#BookReview by Lou – The Lost Hours @susanlewisbooks @fictionpubteam @LizDawsonPR @HarperCollinsUK #TheLostHours #Thriller

The Lost Hours
By Susan Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 

Immersive and page-turning, The Lost Hours, with its fabulous cover is such a page-turner and quite unputdownable as a family goes through such a hard ordeal. It is a brilliant plot in the way it is written, that grips all the way through…

I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for her and Elizabeth Dawson for gifting me a book.

Follow down for the blurb and my review and to find out a bit more about the author.

The Lost Hours Graphic 2

Blurb

A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…

A perfect crime?

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

The Lost Hours Cover

Review

Lots of us I am sure have blown a dandilion clock to “tell the time” or play a game that shows the “hours pass-by” and watched each fragment, artistically blow away in the wind. The cover is evocative in the way it shows time passing by.

Annie and David Crayce have 3 children, a thriving business, a loving marriage. It is the absolute perfect life. In 1999, however, the book begins with a short-sharp jolt from this knowledge, with a body being found and a thought of Karen Lomax being missing, DCI Underwood was the investigating officer and Timbo Jaks was a suspect, but nothing more and the case remained unsolved.
Fast-forwarding to 2019 and DCI Gould and DS. Natalie Rundle is on the case as she starts out her new posting in Dean Valley Force in the CID Department in Kesterly, when readers really get to know more about what happened and things really get interesting with familial DNA…

There are secrets abound and all isn’t all it seems in this supposedly almost perfect family. The family are faced with so much turmoil when the investigation is re-opened.  As time moves on, there are doubts and aspertions cast upon the family. Things hot up and suspense heightens with the familial DNA discovery. The “perfect” family face not just the nightmare of the disappearance of Karen, but then face the scruitny into their lives, especially that of David’s, including his mental health and how he can be, since leaving the army, and harks back occassionally in his nightmarish flashbacks to what happened during his time of service.

It’s an involving, provocative book that has plenty of suspense and keeps you suspicious about who committed the crime all those years ago…

About the Author

Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home. Friday 5th of December 2014
Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

WHITE FONT LOST HOURS BT POSTER

The April Dead by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #TheAprilDead #HarryMcCoy #Thriller #CrimeFiction

The April Dead
By Alan Parks
Extract/Excerpt

April Dead Banner

Today is a chance to see a little bit of what is inside The April Dead by Alan Parks and it sounds thrilling!!! This dark and grimy crime novel is the fourth in the Detective Harry McCoy series which has sold over 40,000 copies acrossall editions. This instalment sees McCoy battling corruption on an
international scale, investigating a kidnapping from a US baseand bombings in Glasgow.
The April Dead will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina,Peter May, William McIlvanney and Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther. Listen out for radio broadcasts and the book featuring in crime podcasts. Look out for a UK-wide bookshop tour and festival appearances.

Follow down to find out more about the author, see some fabulous media graphics, the blurb and a few paragraphs that are within the book. Thank you to Random Things Tours for inviting me to the blog tour and to Black Thorn Books publishers for providing an extract from the book.

About the Author

Alan Parks Author Pic (1)Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bobby March Will Live Forever is the third Harry McCoy thriller

April. Dead Banner 2

Blurb

NO ONE WILL FORGET . . .
In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker.
Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.
On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got . . .

The April Dead Cover

Extract/Excerpt

‘Who on earth is going to set off a bomb in Woodlands?’ asked McCoy. ‘It’s the back arse of Glasgow.’

‘The IRA?’ asked Wattie.

‘Maybe,’ said McCoy. ‘It’s Easter Friday I suppose. Not sure blowing up a shitey rented flat in Glasgow is the best way of striking at the British Establishment, not exactly the Houses of Parliament, is it?’

They were standing in the middle of West Princes Street looking up at the blown-out windows and scorched sand- stone of what had been the flat at number 43. The flats around had suffered too: cracked windows, torn curtains hanging out, a window box filled with daffodils sitting face down in the middle of the road. McCoy got his fags out and lit one, waved the match out, and dropped it on the wet street.

