Hall of Fame Review: Ashes to Ashes by Paul Finch

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 0 comments
Title: Ashes to Ashes
Author: Paul Finch
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: 6th April 2017
Pages: 480
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.

A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.

But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck…

Review: Revenge by Nigel May

Sunday, 12 February 2017 0 comments
Title: Revenge
Author: Nigel May
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 10th February 2017
Pages: 335
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
If you keep dangerous secrets you’ll pay the ultimate price…

In the South of France, playground of the rich and famous, world renowned chef Dexter Franklin is organising a night to remember. As he opens the doors to his exclusive restaurant for the first time, he’s handpicked a list of guests, as hot and dazzling as the St Tropez sun itself:

Mew Stanton: Fashionable, beautiful and a notorious TV chef, Dexter’s ex-girlfriend has all the ingredients for success. As her books fly off the shelves, a secret from her past is about to surface with explosive consequences.

Holly Lydon: Ex girlband star who has fallen on hard times. Forced to make ends meet she’s having to sleep her way to the top. Now she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Rosita Velázquez: Brazilian actress extraordinaire and girlfriend of Dexter’s brother, Leland. When she’s in town everybody needs to know about it, but this is one show-stopping entrance she’ll live to regret.

Three women have a past with Dexter and a grudge to bear against him. As fireworks ignite in the jet set capital of Europe, there’s murder on the menu. Who will be served their just desserts?

The sun is setting in the South of France. Pour yourself a glass of champagne and sit back for a read of revenge, regrets and shocking revelations that will have you hooked to the very last page.

Hall of Fame Review: Backstabber by Kimberley Chambers

Tuesday, 7 February 2017 0 comments
Title: Backstabber
Author: Kimberley Chambers
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 9th February 2017
Pages: 496
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon

If you don't face your enemies – they'll stab you in the back.

One of them has a gun to his head. Who will pull the trigger?

When king of the underworld Vinny Butler goes into business with respected villain Eddie Mitchell, it's a match made in East End legend. Friends and family are treated like gold, enemies like rats – it's the life.

Then mysterious packages arrive, dead creatures and threats. Someone is out for revenge. Who the enemy is, nobody knows, anyone could be taking a pop. The gypsies who cursed Eddie, ghosts from Vinny's past, enemies needing revenge. Even their own flesh and blood? There are some people you should never cross, some who can't forgive or forget.

Who is the backstabber?

My Top 10 Books of 2016 (and an update!)

Sunday, 18 December 2016 4 comments
2016 was a quiet year for me on the blog but I was still lucky enough to read some absolutely amazing books and I have compiled my favourites into a Top 10 here in the hope that it will help you find a recommendation for a book that I can recommend with no hesitation and with a certainty that you will enjoy it. Before I begin the list though I would like to write a short update about where I am personally and where I see the blog going in the future.

I sadly lost my grandad in July of this year and despite the fact I knew it was coming, it still knocked me for six and the blog went on hold indefinitely. For the past few months, despite the fact that I have been reading on and off, I just haven't felt like reviewing, and have even toyed with the idea of giving up the blog. I decided though that it's not something that I want to do just yet and I'm going to keep the blog going and perhaps review occasionally or hopefully, more regularly in the New Year. In other news I finally came out to my family and friends and luckily (as it wasn't exactly a secret to all of them) it went down well and I am hopeful and excited to see what 2017 is going to bring and not just in the world of books... 

For now though, here are My Top 10 Books of 2016

10. The Rule of Fear - Luke Delaney

The Rule of Fear immediately jumped out at me as one of my most memorable reads of 2016 because it was one of the darker reads that I read this year. Luke normally writes realistic police novels that have a real authenticity and this time around, despite the book still carrying that authenticity, he took a look at how a policeman suffering from PTSD can go on a real downward spiral and the closing scenes of this story are still extremely vivid in my mind. Crime fans who are yet to read this book should make sure that it is on their TBR.



9. My Map of You - Isabelle Broom

My Map of You was one of my absolute favourite stories that I read in the summer and it got me in just the right mood for the holiday to Cyprus (my favourite place in the whole world) that I went on just days after finishing this book. It had one of my favourite love stories ever in a book, and Isabelle captured the Greek setting better than any author ever has before and I just loved the time I spent within the pages of this book. A fantastic summer read that would be perfect reading for warming up this winter. 



8. A Tapping at My Door - David Jackson

David Jackson's new Liverpool-set series was a resounding success and there wasn't any hesitation in me including it in my Top 10 Books of 2016. It was an extremely powerful story that contained a number of twists that I am still annoyed at myself for not seeing coming. It's a memorable read that will hit all readers emotionally, and I love a crime novel that can achieve that. I was also thrilled to see my quote used inside the paperback copy of this book, and it's a book that I am constantly recommending to crime fans. 



