#BlogTour #Review #WhenAKillerStrikes by @RCBridgestock @caffeinenights #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #TeamDylan

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

Blog tour poster
When A Killer Strikes by R C Bridgestock
Synopsis:
“Boss, we’ve got a body”.

Detective Sergeant Vicky Hardacre, greets him at the scene, but what awaits them behind the blood red door of Colonial House is undoubtedly a murder. The approach identifies several prime suspects. But who is telling the truth; and who is lying?

Before the killer can be caught, another body is discovered, this time in a putrefying mixture of mud and slime, lain among the remnants of decaying food within a waste-bin shelter. Now it’s the task of the man in charge to make the call.

Are the two murders connected?

There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by working long hours, within strict budgets, and the usual pressure from above to obtain quick results.

However, Dylan is distracted by personal matters, with Jen being keen to seal the deal on a renovation project. He suggests they delay finalising the purchase; until he discovers the significance of the house, and that it’s about to be demolished.

In his absence, Jen’s pleas for help from his estranged siblings are answered, resulting in hidden secrets coming to light, as Dylan continues, through a twisting and turning plot, to ensure justice is done in respect of the murder victims, whose bright hopes for the future were cruelly snatched away.

My review:

I am a huge fan of the DI Jack Dylan series and I have read every novel in the series! I love the northern setting of Harrowfield Town and the northern dialect scattered throughout the novels. The series are very much police procedural but DI Jack Dylan’s private life, with wife Jen often gives the novels a softer and more realistic feel. It is easy, to get the sense you are reading a true-story of a crime rather than a crime fiction series.

The novel opens with a suspicious death at colonial house. Dylan and Jen are still left reeling from their personal grief from earlier in the series. Jen has her heart set on moving home, a new home, a new start and a new life.
But being married to a copper is far from an easy lifestyle!

The victim is 14-year-old Patti Heinz, she is a local star on account of her gymnastic abilities. She is found strangled, naked and possibly raped by her stepfather Elliot Black at her home. The team begin to collect the evidence, organise door to door interviews and request press officer Connie Seabourne keep the case, on the down low. The last thing the police need, is the press clambering for dirt on the victim and harassing the family. A post mortem is organised to establish the facts of what happened to Patti.

Aware that Dylan can give no information to local/national journalists. That doesn’t stop a local journalist giving him a tip off with regards to Patti’s relationship to her stepfather. The journalist states that Elliot was controlling of Patti, dominated her gymnastics career and had an extensive collection of photos of her.
Did Elliot murder Patti? Was the mother aware of a abusive relationship? One thing is for certain Patti’s family are now under intense scrutiny from the police.

Across town in Harrowfield, Jen busies herself with viewing potential properties. With Dylan working longer and longer hours Jen is left to manage the house sale and move alone! Jen’s character took move of a step back in this particular novel. I really missed her usual wit and conversations with Dylan. They form such a brilliant couple, I missed the family drama and hope for more in the next book in the series!

As the team continue to investigate potential suspects. They discover that there are many men, with a the potential to cause Patti harm. From the lonely teenage neighbour who watches her every move via his telescope. To a rejected love interest and local pervert. The team also investigate her gym teacher and coach. But the DNA evidence collected from the scene begins to rule out more and more of the suspects………

So who killed Patti Heinz? And why?

When a young male walks into the police station and confesses to the crime. The team wonder if this is just too easy.
Is he mentally ill? A liar? Or delusional? Or is he really Patti’s killer? Comprehensive examinations of Patti’s mobile phone and laptop reveal images of another unknown male.
But who is he? And why does Patti have topless images of him on her phone?

The case delivers twist and turns galore. There is a crisis on the team, when a copper is arrested for drunk driving in a CID vehicle. There are hints and clues drip fed into the novel about Dylan’s childhood. Something we the reader, know very little of. It becomes quite clear it was far from a happy childhood and I hope more is revealed further in the series.
When another dead body is found stuffed in a bin. Dylan is put under extreme pressure to solve both complex cases. There are insinuations, which reference a previous case, so those new to the series may struggle to grasp how they fit into the bigger picture. But for #TeamDylan fans, it adds to the drama and hype, for what is an action packed ending!

Tremendously recommend the DI Jack Dylan series and I am already looking forward to the next in the series! #TeamDylan 4*

bob & Carol
R C Bridestock aka Bob & Carol Bridgestock
Authors links:
Website: http://www.rcbridgestock.com/
Twitter: @RCBridgestock
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcbidgestockauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059116.RC_Bridgestock

About RC Bridgestock:

Bob was a highly commended career detective of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. During his last three years he took charge of 26 murders, 23 major incidents, over 50 suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults. He was also a trained hostage negotiator dealing with suicide interventions, kidnap, terrorism and extortion.

As a Detective Inspector he spent three years at the internationally acclaimed West Yorkshire Police Force Training School where he taught Detectives from all over the world in the whole spectrum of investigative skills and the law. On promotion to Detective Superintendent Bob was seconded to a protracted enquiry investigating alleged police corruption in another force. He worked on the Yorkshire Ripper and Sarah Harper murder, and received praise from Crown Court Judges and Chief Constables alike for outstanding work at all ranks, including winning the much coveted Dennis Hoban Trophy.

As a police civilian supervisor Carol also received a Chief Constable’s commendation for outstanding work.

The couple are the storyline consultants on BAFTA winning BBC One police drama Happy Valley and series 3 of ITV’s Scott & Bailey.  Carol started and chaired the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle in 2008, along with Bob where she created an annual charitable community writing competition to inspire others of all ages.

