#BookReview By Lou of Kiss Of Death By Adam Croft @adamcroft #CrimeFiction #RutlandSeries

Kiss of Death
By Adam Croft

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kiss of Death is absorbingly intriguing in this fourth book in The Rutland series, that can be read as a stand-alone or part of the series. Take a look further down at the blurb and my review as well as a little about the author.
Thanks firstly to Adam and Joanne Croft for asking me to review and for a copy of the book.

About the Author

Adam CroftAdam Croft is one of the world’s biggest-selling authors of crime fiction and gripping psychological thrillers.

His books are known for their quick pace, thrilling plots and believable characters, and have sold in more than 120 countries around the world.

His books have topped the Amazon storewide chart seven times, and in February 2017 Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his achievements.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast PARTNERS IN CRIME with fellow bestselling crime writer Robert Daws.

Kiss of Death cover

Blurb

An elderly woman collapses and dies during a Sunday morning church service in Oakham. But things aren’t quite as innocent as they seem.

Within hours, there’s a second unexplained death in Rutland. Then a third. But the victims appear to be completely unconnected.

With the body count rising by the day, DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine need to uncover the link before more innocent people die.

Only one thing is certain: a killer walks the streets of Rutland. But no-one knows who the next victim will be, when they will be killed – or why.

Review

Don’t be fooled! The book starts off so peacefully and captures a sense of a relaxed holiday type vibe and it gives further insight into DI Caroline Hills, her family and life. It’s rather a sedate atmosphere. with some welcome mild humour that is created in the beginning, until it changes with a rather odd death. It is so mysterious, this death is, in Oakham, that it grips and does so further as another two deaths occur in Rutland, but look seemingly unconnected. This brings Caroline right back into the office to get stuck into the investigation. The cause of deaths is different and may not be what readers will immediately expect.

At the beginning of the book is a map of Rutland, as there has been in previous books in this series and Adam Croft expertly ensures the reader can picture the lay of the land as he weaves his story of criminal activity.

This is a series I highly recommend. It can be read alone as the crime threads are all tied up within one book. There is also the thread of Caroline’s family that runs through, but there is some detail that ensures readers, if they start with this book, gets a taste of what went on before.

#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

Blurb

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

Review

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.

 

Snakes and Ladders (Knight And Culverhouse series) by Adam Croft @adamcroft #BookReview by Lou #CrimeFiction #KnightCulverhouse

Snakes and Ladders
By Adam Croft
Rated: 5 stars *****

It is always a pleasure to find in my inbox, an invitation to review a book by Adam Croft, and that anticipation to see if it is as good as the last. This one certainly is. It is a great read with atmosphere and points for readers to ponder over at the side of it. Snakes and Ladders is, more than just a board game, it is now the hotly aniticipated title of book 10 in the Knight & Culverhouse series, but definitely can be read as stand alone or as part of the series.
Read further to discover more about this sinister book and my review.
Thanks to Joanne and Adam Croft for inviting me to review.

Snakes and Ladders

Blurb

A body lies amongst the undergrowth in Mildenheath Woods. His hands are bound behind his back, and he’s been killed execution-style.

But the victim isn’t a gangland kingpin: he’s a well-liked young man, never in any trouble, who had his whole life ahead of him.

But as Jack Culverhouse and Wendy Knight begin to dig deeper into what happened, a shocking new truth comes to light. Was the victim quite as innocent as he seemed?

Snakes and Ladders

Review

Maisie Daniels makes a great point about social media to begin with, which is pertinent and catches the attention fast!
In a wonderful, texturised opening chapter sets the story well. Culverhouse and Knight are then onto a case of a discovered body and all becomes rather mysterious as personalities don’t really fit into a neat box of what happened.
The book is rather vivid and is great for the senses to bring readers into the woods.

There are drugs and a murder and Jack Culverhouse has rather a lot to contend with including in his increasingly tangled personal life and working out how to best ensure Emily is okay.
Interestingly, there  is an insight into how experienced he is in policing and the way it is done is brought into the body of the story which is illuminating into what knowledge he has to be able to cast predictions on what briefs may say and how to enter different situations with a clear decision on what technique to use.
There are complications within dynamics and suspicions and it is intriguing to see who is actually trustworthy.

There are some rather blunt and yet, well considered and entirely valid comments on social media that are made within Snakes and Ladders, which I am pretty sure readers will see as giving food for thought. There is also almost a celebration in a way of pubs, in a way that makes them sound interesting places and have so much purpose as Jack Culverhouse has a few reasons for popping into one.
There are eloquent turns of phrases that are used, which adds to the gravity of certain situations and their enormity, especially near the end.

