#BlogTour #Review Chasing The Traveller by @AlexKaneWriter 4* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #Indie

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Chasing The Traveller by Alex Kane
Synopsis:

‘I’ve fled from my husband and the only life I’ve ever known. I’m terrified that if he finds me, I’ll never find myself.’

Kat is trapped in a world where she has never belonged. As a traveller, she has always felt lost, especially since the death of her parents in a fire when she was fourteen years old. Having been taken on by the Denton family as their own, Kat falls in love with their son, tearaway Jimmy. His charm soon wears off and Kat finds herself married to a controlling and violent thug.

Sixteen years later, Kat decides enough is enough and begins plotting her escape from a lifetime of abuse.

Stripped of her personality, Kat has no idea how to start again but she finds an unlikely ally in her sister-in-law Ellie who shows Kat that she is not alone.

Kat and Ellie Denton begin their venture into a new world, where they meet new people and build new lives. But Kat still wants to know more about her parents’ past and when she seeks the location of an address on the back of a family photograph, Kat begins to uncover more than she expected including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the traveller site she had been so desperate to escape from.

Will she find the answers she is looking for, or will she fall prey to the violent Jimmy Denton once more?

My Review:

This novel opens with a prologue, which is a scene of brutal domestic violence. We become rapidly aware that Jimmy Denton is a jealous thug and his ‘wife’, has been subjected to physical violence, rape and being spat on regularly!
Jimmy’s wife Kat, is the central protagonist. She has lived a life of fear, dominance, and complete and utter control! Jimmy decides what she eats and wears. He views her, merely as his property! Kat is alone in the world with no family of her own. She is apathetic and accepts a lifetime with the ‘Denton’s’ on their traveling site. That is until a ray of hope is offered from an unlikely source……

Jimmy’s sister Ellie Denton, has always treated Kat with contempt. But one day, the women take a moment to confide in each other of the psychological scars they both bare due to Jimmy’s violent ways.
Together they are stronger, and it is together, a plan is forged!

“This is no way to live. You know it as much as the rest of us here” – Ellie

Kat after years of being victimised and dehumanised, relies upon Ellie tremendously, for their plan to work!
Their plan is one of escape, but an escape, that must be secretively, carefully and meticulously planned. If their plan is discovered, Jimmy may kill both the women.
When Kate discovers she is pregnant with Jimmy’s child, she fears for not only her own safety but the safety of her unborn child. She must put all her faith and trust in Ellie.

The traveller site that the Denton family ‘rule’, is fully explained. Denton women are forbidden to leave the site unless accompanied by a Denton man. It is easy to see how a community such as this, can easily harbour domestic abuse and sexual violence. Women are treated as possessions to be owned, rather than partners to be loved.

“Kat we’ll do it together. We’ll change our names so no one can trace us, we’ll start a new life together and we’ll get away from this shit hole” – Ellie

The women leave, with Kat clutching nothing but a single photograph of her parents. They are positively terrified, and fear follows their every step away from the site…….

I really admired the characterisation of the women. Kat as the victim and Ellie as the saviour. It was refreshing to read a novel where a female character, is helped by a fellow female, to save her own life. I found this very accurate and realistic. Ellie nurtures Kat, back to her former self.
There is a lot to be said, for the power of sisterhood amongst women and this novel is a perfect example.

The novel then progresses to one year later. Kat is now Katelyn with a three-month-old daughter named Lucia. Auntie Helen (Ellie) is still helping Katelyn overcome her painful past. Helen encourages Katelyn to seek therapy, as the women live their lives, always looking over their shoulder!
Katelyn begins to investigate the photograph, her only one possession taken from the site. What she uncovers is decades of secrets and a glimpse into her own family’s history on the traveller site!

The opening pages that describe the travellers site and the violence easily meted out. I could have quite easily believed to have been a Martina Cole novel. The writing was so detailed and brutally honest! The mental hold of domestic violence and dehumanisation is fully explored!
Beat, control and dominate!

Can Kat set herself free? Can she overcome the past? What will become of baby Lucia, if Kat fails to find the strength? Will Jimmy seek revenge?
To find out more of Kat’s journey, you will have to read the novel! But remember
“Don’t allow your past to define your future”
4*

 

#Review Bring Her Home by @DavidBellNovels @BerkleyPub @penguinrandom #TuesdayBlogShare #Mystery #USA #WhereIsSummer

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Bring Her Home by David Bell
Synopsis:
Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

My review:

I was looking for some gripping American fiction, something that surrounded a mystery. Similar, to Harlan Coben style but a new author to me! WOW did I find it!!!!!!

