Blog Tour: Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge ~ Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Picture

Chris McGeorge has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime / Thriller) from City University London where he wrote his first crime novel Dead Room for this thesis. He constantly told stories from a young age, whether they took the form of comics, short stories or scripts.

He is a lover of Golden Age crime, like Christie and Conan Doyle, leading his crime stories to be a mix of the old and the contemporary. He likes weird and wonderful plots, with plenty of intrigue and twists. 

His often coherent ramblings about everything pop culture can be found on his blog Festival of Blood and occasionally he produces the Sarcasmicast podcast with a group of friends.

About the book:

NOW..

My name is Matthew McConnell. You’ve probably heard my story.
I took five of my friends on a boat through the longest canal tunnel in England.

YOU…

It takes two hours and twenty-six minutes to travel through that tunnel.
Six of us entered that tunnel but I was the only one to come out.

DON’T…

It was pitch black in there – I don’t know what happened to them. But I’m the only suspect. 
And if I don’t find out how they disappeared, I’ll be sentenced to murder.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Ellen’s review:

This is the first book that I have read by Chris McGeorge but it won’t be the last! I absolutely loved this “locked room” thriller. In place of a locked room we have a long, creepy AF, claustrophobic tunnel; Standedge Tunnel in Marsden, West Yorkshire to be precise which is Britain’s longest, deepest, highest canal tunnel and one of the seven wonders of the waterways. Since reading Now You See Me I’ve added this attraction to my list of local places to visit – fingers crossed the rest of my family see it through to the other side!

The novel revolves around the case of The Standedge Six – six students entered the tunnel, two and a half hours later the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students on board, unconscious. The remaining student Matthew is immediately under suspicion, the police investigation concludes that he killed his friends, hid their bodies and returned later to move them but Matthew insists he is innocent. In desperation he reaches out to Robert Ferringham, a man who is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. Matthew contacts Robert for help with his case on the promise of revealing information about Sam.

Now You See Me is a book of many layers involving friends, secrets and lies. I was gripped the whole time that I was reading and didn’t predict any of the reveals. The small town mentality of the locals really adds to the tension; they are loathe to rake up the murky events and resent Robert’s appearance. The truth when it is revealed is jaw dropping, to say any more would spoil your enjoyment so just go read it!

Highly recommend!

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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!

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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!!

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Blog Tour: Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt ~ Ellen’s Review

Hello lovelies,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Mel Sherratt is the author of thirteen crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers. For the past four years, she has been named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She also works alongside the National Literary Trust as an ambassador on The Literary Project, to support their ongoing work in the city, aiming to raise literacy levels. 

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.

About the book:

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

Click the link below to grab your copy now:

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt

Ellen’ Review:

After reading (and loving) the first book in the Grace Allendale series (Hush Hush), I couldn’t wait to dive into the second Tick Tock. Grace’s character and background had been established well and a new relationship started; I was curious as to how this would develop and how she would try to move past her extended family’s dodgy dealings and interference in her police work.

Tick Tock’s story returns to Stoke where a teenage girl has been murdered in broad daylight and if there was ever a reason to not do cross country at school here’s the proof! I remember our route at school was through fields, forest and an old quarry and the thought of just being picked from the back of the group and killed in minutes chilled me. Two days later a young mum is abducted and murdered in the same manner and DS Grace Allendale and her team are tasked with finding the culprit, they soon have a third body on their hands and there is an urgency to solve the case before anyone else falls victim to this apparent serial killer.

You can really feel the pressure mounting in this book as the number of victims start growing and with most of the action being centred around the local school and a risque online chat group I had no idea who to suspect. There were just so many people that I was suspicious of!!

Never mind the stress Grace is under to crack the case she is still navigating the waters of her relationship with Simon (a local journalist), they were always going to encounter difficulties as both their superiors expect a little inside information from each of them. Grace is also trying to win over Simon’s daughter who was a close friend of one of the victims. I can imagine the drama and histrionics from a group of teenage girls all keeping secrets from each other and their parents! Throw into this some added pressure from Grace’s estranged family who also want a piece of her time and you really wouldn’t want to be in her position.

An enjoyable read and I look forward to more!

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Blog Tour: Night by Night by Jack Jordan~Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Night by Night by the lovely Jack Jordan, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Jack Jordan is the global number one bestselling author of Anything for Her (2015), My Girl (2016), A Woman Scorned (2018), and Before Her Eyes (2018). 

To find out more about Jack, enter numerous annual giveaways to win signed copies of his books, and be one of the first to hear of new book releases and news, follow him here:

Facebook: JackJordanOfficial

Twitter: @JackJordanBooks

Instagram: @JackJordan_Author

Goodreads: JackJordanOfficial

About the book:

‘If you’re reading this, I’m dead.’

Rejected by her family and plagued by insomnia, Rose Shaw is on the brink . But one dark evening she collides with a man running through the streets, who quickly vanishes. The only sign he ever existed – a journal dropped at Rose’s feet.

She begins to obsessively dedicate her sleepless nights to discovering what happened to Finn Matthews, the mysterious author of the journal. Why was he convinced someone wanted to kill him? And why, in the midst of a string of murders, won’t the police investigate his disappearance?

Rose is determined to uncover the truth. But she has no idea what the truth will cost her…

You can grab your copy by clicking the link below:

Night by Night by Jack Jordan

Ellen’s Review:

I am honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for this fantastic book! I’m a huge fan of Jack Jordan’s books and couldn’t wait to read Night by Night. I was shook from the very start as the main character Rose who has suffered with insomnia since the birth of her twin daughters is involved in a tragic accident. I have recurring nightmares about driving/being driven off a bridge into water so to then read this (and have two daughters myself) really got me, I think I held my breath for the duration. Obviously I had the nightmare after reading so I reckon Jack owes me some therapy!

