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.

Blog Blitz: The Paramedic’s Daughter by Tara Lyons

Hi everyone,

Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for The Paramedic’s Daughter, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. She studied English Literature at Brunel University and was Assistant Editor at an in-house magazine for 8 years, 

In the Shadows is the author’s solo debut novel self-published in March 2016. Bloodhound Books later re-published it, and the rest of The DI Hamilton series followed suit. Tara is now working on standalone novels, the first of which will be published in May 2019.

When she’s not writing, Tara is kept busy by her two young children.

About the book:

Would you ever lie to your family to protect yourself?

Paramedic Abi Quinn is hailed as a hero by the patients she saves with the London Ambulance Service; but a secret she’s kept since she was a teenager now threatens to shatter that perfect illusion.
When her daughter Rose goes missing while studying at Brighton university, and ghosts from her past return to haunt her, Abi’s caught in a race against time to untangle the web of lies she set in motion over twenty years ago.

Everyone has something to lose.
Everyone is trying to protect themselves.
Everyone is broken.
But what lengths will they go to in order to stop the truth from being exposed?

A shocking psychological suspense.

Click the link below to order your copy:

The Paramedic’s Daughter by Tara Lyons

My thoughts:

The Paramedic’s Daughter is the latest novel by Tara Lyons, and its a step away from her previous books as its a standalone psychological thriller dealing with family secrets and how they can change lives forever.

I read most of this book in one sitting, such was the need to see where Tara was going to take the reader. I’ll hold my hand up and say I figured this one out early, but it in no way detracted from my reading experience. I thoroughly enjoyed The Paramedic’s Daughter.

Tara is a super-talented author and she has showcased this beautifully in this book. Weaving together the past and present and showing the damage that keeping secrets can do, it keeps the reader turning those pages.

The Paramedic’s Daughter is a great addition to the psych thriller genre. It is dark, emotive and engaging.

Recommended for sure!

Check out the blitz:

First Monday Crime May 2019 Spotlight- Hunting Evil by Chris Carter

Hey guys,

Today I’m shouting out about May’s forthcoming First Monday Crime Panel with a review for Chris Carter’s newest book, Hunting Evil. First though, here’s all the info you need to know about the May 2019 FM panel! And can I just say, what a panel it is!!!!

About the panel:

May Panelists (it’s a Tuesday!)

Reserve your seat for May 7th here

Mark Billingham – ‘Their Little Secret’

Mark Billingham is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular crime writers. A former actor, television writer and stand-up comedian, his series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year Award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective and been nominated for seven CWA Daggers. His standalone thriller IN THE DARK was chosen as one of the twelve best books of the year by the Times and his debut novel, SLEEPYHEAD was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. Each of his novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller. 

A television series based on the Thorne novels was screened in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and a BBC series based on the standalone thrillers IN THE DARK and TIME OF DEATH was shown in 2017.

Mark is also a member of Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers. Performing alongside Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville, Doug Johnstone and Luca Veste, this band of frustrated rockers murders songs for fun at literary festivals worldwide.

Chris Carter – ‘Hunting Evil’

I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.

I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years, during which I interviewed and worked on over one hundred cases involving serial killers, murderers and serious offenders, before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician.

A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full time writer.

Deborah O’Connor – ‘The Dangerous Kind’

Deborah O’Connor read English at Newnham College, Cambridge before going on to become a television producer. Having worked on everything from The Big Breakfast to Big Brother she produced the BAFTA award-winning poetry documentary Off By Heart and is currently the head of factual development at TV production company, CPL. 

Born and bred in the North-East of England, she now lives in East London with her husband and three-year-old daughter.

Vanda Symon – ‘The Ringmaster’

Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has hit number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

Hunting Evil by Chris Carter

‘Every story one day comes to an end.’
As roommates, they met for the first time in college. Two of the brightest minds ever to graduate from Stamford Psychology University.
As adversaries, they met again in Quantico, Virginia. Robert Hunter had become the head of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. Lucien Folter had become the most prolific and dangerous serial killer the FBI had ever encountered.

Now, after spending three and a half years locked in solitary confinement, Lucien has finally managed to break free. And he’s angry.

