Blog Tour ~ Hush Hush by Mel Sheratt ~ Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

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

About the author:

Mel Sherratt

Mel Sherratt is the author of ten novels, all of which have become bestsellers. In 2017, she was named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

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

 

About the book:

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A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt

Ellen’s review:

I have a confession to make….this is the first thriller type book that I have read by Mel Sherratt! Previously I have been a massive fan of her sparkly alter ego Marcie Steele’s books so I was a little nervous of reading a switch in genre from the same author. Well, there was no need for nerves as Hush Hush blew my little sparkly socks off. I’m not averse to crime/thrillers/grit lit so loved all the elements of this novel which mixed together perfectly.

DS Grace Allendale returns to her home town and is immediately recruited on to a gruesome murder case, the only fly in the ointment is that her estranged family are involved. Is blood thicker than water? Where do Grace’s loyalties lie; with her new team or the family who suffered under the brutality of the same father (George Steele)? As much as Grace has grown up apart from her half-brothers and sister you do wonder if her head will be turned and having an insider on the force certainly appeals to the Steele brothers who have taken over the criminal side of their father’s legacy.

The murders are particularly vicious and the thought that they are committed in places where the victims would consider themselves safe gave me the shivers. I was definitely checking over my shoulder when I was out and about in public! I do love a gruesome death scene and Hush Hush definitely delivered.

There are some characters in Hush Hush from the previous Allie Shenton trilogy  but enough detail was given about them that I could keep up and in fact it made me want to bump up these books on my TBR. Mel Sherratt writes excellent female protagonists and I want to get to know them all! The men aren’t always the driving force and we see this in all the strong women in Hush Hush; Grace, her mother, Allie and her estranged sister. None of them are willing to bow down to the men in their lives and in some cases they have been irrevocably damaged mentally and/or physically.

I loved Hush Hush and can’t wait for Tick Tock the next book in the series which is due April 2019!

Check out the tour:

Hush Hush Blog Tour - October

*Blog Tour* The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Mel Sherratt’s latest book along with Chelles Book Reviews, so make sure you pop over to Shell’s blog too.

I get to post an extract for you guys today as part of the tour. More of that in a bit, I’m going to give you all the bookish info first! 🙂

About the book:

One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.

Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?

Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal.

With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY!

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About Mel Sherratt (via Goodreads):

I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women’s fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as I call it. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

TAUNTING THE DEAD is part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It has been a standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character and created a new series. FOLLOW THE LEADER will be published on 10 February 2015 followed by ONLY THE BRAVE on 26 May 2015.

THE ESTATE SERIES are a mix of women’s fiction, psychological suspense and crime thriller. They are often too dark for women’s fiction alone – although the subject matters and issues are often referred to in this genre – too light in places for crime thrillers, and often not enough for the psychological suspense readers out there. They are drama meets crime.

WATCHING OVER YOU is a standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turns to murder.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels

Here’s the link to my review too in case you missed it:

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

Now, as part of the blog tour four of us are posting a page each from the full extract from The Girls Next Door and I’m continuing on from Lorraine over at The Book Review Café, so here’s the next part of the extract:

 

Extract from The Girls Next Door….

‘She’s not a bimbo!’ Katie tried to sound outraged, but her voice didn’t carry as much authority as she had hoped.

The two boys with Nathan began to snigger. She had seen them both before several times: Twins Tom and Craig Cartwright. They were all wide-eyed and their mood seemed a little oppressive. Craig was checking his phone and Tom kept looking over towards the path that led into the subway.

‘So you’re all alone.’ Nathan asked a question that obviously needed no answer. ‘It’ll be nice to get to know you at last, once we’ve sorted some business out.’

Katie tried not to grimace as he thrust his face nearer to hers, his breath rank. He’d definitely been taking something.

‘Do you want a smoke?’ he asked, pushing a spliff to her lips.

‘No, thanks.’ Katie disliked it with a passion after watching her granddad smoke forty a day and die a painful death from lung cancer. Alcohol she was fine with, and the odd happy pill. But these boys had taken more than that, it seemed. Nathan’s pupils were like black bullet holes.

‘So where is Jess?’ he asked again, looking at his watch before glancing down the bank.

‘She’s poorly.’

Nathan pulled a sad face. ‘Don’t worry, we’ll keep you company. Won’t we, lads?’

Katie swallowed. Being on her own with Nathan would be bad enough but with these two loons as well? She had to be home by ten anyway, but she would stay for an hour and then maybe slip off on the pretence of getting some lager or something. She’d kill Jess when she got her hands on her. That bloody Cayden!

‘He’s on his way,’ said Craig, pointing down below. They all followed the direction of his finger.

