#BookReview By Lou of Local Gone Missing By Fiona Barton @figbarton @penguinrandom #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Local Gone Missing
By Fiona Barton

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Everyone's a suspect when a local goes missing

I am on the penultimate day of the blog tour today for Local Gone Missing By Fiona Barton. A small town with intriguing secrets enveloped within, until the seal breaks…
Thanks to Random T. Tours and Penguin Random House for the invitation to review.
Local Gone Missing (HB)

Blurb

THE TENSE AND COMPELLING NEW NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE WIDOW AND THE CHILD.

Everyone watches their neighbours.

Elise King moves into the sleepy seaside town of Ebbing. Illness has thrown her career as a successful detective into doubt, but no matter how hard she tries to relax and recuperate, she knows that something isn’t right.

Everyone lies about their friends.

Tensions are running high beneath the surface of this idyllic community: the weekenders in their fancy clothes, renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes. A town divided, with the threat of violence only a heartbeat away.

Everyone knows a secret.

This peaceful world is shattered when two teenagers end up in hospital and a local man vanishes without trace. Elise starts digging for answers, but the community closes ranks, and the truth begins to slip through her fingers. Because in a small town like this, the locals are good at keeping secrets…

Everyone’s a suspect when a local goes missing.

Review

Fiona Barton takes readers to a quiet town, which is so sleepy and unassuming, except there are secrets that have been buried for quite some time and rifts and divisions that bubble up to the surface, and the simmering of tempers can no longer be contained and boil over, especially when a local goes missing. The whole town is shaken up and things get very dark as tensions become more to the fore and life in the town is about to become more twisted; which makes for a compelling and tense read.
The case leaves DI Elise King with a meaty case to handle, now that she has returned to work after cancer treatment and she is an interesting character to get to know, as are the rest of the residents as more gets revealed.

The story itself, is set in 2019 and introduces the town well, and fools you into thinking it’s cosy, so there are elements of cosy murder within it, and then bam… it becomes gritty as certain events happen and revelations start to emerge; so what readers get are two atmospheres and tones, which makes it interesting as it mixes things up. There are many strands that have a resolution in the end, so it is worth sticking with it.

About the Author

Fiona Barton Author PicFiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in 36 countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in Sussex and south-west France.

Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most
Twitter @figbarton

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#Review By Lou of Headshot By Otho Eskin @OthoEskin @oceanviewpub #Thriller

Headshot
By Otho Eskin

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Headshot is a page-turner. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts below in my review.

Thanks firstly to Oceanview Publishing for inviting me to review and for a copy of the book.

Headshot

Blurb

The Most Elusive Assassin in the World Versus D.C. Homicide Detective Marko Zorn

Washington, D.C. homicide detective Marko Zorn is investigating the murder of an actress—an old love—when he is assigned to protect the visiting prime minister of Montenegro, the beautiful Nina Voychek.

Political enemies are planning her assassination—this, he knows—but now it’s apparent that he, too, is a target. As he foils the initial attempts on his life, he pulls out all stops—deploying his sometimes nefarious resources—to hunt whoever is targeting him and prevent an international tragedy on American soil.

Decoded messages, Supermax prisoner interviews, mafia lawyers, and an ancient Black Mountain curse swirl among the icons of D.C. Marko and his young partner, Lucy, face down what may be multiple assassins with diverging agendas. Or are they facing one assassin—the deadliest and most elusive on the international stage?

Perfect for fans of David Baldacci and Daniel Silva.

Review

Political, rivetting and a fast-paced, nail-biting page turner right from the start. The stakes are high and it packs a punch.

It’s highly visual and spine-tingling with a street built around the 1920’s and an aria by Mozart playing in car; it suddenly all sounds interesting and lovely and like all should be well, except it is not. There’s a shooter on the loose.

 There are spies, mafia, hitmen, foreign dignitaries, and a famous actress to come across in this action-packed thriller. Marko Zorn has a lot to contend with and dangers are around many corners. There is also Lucy Taneka, a homicide detective, who helps in a case that Zorn is doing on the side as he is called because there’s a death at the theatre.

There are many characters interwoven into this story at various points, adding to its complexity, yet compelling plots that come at quite a pace, including one of revenge.