7. Then She Was Gone - Luca Veste

Another Liverpool-set crime novel and this time it is from one of my favourite crime authors, Luca Veste. Luca is an author who almost reinvents himself with each book that he writes because he makes a conscious effort to make them different from the one that came before but at the same time retain his 'hallmark' that has already made him an author to watch within the genre. Then She Was Gone is one of my favourite books from him so far, and has a rather chilling ending that I won't be forgetting in a hurry. 




6.  In Her Wake - Amanda Jennings

In Her Wake was a book that consumed me whilst I was reading it and it was one of the most vividly told and most memorable books that I have ever read. It was a book that drew a real emotional response from me, and I finished the book believing the story within and seeing these fictional characters as real people. Characters that I still think about now, long after finishing the book. Amanda Jennings is an extremely talented author, and one that all readers should discover if they haven't already.




5. The Finding of Martha Lost - Caroline Wallace

Lime Street Station is a place I see five days a week, and so when I read that this book was set in Lime Street Station and that it was about a young girl who was left abandoned inside the lost property at the station, I simply could not wait to read it. The Finding of Martha Lost is just a pure joy from start to finish. It is one of the best books that I have read, ever, not just in 2016. It's inventive, it's clever, and it's a story that I will never, ever forget. It's a book that you really can't say too much about without ruining it for potential readers, and so the best thing that I can say is read it and fall in love with the story.



4. Blood Lines - Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is another of my all-time favourite authors, and I could easily have included both of her 2016 books in this list but I do have an unofficial rule that I want to just choose one book per author and Blood Lines was my favourite out of the two (although Play Dead was absolutely fantastic). Angela writes some of the most authentic crime fiction that I have read, and her character of Kim Stone is perhaps the best fictional detective that I have ever read about. Angela's stories are gritty, but they also have a real emotional depth to them and they draw real emotion from me as a reader, and her books are always some of my most memorable books of the year and they are the crime books that I look forward to the most. 



3. Lovers and Liars - Nigel May

Nigel May has fast become one of my all-time favourite authors these past few years and Lovers and Liars was another winner from him. He has been called the male Jackie Collins and that is absolutely true. Like all of his previous books, Lovers and Liars contains multiple stories within one and goes so far beyond being just another bonkbuster. There's a real mystery contained within his books, and they contain some of the best characters you will find in a fictional novel because Nigel's led a fabulous and colourful life and uses that to create some memorable and thrilling reads and Lovers and Liars is no different. Nigel also named a character after me in this book and I have to say that it is the best thing that has happened to me since starting the blog. I hyperventilated when I read the scenes and I am making a return in Nigel's upcoming 2017 book and I cannot wait. 

2. Tainted Love - Kimberley Chambers

Readers of my blog probably know by now that I absolutely adore Kimberley Chambers and her books. I am simply in awe of everything that she has achieved, and when I received an early copy of Tainted Love I think my screams could be heard for miles around. I cannot say too much about this book because we are so far into the series, but it did not disappoint and I finished it absolutely desperate for me and I am so excited to get stuck into Backstabber which is the final instalment in this series and will be out in 2017. Kimberley Chambers is in a league of her own when it comes to the gangland genre and if you are one of the few people yet to discover her books, then what are you waiting for?



1. Deep Down Dead - Steph Broadribb


It wasn't difficult to choose my Book of the Year for 2016. When I thought about which book was my absolute favourite of the year, Deep Down Dead immediately jumped out at me. It is Steph Broadribb's debut novel and it is a remarkable achievement as it reads like it was written by somebody who has been writing for years. I believe I was one of the first to call her the female Lee Child and whilst that's a lazy comparison (the story actually has depth you don't often find in a Child novel), there are comparisons to be made between the two. I was late to the Jack Reacher novels and I like to think that somewhere in the world there's a person yet to discover the love of reading, and in years to come I hope that person will discover the back catalogue of Steph Broadribb when the 20th Lori Anderson book is being released into the world. I cannot recommend Deep Down Dead enough, it is easily the best book I have read this year and it's my favourite release from Orenda Books. I simply cannot wait for the sequel.

Hall of Fame Review: Blood Lines by Angela Marsons

Friday, 4 November 2016 1 comments
Title: Blood Lines
Author: Angela Marsons
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 4th November 2016
Pages: 386
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

Review: The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

Monday, 24 October 2016 0 comments
Title: The Girls Next Door
Author: Mel Sherratt
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 27th October 2016
Pages: 296
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.

Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?

Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal.

With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?

Review: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 0 comments
Title: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky
Author: Holly Martin
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
Pages: 324
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?


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