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?

Review: The Killing Game by J.S. Carol

Monday 17 October 2016 0 comments
Title: The Killing Game
Author: J.S. Carol
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th October 2016
Pages: 359
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Imagine you are having lunch at an exclusive restaurant, filled with Hollywood’s hottest stars.

And a masked gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage.

You must bargain for your life against a twisted individual who knows everything about you.

He also has a bomb set to detonate if his heart rate changes.

If he dies. You die.

You have four hours to stay alive.

What would you do?

Review: All I Want for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Sunday 16 October 2016 0 comments
Title: All I Want for Christmas
Author: Jenny Hale
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 6th October 2016
Pages: 233
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.

But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.

Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.

They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.

Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?

Review: The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant

Friday 14 October 2016 0 comments
Title: The Little Village Bakery
Author: Tilly Tennant
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 15th June 2016
Pages: 286
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Help yourself to a generous slice of Victoria sponge, a perfect cup of tea and a big dollop of romance. Welcome to the Little Village Bakery.

Meet Millie. Heartbreak has forced her to make a new start and when she arrives at the old bakery in the little village of Honeybourne she is determined that this will be her home sweet home. Her imagination has been captured by the tumbledown bakery but with no running water and dust everywhere, her cosy idea of making cakes in a rural idyll quickly crumbles.

Luckily the locals are a friendly bunch and step in to help Millie. One in particular,Dylan, a laid-back lothario, soon captures her attention.

But just as Millie is beginning to settle in, an unexpected visitor from her past suddenly turns up determined to ruin everything for her. It’s time for Millie to face the skeletons in her closet if she’s going to live the dream of running her little village bakery, and her blossoming romance with Dylan.

Hall of Fame Review: Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb

Tuesday 11 October 2016 2 comments
Title: Deep Down Dead
Author: Steph Broadribb
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication Date: 15th October 2016
Pages: 320
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.

Review: Safe With Me by K.L. Slater

Monday 10 October 2016 0 comments
Title: Safe With Me
Author: K.L. Slater
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 3rd November 2016
Pages: 324
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

Review: Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

Friday 7 October 2016 1 comments
Title: Dark Water
Author: Robert Bryndza
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th October 2016
Page: 341
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. Above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

Review: The Taken by Casey Kelleher

Wednesday 5 October 2016 1 comments
Title: The Taken
Author: Casey Kelleher
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 5th October 2016
Pages: 328
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
When you’ve lost everything, you’ll do anything to survive.

Saskia Frost’s world is blown apart when her dad dies. Without any family, she’s on her own now and up to her eyeballs in her father’s debts. He owed a lot of money to some very dangerous men – Joshua and Vincent Harper. Before long, aspiring ballerina Saskia finds herself lap-dancing in a London club to survive. A club run by the infamous Harper brothers. Saskia is now their property and they’re going to make her pay every penny back.

Teenager Lena Cona has fled a cruel and controlling marriage. She arrives in England with her newborn daughter, desperately relying on strangers for help. But she soon learns that not everyone can be trusted as she finds herself caught in the clutches of Colin Jefferies, a twisted individual obsessed by his own sinister secrets. As the sickening truth is revealed, Lena is forced to fight for her life - and her baby’s.

When their worlds collide, Lena and Saskia form an unlikely friendship. But with the terrifying Harper brothers on their tail, as well as Lena’s vengeful and violent husband, can they escape with their lives?

Review: The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe

Monday 26 September 2016 0 comments
Title: The Silence Between Breaths
Author: Cath Staincliffe
Publisher: Constable
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
Pages: 272
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Passengers boarding the 10.35 train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston are bound for work, assignations, reunions, holidays or new starts, with no idea that their journey is about to be brutally curtailed.

Holly has just landed her dream job, which should make life a lot easier than it has been, and Jeff is heading for his first ever work interview after months of unemployment. They end up sitting next to each other. Onboard customer service assistant Naz dreams of better things as he collects rubbish from the passengers. And among the others travelling are Nick with his young family who are driving him crazy; pensioner Meg and her partner setting off on a walking holiday and facing an uncertain future; Caroline, run ragged by the competing demands of her stroppy teenage children and her demented mother; and Rhona, unhappy at work and desperate to get home to her small daughter. And in the middle of the carriage sits Saheel, carrying a deadly rucksack...

Review: Strangers by Paul Finch

Friday 23 September 2016 0 comments
Title: Strangers
Author: Paul Finch
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life.

As PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.

But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option – and these murders are as brutal as they come.

Lucy must step into the line of fire – a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.

And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it…

Review: The Surrogate by Tania Carver

Monday 19 September 2016 0 comments
Title: The Surrogate
Author: Tania Carver
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 17th September 2009
Pages: 448
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A shocking double-murder scene greets Detective Inspector Philip Brennan when he is called to a flat in Colchester. Two women are viciously cut open and laying spreadeagled, one tied to the bed, one on the floor. The woman on the bed has had her stomach cut into and her unborn child is missing.

But this is the third time Phil and his team have seen such an atrocity. Two other pregnant women have been killed in this way and their babies taken from them. No-one can imagine what sort of person would want to commit such evil acts.

When psychologist Marina Esposito is brought in, Phil has to put aside his feelings about their shared past and get on with the job. But can they find the killer before another woman is targeted?

Excerpt: Christmas at the Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant

Friday 16 September 2016 0 comments


It’s time to get toasty by the fire with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of chocolate yule log sprinkled with a little romance. Welcome to Christmas at the Little Village Bakery.

Snow is falling in Honeybourne and Spencer is bringing home his American fiancée Tori for a traditional English Christmas with all the trimmings. But when his hippie mum and dad meet her high-maintenance parents, sparks of the wrong sort start to fly. Then Spencer bumps into his first love Jasmine and unexpected feelings come flooding back.

Millie is run off her feet with Christmas orders at the Little Village Bakery and new baby Oscar. Thank goodness her cousin Darcie is here to help her. Although she does seem to be rather flirty with Millie’s boyfriend Dylan.

Will Darcie ever find true love of her own? And is marrying Tori a terrible mistake for Spencer if his heart is with someone else?

A heartwarming Christmassy romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.

THE LITTLE VILLAGE BAKERY by Tilly Tennant was published in June 2016.

About Tilly Tennant:

From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage. Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, likeThe Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel,Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

