Age of Assassins by RJ Barker 

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*Many thanks to Orbit Books for my review copy*

About the book:

TO CATCH AN ASSASSIN, USE AN ASSASSIN . . .

Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder.

In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire land.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

RJ Barker lives in Leeds with his wife, son and a collection of questionable taxidermy, odd art, scary music and more books than they have room for. He grew up reading whatever he could get his hands on, and has always been ‘that one with the book in his pocket’. Having played in a rock band before deciding he was a rubbish musician, RJ returned to his first love, fiction, to find he is rather better at that. As well as his debut epic fantasy novel, Age of Assassins, RJ has written short stories and historical scripts which have been performed across the country. He has the sort of flowing locks any cavalier would be proud of.

My thoughts:

Being new to the fantasy genre, I think I’ll always feel like my reviews won’t do the books justice as I haven’t read enough to know what’s what. However, I know when I’m reading something special, and AoA is definitely that.


Girton Club-Foot is an apprentice to Merela Karn, the best assassin in the land, and together they are tasked with infiltrating a kingdom because someone wants to kill the heir to the throne. From the outset though, their job is a difficult one. There is plenty of (quite literally) cloak and dagger, but it’s there that the fun is with this book.


I loved the characters in this book, but most especially I loved the relationship between Girton and his mentor. Together they are a brutal duo, but it’s in their isolated moments that you get a real sense of who they are, and what drives them.


Age of Assassins thrives on its characters, with each and every one of them really well developed. Some you will love, some you will loathe, but that’s what you want isn’t it? To feel something for those whose journey you’re going along with. There’s plenty of that here.


I had been looking forward to reaching this one on the TBR and I was not disappointed. An excellent plot, a cast of characters that are as noble as they are quick to draw a weapon, the whole thing is just razor sharp and really well executed!
Highly recommended!

~Blog Tour Part 1~ Q&A with Jacqueline Chadwick

Hi everyone,

Today I’m doing something a little different to celebrate publication day for In The Still by Jacqueline Chadwick, the brilliant crime book published today by Fahrenheit Press. In this first post, I’ll be sharing a Q&A that I got to do with Jackie, and then later in the day, I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:


Jacqueline Chadwick is probably best known for her work in British soap operas.

Jackie appeared in ITV soap opera Emmerdale, as Tina Dingle from 1994–1996. For this role she was nominated for Most Popular Actress at the 1996 National Television Awards.

Jackie next appeared in Coronation Street in 1998 as factory machinist Linda Sykes. The storyline involving her character’s relationship with Mike Baldwin won Best Storyline at The British Soap Awards in 2001. She left Coronation Street in 2001.

In 2002 she relocated to Canada with her husband and family.

In The Still is her first novel.

You can follow her on twitter @JackieChaddy

About the book:

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When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist.

Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness.

In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

You can get your copy bu clicking the link below:

In The Still (Ali Dalglish Book 1) by Jacqueline Chadwick


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

At the risk of boring you to death: I am forty-two, Scottish, I have two children and too many dogs. I have a fabulous husband who is a firefighter. I grew up in Birmingham where I became an actress at the age of 11 and continued in that field until I was 26. I left acting to focus on motherhood and to homeschool my kids. I moved to Canada in 2009 were I work as a writer and miss the U.K. every day.

 

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

I have always loved writing. During my years as an actress, writing was my dirty little secretand I would sneak off to my dressing room and write plays and TV scripts and screenplays. Nowadays I like to write novels, especially ones that are just a little bit twisted.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The inspiration for my first novel, In The Still, was a combination of  two things: a secluded nature trail near my house and my husbands job as a first responder. I wanted to know, if a murder victim was discovered in the sleepy municipality where I now live, how would it be handled? Who would be first on scene? Would they bring in specialists? Then, once I started to describe the setting, it became clear to me that a killer could operate undetected for a long time, perhaps forever, in such a place as long as he chose his victims carefully and didnt get clumsy.