About the Author

Adam CroftWith more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

My Top Book Choices of 2020 by Lou #2020Reads #AdultFiction #CrimeFiction #Fiction #Thrillers #RomanticFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Uplit

My Top Book Choices of 2020
Various Authors

I have read and reviewed a huge amount of very good books. It has taken a lot of time and consideration to whittle them down to create the Top Book Choices List. All those that did not make this particular list, were incredibly close. I have added links so you can easily see what the books are about. The books are in no particular order. Look out for my top Adult Non-Fiction List and my top Children’s Fiction List, both are in separate posts.

Top Adult Fiction Books

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman Click Here for More Info

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor Click Here for More Info

Killing Rock by Robert Daws Click Here for More Info

Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton Click Here for More Info

What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft Click Here for More Info

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris Click Here for More Info

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver Click Here for More Info

Us Three by Ruth Jones Click Here for More Info

Perfume Paradiso by Janey Jones Click Here for More Info

The Things I Want To Say but Can’t by Carla Christian Click Here for More Info

The House of Correction by Nicci French Click Here for More Info

Tell  Me How It Ends by Isabelle Grey Click Here for More Info

The Colours by Juliet Bates Click Here for More Info

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce Click Here for More Info

Letters From the Past by Erica James Click Here for More Info

One Step Behind by Lauren North Click Here for More Info

The Unravelling by Liz Treacher Click Here for More Info

Christmas With the Bobby Girls by Johanna Bell Click Here for More Info

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman Click Here for More Info

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie Click Here for More Info

Butterflies by D.E. McCluskey Click Here for More Info

Contacts by Mark Watson Click Here for More Info

The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley Click Here for More Info

The Guest List by Lucy Foley Click Here for More Info

Summer on A Sunny Island by Sue Moorcroft Click Here for More Info

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths Click Here for More Info

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes by Trisha Ashley Click Here for More Info

Lion Heart by Ben Kane Click Here for More Info

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb Click Here for More Info

With Or Without You by Drew Davies Click Here for More Info

#Review by Lou of Partners In Crime Podcast @adamcroft @RobertDaws @CrimeFicPodcast #Podcast

Partners In Crime Podcast
Created and Hosted by
Adam Croft and Robert Daws
Rated: 5 stars *****

Partners In Crime

Partners In Crime Podcast is available from Fridays and I listen in most weeks or play catch up on it at a weekend. The podcast is brought to you by Adam Croft, a hugely successful crime fiction author who writes in every single type of sub-genre and Robert Daws who is also a hugely successful actor and author and sometimes Adrian Hobart who is a founder of Hobeck Books with Rebecca Collins. Each episode is 30 mins long and it is just some bookish and tv fun really, but with added banter of two great friends, that adds to creating a lovely, delightful atmosphere that is rather jovial, mostly uplifting and with plenty of humour.

There is a very genuine, relaxed quality as they put the world to rights in their own unique way. They have various eye-catching titles, with the latest being Don’t Dally In A Doorway, that draws you into their world of intrigue to see what on earth that could possibly mean.

They have, despite lockdown, been able to keep to the rules and did their podcast in various ways, outside, apart and how’s this for the ultimate social distancing? Robert Daws was away filming in Latvia, whilst Adam Croft was still in England. It just shows what technology can do…. except there are some gremlins where they live in England.

The pair talk about the latest crime fiction books they have enjoyed (and sometimes their own that they have written) as well as some of the latest tv dramas, creating a great platform for other creatives to get their work mentioned and to inspire and inform people for what is available or coming soon.

I like that Adam Croft and Robert Daws give a little information about themselves and what they’ve been doing before really getting down to business as it were. It’s an easy listen and a good podcast to escape into for half an hour in a week. In our busy lives, 30 mins of escapism is a good thing and the podcast is a perfect length to fit in.

The podcast has been running for over 100 episodes. They did a Live (or rather, Adam Croft did) for the 100th episode and that isn’t the first time they have been Live. They have also done a Live with Adam Croft and Adrian Hobart (who is a founder of Hobeck Books who publishes Robert Daws books) at the Morecambe and Vice Festival, when festivals were a normal thing.

Some of the latest works by Adam Croft, who has 2 more books coming soon. He has written many books and is highly successful.

Works by Robert Daws who has another book coming soon in his hugely popular Rock series, set in Gibraltar.

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

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

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

On Borrowed Time.jpg

Blurb

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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