Chapter One

It felt like the world had been muffled. Their breath rose in plumes into the air against a landscape that was white as far as the eye could see. Gentle feathers of snow fell silently, frosting their coats and hair.
Tori gripped Spencer’s hand tighter and he looked down at her with a broad grin as they trudged along the path that led to the Old Bakery, his unruly black hair peeking out from beneath a woolly hat and his startling blue eyes alive with humour. Her tiny frame was bundled up in a huge padded coat, and he could barely see her flamered hair beneath the hat and scarf wrapped around it, but the perfect nose that turned up a little at the end, and the blue eyes set in a face that looked a good deal younger than her twenty-eight years, peeked out at him from the layers, and he couldn’t think of a time when she had looked lovelier.
As he drew in a lungful of frosty air, he was filled with joy to see the paths and fields of Honeybourne that meant they were home – at least, his home; though, in time, he hoped that it might become hers too. He had enjoyed his time in Colorado teaching on the exchange programme at a school in Boulder – aside from being the place where he had found Tori it was a beautiful part of the world – but he had been away for over a year, apart from the one brief visit in the spring for the opening of the Old Bakery, and a year was a long time to be parted from the place he felt rooted to.
‘I bet you didn’t expect to go from snow in Boulder to more snow here,’ he said.
‘You get snow in England too.’
‘Yeah, but usually at Easter, not Christmas,’ Spencer laughed. ‘One of the supreme ironies of all those songs about white Christmases is that in real life you don’t get a flake of the stuff until at least March.’
‘I can deal with snow. It’ll shake the jet lag off a bit.’
‘Maybe we should have had another snooze at home before venturing out to meet everyone,’ Spencer said thoughtfully. ‘I’m sure they would have understood if we’d put off the reunions until we were feeling right.’
‘Best way to deal with jet lag is to battle through it,’ Tori announced stoically. ‘When you’re exhausted, your body won’t care whether it thinks it’s bedtime or not.’
‘If you say so. And is the jet lag being shook off?’
‘Not really,’ Tori grinned. ‘I never said it was a foolproof plan.’
‘Maybe it’s the wrong sort of snow… How’s our English snow holding up against your American stuff?’
‘It’s a bit wet.’
‘Don’t you dare add anything to that about it being like the English people…’
‘I would never say that,’ Tori smiled. ‘I love the English people. One in particular I love more than anyone in the world…’
Spencer’s grin widened, and he gave her hand a squeeze. He’d waited so long to hear those words. ‘I love you too,’ he said.
She turned to him with an impish gleam in her eye. ‘Oh, did you think I meant you? I was talking about your friend, Millie, obviously. After all, anyone who can make chocolate cake like she does has to be worthy of my love.’
Spencer bent to kiss her lightly on the lips. They were cold, but yielded and warmed beneath his own. ‘That’s exactly why I love you, chocolate cake or no. And you’re really getting the hang of the British sarcasm thing.’
‘I’m not sure that’s a compliment.’
‘Of course it is.’
Tori raised her eyebrows. The action was just about visible below the rim of her red and blue reindeer-motif bobble-hat. ‘Is that the British sarcasm thing?’
‘I’m afraid so.’
‘Then you’d better watch it, buster. We may not have sarcasm in Boulder but we do have fists.’
Spencer threw back his head and laughed. The sound echoed down the frozen lane. Then he scooped Tori into his arms and planted another kiss on her lips, this one more passionate than the last. ‘I really do love you, Tori Annabelle Dempsey.’
‘Hey…’ She smiled as she pulled away, catching her breath. ‘If you do that again we might not make it to the bakery.’
‘I’m sure they won’t mind if we’re late.’
‘That’s rude. Didn’t your parents teach you anything?’
‘You can ask them in a couple of days when they arrive back from Spain.’
Tori’s smile faded. ‘You think they’ll like me?’
‘Of course they’ll like you. Quite frankly, I don’t care anyway. I love you, and that’s the only thing that matters.’
‘You didn’t say that when you were stressing about meeting my parents.’
‘That’s different.’
‘It just is. Your parents are… Well, let’s just say they take a lot more impressing than mine will. And fathers are always more protective of daughters, aren’t they?’
‘Are they?’
Spencer nodded as he set her on the path again.
‘I don’t buy it,’ Tori said. ‘Your parents will be just as tough to crack as mine were.’
‘Ah, so you do admit that your parents are tough!’
‘Maybe a little.’
Spencer grinned. But then it disappeared. It was bad enough that his parents were going to meet Tori and her parents for the first time, but his anxieties weren’t helped by the fact that Tori’s parents had met Spencer once before and made it quite clear they hated him. But he tried not to dwell on that. Tori had told him not to worry, and briefly explained that it was all to do with some guy named Hunter that they had earmarked as a potential husband for her. It wasn’t Spencer’s fault that he wasn’t Hunter, she’d told him, but in time they would get over that. Maybe he could salvage things over Christmas, when people were feeling a little more charitable and disposed to love their fellow men?
‘Maybe we should have done all this before we set a date for the wedding,’ he said. ‘What if our parents don’t like each other?’
‘Well, at least they won’t have to see much of each other as yours live in Spain and mine live in Colorado.’
‘That will certainly put paid to a life of weekend bridge tournaments.’
‘Never mind that, what if they hate each other and it ruins Christmas for everyone?’ Tori asked, anxiety creeping into her tone for the first time. ‘We can always “forget” to ask them to the wedding, but they’re already on their way for Christmas so there’s no saving that.’
‘My mum would never speak to me again if we didn’t ask them to the wedding and Dad always takes her side over everything.’
‘Neither would my mom but I’m still prepared to risk it if you are.’
Spencer tried to smile but he couldn’t. He wanted to believe it was just because his face was so cold. ‘I’m sure it will be fine.’
‘No, you’re not. You’re chewing your lip.’
He clamped his mouth shut and pulled her close. ‘This is our first Christmas together – at least officially – and I won’t let anyone spoil that, parents or otherwise.’

