Lament The Common Bones by Jen Danna & Ann Vanderlaan

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*Many thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the book:

When death hides in plain sight, only the most discerning eye can see the truth.

Forensic anthropologist Dr. Matt Lowell and his team of grad students don’t go looking for death—it usually comes to them. But when one of Matt’s students suspects the skeleton hanging in a top competitor’s lab is actually from a murder victim, Matt has no choice but to sneak in to confirm a suspicious death. Once the case comes to Massachusetts State Police Trooper Leigh Abbott, the team is back together again.

While trying to handle the new murder case, Matt and Leigh also uncover new evidence behind the mysterious deliveries intended to smear the name of Leigh’s father, an honored cop, fallen in the line of duty four years before. When the person behind the deliveries is finally uncovered, it becomes clear that lives are in jeopardy if they attempt to thwart him. At the same time, as the murder case delves into underground societies and grows complicated when the killer himself becomes a victim, it will take all of Matt and Leigh’s teamwork to solve both cases and escape with their lives.

Lament The Common Bones by Jen Danna & Ann Vanderlaan

About the authors:

A scientist specializing in infectious diseases, Jen J. Danna works as part of a dynamic research group at a cutting-edge Canadian university. However, her true passion lies in indulging her love of the mysterious through her writing. Together with her partner Ann Vanderlaan, they write two series.

Under Danna and Vanderlaan, they craft suspenseful crime fiction with a realistic scientific edge. Their five Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries include DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT; NO ONE SEES ME ’TILL I FALL; A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH; TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER; and LAMENT THE COMMON BONES.

Under the joint pseudonym of Sara Driscoll, they write the FBI K-9s mysteries series, starring search-and-rescue team Meg Jennings and her black lab, Hawk. LONE WOLF, released in December 2016, is the first book in the series. The second book in the series, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, will release in October of 2017, followed by the third book in 2018.

My thoughts:

Lament The Common Bones is book 5 in the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries series, but to be honest, it can be read as a standalone. There is more than enough backstory present, without actually making you feel you have missed out on the history of the characters. I am most definitely going to be buying the rest of these books though as I was hooked immediately!

The books focus on Matt Lowell and Leigh Abbott, forensic anthropologist and Massachusetts State Police Trooper respectively, as they are tasked with investigating how the skeleton of an unknown murder victim has ended up in another lab, used as an anatomical model for teaching. What are the odds, right?! Well, Abbott and Lowell are going to find out!

This investigation leads them on a very winding path, where even the killer becomes a victim! I know, it sounds odd, but it makes complete sense when you read the book! Alongside the murder investigation, Abbott is dealing with the fallout from her father’s death, because someone is out to tarnish him as a dirty cop.

Both investigations run simultaneously, but at no point are they hard to keep up with. The levels of detail are brilliant, the characters are really well-written and feel almost approachable (I know they’re not real, but they read like they are!!!), and the plot is taut and gripping.

Lament The Common Bones was an excellent introduction to Abbott and Lowell. As I mentioned above, I will most definitely be picking up the first four books. I loved the repartee between them, it gave levity in dark moments, but there was real emotion there too which translated off the page so well. So yeah, another series for me to catch up on for sure, and well worth adding to your list if you enjoy the forensic detail of Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan coupled with the addictiveness (don’t even know if that’s a word!!!) of Cornwell’s earlier Scarpetta books!

Highly recommended!

 

The Death File by J. A. Kerley

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About the author:

John Albert Kerley is an American author. He spent 20 years in a successful advertising career before writing his first book, The Hundredth Man.

He currently lives in Newport, Kentucky, and is married with two children. He enjoys the outdoors, particularly fishing.

He is the author of the acclaimed Alabama-set series of Carson Ryder novels

About the book:

Detective Carson Ryder returns, on the trail of a brutal killer with mysterious motives.

Detective Carson Ryder returns with his most mind-bending case yet…

Two psychologists are murdered 2000 miles apart – one in Phoenix, Arizona, one in Miami, Florida.

Amazingly, both have noted down the name of Carson Ryder – a detective with the Florida Center for Law Enforcement who specializes in catching psychopathic killers.

Carson joins forces with troubled Phoenix Detective Tasha Novarro to trace a ruthless killer whose advantages include an uncanny talent for persuasion, an utter lack of remorse, and the horrifying ability to predict their every move. A killer even Carson might not be capable of stopping…

The Death File by J. A. Kerley

My thoughts:

I have been a fan of Jack Kerley’s books since I stumbled upon The Hundredth Man a few years ago. I promptly bought the following books in the Carson Ryder series, and I flew through them. I was delighted to see that number 13 in the series, The Death File, was being published in October and I hopped onto Netgalley to read an early copy.