 

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

I am fascinated by the dark side of human nature. I love to explore the notion of evil. I get excited writing things that are grim and sometimes uncomfortable. Im happy with certain chapters only when I have to take a break after writing to have a drink of water and let my nausea subside. My central character is a brilliant woman called Ali Dalglish but what I especially like about her is that she isnt perfect, she is flawed and about as far away from sorted as you can get.

 

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

Since In The Stillis my debut, I am green to the industry and to social media. Although Ive become totally addicted, I am a Twitter newbie and so youll have to ask me that one in the future.

 

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

Writing every day. It is my idea of heaven on earth. I love every moment of it from the first chapter to the very last.

 

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

Well, as I said before, Im learning as I go but I have noticed that, once your work is out there, you have frequent moments of self-doubt and sheer panic. However, thus far its been nothing a glass of wine cant fix.

 

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

Id like to have written another five books.

 

What’s next for you?

Briefly Maidenand Silent Sisters(books two and three in the Ali Dalglish series) are being published by Fahrenheit Press later this year and Im currently working on a fourth thats set in Britain because Im just so damn homesick.

 

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

I read every day. At the moment Im working my way through the works of the Fahrenheit Press family and Im thoroughly enjoying them all. Crime fiction is my favourite genre and always has been since I was little but I like to read a mix of styles and genres, both modern and classic.

 

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

There are many books I love but one in particular stands out as my favourite: Hannibalby Thomas Harris. I remember reading it on the train and my face getting hot as Harris introduces Mason Verger, it was the first time I had to shut a book just to steel myself for more.

 

 

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

Hannibal.

 

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

I have always homeschooled my kids. My daughter is twenty and so shes all done but I still work with my son, Jamie. Theres always crap to do around the house (especially with four dogs) but nowadays I can slip off to my desk, dive into a new chapter and leave it for tomorrow.

 

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

Oil painting and furniture restoration although, since Ali Dalglish took up residence in my skull, I havent done either for a while.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

My husband and I have always taken the kids to Disney but right now, given the chance, Id go to Britain – Im dying for a proper fish supper, some tattie scones and as much Irn Bru as I can take.

 

Favourite food?

As above!!!

 

Favourite drink?

I love beer but its too fattening (Im five foot and so every pound just takes me closer to that barrel-shape Im genetically destined for) so I stick to vodka and cranberry and the odd glass (bottle) of red.

 

 

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

Whenever I dont write, even if for just a few days, I go more than a little bit crazy. Its something I am compelled to do. I bloody love it!


Huge thanks to Jackie for answering my questions! 🙂

Make sure to check back in later to read my review for her brilliant debut, In The Still…

They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

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About the book:

Ring-a-ring o rosie . . .

How far would you go?

Jen Harper likes to play it safe. She is settling into life on the outskirts of a sleepy fishing village with her little boy, Danny. Life by the sea just how she wanted it.

When she meets Andy, she feels the time has come to put her baggage and the scars of the past behind her. Then she is introduced to Scott, Andy s best friend, and is stung by his obvious disdain for her. Why is Scott so protective of his best friend? What is the dark secret that threatens all of them?

In her attempt to find answers, Jen must confront her demons and push her relationships to their limits. By digging up the past, she puts Danny and herself in danger. Will she succeed in uncovering the truth before they all fall down?

They All Fall Down was published in 2016, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Cat Hogan was born into a home of bookworms and within spitting distance of the sea. Her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk.
Writing, storytelling and a wild imagination is part of her DNA.

The beautiful County Wexford, Ireland is home to Cat, her musician partner Dave, two beautiful sons Joey and Arthur, and her tomcat Jim Hawkins. There they live a life of storytelling, song and adventure. The other love of Cat’s life is food. A self-professed foodie, there is nothing she loves more than feeding a houseful of friends round her kitchen table.

When she is not conjuring up imaginary friends, she can be found supporting local musicians and writers of which there is an abundance in her home town. One of her first endorsements for her novel is also her favourite and comes from fellow Wexfordian of Artemis Fowl fame.

‘If the Gone Girl met the Girl on the Train, they would have come up with They All Fall Down’ -Eoin Colfer.

