#BookRevew by Lou – Dead Secret by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter @BOTBSPublicity #CrimeFiction #DeadSecret #DCMaggieJamiesonNovel

There are psychopaths within Dead Secret, the latest in this series by Noelle Holten. Such a case to solve and so many secrets to uncover along the way, that keeps you guessing. Readers are in for a treat, all be it, a dark twisted one… Today I have the priviledge of kicking off the blog tour, thanks to BOTBSPublicity and One More Chapter for inviting me and for gifting me a book.
Find out more in the blurb and review…

Dead Secret Banner


Dead Secret coverPsychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…

DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…


This is a twisty and authentic book, as are all the books in this series. Dead Secret is compelling to say the least and psychopath’s are indeed on the loose.

DCI Hastings and his family are missing and a young man has been murdered, meaning DCI Maggie Jamieson has a lot of ground to cover to work out what is going on, not to mention the domestic violence survivor, who Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood deals with at her refuge, so means their paths cross. It turns out it isn’t easy for the domestic violence survivor to speak up about what happened to her, which adds into the layers of believability, necessary for such a storyline.
With all this going on, their lives are busy enough, but then there’s also the press to deal with. DCI Maggie spars quite a bit with the journalists, especially Julia.

In the police station itself, it is interesting reading further into the relationships between the officers, how they communicate to each other and how some of the dynamics have now changed, which refreshes things a bit.

This book keeps you guessing what’s going to happen next and what the connections are in the people the police are dealing with. There are lots of acronyms, perhaps almost on the same scale as Line of Duty, but like that series, it’s easy to get a grasp of what they all mean, well, I find this anyway.

The book in all its aspects is expertly written and also feels very authentic. It is also gripping right up to and including the last chapter. There’s a very good pace and all the characters are pretty strong, but with vulnerabilities that creep in.

About the Author

Noelle HoltenNoelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

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#Audible #Bookreview by Lou of Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny @valeriepenny @darkstrokedark #ReadingBetweenTheLinesPR #SeanPia #CrimeFiction #ScottishNoir #TheEdinburghCrimeMysteries

Hunter’s Chase
By Val Penny
Narrated by Sean Pia

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I am excited to be on the blog tour for the Audible version of Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny. I will say it is also available in paperback. This is book 1 of a gripping series set in the darker corners of Edinburgh. She is said to be “up there with Ian Rankin”, I happen to agree. So, if you’re an Ian Rankin fan looking for something different to read or listen to or a fan of crime fiction and Scottish Noir, this is an author I recommend.
Below, find out about the author, the books she’s written, the blurb for Hunter’s Chase, my review and links to her social media and how you can buy. Please note, I am not affilliated to anything or anyone and my opinions are my own. I thank Reading Between the Lines PR for gifting me the audiobook to review from. All you will see is available now.

Hunters Chase pic

About the Author

author pic 2 Val Penny’sothercrime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force
Hunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret from the bestselling series.The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke Her first non-fiction book. Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.
Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.


Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. 

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough. 

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.


Hunters Chase picAuthor Val Penny takes readers/listeners onto the less than salubrious streets of Edinburgh, away from those the tourists routinely tread. The narrator, Sean Pia bring the city and all it’s characters to life in a wonderful way and is easy to listen to.

Readers first meet Jamie Thomson in the suburb Morningside, planning a crime, and then Sir Peter Myerscough, a Justice Minister, who Jamie just happens to bump into and then the action starts as they accidentally come across a body. This brings Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson onto the case and readers, in turn meet the what would seem, the whole police force.  There’s an array of characters outwith the police force, from a Lord and Lady to a cleaner for MSPs, all who’s paths cross as Hunter and his team look deeper as the case ramps up and the bodies stack up in this gritty police procedural book. Val Penny sets the scenes well for various characters, so you get a snapshot of their lives before brutally killing them off. It adds to the curiosity as does the fact there is more than one body as you wonder who is next, who the murderer is and what, if any, is the connection. It’s certainly a book that will keep readers guessing.

As you get to know the police force more, it turns out D.I. Hunter Wilson has a dark sense of humour at times, which adds a bit of fun, especially to his thoughts of D.C. Tim Myerscough, who he’s been lumbered with and wishes he started early, just so he could put him to the test on how he is with corpses. There is more dark humour here and there as the book progresses. Knowing who Tim Myerscough is, he has a lot to live up to and also has his own issues to face, but stay focussed on the task in hand and has a lot to learn.

There’s a bit of simmering romance between a couple of the police staff and Hunter likes the women too. One in particular, he has his eye on is Meera in the morgue. I can think of a couple of times at least where romances have started in the morgue, so makes me wonder if this one will blossom and bloom in the future or not, and what morgues have that sparks such affairs of the heart. There is however a case to be solved and some pretty direct questions to be asked and a trip out to Musselburgh Racecourse to find out what’s been going on there as the area they investigate, expands as many lives are in danger, including Tim Myerscough’s very own. By the end, all becomes satisfyingly clear for who committed and attempted to commit murders and why.

