgalley, however I didn’t get around to reading it until this week!

I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading, I hadn’t read many reviews so went into it with a fairly open mind.

 

About the book (via Goodreads): 

On an icy winter’s day in southwest Michigan, Grace Abbot wakes up as the survivor of a car crash. But she’s left with a traumatic brain injury and a terrifying reality: she can’t remember anything.

Left in the care of her sister, Grace returns to the family’s secluded old farmhouse to recover—but within an hour of her return, the police arrive. Grace’s boyfriend has been murdered. Without any memory, Grace has no alibi.

With suspicion weighing heavily on her and flashes of memory returning, Grace searches for clues to her past. But with every glimpse, her anxiety grows. There is something about the house, her family, her childhood…perhaps the accident isn’t the only reason she can’t remember. Are the dark recesses of her mind hiding something even more sinister and terrifying than she could ever imagine?
And someone is watching. Someone willing to kill again to protect a secret.

My thoughts:

Broken Grace starts off with a killer chapter, you know, the kind that hooks you and makes you want to keep reading!

However, after this the book becomes a bit clichèd for a while. The memory loss reminds me a bit of Before I Go To Sleep (which I didn’t love) so I was unsure whether I was going to enjoy reading.

Grace leaves hospital for recovery in her old home, in the care of her sister, and with no recollection of her life before her car accident, and then the police turn up. Grace’s boyfriend has been found dead, in or around the same time as her accident, ergo she has no alibi,ergo she is essentially a suspect!

The story unfolds almost as a race against time, Grace’s memories returning versus the murder investigation. These memories become terrifying visions of which she is unsure of. Are they real? Are they not?

Broken Grace has a decent plot, even though it takes a little while to take off, it’s not a bad read. Once events start unfolding, it becomes quite a quick read with each chapter revealing another nugget of information. I gave Broken Grace 3.5⭐️ which I rounded up to 4⭐️ on Goodreads.

Happy reading 😊📖

You can purchase a copy here:

Broken Grace

I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork

My final book of 2015 was this beauty!

 

My thanks go to Ben Willis at Transworld Books for my copy of Samuel Bjork’s I’m Travelling Alone.

 

I’d seen this book pop up a few times on Twitter so I added it to my wish list as it sounded right up my street. Luckily, thanks to a retweet I got a copy from Ben!

 

As some of you may know, I’m a huge Scandi/Nordic crime fiction book lover, so of course I was excited when I read the premise of Bjork’s book.

 

About the book:  



When a six-year-old girl is found dead, hanging from a tree, the only clue the Oslo Police have to work with is an airline tag around her neck. It reads ‘I’m travelling alone’.
Holger Munch, veteran police investigator, is immediately charged with re-assembling his homicide unit. But to complete the team, he must convince his erstwhile partner, Mia Krüger – a brilliant but troubled investigator – to return from the solitary island where she has retreated with plans to take her own life.

Reviewing the evidence, Mia identifies something no one else has noticed – a thin line carved into the dead girl’s fingernail: the number 1. Instinctively, she knows that this is only the beginning. To save other children from the same fate, she must find a way to cast aside her own demons and confront the most terrifying, cold-hearted serial killer of her career…

 

My thoughts: 


What a book to end my reading year on! If I had read this before my top ten books post (which you can read HERE!), I’m pretty sure this would have made the list! Maybe I might do a post about my favourite Scandi crime books in the new year! 😊

I’m Travelling Alone is a superb thriller. I was unsure when I started it, because it introduced a whole heap of characters and all were seemingly unrelated. Boy was I wrong!!!  The intricacies built into the characters and their varying relationships was so well done that at times I was super confused as to who knew whom and from where!

Holger Munch and Mia Krüger are both brilliant leads. Both (as with most police officers) have their own issues, but this instantly displays their vulnerability and I warmed to them both equally and quickly.

I don’t want to give too much away as regards the plot, but it’s safe to say that the killer in ITA is delusional and deranged to say very least.

My favourite parts of the book were the moments in the interim of the investigation. Quick asides, and hurried phone calls all hold some tiny piece of information for you to try and piece together the puzzle of the killer.

I’m normally pretty good at figuring out the perpetrator, but to be honest, I couldn’t figure this one until maybe a couple of chapters before the big reveal!!! It was frustrating, but in a good way.

I thoroughly enjoyed I’m Travelling Alone. It’s definitely a well plotted book, with a fantastic array of characters. I gave this book an easy 5 ⭐️ on Goodreads and I would highly recommend it! 😊

You can buy your copy HERE

 

Happy reading 😊📖

Killing Eva by Alex Blackmore


My thanks to the author for giving me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About the book:

Witnessing a dramatic death at London’s Waterloo Station triggers a series of events that shatter Eva Scott’s world. Dying words uttered on the station concourse awaken a history she had thought long buried. But the past is about to be resurrected, in all its brutal reality.

