First Monday Crime June Spotlight ~ No One Home by Tim Weaver

Hi loves,

So today I’m shouting about No One Home by Tim Weaver. Tim is one of the panelists on the upcoming First Monday Crime and I was lucky enough to get to read his latest book in the David Raker series. Before I get to reviewing though, here is all of the important FMC info you need to know!

The where and the when:

June 3rd, 2018

6:30 pm

College Building, Room A130

City University London

Join us for another killer panel, starring Tim Weaver, Angela Clarke, Doug Johnstones and Peter Hanington.

Click the link below to order your tickets:

Reserve Your Free Seat

AND, if that weren’t enough, stay for the Summer special – find the perfect book for your holiday with the Big Summer Book Blind Date!

The holiday is booked, the swimming costume is packed, but the big question still remains: who are you bringing with you?

No, not family (sadly you can’t escape them) – we mean what’s your go-to summer read? Big ones, small ones, fast ones, slow ones: there are so many fantastic thrillers and mysteries out there, how can you choose just one?

This year, to make life easier for us, we have some brilliant authors coming to tell us all about their books, and explain why they’re the one you should be sneaking into your suitcase.

Yes, back by popular demand, it’s First Monday’s SUMMER BLIND BOOK DATE

The who:

Tim Weaver – ‘No One Home’

Tim Weaver is the Sunday Times bestselling author of ten thrillers, including I Am Missing and You Were Gone. Weaver has been nominated for a National Book Award, selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, and shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library award. He is also the host and producer of the chart-topping Missing podcast, which features experts in the field discussing missing persons investigations from every angle. A former journalist and magazine editor, he lives near Bath with his wife and daughter.

Angela Clarke – ‘On My Life’

Angela Clarke is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Social Media Murders series. Her debut Follow Me was named Amazon’s Rising Star Debut of the Month, longlisted for the CWA’s Dagger in the Library, and shortlisted for the Good Reader Page Turner Award. Angela has appeared on CBS Reality’s Written In Blood, on stage for BBC Edinburgh Fringe and on BBC News 24’s Ouch comedy special Tales From the Misunderstood, at Noirwich, Camp Bestival, Panic! (in partnership with the Barbican, Goldsmiths University and the Guardian), at City University, at HM Prisons, and she hosts BBC 3 Counties Tales From Your Life, and the Womens’ Radio Station Three Books show. She won the Young Stationers’ Prize 2015 for achievement and promise in writing. A sufferer of EDS III, Angela is passionate about bringing marginalised voices into publishing. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Doug Johnstone – ‘Breakers’

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had eight novels published, most recently Crash Land. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is the drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Peter Hanington – ‘A Single Source’

Peter Hanington is the author of A Dying Breed and A Single Source. He has worked as a journalist for over twenty-five years, including fourteen years at the Today Programme and more recently The World Tonight and Newshour on the BBC World Service. He lives in London with his wife and has two grown-up children.

No One Home by Tim Weaver~Review:

No One Home is the tenth book in the David Raker series, and I’ll be the first to hold my hand up and say I’ve only read book one. BUT that in no way stopped me from following the story or picking up on Raker’s backstory, it actually made me eager to read the previous books in the series because I enjoyed this one so much.

The book focuses on a small village called Black Gale, and a missing persons case. Raker is called in to investigate the disappearance of four households. The occupants literally disappear overnight with no trace, and the families are trying to find out what happened and where they went on that fateful night.

What follows is a taut, absorbing and thoroughly gripping story that reaches as far back as 1980’s America. I loved the timelines, past and present. I was completely sucked into the lives of the characters and the narrative as a whole.

Complex, dark and tense, No One Home is one of those books that keeps you guessing. It keeps you turning the pages as you become more and more desperate to find out just what happened that night in Black Gale.

No One Home also manages to deliver an emotional gut-punch. It was completely unexpected to feel that level of emotion, but it was pitch perfect in terms of how it all played out.

Highly recommended!