Carson Ryder is one of my most favourite series leads. Along with Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch and Jefferson Winter, Ryder stands deservedly amongst these brilliant main characters and fits in perfectly. Honest, hard-working and dedicated, Ryder is a really excellent character to read about. Throw in his buddy, Harry Nautilus, and then it gets even better. Harry is his port in a storm, his true true north in terms of a partner. Harry is definitely the guy you want to have your back.

In The Death File, Ryder has relocated from Alabama to Florida. Called to investigate the murder of a psychologist, things turn weird for Ryder when another psychologist is murdered in Arizona. The weird thing is his name has been found in the vicinity of the both of the deceased, and everyone wants to know why.

The cases merge, drawing in some new and unsavoury characters into the mix. This leads to some scary situations for all concerned, and it ramps up the tension quite well. The plot is more intricate than I first assumed, and I found myself unable to weave the threads together until it was there on the page in front of me! Needless to say, I was well hooked at that stage!

The Death File is the thirteenth book in the series, and I think Jack Kerley has found a great way to keep the series current and relevant. Carson Ryder has definitely been keeping up with all of the advances in investigation and technology over the years.

Listen, without spoiling the plot, I can’t say much more. I will say that I would highly recommend this book, and the entire series too. You can read this one without reading the others though, it works fine. BUT I do think if you like great detective series, you’d do well to start with The Hundredth Man!

Highly recommended!

(I’m off to find my Carson Ryder books so I can add them to my shelves to re-read!)

Previous posts:

Mini Review: Jack Kerley No One Will Hear… Her Last Scream

The Apostle by JA Kerley

Author Q&A with Jack Kerley

Mini Review~Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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About the book:

Soldier. Summoner. Saint.The nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

The Darkling rules from his shadow throne while a weakened Alina Starkov recovers from their battle under the dubious protection of the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Now her hopes lie with the magic of a long-vanished ancient creature and the chance that an outlaw prince still survives.

As her allies and enemies race toward war, only Alina stands between her country and a rising tide of darkness that could destroy the world. To win this fight, she must seize a legend’s power – but claiming the firebird may be her ruin.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

My thoughts:

I had been waiting for the library to get Ruin and Rising for me as I requested it as soon as I had finished Siege and Storm. Needless to say, I started it as soon as I got it!

Ruin and Rising is the conclusion to the Grisha trilogy and it was an epic finisher. I a obsessed with the world of the Grisha and absolutely loved being able to immerse myself in their world again!

I can’t discuss these books without wanting to tell you EVERYTHING, but spoilers.So, NO! It is safe to say that these books are amazing though. Packed full of action, with such a great cast of characters, it is easy to get lost between the pages. Not since Harry Potter has a book captured my imagination so much!

Ruin and Rising was definitely a perfect end to the series and I may have even teared up a little. It was quite an emotional read after following these characters throughout their respective journeys in the series. I felt bereft when I finished it, but in a good way if that makes sense?! It was a satisfying end to the trilogy!

I will definitely be re-reading these books again! If you like YA, then I would definitely recommend this series. Its just so captivating, and fun! I’m going to continue my exploration of the Grishaverse with Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom when I have time to read them!

Highly recommended!

~Blog Blitz Review~ Snow Light by Danielle Zinn

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz for Snow Light by Danielle Zinn today, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

PHOTOGRAPH_black white_Danielle Zinn

Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham and after gaining some work experience in Wales and the USA, she settled down in Frankfurt am Main where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany, Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.

Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting her friends scattered all over the world.

Mix everything together and you get “Snow Light”, her debut detective thriller combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.

Links:
@DanielleZinn4

About the book:

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When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Turtleville, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again. However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park murder re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village. For Thomas the situation gets worse when DS Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question. Who is the victim? And why was he murdered? Thomas and Collins will find themselves trying to solve a highly unusual case and both may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.

My thoughts:

When I read the blurb for Snow Light I was intrigued immediately as it sounded like the kind of book I would enjoy and I was definitely not disappointed!

Snow Light introduces us to Nathaniel Thomas, a Detective Inspector, who stumbled upon an attack but was unable to save the victim. Fast forward a year and he has relocated to a quiet town to try and work through his guilt away from Homicide HQ.

From here, Snow Light moves along quite slowly in terms of pace. A local hermit has been found dead, but here is little in the way of evidence or suspects. The investigation takes time, and there doesn’t seem to be much for Thomas or his team to go on initially. From here though, the pace picks up as they find out the victim wasn’t who he purported to be.