This tragedy rips the family apart and Rose is left drifting through her life; estranged from her husband and despised by her remaining daughter. She is an outsider and feeling ostracised when one evening she is knocked to the ground by a stranger who drops a journal. Within the pages are notes from local man Finn Matthews diarising his escalating abuse at the hands of a rejected male admirer and his struggle to be taken seriously by the local police. With this journal Rose finds purpose for the first time in years, the plight of this young man and attitudes towards his sexuality mirrors the struggles her brother Jay endured in his short life. Rose was unable to save her brother and is determined to make a difference this time. Her interest in the journal leads to the discovery of underlying homophobia in the police and her claims are not taken seriously. Further investigation on her part lead to the discovery that there have been other local gay men that have gone missing or their deaths ruled as suicide and someone does not want Rose to get to the heart of the mystery…

This is a tense and fast paced thriller and one that elicited a surprise emotional response from myself; a few days after finishing I was randomly thinking about Finn and the other missing men and suddenly burst into tears! This is a first for me, I’m not a massive crier when reading so for a book to hit me that hard days later is testament to the power of Jack Jordan’s writing. The knowledge that this book is inspired by Stephen Port who murdered at least four gay men in 2014-15 and the failings of the police in the investigation hit me even harder and I could not stop thinking about the victims.

Another five star book from Jack Jordan and I predict big things in the future for this author.

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Blog Tour~Him by Clare Empson

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Him by Clare Empson and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the book:

It all started with … HIM. Catherine has become mute. She has witnessed something so disturbing that she simply can’t speak – not to her husband, her children, or her friends. The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past. Catherine needs to start with Him. Lucian. Catherine met the love of her life at university and was drawn into his elite circle of privileged, hedonistic friends. But one night it all falls apart and she leaves him, shattering his life forever. Still, fifteen years later, Lucian haunts every one of Catherine’s quiet moments, and when they are unexpectedly reunited, their love reignites with explosive force. But they can’t move on from what happened all those years ago. In fact, uncovering the truth will cause their lives to implode once again. This time, with disastrous consequences.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Him by Clare Empson

About the author:

Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website http://www.countrycalling.co.uk. Him is her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s. Mine will be available August 2019.

Ellen’s Review:

After hearing the author speak about Him at Harrogate Crime Writers Festival I had to read the book and was not disappointed. In a way it wasn’t what I expected and I certainly didn’t bargain on the emotions it put me through or that I’d be in tears by the end!

The main character Catherine has elective mutism after witnessing…something devastating. She refuses to speak to anyone including her husband and two young children. I was puzzled from the start, what on Earth could have happened that was so bad she couldn’t speak of it to her closest family? Slowly the tale is revealed as we dip in and out of the past. Fifteen years earlier Catherine met the love of her life and the eponymous Him of the novel, Lucian, at university. They are from different sides of the track so to speak and Catherine is soon swept up into an elite circle of friends intent on having the best (and most hedonistic) times of their lives. Catherine and Lucian are so obviously made for each other and their love borders on the obsessive so we are left wondering what happened to shatter this relationship and for Catherine to end up breaking up with Lucian abruptly without explanation and later marrying Sam, a dependable admirer.

I did feel sorry for Sam (and the children) as their time together feels like a chapter, possibly even an inconvenience, in her life that Catherine has settled on while still pining for her lost love. Obviously by the end of the novel and the big reveal I had a better understanding of this but at times I’ll admit to being irritated by Catherine at first.

Him is a love story with a dark and tragic heart. It isn’t very often that I am moved by a book (I have an icy heart when reading!) but Him absolutely punched me in the guts and tore that icy heart right from my chest when I was least expecting it. I am stunned that this book is Claire Empson’s debut and I’m a little scared about what she’ll do with my emotions next time! All the stars for this stunning book.

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Blog Tour~She Lies In Wait by Gytha Lodge ~Ellen’s Review

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?

Seven friends went down to the woods, but one of them never came home.

30 years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens already knows what’s waiting for him – Aurora Jackson, found at last.

They all claim to be innocent, but one of them must be lying.

Because she was found somewhere only they knew about.

Now everyone’s a suspect.

Click the link below to grab your copy:

She Lies In Wait by Gytha Lodge

Ellen’s Review:

If you’re looking for the perfect police procedural novel then stop right there and go grab a copy of She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge.

The story is told over two timelines; in the present with the discovery of Aurora Jackson’s body in the woods and thirty years earlier where Aurora, her sister and their friends are partying in the same location. Six teenagers entered the woods and only five left alive the following morning. DCI Jonah Sheen is in charge of the investigation but is holding back information of his own. As a fresh faced copper he was involved in the original investigation and he appears to know more about the group of friends than he is letting on.
This is a book where I was suspicious of everyone as they all had secrets to hide. Drugs, alcohol, sex – the six teenagers entered the woods on the promise of having a good time so what could possibly go wrong?

In the present they have just as much to lose. Having closed ranks to everyone after Aurora went missing, the group are extremely tight knit and adamant that it wasn’t one of their own that had carried out the terrible attack and murder of 14 year old Aurora. Having two teenage daughters of my own (and having attended my own parties in the woods as a teen!) this book really got under my skin. The group of friends aren’t particularly likeable and I really felt sorry for Aurora as more is revealed throughout.


I really enjoyed She Lies in Wait and look forward to reading more in the DCI Jonah Sheen series.

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