Katie could see someone walking along the path. He wore baggy jeans, trainers and a black hoodie with a yellow emblem on the back, the hood pulled up so his face was almost hidden.

‘Who’s that?’ she asked, sensing the mood darkening even further.


Catch the next extract over with Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me on November 1st and with Kerry at Chat About Books on November 2nd…

Make sure to follow the blog tour too:

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The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

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*My thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the book:

One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.

Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?

Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal.

With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW:

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

About the author (via Goodreads):

I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women’s fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as I call it. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

TAUNTING THE DEAD is part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It has been a standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character and created a new series. FOLLOW THE LEADER will be published on 10 February 2015 followed by ONLY THE BRAVE on 26 May 2015.

THE ESTATE SERIES are a mix of women’s fiction, psychological suspense and crime thriller. They are often too dark for women’s fiction alone – although the subject matters and issues are often referred to in this genre – too light in places for crime thrillers, and often not enough for the psychological suspense readers out there. They are drama meets crime.

WATCHING OVER YOU is a standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turns to murder.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels

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My thoughts:

I was delighted to hear that Mel Sherratt had a new book coming out and I was lucky enough to be able to read an early copy of The Girls Next Door. 

The Girls Next Door introduces readers to Detective Eden Berrisford and her team as they undertake an investigation into the murder of sixteen year old Deanna Barker. What unfolds in the midst of this investigation has wide ranging consequences for many of the characters in this book.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started this book as I read a lot of crime books, but The Girls Next Door stood out for many reasons. The humanity of the characters, coupled with the sense of community made this an unusual read in that it was explored much more than in traditional crime novels. Mel Sherratt has a knack for writing accessible, likeable and fundamentally human characters, The Girls Next Door was no different.

I found the plot really engaging too. Yes, it’s hard to read about gangs and murder, but the author has done a great job with it. Weaving a wide-reaching web of stories together while making it appear effortless, Mel Sherratt has written a really well plotted novel. There are some tense moments, unexpected twists and some really emotive scenes.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Girls Next Door. I raced through it and couldn’t put it down as I reached the final few chapters! Highly recommended! 

Previous reviews for Mel Sherratt and Mel writing as Marcie Steele:

Written In The Scars by Mel Sherratt

That’s What Friends Are For by Marcie Steele

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele Blog Tour

That’s What Friends Are For by Marcie Steele

My thanks to Bookouture, Netgalley and the lovely Marcie Steele for my copy of her new book.

For any of you that don’t know, Marcie Steele is the alter ego of superb crime thriller author, Mel Sherratt.


(I have serious hair envy Mel 😉)

Anyway, I digress, as usual!!!

That’s What Friends Are For is the second Marcie Steele book I’ve read. The first, Stirred With Love, was brilliant. Such a step away from my usual crime reads, and really well written (I gave it 5⭐️ and read it in a day!!!).

About the book (via Goodreads): 

Best friends tell each other everything… right?
Sam and Louise have been best friends since they hung their coats side by side on the first day of primary school. Now in their thirties, they’re just as close, but life is a little bit more complicated…

On the outside, thirty-something Sam seems to have it all; the gorgeous husband, the beautiful home and the flourishing business. But things are not quite as rosy as they seem. So when handsome stranger, Dan, walks into her life, Sam finds his attentions hard to resist.
Louise might seem like life and soul of the party, but her outgoing exterior hides her sadness about the heartbreak in her past. She just wants someone to love – but all Louise gets left with is a quick fumble with an ex at the end of the night.
When a glamorous face from the past returns to shake things up, things get even more complicated for Sam and Louise. And just when they need each other the most, they’ve reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all.

My thoughts:

Anyone that knows me, and reads my blog, knows that I pretty much only read crime/thrillers/police procedurals et al so this isn’t my usual fare. However, the moment I heard the new Marcie Steele was on Netgalley, I instantly downloaded and began reading it. After loving her previous book, I knew I was in for a treat with That’s What Friends Are For.

Marcie/Mel has a lovely writing style in these books. It hooks you immediately, and you feel as if you’re reading about your friends. It’s almost comforting because picking up one of these kinds of books makes you feel right at home within the pages.

Sam and Louise could easily be you and your best friend, they are that relatable. I loved them both equally as characters as they are very down to earth and likeable.

Both have their own issues (haven’t we all?! 😂) but their friendship seems to be very strong. Alas, the girls run into problems in their respective lives and it leads to trouble brewing between them.

Family and relationships are the main themes in That’s What Friends Are For, and they are addressed beautifully by Marcie Steele. I loved all the intermingling stories between the supporting characters on the book. Whether they work together, are related, or even a minor character, they are all written so well that you can imagine them in your head.