For the past three and a half years, Lucien has thought of nothing else but vengeance.
The person responsible for locking him away has to pay, he has to suffer.
That person … is Robert Hunter.
And now it is finally time to execute the plan.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Hunting Evil by Chris Carter

My thoughts:

I have been a huge fan of Chris Carter ever since I read The Crucifix Killer, so after working my way through the entire series, I was super excited to be able to read Hunting Evil and its safe to say I was NOT disappointed.

In Hunting Evil, Carter brings back one of the most cunning antagonists I’ve ever read, Lucien Folter. I’m not ashamed to say I love a good villain, and Folter is the epitome of a villain. He is devious, scary, patient and thoroughly twisted in his methods and I AM HERE FOR IT!

That being said, I have a soft spot for Robert Hunter, so I spent the entire book holding my breath as Hunter and Garcia worked towards trying to corner Lucien. Vengeance is key for Lucien, so its safe to say that othing is what it seems with him here. Every move, every action has a consequence for those involved. It truly was a nail-biting read.

Hunting Evil is Chris Carter at his best. It is tense, dark, gruesome and gripping in equal measure. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Highly recommended for sure!

In case you need it again, here’s the link to grab your free ticket to the FIRST MONDAY CRIME PANEL MAY 7TH 2019:

Reserve your seat by clicking here!

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.

Check out the tour:

Blog Tour- The Island (Hulda #2) by Ragnar Jónasson

Morning all,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Island by Ragnar Jónasson and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

rj.jpg

Ragnar Jonasson is the award winning author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.

The second book in the series, Nightblind, also became a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.

Ragnar is the winner of the Mörda Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Nightblind.

Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK and it has also been on best seller lists in France.

Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to 14 countries.

TV rights to the series have been sold to production company On the Corner in the UK, producers of Academy Award winning documentary Amy.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and 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).

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.

About the book:

Four friends visit the island.

But only three return . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her. 

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?

Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.

Click the link below to get your copy:

The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

My thoughts:

The Island is the second book in the Hulda Hermannsdottír series, and as the series is told in reverse chronological order, we are meeting a younger Hulda than we did in The Darkness. I would definitely recommend reading the first book, as it gives the reader a whole other perspective coming into The Island. If you’ve already read it, you’ll know what I mean!

Ragnar Jónasson writes with a deft hand, and with echoes of Agatha Christie’s style in his books, his books are always a pleasure to read.

The Island has two different timelines throughout the novel, so we get glimpses into how everything links up together. I think that this worked really well as it makes the reader think hard in terms of trying to link past and present.

Hulda Hermannsdottír is called to the island of Elliðaey to investigate what happened when four friends on a reunion trip end up losing one of their number. The island is extremely isolated, and with nobody else on the island, this becomes almost like a locked room mystery that Hulda has to try to figure out.

I really enjoyed The Island. To be fair, I’ve loved all of Ragnar Jónasson’s books, and this one is no different. Hulda is such a great character, and I am very much enjoying the backwards journey through her life as we read about the events that shaped her as the Hulda we met initially in The Darkness.

The Island is a tense, dark and atmospheric novel. Accentuated beautifully by the harsh landscape and haunting prose, this is Icelandic crime at its finest.

Highly recommended.

Previous Reviews:

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson

Check out the blog tour:

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

About the book:

A murder that shocks a city… 
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.

A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.

An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

Click the link below to grab your copy:

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

My thoughts:

I am a big fan of US-based crime thrillers, and A Beautiful Corpse is another excellent addition to the genre. I would definitely recommend reading the first book in the series before this one though as you get a lot of background for the main character, crime journalist Harper McClain, in The Echo Killing and you’re kind of expected to know it going into ABC.

A Beautiful Corpse opens like many other great crime novels, with a murder. A young woman is killed on one of Savannah’s more well known thoroughfares late at night. Harper ends up at the scene, in part due to her job, but also as it transpires, she knows the victim.

What follows is a narrative fraught with jealousy and obsession. I found A Beautiful Corpse to be a really engaging and well thought out crime novel. Harper McClain is an excellent character. She’s punchy, outspoken and very determined when she gets herself set on something.

For me, this was one of those books I couldn’t put down. The descriptions of the heady Georgia heat, mixed with the dark and deadly crimes made it a very engaging thriller.

Great characters, whip smart plot and an absorbing narrative made A Beautiful Corpse a great read!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty