#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 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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#Review By Lou – Fatal Hate By Brian Price @crimewritersci @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #FatalHate

Fatal Hate
By Brian Price

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

First came the successful, enthralling Fatal Trade and now it is time for Brian Price’s latest book -the spine-tingling, gripping crime fiction book – Fatal Hate. Thanks to Hobeck Books for gifting me a copy for their blog tour in exchange of an honest review. Find out more in the blurb and the review below…

Fatal Hate

Blurb

DC Mel Cotton is back with a brand new case, the murder of Duncan Bennett. But who would want an unassuming warehouse worker dead?

The case soon becomes far more complex and dangerous, with terrorists, a paedophile network and a hitman in town. And against a background of rising hatred and violence, one woman pursues her deadly revenge.

Mel and her colleagues face their greatest challenge yet. Mel’s own courage will be tested to the limits. No-one is safe.

Fatal Hate is the thrilling sequel to the much-acclaimed Fatal Trade by the brilliant Brian Price.

Review

This is turning into a compelling series, with its intrigue and quality writing. Each mystery is complete within itself, so it is okay to start at Fatal Hate, if you wish. There is an interesting, short informative note from the author at the beginning, which may enhance your reading of this novel.

The story starts in 2010 and then transports readers to Mexton, 2019 and 2020. Mexton, as the author states, is an imaginary place. This, I reckon is absolutely fine. There’s still enough gravitas as it could be a real place due to all that seems familiar and relatable to it.

It’s good to get back to DC Mel Cotton and DCI Gale. They have a murky case on their hands and not all is sweetness and light when it comes to a chocolate company. There is quite the political bent, making the case not so straight-forward as it may have been, as time moves on and more is uncovered.

Getting to know the victim is interesting and turns out not all is black and white and not all was good and wholesome about Duncan Bennett, as what may have been presumed, until his background is checked and dug up.

There’s plenty for readers to get their teeth stuck in, with undercover operations, which are presented with somewhat humorous, albeit serious proposition for Karen, with things then taking a spine-tingling darker turn, with drugs and counter-terrorism being called upon to work in what is a spiralling dark underworld, showing up certain corners of evil undercurrents of society.

#BookReview By Lou of Remember Me By Charity Norman @CharityNorman1 @AllenAndUnwin @RandomTTours #RememberMe #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Remember Me
By Charity Norman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Remember Me Graphic 1

Remember Me is another gripping thriller from Charity Norman. It gives me great pleasure to close the blog tour with a review today, thanks to Random Things Tours and publisher – Allen and Unwin for inviting me and for a copy of the book. Discover more in the blurb and my review, as well as a little about this author.

Remember Me Graphic 4

Blurb

They never found Leah Parata. Not a boot, not a backpack, not a turquoise beanie. After she left me that day, she vanished off the face of the earth. A close-knit community is ripped apart by disturbing revelations that cast new light on a young woman’s disappearance twenty-five years ago.

After years of living overseas, Emily returns to New Zealand to care for her father who has dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time – and to glimpse shattering truths about his past.

Are some secrets best left buried?

Another page-turning, emotive suspense novel from the Richard & Judy bestselling author of After the Fall and Radio 2 Book Club pick, 2020’s The Secrets of Strangers – ideal reading-group fiction, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Clare Mackintosh.

 

Review

After really liking Secrets of Strangers, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to reviewRemember Me Graphic 2 Remember Me. When reviewing Secrets of Strangers, I reckoned this was an author to watch. I wasn’t wrong. Remember Me is absolutely just as gripping and addictive to read as the layers build up to discover what happened to Leah when she mysteriously disappeared.

Emily Kirkland is a children’s illustrator in the UK, who then makes the sort of difficult decision to upsticks and leave what and where she loves, to go and care for her ailing father, Felix, who was perhaps not one of the better paternal figures there’s ever been, to care for him in his advancing years. She does have 2 siblings, Eddie and Carmen, who don’t want make any changes in their lives and reckons he should just go into a carehome so they can continue their lives with no disruption, which in a way forces Emily’s hand to go cross half the world to do something. It also turns into a journey that was more than she expected as she discovers more about him, what makes him tick and what secrets he has been concealing for so long, that have huge consequences.

The secrets that emerge that keep those pages turning as it goes between 2019 with the investigation and people in the village in their current states and 1994 when they were all shaken up with Leah Parata going missing. As time moves on, characters have aged and as well as getting to know the scenery and the inner community, the characters have also naturally aged and all are not well. Alzheimers features and is written well by Norman. She has clearly either put in the research or had experience of someone with this disease, creating an additional heart-rendering element that so many people will sadly be able to relate to, as well as someone being missing for so many years, without trace, also I am sure, relatable to those with family and those who perhaps have experienced this.

Close-knit communities is what Charity Norman seems to do well and writes with aplomb. In Remember Me, you really get to know the people in the community and the inner, anguished secrets that have been kept, creating intensity.

This is a book I highly recommend.

About The Author

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. REMEMBER ME is her seventh novel.

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#Review By Lou – Silenced By Jennie Ensor @Jennie_Ensor @HobeckBooks #Thriller #CrimeFiction

Silenced
By Jennie Ensor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour, thanks to Hobeck Books who invited me, with my review of the powerful thriller – Silenced by Jennie Ensor. Take a look at the synopsis and my review below, as well as the stunningly creepy, dark, yet atmospheric cover. Find out after all that, a little about the author too.

Silenced cover

Synopsis

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

DI Callum Waverley of the Met’s Major Investigation Team 55 is put in charge of his first murder investigation after a 15-year-old girl is stabbed outside a council estate controlled by the Skull Boys gang. Callum believes that the gang leader, V, ordered the murder. Witnesses are scared to come forward and he struggles to make headway.  Luke, who lives in the estate’s shadow, is drawn into the Skull Boys. Excluded from school, he befriends Jez, a troubled girl being exploited by the gang’s hitman, Zom. Callum becomes the target of escalating intimidation, seemingly from the Skull Boys. He suspects someone in his team may also be involved. Silenced is a gritty crime novel set in north London which delves into the heart of gang culture in 21st-century Britain.

Review

A teenage girl is brutally and shockingly murdered, shaking up the North London community to the core and becomes DI Callum Waverley’s first case. All the teenager was trying to do was try to get home. This a book with pace and so many layers. On the face of it, it’s a standard police procedural, but when you really get into it, there’s much, much more. This is about a community that feels silenced from talking to the police, not even the victim’s own mother wants to. They are all perpetually scared of the Skull Crew and what they might do to silence them. It takes a lot of work for the new DI to penetrate through the wall of silence and unravel the clues as to what happened. DI Callum Waverely also has his own demons to battle and has to push through them to solve the case.

There are themes of exploitation too and as well as exploring this, it also explores people within families who just don’t seem to care enough that their kids are being taken in by gangs when they are at their most vulnerable or acting out or thinking this would be a better way of life etc. This really goes deep into the depths of society, not just with this aspect, but also just how easy it can be for some to fall into being used by gangs and how hard it is to change your life around and escape, once so deep into them. There’s so much depth into the behaviours, morals and injustices that are created by society and are still in existence in Britain in 2021.

There are also themes of love, family, betrayal, violence, alcoholism, loss. The writing is dark, yet has an air of sophistication in all that it deals with, including the impact of crime, not just on the victims and witnesses, but also on those working in the police force, especially those investigating it, which brings a different angle to a police procedural. 

This is one powerful and intensely gripping and gritty book!