Write-up by Lou of Interview of How To Catch A Killer @DrCJMerritt @KatRamsland #BloodyScotland @Brownlee_Donald

How To Catch A Killer
With
Dr. Chris Merritt and Dr. Katherine Ramsland

Bloody Scotland Online Event

This was a rather fasinating and yet chilling interview between Dr. Chris Merritt and
Dr. Katherine Ramsland about forensics and the psychology of those who kill or to be more precise – psychopaths.

Dr. Chris Merritt started proceedings with an introduction:

Dr. Chris Merritt
Author of the Boateng and Jones series and the Lockhart and Green series; Dr. Chris Merritt is also Clinical Psychologist. He has produced a lot of research papers on mental health, which he has researched and also studies the impact technology has on our lives.

He has practiced clinical psychology in the UK National Health Service. Now, he consults on psychology for businesses and write.

Dr Katherine Ramsland

Dr Katherine Ramslet teaches forensics psychology and has appeared in 200 documentaries, consulted on The Alienist (now on Netflix). She has an article about her in Psychology Today. She has spent 25 years, specialising in serial killers.
She is a Professor at  DeSales University  specifically to teach forensic psychology, focusing on her field of expertise—extreme offenders.

She has worked on a book called How To Catch A Killer about Dennis Radar, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.

A Notorious Killer

She has known Dennis Radar for 10 years and seemed fascinated by him and in writing about him, although 85% is his work, with some suggestions etc being made. She shown an interesting slide show, which can be seen when the recording is shown of the event.

Finally, caught in 2004, he didn’t come across as a totally stereotypical guy who would be a serial killer. He was a president of a church group and a public figure.
He, however started with a family of 4, so was a mass murderer before he became a serial killer, with more victims outwith the family.
His thing was binding, torturing and killing people. He killed 6 more people. You’ll get a bit more about it in Mindhunter.
What is described is chilling, but there certainly seems a clever way of catching him.  
Katherine talked about how he was manipulative and how she seemed to pay attention to what he said and how he said it. She said that they played chess and she was watching how he played. She talked about the layers of him; which was fascinating to hear about.

She talked of compartmentalising or cubing, which describes the behaviour and she learnt how to talk to him and she reckons it all allowed her to do an indepth study of him.

The Effect

Dr. Chris Merritt asked about the psychological effect that her work could have on her.

Dr Katherine Ramsland talked about how she approaches the case with a clinical perspective and says it hasn’t really effected her. She did however, talk a bit to some of her friends about a few of the more disturbing things. She said she had studied so much and reckoned her approach made the difference in coping.

How she came to start working on this

She was curious as a child, when in Michegan and became fascinated by the process. She worked with John Hunter and started to write for the Crime Library and wasn’t intending on becoming an expert on serial killers. She teaches forensics at universities. She talked about how there is so much diversity in serial killers in certain traits and backgrounds.
She is interested in many unique cases these days and less so, than those that hit the main news headlines.

The History of Serial Killing

Interestingly, she talked about how serial killers can be traced way back in history.
The earliest was 2nd BC in China and says it is of interest to psychologists in what leads them to study that. She also wrote about serial killers that go back to Ancient Rome.

She also talked of many different types of seriel killers and of all the different manifestations of murder.

Debunking Myths

Dr. Chris Merritt talked about there being myths around serial killers and one being single white men.

She says that women are also seriel killers and are mostly quiet around it with poisonings, but not always. She says that she is past the whole women are all nurturers and can’t possibly do this. She talked of some women being in teams as they go about their killing. They talked of some in England and the manipulation that presents itself in their behaviours.

They both talked about the psychology of team killers and used the Moors Murderers as a prime example and how she sees how much females in a male/female team can be involved.

Traits

All serial killers are not psychopaths, it would seem. It is fascinating to hear that there is so much work that is going into studying the traits really early on and kids who are maybe at risk of becoming a psychopath. Sometimes, however there isn’t a childhood history. She studies the case histories and looks into what arouses a person and their perspective on the world.

Most Like To Interview

Dr. Katherine Ramsland would most want to interview Jack the Ripper.

