Anne Bonny #BookReview An Unwanted Guest by @sharilapena #NewRelease #Mystery #Thriller @TransworldBooks ‘Murder, mystery and suspicion’

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Review Copy

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.

My Review:

An Unwanted Guest centres around a weekend at the Mitchells Inn. A weekend that should be one filled with relaxation, peace and quiet. But turns out to be a weekend of murder, mystery and suspicion. During a violent storm, the guests finds themselves cut off from the outside work. In a remote location where no one can get in or out!
With a killer in their midst.

The novel is told in almost a diary style, with the dates/times listed. So we read on, as each of the guests arrive and come to know there individual personalities. They are an unusual bunch and none of them really trusts one another, when the murders begin. . .

Gwen Delaney and Riley Shuter are best friends on a weekend escape from life. Riley is distant; and we learn that it is due to her PTSD and recovery from time as a war correspondent for national news. There is also top NY criminal defence attorney David Paley, a widower seeking a break from the daily grind of work.

There are three couples Lauren Day and Ian Beeton. Beverley and Henry Sullivan, an older couple with a marriage in trouble. Dana Hart and Matthew Hutchinson, a newly engaged couple that are the gossip of the guests.
There is also a resident writer on retreat Candice White, whom spends most of her time alone and away from the other guests.

Six of the twelve rooms are occupied this weekend. With the weather the hotel is short staffed. As it is a family owned business, father and son James and Bradley Harwood, find themselves managing all the tasks needed to keep the hotel running. The father James is the hotel’s chef and the son Bradley the bartender. The guests settle in and unpack for their first night at the hotel. In the morning, they are awoken by the sounds of screams. . . .

At the bottom of the stairs lays a body. There is a power-cut and the hotel is plummeted into darkness. Did the victim fall? Or were they pushed? Is this an accident or murder?

Throughout the novel, the guest’s dark secrets are slowly revealed. I was gripped by the individual storylines. Beverley and Henry’s unhappy marriage goes from bad to worse. The friendship between Gwen and riley is truly tested, when Gwen makes choices Riley disapproves of.

The characterisation is brilliant; and I loved how the secrets are slowly revealed.
They felt like little bits of gossip and really added to my feelings regarding different characters.

Upon the discovery of the body, fear sets in and accusations begin to fly. With the guests turning on each other, will the killer ever be revealed? David with his experience of criminal court, takes centre stage making decisions for the group. But even David has secrets. Secrets he doesn’t want revealed.

The novel has a clever whodunit style. Like a modern-day Agatha Christie novel. It has a brilliant ending that doesn’t disappoint.
Murder, mystery and suspicion 4*

Shari Lapena

Anne Bonny #BlogBlitz #GuestPost Murder By The Broads by @Tamiozzo3 #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #MurderByTheBroads @Bloodhoundbook

Murder By The Broads by Anthony Tamiozzo

Discover an unmissable new crime thriller today.

Meet DS Adam Burnt, a troubled man who has his work cut out.

While at a crime scene he is informed of another murder. But Burnt is also having problems at home. He suspects his wife is having an affair.

As the clues unfold DS Burnt begins a game of cat and mouse.

What links the two murders to a doctor and a psychiatric hospital?

Trying to juggle his personal life and the job, Burnt must navigate Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas to catch a killer and stop a vicious gang.

Guest Post by Anthony Tamiozzo:

New or old?

A friend of mine, Jonathon.G.Foss, who writes, and got me into writing has a difference of opinion with me on the subject.
Since catching the writing bug I knew straight away what I wanted to achieve. From the first few lines I typed out I knew I wanted to write a commercial crime thriller. I read debut novels from indie publishers to get a feel for what you have to achieve to get published – to find how high the bar is.
This was an instinctive pursuit. I hadn’t thought there was any other way to view your achievement in writing. If you were published your stuff is good – right? It’s been through the, to use an engineering term, quality control.