Review: Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge

Wednesday 7 September 2016 0 comments
Title: Hide and Seek
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 8th September 2016
Pages: 373
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
After the huge cliffhanger at the end of Little Boy Blue I could not wait for the release of Hide and Seek to continue with the story of DI Helen Grace and to find out just how the hell she was going to get herself out of the mess she had found herself in. That mess being her imprisonment in Holloway prison awaiting trial for crimes that she didn't commit. This book could be read as a standalone but as it's the culmination of everything that Arlidge has been building up to from day one, I would definitely recommend reading the series in order.

I had this book read in less than a day because, cliche I know, I just couldn't put it down. I actually did put it down to eat and try and watch TV but that soon got abandoned as I just kept picking my book back up for 'one more chapter'. If I had to describe Hide and Seek to somebody I would say Bad Girls meets Wentworth (though sadly, not nearly as brutal). Much of the action does take place inside Holloway prison with Helen's friend and colleague Charlie on the outside trying to prove her innocence. It is an incredibly atmospheric read because Arlidge's descriptions are so vivid and his characters are brought to life on the page. I actually felt as if I was in the prison myself at times and it was extremely unnerving.

Helen's fear is palpable and with her being a police officer behind bars, you know that danger is never far away as she faces animosity not just from those she's sharing a prison block with (some of whom she had a hand in putting there) but also from the prison officers themselves. I'm not going to allude to the story too much except to say that this book contains an absolutely brilliant murder mystery alongside the crusade of Charlie on the outside attempting to help her friend. It's an unpredictable read in the sense that I never knew what was coming, and had no idea just what tricks and twists Arlidge had up his sleeve. Hide and Seek is without a doubt one of the best books in this series, perhaps even the best.

The whole Helen Grace series would work great as a television series but Hide and Seek is the book I want to see on the small screen the most. It would make for absolutely gripping viewing and even as I read I knew exactly who I would cast for some of the roles, especially the role of one particular villain but for me to expand on that would completely give the game away. Sometimes when I read a book I zero in on one person as the bad guy and become almost fixated on them, well, this time around Arlidge's delivered one hell of a brilliant reveal that I didn't see coming. Perhaps some might, but I didn't and that's why I enjoyed the book so much.

It's obvious that this is the book that Arlidge has been building up to and I am annoyed that I have finished it because I am already so impatient for more. It's refreshing to read a series that doesn't just stick with the same formula book after book. It seems like only yesterday that Eeny Meeny was released and yet here we are at book six. I hope that there is plenty more to come because this really is a brilliant series but, Arlidge is such a phenomenal storyteller that I wouldn't hesitate to read anything that he writes and so I can't wait to see what he brings us next (which, according to Amazon is another Helen Grace novel in 2017). If you are yet to discover this series then I hate you because you are in for a real treat and if you are reading this book having already read Little Boy Blue then you will not be disappointed. An absolutely brilliant read that I cannot recommend enough.

Review: Burning Angels by Bear Grylls

Monday 5 September 2016 0 comments
Title: Burning Angels
Author: Bear Grylls
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 2nd June 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A prehistoric corpse entombed within an Arctic glacier, crying tears of blood.

A jungle island overrun by rabid primates - escapees from a research laboratory's Hot Zone.

A massive seaplane hidden beneath a mountain, packed with a Nazi cargo of mind-blowing evil.

A penniless orphan kidnapped from an African slum, holding the key to the world's survival.

Four terrifying journeys. One impossible path. Only one man to attempt it.

Will Jaeger. The Hunter.

Review: Always with Love by Giovanna Fletcher

Friday 2 September 2016 1 comments
Title: Always with Love
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 2nd June 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sophie's got used to being the girlfriend of Billy Buskin, the biggest movie star in the world. Sort of.