Soon, Eva’s life is out of her hands. A genetic key is keeping her alive; but foreshadowing her death. People she loved and lost materialise and then disappear, testing the limits of her sanity. Inextricably linked to her survival is the potential takedown of an economic power, on which hang the lives of many others.
The only way out is through. But Eva’s life is no longer her own. And it’s killing her.

 

My thoughts:

I’m writing this review after just finishing Killing Eva and yet I still don’t know where to begin!

This book is pretty fast paced, more action thriller than crime book. It’s perfect for fans of Terry Hayes (I Am Pilgrim).

Killing Eva is a strange book to try and review, as it doesn’t fall into a clear cut genre as such. It’s definitely full of action, but it has a biomedical theme along with financial terrorism being mentioned also.

The book has peaks and troughs throughout. When it’s full of action, you find your heart beating quicker and your fingers itching to turn the page to see what is going to happen. However, the troughs were quite slow by comparison. I also found the constant switching between groups of individuals and main characters to be quite confusing.

Killing Eva, in essence, is a good thriller. Parts of it were brilliant, but some parts just left me wanting. I felt like I was missing something sometimes. The ending was also quite abrupt, could be classed as a cliffhanger, but it just stopped in the middle of something!

I hate to criticise a book, as what didn’t work for me doesn’t mean others didn’t enjoy it. Killing Eva was a decent read, and I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

Anyone else read it?! 😊📖

My Top Ten Books & Series of 2015 Part 2!!!

Ok, so this is part 2 of my Best of 2015. You can catch part 1 HERE!!

In this post I’m only talking about book series. Once again, these are in no particular order!!

My Favourite Book Series of 2015

  • Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.

The first two books are Snowblind (read my review HERE) and its follow-up Nightblind (read my 5  STAR review HERE). I loved both of these books, the latter just edges it for me though. One of my absolute favourites of the year. Orenda Books are on a publishing roll! 🙂

 

  • LJ Ross DCI Ryan Series

Holy Island and Sycamore Gap are both superb reads. I love Louise’s writing style and they are both fantastic books. My review for Holy Island is HERE and my 5 STAR review for Sycamore Gap is HERE.

 

  • Angela Marsons’ DI Kim Stone series

WOW! One of the only words I can use to describe these books. I devoured them one after another for Bookouture Thriller Week. Each book is brilliant in its own right, but I reviewed the three together in a triple decker revie. You can read my 3 x 5 STAR review for Silent Scream, Evil Games and Lost Girls HERE!

 

  • Caroline Mitchell’s DC Jennifer Knight series

Bookouture have some great authors and books this year! I read both of these supernatural crime thriller books this year and thoroughly enjoyed them. Don’t Turn Around is a superb introduction to DC Knight and you can read my review HERE. The follow-up is Time To Die. This book was way creepier than the first, I likened it to Hitchcock’s The Birds, and you can read my 5 STAR review HERE.

 

  • Mel Sherratt as Marcie Steele

These books aren’t a series, but I feel they have to get a mention as they are written by crime writer Mel Sherratt and they are chick lit. Not my usual genre at all, but I read and loved both Stirred with Love and That’s What Friends Are For (read my 5 STAR review HERE). Although not a series, I’m still including them!

 

Well, that’s part two finished with! Any standout reads for you this year?! 🙂

Fragments by Stephen Edger

IMG_0431

First things first, my thanks to the author for my copy of Fragments to read and review. Also, thanks to Noelle for the suggestion!

Talk about down to the wire with a review, the launch party online is at 3pm today!!!

About the book:

CHRISTMAS 2014
Following an argument with her parents, 15 year old Freya Coleman storms out of the house. In tears, she goes to meet the only person who understands her: Robbie, the nice guy she’s been chatting to online. She doesn’t return home.

ONE YEAR LATER
A teenager’s body is found in a Southampton park. She is gaunt, bruised, and barely breathing. She is rushed to hospital, but has been so badly abused that doctors fear her fragmented memory may never recover. When another girl is reported missing a day later, D.I. White of the Hampshire Major Investigation Team fears Freya’s attacker has struck again.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
With White’s team focused on finding the new missing teenager, Freya’s parents hire Private Investigator Johnson Carmichael to find the person who abducted their daughter. The family has a secret they can’t tell the police, and it might just lead Carmichael to ‘Robbie’.

FRAGMENTS
Mystery, suspense, abduction, and terror: Fragments is an emotive, thrilling whodunit from the best-selling author of Snatched and Remorse.

 

My Thoughts:

When Stephen sent me the synopsis of Fragments asking if I wanted to read and review it, it was an easy yes for me. I enjoy these kinds of books so I was quite looking forward to getting into it.

When Freya Coleman is discovered, barely alive, and another girl goes missing, DI White is tasked with the investigation. However, due to past negligences the parents of Freya Coleman do not believe he is capable of finding the monster who is preying on young girls.

The Coleman’s hire Johnson Carmichael to find the person who did this to their daughter. however, Carmichael soon finds himself drawn into a world he wished he had never learned about.

