Blog Tour: Sanctuary by V. V. James

Hi everyone,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Sanctuary by V. V. James, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all just a little further down this post.

About the author:

V.V. James is the author (as Vic James) of the contemporary fantasy trilogy GILDED CAGE, TARNISHED CITY, and BRIGHT RUIN. GILDED CAGE is a 2018 World Book Night pick and a Radio 2 Book Club selection. V.V. worked as an investigative producer for Channel 4 News and now directs documentaries for BBC1 and BBC2.

About the book:

Sanctuary. It’s the perfect town. . . to hide a secret.

To Detective Maggie Knight, the death of Sanctuary’s star quarterback seems to be a tragic accident. Only, everyone knows his ex-girlfriend is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.

Then the rumours start

Bereaved mother Abigail will stop at nothing until she has justice for her dead son. Her best friend Sarah will do everything in her power to protect her accused daughter. And both women share a secret that could shatter their lives.

It falls to Maggie to prevent her investigation – and Sanctuary itself – from spiralling out of control.

A gripping thriller for fans of Big Little Lies, A Discovery of Witches and The Familars.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Sanctuary by V. V. James

My thoughts:

I picked up Sanctuary to read the first few chapters just to see what it was like, and I didn’t look up again until I was 150 pages in! It’s safe to say I was hooked from the beginning.

When the star quarterback of the Sanctuary football team dies in what appears to be a tragic accident, Detective Maggie Knight is called into a seemingly open and shut case. What she discovers though, is that there is much more going on in Sanctuary than meets the eye.

Sanctuary has been likened to Big Little Lies, and I can totally see why. This small town is full of secrets and lies, and those involved will do whatever it takes to keep them hidden.

I loved Sanctuary. It reminded me a lot of Practical Magic, mixed with a really gripping murder mystery. I powered through this book, unable to put it down.

The characters were really interesting, I thought the premise was great and the witchcraft element added a whole other dimension to this story. It definitely elevated it to more than your average mystery thriller.

Sanctuary is compelling, dark and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would happily, and highly, recommend it!

Check out the tour:

Brain Damage by J. A. St. Thomas @jas0603

Brain Damage.jpg

About the book:

I open my eyes and I’m close enough to kiss a dead girl.

Three years ago, sixteen year old Desmond Linc almost died in the car accident that killed his brother. Now he’s all but forgotten the damage, a dead space in his brain physicians swore would never awaken.

But it has.

Terrified he’s losing his mind, Des comes face to face with the tortured ghosts of his hometown. The black hole in his head is a doorway to the afterlife and the dead come telling secrets and lies and wielding accusations like scythes.

They tell the truth about one thing though, a killer has come to Northwood

Buy the book:

Brain Damage by J. A. St. Thomas

My thoughts:

I hadn’t heard of Brain Damage until fellow book raver Liz B over at Liz Loves Books reviewed it, and subsequently sang its praises. Naturally, my ears pricked up because Liz and I share quite similar tastes most of the time, so I was intrigued enough to hop over to Netgalley to request a copy to read.

I am SO GLAD, because Brain Damage is one of those hidden gem kinda books. You know the sort, it just slips out under the radar, but if you don’t read it you are missing out! Well that definitely applies to Brain Damage. A genre mash-up, and one that works brilliantly in and outside of the usual parameters expected.

We meet Des, a teen who survived an accident that killed his older brother, Donovan. He is living in the shadow of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and following a party and another knock to his head, he starts to see dead people. It sounds crazy, and he thinks he’s crazy. Not least because TBI can cause hallucinations as one of its after-effects.

This paves the way for the story to become almost like a ghost story, but other things are going on in the plot that also weave in the murder/ mystery element. And the author does this beautifully. I found the writing to be so engaging, and I became a little attached to Des to be honest. I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to know why Des was seeing these horrific things, and what their purpose was in his life!

Brain Damage was a really compelling novel. There are a number of YA themes running through this one too. Friendships, cliques, sexuality, relationships, things we all go through in one for or another, and the author tackled them really well.

The visions/ hallucinations are frightening in their description. Creepy and vivid they made me shudder more than once. But its in these moments that we see the strength in Des’s character. The determination to find out whats going on, not just to him, but to those he is seeing. And to take care of those around him.

I raced through Brain Damage in a handful of sittings. I became invested in Des’s character, and I found myself staring at the end of the book wishing it wasn’t over. I want more. I would love to catch up with Des in the aftermath of the events in Brain Damage, even though the ending was nicely done, I think he has more to do!

Clever, emotional, creepy, yet tender at some points, I really enjoyed this one! Thanks to Liz for bringing it to my attention.

Highly recommended!

 

 

Silent Scream, Evil Games and Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

I’ve decided to review these three books together because in the interest of honesty, I loved them all and to review each alone would be like writing the same review 3 times! 😂

About the books: (via Goodreads) 

Silent Scream: 

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?
Evil Games: 

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.
Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal.

Lost Girls:

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.
And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.
Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…
Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

My thoughts:

I’ve had Angela’s books on my TBR since Silent Scream came out and I kept telling myself I’d get to them eventually. I attempted to get to them during Bookouture Thriller week but alas, time was not on my side. I made it my mission to read them this month after doing up a guideline for what books I wanted to read. You can read my Hello November post here.

I started Silent Scream on Nov 17th and worked my way through the three books until I finished Lost Girls on November 22nd. Not too bad, 3 books in 5 days. 😊

I wish I didn’t wait so long to read them, but at the same time I’m glad as I got to read them all in quick succession. I absolutely devoured all three as they were just brilliant!

Angela Marsons has a wonderful way of writing. It draws you into each story and makes you feel like you know these characters. I love that in a book, as it engages you and you want to solve the crimes just as much as DI Stone and her team do.

I’m not going to go into detail with my thoughts on each book. The synopses are above so you have an idea of what each one is about. I will however, talk about my favourite characters.

First up is Kim Stone obvs. Stone is a wonderful example of a woman hardened by past traumatic experiences which make her the strong willed detective that she is. While she may be cold, she is effective and has a heart underneath it all.

Bryant is also a great character. The closest thing to a friend that Stone has, he provides a sounding board for her, along with some light comedic relief at times.

Dr Alex Thorne in Evil Games. One of the most vile, ruthless and emotionally destructive villains I have seen in a long time. Thorne made my blood boil, for so many reasons. I even tweeted Angela saying how much I hated the doc! 😉

Special mention goes to Dougie who is also in Evil Games.

DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DONT WANT SPOILERS!!!! (I warned you… 😂)

I don’t know how to say how great Dougie is without possible spoilers hence the above message just in case I inadvertently reveal anything!

Dougie suffers from severe Autism but there’s just something about him that made him stand out for me. Towards the end of Evil Games, in my mind, Dougie is a hero!

I don’t know what else I can say about Angela’s Kim Stone series other than it’s absolutely fantastic. One of the best series I’ve read in a long time. I can’t wait for book 4 to come out! 3 of the easiest 5⭐️ reviews I’ve given on Goodreads this year!

If you haven’t read them yet, what are you waiting for?! 😉

Silent Scream Buy Here

Evil Games Buy Here

Lost Girls Buy Here

Happy reading 😊📖