I don’t want to say much about the plot though, because the author has skilfully woven a taut narrative that leads the team on quite the investigation. The characters are well-written, the location lends itself really well to the chilling nature of the murder and the plot is definitely one for mystery lovers. I really enjoyed Snow Light. And its a DEBUT. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing where the author will take the reader next!

Recommended for sure!

Check out the other fab blogs taking part:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson trs by Quentin Bates

Hi guys,

I’m taking part in the blog tour for Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson today, and I’ll be re-sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

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Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 15 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and set up its first overseas chapter in Reykjavik. He is also the co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

About the translator:

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Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language, a new profession as a seaman and a family before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism largely by accident. He has been the technical editor of a nautical magazine for many years, all the while keeping a close eye on his second home in Iceland, before taking a sidestep into writing fiction. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, and Cold Comfort), which have been published in the UK, USA, Germany, Holland, Finland and Poland. He has translated a great deal of news and technical material into English from Icelandic, as well as one novel (Gudlaugur Arason’s Bowline).

About the book:

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Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson

My thoughts:

I have been waiting (im)patiently for Whiteout ever since I finished reading Rupture. I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now how much of a big fan I am of this series. So you can imagine my absolute glee in getting to read Whiteout before publication 😊

In Whiteout, we are back with Ari Thór and Tómas, both of whom are tasked with investigating the circumstances in which a young woman ends up at the bottom of the cliffs at Kálfshamarvík. Only a couple of days before Christmas, the men must work quickly and effectively to try to find out what has happened and how the woman ended up dead.

Whiteout is a really well-written mystery. With a large cast of characters, it really makes the reader work hard to try to figure things out alongside Ari Thór. I love Ragnar Jónasson’s writing style. There is something almost poetic in the way he describes the Icelandic location. The stunning visual imagery is second to none in terms of creating a clear location in the reader’s mind.

The author has assembled a really interesting cast of characters for this one. There are many of them, all with their own secrets that they are holding close to their chest. I found myself suspecting everyone at one time or another, such is the unreliable nature of the narrative Jónasson has created in Whiteout.

There is a haunting element to Whiteout as well. The cliffs, the lighthouse and the old abandoned house almost seem to become characters as well due to how well the author describes them. This creates a sense of foreboding as the reader gets drawn more into the story. It is quietly chilling and there seems to be a sinister element in the background when they are investigating in and around Kálfshamarvík.

I don’t want to say any more because the joy of reading these books is often found in unravelling the mystery alongside Ari Thór. Whiteout is another superb instalment in the Dark Iceland series. It has left me wanting more, and has also made some questions arise. So Ragnar, if you’re reading this, you and I need to have a bit of a chat 😂

I cannot recommend this series, and this book highly enough. Always atmospheric, often chilling and with plenty to keep the reader turning the pages, Whiteout is definitely a book to add to your TBR. The whole series is though, to be honest. If you haven’t read them, then you really should get on it!

I could keep rattling on about how much I enjoyed Whiteout. And the whole series in general. But I would be here all day, and still not do justice to my fave Icelander and his awesome books.

So yeah, Whiteout is all kinds of brilliant. Great characters, a gripping plot and a hauntingly atmospheric location. Another book added to my all time favourites list.

Highly recommended.

All the stars, always.

#AriThór

Previous reviews for the series:Snowblind by Ragnar JónassonNightblind by Ragnar Jónasson Blackout by Ragnar Jónasson Rupture by Ragnar JónassonFollow the blog tour:Whiteout BT.jpg

First Monday Crime Spotlight~ Vaseem Khan & Elodie Harper

Hi all,

So First Monday Crime is almost upon us again. Sadly, I have yet to make the pilgrimage to the UK for these events, but I have the pleasure of getting to shine a spotlight on a couple of the talented authors participating in next weeks First Monday!

If you want to go along on November 6th, just click the link below to be taken to the First Monday website where you can reserve your tickets to see Stuart McBride, Vaseem Khan, Elodie Harper, Simon Booker and moderator Barry Forshaw!

First Monday Crime Nov 6th 2017- Reserve your tickets HERE!

Make sure to check them out over on Twitter @1stMondayCrime to get up to the minute news on First Monday!

I had the pleasure of reading Vaseem Khan and Elodie Harper’s books for this post, and I’ve got a couple of mini-reviews for them too so you can get a flavour of what to expect!


 

Vaseem first saw an elephant lumbering down the middle of the road in 1997 when he arrived in India to work as a management consultant. It was the most unusual sight he had ever encountered and served as the inspiration for the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series. The first book in the series, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller, a Waterstones’ paperback of the year, and an Amazon Best Debut. The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, the second in the series, was published in May 2016, and the third, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star came out in May 2017. Vaseem returned to the UK in 2006 and has since worked at University College London for the Department of Security and Crime Science. Elephants are third on his list of passions, first and second being great literature and cricket, not always in that order.

