Anne Bonny #BlogTour #Extract Perfect Dead by @JackieMBaldwin1 #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #DIFrankFarrell #Series @KillerReads Sometimes perfection is worth killing for. . .

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Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin – DI Frank Farrell #2
Synopsis

Sometimes perfection is worth killing for…

The second gripping crime novel in an exciting new series. Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell finds himself on the trail of a vicious killer in rural Scotland. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

Extract:

7th January 2013

DI Frank Farrell glanced across at Mhairi as the police car slid and bumped its way along an icy farm track towards a small stonewashed cottage. It was 10.10 a.m. and the sky was bright with a pale wintery sun. A young police officer who worked out of Kirkcudbright stood in front of the blue and white tape and walked towards them as they parked alongside the SOCO van.

Farrell exited the car with a feeling of dread in his stomach. In his time as a practising Catholic priest, suicides, in particular, always had a profound effect on him. The thought that someone might be driven to die at their own hand was unfathomable.

‘SOCO nearly done in there, PC McGhie?’
‘Yes, sir, they reckon it’s fairly cut and dried. The police surgeon is in there too. Didn’t exactly have to look for a pulse. Blood and brains everywhere.’
Farrell quelled him with a look.
‘Do we know the name of the deceased yet?’
‘Monro Stevenson, according to the opened mail, sir.’

Silently, Mhairi and Farrell suited up in their protective plastic coveralls and overshoes. Even if it was suicide, care had to be taken not to contaminate the scene, just in case.
‘Right, let’s get this over with,’ said Farrell.
He opened the door and entered with Mhairi.
A middle-aged man in a tweed jacket and cords was packing away his stethoscope in a brown leather satchel in the hall. He straightened up as they approached. Farrell noticed that he had an unhealthy greyish tinge to his face and that his hands were shaking.

‘Morning, Doctor. DI Farrell and DC McLeod.’
‘Dr Allison. Cause appears to be suicide. A terrible business,’ he said. ‘A patient of mine, as it turns out. He was only twenty-seven.’
‘It must be difficult when you know the deceased,’ said Mhairi.
‘Yes, if only he had come to me. I could have got him some help. Anything to avoid this,’ he said, gesturing towards the other room.
‘Any chance you can give us an indication of the time of death?’ asked Farrell.
‘Well, as you know, my role here is restricted to pronouncing life extinct. However, given that rigor is at its peak, I would hazard a guess, strictly off the record, that he died somewhere around fifteen hours ago. However, you’ll need to wait for the preliminary findings from the pathologist for any degree of certainty.’
‘Thanks, Doctor,’ said Farrell. ‘I appreciate the heads-up.’

The doctor turned to leave. Farrell approached the two experienced Scene of Crime officers, Janet White and Phil Tait, who were gathering their stuff together at the rear of the hall.
‘Janet, what have you got for us?’
‘It looks like a suicide,’ she said. ‘Gun placed in the mouth and trigger pulled. We lifted prints from the gun. Gunshot residue on the right hand of the deceased matches that scenario.’
‘There’s a note,’ Phil said. ‘It’s in a sealed envelope. We’ll get you a copy once we’ve done the necessary checks back at the station. We’ve also removed the gun for ballistics analysis.’
‘What was it?’
‘A PPK 380 mm. We recovered the bullet from the wall behind the chair.’
‘How on earth did he get hold of one of those in this neck of the woods?’
‘Your guess is as good as mine,’ shrugged Phil.
‘A suicide note,’ said Mhairi. ‘That means it’s unlikely to be a murder?’
‘Unless he was coerced, or it was staged,’ said Farrell.

JB
Jackie Baldwin
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***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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Anne Bonny #BookReview City Of Sinners by @aadhand 5* Genius #CrimeFiction #HarryVirdee #Series #Thriller #Bradford #NewRelease @TransworldBooks No one is safe. . .

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City Of Sinners by A.A. Dhand – Harry Virdee #3
Review copy
Synopsis:

It is an ordinary Yorkshire morning, cold and miserable.