They All Fall Down is Cat’s debut novel.

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My thoughts:

I had seen Cat’s book knocking around social media but knowing I didn’t have the time to read it, I bought it and shelved it until I had a chance to read it in my own time. I did manage to take part in the blog tour last year though, and had a Q&A with the lovely lady herself, you can read that HERE.

Anyway, I picked this up after agonizing for ages about what to read, and I was pleasantly surprised. They All Fall Down is a psychological thriller, with a strong emphasis on friendship and trust. Following Jen Harper, and her son Danny as they settle in to a sleepy fishing village, it becomes obvious that there is definitely something a bit sinister in the offing for them.

I’m not going to go into the plot for fear of the dreaded spoilers. However, what I will say is that Cat Hogan has shown great promise in her writing. Capable of creating hateful characters, while balancing them out with the likes of Jen and her friends, I’d be intrigued to see where she goes with her next book.

I won’t lie, there were a few niggles for me with They All Fall Down. The main one, which is completely my issue, is that I don’t read Irish fiction. Yes, I’m Irish, shame on me. The author has the Irish mannerisms down with this book though, even the “bye,bye,bye,bye” that we’re all guilty of when we’re hanging up from a phone call. However, I am so used to reading US, Scandi and UK fiction, that it all threw me a little. I’m used to it in life, but not in fiction I guess!

That being said, They All Fall Down is definitely a good read. I had it read in less than 24 hours, it was the kind of book that you have to keep reading. I read a lot (A HELL OF A LOT) of books in the psych thriller genre, so there was nothing new for me with this one, but it was enjoyable all the same! Cat Hogan is definitely one to watch out for.

Recommended!

 

Dead Man’s Prayer by Jackie Baldwin

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*Many thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the book:

Eighteen years ago, DI Frank Farrell turned his back on the church. But when an ex-priest is murdered in his hometown, he has no choice but to delve into his past. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

Click HERE to get your copy!

My thoughts:

Dead Man’s Prayer is Jackie Baldwin’s debut novel, which is really hard to believe as it is a very assured and gripping debut novel.

Dead Man’s Prayer  is a crime thriller with as much pace and depth as any of the popular ones out there today. Following DI Frank Farrell as he returns to his home town in the wake of a heinous murder, it takes a dark and sinister turn with the disappearance of twin little boys.

I found myself gripped early on. I really enjoyed the way the author wrote this story, especially as regards the characters she’s created. DI Frank Farrell is a great protagonist, even with his history, it makes him more human. It was really easy to follow the story, and to also empathise with him as he has been on one hell of a journey.

I don’t want to go too much into the plot, for fear of spoiling anything for the readers. I will say that this was a debut I wasn’t expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. A gripping, thrilling and ultimately satisfying book, if you like crime books then Dead Man’s Prayer is definitely one for you!

Recommended!

Previous posts with Jackie Baldwin:

Q&A With Jackie Baldwin

 

 

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 17

Author I wish people would read more…


There’s nothing better than the thrill of finding a new author. Since I started reading mainly crime/ thrillers and so on, I’ve discovered many, many wonderful authors. Some of these authors are already well known their fields, while others are less so.

I’ve read quite a few debut novels this year, I’ve been quite lucky to be honest. Some of these have been requests from authors, and some have been books that I’ve seen the early buzz about on social media.

My choice for today’s post is a debut author. I read their book, and loved it, this past October.

It’s none other than Michael Wood, author of For Reasons Unknown. 


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For Reasons Unknown is an exceptional debut. I thoroughly enjoyed it and you can find my review here!

I think everyone who loves a good crime/psychological/suspense novel should read this book. Anytime anyone asks for recommendations on Twitter or Facebook, Michael’s book is always on my list! I highly recommend For Reasons Unknown. If you haven’t read it already…

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

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I’m lucky enough to be participating in the upcoming Blog Tour for Michael Wood’s For Reasons Unknown along with some of my fellow #blogsquad so make sure you keep an eye out for us during the first week in December! 😉

 

***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! 😊📖