‘How come you know it’s rented anyway?’ asked Wattie.

‘They all are around here, rented or sublet, no rent book, no contract. Half of Glasgow’s waifs and strays live in the flats around here.’

‘You think that’s it started? Here I mean?’ asked Wattie. ‘Bombings?’

McCoy shrugged. ‘Hope not but you know what they say. Glasgow is just Belfast without the bombs.’

‘Until now that is,’ said Wattie.

A shout from one of the firemen and they stepped back onto the pavement as a fire engine attempted a three-point turn in the narrow road. The whole street was a mess of fire engines, hoses, ambulances, police cars, uniforms trying to set up ropes to cordon the area off. The flats around 43 had been evacuated, residents standing in the street looking shocked, dressed in an assortment of different clothes from pyjamas and blanket-covered underwear to a man in a pinstripe suit and socks holding a cat in his arms.

A burly fireman emerged from the close and took his helmet off, sandy hair stuck to his head with sweat. He spat on the ground a couple of times and wandered over.

‘It’s safe,’ he said. ‘You can go up now.’
McCoy nodded. ‘Any bodies?’

‘One,’ he said. ‘Half of him’s all over the walls, other half ’s burnt to a bloody crisp.’
McCoy’s stomach turned over at the thought.
‘All yours,’ said the fireman and headed off to the reversing fire engine.
‘Shite,’ said McCoy. ‘We’re going to have to go up there, aren’t we?’
‘Yep,’ said Wattie. ‘You want to throw up now and get it over with?’
‘Smartarse,’ said McCoy, feeling like that was exactly what

he wanted to do. ‘Maybe we should wait for Faulds? He’s on his way.’

‘Any other excuses you can think of?’ asked Wattie. ‘Or is that it?’

McCoy sighed. ‘Let’s go.’

They ducked past the firemen rolling the hose back onto the wheel and headed into the close. Streams of water running down the stairs, stink of smoke and burnt wood in the air. They trudged up the stairs, making for the top-floor flat and the inevitable gruesome scene.

‘You remembering about tonight?’ asked Wattie.

‘How could I forget it?’ said McCoy. ‘You keep reminding me every five minutes. I’ll be at your dad’s at six as instructed.’ ‘He’s booked a Chinese,’ said Wattie. ‘Down in the town. It’s cheap.’

‘Great,’ said McCoy, making a mental note to eat before he went. A Chinese restaurant in Greenock whose selling point was that it was cheap sounded like a recipe for indigestion at best, food poisoning at worst.

They were at the top landing now. Front door of the flat had been burst open by the firemen, was hanging half on-half off its hinges. McCoy gave it one more go.

‘Maybe we should wait for Phyllis Gilroy?’ he asked. ‘What do we know about bomb casualties? She’s the medical examiner after all, she’s going to be much more use than you or me.’

Wattie sighed, looked at him. ‘Look, if you don’t want to go in, it’s fine. I’ll go.’

‘Really?’ asked McCoy. ‘That would be brill—’

‘Aye, and I’ll make sure and tell Murray when we get back to the station all about my commanding officer who was too scared to look at a crime scene.’

‘You really are becoming a bit of a smartarse, Watson,’ said McCoy.

‘Learnt from the best. Ready?’ asked Wattie and pushed the door aside.

Praise for The Harry McCoy Series

Fascinating and dangerous . . . Parks has clearly studied the masters of tartan noir but has his own voice. He shows how, among the welter of violence, a spontaneous act of kindness can have just as great an impact’ – The Times, Book of the Month
‘An old-school cop novel written with wit and economy . . . Think McIlvanney or Get Carter’ – IAN RANKIN
‘1970s Glasgow hewn from flesh and drawn in blood’ – PETER MAY
‘Bloody and brilliant. This smasher from Alan Parks is a reminder of how dark Glasgow used to be’
– LOUISE WELSH
‘Gripping and violent, dark and satisfying. I flew through it’ – BRET EASTON ELLIS

The April Dead BT Poster

#BookReview by Lou of Blood Loss By Kerena Swan @KerenaSwan @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Blood Loss
By Kerena Swan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A quick-fire pace and sensational plotting that is so unputdownable, it will sweep you off your feet!
Check out this crime fiction book, published by Hobeck Books in the blurb and my review. You can also find links below. I thank Hobeck Books for the book.
I was reading this as one of their HART members (Hobeck Advanced Readers Team).