The streets are not yet busy. Police cars hurriedly pull up in the centre of town, but none of their lights are flashing and the sirens are silent.

A body has been found, elaborately and painstakingly positioned to send a message. But what message? And to who?

It’s DCI Harry Virdee’s job to find out. But Harry doesn’t know that the killer is watching him, that the killer is coming for him.

Because this is personal.

A DI Harry Virdee Thriller

My Review:

I am a huge fan of the DI Harry Virdee series and I definitely believe this to be the best yet! It has something unique this time round, with added creepy moments. With all honesty, there were moments I had twitchy restless legs and actually hide my head inside my hoodie!!!! Be warned, this case is seriously creepy!!!
The novels are best read in order so that you grasp the full background of Harry’s marriage, family and family feud. The backstory adds co much depth to the series and is a fascinating insight into multicultural Britain and the issues it faces.

Straight of the first page of the prologue you are aware of the killer’s hatred for Harry. He has a female victim present and promises
‘The start of Bradford’s darkest week begins’.

When Harry arrives at the crime scene of murder victim Usma Khan, he is horrified. The body has been posed theatrically within Bradford’s Waterstones. I don’t want to spoil the scene as it is the authors finest scenes to date. But it is worthy in a comparison of the writing of Thomas Harris and his Hannibal Lector series! Dhand has really gone for the gritty shocking crime scene and it terrified this reader!

Across Bradford at the city hospital, Saima (Harry’s wife) is in the middle of her nursing shift. When her father-in-law Ranjit Virdee, is rushed into A&E. This is far from any form of happy reunion. But this is best left explored within the novel. Especially if you are new to the series. Saima continues to be quite a big character within the series and it really works. I love to see Harry’s happy home life with Saima and their son, in comparison to the crime scene’s he witnesses.
It also adds a sense of realism to the novels too.

At the autopsy of Usma Khan, a note is discovered on the body with the inscription ‘This is only the beginning Harry’. This is the first time the police discover there maybe a connection to Harry and Harry is desperate to uncover what links him to the death of Usma Khan. Then the daughter of a prominent Bradford figure goes missing and hell breaks loose…..

The novel explores Harry’s enemies and the cases that caused the individuals to despise Harry so much. This offers an interesting insight into Harry’s background and we learn things we never knew before. Harry also ponders if this could have any relation to his brother Ronnie criminal enterprise. Harry is the only police officer to know of Ronnie’s history with alcohol and life of crime. There are some interesting passages on racism and the challenges faced in various communities. Dhand shows us that Bradford can be both a cultural minefield, and a community that has worked hard; to heal from the previous race riots of the past.

‘In his opinion, brown-on-brown racism was as toxic as it got’ – Harry Virdee

The killer begins to taunt Harry personally and publicly.
‘Do you see the sinner, Harry?’
‘I see you Harry Virdee. . . I see all the sinners’

This is an intense read from start to finish. The last 25% I was having heart palpitations! This novel has it all a dark and sinister killer, grotesque crime scenes whilst also offering a unique perspective on racial prejudice.
Don’t miss A.A. Dhand’s phenomenal series!

AAD
A.A. Dhand
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Butterfly Fish by @IrenosenOkojie #Literary #Historical @QPBookfest #LitFest @midaspr ‘A beautifully told story from an author with a very bright future ahead of her’ #ButterflyFish

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Butterfly Fish by Irenosen Okojie
Review Copy
Synopsis:

BETTY TRASK AWARD WINNER 2016

A fragile outsider living in London, Joy struggles to pull the threads of her life back together after her mother’s sudden death. Emptiness consumes her and, needing to fill the gaps of her loss, she finds she is drawn to a unique artefact inherited from her mother – a warrior’s head cast in brass that belonged to a king in eighteenth century Benin, Nigeria.

