New release, review: The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey 5*

the spcial girls cover

The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey

The synopsis:

They are called the ‘special girls’. How are they special and why were they chosen? Historical child sex abuse is linked to the murder of a young doctor in this gripping psychological thriller

A doctor is found beaten to death in woods close to a summer camp for young women with eating disorders. The camp is run by the charismatic Professor Chesham. DI Grace Fisher is called in, but is quickly pulled from the investigation – to head up a cold case inquiry involving Chesham himself.

Some years earlier, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her.

As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the doctor’s murder, she discovers the full extent of the damage done to the special girls – and the danger they are still in.

My review:

This novel opens up with a violent murder, committed at a holiday camp for teenagers with eating disorders. The victim is junior doctor Tim Merrick he was there to provide therapy support for the girls. Eventually we meet several characters at the retreat. Dr Ned Chesham is the senior psychiatrist in charge. Crystal his nursing assistant and the owners of the retreat. This novel is police procedural and the Detective Grace Fisher is left feeling the pressure juggling both the internal politics of the metropolitan police & coppers from her past. When the case reveals that it may have a link to historical abuse.

I have read many novels that feature historical abuse. But none quite like this one. The plot somehow manages to touch on every theme related & is a full and frank account of how Historical abuse has a distressing impact on victims & their families. It touches upon how abusers target victims with no credibility and how they ultimately engulf the victims via controlling behaviours & manipulation. It negotiates feelings of self-blame and blaming others. With more & more victims coming forward in real life. We are very much reminded that although abusers sexually violate the body, their behaviour also causes a huge strain on the victims mental wellbeing. Essentially………How do you take down a man…….When he holds all the power?

There are some other background characters, all of them woven into this cleverly written book. The cop from the past, past victims and the journalist determined to aid the case. It builds and builds to an absolutely devastating ending…….Which again fully demonstrates how this particular case of historical abuse effects every single character involved in the novel. As a mother myself of a teenage girl, I found this very shocking and thought provoking. A very difficult topic and a 5* read!

*I received an Ebook via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Blog Tour, review: The Red Cobra by Rob Sinclair 5*

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The Red Cobra by Rob Sinclair

The synopsis:

The Red Cobra: an action packed and utterly gripping thriller from the best-selling author of The Enemy Series

Carl Logan dedicated nearly twenty years of his life to the Joint Intelligence Agency. Now living in a secret location, under the new identify of James Ryker, he wants nothing more than to be left alone, the chance to start a new life away from chaos, violence, destruction and deceit.

It’s not long, however, before Ryker’s short-lived idyll is destroyed when he is tracked down by Peter Winter, his ex-boss at the JIA. Winter brings with him news of the murder of a woman in Spain, Kim Walker, whose fingerprints match those of one of Ryker’s former adversaries who’s been missing presumed dead for years – an infamous female assassin known as the Red Cobra.

A cyberattack at the JIA led to the Red Cobra’s profile being compromised, and Winter believes JIA agents may now be at risk too, Ryker included. But Ryker knew the elusive Red Cobra better than anyone, and when he sees the grisly pictures of Kim Walker’s corpse, he has news for Winter – she isn’t the assassin at all …

So just who is the mystery dead woman? And where is the real Red Cobra?

My review:

I don’t read much of the action/thriller genre, that is not saying I read none at all. I currently have Assassins Creed sitting patiently on my TBR pile. I suppose it is mostly due to most of the book hype being focused on crime fiction or literary novels. When I came upon the chance to be part of the blog tour, I simple though it would make a very nice change. Currently I am going through some stressful times with my son’s schooling due to his Autism. So it was quite beautifully ironic, that I absolutely loved this novel due to the escapism it allowed me to achieve. I actually PG-rated some of the content telling him what was happening and where it was going. My son is a huge fan of graphic novels and the characters Deadpool & Deadshot. Anyway I am very grateful to have picked this novel up when I did and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Red Cobra opens with a scene of a vicious assault on a woman and you quickly become aware that this novel has short but sharp fast paced chapters. The plot is complex and edgy from the first page. We quickly become familiar with the main characters; Carl Logan now living as James Ryker has worked previously for the Justice Intelligence Agency (JIA). His lover Lisa former FBI agent Angela Grainger. Both now living under assumed identities, in hiding. When Ryker is asked by former boss Winter to assist into the murder of suspected female assassin Red Cobra….

Ryker begins with the MI5/MI6/JIA profiles of Red cobra AKA Anna Abayev, we become aware that they are known to one another. Viewing the Crime scene photos of the body, Ryker is able to say with abject certainty that it is not the body of Red Cobra. So Who is Kim Walker? And where is Red Cobra? Is there a link between the Red Cobra and Kim walker’s corpse in Malaga Spain? The fingerprint match from Kim walker’s corpse to Red Cobra’s profile is confirmed. But how are a female assassin and pregnant woman linked? How do you even earn a name like Red Cobra?

The novel has reflective chapters from the viewpoint of Anna Abayev/Red Cobra. We learn about what shaped and changed Anna’s viewpoint on life and why she ultimately became a hired killer. Anna’s past is deep, dark and disturbing. with ties to the Soviet Union and the Winter’s retreat, we learn that Anna’s whole life is based upon surviving against extreme adversity, with revenge being her sole aim.

Having now flown out to Malaga, Ryker is to pose as a freelance investigator to assist the MET police. He becomes acquainted with UK detective Paul Green and local inspector Cardo. We learn more details of Kim’s brutal murder and it is extremely violent/graphic! The investigation points towards Patrick Walker, but with a solid alibi, there’s no evidence. Ryker becomes more and more determined to solve the case and end the mystery. When Patrick is attacked with a note left for him saying “I know”, it becomes obvious the evidence points to some involvement on his part.

What is Patrick Walker hiding? Is Red Cobra on a path of revenge? Who do you trust, when everyone can be bought? This is certainly not a novel of sun, sex and sangria in Spain. It is action packed, there are; Russians, assassins, secrets & lies, conspiracy’s, revenge, mafia and secret identities. What’s not to like?

I won’t add to much further for fear of leaving spoilers. But I enjoyed this book immensely! It reminded me of Kill Bill or John Wick, with the stories of the assassin’s betrayal. There is a huge twist at the end, that I never saw coming and just when you think the talented writer Rob Sinclair is done, He delivers another whopper, making it read right until the very last page! 5*

*huge thanks to Rob Sinclair, the staff at Bloodhound books for my Ebook copy in return for an honest view.
Also sincere congratulations to Rob for Reb Cobra becoming an instant bestseller on Kindle! Way to go!

rob sinclair

Authors website:
Twitter: @RSinclairAuthor