Anne Bonny #BookReview Fade To Grey by @JohnelWilliams #LegalThriller #CrimeFiction @noexitpress ‘Modern and diverse crime fiction 4*’

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Fade To Grey by John Lincoln
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Gethin Grey is the man you call when there’s nowhere else to turn. His Last Resort Legals team investigates miscarriages of justice. But Gethin is running out of options himself: his gambling is out of control, his marriage is falling apart and there’s no money left to pay the wages…

Izma M was sent down years ago for the brutal murder of a young woman. In jail he’s written a bestseller and become a cult hero, and now the charismatic fading-film-star Amelia Laverne wants to bankroll Gethin to prove Izma’s innocence. For Gethin – low on luck and cash – the job is heaven sent.
But is Izma M really as blameless as his fans believe?

My Review:

Fade To Grey is a fascinating legal thriller that tackles the issue of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system. Focusing around the case of Ismail Mohammed/ Izma M/ Tyrell Hanson, who is now a prominent civil rights leader from his jail cell. He currently serves his sentence for the murder of a white girl, despite there being no real evidence to convict him. Is he innocent or guilty as charged?

Gethin Grey runs Last resorts legal team, they invest in miscarriages of justice and are made aware of the case by Amelia Laverne, who wishes to bankroll the quest for justice for Izma.

‘I’ll bet if he’d been a nice middle-class white boy the case never would have got to court’

Gethin prioritises his cases in five categories from the no hopers to the good cases, to the guilty.
Izma’s case sends mixed messages. He denies the brutal murder of Hannah Gold, but DNA evidence confirms the two had sex prior to her death. Gethin and his team will have to dig into the original case notes, if they hope to find evidence of Izma’s innocence.

‘Bad luck and prejudice could easily be enough to see an innocent man convicted’

The team at Last Resorts offer an interesting blend of characters. They add more drama to the investigation as they bring their skills to the table.
Modern and diverse crime fiction. 4*

JL
John Lincoln
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Anne Bonny #BookReview A Gift For Dying by @mjarlidge 4* #NewRelease #Thriller #AGiftForDying #ICanSeeDeath

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A Gift For Dying by M.J. Arlidge
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he’s seen and heard everything.

That is, until he meets Kassie.

Because she claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Adam doesn’t believe her, obviously.

But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her.

He just doesn’t realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

My Review:

‘We’ve got I live one here’
Adam Brandt is an on-call forensic psychologist at the Cook County jail in Chicago, which put him in contact with various professionals and criminals alike.

This will be where he comes to meet Kassandra ‘Kassie’ Wojeck. When she is brought in, after a public altercation with federal prosecutor Jacob James. Kassie is 15yrs old and with a rap sheet a hardened criminal would be proud of. Kassie’s relationship with her mother Natalia is virtually non-existent due to Kassie’s criminal activity.

The bringing together of Adam, Kassie and Jacob would usually not remain of any significance. That is until… Jacob is missing and Detective Gabrielle Grey’s brought in to investigate, everything just got 100% more complicated.
Detective Grey is convinced the disappearance is a gang related crime, due to gangbanger activity in the local vicinity and Jacob’s chosen profession.
But is it really that open and shut?

‘Nobody becomes a detective in Chicago for an easy life’ 

When Patrolman Dwayne Reid, pulls over local gangbangers and finds Jacob’s mutilated corpse inside the book. The case appears solved!
But Kassie has something to share…
‘I can see death’

Kassie has a special vision, which she desperately tries to explain to Adam. Whilst at the same time, she is unaware she is seriously incriminating herself!!!
As Kassie’s past and Adam’s personal life are further exploded as the two grow closer. Adam is still unsure, if he can trust this tearaway teen. That is until Kassie makes a SHOCKING admission, one that had me gasping at the pages and shouting “they have to make this into a film!!!!” (Page 186 – reference).

When another body is found and can be tracked back to Kassie. She will have to work hard to convince Adam she is telling the truth. But is she? Does Kassie have genuine visions? Or are they a ruse?

