#BookReview by Lou of Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten #CrimeFiction @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity

Dead Perfect
By Noelle Holten
Rated: 5 stars *****

Today I am delighted to be closing the blog tour for Noelle Holten and her book – Dead Perfect.

Fast-paced, gritty and chilling to the end – Dead Perfect is a book that packs a punch, with its twists and turns and sinister moves of a stalker.
Thanks One More Chapter/Harper Collins for providing me with the book and for Sarah Hardy for later, inviting me to join the blog tour. 

About The Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering cases of domestic violence and abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Dead Inside is her debut novel and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Dead Pefect.png

Blurb

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

Dead Pefect

Review

A tapping sound, a hammer and a video makes an intriguing prologue.
The Major and Organised Crime Department at Stafford Police Station is where DC Maggie Jamieson is in active service and in comes a sinister case that could be so close to home for her and the team, with a stalker on the loose. The writing is impactful and emotional, as well as compelling and believable as it twists from as early on from the first couple of chapters.

The team solving the case are likeable, especially Nathan and his protective nature.

When it comes to the culprit, there is edge of your seat, atmophere, as the tension builds, as does the case. It also has an air of creepiness about it. This is powerful writing of a stalker’s harrowing and spine-tingling activities.

There is also Lucy Sherwood, who has completed her probation at Markston and is an agency Probation Officer who is opening a refuge for men and women. She also feeds into the case as well, in a practical sense and both her story and the case all come together rather seemlessly and naturally. The author has evidently used some of her own background when writing about Lucy Sherwood, which enhances the character.

There’s the question of whether the stalker and murderer are one of the same person or if both cases are not linked at all. It’s a book that keeps you guessing!
There is also the question of the press being involved that adds to the intrigue.

It’s quite edgy and graphic in nature, but in a realistic sense of being tied-up, which then becomes absorbing, with a need to find out what happens next and who will be caught and who will survive and how people are connected as evidence is pieced together, but there are twists and turns within this as well.

It is captivating as the behaviours of the stalker are discussed and as the colleagues try to work it out and also recall a historic serial killer. There seems to be a lot for readers to get stuck into in this book and all is detailed with what needs to be done to protect the officers as much as possible about each part of the case to catch the criminal, but still, Noelle Holten manages to keep everything pointing in the same direction of attempting to solve the case and keep it all gripping and chilling to the very end.

#BookReview by Lou of The Postscript Murders By Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @Hannah_Robbo @QuercusBooks #CrimeFiction

The Postscript Murders
By Elly Griffiths
Rated: 5 stars *****

Enthralling and enchanting from beginning to end with curious characters. Postscript Murders is mesmerising and captivating.
Thank you to Hannah Robinson at Quercus who went to great lengths to get this book for me to review.

Please find the blurb and my review below.

The Postscript Murders

Blurb

The ultimate gripping murder mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries

PS: Thanks for the murders.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…

And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…

And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…

Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who’s ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes…

PS: Trust no one.

The Postscript Murders

Review

Peggy is a peculiar old lady with her diary as she meticulously takes notes of what she sees along a sea front. She is particularly suspicious of a couple of men and is later found by Natalika in her home and the contents tell a story within itself as Natalika starts to go through her belongings and tries to unravel exactly who she was and what she did and why her name appeared in so many books as it becomes curiouser and curiouser. It makes me think of tv series, Through the Keyhole in a way as the deeper you get into the book, the more you wonder “who lives in a house like this” and try to guess just who Peggy really was in Seaview Court, although it takes a more sinister turn. The book in someways, circulates around the many books within what was her flat as the mystery delves deeper. Throughout the book  are many crime fiction titles, but listed to become ingeniously part of the story. There are also other references from other mediums of entertainment too.

Harbinder Kaur is 36, unmarried and still living with her parents, which may be relatable to so many around this age and suits her. She is a detective sergeant, which her parents seem very pleased about. She does have one drawback and that is, she hasn’t yet told them that she is gay and it all becomes a bit complicated when the family have guests around and that eternal question that single women get faced with, whether you are gay or not, of if there is a boyfriend on the horizon type of thing is asked. Elly has captured Harbinder’s reaction very well.

Benedict Cole is also looking for love, since leaving St. Bedes and has some romantic idea in his head that you actually meet someone whilst walking by the sea or in a library and not online and has his eyes set on someone.

Just as the mystery is something readers can enjoy delving deeper into, so are the characters lives as time passes by. Author, Dex Challoner is also one of those intriguing characters within Shoreham to get a look inside his life and a glimpse into Millionaire’s Row.

There are twists and turns as more deaths occur, throwing up more into the mystery in what becomes a book that delves into not just the mysterious character of Peggy, but also the world of authors, publishers and literary festivals, such as the one in Aberdeen. Then there’s also Natalika from Ukraine, who is also embroilled in crypto-currency from when she lived there and there may be Ukranian mafia after her. All this is enough to wonder even more what the connections are to Peggy and to keep the pages turning.

