#Writeup Overview by Lou of #HughFraser #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Books and #TalkWriteUp @Bloodhoundbook #RinaWalker

An Overview of Hugh Fraser’s Books
Including a link to a talk from 2018

Hugh Fraser’s books are very gripping and have a great protagonist – Rina Walker, a rather complex character who just so happens to be an assassin. Find out more below…
Hugh Fraser has a new publisher! This could be very exciting as hopefully it means he is writing again. I read all of his books, when he was with Urbane. Now all those books have transferred and had a revamp by Bloodhound Books. I am so excited for him that my fingers are flying across the keys as I write this. I wasn’t asked to write this. I have just felt moved to. Take a look down to find out more, plus the eyecatching new covers, blurbs for each book, a link to my original review about Stealth (the first book I ever reviewed on the blog) and a little bit about Hugh Fraser himself. I have also added a link to a write-up I produced for my blog of fascinating talk that he gave with Robert Daws at the Morecambe and Vice Festival.

The first book I ever reviewed on my blog was Stealth, after I had met Hugh Fraser at the Morecambe and Vice book festival, which I attended after a lovely conversation with him. Long story, but was all very wonderful… The outcome was me having a lovely in-person conversation, perhaps around 2018 and me having a go at reviewing a festival, which I then was invited to by the organsers and a lovely signed book, which I absolutely treasure and all that aside, taking the book for what it is, I was pleased to find it to be very gripping and one of his best yet! You can read all the books in order or as stand-alone. It is easy to be gripped by them all. 

The Rina Walker series, which I read most of, prior to having a blog, is fantastic! Don’t think cosy Agatha Christie type story (which are also fantastic), these are as far removed as they possibly ever can be. Rina Walker is a kick-ass assassin, you don’t want to mess with. She is written very well has quite a complex life really, what with secrets, drugs cartel’s and great plot twists along the way. Rina is a surprising anti-hero who is a feminist you end up somehow rooting for; even though she is an assassin. Hugh Fraser’s writing is very clever that way. This series is one I’ve not forgotten about, even after the load of books I’ve read after….
Without further ado, find out more below…

About the Author

Hugh Fraser*Hugh Fraser is an author and actor who is well-known for tv series and films. He has played many roles over many years, including: The Duke of Wellington in Sharpe and Captain Hastings in the ITV Agatha Christie, Poirot series. In film he is credited in the Patriot Games, 101 Dalmations, The Draughtman’s Contract and Clint Eastwood’s Firefox. He also wrote the theme tune of children’s tv programme, Rainbow. He also supports the charity – First Light Veterans – supporting veterans of the emergency services and armed forces.
In more recent years, he has turned his hand to writing, creating his protagonist -Rina Walker.

 

There are 4 books in the Rina Walker thriller series:

Hugh Fraser Harm

What makes an innocent girl become a contract killer? 

Acapulco 1974: Rina Walker is on assignment. Just another quick, clean kill.

When she wakes to discover her employer’s severed head on her bedside table, and a man with an AK 47 coming through the door of her hotel room, she must use all her skills to neutralise her attacker and escape.

Notting Hill 1956: Fifteen-year-old Rina is scavenging and stealing to support her siblings and her alcoholic mother. When a local gangster attacks her younger sister, Rina wreaks revenge. Innocence betrayed, Rina faces the brutality of the post-war London underworld – a world that teaches her the skill to kill…

Hugh Fraser ThreatHow far would you go to protect the innocent?

London 1961. In the dying days of the Macmillan government, George Preston is in control of crime in West London and Rina Walker is his favoured contract killer.

When Rina is hired by Soho a vice king to investigate the disappearance of girls from his clubs, she discovers that they are being supplied to a member of the English aristocracy for the gratification of his macabre tastes.

Rina’s pursuit of the missing girls, and her efforts to save the innocent from slaughter, become increasingly perilous as she grapples with interwoven layers of corruption and betrayal.

Can Rina survive a confrontation with depravity?

Hugh Fraser MaliceRina Walker is back and as deadly as ever… but it’s not just her life at stake.

London 1964. Gang warfare is breaking out. Rina Walker struggles to survive amid the battles and betrayals of a gruesome cast of racketeers and gangsters.

Her considerable skills as an assassin are her only hope of survival. 

Playing one side off against the other to protect those she loves, Rina is caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse where her life is just one of many at stake…

StealthOne tough woman. One fight to the death…

London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.

When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfil a contract, issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.

Rina must call upon all her skills, not simply to survive but to protect the ones she loves.

Will she make it out alive?

Click to link to my STEALTH Review

Entertaining Talk Write-up Link – Showcasing Hugh Fraser and Robert Daws – If I Wasn’t On The Stage

#BookReview by Lou A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris @Joannechocolat @alexxlayt @orionbooks #JoanneHarris #Thriller #Fiction

A Narrow Door
By Joanne Harris

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There are huge changes at St. Oswalds and I am priveleged to be able to read and review it. There’s the anticipation of reading it, but also wondering, after reading so many books by her, even pre-blog, would I like it? Would I think other readers would like it? It’s a resounding yes from me. Even after however long it has been since the last book in this series – A Different Class, it is great to be back at St. Oswalds to see how this thriller continues in this latest book – A Narrow Door.
Thanks very much to Alex Layt at Orion Books for allowing me to review and for gifting me a proof copy and a bag of Liquorice Allsorts.
Please find out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below…
*My review is unbiased.

A Narrow Door

Blurb

Now I’m in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules.

It’s an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered.

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all…

You can’t keep a good woman down.

Review

A Narrow DoorStep through A Narrow Door with all its symbolism and connotations, and a lot awaits…
The book is split into 8 parts, plus a preface and epilogue. Each part is named after something in Greek Mythology and written in English underneath. It’s eyecatching, as you’d think it is, but even more so because of this as it’s different. The narrative here and throughout is strong and compulsive. Hours disappeared into the midst of time whilst reading this book.

No longer is St. Oswalds an all boys grammar school. It is now an academy with a female headmaster at the helm and females can now enter and be educated there with the boys.

This is an absolutely powerful book, even from the preface. Mr Straitley is still around as are a few other staff as are some of the group of boys known as “Brodie Boys”.
The future and the past merges together with old school ties and her new start and then a body is discovered adding an air of mystery to the changes in the school life with the rise of a Rebecca Buckfast.
Merged into the story, that has its mystery, there are also themes of strong females, how they are perceived and some of the myths. It does this very quickly and starkly in the preface, especially. It is written in the most fantastic, mature and knowledgeable way and also leads very well into the rest of, what turns out to be a twisty and compelling, involving complex thriller.

The writing; the air that it brings is powerful and absolutely all encompassing. It demands and captures attention from the beginning. It doesn’t let go. It seeps into your mind and all your senses in one way or another. It puts readers right back to the heart of St. Oswalds, an all boys school that exudes a certain stature and power, but one that wasn’t without its issues. Now the school is changing, catching up with the times.

This is absolutely marvellous writing throughout and the book is pretty hard to put down.
The years go between 1989 and 2006, showing what became tradition and what the school’s future holds as co-education begins as an academy with a female headmaster – Rebecca Buckfast (yes, headmaster and not headmistress. This isn’t a typo), at the helm and she is not to be underestimated. There’s a determination, a resilience in the school and the new headmaster is on a mission! Roy Straitley has a strong view on women and she is set to try and change that. She doesn’t want to let anything get in her way, not even the matter of a body.

Rebecca Buckfast isn’t, however, without her own personal things to deal with. Conrad, her brother, went missing years ago, there’s also the heartbreak and the hope of her parents that she still needs to contend with. There’s some great twists and turns where Conrad is concerned. He had gone to King Henry’s Grammar School for Boys, not St. Oswalds. So, now Rebecca has ties with both and a fight on her hands with both schools.
Roy Straitley has also further troubles with a past friendship involving Eric Scoones.

There are also licquorice Allsorts. Those of you who have read the other books in this series will know what I am talking about. They are now all duly eaten. They aren’t just a sweet, according to the story, they are a way to tell people’s personalities. Aside from that, and including this, it is a very thought-provoking right to the fantastic and very fitting end.