 

#Review By Lou of May God Forgive By Alan Parks @AlanJParks @cannongatebooks #HarryMcCoy @RandomTTours #BlogTour #TartanNoir #MayGodForgive #CrimeFiction #Thriller

May God Forgive
By Alan Parks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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I am thrilled that today is my turn on the blog tour. May God Forgive is a page-turner gritty Tartan Noir. This is the 5th Harry McCoy series by Alan Parks, who is cleverly including each month in the title. They work as stand-alone or as part of a series. All books in the series are critically acclaimed. You can find more titles at the end of my review. 
Thanks to Random T. Tours and publisher – Cannongate for inviting me to review. Discover more below about the author, the blurb and my full review.

About the Author

Alan Parks Author PicALAN PARKS captures the dark beating heart of 70s Glasgow in his highly acclaimed Harry McCoy series.
Parks has spent most of his working life dealing with the production of images for Musical Artists, as Creative Director at London Records in the mid 1990’s then at Warner Music. From cover artwork to videos to photo sessions, he created ground-breaking, impactful campaigns for a wide range of artists including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barclay and Cee Lo Green. He was also Managing Director of 679 Recordings, a joint venture with Warner Music. For the past few years he has worked as an independent visual and marketing consultant.
Alan was born in Scotland and attended The University of Glasgow where he was awarded a M.A. in Moral Philosophy. He still lives and works in the city as well as spending time in London.

F May God Forgive Cover

Blurb

Glasgow is a city in mourning. An arson attack on a Royston hairdresser’s has left five women and children dead, and a community reeling. People, more used to turning a blind eye to criminality, erupt now with rage.

When three youths are charged with the crime, an angry mob gathers outside the courthouse, the prisoners are snatched from a police van and disappear. Days later the body of one is found with a note attached to his mutilated body – ‘One down, two to go’.

Detective Harry McCoy comes from these streets; his feral childhood battling to survive on them still haunts him years on. But it also gives him an insight into the soul of Royston and the people who control it. Time is ticking, and Harry must confront his own past and figures that haunt him still to prevent another body being found on its mean streets.

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Review

Alan Parks books have a month of the year in the title in this series and now he has reached the month of May. Set in Glasgow, 1974, a city that is very troubled and as hard as can be, especially in that decade, Detective Harry McCoy has another case to solve as this thriller gets off to an action-packed start and to add to the tension, time is ticking fast and there’s not much of it left to crack the case.

Dolly’s Salon had been attacked by arson in an already hardened part of the city, where any heart that was in it before a motorway was built, had practically diminished and there was little left. Instantly the atmosphere and depiction of Royston, Glasgow in the 70’s can be grasped.

Detective Harry McCoy needs to help DS. Doug Watson (Wattie) make progress on a case, concerning a 15 year old, dressed for a night out and discovered dead, but isn’t easily yielding much evidence as to what happened… He is also working on the quiet for to get answers about the arson at the salon. It’s a full on first day back at work from being off on the sick.

There’s gangland underworld, drugs, violence and arson, but also a detective who is prepared to do everything he can to protect the city’s citizens in this compelling series.

May God Forgive is intensely gritty and a fascinating work in fiction, closely relating to fact, that is engaging and depicts Glasgow at a very particular time.

Further books in this series can be found below…

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Alan Parks Praise

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

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.

I highly recommend A Narrow Door.

 

#Review by Lou of Blood Lines By Lin Le Versha @linleversha @HobeckBooks #TeamHobeck #CrimeFiction #BookRecommendation #BlogTour #BloodLines #Thriller #ReadingCommunity #Blogger

Blood Lines
By Lin Le Versha

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for the compelling and thought-provoking crime fiction thriller – Blood Lines By Lin Le Versha, which I most certainly recommend. Thanks to Hobeck Books for inviting me onto the blog tour and for a copy of the book.
Discover more about it in the blurb and my review below.

Bloodlines cover

Blurb

Set within the mysterious beauty of coastal Suffolk, this gripping new crime series is a dark murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end when the final shocking twist is revealed. Lin Le Versha is not to be missed, the brilliant new talent on the British crime writing scene.

Eighteen year-old Darcy Woodard appears to have it all – intelligence, good looks and artistic gifts. His teachers adore him, as does former policewoman Steph Grant, who is now the receptionist at Darcy’s college.