Blood Loss

Blurb

Sarah

With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…

… and now the fuel tank is empty.

DI Paton

When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.

Jenna

With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.

Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…

Blood Loss

Review

Firstly, you would have checked out that cover! It is evocative and I like the shades of red in the writing that matches the reds within the wine. The shades of reds also make me think of blood. It ties it together simply, which makes it stand out on the simple white background. 

Moving onto the story itself: The pace is very fast from the outset and keeps up. By the end it’s a bit like, being able to take stock and breath again…

The characterisation of the “chalk and cheese” relationship between Jenna and Lucy is captured well. That friction leapt off the page and carried me along. The heightened tensions within the family feel realistic, with not much let-up, before jumping into the dectective side with DI Paton, with a slightly turning down on the pace, before it is ramped up again. The short chapters with DI Paton also adds a layer of forensics and brings focus to also solving the case. 
The elements of intrigue that comes from Jenna, especially are great and the introductions of each new element and character is spaced-out well and I reckon help keep that fast-pace and intrigue going, especially with Ellis and then later with Robert and Sarah and Grace.

The psychological elements adds another layer of depth, not just the decline in behavours from the assailant and victim and relationships, but also the very consideration from DI Paton to consider his wellbeing. It’s quite refreshing and subtly makes an important point, even more so because it’s a male character considering options, albeit briefly. It provides a thought-provoking point when he considers CBT, Neurolinguistic Therapy, Stage Show Hypnotist. The very fact this comes from a male character makes it quite a strong statement that may catch their attention a little too.

The themes are strong, with each of them floating along in the story. Each are deep and meaningful and have twists, especially where Jenna. Grace is concerned and the whole entanglement and Grace, which, changes the atmosphere, but not the intrigue later on. 

It’s a strongly, entertaining read and one which I wanted to know how it ended!

Links

Kerena Swan’s Website              www.hobeck.net                Amazon

Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #BobbyMarch #HarryMcCoy

Bobby March Will Live Forever
By Alan Parks
Rated: 5 stars *****

The plot is both gritty and gripping and very quickly gets into full-swing from the outset, with twists and turns to come throughout. It’s quite the page-turner on such an interesting dark back drop in Glasgow.  Although this is book 3 in the series, it works very well as a standalone as well as part of the Harry McCoy series.
This is a book praised by Ian Rankin and Peter May.
Thanks to Blackthorn publishers for providing a book and for RandomThingsTours for inviting me to be part of the blogtour.
Follow on down to find out more about the author, the blurb and my review as well as website and social media links.

About The Author

Alan Parks Author Pic (1)Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bobby March Will Live Forever is the third Harry McCoy thriller

Bobby March bookshelf

Blurb

Harry McCoy investigates the suspicious overdose of a rock legend and the disappearance of a young girl in this gripping thriller.

WHO IS TO BLAME WHEN NO ONE IS INNOCENT?

Bobby March PB CoverThere’s a heatwave in Glasgow and the drugs trade is booming. The whole force is searching for missing thirteen-year-old Alice Kelly. All except Harry McCoy, who has been taken off the case after a run-in with the boss, and is instead sent alone to investigate the death of rock-star Bobby March, who has just overdosed in the Royal Stuart hotel.

The papers want blood. The force wants results. McCoy has a hunch. But does he have enough time?

  • Themes include inner-city poverty, gang warfare, the rise and fall of rock & roll stardom, illegal narcotics distribution and the growth of the IRA, seen through the eyes of his good-cop-in-a-gray-world, Detective Harry McCoy.
  • Will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Peter May, William McIlvanney and Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther

Review

Ingeniously, Alan Parks has chosen months of the year to be within his titles, the first being Bloody January, followed by February’s Son and this is his latest installment – Bobby March Will Live Forever. Set in 1970’s Glasgow in the underworld during a heatwave (proving it does get hot in Scotland), Harry McCoy is facing a hard time of it as he has involuntarily been taken off the case investigating the death of rockstar – Bobby March. It’s dark and twisty as well as evocative in this latest book in Tartan Noir.
The book is most definitely Glasgow with Central Station, The Barras and the named press being The Daily Record and The Evening Times all being mentioned, so there is plenty that people will recongnise or an familiarise themselves with.

The music scene is set-up well with Bobby March heading to London to do an important recording in the 1960’s. Fast forward to the 70’s – the era the book is predominantly set in, during a drugs and rock n roll world and the book captures the culture well, around this time and Bobby March seems like he’s a music legend, with graffiti around saying “Bobby March Will Live Forever”. He’s a character readers get to know as the book goes along and get a real feel for who he was and the grim lifestyle he had lived.
The book also takes a look at the social aspect of these times in the more impoverished parts of Glasgow, where there were people living who were very much set apart from the music scene, before focusing back onto the case, which leads them to the Barras to do some digging around. McCoy has quite the work ethic and an interest in finding the truth and bringing about justice, even when it means a few scrapes along the way.

There is a missing 13 year old and Harry McCoy has to find her, off the record. The pressure to discover more about Bobby March and his presumed overdose and the missing teen, can be felt as the pages turn.

Gritty and gripping on the dark backdrop of the music and drugs scenes of 1970’s Glasgow; Bobby March Will Live Forever is the latest Harry McCoy Thriller that keeps feeding the curiosity to the end.

I have read an extract of the next book – April Dead and readers are in for something equally as explosive and dramatic!

Bobby March book

 Links

 Twitter: @AlanJParks

 Website: www.alanparks.co.ukBobby March PB BT Poster

#CoverReveal of Damage by Caitlin Wharer @CaitlinWahrer @JenLovesReading @MichaelJBooks #Damage #TheDamageIsDone

Damage
By Caitlin Wharer

Today I am able to reveal the cover for Caitlin Wahrer’s phenomenal debut novel Damage. Check out the excellent cover and a blurb to capture your curiosity and intrigue for a new addition to the Crime Fiction genre.
Thanks to Jen Breslin at the publisher – Penguin – Michael Joseph for inviting me to be part of the cover reveal.

Damage

ONE NIGHT. ONE CRIME. ONE FAMILY TORN APART.

TONY has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when Nick is badly hurt and it looks like he was the victim of sexual assault, Tony’s anger flares.

JULIA is alarmed by her husband Tony’s obsession with Nick’s case. She’s always known Tony has a temper. But does she really know what he’s capable of?

NICK went out for a drink. After that, everything’s a blank. When he woke up he found himself in a world of confusion and pain, and the
man who hurt him doesn’t deny doing it. But he says the whole thing was consensual.

Three ordinary people; one life-shattering event. When the police get involved with this family in crisis, all the cracks will start to show…

Set to ignite debate and as gripping as your favourite box-set, Damage is a compulsive drama from an extraordinary new writer.

Link to pre-order:

Waterstones: 
https://bit.ly/Damage_ws  

Amazon:  https://bit.ly/Damage_HB  

#BookReview of Lost Souls by Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt @bookouture #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Lost Souls
By Chris Merritt
Rated: 5 stars *****

Lost Souls is the 3rd in the Lockhart and Green series by Chris Merritt, but also works well as a stand-alone. It’s a nail-biting page-turner of a thriller, with suspense that draws you further into every character, the deeper you go…
Thanks to Chris Merritt for inviting me onto the blog tour and for Sarah Hardy and Noelle Holten at publisher – Bookouture for adding me to it and supplying the book.
Follow onwards to discover more about this gripping book, to the blurb and my review…

Blurb

Lost-Souls-KindlePlease forgive me for what I’m about to do…

Standing at the school gates, he waits until the last child leaves the safety of the playground. And then he follows at a distance, keeping to the shadows. Only he knows what’s going to happen next.

In a quiet church, on a busy London street, 12-year-old Donovan Blair is found dead. His hands are clasped together as if in prayer. Just hours ago, he was happily playing with his friends at school, but now his body is lifeless, and his killer is long gone.

Detective Dan Lockhart is working alone on his wife’s missing person’s case when he receives a call telling him to get to the crime scene at St Mary’s Church immediately.

Bringing in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help profile the murderer, Dan is convinced that the killer has provided a clue by leaving the body in a prayer position, and Lexi agrees. As they try to get into the mind of the person responsible, another victim is found. A 13-year-old girl, left in a different church, posed in exactly the same way.

Fearing the murderer may already have another child in his sights, Dan and Lexi work together to establish links between the two deaths, and soon discover that not only were both children in care – they had attended the same school. And when it emerges that Lexi’s new boyfriend works there, things become difficult between her and Dan. How much can he tell Lexi about the case? And could she be at risk?

As Dan makes a breakthrough in the investigation, he receives devastating news about his wife, Jess. But with children’s lives at stake and Lexi in danger, Dan must put his personal emotions aside and chase the killer. Can he and Lexi work out who is behind the murders before another vulnerable child is taken?

This nail-biting crime book is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni. Once you pick up Lost Souls, you won’t be able to put it down!

Lost-Souls-Kindle

Review

There’s a philisophical truth in the beginning of the book about life, death, new choices, new resolutions that’s pertinent to everyone and indeed the characters in Lost Souls. The philosophy being presented is almost lyrical in style and then it digs a little deeper and the intrigue builds. It’s a well-written book full of intrigue and suspense, with interesting and good turns of phrases to be found here and there. It culminates into a nail-biting conclusion.
This is book 3, in the series but it is also okay to read it as a standalone, that works fine too.

The book tackles issues of the care system a little within it and how, especially killers may interpret The Bible. There is a clear insight into the victim’s life and a picture of who Donovan was is soon built. The thought of who a person was is valuable to not just the case, but takes into account of human life and isn’t swept away and helps progress the detailed case along and adds another layer.

Throughout the book the emotions of Lockhart are revealed as is his determination to solve the case and the reasons why this is so apparent come to light in the backstory. Lockhart’s personal life is also complex, which is also very interesting to see unfold and gives readers an understanding of his character/personality and cause and effect.

There are insights, perhaps, some unsurprising ones, into the NHS, through Dr. Lexi Green of how things can be quite tight within the NHS and how hard it is with all that red-tape. The character Dr. Lexi, because of her job, brings much more of a unique psychological perspective to the book, which is incredibly fascinating as she delves into people’s lives. The book also recognises current events ie. Covid, but this is not the crux of the plot, but does give a bit of insight into some of the psychological effects and more.. It makes it all a very timely piece of writing as it just pokes through just enough to not over do it, but shows how serious it is and weaves nicely and neatly into the storyline; yet each time, moving swiftly back to the murder case and deducing who the murderer is, in this in-depth, page-turning case, which is very compelling and has a lot at stake and the force cannot afford to make any mistakes.
The entire book with its many components that create a rounded look at all that’s going on with the case and within the lives of the main recurring characters that make up the team. It all builds up to a very tense, page-turning, nail-biting final few chapters…

About the Author

Dr Chris MerrittChris Merritt is a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.

All his novels are set in London, where he lives. He began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. He specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked his interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.

Now he spends most of his time writing novels and drinking coffee while *thinking* about writing novels. When he’s not writing, he loves climbing and playing basketball.

 Author Social Media Links:

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DrCJMerritt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17558172.Chris_Merritt

Website: www.cjmerritt.co.uk 

Lost Souls blog tour poster