Blog Tour~A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith ~Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing er review with you all a little further down this post.

About the author:


Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel with Bookouture is set in Cumbria and the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time-served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

About the book:

The woman’s limbs were so thin; the skin on her arms as translucent as tracing paper. Around her neck lay a faint string of purple bruises. In one so frail, darker, angrier marks might be expected but Beth knew the bruising would have stopped the moment her heart stopped beating.

When a walker finds the body of a woman by the shores of Lake Ullswater, the police are put on high alert. Felicia Evans was known to be a tough character, but who would have strangled her?

Detective Beth Young quickly spots the links to three cold cases. Three women strangled and discarded in the stunning, wild hills of the Lake District.

As Beth begins tracking down witnesses, the team receives an anonymous letter claiming the charming mayor of Carlisle is behind the murders. There’s pressure from the top to clear his name. But Beth is determined to find the truth no matter whose feathers she ruffles in the process.

Beth knows the clock is ticking. The killer is hunting again. And it’s down toher to find who’s responsible before another woman becomes his prey…

A gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller from bestselling author Graham Smith, perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and J.R. Ellis. 

Click the link below to order your copy:

A Body In The Lakes by Graham Smith

Ellen’s Review:

We’re back with DC Beth Young in this second book of a new series. After having the main characters “fleshed out” in the first book it was great to get stuck straight in with the FMIT (force major investigation team) in A Body In The Lakes. 

A woman’s body is found by the shores of Ullswater Lake and someone is trying to pin her death on a prominent member of the community. With a little nudge in the right direction Beth Young soon spots a link to three cold cases. The team is under immense pressure once this information becomes public and all eyes are on Beth.

I was gripped by this book and had no idea who the killer was, as usual the author led me down the garden path and I was left feeling guilty for who I initially suspected. This is how much I’m drawn into Mr Smith’s worlds!

I hope Beth Young and her team have a long future ahead of them and I look forward to the next in the series. 


Check out the blog tour:

A Killer’s Alibi (Philadelphia Legal #4) by William L. Myers Jr.

About the author:

William L. Myers, Jr

William L. Myers Jr. is a Philadelphia lawyer with thirty years of trial experience in state and federal courts up and down the East Coast. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, he has argued before the United States Supreme Court and still actively practices law.

Myers was born into a proud, working-class family and now lives with his wife, Lisa, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

About the book:


For attorney Mick McFarland, the evidence is damning. And so are the family secrets in this twisty legal thriller from the Amazon Charts bestselling author of A Criminal Defense.
When crime lord Jimmy Nunzio is caught, knife in hand, over the body of his daughter’s lover and his own archenemy, he turns to Mick McFarland to take up his defense. Usually the courtroom puppeteer, McFarland quickly finds himself at the end of Nunzio’s strings. Struggling to find grounds for a not-guilty verdict on behalf of a well-known killer, Mick is hamstrung by Nunzio’s refusal to tell him what really happened.
On the other side of the law, Mick’s wife, Piper, is working to free Darlene Dowd, a young woman sentenced to life in prison for her abusive father’s violent death. But the jury that convicted Darlene heard only part of the truth, and Piper will do anything to reveal the rest and prove Darlene’s innocence.
As Mick finds himself in the middle of a mob war, Piper delves deeper into Darlene’s past. Both will discover dark secrets that link these fathers and daughters—some that protect, some that destroy, and some that can’t stay hidden forever. No matter the risk.

A Killer’s Alibi (Philadelphia Legal #4) by William L. Myers Jr.

My thoughts:

Having read and loved the first two books in this series, I was delighted to read A Killer’s Alibi!

First off, I will say it would be helpful to have read the first two books because the characters are interwoven throughout the books. Secondly, just read the books because they are brilliant legal thrillers! 🙂

There are two plots in A Killer’s Alibi, one focusing on Mick McFarland and one focusing on his wife, Piper, as she tries prove the innocence of a woman convicted of killing her father.