Blog Tour: Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Hey lovelies,

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson and I’ll be sharing my review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

David Jackson is the author of a series of crime thrillers featuring New York Detective Callum Doyle. His debut novel, Pariah, was Highly Commended in the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Awards. When not writing fiction, David spends his time as a lecturer in a university science department. He also gives occasional workshops on creative writing. He lives on the Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.

David can be followed on Twitter, where he goes under the name @Author_Dave. Join David Jackson’s Readers’ Club for all the latest news from David on his books, events and giveaways: http://www.bit.ly/DavidJacksonClub

About the book:

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband. 

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected. 

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable . . .

Click the link below to get your copy now:

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of the DS Nathan Cody series, and when I saw that there was a new installment I was thrilled! It felt like I had been waiting for AGES for it, but it was definitely worth it!

Your Deepest Fear sees Cody investigating a murder where the bereaved wife is displaying rather unusual tendencies. Not upset when she should be, and quite secretive at times. This leads Cody to thinking there is more than meets the eye with Sara. The reader gets glimpses into Sara’s train of thought, and as she becomes almost vigilante-like in her quest for justice for her murdered husband, even Cody is pulled into it unknowingly.

Parallel to this, and I’m mindful of spoilers here, Cody has his own problems. Issues in his past have led him to experience some emotional turmoil, and he’s still feeling the effects. Terrifyingly, his past is coming back to haunt him in a big way in Your Deepest Fear.

I’ve never seen him as vulnerable as he is in this book, and it works really well. You get a deeper insight into how his mind is working almost overtime to keep on top of everything and processing what’s happening around him in this book.

Your Deepest Fear is a supremely satisfying thriller. It gives you the creeps, pulls you in immediately and doesn’t let you go until the bitter end. It is clever, dark and downright scary.

I LOVED IT!

Highly recommended, as always!

Previous reviews:

A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson

Hope To Die by David Jackson

Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson

Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour: The Controller by Matt Brolly

Hey everyone,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Controller by Matt Brolly and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky and Dead Embers. The fourth in the series, Dead Time, was released by Canelo in May 2018 and a prequel, Dead Water, will be published in September 2019. In 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing).

The Controller, released in May 2019, is the first of a new thriller series set in Texas.

Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, was released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children. You can find out more about Matt at his website MattBrolly.co.uk or by following him on twitter: @MattBrollyUK

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MattBrollyUK @MattBrollyUK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattbrollyauthor/

Website: https://www.mattbrolly.co.uk/

About the book:

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed DCI Lambert series comes The Controller, a gripping serial killer thriller introducing Sam Lynch and Special Agent Sandra Rose. 

It is six years since special agent Samuel Lynch left the FBI following the disappearance of his son, Daniel. Lynch believes an underground organisation known as The Railroad is responsible and has never stopped searching. 

When Special Agent Sandra Rose investigates a house invasion gone wrong, she discovers the assailant has the legendary, and infamous, Railroad tattoo carved onto his back and he claims to know Daniel’s whereabouts.

Rose draws Lynch in to her case, and together they become embroiled in an unparalleled world of violence and evil.

It seems that to see his son again, Lynch will have to confront his greatest fear and face the ultimate test: an encounter with the Railroad’s enigmatic and deadly leader, The Controller.

The Controller (Lynch & Rose 1) by Matt Brolly

My thoughts:

The Controller is the first in a new US crime thriller series by Matt Brolly, and what a promising start it is. It follows Samuel Lynch as he searches for his son who went missing six years ago, and he thinks its connected to an underground organisation known as the Railroad. Special Agent Sandra Rose, called to an assignment, ends up pulling Lynch in to the case as she believes it to be connected to the Railroad.

I found The Controller to be a solid start to a new series. It builds up enough back story, introduces the characters, and leaves enough unanswered questions that the reader will be looking forward to the next book.

The premise for the book is also quite clever. Lynch was ousted from the FBI after he carried out an investigation into The Railroad, but he ends up being pulled into Rose’s case when she finds out the assailant has the markings of the Railroad on his body.

