Monday, 14 January 2019

Truth and Lies

The start of a new series by Caroline Mitchell - this is a series I'll be following!


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Amazon US link

Book description

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.
Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.
While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.
But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?


My review -

This is the first in Caroline Mitchell’s DI Amy Winter crime thrillers and wow, what a start! The story is an intricate weaving of past and present for adopted Amy when she finds her true parentage. It also includes the present-day kidnapping of a young girl and I thought the sections were particularly well-handled. It was easy to follow and not confusing. The story gripped me from the off and I’m pleased to read that the second in this series is due out in April.

About the author 

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, she has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.

Caroline writes psychological and crime thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached No.1 in the Amazon charts in the UK, USA and Australia. It has been described as 'brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy'. 

Set in Notting Hill, London, her new DI Amy Winter thriller, Truth and Lies, is published by Thomas & Mercer.

~~~

Just a thought -  I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.
Robert Louis Stevenson 


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Obsession

A short book - six short stories - but so well written and engaging.


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Book description
Obsession & Other Stories is a collection of scary, dark, and gritty crime stories as well as a couple of gentler ones to soothe the nerves.
There are no zombies, were wolves or vampires in these stories, although I can’t guarantee you won’t come across any skeletons, when you walk on the dark side with me. Come along with me and I will introduce you to some scary people and after you’ve been in their minds and shared their thoughts, you’ll be glad of the light relief at the end.
‘Obsession’ - is a dark story about a stalker, and not recommended for those of a nervous disposition. This was the story which gave birth to the Night Watcher and is the precursor of the novel.
‘In Zofia’s Footsteps’ - is the story of migrant fruit pickers working on a fruit farm in Scotland. Make up your own mind whether or not there is a hint of the paranormal in this one.
‘Not a Bad Person’ - is a gritty story which introduces Baz, a heroin addict and what he feels compelled to do to acquire money to feed his habit.
‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ - is a gentle ghost story which is not in the least scary, although I’m better known for my scary stories.
‘Sin’ - is a tale of the Magdalene Laundries, the institutions for unmarried mothers which were infamous in Ireland in the not too distant past.
‘Santa’s Little Helper’ - a little bit of nonsense to finish off with.

My review -

This little collection of short stories really shows the author’s versatility. We go from humour, through sadness and longing, to an unsettling creepiness. It’s a good way to dip into what an author is capable of. I’ve read one of Chris Longmuir’s full length novels which I enjoyed a great deal. There is an evening’s entertainment in this short collection and not a duff one in there. It’s a great little read.

Author info

Chris is an award-winning novelist and has published three novels in her Dundee Crime Series. Night Watcher, the first book in the series, won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Pitlochry Award, and the sequel, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize, as well as the Pitlochry Award. Missing Believed Dead is the third book in the series.

Chris has recently published the first book in a new series set just after the Great War. This series features Kirsty Campbell, Dundee’s first policewoman. Her next book, to be published soon, is another Kirsty Campbell mystery set during the First World War.

She has also published a non-fiction book entitled Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution. This is an 
examination of crime fiction as well as an evaluation of independently published books in this genre.

~~~ 
Just a thought - Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.
― Franz Kafka


Remorseless

I've read a trilogy by Will Patching and have been intending to read this book for some time. It's the start of another trilogy and it's hooked me!


Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Book description

Peter Leech is a cunning, devious killer, brutalized by half a lifetime in prison for the vicious murder of his parents. Now he’s up for parole and, one way or another, he wants out.
He's driven by his obsessive lust for Judy Finch - an attractive parole officer who spurned his advances - and his thirst for revenge on those he blames for his conviction.
His nemesis, Doc Powers, the forensic psychiatrist who assessed his mental health for trial, is now on the panel reviewing Leech’s parole application. But Doc fears for his own sanity. His feelings of guilt over his wife’s death and his terrible experiences as a criminal profiler threaten to overwhelm him. Hallucinations haunt Doc as he struggles to convince his colleagues that Leech is a dangerous unreformed psychopath.
A blossoming relationship with Judy helps Doc heal – emotionally and professionally – but he soon discovers he’s ill-prepared for Leech’s re-entry into his life...

My review -
I’ve read Will Patching’s work before so I knew I was in for an exciting ride. This is the story of a very manipulative man who is released after eighteen years in prison. He maintains his innocence of the original crime. The author takes us into his mind and we realise how deep is his thirst for revenge. It’s impossible to predict who will end up in his sights. I enjoyed every moment of this fast-paced thriller.

Author info

Will Patching writes gritty crime stories that mix murder mystery, psychological suspense and intense thrills while offering unique insights into the darker side of human nature. His 'pull no punches' style and sparse but often brutal descriptive passages will not suit all readers, so if you are into cozy mysteries you might want to look elsewhere!

With complex plots and rounded characters, Will's novels are necessarily longer than average, usually well over 100,000 words, so these are definitely stories designed for readers who like to really get their teeth into a good yarn! 


~~~

Just a thought - I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.
― Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, 4 January 2019

The Boy Inside

The second in the Dark Lives trilogy by Ross Greenwood. I must make sure I read the third.


Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Book description

Book 2 of the critically acclaimed Dark Lives Series

With absent parents and broken friends, a young Ben makes choices that could ruin his life. After two spells in prison, he finds himself involved in more serious crime. 

Soon, he finds himself in situations out of his control with a woman he doesn't love. Ben looks to escape but finds that leaving is not an option.

Will Ben escape before people begin to die?

My review -


Ross Greenwood knows better than most what life in prison is like, as he used to be a prison officer. In this book we can see, through the early life of Ben Jones, that a life can balance on a knife edge. Ineffective parenting, the lack of a parent for one reason or another, the influence of unsuitable friends, and just one bad decision can push a boy like Ben onto the steep slope of a criminal life. Ben has a couple of opportunities to change his future and go straight but the lure of money is too strong. I found the waste of young lives quite haunting. The writing is engaging and gets right to the point. I hope there are still people within the prison service who share Ross Greenwood’s humanity and understanding. This is a book you’ll remember.


Author info

I was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until I was 20, attending The King's School in the city. I then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

I found myself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually when things had gone wrong. It was on one of these occasions that I met my partner about 100 metres from my back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. I'm still a little stunned by the pace of it now.

Fifty Years of Fear book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then after working in sales management all my life, i randomly spent four years as a prison officer. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave me the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep I completed it in the early morning hours.

I've now written five further books. My second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by a publisher, and Lazy Blood is also out. All my books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour. Reading the reviews has been great.

The first three books are stand alone, however, some of the characters cross over, and you can see how at times, their lives overlap.

~~~

Just a thought - In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. 
― Mortimer J. Adler