30 Day Challenge- Day 27

Book that has been on your to read list the longest…

I have quite a few books on my shelves that have been there for quite some time, but I could be here all day listing them. I’ve gone with one that I’ve had on my shelves since before we moved house (4 years ago) and another that was bought in or around the same time!

A Voice For The Dead by James E.Starrs

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In the midst of his distinguished law school career, James Starrs made an extraordinary leap into the politically fraught, physically arduous business of actually exhuming bodies to solve cold cases that have defied answers for years. Helped by cutting-edge technology as well as the forensic science he had been teaching for decades, he has made important discoveries. These fascinating revelations are dramatically chronicled in A Voice for the Dead.

Starrs’s passionate intention is to set the record straight, to right the wrongs done by tall tales and cover-ups, by even the most cherished historical legends. Among the high-profile cases he writes about are Jesse James-are the remains buried in his purported grave really Jesse’s? Mary Sullivan-was she, as supposed, a victim of Albert DeSalvo, who confessed, perhaps falsely, to being the Boston Strangler? And the Cold War government scientist who fell to his death from a high floor of a New York hotel-did he jump or was he pushed?

 

Blind Fury by Lynda La Plante

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A motorway service station on the M1: dimly lit, run down, poorly supervised, flickering lights, dark corners; a favourite stopover for long-distance lorry drivers on their way up north from London. Behind it, a body is found in a ditch, that of a girl barely out of her teens. She appears to have no family, no friends, no connections anywhere. Other girls have gone missing in the vicinity and no one has stepped forward to claim them. Anna Travis is assigned to the case. Her blood runs cold when she receives a letter from a lifer — someone she was responsible for arresting in the past — who writes to her from prison, asking her to visit him urgently. For he claims he knows who the killer is…

 

So, there you have it, two of my longtime TBR shelf warmers! I will get to them eventually! 😉

 

 

30 Day Challenge- Day 22

Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise…

I’ll be honest, I had to Google plot devices as i had no idea what they were. I know what irritates me when I’m reading a book now though 🙂

I am not really a romantic person, I’m sure it’s there somewhere, but mainly it just makes me go

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So I have to say my least favorite plot device is romantic interludes for what of a better phrase. I read a lot of “manly” books, so the last thing I want to read is that the main character and a female sub-character magically fall into bed in a moment of weakness or whatever!

I was reading a book lately, and the male lead and female lead spent the first 200 pages gazing longingly, thinking about what it would be like to be together, yada yada yada, and it just took from the main story. The main story was a serious theme, trafficking i believe, and reading the book it just felt like it wasn’t being addressed. Thanks to one of my friends, it has now become known as #sexytension 🙂

Lee Child is another author who is fairly predictable with his main character’s dalliances with women. Jack Reacher fairly gets around bless him. Even though I’ve read all the JR books, and i know it’s coming, it still annoys me!

Any plot devices you don’t like?!

 

 

 

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 8

Most underrated book… 

I am having zero luck with this challenge lately! 😂

I have racked my brains and I cannot think of many books I have read that are underrated. The only one I can think of is a book I read about 8 years ago.

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld.

 

Synopsis:

In this historical thriller, Sigmund Freud is drawn into the mind of a sadistic killer who is savagely attacking Manhattan’s wealthiest heiresses

Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s only visit to America, The Interpretation of Murder is an intricate tale of murder and the mind’s most dangerous mysteries. It unfurls on a sweltering August evening in 1909 as Freud disembarks from the steamship George Washington, accompanied by Carl Jung, his rival and protege. Across town, in an opulent apartment high above the city, a stunning young woman is found dangling from a chandelier—whipped, mutilated, and strangled. The next day, a second beauty—a rebellious heiress who scorns both high society and her less adventurous parents—barely escapes the killer. Yet Nora Acton, suffering from hysteria, can recall nothing of her attack. Asked to help her, Dr. Stratham Younger, America’s most committed Freudian analyst, calls in his idol, the Master himself, to guide him through the challenges of analyzing this high-spirited young woman whose family past has been as complicated as his own. 


I don’t generally read historical fiction but I loved this book!!! And I rarely hear it mentioned anywhere. I lent my copy to a friend years ago, and never got it back!!! (Grrrrrrr!!!)

I was book shopping online on Friday night and I came across it for €2 on a used book site so I repurchased it!

Anyone else read this book?! 😊📖

Time To Die by Caroline Mitchell 


Well… Where do I begin?!
Time To Die is my fourth read for Bookouture Thriller Week, which ends today! I’ve already read and loved Caroline’s first DC Jennifer Knight book Don’t Turn Around, my review of which you can read here!



About the book:

Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.

He will reveal your most shameful secrets.

He will predict your death.

He is hiding a secret.

He is hiding a monster.

And all his predictions come true.

Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.
As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …
Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.


My thoughts:

I loved Don’t Turn Around and I couldn’t see how Caroline could write a better book in the series. How wrong was I!!!! Time To Die is absolutely fantastic. It is full of suspense, mystery and some very chilling scenes.

I’m usually not creeped out when I read books, but to be honest for parts of this book I was glad the light was on and that my husband was next to me! 😂 Towards the end of the book in particular, when I started hearing random noises in our bedroom while I was finishing the book, my heart was pounding. I was genuinely freaked out.

The Raven is one of the eeriest characters I’ve come upon in books for a long time. The prophecies he relays to the intended victims all have roots in their past, and when he tells them their future they are almost incredulous. Much to his annoyance. The chapters in the mind of The Raven are some of the spookiest, most atmospheric pieces of writing I’ve read in a long time. I feel I should add I don’t read horror/suspense books normally so I don’t have a lot to compare it to but I was 100% freaked out by this book.

Caroline has a wonderful way of crafting her books to give the maximum impact when it comes to the final reveals. In my opinion, her twists are some of the best I’ve read in this type of writing genre. I would happily keep reading the DC Knight series for as long as Caroline writes them!

I thoroughly enjoyed Time To Die. I read it at every spare opportunity as I was dying to see what was going to happen to the characters. I admit if I stopped on a chapter in The Ravens voice I was more than a little apprehensive to pick up reading as I was afraid of what he would have to say for himself.

I remember watching Hitchcock’s The Birds when I was small (too small if you ask me!!!) and this book is its bookish equivalent in my opinion. The Birds in the movie are the villains, and I think birds are ominous at the best of times for me, so the Ravens really made me feel uneasy.

I’m really glad I got around to reading Time To Die. It was one book I won’t forget in a hurry, and you can be damn sure I won’t be making eye contact with birds any time soon!!! 😂😂😂

I gave Time To Die a well deserved 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ on Goodreads!

Happy reading! 😊📖

***Blog Tour*** The Ripper Gene by Michael Ransom

Today is my stop on The Ripper Gene blog tour! I’m so excited to be a part of this as I really enjoyed this book!

About the Author:

MICHAEL RANSOM is a molecular pharmacologist and a recognized expert in the fields of toxicogenomics and pharmacogenetics. He is widely published in scientific journals and has edited multiple textbooks in biomedical research. He is currently a pharmaceutical executive and an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Raised in rural Mississippi, he now makes his home in northern New Jersey. The Ripper Gene is his first novel.

Many thanks to Sarah at Smith Publicity and the author for my copy of The Ripper Gene in exchange for an honest review.

About the book:

Does your DNA influence your ability to choose between good and evil? 

The tenuous link between complex genetics and violent, antisocial behavior is the controversial scientific premise explored in Michael Ransom’s debut novel The Ripper Gene.

In The Ripper Gene, Ransom takes readers into a serial killer investigation led by main character Dr. Lucas Madden, a neuroscientist-turned-FBI profiler who lost his own mother in a brutal, unsolved cold case from his childhood. As a young graduate student, Madden analyzed DNA samples from some of the most notorious serial killers in history, and unearthed a gene linked to abnormal brain function in psychopaths… which he named the RIPPER gene. Later, after becoming an FBI profiler, Madden makes even more headlines by developing a controversial genetic test that can predict a serial killer’s behavior using DNA alone.
Madden’s latest case — taking him deep into the bayous of the Mississippi gulf coast and the parishes surrounding the FBI field office in New Orleans — hits too close to home, when his ex-fiancé disappears and young women victims clutching razor-laden apples begin turning up in the same county in which his mother was murdered, in an apple orchard on Halloween night many years ago. A ruthless new murderer, dubbed the Snow White Killer, is terrorizing young women in the area, and Madden finds himself in a race against the clock to protect the people he loves the most and end this reign of terror.

My thoughts:

I really liked this book! I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading even though I’d read the press release and the synopsis.

Lucas Madden is an FBI profiler who made a name for himself as a neuroscientist isolating the so called Ripper gene in serial killers. Working out of the New Orleans field office, Madden is called to investigate a series of murders in which the female victims are left holding an apple with a razor blade inside.

It seems very coincidental to Madden as his own mother was brutally murdered when he was young and the killer was never found. Dubbed The Snow White Killer (SWK), he killer starts to terrorise those closest to Madden. What ensues, is a high octane chase to find out who the killer is and why he’s targeting Madden.

I loved Lucas. I’ve read so many police/crime novels, and rarely I come upon a main character that I like immediately. Something about him makes you want to get to know him, which you do once the story gets into its stride. He’s paired up with Agent Woodson for the investigation, and she compliments his character perfectly. Together, they make a great team.