Bill Myers is an exceptional plotter. The way he uses misdirection to throw the reader off the scent is brilliant. I always find myself trying to figure out where the story is going, and I am NEVER right. I love that, because it means I am engrossed from start to finish, eager to know how everything pans out in the end.

I liked the thread with Piper trying to prove the innocence of Darlene Dowd. I thought it was really interesting to see how she works, especially considering events in the previous books!

Also, we meet Jimmy Nunzio again, and this time he is found holding the knife over his daughter’s dead lover. Nunzio retains Mick for his defense, and it becomes one of the hardest cases because how can you get a not guilty verdict when the man is a known killer!?

I don’t want to go into any more detail because the joy of reading these books is the figuring out of the various plot points. I always look forward to these because I am always hooked straightaway and I end up devouring them as fast as I can!

A Killer’s Alibi is a thrilling, pacy and thoroughly engaging story, with some excellently shady characters and plenty to keep the reader turning those pages!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

A Criminal Defense by William L. Myers Jr.

An Engineered Injustice by William L. Myers Jr.

Dead Is Beautiful (Charlie & Rose Investigate #4) by Jo Perry

Hi guys,

I’m back with a review for you all again today, this time for Fahrenheit Press legend, Jo Perry and her fourth installment in the Charlie and Rose series.

About the author:

Picture

Jo Perry earned a Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing, produced and wrote episodic television, 
and has published articles,  book reviews, and poetry.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry.    

They have two adult children. Their three cats and two dogs are rescues. 

You can follow her on twitter @JoPerryAuthor

About the book:

DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL, finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harboring a protected bird is being illegally cut down.

The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a to murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger. 

Charlie fights-across the borders of life and death–for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose. 

Dead Is Beautiful (Charlie & Rose Investigate #4)

My thoughts:

Dead is Beautiful is the fourth book in this series, and its safe to say its another excellent installment. As always, the chapters begin with a quote about death. While some may find this morbid, I think it really suits the tone of the books.

In this one, Rose is the driving force in getting Charlie to one of his most hated places, “Beverly Fucking Hills”. There is a tree being cut down that is housing a protected species of owl, and Rose just can’t keep away. There is usually a motive for Rose hanging around so you just know the story is going somewhere. Charlie wasn’t expecting it to be straight into his brother’s life.

What follows is a dark and weird look at Beverly Fucking Hills and its inhabitants. Meeting some real characters along the way (looking at you, McGurk!!!), Charlie and Rose are drawn much deeper than they could ever have expected. Murder, corruption and cover-ups aplenty in this one.

It seems to me that Dead is Beautiful is almost a social commentary on the whole Beverly Hills “thing”. The affluence, the materialistic and shallow undertones, it is a dark and satirical look at what is usually portrayed in a positive light.

I really enjoyed Dead is Beautiful, and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!

Previous Reviews:

Dead Is Better (Charlie & Rose Investigate #1) by Jo Perry

Dead Is Best (Charlie & Rose Investigate #2) by Jo Perry

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Hey guys,

I’ve got a review for you all today! I KNOW, an actual review!!! It’s been a while, right! 🙂

About the author:

Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, sharp skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.

About the book:

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the spider-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job―stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own―a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

Click the link below to grab your copy:

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

My thoughts:

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Season (review below), I was delighted to receive a copy of No Mercy from Titan Books to read ad review on the blog.

No Mercy catches up with Ellery in the aftermath of the events in The Vanishing Season (no spoilers, but I’d suggest reading it before you read No Mercy!) where she is off work pending the outcome of her therapy sessions for victims of violent crimes.

However, Ellery being the tenacious character she is, finds more to the therapy than she bargained for. An old arson case, and a brutal rape are just two of the situations her fellow group members are dealing with. And Ellery can’t leave well alone.

What follows is a tense, taught and gripping thriller. Ellery calls on her FBI profiler friend Reed Markham, who also happened to save her from a killer when she was a child, to come in and see if he can help her figure out whats going on with the two cases and its safe to say, things get very dark once they start investigating!

I’m not going to say any more about the plot because there is so much going on that I don’t want to mention anything by accident! No Mercy is a great book, pushed forward by the brilliant Ellery and supported effortlessly by Reed (my fave!). It has everthing I look for in a thriller.

Engaging, fast-paced and cinematic, No Mercy would not be out of place on the big screen if you ask me!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Blog Tour~Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

So, today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down this post!

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski.jpeg

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is
an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in
horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an
US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End
of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror
story set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a
winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing
Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the
USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV
rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published
in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

About the book:

Changeling.jpg

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished
in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped
the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of
the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden
was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts
have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance,
interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened
that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with
strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed
to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little
boy…

Published by Orenda Books, click the link below to order your copy:

Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski

Ellen’s Review:

Matt Wesolowski is a genius. End of.

That’s how I suggested a blogger wrote their review of Changeling because it’s true and the simplest way of reviewing such a book full of complex ideas and feelings! Obviously that wouldn’t be fair to the author, his books deserve all the praise they get so I’ll try to sum up how much I loved it.

Changeling is book three in the Six Stories series and having loved the previous two (Six Stories and Hydra) I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Always with a sense of trepidation though as the author has a way of tapping into your deepest darkest fears and dialling the tension to the maximum. Had anyone knocked at my door at certain points in this book I would have filled my pants!

As a child one of my favourite books was a huge tome of folklore, myths & legends. A beautiful cloth bound book with an image of The Green Man on the front; I was obsessed (as only a child can be) with fairies, witches, wood sprites, nymphs and curses and convinced myself I was a changeling. Hey, I grew up into a (reasonably) well adjusted individual so all’s well considering! The story in Changeling revolves around the paranormal happenings in Wentshire Forest and the disappearance of Alfie Marsden. Alfie is travelling with his father Sorrel when he vanishes into thin air, he is never seen again and no body has ever been found. Scott King (presenter of the Six Stories podcast) receives a mysterious note regarding the case thirty years later and cannot resist investigating.

As with Six Stories and Hydra the tale is told as a podcast, this is such an ingenoius method of story telling and it works so well. We are drip fed information from various people that were involved in the case and slowly the picture becomes clearer, I challenge you to predict that ending though. My jaw is still sore from dropping on the floor!

Matt Wesolowski has such a talent for presenting a story as horror/supernatural but then totally flipping the genre as you progress through the tale. It is evident from his writing that Matt works with children in care; all his books provide a social commentary on the current issues our children face on a daily basis. Bullying, peer pressure and parental separation feature in all three and what could be more horrific to any child (and indeed adult) than that…?

It should be no surprise that I’ve given Changeling five stars and I’m really interested to see what is next from Matt.

Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour~Die Cold (Jake Boulder #4) by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today Ellen is one of the stops on the blog tour for Die Cold, the latest Jake Boulder novel, by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Graham Smith Author Pic

Graham Smith is a time-served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Social Media Links:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972 @GrahamSmith1972

Website www.grahamsmithauthor.com

About the book:

Die Cold (Jake Boulder Book 4) by [Smith, Graham]

Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New  Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows he has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

Die Cold (Jake Boulder #4) by Graham Smith

Ellen’s review:

Die Cold is a high octane thriller from first shot fired to the final punch thrown! Book four in the Jake Boulder series – a series that just keeps getting better and better.

After being concerned about how Jake would recover from the events of Past Echoes (book 3) it was fantastic to see him back on form and then some!

Jake is working as a barman for an exclusive ski resort favoured by the uber rich when a group of terrorists descend and take everyone hostage. This gang are obviously professionals and it is clear to Jake that no one is going to get out of this situation to tell the tale unless he takes action.

An absolutely gripping read that I could not put down, this book would make an amazing film although I’m not quite sure who would star as Jake, I’ll leave that to your own sordid imagination….

If I had to say there was anything missing from this book it would be a white vest for Mr Boulder.