Kassie really drew me into the story. She is young, friendless and lonely. She has a strained relationship with her mother and her father is dead. She finds little comfort/support in life and this made me warm to her character. But at the same time, I didn’t trust her and could fully understand Adam’s predicament.

A Gift For Dying is a gripping and tense story, surrounding the Chicago Butcher.
Can Kassie prevent the killer adding more lives to his tally? or are her visions due to her own fragile mental health?
You’ll be racing across the pages to discover the truth. 4*

MJA
M.J. Arlidge
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Anne Bonny #BookReview & #Extract Halfway by @bevjoneswriting 4* #Psychological #SerialKiller #Thriller #WinterReads

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Halfway by B.E. Jones
Review Copy
Synopsis:

If everyone is lying, who can you trust?

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass and hidden deep in inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, two women end up knocking on the door, seeking refuge as a blizzard takes hold.

But why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the local district nurse is missing, she jumps at the chance to investigate her disappearance.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm, but soon realise they might have been safer on the road. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas . . .

My Review:

The prologue opens on 22nd December 2017, we are aware of an armed and frightened female. Then the novel cuts away to the present moment, of a hitchhiker stranded in a snowy isolated Welsh scene…

‘There will be noise and fury. There will be damage. There will be casualties’

The novel spans around various characters and their current circumstances. Which includes the local law enforcement. We become aware there is a crime scene at a farmhouse and the majority of the police have dispatched there. Leaving PC Lisa Lloyd (6 months out of probation) and soon to be retired Jim Price.

There are little snippets of information cleverly woven into the plot. Such as, we know the hitchhiker is making their way home and to a farmhouse. We also get the scene of an old man caring for his son Brian and bed bound wife Rose. The three main perspectives are from the old man, local cops and the hitchhiker, who has now been picked up by a district nurse.

As the plot develops, I never felt I could trust any of the individual characters. But when all the characters collide at a closed pub The Star, nicknamed Halfway… ALL will be revealed!!!! This title is a psychological thriller, perfect for the winter months! 4*

photo of Bev
B.E. Jones
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halfway

Extract:

Excerpt 1 – Prologue

When she sees the hatchet in his hand she knows it’s going to happen, right here, right now. It’s been coming for hours, longer probably, since before the storm howling and keening around the eaves began its slow creep across the countryside, before the car was abandoned at the side of the snowbound road.
This moment was waiting even before she raised her hand and knocked on the door of this godforsaken place, squatting below its slipping slates and bowing brickwork, beneath the low iron sky, under the weight of winter.
So here they are.
She’s glad now that she’d had the foresight to arm herself, downstairs, when the unpleasant ticking started in her chest, when she’d finally realized the answers to the questions plaguing her since her arrival: Who are these people? And why are they lying?
She’d been sure that something was very wrong for hours. She just hadn’t been able to gather the quiet nudges in the back of her brain into a single, clearly defined thought until now, now it’s punching itself to the fore, bullying her into the realization she’d have been safer out in the storm.
But it’s too late to leave, now that there are only three of them left alive, assembled under the twinkly Christmas star: a hitchhiker, a nurse, a landlord, , everyone, everything, bending itself into this moment, before the weight of what has been and what is to come. How could she have imagined for even one moment that she was the only one with anything to hide?
She knows it’s her own fault for allowing herself to be caught off guard, first back on the road and then over and over again until she stepped into this room. It happened so easily because this is the sort of place that’s supposed to be safe and steady, a quiet, nothing-ever-happens-kind of village where people look out for each other, still leave their doors unlocked and never, ever try to kill you.
Trouble is, you should never read only the surface signs and signals of anywhere or anyone, she knows that. There’s a lesson here, never assume you’re the biggest, baddest thing in the woods unless you’re prepared to prove it.
So this is it.
That bloody balding donkey understands, his red and white trimmed Santa leaning at a jaunty angle as he gives her that look again, as if he’s thinking what she’s thinking, knows what she knows – not all of them will leave this room alive. He may be happy to wait passively for the outcome but she isn’t, so she readies herself, plants her feet firmly apart on the floorboards, aware of every inch of her body, every twitch of muscle fibre and sinew, careful not to show that her hands are waiting and ready to move.
The ticking in her chest tells her it’s too late to stop the countdown, there’s no way back, the explosion is overdue. There will be noise and fury. There will be damage. There will be casualties.
So here they go!