But when she and Billy take a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles, she quickly discovers she's totally unprepared for the chaos of Hollywood, the paparazzi and Billy's controlling mother.

And when Billy extends his stay in LA, leaving Sophie to fly home to Rosefont Hill alone, it seems there's more than just miles between them.

Now Sophie must decide if they can overcome their differences for good. Because not every love story lasts the distance...

Review: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Wednesday 31 August 2016 0 comments
Title: A Boy Made of Blocks
Author: Keith Stuart
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 1st September 2016
Pages: 400
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.

Review: Broken Heart by Tim Weaver

Friday 26 August 2016 1 comments
Title: Broken Heart
Author: Tim Weaver
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 28th July 2016
Pages: 528
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A woman drives to a secluded beauty spot on the Somerset coast.
CCTV watches her enter but doesn't see her leaving.
In fact, Lynda Korin is never seen again.

How can someone just disappear?

Her sister calls missing persons investigator David Raker.
For him, the mystery of where she went is only the start. The real question is why a woman with no reason to run would choose to leave her entire life behind?

Was it her decision? Or did someone make it for her?

Raker is an expert at following the echoes of decades-old lies. But only Lynda Korin knows the most shocking secret of all - and she's missing, presumed dead...

Review: The Rule of Fear by Luke Delaney

Wednesday 24 August 2016 1 comments
Title: The Rule of Fear
Author: Luke Delaney
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 30th June 2016
Pages: 432
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sergeant Jack King is back on active duty after months off following a violent encounter. On the Met’s promotional fast-track scheme, King is headed straight for the top, but policing the streets is where his heart truly lies.

Tasked with cleaning up the notorious Grove Wood estate, King is determined to rise to the challenge. But it’s not just drug dealers and petty thugs his team have to worry about. Someone on the estate is preying on children, and they need to find the culprit, fast.

Soon King finds himself over his head: the local residents won’t play ball, his superiors want results yesterday, and he’s refusing to admit that he’s suffering from PTSD. As the pressures combine, the line between right and wrong starts to blur and King finds himself in a downward spiral. Only he can save himself – but is it already too late?

Review: Blood Sister by Dreda Say Mitchell

Monday 22 August 2016 1 comments
Title: Blood Sister
Author: Dreda Say Mitchell
Publisher: Hodder
Publication Date: 11th August 2016
Pages: 480
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
There are two ways out of Essex Lane Estate, better known as The Devil. You make good, or you turn bad.

Jen Miller is determined not to make the same mistakes her mother did. She's waiting to find herself a good job and a decent man.

Her younger sister Tiff is running errands for a gangster and looking for any opportunity for fun and profit. But she might just be in over her head...

The choices you make and the plans you have don't always turn out like you expect. Especially if you live on The Devil's Estate. When their paths cross with the unstoppable Dee - a woman with her own agenda - Jen and Tiff will learn that lesson the hard way.

At least they can rely on each other.

Can't they?

Bad Blood Blog Tour: Guest Post from Julie Shaw

Tuesday 19 July 2016 0 comments
Today I am very excited to be sharing a guest post from Julie Shaw as part of her first ever blog tour for her latest book, Bad Blood! I loved reading the post as I found it very interesting and so hopefully you will too! I can confirm that Bad Blood is an excellent read and my review for it will be following very soon. Until then, please enjoy the post and check out the book if you haven't already.

I often get asked if I base my characters on real people I know and usually, the answer is yes, they are almost always based on someone I know or knew or have heard about. In my latest book Bad Blood however I did not personally know Lizzie, Christine and Nicky; it is their complex relationship which compelled me to write about them.

Lizzie is a complicated character. As a struggling single mother of two children, her life was all about finding a man to make her life easier. Never a father figure for her children – that didn’t occur to her, but more someone who would make her life look ‘normal’ in other people’s eyes. In her mind, if she had a man, any man, she would be seen as respectable. She comes off as gullible, as the man she has set her sights on is a drug dealer and a womaniser, but this suits Lizzie down to the ground. As long as he has money to give her now and again, and comes round now and again, that’s fine by her, and she chooses to ignore any of the downsides of their relationship.