What follows is an action-packed, dark and at times, harrowing read. You will question the motivations of those involved, while at the same time, willing Lynch on as he continues to search for his son.

The Controller is dark, cinematic and definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy US-based conspiracy thrillers.

Recommended for sure.

Check out the blog tour:

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhari McFarlane

About the book:

‘I love your laugh. x’

But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.

So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.

The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhari McFarlane

My thoughts:

I hadn’t read any of Mhari’s books for years but I loved the sound of this one. Not least because its the title of one of my favourite songs.

Georgina, when we meet her, is having a nightmare of a time. She found her boyfriend in bed with someone else, and she got fired from her job in a restaurant on the same day!

Taking the next job she’s offered, she ends up working as a barmaid in a newly opened pub. What she’s not expecting is to be working with a boy she loved in school, and he doesn’t even remember her!

What follows is a funny, awkward and really brilliant story. I loved the characters. I was really rooting for Georgina the whole way through the book. It is genuine, honest and proper laugh out loud at times, but it is a novel with real heart and emotion.

Highly recommended!

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

About the book:

A perfect town is hiding secrets. 
Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. 

Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it.

It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. 

Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news.

And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab.
_____

Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death.

His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace.

His mother’s remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again.

And the return of Malcolm’s brother doesn’t help matters. But his return is just a coincidence… isn’t it?

Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure.

Then another girl disappears.

As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. 

And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

My thoughts:

I loved One Of Us Is Lying when I read it so I was super excited to be sent a copy of Two Can Keep A Secret to review.

Ellery and her brother move to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother while their mother goes to rehab. Ellery’s aunt went missing from Echo Ridge when she was 16, and now they return 5 years after another girl was murdered.

Another girl disappears, and Ellery was one of the last people to see her alive. What follows is a twisty turny narrative with so many secrets and layers that it is difficult to reconcile the truth out of any of it.

I really enjoyed Two Can Keep A Secret, not as much as One Of Us Is Lying, but it definitely kept me hooked because the characters kept pulling me back into the narrative.

Recommended for sure!

Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox

About the book:

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.
_________________

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs. 

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing. 

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body…

Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox

My thoughts:

Gone By Midnight is the third book in the Crimson Lake series, but it absolutely can be read as a standalone. I didn’t feel like I had missed out on anything by jumping in with book 3.

When a young boy disappears from a hotel while on holidays with his mother and friends, Ted Conkaffey ends up being drawn into the investigation. The boy’s mother hires him in the hope that he can find her son.

I found Gone By Midnight to be a really engaging read. Short chapters, plenty of action and a solid plot meant I raced through it in record time. I couldn’t put it down!

Gone By Midnight is an emotive and thrilling book, packed with great characters and a scarily plausible plot. It eerily echoes the Madeleine McCann case from years ago. Its every parent’s worst nightmare.

I really enjoyed Gone By Midnight. So much so, that I would happily go back and start the series from the beginning to catch up.

Highly recommended!

We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo Mini Review

About the book:

In a city where magic is feared and the dead are worshipped, life is overshadowed by a powerful and devastating storm cloud.

One young woman is running for her life. Another is trying to return home. Both are looking for a place where they belong.

But what Lena and Constance don’t realise is that the storm cloud binds them. Without it, neither can get what she desires.

We Are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

My thoughts:

We Are Blood and Thunder is a stunning new YA fantasy, reminiscent of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas.

It follows Lena and Constance as the former tries to leave her sealed city, and the latter is looking for a way out.

This book unfolds slowly, drawing the reader in to Lena and Constance’s world as they try to deal with their problems.

Surrounded by a storm cloud, the city they live in is under a spell but nobody knows who cast it or why. Neither young woman know it, but they are bound together.

Their journey is only just beginning. Strong women, politics, ambition and power are all in play in We Are Blood and Thunder and it is a brilliant addition to the genre.

Highly recommended.