Yippee Ki-Yay Boulder lovers!! Bring on book five!

Previous reviews:

Watching The Bodies- Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Past Echoes by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Check out the tour:

DIE COLD BLOG BLITZ banner (5).jpg

Blog Tour Extract~ Cold Breath by Quentin Bates

Hi everyone,

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Cold Breath by Quentin Bates, and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Bates, Quentin.jpg

Quentin Bates made his escape from suburbia at the end of the seventies as a gap year turned into a gap decade spent in the north of Iceland. He worked ashore and at sea before returning to England and, once finally ashore for good, drifted by accident into journalism.

Finally the lure of fiction became too strong to resist. Sergeant Gunnhildur and the series of novels she features in have their origins in a deep affection for Iceland and its people, and an intimate knowledge of Icelandic society and its language, customs and quirks.

Today Quentin divides his time between the north of Iceland and the south of England, translating books from Icelandic in addition to working on his own fiction.

About the book:

COLD BREATH.jpg

Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .

Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together – too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man’s past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience – or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.

Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.

Cold Breath by Quentin Bates

Extract:

Go for a walk,’ the pale man suggested. ‘Don’t go far. Don’t go out of sight.’
The plump man opened his mouth to speak and then quickly shut it. It had been an instruction, not a suggestion.
‘How long?’ he asked, his voice quivering. Next to him his wife could not hide the helpless hatred in her eyes.
‘Twenty minutes,’ the dark man said, pointing to the wavelets being whipped up on the surface of the lake by a bitter wind. ‘Leave your phones on the table. Go that way and walk around the lake. Be where we can see you.’
‘You . . . ?’ the woman began.
‘Come on, Hanne. We don’t have a choice,’ the man muttered to his wife, taking her arm. He stared steadfastly ahead as they walked away, while she shot a single furious glance over her shoulder towards the two men.
It was supposed to be the holiday they had been looking forward to. For the first time there was no need to hurry. There were no longer projects to manage, classes to teach, meetings to attend, deadlines to meet, or jobs waiting for them to return to. Retirement meant they could spend as long as they wanted touring this rocky island they had long wanted to visit, arriving before the tourist season got underway and taking things slowly, dawdling around the northern coastline as they made their way to Reykjavík, stopping whenever and wherever they saw fit.
That had been the plan, she reflected bitterly, until the unwelcome visitors had arrived one night before they had got as far as the ferry, with an offer they dared not refuse.
‘How long should this take?’ the pale man asked, watching as the tubby man and his stick-thin wife walked stiffly, arm-in-arm, around the shore of the lake.
‘Not long. Under the driver’s side bunk. Tools?’
They disappeared into the camper van, and the dark man opened a compact tool box on the table as he looked around.
‘Nice truck,’ he said. ‘House-proud people. Very tidy.’
‘Maybe they
wanted the place to look its best for their visitors.’
The elderly couple, still arm-in-arm, returned windblown after a slow walk around the grey waters of the lake where the wind filled the air with spray.
‘We’re finished. Thanks for your co-operation,’ one of the men said, standing up from his seat in the camper van’s back door as the couple approached.
‘It’s not as if we had a choice in the matter,’ the woman snapped at him, her voice loaded with helpless anger.
He shrugged. ‘It’s not our choice either, I’m afraid. Now we’d like you to go away and enjoy the rest of your holiday. Forget you ever saw us.
It goes without saying that you won’t say a word to anyone, ever. In which case you’ll never hear from us again.’
The pale man dipped a hand into his pocket and took out a sheet of paper folded into four. He held it up and handed it to the woman.
‘What’s this?’
‘Take a look.’
She unfolded it carefully and stiffened as she saw it. Her husband’s face sagged as she showed it to him.
‘Your
house. Your daughter’s house,’ the pale man said, his finger sliding over each of the four pictures. ‘Your son-in-law’s business. And this is where your mother lives. Just so you know. Not one single word.’

 

Check out the tour:

Cold Breath - Quentin Bates - Blog Tour (2).jpg