Dr. Chris Merritt’s and Dr. Katherine Ramsland’s books are available to buy.

Pics of their latest….

 

#BookReview by Lou of – On Borrowed Time (The Rutland Crime Series) by Adam Croft – The Second in the Rutland Series @adamcroft #CrimeFiction

On Borrowed Time
The Rutland Crime Series
By Adam Croft
Rated: 5 stars *****

On Borrowed Time is the second book of the Rutland series by Adam Croft that enraptures and brings crime and health together exceedingly well. It is overall, an exceedingly good read with a new crime being committed and a seemlessly continuation of the thread of personal lives of the main characters.
Thanks to Joanne Croft (and Adam Croft) for inviting me to review for them and for sending me an e-copy of the book.
Read further for the blurb and full review.

On Borrowed Time.jpg

Blurb

Each morning, the first train of the day leaves Oakham station and thunders through a tunnel under the village of Manton. But today the driver sees something that changes his life: A dead body hangs in the tunnel’s exit.

DI Caroline Hills knows this isn’t a suicide. It’s murder. And when a second apparent suicide appears in Rutland, Caroline uncovers a shocking link: the victims knew each other.

As Rutland Police fight to catch the killer, a group of friends is left with an even more shocking realisation. One of them is the murderer. And one of them will be the next to die.

Review

Gary Stoddart likes his early shift and how the land and skyscapes are over the East Midlands countryside on any ordinary morning. This wasn’t to be an average morning though as on his journey, there is a man found hanging at a train tunnel that goes under Manton. The mystery then begins to unfold as to who he is and whether it was suicide or something more grizzly, like murder!

Caroline is now in her treatment stage for cancer. There’s a realism about it and is well-written in a matter-of-fact way during the “work chat” with the usually formidable Arnold, who reacts in a natural way in wanting to know things, but trying not to be totally insensitive, but also asking only half questions outright.
The contrast between the working and private life and living in a small area, is nicely done. It’s a new case, but her private/personal life continues naturally from the first book with her illness –  cancer  encroaching on her further and treatment beginning. It’s emotional, but also shows strength of character, which really suits this book.

Caroline and Dexter end up on the new case together. There’s the murder to solve, but also a joviality to the atmosphere between the two colleagues, which makes this very pleasant and brings some humour, but with only a partial number plate and a poor CCTV picture, they certainly have their work cut-out to catch the killer. There is also the press who get all over the story, which becomes pretty heated.

The book then gently twists and turns, with some startling moments, before wrapping up and leaving a question unanswered at the end and more that can explored and may well leave many readers (including myself), wanting more.
The good news is that book 3 is due to be published in 2021.

 

 

My Darling by Amanda Robson – An Enigmatic #PsychologicalThriller @AmandaRAuthor @SabahKhan @PhoebeMorgan @AvonBooks #CrimeFiction

My Darling
By Amanda Robson
Rated: 5 stars *****

The extremities of human behaviour, including a murder is shown in this psychological thriller that will play with you in its enigmatic, twisty way, and keep you guessing right to the end.
I thank Pheobe Morgan and Sabah Khan and everyone at Avon Books for accepting my request to review.

My Darling

Blurb

Thrilling, unputdownable – I was obsessed’ BA ParisThe brand-new domestic thriller from the #1 bestselling author of Obsession

A new couple moves in next door.
And nothing will ever be the same again…

I watched you move in and thought we might be friends.

I saw you watching from the window – and knew I’d have to keep you away from my husband.

I started to trust you. Confide in you.

I started to mistrust you. Suspect you.

I was confused when I blacked out after an evening at your place. Was I really that drunk?

I came up with a plan. A plan to make you both pay . . .

Sexy and sinister – this book will keep you up all night . . .

Review

Taking centre stage with chapters each to themselves are Emma, Jade and Alistair. Each is just a couple pages or so long. It does however, all marry-up together well.

The word “Clusterfuck” that crops up quite a bit in the book is worth a mention as it has an appealing quality. It does have relevance to the book in terms of a character. The dictionary definition is:  a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation : a muddled mess.

