Anne Bonny #BookReview & #Extract Halfway by @bevjoneswriting 4* #Psychological #SerialKiller #Thriller #WinterReads

halfway cover
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
Twitter
Website

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour & apologies for my late post***
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!

dpbt 2

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

cover
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
Twitter
Website

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour and apologies for my late post***
banner

 

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

cover
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
Twitter
Website

***Don’t miss the other reviews on the blog tour and my apologies for such a late post***
banner

Anne Bonny #BookReview Slender Man 4* #Horror #SlenderMan #Occult #Ghosts @HarperVoyagerUK

cover
Slender Man
My Own Copy
Synopsis:

LAUREN BAILEY HAS DISAPPEARED.

As her friends and the police search for answers, Matt Barker begins to dream of trees and black skies and something drawing closer.

Through fragments of journals, blog posts and messages, a sinister, slender figure emerges and all divisions between fiction and delusion, between nightmare and reality, begin to fall.

The urban legend of the Slender Man has inspired short fiction, viral videos, and a feature film. Gathered from online
whispers, Matt’s story reveals the true power of the internet’s most terrifying creation.

My Review:

Slender Man is marketed as within the horror genre, but I actually found it to also be very much in the YA genre. It focuses solely on the story of two teenagers Matthew Barker and Lauren Bailey. The novel focuses around the disappearance of Lauren and Matthew’s personal investigation.

The novel is made up of a series of diary extracts, interview transcripts, recordings, therapy sessions and texts.
Which personally I really enjoyed and I think will have a great appeal to readers of YA novels. However, I am aware it is very much unique and may discourage some readers.

The disappearance not only the missing Lauren but the many people involved with the case. Detective Mia Ramirez from the NYPD leading the case. Lauren’s ex-boyfriend Steven Allison, whom enjoys the new found fame. Also Lauren’s parents of which there is numerous malicious rumours and speculation.

Matthew believes that via his use of technology and Lauren herself, he can stay one step ahead of the police and bring Lauren home.
And then the nightmares and strange occurrences begin…

Slender Man kept me gripped and held my intrigue throughout. But it failed to truly ‘scare’ me and for that reason, it may suit those who prefer a tamer horror read! 4*

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Long Shadow by Celia Fremlin #Mystery #Thriller @FaberBooks “Silence, solitude and peace were at last to be hers”

cover
The Long Shadow by Celia Fremlin
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Jolted from sleep by the ringing of the telephone, Imogen stumbles through the dark, empty house to answer it. At first, she can’t quite understand the man on the other end of the line. Surely he can’t honestly be accusing her of killing her husband, Ivor, who died in a car crash barely two months ago.

As the nights draw in, Imogen finds her home filling up with unexpected Christmas guests, who may be looking for more than simple festive cheer. Has someone been rifling through Ivor’s papers? Who left the half-drunk whiskey bottle beside his favourite chair? And why won’t that man stop phoning, insisting he can prove Imogen’s guilt?

My Review:

The Long Shadow has an unusual writing style and it was then that I discovered it is being re-published by Faber Books. The writing has a traditional style and the novel is based around an intriguing mystery. Who is targeting a lonely widow? And why?

Imogen is recently widowed and it attempting to get her life back on track. Her friend Myrtle is encouraging her to get out of her house, but Imogen is reluctant. She feels as though being a ‘widow’ is becoming her identity. Her step-children Robin and Dot and nosey neighbour Edith, fuss Imogen much to her dislike.

“Silence, solitude and peace were at last to be hers”

When Imogen reflects upon her relationship with husband Ivor, it is then that we learn that there is more to Ivor than meets the eye. Then the telephone calls begin…

The calls accuse Imogen of being responsible for her husband’s deaths. Is Imogen a lonely old widow or a cold blooded killer?
Christmas mystery with a twist 4*

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
banner