Fragments is a very good book. It pulls you in early on as you need to know what happened to Freya, and you want to find out what happened. The first half of the book, for me, was much more fast paced in terms of information and red herrings.

However, once I got towards the end of the book, I found that it all seemed a bit rushed,as opposed to fast paced, if that makes sense?! Certain events take place that, I feel, could have done with further explanation. The only other thing I found hard to read was DI White’s dialect (lots of ‘man’ used) as it took me a while to get used to it. This is all personal preference though!!

The premise of Fragments is great, with a strong story behind it. I gave Fragments 3 stars on Goodreads, dropping stars for the aforementioned issues that I had. Do not let my review put you off though! Fragments is part of a series, of which I have heard great things!!!

Happy reading! 🙂

 

 

Author Q&A Jack Jordan

Second author Q&A in a week!! I’m spoiling ye! 😉

Today, I have the lovely Jack Jordan answering my questions. Jack is the author of Anything For Her, which I read, loved and reviewed last month and you can read my review here.

Without further ado…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

www.TitusPowell.com.

(Photo Credit: www.TitusPowell.com)

 

I am an introvert disguised as an extrovert, an intelligent person who can say very unintelligent things, and a self-confessed bibliomaniac with more books than sense.

I have been writing for nearly six years now, and published my debut novel, Anything for Her, in June 2015. I am currently writing my second thriller, My Girl, which will be published in 2016.

 

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

Ever since I can remember, I have adored writing. My favourite school assignments were creative writing projects, but I never considered that writing could and would be my career.

 

I began writing novels by accident. I was seventeen and housebound due to severe anxiety, and began to write a short story to pass the time. That short story turned into a novel of 100,000 words. I didn’t even have the goal of writing a whole novel; I was simply engrossed in the story and cherished the stimulating distraction. Once I finished the novel, I realised what had happened: stuck in the overpowering gloom of anxiety and depression, I had found my career.

 

Ever since then, I have been unable to stop writing!

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

 

I constantly have about twelve or more projects whirling around in my mind, and decide to write the one project that is the most insistent of the lot! Many ideas spawn from TV shows, other novels, true stories, and my dark imagination. Something that may be the smallest plot point in one book/show/documentary/true story can inspire me to write a whole novel – and from there, my imagination takes it further and further until the story is completely different from what I first imagined – but better!

 

With Anything for Her, I was inspired by the strength of the love that mothers have for their children. The bond between a mother and her child is unbreakable, and the love is unconditional. Most mothers will tell you that they would do anything to protect their child. When writing Anything for Her, I wanted to explore just how far a mother would go to protect her child, and at what cost.

 

I loved Anything For Her, the twist towards the end was brilliant. Had you worked that out before you began or did the story develop itself?

Thank you – I’m so glad you liked it!

 

Looking back, it is quite hard to remember where and when the story changed during the whole writing and editing process, but as for the twist/outcome of the story, I learned early on that the twist had to happen to stay true to the story and the characters involved.

 

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

If I were to describe Anything for Her in one word, it would be: dark.

 

When it comes to genres, my writing falls into the brackets of: thriller and crime fiction (and mystery/psychological), but if I were to describe my work, I would call it a chiller, rather than a thriller, due to the how dark my stories can go.

 

As a reader, I love books that genuinely scare/thrill me. The books I remember and recommend the most are books that have shocked me and disturbed me. I think my reading preference really influences how and what I write. I want readers to remember my characters and my stories, just like I remember such books that have shocked me.

 

 

Your next book, My Girl, comes out next year. Can you tell us a bit about it? 😉

 

Due to exciting book-related events happening in 2016, I feel I should keep my mouth shut – but the moment I can spill the beans on my next project, I will let you know immediately!

 

 

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

 

I read at every available opportunity – which can annoy those who love me! Reading is my absolute favourite pastime, and probably my only hobby. By the end of 2015 I will have read over sixty books – and I must have read my own books over a hundred times each, too!

 

I read for work and pleasure. When I’m writing, I read books in similar genres to mine with an editor’s eye, and thoroughly enjoy the emotions that thrillers evoke.

As a reader, I love stories of all age and genre. I go through phases: for a few months I will read literary/contemporary/classic fiction, other times I will read commercial fiction, and read non-fiction books as research for my own work, as well as subjects that I feel passionate about.

 

I love books that scare me, thrill me, shock me, make me laugh, make me cry, and educate me (I also adore the smell of new books – could this be a hobby in itself? This would mean I have two hobbies – hooray!).

 

 

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

 

Personally, I feel it is absolutely essential. I have found that social media advertising is the most direct, cost-effective, and one of the most influential ways to promote a book. For writers like myself, whom don’t have the marketing budget of ginormous publishing houses, social media is the way to promote a book.

 

 

If people want to keep up with you, where can they find you?

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jackjordanofficial

 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/_JackJordan_

 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jackjordan_author

 

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/jackjordan

 

My website: www.jackjordanofficial.co.uk

 

Massive thanks to Jack for answering my questions. I’m waiting patiently for details on My Girl!! 🙂