Christine and Nicky have suffered all of their lives due to their mother’s choices and have always had to take a back seat. Unlike other mums that they knew, who were concerned about making packed lunches for school and ensuring they had clean uniforms, their mother was more bothered about how she looked herself. They learned at an early age to accept things as they were and became accustomed to watching Lizzie buy all the best make up and the latest fashion for herself, so she looked young for whatever boyfriend was on the scene.

Nicky left the home as soon as he was able, but he and Christine had a bond that was born of watching out for each other from being very young. This bond is what would eventually be Nicky’s undoing and present Christine with an opportunity to change her life. It also gave Christine the tools to be able to love her own baby, Joey, like she did. The love was always there, despite the ability to properly parent being lacking. She didn’t have a role model to show her how to be a mum – only a brother to make her understand the strength of blood ties.

Growing up on some poverty stricken estates in Bradford, I saw relationships like this all around me. I and my siblings even experienced something similar in that our parents both had to work and as they ran pubs and clubs it meant we were left to our own devices a lot. We learned very quickly that we had to organise ourselves into some kind of pecking order, and take on certain roles depending on our age and skills. I was the oldest, so my jobs were looking out for the younger ones – which often involved fighting on the streets to stick up for them, washing and ironing our clothes, and I could cook a family meal by the time I was ten years old. My little sister had to learn how to keep the house clean and make up beds, and my brother had to see to our dogs and garden.

Our friends envied us. We were the kids who could stay out to play later than anyone else, and were allowed into town on the bus by ourselves to buy meat and vegetables from the market. They had no clue that we envied them. Especially when we heard their dads shouting them in on school nights for supper and to be put to bed. I would often sit with my brother and sister and sing them a song before sleep, just so they felt a bit more like their friends must feel.

We loved our mum and dad and still do, and we know they worked to provide for us, and the pub life was the only life they knew, and actually it gave us skills and a resilience that has stayed with us for life and has been reflected in the way we have brought our own children up. To be tough, tolerant and to be there to help anyone less fortunate.

You’ll see all of these values in any of my books. My characters have all had it tough in one way or another, but they also have that extra something. That ability to accept their past and learn from it. Some of them carry it with them, just as in real life, while others turn their back on it and change things.

Review: Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

Friday 1 July 2016 1 comments
Title: Tastes Like Fear
Author: Sarah Hilary
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 7th April 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
You'll never be out of Harm's way

The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.

A runaway who doesn't want to be found, she only wants to go home.

To the one man who understands her.

Gives her shelter.

Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.

He's the head of her new family.

He's Harm.

D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl's disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she's about to face.

Because when Harm's family is threatened, everything tastes like fear...

Review: The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon

Tuesday 28 June 2016 0 comments
Title: The One We Fell in Love With
Author: Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 19th May 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…

Hall of Fame Review: Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste

Monday 27 June 2016 0 comments
Title: Then She Was Gone
Author: Luca Veste
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 28th July 2016
Pages: 448
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out for a walk and she never made it home. Johnson claims he was assaulted and the girl was snatched. The police see a different crime, with Johnson their only suspect.

A year later, Sam Bryne is on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs in Westminster. He's tipped for the very top ... until he vanishes.

Detectives Murphy and Rossi are tasked with discovering what has happened to the popular politician - and in doing so, they unearth a trail that stretches into the past, and crimes that someone is hell-bent on avenging.

Guest Post: Last Kiss Blog Tour - Laurelin Paige on her Writing Process

Sunday 26 June 2016 0 comments
Today I am part of the blog tour for Laurelin Paige's Last Kiss where Laurelin tells us about her writing and plotting process for this series. Make sure to check the poster at the end and follow along with the other stops on the tour.


Emily Wayborn has made a decision.

She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn t find them.

Time is running out and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart...or her life."