The book flies by and if you enjoy Ian Rankin, you’re sure to enjoy this Scottish Noir series. 

Hunter's Chase cover.jpg Hunter's Revenge cover.jpg Hunter's Force cover.jpg Hunter's Blood cover.jpg Hunter's Secret cover.jpg

Click on links to Social Media and Buy Links

website                        blog             Goodreads,      Twitter – @valeriepenny,             Facebook.

To purchase any of her books, the links are:













#Bookreview by Lou – In Cold Blood by Adam Croft @adamcroft #TheRutlandCrimeSeries #CrimeFiction

In Cold Blood
By Adam Croft

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Intrigue, emotion and a murder is all expertly played out within the lovely scenery of Rutland. Find out more in the blurb and my review of this atmospheric gripping book. Thanks to Joanne Croft and Adam Croft for gifting me the book for review.

In Cold Blood


Book three in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.

As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.

Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?

‘Incredible’ — BBC News           ‘A sensation’ — The Guardian


In Cold BloodIt is a joy to return to Rutland in the latest in the series – In Cold Blood. If you’re reading this on a hot summer’s day, then this book is sure to cool you down as it is set in the freezing, frosty days of winter. 

The writing is concise and yet has human interest, emotion, beautiful scenery, humour and of course murder… This continues to be a gripping and enticing series that grows ever stronger and ever intriguing on many levels.

Sean Taylor and wife Ciara are out on a walk with their daughters Millie and Mia at Seaton Meadows. It is idyllic with a viaduct, that has caused more arguments and debates over what to call a particular stretch over it than a viaduct probably should, in a display of classic, witty human nature. Not all is well as their daughters discover a body and Caroline Hills is back on the case and the continuation of her cancer treatment ensues. The writing of this is raw and real and people who have been through or going through chemotherapy will be able to relate to the side-effects and those, like me, who have seen it, will be able to also relate to what it can do to a woman too. There’s a real sense of love and support from her family, which is lovely to see and gives a ring of calm when reading about this part of her life. This doesn’t make the book heavy at all, it is a bit of realism to a life situation that is wrapped into the work of the police as they solve the murder. There is also some light-hearted humour within the story, which is terrifically written and keeps everything being bleak.

Amie Tanner is an intriguing character, suspect and a bit unnerving; who works for a design company and keeps you guessing and keeps you reading to find out more about the business. As the case into the murder continues, there’s some smart phrasing and questioning from Caroline as she digs deeper to reach the truth and question Monique more about an affair and finances. 

Soon a whole case starts to build as does the intrigue in the series that just continues to draw you into each atmospheric crime at Rutland. Not quite at the murder count as Midsomer Murders, which is just as well. as Rutland is the smallest county in England, but if you like Midsomer Murders, you’ll most likely enjoy this series too. There’s some lightness weaved into tension in the scenic landscape, where there is a nice nod to Gardener’s World and the officer’s also have some life outside work too and of course everthing you’d expect in a police procedural crime fiction book, where not all is as what it seems and it isn’t all as serene as you may presume, when a body turns up.

There’s emotion, intrigue that creates a certain involvement for readers.


#Review by Lou – The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter- Happy Pubication Day @Alice_Hunter_1 @AvonBooksUK #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller

The Serial Killer’s Wife
By Alice Hunter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Seeringly intense with the bone-chilling factor and a great twist, it may leave you just a bit stunned for awhile after. Take a look at the blurb and my full review of what else I think of this book.
Thanks to the publisher, Avon Books for gifting me this book.


The Serial Killer's WifeThey’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…

The Serial Killer's Wife


DI Manning is on the case in The Serial Killer’s Wife. Chapters seemlessly flip from Beth to Tom to Katie and you can see the story build up through the years and how they all become linked and where Tom and Katie met and got to know each other 8 years ago, and how Tom is now married to Beth in the present time. It’s easy to get caught in the romantic entanglements, especially between Tom and Katie, all those years ago.

There is beauty and intensity and suspicion to be found throughout. It makes you question and wonder about Tom that gives an uneasiness. The juxtopositions of the beauty in the writing and the horror of what is actually going on comes from adept storytelling and very adept writing.

The ending is quite a twist and it’s a good one…

The book has some gritty, gripping, chilling themes that show that no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.

Take a look at the acknowledgements too as there’s a little note within that saying when the book was written and a bit more that could be interesting for readers.

#Review by Lou The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter @CaraHunterBooks @EllieeHud @PenguinRandom #CrimeFiction #BlogTour

  The Whole Truth
By Cara Hunter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Full of twists in an unpredictable. The Whole Truth is unpredictable, gritty and intense. Find the blurb and review below.

Imagine my excitement when I was lucky enough to receive The Whole Truth, written by Sunday Bestseller author – Cara Hunter, thanks to Ellie Hudson, Olivia Mead and Chloe Davies at Penguin Randomhouse publishers for inviting me onto the blog tour and for sending me a copy of the book

The Whole Truth cover


The Whole Truth coverShe has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.

When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.

Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.