The couple pride themselves on being up-to- date on past and present day UK police procedures, and as a result Bob is regularly sought by UK television, radio and national and local newspapers for comment on developing major crime incidents etc. And they have taken part in Radio 4 (Steve) PUNT P.I.

Together they can be regularly seen as speakers at a variety of events in the literary world and work with colleges and schools in providing writing seminars and workshops. Three RC Bridgestock trophies are annually achieved by students.

*Bob & Carol are a fantastic couple, who contribute a wealth of support to various charities. I truly wish them the best of luck with the release of #WhenAKillerStrikes and thank them for the opportunity to be part of their #BlogTour*

#Review 4.5* Midnight In Berlin by @jamesmac1x @Duckbooks #WW2Fiction #HistoricalFiction

*I received an paperback copy in return for an honest review*

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Midnight In Berlin by James MacManus
Synopsis:
Berlin, 1938. Newly-appointed military attaché Noel Macrae and his extrovert wife Primrose arrive at the British Embassy. Prime Minister Chamberlain is intent on placating Nazi Germany, but Macrae is less so. Convinced that Hitler can be stopped by other means than appeasement, he soon finds that he is not the only dissenting voice in the Embassy, and discovers senior officers in the German military who are prepared to turn against the Führer.
Gathering vital intelligence, Macrae is drawn to Kitty Schmidt’s Salon (a Nazi bordello) and its enigmatic Jewish hostess Sara Sternschein—a favourite of sadistic Gestapo boss Reinhard Heydrich. Sara is a treasure-trove of knowledge about the Nazi hierarchy in a city of lies, spies and secrets. Does she hold the key to thwarting Hitler or is Macrae just being manipulated by her, while his wife romantically pursues his most important German military contact, Florian Koenig?
MacManus’s absorbing new novel evokes a time and place when the personal and political stakes could not be higher, and where the urge for peaceful compromise conflicts with higher ideals and a vicious regime bent on war. As loyalties are stretched to the limit and Europe slides towards another war, could just one act of great courage and sacrifice change everything?

My review:

This novel is ww2 fiction at its finest! It is rich in its content and character depth. I also think it would suit the reader who may lack the factual ww2 knowledge. As it is fully expanded upon. The factual and historical accuracy is superb! The central allied characters are likable and the Nazi characters are portrayed very much, on point with what we have come to know now, post ww2.

Colonel Noel Macrae and wife Primrose arrive at the British embassy in Berlin, to a new posting and new life. Only neither of them can predict how much, their time in Berlin will ultimately change who they are……

Macrae will begin work alongside Roger Halliday and David Buckland. They work for the ambassador Sir Nevile Henderson. The ambassador is a weak man, having spent far too long in Germany, cosying up to the Nazi elite. Nevile believes Germany and Hitler, do not want another war and that this is mere speculation. An evening meal is organised and they are warned to stay away from hotel Adlon. Where the journalist and racketeers thrive.
But what kind of diplomat, heeds every word of their bosses?

“There is always a price to pay for Peace” Nevile

The novel explores Macrae’s background and marriage. We learn that he is an experienced soldier in ww1 and is sniper trained. We also learn he has significant marital problems, with his wife stating they should each embark on affairs.
It isn’t long until Macrae is drawn to the Adlon.

At the Adlon, Macrae makes an acquaintance of Shirer an American journalist with CBS. He explores Berlin and the surrounding governmental buildings. I found that pre-war Berlin was brought alive on the page and that it felt very atmospheric, if not eerie to read. Through conversations with Halliday and Macrae’s old friend German Colonel Koening. We learn that Hitler is planning a military coup, to establish complete control of the military. Hitler is planning a purge.
But why would Hitler plan a purge, if he is not really to go to war?

Across town in Berlin, Joachim Bonner, Herdrich’s #2 is partly running the salon Kitty. A brothel disguised as a restaurant, where the sole attraction is Sara Sternschein. Sara was a university law student, until Hitler took power and ended her life as she knew it. She is now forced to be a prostitute at the salon. The Nazi’s coerced her into the role, with threats against her brother (Joseph being held at Buchenwald) and her mother. They use Sara, to literally turn ‘tricks’ on Nazi Elite. Enabling Heydrich to always stay one step ahead, of any competition. The chapters with her in, are sinister and eerie, the fact that she is so unemotional in her response to her plight, broke my heart!

“You know I always obey orders” Sara

When the military coup, becomes fact, Macrae is faced with informing the UK government. Nevile still persistent in his beliefs that this is not necessarily an act of war. I found Nevile very frustrating, but is this because I have the forth sight Nevile never could have had?

The history around this particular year, is fully detailed within the novel. We witness the effects of Hitler’s actions on all of the staff at the British embassy.
It isn’t long until Macrae, Halliday and Koening are plotting………

“I don’t want to be here. I can’t stand the place. It’s evil” Macrae

Bonner decides to have Sara turn her ‘trick’ on Macrae. But he hasn’t taken into account Sara’s own plotting. Life faced with ‘servicing’ the Nazi elite, must have been daily physical and emotional torture. Then Macrae and Sara finally meet………..

This novel really is an education on the ww2 era. The secrecy, lies and desperation for information, flows from the page.
This novel brings Berlin to life!
4.5*

JM
James MacManus
Authors links:
Website: http://www.jamesmacmanus.com/
Twitter: @jamesmac1x
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1250590.James_MacManus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesMacManusAuthor/