Early #SneakPeak 5* #Review Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit @orion_crime @orionbooks @RebeccaGray

*I received an arc via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I also have the permission of the publisher to share my review as a #SneakPeak #Review.*

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit
Synopsis:

You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

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Family is everything.
So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.
You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.
Is there?

My review: (Written March 2017)

This is such a unique quirky read but it is also the first read this year to give me literal nightmares! Out of a staggering 56 read so far!
The plot and themes really get inside your head.

Fear is written by German author Dirk Kurbjweit and loosely based around his own real life case of being stalked. Stalking, or more so, terrorising is the central theme and it is so subtle yet eerie and fear provoking all at the same time. Randolph is the protagonist he is reluctant, kind and maybe slightly too passive and a successful Architect by trade. His wife Rebecca is the real intended victim of the stalker with every attempt being made, one to strike at her emotions and generate fear. They also have two young children Paul and Fay. What they don’t know when they move into the flat in Berlin is that it harbours a rather sinister secret within its basement in the form of the neighbouring tenant.

The stalking begins with biscuits and treats and is taken as it should be a friendly gesture of kindness. However, it quickly develops into poetry and letters. The basement tenant Dieter is relentless in his approach to victimise and terrorise the family, especially Rebecca. What starts as innocent over shows at attempts of affection escalates into sexualised harassments and intimidation. Eventually Dieter fully accuses Randolph and Rebecca of abusing their own children.
They begin to both become self-conscious and self-accusatory and their marriage begins to suffer.

One thing that really struck a chord with me with this novel, is that early on whilst receiving no help from the police at all. The couple begin to play down Dieters disturbing behaviour. I am not criticising their experiences, just wonder why do we do that in society? It’s almost as if we rush to assume that something we did actively contributed towards someone victimising us? Often we like to think when reading a novel that’s dark and haunting, that it could never happen to us, but as this novel shows essentially it can happen to anyone!

There is a backstory surrounding Randolph’s father being in jail for murder. The obvious conclusion is drawn that it is linked to the case, but to learn the full truth we must read the novel to discover. Randolph’s childhood is talked about and he perhaps too often repeats that he had a normal/happy childhood and is thoroughly middle-class. Dieter on the other hand grew up subjected to abuse, humiliation, physical beating and sexual assaults.
Could this be his motivation for tormenting the family? Is Dieter jealous of the family’s previous happy state? Is their Happiness the source of his rage?

With friends, family members and even the children affected by Dieter’s continued passive aggressive actions the question becomes, what is Randolph going to do about it? They exhaust the legal procedures. Sgt Leidinger can provide no further support due to their being no anti-stalking laws at this time. The family hits breaking point!

This novel would make ideal reading for book groups as the plot raises so many questions. Why do we allow casual sexual harassment? Why do we wait to be attacked? Why do we our legal systems undermine the power that slander and accusations can have in a modern world?
I thoroughly recommend this novel for fans of the thriller genre and as I have stated it will get in your head! 5*

***This novel is due to be released 25th January 2018 and it is sure to be a huge hit!***
Currently available for pre-order online!

#Review 4* Hello Again by @Brenda_Novak @headlinepg @bookbridgr #CrimeFiction #NewRelease

*I received a copy via Bookbridgr in return for an honest review*

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Hello Again by Brenda Novak
Dr Evelyn Talbot series #2
Synopsis:

This is SILENCE OF THE LAMBS meets Karen Rose…

Dr Evelyn Talbot has spent her life looking over her shoulder after her teenage boyfriend Jasper Moore kidnapped, tortured and left her for dead.

She only just escaped with her life, he disappeared without a trace, and twenty-two years later Evelyn can still feel him lurking in the shadows. Studying the psychopathic minds at Hanover House – Alaska’s first mental health facility for psychopaths – is how she will track him down.
Lyman Bishop could be the perfect subject. Evelyn discovers he is just as intelligent and trustworthy as Jasper appeared, and he hardly seems like the man who has been convicted of kidnapping and murdering several women.

But if Evelyn has learnt anything at all from her terrifying experience, it’s that the most unassuming can be the most dangerous of all.

My review:

This novel is extremely dark, very well written and definitely not for the faint hearted! The novel is set at Hanover House, a mental health institute for patients with psychopathic disorders. It is in the remote location of Alaska, USA. The setting made the novel atmospheric at times; picturing a ramshackle building in isolation; a team of experts and a selection of psychopaths! I had to know more……..

“We are all evil in some form or another” The night stalker – Richard Ramirez

The opening truly sets the pace, Dr Evelyn Talbot is made aware of new arrival patient to Hanover House Dr Lyman Bishop. Bishop is accused of murdering several young women and he is almost, a Hannibal Lecter type patient, with his intellect and wit!
Bishop professes his innocence, at every given chance.
But Evelyn has heard/seen it all before.

Evelyn herself is a complex character, having been the only victim to escape serial killer Jasper Moore, at just 16years old. Jasper (then just 17years old) has evaded justice ever since. So, here we are 20 years later, and Evelyn is desperate for justice! She has dedicated her life to her profession, her sole drive being her determination to bring Jasper to account for his crimes.