The premise for this book, coupled with Michael Ransom’s knowledge and expertise in the area of molecular biology, is extremely interesting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to know if they possess the serial killer Ripper gene!!! I know I would!!

About 3/4 of the way through the book, knowing I was nearing the end, I actually slowed down. I didn’t want the story to end! This rarely happens to me with books. There are so many different plot twists in The Ripper Gene, some of which I guessed, but the other big twists, I got completely wrong! 🙂

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The scientific subject matter, coupled with the dark and twisted storyline make for an engaging, thrilling read! I am so glad I have read this, and to be honest, I would read any book with Lucas Madden in it in the future!

Something I didn’t mention at the beginning of this review, is that The Ripper Gene is a debut novel for Michael Ransom. A FRICKIN DEBUT!!!! To write this well, and to create such an intricately plotted book as a debut is astounding! I for one am hoping to see plenty more from Ransom in the future!

I gave The Ripper Gene 4 ⭐️ on Goodreads, I thoroughly enjoyed it! 🙂

Happy reading! 😊📖


For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood 

I’ve had this book on my kindle for a few weeks, and I kept trying to get to it to no avail. Until this week. I had pretty much caught up on all my “read to review” books and I had been promising Michael over on Twitter that I would read and review For Reasons Unknown for ages so I started it Friday night!

About the book:

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

A darkly compelling debut crime novel. The start of a brilliant series, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, and James Oswald.
DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.
Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…

My thoughts:

Where to start?! First off, I loved this book. I read so many crime books that at times they all run into each other but every so often a book comes along with a story that stands out. For Reasons Unknown did just that.

DCI Darke (what a name by the way!) is back to work after some traumatic events in both her personal and professional life. Clearly not 100%, she is tasked with solving a cold case from twenty years ago. The double murder of Miranda and Stefan Harkness, whose murder was witnessed by their eleven year old son and in turn, rendered him mute.

Simultaneously, acting DCI Hales is investigating a murder in the city. Both past and present cases end up related so it becomes a race against time as it appears that the murderer may not be finished. While I saw this coming, I still enjoyed the way it was going.

I really enjoyed the pace of this story, and I found myself reading at every opportunity (including in the car even though it makes me sick!!! I had 6% left to read!! 😄) as I was enjoying it so much. Hence I had it finished fairly quickly!

As I was nearing the end, I think from about 70% on, my brain starting working everything out! Having said that, I think the author has created an intricate web in a larger story which really comes into its own in the last few chapters. That’s where things really get going, in my opinion.

Now that I’m finished, I feel like I have a book hangover. I don’t get that very often! 🙂

I have recommended this book to people already, and I will recommend it again as I genuinely loved it! Usually on Twitter, so I’m sorry Michael for all the @@@!! 🙂 (@Bibliophilebc if you fancy following)

I gave For Reasons Unknown 5 ⭐️ on Goodreads (a rarity but it does happen! 😉).

Happy reading! 😊📖

White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl


My thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


About the book:
Be careful who you trust…

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.

Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.


About the author:
John Nicholl wrote a multi agency child protection good practice manual and articles for news papers and a national social work magazine during his career, but White is the coldest colour is his first novel.

He has worked as a police officer, and as a social worker and operational manager for the child guidance service, two social services departments, and the NSPCC. He has also lectured on child protection matters at several colleges and universities.

My review:

I had seen White Is The Coldest Colour on Relax And Read Reviews and also on Bytheletterbookreviews Goodreads page so I was aware of it before I got the email from John.

I have to say, child abuse is a subject that I find hard to read so I was a little apprehensive before I started reading. However, once I got into the book, it was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting.

White Is The Coldest Colour is a skilfully written book, full of detail that shows the authors knowledge of child protection. It’s portrayal of Dr. Galbraith is chilling, as we see into the mind of a sadistic abuser and the lengths which he will go to in order to control everything and everyone he encounters.

I found myself rooting for the Mailer family from the beginning. Going through a separation, they seek help from Dr. Galbraith as their youngest son Anthony is having behavioural problems in the wake of his parents splitting up. I wanted to scream at the mum, Molly, when she says yes to seeing Dr Galbraith!!!!!

The ensuing events in the book kept me awake later than normal in order to read as much as I could! More than once I wanted to shake the police officers as they just weren’t seeing things!!! As for Galbraith’s family, they were so far gone under his rule that they couldn’t see what was happening around them!

I always think a book that makes you get cross at characters, frustrated at lack of speed in doing investigations and generally wanting to fling (in this case) my kindle across the room, is definitely a book worth reading. If I were to find any fault with this book, and there isn’t many at all, my personal opinion is that the ending left me wanting more!!!!! Which isn’t necessarily a fault either! Sign of a good writer! 😉
I gave White Is The Coldest Colour 4 ⭐️ on Goodreads, I would highly recommend reading it!
Happy reading! 😊📖