Guest Post: Writing Commandments I Live By by Gayle Curtis

Friday 24 June 2016 0 comments
Cecelia and Sebastian have a connection like no other - more than just brother and sister, they'll go to any lengths to protect each other. Growing up in a bleak old farmhouse, their mother gone and their father violent and abusive, the twins have only each other to keep them alive.

But when the secrets of their mother's disappearance start to emerge, and truth and lies are thrown into question, events take a terrifying turn . . .

As Cecelia tries to break away from the ties that bind her to her brother, Sebastian is determined that the twins should be together - whatever the costs.

Review: Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Wednesday 22 June 2016 1 comments
Title: Billy and Me
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 23rd May 2013
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781405909952
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sophie May has a secret.

One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy - an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

Hall of Fame Review: My Map of You by Isabelle Broom

Monday 20 June 2016 0 comments
Title: My Map of You
Author: Isabelle Broom
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 21st April 2016
Pages: 420
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother's death, she's become expert at keeping people at a distance - including her boyfriend, Rupert.

But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.

But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?

Hall of Fame Review: Lovers and Liars by Nigel May

Thursday 16 June 2016 0 comments
Title: Lovers and Liars
Author: Nigel May
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 378
Pages: 16th June 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Welcome to the Velvet Hotel Barbados where money and sex go hand in hand with murder ....

When millionaire playboy Sheridan Rivers is found dead at his luxurious hotel on the paradise island of Barbados, there are several suspects in the frame…

Sutton: Sheridan’s long-suffering wife was permanently pushed aside for his younger lovers. Was it time for her to make a stand?

Kassidy: Sheridan’s assistant longs to be wealthy in her own right. Employed for her sexual and organisational skills, could she have had her eyes on a bigger prize?

Nikki: Sheridan’s oldest daughter has done something really bad that her dad has discovered. What price will she pay to keep his silence?

Heather: The apple of her father, Sheridan’s, eye. But she blames him for a terrible tragedy that turned her world upside down. Is the time ripe for revenge?

Four women, each with a cross to bear – all waiting for the perfect moment to get even...

Review: Missing by Ed James

Tuesday 14 June 2016 1 comments
Title: Missing
Author: Ed James
Publication Date: 30th May 2016
Pages: 344
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Meet PC Craig Hunter of Edinburgh's Local Policing Unit. Ex-Army. Ex-CID. Back in uniform.

A straightforward domestic call out twists out of control when 16-year-old schoolgirl Stephanie Ferguson alleges her stepfather, Doug Ferguson, has been abusing her. Hunter is soon working with DS Chantal Jain of Police Scotland’s Sexual Offences Unit to kick off the prosecution. But before a full statement can be taken, Stephanie disappears from hospital.

Now, Hunter must hunt the girl down before anyone else can. Where has Stephanie gone? Did she run? Or did someone take her? Will he get to the truth before it gets beaten into lies? Or before Stephanie is silenced for good…? And why does this case keep throwing up old enemies from Hunter’s past?

MISSING is a fast-paced police procedural, full of action and suspense that will grip you until its breathless conclusion.

Review: Death Do Us Part by Steven Dunne

Monday 13 June 2016 0 comments
Title: Death Do Us Part
Author: Steven Dunne
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 5th May 2016
Pages: 496
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Even death cannot part these couples . . .

DI Damen Brook is on a rare period of leave and determined to make the most of it by re-connecting with his daughter Terri. But with her heavy drinking proving a challenge, Brook takes the opportunity to visit a local murder scene when his help is requested.

An elderly couple have each been executed with a single shot to the heart and the method echoes that of a middle-aged gay couple killed the previous month.

With the same killer suspected and the officer currently in charge nearing retirement, Brook knows that he has little choice but to cut short his leave when forced by his superiors to take the lead on the case.

Brook believes that he can catch this ruthless killer, but already distracted by Terri's problems, is he about to make a fatal mistake and lead the killer right to his own door?

Review: Summer at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley

Sunday 12 June 2016 0 comments
Title: Summer at the Cornish Cafe
Author: Phillipa Ashley
Publisher: Maze
Publication Date: 5th May 2016
Pages: 298
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Demi doesn’t expect her summer in Cornwall to hold anything out of the ordinary. As a waitress, working all hours to make ends meet, washing dishes and serving ice creams seems to be as exciting as the holiday season is about to get.