Joy is haunted by a beautiful young woman who appears in her photographs, familiar yet beguilingly distinct, the woman trails her wherever she goes. Joy begins to dream of a different time, a different place. She feels an inexplicable pull towards this mysterious female, and a past revealing itself through clues is scattered in her path. As family secrets come to light, she unearths the ties between her mother, grandfather, the wife of the king, a fearsome warrior, and the brass head’s pivotal connection to them all.

Haunting and compelling, Butterfly Fish is a richly told story of love and hope; of family secrets, power, political upheaval, loss and coming undone.

My Review:

Butterfly Fish is a blend of various ear’s and spans between London and Benin. I think the synopsis is immediately eye-catching and extremely unique. The author has done a fantastic job of weaving modern day London, 1950s London and 19th century Benin.

The novel opens with Joy in modern-day London. She is overcoming the death of her mother and it has been a painful process. She is helped by neighbourhood eccentric Mrs Harris. Who plays the role of lonely old lady, perfectly!

“I just feel . . . abandoned” – Joy

The novel also jumps to 19th Century Benin and the community of Esan. It follows the story of Adesua whom becomes the king’s 8th wife. Adesua is beautiful and yet a tomboy. I knew instantly there would be more to her character than meets the eye.

‘The fall of a great kingdom did not always start with war’

Joy is summoned to her mother’s solicitor’s Mervyn. So that he may go through the will with Joy and explain the items. Mervyn is an old family friend, and this eases the process for Joy. What she discovers does not.
Joy’s mother has left her, her house £80K, her grandfather’s diary and a brass head artefact. But what does it all mean?

‘Maybe dead people left behind puzzles for their loved ones all the time’ – Joy

Adesua must navigate her new life and with rumours and speculation surrounding the king, it does not come easy. The narrative of 19th century Benin is brought alive on the page and I could never do it justice here. But the full story of the king, his wives and their lives is revealed. The writing is beautiful and very descriptive, I found it hard to believe this is a debut novel.

There is a third narrative and that is the story of Queenie who comes to London in the 1950s from Lagos. She is pre-warned of the miserable weather and frosty reception. She finds work and meets new people and her story begins to develop.
The beauty of this novel is how the three women’s lives collide. What unites Queenie, Joy and Adesua lies in the diaries of Peter Lowon. Joy’s search for her own history and place in the world leads her to its pages.

A beautifully told story from an author with a very bright future ahead of her. 4*

IO
Irenosen Okojie
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Irenosen Okojie will be appearing at the Queen’s Park Book Festival
Sunday 1st July at 3:30pm- 4;30pmLink to event
Event’s WebsiteTwitter
Event details:
One of the country’s brightest new talents Irenosen Okojie talks about her writing with Shyama Perera and reads from her latest work. Irenosen’s debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award.

LItfest

 

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Cabin At The End Of The World by @paulGtremblay 5* Genius #Horror #Thriller #NewRelease @TitanBooks ‘Buy it! You won’t regret it!’

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The Cabin At The End Of The World by Paul Tremblay
Review copy
Synopsis:

The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense.

Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake, with their closest neighbours more than two miles in either direction.

As Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young and friendly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologises and tells Wen, “None of what s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out, “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen.
But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”

So begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are intertwined.

My Review:

I have read and enjoyed, A Head Full Of Ghosts and Disappearance At Devil’s Rock, both by this author. So, I feel qualified enough to say, this novel is AMAZING, and the author is a GENIUS! This novel is a great mix of psychological thriller and horror. It is insanely intense from the beginning to the end, and I am not sure that I even breathed during the last 10%.

The novel opens with a little girl named Wen, sitting on the porch of an isolated cabin. Her parents Eric and Andrew have rented the cabin as the perfect escape from the reality of a busy life. The cabin is set within a picturesque location. However, it is two miles from the nearest property and has no cell phone service!!!!!
Which as a devout fan of the horror movie genre, instantly freaked me out!!!!

The family is seeking a break from the hassle of social media, busy schedules and relentless parenting duties. They just want some quiet time, by the lake, as a family.
Only they aren’t completely on their own. . . . .