And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…



The book’s layout is great as narrative, newspaper cuttings, text messages and statements, police reports, transcripts of interviews, podcast episodes (written out as if readers were listening in), all intertwine to tell this story of this crime, set in hot temperatures in Oxford, where DI Fawley and DC Gareth Quinn are on a case. It feels a rather unique way of telling the story. It’s deep and gritty and highly immersive. The intensity increases as the book goes on.

Lady Launceleve College – or EL near where the Banbury and Woodstock roads are) and where Hillary Reynolds is Head of House is the setting. It’s relevant and feels vital as this is about feeling unsafe in colleges and universities; this is about when someone may have been sexually assaulted and discovering just what the truth actually is in what happened between the victim and the accuser. What makes this story so different is that the plot is far from what is expected. It turns everything you may think it would be, entirely on its head. This is far from a predicatable story with its tightly written twists and the detectives are up against it, to discover the whole truth, which isn’t always as straight forward as one would perhaps imagine and with someone watching, there is also an added thriller element. It’s gritty and intense right to the very end!

There is an ingenious layout of  a “previously in the Fawley Files”, so it is absolutely fine if you’ve never read any before, it gives enough detail to catch-up on the key characters and also refreshes the mind well for those who have read the other 4 books in the series.

The Whole Truth

#Review by Lou Stealing The Spanish Princess – Behind Every Painting Is A Story… by Bea Green #BeaGreen @TheConradPress @RandomTTOurs #CrimeFiction #StealingTheSpanishPrincess

Stealing The Spanish Princess
By Bea Green 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Spanish Princess Graphic 5

I stand in art galleries sometimes, just gazing at paintings, wondering what the story is behind them, or the pose of a portrait. With Stealing The Spanish Princess, you see part of the painting through a door and wonder what’s going on as you step inside.

Thanks to Love Books for inviting me on the blog tour and for The Conrad Press for sending me the book. Follow down to find out more of my review and about the author and what gave inspiration to include a particular piece of art in this first in the series crime fiction book.


Spanish Princess Graphic 2In this captivating and dazzling art crime mystery, eccentric detective Richard Langley hunts for a 16th-century masterpiece by the artist El Greco. The thief stole the priceless painting from an apartment in Kensington, London, and in the process knifed to death a Russian woman. DCI Richard Langley from Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiquities Unit joins colleagues from Homicide as they pursue a trail that leads them to St Petersburg and then to Madrid. Following closely in their footsteps is a maverick private investigator hired by the painting’s owner. Knowing how hard it is to sell on stolen artworks of that calibre, Richard wonders what the motive behind its theft might be. The answer, when it comes, takes everyone by surprise.


This is the first Inspector Langley Mystery and readers are in for a treat with this debut that takes readers into the art theft scene and murder! 

Chief Inspector Richard Langley begins his day studying a mummified foot…. as you do… until he is requested to head up to room 402, a room that doesn’t specialise in antiquities and art crime, so comes as a surprise to be called to meet Chief SuperIntendant Alan Matthews, Chief Inspector, Abdul Hazim and Detective Inspector Eilidh Simmons and Super Intendent Lionel Grieves. Then all becomes clear to Langley as murder and art theft of a valuable El Greco painting mix together like colours on a pallet. Bea Green has done some interesting research on El Greco that is intertwined smoothly into the story. You can check out what the paintings are like online. I did a quick internet search. It’s worth doing.
The book is rich with art references to several artists and art security in such a tumultous world, especially in some parts. There are interesting parts about Russia and the art and opera world there, that also become intriguing and all becomes a murky, sinister world with the Russian Mafia.

Rosamie is an interesting character as a person of interest to the police and I found her to be intriguing, especially in her reactions.

There is much for readers to be interested with this book from styles of art to theatre to history, to present times to connections to different countries and of course, crime; all of which takes some unexpected turns.


Author Bio for Bea Green


Bea Green Author PicBea Green has had a somewhat roving life as the daughter of a British diplomat. Her mother is Spanish and growing up Bea spent every summer at her grandfather’s olive tree farm in Andalusia. This olive tree farm was the inspiration for her contemporary romance book, La Finca.

Bea studied Art throughout school and then did Art History for two of her four years at St Andrews University, where she met her husband. She graduated with an MA in English Literature.

Her interest in art was fostered by her father and her Spanish grandmother. Her Spanish grandmother accompanied her to many of Madrid’s art galleries and several of El Prado’s paintings are fondly remembered in Bea’s art crime book, Stealing the Spanish Princess.

Stealing the Spanish Princess was inspired by a Spanish painting, Lady in a Fur Wrap, at Pollok House, Glasgow. When Bea wrote Stealing the Spanish Princess there was a huge debate among art experts about the painting, with some claiming it was painted by El Greco. Some experts thought the painting was of Princess Catalina Micaela, daughter of the Spanish King, Philip II.

Bea Green has lived in Edinburgh since leaving St Andrews University, with her Glaswegian husband and two daughters. She also maintains close links with her family in Spain.

Stealing Spanish Princess BT Poster