Emma is a dentist who is together with Alistair who is a forensic scientist. Jade and Tomas move into a Victorian detached house – Fairlawns near the river in Henley-on-Thames, with what sounds like, the best of everything and seems materialistic and yet fitting for the house, that, from the minute the removal van pulls up and is starting to be emptied, the place will look sublime or a bit like a magazine set-up house. The real beginnings of an atmostphere you wouldn’t expect to find, starts at a dinner party. Looks can be deceptive though as there’s a visit to a psychiatrist’s office and either founded or unfounded insecurities start to emerge.

Heather Brown is Alistair’s ex-wife turns up with an urgency, and things take a more sinister twist. As events occur, the curiosity about just which of the characters are telling the truth about just about everything as it becomes a tale of smoke and mirrors. Lives are twisted. My Darling becomes to have so many connotations within those two words, that aren’t as innocent as they may first appear within memories and the present story, the behaviours presented and a murder.

This is a book that gripped and twisted almost as much as a Rubix Cube and I’m sure will keep many readers guessing to its shock ending.

 

By Louise – Happy Publication Day to James Oswald for Bury Them Deep @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks @headlinepg #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Bookreview

Bury Them Deep
By James Oswald
Rated: 5 Stars *****

It is now publication day for Bury Them Deep. It was some time ago, since I reviewed, so I thought I would share it again, now people can actually buy it. I must say that James Oswald has outdone himself with Bury Them Deep. Absolute congratulations to him for reaching his 10th Inspector McLean novel. There is a lot of high quality writing here. There is plenty to hook people into this book and once hooked, that’s it, so leave plenty of time to read because there is so much readers will want to try to discover.

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJAMES OSWALD is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two
books, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. BURY THEM DEEP is the tenth book in the Inspector Mclean Series.
James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

Blurb

The tenth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.

When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her
whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland
to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.
Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption
operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is
Anya Reynolds’ disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?
McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have
mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling
that there is a far greater evil at work here…
The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

Jamees Oswald Bury Them Deep Cover

Review

Bury Them Deep gets off to an excellent start that instantly adds intrigue as to who hates herself and why?

Enter readers, into the streets of Edinburgh and to Operation Caterwaul, something that those on the force with clearance are working on, but there’s an issue. Anya Renfrew, who was working on the operation has mysteriously not turned up for work and so little actually seems to be known about her, as her life is pieced together. It leaves MacLean trying to pour over notes and question suspects and trying to find out as much information as possible, no matter how uncomfortable it becomes, from the doctor treating Norman Bale and even wondering what people on the force know. There is also the question of where she actually spent most of her time residing and what, if anything, a gardener knew.

I think it is ingenious that the more that is attempted to be found out about Anya, the less information there seems to be and the more questions there are. She is quite the enigma! This keeps me utterly intrigued to know who this woman is, what’s happened to her and why has she gone missing with no real trace. It keeps me turning the pages, desperately and hungrily wanting to know more as I find myself buried deep within the 450 pages, totally engrossed and involved with a need to discover what exactly is going to happen next and more about Anya.

There is also money laundering and subsequent fact-finding accountancy raids in Ayr and Aberdeen, jittery Americans, public service cuts and McLean wasn’t on the top clearance list for the operation.

I like the characterisation and the different voices and the build up of suspicion amongst everyone.

Forensics are soon on the case as there are human remains found in the investigative work, but from more than one person and it is questionable whether any belong to Anya Renfrew or not.

The atmosphere of the sometimes slight eeriness and uneasiness is a terrific combination with the intrigue and tension that builds as the story takes some twists and turns that are deftly written. From beginning to end, this book is gripping.

This is James Oswald’s 10th Inspector McLean novel and here’s to another 10.

*With thanks to James Oswald for a thoughtful signed copy of the book.

*My review is unbiased.