The family’s background is explored, and we learn all about Wen’s adoption and the roles each father plays in their daughter’s life. I loved the concept of a thoroughly modern family and the diversity it finely brings to the genre. I think the author has done a fantastic job of creating the personalities of the individual family members.
They soon feel, like people you know.

As Wen sits on the porch collecting grasshoppers, innocently daydreaming her day away. A smiling man appears and wants to talk. Wen knows all about ‘strangers’ but his warm smile instantly disarms the little girl and she figures, it can’t hurt.

“Hi there . . . My name is Leonard”

Wen is an intelligent and determined little girl, she casually passes the time of day with the unusual man. Then the conversation suddenly changes, and others appear.
When the other people in the group arrive, Wen senses danger and she retreats to inside the cabin to warn her fathers.

The group consists of Leonard, Sabrina, Adriane and Redmond. They assemble on the porch and refuse to leave until they are heard. They warn the family of the impending ‘end of the world’ and tell them they have some tough decisions to make.

What does it all mean?
Who are the group?
Where did they come from?

Andrew and Eric begin the typical responses, they warn the people to leave, attempt to call for help and Andrew even claims to have a gun. But the group persists that they need to prevent the coming apocalypse, a sacrifice must be made!!!

The terror of the situation keeps you hooked to the page. I was desperately trying to fathom the motivation behind the group and guess what they had planned next for the young family.

Imagine having to bargain with insanity, for your life.

The sanctuary of the cabin quickly becomes a place of death and madness as the events unfold. Are the prophecies real? Or are the group just religious fanatics?
A fantastic novel, that I do not wish to spoil by sharing too many details.
Buy it! You won’t regret it! 5* Genius

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Paul Tremblay
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My Q&A with the author

 

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Puppet Show by @MWCravenUK 5* #CrimeFiction #DebutNovel #NewSeries Welcome to The Puppet Show. . .

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The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven #1 Washington Poe
Review copy
Synopsis:

Welcome to the Puppet Show . . .

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see.
The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive …

My Review:

The Puppet Show is the first novel in a new series (I hope). It features DS Washington Poe and civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw. The duo compliment each other perfectly and it truly makes this a fantastic new series. Where Poe is brash and rugged, Tilly is socially awkward, yet intelligent and direct.
I can’t praise the creation of Poe and Tilly enough!

The novel opens with a scene of a man being set alight. It sets the tone for the nature of the crimes detailed within the novel. This is no Nancy Drew, the murders and are dark and they are brutal.
The press name the killer the ‘Immolation Man’ and the victims begin to stack up!

Washington Poe is currently residing in Cumbria, serving out a suspension, from his last case a violent torture/murder case that saw Poe lose his rag!
When DI Stephanie Flynn informs him, his name was carved into the chest of one of the victims. If he doesn’t help the team, they have to issue him an Osman warning as his life is at risk. . .

‘I need you to re-join the human race’ – Steph

The novel then goes on to detail all the victims and the savage murders that took place. It is not for the faint hearted! As said above these are violent murders. But the novel does focus more on the skills of the detectives than scenes of graphic violence.

Matilda (Tilly) Bradshaw obtained her first degree at Oxford University at just 16yrs old. Since then she has acquired a masters and two PHD’s. she specialises in computers and mathematics. She has virtually zero social skills and is routinely bullied by fellow police staff. Something Poe does not take kindly too.

Poe and Tilly attempt to fathom a connection between the victims. They are all wealthy men, of the same age and were staked and burnt in the exact same manner. Yet they struggle to establish what links these men.
Then Poe receives a postcard, with a sinister message. . .

The message leads the police to a case from the past. How this ties into the current murders they are not sure. Did someone make a mistake in a past case? Do the murders have a revenge theme? If so who is targeting Poe? And why?

This is a brilliant debut novel, with a phenomenal ending! I very much look forward to the rest of the series and I can see it having a long and prosperous life.
I applaud the author on his usage of inclusive characters. I am a huge fan of Tilly Bradshaw and can’t wait to watch her develop throughout the series! 5*

MWC
M.W. Craven
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