Letters are found between Peggy and Joan, which seem poignant and particularly pertinent to their life stories, at least in part, going between many topics and reading letters is often fascinating.

It is an absolutely enthralling book acknowledges a lot, from books to tv creations to cities to festivals, all weaved in and out of a mystery of very intriguing characters.

 

 

 

 

#BookReview by #Lou of Murderous Passions by B.R. Statham @brstateham @HenryRoiPR #CrimeFiction

Murderous Passions
By B.R. Statham
Rated: 4 stars ****

Sinister and intrigue between the pages of Murderous Passions.

Thank you to Henry Roi for contacting me to review Murderous Passions on-be-half of his represented author – B.R. Statham.
Read on for the blurb, review and link.

Blurb

Two cops. Four homicides. One case involves a college professor and six thousand suspects. The second involves a dead farm girl, a dead gigolo, and a grieving housewife. The third is a jewel thief who likes to play with big caliber guns. The fourth involves a drug-crazed hoodlum with a killer’s desire to challenge the world. It is just another working day for Detective Sergeants Turner Hahn and Frank Morales.

Murderous Passions

 

Review

A tinkle on the piano may never seem as innocent again. Strike up the music and take away a piano string from the note of C and the author presents it as, not a thing of beauty for music to be made, but a very murderous instrument for garroting. It all gets very messy and macabre for someone known to Anderson University. Frank Morales and a couple of “on the beat” officers Alonzo Gonzales and Tubby Charles are on the case to such a murder, which is gruesomely described at the beginning of the book. The book then turns to the classic whodunnit mystery as it weaves through university-life within the Science faculty, focusing, especially on the professors within the Chemistry and Physics departments. The faculty was somewhat surprising as I had automatically assumed it would be within a music department, but as it isn’t so obvious, it adds to the intrigue.

It all happened in the science department of the university and there are a good few candidates of who could have committed such a murder or may know something within the department. It’s all pretty well described in a sometimes sinister way as the plot takes readers to a plethora of characters who are questioned. The university is also worried about the publicity the case could get and in-turn, its reputation, which could be in question over other serious misadventures within the very faculty that is under investigation for the murder.

Certain aspects feel a little overly described, but mostly it plunges readers deeper into the life of the characters and the mystery and sails by at a decent pace as you play detective, trying to work out what the motive really is and who committed such a murder as theories the police put together are torn apart here and there at the seams and holes appear, adding to some twists and turns.

There’s a political bent to this book about gang crimes and policing. The book certainly packs a lot in and shows certain parts of modern times and what’s happening on the streets.

Murder is twisted, but this one seems more so as more questions to do with how the victim was killed and more, are thrown out there for the police to work out. It’s interesting to read about the police pondering over different suspects and who may have motive.

The book keeps you guessing as motives and behaviours present themselves, one suspect at a time until quite a twist, that has a tone and turn of phrase, that may well leave readers with a shudder about at least one of them.

The last paragraph, both within the context of the book and outwith context of the book is both profound and thought-provoking.

Social Media Link

Twitter: @brstateham

 

#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.

 

 

#BookReview by Lou of Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten #CrimeFiction @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity

Dead Perfect
By Noelle Holten
Rated: 5 stars *****

Fast-paced, gritty and chilling to the end – Dead Perfect is a book that packs a punch, with its twists and turns and sinister moves of a stalker.
Thanks One More Chapter/Harper Collins for providing me with the book and for Sarah Hardy for later, inviting me to join the blog tour.

About The Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering cases of domestic violence and abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Dead Inside is her debut novel and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Dead Pefect.png

Blurb

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

Dead Pefect

Review

A tapping sound, a hammer and a video makes an intriguing prologue.
The Major and Organised Crime Department at Stafford Police Station is where DC Maggie Jamieson is in active service and in comes a sinister case that could be so close to home for her and the team, with a stalker on the loose. The writing is impactful and emotional, as well as compelling and believable as it twists from as early on from the first couple of chapters.

The team solving the case are likeable, especially Nathan and his protective nature.

When it comes to the culprit, there is edge of your seat, atmophere, as the tension builds, as does the case. It also has an air of creepiness about it. This is powerful writing of a stalker’s harrowing and spine-tingling activities.

There is also Lucy Sherwood, who has completed her probation at Markston and is an agency Probation Officer who is opening a refuge for men and women. She also feeds into the case as well, in a practical sense and both her story and the case all come together rather seemlessly and naturally. The author has evidently used some of her own background when writing about Lucy Sherwood, which enhances the character.

There’s the question of whether the stalker and murderer are one of the same person or if both cases are not linked at all. It’s a book that keeps you guessing!
There is also the question of the press being involved that adds to the intrigue.

It’s quite edgy and graphic in nature, but in a realistic sense of being tied-up, which then becomes absorbing, with a need to find out what happens next and who will be caught and who will survive and how people are connected as evidence is pieced together, but there are twists and turns within this as well.