Due to the nature of the majority of books I read, it’s not often (thankfully!!!) that I can put myself in a characters position, but with Louise and Sam and their respective families it was easy to draw comparisons as it’s just so real.

As an avid crime reader, I can happily say that I would easily continue reading Marcie Steele’s books as long as she continues writing them. These books are the perfect antidote to the depraved psychopathy in the books I usually read! 😉

I would absolutely recommend That’s What Friends Are For, especially if you enjoy well written, character rich, heartwarming books. An easy 5⭐️’s from me on Goodreads.

That’s What Friends Are For is out on December 11th. You can pre-order it HERE
😊

Written In The Scars by Mel Sherratt

It’s finally here! HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY MEL SHERRATT!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 
Today, October 30th, sees the publication day for Mel’s fourth book in The Estate Series, Written In The Scars (isn’t that cover beautiful?!). I’m lucky enough to have received a review copy from Mel (thanks again 😉 ) along with getting to be a part of today’s publication day blogsplash. In addition, I get to share the opening scene from the book, which you can find HERE.

About the book:

Published by: Blood Red Books

Release date: 30th October 2015

Scars. Sometimes they’re visible. Sometimes they’re hidden deep within.

After year of living as a single parent, all Donna Adams longs for is someone to make her smile, to share hopes and dreams with, to keep her warm at night. But when that certain someone gives her the attention she craves, true love doesn’t always follow the right path.

Home from the army, Lewis is a changed man. Angry and consumed with grief, troubled by nightmares and flashbacks, his mind is worse now than ever. Shutting out what he’s seen isn’t easy, but he risks losing everything he’s come back to if he doesn’t, including his sanity.

Megan Cooper hides her scars for fear of being rejected.

Mary Marshall can’t always remember how she got hers.

If the past could be erased to make a better future, we’d all want that, wouldn’t we? But life is never easy for the residents on the Mitchell Estate…

About the author: (via Goodreads from Mel)

I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women’s fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as I call it. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

TAUNTING THE DEAD is part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It has been a standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character and created a new series.

THE ESTATE SERIES are a mix of women’s fiction, psychological suspense and crime thriller. They are often too dark for women’s fiction alone – although the subject matters and issues are often referred to in this genre – too light in places for crime thrillers, and often not enough for the psychological suspense readers out there. They are drama meets crime.
WATCHING OVER YOU is a standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turns to murder.
I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website http://www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels

My thoughts:

I’d better start by saying this is the first book I’ve read by Mel. I’ve read and loved Stirred With Love which she writes under the pseudonym Marcie Steele. I have the first three Estate Series on my kindle TBR for quite some time but anyone that follows me on Facebook or Twitter knows I have a TBR mountain!!! 🙂

Thankfully, Mel assured me that Written In The Scars could be read as a standalone. Once I heard that then I was super excited to get stuck in!

I read Written In The Scars in two sittings. Once I started reading, I was completely engrossed in everyone’s stories. The way the characters are written makes you feel like you’ve known them for years. Their day to day routines, their chats and their individual struggles all felt so familiar that it was like catching up with old friends. My own personal favourite was Megan. She’s a really likeable character.

I really liked the theme of scars that runs through the book. Everyone has scars, even you and me. Be it physical, emotional, mental, they’re there whether you can see them or not. This commonality makes it easy to relate to each characters struggles in Written In the Scars.

Having not read any previous books by Mel, I didn’t know what to expect with her writing and plot direction. Sufficed to say, just over halfway, there’s an exceptional plot twist that I wasn’t expecting at all!!! This took one of the characters in a completely different direction to where I thought they would go initially. I found myself reading faster just to see how everyone would fare out.

Usually I only read crime thrillers with added gore factor so I tend not to get too emotional with the books as they are usually way out of the realm of possibility. With Written In the Scars it was different. This is a story about regular people, with every day problems, some of which I’m sure people deal with on an ongoing basis. This book made me feel many emotions, sadness, anger, and hopefulness amongst others. It’s not often I read a book that actually makes me feel something, and for that I’d like to thank Mel. 🙂

I genuinely loved this book. I thought it was well written, with a beautifully crafted theme running through it. I will most definitely be reading the first three books in the Estate Series ASAP!!!

Many thanks again to Mel for the ARC and for letting me participate in the blogsplash! 🙂

I gave Written In The Scars 5⭐️ on Goodreads. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

You can buy a copy of Written In The Scars by clicking this link here->
Written in the Scars (The Estate Series Book 4)

Happy Reading! 😊📖