By Louise – Happy Publication Day to Richard Osman #BookReview of the tremendously written – The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman @richardosman @VikingBooksUK @katyloftus @EileeHud #CrimeFiction #MustRead

The Thursday Murder Club
By Richard Osman
Rated: 5 stars *****

Just to add to his talents – impressively, Richard Osman, who most notably presents Pointless and House of Games with aplomb, can also write a book very well.
The Thursday Murder Club is a Must Read!

Many, many, many thanks for the advanced copy and for allowing me to review.

I have a burb and my review below. I loved the book. It is a Must Read.
Please note that my review is unbiased.

The Thursday Murder Club

Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Review

The Thursday Murder Club is a book that hasn’t just reached expectations, it exceeded them!
Richard Osman is such a talented man and wow, can he write! I must say, after seeing him talk about his book and read an excerpt at Bloody Scotland Crime Festival in Stirling, way back in September 2019, I had high hopes. I’m so impressed that I do think it does have all the ingredients to make a terrific film and indeed Steven Speilberg has the rights to this.
The book is very hard to put down, once started.
With instantly likeable characters, who still have quite a bit of life and humour about them, it gets off to a fantastic start. They are quite a crew of people who wouldn’t normally have met, but are thrown together in their new stage of life in the retirement village, which I must say, sounds amazing, surrounded by countryside, with plenty to do. This is much more than a humour type of book, it is an excellent mystery that layers up and will take readers in all sorts of directions, sort of like an enigma in this otherwise genteel setting. I couldn’t guess who the culprit was. The book just absorbs you into its setting and characters incredibly well and everything is certainly flung at them. It takes a somewhat realistic view in the fact that the characters have to be aware of the present-day in its behaviour and technologies.

I was impressed then and the book has lived up to expectations; so I am still impressed now, having read the book in its entirety. It’s up there with some of the best in cosy crime, with its supposedly, unassuming characters in a retirement home, who are sharper and more “modern” in their thinking, than you would think, but they don’t appear to be as they are rather overlooked by many people, which proves useful as they get to do anything they want with little consequence. With solving crimes on their minds, they form The Thursday Murder Club and no more so when they find ways of getting involved in one that happened on their doorstep. 

There is some rather dark humour from the residents. That catches the attention straight off. Readers, are led, like you are going on a tour with her and you’re the person who is there to “Meet New People and Try New Things”, as the first part is called. It’s a clever way of introducing characters and some background and layout of the retirement community. Elizabeth is first, then Bernard, then Mary, Ron and Ibrahim. They like to talk about murders in sometimes, perhaps in  a way that you may not want to mess with them. Then there is a live murder, right on their doorsteps, that grabs the residents attention as they get themselves involved in solving the case in imaginative ways.
Throughout the book are excerpts of a diary that Joyce keeps, full of bits about murder and poignant, philisophical thoughts.

There is enough intrigue set up, surrounding Tony Curren and Ian Ventham and the companies.

The book is wonderfully nuanced with how the characters behave. I would go as far as saying Richard Osman has observed his chosen age group for his characters very well. The tone, things they say and how it is said, is very much set in reality. There’s quite a bit of positivity written about his older characters, to show that at least some, are still capable of doing things, which also amusing.

I thought it was a lovely thing to have a character (Ibrahim Arif) support Westham United. I also think it is lovely he has included a character (Ron Ritchie) who has read all of Mark Billingham’s books, since that is who he did a talk with and sounded like they know each other well. As well as the characters and plot being quite heart-warming, it is kind moments like these that also add to the heart-warming moments. 

The way the pensioners are with the Detective Inspector – Chris, is priceless and full of humour. I do sort of feel a bit sorry for the D.I. He certainly wouldn’t have expected the pensioners to be quite so excitable; but the way Richard Osman has written these scenes has timing down to a “T”.

“Everyone Has A Story to Tell” and they certainly do in the second part as more comes tumbling out.
Kindness is portrayed again, this time in the form of  strangers helping Joyce after a fall. There are also some unexpected twists and turns, which cause excitement and more debate amongst the residents. Things hot up as the Thursday Murder Club get ever closer to the truth.

The book can be bought from today on Amazon, Independent bookshops and Waterstones. I highly recommend this “Must Read” book.

The second book is being drafted out. I for one, cannot wait until it is published next autumn.

#BookReview of The Guest List by Lucy Foley – Keeps you guessing right to the end @LucyFoleyTweets @HarperCollinsUK #CrimeFiction

The Guest List
By Lucy Foley
Rated: 5 Stars *****

The brand-new thriller from the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of The
Hunting Party, one of the fastest selling & highly acclaimed debut thrillers of 2019

I am so pleased and excited to be part of this wonderful blog tour. What a terrific book. Just Wow!!! I loved it and could not put it down. Thanks so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to the blog tour and thank you and the publisher – Harper Collins for a print copy of The Guest List by critically acclaimed author Lucy Foley for me to review. My friends joke that I do not sleep, well I certainly slept less than normal reading this book, it is that good! There are twists and turns and an all-consuming atmosphere and characters you want to read about. Get ready for a far from normal wedding night, where not everyone will survive. I highly recommend it. Read on for the blurb and my full review.

About the Author

Guest List Lucy Foley Author PicLucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time.
The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages.
Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

Blurb

Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together.
It should be the perfect day.
Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder.
A groom with a secret.
A bridesmaid with a grudge.
A plus one with motive.
A best man with a past.
It could be any, it could be all . . . But one guest won’t make it out
alive.

The Guest List Cover

Review

The book starts on the wedding night. The atmosphere is created instantly. I have not read any of Lucy Foley’s previous books, although watched with much interest as many people had great things to say about her writing. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to review her latest book – The Guest List. Just a few words in and there is already an eerieness that you would not expect on a wedding night.

The book skillfully introduces each of the main players of this wedding in individual chapters and goes through them one by one and back to them, as well as their being specifically wedding day chapters. There is Aoife the Wedding Planner, Jules the Bride, Johnno the Best Man and Olivia the Bridesmaid and Hannah the Plus One.

It should be the happiest night – the wedding night. You would maybe expect dancing, jovial conversation, love…. This however, is no ordinary night on this remote island…

Aoife and her other half – Freddie are interesting characters. In Aiofe, there is an insight to being a wedding planner and some of it is profoundly thought-provoking. She throws up questions about how much do couples really know each other and how much is hidden, even from a loved one. The 15th century Folly they have restored sounds beautiful. The descriptions make it sound elegant and captures a warm feeling around its grandeur and beauty, except it is on an island with an unsavoury past, which is learnt through guests, Charlie (who is married to the plus one – Hannah) and Mattie.

There’s a strange friendship between the groom – Will and best man – Johnno and I am even more intrigued as to why the bride things something may not be quite right.

Olivia, the bridesmaid has a difficult time and has reasons to tell lies and also holds a grudge.

With Champagne flowing and a bit of weed, the emotions rise and the secrets start to come out. There is also an intriguing warning note about the groom, just to heighten the curiosity and the need to keep reading onwards.

Lucy Foley has a skill to know just when to add to the intrigue, to add another layer and to add to that need to read some more. She has all the skill base of Agatha Christie. That ability to lure you into a web of red-herrings and secrets and lies and yet, even though on a remote island a murder has been committed, which of course is terrible, the book makes you feel all cosy and want to curl up with it whatever location you’re in.

The nuances in her characters expressions are so well-observed. The bride at one point looks how you would perhaps expect her to look, but a slight difference in the mouth tells a different story, of something hiding underneath. A word or two says it all or makes you question and wonder will come next. 

The tension levels are very good as some huge secrets start to be discovered. On one hand I don’t want the book to end, on the other, I really want to see how it does all end.

The characters are ones to follow and I loved getting to know more about them as the story goes on.

The ending is terrifically done. This book does not disappoint.

The book is as good as what is known as the Golden-Age in crime and is brought right up-to-date. It is an immersive and extremely well-crafted crime book. Each part wants you to turn the page.

This is an un-putdownable book. Beauty sleep? What is that again? Forget sleep and read instead. I was so absorbed that I had forgotten all about the time that had raced ahead without me even noticing. I highly recommend this book and I would read more by Lucy Foley. She’s one to watch and worth having in your crime collection.