Bill Price is our central protagonist, after 18 months after the tragic death of his wife in a bizarre accident. His young rebellious teenage daughter Summer goes missing. 48hrs later she is found at Dunlap Park. She has been beaten within an inch of her life and she is found with the lifeless corpse of her best friend Haley!
What happened to these girls? Who attacked them so savagely? Is everything as it seems?

Bill Price receives the call from local Jakesville town detective Hawkins. He rushes to the ER to see his daughter and is instantly plunged into every parent’s worst nightmare!
Only for Bill, the nightmare is far from over……….

Dr Renee Davis informs Bill of Summer’s extensive injuries and warns him, she may never fully recover. The prognosis on eye sight and brain damage is still unclear. Whilst discussing Summer’s trauma with Hawkins. Bill suddenly points the finger of suspicion at local teen boys Clinton Fields, Todd Stone and Brandon Cooke.
But are three immature, teenage boys capable of such a heinous crime?

Bill begins by trying to communicate with his daughter, bringing in her most treasured possessions. But all Summer can mumble is the word ‘no’ over and over again. Bill’s sister Paige arrives from Ohio. She is the first person to ask the most prominent question. How can they be so sure the injured girl in the bed is in fact Summer?
So, begins the first twist in the mystery novel, packed from start to finish with twists and turns galore!

There are so many themes within this exceptional novel. Why was Summer so distant recently, before the attack? The grief of Bill’s wife and Summer’s mother is fully explored. Having lost my own mother myself, at just 21 years of age. I can assure you that Summer’s responses of anger, pain and rebellion are completely natural. The characterisation is a huge winner in this novel. You really become invested in the characters and the lives of the teens involved. Bill attempts to unravel the mystery, whilst almost unravelling psychologically himself.
His sister Paige and close friend/neighbour Adam, try to hold everything together.
But in a scenario now chaotic, and confusing, who can Bill trust?

I don’t want to go into, too much into detail about the individual twists/turns, as that would create spoilers and undo the hard work of the author, in this clever interwoven plot. This novel is the perfect mystery novel, it is realistic, and I will MOST DEFINITELY be reading more by the author. 4*

Be prepared to be shouting at the book, as each twist in the tale develops!

Dave_Bell_author
David Bell
Authors Links:
Website: http://davidbellnovels.com/
Twitter: @DavidBellNovels

Author Bio:
David Bell is the author of seven novels from Berkley/Penguin, including BRING HER HOME, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. His work has been translated into numerous foreign languages, and in 2013, he won the prestigious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author. He is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and walking in the cemetery near his house. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, writer Molly McCaffrey.

#BlogTour #Review 4* #AnythingYouDoSay by @GillianMAuthor @PenguinRHUK #NewRelease #CrimeFic

*I received an arc copy via the publisher in return for an honest review*

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Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister
Synopsis:

A tense thriller, perfect for fans of BBC’s Doctor Foster.

‘I could run, or I could stay and call him an ambulance. Now it is decision time . . . ‘

It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own.

Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Coming fast.

You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.

You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.

Now What?

Call 999
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope you husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.

OR:

Run
Stay silent. You didn’t mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. Forever.

Which is it to be?

My review:

“It starts with a selfie”

Protagonist Joanna is out in a bar, in London with best friend Laura. They laugh and joke, posing for a selfie with a random man. They treat the random man (Sadiq) rather coldly, leaving his to retaliate in a rather pushy manner. They leave the bar and part their ways and that is when the unpredictable moment occurs……..

“You don’t want to be talking to me like that” Sadiq

Joanna take her path which leads her alone, down by a canal. She begins to feel followed and anxious. She takes her phone out and calls her husband Rueben, they talk for minutes before the call fails. Leaving Joanna and her pursuer alone…….

Joanna is at the top of the stairs, when she feels a close presence of the man, she thinks is Sadiq. She turns and in a fit of panic pushes the man, down the stairs. He lies at the bottom of the stairs motionless and it is NOW the time for Joanna to decide, Fight or flight?

The following narrative is played out in two sequences. Very reminiscent of the movie Sliding Doors, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. One half depicts what would have played out had Joanna revealed herself as the attacker. The other portrays what would have occurred had Joanna concealed her attack. I think the alternating chapters offer the reader, much food for thought. So I can see the novel being popular with book groups. I did contemplate myself what I would have done, in a similar situation.

Personally I found the protagonist of Joanna very unlikable. She is obsessed and infatuated with her husband. She is full of middle class drama and at times I contemplated her own mental health. But I found this, to be the point of her character. That we as the reader, won’t necessarily like her. But we will question her actions and why she behaves the way in which she does. Much like the police and the media, question the actions of all involved. Or maybe I got the narrative completely wrong, never the less.
This novel is thought provoking and I read the entire book one evening! 4*

GM
Gillian McAllister
Authors links:
Website: https://gillianmcallister.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gillianmauthor?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gillianmcallisterauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15967497.Gillian_McAllister

#Review 4* #RightBehindYou by @LisaGardnerBKs @headlinepg @bookbridgr

*I received an arc via the Bookbridgr website, in return for an honest review*

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Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
(FBI profiler book 7)
Synopsis:
Thirteen-year-old Sharlah Nash knows that the first time her brother killed eight years ago, he did it to save their lives.