It is captivating as the behaviours of the stalker are discussed and as the colleagues try to work it out and also recall a historic serial killer. There seems to be a lot for readers to get stuck into in this book and all is detailed with what needs to be done to protect the officers as much as possible about each part of the case to catch the criminal, but still, Noelle Holten manages to keep everything pointing in the same direction of attempting to solve the case and keep it all gripping and chilling to the very end.

 

Desert Island Crooks – Crime Authors Desert Island Books @BloodyScotland @cbrookmyre @lizzienugent @harriet_tyce @RuthWareWriter

Desert Island Crooks
Bloody Scotland Online

The chair of this panel, Jonathan Whitelaw has dumped fellow crime authors on a desert island and asked them which books they would take with them.

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming an author and has written many successful books, including Quite Ugly One Morning and his latest is Fallen Angel.

Liz Nugent worked in Irish TV and radio dramas and is now also a novelist of many books, including Our Little Cruelties.

Harriet Tyce was a Criminal Barrister before becoming a writer, with her debut being Blood Orange and her second is – The Lies You Told.

Ruth Ware published in 40 languages and has written many books recently had even more success with The Turn of the Key and  her latest is One By One

 

The 3 books they would each have with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

Chris Brookmyre

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Reason unsual and absorbing – takes place in US and Laszlo is a pioneer of psychological pioneer. Has Theodore Roosevelt as the protaganist.
Sense of political events and corruption and is like reading history as it takes place.
Hugely atmospheric, rollicking Tale.

The Alienist: Book 1 (Laszlo Kreizler & John Schuyler Moore)

The Crow Road by Iain Banks,
Reason – He wants to relive it over and over. It’s quinessentially Scottish book. It takes place in Glasgow and there is a road there in that. It is in urban and rural Scotland. It’s about complex relationships and he told of a great opening line. There’s the rights of passage and the jealousy. There is crime within it as an uncle goes missing. He reckons they would be his surrogate family whilst he was on the desert island.

The Crow Road: 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

 Holistic Detective Agency series by Douglas Adams
Reason there’s a fantasy/sci-fi/crime fiction book with Dirk Gently as the detective. It deals with time travel, but brings humour and you can read it a second time straight after to get something different out of it. It shows people can seem nicer than what’s really lying beneath. He says you can always find something new in it.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently Series Book 1)

Liz Nugent

The Collector

Reason: About a butterfly collector has decided to collect a woman instead. Average loner who suddenly wins the pools and he buys a house and has creates a basement where Miranda is kidnapped and wants to pin her to the wall with his butterfly collection
The story is told from both points of view.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper.
Reason Set in Australia, she was taken by the deadly landscapes and how stranded you can become in the harsh elements and poisonous snakes.
She talked of so many people having skin cancer too and it sounded so routine.
The lethal landscape attracted her. The story is of 3 brothers and one who is presumed to have committed suicide and another who is estranged. It’s about families and redemption, she says how it is a terrific read.

The Lost Man: the gripping, page-turning crime classic

The Book of Evidence By John Banville

Reason: Freddy Montgomery has come back from living in the med where he squandered his money and has decided he will steal a painting. He ends up murdering a maid by accident and is about the horror of knowing you’ve done something really bad and can’t escape from himself. It’s based on a harrowing true story.
She says it’s an outstanding read and there’s so much in it to unpick.

The Book of Evidence by John Banville (2010-03-05)

Harriet Tyce

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

ReasonPublished in 1938, who has a 17 year old psychopath is the protagonist, with Ida being the antagonist. It’s about good and evil and nicely forgives Greene for how he describes Ida.
She seems to like the atmosphere and the ending.

It was interesting that she started a small division about the view of Brighton.

A-Level Notes on Graham Greene's Brighton Rock

Endless Night for Agatha Christie.

Reason: She wants to unpick it for the ending. Michael has a dream of the perfect house and marries an heiress. There’s a curse and lots of bad things happen and it all builds up before the reveal at the end. You think it might be one thing, but a great twist at the end as it becomes another.

Endless Night

In A Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Reason: Written in 1948 – Set during war times and the protagonist strangles women and there is feminism and evil.

In a Lonely Place (Penguin Modern Classics)

Ruth Ware

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

Reason – It’s a psychological thriller, but not categorised as such. A poisoning takes place

Says it’s really well-plotted and the characterisation and it being told through Phillips eyes and swings that takes place. Du Maurier takes you into agreeing, but also mistrusting him.

It’s poisoning in its state, but also is Phillip actually poisoned for his thoughts of women.

My Cousin Rachel (Virago Modern Classics)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Reason: She suddenly realised that it is about a bunch of strangers killing each other. She thought, if things went bad, she would know what to look out for.

The Talented Mr Ripley and The Secret History by Donna Tartt were in a tie as they both have compelling characters, with her plumping for The Secret History for its faintly horrible characters and the settings.

The Secret History: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Goldfinch