But beneath the surface – all is not as it seems.

Darcy is convinced he doesn’t fit in with his peers and tries to ignore their online taunts.

There’s Darcy’s dysfunctional mother Esther who is trapped in a literary time warp.

Then there’s his sister Marianne, who Darcy desperately wants to protect from the dark forces that surround her.

Then tragedy rocks Darcy’s life when a drugs gang forces its way into his life and all the people he cares for.

What can Steph and her former boss DI Hale do to protect the local community? And can they really trust Darcy to help them defeat the county lines gang?

Blood Lines is the second thrilling book in the Steph Grant murder mystery series by the brilliant Lin Le Versha.

Review

Set in scenic surrounds with elegant Edwardian houses becomes a twisty, involving read as deep, dark crimes ensue that former police woman Steph Grant and DI Hale have to crack.

There are drugs around the college campus and online bullying, questioning the accountability of social media and its users. There is however, more to it than first meets the eye, which really sets the beautiful scenery at a juxtoposition of what is really going on.
It gets deeper when it is discovered there are drugs gangs, part of County Lines. It holds a lot of intrigue as Darcy gets caught up in it all as he wants somewhere to fit in. His his sister, Marianne wants to do is protect him. It’s compelling as the consequences unfold.

Esther and Mike’s story adds another layer to the book, adding even more to the family battling with  MND (Motor Neurone Disease). Esther is also stuck in a bit of a world of her own when it comes to literary works. Ingeniously, woven into their life story, classic literary references are plentiful.

It’s a fast-paced read, right up to an unexpected, intriguing ending.

All in all, I very much recommend this book.

 

#Review By Lou of Quicksand of Memory By Michael J. Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks #QuicksandOfMemory #Revenge #PsychologicalThriller #TartanNoir #BlogTour #RandomTTours #TeamOrenda

Quicksand of Memory
By Michael J. Malone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Quicksand Graphic 4 (1)

Quicksand Of Memory is a page-turner that packs a punch! Check out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below about this psychological thriller/TartanNoir… Today I have the privilege of closing the blog tour. The book is Available Now!
Thanks first, to Random T. Tours and publisher – Orenda Books for inviting me to review and for a copy of the book.

Quicksand of Memory Proof Cover

About the Author

Michael Malone pic

 Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and   brought  up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems   in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland,   Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won   the  Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers.
 His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died, In the Absence of Miracles and A Song of Isolation soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.
Michael lives in Ayr.

Blurb

Quicksand cover 2Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships.
Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner’s young son, following a devastating tragedy.
When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve the stability and happiness they both desperately need.
And yet, someone is watching.
Someone who has been scarred by past events.
Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge…
Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder…

Review

Michael J. Malone has skillfully delved into the inner-sanctum that is memory. The way he plays with his characters memories has created a psychological thriller that waxes lyrical and yet grips hard until the end.

Jenna has attacks of anxiety due to her relationship issues, so seeks a therapist – Luke. It’s rivetting being in the therapist’s room with her, as she pours out her life to him, which is more than what she thought she was originally for as he probes into other life events. This is possibly the most sedate the book is and then delving further, it all becomes such a page-turner.
hrough Luke, you can really see the power of loss and guilt and so much more, that permeates through, and through his clients, the sense of needing a support system, or at least someone to give support through life, or parts of life.
It’s just as, or even more fascinating when it comes to learning about Luke. There is so much more to Luke than healing people in his therapy sessions and the sinister burdens he carries.
Then, as time moves on, the fractures in lives really start to open up, wider and wider, increasingly revealing more secrets, more previously buried truths and falsehoods and deadly obsessions.

Quicksand of Memory twists and turns, leading readers down a deep, dark path of the professional and personal aspects of life and the blurring of lines and crimes committed, with romance flourishing and revenge, later in the book with revenge occuring. It is beautifully constructed and written. Once started this visceral, chilling psychological thriller; it’s pretty hard to put down as you find out more about people’s pasts, where they are presently and the spine-tingling secrets that emerge. 

Malone gives lots for readers to ponder over, with the thought-provoking, complex themes of obsession, guilt, love, revenge, support, memory, trauma, grief, violence, drug-use and more… It really packs a punch. 

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