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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Snow Girls by @cmooneybooks Chris Mooney 4* #WinterReads #TheSnowGirls

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The Snow Girls by Chris Mooney
Review Copy
Synopsis:

It’s been eleven years since Claire Flynn disappeared – abducted without trace from a snowy hillside, leaving her parents heartbroken.

Investigator Darby McCormick remembers the case. She knows there’s only ever been one suspect, Father Richard Byrne, linked inconclusively to two similar disappearances.

Finally, terminally ill, Byrne is willing to talk. But he’ll only talk to Darby.

She’s expecting a confession – but what she hears is far more disturbing.

And it soon becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep this cold case on ice…

My Review:

The novel opens in the crime ridden city of Belham, at the local police station in Boston. Detective Chris Kennedy is in-charge of the investigation but calls in consultant investigator Darby McCormick. The case centres around an 11yr cold case, of missing little girl Claire Flynn. Who was just 6yrs old at the time of her disappearance.
Coincidentally, this was Darby’s first case all those years ago, under veteran cop Detective Atkinson. This time Darby wants justice…

‘That was the thing about hope. It made you believe anything was possible. It made you believe in miracles’

This started off fairly slow-paced, as there was so much information to catch up on. But with the confusing and misleading ‘confessions’ of Father Richard Byrne. The case has so many links back to not only Darby’s past. But a whole host of characters from Belham’s past including police, the Catholic church and the victim’s own family.
Darby must work hard to connect the dots between the past missing girl and the newly disappeared Elizabeth Levenson (10yrs). But can she do it in time?

I loved how this novel dealt with the mind games suspected killers play, the psychology and the cops relentless pursuit of justice. The novel also goes further to explain the unjust justice system we witness so often in life…
“Man with the best lawyer wins, right” ~ Mickey Flynn 

Despite facing an epic case, with dark sadistic roots. Darby must face further taunts from Father Bryne as he reveals information her mother gave in sacred confession! 4*

CM
Chris Mooney
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Insider by @mariwriter 4* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction @orionbooks @orion_crime #StoneAndOliver #2 #TheInsider

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The Insider by Mari Hannah
Review Copy
Synopsis:

‘It was the news they had all been dreading, confirmation of a fourth victim.’

When the body of a young woman is found by a Northumberland railway line, it’s a baptism of fire for the Murder Investigation Team’s newest detective duo: DCI David Stone and DS Frankie Oliver.

The case is tough by anyone’s standards, but Stone is convinced that there’s a leak in his team – someone is giving the killer a head start on the investigation. Until he finds out who, Stone can only trust his partner.

But Frankie is struggling with her own past. And she isn’t the only one being driven by a personal vendetta. The killer is targeting these women for a reason. And his next target is close to home…

My Review:

You don’t get a better protagonist than third generation copper DS Frankie Oliver. She is feisty and always up for the challenge police work brings.
This title opens with a chapter from the killers perspective. It is a chilling POV, the killer seeks notoriety and motive whilst not sexual is born from a deep hatred of women…
Can Frankie take down the killer? or will he take her down?

‘Serial offenders rarely stop of their own free will’

DCI Stone is taking over the case from retiring DCI Gordon Sharpe. He doesn’t have time to worry if he is up to the challenge as another body is discovered at a local railway station on a late winter’s night. We also learn Stone is keeping a secret from Oliver…
Will the secret sabotage the case in hand?

At the crime scene they discover the murdered corpse of Joanna Cosgrove. A 37yr old career woman but also mother and wife. It appears she has been strangled from behind, never even getting a chance to see the face of her killer…

With it being Frankie’s first murder investigation and the fourth victim within the case. You know you are in for some action packed twists along the way.
Then a witness comes forward who claims to have seen who killed Joanna and the case is blown wide open.

The novel had a slow paced first 50%. But the novel is very character driven and this gives it a huge advantage, that I thoroughly enjoyed. 4*

‘The killer we’re dealing with is hiding in plain sight’

MH
Mari Hannah
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