Anne Bonny #BookReview Presumed Dead by @MasonCrossBooks 4* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #CarterBlake @OrionBooks @orion_crime So why are they convinced she’s still alive?

Presumed Dead by Mason Cross
Carter Blake Book 5
Review copy

‘What do you know about the Devil Mountain Killer?’


Adeline Connor was the Devil Mountain Killer’s final victim. After she was gunned down, the murderer disappeared and the killing spree ended.


Carter Blake has been hired to do what he does best: to find someone. But this time he’s hunting a dead girl – Adeline Connor’s brother is convinced she’s still alive.

But this town doesn’t want an outsider digging up old business. And as Blake gets deeper into the case, it starts to become clear that the murders didn’t ju st stop fifteen years ago.

The killer is on the hunt again.

My Review:

This is the fifth novel in the Carter Blake series. I must confess that it is the first novel by Mason Cross that I have read. I think the novel can be read as a stand-alone, I thoroughly enjoyed it as such. Carter Blake is different to the usual kind of protagonist I read within the crime fiction genre, as he is much more action based. He is likeable and comes over brilliantly on the page.
Carter Blake gets the job done!

The novel opens in the present day, when Blake attends a funeral at Ravenwood. At the funeral he comes across Lauren Day, she is mother to his old school friend Karen. Karen Day went missing in 1995, after leaving work, she was never seen alive again. Her body was discovered after a storm and the family were able to gain some form of closure. Blake as a young teen was part of the search teams and it has been a case that has always stayed with him. Lauren informs him, that she now runs the Missing Foundation, to help other families in their search for truth and justice. Lauren asks Blake to look into a case for her. . .

“He says he saw his sister. Alive” – Lauren

The case in question has ties to the Devil Mountain killer. A serial killer in NEC Georgia that murdered nine victim’s execution style. The crimes took place between Aug 2002 – Oct 2003. There were five male victims and four female victims. The victim in question, is Adeline her body was never discovered but she was declared dead. Her murder was tied to the case, when the killings ceased. Lauren pleads with Blake to meet with her brother David Connor and offer his expertise.

Blake establishes contact with David Connor and a meeting is scheduled. Blake makes his way to Lake Bathany the nearest town to Devil’s Mountain. He hopes to establish contact with the local Sheriff’s department and solve the mystery once and for all. Is Adeline dead or alive? Who is the mysterious woman David saw?

The rural location is described brilliantly, and the author really sets the scene, of the small town where the plot will take place. However, once Blake arrives it is not to any form of welcome. The local police are hostile and dismissive of Blake and David. It would appear the town would rather David left, so they could all move on.
But what does David have, to move on to?

Deputy Isabella Green and Deputy Haycox are wary of the newcomer to town. But they both have a vested interest in the Devil’s Mountain Killer case. So, over time they become more intrigued by his presence in their town.

‘Small towns have long memories’

Blake meanwhile is finding nothing but dead ends and old leads. Even David’s description of seeing his sister is doubtful. How can he be so sure?

‘Adeline Connor was dead and gone. So why did her brother think he had seen her alive and well in downtown Atlanta’ – Blake

This novel is jam packed with secrets, suspicion and mystery. There are twists and turns galore! The action-packed ending was so cleverly constructed, it may leave some fans of crime fiction on the fence. But this little crime fiction addict LOVED it! 4*

Mason Cross

Presumed Dead is released today!

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #GuestPost – Class Structure. Tapestry Of War by @JaneFMackenzie #HistoricalFiction #ww2Fiction #NewRelease @AllisonandBusby

tapestry of war
Tapestry Of War by Jane MacKenzie

From the deserts of North Africa, to the waters of Scotland, the Second World War touches the lives of two women from two very different worlds. In Alexandria, Fran finds her world turned upside down as Rommel’s forces advance on the idyllic shores of Egypt. The life of luxury and stability that she is used to is taken away as she finds herself having to deal with loss, heartache and political uncertainty. Meanwhile, in the Firth of Clyde, Catriona struggles between her quiet rural life and her dreams of nursing injured servicemen on the front lines. As the war rages on, the two women’s lives become intertwined – bringing love and friendship to both.

Guest Post:

I have dedicated this book to the myriad people whose lives and endeavours threaded together, weaving victory into the tapestry of war. The second world war threw people from different nations, cultures and classes together in a way no previous war had done. They worked together, challenged each other, and prised open long established social structures and beliefs. It was no accident that the general election directly after the end of the second world war swept the war hero Winston Churchill out of office and gave a landslide victory to the Labour party. The people who emerged from World War Two wanted a different world.

Setting Tapestry of War in two such contrasting locations as Alexandria in Egypt and rural Scotland allowed me to insert a spyglass into that social upheaval. My characters in Alexandria are wealthy colonials with servants and grand homes, living a life of tennis parties and cocktails. But into their world come fighting men with completely different values, Australian troops who despise the British class system and invade bars supposedly reserved for officers, Indian troops who make it clear that they are not fighting this war to preserve the Empire, people from all over the globe who want to defeat Hitler, but not to preserve the old British order.

My sober naval officer Jim MacNeill comes from simple, quiet-living, industrious Highland stock. He doesn’t want to get drawn into what he sees as the frivolous social whirl of Alexandria, but he does. And in spite of himself he becomes entangled with a woman from that social circle. Jim and Fran’s relationship challenges them both, but Fran is a journalist. She too can see that the old order is on its way out, and she can see the damage being done by the narrow-minded arrogance of the old British colonial mentality.

Back at home in Scotland Jim’s sister Catriona is living a very different war, nursing injured servicemen and looking after her father. But for people at home too the world is turned upside down by the war. Women like Catriona are entering into new fields of work, mixing with American, French, Polish servicemen, left-wing conscientious objectors who build ships for the war instead, a whole melting-pot of people of every social background whose experiences will forever change them after the war. Their parents had lived grimly through the Great Depression, had known and never changed their social order, had done as they were told. But now, as World War Two reaches its end, those who have given their all want a better future.

Tapestry of War isn’t a deliberately ‘social’ novel. Indeed, I hope it is a very human one. But you can’t write about World War Two without witnessing the fascinating changes it helped bring about. It was a melting-pot. And when you melt things they never take quite the same shape again.

Jane MacKenzie

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
Especially my blogger buddy for the day, Love Books Group.
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