#BookReview by Lou A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris @Joannechocolat @alexxlayt @orionbooks #JoanneHarris #Thriller

A Narrow Door
By Joanne Harris

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There are huge changes at St. Oswalds and I am priveleged to be able to read and review it. There’s the anticipation of reading it, but also wondering, after reading so many books by her, even pre-blog, would I like it? Would I think other readers would like it? It’s a resounding yes from me. Even after however long it has been since the last book in this series – A Different Class, it is great to be back at St. Oswalds to see how this thriller continues in this latest book – A Narrow Door.
Thanks very much to Alex Layt at Orion Books for allowing me to review and for gifting me a proof copy and a bag of Liquorice Allsorts.
Please find out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below…
*My review is unbiased.

A Narrow Door

Blurb

Now I’m in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules.

It’s an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered.

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all…

You can’t keep a good woman down.

Review

A Narrow DoorStep through A Narrow Door with all its symbolism and connotations, and a lot awaits…
The book is split into 8 parts, plus a preface and epilogue. Each part is named after something in Greek Mythology and written in English underneath. It’s eyecatching, as you’d think it is, but even more so because of this as it’s different. The narrative here and throughout is strong and compulsive. Hours disappeared into the midst of time whilst reading this book.

No longer is St. Oswalds an all boys grammar school. It is now an academy with a female headmaster at the helm and females can now enter and be educated there with the boys.

This is an absolutely powerful book, even from the preface. Mr Straitley is still around as are a few other staff as are some of the group of boys known as “Brodie Boys”.
The future and the past merges together with old school ties and her new start and then a body is discovered adding an air of mystery to the changes in the school life with the rise of a Rebecca Buckfast.
Merged into the story, that has its mystery, there are also themes of strong females, how they are perceived and some of the myths. It does this very quickly and starkly in the preface, especially. It is written in the most fantastic, mature and knowledgeable way and also leads very well into the rest of, what turns out to be a twisty and compelling, involving complex thriller.

The writing; the air that it brings is powerful and absolutely all encompassing. It demands and captures attention from the beginning. It doesn’t let go. It seeps into your mind and all your senses in one way or another. It puts readers right back to the heart of St. Oswalds, an all boys school that exudes a certain stature and power, but one that wasn’t without its issues. Now the school is changing, catching up with the times.

This is absolutely marvellous writing throughout and the book is pretty hard to put down.
The years go between 1989 and 2006, showing what became tradition and what the school’s future holds as co-education begins as an academy with a female headmaster – Rebecca Buckfast (yes, headmaster and not headmistress. This isn’t a typo), at the helm and she is not to be underestimated. There’s a determination, a resilience in the school and the new headmaster is on a mission! Roy Straitley has a strong view on women and she is set to try and change that. She doesn’t want to let anything get in her way, not even the matter of a body.

Rebecca Buckfast isn’t, however, without her own personal things to deal with. Conrad, her brother, went missing years ago, there’s also the heartbreak and the hope of her parents that she still needs to contend with. There’s some great twists and turns where Conrad is concerned. He had gone to King Henry’s Grammar School for Boys, not St. Oswalds. So, now Rebecca has ties with both and a fight on her hands with both schools.
Roy Straitley has also further troubles with a past friendship involving Eric Scoones.

There are also licquorice Allsorts. Those of you who have read the other books in this series will know what I am talking about. They are now all duly eaten. They aren’t just a sweet, according to the story, they are a way to tell people’s personalities. Aside from that, and including this, it is a very thought-provoking right to the fantastic and very fitting end.

#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

Blurb

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…

Review

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.

Blurb

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.

Review

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:

Audible

mybook.to/hunterschase

mybook.to/huntersrevenge

mybook.to/huntersforce

mybook.to/huntersblood

mybook.to/hunterssecret

bit.ly/LetsGetPublished

mybook.to/darkscotland 

mybook.to/thefirstcut

 

 

 

#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.

Blurb

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

Review

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.