Now retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner have offered Sharlah a new life of safety. She desperately wants to believe this is her shot at happily ever after.

Then two people are murdered in their local convenience store and Sharlah’s brother is identified as the killer.

Telly Ray Nash is on the hunt for Sharlah and as the death count rises it becomes clear that nothing and no-one, including Pierce and Rainie, will stop him getting to her.

Now, Sharlah has one chance to take control.

She can run for her life… or turn and face the danger right behind her.

My Review:

This is such an unusual crime fiction read. What I thought would present as a simple case and investigation, actually was a manhunt with clever clues woven into the plot.
It is action packed and would suit the reader, that likes to feel they are in on the pursuit of the criminal.

The novel opens with 13 year old Sharlah Nash, currently awaiting adoption by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner. Sharlah has a second chance at life, but it hasn’t always been so easy…….

Sharlah and brother Telly Ray Nash, were raised in abject poverty. With trailer trash parents, a father a junkie abuser and an alcoholic mother who did little to protect them. Ultimately the situation comes to a head one day when Telly is forced to protect his younger sibling, resulting in the deaths of their parents.
No charges were ever filed but the children were separated and Telly labelled bad news!

There is news of a local crime scene at a gas station, with two victims left dead. Everything points to a young male perpetrator with no known motive. When a link is established to Telly, they trace his most recent foster parents, only to discover them dead also. What follows is a man hunt full of twists and turns.
Did Telly shoot his foster parents? If so why? What drove Telly to murder so coldly?

Telly Ray Nash’s childhood, mental state and motives are fully explored. There are a wealth of labels and terms thrown around with no clear diagnosis criteria. I felt this dampened the character at first, he came off as a text book killer rather than a human with emotions, vulnerabilities and childhood trauma. Sharlah’s mental health state is rarely debated and I felt this let down the whole mental health narrative.
Their childhood is fully detailed and makes for shocking reading, how do children like this ever stand a chance?

There are a series of professionals brought in to assist the man hunt and give advice on Telly’s state of mind. I found it quite emotional to read the part where it details the bullying Telly had withstood at school. No wonder some kids just snap?

“Telly Nash, armed with a bat, slugged his mother out of the park then whacked his father till all went dark…”

There are chapters from Telly’s point of view that help the reader establish his true motives. It becomes clear Telly had a deep bond with his foster mother and felt deep pain at the loss of his relationship with his sister. Maybe Telly isn’t what they think?
But the situation takes a drastic turn when Sharlah decides to assist Telly and in doing so runs away………

What will become of Sharlah? Can/will Telly protect her?

An action packed, man hunt story! Perfect for fans of the movie The Fugitive! 4*

LG
Lisa Gardner
Authors links:
Twitter: @LisaGardnerBKs
Website: http://www.lisagardner.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaGardnerBks/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18282.Lisa_Gardner

***This book is currently on #Kindle Ebook offer for just 99p***

 

#BlogTour #Review #WhenAKillerStrikes by @RCBridgestock @caffeinenights #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #TeamDylan

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

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When A Killer Strikes by R C Bridgestock
Synopsis:
“Boss, we’ve got a body”.

Detective Sergeant Vicky Hardacre, greets him at the scene, but what awaits them behind the blood red door of Colonial House is undoubtedly a murder. The approach identifies several prime suspects. But who is telling the truth; and who is lying?

Before the killer can be caught, another body is discovered, this time in a putrefying mixture of mud and slime, lain among the remnants of decaying food within a waste-bin shelter. Now it’s the task of the man in charge to make the call.

Are the two murders connected?

There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by working long hours, within strict budgets, and the usual pressure from above to obtain quick results.

However, Dylan is distracted by personal matters, with Jen being keen to seal the deal on a renovation project. He suggests they delay finalising the purchase; until he discovers the significance of the house, and that it’s about to be demolished.

In his absence, Jen’s pleas for help from his estranged siblings are answered, resulting in hidden secrets coming to light, as Dylan continues, through a twisting and turning plot, to ensure justice is done in respect of the murder victims, whose bright hopes for the future were cruelly snatched away.

My review:

I am a huge fan of the DI Jack Dylan series and I have read every novel in the series! I love the northern setting of Harrowfield Town and the northern dialect scattered throughout the novels. The series are very much police procedural but DI Jack Dylan’s private life, with wife Jen often gives the novels a softer and more realistic feel. It is easy, to get the sense you are reading a true-story of a crime rather than a crime fiction series.

The novel opens with a suspicious death at colonial house. Dylan and Jen are still left reeling from their personal grief from earlier in the series. Jen has her heart set on moving home, a new home, a new start and a new life.
But being married to a copper is far from an easy lifestyle!

The victim is 14-year-old Patti Heinz, she is a local star on account of her gymnastic abilities. She is found strangled, naked and possibly raped by her stepfather Elliot Black at her home. The team begin to collect the evidence, organise door to door interviews and request press officer Connie Seabourne keep the case, on the down low. The last thing the police need, is the press clambering for dirt on the victim and harassing the family. A post mortem is organised to establish the facts of what happened to Patti.

Aware that Dylan can give no information to local/national journalists. That doesn’t stop a local journalist giving him a tip off with regards to Patti’s relationship to her stepfather. The journalist states that Elliot was controlling of Patti, dominated her gymnastics career and had an extensive collection of photos of her.
Did Elliot murder Patti? Was the mother aware of a abusive relationship? One thing is for certain Patti’s family are now under intense scrutiny from the police.

Across town in Harrowfield, Jen busies herself with viewing potential properties. With Dylan working longer and longer hours Jen is left to manage the house sale and move alone! Jen’s character took move of a step back in this particular novel. I really missed her usual wit and conversations with Dylan. They form such a brilliant couple, I missed the family drama and hope for more in the next book in the series!

As the team continue to investigate potential suspects. They discover that there are many men, with a the potential to cause Patti harm. From the lonely teenage neighbour who watches her every move via his telescope. To a rejected love interest and local pervert. The team also investigate her gym teacher and coach. But the DNA evidence collected from the scene begins to rule out more and more of the suspects………

So who killed Patti Heinz? And why?

When a young male walks into the police station and confesses to the crime. The team wonder if this is just too easy.
Is he mentally ill? A liar? Or delusional? Or is he really Patti’s killer? Comprehensive examinations of Patti’s mobile phone and laptop reveal images of another unknown male.
But who is he? And why does Patti have topless images of him on her phone?

The case delivers twist and turns galore. There is a crisis on the team, when a copper is arrested for drunk driving in a CID vehicle. There are hints and clues drip fed into the novel about Dylan’s childhood. Something we the reader, know very little of. It becomes quite clear it was far from a happy childhood and I hope more is revealed further in the series.
When another dead body is found stuffed in a bin. Dylan is put under extreme pressure to solve both complex cases. There are insinuations, which reference a previous case, so those new to the series may struggle to grasp how they fit into the bigger picture. But for #TeamDylan fans, it adds to the drama and hype, for what is an action packed ending!

Tremendously recommend the DI Jack Dylan series and I am already looking forward to the next in the series! #TeamDylan 4*

bob & Carol
R C Bridestock aka Bob & Carol Bridgestock
Authors links:
Website: http://www.rcbridgestock.com/
Twitter: @RCBridgestock
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcbidgestockauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059116.RC_Bridgestock

About RC Bridgestock:

Bob was a highly commended career detective of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. During his last three years he took charge of 26 murders, 23 major incidents, over 50 suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults. He was also a trained hostage negotiator dealing with suicide interventions, kidnap, terrorism and extortion.

As a Detective Inspector he spent three years at the internationally acclaimed West Yorkshire Police Force Training School where he taught Detectives from all over the world in the whole spectrum of investigative skills and the law. On promotion to Detective Superintendent Bob was seconded to a protracted enquiry investigating alleged police corruption in another force. He worked on the Yorkshire Ripper and Sarah Harper murder, and received praise from Crown Court Judges and Chief Constables alike for outstanding work at all ranks, including winning the much coveted Dennis Hoban Trophy.

As a police civilian supervisor Carol also received a Chief Constable’s commendation for outstanding work.

The couple are the storyline consultants on BAFTA winning BBC One police drama Happy Valley and series 3 of ITV’s Scott & Bailey.  Carol started and chaired the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle in 2008, along with Bob where she created an annual charitable community writing competition to inspire others of all ages.

The couple pride themselves on being up-to- date on past and present day UK police procedures, and as a result Bob is regularly sought by UK television, radio and national and local newspapers for comment on developing major crime incidents etc. And they have taken part in Radio 4 (Steve) PUNT P.I.

Together they can be regularly seen as speakers at a variety of events in the literary world and work with colleges and schools in providing writing seminars and workshops. Three RC Bridgestock trophies are annually achieved by students.

*Bob & Carol are a fantastic couple, who contribute a wealth of support to various charities. I truly wish them the best of luck with the release of #WhenAKillerStrikes and thank them for the opportunity to be part of their #BlogTour*