Well, Mr Foss thinks different. Firstly he writes for fun, doesn’t do too many drafts. For me I endured multiple re-writes to improve the style. Fossy has self-published several fantasy/sci-fi books and a fun insight into the life in oil and gas in the North-sea called Angels of SCADA. He says if people want to read them – great! If not, who cares.
Then he pointed out his dislike of modern writing (not all), how everything has to be so tight, and cannot deviate from the plot for the fear of losing the reader, like there is so many rules with modern writing. He has read far more books than me, has trawled through a lot of old classics and uses those to reference what is different about writing today. He says ‘A modern editor would have cut Moby Dick in half. It’s baggy, fully of detail.’
Another example of classic writing is In Les Miserables the landlord character has a huge long flashback to the battle of Waterloo. But there is no relevance to the rest of the story. I haven’t read it, so I take his word, I am too busy reading tight, clipped modern thrillers. Foss would happily write pages and pages of exposition while I summarise.
The modern way is – if you can do without it, then cut it. Classic writing is more about the detail, almost writing for writings sake. I guess this is an oversimplified view, and I am showing my ignorance in classic writing but all that said, what I find thought-provoking is that writing like most art-forms has trends. Question is – will it do a full circle? Will the classic writing pattern return to popularity? Maybe it has and I have missed it because I’m engrossed in my own bubble.

People go for certain titles, styles and genres change, quicker than ever before due to the immediacy of vast literature that’s within a touch of a button. What I can’t help thinking is that the modern abbreviated style suits people’s lives. Everything is faster paced than previous years. People read on their commute, for ten minutes at a time on their phone at a bus stop, or in queue at the dentist. People can have hordes of books on the go, and flick between them in a swish so an array of fast paced novels with minimal detail is ideal.

Tamiozzo - pic
Anthony Tamiozzo

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Now You See Her by @HeidiPerksBooks #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @arrowpublishing #NowYouSeeHer

Now You See Her Hi-Res Cover Image
Now You see Her by Heidi Perks
Review Copy

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

My Review:

Now You See Her, is an intense psychological novel. It focuses on the relationship between Charlotte and Harriet. With one simple day, playing a HUGE role in their futures. The two women were once best friends, right up until the moment Charlotte lost Harriet’s daughter Alice (4yrs).

The novel is set in Dorset and it really adds to the drama when we learn that another little boy went missing last year. Dorset being a small coastal community, instantly there is speculation that this is an abduction.

Before we can fully begin to get into the drama, the backgrounds of both women are explored. We learn that Charlotte is a single mother to three children. She is Harriet’s best friend and therefore was quick to offer to help her out and mind Alice, so that Harriet could attend her book keeping course. It is the first time Harriet has ever left Alice with another adult and he is understandably nervous and apprehensive.

‘Somewhere along the line she had become the mother she didn’t want to be’

Charlotte makes her way to the local school’s fete with the four children in tow. She meets up with friends Audrey and Karen. When her attention drifts from the bouncy castle for mere moments. Alice is GONE!

PC Fielding and PC Shaw are first on the scene. They immediately organise a search of the area. Charlotte is left devastated and bereft, she questions if Harriet will ever forgive her. This really is every parent’s worst nightmare, from either perspective. To lose a child or to feel responsible for the possible abduction of a child.

In the days following the disappearance more and more speculation and rumour grows. Charlotte is exposed as being on Facebook at the time of the alleged potential abduction. Her friends turn on her and she feels too ashamed to leave her home. There is online venom poured upon her and her own reliability as a mother. In a moment of deep pain, she reaches out to Harriet and her husband Brian. Only to discover they blame her too.

‘This isn’t the first child she’s lost’ – Brian

Brian demands to be the parent that speaks at the press conference and his whole demeanour is controlling and possessive.
I really began to question his role in this disappearance.

I cannot say too much more for fear of leaving spoilers. But this is an intense read.
The role of suspect and victim constantly shifts.
The novel keeps you guessing and guessing. 4*

Heidi Perks

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Anne Bonny #BookReview Sins As Scarlet by @NicObregon 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #AmericanNoir ‘The novel is timely, accurate and raises awareness of the dangers the trans community face’

Sins As Scarlet by Nicolas Obregon
Review Copy

Former homicide detective Kosuke Iwata is on the run from his past . . .