That’s until she meets Cal Penwith. An outsider, like herself, Cal is persuaded to let Demi help him renovate his holiday resort, Kilhallon Park. Set above an idyllic Cornish cove, the once popular destination for tourists has now gone to rack and ruin. During the course of the Cornish summer, Demi makes new friends – and foes – as she helps the dashing and often infuriating Cal in his quest. Working side by side, the pair grow close, but Cal has complications in his past which make Demi wonder if he could ever truly be interested in her.

Demi realises that she has finally found a place she can call home. But as the summer draws to a close, and Demi’s own reputation as an up and coming café owner starts to spread, she is faced with a tough decision . . .

Review: Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

Saturday 11 June 2016 0 comments
Title: Summer at Rose Island
Author: Holly Martin
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th May 2016
Pages: 336
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

Review: In Place of Death by Craig Robertson

Monday 6 June 2016 0 comments
Title: In Place of Death
Author: Craig Robertson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 10th September 2015
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A young man enters the culverted remains of an ancient Glasgow stream, looking for thrills. Deep below the city, it is decaying and claustrophobic and gets more so with every step. As the ceiling lowers to no more than a couple of feet above the ground, the man finds his path blocked by another person. Someone with his throat cut.

As DS Rachel Narey leads the official investigation, photographer Tony Winter follows a lead of his own, through the shadowy world of urbexers, people who pursue a dangerous and illegal hobby, a world that Winter knows more about than he lets on. And it soon becomes clear that the murderer has killed before, and has no qualms about doing so again.

Review: The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

Friday 3 June 2016 1 comments
Title: The Night Stalker
Author: Robert Bryndza
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 2nd June 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

Extract: The Secret of Orchard Cottage by Alex Brown

Thursday 2 June 2016 0 comments
Today I am kicking off the blog tour for Alex Brown's The Secret of Orchard Cottage. My review is sadly delayed because of ongoing personal problems but anyone who knows me will know just how much I love Alex and I absolutely adore her books and I can hand on heart recommend this book and can't wait to share my review very soon. When going through difficult times books have always been a comfort blanket to me and this one was perfect to escape into for a few hours and take my mind off things. Until then enjoy the extract and keep up with the tour by checking the banner below!

April Wilson is wondering what to do next – her life has been turned upside down after the loss of her husband so she’s hoping to piece herself together again with a visit to her elderly great aunt, Edith. Arriving in the rural idyll of Tindledale, she’s dismayed to find Edith’s cottage and the orchards surrounding it in a sorry state of disrepair. Edith seems to have lost interest completely, instead she’s become desperate to find out what happened to her sister, Winnie, who disappeared during WWII.

April gets to work immediately, discovering that the orchard still delivers a bumper crop each year, and with the help of some of the villagers – including Matt, the enigmatic Farrier – begins to unravel the mystery of the missing Winnie. Slowly,

April can feel things coming to life again – but can Orchard Cottage work its magic on her too?

Hall of Fame Review: Play Dead by Angela Marsons

Friday 20 May 2016 2 comments
Title: Play Dead
Author: Angela Marsons
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th May 2016
Pages: 381
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess. 

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

Review: Behind Dead Eyes by Howard Linskey

Wednesday 18 May 2016 0 comments
Title: Behind Dead Eyes
Author: Howard Linskey
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 19th May 2016
Pages: 464
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A corpse is found: its identity extinguished in the most shocking manner imaginable. 

Detective Ian Bradshaw can't catch the killer if no one can ID the victim. Out there, somewhere, a missing young woman may hold the answers.


Journalist Helen Norton is about to uncover a massive criminal conspiracy. She just needs the final piece of the puzzle. Soon, she will learn the price of the truth.


True-crime writer Tom Carney receives letters from a convicted murderer who insists he is innocent. His argument is persuasive - but psychopaths are often said to be charming...


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