“What made some people more evil than others?”

Hanover House is more than just a setting, it is written so detailed, you feel as though you are within its walls. The professionals past and present are uncovered. We learn that Evelyn herself, dealt with some harassment from a previous doctor and that doctor still remains trying to establish contact! When a heavily pregnant young woman arrives at Hanover House, claiming to be one of Bishop’s victim’s relatives, the novel takes an intriguing twist!
Is this about justice for Evelyn? Or justice for all victims of psychopaths?

Psychopaths by nature are cunning, manipulative and deceptive. They do not offer information voluntarily! Which makes this novel one hell of a gripping read! I was hooked on Bishop’s character portrayal. Is he innocent? Is he the victim? Or has he just learned, how to play the victim?
Bishop has a sister with severe learning difficulties, her role in the plot, adds a sinister twist!

This novel covers the victims of violence, their relatives, the killers themselves and their relatives! So, for a serial killer thriller you get a whole range of perspectives! I felt this really added to the depth of the plot and characters. The author has done an incredible job of bringing Hanover House alive!

This novel would appeal to those who like their crime novels dark and layered. Would recommend for fans of Karin Slaughter, Belinda Bauer, Mo Hayder and Sharon Bolton.

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Brenda Novak
Authors links:
Website: https://brendanovak.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12937.Brenda_Novak
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaNovakAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brenda_Novak

Q&A with @McGuinnessRoss #Author of Five Parks @EndeavourPress #Psychological #Thriller #DebutNovel

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Five Parks by Ross McGuinness
Synopsis:

Five Parks.
Five blind dates.
Five potential kidnappers.
No escape.

After breaking off her engagement with Michael, Suzanne is still looking for The One. Bored with her freelancing job, she decides to take matters of both work and love into her own hands and Five Parks is born.

She starts a blog, offering five prospective suitors a chance of one of five dates in five London parks. Suzanne’s blog goes viral, amassing a huge following and even getting a column in a daily newspaper.

But after the fifth date – which she has no memory of – Suzanne wakes up shackled to a bed in a windowless room. The only items with her are a table, a chair and a laptop.

And an instruction from her captor: Keep Writing.

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) Five Parks is a psychological thriller about a freelance journalist who sets up a dating blog to go on five blind dates with five different men in five London parks. After the fifth date, of which she has no memory, she wakes up alone in a dark room, handcuffed. The only light comes from a laptop her captor has left her, along with a simple instruction… ‘Keep writing’. She must do so, as well as go through her previous blog posts, if she is to uncover which of her dates kidnapped her, and more importantly, find a way out.

Like Suzanne, the protagonist of my novel, I am a freelance journalist, and have been for the past three years, writing for Yahoo, Metro.co.uk, The Guardian and the BBC. Before that, I spent three years as news features editor at the Metro newspaper in London.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) Every debut author has a long, drawn-out tale of climbing the mountain to publication, and I guess I’m no different. In 2013, an agent, Andrew Gordon at David Higham Associates, approached me and asked if I had any plans to write a book. We met and I pitched him several (mostly rubbish) ideas, but there was one he liked. So off I went for the next year and cracked out a first draft of what I hoped would be my debut novel. Only trouble was, just as I finished it, another book with a very similar jumping-off point was published. I decided to put what I had written to one side and concentrate instead on another idea, one that would eventually become Five Parks. I spent another year or so writing Five Parks and then after that Andrew found it a home at Endeavour Press.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) If a brilliant novel was published a year ago, you can guarantee I’ll get to it in another 12 months – I’m terrible! I’ve only just read Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough’s thriller that totally deserved its famous #WTFthatending hashtag. It actually should have had a #WTFthatbeginning hashtag, because once you read the WTF ending you can’t help thinking what happened at the start was even more out there. Brilliant book.

I absolutely love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. I went to university in Dublin and also worked there, and she captures the city’s seedy side so wonderfully. She’s one of those rare crime writers who doesn’t have to rely on plot developments to hold your attention – the writing on its own is just so fantastic.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I went straight from Roald Dahl into Stephen King, a literary journey I would highly recommend. Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes are still as horrifying as anything King has concocted. Most would-be authors say On Writing is King’s best book – and it kind of is – but it’s a fight between Salem’s Lot and The Dark Half in my 13-year-old brain. The best book I’ve ever read is still Frankenstein though – every single sentence is packed with ideas.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I did my own Five Parks book tour, leaving free copies on benches in each of the five London parks from the novel. In one of the parks, I overheard a reader who had picked up her copy say, ‘This has made my day!’ – which pretty much made mine.

I also found out recently that Five Parks has made it into its first book club, which is tremendous. Even if they spend just two minutes discussing the novel before moving on to talking about how crap work is or what they’re watching on Netflix (like every book club ever), Five Parks will still have made it into a book club!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) Just like Suzanne, I was very secretive with Five Parks. The only person who knew I was writing a novel at all, apart from my agent, was my wife. I couldn’t have done it without her.

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Ross McGuinness
Authors links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/McGuinnessRoss
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ross.mcg.58

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