Five years ago, he lost his family. Now he may have found his redemption.

Living in LA and working as a private detective, he spends his days spying on unfaithful spouses and his nights with an unavailable woman.

Still he cannot forget the family he lost in Tokyo.

But that all changes when a figure from his old life appears at his door demanding his help.

Meredith Nichol, a transgender woman and his wife’s sister, has been found strangled on the lonely train tracks behind Skid Row.

Soon he discovers that the devil is at play in the City of Angels and Meredith’s death wasn’t the hate crime the police believe it to be. Iwata knows that risking his life and future is the only way to silence the demons of his past.

Reluctantly throwing himself back in to the dangerous existence he only just escaped, Iwata discovers a seedy world of corruption, exploitation and murder – and a river of sin flowing through LA’s underbelly, Mexico’s dusty borderlands and deep within his own past.

My Review:

I am a huge fan of diverse novels and you don’t really get many more diverse than Sins As Scarlet. It features a variety of characters from all walks of life and differing cultures. The victim in the novel is a transgender woman and Inspector Kosuke Iwata is determined to solve the case.

The novel opens on the Mexican – USA border. A pregnant woman is fleeing, and she has sustained violent injuries. The truck is gaining on her as she recites a Spanish prayer. . .

‘Most sacred heart of Jesus, I accept from your hands whatever death may please you to send me into this night’

The United States border patrol are the figures that have given chase. With another unidentified male, making his escape. They murder the pregnant female and it is at this instance I knew, things were not as they seem at the border.
This novel was going to be very dark indeed.

Kosuke Iwata is a second-generation Japanese American citizen. He currently lives in Torrance in California. Iwata’s past is fully explored within the novel. He has known considerable emotional pain. Both in his childhood and adult life. He works as a private investigator, when he is asked to take a case by Kate Floccari (state prosecutor) with regards to her husband potentially cheating on her. Iwata relinquished his own police career in Japan and has never attempted to join the police forces in the USA.

‘He figured tomorrow would just be another day, another case’

90K people go missing in LA each year!
As the novel takes you around Los Angeles, the author does an impressive job of describing the various communities.
From the poverty of Skid Row to the wealthy untouchables.

Iwata is alone in his office when he is accosted by his mother in law, Charlotte Nichol. Iwata’s wife died previously, and Charlotte asks for his help to find the killer of her only surviving child. What makes the case so unique is that Charlotte’s son Julian had transitioned gender and was living as Meredith. Meredith was murdered two weeks ago, and the police have shown little to no interest.

‘I won’t ever forgive you for what you did to Cleo. But maybe you can still do some good in this world’

It is widely known that transgender women are at an extremely high risk of being the victim of violent crime. Although this is widely known and an issue globally. Little is done in the way of preventative measures and ensuring the safety of transgender women. In fact, 45% of hate crime victims are transgender women and sadly the statistics reflect and upward trend in the crime. The novel is timely, accurate and raises awareness of the dangers the trans community face.

Iwata attempts to gather information from LAPD cop detective Joseph Avery Silke. But has little success. The cops are simply not interested.

‘Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul’ – Marilyn Monroe

Iwata has a contact in LAPD records and information, Earnell McCrae, who owes him a favour. He soon finds he has access to the police file and it does not look good. Meredith was living at Skid Row, she was a known prostitute and drug user. She was strangled on some train tracks and found by a homeless man. She had, what appears to be injuries of a sexual nature, but were they part of the murder? Or a sexual encounter? Did a punter discover her male genitalia and Meredith paid with her life?

Something happened to Meredith and Iwata finds his new case, also a quest for redemption. He begins his investigation by speaking to customers and staff at the various Latino exotic dancing bars. He learns of Meredith’s lover ‘Talky’ and friend Genevieve. He has little to go on and decides to research similar cases.

‘I know whoever killed Meredith is still out there. And I don’t think he’s finished’

Iwata uncovers a spate of local murders of transgender women. With five women dead and only one solved case. All except one, strangled. Is someone murdering transwomen? Do they make the perfect victim to a sexual predator?

‘There was a man with a garrotte and a taste for transgender women’

Iwata can’t get Meredith’s plight out of his head. The people he encounters at Skid row, stay with him long after he has left. The homeless, destitute, disabled, mentally ill and undocumented. They are the marginalised, vulnerable and undesired in society.

‘Meredith had moved a thousand miles to be herself. He wondered is she died for it too’

When Iwata attempts to contact the trans community he is met with a wall of silence. He hears of a trick rumoured to kill trans women, but rumour soon becomes urban legend. What he does uncover is a community of people, often rejected by their families and loved ones, forced to live on the fringes of society.

The novel is deeply layered and very intelligent. The author has done an outstanding job of describing the locations mentioned in the novel. The characters come alive on the page. You get a real sense of the struggles the trans community face and risk of violence in their daily lives. It appears to me that vulnerability and exploitation go hand in hand.

‘The devil is on every street corner in this place’

The novel has a brilliant ending and I can not wait for the next in the series. 5*

Nicolas Obregon

Anne Bonny #BookReview Rose Gold by Walter Mosley 5* #EasyRawlins #Series 1960s LA @wnbooks ‘I am a HUGE fan of Walter Mosley’s writing style and he provides the most AMAZING book quotes. His writing is informative, intriguing and genius!’

Rose Gold by Walter Mosley ~ Easy Rawlins #13
My own copy

When four armed policemen turn up at Easy Rawlins’s door, he thinks he’s in trouble. He is.

They want him to find Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a millionaire arms dealer. And Easy can’t afford to say no.

The LAPD think she’s with Bob Mantle, a black boxer turned radical. Has she been kidnapped? Is she colluding? When Easy is almost gunned down on his first day on the case, he realises he’ll need more than wits to find Rose Gold.

My Review:

I hit a reading slump and was desperate to read one of my author favourites to pull me out. So I decided to order the last two novels in the Easy Rawlins series, that I haven’t read yet!
I am a HUGE fan of Walter Mosley’s writing style and he provides the most AMAZING book quotes. His writing is informative, intriguing and genius!

Another thing I love about this specific series, is being able to step into Easy’s shoes and see life through his eyes. After all, how else am I going to experience being an African American male in 1967?

The novel opens on moving day, four white armed men appear at Easy’s new address. Easy instantly becomes alert and apprehensive about what they want?
They require his assistance with a particularly sensitive case. A missing person’s case, but no simple ordinary case by any means. Rosemary Goldsmith is the daughter of a billionaire arms dealer. The detectives are unclear whether Rosemary is involved in her own abduction, hence the need to keep this case of the legit records.

Easy is offered $80K for the missing person’s case and $25K upon completion. Easy maybe many things, but stupid ain’t one of them. He is immediately aware that this case must have some serious danger attached.
But like most PI’s he can’t resist the lure of an intriguing case.

Within the novel we are reunited with various characters from the series. The novel does explore and update readers on Easy’s children and best friend Mouse. But the series, really is best read from the beginning, to fully appreciate these characters and their relationships with Easy.

Back to the case, Rosemary is a student at UC Santa Barbara university and has been rumoured to have become friendly with known radical ‘battling Bob Mantle’. Before Easy can even get remotely close to Bob Mantle’s gym, he has his windshield shot out and police harass easy the victim of the crime.

The only cop Easy trusts is Detective Melvin Suggs, who is currently on leave. Easy recruits him to help on the case in exchange for helping Suggs with his recent suspension from the police force. This is where the novel takes a unique spin. Mouse is not as involved in this novel, his character sits it out, as such.
But it doesn’t take from the enjoyment of the novel at all.

This is complex mystery with political themes. There are spin-off stories which add extra depth. I cannot wait to read the next in the series Charcoal Joe. 5*

To fully appreciate the exceptional writing of Walter Mosley, I have left my usual quotes to the end of my review. I guess I am leaving them open to the readers interpretation, as does the author himself.

‘No amount of silver could buy the passions in an aging man’s heart’

‘You know the only thing worse in their books than a black mother is the white mother of a negro child’

‘Innocence was rarely a key factor for justice in the world Bob and I inhabited’

Walter Mosley