For more information about the world of the series please visit vaseemkhan.com where you can also keep abreast of Vaseem’s latest goings-on, competitions, events, and extracts from upcoming books via The Reading Elephant Book Club.

Check out his website at: http://vaseemkhan.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaseemKhanUK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VaseemKhanOfficial/

Although this is the second book in the Baby Ganesh Detecive Agency series, it can easily be read as a standalone book! In The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, Chopra is tasked with finding out who stole the Koh-i-Noor diamond from the Crown Jewels, which were on display in Mumbai. Chopra himself was present at the time of the theft as he and his wife were attending the exhibition. Needless to say he is a little put out that it happened right under his nose!

I really enjoyed this book. Its got a very cosy crime feel to it, as its not gruesome or gory, but there is still plenty going on in the book to keep the reader interested. I loved the location descriptions as it painted a very vivid picture and it made it a much richer read. The characters are well-developed, and with the added bonus of a super cute baby elephant, it made it quite an unusual book!

I am definitely going to be reading the other books in the series (The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra and The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star) as it is such a welcome change of pace from my usual choices. Rich in descriptions, interesting characters and a brilliant heist-like plot made it a very engaging read! Recommended for sure! 

Click the link below to pick up your copy:

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in The Crown by Vaseem Khan

 


 

Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize winning short story writer. Her story ‘Wild Swimming’ won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, run by The Guardian and Hodder & Stoughton and judged by Stephen King. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News.

Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.

A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.

Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.

Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts.

The Binding Song is a creepy, gothic book that creates a sense of foreboding from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the final pages. Dr Janet Palmer is the new psychologist at Halvergate Prison and it is clear from her first day that there is something sinister going on in the prison, and she wants to know why.

I don’t want to say much more about the story because the author has done a great job of creating a level of tension and suspense that she keeps up until the final pages. The characters are well-written, divisive and in some parts, downright chilling.  The plot is tightly woven and interspersed with pieces from  Janet’s past, all of this lends itself very well to the gothic vibe running through the book. I found myself feeling apprehensive to turn the pages more than once because I was afraid of what I would read. I was creeped out more than once reading The Binding Song.

An elegant, gothic and sinister debut, The Binding Song is a great example of a psychological thriller and definitely one to add to your reading lists! 

Click the link below to grab your copy:

The Binding Song by Elodie Harper


 

So, there you have it! Two great books to check out! Remember, if you want to head to First Monday Crime on November 6th, click the link below to reserve your tickets now!

First Monday Crime Nov 6th 2017- Reserve Your Tickets HERE!

 

~Blog Blitz~ Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell

Hi guys,

Today I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog blitz for Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all further down!

About the author:

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USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

 

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Author Social Media Links:

www.caroline-writes.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3076677.Caroline_Mit

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

www.pinterest.com/Writeparanormal

https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

About the book:

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A serial killer is playing a terrifying game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the twisted killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die…

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby persuades her boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to use his criminal connections to set up a dangerous meeting. Because to catch this killer, she needs to think like one…

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team become. Is Mason really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining Ruby up to be his next victim?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James will be hooked by this dark and utterly disturbing thriller, packed with twists until the final page.

Buy links:

 UK: http://amzn.to/2v1l8v5

US: http://amzn.to/2umrDqp

My thoughts:

Having read and really enjoyed the first two books in this series, I was delighted to be able to read Murder Game for the blitz. It was great to be able to catch up with Ruby and her team following the events in Sleep Tight!

Murder Game is another excellent installment in the series. In this book, a killer is on the loose, kidnapping their victims and leaving clues for the police to try and decipher. The caveat is that they are against the clock, and the clues are gruesome reminders that if they aren’t fast enough, the victim dies.

Another disturbing fact is the killer seems to be emanating another killer from years before, Mason Gatley. But he is in prison. So Ruby has to try and glean some information from this sadistic killer before its too late. This makes for some very uncomfortable prison scenes as she tries to figure out just what exactly is going on.

Murder Game is a very clever game of cat and mouse. It’s definitely the best Ruby Preston book, in my opinion. The team is tighter, the characters are really well fleshed out, and the crimes are gory as hell. I raced through this one because I was eager to see where Caroline Mitchell would take us on her twisted journey into the mind of a killer.

Safe to say I really enjoyed this one! Highly recommended! 🙂

Previous reviews:

Death Note (as Love You To Death) by Caroline Mitchell

Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell

Check out the other fab blogs taking part:

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