Blog Tour: Dead Inside by Noelle Holten~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten and I’ll be sharing her review with you all in a little bit!

About the author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Links:

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

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten

Blog: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

About the book:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Out now from Killer Reads, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

Ellen’s Review:

Dead Inside is the debut novel from renowned book blogger Noelle Holten and I have to admit I was a little scared to agree to reading and reviewing it as I have known Noelle for quite a few years now and seen her move from the probation service into publishing and then to writing a novel as well. This lady is living the dream! What if I hated her book!?!

There was no need for concern, Dead Inside is certainly an impressive debut, Noelle’s knowledge and personal experience shines through and you can’t help but be pulled into the world of DC Maggie Jamieson. No punches are pulled in this story, it is gritty, realistic and really gives you an appreciation of what domestic abuse victims are put through and how not every case is black and white.

You are also given an insight into the abuser and while I was glad that they met a grisly end I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for some of them; violence begets violence after all. I’m in no way excusing this behaviour just saying that this book gives you a fuller picture of the development of a person’s behaviours and actions.

As this is the first in a series we are introduced to a large cast of characters which I initially struggled with but soon settled in to. It was interesting to get a behind the scenes look into how a multi-disciplinary team works in this situation and I enjoyed the interaction between the different groups of staff involved.

I really felt for Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who deals with domestic abuse daily, not only at work as she is a victim at home. Her husband Patrick is possibly one of the most vile characters I have encountered! You really get an insight into how manipulative these people can be and how hard it is to escape that situation. But has Lucy resorted to being a vigilante…Maggie Jamieson certainly begins to suspect as much as men are being murdered and the only link appears to be her! When Patrick is brutally murdered there is even more suspicion, is Lucy capable of such grisly acts?

An enjoyable read and I have already pre-ordered the next in the series!

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.

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Blog Tour: Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt ~ Ellen’s Review

Hello lovelies,

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

About the author:

Mel Sherratt is the author of thirteen crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers. For the past four years, she has been named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She also works alongside the National Literary Trust as an ambassador on The Literary Project, to support their ongoing work in the city, aiming to raise literacy levels. 

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

About the book:

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

Click the link below to grab your copy now:

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt

Ellen’ Review:

After reading (and loving) the first book in the Grace Allendale series (Hush Hush), I couldn’t wait to dive into the second Tick Tock. Grace’s character and background had been established well and a new relationship started; I was curious as to how this would develop and how she would try to move past her extended family’s dodgy dealings and interference in her police work.

Tick Tock’s story returns to Stoke where a teenage girl has been murdered in broad daylight and if there was ever a reason to not do cross country at school here’s the proof! I remember our route at school was through fields, forest and an old quarry and the thought of just being picked from the back of the group and killed in minutes chilled me. Two days later a young mum is abducted and murdered in the same manner and DS Grace Allendale and her team are tasked with finding the culprit, they soon have a third body on their hands and there is an urgency to solve the case before anyone else falls victim to this apparent serial killer.

You can really feel the pressure mounting in this book as the number of victims start growing and with most of the action being centred around the local school and a risque online chat group I had no idea who to suspect. There were just so many people that I was suspicious of!!

Never mind the stress Grace is under to crack the case she is still navigating the waters of her relationship with Simon (a local journalist), they were always going to encounter difficulties as both their superiors expect a little inside information from each of them. Grace is also trying to win over Simon’s daughter who was a close friend of one of the victims. I can imagine the drama and histrionics from a group of teenage girls all keeping secrets from each other and their parents! Throw into this some added pressure from Grace’s estranged family who also want a piece of her time and you really wouldn’t want to be in her position.

An enjoyable read and I look forward to more!

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

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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

Red Snow by Will Dean

About the book:

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Click the link below to grab your copy:

Red Snow by Will Dean

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian crime so I was delighted to see that there was a new Tuva Moodyson book on the way. I found myself hooked early on and ended up devouring Red Snow in a handful of sittings.

Tuva is moving on to pastures new, but when a man commits suicide and more deaths start to be uncovered, she has to work really hard to figure out what’s going on before she leaves. What follows is a really great story packed with characters both unusual and unique.

Will Dean has a lovely writing style and the whole story flowed really well. It’s got the perfect mix of mystery and action so it keeps the reader on their toes right from the outset.

Claustrophobic, tense and utterly absorbing, Red Snow is the perfect crime thriller chiller.

Highly recommended!

The Boy in the Headlights (Munch & Krüger #3) by Samuel Bjork

About the book:

Munch and Krüger. An unexpected pairing. A brilliant team. 

Winter 1996 An old man is driving home when his headlights catch an animal on the empty road up ahead. He stamps hard on the brakes. But it is not an animal at all. It is a young boy, frightened and alone, with a set of deer antlers strapped firmly to his head. 

Fourteen years later, a body is found in a mountain lake. Within weeks, three people have died. Each time, the killer has left a clue, inviting Special Investigations Detectives Munch and Krüger to play a deadly game – a game they cannot possibly win. Against the most dangerous and terrifying kind of serial killer. One who chooses their victims completely at random. 

To find the killer they must look deep within their own dark pasts, but how can you stop a murderer when you cannot begin to predict their next move?

Out now, you can grab a copy by clicking the link below:

The Boy in the Headlights by Samuel Bjork

 

My thoughts:

Having read and loved the first two books in this series, I was delighted to get a review copy for The Boy in the Headlights, so thanks to Transworld for this one!

We’re back with Holger and Mia in The Boy in the Headlights as they recover from the events of The Owl Always Hunts at Night. They each had a lot to deal with and are doing so in their own way. 

When a body is found at a mountain lake, they are called in to investigate. But as with all good crime novels, the body count inevitably rises. As Holger and Mia work to find out who is leaving them clues at each scene, they find themselves drawn in deeper into the killer’s game at every turn. What follows is a game of murderous cat and mouse that delves into their pasts while simultaneously threatening their future.

I really like the pairing between these two detectives, it shouldn’t work, but it does. Both have their own flaws and foibles, but they know each other well enough to push past them and focus on the job at hand.

The Boy in the Headlights is another excellent addition to the series. A gripping plot, dark characters and great writing make this a highly absorbing read.

If you like your Scandi crime (as we all know, I LOVE it), this is a series you need to add to your TBR!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork

The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork